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The latest news for Abilene and the surrounding communities.

Clack Middle School students are learning to celebrate diversity through art. Pre-AP Art students spent over a month creating the “Colors Unite” Black History Month exhibit, designed to celebrate diversity and lesser-known individuals who contributed to the Civil Rights movement. Clack art teacher, Jaclyn Burch, came up with the idea.

“I wanted them to see that art could take them places, I wanted to show them that art can make a difference,” Burch said.

When you think about aging, what issues that come to mind? If home health care quality, social security stability or a complex Medicare system is among your concerns then you’re not alone.

About 4.6 million Texas seniors age 60 and older often deal with similar problems and have few resources to turn to for help. That’s where the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature comes into the picture. Ninety-one members represent 28 districts in the state. They gather with constituents at town hall meetings to identify and discuss current issues faced by an aging population.   

Jade Ford dipped a cup into a plastic bin, scooped out a portion of dehydrated vegetables, then poured them into a plastic bag while peers surrounding her did the same.

She was among 100 Abilene Christian University students volunteering in an assembly line at the Global Samaritan warehouse on Wednesday, January 25, 2016. They measured out components of a dehydrated, fortified casserole meal that will be shipped to refugees in the Middle East.

At 96 years old, certain memories escape Ivy Paul Lucas, but others remain clear. He remembers growing up with 10 brothers and one sister on a cotton farm in West Texas. He also recalls some of his experiences on the battlefields in World War II when he served in the First Special Service Force.

His niece and care-giver, Jeanette Pursley, helps him by retelling the stories he told her about those years of service.

A lot of people enjoyed coloring as a kid but just like other fun activities in childhood, the habit wore off. Now it’s making a comeback for adults. You can find a large variety of adult coloring books in craft stores and major booksellers.  Adult coloring books are either intricate or simple. Ann Mount has both types.

“The detailed pages may take me like weeks to finish but one of the simpler ones will take me maybe an afternoon,” Mount said.  “It’s just whatever I’m in the mood for.”

McMurry University Band members are resting and recovering this week after returning from England where they performed for a live audience of 650,000 in the London New Year’s Day parade.

Karissa Means plays trumpet in the band, she remembers how different each part of London was from the next, she appreciates that her group was able to dive into the culture.

“You could hear several different languages spoken on any corner at one time,” Means said. The volume of people everywhere impressed her. “It was amazing, I’d never been around that many people,” Means said.

Open carry is now legal but the details surrounding the law are still a little fuzzy for some. Many grocery stores and restaurants in Texas are choosing to allow only concealed carry rather than open carry. APD Sgt. Lynn Beard said it’s up to citizens to check for signs at the entrance of a business before openly carrying.

College Students Celebrate Hanukkah Even Away From Home

Dec 11, 2015

Just after sundown, Rachel Ross sits at the kitchen table in her college apartment with her brother.  She lights the fourth candle of the Hanukkiah, and begins a traditional Hebrew blessing. 

By now you’ve certainly noticed representatives from the Salvation Army set up around town, even if your eyes missed them, your ears would not.

Bells are ringing at the entrances of your neighborhood grocery store and pharmacy.  The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign is underway at 22 locations throughout Abilene. Where do all those coins and bills end up after the holiday fundraiser is complete?

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.