My 12 months with High Plains Public Radio are a vivid illustration of the close relationship between this community-focused radio station and the community it serves.
I’ve witnessed selfless acts of service on the part of staff, board members, and supporters of HPPR. It’s an inspiration, and a hopeful example that the best of our democracy and its can-do spirit is found among places often out of the glare of the national spotlight And I’ve come to appreciate just how vital the service you’ve built is to the High Plains as a voice of the region and an ear to the world.
Alas, my time working as HPPR’s executive director is coming to an end. My last day is June 21, 2019. While I value HPPR, its mission, and the many good people connected to it, I am returning to Alabama to be closer to my family. When legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant was asked why he was leaving his position of head coach at Texas A&M University to take a similar position at his alma mater, the University of Alabama, the Bear replied, “Momma called. And when Momma calls, you just have to come runnin’.”
Yet, while I’m returning to my native South, I intend to continue working on HPPR's many special projects for the foreseeable future.
- Since June 2018, HPPR has made big strides:
- Over the past year, we’ve modernized our computer system for managing membership and underwriting.
- Our talented underwriting sales team is armed with a variety of tools to connect businesses to consumers of HPPR’s content.
- Our partnership with the Kansas News Service is strong, and our news team is doing amazing work.
- We were recently honored for our deep commitment to covering the arts.
- Our Radio Readers Book Club was recently praised by a journalism institute for its success in connecting with residents of this region.
- Our outreach through Living Room Concerts continues to be a unique way of connecting with the communities across HPPR Land.
- Our live radio theater production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was a roaring success. Next month — on July 4 — we will air a production of the “TEXAS Outdoor Musical.”
- With tremendous help from the Kettering Foundation, we’ve taken the early steps on a project that will examine the future of community life in the High Plains.
- We’ve finalized a partnership between HPPR and Dodge City Community College through KONQ.
- We’ve deepened our digital footprint, through HPPR.org, through newsletters, through program-streaming, and through social media. And more, including an HPPR mobile app, is in the works.
Everyone reading this note is a part of these achievements, and for that I offer my deepest thanks.
In 2020, High Plains Public Radio celebrates its 40th year on the air. The year will be devoted to marking this grand achievement as well as preparing for HPPR’s future. It’s an exciting time, one that I’m confident will take High Plains Public Radio to even greater acts of service to its community.
As I head home, I will carry warm memories of the many wonderful people attached to High Plains Public Radio. Thanks for your kindness and friendship, and thanks for your ongoing support of the voice of public radio on the High Plains.
Executive Director, High Plains Public Radio
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce After-Hours Event At High Plains Public Radio On June 20
What: Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce After-Hours
When: Thursday, June 20 from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.
Where: High Plains Public Radio, 210 North 7th St., Garden City, KS
- A musical performance by HPPR’s Ruth Ellen Lynch and Stephen Johnson (from 5:30 - 6)
- Door prizes, including an office chair valued at $139 and some of our famous HPPR swag
On Thursday, July 4, High Plains Public Radio will air a production of the 2019 “TEXAS Outdoor Musical.” In fact, we’re so excited about this special programming for the Fourth that it will be broadcast twice. The first opportunity will be at 9 a.m. and the second will be at 7 p.m.
Please mark your calendars to be a part of this Lone Star State gem.
Fun facts to know and share from this week’s news on High Plains Public Radio and HPPR Connect:
> “Corrections officials say there’s been a spike in violent incidents and that access to healthcare, counseling, and job training for inmates is inadequate. Inmates are being swapped in and out of solitary confinement because there’s not enough space. Maximum security inmates are being double-bunked, with two inmates in one cell. Staff are overworked.”
> “The methodology the state used was fundamentally flawed because it did not account for individuals who had naturalized in recent years. The secretary of state's office had compiled its list of "possible non-U.S. citizens" by comparing the state voter roll to a list of Texans who at some point in recent years told the Department of Public Safety they were noncitizens when they obtained driver's licenses or ID cards. On top of the 25,000 that were mistakenly included on the list, county officials were able to identify more than 1,000 naturalized citizens on the list before their reviews were halted by federal District Judge Fred Biery, who worried the state’s efforts treated foreign born voters differently than those born in the country.”
> “Nationally, black residents could be undercounted by as much as 3.68%. ‘That doesn't sound terribly high, but when you realize that that's 1.7 million people, that's a lot of people to be missed in the overall count,’ [Urban Institute senior research associate Diana] Elliott explains.”
The Future of My High Plains Hometown
“In touch with the world ... at home on the High Plains” are the words that sum up High Plains Public Radio’s mission. To that end, we are seeking feedback from High Plains residents about the future of the place they call home.
HPPR.org is your go-to spot for the latest news from the High Plains region, as well as our events, exclusives, and features. You’ll also find the latest national and international news. Here are this week’s TOP STORIES from our website.
HPPR’s Living Room Concert series brings live music to the High Plains. Check out the schedule here.
PUBLIC RADIO is only as strong as our community. Please share this weekly update with your friends, family, neighbors, people who need a reminder that the boundaries at a sporting event divide the players and the spectators, everyone who knows to (a.) keep your clothes on in public and (b.) not lie down in the middle of the street, and everyone else who also knows to keep your clothes on while in a chicken coop.
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