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. (more…)
I wrote an article last week on the ways Thunder fans stationed all over the world are catching game. Several people sent photos, and after the article ran, I heard from more global fans, mostly Oklahomans pursuing their dreams abroad. Here are a few of the photos:
Here’s a look at some of the biggest breaking news stories in Oklahoma City this week:
A Midwest City apartment fire on Sunday, May 6, claimed the lives of a young mother and her two sons. The state medical examiner ruled that a Midwest City mother Lindsey Terry, 26, and sons John Brown-Jones II, 2, and Dylan Terry, 4, died from smoke inhalation and thermal burns suffered in an apartment fire.
Firefighters were called to the blaze at the Raintree Meadows Apartments, 449 Harr Drive, shortly before noon Sunday. The blaze displaced 15 people who survived the fire.
Later in the week, we reported that a third sibling escaped the blaze because her father asked that she stay the weekend with him at the last minute.
Attackers behind three Oklahoma City shootings and robberies that occurred over four hours Tuesday, May 8, remain at large. A 17-year-old boy was paralyzed and remained in critical condition this week after his attackers shot him in the chest and pistol whipped a classmate as they waited for the school bus about 5:45 a.m. Two other victims were terrorized by attackers in the hours prior to that shooting. One woman was kidnapped, beaten, dumped on the Kilpatrick Turnpike and shot by a group of four tormentors. Another woman said a group of men surrounded her car and one shot through her windshield as she searched for a parking spot after work early Tuesday. She escaped with minor injuries, while the other female victim’s injuries were not life-threatening. Due to varying descriptions of both the attackers and their vehicle or vehicles, police can’t say for certain if these crimes are related. They have no suspects, and are asking those with information to call 911.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s public address announcer was arrested Thursday, May 10, on three complaints of indecent or lewd acts with a child under 16. James Allan Miller, 41, of Harrah, is also a speech teacher and tennis coach at Harrah High School. He posted bail on Friday. The Thunder suspended him from his job and the school placed Miller on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Now, the franchise has picked another announcer for the remainder of the NBA playoffs and has tentative plans to launch a search for a permanent replacement this summer.
Learn about the deadly outbreak on our restrospective page: http://newsok.com/may3
View videos and photos, read the stories and learn about the science behind the outbreak.
Police have identified the man who died in an oil rig accident Monday as Peter Cleeland, 45, authorities said Tuesday afternoon.
About 10 p.m. Monday, firefighters and paramedics were called to a rig at 3400 SE 59, said fire Deputy Chief Marc Woodard.
Police officers also responded to a man being “crushed” at the rig site, said police Master Sgt Gary Knight.
Crews freed the Cleeland from underneath metal, but he was in full arrest when he was freed, authorities said. Emergency Medical Services Authority paramedics also responded, Woodard said.
A second arrest has been made in the Easter Sunday shooting death of a Lexington man, authorities said.
Authorities arrested Russell Lee Blackwood, 40, of Purcell, Wednesday, the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation reported. Blackwood was arrested on a murder complaint in connection with the death of Gary Norton Sr., 55, who was found shot to death in his Lexington home April
Blackwood had been booked into the McClain County Jail on unrelated charges. Agents questioned him Wednesday, arrested him, and booked him into Cleveland County Jail.
Blackwood’s arrest follows that of Richard Dean Landsdale, 37, of Purcell, who was arrested at home Monday afternoon. Landsdale was also booked into Cleveland County jail.
An autopsy revealed Norton died of a gunshot wound to the head, OSBI said. Several residents called 911 and said they heard gunshots in the area between 12:30 and 12:45 a.m.
Three suspected grenades in Oklahoma City brought the police bomb squad to separate locations Friday.
Police were first called about 2 p.m. to a backyard in the 3900 block of SW 23, Sgt. John Stacy said, when a man saw what he thought was a grenade behind his house. The bomb squad retrieved the suspected grenade, Stacy said.
“They did transport it and they did dispose of it,” he said.
A second call came about 6:20 p.m. when a homeowner found a grenade in the front yard in the 9600 block of NE 63, Stacey said. The bomb squad determined the item was a collectible.
It is unknown whether or not these incidents are linked, he said.
Just after 7 p.m., police received a third call about a grenade. Stacey said a woman found a grenade in a chest that contained her husband’s items from war. The bomb squad remained at the home in the 1500 block of Johnston Drive as 8 p.m., he said.