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LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES

False Kidnapping in Amarillo

A reported kidnapping Monday turned out to be false.  

Around 8:15 a.m., a woman texted her boyfriend saying she had been kidnapped from an apartment complex in south Amarillo. About 45 minutes later, a woman with her hands tied asked for help at a home in the 7000 block of Navajo.  

She was the woman who had texted her boyfriend and she told officers that a man had forced her at gunpoint to drive him out to rural Potter county to meet a second man. Investigators noticed inconsistencies in her account of what had happened. After some conversation, the woman admitted that she had not been kidnapped and she was not the victim of any criminal activity.  

Detectives are continuing to investigate to find out why the woman reported the incident.

House Fire on Polk; $30K in Damage

No one was injured and one person was arrested after a housefire Sunday night.  

Around 9:20, firefighters were called to a blaze in the 3700 block of south Polk. The fire was determined to be intentionally set and it resulted in extensive damage to the home and the contents inside.

While at the scene, deputy fire marshals found and arrested Vashti Pryor, 29, who was booked into Randall county on a second-degree felony charge of reckless arson. Estimated property loss is $30,000, and estimated content loss is $10,000.  

Xcel to Present $181K Rebate Check to AISD

AISD is receiving an energy efficiency rebate check for over $181,000 from Xcel Energy.
 
This comes after 14 AISD campuses completed extensive upgrades on HVAC and lighting systems. Through Xcel's Commercial Standard Offer program, that means big rewards.
 
"As our system grows and we need more power, one way to add power to the system is to get the existing users to use less," Wes Reeves with Xcel said. "So we have this energy efficient program that is cheaper than building new power plants."
 
 
Reeves said over time and with enough participants, total energy reductions can save all customers money. Anyone looking for more information concerning energy savings can contact Bryan Whitson with Xcel at 378-2887.

Potter County Offers Online Ballots

With early voting underway, Potter county has unveiled a new service for voters.
 
Their new sample ballot system is up and running and can be found at mypottercounty.com. Elections administrator Melynn Huntley said voters can click the link and enter their home address, which will bring up a map to their election day polling location and a sample ballot.
 
"This is not voting online, that's one thing we want to make clear," Huntley said, "this is just a reference to go by. If they complete the whole thing and print it out and use it as a reference when they go to the po
 
Also, when you print your selection, the location for your election day polling place will also print.

Two Unusual Home Burglaries in Paramount Area

Police are advising residents about two unusual home burglaries in the Paramount area last week.  

The first happened last Tuesday on Lometa drive and the second on last Thursday on Lenwood drive. The burglaries are unusual because both were occupied homes that were entered during the night time.

In both instances, the burglars gained access through the homes back door. Police say to make sure your back door is of solid construction, with heavy duty dead bolt locks and other door hardware. If you see someone that looks like they may be prowling behind houses at night, call the Amarillo Police Department at 378-3038. 

Expect Traffic Delays This Week Near Coulter Between I-40 and 9th

Expect some traffic delays over the next few days on Coulter between I-40 and 9th street, near the area of the hospitals.

Mark Read, City Engineer, says crews worked on that project over the weekend so it should be finished by this Wednesday. And further delays will be experienced on Hillside Road on the west side of the intersection with Coulter Street due to construction of a new sanitary sewer main.

The Hillside lanes should be all reopened by January 16th.

Early Voting Begins

Early voting begins Monday for the November 4th General Election.  A federal appeals court Tuesday gave the state permission to ignore a lower court ruling that struck the controversial voter id law down.  The Supreme Court's decision Saturday not to act means the voter id law will remain in effect for this election.  

Potter County polling locations:

http://tools.cira.state.tx.us/users/0480/nov4poster.pdf

Randall County polling locations:

http://www.randallcounty.org/elections/general/default.htm

National School Bus Safety Week; DPS Gets Involved

This is National School Bus Safety week, and Texas DPS troopers will be on the lookout for drivers who disregard the law.
 
"According to the Texas State Statute, the driver whether he's travelling behind the bus, in front of the bus, or approaching, whenever he sees those red lights activated he must stop," Trooper Chris Ray said. "He cannot proceed past the bus unless the lights go off or the driver is signalled by the bus operator to proceed."
 
Troopers in many areas will be riding on or following school buses to catch motorists violating the school bus law. Last year, highway patrol troopers issued 566 tickets for passing a stopped school bus. Drivers who violate the law could face fines as much as $1,250.
 
 

Public Health Officials Hold Another Conference on Ebola

Public Health officials had a lot to say about the false positive Ebola scare Amarillo had Wednesday.
 
While Public Health Authority Dr. Roger Smalligan says if you have not been to West Africa or been in contact with someone who has Ebola, you don't have it. However, they are taking extra precautions with certain symptoms.
 
"The fever is one of the early signs of Ebola," Smalligan said, "and we are going to take a little more conservative approach here in Amarillo and would like to use the number 100 degrees fahrenheit. I know that's a little lower than the CDC has recommended but for obvious reasons we want to be a little more careful."
 
The Center for Disease Control has set the fever for 101.5 degrees. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
 
He added if patients answer yes to all the Ebola symptoms and have been to West Africa in the last 3 weeks, their members must consider testing.
 
"As of a few days ago there were five states in the U.S. that have the testing availability all set up and ready to go for the Ebola virus," Smalligan said. "We are fortunate to have one of those five labs in Austin, Texas."
 
Smalligan repeats that most of the symptoms of Ebola are the same you might see with the flu. Don't get them confused and be sure to get your flu shot as soon as possible.
 
Mary Barlow with BSA spoke as well. She says the BSA staff conformed wonderfully to the tasks they were set with last week, and not to be surprised if another false positive shows up.
 
"I think it's important for us all to know, the CEO of Mt. Sinai Hospital New York City has said they have had over 100 false positives," Barlow said. "Now we have had one. He said there will be more. And there will be more in Amarillo."

Two People Booked into Carson County for $187K of Cocaine

A traffic stop on I-40 yielded over $187,000 worth of cocaine.
 
A DPS trooper made the stop Thursday evening near Conway for a traffic violation. During a search of the vehicle, the trooper found two bundles of cocaine weighing over 6 pounds inside the passenger door.
 
The two people in the vehicle were booked into Carson County on a first-degree felony charge of possession of a controlled substance. The drugs were reportedly being taken from Phoenix to Springfield, Ohio.

Salvation Army Accepting Angel Tree Applications

With Christmas still more than two months away, the Salvation Army staff in Amarillo is already making holiday preparations.  
 
Major Harvey Johnson said applications are now being accepted for this year's Angel Tree program.
 
"The whole purpose is people have very limited budgets and when it comes to Christmas time they wouldn't have the excess dollars or resources to provide the level of gifts and assistance they would like to give their family," Major Johnson said. "Everyone deserves a little Christmas, you know?"
 
Christmas assistance applications are being accepted this week and the first week of November at the Salvation Army Church at 2101 south Van Buren. For more information, call 373-6631.

AgriLife Hosts Dinner Tonight!: a Healthy Cooking Class

If you want to learn more about healthy cooking, you'll have a perfect opportunity next Tuesday.
 
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extention Service and Prairie View Cooperative Extension will host Dinner Tonight!, a healthy cooking class. With the $15 ticket, you can attend the class at Amarillo College's downtown campus at 5 p.m. to visit exhibits and local vendors, with local celebrity chef Chad Lardie demonstrating one of the menus.
 
"Participants get the cookbook, which is like a 36 page, 14 menu cookbook," Amy Wagner with AgriLife said. "They will also get goodies from the Texas Beef Council as well as Texas Pork Producers. Then we'll have a taste panel that will be there tasting the dishes and giving feedback."
 
Wagner said if you'd like to sign up you can call 373-0713, but call quick because seats are going fast. 
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