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Meeks’ benefit dinner raises $19,000

By Matt Montgomery

editor@mustangnews.info

 

The recent Colin Meeks benefit dinner raised $19,000 to help the Mustang resident with a kidney transplant.

Those organizing donation efforts for Meeks, including Renae Cain, said Saturday’s benefit dinner was an overwhelming success.

Local auctioneer Ken Carpenter auctions off items last Saturday during the Colin Meeks benefit dinner at Mustang High School. About $19,000 was raised to help Meeks get a kidney transplant.

Local auctioneer Ken Carpenter auctions off items last Saturday during the Colin Meeks benefit dinner at Mustang High School. About $19,000 was raised to help Meeks get a kidney transplant.

Several significant items were auctioned off by local auctioneer Ken Carpenter. Among the big ticket items were four Oklahoma City Thunder home game tickets. The tickets belong to restaurant entrepreneur Hal Smith and they are in his box seats at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Those tickets went for $1,100. Also auctioned for several thousands of dollars was an autographed “Rudderless” movie poster, signed by star William H. Macy.

Fawn Meeks released a statement to the Mustang community earlier this week, thanking them for coming together in the effort of support for Meeks.

“We are truly blessed to be a part of the Mustang community,” she wrote.  “The benefit dinner was a wonderful success and it was terrific to see so many old friends and new friends come out to support us. The Mustang community has rallied around us since we found out about Colin’s illness back in February. That love and support gives us the strength to continue on this journey. We are grateful for the prayers that have been lifted for Colin.”

Fawn and Colin Meeks at the benefit dinner last Saturday at Mustang High School.

Fawn and Colin Meeks at the benefit dinner last Saturday at Mustang High School.

Meeks was diagnosed with renal kidney failure earlier this year. He was told by his physician he needed a new kidney. The kidney transplant list in Oklahoma right now has about a five-year wait list. Meeks told the Mustang News last month that his sisters have submitted for testing to see if they are a match, as well as a couple of Meeks’ friends. If one turns out to be a match, they will go forward with the kidney donation.

“Several potential living donors stepped forward to be tested and the evaluation process is ongoing at this time,” Meeks wrote.  “We know in all things God has a plan for us and will be with us. That was evident Saturday night as we were blessed immensely. We are so appreciative of all the work put into the benefit dinner. It was a great evening.”

Planning and fundraising efforts were led by Cain, Judy Grant, Brittany Stevens, Kayla Balliew, Blair Collins, Charlie Myers, Kary Myers, Kristi Connors, Ashli Sanders and Gay Cocherell.

“Thank you all for coming alongside us as we prepare for Colin to receive this wonderful gift of life through a kidney transplant,” Meeks wrote.

$50 million shopping center to be developed near Mustang

By Matt Montgomery

editor@mustangnews.info

A Tennessee-based realty company is under contract to develop a $50 million retail shopping center near Mustang at Interstate 40 and Czech Hall Road.

“The Market at Czech Hall,” an 80 acre, 450,000 square foot retail development, is located on the cusp of Mustang school district. The massive retail shopping center is slated to open in the spring of 2016.

GBT Realty Corporation is under contract to develop 80 acres near Interstate 40 and Czech Hall Road. The Market at Czech Hall is slated to open in the spring of 2016.

GBT Realty Corporation is under contract to develop 80 acres near Interstate 40 and Czech Hall Road into a shopping center complex. “The Market at Czech Hall” is slated to open in the spring of 2016.

GBT Realty Corporation, based in Nashville, Tenn. is a firm that has been involved in the development, leasing, construction and management of more than 25 million square feet of retail development throughout the United States. They have developed 1.8 million square feet of retail in Oklahoma and Texas since 2010, with three additional sites planned for Bartlesville, Austin, Texas and Frisco, Texas.

The site construction will begin, pending acquisition of the land by spring 2015, the company reported.

GBT CEO George Tomlin said the realty company chose this proposed site because it’s in one of “Oklahoma’s fastest growing suburban communities.”

“The strength of the Oklahoma City marketplace and its better than national average population growth and unemployment rates are just a couple of the solid real estate fundamentals that make this site ideal for development and our retail partners,” Tomlin said. “And being located in the fastest growing area of Oklahoma, it’s no surprise that the Yukon area is home to some of the top producing retail stores in the region including, Target, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Kohl’s, Hobby Lobby and other national retailers and restaurants.”

Situated between Yukon and Mustang, The Market at Czech Hall looks to extend the fastest growing retail area on the southern side of Yukon to the east side of Oklahoma City, the company reported.

The shopping center will boast 180,000 square feet committed with final lease negotiations underway with both grocery and sporting goods tenants ready to anchor the neighborhood shopping center. In addition, five junior anchor boxes and more than 115,000 square feet of shop and restaurant space will complete the development plans.

The company has devoted 11 outparcels ideal for banks, restaurants and other service providers to be positioned in the front of the complex, with visibility from both Interstate 40 and Czech Hall Road.

“The Yukon/Mustang community is among one of the quickest areas in the Oklahoma City MSA to recover from the recession and emerge as one of the best places to live in the region,” Tomlin added.

GBT has committed to Crafton Tull for engineering and MJM Architects to complete their development team.

Deputies seize $1 Million of meth on I-40

Canadian County Sheriff’s Deputies seized about 11 Kilo size bags of methamphetamine drugs with an estimated street value of $1.1 Million at about 1:30 a.m. on Monday. The drugs were being transported in a vehicle that was loaded on a car hauler parked at the TA Truck Stop, located at Morgan Road along Interstate 40 in Eastern Canadian County.

Sheriff deputies seized 11 kilos of methamphetimine estimated to be worth more than $1 Million.

Sheriff deputies seized 11 kilos of methamphetimine estimated to be worth more than $1 Million.

The 11 large kilo size bags of meth were packaged in zip locked plastic bags and wrapped in seran wrap and clear packing tape. The bundles of drugs were stashed inside the front and rear seats as well as inside the doors of the vehicle. In addition to the drugs being hidden, deputies detected a number of odor masking agents aimed at defeating drug sniffing dogs.

Sheriff’s Deputies discovered the drugs after they became suspicious of the vehicle due to registration violations and asked the truck driver for his consent to search it. After receiving consent from the truck driver the deputies climbed up to the second level of the car hauler. Once the deputies entered the vehicle, they quickly observed that the back seats and doors had been tampered with, and located the drugs within just a few minutes.

After questioning and determining the truck driver was allegedly unaware he was transporting the drugs, Canadian County sheriff’s deputies working with, and commissioned through, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s Task Force (DEA) coordinated a controlled delivery of the vehicle and drugs to the intended party in Kansas City, Kan., in hopes of making an arrest of those responsible for the drugs being in Canadian County.

Three sheriff’s deputies–DEA Task Force agents under the direction Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards, followed the semi to Kansas City where they met up with other DEA agents.

Working with the DEA, FBI and local authorities, sheriff’s deputies coordinated the delivery of the drugs with the driver of the semi. As a result of the delivery, two suspects were immediately taken into custody in connection with the methamphetamines and interstate drug trafficking. Warrants are expected to be issued for as many as a dozen or more other suspects involved with the drug operation.

“When I ran for office in 2008, I promised if elected, I would make every effort to eradicate the drug traffic and child predators in Canadian County, in order to do that sometimes we have to travel out of county and occasionally out of state to prosecute those who are responsible for those crimes against the citizens of Canadian County. I am proud that Canadian County sheriff’s deputies hold state and federal commissions through various task forces that allow us to hold those who perpetrate crimes in Canadian County responsible for those crimes, regardless of where they are,” Edwards said.

Both suspects were arraigned before a United States Federal judge on Federal drug trafficking charges Wednesday morning.

Mustang voters pass Proposition 1

By Matt Montgomery

Mustang voters passed Proposition I Tuesday night, with 2,204 “yes” votes and 1,778 “no” votes. Proposition I is a 5 percent hotel/motel lodging tax, paid by the lodgers themselves.

Mustang City Manager Tim Rooney said it is encouraging to see Mustang voters head to the polls with an understanding of what the Proposition entails.

“It’s encouraging,” Rooney said. “We did try to have as much information out about the election as early as possible. We had information out on our website as early as July. We wanted to make sure that information was out there to the public for review and for comment. We visited with folks that wanted to receive information about the election prior to the election. I think if you get the right information out to the voters, and they trusted the information you are providing is accurate, they’ll vote “yes”.

The next step, now the proposition is passed, is for the City to receive the official certification from the Canadian County Election Board.

Then, the lodging tax will take effect Dec. 1. He also said the City of Mustang has met with several developers interested in building a hotel or motel in Mustang. Those developers wanted to wait for the results of this election, before making any official decisions.

“I imagine that now the election is passed we’ll begin the discussion with developers again,” he said.

Rooney also said he wanted to thank Mustang voters for going to the polls and passing this proposition.

“Hopefully this is a good indication of how people feel about Mustang and the direction it’s headed in,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to make a purpose to Mustang as we move forward.”

Tuttle woman, child abducted at Mustang Wal-Mart

By Matt Montgomery

editor@mustangnews.info

Mustang Police Chief Chuck Foley confirmed Thursday that a Tuttle woman and her child were abducted, in what he called, “An adult abduction.”

Foley said the woman and her child were taken against their will into a car by a family member.

Stacy Taylor, who was at Wal-Mart when the incident happened, posted to facebook, “I am asking for help in spreading the word on this.. I was just at Walmart and a lady was just taken against her will. This happened at the Walmart in Mustang. The lady was screaming and begging for help. She tossed her purse out and cell phone battery. I do not know if this was a domestic situation or a woman was kidnapped but regardless the woman was taken against her will and was being beaten in the process. The car seemed to be an older model possibly Pontiac sunfire or something similar, it all happened so fast but i think it was green like a dark green… There were several witnesses to I’m praying they find this lady soon and return her to safety. She had long dark hair. Didn’t see her age or face nor the driver. Please pray! The police were notified”

Mustang News will update this story once more facts are available and confirmed.

Waiting for a miracle: Mustang man on list for new kidney

By Matt Montgomery

Mustang resident Colin Meeks is waiting on something that holds his life in the balance: a new kidney.

Earlier this year, Meeks was sick but didn’t know what was wrong with him until he found out in March he had renal kidney failure.

“Last February, I went in to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack,” Meeks said. “Woke my wife up in the middle of the night, mom and dad came up to watch the kids, and we rushed to the hospital. They were shocked to see me walking in the building with my blood pressure as high as it was.”

Matt Montgomery/Mustang News Mustang resident Colin Meeks looks to the sky last week in front of the Mustang water tower. He is on the waiting list for a new kidney.

Matt Montgomery/Mustang News
Mustang resident Colin Meeks looks to the sky last week in front of the Mustang water tower. He is on the waiting list for a new kidney.

Meeks said his high blood pressure overtime, “killed” his kidneys.

He eventually saw a few doctors during his two-week stint in the hospital and a couple of them didn’t give him a bright outlook like Dr. Thompson did. He said Dr. Thompson gave him a glimmer of hope, that he could survive this; he just needed to be on the transplant list.

Meeks was released from the hospital and was doing dialysis three days per week, four hours per session. He eventually got a call from the doctor telling him he was done with dialysis and they needed to see him the next day. He said he was ready for some good news, but the doctor told him he was in renal kidney failure and would need a kidney transplant.

“It was a little shocking and a lot to handle,” he said. “I’m 36 years old, I’ve got two young kids. We were right in the middle of basketball season when all of this happened. It was kind of tough missing that kind of stuff.”

Meeks is a youth basketball and baseball coach in Mustang and since he found out he has renal kidney failure, he’s had to give that up for now.

He was placed on the kidney transplant list and all he can do is wait. He is officially on the list, but the wait time is about five years, Meeks said.

However, he is currently seeking a living donor. He said his sisters have signed up to see if they are matches, as well as a few of his close friends. Meeks said if one of them is a match, they will give up one of their kidneys to save his life.

Even though Meeks is going through a life-changing time, and uncertain of the future, his spirits are high and he said he is truly grateful to all of the support from the community of Mustang and from his friends and family.

“It means a lot that people are willing to do that,” he said. “They’re giving up something that they might need later.”

Meeks said he has kept his mouth shut about his condition for a long time because when he got pulled off dialysis, he left it at that.

“I’ve always looked at it like there are always people with a lot more problems than me,” he said. “I don’t like to burden other people with my problems.”

On Nov. 15, there will be a silent auction held for Meeks at Mustang High School. Also, his sister, who owns Orange Leaf in Mustang, is hosting a fundraiser day from noon to 9 p.m., Oct. 21 at her restaurant for her brother.

There will also be a garage sale on Oct. 24 and 25 at 12717 Sw 53rd in Mustang.
Meeks works for the bonds and construction department of the Mustang school district.
He said he actually feels good, aside from the swelling in his ankles.

“I could sit at home and feel sorry for myself, but it’s not going to do anybody any good,” Meeks said.

City council approves employee benefit ordinance

By Matt Montgomery
editor@mustangnews.info

The Mustang city council voted to approve an agenda item Tuesday, amending the Employee Retirement System and Defined benefit Plan of the City of Mustang.

The ordinance the council approved also called for a new definition of spouse. And with the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week, allowing several states to temporarily grant marriage licenses to same sex couples, including Oklahoma, several members of the city council, during the discussion portion of this agenda item, made it clear they didn’t agree with the Supreme Court’s decision. However, the agenda item they passed Tuesday didn’t address that issue, but rather the issue of retirement and benefits for city employees.

The new ordinance focuses on the Windsor Agreement, which is a component of federal law. In order for the City of Mustang to be in compliance with the Internal Revenue Service, a recommendation was made by city staff to pass the ordinance. The agreement specifically applies to distribution and rollover rules for city employees.

According to Jodi Cox, director of the Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund, the Windsor Amendment made to the OMRF, the new definition of spouse, for federal tax purposes, will be defined as same sex if the individuals were lawfully married under a state with laws to validate, authorize and recognize same-sex marriages. See letter to city here.

According to the Mustang city attorney, the U.S. vs. Windsor case dealt with a same-sex couple that lived in New York. When the first spouse passed away, the second spouse tried to claim the exemption, but was denied that right because of the Defense of Marriage Act. The Supreme Court overturned the state’s decision to deny them that right and that spouse was allowed the exemption.

If the council had voted to not approve the agenda item, city employees such as fire fighters, police officers and all other city employees’ retirement plans would become taxable after Dec. 31. They are not taxable right now.

And with Tuesday night’s approval of the agenda item, they will not become taxable.

Mustang City Councilwoman Linda Bowers, Ward 3, voted “no” on the agenda item.

She said during the discussion period before casting her vote, if the council votes “no,” city employees will be taxed.

“We have to make a decision for or against what God’s word says,” Bowers said. “That plays a huge part in my decision. I’m going to have to stand before a living God and report everything that I’ve done. This is important for me to stay true to God. It doesn’t matter about the taxes for me. God can provide whatever money we need.”

Some of the other council members voted to approve, but with protest. A with protest “yes” vote is still considered a “yes” vote, but essentially means that council member may not agree with it personally.

OMRF letter to City of Mustang

OMRF letter from Jodi Cox copy

Canyon Ridge student wins fire prevention poster contest

Photographer/Matt Montgomery
Canyon Ridge Intermediate students Bethany Hutto, Ella Emillio, Lily Dilbeck, Paige Gulley and Maya Beesley join Mustang Fire Cheif Carl Hickman and fire department representative Eric Halter to show off their posters they won trophies for during the Fire Prevention Month Poster Contest held by the fire department.

 By Matt Montgomery

editor@mustangnews.info

Several students from local schools participated in a poster contest for Fire Prevention Month, in which they had the opportunity to learn a few things about fire safety while having fun drawing.

Canyon Ridge Intermediate students had five of the top 10 poster contest winners. The top five from Canyon Ridge were Bethany Hutto, first place, Ella Emillio, third place, Lily Dilbeck, fourth place, Paige Gulley, fifth place and Maya Beesley, 10th place.

Canyon Ridge art teacher Nancy Matheson, who worked with the kids on the posters, said the students really enjoyed learning about fire safety and using art to do so.

“The kids loved designing the posters,” she said. “They took them (posters) home with them so they could focus on it. Sometimes they work better when it’s quiet at home.”

The most prominent was the smoke detector.

Mustang Fire Chief Carl Hickman said it is important to reach students at the elementary age to teach them about fire safety and how smoke detectors work.

“We know the younger we can instill in people’s minds the fire safety messages they need to know, then the easier it is to keep it in their minds,” Hickman said. “This is the perfect age to address those safety issues. Also, those kids are going to go home and pressure mom and dad to do what they were taught that day at school. It’s a good age for us to get in and spread that message to them.”

District judge rules in land dispute over Cedar Lake fire station

Cedar lake copy

By Daniel Lapham,

The Cedar Lake fire station belongs to Canadian County.

That’s how District Judge Gary E. Miller ruled after hearing arguments presented by Assistant District Attorney Paul Hesse. The action came Friday.

County employee Howie Sutton purchased the property in April after a clerical error allowed the property to be placed for sale as a tax delinquent property.

According to court documents, the county has owned the property for the last 14 years. The error in how the property was coded led to the Cedar Lake real estate being placed up for auction.

Seeing the property up for bid, Sutton purchased it for $100. According to documents, Sutton, through his attorney Mark Osby, asked the court to award him title to the property or pay Sutton more than $75,000 for the property plus fees associated with the case.

The judge agreed with Hesse that the county did not have authority to sell the land and vacated Sutton’s deed. Sutton’s $100 was reimbursed and the land went back to the county to be used by the Cedar Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

Hesse filed the initial petition on June 3 in district court asking that the deed be returned to the volunteer fire department. The property in question was donated to the county by the Western Sportsman Club to be used for the fire department. According to the deed the Western Sportsman Club was entitled to “right of first refusal” to buy the land back. The judge agreed with the county’s claims it did not have authority to sell due to this stipulation

In addition, Miller said Sutton did not do anything wrong by purchasing the property, but because there was no authority to sell the property, the sale was not legal and thus void.