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Rhea Fire Reaches 87% Containment

 

Fire crews are getting a handle on the Rhea Fire, which has burned more than 286,000 acres. Fire officials say the blaze is now 87% contained. Full containment is projected for Saturday.

Officials Investigating Incident in Bessie

 

We hope to learn more information today surrounding an incident in Bessie last night. Washita County Sheriff Roger Reeve says the department received a call that multiple people were shot inside a trailer. He says there were two victims inside the trailer. The Medical Examiner was called to the scene. A spokesperson for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says the agency sent three investigative agents and one crime scene agent to investigate the incident.

 

High School Seniors Continue to Enroll at SWOSU

 

A total of 603 high school seniors have enrolled for the 2018 fall semester at Southwestern Oklahoma State University as part of the first three sessions of the new student orientation program on the Weatherford campus. SWOSU is offering three more enrollment opportunities for high school seniors who plan to attend SWOSU this fall. Those dates are June 18th, July 16th, and August 15th.

 

Superseding Indictment Returned Against Varnell

 

A superseding indictment has been returned against a Sayre man by a Federal Grand Jury for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction at a downtown Oklahoma City bank. 24-year-old Jerry Drake Varnell was arrested last August after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be explosives in a van he had parked in an alley next to BancFirst in Oklahoma City. Varnell has been in federal custody since his arrest.

 

Former Weatherford Teacher Pleads Guilty, Receives Suspended Sentence

 

A former Weatherford High School teacher and Middle School coach was given a suspended 90 day jail sentence yesterday in Custer County District Court. 32-year-old James Camden pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery. Camden was originally charged with sexual battery for touching a female student in an inappropriate manner during his United States history class last school year. Camden surrendered his teaching license as of last Thursday.

 

No New Filings on Day 2 of Filing Period

 

No new filings occurred in Custer County yesterday on the second day of the three day filing period. An Elk City man did file for governor Wednesday. Barry Gowdy filed as a Republican candidate. Locally, races have developed for District 3 Custer County commissioner, Custer County associate district judge, state representative in district 55, which is held by Todd Russ of Cordell, state senate district 38, held by Mike Schulz, and U.S. Representative in the 3rd district, held by Frank Lucas. The filing period ends today at 5.

 

Filing Period Opens for State and County Offices

 

The three day candidate filing period begins today for candidates who seek election to state and county offices. Candidates for state office will file with the Secretary of the State Election Board. Candidates for county offices will file with the Secretary of the County Election Board. County offices up for election includes county commission seats in districts 1 and 3, county treasurer and county assessor. The filing period ends Friday at 5.

 

Clinton Teacher Charged with Rape Makes First Court Appearance

 

A Clinton Middle School math teacher has been arrested by special agents of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for allegations of having sex with one of her students. 35-year-old Keri Hoffman has been formally charged in Custer County District Court with facilitating sexual conduct with a minor by use of technology, two counts of second degree rape and one count of pattern of criminal offenses. Bond was reduced to $30,000 from $120,000 during an initial court appearance for Hoffman Monday afternoon. Court records show that Hoffman told investigators that she admitted to having sex with the teenage boy in her car in Washita County and inside her father's detached garage in Custer County. Additionally, Hoffman told investigators that last week she took a group of students to the capitol to participate in the teacher walkout. The victim was part of that group. Hoffman picked him up first and dropped him off last, having sex with him each time.

 

Clinton Man Arrested on Charges Including Assault and Battery

 

A Clinton man has been arrested by Weatherford police on various charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Detective Chris Cote says 33-year-old Redmon Paul Ellis allegedly got into an altercation with a woman and held a knife to her throat.

 

Victims Identified in Caddo County Plane Crash

 

We have learned the identities of the two people killed in a Sunday night plane crash in rural Caddo County. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the pilot is identified as 62-year-old Walter Mullaney of El Reno. A passenger identified as 27-year-old Cesar Gomez of Lumton, Colorado also died in the crash. OHP says the two occupants of the plane were en route to El Reno from Odessa, Texas. The plane was diverted due to weather to the Hinton Airport. For an unknown reason while the plane was flying east it crashed into a field. Authorities say both the pilot and passenger were ejected from the aircraft.