Local News

City of Stillwater July Tax Report

FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:

City of Stillwater Chief Financial Officer Melissa Reames said the City received its sales tax on July 2017 transactions that were remitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission in August 2017 and apportioned to the City in September 2017. The amount totaled $2,497,230.32. This is $239,128 (10.59 percent) higher that September 2016.

Year to date (YTD) sales tax is $30,742.01 (0.44 percent) higher than YTD collections in 2016. Sales tax is under budget by $47,028.84 (0.66 percent). Use tax collections for September were $142,792.45.

YTD use tax is higher than last year by $92,437.27 (52.01 percent) and over budget by $178,883.00 (65.92 percent). Cigarette/tobacco tax remittance was $25,411.59. YTD cigarette/tobacco tax is lower that YTD collections in 2016 by $1,477.92 (1.67 percent) and over budget by $3,272.38 (3.92 percent). Lodging tax as of August 2017 was $150,284.85, which is $17,139.34 (12.87 percent) higher than 2016 and over budget by $25,866.78 (20.79 percent).

 

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Pawnee County Road Rage Incident Results in Three Arrests

The man wielding a shotgun in a Pawnee County road rage incident caught on camera is now in custody.

Pawnee County Sheriff Mike Waters said Randy Watkins turned himself in Tuesday morning after the video of a road rage confrontation between motorists and motorcyclists went viral.

The sheriff said Watkins is charged with robbery with a weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and knowingly concealing stolen property.

Court records show Randy Watkins' brother, Russell "Rusty" Watkins, is charged with assault and battery and accessory to robbery with a weapon. He has not yet been arrested.

The sheriff said Rusty Watkins is the man who beat up one of the bikers.

Rusty, the sheriff said, is also the man seen driving early in the video in the dark colored truck.

Waters said he has seen a second video that he believes shows Rusty Watkins instigated the entire event, which the sheriff said started with Rusty Watkins cutting off one of the bikers.

A third man, Paul Wiseley, was arrested last week. He's the man seen armed with a knife in the video. He's charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and robbery with a weapon.

In the video, you hear the suspects tell the bikers they can't have their go-pro camera back. The bikers had another go-pro recording at the time that the suspects did not notice.

Randy Watkins said after the video was posted that he was “there to protect my family.”

He said about 12 bikers were following his brother for about 14 miles, harassing him and yelling for him to pull over. He said his brother called him and he headed their direction.

Watkins told us the shotgun was just to scare the bikers aware and that he didn’t mean any harm, but said he wished he’d left it in the truck.

Eventually, Watkins put the weapon away and went to help the biker in the ditch. He said when all was said and done, everyone apologized, shook hands and went on their way.

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Oklahoma State University Reports Record Enrollment This Year

Oklahoma State University’s undergraduate enrollment on the Stillwater campus for Fall 2017 of 20,311 is the largest in university history. The number includes 4,220 new freshmen, the second largest freshmen class in OSU history.

Freshman facts:

    65% from Oklahoma
    30% are minorities
    28.8% have an ACT of 27 or higher
    16.9% have a 4.0 high school GPA
    26.8% were in the top 10% of their high school graduating class
    19.1% first-generation college students

Total enrollment for the OSU Stillwater campus, including the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences (CVHS), is 24,274. The total number for the OSU system is 34,568.

Enrollment for by campus:

OSU Stillwater – 24,274

OSU Center for Health Sciences – 966

OSU IT/Okmulgee – 2,509

OSU OKC – 5,839

OSU Tulsa – 980

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City of Stillwater to Hold Fall Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:

The City of Stillwater is holding its fall household hazardous waste collection event Saturday, Oct. 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is at the City of Stillwater Convenience Collection Center at 807 S. Perkins Road.

During this event, residents are encouraged to drop off household pollutants free of charge, including oil-based paints, pesticides, herbicides, household cleaning products, pool chemicals, craft and hobby supplies, mixed fuels and fertilizer.

Unwanted pharmaceuticals are also collected. Syringes and needles are not accepted, however.

“These events continue to provide residents with a simple way to properly dispose of household chemicals that protects the environment,” Environmental Programs Manager Chris Franks said.

In conjunction with this event, the Convenience Collection Center will receive tires, oil, antifreeze, automobile batteries and rechargeable batteries, scrap metal, latex paint, fluorescent bulbs, and other everyday recyclables, though a fee may apply for some services.

These events help residents reduce the amount of household pollutants in their homes while ensuring these pollutants are disposed of properly. The City is also using this opportunity to bring awareness to residents about the recycling opportunities the center offers.

To learn more about the Convenience Collection Center, go to http://stillwater.org/page/home/government/departments-divisions/customer-service/trash-recycling-services/convenience-collection-center.
 
For additional information on the event, contact Franks at 405.533.8482 or email cfranks@stillwater.org.

 

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Gas Prices Lowest In Two Weeks

As South and Southeast states recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, motorists in 45 U.S. states are paying less for a gallon of gas on the week. At $2.62, today’s national gas price average is the cheapest in 14 days and five cents less than last week.

Midwest motorists are benefiting the most with a few states - Indiana, Michigan and Ohio – seeing gas prices plummet by the double-digits inside of seven days. Meanwhile, some states in the West Coast and Rockies are seeing gas prices increase

As gas prices drop for the majority of the country, so does the nation’s gasoline inventory. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report identifies the latest draw of 8.4 million bbl as the highest on record, much of which can be attributed to motorist fueling up in the droves in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

Last week, at $2.73, Florida’s saw its highest gas prices since December 2014. The spike came as many gas stations faced outages as power was down and roads impassable. The good news is that in the last seven days, the state’s average has shaved off one cent. In addition, ports are open and receiving steady streams of tanker shipments as state officials continue to work with gasoline trucker and shippers to ensure timely delivery of product to retail stations. Reports indicate that the gas station gasoline outage situation is improving as stations receive deliveries.

Similarly, positive progress is being seen in the Gulf Coast. According to the Department of Energy, a total of six Gulf Coast refineries are operating at reduced rates, which is one more refinery than last week. These six facilities make-up 13 percent of refining capacity in the U.S. Five refineries continue to operate at reduced rates and three remain shut down, which represents a total of 10 percent of U.S. refining capacity.

It will likely be a few more weeks before the regions affected by Irma and Harvey are back to normal operations. Not a threat to make landfall, Hurricane Jose, a Category 1, is well off the shore of North Carolina. Currently, Hurricane Maria is closing in on the Leeward Islands and is expected to affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid-week, according to the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane season ends on November 30.

The nation’s largest weekly increases: Indiana (+18 cents), Michigan (+15 cents), Delaware (+12 cents), Ohio (+11 cents), Illinois (+10 cents), Kentucky (+10 cents), Maryland (+8 cents), Missouri (+7 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents) and New Jersey (+5 cents).

The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($2.31), Missouri ($2.34), Ohio ($2.37), Arkansas ($2.38), Louisiana ($2.39), Kansas ($2.40), Indiana ($2.41), Arizona ($2.43), Mississippi ($2.45) and Minnesota ($2.45).

All states are selling cheaper gasoline with Oklahoma (-5 cents), South Carolina (-4 cents), Texas (-4 cents) and Georgia (-4 cents) leading the region with the biggest declines in pump prices on the week. At $2.31, Oklahoma has the lowest price of the 10 states while at $2.71, Florida is the most expensive, which is expected given the tightened gasoline supply caused by both Irma and Harvey.

Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline
Tulsa – $2.39, up 35 cents from one month ago … down 3 cents from 9/11/17
OKC – $2.18, up 12 cents from one month ago … down 6 cents from 9/11/17
Oklahoma – $2.31, up 20 cents from one month ago … down 5 cents from 9/11/17
U.S. – $2.62, up 28 cents from one month ago … down 4 cents from 9/11/17

As recovery in Texas moves forward, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week granted a waiver extension for federal reformulated gasoline requirements in the state. The waiver will allow stocks of “winter blend” gasoline to be used to meet demand. The EPA also waived requirements for Texas Low Emissions Diesel through October 1.

The Gulf Coast saw one of the largest gasoline inventory drops on the week - 3.7 million bbl, according to EIA data. Massive-buying in Florida and other southeast states ahead of Irma’s lent to the multi-million bbl draw. Overall, refinery utilization was down, which is understandable as refineries in the region are operating at about 61 percent of capacity, as reported by OPIS.

Last week, the price per barrel of WTI closed at $49.89. U.S. crude prices remained below $50 per barrel as of Monday morning. Since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit the U.S., oil prices have not spiked like gasoline prices did despite a quarter of the refining capacity in the country being offline due to Harvey.

As refineries work to reach pre-storm capacity levels, oil inventories may decline in the coming weeks as refineries turn to storage tanks to meet demand needs. Given that the fall driving season tends to be less demand-driven, any declines in inventories are likely to keep pace with demand.

As expected, EIA’s report last week showed a drop in crude input flows to 14.4 million b/d, illustrating that refineries affected by Harvey are taking in less oil as they resume normal operations. Any indication that the U.S. supply appears to be tightening could lead oil prices to rise. Moreover, falling by seven rigs last week, Baker Hughes reports that active oil rigs in the U.S. sit at 749.

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Stillwater Public Library to Hold Fall Used Book Sale

Anyone who enjoys the Stillwater Public Library’s LexiCon, children’s summer programs or other events is encouraged to drop by the Stillwater Public Library’s Fall Used Book Sale being held Thursday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 25. Thousands of books, movies and audios will be on sale to raise money to purchase new library books and equipment and to fund library programming.

The semi-annual event kicks off Thursday with a Friends of the Library Member Preview from 5-8 p.m. Anyone who purchased a membership during the 2017 calendar year is eligible to attend, but non-members can quickly join at the door for just $10.

The Friends of the Library, who organize and run the sale, hope to keep books affordable and in the homes of Stillwater community members, so item pricing remains very low. Hardbacks sell for $1.00, paperbacks and audio visual material for .50 and children’s books for just.25.

The sale continues and is open to the public on Friday from 12-8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday is the popular $1 per bag sale. Shoppers will be given bags they can fill with books of their choice. There is no limit on the number of bags purchased. The bag sale takes place 1:30-4 p.m.

The book sale consists mainly of donations brought in from community members throughout the year. Material includes children’s books, fiction, mystery, science fiction, biographies, classics, non-fiction covering all subjects and many hard-to-find and out-of-print items.

Donations are still being accepted and can be brought directly to the Stillwater Public Library at the corner of 12th and Duck.  Carts are available and staff can assist as needed.  Donation receipts can also be requested.  Collection bins located at other sites in town are not related to and do not benefit the Stillwater Public Library.  

For more information, visit the library’s web site at http://library.stillwater.org or contact the Help Desk at (405) 372-3633, ext. 8106 or e-mail askalibrarian@stillwater.org.

 

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Cushing Citizen Reports Attempted Phone Scam to Police

FROM THE CUSHING POLICE DEPARTMENT:

On September 14, 2017 at approx. 3:30 p.m., the Cushing Police Department received a call, regarding a phone scam. During the following investigation, the citizen claimed that she had received a phone call from a male subject, who claimed to be an officer with the Cushing Police Department.

The male subject claimed to be collecting donations for deceased and injured officer’s families. After hearing this, the citizen did the correct thing, by refusing to provide any further information and contact the police department.

“I want our citizens to know that the Cushing Police Department and/or its members are not soliciting any donations”, Chief Folden said. At this time, we do not know what number the caller used, but would urge anyone that receives a similar phone call to immediately contact our department.

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OHP Arrest Reckless Driver on DUI Charges in Lincoln County

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol received a call about a reckless driver near Hwy 66 and Hwy 177 around 4:00 p.m. Saturday. The driver, identified as Teresa Patrick was arrested and booked into Lincoln County on DUI charges. Patrick was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident, and transporting an open container.

Authorities said a body was located in the back of the vehicle. The vehicle is described as a white Tahoe. On Sunday, the OHP said the suspect was an employee at the Alpha & Omega Funeral Home. Authorities believe Patrick may have been en route from Tulsa to OKC.

The OHP is continuing their investigation.

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Anheuser Busch Teams Up With Wind Farm In North Central Oklahoma

Anheuser Busch is teaming up with a wind farm in north central Oklahoma to help the environment and brew some beer.

The brewery has signed a power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power, which owns the "Thunder Ranch" wind farm.

That wind farm spans Garfield, Kay, and Noble counties.

Under the deal with Enel Green Power, Anheuser Busch will purchase energy delivered to the grid and renewable energy credits totaling 152.5 megawatts.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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OSU/A&M Board of Regents Approve New Doctoral Degree Program

The Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents approved a new doctoral degree program in forensic sciences from the OSU Center for Health Sciences’ School of Forensic Sciences at its regular meeting Friday.

OSU-CHS, located in Tulsa, will be one of only three institutions in the U.S. to offer a Ph.D. in Forensic Sciences. Sam Houston State University and West Virginia University are the others.

“After years of planning, OSU Center for Health Sciences is pleased to offer students from across the country the opportunity to earn a high quality doctoral degree in forensic sciences from Oklahoma State University,” said Kayse Shrum, D.O., president of OSU Center for Health Sciences.

Historically, the highest attainable degree in forensic science has been the master’s degree. Most forensic science programs in the United States are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, leaving students interested in seeking a terminal degree in forensic sciences with limited options.

This shortage of doctoral programs in forensic science has made it difficult for universities, law enforcement agencies, and forensic laboratories to recruit Ph.D.-trained forensic scientists.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Oklahoma State to be the leader in forensic science education,” said Dr. Robert Allen, head of the School of Forensic Sciences at OSU-CHS. “With the rapid pace of technological developments in forensic science, we need more forensic scientists trained at the Ph.D. level to advance the field of forensic science and to push the boundaries of scientific inquiry.”

The School of Forensic Sciences will start accepting applications with expected enrollment to begin in the fall of 2018. Interested candidates must have a master’s degree in forensic sciences or be willing to complete foundation coursework in forensic sciences. Both in class and online courses will be offered.

The School of Forensic Sciences at OSU-CHS currently offers a Master of Science in Forensic Sciences in the following seven tracks: Death Scene Investigation, Forensic Biology/DNA, Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Psychology, Arson and Explosives Investigations, Forensic Document Examination, and Forensic Science Administration.

The School of Forensic Sciences also has training facilities that are second to none, including a crime scene investigation laboratory and a 300-acre explosives range.

For more information on the new Ph.D. program in forensic sciences, contact Aaron T. Christensen, 918-561-1108, aaron.t.christensen@okstate.edu

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OSU Alumni Association Names Alumnus Rickie Fowler Grand Marshal of OSU Homecoming 2017

The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association has named OSU alumnus and champion golfer Rickie Fowler grand marshal of OSU Homecoming 2017: ‘Herald Your Fame.’

“This year’s Homecoming events are celebrating the fame of our institution and our alumni, and there are few Cowboys more famous than Rickie Fowler,” said Chris Batchelder, OSU Alumni Association president. “Rickie is an outstanding ambassador for Oklahoma State University and Cowboy Golf, and we’re thrilled to have him return for ‘America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration’ in Stillwater.”

Fowler was two-time All-America at OSU and received numerous accolades as a Cowboy including the Ben Hogan Award, the Phil Mickelson Award, Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and the Big 12 Player of the Year. He recently made an inaugural gift of $100,000 through the Rickie Fowler Foundation to establish a scholarship supporting STEM based education through the Grand Challenge Scholars Program in the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. He has committed to donate at least $100,000 per year for the next 9 years in support of these students.

Professionally, Fowler has amassed 7 professional wins including the 2015 PLAYERS Championship. He is widely known for supporting his alma mater on tour every Sunday when he wears America’s brightest orange. Rickie has also donned the USA’s red, white and blue several times as a professional: Ryder Cup (2010, '14, ’16), President’s Cup (2015, 2017*), 2016 World Cup, and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

“I come back to Stillwater and OSU as often as I can,” Fowler says. “Stillwater is and always will be my home away from home. My two years as a student-athlete at OSU indelibly marked my life and my career.”

As grand marshal, Fowler will take part in several Homecoming events including Homecoming and Hoops on Friday, October 13, the Sea of Orange Parade the morning of Saturday, October 14, the Cowboy Corral Pep Rally at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center and the presentation of Homecoming awards during the Baylor vs. OSU football game.

“I am and will always be a Cowboy,” Fowler says. “I am very excited and proud to come home for ‘America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration’ and serve the Cowboy family as its Homecoming Grand Marshal.”

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US-177 Lanes to Shift in Each Direction Between Hall of Fame Ave. and 12th Ave.

FROM THE OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION:

Motorists can expect northbound and southbound US-177 (Perkins Rd.) lanes to shift Thursday and remain narrowed to one lane in each direction between Hall of Fame Ave. and 12th Ave. in Stillwater as part of ongoing reconstruction at the SH-51 (Sixth St.) intersection.

Eastbound and westbound SH-51 (Sixth St.) lanes are expected to shift early next week and remain narrowed to one lane in each direction between the Stillwater Central Railroad crossing and the US-177 (Perkins Rd.) intersection.

All lanes of SH-51 and US-177 are scheduled to open to traffic by 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, in time for the Oklahoma State University home football game against TCU on Sept. 23.

Intermittent lane closures can be expected Monday, Sept. 25, through fall 2017 while final details of the project are completed.

The $7.4 million contract was awarded in July 2016 to Duit Construction Co. Inc. and TTK Construction Co.
 

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Oklahoma Attorney General Issues Consumer Alert After Equifax Breach

FROM THE OKLAHOMA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE:

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter today has issued a consumer alert after last week’s Equifax breach that affected 143 million individuals nationwide.

Equifax, one of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies, announced it had experienced a cybersecurity incident on Sept. 7. The breach occurred between May and July, allowing personal information, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses, to be exposed to hackers.

Attorney General Hunter said the threat has potentially left all Oklahomans exposed. He urges individuals who haven’t already taken action to see if their personal information has been compromised, to do so immediately.

“There is a risk all Oklahomans had their personal and private information stolen by hackers,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Individuals must be diligent and take the proper steps to protect their families and loved ones.”

The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit encourages individuals to take the following steps:

    Visit the Equifax website for daily status updates, here: https://www.equifax.com/;

    Click on the “Potential Impact” tab to find out if personal information was exposed;

    Call the Equifax call center at (866) 447-7559 from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern time;

    Check credit reports;

    Consider placing a freeze on all credit files;

    Closely monitor existing credit card and bank account information and watch for unauthorized charges;

     Watch for phishing email that claim to be Equifax and request personal information.

Additionally, Equifax has updated the terms of use on its website, removing the language on the website last week that prohibited consumers from taking legal action in this incident.

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National Gas Price Average Seems To Level Out 15 Days After Hurricane Harvey

For the first time in more than 15 days, the national gas price average appears to be leveling out despite Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma making landfall in the southeast. Holding steady for five days at $2.67, today’s national gas price average is just three cents more expensive on the week. With a seven cents increase, Florida, Indiana and Georgia were among the top 10 states who saw the largest gas price increases on the week, while some states saw gas prices drop by one to six cents (Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Delaware and Oklahoma). At the end of last week, some Florida and other Southeast states saw consumers flock to gas stations to fill-up on fuel, causing some stations to have gas outages ahead of the storm.
 
According to the National Hurricane Center, Irma is weakening and will move near the northwestern coast of the Florida Peninsula this morning, will cross the eastern Florida Panhandle into Southern Georgia this afternoon, and move through southwestern Georgia and eastern Alabama tonight and Tuesday. Parts of Florida can expect eight to 20 inches of rain through Wednesday. Much of Georgia, South Carolina, and western North Carolina can expect three to eight inches of rain accumulation. Southern Tennessee and eastern Alabama can expect up to five inches.

Early reports indicate that Irma has left more than four million people without power, while water and debris cover roadways. Florida Power & Light (FPL) has 17,000 personnel from over 30 states on standby to aid restoration efforts.
 
Once power is restored and roads cleared, gasoline will be able to be delivered to stations in the impacted region, similar to what the Gulf Coast experienced post-Harvey.
 
Currently, all Florida ports are closed while some in North and South Carolina are open with restrictions. To alleviate local supply disruptions, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved a Jones Act waiver for areas affected by the storms. The seven-day waiver will allow foreign flag vessels to bring in fuel to help with outages amid the response and recovery efforts.
 
Hurricane Harvey Impacted Refineries & Pipelines
As Floridians wait out the storm, Americans along the Gulf Coast continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey. According to the Department of Energy, at least five refineries in the Gulf Coast are operating at reduced rates, which accounts for eight percent of U.S. refining capacity. Six refineries are in the process of restarting, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. refining capacity. Five refineries remain shutdown, accounting for six percent of U.S. refining capacity. The restarting process can take several days or weeks, depending on damage. The Colonial Pipeline continues to experience a delivery delay of up to a week to Mid-Atlantic states.
 
Today, 69 percent of gas stations in the U.S. are selling gas at $2.50 or more. Only seven percent list gas at $3 or more.

The nation’s largest weekly increases: Florida (+7 cents), Indiana (+7 cents), Georgia (+7 cents), Arizona (+6 cents), Michigan (+6 cents), New Hampshire (+6 cents), Montana (+6 cents), New York (+5 cents), Nevada (+5 cents) and Rhode Island (+5 cents).
The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($2.36), Louisiana ($2.40), Arkansas ($2.41), Arizona ($2.42), Missouri ($2.42), Kansas ($2.45), Mississippi ($2.47), Ohio ($2.48), Minnesota ($2.50) and New Mexico ($2.51).

Gas prices in the South and Southeast continue to increase, although the jumps are not as dramatic as seen last week: Florida (+7 cents), Georgia (+7 cents), Alabama (+5 cents), Tennessee (+4 cents) and South Carolina (+4 cents).
 
With no refineries in Florida, Hurricane Irma threatens already tightened gasoline supply levels caused by Harvey. As Gulf Coast refineries come back online and increase operating rates, the Colonial Pipeline, which provides gasoline from Houston, TX to Greensboro, N.C, is experiencing delivery delays of up to a week to Mid-Atlantic states. As a result, many South and Southeast states will likely see continued gas price increases stemming from Harvey and now Irma.
 
Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline
Tulsa – $2.42, up 30 cents from one month ago … same price as 9/4/17
OKC – $2.26, up 18 cents from one month ago … down 6 cents from 9/4/17
Oklahoma – $2.36, up 22 cents from one month ago … down 1 cent from 9/4/17
U.S. – $2.67, up 31 cents from one month ago … up 3 cents from 9/4/17

 

 

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Our Daily Bread Food & Resource Center Opens Its Doors

Our Daily Bread Food & Resource Center, an affiliate of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, opened its doors to help Payne County residents struggling with hunger on Wednesday.  On Aug. 31, the community was invited to the nonprofit’s ribbon cutting and open house. Speakers included: Will Joyce, Stillwater city commissioner, and Justin Mingus, CEO of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, and Becky Taylor, executive director of Our Daily Bread.

A total of 62 household were served...equalling 124 people totalling 95 adults and 29 children.

In Payne County, 15,350 residents face hunger every day. During the 2015-16 fiscal year, the Regional Food Bank distributed enough food to provide 788,316 meals for Payne County residents struggling with hunger; however, it was not enough.  That is why the opening of Our Daily Bread is vital to Payne County, where the need for food and resources continues to grow.

Our Daily Bread’s mission is, “Feeding our community collaboratively and providing connections that enable lasting change.”  The nonprofit has expanded hours of operation to better serve Payne County residents in a supermarket-like setting.  The food pantry allows clients to choose the foods they want so that they take only what they need – making more efficient use of food resources. Our Daily Bread also stocks a variety of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and will connect clients with other social services in the community.  

The Regional Food Bank is committed to ensuring an equitable distribution of food, maximizing utilization of resources and providing compassionate service to vulnerable populations. The nonprofit is investing in programs, facilities and partnerships that offer the best opportunities to improve service and feed more hungry Oklahomans.  Food & Resources Centers, like the Our Daily Bread, will allow the Regional Food Bank to distribute food to Oklahoma’s hungry in a more efficient and cost-effective manner while connecting those served to resources that provide relief and increase self-sufficiency.   

Donors to the Our Daily Bread capital campaign include: The Allene Brown Foundation, Elite Repeat, J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.           

For more information about Our Daily Bread visit ourdailybreadfrc.org or call 405-533-2555. To learn more about the Regional Food Bank visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405-972-1111.

 

 

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Motorists Experience Engine Troubles After Refueling At A Pawnee County Gas Station

Motorists who bought fuel at a Pawnee County gas station on the Cimarron Turnpike over the holiday weekend got more than they paid for.

Some drivers who bought gas at a Kum & Go along the Cimarron Turnpike that a Kum & Go spokesperson said a third-party fuel vendor accidentally supplied DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) into the mid-grade fuel tank.

Drivers saw problems immediately  after putting gas in their vehicle at the Kum & Go when the vehicles suddenly stalled.

“The delivery truck delivering the fuel apparently, accidentally put ‘DEF,’ D-E-F, that's an additive for diesel fuel, in that tank,” said Matt Skinner, Spokesperson with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

Those with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission state that diesel exhaust fuel is not to be mixed with other fuels.

It's a mix-up Skinner says doesn't happen very often.

Kum & Go said in a statement:

    Unfortunately on Monday, September 4, 2017, Kum & Go’s third-party fuel vendor accidentally supplied DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) into the mid-grade fuel tank at Store 880 on the Cimarron Turnpike in Lone Chimney, OK. As soon as the issue was discovered, the store stopped providing access to mid-grade fuel, and it will remain unavailable until the tank can be completely cleaned.

    We apologize for this inconvenience. We are working with our vendor to determine the root cause for the error and take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future. Cars who filled up using mid-grade fuel before the issue was discovered likely would have had engine troubles almost immediately after leaving the store. If a customer suspects his/her car was impacted, they may call our Customer Relations line at 1-888-458-6646 or return to the store to submit a claim for reimbursement.

Contact the OCC or file a complaint online.

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Former Oklahoma State Legislator Named Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year

Former Oklahoma State Legislator, Dr. Lee Denney of Cushing, has been named the 2017 Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year by the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association.

Denney, a lifetime resident of Cushing, earned her DVM degree from Oklahoma State University in 1978. Immediately upon graduation, she went into private practice which she has held for nearly 40 years.

In addition to veterinary medicine, Dr. Denney has another professional interest that impacts animal owners in a different way. She served in the Oklahoma legislature for 12 years, the maximum amount of time allowed.

Today, Dr. Denney serves as an instructor and department head for the Veterinary Technology Department at the Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City campus. Denney said she has many areas of accomplishments – her family, her veterinary practice, and her time in the legislature.

Other Oklahoma State veterinary graduates recognized during the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association’s Annual Convention were:

Dr. Christopher Kelley (’97), Companion Animal Practitioner of the Year

Dr. Byron Schick (’87), Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Jarod Kennedy (’06), Food Animal Practitioner of the Year

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Hurrican Harvey Continues to Drive Up Gas Prices

Hurricane Harvey may no longer be raining down on the Gulf Coast, but the storm’s impact continues to drive up gas prices across the country. At $2.65, the national gas price average is 27 cents more expensive on the week. Motorists in 26 states are paying 25 to 44 cents more for a gallon of unleaded compared to seven days ago. In fact, every state in the country has seen gas prices increase except four (Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii and Utah), where prices remain stable. Overall, gas prices are pennies away from topping the highest price ($2.67, August 15-18, 2015) Americans have paid for a gallon of gas in more than two years.

As Texas dries out from Harvey, all eyes are on Hurricane Irma, now a Category 5 hurricane, which currently is expected to hit the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean Tuesday night into Wednesday. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. According to the National Hurricane Center, there is an increasing chance that the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys may see some impact this coming weekend. However, Irma’s changing storm track could bring an altered forecast in the coming days.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is reporting that eight Gulf Coast refineries are in the process of restarting, which accounts for about 10 percent of Gulf Coast refining capabilities. At its peak, Harvey shuttered 27 percent of U.S. processing capacity. No refineries have returned to normal rates, but at least four are operating at reduced rates. Meanwhile, pipelines forced to take pre-cautionary shut downs caused by Harvey either have resumed operations or are in the process of coming back online. This includes the Colonial Pipeline, which currently has only suspended the Texas operations, while the remainder of the system continues to operate with available supply.

In response to refineries and pipeline shutdowns, last week the DOE authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to negotiate and execute emergency exchange agreements authorizing 5.6 million barrels of crude oil to be released. In addition, DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued waivers to Colonial to accept more product into its pipeline.

With more than 50 inches of rain, Harvey set a record for the greatest amount of single-storm rainfall for the continental U.S.

Today, 74 percent of U.S. gas stations are selling gas for $2.75 or less while only seven percent are selling above $3/gallon.

The nation’s largest weekly increases are Delaware (+44 cents), Georgia (+41 cents), Maryland (+41 cents), New Jersey (+40 cents), Tennessee (+39 cents), South Carolina (+39 cents), North Carolina (+38 cents), Connecticut (+37 cents), New Hampshire (+37 cents) and Massachusetts (+36 cents).

The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are Arizona ($2.36), Oklahoma (2.38), Louisiana ($2.38), Arkansas ($2.40), Missouri ($2.45), Mississippi ($2.45), Kansas ($2.49), New Mexico ($2.49), Alabama ($2.49) and Minnesota ($2.50)

In Houston, refiners are starting to deliver fuel to the market as well as to Dallas and West Texas areas, but it may take some time to resume normal delivery capabilities. While there is no fuel supply shortage, the state is working to overcome distribution problems – including not having enough drivers and equipment to distribute fuel. Additionally, some roads are still inaccessible due to flooding. To help alleviate fuel delivery concerns, truck drivers have been flown in from other states to assist with the distribution.

Gas prices in the South and Southeast have felt the impact of Harvey at the pump, with consumers paying on average 31 cents more on the week. The states with the biggest increases include: Georgia (+41 cents), South Carolina (+39 cents), Alabama (+36 cents) and Florida (+36 cents). At $2.53/gal, South Carolina, for the first time this year, does not lead the nation with the cheapest gas price.

Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline
Tulsa – $2.42, up 25 cents from one month ago … up 37 cents from 9/5/16
OKC – $2.33, up 23 cents from one month ago … up 31 cents from 9/5/16
Oklahoma – $2.38, up 23 cents from one month ago … up 31 cents from 9/5/16
U.S. – $2.65, up 30 cents from one month ago … up 45 cents from 9/5/16

At the end of last week, the price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate settled at $47.29. On Monday morning, prices are still below $50/bbl.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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Dozens of Students, Faculty and others Hold Demonstration Against Trump Administration

Dozens of students, faculty and others at Oklahoma State University stood in solidarity Tuesday. This after the Trump administration
announced plans to end a two year program designed to safeguard children of illegal immigrants from being deported.

The demonstration was against the ending of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. It has been in place for two years
after its creation under the Obama administration. The program has protected nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants
brought to the U.S. as children from being deported.

President Trump asked Congress Tuesday to figure out a better solution. But some at the protest said they may not be able to wait for that decision.
Right now, those protected by DACA could face deportation in March.

Comments were made Tuesday by those protesting that they are not blaming anyone in particular for this outcome.
Their only goal is to stay right where they are.

The group met again last night to discuss the protest and plan future educational demonstrations on campus.

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ZP Disposal Systems Files Application to put in Disposal Well Near Peaceful Logan County Neighborhood

Logan County residents who live near Portland Avenue and Seward Road fear their quiet community will soon change.

That’s because ZP Disposal Systems has filed an application to put in a disposal well that would inject 20,000 barrels of wastewater per day. The biggest concern is earthquakes.

Some residents have filed a protest, asking the Oklahoma Corporation Commission not to approve the application. If it is approved, the disposal well will be placed in the area.

Even though residents are worried about earthquakes, OCC officials said that shouldn’t be a concern when it comes to this well. They said it is not an Arbuckle disposal well, so there is no threat for earthquakes.

Corporation Commission officials, however, will check to see if the residents’ drinking water will be put at risk. But even if the OCC finds the disposal well is not a threat to Logan County water, residents are still asking the OCC not to approve the application.

A judge will hold a hearing at the Corporation Commission later this month to decide if ZP Disposal Systems can move forward with the disposal well.

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Two Former Stillwater Residents to be Honored Posthumously by Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame

Two former Stillwater residents, both deceased, will be honored posthumously by the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame Oct. 21 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in North Norman.

They are Army Lt. Col. Walter E. Price and Marine Capt. Peter C. Rollins, an Oklahoma State University professor. They will be among 10 Oklahoma veterans being honored.

Price was born June 22, 1926, in Tulsa. and died September 11, 2015, in Stillwater.  He was educated at the Oklahoma Military Academy at Claremore and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

After graduating from high School at OMA in 1944, Price joined the U.S. Marine Corps and then transferred to the Army. He went to West Point in 1946, graduating in 1950.

He was an enlisted man in World War II and an infantry commander in the Korea and Vietnam wars.

Price served in three wars and earned the Bronze Star in Korea and again in Vietnam and The Silver Star for Gallantry in Vietnam. Before going to Vietnam to command a battalion, Price taught ROTC to cadets at Oklahoma State University.

After retirement in 1970, he  was executive Vice President of Stillwater Community Bank and was a Stillwater City Commissioner.

He also served on the three-member state Board of Public Affairs after 1970. The board is the management agency for property and equipment for most state agencies.

Rollins was born April 1, 1942, in Boston, Massachusetts, and died March 23, 2015, in Stillwater. Like his father and brother, Rollins became a Marine. He served three years of active duty including 13 months in Vietnam. Rollins was a PhD, Regents Professor of English at Oklahoma State University for 33 years.

After Rollins began teaching at OSU, he began efforts to counteract what he believed was misreporting of the Vietnam War. He created college courses examining the portrayal of wars and made films depicting America’s wars.

He produced four television documentary films on Vietnam: “The Impact of Visual images: a Study of the 1968 Tet Offensive,” “The Real Story of Vietnam,” “The Impact of Media,” and “The Battle of Khe Sanh.” Actor Charlton Heston narrated two of the films that were aired by the Public Broadcasting System.

Rollins also authored numerous publications and books explaining military service and how it is represented in public media and popular culture. He wrote the novel entitled, “Why We Fought.”

Rollins awards include the 2011 Oklahoma Humanities Award.

Rollins will receive a special honor: The Douglas O. Dollar Distinguished Service Award.  The Dollar award is for service and dedicated work in support of Veterans and the U.S. Military.

The Dollar award is named for Dollar, a Stillwater resident, who served in Vietnam and who founded the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in 1999.

Persons wanting to obtain a reservation for the banquet may go online to our website, www.okmhf.org  which has a reservation link. You may also contact us at infor@okmhf.org or call (405) 424-5313. The cutoff date for reservations is Oct. 11.

Persons wanting to obtain a reservation for the banquet may go online to our website www.okmhf.org which has the registration link. You may also contact us at info@okmhf.org or call (405) 424-5313. The cutoff date for reservations is Oct. 11.

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Two Oklahomans Killed Labor Day Weekend after Tragic Sea-Doo Accident on Keystone Lake

Two Oklahomans were killed Labor Day weekend after a tragic Sea-Doo accident.

William Crocker, 56, and Cathy Crocker, 48, of Sand Springs, Okla., were riding a Sea-Doo together around 9:15 p.m. Sunday at Keystone Lake when a V.I.P boat crashed into them.

Officials say the Sea-Doo was not equipped with lights, so the driver of the boat could not see them.

William and Cathy Crocker were both pronounced dead at the scene.

The boat was carrying three people at the time of the accident. Officials say they weren’t injured.

The accident is under investigation.

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Stillwater Community Center to Host 'Mummy and Son Dance' October 20th

Get your dancing shoes, masks and costumes ready for the Mummy and Son Dance on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the City of Stillwater Community Center, 315 W. 8th Ave.

Preschoolers and above are welcome to accompany their mothers to the dance. Couples are encouraged to dress as their favorite Halloween character.

“Join us at the Community Center for a spooktacular evening. Ghosts, goblins, super heroes and moms are all welcome," Community Center Manager Stephanie Kinder said.

The Community Center will be decorated for a fang-tastic time as attendees dance, make a craft and enjoy popcorn and a movie with mom.

Tickets are required and are available starting Sept. 1 until Oct. 19 They are $25 per couple and $10 for each additional son. Tickets are not available at the door the day of the event.

You may purchase tickets online or at the Community Center.

To purchase tickets for the dance online, go to tickets.stillwater.org.
 
This event is organized and presented by the City of Stillwater.

For more information, contact Stephanie Kinder at 405.533.8433 or email skinder@stillwater.org.


 

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