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Stillwater's First News with Bill Van Ness



    As of this advisory, there are 6,338 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.
    There are three additional deaths; two of them occurred in the past 24 hours and the other died on May 23.
        One in Oklahoma County, a female in the 65 and older age group.
        Two in Tulsa County, both males in the 65 and older age group.
    There are 329 total deaths in the state.
    The State has surpassed its goal to collect and test more than 90,000 specimens in the month of May. As of Wednesday, May 27, the Oklahoma State Department of Health had processed 113,264 specimens collected for COVID-19 testing since the first of the month, with a total of 183,632 tests conducted since COVID-19 was first detected in early March.
    COVID-19 testing sites are open in multiple cities in Oklahoma as a result of a cross-county, city and state health system partnership.
    For more information, visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov.

COVID-19 Oklahoma Test Results
Confirmed Positive Cases
Total Cumulative Negative Specimens to Date
Total Cumulative Number of Specimens to Date
Currently Hospitalized
Total Cumulative Hospitalizations
Deaths in the Past 24 hours
Total Cumulative Deaths

COVID-19 Oklahoma Test Results by area county/city
(May 29th)
PAYNE                      45                1                44
CREEK                     93                7                80
LINCOLN                  22                2                18
LOGAN                    19                1                 17
NOBLE                     7                  0                  7
PAWNEE                  30                2                 27
STILLWATER           22                0                 22
CUSHING                 20                1                 19


Out of concern for public health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has postponed this year’s Boomer Blast event, an annual Independence Day celebration on July 4. The City is exploring options for a show later this year.

“We know it’s a disappointment; however, this decision was made out of concern for our community,” Special Events Coordinator Stephanie Kinder said. “We’d like to thank our residents and donors for not only their patience and understanding, but their continued support each year.”

The City is exploring options for a firework show later this year instead, but it is contingent upon funding and other community events. The City will update its residents through Stillwater.org/news and its social media accounts.

Catchapalooza, the annual Fishing Tournament held by Lake McMurtry, will proceed as usual on July 4. Information on this event will be posted to lakemcmurtry.org as it becomes available. For questions on this event, call 405.747.8085.



The City of Stillwater’s May 2020 sales and use tax collection totaled $2,245,478. The collection is based off March transactions that were reported to the Oklahoma Tax Commission in April and apportioned to the City in May.

This is a decrease from May 2019 total collections by $310,558 (12.15 percent) and collections fell below budget projections for May 2020 by $300,545 (11.80 percent).

The City of Stillwater’s sales tax collections in May 2020 was $2,028,636, which is down $277,067 (12.02 percent) from May 2019 and fell below budget projections for May 2020 by $268,231 (11.68 percent).

The City of Stillwater’s use tax collections in May 2020 was $216,842, which is down $33,491 (13.38 percent) from May 2019 and fell below budget projections for May 2020 by $32,314 (12.97 percent).

Hotel/motel tax remitted to the City in May 2020 totaled $28,737, which is down from May 2019 collections by $35,794 (55.47 percent), and fell below budget projections by $38,067 (56.98 percent).

In Oklahoma, sales tax is the largest source of recurring revenue for municipalities. With large segments of the economy, including businesses that generate sales tax, shutting down in mid-March 2020 to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, the City of Stillwater’s revenues were expected to decline sharply. Because of the lag in the City’s receipt of sales tax, the revenue impact related to the shutdown will not be known until at least June 2020 when the City receives sales tax revenue for the April 2020 sales period.

The future health of sales tax revenue is dependent on our community’s ability to reopen businesses, reemploy our citizens, reengage public activity and events, and bring our student population back to town. Sales tax collections will be monitored very closely in the coming months, and amendments to the City’s budget will be made as needed.

For more information about the budget and taxes, visit the City’s Financial Center at http://stillwater.org/budget.



The basketball world and the Oklahoma State family has lost a legend. Eddie Sutton, the hall of fame coach who authored 806 wins and three Final Four appearances, died Saturday at the age of 84.

Sutton's family said in a statement he died of natural causes at home in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area, surrounded by his three sons and their families. His wife Patsy died in 2013.

"Dad and Mom treated their players like family and always shared the belief that his teachings went beyond the basketball court," the family wrote. "He cherished the time he spent at every school and appreciated the support of their loyal fans. He believed they deserved so much credit in the success of his programs."

The first coach in history to lead four different schools to the NCAA tournament, Sutton was selected for enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on April 4. His enshrinement in Springfield, Massachusetts was set for Aug. 29.

Sutton ranks 11th all-time with 806 career coaching victories. He is an eight-time conference coach of the year and a two-time recipient of the Associated Press National Coach of the Year award (1978, 1986).

Sutton entered the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 having led Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and his alma mater, Oklahoma State, to a combined 26 NCAA Tournament appearances. In 37 seasons of Division I coaching, Sutton won 17 conference regular season and tournament championships.

"Oklahoma State University is deeply saddened by the passing of Coach Eddie Sutton," said Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis. "A Hall of Fame Coach with more than 800 wins, he revived our historic basketball program and will always be revered and loved by the Cowboy family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Sutton family.

He took Arkansas to the Final Four in 1978 and returned with Oklahoma State in 1995 and 2004. Sutton's three Final Four appearances are tied with notable names like Phog Allen, Nolan Richardson, Bill Self and John Thompson for the 21st most in college basketball history.

When Sutton arrived in Stillwater on April 11, 1990, he inherited an Oklahoma State program that had made just one appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 25 years and had only seven winning seasons during that same period.

Over the next 16 seasons, Sutton guided Oklahoma State to 13 NCAA Tournaments, 13 20-win seasons and seven first or second place finishes in conference play. OSU's NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005 marked its eighth-consecutive postseason appearance, the longest streak in school history.

At Oklahoma State, Sutton coached seven All-Americans, 52 all-conference Cowboys, five Big Eight/Big 12 Players of the Year and nine NBA Draft picks. Bryant "Big Country" Reeves, Desmond Mason, John Lucas III and Joey Graham all became All-Americans and OSU legends under Sutton.

Sutton began his coaching career by taking over a Creighton team in 1969 that had not produced a winning record in three seasons. He led them to five consecutive winning marks, culminating in a 23-7 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 1974.

He was hired at Arkansas in 1974 and is credited with leading the Razorbacks back to national prominence. Sutton coached the famed Arkansas Triplets – Sidney Moncrief, Ron Brewer and Marvin Delph – as well as Joe Kleine, Scott Hastings, Alvin Robertson and numerous other Razorback greats. In fact, his Arkansas winning percentage of .776 was the highest in the history of the Southwest Conference.

At Kentucky, Sutton won two Southeastern Conference championships, advanced to three NCAA Tournaments and was the National Coach of the Year (AP, NABC) after the 1985-86 season.

Born in Bucklin, Kansas on March 12, 1936, Sutton was a standout at Bucklin High School before attending Oklahoma A&M, where he played for the legendary Mr. Iba from 1956-58. Sutton averaged 8.1 points in 1957 and helped take down star center Wilt Chamberlain and No. 2 Kansas, 56-54. As a senior in 1958, Sutton poured in 8.3 points on 47.4 percent shooting and helped OSU win 21 games and advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Sutton earned his bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State in 1958 and a master's degree from OSU in 1959.

Along with his late wife, Patsy, the Suttons had three sons – Steve, Sean and Scott – two of which carried on the family coaching tradition. Sean was the head coach at Oklahoma State from 2006-08 and is currently on staff at Texas Tech, while Scott spent 18 season as the head coach at Oral Roberts before joining Mike Boynton's staff at OSU in 2017.

On top of his induction into the Naismith and College Basketball halls of fame, Sutton has gone into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (1983), the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor (1995), the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (1996), the Oklahoma State University Hall of Honor (1997), the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (2009), the Creighton University Hall of Fame, the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame, the Tulsa Public Schools Athletics Hall of Fame and the College of Southern Idaho Hall of Fame.

The Oklahoma State and Arkansas basketball programs continue to honor Sutton to this day, with the Cowboys playing on Eddie Sutton Court and the Razorbacks practicing at the Eddie Sutton Basketball Practice Gym.


The City of Stillwater is planning to reopen the Stillwater Municipal Building, 723 S. Lewis St., for public access beginning June 1. Visitors are asked to wear face coverings while on the premises and to follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and hand-washing during their visit.

“Though we are looking forward to welcoming the public back to city hall, this reopen date is dependent on certain factors,” City Manager Norman McNickle said. “For example, if there is a significant surge in COVID-19 cases between now and then, we may reevaluate our decisions.”

Although residents will be able to pay bills or conduct other City business in-person, many city services remain available online or by phone. Staff encourages residents to use online options before considering a visit to City Hall. Information is available at the City’s website, Stillwater.org and  by phone at 405.372.0025.

The Stillwater Community Center and Armory Gym will reopen June 1 and each facility will be limited to 50 people at a time.  The Stillwater Public Library will reopen June 8 with the meeting wing and the main library being limited to 50 people at a time for each wing.  Face coverings are highly encouraged at all City facilities.

Also opening June 1 are the park restrooms, shelter rentals, gazebos, pavilions, playgrounds and splash pads. However, the park facilities will not be sanitized, so residents are cautioned to use them at their own risk.

The following facilities or services are still closed:
    Stillwater Municipal Court is closed to in-person visits, but still accepting business online or by phone. Call 405.742.8253 or go to https://www.municipalonlinepayments.com/stillwaterok to make an online payment.
    Senior Activity Center is closed but this decision will be re-evaluated June 15.
    Project Heart will continue with delivery and drive-thru services at the Community Center.
    Swimming Pool at Couch Park is closed.

The meetings of all City of Stillwater authorities, boards, committees, trusts, and ad hoc committees are canceled until June 1, with exceptions as noted in the proclamation.

ABC News

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