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LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES

'Close Encounters' Offered by Amarillo Symphony

The 90th season of the Amarillo Symphony closes this weekend with 'Close Encounters.' Zivorad Filipovic, Marketing Manager, says you'll hear music from well known science fiction movies.
 
"It's kind of a pop concert, a concert based on music you would have heard in 'Catch Me If You Can' or 'An American in Paris'," Filipovic said.
 
The concerts will be at the Globe News center Friday, and Saturday at 8 with tickets available at Panhandle Ticket Outlets.

Reward Increases for ID of Sherry Mondragon Murderer

The Amarillo Police Department has increased the reward in an unsolved 2009 homicide case.

APD and the family of the deceased are offering a reward of $5,000 dollars for information leading to the identification and arrest of the suspect responsible for her death. Sherry Mondragon's body was found wrapped in a rug and stuffed into a garage in north Amarillo in April of 2009.

Call Amarillo Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 or go online to amapolice.org to submit a tip to give closure to the case and her family.

Memorial Bicycle Trek Coming to Amarillo Honors Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

A memorial bicycle trek is coming to Amarillo on Monday. Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas says they're doing it for fallen law enforcement officials.
 
"There's five folks that'll be riding bicycles, and they're basically going to every location in state of Texas where they've had an officer killed in the line of duy," Sheriff Thomas said.
 
Our own Sgt. Paul Buckles.
 
He says they'll ride from El Alamo Park to the Courthouse starting at 7:30. Any donations for the families of the fallen would be welcome.

In Depth Look at Lone Finalist for AISD Superintendent Dr. Dana West

Today we take a deeper look at Dr. Dana West, who was named sole finalist for AISD's superintendent. Dr. West told KGNC she began teaching and administration in Plainview.
 
"When I came to Amarillo, I was a principal at a couple of different schools and now cluster director for Caprock. It's been a joy to be a part of a couple of different districts and see how they perform, and how it matters what we do," Dr. West said.
 
She has a Bachelors in elementary education, a Masters in education, and a PHD in educational leadership and has been in the field for 25 years.

Potter County Government Day 2015: Teaches Students All About County Government

85 high school students from across Amarillo will be taking part in county government this coming Monday as a part of Government Day.
 
"This is an initiative that the Commissioner's Court chose to take to build awareness around county government, and that entails from all facets, outside the Commissioner's Court," Commissioner Mercy Murguia said.
 
Including having them at the Commissioner's Court for the meeting, taking tours of the Courthouse, and more.

City Council Place 1 Runner: Elisha Demerson

A former Potter County Judge and Commissioner Elisha Demerson is challenging the incumbent for Place-1 on the Amarillo City Council.
 
"I served Potter County as the Potter County Commissioner for eight years and County Judge for four years. I then went to have a career with the federal government and retired last year," Demerson said.
 
Demerson spoke about his reason for running.
 
"I'm running now because I believe in open government, I believe in growth in citizen input, and I believe in accountability. I believe there has been a void in allowing citizens to be welcome in municipal government."
 
He says he doesn't have a problem with downtown development.
 
"I believe in the growth and the development of downtown Amarillo, but I believe it is not the only place to grow our city."
 
Demerson is challening the Place-1 incumbent, Ellen Robertson-Green.

Voting Basics

The City of Amarillo is reminding citizens that early voting is just around the corner. Sonja Gross says early voting starts Monday, April 27th and will continue up till election day.
 
"We hold council elections every odd year in May and this year our elections are being conducted by Potter and Randall Counties," Gross said.
 
She adds the City of Amarillo is also reminding people of the importance of exercising your right to vote.
 
For more info:
 

Amarillo Gas Jumps Over a Dime

Drivers in Amarillo have seen an increase of 12 cents on average at the pump.

AAA Texas Weekend Gas Watch reports the average price for gasoline is $2.36, which is still $1.04 less than this time last year. They say domestic crude oil prices last week reached the highest level of 2015 as supplies built more slowly than anticipated.

Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in the Lone Star State, drivers in Dallas and Fort Worth are paying the most on average at $2.39 per gallon while drivers in San Antonio are paying the least at $2.20.

Man Steals from Safety Deposit Box, Takes Money to Police

A man wanted by Amarillo Police for stealing from a safety security box was arrested in Oklahoma City.

38 year old Joey Adam Climer had stolen the key and presented false documents to get inside the box where he stole a large amount of cash. Later, he had thrown an envelope of money out of a window towards an APD officer then while in Oklahoma approached two detectives saying he found another envelope filled with money in the parking lot.

He has since been transported to the Randall County Jail. 

Sonic on SW 34th Catches Fire

The Sonic on SW 34th caught fire Thursday morning.

Fire crews responded around 8:15, where they were told grease in a fryer had caught fire and employees unsuccessfully attempted to extinguish it. The flames were brought under control by 8:30, and $15,000 in damages were estimated.

AISD Board President Speaks on State of the District

During Amarillo ISD's naming of Dr. Dana West as the lone finalist for superintendent, board president John Ben Blanchard spoke about the state of the district.
 
Over the last 15 years, all of those under Rod Schroder, Blanchard said their children living in poverty rose nearly 20%, and the district has seen an influx of more refugees per capita than any other city in the U.S. But that didn't stop them from dealing out good education.
 
"AISD student performance is and has been significantly better than all of our peer districts in the state including Lubbock, Abilene, Midland and Odessa," Blanchard said.

BBB Shred Day

Our local BBB's Shred Day is this Saturday. Janna Kiehl says they are shredding securely on site.
 
"We want people to have a place to go to shred their important documents, when they print off their files after tax day and be able to shred them securely. So we can take identity theft out of the dumpsters and off the streets," Kiehl said.
 
Kiehl says it will be from 9 to 2 at 3501 Soncy in the Med Center Parking Lot.

Infant Immunization Week is on the Way

Saturday kicks off Infant Immunizations Week. Don Nicholson was featured on NewsDay Amarillo earlier this week, talking about what immunizations have done for children over the last twenty years.
 
"Vaccines have prevented 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and the death of 722 million children," Nicholson said.
 
Nicholson says there are about 14 different diseases they believe kids need to be vaccinated for.
 

Dr. Dana West Named Lone Finalist for AISD Superintendent

Dr. Dana West has been named Amarillo ISD's lone finalist for superintendent. She spoke with KGNC about how she'll handle transitioning into her new position.
 
"There's a lot of great things going on in our district. I just want to continue to build on those. The way I'll do that is by hearing what ideas are in our community, hearing what our teachers have to say, hearing what our principals idea's are," Dr. West said.
 
Dr. West currently serves as the Executive Director of Student Performance for AISD in the Caprock Cluster.
 
Dr. West will take over the superintendent position when current superintendent Rod Schroder officially retires.

Potter County Online Ballot System is Up

Potter County has their sample ballot online system up. Elections Administrator Melynn Huntley:
 
"You put in your address, provided you're a registered voter, it will pull up your ballot," Huntley said. "From there it gives you all the time in the world to research your candidates."
 
Remember, though. You are not actually voting.
 
"All that sample ballot is doing is marking what your choices were that day, then you can print it out and take it to the poll as a go-by," Huntley said.
 
Check it out here:
 
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