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The latest news for Abilene and the surrounding communities.

The McMurry University marching band is about to perform internationally for the fourth time. Thirty-four band members leave Abilene on December 28th, bound for England where they’ll perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade.

On a recent evening the band gathered in the final hour of daylight for a last rehearsal before the trip. Director David Robinson reminded the group that technical details are important but the secret to making an impression is attitude.

The lunch hour at Lucy’s Big Burger in Abilene is usually a rush but it will be even crazier on Thanksgiving Day.

About 100 volunteers will join Lucy’s owners Robert and Amy Graven to serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Based on the crowds of past years, the Gravens are expecting to feed about 600 folks.

“We have more desserts usually than we know what to do with,” Robert Graven said. “We want to be able to just feed them until they pop, until they can’t hold it anymore.”

State Rep. Susan King is temporarily suspending her state senate campaign to receive in-patient medical treatment for depression. According to a press release, Bryan Eppstein said King has been battling depression for sometime. She hopes to file her State Senate candidacy paperwork to be on the ballot in the 2016 Republican primary, but will delay final decision until closer to the December 14th primary filling deadline. According to Eppstein the only scenario that would keep King from resuming her campaign would be if her doctors and family advise against returning too soon. 

Students See Value In Court Visit

Nov 13, 2015

Abilene history was made Friday morning when the Texas Supreme Court visited the city for the first time. The makeshift courtroom in Abilene Christian University’s Hunter Welcome Center was packed with attendees as the State’s Highest Court heard two cases.

ACU graduate student John Alan Archer was impressed that each judge and attorney seemed set on being the most informed person in the room.

It really is pretty incredible how brilliant these people are and how much preparation goes into their work,” Archer said.

Texas Supreme Court Visits Abilene

Nov 11, 2015

Seeing the State’s Highest Court in action usually requires a trip to Austin, but on Friday, the Justices will descend upon mid-sized Abilene, Texas.  Many people, like myself, may have not been aware that the Supreme Court ever left Austin to hear cases.

“The Texas Supreme Court travels in Texas twice a year – usually in the fall and the spring, and they visit law schools, universities and a few other places,” said Neal Coates, ACU’s Chair of the political science department.

Students Represent Home Countries Through Dance

Nov 6, 2015

A world of dance is coming to West Texas this weekend when the Ethnos Culture Show opens Friday and Saturday evening at Abilene Christian University. KACU’s Emily Guajardo connects with ACU students from Burundi, South Korea, Honduras and Mexico to hear why they choose to represent their culture through dance.

They call it  ‘The Forgotten War’ because it just couldn’t compare to the scale of World War II, which preceded it or the controversy of the Vietnam War, which came after.

According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, between 1950 and 1953, more than five million Americans fought in the Korean War. They defended South Korea by fighting against North Koreans who were backed by the Chinese and the Soviet Union.

Dyess Air Force Base is under new leadership after a change of command ceremony Thursday. Col. Michael Bob Starr relinquished command of the 7th Bomb Wing to Col. David M. Benson in front of an audience of airmen and their families at Dyess. Col. Starr served as commander since February 2014.  Col. Benson says he’s excited to be in Abilene where the good relationship between Dyess and the Big Country is legendary throughout the Air Force.

Doug Peters is the new CEO for the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and while he doesn’t arrive in town for a few more weeks he has already started working for Abilene. 

On his first day of work he reviewed the Chamber’s business plan and focused in on the coming challenges and priorities of his new job. He’s finishing up his last weeks in Fayetteville, North Carolina before moving to west to work in a state that he’s always held in high esteem.

Seven months ago Sherry Habel’s life changed forever. The petite 57-year-old discovered a lump in her breast, and then learned she had breast cancer and she was almost to stage 3. Habel said the shock of hearing her diagnosis was the hardest thing she’s ever faced.

She wasn’t one to keep up to date on self-exams or mammograms, looking back she sees how lucky she was to have caught the cancer when she did. Now she encourages other women to be more aware than she was.

A convoy of more than 40 restored military vehicles stopped in Abilene on Wednesday during a one-month-long drive from Washington D.C. to San Diego. The Military Preservation Association is marking the 100th anniversary of the completion of the Bankhead highway by driving the 2015 Bankhead Highway Historic Military Convoy across the country following the historic Bankhead route.

Four Dyess Air Force Base Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Group died Friday in Afghanistan when their C-130J crashed during initial takeoff from Jalalabad Airfield. Dyess officials are not releasing the names of the Airmen until 24 hours after the families have been notified.

Col. Stephen Hodge, Commander of the Airlift Group, is asking the Abilene community to continue offering thoughts and prayers for service members.  During a press conference on Friday he described the atmosphere on base as "overwhelming and humbling."

People were packed inside Miguel's Mex Tex Café waiting to meet Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday as he stopped in Abilene on a nine-city tour to update Texans about the accomplishments of the 84th Legislature.

He started out by thanking Republicans in Taylor County for their work during his race for governor.

“Not only did you ensure that I won Taylor County, you also set Texas history because you gave me a higher percentage of vote than any governor has ever received as a Republican in Taylor County Texas,” Abbott said.

State Representative Susan King told a room full of supporters Monday that she is the most qualified person to serve in Senate District 24 in part because of her experience working as the chairman of the House Defense and Veteran’s Affairs Committee.    

King made her announcement at the Center For Contemporary Arts in downtown Abilene. She’s the seventh person to announce for the senate seat currently held by incumbent Troy Fraser. The district stretches nearly 250 miles covering parts of 17 counties.

One by one the walls are going up in the College Heights Friendship House and by Friday the home located at 1500 block of Orange Street will close to done. It’s Abilene’s third Friendship House from the non-profit, Connecting Caring Communities. The previous two are in the North Park and Valley View neighborhoods.