• November 23, 2014

Cove’s top 10 stories of the year

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Posted: Friday, January 3, 2014 4:30 am

1. Copperas Cove’s Five Hills shopping center opened and RG III Boulevard was dedicated. The shopping center opened in January with Whataburger and H-E-B Plus. Other businesses, including Eye City, Panda Express, Wingstop, Sports Clips, AT&T and Navy Federal Credit Union, opened throughout the year. Cove native and CCHS football stand-out Robert Griffin III was honored by having a road named in his honor at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The Washington Redskins third-year quarterback attended the dedication ceremony of Robert Griffin III Boulevard in March.

2. Road construction in Copperas Cove was big news in 2013. Work continued on State Highway 9 to build a 3.2 mile stretch taking traffic from U.S. Highway 190 to Farm-to-Market 116. It should open in February. Work to widen Farm-to-Market 2657 began and work continued on the SE Bypass scheduled for completion in April or May.

3. On Nov. 5, voters approved a $6.4 million bond issue to build fire station No. 4 in the Five Hills shopping center. Within the fire station will be a large room for training sessions, civic group meetings and other gatherings. The building also will contain a police substation with areas for police officers to meet with complainants, conduct interviews and finalize reports.

4. The city’s feral cat petition was overturned on Dec. 3 by the Copperas Cove City Council. Forty-one pages containing 540 signatures of registered voters in favor of repealing the city’s feral cat ordinance were turned in by petitioners to city officials Nov. 25. The feral cat ordinance fined anyone who fed the animals.

5. Raheem Amaud Townsend was arrested April 24 after members of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice K-9 Team and the Copperas Cove Police Department SWAT got involved. Officers chased Townsend into a wooded area and called out the K-9 unit to pick up his scent. Townsend then allegedly darted into a residential home on Cactus Drive endangering a family during a second foot pursuit. Negotiators were able to get the family out safely, but SWAT had to storm the home to execute an arrest of Townsend. He was arraigned on charges of aggravated robbery and evading arrest or detention. Bond was set at $110,000.

6. The Cove House Emergency Shelter expanded in 2013 to include a free clinic and a transitional housing unit. The free clinic opened Nov. 5 at 806 E. Avenue D in the Lovett Ledger Medical Plaza. Cove House’s transitional housing unit opened Oct. 30 and consists of eight apartments at 616 Sunset Lane.

7. On March 27, Copperas Cove entered into an agreement with WB Development of Killeen to annex more than 300 acres into the city for the construction of about 1,000 homes. The acreage is north of the House Creek Subdivision off Lutheran Church Road.

8. On Feb. 4, Copperas Cove police officer Billy Jo Ray III was involved in the shooting death of Kristopher Charles Gagliardi, 24, of Cove. Ray responded to a disturbance call and saw Gagliardi armed with a knife. Ray said Gagliardi charged him with the knife, and then Ray shot him twice in the chest. Texas Rangers conducted an investigation and cleared Ray of criminal charges in May.

9. The Goodwill store at 2421 East U.S. Highway 190 went up in flames March 26. Three fire engines and a ladder truck could not save the structure. Cove and Killeen fire marshals investigated the blaze and could not determine the cause. A new store is being built for $1.6 million in its old location, set to open in April.

10. Andrew Norris was arrested by Cove police officers July 10 and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly shooting three men in a residence on Erby Avenue on July 5. Bond was set at $150,000 for each charge, and Norris remains in Coryell County Jail. All three shooting victims survived.

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