Wolfabilene Updates Archives for 2019-06

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.