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The latest news for Abilene and the surrounding communities.

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.

Human attempts to control the weather go back millennia.

There was fire, of course, for keeping warm when winter's cold takes hold, but taming the sweltering heat of the summer is a much newer pursuit. 

We've updated our programming schedule in response to an audience survey conducted in June. View the full schedule online. 

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.

Abilene: Storybook Capitol Of America

Jun 8, 2018
Hayden Baggett / KACU

Abilene is the Storybook Capital of Texas, and Storybook Capital of America.  The Children's Art and Literacy Festival unveiled a new statue and kicked off the 7th annual event with a downtown parade.  KACU's Hayden Baggett has more.

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:

Rolando Diaz / Courtesy of the artist

FaithWorks of Abilene will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a fundraising event on April 24th.  Organizers asked Abilene Christian University alum Rolando Diaz to create a work of art during the Heart & Soul of FaithWorks event.  Diaz's work has been featured in a wide number of galleries and is included in dozens of private collections.  Diaz will paint during the event, and the piece will be auctioned off by the end of the night.

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