Local News Archives for 2017-07

UPDATE OSBI Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting in Bristow

Special agents of the OSBI are investigating an officer-involved shooting in Bristow that occurred late Sunday afternoon.

Shawn Dale Sexton fired a shot at an officer as he was fleeing a drive-by shooting he had just committed in Slick. Sexton, of Bristow, spotted the Bristow officer on Highway 48 and shot at the officer, hitting his car.

As Sexton was fleeing, he shot at a driver who was injured by flying debris. That Missouri man was treated and released from a local hospital. During the pursuit an officer shot at Sexton, hitting him in the chest. Sexton then ran into a bridge, wrecking the Jeep he was driving. Sexton was wearing a bullet-proof vest and suffered only minor injuries. Sexton was arrested for numerous felony crimes.

OSBI special agents are investigating both the drive-by shooting in Slick and the officer-involved shooting in Bristow.


A man arrested Sunday after an officer-involved shooting in Creek County was in court Monday.

Shawn Sexton, 25, is charged with seven felonies, including shooting with intent to kill, possession of a firearm and unlawful use of body armor in commission of a felony.

According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Sexton shot at a home on Highway 16 near Slick before leading police on a chase on Highway 48. At one point, OSBI says Sexton fired at a Bristow police officer who returned fire. Sexton was wearing a bulletproof vest so despite being shot his injuries weren't life-threatening.

Sexton was arrested after OSBI says he lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

During the chase, OSBI says Sexton also shot at a truck on the highway. That driver was taken to the hospital.

OSBI isn't sure if Sexton knew the drivers of the vehicles he shot at or if the shootings were random.

Sexton was in court Monday at which time he was charged with five counts of shooting with intent to kill, each with a $200,000 bond. The firearm and body armor charges came with bonds of $50,000 each, bringing Sexton's total bond to $1.1 million.


Stillwater Resident Involved in Police Pursuit


On Friday July 21, 2017, just before 5:00pm Stillwater Police became involved in a short pursuit that ended in the 700 block W. 10th. The driver of the pursued vehicle was 37 year old Stillwater resident Jason Jermaine Gray.

Officers in the Special Projects Unit had been doing surveillance on a suspected drug house when they observed Gray leave the residence in a GMC Terrain.  

The officers followed Gray and attempted to stop him for a traffic violation. Gray ran from the officers leading them on a 6-1/2 minutes chase.  During the pursuit Gray ran a roadblock cutting through a yard and collided with a police vehicle in the 900 blk S. West St. He continued fleeing and eventually stopped in a yard in the 700 blk W. 10th Ave.

Gray resisted officers as they were attempting to handcuff him during the arrest. Gray was arrested for attempting to elude, running a roadblock, resisting arrest and driving under suspension.

The case will forwarded to the Payne County District Attorney's office for their consideration in filing charges.


Pool Party for Dogs Scheduled Sunday, Aug. 13

It’s time for your furry friend to cool off in the pool this summer at the fifth annual Pooches in the Pool. This event is an exclusive pool party for dogs and is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the City of Stillwater Municipal Pool, 801 E. 12th Ave.
Admission is free for pet owners and costs $3 per dog with a limit of two dogs per owner. All participants are required to register before entering the pool grounds. Registration forms can be downloaded at http://stillwater.org//files/events-rec-/Pooches-in-the-Pool-Registration-Form.pdf.
Pool toys and treats will be provided at the pool, and event organizers ask participants not to bring their toys from home to the pool. All dogs are required to be on a leash except when swimming in the pool as required by City Code (2011, 6-27).
The pool is restricted to only dogs during this event and all dogs must be able to swim without the owner.
“This event gives local dogs a chance to cool off and play with other dogs,” Recreation Supervisor Barbara Bliss said. “It has been a big hit in the past and we look forward to the event this year.”
The pool closes for human patrons on Aug. 13 at 5 p.m.
For more information, call City of Stillwater Parks and Recreation at 405.747.8090.



Oklahoma Organizations Receive Funding to Build or Rehabilitate Rental and For Sale Housing

Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency’s Board of Trustees approved Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) contracts during its July meeting. OHFA is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designated state Participating Jurisdiction.

The following Oklahoma organizations received funding to build or rehabilitate rental and for sale housing:

Midwest Housing Initiatives will build the 62-unit Magnolia Ridge in Stillwater using a $500,000 award. The organization also received $500,000 for the construction of the 24-unit Jasmine Court in Cushing. The properties will be developed in conjunction with Affordable Housing Tax Credits.
Individuals interested in benefiting from these funds should contact the organizations directly.




Guthrie Police Rescue Woman Trapped in Smoky Hotel Bathroom

A woman who was trapped inside of a smoky hotel bathroom was rescued by a Guthrie police officer Friday night.

Fire crews were called to the Holiday Inn Express on Highway 33 around 10:30 p.m.

The woman, according to a witness, said she was being chased by "an individual and a dog and ran into the bathroom to hide."
Inside the bathroom, the woman reportedly set a roll of tissue paper on fire causing the bathroom to quickly fill with smoke.

A Guthrie police officer was near the area when the incident happened.

The officer located the bathroom and then kicked the door open and
both the officer and woman escaped the smoke-filled restroom and were not injured.

The woman was taken to the hospital to be checked out.
There was minor damage to the hotel.

Officials are investigating the case.


Arkansas Dies Thursday Morning In Tragic Tractor-Trailer Accident

A 70-year-old Arkansas woman died Thursday morning after a tractor-trailer rig backed into a motorcycle.

A 2005 Freightliner, driven by Robert Jacka, 63, of Kansas, backed into a 2016 BMW motorcycle about 10:45 a.m. Thursday at a toll plaza near Red Rock, Oklahoma, according to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Report.

The motorcycle driver, Otto Ising, 57, of Arkansas, was able to avoid the reversing rig. However, his passenger, Saundra Gale Linson, 70, of Arkansas, was not able to avoid it.

Troopers state in the report that Linson died from massive injuries sustained in the collision.

Both vehicles had stopped in the eastbound coin lane of the U.S. 412 and U.S. 177 toll plaza. The tractor-trailer rig backed up because Jacka was in the wrong lane.

Troopers state in report that the cause of the collision was improper backing. Linson and Ising were wearing helmets.


Gamma Chapter at OSU Named 2016-17 Undergraduate Chapter of the Year

Gamma Chapter at Oklahoma State University was named the 2016-17 Undergraduate Chapter of the Year during Alpha Pi Omega’s national award ceremony July 15 in Oklahoma City.

To be considered for the award, the chapter submitted a portfolio, highlighting its members’ campus involvement, individual awards and commitment to academics and community service. In addition to volunteering at the Stillwater Humane Society and the annual Remember The 10 run, chapter members regularly co-hosted social stickball and other events for the benefit of the OSU community.

With its members averaging more than five hours of community service per month each, the chapter also earned the Busy Bees of the Year award.

“Gamma Chapter is honored to receive not one, but two awards,” Gamma Chapter President Marly Fixico-Hardison said. “We are thankful for the recognition from our sisters and the Grand Keepers of the Circle. We have put in a fair amount of work this past year to get Gamma Chapter to where it is today. Our success comes from love and determination, not only from us, but from our sisters.”

Fixico-Hardison was also named Honeycomb of the Year, presented to the most outstanding new member nationally. A citizen of the Seminole Nation and a graduate of Seminole High School, Fixico-Hardison is majoring in chemical engineering with an option in biochemistry.

Choctaw Nation citizen Twauna Williams was named PI of the Year. A resident of Durant, Oklahoma, Williams is president of the Delta Pi Chapter, serves on the sorority’s national board and was named to the 2016 NextGen Under 30 Oklahoma list. She is also on the board of directors for the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association’s American Indian Alumni Society.

With more than 100 tribes represented nationwide, Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc., is the country’s largest and oldest Native American Greek-letter organization. Founded on Sept. 1, 1994 at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the sorority strives to provide a support network for collegiate and professional Native women in contemporary society.

 while embracing traditional cultural practices. The chapter at Oklahoma State University was established in November 2002.


Anonymous Alumni Create Veteran Appreciation Scholarship Fund at OSU

An anonymous alumna and her husband have created the Veteran Appreciation Scholarship Fund at Oklahoma State University to benefit veterans and other military-affiliated students on campus. This is the first scholarship fund established specifically to help the veterans or a dependent that qualifies to receive the veteran’s GI Bill benefits.

“What many don’t realize is that GI Bill benefits are limited to 36 months of study, whether they’re used by a veteran or one of the veteran’s dependents,” said Rick Hansen, coordinator of Veteran Student Academic Services at OSU. “This limitation does not always allow our student veterans to reach their educational goals, so this scholarship fund represents a critical first step to help overcome that limitation.”

The largest number of veterans on campus are enrolled in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology seeking degrees that often require more than four years of study, explained Hansen. Additionally, many exhaust their benefits while earning their undergraduate degrees and less than 10 percent have benefits available for their continued education. That often means taking a full or part-time job and extending their college stay. In some cases, such as students studying with the help of the National Guard, tuition is covered, but help is needed in meeting the cost of fees, books and supplies.

Scholarship recipients can be either undergraduate or graduate students at OSU with documented financial need. They must be a U.S. military veteran, reservist, National Guardsman or the dependent of a U.S. military veteran or active duty service member.

“The establishing donors have invited everyone to join in helping build this scholarship so it can serve as many as possible and every donation of any size will be greatly appreciated,” Hansen said.

The scholarship will be funded on a non-endowed basis and that means every donation is especially important to help OSU veterans or other military-affiliated students on campus. You may give online at www.osugiving.com or mail a check to OSU Foundation, 400 S. Monroe, Stillwater OK  74074.

Please designate fund #20-00380 VETERAN APPRECIATION SCHOLARSHIP or give online at:  https://secure.osugiving.com/veteran-scholarships.


Community Members Offering Donations For New K-9 First Responder


Unexpected First Responders!  Community members offering donations for new K-9

On July 12th Stillwater PD lost one of its two K-9 officers, Zena, to a sudden illness. Since that time several members of the community have stepped forward giving donations to help us purchase a new dog. The generosity of those individuals was an unexpected blessing as we debated how we would get a new dog. The actions of those citizens have started a movement.

Still yet, donations continue and one community group is planning to sell T-shirts as a fund-raiser as well as setup fund-raising booth on July 21st at the downtown Friday Food Trucks and Tunes event in block 34. We are over-whelmed by the out-pouring of support.

For anyone wishing to join the effort and make a donation the police department will continue to accept donations to buy another dog. The goal is $15,000.00. Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so directly at the police department.

Make checks payable to the City of Stillwater with the note "K-9 fund" on the memo line. Tax deductible receipts are available.

If you have any questions about anyone soliciting donations for the SPD K-9 fund please call the Stillwater Police Department at 405.372.4171.
Thank you Stillwater!

Cpt. Kyle Gibbs
Stillwater Police Dept. - Services Bureau


City of Stillwater Municipal Pool To Be Closed For Maintenance


The City of Stillwater Municipal Pool will close for maintenance on Friday, July 21. Staff expects to reopen the pool for the evening swim scheduled from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday.
For more information about the Municipal Pool, call 405.747.8090.

The pool is located in Couch Park at 801 E. 12th Ave.


Oklahoma State University Receives Regional Award

Recognizing extraordinary community outreach, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) announced today that Oklahoma State University is a regional winner of the 2017 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

OSU now competes with three other regional winners -- East Carolina University, the University of New Hampshire and Purdue University -- for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which will be announced during the APLU Annual Meeting November 12-14 in Washington, D.C.

The C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award includes a sculpture and $20,000 prize. The three other regional winners will each receive a cash prize of $5,000.

OSU’s Solutions-based Health Innovations and Nutrition Excellence (SHINE) was created in 2006 as a collaboration with the Chickasaw Nation to study nutrition and public health issues identified by Chickasaw citizens – combining cultural, historical and programming knowledge with nutrition and public health expertise. The partnership developed the Eagle Adventure program for children in the first through third grades.

Since 2007, APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have partnered to honor the engagement, scholarship, and partnerships of four-year public universities. The award recognizes programs that demonstrate how colleges and universities have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement missions to become even more involved with their communities. The national award is named for C. Peter Magrath, APLU president from 1992 to 2005.

A team of community engagement professionals judged this round of the award. A second team will pick the national winner following presentations at the 2017 National Engagement Scholarship Conference in September.


May Tax Numbers For City of Stillwater

City of Stillwater Chief Financial Officer Melissa Reames said the City received $2,330,914.91 in sales tax collected for May transactions, which were remitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission in June and apportioned to the City in July. This is $234,464.40 (9.14 percent) below collections for the same month last year and under budget by $262,857.35 (10.13 percent).

According to OTC, the shortfall in sales tax is a timing difference in remittance from 2016 to 2017.

Use tax apportioned to the City in July totaled $169,016.68, which is $56,671.42 (50.44 percent) higher than collections for the same month last year and over budget by $83,813.11 (98.37 percent). Cigarette/tobacco tax apportioned in July exceeded last July by $5,321.48 (19.01 percent) and exceeded budget by $6,827.92 (25.78 percent). Lodging tax finished FY17 ahead of FY16 by $65,045.26 (8.82 percent) and over budget by $102,609.58 (14.66 percent).  


African Community Leaders Get Business and Civic Lessons at OSU

African community leaders are getting business and civic lessons during a fellowship on the OSU campus

Twenty-five African community leaders are spending part of the summer taking part in the Mandela Washington Fellowship on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. OSU was one of 40 institutions selected to host the international program. The program is designed to empower young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa through academic coursework, leadership training and networking opportunities.

The group will be in Stillwater for the rest of the week before ending their time in the US with a trip to Washington D. C. next week.




Neglected Cemetery To Receive Facelift

Honoring America’s Warriors and Team Rubicon Region 6 will host a service project on July 22, 2017 from 0800-1400 at Evansville Cemetery located in Logan County.  The cemetery is privately owned and receives almost no funding for maintenance which can make it difficult at times for the aging owners.  “We received a request to augment military funeral honors at Evansville Cemetery for a USAF Veteran who was interred over the Memorial Day weekend,” said HAW director Scotty Deatherage.  

“On arrival, we noticed the grass was very tall on one side and there were veteran’s graves without flags, that’s when we realized it was segregated”, Deatherage added.

The two organizations have coordinated efforts to recruit volunteers to clear brush, mow, trim trees, clean markers and take the fence down that separates the two sides.  Newly appointed caretaker Gary LeGrande said, “It was a blessing for us to have a group willing to help bring this place the honor and respect it deserves.”  “My wife and step son are buried here,” said LeGrande.  LeGrande also agreed it was time to take the fence down that separates the two sides.

Evansville Cemetery located in Logan County just southwest of Meridian, Oklahoma, was established in 1889, and deeded and recorded in 1895.  The cemetery supported the former Oklahoma ghost town known as Evansville, and continues as a final resting place for descendants.  The cemetery has two sides, a white side, and a black side. There are veterans buried on both sides since the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and post 9/11.


Several Earthquakes Rattle North-Central Oklahoma

The U.S. Geological Survey says several earthquakes have struck north-central Oklahoma, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2.

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain says there are no reports of injury or damage as a result of the Friday morning quakes near Stroud, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) northeast of Oklahoma City.

The 4.2 magnitude quake was recorded shortly before 9 a.m. and was followed by quakes of preliminary magnitude 3.8 and 3.7, in addition to smaller quakes of magnitude 2.9 and two of magnitude 2.7.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission said its induced seismicity department and the Oklahoma Geological Survey are investigating the quakes.

Scientists have linked some oil and gas production in Oklahoma to an uptick in earthquakes, but the frequency of such earthquakes in Oklahoma had dropped recently as the state imposes new restrictions on the injection of wastewater underground.

Oklahoma experienced its largest-ever recorded earthquake in September, a 5.8-magnitude temblor centered in Pawnee.

July 14 quakes and aftershocks near Stroud, Oklahoma:

    4.2 magnitude at 8:47 a.m. at depth of 5 3/4 miles.
    2.7 magnitude at 9:03 a.m. at depth of 3 1/2 miles.
    3.8 magnitude at 9:04 a.m. at depth of 4 1/2 miles.
    3.7 magnitude at 9:17 a.m. at depth of 3 1/2 miles.
    2.7 magnitude at 9:55 a.m. at depth of 4 miles.
    2.9 magnitude at 10:04 a.m. at depth of 2 3/4 miles.

All the quakes occurred 6 to 8 miles north-northwest of Stroud, Oklahoma.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey.


Water Pressure Restored After Several Customers Experience Drop Due to Critical Leak

Stillwater water customers served by the southwest pressure zone noticed a drop in water pressure on Saturday as there was a leak on a critical water transmission main.

The southwest zone serves areas (including rural water service areas) roughly south and west of 19th Avenue and Western Road, as well as areas south and west of 6th Avenue and Country Club Road.

The City requested customers limit their water use to only what is necessary. It took crews several hours to restore service but pressure was
back to normal in most areas by late Saturday night.


Red Rock Man Killed In Hit And Run Incident


On the morning of Sunday, July 9th just before 4:00 a.m.,  Randall Whitehorn, a 64-year-old male from Red Rock, was struck and killed as he walked on US Highway 177 south of Yearling Road in Noble County. The driver of the vehicle that struck Whitehorn left the scene without rendering aid. This location is near the Otoe-Missouri Tribal Casino and Complex.

OHP Troopers have diligently worked the case and, based on evidence found at the scene, believe the vehicle involved to be a 1992-1995 Mercury Sable or Ford Taurus, color unknown. The vehicle likely has damage to the passenger side, front headlight assembly and passenger side outside rear-view mirror.

OHP is asking anyone in the Noble County or surrounding area who has information, or who knows of a vehicle matching this description, to contact OHP Traffic Homicide Investigators by calling 866-OHP-TIPS or emailing OHPTips@dps.ok.gov.



Three-Month Investigation Into Meth Distribution Operation Ends Wednesday With Several Arrests

A three-month investigation of a meth distribution operation ended Wednesday in Bristow with seven people being taken into custody and warrants issued for six more, police said.

The Bristow Police Department, Drug Task Force and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics investigated the sale and distribution of illegal methamphetamine by 13 people, BPD said in a press release.

Bristow Police said Jadaya Tien Edmondson, Tara Nichole Bjornson, Daren Kyle Wood, Montie Lavein Pearson, Anthony Raul Bruner and Aaron Joe Murphy were arrested July 12 on various drug complaints. Tim Bethel was arrested on county warrants, BPD said.

Edmondson, Pearson, Bjornson, Bruner and Murphy were all arrested on complaints of unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a park.

Pearson and Bjornson were also arrested on complaints of maintaining a place for keeping/selling controlled substance, police said.

Wood was arrested for endeavoring to distribute a controlled and dangerous substance.

Police said while they were taking Edmondson into custody, officers located marijuana and meth in her car while her children were in it.

She faces additional charges of possession of meth, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment.

Police said they are still actively seeking six people in the operation.


Cause of Death For OSU Student Released

A Bixby native and Oklahoma State University student Andrew Steadley died from probable cardiac arrhythmia caused by Hashimoto's Disease, according to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office.

Andrew Steadley was found dead Friday, January 2, 2017, at his home in Stillwater. Steadley, 22, was an agri-business major and senior at OSU who was active in student government.

An autopsy report states Steadley suffered from chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto's disease.  According to the Mayo Clinic, Hashimoto's disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid gland.

Heart problems are listed as a possible complication of the disease.


New State Law Aimed at Keeping Drivers Safe Goes Into Effect November 1

A new state law banning drivers from using the left lane unless they are passing will take effect on Nov. 1.

Highway signs reminding drivers to not impede the left lane are popping up across the state.

Under a bill passed in 2016, drivers will only be able to drive in the left lane to pass another vehicle.
Troopers said they called for the bill to help keep drivers safe and keep traffic flowing smoothly.

Violators could face a fine of up to $235.


OSU To Open Community Music School In August

Oklahoma State University will open a brand new Community Music School in August. The 2017-2018 program offerings will include a youth orchestra, youth choirs, a Suzuki program, and a community orchestra. With programs that target almost every age group, the OSU Community Music School will have offerings for everyone.

Students that are between the ages of 4-8 are encouraged to apply for the Suzuki program. The Suzuki program embraces a nurturing environment in which the students, teachers, and parents all work together. Just as children learn to speak through listening, imitation, and repetition, we believe that all children have the ability to learn the musical language.

The OSU Youth Orchestra (OSUYO) is a full symphony orchestra consisting of mostly high school students in string, woodwind, brass, and percussion sections. Repertoire includes many standard masterworks expertly arranged for educational ensembles, as well as original compositions and contemporary works. The OSUYO is conducted by OSU’s Director of Orchestral Studies, Dr. Thomas Dickey, and rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.

The OSU Youth Choirs provide young people the opportunity to sing quality choral music representing a variety of styles, eras, and cultures. Singers will expand their vocal development, enhance their musicianship skills, and experience a variety of traditional and contemporary repertoire appropriate for their age and vocal maturity. This program is open to students in grades 3-12. The OSUYC is conducted by OSU’s Julia Haley and rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

The Stillwater Community Orchestra (SCO) is a non-auditioned ensemble for adults of any age who play a string instrument. The SCO was founded in 2012 to give non- professional musicians an outlet for ensemble performance. The orchestra presents two or more free concerts per year and often collaborates with other ensembles in the Stillwater community. The SCO is conducted by OSU’s Director of Orchestral Studies, Dr. Thomas Dickey, and rehearses on Monday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at Salem Lutheran Church.

To read more and register for any of these programs visit: communitymusic.okstate.edu. For questions, contact the CMS director, Meredith Blecha-Wells at (405) 744-8996.




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