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LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES

Closings and Delays for Friday, February 27, 2015

 

School or Organization Closing/Delay Bus Information
Adrian  10 am Buses running late
Booker    
Bovina 9 am No buses
Boys Ranch 10 am  
Canadian    
Channing    
City of Amarillo Bus Routes    
Claude 10 am Pavement Only
Dalhart 10 am Pavement only
Dumas    
Dimmitt 10 am 2 hours late
Farwell 10 am  
Friona 10 am Pavement only
 Groom    
Gruver    
Happy 10 am 2 hours late
Hartley 10 am Will run
Hart 10 am Pavement only
Hedley    
Hereford 10 am  
Higgins    
 Highland Park    
Kress 10 am  
Lazbuddie 10 am  
McLean    
Miami    
Muleshoe CLOSED  
Nazareth 10 am No buses
Pampa    
Panhandle    
Perryton    
Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips    
Pringle-Morse 10 am  
Sanford-Fritch    
Spearman    
Spring-lake Earth CLOSED  
Sunray 10 am 2 hours late
Texline CLOSED  
Tulia 10 am Pavement
Wheeler    
White Deer    
Wilderado 10 am  
Vega 10 am Pavement Only

 

Northwest Texas Starts Up Urgent Care Center

Southeast Amarilloans now have a new place for health care. Northwest Texas Healthcare System CEO Mark Crawford:
 
"We'll be able to do almost anything. If you wanted to make this your primary care location, you would be welcome to do that," Crawford said. "If you wake up Monday morning and don't feel well, you can come in and get checked out, maybe get some antibiotics, we'll be able to do that for you too. You're cooking dinner for your family and you cut your finger with a paring knife, they'll be able to stitch you up."
 
The new Northwest Texas Urgent Care opens for business Monday at 8. 

Child Pornography Suspect Booked into Randall County

An Amarillo man was arrested on multiple charges of child pornography.  

On Wednesday afternoon, a witness told detectives that they had seen the laptop and cellphone of Michael Clarence Kemp, 63, displaying depictions of children involved in sexual activity. A search warrant at Kemp's home turned up thirteen images of possession of child pornography. He was booked into Randall County on those charges, and investigators will determine if there is evidence of other crimes or if any of the children can be identified.

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week

Amarillo Crime Stoppers is asking for help finding their fugitive of the week. Jimmy Dillon East has two warrants out of Potter County for burglary and one warrant out of Randall for credit card abuse. Anyone with information on East is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 or submit a tip online at amapolice.org. A reward of up to $300 is being offered for info leading to his arrest.

Prices at the Pump Continue to Rise

Prices at the pump continue to rise. According to the Triple-A Texas Weekend Gas Watch, drivers in Amarillo are paying an average of $2.18 a gallon, an increase of 9 cents from last week but still 97 cents cheaper than a year ago. Refineries are in the midst of conducting seasonal maintenance, a process that can limit fuel production and contribute to rising pump prices.

City to Hold CDBG and HOME Grant Application Workshop on Monday

The City of Amarillo will be holding a workshop on grant applications on Monday for agencies wishing to apply for grant funding through both the Community Development Block Grant and the HOME Investment Partnership. The CDBG grant is explained as:
 
"CDBG funds are used for a variety of things, from infrastructure, parks, we assist a lot of community groups with public services like child care assistance," Community Development Administrator James Allen told KGNC.
 
Allen says the HOME program takes a look at things more long-term.
 
"Trying to increase the affordable housing stock in Amarillo, and that's everything from doing rehabilitation grants for homeowners, landlords to assisting with new construction like we do with Habitat for Humanity," Allen said.
 
The workshop takes begins at 2 p.m. on the 3rd floor of City Hall.

Make-A-Wish Car Show

The 31st annual Make-A-Wish Car Show is going on this weekend at the Amarillo Civic Center. Barry Henson with the Panhandle Council of Car Clubs spoke with KGNC:
 
"Going to be approximately 300 plus cars there from motorcycles, tractors, cars, street-rides, antiques from 1906 to 2015, a little bit of everything to see and do," Henson said. "Chuck from the Texas Outlaws reality TV show will be there with his deathtrap, and Texas Motor Speedway is on it's way, we've just got a little bit of everything for everybody."
 
The Car Show runs from 10-7 Saturday and 10-6 on Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children with all the proceeds going to the local Make-A-Wish office in Amarillo.
 
 

Two Arrested for Narcotics Paraphernalia and Sawed Off Shotgun

Early Wednesday morning, APD PACE officers busted a car in the 1400 block of Amarillo Boulevard east.

The passenger had oustanding warrants and several items of narcotic paraphernalia. Officers also found a sawed off shotgun under the driver's seat. Both the driver, Christopher Arthur, and the passenger Erik Gilmore were arrested and transported to the Potter County Correction Center.

Sen. Seliger Files Bill to Curb Rising Tuition Rates

State Senator Kel Seliger filed a bill to curb rising tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

Senate Bill 778 would tie any tuition increases to quantifiable, performance-based measurements. Any increase in tuition would have to justified against a measure of how the school is performing based in part on four- and six-year graduation rates, first-to-second year persistence rates and first generation college graduates, among others.

NWS Outlook for the Next Couple Days

A little bit of snow last night, but the winter weather really gets cranked up tonight in the Texas Panhandle.
 
John Cockrell with Amarillo office of the National Weather Service:
 
"Particularly the western half of the Texas panhandle, we're forecasting here in the Amarillo area between 1 and 2 inches Thursday night and another perhaps inch and a half Friday morning."
 
A winter weather advisory remains in effect for our area until 3 p.m. Friday.

Multi-State Investigation Begins on Stolen I-Phones Found in Amarillo

A multi-state investigation is underway after a traffic stop in Potter County. A deputy made the stop last Friday on I-40 for a traffic violation and during a search, found several new I-Phone, laptops, and several thousand dollars in U.S. currency. They also found several blocks of wood the same size as an I-Phone, shrink wrap, and a heat gun.

A receipt from a chain store in Gallup, New Mexico was also found where two I-Phones had been returned. The store was contacted and it was learned that the I-Phones returned had wooden blocks in them and the phones were missing. A store in Oregon was also contacted and they reported the same story.

The two people in the vehicle had no outstanding warrants and no charges have been presented. They were released pending further investigation, and any information from the case will be forwarded to all agencies that are investigating.

Dumas Officials to Implement New Theft Deterrent Program

City of Dumas officials, business managers, law enforcement, and the Moore County Attorney met Wednesday at the Dumas Chamber of Commerce to talk about a new theft deterrent program.
 
The idea is to band together businesses and using public information apply a criminal trespass upon those found shoplifting so if a thief steals from one retailer, they have essentially stolen from all of them.
 
"I don't think we'll completely cutout retail theft but I sure would like to try it the best we can and put the message out that the City of Dumas and Moore County will not tolerate retail theft," Dumas Commissioner Michael Funk said.
 
The Commissioner goes on to say that a lot of people think shoplifting is a harmless crime with no consequences.
 
"It affects the consumer, Texan entities, and everyone in the community, and is a tarnish on everyone in the community. If you come to Dumas, Texas and you get caught shoplifting, we're going to prosecute you."
 
Funk says that it costs a lot more than people think.
 
"Obviously it costs the retailer up front in losses, it costs taxing entities and revenue that we are not collecting off of sales tax, and it costs the consumer in the fact that they're paying high prices to cover the retailer's shrinkage," Funk said.
 
The tentative "CAT" program, or Consumers Against Theft, is still in it's developmental stages and will eventually be run through the Chamber of Commerce.

DPS Urges Safety Through Winter Weather

The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging people to prepare for an arctic cold front affecting parts of the panhandle through the weekend.
 
"We go back to the basics: if you don't have to travel, don't do it. Especially on the weekend, it's a good time to stay home and catch up on family time. Take advantage of that," Trooper Chris Ray said.
 
He also says to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip, don't drink and drive, and buckle up everyone in the vehicle.

Open Carry Texas to Hold a Walk in Amarillo This Weekend

Open Carry Texas will hold a rally at the Home Depot on Soncy Saturday at 3pm.
 
"What people can expect is a very professional, non-threatening rally," President CJ Grisham said. "We do encourage members of the public to either to come and carry their rifle or just come and ask questions. What they're going to find is that we're very approachable, we're eager to let people know what we're doing and why we're doing it. We're not just walking around with guns, we have a purpose."
 
Grisham says local law enforcement is aware of their presence. 
 
"Open Carry Texas enjoys a very positive reputation among law enforcement and elected officials."
 
The rally will proceed as scheduled no matter the weather.
 
"Our rights are not dependent on the weather and true patriots, we call them the winter soldiers. Weather will not stop us from what we're doing."

DPS to Hold Symposium for Officers Wishing to Become Troopers

For those peace officers who wish to become troopers, the DPS will be hosting two symposiums on March 13 from 9 to noon and from 2 to 5. Trooper Chris Ray says they'll take place at the DPS Office here in Amarillo at 4200 Canyon Drive and says if you've already put your info in online, just bring you paperwork so you can get a testing date scheduled.

Warrant Roundup

If you have outstanding warrants, expect a visit from the police. People with outstanding Amarillo Municipal Court warrants will be receiving warrant notice postcards in the mail this week. Currently there are over 35,000 warrants outstanding, but that doesn't mean there are that many criminals out on the streets.
 
"A lot of times they'll get a citation or a charge of simple assault and they never appeared or they came to court, they plead on it and the judge issued them a fine and they didn't follow through with that judgement," Victoria Medley with the City of Amarillo said.
 
Medley says you can avoid the cops knocking at the door by going to amarillo.gov/municipalcourt where you can find out if you have a warrant and pay it online.

"Two Steps, One Sticker" to Begin March 1st

Beginning March 1st, the state of Texas will stop issuing vehicle inspection stickers and change to a “two steps, one sicker” inspection and registration program.  Under the new system, Texas vehicle owners will need to pass inspection prior to renewing their registration.
 
"The main reason is fraud. People are taking those stickers and they're creating counterfeits and in cities like San Antonio, Houston, Dallas fraud is a big business," Trooper Chris Ray said.
 
Ray says the state stands to save two million dollars by discontinuing the inspection stickers, which Texas has required since the 1950s. 
 
Here's how it works:
 
The next time you're due for an inspection, instead of a sticker, you'll receive a paper that verifies you passed your inspection.
 
"We won't be issuing the sticker, the inspector will still inspect your vehicle, you're still going to be required by state law to have your vehicle inspected. Once he inspects it, he'll enter that information into the database."
 
But what if your inspection sticker and your registration are due on different months? 
 
 
"Once we actually begin in 2016, then it has to be inspected within 90 days of the day that you're going to get your registration."
 
 
Ray says for more information on these new changes, head to twostepsonesticker.com.

Amarillo to Offer Grant Application Workshop

The City of Amarillo says they'll be conducting a grant application workshop for folks wanting to receive funding from the Community Development Block and Home Investment Partnership grants. Organizations can sign up through amarillo.gov and the workshop takes place Monday March the 2nd at 2 o'clock in the 3rd floor of City Hall.

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