Community news in and around Runnels County for the week of March 16-23.

Gas up

Free gas or diesel will be available for veterans and widows of veterans from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Stripes in Ballinger located at 1801 Hutchins Ave. Be sure to bring a copy of your DD-214, driver’s license to fill out the form. Runnels County Veterans Service Officer Sandra Van Zant will be on hand to help all attendees fill out forms. Call Sandra at 325-365-3612 to register prior to the event. The event is sponsored by Central Texas Opportunities, Stripes and the Runnels County Veterans Service Office.

RCHC meeting Saturday

WINTERS - The Runnels County Historical Commission will meet Saturday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. at Casa Cabana Restaurant in Winters. The program will be a history of Cuba. All meetings of the commission are open to the public.

Cemetery Association meeting

BALLINGER - The annual meeting of the Ballinger Cemetery Association, Inc. will be held at 10 a.m. Teusday, March 21 in the meeting room of the Ballinger Housing Authority at 1402 N. 14th St. Items on the agenda will include election of directors. For more information contact Rick Sonnenberg at 325-365-2627.

Benefit Dinner April 2

BALLINGER - A drive through Benefit Dinner will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ballinger City Hall Sunday, April 2 with proceeds going toward medical expenses for Anthony Hurst, who is employed by the Street Department and is attending the police academy in San Angelo. The meal will feature Malisia's Beef and Sausage Pan Barbecue, potato salad, cole slaw, bread and a dessert. The dinner is $10 a plate and tickets are available at Ballinger City Hall and at the Ballinger Police Department.

Barbecue Chicken Sale

OLFEN - The Olfen Knights of Columbus and Catholic Daughters will hold a Barbecue Chicken Sale on Sunday, March 19. Whole chickens are $8 each, a pint of potato salad is $4 and a pint of beans is $2. Please pre-order by calling Marty Frey at 325-365-6618 or David Rohmfeld at 325-442-3331. Orders may be picked up from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the St. Boniface Catholic Church Parish Hall.

Aggie moms to meet

ABILENE - The Abilene Area Aggie Moms will host their monthly meeting at 6:45 p.m. Monday, March 20 at Painting with a Twist at 4618 S. 14th Street in Abilene. A light dinner will be served. Make a reservation by calling Painting with a Twist at 325-268-0016. During the meeting join other Aggie moms and learn about the traditions of Texas A & M University. The regular meetings are the third Monday of each month at the Coldwell Banker Building on South Willis Street in Abilene. For more information contact Risha Sanders at 325-725-4041 or email at risha@rishasanders.net.

Rock Hotel March Lunch

WINTERS - The March lunch at the Rock Hotel is today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The menu will be Irish Cowboy Beans, cornbread, drinks and Green Jello cake. Carry outs are available. The charge for the lunch is by contribution.

Farm Bureau scholarships available

Runnels County Farm Bureau scholarship applications are now available. There will be three $1,000 scholarships awarded. Applications may be picked up at all of the high schools in the county or the Texas Farm Bureau office located at 809 Hutchings Ave, Ballinger. The deadline to apply s is April 14.

Art meetings

The Mid-West Texas Artist Guild meets the first Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at the Do-Art Studio at 108 South 9th St. Paint Day is held the third Saturday of every month at the Do-Art Studio. Participants may bring a sack lunch. For more information call 325-365-8262 or 325-365-3770.

Meals on Wheels

BALLINGER - Do you want to do something to help your fellow community members? Volunteers are needed for the Meals on Wheels Plus program in Ballinger. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To volunteer call Melody Gallant at 325-280-0042 or Lupe Vasquez in Winters at 325-665-9341.

BMH under construction

BALLINGER - Temporary entrances have been established services have been temporarily relocated at Ballinger Memorial Hospital while the roof on the building is being replaced. During the construction, the main lobby and entrance at 608 Ave. B will be closed and relocated to the Ballinger Memorial Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation & Wellness Center at the corner of Avenue B and FM 2887, directly behind BMH and home to Ballinger Family Dentistry. During the project, the main parking lot and entrance (at 608 Ave. B) will be closed to the public and reserved for ambulances only. Visitors and patients are asked to park at the BMH Outpatient Rehabilitation & Wellness Center. Signage will direct visitors to the proper parking locations. Staff members will be available to answer any questions.

Winters Library news

WINTERS - The Winters Public Library has public access Internet computers and free WiFi. The library is open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Screenings offered

WINTERS - Runnels County residents may obtain diabetes and blood pressure screenings at the Winters Public Library from 9 a.m. to noon the third Wednesday of each month. Do not eat before the screening for the best results. The library is closed at that time, so those wishing to obtain a screening must enter through the back door of the library o Grant Street. For the best results for this test, do not eat two hours before screening.

Immunization clinics in March

Texas Department of State Health Services will have immunization and flu clinics for children with Medicaid, no insurance, or under insured adults with no insurance. For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call 325-754-4945, if there is no answer, leave a message. The clinic in Ballinger will be from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at 600 Strong Ave. Please bring the child's immunization records and if the child has Medicaid, please bring the card.

RCHC books available

The latest book titled "Volume III Historical Markers of Runnels County and Post Offices of Runnels County" is available at Ballinger Printing & Graphics and JK Hair Salon in Ballinger; The Attic, Bee's Quilting, and the Z. I. Hale Museum Gift Shop in Winters; Beverly Teplicek in Rowena or from members of the Runnels County Historical Commission. The book can be ordered from Ballinger Printing& Graphics at ballingerprinting.com, Amazon.com, or by mailing payment to Runnels County Historical Commission, PO Box 211, Winters 79567. "Volume I The Organization of Runnels County" is also available for $25 or $31 if shipped, and "Volume II Schools of Runnels County" is available for $30 or $37 if shipped.

A Time for Freedom

WINTERS - A new addiction class called "A Time for Freedom," is held at 7 p.m. every Thursday the Pioneer Church of God in Winters at 158 North Main St. For more information call 903-474-4740.

GED Classes at Ballinger Elementary

GED classes will be held from 6-9 p.m. Monday and Tuesdays at Balllinger Elementary. Attendees should enter the building at the third grade entrance. The classes are free and open to the public sponsored through West Central Texas Adult Education which is part of Abilene Independent School District. Please contact Debra Gleghorn at 325-977-1646 to get started. Students must call Gleghorn to gain entry to the classrooms each night of the classes.

CASA volunteers wanted

The Children's Advocacy Center of Tom Green County, Inc. (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is seeking volunteers. Currently CASA serves 60 percent of the children in foster care. To sign up, call 325-653-4673 or emailmblue@cactomgreen.org. CASA serves Tom Green, Runnels, Concho, Crockett, Coke, Irion, Reagan, Sutton, Sterling and Schleicher counties.

Healing Hearts

Healing Hearts, a program for those who have experienced loss in their lives, will meet the from 6-7 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month in the Shakespeare Room at the Carnegie Library in Ballinger. The group will be facilitated by Carrie Gurling and the meetings will be hosted by Ann Rice. The group is for those who are going through loss and topics will include losing a spouse, parents or loved ones. Topics such as dealing with dementia and related conditions will also be discussed.

New church address

The members of God’s Chapel located at 1701 North Broadway meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Joseph Buse leading the services.

Visit Friendly Neighbors

The Texas Extension Education Agency “Friendly Neighbors” invites everybody in the Runnels County area who is interested in learning about cooking, gardening, arts and crafts and other useful subjects to meetings at 2 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month (except during the summer). Meetings will alternate between the Runnels County Extension Office on the corner of south 7th Street and Sealy Ave. in Ballinger and the Winters Public Library at 120 N. Main St. in Winters. If you are interested and would like to find out more about this group, call Martha at 365-3890 or Judy at 754-5386.

Masonic Lodge meeting

The Ballinger Masonic Lodge #643 meets on the first Monday evening of each month at 7 p.m. at the lodge at 500 North Broadway. A meal will be served following each meeting. All District 105 Masons and those in the area, are encouraged to attend and meet for fellowship.

Carnegie Library hours

The Carnegie Library in Ballinger is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. The library is currently closed Saturday and Sunday. Children's Story Hour and Crafts is at 10:30 a.m. each Wednesday. The Shakespeare Room is available for rent for events. In addition the Mary Sykes Auditorium is for rent for weddings and banquets.

Recycling Center Hours

The City of Ballinger’s Recycling Center, located at South 7th Street and Sealy Avenue, is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Monday. The recycling center is open from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Saturday, the recycling center is open from 8 a.m. to noon.

WIC open to many incomes and families

Women Infants and Children, (WIC) located at 706 Strong Ave. in Ballinger is open from 7 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. WIC is closed every third and fourth Monday of each month. Phone 325-365-5925.

Wingate Masonic Lodge meetings

The Wingate Masonic Lodge 1042 A.F. & A.M., meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month, at the Wilmeth Lodge. For further information contact Hank Bourdo at 754 2048.

Paint Rock Masonic Lodge meetings

The Paint Rock Masonic Lodge No. 613 meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Supper will be provided after the meeting held at the Masonic Lodge building located at 360 South Roberts on Highway 83 South