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Heather Claborn

News Director

Heather Claborn joined KACU as news director in January 2018.  She oversees daily newscast and feature reporting and works with KACU’s news anchors to develop newscasts.  She also conducts two-way interviews, reports for newscast and feature stories and maintains the station’s social media and website content.

Claborn began working in public radio in 1998 as a fill-in "All Things Considered" host at WFCR in Amherst, Massachusetts. She then accepted a position with Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR) in Hartford, Connecticut as the "Morning Edition" host. Over the years, Claborn assumed more responsibility and shifted roles to become the daily news editor. She also continued reporting, filing feature stories for NPR news programs and contributing regularly to NPR’s business and hourly newscasts. During her time with with the Harford station, Claborn produced television news reports for CPTV, and served as a panelist on CPTV’s election debates. Heather Claborn won awards from the Associated Press and the Society for Professional Journalists in Connecticut.

After moving to Illinois in 2006, Claborn taught Radio News and Interviewing and other journalism and communications classes at Olivet Nazarene University.  Kankakee Community College began operation of public radio station WKCC in 2007, and the fledgling station added Claborn to its staff soon after. She hosted the daily morning news programming and produced two-way interviews and feature reports for the station. She also contributed reports to the statewide collaborative of pubic radio stations.

Claborn earned her BA at the University of North Texas, majoring in Radio, TV and Film and Political Science. During her college years, she worked for the short-lived KEWS, all-news, FM radio station in Dallas, and the USA Radio Network.  She also interned for KDFW FOX 4 news in the Fort Worth office.

 Claborn returned to central Texas in 2017 with her husband, David and children Cal and Molly. She enjoys the landscape and scenery that is unique to this part of the state, and is acclimating to the difference in the weather.

Ways to Connect

Hayden Baggett / KACU

Senator Cruz still leads in the polls, but his lead has shrunk from around 10 points in May and June to single digits in two polls out this week.  A new Quinnipiac poll gives Cruz a six point lead, while a Texas Lyceum Poll puts Cruz up by just two points.

AISD  school board member Samuel Garcia welcomed O'Rourke to the stage.  The crowd's enthusiastic response reflects O'Rourke's growing momentum, even in rural parts of Texas like Abilene.

A trash fire at a residence in Zephyr got out of control Monday, and hot windy conditions pushed it toward a dynamite plant.  Officials initially issued an evacuation order for a 15 mile radius, before shrinking the evacuation to a one-mile radius.   Zephyr, a town about 90 miles southeast of Abilene...with a population of less than a-thousand, relies on a volunteer fire department.  As the flames spread toward the Orica dynamite plant they called in help from the Texas A&M Forrest Service, which sent an air-attack plane to scout the fire.

U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Lubbock
KACU

The legislation called the Goodlatte 2 bill failed spectacularly in the U-S House of Representatives Wednesday.  Republicans had formed a compromise bill hoping to find an agreement on immigration reform after a previous version failed to pass the House.  But even before the bill was called for a vote, observers predicted its demise.  Texas' 19th District Congressman, Jodey Arrington spoke with KACU's Heather Claborn shortly after casting his own "No" vote.

Heather Claborn / KACU

2018, could be another banner year for Texas' $13 billion a year wine industry. Producers are optimistic that Texas vineyards will out-produce last year’s record 1.8 million cases of wine.  Wine America produced a state by state indepth report on the industry last year.  Texas' totals surprised industry observers.

In the 1980s there were just a couple dozen wineries in Texas. Now, the state is home to almost 350 of them.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Beto O’Rourke started his weekend with a run in Killeen, joined by about 50 supporters.  He then moved on to Temple and Waco where he and his U.S. Senate campaign volunteers knocked on doors.  KACU’s Heather Claborn caught up with him at a town hall meeting in Eastland Saturday afternoon.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Shane Price wants to continue serving the residents of Abilene as it's Place One Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem.  His nine years in office give voters a track record to examine.  He says fixing the city's streets is just one of a number of issues that need attention in Abilene.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Clinton Embry is a newcomer to Abilene's political scene.  He has a lot of questions about how and why the city collects and spends tax dollars and fees.  And he says he wants to serve on the city council to make sure Abilene is being fiscally responsible and accountable to residents.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Bruce Kreitler is the incumbent running for reelection to Abilene's 2nd Place City Council seat.  Residents have been able to look at his record over his first three years in office.  And he says he wants to continue working on the issues that first prompted him to run for city council.  

Heather Claborn / KACU

Jack Rentz is one of two challengers running for the Place 2 City Council seat in Abilene's  May 5th election.  Rentz says he'll bring his experience as a teambuilder to Abilene's City Council.

Sydnee Petty / Alex Terrell Russell Campaign

Alex Terrell Russell is challenging Councilman Bruce Kreitler for the Place 2 seat on Abilene's City Council.  She believes she can bring a new perspective to City Council and represent young professionals and others who may feel their voices aren't being heard.

Texas Health and Human Services / Texas Department of State Health Services

Unofficially, Public Health Officials refer to spring as "Rabies Season".  Animals are more active with eachother and with people and pets.  Brandie Walsh, Health Administrative Specialist with the Abilene-Taylor County Health Department says Texans should take precautions with unknown animals, and report any bites to local officials.

For information on what to do after encountering a wild or rabid animal check out the website for the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health Department:

Heather Claborn / KACU

The City of Abilene wants to turn Kirby Lake into a destination for field trips, families and nature lovers.  The City Council's approved moving forward with the first phase of the project; and they're working with a local organization that believes the revitalized lakeside will enhance quality of life in the city.  KACU's Heather Claborn has more.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Energized from March For Our Lives rallies across the nation, thousands of teens say they're ready to stay active, working for tougher gun laws. Last weekend's demonstrations were inspired by high school students in Parkland, Florida, survivors of the Valentine's Day shooting where 17 people died.  We have the view from four of Saturday's marches in Texas. We start in Dallas, with K-E-R-A's Bill Zeeble.

Heather Claborn

The state of Texas has confirmed more than 19,000 cases of the flu this season.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared this the worst flu season in a decade.  KACU’s Heather Claborn reports local health officials say flu activity is higher than normal, and and are hoping a vaccine clinic this weekend will help lessen the virus’s impact.

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