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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SWAT standoff in Amarillo ends peacefully


Update 2:00aM
Police now have the man in custody who barracaded himself in a home for several hours late Monday night into early Tuesday morning.

It was just after 6:00 Monday evening when police were dispacted to the 6100 block of Palmetto, near the intersection of 34th and Bell. According to Amarillo Police, a female occupant was not able to get out of the house. She advised police the male subject, who was still inside the home, had threatened her with a gun.

Officers then made contact with the man who said he had weapons inside the home. He told police he was not coming out.

The residence was secured as SWAT and hostage negitiators were called in.

Communication was made and after several hours, at around 2:00 a.m. Tuesday, the man came out of the house. He was taken into custody without further incident.

He was taken to the Randall County Jail where, according to police, he will be booked on a charge of Aggravated Assault.

The man's identity is not yet being released.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Space shuttle trainer finds new home in Amarillo!

Click to enlarge:

NASA pilots Dick Clark and Ken Cockrell pose after the last flight of NASA 946 Space Shuttle trainer on delivery to Texas Air & Space Museum here in Amarillo. Wonder gift in honor of Rick Husband - our hometown astronaut who gave his life on Columbia -STS-107,

The Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) is a NASA training vehicle that duplicates the Space Shuttle's approach profile and handling qualities, allowing Space Shuttle pilots to simulate Shuttle landings under controlled conditions before attempting the task on board the orbiter.

Because NASA has discontinued the shuttle program, the training
aircraft is no longer needed.

The donated craft was delivered to the Texas Air & Space Museum shortly before noon today.

Museum Board President Ron Fernuik told the Amarillo Globe-News
that the aircraft is a significant gift to the city because it is "bringing one of our own home."

The training aircraft was upgraded from its original production
version - a Grumman Gulfstream II - to simulate the space shuttle.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Amarillo rail tank fire!

Video and story courtesy KVII.

FIRST ONLINE by Pronews 7

A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for parts of downtown Amarillo after a fire near the railroad tracks.

Thick black smoke and fire was seen billowing from the area near the 1500 block of S. Johnson just before 11:30 am on Friday.

Captain Wesley Hall with the Amarillo Fire Department told Pronews 7 that the fire was in the rail yard, but he was unsure of what exactly was on fire when we spoke with him.

A Pronews 7 photographer on the scene heard Amarillo police announce evacuations because it was a hazmat fire.

Scanner traffic indicated that there were multiple hazardous materials in the train on track 13 that was on fire, but that has not been confirmed.

Amarillo police announced evacuations for the 1 block radius and some area beyond the 1500 block of south Johnson area, along with a 1/2 mile evacuation area that is downwind from the fire.

Scanner traffic indicated that those within a 1/4 mile radius should shelter in place.

Main streets were also blocked off by emergency responders until the fire can be contained.

Update 3:30p
Three Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad employees remain in a local hospital for evaluation after a hazardous materials fire that prompted evacuations near downtown Amarillo Friday afternoon.

BNSF Spokesperson Joe Fraust tells Pronews 7 the employees are being evaluated because of the rail car fire that contained iso-pentane, a liquid petroleum that is highly flamable. One has already been released.

Approximately 200 residents were evacuated, 80 structures in total.

"Police came down the street with their loudspeakers on," said evacuated resident Matt McIlory. "We left and went to a friend's house."

The evacuation order was lifted at 2:30 but the BNSF rail yard remains closed. Hazmat crews continue to work on the clean up. Fraust said the team will be on hand for a while.

Additionally, train traffic in the area has been halted until the clean up is completed.

Update 2:35p
Pronews 7 has confirmed the evacuation order has been lifted. Residents are being allowed back to their homes. Amarillo Fire Department Hazmat teams have determined there is no further risk to the area. At the BNSF railyard, a controlled access remains in effect.

Update 2:20p 
Buchanan Street is now closed due to the fire. I-40 traffic is being re-routed to Loop 335.

The evacuation order is still in place, police said.

Those outside the evacuation area but within the area of I-40 between Polk and Ross and SE 10th between Polk and Ross, you are asked to turn off heaters and air conditioners and remain in your residence and home.

The National Weather Service is reporting a possibility of increased wind speeds this afternoon.

Update 2:00p
Maverick Boy's and Girl's Club has canceled its after school program. Its facilities have been evacuated and won't be able to pick up kids from school.

Update 1:30p
An evacuation continues for those who live in a one-fourth mile radius of SE 17th Street and Johnson Streets. That includes residence/businesses between Canyon Drive (Interstate 27) and Garfield Street from Interstate 40 North to 10th Street.

People who live one-fourth mile to the north of the fire are asked to shelter in place.

Amarillo Police Department says the cause of the fire is unknown at this time and Amarillo Fire Department and BNSF hazmat teams are on site.

Interstate 40 remains opened but Interstate 40 to downtown is closed.

Update 12:43p
No schools are being evacuated because of the rail car fire, Holly Shelton, spokesperson for AISD said. The District is askign parents to NOT attempt to pick up their children. Students are safe. Glenwood, Sanbord and Landergin Elementary are sheltering-in-place due to the fire.

Update 12:30p
Captain Wes Hall of the Amarillo Fire Department tells Pronews 7 that residents are being asked to "shelter in place." That means residents within one mile down wind of the fire are asked to stay in place, close all windows and doors, turn off air conditioners and wait it out.

Officials are unsure of exactly what's burning but it is believed that hazardous materials are burning.

The fire is nearly out which gives hazmat crews the opportunity to investigate and determine the specific hazmat.

LINK TO SCANNER AURIO HERE! - Courtesy Webbfeat Productions.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Amarillo citizens fed up with petty theft - carry scumbag back to store after theft!

Amarillo man arrested for theft after customers chase him down and carry him back to store.

At approximately 11:00pm on September 14th, officers were dispatched to the Toot-N-Totum at 45th and Bell reference a Theft. When officers arrived, they spoke with the clerk who told them that a young W/M subject had grabbed a 15 pack of beer and ran out the door without paying for it. A customer in the store observed the theft take place and ran after the suspect, where he caught him in the parking lot.

As a second customer was coming to help, the suspect got up and took off running again. This time both witness/customers took off after the suspect. They caught him a short time later and was carried back to the store and held for police. The suspect is identified as Zachary Cole Parker W/M 19 DOB 3-24-92 of Amarillo. He was later transported and booked into Randall Co

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September showers ...

September is here and with it comes some much needed showers. Here are a few shot just West of Amarillo last night. They didn't drop much rain but they sure were pretty.

-Steve Douglass

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NASA Space Shuttle Trainer To Retire In Amarillo Tomorrow ...

UPDATE: Due to a mechanical problem the shuttle trainer will not be arriving until September 19th at the soonest.

AMARILLO - NASA officials have given one of its four space shuttle training aircraft piloted by Amarillo native Rick Husband to a museum in his hometown. It is scheduled to arrive shortly after 11:00 Thursday, September 8.

Because NASA has discontinued the shuttle program, the training aircraft is no longer needed. The donated craft is scheduled to be delivered to the Texas Air & Space Museum.

Museum Board President Ron Fernuik told the Amarillo Globe-News that the aircraft is a significant gift to the city because it is "bringing one of our own home ( ."

Husband, commander of the Columbia final mission, and six other astronauts died Feb. 1, 2003, when the shuttle broke up while re-entering Earth's atmosphere.

The training aircraft was upgraded from its original production version - a Grumman Gulfstream II - to simulate the space shuttle.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bastrop is burning ...


- The most destructive wildfire on record in Texas showed no signs of slowing down Monday, destroying 25,000 acres in Bastrop County and 476 homes, more houses than any single wildfire before and more than all other fires this year combined, according to the Texas Forest Service.

With more than 60 new wildfires raging across the state, Gov. Rick Perry left the campaign trail Monday in South Carolina to address the public and organize requests for more federal aid.

Closer to Houston, a fire in Magnolia burned 20 homes and more than 1,600 acres, and was threatening subdivisions in Montgomery and Grimes counties late Monday. It had moved southwest into Waller County last Monday.

It was one of several fires to hit the area, straining state and local resources as officials focused on the most dangerous blazes. One firefighter was injured and one fire engine burned in blazes in the Magnolia area, said Lt. Dan Norris, spokesman for the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities did not yet know how much of the most dangerous fire had been contained Monday, but planned to continue fighting it "as long as necessary," Norris said.

Strong winds and dry conditions fanned the flames and aided the blaze's rapid growth, forcing the evacuation of more than 150 homes. Montgomery County officials were encouraging evacuations from the intersection of FM 1774 and FM 1488, about 42 miles northwest of Houston, up to the Grimes County line, an official said.

Magnolia fire

The Magnolia fire, located off FM 1774 and FM 1488, jumped FM 1488 late Monday and forced further evacuations, although some families were being allowed back to their homes. The Magnolia Independent School District canceled classes today because of the fires. Evacuation shelters were being set up throughout the area, including at Magnolia High School.

Another fire in the area had burned 100 acres and was 80 percent contained, Norris said. It had destroyed one structure and caused no injuries after 50 homes were evacuated.

A fire covering about 100 acres was burning in Oak Ridge North late Monday.

A fire near Nacogdoches that started Sunday night raged to 300 acres Monday and forced 60 families to evacuate their homes, said Ralph Cullom, a spokesman for the Texas Forrest Service. That fires grew with strong gusts of winds and fed off of dry conditions on the ground.

"This drought we're having is just unprecedented," Cullom said.

No injuries have been reported in Bastrop, but two people were reported killed in a North Texas fire Monday. A woman and her 18-month-old child died when a fast-moving fire near Gladewater, east of Dallas, set their mobile home on fire and they were unable to escape.

The Bastrop County Complex Fire, pushed by strong winds and fed by plenty of dry grasses, shrubs and trees, steadily moved south Monday and expanded throughout the day. It jumped the Colorado River twice.

"We will be working days on end," said Mike Fisher, the Bastrop County Emergency Management Coordinator. "The fire is so dynamic we really have no idea where it is."

'Lives at stake'

Perry said the wildfire burning in the central part of the state is "as mean looking" as he's ever seen.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Amarillo gets Rick Husband's Space Shuttle Trainer!


A space shuttle training aircraft once piloted by Rick Husband is taking one last flight — to Amarillo.

Because NASA has discontinued the shuttle program, the training aircraft is no longer needed, said Richard Clark, chief of aircraft operations at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The space agency had four training aircraft and gave one to the Texas Air & Space Museum, 10001 American Drive, near Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

NASA officials are scheduled to deliver it Thursday from Houston, and a few days later the aircraft will be available for public viewing, museum operations manager Richard Warner said.

Warner said all shuttle pilots, including Husband, trained using the aircraft.

Husband, an Amarillo native, was commander of the space shuttle Columbia’s final mission. Husband and six other astronauts died Feb. 1, 2003, when the shuttle broke up while re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.

Museum Board President Ron Fernuik said the aircraft is a significant gift to the city because it is “bringing one of our own home.”

“This gives us a tangible part of the space program in Amarillo,” he said. “It allows us to be a part of what Rick Husband was and what he was trying to do.”

The aircraft was upgraded from its original production version — a Grumman Gulfstream II — to simulate the space shuttle, Fernuik said.

The pilot’s side of the cockpit was revamped to emulate the controls and visuals an astronaut would use, he said.

Live: Amarillo Area Air Traffic Radio

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