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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Annual Polk Street Cruise set for Saturday

Annual Polk Street Cruise is this Saturday- starts at Region 16 building at 58th and Bell and heads downtown. There will be hundreds of classic cars and folks lining Polk. Be there or be square!

LINK: Panhandle Council of Car Clubs 

Polk Street Cruise 2009 photos

Monday, July 23, 2012

Robbery chase ends in crash at gas pump

CONNECT AMARILLO : AMARILLO, TEXAS -- The suspect from an early Monday morning robbery led police on a chase down Interstate 40, police said.
It ended when police said the driver ran into a gas pump at I-40 and Ross.
At about 7:25 a.m., police responded to a possible robbery at the Toot-N-Totum in the 2600 block of Amarillo Boulevard East. Police said a black male in his 30s wearing a blue shirt and denim shorts along with white tennis shoes had robbed the store.
He wandered around the store for a few minutes before taking money from the register, police said. He fled in a White Cadillac with a black top.
Police said a witness was able to obtain a possible tag number from the suspect vehicle. An unmarked officer then observed a vehicle with a similar tag number traveling south on Ridgemere.
The unmarked officer followed the car until a marked unit could initiate a traffic stop, police said.
Police said the driver refused to stop and a chase ensued toward I-40. It continued on I-40 westbound until the vehicle exited at the Ross-Osage exit.
The driver cut through a parking lot at the northeast corner of a gas station parking lot. He crashed into one of the gas pumps causing a fire, police said.
A fire started and the unidentified suspect was taken into custody. He was first transported to the hospital for evaluation but was then booked into the Potter County Jail for Robbery and Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle.
This incident remains under investigation and police said this robbery could be linked to the one at 1600 Amarillo Boulevard East from earlier in the morning.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Amarillo doctor accused of killing Lubbock doctor

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — The family of Dr. Joseph Sonnier III had gathered in Louisiana for his funeral when they heard the news: Police had accused another doctor of paying to have him killed.
The doctor, Thomas Michael Dixon, was arrested this week and is accused of paying a business associate in bars of silver to kill Sonnier, who was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend.
Family members who spoke with Sonnier in recent weeks say they knew an ex-boyfriend of Sonnier's girlfriend was causing the couple problems. The family's focus now, according to Sonnier's sons, is to pursue justice.
"Although there were many tears shed, there was also a sense of hope that our father's murder has been solved," Sonnier's two sons, Joseph IV and James, said in an email.
Dixon and the business associate, David Neal Shepard, are jailed on $10 million bail each.
Sonnier, 57, the chief pathologist for Covenant Health System in Lubbock, was found shot and stabbed July 11 inside his home in the West Texas city.
Five days later, police released an arrest warrant affidavit that accused Dixon — a well-known plastic surgeon in Amarillo, about 120 miles north of Lubbock — of paying Shepard three silver bars worth a total of $9,000. Shepard's roommate told police that Shepard had confessed to the crime after a suicide attempt.
Dixon has been described as having some sort of business relationship with Shepard, though Lubbock Police Capt. Jon Caspell said he didn't think Shepard was working in Dixon's medical practice. Police believe Sonnier and Dixon may have known each other separate from the woman, though family members believe the two doctors did not.
Joseph Sonnier IV, one of Sonnier's sons, said in an email that none of his family knew either Dixon or Shepard specifically.
Shepard told his roommate that he broke into Sonnier's home through a window and shot him several times with a gun Dixon had given him, the affidavit said.
An attorney for Dixon, Dan Hurley, has said the doctor will fight the "untrue" accusations. Police said Wednesday that Shepard did not yet have an attorney.
A former business partner of Dixon, Dr. Rouzbeh Kordestani, told the Amarillo Globe-News that Dixon could at times have trouble controlling his temper. But, Kordestani said, he didn't believe Dixon was violent.
"(Dixon has) had anger issues in the past where he's yelled at people, this and that, and . takes a couple of days and comes back, he's OK," the chief of surgery at Northwest Texas Healthcare System said of Dixon who also had been a friend. "But not like this."
The two met while completing residency programs at the University of Oklahoma in the early 2000s. In 2004 they set up a practice in Amarillo, though by two years later their friendship and partnership had "soured," and the business relationship ended.
"I haven't spoken to Mike since 2006, even though I'm the chief of surgery and he's in my department," he told the newspaper. "It's ridiculous. We would pass each other in the hallway and we would just look away. The split was that harsh."
Kordestani didn't return messages left by The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Sonnier's family remembered him at his Monday funeral as a caring doctor, loving son and avid dancer who traveled to events across the country. Joseph Sonnier IV said his father's dance instructors attended the funeral and, at his request, performed a waltz as a tribute.
Joseph and James Sonnier's mother, Becky Gallegos, died two years ago in a suspected marital dispute with her then-husband, Juan Gallegos. Juan Gallegos turned the gun on himself and later died in a hospital. Joseph and James Sonnier, in their email, said both of their parents died "under equally tragic, yet totally unrelated circumstances."
"We have supreme confidence in the Lubbock law enforcement system and know that justice will be served," they said in their email.
Merchant reported from Dallas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Foreign buyers eyeing the Osprey ...

(Reuters) - Several countries are competing to become the first foreign buyer of the U.S. military's V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft, which flies like a plane but takes off and lands like a helicopter, according to the Marine Corps colonel who runs the program. Colonel Greg Masiello said officials from more than 12 countries, including eight air chiefs, got demonstration flights at the Farnborough International Airshow this week, as well as at the Royal International Air Tattoo, a huge military airshow in England last weekend. "We're ready, and the language that we're hearing from several of the customers is that they're ready and they're vying to be ... the first. That's not a bad position to be in," Masiello told Reuters in an interview as a Marine Corps version of the plane flew overhead. He said a first foreign purchase could be announced within the next year. Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Japan are among countries interested in buying the V-22, or Osprey, built by Boeing Co and Textron Inc's Bell Helicopter unit, Boeing officials told reporters earlier this week. Canada has also been mentioned as a possible buyer. Scott Donnelly, chief executive of Textron, told Reuters on Tuesday that Israel and the United Arab Emirates were the countries most often named as early buyers. Boeing and Bell have been trying to drum up foreign interest in the aircraft for years. But potential buyers have been waiting to see how the plane did in combat, as well as because of its relatively high purchase and use prices -- both of which are dropping. Washington is increasingly looking to foreign military sales to keep the cost of weapons systems from rising as the Pentagon cuts its own orders to strip $487 billion from its planned defense budgets over the next decade. In the case of the V-22 Osprey, Washington hopes foreign orders will keep the production line running past 2018. News of heightened interest in the V-22 comes amid reports of the plane's use in combat as the fleet approaches 150,000 flight hours and continued improvement in its readiness rate, Masiello said. Recent tests also proved the plane could be used on an aircraft carrier and underscored its ability to travel over 2,600 miles round-trip to carry out a simulated rescue. But there are also negatives, including two crashes this year and concerns raised by Japanese officials in Okinawa, who are concerned about the plane's use off their island. Compared with a helicopter, the plane is relatively expensive at about $67 million a copy. But it has far greater payload capabilities and much longer range. Masiello said his office was also pitching the plane for use by the Navy when it completes an analysis on how to replace its current fleet of C-2 aircraft, which are used to ferry supplies to aircraft carriers. The V22 attracted a great deal of interest at the Dubai air show last November and has turned out to be darling of this year's Farnborough air show as well. Masiello said Boeing and Bell would produce 39 V-22s this year and a peak of about 42 next year before tapering off production in subsequent years. That means foreign orders could easily be incorporated into the production plan. "All our indications are that this isn't chatter. There are serious talks and negotiations" with potential foreign buyers, Masiello said, adding that the possible orders would be for eight to 12 planes. Boeing, Bell and the Marines have also begun negotiating a second five-year, multibillion dollar deal for 98 copies of the plane, down from 174 planes in a first, $11 billion order. Masiello said the Pentagon had received the companies' offer. But he declined to give any pricing details, except to say that it included a pledge to ensure at least 10 percent in savings in the multi-year agreement versus a single-year deal. (Additional reporting by Paul Ingrassia; Editing by Dan Grebler)

AEDC makes deal with Bell to build Relentless plant in Amarillo The Amarillo Economic Development Corp. board today approved a $4 million investment in a new facility to build Bell’s 525 Relentless helicopter, a project expected to create 100 jobs, officials said. Bell also will pump $22 million into the project, officials said, and construction on the 249,000 square foot facility is expected to begin later this year. The 16-seat aircraft, which will be built in Amarillo, will feature five rotor blades and room for two flight crew members. Bell CEO and President John L. Garrison said earlier this year the 525 Relentless is the world’s first super-medium transport copter, which was designed for the oil and gas business, search and rescue operations and emergency medical service transport.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wiener National races in Amarillo this weekend!

CONECTAMARILLO: This weekend Amarillo will find out who has the fastest wiener dog in town. Dachshunds will race to the finish in the 17th annual Wiener National, Amarillo Regionals, at the Sox Stadium. The winner will get $250 and a trip to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, CA for the 2012 Wiener National Finals. In the past, dozens of "hot dogs" have dashed across a 50-foot track to the finish line. Any Dachshund is eligible to participate and registration is free. Sign up for the race begins July 7, at 9:00 am and preliminary races start at 9:30 am. The final race will held at 7 pm sometime during the

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Canyon, Texas 4th of July Parade photos

Click to enlarge:
Check back often as we add photos throughout the holiday! (C) Steve Douglass

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jet Blue pilot not guilty - insane.

AMARILLO -- The Federal District Court in Amarillo has found Clayton Osbon not guilty only by reason of insanity. 

Court documents say that evidence based upon the psychological evaluation and testimony of Dr. Robert Johnson, the Osbon was suffering from a severe metal disease or defect that impaired his ability to appreciate the nature, quality, or wrongfulness of his behavior at the time. 

If Osbon was found guilty, he could have been put in prison for up to 20 years and a fine not to exceed $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

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