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.
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Golden Corral building remains vacant
In November 2012, Duncan’s Golden Corral closed its doors, leaving its building vacant on U.S. Highway 81.
More than a year later, the building still doesn’t have a new business. And it’s not the only building in such a condition. Buildings previously home to Hastings Entertainment and Goodies also remain vacant.
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93 year old twins make holidays count
Many can only imagine the fun of growing up with a twin. Few have experienced the joy of growing older with someone of such a connection.
Charlie Ray “Bill” Hanson and Faye “Tater” Hanson Anderson were born Jan. 19, 1920, in Countyline and grew up in the Loco area. Hanson now resides in Duncan, while Anderson is in California.
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Empire FFA champions
The Waurika P.I. recently held its annual FFA Opening Ceremonies contest at the First Baptist Church in Marlow. Chapters from Stephens and Jefferson County competed for first place and an opportunity to attend the state contest in Stillwater.
Seventeen teams competed with four coming back for the finals. The Empire FFA ninth grade team came out on top. Team members were Cale Schreiner, Anna Mitchell, Luke Davis, Alexia Newman, Ryley Dumas and Blake Cheatwood.
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Affordable healthcare is here
The Republican Party’s angst against the colloquially named “Obamacare” is probably due to the millions of dollars they have wasted demeaning it. Whether they like it or not, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) can only be reversed if voters become lazy and allow Republicans to gain control of all three branches of our federal government. What both parties should do is look ahead to when the PPACA is fully implemented. Then, evaluate the final results when affordable healthcare for everyone is completed. A negative critique of a project at its inception is a wasteful effort in futility, politically and financially.
Ruling is in the hand of God
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby, the landmark lawsuit addressing the constitutionally guaranteed rights of business owners to operate their company without violating their religious convictions. No date has been set for the case to be heard, but it is expected to be decided by June.
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