Local News

Investigators Now Blaming Thief For Fire At Longtime Pawnee County Business

Investigators are now blaming a thief for the fire at a longtime Pawnee County business.

The investigation took a turn late Monday night when the owners of the Palace Pharmacy found narcotics missing.

Police said the thief made off with a good amount of drugs and then tried to cover their tracks by setting the place on fire.

Gary Moore has owned the Palace Pharmacy in Cleveland for more than 50 years.

The drug store was established in 1917 and he bought it in 1966 from the original owners.

Moore said he was shocked to learn the business had burned, and even more disappointed to find it was done on purpose.

Cleveland Chief of police, Clinton Stout, said it wasn't until they noticed things were missing that the investigation changed.

A video showing the arson is a key element in the investigation..

Cleveland Police said they do have a person of interest in the case but aren't releasing a name.

The State Fire Marshal's Office is offering a reward for any information related to the crime. If you have any information you can all the Arson Tip Line at 800-522-8666.

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OSU Microbiology Professor Praised For Outstanding Contributions To Field

Dr. Robert L. Burnap, a professor of microbiology at Oklahoma State University, has been elected to fellowship status in the American Academy of Microbiology for his outstanding contributions to the field.
 
Fellows are elected through a highly selective, annual, peer review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.
 
Burnap’s work has advanced research in the field of photosynthesis, including how photosynthetic bacteria assemble the system that harnesses energy from light, and how these bacteria concentrate and fix carbon dioxide into cells.
 
Burnap serves as Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and the Vennerburg Chair of Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at OSU. He was elected during a recent meeting of the academy, which serves as an honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, the world's oldest life science organization.
 
Burnap has also served as a visiting program director at the National Science Foundation, where he was recognized for his leadership in creating the Photosynthetic IDEAS Lab in Arlington, Va., providing $8 million in funding for transformative research.

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Corliss' Pet of The Week!

The Pet of the Week this morning on Hot 93.7 is a bit of a local celebrity. Agave’s story began quite tragically, as she was thrown away as a kitten and found in a dumpster with a broken back. Thanks to the Wonkey Fund established by Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue, she has received all the medical needs and care appropriate to live a long, full and happy life. Odds are she may end up spending the rest of that life out at the rescue unless the appropriate family becomes available to adopt.

Dee, the director at Tiny Paws also told us that as expected, they have already rescued four litters of kittens that are being treated and bottle fed so they can grow up strong and eventually find their forever home. One way to help is the obvious choice to have your pets spayed/ neutered, another will be coming this April! You can sign up now for the Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue “All FORE The Kittens” Golf Tournament taking place at The Links Golf Course on N. Washington in Stillwater, April 22nd. You can sign up singles, doubles or a full four person team now by visiting their Facebook Page, or stop by the rescue located on S. Lowery in Stillwater.

 

The Pet of the Week is sponsored by:

Trinity Veterinary Hospital and Pet Resort

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Road Work On I-35 Near Tonkawa Set To Begin Friday

I-35 will narrow to one lane in each direction at Fountain Rd. (mm 211) near Tonkawa in Kay County and the Fountain Rd. bridge over I-35 will close at 8 a.m. Friday through early fall for bridge reconstruction.

I-35 traffic will be diverted to the on- and off-ramps at Fountain Rd. from 8 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday for bridge removal. I-35 will be inaccessible from Fountain Rd. during this time.

Additionally, I-35 remains narrowed to one lane in each direction at SH-15 (mm 203) near Billings in Noble County and the SH-15 bridge over I-35 is closed through summer 2017 for bridge reconstruction. The I-35 on- and off-ramps at SH-15 will remain open to traffic.

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 early summer.

 

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Perry School Board Votes To Approve Resignation of Two Staff Members

The Perry School Board on Monday voted to approve the resignations of a former elementary school principal and former teacher accused of failing to report child abuse.

The board voted unanimously to accept the resignations of former principal Kenda Miller and former math teacher Jeff Sullins. Court documents say that they didn't tell police about claims made against a teacher's aide, who was accused of inappropriately touching students at a Perry elementary school.

They didn't report the claims because they did not believe the students' accusations, the court documents said.

The State Board of Education last month ordered an emergency order to suspend Miller's teaching certificate, citing that the "public's health, safety or welfare imperatively required an emergency action." Miller has filed a lawsuit in response to the order.

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Pump Prices In Oklahoma On The Decline

Pump prices in Oklahoma are on the decline, AAA reports. The state average for self-serve regular has fallen a nickel in the last two weeks, down to $2.06 per gallon, the fifth-lowest state average in the nation today, according to GasPrices.AAA.com.

“On Sunday, a joint committee of ministers representing OPEC and non-OPEC countries asked the OPEC Secretariat to examine the market and consider a possible production cut extension beyond the original six-month agreement,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “As we’re all well-aware, last year these nations agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels a day for six months starting in January 2017. The Secretariat is expected to provide a recommendation in April, well before the current agreement is set to expire in June.”

Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline
Tulsa – $1.96, down five cents in the past month … up 11 cents since 3/27/16
OKC – $2.05, down five cents in the past month … up 21 cents since 3/27/16
Oklahoma – $2.06, down four cents in the past month … up 19 cents since 3/27/16
U.S. – $2.29, unchanged from the price one month ago … up 25 cents since 3/27/16

Today’s national average price of $2.29 per gallon is just fractions of a penny below the price one week ago. The national average pump price has decreased nine of the past 10 days.

The nation’s markets that have seen the largest yearly increases in gas prices are: Washington (+56 cents), Utah (+51 cents), Oregon (+50 cents), Hawaii (+49 cents), Alaska (+49 cents), Idaho (+48 cents), New Jersey (+46 cents), Montana (+38 cents), New Mexico (+34 cents) and Pennsylvania (+34 cents).

Today the market opened posting losses, as traders doubt the ability of OPEC and other major oil producers to rebalance the market. OPEC’s recent announcement to consider extending production cuts follows news from EIA showing a crude oil build of 5 million barrels for the week ending March 17. That increase brings U.S. inventory levels to a total of 533.1 million barrels. Additionally, Baker Hughes’ reports that the U.S. added 21 oil rigs last week, bringing the country’s total rig count to 652.

The combination of OPEC efforts to rebalance the market and the increased U.S. production continues to put pressure on crude oil futures, holding prices below $50 a barrel. As mentioned above, market watchers will pay close attention next month to the OPEC Secretariat’s recommendations on whether to extend production cuts beyond June. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 27 cents to settle at $47.97 per barrel.

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Bridge Replacement Underway In Perry

Both directions of SH-86 will close at the Cedar St. bridge over Cow Creek between Fifth St. and Fourth St. in Perry at 8 a.m. Monday through late summer for a bridge replacement project.

Detour for the closure will be SH-86 east to US-64 to US-77 or SH-86 south to SH-51 west to I-35 and north to US-77.

The $1.6 million contract was awarded in December to Frontier Bridge Inc. and Bridgeco Contracting of Okarche.

 

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Three Oklahoma State Master's Engineering Programs Receive High National Rankings

GradSource has ranked online master’s engineering programs at Oklahoma State University fifth in the nation among public universities.

The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT) at OSU currently offers three online graduate degree programs in electrical and computer engineering, engineering and technology management, and industrial engineering and management.

Enrollment in both the online graduate degree programs and online undergraduate degree courses continues to increase at an average growth rate of 35 percent each year.

To see the full rankings and specs, go to http://www.gradsource.com/online-masters-degree/engineering-programs/ or go to gradsource.com, click on online master’s degrees, and then on engineering.

For more information on CEAT’s online master’s of engineering programs, visit ceatde.okstate.edu.

GradSource.com is popular destination for top online graduate schools, programs and a post-college career outlook.

 

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Flu Claims Four More Lives Over The Week

Four more flu-related deaths have been reported this past week in Oklahoma, bringing the total number of flu deaths since the beginning of September 2016 to 68, according to the Oklahoma State Health Department.

The latest deaths were in Oklahoma, Cherokee, Kay, and Tulsa counties. There has been one death each in Payne, Lincoln and Logan Counties
since the flu season began.

More than 2,100 Oklahomans have been hospitalized due to the flu since September.

Health officials said 47 of those who died were age 65 or older, 12 were between the ages of 50 to 64 years old, six were between the ages of 18 to 49, one was between the ages of five to 17, and two were four years old or younger.

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OSU Student Union Recognized By National Organization

The U.S. Green Building Council recently recognized the Oklahoma State University Student Union as a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building (LEED). The third-party verification that the LEED designation represents, ensures a building’s performance has improved in areas that matter most. Certified buildings are resource efficient, use less energy and water, reduce greenhouse emissions, and ultimately save money.

The idea for the OSU Student Union to become LEED certified began as a student initiative, and the Student Union team worked diligently to achieve the goal and meet certain building council prerequisites.

During the most recent renovation, several features were added to the building to make it more sustainable. Thanks to those improvements, the building now captures and reuses at least 93.2 percent of rainfall, uses at least 46 percent less fresh water, saves more than 2.7 million gallons of drinking water per year and uses at least 15 percent less energy on lighting.

LEED is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building. LEED certification ensures electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthier environments for the places individuals live, work, learn, play and worship. LEED’s global sustainability agenda is designed to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health, acting on the triple bottom line – putting people, plant and profit first.

Oklahoma State University is home to the most comprehensive Student Union in the world. A recent $65 million renovation has given new life to the historic building. For more than 65 years, the Union has been a central part of university life with thousands of students, faculty, staff and alumni visiting each day. For more information about the Student Union, please visit union.okstate.edu or follow OSUUnion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest or YouTube.

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Perkins Residents Report Phone Scam Attempts

A number of Perkins residents have reported several phone scams to Perkins PD. Please be wary of anyone requesting personal info from you over the telephone.

Report suspicious calls by calling 405-547-2855

Recent scams include:

1. The calls come from a Perkins number (405) 547-0102 and they say, “I understand you are wanting to apply for Social Security.”

Social Security would never call and ask if you want to apply over the telephone.

2. The caller may say that he is a relative, but without giving a name, for example, "Hi, it's your oldest grandson". They may say that they are out of town and need help of some sort.

These scams come in all shapes and sizes from people stating they won sweepstakes, needing help for friends with cancer, etc.

Never give any personal information out over the phone. For help in dealing with telephone scams or suspicious calls, please contact the Perkins Police Department at 405-547-2855.

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Two of Three Lincoln County Jail Escapees Back In Police Custody

Two of three men who escaped from the Lincoln County Jail are now in police custody.

Officials say Mark Robbins, 23, was found south of Chandler around noon Wednesday.

They also found Brian Moody, 23, in the area of Luther Road and Wilshire Wednesday evening.

Sonny Baker, 41, is still on the run.

All three men were incarcerated for property crimes.

They escaped from the jail through the ventilation system.

The suspects allegedly stole a 2008 silver Dodge pickup with the Oklahoma license plate AKF-030 and a grey 2004 Dodge pickup with the Oklahoma license plate 185-FGR.

Officials say there was a loaded gun inside one of the trucks.

If you see Baker, call police immediately.

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Elementary School Principal Suing Board of Education Over Suspension

An elementary school principal facing a child neglect charge is suing the state Board of Education for suspending her teaching certificate.

The principal, Kenda Miller, is complaining in a lawsuit filed in Oklahoma City District Court that the board wrongly sanctioned her.

Miller, 51, is accused of failing to report molestation accusations made by multiple girls at the Upper Elementary School in Perry. She is charged in Noble County District Court with one misdemeanor count of failure to promptly report child abuse or neglect.

The state board issued an emergency order of suspension of Miller's certificate on Feb. 23, "finding that the public health, safety, or welfare imperatively required such emergency action," documents show.

That same day, Perry Public Schools stopped paying Miller, who was on paid administrative leave.

Because the school district suspended her the day after she was charged, Miller posed no threat to students or anyone else at the school, the lawsuit contends.

A state Education Department spokeswoman said about the lawsuit: "OSDE does not comment on pending litigation, but it is important to emphasize that the State Board of Education and the Oklahoma State Department of Education place a high priority on student safety — including defending the interests of all children — and will continue to do so.”

Arnold Cowen, 86, a former volunteer teacher's aide at Upper Elementary, is accused of inappropriately touching 10 girls ranging in age from 10 to 13.

Cowen is charged in Noble County District Court with 18 felony counts of lewd or indecent acts with a child, two felony counts of lewd or indecent proposals and one felony count of possession of child pornography.

Cowen told a police investigator he "fondled" and "molested" female students in math class and in the hallways of the school, an affidavit states.

Jeffrey Sullins, a fifth-grade math teacher at the school, is also accused of failing to report accusations made against Cowen. Sullins is charged with two misdemeanors counts. Like Miller, the state board suspended his teaching certificate and the Perry district stopped paying him.

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Stillwater City Council Seeks Public Opinion Over 2018 Budget

Stillwater City Council and staff members want to hear your ideas for 2018 as they prepare next year’s budget.

Residents have the following opportunities to meet with elected officials to share their thoughts about the proposed budget and what they’d like to see in Stillwater:

    Monday, March 27 at Panera Bread, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. (113 W. Hall of Fame Ave.)
    Thursday, April 6 at Aspen Coffee Co. at Lakeview, 6 to 7:30 p.m. (1908 N. Perkins Road)
    Friday, April 28 at Meridian Technology Center Skywalk, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (1312 S. Sangre Road)

In addition to these Office Hours, residents can address Council during upcoming public hearings scheduled in April and May to discuss the proposed budget.

Check the meeting agendas and minutes page or sign up for City Council agenda notifications through the Stillwater eNotifications feature at http://stillwater.org/ for updates on the official public hearings dates.

Sign up for public input news notifications for updates on future Office Hours sessions, also.

Residents can submit their budget ideas and comments via email at news@stillwater.org, or email their city councilors.

    Mayor Gina Noble / mayor@stillwater.org
    Vice Mayor Pat Darlington / councilordarlington@stillwater.org
    Councilor Will Joyce / councilorjoyce@stillwater.org
    Councilor John Wedlake / councilorwedlake@stillwater.org
    Councilor Alane Zannotti / councilorzannotti@stillwater.org

For more information about the budget process, go to the City’s budget information center at http://stillwater.org/page/home/government/budget-information-center.

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City of Stillwater Seeks 20 Year Transportation Plan

The City of Stillwater and the citizen Master Plan Committee are seeking public input for the Stillwater Transportation Enhancement Plan 2040 (STEP 2040).

City staff and committee members are updating the transportation plan for Stillwater.

Two public input meetings are scheduled to gather citizen ideas specifically identifying transportation goals and objectives and enhancement projects to improve all forms of mobility over the next 20 years.

Both public input meetings are taking place in room 121 at the City of Stillwater Community Center, 315 W. 8th Ave.:

Saturday, March 25 from 2 to 4 p.m.
 
and Thursday, April 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information or to share an idea, call 405.533.8491 or email gvaughn@stillwater.org.

 

 

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