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Monday, February 28, 2011

West Texas Wild Fires claim 70 homes

By Associated Press/Amarillo Globe News

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — Wildfires have burned more than 110,000 acres and destroyed nearly 70 homes after a dry, windy day in West Texas.

Texas Forest Service spokesman Lewis Kearney (KAR'-nee) says the agency's firefighting aircraft, which were grounded Sunday due to the strong winds, are expected to fly Monday.

Kearney says 68 homes have been destroyed, with 10 in Colorado City and the rest in the Amarillo area. He says firefighters had a "busy night," and that there is still a high risk of fire in the Midland, Abilene, Panhandle and Lubbock areas.

A traffic accident on the smoke-blanketed Interstate 20 near Midland killed a 5-year-old girl on Sunday. One firefighter suffered second-degree burns in a blaze near Colorado City, about 250 miles west of Dallas.

Friday, February 25, 2011

TransGen runs for Amarillo mayor


Sandra Dunn, 53, formally announced her candidacy for Amarillo mayor in a news conference at Furrbies, 210 W. Sixth Ave.

Dunn, a transgender woman, said friends convinced her to enter the race in part to oppose David Grisham. Grisham is a pastor and director of Repent Amarillo, a religious, fundamentalist group. He announced he was running for mayor last week, and last year called for a boycott of Houston for its election of a gay mayor.

Paul Harpole, a car salesman and former city commissioner, has also announced his candidacy for mayor.

Dunn listed her occupation on the candidate application as a full-time student. She was formerly employed by the city of Amarillo. Dunn said she was a business partner to Ray Vaughan, 63, who last year was found murdered at their business, Ft. Williams Military Surplus and Supplies Depot, 703 N. Williams St.

Dunn said during her news conference supports single-member districts with the possibility of two "at large" candidates. She opposes a smoking ban.

Municipal elections are scheduled for May 14. Early voting is scheduled to begin May 2. Residents can file an application for a place on the ballot by March 14.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Amarillo's crime rate down ...

2011 Statistics-Amarillo's crime rate down 3.2%.
Amarillo Chief of Police Robert Taylor announced that the Amarillo Police Department has completed tabulation of the city’s 2010 crime statistics.
Overall, the crime rate in 2010 was down 3.2 % from 2009. The largest decrease was in the offense of robbery, with a 32.1% decrease from 2009. The totals and percentages are as follows:

Offense 2010 2009 Percent Change 10/09
Homicide 10 10 0.0%
Rape 91 99 -8.1%
Robbery 239 352 -32.1%
Ag Aslt 845 1116 -24.3%
Burglary 2590 2561 1.1%
Theft 7800 7759 0.5%
Auto Thft 641 709 -9.6%
Arson 54 75 -28.0%
Total 12270 12681 -3.2%

The public's continuing support of the Amarillo Police Dept. is a key part in the effort to reduce crime.

For full details, go to

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Record Lows to Record Highs!

By Janelle Stecklein and Yann Ranaivo

It was an 87-degree about-face, and by almost every account, one decidedly in the right direction.

Last Thursday, Feb. 10, the mercury hit a record low of minus 6 for that date in Amarillo, according to the National Weather Service. On Wednesday, six days later, temperatures shot up to 81, a record high for the date.

"It's one of the most dramatic turnarounds I've ever seen," said KFDA NewsChannel 10 Meteorologist "Doppler" Dave Oliver, who has been on-air for 25 years.

In fact, it was the third largest six-day turnaround on record in Amarillo, according to the National Weather Service. From Jan. 26, 1951, to Feb. 1, 1951, temperatures plunged 90 degrees, from 76 to minus 14. The next biggest turn happened from Jan. 27, 1963, to Feb. 1, 1963, when temperatures rocketed from zero to 88.

Those shifts - and Wednesday's - topped by far anything Oliver could recall. The biggest he remembered was a 66-degree drop. He also said he remembered temperatures falling from 100 to 35 in two weeks in September 1995.


Monday, February 14, 2011

It's a Ducknado!

It's a - -a Ducknado warning! I shot this at Loop 335 and Lakeside last night. As one farmer told me - "You don't want to be standing under one with your mouth open - son."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another snowstorm heading our way!

... Winter Storm Watch in effect from Tuesday afternoon through
Wednesday morning...

The National Weather Service in Amarillo has issued a Winter
Storm Watch... which is in effect from Tuesday afternoon through
Wednesday morning for all of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

* Timing: snow will begin Tuesday afternoon across the Texas and
Oklahoma panhandles. Snow is expected to increase in intensity
Tuesday night before tapering off Wednesday morning.

* Accumulations: total snow accumulations will range from 2 inches in
the southwest Texas Panhandle to 6 inches in the eastern Texas

* Main impact: travel may become hazardous across the Texas and
Oklahoma panhandles... especially Tuesday night... as roads become
snow covered and slick. In addition... north winds of 20 to 30 mph
can create areas of blowing and drifting snow with reduced

Icy fingers ...

It's Monday!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snow totals!

Connect Amarillo:

A generous portion of snow fell across much of the High Plains today, much to the delight of many Texans! As far as moisture goes, in a typical La Nina season, the southwestern portions of the nation are warmer, and drier than average. However, after today's snow melts, we may find ourselves wetter than average! (keep in mind... It's only February)

As of noon, reports in from the National Weather service show that Amarillo received about 3 inches of snow, with perhaps a little more accumulation possible through 3pm. Dawn, Hereford, Pampa, Claude, Miami, Canyon, Panhandle, Texline, as well as Boise City Oklahoma, and Clovis, New Mexico all report 3 inches of snow. Here in the Texas panhandle, so far the heaviest total was reported in

Vega at 4 inches. However, according to reports in from Portales, 5 inches were measured. In general, anywhere from 1- 5 inches of snow fell across portions of the High Plains with more rain than snow reported across the southeastern portions of the Texas Panhandle. The heaviest snow did fall, exactly where we thought it would. Finally, we come to an end to this seemingly endless dry spell!

As far as the rest of the afternoon is concerned snowfall will come to an end gradually, possibly turing over to light rainfall before ending entirely tonight.

In general, most sites across the area received .01- .30 inches of measurable rainfall/melted down snow.

Our next best chance for more snow will come Tuesday night through Wednesday this week.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oh baby it's cold outside!

Winter Storm Warning in effect for all of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles through Tuesday evening... Very light snow will continue across much of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

Snowfall rates will generally be light...less than half of an inch per hour. Temperatures across the region are already near zero and should continue to slowly fall through mid morning. In addition...strong northerly winds of 25 to 35 mph with occasional gusts to 45 mph will continue.

These strong winds will lead to areas of blowing snow...and wind chill values well below zero. Wind chill values through 10 am will range from -15 to -30 degrees. Visibilities could be near or below 1 mile due to blowing snow through this time as well.

Areas of blowing snow through the day. Windy. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Total snow accumulation 2 to 3 inches. Highs around 15. North winds 25 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent. Lowest wind chill readings 15 below to 25 below zero in the morning.

Live: Amarillo Area Air Traffic Radio

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