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Updated: 13 min 17 sec ago

Norman library blends traditional and innovative elements

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 10:09pm

By Bryce McElhaney For The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Norman's new Central Branch Library is on target for completion by next summer, after the $39 million project's construction began in summer 2017.

The three-story library, located north of Andrews Park, will replace the city's original central library at 225 N Webster Ave., and will feature a gamut of upgrades in technology and space, Norman City Development Coordinator Terry Floyd said.

“It is the single biggest project, from a budgetary standpoint, in a program we call Norman Forward,” Floyd said, adding that Norman Forward is a “grassroots quality of life initiative” that began in 2015.

Floyd said the Webster Avenue central library, along with the new eastside library at 3051 Alameda Street, were the first projects underway for Norman Forward, giving the initiative a lot of positive momentum.

“This new library is one that, we feel, our taxpayers deserve,” he said.

Lisa Wells, Pioneer Library System executive director, said the library's resources will be focused on relevance to the Norman community.

“It really allows for flexibility.


Researchers work to make weather information more accessible

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 10:04pm

By Henry Dolive For The Oklahoman

NORMAN — When severe weather grabs the nation's attention, the vital information that lives depend on is generated right here in Norman.

Since 2006, the National Weather Center — a collaboration of federal, state, University of Oklahoma and an array of weather research and development efforts, located at the southern tip of the OU campus — has churned out tornado and severe weather advisories and warnings when conditions warrant, while also contributing greatly to the public's understanding of severe weather.

And today, in the era of social media, smart phones, tablets and rapid, high-tech communication, researchers and meteorologists are doubling down on their efforts to make weather information more accessible and understandable, while they work to increase their understanding of the things in nature that affect weather.

Housed under one roof at the 250,000-square-foot, five-story brick, steel and glass structure that includes a rooftop outdoor classroom and an enclosed weather observation deck, are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, the NWS Norman Forecast Office and the National Severe Storms Lab.

The Storm Prediction Center covers the entire United States, while the Norman Forecast Office — one of 122 such offices throughout the U.S. — covers 48 counties in central, western and southern Oklahoma and eight counties in Texas.

The building also houses OU's School of Meteorology, the nation's largest, and nine separate research and development partners.

The overall goal, says NOAA Public Information Specialist Keli Pirtle, is for state, federal and academic institutions to work together to better understand weather, particularly severe storms.

“Ultimately, everyone in this building is dedicated to our understanding of severe weather,” Pirtle said.


Norman has numerous healthcare facilities

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 9:43pm

By Chris Jones For The Oklahoman 

A health facility is, in general, any location where health care is provided.

Norman, the third largest city in Oklahoma, offers many choices ranging from hospitals and clinics to specialty care centers, depending on which one suits the needs of a person's health situation.

• Norman Regional Hospital, 901 N Porter, is a multi-campus system serving healthcare needs throughout south central Oklahoma.


Lindsey Street open after years-long construction project

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 9:39pm

By Sierra Rains-Moad For The Oklahoman

NORMAN — After more than a year of orange cones and torn-up gravel, the reopening of Lindsey Street has alleviated many problems in the area, but left a lingering sense of desolation in some local business owners.

The mile-long construction project on Lindsey Street began in 2016, rising out of a community-expressed need to address flooding, traffic congestion and traffic accidents, Norman public works director Shawn O'Leary said.

O'Leary said the intersection of Lindsey Street and McGee Drive was at the heart of Norman's long-standing flooding issue, with an average of traffic collisions three times above the state average.

“We fondly referred to the Lindsey Street project as a storm water project with a street on top,” O'Leary said.


Norman's Farm Market runs April-October

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 9:31pm

NORMAN — Lettuce, spinach, peas, strawberries and watermelon are just some of the locally grown produce available at the Norman Farm Market at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E Robinson Street.

Besides produce, customers can purchase fresh flowers, bedding plants, honey, fresh eggs, home-canned jellies and jams, and other made-in-Oklahoma goods directly from the Norman Farm Market vendors' gardens, farms and greenhouses.

People also can visit the Cleveland County Master Gardeners' teaching and demonstration garden in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds for home gardening tips and information.

The Norman Farm Market opens the first Saturday in April and ends its season the last Tuesday or Saturday of October.


Federal, state lawmakers

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 9:19pm


U.S. Rep. Tom Cole


4th District

Offices: 2424 Springer Drive, Suite 201, Norman, 73069; 2467 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Telephone: 329-6500; (202)225-6165


U.S. Sen.


Investors breathe new life into Norman's Ashton Grove neighborhood

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 3:29pm

From staff reports

NORMAN — Local investors have bought the Ashton Grove residential development at a sheriff's sale and plan to finish it after its 12-year hiatus.

David and Lisa Williams, longtime luxury homebuilders who live in Ashton Grove, along with the Farzaneh family, David and Judy Morse, local attorneys who also live in Ashton Grove, and Darlene and Charlie Bowline purchased the property, 70 undeveloped acres and 13 developed lots, northeast of W Rock Creek Road and 48th Ave.



Tue, 10/02/2018 - 2:56pm

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation recently awarded $187,000 in scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year to 55 metro-area high school graduates through the state's largest independent scholarship program.

In total, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation awarded more than $2.2 million in scholarships to 730 students throughout the state for the 2018-19 academic year.

Following is a list of scholarship recipients by high school with recipient name and scholarships received:

• Bethany High School — Asia Nguyen, Ruth Mershon Scholarship.

• Capitol Hill High School — Luis Fuentes, P.B. Odom III Family Scholarship.

• Carl Albert High School — Jade Dudley, H.W. Almen West OKC Rotary Scholarship; Amber Garcia, H.W. Almen West OKC Rotary Scholarship, Larry Roach Scholarship; Perry McCollum, H.W. Almen West OKC Rotary Scholarship.

• Classen School of Advanced Studies — Abigail Sandoval, H.W. Almen West OKC Rotary Scholarship.

• Community Christian School — Emma Ramsey, Garner-Stocker Foundation Scholarship.

• Deer Creek High School — Emma Buckles, Ruth Mershon Scholarship; Preston Seibel, Bennett Family Scholarship.

• Del City High School — Victor Price, H.W. Almen West OKC Rotary Scholarship, Seay Sanders Scholarship; Sakinah Smith, H.W. Almen West OKC Rotary Scholarship; Huyen Tran, P.B. Odom III Family Scholarship.

• Douglass High School — Dorena Gordy, Dr.


Noble man faces fines for starting deer season early, posting picture on Facebook

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 9:28am

From Staff Reports

NOBLE -- A man who started bow season for deer a day early and posted a picture on social media is facing fines in Cleveland County, game wardens reported.

Cleveland County state game wardens Zach Paulk and Chad Strang, tracked down tips about an early harvest, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation reported.

A man in Noble was cited for shooting a seven-point buck about 6:30 a.m.


Cleveland County drug court offers graduates new start

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 8:01pm

By Joy Hampton For The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Five participants recently graduated from Cleveland County Drug Court, which drew accolades from Gov.


Norman Public Schools bus crash reported in Texas; multiple injuries reported

Sat, 09/29/2018 - 4:54pm

LAMPASAS, Texas — A school bus carrying dozens of people crashed Saturday afternoon along Highway 281 North at Lampasas airport.

The crash was reported just after 3:15 p.m.


Norman to collect household hazardous waste

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 3:36pm


NORMAN — Residents of Norman can dispose of their household hazardous waste for free during an upcoming collection event.

Norman's annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event is scheduled for 9 a.m.


Hair of the Dog event to provide veterinary care for pets of people who need assistance

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 3:23pm


NORMAN — The fourth annual Hair of the Dog — Oktoberfest will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday in east downtown Norman.

The event, which will be hosted by STASH, will include live music and food from The Fried Taco, Plato's Provisions and Holey Rollers Donuts, all benefiting Annie's Rescue Foundation.


Norman announces fall residential cleanup dates

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 3:07pm


NORMAN — The city of Norman's residential fall cleanup will kick off on the first Saturday of October and run through Nov.


Volunteers cast boats off for kids' fishing event

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 2:57pm


NORMAN — Kids, their parents, fishing guides and other volunteers spent a morning this month on Lake Thunderbird during the 17th annual CAST for Kids Fishing Derby for children with disabilities.

Tackle boxes, rods and reels, and life jackets were provided for families as they set out to catch a big one.

About 30 children participated in the fishing event.



Thu, 09/27/2018 - 2:54pm

NORMAN — Thirty-one Norman residents have been chosen to participate in the Norman Chamber of Commerce's 38th Leadership Norman class.

The program is designed to identify and motivate emerging leaders through development of their potential for community leadership.

Co-chairs of this year's program are Sam Talley, of Talley, Turner & Bertman P.C., and Beth Sparks, of Sneed Cos.


Districts report improved access after cyber attack

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 4:03pm

By Tim Willert Staff Writer

Access to online student information has been mostly restored in three of Oklahoma's largest school districts following a cyber attack, officials said Tuesday.

Oklahoma City Public Schools, Edmond Public Schools and Moore Public Schools were affected to varying degrees by the attack, which made it difficult if not impossible for parents, teachers and school administrators to obtain the information.

On Sunday, the Oklahoma City district reported a "denial of service" attack on Infinite Campus, which houses the district's parent portal.

Officials said the student information system was not "hacked" and no student information was stolen.

Eric Hileman, the district's information technology director, said the system was either unresponsive or extremely slow on Sept.


Cleanup blitz to benefit Lake Thunderbird, provide volunteer opportunities

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 2:58pm


NORMAN — The city of Norman will host its second annual Lake Thunderbird Watershed Clean Up Blitz on several Sundays in September and October.

Volunteers can choose to come to any or all of the cleanup events:

Sunday: 2 to 4 p.m.


Clothed in compassion: Operation School Bell program provides apparel to students in need in Norman, Little Axe schools

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 3:03pm

By Sharla Bardin For The Oklahoman

During a recent day of shopping, Linda Everett watches while her buddy browses through shirts and selects a white top with blue stripes.


Football fans cheer, show community spirit

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 2:36pm


Thursday night lights are just as meaningful as Fridays on the football field and in the stands for the schools competing each week.

It is a time the community can gather to cheer on their teams, as well as provide support for one another.

The Children's Center Bowl game played between the Bethany High School Bronchos and Blanchard High School Lions raised money for The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Bethany.