Yukon: A Look Back at 2019

A month-by-month recap of news making headlines over the past 12 months

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A March fire in a detached garage caused at least $110,000 in damages to the structure. Four vehicles were burned inside the garage. (Photo by Mindy Ragan Wood)

By Conrad Dudderar

Associate Editor

A Canadian County judge’s ruling to uphold restrictions in the City of Yukon’s medical marijuana ordinance and the sentencing of a former Yukon teacher for child rape were among top stories making headlines in 2019.

Meanwhile, the deaths of several people in plane and vehicle crashes and an announcement that a new grocery store will be coming drew widespread attention across Yukon over the past year.

With 2019 drawing to a close, The Yukon Progress looks back at stories that warranted front-page coverage with this month-by-month recap of major happenings in our growing community.

JANUARY

  • Yukon’s Charles W. Gass was named a new Canadian County special judge. An assistant district attorney who previously had his own law practice, Gass took his seat on the bench Feb. 11.
  • A burglar, Carson Travis Welch, 23, was shot and killed by homeowner Michael Samuel Farha, 44, while trying to break into Farha’s vehicle late one night in the 4600 block of Doe Run Drive.

Yukon Public Schools’ Board of Education named its meeting room in honor of a longtime board member, the late Dixie Ritz.

  • A standoff with law enforcement personnel ended peacefully when an armed man who threatened “suicide by cop” surrendered peacefully outside the Yukon Police Department, 100 S Ranchwood. The man had told family members who would drive to the police station and try to provoke officers into harming him.
  • Yukon Public Schools’ officials learned the district would have to repay $633,618.75 after the Oklahoma Tax Commission miscalculated how much motor vehicle taxes to pay Yukon and several other school districts.
  • Donnie Ray Parks was arrested by Canadian County sheriff’s deputies after he fled from law enforcement in the underground sewer system below Yukon. Lawmen used a robot to pinpoint where the fleeing suspect was holed up after a three-hour standoff.
  • Longtime Yukon resident Sherry Poage was named H.B. Frank Citizen of the Year award
    Citizen of the Year Sherry Poage is congratulated by her husband Harold after it was announced she was the winner of the H.B. Frank Award in January 2019 at the Yukon Chamber of Commerce gala. (Photo by Hugh Scott, Jr.)

    winner at the annual Yukon Chamber of Commerce gala. Jim Poe of Santa’s Toy Shoppe was named Volunteer of the Year.

FEBRUARY

  • Skyview Elementary School was named a “National Unified Champion School” in the national Special Olympics Sports program. Skyview became Oklahoma’s first elementary school to clean this distinction.
  • Yukon’s Kassidy C. Kilgore, 23, was booked into the county jail on child abuse and drug complaints after Yukon police were called to investigate injuries sustained by a toddler she was babysitting at her home, 100 block of N Briarwood.
  • El Reno’s Jeffery Smith, 61, a substitute teacher in Yukon, was arrested by El Reno Police after he allegedly sent sexually explicit text messages to someone that he thought was an underage girl.
  • Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell offered a message focused on conservation leadership and investment in young people during Southwest Covenant’s second annual Patriot Banquet.
  • A 15-year-old boy was arrested after leading police on a pursuit in a stolen vehicle that ended in the 1100 block of Shelly. The chase began after a Yukon resident left their car running in the driveway only to learn it had been taken.
  • Canadian County District Attorney Mike Fields announced he would not pursue criminal charges against former Yukon City Manager Grayson Bottom in connection with alleged financial irregularities. Fields said the criminal investigation “found no evidence of embezzlement, fraud or that anyone was unjustly enriched.” The DA and his assistants took more than a year to review investigative files compiled by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.

MARCH

  • Spanish Cove Retirement Village CEO Don Blose discussed plans to build a four-story, independent living facility that will extend its campus to the north toward Vandament.
    Spanish Cove Retirement Village CEO Don Blose discussed in the spring plans for the Cove to build a four-story independent living facility that will extend its campus to the north toward Vandament. The Cove’s board of trustees authorized Cove officials to purchase the strip shopping mall on Vandament between Redbud and Cornwell. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

    The Cove’s board of trustees authorized Cove officials to purchase the strip shopping mall on Vandament between Redbud and Cornwell.

  • Burlington Stores confirmed plans to build a 40,000 square foot department store at Czech Hall Marketplace off N Czech Hall Road and Interstate 40. The store opened in the fall.

City Manager Jim Crosby earned a 6.8 percent raise, increasing his salary to $157,000 including an $8,000 stipend.

  • Yukon’s Angelo Allen Wythe, 18, was charged with assault and battery on a police officer for kicking an officer while being booked into the city jail.
  • Britton Lee, 43, and Doug Durning, 60, died when the Westwind 1124 airplane they were flying turned upside down and crashed on the runway at Sundance Airport, 13000 N Sara Road. Lee and Durning were returning from the Grand Cayman Islands in the corporate jet.
  • Yukon’s Jessica Ranae Thomas, 29, was charged with animal cruelty for leaving a small dog outside in 100-degree heat without water in July 2018 at a Yukon mobile home park, 400 S Ranchwood.
  • A fire in a detached garage caused at least $110,000 in damages to the structure. Four vehicles were burned inside the garage. No injuries were reported.
  • Yukon’s Owen Kastl presented gifts for homeless animals at Pets & People after deciding to forego presents for his fifth birthday. Owen asked classmates and friends to bring gifts for Pets & People at his birthday party.
  • No injuries were reported in a traffic collision involving a Yukon school bus on Foreman
    No injuries were reported in a traffic collision involving a Yukon school bus on Foreman Road near Banner Road. The impact of the crash caused the bus door to temporarily jam. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

    Road near Banner Road. The impact of the crash caused the bus door to temporarily jam.

APRIL

  • Whitney Bruton, a special education teacher at Independence Elementary School, was announced as Yukon Public Schools’ 2019-20 Teacher of the Year. Yukon High School English teacher Sarah Stogner was named Rookie Teacher of the Year.
  • Sixth grade teacher Jeff Wootton won the Yukon City Council at-large election, beating incumbent and longtime Yukon banker Earline Smaistrla by a 65 percent majority, 957-495. Wootton, a political newcomer, earned a four-year term that started in May.
  • A renovation project got underway at AMC Classic West End Pointe 8, 128525 NW 10th, that would add a bar, recliner seating and expanded menu options to Yukon’s movie theater.
  • FBI agents were called to Yukon after a suspect armed with a gun robbed the Yukon branch of RCB Bank.
  • Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse issued a ruling upholding the City of Yukon’s ordinance restricting where medical marijuana retail establishments can be located within Yukon city limits – within 1,000 feet of schools and 300 feet from libraries, museums, playgrounds, churches, public parks, jails, and other retail marijuana stores. Hesse also ruled a Yukon ordinance prohibiting marijuana growing facilities for personal use could not be enforced.
  • A Canadian County trust authority purchased a $1.25 million land deal for a new county fairgrounds’ complex. The county bought 50 acres at the corner of Alfadale and Jensen roads just south of Interstate 40 in El Reno.
  • Yukon’s Paul Lewis Sims, 44, was charged with six counts of child sexual abuse after a Yukon police investigation.
  • YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth was named 2019 Superintendent of the Year for
    YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth

    a region covering Canadian, Caddo and Grady counties. The Yukon school chief was honored by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators to represent District 14.

  • District 22 State Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, announced she would seek Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District seat in 2020. A fourth generation Oklahoman, Bice was elected to the state Senate in 2014.
  • The City of Yukon collected 665 tons of debris from curbsides of nearly 3,000 homes during a new curbside bulk pickup event offered April 22-26. About one-third of Yukon’s households participated.
  • YPS and the Yukon Police Department launched a new initiative called “Badges on Buses” to combat drivers who fail to yield to school buses when they are stopped to load or unload students.
  • Nathan Smith of El Reno was named to the newly created position of Canadian County free fair director and marketing manager.

MAY

  • Chisholm Trail Festival organizers announced a chuck wagon cook-off could be added to Yukon’s annual family-oriented western heritage celebration in June.
  • Buddhist monk Sutham Nateetong stopped in Yukon as part of a coast-to-coast journey
    Heather Denman, of Yukon, is happy to pose with Buddhist monk Sutham Nateetong, who walked for peace from California to Chicago on Route 66. (Photo by Tim Farley)

    along Route 66 from California to New York.

  • The YPS Board of Education approved giving all teachers a $2,000 raise to increase base salaries to more than $40,000.
  • A Canadian County jury recommended life in prison after the trial of David Christopher Cochlin, charged with killing Southwest Covenant Christian School graduates Luke Ross and Sean Tucker in a December 2017 traffic collision near Piedmont. The jury convicted Cochlin of second-degree murder after investigators found he was driving at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
  • Yukon Police said no foul play was involved after the body of a homeless man was found in a grassy area on the north side of I-40 at Frisco Road.
  • Manna Pantry stocked its shelves after volunteers and letter carriers collected more than 22,500 pounds of food in the annual Letter Carriers Food Drive.
  • Some 591 Yukon High School seniors received their diplomas during the annual YHS Commencement at State Fair Park Arena in Oklahoma City. About 470 seniors attended Project Graduation afterward at Redlands Community College in El Reno.
  • Yukon firefighters performed about 10 water rescues during heavy rainfall that caused widespread flooding across central Oklahoma.
  • Former NFL star Billy Bajema encouraged Yukon High School seniors to make faith the foundation of their lives during his keynote speech at the annual YHS Baccalaureate at the Yukon Fine Arts Center.
  • Yukon first responders and local organizations pitched in to help their neighbors after a deadly EF-3 tornado wreaked havoc on a mobile home park, hotels and businesses along Highway 81 in El Reno.
  • YHS graduate Alex Purdy won the “Artist Solo” competition during the 2019 International Tuba Euphonium Conference in Iowa.

JUNE

  • Okarche’s Kenneth Stoner, 38, was killed in a two-vehicle traffic collision after his vehicle hydroplaned and struck a bridge railing on I-40 at Garth Brooks Boulevard.
  • The Yukon City Council approved a 2019-20 fiscal year budget totaling $53,261.169, a $1.5 million increase over the FY 2018-19 budget.
  • Yukon’s Samantha A. Brasses, 30, was charged in Canadian County District Court with a felony for sending sexually explicit text messages to a 14-year-old male student.
  • Owner Manish Patel announced an Avid Hotel was being built at Shedeck Parkway and West End Pointe Drive just south of Interstate 40. Construction was underway on the new hotel just south of Patel’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites.
  • The Yukon City Council approved spending $50,549 to re-stripe sections of Vandament Avenue and Cornwell Drive for motorist and pedestrian safety.
  • Former YHS teacher Hunter Joanne Day, 23, was sentenced to serve three years in
    Hunter Joanne Day

    prison and seven years of supervised probation for second-degree rape. District Judge Paul Hesse sentenced Day, who had been charged in November 2017 with having sex with a 16-year-old male student.

  • Parkland Elementary Principal Lance Haggard was named executive director of elementary education and Yukon Middle School Principal Diana Lebsack was named executive director of secondary education. The new positions were created after YPS Assistant Principal Dr. Sheli McAdoo resigned to become the new superintendent in Purcell.
  • YHS graduate Casey Williamson, 29, was killed in a plane crash in Hawaii while serving as a skydiving instructor on Oahu’s northern shore. Eleven people died in the crash of a twin-engine Beechcraft King airplane.
  • Gov. Kevin Stitt discussed business and economic growth during a luncheon in Mustang organized by the Yukon, Mustang, El Reno, and Piedmont chambers of commerce.
  • The Yukon City Council approved a 10-year agreement with Integris Health so the Integris name and logo would be painted on the side of the 10th Street and Frisco Road water towers. Integris agreed to pay $75,000 for the 10th Street tower and $35,000 for the Frisco Road tower.

JULY

  • The Yukon City Council approved resolutions formally declaring the need to acquire easements for street, drainage and utilities for the future I-40/Frisco Road interchange. The action gave the City of Yukon authority to use eminent domain, if necessary, for the interchange. Lawsuits were filed against three separate sets of Canadian County landowners to acquire property needed for interchange construction.
  • Officials announced plans for a $170,000 project between Yukon and Oklahoma City to repair a bridge on Wilshire west of Cemetery Road.
  • Yukon city officials approved plans for an extended-stay hotel, Candlewood Suites, to be built in the 1600 block of West End Pointe drive behind Logan’s Roadhouse and Hibdon Tires Plus.
  • Former Yukon High School History teacher Robert Brian Davis, 40, was arrested on
    Robert Brian Davis

    allegations of sexual battery after he allegedly drugged and raped a woman. Davis, who was an assistant principal in Norman, was later charged in Canadian County with sexual battery for an alleged assault on a teenager.

  • The Yukon City Council agreed to pay a contractor $39,550 for drainage repairs along State Highway 4 from Wagner Road to the North Canadian River bridge after damages caused by heavy spring flooding.
  • Representatives of Casey’s General Store announced they would open a new 24-hour convenience store at the northwest corner of Cemetery Road and Reno.
  • Oklahoma City’s Kerrie Dawn Witt, 41, was charged in Canadian County District Court with identity theft and drug possession after he arrest at a Yukon trailer park. Yukon Police found Witt with methamphetamine, 18 forged checks and many debit/credit cards belonging to other people.
  • Canadian County Commissioners hired Lingo construction as construction manager for the new county fairgrounds’ project. Lingo was the unanimous choice over three other companies. The cost of the project’s first phase was initially estimated at $12 million-$14 million, but since has increased to nearly $16 million.
  • Yukon’s Alonzo Huddleston, 45, was charged in Canadian County District Court with aggravated possession of child pornography after Canadian County sheriff’s deputies found images of girls under the age of 10 being raped on his digital devices.
  • Canadian County sheriff’s deputies confiscated more than 200 pounds of methamphetamine during three traffic stops near Interstate 40 and State Highway 81.

AUGUST

  • Yukon police Capt. Chris Cunningham was appointed to fill a vacancy on the YPS Board
    Post 3 YPS Board Member Chris Cunningham. (Photo by Mindy Ragan Wood)

    of Education after the resignation of Post 3 Board Member Don Rowe. Rowe stepped down after moving outside the Post 3 area.

  • Missy King was named the new executive director at Yukon Sharing Ministry. King had spent the last 25 years as director of the Aging Services’ program at Redlands Community College in El Reno.
  • The Yukon City Council approved applying for a $400,000 grant from the National Parks Service to fund a new spray park and two new play areas at Freedom Trail Park.
  • City officials approved a rezoning request to allow a vehicle restoration business to use building at 307 Cedar to assemble classic Ford Broncos.
  • Yukon’s Dakota Shey Bunch, 28, was charged in Canadian County District Court with feloniously pointing a firearm and intimidation of a witness. Bunch is accused of threatening a motorist by pointing an assault-style rifle at him while driving in Yukon.
  • Bruce Harroz, president of Crest Foods, confirmed a 90,000 Crest Fresh Market will be built on the south side of Interstate 40 west of Czech Hall Road. Open 24 hours, the new store in the Market at Czech Hall will be Crest’s ninth store. Harroz estimated the store would open in fall 2020 and create 150-175 jobs.
  • Sierra Gentry Rhodes, 24, escaped from the back of a police car after being arrested on outstanding warrants after a traffic stop near the 500 block of Elm.
  • Georgia’s Eddie Julian Walker, 35, was charged with attempting to kill two people after pulling a gun on a manager and mechanic at a Yukon-area trucking company, 9220 W Reno.
  • Southwest Covenant Christian School reported a 13 student-enrollment increase to start the 2019-20 school year. SWCS will break ground on a new high school building and athletic facilities funded through a $8.2 million capital campaign.
  • Yukon city officials urged residents to conserve after noticing a significant increase in water usage during August. July water consumption was 63 million gallons and August topped 96 million.
  • Harrah’s Jeremy Don Sharp, 23, was charged with making lewd/indecent proposals to a child under 16 after being arrested at a Yukon park where he thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl for sex. Instead he had been communicating online and by text message with an undercover Yukon police detective.
  • Yukon’s Zachery Paul Huff, 24, was charged in Canadian County District Court with assault and battery on a police officer. Prosecutors alleged Huff had aggravated charged at officer Matthew Catron before trying to grab his neck and strike him.
  • Canadian County employees were due to receive a 3 percent raise after county commissioners approved a $31 million FY2020 budget.

SEPTEMBER

  • The Yukon High School Millerettes’ softball team and booster club use funds raised at its annual “Pink Out Night” to benefit the family of Shedeck Elementary student Gage Krupovage, 8, who is battling a rare form of cancer.
  • In their first month on duty, new City of Yukon marshal Jerry Flowers and deputy marshal Ray Kimbrough served 64 warrants and generated $61,000.
  • Yukon country music artist Jason Young and his band were featured in the Yukon 66 Main Street Association’s inaugural “Cruise-In for a Cause” that raised funds for Yukon Sharing, Manna Pantry, Compassionate Hands, and Gateway Express Testing.
  • Nearly $6,000 was raised and 148 dogs were washed during Pets & People Humane Society’s 9th Annual Pawsitively Pampered Dog Wash, Grooming & Vendor Event at YNB Parkway.
  • Maj. Gen. Michael C. Thompson, Oklahoma’s adjutant general and the state’s top
    Yukon’s Jack Hinton (left) and Jerry Stafford receive quilts of valor from Leslie Dietrich of the Daughter of the American Revolution during the sixth annual Veterans Museum Gala in September at the Dale Robertson Center. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

    military advisor to Gov. Kevin Stitt, talked about duty and commitment during his keynote speech at the sixth annual Veterans Museum Gala inside the Dale Robertson Center.

  • Tragedy struck Southwest Covenant Schools after sophomore Peter Webb died after sustaining a head injury during a football game.
  • Two students were in custody after making threats to “shoot up” one or more Yukon schools. Just days earlier, a video went viral showing two teens beating up a special needs student in an unrelated incident.
  • Some 199 people donated blood during Yukon High School’s annual fall Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) blood drive.
  • After neighboring residents complained, Yukon’s planning commission rejected a request to build 13 duplexes at 200 N Yukon Parkway just north of Life Church.
  • YPS officials announced the Yukon’s student population had surpassed 9,000 for the first time in the school district’s history.
  • Yukon’s Walter Stumpf, 66, was arrested by Canadian County sheriff’s deputies for child pornography. At Stumpf’s Surrey Hills home, investigators found more than 500 images and videos including 34 DVDs of nudist movies involving children as young as two years old.
  • Kristie Chandler, who most recently worked for the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, became project coordinator for Canadian County’s proposed family justice center serving domestic violence survivors.
  • Yukon Police Sgt. Tim Peters surrendered after a warrant was issued for his arrest on allegations that he falsified his timesheet for financial gain. He was suspended without pay on accusations he fraudulently submitted 30.48 hours of pay totaling $1,141.35.

OCTOBER

  • Elaine Benda, who serves on the board of directors of Oklahoma Czechs, Inc. and director of folk dancing, was honored as grand parade marshal for the annual Czech Festival in Yukon.
  • The new 2019-20 Oklahoma Czech-Slovak Royalty was crowed during Yukon’s annual Czech Day: Princess Lola Mae Yanda, Prince Connor Imhoff Jr., Junior Queen Kinzey Shirazi, and Queen Emily Cole.
  • A former Yukon police officer resigned as a Canadian County sheriff’s deputy and Sheriff Chris West launched a criminal investigation into allegations the deputy had sexually abused and exploited several young men.
  • Several residents came to a Yukon City Council meeting to complain about loud, window-rattling worship services at Iglesia Vision Family Church on Yukon Parkway.
  • Details emerged after the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City released a report compiled by a law firm hired to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by Catholic priests. Among the priests banned from ministry was Ben Zoeller, who served from 1996 to 2001 at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church in Yukon.
  • Yukon and Oklahoma City leaders approved an $800,000 resurfacing project to resurface and upgrade a two-mile stretch of Wilshire between 11th Street and Richland Road.
  • Yukon red dirt rockers Randy Ragsdale, Jason Young and Grady Cross announced they
    Yukon red dirt rockers Randy Ragsdale, Jason Young and Grady Cross announced in the fall that they had formed a new band, Cross Rags and Young. (Photo provided)

    had formed a new band, Cross Rags and Young.

  • A former Yukon High School girls’ basketball coach, Elizabeth Lenaburg, was accused of having sex with a former 15-year-old female student. Lenaburg, 24, has previously resigned from the Yukon school district amid a report of suspicious behavior.
  • Soper’s Aaron James Beal, 36, was arrested for allegedly shooting an Oklahoma City woman at NW 23rd and Gregory Road after she refused to have oral sex with him.
  • A December ground-breaking was projected after Yukon city officials approved plans for a 4,700 square foot pet rescue facility west of the City of Yukon’s new animal control shelter at 701 Inla. Pets & People announced it would launch a capital campaign to fund the $450,000 construction project.
  • The Yukon Fire Department was awarded a $415,000 federal grant to add three firefighters as early as March 2020.
  • The Yukon Rotary Club hosted Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell as guest speaker for its weekly membership luncheon at Integris Canadian Valley Hospital.
  • New Canadian County Juvenile Center Director Daniel Kern came under fire after allegations he made inappropriate and sexual comments about children in the center’s care. Kern was later fired just six months after starting the job.
  • The YPS Foundation for Excellence awarded 28 grants totaling $20,847.10 to Yukon educators in surprise in-class presentations at eight schools.
  • More than 1,000 Southwest Covenant students, faculty and parents joined forces with the Yukon Parks & Recreation Department and other volunteers to spruce up Yukon parks for 14th annual Patriot Project.
  • The Yukon school district announced its YPS Teacher of the Year finalists: Jessica Abernathy of Myers Elementary, Emilee Crim of Central Elementary, Kayce Davis of Ranchwood Elementary, Meagan Deckard of Parkland Elementary, Bethany Gilreach of Shedeck Elementary, Lori Gossen of Lakeview Elementary, Amy Jandebeur of Skyview Elementary, Yeneer Orurur of Surrey Hills Elementary, Keri Smith of Independence Elementary, Lucas DeKinder of Yukon Middle School, and Brandy Hackett of Yukon High School. The district winner will be announced in March.

NOVEMBER

  • The Yukon Board of Adjustment denied a request for allow a new medical marijuana retail business at 10 N Kimbell Road after determined it was located too close to another marijuana establishment in violation of Yukon city code. Owner Justin Greenfield said he planned to sell or lease the property.
  • The Yukon City Council voted 3-2 to deny a homeowners’ association’s request to install “traffic calming” devices on Kingsridge Drive as recommended by the traffic commission.
  • The Yukon City Council voted 4-1 to increase utility deposits to $85 (from $40) for residential accounts and $150 (from $50) for commercial accounts. The change affects new utility customers only.
  • Ross Garrett, 63, a clerk at the 7-Eleven convenience store at Czech Hall Road and
    Ross Michael Garrett

    Reno, was shot to death during a late-night armed robbery. Oklahoma City Police later tracked down and shot to death the suspect, Oklahoma City’s Justin Anderson, 39.

  • A late-night attic fire severely damaged a home at 2512 Sequoia Park. The family reported having trouble with their fireplace on the cold night.
  • Blanchard teacher Brookelynn Kay Selman, 25, died from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash on I-40 at Czech Hall Road. Investigators said she drove off the roadway for unknown reasons and landed on an embankment.
  • Arson was suspected after a fire broke out in a second-floor unit at Cedar Creek Apartments. Yukon Police arrested Yukon’s Landon Anthony Proudfit, 35, for the fire and a theft.
  • Convicted felon Richard Jade Ahgoom, 29, was charged with lewd/indecent act to children under 12 for allegedly molesting two young children at a Yukon home. Ahgoom faces 50 years in prison due to previous convictions.
  • Tulsa’s Matthew George Hayes, 39, was arrested and a Yukon patrol vehicle was damaged during a high-speed chase that began in the 500 block of S Ranchwood and ended on Highway 66 near Rockwell.
  • The Yukon City Council agreed to spend $293,572.55 to have a contractor install new left turn-lanes and signal lights at the busy Health Center Parkway/West End Pointe Drive and Garth Brooks Boulevard intersection.
  • Yukon’s James Leonard Smith, 47, was shot and killed at a northwest Oklahoma City apartment complex.
  • Yukon businessman Ray Lee Davis, 73, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding struck a semi-truck at the Banner Road-Highway 66 intersection. The truck driver,
    Ray Lee Davis

    Oklahoma City’s Donald Garrett Biffle, 26, was cited for failing to stop for a stop sign and later charged with negligent homicide. State and county officials quickly announced plans to add four-way stop signs within 45-60 days and signal lights eventually at the intersection.

DECEMBER

  • Some 800 employees faced layoff after Halliburton Energy Services closed its El Reno operation, 6100 E Highway 66.
  • Dwayne Edward Rasmussen, 55, was indicted for four counts of bank robbery – including an armed heist in April at Yukon’s RCB Bank, 800 Garth Brooks Blvd.
  • About 400 eastern Canadian County families shopped for presents during the 20th
    Soaking in the Christmas spirit in December during the annual Santa’s Toy Shoppe were, from left, Board Members Kelly Lee and Tara Hatcher, Yukon Mayor Mike McEachern, and Board Member Marsha Pederson-Carter. Some 400 eastern Canadian County families in need of a little extra help selected among thousands of donated Christmas toys for their children. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

    annual “Santa’s Toy Shoppe” distribution in Yukon. Santa’s Toy Shoppe President Jim Poe was recognized as KFOR-TV’s “Pay It Forward” honoree.

  • Archery Traditions owner Ken Wilkins and local teacher/businessman Aric Gilliland filed for the Ward 4 Yukon City Council seat. Current Ward 4 representative, Mayor Mike McEachern, couldn’t run again due to council term limits. Incumbent Donna Yanda was the only candidate to file for the Ward 3 seat.
  • Parents started voiced concerns about the condition of roads surrounding a future Yukon Public Schools’ site, Redstone Intermediate School, due to open for the 2020-21 school year at Mustang and Britton roads.
  • After several meetings and public hearing, the Yukon City Council adopted a tax-increment financing (TIF) plan for an estimated $43.5 million Frisco Road/Vandament economic development project.
  • Five Canadian County judges were named in a federal class action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and six people facing criminal charges. The civil rights suit alleges impoverished individuals in Canadian County are routinely jailed because they cannot afford bail.
  • Oklahoma City’s Eddy Wayne Currey, 27, was finally arrested near Mustang after a 50-mile pursuit that crossed through Yukon during morning rush hour.
  • Incumbent Chris Cunningham was the only candidate to file for the Post 3 seat on the YPS Board of Education, thus earning a second, five-year term. Former Post 3 Board Member Don Rowe filed for the Post 5 seat being vacated by Rex VanMeter, but quickly withdrew after learning he hadn’t lived inside Post 5 for a required six months. Meanwhile, a vacancy on the YPS board was created when Post 4 Board Member Jeff Behymer resigned after moving.
  • Sixteen lucky winners claimed Santa Bucks and prizes totaling $5,000 in the Yukon Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Yukon Yuletide Express” Christmas retail promotion. One shopper, Ricky Skipworth, won five times totaling $1,610 in a prize drawing.
  • The Yukon City Council approved reinstated a previous sewer rate structure expected to result in lower utility bills during the summer months.
  • Yukon city officials agreed to spend $420,000 to purchase a former Yukon lumberyard and adjacent property at 24 N 4th Street for future Main Street development.