The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District was recognized by the Aetna Foundation as a Spotlight Award winner by ts innovative work combating health issues.

The public health district is working to help residents in three county ZIP codes who do not have access to healthy food options by offering community resources like a mobile farmer’s market and health cooking demonstrations from local chefs.

As one of 10 Spotlight Award winners, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District will receive $25,000 to support the work it’s doing. The award is part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, an initiative launched in 2016 empowering 50 small-to-midsize cities and counties nationwide to make a positive health impact.

Class acts

Two local residents were among the graduates at commencement exercises in December at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.

Brianna Driskill, of Waco, received a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance.

McKenna Crabtree, of Clifton, received a Bachelor of Arts in general studies.

Diana Pineda, of Hillsboro, graduated with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio during a hooding ceremony in December.

University of Dallas students named to the dean’s list for the fall semester are Nicolas Hovde, of Waco; Jennifer Vizner, of Woodway; and Anastasia Heiser, of Hillsboro.

Hailey Larson, of Woodway, a freshman at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, has been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester. She is the daughter of Ross and Tonya Larson.

Christian Valdez, of Crawford, was named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Schreiner University in Kerrville.

In the military

U.S. Air Force Airman Jared Grooms, a 2017 graduate of Reicher Catholic High School, graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The airman completed an eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

He is the son of Deborah Loretta Schaefer, of Waco, and Gary Grooms, of Waco. He is the stepson of Ashlea Grooms, of Waco.

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