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Abilene is working on a plan to replace water meters in the city with smart meters that save money. On Thursday the city council approved a master plan for the city's water infrastructure. City manager Robert Hanna sat down with KACU's Haley Remenar to discuss the potential changes. 

Congressman Jodey Arrington On Obamacare, DACA

Sep 18, 2017

As Congress continues to debate issues like Obamacare, DACA and how to handle national debt, people in Abilene may be wondering how they will be represented. Congressman Jodey Arrington, representative for the Abilene area and District 19, joined Haley Remenar in the studio to talk about some of these issues. 

Texting While Driving Is Now Illegal In Texas

Sep 6, 2017

 

It is now illegal to text while driving in the state of Texas.  A law banning texting while driving was one of hundreds of new state laws that went into effect on September first.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one in five car crashes in Texas is caused by distracted driving. TxDot Executive Director James Bass said the new law sends a clear message to Texans to put down their phones and focus on the road.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, many people may be wondering how to be prepared for emergency situations. The Abilene Taylor County Public Health District is offering emergency preparedness kits with information about what to do in a crisis event. 

A constant stream of relief is making its way to south Texas from Abilene as individuals and organizations do what they can to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. A tractor trailer full of supplies was packed today at Global Samaritan Resources, it will be delivered in Corpus Christi this weekend. McMurry University students and faculty were volunteering to sort and pack goods inside the Global Samaritan warehouse.

Jeremy Leech wants to give back to the woman who saved his life.

“I got a kidney transplant on December 21 and my donor lives in Rockport,” Leech said. “Once the hurricane hit we knew we needed to help her in some way.”

He posted on social media about his efforts to collect donations and the response has been great. People have been dropping of donations at his business, J. Shea’s Jewelers in Abilene.

“We’ve got water, pet food, dog food, canned goods, blankets, cleaning supplies, peanut butter, gas cans and trolling motors,” Leech said.

Today kicks off the new school year for for Abilene ISD, it’s also meet the teacher day at Abilene’s early learning center. Abilene consolidated its Woodson, Reagan and Locust campuses, moving everyone to Long Early Learning Center where more than 800 students, all 3- and 4-years-old, will attend the renovated facility.

Teachers like Beverly Self are overjoyed to welcome students into brand new classrooms

“I have so much room, I have so much storage and we have a beautiful window in the back and I’m just really excited to see all we can do in this school,” Self said.

The Abilene city council has had a busy week with discussions ranging from sidewalks, to city boards to development at the airport. City manager Robert Hanna offered a analysis of the week's events. (Transcription of audio coming shortly)

The Abilene Police Department has been understaffed for several years because officers are retiring faster than new recruits join the force. Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna said the APD is authorized to have 216 officers, but has only about 189 officers. The city is working on a new plan that will give APD the funds to hire more officers for the academy than what was originally set in the budget. It takes 18 months to train new hires because the Abilene police academy is longer and more rigorous than many other departments.

Monday night the Abilene ISD board voted against changing the board election process to single-member districts. After months of public discussions, they voted against changing the election methodology, despite pressure from community members. Timothy Chipp, education reporter for the Abilene Reporter News, joins me to talk about what the vote means for the district.

Two-a-days are well underway at Texas high schools as football teams prepare for the upcoming season, only a few weeks remain before those Friday night lights illuminate starry Texas skies. And If you’re a football fan, you may have heard of the Mighty Matadors. In 1968, Lubbock’s Estacado High football team won the Texas Class AAA championship in their first year playing varsity football. Estacado also happened to be Lubbock’s first integrated school. A new book tells the story of the team that overcame racial division to become state champions.

The City of Abilene is asking community members to join committees in an effort to reduce crime. Mayor Anthony Williams held a meeting at the Abilene Convention Center Monday night asking for volunteers to help the efforts of two local groups; ACT (Accept responsibility, Collaborate and Take action) And Stop The Violence.

He was joined by representatives from local law enforcement, the Chamber of Commerce, AISD, local pastors and victim advocacy groups. Over a 100 people came to the meeting to hear more about how they can do their part to make a difference.

It’s been almost a century since a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire lower half of the United States. For those of us living in West Texas, we’ll be lucky to witness the August 21st eclipse... but we won’t hit the jackpot.  Only part of the natural phenomenon will be visible from this region, that’s because the Abilene area is nowhere near the path of totality. But what exactly is the path of totality?

U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington and fellow Republican and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry, visited Dyess Air Force Base yesterday to hear from airmen and learn more about their needs. The congressmen toured a C-130J Super Hercules and a B-1B Lancer.

“This was a big day for West Texas and for Abilene and Dyess,” Arrington said. “The Chairman has tremendous demands on his time, bases and military facilities all around the world and he chose to spend his time with us today.”

About 5,000 people live in the West Texas town of Coleman. When he moved there in the early 90’s, Dr. Sandip Mathur was struck by one characteristic:

“I guess in a word, its openness,” Dr. Mathur says. “The land is wide open, the skies are big and the people are open-hearted.

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