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Jen Austin

It's fun to pick on the boys in the office, fun to play music, and fun to talk to you all day at work. Thanks for listening! I grew up in a one-stoplight town in rural Nebraska. My whole family still lives there and I love going back to visit them, but I also love Texas. Barbecue, fajitas, and great live music....it's the place to be. I've lived in Texas for 16 years now. Austin, Dallas, and here. I've worked in radio from the moment I graduated from college. (The University of Nebraska...Go Huskers!) I've been on a hundred stations at one point or another. I just love radio. Other things I love....let's see. Blue ink. Black bores me a bit. I love cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce and anything that the two happen to touch. I fall asleep in almost every movie I attempt to watch I have made it through Eat, Pray, Love and Mr. Wright. I like chick flicks. I have an awesome family and love spending time with them. You'll probably hear me talk about my daughters on the air. They're toddler girls who exhaust me, crack me up, and amaze me because I don't think I was ever that smart. I have two miniature schnauzers too. Thanks for stopping by. Now tell me about you.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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Starting the New Year With the Flu? You’re Not Alone

Maybe it's not just the effects of the New Year's Eve drinks that you're feeling today. Many people in East Texas are sick with something other than the "brown bottle flu" right now.

Flu cases are up in Texas. Emergency rooms from Dallas to Tyler to Houston are saying they're seeing more flu cases right now, with fevers of 102 to 103 and that yucky, awful, achey feeling. And of course the other pleasantries associated with the flu that we don't need to mention.

With flu cases on the rise, what can be done?

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David Paul Morris/Getty Images
David Paul Morris/Getty Images
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Forest Service Says Be Careful With New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Got your fireworks yet? There are just two opportunities each year to buy fireworks in Texas – near the 4th of July, and new New Year’s Eve. Business is good right now at local fireworks stands with the holiday fast approaching. Our own Leslie Reynolds offered tips on where to get the fireworks in a recent blog.

Even though there has been some recent moisture, it’s been another dry year and we shouldn't let the recent rain and snow give us a false sense of security, according to Texas A&M Forest Service officials. Fireworks and piles of dry leaves don’t mix.

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Joe Raedle, Getty Images
Joe Raedle, Getty Images
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Holiday Travelers Get the Gift of Lower Gas Prices

Have you driven by a Tyler gas station lately and done a double take to make sure you're not seeing things? Prices at some stations have dropped below the $3 mark. It seems odd to cheer for gas, but it kinda makes ya wanna say, "Woohoo!" Especially if you're traveling for Christmas.

In mid to late November, gas prices in East Texas were about 15 cents higher than they are now. A gallon of gas averages about $3.10 in Texas, down from $3.25 around Thanksgiving.

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Thinkstock
Thinkstock
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Tyler Charter School to Add a Middle School in Addition to Elementary

Most students right now are thinking about Christmas break, but one Tyler school is thinking about its new classes, and an upcoming expansion.

The Tyler charter school, Cumberland Academy currently serves K-6th grade students, and just announced plans to open a middle school in fall 2013.

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Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
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Case Involving an Alaska Serial Killer Has Ties to East Texas

It's a story that has made national news. Earlier this week, accused serial killer Israel Keyes was found dead in his jail cell in Alaska after an apparent suicide.

He's accused of abducting, assualting, killing, and dismembering the body of an 18-year old barista who was kidnapped from a coffee stand last February.

In March, Keyes was arrested at the parking lot of a Cotton Patch Cafe in Lufkin after trying to use Samantha Koenig's stolen debit card.

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Category: Tyler & Longview News Tags:
David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images
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Trees Destroyed by Wildfire Will Be Replaced Thanks to East Texas

It was a little more than a year ago that the most destructive wildfire in Texas history destroyed much of the vegetation in Bastrop County near Austin. It was a major setback for the renowned Lost Pines ecosystem. The fire covered 32,400-acres, destroyed 1,660 homes and killed 1.5 million trees.

Now, one East Texas town is coming to the rescue. Eleven-hundred pounds of tree seeds that were almost thrown into the land fill at one point, will help rebuild the Bastrop ecosystem.

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Andreas Rentz, Getty Images
Andreas Rentz, Getty Images
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Christmas Parades Planned Throughout East Texas

At some stores and homes, the Christmas decorations were up before Thanksgiving.

Those of us that did put up the Christmas tree before carving the turkey have been accused of breaking holiday rules, but rather than rebellious it seemed convenient to me. We got the decorating out of the way early, and could concentrate on matters like shopping!

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turkey
toholio, flickr
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We Consume HOW Many Calories at Thanksgiving?

The season of eating continues this week.

We stuffed our faces full of candy at Halloween, and now it's on to the big Thanksgiving meal. This Thursday we'll sit around the TV watching the Cowboys' game and graze all day on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and of course that green bean casserole with the crunchy onions on top that seems to find its way to most tables.

Have you ever put down the fork long enough to count the calories? Prepare yourself for the shock!

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Category: Advice, Family, Health Tags:

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