The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Headlines

April 26, 2013

OU first baseman mourns hometown

NORMAN — The words Kolbey Carpenter heard on April 17 were hard to comprehend. The afternoon call he received from his mother about a fertilizer plant fire in his hometown of West, Texas, was to let him know about the day’s news in the small town of about 2,800.

More calls, texts messages and photos arrived later that night as he huddled with teammates at L. Dale Mitchell Park because of severe weather. The fire turned into a town-shattering explosion.

“I didn’t really get a lot of information,” Carpenter said Thursday at L. Dale Mitchell Park. “I tried to call a lot of my friends. The cell service wasn’t very good at the time because so many people were in town. I didn’t really learn a lot until around midnight. The information kind of went from there. I was up all night trying to get in touch with everyone and making sure everyone was OK. It was just a bad deal.”

Carpenter, who is Oklahoma’s first baseman, had his world shrink that night. His mind quickly turned to a town he had lived just south of since he was 13 years old. His family’s home was outside of the explosion’s radius. It was one of the few things the devastation spared.

The high school he attended looked like it had been hit by a bomb. His family was fine. Friends, however, were not.

Kenneth “Luckey” Harris, a Dallas Fire-Rescue Captain, was the father of Heath Harris, one of Carpenter’s closest friends. Kenneth Harris arrived at the scene to help fight the fire in its early stages. He was one of the 14 killed in the explosion.

When Carpenter found out about that last Thursday, he knew he had to return to West.

“Right there I decided to go ahead and go home. They were really close to our family and we’ve been longtime friends with them,” Carpenter said. “I thought it would be best if I went home to be with him.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • movieposter Movie about Moore tornado survivors premieres May 16

    MOORE — Exploring ideas of faith and hope, an Oklahoma faith-based documentary on the May 20, 2013, EF-5 Moore tornado is scheduled to premiere at the Moore Warren Theatre May 16....

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Survivors observe 19th anniversary

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Survivors, rescue workers and the family members of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing have observed the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attack....

    April 20, 2014

  • Police arrest man connected to homicide

    Norman Police have arrested Abid Sandhu, 37 years old, of Norman, on a complaint of Murder in the First Degree. Formal charges have yet to be filed. At approximately 3:35 a.m. Saturday, the Norman Police Communications Center received a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Cody’s Run raises $14,000

    Cody Ponder’s positive attitude was infectious even while he struggled with esophageal cancer. He always worked to help others and his giving spirit inspired a 5k race to benefit struggling patients. Last year Cody’s family organized a run ...

    April 20, 2014

  • State budget talks center on cuts

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With six weeks left in the 2014 session, behind-the-scenes negotiations among the House, Senate and governor’s office are ramping up on how to plug a $188 million hole in the budget and fund programs for education, public ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dental groups oppose measure

    TULSA — Some Oklahoma dental groups are opposing a bill in the state Legislature, proposed as a reaction to the case of an oral surgeon accused of maintaining filthy office conditions, that deals with training requirements for oral surgery ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Former mayor files for county office

    Local physician and former Norman Mayor Harold Haralson recently filed his candidacy for the Cleveland County Commission District 3 seat....

    April 20, 2014

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014