TUNED IN: Notes from Bob Davis, executive director of High Plains Public Radio
I like to the think of the programming on High Plains Public Radio as Classic Public Radio. There’s news in the morning and in the afternoon and in the middle of that information sandwich are unique music programs.
From 9 a.m. CST until noon, listeners are treated to High Plains Morning, which bills itself as a “daily mix of singer-songwriters, folk, jazz, Americana, world, reggae, bluegrass, rock and just about anything else that you can think of.” Host Jenny Inzerillo spices up this eclectic collection of tunes with interviews with regional figures who are doing important things in our community.
But there’s an alternative to this traditional mix of thought-provoking news and awesome music: HPPR Connect. It’s what we call our all-news/talk broadcast, which can be heard at 94.9 FM in the Amarillo area and online everywhere else at www.hppr.org.
Writing as a long-time news junkie, HPPR Connect, which debuted less than two years ago, delivers what I’m looking for most days — namely, a series of programs that follows the news cycle and also delivers those, "Hey, I didn't know that!" moments. (Sorry, Jenny)
On Thursday after NPR’s Morning Edition, for example, NPR’s On Point explored a cannabis-based product known as “CBD.” Host Meghna Chakrabarti explored the subject with a pair of guests who examined the claims made about CBD, including that it can effectively treat insomnia, anxiety and epilepsy.
Chakrabarti seemed genuinely surprised -- as was I -- when guest Amanda Chicago Lewis, a Rolling Stone investigative reporter, bluntly stated she had recently taken CBD before appearing on On Point.
The 10 a.m. CST broadcast of Texas Standard includes the recollections of Betsy Blaney, a producer at Texas Tech’s public radio station KTTZ-FM and a former professional tennis player. Blaney offered a first-person and extremely up-close account of the Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs on Sept. 20, 1973.
Also, did you know Airbnb rentals in a pair of West Texas counties — Presidio and Brewster — increased by more than 90 percent over the past 12 months? Neither did I until I heard it on Thursday’s Texas Standard.
And on it went Thursday. The Takeaway explored the state of post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico. Here & Now took a deep dive into Wisconsin politics, where the right/left divide is painted in bright colors. PRI’s The World featured the global perspective on the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation, which is now caught up in #MeToo politics.
HPPR Connect is 24 hours of programs that offer news and perspective at the speed of calm, and that’s a refreshing break from the shouting we typically see on cable news.
This American Life Segment Features Garden City
Last weekend’s This American Life -- which was rebroadcast on HPPR Connect at 9 p.m. CST Thursday night, by the way -- reported on the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
In one segment, reporter Zoe Chace came to Garden City, Kan., in July to witness what happened as the city’s International Rescue Committee (IRC) office was shuttered. Amy Longa, the IRC director in Garden City, was interviewed as were several of the newly arrived immigrants who were her clients.
This week, I asked Longa, who now works in the IRC’s Wichita office, what it was like to be featured on a national public radio program.
“It was my first experience with This American Life,” she said via email. “The coverage was tense. But I like the fact that they included stories of individual clients — putting a human face to an issue helps to shed more light on the impact of things.”
There are plenty of opportunities to listen to This American Life. It airs on HPPR Connect Saturdays at noon and Thursdays at 9 p.m., and on High Plains Public Radio on Sundays at 3 p.m. and Fridays at 3 a.m. (All times are Central.)
Death of Panhandle Artist Was This Week’s Best-Read HPPR Story
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.
Musical September Continues With Two More Living Room Concerts
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m. CST (Doors open at 7 p.m.)
Suggested donation: $15
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m. CST
WHERE: HPPR Studios—Garden City, 210 N. 7th St., Garden City, KS
Suggested donation: $15
Want to Support LIVE MUSIC on the High Plains? Sponsor a HPPR Living Room Concert!
We’re always looking for new partners to provide support for this series. Please contact Ruth Ellen Lynch, our Texas Underwriting Representative, to learn how your business or organization can become our partner in providing unique live music for the High Plains.
You can reach her at by email, or call her at (806) 367-9088.
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