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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 with three churches, a bar, and a courthouse. I left because I like lots of people and taller buildings, and I don't like cold weather. On those rare days in Texas when it gets snowy and icy, you'll find me inside Googling beach vacations. I don't plan to leave Texas now that I've been here for most of my adult life because the barbecue and fajitas are just way too addictive. I've worked in radio from the moment I graduated from college at the University of Nebraska, and besides getting the hang out with cool people like you every day, I love sports, great restaurants, self improvement, and meeting new people. I love all movies starring Melissa McCarthy or Julia Roberts, and all TV shows with home improvements or food in them. You'll probably hear me talk about my three daughters on the air, along with the challenges of being a single mom. I'm on several of the dating apps, because trying to meet someone in person these days is way too creepy.
Santa
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The Lufkin Post Office Helps Get Letters to Santa

After your child writes that heartfelt letter to Santa requesting Hatchimals and iPads, he or she can drop it in the mail instead of setting near the mantle and waiting for Santa to pick it up at Christmas.  With a little help from Mom or Dad, the kids can get a personalized letter back, with the North Pole postmark.

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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Watch Out For Texas Porch Pirates

The packages you ordered online are on their way to you, and the thieves know that.  "Porch pirates" are those unsavory types who follow delivery trucks through neighborhoods and swipe the packages they leave on your porch.

Here's what you can do to protect yourself.

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Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
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Texas Ranks Near The Bottom of Charitable States

Are we selfish?  Texans don't volunteer time or give as much money as other states do, but we have a chance to change that today.  It's National Giving Day, and that's why you're seeing #GivingTuesday on social media.

And See how low Texas ranks in terms of the most charitable states.  It's not pretty.

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Shopping
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Lufkin Shoppers Spent Almost $300 on Black Friday

If you bought a 40-inch flat screen TV over the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, you matched most East Texas shoppers.

Each of us spent a little under $300 over the Black Friday weekend, but that's only a third of what our holiday shopping total will be.

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Don’t Miss Lufkin’s Christmas Parade Tonight

It's a lot of work putting up Christmas decorations and lights, and we've got the chance tonight to take a break from our own tangled cords and missing bulbs to appreciate the work of some other talented folks.

The Lufkin Christmas Parade is happening tonight, and we've got all the info.

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Skiing
iStock
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Ski Resorts Need More Snow

If you're planning a vacation to ski country, you might have to wait.  Thanksgiving weekend is usually a big one for ski resorts, but most of them had to delay openings this year because of a lack of snow.

Some of the projected openings are in mid to late December now.

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Leftovers
Thinkstock
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Do Something Amazing With Thanksgiving Leftovers

One of the repercussions of creating a huge feast is having an enormous amount of leftovers.  You might be bound and determined to eat and eat until you're sick, but even then you and your family might have a little green bean casserole to spare.

So we don't feel totally guilty about our gluttony, here are some unique and productive ideas about what to do with all the leftovers.  

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Jen Austin - Townsquare Media
Jen Austin - Townsquare Media
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Three Reasons Christmas Should Start Before Thanksgiving

It's mean to withhold the magic of Christmas from the kids, and I just couldn't do it any longer. Lights on, tree up.

And I've discovered three big reasons besides these girls, why Christmas should always start before Thanksgiving.

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Church And State Separation Examined
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Random Acts of Kindness Are Happening in Texas

Have you noticed anyone being over-the-top nice lately?  I'd love to hear that story. I'm a sucker for random acts of kindness.

There's no prize involved here, because that would defeat the purpose of the "being-nice-just-for-the-heck-of-it" stories.  So, just for the heck of it, I'll share a story about a random act of kindness that might excite some fast food employees in East Texas, and you can see if you notice anything similar.

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