CC)—The Enid City Commission this afternoon approved the contracts for the sale of property for a proposed retail development. During their special meeting, Commissioners approved two real estate contracts with Hunt Properties. Hunt will purchase the southeast corner of Cleveland and Garriott, clear the existing homes and businesses to build a retail outlet. Commissioners on Tuesday tabled the same contracts so language could be added to strengthen the city’s position.
The contracts approved are for Hunt to buy from the city five acres of land that now includes Fire Station #4 and a park area. The purchase price has increased since Tuesday by $50,000 to $550,000. As part of the project, the city is in the process of buying about two dozen homes and businesses in the Lahoma Courts Addition on the southeast corner of the intersection. The city is buying the properties and will be reimbursed by Hunt. The city plans to acquire 23 land parcels by June 30, 2015. Hunt would then pay back the city’s costs plus a 10 percent carry fee.
--00-- 19 Dec 14 5p
SB)-- The Enid Board of Education held a special meeting today. According to the Enid News and Eagle, Enid Public Schools is preparing to file a lawsuit against the state’s education and tax agencies, hoping that a funding error can be fixed by the middle of next month. EPS Chief Financial Officer Karl White said the school is owed $416,000 for the current year alone, although the error is believed to have been in place for far longer. “The state aid formula has been miscalculated for 22 years in regards to what’s called the ‘ad valorem chargeable,’” White said. The will likely pursue an injunction to halt a mid-year state aid adjustment until the formula is corrected. The adjustment is legally supposed to happen by Jan. 15.
In other action, board members approved the hiring of Steven Hayes as the next head football coach of the Enid Plainsmen. Hayes has spent the past 11 seasons as head coach at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas, where he has compiled a record of 88-49. During Hayes’ tenure, Trinity made the playoffs 11 straight years, including four state finals appearances and seven semifinal appearances. He also has served as boys athletic director at the multi-denominational private school since 2009. He is expected to begin his new job when classes resume in early January.
--00-- 19 Dec 14 5p
FD)--Two people have died from influenza in Garfield County. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, there are 12 people hospitalized in Garfield County with flu-related symptoms. There have been 6 deaths statewide this week. All of the deaths were people age 65 or older. As of Dec. 16, there have been 143 flu-related hospitalizations reported in the state, up from 94 reported last week. There were also two hospitalizations in Kingfisher County and one each in Blaine and Logan counties.
--00-- 19 Dec 14 7a
FH)--Three local teenage girls are being credited with saving a couple from a house fire earlier this month. Enid Fire Marshal Ken Helms said just before 11:00 pm Dec. 10th the Enid Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 1626 N. Quincy. First-arriving firefighters observed heavy smoke and flames coming from the entry door and windows on the front side of the structure. The home’s occupants 26 year-old Mike Slape and 29 year-old Felicia Jelonek were already outside of the burning structure having escaped without injury thanks to three teenage girls they credit with saving their lives.
17 year-old Kyersten Ashlee, 17 year-old Nikole Ortiz and 18 year-old Kaira Berry noticed the fire in the front window of the home. “At first I thought it was Christmas lights, but when I looked closer I could tell it was the curtains on fire.” said Ashlee. Berry called 9-1-1 to report the fire while Ashlee & Ortiz began shouting and pounding on the front door and windows to alert anyone who might be inside. Eventually Ashlee managed to kick-in the front door breaking the door frame at the dead-bolt lock. Ashlee & Ortiz then entered the smoke-filled living room and proceeded toward the back of the house to look for occupants. Awakened by the noise, Slape met the girls in the middle of the house and they made their way past the growing fire in the living room and out the front door. Slape immediately returned to the house to awaken Jelonek; sleeping in the den at the rear of the house. Thinking there may still be others inside needing assistance, Ashlee and Ortiz also re-entered the house briefly, meeting Slape and Jelonek on their way back to the front. As the four exited the structure for the last time, the fire had extended to the frame of the front door. Minor smoke inhalation and singed hair were the only injuries. No one required medical attention.
Firefighters arrived moments later and knocked-down the fire remaining on the scene for just over 2 hours to completely extinguish the fire and check for hot spots. Helms said the fire was apparently caused by an unattended candle in the living room. There were no working smoke alarms in the home.
--00-- 19 Dec 14 5p
SB)--An Enid woman has been charged with child abuse and four counts of child neglect. Bond has been denied on a warrant issued for 24 year-old Katilyn Reed on the five felony charges. According to an affidavit filed in the case, a report was made Nov. 1 to Enid Police Department by a 14-year-old girl and two adults concerning abuse and neglect allegations. The teen, and three other children, live with Reed while their father is incarcerated, according to the affidavit. The teen said Reed has been beating her and the other children, ages 4, 3 and 2. Police described the condition of the family’s residence as “filthy and unsanitary” as well as lacking food. The four children have taken into DHS custody. If found guilty, Reed faces one year in jail up to life imprisonment and/or a fine of $500 to $5,000 on each charge.
--00-- 19 Dec 14 5p
DA)--Two men from Jet were arrested on drug charges last week at the Salt Plains Wildlife Refuge. According to the Alva Review Currier, Park rangers stopped a car at the Sandy Beach area for having a defective windshield on December 5th around 4:30pm. During the traffic stop, the rangers discovered several discrepancies with the two men, including a warrant out of Garfield County. At that point, the park rangers began to search the vehicle, and reportedly found illegal drugs. 41 year old Darren Lee Salyer of Jet was charged in Alfalfa County with felony possession of a controlled dangerous substance. He was also charged with two misdemeanors: obstructing an officer and driving while under suspension. 33 year old John Matthew Coffee of Jet was charged with two misdemeanors: unlawful possession of paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance without a valid prescription.
--00-- 19 Dec 14 7a
NO)--Enid Police Department’s newest officer took his oath of duty Thursday afternoon in a ceremony at city hall. 27 year-old Matthew Hainley will attend the next Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training police academy offered in the beginning of the new year. Hainley, from Houston, was previously stationed at Vance Air Force Base’s Radar Approach Facility.
--00-- 19 Dec 14 5p
VR)--Enid’s Denny Price Family YMCA recognized and honored outstanding volunteers and longtime employees this week. According to the Enid News and Eagle, volunteer Doug Nickel was honored for his efforts during the annual Back A Youth campaign. Lou Ann Crump was recognized for her assistance in the aquatic program as a class instructor. Youth sports coaches recognized for their character and dedication were Kaleb Hennigh, James Graham and Mike Fields. Four YMCA employees accepted awards for 10 years of dedicated service to the organization. Kendra Heitfeld, Beverly Qualls, Sheryl Reid and Kim Haley received recognition during the annual meeting. Brent Price also received an award for his leadership during the year as president of the board.
--00-- 19 Dec 14 7a
TT)--AAA Oklahoma will offer its Tipsy Tow community service for year-end holiday partiers this year. The program gives intoxicated drivers an option to getting behind the wheel and taking a chance on the road. Anyone, AAA member or not, can call for a free Tipsy Tow ride for themselves and their vehicle through Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. “Each year in Oklahoma, 35 percent of all traffic crashes involve drugs or alcohol,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Over the holidays, that number often jumps to more than 40 percent.” Tipsy Tow is available in Enid, metropolitan Tulsa, metro Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Bartlesville, Muskogee, Ardmore, Tahlequah and Lawton at no charge, no questions asked. Oklahoma motorists should call 800-AAA-HELP (800-222-4357) and make sure they ask for Tipsy Tow.
SP)--Enid Public Schools is preparing to chart a course for the future and asking the community to join the effort. The district will embark on a comprehensive strategic planning process in January designed to build awareness of 21st century demands and create shared beliefs, core values and a vision 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 and beyond.
EPS is partnering with Engage Learning to facilitate the planning process. Topics are expected to include instruction, staffing, extracurricular activities, school finance, community relations, character education, facilities and more. Input will be sought from parents, students, teachers, administrators, business owners and community members. All Enid residents will have the opportunity to share ideas and offer suggestions.
A survey will be available online January 22 through February 4 to allow all Enid residents another opportunity to contribute to the plan. Feedback from all meetings and the survey will then be used to provide direction to a Strategic Design Team, which will be made of 40 community members. A final plan is expected to be presented to the Board of Education next April or May. Updates to the planning process will be provided at enidpublicschools.org/designingthefuture.
HA)--A limited amount of winter heating assistance funds will be made available across the state through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is administered through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). Applications are being accepted and will continue until all allocated funds are depleted. DHS has approximately $8 million in federal funds for this year’s Winter Heating Program in Oklahoma. Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on each household’s income and assets. If you or someone you know may be income eligible, you are encouraged to apply for the Winter Heating Program available at your local DHS County Office. Many households receiving public assistance through DHS may be automatically authorized for winter heating assistance and will not need to make application. Preauthorized households will be notified of their eligibility by letter prior to the beginning of the application period. For more information on how to apply, contact the local DHS Office in your county of residence.
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.
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.
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.
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.