Hi all. This is reporter Juliana Keeping. I started a new blog called The Beat with a focus on crime. Look for it here: http://blog.newsok.com/thebeat/
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management has sent the following update on the wildfires currently impacting our state from spokeswoman Keli Cain:
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
Situation Update 3
August 4, 2012 – 5:10 p.m.
WILDFIRES IMPACTING STATE
Due to ongoing fires, the State Emergency Operations Center remains activated. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is in contact with emergency managers in the affected areas. Additionally, OEM is working with the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Forestry Division, Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, Oklahoma State Department of Health, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
STATEWIDE BURN BAN
A statewide Burn Ban is in effect. This ban, issued by Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday, supersedes all county burn bans currently in place and remains in place until conditions improve and it is removed by the Governor. For a copy of the current burn ban resolution or for the most up-to-date information go to: www.forestry.ok.gov/ burn-ban-information
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency remains in place for all 77 Oklahoma counties as declared Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin due to extreme or exceptional drought conditions. The Executive Order allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness. It is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary. Under the executive order, the state of emergency lasts for 30 days.
Creek County Emergency Management reports the fire is ongoing. Two National Guard helicopters are assisting on the fire. Delaware, Mayes and Washington county task forces are responding. Evacuations are underway west, southwest of Mannford.
Kiowa County Emergency Management reports a fire near the Tom Steel Reservoir. The fire has cut off water to Altus and other communities in the area.
Lincoln County Emergency Management reports a fire between County Road 750 and County Road 3520 near Drumright. Evacuations are underway in this area.
Noble Emergency Management reports the Noble/Slaughterville fire in Cleveland County is ongoing. A National Guard helicopter is on scene assisting. Johnston and McClain county task forces are responding.
Oklahoma County Emergency Management reports the fire at Luther is ongoing. Early reports indicate approximately 56 structures have been destroyed since yesterday.
Pittsburg County Emergency Management reports a fire 10 miles west, southwest of Quinton at Lick Creek Road near Lake Eufaula. Homes have been evacuated. A National Guard helicopter is on scene to assist.
Pittsburg County Emergency Management reports an additional fire near 31 Landing off Highway 31. Seven fire departments are responding.
Pottawatomie County Emergency Management reports a fire on I-40 at mile marker 181 through 183.
Stillwater Emergency Management reports a fire between Stillwater and Glencoe. A National Guard helicopter is en route to assist and a second one is en route. Glencoe and Ingles fire departments are on the scene as well as OSU Fire Service Training. Evacuations in Glencoe and the surrounding area are underway.
Woods County Emergency Management reports a fire at Highway 14 and Avard Road. Four fire departments are responding.
More than 52,000 acres have burned in fires across the state since yesterday.
Oklahoma Forestry Services reports:
Noble/Slaughterville Fire – 7,900 acres
Creek County Fire – 32,000 acres
Luther Fire – 2,600 acres
Grady County Emergency Management reports 9,600 acres have burned in the Ninnekah fire.
OEM has been working in conjunction with State Forestry officials to deploy Oklahoma National Guard helicopters for aerial fire support. Oklahoma Forestry Division is providing ground firefighting support. Water drops are being provided today on fires in Cleveland, Creek, Oklahoma, Payne and Pittsburg counties.
The following American Red Cross Shelters remain open:
Harmony Christian Church – 7100 S. Choctaw Road in Choctaw, OK
Noble City Hall – 304 S. Main Street in Noble, OK
Sand Springs United Methodist Church – 101 W. 38th Street, Sand Springs, OK
American Red Cross Reports 38 people stayed overnight at the Mannford shelter that is now closed, 48 people stayed at the Noble Shelter and 8 people stayed at the Choctaw Shelter.
Additionally, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are providing canteens and volunteers to support firefighters in the affected areas.
Hot and dry weather over the past few months has lead to drought conditions statewide. Strong winds, extremely high temperatures and low relative humidity has created critical fire weather conditions across much of the state. An area along and 100 miles either side of I-44 is under a Red Flag Fire Warning. A cold front is moving into northern Oklahoma this afternoon which will help lower temperatures across the state by Sunday. Even with this cold front, temperatures will remain in the upper 90s to 104 degrees. The cold front is expected to create further challenges for firefighters as wind shifts occur.
WORKING WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
The Oklahoma Insurance Department recommends taking the following steps after your property has been damaged by a fire:
· When the fire has moved on or been extinguished, call your insurance agent or company claim line as soon as possible.
· Make a list of your damaged property and make necessary repairs to protect your home and property from further damage.
· Read your homeowner’s insurance policy carefully to fully understand your coverage and your rights. If you don’t have the policy in hand, ask the agent for a copy.
· Know if you have replacement cost or actual cash value coverage.
· Ask your agent about additional living expenses (ALE) or loss of use.
· Refer to your policy to know what deductible you’ll be required you’ll be required to pay.
For questions about insurance claims or to report insurance fraud, please call the Oklahoma Insurance Department consumer assistance number at 1-800-522-0071 or online at http://oid.ok.gov
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone. Please only call 911 for emergencies.
Visits to the “cop shop,” ie, the Oklahoma City Police Department, are a part of my weekly duties. There, reporters from the OKC media gather in a small third-floor room and peruse the freshest list of arrests from Oklahoma County jail as well as police reports. It’s the place police news items like this, this and this tend to surface. We mutter and curse when “the stack,” our nickname for the pile of reports, looks impossibly large. We perk up when a big crime item surfaces, and chat and joke and cast glances over a competitors’ shoulders if it is sensed one is acting particularly stealthy.
I’d like to blog a little more, so I thought I’d start a regular chronicle of cop shop happenings to share some quirky or noteworthy items that come up at cop shop but don’t quite make the news.
Read the rest of this entry »
NewsOK Editor Yvette Walker has been blogging from the International Press Institute in Trinidad. Follow tweets from the convention below.
|My host group arranged for a tour of Trinidad today, and while I can’t post photos now (the wi-fi has been difficult) trust me when I say the island is incredibly beautiful, diverse and unusual.The beautiful: We went up into the mountains, very high, with an elevation of more than 2,000 feet. My ears popped on the way up. The winding streets that climb higher and higher are trusted mostly to old Toyota trucks (you see them everywhere). Farmers live up here, and plant chives, tomatoes, cabbages, banana and plantain trees and other fruits and vegetable on steep, verticle plots of land — terraced plots cut into the mountainside. So steep, it’s amazing they can cultivate this land, and they do it without ropes our climbing apparatus, we were told.
We went to the fourth highest peak, where on a clear day you can see Venezuela, only seven miles away.
The diverse: The city of Port-of-Spain is populated with people of African descent, but the city is a port city and brings lots of different people here. Also the natural gas industry here is one of the major industries, bringing people from around the world.
The unusual: Native people love Kentucky Fried Chicken. There are 42 KFCs on this island alone, and I’m told sales are highest here than in anywhere else in the world. I can’t confirm that now, but it’s a fun factoid.
– Yvette Walker
I arrived in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Wednesday night after 13 hours of travel, I was happy to arrive at the Hyatt Regency, check in and go to bed.
The hotel is American-style Caribbean luxury, with American outlets, American channels on the television and English spoken everywhere. Still there is very much a Caribbean flavor to the decor and to the hotel. At the breakfast buffet, nestled beside the scramble eggs and the bacon was an unfamiliar breadlike concoction and also spicy sauces.
International Press Institute Executive Director Alison Bethel and her group arrived here days ahead of the World Congress to make sure everything is ready. It’s the first year the IPI has held the World Congress in the Caribbean.
Bethel said the group’s membership has been calling for this location, and she said it makes sense to shine a light on this part of the world.
The most dangerous places for journalists to do their job is in Latin America, led by Mexico and Honduras. This is a perfect time to have it here, have a chance to engage the Caribbean, which is often ignored when you talk about press freedom and journalism ethics.”
- Yvette Walker
While connecting in Miami to my final destination of Trinidad, I figured I would make some Thunder connections. I was stuck in the airport and couldn’t get outside, however. I didn’t see anybody in Thunder blue, but on the jetway I announced to a friendly runway worker that I was from Oklahoma City.
He groaned. A true Heat fan. And then he said, smiling, “Are you going to watch them lose?”
“That last game was tough,” I answered. “But they are young, they could come back.”
“I know, they are so young and so talented!” he said, referring to player Kevin Durant. “I wish I was 23 again!”
Another woman on her way to St. Croix said she, too, was from OKC and quickly headed for her gate.
Thunder Up!” she said down the terminal.
- Yvette Walker
Photo by Bryan Terry: Oklahoma City’s Lazar Hayward, left, Royal Ivey, Cole Aldrich, and Reggie Jackson wait for the start of a practice before Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena, Monday, June 18, 2012.
Telling people you are going to Port of Spain can be confusing. No, I’m not headed to Spain, I’m going to Trinidad. The International Press Institute is holding its World Congress there beginning Sunday and I’ll be on a panel about Ethics and Social Media.
So, off to Port of Spain, Trinidad. I’m leaving a few days early to take advantage of a little sun and fun, and who wouldn’t? Over the next few days I’ll be blogging about the country and the conference.
I wrote a story yesterday about a Facebook rumor that the Noble animal shelter was closing, and that they planned to euthanize all the dogs.
The rumor was only partially true — the animal shelter wasn’t closing, but the plan was to euthanize some of the dogs if they weren’t adopted by today.
In a way, the Facebook rumor might have done more good than harm. Several people posted throughout the past few days about the urgent need to adopt the dogs at the shelter. And the Noble animal control officer reported today (via Facebook) that all of the dogs were either adopted or rescued:
A lot of animal lovers banded together via social media to get the word out about the dogs that needed homes. It’s great to see that their efforts were successful.
If you would like to help future animals of the Noble shelter, you can donate dry dog food and cat litter at the Noble Police Department at 115 N Second St. They cannot accept cash donations.