Home invasion suspects charged with felony counts

By Jeff Shultz

Publisher

 

Two suspects in an alleged home invasion incident in Stratford were charged last Tuesday, November 22, with one felony count of burglary in the first degree each, according to court documents.

Brent Miner and Roy Shane Ingram were also charged with one count of public intoxication, a misdemeanor.

According to court documents from the District Attorney’s office, Miner and Ingram were the alleged suspects during a home invasion at 704 North Oak in Stratford on Saturday, November 19.

The records state that Miner and Ingram had allegedly kicked in the front door of the Tyler McBroom residence and began yelling at McBroom.

At the time of the incident, according to court records, there were two adult males, one adult female and two children under the age of two years old at the home at the time.

Upon entering the house the female subject, Tabietha Ring, called the Stratford Police to report the home invasion.

Both men, according to the reports, began to leave the residence when they saw she was calling the police.

However, when Ring went to shut the door, Miner, according to the records kicked the door open again, causing the door to strike Ring above the right eye.

Stratford Police Officer Ray Niehus responded to the call and was first on the scene. When he arrived at the residence both Miner and Ingram were still there.

Niehus first spoke to the victims and then questioned Miner, who denied kicking in the door to the McBroom residence.

Both men exhibited an odor of alcohol on their breath as well, the reports claim.

Both were taken into custody that night and transported to the Garvin County Jail for processing.

Miner and Ingram appeared in court on Monday, November 28, and were issued a $15,000 bond each.

Holiday events abound this weekend in Garvin County

By Jeff Shultz

and Lindsey Temple

 

There will be plenty of holiday events this weekend in Garvin County as Lindsay, Elmore City and Pauls Valley will host numerous activities planned to get everyone into the Christmas Spirit.

It all begins Thursday night in Lindsay with the Lindsay Chamber’s annual Christmas Parade and the weekend will culminate on Monday night with the Pauls Valley Chamber’s traditional Parade of Lights.

Here is a run down of holiday events in Garvin County this weekend:

Thursday

The Lindsay Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas Parade, “Gift of Christmas” is scheduled for Thurs., Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m. on the Main Street of Lindsay. Cash prizes will be drawn as well as drawings for bikes. Everyone is invited to attend or call the chamber (756-4312) with an entry.

 

Saturday

Elmore City area residents will ring in the holiday season with the town’s first annual chili cook-off competition and a holiday singing contest.

There will also be a town Christmas lighting for all to enjoy, along with lots of Christmas goodies provided by the EC-P band.

This will be the newly formed chamber’s first Christmas event and according to many chamber members they are hoping for it to be the first of many.

All area residents are encouraged to attend and show off their talents whether it be belting out Christmas tunes or cooking chili.

The Christmas singing contest will be offering $100 prize money to each age group — 18 and over, adult, 13-17, youth, and 12 and under children.  The song selection must be holiday themed and singing will begin at 7 p.m.

The chili cook-off competition will showcase the area’s most experienced chili cooks with the winner of this competition will win $100 grand prize along with bragging rights for a whole year

 

Sunday

A Christmas Open House is set for Sun., Dec. 4 at the Murray-Lindsay Mansion in Erin Springs, according to Lindsay Community Historical Society president Shawn Bridwell.

The Open House is set for 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Pictures with Santa will be available inside the Mansion.

There will be a Christmas craft for the children at the Pikes Peak School, across from the Mansion.

Mrs. Claus will be handing out finger foods and homemade goodies, as well as punch, cider, cookies and snacks, in the Mansion’s kitchen.

Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated.

The Murray-Lindsay Mansion is located south of Lindsay on Hwy. 76, then west at Erin Springs. Those needing further information may contact Bridwell at 405-756-6502 or 405-756-3849.

 

Monday

The Pauls Valley Fire Department will be serving a chili dinner at the fire department from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

This will be PVFD’s 13th annual holiday chili dinner. The fire department uses the donations from the dinner to fund small items throughout the year like gloves and masks, according to PVFD volunteer firefighter and chaplain, Brian Black.

The 2011 PV Parade of Lights will start with the mayor’s tree lighting ceremony at the Santa Fe Depot Plaza at 7:00 p.m.

This year’s theme for the parade is “The Magical Music of Christmas.”

The judging will consist of three categories, “Spectacular Sparkles Award,” this award will go to the most outstanding display of lights and illumination. The “Milk and Cookies Award,” will go to the most outstanding entry featuring children.

The “O Holy Lights Award” will be given to the most outstanding entry that illustrates a religious theme. All entrees must be decorated in Christmas theme.

For more information call Bonnie Vorhies, Parade Committee Chair, 238-1669 or email bonnie@paulsvalleychamber.com.

Smith appointed to Town Board

By Jeff Shultz

Publisher

 

Maysville resident Terry Smith was appointed as the Maysville Town Board’s newest member last week during the Town Board’s regular monthly meeting on Monday, November 21.

Smith fills a board vacancy caused by former Board member Don Ivey, who resigned from the Town Board and MMA Board of Trustees due to health concerns.

In other business, the Town Board tabled any action on pay raises for Maysville Police Chief Adam McMillen and Police Officer Steve Huffman until after the January Financial Review.

Both pay raises were on last month’s agenda but were tabled at that time as well, causing Board Member Trinity Jones, who placed the items on the agenda, to walk out of the meeting.

Though they will not be getting any pay raises, both city employees, as well as all other city employees, were given a one time pay adjustment of $50 by the Town Board members.

Russell pleads guilty

By Jeff Shultz
Publisher

At one time Bobby Russell was a standout in the community; serving as chamber board president and volunteering his time on other community projects while overseeing the Pauls Valley school system as the district’s superintendent of schools.

On Friday, November 18, Russell’s stature in the community officially changed to convicted felon as he stood before District Judge Trisha Mishak and plead guilty to two counts of embezzlement and three counts of obtaining money through false pretenses.

Russell, 60, was the target of school and law enforcement officials earlier this year after it was discovered over $86,000 in school funds were missing.

After a lengthy investigation by the PV School Board, the PV Police and the District Attorney’s office, Russell was charged with 10 counts of embezzlement and obtaining money by false pretenses.

According to court records, the four-felony embezzlement counts included two instances where Russell allegedly obtained a check from the Mid-America Technology Center and cashed the checks for his own gain.

Both checks were in the amount of $11,500 each and were written to the PV School District.

On two other instances, Russell allegedly cashed two checks from the Elmore City-Pernell School District in the amounts of $2,392.88 and $3,062.00.

According to the documents, Russell also submitted false claims totaling $10,012.00 and was paid by the school district for those claims.

Last Friday, with members of the PV School Board looking on in the courtroom, Russell pleaded guilty to two of the embezzlement counts and three counts of obtaining money through false pretenses.

The remaining five criminal charges were dismissed with a five-year suspended sentence for each count.

Russell was ordered to spend 30 days in the County Jail; pay $130,000 in restitution with over $59,000 of that amount paid back to the PV School District on the day of his hearing; and complete 120 hours of community service.

The remainder of the money will be paid to a surety company who had already covered some of the district’s losses due to Russell’s embezzlement.

According to the plea agreement, Russell also had to submit a letter of apology to the school district.

“I have no defense for the negative actions that I did to the school and community of Pauls Valley,” Russell said in the letter. “I take full and sole responsibility for any harm that my actions have caused.”

In a prepared statement to the press, PV Board President Jeniece Tate said despite Russell’s actions, the school district is in good shape.

“The district is in sound financial condition, and is fortunate to have an excellent superintendent and extraordinary administrative staff.

“Now that this unfortunate chapter is behind us, the Board is looking forward to continuing improvements in the school system,” Tate said.

Two arrested in Stratford home invasion

By Jeff Shultz
Publisher

Two suspects remain in custody, as an investigation is ongoing into a home invasion that took place Saturday night while a Stratford family was watching the OU-Baylor game.

According to Stratford Police Chief Scott Collier, the suspects allegedly kicked in a door at a Stratford residence Saturday night.

“The family was watching the football game when the suspects broke through the door. There were children present at the time,” Collier said.

Both suspects were caught at the scene and were taken to the Garvin County Jail.

Collier did not identify the suspects in the case, stating the incident was still under investigation.

“Fortunately, no one was injured during the incident,” he said.

Collier said the motive for the alleged home invasion was not known at the time.

“We’re still conducting our investigation and we’ve turned the matter over to the District Attorney’s office,” he said.

Parade of Lights, PV Firefighter’s Chili Supper a holiday tradition

By Lindsey Temple
News Star Reporter

As the holiday season fast approaches Pauls Valley area residents are in store for some family friendly events that will make even the biggest Scrooge excited for the upcoming season.

And it all begins on Monday, December 5, as Pauls Valley will hold its annual Parade of Lights.

Patrons are welcome to come enjoy dinner with some of Pauls Valley’s bravest at the PV Firefighters Annual Chili Supper before the parade.

The Pauls Valley Fire Department will be serving a chili dinner at the fire department from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

This will be PVFD’s 13th annual holiday chili dinner. The fire department uses the donations from the dinner to fund small items throughout the year like gloves and masks, according to PVFD volunteer firefighter and chaplain, Brian Black.

The 2011 PV Parade of Lights will start with the mayor’s tree lighting ceremony at the Santa Fe Depot Plaza at 7:00 p.m.

Businesses, groups and organizations that would like to participate in the parade must fill out an entry form, available at www.paulsvalley.com.

Along with the entry form, participants have the option of a $10 entry fee or a new toy; both options go towards benefiting the Angel Tree.

Completed entry forms and donations must be turned in to the Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce office no later than Wednesday, November 30, to be eligible for judging.

This year’s theme for the parade is “The Magical Music of Christmas.”

The judging will consist of three categories, “Spectacular Sparkles Award,” this award will go to the most outstanding display of lights and illumination. The “Milk and Cookies Award,” will go to the most outstanding entry featuring children.

The “O Holy Lights Award” will be given to the most outstanding entry that illustrates a religious theme. All entrees must be decorated in Christmas theme.

For more information call Bonnie Vorhies, Parade Committee Chair, 238-1669 or email bonnie@paulsvalleychamber.com.

Courthouse construction literally ‘moving’ along

By Jeff Shultz
Publisher

The second phase of renovations at the Garvin County Courthouse has some offices relocating to new surroundings during construction.

The latest to make a move to a not only a new office space but a new building as well is the Garvin County OSU Extension Service.

The OSU Extension Office had to move completely out of its normal office this past week on the first floor of the courthouse and relocate in the first floor of the old county building now housing the Garvin County E911 system.

“The OSU Extension Office should be in the 911 building for about six weeks,” said Garvin County Clerk Lori Fulks.

“After that they should be back in their old office at the courthouse.”

The Extension Center’s move comes on the heels of the Garvin County Sheriff’s Office temporarily being housed in the 911 building while renovations to the Sheriff’s office were made.

Fulks also noted the Garvin County Commissioners will soon be moving upstairs and share office space with the County Clerk’s office on the second floor of the courthouse.

The Sheriff’s office and the District Attorney’s will be expanded into the current county commissioner’s office.

“Once that is done, the old tag agency office on the first floor of the courthouse will be renovated for the commissioner’s new office space,” Fulks added.

Fulks said the county commissioners will most likely be sharing her office space for approximately eight weeks.

“We ask the general public to be patient during this time of construction,” she said. “Once it is completed we will have an efficient courthouse to conduct county business from.”

Stratford Council to hold Town Hall meeting on water rate increases

By Susan Stone
News Star Reporter

An increase in water rates for Stratford residents will be the topic of a Town Hall meeting by the Town of Stratford.

The meeting will be held Thursday, December 1, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma Heritage Bank West Building.

Members of the Stratford City Council as well as others will be on hand for this meeting to hear any questions or concerns the public may have about the water rate hike that is going to take place in the near future.

Right now Stratford water rates are the lowest of several towns around this area.

“Increasing the rates is just something we are going to have to do,” Mayor John Jolley said.

“Prices have gone up on supplies necessary to keep our water system up and running. Also our water system is old and just needs to be updated,” Jolly added.

The public is encouraged to attend this important Town Hall meeting and to have any questions or concerns addressed at that time.

Precinct lines changing for 2012

By Jeff Shultz

Publisher

 

There’s the 100-year flood, the Seven Year Itch and every ten years there’s the dreaded “Redistricting.”

Yep, we said “Redistricting.” The one word county election board secretaries across the state loath.

“Precinct boundary lines must be changed every ten years following the redistricting of congressional, legislative, and county commissioner districts.  Redistricting occurs following the federal census to ensure that the population in the various districts is equal,” explained Garvin County Election Board Secretary Cathy Brinley.

As a result of the 2012 Redistricting, some voters in Garvin County will find themselves traveling longer distances to vote at new polling places next year.

Brinley said boundaries for several precincts in Garvin County have been changed and the whole process is enough to give Brinley and her fellow election board secretaries a migraine headache.

“A majority of voters in Garvin County will have new polling places as a result of the changes in precinct boundaries. We will also be moving three precinct polling place locations in Garvin County,” she said.

The headache begins this week when new Voter Identification cards will be mailed out to those voters whose precinct-polling place changed as a result of the new precinct lines.

Those voters will cast ballots at their new precincts at the next election on February 14, 2012.

“We’re going to have a lot of folks who haven’t updated their voter registration cards to match their new 911 addresses. We’re also going to have folks whose voter registration cards don’t match their driver’s license or other form of legal ID. If their ID doesn’t match with their voter registration card they can’t vote,” said Brinley.

Brinley said the most common mismatch would be a person with a driver’s license that bears their full legal name and a voter registration card that only has a portion of their name on the card.

For instance, John Doe Smith may be his legal name on his driver’s license, but he may have just John Smith on his voter registration card.

“Those two forms of ID – the legal ID and the voter registration card must match in order for a person to vote,” Brinley said.

Add to that the fact that six voter polling places will be closed to due to the change in the boundary lines and the headache will get worse.

“We’re going to have voters in all these various locations walking up to polling places that doesn’t exist anymore,” she said.

Brinley said there will be maps at the old polling places to show where they should go to vote, but “some folks won’t go to the new polling place or they’ll go to the wrong polling precinct.”

The easiest way to avoid all the hassle is for those voters to update their voter registration cards with their legal photo ID, Brinley said.

Brinley said that voters whose precinct polling place changed as a result of the new precinct lines, will be receiving new Voter Identification cards in the mail in the next few weeks.

“Those voters will vote at their new precinct polling place at the next election.  The polling place is indicated on the new Voter Identification Cards,” she said.

Also new in 2012 will be new voting machines for voters to use. A statewide mock election will be held in the coming months for voters to see how the new machines will work during an actual election, Brinley added.

If you have any questions on updating your voter registration card, or where you will be voting at in 2012, call the Garvin County Election Board at 405-238-3303 beginning on Thursday, November 17.

Russell pleads guilty

By Jeff Shultz

Publisher

Former Pauls Valley Superintendent of Schools Bobby Russell pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of embezzlement and three counts of obtaining money through false pretenses.
Russell received a defered sentence according to a plea agreement with the DAs office. He was ordered to spend 30 days in the County Jail.
Russell was ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution with over $59,000 of that amount paid back to the PV School District today shortly after his court appearance. The remainder of the money will be paid to a surety company who had already covered some of the district’s losses due to Russell’s embezzlement.

According to the plea agreement, Russell also had to submit a letter of apology to the school district.

“I have no defense for the negative actions that I did to the school and community of Pauls Valley,” Russell said in the letter. “I take full and sole responsibility for any harm that my actions have caused.”

In a prepared statement to the press, PV Board President Jeniece Tate said despite Russell’s actions, the school district is in good shape.

“The district is in sound financial condition, and is fortunate to have an excellent superintendent and extraordinary administrative staff.

“Now that this unfortunate chapter is behind us, the Board is looking forward to continuing improvements in the school system,” Tate said.

Look for more details on this story in next week’s issue of the Garvin County News Star.

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