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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.

$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."
"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  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.

Deadline for Property Taxes Coming Up

The deadline for paying your property taxes is coming up.  
According to the Potter-Randall appraisal district website, current year property taxes are due by January 31st. Mayor Paul Harpole spoke to KGNC recently about our property tax rate.
"We have the lowest taxes for a city of our size or larger in the state of Texas," Harpole said. "34.5 rate and that's extremely low. That's about 18 cents lower than Lubbock."
Since the deadline falls on a weekend, the last day to file is automatically extended to the next business day, which is Monday February 2nd.

BBB Warns of "Yellow Pages" Scam

The Better Business Bureau is warning businesses of a scam involving the Yellow Pages.
"We've received a lot of calls from businesses that claim they've received an invoice for Yellow Page advertising from different company names," Janna Keihl with the BBB said. "Indeed this is really a solicitation and if they pay it, it's really difficult to get their money back."
Keihl says because the name "Yellow Pages" and the "Walking Fingers" logo are not protected by any federal trademark registration, they can be used by anyone.  To make sure the invoice you received is legitimate, go to or call 379-6222

Additional Details Regarding $12 Million Pipeline in Amarillo

KGNC has received additional updates on the Pump Station Water Transmission Pipeline Amarillo City Council approved at their meeting Tuesday. Assistant Director of Utilities Floyd Hartman says this 6 mile project will not only allow for an additional 36 million gallons of pumped well water but...
"Our midterm needs, as far as the city goes talking 10-20 years out, we could add a pump and boost the volume through up to 54 million gallons a day," Hartman said. "So that allows us to grow without having to add additional pipelines, just add a pump."
A concern about the $11.7 million pipeline that'll run from the Northeast 24th Avenue Pump Station to the Osage Water Treatment Plant is the amount of road that'll be taken up for the project. Hartman says their contractor plans to be smart about it. 
"We expect them not to open up 6 miles of pipeline and then come back and compact and pave," Hartman said. "There going to install the pipe, compact, and pave as they go. It'll be a system of three or four blocks long that's disrupted and then finished."
The funding comes from favorable Texas Water Development Board Water Infrastructure Loans. 

Amarillo Public Library Introduces "Well Aware Series"

The Amarillo Public Library is starting a brand new series of classes aimed at helping people in the area live healthier lives. Stacy Yates explained to KGNC what the Well Aware Series will consist of.
"The Well Aware Series is a series of six classes designed to help people learn more about a healthy lifestyle," Yates said. "There are classes about eating healthy, there are exercise classes, classes about doing your own gardening."
Each class will be held Thursdays at the East Branch Library at 4. Yates adds people can attend any of the classes they wish and they are completely free.

Amarillo Man Arrested After Fleeing Police

An Amarillo man was arrested on numerous charges after fleeing from police.

It happened early Wednesday morning when officers tried to pull a car over. The suspect sped off and wrecked in the 1100 block of north Mirror. He was caught after a short footchase. Santwone Smith, 19, was booked into Potter County on a firearm charge, drug possession charge, and two evading arrest charges.  

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