Local News Archives for 2019-03

KNID News 3.28.19

Street and sidewalk work will force workers to close 12th from Chestnut to Walnut beginning Today. City of Enid officials said the closure will allow for street and sidewalk removal including replacement. According to Engineering Department staff,12th will be closed indefinitely.

 

The family of former Oklahoma City Police Department officer and Enid native Daniel Holtzclaw said taxpayers should be outraged by Oklahoma City’s recent settlement of an excessive force case. Oklahoma City Council approved a $25,000 settlement in a lawsuit against Holtzclaw, who is serving a 263-year sentence for rape and other sexual offenses. The council unanimously voted Tuesday to settle the case.

 

Johnson & Johnson, which has faced a string of lawsuits nationwide, reached a settlement Wednesday in Oklahoma County with a woman who alleged asbestos exposure from the company’s baby powder. Sharon Pipes, 75, will receive a confidential amount from the company following a 2 1/2-week civil trial. She said Johnson & Johnson talcum powders have been contaminated with asbestos for decades and caused her to form mesothelioma, a type of cancer known to result from asbestos exposure.

 

The key prosecution witness in a murder-for-hire trial testified Wednesday that zookeeper Joe Exotic paid him $3,000 in cash in 2017 to kill the operator of a Florida animal sanctuary. The 56-year-old defendant, whose full name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, is on trial in Oklahoma City federal court. He is accused of twice plotting to kill his chief critic, Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. He claims he was framed the first time and not serious the second.

 

KNID News 3.27.19

The City of Enid Engineering Department officials announced the closing of 12th street from Chestnut Avenue to Walnut Avenue beginning Thursday, March 28, 2019.  Officials said the closure would allow for street and sidewalk removal including replacement.  12th street would be closed indefinitely according to Engineering staff.

 

The maker of OxyContin and the family that owns the company have reached a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma over the prescription painkiller's role in the nation's deadly opioid crisis, a person familiar with the agreement said Tuesday. The deal comes two months before Oklahoma's lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and other drug companies was set to become the first one in the current coast-to-coast wave of litigation against the industry to go to trial.

 

Sandy Howard, long-time director of Our Daily Bread, has announced she plans to retire from running the soup kitchen this summer. Howard, who is in her 21st year of serving as director, said she's stepping down effective June 29 to focus on taking care of her ailing husband. Our Daily Bread, at 616 W. Randolph, serves meals to 100-300 people a day, five days a week, with an emphasis on serving Enid's homeless population. This story first reported by the Enid News and Eagle.

 

In a stunning reversal, prosecutors dropped all charges against actor Jussie Smollett Tuesday. He had been charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct after Chicago police say he staged a racial and homophobic attack in the city in January. Those charges will be now be wiped from Smollett's record. After going over all the evidence, the Cook County Attorney's Office said they are voluntarily discontinuing the case: 

KNID News 3.26.19

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials announced on Monday the temporary closing of Kenwood Boulevard. Bridges Inc. will be driving piling for the south side of the new Van Buren overpass bridge and will need to close Kenwood Boulevard.  Work crews will be closing the road starting Tuesday, March 26.  ODOT officials said Kenwood will be reopened at the end of every workday.

 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has denied a request by drugmakers to postpone the trial in the state's lawsuit accusing them of fueling the opioid epidemic. Attorney General Mike Hunter's office says the state's highest court handed down the decision Monday, a week after attorneys made oral presentations on the request to delay the trial's scheduled May 28 start. Several states have filed similar lawsuits, but Oklahoma's is expected to be the first to go to trial.

 

An escaped inmate has been arrested after a pursuit and standoff with law officers that lasted for more than two hours early Tuesday in Oklahoma City, police reported. About 3:50 a.m., University of Oklahoma Police officers tried to stop a driver of a car on the OU Medical Center campus, but the man sped off, police Lt. Michelle Henderson said. A warrant has been issued for the man for escaping from an Oklahoma Department of Corrections facility. Henderson did not give the man's name. Story first reported by the Oklahoman.

 

Yale University has rescinded the admission of a student who was admitted as part of the ongoing college admissions scandal, the first instance of a school doing so since the scheme became public two weeks ago. Yale has said two people applied to the university with fraudulent athletic endorsements from women's soccer coach Rudy Meredith. One was denied admission despite the endorsement, and the other was admitted and was attending Yale, the university said on its website.

 

KNID News 3.25.19

City of Enid Engineering officials announced late Friday the intersection of Kennedy and Poplar will be closed beginning Monday, March 25, 2019 at 8am until Wednesday, March 27, 2019 to allow for the installation a new water line across the road.  Motorists are advised to avoid this intersection when possible.

 

 An endangered federal program that has helped preserve the historic Route 66 Highway for two decades has issued its last call for grants aimed at saving aging buildings and landmarks. The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is accepting grant applications until April 12, and it's not clear if Congress will continue the project after that. The program is set to end in the fall, and no agreement has been reached to keep it going. At risk are millions of dollars in cost-share grants aimed at reviving old tourist spots in struggling towns.

 

A collision Friday evening between a four-wheeler and a pickup south of Kingfisher claimed the life of a Kingfisher man. According to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report, Christopher Michael McCollum, 34, of Kingfisher, was driving a Kawasaki four-wheeler west on a private drive about 3 1/2 miles south of Kingfisher at approximately 6:36 p.m. Friday. The OHP report lists the condition of both drivers and the cause of the collision as "under investigation."

 

The Justice Department declared Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s long investigation did not find evidence that President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, setting off celebrations of vindication by Trump and his supporters. Mueller also investigated whether Trump obstructed justice but did not come to a definitive answer. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said, “The summary of the Mueller report Attorney General Barr provided to Congress today was clear: there was no evidence of collusion or obstruction of justice — and this was after nearly a two-year investigation with virtually bottomless resources.

KNID News 3.21.19

 Drugmakers are trying to persuade Oklahoma's top court to postpone the trial in the state's lawsuit accusing them of fueling the opioid epidemic. The Oklahoma Supreme Court is hearing arguments Wednesday, a week after rejecting drugmakers' request to immediately postpone the scheduled May 28 start. The 2017 lawsuit filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter accuses 13 opioid manufacturers of running fraudulent marketing campaigns that led to thousands of overdose addictions and deaths. Story first reported by the Enid News and Eagle

 

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service recently announced a recall of more than 78,000 pounds of Butterball ground turkey that may be contaminated with Salmonella Schwarzengrund. The prepackaged raw meat was produced July 7, 2018. Barbara Brown, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension food specialist, said even though the meat was produced eight months ago, consumers still can be at risk.

 

Speaking to leaders of the Oklahoma National Guard, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said Wednesday that the nation was still demanding too much from Guard units but that the situation was getting better. Inhofe is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

 

President Trump said Wednesday that he would support the public release of the special counsel report on possible Russian ties to his 2016 campaign, telling reporters that Attorney General William P. Barr should “let it come out.”Mr. Trump, who declined last month to commit to making the results of the investigation public, said “tens of millions” of Americans would want to read the report prepared by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III according to CNN

KNID News 3.20.19

Enid City Commission heard an update on the Kaw Lake water supply project in short meetings Tuesday evening. Michael Graves, vice president of Garver Engineering, updated commissioners on easement acquisition and the construction manager at risk schedule. Graves said all survey tasks are on schedule for the end of May, with the exception of a few parcels in the process of being accessed. He said the topographical survey is complete for the Indian Meridian, Salt Fork, Arkansas River and Kaw sections. The project is on schedule to provide 30 percent plans updated based on the survey by the end of July as first reported by the Enid news and Eagle

 

An attorney who resigned from the Oklahoma State Department of Health filed a lawsuit Tuesday against her former state agency, claiming Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana regulations are unconstitutional. Julia Ezell filed the lawsuit on behalf of Leslie Ann Collum, a registered nurse and owner of an Oklahoma City medical marijuana dispensary. The lawsuit argued the Unity Bill is too vague with the disciplinary powers it gives the Heath Department.

 

Two Oklahoma lawmakers plan to visit the White House this week to discuss First Amendment rights on college campuses. State Sen. Julie Daniels and State Rep. Mark Lepak will travel to Washington on Thursday to hear President Donald Trump speak about protecting “free speech” on college campuses. The two legislators co-authored Senate Bill 361 that would require Oklahoma’s public universities, colleges and career technology institutions to take action to protect students’ rights to free speech on campus.

KNID News 3.19.19

Enid City Commission is set to hear a Kaw Lake update, discuss a floodplain ordinance and make numerous board appointments in its study and regular sessions Tuesday night. In study session prior to the regular meeting, commissioners are scheduled to discuss the updated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) federal flood insurance rate map, along with review of an accompanying floodplain ordinance. Enid City Commission is scheduled to meet in study session at 5 p.m. with the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. upstairs in commission chambers.

 

A 41-year-old Major County man, a convicted sex offender, was charged Friday with another sex offense felony/ Jason Paul Pierce, of Fairview, was charged March 15 with one felony count of lewd or indecent acts to a child, according to court documents filed in Major County District Court. The crime is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. However, due to a previous conviction, the felony is amendable to a punishment of six years to life in prison.

 

Enid firefighters were called out to a fire early Monday afternoon, the second in the last four days at the same residence. When firefighters arrived at the residence, no residents were inside. The EFD asks anyone who lives in the area ad knows anything about the fires to contact Enid Fire Department at (580) 234-0541.

 

Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice John Reif will retire at the end of April after serving on the state’s highest court for nearly 12 years. Reif submitted a letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt announcing his retirement effective April 30, according to a Friday release.

KNID News 3.18.19

City of Enid street officials announced today the crack seal roadway project will resume on East Randolph beginning today. Road work will begin on East Randolph at 10th Street and proceed west to Grand Avenue. Officials are reminding motorists this will be a moving work zone with traffic control devices in place. The crack seal work on East Randolph is scheduled to take place daily between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Work is expected to last approximately one week. Motorists are encouraged to drive with caution in this area.

 

After a long stretch of growth, retail sales are down in Enid compared to a year ago. Sales are down nearly $2.6 million, or down 4.1 percent, when compared to sales reported in March 2018, according to Oklahoma Tax Commission reports released this month. On the year, though, sales are up 2.6 percent. Last month's report showed sales tax numbers up almost $2.9 million, or 4.1 percent, from February 2018.

 

Enid Police Department is seeking information form the public concerning a burglary at a local lumber yard earlier this month. On March 7, officers were sent to Hughes Lumber, 1217 N. Van Buren, on a report of a burglary. Once inside the fenced area, the subjects broke into two vehicles and a storage shed. Officers were told there were numerous tools taken from the vehicles and the storage shed. Anyone with information leading to the arrest or prosecution of this or any crime can report an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at (580) 233-6233

 

Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice John Reif will retire at the end of April after serving on the state’s highest court for nearly 12 years. Reif submitted a letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt announcing his retirement effective April 30, according to a Friday release.

KNID News 3.15.19

Chisholm Public Schools superintendent Roydon Tilley announced he is retiring at the end of the year. Tilley has served as the superintendent since 2005 and his final day will be on June 30th. The OSSBA also said that an online survey will be made available to the Chisholm community on the district's website, asking participants what qualities they would most like to see in their next superintendent and they hope to have a replacement by May.

 

City of Enid street officials announced today that the intersection of 10th and East Pine would be closed beginning Friday, March 15th, 2019. However, the westbound lane of East Pine will remain open for local traffic only.

  This closure will allow contractors to complete concrete work at the intersection. Work is expected to last approximately one week.  Motorists are reminded to drive cautiously around construction sites.

 

City of Enid Engineering officials announced today that the intersection of Kennedy Street and Cherry Avenue would be closed on Friday, March 15, 2019.  The closure will allow crews to install a new water line across the road.  Officials said the intersection would be closed approximately eight hours from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

 

The Republican-run Senate firmly rejected President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border on Thursday. The Senate voted 59-41 to cancel Trump's February proclamation of a border emergency, which he invoked to spend $3.6 billion more for border barriers than Congress had approved. Trump is expected to veto the senates decision. 

 

KNID News 3.14.19

City of Enid officials announced late Wednesday evening that Utility Maintenance Department will have the outside, south bound lane on Cleveland closed all day between Maine and Cherokee.  The partial closure of Cleveland will begin Thursday, March 14 and continue thru Monday, March 18.  The temporary closure will allow crews to make an emergency water main repair.

 

The process of nominating Enid Downtown Historic District to National Register of Historic Places and Oklahoma State Register of Historic Places is set to continue with an April meeting in Oklahoma City. The nomination will be considered by Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Review Committee 1:30 p.m. April 18 in the Oklahoma Historical Society boardroom at Oklahoma History Center, in Oklahoma City as first reported by the Enid News and Eagle

 

Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, has been charged in New York with mortgage fraud and more than a dozen other state felonies. News of the indictment came shortly after Mr. Manafort was sentenced to his second federal prison term in two weeks; he now faces a combined sentence of more than seven years for tax and bank fraud and conspiracy in two related cases brought by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

 

The U.S. is issuing an emergency order Wednesday grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft "effective immediately," in the wake of the crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people, President Donald Trump said. Many nations had already barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from its airspace, but until Trump's announcement, the Federal Aviation Administration had said that it didn't have any data to show the jets are unsafe. Trump cited "new information" that had come to light in the ongoing investigation into the incident. He did not elaborate.

 

KNID News 3.13.19

City of Enid Technical Services officials announced late Tuesday afternoon the placement of a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Oakwood Road and Randolph Avenue.  Due to electrical power issues at the intersection, the four-way stop sign will remain in place until the issue is resolved. As a safety reminder, motorists are encouraged to drive cautiously thru the intersection today. 

 

 

A Northern Oklahoma College instructor was recently named a finalist for the Oklahoma Medal of Excellence in Regional University and Community College Teaching.The nominee, Jena Kodesh, is a fine arts instructor at the NOC Enid campus, according to an NOC news release. The award is one of five presented annually by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence in recognition of the state's best educators at each level of education: elementary, secondary, community college, and regional and research universities, according to the foundation website.

 

Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among more than four dozen people charged in a nationwide college admissions cheating scandal that involved wealthy individuals purportedly paying up to $6.5 million to place their children into elite universities, say court records released Tuesday. Officials have been investigating the case, named "Operation Varsity Blues," for more than a year.

 

KNID News 3.11.19

Authorities have released the identities of a man killed and another injured in a saltwater disposal site blast last week southwest of Enid. The victim was identified as Javier Barraza, a 32-year-old Hispanic male. It was determined that blunt force head trauma was the cause of death, which was ruled an accident.

 

Threats of violence at Purcell High School are under investigation by police, and the district has canceled classes Monday. About 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Purcell police learned through social media of a a threat to perform an act of violence at the Purcell High School on Monday, according to police. Police said the threat was not credible, and they do not think any of the Purcell schools are threatened.

 

Police have reported an arrest in the 20th homicide case of the year in Oklahoma City. About 12:50 a.m. Sunday, officers found a man lying near apartments in a parking lot. The man was dead at the scene, police Lt. Dennis Layden said. Late Sunday afternoon, a man was arrested and taken to the Oklahoma County jail, Layden said. The man's name was not immediately available.

 

Seattle police said they rescued 26 women after a three-and-a-half-year investigation into massage parlors across the city. After receiving dozens of complaints, police investigated 11 businesses and arrested six people for promoting prostitution and money laundering. The victims, who are originally from China, were between the ages of 20 and 60. Police said they were forced to work 20 hour days, seven days a week in unsafe living conditions.

KNID NEWS 3.8.19

In response to the border wall battle going on in congress, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma introduced a bill this week to make English the national language. Inhofe indicated he was supportive of Trump’s emergency declaration, saying he had received assurances money for the border barrier would not be taken from military construction. A resolution to overturn the national emergency declaration passed the House on Feb. 26 and the Senate is expected to vote on the resolution before its next recess on March 18.

 

No one was injured Thursday in a fire at home in the 4300 block of East Oklahoma. Enid Fire Marshal Ken Helms said firefighters responded at 8:10 p.m. to 4318 E. Oklahoma. The official cause of the fire is listed as undetermined, Helms said. Work was being done to a damaged travel trailer and there was some exposed wiring. He said the cause could have been electrical as first reported by the Enid News and Eagle.

 

A car recovered from Lake Overholser on Thursday morning is tied to the recent discovery of two friends found dead at the lake, Oklahoma City police said. A blue, four-door Honda Civic was recovered by firefighters near County Line Road on the south side of the lake. The body of Jordan Vladimir Chaj Gonzales, 19, was found Saturday in the same area. On Feb. 23, the body of Kelvin Perez-Lopez, 18, was recovered nearby. The area is on the west side of the dam.

 

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced Thursday to nearly four years in prison for tax and bank fraud related to his work advising Ukrainian politicians, much less than what was called for under sentencing guidelines. Manafort has been jailed since June, so he will receive credit for the nine months he has already served. He still faces the possibility of additional time from his sentencing in a separate case in the District of Columbia, where he pleaded guilty to charges related to illegal lobbying.

KNID NEWS 3.6.19

Event planners seeking grant funding from Visit Enid, the City of Enid’s official Destination Marketing Organization, need to be aware of the upcoming deadline for application. Grant applications must be submitted by March 31, 2019 for events held between May 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019. Local events staged October 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020 will have an August 31, 2019 deadline to submit its application. Contact director Marcy Jarrett at 580.616.7368 to obtain a grant application or for more information on grants available through Visit Enid.

 

Vance Air Force Base found no notable discrepancies in its 242 housing units, officials said Monday, after wrapping up a review mandated for all bases by the Secretary of the Air Force last month in the wake of congressional testimony detailing health and safety concerns at some privatized military housing developments. Privatized military housing is owned and operated by private companies, which provide housing to active-duty families through a contract with the military. This story first reported on by the Enid News and Eagle.

 

A 19-year-old suspect in a murder case in Edmond admitted to fatally shooting his parents in their home Monday after an argument over Satanism, police reported. His brother, Isaiah Walker, 17, said the suspect “told him that he shot their parents because they were sending him messages telepathically and they were Satan worshippers,” according to a police affidavit.

 

Gov. Kevin Stitt plans to aggressively use the Quick Action Closing Fund, a Legislature-approved pot of money the governor can use freely to cover infrastructure and development costs for new businesses. The House has already approved an immediate injection of $5 million into the fund, which still requires Senate approval. Once the money is approved, Stitt plans to tap the fund.

KNID NEWS 3.5.19

Due to the recent winter weather the temporary closure of Kennedy and Spruce intersection has been delayed one day. The work will take place on Tuesday, March 5th.  

 

A 19 year old man is in Custody in the shooting deaths of his parents on Monday. Police were called to the scene at around 2:30 am on Bryant ave in northeast Edmond, where a younger son of the victims called 911 and said he’d heard gun shots. Police went to the home where the 19 year old surrendered. Police found the bodies of the parents dead inside. The son was taken to the Edmond police.

 

Luke Perry, who played Dylan McKay on hit series “Beverly Hills 90210” has died. Perry, 52, died Monday after suffering a massive stroke as first told to CNN. He is survived by his children Jack and Sophie and Fiance Wendy Bauer.

 

Rescuers began tearing through the rubble of mobile homes and houses in search of survivors of a powerful tornado that rampaged through southeast Alabama and killed at least 23 people, including children. The trail of destruction was at least half a mile wide and overwhelmed rural Lee County’s coroner office, forcing it to call in help from the state. Police say children were among the dead, but didn’t know exactly how many and that the number of deaths may rise as the search continues.

KNID NEWS 3.4.19

 

Starting today, March 4th, green yard waste carts will be collected on Mondays, according to Scott Morris solid waste supervisor for the city of Enid, and green poly carts containing trash will not be emptied. Also, beginning March 11th the landfill will transition to summer hours. These hours will be 7:00am to 6:00am Monday through Friday and from 8:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday. The land fill will remain closed on Sunday. 

 

The Enid Police Department has received several reports in reference to graffiti that has been painted on buildings and dumpsters. The first report was taken in the 1000 block of West Maple. The reporting party stated that someone had spray painted “WEST” on the side of the building and on the dumpster. Anyone having information that will lead to the arrest or prosecution of the crime or any other crime is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 233-6233.

Enid City Commission will both hold public hearings for and consider approval of sign and variance ordinance changes during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night, in addition to a number of construction project-related items. In addition to the aforementioned changes, the ordinance would remove sign regulations for planned unit developments, allow balloon signs as temporary signs and allow wooden wall signs of 32 square feet or less to be installed without requiring the installer to obtain a license or bond, according to the city and as first reported by the Enid News and Eagle.

 

Repeat sex offender Bobby Otto Powers is headed back to prison, almost nine years after being released early because corrections officials concluded he was dying. At 84, he will be one of the state's oldest inmates. A jury in February found Powers guilty of four counts of sexual battery for licking a sales clerk's hand inside Hustler Hollywood in Oklahoma City then groping her a few days later in 2017.

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