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Amarillo Raises Property Tax

The Amarillo City Council met Tuesday in City Hall where they passed an increase to property tax with a 4-0 vote.
Mayor Paul Harpole after the meeting explained where the extra tax revenue will be invested.
"We're looking at more policemen and more safety items, we're also just rounding out some of the budget. A higher raise has been precluded because we're collecting more sales tax," Harpole said.
He also explained how we keep our property tax rate so low.
"We're the lowest in Texas, almost hard to believe but we are 15 cents lower than a neighboring city to the south. Fortunately, we're able to glean enough sales tax off of people so we don't have to cut services to keep the city running," Harpole said.
He adds 60% of the sales tax comes from people outside of city limits and from the surrounding area. The new property tax rate is roughly 15 cents below nearby cities. The tax rate is effectively raised by 3.92%, which means maintenance and operation on a 100 thousand dollar home will increase approximately $5.80.

League of Women Voters Registering Voters at Amarillo College

The League of Women Voters will participate in Constitution day activities at Amarillo College today by registering voters on the mall near the clock tower at the Washington street campus from 8-noon.
Citizens 18 or older who are not registered or who have moved from the address on their registration card need to get registered by October 6th to be eligible to vote in the November 4th mid-term election. Early voting will begin October 20th and runs through October 31st.  

TXDOT Demonstrates Proper Way to Install Safety Seats

As part of National Child Passenger Safety week, TXDOT is demonstrating the proper ways to install safety seats.
During the spring, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute observed 13,000 kids in 14 cities across Texas. Statewide, 60% were properly buckled into a safety seat. Here in amarillo?
"We had 36% of observed children that were incorrectly buckled. We had about 20% that were not restrained at all, so that total came up to over 50% that were not properly restrained," said Nick Wade with TXDOT.
Wade said there will be a safety demo at the district headquarters on Canyon drive at 3:30 this afternoon. You can also go to savemewithaseat.com for more information.

PRCA Rodeo Begins

The Tri-State Fair is well under way and every year nearing the end, attendees will have the option of getting to see a rodeo.
President Robert Devin said they'll kick off the PRCA Rodeo tonight with the Wrangler Champions Challenge.
"For the second year in a row we will be hosting one of the PRCA Champion Challenge events, only one of six conducted across the United States," Devin said.
That event is $5. The PRCA Rodeo will start at 7:30 every night after that, featuring bareback, saddlebronc, and bull riding as well as timed events like tie-down roping, team roping, and steer wrestling. You can buy tickets at the gate or online at tri-state-fair.com.

Influenza Vaccines Soon to Be Available

Falling leaves and colder weather isn't all autumn is associated with.
Influenza vaccines will soon be available to the community, and Amarillo's Health Department says everyone is at risk.
"It's important for everyone over the age of six months to get a flu shot, but those at highest risk such as infants, children, those with weakened immune systems are especially at risk," said Public Health Director Casie Stoughton.
She said this year's vaccine virus strains will contain the same strains as last year's and it is important to get the flu shot each year as protection can decrease from year to year if a booster isn't given.



Master Marketer Enrollment

Enrollment is underway for the next edition of Texas A&M AgriLife’s Master Marketer Program. Classes will begin in January of 2015. The program offers participants education on a variety of ways to strengthen their risk management skills. Past graduates report increasing their personal profits by an average of more than $33,000 a year. For more information about Master Marketer, go here  https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/index.cfm/productDetails/ProductID/1545/

Randall County Ag Show/Crops Tour

The annual Randall County Ag Show and Crops Tour is Sept. 23. Activities will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office in Canyon with presentations on a variety of topics including weed control, farm insurance requirements for the new farm bill, new water laws and regulations, and an update on the dairy plant that is coming to Canyon. Following the presentations, participants will tour local operations for demonstrations on range and pasture aeration, tillage and deficit irrigation effects on sorghum, and planting methods for irrigated sorghum. The event is free and includes a lunch. An RSVP to the Randall County Extension Office by Sept. 17 is requested.  For more information, go here  http://today.agrilife.org/2014/09/02/randall-county-ag-show-and-crops-tour-set-for-sept-23-in-canyon/

Dairy Day Coming Soon

The annual Southwest Dairy Day is scheduled Oct. 8 at the Del Rio Dairy near Friona. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Gingg family are hosting the event. For more information, go here http://today.agrilife.org/2014/09/08/southwest-dairy-day-to-offer-look-at-modern-dairy-oct-8-near-friona/


USDA Proposal Worries Cattlemen

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a division of USDA, has proposed allowing fresh beef from Argentina to be imported into the United States. On the KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Update, the president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association said the organization is working to prevent the APHIS proposal from being implemented. Pete Bonds said TSCRA is concerned that introducing Argentinean beef to the U.S. will create the potential for an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. A comments period is underway regarding the APHIS proposal. If you would like more information and an opportunity to submit comments, go here  https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/08/29/2014-20643/importation-of-beef-from-a-region-in-argentina

Cotton Program Sign-Up

Farmers can now enroll in the Cotton Transition Assistance Program. CTAP will provide cotton farmers in the 2014 crop year with interim payments until USDA can begin offering the new insurance product known as the Stacked Income Protection Plan, which was created in the new Farm Bill. For more information, go 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 Oct. 20. To learn more about the issue and submit your opinions, go here  http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/CWAwaters.cfm


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