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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

KACU will preempt the first hour of All Things Considered this afternoon to bring you Coronavirus: Hope Not Hype, an Abilene Virtual Town Hall meeting.  Beginning at 3:00 p.m. KACU will broadcast the event live on 89.5 FM, and live stream it on our mobile app and website.  

The U.S. stock market has lost 10,000 points in the last six weeks.   Analysts suggest more than 3,000,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week.  Concerns about the coronavirus, and the measures aimed at slowing its spread, are hitting small businesses hard.

Heather Claborn / KACU

U.S. Senator John Cornyn is on the second day of a get out the vote tour of Texas.  He started his day in Abilene, before heading to Wichita Falls, Tyler, Waco and ending his day in Austin.

Texans head to the polls tomorrow, taking their part in Super Tuesday.  In a primary election officials expect to see just a fraction of the 79,717 residents who are registered to vote in Taylor County.  But early voting turnout this year was relatively strong.  The stakes are high for the candidates racing for the Democratic nomination.   The nation will be watching Texas, which has 228 delegates to divvy up among the candidates.

Courtesy of Pruett Gerontology Center

The Senior Health Fair and Town Hall Meeting will be different from previous year’s events.  Organizers have moved it from the campus of ACU to the Abilene Convention center, and expanded it from a morning event to a full-day affair.  Workshops will focus on issues from financial and living concerns to topics of physical and mental health.  The event is free, except for the town hall luncheon.  Tickets to the luncheon are $4.00 for seniors and $10.00 for everyone else.

On Saturday, January 25th, Abilene’s Hispanic Leadership Council will host its 24th annual College and Career Seminar.  The event offers high school students and their parents sessions aimed at helping them to prepare for the next steps following graduation.

The free, half-day event includes lunch and opportunities for students to take home one of two laptops, gift cards and college swag, which will be raffled off at the end of the seminar.

The U.S. accepted no refugees in the month of October.  On November 1st, the White House announced that President Trump has set a cap of 18,000 refugees for the next fiscal year.  Over the past 20 years U.S. Presidents have maintained refugee ceilings in the range of 70,000 to 90,000 refugees per year.

This year Texas was the top refugee receiving state, with 1,389 individuals resettled here.

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. 

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