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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

Pantsuit Politics Podcast

A poll released just before Thanksgiving last year showed that just 15% of Americans looked forward to talking about politics around the table with their loved ones, while about 40% said they hoped to avoid the topics.  It’s become hard for many people to engage in political conversations with people they disagree with as more and more people are narrowing their sources of information, looking for news that they already agree with.  

Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15th.  Seniors will have until December 7th to enroll, disenroll, or make changes to their Part D prescription drug plans.  As baby boomers continue to age, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates more than 64-million Americans will be enrolled in Medicare next year.

Noah Project

More than one in three women and more than one in four men in the U.S. report having experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.  Domestic violence is rarely reported to police and only a third  of people who are injured during a domestic violence incident will ever receive medical care for their injuries

Heather Claborn / KACU

W. F. Strong brings his unique brand of storytelling to public radio airwaves on a regular basis.  Listeners may not know Strong spent several years in Abilene, and got his start in radio here.  He's back this weekend to be part of the Abilene Public Library’s West Texas Book Festival.

Government Accountability Office

About a quarter of students experience a lack of access to nutritious food when they go to campuses of four year colleges and universities.  

Dana Glover / KACU

The City of Abilene Water Utilities Department has begun swapping old water meters to new ones as part of the Advanced Water Metering Infrastructure project.  Each meter replacement takes between ten to 30 minutes and will be completed during regular business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Each district will be replaced one at a time.  

Heather Claborn / KACU

Abilene Christian University is celebrating its rise in the rankings by U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges”.  ACU achieved its highest overall ranking ever, reaching 12th in the western region, and improving by nine places over last year.  

But it was a new benchmark U.S. News and World Reports created this year that has ACU President Phil Schubert most excited.  The magazine developed a “Focus on Student Success” ranking, that evaluates institutions on eight categories.  

Heather Claborn / KACU

Following the deadly massacre in El Paso on August 3rd, and last weekend’s deadly shooting in Midland and Odessa, state politicians have been looking at how they can help prevent such violence in the future.  The state legislature wrapped up a successful session in May and isn’t scheduled to meet again until January of 20-21.  

Some Democrats have called on Governor Greg Abbott to call lawmakers to Austin for a special session.  

So far the governor has convened roundtable discussions, and established the Texas Safety Commission. 

Heather Claborn / KACU

For nearly a decade, a brand-new, $35 million prison has sat empty in the north Texas town of Anson. The Bluebonnet Detention Facility was built after the state of Texas told Jones County officials they would love to have a new prison located there. Then, those same Texas officials changed their minds. Now, the nation’s immigration crisis may prove a windfall for Anson as federal officials work to create more space for the rising number of unauthorized immigrants detained in the United States.

Abilene Metropolitan Planning Organization

Every five years transportation officials in Abilene update the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which sets out project priorities for roads, transit, walking and biking paths.  Federal law requires that the Metropolitan Planning Organization engage the community as it looks to the future of transportation. And the organization will hold two public meetings in the coming weeks-the first will be next Tuesday, August 27th at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library.  Another public meeting will be scheduled in October.

Abilene Metropolitan Planning Organization

Every five years transportation officials in Abilene update the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which sets out project priorities for roads, transit, walking and biking paths.  Federal law requires that the Metropolitan Planning Organization engage the community as it looks to the future of transportation. And the organization will hold two public meetings in the coming weeks-the first will be next Tuesday, August 27that the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library.  Another public meeting will be scheduled in October.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Jones County Commissioners are considering an offer from ICE to put immigrant detainees in cells. 

Right now the Texas/Midwest Jones County “Bluebonnet” Detention Facility has a thick layer of dust on the brand new desks, chairs and structures added to cells a decade ago.  

Used with permission of the Texas Water Development Board

The state of Texas wants local communities to help develop new plans to manage flooding risks to life and property.  A team from the Texas Water Development Board has been traveling the state on a listening tour. 

On Thursday, TWDB representatives presented proposed flood control projects and strategies.  And they collected informal feedback from the 25 people who attended the meeting at the Abilene Convention Center.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Turnout was disappointing at the Community Conversation, organized by the Abilene Police Department’s Cyber Crimes Unit, to educat parents about cyber threats to kids.  But officials will keep trying to engage parents in protecting their kids online.

Abilene Police Department

Over two days at the end of June, Abilene police partnered with other law enforcement to arrest 13 people who had online interactions that were sexual in nature with people they thought were minors. Some of the suspects were arrested as they traveled to an arranged meeting with the supposed child.  The sting was the result of a collaboration between the Abilene Police Department’s Cyber Crimes Unit and the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division.

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