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The latest news for Abilene and the surrounding communities.

WIC Expands Cooking Classes

May 14, 2019

The Women, Infants, and Children program in Abilene, or WIC, has recently expanded access to one of its activities: cooking classes.

WIC has been helping families in Taylor County since 1977, and currently serves about 3,300 clients monthly.  The program added cooking classes in 2001, after receiving a grant aimed at reducing obesity in the community.  Organizers hoped that teaching WIC recipients how to cook meals for themselves would lead to healthier choices-and less reliance on pre-packaged meals.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Abilene City Council Place 6 candidate Ron Konstantin is no newcomer to Abilene’s political scene.  He’s run campaigns for mayor and for various seats on Abilene’s City Council for more than a decade.  Last year Konstantin completed probation related to charges stemming from paperwork filed for a 2010 political run. 

Konstantin has been involved in broadcasting for years and on his filing for the current election, listed his occupation as “disabled minister and poet”.  

Police chief speaks to the crowd
Ernesto Guajardo / KACU

A lynching that took place 97 years ago in Abilene, Texas, was publicly recognized for the first time Saturday. A college student's curiosity played a key role in making it happen. 

Bria Kimble, a senior sociology major at McMurry University, recently read a book called Lynching in America for a class.

“I'm always interested in researching things so I went to Google, typed in 'lynching in Abilene, Texas' and I found Grover Everett,” she said. “From there it just kind of spiraled into more questions and trying to figure out what happened."

Heather Claborn / KACU

Today we meet first time candidate Travis Craver.  He was one of the first candidates to file for the race to fill the Place 6 seat on Abilene's City Council being vacated by Steve Savage.  Craver received the endorsement of Abilene's police and fire unions, and was recently named to Abilene's list of 20 under 40.  He works as the Director of Chapel and Spiritual Formation at Hardin Simmons University.  He says he believes that his faith in God positively shapes his character.

Zorah Green / KACU

Jessica Cantu is a first time candidate for city council.  She's taking on a crowded field for the Place 6 seat on Abilene's City Council left open by Councilman Steve Savage.  Cantu has spent 8 Years working as a manager at Pier 1, and believes that her experience in customer service will translate to skills as a councilwoman.  She’s lived in Abilene for 27 years and is motivated to run by her faith.

Matthew Thompson / KACU

Early voting now underway for the May 4th City and School Board Elections.  In Abilene, the race for Place 6 on the city council is heavily contested with five candidates vying for the spot.  Charles Byrn, a customer service representative at SignTEX, was the fourth person to file to run for the seat left open by Steve Savage.  Byrn favors a limited role for government, and is tackling the political world for the first time.   

Heather Claborn / KACU

Early voting is underway for City Council and School Board elections.  This week we’ll continue our series of interviews with candidates for Abilene’s City Council.  We heard from Place 5 candidates last week. 

Today we begin bringing you conversations with candidates for Place 6.

Five Candidates are running for the open Plac 6 seat on Abilene’s City Council.  The seat is currently held by Steve Savage, who did not seek reelection.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Place 5 City Councilman Kyle McAlister is running for a third term on Abilene’s City Council.  In his second term, McAlister has weathered community criticism and calls for him to step down from his seat.  His critics, led by the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, provided local media with a collection of nearly a decade of Facebook posts that they say cross the line into racism.  The outcry lead to a number of organizations, including KACU, to sever ties with McAlister.  

Abilene City Council Place 5 Candidate Cory Clements

Apr 18, 2019
Amber Chavez / KACU





City Council elections are right around the corner, and early voting begins on April 22nd. Among two candidates challenging incumbent Kyle McAlister for Abilene’s Place Five City Council seat, is Abilene attorney Cory Clements.

Clements began his Abilene law firm in 2014, and has been a part of several city organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, the Red Coats, and Abilene Young Professionals. The fire and police unions have endorsed him for Place Five.

Abilene City Council Place 5 Candidate Cynthia Alvidrez

Apr 17, 2019
Heather Claborn / KACU

The election for Abilene City Council is almost upon us, with early voting beginning April 22nd.  The race for the position of Place 5 is heavily contested with five candidates running.  Cynthia Alvidrez, founder and Director of the Battering Intervention and Prevention Program of Abilene is the only woman and the only Hispanic candidate in the race for Abilene City Council Place 5.  This is her second time to run for local public office.  Alvidrez made an unsuccessful bid for a spot on the Abilene School Board last year.

Heather Claborn / KACU

The Hispanic Leadership Council held its second forum featuring candidates for Abilene City Council Thursday night.  Several of the questions centered on how the candidates would represent various minority communities around the city.  Four of the five candidates vying for the open Place Six seat attended the forum and answered questions about everything from the behavior of city council members to economic development, crime, and affordable housing.

Matthew Thompson / KACU

The Hispanic Leadership Council held a forum Thursday night for Abilene City Council Place 5 candidates.  Moderator Kevin Pantoja asked audience-submitted questions of the three candidates for Place 5, incumbent Kyle McAlister, and the two challengers Cynthia Alvidrez and Cory Clements.  Each candidate had two minutes to answer each question.

The audience wanted to know how the candidates planned to improve the economic well-being of Abilene, how to address the low income and homeless situation of Abilene, among other things...  

Big Country Snake Removal

In March, Big Country Snake Removal responded to a call in Albany.  It was a windy day, and the homeowner was having trouble with his cable.  He had started to get under his house to fix the problem, but he didn't get very far before deciding to call Nathan Hawkins.  He told Hawkins he’d seen a few snakes and wanted them removed.  Those few turned out to be 45.  The video Nathan Hawkins and Maxwell Hicks recorded, documenting the day’s work, went viral.  The video posted on Facebook has been viewed more than 2.5 million times.

Heather Claborn / KACU

Congress to Campus, a program from the Stennis Center for Public Service, has brought two former congressmen to Abilene.  The  program aims to educate young people on the legislative process, giving them a bit of a behind the scenes look at Congress.  Former Congressmen Jason Lewis and Nick Lampson talked yesterday with students at Abilene Christian University, and the pair will meet today with Abilene High School students.

Levi McKay / Northwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church met in St. Louis, Missouri, for its General Conference.  It's a time when the denomination brings together delegates from churches around the world to discuss and vote on proposed changes to church policy.  This year’s meeting was highly anticipated because of the vote on issues affecting Methodists in the LGBTQ  community.  Reverand Amy Wilson Feltz, Associate Pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Abilene, attended as an alternate delegate, and describes her experience and her hopes for the church's response to the controversial vote.