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."

Texas Hunger Initiative helps support South Plains Hunger Solutions- a coalition made up of South Plains Food Bank, the Lubbock and Frenship Independent School Districts and the YWCA of Lubbock.
Photo courtesy of Andy Black

Feeling hungry is a physical sensation. Being food insecure is different and a more daunting challenge to those aiming to help. One in four children in Lubbock County and one in three in neighboring counties are food insecure.

The US Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. A coalition in Lubbock is working to help children 18 and younger have access to healthy meals this summer.
 

Saba Nafees was 11 when her parents brought her to the US from Pakistan in 2004. Her grandfather in the country already had filed a visa petition to allow Saba and her family to come to America. But her grandfather died before they traveled here. Despite the death of their petitioner, Saba’s parents decided to come any way.

Today, the situation for Nafees, a doctoral student at Texas Tech and one of about 800,000 Dreamers, and her parents is quite different.
 

Four years of logistical hurdles have paid off for Texas Tech. The university opens its first international campus in Costa Rica in August. Tech President Lawrence Schovanec says when fully operational there will be about 1,200 students enrolled in Texas Tech University at Costa Rica.

“The people in Costa Rica saw some of their most able students, academically and financially, going to the United States, paying 50 thousand dollars a year and in some instances not come back and they want to keep that brain power there [in] San Jose,” he explains.
 

Emily Wilkinson holds an early model of one of Texas Tech's most recent public art installations, "Run."
Betsy Blaney

There was already a pocket-size book to help people get to know the public art around various campuses of the Texas Tech University System. But now, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the CH Foundation, there’s a more accessible tool: an app, ArtTrek, for both iOS and Android mobile devices that guides people from one art piece to the next.

“Once you get it going we can manage all the content on an online platform and it is actually pretty easy to use, which has been great. We do a book that has all the pieces but you publish it maybe once a year, if that.”

The Stroke Aphasia Recovery Program at Texas Tech’s Health Sciences Center is now 20 years old and the growth of the community outreach effort reflects the need for Lubbock area residents who’ve exhausted their health coverage benefits. The program helps people continue therapy toward recovering their ability to speak, understand, read write and calculate.

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