Wolfabilene Updates

Abilene breaks earliest snowfall record Tuesday; expect warmer weather for Halloween

 

Add "earliest snowfall recorded in Abilene" to the list of "things that 2020 broke."

 

The city recorded a half-inch of snow early Tuesday, two days earlier than the previous record of three-tenths of an inch set Oct. 29, 1993, said Michael Decker, forecaster with the National Weather Service San Angelo office.

 

Ariel McBratney clears ice from her car Tuesday near The Landing apartment on Texas Avenue. While most people stayed indoors during the winter storm, McBratney had to venture onto Abilene's icy streets for her son's doctor's appointment.

Ariel McBratney clears ice from her car Tuesday near The Landing apartment on Texas Avenue. While most people stayed indoors during the winter storm, McBratney had to venture onto Abilene's icy streets for her son's doctor's appointment. Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News

 

The winter storm that began pushing through Abilene on Sunday afternoon delivered a range of precipitations starting Monday evening. Rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow hit Abilene and part of the area.

 

Monday's daytime temperature high of 35 degrees with cloudy skies was a stark contrast to Sunday's high of 79 degrees with sunny skies. A year ago, the high temperature on Oct. 26 was 75 degrees. 

 

And to think it was a record 100 degrees Oct. 11.

 

Icy roads

Tuesday morning driving conditions were icy and dangerous in Abilene and the Big Country, especially to the west and north of the city. 

 

Between 6 p.m. Monday and noon Tuesday, the Abilene Police Department reported 16 crashes. Only one, however, was classified as a major wreck.

 

Several wrecks early Tuesday were reported on Interstate 20 in Abilene and Tye, as well as on U.S. Highway 83/84 (Winters Freeway). 

 

Bridges, overpasses and some roads were icy along and north of a line from Sterling City to Winters to Cross Plains. the National Weather Service reported at 6:05 a.m. Tuesday. 

 

Many school districts, including Abilene and Wylie ISDs, announced Monday evening a two-hour delayed start for Tuesday classes and then opted to close campuses for the remainder of the day because of slick road conditions. 

 

A tomato bloom is covered in ice Tuesday after wintry weather moved into the Big Country overnight.

A tomato bloom is covered in ice Tuesday after wintry weather moved into the Big Country overnight. Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News

 

A motorist passes a crew from American Electric Power replacing a utility pole at South Fifth Street and Danville Drive after a pickup slid into it earlier that morning. Icy roads became slicker as the day progressed, causing numerous accidents around Abilene.

A motorist passes a crew from American Electric Power replacing a utility pole at South Fifth Street and Danville Drive after a pickup slid into it earlier that morning. Icy roads became slicker as the day progressed, causing numerous accidents around Abilene. Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter/News

 

Hardin-Simmons and McMurry universities reported campus closings for the day.

 

  • Go to reporternews.com for updates on Wednesday school plans.

 

Dyess Air Force Base was closed Tuesday to non-essential personnel by Col. Ed Sumangil, base commander. Mission essential personnel reported to duty at their schedule times.

 

Warmer Wednesday

Another upper low system to the west was expected to pass through Abilene on Tuesday night and move to the northeast Wednesday morning, bringing more rain, Decker said. But, warmer temperatures will follow.

 

Abilene is shrouded in gloom in this aerial view from the Enterprise Building.

Abilene is shrouded in gloom in this aerial view from the Enterprise Building. Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News

 

The NWS freeze warning that started Monday evening is expected to end at 7 a.m. Wednesday. The forecast calls for a morning low of 33 degrees with a 50 percent chance of rain until 1 p.m.

 

Skies will begin clearing Wednesday afternoon, and the high temperature should reach 47 degrees. The temperature will dip to 37 degrees overnight.

 

The warming trend should continue Thursday, with mostly sunny skies and a high near 54 degrees.  

 

Here is the outlook headed to the weekend:

 

  • Friday: Sunny, with a high temperature near 62 degrees and an overnight low of 40 degrees. Winds mild at 5 mph.

 

  • Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 69 degrees and winds out of the south 5 to 10 mph. Nighttime temperatures will slip to 46 degrees. 

 

  • Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 66 degrees and a nighttime low of 40 degrees. 

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

 

Overnight freezing rains and chilly temperatures have created icy, dangerous driving conditions Tuesday in and around Abilene.

 

Bridges, overpasses and some roads were icy along and north of a line from Sterling City to Winters to Cross Plains. South of this line, bridges and overpasses were becoming icy, the National Weather Service reported at 6:05 a.m. Tuesday. 

 

Similar conditions were reported in Abilene, making driving treacherous, the Abilene Police Department reported in an overnight social media update.

 

Snow also has accumulated on U.S. Highway 83/84 (Winters Freeway), the Abilene Fire Department reported before 6 a.m.

 

An 18-wheeler rolled over on Interstate 20 near mile marker 254, prompting closure of the eastbound passing lane, the Texas Department of Transportation said in a 5:43 a.m. social media update. 

 

Interstate 20 remains icy to the west through Sweetwater and Big Spring, according to TxDOT's road conditions website drivetexas.org.

 

 

By: Laura Gutschke

Copyright © 2020, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


Postal delays persist around the country with mail voting underway

 

Parts of the presidential battleground states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio fell short of delivery goals by wide margins

 

A person drops applications for mail-in-ballots into a mailbox in Omaha, Neb. on August 18, 2020. U.S. Postal Service records show delivery delays have persisted across the country as millions of Americans began voting by mail, raising the possibility of ballots being rejected because they arrive too late. Postal data covering the beginning of October show nearly all of the agency’s delivery regions missing agency targets of having more than having more than 95% of first-class mail arrive within five days. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

 

U.S. Postal Service records show delivery delays have persisted across the country as millions of Americans are voting by mail, raising the possibility of ballots being rejected because they arrive too late.

 

Postal data through Oct. 9, the latest numbers available, show nearly all the agency’s delivery regions missing its target of having at least 95% of first-class mail arrive within five days. Parts of the presidential battleground states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio fell short of delivery goals by wide margins as the agency struggles to regain its footing after a tumultuous summer.

 

The districts that included the major urban areas and their suburbs in each of those states all performed below the national average for on-time delivery, with the area around Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania the lone exception.

 

The delays are a worrisome sign for voters who still have not returned their absentee ballots. That is especially true in states such as Michigan, where ballots must be received by Election Day. Other states require a postmark by Nov. 3.

“We do encourage people who are worried about ballots not getting here on time to get them in as soon as possible,” said Perry County Commissioner Brenda Watson in Pennsylvania.

 

She said her office has sent out more than 600,000 absentee ballots, more than double the number from the primary, and has extended office hours so staff can monitor a drop box.

 

With more than 2.9 million mail-in ballots requested in Pennsylvania, on-time delivery is crucial. But delays are lingering throughout the state, according to postal data released as part of a federal court order.

 

In the week that ended Oct. 9, first-class mail was delivered on time 79.7% of the time in the district covering Philadelphia and its suburbs, and 83.2% of the time in central Pennsylvania, both below the national average of 86.1%.

 

A deadlock at the U.S. Supreme Court this week allowed the state to count mailed-in ballots received up to three days after the Nov. 3 election, although Republicans have filed another challenge.

 

Delays have plagued the Postal Service during the coronavirus pandemic and worsened under a series of cost-cutting policies implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who took over the agency in June. Following a series of court orders and intense public scrutiny, the agency has reversed the policies and seen improvements, but has not yet fully restored delivery times.

 

“As these delays continue across the country just weeks before the upcoming presidential election, it is incumbent upon you to take immediate and necessary actions to fully restore on-time mail delivery,” U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, wrote to DeJoy this week.

 

In a statement, Postal Service spokesman David Partenheimer said offices have been authorized to use expanded processing procedures, additional delivery and collection trips, and overtime hours to ensure election mail arrives on time. The agency also announced it will treat election mail as first-class, which had previously been an informal policy.

 

“The Postal Service is fully committed and actively working to handle the increase in election mail volume across the country over the next two weeks,” Partenheimer said.

 

Mail-in ballots arriving past the deadline is a main reason many of them get rejected. That has led election officials nationwide to urge voters to return ballots as soon as possible or take advantage of ballot drop boxes or early in-person voting.

 

The postal district that covers the eastern third of Michigan, including Detroit and its suburbs, has consistently been one of the worst performing regions. It had the nation’s slowest deliveries in the opening days of October, with just 70.9% of mail arriving on time.

 

Michigan has sent every registered voter a ballot application, but mail-in votes must arrive by Election Day to count, following a court order that blocked a 14-day extension backed by Democrats. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has told voters who have not yet mailed in their ballots to skip the Postal Service altogether and put ballots in a drop box or take them to their local clerk’s office.

 

Other battleground areas also showed problems in early October, with delivery rates of first-class mail below the national average. That includes all of Ohio and districts that encompass major urban areas in Wisconsin, Georgia and North Carolina.

 

Postal delays also could compound existing issues that have cropped up in recent weeks as election officials manage the unpreceded surge in mail voting with deadlines looming.

 

In Ohio earlier this month, a machine error led to 50,000 incorrect absentee ballots being sent. Then hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots were delayed when the company printing them became overwhelmed by the volume of ballots requested.

 

While Ohio allows ballots to be counted if they arrive up to 10 days after the election, they must be postmarked no later than the day before Election Day.

 

 

By: The Associated Press and Nexstar Media Wire

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


Jackets for Joy kicks off in the Big Country

 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Imagine leaving your house in a rush, without any notice, to escape danger and protect your family.

 

“People leave just whenever they have an opportunity to be safe, they sometimes don’t grab their coat on the way out the door, because they’re also trying to get their kids out the doors safely, they’re trying to make sure their kids are provided for,” says Jan Morrison, from the Noah Project.

 

Jackets For Joy provides coats and jackets for local nonprofits so they can give back to those who need it.

 

Two of the nonprofits that rely on Jackets for Joy are the Noah project and Christian Service Center.

 

“We have victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking,” Morrison says.

 

“We help people with what we call basic needs and development opportunities,” says Jim Clark from the Christian Service Center.

 

Although both nonprofits may differ, they both aim to serve the community, and Jackets for Joy helps them achieve that goal.

 

 

By: Monica Diaz-Meek

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


National Women's Small Business Month: 22-year-old Clyde native opens salon and boutique

 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A Clyde native is making an impact during National Women’s Small Business Month.

 

Delaney Valenzuela, owner of Marg and Cloie, has been trying to lease a new location for her salon and boutique, but says she hasn’t had the best luck.

 

“They were like, ‘How old are you?’ and I’d tell them how old I am and they were like, ‘yeah…no,'” she says.

 

But that wasn’t the only time Valenzuela faced obstacles getting a lease as a young businesswoman.

 

“Probably 6 months ago I reached out to a guy and he was like, ‘Yeah, let’s meet up here,’ and then he never showed up. I think it’s because how young I am,” she says.

 

After high school, Valenzuela began working at salons to build clientele and earn some money. During this time, she also started a side job to cover the bills before beginning her online boutique at just 19 years old.

 

The online boutique helped financially support her and her husband while he made his way through college.

 

With all the hard work, long hours and sacrifices, she was able to pay in cash for a spot for her salon and boutique.

 

“I do have a good support system, definitely. I don’t think I could do it without my support system,” she says.

 

But it’s not just her husband and parents who supported her during these hard times, it was also her friend, Lauren Alaniz, that she made along the way.

 

“So, I’ve kind of watched her grow through her own salon and through the store opening,” Alaniz, the photographer for the boutique says. “We’re young and we don’t have anything to lose yet.”

 

The storefront boutique opened in March before the pandemic struck, but with their youthful attitude, they went back to their roots and have counted on their online boutique to support their brick-and-mortar shop.

 

 

By: Monica Diaz-Meek

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


Big Country firefighters return from battling California wildfires

 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Some Big Country firefighters have returned from helping battle wildfires that raged across California.

 

Anson and Merkel Volunteer Firefighter Seth Morris shot video of the burning trees, capturing the sounds echoing throughout the forest while planes sprayed fire retardant to stop the flames.

 

Morris captured the scenes from behind the fire line as he battled the California fires for 2 weeks alongside 100 other men in his group.

 

“I was pretty nervous, but excited at the same time,” Morris says.

 

Morris is also a resource specialist for Texas A&M Forest Service, and says he appreciates the experience.

 

“It’s a big opportunity coming from Texas to another state to help fight fires, and it was pretty nerve-racking because you see on the news how bad the fires are, but it was a real good experience,” Morris says.

 

Assistant Chief Nick Dawson says the experience allows his team to learn more.

 

“Them getting to go out of state, especially out west, and seeing that whole new aspect of wild land, firefighting is great not only for us, but for them,” Dawson says.

 

“The fires are different out there, they burn different then what they do here in Texas, so it was a learning curve at first,” Morris says.

 

It also allows the firefighters to bring back new skills to the Big Country.

 

“The training these guys get, the opportunities, the things they’re getting to see out of state will only build this team and build themselves better than what they could maybe staying in the same field types and same area their whole career,” Dawson says.

 

In the midst of learning, these Big Country firefighters are thankful to give back to those who have helped them before.

 

 

By: Monica Diaz-Meek

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


Thanksgiving turkeys expected to be smaller this year

 

Roast turkey (Credit: PATRICK PLEUL/DPA/AFP via Getty Images)

 

With Thanksgiving approaching, many people are considering fewer place settings at the holiday table amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

 

With smaller gatherings expected, the presentation of the Thanksgiving bird — traditionally the centerpiece of the holiday table — could turn out to be a less grand affair than in years past. Food industry experts expect people to buy smaller turkeys or even parts such as whole breasts or drumsticks.

 

Citing various surveys by industry leaders such as Butterball, Hormel Foods and others, The New York Times reported that a large number of people plan to host fewer people or only immediate family this year.

 

And a survey by market research firm Numerator showed that nearly 70 percent of Americans are changing their usual Thanksgiving plans, prompting many grocery chains to increase orders for smaller turkeys.

 

“The buying arms of the major retailers and distributors are definitely trying to slant their purchases toward smaller turkeys,” Russ Whitman, senior vice president at Urner Barry, a commodity market research firm, told CNN.

 

Typically, people determine the size of bird to buy by allowing at least 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person.

 

CNN reported that farmers have been adjusting in anticipation of a higher demand for smaller turkeys by harvesting them earlier.

 

According to the National Turkey Federation, about 40 million turkeys are consumed around Thanksgiving each year. The U.S. is the world’s largest turkey producer and largest exporter of turkey products, the group said.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that opting for a “small dinner with only people who live in your household” poses the lowest risk of spreading the coronavirus.

 

“Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together,” the CDC said. “Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”

 

 

By: Nexstar Media Wire

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


Abilene ISD board approves process and timelines to rename 4 schools

 

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ABILENE, Texas — In a 7-0 vote the Abilene ISD Board of Trustees approved a process and timelines to rename four elementary schools named after Confederate leaders.

 

RELATED: Abilene ISD board votes to rename 4 elementary schools named after Confederate leaders

 

According to the district, the process includes putting together a committee made up of members of the community, students, parents and AISD staff to re-name Jackson, Johnston and Lee elementary schools. The board reserved the right to re-name Reagan Elementary School via board action since it is closing at the end of the 2020-2021 school year and will not be in use as an education site in the AISD.

 

The committee is set to recommend new names at the Dec. 3rd workshop meeting. The board could approve the new names as soon as December 7th. The names will not take affect until the 2020-2021 school year is complete.

 

If you are a member of the staff or a parent of a student at Jackson, Johnston, or Lee elementary schools and would like to serve on the committee to re-name those schools, you can send an email with your name, contact info and campus you represent to gregory.fleming@abileneisd.org.

 

 

By: Olivia DiVenti

Copyright © 2020, KTXS12 ABC. All Rights Reserved


Statewide education organization honoring a Big Country native

 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The ‘Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education’, a statewide organization, is naming their annual career and leadership development institute after Maria Aguirre.

 

“We developed the career and leadership instituted to basically start preparing the next generation of diverse leaders with the colleges. When you walk into that college and university we want for you to be able to see you somewhere in those ranks,” says Aguirre.

 

For the last 36 years Agurrie has worked at TSTC, helping to improve the lives of so many students.

 

“There are times I don’t think that from the work we do, we don’t realize who you’re actually impacting until much later,” says Agurrie.

 

As the current vice president of the Hispanic Leadership Council, Aguirre has also helped dozens of families get to the next level.

 

“Maria does such a great job of laying out what they’re about to go through with their child going off to college or changing, leaving high school to a new career that sometimes those people are in tears when they leave,” says Samuel Garcia, HLC president.

 

Garcia has worked along side Agurrie for 20 years.

 

“The driving force for her is whatever is good for the students she’s willing to do and she’s always willing to volunteer to lead. She also helps manage or social media post, I mean she does it all,” says Garcia.

 

According to Aguirre there is so much more work to be done.

 

“For me its just trying to help somebody and maybe in turn they will pay it forward and help somebody else along the way,” says Aguirre.

 

The application process for the annual TACHE career and leadership development institute will open in November and the conference is expected to take place Fort Worth.

 

 

By: Deneeka Hill

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


How one company is bridging the digital divide for under-resourced schools

 

According to recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, up to 28% of children whose family income is less than $40,000 per year do not have internet access at home. In general, the lower a household’s income is, the less likely the family is to have internet access.

 

“When you look at students from low-income households, they score far below the national average on computational thinking and computer information literacy,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, director of corporate social responsibility at Verizon.

 

Even in normal times, these digital inequities put students at a disadvantage. But during a pandemic, not having access to the internet or devices to use for distance learning can put a hard stop on students’ academic progress altogether.

 

Bridging the digital divide

 

The Verizon Innovative Learning program provides access to technology and connectivity for students in underserved school districts.

 

Since 2012, Verizon has been fostering digital inclusion in under-resourced school districts throughout the country with the Verizon Innovative Learning program. "Verizon Innovative Learning is a significant part of Citizen Verizon; our plan for economic, environmental and social advancement," said Nixon-Saintil.

 

This transformative education program not only provides each student with a device and a monthly data plan, but also a technology-based STEM curriculum. The program also offers training and ongoing support for teachers, as well a dedicated Verizon Innovative Learning coach for each school that participates in the program, hired by the district.

 

“We provide guidance to the district as to the type of person they should consider,” Nixon-Saintil said. “Usually, our learning coaches have a strong history of innovative teaching practices, the ability to develop effective adult learning experiences that promote digital instruction, and a love of technology.”

 

Teacher training goes beyond how to use the technology and devices supplied by the program: It covers how to integrate that technology into lessons and teaching methods, too.

 

“We support teachers by training them on what blended learning looks like, what digital collaboration and project-based learning looks like — we have very specific goals for our teachers,” Nixon-Saintil said.

 

Ultimately, teachers are equipped with knowledge on how to support learning agency and autonomy to help transform students into lifelong learners.

Currently, there are 264 schools participating in the program.

 

“It was really focused on middle schools over the years – but for the first time this year we are bringing 10 high schools into the program,” Nixon-Saintil said. “We’re starting to create the path to success for our students moving from middle school to high school with the same resources that we provide in middle school.”

 

Participating in the Verizon Innovative Learning program

 

Access to technology offers new ways to learn.

 

For Jose Gonzalez, a Verizon Innovative Learning coach and educator formerly at Bunche Middle School and now at Davis Middle School in Compton, California, taking part in the program for the past two years has been a game changer for his students and for his own professional development.

 

“Verizon provided a tablet for every single student that also included a data plan. So many students who didn’t have devices or even have internet in their homes now had that capability,” he said. “Kids could now get online anytime, anywhere. They weren’t limited to school hours. They were able to submit their assignments from home and leverage their tablets for research.”

 

Gonzalez works with teachers to develop new and exciting ways for students to learn using the provided technology.

 

“For example, instead of learning about the Mayan ruins from a textbook, kids take virtual tours, watch 360-degree videos and access simulations online,” he said.

 

Students have also worked on creating video app prototypes, stop-motion projects and visual poems.

 

Making the shift to distance learning

 

Giving students time to socialize and connect virtually has been a key strategy for educators.

 

When students shifted to online learning in March, the training and resources Gonzalez and his fellow teachers had received through the program provided crucial advantages.

 

“Many of the teachers were already trained in using technology in their lessons, and all the teachers were already on Google Classroom, so they were able to give assignments to students, and students were able to turn them in virtually,” he said. “In those ways, we were very well prepared — as best as anyone could be.”

 

Although students were equipped with devices and internet access, there were still challenges.

 

“Some of my top kids — kids that would come on the weekends to work on their projects, sometimes working for months on end, kids that went above and beyond — I found that I was losing them,” Gonzalez said.

 

He then gave an assignment asking students to create a video answering questions on how the students were feeling, and, as a result, he found that creating a space for students to socialize and connect virtually was key.

 

“That really changed my relationship — and also my teaching — with them,” he said. “I realized that you have to give students time for them just to hang out with their peers, just to have that conversation. I found if I gave them 10 minutes just to connect with their peers, that really made a difference.”

 

To keep students engaged, Gonzalez used tactics that kept students active in their learning experience. 

 

“I try to find many activities that are engaging, like gamification teaching strategies, creating videos, out-of-the-box ways to reach kids,” he said. “I invite the kids to co-teach with me, so many of the lessons being taught I might teach them first — and then they teach others in the group.”

 

Empowering students to not just be consumers of the technology but also be actual tech leaders is a major part of the program, something Nixon-Saintil saw demonstrated during the shift to digital learning.

 

“When the pandemic hit, we started getting these great stories from our schools where our tech team of students were actually helping parents, teachers and students virtually,” she said. “My favorite story right now is how we were able to develop this group of tech leaders in each of these schools who were able to actually extend their reach to families to help support their technology.”

 

 

By: Danielle Page

Copyright © 2020, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


Live on Abilene, area stages: Outdoor bash takes a mulligan

 

Mulligans, at 1166 Ben Richey Drive, will take another shot at its Local Outdoor Bash on Oct. 3, postponed from July 17 due to the pandemic. The line-up includes Kirk House, Della Rose and Colton Rice, among others.

 

Doors will open at 4:30 p.m., with music starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, and are available at mulligansabilene.com or by calling 325-691-0909.

 

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, P.O. Box 30., Abilene, TX 79604.

 

Deadline is one week before publication.

 

ABILENE

  • Firehouse Bar & Grill, 2074 Butternut St. Wildman Karaoke, 9 p.m. Friday.
  • Heff's Burgers, 4310 Buffalo Gap Road. Scott Hayley and friends, 9 p.m. Friday. J.R. Live, 9 p.m. Oct. 2.
  • Lytle Land & Cattle Co., 1150 E.S. 11th St. James and Ryan, 7 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Mezamiz Deux Coffee House, 3909 S. 7th St. JamisonPriest, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2.
  • Mulligans, 1166 Ben Richey Drive. Kirk House, Della Rose, Colton Rice, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 3, $10.
  • Peoples Plaza, 1290 S. Willis St. Hip Hop Showcase, 9 p.m. Saturday, $10.
  • Play Faire Park, 2300 N. Second St. Eric Logan and AKA, 8 p.m. Friday. MerKaBa, 8 p.m. Saturday. "Open Mic Knight," 7 p.m. Sunday. Water Grave, 8 p.m. Monday. Rosemary Beach, 7 p.m. Thursday and Oct. 8.
  • P.T. Event Center, 5126 Brick St. Will Banister, 7 p.m. Friday, $15.
  • Sharon's BBQ South, 2050 Antilley Road. MerKaBa, 6:30 p.m. Friday.
  • Sugar's Smokehouse, 3450 S. Clack St. Parkside, 8 p.m. Saturday. Wildman Karaoke, 6 p.m. Monday and Oct. 5.

 

OUT OF TOWN

 

SNYDER

  • Downtown square. BreakingStride and Caleb Young, 7 p.m. Oct. 2.

 

 

By: Nathaniel Ellsworth

Copyright © 2020, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


Wylie senior National Merit Scholarship semifinalist scoring on and off the field

 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A Wylie High School senior is getting a national recognition.

 

Kaitlyn Via is a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship, the only one in the Big Country to receive that honor this year.

 

For years, it’s been Kaitlyn Via, her cleats and a soccer ball.

 

“I started playing soccer when I was 4,” said Via. “I went to Big Country and then I started playing club here in Abilene.”

 

These days, though, you can find her in a purple uniform shooting for the bulldogs.

 

“I play attacking mid,” said Via. “I get a real chance to create the attack and create opportunities for the team”

 

While this may not look like anything academic, it’s still translating into the classroom.

 

“The National Merit Scholarship is part of the PSAT, we took it last year in October and the top 1% of students taking that test can move on to be semifinalists,” said Via.

 

Via says that training for her top score was just like a set of drills.

 

“I had teachers work on it with me and I got better at it, so that way I would have these opportunities,” said Via. “It’s hard work is always what it is, you put in time, you put in effort and you pay that price. I mean of course one, it’s physical labor in soccer, which is a lot different than sitting down and reading a book, but it’s the same.”

 

While she continues to score high on the field, it’s her strategy off of it that’s earning her this recognition.

 

Less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors qualify for this scholarship.

 

In Texas, Via is one of only 1,400 still in the running.

 

 

By: Jessica Ranck

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


Live on Abilene, area stages: Take it outside with Aaron Watson

 

SWEETWATER — The Experience Texas Outdoor Showcase featuring headliner Aaron Watson starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Nolan County Coliseum, 220 Coliseum Drive. The outdoor concert also features Jordan Robert Kirk and Jason Nutt & Highway 70.

 

Gates will open at 6 p.m., and social distancing measures will be enforced. Tickets are $30, and are available at showcasetx.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; or via mail in care of the Reporter-News, P.O. Box 30., Abilene, TX 79604.

 

Deadline is one week before publication.

 

ABILENE

 

  • Firehouse Bar & Grill, 2074 Butternut St. Wildman Karaoke, 9 p.m. Friday and Sept. 25.
  • Heff's Burgers, 4310 Buffalo Gap Road. South of Mayhem, 9 p.m. Saturday. Brett Patterson, 7 p.m. Thursday.
  • Lytle Land & Cattle Co., 1150 E.S. 11th St. Garrett Bradford, 7 p.m. Wednesday. James and Ryan, 7 p.m. Sept. 30.
  • Peoples Plaza, 1290 S. Willis St. Hip Hop Showcase, 9 p.m. Sept. 26, $10.
  • Play Faire Park, 2300 N. Second St. Rosemary Beach, 7 p.m. Saturday. "Open Mic Knight," 7 p.m. Sept. 20. Eric Logan and AKA, 8 p.m. Sept. 25. MerKaBa, 8 p.m. Sept. 26. Water Grave, 8 p.m. Sept. 28.
  • P.T. Event Center, 5126 Brick St. Will Banister, 7 p.m. Sept. 25, $15.
  • Sugar's Smokehouse, 3450 S. Clack St. Parkside, 8 p.m. Saturday.
  • Taylor County Expo Center, 1700 Highway 36. Coffey Anderson, 9 p.m. Friday. Kevin Fowler, 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

 

OUT OF TOWN

 

SWEETWATER

  • Nolan County Coliseum, 220 Coliseum Drive. Aaron Watson, Jordan Robert Kirk, Jason Nutt and Highway 70, 7 p.m. Thursday, $30.

 

 

By: Nathaniel Ellsworth

Copyright © 2020, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


COVID-19 update: Taylor County reports 4 deaths Monday, zero new cases

 

The Abilene Taylor County Health District on Monday announced four deaths, the most reported on one day, connected to COVID-19, bringing the county's total since the pandemic began to 48.

 

Yet, officials also reported no new cases and two more recoveries. 

 

The deceased are males in their 80s and 90s and females in their 60s and 90s. All four had pre-existing health conditions, officials stated. The average age of Taylor County patients whose deaths are connected to COVID-19 is 77.

 

Three deaths were reported July 3.

 

The number of active cases in the county is 169 confirmed with polymerase chain reaction tests and another 237 with antigen tests, for a combined 406 cases. 

 

The total number of COVID-19 inpatients at Abilene facilities numbers 22, which includes 12 out-of-county residents.  The average age of those hospitalized is 66. 

 

On Monday, health officials in San Angelo announced 15 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 people hospitalized for the illness. 

Coronavirus by the numbers

Abilene/Taylor County (updated Monday): Total positive PCR cases, 1,405; active PCR cases, 169; total antigen probable cases, 1,235; total antigen active cases, 237; total PCR recoveries, 1,193; total antigen recoveries, 993; Total deaths, 48; Current hospitalizations at Abilene facilities, 22.

 

Texas (updated Monday): Total cases, 663,445; New cases, 2,595; Active cases (estimated), 68,030; Hospitalized, 3,325; Fatalities, 14,211; Total tests, 5,637,040; Recovered (estimated), 581,204. 

 

Big Country counties with reported confirmed cases (based on PCR tests as tracked by the state): Erath, 760; Scurry, 574; Jones, 562; Brown, 509; Howard, 406; Comanche, 238; Runnels, 232; Nolan, 185; Eastland, 144; Stephens, 124; Mitchell, 80; Callahan, 75; Knox, 67; Fisher, 62; Coleman 61; Haskell, 59; Coke, 50; Shackelford, 23; Stonewall, 10; Kent, 7; Throckmorton, 6.

 

Select West Texas counties: Lubbock, 9,649; Potter (Amarillo), 4,310; Midland, 3,441; Ector (Odessa), 2,955; Randall (Canyon), 2,426; Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,145; Hale (Plainview), 1,753; Wichita (Wichita Falls), 1,498; Moore (Dumas), 1,137.

 

Sources: City of Abilene, Texas Department of State Health Services (counts PCR cases only), San Angelo Standard-Times, Scurry County, Eastland County, Brown County

 

SELECT PRISONS (Saturday statistics)

 

Daniel (Snyder): Staff cases – active, 5, recovered, 33; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 244, medical isolation, 0. 

 

Havins (Brownwood): Staff cases – active, 4, recovered, 10; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 175, medical isolation, 2. 

 

Middleton (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 4, recovered, 17; Inmate cases – active, 1, recovered, 247, medical isolation, 1. 

 

Robertson (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 7, recovered, 39; Inmate cases – active, 3, recovered, 225, medical isolation, 3. 

 

Sayle (Breckenridge): Staff cases – active, 3, recovered, 16; Inmate cases – active, 1, recovered, 57, medical isolation, 1. 

 

Wallace (Colorado City): Staff cases – active, 5, recovered, 17; Inmate cases – active, 1, recovered, 418, medical isolation, 1. 

 

Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice COVID-19 website

 

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

 

Abilene ISD: Announced on Monday that a staff member at Taylor Elementary tested positive for COVID-19. This follows Sunday's report that a staff member at One AISD and a student at Abilene High School had tested positive for the illness. 

 

Abilene Christian University: Reported on Monday nine active ACU-related cases, which is five more than Friday, and 16 people quarantined due to potential exposure. That is one more than reported Friday.  

 

Hardin-Simmons University: Reported Friday seven active HSU-related cases, which is one more than Thursday. 

 

Wylie ISD:  School officials announced Monday that an "individual" tested positive for COVID-19. Citing privacy requirements, there was no other information provided as to the person being a student or faculty/staff member. On Sunday, the district reported that an individual at Wylie East Junior High had tested positive.

 

More:Taylor County reports one new COVID-19 case; hospitalizations hold at 20

 

 

By: Laura Gutschke

Copyright © 2020, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


COVID-19 Thursday update: Taylor County new cases jump by 42

 

The Abilene Taylor County Health District on Thursday reported 42 new cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 and 15 recoveries.

 

Six of the new cases were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction tests and the remaining 36 from antigen tests.

 

Since Sunday, the county has reported 71 new cases. Last week, the total number of new cases was 126.

 

The total number of cases confirmed in the county since the pandemic began is 2,593, based on both tests. Of those total cases, 409 are considered active (169 PCR cases and 240 antigen cases).

 

Hospital inpatients connected to the illness stands at 19, which is three less than reported Wednesday and includes six out-of-county residents.  The average age of those hospitalized is 73.

 

San Angelo health officials Thursday reported 10 new cases and 605 active cases for Tom Green County. At San Angelo hospitals, 22 people are hospitalized for COVID-19. The number of COVID-19-related deaths in the county stands at 46.

 

Coronavirus by the numbers

Abilene/Taylor County (updated Thursday): Total positive PCR cases, 1,386; active PCR cases, 169; total antigen probable cases, 1,207; total antigen active cases, 240; total PCR recoveries, 1,178; total antigen recoveries, 965; Total deaths, 41; Current hospitalizations at Abilene facilities, 19.

 

Texas (updated Thursday): Total cases, 649,809; New cases, 3,852; Active cases (estimated), 71,842; Hospitalized, 3,575; Fatalities, 13,853; Total tests, 5,878,234; Recovered (estimated), 564,114. 

 

Big Country counties with reported confirmed cases (based on PCR tests as tracked by the state): Erath, 741; Jones, 560; Scurry, 560; Brown, 508; Howard, 351; Comanche, 227; Runnels, 226; Nolan, 182; Eastland, 140; Stephens, 127; Mitchell, 80; Callahan, 74; Knox, 67; Fisher, 62; Haskell, 58; Coleman, 60; Coke, 50; Shackelford, 23; Stonewall, 9; Kent, 7; Throckmorton, 5.

 

Select West Texas counties: Lubbock, 9,277; Potter (Amarillo), 4,211; Midland, 3,421; Ector (Odessa), 2,932; Randall (Canyon), 2,366; Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,105; Hale (Plainview), 1,702; Wichita (Wichita Falls), 1,439; Moore (Dumas), 1,128.

 

Sources: City of Abilene, Texas Department of State Health Services (counts PCR cases only), San Angelo Standard-Times, Scurry County, Eastland County, Brown County

 

SELECT PRISONS (Wednesday statistics)

 

Daniel (Snyder): Staff cases – active, 5, recovered, 33; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 255, medical isolation, 0. 

 

Havins (Brownwood): Staff cases – active, 4, recovered, 10; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 189, medical isolation, 3. 

 

Middleton (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 4, recovered, 17; Inmate cases – active, 1, recovered, 248, medical isolation, 1. 

 

Robertson (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 6, recovered, 39; Inmate cases – active, 3, recovered, 214, medical isolation, 3. 

 

Sayle (Breckenridge): Staff cases – active, 3, recovered, 16; Inmate cases – active, 1, recovered, 60, medical isolation, 1. 

 

Wallace (Colorado City): Staff cases – active, 6, recovered, 16; Inmate cases – active, 1, recovered, 425, medical isolation, 1. 

 

Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice COVID-19 website

 

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

 

Abilene ISD: The school district Wednesday  reported 10 active cases of COVID-19. Most recently, an Abilene High student tested positive Tuesday night, a Craig Middle School food service employee tested positive Tuesday afternoon, a One AISD Center staff member tested positive Wednesday and a staff member at Cooper tested positive on Wednesday. 

 

Superintendent David Young said the district's mask and face covering policy is being adhered to as much as possible and the district of more than 15,600 students as of Tuesday is doing what it can to prevent spread in hallways and classrooms.

 

This includes contact tracing, which has led 47 other individuals to quarantine because of the 10 active cases.

 

More:3rd Abilene High student COVID-19-positive; 47 quarantined throughout after contact tracing

 

Abilene Christian University: Reported Thursday three active ACU-related cases and 17 people quarantined due to potential exposure. A total of 1,521 tests have been administered at the ACU Medical Clinic and in partnership with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. 

 

Hardin-Simmons University: Reported Thursday six active HSU-related cases. 

 

COVID-19 Wednesday update:Taylor County has 41st death, 12 new cases

 

Brown County adds 8 cases Wednesday

BROWNWOOD – Brown County health officials Wednesday announced eight more cases of COVID-19 and one recovery.

 

Two of the new cases were confirmed by PCR tests and the remaining six by antigen tests.

 

There are 117 active cases in the county, and seven patients are hospitalized for the illness at county facilities.  

 

The current totals for COVID-19 testing in Brown County are:

 

  • Total positive: 691
  • Total negative: 3,302
  • Cases confirmed by PCR test: 508
  • Cases confirmed by antigen test: 183
  • Recovered: 548
  • Deaths: 26

 

 

By: Laura Gutschke

Copyright © 2020, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


COVID-19: Taylor County reports 9 cases Tuesday; Abilene universities confirm cases

 

The Abilene Taylor County Health District on Tuesday reported nine new cases of COVID-19 and 19 recoveries.

 

The total number of cases in Taylor County since the pandemic began is 2,539, based on 1,370 polymerase chain reaction tests and 1,169 on antigen tests. Of those total cases, 385 are active, based on both tests.

 

Hospitalizations for the illness at Abilene facilities are holding steady at 20, of which five of those inpatients live outside the county. The average age of hospital patients is 73.

 

More:One Abilene High student tests COVID-19-positive

 

Tests reported to the health district jumped 694 in one day to 13,207 because of "a recent testing effort at Abilene Christian University," the city said in the COVID-19 social media update. 

 

Also Tuesday, San Angelo health officials reported the 46th Tom Green County death connected to COVID-19 and 12 new cases. The deceased is a woman in her 60s. There also are 22 people hospitalized for the illness at city facilities. 

 

Coronavirus by the numbers

Abilene/Taylor County (updated Tuesday): Total positive PCR cases, 1,370; active PCR cases, 165; total antigen probable cases, 1,169; total antigen active cases, 220; total PCR recoveries, 1,167; total antigen recoveries, 947; Total deaths, 40; Current hospitalizations at Abilene facilities, 20.

 

Texas (updated Tuesday): Total cases, 641,791; New cases, 1,416; Active cases (estimated), 74,829; Hospitalized, 3,701; Fatalities, 13,553; Total tests, 5,787,473; Recovered (estimated), 553,409. 

 

Big Country counties with reported confirmed cases (based on PCR tests as tracked by the state): Erath, 722; Jones, 588; Scurry, 563; Brown, 500; Howard, 350; Comanche, 221; Runnels, 210; Nolan, 168; Eastland, 126; Stephens, 126; Mitchell, 75; Callahan, 73; Knox, 67; Fisher, 60; Haskell, 56; Coleman, 56; Coke, 49; Shackelford, 23; Stonewall, 9; Kent, 7; Throckmorton, 5.

 

Select West Texas counties: Lubbock, 8,983; Potter (Amarillo), 4,181; Midland, 3,362; Ector (Odessa), 2,895; Randall (Canyon), 2,323; Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,089; Hale (Plainview), 1,686; Wichita (Wichita Falls), 1,392; Moore (Dumas), 1,126.

 

Sources: City of Abilene, Texas Department of State Health Services (counts PCR cases only), San Angelo Standard-Times, Scurry County, Eastland County, Brown County

 

SELECT PRISONS (Monday statistics)

 

Daniel (Snyder): Staff cases – active, 5, recovered, 33; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 256, medical isolation, 0. 

 

Havins (Brownwood): Staff cases – active, 4, recovered, 10; Inmate cases – active, 0, recovered, 197, medical isolation, 2. 

 

Middleton (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 4, recovered, 17; Inmate cases – active, 1, recovered, 273, medical isolation, 1. 

 

Robertson (Abilene): Staff cases – active, 6, recovered, 39; Inmate cases – active, 3, recovered, 212, medical isolation, 3. 

 

Sayle (Breckenridge): Staff cases – active, 3, recovered, 16; Inmate cases – active, 1, recovered, 63, medical isolation, 1. 

 

Wallace (Colorado City): Staff cases – active, 7, recovered, 15; Inmate cases – active, 1, recovered, 428, medical isolation, 1. 

 

Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice COVID-19 website

 

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

 

Abilene ISD: Reported on Tuesday that an Abilene High School student tested positive and late Monday that a staff member in the One AISD building was confirmed for the illness. 

 

Hardin-Simmons University: Reported Monday four active HSU-related cases. That is one more than reported Friday.

 

McMurry University: The university reported Monday that a student who lives on campus has tested positive. The student returned home around Sept. 1 to quarantine, and individuals who came into close contact with the student have been notified.

 

COVID-19 Monday update:Taylor County adds 3 cases; Texas active cases declining

 

Fisher County active cases at 4

 

ROBY – Fisher County announced on social media Tuesday that of the 61 COVID-19 cases diagnosed in the county since the pandemic began, four are active.

 

Officials also reported that 56 county residents have recovered from the illness, and one death is connected to COVID-19.

 

 

By: Laura Gutschke

Copyright © 2020, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


West Texas Fair and Rodeo opens Friday for 2020 event

 

 

ABILENE, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) – The West Texas Fair and Rodeo is excited to announce the opening of the 2020 event, at the Expo Center of Taylor County ground. This year there will be a modified schedule to accommodate and comply with restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Opening day will be Friday, September 4th, with the start of the Livestock Show and competitions in the First Financial Pavilion and the Guitar Arena. This will extend the livestock shows to three weekends.

 

“We will be asking all competitors and spectators attending these events to comply with Governor Abbott’s mandates, as issued July 2, 2020, for face coverings and social distancing, along with other personal health efforts,” said Rochelle Johnson, General Manager of the Expo Center of Taylor County.

 

There will be no charge gate admission to the Expo Center grounds from September 4th through Labor Day, September 7th. Normal Gate admission will begin on Friday, September 11th.

 

In addition to the Livestock Shows, the Carnival Americana will also be open starting on Friday, September 4th and will run through Labor Day. The carnival will be closed on Tuesday, September 8th and Wednesday, September 9th, but will reopen on Thursday, September 10th and will be open through the final day of the event, September 19th. The Carnival Americana offers lots of rides and games for fair-goers of every age. There will be added specials on rides during the full run of the West Texas Fair and Rodeo.

 

Another change in the 2020 schedule will be for the PRCA Rodeo in the newly opened Taylor Telecom Arena. A full five (5) nights of rodeo competition will be held beginning on Friday night, September 11th and on Saturday, September 12th. Then it will return on Thursday, September 17th through Saturday, September 20th. An added event will take place on Tuesday night, September 15th, with all the thrills and spills of the exciting West Texas Bulls at Night bull riding competition, which will be held in the Taylor Telecom Arena.

 

“We know that 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone on so many fronts, but we are excited that the 2020 West Texas Fair and Rodeo will happen and give the folks in Abilene and the Region a chance to get out and enjoy a great family atmosphere and lots of good family fun,” states Ms. Johnson.

 

Several food trucks will also be present during the event with a wide variety of foods available for Fair attendees.

 

For more information, visit www.taylorcountyexpocenter.com or call 325-677-4376.

 

 

By: Erica Garner

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


Texas budget plan offers glimpse at agency cuts after coronavirus pandemic

 

In the first comprehensive glimpse of how the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic will affect key state services, an August state budget document obtained by the American-Statesman lays out how agencies proposed meeting 5% cuts demanded by the state’s Republican leadership in May.

 

Those cuts are the fallout of a plunge in tax revenues as businesses shuttered. Travel and entertainment spending plummeted, hitting hotel occupancy and alcoholic beverage taxes particularly hard. Oil and gas tax revenues took a nosedive in the wake of collapsing world demand and a Saudi Arabia-Russia production dispute.

 

Comptroller Glenn Hegar in July projected a budget shortfall of $4.58 billion for the fiscal year that ended Monday, with revenue falling further behind spending during the 2021 fiscal year.

 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Lake Jackson, in May asked state agencies to reduce their budgets by 5%,

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Lake Jackson, in May asked state agencies to reduce their budgets by 5%, Nick Wagner/American-Statesman File

 

But the fate of the proposed cuts in the budget document remained a mystery, with no public pronouncement and top state officials not returning requests for comment. The state Legislative Budget Board, which put the compilation together, has declined to release the report, terming it a working document.

 

The 374-page document shows how widespread the cuts could be. The cost-cutting proposals include:

 

  • $1.6 million from Health and Humans Services Commission regulatory programs, chiefly through hiring freezes. The agency warned that such cuts could “potentially delay investigations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation” and also impact “responses to open records requests, federal reporting, reduced technical support of program applications, training, criminal history checks of child care providers, processing of enforcement actions and other activities.”
  • Fewer clients served by a state epilepsy program, children’s advocacy programs and the Court Appointed Special Advocates program. Cuts would also reduce the number of clients receiving family planning and health screenings.
  • $165,000 from a Health and Human Services Commission program for mental health support through a family violence program
  • $200,000 from the Texas Education Agency in grants to organizations that provide athletic programs for students with intellectual disabilities.
  • $450,000 from a Texas attorney general’s office program that apprehends fugitives and investigates sexual predators, cybercrimes and crimes against children.
  • $150,000 from an attorney general’s office Medicaid investigations program — specifically into criminal fraud by Medicaid providers, physical abuse and criminal neglect of patients in health care facilities receiving Medicaid, and misappropriation of patients’ private funds in facilities.
  • $835,241 from a child support program contract for temporary employees in the office of the attorney general — but the “ability to collect child support will be negatively impacted.” Child support staff in Texas currently work more than 579 cases per employee, while the national average is 265. Reducing the contract for temporary employees would lead to a loss of $25.5 million in child support collections to families and cost $8.9 million in avoided social services such as Medicaid, the report said.
  • $200,000 from the Higher Education Coordinating Board by defunding 21 advisers serving 22 high schools across Central Texas, El Paso, Houston, Dallas and the Rio Grande Valley. Nearly 10,000 seniors and up to 1,200 students with disabilities “will no longer receive assistance in financial aid and college application completions, scholarships, SAT/ACT registration, and college exploration activities,” the agency says in the report.
  • $43 million out of a financial aid program run by the Higher Education Coordinating Board worth upward of $400 million. Based on an average grant of $5,000, 8,605 fewer people will receive an aid package, according to the proposal. In July, Gov. Greg Abbott announced ways that Texas would use more than $170 million in federal money to shore up financial aid programs and support higher education in Texas.
  • $1.1 million from Texas A&M Corpus Christi to delay maintenance and repair projects that relate to damages sustained during Hurricane Harvey not covered under FEMA, and defer purchases of equipment for classrooms and teaching labs.
  • $3 million from the University of Texas through the cancellation of scheduled merit raises.
  • $183,000 from the AgriLife Extension Service of Texas A&M through reducing operations and travel of field technicians who provide assistance to landowners with feral hogs and coyote issues.
  • $1.3 million from the Texas Arts Commission by delaying the construction of an arts center in Flower Mound, even as the agency reports that “we anticipate that the recovery period for arts organizations in the state will be much longer than other industries.”

 

Altogether, the proposals add up to a shade over $1 billion and involve the freezing or elimination of more than 4,000 staff positions.

 

Budget analysts say the cuts were not a surprise, given reports from the comptroller about the downturn on tax collections.

 

Eva DeLuna Castro, a budget analyst with the liberal-minded Every Texan think tank, said the cuts set a diminished baseline when the Legislature reconvenes in January to determine budgets for the next biennium.

 

“This bakes cuts into the budget for the next two years,” she said.

 

State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, said the Legislature should be included in the budget-cutting process.

 

“Many of us remain concerned that some may try to use federal aid, meant to supplement state funding for things like public education, to supplant the state’s obligations and responsibilities,” he said.

 

Under state law, however, the Legislature passes a budget, but it does not have to be consulted if an agency spends less than its allotment.

 

 

By: Asher Price

Copyright © 2020, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


3-year starting QB Dylan Neuman set to lead 2020 Clyde Bulldogs

 

It is almost time for some Friday night lights and I know personally I can’t wait for some football. Another team that can’t wait in the Big Country is the Clyde Bulldogs, they’re under head coach Scott Campbell ready for the 2020 season. They’re gonna get on a bus and go to Cisco to take on the Loboes Friday. They can’t wait for that one.

 

Clyde Head Coach Scott Campbell said, “We’re chomping at the bit. We really kicked all this off on June 8th when our summer conditioning started and the guys have worked extremely hard. Knowing that we have a challenging opponent in Cisco to open the season, it’s had our guy’s attention and focus all throughout fall camp.”

 

The Bulldogs lean on senior quarterback Dylan Neuman who has plenty of experience under his belt already. Campbell says Neuman has been an efficient leader to the newcomers headed into the season.

 

Campbell said, “His leadership really shows up in a lot of different ways. He’s a three year starter for us, works great in the weight room and out here leading the guys, we have quite a few young guys on our team this year and he’s been nice to kind of be another coach for us out on the field.”

 

Clyde senior Dylan Neuman said, “The underclassmen and even the juniors have been really on board with everything which is what the seniors have been saying, myself included. We just have a great program, we have a bunch of great kids and everyone has the same common goal and everyone just works really hard.”

 

Speaking of newcomers, Campbell says the mixture of experienced starters and new starters has meshed well so far as they prepare for the season. He’s ready to develop each player throughout the year.

 

Campbell said, “So far through three weeks it’s been really good. You learn a lot about your team that first Friday night and then you face some adversity and you see how you handle that as a group together and stick together through those things. We feel like we’ve learned a lot in the last three weeks.”

 

Clyde kickoff against Cisco at 7:30.

 

 

By: David Robinett, Max Preston

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


19 new COVID-19 cases, 19 recoveries reported in Taylor County

 

 

TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Nineteen new cases of COVID-19 and 19 recoveries have been reported in Taylor County.

 

Statistics released Tuesday show that of the 19 new cases, 5 are from PCR tests and 14 are from antigen tests.

 

Nineteen patients recovered, but 22 remain hospitalized and their current conditions have not been disclosed.

 

Between the PCR and antigen tests, there have been 2293 positive COVID-19 tests in Taylor County to-date.

 

Additional information about the COVID-19 cases in Taylor County can be found in the graphic below:

 

 

 

By: Erica Garner

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


Live on Abilene, area stages: Metallica showing on the drive-in screen

 

A filmed concert featuring heavy metal legends Metallica, along with guest band Three Days Grace, will be presented at 9 p.m. Aug. 29 at Town & Country Drive-In Theatre, 2902 Vogel St. The one-night-only concert was filmed exclusively for drive-in theaters.

 

Tickets are $115 per car, with up to six people admitted per vehicle. Tickets are available via ticketmaster.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; or via mail in care of the Reporter-News, P.O. Box 30., Abilene, TX 79604.

 

Deadline is one week before publication.

 

ABILENE

  • Betty Rose's Little Brisket, 3934 Catclaw Drive. Boone Dugan, 7-9 p.m. Aug. 29.
  • Firehouse Bar & Grill, 2074 Butternut St. Wildman Karaoke, 9 p.m. Friday and Aug. 28.
  • Lytle Land & Cattle Co., 1150 E.S. 11th St. Brett Patterson, 7 p.m. Aug. 29.
  • The Mill Winery, 239 Locust St. Eric Logan, 7 p.m. Aug. 29.
  • Sugar's Smokehouse, 3450 S. Clack St. Santa Fe, 8 p.m. Saturday. Wildman Karaoke, 6 p.m. Monday and Aug. 31. 

 

OUT OF TOWN

 

BRECKENRIDGE

  • Canyon Road Barn & Grill. Darrin Morris, 7 p.m. Wednesday.

COLEMAN

  • Rancho Loma Vineyards. Daniel Sampley, 6 p.m. Saturday. Christy Patton, 7 p.m. Aug. 29.

 

 

By: Nathaniel Ellsworth

Copyright © 2020, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved


5 new COVID-19 cases in Taylor County, 397 active cases

 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Five new cases of COVID-19 and 16 recoveries have been reported in Taylor County; The total number of active cases is now 397.

 

Statistics released Monday show that of the 5 new cases, 2 are from PCR tests, and 3 are from antigen tests.

 

Sixteen patients recovered, but 19 remain hospitalized and their current conditions have not been disclosed.

 

Between the PCR and antigen tests, there have been 1,853 positive COVID-19 tests in Taylor County to-date.

 

Additional information about the COVID-19 cases in Taylor County can be found in the graphic below:

 

 

 

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


25th COVID-19 death reported in Taylor County, 20 new cases

 

TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The 25th COVID-19-related death and 20 new positive cases have been reported in Taylor County.

 

Statistics released Thursday show that of the 20 new cases, 8 are from PCR tests and 12 are from antigen tests.

 

A social media post reveals the newest death was a male in his 60s with underlying health conditions.

 

Thirty-seven patients recovered, but 19 remain hospitalized and their current conditions have not been disclosed.

 

Between the PCR and antigen tests, there have been 1805 positive COVID-19 tests in Taylor County to-date.

 

Additional information about the COVID-19 cases in Taylor County can be found in the graphic below:

 

 

 

By: Erica Garner

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


6 new COVID-19 cases in Taylor County, 23 hospitalizations

 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Latest coronavirus numbers from Abilene and Taylor County show 6 new COVID-19 cases and 16 new recoveries. The total number of active cases is 530.

 

The Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District on Monday reported no new PCR-tested cases and 6 new antigen-tested cases. The cumulative total for the year in Taylor County is now 1,755 cases.

 

Hospitalizations in Taylor County are now at 23. Of those 23, 14 are residents of the county, and 9 are not.

 

Thirteen additional people were marked as recovered in the newly released data. The total of recovered patients is now 1,202.

 

 

 

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2 new COVID-19 related deaths, 16 new cases in Taylor County

 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — A total of 16 new cases of COVID-19 and two new COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in Abilene and Taylor County.

 

According to the Abilene Taylor County Public Health District, there have been 9 new PCR confirmed cases and 7 new antigen confirmed cases.

 

The two new deaths consist of a man in his 60s with pre-existing conditions and a woman in her 40s with pre-existing conditions.

 

So far this year, Taylor County has had a total of 21 deaths related to coronavirus. The health district reported the average age of death was 71 years old.

 

Currently, there are 34 hospitalizations in the county, of which 17 are from inside the county. The average age of hospitilizations is 58.

 

Fifty-five coveries were also reported on Thursday, bringing that comprehensive total to 813. There have been a total of 1,721 COVID-19 confirmed cases from PCR and antigen tests.

 

 

 

By: Travis Ruiz

Copyright © 2020, KTAB/KRBC Nexstar Broadcasting. All Rights Reserved


18th COVID-19-related death, 9 new cases reported in Taylor County

 

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- The 18th COVID-19-related death and 9 new positive cases have been reported in Taylor County.

 

Statistics released Monday show that of the 9 new cases, 7 are from PCR tests and 2 are from antigen tests.

 

A social media post reveals the newest death was a male in his 80s with preexisting health conditions.

 

Twenty-nine patients recovered, but 32 remain hospitalized and their current conditions have not been disclosed.

 

Between the PCR and antigen tests, there have been 1683 positive COVID-19 tests in Taylor County to-date.

 

Additional information about the COVID-19 cases in Taylor County can be found in the graphic below:

 

August 3, 2020 COVID-19 testing numbers for Taylor County

 

 

 

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