Join Family Abuse Center in support of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Press Release – One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. 1 February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and Family Abuse Center has joined The National Domestic Violence Hotline and its project for young people, loveisrespect, to end teen dating abuse.

The theme for this year’s campaign is “#1Thing.” Pronounced “one thing” or “hashtag one thing,” the campaign challenges everyone to learn one thing about dating violence and share it with a friend. Sharing one thing sparks a series of conversations that foster awareness and bring us closer to the end of teen dating violence.

Here’s #1Thing to think about, “In a single year, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner.” 2

For ideas on how you can join the movement, visit There, downloadable action guides are available that contain educational material, social media resources and practical ideas for ways you can prevent teen dating abuse.

For more information about teen dating violence or inquiries for presentations and community education on teen dating violence, please email Visit for more information about Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Loveisrespect is a project of The Hotline. Its purpose is to engage, educate and empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships. The organization provides information and support to concerned friends and family members, teachers, counselors, service providers and members of law enforcement. Free and confidential phone, live chat and texting services are available around the clock by visiting the chat at, texting “loveis” to 22522* or calling 866-331-9474.

It is the mission of Family Abuse Center to eliminate domestic violence in Central Texas by sheltering victims of domestic violence and by preventing abuse from occurring through intervention and education. If you or someone you know is at risk, please call our 24-hour hotline at 800-283-8401.


1 Vagi, K.J., Olsen, E.O.M., Basile, K.C., & Vivolo-Kantor, A.M. (2015).  Teen dating violence (physical and sexual) among US high school students: findings from the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.  JAMA Pediatrics, 169 (5), 474-482.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Physical Dating Violence Among High School Students—United States, 2003,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 19, 2006, Vol. 55, No. 19.

Changes to City of Waco Brush Pick Up Rules effective March 1, 2020

By Anna Dunbar

Hey, Wacoans! The Waco City Council has approved some changes to the city’s solid waste ordinance, effective March 1, 2020.  These changes were made in order to reduce residential curbside clutter throughout the city without increasing collection fees. Here is a summary of what the ordinance says:

  • Each household is allowed twice a Month Residential Curbside Brush Pickup (4’X4’X4’ pile) with NO increase in cost.
  • Up to two Green Cart Collections twice a month during “green weeks”
  • Curbside Brush cannot be larger than 3” in diameter
  • Brush to be placed on resident’s property not in street or on top of water meter
  • Only brush (No other trash) on piles awaiting transport to landfill
  • Limit of 20 paper bags (not plastic) with yard waste permitted
  • Brush larger than 4X4X4 must be taken to the landfill by resident or a commercial hauler (a list of haulers is available on our website)
  • Four free trips to the landfill and four free trips to the Citizen Collection Station each year with proof of residency
  • No limits on trips to Citizen Convenience Center with household recyclables only.
  • Additional Curbside collection during Council District Cleanup Days
  • Following major storm damaged the Mayor can designate additional brush collection plans for specific areas and a specific time.

In the future, more information will be available to Waco residents on as well as social media. Information will also be found in the water bill, the city’s newsletter, and the local news media. Please call (254) 299-2612 if you have additional questions. Thank you for keeping Waco clean and green!

Anna Dunbar is the Solid Waste Administrator for the City of Waco Solid Waste Services. She is responsible for informing Waco residents and businesses about recycling and waste reduction opportunities as well as solid waste services in Waco. Her husband is a Baylor professor and her daughter is a Baylor University alum who works at Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. Anna is an active member of Keep Waco Beautiful and The Central Texas Audubon Society.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email for more information.

Continuing Education at McLennan Community College plays a special role in Waco

By Phillip Ericksen

The program is committed to the idea that a community benefits from learning experiences. Its mission, posted on its website, puts it best:

“It is our mission to provide educational opportunities and lifelong learning experiences to enhance, promote, and develop a higher quality of life for our community. Continuing Education boasts an impressive group of instructors, who are professionals in their fields, and a wide array of course offerings that include community programs, corporate training, and health and human services.”

The slate of courses offered to the public this spring includes some classic offerings alongside a few exciting, new classes.

Have you ever wanted to bake bread, or upgrade your homemade pizza night? Or how about learn yoga workouts, or improve your short game on the golf course? Now is the time to do so.

If you’re looking to work your way up in the business world, courses in human resource management or essential programs like Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Cloud can boost your skillset and make your resume stand out.

The Continuing Education staff has also highlighted a few new courses this spring.

  • The Truth About Race: This course, in partnership with the Community Race Relations Coalition, will explore the origins of racism and prejudice, how people learn racism, and how to effect change.
  • Networking for Professionals: This course on networking etiquette for professionals and business owners will teach you how to make the most of any networking event.
  • A Taste of West Africa: This new culinary course will introduce food enthusiasts to West African traditions and techniques that influence Southern recipes through spice blending and sauce making.

Another exciting offering within Continuing Education is MCC Kids College, which offers camps this summer, June through August. Camps fall under the categories of Music & Dance, Sports, Lifelong Learning, and more.

For example, new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) courses for kids will be offered through a partnership with Maker’s Edge Makerspace, a community workshop and studio on Austin Avenue. These courses will give students hands-on experience with building new things and learning in the process.

And at the end of February, Continuing Education is partnering with an organization called Making Awesome Things Happen for an entrepreneurship course aimed for middle school students. The Saturday course will teach financial literacy and the processes of starting a business, from creating a budget to selling a product.

The course concludes with a mini-business plan and a “Shark Tank”-style pitch.

The Continuing Education program tends to mainly attract retired people with a little extra time on their hands, but instructors still see different ages across the board. All are encouraged to visit to find the right courses based on their interests and schedules. Those interested can also call the office at 254-299-8888 or email

Phillip Ericksen is the marketing and communications specialist at McLennan Community College. For about four years, he was a journalist at the Waco Tribune-Herald covering higher education and local government. He enjoys following the news, reading books and drinking coffee. As a San Antonio native, he is an avid fan of Mexican food and the Spurs basketball team. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University.  He can be reached at

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email for more information.