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By Jennifer Griswold Published: January 1, 2008

merous building projects to accommodate the students were completed or started during the year.

The Newcastle School District opened a new middle school in August. The 82,000-square-foot building houses sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. Voters also approved a bond issue for an addition to the district's high school this year. Construction will begin in 2008.

Tuttle's school district completed additions at the elementary and high schools in time for the new school year. Construction continued on new high schools in Lexington and Purcell, and the Dibble School District broke ground for a new middle school.

A bond issue to build a new high school in Bridge Creek failed. School officials said the district's overcrowding problems aren't going away, and a solution has to be found. Blanchard officials sought community input this fall on the district's greatest needs. A bond issue election is expected this year.

Body found, man arrested
The search for a missing Oklahoma City man ended in a field near Goldsby Nov. 4 when a hunter stumbled upon the body of 62-year-old Steven Domer. The man's burned car was found nearby.

The state medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide. Domer died of asphyxiation, according to the autopsy report. Darrell Madden has been charged in Domer's death. Madden, 37, of Washington, is a self-proclaimed leader of a white supremacist gang. Authorities say Domer was targeted because of his sexual orientation.

Remembering those who served
The Dibble community gathered July 2 for the funeral of a 21-year-old soldier killed in Iraq. Jeremiah Veitch, a 2004 graduate of Dibble High School, was remembered as a jokester and "someone you can always count on” by his friends and family. He was killed June 21 in Baghdad.

In Blanchard, a memorial to a hometown hero killed in the Korean War was erected. The Tony K. Burris Memorial was dedicated Sept. 15 in a ceremony that included a speech by retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks. Burris' nine brothers and sisters attended.

The statue of Burris sits at the corner of Main Street and U.S. 62 in downtown Blanchard. Burris was killed in action at Heartbreak Ridge on Oct. 9, 1951. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in battle.

Purcell and Minco also remembered those who served by dedicating veterans memorials this year.

Centennial activities
Many surrounding cities dedicated projects and hosted celebrations for the Oklahoma Centennial. Blanchard and Washington celebrated their 100th birthdays, along with the state. Blanchard threw a bash Nov. 10, and Washington celebrated on Dec. 15. The railroad's extension through Indian Territory led to the development of both communities that were incorporated in 1907.

Modern land run develops
There was a modern-day land run in McClain County as Goldsby and Purcell annexed the same piece of property in June, each claiming the land as its own. The communities are feuding over a 1.5-square-mile tract of land near the Johnson Road exit off of Interstate 35.

Goldsby filed a lawsuit seeking to have Purcell's annexation declared invalid and giving it sole ownership of the property.

In the meantime, Purcell leaders have claimed the land as theirs and have extended city services to the area.

Goldsby town attorney Bob Dill said the case is still working its way through the court system. Both communities want the land because of its potential for commercial development and sales tax revenue.

Blanchard city leadership turmoil
Three people have served as Blanchard's city manager in 2007. The council fired Bill Edwards in July after seven years leading the city. Denise Peach served as interim city manager until Nov. 27 when she was hired for the permanent post, but she resigned two weeks later, citing disagreements over contract negotiations. Police Chief Hank Weber was appointed Dec. 20 to fill in as interim city manager until a permanent selection is made.