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December News Releases


December 28, 2012

 

Most City offices closed in observance of New Year’s holiday

 

ABILENE, Texas – Most City of Abilene offices and community service centers will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 in observance of the New Year’s Day holidays with the exception of those providing life safety services such as fire and police protection.

 

The Abilene Animal Shelter will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1. Citizens with an Animal Control emergency may call the Abilene Police Department at 673-8331 and an Animal Services Officer will be available to respond.

 

The Solid Waste Services Division offices will be closed Tuesday, Jan. 1. Residents who are scheduled for curbside brush and bulky refuse collection on Jan. 1 will receive service the next day, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 2. Commercial and residential refuse collection will run normal routes on Tuesday, Jan. 1. The Environmental Recycling Center (ERC) will be closed Tuesday, Jan. 1. The ERC will resume regular business hours on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

 

CityLink Transit office will be closed with no transit service on Tuesday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day.  Regularly scheduled services will resume Wednesday, Jan. 2.

 

Municipal Court will also be closed on Tuesday, Jan 1. All citations due on that day will instead be due on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

 

All locations of the Abilene Public Library will close at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31 and will be closed all day Tuesday, Jan. 1.

 

The Abilene Zoo is closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day.

 

City facilities that will also be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1 include: City Hall, Health Division, Abilene Civic Center, the Development Corporation of Abilene, the Airport Administration Office and City Recreation and Senior Citizen centers.

 

The Water Services Center, 701 E. Hwy. 80, will be open for regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 1. Citizens may also call the Water Service Center’s emergency hotline, 676-6000, for water and sewer emergencies. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

 

December 28, 2012

 

Flight added to schedule at Abilene Regional Airport

 

ABILENE, Texas – Beginning February 14, 2013, American Airlines will offer an additional flight to passengers traveling through Abilene Regional Airport. The new flight will arrive in Abilene at 3:20 p.m. and depart at 3:50 p.m. daily. The addition of this flight will make the number of departures from Abilene to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport eight per day.

 

“American Airlines, through its subsidiary American Eagle, provides an exceptional number of daily flights to and from Abilene Regional Airport to serve our market area,” said Don Green, Director of Aviation. “Their operation here is profitable and a great and convenient service to our passengers.  The addition of this afternoon flight will fill a void in our arrival and departure schedule and allow improved connections with flights in and out of DFW International Airport.”

 

For more information about the Abilene Regional Airport, visit http://www.abilenetx.com/Airport/index.htm. To book flights or find flight information, visit www.aa.com.

 

December 26, 2012

 

Recycle Christmas trees and more during “Recycle Christmas” event

 

ABILENE, Texas – The City of Abilene’s Solid Waste Services Division is once again sponsoring “Recycle Christmas”, its annual holiday-themed recycling campaign. Citizens are urged to recycle whatever they can from Christmas trees, both live and artificial, to wrapping paper and cardboard boxes.

 

From December 26 through January 9, citizens can drop off live Christmas trees at three locations:

  • Environmental Recycling Center (ERC), 2209 Oak Street
  • Buffalo Gap Road & Rebecca Lane neighborhood recycling drop-off site, under the water tower
  • Vacant lot north of KRBC/KTAB TV studios on Hartford Road. Entry must be made from Hartford Road.

 

Before dropping off a tree, citizens should remove all lights, ornaments, bases and as much tinsel as possible. The Christmas trees will be ground into mulch that will be available free to the public, on a first-come, first served basis, starting February 3 at the Environmental Recycling Center (ERC).

 

Artificial trees are also accepted at the ERC.

 

The ERC is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

 

December 20, 2012

 

 

Most City offices closed in observance of Christmas holiday

                                                                                               

ABILENE, Texas – Most City of Abilene offices and community service centers will close at noon Monday, Dec. 24 and will be closed the entire day Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012 in observance of the Christmas holidays with the exception of those providing life safety services such as fire and police protection.

 

The Abilene Animal Shelter will close at noon Monday, Dec. 24 and will be closed Christmas Day. Citizens with an Animal Control emergency may call the Abilene Police Department at 673-8331 and an Animal Services Officer will be available to respond. The shelter will resume normal business hours Wednesday, Dec. 26.

 

Solid Waste Services Division offices will close at noon Monday, Dec. 24 and will be closed all day Tuesday, Dec. 25. Residents who are scheduled for curbside brush and bulky refuse collection on Dec. 25 will receive service the next day, Wednesday, Dec. 26. The Environmental Recycling Center (ERC) will close at noon Monday, Dec. 24 and will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 25. The ERC will resume regular business hours on Wednesday, Dec. 26. Commercial and residential refuse collection will run normal routes on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

 

CityLink Transit’s schedule is as follows:

       Dec. 24: CityLink Transit offices will be open; regular transit service will run until 6:15 p.m.

       Dec. 25: CityLink Transit office will be closed; no transit service on Christmas Day.

       Dec. 26: CityLink Transit office will be open, regularly scheduled services available. 

 

Municipal Court will also close at noon Monday, Dec. 24 and will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 25. For those citizens making their initial appearance, citations due those days will instead be due on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

 

All locations of the Abilene Public Library will close at noon Monday, Dec. 24 and will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 25.  All locations will be open for normal business hours beginning Wednesday, Dec. 26. 

 

The Abilene Zoo will be closed on Christmas Day and reopen on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

 

City facilities that will also close at noon Monday, Dec. 24 and all day Tuesday, Dec. 25 include: City Hall, Abilene-Taylor County Health District, Abilene Civic Center, the Development Corporation of Abilene, the Airport Administration office and City Recreation and Senior Citizen Centers.

 

The Water Services Center, 701 E. Hwy. 80, will be closed on Christmas Day. However, citizens may call the Water Service Center’s emergency hotline, 676-6000, for water and sewer emergencies. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

 

December 18, 2012

 

City sees major savings as current “AA+” bond ratings affirmed

  

ABILENE, Texas – The City of Abilene recently received affirmation of its “AA+” long-term rating for its series 2013 general obligation (GO) refunding bonds, and the “AA+” long-term rating and Standard &Poor’s underlying rating (SPUR) on the City’s previously issued debt. Standard and Poor’s stated that the outlook on all ratings is stable.

 

Last week, Fitch Ratings also affirmed an “AA+” rating to the City’s $15 million general obligation (GO) refunding bonds, series 2013. The City received affirmation of its “AA+” rating for the $52 million in outstanding GO bonds and $54 million in certificates of obligation from Fitch Ratings. Fitch Ratings also stated that the outlook on all ratings is stable.

 

In its assessment of the City’s finances, Standard & Poor’s stated that the rating reflects a regional trade and service based economy, consistent sound financial management and position which is bolstered by the historical maintenance of very strong reserves, and low to very low overall net debt levels.

 

Fitch Ratings in its assessment stated the key rating drivers include strong financial position enabled by prudent management, modest debt burden, stable local economy, diverse tax base growth, and low debt levels with manageable capital needs.

 

“These strong ratings in the “AA+” category indicate that the City’s financial outlook remains favorable and validate the City’s conservative approach to budgeting,” said Director of Finance Mindy Patterson.

 

The refunding bond issue was priced and marketed to refund the City’s Series 2003, Series 2003A, Series 2003B, Series 2003C, and Series 2004 debt obligations.  The total debt service savings are $2,350,339 or present value savings of 11.129%. These savings are well above the minimum acceptable parameter of 6.75% as established by the City Council.

 

December 17, 2012

 

Mayor calls for moment of reflection for families of Newtown, CT

  

ABILENE, Texas – Mayor Norm Archibald has declared Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 as a day of remembrance for the families of Newtown, CT. Mayor Archibald extends an invitation to the entire community to join him and Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. Heath Burns Wednesday for a brief time of prayer and reflection at the Abilene Civic Center lobby by the Community Christmas tree at noon. The Civic Center is located at 1100 N. 6th St.

 

“I’d like to invite all of Abilene to join me as we stand alongside the city of Newtown, CT and offer our prayers, support and sympathy,” said Mayor Archibald.

 

The ceremony is open to the public and all media partners are encouraged to attend. For additional information, please call Callie Harris, Communications and Media Relations Manager, at 325-676-6677 or e-mail callie.harris@abilenetx.com. 

 

December 17, 2012

 

Holiday Camp offered by City’s Recreation Division

  

ABILENE, Texas – The City of Abilene’s Recreation Division presents Holiday Camp for children ages 6 to 13 who are enjoying their school holiday. The three day camp is a way for kids to stay warm and active during their break from school and includes field trips, gym games, arts and crafts, lunch and more. Holiday Camp will take place Wednesday, Jan. 2 through Friday, Jan. 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at G.V. Daniels Recreation Center located at 541 N. 8th St.

 

The cost is $30 per child and does not include field trip fees. Space at Holiday Camp is limited. To register online, visit www.abilenetx.com and click on “Register for Recreation” under the City Spotlight heading or visit the Community Services Office located at 633 Walnut St. For more information, call 325-676-6443 or 325-676-6217.

 

December 7, 2012

 

CityLink Transit presents Christmas Tour of Lights

  

ABILENE, Texas – CityLink, the City of Abilene’s transit system, will once again offer the opportunity to take a bus ride on the Christmas Tour of Lights. Buses will visit Abilene neighborhoods featuring Christmas light displays and round out the tour with exclusive admission to the Abilene State Supported Living Center’s Christmas Lane and Winter Wonderland display.

 

Tours are available Monday, Dec. 10 through Saturday, Dec. 15. Buses leave the Mall of Abilene each night at 7 p.m. from the north entrance of the mall near Chuck E. Cheese. Tickets are $3 per person and may be purchased in advance at CityLink Transit located at 1189 S. 2nd St. or on the evening of the tour at the bus. For more information, call 325-676-6BUS (325-676-6287).   

 

December 4, 2012

 

Increased number of Shigella cases in Abilene

  

ABILENE, Texas – The following is information has been provided by the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District:

 

Since August, the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District has seen an increase in Shigella cases in Abilene, particularly among young children.

 

Shigellosis is an infection of the intestines that causes diarrhea. It is usually a mild, self-

resolving illness (meaning the body will fight off the infection without treatment), and most

people recover completely within 4 to 7 days. After a person is infected, symptoms may develop within 1 to 3 days and include diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, nausea and/or vomiting. Some people never develop any symptoms after being infected.

 

Shigellosis is very contagious and can spread easily from person to person. The disease is caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. The infection is acquired by swallowing

something contaminated with the feces of an infected person. This most commonly happens when an infected person does not wash his/her hands properly after a bowel movement, and then touches somebody else's hands or prepares food for others. Even persons without symptoms can carry the bacteria and pass it on to others, so it is possible to catch Shigella in many different types of environments. 

 

Consider everything you or your child may touch in the course of a few days like exposure to baby's diapers, public and private toilet contact, grocery store carts, door knobs, other kids and many more things an infected person may have touched.  An infected person may spread the bacteria to the food they cook for others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, there is no vaccine currently on-the-market to prevent shigellosis.  Instead, the best form of defense is consistently washing hands with warm water and soap.

 

There are prevention measures that daycare centers, schools, businesses, organizations and homes may implement to reduce the occurrence of shigellosis.  Much research has been done and as simplistic as it may sound, the easiest way to prevent the spread of Shigella, and most other contact diseases, is to properly wash your hands. 

 

-Hand washing is to be done after bathroom visits, diaper changes, play time, and

handling of pets or soil, touching things in a public place, and before food preparation and eating.

 

-Wash hands for at least 20 seconds and use soap and running water to lather and

Rinse the palms, backs of hands, between fingers, under fingernails, and around

wrists.

 

-Hand sanitizer may be used as a substitute for hand washing with soap and water.

 

-Hand washing among children should be frequent and supervised by an adult in child care facilities and homes with children who have not been fully toilet trained.

.

-Child care facilities should keep the food preparation area separate from the diapering area and diaper-changing should not be done in the kitchen.

 

-Everyone who changes any child's diapers should be sure the diapers are disposed of properly in a closed-lid garbage can, and should wash his or her hands and the child’s hands carefully with soap and warm water immediately after changing the diapers. This is particularly important when the child has diarrhea.

 

-Clean and disinfect bathrooms, diaper changing areas and toys on a routine basis.

 

-People with diarrhea should not prepare food or drinks for others.

 

-Child care facilities should not provide water play areas.

 

-Sick children, sick staff and others that are ill should be excluded from child care,     school facilities and cooking for others for at least 48 hours after all symptoms subside.

 

We have had 80 cases since the first week in August 2012, about 20 per month.  Our average case count for Shigella is six cases per year.  In the past 10 years we've experienced outbreaks of as many as over 200 cases in 2002, and as few as zero cases in 2010.  Because many milder cases are not diagnosed or reported and the sick person does not go to a doctor and have a lab performed, the actual number of illnesses is higher than the reported numbers.  It's possible to reduce or eliminate the transmission of Shigella by placing an extra emphasis on hand hygiene!

 

More information about hand washing is available at-http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing

 

 

Zane Travis, M.D.

Health Authority, Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District

 

Wayne R. Rose, MPA, BA, AS, AAS

Epidemiologist, Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District

 

December 4, 2012

 

Annual Family Holiday Festival benefits senior citizens

  

ABILENE, Texas – The City of Abilene Rose Park Senior Activity Center will host the annual Family Holiday Festival Friday, Dec. 14. The festival will take place at the senior center located inside Rose Park at 2625 S. 7th St.  All proceeds from the festival will benefit the seniors, programs and services offered at Rose Park Senior Activity Center. A variety of activities will be available throughout the day including food, games a silent auction and dance.

 

Scheduled activities:

Breakfast- 8:30 a.m.; tickets are $1 per person

Silent Auction- Monday, Dec. 10 to Friday Dec. 14; a variety of items to bid on; the auction will close on Friday, Dec. 14 at 8 p,m,

Morning Bingo- 9:30 to 10:15 a.m.; sponsored by Generations Home Health and Anson Park Senior Living; $5 per card for unlimited play or .50 per card per game

Dinner- 5 to 6 p.m.; tickets are $8 per person or $12 for dinner and dance; brisket and chicken dinner

Entertainment- 6:30; provided by the Breckenridge Hot Footers

Dance- 7 to 10 p.m.; $5 per person or $12 for dinner and dance; music provided by Muddy Creek Band

Evening Bingo- 7 to 8:15 p.m.; sponsored by Wisteria Place; $5 per card or .50 per card per game

 

Breakfast and dinner tickets can be purchased in advance at the Rose Park Senior Activity Center located at 2625 S. 7th St. Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets must be purchased by Tuesday, Dec. 11. For more information about the Family Holiday Festival, contact Anita Vigil, Program Supervisor, at 325-734-5301 or e-mail anita.vigil@abilenetx.com.