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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Three to take seats on Planning Commission

  • New members will be sworn in at today's meeting.
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  • Three new members will be sworn in at today’s monthly meeting of the Shawnee Planning Commission.
    They include Susie Clinard, Dell Kerbs and Robbie Kienzle.
     
    The commission is also expected to appoint a chairperson and vice-chairperson.
     
    The commission will consider approval of an amendment to the final plat for North Harrison Street Business Park located at Harrison and Wolverine Road.
    The applicant is Redbud Development, LLC.
    The commission is also expected to hear a report from Justin Erickson, the Community Development and Planning director.
    The meeting, open to the public, will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the council chambers of city hall.
    •••
    The Department of Public Safety officials report 56 fatalities in April compared to 42 in the same month in 2013.
     
    During the month of April, there were four motorcyclists and four pedestrians who died in crashes.The highest daily fatality numbers include ten deaths on Mondays, dropping to nine on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. There were seven days in the month of April the Department of Public Safety reported no fatalities. Two of the fatality crashes were alcohol-related. Fifty-one of the fatality victims were Oklahoma residents and five nonresidents. There were 35 male and 18 female victims.
     
    Seven of the fatality victims were under the age of 20. The 31 to 40-year-old age group led the fatality count with 12. Tulsa County led the state with a fatality count of eight, followed by Choctaw and Rogers County with four fatalities each.
     
    The highest number of fatalities occurred on US Highways with 20. There were 11 fatalities on City Streets. Fifty-six percent of those who died in traffic collisions were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash.
    •••
    Oklahomans looking to try something new with the family this summer may want to give fishing a try. A great time for that will be June 7-8 during Oklahoma's Free Fishing Days, which allow people to fish without state fishing licenses or permits.
     
    "Free Fishing Days gives people a chance to just 'test the waters' and see if they would enjoy the sport," said Ken Cunningham, assistant chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Department. "We are confident they will."
     
    Urban areas across the state offer angling opportunities through the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Close to Home Fishing program, which provides quality fishing opportunities without a long drive from home. Anglers also have access to public lakes, rivers, streams and ponds across the state. People who just don't know where to start can turn to the "Where to Fish" map found in the Wildlife Department's "Oklahoma Fishing" regulations guide, available online at wildlifedepartment.com or where fishing licenses are sold.
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    Anglers may also sign up to receive the weekly Oklahoma Fishing Report. Compiled by Wildlife Department personnel and independent reporters, the report reveals inside information on the best places to go fishing, when the fish are biting and what baits they are hitting the most. Anglers can have the fishing report e-mailed to them by subscribing wildlifedepartment.com/fishing/fishrpt.htm.
     
    Participants in Free Fishing Days should note that certain city permits may still apply to specific fishing areas June 7-8. Also, all of Lake Texoma is open for free fishing on June 7, but will only apply to the Oklahoma portion of the lake on June 8. Anglers must abide by all Texas fishing license and permit requirements when fishing the Texas portion of Lake Texoma on June 8.
     
    Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to offer Free Fishing Days about 30 years ago and has since been followed by dozens of other states that have established similar days.
     
    While Free Fishing Days allows people to fish without having a state fishing license, anglers still must abide by all other fishing regulations including daily bag limits and size restrictions.
    •••
    Shawnee Community Development and Planning Director Justin Erickson reminds those putting up political signs about this information.
     
    “The City does not regulate political signs on private property. The signs we are concerned with are those on public property and within public right-of-way. A typical senario involves a busy intersection and signs placed near the back of the curb.
     
    “Those signs are illegal and are subject to pick-up and disposal by City Staff. Large signs at intersections are of particular concern because they can block line-of-sight for drivers too. A good rule of thumb is to place all signs at least 13 feet behind the curb and on the far side of any sidewalks.
     
    “Each election season, City Staff end up picking up hundreds of signs that are either placed illegally or left after the election.
     
    “The specific code citation is Section 3-126(c) regarding the prohibition of political signs on public property.”
    •••
    Kinlee Farris, executive director of the Shawnee Convention and Visitors Bureau, passes this information along.
     
    Interested in directly marketing your business to visitors attending the International Finals Youth Rodeo from July 6-11 in Shawnee for free?
     
    The IFYR is the richest youth rodeo in the world, bringing hundreds of contestants and their families from across the United States to the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and Shawnee each year. The rodeo features 10 events and 11 performances.
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    Each year, the Shawnee Convention and Visitors Bureau organizes welcome bags for each IFYR contestant that include coupons, visitor guides, information on places to eat, shop and play while they are in town.
     
    If you are interested in adding your coupon, flyer or promotional item to the bags, please call the CVB at 405-275-9780. Please note you will need to provide 1,000 of your item/flyer for the bags. The deadline for receiving items is Friday, June 20 delivered to the Expo Center office in the conference center.
    Volunteers will stuff the welcome bags for the IFYR contestants and their families beginning around 8:45 a.m. Monday, June 30, upstairs conference center.
    •••
    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.
     
     
     
     
     
     
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