Inside today’s issue
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McAlester News-Capital www.mcalesternews.com
SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS | WEDNESDAY AUGUST 28, 2013 2013 AWARDS
2 enter pleas in OSP death By JEANNE LEFLORE STAFF WRITER
Associated Press/ Oklahoma News Executives
Masons, 4-H set dinner for fundraiser From submitted reports The Red Oak Masonic Lodge and Red Oak 4-H will be sponsoring a bean/stew dinner from 11 to 1 p.m. on Sept. 8 at the Red Oak School Cafeteria. The proceeds will go to the Latimer County American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The school is at 404 N. Main St. in Red Oak. For more information, e-mail jodiektc@yahoo. com. TONIGHT’S FORECAST Mostly clear, with a low around 70. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming east southeast after midnight. More weather — Page 2A.
FROM THE BIBLE “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:42-44
ALMANAC Tuesday’s Lake Eufaula level: 587.19’ Sunrise Thursday: 6:54 a.m. Sunset Thursday: 7:56 p.m.
OKLAHOMA LOTTERY 8/26/13
Two former Oklahoma State Penitentiary prison guards were given deferred sentences Monday in the death of an inmate who died of smoke inhalation in his cell at OSP on July 28, 2012. David Anderson, 56, Jay Nair, 46, and David Willis, 30, all of McAlester, were charged in January with second-degree manslaughter and misdemeanor will-
ful neglect in connection with the death of inmate Julius Parker, 26. On Monday, Willis and Nair pleaded no contest to the charges. Judgment and sentencing were deferred for the two men for two years, according to court records. They were also fined $450 each. The men will also be under the supervision of the District 18 District Attorneys office for one year, court records state. Anderson is set to
The Grand to host Old Town fundraiser Friday By JEANNE LEFLORE STAFF WRITER
It’s not too late to buy tickets for the Spaghetti Western Theatre, a night of dinner and entertainment at the Grand Event Center to benefit historic Old Town McAlester, organizers say. It happens Friday night at 7 and it’s not just a night of entertainment. It’s also an opportunity to see the inside of the Grand Event Center at 225 E. Carl Albert Pkwy, For nearly 100 years, the building was home to the Grand Avenue United Methodist Church of McAlester — and later First United Methodist Church — before it was purchased earlier this year by Eddie Gray, owner of the Whistle Stop Bistro in Old Town.
Gray is also president of the McAlester Old Town Association. Friday night’s Spaghetti Western Theatre begins with a spaghetti dinner with all the trimmings served beginning at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the center. After the dinner, a live talent show is set in the auditorium of the center, according to Wes Carter, public relations manager for the facility. Carter said it looks like its going to be full night of fun. “We’ve had a great response; so far we have at least 10 acts signed up,” Carter said. He said many of the participants are musicians, and so far there is one band competing in the show. SEE GRAND I PAGE 3A
appear on Sept. 6 for a preliminary hearing conference. None of the three former correctional officers are employed at the prison according to Jerry Massie, public information officer for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Anderson and Nair resigned in August 2012 and Willis was terminated in Sept. after the investigation was complete, Massie SEE OSP I PAGE 5A
Staff photo by KEVIN HARVISON
Pictured from left, Madison Martin, teacher Becky Johnson and Braviance Brown look over some classroom work Tuesday morning at Puterbaugh Middle School.
Experts: Pipes, not ground, caused Parker issue By JAMES BEATY SENIOR EDITOR
Recent problems at McAlester Public School’s Parker Intermediate Center were caused by pipes that broke — not from the earth collapsing. That’s the information from McAlester Public Schools Superintendent Marsha Gore, who conferred with structural and mechanical engineers on Friday regarding the condition of the building housing the intermediate school.
Teachers, support personnel and other MPS employees had evacuated the building on Aug. 13 after water gushed down hallways and entered several classrooms on the first floor. The school flooded the day before back-to-school day for the fall semester at Parker, 1310 N. Sixth St., where approximately 400 fifth- and sixth-grade students normally attend public school classes. No injuries were reported. Along with the flooded hallways and classrooms, other problems included windows that popped out and a buckled floor in parts of the
school’s first-floor area. While it had been obvious the water came from a broken water line, experts were tasked with determining what caused the line to break. Some had wondered if the earth beneath the school had collapsed, causing the rupture in the water line. Gore said that question has been answered. She said the experts told her the ground did not collapse; rather, the water line beneath the school flooring had failed. “The earth didn’t move,” Gore
said. “It’s just the old cast-iron water line from 1971 burst.” Gore said an independent mechanical engineer and an independent structural engineer both examined the building. While MPS will be able to use Parker Intermediate Center again, it’s still not certain exactly when that will occur or who will pay for the repairs. “We’re waiting to see if we have to pay for it or the insurance will,” Gore said. Regardless of the SEE PARKER I PAGE 5A
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Officials debate cost of extending, closing landfill
BY JAMES BEATY
Obituaries........................ 2A City Bits............................ 4A Opinion............................ 6A Sports ............................... 1B
20 PAGES, 2 SECTIONS VOL. 118, NO. 7 File photo by KEVIN HARVISON
McAlester Municipal Landfill is shown in January. McAlester City Engineer and Public Works Director John Modzelewski has suggested to the city’s Audit and Finance Advisory Committee that the city consider permanently closing the landfill within the next three years. The landfill is currently open for only four hours a month.
Forty years or three years — or less? Those were among the numbers discussed during the city of McAlester’s Audit and Finance Advisory Committee’s quarterly meeting held Aug. 21 in an upstairs conference room at City Hall. The numbers had to do with the projected life of the McAlester Municipal Landfill, or how long it will continue to operate before it’s permanently closed. McAlester City Engineer and Public Works Director John Modzelewski spoke about the challenges facing the landfill, at the invitation of committee Chairman Stephen Foster. SEE LANDFILL I PAGE 3A