2011 has been a year full of fires, extreme weather and so much more. Here is a list of the top stories as determined by you on ConnectAmarillo.com powered by Pronews 7.
1. Wildfires engulf the Panhandle
The biggest news story of 2011 was the devastating wildfires. Infernos engulfed the High Plains. The cities of Amarillo, Dumas, Guymon, Borger, Canyon and many others fell victim to the blackening thickness. Millions of dollars in property and land were lost. At least one life, the one of a firefighter from Cactus, was lost.Much of Panhandle will always remember February 27, 2011. It's the day when the skies turned grey and the Panhandle experienced some of the worst wildfires in history. Click here to see some of the jaw-dropping photos as sent in by Pronews 7 viewers.2. Extreme Weather Wow! 2011 was a year full of extreme weather. June 26, 2011 was the hottest day ever in Amarillo. The city hit a high temperature of 111 degrees.
Other notable days were a high of 109 on June 24, as shown in the graphic above. July was officially the hottest month ever for Amarillo and the state of Texas. In that month, the average day and night temperatures were the highest ever recorded. Storm Search 7 Chief Meteorologist said July 2011 was seven degrees warmer than usual breaking more records.
56 days in 2011 were hotter than 100 degrees. The old record was 28 days and Amarillo doubled it in 2011. Childress also set a record of having 99 days hotter than 100 degrees.3. Undercover video shows cattle beating It's graphic, hidden-camera video and it was shot at E6 Cattle Company near Hart in Castro County. It revealed shocking and malicious cruelty to calves. It's video you simply won't believe. The undercover investigation was conducted by animal advocacy organization, Mercy For Animals. The investigation was during three weeks in March. The video shows calves being neglected, abused and bludgeoned to death with hammers and pickaxes. All of these violate Texas anti-cruelty laws.Click here to see that story and video.4. PETA controversy in Turkey, Texas Controversial animal rights group PETA asked the town of Turkey, Texas, to change its name to 'Tofurky' for Thanksgiving. A letter was sent to Turkey Mayor Pat Carson back in November that urged him to change the name of the town in time for Thanksgiving. Residents of the city became outraged at the thought. Click here to see that story and video. Pronews 7's story was seen across the country and on CNN. 5. Promiment Borger family involved in drug conspiracy It's one of the biggest drug conspiracies uncovered in the Panhandle in recent years. A promiment, business-owning family out of Borger came under fire back in November after a Federal Grand Jury indicted them in a large drug distribution case. According to U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaa, nine individuals in the Amarillo area were arrested on various drug charges. Those charges were recently outlined in unsealed federal criminal complaints, Saldaa said. For the entire story and coverage from Pronews 7 on this, click here.