Amarillo Texas

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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It has now been 10 years since Amarillo’s Western Plaza was demolished, and The Amarillo Globe-News has published a brief remembrance of what was for many years Amarillo’s largest shopping mall.

In fact, upon its construction in 1968, Western Plaza was said to be the biggest mall between Denver and Dallas. The 400,000 square foot shopping mall’s first tenant was Montgomery Ward.

Amarillo Makes Expedia's 15 Must-See Cities List

Sep 24, 2017
Expedia

Amarillo, Texas has made a list from Expedia of the top 15 list of cities to visit. 

In fact, Amarillo was the only Texas city to make the list, called 15 Under-the-Radar Cities You Need to Visit – coming in at the number one spot.

The description of Amarillo on Expedia’s Viewfinder travel blog website, reads as follows:

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Last month, Amarillo’s Jenkins Chapel celebrated its 91st anniversary. The little church was packed with visiting worshippers from nearby churches like Johnson Chapel and Mount Zion.

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A prominent Amarillo restaurateur will challenge Texas state Senator Kel Seliger for his seat next year, The Amarillo Globe-News reports. Victor Leal is the former mayor of Muleshoe, Texas, and he owns the popular restaurant Leal’s in Amarillo.

Leal is running as a Republican. He previously sat on the board of directors of an influential conservative think tank known as the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

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The Amarillo City Council meeting grew heated on Tuesday night, as opposing forces gathered to debate whether a statue of a Confederate soldier should be removed from Ellwood Park.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, members of the NAACP and Indivisible Amarillo showed up to try and convince civic leaders to take down the monument.

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Amarillo’s animal welfare office may soon change the period they’ll hold stray animals from three days to two days, reports the Amarillo Globe-News.

The new ordinance would mean that more animals may be euthanized. That’s because rescuers would have one less day to claim stray animals before they’re put down.

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Many Texas Panhandle students will return to school this week.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, most school districts in the Panhandle have chosen to return from summer earlier this year, preceding by a week and a half the state-mandated start date of Aug. 28. Canyon ISD and four of the five Amarillo school districts will begin on Wednesday.

Baseball is making a comeback in Amarillo

Jun 21, 2017
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The boys of summer are back – well soon to be back - in Amarillo.

As the Amarillo Globe News reports, Elmore Sports Group announced Wednesday its plans to move its minor league baseball franchise, the San Antonio Missions, from San Antonio to Amarillo and to build a $45.5 million downtown stadium for the 2019 season.

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Amarillo Mayor Paul Harpole announced Tuesday that he will not be seeking re-election.

In a press conference Tuesday, Harpole said he felt it was time he stepped down to allow for new leadership.

As The Amarillo Globe reports, Harpole made the announcement, which has been expected for several months, that he would not seek a fourth term in May’s election.

The Not So Normal Parenthood

Feb 3, 2016

Jennifer Sugg was a 16-year-old color guard when she found out that she was expecting a little baby girl. Unaware of what the future would hold, Jennifer was forced to face reality and make a decision that would affect the life of her as well as her sweet baby girl, Kaitlin. After months of Jennifer Sugg was a 16-year-old color guard when she found out that she was expecting a little baby girl. Unaware of what the future would hold, Jennifer was forced to face reality and make a decision that would affect the life of her as well as her sweet baby girl, Kaitlin.

Three Ways to Draw Interest

Feb 2, 2016

Darrell Bledsoe was a figure in my life for several years.  He’s a good man who took time to teach me the guitar and work with the church I went to.  When this project came up, I decided to learn a little bit more about him to share with others, but more importantly, I wanted other people to look for similar figures in their lives.

This piece was performed and adapted by Keillan Johnson 

Rhonda's Secret Hot Chocolate

Dec 24, 2014
Kathleen Holt

If you were unable to join friends of High Plains Public Radio for Amarillo’s Parade of Lights this month, you can enjoy a bit of the fun by making Rhonda’s secret hot chocolate mix.

HPPR board members, volunteers and staff enjoyed a studio open house against the background of music provided by Amy and Greg, then served hot chocolate during Center City’s annual parade. 

Texas Underwriting Representative, Rhonda Dittfurth arranged for donations allowing HPPR to distribute hot chocolate to more than 300 parade goers.

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If you’re traveling Route 66, you might see a caravan of Cadillacs getting their kicks traveling the open road.  They’ve traveled all the way from China for the experience according to a recent article in the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Potter County OKs tax break for Coca-Cola, paves the way for ballpark
Potter County is the final jurisdiction to pass a tax abatement for Coke to move from downtown Amarillo to the CenterPort Business Park to make way for a future hotel/ballpark development. Read more from The Amarillo Globe-News.

Amarillo is tenth best city for families

Jun 18, 2014
national.deseretnews.com

Between 2012 and 2013, 11.7 percent of the population moved according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  About a third of those moved because of “family-related reasons,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

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