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Gary Koltbaum
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    EC)--The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center's $5 million endowment campaign is off to a strong start, thanks to a matching donation promise from the Ward family in honor of the late Lew Ward. According to the Enid News and Eagle, Myra Ward, honorary campaign steering committee chair, and the Ward family will match all donations to the endowment campaign up to $1 million. The permanent endowment is through Cherokee Strip Community Foundation, not affiliated with the Heritage Center, and will secure quality programs, displays and other vital functions for the Heritage Center. Lew and Myra Ward supported many organizations in Enid, but the Heritage Center held a special place in Lew’s heart. Lew Ward died in March at age 85.


                                                --00--  28  Oct  16  7a


    MT)—Testimony continues today in Garfield County District Court for the trial of a former Enid man accused of the murder of a local man in December of 2012. 24 year-old Ronnie Eugene Fuston is charged in the shooting death of Heath Crites in Dec. 2012. Crites was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in the living room of a home in the 300 block of East Columbia. Fuston is charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number during the commission of a felony. The seven-man, five-woman jury on Thursday heard the testimony of five witnesses including two who said they were with the defendant when he entered the victim's home. The trial is before District Judge Dennis Hladik and is scheduled for seven days. Fuston previously was bound over for trial in another murder case in Oklahoma County. In that case, an Oklahoma City man was found shot to death in Oct. 2012, at his apartment. Fuston is set for trial Dec. 5 in the Oklahoma County case.



                                                --00--  28  Oct  16  7a


    NR)--Enid area residents will have an additional dining option beginning early next year. An El Patio Mexican Restaurant will be at 4410 W. Garriott, the former location of the New China Super Buffet restaurant. Owner Noel Melendez told the Enid News and Eagle, the new Enid location will be the fourth El Patio Mexican Restaurant in Oklahoma — with two locations in Ponca City and one location in Weatherford. The building currently is being remodeled for a planned February opening. The Enid restaurant will have at least 25 employees.



                                                --00--  28  Oct  16  5p


    MH)--Oklahoma County prosecutors today charged 38 year-old Michael Dale Vance Jr. with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charge arose from the attack Sunday night at a Luther home that killed Ronald Wilkson and Valerie Kay Wilkson. The unauthorized use of a vehicle count involves the theft of a 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse from the Wilkson's home.  A multi-agency manhunt for Vance continues. A special hotline has been set up for people to call if they have tips on Michael Vance’s whereabouts. People with tips can call 405-246-9205. The hotline will be manned 24/7 by U.S. Marshals.



                                                --00--  28  Oct  16  5p


    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The mayors of Oklahoma's two largest cities are opposing a proposed 1 percent sales tax to support public education, saying the increase is too costly and could cripple their chances to pass future municipal bond packages. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett joined mayors from more than three-dozen cities this week in opposing State Question 779. The tax would generate an estimated $550 million annually for public education. Supporters say the tax is needed because education has been critically underfunded in Oklahoma. The average teacher salary in 2014-2015 ranked 48th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The mayors say the tax will make it harder to pass bond packages such as the successful MAPS program in Oklahoma City and Vision Tulsa.


                                                --00--  28  Oct  16  5p


    NL)--Adults will have the run of the place tonight with “Nightlife” at Leonardo's Children's Museum. Leonardo's will be open 6:00-9:00 to those 21 years of age and older. The event will feature a John Wilkes Booth lecture at 7:00 p.m. when Russ Frazee dresses for the occasion. There will be live music, a food truck outside and a cash bar featuring a signature scientific cocktail. Attendees may learn about Leonardo's building history and its somewhat spooky happenings. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes but should remember dress should not be obstructive or offensive. Weapons and masks are not allowed. A variety of exhibits will be open including the critter clubhouse, a life-sized Lite-Brite, the power tower and more. Admission is $8 per adult or $4 for members. Tickets may be purchased online,, or at the door. For more information, visit or call (580) 233-2787.


                                               --00--  28  Oct  16  7a


    VD)--Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. Enid will be celebrating this special day with a downtown parade on Saturday, November 12 at 10:00am.  Local groups and organizations are needed to participate in this year’s Veterans Day Parade. Parade organizers are looking for cars, motorcycles, floats, bands, horses and vendors. All residents are encouraged to come downtown and help honor our veterans. For more information contact Brenda at 580.747.4553.



                                               --00--  28  Oct  16  7a


    TT)--Enid Toys for Tots is now collecting toys for children in the Enid area. The program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December to distribute as Christmas gifts. Last year, the program gave gifts to more than 1,800 children. The program hopes to collect 7,500 toys and will begin placing collection boxes in supporting businesses in the Enid area. Roy Wahlgren, Enid Toys for Tots coordinator, said the program is seeking Marines or Marine reservists that can volunteer a few hours to the local effort. Wahlgren added the annual efforts is about bringing hope to children and bringing communities together. For more information contact Wahlgren at or call 580.278.6025.


                                                --00--  26  Oct  16  5p


    CD)--Coldwell Banker Realty III has started its 11th annual Coats for Kids drive to help students stay warm this winter. Broker and owner Justin Helterbrand said the business is starting to collect coats now in order to get them to school counselors when the weather gets colder. Local school counselors pick up the coats and make sure they fit the children in need. Coats are not given out at the Coldwell Banker office. Helterbrand is requesting slightly used or new coats be dropped off at the Coldwell Banker Realty III office, 101 N. Van Buren. Coats should be sizes pre-K to high school. All adult size coats will be donated to Forgotten Ministries. The drive is requesting no sweatshirts.


                                                --00--  27  Oct  16  7a


    BE)--Stratus Contact Solutions, a division of ILD, Corp., announced the expansion of its inbound call center in Enid. Stratus opened the Enid call center in April of 2015 and currently employs 55 customer service agents and 5 supervisors. The decision to expand the call center is based on the quality workforce available in Enid and the cost effective business operation. Stratus Contact Solutions will hold a ribbon cutting event at the Enid call center at 2300 North 10th Street in honor of the expansion at 12:00 pm on November 2nd. Anyone interested in applying for employment at Stratus Contact Center should apply through the website at




    IG)-- Jay Owenhouse, an escape artist and illusionist, will perform in Enid at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at Central National Bank Center. Tickets for the "Dare to Believe" show will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. The show will feature illusions and magic, Bengal tigers, escapes and storytelling. In 2008, Owenhouse toured China and Japan, where his show received the Best Touring Family Show in Asia award. He currently is working on a new television series. Ticket prices are $29 and $39. There are also VIP tickets for $69, which include a meet and greet with Owenhouse and Sheena, a tiger. Part of the proceeds from VIP tickets go to the Corbett Foundation, to support the tiger reserves in India. Tickets are available at or by calling (855) TIX-ENID.




    EF)--An ethics forum is being planned for Enid City Commissioners. Ward 6 Commissioner David Vanhooser said the ethics forum he is planning will be open to the public and will be held Nov. 19. An official time will be announced at a later date. He is working on securing experts to speak during the event. The commission will not vote during the forum, which will be an educational session. Vanhooser told the Enid News and Eagle, "I anticipate in early spring of 2017 we will put the creation of an ethics policy for the city of Enid on the study session agendas, and begin working towards creating a final document." He said several commissioners are gathering information, including policies from other communities, and City Attorney Andrea Chism is researching the topic. 




    BR)--Professional bull riding is coming back to Enid. The 2016 Enid BRI Classic is coming to the Central National Bank Center in conjunction with Bull Riders Inc., according to venue operators Spectra Venue Management. This two-night event is Nov. 18 and 19 at the Central National Bank Center. Tickets are $20 for the Golden Chute, $15 for Adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Mutton Bustin’ is also going to come back to the venue for the 4th time. Participants must be between the ages of 4 and 8 and weigh less than 60 pounds. Entry fee to participate in the Mutton Bustin’ is $15. Contact Bill at Bill_OMalley@comcastspectacor.comor at 580-616-7381. Tickets will go on sale 10:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9. Fans can order tickets by calling 855.TIX.ENID, or in the CNB Center Administration offices on the 2nd floor of the convention side off of Independence Ave.








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