Texas Panhandle

Jonathan Baker

Novelist and essayist Jonathan Baker recently returned home to Canyon, Texas, after living in New York City. He was struck by the differences and unexpected similarities between the Big Apple and small-town West Texas. Baker published an essay about his observations in the magazine Colloquium, and he was surprised when the essay went viral.

Harry Pears / Creative Commons

More wind power is headed to the High Plains. A Spanish steel company has announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in the Texas panhandle, according to the Houston Chronicle. GRI Renewable Industries said it intends to build a wind tower plant in Amarillo that would employ 300 people and build 400 towers a year.

Last week brought some severe weather to the region. A video from social media shows the twister on Thursday in the Texas Panhandle. There were 11 tornado reports submitted to the National Weather Service on Thursday afternoon. Four in the Texas Panhandle and far western Oklahoma.

Texas Panhandle No Longer High and Dry

Apr 15, 2015
Amarillo Globe News

Half of the dry counties in the state of Texas have been in the Panhandle; however this number has dropped significantly over the past decade. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission began tracking Texas counties that allow alcohol sales in the late 30’s, back then only 8 out of the 26 counties in the Panhandle were “Wet”.

Josh Davis / rollingstone.com

Sometimes you’ve got to leave home… to see home.  That’s how Rolling Stone says it was for Ryan Culwell. 

Rolling Stone’s Andrew Leahey writes:

randallcounty.org

Texas Panhandle commissioners agreed to give a big tax break to Chermac Energy reports the Amarillo Globe-News.  Randall County commissioners recently voted to allow the proposed wind farm to pay about half of what it would in property taxes over the next ten years.

Chermac Energy gets a 100 percent tax abatement in exchange for paying $3.4 million over the same ten year period.

A couple more steps have to be taken before the decision is final.  The county has to send notification of the agreement to other taxing entities, and then a final vote will be held.

amarillo.com/

Veterans in the Texas Panhandle got the OK to build a state-of-the-art museum and education center.  Randall County commissioners voted to allow construction of the Texas Panhandle War Museum and Education Center according to the Amarillo Globe News.

The Texas Panhandle bids farewell to a quiet man, Henry Carroll LaMaster. A quiet man, who came from a pioneering family of humble service and education that did two things no other family in the Panhandle accomplished.

nbcnews.com

If you ask Dale Artho about climate change, and the predictions scientists are making, he’ll say there’s no point in discussing the doomsday prophecies.  It’s already happened in Vega, Texas.  He can give you details. 

wyomingtalesandtrails.com

In the fall of 1904, the neighbors of the Texas Panhandle got together to drive their cattle to Liberal, Kansas.  A blizzard caught them, and they were gone for three weeks.  Listen to Dave Miller tell of a  Christmas morning surprise-- complete with pies.

State Impact Texas

Texas leads the nation in wind energy production, and a lot of that wind power comes from the panhandle.  A recent article from State Impact Texas features a map showing annual wind energy production by county. 

If you’d like to see wind energy production around the world, The Wind Power, is a wind industry website that maintains a database of all wind farms. 

  While communities in the Texas Panhandle work to improve severe weather warning systems and equipment, experts say the best plan is your own.  

Jerod Foster

Motivated by water district regulations and a falling water table, a handful of farmers in the Texas Panhandle are participating in a water conservation project.  Farmers like Harold Grall, are implementing technology and changing farming practices to reduce water use and remain profitable reported The Texas Tribune.  

Recent rains have caused flash floods, washed out farming terraces, and helped dryland crops, but the U.S. Drought Monitor says it won't change the summer outlook.

A Christmas Blizzard

Dec 17, 2012

We’ll celebrate the Christmas holiday by recounting a Christmas blizzard of long ago, when Santa traveled across the open range of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.  It seems that jolly old St. Nick joined some ranch hands in a snowstorm, and he left a special gift in the chuck wagon that he made himself.  

A philanthropist who wanted to give kids a place of their own founded a famous ranch in the Texas Panhandle.