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TXDOT Tips for a Safe Halloween

The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging drivers, parents, and trick-or-treaters to stay safe this Halloween.
That means no running out in front of cars, no drinking and driving, and if you're a parent, Trooper Chris Ray says you need to be mindful of houses you don't want your kids to go to.
"We now have a mobile app for your Apple or Android where you can check to see if there are sex offenders near you," Ray said. "If you go to our website, there's a link where you can download the app. That's a great deal when you're trying to keep those kids safe."
He adds kids should never enter the cars or homes of strangers, and to avoid homes without visible porch lights. Make sure your children know their home phone numbers and how to call 911 in case they run into an emergency or get lost.
Ray also says face paint allows for better visibility and peripheral vision than masks and the children should carry flashlights. Be sure to travel in groups with adult supervision and only cross the roadway at intersections and crosswalks.

Hit and Run Driver Injures Jogger on I-27 Service Road

The Randall county sheriff's office is looking for a hit and run driver.  

Around 6:30 p.m. Monday, a jogger was running south on the I-27 service road when he was hit by a car. The jogger suffered injuries to his left arm and was taken to the emergency room. The man could not give a description of the car that hit him, and anyone with information is asked to call the Randall county sheriff's office at 468-5751.

Marijuana Bust Near Westgate Mall

A traffic stop near the mall led to an arrest and seizure of 5 pounds of marijuana.  

A Potter county deputy made the stop Thursday on I-40 and mile marker 64. The driver gave consent to search and the deputy found a suitcase with approximately $18,000 worth of pot inside.

Robert Prater, 45, was booked into Potter county on a third-degree felony charge of possession of marijuana. The drugs were reportedly being taken from California to Wichita, Kansas.

Wheeler County TDCJ Escapee Recaptured

The prisoner who escaped Monday from the TDCJ's Wheeler unit has been caught.  

Just after 7 a.m. Thursday, Plainview police received a 911 call of a man beating on the back door of a house in the 2600 block of Joliet. When officers arrived, they say that it was Charlie Davis Junior, 38, in the backyard. He was taken into custody and transported to the Hale county sheriff's office where he's being held.  Davis faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of felony escape.

Tuesday Puckett Lockdown

A domestic violence call led to the temporary lockdown of a local school.

Just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, officers were called to a home in the 4200 block of Roxton. They learned that a man with a gun had broken in and threatened a woman, then said he was going to a nearby school to pick up his child. Puckett elementary was contacted and asked to lock out all visitors until the man could be located.  

Around 3 p.m., he was found in a motel on Amarillo Boulevard west. Christopher Keith Chesser, 35,was booked into Randall county for burglary with intent to commit assault on a family member.

Is it possible for your children to become poisoned by their Halloween candy?

Is it possible for your children to become poisoned by their Halloween candy?
It is possible they can eat enough that they will get sick to their stomach, but Ronica Farrar, educator for the Texas Panhandle Poison Center says they hear a lot of calls about glowsticks.
"The liquid inside glowsticks is non-toxic," Farrar said, "but just because they're non-toxic doesn't mean that they won't cause a little bit of irritation. If it gets into a child's mouth, they could become nauseated, if in their eyes it may cause some burning."
She says there is also a risk to those children with food allergies. She says one of the best things you can do is to inspect the candy before letting your child consume it.
"Children going door to door, people are handing out whatever they're handing out, and they don't know whether a child is allergic to chocolate or peanuts. The parent would know, so it's very important for them to inspect."
She says that inspection could in fact prevent a life-threatening anaphylaxis. She adds to talk with your children to make sure they know to wait. 

Economic Analysis Shows September Trends Carrying Over to October

Amarillo National Bank has released their monthly economic analysis for October.
Patrick Ware, Vice President for ANB, says the trends are holding steady.
"It's the same thing we saw in September and what's driving it is slower than needed job growth," Ware said. "That's the reason retail sales are flat and we're not seeing as much construction as the other parts of West Texas."
Sales tax collections were up almost $2,000 and drilling rigs in the Panhandle were up from 67 to 71 for October. Ware adds that there was a seasonal bump in car sales, but those numbers are likely to fall back to the norm. 
We are also in dire straights for job growth.
"We're hoping that we don't see anymore lowering in the wages," Ware said, "and stronger job growth. We've only been seeing 200 or 300 jobs over the year. We need to get that number up over 1,000, closer to 1,500 or 2,000." 
Ware adds that we should see some more seasonal jobs as the holiday months come closer, but those won't be reported until later. He says any added jobs, especially full-time, is going to be an added benefit to the local economy.
What sectors will likely show the most growth as we move further into the year?
"Probably the farming and ranching income, the summer rains have really helped that out," Ware said. "The commodity prices are a little lower, but we are going to see some benefit because of the corn and cotton crops this fall."
He says one thing on everyone's mind is interest rates and the federal reserve is pulling back on bond buying, but he doesn't believe it will have as big of an impact on interest rates in the future so it's still a good time to purchase a car or get a mortgage because the rates right now are advantageous to the consumer.

Man in Critical Condition After Crash Near Rick Husband

An Amarillo man was hospitalized in critical condition after a crash near the airport.  

Just after 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, a car driven by William Duncan Baker, 64, ran into the trailer of an 18-wheeler in the 1500 block of Airport drive. He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the 18-wheeler was uninjured. Speed is a factor in the crash, which is still under investigation.

Xcel Energy Sees Increased Scam Activity

Reports of scams against Xcel Energy customers has picked up again. Spokesperson Wes Reeves says this isn't anything new.
"We've been dealing with this for a couple of years," Reeves said, "customers get this call and it sounds very convincing, someone from Xcel calling them to say that they're behind on their bill and they're sending someone to cut their power off."
Unless, of course, you pay over the phone. Reeves says in some cases they will ask you to pay using a pre-paid debit card, and manipulate the caller ID to display a fake number. All four of Xcel's operating companies have seen increased scam activity in recent years.

Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week

Amarillo Crime Stoppers is asking for help with their crime of the week.  

The Potter county sheriff's office was called to the Canadian river bridge Tuesday morning where a 2000 model CAT 980g wheel loader was missing from the work site. It was found several miles away on state land with significant damage.  

The equipment is considered a total loss with a value of several hundred thousand dollars. If you know who the suspects are in this equipment theft, call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 or submit a tip online at amapolice.org. A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered. 


WT Sports Update

The West Texas A&M Buffaloes soccer team will have their final home game tonight at 7:00 pm as they will take on the 23rd ranked Midwestern State Mustangs. The Buffaloes go into the contest with an 8-5-1 record. After this match tonight, the Buffaloes will be on the road against 22nd ranked Fort Hays State.

The West Texas A&M football will close out their regular season on the road against Eastern New Mexico this Saturday at 7:00 pm. The Buffaloes go into the contest with a 5-3 record with a 4-2 conference record. This will be the last week of the regular season for the Lone Star Conference before having the LSC Playoffs starting next week.

Thursday Night High School Football Preview

In high school football action tonight, the Canyon Eagles will look to remain unbeaten in district play against Caprock. Canyon will look to stay atop District 3-5A as they are currently 6-2 overall with a 3-0 district record and have already clinched a playoff spot. Caprock is still fighting for a slim shot at the playoffs as they are currently 1-7 overall with a 0-3 district record. Game time will be 7:30 pm at Dick Bivins Stadium.

Amarillo Venom 2015 Schedule Released

The Amarillo Venom have released their 2015 schedule.
March 7 at Dodge City Law
March 14 at New Mexico Stars
March 21 Wichita Force
March 28 at San Angelo Bandits
April 4 at Texas Revolution
April 11 San Angelo Bandits
April 25 New Mexico Stars
May 2 Texas Revolution
May 16 at New Mexico Stars
May 23 Texas Revolution
May 30 at Sioux City Bandits
June 6 San Angelo Bandits

Amarillo Bulls Preview

The Amarillo Bulls are preparing to conclude their seven-game home stand as they have two games this weekend against the Topeka Roadrunners. The Bulls will be looking for revenge as they dropped both games against Topeka back on October 4th and 5th. The Bulls head into the contest with a 5-6-2 record and tied for 4th in the South Division. Gametimes will start at 7:00 Friday and Saturday night.


AgriLife Farm Bill Meetings

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is offering another round of educational meetings to help producers better understand the new Farm Bill. A wide variety of locations throughout the Texas Panhandle are on the list of where programs will be conducted. For the complete schedule and other details, go here http://today.agrilife.org/2014/10/22/second-round-of-farm-bill-meetings-coming-to-the-panhandle/

USDA Info On Risk Management Programs

Big decisions are coming for farmers related to their participation in various Farm Bill programs, most notably Price Loss Coverage and Agricultural Risk Coverage. Information about PLC, ARC, base reallocation, and yield updates is available here


Water Regulation Proposals Controversial

Many in agriculture are concerned about what is commonly referred to as “The Waters of the U.S. Rule.” This “rule” involves the Clean Water Act, and what many fear is an attempt by EPA to reinterpret the Act in ways that would make even small bodies of water like ditches and ponds subject to regulation and thereby impose new restrictions on common agricultural practices like fertilizer and herbicide application. A public comments period regarding the Clean Water Act proposals is open through Nov. 14. To learn more about the issue and submit your opinions, go here  http://www2.epa.gov/uswaters/documents-related-proposed-definition-waters-united-states-under-clean-water-act


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