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J. Curtis Huckleberry

KGWA Local News


CC)--The Enid City Commission Thursday night approved an ultimatum letter to LodgeWell LLC to start construction on a downtown hotel, or else. With the notice of default if LodgeWell doesn’t start building, the company would lose out on a deal that has been in the works for nearly two years. According to the letter, LodgeWell will have 45 days to start building a Hilton Garden Inn or face termination of a contract with the city that grants it certain rights and privileges. LodgeWell bought the land in downtown, which has since been cleared, for $10 under the master development agreement with the city. Commissioners also agreed the city would guarantee 40 % occupancy of the hotel for seven years. City officials said the doubt LodgeWell will be able to meet the deadline. After default, the city has remedies it can pursue, which includes legal action. The city also would have the right to buy back the land for $1. In a press release issued after Thursday’s meeting, Enid City Manager Jerald Gilbert said a downtown hotel is a key piece of the Renaissance Project, which has seen construction of Enid Event Center, renovation of Convention Hall and acquisition of nearly every property southward toward Garriott. “This step taken today by the commission is the first necessary step towards regaining momentum towards realization of the downtown hotel,” he said. “I am confident the city will be successful in accomplishing this signature achievement downtown in the near future.”

 

                                      --00--  23 Jan  15   7a

 

LA)--With the addition of the convenience store and gas station at Cleveland and Garriott, the city of Enid will have spent more than $1 million to acquire land to convert the Lahoma Courts Addition into a retail hub. Enid City Commissioners had already approved the purchase of seven parcels of land in the neighborhood and Thursday night unanimously approved the purchase of Enid's One Stop, located on the southeast corner of the intersection, for just under $822,000. Hunt Properties has agreed to buy back all the land at cost, plus 10 percent. Hunt already has control of about half the homes in the Courts Addition. They intend to convert the area into what they say will be a 75,000-square-foot, "class-A" retail space. Enid officials have allocated just over $2 million to purchase approximately 23 properties in the neighborhood, but City Attorney Andrea Chism has said it could take $3 million to acquire them all. The city has agreed to sell the current Fire Station No. 4, which is adjacent to the Courts Addition, for $550,000. A new station will be built on South Hoover. Hunt Properties already has control of about half the homes in the Courts Addition.

 

 

                                      --00--  23 Jan  15  7a

 

IA)--An accident that critically injured a Dover man late Thursday north of Kingfisher remains under investigation. Oklahoma Highway Patrol officials said 56 year-old Eric Vaughn Stevenson was admitted in critical condition to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City with head and internal injuries. According to the report, Stevenson was northbound at 11:55 last night on U.S. 81 in a Saturn Vue 3.5 miles north of Kingfisher when his vehicle departed the roadway to the left and overturned, ejecting Stevenson. The vehicle came to rest in the ditch, and Stevenson came to rest in the southbound lane of the highway. He was transported to Kingfisher Regional Hospital and later flown to Oklahoma City. Stevenson’s condition at the time of the accident is listed as “unknown.” The cause of the collision remains under investigation.

 

 

                                      --00--  23 Jan  15  7a

 

MS)--A Garber man charged with first-degree murder waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday morning in Garfield County District Court. According to the Enid News and Eagle, 24 year-old Christopher Ryan Sparks told the judge he understood there was a plea agreement in place. Sparks was charged in July 2014, with capital murder for the death of 26-year-old Chassidy Michelle Hancock four days earlier. An affidavit filed by Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent Steve Tanio states Sparks admitted to family members he got into an argument with Hancock and stated, “I think I killed her.” Sparks was bound over on the charge and set for district court arraignment at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 11 before District Judge Dennis Hladik. Sparks faces life in prison, life without parole or death if convicted of the charge.

 

 

                                      --00--  23 Jan  15   7a

 

FD)--Another flu-related death has bee reported in Garfield County. Flu-related deaths in the county are now at five, up from four last week. Flu-related hospitalizations in Garfield County are at 37, up from 36 last week. Statewide, deaths resulting from influenza jumped from 31 last week to 47 as of Tuesday, an Oklahoma State Department of Health report released Thursday shows. Statewide, there were 100 new hospitalizations between Jan. 14 and Jan. 20, bringing the total number of hospitalizations since late September to 1,206. In area counties, there have been 22 flu-related hospitalizations in Kingfisher County; six in Logan County; three each in Grant, Major and Woodward counties; and two each in Blaine and Woods counties.

 

 

                                      --00--  23 Jan  15   7a

 

WA)—Enid Police arrested a local woman Thursday on charges she helped the subject of a Wednesday manhunt escape. 42 year-old Jennifer Delaney was arrested at 10:50 Thursday morning on a complaint of harboring a fugitive and was booked into the Garfield County Detention Facility. Delaney is suspected of aiding 32 year-old Charles Lee Chambray escape arrest Wednesday morning following a pursuit with Enid police and subsequent manhunt. Enid Police Department Capt. Jack Morris said police later learned Chambray was hiding inside a convenience store located in the area where officers were searching. Police also discovered Delaney received a telephone call from Chambray asking her to come pick him up from the store. Later, Delaney allegedly gave Chambray a ride to residence in the 2300 block of East Elm, the location where he was arrested by Enid Police Department officers and Garfield County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

 

 

                                      --00--  23 Jan  15   7a

 

SS)--Enid Public Schools is inviting all Enid residents to provide input that will shape the future of the district. An online survey will be available for feedback through February 4 at www.enidpublicschools.org/survey. EPS recently embarked on a comprehensive strategic planning process designed to build awareness of 21st century demands and create shared beliefs, vision, and core values for the school district. The process – Designing the Future Together – will help ensure the district continues to meet the needs of all students, preparing them for college, career training, the workforce and beyond. EPS has partnered with Engage Learning to facilitate the planning process. Topics of discussion have included instruction, staffing, extracurricular activities, school finance, community relations, character education, facilities and more.

 

Input has been and will continue to be sought from parents, students, teachers, administrators, business owners and community members. The survey was developed using feedback gathered during two community meetings and multiple focus groups. Approximately 400 people have provided direct guidance for the process so far. Information from all meetings and the survey will be used to provide direction to a Strategic Design Team, which will be made of 40 community members. A final plan will be presented to the Board of Education in April or May. Updates are available at enidpublicschools.org/designingourfuture.

 

 

                                      --00--  23 Jan  15   7a

 

BT)-- A Waynoka Public Schools teacher has been suspended from her job after being charged with felony second-degree rape amid allegations of having sex with an 18-year-old student. 32 year-old Daresa Deann Poe of Waynoka was charged with felony second-degree rape after a Waynoka Public Schools student was interviewed by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday. The student reportedly told investigators he had sex with Poe on more than one occasion since late December. In a handwritten statement, Poe reportedly admitted to having sex with the student. Poe bonded out of jail Wednesday on a $10,000 appearance bond, with a condition she have no contact with the alleged victim.

 

 

                                      --00--  23 Jan  15   7a

 

AL)--The Enid City Commission has organized a law enforcement appreciation day to be held February 4. There will be a luncheon noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at Convention Hall. Tickets are $10 per person for lunch, and officers in uniform or with their badge or ID will get in free. Tickets may be purchased at the door the day of the event.  Keynote speakers will be Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson and Garfield County District Attorney Mike Fields. Several agencies will be represented, including Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Garfield County Sheriff's Department, Enid Police Department, North Enid Police Department and Vance Air Force Base security forces. Organizers are looking for positive stories about experiences with local law enforcement agencies. Those stories can be emailed to twilson@enid.org and some of them may be shared at the event.

 

 

                                      --00--  23 Jan  15   7a

 

FT)--All boys and girls ages 10 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the 2015 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship. The local competition will be held on January 31st at 10:30 A.M. at the Saint Francis Catholic Church Gym located at 110 North Madison, Enid OK. The gym will open at 10:00 A.M. for practice. The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship is sponsored annually, with winners progressing through local, district, and state competitions.  International champions are announced by the K of C international headquarters based on scores from the state-level competitions.  All boys and girls 10 to 14 years old are eligible to participate and will compete in their respective age divisions.  Last year more than 120,000 sharpshooters participated in over 3,600 local competitions. All contestants on the local level are recognized for their participation in the event.  Participants are required to furnish proof of age and written parental consent.  For entry forms or additional information contact:  Paul Reherman at (580) 554-1415.

 

 

                                                 --00— 

 

AB)--Enid Municipal elections are scheduled for February 10th. Absentee voters need to request an absentee ballot by Feb. 4th from the Garfield County Election Board.  Anyone can request an absentee ballot for any reason. Forms are available at the Election board office, 903 Failing. They can also be downloaded at Elections.ok.gov. Ballots received after 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 10 will not be counted. Voters can cast their absentee ballots in person at the board office on the Thursday and Friday before the election.

 

 

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FR)--Two showings of the original Rodgers and Hammerstein’s film musical “Oklahoma!” will be presented Feb. 22 in Enid Convention Hall’s Grand Ballroom. Tickets, priced at $3 each (children under 2 are free), benefit the Enid Public School Foundation. The movie show times are at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Fans will also be able to enjoy movie-themed concessions as well as get to see “The Surrey” on display. Tickets will be available at all Enid Public Schools sites from Jan. 19-30, EPS Central Office from Feb. 2-13, Enid Welcome Center from Jan. 19- Feb. 20, calling 855.TIX.ENID, or visiting www.EnidEventCenter.com or in the Enid Event Center and Convention Hall Administration offices.

 

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PA)--Security National Bank of Enid again will reward five area students for their good grades with the SNB Pays for A’s program. The SNB Pays for A’s is in its 12th year. SNB sponsors the program twice a year, once for spring semester grades and once for fall semester grades. The program is open to students in grades 3 through 12. Public and private school students are encouraged to participate. Students have until 5:00 p.m. Feb. 6 to take their report cards to any of Security National Bank’s three locations. The bank will make a copy of the report card and place it in a hopper. Four cards will be drawn from the hopper. Those four students will receive $10 for each A and $5 for each B on their fall 2014 semester grades. Individual grades from each nine-week section will not be considered. All students entering their grades will receive a coupon for an ice cream cone from McDonald’s of Enid. In addition to the four students who will be paid for their A’s, one card will be drawn from the hopper for a $150 savings account with the bank. Security National Bank is located at 201 W. Broadway, 201 W. Maine and 210 N. Oakwood. Bank lobby hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays at the West Maine location.

 

 

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VS)--The Vance Officers’ Spouses’ Club is offering college scholarships.  They are open to Enid-area seniors or current college students who are dependents of active-duty, National Guard or Reserve military personnel assigned to Vance, local area retired or deceased military personnel, or Department of Defense employees of Vance. Scholarship applications are available at the base education office, the Family Readiness Office, and the base commissary. Counselors at local high schools will also have the applications.

 

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XW)--Enid-based Xpress Wellness announced plans to build an urgent care medical center in Sapulpa. The new urgent care medical center will begin seeing patients in May 2015. Sapulpa is the seventh location for Xpress Wellness.    

 

Xpress Wellness is an urgent care and occupational medicine provider that treats non-life threatening illnesses and injuries on a walk-in basis, no appointment needed. Xpress Wellness is open 7 days a week with extended evening hours and weekend services. Services include an online check-in option that allows patients to wait at home or where they are most comfortable. The online check-in feature is accessible through the company’s website www.XpressWellnessUrgentCare.com

 

Xpress Wellness is a privately-held company based in Enid. The company is led by Dr. Scott Williams, Chief Medical Officer, and Brian Hayden, President.  Xpress Wellness has six other locations in Oklahoma: Enid, Elk City, Weatherford, Shawnee, Muskogee and Woodward.

 

 

                                                 --00— 

 

LD)--Sesame Street Live “Let’s Dance!” will be at Enid Event Center on March 10. Tickets for the 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. performances are on sale now. Sesame Street Live “Let’s Dance!” offers an up-close, interactive experience. The audience is invited to dance with Sesame Street friends on the floor. Sesame Street Live features timeless tunes and lessons for all ages. Tickets are $18. A limited number of $30 Gold Circle seats and $50 Sunny Seats also are available. Sunny Seats packages feature premium show seating and a pre-show meet-and-greet. A facility fee of $2 will be added to all ticket prices. Additional fees and special offers may apply. For information, call (580) 616-7380. To charge tickets by phone, call (855) TIX-ENID. Tickets also may be purchased online at www.enideventcenter.com. For information about Sesame Street Live, go online to www.sesamestreetlive.com.

 

 

                                                --00--  

 

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.

 

 

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