Local News Archives for 2017-05

AAA Travel Projections for Memorial Day Holiday

AAA projects 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend. That is one million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005. The 2017 forecast is 29 percent higher than the 2009 post-recession low of 30.5 million. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 25 to Monday, May 29.

“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending and many of us are putting that extra cash into travel over the holiday.”

2017 Projected Memorial Day Holiday Travelers

Total Population
2017 Travelers
Percent of population traveling
Percent change vs. 2016
U.S.  –  TOTAL
 325.4 million*
 39.3 million
U.S.  –  Auto
 88.1% will travel by car
 34.6 million
U.S.  –  Air
 7.4% will travel by air
 2.9 million
*U.S. Census Bureau/IHS Global Insight

2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than last year.
34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year.
2.9 million Americans are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 5.5 percent over last year.
1.75 million Americans, an increase 2.9 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.

While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015, the vast majority of holiday travelers (88.1 percent) are still planning to hit the road. Automobile travel will grow by 2.4 percent this Memorial Day, with 34.6 million Americans planning a holiday road trip. The national average price for a gallon of gas was $2.34 per gallon yesterday, 12 cents more than last year.

More Americans are planning to rent cars for their holiday road trips this year. AAA’s car rental bookings are 19 percent higher than last Memorial Day. According to Hertz, the busiest day for car rental pick-ups is expected to be Friday, May 26, based on last year’s data.

Large increases in flying and travel by other modes this Memorial Day
While road trips continue to reign supreme for Memorial Day, more Americans will fly, ride the train or bus, or take a cruise vacation compared to last year. Air travel is expected to increase 5.5 percent over last year, with 2.9 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 2.9 percent, to 1.75 million travelers.


OHFA Board of Trustees Approve Federal and State Reservations of Affordable Housing Tax Credits

During its May meeting, Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency’s Board of Trustees approved federal and state reservations of Affordable Housing Tax Credits to build or rehabilitate affordable housing in Oklahoma.

The following developers received tax credits. The amount listed is received each year for the first 10 years of a project’s operating period. For example, a $500,000 reservation results in a total tax credit award of $5 million.

$510,408 reserved for Mockingbird Estates, LP for the construction of 72 apartments to be known as Mockingbird Estates in Stillwater. This development also received $510,408 in state tax credits.

As Oklahoma’s largest provider of affordable housing, OHFA offers nine housing programs ranging from “OHFA Advantage” for home ownership to housing development and rental assistance. For more information about OHFA and its programs and services, visit www.ohfa.org.



City of Stillwater Discovers Unauthorized Use of City Computer Containing Sensitive Personal Information

The City of Stillwater has announced that an unauthorized party had access to a city computer over a period of 22 days. This computer contained records with personal information for people who were issued citations for violations of city ordinances — with the exception of parking tickets — between March 15, 2015, and May 16, 2017.

According to Sherry Fletcher, director of marketing and public relations, “The hacked computer contained no financial information; however, some personal information, such as names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and in some cases social security numbers were potentially accessed.”

When it discovered evidence of misconduct, the City notified law enforcement of the issue and secured the computer. The City is also reviewing its overall information technology system in an effort to mitigate further issues.

“We take citizen privacy seriously and regret any inconvenience this incident caused,” Fletcher said. “We believe about 3,000 people were affected.”

The City has mailed letters to the most recent address for each person affected as required by the federal Security Breach Notification Act.

“In the meantime, if you received a citation during this timeframe and would like to check if your name is on that list, call 405.533.8525 or visit the City’s website at http://stillwater.org/page/home/government/departments-divisions/municipal-court/information-check and complete an online form. We will need your name and a telephone number so we can call you back,” she said.

If you believe an unauthorized party accessed your personal information, the City recommends you take the following steps:

Contact one of the national credit reporting agencies below and ask for a fraud alert on your credit report. There are two types of fraud alerts you can place on your credit report to put your creditors on notice that you might be a victim of fraud: an initial alert and an extended alert. You may ask that an initial fraud alert be placed on your credit report if you suspect you are, or are about to be, a victim of identity theft. An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for at least 90 days. You may have an extended alert placed on your credit report if you are already a victim of identity theft with the appropriate documentary proof. An extended fraud alert stays on your credit report for seven years. The City of Stillwater does not have authority to do this for you, as the credit bureaus must have your permission to set up the alerts.

You can place a fraud alert on your credit report by calling the toll-free fraud number of any of the three national credit reporting agencies listed below.

Equifax: 1.888.766.0008, www.equifax.com

Experian: 1.888.397.3742, www.experian.com

TransUnion: 1.800.680.7289, fraud.transunion.com

Request a copy of your credit report and carefully review the report for any activity that looks suspicious. You can get a free copy of your credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com, by calling toll-free 1.877.322.8228, or by mailing an Annual Credit Report Request Form (available at www.annualcreditreport.com) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105282, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281.

Report any suspicious activities on your credit reports to your local police or sheriff’s office and file a police report. Keep a copy of this police report in case you need it to clear your personal records.

Learn about the Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft programs at www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft or contact the Federal Trade Commission’s toll-free Identity Theft helpline at 1.877.ID.THEFT (1.877.438.4338); TTY: 1.866.653.4261.


Erin Brockovich To Host Community Meetings Next Month

Environmental and consumer advocate Erin Brockovich will host two community meetings to discuss earthquakes in Oklahoma.

The meetings will take place in Stillwater and Shawnee. Brockovich, along with Weitz & Luxenberg and economic experts will meet with local residents affected by human-induced earthquakes and discuss the health, safety and economic impacts of earthquakes caused by fracking wastewater injection and current litigation underway, event organizers said.

Oklahoma legislator Cory Williams will join Brockovich in his hometown of Stillwater to speak with residents about their concerns.

Stillwater meeting

6:30 p.m. on June 6

OSU Stillwater, Theater – 203 Student Union, 301 South Hester Street.

Shawnee meeting

6:30 p.m. on June 7

St. Gregory’s University, Sarkeys Performing Arts Center, 1900 West MacArthur Street.


Cleveland Police Arrest Two In Connection With Pharmacy Burglaries

Cleveland Police have arrested two people they believe are connected to two pharmacy burglaries.

Police Chief Clint Stout said a tip came in leading investigators to a home of Catherine Reid, 39, and Jeremy Reid, 41, on the 400 block of West Kiowa in Cleveland.

Investigators served a search warrant at the house and Stout said investigators found stolen prescription medication from Hillcrest Pharmacy in Pawnee, which was burglarized in April.

Stout said investigators also found several items that link the Reids to the March burglary at the Palace Drug Pharmacy. In that case, the pharmacy was set on fire.

Catherine and Jeremy Reid are both facing charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen property charges.

Stout said Jeremy Reid was also booked on an obstruction complaint. Stout said Jeremy Reid told investigators he had more information, but refused to give that information to police unless he could stay home with his wife and children for a few more days.

The DHS took the Reid’s 14-year-old and 17-year-old children. Stout said the teenagers will be placed in the custody of a family member.

Stout said it’s likely more charges will be added, including burglary and arson.  He also said the Reids' vehicle matches the vehicle used in in a burglary at a Drumright pharmacy.

Stout said Catherine Reid has an open case out Payne County where she’s accused of forging prescriptions.


ODOT Releases List of Construction Projects That Will Impact Travel In Time For Holiday


The following construction projects will impact travel on major highways and interstates Friday, May 26, through Tues., May 30. For turnpike information contact the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority at 405-425-3600 or visit pikepass.com. For daily traffic advisories next week, visit www.odot.org.

I-35 narrowed at Fountain Road near Tonkawa, Kay Co.
I-35 narrowed to one lane each direction at Fountain Road (mm 211). Fountain Road is closed over I-35 for bridge reconstruction.

I-35 narrowed at SH-15 near Billings, Noble Co.
I-35 is narrowed to one lane each direction at SH-15 (mm 203). SH-15 is closed over I-35 for bridge reconstruction.

I-35 narrowed near Perry, Noble Co.
I-35 is narrowed to one lane each direction nearly 2 miles south of US-77 (near mm 183) near Perry for bridge rehabilitation.

SH-51 and US-177 narrowed in Stillwater, Payne Co.
SH-51 (Sixth St.) is narrowed to one lane in each direction between Monroe St. and Perkins Rd. and US-177 (Perkins Rd.) is narrowed to one lane in each direction at SH-51 in Stillwater for bridge and intersection reconstruction.

SH-51 narrowed between Stillwater, SH-18, Payne Co.
SH-51 is narrowed to one lane in each direction between Fairgrounds Rd. and Brush Creek Rd. about two miles east of US-177 in Stillwater for a bridge rehabilitation project over West and East Brush creeks. Additionally, just to the east SH-51 remains narrowed to one lane with temporary traffic signals two miles east of SH-18 near Yale over Salt Creek.

US-64 narrowed north of US-412, Pawnee Co.
US-64 is narrowed to one lane with temporary traffic signals in place approximately one mile north of the US-412 junction near Morrison for bridge rehabilitation.

SH-48 narrowed in Creek, Pawnee Cos.
Drivers can expect various lane closures on SH-48 between SH-51 and US-412/US-64  in Creek and Pawnee Counties for a resurfacing project.



Route 66 In Danger of Being Dropped From National Park Service Preservation Program

Route 66, the historic American roadway that linked Chicago to the West Coast, soon may be dropped from a National Park Service preservation program.

A federal law authorizing the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is set to expire in two years and with it would go millions of dollars in grants for reviving old tourist spots in struggling towns.

Landmarks Illinois director Frank Butterfield says small communities across eight states, including Oklahoma could miss out on much needed economic development funding.

The program has helped finance projects like the Firestone Station restoration in Bristow and the Arcadia Round Barn restoration.

Decommissioned as a U.S. highway in 1985, Route 66 connected tourists with friendly diners and motor lodges in small towns.

Route 66 is located south of the Stillwater area in Creek and Lincoln counties from east of Bristow through Stroud and Chandler west to near Luther.


Oklahoma Storm Victims Urged to Be Wary of Insurance Scammers

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is urging storm victims to be on the lookout for scam artists. The Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Division has received complaints about suspicious phone calls to storm victims in Elk City and Perkins. The perpetrators falsely claim to represent several well-known insurance companies. Then the caller demands to inspect the consumer’s roof and refuses to take no for an answer.

“These con artists are the lowest of the low,” said Doak. “They prey on disaster victims at a time when they’re emotionally vulnerable, stressed out and dealing with an unfamiliar situation. By giving consumers a heads up, we hope they can better protect themselves.”

Currently, there are no reports of consumers losing money to the scam. The known victims have ended the calls before the scammers made demands for money. The scammers provided a local phone number but it is no longer in service.

In addition to phone calls, scammers may also go door-to-door offering goods or services. Commissioner Doak offered the following tips to avoid fraud after a disaster:
    Require references and check them out
    Only work with licensed and insured contractors.
    Get more than one estimate. Don’t be pushed into signing a contract right away.
    Get everything in writing; cost, work to be done, time schedule, guarantees and payment schedule.
    Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license. Write down their license number and plate number.
    Never sign a contract with blanks. Fraudsters may enter unacceptable terms later.
    Never pay anyone in full until the work is completed.

Consumers concerned about insurance fraud are encouraged to call the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071.


Father and Son Arrested Early Wednesday Morning In Connection with Pipe Bombs

Police arrested a father and son early Wednesday morning in connection with two pipe bombs found in an SUV at the Creek County Courthouse.

Officers say surveillance video led them to Berry and Christopher Nichols as police found the blue Chevy pickup they believe the men were driving.

Officers say the suspects slashed a woman's tires then put two pipe bombs in the console of her s-u-v.

Authorities safely removed the bombs Tuesday night.

No one was hurt.

Detectives say the father, Berry Nichols,  was previously involved in another case with the victim and was charged with shooting with intent to kill.

Police say the father confessed, saying he and his son were trying to scare the woman.

The pair now faces multiple charges.


OASA Honors Twenty Oklahoma School Superintendents

The Oklahoma Association of School Administrators (OASA) announces the selection of twenty school superintendents from across the state as the 2017 OASA District Superintendents of the Year from their respective OASA district.

“These superintendents have been selected by their colleagues for their service, leadership and accomplishments. We congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition,” Dr. Pam Deering, Executive Director of CCOSA/OASA stated.  

These administrators will be recognized at the OASA awards banquet on Wednesday, June 7 at the annual Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA) Summer Conference. They will be honored by colleagues, along with the District Assistant Superintendent/Central Office Administrator of the Year finalists who were also announced this month. The conference will be held June 7-8 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center in Norman.

“To be selected as an OASA district winner, these administrators are required to meet certain criteria such as maintaining and encouraging high expectations of students and staff, exhibiting strong leadership skills, professionalism, involvement in professional activities, and playing an active role in their communities,” Deering said.

The 2017 OASA District Superintendents of the Year from the Stillwater area are:

District #4 — Ned Williams, Pawnee

and District #8 — Matt Posey, Oilton

These twenty superintendents are eligible for the title of 2017 Oklahoma Superintendent of the Year. The state winner will be announced at the CCOSA Summer Conference during the morning general session on June 7. The Oklahoma Association of School Administrators is under the umbrella of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration. CCOSA is an incorporated, non-profit organization serving over 2800 superintendents, assistant superintendents, central office administrators, principals, and special education directors.


'Click It Or Ticket' Campaign To Be Held By Multiple Police Agencies Through June 4

The "Click It Or Ticket" campaign kicks off today with over 10,000 agencies nationwide participating. The campaign keeps coming back because not buckling up while driving remains alarmingly popular.

In 2015, 223 people Oklahomans died in wrecks while not wearing a seatbelt. Out of those 223, eighty-seven were totally ejected from the vehicle.

At least 20 law enforcement agencies across the state have committed to the effort. Agencies taking part in the campaign will be taking no excuses in enforcing seat belt law and will be writing tickets day and night.

The campaign will run through June 4.


Portion of Highway 77 To Be Renamed After Late Logan County Deputy

Last Friday, Governor Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 166 into law which will make a portion of Highway 77 to be
renamed for the late Logan County Deputy Sheriff David Wade.

State Representative John Pfeiffer (R-Orlando) added the floor amendment to the bill on April 24.

The Deputy Sheriff David Wade Memorial Highway will begin at the municipal limits on the south side of Mulhall and extending southward to the municipal limits on the north side of Guthrie

The law will become effective November 1, 2017.

Deputy Wade was serving an eviction notice at a residence when he was shot and killed by a suspect, who was later captured following a manhunt.

Wade was born in Guthrie. He served in the Oklahoma National Guard, and was deployed to Bosnia as part of global peacekeeping missions. He attended the University of Central Oklahoma before embarking on his career in law enforcement. He was an officer for the Cashion Police Department before becoming a Logan County Sheriff’s Deputy.


Learn Computing and iPhone Skills in Classes Held by Stillwater Public Library and Meridian Technology Center

The Stillwater Public Library and Meridian Technology Center (MTC) are partnering to bring a new option to community members who want to learn computing and iPhone skills. “Meridian @ Your Library” takes place June 2-Aug. 25 at the library and includes a mix and match set of both free and a few low cost classes.

“For many years, we have worked with instructors at MTC to coordinate classes and tutoring to best suit community learners,” said Lynda Reynolds. “This summer, we think we have hit on a fantastic combination pairing the amazing instructors from MTC with the easy access and comfort of the library.”

“Meridian @ Your Library” takes place on Fridays from 9:30-12:30 p.m. in the library’s first floor computer lab. Classes include:

June 2: First Steps in Using Your iPhone - FREE
June 23: Creating and Sharing Videos with Your iPhone - FREE
July 7: 5+ Tips for Taking Great Photos with Your iPhone - FREE
July 14: Free Storage Solutions for Your iPhone Videos & Photos - $29
July 28: Put the Power of Windows 10 in Your Hands - FREE
Aug. 4: 7 Strategies for Organizing Files on Your Windows 10 Computer - $29
Aug. 11: Beginning Steps for Using Facebook - FREE
Aug. 25: Staying Connected using Facebook on Your iPhone - $29

“Community members are always welcome to contact the library to sign up for our one-on-one computer tutoring,” said Reynolds. “But we urge beginners to take advantage of this great opportunity to work with MTC’s highly qualified instructors.”

To register for classes or get additional information, use the “Register Here” link at http://library.stillwater.org/computer_classes.php, or call MTC’s Computer Training Services at 405-377-3333.

“Meridian @ Your Library” is part of the summer reading activities scheduled for adults. For more information about Adult Summer Reading, contact the Stillwater Public Library by phone at (405) 372-3633 or by e-mail at askalibrarian@stillwater.org or visit the web site at http://library.stillwater.org.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.).


ODOT Announces Temporary Road Closure as Part of Current Construction


Northbound and southbound US-177 (Perkins Rd.) will close just to the north of SH-51 (Sixth St.) from 6 a.m. Tuesday to 5 p.m. Friday for utility line relocation necessary to complete the next milestone of the $7.4 million pavement and bridge replacement project.

Northbound motorists still may access SH-51 (Sixth St.) but will not be able to travel north of the intersection during this time. Additional closures may be necessary to keep the project on target for an early fall completion timeline after several unexpected utility relocation delays.

Motorists are advised to plan for delays and congestion in this area and to use Hall of Fame Ave., Main St. and SH-51 as a local detour.


AAA Reports Average Pump Prices For The State

AAA Oklahoma reports the state’s pump price average is $2.10 per gallon for regular, the same price the blend has been fetching for six consecutive days.

“It’s kind of funny,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “There are a number of factors pushing and pulling gasoline prices right now, but for every one that is putting upward pressure on prices, there’s another that is keeping prices low.”

AAA projects that more than 34 million Americans are planning to take a road trip this Memorial Day weekend– which is 800,000 more drivers than last year. The rise in road travel could pressure pump prices to continue to increase into the summer months, potentially returning to the higher national averages seen in April.

Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline

Tulsa – $2.04, down 6 cents from one month ago … unchanged from 5/22/16
OKC – $2.10, down 6 cents from one month ago … up 1 cent from 5/22/16
Oklahoma – $2.10, down 7 cents from one month ago … up 1 cent from 5/22/16
U.S. – $2.36, down 6 cents from one month ago … up 8 cents from 5/22/16

The nation’s top ten markets with the most expensive gas: California ($3.06), Hawaii ($3.06), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73), Nevada ($2.72), Pennsylvania ($2.57), Idaho ($2.54), Washington, D.C. ($2.54) and Connecticut ($2.50).

After a strong finish to last week’s trading, crude made strong gains this morning (May 22) and stayed above $50/bbl. The jump is due to a weaker dollar and comes ahead of OPEC’s meeting on Thursday in Austria to discuss extending the already agreed upon production cuts through the remainder of the year – and possibly through the first quarter of 2018. In fact, OPEC is seeking to include additional countries in the agreement to deepen its impact on the global market, as Iran and smaller export nations examine potential cuts.

Domestic stockpiles of crude oil have fallen a bit lately but are still above five-year averages.

Only time will tell if OPEC’s actions will curtail growing inventories, especially as the U.S. continues to benefit from historic rates of exploration. Last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., oil rigs in the US are up 8 to 720. Unprecedented growth in the exploration sector will continue to put new oil in the production pipeline for refineries. If gas prices continue to increase, refiners will capitalize on the potential to expand profit margins and continue producing record amounts of gasoline. With Memorial Day around the corner, these dynamics and growing demand could lead to higher prices at the pump for road travelers.


City of Stillwater Makes Transition Back To Traditional Processes For Disinfecting Public Water Supply

The City of Stillwater transitions back to its traditional chloramine disinfection process on Monday, May 22. The switch from free chlorine to chloramines is estimated to take two weeks.
Use of chloramines was temporarily interrupted in March after the water treatment plant ammonia system required emergency repairs. The City made a temporary switch to free chlorine disinfection and took the opportunity to perform a preventative free chlorine flush of the system.
“This type of flush is conducted routinely at drinking water systems across the nation,” Water Resources Director Bill Millis said. “As always, the water is safe to drink and use.”
Staff monitored residual levels during the process and found improved performance in many areas, indicating a successful free chlorine flush.
“These improvements are expected to reduce the amount of flushing our crews would have otherwise performed during the summer, saving staff hours and conserving water,” Millis said.
Customers might notice changes in taste and odor during the switch. Allowing the water to run through faucets for a short period before use could minimize taste or odor issues. City staff will flush water lines extensively, so some customers might experience periods of low pressure.

If you have additional questions, contact Water Treatment Superintendent Doug Carothers at 405.533.8492.


Over 195 Oklahoma Cities Donate To The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma For 'Stamp Out Hunger' Event

Over 21,247 pounds of food were collected in Stillwater as part of the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. On Saturday, May 13 letter carriers in more than 195 central and western Oklahoma cities helped “Stamp Out Hunger” by collecting donations from residents on their mail routes.  In Stillwater, donations benefit COCAA, The Salvation Army and The Storehouse in partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

“I want to thank the letter carriers and everyone who made a donation to help fight hunger in our state,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  “Thanks to your support we will have more food available to help feed our hungry neighbors. Thank you for your generosity.”

If you missed your letter carrier, donations can be dropped off at your local post office through May 30. Monetary donations can also be made online at feedinghope.org, by calling 405-600-3136 or by mail at Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Attn: Letter Carriers’ Food Drive, PO Box 270968, Oklahoma City, OK, 73137-0968.  

For every dollar donated, the Regional Food Bank is able to provide the equivalent of five meals.  A $10 donation will provide 50 meals, or a $25 donation will provide 125 meals.  

Final donation totals will be announced on June 26.


Hundreds of Stillwater Elementary Students to Participate in National Public Works Week

Hundreds of Stillwater elementary students will participate in National Public Works Week May 21–27 as city employees bring the big trucks to their schools.

The City is hosting these Touch-a-Truck events at Stillwater elementary schools to teach children about how public works jobs serve the community.

"We think the elementary students will love to see inside some of our large trucks and equipment,” Operations Manager Mark White said. “They will be able to use the joy stick that lifts the trash carts and see other cool vehicles."

The trucks will visit Highland Park and Westwood elementary schools on May 22 and Will Rogers and Sangre Ridge elementary schools on May 23.

Stillwater City Council also honored city employees with a proclamation at its regular meeting on Monday, May 15.

The City of Stillwater is a member of the American Public Works Association (APWA) and is proud to celebrate APWA National Public Works Week, which is observed annually the third week in May.
This year’s theme is "Public Works Connects Us," which showcases how public works provides, maintains, and improves the structures and services that assure a higher quality of life for our community. It salutes the tens of thousands of public works professionals who work to strengthen the bond that keeps us all connected.

“National Public Works Week is a great opportunity to recognize the hard work and dedication of public works professionals in our community,” said Operations Field Services Supervisor Sean Eisensmith, who helped organize the week’s events.


City of Stillwater CFO Reports On Sales Tax Collections

City of Stillwater Chief Financial Officer Melissa Reames said this month's sales tax collections exceeded collection for the same month last year by $7,039 (0.31 percent). However, sales tax receipts overall are below budget by $459,431.68 (1.75 percent) and behind last year to date by $548,584.13 (2.08 percent).
“While we welcome the small bump in sales tax collection, the yearlong trend is still downward,” Reames said. “We continue to monitor the city’s budget and encourage staff to deliver exceptional yet efficient municipal services.”
Merchants remit sales tax collected monthly to the Oklahoma Tax Commission on behalf of the City of Stillwater. May’s sales tax receipts represent sales from March.
Reames said use tax continues to exceed expectations with receipts for May exceeding the same month last year by $52,290.64 (52.70 percent), over budget by $404,650.23 (41.60 percent) and ahead of last year-to-date collections by $261,752.58 (23.46 percent). The positive variance on use tax will offset the negative variance on sales tax.
Cigarette tax receipts are down $1,858.18 (7.09 percent) from the same month last year and down $8,381.10 (2.68 percent) year-to-date compared to last year and under budget $5,034.64 (1.62 percent).
Lodging tax collection is up $11,164.30 (20.94 percent) from the same month last year, up $56,480.48 (9.48 percent) year-to-date and over budget by $86,838.26 (15.35 percent).


Broken Arrow Man Dies After Multi-Vehicle Collision Friday Evening

A Broken Arrow man died Friday evening after a crash on the Turner Turnpike involving his truck, another tractor-trailer rig, a car and a pickup, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

The crash occurred just before 11 a.m. in the turnpike's eastbound lanes near the Bristow exit.

Jackie Douglas Jones, 66, of Broken Arrow died at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where he was taken after the crash. Troopers said his 1996 Freightliner truck struck another truck from behind in the four-vehicle crash, which occurred during a rainstorm.

The other truck, a 2016 Westernstar tanker truck driven by Jaylene Cybil Taylor, 40, of Oklahoma City, was headed east in the inside lane when a 2016 Mazda CX5 driven by Zachary Rae Johnson, 28, of Norman passed it in the outside lane, troopers said. The Mazda hydroplaned into the median wall, and the tanker truck stopped to avoid hitting the car.

The Freightliner was unable to stop and crashed into the back of the tanker truck, running under its trailer, troopers said. The tanker truck then hit the Mazda, and a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado that was in the outside lane struck the Freightliner.

Jones was pronounced dead at the hospital about 5 p.m., the OHP reported. Taylor, the other truck driver, reportedly was not injured.



Two Children Involved In Motor Vehicle Accident Friday In Good Condition



On Friday, May 19th at approximately 3:43 pm. officers with the Stillwater Police Department responded to 1515 North Cimarron Plaza in reference to a reported motor vehicle accident with injuries involving two pedestrians.

When officers arrived on scene they found a 2017, Hyundai, Tucson, 4 door, SUV on the sidewalk in front of Wall's Bargain Center and two children, a male age 4 and a female age 7,  who were injured.  The male child was transported to the Stillwater Medical Center by LifeNet Medical Services and the female child was transport by air ambulance with a preliminary destination of either Oklahoma City or Wichita, Kansas.

The driver of the vehicle was not injured and has been interviewed by officers.

This incident is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the Stillwater Police Department at 405-372-4171.


Intersection of Western Rd. and McElroy Rd. In Stillwater To Temporarily Close

The intersection of Western Rd. and McElroy Rd. in Stillwater will be closed from 6 a.m. Monday through June for grading, paving and traffic signals to be installed at the intersection as part of ongoing construction. Access on Western Rd. to Oklahoma State University facilities still will be accessible to local traffic.

Western Rd. at W. Lakeview Rd. remains narrowed. Motorists are advised to use caution and reduce speed in this area.

The second phase work on Western Rd. from McElroy Rd. north to W. Lakeview Rd. started in November and is expected to finish by summer 2017. Allen Contracting Inc. of Oklahoma City was awarded the $3.9 million second-phase contract in October.



Oklahoma 4-H Foundation Announces Winners of Essay Contest

The Oklahoma 4-H Foundation is excited to announce the top three winners of the Dr. Ron and Linda Sholar Essay Contest. This new opportunity provides participants an avenue to express themselves in regards to the impact of 4-H on their home state of Oklahoma and the influence of 4-H on them personally. The essay contests also encourages the development of excellent skills of written expression.

Among the winners for the 2017 Dr. Ron and Linda Sholar Essay Contest and in Second Place and receiving
a $300 cash award is Preston Prock from the Twin Mounds 4-H Club in Payne County.

The winners were selected through a competitive process from a large pool of statewide submissions and will be given the opportunity to read their essays during the State 4-H Parent/Volunteer Conference that will be held June 24th on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, OK.  

The Oklahoma 4-H Foundation is able to offer this contest due to the support of Dr. Ron and Linda Sholar. Dr. Ron Sholar spent three decades as a Cooperative Extension Specialist and Professor of Plant Science at Oklahoma State University.  In addition to a career in Extension, he served in the US Army and Army Reserve for 39 years before retiring in 2010 as a Major General. Mrs. Linda Sholar spent her professional career as a kindergarten teacher in the Stillwater, OK public school system where she was dedicated to instilling a life-long love of learning in her students

The Sholars strongly support youth development programs that encourage the recognition of excellent communication skills critical for success.

“The Sholar family support gives our Oklahoma 4-H members an additional opportunity to showcase their skills and talents,” said Oklahoma 4-H Foundation President Jan Kunze. “We could not be more thrilled to be recognizing our first set of essay contest winners.”

The Oklahoma 4-H Foundation provides a private, non-profit source of support to the mission and goals of 4-H youth development at all levels in Oklahoma. The 4-H Foundation is dedicated to supplying financial resources to meet the needs of an ever changing diverse population, and relies on individual, corporate and foundation partners to achieve these goals.

To learn more about the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation or donate online go to: http://4h.okstate.edu/Foundation.


Stillwater Regional Airport Recognized For Outstanding Service

Stillwater Regional Airport was recognized once again for outstanding service with three statewide honors this past month.

Stillwater Regional Airport Director Gary Johnson and Operations Chief David Lyons were honored with the Partnership Award from Team Oklahoma of the Transportation Security Administration (DHS-TSA) at its second quarter awards and recognition ceremony on April 13. This award recognized Johnson and Lyon’s exceptional work to support the TSA agents serving at the airport.

The airport and Johnson were awarded again at the 2017 Oklahoma Airport Operators Association conference, where they received distinction as the Airport of the Year and Airport Manager of the Year, respectively. The conference was held April 23-26 in Stillwater.

“Thank you to all the airport and City of Stillwater team members, and our air service department and support team who all contributed to making this recognition possible,” Johnson said. “This is a testament to the hard work so many people have put into making the airport a success, especially since the launch of commercial air service last August.”

American Airlines recognized the airport’s airline team members earlier this year when they awarded Team Stillwater its Customer Cup for outstanding customer service, beating out 69 other small city airports in its category to take the top spot during the fourth quarter of 2016.



Perkins Police Warn Against Fake Money


The Perkins Police Department has received reports recently of people attempting to use novelty movie money at businesses in Perkins. The $100 novelty bill looks identical to the authentic, but says "FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY" and "FOR CINEMATIC USE ONLY" in multiple spots. Police say they encourage citizens and businesses to be extra vigilant in watching for this "prop" money.

If someone attempts to use this fake money to buy anything, contact the Police immediately so they can identify the person(s) circulating the bills. Make sure you take down a thorough description of the individual(s) and any information about their vehicle(s).

This type of prop money is accessible for purchase as a novelty item or to be used for film production to look real for the Hollywood scene. This type of money isn’t legal to use or attempt to use for the purchase of any item. If you choose to use prop money to purchase items in Perkins you will be held accountable for committing a crime and could be arrested, charged, and serve jail time for this crime.




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