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Stillwater's First News with Bill Van Ness
 
 
Conversation opened. 1 read message. FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:FROM THE-------------------------

FROM THE STILLWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT:

At approximately 5:56 am, Saturday, January 15th. Stillwater Police Officers were
dispatched to the area of Virginia and Perkins in reference to a found body.

As officers were arriving, they located a deceased male under the bridge located at 500 East Virginia.

Witnesses said they located the male just prior to notifying SPD. They were unable to provide any further information about how long the male may have been under the bridge.

SPD Criminal Investigations Division and the Medical Examiner’s Office were notified and both responded to the scene. The male was later identified and he has a residence in Stillwater. The death does not appear to be suspicious.

The investigation is ongoing.

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FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:

The City of Stillwater received a generous donation of $86,000 from the Faye Allene Rife Brown Foundation to replace the gymnasium floor in the Stillwater Armory Recreation Center, one of the City’s remaining historic WPA projects. The multiuse center has been utilized for many years by children and adults for various activities and events.

“The generous donation from the Brown Foundation allows us to continue preserving the Armory and utilizing it as a multipurpose recreation center that benefits our entire community,” said Barbara Bliss, Community Resources Manager for the City of Stillwater Parks and Recreation department. “We have already received numerous compliments on the comfort and safety aspects of the new gym floor and the beauty it brings to the facility.”

The Brown Foundation was established to provide charitable contributions to worthy projects that may not otherwise be funded in order to continue building a healthier and safer community.

“The board collectively agreed to support this project due to the sheer number of community members who benefit from this center. The Armory building and SASA provides a cross-generational and equitable safe place for recreation and encourages relationship building within our community,” said Kristine Waits, Brown Foundation Board member.

The Stillwater Area Sports Association (SASA), is a non-profit organization devoted to providing league sports to patrons of Stillwater and surrounding communities. Some of the current activities include after-school programs, pickle ball leagues, adult volleyball and youth basketball.

Carolyn Walstad, SASA Board member, included, “We appreciate the confidence the Brown Foundation has shown in purchasing a new technologically advanced multipurpose floor for the City of Stillwater and SASA. We are pleased the public is able to take advantage of this generous gift for a variety of leisure activities.”

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FROM STILLWATER MEDICAL CENTER:
In response to a record number of positiveCovid-19 cases, and the overwhelming demand on our healthcare system, Stillwater Medical has declared a Code Green, which indicates an external disaster is in effect causing critical internal staffing levels.

“It is important for the public to understand that our resources to provide care for our community are extremely strained right now,” said Shyla Eggers, Director of Public Relations.   “We are seeing a record number of patients daily which has resulted in our Emergency Department, our inpatient units, including ICU, and both of our urgent care locations to be at or over maximum capacity.”

Stillwater Medical is also seeing a record number of healthcare workers out with Covid-19 which has further strained their already stretched staffing resources. Declaring an emergency gives the hospital the ability to put processes into place to consolidate resources, implement crisis strategies, and re-evaluate procedure schedules to assist in the staffing needs of the hospital.

“Testing for COVID-19 is an important step in decreasing the spread and keeping our community safe.” Said Necia Kimber, System Director of Quality and Infection Control. “However, due to large increases in positive cases and patient loads in the Emergency departments and urgent care clinics, we would like to encourage those who are seeking testing only and not medical care to utilize the alternate testing locations.”

Stillwater Medical is pleading with our community members to help reduce the rapid spread of Covid-19 and help alleviate the current strain on all healthcare systems by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public settings.

“If you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms, please follow the CDC recommendations found on their website related to testing and isolation,” said Kimber.

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FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:

On Wednesday, the Stillwater Police Department (SPD) honored Sergeant Steve Hoffman with a ceremonial “walkout” for his 38 years of service. The ceremony included police, fire, elected officials, family, friends, and fellow personnel from city and county offices.

Sgt. Hoffman’s career with the SPD has multiple noteworthy initiatives that provide additional safeguards to residents and visitors. Hoffman was one of the founding members of SPD’s SWAT Team and eventually became a SWAT Team Commander. He served as a Field Training Officer for new officers, served as the department’s Training Coordinator for many years, and was a member of the department’s Honor Guard Unit.

He was a founding member of SPD’s Mounted Unit, whereas officers patrol on horseback for increased visibility, which served the community for many years. The Mounted Unit helped with crowd control and crime prevention during large celebrations such as Oklahoma State University Homecoming festivities and Eskimo Joe’s weekend.

“For more than 38 years, Sgt. Hoffman has been the epitome of who a Stillwater Police Officer should be, unequivocally committed to protecting and serving our citizens. The initiatives he has helped develop have been a safeguard for many years and will continue to be utilized. While his thumbprint as an officer is admirable, above all else – Steve was a friend and a leader to those he worked with daily,” said SPD Chief Jeff Watts.

Most recently, Sgt. Hoffman served on SPD patrol and watched over the Stillwater City Council meetings and other important events at City Hall.

City Manager Norman McNickle, Mayor Joyce and Councilors acknowledged Sgt. Hoffman Monday evening during the meeting. McNickle included about Hoffman, “he has been your guardian angel for the past several years, he has been a faithful servant to the citizens, to the council, and we most certainly appreciate his service. We wish him and his family the best in his retirement and this new chapter in their lives.”

The ceremony included a final call from dispatch to Sgt. Hoffman.

Dispatcher: “Central 51”

Hoffman: “51”

Dispatcher: “Sergeant Steve Hoffman, badge number 51, has served our citizens for over 38 years as a Stillwater Police Officer. He has held many roles during his tenure. Sgt. Hoffman was one of the founding members of the Stillwater Police Dept.’s SWAT Team and Mounted Unit, which served our citizens for many years. The Mounted Unit was most impactful during large celebrations such as Eskimo Joe’s weekend. Sgt. Hoffman served as a Field Training Officer, member of the department’s Honor Guard Unit, SWAT Team member, and SWAT Team Commander. Sgt. Hoffman was the department’s Training Coordinator for many years prior to his rotation back to the Patrol Division. Above all else, Steve was a friend and a leader to those he worked with daily. Congratulations, Sgt. Hoffman, we wish you and your family the very best and we are all grateful to have worked alongside you. End of broadcast, KKD361.”

Hoffman: “51 Central, I’ll be 10-7. Thank you, love you guys.”

Dispatcher: “Congratulations.”

Sgt. Hoffman plans to continue serving and protecting the community in another capacity. Sgt. Hoffman’s “walkout” ceremony is available for viewing on the Stillwater Police Department Facebook page.

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FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PAYNE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS:

Payne County is now under a burn ban (Editors Note: Logan County is also) effective for the next two weeks. The resolution passed Monday, January 9th, is listed below:

WHEREAS, The Payne County Board of Commissioners pursuant to the authority granted to the Board by Section 16-26.B of title 2 of the Oklahoma Statues, do hereby proclaim that extreme fire danger exists in Payne County.

WHEREAS, By virtue of this resolution, it is unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands, or to build a campfire or bonfire, or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass, range, crop, or other wildlands fire,

WHEREAS, Exceptions to this fire prohibition and the appropriate precautionary measures to be taken are as follows:  Indoor fire places, commercial or professional covered cookers, welding torch down type roofing, and gas grill are permitted with adequate protection.

Agricultural burning of range and crop lands is permitted, provided the following conditions are met:

1).  Must have a written prescribed burn plan, and the conditions stated in the plan must be met when the burn is started.

2).  A copy of the burn plan must be on file with the fire department in which fire district the controlled burn is to occur, prior to starting the burn.  A copy of the burn plan must also be at the site of the burn.

3).  The fire department and law enforcement agency responsible for the area in which the burn is to occur must be notified immediately prior to beginning the burn.

(Brush piles are not considered to be agricultural burns, and they are not exempt).

WHEREAS, Enforcement of this resolution may be carried out by any law enforcement officer of this State.  Any person convicted of violating this resolution shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), to imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

WHEREAS, This resolution shall be effective immediately for a period not to exceed 24 Jan, 2022 from the date of passage by the Board of County Commissioners.  If extreme fire danger conditions persist, subsequent resolutions may be passed.  This Burn Ban may be removed an any time during this period by the same method by which it was approved.

NOW BE IT RESOLVED: at a meeting by the Board of Payne County Commissioners at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 10, 2022.

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