Wolfabilene Updates

West Texas Fair & Rodeo Results

 

West Texas Fair & Rodeo Parade

 

Equine: Originality - Doyle Sisco; Theme - Patience Woolwine

 

Individual Rider: Originality - Doyle Sisco; Theme - Patience Woolwine

 

Wagons: Originality - Second Chance Cowboy Church; Theme - Marvelous Mavericks

 

Rubber Tire Wagon: Originality - Zia Farms Shetland & Miniature Horses

 

Riding Clubs: Originality - Pala Pinto Co. Sheriff’s Posse; Theme - The Lone Star Ladies; Sweepstakes - ACU Department of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

 

Antique Tractors: Originality - Anthony Bray; Theme - Ricky Beard; Sweepstakes - Trena Johnson

 

Vehicle: Originality - C.W. Brown; Theme - Leon Berube; Sweepstakes - Carrol Hood

 

Decorative Float Open Division: Originality - Abilene Community Theatre; Theme - The Discovery Center; Sweepstakes - Deleon Peach & Melon

 

Decorative Float Youth Division: Originality - Big Country Home Educators; Theme - Abilene Fight Club; Sweepstakes - Girl Scout Troop

 

Decorative Float Civic Division: Originality - Abilene Founder Lions Club; Theme - Guardians of the Children

 

Decorative Float Commercial/Industrial Division: Originality - Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union; Theme - McCullar Properties Group Keller William Realty; Sweepstakes - Blue Cross Blue Shield

 

Bands: Originality - Abilene High; Theme - Abilene Cooper; Sweepstakes - Hardin-Simmons

 

Antiques and Collectibles

 

 

Best in Show: Mary Berry

 

Document: 1. Sharon Millican, 2. Alan Bohannon, 3. Joyce Vernon

 

Photograph (framed): 1. Barbara Dunn, 2. Joyce Vernon, 3. Sharon Sherbert

 

Photograph: 1. Gayle Whetsel, 2. Lana Trietsch, 3. Linda Favor

 

Book (child’s): 1. Mary Berry, 2. Linda Favor, 3. Joyce Vernon

Book (adult’s): 1. Joyce Vernon, 2st:Karen Thomson, 3. Jessica Favor

 

Antique Bibles: 1. Deborah Stevens, 2. Susan Archa, 3. Billie Ivy

 

Cards, special occasion: 1. Ginger Houghton, 2. Carolyn Fairchild, 3. Jimmie Fleming

 

Periodicals–Magazines & Ads: 1. Jeanette Jimmerson, 2. Philip Rattliff, 3. Barbara Dunn

 

Metal Box or Can: 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Susan Archa, 3. Don Denny

 

Toys: 1. Tyler Jobe, 2. Barbara Dunn, 3. Terry Tacker

 

Kitchen Article–metal: 1. Marianne Marugg, 2. Barbara Dunn, 3. Linda Favor

 

Kitchen Article–wood: 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Lana Trietsch, 3. Susan Archor

 

Kitchen Article–glass: 1. Marylou Strange, 2. Linda Favor, 3. Joyce Vernon

 

Hand Tools: 1. Tyler Jobe, 2. Mary Nurmi, 3. Joyce Vernon

 

Small Home Accessory–glass: 1. Deborah Stevens, 2. Billie Ivy, 3. Penny Smalley

 

Small Home Accessory–not glass: 1. Wayne Elkins, 2. Joyce Vernon, 3. Linda Favor

 

Pottery: 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Dorothy Underwood, 3. Ginger Houghton

 

Vintage Glass–clear: 1. Billie Ivy, 2. Deborah Stevens, 3. Ginger Houghton

 

Vintage Glass-colored: 1. Lana Trietsch, 2. Jeanie Bohannon, 3. Gayle Whetsel

 

Carnival Glass: 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Ginger Houghton

 

Milk Glass: 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Carolyn Fairchild, 3. Ginger Houghton

 

Antique Silver: 1. Linda Huff, 2. Susan Archa 3. Lana Trietsch

 

China–plate: 1. Linda Huff, 2. Lana Trietsch, 3. Susan Archa

 

China–other: 1. Mary Berry, 2. Linda Huff, 3. Karen Thomson

 

Time Pieces: 1. Margaret Monger, 2. Barbara Dunn, 3. Linda Huff

 

Jewelry–hand or arm: 1. Tyler Jobe, 2. Ginger Houghton, 3. Gayle Whetsel

 

Jewelry–neck or hair: 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Gayle Whetsel, 3. Susan Archer

 

Needlework–embroidery: 1. Bonnie Hart, 2. Susan Archa, 3. Carolyn Fairchild

 

Needlework–crochet, tatting, or    handmade lace: 1. Mary Berry, 2. Lana Trietsch, 3. Joyce Vernon

 

Adult Clothing: 1. Barbara Dunn, 2. Billie Ivy

 

Adult Clothing Accessory: 1. Penny Smalley, 2. Johnny Rodriguez, 3. Deborah Stevens

 

Child’s Clothing: 1. Billie Ivy, 2. Carolyn Fairchild, 3. Joyce Vernon

 

Child’s Clothing Accessory: 1. Cassie McFadden, 2nd Joyce Vernon, 3rd Billie Ivy

 

Photography Equipment: 1. Linda Favor, 2. Caroly Fairchild

 

Collection–small items, 20 or less: 1. Tyler Jobe, 2. Mary Berry, 3. Jeanette Jimmerson

 

Collection–large items, 10 or less: 1. Mary Berry, 2. Vicki Earley, 3. Mary Nurmi

 

Bottles: 1. Susan Archa, 2. Mary Berry, 3. Stephen Lindberg

 

Pocket Knife: 1. Barbara Dunn, 2. Linda Huff, 3. Joyce Vernon

 

Diplomas: 1. Phillip Ratliff

 

Birth Announcements: 1. Barbara Dunn; 2. Joyce Vernon

 

Sewing Thimbles: 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Susan Archa, 3. Ginger Houghton

 

Antique Vases: 1. Lana Trietsch, 2. James Wilson, 3. Billie Ivy

 

Misc.–wood not listed: 1. Billie Ivy, 2. Carolyn Fairchild, 3. Johnny Rodriguez

 

Misc.–glass not listed: 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Marylou Strange, 3. Billie Ivy

 

Misc.–cloth not listed: 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Billie Ivy, 3. Carolyn Fairchild

 

Misc.–metal not listed: 1. Collin Nowell, 2. Wayne Elkins, 3. Linda Huff

 

Misc.–items not listed: 1. Tina Elkins, 2. Brandi Moeller, 3. Zack Moeller

 

Quilts

 

Best of Show: Lanesta M. Mae

 

CLASS A – Large Pieced (over 60”x60”)

 

Hand Quilted: 1. Kathy McCoy, 2. Kimberly Groves Hudson, 3. Aleve McQueen

 

Machine Quilted: 1. Kim Mangum, 2. Merrie Rogge, 3. Tommy Ann Waggoner

 

Hand Appliqué: 1. Judith Wilson

 

Machine Appliqué: 1. Brenda Brown, 2. Kathy McCoy 

 

Combination Pieced and Appliqué: 1. Janice Gibbs, 2. Korothy Waller, 3. Kathy Sutton

 

CLASS B – Medium Pieced (over 36”x36” & under 60” x 60”)

 

Machine Quilted: 1. Brenda Brown, 2. Penny View, 3. Clejuan Carson

 

Machine Appliqué: 1. Tori Woodruff

 

Combination Pieced and Appliqué: 1. Ferrell Adock, 2. Cassandra Lancaster, 3. Veronica Burleson

 

CLASS C – Small Quilts (not single blocks) (pieced or appliqué)

 

Miniatures-Hand Quilted (less than 18” x 18”): 1. Zella Woodruff

 

Miniatures-Machine Quilted (less than 18” x 18”): 1. LeeAnne Davis, 2. LaVonda Webb, 3: Aleve McQueen

 

Small-Hand Quilted (over 18 x18” & under 36”x36”): 1. Kathy McCoy, 2. Judith Wilson

 

Small-Machine Quilted (over 18” x 18” & under 36” x 36”): 1. Carolyn Griffith, 2. Kathryn Rister, 3. Ginger Jones

 

CLASS D – Infant or Youth Themes

 

Pieced: 1. Kimberly Graves Hudson, 2. Lanesta M Moe, 3. Kathryn Rister

 

Combination Pieced/Appliqué: 1. Kathryn Rister, 2. Mary Nurni, 3. Merrie Rogge

 

Combination Pieced/Appliqué: 1. Judith Wilson, 2. Merrie Rogge

 

CLASS E – Group Quilts

 

Two Person: 1. Kim Mangum, 2. Kathy McCoy, 3. Sandra Thomas

 

Three or more Persons: 1. Judith Wilson, 2. Kathryn Rister, 3. LaVonda Webb

 

CLASS F – Golden Ages (65 years or older)

 

Pieced: 1. Martha Balch, 2. LaVonda Webb, 3. Kathryn Rister

 

Hand Appliqué: 1. Virginia Holley, 2. Judith Wilson

 

Machine Appliqué: 1. Cassandra Lancaster, 2. Yvonne Collison, 3. Zella Woodruff

 

Other: 1. Lanesta M Moe, 2. Judith Wilson

 

CLASS G – Antique Quilts - over 50 years old

 

Pieced: 1. Lanesta M Moe, 2. Jeanie Bohannon, 3. Judith Wilson

 

CLASS H – Special Techniques/Themes

 

Embroidery (hand): 1. Kathy McCoy

 

Embroidery (machine): 1. Susan Le Fevre, 2. Cassandra Lancaster, 3. Kathryn Rister

 

Paint on Fabric: 1. Judith Wilson

 

Pre-Printed Fabric: 1. Ferrell Adcock, 2. Kathy McCoy

 

Other: 1. Judith Wilson, 2. Alicia Taylor, 3. Carolyn Fairchild

 

CLASS I - Time Span

 

Antique blocks (made 50 years ago or more), finished into quilts at a much later date: 1. Lanesta M. Moe, 2. Judith Wilson, 3. Charles Hudson

Knitting and Crochet

 

Best of Show, Knitting: Heather McGee

 

CLASS A – Knitting

 

Adult Wearing Apparel: 1. Stacy Castillo; 2. Allyson Keker

 

Infant Wearing Apparel: 1. Allyson Keker

 

Toys: 1. Heather Mcgee

 

Miscellaneous – any knitted item, except afghan, not listed above: 1. Allyson Keker

 

Best of Show, Crochet - Pam Dickson

 

CLASS B – Crochet

 

Adult Wearing Apparel: 1. Joy Summers; 2. Helen Harris; 3. Jeannie Wesley

 

Infant Wearing Apparel: 1. Carolyn Houghton; 2. Evynne Caffey; 3. Judy Yates 

 

Infant Coverlet: 1. Pam Dickson; 2. Cynthia Gilmore; 3. Judy Yates

 

Crocheted Collar: 1. Jody Yates; 2. Lucy Adams

 

Table Runner: 1. Carolyn Houghton; 2. Judy Yates

 

Toys: 1. Jody Glanton; 2. Jolene Phillips; 3. Erin Kay

 

Doll Clothing: 1. Judy Yates, 2. Lucy Adams

 

Doillies: 1. Carolyn Houghton; 2. Judy Yates; 3. Billie Perkins

 

Holiday: 1. Helen Harris; 2. Judy Yates; 3. Lucy Adams

 

Senior Citizens: 1. Jeannie Wesley; 2. Susie Wallace; 3. Michela Burger

 

Miscellaneous – any crocheted item, except afghan, not listed above: 1. Heather McGee; 2. Joy Summers; 3. Jeannie Wesley

 

CLASS C – Afghan

 

Granny Square – Crochet: 1. Kay Buford; 2. Carolyn Houghton 3. Lacy Adams 

 

Ripple – Crochet: 1. Kay Buford

 

Afghan Stitch – Crochet: 1. Kay Buford; 2. Jo Lemmons

 

Dimensional – Crochet: 1. Deborah Stevens; 2. Roxie Florentino; 3. Cheryl Woods

 

Combination of two or more stitches – Crochet: 1. Amber Kennedy; 2. Lucy Adams 3. Nancy Jones

 

Senior Citizens – Crochet: 1. Pam Dickson; 2. Kay Buford; 3. Roxie Florentine

 

Misc. – any Crochet Afghan not listed above: 1. Pam Dickson; 2. Pam Wright; 3. Bonnie Hart

 

CLASS D – Tatting

 

Doilies: 1. Helen Harris

 

Holiday: 1. Helen Harris

 

Miscellaneous – any item of merit: 1. Helen Harris; 2. Constence Shafer

Adult Photography

 

Best of Show: Megan Lovejoy

 

CLASS A – Non-Color

 

Animals: 1. Sean Dentremont  2. Victoria Serault 3. Megan Lovejoy

 

Architecture & Monuments: 1. Lynn Beard 2. Rendi Hahn 3. Neil Willin

 

Flowers and Plant Life: 1. Janice Serrault 2. Victoria Serrault 3. Jake Fleming

 

Sports: 1. Megan Lovejoy 2. Riley Smith 3. Ann Gordon 

 

Fair & Rodeo & Parade: 1. Victoria Serrault 2. Darron Rosenquist 3. Debora Prescott

 

Special Effects, Abstract

 

Photo Shopped: 1. Robert Nelson 2. David Beauchamp 3. Tomzie Steele

 

People: 1. Richard Keker 2. Megan Lovejoy 3. Ryan Branch

 

Still Life: 1. Robert Nelson 2. Megan Lovejoy 3. Riley Smith

 

Train, Planes & Autos: 1. Chris W. 2. Victoria Serrault 3. Lynn Beard

 

Clouds or Weather: 1. Danielle Oliver 2. Carl Marugg

 

Birds: 1. Curtis Rogers 2. Tomzie Steele 3. Shayna Rue

 

Insects: 1. Carl Marugg 2. Tomzie Steele 3. Traci Durant

 

Big Country Area: 1. Robert Nelson 2. Jacob Blizzard 3. Carl Marugg

 

Miscellaneous: 1. Elizabeth Redding 2. Daril Gonzales 3. Shayna Rue

 

CLASS B – Color

 

Animals: 1. Tomzie Steele 2. Megan Lovejoy 3. Kegan Storms

 

Architecture & Monuments: 1. Victoria Schmidt 2. Joley Hatter 3.Steve Eller

 

Flowers and Plant Life: 1. Tomzie Steele 2. David Beauchamp 3. Darron Rosenquist

 

Sports: 1. Brittany Becknel 2. Valerie Lee 3. Daril Gonzales

 

Fair & Rodeo & Parade: 1. Raven Barnett 2. Kayli Smith 3. Darron Rosenquist

 

Special Effects, Abstracts, Photo Shopped: 1. Brooke McMillin 2. Brittany Becknel 3. Robert Nelson

 

People: 1. Megan Lovejoy 2. Richard Keker 3. Tammy Henthorne

 

Still Life: 1. Richard Keker 2. David Beauchamp 3. Sean Dentremont

 

Train, Planes & Autos: 1. Lynn Beard 2. Blakely Eller 3. David Beauchamp

 

Clouds or Weather: 1. Matt Rutland 2. Marsha Rutland 3.Dixie Courtney

 

Birds: 1. Randy Farmer 2. Tomzie Steele 3. Curtis Rogers

 

Insects: 1. Randy Farmer 2. Tomzie Steele 3. Melanie Davis

 

Big Country Area: 1. David Beauchamp 2. Holly Cowan 3. Ryan Branch

 

Miscellaneous: 1. Shayna Rue 2. Danielle Oliver 3. Lynn Beard

 

CLASS C – Professional

 

Non-Color: 1. Tiffany Smith 2. Patty Odom 3. Kami Clark

 

Color: 1. Patty Odom 2. John Inwood 3.  Tiffany Smith

Christmas Holiday Corner

 

Best of Show: Joyce Edwards

 

CLASS C – Wall Hanging

 

Christmas picture any medium: 1. Susan Boyles 2. Carolyn Houghton 3. Nancy Freeman

 

Christmas Picture-Cross Stitch: 1. Susan Boyles

 

Door Decoration: 1. Susan Archa

 

Wreath: 1. Dorothy Kiser 2. Brittany Price 3. Christie Price

 

Miscellaneous: 1. Zella Woodruff 2. Gayle Whetsel

 

CLASS D – Nativity

 

Any item (Not over 18” high): 1. Gayle Whetsel 2. Susan Boyles 3. Ron Harden

 

CLASS E – Centerpiece (not over 18” high)

 

Any item (Not over 18” high): 1. Kathy McCoy 2. Susan Archa

 

CLASS F – Ornament

 

Original Design: 1. Susan Archa 2. Carolyn Houghton 3. Gayle Whetsel

 

Made from a Kit: 1. Kathy Boyles 2. Susan Boyles

 

Sequined or Jeweled: 1. Kelly Enge 2. Helen J Harris

 

Miscellaneous: 1. Patti Sedberry 2. Helen J. Harris

 

CLASS G – Christmas Characters

 

Any item: 1. Joyce Edwards 2. Kathy Boyles 3. Susan Archa

 

CLASS H – Tablecloth

 

Any item: 1. Carolyn Houghton 2. Sandra Thomas 3. Clejuan Carson

 

CLASS I – Holiday Wearing Apparel

 

Any item: 1. Judy Yates 2. Lanesta M Moe 3. Sandra Thomas

 

CLASS J – What’s New

 

Afghan – Bed size: 1. Carolyn Houghton

 

Pillows: 1. Ferrell Adcock 2. Dorothy Kiser

 

Quilts – Lap size: 1. Penny Vieau 2. Tommy Ann Waggoner 3. Gayla Beaird

 

Quilts – Bed size: 1. Lanesta M Moe

 

Any item not listed above: 1. Ferrell Adcock; 2. Zella Woodraff 3. Carolyn Houghton

 

Living Plants

 

Best in Show: Gayle Whetsel 

 

Flowering Plant (container under 6” in diameter): 1. Joyce Vernon

 

Flowering Plant (container over 6” in diameter): 1. Virginia Bassett, 2. Beverly Childers, 3. Kaylee Waigand

 

Foliage Plant (container under 6” in diameter): 1. Kaylee Wiagand, 2. Joyce Vernon

 

Foliage Plant (container over 6” in diameter): 1. Joyce Vernon, 2. Virginia Bassett, 3. Kaylee Wiagand

 

African Violet: 1. Kaylee Waigand

 

Succulent: 1. Beverly Childers, 2. Virginia Gassett, 3. Gayle Whetsel

 

Cactus: 1. Virginia Gassett, 2. Joyce Vernon, 3. Heather Ratliff

 

Dish Garden or Terrarium: 1. Gayle Whetsel, 2. Joyce Vernon, 3. Virginia Gassett

 

Hanging Basket-Succulent: 1. Joyce Vernon

 

Tropical Plant (container over 6” in diameter): 1. Virginia Gassett, 2. Joyce Vernon

 

Miscellaneous (any plant not listed above): 1. Austin Inkmer, 2. James Sullivan, 3. Dan H. Burger 

 

Child Entry (12 or Under): 1. Mason Waigand

 

Grandparents Brag

 

Best of Show: Rae Nell Allen 

 

Class A

 

Girls Under 1 year: 1. Barbara Brewer, 2. Janice Six, 3. Pam Bass

 

Girls 1 year old: 1. Gayle Whetsel, 2. Janice Gibbs, 3. Robert Gibbs

 

Girls 2 years old: 1. Gayle Whetsel, 2. Tommy & Sharon Foster

 

Girls 3 years old: 1. Pam Bass

 

Girls 4 & 5 years old: 1. Rae Nell Allen, 2. Glenna Hamilton 

 

Class B

 

Boys 1 year old: 1. Cheryl Wood

 

Boys 2 Years old: 1. Daril Gonzales

 

Boys 3 Years old: 1. Glenna Hamilton, 2. Jesse Houghton, 3. Tina Cargile

 

Boys 4 & 5 Years Old: 1. Tommy & Sharon Foster, 2. Sherry Burns, 3. Oscelia Selmon

 

Class C

 

Twins, Triplets and groups up to 5 Years old: 1. Mechell Nelson

 

Youth Clothing

 

CLASS A – Beginners (ages 5-8)

 

Best of Show: Easton LeFevre

 

Miscellaneous Sewn wearable items not listed: 1. Easton LeFevre 2. Hayden LeFevre. Emery Galovich

 

CLASS B – Junior (ages 9-13)

 

Best of Show: Nathan Songer

 

Dress or Sundress: 1. Alexis Williams 2. Hannah Williams 3.  Sarah Beth Songer

 

Pants or Skirt: 1. Halle Beard 2. Belle Jones 3. Emily Johnstone 

 

Lounge Wear: 1. Peyton Cockerham

 

Miscellaneous sewn wearable items not listed above: 1. Nathan Songer 2. Genna Minyard 3. Adalyn Galovich

 

CLASS C – Senior (ages 14-18)

 

Best of Show: Jenna Kendrick

 

Coat, Jacket or Blazer: 1. Eowyn Stewart

 

Lounge Wear: Abigail Songer

 

Dress or Sundress: Eowyn Stewart

 

Blouse: 1. Eowyn Stewart

 

Pants or Skirt: Eowyn Stewart

 

Formal Wear: 1. Jenna Kendrick

 

Miscellaneous sewn wearable items not listed: 1. Lanie Allen 2. Eowyn Stewart 3. Abigail Songer

 

Youth Hobbies and Crafts

 

CLASS A - Pre-Beginners (under 5 years of age)

 

Best of Show: Titus Powell

 

Any item: 1. Titus Powell 2. John Luke 3. Eli Pitts

 

CLASS B – Beginners (ages 5-8)

 

Best of Show: Beau Ross

 

Jewelry: 1. Mallie Parks 2. Emery Galovich 3. Beau Ross

 

Decorated Clothing or Fabric Item: Maggie Spraberry 2. Cash Rutland 3. Beau Ross

 

Wreath: 1. Addison Richy 2. Cash Ruland 3. Beau Ross

 

Household Decoration: 1. Beau Ross 2. Maggie Spraberry 3. Hayden LeFerre

 

Toys: 1. Cash Rutland 2. Beau Ross 3. Ian Pitts

 

Other Holiday Decoration: 1. Cash Rutland 2. Grayson Traylor 3. Addison Richey

 

“Something From Nothing”: 1. Beau Ross 2. Ian Pitts 3. Addison Richey

 

Item Made from Duct Tape: 1. Cash Rutland 2. Kambree Hadaway 3. Tristan Hernandez

 

Play-Dough, Clay Model or Ceramics: 1. Kayla Addy 2. Kambree Hadaway

 

Memory Book or Scrapbook: 1. Tristan Hernandez 2. Beau Ross

 

Collection (mounted on board or in book): 1. Baac McFadden 2. Beau Ross 3. Kayla Addy 

 

Decorative or Tabletop Scarecrow: 1. Maggie Spraberry

 

Miscellaneous: 1. Beau Ross 2. Easton LeFevre 3. Kaci Brewn

 

CLASS C – Juniors (ages 9-13)

 

Best of Show: Mallory Traylor

 

Jewelry: 1. Genna Minyard 2. Emily Johnstone 3. Spencer Price

 

Decorated Clothing: 1. Lizzy Thorup 2. Larsyn Allen 3. Peyton Cockerham

 

Decorated Fabric Item: 1. Taleigh Sorello 2. Shelby McGee 3. Rustyn Ross

 

Basket: 1. Karley Brewer 2. Larsyn Allen

 

Wreath: 1. Peyton Cockerham 2. Karley Brewen 3. Spencer Price

 

Household Decoration: 1. Macie Parks 2. Karley Brewer 3. Jacklynn Berry

 

Ceramics & Pottery: 1. Lillie Kate White 2. Rusty Ross 3. Emily Johnstone

 

Punched Tin: 1. Iarsyn Allen 2. Rustyn Ross

 

Woodworking: 1. Iarsyn Allen 2. Colton Miller

 

Decorated Wood: 1. Rustyn Ross 2. Iarsyn Allen 3. Spencer Price 

 

Christmas Decoration: 1. Shelby McGee 2. Spencer Price 3. Madison Traylor

 

Christmas Ornament: 1. Shelby McGee 2. Peyton Cockerham 3. Spencer Price

 

Other Holiday Decoration: 1. Shelby McGee 2. Iarsyn Allen 3. Emalyn Purvine

 

“Something From Nothing”: 1. Spencer Price 2. Jonas McFadden 3. Grayson Harris

 

Item Made from Duct Tape: 1. Braylen Miller 2. Spencer Price 3. Karley Brewer

 

Play Dough or Clay Model: 1. Iarsyn Allen 2. Shelby McGee 3. Emily Rattliff

 

Leather Work: 1. Iarsyn Allen

 

“Memory Book” or Scrap Book: 1. Iarsyn Allen

 

Collection: 1. Larley Brewer 2. Rustyn Ross 3. Iarsyn Allen

 

Field Scarecrow: 1. Karley Brewer

 

Decorative or Table Scarecrow: 1. Iarsyn Allen

 

Miscellaneous: limited to Hobbies and Crafts not listed – 1. Addison Dalige 2. Lizzy Thorup 3. Anthony Lopez

 

Toy, Any medium: 1. Noah Bass 2. Lance McFadden 3. Austin Cheek

 

String Art – 1. Mallory Traylor 2. Iarsyn Allen

 

Scratch Art: 1. Iarsyn Allen

 

CLASS D – Senior (ages 14-18)

 

Best of Show: Bree Vitek

 

Jewelry: 1. Kaylynn Reyna 2. Kiersten Chapman 3. Rebecca Yates

 

Decorated Clothing or Fabric Item: 1. Eowyn Stewart 2. Sarah Kay Johnston 3. Lanie Allen

 

Wreath: 1. Maddie Collins 2. Garrett Smith 3. Lanie Allen

 

Household Decoration: 1. Cheyenne Gray 2. Jenna Kendrick 3. Garrett Smith

 

Ceramics & Pottery: 1. Lanie Allen

 

Woodworking: Angell Sharp

 

Decorated Wood: 1. Victoria Walke 2. Fox Stewart 3. Justin McGee

 

Holiday Decoration: 1. Rebecca Yates 2. Maddie Collins 3. Kiersten Chapman

 

“Something from Nothing”: 1. Bree Titek 2. Justin McGee 3. Mark Leyva

 

Made from Duct Tape: 1. Nicole Luckie

 

Play Dough or Clay Model: 1. Fox Stewart 2. Kiersten Chapman 3. Kaylynn Reyna

 

Memory Book or Scrap Book: 1. Jacob Mayfield 2. Lanie Allen 3. Carlie Buck

 

Decorative or Tabletop Scarecrow: 1. Rebecca Yates

 

Miscellaneous: limited to Hobbies & Crafts not listed – 1. Rebecca Yates 2. Maddie Collins 3. Sadie Miller 

 

Leather Work: 1. Justin McGee

 

Punched Tin: 1. Garrett Smith

 

String Art: 1. Justin McGee 2. Rebecca Yates 3. Garrett Smith

 

Adult Canned Food

 

Best of Show - Deborah Stevens - Peach Jalepeno

 

CLASS A – Canned Fruit – Apples: 1. Brittany Price; 2. Joyce Wharton

 

Cherries: 1. Cassie McFadden

 

Peaches: 1. Sabrina Colburn; 2. Brittany Price; 3. Brandon Martin 

 

Pears: 1. Brittany Price 

 

Other canned fruit, not listed above: 1. Cassie McFadden; 2. Michelle Bierma; 3. Joyce Wharton 

 

CLASS B – Canned Vegetables

 

Black-eyed Peas: 1. Lisa Henderson; 2. Marshall Wharton; 3. Joyce Wharton

 

Carrots: 1. Lisa Henderson; 2. Mary Nurmi; 3. Marylou Strange

 

Corn: 1. Brittany Price 

 

Green Beans: 1. Pam Dickson; 2. Marylou Strange; 3. Stacie Tuggle 

 

Mixed Vegetables: 1. Lisa Henderson ; 2. Stacy Tuggle

 

Squash: 1. Mary Normi 

 

Tomatoes: 1. Brittany Price; 2. Pam Dickson 

 

Sweet Potatoes: 1. Brittany Price

 

Other, not listed above: 1. Amy Raschke; 2. Stacie Tuggle; 3. Cassie McFadden 

 

CLASS C – Pickled

 

Beets: 1. Stacy Tuggle; 2. Joyce Wharton; 3. James Abernathe 

 

Bread and Butter: 1. Virginia Gassett; 2. Brittany Price; 3. Karen Chittum 

 

Dill Cucumbers: 1. Virginia Gassett; 2. Kathy Boyles; 3. Stacie Tuggle

 

Okra: 1. Virginia Gassett; 2. Stacie Tuggle; 3. Margie Wheeler 

 

Pickled, Fruit: 1. Brittany Price 

 

Pickled, Peppers: 1. Jackie Wilson; 2. Stacie Tuggle; 3. Kathy Boyles

 

Pickled, Sweet Cucumbers: 1. Brittany Price; 2. Tracie Walters; 3. Heather Ratliff

 

Other, not listed above: 1. Lisa Henderson; 2. Stacy Tuggle; 3. Gail Olney 

 

CLASS D – Relishes

 

Green Tomatoes (chow-chow): 1. Stacy Tuggle; 2. Virginia Gassett; 3. James Wharton 

 

Salsa: 1. Lisa Henderson; 2. Brittany Price; 3. Jackie Wilson

 

Other, not listed above: 1. Stacie Tuggle; 2. Michelle Burger 

 

CLASS E – Jelly - (made from juice) – Apple: 1. Kathy Boyles; 2. Norma Clay

 

Berry: 1. Brittany Price; 2. Kathy Boyles; 3. Karen Thomson 

 

Grape: 1. Dorothy Kiser; 2. Jolene Willis; 3. Brittany Price 

 

Peach: 1. Brittany Price; 2. Jolene Willis

 

Plum: 1. Jo Beth Allen; 2. Dorothy Kiser; 3. Jolene Willis

 

Prickly Pear: 1. Camilla White; 2. Jody Addy; 3. Brandon Martin 

 

Other & Combination of Fruits: 1. Jeannie Bohannon; 2. Kathy Boyles; 3. Norma Clay 

 

CLASS F – Jam

 

Apricot: 1. Amy Songer; 2. Billy Ivy; 3. Amy Raschte 

 

Berry: 1. Marylou strange; 2. Joelen Willis; 3. John Estes 

 

Plum: 1. Virginia Gassett; 2. Deborah Stevens; 3. Pam Dickson 

 

Peach: 1. Deborah Stevens; 2. Randy Billing; 3. Brittany Price 

 

Other, not listed above: 1. Deborah Stevens; 2. Dorothy Kiser; 3. Randy Billings 

 

CLASS G – Preserves (made with whole pieces of fruit)

 

Apricot: 1. Joyce Vernon; 2. Brittany Price 

 

Berry: 1. Mary Nurmi; 2. Brittany Price 

 

Peach: 1. Penny Smalley; 2. Brittany Price; 3. Norma Clay 

 

Pear: 1. Brittany Price; 2. Heather Ratliff; 3. Billy Ivy

 

Other, not listed above: 1. Norma Clay; 2. Lisa Henderson; 3. James Wharton

 

CLASS H – Butters

 

Any Butter: 1. Brittany Price; 2. Michelle Bierma; 3. Cassie McFadden 

 

CLASS I – Marmalade

 

Any Marmalade: 1. Gail Olney 

 

CLASS J – Sauces, Stew, & Soups

 

Fruit Sauce: 1. Michelle Bierma; 2. Deborah Stevens; 3. Brittany Price

 

Picante Sauce: 1: James Aberathie; 2. Martha Balch

 

Unusual Sauce or Juice, not listed above: 1. Michelle Bierma; 2. Brandon Martin; 3. Randy Billings 

 

CLASS K – Dried Foods

 

Vegetables: 1. Jody Addy 

 

Herbs: 1. Jody Addy

 

CLASS L – Honey

 

Honey: 1. Lance Hawvermale; 2. Billy Ivy

 

 

By Nathaniel Ellsworth

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Abilene firefighters called back to Sunday's grass fire site for hot spots

 

 

A day after multiple fire-fighting agencies put out a fast-moving grass fire that threatened a subdivision, hot spots required additional attention Monday in southwest Abilene.

 

The Autumn Sage fire that started about 11:40 a.m. Sunday near Autumn Sage Lane and U.S. Highway 277 scorched 184 acres and prompted the temporary evacuation of the Hampton Hills subdivision as a precaution. 

 

The fire that was attributed to welding sparks was tapped out at 5 p.m. But, crews remained on the scene until about 8 p.m. and returned periodically throughout the night, Abilene Fire Department spokeswoman Elise Roberts said.

 

 

Smoke rises beyond trees and a grassy field along Dub Wright Boulevard Sunday. The grass fire threatened the nearby Hampton Hill subdivision, which was evacuated temporarily as a precaution.

Smoke rises beyond trees and a grassy field along Dub Wright Boulevard Sunday. The grass fire threatened the nearby Hampton Hill subdivision, which was evacuated temporarily as a precaution. 

 

 

The department dispatched 35 firefighters and 13 engine and brush trucks to the scene Sunday. Additional crews and equipment came from the Texas A&M Forest Service, Dyess Air Force Base, Taylor County Precinct 1 and multiple volunteer fire departments. They included Anson, Baird, Buffalo Gap, Clyde, ECCA, Eula, Hamby, Hawley, Potosi, Tye and View.

 

Abilene firefighters were called back at least three times Monday to the area of Autumn Sage Lane and Stewart Road because of hot spot flair ups, according to scanner traffic.

 

 

Residential fire

 

Before the grass fire Sunday, Abilene firefighters also responded at about 7:45 a.m. to a house fire in the 1500 block of North 16th Street.

 

"Fire crews arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the garage," a fire department news release said. 

 

After gaining access to the garage and the inside of the house, firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, the release said.

 

Residents were away at the time of the fire, which was blamed on an electrical malfunction, the release said.

 

By Laura Gutschke

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Weekend events in Abilene will attract humans ... and dogs

 

 

1. Theater time. The local theater season begins with the letter "A," for Abilene Community Theatre and its production of "Apple of His Eye." The comedy opens Friday, with another evening show at 7:30 Saturday and a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday. Same plan for next weekend. Cost is $15 for regular admission and $13 for senior, students and military. Mike Stephens is directing this show, which was the first done at ACT when it opened in 1954.

 

 

2. Let's go to the fair! The West Texas Fair & Rodeo launched Thursday evening and continues through Sept. 14. There are rides, exhibits, fair food and the rodeo. Admission prices vary, with discounts offered. Due to construction and reconfiguring the Taylor County Expo Center, the midway is set up where livestock buildings were in the past.

 

 

A kiddie ride was positioned at the relocated midway at the Taylor County Expo Center for the annual West Texas Fair & Rodeo. The fair continues through Sept. 14.

A kiddie ride was positioned at the relocated midway at the Taylor County Expo Center for the annual West Texas Fair & Rodeo. The fair continues through Sept. 14.

 

 

3. Water you doing Saturday? If you want to get wet one final time, here is your chance. For humans, there is the annual Mudslinger fun run of about three miles at Seabee Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. It benefits Abilene Youth Sports Authority. It should not be as muddy last year, when rain created muck start to finish. Also Saturday, at Adventure Cove, it's doggie splash day. The aquatic center closed for the season Labor Day, but dogs will have their day before the pool is cleaned. 

 

 

By Abilene Reporter-News

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Cost of repairs for law enforcement center to be studied by Taylor County

 

 

 

Abilene / Taylor County Law Enforcement Center, 450

Abilene / Taylor County Law Enforcement Center, 450 Pecan Street. 

 

Taylor County commissioners approved an engineering study on the Law Enforcement Center formerly shared with the Abilene Police Department to help commissioners and others assess whether it's better to stay or move to another location.

 

Commissioners approved up to $64,500 for Wiss, Janey, Elstner Associates to give an assessment of the building at 450 Pecan St., which in the past has been damaged by a shifting foundation and water, among other issues.

 

Until recently, the 43,000-square foot structure, a former department store, housed both the Taylor County Sheriff's Office and the Abilene Police Department for about 30 years.

 

The APD recently moved to a new location in west Abilene.

 

There is an underground stream beneath the building, Commissioner Chuck Statler said.

 

To understand the building's potential future and use to the county, "we need to assess ... what type of stabilization process is necessary or if it's even workable," Statler said.

 

The current assessment will be a followup to a 2014 study by the same company. 

 

"A lot of concerns were expressed by employees" concerning safety, County Judge Down

ing Bolls said. "There were places where the wall was separating from the floor."

 

The previous study found the building to be safe and structurally sound, Bolls said, but manifold problems remain.

 

"We'll look at it and see what happens once they tell us how much it will cost for them to stabilize it or fix it," Bolls said. "It would be nice if we could hang onto it, but if we can't, then we'll just have to decide in the future what to do with it."

 

The county has discussed moving other offices to the structure if it can be salvaged, but Taylor County Sheriff Ricky Bishop said in July that he worried that the building might turn into a "money pit" because of repair costs.

 

At the time, Bishop advocated tearing down the building, turning the area into a parking lot and building a new LEC for the county elsewhere.

 

 

2020 budget approved

 

In other business Tuesday, commissioners approved a 5.8 percent effective raise in the tax rate, also setting their final fiscal year 2020 budget.

 

The tax rate will be 63.40 cents per $100 of property value, made up of 56.34 cents for the county's general fund, 2 cents for road and bridge, and 5.06 cents for debt service.

 

The latter is made up of debt for the 2017 voter-approved bond election for repairs and upgrades at the Taylor County Expo Center, plus the cost of new voting machines for the county.

 

The final total budget for fiscal year 2020 is $110.43 million.

 

That is made up of $59.36 million for the county's general fund, $4.77 million for Road and Bridge, and $4.05 million for debt service.  Cumulative budget for all remaining funds is $42.25 million.

 

Next year, commissioners will face tighter restrictions when crafting their budget.

 

Senate Bill 2, which goes into effect in January, requires taxing entities to get voter approval before they can raise property taxes above a 3.5 percent cap.

 

This was the last year the county could have gone up to 8 percent.

 

The county never has had a rollback election, and it's hoped that the it won't have to have one in the future, Bolls said.

 

"But If we do a budget like this next year, it's going to go to the voters," Bolls said. "And that's OK, I'm all right with that."

 

Bolls said the county tries to stretch dollars as much as it can.

 

"We've in the past been able to get a better level of service by working and networking with agencies in the local area," he said. 

 

He said he worried that the tight restrictions would put pressure on some of those relationships.

 

"We're going to have to go back an see what kind of memorandums of understanding we've got and see how those are going to have to be changed," he said.

 

Brian Bethel covers city and county government and general news for the Abilene Reporter-News. 

 

By Brian Bethel

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News/First Bank Texas. All Rights Reserved.


Things to do next week: Sneak a peek at the fair

 

Weekend Roudup in Abilene and The Big Country

 

 

The West Texas Fair & Rodeo will kick off with a sneak-a-peek night from 5-11 p.m. Thursday at the Taylor County Expo Center. Gate admission is free for the sneak-a-peek, and armbands allowing admission to rides sold for $25.

 

The fair gates will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily Sept. 6-14, with free admission until 2:30 p.m. on weekdays. The carnival midway will be open from 5-11 p.m. on weekdays and from 1-11 p.m. on the weekend.

 

Adult admission is $8 on weekdays and $11 on the weekend. Student admission is $4 every day. For information, go to taylorcountyexpocenter.com.

 

 

Apple of His Eye

 

A production of "Apple of His Eye" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6, 7, 13 and 14, and at 2 p.m. Sept. 8 and 15, at Abilene Community Theatre, 809 Barrow St.

 

Tickets are $15. For information, go to abilenecommunitytheatre.org.

 

 

Audslinger Fun Run

 

The ninth annual Big Country Mudslinger Fun Run will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 7 at Sea Bee Park on FM 600. The three-mile course includes 16 challenges and four mud pits.

 

For information, or to register, go to bcmudslinger.com.

 

 

Swimming for dogs

 

Doggie Splash Day will be open from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 7 at Adventure Cove Aquatic Center, 2742 S. Ninth St. Dogs must be at least 6 months old and have current vaccinations.

 

Admission is $3 per dog. For information, go to abilenetx.com/parksandrec.

 

 

And more

 

TYE — A "Refresh and Renew" square dance will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Wagon Wheel. Tracey Dowell will be the caller.

 

A multi-part lecture series on the history of the United Kingdom under Queen Victoria will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the South Branch of the Abilene Public Library, in the Mall of Abilene. Retired history professor Fred Bailey will be the presenter.

 

The Cattle Baron's Ball Style Show benefiting the American Cancer Society will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the 201 Mesquite Event Center. Tickets are $50, and include food, drinks and a commemorative wine glass.

 

As a part of Discovery Adventure Theater, a showing of "The Receding Floodwaters" will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Discovery Center, 810 Butternut St. Admission is free. For reservations or information, call 325-673-5050.

 

By Nathaniel Ellsworth

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.

 


Live on Abilene, area stages: Chris Colston rocks the Zoo

 

As part of the Rock and Roar summer concert series, Chris Colston will perform from 6-9 p.m. Thursday at the Abilene Zoo. Food, beer and wine vendors will be available.

 

Adult tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, child tickets are $10. Admission is free for children age 2 and under. For tickets, go to abilenezoo.org.

 

If you’re a musician who has a gig, or you’re a venue owner who has a musician playing, send us your information. It’s FREE to be listed here, but we can’t tell everyone who’s playing if no one tells us.

 

Send your information to publishme@reporternews.com; or via mail in care of the Reporter-News, 101 Cypress St., Abilene, TX 79601.

 

Deadline is one week before publication.

 

 

ABILENE

 

  • Abilene Zoo, 2070 Zoo Lane. Chris Colston, 6-9 p.m. Thursday, $20.
  • Firehouse Bar & Grill, 2074 Butternut St. The Meeting Place, 7 p.m. Friday.
  • The Grace Museum, 102 Cypress St. Jonathan Tyler, 6-8 p.m. Thursday, $40.
  • Homer's Bar & Music Venue, 4201 N. First St. Mie, 9 p.m. Saturday, $5. Gwapmizzle and Phee6z, 8 p.m. Aug. 31.
  • Maslow Coffee Company, 1694 Campus Court. Weston & The Evergreen, 7-9 p.m. Friday.
  • Mezamiz Deux Coffee House, 3909 S. 7th St. Happy Fat and Lou Ivie, 7:30 p.m. Friday. Stevie G, 7:45 p.m. Saturday.
  • The Mill Winery, 239 Locust St. Chourtney Penry, 7 p.m. Friday. Christy Patton, 7 p.m. Saturday. Matt Ellis, 6 p.m. Thursday and Sept. 5. Josh Westman, 6:45 p.m. Aug. 31
  • La Nueva Luna, 1082 S. Second St. Kevin Fowler, 10:30 p.m. Friday, $25.
  • Paramount Theatre, 352 Cypress St. All Hands on Deck, 2 p.m. Saturday, $25. Peace & Love Tour, 7 p.m. Tuesday, $20.
  • Play Faire Park, 2300 N. 2nd St. Lori Sealy Concept, 7:45 p.m. Friday. Urban Pioneers, 8 p.m. Saturday. MerKaBa, 7:45 p.m. Aug. 31.
  • P.T. Event Center, 5126 Brick St. Looks 2 Kill, 7 p.m. Aug. 31.
  • Rose Park Senior Center, 2625 S. Seventh St. Last Dance Band, 7-10 p.m. Thursday, $5.
  • Tequilas, 133 Eplens Court. AJ Castillo, 7 p.m. Friday, $20.
  • VFW 6873, 1049 Veterans Drive. Last Dance Band, 7 p.m. Wednesday. Cody Joe Hodges, 8 p.m. Sept. 4.

 

 

OUT OF TOWN

 

CLYDE

  • Denton Valley's Backyard, 11949 FM 604. Anaka Grace, 6:30 p.m. Friday.

 

COTTONWOOD

  • Cottonwood Community Center. Musical, 5:30 p.m. Friday.

 

OLD GLORY

  • Old Glory Community Center. Musical, 6 p.m. Saturday.

 

ROSCOE

  • The Lumberyard, No. 7 Cypress. Jon Wolfe, 5 p.m. Friday. Wade Bowen, 9:30 p.m. Aug. 30.

 

By Nathaniel Ellsworth

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


4 things that may help you boost your retirement savings

 

Saving for retirement is a great start. These strategies could help you save even more.

 

Regardless of your age or financial know-how, planning for retirement is a necessary venture. There are many things to consider, such as estimating how much money you will need during retirement; planning for changes in lifestyle, health and retirement; planning for changes in lifestyle and health; inflation; and other factors that may exist years beyond the present day.

 

Because of this, many Americans are unsure of the best ways to save, or they’re hesitant to retire even if they do have a nest egg. But with proper research and planning, it is possible to beef up your savings, so you have more to work with in your golden years. Here are a few retirement-related issues to consider:

 

 

Do you still have student debt?

 

The perception of the demographic affected by student loan debt is out of date: Significant college debt is no longer an issue only for young and middle-aged Americans. In fact, people 60 and older are racking up billions in student loan debt, and that number is expected to grow as young Americans carry their debt further into their futures. With that in mind, folks should try to understand the best ways to approach student debt at any age if they want to optimize their retirement savings.

 

Many loan servicers automatically enter borrowers into a repayment plan in which costs start low and increase gradually, in anticipation of a recent graduate starting with a lower salary and slowly increasing their income. This makes sense for younger borrowers; however, for borrowers close to retirement age, it may work better to find an alternate route that’s a better fit for their predicted future income and needs.

 

 

Can you downsize now to reduce stress later?

 

Downsizing works at any age to start beefing up retirement savings. Younger people may want to adhere to the following rules of thumb: Try to spend money on the things that matter most to you, and practice frugality on things that don’t enrich your life or support future growth. When making a purchase, ask yourself, “Is this a need or a want?” Consider things in the want category carefully and decide if the money is better spent or saved.

 

 

What’s your retirement destination?

 

Not all places are created equal when it comes to retiring. Retirees face choices such as location of family members, optimal weather, housing costs and availability of health services. In addition to those personal choices, some states have more-enticing tax codes than others for retirees.

 

States like Texas, for instance, don’t have a personal income tax, so those particular states won’t be taking a big bite out of the income from your 401(k), IRA, pension or Social Security benefits.

 

 

Are your accounts in order?

 

Many companies offer 401(k) accounts, which allow you to invest money pre-tax. That means you may not have to pay taxes* on that money until you withdraw it in retirement. Some employers will sweeten the deal by matching your contributions up to a certain percentage.

 

You can also choose to open an IRA. This option could be especially appealing to younger people because of the penalty-free withdrawal option for first-time homebuyers. Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs may also have tax benefits for retirees.*

 

It’s never too soon or too late to think about beefing up your retirement savings. Call 325-674-1885 or visit First Bank Texas to start planning your financial goals.

 

First Bank Texas Member FDIC Equal Lending Provider

*First Baird Bancshares and its subsidiaries, including First Bank Texas, do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. The information here is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisers before engaging in any transaction.

 

 

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA Today Network were not involved in the creation of this content.

 

By Violet Bauske

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News/First Bank Texas. All Rights Reserved.


Savings waiting - and crowds, too - for annual sales tax-free weekend

 

Don’t expect to run into Nicole Fletcher on Friday during the sales tax holiday weekend sales.

 

For one thing, she already has done the back-to-school shopping for her four kids.

 

Perhaps more significantly, she usually avoids the crowds looking to save the 8.25  percent sale tax.

 

“We’ve already done our shopping, but that usually isn’t the norm,” she said. “We usually don’t shop (during the sales tax holiday weekend) because of the crowds. It’s like my husband says: it’s just eight percent off. If you walked past a sale that was 10 percent off, you wouldn’t be impressed.”

 

 

However, plenty of other people will be out starting Friday, whether it’s to save the money or if it’s because the start of school is getting perilously closer.

 

Savings are available Friday-Monday throughout the state. Many stores also offer discounted prices, adding to shoppers' savings.

 

“It’s huge,” said Michelle Parker, Mall of Abilene marketing director. “It’s not as big as Black Friday (the Friday following Thanksgiving) or Christmas Eve, but it’s big.”

 

 

How much is saved not known

 

The sales tax holiday weekend is one of the three designated by the state.

 

In April, people can save the sales tax on certain emergency-preparedness items and Memorial Day weekend, Texans pay no sales tax on water-efficient products and Texas EnergyStar-designated products. But those two weekends pale in comparison to the weekend in which people can save on items for back-to-school shopping.

 

For years, the state said the event was not to save parents of schoolchildren money, but the timing certainly helps with efforts. Over the years, more school-related items qualified for savings.

 

The state comptroller’s office estimates that Texans pocket about $102 million in savings.

 

Though the holiday has been around since 1999, most of the information you get about it is anecdotal.

 

The comptroller’s office doesn’t break down the savings by cities or region, and Mike Rains, the finance director for the city of Abilene, said he doesn’t know how much money stays in people’s pockets rather than go into the city’s coffers.

 

“The money we don’t get is the unknown,” he said. “I guess we could break it down store by store, but we haven’t done that. We know what we usually get in August and we budget for that. We’re just grateful to get it.”

 

 

Some items will sell quickly

 

Sarah Moore, manager of the Shoe Department store at the mall, said the weekend is the biggest of the year for her store, surpassing even Black Friday. The days leading up to the weekend are big for her store as well as the Salvation Army will bring children there for school shoes.

 

If you’ve been window-shopping a pair of shoes at the store, you might want to grab them early.

 

“We get more stock from corporate for this weekend, but, yeah, you might want to go ahead and make sure you get them,” she said.

 

Walmart, which one would assume would do a big back-to-school business, said it didn’t calculate the impact of the sales tax holiday on its individual stores.

 

 

Make sure your purchase qualifies

 

The sales tax exemption applies to certain items priced under $100. It might not apply to everything on a child’s school supply list. For instance, notebook paper wouldn’t be taxed, but hand sanitizer and a box of tissue would be. If you buy school supplies already bundled, only the approved items would be untaxed.

 

When it comes to clothing, the same $100 limit applies and certain items aren’t exempted. For instance, a golf cap wouldn’t be taxed, but a pair of golf shoes (if dad is trying to sneak in a pair) would be taxed.

 

Using Moore’s store as an example, the shoes and socks would be exempt from the sales tax, but not bags and wallets or shoe polish.

 

The state’s comptroller’s website, www.comptroller.texas.gov, has a list of items that are exempt and those that aren’t.

 

A store cannot advertise that it will pay the sales tax for non-exempted items, but it could include the sales tax on the price of an advertised item.

 

 

What is tax free?

 

School/office supplies: Eligible items include backpacks (limit 10 per purchase), book bags, calculators, chalk, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, highlighters, index cards, legal pads, lunch boxes, markers, notebooks, paper, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers, school supply kits, scissors, writing tablets.

 

Clothing: Aprons, athletic socks, baby clothes, belts, blouses, boots, bras, caps, children's novelty costumes, coats, diapers, dresses, earmuffs, employee uniforms, gloves, gym suits, hooded shirts and sweatshirts, hunting vests, jackets, jeans, jerseys, jogging apparel, leotards and tights, neckware, pajamas, pants, raincoats/ponchos, religious clothing, scarves, scout uniforms, shawls and wraps, shirts, shoes, shorts, skirts, slippers, socks, suits, suspenders, sweatshirts, sweaters, swimsuits, undershirts and uniforms.

 

What is not tax free?

 

School/office supplies: Computers, textbooks and other items not in the above list.

 

Certain bags, cases and luggage: Athletic, duffel or gym bags; briefcases; computer bags; framed backpacks; luggage; and purses.

 

Clothing: Accessories (barrettes, belt buckles, bobby pins, elastic ponytail holders, hair bows and clips, handbags, handkerchiefs, headbands, jewelry, key cases, purses, wallets and watches), alterations, bulletproof vests, buttons and zippers, embroidery, fabrics, gloves (gardening, protective, rubber, sports, surgical or work), goggles, hair nets, helmets, insoles, life jackets, pads, paint, safety clothing, scuba equipment, shoelaces, skates, sports shoes and equipment, umbrellas.

 

By Scott Kirk

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Abilene ISD approves big raises for teacher contracts ahead of setting budget

 

Abilene ISD teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians are in for a large pay increase, no matter their experience level.

 

School district trustees approved, in a 4-3 vote Monday evening, to give at least 6% increases to every teacher this coming school year.

 

It was a plan proposed by Trustee Samuel Garcia that won barely enough support to become the adopted salary schedule, thanks to board President Randy Piersall giving his approval despite vocally advocating for a different plan.

 

"In the end, I wanted teachers to get as big of a raise as possible," Piersall said after the vote. "The issue I had was with beginning teachers making close to what experienced teachers make. And after conversations, I realized that's not a problem that's going to be fixed overnight."

 

Piersall and Garcia were joined in their support by trustees Angie Wiley and Billy Enriquez. Trustees Danny Wheat, Daryl Zeller and Cindy Earles voted against the plan, though they openly supported the other alternative that promised one percent lower increases to teachers with 10 years of experience or less.

 

The difference between the two plans was less than $230,000 in a spending plan of almost $140 million.

 

Specifics

Under the approved plan, new teachers starting with zero years of experience, will earn $47,000. This past school year, that starting salary was $45,000.

 

Calculating everyone else's increase will be easier, thanks to the district eliminating a confusing midpoint pay raise plan started two years ago.

 

Teachers with five or less years of experience will receive a 6% bump in pay. Those with six through 15 years of experience will get a 7% bump. The largest pay raise, 8%, is reserved for teachers with 16 or more years of experience.

 

So, a teacher who just finished their first year in May will collect $47,700 next school year, $2,700 more than last school year. Likewise, a teacher with 10 years of experience will receive $51,360 ($3,360 more than last school year) and those with 25 years experience will be paid $60,588 ($4,488 more than last school year).

 

There is some concern among trustees, and among state lawmakers, that the funding formula in the house bill might not be feasible long-term.

 

Wheat said he was happy to hear those on the board discuss the viability of the current system and be aware that it might not be the same situation for teachers in two years when the next legislative session reevaluates school funding.

 

While Wheat voted against the eventually adopted plan, he said both of the options were great.

 

As for those on contracts other than teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses, trustees approved separate raises for them which include midpoint calculations.

 

What's next?

These raises are part of the state's plan for House Bill 3, which provided Abilene ISD with about $13 million in additional state revenue.

 

In that law, lawmakers demanded district use 30% of the extra money to give raises to every employee aside from administrators. Of that 30%, 75% must be given to teachers and those with similar contracts.

 

In Abilene ISD, teachers, librarians and nurses share a contract. Counselors were also given the same raises approved by the board. 

 

Under the rules of House Bill 3, AISD needed to provide about $4 million in new money. The approved plan includes more than $6 million in raises.

 

With the employee compensation plan out of the way, trustees will next meet during a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 26 to approve the district's tax rate, revenue budget and spending plan.

 

The district's finances are almost ironed out, with estimated $141.6 million in revenues and $139.1 million in expenses expected to be decided by trustees.

 

The tax levy, affected by the district's recent approval of a $138.7 million bond and the state's reduction of the maintenance and operations tax from $1.04 per $100 valuation to 97 cents per $100 valuation, will be finalized before the meeting.

 

By Timothy Chipp

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Abilene Wide Open: EOD Training

Marine Corps SSgt. Charles Valentine of the 1st. EOD Company from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, crawls through a bus window during a to reach a hostage during a training exercise Thursday.

Marine Corps SSgt. Charles Valentine of the 1st. EOD Company from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, crawls through a bus window during a to reach a hostage during a training exercise Thursday. (Photo: Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News)

 

Civilians and military mixed it up last week at Dyess Air Force Base, but in the best way possible.

 

About 40 U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and officers from Abilene, Austin and Midland police department bomb squads trained Thursday and Friday in a variety of explosive ordinance disposal scenarios.

 

 

Some involved a situation where a hostage had been left to hold a device on a bus. EOD personnel had to crawl inside through the windows because the doorways were rigged with devices, in this case, sirens.

George Ewing of the Austin Police Department works on a simulated bomb on Dyess Air Force Base.

George Ewing of the Austin Police Department works on a simulated bomb on Dyess Air Force Base. (Photo: Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News)

 

SSgt. Alex Geml, 7th CES Explosive Ordinance Disposal flight at Dyess Air Force Base diffuses a simulated explosive device inside a car Thursday.

SSgt. Alex Geml, 7th CES Explosive Ordinance Disposal flight at Dyess Air Force Base diffuses a simulated explosive device inside a car Thursday. (Photo: Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News)

 

Others learned to drive the base's bomb disposal robot, taking it up stairs, picking up object  and finding objects using only the onboard cameras.

 

By Ronald W. Erdrich

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Abilene City Council starts talks on budget

 

 

The Abilene City Council adopted a first version of its Fiscal Year 2020 budget Monday morning, examining a need for increased salaries for employees, including fire and police, and a planned hike in water rates for residential, commercial and industrial users, among other items.

 

"Senate Bill 2 has created a dynamic that we are going to be more aggressive this year than we would be otherwise," said Mayor Anthony Williams, citing recent legislation that will put harsh caps on future property tax increases. 

 

The council went forward Monday, again in first reading, with a proposed tax rate of 79.68 cents per $100 of property value, a 2.46-cent increase over the previous year's rate.

 

For every $100,000 of property value, that would increase the tax burden $4.17 per month, or about $50 a year.

 

But anticipated gains in property value assessments may ultimately lower that number by almost a penny to 78.77 cents per $100, a decision the council will make later based on more accurate figures.

 

If needed, the council can reexamine the rate at its Thursday night regular meeting, or in future sessions.

 

"Today is not setting anything in stone," Councilman Kyle McAlister said.

 

There is time for both the community and the council to have further say, William said, describing the proposed budget as a "living organism," with the "opportunity to make needed modifications" still in place.

 

Some good news?

After Monday's meeting, City Manager Robert Hanna said the possible reduction in tax rate was "good news."

 

Even at the lower level, the rate would be sufficient to "fund fire and police at their needed levels," he said.

 

"It'll also fund necessary salary increases for our city employees that need the adjustments, especially our lower wage-earners," he said.

 

The reduced rate doesn't exactly equate to lower taxes, since it assumes higher property values to be plugged into the equation. 

 

The city started estimating a bump of 3 percent in assessed property values.

 

The final rate likely will be closer to 5 percent, Hanna said.

 

The likely lower number is good, he said, in light of the restrictions Senate Bill 2 will impose on Texas cities and counties in an effort to reduce property taxes.

 

The bill, which goes into effect in January, requires municipalities and counties to receive voter approval before raising property taxes more than 3.5 percent.

 

Even with that looming, the goal was never to "grab all we can grab" under the current, far more generous 8 percent cap, Hanna said.

 

"It's an exercise in making sure we adequately fund city services in the light of Senate Bill 2," he said. "... If values are higher than we thought it would be, it would be wrong for me to recommend keeping the rate the same."

 

The council also heard about adoption of a five-year plan to adjust water utility rates.

 

Residential users can expect an annual adjustment of 5 cents per "unit" of 1,000 gallons to all tiers of consumption rate, with an annual adjustment of sewer base charges of 50 cents per account and an annual adjustment to sewer consumption rates of 15 cents per 1,000 gallons.

 

A residential customer paying, currently paying $53 for 5,000 gallons, would by year five pay $60.50, for example.

 

Personnel key to current budget

The council started with a proposed budget of $106.5 million in expenditures in its general fund, with a planned $106.6 million in anticipated revenue.

 

The city’s general fund is the principal fund of the city and is used to account for core government services, such as police, fire, streets, library services, parks and recreation, code compliance and building inspections. 

 

Personnel costs make up about three-quarters of the general fund, and if there is a theme to the 2020 budget,Williams said, "it's personnel."

 

"Providing increases for police and fire, that is leading the conversation," he said. 

 

Pay concerns for all employees also are major part of the budget, with some employees currently on the city's lowest pay scale not able to earn a livable wage.

 

Those costs need to be dealt with now, Hanna recently said, noting it will not be possible to adequately fund public safety obligations and non-civil service pay adjustments under Senate Bill 2's limits unless property taxes are increased in 2020.

 

Afternoon talks examined changes to the city's schedule of fees, the need for certain new personnel among 22 proposed and the potential fate of a glass recycling program.

 

Councilwoman Donna Albus, long a champion of local recycling, took a stand on the latter, stating that she had contacted at least one local plumbing company that said it would buy crushed glass instead of gravel, if available.

 

"I just think we've got to do our part, and this is something we can do," she said.

 

Keeping the program would require purchase of a new glass crusher, Hanna said.

 

The city's original glass crusher was purchased through a Council of Governments grant.

 

The cost of the crusher, around $100,000, and the attendant manpower required made continuing the program prohibitive, said Greg McAffrey, the city's director of public works.

 

Williams said he could see supporting such a program if it essentially made enough to offset its costs.

 

"This is one of those areas where staff at least feels the money we currently spend on that service could be better spent somewhere else," Hanna said.

 

However, "if there is a market out there, we could determine that," he said.

 

The elimination of recycable plastics met with no opposition.

 

Next steps

The next phase for the budget process will be a public hearing and adoption of the 2019 revised budget at the council's Aug. 8 meeting.

 

Public hearings on the tax rate will be Aug. 22 and at a special meeting Sept. 5.

 

The final adoption of the 2020 budget, tax rate, and fee schedule, accompanied by public hearings, will be at the Sept. 12 regular council meeting.

 

 

By Brian Bethel

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Apollo 11 moon landing: 5 ways Texas has celebrated all things NASA

When it comes to marking special moments like the historic landing, Texas goes big. 

 

In tribute to NASA and the 50th anniversary of the appollo 11 mission, here are five ways the milestone and the space program has been honored in the Lone Star State:

Astrodome

As you can imagine Houston has no shortage of tributes to the moon landing and NASA given its contributions and rightly so. H-town is home to Johnson Space Center, which opened in 1961, and the Space Center Museum.

 

But who doesn't remember the Astrodome, once touted as the "eighth wonder of the world"? When the stadium opened on April 9, 1965 - four years before Neil Armstrong would become the first person to walk on the moon - it was a big deal.

 

It was home to professional baseball, professional football, one of the world's largest rodeos and many concerts featuring the likes of Elvis Presley, Tina Turner and B.B. King.

 

And cue Astros fever!

Houston Astros

The debut of the Astrodome led to the local baseball team - then the Colt .45s - to be re-christened with a new and lasting moniker: the Houston Astros. Go 'Stros!

 

The Major League Baseball Team played in the Astrodome until 2000 until moving to downtown Houston to play in Minute Maid Park.

 

Houston Rockets

The professional basketball team got its start in San Diego in 1967 but found its permanent home in Houston in 1971 — fitting considering it's home for NASA.

 

The team won back-to-back NBA championships in the 1990s. 

AstroWorld amusement park

Kids rejoiced on June 1, 1968, with the opening of Astroworld in Houston.

 

Its proximity to the Astrodome — it was across the highway — and out-of-this-world rides, including the famous Texas Cyclone rollercoaster, made it a staple attraction for Houstonians and beyond. But in 1975 it was bought by Six Flags Entertainment and ultimately closed in 2005. It's now a parking lot for Reliant Park. #RIPAstroWorld

Streets named after astronauts 

Besides Houston, El Paso is another Texas city that takes its love for NASA and its many astronauts to the next level. 

 

There are more than two dozen streets named in various zip codes that pay tribute to astronauts like John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth. 

 

Several streets are named for the astronauts killed in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. There's also Space Shuttle Lane, a nod to not only the Challenger but also Atlantis, Discovery, Endeavour, Columbia and Enterprise.

 

 

By Mary Ann Cavazos Beckett

Copyright © 2019, Corpus Christi Caller Times. All Rights Reserved.


Experience installation at Dyess Memorial Park expansion honoring fallen airmen, personnel

Workmen bring in stone blocks as construction at Dyess Memorial Park continues Tuesday.

Workmen bring in stone blocks as construction at Dyess Memorial Park continues Tuesday. (Photo: Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News)

 

On artist renderings, the most poignant element of the semi-circular, stone installation at Dyess Memorial Park is not visible.

 

Providing an ethereal quality will be the interplay of sunlight and shadow on the Lueders limestone stone arc colonnade, monuments and plaques with the names of Dyess Air Force Base airmen and other personnel killed during flight and nonflight incidents.

 

The memorial is an expansion at the Dyess Memorial Park, which consisted of a flagpole and covered area, under which bricks honoring those who served in the military were placed. A small museum also is located at the site.

 

The new memorial will recognize 79 airmen and other personnel since Dyess opened in 1956. 

At the expansion, stones and memorial plaques may seem randomly placed. However, they are configured so that at the time the fatal event occurred, sunlight will be focused through slits in the colonnade onto the respective memorial, said Gray Bridwell, Abilene Chamber of Commerce vice president for military affairs.

 

The daylight incidents will be inside the semi-circle, and the night-time ones on the outside near a walking path. Numerous limestone benches provide seating for visitors to fully experience the space.

 

“I know some of the concepts we’re trying to pull off on this deal may be hard to grasp just by lecturing about it. So, we’re hopeful that with the ribbon cutting that we’ll actually get a hands-on preview of what we’re trying to accomplish on the site,” said Mitch Wright, landscape architect who designed the expansion.

 

Workmen align stone blocks Tuesday at Dyess Memorial Park.

Workmen align stone blocks Tuesday at Dyess Memorial Park. (Photo: Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News)

 

At that expansion dedication at 10 a.m. Friday, visitors can see the light-and-stone symbiotic dance. As of Tuesday, about 125 family members had indicated their plans to attend the event.

 

The park is at Arnold Boulevard and Military Drive, just outside the Dyess security fence near the main gate. It will be open for public viewing.

 

“It’s really not about a visual object or a visual design to be looked at. It’s something for people to move around in and for people to have something more experiential,” Wright said. "I hope it brings a certain level of emotion." 

 

A model depicts the expansion planned for Dyess Memorial Park. The model was on display during a news conference May 22 to announce the fundraising goal of $550,000 had been surpassed.

Bridging time

Those in attendance will include the four sons of Staff Sgt. William C. Burdette, originally from Talladega, Alabama. He was one of four airmen killed July 17, 1957, when their B-47 crashed during takeoff from the base. It was the new base's first fatal crash.

 

Abilene Air Force Base opened April 15, 1956. Its name later would be changed to Dyess AFB, in honor of Shackelford County native and World War II hero Lt. Col. William E. Dyess. He died in December 1943 in a plane crash near Burbank, California.

 

Staff Sgt. William Burdette was the crew chief on a Dyess Air Force Base B-47 that crashed just after takeoff July 17, 1957. The four airmen who died were the new base's first casualties.

“Coming to the memorial will help because we were so young, and maybe this will help make us feel closer to our father,” said David Burdette of Alabama.

At the time of the crash, David was 3. His siblings, and their ages then, are Larry, 4½, Johnny, 2, and Ronnie, 6 months. After that fateful day, the family returned to Alabama, and Larry later served in the military, David said.

Staff Sgt. William Burdette was the crew chief on Dyess Air Force Base B-47 that crashed just after takeoff July 17, 1957. The four airmen who died were the new base's first casualties. (photo: reporter-news files)

 

“My father joined the service as soon as he was allowed to. He and my mother married at a young age,” David said. “I know from talking with my aunts and uncles that he was a good man.” 

 

The memorial is important for not just the families but for the country as well, David said. 

 

“It is important to come to the memorial to let people know not only did the families lose a lot, but also so does the country anytime a service person gives their all,” he said.

Multi-purpose site

Talk of the expansion percolated during discussion on how to honor the crew members who died in a fatal crash of a Dyess-based C-130J in Afghanistan in the fall of 2015.

 

Civic and military leaders realized that memorials for previous airmen killed while in service were scattered at the base and in the city.

 

“I love the fact that it’s outside the fence but still part of the Dyess campus. That way, the public can engage in it at their leisure as well as the Dyess community.”

 

The expansion enables all to be honored and respected in one place that will be convenient for even non-military personnel to visit.

 

“I love the fact that it’s outside the fence but still part of the Dyess campus. That way, the public can engage in it at their leisure as well as the Dyess community,” Wright said.

 

Based on comments from Dyess officials, the space also may be used for special occasions, such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, graduations and promotions, Wright said.

 

Inspiration from above

 

Wright grew up in Abilene and lives in Austin. He is the son of Abilene entrepreneur, author and photographer Bill Wright and the grandson of the late civic leader William P. “Dub” Wright. The latter was among Abilene’s movers and shakers who brought Camp Barkeley south of Abilene during World War II and facilitated the creation of Dyess.

 

“Dub Wright had his way of celebrating the Air Force, and I have my own different spin on it just through my talents, and I’m glad to be able to carry on that tradition,” Wright said.

 

Since graduating from Texas A&M University in 1986 and entering the profession, Wright has worked on a variety of projects as a landscape architect, master planner, site planner and certified city planner.

 

William P. "Dub" Wright honors the flag at the April 1976 dedication of the Wright Drop Zone at Dyess Air Force Base. His grandson, Mitch, designed the new Dyess Memorial Park, which opens Friday.

William P. "Dub" Wright honors the flag at the April 1976 dedication of the Wright Drop Zone at Dyess Air Force Base. His grandson, Mitch, designed the new Dyess Memorial Park, which opens Friday. (Photo: Reporter-News file photo)

 

Previous Abilene projects include designing the Adamson-Spalding Storybook Sculpture Park at the Abilene Convention Center and crafting the master plan for Kirby Lake Park, including the children’s nature play area.

 

“We’ve got the dinosaur discovery sand pit that will be installed this fall or winter,” he said.

 

The Dyess expansion, however, is Wright’s first memorial. Because of pilots' affinity for the sky, he found inspiration from above.

 

“So, looking up in the sky became something about sunlight. Obviously, sunlight is an interesting tool to play with as a designer,” Wright said.

 

The expansion is being built in phases. The first part being unveiled this week was made possible by private donations of more than $600,000, secured by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce.

 

In the coming months, there will be more site work. And, there are other ideas to further enhance the Dyess Memorial Park in the future, which will take additional funding, Bridwell said. 

 

“I hope that they will continue to add on to the space as the original master plan showed. But, that will take lots more fund-raising and time, and it was a big project in its initial concept,” Wright said.

 

Lt. Col. Mitchell Spillers, 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander, bows his head during a moment of silence during a fallen comrade memorial ceremony held in honor of six Airmen Oct. 3, 2015, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Mitchell Spillers, 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander, bows his head during a moment of silence during a fallen comrade memorial ceremony held in honor of six Airmen Oct. 3, 2015, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (Photo: Photo courtesy of the Air Force)

 

If You Go

  • What: Dedication of the Dyess Memorial Park expansion
  • When: 10 a.m. Friday
  • Where: Near the intersection of Arnold Boulevard and Military Drive, just outside Dyess Air Force Base

 

By Laura Gutschke

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.

 

 


Things to do in and around Abilene

"Ben-Hur" (1959)

"Ben-Hur" (1959) (Photo: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

 

SATURDAY, JULY 13

 

Free movies at the library

 

  • "How To Train Your Dragon 3," rated PG, will be presented at 11 a.m. at the South Branch of the Abilene Public Library, in the Mall of Abilene. "Gravity," rated PG-13, will follow at 2 p.m.
  • "WALL-E," rated G, will be presented at 2:30 p.m. at the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library, 1326 N. Mockingbird Lane.

 

Vendor market

 

The After Hours Market will be open from 1-8 p.m. at the Abilene Convention Center, 1100 N. Sixth St. Approximately 50 local vendors will be present, with live music and children's activities available.

 

'Ben-Hur'

 

As part of the Paramount Film Series, "Ben-Hur" will be shown at 2 and 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 352 Cypress St. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for students, seniors, military and children. For information, go to paramount-abilene.org.

 

Party on the Patio

 

Party on the Patio, featuring Jennifer B and The Groove, will be open from 6-9 p.m. at Kent’s Harley-Davidson, 3106 S. Clack St. Listeners are invited to bring chairs and coolers.

 

Others ...

  • Overeaters Anonymous, 10 a.m., Shades of Hope, 402A Mulberry St., Buffalo Gap. 800-588-4673.
  • Abilene Society of Model Railroaders, 10 a.m. to noon, 598 Westwood Drive.
  • Aglow International, 6 p.m., The Crossover, S. First and Poplar streets. 325-829-8826.
  •  

MONDAY, JULY 15

 

  • AARP, 10 a.m., Rose Park Senior Citizens Center, Room Be, 2625 S. Seventh St.
  • Cancer Services Network’s Auxiliary meeting, 10:30 a.m., 100 Chestnut St., Suite 100. 325-672-0040.
  • Overeaters Anonymous, noon, Abilene Public Library South Branch, Mall of Abilene.
  • Schizophrenia Support Group, 1-2 p.m., Mental Health Association of Abilene, 333 Orange St. 325-673-2300.
  • Parkinson's Exercise Class, 3:15 p.m., Hendrick Health Club, 2110 Pine St.
  • Free swim class for people with multiple sclerosis, 5:30 p.m., YMCA, 3250 State St.
  • Anorexics Bulimics Anonymous, 6 p.m., Shades of Hope, 402A Mulberry St., Buffalo Gap. 800-588-4673.
  • Central Texas Gem & Mineral Society of Abilene, 7 p.m., 7607 Highway 277 South. 325-692-0063.
  • Abilene Toastmaster’s Club 1071, 7 p.m., Conference Center, Texas State Technical College, 650 E. Highway 80. 325-692-7325 or abilene.toastmastersclubs.org.
  • Al-Anon, 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 1501 N. Broadway, Ballinger. 817-689-2810 or 325-977-1007.
  • Mid-City Al-Anon, 7 p.m., First Christian Church. 325-670-4304.
  • Memory Men (4-part a cappella singing), 7 p.m., First Baptist Church University Place, 302 Hickory St. 325-676-SING or www.memorymen.org.
  • Those Left To Cope, 7-8:30 p.m., First Baptist Church Ministry of Counseling and Enrichment, 1502 N. First St.
  • Abilene Community Band rehearsal, 7:30 p.m., Bynum Band Hall, McMurry University. 325-232-7383.
  • South Pioneer Al-Anon Group, 8 p.m., 3157 Russell Ave.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous, 8 p.m., Avoca United Methodist Church. 325-773-2611.
  • Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Group. 325-676-1400.

 

TUESDAY, JULY 16

 

Square dance workshop

 

TYE — The Wagon Wheel Squares will conduct a square dance workshop at 6:30 p.m. at the Wagon Wheel.

 

Others ...

 

  • Mission on the Move Soup Kitchen, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Southwest Drive Community United Methodist Church, 3025 Southwest Drive.
  • Duplicate Bridge, 11:45 a.m., Mabel Lilius Bridge Center, 3001 S. Ninth St. 325-672-7990.
  • Abilene Southwest Rotary Club, noon, Beehive Restaurant, 442 Cedar St.
  • High Noon Al-Anon, noon, Southern Hills Church of Christ, 3666 Buffalo Gap Road (south end; follow the yellow signs).
  • Stroke/Aphasia Recovery Program support group, 1:30-2:30 p.m. West Texas Rehabilitation Center boardroom, 4601 Hartford St. 325-793-3535.
  • Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS), 3:30 p.m., Brook Hollow Christian Church, 2310 S. Willis St. 325-232-7444.
  • Dystonia Support Group, 5:15-6:15 p.m., Not Without Us, 3301 N. First St. Suite 117.
  • Legacies Al-Anon Family Group, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Open Door Building, 3157 Russell Ave. 325-280-7584.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness, 6 p.m., Grace Fellowship, 910 Cypress St.
  • Family (of Mental Health Consumers) Support Group, 6-7 p.m., Mental Health Association in Abilene, 333 Orange St. 325-673-2300.
  • MHAA Bipolar/Depression Peer Support Group, 6-8 p.m., Ministry of Counseling & Enrichment, 1502 N. First St. 325-673-2300.
  • Free certified nurturing parent class (pregnancy to toddler), 6-8 p.m., Mission Church, North Third and Mockingbird streets. 325-672-9398.
  • Abilene Star Chorus, 6:15 p.m., Wisteria Place Assisted Living Chapel, 3202 S. Willis St.
  • Overeaters Anonymous, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Exodus Metropolitan Community Church, 1933 S. 27th St.
  • Family Support Group for parents with special needs children, 6:30-7:30 p.m., West Texas Rehabilitation Center boardroom, 4601 Hartford St. 325-793-3500.
  • Alzheimer’s Association — North Central Texas Chapter, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Chisholm Place, 1450 E. N. 10th St. 325-672-2907.
  • Al-Anon Parents Group, 7 p.m., Hillcrest Church of Christ, 650 E. Ambler Ave. Use Church Street entrance.
  • Al-Anon, 7 p.m., Doug Meinzer Activity Center, Knox City. 940-658-3926.
  • Brigadier General John Sayles Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 366, 7 p.m., American Legion Building, 302 E.S. 11th St.
  • Abilene Society of Model Railroaders, 7-8:30 p.m., 598 Westwood Drive.
  • Unity Group of Alcoholics Anonymous, 8 p.m., Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander St.

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 17

 

  • Overeaters Anonymous, 8 a.m., Baker Heights Church of Christ, 5382 Texas Ave.
  • Abilene Cactus Lions Club, 11:45 a.m., Beehive Restaurant, 442 Cedar St.
  • Abilene Wednesday Rotary Club, noon, Abilene Country Club, 4039 S. Treadaway. $12 for lunch. Jo Ann Wilson, 325-677-6815.
  • Kiwanis Club of Abilene, noon, Abilene Country Club, 4039 S. Treadaway Blvd.
  • Clearly Speaking Toastmaster Club, noon, Hunter Welcome Center, Abilene Christian University.
  • Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Support Group, 2-3 p.m., Western Hills Healthcare Residence, Comanche.
  • Parkinson's Exercise Class, 3:15 p.m., Hendrick Health Club, 2110 Pine St.
  • Alzheimer’s disease support group, 5:15 p.m., Cedar Crest Care Center, 1901 W. Elliott, Breckenridge. Assists those who have a family member with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. 1-800-272-3900 or 254-559-3302.
  • Free swim class for people with multiple sclerosis, 5:30 p.m., YMCA, 3250 State St.
  • Veterans Peer Support Group, 6 p.m., 765 Orange St. 325-670-4818.
  • Mid-week Al-Anon Family Group, 6-7 p.m., Open Door Building, 3157 Russell Ave. 325-698-4995.
  • Al-Anon, 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 1501 N. Broadway, Ballinger. 817-689-2810 or 325-977-1007.
  • DivorceCare support group, 7 p.m., Hillcrest Church of Christ, 650 E. Ambler Ave. 325-691-4200.

 

Anton Yelchin is Chekov, Chris Pine is Kirk and John

Anton Yelchin is Chekov, Chris Pine is Kirk and John Cho is Sulu in a scene from the 2013 movie 'Star Trek Into Darkness.' (Photo: Zade Rosenthal, Paramount Pictures)

 

THURSDAY, JULY 18

 

Movie at the library

 

A free showing of "Star Trek Into Darkness" will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Abilene Public Library, 202 Cedar St.

 

Others ...

 

  • Chronic Pain and Depression Group, 11 a.m. to noon, Mental Health Association of Abilene, 333 Orange St., 325-673-2300.
  • Abilene Founder Lions Club, 11:30 a.m., Al’s Mesquite Grill, 4801 Buffalo Gap Road.
  • Duplicate Bridge, 11:45 a.m., Mabel Lilius Bridge Center, 3001 S. Ninth St. 325-672-7990.
  • Kiwanis Club of Greater Abilene, noon, Beehive Restaurant second floor, 442 Cedar St. 325-692-5673.
  • Retired Military Wives Club bunco social meeting, 12:30 p.m., Rose Park Senior Activity Center, 2625 South Seventh St. 325-677-9656 or 325-793-1490.
  • Mental Illness Open Support Group, 1-2 p.m., Mental Health Association of Abilene, 333 Orange St. 325-673-2300.
  • Abilene 42 Club, 6 p.m., Rose Park Senior Center.
  • Teen Recovery Group, 6-7 p.m., Mission Abilene, 3001 N. Third St.
  • Free certified nurturing parent class (all ages), 6-8 p.m., Mission Church, North Third and Mockingbird streets. 325-672-9398.
  • Take Off Pounds Sensibly, 6:30 p.m. Our Savior Lutheran Church, 4933 S. Seventh St. Weigh-in begins at 5:30 p.m. 325-665-5052.
  • Free swim class for people with multiple sclerosis, 6:30 p.m., YMCA, 3250 State St.
  • Gambler’s Anonymous, 6:30 p.m., Unity Spiritual Living Center, 2842 Barrow St. 325-338-2575.
  • South Pioneer Al-Anon Group, 8 p.m., 3157 Russell Ave.
  • Unity Group of Alcoholics Anonymous, 8 p.m., Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander St.

 

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (Photo: Sony Pictures)

 

FRIDAY, JULY 19

 

Genealogy lock-in

 

A genealogy lock-in will be conducted from 6-8 p.m. at the Abilene Public Library, 202 Cedar St. Members of the West Texas Genealogy Association will provide assistance. Admission is free.

 

Sci-Fi Film Fest

 

The two-day Sci-Fi Film Fest will begin with a showing of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" at 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 352 Cypress St. Tickets are $7 for the movie, or $15 for a festival pass.

 

Others ...

 

  • Parkinson's Exercise Class, 3:15 p.m., Hendrick Health Club, 2110 Pine St.
  • Abilene Chinese Corner, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Abilene Christian University library. lld09a@acu.edu.
  • Mid-City Al-Anon, 7 p.m., First Christian Church. 325-670-4304.

 

Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Leonard

Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in the emotional ending of 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.' (Photo: CBS Television Studios)

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20

 

Moon Day

 

A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing will be conducted from 1-5 p.m. at the Discovery Center, 810 Butternut St. Carl Baugh will be the special guest. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

 

Sci-Fi Film Fest

 

The two-day Sci-Fi Film Fest will continue with a showing of "Flash Gordon" at 1:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 352 Cypress St. "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" will follow at 4:30 p.m., with "Mad Max: Fury Road" at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for each movie, or $15 for a festival pass.

 

Movie at the library

 

A free showing of "Muppets in Space," rated G, will begin at 3 p.m. at the Abilene Public Library, 202 Cedar St.

 

'James and the Giant Peach the Musical'

 

Members of Mrs. Z's Performing Arts Studio will present a performance of "James and the Giant Peach the Musical" at 7 p.m. in the Williams Performing Arts Center at Abilene Christian University. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

 

Square dance

 

TYE — The Wagon Wheel Squares will conduct a square dance at 7:30 p.m. at the Wagon Wheel.

 

Others ...

 

  • Overeaters Anonymous, 10 a.m., Shades of Hope, 402A Mulberry St., Buffalo Gap. 800-588-4673.
  • Big Country Chapter American Association of Medical Transcriptionists meeting, 10 a.m., Arbec Room, first floor, Texas State Technical College, East Highway 80, Abilene. For medical transcriptionists or anyone interested in becoming one. 325-698-8898.
  • Abilene Society of Model Railroaders, 10 a.m. to noon, 598 Westwood Drive.

 

By Nathaniel Ellsworth

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Do you need a gardening superhero?

Gardeners from other parts of the country are often horrified at the growing conditions here in the Big Country. Our difficult soils produce shudders even from seasoned gardeners in other parts of Texas. Compost and mulch are the dynamic duo that address many of the issues that make our soils so unfriendly to plants. That makes them the closest things to superheroes that serve those of us who love plants.

 

Soil: A healthy soil has about 50 percent solid matter, 25 percent air space and 25 percent water, with organic matter making up 5 percent of the solid matter. It has rich color, a great earthy smell and a crumbly texture and is teeming with life.

 

Our soils, by contrast, range from heavy clay to the finest of sand. Texas heat burns organic matter up before it can be incorporated into the soil. This translates to less than half of 1 percent organic matter, the life blood of soil. Dirt may be hard and dense or run through your fingers. 

 

Compost: Compost is simply decomposed organic matter. You can buy in bags or in bulk from stores. Look for a quality product that is dark, smells like great soil and does not look like the parent material. Or, make your own compost (I'll have a column soon). Till a 3-inch layer of compost into the soil.

 

What benefits can you expect? Those tiny particles of clay that make it so dense will loosen some with the addition of compost, allowing better movement of air and water in the soil. Add it to a sandy soil and the same product will help hold the sand together, increasing its water-and nutrient-holding capacity. The compost is full of microorganisms like fungi and bacteria that provide nutrition for growing plants. It reacts chemically with soil to help buffer the typically high pH of most of our soils (measure of alkalinity or acidity) that can bind up needed plant nutrients.

 

What if you have established plantings? Top-dressing with compost will still be beneficial. The process will just be slower.

 

Mulch: Mulch is used to cover the soil. It can be inorganic like rocks or organic. Wood chips are the most popular organic mulch, though not the only option. Both will help prevent erosion and inhibit weed growth.

Rocks might be a good choice in a very xeric bed with cacti and other heat-loving succulents. They will appreciate the protection provided from standing water and the heat-holding capacity of the rocks. You will feel the extra heat, too, so keep that in mind.

 

For most uses, an organic mulch is much preferred. A two- or three-inch layer of coarse wood chips will help maintain soil moisture that would otherwise be lost to evaporation and help moderate soil temperatures. As the mulch degrades, it acts as a very slow-release fertilizer, adding nutrients and yet more organic matter to the soil. Since the soil does not heat up as much, more beneficial organisms like the amazing earthworm remain active in the root-growing zone.

When mulching woody plants, don’t mound the mulch around the trunk or stems of the plant. That creates an unhealthy environment for the plants. Think doughnut, not volcano. 


Search txmg.org for the “Take Care of Texas” guide to mulching and composting. If you have questions about this or any other gardening topic, please call the Big Country Master Gardener Association’s hotline at 325-672-6048, or email us at Bcmg@txmg.org.

 

Until next time, happy gardening!

 

By Audrey Gillespie 

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Live on Abilene, area stages: Fiesta de Verano

La Maquinaria Nortena

La Maquinaria Nortena

 

La Fiesta de Verano, featuring Grammy-nominated group La Maquinaria Norteña, will open at 7 p.m. July 12 at the Abilene Convention Center, 1100 N. Sixth St. La Fiera de Ojinaga will be special guests.

 

Tickets are $20, and are available at stubwire.com.

 

If you’re a musician who has a gig, or you’re a venue owner who has a musician playing, send us your information. It’s FREE to be listed here, but we can’t tell everyone who’s playing if no one tells us.

 

Send your information to publishme@reporternews.com; via fax to 325-670-5242; or via mail in care of the Reporter-News, 101 Cypress St., Abilene, TX 79601.

 

Deadline is one week before publication.

 

ABILENE

  • Abilene Convention Center, 1100 N. 6th St. La Maquinaria Nortena and La Fiera de Ojinaga, 7 p.m. July 12, $20.
  • Abilene Zoo, 2070 Zoo Lane. Grady Spencer and the Work, 6-9 p.m. July 11, $20.
  • Firehouse Bar & Grill, 2074 Butternut St. Curtis Grimes, 9 p.m. July 13.
  • Mezamiz Deux Coffee House, 3909 S. 7th St. Stevie G, 7 p.m. Saturday.
  • The Mill Winery, 239 Locust St. Jess Goodlett, 7 p.m. Friday. Matt Ellis, 6 p.m. Thursday and July 18. Christy Patton, 7 p.m. July 13.
  • La Nueva Luna, 1082 S. Second St. Randall King, 9:30 p.m. July 13.
  • Play Faire Park, 2300 N. 2nd St. 2 Old Guys on Guitars, 7:45 p.m. Friday. Indie Rock Road Show, 7:45 p.m. July 12. Jackson Hatch & the East Lake Band, 8 p.m. July 13.
  • VFW 6873, 1049 Veterans Drive. Kelby Hodges, 7 p.m. Wednesday. Last Dance Band, 7 p.m. July 17.

 

 

OUT OF TOWN

 

CLYDE

  • Denton Valley's Backyard, 11949 FM 604. Texas Touch, 6:30 p.m. Friday, $5. Anaka Grace, 6:30 p.m. July 12.

 

ROSCOE

  • The Lumberyard, No. 7 Cypress. Joe Nichols, 9 p.m. July 13.

 

TYE

  • Wagon Wheel, 1023 South I-20 access road. Midnight Blue, 7 p.m. Saturday.

 

 

 

Note: All live entertainment listings are subject to change without notice.

 

 

By Nathaniel Ellsworth

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


What's open, closed on the Fourth of July in Abilene

Closed Thursday

  • Taylor County offices

 

  • State of Texas offices

 

  • U.S. post offices and federal offices

Closed Thursday and Friday

  • Abilene City Hall, Public Health District, Convention Center Offices, Development Corporation of Abilene, Airport Administrarion Office, Recreation & Senior Services, Animal Shelter, Police & Fire Administration Office, Environment Recycling Center, Brush Center and Citizens Convenience Center.

 

  • Solid Waste Services Offices (residential and commercial trash pick-up will run on regular schedule)

 

  • Abilene Municipal Court (citations due next business day with no penalty)

 

  • CityLink Transit (dialysis patient transport only on Friday)

 

  • Main and Mockingbird branches of the Abilene Public Library

Open Thursday

  • Abilene Zoo until 3 p.m.

 

  • Adventure Cove

 

  • 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

  • Frontier Texas! until 4 p.m.

 

  • South Branch of the Abilene Public Library, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

  • Water Service Center, 701 E. Highway 80, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Eastland ISD uses parody music video to eliminate parental purchase of school supplies

EASTLAND — Eastland ISD Superintendent Jason Cochran had absolutely no idea singing a song on video was one of his skills.

Now, he and three other school district administrators can add the talent to their résumés.

Cochran and the others helped the district unveil the "Buy No More" program, an initiative to eliminate school supply purchases for students in prekindergarten through eighth grade and, more importantly, their parents.

 

He said his wife came up with an idea to make a parody video, and they chose Billy Ray Cyrus's "Old Town Road."

"We were completely out of our comfort zone," Cochran said. "We were trying to think of a creative way to get our message across. Our high school band director, Stephen Cox, is a whiz at editing and taught us all to sing, and we hit the ground running."

Cochran starts the video off behind his desk with aviator sunglasses on, exclaiming "You know what? It's a great day to be a Maverick," while a guitar strums the opening notes to the Cyrus tune.

 

As the song kicks in and he starts singing, he throws pens over his shoulder before the image switches over to Eastland Middle School Principal Jason Henry, who is rapping about pencils, glue sticks and more as he walks down the stairs at his school.

While the video is catchy, it also serves a purpose: To let parents in Eastland know they won't need to purchase school supplies if their child is in one of the lower grade levels.

 

And, Cochran said, the mission of the program is to be sustainable. So parents won't ever again need to do it. It's not just this one upcoming school year.

 

Jason Henry, principal at Eastland Middle School, performs in the "Buy No More" video announcing that the district will provide school supplies for grades prekindergarten through eighth.

Jason Henry, principal at Eastland Middle School, performs in the "Buy No More" video announcing that the district will provide school supplies for grades prekindergarten through eighth.

 

In February, he said, administration approached teachers about their school supplies. They asked questions like, "What do you wish you had on your list at the start of the year?" and "What supplies do you end up buying out of your own pocket?"

 

Cochran said the school board managed its finances well and was able to fully purchase all of the supplies each teacher stated they needed, plus a few extra in case there are developments. Tissues? Check. Colored pencils? Check.

 

Everything needed for a successful day at school? Check.

 

"We bid it out to several vendors, and working with Eastland Office Supply, we were able to make this reality," Cochran said. "We'll be able to start Day 1 with every kid having all their stuff and teachers not having to lose a day. So, while this is great for parents, it also could mean we gain a day or two in the classroom" instead of dealing with students not having the necessary supplies at the get-go.

 

It doesn't cover everything students need to start the year, such as backpacks.

But there are other ways for parents to secure these items at reduced or no expense before the start of the year, Cochran said.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=v5g8ch47RwM

 

By Timothy Chipp

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Abilene Wide Open: Boombah

Corn stalks are silhouetted by the evening sky as a firework explodes overhead Saturday during Boombah. The fireworks show was the 25th year the Smith family said they have held it, charging no admission and using fireworks available for purchase at their stand.

Corn stalks are silhouetted by the evening sky as a firework explodes overhead Saturday during Boombah. The fireworks show was the 25th year the Smith family said they have held it, charging no admission and using fireworks available for purchase at their stand.

 

It's a clever idea.

Hold a free fireworks show with the product you sell. Invite a few food trucks, set up some games and, suddenly, it's a party.

 

Doug Smith addresses the crowd gathered on his property before Saturday's Boombah fireworks display. Up to 1,700 people were estimated by the family to have shown up for the show, thanks to advertising on social media.

Doug Smith addresses the crowd gathered on his property before Saturday's Boombah fireworks display. Up to 1,700 people were estimated by the family to have shown up for the show, thanks to advertising on social media.

 

Boombah has been organized by the Smith family for 25 years, but it's only been in the past five or so that it's started getting bigger. The family showcases their products, which went on sale this week, by lighting them for those coming out to watch.

 

Men check the fireworks before Saturday's Boombah show at the Smith family property.

Men check the fireworks before Saturday's Boombah show at the Smith family property.

 

And come out they did.

About 1,700 had responded to the Facebook event page set up for the show. At least that many brought their beach chairs to Summerhill Rd., some setting up on the Smith property while others stayed with their cars on the road.

 

A tractor is lit by exploding fireworks during Saturday's Boombah show off Summerhill Road north of Abilene.The result was the intimate sort of display that you'd find at neighbor's house or family reunion. 

A tractor is lit by exploding fireworks during Saturday's Boombah show off Summerhill Road north of Abilene

 

By Ronald W Erdrich

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


BALLINGER TO HOST 2ND ANNUAL HOTTER THAN HELL COOKOFF & PARTY IN THE PARK

Ballinger City Park will host the 2nd Annual Hotter then Hell Cookoff & Party in the Park on Saturday, June 29, 2019.

Ballinger City Park will host the 2nd Annual Hotter then Hell Cookoff & Party in the Park on Saturday, June 29, 2019.

 

The small town of Ballinger is planning a big event next weekend.

The 2nd Annual Hotter then Hell Cookoff & Party in the Park is scheduled for Saturday, June 29, at Ballinger City Park.

Among the activities being offered are:

• a washer tournament at 5:30 p.m.

• a sand volleyball tournament at 10 a.m

• free swimming at the city pool from noon-6 p.m.

• live music by West Texas Funk from 7-10 p.m.

• a fireworks show at Ballinger Lake at 9:30 p.m.

• a silent auction featuring over 40 items

In addition, there will be a cornhole tournament at 7:30 p.m. Friday. 

Kayak rentals were originally planned but have since been cancelled.

 

The cookoff Saturday will feature seven categories -- brisket, ribs, chicken, beans, hot sauce, margaritas and an open category.

This event is also an opportunity for Ballinger to showcase two new features in its city park -- a sand volleyball court and washer pits. A 9-hole disc golf course is expected to be installed in the park later this summer.

Elaine Paske, a member of Ballinger's park board, said this event will help fund future park projects.

 

"We built the Imagination Station playground in the city park in March 2013 ... but the park board is not just over the city park," Paske said. "We're responsible for the lake park, the plaza downtown by the courthouse and the little park behind (the Toliver Brothers car dealership). 

"So our fundraising now is to expand some things to the other parks. Now that the lake is full again, we want something out there for the kids. First and foremost, I think we have to get some shade."

 

This event began years ago as a birthday celebration for Ballinger, Paske said, but when the Chamber of Commerce made the decision to discontinue it last year, the park board took it over.

"Last year, we had about 30 days notice, so I was really pleased with the outcome with that much notice," Paske said. "This year, we've been working on it since the first of the year."

 

Ballinger will also hold its quarterly Sidewalk Showcase on Saturday, which will include vendors along the sidewalks downtown in addition to local businesses.

A farmer's market will be held downtown Saturday morning on 8th Street.

For more information on the cornhole tournament ($30 per team), washer tournament ($40 per team) and cookoff, contact Tony Flores at 325-977-0453.

For more information on the co-ed sand volleyball tournament ($10 per person), contact Deena Esser at 325-763-9150.

 

By Paul Harris

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


On your dream trip? Stretch the money you saved with these 5 tips

Do, eat and enjoy more vacation with these 5 saving tips

 

Save your vacation money even while youâ??re on vacation.

Save your vacation money even while you’re on vacation.

 

Congratulations, you’ve saved responsibly and booked your dream vacation. You’ve been stockpiling vacation days, squirreling away money in the bank and are now finally booked and ready to fly. After all this planning, you may have a finite budget to spend while you are on vacation.

 

Because budgeting in a foreign destination, or even just a different state, isn’t easy; tourist activities like transportation and dining can be expensive. Here But here are a few wallet-friendly suggestions during your trip:

 

Hop a train or bus

Taking taxis gets expensive. There can also be those awkward moments when can’t remember how tipping works in a foreign country.

 

Instead, use public transportation. In most cities, there’s tons of research you can do about local buses and trains ahead of time. Planning out schedules, routes and how payment is tendered, can help you find the perfect path. Also, public transportation can function as a sightseeing tour as well, so be sure to find a window seat!

 

Get snacking

For when hunger strikes in the middle of a vacation adventure, keep some snacks in your purse or backpack. Stock up before you leave for your day. Buying snacks along the way will most cost more. It’s especially good to avoid overpriced airport food.

 

Energy bars, nuts and dried fruit work great, especially if you have kids in tow.

 

Eat the path less travelled

Dining is one of the biggest expenses for vacationers. Cuisine is a wonderful part of experiencing a new place or culture. Street food and farmers markets can be a thrifty and charming break from the ordinary.

 

Bratwurst in Berlin, hotdogs in New York, vegan donuts in Portland and noodles in Bangkok. Stop at a food cart for something local. Another good way to dine on the cheap is to take advantage of free hotel breakfasts or bring some groceries back to your room. Try to choose lunch as your restaurant meal, as dinner is generally more expensive.

 

Bring a water bottle

You and your family will probably be out and about for most of the day. Staying hydrated is important so don’t forget to bring along your own water bottle. Buying water bottles at tourist destinations will almost always be a rip off.

 

If you are in a place where you are hesitant about the drinking water, get a self-filtering water bottle, or buy a few cheaper water bottles from a bigger store. Some countries charge money for water as a menu item!

 

Don’t “buy it when you get there”

Sometimes during the stress of packing, it is tempting to say you’ll buy needed items when you get there. Contact solution, sunscreen and shampoo add up.

 

It’s worthwhile to purchase regulation travel size bottles to put your liquid toiletries in. These can be found at any major drugstore. Careful packing is key. Pack light and plan for things like the weather and the activities you are planning. For instance, do you need hiking boots or formal wear?

 

Regardless of where you are in the world, it’s taken a lot of planning (and dreaming) to get there. With the help of a knowledgeable and friendly advisor, you can figure out your vacation before and on your vacation.

 

By Violet Bauske, for First Bank Texas

Copyright © 2019, First Bank Texas. All Rights Reserved.


Abilene Wide Open: Game of Champions

Jaryn Prather reaches the end zone for a touchdown during the Abilene High Champions Football Game on May 17. The game for special needs children has been sponsored by Abilene High School for over ten years and benefits Hendrick Children's Hospital and Children's Miracle Network hospitals.

Jaryn Prather reaches the end zone for a touchdown during the Abilene High Champions Football Game on May 17. The game for special needs children has been sponsored by Abilene High School for over ten years and benefits Hendrick Children's Hospital and Children's Miracle Network hospitals.

 

Before school ended for the year, the Abilene High Eagles held their annual Champions football game for special needs children at Shotwell Stadium.

Preceding the spring football scrimmage, the game has been a tradition for more than 10 years. 

 

Nineteen players joined the Eagles for a fun game of touch football. The high school players advised and cheered their teammates, watching them experience the glory of running for a touchdown as the crowd cheered them on.

Joshua Duran is tagged by Tim Davis during the Abilene High Champions Football Game. Abilene High Eagles advise and assist during the annual touch-football game for special needs kids.

Joshua Duran is tagged by Tim Davis during the Abilene High Champions Football Game. Abilene High Eagles advise and assist during the annual touch-football game for special needs kids

Cheyenne Lambert is cheered as she runs for the goal line in the Abilene High Champions Football Game.

Cheyenne Lambert is cheered as she runs for the goal line in the Abilene High Champions Football Game.

By Ronald W Erdrich

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Earning their stripes: Mr. Tiger's arrival puts this year's CALF on the prowl in Abilene


Lynn Barnett, executive director of the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, was the first aboard Mr. Tiger, which was installed Wednesday at Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden and unveiled to the public Thursday evening, upon creator Peter Brown's arrival for the Children's Art & Literacy Festival. June 5 2019
Lynn Barnett, executive director of the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, was the first aboard Mr. Tiger, which was installed Wednesday at Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden and unveiled to the public Thursday evening, upon creator Peter Brown's arrival for the Children's Art & Literacy Festival. June 5 2019

 

Mr. Tiger didn't exactly roar into Abilene like a thunderstorm, but he's here.

The adventurous character from the Peter Brown storybook "Mr. Tiger Goes Wild" took up residence with the likes of Stuart Little, three pigs, kittens and bears, and his neighbor, Marcel the moose, at Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden. The latest of dozens of sculptures strategically placed downtown was unveiled Thursday evening as this year's Children's Art & Literacy Festival began its three-day run.

Mr. Tiger's creator, Peter Brown, joined the fun, parading six blocks with other storybook characters to the garden to see his tiger for the first time.

 

The sculpture arrived Wednesday morning, ahead of the afternoon's storm. Tommy Ladd of Schaefer Art Bronze Casting, a foundry in Arlington, joked that he had considered gassing up at Exxon, which is famous for its tiger mascot.

While placing the sculpture in the garden, a worker or two had this tiger by the tail.

It was plain to see.

 

Mr. Tiger is now one of eight Storybook Garden residents at the southeast corner of the Abilene Convention Center. Viewing is open daily and at no charge.

The CALF begins at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with assorted activities planned throughout downtown. Author-illustrator Brown will sign copies of his award-winning books from 9 to 11 a.m. both days at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, where a retrospective exhibition of work is on display.

 

James Parker, 4 , was dressed as Mr. Tiger for the Children's Art & Literacy Festival costume contest on Thursday at the Elks Arts Center.

James Parker, 4 , was dressed as Mr. Tiger for the Children's Art & Literacy Festival costume contest on Thursday at the Elks Arts Center.

 

By Greg Jaklewicz

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Abilene Wide Open: NICU Reunion

Parents and children stand and move around after posing for a group portrait during the NICU Reunion on Saturday. Cookies, cakes and games were on hand for "graduates" of the Hendrick Health System's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Parents and children stand and move around after posing for a group portrait during the NICU Reunion on Saturday. Cookies, cakes and games were on hand for "graduates" of the Hendrick Health System's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

 

Babies, babies, babies.

That's what I saw Saturday at the Shelton Building at Hendrick Health System's NICU Reunion.

 

"Graduates" of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and their families came out for snacks, games and fun. The event was held for the second time.

There were 256 babies in the NICU in 2018.

So far, 120 have been admitted this year.

Vanessa Bachtel holds her daughter Samara during the NICU Reunion on Saturday at Hendrick Medical Center Saturday. Samara, who will be a year old next week, was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 110 days after she was born.

Vanessa Bachtel holds her daughter Samara during the NICU Reunion on Saturday at Hendrick Medical Center Saturday. Samara, who will be a year old next week, was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 110 days after she was born.

 

Cord Adkins, 8, lifts his 3-year-old sister Rynn so she can touch the ceiling of a Metro Care ambulance Saturday at Hendrick Medical Center.

Cord Adkins, 8, lifts his 3-year-old sister Rynn so she can touch the ceiling of a Metro Care ambulance Saturday at Hendrick Medical Center.

By Ronald W Erdrich

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


Abilene Wylie High junior accepts diploma for injured senior brother

Madison Williams shakes Wylie ISD Superintendent Joey Light's hand after accepting her brother's diploma during commencement at the Taylor County Coliseum Thursday. Dylan Williams is recovering from a car crash and was unable to come to his Wylie High School graduation ceremony. He received a standing ovation from his classmates as his sister walked across the stage for him.

Madison Williams shakes Wylie ISD Superintendent Joey Light's hand after accepting her brother's diploma during commencement at the Taylor County Coliseum Thursday. Dylan Williams is recovering from a car crash and was unable to come to his Wylie High School graduation ceremony. He received a standing ovation from his classmates as his sister walked across the stage for him.

 

There were plenty of ovations at Thursday evening's Wylie High School graduation, but none more rousing than for Dylan Williams, who was not there.

The senior was critically injured in an auto crash after spring break and hospitalized. He still is undergoing rehabilitation for a head injury, Superintendent Joey Light said, and doctors did not give the OK for him to attend graduation.

In his place, his sister Madison, a WHS junior, accepted his diploma.

The crowd at the Taylor County Coliseum, where Wylie held commencement ceremonies for the first time, appreciated the moment.

"It was a standing ovation," Light said. 

Madison Williams was in tears and her head bowed as she crossed the stage, he said. As she approached Light, he encouraged her to "stop and look at what they're doing."

Wylie graduated almost 260 seniors at its first ceremony as a Class 5A school. The Wylie ISD also streamed the ceremony online for the first time.

 

A second chance

 

If you didn't make it to a graduation or just want to read again what the valedictorians and salutatorians at the six Abilene high schools had to say, those speeches will be available online Sunday at reporternews.com. The val speeches will be published in Sunday's Other Views pages.

by Greg Jaklewicz

Copyright © 2019, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.


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