Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

February 6, 2013

Neighborhood watch

TAHLEQUAH — Local retiree Glenda Pate lives alone with her dog, Brodie, whom she often relies on to alert her to possible danger.

Pate lives in a HUD-subsidized apartment complex for retirees, Autumn Heights, and has recently become concerned with security. During a series of events in late January, she was spurred to action.

On Jan. 22, Pate – alerted to the window by her canine companion – watched as Tahlequah police officers responded to a call about a disturbance in the complex.

“I couldn’t hear the conversation, but I could see [the police] were talking to both [the suspect] and my neighbor to the left. Obviously, there were conflicting stories. I saw, what appeared to be, some kind of club on the ground. Police were responding to a 911 call reporting [a person wielding] a machete.”

Pate watched as the police removed the handcuffs from the alleged suspect, allowing him to go free. Less than 15 minutes later, Pate’s dog barked again, and she returned to the window to see what was happening.

“I saw [the man] return and dump the bleeding carcass of an animal in my neighbor’s yard,” said Pate. “This time, I made the 911 call.”

After reflecting on the incident, Pate and several of her neighbors banded together to approach management and the local authorities about safety issues in their neighborhood. According to Pate, a security light near the apartments has been burned out throughout her tenancy, and she’s also concerned about unauthorized tenants who have a history of arrests becoming a safety issue.

“I bought ink for my printer, began collating facts, including dates when I took copies of the Tahlequah Daily Press stories and Daily Log, the date and copy of the letter I wrote and personally delivered to management, co-signed by a number of fellow residents,” said Pate. “I spoke at length with a kind young woman working for Adult Protective Services, who took names and apartment numbers.”

Pate and some fellow residents met with TPD officer Reed Felts, and were pleased with the response.

“He listened, gave us valuable information and offered sound advice,” said Pate. “We listened, were grateful and felt more than a bit relieved.”

According to Brad Robertson, public information officer for TDP, the department has stepped up patrols to reduce crime in that area.

“Officers Reed Felts, Jake Keys and Sgt. Jason Girdner of the ‘Baker’ shift met recently with residents in the Autumn Heights area,” said Robertson in a written statement. “This area has been plagued with prowlers and suspicious activity for the past few months. All of the officers do a great job, but we always like to hear positive comments from the public.”

Pate also visited with Margaret Nofire, management agent for Paradigm Management Co. in Tulsa, a private company that leases the property from the Cherokee Nation Housing Authority.

“After she received a call from our [local manager], Ms. Nofire and I had a lengthy conversation,” said Pate. “The conclusion was a promise to sit down with our manager discuss possible ways to increase security on the property.”

Nofire said after visiting the property and talking with the residents, security issues have been addressed since her first conversation with Pate on Jan. 24.

“We’re having the police do more drive-bys and personnel watch the premises,” said Nofire. “The maintenance personnel have hired a contractor to take care of the light. They needed to order a replacement bulb Any time [residents] have concerns or issues they feel need our attention, we welcome the contact.”

Pate sent a petition to Nofire, specifically asking that the unauthorized occupants be addressed.

“Failure to adequately address unauthorized tenancy, a clear violation of HUD policy, has resulted in an exponential growth of loud, disturbing and often dangerous behavior [from certain people] and those with whom they associate,” states the petition. “And as they make ‘friends’ among mentally-impaired residents of this complex, so they acquire new sources of shelter.”


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-Trail-show-1.jpg Jackson takes prize

    Cherokee Heritage Center Museum Curator Mickel Yantz kicked off his 10th anniversary at the venue with the opening of the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show this past Friday.
    “The Trail of Tears show was my first exhibit opening when I arrived 10 years ago,” said Yantz. “Since that time, the show has changed so dramatically; we’ve added so many new artists, and the art work has excelled over time. It’s like Christmas for me.”
    Yantz said he was exceptionally pleased with the opening reception.
    “We had a fantastic turnout,” said Yantz. “We had a lot of fun and sold some artwork, which is great for opening night.”
    The exhibit is on display at the Cherokee Heritage Center through May 26. This year’s show features 130 pieces of art spanning eight different categories, including basketry, graphics, jewelry, miniature, painting, pottery and sculpture.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • churchguy.jpg Some NSU students find Church of Monett offensive

    They turn heads every time they show up on campus, and some students at Northeastern State University are offended by their presence.
    The Church of Monett, Mo., has made periodic trips to Tahlequah to stage quiet demonstrations in public campus spaces in recent years. They carry signs that read, “Wives, Obey your Husbands,”; “To be Married to the divorced is Adultery”; and “Don’t be deceived: fornicators homosexuals idolaters adulterers thieves drunkards - shall not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teen sent to hospital after being struck by tractor-trailer

    An 18-year-old Tahlequah man was struck by a tractor-trailer early Tuesday morning on the State Highway 51 bypass near Mimosa Lane.
    Tahlequah Police Capt. Tom Jones said officers responded to the scene at about 5:40 a.m., when Sage Sohns was found injured and lying in the road. A medical helicopter responded to the scene to transport Sohns to a Tulsa hospital, where he was being treated for a closed-head injury, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • TPS board hears architect presentations for cafeteria

    Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education heard from four architectural firms seeking a contract for construction at Cherokee Elementary School.
    TPS plans to build a cafeteria-auditorium and a music room with a stage, which may also serve as a safe room during storms.

    April 16, 2014

  • Briggs.jpg Local man hit with assault, burglary charges

    Prosecutors have formally charged a Tahlequah man accused of breaking into a motel room, tying a rope around a man’s neck and stabbing him repeatedly with a syringe.
    Jimmy Dale Briggs Jr., 33, is charged with first-degree burglary, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of threatening to perform an act of violence.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boy whose mom scolded deputies in trouble again

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 15-year-old theft suspect Monday night after he allegedly assaulted his brother.
    Deputy Kim Novak said authorities were dispatched to a home and ultimately took the teen into custody. While there, they also discovered items that had been reported stolen, including a bed and several tools.
    Novak said the teen is the same boy who has previously been found to be in possession of stolen items.

    April 16, 2014

  • plane-crash-1-a.jpg Plane crash victims recovering

    Two Arkansas men remained in a Tulsa hospital Monday after the plane they were flying crashed into a wooded area in Cookson.
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the 1946 Ercoupe 415 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a mile from the Tenkiller Air Park in Cookson Saturday morning.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 75-year-old John McCreary and 85-year-old Albert Demarco Jr., both of Ozark, Ark., were flown from Cookson to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • walker-terrance.jpg Man taken for blood sample confuses hospital with hotel

    Tahlequah police say an Austin, Texas, man stopped Saturday mistook a local hospital for a hotel when he was taken to have his blood drawn.
    Officer Cory Keele’s affidavit says 20-year-old Terrance Walker was driving south on Muskogee Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday, swerving from one line to another.
    Keele tried to stop the car near Muskogee and Chickasaw, and Walker eventually slowed to a stop near South Street.
    Walker opened the car door as Keele approached. The officer said Walker had dilated pupils.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ennis-scottie.jpg Knife-cutting incident lands man in jail

    A Tahlequah man jailed for allegedly cutting a woman with a kitchen knife was released on a recognizance bond Monday.
    Scottie Lee Ennis, 42, was arrested after Officer Austin Yates was sent to Tahlequah City Hospital late Friday night.
    There, Yates spoke with Jennifer Pennell, who had apparently suffered a stab wound to her arm.
    Pennell told Yates she and her husband, Ennis, had gone to Dewain’s Place earlier in the evening, and while at the bar, a man bought her a drink.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hawley-jeremy.jpg Tahlequah man bonds out after arrest for assault

    A 22-year-old Tahlequah man bonded out of jail Monday after his weekend arrest on domestic assault charges.
    Jeremy Hawley was booked into jail Sunday for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interfering with a 911 call.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video