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If you stop by Abilene’s Convention Center you’ll find busy city maintenance workers, landscape artists planting flowers and volunteers painting rebar. People are working overtime to get the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden finished in time for the Children’s Art and Literacy Festival.

Few people feel the weight of that deadline more than Pam Tippen. She’s an Abilene Cultural Affairs Council board member and she’s overseeing the garden.

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?"

West Texas Veterans and their loved ones are sharing their stories with historians for the project, “War Stories: West Texans Experience War.” Historians from Angelo State University are working to preserve these stories by recording interviews, digitizing photographs, documents, letters, diaries and other artifacts.

Abilene's Child Advocacy Center is asking the community to put a lock or ribbon on a gate in honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month in April. 

Early voting numbers are up after 1,024 people voted in person on Tuesday and 850 people voted early on Monday. 

Here are the locations and times for early voting:

Abilene City Hall, 555 Walnut St., April 24-28 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., May 1-2 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Taylor County Plaza, 400 Oak St. Suite 101, April 24-28 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., May 1-2 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Mall of Abilene, 4310 Buffalo Gap Rd., April 24-28 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., May 1-2 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

An introduction 

"I’m a family man and Christian who has worked and provided donuts for the children’s department at First Baptist Church for 29 years," Robert Briley said. "I’ve served as a deacon and have served the Lord’s Supper to nursing homes and retirement centers. I’ve coached Little League baseball and basketball. I love Abilene and I’ve served on the city council for six years and have been involved with over 100 non-profits serving those in need."

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