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DAILY NEWS UPDATES & BLOGS
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    QUINTON, Okla. (AP) — Officials say the five employees who have been missing since an explosion Monday at an eastern Oklahoma gas drilling rig are presumed dead. Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said Tuesday that the search for the workers, including Parker Waldridge of Crescent, has turned to a recovery mission after the Monday morning blast. Three of the workers were employed by Houston-based Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. Company president and CEO Andy Hendricks pledged a full investigation into the explosion. Emergency management officials said Monday night that the fire was extinguished. Authorities say 16 people who were on the site at the time of the blast escaped without major injuries. One person was airlifted to a hospital for treatment.

     

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    SB)--The Enid Public Schools Board of Education Monday night approved a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) related to a 2014 Title IX complaint. Title IX is a federal law requiring public schools to offer equal access to school activities, sports and facilities to both male and female students. According to the Enid News and Eagle, a complaint filed with OCR in 2014 alleged the district was not “equally and effectively accommodating the athletic interests and abilities of male and female students in the middle school program.” The complaint also alleged there were not equal provision of locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities in both the middle and high school programs, and that scheduling of games and practices at the middle school level was not equitable between the boys’ and girls’ programs.

     

     

    Amber Graham Fitzgerald, executive director of human resources and communications for EPS, said OCR does not provide districts with specific information about the complaint, “including what program or issue it is concerning,” and also does not divulge who filed the complaint. She said the district has been working with OCR since the complaint was filed to assess EPS sports programs and ensure compliance with federal regulations. Fitzgerald explained that in the resolution, OCR outlines several actions that will ensure we remain in compliance and that we will be able to properly address any future concerns.” EPS is required to file its first report under the agreement by March 30.

     

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    SC)--This past week, several local residents have reportedly received phone calls from persons claiming to be with the Sheriff's Office seeking payment on warrants. Officials say the Garfield County Sheriff's Office does not collect fines. They don't take credit cards, green dot cards or PayPal. Don't send payment or give out your credit/debit card number for these type payments. Either tell the party you will go to the courthouse or hang up. Call your local law enforcement agency to report these incidents.

     

     

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    WL)--The Paul Dano-directed movie “Wildlife” filmed here in Enid is playing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category at the Sundance Film Festival, making it eligible for the Grand Jury Prize. Enid News and Eagle reports the independent film recently premiered at Sundance Film Festival, which opened Jan. 18 and runs through Sunday in Park City, Utah. “Wildlife,” which stars Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp and Jake Gyllenhaal, follows a boy as he watches his parents' marriage fall apart after his mother finds another man.

     

     

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    RL)--The Garfield County Relay For Life Recruitment Open House will be held Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm at the Oakwood Mall in the old Vanity store space by Bath & Body Works. You will learn about Relay for Life, and how you can make a difference right here in Garfield County. According to the Enid Buzz, there will be food, guest speakers, luminaria, mission information and door prizes. For more information, go to their website, relayforlife.org/garfieldcook, or go to their Facebook page.

     

     

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    QL)--Enid Regional Development Alliance has rescheduled its quarterly networking luncheon for Friday at 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at Oakwood Country Club. The guest speaker will be Stuart Solomon. Solomon is President and COO for Public Service Company of Oklahoma. Solomon will provide an update on the Wind Catcher Project which includes the nation’s largest wind farm and a transmission line system that will pass through the Enid area. This project represents a $4.5 billion investment in our state. Lunch is $15 for non ERDA members. To rsvp contact Debbie Moore (580) 233-4232.

     

     

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    PH)--The City of Enid encourages all interested citizens, agencies, nonprofit organizations and other interested parties to attend a series of CDBG public meetings and hearings. The first meeting will be held January 29 at 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers of the City Administration Building at 401 W. Owen K. Garriott, Enid, OK. The purpose of this meeting is to allow the CDBG Funding committee to hear public comments regarding priority needs. The City of Enid will submit the Five Year Consolidated Plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in May 2018.  The City of Enid encourages all interested citizens, agencies, nonprofit organizations and other interested parties to participate in developing The Five Year Consolidated Plan and Annual Plan. 

     

    If special accommodations are needed, please contact the CDBG Department by January 23, 2018. If you are unable to attend the hearing, you may submit written comments to Stephanie Moffitt-Carr, CDBG Director, City of Enid P. O Box 1768, Enid, OK  73702  email: scarr@enid.org

     

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    CP)--Enid Police Department is accepting applications for its next Citizens Police Academy, scheduled to begin Feb. 20. Lt. Dustin Albright told the Enid News and Eagle that applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Feb 3. Albright said the goal of Enid Police Department's Citizens Police Academy is to educate Enid residents about the structure and activities of the police department. Citizens Police Academy class is not a training class, but is an information class, a behind-the-scenes look at Enid Police Department. The academy is free to attend and meets 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays for 13 weeks. Class sizes are limited to ensure the quality of the course. For more information contact the Enid Police Department.

     

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    NS)--Area individuals with special needs are invited to a "Night to Shine," a prom experience for people with special needs, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. The prom night experience, centered on God’s love, is for people with special needs ages 14 and older. The foundation is working with more than 500 churches in all 50 states and 11 countries to sponsor this year's Night to Shine for an expected 90,000 people with special needs, all with the help of more than 175,000 volunteers. Dalen McVay, chairman of Night to Shine in Enid, said this will be the first year the event has been hosted in Enid and will be only the second Night to Shine event in Oklahoma. Night to Shine, scheduled for 6:00-9:00 p.m. Feb. 9, 2018, at Oakwood Christian Church, 401 N. Oakwood, will feature a "red carpet" arrival experience for the prom attendees.

     

    Volunteer "buddies" will escort the attendees throughout the evening, which will include dancing, a photo booth, limousine rides and food sponsored by Chick-fil-A. Suits and prom dresses will be available for those unable to provide their own prom attire, and volunteers will be on hand to help with hair and makeup. While those with special needs attend the prom in the care of a buddy, McVay said parents are invited to attend a "Parents' Prom" at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 215 S. Cleveland. For information on Night to Shine Enid, contact Dalen McVay at (580) 234-4334.

     

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    CC)--A Summer Crop Conference will be held Feb. 13 at Chisholm Trail Expo Center, 111 W. Purdue. The program will begin with 8:30 a.m. registration, followed by Brian Arnall, Oklahoma State University soil fertility specialist discussing fertility needs of the various crops being covered for the day. Information will be provided on sesame, grain sorghum, cotton, soybeans and others, as well as insect challenges. Lunch will be included in the $15 advanced registration fee by Feb. 6 to Garfield County OSU Extension Center or will require $20 at the door. Trent Milacek, OSU area ag economist, will discuss the economic viability of the crops through lunch.

     

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    AF)--The Enid Public Library, Enid Writers Club and Friends of the Library are seeking authors for the 2018 Enid Author Fest March 3, 2018 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Tables for book selling and signing will be provided on the first floor. Author readings will take place in the children’s and young adult areas, and author panels will be held on the second floor. If you are an interested published authors or publishers/publicists representing an author, go to the Enid Public Library website for more information.

     

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    RD)--March 9th is Oklahoma Research Day at the CNB Center in Enid. The registration deadline is January 31st. And, Northwestern Oklahoma State University will host the event once again. Last year, the event drew more than 1,000 people from across the state. According to the Enid News and Eagle, it will be a day full of activities, beginning with poster presentations at 9 a.m. The day will end with a banquet luncheon at 12:30 p.m. featuring keynote speaker Tyrone Hayes, doctorate professor of integrative biology at the University of California in Berkeley. Northwestern’s jazz ensemble and University Singers will perform during the banquet. Conference participation and banquet attendance are free. To register for the conference, find abstract examples, submit an abstract individually or as a team, or view general information, visit oklahomaresearchday.com.  

     

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    CC)--Multi-platinum selling and Grammy winning group Casting Crowns is returning to Central National Bank Center March 22 as part of its "The Very Next Thing" tour. Tickets are on sale now. The group, which visited Enid in 2015, is on the final leg of the tour, which also features the group I AM THEY. With multiple sold-out performances and an overall attendance topping 435,000, “The Very Next Thing” Tour has become the most attended Crowns tour since 2008. The tour supports Casting Crowns’ current studio album, The Very Next Thing (Beach Street/Reunion), and marks the group's 15th release and eighth studio album since the label debut release in 2003. With more than 10 million records sold, Casting Crowns has held the position of Billboard’s top-selling act in Christian music since 2007.

     

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