CF)--Races developed for Enid mayor and the Ward 1 and Ward 2 city commission seats after the first day of the three-day filing period on Monday. David Mason and Jayme Wright Latta filed to run for mayor to replace George Pankonin, who decided not to run for another term. In Ward 1, incumbent commissioner Jerry Allen filed for another term, along with challenger Judd Blevins. In Ward 2, incumbent Derwin Norwood filed, as did challenger Doug Boyle. In Ward 5, incumbent Rob Stallings filed for another four-year term. In addition to Enid municipal seats, candidates have started to file for school board seats in Garfield County. For Enid Public Schools Board of Education, Torry Turnbow filed for reelection to the Office 2 seat. Randy Long filed for the unexpired Office 6 seat. In Chisholm Public Schools, Danielle Deterding filed for the Office 3 seat. Roxanne Pollard filed for a seat on the Autry Technology Center Board.
Other school board filings on Monday:
• Eric Hofferber, Pioneer-Pleasant Vale Public Schools.
• Ross Gregg, Covington-Douglas Public Schools Office 3.
• Forrest Mann, Drummond Public Schools Office 3.
• Lee Schnaithman, Garber Public Schools Office 3.
• Mindy Finney, Timberlake Public Schools Office 3.
The filing period ends at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. The election for Enid City Commission seats will be Feb. 14, with a runoff April 4 if needed. The election for school board seats will be Feb. 14, if there are more than two candidates for each open seat. In that case, a runoff would be April 4 if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote. If only two candidates file, they will be on the ballot April 4.
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LF)--No evidence of criminal conduct was found regarding allegations made against Public Library of Enid and Garfield County’s director at a library board meeting last month. At the November 16th library board meeting, allegations of criminal conduct by library employees involving social media software, principally a chat software app called Discord, were brought to the attention of the city manager and city attorney. These allegations were immediately referred to the Enid Police Department. The police department investigated the allegations and found no evidence of criminal conduct. However, city officials did acknowledge that certain actions were taken, which do not fit the mission of the library. These actions included online discussions with minors without parental consent on matters outside the core mission of the library. Officials said the mission at the library is to inform and educate patrons and sustain a safe environment for everyone to create, learn and grow. City Manager Jerald Gilbert has directed the permanent cessation of the chat room software, Discord, effective immediately. The only currently authorized social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
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CC)—The Enid Mayor and Board of Commissioners will meet tonight in study session and a regular meeting. During the study session commissioners are scheduled to hear updates on the Kaw Lake Water Pipeline program finances, an update on new software for the Enid Police Department, as well as an update on the Master Trail Plan. During the regular meeting, the commission will approve several contracts for goods or services, and address a number of other business items. Before adjourning, commissioners also will go into executive session to confer on matters pertaining to economic development, including the creation of proposals to entice an entertainment/theater development and a department store to Enid. The Study Session will be held this afternoon at 5:00, followed by the Regular Meeting at 6:30. Both meetings will be held in Council Chambers of the City Administration Building on West Garriott and will be open to the public.
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MM)--The man accused of killing four workers at an Oklahoma marijuana farm had demanded the return of his $300,000 investment in the operation shortly before he started shooting, prosecutors allege in court documents. 45 year-old Chen Wu was charged Friday in Kingfisher County with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of assault and battery with a deadly weapon in connection with the Nov. 20 killings. Prosecutors on Friday also filed a motion that Wu be held without bond. In an arrest affidavit filed in the case, a worker who was at the farm on the day of the killings told investigators that a man, later identified as Wu, came into the garage and held multiple people inside the garage at gunpoint, demanding $300,000 within the next half hour or he was going to kill everyone in the garage. Another worker at the farm told investigators Wu had worked at the farm about a year earlier. The state’s motion also indicates there is video that depicts portions of the slayings and that eyewitnesses who know Wu have positively identified him. Wu was arrested Nov. 22 in Miami Beach Florida after the vehicle he was driving was flagged by a car tag reader. Oklahoma authorities took Wu from Miami-Dade County jail Wednesday, and he was booked into the Kingfisher County jail on Thursday. Wu is scheduled to make an initial appearance Wednesday, court documents show.
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AT)--Salvation Army of Enid’s annual Angel Tree program, which helps families who may not be able to afford Christmas presents for their children is underway. The program allows donors to “adopt” Angels, children 12 years old and younger, off an Angel Tree and purchase the gifts for them. This year, 574 children were up on the Angel Trees, an increase from 388 last year. Tree locations are at Atwoods, ACB Bank in Waukomis, Evans Drug, Oakwood Mall and TLC Dental. Each tag on the Angel Trees includes needs that child has, such as clothing, diapers or shoes, along with gifts the child wants. People can then shop for that Angel, and they don’t have to get everything listed on the tag. Gifts need to be returned, unwrapped, to Salvation Army’s location in Oakwood Mall, located in the old Goody’s store, by Dec. 16. Gift wrapping supplies can be brought, too. The presents will be bagged up by Salvation Army and then distributed to families on Dec. 20 from the location in Oakwood Mall, just in time for Christmas. Community members also can donate toys and clothing items directly to Salvation Army, 516 N. Independence. For more information on how to get involved with the Angel Tree program, call (580) 237-1910.
TL)--Hospice Circle of Love’s annual Tree of Life Celebration is being planned to help area residents remember loved ones who are no longer with them. Participants can obtain personalized ceramic star ornaments in memory of a family member or friend for a $25 tax-deductible donation. The ornaments will be hung on a trio of Christmas trees featured at the event. Hospice Circle of Love patients who have died in the last year will be included at no charge to the families. Participants will take their ornaments home following the celebration, which will be 3:00 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Gantz Center on the Northern Oklahoma College Enid campus. Tree of Life will include the reading of the names on the trees, Christmas music, a brief spiritual message and a cookie-and-punch reception. The money raised with this event will go toward patient care for those who don’t have Medicare or a hospice insurance benefit. Hospice Circle of Love serves terminally ill patients in Northwest Oklahoma, within a 60 mile radius of Enid. To order a Tree of Life ornament, stop by the Circle of Love office, 314 S. 3rd in Enid. Sponsorship opportunities are available as well. For more information, call Hospice Circle of Love at (580) 234-2273 or go to HospiceCircleofLove.com.