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NPR In The Panhandle At Risk Of Losing Funding

NPR is funded by taxpayers anyway, so it’s not like they really got local funding in the first place. Maybe it’s because I am a ‘Techy” person who uses the internet constantly, but there is not a single service that NPR offers that I can not find online.

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A state budget crisis in Kansas could financially cripple the Amarillo region’s only public radio station.

High Plains Public Radio could lose nearly a quarter of its operating budget if the Kansas legislature approves Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to slash all funding for public broadcasting.

Such a decision would put High Plains’ signal in the area at risk of being silenced.

And though Amarillo provides High Plains’ largest listener base, the station, because it is based in Garden City, Kan., does not receive state funds from Texas.

“Maintaining a physical presence and staff in Amarillo is very important to us,” said Deb Oyler, executive director of High Plains. “But there could be some cuts that need to happen, and those cuts could go deep.”

High Plains has broadcast throughout the Texas Panhandle since 1998 and has operated a studio at 101 S.W. Fifth Ave. in downtown Amarillo since 2007.

The organization receives about 22 percent of its operating budget from the state of Kansas.

An almost $500 million budget shortfall in Kansas, however, prompted Brownback to propose eliminating $1.6 million to the Kansas Public Broadcasting Council. High Plains is a member of the council, along with four other radio stations and four TV stations.

High Plains’ allocation of that money is about $289,000, Oyler said.

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