And boy, was it cold Tuesday morning as the mercury sank all the way to 3 degrees at the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport, shattering a 94-year mark for the coldest Jan. 10 on record.
The Lawton airport wasn't even the coldest place in Southwest Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Mesonet automated recording site near Rush Springs registered zero, and the site at Mangum dipped to 1 degree.
But if there was frostbite-inducing pain Tuesday, there was also plenty of gain as the temperatures climbed above freezing and, unlike Sunday stayed there. The sunshine and warmer temperatures helped melt the mounds of snow and ice still clogging area streets, but refreezing Tuesday night was expected to leave behind sheets of ice as an obstacle to motorists this morning.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop G headquarters in Lawton reported that ice and snow that melted Sunday and Monday had frozen again overnight and formed a glaze over parts of area roadways Tuesday morning.
Highway Patrol Troop M headquarters at Altus reported most major highways in Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa and Tillman counties were clear with a few icy spots Tuesday morning, but secondary roads remained slick and snow packed.
Many area school districts canceled classes again Tuesday, including Lawton Public Schools. Although schools and roadways were adversely affected by the storm, Southwest Oklahoma missed out on the electrical power outages that hit other areas. Joe Wynn of Southwest Rural Electric, headquartered in Tipton, said no outages were reported in the cooperative's service area across Southwest Oklahoma and North Texas.
They may look a little forlorn standing out in the cold, but cattle and other livestock in the area should be well-suited to ride out the latest winter weather without a lot of problems.
It may not be obvious to people who drive by animals grazing in roadside pastures, but cattle put on extra fat and a coat of thicker hair each year beginning about the time days get shorter and nighttime temperatures begin to drop. Leon Fischer, chairman of the Agriculture Department at Cameron University, said that even when the weather turns to what most people would consider uncomfortably cold, as in recent days, cattle don't mind it so much.
"They shed off winter hair in the spring and slick off to stay cool. Then in the fall they get thicker hair that stands up more and put on a fat layer, too," he said.
Early winter storms sometimes do cause major problems for cattle and cattle ranchers. One in South Dakota in October killed thousands of animals and dealt a severe financial blow to producers. But Fischer said the frigid conditions lately in Oklahoma would cause him to have the most concern not for animals but for the ranchers who have to haul water or feed to cattle or chop holes in ice-covered ponds to make sure they get enough to drink. He added that other outdoor animals, like pets, might also be vulnerable to the sub-freezing weather.
"I don't think we've gotten to temperatures yet that would really cause a major problem with most of our livestock," Fischer said.
The City Council approved animal-related fee increases Tuesday, but not before a councilman tried to eliminate several that he believes were unfair to residents.
It was the second meeting in a row that council members considered fee increases that Public Works Director Jerry Ihler said were divided into three broad categories: fees that were not in the code, fee increases to cover city costs, and fees for non-residents or entities.
Ward 5 Councilman Dwight Tanner, who had strong objections two weeks ago, had some of the same concerns Tuesday: proposed increases to the fees charged to residents who call to have their dead animals picked up by animal control. Ihler said the proposals, to increase the $20 pickup fee to $40 and the $5 fee charged to elderly residents to $10, reflect the council's directive that fees charged to residents reflect the cost of providing those services.
Tanner had objected that there were residents who would find it difficult to pay the $20 fee, making the increase to $40 unrealistic. He said Tuesday that he found another objection: The $55 fee that is charged to animal clinics and veterinarians to pick up entire loads of animals might actually be less if a resident, for some reason, needed a pickup on more than one dead animal (something city staff said hasn't happened, within their memory). He initially proposed that the clinic/veterinarian fee be increased, but dropped that idea in the face of council disinterest.
ALTUS Altus police and other law enforcement went to a site near the north shore of Tom Steed Reservoir in Kiowa County Tuesday to resume efforts to find the body of an Altus woman who was reported to be buried at that location by her ex-husband more than 12 years ago.
Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy said officers of his department were assisted by deputies of the Kiowa County Sheriff's Department, along with personnel from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office. They are searching for the remains of Tracy Allen, who is believed to have been murdered after she was reported missing in May 2001 from her Altus residence at 616 W. Elm.
Search may be lengthy Murphy said the process of locating the victim's body will likely be long.
"It will take several days and will be a slow process," he said. "We are digging for her body in the area where Garland Paul Allen led us to."
Fort Sill honored 10 Instructors of the Year for 2013 at a recognition ceremony here Tuesday.
"It's a great afternoon when we get the opportunity to recognize our soldiers in any capacity, but when we get the opportunity to recognize our Instructors of the Year, we're really talking about the best of the best. When you think about it, our bread and butter here is instruction," said Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, commanding general of Fort Sill and the Fires Center of Excellence.
The Field Artillery School and the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) School each named four top instructors in four categories: commissioned officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer and Department of the Army (DA) civilian. Those eight have been submitted to the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) level of competition. Winners of the TRADOC competition will be announced in the spring of 2014.
In addition, the Marine Detachment this year named two individuals as its top instructor and top curriculum developer. The following is from the narration read by John Beemer:
Commissioned officers Capt. Michael F. McCauley is a member of Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery. He is serving as a Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC) instructor. His greatest contribution as an instructor has been his success at driving the transformation of newly commissioned officers into capable members of the combined arms team by blending theory and practice, teaching lieutenants "how to think versus what to think" through leadership, professional development, extra instruction and optional weekend and evening mentorship sessions. McCauley is from Ellicott City, Md. His wife, Rachel, their daughter, Madeline, and his father-in-law, John Peck, were in attendance.
Capt. John A. Peterson is a member of 1st Battalion, 56th ADA. He serves as a small group instructor for the ADA BOLC. Peterson brings to the classroom vast knowledge and experience in the Patriot weapon system and basic leadership. He uses real-life scenarios to build relevance into his instruction, ensuring his students are well-prepared to meet the difficult challenges in ADA BOLC-B and ultimately the further development of their leadership skills. Peterson is from Pittsburg, Kan. His wife, Callie, was in attendance with their son, Johnny Cole, and daughter, Taylor.
While the investigation into a report of an attempted abduction late Monday is continuing, Lawton police have not found any evidence to substantiate the report.
According to a message on the police department's Facebook page, officers received a call around 9:50 p.m., from a young man, possibly known as "Bill" between ages of 8 and 12 stating he was being kidnapped. Police did not receive confirmation of the caller's name or age and had no way of knowing who the person was, Lt. William Grimes said Tuesday afternoon. The call was placed from a cellular phone traced back to the 3800 block of Northwest Bell Avenue.
Investigators arrived there to find a scene that would make a heart skip a beat.
"There were tire tracks all over the yard, and the cellphone was in pieces (on the road near the yard)," Grimes said. "It did look like someone could have been forcibly taken from that location."
The caller said his captor was driving a dark-colored SUV, but police noticed multiple vehicles matching the description parked on the street and surrounding areas.
Officers immediately started surveying the area for evidence, speaking with neighbors about possible sightings and looking at any suspicious vehicles.
The phone was reassembled and officers were able to listen to the phone's voice mail message.
A Colorado man who crashed into a local woman following a bizarre traffic accident last year has been sentenced in district court, but Comanche County Special District Court Judge Kenny Harris did not order any jail time for the fatal accident.
Court records show Kenneth Porter, 78, appeared Tuesday for a judgment and sentence after pleading "no contest" to one misdemeanor count of reckless driving. Harris sentenced him to 90 days, all suspended, and fined him $200 for the Nov. 28, 2012, collision that resulted in the death of 26-year-old Jennifer Williams.
Jeep drives over field into roadway Porter was charged after he drove a 2003 Jeep across an open field in the 1700 block of Southwest 52nd Street and collided with Williams' Toyota Corolla. Williams was driving northbound on Southwest 52nd Street when Porter allegedly barreled out of the field from the west and struck the driver's side of her car. Both vehicles overturned several times.
The court affidavit alleges Porter operated his vehicle recklessly because he was traveling at a speed that was "neither careful nor prudent" due to the nature of the terrain and the fact he could not bring the vehicle to a stop within a clear distance ahead. Also, Porter is alleged to have disregarded the safety of the people and property around him.
Jim Glover Chevrolet, 8308 Cache Road, will team with the Lawton Fire Department in a 36-hour bike-a-thon starting at 7 a.m. Thursday and running through 6 p.m. Friday.
The dealership, along with other Red River Best Chevy dealers, including Wilmes Chevrolet in Altus, will collect toys and bikes for children in need this Christmas. A scissor lift will be set up outside the dealership that local celebrities will visit to raise awareness for the fundraiser. Call 280-2800.
Written by Ty Albin|
Monday, 09 December 2013 21:40 | Published inLocal
For a fourth day this school year, Lawton Public Schools students are enjoying a "snow day" today. Superintendent Tom Deighan called a news conference in the ice-covered parking lot of Lawton High School Monday morning to talk about why that decision was made and how it will affect students and staff. "Our primary concern is the safety of our students, staff and parents," Deighan said. He said continuing icy conditions on side streets and back roads contributed to the decision to err on the side of caution. The superintendent said a team of district employees, himself included, drives known problem areas in order to assess the need for canceling classes. A secondary concern, Deighan said, is school parking lots. Deighan said parking lots covered in ice are dangerous, especially when young drivers at the city's three high schools are added in the mix. In addition, some school parking lots are more challenging than others. For instance, Eisenhower Middle School's parking lot is "dome shaped" and located on a steep hill.
It's always darkest before dawn but colder after.And boy, was it cold Tuesday morning as the mercury sank all the way to 3 degrees at the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport, shattering a 94-year mark for the coldest Jan. 10 on rec...
They may look a little forlorn standing out in the cold, but cattle and other livestock in the area should be well-suited to ride out the latest winter weather without a lot of problems.It may not be obvious to people who drive by...
The City Council approved animal-related fee increases Tuesday, but not before a councilman tried to eliminate several that he believes were unfair to residents.It was the second meeting in a row that council members considered fe...
ALTUS Altus police and other law enforcement went to a site near the north shore of Tom Steed Reservoir in Kiowa County Tuesday to resume efforts to find the body of an Altus woman who was reported to be buried at that location b...
Fort Sill honored 10 Instructors of the Year for 2013 at a recognition ceremony here Tuesday."It's a great afternoon when we get the opportunity to recognize our soldiers in any capacity, but when we get the opportunity to recogni...
While the investigation into a report of an attempted abduction late Monday is continuing, Lawton police have not found any evidence to substantiate the report. According to a message on the police department's Facebook page, offi...