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    A member of the Amarillo College Board of Regents resigned during the board’s meeting Tuesday at AC’s Moore County campus in Dumas.

    A former board chairman who has served since 2003, John Hicks said he was resigning to move to Pilot Point.

    “We’re certainly sorry to see him go,” Board Chairman Don Nicholson said.

    “He will be missed, but we bid him a very fond farewell and wish him nothing but the absolute best.”

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    West Texas A&M University’s Department of Communication is seeking nominations for its Communication Hall of Fame, which recognizes alumni who graduated from WT communication studies, speech communication or mass communication programs in 2009 or earlier.

    Nominees will be recognized during the Communication Hall of Fame Banquet on Oct. 10.

    Nominations will be accepted through July 15 by email to Trudy Hanson at thanson@wtamu.edu.


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    The winner of Amarillo’s Regional Spelling Bee will test her spelling prowess this week in national competition.

    Krishna Gandhi, 14, of Mooreland, Okla., will compete against 281 spellers in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., starting today.

    Gandhi, an eighth-grader at Mooreland Junior High School, placed first in Amarillo while competing against spellers from 18 counties and three states in March.


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    The city of Amarillo has reported a case of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a lung infection caused by strains of the virus found in rodents.

    The patient with hantavirus has recovered, and the source of his or her infection is unknown, health officials said.

    Symptoms of hantavirus include fatigue; fever and muscle aches, especially in thighs, hips, back and shoulders; headaches; dizziness; chills and abdominal problems.

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    A robber cut an Amarillo College student with a knife on AC’s Washington Street campus, AC spokesman Joe Wyatt said.

    A male student told AC’s police department of the aggravated robbery, which took place about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday in the Fisk parking lot east of Amarillo Museum of Art.

    The robber, a man in his early 20s, approached the victim and threatened him with a knife, Wyatt said.

    The robber cut the student, took the student’s pocket knife and fled on foot.

    AC police urge students and faculty to report any suspicious activity to AC officers at 806-371-5911.


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    Dr. Matt Richardson is moving on from the city of Amarillo after serving as director of the public health department since 2005, said Vicki Covey, deputy city manager.

    Richardson has accepted a position as the director of the Denton County Public Health Department, with Friday being his last day with the city, Covey said. Assistant Director Casie Stoughton will begin serving as interim director next week, she said.

    The city has posted the position, with the goal to fill it as soon as possible, Covey said.

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    Amarillo Crime Stoppers is seeking information that would lead to locating Spring Jenson Rodriguez, who is wanted on two Randall County bond forfeitures of possession of a controlled substance and burglary of a habitation, police said Thursday.

    Amarillo Police ask that anyone with information on Rodriguez contact Amarillo Crime Stoppers at 806-374-4400 or submit an online tip at amapolice.org.


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    Region 16 Education Service Center has selected Rod Schroder of Amarillo Independent School District as the 2014 Region 16 Superintendent of the Year.

    “He certainly deserves the recognition as a quality leader, not only in Amarillo ISD, but also in the Panhandle area,” Region 16 Executive Director John Bass said.

    Candidates are nominated by their school boards, and a finalist is selected based on leadership skills, improvement of their school district’s education quality, commitment to public involvement and building good employee relations.

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    The executive director of the Texas Panhandle Chapter and the Eastern Texas Panhandle Chapter of the American Red Cross will be leaving the organization this week.

    Steve Pair, who started working at the Red Cross in November 2012, has accepted a position as an account manager at APLX Advertising, he said.

    Pair’s last day at the Red Cross will be Friday, he said.

    “I really do believe the mission of Red Cross is critical to the community, and it’s been awesome to be a part of it,” Pair said.

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    Repairs and replacement of items lost in a Thursday night fire at Mesa Verde Elementary School gym may cost between $150,000 and $200,000, Amarillo Independent School District Chief Financial Officer Les Hoyt said.

    Amarillo ISD continues to assess the damage from the fire, which struck the gym’s storage rooms and coaches’ offices, Hoyt said. All areas of the building suffered smoke and water damage, he said.

    The fire, which began about 8 p.m., didn’t spread to the school’s main building, and fire officials reported no injuries.

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    West Texas A&M University’s has earned a three-year, $371,700 grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase technology to research water availability and biofuels.

    Students and faculty from WT and Amarillo College will use the 400 MHz solid-state NMR spectrometer for research and instruction.

    “This equipment can be transformative for both WT and AC,” Dean of WT’s College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering Don Topliff said.

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    Canyon High School’s Future Farmers of America, sponsored by Jeff Klose, has for the first time received the Golden Horizon Award, ranking it the No. 1 chapter for student engagement in the Texas FFA program.

    Canyon High students Rhett Bain, Jacob Bell, Tanner Bolton, Coleman Curry, Grainger Fischbacher, Georgia Hansen, Layne Jones, Colton Shaw and Bretton Strickland received Lone Star FFA degrees.

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    Amarillo Fire Marshal’s Office investigators found arson to blame in a fire at a local elementary school gym that caused an estimated $250,000 to $400,000 in damage two weeks ago, fire officials said Friday.

    The Amarillo Fire Marshal’s Office and Amarillo Police Department’s Juvenile Division arrested two boys, 11 and 13 years old, in connection with the fire at Mesa Verde Elementary School, 4011 Beaver Drive, fire officials said.

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    West Texas A&M University has received a $160,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for equipment to aid environmental and agriculture research.

    The grant will go toward the purchase of a mass spectrometer-flame ionization detector, which faculty will use for researching human and animal health, as well as environmental cleanup and protection, according to a university news release.

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    The Bushland Independent School District Board of Trustees lowered its tax rate during a special meeting Tuesday evening, but rising property values may cause some homeowners’ taxes to go up, Superintendent Don Wood said.

    The approved rate, $1.29 per $100 in property value, kept last year’s maintenance and operation rate of $1.04 and lowered its debt service rate .44 cents to 25 cents per $100 of valuation, Wood said.

    The board lowered the tax rate because of an increase in property values within the district.

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    Area banks and students will undertake the Build-a-Bank project, a fundraising effort for scholarships, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday at 2401 Hobbs Road.

    FirstCapital Bank Texas, FirstBank Southwest and Caprock High School students will build 30 donation banks for Amarillo Area Foundation’s ACE Scholarship Program.

    With a goal of raising $2 million, the banks will be placed at businesses and schools, where people can drop off donations for the program.

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    The former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and other leaders in the field will speak today and Thursday at an event hosted by Xcel, Amarillo Area Foundation and the No Limits No Excuses program in Amarillo.

    Speakers include Tom Luce, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education; Texas Tech Chancellor Sen. Robert Duncan; state Sen. Kel Seliger and state Reps. Ken King, Four Price and John Smithee.

    Topics will include recent education-related legislation, postsecondary success and the relationship between education and a living wage.

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  • 10/08/14--20:04: Police find missing child
  • An investigation into a possible child abduction was resolved Wednesday afternoon when a man discovered a relative had taken the man’s 2-year-old boy from Amarillo Family Physicians Clinic, 1215 S. Coulter St. About 5:20 p.m., police responded to the call in which a man thought the child had been abducted from the clinic parking lot, Lt. Jimmy Johnson said.

    Amarillo police and Potter County deputies searched for the child while a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter searched from above.

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    Police arrested a man on drug and burglary charges stemming from a Tuesday afternoon call.

    About 2:10 p.m., officers arrived at the 1100 block of North Tyler Street on a report that a man with no shirt might have been attempting to enter a residence through the window, police said.

    As officers approached the front of the house, they saw a man matching the suspect’s description walking toward the alley from the backyard with a white bag, police said.

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    Dumas Independent School District’s Board of Trustees has named a lone finalist following a two-month superintendent search.

    During its meeting Wednesday night, the board named Monty Hysinger, superintendent of Clarendon Independent School District, as the district’s lone finalist, Dumas Board President Johnny Schmucker said.

    Schmucker said Hysinger’s work in Clarendon, including raising test scores, technology, transportation and other programs, as well as his knowledge of Dumas schools, set him apart.

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