Local News Archives for 2017-09

Six Oklahoma Schools Named National Blue Ribbon Schools

Six Oklahoma schools have been named National Blue Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

One of the schools is in Stillwater: Westwood Elementary School

The schools were part of over 342 awarded the prestigious designation by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVoss. The award is based on student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates.

Also taking home the designation for 2017 are: Edmond's Cheyenne Middle School and Centennial Elementary School, Dove Science Academy in Oklahoma City, Earl Harris Elementary School in Bethany, and Deer Creek's Grove Valley Elementary School.

Each school submitted portfolios summarizing the school's climate, academic strategies and professional development.

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University Receives Gift to Allow Immediate Construction of New Music Education Facility

Philanthropists Michael and Anne Greenwood have made a generous gift to name the new home for the university’s music education programs at Oklahoma State University. In honor of the significant gift, the building will be named the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music. The Greenwoods were recognized for their gift Sunday during a Friends of Music benefit event at the OSU Botanic Garden.

The Greenwoods’ gift will allow construction to start immediately on the new facility, which will be connected to The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts on the southwest corner of University Avenue and Hester Street. Both are expected to debut in the fall of 2019.

The Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music will house a variety of music laboratories, classrooms, rehearsal spaces and premier teaching studios equipped with the latest technology for high-level studio production, offering a premier teaching experience. More than 2,100 students participate in music programs at Oklahoma State, including the OSU Marching Band, orchestra and various chorale groups.

He said their gift, which puts OSU well on its way to reaching its $15 million fundraising goal for the $28 million music building project, will have a broad impact at Oklahoma State University.

The Greenwoods serve on numerous boards and committees at OSU in various volunteer and leadership capacities for colleges across the university. They have supported several programs at OSU with financial contributions, including endowing three scholarships. To recognize and honor their generosity over the years, OSU established the Anne Morris Greenwood Reading Room in the Edmon Low Library and the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center, one of the finest collegiate facilities and home to OSU’s top rated women’s and men’s tennis programs. Anne and Michael are lifetime members of the OSU Alumni Association and were inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 2015.

In addition to the Greenwoods, Hargis also recognized the Edward and Helen Bartlett Foundation for its commitment to the music building and Jonathan Drummond and other donors who made early commitments to the adjoining McKnight Center for the Performing Arts.

Dr. Howard Potter, head of the Department of Music, called OSU’s music programs hidden gems that are rapidly being discovered.

Potter is preparing for OSU to add degree programs in a variety of areas, including Jazz Performance, and for popular existing programs such as Music Industry Business to rise in acclaim because of the Greenwoods’ gift and the opening of The McKnight Center. He expects an influx of applications from around the world after the buildings open in 2019, demonstrating the distinctive offerings and masterclass opportunities from world-renowned visiting artists, including the internationally celebrated New York Philharmonic.

For more information about Oklahoma State’s music programs, visit music.okstate.edu. To learn more about The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, visit McKnightCenter.okstate.edu.

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Oklahoma State Officially Fires Associate Head Coach Lamont Evans Thursday

Oklahoma State officially fired associate head coach Lamont Evans for cause Thursday.

The university announced his termination at 3:45 p.m.

Evans had been suspended with pay since Tuesday. He is one of 10, including four men's basketball assistant coaches, charged in a bribery and corruption investigation by the FBI.

Court documents allege Evans received at least $22,000 in bribes in exchange for influencing student-athletes during his time at South Carolina and Oklahoma State to retain business advisory and/or investment management services from the bribe payers.

Evans voluntarily surrendered to authorities Wednesday and was released on $50,000 bond. His attorney, Trace Morgan, had no comment when he and Evans left U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Evans had been employed by OSU since April 2016, when Brad Underwood hired him to his staff. OSU coach Mike Boynton kept Evans on staff when he was promoted to head coach. Evans was given the title of associate head coach and a $600,000 salary.

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2017 ACTE Region IV Postsecondary Teacher of The Year Named

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has announced Dustin Hicks, Practical Nursing Instructor and Simulation Specialist of Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as the 2017 ACTE Region IV Postsecondary Teacher of The Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical teachers at the postsecondary level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.

Dustin Hicks developed a strong interest in healthcare after losing a grandmother to cancer. After several years of providing patient care in a variety of settings, he noticed that it was not uncommon for nurses to lack a firm understanding of some basic nursing concepts and that often, sub-standard care was being provided. This rekindled an interest in becoming an educator, and in 2005 he joined Meridian Technology Center as a practical nursing instructor where he has led the incorporation of technology in all aspects of the practical nursing curriculum. He facilitated the transformation of the nursing curriculum to a digital format that increased student access to program resources outside of the classroom, and also implemented the use of iPads into the nursing program which provided mobile access to classroom and clinical resources. Furthermore, Hicks has been a leader in developing the use of human patient simulation within the CTE system across the state of Oklahoma. In addition to incorporating simulation into health careers programs at Meridian, he has assisted local medical organizations and emergency medical response agencies in developing multiple training and evaluation scenarios for their employees. Hicks also assisted the Oklahoma Board of Nursing in developing guidelines allowing simulation to be used for a portion of clinical training in nursing education.  Hicks has shared his innovative simulation ideas at state, national, and international conferences and has had two human patient simulator modifications selected by the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) to be published on the National League for Nursing’s “HomeGrown Simulation Solutions” page of their Simulation Innovation Resource Center website.

The impact of Hicks’ innovations is reflected in the success of Meridian’s Practical Nursing graduates: program completers have scored above the national average on their licensing exams for the last two years. Additionally, data from the last five years reflects that program graduates have a 98 percent NCLEX pass rate, 92 percent job placement, 93 percent employer satisfaction and 98 percent graduate satisfaction. As a result of his simulation knowledge and his impact on nursing education at Meridian, Hicks was promoted to Simulation Specialist in addition to his position as a Practical Nursing Instructor.  Dolores Cotton, Practical Nursing Coordinator at Meridian Technology Center, says, “I have been truly blessed to have Dustin on my faculty and consider him both invaluable and irreplaceable.”

Hicks is one of five finalists for the 2018 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on Wednesday evening, December 6, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Awards Banquet is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, the US Army, CareerSafe, Stratasys, and International Baccalaureate.

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Former Creek County Commissioner Pleads No Contest to Embezzlment Charge

Former Creek County Commissioner Rick Stewart was given a one-year deferred sentence and ordered to pay restitution after pleading no contest to one count of embezzlement. Five other counts of embezzlement were dismissed against the former District 2 commissioner.

Stewart was accused in 2014 of using county equipment to repair a private road where his family lived. The case was transferred to Okmulgee County to avoid any conflict of interest issues.

Court records show some residents defended Stewart saying a disabled child also lived on the road, and a bus was unable to pick up the child because of the condition of the road. Another person said he heard Stewart say he only became a county commissioner to fix his own road, an affidavit states.

Stewart pleaded no contest to the one charge and was given four years to pay $10,000 in restitution.

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Stillwater Regional Airport Names New Assistant Director

After nearly 15 years of law enforcement service and seven years of experience in aviation and management education, Paul Priegel is eager to channel his passions for serving Stillwater and aviation as Stillwater Regional Airport’s assistant director.
 
“This is truly a tremendous opportunity,” Priegel said. “Our airport’s growth and progress has only begun and to come in at such a pivotal time and grow along with it is very exciting.”
 
He joins the airport with more than 11 years served with the Stillwater Police Department. He joined the department in 2006 as police officer after previously working for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, and rose to the rank of police sergeant in 2012.
 
During his career with the SPD, Priegel served as a patrol supervisor and remained heavily involved in community and extracurricular activities within the department, including the coordination of the department’s Community Outreach Program and serving as president of Crisis Negotiators of Oklahoma.
 
His experience with aviation is also extensive; he was the airport's law enforcement liaison as it prepared for the new regulations and protocols that were required for commercial air service and earned a master’s degree in Aviation and Space from Oklahoma State University in 2012.
 
“Although I took it for the management and leadership focus to develop my law enforcement profession, this degree inadvertently led me to teaching aviation classes at OSU,” Priegel said. “I am going on my seventh year of teaching, with courses ranging from basic aviation accident investigation to management and security areas concerning security countermeasures, networking and legal and regulations issues.”
 
He added that he will miss serving with the professional group of men and women at the police department and is grateful for the professional development and opportunities he was afforded through the organization.
 
“The airport administration team and myself are very excited to have Paul onboard,” Airport Director Gary Johnson said. “With the airport’s addition of commercial airline services and the growth we are embracing, Paul adds much needed support and balance to our team.”
 
Priegel’s office is at Stillwater Regional Airport at 2020-1 W. Airport Road. His email is ppriegel@stillwater.org.
 
 

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Federal Charges Announce Charges of Fraud and Corruption in College Basketball

Federal prosecutors have announced charges of fraud and corruption in college basketball, including against four assistant coaches.

The coaches work at Oklahoma State, Auburn University, Arizona and the University of Southern California.

Of those charges is Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans. OSU announced that it has suspended Evans as a result of the investigation. The university released the following statement:

“Based on the serious and troubling allegations in the complaint, Oklahoma State University has suspended assistant coach Lamont Evans. We are cooperating with federal officials. We have been in contact with the NCAA and will provide additional information as it becomes available. OSU takes seriously the high standards of conduct expected in our athletic department and does not tolerate any deviation from those standards.”

Lamont is among 10 people charged in New York City federal court. Others included managers, financial advisers and representatives of a major international sportswear company. The details were discussed at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

In court papers, prosecutors said the FBI has since 2015 been investigating the criminal influence of money on coaches and student-athletes who participate in intercollegiate basketball governed by the NCAA.

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City of Stillwater To Host Halloween Festival October 24th

FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:

Join the City of Stillwater for the Stillwater Halloween Festival to be held Tuesday, Oct. 24 in Downtown Stillwater between 7th and 10th avenues.

The festival will run from 5 to 8 p.m. including trick-or-treat with area businesses, restaurants and organizations. Enjoy some of your favorite local food trucks and great music and entertainment. Ghosts and goblins will also enjoy free inflatables and carnival games hosted by Oklahoma State University Recreation Management and Recreational Therapy students.

Special Event Coordinator Stephanie Kinder said, “The Halloween Festival is a family friendly event that brings the entire community out to Downtown Stillwater. Kids will have the opportunity to trick-or-treat, parade their Halloween costumes and enjoy all the fun family activities."

The festival will be working in conjunction with the Stillwater Junior Service League’s Harvest II. “We are asking residents to bring nonperishable food items for donation as their admission. It’s a great way to participate and give back to the community,” Kinder added.

Businesses or organizations interested in hosting a trick-or-treat booth will need to complete an application to participate. The deadline for submitting an application is Friday, Oct. 13. Booth locations will be assigned and available as space allows.

Applications are available at http://stillwater.org/news/view/id/100.

For more information, contact Kinder at 405.533.8435 or email skinder@stillwater.org.

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Oklahomans Currently Paying Third Lowest Prices For Gasoline

Oklahomans are paying the third lowest prices for gasoline in the nation at $2.29 a gallon today, according to AAA Oklahoma. Within the state, consumers are paying as low as $2.02 in Cement and Bray. The lowest recorded price in a metro area is in Yukon where gas is $2.11.

One month after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, motorists are finally seeing consistent declines in gas prices. At $2.57, today’s national average is five cents less than a week ago, 22 cents more expensive than a month ago and 36 cents more than a year ago.

The South and Southeast states are still feeling the lingering pain of Hurricane Harvey. Gas prices are at least 30 cents more expensive than a month ago in Georgia (+44 cents), South Carolina (+39 cents), Alabama (+37 cents), Florida (+36 cents), Mississippi (+32 cents) and Texas (+31 cents).

According to the Department of Energy, Gulf Coast refinery operations were up nearly 10 percent for the week ending September 15. Overall, 10 refineries are operating at reduced rates, while three remain shut down. In addition, the Colonial Pipeline remains on about a seven-day gasoline delivery delay, but they estimate that by the end of the month the pipeline will be returning to normal deliveries.

The nation’s largest monthly increases are: Georgia (+44 cents), South Carolina (+39 cents), Tennessee (+37 cents), Alabama (+37 cents), North Carolina (+36 cents), Florida (+36 cents), Rhode Island (+35 cents), Massachusetts (+35 cents), Connecticut (+34 cents) and New Hampshire (+33 cents).

The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are: Ohio ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27), Oklahoma ($2.29), Indiana ($2.29), Arkansas ($2.35), Kansas ($2.36), Louisiana ($2.36), Kentucky ($2.40), Michigan ($2.41) and Mississippi ($2.42.).

Gas prices are cheaper on the week in all South and Southeast states with a five-cent drop in Florida ($2.67). With more than 4 million bbl of gasoline delivered in response to Hurricane Irma, the majority of Florida gas stations are operating with sufficient supply, according to OPIS.

Georgia ($2.67), Tennessee ($2.51), South Carolina ($2.47) and Alabama ($2.45) are seeing the largest drops. While Oklahoma ($2.29), Arkansas ($2.35) and Louisiana ($2.36) land on this week’s top 10 states with the cheapest gas prices. Traditionally South Carolina leads the country with the cheapest gas, but lost this claim four weeks ago when Harvey hit.

In the region, gas prices are 30 cents more expensive compared to one month ago. However, continued positive refinery news is expected to drive down gas prices in the coming weeks, easing the higher-than-normal gas prices South and Southeast motorists have been paying since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma made landfall.

Six states land on this week’s top 10 states with the largest drops: Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cent), Kentucky (-11 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Illinois (-9 cents) and Missouri (-7 cents).

Six states land on this week’s top 10 states with the least expensive gas: Ohio ($2.27), Missouri ($2.27), Indiana ($2.29), Kansas ($2.36), Kentucky ($2.40) and Michigan ($2.41).

Compared to one month ago, Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-7 cents) and Ohio (-3 cents) are the only three states in the country paying less at the pump. This year, the Great Lakes and Central states have been very volatile – experiencing large jumps one week followed by large decrease the following week. This trend in mind, it is not surprising to see three states are paying less than pre-Harvey gas prices.

Current Price Averages per Gallon of Regular Gasoline

Tulsa – $2.34, up 23 cents from one month ago … up 36 cents from one year ago.

OKC – $2.20, up 13 cents from one month ago … up 19 cents from one year ago.

Oklahoma – $2.29, up 17 cents from one month ago … up 26 cents from one year ago.

U.S. – $2.57, up 22 cents from one month ago … up 36 cents from one year ago.

At the close of Friday’s trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 11 cents to settle at $50.66. Moving into Monday, the price per barrel is poised to stay above $50 as the market looks for signs that the global crude glut is continuing to shrink, which is not the first time this year it has made that move. One important indicator of the crude supply decline is that the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. is reducing. According to Baker Hughes, Inc., the number of active rigs dropped by five to total 744 last week, signaling that drilling operations are reducing in the U.S. and could mean that the U.S. market may tighten in the months ahead. The trend has been continuing for the last few weeks. As the impact of Harvey and Irma continues to subside, this week's EIA report may provide more accurate information on the current state of draws from oil inventories and give the market more signs of less supply available for the production of refined products like gasoline.

Last week, the price per barrel moved above the $50 per barrel mark after the market watched OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting in Vienna. The JMMC is charged with monitoring the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut global production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd). The JMMC’s analysis showed that compliance in August was 116 percent of their pledged oil output cuts, which is up from 94 percent in July. According to OPEC, the cartel’s strategy is working and is helping global crude inventories to move closer to their five-year average. This move has led the price per barrel of oil to continue moving upward, as it has since issuance of this report last Monday. OPEC’s next formal meeting will be held on November 30 in Vienna, where parties that are a part of the production reduction agreement may decide to deepen and extend the current agreement beyond March 2018.

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Oklahoma Attorney General Announces Recipients of 2017 Safe Oklahoma Grant

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter Friday announced the recipients of the 2017 Safe Oklahoma Grant, which distributed more than $1.3 million between 22 statewide law enforcement agencies.

Law enforcement officials joining General Hunter at the announcement were Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes, Moore Assistant Chief Todd Strickland, Spencer Police Chief Allen Lane and Lincoln County Sheriff Charles Dougherty. The three agencies received 2017 grant money and spoke on what the additional resources would be used for.

Attorney General Hunter said the funds will help the agencies directly target crime in their communities, upgrade antiquated equipment or purchase new resources.

The program works by allowing law enforcement agencies to submit proposals to the attorney general’s office stating how the funds will be used to reduce crime. Grants are awarded on a one year basis.

Attorney General Hunter said the grant continues to help both rural and metro-area agencies with basic policing necessities as well as advanced technology to gain intelligence on gang violence.

2017 Grant Area Recipients and Amount Received:

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office - $6,440
 

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Oklahoma Department of Health Departments to Offer Flu Vaccine Beginning October 2nd

FROM THE OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH:

With flu season upon us, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced county health departments will offer flu vaccine statewide beginning Monday, Oct. 2.

Flu vaccination is recommended each year for everyone 6 months of age and older. When more people are vaccinated against the flu, there is less opportunity for flu to spread in families, schools and communities. Cases of influenza hospitalizations have already been reported for this season.

“We are especially encouraging those in the age group of 18-64 to get their flu vaccination,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. “During the 2016-17 flu season, there were 715 hospitalizations and 28 deaths among this age group.”

In addition to getting a flu vaccination, people 65 years of age and older, and those with chronic health conditions, should ask their health care provider about being vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a common and potentially serious complication of the flu. Unlike the influenza vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine does not need to be given every year. This vaccine is also available at county health departments.

County health departments will accept SoonerCare, Medicare, all private health insurance,  cash, checks, or credit cards as payment for flu vaccine. The following fee schedule will apply:

All individuals with health insurance should bring their card. Their insurance company will be billed for the vaccine and an administration fee.
Children 18 years of age and younger who have no health insurance, whose health insurance does not cover flu vaccine, who are eligible for SoonerCare or are Native American or Alaskan natives may receive their vaccine at no charge through the Vaccine for Children Program.
All others will be charged a fee of $25 to cover the cost of the flu vaccine and the cost of administering the vaccine.
 

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OG&E Announces Lower Monthly Fuel Cost Recovery

OG&E announced on Friday that it will lower its monthly Oklahoma fuel cost recovery effective with the first customer billing cycle in October. The average residential customer will see a reduction of $2.70 per month.

The company said the fuel cost reduction stems from its ability to reduce wind-related grid congestion by adding technology that better controls the flow of electricity on its transmission system. Other contributing factors include a milder than expected summer and lower costs for natural gas, which is used to generate electricity. In July 2017, the company raised its fuel factor by about $9.60 to recover approximately $100 million of actual and additional forecasted under- recoveries.

“Grid congestion along with higher than normal actual and forecasted weather contributed to the need to increase the fuel cost recovery in July,” said OG&E spokesman Brian Alford. “Since that increase, we’ve completed the addition of new technology that has improved the flow of electricity on the grid and subsequently reduced the financial impact of that congestion. We also realized a milder than expected summer.”

Alford added that the lower summer temperatures decreased customers’ energy use, which helped offset the need to purchase higher cost power. In addition, a slight decline in natural gas prices contributed to the lower fuel factor.

The cost of fuel used to generate power is passed on to customers without any profit to OG&E, and the amount appears as a line item on customer bills. The company periodically reviews its fuel cost to ensure that it is neither over- or under-collecting its fuel costs.


 

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OSBI Searching For Man Who May Hold 'Crucial Information' In Homicide Case

The Creek County Sheriff and Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation said they want to speak to a man who may have "crucial information" in the case of a man found dead in a ditch Wednesday near Kellyville.

The sheriff's office and OSBI agents said they would like to speak with Robert Firethunder in the homicide investigation.

The body of 18-year-old Nickolas Martinez was found September 20 in a rural area in Creek County.

A homeowner called police at about 3:15 p.m. on September 20 after finding Martinez's body on their property off Highway 66. His body was found covered with a cloth.

Investigators said they believe he was killed within the few days of his body being found.

Investigators are also looking for a light-colored, four-door SUV that they said the victim was last seen in as a passenger.

The Creek County Sheriff urges anyone with information in the case, Firethunder’s whereabouts or for the SUV to contact them at 918-224-4964.

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Payne County Conservation District Announces Funding for New Program

From the Payne County Conservation District:

The Payne County Conservation District is pleased to announce funding for the Monarch Habitat
Initiative Cost Share Program.  Payne County received $26,670 dollars to help producers do conservation
practices out on their land.  We are taking applications until
November 8, 2017. The Program runs through December 31, 2018

Eligibility requirements:
Establish Records with FSA (Located in the same office, very easy to get done)
Sign a Cooperator Agreement with the District (Just a paper saying we will work with you)
Be an Ag Prouder engaged in an Ag practice (livestock, haying, cropping, bees, mushrooms,
gardening for sale of produce are just a few examples.)

Practices that can be implemented within the program:
Brush Management (cutting of cedar trees, spraying of blackberries, sumac, ect....)
Herbaceous Weed Control (Serecia, Musk Thistle ect...)
Conservation Cover (Establishing and maintaining permanent vegetative cover)
Prescribed Burn (controlled fire applied to a predetermined area)
Field Boarder ( A strip of permanent vegetation established at the edge or around the perimeter
of a field)
Riparian Herbaceous Cover (planting and maintaining of dominant vegetation in the transitional
zone between upland and aquatic habitats
Range Planting (Establishing of adapted perennial or self-sustaining vegetation such as grasses,
forbs, legumes, shrubs and trees

Application Process:
Come into Payne Co. Conservation Office and fill out application
A NRCS plan will be written on your land documenting the resource concerns and ways to treat
those concerns (this will include objectives that you want to achieve as well as those that we
may find during the planning process.)
When qualified applicants are approved for a contract you will come sign contract.
When practice has been completed it will be checked out, if approved it will be sent up for
payment.  Payments are based on a number of acres of the implanted practice as well as cost for
work to be completed

We are excited about having this opportunity to help the Ag producer of Payne Co. and ask that if you
are interested to please contact us or if you know someone who might be interested to contact us.
We look forward to a successful program!!!  If you don’t qualify for this particular program we have
several more that we might be able to help you get funded. Those are both Federal and State Programs
that included more practices like pond building, erosion control, prescribed grazing and many more.
 

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OSU Police Department Deploys Patrol Unit to Core Area of Campus

FROM OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY:

The Oklahoma State University Police Department now has a patrol unit dedicated to the core area of campus. Headquarted in the Student Union, the core campus patrol is made up of three officers who patrol the central part of campus on foot, bicycle or Segway between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The new patrol unit has been added to increase the department’s visibility on campus and enhance its interaction with members of the campus community.

Creating this patrol unit in the heart of campus was at the top of Leon Jones’ to-do list when he became OSU Chief of Police on Aug. 1.

 “In order to have effective community policing, officers have to feel they are part of the community,” Jones said. “That is a challenge for our department because our officers don’t live where they work like police officers do in a city or town. So it is important our department be diligent in making sure our officers feel invested in this campus, its students, employees and visitors.”

Lt. Curtis Burns supervises the core campus patrol. He said this patrol is all about building relationships with the members of the campus community through presence, education and enforcement.

“This patrol unit gives OSU police a presence in the most visible part of campus — giving officers the opportunities to educate the campus about safety. And because we maintain a daily presence in the core portion of campus we can respond quickly to situations where a patrol car simply can’t go.”

In addition to the core campus officers patrolling the area, they also have an office space located in room 225 of the Student Union.

“The police department is so appreciative to Assistant Vice President and Director of the Student Union Mitch Kilcrease and his staff,” Chief Jones said. “Their partnership has been vital in making this project get up and running and is important to the success of the patrol unit moving forward.”

 The OSU Police Department is a fully accredited law enforcement agency consisting of 33 sworn officers. The patrol division consists of 16 officers covering OSU’s 2,600 acres of property, which includes Lake Carl Blackwell and the Oklahoma Research Park located along Highway 51.

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Crews Responded Wednesday After Body Was Found In Ditch West of Kellyville

Crews responded on Wednesday after a body was found in a ditch west of Kellyville.

The body was found off of Highway 66. Creek County Sheriff's Office officials said a homeowner in the area spotted the body.

The Creek County Sheriff's Office and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are investigating.

The medical examiner was called to the scene. The person's gender hasn't been released.

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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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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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