Local News

List of State Lakes Showing Elevated Mercury Levels In Fish Increased This Year

The Oklahoma State Department of Environment Quality list of state lakes showing elevated levels of mercury in fish has increased to 54 this year.

Fourteen lakes have been added to the department’s Fish Consumption Advisories this year, according to Erin Hatfield, DEQ spokeswoman.The list contains several in this area including city of Stillwater owned lakes Boomer and McMurtry and OSU owned Lake Carl Blackwell.
(The complete list is attached to this story)

Lake additions and alterations were mostly a matter of additional lakes being tested and additional fish species being tested in lakes already listed, said DEQ Environmental Programs Manager Jay Wright.

Testing is carried out with the assistance of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

Adding lakes and fish species is not necessarily an indication of increased presence of mercury, he said.

The mercury advisories are not intended to curb fishing or discourage people from taking advantage of the healthful choice of adding fish to their diet.

People at highest risk of effects from mercury are women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, and children under the age of 15, Hatfield said.

Wright said testing has focused primarily on largemouth bass as an indicator species in the past but more testing has shifted to look at all species that people enjoy eating.


Mercury advisories for Oklahoma lakes

Oklahoma lakes newly listed or with updated mercury advisory listings for 2017.

New Lakes with Advisories

    El Reno
    Lone Chimney
    Raymond Gary

Lakes with Updated Advisories

    Carl Blackwell
    Broken Bow
    McGee Creek
    Pine Creek
    Quanah Parker


National Average Gas Price Continues To Fall

At 56 percent of gas stations nationwide, consumers can find gas for less than $2.24, which is below today’s national average gasoline price of $2.29/gallon. The national average gas price has dropped for 17 consecutive days making today’s price five cents cheaper than both one week and one year ago, and six cents less than one month ago.

While gasoline demand saw new heights for Memorial Day, it has dropped for the first half of June. Meanwhile, high oil production rates in the U.S., coupled with news from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that Libya and Nigeria increased output last month, could lead to gas prices across the nation continuing to fall through the end of June.

The nation’s top ten markets with the largest monthly declines: Ohio (-17 cents), Indiana (-16 cents), Oklahoma (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), North Dakota (-8 cents), Pennsylvania (-8 cents), South Carolina (-7 cents), New Mexico (-7 cents) and Texas (-7 cents).
The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas this week include South Carolina ($1.97), Oklahoma ($1.99), Alabama ($2.03), Mississippi ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.05), Arkansas ($2.06), Missouri ($2.07), Virginia ($2.07), Louisiana ($2.10) and Kansas ($2.11).

Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline (Source: GasPricesAAA.com)

Tulsa - $1.848
OKC - $1.955
Oklahoma - $1.985
U.S. - $2.293

As gasoline inventory rises for a second straight week, the region is seeing gas prices continue to drop compared to one month and one year ago.  According to the EIA, inventory in the region sits just north of 55 million bbl, which is 4 million bbl more than this time last year.

The region continues to reap the benefit of seeing significantly cheaper gas in most states: Ohio (-38 cents), Indiana (-33 cents), Michigan (-28 cents), Illinois (-24 cents), Wisconsin (-18 cents) Kentucky (-16 cents) and Iowa (-9 cents). The remaining states in the region – Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota – are seeing a moderate drop in gas prices compared to last year, on average four cents year over year. Growing inventory and mediocre demand will allow consumer to continue to reap the benefit of cheap gas prices.

Still rebounding from last week’s losses, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude opened at just under $45 today. Last week, reports from IEA and OPEC revealed that global crude inventories are still growing. Adding to the oversupply, Libya and Nigeria, which are exempt from OPEC’s production cuts agreement, improved their output by 178,000 and 174,000 b/d, respectively, according to OPEC’s June report. Libyan production is now close to 800,000 b/d – the highest it has been since 2014 – while Nigeria could contribute an additional 200,000 b/d in the near future. Moreover, IEA’s monthly report stated that it expects non-OPEC production for 2017 to grow by 700,000 b/d, with the U.S. leading the way. All of this news left market watchers wondering what steps are needed to reduce supply in the market. Until global crude inventories decline, the price per barrel will likely remain below $50.

Last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the number of oil rigs has grown in the U.S. for another record-breaking week. After 22 weeks of continued growth, the U.S. now has 747 active oil rigs. Sustained growth in the production sector will lead to more oil in the pipeline for gasoline and other distillates production by refineries. Even as summer gasoline demand grew in previous weeks, it wasn’t a match for the rising tide of crude. It may be only a matter of time before market participants grow impatient with weak rebalancing efforts, leading them to undertake more drastic measures to bring the global supply of oil closer to the demand for refined products. Until then, drivers stand to benefit from the imbalance between oil production and gasoline refinery rates, which continues to push down the price of gas.


City Sales Tax Numbers for April


City of Stillwater Chief Financial Officer Melissa Reames said the City received $2,269,103.15 in June for sales tax collected on April transactions. This is down $607,907.94 (2.12 percent) for fiscal year 2016-17 from fiscal year 2015-16. Sales tax finished FY17 under budget by $510,883.06 (1.79 percent).  

Merchants remit sales tax collected monthly to the Oklahoma Tax Commission on behalf of the City of Stillwater. June’s sales tax receipts represent sales from April.

Use tax finished FY17 ahead of FY16 by $312,085.81 (up 25.92 percent) and over FY17 budget by $466,333.83 (44.41 percent). This overage will help offset the shortfall in sales tax. Cigarette tax finished FY17 below FY16 by $5,469.34 (1.59 percent) and under budget by $1,798.42 (0.53 percent). Hotel room tax finished FY17 ahead of last year by $59,794.25 (8.11 percent) and over budget by $97,358.57 (13.91 percent).



23rd Annual 'Tour of Payne' Bicycle Tour To Be Held Saturday, July 1st

The Red Dirt Pedalers 23rd annual Tour of Payne bicycle tour will be Saturday July 1. Starting and finishing at the Stillwater Expo Center, east of Stillwater on Highway 51, the corner of Fairgrounds Road and SH 51. There will be a mass start at 7:30 a.m.. More than 300 bicyclists from Oklahoma and surrounding states will ride this event.

This event will feature road ride distances of 16, 36, 62 and 100 miles in Payne County & beyond. The Tour of Payne bicycle ride goes through the communities of Stillwater, Cushing, Ripley, Glencoe and Mehan. There are rest stops at the Cushing Swimming Pool, in Ripley and Glencoe and the Stone Wolf gaming casino.

The Tour of Payne benefits the United Way of Stillwater and Operation Christmas, an organization that provides gifts to families in need. In 2017, the Red Dirt Pedalers will again donate more than 20 bicycles and helmets to Operation Christmas.

The registration fee is $40. Riders can register the evening before at the Payne County Expo from 5-7, there will be a free pasta dinner for riders and classical guitar music. Riders can register the morning of the event from 6:30-7:30 a.m. with the mass start at 7:30.

July 1, a free lunch will be served from 11-3 at the Expo Center for returning riders. Franco Bennett is cooking for us, great food! Live guitar music on Friday from 5-7 p.m., thanks to Terry Raymond.

For more information go to www.reddirtpedalers.org.



Section of Northbound and Southbound I-35 to be Narrowed to One Lane for Bridge Reconstruction


Northbound and southbound I-35 will be narrowed to one lane in each direction at W. Braman Rd./W. Bender Rd. (mm 230) at Braman just south of US-177 in Kay County beginning at 8 a.m. Friday through winter 2017 for bridge reconstruction. Access to I-35 from W. Braman Rd. will remain open during the project except when I-35 traffic is temporarily rerouted to the on- and off-ramps for bridge removal and bridge beam installation.

I-35 traffic will be detoured to the on- and off-ramps at W. Braman Rd./W. Bender Rd. (mm 230) from 8 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday for bridge removal. During this time, I-35 will be inaccessible from W. Braman Rd./W. Bender Rd. Motorists should expect delays and congestion during this closure and are strongly encouraged to use SH-11 to US-177 as an alternate route.

Other nearby ongoing I-35 bridge projects include:

Northbound and southbound I-35 traffic at Fountain Rd. (mm 211) near Tonkawa in Kay County is narrowed to one lane in each direction through early fall; and
Northbound and southbound I-35 at SH-15 (mm 203) near Billings in Noble County is narrowed to one lane in each direction through summer.
Motorists still may access I-35 from those interchanges when the ramps are open.
In September, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission awarded an $8.8 million contract for this work to OBC Inc. of Edmond.



OSU College of Education Receives New Name

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents Friday approved changing the name of Oklahoma State University’s College of Education to the College of Education, Health and Aviation.

“In addition to strong teacher preparation and educational leadership programs, we have a growing array of health-related programs as well as aviation and space degrees in our college,” said John Romans, Dean of the College of Education, Health and Aviation.

“The new name represents the breadth of academic programs and research in our college, and provides important visibility to prospective students and other partners,” Romans said.

Along with the name change, the college will reorganize its academic structure, shifting from three to four schools. The new academic units are:

School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences
School of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Aviation
School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling, and Counseling Psychology

and, School of Kinesiology, Applied Health, and Recreation

The request for a name change and reorganization followed strategic planning activities with input from faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and other outside constituents.

OSU’s College of Education has expanded its offerings to better serve students, education and industry. Over the last 18 months, it has introduced a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Bachelor of Science in Applied Exercise Science, a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Coaching Science and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN baccalaureate degree program.




Dr. Alan Randolph Kluver Hired as New Dean for OSU School of Global Studies and Partnerships

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents Friday approved the hiring of Dr. Alan Randolph “Randy” Kluver as the new dean for the Oklahoma State University School of Global Studies and Partnerships.  

“Dr. Kluver is the best person to lead the School of Global Studies and Partnerships and continue OSU’s international engagement while enriching our students’ international experiences and opportunities,” said OSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Gary Sandefur.

Kluver will oversee the continued development, implementation, and coordination of global education and research projects for the university. His duties include oversight of the Study Abroad/National Student Exchange Office, the Center for International Trade and Development, the English Language Institute, Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies, and the academic programs of the School of Global Studies and Partnerships.

“I would like to thank the OSU/A&M Board of Regents, President Hargis, and Provost Sandefur for this opportunity, I am very excited to be part of a program with such a rich history of international outreach,” Kluver said.  

Oklahoma State University’s international engagement dates from the 1940’s, when U.S. President Harry Truman selected Oklahoma A&M’s President, Henry G. Bennett, to be the first visionary national administrator of the Point 4 Program, known now as the USAID Program. The mission of the School of Global Studies and Partnerships is to develop and implement strategic internationalization strategies and outreach programs that prepare students, faculty, and the community to excel and lead in an increasingly global context.

Kluver currently serves as a Global Faculty Ambassador-Asia, Executive Director of the Confucius Institute and Professor of Communications at Texas A&M University. Previously, he was Executive Director of Global Partnerships and Director of the Institute for Pacific Asia at Texas A&M, and has taught at universities in the US, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China. He was the founding Director of the Singapore Internet Research Centre (SIRC) in Singapore, which became the leading research institute focusing on the growth of the Internet in Asia. He has generated nearly $10 million in funding for international education, outreach, and research while at Texas A&M, and has published widely in the fields of new media, Chinese politics, and international communication.

Kluver received his Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, M.A. from California State University and B.A. from the University of Oklahoma.



Police Investigating Early Saturday Morning Crash That Claimed 16-Year-Old Victim

Police are investigating a two-vehicle crash in rural Lincoln County that killed a 16-year-old Kingfisher girl, early Saturday morning.

First responders were called out to the scene around 3:30 a.m., on State Highway 177 near County Road 794., just north of Carney, Oklahoma.

The crash involved a 2011 Ford F-250 pickup and a 2013 Chevy Cruz. The victim, who is not being identified due to her age, was a passenger in the Cruz and investigators say she was not wearing a seatbelt.

The 16-year-old victim was transported from the scene by helicopter to OU Medical Center where she was pronounced dead from her injuries.

The driver of the Cruz, a 19-year-old male, was transported from the scene to Stillwater Regional Hospital where he was treated and released with arm and leg injuries. No one in the F-250 was injured.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.


OSU Board of Regents Approve 2018 Operating Budget

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved the fiscal year 2018 operating budget for the Oklahoma State University system during its regularly scheduled meeting Friday on the OSU Center for Health Sciences campus in Tulsa.

This year’s $1.3 billion budget includes state appropriations of $183.7 million, a 6.08 percent or $11.9 million decrease from FY2017. Beginning FY2015, the total amount of state appropriations allocated to the OSU system has decreased by more than $57.4 million or 23.8 percent.

State appropriations now account for 14 percent of OSU’s overall agency-wide budget, down from 20 percent three years ago. And, state appropriations now account for 25 percent of OSU’s total education and general budget, down from 34 percent three years ago.

“Our board and administrators are committed to keeping the cost of a college education at all our institutions affordable,” said OSU/A&M Board of Regents Chair Lou Watkins. “Following another challenging state budget year and another year of cuts in state appropriations, the OSU/A&M member institutions have taken difficult but necessary steps to maintain high educational standards and provide value to students and our state. We appreciate the work of our campus leaders.”

As a result of the continued cuts in state appropriations, the budget for the Oklahoma State University system will include tuition and mandatory fee increases for the nearly 35,000 students at its five branch campuses: OSU-Stillwater/Tulsa, OSU Center for Health Sciences, OSU-Oklahoma City and OSU Institute of Technology.

“Raising the cost of our tuition is never the preferred choice,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “We realize the financial burden a tuition increase puts on our students and their families. We have increased scholarship dollars and offer other options to assist our students as we respond to our state’s economic reality. Even with these increases, Oklahoma State remains one of the best values in the nation.”   

OSU tuition and mandatory fees are among the lowest in the Big 12 and well below the national average for land-grant institutions. OSU cost of attendance also is among the most affordable. In addition, only half of OSU graduates have student loan debt and the average debt amount is $24,095, significantly lower than the average nationally.  

For the upcoming fall 2017 academic year, OSU-Stillwater tuition and mandatory fees will increase as follows (the annual dollar figure is based on 30 credit hours for undergraduate rates and 24 credit hours for graduate students):

Undergraduate – Tuition and Mandatory Fees
Oklahoma residents – 5 percent ($417 annually)
Non-residents – 5.9 percent ($1,332 annually)

Graduate -- Tuition and Mandatory Fees
Oklahoma residents – 6 percent ($462 annually)
Non-residents – 3.2 percent ($715 annually)  

Oklahoma State will focus on finding new revenue to restore and sustain academic programs and lost faculty positions, student services, student/faculty/staff recruitment and retention, and campus infrastructure and operations.

As a public institution, OSU continues to be diligent in finding ways of reducing costs and being financially responsible. Since July 2007, OSU’s energy management program has saved more than $44.9 million. The OSU system also has reduced costs by changing its purchasing card program, adding a self-insured health plan and outsourcing some services.

OSU’s budget must now receive final approval from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.


Meridian Technology Center For Business Development Serves As Corporate HQ For Local Businesses

Three new companies have made the Meridian Technology Center for Business Development (CBD) their corporate headquarters. Super Air Meter, Quest RTS, LLC and equivaQ Software, LLC have recently moved into the Center and are building their businesses locally.

Super Air Meter produces a testing device that measures both the air void size and air volume of fresh concrete. Based on the research of Tyler Ley, an Associate Professor of Structural Engineering at Oklahoma State University (OSU), and Jake LaFlore, an Engineering Research Assistant also at OSU, the Super Air Meter is a modified version of the concrete industry’s current pressure method testing device. In as little as 10 minutes companies who use the Super Air Meter are able to ensure that the concrete they are using will be able to withstand freezing temperatures. The Super Air Meter is already on the market and is currently being used in 37 states, five countries and by the Federal Highway Administration’s Mobile Concrete Lab and Turner Fairbanks Lab.

Quest RTS is a logistics software company that designs asset tracking solutions for the trucking and petroleum industries. Owner Tony Payne has commercialized a patented process for relaying data of the location of a company’s rolling stock. Using Quest RTS software, users are able to pinpoint exactly where their product is, helping them maintain accurate regulatory reporting.

The third company is equivaQ Software, LLC, an early-stage technology solutions company. Founded by Tim Webb, a product engineer and 3D database administrator, the company serves the 3D modelling industry. When equivaQ Software was established in 2003, it initially provided consultancy to SOLIDWORKS enterprise users but has since added additional services and product lines.

Build Any Business Locally
The CDB assists in the business growth and development process of young companies by providing essential space and services for business incubation. Business incubation is a focused process including management guidance, technical assistance and consulting tailored to young, growing companies. Current tenant businesses range from ice cream made with goat’s milk to a company that provides independent marine propulsion technology consultation, engineering and design.

Incubator clients also have access to many infrastructure needs of new companies, such as high quality office and lab space, meeting rooms and a physical address. Companies can be residential or virtual tenants of the Center for Business Development. Residential Tenants access services and rent dedicated office or lab space for up to three years. Virtual Tenants access services but do not rent space. Clients can move easily between both tenant types depending on their business needs and situation.
The Journal Record recently named the CBD Incubator of the Year during their Small Business Awards Luncheon. As one of 40 Oklahoma Certified Incubators, the CBD is a 25,000-square-foot facility with flexible space that includes 2- and 4-person offices and light industrial space. To learn more about the business incubation services at Meridian Technology Center visit www.meridiantech.edu/entreprenuers or call (405) 377-3333 or toll-free at (888) 607-2509.


SCU and Stillwater Public Library to Commemorate Juneteenth by Screening Film

In celebration of Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery, Stillwater Community United (SCU) and Stillwater Public Library will present a free screening of the 2016 Academy Award nominated film, “Hidden Figures.” The film, which will be shown in the library auditorium Sunday, June 25, at 2 p.m., tells the story of the female, African-American team of mathematicians who helped N.A.S.A. launch its space program.

Mauree Turner, president of OSU’s chapter of NAACP and president of the Oklahoma NAACP Youth and College Division, will introduce the film, explain its significance and discuss the importance of showing films like this in the community.

“Hidden Figures” was nominated for three Oscar Awards including Best Picture, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Octavia Spencer and Best Adapted Screenplay. Along with Spencer, the film stars Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe.

SCU was organized three years ago as a way for community members to unite to revive the Martin Luther King Day celebrations. It has extended its mission to sponsorship of other events that encourage collaboration within the entire community.

Community members interested in reading “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly, can check out the book from the library in multiple media types, including regular print, eBook, audiobook and eAudio. The library also now offers a ten copy book club kit for area reading groups to borrow. Young readers can enjoy the book by borrowing the Young Readers’ edition from Oklahoma Virtual Library

The film screening is free and open to the public. Popcorn will be provided. For more information about the event or borrowing books, contact the library Help Desk at (405) 372-3633 x8106 or askalibrarian@stillwater.org.



More Road Closures And Detours To Be Put In Place As Part of US-177 Reconstruction


Northbound and southbound US-177 (Perkins Rd.) lanes remain narrowed to one lane in each direction but will shift to the east between Hall of Fame Ave. and 12th Ave. in Stillwater and from now through July as part of an ongoing intersection reconstruction project at SH-51 (Sixth St.).

This traffic shift will allow the contractor to complete work on the west side of US-177 and at the SH-51 intersection in one phase instead of two in an effort to save time for the $7.4 million project scheduled to complete in September.

Additionally, eastbound and westbound SH-51 (Sixth St.) remains closed from the US-177 (Perkins Rd.) intersection west to the Stillwater Central Railroad tracks through July 25. Traffic is detoured on US-177 (Perkins Rd.) to Hall of Fame Ave. to S. Main St. to SH-51 (Sixth St.) in cooperation with the City of Stillwater.



Statewide Average Gas Price Stands at $2.05

Oklahoma’s statewide gas price average stands today at $2.05, the lowest it has been since May 11 of this year, according to GasPrices.AAA.com.

Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma, said prices are lower due to an unexpected buildup of crude oil last week combined with ongoing high gasoline production runs, an increase in gasoline stocks and a drop in gasoline demand. If refiners continue to produce record amounts of gasoline and oversupply the market, consumers will reap the benefit and see slight fluctuations in gasoline prices in coming weeks. However, AAA says it is not likely that gas prices will drop much lower than this week’s prices.

Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline:
Tulsa – $1.92, down 12 cents from one month ago … down15 cents from 6/12/16
OKC – $2.02, down 2 cents from one month ago … down 14 cents from 6/12/16
Oklahoma – $2.05, down 2 cents from one month ago … down 10 cents from 6/12/16
U.S. – $2.34, unchanged from one month ago … down 4 cents from 6/12/16

The nation’s top ten markets with the largest yearly declines: Ohio (-46 cents), Indiana (-41 cents), Michigan (-35 cents), Illinois (-33 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents), Wisconsin (-19 cents), Oklahoma (-10 cents), Alabama (-10 cents), Tennessee (-10 cents) and West Virginia (-9 cents).

The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas this week include: South Carolina ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.05), Alabama ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.07), Tennessee ($2.08), Arkansas ($2.09) Virginia ($2.12), Missouri ($2.13), Louisiana ($2.14) and Kansas ($2.15).

The oil market appears to be off to a good start this week, with the price per barrel above $46. The increase comes after last week’s report from the EIA showed surprising numbers in gasoline demand and crude inventories. After setting a record for use during the run-up to Memorial Day weekend, demand tumbled down by approximately 505,000 barrels per day. Market watchers expected to see a post-Memorial Day slump; however, the market was surprised by a strong build in crude inventories – a large increase of 3.3 million barrels. This figure re-emphasized that the market continues to see a substantial glut in crude inventories, resulting in high production rates putting downward pressure on prices per barrel.

At the end of last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. released its latest rig count report, revealing eight oil rigs had been added for the week. The U.S. now has 741 active oil rigs, an impressive number considering global concerns about the oversupply of crude in the market causing prices to trend downward. As expected, the continued growth puts more oil in the pipeline for gasoline production. With refineries still processing a lot of gasoline – measured in EIA’s recent report at over 17.5 million barrels per day – and a drop in demand, gasoline stocks around the country are continuing to grow. Price drops at the pump reflect this trend, and as the summer driving season zooms ahead, U.S. drivers may see drops continue into July and August.


Four Inmates Escape Lincoln County Jail, Manhunt Underway

Authorities confirmed Monday morning that four inmates have escaped from the Lincoln County jail.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, sometime between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Monday, four inmates, 23-year-old Brian Allen Moody, 41-year-old Sonny Baker, 27-year-old Trey Goodnight and 31-year-old Jeremy Tyson Irvin escaped from the jail through the ventilation system.

Moody and Baker had escaped from the same jail back in March.

Brian Moody: white male, stands 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 102 pounds. He has blonde hair and hazel eyes. He’s from the southwest part of Lincoln County. He’s in jail for property crimes.

Sonny Baker: white male, stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. He’s from the southwest past of Lincoln County, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for property crimes.

Trey Goodnight: white male, stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds. He has blonde hair and hazel eyes. He’s from the Shawnee area. He is also in jail for property crimes.

Jeremy Tyson Irvin: white male, stands 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 102 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes. He’s from the Agra area in northern Lincoln County. He’s in jail on a first-degree murder charge.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.


ODOT Announces I-35 Detours


I-35 traffic will be detoured to the on-and off-ramps at two northern Oklahoma locations for bridge projects this weekend. The closures include:

Northbound and southbound I-35 traffic at Fountain Rd. (mm 211) near Tonkawa in Kay County from 8 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday for bridge beam installation. I-35 will be inaccessible from Fountain Rd. during this time.
Northbound and southbound I-35 at SH-15 (mm 203) near Billings in Noble County from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday for ongoing bridge reconstruction. I-35 will be inaccessible from SH-15 during this time.
Motorists should expect delays and congestion during these closures and are strongly encouraged to use US-77/US-177 as an alternate route between US-60 and US-412.

Northbound and southbound I-35 will remain narrowed to one lane in each direction at Fountain Rd. through early fall and at SH-15 through summer. The Fountain Rd. bridge over I-35 and the SH-15 bridge over I-35 are both closed to traffic until the bridge reconstruction completes, however, motorists still may access I-35 from those interchanges when the ramps are open. SH-15 traffic will be detoured to SH-74, US-412, US-77 and US-60.

In September, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission awarded an $8.8 million contract for this work to OBC Inc. of Edmond. The contract also includes replacement of the Bender Rd. bridge over I-35 in Kay County, with reconstruction anticipated to start by late June.


Four Subjects Arrested After Short Vehicular Pursuit


On Wednesday afternoon June 7, 2017, four subjects were arrested on various charges stemming from a short pursuit. At 1:45pm a Stillwater officer attempted to make a traffic stop for an expired tag in the area of 9th and Washington.

The driver of the vehicle, Chris Jones, fled in an attempt to elude the officer. The driver led the officer on a short pursuit before stopping and giving surrendering in the 600 block of South Orchard. During the pursuit two passengers in the car, Adrian Williams and Jason Payne, jumped out and fled on foot. They were caught a short time after they exited the suspect vehicle.

No one was injured and no property or vehicles were damaged during the pursuit.

Four subjects were arrested as a result of this incident. The driver, 45 year old Chris Darnell Jones of Stillwater, was charged with driving under suspension and eluding an officer (felony). Tracie Donn Edwards, 55 of Stillwater, was arrested for possession of marijuana. Jason Allen Payne, 34 of Ponca City, was arrested for possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Adrian Lemar Williams, 38 of Guthrie, was arrested on 2 outstanding Payne County warrants as well as a Logan County warrant.

The case investigation is continuing.


Bristow Man Sentenced For Larceny of Livestock

Charles Edward Roby III, 21, of Bristow, Okla. was sentenced on May 25, 2017 after pleading guilty to three counts of Larceny of Livestock. The charges and subsequent conviction are the result of an investigation conducted by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers (TSCRA) Special Rangers Bart Perrier and Brett Wellden.

In late 2015, Roby along with a co-conspirator began stealing cattle and selling them at livestock auction markets in Bristow, Okmulgee and Oklahoma City. They reportedly stole 24 head of cattle from three separate victims in the Depew and Milfay areas. In May of 2016 they revisited one of their previous victims, this time stealing 10 cows and one bull. Roby sold the cattle in question at the Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City, however the victim had recently branded his cattle, resulting in their rapid recovery and the identification of the perpetrators. Perrier filed criminal charges in the District Court of Creek County and Roby was taken into custody on July 25, 2016.

“It is important for ranchers to know that branding their cattle is one of the best steps they can take to protect against theft,” said Special Ranger Perrier. “In this case and many others, a brand is vital for law enforcement to quickly identify stolen animals and apprehend the thieves.”


Chickasaw Telecommunications Services To Serve As Title Contributor of City's Independence Day Fireworks Show

The City of Stillwater announced today that Chickasaw Telecommunications Services will serve as the title contributor of the City’s Independence Day fireworks show. The Chickasaw Boomer Blast Fireworks Show will take place Tuesday, July 4 at Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater.
Chickasaw will contribute $5,000 to help offset the cost of the fireworks. The event itself is organized and presented by the City of Stillwater and Stillwater City Council.

This year, participants can also support the fireworks show with the Adopt a Boom program.
Special Events Coordinator Stephanie Kinder said applications to Adopt a Boom are accepted through Friday, June 30 and are available on the City’s website at http://stillwater.org/news/view/id/97.
Residents are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit back and enjoy the free show. Parking is free and lots open at 6:30 p.m. Lakeview Road Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic in order to accommodate pedestrians. The 20-minute show will start around 9:35 p.m.
In the event of inclement weather before or during the fireworks show, Chickasaw Boomer Blast will take place on Wednesday, July 5. The City of Stillwater follows a contingency plan in the event of rain, which includes assessing whether the grass parking lots are able to support the anticipated 2,000 vehicles that come to Boomer Blast each year.
Lake McMurtry will organize and present the Annual Family Fishing Tournament on Saturday, July 1. For more information about registration and participation, visit their website at http://www.lakemcmurtry.com/events.html.
The City of Stillwater would like to thank Chickasaw Telecommunications Services, Oklahoma State University, Kicker, Stillwater Medical Center, Grand River Dam Authority, The Bank N.A., OnCue, RCB Bank, Stillwater Frontier Rotary, Stillwater Professional Firefighters Local 2095, Arvest Bank, and Quality Water for their contributions.
For more information about the how your business or organization can be involved in the Chickasaw Boomer Blast Fireworks Show, contact Special Events Coordinator Stephanie Kinder at 405.533.8435 or email skinder@stillwater.org.


City of Stillwater Makes Changes To Residential Curbside Recycling Program

Beginning July 1, the City of Stillwater will make changes to its residential curbside recycling program, including random cart checks, rate changes and the types of acceptable recyclables.
"Curbside recycling is a wonderful service and we intend to make it as successful as possible," Waste Management Manager Chris Knight said. "We’ve seen other cities drop these programs due to the misuse of recycling privileges, and we don’t want that to happen in Stillwater. We’re taking these additional steps to help keep this service available to our customers who have embraced recycling."

Random cart checks--
The Stillwater Utilities Authority (SUA) approved the cart check process at its April 17 meeting after it was reported that nearly 41 percent of the materials collected through the curbside residential recycling program in the past eight months were trash.
"The goal of the checks is to catch improper dumping before a recycling truck picks a cart up," Knight said.
The City will begin random cart checks in July to make sure only accepted items are put in recycle carts.
On the third instance a customer is found to recycle incorrectly, the City will remove the recycle cart and the customer will lose future single-stream recycling privileges.

Rate changes--
"The SUA also approved an updated residential trash rate structure at the April 17 meeting, which will go into effect on July 1," Knight said. "The amount of rejected items in our recycling collection influences the trash and recycling rates."
Residential trash rates were adjusted with an 8 percent increase to cover additional processing costs. For example, a customer inside city limits with a 64-gallon trash cart will see an increase of $1.19 per month.
The updated rate structure is at http://stillwater.org/document-center/detail/id/210.

What can be recycled--
Paper products, cans, cardboard and plastics No. 1, 2 and 5 are accepted in the single-stream recycle carts. These items can remain unsorted.
"Plastics 3, 4, 6 and 7 do not have value in the recyclables market, so we are now asking customers to put these items in their trash cart," Knight said. "Most plastics are labeled with a number. We encourage our customers to contact us with questions."
 Changes to accepted plastics also apply to the Convenience Collection Center at 807 S. Perkins Road.
Curbside residential glass recycling will continue without adjustments to the program.
Contact Customer Service for more information about the residential curbside recycling program, accepted recyclables or to request a different size trash or recycle cart. Phone: 405.742.8245/Email: CustomerService@stillwater.org/Office: Stillwater Municipal Building, 723 S. Lewis St.





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