It was a busy month with elections, another fatal fire and ‘89er Days Celebration.
The most noteworthy item was the passage of a second bond issue for Guthrie Public Schools with a 71% approval. The bond will be used to eventually build a new Cotteral School on the west side as well as continued infrastructure improvements in the district.
The city council elections saw Don Channel defeat incumbent Sharyl Padgett by six votes in Ward III, Chuck Burtcher defeat incumbent Brian Bothroyd 309-231 in Ward II and James Long assuming the Ward I seat with no opposition. Burtcher would be forced to resign later in the year for health reasons and Bothroyd was selected by the council to finish the remainder of the term.
Tina Smedley would win reelection for the Board of Education defeating John Donosso 1914-526 for another four year term.
The Guthrie Lions Club celebrated 100 years of service in April and honored local resident Ken Mitchell for his over 60 years of service.
The ‘89er Days weeklong celebration had great weather for the week as Rebeka Breger, this year’s Queen, led the parade through downtown in front of several thousand people. Gov. Kevin Stitt also made an appearance and even got out to walk and shake hands with crowd members.
Kay Wade, the Director of the Logan County Economic Development Council retired this month after ten years as director and 29 years involvement with the council overall.
This is always a tough month because it is graduation month. When you have five high schools and a university in the county, you are saying goodbye to some students you have covered for four years. Guthrie High School led the way with 223 seniors receiving diplomas. It was also the wettest month on record in five years as the Guthrie area received 15.5 inches of rain in May, which was the most since May 2015 when the area received 10.5 inches of rain.
The rain caused problems everywhere as the Logan County Fairgrounds buildings were heavily damaged, the Cottonwood Flats ballparks were destroyed as the creek crested at 27 feet at the end of the month. Despite the new bridge, Noble Avenue was closed for approximately 12 hours because of the fast rising waters. Division Street, around Mineral Well Park, was also closed for the same period of time.
Derrick Smith, another defendant in the Joey Angelo trial, accepted a plea deal of a manslaughter charge and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Reggie Smith, the last co-defendant in the case, went to trial and ended up with a hung jury of 7-5 after six hours of deliberation. Reggie Smith is scheduled for his retrial in 2020.
The City of Guthrie would welcome Kristen Elsenbeck as the new Human Resources/ Administrative Services Director replacing Jim Alhgren who retired.
Fogarty School announced that they raised $30,000 for a new playground.
It was an exceptional month for Guthrie High School athletics as the boy’s golf team would win a second straight Class 5A golf title and the girl’s soccer team would advance to the Class 5A semifinals before falling to Bishop Kelly.
The summer months are upon us and as the area continued to clean up from the May rainfall and damage, it appeared there was some major damage throughout the county. In Guthrie, a culvert washed out on Pine Street and the city had to narrow the road until repairs could be made. Roads throughout the county were in rough shape as the commissioners diligently worked to make repairs but the area got another six inches of rain in June, that made residents a little testy about the road conditions and pace of repairs.
The Guthrie City Council would hold their first hearing on the burned out buildings in downtown Guthrie. The tense meeting resolved nothing other than to give Byron Berline more time to deal with the buildings as several residents wanted to see the building saved.
The commissioners would hold a cantankerous debate with representatives from 4H over the future of the ATV Training Center on the Logan County Fairgrounds. The building used grant money for the construction and the building has yet to host any training sessions. The building has several issues that are still being worked out at press time but is still not ready for use.