Amarillo Texas

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The American Quarter Horse Association is still considering moving its headquarters from Amarillo to Fort Worth.

As KAMR reports, the AQHA released a statement this week about the potential move.

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Last week, the City of Amarillo hosted the first of four public forums on the proposed $319 million renovation of the downtown Civic Center.

The proposal, unveiled earlier this month, would double the capacity of the current Civic Center. It would also expand the exhibit hall and ballroom, while upgrading to full-service kitchens, modern concessions.

FORT SCOTT, Kansas — Thirteen-year-old Aura Brillhart and her 11-year-old sister, Morgan, will face a new sort of test in school this year: a drug test.

The middle and high schools in their community of Fort Scott, Kansas, are among the latest to require random drug testing of students who want to participate in sports, clubs, dances or any other extracurricular activities.

“I hate that it’s even an issue for us to have to address,” said their mom, Jody Hoener. “But putting our heads in the sand isn’t going to make things any better.”

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The month of August will mean some good news for the four-legged citizens of Amarillo.

First off, a new low-cost pet clinic will open on August 5. The P.E.T.S. clinic, located at 2500 SW 6th Ave., will provide low-cost spaying and neutering, as well as vaccinations, deworming, microchipping, wellness exams and other services.

Jonathan Baker

Amarillo’s Hodgetown, the downtown ballpark that’s home to the double-A Sod Poodles organization, has been named the best Double-A ballpark in America by Ballpark Digest, reports The Amarillo Globe-News.

Downtown Women's Center

The Downtown Women’s Center of Amarillo has brought in an incredible fundraising haul this year, and the charity remains one of the most important resources for homeless women in the Texas Panhandle.

Public Domain / US Geological Survey

Officials say Amarillo will not be affected by recent reports of groundwater contamination linked to Cannon Air Force Base—despite the fact that the Clovis, New Mexico, air base is less than 100 miles away from the city.

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Amarillo’s homeless population has increased over the last year, according to the results of a count performed in late January.

Panhandle Twenty 20

As the new census approaches in 2020, Amarillo continues to lag behind many cities of similar size when it comes to educational attainment.

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The Amarillo Sod Poodles have announced their name, but the Texas Panhandle’s new baseball team still has much to do before opening day, now scheduled for April 8 of next year.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the team plans to announce a mascot-naming contest in the coming weeks. In addition, the team’s ownership will sell the ballpark’s naming rights later this month, and the team’s uniforms will be revealed in January.

Bureau of Land Management

City of Amarillo and Potter County officials are working to figure out the best way to make thousands of acres north of the city accessible to the public.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the 12,000 acres controlled by the Bureau of Land Management is the only land in the state of Texas owned by the federal government.

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Last week, after a long and controversial process, the new Amarillo baseball team announced that it had finally settled on the nickname “Sod Poodles.”

The news was met with much cheering and no small amount of grumbling among baseball fans on the High Plains.

Ruth Ellen Lynch / High Plains Public Radio

A week before the midterm elections, Amarillo has become the focus of attention by both candidates in what has become one of the most heated Senate races in the country.

On Monday morning, Congressman Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, whose grassroots campaign has broken fundraising records, made the most recent of several stops in Amarillo to spread his message of inclusion and to speak out against the divisiveness of the current political culture.

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Amarillo city leaders have released their proposed legislative agenda, and it includes a number of big-ticket items that will require approval by the Texas Legislature.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the new plan includes operational funding for the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine and backing for the Texas Loop 335 expansion project.

USAF

The Amarillo Fire Department has announced its new plan to combat wildfires.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the plan was announced at the city council meeting this week.

Jason Boyett

A podcast that has quickly become a cultural institution in the Texas Panhandle reached its one-year anniversary this month.

As of this week, Jason Boyett has interviewed 52 different people for his popular  “Hey Amarillo” podcast.

City of Amarillo

The Amarillo City Council continues to receive a heavy backlash for its decision to move meetings to times that are less convenient for working Amarilloans.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, several citizens appeared at the gathering on Tuesday to voice complaints about the new meeting schedule, which has scheduled upcoming city meetings for 7 a.m.

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A plan to install parking meters in downtown Amarillo looks to be moving ahead.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, city officials have now approved an agreement with a company responsible for developing a comprehensive parking plan for the city center.

Amarillo Globe-News

A legend in the world of High Plains journalism retired this weekend. Jon Mark Beilue’s first byline appeared in the Amarillo Globe-News 37 years ago, and the Groom native has been a steady voice of reason in the Texas Panhandle ever since.

Beilue began his career covering class 5-A football games for what was then the Amarillo Daily News, fresh off his graduation from Texas Tech.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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