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The Abilene Zoo is investigating how one of the Zoo’s jaguars escaped its exhibit on Monday. The incident happened early in the morning before the Zoo was open to the public. Staff found two-year-old Estrella perched above the neighboring exhibit where she had attacked a spider monkey. She was sedated and put into her off-exhibit quarters. The spider monkey had to be euthanized.

"There have been jaguars in that facility since 1995," said Zoo Director Bill Gersonde. "So, that’s probably the frustrating thing for us is, how did this happen?"

Lambert Working On Hotel Project, CPS Funding

Feb 22, 2017


The Texas District 71 Representative is working on legislation to help the Big Country, including a bill to help fund a convention hotel in downtown Abilene. Stan Lambert, an Abilene native and former Abilene ISD board member, said the biggest issues in the Texas House revolve around money, so he's using his financial skills as a former banker to represent Taylor, Jones and Nolan counties.


If you’ve never heard of something called “change ringing,” you’re not alone. Change ringing is a musical performance that requires a team of people pulling ropes that ring giant bells in a precise order. It’s more popular in eastern states, but Texas has five churches with a bell tower built for change ringing – including one in Abilene. 

September fifteenth through October fifteenth is National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. These weeks are set aside to celebrate Hispanic and Latino Americans like Abilene’s own Lupe Hernandez.

On a recent summer day Lupe Hernandez scoops up a fistful of dough, folds cheese and shredded zucchini into the center, then she slaps the mixture between her hands to flatten and drop onto a sizzling grill.  

Council Votes To Keep Animal Ordinance The Same

Aug 27, 2015

[story updated Thursday, August 27, 2015.   

Abilene’s animal ordinance will stay the same after proposed revisions were rejected by the city council today. The council voted unanimously to keep the current ordinance after about 30 people spoke out against the changes during a public hearing. Revisions to the ordinance included limitations on the number of animals a person can keep, new guidelines for tethering dogs and restrictions on keeping roosters. 

[original story Wednesday, August 26, 2015]

Alec Finch is a first-year teacher and coach at Abilene Cooper High School. 

"A good part of teaching and coaching in general is just teaching kids good citizenship and I think that kind of get's lost in the mix sometimes between wins and losses," Finch said.

He wants students to come to school each day with a positive mindset and begin building a community with their fellow teammates and coaches. Finch said he'll strive to lay core foundational values and help students to realize that it's all about the team effort and not the individual effort. 

Alexia Closner is first-year teacher at Jackson Elementary School. 

"I just love being able to live life and to share life with the littles,” Alexia Closner said.  “It’s one of those things, never a dull moment and just getting to share life with them and knowing that you have had a deep internal impact on their lives and their development and their heart is really rewarding and comforting to me.”

Every summer kids escape their parents for a chance to make new friends through adventures at camp. Camp Corral is like any other summer camp except that all of the participants are children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members.

Twenty-three camps across the nation host the free, week long camp each year.  Mark Carroll directs Camp Corral at the Texas 4-H Center in Brownwood.

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 a reader asked, What is a baccalaureate service?

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.

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.

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.

“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."

KACU Schedule Adds 7 New Music Programs

Jul 31, 2014

We have great news for our classical music lovers! Our evening music now starts at 6 p.m. with “Exploring Music” followed by “Performance Today” at 7 p.m. We’ve added seven new programs including the American Opera Series, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, “Fiesta!" focused on Latin American composers, and “Relevant Tones” featuring contemporary artists exploring the cutting edge of classical music today. We’ve also extended music throughout the overnight hours for a total of five new hours of classical music each day.