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Braid Blanks: Thank you for the privilege to tell your stories

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ABILENE, Texas - It's a bittersweet day for me as I tell you that I will no longer be a regular on your nightly KTXS news team.

After much soul searching and consideration, I've decided to stay home and be with my two little boys. My husband, Jeff, and I are excited about the new path we will be on and the extra time we will have. As we all know, these precious moments are a gift and go by so quickly. There is never a dull moment with those two little rascals, but I wouldn't trade one of them for the all winning Powerball tickets in the world. They are morning, noon, and night, my world, and my heart. I know it's the right decision even though it was a difficult one to make.

In many ways, I have grown up at KTXS -- I started my internship here when I was 18, and let me tell you, the first few years were definitely "learning years." I learned from some of the best around, you may remember: Karen Wilkerson, Jennifer Bray, Paul Brown, and who can forget, the famous Wayne McCormick. They taught me from the beginning what it means to be a responsible journalist, to always be fair and tell both sides of the story, to fight for access to information that affects the public, and to tell the good, human stories that are abundant in our amazing community. I am honored to have been a part of that culture and I hope that in some small way, I have given the same back to the host of reporters that have come through our newsroom in my tenure as a reporter/anchor/producer/manager at KTXS.

I can't say enough about the support I've had, always, but especially after becoming a mother, from KTXS and our parent company Bonten Media. They have always made it known that family comes first, and I would be remiss if I didn't pause to publicly thank them for that.

There is another debt of gratitude to be paid as I ride off into the sunset (well, more likely a playground somewhere, but you get the drift.) I would like to say thank you to all of the amazing viewers out there who have invited me into their homes for so many years. I know you have a choice of where you get your local news and I am honored that you choose KTXS. It has been a privilege to tell you what's happening in the Big Country, and one that I know I will miss.

There are so many wonderful people in the Big Country with even bigger hearts. I know because I have met so many of you. While reporting for work, shopping at the grocery store, or out with my family, I have been lucky enough to meet a great deal of the folks we talk to from our studio every night.

So, if you've ever stopped to say hi to me while out and about, I want to say: thank you. If you've ever taken time out of your day to write an encouraging email, thank you. If you've ever called to share a news tip or share a good story idea, thank you. For all those moments of kindness in a sometimes unkind world, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart.

I'm not saying goodbye forever -- you can't get rid of me that easily -- I'll still be filling in on occasion and doing special projects from time to time. So instead, I'll say see you soon. No matter where life takes me, I will always be a fan and advocate for this station. Working day-in, day-out at KTXS has been one of the great adventures of my life, but it's time to head on to the next one.

Signing off for now, Braid Blanks, KTXS News (PHOTOS)

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