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Salvation Army to Hold Clay Shoot

The Salvation Army Week kicks off Friday with a Clay Shoot at River Breaks Ranch. Major Harvey Johnson says all you need to do is show up and register at 8 o'clock. 
"The dollars that we raise will go to our new program 'Pathway of Hope', where we help our families over an 18 to 20 month period, meet with them weekly," Johnson said.
They'll be able to help folks set goals and underwrite some of the cost of their households, so they'll be able to go back to college or go through special training.

Early Voting Totals

The early voting totals are in.

Randall County had just over 5,400 early voters, while Potter had just under 2,600 early voters. More votes have been cast in early voting this election cycle than in all of 2009 voting. In 2009's city elections, just a little over 5,000 people in total voted, or 5.4% of registered voters.

Four Grant Renewals Approved for Public Health Department

The Amarillo City Council okayed four grant renewals to help fund Amarillo's Public Health Department. Director Casie Stoughton says they help the department serve the community.
"Our immunization grant, our HIV prevention grant, [Regional Local Public Health Services], are standard grants that we receive year after year," Stoughton said. "The Ebola grant is a newer grant, and that money will be used to continue preparation and planning."
All together the grants come to just over $800,000 worth of funding.

Vietnam Aircraft on Display at Texas Air and Space Museum

Another famous airplane is coming to Amarillo Thursday. The T-28 will be on display at the Texas Air and Space Museum.
Used in the Vietnam War, the T-28 was used by the United States Airforce and Navy and was used as a counter-insurgency aircraft.
The T-28 party will take place from 5 to 7 at the Museum. A donation includes refreshments.

Canyon ISD Superintendent

As of Thursday at 5:30, Canyon ISD might have a new superintendent.

Darryl Flusche, an administrator from Frenship ISD will meet one last time in from of the Board of Trustees for final approval. 3 weeks ago CISD made him the lone finalist for the position and making him superintendent is the only item on their agenda.

Work in Pantex Halts Briefly

According to plant officials, Consolidated Nuclear Security, the Pantex Plant contractor, halted work briefly Monday after workers questioned some of the plant’s non-nuclear assembly processes.

In a statement CNS said workers on Monday began the day with a site-wide “quality pause” to re-emphasize the importance of adhering to procedures, processes and quality standards. Pantex assembles, dismantles and modifies nuclear weapons for the U.S. atomic arsenal.

The plant also makes high explosives for nuclear weapons and stores tons of plutonium recovered from dismantled bombs and warheads.

City Council Runners Believe Police Department is Understaffed

Is the Amarillo Police Department understaffed? That was a question posed to Place 3 candidates for Amarillo City Council recently. It drew a passionate response.
"One of the things I have heard is there may be fewer than 1-2 policemen on shift at any given time. In a city that covers more than 100 square miles, that is woefully inadequate," Brandon Smith said.
Randy Burkett, who's recieved endorsements from the Globe-News, and the Amarillo Realtors Assc. agreed.
"There's times in this city when there are only 12 officers covering the entire city. I saw some as low as 9 officers on duty. On a good day we'll have 16," Burkett said. "I talked to over a dozen policemen out on their beat, just asking them what their concerns were. Every one of them told me the same thing: we're shorthanded."
The incumbent, Lillia Escajeda says more police officers are needed, but cost more money.
"This council has taken an effort to hire more peace officers, that usually requires a tax hike," Escajeda said.
Burkett took issue with that.
"We need to hire more police officers, it's not a matter of raising taxes, I know where we can find $32 million tonight," Burkett said, speaking of the downtown revitilization efforts.
"They're too busy running from call to calm, and almost all of them said they had a problem with the upper management at the police department," Burkett went on to say.
Mariah Strong-Woods says she convinced more police are needed.
"There used to be two academies, but now it's down to one. They're just understaffed and overworked. If you see one in a car, get's called out to the shooting that just happened, who's watching the south side?" Strong-Woods said.
Voters decide Saturday.

City Council Signs Contract with SPS

The Amarillo City Council signed two contracts with SPS Amarillo in relation to the new Xcel downtown headquarters. Councilman Ron Boyd says the first sets up the agreement for the city to be able to use the space.
"And it gives the City of Amarillo exclusive use of 110 parking places, where we'll park a lot of the city equipment, we'll have indoor parking for that and we'll have parking for the Simms business building," Boyd said.
The second contract sold land for the area to be built on.

Lane Closure on SW 34th

The City of Amarillo is warning motorists of a pending lane closure to start Monday morning. The right land of Southwest 34th Avenue traveling westbound will be closed from Washington to Monroe while Amarillo Utility Contractors make some necessary repairs to the sanitary sewer main. Repairs are expected to last 6 days with the eastbound lanes and the left westbound lane open to traffic.

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:


WT Baseball/ Softball Preview

For the second straight season, the WT softball team will host the NCAA South Central Regionals as they will take on Tarleton State. The Lady Buffs won the LSC regular season and tournament titles with a 44-9 overall record and 22-6 conference record. First pitch for their showdown with the Texanns will be this Friday at Schaeffer Park at 6:30 pm.

Kingsville will be the sight for the Lone Star Conference Baseball Tournament as WT will take on Angelo State. The Buffs ended the season winning six of their last seven games to win a share of the regular season title at 34-16 overall and 23-12 in the conference. WT and Angelo State will kick off the tournament Thursday at 11 am.

High School Baseball/ Softball Playoff Preview

Upcoming on the high school softball playoff schedule Friday, Frenship takes on Permain, Lubbock Coronado plays Odessa, Canyon will battle El Paso Bel Air, Randall will face off against El Paso Hanks, Caprock has a tough match against El Paso Chaplin, and Bushland plays Greenwood.

Now on the high school baseball playoff schedule Thursday, there is just one game locally between Plainview and Hereford. As for the rest of the teams Friday, Lubbock Coronado plays El Paso Americas, Frenship battles El Paso Franklin, Amarillo High plays El Paso Coronado, Randall faces off against Abilene Cooper, Canyon will play Lubbock High, Borger battles Sweetwater, and Pampa goes up against Big Spring.


Has It Rained Too Much?

Heavy rains were reported this week in the South Plains with some areas receiving as much as 10 inches.
With this amount of rain there was concern of possible damage to newly planted corn, as well as concerns about soil erosion. The Amarillo area also recieved a lot of rain and KGNC contacted the Texas Panhandle Agronomist for AgriLife Dr. Jourdan Bell to see if the concerns from down South would apply to our area.
While there were heavy rains in the South Plains region Dr. Bell says the rains that spanned most of the Panhandle would be considered slow and steady, which allowed most of the moisture to soak in.
"We definitely have a lot of areas that are very dry, even coming out of this winter because we didn't have a significant amount of winter moisture," Dr. Bell said. "So, we probably won't see any significant issues. It might take it a little while to dry out but I wouldn't say there is a cause for concern at this point."
With the moisture we recieved in the winter being limited, the timeliness of this storm system was that much more welcome by farmers and ranchers.
"It is definitely going to help our range in pasture situation," Ochiltree County Extension Agent Scott Strawn said. "It is going to help build up a soil profile for our soil crops, once we get them planted. This is probably the best and most rain that I've seen in five years in this county, and the most beneficial. Last time we really saw this kind of rain, this time of year, was in 2010."
Both Dr. Bell and Strawn indicated that it may take a little while for fields to dry down enough to start planting, but the wait to get seed planted will be well worth it in the end due to all of that moisture.

Wheat Field Day

Texas A&M AgriLife is offering a wheat field day May 21 at the Bushland research facilities. For more information, go here




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. 




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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