Larry Zelisko is a columnist and the content editor at the Abilene Reporter-News. His column, "Larry The Answer Guy," responds to reader-submitted questions on a wide range of topics.

Today a reader asked, "I always hear people pronounce "drought" as "drouth." Are there two separate words that mean the same thing?"

"Some of the regional dictionaries say it is a term that is heard mainly in the south and mainly among older people," Zelisko said.

Melissa Mason’s mascara was running. Beads of sweat rolled across her forehead as she scraped coarse hair off the back of a dead pig.

“I grew up on the 35th floor of a building in New York City,"Mason said. "We did not have things like this."

“Not in New York City?” said Justin Gibson, Mason's boyfriend. The two worked side by side Wednesday at Slowpoke Farm in Cross Plains.

A petite young woman watches as her peers shuffle into their seats for microbiology class on Tuesday at Abilene Christian University. Then she stands up to make an announcement.

Meera Gurung begins to explain that she grew up in a Nepalese refugee camp before her family moved to Texas in 2008.

“To see my dear country and so many people in deep sorrow and terror, my heart cries,” Gurung says.

Open Carry Legislation Passes in Texas House

Apr 24, 2015

The Texas Senate is currently trying to pass Senate Bill 11, legislation that would allow anyone with a concealed handgun license to enter a college campus with his or her weapon.

The House passed the matching bill, house Bill 11, in mid-March. This would change carry laws for college campuses across the state. Joe Cardot, Senate chair at Abilene Christian University, explains the different meanings of this bill for public and private universities.

Larry Zelisko is a columnist and the content editor at the Abilene Reporter-News. His column, "Larry The Answer Guy," responds to reader-submitted questions on a wide range of topics.

In today’s column, he answers this question from an Abilene reader, “What is a Blue Lacy? Why is it blue?”

The Blue Lacy is the official state dog breed of Texas.


St. Mark’s Episcopal Church members are looking to restock their shelves for baby needs.

The Baby Room ministry is organizing a community baby shower tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Abilene Woman’s Club on 3425 S.14th St.

St. Mark’s Deacon Peggy Valentine said they are accepting any donations for baby care, clothing and food.


Larry Zelisko is a columnist and the content editor at the Abilene Reporter-News. His column, "Larry The Answer Guy," responds to reader-submitted questions on a wide range of topics.

When you think of rattlesnakes, the last things that come to mind are education and safety. But the folks in one small Texas town host an annual event all about teaching people about how to stay safe in a place where rattlesnakes are so prevalent.

The Sweetwater Jaycees is the group responsible for hosting the event. Members of the group have decades of experience working with the most common rattlesnake in the area- the Western Diamondback.

Icy road conditions are causing Abilene ISD to cancel school more frequently than normal. Director of Communications, Phil Ashby, said there could be more delays and closings before winter is over. 

So how do AISD administrators decide to delay or cancel school?  Ashby said it all starts the night before, by paying attention to forecasts and reports from the Texas Department of Transportation. Abilene ISD relies on radar technology from Dyess Air Force Base and they work closely with Wylie ISD to determine road conditions.

Abilene ISD schools are joining thousands of schools across the country in celebrating reading and literacy this week by participating in “Read Across America.”

The annual celebration lined up with the birthday of one of the most well known children’s authors in history- Dr. Seuss.

Executive Director of Special Education, Connie Mangin, started out the week by reading “Oh the Places You’ll Go!,” to a bundle of first-graders in the library at Martinez Elementary School Monday.

McMurry Band Accepts Invitation To London

Feb 27, 2015

The McMurry War Hawks marching band will be performing for London's New Year Parade in 2016.

On Thursday, McMurry University was officially invited to go to London from Lord Mayor of Westminster Duncan Sandys.

"The parade looks for quality and you find quality not just in big cities, you find quality all over the place," Sandys said.

Mayor Sandys said England has no marching bands and that the audience is looking forward to hearing a marching band from the United States.

“Collegiate Candescence” is the theme for February’s ArtWalk.

Bird Thomas, The Curator of Fun Learning Experiences for The Center for Contemporary Arts, says this month’s theme highlights collegiate artists from all local colleges and universities.

"We’ve got the brightest and the boldest of all the light bulbs in the box going to our local universities and they are pretty much a bright spot in our community," Thomas says. "They are artists, they are poets, they are actors they are dancers and we love the idea of being able to share them with the rest of the community."

CASA volunteers needed

Feb 10, 2015

It is awareness week for a local organization that recruits volunteers to support children in the foster care system.

Alana Maddox is the Program Director for Big Country CASA in Taylor County.

“CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. It is a program that uses volunteers to serve children who have been abused and neglected and are in the foster care system,” Maddox says.

The program has 18 volunteers but needs ten times that many to serve every child in the court system. Volunteers go through hours of training before taking the time-intensive role.

Abilene ISD School Board President Danny Wheat describes the terms of the resignation of former superintendent Heath Burns during a news conference Wednesday at the AISD office.
Joy Lewis / KACU

Former Abilene ISD Superintendent Heath Burns will receive $407,500 in a resignation agreement after stepping down Monday. The financial settlement covers the four years that remained on his contract. His resignation came as police continue to investigate several cases of improper teacher and student relationships in the district.

Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Audra Ude will take over as acting superintendent while the school board searches for a replacement.