The High Plains has always been populated by generous, community-minded people that look after one another in good times and bad. So this week we welcomed representatives from two of Amarillo’s most prominent service organizations in the barrio neighborhood on our city’s north side.

This week on High Plains Morning, we talked to Amarillo artist (and newly-appointed early education instructor) Kegan Hollis about his forthcoming exhibit, “Invisible Iconography” at the Invisible Genie Gallery (321 SW 7th Ave., Amarillo) on Friday, April 2nd from 8:00 to 11:00 pm CT.

Today on High Plains Morning, we had Jami Cowart, the Voter Registration Coordinator at the Amarillo League of Women Voters on the air to discuss the upcoming elections in the Texas panhandle. However, keeping on top of voter registration status is something EVERY HPPR LISTENER should be doing—so check out our conversation on the link below.

Amazon To Open New Fulfillment Center In Amarillo

Mar 11, 2021

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 11, 2021 --, Inc. plans to open a new fulfillment center in Amarillo, Texas. The new operations facility is expected to create over 500 new, full-time jobs with industry-leading pay and comprehensive benefits starting on day one, according to a press release from Amazon.

After a record-breaking year helping families in need across the Texas Panhandle, the Amarillo-based High Plains Food Bank continues churning out food boxes around the clock. Today, we spoke with Tina Brohlin, HPFB’s Director of Development, about their organization’s need for volunteers in their warehouse facility, primarily assembling food boxes for expedited delivery. “Due to the increased demand and distribution, we critically need volunteer support to get food out to individuals and families across the Texas Panhandle,” Brohlin said.

The City of Amarillo Public Health Department is currently administering COVID-19 vaccines to all individuals identified in the State of Texas Phase 1A and 1B Vaccine Allocation Plan.

--Phase 1A: Includes front-line healthcare workers, staff, and residents of long-term care facilities.

As we have all seen, it’s not easy keeping communities connected throughout a pandemic—especially when the groups with whom you work already have a possible language barrier and cultural differences that make socializing a challenge. Today on High Plains Morning, we talked to Ryan Pennington, the Executive Director of Refugee Language Project in Amarillo, TX. He’s presenting the first-ever Amarillo Refugee State of the Union on Tuesday, January 12th at 7:00 p.m.

Today on High Plains Morning, we had a chat with David Waddle, the new host for HPPR’s latest regional music program, Western Swing Radio Rambler. The show premieres this weekend, hitting the airwaves on Saturday at 2:00 PM Central.

While quarantine has seemingly slowed down many of our lives, one High Plains poet and author has been keeping very busy. Tonight at 7pm CT, Amarillo-based writer Chera Hammons launches her first novel, Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom, with an online reading and discussion—and you’re invited.

Today, I caught up with community advocate and Amarillo United Citizens Forum representative, Melodie Graves, while she shared details about a city-wide Annual School Supply Drive & Giveaway going on through late August. The event will take place on Saturday, August 29th from 11am to 2pm CT at the Black Historical Cultural Center (901 N. Hayden), just off of Amarillo Boulevard.

Thanks so much to Melodie Graves of the North Heights Advisory Association for chatting with High Plains Morning about the unveiling celebration happening today in Amarillo. Unveiling of what? Well, the group has been working with the City of Amarillo for a year to secure historic street markers for Amarillo’s North Heights neighborhood, designating the community as an important piece of the town’s past, present, and future.

From Texas Standard:

Potter County, where Amarillo is located, has seen an outsized proportion of COVID-19 cases. Though the latest numbers show counties with most cases are also the most populous, Potter County ranks just below them at sixth even though it's the 38th most populous county.

Amarillo Stay-At-Home Order Extended To End Of April

Apr 14, 2020
City of Amarillo

Correction: A previous version of this story contained incorrect data about COVID-19 cases in Amarillo. 

Amarilloans are being asked to stay at home for at least another couple of weeks.

The Amarillo City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an extension to the city’s stay-at-home directive through April 30. Mayor Ginger Nelson said the directive has helped and will continue to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Amarillo health officials are asking people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma for treating more seriously ill patients. The Amarillo City Council is also expected to extend the city’s shelter in place order on Tuesday, when the current order expires.

In a press conference broadcast on the City of Amarillo’s Facebook page Monday, Dr. Scott Milton, with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Amarillo Public Health Authority, asked people who received positive COVID-19 tests – but completely recovered – to donate plasma.

City of Amarillo

Continued social distancing, among other things, is vital to preventing the spread of coronavirus. That was the primary message sent by Amarillo officials and health care providers during a press conference Wednesday. But the panel also urged people suffering from other serious conditions to seek medical attention.

Robin Valenzuela

The Texas panhandle continues to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

As of Monday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) dashboard, excluding Amarillo, there were 47 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Texas panhandle.  Meanwhile, Amarillo continues to see an uptick in cases, mostly attributed to community spread.

The increase is also a function of increased testing and receipt of completed test results. 

City of Amarillo

Amarillo continues to report increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases that are mostly due to community spread, which prompted it to increase its alert level to red. Amarillo city officials also announced an emergency notification system today.

Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is now available in Amarillo. 

According to a press release from the City of Amarillo, individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can call the Amarillo Public Health Department at 806-378-6300. If those symptoms warrant a test, you will be directed to the drive-thru facility for testing.

Amarillo Sees An Uptick In COVID-19 Cases

Apr 1, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases being reported in Amarillo has nearly doubled in the past 24 hours. The uptick appears to be largely driven by community spread, rather than out-of-state travel.

According to the Amarillo Public Health Department’s latest COVID-19 Report Card, (pictured – English and Spanish), 33 total COVID-19 cases have been reported to APH as of Wednesday, with 16 in Potter County and 17 in Randall County.  Six of the cases are from recent travel, 21 are from local transmission and six are currently being investigated.

COVID-19 Updates For Randall And Potter Counties

Mar 31, 2020

Click on the photo for a COVID-19 report card en Espanol

The Amarillo Public Health Department is reporting 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases today, with eight in Potter County and 10 in Randall County. As of Monday, there were 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Texas panhandle. 

According to the City of Amarillo’s COVID-19 report card (pictured in English and Spanish) issued Tuesday, of the known cases reported by APH, 16 individuals are recovering at home and two are recovering at a medical facility.  

Twenty COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the Texas Panhandle, as of Monday. The number of cases per county is as follows: Moore (1), Oldham (2, incl. one fatality), Potter (5), Deaf Smith (2) and Randall (10).  

In normal times, an N95 face mask would cost a big corporation a buck or less — particularly if it ordered a million of them.

But these aren’t normal times, and the pitch from industrial supplier Hatfield and Company to sell as many as 2 million masks to a major U.S. oil company last week wasn’t your typical offer. The Texas-based supplier wanted $6.3 million for a minimum order of 1 million masks, with an option of buying 2 million for nearly $13 million, sales documents and interviews indicate.

City of Amarillo

Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson issued the stay-at-home directive Monday morning that takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday and will be in effect until at least April 13, according to a press release from the City of Amarillo.

“It is critical that people who are not providing essential work services stay at home while the order is in effect,” Nelson said.

COVID-19 Case Update From The City Of Amarillo

Mar 26, 2020
City of Amarillo

There have now been 10 COVID-19 cases reported to the Amarillo Public Health Department (APH).

According to the City of Amarillo’s most recent COVID-19 Report Card, there is currently one case in Potter County and three cases in Randall County. Those are the only two counties under the jurisdiction of Amarillo Public Health Department’s (APH).

The City of Amarillo announced today that it will no longer report cases of coronavirus outside of Potter and Randall Counties.

According to an email from City of Amarillo Communications Manager David Henry, because the Amarillo Public Health Department’s jurisdiction is specific to Potter and Randall counties, the city's information and access to regional cases is limited and sometimes non-existent.

Amarillo Reports First COVID-19 Death

Mar 24, 2020

UPDATED March 24, 2020 at 12:48 p.m. CT

Amarillo has reported its first coronavirus death.

The individual was a woman in her 30s, with underlying health conditions, who lived in Oldham County, Texas, according to an email to HPPR from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Amarillo Reports Its First Cases Of COVID-19

Mar 19, 2020

The City of Amarillo announced Wednesday night the first positive tests of the COVID-19 virus in the Amarillo area.

According to a press release from the City of Amarillo, two patients tested positive for the virus.


Recently, on High Plains Morning, things took a tragic turn. But like…in a good way. I was delighted to speak with a country-folk singer, storyteller, and man of the land whose music is always in rotation: Corb Lund. He’s playing a show TONIGHT at Hoot’s Pub in Amarillo, and he took some time out to chat with me and share some insight with HPPR listeners about his new album, Agricultural Tragic.

From Texas Standard:

Copper workers in Amarillo have been striking for four months and will likely continue. About 150 union members are protesting ASARCO's plan to freeze pensions and increase health insurance costs.

One of High Plains Morning's favorite artists to spin (across EVERY genre) is en route to the Texas Panhandle! North Carolina's hard-to-define supergroup (and Tarheel bluegrass pride and joy), Steep Canyon Rangers, hit the stage on Saturday night at the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts.