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The latest news for Abilene and the surrounding communities.

This week the National Center for Illustrated Literature will open its first exhibit highlighting the work of a Spanish-language author.  Organizers hope it is the first of many events to come that will reach out to Abilene's Spanish-speaking community, and that English speakers will also come to learn about the author and her writing, as much of it is bilingual.

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.  

Conductor's Notes

Oct 22, 2019

A sneak peek at the Abilene Philharmonic's second performance of the season featuring symphonic photochoreography and narration by Mayor Anthoy Williams. The concert will begin at 7:30PM on October 26th at the Abilene Convention Center. 

More information on the concert and the Abilene Philharmonic's entire season can be found on their website.

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.  

Conductor's Notes

Sep 20, 2019
In-Focus Digital

Here's a sneak peek at the first concert for the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra.  The season kicks off with The Heavenly Life, featuring soloist Lynnette Chambers.  The audience will also hear world renowned cellist Amit Peled perform Dvorak's Cello Concerto.  Greg Straughn, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Abilene Christian University, speaks with Maestro David Itkin about the first concert of the season on September 28th. 

Big Brothers & Sisters of Abilene

Being a Big Brother or Sister can be a lot of fun.  Coming up on September 28th, the youth organization is giving locals a chance to get a view of Abilene from the top of the tallest building in the city.  It's the fourth and final year for the Over the Edge rappelling event aimed at raising funds for their Big Brothers/Big Sisters in the Big Country.  They're hoping to raise money to help provide mentors to the 150 children on their waiting list.  Find out more about the event and volunteering on their website.

Shared with permission of the Center For Contemporary Arts

Last weekend, the Center for Contemporary Arts announced the winners of the 2019 National Juried Art Competition. All the pieces, chosen by artist Gary Bukovnik, are currently displayed in the galleries until November 2nd.

The show is free to the public. You can find times of operation and other information on the Center for Contemporary Arts website.  

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.