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Local Weather


Thornberry on Balanced Budget Plan

The republican controlled Senate muscled through a balanced-budget plan early Friday morning that calls for shrinking projected federal deficits by more than 5 trillion dollars over the coming decade by cutting health care and other benefit programs without raising taxes. It's similar to a plan passed Wednesday by the GOP-controlled House.
"We increase funding for defense but we also get to a balanced budget within 10 years, we begin to reform entitlements, which is two-thirds of the federal budget," Congressman Mac Thornberry said.
Thornberry says a Senate-House negotiating committee will try to resolve the differences in the two non-binding measures. Both bills seek to balance the federal budget within a decade while repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Caprock Students Assist in House Fire Notification

The Amarillo Fire Department responded to a house fire Thursday afternoon that started on the back deck and quickly spread to the main part of the house on Seminole.

Quick thinking students walking home from Caprock High School noticed smoke coming from the back yard. They notified the homes occupants, who to that point, were unaware their house was on fire. A woman and two children escaped without injury, and all but two house pets were rescued. It took fire crews about 15 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Amarillo Fire Marshal's ruled the cause as undetermined. Damage is estimated at $35,000.00.

What Does Amarillo's OEM Do in Times of Tornadic Activity?

Tornado season is just around the corner.
"If there doesn't seem to be much tornadic potential then we go to what we call a duty officer operation where we have members of my staff come down to the EOC and we work with a limited number of spotters and monitor the situation, just in case," Office of Emergency Management's Kevin Starbuck said.
Now what if the weather becomes severe?
"Then we go into a full weather watch where we deploy a full set of spotters, both volunteer and city employees, have about 20-25 people down here at the EOC that will run the spotter network and make decisions on warning," Starbuck said.
"For example, yesterday we did a tornado tabletop exercise for the City of Amarillo, Canyon, Potter and Randall Counties, and all our utility partners," Starbuck said.
Kevin Starbuck with the OEM says there's a wide range of folks they work with that keep their eyes to the skies when tornado season comes.
Already Moore and Tulsa have seen tornadic activity. One person has died.

Vote Centers Discussed at Town Hall Meeting

Vote centers were a topic of discussion at the Town Hall meeting held earlier this week. Elections Administrator for Potter County Melynn Huntley says instead of voting in precincts...
"We change it to where you can vote at any polling location on election day in Potter County. Which means if you're in the right county, you're at the right location to vote," Huntley said.
This makes voting easier, and you don't have to go out of your way to do so.
"You have one place to vote on election day, this means that you'll have 16 choices and the whole idea is with us being more of a mobile society, that you try to catch people where they play and shop more so than where they live."
This also saves the county money.
"What other counties have found is that vote centers cost about 40% less to run an election. It's mainly because you save on your  number of election workers," she said.

Botanical Gardens Asks City for Extra Land

Earlier this week, the Amarillo Botanical Gardens asked the Amarillo City Council for a lease agreement amendment for extra land.

The extra land is a small strip on the immediate west side of the existing Botanical Gardens and will be used for an upcoming planned improvement. Kevin Ball, Executive Director of the Gardens says details will be finalized in the upcoming weeks with a formal announcement soon.

2015 Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge Recipients Announced

The 2015 Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge Recipients have been declared. Seven local businesses have received investment funding through the WT Enterprise Center. Out of 49 companies the winners will split the $500,000 in investments. 2015 had the highest number of participants and recipients in the 20 years the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge has been held.

The winners:

3rd Coast Soda - $60,000

Circle 21 Candles - $50,000

Evocation Coffee Roasters - $50,000

PlanIt Wed - $100,000

Process Art House - $100,000

ROI Online - $40,000

Zynia Business Solutions - $100,000

Fugitive of the Week Arrested

Amarillo Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week has been captured.

Thursday evening around 7, a Potter County Deputy made a traffic stop near Willow Creek and Tipton and identified one of the occupants as Enola Gay Apodaca. She was booked into Potter County on her parole warrant.

City to Hold Martin Road Lake Drainage Project Meeting

The City of Amarillo is hosting an informational meeting Monday evening on the Martin Road Lake drainage improvements project.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin Tuesday April 7th. The meeting will provide information to area business owners and residents about the scope and timeline of the project. The meeting will be at the Travis Middle School cafeteria beginning at 6:30.

World War II Bomber On the Way to Amarillo

A piece of World War II History will be in Amarillo next week.
The commemorative Air Force is bringing a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber to Rick Husband Airport Monday afternoon. The plane, named Fifi, was one of only four built during the war.
"There's another one out there that's been fixed up, maintenance-wise it's down but they're about to get it up in the air pretty quick. This is the only one that's flying right now," John Whitaker with the Texas Air and Space Museum said.
He also says a C-45 Expeditor will also be on display. Rides will also be available in the planes. Go to airpowertour.org for more information.

Navy Plans to Purchase 44 Ospreys

The United States Navy says its going ahead with plans to order 44 V-22 Ospreys. Those aircraft will be assembled in Amarillo by Bell Helicopter in partnership with Boeing, Navy officials confirmed the plans Thursday. The contract is expected to begin in the January-March time frame of 2019. The overall contract value is estimated at $3.81 billion.

4 Injured with Shotgun Wounds on Redwood

A large fight in the 3100 block of Redwood ended with several men hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

At 9 Thursday night, officers met with a man who told them what happened, he himself had suffered a gunshot wound to the back and right arm. Officers found 3 other victims, all with injuries from what is believed to be from a shotgun. All four men were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

No arrests have been made.

Gas Prices Down Slightly

Gas prices are down slightly in Amarillo and across the state.

According to the Triple-A Texas Weekend Gas Watch, drivers here are paying an average of $2.15 a gallon, a dip of two cents from last week. Statewide the average is $2.22 a gallon, down a penny. Concerns that rising U.S. production could outpace storage capacity is contributing to lower prices.



USDA Extends Farm Bill Deadlines...Again!

That’s right. If you have not made your PLC/ARC decision or updated your base acres and yields, you now have more time. USDA announced late Friday morning that they will be extending that deadline one more week, to April 7. For more information, contact your local FSA office. Also, click here to read the USDA news release


Farm Payment Limits Proposed

USDA has issued a proposed rule that would implement additional limits on farm payments made to non-farmers. For more information and to offer comments about the proposal, go here http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/03/0074.xml&contentidonly=true



AgriLife Sorghum Meetings

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is offering two regional sorghum education meetings. Topics will include soil, irrigation and weed management. The meetings will take place March 26 in Dimmitt and April 6 in Levelland. For more information, go here…



Dietary Guidelines Report Released

The full report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committtee has been released. Beef and cattle organizations have been very critical of the Committee's recommendations regarding meat consumption. See what you think by reading the report, which is available here




USDA Info On Risk Management Programs

Farmers are faced with some difficult decisions related to their participation in various Farm Bill programs, most notably Price Loss Coverage and Agricultural Risk Coverage. Information about PLC, ARC, base reallocation, and yield updates is available here


For more information from the Agricultural & Food Policy Center at Texas A&M, cllick here



KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour

The KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour is your daily opportunity to hear from agriculture newsmakers from around the region. The program airs Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. on KGNC-AM.

In addition to bringing you the insights of ag experts from around the High Plains region, our show also offers up-to-the-minute market information, veterinary news, wildlife reports, and features that explore the daily endeavor of those good people – the farmers and livestock producers – who provide us with the food and fiber we all need.

If you are unable to listen to the Agribusiness Hour live, remember you can hear recordings of past programs in podcast form by going here: http://multimedia.kgncam.com/audio/ag.htm


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