Listeners Club

Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!

Regular Program
12:00am - 12:00am
Regular Program

Wolfabilene Updates Archives for 2020-10

Texas early voting exceeds total of all 2016 ballots

 

People cast their ballots at a polling location on October 13, 2020 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Sergio Flores/Getty Images)

 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texans have already cast more ballots in the presidential election than they did during all of 2016, an unprecedented surge of early voting in a state that was once the country’s most reliably Republican, but may now be drifting toward battleground status.

 

More than 9 million ballots have been cast as of Friday morning in the nation’s second most-populous state, exceeding the 8,969,226 cast in 2016, according to an Associated Press tally of early votes from data provided by Texas officials.

 

Texas is the first state to hit the milestone. This year’s numbers were aided by Democratic activists challenging in court for, and winning, the right to extend early voting by one week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Texas also offers only limited vote-by-mail options when compared to the rest of the country, meaning casting in-person, early ballots is the primary way to vote for people who don’t want to line up and do so on Election Day.

 

Voters in Texas do not register by party affiliation, so no one can be sure until the ballots are counted whether one party or the other will benefit from the surge in turnout.

 

Still, the fact that the state exceeded its entire vote total for the past presidential cycle with hours still to go in its early voting period which ends Friday, and before millions more people are likely to vote on Election Day, hints at a potential electoral sea change.

 

For Democrats, anything different is likely positive. The party hasn’t won a state office in Texas since 1994 — the nation’s longest political losing streak — nor seen one of its presidential nominees carry the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976. The party now believes it has a chance to seize control of the state House, flip as many as six congressional seats and a Senate seat.

 

President Donald Trump carried Texas against Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a comfortable 9 points, even though that was the smallest margin since Republican Bob Dole beat Democratic President Bill Clinton by 5 points in 1996.

 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign has for months insisted that Texas, with its 38 electoral votes, is among the traditionally conservative states it is looking to flip — though it has long been more bullish on Arizona and North Carolina. Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, is visiting Fort Worth, Houston and the U.S.-Mexico border town of McAllen on Friday, just four days before Election Day, using precious campaign time on the state far later than any major national Democrat in decades.

 

The news may not be all positive for Democrats, however.

 

The spike in early voting is most apparent in suburban counties around Dallas and in areas outside Austin, especially those south toward San Antonio. One area that has not seen voting rise dramatically, however, is the Rio Grande Valley, where Harris will be. Its population is about 90% Mexican-American and it is among the state’s youngest and fastest-growing areas.

 

In Hidalgo County, which includes McAllen, early voting has only increased by about 1% compared to 2016, despite the extra week to do so — far below the at least 15% increase in nearly every other large Texas county.

 

Not turning out voters there — especially when the rest of the state is shattering records — could spell trouble for Biden as well as Democratic challenger MJ Hegar, who is trying to topple long-serving Republican Sen. John Cornyn. The area is solidly Democratic, even if many of its Latino voters tend to be slightly more conservative than many of their counterparts in other parts of Texas or the country.

 

Its also been among the hardest hit areas in the nation by the coronavirus and has seen new cases soar in recent weeks as they have in many parts of the country.

 

“They were forced to place bodies in refrigerated FEMA trailers because they ran out of room in the morgues and the funeral homes,” said Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman and Democratic presidential candidate who came within 3 percentage points of upsetting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 — and might have closed that gap had he turned out more Hispanic people in the Rio Grande Valley.

 

“This part of Texas has borne witness to the cruelty of the Trump administration and the incompetence of his leadership,” O’Rourke added.

 

Recent polls have shown Biden topping Trump among Latinos in places like Florida, but trailing the level of support Clinton received from the community in 2016. The former vice president was in Florida on Thursday and noted that 20% of the nation’s population is now Hispanic.

 

“It’s our future and we should invest in the future,” Biden told reporters while campaigning in Fort Lauderdale. “The better the community does, the better the country does.”

 

 

By: Nexstar Media Wire and The Associated Press

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

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

 

<p>{/p}

 

 

 

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

Wolf News

Twitter

Sports News