CC)--The Enid City Commission Tuesday night approved the city purchasing several properties in the Lahoma Courts addition located just southeast of Cleveland and Garriott. The city has set aside more than $2 million to purchase roughly half of the 49 homes and businesses there that aren’t already owned by Westside Builders. The company reportedly already has its properties under contract to sell to a third party, who is expected to develop a commercial space. Enid City Manager Eric Benson said property owners already have received offers or will soon. Last night Commissioners approved the purchase of three parcels for $75,000 each. In other business, Commissioners tabled for at least two weeks to approve a contract with Love’s Travel Stop that will allow the company to be reimbursed for infrastructure improvements. Loves is building a truck stop at 42nd and U.S. 412, and announced late Tuesday it also will build a 60-room hotel at that location. The commission did approve a sign variance for the travel stop. Love’s use of signs would be similar to signage that previously was approved for the Pilot truck stop built across the highway. Those signs also required a variance.
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DH)--There is no set date for groundbreaking for the proposed downtown hotel site. City of Enid officials told the Enid News and Eagle, the site just north of Enid Event Center and Convention Hall awaits movement from hotel developer LodgeWell, which said in September it was waiting on finalization of tax credits and coordination for the same contractor to build the hotel and an adjacent parking garage with attached retail space. At that time, estimates showed construction work could begin in December. The hotel, to cost more than $14 million, will have 131 rooms. To make room for it and the adjacent parking garage, the historic Kress Building and Cherokee Strip Conference Center were demolished in 2013.
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BD)--A second man charged in connection to the death of a 24-year-old Enid man in 2012 pleaded guilty to a lesser charge as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. 21 year-old Anthony Brown Jr. pleaded guilty Friday to charge of attempted robbery. Brown originally was charged with first-degree murder. As part of the deal, Brown will receive a 20-year sentence, serving eight years in prison and the rest on probation. According to a plea agreement filed Monday, Brown signed an addendum with the statement: “On Dec. 22, 2012, I and Ronnie Fuston and others attempted a robbery of Heath Crites here in Garfield County.” Authorities say the 21 year-old Fuston shot Crites killing him. He has been charged with first degree murder. Fuston also has been bound over for trial in another murder case in Oklahoma County. He is set for trial Feb. 23, 2015, in the Oklahoma City case.
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WF)—The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a man with an outstanding warrant for failure to register as a sex offender. 32 year-old Chad Michael Hillis is wanted on a felony warrant issued by Garfield County District Court. Bond for the warrant has been set at $3,000. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Garfield County Sheriff’s Office at (580) 237-0244 or their local law enforcement agency.
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PR)—A reminder for motorists, as you drive on South Van Buren, and get near D. Bruce Selby stadium, be aware of the traffic lights at the Van Buren Trail crossing are now functional. The lights will allow runners, walkers, and bike riders to safely cross Van Buren as they are using the walking trails. City of Enid spokesperson Steve Kime said a new instructional video will be produced and aired on local city government channel 12 to educate the public of the signal light functions.
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TH)--Congressman Frank Lucas will hold town hall meetings in Enid and two other communities Thursday. All residents are invited to attend a meeting and express their opinions. The Enid Town Hall will be 1:30-2:30 at the Gantz Center on the NOC Enid campus. Also on Thursday, Lucas will hold meetings in Medford from 10:30-11:30am at Medford City Hall, and in Fairview from 3:30-4:30 at the Fairview Community Center. Congressman Lucas will be discussing current events in Washington, taking questions about issues important to constituents of the Third Congressional District, and asking for opinions and input on legislation currently before Congress.
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JS)—Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt issued a scam warning this week after several Oklahomans received phone calls from someone claiming to be a sheriff’s office. The AG’s Public Protection Unit received complaints from citizens who were contacted by callers claiming to be from a sheriff’s office giving notice that the citizen failed to appear for jury duty and now must pay a fine or be arrested. “Neither the court nor law enforcement will ever call you regarding jury duty,” Pruitt said. “Jury duty notices are sent by the court clerk, and these notices will always be sent to perspective jurors by mail. We encourage Oklahomans to contact our office if they feel they have been a victim of a scam or if they have been contacted through a suspicious phone call, e-mail or letter.” If you have been a victim of a scam, report the incident to local law enforcement and to the AG’s Office immediately. If you have a question about a possible scam, contact the AG’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029, (918) 581-2885, by e-mail at email@example.com or file a complaint online at www.ok.gov/oag.
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CC)--The 27th Annual United Way Chili Cook-Off will be held in the Enid Event Center on Friday, October 24th, 11:00am -1:00pm, with a theme of, “Transforming Lives; One Bowl at a Time!” The Chili Cook-Off Committee is accepting applications from individuals, churches, businesses, and organizations and the committee is excited about the amenities of the new location. Tickets to attend the event are $5, which includes a drink, chili, and dessert, and may be purchased in advance from the United Way office or at the door. The Chili Cook-Off committee anticipates at least forty chili entries to compete in three categories: Judge’s Choice, Top Dollar Chili, and Best Booth. Tasting begins at 11am. All funds raised benefit the fifteen partner agencies of United Way, along with the Venture Grant recipients which are awarded each spring and other special designations. Businesses or individuals wanting to enter the Chili Cook-Off may do so by contacting the United Way office at 580-237-0821 or emailing Carolina Seymour at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AJ)--Country superstar Alan Jackson brings his 25th Anniversary Keepin’ It Country Tour to Enid Event Center on April 18. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. Ticket options include limited $25 tickets, $75.50 and $95.50. Tickets and information for all tour dates will be available at www.EnidEventCenter.com and www.alanjackson.com, or calling 855-TIX-ENID. VIP tickets and packages are also available. Joining Jackson on the tour will be rising new artist Jon Pardi and Grammy/CMA/ACM nominated hit singer/songwriter Brandy Clark. Fans will hear Alan Jackson songs they love including “Here In The Real World” to “Chattahoochee,” “Drive,” “Gone Country,” the party-anthems “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” and “Good Time,” and more.
DD)--“Discover the Dinosaurs” is coming to the Enid Event Center Oct. 25-26. “Discover the Dinosaurs” is a hands-on exhibit of more than 60 museum-quality and animatronic dinosaurs that gives people the chance to get close and touch the dinosaurs. There also are activities available for kids of all ages. Exhibit hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 25 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 26. Ticket prices depend on which exhibit option is chosen. Adults 13 and older are $18. Tickets for children 2-12 are $16 for the exhibit only and $22 for exhibit plus. Seniors 65 and older are $16, and children 24 months and under are free. Tickets will be available beginning Monday and are available at www.discoverthedinosaurs.com. Tickets also will be available at Enid Event Center the days of the exhibit.
FL)--Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center’s annual Fall Lecture Series will continue on Monday evenings through Nov. 10. The importance of water for the community, region and state is the timely topic of this series. “Surviving the Ebb and Flow of Water in the West” will feature the state’s leading specialists in their fields of study. The lectures will be 7:00 p.m. in the Gantz Center of Northern Oklahoma College Enid and are free to the public.
Topics in the series are:
• Oct. 27 — “Drought and the Dust Bowl.” Gary McManus, state climatologist with Oklahoma Climatological Survey, will discuss the causes and the impact of the 1930s Dust Bowl. Pauline Hodges will share her story of living through the Dust Bowl. She was featured in the Ken Burns documentary on the Dust Bowl.
• Nov. 3 — “Conservation Born of Crisis.” Clay Pope, former executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, will share the history of the conservation movement and the formation of policies resulting from the Dust Bowl.
• Nov. 10 — “Issues Today for Water Tomorrow.” J.D. Strong, executive director of Oklahoma Water Resources Board, will speak on current water conservation initiatives that are under way, the state’s water plan effort and Water for 2060.
For information go to Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center’s website at www.csrhc.org.
PP)--Security National Bank will hold “Pumpkin Pizzazz,” a contest of transformation to benefit the agencies of United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma. The contest involves taking a pumpkin and creatively transforming it into a work of art. The winning pumpkin will secure a $500 donation from Security National Bank. “We’ve taken this year’s capital campaign theme of transforming lives and included pumpkins,” said SNB Vice President April Danahy. “We are proud supporters of the United Way and its 16 agencies. We are in hopes ‘Pumpkin Pizzazz’ will lend to the spirit of this year’s campaign.” Each United Way agency and funding recipients has been asked to submit a pumpkin that has been decorated. The contest also will be open to bank employees and departments. The pumpkins will be on display at SNB’s 201 W. Broadway location during business hours through Oct. 27. The winning pumpkin will be selected by donations made into a jar in front of each pumpkin, coupled with the vote of three independent judges. The winner will be announced the week of Halloween.
PP)---The pumpkins are back! Christ United Methodist Church’s Pumpkin Patch is open for business at the corner of Randolph and Cleveland. There will be pumpkins and other fall decorations available for sale from noon to 8:00 p.m. Sundays through Fridays, and 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturdays. There are several activities over the next few weeks, leading up to Halloween. In addition the public is invited to come take photos in the pumpkin patch.
KF)--The American Kitefliers Association (AKA) announced that its 2015 national convention will return to Enid next Fall at the Enid Event Center and Convention Hall and at the flying field behind Autry Technology Center. The dates for the 38th annual AKA National Convention are September 28-October 4, 2015. The AKA Convention is an annual gathering of kite enthusiasts, artists, and competitors. The AKA held its 2012 national convention in Enid. The national convention is rotated every three years between locations on the east coast, west coast and central United States, meaning it will be returning to Enid at its first opportunity. The 2013 AKA convention was held in Portland, OR, while the 2014 convention recently concluded at Outer Banks, NC. AKA President Mel Hickman said the hospitality the group received in Enid in 2012 was a primary factor in returning to Enid.
Highlighting each afternoon of the AKA convention is the Mass Ascension, where AKA members release their kites at once, filling the skies above Autry Technology Center with magnificent color. The public will be encouraged to attend each afternoon session. More details will be announced as the convention date draws nearer.
EE)--The City of Enid has launched a new website, www.EnvisionEnid.com to gather ideas from the community about Enid’s future. Officials said the website acts like a virtual townhall, enabling Enid’s residents to share their ideas 24 hours a day. Residents of Enid should visit EnvisionEnid.com to create an account and share their ideas. City of Enid Planning Administrator Chris Bauer said Envision Enid is the name of the City’s new comprehensive plan that is currently under development. The comprehensive plan is the overarching policy of the City of Enid and addresses everything from infrastructure investments and development decisions to education, health and social services. The plan will create a vision for the future of Enid and outline coordinated policies and recommendations to steer the city towards achieving the vision. The website is one of several ways to contribute the plan.