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KGNC-AM LOCAL NEWS

Thompson Park Lake Cleanup Event

The Amarillo Zoo is organizing a cleanup event for the shoreline around Thompson Park Lakes and Creeks. They say Saturday at 9, volunteers are asked to join to help make the park more aesthetically pleasing to visitors and wildlife. They say anyone that wants to help out should wear appropriate clothing and shoes for outdoor work. Those interested in participating should meet at the Zoo.

APD and Secret Service Busts Counterfeit Money Apartment

Amarillo Police and Secret Service investigators have busted an apartment in the 3600 block of South Polk for counterfeit currency. Inside, they found $250 and a computer printer concealed there. They arrested the occupant, Jordan Leitner, when they found a counterfeit $5 in his pocket, which matched the ones found in the home. 

Northwest Texas Hospital Offers Candidate's Forum

Northwest Texas Hospital is putting together a candidates forum for the upcoming May municipal elections. Marketing and Public relations person Caytie Martin says they've conducted one for the past three elections.
 
"We just feel it's very important to our employees to give them the opportunity to be educated when they're making the decision to vote and what it's doing for their community," Martin said.
 
She says everyone is invited to the Pavilion Auditorium on Monday, April 20th at 5:30 to hear from all of the candidates.
 

National Lineman Appreciation Day

Xcel Energy is honoring their nearly 1,500 line workers across the national for National Lineman Appreciation Day on Saturday. Wes Reeves says these are the people that keep our electricity flowing.
 
"They are the company when you think about it. When the lights are out, these are the folks that come to the rescue."
 
Right now, there are 322 line workers employed in Xcel's Texas and New Mexico service area.
 

Happy State to Offer App for Apple Watch

Happy State Bank has announced that customers will soon be able to check their account balances straight from their watches. The Apple Watch comes out next week and Happy State will be one of the very first banks in the US to offer an app.
 
"Mobile is the fastest growing technology that banking has," Matthew Smith, VP of E-Banking Services said. "Customers used to go out of their way to go to a bank. Now banks are in every customer's back pocket, and now also on their watch."
 
Smith says customers will also be able to view their transaction history and locate a branch on the watch.
 

Senator Seliger: More on Texas Buget

The Senate has passed the Texas budget. District 31 Senator Kel Seliger says it provides $811 million dollars just for border security. That's more than the past 7 years combined.
 
"It does things like increases grants to local law enforcement, primarily sheriff's departments on the border," Seliger said.
 
It also features $1.2 billion for current education formula funding and increases a basic allotment for every student.
 
"It also includes $60 million for math and reading training for kindergarten through 3rd grade teachers, and adds a substantial amount of money for career counseling for middle school students."
 
We will hear more from Seliger about the budget and other topics in coming days.

Ranger-Led Hikes at Alibates Flint Quarries

This weekend starts this years round of ranger-led hikes at the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument. Tim Cruze says it give a chance to learn about the cultural past of our area.
 
"Everything is really greening up and we're just now starting to see our wildflowers," Cruze said. "Very educational fun for the family, people really connect because this area pretty much looks like it did thousands of years ago.
 
There are 2 hikes every Saturday and Sunday until June. For more information call 806-857-3151.

Map the Meal Gap Study Shows 1 in 6 People 'Food Insecure'

The Map the Meal Gap 2015 study is out and the Food Bank's Zack Wilson says it shows about 1% more people 18 and up are 'food insecure' compared to the last study.
 
"It's estimated about 16.3% of people in our service area are food insecure, that's one in six people," Wilson said.
 
That number jumps to 1 in 5 people in Hardeman county.
 

Texas - Lowest Unemployment Rate Since 2007

From Governor Greg Abbott's office: The State of Texas has now achieved its lowest unemployment rate in 8 years, dropping to 4.2% last month even despite a seasonally adjusted employment decrease of over 25,000 jobs.

That number has dropped to 3% for Amarilloans. Abbott is quoted saying "Texas can and will remain the beacon of economic opportunity for the nation."

Darryl Flusche Named Canyon ISD Superintendent

Canyon Independent School District has announced the sole finalist for the soon to be open Superintendent job. April McDaniel says the board will meet in three weeks to follow through with making Darryl Flusche superintendent.
 
"I think there are some logistics that they go through and then on May 7th we'll have another board meeting scheduled and that's where he will sign a contract. Then he'll be official," McDaniel said.
 
Flusche currently serves as an assistant superintendent of Frenship ISD and was a graduate of West Texas State University in 1988.
 
For more info: http://www.canyonisd.net/

34th from Washington to Monroe Closed Next Week for Sewer Repairs

The left lane of westbound traffic on 34th from Washington to Monroe will be closed beginning Monday, April 20th. Contractors will make repairs to the sanitary sewer main. The project is expected to last five days.

Molly Schuyler Faces Off Against 3 72-Ounce Steaks at Big Texan This Weekend

120 pound Molly Schuyler of Sacramento, California made national news last year when she completed the Big Texan's 72-ounce Steak Challenge in under 5 minutes, then ate a second meal in less than 10 minutes.
 
She is returning to the Panhandle next month to try to polish off three of the meals in less than an hour. Danny Lee with the Big Texan says this time there's a financial incentive.
 
"Now if she completes the three steaks like she claims she can, under the 1 hour time limit, we have a $5,000 purse waiting for her," Lee said.
 
The event is scheduled this Sunday at the Big Texan. This time she will be competing against four teams of two who are eating the meal together.

Thornberry Votes to Repeal Death Tax

Local Congressman Mac Thornberry voted in favor of a bill that passed in the House that permanently repeals the death tax.
 
The death tax requires families to turn over portions of an inheritance to the government.
 
"It is wrong to levy a tax on what someone tries to leave their children after they have already paid tax on it when they earned it, and then have the government come and want them to pay tax on it again," Thornberry said. "
 
He adds farmers, ranchers, and small business owners are often particularly effected by the Death Tax.

Xeriscaping Program at WT

A special Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program will be held this Saturday that could lessen your water bill used for your lawns.
 
"Xeriscaping is landscaping using plants that use minimal water. Not necessarily cactus and yucca but using salvias, using flowers that you would find native in the Canyon and just using the horticulture varieties in your landscape," Liz Moore said.
 
It happens Saturday from 3-6 p.m. at the WT A&M Agriculture and Sciences building, Room 101, at 301 26th street. Registration is on site for $10.
 

Seliger Talks Texas Budget: Cuts and Highway Funds

Senator Kel Seliger sent out a radio message update on his doings in Austin. Earlier this week they passed the Texas budget where Seliger says we'll see some tax cuts.
 
"It puts in $2.15 billion in property tax relief and $2.3 billion in franchise tax relief," Seliger said. "Probably some of the biggest tax cuts in Texas history."
 
Another big factor is how it ends highway funding diversions, or how raised money from highway sources goes into other things.
 
"We're going to spend highway money on highways. It includes a dedication of $1.2 billion from motor vehicle sales tax and $2.4 billion over the biennium from what's called proposition 1," Seliger said.
 
We will have more updates from Senator Seliger as to the budget and other topics in coming days.
 

Gas Prices Steady in Amarillo

Drivers in Amarillo won't suffer any surprise at the pump this week since the average price for unleaded gasoline has stayed steady at an average of $2.24 a gallon. That is a penny higher than the state average but still $1.25 less than last year. Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed, Dallas is paying the most with $2.30 per gallon while drivers in Beaumont are paying the least at $2.13. 

Parking Times for 800 Block of Polk Changes

The Amarillo City Council met Tuesday and approved a resolution that was recommended by the Traffic Commission. City Manager Jarrett Atkinson says the parking times on the 800 block of South Polk will be longer.
 
"It's really balancing the needs of the businesses, their patrons," Atkinson said. "If turnover is required on the street, which obviously in this case we are looking for less turnover, balance those needs and try to give everybody as much as we can."
 
The parking will be changed from one hour parking to two hour parking Monday through Friday, 8-5.

Potter County Online Ballot System is Up

Potter County has their sample ballot online system up. Elections Administrator Melynn Huntley:
 
"You put in your address, provided you're a registered voter, it will pull up your ballot," Huntley said. "From there it gives you all the time in the world to research your candidates."
 
Remember, though. You are not actually voting.
 
"All that sample ballot is doing is marking what your choices were that day, then you can print it out and take it to the poll as a go-by," Huntley said.
 
Check it out here:
 

League of Women Voters to Hold Candidates Forum April 23rd

Another city election forum has been announced, this one by the League of Women voters on April 23rd. Forum chairman Robert Goodrich told KGNC how important voter knowledge is.
 
"Hosting a candidate's forum is one way to help citizens that they know who is running for office, what those people stand for, and it helps them to make better quality decisions about who they're going to vote for," Goodrich said.
 
It starts at 6 at the Amarillo College Downtown campus. For more info, call 418-2445.

KGNC-AM SPORTS NEWS

WT Baseball Earns Walkoff Extra Innings Win Over Angelo State

The WT baseball team was able to come out with an extra inning victory over Angelo State last night 2-1 in 11 innings. The Buffs scored the winning run off a throwing error by Angelo State as the Buffs improve to 27-14 overall and 17-10 in conference play. The Buffs and Rams will conclude their three-game series with a doubleheader today at Wilder Park starting at 1 pm.

High School Baseball/ Softball Recap

In high school baseball action yesterday, Randall improves to 11-0 in district play with a 16-3 win over Dumas, Canyon remains one game behind Randall in the district with an 11-6 win over Palo Duro, Hereford barely gets past Caprock 5-4, Frenship downs Amarillo High 4-2, and Lubbock Monterey gets an easy win over Tascosa 12-4.

In high school softball action yesterday, Dakota Newsome and Kyra Lair combined for a no-hitter for Canyon as the Lady Eagles defeated Palo Duro 19-1, Hereford took down Caprock 6-1, and Amarillo High easily beats Lubbock Monterey 13-2.

Amarillo Venom-Duke City Preview

The Amarillo Venom will be on the road this Saturday as they will take on the Duke City Gladiators. The Venom head into the contest with a 3-2 record after defeating the San Angelo Bandits 62-40 this past Saturday. Kickoff for this weekend's game will be at 6:05 pm.

KGNC-AM AGRIBUSINESS NEWS

Study: Subsurface Irrigation Reduced Water Use for Corn by 5 Inches

We’ve had some decent rains the past couple days and nights.
 
But no matter how much rain falls, our area crops will need irrigation. Here’s some good news. USDA Researcher Steve Evett says a recent study at the Bushland lab showed that subsurface drip irrigation reduced water use for corn by five inches compared to center pivot technology.
 
"And most of that 5 inches less was during that pre-plant irrigation and that post-plant period when the crop hasn't really gotten very large," Evett said. "So we know it was a reduction in the evaporation loss from irrigating on bare soil."
 
And those drip irrigation plots at the lab still produced 33 more bushels per acre than the center pivot plots.

Hemphill County Beef Conference and Ag Tour

The Hemphill County Beef Conference and Ag Tour will be held Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29 in Canadian. The event is presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. For complete details, go here: http://www.kgncam.com/page.php?page_id=411

Farm Payment Limits Proposed

USDA has issued a proposed rule that would implement additional limits on farm payments made to non-farmers. For more information and to offer comments about the proposal, go here http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/03/0074.xml&contentidonly=true

 

  

Dietary Guidelines Report

Want to submit a comment on the report issued by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee? Beef and cattle organizations have been very critical of the Committee's recommendations regarding meat consumption. See what you think by reading the report, which is available by clicking on the link below. The link also provides a way for you send comments about the report to the federal government. 

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/02/0040.xml&contentidonly=true 

 

 

KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour

The KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour is your daily opportunity to hear from agriculture newsmakers from around the region. The program airs Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. on KGNC-AM.

In addition to bringing you the insights of ag experts from around the High Plains region, our show also offers up-to-the-minute market information, veterinary news, wildlife reports, and features that explore the daily endeavor of those good people – the farmers and livestock producers – who provide us with the food and fiber we all need.

If you are unable to listen to the Agribusiness Hour live, remember you can hear recordings of past programs in podcast form by going here: http://multimedia.kgncam.com/audio/ag.htm

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