Local News Archives for 2017-02

Flu Deaths Spike Over Last Week In Oklahoma

Nine Oklahomans have died as a result of the flu in the last week, almost double the number of the previous week, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Between Feb. 10 and Feb. 16 there were 5 flu deaths in Oklahoma.

Four of those deaths were in Oklahoma County, quintupling the number of deaths up to this point.

Between Feb. 3 and Feb. 9 there were 12 flu deaths in Oklahoma which more than doubled the number of deaths so far this season. There have been 37 flu-related deaths in Oklahoma this season.

One child age 5-17 died as a result of the flu, three adults aged 18-49, and seven adults aged 50-64. The remaining 26 Oklahoman victims were over the age of 65.

The latest deaths were in Blaine, Cleveland, Oklahoma, Pittsburg, Rogers, and Tulsa counties.

Tulsa County has had twice the number of deaths of any other county at 10. Oklahoma County has had five deaths, Kay County has had three deaths. Canadian, Cleveland, Rogers, Stephens and Wagoner counties have each had two deaths and Bryan, Craig, Creek, Grant, Johnston, Logan, Pittsburg, an Pottawatomie counties have one death each.

The OSDH reports that 1,419 people have been hospitalized during the flu season that began Sept. 1, 2016, 186 of those in the last week.


Sobriety Checkpoint Conducted Last Friday Part of ENDUI Campaign


A sobriety checkpoint and saturation patrol was held Friday night near the intersection of State Highway 51 and Sangre in Stillwater. The checkpoint was conducted as part of the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office’s ENDUI campaign. Multiple area agencies participated in the campaign including the Stillwater Police Department, Payne County Sheriff’s Department, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and OSU Police Department.

OHP Trooper Allan Young, an Impaired Driving Liaison with the Highway Safety Office, stated the checkpoint was held from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.  Young stated there were seven DUI arrests made during the night along with four drug arrests and two arrests for Public Intoxication.

Several citations were also issued for failing to wear seatbelt, transporting an open container of alcohol, operating without a license and/or driving under suspension, speed and other miscellaneous violations. Over 135 warnings were also given throughout the night. Young stated, “These operations not only serve as a specific deterrent by arresting impaired drivers who pass through the checkpoints, but more importantly, as a general deterrent to persons who have knowledge of the operation.”

Young pointed out that a press release informing the public of the upcoming checkpoint was released in the days prior to the event. “The goal is to have a highly visible ENDUI campaign that will discourage people who have been drinking or using impairing substances from getting behind the wheel, and to address those who make the poor decision to drive while impaired.” Young said, “Every DUI is preventable, do your part! Together, we can ENDUI.”


Lawsuits Have Been Filed By Osage County Residents Over Earthquake Damages

Seven Osage County residents filed a lawsuit in state district court Wednesday against several oil and gas companies, seeking monetary damages after two of Oklahoma’s top five earthquakes in history took place in 2016.

Notably, the 51-page tort claim names specific disposal wells, which goes beyond other lawsuits simply naming companies. The petition cites government data to assess how much saltwater each defendant injected during a two-year span into wells that state regulators tightened restrictions on after each of the quakes targeted by the litigation.

The defendants are White Star Petroleum, Mid-Con Energy Partners, Berexco, Tarka Energy, Crown Energy Co., EastOK Pipeline, and 12 John Doe companies that are yet to be named.

The lawsuit alleges property damages caused by the state-record magnitude-5.8 earthquake near Pawnee on Sept. 3 and the 5.0 near Cushing on Nov. 6. A 4.4 quake near Pawnee on Nov. 2 also is listed. The damage described includes peeling paint and spackling, cracks in walls and foundations, and destruction of a chimney, a rock wall and a grain bin.

The lawsuit notes that companies in 2009 “significantly increased” saltwater disposal from oil and gas production into the state's deepest geologic formation — the Arbuckle — which scientists point to as the trigger for Oklahoma’s induced seismicity.

The plaintiffs are Osage County residents James and Sharon Binkley, Greg and Vonda Goad, Hubert and Charlotte Hutchens, and Lester Anson.

The lawsuit identifies disposal wells that were subject to fresh Oklahoma Corporation Commission regulations specifically in response to each of the three quakes listed. The petition then notes how many barrels each of the defendants injected in 2015 and 2016 into those wells, based on the attorneys' analysis of government data.

The lawsuit lists five causes of action: trespass, private nuisance, negligence, gross negligence and strict liability/ultra hazardous activity. It seeks actual and punitive monetary damages.

The plaintiffs are represented by Tulsa-based Drummond Law, Dallas-based Allen Stewart and New York-based Phillips & Paolicelli.

The lawsuit cites U.S. Geological Survey data that there were 83 quakes of magnitude-2.5 or greater from 1997 through 2008 recorded in Oklahoma. There have been at least 7,000 of those quakes since 2009.


Stillwater Residents Are Warned of Utility Payment Phone Scam

The City of Stillwater reminds utility customers that Customer Service will not contact them via phone to collect utility payments.
Over the past few weeks, individuals have received phone calls from people claiming to represent the City asking them to wire payments for their bills.
These calls are a phone scam targeting utility customers to get their credit card or bank account information.
Should you receive this type of call, hang up and report the call to the Stillwater Police Department at 405.372.4171.
Customers who pay their bills online should always access the payment system through the link at http://stillwater.org/. There is no fee to pay bills online or via any option the City offers.  

Customers initiate all utility bill payments. The City does not contact customers to pay their bill after it is delivered via mail or email.
Call Customer Service at 405.742.8245 or email CustomerService@stillwater.org for any questions concerning your utility bill and account.
More information about Customer Service, including ways to pay your utility bill, is at http://stillwater.org/page/home/government/departments-divisions/customer-service.


Stillwater Police Locate and Arrest Kwamain Baker, Suspect In Lewd Acts Case


On Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Stillwater Police obtained an arrest warrant for Kwamain Quantay Baker for Lewd Acts with a Child Under Sixteen (a felony) stemming from an incident occurring earlier in the day. The victim reported that during that incident Baker began making comments that were sexual in nature, and then began touching her. The victim was fifteen years old.

On Wednesday morning, February 22, 2017, shortly after 8:00AM Kwamain Baker was located in Stillwater and taken into custody. The Police Department wishes to thank the citizens of our community who offered tips and assistance during the search for Baker.


Corliss' Pet of The Week!

The pint sized guest on today’s Hot Morning Show on Hot 93.7 was the four month old male kitten, Waffle, from Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue at 901 S. Lowery in Stillwater. Waffle shared lots of purrs and love to tell everyone listening that he is ready for his forever home, which he will go with shots, neutered and fully socialized as he has been raised with over 80 volunteers since birth and through bottle feeding. Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue is Oklahoma's only rescue based on the care of neo-natal, bottle fed, abandoned kittens whose mothers were possibly lost, sick or had passed. Maybe a new kitten is not quite the fit for your home. There are so many different sources to help! Dee, the President of the Board of Directors for Tiny Paws shared with us this morning that the rescue sets aside a special fund, called the “Wonky Fund” to benefit cats that do not fit into the bottle-fed mold but are still in immediate need of health care. Kitten rescues often have an abundance of new litters each spring due to strays and outside cats that have not been spayed/neutered. Due to the demand Tiny Paws will be facing this coming March/April, they will be hosting a "Baby Shower" at the rescue on February 25th from 1:00pm-4:00pm. There will be activities, refreshments and of course kitten meet and greets! You can bring a shower gift in the form of baby blankets, cleaning supplies and more. Looking ahead, Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue will feature a Golf Tournament on Saturday, April 22nd and are now accepting teams, sponsorships and donations! To find more information on these events and a full list of wants and needs to benefit the rescue, an adoption form or even a live video feed of the kittens, find Tiny Paws Kitten Rescue's Facebook Page! Listen to the full Pet of the Week interview






Oklahoma's Statewide Average Price for Gasoline Has Remained Relatively Steady Since Christmas

Ever since Christmas Eve of last year, Oklahoma’s statewide average price for regular gasoline has remained within a nine-cent range, from $2.09 to $2.18 per gallon. According to GasPrices.AAA.com, today’s state average is $2.10.  

“I wouldn’t say gas prices have become boring – that will never happen – but they certainly have been a lot more predictable lately,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Even with OPEC cutting production, supplies are healthy, demand is down and at least until refineries conduct their annual late winter/early spring maintenance operations, it appears we are poised to see pump prices in this same general ball park.”

The Oil Price Information Service reports that Phillips 66 is planning to begin maintenance in the next 10 days at its 154,000 barrels-per-day Borger refinery in the Texas panhandle.

Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline

Tulsa – $2.05, down 2 cents in the past month … up 63 cents since 2/21/16
OKC – $2.08, down 3 cents in the past month … up 61 cents since 2/21/16
Oklahoma – $2.10, down 4 cents in the past month … up 63 cents since 2/21/16
U.S. – $2.28, down 4 cents in the past month … up 57 cents since 2/21/16
SOURCE: www.GasPrices.AAA.com

The national gas price average has increased fractions of a penny to reach today’s price for regular gasoline, which is $2.28 per gallon. Today’s average is the same as one week ago and 56 cents more than the same date last year.

The nation’s top five markets that have seen the largest monthly decreases include West Virginia $2.27 (-11 cents), New Jersey $2.33 (-9 cents), Pennsylvania $2.53 (-9 cents), Illinois $2.29 (-9 cents) and Delaware $2.22 (-9 cents).

The nation’s top five most expensive markets are Hawaii $3.12, California $2.90, Washington $2.74, Alaska $2.71 and Oregon $2.54.

Markets opened this morning (Feb. 21) reporting gains after OPEC reiterated its commitment to cut production. OPEC’s most recent Monthly Oil Market Report stated that participating countries successfully implemented 90 percent of the agreed production cuts. Last November, OPEC and non-OPEC countries agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day for six months starting in 2017 and have since hinted at the possibility of extending those cuts further. The impact the OPEC agreement has on the market will depend on the rate at which the participating countries comply with production cuts.

At this time U.S. oil production is up and so are crude oil inventories so retail prices have remained fairly steady. This could all change if OPEC maintains its high level of compliance and the refinery maintenance season eats into U.S. supply as driving demand increases.  Traders will continue to keep a close eye on OPEC compliance and U.S. supply and production. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 4 cents to settle at $53.40 per barrel.


Ecology-Based Artist Megan Singleton to Offer Talk and Free Workshop

A visiting artist whose ecology-based work crosses artistic boundaries will offer a talk at the Student Union on Thursday, Feb. 23, followed by a free workshop the next day at the Multi-Arts Center in Stillwater.

“The investigation of ecological relationships within society and the landscape is the basis of my work, which intertwines sculpture, handmade paper, found objects, printmaking, photography, and books arts,” said Megan Singleton. “I utilize my expertise in the historic craft of papermaking to create work in a contemporary context that transforms invasive plant fibers into works of art.”

At the same time, Singleton said, she hopes her works help underline the importance of invasive-species awareness and the impact of such plants on the natural environment.

“I am interested in how art can address and engage people with the natural world, and connect with the physical actions of a growing, living environment. This, in turn, can inspire communities and individuals to care and foster the growth and revitalization of our landscapes and their natural systems.”

Singleton, whose work is exhibited both nationally and internationally, will present “Rio: An Exploration of New Mexico Landscapes through Hand Papermaking,” at an opening reception that will start at 5 p.m. on Thursday in the Cowboy Underground (basement) of the Student Union. Her talk, scheduled to start at 6 p.m., will focus on the work Singleton accomplished as the Smelser-Vallion Visiting Artist for 2016 at OSU’s Doel Reed Center for the Arts in Taos, New Mexico.

She will hold a free hand papermaking workshop on Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Multi-Arts Center, 1001, S. Duck St. in Stillwater.

Singleton holds an adjunct position at Saint Louis University, teaching fiber arts. She serves as vice president for development on the board of directors for the hand papermaking organization known as The Friends of Dard Hunter. She is also a member of the International Art Collective Expanded Draught, based in Galway, Ireland.

Singleton received a master’s degree in sculpture from Louisiana State University, and bachelor’s in photography from Webster University. She was the recipient of a $20,000 Artist Fellowship from the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission in 2015.



Man Hospitalized After Falling From Oklahoma State Parking Garage

A man is in an Oklahoma City hospital after falling from a parking garage on the Oklahoma State University campus, a school official confirmed.

Emergency crews were called about 3:45 p.m. Saturday after a man fell from the top floor of the Wentz Parking Garage on the north side of campus. He suffered severe head trauma.

The man was taken to OU Medical Center via medical helicopter. It is unclear if the man is a student at the university. The man has not been identified.


Oklahoma Main Street Center Announces Program Totals For 2016

Figures released from the Oklahoma Main Street Center announce program totals for 2016 including local community program milestones.

“Since joining the Oklahoma Main Street Center last August, I’ve seen first-hand the hard work and dedication of the state’s Main Street programs to the revitalization of their communities and historic areas,” said Buffy Hughes, Oklahoma Main Street Center director. “Despite the trying economic times felt by all Oklahomans, in 2016 Main Streets across the state saw $63 million in total reinvestment spending, 130 building renovations, and citizens volunteered more than 81,000 hours for a variety of projects.  Entrepreneurs continue to recognize the vitality and value of historic commercial districts and responded with more than 150 business openings, relocations, and expansions creating over 500 jobs. We are proud of all the time and effort the program directors, board of directors and numerous volunteers contribute to the success of their local programs.”

2016 community highlights include private reinvestment numbers and the year each was accepted into the state program:

·         Main Street of Perry (1995) -- $10 million

·         Main Street Prague (1996) -- $10 million

·         Bartlesville Main Street (2010) -- $15 million

·         Claremore Main Street (2002) -- $15 million

·         Main Street Muskogee (2008) -- $30 million

·         Ponca City Main Street (1987) -- $30 million

·         Sapulpa Main Street (1990) – $30 million

·         Main Street Enid (1994) - $40 million

In addition to the community news, information gathered for 2016 from the 30 active Main Street Communities including three urban areas as well as five associate programs includes:

·         More than $63 million in both private and public reinvestment

·         More than 130 building façade renovations

·         More than 81,500 volunteer hours

·         Nearly 560 jobs

·         More than 150 business openings, relocations or expansions

Cumulative numbers for the entire statewide program since 1985 include:

·         More than $1.5 billion in both private and public reinvestment

·         More than 4,700 façade rehabilitations

·         Nearly 1.4 million volunteer hours

·         More than 18,100 jobs

·         Nearly 5,300 business openings, relocations or expansions

The Oklahoma Main Street Center is one of 42 state coordinating programs around the nation. As a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, more than 2,000 Main Streets across the nation are committed to historic preservation-based community revitalization.  Through education, outreach, and training, the National Main Street center has equipped these local programs to operate using the Main Street Four Point Approach™ including Organization, Design, Promotion and Economic Restructuring.

For more information on the Main Street Program call 405-815-6552 or log onto www.OKcommerce.gov/mainstreet.




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