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Jen Austin

Hi! I grew up in a one-stoplight town in rural Nebraska and my whole family still lives there. The town really does have one stoplight, along with three churches, a bar, and a courthouse. I love going back to visit family, but I always look forward to getting back to Texas barbecue, fajitas, and taller buildings! I've lived in Texas for 18 years now, in Austin, Dallas, and here. I've worked in radio from the moment I graduated from college at the University of Nebraska, and I just love getting to talk to cool people like you every day! And I love seeing how you interact on Facebook too. I love feeling plugged in. Other things I love include sports, great restaurants, self improvement, and meeting new people. I love all movies starring Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts, and all TV shows with Hoda Kotb or Blake Shelton in them. You'll probably hear me talk about my three daughters on the air, who are in kindergarten and preschool now. The oldest and youngest are separated by only four years. So busy working moms, I can relate!
Cool Teens Smoking
Marco Di Lauro, Getty Images
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Do Texans Still Smoke?

The price of cigarettes has increased. Smoking has been banned from quite a few bars and restaurants. There's a lawsuit that's trying to get smoking removed completely from movies that target kids.  Is smoking so marginalized that we've almost seen the end of it in Tyler?

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Tyler Movie Prices Hit a Record High

The cost of a movie ticket varies of course, depending on the time of day that you go and whether it's showing on a premium screen like an IMAX. But overall, the price to see a flick is going up at Studio Movie Grill and Carmike 14 and others.

Here's how much cash you should have in your wallet for that movie date this weekend.  

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couple selling house
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Texas is a Great Place for First-Time Home Buyers

We're lucky in Texas that for the most part, the job market is steady and houses are affordable.

That makes us one of the best places in the country to buy a first home, and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon.  See which Texas city ranks higher than any other.

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There Are Three Things We Shouldn’t Buy Generic

If you're like me, weekends include a trip to Brookshire's to stock up.

Good news...If you came home with an SUV full of a mix of name-brand things and generics, you probably did it right.

There are some things we should buy generic and some things we shouldn't, and there's a key to telling the difference.

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Carolina Panthers v Dallas Cowboys
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At Least the Cowboys Win The Off-Season Game

The Dallas Cowboys have had some disappointing seasons and missed opportunities lately, but one thing is sure. They win the "Great Off-Season Headline Race of 2016."

Two big stories came out this week that put the Cowboys in the spotlight, and one of them gives fans a lot to be excited about.  The other one just means anything Cowboy-related will keep costing a lot of money.

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ThinkStock
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Texas Colleges Aren’t The Best, But Still Good Schools for the Money

This week I heard a co-worker utter the phrase "back to school," and I had to look at my smart phone to check the date.  Really?!  We're on the downhill side of the summer already.

If you're a college student, you may be working all summer to build up some funds for tuition this fall cuz it's dang expensive.  We know we're paying a lot, but are Texas schools worth the money?  You might be surprised about the top Texas school for the price.

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NCAA Football: Texas at Texas A&M
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Aggies Have Some of the Best Football Facilities in the Nation

It's almost practice time for college football teams, and the first game is only about six weeks away.  Finally!  We've all been having football withdrawals.

We rarely see the day-to-day, behind the scenes work that the players put in, but we've got a glimpse of the Aggies' workout facility here.  It's been named one of the Top 10 in the country.

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Texas Lottery Players Have Another Big Jackpot to Go After This Week

With a Mega Millions jackpot so huge, you might have hoped that 15 winners would share that insane amount of money, but it turns out one winner gets $540 million after Friday's drawing.  And the winning ticket didn't come from Texas.

But here's why that's a good thing.

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Texas Mugshots Are Usually Not the Happiest Ones

There comes a point during the arrest process where you've got to make a decision.

To smile or not to smile?

It turns out, Texans aren't too cheery in mug shots overall.  See which state does have the happiest ones, and how Texas compares.

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Photo credit:
myplates.com
Photo credit: myplates.com
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Texas May Be Awesome, But It Lacks Tourist Destinations

We rock the beer and barbecue in Texas, but when it comes to having the biggest draws for tourists, we're left completely off the "best of the best" list.  We don't have Yosemite or Yellowstone, and the closest "best" tourist destination is about 1200 miles away.  BUT, see why this may be a good thing.

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