Local AUSA chapter, Central Texans earn accolades in D.C.

WASHINGTON — The Association of the U.S. Army honored its Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter and several Central Texans earlier this week during the organization’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

At more than 10,000 members, the chapter was officially recognized as the organization’s largest — a title vice president John Crutchfield said the group was happy to secure after carrying on a “friendly, inter-postal rivalry” with the Fort Bragg, N.C., chapter for some time.

About 100 civilians and 20 soldiers represented the chapter at the conference. The footprint was much smaller than in years past, with the Army this year limiting authorized active-duty attendance at the professional development seminar to two-, three- and four-star generals and their sergeants major due to budget constraints.

Killeen ISD explains changes in calculating grades

Freshmen and sophomores in the Killeen Independent School District, which includes public schools in Harker Heights, have yet another reason to study hard for the state’s new assessment test this school year, as a new policy will now count their scores as a portion of their overall grade.

Earlier this month, the district’s board of trustees voted to approve changes to the district’s grading policies for high school students set to take the end-of-course exams under the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR test.

Under the new policy, a student’s score on end-of-course exams will count for 15 percent of the final course grade, a measure required by state law.

For this year, only high school ninth- and 10th-grade students will be required to take the end-of-course exams, which will be given in the spring. Next year, juniors also will be required to take the exams. The exams are given for each course and cover core classes such as algebra, biology and language arts as outlined by state law.

Thousands turn out for early voting in Bell County

KILLEEN – Voters came out to the polls in droves Monday, casting their ballots on the first day of early voting.

By mid-day more than 3,000 voters had cast their ballots in Bell County, yielding a high turnout comparable to the first day of voting in the 2008 presidential election, said election administrator and County Clerk Shelly Coston. More than 6,000 ballots had been submitted by the end of the first day. Early voting continues through Nov. 2.

The early voting location in Harker Heights is the Parks and Recreation Center, 307 Miller’s Crossing. Early voting hours:

Oct. 22-26 — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 27 — 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Oct. 28 — Noon to 5 p.m.

Oct. 29-Nov. 2 — 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Free, discounted driver safety classes offered to veterans

AARP Driver Safety is offering a free classroom course or a 50 percent off online course to military veterans and their family members in November.

All participants using the veterans promotion must present a completed coupon.

The coupon will be available when registering for the class.

Registration for any given course will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Classes are limited to 25 participants.

To locate a classroom course near you, go to www.aarp.org/veteransor or call (866) 238-0294.

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