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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.
KFC
Tim Boyle, Getty Images
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KFC’s Secret Recipe May Not Be a Secret Anymore

Rather than stop by the KFC restaurant on South Timberland Drive, what if you could concoct that famous KFC flavor at home?

One of the most highly-guarded recipes of all time might be traveling around the internet as we speak.

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Back To School Shoppers Enjoy No Tax Week In New York City
Getty Images
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No Homework All Year For These Texas Students

A Texas teacher is getting a lot of attention for a "no homework" policy that she says she's planning to stick to all year long.

She wants kids to play outside, have dinner with family, and get to bed early instead of burying noses in the books at home.  Think it'll catch on?

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Jen Austin - Townsquare Media
Jen Austin - Townsquare Media
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Back-To-School Takes Over Social Media

If you are on social media at all this week, you will quickly understand that school has started.

As parents, there is some sort of reflex that makes us mark these back-to-school moments on Facebook, and as you might be able to see in this picture, the kids would rather just hurry up and get to class

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Church And State Separation Examined
Getty Images
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This is the Poorest Town in Texas

Every state has cities where the money seems to flow more easily than others, and the spot in Texas that has the most trouble getting on its financial feet is in the southern tip, near McAllen and Brownsville.

In other words, there IS opportunity in Tyler and Longview.  We're not the richest cities in Texas, but not the poorest either. 

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New Backpacks at B2SB
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Kids’ Backpacks Shouldn’t Be Any Heavier Than This

School starts next week in Lufkin and all across East Texas, and kids will be cramming iPods, notebooks, Kindles, phones, a change of shoes, snacks, and maybe even a book into those backpacks.

How heavy is too heavy?  If the backpack weighs more than a certain amount, it can knock kids off balance and lead to back problems later on.  Here's the magic number.

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Pumpkin Spice
Thinkstock
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This East Texas Spot May Have the First Pumpkin Spice Drink of the Fall

You know it's coming.  The pumpkin spice explosion.  It usually happens around Labor Day, but one East Texas restaurant might beat everyone else by releasing the pumpkin spice latte on this August date.

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