Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews in Duncan were gearing up early today for incoming equipment and neighboring crews, as they prepared to head to northwest Oklahoma to assist in the blizzard.
Division Maintenance Engineer Brad Mirth said the 18-man crew would begin travel north later today to Clinton, moving two motor graders, two front end loaders, six dump trucks with plows and sanders.
ODOT Construction Engineer Jeff Hiller said they could move toward Woodward depending on how the blizzard hits that area.
Hiller expected those areas to be most impacted. They were coordinating efforts with nine other counties in their district.
Stephens County Commissioners said they also have crews on standby should the weather take a turn for the worse locally. As of 2:30 p.m. the rain began changing to wet snow in Duncan, but was still more rain than snow.
District 3 County Commissioner Dee Bowen said road crews and the commissioners were ready and prepared but waiting to see what the weather was doing later to make any decisions.
“It is a normal day for us right now,” Bowen said earlier in the morning. “We are just waiting to see what the weather does. We have sand spreaders loaded and ready if we need them.”
Drivers should keep a watch on any area with ice or snow.
Although the City of Duncan does not have any snow plows available, Public Works Director Scott Vaughn said they are as ready as they can be. Should the weather get bad, the city will be using their two sand trucks to help with road conditions.
“In the event that snow needs to be cleared, we will use road graders, back hoes and front end loaders,” Vaughn said.
He warned that drivers should be especially careful on steep intersections such as the where U.S. Highway 81 road intersects with Elder Avenue and Pine and on bridges. If road crews are needed, their first priority will be clearing access to emergency personnel — police department, the fire stations and hospitals. Major intersections and bridges would be the next concern.
“If the weather hits, people need to slow down and allow more time to get from point ‘a’ to point ‘b,’” Vaughn said. “Be mindful and watchful of the conditions.”
Bowen said there are no specific locations in the county that people should watch out for but said the intersections would be the worst. Should the weather get worse, the county road crews will be focusing on spreading sand primarily only on intersections.
“We just do not have the manpower to do the whole road,” Bowen said.
- Local News
Note To Readers Regarding 3-12 Duncan Banner
You may have noticed that there were no sports pages in the March 12, 2014, edition of The Duncan Banner. I apologize to you for that.
There were multiple instances of the power going out at The Duncan Banner office Tuesday night as the pages were put together. This prevented us from finalizing pages 5, 6 and 7, which are normally Sports pages in the Wednesday edition. Power was not fully restored until about 1:30 a.m., at which point the decision was made to go forward with pages that had been sent to press rather than not have a newspaper at all
County to seek bids for fairgrounds expansion project
Expansion of the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center may get underway as early as this summer.
The Stephens County commissioners, joined by fairgrounds director Mike Anderson, discussed the expansion project during their meeting Monday. The commissioners approved going out for bids to see how much it would cost to build another building the same size as the Expo Arena and to relocate the South Stall Barn south to the outdoor stalls.
Lane suspects back in court Wednesday
The preliminary hearing in the death of Australian native Christopher Lane will continue on Wednesday for three Duncan teenagers charged in the fatal shooting.
The hearing, which began on Feb. 4 but was recessed until Wednesday, will determine if there is sufficient evidence for the cases against the suspects to be taken to trial.
Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 18 face first-degree murder charges in the Aug. 16, 2013, death of Lane, who shot while jogging in the afternoon at Country Club Road near Twilight Beach.
Vehicle burglars strike seven times
A string of seven car burglaries over the weekend has prompted Duncan police to urge residents to lock up their vehicles and take valuables inside at night.
Four car thefts were reported in Duncan on Sunday and three were reported Saturday, with over $1,000 worth of items and cash stolen from vehicles.
City council to discuss projects, half-cent sales tax
City Manager Jim Frieda hopes to give Duncan City Council members an idea of how much money the city would get from continuation of the city’s half-cent economic development sales tax.
Council members will meet at 5:15 p.m. today in the council chambers at 720 W. Willow.
Infrastructure projects, including street improvements and water conservation efforts, are on the agenda for discussion.
Lt. Gov. Lamb says he’ll look at governorship when Fallin finished
Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, a Rebublican from Enid, made his formal announcement for re-election this week and made a campaign swing through Stephens County. He stopped by the Duncan Banner last week for a chat with news editor Steve Olafson. Here’s how it went:
Waurika reshuffles City Hall lineup
With the city manager now on administrative leave, members of the Waurika City Commission wanted someone to steer the ship, and they found that person Monday when Brad Scott was hired as acting city manager.
In addition, following a one-hour executive session, the four members of the commission named City Treasurer Nancy Bluml as assistant city manager.
Waurika City Commissioners reinstate Brown
Chuck Brown was somewhat surprised early last week when the Waurika City Commissioners voted to terminate him from the position of city manager.
Brown was very surprised four days later to learn he had been “un-terminated” and restored to the city manager position.
Awards handed out at livestock show
Winners were announced and students walked away vests and plaques at the end of the week-long 76th annual Stephens County Junior Livestock Show, which ended Friday.
Following the award ceremony, the premium sale began as livestock was auctioned off.
Stephens County Fair Board secretary Kathy Shorter said funds for the sale are gathered through the different clubs in support of the students in the competition.
School boards to meet Monday
Bray-Doyle, Central High and Velma-Alma public schools will meet at their respective superintendents’ offices at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Velma-Alma’s school board will discuss possible re-employment of certified teachers and staff for next school year and possible approval of a senior trip to Medieval Times in May
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- Note To Readers Regarding 3-12 Duncan Banner