Staff and wire reports
JET — Vials of chemicals found at Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge may contain diluted types of gases used to train World War II soldiers.
The discovery forced refuge officials earlier this week to close the popular 40-acre crystal digging area.
A spokesman with Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday nothing is definitive yet.
“... we don’t actually know. That’s what the Army response group will be doing, looking at it and trying to find out what they are,” Kevin Devery, supervisory geologist with the Army Corps of Engineers in Tulsa, said of the vials.
Members of the Army’s 22nd Chemical Battalion (technical escort) are expected to arrive from Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland today to identify and neutralize the material. They will begin inspection Saturday, refuge manager John Brock said.
One of the vials containing a yellow liquid was uncovered and accidentally broken Saturday by a Boy Scout digging for selenite crystals, Brock said. The material caused the boy to cough and his eyes to burn and his nose to run.
“It was pungent enough to make him run away from it,” Brock said.
Brock said he talked to the boy’s father, and the boy has not experienced any lingering ill effects.
Brock said he and other officials returned to the site later and uncovered as many as 10 more glass vials, which he said are 6 or 7 inches long and sealed on both ends. The vials appeared to have been there a long time, he said.
Between 1942 and 1946, part of the Salt Plains area was used as a practice bombing range by U.S. pilots, although the area where the vials were found was not a part of the range, Corps of Engineers officials said. The area also isn’t known to have been used for testing or storing biological weapons.
Staff and wire reports
- Local and State News
- Oakwood Road to be closed Wednesday through Friday
EPD reports cruiser vandalism
According to a report filed Monday, the vehicle’s driver’s side rear wing window was shot out with a BB or pellet.
Riley chosen for city manager board
Enid Assistant City Manager Joan Riley has been selected to serve on a statewide panel of municipal professionals.
Man facing 4 counts of impersonating police officer
Timothy Wasson, 49, was charged Monday in Garfield County District Court with four misdemeanor counts of impersonating a police officer, each punishable by six months in prison and/or a fine up to $2,000.
Fire training tower unveiled
The tower will be used for Autry’s fire training programs as well as for training by Enid Fire Department and other rural fire departments, said Autry Technology Center Fire Training coordinator Josh Stephens.
Cole discusses details of House immigration plan
Cole's district includes Fort Sill, where hundreds of mostly teenagers from Central America are being housed in vacant troop barracks.
Hawley man reports earthquake damage from 4.3 temblor
Robert Moore said Tuesday he did not have earthquake insurance, but he would have some “by nightfall.”
Oakwood Road to be closed Wednesday through Friday
All traffic will be detoured east to Cleveland Street for the duration of the road closure.
UPDATED: 4.3 quake shakes Enid and area
Garfield County Emergency Management director Mike Honigsberg reported Tuesday morning in his daily email/Facebook page he had received reports of damage after the quake, but further investigation would have to wait until the area could be seen in daylight.
Symphony presenting Summer Wine series
The series begins Aug. 5 with a one-hour concert that will feature vocalists Douglas and Lawana Newell, and the Rev. Andrew Long on piano.
- More Local and State News Headlines