Articles from the May 24, 2023 edition


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  • Oklahoma lawmakers sign off on $1M settlement over inmate's death

    SEAN MURPHY|May 24, 2023

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma lawmakers on Tuesday signed off on a $1.05 million settlement with the family of a state prison inmate who died of appendicitis in 2018 despite five visits to the prison's medical staff in the week before his death. Attorneys for Joshua England's family say the 21-year-old citizen of the Choctaw Nation reported severe abdominal pain and classic appendicitis symptoms that worsened during his five separate visits with medical clinic staff in May 2018. England's mother, Christina Smith, filed a federal lawsuit against...

  • No. 1 seed Oklahoma is chasing softball history and Clemson stands in the way at super regional

    CLIFF BRUNT|May 24, 2023

    Oklahoma must go through one of the nation's best players in Clemson's Valerie Cagle to make softball history. The top-seeded Sooners are on a 46-game win streak heading into Friday's super regional opener – one victory short of matching Arizona's Division I record set during the 1996-97 season. Cagle, one of three finalists for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, stands in the way. She has a 25-6 record with a 1.01 earned-run average and 186 strikeouts in 186 innings. She also is hitting .467 with 19 home runs and 57 RBIs If the S...

  • Former Kansas police officer sentenced for sexual assaults, window peeping

    May 24, 2023

    HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas police officer has been sentenced to 23 1/2 years in prison for a series of sexual assaults committed while he was an officer. Todd W. Allen, 52, pleaded guilty in April to 12 felony sex crime charges and five breach of privacy charges. Prosecutors said the sexual assaults involving 10 female victims, including a 15-year-old girl, occurred while Allen was a Hutchinson police officer. Allen was arrested on Aug. 17, 2022, and was initially charged with 24 counts, including 17 felonies. He was sentenced o...

  • Missouri man accused of deliberately crashing U-Haul truck into security barrier near White House

    LINDSAY WHITEHURST|May 24, 2023

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Missouri man flew to Washington, rented a U-Haul truck and drove straight to the White House, where he crashed the truck into a security barrier and began waving around a Nazi flag in the culmination of a six-month plan to "seize power" from the government, authorities said Tuesday. Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, removed the flag from a backpack shortly after smashing the box truck into the barrier near the north side of Lafayette Square on Monday around 10 p.m., according to charging documents. He was quickly arrested by a U...

  • Trump makes video appearance in New York criminal case, trial date set for March primary season

    MICHAEL R. SISAK|May 24, 2023

    NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump threw up his hands in frustration Tuesday as a judge scheduled his criminal trial for March 25, putting the former president and current candidate in a Manhattan courtroom in the heat of next year's presidential primary season. Trump, appearing by video conference at a pretrial hearing in the hush-money case, glowered at the camera as Judge Juan Manuel Merchan advised him to cancel all other obligations for the duration of the trial, which could last several weeks. Trump, wearing a blue suit against a backdrop of Am...

  • Catholic clergy sexually abused Illinois kids far more often than church acknowledged, state finds

    KATHLEEN FOODY and MICHAEL TARM|May 24, 2023

    CHICAGO (AP) — More than 450 Catholic clergy in Illinois sexually abused nearly 2,000 children since 1950, the state's attorney general found in an investigation released Tuesday, revealing that the problem was far worse than the church had let on. Attorney General Kwame Raoul said at a news conference that investigators found that 451 Catholic clergy abused 1,997 children in Illinois between 1950 and 2019, though he acknowledged that the statute of limitations has expired in many cases and that those abusers "will never see justice in a l...

  • DeSantis plans to announce 2024 bid Wednesday on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk, sources tell AP

    STEVE PEOPLES|May 24, 2023

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, long seen as Donald Trump's leading rival for the Republican nomination, plans to launch his 2024 presidential campaign on Wednesday in an online conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk, according to two people with knowledge of the decision. DeSantis, an outspoken cultural conservative, will outline his plans in an evening audio event streamed on Twitter Spaces, according to the two people. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the announcement publicl...

  • Largest US gay rights group issues Florida travel advisory for anti-LGBTQ+ laws

    May 24, 2023

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The largest LGBTQ+ rights organization in the U.S. joined other civil rights organizations Tuesday in issuing a travel advisory for Florida, warning that newly passed laws and policies may pose risks to minorities, immigrants and gay travelers. The Human Rights Campaign joined the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and Equality Florida in issuing travel or relocation warnings for the Sunshine State, one of the most popular states for tourists to visit in the U.S. While t...

  • Millionaire's elaborate jail escape plan foiled, Florida sheriff says

    FREIDA FRISARO|May 24, 2023

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say they've foiled an elderly businessman's plan to escape a Florida jail and return to France where he had previously fled in an attempt to avoid child pornography charges. A tip from outside the jail sparked a two-month investigation of John Manchec, 78, and people he had enlisted in his escape plan, Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said Monday during a news conference. "Essentially, the plan comes down to this," Sheriff Flowers said. "These folks that are on the outside are going to wait u...

  • Alfalfa County court filings

    May 24, 2023

    According to the affidavits and petitions on file, the following individuals have been charged. An individual is innocent of any charges listed below until proven guilty in a court of law. All information is a matter of public record and may be obtained by anyone during regular hours at the Alfalfa County Courthouse. The Newsgram will not intentionally alter or delete any of this information. If it appears in the courthouse public records, it will appear in this newspaper. Misdemeanor Filings Mary Allan Crowl, Hockley, Texas, 63, has been charg...

  • Alfalfa County real estate transactions

    May 24, 2023

    Real Estate Transfers Book 890 page 269: Loretta Doak, trustee of the Loretta Doak Trust. The west half of the southeast quarter of Section 27, Township 27 north, Range 11, WIM, Alfalfa County, Oklahoma. Quit claim deed. Book 890 page 289: Watkins Agricultural Company conveys unto Watkins Agricultural Company. Southeast quarter of Section 14, Township 29 north, Range 9, WIM. Quit claim deed. Book 890 page 291: Sharon A. Goodwin conveys unto Johnson Land LLC. The south half of the northeast quarter and the northwest quarter of the northeast...

  • Barber County real estate transactions

    May 24, 2023

    Real Estate Transfers Book 148 page 433: Brendon Wheelock and Mariah A. Wheelock convey unto Spring Creed Cow Company LLC. A portion of the north half of Section 11, Township 32 south, Range 2 West of the 6th PM, in Barber County, Kansas. Warranty deed. Book 148 page 438: Kayla D. Adams conveys unto Shawn Keith Adams. Lot 26 and the west 20 feet of Lot 28 on Second Avenue East, in the Original Townsite of the City of Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas. Quit claim deed. Book 148 page 439: Medicine Lodging LLC conveys unto Mendi LLC. Beginning...

  • Alfalfa County officials look for ways to preserve historical documents

    Stacy Sanborn|May 24, 2023

    The commissioners of Alfalfa County had a relatively short agenda to take care of Monday morning. Nate Ross, Mike Roach and Garret Johnson started by handling the routine orders of business, approving maintenance and operation warrants for payment, blanket purchase orders and previous meeting minutes. Once those items were out of their way, the three men heard from Court Clerk Laneta Schwerdtfeger about an agreement with Forte, a payment processing company. Commissioners signed that agreement and then moved on to approve the ACCO-SIG and ACCO-S...

  • Class of '73 hosts Aline-Cleo Alumni Banquet

    Alumni Historian Rhonda Dietz Hungerford|May 24, 2023

    The Aline-Cleo Alumni Banquet, hosted by the Class of 1973, celebrating their 50th, was held in the Aline Senior Center on May 13, 2023. Sixty-nine folks, including former graduates, guests and faculty, were in attendance. The host class included Leslee Bottoms, Jerry Driskill, Jerry Hall, Melonie Goodno Stinson, Ruthie Jeffries Haworth, Jim Lamle, Carl Newton, Janie Kinney O’Brien, Gary Olson, Polly Sacket Young, Thelma Simpkins Lucas, Kent Thomas and Lori Watkins Irwin. The awarding of alumni scholarships highlighted the evening. Ashlei C...

  • Cities of Kiowa and Hazelton agree on water rate

    Yvonne Miller|May 24, 2023

    Last week the Kiowa mayor and city council members traveled to Hazelton to meet with their city council to discuss water rates. The two councils spent about 30 minutes and amicably agreed on an increased price that Hazelton pays Kiowa for water. The agreed new rate is $4.02/thousand gallons. For many years Hazelton paid $2.84/1000 gallons. Kiowa City Administrator Sam Demel earlier said that amount had to increase. Hazelton's Mayor is Janie Stewart; City Clerk Gina Stewart; and councilpersons Kathy Hays, Ariel Simpson, Todd Catlin, Tom Trailor...

  • Marine Don Kuenzi Memorial Service Monday after Riverview Cemetery Memorial Day tribute

    Yvonne Miller|May 24, 2023

    How fitting that on Memorial Day when America pauses to remember the brave men and women who gave their lives while serving in the U.S. Military to protect our freedoms – that a local Marine described as a staunch American, a true patriot, one of a kind, humble, a gentle giant, an anonymous giver, with a kind heart would have his memorial service on that same day. That is Don Kuenzi who died in November of 2022. Native Kiowan Eric Reed, a former Green Beret, said, “Don deserves to go out in style. He was the leader in the community when it cam...

  • South Barber Teacher of the Year Cassidy Ricke known for her western rodeo-themed fun classroom

    Yvonne Miller|May 24, 2023

    A barrel racer who met her husband Tyler when they were both on college rodeo teams (he at NWOSU, she at SWOSU), Cassidy Ricke said her second-grade classroom at South Barber (SB) has a rodeo and western theme. "Rodeo teaches responsibility. It is hard work to care for animals and put them before yourself. It teaches respect." Just finishing her 12th year of teaching second grade at SB, Ricke was selected as South Barber's Teacher of the Year for 2022-23. SB Elementary Principal Kaynette Scheck...

  • Senate Review

    Senator Roland Pederson|May 24, 2023

    This Friday marks the end of the 2023 legislative session. Now that an education agreement has been reached, work has picked back up on the remaining appropriations. Crafting the state budget takes time and is no easy task. Dozens of state agencies rely on their appropriations to fund needed state programs, so it also takes diligence and much consideration. A concurrent special session was called to allow more time to work on the budget if needed. I’ll keep you posted on the budget n...

  • Our family is going to the dogs

    Marione Martin|May 24, 2023

    Last week my daughter Marisa drove over from Ponca City for a visit. She brought my second oldest granddaughter Jolie who had flown in from her home in Connecticut. Jolie likes to make the most of her trips to Oklahoma, seeing as many relatives as possible. The plan was that they would arrive about 11 a.m. for an early lunch because they had to leave at noon for another location. Then plans changed, and they had more time, two hours more. That was great until … After lunch at a local r...

  • Carl's Capitol Comments

    Rep. Carl Newton|May 24, 2023

    After months of wrangling, the House and Senate finally came together with the governor last week to announce an agreement on historic funding for public education. The plan includes $625 million in recurring funding for public schools, $125 million of which will go toward rural districts that receive less in ad valorem funding than others. I've talked to many of our area school superintendents, and they believe this will help their districts. A portion of the funding is marked for teacher pay...

  • Woods County Commissioners approve road crossings

    Marione Martin|May 24, 2023

    The Woods County Commissioners had a very brief agenda for their regular meeting Monday morning with only four action items. Chairman John Smiley opened the meeting with Commissioner Randy McMurphy and First Lieutenant Jason Perks attending. They were pleased to learn that Commissioner David Hamil is making progress in rehabilitation following surgery and may return to Alva early in June. He will still need follow-up physical therapy. After approving minutes of the May 15 meeting, the...

  • South Barber's Lily Schurter qualifies for State Track Meet

    Yvonne Miller|May 24, 2023

    Lily Schurter, who just finished her freshman year at South Barber, is headed to the State Kansas Track Meet at Wichita State University Friday and Saturday. A honk parade is planned for Thursday at 1 p.m. to motivate Schurter and wish her good luck as she leaves for competition. She is the daughter of Zeb and Anna Schurter. At the May 18 regional competition at Greensburg, Schurter threw her personal best in shot with 36 feet 1.25 inches to take 3rd place. She threw the discus 97 feet six...

  • GOP-led Oklahoma Legislature agrees on largest-ever budget with little input from governor

    SEAN MURPHY|May 24, 2023

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican leaders in Oklahoma, who control every lever of political power in the state, unveiled their largest-ever budget proposal this week, the result of bruising negotiations that left the GOP governor fuming and even some Democrats happy with what it included. The $13 billion state budget, a nearly 20% increase over last year's final spending plan, did not include one of Gov. Kevin Stitt's top priorities of cutting the state's income or grocery sales tax. House and Senate leaders also apparently blindsided the g...

  • After years of controversy, national bio-defense lab opens in Kansas

    May 24, 2023

    MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — After more than a decade of controversy and delays, the nation's most secure biosecurity laboratory for research on potentially deadly animal and plant diseases has opened in Manhattan, Kansas. Although a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday, researchers at the $1.25 billion National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility are not expected to begin working on biohazards for more than a year, officials said. For now, staff will conduct compliance and regulatory work, prepare protocols and operating procedures and train b...

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