Speeders should watch out.

The Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office says it is always on the lookout for those who exceed the speed limit, and 2014 will be no exception, Pottawatomie County Deputy Eric Fletcher stated.

Speeding is a “triple threat” when it comes to dangerous driving behaviors, Fletcher said:

• It increases the likelihood of crashing

• It reduces the amount of available time to avoid a crash

• It increases the severity of a crash when it occurs

In Oklahoma in 2012, unsafe speed was a factor in 12.5 percent of all reported crashes, and like many other driving practices, speeding is a choice over which the driver has complete control. It’s one of many responsible decisions necessary to make when operating any type of vehicle.

“Being in a hurry is not a good excuse for exceeding the speed limit,” Fletcher added.

According to statistics from the Missouri Department of Transportation, the time saved by speeding is negligible. Using a 20-mile trip at a posted 60-mile-per-hour speed limit as reference, a driver saves only about 1.5 minutes by traveling 65 miles per hour – all while escalating the likelihood of crashing and the potential severity of a crash.

“When you exceed the speed limit, there’s a very real chance of being stopped by law enforcement, which of course increases the delay – and adds the cost of a speeding ticket to the situation,” Fletcher stated.

“Driving safely involves a number of personal choices, and obeying posted speed limits should be one of them. Getting to your destination a few moments sooner simply isn’t worth the potential cost in personal safety, financial cost, or risk to others on the road.”


James Bryce, director of Operations for the city of Shawnee, has announced that a public meeting has been scheduled to gain input on placing a splash pad at Briscoe Boy Scout /Rotary Park.

Bryce said the meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Heart of Okahoma Exposition Center in the conference center U.S. l77 and West Independence Street.


Department of Public Safety officials report 50 fatalities in November 2013 compared to 56 in the same month in 2012.

During the month of November there were seven motorcyclists and seven pedestrians who died in traffic related crashes. The highest daily fatality numbers include 12 deaths on Friday, dropping to 11 on Thursday. There were five days in the month of November the Department of Public Safety reported no fatalities.

Two of the fatality crashes were alcohol-related. Forty-three of the fatality victims were Oklahoma residents and seven nonresidents. There were 27 male and 23 female victims.

Three of the fatality victims were under the age of 20. The 21-30 year-old led the fatality count with 13.

Tulsa County led the state with a fatality count of eight, followed by Carter County with four fatalities.

The highest number of fatalities occurred on US Highways with 14. There were 11 fatalities on State Highways.

Sixty-two percent of those who died in traffic collisions were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash.


With a new year come many resolutions to form good habits and achieve personal goals. The American Red Cross encourages those who are eligible to resolve to help patients in need through regular blood donations.

Donated blood can give patients in need more time with loved ones. Blood can be used to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, organ transplant recipients, premature babies, sickle cell disease patients and more. In fact, about every two seconds a patient in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion.

As winter continues, donations are especially needed, with many donors unable to give due to inclement weather and seasonal illnesses. Make an appointment to donate blood and partake in a lifesaving resolution by visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

In Pottawatomie County, blood drive will be held

Jan. 31 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Gregory’s University Rockwood Center, 1900 W. Macarthur Street in Shawnee.


Beginning with the Jan. 1 edition of The Shawnee News-Star, the paper has put into place once again it’s policy on not accepting any letters to the editor regarding political candidates at any level including local, county, state and federal until after the Nov. 4, 2014 general election.

This includes any attempts for endorsements or letters opposing any candidate or incumbent.


If you have ideas or something of interest for this column, please call me at 214-3922 or email me at michael.mccormick@news-star.com. Please include your name and a phone number for contact purposes.