What the Abilene Reporter-News liked and hated: Wahoo for the zoo!



1. Birds and busy bees. The 10th anniversary of the Children’s Art & Literacy Festival once again filled the streets and sidewalks of downtown with young people and their companions to celebrate something the Reporter-News fully endorses: reading. A beautiful crowd attended the unveiling of the Winnie sculpture and watched the storybook characters parade along Cypress Street, aka Storybook Way. I also saw a few people moving around on scooters.

2. The Australian accent of Sophie Blackall. She has lived in the United States for 20 years, but looks like she just left Melbourne, where she was born. She writes and illustrates children’s picture books, but we’d love to hear her read them too.

3. Two relatives. Congratulations to Albany and Stephenville, our last standing baseball teams. The Lions and Yellow Jackets both lost in the regional finals, Albany to New Home, which a week earlier ousted Anson, and Stephenville to another good sports team in Argyle. Teams still playing late in the season have seniors who have already graduated but still represent their schools. What a way out.

4. Zoo wow! According to Livability, the Abilene Zoo is one of the top six zoos to visit. Not in Texas, but nationwide. Our zoo is included with much larger zoos, such as the famous San Diego Zoo. The others are Knoxville Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and Indianapolis Zoo. Our zoo is the main tourist attraction here, and it’s not just local opinion.

5. Hall of fame. Congratulations to Randy Bacon on being inducted into the Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame and Angela Ganter on being inducted into the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame.


The price of a gallon of gasoline hit a record high of $4.69 this week in Abilene.

1. Back to the 100s. After a very hot start to May, the heat has calmed down a bit. Someone lit the burner on Sunday. In 2011, we broke all sorts of heat records, including having 81 days of 100 or more. We’ve had seven more summers with at least 40 days of 100. We should be halfway there next week, with spring still officially on and July and August still to come.

2. Don’t back down. Gasoline prices hit a record high of $4.69 at many pumps this week. That’s up from an average price in Abilene of $2.93 in the first week of 2022. You know what that was like in the first week of 2021? $1.99 – last time gasoline was below $2/gallon. 15 gallons then cost $29.85; 15 gallons now cost $70.35. These are not peanuts, the price of which has also increased.


1. Five times…lucky? Have you ever played Bearspaw Golf Course in Calgary, Alberta? We neither. But according to an email we received, this is Randy Schniffner’s favorite course. He recently recorded his fifth hole-in-one there. Did you know that there are approximately 128,000 aces registered each year, excluding those at the Play Faire Park. There is a 0.0284% chance that a golfer will get one of the 450 million rounds of golf played each year. The report did not say how long Schniffner has been playing or if he is particularly good at a hole. It said he wanted to play until he was 90. Most of us would like to shoot 90…

It's been the Abilene Convention Center for years, but some signage near downtown facilities still says the old name.  To the west, the DoubleTree Hotel rises into the skyline.

2. I missed one. People still think of the Convention Center as the Civic Center. Especially when some signs around North Sixth Street call it that. This has to be on the city manager’s to-do list.


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