Finish Line reopens one week after mall shooting
Finish Line, a sports retail store at the Killeen Mall, reopened Tuesday — one week after an unidentified man walked into the store and shot an employee.
The sports store was closed Wednesday through Monday following a shooting that injured one man.
At 7:17 p.m. on Dec. 7, the Killeen Police Department received a call about a shots-fired disturbance at the Killeen Mall, 2100 S. W.S. Young Drive, which was soon upgraded to an active shooter situation, police said.
In surveillance video footage from neighboring Pro Image Sports taken on Dec. 7, 10 gunshots can be heard as shoppers and employees take cover in the back of the store. On Friday, for the first time, police confirmed Tuesday’s shooting took place at the Finish Line store inside the mall.
The shooter is still at large.
Killeen area hospitals, health workers prepare for omicron’s arrival
Two weeks after the discovery of omicron — the newest COVID-19 variant — in the Unites States, all but 22 states and territories have reported cases of the latest, reportedly highly contagious, virus strain.
The omicron variant was first reported in Botswana and South Africa in early November to the World Health Organization. By early December, the variant had made its way to Texas — the first case of omicron in the Lone Star State was reported on Dec. 6 in Houston.
Since then, it’s spread to the major metro areas of Dallas and San Antonio. Suspected cases of omicron have been reported in Travis County, but have yet to be officially confirmed, according to Bell County Public Health District officials.
Here in Bell County, omicron has not been detected, but health professionals say they are prepared for the variant’s arrival.
Killeen council, residents clash at town hall about city charter
Killeen residents tore into the City Council during a Monday night town hall regarding recent proposals to the city charter.
Jack Ralston, a Killeen resident, laid the groundwork for the half-hour excoriation, describing the City Council as “well-meaning” but “amateur.”
Ralston, in tandem with six other residents, took issue with two particular proposals.
The first would increase the City Council’s monthly compensation from $100 to $1,000, while the mayor would receive $1,500 instead of $200.
The second proposal would have allowed the City Council to direct the hiring and firing of department heads.
Another resident, Bill Paquette, reiterated Ralston’s concern of an increased pay raise while offering an alternative of $250 for council members and $500 for the mayor.
Nolanville growth leads to talk of new school
Nolanville Elementary School may get a multi-million-dollar update or replacement, according to the Killeen Independent School District.
During the most recent Killeen ISD Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 7, district administration recommended the board invest $66 million in a replacement elementary school for the 36-year-old Nolanville Elementary, 901 Old Nolanville Road in Nolanville.
KISD Superintendent John Craft said a “50,000-foot” overview included a look at two proposals to get a better idea of which “trajectory” the board would like to pursue.
Killeen singer on ‘The Voice’ competition finishes in 5th place
Killeen resident Jershika Maple, 24, finished in fifth place in the finals Tuesday night of the hit NBC TV show “The Voice,” a singing competition.
On Tuesday night’s finale, Maple performed “O Holy Night” with her coach, Grammy winner John Legend, before the final results were revealed between 9 and 10 p.m.
Maple was the second singer in Killeen to make to to the final round of the “The Voice.” In 2019, Rose Short, of Killeen, finished in fourth place during Season 17 of “The Voice.”