Amarillo area Our Town briefs for May 26, 2024

Identify Amarillo roadway needs with interactive map

Amarillo residents can help the City of Amarillo determine priorities and needs to help make city streets and roads safer with a unique interactive feature – the Amarillo Safe Streets and Roads Interactive Map.

The map allows residents to pinpoint areas that can qualify for future grant funding under the Safe Streets and Roads for All Program. The funding can include additional street lighting to pedestrian-friendly crosswalks and more. The map continues planning efforts originating from City Plan: Vision 2045. All who use city streets and roads – from motorists to cyclists to bicyclists to walkers and runners – can provide feedback.

The map, along with an introductory video can be found online at: .

Texas A&M Forest Service encourages wildfire preparedness ahead of summer

COLLEGE STATION — As Memorial Day unofficially kicks off summer this weekend, Texans should prepare for wildfires.

The potential for wildfire activity will be limited to the Trans Pecos and western High Plains regions of the state this weekend. Hot and dry conditions will dry vegetation in these areas and elevated fire weather may support the ignition of small wildfires.

“Though recent rains have helped decrease wildfire potential across most of the state, we encourage everyone to be careful with outdoor activities this holiday and throughout the summer,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “It only takes a few dry, windy days for wildfire potential to increase.”

As we head into summer, keep the following tips in mind to help prevent wildfires:

Always check with local officials for burn bans and other outdoor burning restrictions. Pay attention to local guidelines regarding open fires, campfires and outdoor activities that may pose a fire hazard.

Never leave your grill unattended. Wind gusts may blow embers into dry vegetation, potentially starting a wildfire. Ensure your grill is kept clean of excess grease to prevent flare-ups. Place your grill in an open space away from tall or dry grass, shrubs, woodpiles or other flammable materials. Also avoid placing your grill underneath a tree or on a wooden patio deck. After you are finished grilling, allow time for the coals in your grill to completely cool. Smoldering coals may reignite and release embers, which may be blown into nearby vegetation.

If you are pulling a boat or camper, make sure the tow chains are properly connected and not dragging on the roadway creating sparks.

Park in designated spaces and avoid driving over and parking on dry grass — the heat from your vehicle can easily ignite the grass.

For more information about protecting your home, visit .

Runoff election in 108th Judicial District set for May 28

The Republican Primary Runoff Election in Potter County takes place May 28. Early voting took place May 20-24. Sam Brown Silverman and Tim Pirtle are the two candidates on the ballot for District Judge, 108th Judicial District.

Election Day hours will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the following locations:

  • Bushland Fire Station No. 1, 17600 Indian Hill Rd., Bushland

  • Casey Carpet One, 3500 I-40 West Frontage Rd., Amarillo

  • Cornerstone Outreach, Fellowship Room, 1111 N Buchanan St., Amarillo

  • Eastridge Lanes, 5405 E Amarillo Blvd., Amarillo

  • Kids, Inc., Mary E Bivins Room, 2201 SE 27th Ave., Amarillo

  • Northwest Branch Library, Meeting Room, 6100 SW 9th Ave., Amarillo

  • Pride Home Center, 3503 NE 24th Ave., Amarillo

  • Santa Fe Building Ticket Office, 900 S Polk St., Amarillo

  • Tri-State Fairgrounds, Commercial Exhibit Hall, 3301 SE 10th Ave., Amarillo

  • Trinity Baptist Church, 1601 I-40 W, Amarillo

  • Trinity Fellowship Willow Creek Campus Fellowship Hall, 503 E Willow Creek Dr., Amarillo

  • United Citizens Forum, 903 N Hayden St., Amarillo

For more information, see the Potter County Elections Office website, . For more information on state races, see .

The POW and MIA Flag is presented at the 2023 Memorial Day ceremony at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial Center.
The POW and MIA Flag is presented at the 2023 Memorial Day ceremony at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial Center.

Birdwell to be guest of honor, speaker at Memorial Day service at TPWM

This year's Memorial Day Ceremony will be on Monday, May 27, beginning at 11:30 a.m., at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial, 4111 S. Georgia St. Guest of honor and main speaker will be Dwight Birdwell, Medal of Honor recipient, who was born in Amarillo and raised in Borger until the family moved to Oklahoma when he was 3.

Also attending will be Congressman Ronny Jackson. He will say a few words prior to our honored guest.

You are also invited to visit the war memorial center to see the display of Medal of Honor recipients from the Texas Panhandle to include the following: William “Billy” Dixon, plus 5 others from the Battle of Buffalo Wallow, Hemphill County in the Texas Panhandle; Charles H. Roan, WWII from Claude, Texas and name sake of the Ussery Roan Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo; John C. “Red” Morgan, WWII, attended Amarillo College and West Texas State College, the movie ’12 O’clock High’ was made from his story; Thomas E. Creek, Vietnam, name sake of the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center in Amarillo and now Dwight Birdwell, Vietnam, Amarillo and Borger native.

We invite you to visit our museum Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Our telephone number is 806-350-8387. Follow us on Facebook and visit our website

AgTexas Farm Credit awards $12,000 in local scholarships

On the evening of April 11, AgTexas Farm Credit Services brightened a lot of smiles by awarding $12,000 in scholarships at its ninth annual AgTexas Ag Youth Scholarship awards program at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Amarillo.

AgTexas honored nine graduating high school seniors who have excelled in their 4-H clubs and FFA chapters, each with a $1,000 scholarship. The $9,000 is part of the almost $270,000 in scholarships and gift cards awarded through the education initiative that AgTexas created nine years ago. Combined with $16,000 in graduate-level scholarships, AgTexas has awarded almost $52,000 this spring.

Those scholarship recipients are Cole Hinds (Stratford FFA), Gage Whatley (Groom FFA), Molly Babcock (Groom FFA/Groom Town & Country), Jayci Nickels (Farwell FFA), Justin Hill (Moore County Community Club), Kade Lawrence (Canyon FFA/Randall County 4-H), Laynee Jennings (Sudan FFA), Payge Davina (Olton FFA), and Whitney Kennedy (Panhandle FFA/Carson County 4-H). In addition to the nine Panhandle-area $1,000 scholarship winners, the 24 regional honorees each received a $100 gift card.

This year’s Ag Youth Distinguished Alumni Scholarship recipient for the Panhandle region is Jett Bradford, a 2022 Panhandle High School graduate, who received a $3,000 scholarship to help pursue a degree in animal science with a minor in ag business at Texas Tech University. He was recently elected as an Ag Council Representative for Texas Tech’s Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.

AgTexas also introduced a new addition to the Ag Youth program – the Ag Youth Leader of the Year Award – the association presented a $1,000 check to Jeff Klose, FFA advisor at Canyon High School. In his 21 years of service, he has coached 78 FFA students to win state championships and compete for national titles in various categories. AgTexas also presented a matching $1,000 donation to benefit the Canyon FFA chapter.

Community invited to Kingdom Bash on June 8

On Saturday, June 8, Yes Lord will be hosting Kingdom Bash, a free event to the community, at 630 N Bivins.

There will be a meal provided (while supplies last), live music with artists such as KG, Da Young Disciples, Aye its Aaron, Olivia Gabriella, Young Bro and more. The event will start at 4 p.m.

For more information, contact Hannah Burton at (806) 674-1203 or .

WT faculty celebrate promotion and tenure; 10 retirements also marked

CANYON — Fifteen West Texas A&M University faculty members have been recognized for outstanding performance by being awarded tenure and/or promotion for the 2024-2025 academic year. This total includes six faculty members awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor and nine promotions in academic rank to professor.

“We are proud of our colleagues who are celebrating this well-deserved career milestone,” said Dr. Neil Terry, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. “We have confidence that these faculty members will continue to contribute at a level of excellence that is critical to WT’s mission.”

The faculty members recognized include award of tenure and promotion to rank of associate professor:

  • Dr. Nancy Garcia, associate professor of communication;

  • Dr. Lorna Strong, associate professor of sports and exercise sciences;

  • Dr. Ray Barbosa, associate professor of education;

  • Dr. Adam Weiss, associate professor of education;

  • Dr. Audrey Meador, associate professor of mathematics; and

  • Dr. Vinu Unnikrishnan, associate professor of engineering.

Promotion to professor:

  • Dr. Bridget Guerrero, professor of agricultural business;

  • Dr. Tim Steffens, professor of rangeland resource management;

  • Dr. Leslie Ramos Salazar, professor of business communication;

  • Jon Revett, professor of art;

  • Dr. Betty Coneway, professor of education;

  • Dr. Janet Hindman, professor of education;

  • Dr. Erick Butler, professor of engineering;

  • Dr. Nathan Howell, professor of engineering; and

  • Dr. Kenneth Leitch, professor of engineering.

Retiring faculty members include, for Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences: Dr. John Pipkin, Regents professor of agriculture, Paul Engler Professor of Animal Science and director of WT’s Equine Industry Program; and Dr. David Sissom, Regents professor biology and former department head of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Chemistry and Physics; College of Engineering: Dr. Rajan Alex, professor of computer science; Dr. David Parker, associate professor and extension specialist in water engineering: and Dr. Daniel Seth, professor of mathematics; Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities: Dr. Helen Blackburn, Yvonne Franklin Chair in Music; Sandra Davidson, instructor of Spanish; RayLene Dysert, instructor of English; Dr. Robert Hansen, Regents professor of music and former director of the School of Music; and Dr. Susan Martin Tariq, professor of percussion.

WT Spirit tryouts set for June

CANYON — Energetic students looking to join West Texas A&M University’s growing spirit team can bring it on at upcoming tryouts. WT Spirit will host WT Game Day Team tryouts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 7 at the First United Bank Center.

Video submissions are sought from those interested in joining the Bucky mascot team. Followup interviews will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. June 8 via Zoom. And tryouts for the WT Maroon Motion Team will be held from 9 a.m. to noon June 15 at the Virgil Henson Activities Center.

Currently, WT Spirit performs at volleyball, football and basketball games and makes special appearances at New Student Orientation, Buff Branding, Start Strong Week and Family Weekend, among other events.

For questions about tryouts, call 806-651-2313 or email

This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Amarillo area Our Town briefs for May 26, 2024