Here are just a few things in Chad’s Pile that you will hear on Lubbock’s First News this morning. Give Chad your feedback on the steaming topics.

1. Merry Christmas!

Well friends, today is our last show before Christmas. For me, it's my final show of the year and I want to spend a little time talking about this past year. First, thank you. Thank you for tuning in and listening to the show. Without you guys none of what Lubbock's First News achieved this year would have happened. LFN continues to be the #1 morning talk show. Our numbers here on the website keep going up and every week it seems as though we get more feedback from you. That's awesome and it pumps me up for what 2012 will bring.

2011 was a busy year. It seemed like every day the Obama administration was giving us something new to talk about. That's not necessarily a good thing, but it is what it is. 2011 also brought us debates on bounce houses, Tent City, feeding the homeless, taxes vs fees, Texas Dream Act, Sanctuary Cities, and so much more. A year that brought a disastrous drought in Texas coupled with wildfires. A tsunami in Japan reminded us just how powerful nature is.

The top news story in the country seems to be the death of Bin Laden, but what about here in Lubbock and on the South Plains?

Indeed so much has happened this year and it's been a pleasure discussing it with you. Thank you for inviting LFN into your homes, cars, and business. Merry Christmas, and let's have a great 2012!

2. Man up! (link)

Mitt Romney has fired back at Newt Gingrich. On MSNBC, Romney took on Newt Gingrich's assertion that Romney's campaign had turned ugly.

“This is politics and if you can't stand the heat in this little kitchen, wait until the Obama hell's kitchen turns up the heat,” Romney said on Fox and Friends, responding to Gingrich's criticisms of the Romney campaign's negative ads.

Romney's sentiment echoes one of his ads, which argues that the presidential candidate and former House Speaker's baggage would weigh him down against President Obama. Gingrich has referred to Romney's campaign tactics as "disgusting."

“There’s nothing that any of these ads, by any of the candidates, are showing by Speaker Gingrich that President Obama would not put out with his billion-dollar money that he’s going to have down the road,” Romney said on Wednesday.

Romney isn’t the only one with ads slamming Gingrich. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who is polling third heading into Iowa, questioned Gingrich’s record as well–calling him a serial hypocrite in a campaign ad.

Nice comeback from Romney. Though, I'm not convinced he'd be able to take Obama's heat.

3. A chimney designed for Santa (link)

Here is your cute story of the day.

A worried letter from six-year old Leo Park sparked a mammoth operation to test what is believed to be the world's first chimney specifically designed to accommodate Santa Claus.

The little boy's parents are having a house custom built and when Leo viewed the plans he was concerned that the chimney wasn't big enough for Father Christmas and his famous belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly.

As he was penning his traditional letter to Santa, Leo decided to also write a heartfelt missive about the chimney design problem to Jeremy Paxton, who owns the estate on which the new house is being built.

In childish scrawl the letter reads: "Dear Mr Paxton, I am worried that my mummy's house does not have a big enough chimney. I think Santa Claus will get stuck. Please can you help. Love Leo Park."

Paxton, founder and owner of luxury holiday home development Lower Mill Estate in the southwestern English region of the Cotswolds decided to commission a special formula to satisfy Leo's concerns.

Obviously size was the key consideration to ensure Santa won't get wedged tight on his way to stuffing the stockings and so Paxton enlisted a mathematician to take on the challenge and save the jolly old elf from turning red for the wrong reasons.

The Santa-friendly formula looked at risk factors of chimney entry, the size of St Nick's girth versus the width of the chimney at its narrowest point.

To test what they said was the perfect chimney, Paxton enlisted the help of a stand-in Santa Claus in full padded outfit, a crane, a harness and winch to put the new chimney through its paces.

Leo was invited to watch as the great experiment got underway.

Merry Christmas!

These and many more topics coming up on Thursday’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App.