LOCAL AND AREA NEWS
QUAKES SHAKE REGION SATURDAY
Three earthquakes rattled north-central Oklahoma in the overnight hours Saturday.
The largest earthquake was a magnitude 4.0, felt one mile southeast of Perry and 14 miles northwest of Stillwater at about 4:43 a.m., the United States Geological Survey reports. The quake had a depth of 2.5 miles.
Two smaller earthquakes shook central Okla. earlier in the night.
A 2.8 was reported 12 miles southwest of Medford and 17 miles north of Enid at approximately 1:07 a.m. It had a depth of 3.1 miles.
Then, a magnitude 2.7 earthquake hit three miles southeast of Stillwater and 24 miles northeast of Guthrie at 2:40 a.m. It also had a depth of 3.1 miles.
OKLAHOMA EXECUTIONS ONE STEP CLOSER TO HAPPENING NEXT WEEK
One day after being rebuked by the state Supreme Court for failing to rule on the case, the Court of Criminal Appeals rejected a stay of execution Friday for two Oklahoma inmates.
The court ruling rejected the request to stay the executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner. Lockett is set to be executed Tuesday; Warner's execution is scheduled for April 29.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Court of Criminal Appeals must decide whether to stay the executions, reminding the lower court of the "gravity" and "time restraints" involved.
The ruling stated that the Court of Criminal Appeals "ignored the clear language" of state law when it ruled earlier this month it lacked authority to grant a stay. In its 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court returned the issue of whether to grant a stay to the appeals court.
Attorneys for the men filed suit in March, challenging the state’s execution-secrecy law. The law requires the state to withhold most information about executions, including the source of the drugs, who administers them and related details.
Oklahoma County District Court Judge Patricia Parrish ruled the law violates the state Constitution by denying access to the courts. The state Attorney General’s Office had until May 1 to appeal that ruling.
The state’s appeal was filed Friday, clearing the way for the Supreme Court to consider the matter. However without a stay, the men could be executed before their attorneys can obtain the information they seek about the execution process.
The state’s appeal claims the law is necessary to protect suppliers of the drug from “threats of violence and political pressure.” The appeal also states that numerous federal courts have ruled that “death row inmates do not have a due process right to the source of drugs used in their executions.”
Lockett was sentenced by a Noble County jury to die for the 1999 shooting death of Stephanie Nieman, 19, of Perry. Nieman was among four people abducted during a botched home invasion by Lockett and two accomplices.
Warner was found guilty in Oklahoma County of the 1997 rape and murder of his girlfriend's 11-month-old daughter, Adriana Waller.
Attorneys Susanna Gattoni and Seth Day, who represent the men, said in an email Thursday: "It is absolutely essential that the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals stay these executions so that the issues can be fully adjudicated before it's too late."
Lockett and Warner are not challenging their underlying convictions but claim the method used to carry them out could subject them to cruel and unusual punishment.
In a letter to defense attorneys April 1, the state announced it planned to use a new combination of drugs to execute the men: midazolam, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride.
They cite several cases in which inmates apparently experienced slow or painful deaths during executions, noting the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
The stay request by attorneys for Lockett and Warner says the state intends to use midazolam as an anesthetic "before the indisputably painful second and third drugs are administered."
The Court of Criminal Appeals ruling issued Friday reiterates its earlier decision that it lacks authority to issue stays in such cases.
It states that the appeals court judges "respectfully disagree" with the Supreme Court's position that the lower court "ignored" sections of state law.
Aaron Cooper, a spokesman for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, said in an email that attorneys for Lockett and Warner are playing a “constant shell game … to distract the public from the truth that these offenders murdered two innocent victims, and are seeking to delay the consequence of their actions.”
Cooper said Nieman’s family “has waited 14 years to see her murderer punished, and the family of Adrianna Waller has waited 15 years to see justice.”
CHANDLER HOSPICE FIRM PAIR INDICTED
An owner and a general manager of a Chandler hospice agency have been indicted by a federal grand jury in a Medicare fraud case.
Paula Kluding, 38, of Chandler, and Patricia Carter, 42, of Tecumseh, each were charged with 39 counts of Medicare fraud. Prairie View Hospice Inc., owned by Kluding, also was charged with 39 counts.
The indictment, announced by Western District of Oklahoma United States Attorney Sanford C. Coats, said Kluding and Carter conspired to conceal patient medical conditions and misrepresented the quality and quantity of in-person visits to terminally ill hospice patients. The false statements and fake medical reports came after an audit began in 2010 and went to July 2013, the indictment said.
“It is alleged that Prairie View Hospice, acting through Kluding and Carter, sent the falsified documents to a Medicare subcontractor in response to requests to audit patient files and claims for Medicare reimbursement,” said a news release from Coats’ office.
The indictment charges the three defendants with conspiracy, obstruction of a federal audit and making false statements in a health care matter. If convicted, Kluding and Carter could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count.
Messages to the attorneys for Kluding, Carter and Prairie View Hospice were not returned Thursday.
The case is the result of a joint investigation by the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
STILLWATER STREET IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM STARTS THIS MONDAY
A number of Stillwater streets will see improvements as work begins Monday in support of the City of Stillwater's Pavement Management Program.
According to Transportation Manager Jason Peek, the contractors' work includes asphalt milling, patching and new asphalt overlays on approximately 23 lane miles of streets in various areas of the city. A map of the project locations is available at the City of Stillwater’s website. The work should be completed by June 30.
In addition to the rehabilitation work, the Transportation Department is currently soliciting bids from contractors to reconstruct South Monroe Street between 6th and 9th Avenues; 19th Avenue between Western Road and Walnut Street; 26th Avenue between 19th and 26th Avenues; and the intersection of 7th Avenue and Duncan Street.
The City of Stillwater is scheduled to award the reconstruction contracts at an upcoming Stillwater City Council meeting.
The program is a systematic process for inspection, evaluation planning, and maintenance of the entire street pavement network. The process is used to manage approximately 442 lane miles of pavement within Stillwater, and to recommend appropriate pavement maintenance strategies based on condition and service life.
The funding for these projects were approved by Stillwater City Council in the 2014 fiscal budget.
For additional information about the program, visit the City’s website at http://stillwater.org/government/pavement_management_program.php or contact the Office of Marketing and Public Relations at email@example.com or 405-742-8362.
STILLWATER PLAYGROUND WORK UNDERWAY
The City of Stillwater is replacing the playground at Arrington Park (3rd Avenue and Arrington Drive). The previous playground had been maintained in safe playable condition as long as replacement parts were available. Playgrounds are needed to be replaced every 10 years.
The new playground will feature a variety of climbing equipment and fall retention ground covering. It will open this spring.
The funding for the project, $50,000 was authorized by the Stillwater City Council in the FY 2014 budget.
ANOTHER ARREST MADE IN LOGAN COUNTY MURDER CASE
One of the men charged with killing a man whose body was later found on fire in rural Logan County was arrested Wednesday.
Quentin Goodwin, 30, was arrested in Lawton on Wednesday by U.S. Marshals. Goodwin, along with five others, was charged Tuesday with the murder of Shawn Masters in January.
Masters’ body was found on fire in rural Logan County on Jan. 31. His body was so badly burned that it took investigators two months to identify him.
Brandy Hanson, 35, Angel Munoz, 24, John Worcester, 39, Jessie Dalton, 37, and Tyson Lott, 21, were also charged with murder in connection with Masters’ death. Johnny Snow, 49, and Twilia Wise, 36, were charged with desecrating a body.
According to court documents, Munoz and Hanson were upset with Masters because they were arrested driving a stolen car they borrowed from him.
Munoz’s boyfriend, Dalton, told her he would ask a friend to “take care it,” documents show.
Goodwin and Lott are accused of beating Masters with a baseball bat and wooden board before Munoz stabbed and strangled him.
Munoz, Hanson, Worcester, Snow and Wise then took his body to rural Logan County and set it on fire, according to court documents.
Munoz, Hanson, Wise and Snow are in custody in Logan County, and Dalton is at the State Penitentiary in McAlester where he is serving two life sentences for separate murders.
Police are still searching for Lott and Worcester.
MORE FLU DEATHS REPORTED IN OKLAHOMA
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports three more deaths due to influenza to raise the total number this flu season to 61.
The deaths reported Thursday are the first in the state since early March and adds to the record number reported during the flu season that began in September. The previous record of 46 flu deaths in 2009 -- the year the state began tracking the statistic -- was broken in February.
Tulsa County has had the most deaths with 10, followed by Comanche County with six, Oklahoma County with five and Cleveland County with four. Logan, Muskogee, Pittsburg and Wagoner counties each have three deaths.
Carter, Creek, Le Flore, Mayes, McClain, and Washington counties have each had two deaths while 12 counties have one death each.
AREA CITY TO GET RID OF ANIMAL DEATH CHAMBER
Cushing has received a $2,000 grant to change the method it uses to euthanize animals at the city's animal shelter.
The city now uses a gas chamber to euthanize animals, but the grant from the state chapter of the U.S. Humane Society will allow it to transition to an injection method.
The grant will cover training and other costs for employees to become qualified in the method.
Legislation pending in the Oklahoma Legislature would end animal gas chambers in the state. The Humane Society says five other chambers are operating in the state.
ConocoPhillips Donates $1 Million to Oklahoma State University
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) today announced that the company has donated $1 million toward building a new home for Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business. In appreciation for this gift, OSU is naming the building’s social and collaborative area the ConocoPhillips Student Lounge. This contribution is in addition to ConocoPhillips’ ongoing annual support for scholarships, programs, faculty and facilities across the OSU system.
“Oklahoma State University is grateful for the continuing support of ConocoPhillips and its employees, including many OSU graduates,” OSU President Burns Hargis said. “ConocoPhillips is OSU’s largest corporate donor, giving nearly $40 million through the years along with hiring countless alumni. ConocoPhillips is an Oklahoma business pioneer and leader, so we are delighted and grateful the company is helping build the new home for our business school.”
The new building will serve as the eastern anchor of the university’s main quad. It will significantly increase the space for Spears School of Business’ 5,000 students and faculty members, becoming a magnet for attracting the region’s best minds to engage in dialogue about business, entrepreneurship, economics, law and policy issues.
The ConocoPhillips Student Lounge will be a gathering place for undergraduate and graduate students, providing a central and dynamic location for collaboration, studying and relaxation between classes. The space will be filled with natural light and include ample comfortable seating, computers, study tables and entertainment options to accommodate the needs and desires of today’s busy students. Students will also help in the design process to ensure it is the most inviting and visible space for their peers.
“Oklahoma State University continues to provide ConocoPhillips with top talent,” said Ken Seaman, ConocoPhillips’ executive sponsor for OSU and a university alum. “We’re proud to continue to support the university and the Spears School of Business through this investment.”
Seaman, an assistant controller with ConocoPhillips, presented the $1 million check to OSU’s Dr. Ken Eastman, interim dean and associate professor of management, Spears School of Business, during a special ceremony this morning on ConocoPhillips’ downtown campus in Bartlesville, Okla.
“We are proud of the relationship we have forged with ConocoPhillips and are humbled by this gift to our new business building,” says Eastman. “The Student Lounge is a perfect way to honor the many Spears School graduates that ConocoPhillips has hired over the years. We look forward to continuing our partnership with ConocoPhillips so that more of our students can build great careers there.”
For more information on the nationally acclaimed Spears School of Business and its progress on the state-of-the-art new facility, visit spears.okstate.edu.
LEGAL QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED MAY 8TH
Payne County Bar Association (PCBA) and Stillwater Public Library will co-host the annual “Ask-a-Lawyer” at the Stillwater Public Library on Thursday, May 8 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Citizens of Payne County are invited to meet with an attorney face-to-face and ask legal questions free of charge.
“The Payne County Bar Association is excited to be offering the free services of our attorneys to the community again this year,” said Robyn Baker, local attorney and PCBA president. “As attorneys, it is important to us to give back of our time, particularly to folks who might not have the resources to hire an attorney.”
Time with an attorney is confidential and the meetings are held in individual, private rooms. Event participants do not need an appointment to attend and questions will be answered on a first come, first served basis.
“The questions answered at past ‘Ask-a-Lawyer’ events have widely varied, so the PCBA tries to schedule attorneys during each hour who have different types of practices,” said Stacy DeLano, adult services librarian.
Frequently asked questions include those involving family law, child support and custody, real estate, wills and trusts, business and incorporation, consumer law and bankruptcy, criminal law and personal injury.
“If the attorneys present can’t answer your questions, they are very helpful about trying to refer you to another resource,” said DeLano.
Baker added that “while lawyers will be on hand to discuss citizens’ legal questions, they will be unable to answer case specific questions regarding pending legal actions.”
“Ask-a-Lawyer” is free and open to the public. For more information, call (405) 372-3633 x8106, visit the web site at http://library.stillwater.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.).
CITY OF STILLWATER POSTS RULES FOR LAKE SAFETY
With the lake season quickly approaching, the Stillwater Police Lake Patrol would like to remind everyone to follow state and local laws. A current State of Oklahoma fishing license is required to fish at any City of Stillwater lake. In addition the City has a two pole per person limit. Jug lines, limb lines, trot lines, and yo-yos are not allowed. Additional state fishing regulations can be found at http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/fishing.htm.
All vessels operating on City of Stillwater lakes are required to follow all state laws, and be equipped will all required safety equipment. Common violations are failure to possess a fire extinguisher, or life jackets. All vessels must be currently registered unless exempt. Jet skis, personal watercraft, tubing, wakeboarding, waterskiing or any similar activity is not allowed on any City of Stillwater lake. Additional vessel information and a checklist of required safety equipment can be found at https://www.dps.state.ok.us/ohp/aboutlp.htm.
All City of Stillwater owned lakes are free for recreation, except Lake McMurtry. Lake McMurtry requires a $6.00 daily permit per vehicle, which includes all activities except camping. Tent camping permits are $10.00 per day, and RV camping is $22.00 per day. Annual permits are also available. Additional information can be found at www.lakemcmurtry.com.
For a courtesy vessel inspection, or any questions regarding City of Stillwater laws covering fish and game or park activities contact Officer Howell at email@example.com.
OKLAHOMA GAS PRICES HIGHEST IN SEVEN MONTHS
AAA Oklahoma says the statewide average price for gasoline is the highest it's been since September.
AAA says Oklahoma's average price for a gallon of regular self-serve hit $3.47 Tuesday, the highest price since Sept. 15. Prices ranged from a high of $3.49 a gallon in Stillwater and Ponca City to a low of about $3.37 in Lawton. Drivers in Oklahoma City are paying $3.44 per gallon while those in Tulsa are paying nearly $3.52.
The national average is $3.64.
AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai says gas prices in the state have been in the $3.40 to $3.47 range for the past month being below $3 as recently as the day after Christmas.
Mai says declining inventories and signs of rebounding demand have resulted in rising prices across the country.
CHECK OUT THE KSPI AM WEEKDAY LINE UP!!
From 7 to 9, mornings start with "Stillwater Magazine", hosted by Stillwater Radio News Director Bill Van Ness. Bill gets your weekday started by bringing you up to date with local news, state news, local sports, local weather and local happenings from around the area with special guests and topics.
"The Game" with Rex Holt airs from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM. Rex is the voice for Oklahoma State Wrestling, Oklahoma State Baseball and Stillwater High School Football and Wrestling. Each day Monday thru Friday, Rex gives you a realistic look at local high school sports, Big 12 sports, Professional Sports and hot topics of the day. Bill Van Ness joins Rex to add his sports insights to the program.
WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE GAME LIVE HERE 9AM-11AM WEEKDAYS
IN THE LINE UP FROM 11A-2P is “THE JIM ROME SHOW”. Jim generates an electric atmosphere on the air that's dense with attitude, humor, and hipness. Rather than gunning for controversy and confrontation, Jim aims to engage and challenge his callers. His creative, bare knuckle approach, tempered by intelligence and vast knowledge of sports, has left him perched atop the sports talk world with America's sports radio fans in the palm of his hand.
eclectic style, listeners never know
Former OSU basketball standout Doug Gottlieb hosts the 2P-5P afternoon show on CBS Sports Radio which is the nation’s newest and largest 24/7 major-market radio network.
Prior to joining The Doug Gottlieb Show on CBS. He also co-hosted a show on ESPN Radio. Gottlieb was a college basketball analyst on ESPN and did his first radio work on KSPI-AM in 2000.
Gottlieb was a college basketball point guard at Notre Dame and Oklahoma State
and was graduated with a marketing degree from OSU in 2000. He holds every assist
record at OSU and in the Big 12 Conference. He is tenth all-time in assists
in NCAA history.