Tabatha Mills is a Bakersfield, California native. She spent most of her childhood on a farm, in a ballet studio or on the basketball court. All three still hold a very special place in her heart. Given her basketball background she's very excited to now live in Lawrence, the home of the University of Kansas Jayhawks.
Tabatha attended college at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. She majored in agribusiness and minored in agricultural communications, journalism, marketing, and theatre. After graduating she worked in the California rodeo system as a marketing and public relations manager. She then interned with the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida as an on-field in-game coordinator. After that, she found herself in front of the camera working as an anchor and reporter in east Tennessee. That was until that fateful day that she applied at 6News and knew from the first email she received from News Director Lindsey Slater that she wanted to join the 6News team!
Outside of work, Tabatha enjoys volunteering for various organizations whenever she can. She loves working with children and given her chipper attitude, they love working with her. She also enjoys the arts and all they encompass. From music, to movies, to art exhibits. There's a good chance you can find her enjoying something arts related.
Tabatha said it is her goal every day to bring a smile to someone's face. If you've ever spent 20 minutes with her, you'll probably leave with one.
In ending her bio, she had a few things to say. The first, something her father says to her nearly every day: "Gabba Gabba Hey."
The second, her favorite: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. You're playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson
You can find Tabatha on Facebook here and follow her on Twitter here.
A holiday act of kindness in Lawrence is helping fix-up cars for those in need.
You may remember last year around this time, a local auto shop provided a little hope for the holidays for five deserving residents. Well they're looking to do it again. Bob's Imports on 6th Street will help fix-up cars for a few people in Lawrence free of charge and just like last year they're asking for a letter explaining why you or someone you know is deserving of the kind act.
This year, one of the recipients will be chosen with the help of 6News. If you or an incredible person you know needs a better ride, let us know!
Send a letter to:
644 New Hampshire
Lawrence, KS, 66044
Tell us about the car you or someone you know drives and explain why it's important to get the car tuned up and running. Tell us the impact it would have. You never know what could happen!
Letters will be accepted through Nov. 30.
More than a dozen people gathered at Willing Horse Farm on North 1550 Road to dig up sweet potatoes and help the families in need.
John Craft, the owner of the farmer, donated the sweet potatoes to Just Food to help provide a Thanksgiving meal for food insecure families in Douglas County. Before Craft could harvest the entire crop, he had to leave town. But that didn’t stop the harvest. A message was sent out online asking for volunteers and the community responded.
“The holidays are always really difficult for families, especially low income families or any family that's in crisis at this time. It's really great when the community rallies around us like this. It's so amazing to see all of the support we have. You know even on short notice, 24 to 48 hours, we had this crew come out so it's really helpful," said Aundrea Shafer, Program Coordinator at Just Food.
Just Food will serve more than 900 families this Thanksgiving and Shafer says donations are needed to help fulfill that need. To donate or find out more information, click here.
Nov. 10 is the official birthday of the United States Marine Corps. From it's founding during the Second Continental Congress in 1775 up to today, members of the Corps have banded together to protect America. More than 100 years later, that mission led to the adoption of Semper Fidelis, the motto they live and serve by. Latin for "Always Faithful," Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. It serves as a permanent reminder that "a Marine will forever live by the ethics and values of the Corps."
The Marine Corps celebrate every year with an annual Birthday Ball. It includes the reading of a birthday message from the Commandant and the cutting of a birthday cake. With the cutting of the cake, the oldest member of the Marine Corps takes the first bite of cake and then presents it to the youngest member of the Marine Corps present, who then also takes a bite. The celebration took place in Lawrence this year at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. Below is a glimpse of the ceremony.
If you know a Marine or happen to see one on Nov. 10, according to the Marine Corps, the proper way to greet them is "Happy Birthday, Marine."
New research up on the hill shows that preventative care for women falls as government cuts shut down healthcare clinics around the nation.
David Slusky, assistant professor of economics at the University of Kansas, and Yao Lu of the Analysis Group in Boston, found that government action aimed at abortion providers causes fewer women to seek potentially lifesaving preventative care.
Driving distance was a key factor. A single closure of a women’s health clinic resulted in a 100-mile increase in driving distance. In turn, the annual rate of women receiving preventive screenings dropped. The study revealed an 11 percent decrease in breast exams, 18 percent decrease for mammograms and a 14 percent decline on Pap tests.
“Preventative care doesn’t provide an immediate benefit. For most people preventative care is just a cost in the short term. It takes time and energy and it cost money also. And part of that time and energy is the fact that you have to drive to get there and take off work and such. And if that driving distance goes up by 100 miles you might not be able to take off a whole morning to do this or a whole day to do this,” said David Slusky.
The study also determined the closure of a clinic affects women with lower education levels the most. The reason, Slusky said, is that less-educated women are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured, having fewer options for care. They also might not have the schedule or financial ability to drive 100 miles to a clinic.
Slusky added that government action concerning funding for women’s health centers needs to be better addressed.
“Cutting public funding for any organization affiliated with abortion does more than affect abortion,” Slusky said.
The research focused on data from Texas and Wisconsin where state budget cuts shut down as many as 25 percent of preventative clinics across those states. In 2011 both states enacted laws targeting abortion providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public health survey also played a factor in the study.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show came to Lawrence on Monday to gift World Series tickets to two lucky KU students. Both finalists received a pair of tickets to attend the game on Tuesday night, where they witnessed the Kansas City Royals win in 14 innings. The Royals will play Game 2 tonight.
Watch the Ellen segment here
Watch the 6 News report with an interview with one of the winners below.
One local small business is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, and doing so by giving back to the community.
Pet grooming and product shop, Pawsh Wash, is calling its next giveaway the "Most Epic LFK Raffle Basket."
Owner Amber Nichols put together the basket, which includes donations from various local businesses, totaling approximately $1,000 worth of localized gifts. The drawing will be held on Sunday, Nov. 1, Pawsh Wash's actual birthday. At 5 p.m. a video will be posted on its Facebook page to announce the winner.
The best part?
All proceeds go to United Way.
"People should educate themselves on what all the United Way does for our community because it's outstanding and it really does make for a healthier community all the way around. As I've been saying in support of United Way is, when our community is healthy, my business does better," Nichols said.
To enter the raffle, go to Pawsh Wash at 1520 Wakarusa by Oct. 31 and purchase a ticket for $1. For more information, go to www.pawshwash.net.
Local renowned Earthwork artist Stan Herd is embarking on a new project in Brazil.
Herd has utilized earthy materials including plants, rocks, mulch and soil in his artwork throughout his career that spans 40 years. For his next project, Herd hopes to raise funds to complete a 3-acre piece in Sao Paulo, Brazil in anticipation of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. Unlike most of his work, this piece is meant to stick around.
"The idea of the project is to create a permanent design in Brazil near a Favela, which is a ghetto, and get the community involved in creating the piece and have it be a permanent garden. That's kind of what I think my work, at its best, might be. So we're setting about to do that. If we're successful here, we might take it other places in the world," said Herd.
Herd is working in partnership with James Lloyd of Sweet Films from Sao Paulo and the environmental regeneration project, My Green Favela.
"I think the idea that art can have utility, and certainly not all art has to, but the big Earthworks done properly, I think need to give a little something back. I'm working with My Green Favela, which is a great group for people to look up in Brazil. They teach people to grow in the favelas and give back to the schools and kind of make a job out of it as it were. So, we're seeing if that might work around the art," Herd said.
The work, titled "Young Woman of Brazil," is set to be near the runway of the Guarulhos Airport in Sao Paulo, where it's likely to be seen by more than one million people a year who fly in and around the area.
To complete the project, Herd is seeking funding partners through an indiegogo campaign. Find out more at stanherd.com.
You can also find Herd at the old Borders building this month's Final Friday. He will be presenting his work along with details about the Brazil project.
It’s officially the future! At least according to the popular 80’s movie trilogy, Back to the Future.
In "Back to the Future Part II," Marty McFly travels to October 21, 2015, to save his children, yet to be born. The world he flash forward to isn’t much different from the world we live in today. Similar technology such as facetime, skype and google glasses appear in the 1989 film. Nike even produced Marty McFly’s “futuristic” sneakers.
The movie also predicted that the Cubs would win the World Series this year, but as of now they stand just one game away from being eliminated.
It seemed BTTF memes, outfits, discussions and more were just about everywhere on the famous Back to the Future Day. The City of Lawrence was no exception.
Lawrence resident Harry Herrington brought out his DeLorean to let fans live out their dreams and take seat in the car made famous by Doc and Marty McFly.
Herrington said he fell in love with the car model when it first came out in 1979, he was 17 then. Flashing to the future, he was able to finally purchase a DeLorean in 1996 fom a San Francisco exotic car shop. It has 22 thousand miles on it and it can often be seen in local parades. It went to prom once and it's even been in a few weddings.
Nearly 16 years after his original conviction, Floyd S. Bledsoe may once again see his day in court.
The Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies filed a Motion to Vacate Judgement and Discharge from Custody on behalf of Bledsoe at the Second Judicial District Court in Jefferson County Monday.
In 2000, Bledsoe was sentenced to life in prison for the death of his 14 year-old sister-in-law, Camille Arfmann near Oskaloosa. Bledsoe was originally convicted of first degree murder, aggravated kidnaping and indecent liberties of Arfmann; however, DNA testing presented by the defense may exonerate him of all charges.
“Our belief has always been that Floyd is innocent and our goal is to get the conviction reversed and either get him released from custody or at the very least a new trial with all the evidence presented,” said Alice Craig, Staff Attorney for Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies.
The defense was given permission in October 2012 to have DNA testing performed on the forensic evidence in this case. Now three years later, the results are in. This new evidence presented by the defense link’s Bledsoe’s brother, Tom and father, Floyd Sr. to the crime.
According to the motion, Tom’s DNA is consistent with the sample collected from the rape kit collected back in 1999. Furthermore, the DNA of Tom’s father, Floyd Sr., was found on Arfmann’s socks.
Tom Bledsoe initially confessed to the murder. His 9mm handgun was the murder weapon and was able to direct police to Arfmann’s body, which was found on land where he and his father live. However, after 48 hours Tom recanted and accused his brother Floyd of the murder. Tom’s testimony was instrumental in convicting Floyd since no physical evidence linked him to the crime.
This is not Bledsoe’s first appeal. Bledsoe was released under a supervised bond after U.S. District Court Judge Richard Roger ruled Bledsoe was denied his constitutional right of effective counsel. Roger’s decision was appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, where Bledsoe’s conviction was ultimately upheld.
“He’s been extraordinarily patient and let us do what we do, and it’s been an honor to work with him,” Elizabeth Cateforis, Supervising Attorney for Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies, said of Bledsoe.
It's a process that comes with moans and groans each semester, buying textbooks.
For many students up on the hill the price of these materials has a very real effect on their college learning experience.
"I would like to take more classes per semester, but I really can't afford the classes and all the textbooks," said Ailea Patrinely, senior at KU.
"Right now I'm trying to get by without them, but I no longer can. I'm having to fork over my grocery money to pay for my textbooks. I can't fail my class," said Amie Just, a junior majoring in communications.
This week, KU libraries are looking to open the discussion. To get feedback from students, and even offer more feasible alternatives.
"It is an enormous problem. The way that we're speaking to it in the libraries is through open educational resources, open textbooks. Those are textbooks that are freely and legally downloadable. They can be printed if the students prefer to consume them that way," said Josh Bolick, scholarly communications librarian at KU.
The open textbook pilot program has yet to largely expand at KU, forcing students to utilize the few books put on reserve each semester.
"Some instructors deposit a couple copies of their textbook in the libraries for reserve, but that's limited,"
"There's just not enough for obviously the amounts of students enrolled in the classes," said Bolick.
With the open access program leaders hope to show that it's not all about the dollar signs, but instead expanding educational tools.
"Often what scholars are attempting to achieve isn't financial returns, but a return in impact," said Bolick.
KU Libraries joined the open textbook network back in August in an effort to help save students hundreds of dollars on books each semester. International Open Access Week continues through October 25th. For more information on events click here.