For most students and their families, graduation is an unforgettable time of celebration. Reaching this crucial educational milestone during a pandemic? Well, that's something no one could easily forget. While we're hearing national stories about innovation in graduation, from drive-thru diploma delivery to socially-distanced ceremoies at a local drive-in, HPPR wants to know how YOUR cap-and-gown experience has been during the COVID-19 crisis.

Today, I spoke with Stephanie Price, Communications and Marketing Director at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum at West Texas A&M University, about their new project:  Collecting COVID-19 Experiences—and they want YOU to submit your experience.

The museum will continue to accept submissions as life under the pandemic evolves. 

Hear our full interview on the link below, and scroll down for details and links to the project!

The Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Public Broadcasting Council have teamed up to create the Continuous Learning Alliance. Look for statewide educational programs and projects for students pre-k to 12th grade over the coming days and weeks.  

As we all hunker down during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's a prime time to focus on new life! Enter all the High Plains gardening fans out there—it's time to shine in this new landscape of social distancing. Whether  you're an old-school green thumb or just starting out, there could be no better time to get a little susnhine and plant a new garden. Consider setting up a spring veggie patch, or maybe some decorative potted companions to lend a little color and optimism to the drab days ahead. Here are a few tips and nudges to get diggin'. 

Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is now available in Amarillo. 

According to a press release from the City of Amarillo, individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can call the Amarillo Public Health Department at 806-378-6300. If those symptoms warrant a test, you will be directed to the drive-thru facility for testing.

As the coronavirus situation unfolds, we at High Plains Public Radio understand and appreciate the concerns you and your families may be facing during these challenging and uncertain times.

Oklahoma has seen a dramatic uptick in confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 377 reported cases as of Saturday and 15 deaths. The counties of Le Flore and Nowata are now required to come into compliance with Gov. Kevin Stitt's Safer at Home order issued Monday.

Baca County, Colorado, along with several other Colorado counties, are reporting their first cases of COVID-19.  As of Friday, eastern Colorado counties reporting COVID-19 cases, and their respective number of cases, are as follows: Baca (1), Logan (3), Morgan (4), Washington (1), Yuma (2), Lincoln (1), Kit Carson (2), Crowley (1), Otero (2).

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Saturday issued a statewide stay-at-home order, in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, as Kansas is expected to see as many as 900 cases over the next week. According to a press release issued by the governor's office Saturday, the order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and will be in place at least through April 19.

UPDATED MARCH  26, 2020 at 10:26 a.m.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Tuesday several orders - some statewide and some for only counties reporting COVID-19 cases - aimed at stemming the spread of the virus around the state. One order requiring vulnerable populations to stay home, another limiting social gatherings to fewer than 10 people. 

Oklahoma reported on Thursday 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases  - plus two out-of-state cases - and five deaths. 

Coloradans Under Stay At Home Order Effective Thursday

Mar 25, 2020

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday issued a statewide Stay at Home Order in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Polis announced during a press conference that starting Thursday, all Coloradans are required to stay at home through April 11.

Wikimedia Commons

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday provided guidance to law enforcement and detention centers on limiting and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

According to a press release from Polis’ office issued Wednesday, Polis issued the following guidelines to law enforcement:

The daily lines surrounding local grocery stores have challenged San Antonians for more than a week. For Ryan Pflipsen who suffers from Spina Bifida —  it’s more than an annoyance, it’s an impossibility. He called the nerves along his back “ a frayed wire.” The birth defect prevented many of his spinal nerves from developing properly, necessitating crutches to walk. 

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” That is certainly true in 2020. At High Plains Public Radio this year, I expected that the presidential election would be the big story of the year. And we had been planning for a big membership drive in March to help sustain the station through the typically lean summer months.

Special Programming Changes On HPPR Connect

Mar 21, 2020

High Plains Public Radio and HPPR Connect will run a special NPR program on COVID-19 Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22, on Connect at 6 p.m. CT; and in place of City Arts and Lectures on HPPR, Sunday night at 7 p.m. CT. Starting Monday night at 8 p.m. CT, Connect will begin carrying a new program from NPR, called The National Conversation with All Things Considered.

Steven Hopwood, a 61-year-old man with a history of pneumonia and scarring on his lungs, was all but set to get out of jail this week. He planned to plead guilty to bail jumping charges at his scheduled court hearing on Thursday in Lavaca County, and his attorneys expected he’d be able to go home and get probation.

Public Domain via Pixabay

The cities of Amarillo and Canyon issued a joint press release Thursday announcing that gatherings of 10 or more people will not be allowed until further notice. In addition, area gyms must close, and local restaurants will not be allowed to offer dine-in options.


Thirteen new cases of COVID-19 in Kansas were confirmed by state health officials on Thursday. That bring the state's total to 34, including one death in Kansas City, Kan.  

A 52-year-old Cherokee County man tested positive on Wednesday, marking the first case in the southeast corner of the state.

Coronavirus Daily, From NPR: Starting today, there's a new daily news podcast about the coronavirus pandemic, covering all dimensions of the story from science to economics and politics as well as society and culture. Hosted by Kelly McEvers, it's approximately 10 minutes in length and will publish weekdays at 4:30pm CT.

Texas officials have been taking steps for the last month to prepare for the potential spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott said.

A 3D atomic map could lead the way toward a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus, researchers at UT Austin and the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Roughly 600 passengers left the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, on Wednesday, as a controversial shipwide coronavirus quarantine finally began to wind down.

All of those passengers had been tested for the COVID-19 disease by the Japanese health ministry, according to cruise operator Princess Cruises. As they left, they were met in the terminal by the cruise line's president, Jan Swartz.

Another 70 cases of the coronavirus infection have been confirmed aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, currently quarantined in Japan, according to Japanese health officials.

This brings the total number of cases aboard the vessel as of Sunday to 355, the largest confirmed cluster outside mainland China. People with confirmed infections have been taken to hospitals in Japan.

Updated on March 17 at 6:43 p.m. ET:

Thousands of people have now died from COVID-19 — the name for the disease caused by the coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China.

According to the World Health Organization, the disease is relatively mild in about 80% of cases.

What does mild mean?

And how does this disease turn fatal?