Dogs, debris and Satan make their mark at Oklahoma capitol

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:50am EDT
 
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By Heide Brandes

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - As part of her grand plan to visit all 50 U.S. state capitols before her 70th birthday, Deidra Horan drove to Oklahoma City a few weeks ago. She toured the capitol, but that's not her most vivid memory of the trip.

Horan, 64, was attacked by four large stray dogs shortly after she left the building, and was badly bitten.

It was the latest in a series of headaches for statehouse officials that have included tumbling plaster inside the building and a battle over a monument to Satan outside the 97-year-old neoclassical structure.

Horan, a dealer in antique postcards from Colorado, suffered a deep bite on her buttock and has rung up about $22,000 in rabies shots and other medical bills.

“It was the most horrible experience in my life,” she said. “It has been a historical journey, but the visit to Oklahoma has not been nice.”

She is the second woman to have been attacked outside the capitol by marauding pit-bull-mix dogs in recent weeks. Other visitors have been chased through the grounds, narrowly escaping attack.

Vicious hounds aren't the only problems dogging the capitol. In May, members of the House media office arrived to find a chunk of plaster had fallen from the ceiling in their basement office.

Before that, the basement flooded after a drain gave way. And since 2011, scaffolding has covered the southeast entrance to help protect passersby from falling limestone.   Continued...