News

As of today, Election Day is JUST 49 DAYS AWAY: on Tuesday, November 3rd! HPPR wants to be sure that our listeners keep this date on the forefront of their minds, as voting this year might feel a little bit different than in elections past.

While we all hunker down in our present pandemic reality, some High Plains writers have been working hard to secure the future of their Kansas-based literature community. Today I spoke with Ronda Miller, who represents the Kansas Authors Club—the oldest literary club in the US, founded in 1904.

Image courtesy of RonPopeMusic.com

A few weeks ago on SONGBIRDS, I reached a magical milestone: an interview with one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Ron PopeWe talked about his new project, "The Builder." As the world of a Nashville-based artist shifts through the rubble-- both from the tornado and a pandemic-- Ron has found a way to rebuild community through his music. (The best part: he gets to wear sweatpants!) 

Luke Runyon/KUNC

Many communities in the West are growing, and in some places that’s putting pressure on already scarce water supplies.

That’s the case in northern Colorado, where a proposed set of reservoirs promises to allow small suburbs to keep getting bigger. The project, called the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), has stirred up a familiar debate over how the West grows, and whether water should be a limiting factor.

These last few weeks, Growing on the High Plains sure has been annoying! Well, that's the aim as we continue our series on garden gremlins. Today, we'll be poking at some of the spikiest inhabitants in High Plains horticulture. Living in our region means we have to endure a full quiver of prairie shrapnel that might find its way onto our shoes, socks, jeans, and pets. But if you know what to avoid, you can make your time outside much less painful. Listen now for a crash course in thorns, stickers, prickles, punctures, burrs, and witchy weeds.    

Last month, public radio stations across the country bid farewell to Live from Here with Chris Thile, which ceased production and was therefore no longer available. This program will indeed be missed on the High Plains, but there’s a bright side: new shows on the schedule! Here’s how HPPR will be switching things up for September and beyond, so mark your calendars:

Saturdays:    

NPR’s Alt.Latino (5:00 – 5:30p) 

Westend61/Getty Images

One New Year’s Day, Rob Purdie woke up with a headache that wouldn’t quit. Vision problems, body aches and a slight fever followed. At the emergency room, the Bakersfield, California, resident was given antibiotics, which didn’t touch his symptoms. His headache turned into cluster headaches and the fatigue became worse.

“I was not really functional,” he said in a recent interview, recalling the beginning of his eight-year struggle with the mystery illness.

Today's Growing on the High Plains continues the exploration of our deep-rooted frustration with hearty High Plains weeds. While we've previously poked at their peskiness, I thought it was time to ingest some info about how very edible some of them are. From the more common dandelion wine and greens to sheepshire, lamb's quarter, and bindweed, there are a lot of reasons to give them a try. Sure, advocating a meal made of foraged weeds might sound hard to swallow, but the flavors vary from sour to savory and many are quite rich in nutrients.

In the wake of public radio’s loss of Live from Here with Chris Thile, which recently ceased production and is no longer available to air on our station, High Plains Public Radio is pleased to welcome two of the most notoriously excellent music shows available on public radio. Starting this Saturday, September 5th, you can enjoy NPR’s Alt.Latino and All Songs Considered back-to-back from 5 to 6pm CT.

"Without gospel music there never would have been an Elvis Presley, a Ray Charles, a James Brown, or an Aretha Franklin." —ANN POWERS, AUTHOR & MUSIC JOURNALIST  

While we've all heard about unemployment on the rise, there are still employers looking for help. I chatted with Karl Kimsey of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. He's the Employer Relations Coordinator at WT’s Career Services and wants to encourage degree-seeking or degree-holding applicants looking for a job or internship check out the FALL 2020 VIRTUAL CAREER FAIR happening soon over the magic of the internet.

Art lovers of Finney County, take note! This month, you can enjoy another edition of  the First Fridays Art Walk presented by Garden City Arts. It runs from 5-7p CT this Friday, Sept. 4th and will feature exhibits at four downtown locations.

Thanks so much to Daniel Margolis, contributing editor at Downbeat Magazine, for chatting with High Plains Morning today. He shared details about two informative articles he just released regarding the pandemically-retooled 2020 Record Store Day, the annual celebration of the "culture of the independently-owned record store.  You can check out his pieces on the links below, which include a rundown of what's coming out and when.

To continue my series on things that irk the High Plains gardener, I'll be weilding a blade at the terrible grasses that pester even the most persistent green thumbs. Today's Growing on the High Plains will offer a snapshot of some of the grasses that have bothered my space—some known, and some that began as a mystery. I'll provide tips on how to best the beasts, tame the tails, and starve the stalks.

COVID Plans Put To Test As Firefighters Crowd Camps For Peak Wildfire Season

Aug 20, 2020
U.S. Forest Service

HELENA, Mont. — Jon Paul was leery entering his first wildfire camp of the year late last month to fight three lightning-caused fires scorching parts of a Northern California forest that hadn’t burned in 40 years.

On today's Growing on the High Plains, we'll continue our series on garden irritations with a look at the spiny, viney scourge of spreading weeds. Even the most attentive gardeners have to be diligent to battle back some of the more ambitious weeds common to the High Plains. We'll take a look at some of the most common, including the bane of my green space: spurge weed! 

While quarantine has seemingly slowed down many of our lives, one High Plains poet and author has been keeping very busy. Tonight at 7pm CT, Amarillo-based writer Chera Hammons launches her first novel, Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom, with an online reading and discussion—and you’re invited.

“Equal suffrage, we beg for thee/ May we hide our wrongs in thee./May the ballot men have stole/ From their soiled hands be removed;/ If polluted, here’s the cure;/ Equal suffrage’ll make it pure./ ‘Vote for women’ is our cry;/ We will scream it till we die./ When we pass this earthly pale,/We may go to heaven or- well,/ Matters not our lot may be-/ Equal suffrage makes us free.”  

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — In mid-May, Finney County’s top public health physician sent an email to state health officials repeating worries she’d made clear a month earlier to her local colleagues.

Finney County Health Department Medical Director Lindsay Byrnes warned that the coronavirus outbreak at the local meatpacking plant continued to put workers there, and the surrounding community, at risk.

What makes a weed? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some have a lot in common with wildflowers, but good luck beating them back if you choose to introduce them into your space. Today's Growing on the High Plains regards the eternally pesky presence of weeds. We'll dig in on some of our region's most common weeds, like dandelions, loosestrife, Johnson grass, and more. The coming weeks will bring more discussion of gardening challenges, so stay tuned. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me directly here.  

Today on High Plains Morning, I spoke with Dr. Daniel Helbert, Assistant Professor of English & Director of Undergraduate English Studies at West Texas A & M University’s Department of English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages, in advance of tonight’s Great Books Discussion Series, happening online at 7p CT.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Getting married and having your first child is stressful enough. Try making those life changes during a pandemic. As a teacher.

Luke Runyon/KUNC

Tracking coronavirus pandemic could soon be a bit easier because of one simple fact: everyone poops.

Around the world, wastewater plants have become unlikely sentinels in the fight against the virus, allowing scientists to track the disease’s spread at the community level. The practice of testing sewage samples is spreading across Western U.S. states as well, with programs currently running in Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California.

Shucks, it's already late in the season, so check out today's installment of Growing on the High Plains where we'll celebrate the welcome gold of late summer sweet corn. I'm lucky enough to have arranged a produce exchange with a northerly neighbor, swapping melons for corn. So when their crop is ready, I'm "all ears." Of course I have my own thoughts about how best to clean and prepare it, and it's a bit of a departure from methods taught to me early childhood methods.

Today, I caught up with community advocate and Amarillo United Citizens Forum representative, Melodie Graves, while she shared details about a city-wide Annual School Supply Drive & Giveaway going on through late August. The event will take place on Saturday, August 29th from 11am to 2pm CT at the Black Historical Cultural Center (901 N. Hayden), just off of Amarillo Boulevard.

CORINNE BOYER / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

One western Kansas resident's recovery from COVID-19 was made worse by an unpleasant health care experience.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

 

What happens when the coronavirus comes between your senior year and dreams of a state championship?

Celia Llopis-Jepsen/Kansas News Service

A first-hand account of what it's like to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and how a family handled the situation.

The term "essential worker" covers a wide range of jobs that proved especially vital when Kansans were hiding out at home from the coronavirus.

Courtesy of Braeden Bradforth's family

Just a few hours short of the second anniversary of his death, the family of a New Jersey teenager settled with Garden City Community College. The settlement ended a long, bitter and exasperating two years for the family of 19-year-old Braeden Bradforth.

"I'm sad every morning when I wake up, I'm grateful every night I lay my head on the pillow," Bradforth's mother Joanne Atkins-Ingram said thinking about her son's memory.

Image from WikiHow

Many cats long for the green, green grass of home...or anywhere they can get it, for that matter. Today on Growing on the High Plains, we'll talk about cat grass, which  many at-home pet owners have been growing during the pandemic lockdown. There are many varieties, and your homebound furry roommates might enjoy having a little taste of the outdoors. 

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