NewsDay Amarillo

With Tim Butler, Shane McBryde, "Doppler" Dave Oliver & James Hunt. Email NewsDay

NewsTalk 710 KGNC gets you started right every weekday morning from 6am-9am with NewsDay Amarillo. Along with your host Tim Butler, NewsDay Amarillo has local news coverage with Shane McBryde. Complete weather coverage with "Doppler" Dave Oliver from the NewsChannel 10 Stormtrack weather team. Anthony Miller has local sports headlines.  James Hunt has an Agri-Business update at 6:30am & 7:30am. NewsDay Amarillo is now on Saturday mornings from 6-7am.




 

LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES

Winter Weather Advisory In Effect

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for  Potter, Randall, Dallam, Hartley, Oldham and Deaf Smith counties from 3pm Friday until 6pm on Saturday. 1-3 inches of snow accumulation is possible causing icy road conditions.

AC Student Arrested for Carrying Gun on Campus

A student at Amarillo College was arrested for bringing a gun to school.
 
"On Thursday morning someone on our campus reported what they saw looked to be a firearm on the belt of a student," Joe Wyatt with AC said. "They reported that to the police.
 
Wyatt says there was no indication that the student intended to harm anyone. According to the Potter County jail roster, 21 year old Cody Lane Black was booked on a third-degree felony charge of unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited place.

Amarillo West Africa Travellers Released After 3 Week Monitoring

Three weeks are up. The people the Public Health Department were watching for Ebola symptoms after travelling to Amarillo from West Africa were cleared earlier this week.
 
Public Health Director Casie Stoughten says the city decided to monitor these people twice a day, for 21 days to make sure no symptoms were presented.
 
"We went a little bit above and beyond what the state and the CDC guidelines are," Stoughen said. "We did ask all the travellers to stay in their homes. We had absolute cooperation."
 
She says they never presented a threat to the public but they kept a close eye for symptoms all the same.
 
"There's a checklist that is provided by State Health Services and that includes fever and then the signs and symptoms of Ebola," Stoughten said. "Nausea, vomiting, unexplained bleeding, even muscle aches, headaches, those types of things."
 
 

Open Carry Texas President Speaks on Controversy

More discussion on the topic of the open carrying of firearms in Texas has led to debates on what form it will take, should any of the bills pass. Open Carry Texas President CJ Grisham spoke with KGNC.
 
"Obviously we've been fighting very hard to get the government out of that decision making process by taking away the license and making it voluntary," Grisham said. "But, we're definitely going to have open carry next year, we just don't if it's going to be licensed or unlicensed."
 
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick swung from one side of the issue to another after his interview with the Texas Tribune.
 
"My problem with what Dan Patrick said wasn't the fact that the votes but the fact that he said it wasn't necessarily a priority," Grisham said. "What really bothered me was, here's a guy who campaigned on open carry and making sure it was going to happen. He simply let it out with a very pessimistic tone."
 
Patrick even states on his website, danpatrick.org, that he will fight for open carry. However, Patrick would not answer as to whether he would have voted for the bill if it had been presented while he was in the Senate.
 

Two Arrested at Estes Motel for Cocaine and Meth Manufacturing

Two men were arrested after a search warrant was served at a motel in east Amarillo.  

Members of the narcotics unit served the warrant Thursday afternoon at the Estes motel on Amarillo Boulevard east. They found 11 grams of crack cocaine and 5 grams of meth along with drug paraphernalia. Demarcus Daniel, 33, and Jimmy Drake, 53, were booked into Potter County on a charge of manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance.

$800K of Cocaine and Heroin Seized on I-40 in Potter County

Over $800,000 worth of illegal drugs were seized after a traffic stop on I-40.  

A DPS trooper made the stop Wednesday afternoon for a traffic violation near Amarillo in Potter County. During a search, the trooper found over five pounds of cocaine and four pounds of heroin in the vehicle. The driver was booked into Potter County on a first degree felony charge of possession of a controlled substance.  The drugs were reportedly being taken from Phoenix to Brooklyn, New York.

$834K of Cocaine, Heroin, Meth Seized on I-40 Near Amarillo

The Texas Department of Public Safety has seized over five pounds of cocaine, four pounds of heroin, and 21 grams of methamphetamine.

During a traffic stop Wednesday on I-40 near Amarillo, a trooper found the drugs worth over $834,000. Michael Curtis, 50, was booked into Potter County for possession of a controlled substance. The drugs were allegedly being transported from Phoenix, Arizona to Brooklyn, New York.

Open Carry Bill May Not Pass

A lot of controversy has been mounting the last couple days surrounding Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and potential bills for open carry. During an interview with the Texas Tribune, Patrick said he believed open carry would not pass this legislative session.
 
"Second amendments are very important but the open carry does not reach the level of being prioritizing at this point," Patrick said while on the Texas Tribune.
 
Patrick would not answer as to whether he would have voted for the bill if it had been presented while he was in the Senate. However, when Senator Kel Seliger spoke to KGNC....
 
"I think very law enforcement has had very few problems with people who carry concealed weapons," Seliger said.
 
Locally, Bernie Stokes, owner of Panhandle Gunslingers in Amarillo, says it'll all depend on what bill hits the floor.
 
"I have a feeling when it's all said and done you'll have to have a concealed carry permit or you'll have to have the education to do it some form," Stokes said.
 
He says he doesn't believe a bill that doesn't require a license will be passed.

Another Dissatisfied Customer of Wallace-Bajjali Speaks to KGNC

Earlier this week, the Amarillo Local Government Corporation severed ties with Wallace-Bajjali as the master developer for some of our downtown revitalization projects.  
 
Wallace-Bajjali was also the master developer for the rebuilding efforts in Joplin, Missouri, which was devastated by a tornado in 2011. We spoke with the mayor of Joplin, Michael Seibert, about how much they paid the firm.
 
"We spend about $1.7 million in payments backed to Wallace-Bajjali for many types of services over a 2 and a half year period," Seibert said.
 
He said they were already dissatisfied with the firm.
 
"We weren't pleased with the level of projects that they'd been able to bring forward. We had projects that we were really proud of that they were involved in and don't like what they did."
 
He says they have several projects in motion and will continue moving forward to rebuild Joplin.

650 Pounds of K2 Seized

More than 650 pounds of synthetic marijuana was seized by the Texas Department of Public Safety Tuesday near Iowa Park.
 
A trooper made the stop for a traffic violation on a U-Haul Truck carrying 38 boxes of K2 worth $3.7 million. Ramzi Issi, 51, was booked into the Wichita County Jail for possession of a controlled substance. The drugs were allegedly being transported from California to Houston. 

TXDOT Approves $49 Million in Panhandle Projects

201 projects across Texas have been considered through TXDOT this year, 12 of them approved for the panhandle. Paul Braun with TXDOT says one is a $15.5 million 6 lane railroad bridge that they'll be putting over the BNSF railroad tracks.
 
"That'll be at State Loop 335, which is the southeast Loop down there by Washington," Braun said. "That's going to tie into the project that we have going on right now that is turning that section from I-27 to that railroad bridge into a freeway section."
 
Also...
 
"The Potter County project is going to be at the intersection of I-40 and Loop 335 which is Lakeside, on the east side," Paul Braun with TXDOT said. "We're going to be constructing turnarounds at that intersection."
 
A public meeting is scheduled for this particular project, at 5:30 next Thursday at the Amarillo TXDOT District headquarters. Most of the funding for these projects were provided by Proposition 1's $1.7 billion that voters approved last November. 

Lone Star Ballet Presents "Rain Forest"

The Lone Star Ballet has a new production this weekend: Rain Forest.
 
Vicki McLean, Artistic Director, says there will be pre-show exhibits that pertain to the rain forests of the world.
 
"In the lobby area we have the drums from the symphony and we have the botanical garden, they're building a terrarium so it shows how the humidity works in that part of the world," McLean said.
 
She says the exhibits from different organizations allow a hands on experience to see what is involved in the rain forests. Tickets are available at Panhandle Ticket outlets for the public showing in the Globe News Center at 8 on Friday.

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week

Amarillo Crime Stoppers is asking for help finding their fugitive of the week.  
 
Laura Marie Venturi is wanted out of Randall County for evading arrest with a motor vehicle. Anyone with information on Venturi is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 on submit a tip online at amapolice.org.  You could get a reward of up to $300 if your tip leads to her arrest.

Gas Watch Shows Prices No Longer Falling

Gas prices are no longer falling.

According to the Triple-A Texas Weekend Gas Watch, drivers in Amarillo are paying an average of $1.81 a gallon, an increase of 7 cents over the past week. The statewide average also went up by a penny to $1.85 a gallon.  While gas prices are likely to increase this spring due to seasonal demand and refinery maintenance, Triple-A expects the national and statewide averages to remain below $3 per gallon during 2015.

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