This week's community news includes new library hours, 'Ocean Bound' exhibit, more

Amarillo Public Library hours are changing; locations all on same schedule starting Oct. 1

The City of Amarillo’s 2024 fiscal year will bring a change of schedule to the Amarillo Public Library. Beginning Oct. 1, all five APL locations will be open on the following schedule:

  • Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Sunday, 2 to 6 p.m.

The new timetable makes no change to weekend hours at any location, but significantly changes Monday through Thursday hours of operation. On the current schedule, the Downtown Library and Southwest Branch are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, while the East, North, and Northwest Branches have been open from noon to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The Amarillo Downtown Public Library is one of five library locations in the city.
The Amarillo Downtown Public Library is one of five library locations in the city.

Director of Library Services Amanda Barrera says the new schedule will call for adjustments in some areas. “It will be a tighter schedule for some evening programs to ensure things are wrapped up before the library closes, but the neighborhood branches will now have more options for planning events in the evening."

The first day library patrons will notice the change is Monday, Oct. 2, when all libraries will open at 9 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Library Coordinator of PR and Programming Stacy Clopton.

Turn Center hosts golf classic at Amarillo Country Club

The Turn Center will welcome 124 golfers to the Amarillo Country Club Golf Course on Monday, Sept. 25 for the Turn Center Golf Classic; 31 teams are expected to participate in a four-man shamble format with a 1 p.m. shotgun start on the award-winning course. Players will have lunch and warm up at 12 p.m. For additional fundraising, there will be a Tiger Drive at Hole X and opportunity-to-win prizes.

As a non-profit providing pediatric therapy services in the Texas Panhandle region, Turn Center raises funding annually in a variety of ways to support its programs. Proceeds from the Turn Center Golf Classic will benefit children’s therapy services including physical, occupational, speech, and feeding therapies, as well as mental health counseling for families, and Turn Center’s unique family support offerings which include adaptive sports and inclusive holiday events.

Amarillo Sod Poodles announce Dave Elmore Sod Poodles Foundation

On Sept. 16, the Amarillo Sod Poodles announced the launch of the Dave Elmore Sod Poodles Foundation, which will seek to provide awareness, support, and engage in charitable activities serving three main focuses: to support youth sports; to support Amarilloians in need specifically through the facilities that assist them; and to support areas in need throughout the Texas Panhandle region.

Dave Elmore founded Elmore Sports Group (ESG) in 1969 and for decades was the largest ownership group in Minor League Baseball, a news release says: "With Dave as the catalyst, Elmore Sports Group strived to ensure that each organization put the community first – always. With more than a million fans visiting the franchises annually, Elmore established a legacy in the world of sports. Through unwavering commitment and a relentless spirit, he helped to provide all these communities with world-class entertainment, countless opportunities, and a platform for millions of families to create special memories together while continuing to push and grow the sports he so deeply loved."

The Dave Elmore Sod Poodles Foundation will continue the support of the Amarillo and Texas Panhandle communities that was started when the club was first announced to come to Amarillo in 2018. The Sod Poodles Skyfest Spooktacular jerseys that will be worn against the Frisco RoughRiders were auctioned off with all proceeds going to the foundation to be distributed back to the community.

DHDC dives into learning about the ocean with a new exhibit

The Don Harrington Discovery Center invites the community to the opening of a new traveling exhibit, "Ocean Bound." The public opening on Sept. 23 signaled the kick-off of a season-long exploration of the science of watersheds, aquatic animals and our ocean.

"Embark on a journey through our watersheds to see how everyone’s actions on land affect our ocean. Make it rain in a 3-D watershed model!" DHDC says in a news release. "Pilot a full-size 'submersible' from mountain stream all the way to the ocean, discovering eye-popping aquatic species and habitats along the way! Be a biologist and find out fun facts about these animals and their environments. Guide 'water' safely through a hazardous maze — but watch out for oil, mined metals and animal waste! Turn cranks to divert 'pollutants' as they travel through stormwater drains in an 8-station interactive ball machine. Curl up with a book or play with early childhood exhibits inside the Riverside Clubhouse. Ocean Bound presents fun environmental science for the whole family."

Four themed exhibit clusters invite visitors to learn about watersheds and the ocean, and the aquatic animals and ecosystems depend on them: Using Science to Understand Watersheds; Recognizing Threats to Watersheds; Finding Solutions and Implementing Change.

"Ocean Bound" will be on display through Jan. 7. The exhibition was created by the Sciencenter of Ithaca, New York, with funding from NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Contact the Don Harrington Discovery Center or visit their website at for details.

The Canadian River Beach Club hosting benefit for Perryton Sept. 30

The Canadian River Beach Club is hosting a fundraising benefit for the Perryton tornado rebuilding efforts on Saturday, Sept. 30th at Jones Pavilion in Canadian.

"It is critical that we continue to support the Perryton community with both financial donations andcontinued awareness of the mountain the community is climbing in their rebuilding efforts. Anestimated 400+ homes and 90+ businesses were destroyed or damaged by the tornado," a release says.

The group kicks off the event on Friday, Sept. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Stumblin’ Goat Saloon with music by Drew Hill & Quincy Webb. Saturday’s festivities start with a poker run at 10 a.m. departing from the Cattle Exchange. Around 5 p.m., they will serve up Calf Fries and Chicken Strips with all the fixins at Jones Pavilion. Gary P Nunn and Tyler Halverson will sing, and a live auction will take place. There is no entry fee for the meal or music, but donations will be accepted. Sponsorship opportunities are also still available.

"We hope folks from around the Panhandle will come party for a purpose and support our neighbors in Perryton!"

For more information, follow them on Facebook at, visit, or call or text 806-680-6758.

Mental Health Legislative update and briefing scheduled Sept. 27

The public is invited to a legislative update and briefing event featuring Nelson Jarrin, senior vice president of state policy with the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI). The session will provide insights into the latest developments in mental health policy and is hosted by the Panhandle Behavioral Health Alliance.

The event will be held Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Commons at Central Church of Christ, 1401 S. Madison, west door entrance. Attendees should arrive by 11:30 a.m. to network over lunch, with the briefing to begin at 12 noon.

The event is free to attend, but an RSVP is required by email to by noon on Monday, Sept. 25.

Jarrin will share insights from this year’s Texas Legislature and provide a clearer understanding of current mental health policies. He is a seasoned attorney with an extensive background in health care law and policy spanning over a decade.

Integrated pest management coordinator training set Sept. 27 in Amarillo for staff in public schools

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be hosting a training for all integrated pest management coordinators in Texas public schools on Sept. 27 in Amarillo. Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management program specialist, Dallas, will be the instructor.

The training will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Amarillo, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd. Registration cost is $155 per person. To register, visit

The course will allow new school IPM coordinators to receive six hours of educational training. A total of five Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units are also available for licensed pesticide applicators — two general, one laws and regulations, and two integrated pest management. According to state law, all schools must adopt, implement and maintain a school integrated pest management plan. School districts also must appoint a coordinator who needs to complete an approved training.

For more information, contact Hurley at

Amarillo Police Department looking for faith-based organizations to participate in Faith and Blue weekend

The Amarillo Police Department is still looking for any and all churches and other faith-based organizations who would like to participate in the 1st Annual Faith and Blue weekend in Amarillo.

This is a nationwide event that began right after COVID-19 and was started to improve relationships and communication between police and their communities.

APD would love to work with any faith-based group to have an event at your place of worship or community center. If you would like to participate, contact the APD PIO office at 806-378-4257 or email at

Civics 101 Series offered by League of Women Voters at Amarillo Public Libraries

Are you hesitant to vote because you don’t think you know enough about city, county, and state government? Do you need a refresher on the voting process? In an answer these questions, the League of Women Voters of Amarillo has launched a series of programs called Civics 101. The series began Saturday, Sept. 23.

Historically, voting participation is very low in Texas, especially in local elections, LWV says. The League hopes that this series will provide useful information about how to become an informed voter and how government impacts our lives — making more Amarillo-area residents feel confident about the importance of their vote.

Civics 101 will be presented on the following Saturdays (9 a.m.-noon) at the following Amarillo Public Library locations:

  • Oct. 7: North Branch Library, 1500 NE 24th Ave.

  • Oct. 21: East Branch Library, 2232 SE 27th Ave.

  • Nov. 4: Downtown Library, 413 SE 4th Ave.

During the three-hour sessions, there will be segments on city and county government; state government; voting information; and more. Refreshments will be served during breaks, and prizes will be awarded periodically. For more information on this series, please contact Judy Tolk at 806-372-2858 or Claudia Stravato at 806-626-2452.

City of Canyon asks for public comment on zoning ordinance

CANYON – The City of Canyon Planning & Development Department will be hosting a public meeting for residents and stakeholders to review the final draft of the Zoning Ordinance Update. This document impacts land use regulations, housing and business development, and infrastructure.

“The zoning ordinance update is an important event that marks a significant milestone in our ongoing community involvement that will shape the future of our city,” said City of Canyon Planning & Development Director Lucas Raley. “As we near the completion of this comprehensive update, resident and stakeholder feedback is incredibly important.”

The zoning ordinance was last updated in the 1980s, so 50 years' worth of updates will be made with this new ordinance. Residents wanting to give their opinion on the updates can do so in three different ways:

  • Public meeting – Tuesday, Oct. 3 at the Cole Community Center (300 16th St., Canyon, TX 79015) from 12 to 1 p.m. or 5:30 to 6:30 pm. This in-person meeting will have a short presentation and a chance for document review, questions and feedback.

  • Zoom – Residents unable to attend in person can sign up to attend an online only meeting at on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. on Zoom. The link to sign up for a Zoom option can be found at

  • Emailed comments – Online commenting is also available for residents wishing to submit their thoughts or questions online. Comments online can be made through Friday, Oct. 6.

The Zoning Ordinance is available for public review by going to Those with questions regarding the zoning ordinance or the public meeting can contact Canyon Planning & Development Director Lucas Raley at or by calling (806) 655-5000 ext. 228.

TxDOT kicks off 'Save Me With a Seat' campaign during National Child Passenger Safety Week

AUSTIN – Car seat training is the focus TxDOT’s “Save Me With a Seat” campaign, which kicked off in September to coincide with National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 17-23.

Around 46% of all car seats are misused as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign invites parents to schedule a free car seat safety check by visiting and entering their ZIP code to find the nearest TxDOT traffic safety specialist in their area. TxDOT offers free car seat safety checks year-round.

During September, the “Save Me With a Seat” campaign will include the “Are You Ready for Takeoff?” interactive educational experience and will make stops in eight Texas cities. The campaign’s kickoff event in Houston features retired NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, a father of five who is passionate about safety and educating children. The experience will remind parents of the importance of always buckling up their children.

With the “Save Me With a Seat” campaign, drivers are reminded that Texas law requires all children under 8 — or shorter than 4 feet, 9 inches — to be in a car seat whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle. Failure to properly restrain a child can result in a ticket of up to $250. In 2022, 72 children younger than 8 years old died in traffic crashes in Texas, and 16 of those were unrestrained at the time of the crash.

This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Amarillo area Our Town briefs for Sept. 24, 2023