Amarillo Texas

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

To address a shortage of rural vets, Texas Tech plans to build a new vet school, which would be the second in the state. But A&M said doing so would detract state resources without solving anything.

From The Texas Tribune:

Press Release/Wes Reeves

A group of music lovers announced plans this week to build a privately funded plaza and amphitheater in downtown Amarillo.

The plaza will be named for beloved Amarillo singer-songwriter AJ Swope, who was tragically killed in a car accident five years ago. The group is hoping to secure land near the new multi-purpose event venue now under construction on Buchanan Street.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

A relic from America’s patriotic past arrived in Amarillo this weekend, to stay for good.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the side of the boat deck from the USS Arizona as it arrived at the Happy State Bank Randall County Event Center. During the Pearl Harbor Attack of 1941. The Arizona was bombed by Japanese fighters while docked in Hawaii. The ship exploded and sank, with the loss of almost 1,200 crewmen.

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A tradition that's almost a century old in the Texas Panhandle is coming to an end.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the Tri-State Fair's board of directors has decided to end the parade that kicks off the nine-day celebration every year in September.

Roman Leal

Last week, the Texas Panhandle was abuzz about a billboard. The sign didn’t mince words, simply asking “LIBERALS" to "please continue on I-40 until you have left our Great State of Texas.”

In an editorial in The Amarillo Globe-News, Jon Mark Beilue called the sign, “childish and immature, noting that the sign only “add[ed] to the division in the country.”

After the backlash, the sign was promptly taken down.

Justin Cozart / Wikimedia Commons

According to a new survey in Amarillo, most residents of the city feel safe.

As The Amarillo Globe-News­ reports, more than 80 percent of the survey’s respondents said they feel “somewhat safe,” “very safe” or “neutral” in Amarillo.

skyscrapercity.com / Wikimedia Commons

The former Chase Tower in downtown Amarillo has a new resident bank and namesake. Going forward, the tallest building between Fort Worth and Denver will now be known as the FirstBank Southwest Tower.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the institution that began as First National Bank of Ochiltree in 1907 will now, 111 years later, have its name stamped on the most prominent structure in the skyline of the largest city on the High Plains.

Ammodramus / Wikimedia Commons

The City of Amarillo is following through on its threat to sue a local landowner for allowing a homeless encampment to reside on his property. As The Texas Observer reports, Amarillo officials announced last week that they would take Melvin McEwen to court over the homeless tent village.

Jenny Inzerillo

A large crowd of marchers made their way through downtown Amarillo this weekend, in hopes of spurring action among lawmakers to tighten gun restrictions.

As KVII reports, Amarillo's March for our Lives protest was part of a larger worldwide movement, with the largest march happening on the mall in the nation's capital.

Samuel Capps / Wikimedia Commons

In a couple of weeks, a familiar site will disappear from downtown Amarillo. The Chase bank sign atop the city’s tallest building will vanish forever, as the national mega-bank consolidates its local operations in south Amarillo.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the chase departure is only one of a number of high-profile evacuations of the building in recent months. Xcel Energy and West Texas A&M University have also vacated or plant to leave their spaces in the tower.

Public Domain

A tent city of homeless campers in Amarillo was told last week that they must once again shut down their camp and go elsewhere.

As KFDA reports, the Christ Church Camp must disband by the end of this week or the city of Amarillo will begin fining the camp’s homeless residents $2,000 a day for being on the site.

Jonathan Baker

A massive crowd gathered in a large dirt field in downtown Amarillo yesterday to witness the groundbreaking of the city’s new baseball stadium. Mayor Ginger Nelson delivered a heartfelt speech to the throngs who had amassed on a chilly February afternoon.

Mayor Nelson was joined by the team’s new general manager, as well as D.G. Elmore and his father Dave Elmore, owners of the group who are moving the new AA baseball team from its former home in San Antonio.  

Public Domain

Millennials in Amarillo are buying homes at one of the fastest rates in the nation, according to a new study by the personal finance website SmartAsset.

In the site’s latest rankings of “Millennials and Homeownership,” Amarillo ranked 13th in the nation, tied with Oklahoma City.

In fact, HPPR States performed exceedingly well in general in the study, with Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas cities making up seven of the top 14 cities on the list.

bombcityfilm.com

On Tuesday night, 1,200 people gathered in Amarillo’s magnificent downtown Globe News Center for the Performing Arts for the premier of Bomb City, a film depicting the 1997 vehicular murder of an Amarillo punk at the hands of a popular “prep.”

The event was sold out, and the crowd consisted of an intriguing mixture of Amarillo’s elites as well as former and current punks, artists, and rabble-rousers.

Céréales Killer / Wikimedia Commons

The Amarillo Independent School District has voted to shorten the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School, reports The Amarillo Globe-News.

The school will now be known simply as Lee Elementary School. The school’s name had been a touch point in the community, where many parents felt that the school being named after a Confederate General would ostracize students of color.

CC0 Creative Commons

The City of Amarillo is considering getting rid of the 22,000 dumpsters that dot the city and replacing them with individual 95-gallon plastic carts that would be rolled to the curb by Amarillo residents. The carts would then be emptied by trucks with robotic grabbers.

Richie, Robert Yarnall / Flickr Creative Commons

Texas isn’t quite as special these days as it has been for most of this new century, claims a new editorial in the Dallas Morning News.

The state, notes the contributor Richard Parker, “has burned brightly since the beginning of the century.”

But now that bright Lone Star is cooling off. Parker is careful to note that the state’s changing fortunes don’s so much signal a downturn as “a leveling off.”

Tony Webster / Flickr Creative Commons

Last year, Amarillo saw another increase in homicides, marking the second year-over-year increase in a row, and the highest homicide total in a decade.

There were 16 total homicides in the city last year, reports The Amarillo Globe-News. That’s five more than in the previous year of 2016, and nine more than in 2015. Last year’s homicide victims ranged in age from eight months to 69 years old. This second year in a row of homicide increases marks the reversal of a trend.

From Texas Standard.

There’s a city of sorts in the Texas Panhandle that really isn’t a regular city at all. It has a post office, a museum, and a church – but other than that, it’s mostly just homes, dorms, and school buildings. Boys Ranch, Texas is home to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, a residential community for at-risk children. It’s been serving this purpose for close to 80 years. But now, some former residents say it’s Boys Ranch itself that really put them at risk.

Public Domain

The Amarillo Independent School District will send students to school early again next summer, according to The Amarillo Globe-News.

house.state.texas.us

In Texas, more Democrats are running for public office than at any time in the last couple of decades—and Amarillo is no different from the rest of the state.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, for the first time in ten years state Rep. John Smithee will not run unopposed. Mike Purcell, a retired educator, will run against Smithee for his seat, which covers southern Amarillo and Canyon, and most of the western portion of the Panhandle.

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A new motion picture is drawing nationwide attention to Amarillo, including an overview in the online news site Vice. The movie, Bomb City, was directed by Amarillo native Jameson Brooks.

The film explores the 1997 murder of Brian Deneke, a member of the Amarillo punk rock scene, by Dustin Camp, a so-called jock. Deneke’s death beneath the wheels of Camp’s car set off a firestorm in Amarillo that eventually made its way onto national news programs and into The New York Times.

Goodfellow AFB

Potter County, Texas, which encompasses part of Amarillo, is considering launching a lawsuit against major drug companies.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the county hopes to win back some of the money spent in the battle against the opioid scourge. Attorney Jack Walker has asked Potter County to join in the lawsuit being filed by his Dallas firm.

Who What Where Nguyen Why / Wikimedia Commons

Amarillo voters last week approved a massive $100 million bond proposal benefitting the Amarillo Independent School District. In response, AISD officials announced an aggressive construction schedule to spend the money on a wide variety of school repairs and renovations.

Jonathan Baker

The Indian community of the Texas Panhandle met this weekend for an evening of dancing, singing, and community. The event, held in the auditorium at Amarillo’s Caprock High School, was a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, which is held every autumn. Children of all ages danced in traditional garb, and adults sang and danced alongside them.

Jonathan Baker

In a VFW hall near downtown Amarillo, a group of former energy workers met to drink coffee and reminisce about their days working at the Pantex Plant, the nation’s primary facility for the assembly and disassembly of nuclear warheads, located northwest of Amarillo. Monday, Oct. 30, was designated the 9th Annual National Day of Remembrance for nuclear weapons workers by the U.S. Senate.

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Amarillo and the surrounding areas continue to be overrun with large numbers of feral cats and stray dogs. In fact, the ratio of humans to animals in Amarillo is larger than in bigger cities like Austin and Waco.

But now, as The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the Amarillo Humane Society has a plan to do something about the problem, and it could mean big changes in the way the local Humane Society operates.

Jay Phagan / Wikimedia Commons

Elections in Amarillo are less than a month away, and the League of Women voters has distributed helpful and nonpartisan information guides throughout the city to help voters understand their choices. On Nov. 7, residents of Potter and Randall County will go to the polls.

The Voters Guides will help voters gain information on seven proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution and the $100 million Amarillo Independent School District bond proposal. The guides will be available at some 80 locations in Amarillo and Canyon.

Amarillo.gov

In her State of the City address this week, newly elected Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson praised the proactive spirit of the Yellow City.

“‘Get it done’ is part of the fabric of Amarillo,” Nelson said.

Schellack / Wikimedia Commons

The Roth family, founders of Beef Products Incorporated, announced this week that they have established a $10 million fund to benefit former employees.

The Amarillo Globe-News reports that the money will go toward helping communities affected by plant closures. In 2012, BPI laid off approximately 750 employees and closed three production facilities, including plants in Amarillo and Garden City.

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