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  • UPDATE: Pilot killed in Abilene crash was an Air Force Instructor Pilot

    By Jeff Cramer, Weekend Anchor/Reporter, jcramer@ktxs.com
    John Grobe, News Reporter, jgrobe@ktxs.com
    Blane Singletary, Morning Producer, bsingletary@ktxs.com
    Published On: Aug 31 2014 07:15:13 PM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 01 2014 09:01:24 PM CDT
    ABILENE, Texas -

    UPDATE FROM: COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.

    An instructor pilot assigned to Columbus Air Force Base died in a general aviation plane crash Sunday night at approximately 6:30 p.m. near Abilene Regional
    Airport.

    The pilot, United States Air Force Maj. Richard W. "Tracer" Schafer III, 35, and his brother, were pronounced dead by local authorities. Two other passengers were transported to a local hospital.

    Schafer was flying his private aircraft, licensed in Mississippi, while on vacation with his family in Texas. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

    "This is a tragic event that affects not only Team BLAZE, but our community partners both here and in Abilene," reflects Col John Nichols, commander, 14th Flying Training Wing. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Maj Schafer's family as they cope with this painful tragedy."

    Additional details will be provided as soon as they become available from the NTSB.

    MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATED:   The pilot, 35-year-old Ricky Schafer of Columbus, Mississippi, and his brother, 28-year-old Matthew Schafer, were killed when their small, experimental aircraft crashed into the trees and brush south of Industrial Blvd. just before 6:30 p.m. Sunday.   Their bodies were taken to Tarrant County for examination.  The two other passengers, Victoria Schafer, 31, and Wyatt Schafer, 2, were taken to Hendrick Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries.

    Hendrick officials have confirmed that Wyatt Shafer has been released from the Hendrick Medical Center -- Victoria is in fair condition.

    Abilene police have closed down the east end of Industrial Boulevard until the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have conducted their investigation.

    Abilene Fire Lt. Mike Miller said there was a witness account of the plane crash.

    “The witness said that the plane took off from the airport, made a hard bank and returned towards the airport—then went down, “ Miller said, “it landed in the field behind us."

    NTSB investigators arrived to the crash scene Monday afternoon around 1:25 p.m. Tim Latson was the lead investigator and he said he will need to take parts of the plane to a lab for more research.

    "I will remove the engine, propeller and several pieces of electronic equipment," Latson said, "and I will take those for further laboratory examination."

    Latson believes the entire crash investigation could take from 6 months up to 1 year.  Dyess investigators were also at the crash scene Monday.

    Latson will present his final findings in front of a 5 person board -- the members of that board will determine the cause of the crash.

    ORIGINAL STORY: A small plane has crashed near Abilene Regional Airport near Diamondback Golf Club.

    The crash happened around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

    According to emergency responders on the scene, two people have been taken to the hospital. They were responsive.

    No word yet on their condition.

    We are actively working to bring you more information.

  • 2 Tye women arrested after allegedly stealing DVD's

    By Christian Collins, Reporter/Weekend Producer, ccollins@ktxs.com
    Published On: Aug 31 2014 06:02:03 PM CDT
    ABILENE, Texas -

    The Abilene Police Department arrested two women Saturday after allegedly stealing $876.52 worth of DVD's from a local store in the 4000 block of Southwest Dr.

    According to arrest reports, Britney Dokey, 22 and Kelly Gregory, 26 of Tye were observed by loss prevention placing DVD's in a re-useable shopping bag.

    The report also states they were seen exiting the store without paying for the movies.

    Dokey and Gregory were arrested and taken to the Taylor County Jail.

    According to records, Dokey has no prior theft convictions, while Gregory has two.

    Dokey was charged with theft with a bond set at $2,500. Gregory was charged with a state jail felony theft with a bond set at $3,500.

    They have since posted bail and were released as of Sunday.

  • Talk continues about closing state supported living centers

    Published On: Sep 01 2014 09:00:40 PM CDT
    AUSTIN, Texas -

    A state advisory committee is recommending Texas shut down six of its 13 residential facilities for individuals with mental and developmental disabilities.

    The Abilene center has the biggest budget of all the facilities and houses 398 residents.  It also employees more than 14-hundred people.

    The recommendation comes from a Department of Aging and Disability Services report released last month. The recommendation was made by a state panel that suggests ways to improve Texas agencies.   

    The panel gives several reasons for its recommendation, including costs and ongoing controversies over the quality of care at the centers.

    The center in Austin is the first one on the chopping block. Other centers that might be closed are not named.  

    The centers provide care for about 3,650 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    A Department of Aging and Disability Services spokeswoman says the recommendations are not final.

  • Buffalo Gap holds 33rd annual Chili Super Bowl

    By John Grobe, News Reporter, jgrobe@ktxs.com
    Published On: Aug 30 2014 08:22:54 PM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 01 2014 08:30:57 AM CDT
    ABILENE, Texas -

    The 33rd annual Buffalo Gap Chili Superbowl officially kicked off on Saturday.

    There were over 64 contestants in the competition, and chili was not the only food judged -- chicken as well as ribs were also taste tested by judges.

    The town of Buffalo Gap was packed with people visiting the cook off. Brad Bircham with the Taylor County Sheriffs Association thought the crowd was impressive.

    "It is a good turn out today," said Bircham, "we got a lot of folks coming out here, its beautiful weather," said Bircham.

    The proceeds from the chili cook off go to a great cause.

    "Every dime we make here goes to the Ben Richey boys ranch,"said Bircham.

    The Taylor County Sheriffs Association is heading the event, and volunteering to make chili.

    The chili was cooked in the world's largest chili pot, provided by HEB-- which can hold up to 440 gallons of chili.

    "I know the chili in the world's largest chili pot is really good," said Fortune.

    Maureen Lakely is the official who oversees the judges, says there are many things that they look for in chili.

    "Aroma, taste, appearance and tenderness are most of them, and then for chili we have an after-taste category," Lakely said.

    There was also a petting zoo as well as concessions for the whole family to enjoy.

    The Buffalo Gap Chili Super Bowl continues throughout Labor Day weekend -- ending on Sunday.

  • Labor day weekend boating rules, regulations and tips

    By John Grobe, News Reporter, jgrobe@ktxs.com
    Published On: Aug 31 2014 04:33:02 PM CDT
    Updated On: Sep 01 2014 08:45:43 AM CDT
    ABILENE, Texas -

    Labor day weekend is winding down and Game Warden Roy Johnson thinks Sunday will be the busiest day out on the water.  Boating can be fun and it should be but safety should still be a top priority.

    Johnson wants all boaters to keep safety in mind.

    "On the boat make sure you have the proper safety equipment," said Johnson, "bring life jackets for each person on board."

    Boaters --  including the driver, are not allowed to be intoxicated on the boat.

    "Nobody in that boat can be intoxicated because they're in a public area and could get a public intoxication," Johnson said.

    If the driver is intoxicated he could get arrested and charged with a BWI, or boating while intoxicated.

    "All we have to do is prove impairment on the driver," said Johnson, "and then we can take him in.

    It appears that boaters throughout the Big Country have kept safety as a top priority.

    "We have noticed in the past years that boaters usually have a designated driver drinking water."

    Along with boaters, authorities will also be on the lake to make sure everyone is following the rules.

    "The main thing we are looking for when we are out on the water are drivers that are intoxicated," Johnson said.

    Here is a link to more rules and regulations for boating in Texas.

  • Woman impaled in buttocks after texting while driving

    A woman in Colorado was impaled in the buttocks while texting and driving.

  • Sharks near surfers? Shadows spotted at Fla. beach

    Dragon-Con costumes, scary shadows near Florida surfers and sculptures made of sand -- it's all in today's Take a Look at This!

  • Game warden shares Labor Day boating safety tips

  • Americans held in N. Korea: Help us

    In an exclusive interview with CNN, the three Americans currently detained in North Korea speak out about their conditions and ask the U.S. government for help.

  • Football Friday Night: Top Play Nominees 8-29-14