Garth’s Day(s) in Court
Claremore resident and Country and western singer Garth Brooks took a Yukon, Okla. hospital to court early in 2012, citing the hospital — Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital — failed to honor an agreement to name a building after Brooks’ late mother, Colleen, in exchange for Brooks donation of $500,000.
Brooks initially filed the breach of promise lawsuit in 2005, and it went to trial in Rogers County in February, with nearly a week of testimony from hospital officials, business associates of Brooks and Integris, as well as Brooks himself.
Ultimately, Judge Dynda Post ruled in favor of Brooks, ordering the return of his $500,000 (donation) plus an additional $500,000 in punitive damages.
Suspected dog dragging death
In September, Rogers County Sheriff’s deputies found the remains of a two-year old Labrador retriever along a rural road near Winganon (northwest of Chelsea), suspecting the animal had been “dragged to death” as indicated by the animal’s legs being tied together and a disquieting trail of fur, according to Sheriff (Scott) Walton.
Donations made it possible for Wild Heart Ranch in Rogers County to offer a $4,500 reward for information leading to the identity of the person or persons responsible — a sum which was later more than doubled with a $5,000 donation from former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer.
A suspect was soon identified in the form of Chelsea man Gary Gwen Hart, 52, who claimed that he had found the dog (already) dead and was removing it.
After a three month investigation, Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley filed a single misdemeanor criminal charge of improperly disposing a carcass against Hart.
Claremore residents prayed for rain throughout much of 2012, as Mother Nature withheld precipitation throughout much of the year, prolonging near drought-like conditions across the state.
In July, the City of Claremore reportedly was losing “about half and inch (of water) a day” at Claremore Lake due to lack of rain and evaporation, and requested residents voluntarily conserve water.
By mid-year, Claremore Lake was at a negative 36 inches (water level), and residents began experiencing water pressure problems related to the summer heat and low water levels.