$3M grant to improve downtownDowntown development in Lawton is getting a $3 million boost from the federal government. U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, announced the city would get a grant of $2 million from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department. Matching funds from a Brownfields Economic Development Initiative grant will get the city an additional $1 million. The money will be used to move forward with a downtown redevelopment plan that will redesign Second Street to connect with Interstate 44.
Man accused in wife's attackA man who has been a "person of interest” in the slaying of his stepdaughter is in the Muskogee County jail on unrelated charges that could send him to prison for as long as 30 years. Jerry Raney is accused of choking his most recent wife until she passed out, assaulting her in the presence of a minor child and planning to kill several people, including police officers. Raney has been a "person of interest” in the slaying of his 19-year-old stepdaughter, Sara Smart, whose remains were discovered in a steel drum nearly two years ago.
Vandals strike with spray paintAbout a week after vandals went on a rampage throughout Garfield County, Enid was struck by weekend vandals with a different plan. These vandals sprayed paint phallic symbols on just about anything that would hold still long enough. Enid police Capt. Dean Grassino said the police department received about 10 reports of spray painting. The vandals targeted license plates, garage doors, buildings, picket fences, trucks, sidewalks and street signs.
Charges filed in man's assaultAssault charges have been filed against a man accused of hitting a cameraman from an Oklahoma City TV station. Johnnie "Levi” Byrd, 21, of Ada is accused of punching KSBI cameraman Bryon Akerman, 26, several times in the face and giving him a bloody nose. Sheriff's deputies say Akerman was filming at the home of Rosalie Bivins a day after the woman was mauled to death by dogs. Also ... •COUPLE DIE: Tulsa police are investigating the deaths of a man and his girlfriend at 1511 Newport Ave. as a possible murder-suicide. •SUSPECT ARRESTED: Coy Wayne Oxford, 46, of Quinton was arrested at his home Tuesday in connection with the Aug. 8 robbery at a North Little Rock, Ark., bank. From Staff and Wire Reports
Immigration arrests riseU.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement teams in Oklahoma and northern Texas arrested more than 1,600 criminal and fugitive aliens in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, the agency announced Tuesday. Authorities arrested 606 illegal immigrants the previous year. Immigration officials deployed more than 75 teams of officers in fiscal 2007 to track down illegal immigrants who failed to appear at their immigration hearings or absconded after they were ordered to leave the country.
Choctaw man faces chargesA Choctaw man was charged Tuesday with two felony counts for allegedly running over his wife last month. Terry Ayler Ralls told authorities he had "way too much” to drink before he left the Midway Club at 14501 SE 29 on Nov. 11, according to court papers. He said he had argued with his wife, Toni Marie Harris, before he left, according to an affidavit by Oklahoma County sheriff's deputy Sean Patterson. Witnesses said Harris, 33, was run over as the pickup left the parking lot, the affidavit states. She remains in good condition. Ralls was charged Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court with leaving the scene of an accident, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor counts of domestic abuse and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Two accidents take lives of five peopleFive people, including three boys from Illinois and two Sand Springs men, died after two separate wrecks Tuesday morning on Oklahoma roads. Dead are: •Darian Hernandez, 9, of Aurora, Ill. •Dylan Hernandez, 8, of Aurora, Ill. •Brian Hernandez, 15, of Aurora, Ill. •Codi Michael Rector, 26, of Sand Springs. •Robert L. Whitmer, 20, of Sand Springs. The Hernandez brothers died Tuesday morning after their father apparently fell asleep at the wheel of a sport utility vehicle in Beckham County. Leonel Hernandez, along with his wife and four sons, were traveling west on Interstate 40 about 4 a.m. when he apparently fell asleep and drove into the median, rolling the vehicle twice, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported. The father and all four sons were thrown from the SUV on the first roll. Dylan Hernandez died at the scene, and Darian Hernandez died at an Elk City hospital, troopers reported. The father and Brian Hernandez were flown to Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo, where Brian later died of massive internal injuries, troopers reported. A fourth son was flown to Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City, where his condition was listed only as stable. The mother, Lorena Martinez, the only occupant wearing a seat belt, was uninjured. Rector and Whitmer died after their vehicle left a Tulsa County road and struck a utility pole. According to investigators, Rector was speeding west about 4 a.m. when he failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle struck a pole and overturned on its top. Both men were pinned for more than an hour.
Oil-field company being investigatedAnoil-field company is under investigation by safety officials after an explosive device used in oil-field drilling fell off one of the company's trucks onto the Turner Turnpike. The device, called an oil-field perforating tool, was found Monday by a turnpike worker, but wasn't dismantled until Tuesday morning by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Patrol Capt. Chris West said the explosive fell off of a truck owned by Superior Well Services Inc. about 1 p.m. Monday near mile marker 161 eastbound between Oklahoma City and Chandler. From Staff and Wire Reports