Amarillo area Our city in brief

City of Amarillo Urges Citizens to Celebrate July 4th Safely and Legally

The City of Amarillo (COA) wants residents to celebrate the 4th of July safely and legally. Due to hot, dry and windy conditions in Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle, fireworks greatly increase the risk of fires, even wildfires, which can cause destruction and danger in seconds, according to a City press release.

“Residents of Amarillo and residents of Golden Spread are only too aware of the speed and dangerousness of the fires,” said COA Fire Marshal Jacob Diaz. “Fireworks pose a significant wildfire risk – and wildfires can threaten an entire neighborhood or community.”

Equally important, residents of Amarillo should be aware that fireworks are not only dangerous, but illegal within the city limits. It is illegal to possess, sell, or shoot fireworks within the city limits of Amarillo, even on private property. Violators face a fine of up to $2,000.

“The protection of the Amarillo community is just too important and the risk posed by the fireworks is just too great,” said Amarillo Police Department Chief Martin Birkenfeld. “We want Amarillo residents to know that fireworks are illegal within city limits to help protect the entire community.”

Within the city limits of Amarillo, it is illegal to shoot fireworks into public rights-of-way and ditches. No public space is permitted for the use of fireworks. Fireworks are also illegal in public areas of Potter and Randall counties.

Fireworks are legal on private property in Potter and Randall counties with permission from the owner.

For more information, contact Dave Henry, Communications Manager for the City of Amarillo, at (806) 378-5219 or email [email protected]

Fugitive with Amarillo links added to Texas 10 most wanted lists

AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added two fugitives to Texas’ 10 most wanted lists. Raynaldo Farias Tijerina of San Antonio is on Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list. Cecil Colby Smith of Dallas, who also has ties to Longview, Amarillo and Oklahoma State, is on Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list. Both are considered armed and dangerous.

Cecil Colby Smith

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to Tijerina’s arrest and up to $3,000 for Smith’s. All advice is guaranteed anonymous.

Smith, 40, has been wanted since August 2021, when the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office issued an arrest warrant for him on charges of child abuse by injury. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office also issued a warrant in December 2021, for failure to register as a sex offender. In 2002, Smith was convicted of breaching a protection/assault/harassment order and was sentenced to four years probation. In 2003, Smith was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and sexual assault of a child for incidents with a 13-year-old girl and was sentenced to five years in a TDCJ prison. In 2011, Smith was convicted of murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to eight years. He was released from prison in 2017.

Smith is 6 feet tall and weighs around 185 pounds. He has tattoos on his left cheek, neck, chest, both arms, both wrists and left hand.

Tijerina, 44, is affiliated with the Tango Blast gang. He has been wanted since October 2021, when the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office issued warrants for his arrest for invasive visual recording and possession of child pornography. The Texas Board of Probation and Paroles issued an arrest warrant for Tijerina the following month for a parole violation. In 1995, Tijerina was convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) prison. In prison, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to an additional 15 years. Tijerina was released on parole in January 2017.

Tijerina is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs approximately 195 pounds. He has tattoos on his face, neck, abdomen, left arm, and left leg. He has brown eyes but can wear colored contacts.

Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, offers cash rewards to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of one of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Fugitives or Sex Offenders. So far in 2022, the DPS and other agencies have arrested 32 people on the lists, including 14 gang members and 18 sex offenders. Additionally, $54,000 in rewards were paid for tips that resulted in arrests.

To be eligible for cash rewards, tipsters MUST provide information to authorities using one of three methods:

Call the Crime Stoppers Helpline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).

Submit a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information on, then clicking the link under their picture.

Submit a Facebook tip by clicking the “SUBMIT A TIP” link (under the “About” section).

Ashcraft of the TTUHSC School of Nursing named a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), driving innovation in the field of aging, has awarded Fellowship status to Alyce S. Ashcraft, Ph.D., RN, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship at Texas Tech University Health Sciences (TTUHSC) School of Nursing. Ashcraft has been recognized for her outstanding and ongoing work in the field of gerontology, according to a press release.

The GSA is the world’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research,

training and practice in the field of aging.

Much of Ashcraft’s research focuses on the importance of effective communication of long-term care, resident signs and symptoms by nurses to physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants with the aim prevent transfer to hospital.

Texas Panhandle War Memorial Center Honors Korean War Anniversary

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when North Korea, supported by the Soviet Union and China, invaded South Korea, supported by the United States. General Douglas MacArthur commanded the American forces. The fighting ended on July 27, 1953 with an armistice which created the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea; however, a state of war technically still exists today. About three million people died during the war. The United States suffered 54,246 military dead and 103,248 wounded (Defense Casualty Analysis System). 1,789,000 US soldiers served in the Korean War (Defense Casualty Analysis System).

The Panhandle lost 87 servicemen during the war. There are still a few Korean War veterans in the Panhandle. If you know one, thank him for his service.

Our next series of conferences/seminars will take place on Saturday July 2 at 1:30 p.m. at the War Memorial. Renowned local historian Dr. Paul Matney will speak of his father’s (Captain Carl P. Matney) experience landing in Salerno, Italy on September 6, 1943. Capt. Matney was commanding officer of Company G, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Division. The conference/seminar is free to the public and made possible by a grant from the Mary E. Bivins Foundation.

We invite you to visit our museum Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Our phone number is 806-350-8387. Follow us on Facebook and visit our website

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