NewsDay Amarillo

With Tim Butler, Shane McBryde, "Doppler" Dave Oliver, James Hunt & Anthony Miller. 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

Thornberry on Balanced Budget Plan

The republican controlled Senate muscled through a balanced-budget plan early Friday morning that calls for shrinking projected federal deficits by more than 5 trillion dollars over the coming decade by cutting health care and other benefit programs without raising taxes. It's similar to a plan passed Wednesday by the GOP-controlled House.
 
"We increase funding for defense but we also get to a balanced budget within 10 years, we begin to reform entitlements, which is two-thirds of the federal budget," Congressman Mac Thornberry said.
 
Thornberry says a Senate-House negotiating committee will try to resolve the differences in the two non-binding measures. Both bills seek to balance the federal budget within a decade while repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Caprock Students Assist in House Fire Notification

The Amarillo Fire Department responded to a house fire Thursday afternoon that started on the back deck and quickly spread to the main part of the house on Seminole.

Quick thinking students walking home from Caprock High School noticed smoke coming from the back yard. They notified the homes occupants, who to that point, were unaware their house was on fire. A woman and two children escaped without injury, and all but two house pets were rescued. It took fire crews about 15 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Amarillo Fire Marshal's ruled the cause as undetermined. Damage is estimated at $35,000.00.

What Does Amarillo's OEM Do in Times of Tornadic Activity?

Tornado season is just around the corner.
 
"If there doesn't seem to be much tornadic potential then we go to what we call a duty officer operation where we have members of my staff come down to the EOC and we work with a limited number of spotters and monitor the situation, just in case," Office of Emergency Management's Kevin Starbuck said.
 
Now what if the weather becomes severe?
 
"Then we go into a full weather watch where we deploy a full set of spotters, both volunteer and city employees, have about 20-25 people down here at the EOC that will run the spotter network and make decisions on warning," Starbuck said.
 
"For example, yesterday we did a tornado tabletop exercise for the City of Amarillo, Canyon, Potter and Randall Counties, and all our utility partners," Starbuck said.
 
Kevin Starbuck with the OEM says there's a wide range of folks they work with that keep their eyes to the skies when tornado season comes.
 
Already Moore and Tulsa have seen tornadic activity. One person has died.

Vote Centers Discussed at Town Hall Meeting

Vote centers were a topic of discussion at the Town Hall meeting held earlier this week. Elections Administrator for Potter County Melynn Huntley says instead of voting in precincts...
 
"We change it to where you can vote at any polling location on election day in Potter County. Which means if you're in the right county, you're at the right location to vote," Huntley said.
 
This makes voting easier, and you don't have to go out of your way to do so.
 
"You have one place to vote on election day, this means that you'll have 16 choices and the whole idea is with us being more of a mobile society, that you try to catch people where they play and shop more so than where they live."
 
This also saves the county money.
 
"What other counties have found is that vote centers cost about 40% less to run an election. It's mainly because you save on your  number of election workers," she said.

Botanical Gardens Asks City for Extra Land

Earlier this week, the Amarillo Botanical Gardens asked the Amarillo City Council for a lease agreement amendment for extra land.

The extra land is a small strip on the immediate west side of the existing Botanical Gardens and will be used for an upcoming planned improvement. Kevin Ball, Executive Director of the Gardens says details will be finalized in the upcoming weeks with a formal announcement soon.

2015 Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge Recipients Announced

The 2015 Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge Recipients have been declared. Seven local businesses have received investment funding through the WT Enterprise Center. Out of 49 companies the winners will split the $500,000 in investments. 2015 had the highest number of participants and recipients in the 20 years the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge has been held.

The winners:

3rd Coast Soda - $60,000

Circle 21 Candles - $50,000

Evocation Coffee Roasters - $50,000

PlanIt Wed - $100,000

Process Art House - $100,000

ROI Online - $40,000

Zynia Business Solutions - $100,000

Fugitive of the Week Arrested

Amarillo Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week has been captured.

Thursday evening around 7, a Potter County Deputy made a traffic stop near Willow Creek and Tipton and identified one of the occupants as Enola Gay Apodaca. She was booked into Potter County on her parole warrant.

City to Hold Martin Road Lake Drainage Project Meeting

The City of Amarillo is hosting an informational meeting Monday evening on the Martin Road Lake drainage improvements project.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin Tuesday April 7th. The meeting will provide information to area business owners and residents about the scope and timeline of the project. The meeting will be at the Travis Middle School cafeteria beginning at 6:30.

World War II Bomber On the Way to Amarillo

A piece of World War II History will be in Amarillo next week.
 
The commemorative Air Force is bringing a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber to Rick Husband Airport Monday afternoon. The plane, named Fifi, was one of only four built during the war.
 
"There's another one out there that's been fixed up, maintenance-wise it's down but they're about to get it up in the air pretty quick. This is the only one that's flying right now," John Whitaker with the Texas Air and Space Museum said.
 
He also says a C-45 Expeditor will also be on display. Rides will also be available in the planes. Go to airpowertour.org for more information.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Holds Promise Ball

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is holding their Promise Ball this Saturday.
 
"It is a fundraiser for research that happens locally and internationally as well for diabetes," Kristy Wilkerson, branch manager for the JDRF said.
 
She says 80% of the procedes go to fund research all over the world. For more information or tickets go to wtx.jdrf.org.

Navy Plans to Purchase 44 Ospreys

The United States Navy says its going ahead with plans to order 44 V-22 Ospreys. Those aircraft will be assembled in Amarillo by Bell Helicopter in partnership with Boeing, Navy officials confirmed the plans Thursday. The contract is expected to begin in the January-March time frame of 2019. The overall contract value is estimated at $3.81 billion.

4 Injured with Shotgun Wounds on Redwood

A large fight in the 3100 block of Redwood ended with several men hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

At 9 Thursday night, officers met with a man who told them what happened, he himself had suffered a gunshot wound to the back and right arm. Officers found 3 other victims, all with injuries from what is believed to be from a shotgun. All four men were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

No arrests have been made.

Gas Prices Down Slightly

Gas prices are down slightly in Amarillo and across the state.

According to the Triple-A Texas Weekend Gas Watch, drivers here are paying an average of $2.15 a gallon, a dip of two cents from last week. Statewide the average is $2.22 a gallon, down a penny. Concerns that rising U.S. production could outpace storage capacity is contributing to lower prices.

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week

Amarillo Crime Stoppers is asking for help finding their Fugitive Of The Week.

Enola Gay Apodaca is wanted for a parole violation warrant with the original charge of dangerous drugs. Anyone with information on Apodaca is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 or submit a tip online at amapolice.org. If your anonymous tip leads to her arrest you could receive a reward of up to $300.

Pampa Police Spring Break Crack Down

The Pampa Police Department is reporting that during the Spring Break holiday they conducted 17 traffic stops, with a total of 19 citations that included 2 DWI arrests.

They say they were able to log an additional 20 hours of traffic enforcement thanks to a TXDOT grant for extra patrols during Spring Break. PPD says these citations reflect only the activity that was conducted by officers working on overtime through the grant. Overall the department conducted a total of 164 traffic stops with 131 citations or warnings.

Potter County and Others Establish Burn Ban

Potter County has joined many of the other areas of the Texas panhandle by enacting a burn ban. This begins immediately. 

Other counties include: Armstrong, Carson, Castro, Collingsworth, Deaf Smith, Hutchinson, Oldham, Randall, and Roberts counties.

Tulsa Man Arrested Near Shamrock for THC Edibles

A DPS trooper busted a man carrying over 878 grams of THC in his vehicle on Tuesday morning. Around 10:30, the trooper pulled the Nissan Altima over on I-40 near Shamrock. 19 year old Fernando Bejarano of Tulsa, had $17,000 worth of the edibles inside the vehicle. He was booked into the Wheeler County Jail. The drugs were allegedly being taken from California to Tulsa.

Borger Man Commits Suicide

A Borger man committed suicide early Wednesday morning after several hours of back and forth between the man, identified by authorities as Keith Brittain, Borger police and a female victim.

It began around 2:30 when police were called to a home in the 1100 Block of Valley, there police separated Brittain from the female victim and issued him a criminal trespass warning. However, throughout the night Brittain repeatedly attempted to contact the woman. It culminated in a social media post where Brittain threatened to harm himself. Police responded to Brittain's home where he was holding a gun to his chest.

Officers attempted to reason with him but he was not receptive. Brittain then shot himself in the chest. Medical aid was given and Brittain was transported to Golden Plains Community Hospital where he died due to his injury.

Texas Tech Dr. Pushes Vaccine for Parasitic Infection

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is opening a new laboratory at the Amarillo Campus to work in conjunction with the Lubbock branch to push a vaccine for a parasitic infection known as schistosomiasis towards human testing. Dr. Richard Jordan, Regional Dean for the School of Medicine says 250 million people are infected worldwide and 800 million are at risk.
 
"We see it in the Middle East, Africa, the Orient, and South America, especially Brazil. So, Dr. Siddiqui has developed a vaccine that is getting very close to human trials," Dr. Jordan said.
 
Dr. Afzal Siddiqui says the joined campuses will work towards the goal to get the vaccine ready for an application to the FDA.
 
"We have developed a vaccine that we think will prevent infection and could eventually impact one billion people," Dr. Siddiqui said.
 
Regional Director of the Center of Tropical Medicine and Diseases Dr. Todd Bell says the new lab will allow the clinical and patient care aspect of Amarillo and the laboratory expertise of Lubbock to benefit people globally.
 
"We want to be able to know what's right in other parts of the world, not just because it's the right for the common good of humanity but also because it's what's right for our own folks here in our backyard," Dr. Bell said.

St. Jude Radio-Thon

Our sister-station, KGNC-FM is holding their annual Radio-thon to raise money for the St. Jude Children Research Hospital. Bonnie Holman with St. Jude explains what the hospital does.
 
"We donate stuff for anyone from treatment, travel, housing, or food while they're receiving treatment there," Holman said. "Really letting the parents focus on their child getting better rather than their stress of the illness."
 
Last year the Radio-thon raised over $63,000 for the Memphis-based facility. If you would like to become a "Partner in Hope", call 1-800-646-7395.

DHDC Hosts Kids in the Kitchen

The Junior League of Amarillo will be hosting Kids in the Kitchen this Saturday as part of an international childhood obesity and nutrition education initiative. Teresa Snider says it will be from 10 to 2 at the Don Harrington Discovery Center.
 
"It's an overall wellness event to educate children about anything from fitness to nutrition. They'll be learning all about the different food groups and why we should eat certain proteins, certain fruits, and certain vegetables," Snider said.
 
She says the kids that visit all the different stations will be entered into a drawing for different prizes like bicycles and tennis shoes.

Boy Scouts "Scouting for Food" Drive

The Boy Scouts will be out in force Saturday collecting non-perishable food items during their annual "Scouting for Food Drive". Several thousand scouts and volunteers will go door to door to collect food items that will be donated to the High Plains Book Bank. 
 
Items that are currently needed:
 
"Canned goods, boxed food items, cereal, pasta, peanut butter, any of those items make great items, aid that we need and will move quickly to all of our agencies that we serve in the panhandle," Zach Wilson with the Food Bank said.
 
Wilson says all you have to do is sack up some non-perishable food items Saturday morning around 9, leave it next to your mailbox, and the scouts will pick it up.
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