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Tabatha Mills

Tabatha Mills

Tabatha Mills, Anchor/Reporter

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.
Over the past 30 years, more than 9,000 volunteers have helped maintain the beauty and condition of the Clinton Lake area. With more than a million visitors every year, officials said support from volunteers is essential.

Interested in helping out? The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Shelter #1 in the Overlook Park located at the north end of Clinton Dam.

The cleanup is hosted by the Clinton Lake Cleanup Committee, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the Clinton Marina.

For more information on the Clinton Lake Cleanup, or to pre-register you or your group, contact Park Ranger Kipp Walters at (785) 843-7665.

Huge demand for the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection has overwhelmed the Minneapolis retailer's website.

Many Lilly Pulitzer fans who stayed up to buy pieces from the limited-edition collection were greeted with website issues on Target.com early Sunday morning. Customers then learned that most items had already sold out online.

The Star Tribune reports many Target stores sold out of the collection within minutes of their doors opening at 8 a.m. Sunday.  

 

Officals at the Target in Lawrence confirmed that they also sold out of the collection almost immediately after opening on Sunday morning. 

Target spokesman Joshua Thomas says the website did not crash, but the retailer had to take steps to manage the site due to overwhelming traffic. That included allowing only some customers access to the site at certain times.

At one point, Target made the site inaccessible for about 15 minutes so it could grapple with the traffic.

 A man wounded during an attempted home break-in has gotten an invitation to worship with the pastor who shot him.

The Sedgwick County prosecutor's office said the pastor provides assistance to men with alcohol and drug addiction. During a sentencing hearing Friday, the pastor invited 30-year-old Corey Burgardt, of Wichita, to attend his church. Burgardt previously pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal damage to property and a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass.

Prosecutors said Burgardt tried to get into the pastor's home in November after a night of drinking. Prosecutors said the pastor fired a shot that grazed Burgardt's forehead.

Besides an extended three year probationary period, Burgardt also was ordered to continue his current alcohol treatment program and pay $2,743 in restitution for the damage he caused.
 A woman that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's administration has frequently held up as a success story in his efforts to connect welfare recipients with jobs is a temporary state employee.

The Republican governor mentioned Valerie Cahill, of Kansas City, Kansas, in his State of the State address. She also spoke at the signing ceremony of a bill creating additional restrictions on those receiving cash assistance.

Cahill is listed on the state employee database as an employee of the agency that crafted the welfare reforms and administers the job training program.

A Department for Children and Families spokeswoman said in an email to The Wichita Eagle that Cahill is a full-time temporary employee of the department working in a program helping needy families with energy expenses.
Whether fantasy sports leagues are predominantly won by skill or luck is taking on new meaning in Kansas as the state's attorney general investigates their legality.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt could determine them to be primarily games of chance, and therefore illegal under the Kansas constitution. The constitution only allows the state to administer games that fit a broad definition of lottery.

Players compete in fantasy leagues by drafting digital teams using data from real athletes, and then tracking their performance during real games. Leagues and fantasy sports websites often give cash prizes to the best performing teams.

Republican Rep. Mark Kahrs from Wichita has asked the attorney general to weigh on the categorization as a bill defining fantasy sports as legal games of skill moves through the Legislature.
There are some fun things happening at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. Members at Quail Run had a little fun in the sun this week and wanted to share it all with 6News. Check out what members Ava Smith, Morgan Ramuri, Holly Covington, Avery Weeks, Blake Waerner, Gracie Novo and Manny Epelle, along with Program Manager Adam Lauridsen said and watch the video below.

Every month 6News will try to share at least one story about the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence told directly by the members themselves.

On Friday evening, some of the world's top athletes will do what they do best right in Downtown Lawrence. However, Thursday it was all about preparations for the Downtown Shot Put competition.

City of Lawrence crews spent the day constructing the temporary shot put arena that now sits on the corner of Eighth Street and New Hampshire. The area is made of 750 tons of packed screened limestone. The total ticket price to put on the event, construction, athletes and all is $80,000. Which might sound pricey to some, but others say it's worth the price because of what the event brings to the city.

"When we go out to sell Lawrence, not only for sporting events, but meetings and conventions, we can demonstrate what lengths the city is willing to go to, to get behind an event. It's a great tool," said Bob Sanner, Sports Marketing Manager for the Lawrence Convention and Visitors' Bureau.

Sanner said the event has helped attract multiple other projects and events to the city in the years it's spent in downtown, but that's not the only benefit the competition brings. It's also a big boost to downtown businesses.

With more than 3,000 people expected to head downtown for the event, the competition brings in new customers for downtown businesses and leads to higher sales. That was the hope when it first began four years ago, that the one of a kind event would bring more people and more dollars to downtown Lawrence.

"It is a unique event. There aren't very many other places, I actually don't even know if there are any other places that have a world class track and field event in the middle of their downtown. And we are very fortunate because we have four of the top ten throwers in the world including the number one here participating in this competition," said Sally Zogry, Downtown Lawrence Inc. Director.

The shot put competition is scheduled for Friday at 6:00 p.m. There will be family friendly events and a block party style fun before and after the athletes compete. Local band The Brody Buster Band will perform from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

On another note, the Limestone used to construct the shot put arena was donated by Hamm Quarry Inc. After the event, the city will reuse the material to maintain running and biking trails along the Kansas River.

The future of housing in America hit the Capitol Hill on Wednesday. But it's not only a concern in Washington D.C.; it's also a concern in local communities.

The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee held a hearing to examine the future of housing in America and ways to increase private sector participation in affordable housing. The problem across America now, there is more demand for affordable housing than can be supplied.

In Lawrence, that holds true. According to Shannon Oury, Director at the Lawrence Douglas County Housing Authority, there are three populations in need of affordable housing: families, elderly and people with disabilities. And there just isn't enough housing available to make sure those populations have a place to call home.

Oury said there are currently 500 people and families on a waitlist for affordable housing in our area and public housing is 99 percent full. On top of that, 98 percent of Section 8 housing vouchers have been issued and she expects that to but 100 percent very soon. She adds that the average income of a family of two in Section 8 housing in our community is about $15,000 a year. Altogether, it's evident there is a need for affordable housing, especially as Lawrence and Douglas County continue to grow.

"We need to make sure that our supply of affordable housing, however we are able to put that together, at the same rate as our city is growing because otherwise we end up in that situation where people who work here, can't afford to live here," said Oury.

Oury said with she is excited about the current discussion in Washington D.C. and those taking place locally. She hopes that they continue and lead to helping more people receive housing.

The federal government has been involved in providing housing assistance to lower income families since the 1930's. Federal funding serves approximately 4 million low-income families and provides resources for rental assistance, institutional operational funding, and capital development.

A new venture between the Lawrence Humane Society and K-State looks to transform the way shelter pets are cared for.

Starting in May, a new mobile surgery unit will travel the state of Kansas helping homeless animals get vaccinations and needed surgeries. It will also act as a mobile spay and neuter unit.

Once a week it will come to the Lawrence Humane Society not only to care for animals, but also teach. Fourth year vet students throughout Kansas will get the chance to learn and work alongside professionals in the field.

"We're hoping that we are going to help form these young minds into passionate and interested in shelter medicine and helping homeless animals. We're just so thrilled about it," said Kate Meghji, Executive Director at Lawrence Humane Society.

Meghji said the list of benefits doesn't stop there. She added that some shelters in Kansas might not have the staff, space or resources to perform certain surgeries. This unit will take care of that need.

The mobile unit was made possible thanks to generous private donations and the PetSmart Charity program.

It's National Volunteer Week and that means it's time to celebrate local volunteers who go above and beyond.

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the United Way Wallace Galluzzi Outstanding Volunteer Awards. On Tuesday, 27 volunteers selected by local non-profits were honored for all their efforts lending a helping hand and making a difference.

"A volunteer is a critical resource for our community. We couldn't get so much of the work done in the community, when we think about what goes on in PTA's, on sports fields, in neighborhoods and within the non-profit community, it just wouldn't happen without volunteers," said Ericka Dvorske, Executive Director of the United Way of Douglas County.

Dvorske adds that it is United Way's mission to encourage and help volunteers flourish in the community.

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