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The latest news for Abilene and the surrounding communities.

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.

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.

Lauren Decker / Jody Arrington District Representative

Congressman Jodey Arrington has been lobbying his colleagues to keep funding in the federal budget for the B-1, stationed at Dyess Air Force Base.  He talked with KACU's Haley Remenar about the budget, his efforts to get safety net protections for cotton farmers included in the Farm Bill, and his desire to see tougher work requirements for SNAP, which accounts for the majority of Farm Bill funds.

Haley Remenar / KACU

A new housing project in Abilene aims to help patients receiving regular outpatient treatments who live too far away to drive back and forth from home to the hospital. The non-profit building the community on Hickory Street, just north of Hendrick Health System, offers extended stays in tiny houses to patients free-of-charge.  KACU’s Haley Remenar took a tour of Houses for Healing’s first cottage, which may serve as a model for communities around Texas and the nation.

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.

Investigators Find More Evidence After Bombs Are Discovered Near San Antonio

Mar 20, 2018
Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

A string of bombings in Austin this month have the city on edge. Two people have been killed and four others hurt. The most recent explosion in Austin - the fourth -- was Sunday. Two men were sent to the hospital.

The Austin Police Department, state, and federal agencies are racing to figure out who's behind the bombings.

Today , the radius of their investigation grew. Early this morning, a package exploded at a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas...outside of San Antonio. And that was just the beginning. Texas Public Radio's Joey Palacios starts our story.

1876. It was a time of rebirth in Texas. Or maybe more precisely – time to get rid of those Reconstruction-era carpetbaggers.

"When the North sent folks down to Texas to govern as governors, Texans felt like these king-like people came down from the North and ran roughshod," says Sherri Greenberg, a clinical professor with the LBJ School of Public Affairs. "So when Texans wrote the Texas Constitution, this very populist document with as much power as possible vested in the people and at the lowest, most local level of government."

When I moved to Austin in 2002, one of the first things I did to acclimate myself to Texas was visit the Bullock Texas State History Museum

I remember standing on the second floor, staring at the statue of the man whose name was chiseled onto the side of the building. Then I started to read his history on the plaque at the base of the statue to see just how long he'd been governor or U.S. senator.

That's when I discovered Bob Bullock had only been lieutenant governor.

When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was the state's attorney general, he had a memorable description for his old job.

"My job description has been simplified over the past four years," he said during a speech in 2013. "Because what I do is I go into the office, I sue the federal government and then I go home."

Abbott was purposely oversimplifying his daily work schedule, but defending the state's laws is a key element of the job.

The Texas Legislature writes the state budget. The governor signs it into law. But with a single action, the Texas comptroller can kill the entire appropriations process.

But before we get to that, let's start with the real burning issue: How do you pronounce comptroller? Do you pronounce it controller or comptroller?

The name, job description and spelling originally come from England. The full title there is Comptroller General of the Receipt and Issue of Her Majesty's Exchequer and Auditor General of Public Accounts.

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.

When Texans – mostly farmers and ranchers – sat down to write the state Constitution in the 1800s, they didn’t see the need for an elected agriculture commissioner.

That oversight was quickly remedied.

Wikipedia

Texas will host the first primary of the 2018 election season.  Texans have until Monday, February 5th to register to vote.  Freda Ragan, Taylor County Election Administrator, shares information on what people need in order to register and to vote.

  https://www.taylorcountytexas.org/212/Elections

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