On January 15, 2013 Amarillo lost a valuable and productive member of our community. 27 year old Andrew Jared "AJ" Swope was killed in a two-vehicle accident near the Canadian River on U.S. 287 as he traveled to Dumas.
Swope was a 2007 graduate of West Texas A&M University where he majored in Broadcast Journalism. While there, he was very active in the broadcast program including being an intern for Maroon Productions and Program Director for KWTS. After graduation, he was employed by the local ABC affiliate as an on air Reporter, Anchor, and as Assignments Editor.
In 2009, AJ Swope became the Executive Director for Class 4 Winds. He was often seen by the public on Amarillo media outlets with issues pertaining to the ever-changing wind energy business... but to us in the media, he was known as the "go to" guy for information on any stories dealing with wind power, turbines, transmission lines, and the future of energy in our area.
AJ was also known as a local celebrity with his band AJ Swope And The Last Train Home. Their album Hotel St. James was released in 2012 and the band played many local music venues in and around the Texas panhandle.