A hot dog in the lake is better than steak at the Ritz
A pair of friends get in the lake to beat the heat. Temperatures continue to break the 100-degree mark, prompting health officials to urge people to take steps to keep cool. (photo by Wendy Smith)
Man who set girlfriend on fire enters blind plea
By Doug Russell
Guilty. Now, as to punishment …
A Stigler man charged with first-degree arson for setting another person on fire pleaded guilty Tuesday in Haskell County District Court.
Forty-one-year-old Toby Moss admitted that he'd poured gasoline on 46-year-old Gayle Kaiser and set the gas on fire.
"I had enough presence of mind to hold my hair back, but my shirt just melted to me," said Kaiser, who suffered burns over a large portion of her body. She continues to undergo treatment for burns, including wearing a special "burn suit" 23 hours a day. (more on this story in this week's Stigler News Sentinel)
Josua Alan Bowen
Document: mother names son as shooter
By Doug Russell
The rumors were out there, but couldn't be confirmed. At least not until certain court documents were filed.
Rumor had it that 52-year-old Vickie Moore had told police that her son was the one who'd shot her and her husband on the evening of July 11 at their Perry Road home near Stigler.
The rumor was apparently correct.
An affidavit filed July 13 states that, while waiting for a medical helicopter to take her to a Tulsa hospital, Moore told an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer that she'd been shot by Josua Allen Bowen, her son.
Bowen, 18, was charged July 13 with first-degree murder for the shooting death of his stepfather, 71-year-old Herbert Wayne Moore, as well as with shooting with intent to kill for shooting Vickie Moore. (more on this story in this week's Stigler News Sentinel)
A place to call home
By Karen West
Felicia Williams receives the keys to her brand new home on July 15 from Jerry Tucker, area director of USDA Rural Development.
Felicia Williams had a dream, a dream of owning her own home.
With the help of the Latimer County Housing Authority, USDA Rural Development and KIBOIS Community Action, her dream has come true.
On a small piece of land in Whitefield, which has been in Williams' family for five generations, the dream began. The land was cleared and a house was built. From groundbreaking to completion took four months.
With the help of her parents and grandparents, Williams did a lot of cleaning and painting on the house. She picked out the flooring, shingles, brick and paint colors. "It's very exciting to be a homeowner," she said.
This house is special, not only because it is Williams' first home, but because it marks the 500th home built in the Self-Help Housing program. (more on this story in this week's Stigler News Sentinel)
Burn Ban extended
By Doug Russell
All it takes is a single spark. One spark in the dry tinder that once was grass and pastures can go up in a conflagration that destroys or threatens homes and lives.
The ongoing drought in Oklahoma has increased the fire danger to such an extent that Gov. Mary Fallin declared a burn ban in much of the state — and county commissioners have instituted in much of the rest.
Locally, firefighters have been sweating it out in the face of flames across the area, including a fire that swept across 30 acres of pasture, destroying five bales of hay last week. Firefighters from Russellville have been on three fires during the last week, including a large fire on West Liberty Road that required assistance from the state forestry department, as well as the Brooken and Quinton fire departments.
"The number of wildfires we have had over the last few months is extremely tough on our state firefighters," Fallin said. "It's a drain on their resources as well as a physical drain. Anything that can be done to minimize fires will help to keep both our firefighters and the public safe. I'm asking all Oklahomans to be vigilant and to do their part in preventing fires."
The governor's ban covers 45 counties in Western and South-central Oklahoma, while commissioner-declared burn bans are in place for much of the eastern half of the state.
Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, recommended the governor's ban after analyzing fire activity, wildland fuel conditions and the predicted continued drought as criteria for recommending the ban. (more on this story in this week's Stigler News Sentinel)