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  • Police: BB guns used to vandalize numerous Abilene vehicles

    By Elizabeth Weiss, Crime/Courts Reporter, eweiss@ktxs.com
    Published On: Jul 22 2014 08:33:55 PM CDT
    Updated On: Jul 23 2014 08:47:54 AM CDT

    ABILENE, Texas -

    Police are continuing to try to identify who is using BB guns to vandalize vehicles throughout Abilene.

    Approximately 30 vehicles were vandalized in the city early Tuesday morning.

    Abilene police say the department started receiving reports of BB gun vandalism at 2 a.m. Tuesday and that the calls were non-stop for quite a while. Two businesses on South 14th were also victimized.

    Police say preliminary findings show cars were hit randomly throughout the entire city overnight and throughout the early morning hours.

    "I can see total damages potentially exceeding well beyond $10,000 based on initial guesstimates," Abilene police spokesman George Spindler said.

  • Petition against third Abilene Walmart circulating

    By Jeff Cramer, Weekend Anchor/Reporter, jcramer@ktxs.com
    Published On: Jul 22 2014 10:54:33 AM CDT
    Updated On: Jul 23 2014 07:23:11 AM CDT
    ABILENE, Texas -

    An Abilene resident isn’t particularly pleased about a third Walmart coming to town – and he’s started a petition against it.

    A petition is now circulating the internet on the website Change.org

    The petition was started by Justin McBride, an Abilene resident. According to the website, McBride says he lives across the street from the proposed 150,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter at Loop 322 and Oldham Lane.

    Late last week, Walmart officials confirmed plans are for the new store to open during Spring 2016.

    McBride wants other residents who are against the retailer coming to Abilene to sign the petition.

    On Change.org, McBride writes: “I am writing this with intent of raising community awareness of this development and allowing residents such as myself and my neighbors an opportunity to voice their displeasure.”

    As of Tuesday morning, there were 80 signatures on the petition.

    The new location is slightly north of Stripes Convenience Store and between Gateway Street and Oldham Lane on the east side of Loop 322.

    Abilene's two other Walmart locations are off Hwy 351 and on Southwest Drive. The city also has a Sam's Club on its south side.

    In case you’re interested, here’s the LINK to the petition.

  • Driver trapped in rollover on Hwy 277 in Abilene

    By Joe Fry, Assignment Editor, jfry@ktxs.com
    Blane Singletary, Morning Producer, bsingletary@ktxs.com
    Published On: Jul 22 2014 08:17:57 AM CDT
    Updated On: Jul 22 2014 01:16:48 PM CDT

    An Abilene man was sent to the hospital Tuesday morning after rolling over his pickup truck on Hwy 277 near I-20.

    According to authorities on the scene, the driver was traveling northbound on the highway. He reached down to pick up something, when he began to notice he was going off the road. He over-corrected, sending his vehicle rolling. It landed right side up.

    He was the only one in the vehicle, and was wearing his seat belt. He was transferred to an Abilene hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

    Authorities shut down the inside lane of the highway as they recovered the victim. 

  • Theater to show movies again at Dyess Air Force Base

    By Doug Myers, Digital Media Manager, dmyers@ktxs.com
    Published On: Jul 22 2014 01:00:56 PM CDT
    Updated On: Jul 23 2014 07:22:55 AM CDT
    Dyess Air Force Base
    ABILENE, Texas -

    For the first time in nearly two years, a movie will play – for authorized patrons – at the theater at Dyess Air Force Base.

    Tentative plans are to start showing movies again at the Dyess theater on Friday, Aug. 8, and then to allow base customers to enjoy movies – from then on – each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Movie showings at the base were discontinued in late September 2012.

    At that time, the movie industry was changing the way films were distributed – and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service decided it wouldn’t be financially feasible to convert the Dyess theater from using traditional film projectors to digital equipment.

    Now the theater, under the management of the Dyess Morale, Welfare and Readiness program, is readying to show movies again.

    “The Dyess movie theater will now operate movies using the digital format,” Dyess spokeswoman Nicole L. Ferrara said in an email. “A private organization made a donation to Dyess AFB with the condition that Dyess use it to purchase the equipment to complete the conversion from film to digitally-formatted movies.”

    The theater opened in 1956. It closed for 15 months for a $4.5 million renovation before reopening in February 2011.

    Since it stopped being used to show movies in September 2012, Ferrara said it has been “used on a daily basis, providing an ideal location for our airmen to conduct training, host guest speakers and retirements, graduations and various other ceremonies.”

    According to Ferrara, the theater will be using a movie subscription service.

    “So the movie shown on a given day will be determined by the selection of movies available at the time,” Ferrara said. “Movies played at the base theater will span the spectrum of film ratings, from ‘G’ to ‘R,’ and some will be first-run feature films.”

    The movie to be featured on Aug. 8 hasn’t been determined, Ferrara said.

    “But once known, it will be advertised to base personnel via email and on the 7th Force Support Squadron website,” she said, referring to www.dyessfss.com.

  • Ex-Dyess crew chief sentenced for sexually assaulting child

    By Maggie Gaskill, Senior Producer, mgaskill@ktxs.com
    Published On: Jul 21 2014 03:17:57 PM CDT
    Updated On: Jul 22 2014 08:39:38 AM CDT
    ABILENE, Texas -

    A 29-year-old Abilene man has accepted a plea agreement that calls for him to spend 22 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child under the age of 14.

    Police say Steven Bennett, who agreed to the jail time, assaulted the victim multiple times over several months in late 2011.

    Bennett was a Dyess Air Force Base crew chief when police searched his home and found evidence linking him to the crime in March 2013.