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Chris Copeland

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Hit and Run Driver Injures Jogger on I-27 Service Road

The Randall county sheriff's office is looking for a hit and run driver.  

Around 6:30 p.m. Monday, a jogger was running south on the I-27 service road when he was hit by a car. The jogger suffered injuries to his left arm and was taken to the emergency room. The man could not give a description of the car that hit him, and anyone with information is asked to call the Randall county sheriff's office at 468-5751.

Marijuana Bust Near Westgate Mall

A traffic stop near the mall led to an arrest and seizure of 5 pounds of marijuana.  

A Potter county deputy made the stop Thursday on I-40 and mile marker 64. The driver gave consent to search and the deputy found a suitcase with approximately $18,000 worth of pot inside.

Robert Prater, 45, was booked into Potter county on a third-degree felony charge of possession of marijuana. The drugs were reportedly being taken from California to Wichita, Kansas.

Wheeler County TDCJ Escapee Recaptured

The prisoner who escaped Monday from the TDCJ's Wheeler unit has been caught.  

Just after 7 a.m. Thursday, Plainview police received a 911 call of a man beating on the back door of a house in the 2600 block of Joliet. When officers arrived, they say that it was Charlie Davis Junior, 38, in the backyard. He was taken into custody and transported to the Hale county sheriff's office where he's being held.  Davis faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of felony escape.

Tuesday Puckett Lockdown

A domestic violence call led to the temporary lockdown of a local school.

Just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, officers were called to a home in the 4200 block of Roxton. They learned that a man with a gun had broken in and threatened a woman, then said he was going to a nearby school to pick up his child. Puckett elementary was contacted and asked to lock out all visitors until the man could be located.  

Around 3 p.m., he was found in a motel on Amarillo Boulevard west. Christopher Keith Chesser, 35,was booked into Randall county for burglary with intent to commit assault on a family member.

Is it possible for your children to become poisoned by their Halloween candy?

Is it possible for your children to become poisoned by their Halloween candy?
It is possible they can eat enough that they will get sick to their stomach, but Ronica Farrar, educator for the Texas Panhandle Poison Center says they hear a lot of calls about glowsticks.
"The liquid inside glowsticks is non-toxic," Farrar said, "but just because they're non-toxic doesn't mean that they won't cause a little bit of irritation. If it gets into a child's mouth, they could become nauseated, if in their eyes it may cause some burning."
She says there is also a risk to those children with food allergies. She says one of the best things you can do is to inspect the candy before letting your child consume it.
"Children going door to door, people are handing out whatever they're handing out, and they don't know whether a child is allergic to chocolate or peanuts. The parent would know, so it's very important for them to inspect."
She says that inspection could in fact prevent a life-threatening anaphylaxis. She adds to talk with your children to make sure they know to wait. 

Economic Analysis Shows September Trends Carrying Over to October

Amarillo National Bank has released their monthly economic analysis for October.
Patrick Ware, Vice President for ANB, says the trends are holding steady.
"It's the same thing we saw in September and what's driving it is slower than needed job growth," Ware said. "That's the reason retail sales are flat and we're not seeing as much construction as the other parts of West Texas."
Sales tax collections were up almost $2,000 and drilling rigs in the Panhandle were up from 67 to 71 for October. Ware adds that there was a seasonal bump in car sales, but those numbers are likely to fall back to the norm. 
We are also in dire straights for job growth.
"We're hoping that we don't see anymore lowering in the wages," Ware said, "and stronger job growth. We've only been seeing 200 or 300 jobs over the year. We need to get that number up over 1,000, closer to 1,500 or 2,000." 
Ware adds that we should see some more seasonal jobs as the holiday months come closer, but those won't be reported until later. He says any added jobs, especially full-time, is going to be an added benefit to the local economy.
What sectors will likely show the most growth as we move further into the year?
"Probably the farming and ranching income, the summer rains have really helped that out," Ware said. "The commodity prices are a little lower, but we are going to see some benefit because of the corn and cotton crops this fall."
He says one thing on everyone's mind is interest rates and the federal reserve is pulling back on bond buying, but he doesn't believe it will have as big of an impact on interest rates in the future so it's still a good time to purchase a car or get a mortgage because the rates right now are advantageous to the consumer.

Man in Critical Condition After Crash Near Rick Husband

An Amarillo man was hospitalized in critical condition after a crash near the airport.  

Just after 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, a car driven by William Duncan Baker, 64, ran into the trailer of an 18-wheeler in the 1500 block of Airport drive. He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the 18-wheeler was uninjured. Speed is a factor in the crash, which is still under investigation.

AFD and Battery Joe Make Sure Fire Alarms Are Working

On Sunday we will fall back and set the clocks back one hour.
This is also the time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms.
"It's very important," says lieutenant Larry Davis of the AFD, "because we have to make sure that our smoke alarms are working. It's a fact, smoke alarms save lives and if for some reason they're not working, like if they have a dead battery, they're useless."
The Amarillo Fire Department will be at the Battery Joe store at 2207 south Western Saturday from 11-3 for smoke alarm demonstrations and both Battery Joe locations will be giving away free 9 volt batteries to anyone who simply asks for one to use in their smoke alarm. This starts Thursday and runs through the weekend or while supplies last. 

Xcel Energy Sees Increased Scam Activity

Reports of scams against Xcel Energy customers has picked up again. Spokesperson Wes Reeves says this isn't anything new.
"We've been dealing with this for a couple of years," Reeves said, "customers get this call and it sounds very convincing, someone from Xcel calling them to say that they're behind on their bill and they're sending someone to cut their power off."
Unless, of course, you pay over the phone. Reeves says in some cases they will ask you to pay using a pre-paid debit card, and manipulate the caller ID to display a fake number. All four of Xcel's operating companies have seen increased scam activity in recent years.

Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week

Amarillo Crime Stoppers is asking for help with their crime of the week.  

The Potter county sheriff's office was called to the Canadian river bridge Tuesday morning where a 2000 model CAT 980g wheel loader was missing from the work site. It was found several miles away on state land with significant damage.  

The equipment is considered a total loss with a value of several hundred thousand dollars. If you know who the suspects are in this equipment theft, call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 or submit a tip online at A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered. 

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