Betsy Blaney

Producer, KTTZ-FM

Betsy Blaney is a radio producer at Texas Tech Public Media, following a 25-year career in print journalism. Most recently, she was the West Texas solo correspondent for The Associated Press, based in Lubbock for more than 16 years and covering 65 counties in the region.

She interviewed, researched and wrote on myriad topics, including agriculture and water/drought issues, and newsworthy happenings at Texas Tech University. She was also responsible for coverage of the university's football and basketball programs.

Before being transferred to Lubbock, Betsy worked briefly in the AP's office in Dallas. Prior to that, she was a police and courts reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She started her journalism career in 1991 at The Lewisville News, just north of Dallas, following a 20-year career as a teaching and playing tennis professional. She was a line judge in 1973 in the Houston Astrodome where Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in "The Battle of the Sexes."

For many, Gabe Rivera’s death in mid-July brought back memories of his glory football days in Jones Stadium. The legacy of ‘Señor Sack,’ the nickname he got in his sophomore year as a Red Raider, is legendary. He was named to the SWC all-decade team for the 1980s and inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 1993.

Gabe Rivera was an unrelenting menace to offenses. The standout defensive lineman for Texas Tech from 1979-1982 went on to become an All-American, a first-round NFL draft choice and later a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Texas Tech Ring of Honor.

Rivera, whose NFL career was cut short by a car accident, passed away July 16. He was 57.

Pittsburgh sportscaster Bob Pampeani at KDKA-TV profiled Rivera a few years ago after speaking to him in San Antonio.

On any given day more than 79,000 children in Texas are sexually exploited. A group of concerned Lubbock women have stepped up to help some of them to recover from their traffickers’ abuse. In May, the nonprofit One Voice Home used $450,000 it had raised to purchase property in West Texas that will house and help underage girls mend their lives.
 

Lubbock residents gather for a game of Pickleball.
Betsy Blaney

You don’t have to be highly athletic or particularly agile to play Pickleball, a racket sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and ping pong. Pickleball was named after a dog whose owner was one of the game’s founder in 1965. A group of Pickleball players in Lubbock – the city’s lone member of the USA Pickleball Association - stakes its home at Davis Park.

There’s a new goal for the Texas Tech University System endowment. It’s not a capital campaign - just a mark that officials at the system’s four component institutions and Chancellor Robert Duncan are hoping to meet by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the university.

Duncan estimates the endowment by the end of this year will be about $1.3 billion. The goal now is to increase that to $2 billion in five years.

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