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Xcel Energy Tips for Holiday Decorations

Thanksgiving is over, and some people may be thinking about starting to set up for Christmas.
Wes Reeves with Xcel Energy says there are some things you need to keep in mind.
"People are putting lights up and I think we've all watched 'Christmas Vacation' and seen Chubby Chase and all the antics, stringing too many lights together. Funny in the movies but it is very dangerous.
He says stay at least 10 feet away from electric wires, check for broken sockets, frayed wires and loose connections, and to replace or repair damaged light sets. 
Use no more than three light sets on one extension cord. Also turn off lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house, and for those of you who prefer artificial trees, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant.

Gas Prices Keep Falling Heading into Holiday Weekend

According to the Triple-A Texas Weekend Gas Watch, drivers in Amarillo are paying an average of $2.49 for a gallon of regular unleaded, down 10 cents from last week.

Satewide, prices dropped 8 cents a gallon to an average of $2.60. Triple-A Texas projects 3.6 million Texans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period which runs through Sunday. That’s a 5.2% increase in travel volume from last year and the highest volume for the holiday since 2007.   

Thursday Morning Crash on McCormick Leaves 1 Dead

A crash on McCormick left one person dead Thursday morning.

Around 3, Mayola Raquel Dominguez Inman, 19, was travelling east in her 2000 Saturn SL1 when she drove off the north side of the road and struck a culvert running underneath a private drive at 6700 McCormick. Inman was wearing her seatbelt but was killed on impact.

BBB Offers Tips for Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday Sales are upon us, and the Better Business Bureau is offering some tips to help ease the stress of shopping for those perfect gift items.
Janna Kiehl with our local chapter of the BBB, says to do a little research before heading out for those Black Friday deals.
"As you prepare to go shopping on Thursday or Friday we suggest you take copies of sales ads, or any coupons you have, and read the fine print before you go so you'll know all the limitations."
She adds that shoppers should also check the store's website for easy access to coupons while on location, as well as ask about the stores return policies, which items are "all sales final", and if there's a restocking fee to avoid any sort of unwanted surprises.

Plumbing Service Calls Rise Day After Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving is one of the year's busiest for plumbers, as they work to clear household drains clogged by grease, potato peels, and heavy use following the holiday feast.
Paul Abrams, with Roto-Rooter, says his company has been tracking service calls for close to a decade.
"Almost like clockwork we see anywhere between 47-51% up-tick in calls for service on the day after Thanksgiving. We think the reason people don't call so often on Thanksgiving is many people think 'I'll suffer through it and on Friday I'll call the plumber.'"
He says it gives new meaning to "Black Friday". 

Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week

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

The Super 8 on I-40 east was robbed at gunpoint early last Friday morning by two men. Video of the two suspects can be seen on their website at amapolice.org.  Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 or submit a tip online. A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered if your tip leads to an arrest or recovery of stolen property.    

Texas Tech University's Health Science Center Ranks 24 for Online Colleges in Texas

Texas Tech University's Health Science Center has been ranked number 24 for online colleges in Texas.
The survey looked at 488 schools with the assessment based on the cost of tuition, academic support, retention, and others. Melinda Mitchell Jones, Associate Dean Department Chair for undergradute nontraditional programs for the school of nursing believes they have gotten such a high ranking because of two things.
"We really do value the faculty to student relationship. I know we really support that small class size so that the students have time to interact with the faculty."
She says the other reason boils down to technology, where they have invested in the equipment, and staff, so that the faculty and students have adequate amounts of support and service. 

Murder Suspect ID Released from October 16th Murder of Michael Williams

The Special Crimes Unit of the Amarillo Police Department, in a press conference Tuesday, announced a man wanted for aggregated assault causing serious bodily injury.

The incident happened the evening of October 16th, resulting in the death of Michael Todd Williams from pneumonia as a complication of blunt force trauma to the upper body. Anthony Campbell, 37, is the suspect named and reportedly frequently stays in motels along Amarillo Boulevard and is believed to still be in the Amarillo area.

APD asks anyone with information on Campbell to call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400.

Garfield Murder Suspect ID Released

The Amarillo Police Department has announced a suspect in relation to a homicide that happened over the weekend.

On Sunday evening, APD was dispatched to 1621 N. Garfield where a man had been stabbed in the head who later died at a local hospital. Jose Miguel Hernandez, 21, is wanted out of Potter County with a murder warrant. He is currently at large and reportedly does not have access to a vehicle so is likely still in the Amarillo area.

APD is asking anyone with information on the location of Hernandez to contact Amarillo Crime Stoppers at 374-4400. Police say that if you come into contact with Hernandez to call 911 immediately.

APD Releases Paradise Club Murder Suspects ID

The Amarillo Police Department's Special Crimes Unit held a press conference Tuesday where they announced the suspect's name in connection with the homicide that happened outside of the Paradise Club at 714 N. Fillmore this last Sunday morning.

APD says that the autopsy on Eric Ontario Smith Jr. indicates that he died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Tyrone Dawayne Black, 22, is wanted out of Potter County for a murder warrant. Black also goes by the nickname "K.R." He is considered armed and dangerous.

APD is asking for you to call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 if you know of his whereabouts but say that if you come into contact with him to immediately call 911.

DPS Partners with Toys for Tots

The Texas Department of Public Safety is once again collecting toys to give to needy children this holiday season.
For the past three years they have collaborated with Toys for Tots as an official collection center. Trooper Chris Ray tells how you can contribute....
"People can take the toy they've acquired to one of the Highway Patrol Offices and there should be a box there," Trooper Chris Ray said. "If for some reason the box isn't there or the box is full, if you see a highway patrolman, just anywhere, wave them over, visit with them, give them the toy and they will make sure it gets to Toys for Tots."
Ray asks that toys remain in their original packaging. Toys for children ages 0-2 and 12-13 are in the most demand. Great toys for the 0-2 range are teething rings, plush toys, ring towers, anything that will stimulate their senses. As for the 12-13 range, board games, books, jewelry, anything to prepare them for their teenage years would be helpful.
You can donate anytime between now and December 12 at any of these locations:

Amarillo Highway Patrol Office
4200 Canyon Drive

Clarendon Highway Patrol Office
723 W. 2nd

Dumas Highway Patrol Office
817 S. Bliss

Pampa Highway Patrol Office
2909 Perryton Pkwy

Borger Highway Patrol Office
3249 Fairlanes Blvd

Childress Highway Patrol Office
1700 Ave F, NW

Hereford Highway Patrol Office
807 W. 15th



DPS Takes Part in I-40 Challenge; to Reduce Thanksgiving Travel Crashes

Texas DPS announced their participation in the I-40 Challenge traffic enforcement campaign to reduce traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday.
According to the Texas DPS, here are some of the numbers from last year:
- 32,000 in the U.S. killed in traffic accidents 
- 3,377 in Texas killed in traffic accidents
- 1 fatal crash every 2 hours, 36 minutes
- 1 person injured every 2 minutes, 16 seconds
- 1 reportable crash every 71 seconds
- 44% of crashes killed people who did not use their seatbelt
- Over 1,000 fatalities attributed to alcohol (which is 1/3 of the fatalities in Texas)
- 460 killed just in distracted driving
Law enforcement officials from Texas, west to California, and east to Tennessee will be participating in the I-40 Challenge, placing troopers and officers every twenty miles along the corridor. Special enforcement will be used for Wednesday and Sunday.


High School Football Playoff Preview

In high school football playoff action today, Randall will look to continue their magic against Wichita Falls Rider. Unbeaten Sweetwater takes on Vernon. Iowa Park will try to keep their state title hopes alive against Celina. In a battle of 12-0 teams, Spearman will face off against Cisco. Number five ranked Happy plays number seven ranked Valley. Wellington will have a tough battle against unbeaten Abernathy. Unbeaten Canadian will take on Stratford. Farwell will take on unbeaten Seagraves. Quanah will battle up against unbeaten Crosbyton. In a battle of one-loss teams, Follett will play against Groom in Pampa.

Pak-A-Sak WT Thanksgiving Classic Preview

Both West Texas A&M basketball teams are participating in the Pak-A-Sak WT Thanksgiving Classic today in Canyon. The Lady Buffs will start as they take on Truman State at 5:00 pm. The Lady Buffs are currently 2-1 on the season as they look for their first home win of the season. The Lady Buffs are led by Chon White who is averaging 18 points pre game and 11 boards per game. The Buffaloes will play right afterwards at 7:00 pm as they will take on Harding. The Buffs head into today with a 2-3 record and have won two straight games. The Buffs are 2-0 at home this season.

Amarillo Bulls Swept By Lone Star

The Amarillo Bulls concluded their three-game series against Lone Star with a 6-1 lost. It is the fifth time this season that the Bulls have been swept in a two or three-game series. AJ Duggan scored the lone goal for the Bulls two minutes into the third period. The Bulls drop to 7-14-2 overall on the season with 16 total points. The Bulls will play their next game Friday December 5th at 7:00 pm as they take on Odessa in a two-game series on the road.


Signup Deadline For Dairymen

December 5 is the signup deadline for the new Margin Protection Program. For more information, go here


A New Checkoff For Cattlemen?

USDA is seeking input from cattlemen and other interested parties on a proposed new checkoff for beef. For more information and to submit comments, go here



Southwest Beef Symposium

What will the future of the beef industry look like? On January 14 and 15 that topic will be discussed at the Southwest Beef Symposium in Amarillo. For more information and a way to register, go here



Argentinian Beef Issue

USDA has extended the comments period regarding the proposal to allow fresh beef from Argentina to be imported into the U.S. Many in the U.S. livestock and meat industry oppose this proposal because of concerns about foot-and-mouth disease. The new deadline for comments is Dec. 29. To find out more and to submit comments, go here http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-10-31/html/2014-25936.htm


AgriLife Farm Bill Meetings

The farm bill education meetings offered by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service continue through Dec. 18. All the meetings are free and open to the public. They will start at 10 a.m. and conclude at noon.

The remaining meetings by date and location include:

Dec. 4 – Hemphill County, Hemphill County Exhibition Center, 10865 Exhibition Center Road, Canadian.

Dec. 5 – Donley County, Church of Christ Family Life Center, 300 S. Carhart, Clarendon.

Dec. 10 – Oldham County, Oldham County Barn, 305 Coke St., Vega.

Dec. 11 – Roberts County, Roberts County Annex, 122 Water St., Miami.

Dec. 11 – Hutchinson County, Morse Community Building, Morse.

Dec. 16 – Carson County, War Memorial Building, 500 Main St., Panhandle.

Dec. 17 – Gray County, Clyde Carruth Show Barn located in Recreation Park, Pampa.

Dec. 18 – Collingsworth County, Bura Handley Community Building, 802 10th St., Wellington.

For more information on a particular meeting, contact the AgriLife Extension office in that county. For a list of county offices, go to http://amarillo.tamu.edu/ and click on the County Offices tab.






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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