The Duncan Banner

Local News

April 21, 2013

Duncan receives rights to use armory

DUNCAN — A rich history was explored for the Duncan National Guard Armory, as the building was officially handed over Friday to the City of Duncan.

The presentation of the building was made by Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Steve Thompson to Duncan Mayor Gene Brown. The ceremony was the payoff of footwork done by the city and two years of clean-up work through DEQ.

“I would also like to thank the State Department of Environmental Equality for turning over the property to us to use as a Criminal Justice Complex,” Brown said. “The complex will provide office space for several state and local safety organizations, including the local police force, Stephens County Emergency Management, the DEA, OSBI and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

“In addition to providing the hub for local law enforcement and fire training, the facility will serve as a community shelter and outreach center, where meals and shelter can be provided in the event of a local disaster. I feel like this is a wonderful asset that will help increase the safety and well-being of the community.”

The City of Duncan was given rights to the building in August 2011, when the keys were handed over from the Oklahoma Military Department. Since that time the Oklahoma DEQ has been working to make the 16,436-square foot building suitable for use. DEQ spent about $55,000 on the project.

Duncan City Manager Jim Frieda said DEQ actually had to clean the building twice because of heavy lead content. This was the result of a firing range located on the building premises with an entrance at the rear of the building.

The firing range will be used by local law enforcement agencies to help them hone their shooting skills. Brown said the firing range is just one aspect the city has to look forward to with the acquisition of the armory.

He said the building provides and opportunity for various law enforcement entities to pull resources together for the betterment of the Duncan and Stephens County.

As he addressed the crowd, Thompson talked about the important relationship between DEQ and the City of Duncan, noting that the leaders of Duncan helped persuade the transfer of ownership on the armory.

Several years ago, the Oklahoma Military Department announced the closure of 50 armories across the state. Duncan’s National Guard Armory was among those. At that point, the city began working to gain ownership of the building.

Sen. Corey Brooks and Rep. Dennis Johnson were among the speakers during the dedication ceremony. Johnson mentioned how the announcement of the armory closure came across his desk about three years ago, and he made note that handing the armory over to the city was at the top of his list for what the state could do with the building.

Brooks said there have been several cities that have received rights to the armories. And it’s a process he said was going smoothly.

“We’ve had a lot of great success,” Brooks said. “We are very fortunate here in Oklahoma to have Director Thompson and the DEQ to run interference with the EPA (Environmental Protection Act). It’s a great opportunity. I can’t wait to see how this building will be used.”

Aside from various local and state leaders, retired Col. David Brown also spoke during the event. Brown discussed the history of the building, — including construction in 1975. The armories, which housed the 158th Field Artillery Regiment, were essential in various wars, beginning with World War I. The National Guard battalion moved to the new armory in 1976.

“For 78 years, the citizen soldiers of this community, who served in both of the Duncan armories have always answered the call of their community, their state and their nation in operations around the world,” Brown said.

“It is more than appropriate, if not fitting, that this armory with its heritage of service, be returned to the community, so that it may continue that tradition of service.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014

  • Empire water removal proposal withdrawn

    A rural water district has canceled its application to withdraw up to 7.8 million gallons of additional water after Empire residents protested their private wells might run dry if that much groundwater was taken.
    A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board said Tuesday the application for groundwater rights was withdrawn by Fox Engineering Inc., an Ardmore firm that works as a consultant for Rural Water District No. 3.

    April 16, 2014

  • Man stabbed at water treatment plant

    A 50-year-old man who said was approached by three males was stabbed and cut several time at the Duncan Water Treatment Plant, police said Tuesday.
    The attack took place around 9 p.m. Monday on the south side of the treatment plant office where two men forced the victim against a wall and a third man attacked him, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Maundy Thursday services reflect on night before crucifixion

    Maundy Thursday, the night before the crucifixion that some Chrisitians refer to as “Holy Thursday,” will be recognized with special services in some Duncan churches.
    The day is celebrated in recognition of the Last Supper and a foot washing ceremony that took place before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

    April 16, 2014

  • jimmyseggstore.jpg Jimmy’s Egg set to open June 9

    A new Jimmy’s Egg restaurant will open in Duncan on June 9 and will begin interviewing job applicants later this month, the restaurant’s general manager said on Tuesday.
    The restaurant will seat about 150 and will employ 33 people, said Libby Shirra, the new general manager.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo


Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results
AP Video