safe

‘The next thing I know, there’s a cow on my hood’

We urge all citizens in Pottawatomie County to help us make our roadways safe by registering your livestock using our online registration form. For more information Click Here

News Story from KOCO

A Pottawatomie County deputy was taking a normal drive before a cow ran into the roadway and in front of his vehicle. Warning, some of the images may be disturbing.

 

Weather Conditions Still Treacherous

All Pottawatomie County roads remained slick and hazardous and many were littered with stalled vehicles Wednesday, so officials are still urging people to stay home.

Don Lynch, Shawnee/Pottawatomie County emergency management director, said the stalled cars are making it difficult for crews to clear roadways, and continuing northerly winds Wednesday were expected to lead to further drifting. Several road closures remained mid-day Wednesday, including the southbound on-ramp to U.S. 177 from Kickapoo Spur and the northbound U.S. 177 off-ramp to Farrall Street, both because of abandoned vehicles, Lynch said.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said he still was discouraging travel Wednesday as deputies, with four-wheel drive units, were having difficulty maneuvering roadways. “The highways are snow-packed and the east and west roads are full of snow drifts,” Palmer said, after making his way up U.S. 177 from Asher. “And the wind child out here is brutal.” And while the sun was shining Wednesday, Palmer said people shouldn’t get a false sense of security because nothing was melting. “Unless it’s an extreme emergency, don’t get out,” Palmer said, adding wrecker services were hours behind getting people unstuck after they chose to get out. There hadn’t been any reports of major accidents or injuries related to the storm, he said, but wanted to urge caution for those “playing” in the snow. A woman was killed in Oklahoma City Tuesday night, Palmer said, while being pulled behind a vehicle on some type of fashioned-sled. He advises against doing that, as there’s no control over that object in the snow. “It’s fun, but I don’t think people realize how dangerous that is,” Palmer said, encouraging everyone to have fun, but to do so in a safe manner.

Lynch said city of Shawnee street crews were continuing to plow major streets, adding most major streets have at least one lane open in both directions, but all secondary streets remained snow packed and treacherous. “We continue to urge people to stay off the roads unless it is an absolute emergency,” Lynch said. No major power outages were reported as of mid-Wednesday, although there were some reports of water pressure issues in the city of Tecumseh. A vehicle wreck damaged a fire hydrant on North Broadway Tuesday night, Lynch reported, resulting in a water line failure and low water pressure. The line break has been repaired but during the process an electrical problem occurred at the water treatment plant. Demand Wednesday morning created a situation of nearly no water pressure in Tecumseh. Crews reportedly got the electrical service restored and the pumps started, but as tanks are filling, water pressure is low, said Melvin Potter, Tecumseh’s emergency manager and E-911 director.

Both the E-911 center and city of Tecumseh were being flooded with calls reporting water issues. Potter said they’ve had numerous calls relating to the water issues and people asking about road conditions.  “We have had no major problems reported besides some semi-trucks tying up traffic,” Potter said.

Tecumseh Assistant Police Chief J.R. Kidney said main roads were somewhat better Wednesday, but secondary roads remained treacherous and several vehicles continued to get stuck. “It’s still 12 degrees,” Kidney said Wednesday afternoon. “Even though the sun is out, everything is still frozen and slick.”

The winter storm closed a number of businesses.

The Shawnee Fire Department responded with REACT EMS to calls and responded to one residential smoke alarm activation, with REACT responding to nine calls since midnight.

Greg Reid, director of REACT EMS, said most of the calls were for people who couldn’t drive themselves to the hospital, including a woman in labor. Two women were taken to the hospital for labor Tuesday.  Overall, Reid said mid-Wednesday things had been going fairly well, but said even the large ambulances were sometimes getting stuck on snow-packed roadways, so he still advises motorists to stay home. Luckily, paramedics hadn’t responded to any calls of hypothermia in these conditions, he said.

Lynch reports the cities of Asher and Maud had similar road issues.  The Shawnee Police Department responded since midnight to at least four non-injury accidents.

Missing Tecumseh teen, alleged kidnapper found in Washington

A 14-year-old Tecumseh girl, missing since Feb. 2., and the 40-year-old man who reportedly took her, were found in the state of Washington Saturday afternoon during a routine traffic stop.  Lt. J. R. Kidney of the Tecumseh Police Department said that James Joseph Reimer, 40, was arrested during a routine traffic stop by the Washington State Highway Patrol. The Tecumseh teenager, Deborah Kalai Fourzan, 14, was with him at the time and Kidney said he was told the girl was believed to be safe and not harmed.  He said both Fourzan and Reimer, who has turned 41 since he left town with the teen, were taken to the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Department in Montesano, Wash., about 50 miles from where Reimer was stopped and arrested. The arrest took place near the small town of Hoquiam, Wash., Kidney said, and he was informed by a sergeant with the state’s highway patrol Kidney said that Reimer was arrested and is being held on a $100,000 warrant that was filed in Pottawatomie County by District Attorney Richard Smothermon here on the day the teenager left with Reimer. That warrant specifically accuses Reimer of soliciting sexual conduct or communication with a minor by the use of technology.
Fourzan was last seen about 8 a.m. on Feb. 2 at Tecumseh High School, Kidney has stated.  Kidney said Saturday night that last Thursday he signed kidnapping charges against Reimer and he expects those to be filed by the DA possibly as early as Monday. Although investigators believe Fourzan went willingly with Reimer, because of her age, she can’t do that legally, Kidney said.  The Tecumseh officer said it was his understanding the traffic stop took place about 4 p.m. Washington time which would put it around 6 p.m. in Oklahoma. He said that FBI agents in the state of Washington probably would be headed either Sunday or Monday to the sheriff’s office where the teen and Reimer were being held Saturday night. He said it was his understanding the FBI planned to talk to both the teenager and Reimer.
No charges have been filed against Fourzan for anything, Kidney said Saturday night.  Kidney told the News-Star late Saturday evening he had visited by phone with an FBI agent in Norman who had been in contact with the FBI in Washington state. He said the FBI was investigating to determine if federal charges against Reimer might be warranted.  Reimer reportedly had worked at a convenience store at SH 102 and SH 9, but had not been seen there since Feb. 2. Kidney said the Pottawatomie County sheriff’s office is investigating the theft of several thousand dollars from that store which allegedly occurred on that date as well.  Kidney indicated that extradition of Reimer would be sought. And he said hopefully the teen’s family would be able to pick up her as early as Monday.