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.
Recently, Lawrence residents have reached out to WOW! 6 about phone calls they have allegedly received from the Department of Legal Affairs. The person on the phone demands money, citing back taxes and threatens possible jail penalties. However, local tax professionals said the department, or IRS, will never make those type of calls. So if you get that phone call, it's a red flag.
The Lawrence Police Department also offered this tip to avoid becoming the victim of a phone scam during tax season.
"Rarely do you have to make an immediate decision when you get a communication like this, so it's always best to take the few extra minutes to look at it, maybe even consult with someone else. If it has to do with banking, call your bank, talk to one of those customer service people, because they most likely have seen something similar and can offer some good guidance," said Sgt. Trent McKinley, Lawrence Police Department.
When it comes to calling the bank or anyone else, when you are suspicious of being scammed, McKinley said to look the number up for yourself. Don't rely on any number the person on the other end of the line may give you.
Now tax season scams go beyond your telephone. Local tax services also warned WOW!6 about the dangers of online tax filing software, such as Turbo Tax. Officials said the software can be hacked.
Another piece of advice be wary of the unexpected. For example, fake emails. The IRS will not send an email about things such as a bill refund just out of the blue.
Finally, when it comes to filling your taxes, no matter the method, make sure your personal information is correct. Tax professionals said double check your bank account numbers and mailing address to avoid anyone else receiving your information or refund.
For more information about avoiding tax season scams, click here to be redirected to an IRS informational video page on YouTube.
With recent growth in Lawrence and expected future growth, the Lawrence Transit System is considering a few route changes to better serve people in the community.
The first, Route 5 will alter how it's stops in East Hills Business Park.
"Since they have put a traffic signal in at O'Connell now, it gives us much more of an opportunity to get off at lower speeds, which is safer. It gives us an opportunity to set ourselves up for the future when businesses are actually coming in to the Venture Park," said Bob Nugent, Public Transit Administrator.
Up next, Route 9 will transport people to Rock Chalk Park, rather than Route 2.
"When Rock Chalk Park opened, we didn't know actually when it was going to open. We were committed to putting service out there. The only way we could do that was to pit kind of a temporary route out there which ended up being Route 2. Now that we have had some time to think it out, we can place Route 9 out there to better serve the area," Nugent said.
Two possibilities are up in the air to help people get to the new Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center. Route 27 could pick and drop off passengers at 31st and Haskell.
"It only operates 160 days a year. We look to make more of a route out of it by stretching it out from Haskell Indian Nations," Nugent said.
On the other hand, a new route could be created to service the stop.
"This Route 15, which we're calling it now, would take a burden off Route 1 and Route 5 plus serve the Peaslee Center on the half hour," Nugent said.
Finally on the list of proposed changes, Route 41 will extend its service to the Kansas Union.
Lawrence Transit will receive public feedback through March and will then notify the public of any changes.
With a little puppy love and few tricks, children at the Ballard Center ate some treats and shared some too. But it was much more than a little tail waggin' fun, it was also a chance to teach.
"You know sometimes the only time they've been around a dog up close is in the classroom. So we're talking about the safe ways how to approach strange dogs and how to handle themselves, being gentle, quiet and calm, and respecting that the dogs get nervous too. Also, we talk about how you take care of your pet," said Amber Nickel, Co-Owner of Pawsh Wash in Lawrence.
A little later in the day, kids even had the chance to make their own dog treats that will be taken to the Lawrence Humane Society to give to the animals there.
The Social Service League of Lawrence strives to help but currently needs blankets, towels, and warm winter clothes.
"We had several gentlemen come in last week and we just didn't have any blankets for them and they're literally living outside. They're really in need of a heavy quilt or some sort of blanket and we couldn't supply it," said Meg Davis, a Social Service League of Lawrence board member.
If you would like to donate items to the league, Davis asks that you drop them off Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Basehor-Linwood High School Senior, Kennedy Bowers will received $20,000 over the course of four years, totaling $80,000, as a winner of Kansas State University's Presidential Scholarship.
Not surprisingly, Bowers is first in her class and a chairman of multiple math and science clubs. She's also active in mentoring programs, theatre and can often be found on the softball field.
As a part of the scholarship, Bowers will attend K-State and plans to major in computer science with a focus in cryptology. Now in this part of Kansas, K-State might not get a fair shake. Kennedy even admits she grew up a die-hard KU fan, but that all changed the day she stepped on the Wildcat campus and fell in love with computer coding.
The Presidential Scholarship recognizes students who have been truly outstanding, both academically and as student leaders, during their high school career. Kansas State University received 258 applications this year. Elizabeth Weesner at Shawnee Mission South High School and David Nelson at Olathe North High School also received the full scholarship.
The bill up for debate Monday in the House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee also would permit convenience stores to sell full-strength beer starting in July 2018.
Groceries and convenience stores now can sell weaker beer known as cereal malt beverage. Only liquor stores can sell full-strength beer, wine and liquor.
The measure is backed by grocery and convenience store chains. Many liquor store owners oppose it, fearing they'll be run out of business.
It would cap the number of retail liquor store licenses and allow store owners to transfer theirs to grocery stores in the same county starting in July 2018.
But even before then, federal data showed that Kansas had the biggest decade-long decline in per-person spending on highways of any state.
Brownback is facing bipartisan criticism for proposals to divert $858 million from highway projects through June 2017 to deal with budget problems arising after lawmakers reduced personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at his urging.
But data compiled by the Federal Highway Administration shows per-capital highway spending was 29 percent lower during the state's 2013 fiscal year than in fiscal 2003 — or $490 compared with nearly $695.
Kansas ranked fifth in per-capita spending in 2003 and dropped to 28th a decade later.
The ceremony Sunday marked the end of an effort of an expert ritual scribe to write an entire Torah, the most sacred object in Judaism. The task takes between 62 and 84 sheets of parchment, exactly 304,805 letters and months of work. One mistake voids the entire work.
The scroll will be the first written in Lawrence. The ceremony Sunday at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Lawrence will mark the completion of the Torah. It will then be taken under a canopy through the streets in a procession that will include music and dancing.
Gov. Sam Brownback issued a proclamation congratulating the Jewish community and extending best wishes for the celebration.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex offenders who are still in high school can earn credit through Washburn Institute of Technology.
The principal of the facility's high school is Steve Dackman. He says students can take classes in basic electrical work, carpentry and something called production technology, which covers basic manufacturing skills and safety.
Those who already have finished high school can take classes on operating water and wastewater treatment, distribution and collection systems through a partnership with Fort Scott Community College.
Offenders also get help learning to write a resume and interviewing for jobs.
Supporters of the fish say it has a long history in Kansas and remains one of the most popular species in the state's waters.
Bills to designate it as a state symbol have been introduced in Senate and House Committees. It was nominated by Robin Jennison, secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
The Hutchinson News reports that earlier efforts to honor the fish failed. Opponents suggested a rarer species like the Topeka shiner, or considered the catfish a "second-class" species.
The Kansas Agriculture Department says the fish helps the state's economy, as a favorite of anglers and as a major part of the state's aquaculture industry.