Links to good sites:
Vintage Photographs of Ottawa County OK
Diggin' Up Okies in Ottawa County
This site also has Greenlawn Cemetery, Lyons Township, Cherokee Co. KS.
Cherokee County KS GenWeb
Tom and Carolyn Ward are currently responsible for Cherokee County.
Cherokee Co. KS
100 S. Tennessee
PO Box 33
Columbus, KS 66725-0033
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Thu, Oct 30, 2008 2:29 PM
NEO students pose amidst the auction items that have filled the Development Foundation office. See
related story. Courtesy photo.
A contingency of military veterans will arrive in Miami today to take part in the "Great Dear Hunt 2008."
About 10 hunters who share two things in common - military service and a degree of physical disability - will be packing black powder into by morning and
searching for a target on rural Ottawa County land.
The event is a spin-off of the "Great Turkey Hunt 2008" which drew five veterans to northeast Oklahoma for a Turkey Hunt last
Like its predecessor, the deer hunt lends attention to the Paralyzed Veterans of American organization as well as the latest PVA Outdoor Recreation Heritage
Fund fund-raising campaign, a national effort to encourage 100,000 people to make a $20 donation. If successful, the program would become self-sustaining,
according to program director Lew Deal.
Deal, a retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps, has been involved with the PVA for nearly a decade and said that Miami's turkey hunt event
drew an outpouring of community support that compares to nothing he has seen.
More than 60 donors, including federal legislators, area business owners and individuals are contributing to the event, according to Jack Dalrymple who is
leading the effort to organize the event..
Some are providing money to help cover the cost of providing food and accommodations for the hunters.
Hotel owners have reduced their charges for the veterans' stay.
In the meantime, volunteers are lining up to help cook, drive, prepare the hunting sites, orchestrate a warm welcome to the visitors.
American flags will line city streets in salute to the veterans, compliments of Mike Slyman and the local American Legion.
U.S. Rep. Dan Boren will join the hunters as they rise early for breakfast Friday and prepare for a morning hunt on what is known as Neosho River bottom land
just northwest of Miami.
Boren bagged a bird at the turkey hunt and vowed then that he would be back to share a weekend of hunting with area veterans. Three of the five hunters who
participated in April are back for the deer hunt.
The hunters will hunt through Sunday.
While in Miami, they will also tour the Coleman Theatre and visit downtown.
Some Oklahoma voters will be required to show identification when they vote this year in a federal election, according to an Oklahoma
State Election Board Secretary Michael Clingman announced last week that voters who registered by mail will be asked for identification when they vote in a
federal election for the first time.
"This is required by a federal law called the Help America Vote Act," Clingman said.
Several forms of identification are acceptable, including:
€ A current photo identification
€ The voter identification card issued by a county election board when the voter registration was approved.
€ A government document that shows the voter's name and address
€ A copy of a utility bill, bank statement, or paycheck that shows the voter's name and address
"Election officials across Oklahoma encourage all voters to take identification with them when they go to vote this year," Clingman said.
A voter who does not have any form of identification at the polls still will be able to vote, but the ballot will not be put in the voting device. Instead, it
will be sealed in a special envelope and kept separate until information provided by the voter can be verified.
Once verified by county election board officials, the ballot will be counted and included in the final election results.
When Megan Crudup applied for a scholarship to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, she was able to cover the full cost of her
tuition. The only hurdle she had left on her path to college was determining how to pay for her textbooks.
Through the NEO Development Foundation, a cholarship paid for her textbooks each semester, so Crudup can focus on what is important to her: her education.
"It is a real help to know that I have the Foundation scholarship," Crudup said. "I don't want money to be an issue
when it comes to my education, because I love it at NEO. I like that I get a four-year experience at a two-year school."
Crudup is among 77 students who were awarded Foundation scholarships this academic year, said Edie Ingram, executive director.
Through the proceeds raised through the upcoming Foundation Fund-raising Festival, Ingram hopes to help dozens more students in achieving their goal to have a
On Nov. 6, the Development Foundation will hold the annual festival. A pork tenderloin dinner prepared by Miami's A-Team and a silent auction will begin
at 6 p.m. in the student union ballroom, followed by a live auction at 7 p.m.
The A-Team is a group of Miami individuals who donate their culinary skills to prepare meals for non-profit events.
Tickets are $20 and are available through the foundation by calling (918) 540-6250.
The Festival is the largest annual fund-raiser for the NEO Development Foundation.
All of the proceeds earned at the Fundraising Festival will be returned to students. The Foundation Fundraising Festival has been a tradition for seven years
and has raised a total of $93,000.
Businesses and supporters of the college have donated approximately 200 items for the auction, including antique furniture such as a roll-top desk, bedroom
suites, a pie safe and highchair; Waterford crystal; casino packages; trips; 60 themed gift baskets; floral arrangements; Maple trees; and much more.
Ingram said 171 individuals and businesses donated items for the auction. This more than doubled the number who contributed last year, which was 78.
"The reason people give is because they want to make a difference," Ingram said. "This year, students will speak at the auction, because I
want our supporters to know the lives that they are changing. Because that is why they give- to change lives."
The deadline to apply for a scholarship from the Development Foundation for the 2009-10 year is April 1. An application is available on-line at www.neo.edu. In addition, a detailed description of each scholarship the Foundation offers is available in the course catalog, which
can also be found on the NEO website. Those with questions may contact Ingram at (918) 540-6250.
A variety of activities are scheduled for the Halloween holiday. Each is designed specifically with children in mind.
The Wyandotte Lions Club will host "Wyndotte Days" from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in downtown Wyandotte.
The event will include free hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn and drinks.
There will be a costume contest for children 18 years old and under.
In addition to Miami's annual "Boo Ha Ha", which begins at 3 p.m. on Main Street, communities and churches throughout
Ottawa County will be sponsoring alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating.
Commerce businesses will gather in the parking lot south of the police department to pass out treats beginning at 4 p.m. The police department is sponsoring a
Also in Commerce, the "Sweat Shop", Ottawa County's only spook house, will be open from dark until the last customer goes through on Halloween
The First Assembly of God Church located at 1815 E. Steve Owens Blvd. in Miami will hold a trunk-n-treat from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the church parking lot.
Refreshments, candy and inflatable toys will be given to all the children.
Welch Christian Church, located at 3rd and Queen streets in Welch, will hold a Hallelujah Festival from 5 to 8 p.m.
The First Assembly of God Church in Fairland will sponsor a fall festival from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Activities include food, games and a hay ride.
Halloween may be at the top of a child's list of favorite holiday's, but for parents of small children it is often met with apprehension.
For parents who choose the traditional route, there are precautions that health and safety officials say should be taken to ensure that children have a safe,
enjoyable evening. Suggestions include:
€ Parents should make sure children wear well-fitted clothing and wear shoes that make it easy to move around without stumbling.
€ Young children should be encouraged to use makeup rather than masks because masks can obstruct vision, especially in the dark.
€ Children should carry flashlights and wear light-colored costumes that can easily bee seen by drivers.
€ It's best to have at least one adult accompany each group of children.
If children are old enough to be out on their own, parents should know the approximate "path" they plan to take and all children should have a
specific time limit for when they are to return home.
€ Instruct children to be selective regarding the homes they visit - only those with lights on, preferably in neighborhoods they know.
There are also several "don'ts" to reinforce:
€ Children should never "trick or treat" alone and should not enter any home, unless it is the home of a friend. They should stay in familiar
neighborhoods and knock only at houses with lights on.
€ Children should be especially wary of cars, remembering to avoid running across streets. Check driveways for cars backing out.
€ cross streets only at corners and never between parked cars or mid-block.
€ Do not eat any candy before it has been inspected by an adult. Any items that are not wrapped should be thrown away. Also, children shouldn't carry sharp
or pointed props and they should never carry candles as a source of light.
Northeast Technology Center student Kayne Vernon, an adult Masonry student from Vinita, is leveling
blocks for the foundation of the house. Courtesy photo
Students at Northeast Technology Center, Afton campus, have started working on a home-building project that will keep them busy
for a year.
The project gives several NTC classes the opportunity to work on a 1560-square-foot, hands-on housing project to be built on the school campus.
To begin the building project, the occupational industrial and carpentry classes are teaming up to lay the foundation.
The masonry class is in the process of laying a block foundation.
According to Masonry Instructor Terry Clarkson, they hope to finish the foundation by the end of next week.
At the conclusion of construction, the house will be sold.
Thursday, October 30, 2008 1:54 PM EDT
Fri, Oct 31, 2008 3:15 PM
Scott Free is bathed in "Afton Eagle Orange" and proudly displays the jersey number of his
brother, Shawn Free. Shawn Free is a senior on the Eagle team. The Eagles will play Oklahoma Union today in Afton. High school football games
across the state kick off at 7:30 p.m. Photo by KRISTA DUHON
In addition to Miami's annual "Boo Ha Ha", which begins at 3 p.m. on Main Street, communities and churches throughout
Ottawa County will be sponsoring alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating.
Elk's Lodge No. 1320 - The lodge will have their 4th annual Children's Halloween Party today from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 401 S. Main in Miami. There will
be hot dogs, candy, games and prizes.
Commerce businesses will gather in the parking lot south of the police department to pass out treats beginning at 4 p.m. The police
department is sponsoring a costume contest.
Also in Commerce, the "Sweat Shop", Ottawa County's only spook house, will be open from dark until the last customer goes through on Halloween
The First Assembly of God Church located at 1815 E. Steve Owens Blvd. in Miami will hold a trunk-n-treat from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the church parking lot.
Refreshments, candy and inflatable toys will be given to all the children.
Welch Christian Church, located at 3rd and Queen streets in Welch, will hold a Hallelujah Festival from 5 to 8 p.m.
The First Assembly of God Church in Fairland will sponsor a fall festival from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Activities include food, games and a
Halloween may be at the top of a child's list of favorite holiday's, but for parents of small children it is often met with apprehension.
For parents who choose the traditional route, there are precautions that health and safety officials say should be taken to ensure that children have a safe,
enjoyable evening. Suggestions include:
€ Parents should make sure children wear well-fitted clothing and wear shoes that make it easy to move around without stumbling.
€ Young children should be encouraged to use makeup rather than masks because masks can obstruct vision, especially in the dark.
Children should also carry flashlights, and wear light-colored costumes that can easily been seen by drivers.
It's best to have at least one adult accompany each group of children. If children are old enough to be out on their own, parents should know the
approximate "path" they plan to take, and all children should have a specific time limit for when they are to return home. Instruct children to be
selective regarding the homes they visit - only those with lights on, preferably in neighborhoods they know.
There are also several "don'ts" to reinforce:
Children should never "trick or treat" alone and should not enter any home, unless it is the home of a friend. They should stay in familiar
neighborhoods and knock only at houses with lights on.
Children should be especially wary of cars, remembering to avoid running across streets and checking driveways for cars backing out. They should be instructed
to cross only at corners and never between parked cars or mid-block.
They should not eat any candy before they get home and have it inspected by an adult. Any items that are not wrapped should be thrown away. Also, children
shouldn't carry sharp or pointed props and they should never carry candles as a source of light.
Finally, all adults should remember to take extra precautions when driving on Halloween night because children will be everywhere.
Many children get very excited in anticipation of Halloween. These simple precautions can keep the day safe and fun for all.
A Miami woman is grieving the death of her 18-month-old granddaughter who died Oct. 24 in a highly publicized Oklahoma City hayride
Zoe Montgomery, daughter of Miami native Shane Montgomery and granddaughter of local Pam David, died after falling behind the wheel of a
tractor trailer at the Orr Family Farm.
Carrie Montgomery, 24, had taken her daughter to the farm to celebrate the toddler's second Halloween - she had no
idea the horror that would soon unfold.
After a visit to the pumpkin patch, the mother-daughter team joined about 75 others for a hayride, including Erica Smith and her 2-year-old son.
"My son and this little girl were picking out pumpkins in a pumpkin patch just five minutes before both our worlds were changed forever," Smith said.
Assuming the hayride had ended, Carrie Montgomery and many others stepped off the trailer then turned to reach for her daughter when the tractor lunged
forward, throwing Zoe to the ground.
According to a police report, the toddler landed near the tires. Carrie Montgomery, of Moore, threw herself toward her daughter in an
attempt to pull her to safety, but it was too late.
Zoe Montgomery was crushed beneath the wheels of the flatbed trailer loaded with hay bales and riders.
"It happened around 7 Friday night, my son called me at 9," David said. "We left immediately for Oklahoma City. It was the longest three hours
of my life."
Zoe's father was at work at the time of the accident.
"It's really been hard on him," David said. "But Carrie is taking it the hardest - she was there and had to see it."
David said there are just no words to describe the pain of losing her only grandchild.
"She was beautiful," David said. "She was so loving - a very happy little girl. I wish I could have spent more time with her."
Witnesses say the scene will forever remain embedded in their minds. Among those in attendance was a group of Girl Scouts. Authorities say counselors were sent
to the young girls' school to help them deal with the tragedy.
"This has been a near impossible thing to wrap my mind around," Smith said. "It's something that causes shock and disbelief one minute, and
despair and sympathy the next. It's something I never thought I would have to see. Now, it is something I'll see for the rest of my life."
More than two dozen candidates for statewide, legislative or county offices in Oklahoma have pledged to support open government in the
Republicans, Democrats and independents signed Freedom of Information Oklahoma Inc.'s "Open Government Pledge."
"Open government isn't an issue that belongs to one political party. It's not about politics. It's about bettering
government for all Oklahomans," said Kay Boies, FOI Oklahoma Inc. president and executive director of the Oklahoma Library Association.
Oklahoma's Open Records and Open Meeting laws ranked 31st and 32nd, respectively, in a national report released Wednesday, Oct. 27. Overall, the strength
of Oklahoma laws related to transparency, accountability and limits in government ranked 21st in the Better Government Association's BGA-Alper Integrity
FOI Oklahoma recently asked 215 candidates in the state to sign a pledge to uphold the spirit of Oklahoma's open government laws. Among the 25 who did are
21 seeking legislative seats.
"We're disappointed that more candidates - particularly those running for county offices - didn't publicly commit to conducting government in the
open," said Dr. Joey Senat, FOI Oklahoma past president and an associate professor in journalism at Oklahoma State University.
"But it's not surprising given the outright contempt that so many officials in this state demonstrate for the public's
right to know," he said. "We're encouraged, however, by those candidates who have pledged to protect the right of Oklahomans to know what their
government is doing."
The "Open Government Pledge" is part of a national effort to spur public commitments to government transparency from candidates for president down to
city council contests.
In signing the pledge, candidates "endorse the purpose of Oklahoma's Open Meeting and Open Records laws to ensure and facilitate the public's
understanding of governmental processes and problems." They also "pledge to support, at every opportunity, the public policy of the State of Oklahoma
that the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise
their inherent political power."
Candidates for state House and Senate seats also promise to "support legislation to strengthen the letter and the spirit of Oklahoma's Open Meeting
and Open Records laws." Candidates for other state and local offices pledge that they and the public bodies they are "elected to govern will comply
with not only the letter but also the spirit of Oklahoma's Open Meeting and Open Records laws."
What if candidates don't live up to the promises?
"Then we show them the door at the next election and elect people with the integrity to live up to their promises and to conduct our government in the
open," said Senat. "Ultimately, it's up to the voters to hold their elected officials accountable."
Founded in 1990, FOI Oklahoma Inc. is a statewide not-for-profit organization actively supporting those organizations and individuals working to open records
or provide access to meetings illegally closed.
COMMERCE - Commerce High School students learned a lesson in social studies and history Wednesday when the gymnasium became the scene
of a 2008 presidential debate.
Blake Witten and Kasey Ng, portraying Barack Obama and John McCain respectively, put a month of researching the candidates to use during a mock debate before
the student body.
Clad in suit and tie and accompanied by his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, portrayed by Kamesha Cook, Ng answered questions
about the economy, the current war and abortion.
Ng, 16, said that researching his role as McCain will enable him to research future candidates when he is old enough to vote.
"Everyone gets to know the candidates a lot better," Ng said about the role-playing event.
To involve the entire class, history teacher Danesa Napier divided the sophomores into two groups - each supporting a different candidate.
"Regardless of their personal opinions," Napier said. "They had to be on board for their campaign."
Napier stressed the historical significance of this year's election to the students.
"As a history teacher this is an exciting opportunity to teach students about the importance of this event," Napier said.
Witten said the research for his role as Obama made him a supporter of McCain.
"I like some of the things McCain supports and Obama doesn't support," Witten said.
"If I was old enough, I would probably vote for McCain," Witten said.
The majority of students at Commerce High School agreed.
Following the mock debate, students were given the opportunity to go to the polls and cast their vote.
Although, the outcome was close, McCain was favored among the students by 53 percent. Fourty-seven percent of the student body supported Obama.
Friday, October 31, 2008 3:26 PM EDT
Fri, Oct 31, 2008 3:33 PM
Posted: Oct 30, 2008 09:52 PM CDT
Updated: Oct 30, 2008 11:16 PM CDT
By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- No matter how much parents try and protect children, never take anything for granted.
"Always let your babies know they are the most wonderful thing and love them with all your heart because they need
that," mother Carrie Montgomery said.
Love is something Zoe Montgomery always had plenty of. The 19-month-old was priority number one for her mom and
"It was always about her safety," Zoe's father Shane Montgomery said. "We were the safest parents
All the love and all the protection in the world couldn't have prepared Montgomery family for what happened last Friday
Zoe was accidentally hit and killed by a tractor-pulled trailer during a hayride at the Orr Family Farm in Oklahoma
Her parents didn't want to discuss any other details of that night. Instead they're cherishing her
"I miss helping her find something to wear...and taking her to the park," Carrie Montgomery said.
The family from Moore said losing their only child has been more painful than anyone can imagine.
"I just feel so emotionally and physically drained," Carrie Montgomery said. "I wonder how I'm going to
make it the next day."
Just when they're ready to give up, the Montgomery's think of their daughter with a signature smile who loved to
"I have to do it for her," Shane Montgomery said. "Everything I do from now on is for her and I want her to
be proud of everything I do."
The family plans to donate a portion of Zoe's possessions to an infant crisis center. They're hoping her belongings
will bring joy to another child's life, but that's easier said than done for a mother who just lost her pride and joy.
"I see something of hers and I don't want to wash it and I don't want to let it get taken away from me,"
Carrie Montgomery said.
Members of the Orr Family Farm issued a written statement expressing their sincerest condolences to the family. The farm
and the hayride are still open.
Zoe's family is raising funds to help cover her medical and funeral expenses. A fund has been set up in her name at
Republic Bank and Trust. So far friends and family have helped raise more than $1,500.
A Moore toddler was killed late last week after she fell under the wheels of a trailer during a hayride.
Oklahoma City police said 1-year-old Zoe Montgomery was killed last Friday evening, when she was was run over
during a hayride at the Orr Family Farm, an Oklahoma City farm-themed amusement park.
The incident occurred when Zoe's mother, Carrie Montgomery, attempted to get the youth off the back of a trailer.
According to published accounts, Carrie Montgomery began to get off the back of a trailer on a hayride at Orr Family Farm while Zoe
As her mother tried to get the child, the trailer jerked suddenly, "sending Zoe flying to the ground near the wheels,"
her mother said.
Carrie Montgomery, 24, threw herself at her daughter, in a attempt to save her.
The toddler was airlifted to OU Medical Center, where doctors pronounced her dead.
On Tuesday, officials from the Orr Family Farm released a statement saying they were "deeply saddened by the tragic
"On behalf of the employees and members of Orr Family Farm and RR, LLC, we are deeply saddened by the tragic accident
involving Zoe Montgomery and express our sincerest condolences to the Montgomery family," Tom Orr said.
"In the five years of operating the hayrides we have not had even a minor injury reported to us and we have had several
thousand enjoy the hayrides."
Witnesses said Orr's father, Glenn Orr, was driving the tractor attached to the trailer at the time of the accident.
Oklahoma City police officials say they are still investigating the incident.
A spokesman for the state labor said the incident does not fall under their jurisdiction.
Fri, Oct 31, 2008 10:16 PM
Globe/Garry Jeffries - Rhonda McDaniel (left) and Sammie Newsom go about their work
this week in the lobby of the hotel that is part of the Downstream Casino Resort just west of Joplin. A "soft" opening of the hotel is
planned this weekend, with a grand-opening ceremony slated for Nov. 22.
Published October 31, 2008 09:17 pm - Joplin Globe
By Roger McKinney
For much of the time since construction at Downstream Casino Resort began, the 22-story hotel tower has been
visible from miles away to motorists along Interstate 44 just west of Joplin.
John Berrey, business committee chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, said when he and others selected
the hotel location, they were unaware about how easily it could be seen from the interstate. He said when the crane was moved in and construction
proceeded, he knew they had made the correct choice.
"We were just ecstatic," Berrey said of the hotel's visibility.
The casino opened in July, but a limited number of guests will begin staying in the hotel beginning today as
part of what Berrey termed a "soft opening." A grand opening to the general public is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22. Berrey said it will
feature Barry Switzer, the famed former football coach for the University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys.
The casino building is located in Oklahoma, with the operation's property overlapping also into Kansas
On Thursday, staff members at the reception desk were going through role-playing exercises with other staff
members posing as guests.
The hotel has 222 rooms. It has 15 one- and two-bedroom luxury suites. A VIP lounge is in the penthouse. A
fitness center and pool is downstairs from the lobby.
The building is showcased at night by colored lights in a feather pattern. The motif is found throughout the
hotel and casino. Sean Harrison, a spokesman for Downstream, said a computerized system using small, halogen bulbs generates an always-changing array
"At night, it catches the eye from miles down the highway," Harrison said.
Berrey said the hotel has a concierge service, free valet parking and 24-hour room service. Bellhops will
help guests with their luggage.
"The rooms are just unbelievably beautiful," Berrey said.
The lobby features a large, metal sculpture in the shape of traditional Quapaw pottery.
The hotel hallways have sections of tin ceiling. The interior of the elevators have a tile finish.
Berrey said all of the furniture in the hotel is American-made. He said 20 sofas in the luxury suites are
from La-Z-Boy, which has a factory in Neosho, Mo. The granite countertops are from Carthage, Mo.
The rooms are spacious. Large, flat-screen televisions in the rooms can be adjusted to the viewer's
desired angle. Bathrooms also are roomy. The resort's logo is featured on the doors to the rooms. The rooms include historical photos of Quapaw
"The photographs sort of give it that native feel," Berrey said.
Berrey said guests will have high-speed, wireless Internet access in their rooms and in the hotel lobby.
A retail shop is located on the lobby floor. Meeting rooms also are on the main floor.
Berrey said the nationwide economic downturn hasn't affected progress on the hotel. He said if anything,
it has caused him to be more cautious in future plans.
"We feel like this is an insulated area of the United States from a lot of the craziness on Wall
Street," Berrey said.
John Berrey, business committee chairman of the Quapaw Tribe, said Downstream Casino Resort employs about
1,200 people in its casino and hotel. The tribe has characterized the investment at about $300 million.
Mon, Nov 3, 2008 5:13 PM
Will Rogers Middle School students peek into make-shift voting booths to cast their presidential votes.
The mock exercise was a schoolwide social studies exercise. See related story. Photo by SHELLY SCHULTZ
Will Rogers Middle School students had the opportunity to express their opinion about the presidential candidates this week.
In a tight race, Democratic candidate Barack Obama won a schoolwide mock election with 50.29 percent of the votes.
"There were 256 votes for Obama," said David Pendergraft, principal.
Republican nominee John McCain received 225 votes while 28 school students cast ballots for someone other than the two candidates.
"The mock election was part of a social studies project," Pendergraft said. "Each class had their own curriculum to go with the project."
Classical guitarist Peter Fletcher will appear at the Miami Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10.
The program is free and open to the public.
"He's performed at the Miami Public Library three times in the past and he's very popular," said Marcia
Johnson, executive director of the library.
Fletcher, a native of Atlanta, Ga., currently lives in New York City.
He began studying guitar at the age of seven and first performed at the age of 15.
He first performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2007 and is scheduled to perform there again in March.
In between recording cds, he takes his guitar on the road and performs in libraries and universities.
"I was called several years ago, told that he would be performing in this area and asked if we would want him to perform at the library,"
Johnson said. "I'm glad I said yes.
"He's very professional yet personable and warm.
"He stays after his performance and visits with the members of the audience."
Johnson said she feels the Miami Public Library provides a good setting for Fletcher's performances.
"It's intimate," she said. "There's no need for microphones and the accoustics are good."
According to Fletcher, the classical style of guitar playing is by far the most challenging, but it is also the most rewarding.
"The classical guitarist has a lot of choices in the type of music he decides to play - he has more freedom for expression," Fletcher said.
"At this point in my life, every day is different, but I usually practice six hours a day. I do a lot of abstract memorization away from the
According to Fletcher, he expands the limited repertoire of the classical guitar by recording music that has never been played on the instrument.
Fletcher plans to release one CD every year in order to increase audience and to expand the repertory of the classical guitar.
"I have always hoped that classical guitar might inspire young people to become more interested in classical music," he said.
Miami Noon Lions Club member Rob Kimbrough (left) and club President Steve McCurley review sale plans for
Miamiopoly. Courtesy Photo
The Miami Noon Lions, with a history of selling brooms and lightbulbs for fund-raisers, has graduated to selling a game based
"I saw an advertisement for this game in the Lions Club magazine and I knew it would be a great fit," Lion Rob Kimbrough said. "I
enjoyed playing the game of Monopoly as a child and knew this would work."
His first step was having to convince the Miami Noon Lions Club board that it would sell.
The Coleman Theatre is the key to the box top of the "Miamiopoly" game which focuses on Route 66, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and
athlete Steve Owens.
"The nine tribes are also such a huge part of this community that they are included in the cover," Kimbrough said.
The box top, designed by Judy Olds, uses photos taken by local photographer Gary Crow.
Kimbrough first thought of the idea more than a year ago. The real work started in August of this year.
"Timing was very important," he said. "We want to have it ready for people who would like to use it for gift giving," Kimbrough
The club first had to determine how many games it wanted to produce, divide the production costs by the approximately 40 squares available. Members
then sold the squares - as well as space on the currency - to advertisers.
"The advertisers paid for the cost of producing the game," Kimbrough said. "Local businesses were very cooperative."
A limited number of the "Miamiopoly" game have been produced and will sell for $20 each.
Although the arrangements have been made to sell the games in stores, pre-order inquiries are high and games may not be available for local store
"We've had a lot of interest in pre-ordering the games," Kimbrough said. "I don't know that we'll have any available.
Pre-ordered games need to be paid for when ordered and will be delivered by Thanksgiving.
To order, call Kimbrough at 540-3734 or Mike Slyman at 542-1811.
A Friday morning fire dampened any Halloween spirits for one Miami family.
At approximately 8 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at 510 F Street N.E.
According to fire officials, the blaze originated in a bedroom of the house. That room was destroyed.
Authorities say the fire made its way through the ceiling, destroying much of the attic. The house suffered smoke and water damage throughout.
Firefighters say the house suffered approximately $40,000 damage.
Red Cross was called in Friday afternoon to assist the family with immediate needs.
Rebecca Muloney, a Red Cross representative, said the agency would also make contact with a Quapaw man who lost his home to a fire
When a house burns, the Red Cross, a United Way agency, has volunteers who are ready 24 hours a day to assist. They wear pagers and are ready to hop out of bed
when an emergency happens.
"Whether it's 2 p.m. or 2 a.m., the American Red Cross is there," said Tammie Lewis, Director of the Craig, Delaware and Ottawa County Service
They interview the families, find out what their emergency needs are, then issue vouchers for hotel rooms, food, clothing, bedding - even the first month's
rent at another apartment or house.
The Red Cross can replace prescription medicine and eyeglasses that were destroyed. Also, if a person dies tragically in the fire, the Red Cross can help with
Red Cross disaster assistance is perhaps best known during big disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. But there is no such thing as a small
disaster. A fire can devastate a single family, just as a major event can affect a community. And the Red Cross is there to help people prevent, prepare for
and respond to emergencies, no matter how many or how few people are affected.
"Our service to one person is the same as it is when a hundred people are affected," Lewis said. "House fire victims are just as homeless as
someone whose home was destroyed in a flood or hurricane."
House fires are the most common disaster in the United States, with more than 70,000 each year. In Ottawa County last year, the Red Cross helped more than 30
families after fires.
"Fires are where we spend the most time and money because the Red Cross knows those families need us," Lewis said.
All Red Cross assistance is provided free to families who have experienced a disaster. The Red Cross is not a government agency and is supported entirely by
the generosity of the United Way and American people who recognize the vital role of the Red Cross. Volunteers support the Red Cross by giving of their time.
For more information about disaster relief, call the Ottawa County office, 542-5072.
and the Associated Press
More than 450 in-person voters cast early ballots Friday in Ottawa County.
A local election board officials said Saturday she anticipated that, before she closed the second day of early voting, more than 600
people would have marked a ballot there.
"Turnout is enormous," said Connie Payton, assistant secretary for the Ottawa County Election Board.
Payton said Friday's in-person turnout surpassed the total number of ballots cast in a typical three-day early voting window.
Courthouse employees said early voters were lined up when election officials unlocked the courthouse doors at 8 a.m. Friday.
The picture was the same throughout most of the state where election officials reported higher than normal early, in-person turnout.
Thousands of people swarmed to county election boards in Oklahoma on Friday in advance of Tuesday's general election.
Hundreds of people stood outside the Oklahoma County Election Board to participate in the early voting, and nearby streets were jammed with traffic from people
trying to get to the election offices.
"I often vote early ... and I've never seen a line like this before," said Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who was standing near the back of a
line that snaked several hundred yards across the parking lot. "This really is an A-plus for democracy.
"We're either going to have the first African-American president or the first female vice president. One way or another, this is history making, and
people recognize that."
Edmondson, a Democrat, said heavy turnout generally favors Democratic candidates in Oklahoma and could result in a boost for some candidates on the ticket.
Although John McCain is heavily favored to win Oklahoma, such a heavy turnout could cut into leads held by Republican favorites, Edmondson predicted.
"Some pollsters may be surprised at the margins," he said.
State Election Board Secretary Michael Clingman said voters were turning out in droves at county election boards across the state. Although no problems were
reported with voting equipment, Clingman said there were some places, including Oklahoma City, where there wasn't enough parking.
"I think this election has gotten people more excited than any in recent history, and early voting patterns would bear that out," he said.
He said in-person absentee voting has increased every year since it was implemented in 2000. Early voting will continue Saturday and Monday at county election
boards across the state.
Oklahoma County Election Board Secretary Doug Sanderson said 5,154 people came out to vote in the state's largest county on Friday. Sanderson said he
wasn't sure, but figured it was a record for early voting.
"This is the largest I've seen," Sanderson said. "It was what we anticipated, but it turned out to be the largest we've seen so far for
Several thousand were expected to show up on Saturday, even though the day will be shorter than on Friday or Monday, Sanderson said.
The early morning crowd in Oklahoma City Friday was predominantly African-American, and William Foster, who is black, said he plans to vote for Barack Obama.
But Foster said his support for Obama has more to do with his quality as a candidate than his race.
"What got my attention is that the man got a law degree from Harvard. He could have gone to work for a corporate law firm, but he got involved in
community organizing," Foster said. "That's leadership. That's compelling."
Lois Glyn of Oklahoma City said she was planning to be out of town on Tuesday and was shocked when she saw how many people were at the county election board
"It's a momentous election, and this is amazing," she said. "I'm just so tickled to see this turnout."
In Norman, the line to vote at the Cleveland County Election Board was two blocks long.
"We're crowded," said Cleveland County Election Board Secretary Paula Roberts. "They're coming as fast as we can get them through."
The Tulsa County Election Board was crowded with early voters as well.
Assistant Secretary Shelly Boggs, who has worked for the Tulsa board for 23 years, said she hasn't tallied numbers for early voters yet, but the election
offices appear much more crowded this year compared to previous elections.
She said many of people who vote early say they simply want to get it out of the way, while others say they have obligations that won't allow them to get
to the polls on election day.
In Stephens County in south-central Oklahoma, 130 people had voted in the first hour after the polls were opened for early voting.
Even in Greer County, a tiny, rural county in far southwest Oklahoma, turnout was heavier than usual, said Debi Davis, the county election board's
Twelve voters stopped by the courthouse office in the first couple of hours, and Davis said her office sent out three times as many absentee ballots as usual.
"I think it's going to be big," she said.
The deputy director of Grand Gateway Economic Development Service said Monday that she has received verbal notice that Ottawa
County's first request for hazard mitigation funds has been approved.
Jo Montana said that she received the notice last week but that there is still no written confirmation that the $1.4 million request has been approved.
The money, sought through a Repetitive Flood Claims grant application, will be used to purchase homes of a handful of rural property
owners whose residences were destroyed in the July 2007 flood.
A second application has since been filed to acquire funding to purchase homes of nearly 40 additional families who were impacted by the summer flood.
In a related matter, the county voted to allow Montana to proceed with an effort to renew Ottawa County's intent to participate in hazard mitigation.
Montana said the county's eligibility to apply for future grants, to include subsequent funding for flood- and disaster-related assistance, is contingent
upon participation in the program.
Montana said the renewed notice of intent also requires that the county's hazard mitigation plan be updated.
The City of Tulsa Pipes and Drums Association will perform a remembrance day ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday at GAR Cemetery to honor the
The association is a non-profit group and has been performing since 1976.
The group endeavors to engage and enhance the Scottish and Celtic music landscape by playing the Great Highland Pipes and Drumming at
diverse venues and events.
The mission of the association is to bring the vitality of highland culture to people everywhere by performing traditional and contemporary piping arrangements
across Oklahoma and other states.
In addition to the CTPD ceremony, the local American Legion Honor Guard will be conduct a ceremony to honor the 15 British flyers laid to rest at GAR cemetery.
The flyers were in the Royal Air Force and died while in training at the Miami-based Spartan School during World War II.
The public is invited to attend.
Monday, November 03, 2008 1:42 PM EDT
Tue, Nov 4, 2008 4:55 PM
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (seated right) wrapped up a three-week run of campaign visits with a stop in
Miami. Inhofe met with city officials for about half an hour Monday after touching down at the Miami Municipal Airport. Polls show Inhofe
with a lead over his opponent, state Sen. Andrew Rice. Rice was in Miami earlier this month for a fund-raising event and community tour.
Oklahomans will decide today who will take the U.S. Senate seat as they head to the ballot box to elect a president. See related story. Photo
by KRISTA DUHON.
The public is invited to visit the Dobson Museum in Miami and view the artwork of Miamian Ron Seat.
His art will be on display through the end of November.
''Ron was my art teacher in high school," said Ruth Eads, director of the museum. "I still have jewelry I made in his
Several of Seat's paintings were put on display as the opening event of the Tar Creek Conference in September.
Visitors to the museum are surprised and impressed by Seat's work, according to Eads.
"Many are particularly caught by his painting of his father," she said. "His father died of black lung disease he got as a local minor. Seat
painted him with his lungs exposed because that's what he remembered of him."
Also on display is a painting of Seat's daughter and a black and white painting that looks almost like a sketch of the miners.
Titled "Seneca Haunting," it depicts the history and culture of the area. It is normally found hanging on the wall at the north branch of Security
Bank in Miami.
Seat taught art and Indian arts and crafts at Miami High School for a quarter of a century.
In addition to painting, he taught jewelry-making and pottery
He inspired his students and allowed each to challenge themselves in his classroom.
"He was more than just a teacher, he was a friend," Eads said.
Once when asked how to paint with watercolor, his simple answer was, "Just do one a day and, at the end of the year, you will know how.
Eads invites former students to bring any of Seat's original work or the jewelry or art they produced while a student in his class for display at the
Dobson through the end of the Seat exhibit.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Political polls and history lean in favor of the Republican Party in Tuesday's presidential election in
The latest surveys give GOP standard bearer John McCain about a 2-1 lead over Democrat Barack Obama in Oklahoma, which hasn't voted Democratic in a
presidential race since 1964 but has more Democrats than Republicans as registered voters.
The winning campaign will be historic - either yielding the first black U.S. president or the first female vice president.
As for Congress, incumbent Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., has a strong lead in the polls over his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Andrew Rice. The five U.S. House
members from Oklahoma - four of them Republicans - seemed to be safe bets for re-election.
Even though early voting at county election boards ebbed on the eve of the election, state Election Board Secretary Mike Clingman said a record early vote is
still assured. Election boards in the state's two largest counties processed more than 500 voters an hour and heavy voting was reported in other counties.
"Early voting has shown there is a lot of enthusiasm among supporters, perhaps of both camps," Clingman said. "That doesn't always translate
to a record turnout, but a record wouldn't surprise me."
The 2004 presidential election brought out a record 1.46 million Oklahomans to the polls.
No one is suggesting Obama has a chance to win in Oklahoma, but state Democratic Chairman Ivan Holmes believes young voters may carry him past John Kerry's
35 percent showing four years ago.
When asked if race will be factor, Holmes said, "I think it is to some point, especially among older voters."
State Republican Party Chairman Gary Jones disagreed, saying Obama's too liberal and "not in touch with what Oklahomans believe in."
Republicans gained 2,000 registered voters before the election, but Democrats still hold an edge over the GOP with about 1.1 million registered voters,
compared to about 860,000 Republicans and 245,000 independents.
As for the other races, Rice, 35, has been outspent 2-1 by Inhofe, who is seeking a third full term in office.
Polls showed Rice doing well in Tulsa and Oklahoma County, but lagging behind in rural areas, where he is not as well known. Rice has predicted he will win
Tulsa County, which Inhofe represented in the House before being elected to the Senate in 1994.
Rice took part in a get-out-the-vote rally Monday night at a union hall in Oklahoma City, while Inhofe campaigned primary in eastern Oklahoma, including stops
in Durant and Henryetta.
Republican U.S. Reps. John Sullivan of the 1st Congressional District, Frank Lucas of the 3rd District, Tom Cole of the 4th District and Mary Fallin of the 5th
District all were heavy favorites to defeat underfinanced opponents, as was Democrat Dan Boren of the 2nd District.
Businesswoman Georgianna Oliver, a Democrat, spent over $500,000 in her race against Sullivan, including more than $400,000 she lended to her campaign.
Republicans were shooting to take over the state Senate for the first time in history.
Key races were in Tulsa, where incumbent Democrat Nancy Riley was opposed by Republican Dan Newberry, and in Stillwater, where Republican Jim Halligan faced
Robert Murphy, a former judge. Halligan is the former president of Oklahoma State University.
GROVE - Two Delaware County men were arrested Sunday on alcohol-related complaints after they attempted to break into the Grove High
School press box, according to Grove Police Chief Mark Morris.
Morris said Kaleb Oscar King, and Darius Roderick Hopper, both 19, wanted to play football - so they attempted to break into the stadium press
box to turn on the lights.
King was arrested at approximately 2 a.m. for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a revoked license, transporting an
open container and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
Hopper was arrested for public intoxication.
Authorities found open containers of beer in the vehicle and a 30-pack carton of beer with eight cans of beer left in the carton.
JAY - Those who responded to a puppy mill where about 100 dogs were seized said Monday the canines were without food and water, crammed
into small cages - often without sunlight - and left to walk in inches of their own feces.
Delaware County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Berry said he found 106 cocker spaniels and miniature poodles at a Colcord residence near the Arkansas border.
"Nine dogs had died and the rest were eating on each other," Berry said. "It was one of the worst cases of animal abuse
I have seen - no water, food, no shelter. There were approximately 10 dogs in 4-by-3 pens."
Ninety-eight dogs were taken Sunday to the Denver Dumb Friends League because it was the only place that could handle them, he said. The league is a private,
nonprofit organization dedicated to animal welfare.
Animal cruelty charges are expected to be filed this week against Sue Davis, who Berry said is the puppy mill owner. Davis told authorities
the dogs hadn't been fed in almost a week.
On the day the dogs were seized, Davis brought out four 50-pound bags of dog food, but it wasn't enough, Berry said.
"She (Davis) said she made several thousands of dollars a year selling puppies," Berry said. "When we were out there,
she was crying saying, 'I love my dogs.'"
"It was awful," said Linda Miller, Grove Humane Society president. "It was the worst case I have ever seen."
Miller said when the dogs' smelled fresh, clean water there was chaos.
The Grove Humane Society is the only shelter in Delaware County, and Miller is called to sites by authorities when they are investigating animal cruelty cases.
Dogs were crammed into cages, small tea-cup size poodles were blinded with lacerations and the female dogs were pregnant, said Darlene Wehr, a Delaware County
Some pens were in a shelter where the dogs couldn't get any sunlight and most of the dogs were walking in 4 to 5 inches of fecal matters, Wehr said.
Davis and two other men were living in a tent on the property, she said.
"The stench was so bad, and yet they were close enough to smell it," Wehr said.
Authorities said, because of a dispute with the landlord, Davis hadn't been on the property for a week. Authorities were called by the landlord on Friday
after Davis failed to leave food for the dogs.
Wehr met a shelter representative in Salina, Kan., where they picked up the dogs and took them to Denver.
The dogs reached the Denver shelter Sunday.
"They are still working on a tea cup poodle that was without an eye and not doing well," Wehr said.
Wehr said that, when she arrived at the Salina shelter, the dogs were out in a grassy area.
"They didn't know what grass was," Wehr said.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008 2:36 PM EDT
Tue, Nov 4, 2008 5:12 PM
Tue, Nov 4, 2008 5:32 PM
Wed, Nov 5, 2008 4:18 PM
Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Joe Biden greet supporters in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois,
just after national news broadcasters declared Obama the unofficial winner in the 2008 presidential race. Oklahoman's threw their support
to Republican nominee John McCain who was unsuccessful in his bid. See related story. Chuck Kennedy/MCT
The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, the Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his historic triumph
by defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states - Ohio, Florida, Iowa and others. He captured Virginia, too,
the first candidate of his party in 44 years to do so.
On a night for Democrats to savor, they not only elected Obama the nation's 44th president but padded their majorities in the House and Senate, and in
January will control both the White House and Congress for the first time since 1994.
A survey of voters leaving polling places showed the economy was by far the top election day issue. Six in 10 voters said so, and none
of the other top issues - energy, Iraq, terrorism and health care - was picked by more than one in 10.
Obama's election capped a meteoric rise - from mere state senator to president-elect in four years.
Spontaneous celebrations erupted from Atlanta to New York and Philadelphia as word of Obama's victory spread. A big crowd filled Pennsylvania Avenue in
front of the White House.
In his first speech as victor, to an enormous throng at Grant Park in Chicago, Obama catalogued the challenges ahead.
"The greatest of a lifetime," he said, "Two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century ... There
are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be
honest with you about the challenges we face."
McCain called his former rival to concede defeat - and the end of his own 10-year quest for the White House. "The American people have spoken, and spoken
clearly," McCain told disappointed supporters in Arizona.
President Bush added his congratulations from the White House, where his tenure runs out on Jan. 20. "May God bless whoever wins tonight," he had
told dinner guests earlier.
Obama, in his speech, invoked the words of Lincoln and seemed to echo John F. Kennedy.
"So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder," he said.
He and his running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, will take their oaths of office as president and vice president on Jan. 20, 2009. McCain remains in the
Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate, returns to Alaska as governor after a tumultuous debut on the national stage.
He will move into the Oval Office as leader of a country that is almost certainly in recession, and fighting two long wars, one in Iraq, the other in
The popular vote was close - 51.3 percent to 47.5 percent with 73 percent of all U.S. precincts tallied - but not the count in the Electoral College, where it
There, Obama's audacious decision to contest McCain in states that hadn't gone Democratic in years paid rich dividends.
Shortly after midnight in the East, The Associated Press count showed Obama with 338 electoral votes, well over the 270 needed for victory. McCain had 141
after winning states that comprised the normal Republican base, including Texas and most of the South.
Interviews with voters suggested that almost six in 10 women were backing Obama nationwide, while men leaned his way by a narrow margin. Just over half of
whites supported McCain, giving him a slim advantage in a group that Bush carried overwhelmingly in 2004.
The results of the AP survey were based on a preliminary partial sample of nearly 10,000 voters in Election Day polls and in telephone interviews over the past
week for early voters. Obama has said his first order of presidential business will be to tackle the economy. He has also pledged to withdraw most U.S. combat
troops from Iraq within 16 months.
In Washington, the Democratic leaders of Congress celebrated.
"It is not a mandate for a party or ideology but a mandate for change," said Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Said Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California: "Tonight the American people have called for a new direction. They have called for change in America."
Democrats also acclaimed Senate successes by former Gov. Mark Warner in Virginia, Rep. Tom Udall in New Mexico and Rep. Mark Udall in Colorado. All won seats
left open by Republican retirements.
In New Hampshire, former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen defeated Republican Sen. John Sununu in a rematch of their 2002 race, and Sen. Elizabeth Dole fell to Democrat Kay
Hagan in North Carolina.
Biden won a new term in Delaware, a seat he will resign before he is sworn in as vice president.
The Senate's Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, survived a scare in Kentucky, and in Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss hoped to avoid a December runoff.
The Democrats piled up gains in the House, as well.
They defeated seven Republican incumbents, including 22-year veteran Chris Shays in Connecticut, and picked up nine more seats where GOP lawmakers had retired.
At least three Democrats lost their seats, including Florida Rep. Tim Mahoney, turned out of office after admitting to two extramarital affairs while serving
his first term in Florida. In Louisiana, Democratic Rep. Don Cazayoux lost the seat he had won in a special election six months ago.
The resurgent Democrats also elected a governor in one of the nation's traditional bellwether states when Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon won his race.
An estimated 187 million voters were registered, and in an indication of interest in the battle for the White House, 40 million or so had already voted as
Election Day dawned.
Obama sought election as one of the youngest presidents, and one of the least experienced in national political affairs.
That wasn't what set the Illinois senator apart, though - neither from his rivals nor from the other men who had served as president since the nation's
founding more than two centuries ago. A black man, he confronted a previously unbreakable barrier as he campaigned on twin themes of change and hope in
McCain, a prisoner of war during Vietnam, a generation older than his rival at 72, was making his second try for the White House, following his defeat in the
battle for the GOP nomination in 2000.
A conservative, he stressed his maverick's streak. And although a Republican, he did what he could to separate himself from an unpopular president.
For the most part, the two presidential candidates and their running mates, Biden and Republican Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, spent weeks campaigning in states
that went for Bush four years ago.
McCain and Obama each won contested nominations - the Democrat outdistancing former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton - and promptly set out to claim the
mantle of change.
Obama won California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
McCain had Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota,
Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
He also won at least 3 of Nebraska's five electoral votes, with the other two in doubt.
written by Ziggy , November 05, 2008
What a sham! Thank you liberal media for shielding Mr. Obama and another fine acknowledgement and special thanks go's out to ACORN and all of their
supporters! What a farse, I am ashamed of my country for being so corrupt during this election! I hope the same media will now turn it's slime tactics on
Obama and test his integrety that they shielded!
written by MarkDavis , November 05, 2008
I am ashamed of Republicans for not being able to spell "integrity" much less being able to honestly create a platform that made sense to the
American people. I am ashamed of John McCain who left the Straight Talk Express behind and engaged in exactly the kind of ugliness he accused Bush of in 2000.
I am ashamed of excuses rather than an embrace of an exceptional campaign and an exceptional message of change.
written by Dale Cose , November 05, 2008
Congratulations to President Obama
written by Tracy RealNews , November 05, 2008
I think it is a euphoric high to say that Obama's platform "made sense to the American people". I think, to be more correct, it made more sense
to more people than McCain's platform. Nothing to be ashamed of, albeit I am not a registered Republican.
written by x209EDGEx , November 05, 2008
John McCain Gave an Amazing Speech last night, Obama's was one to be remembered for Sure. The US made history. To Ziggy: You are an Idiot. ACORN's
BullS***T has nothing to do with The Elections vote count last night. Obama One by a landslide. I understand You Don't like Obama But Come on, at least
post sentences that make sense to your cause. I think This one is worded a little wrong.
"I hope the same media will now turn it's slime tactics on Obama and test his integrety that they shielded!"
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 November 2008 )
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Republican John McCain swept to an easy victory over Democrat Barack Obama in Oklahoma, keeping the state in the
GOP for the 11th straight presidential election.
Neither McCain nor Democratic challenger Barack Obama campaigned in Oklahoma after their party's national conventions and instead spent their time in
The call was based on an analysis of voter interviews, conducted for The Associated Press by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky
McCain was expected to score a double digit win over Obama, who finished far behind Hillary Clinton in the state's presidential primary in February.
Republican officials were predicting that McCain would get his largest percentage victory in either in Oklahoma or Utah.
That might seem curious, considering Oklahoma Democrats still outnumber Republicans in voter registration - 1.1 million to about 860,000.
But Oklahoma has not voted Democratic in a presidential election since Lyndon Johnson of neighboring Texas won in 1964. The state has
been trending to the GOP for decades.
Rural Democrats in parts of southern Oklahoma are conservative and traditionally vote Republican in federal elections.
The state's two senators are Republican, as well as four of the state's members of Congress. The state House went to the GOP in 2004 and Republicans
predicted they would take over the state Senate this year.
Democratic officials in Oklahoma conceded the race to McCain, who visited the state only once this year for a fund-raiser after speaking to the state House in
Democratic Gov. Brad Henry endorsed Obama in April, but Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Boren did not, although he said he would vote for the Illinois senator.
Holmes said race could be an issue with the state's older voters and Obama was expected to make his best showing in urban areas. The state has a black
population of only about 8 percent.
Terry Durborow won the race for Ottawa County Sherrif with 7,471 votes as opposed to Jeff
Wright's 3,446 votes.
"I appreciate the people for voting me in full time," Durborow said. "I look forward to getting in there and getting after it just like
we've been doing."
Durborow is a lifelong resident of Ottawa County.
He has worked in law enforcement for more than 19 years, serving 14 of those years at the Ottawa County Sheriff's office
Durborow was a patrolman for the City of Miami for two years early in his career. He served as a detective for Miami and later served nine years as the
city's emergency management director.
While serving as undersheriff, Durborow was appointed as sheriff in 2006 upon the resignation of Sheriff Dennis King.
Durborow, 54, and his wife, Diane, have been married 32 years. They have two daughters and two granddaughters.
Ottawa County election board secretary Verna Ferris was hoping for a 65 percent turnout - and she nearly nailed it.
11,497 of the 17,919 registered voters in the county - 64.16 percent - turned out for Tuesday's election.
"I was hoping for 65 percent and that's pretty much what it turned out to be," Ferris said. "When I saw the lines
Friday, Saturday and Monday (for the early voting period), I knew there was a possibility."
Fairland had the biggest turnout 1,104 voters, but officials from other precincts reported long lines for most of the day.
"When we opened the door at 7 o'clock, they were lined up to the street," Ila Boyd, an inspector at Fairland, said. "There may have been
only one hour during the day that we didn't have a bunch of people in there."
This was Boyd's first election.
Pearl Frelick, who was an official at Afton, said there were voters standing in line when she arrived at 6 a.m.
"Someone said they could vote at 6," she said, noting that 420 ballots were cast there. "It was a steady stream - the most I've ever
"They were out to the street until 11 (a.m.)," said Kenny Blaylock, a precinct worker at Commerce, which had 834 voters.
Despite the big turnout, Ferris said there were relatively few problems.
There were power fluctuations at Commerce, Fairland, 9 Tribes Tower and the Ottawa County Boys and Girls Club and a computer glitch at the Ottawa County
Election Board office that delayed the start of vote tabulations.
"With the long lines and huge turnout, I am very appreciative of my staff and the precinct workers," Ferris said. "It was a job well done."
How Ottawa County voted
(Tallies listed below INCLUDE straight party votes)
o John McCain - 6,904
o Barack Obama - 4,266
o Jim Inhofe - 5,214
o Andrew Rice - 4,381
o Dan Boren - 7,026
Wickson - 3,446
Corporation Commission (Full):
o Jeff Cloud - 5,107
o Charles Gray - 5,494
Corporation Commission (Short):
o Dana Murphy - 4,955
o Jim Roth - 5,619
Durborow - 7,471
o Jeff Wright - 3,446
Picher change of government:
o Yes - 130
o No - 55
Ottawa County voters voted to retain all state justice and judge positions noted on Tuesday's ballot.
Ottawa County voters approved all four state questions.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 2:16 PM EDT
Wed, Nov 5, 2008 4:26 PM
Thu, Nov 6, 2008 3:59 PM
The Great Deer Hunt Alphonso Lopez, a Marine Corps sergeant who suffered spinal cord injury in a
motorcycle accident, sights a target during a down-time activity at the Great Deer Hunt 2008.. Lopez was one of several disabled or paralyzed
veterans and hunters who came to Miami for the event. Lopez participated in the Great Turkey Hunt held in April - the event that spawned the
recent event. More than 70 local businesses and individuals contributed to the hunt. Courtesy Photo.
A 35-year-old Miami man pleaded guilty Monday to sexually assaulting a 5-year- old Joplin girl three years ago.
Claude Leon Brown faces 12 years in prison after reaching an agreement with the Jasper County prosecutor's office on charges of
first-degree statutory sodomy.
According to authorities, Brown was living in Joplin at the time the crime was committed.
His arrest came after a joint investigation by the Ottawa County Sheriff's office and the Jasper County Sheriff's office.
Investigators say the child told authorities that Brown sexually assaulted her in November of 2005.
Brown admitted to an Ottawa County investigator that he had forced the child to consume alcohol them forced a sex act on her.
In Missouri, a conviction of first-degree statutory sodomy carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
Brown agreed to plead guilty to the crime in exchange for a sentence of no more than 12 years.
As leaves begin to fall in Miami, city administrators are asking residents to adhere to codes relating to yard waste and stormwater.
Per city ordinances regarding "easements" and "refuse," grass, leaves and debris shall not be cut, blown or deposited in the gutter or in a
Codes enforcement officials said Tuesday that bagging leaves and grass not only supports beautification efforts but reduces the risk of
infiltration of debris into the city's stormwater system.
"Please bag your leaves and grass and the sanitation department will pick up the bags," said Gary Brooks, codes enforcement manager.
Yard waste deposited into the street gets caught up in storm water and flushed into drains, causing a series of problems.
"The intake of the drain can become clogged, causing street flooding," Brooks said. "The leaves and grass that are washed into the storm drain
system hang up in the pipe and begin to decompose ... robbing the water of oxygen."
When the oxygen-depleted storm water reaches the Neosho River, fish in the river become distressed, Brooks said.
The scenarios present potential state violations for the City of Miami and subsequent fines.
"Stormwater ordinances are now in place and they will be enforced," Brooks said. "Grass and leaves being blown in the street will not be
Brooks said that bagged yard waste gathered by the sanitation department will be placed into the city's new composting facility and, by spring, will be
part of "fresh compost" that will be made available to the public.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma House and Senate, frequent adversaries in the legislative process, may soon march in lockstep now
that Republicans have taken historic control of the Legislature.
A day after becoming the majority party in the Senate for the first time and increasing their numbers in the House, Republican leaders of both chambers on
Wednesday revealed plans for a joint agenda in which the GOP will use its new political leverage to push pivotal policy issues such as changing the state's
civil justice system.
"It creates an opportunity for us to work as a caucus," said Senate co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.
"We've said that we're about changing Oklahoma."
But current and former lawmakers say Oklahomans should not expect the Republican-controlled House and Senate to be in agreement all the time.
Decades of Democratic control of the legislative chambers were frequently marked by political feuds between House and Senate leaders that sometimes brought the
legislative process to a halt.
"Naturally, you're going to have some disagreements," said Republican House Speaker Chris Benge of Tulsa. Benge said he is "philosophically
aligned" with Coffee but that some squabbling is inevitable.
"It would be naive for me to believe that we're going to operate in a blissful situation," he said.
Former Democratic Rep. Loyd Benson of Frederick said his biggest political battles during four years as speaker were with Democrats who controlled the Senate
and not with former two-term Republican Gov. Frank Keating.
Most of the arguments with fellow Democrats were about "spending money," Benson said.
"That's where we had more issues than anything else," he said. "The people do not want the kind of divisiveness as we've seen in the
Benson said he met with Keating as well as his Republican counterparts in the House on a regular basis to share ideas and try to reach consensus on issues.
"Now we were no longer Democrats and Republicans - we were Oklahomans," he said. "We did work together on a lot of issues and accomplished some
The GOP grabbed a two seat majority in the 48-member Senate in Tuesday's general election - the first time Republicans have controlled the chamber since
statehood a century ago. Republicans also added four seats to their 57-44 majority in the House.
Coffee is a former GOP minority leader who has shared leadership authority with term-limited Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater, while the
Senate was evenly divided with 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans the past two years. Term-limited in 2010, Coffee is likely to be the unquestioned leader of the
Senate for the next two years.
During that time, Coffee said he wants to work closely with House GOP leaders on contentious issues that have been blocked by Democrats in the past, including
proposals that supporters say would curb rising insurance and business costs by stopping frivolous lawsuits and cutting the cost of Oklahoma's civil
"We have to be vigilant about having a pro-business, pro-growth environment," Coffee said.
Last spring, Democratic Gov. Brad Henry vetoed civil justice legislation he said conflicted with an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision on a similar bill that the
court found unconstitutional two years earlier. An attempt to override the veto in the House fell short of the two-thirds majority needed for it to become law
without the governor's signature.
In spite of their increasing numbers, Republicans still do not have enough members in either chamber to guarantee a veto override. But Coffee said lawmakers
have successfully overridden Henry on issues that have bipartisan support, including anti-abortion legislation.
"Some of the issues we found bipartisan support for. Certainly there may be areas of contention," he said.
Coffee said he believes there is consensus for changes in state education guidelines that would give more local control to schools as well as road and bridge
improvements and the use of private prisons to provide additional beds for Oklahoma's burgeoning prison population.
Coffee said he will consider new spending proposals "very carefully" because of the economic downturn that is sweeping across the state and nation.
For his part, Henry promised to work "in a bipartisan manner" with the Republican legislative leaders.
"As I have said many times before, my consensus-building style will remain the same, regardless of which party controls the Legislature," said Henry,
a former state senator.
"Now that the election is over and the people have spoken, it is time for everyone to put aside their political differences and work together for the good
of our state and country in these challenging times."
Thursday, November 06, 2008 2:56 PM EDT
Fri, Nov 7, 2008 7:45 PM
Young dogs wait within cages on property where more than 100 dogs were seized in Delaware County. The
owners are in jail and face charges of animal cruelty, according to authorities. See related story. Courtesy photo
Demolition of dilapidated structures in Miami could begin within the month, according to a public notice released this week by the City
Emergency Management Director Gary Brooks has issued formal notice to "any persons, corporation, tribe or entity holding any interest" in nearly 50
structures in Miami that the properties are set for demolition.
Properties to be removed include 12 homes on L Street SE, one on I Street NE, four on F Street SW, two on I Street SE, two on 5th
Street SW, two on E Street SW, one on K Street SE, two on Central Avenue, two on D Street SW, two on Park Circle, nine on B Street SW, one on Rockdale
Boulevard, one on A Street SW, one on Bay Street and three on A Street SE.
Anyone claiming ownership of the targeted properties has two weeks to contact Brooks and present a plan to bring the structures into compliance with city codes
and, in some cases, floodplain regulations.
Removal of dilapidated structures has been the topic of several recent public discussions and has been declared a priority of city administrators.
City Manager Huey P. Long is leading the charge in fast-tracking demolition, having set is sights on making Miami a contender for America's "cleanest
Long's efforts have garnered the support of the city's Property Maintenance Committee which has identified the removal of
dilapidated structures as a priority concern.
The July 2007 flood added more than 100 homes to the city's list of properties that have fallen into serious disrepair but the problem is not confined to
flood-damaged homes, according to Long.
"We have numerous homes that are not a part of the flood process eligible for demolition, due to red tag inspections," Long said. "The
overriding factor is the issue of health, safety and welfare of the remaining homes in any given housing addition and the impact on existing property
The list of homes eyed for demolition was published in Thursday's edition of the News-Record.
Oklahoma City - The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission today announced that Gov. Brad Henry will serve as its 2009-2010
Henry will succeed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who has served as leader of the energy organization since 2007.
"Oklahoma has always been a leader of the IOGCC, and I'm honored to serve as its chairman," Henry said. "At this
critical time in history, it is important for energy-producing states to play a leadership role in the development and execution of our country's energy
policy. Domestic producers are the backbone of our energy economy and are uniquely qualified to help lead this effort."
The commission helps represent the interests of energy states by promoting safe and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas reserves, energy
conservation and environmental protection, among other things. The commission also provides states with research and expertise on energy issues.
Established in 1935 by Oklahoma Gov. E.W. Marland, the compact commission is the oldest and largest interstate compact organization in the country.
The commission consists of representation from 38 states, including Oklahoma.
Henry will officially be installed as the group's chairman when the commission meets in Santa Fe, New Mexico, later this month.
JAY - A Delaware County man and woman appeared in Delaware County District Court Thursday on animal cruelty complaints, six days after
authorities seized more than 100 dogs from the couple's property.
Sue Davis, 52, and Randall Dick, 55, are being held in the Delaware County Jail on $20,000 bail.
During Thursday's hearing, they were given applications for a court-appointed attorney.
Formal charges have not been filed.
A sheriff's deputy found 106 cocker spaniels and miniature poodles at a Colcord residence near the Arkansas state line last week. Nine dogs had found died.
The dogs were crowded in cages and most were walking in 4 to 5 inches of fecal matter, according to sheriff officials.
The Grand Lake Association will celebrate its 55th anniversary Tuesday with a celebratory banquet - during which the state Lt. Gov.
"This special annual banquet will celebrate our area veterans and the values we place on our country, the state and our priceless Grand Lake O' the
Cherokees," said Deborah Wolek, director of the organization.
Cherokee Yacht Club will open its doors for the banquet. A social hour will launch at 6:00 p.m.
"We are honored to have as speaker our state's second- highest office holder, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins," Wolek said.
Askins is the first Democratic woman to serve as Lt. Governor. Her public service career began in southern Oklahoma where she served as Special District Judge
for the District Court of Stephens County for eight years.
and was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1994 where she served for 12 years. In her last term she earned the position of Democratic House
Leader, becoming the first woman to lead a caucus in the Oklahoma Legislature.
Also slated for the evening is the presention of the the 2008 Crystal Pelican Awards.
Nominees include several area businesses and events - including Miami's Coleman Theatre Beautiful which is up for an "Outstanding Tourism Attraction
Also, Vance Ford, which has a dealership in Miami, is a nominee for "Outstanding Business."
Other nominees in their respective categories of competition include "Outstanding Tourism Event" nominees, Jay's Cruise Night and Twin Bridges
State Park "Park of Lights;" "Outstanding Tourism Attraction," Cherokee Queen Paddlewheel; "Outstanding Restaurant," Royal Bay
andr Cowboy Junction; "Outstanding New Venue," Road Hog, TailGator's, and J.R. Spanky'; and "Outstanding Business," Millie's.
Special awards will be presented to the "Volunteer of the Year," "Best Supporter of the Grand Lake Association"; "Grand Laker of the
Year" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award."
Tickets for the banquet are $30.00 per person and advanced reservations must be made due to space limitations. To reserve a seat, call 918-786-2289 or e-mail
me at email@example.com no later than 5 p.m. today.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Whether whites supported Barack Obama or not, they don't seem to have lied to pollsters about it.
Obama's election triumph on Tuesday presented no evidence of the so-called Bradley effect, in which whites who oppose a black politician mislead pollsters
about whom they will vote for. Instead, national and state pre-election polls were generally accurate in reflecting voters' preferences in the presidential
"I certainly hope this drives a stake through the heart of that demon," Charles Franklin, a University of Wisconsin political
scientist and polling authority, said of the Bradley effect.
The phenomenon is named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African-American who in 1982 lost the race for California governor after leading in the
polls. There were similar contests over the following decade in which black candidates facing white opponents had comfortable leads in polls, only to lose or
narrowly win the elections.
Critics have said such turnabouts might have been largely the product of poor polling. Others have concluded that some whites, nervous about appearing to
harbor anti-black feelings, in fact misled pollsters up through the early 1990s but that such behavior has faded.
Obama, who will become the first African-American president, defeated Republican John McCain on Tuesday by 52 percent to 46 percent with nearly all votes
If the Bradley effect were a factor, pre-election polls should have consistently overstated Obama's share of the vote, or
understated McCain's. Instead, most did a solid job of previewing how the vote would go, both nationally and in crucial states.
Shortly before Election Day, an NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey showed Obama ahead 51 percent to 43 percent among likely voters. The Gallup Poll showed a
53 percent to 42 percent Obama lead, while CBS News had Obama up 51 percent to 42 percent.
An Associated Press-Yahoo News poll in late October had Obama ahead 51 percent to 43 percent. An AP-GfK poll in mid-October showed a virtual tie, 44 percent
for Obama to 43 percent for McCain.
Web sites that combine major polls to estimate support also performed well. Among some popular sites, www.pollster.com
had Obama ahead 52 percent to 44 percent, www.realclearpolitics.com saw Obama up 52 percent to 45 percent, and
www.fivethirtyeight.com gave Obama a 52 percent to 46 percent advantage.
Such accuracy was a relief to pollsters rattled last winter when widespread projections of an Obama victory in the New Hampshire primary were upended after
Hillary Rodham Clinton won narrowly.
"We're getting much more sophisticated estimates," said University of Michigan political scientist and polling analyst Michael Traugott, citing
Among them is the increased polling of people who have cell phones but no landlines. A Pew Research Center report in September, and exit polls of voters
conducted Tuesday for The Associated Press and the television networks, suggest that people who have only cells tend to vote more Democratic than people like
them with only landlines.
Many state surveys were impressively accurate also.
For North Carolina, www.realclearpolitics.com gave McCain a pre-election edge of less than 1 percentage point.
That state finally was awarded to Obama on Thursday, when he had a 14,000-vote lead out of 4.2 million votes cast.
Pre-election polls by Quinnipiac University, Mason-Dixon and AP-GfK all showed Obama ahead by 2 percentage points in Florida, which the Democrat won by 3
points. The combined estimate for Pennsylvania by www.pollster.com put Obama up 8 points, and he won by 11.
None of this means race was not a factor on Tuesday.
Whites nationally preferred McCain by 12 percentage points, while 95 percent of blacks backed Obama, according to exit polls. Seven percent of whites said race
was important in choosing a candidate, and they backed the Republican 2-1.
Analysts said any reluctance to support Obama because he is black may have been overwhelmed this year by a desire to support the candidate people thought would
fix the struggling economy. They also said the Bradley effect has faded as Americans have become used to blacks winning local elections and as the 1990s'
more intense focus on crime and welfare has ebbed.
The Bradley effect was "a product of a particular political environment that seems to have passed us by," said Daniel Hopkins, a postdoctoral fellow
at Harvard University who wrote a study this summer concluding that the phenomenon has disappeared.
Friday, November 07, 2008 2:38 PM EDT
Tue, Nov 11, 2008 8:01 PM
Green and Red cardboard angels, each representing a child in need this holiday season, adorn an
"angel tree" erected last year at the Wal-mart Supercenter. "Angels" will again take their post on Friday as Northeast
Oklahoma A&M College oversees the program for the third consecutive year. File photo
The Oklahoma State Bureau of investigation continues today to search for a suspect in the shooting deaths
of a Craig County couple. William and Leona Huls died Sunday in their home near Welch. Photo by SHELLY SCHULTZ
A rural Welch couple was found dead in their home Sunday afternoon in what authorities are calling the scene of a double
homicide and robbery, according to the Craig County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities said a neighbor discovered William and Leona Huls shortly before 1 p.m.
"The couple's daughter had tried to call them Sunday morning and was unable to reach them," said Craig County
Sheriff Jimmie Sooter. "Because of Mr. Huls' medical condition, the couple was on a pretty tight routine, so when the daughter didn't
reach them, she called a neighbor to check on them."
Sooter said the neighbor, who is employed by the Huls, entered the home through an unlocked door and discovered 67-year-old William Huls face down at
the kitchen table.
"Deputies arrived at the scene about 1 p.m.," Sooter said. "They had both suffered gunshot wounds."
Leona Huls, 66, was found in the living room of their home.
The couple had reportedly resided near the intersection of S. 4490 Road and E. 50 Road, less than five miles from the Kansas
Officials currently have no suspect.
"We are investigating this as a robbery and double homicide," Sooter said. "This is an odd situation. We have been unable to located
Mrs. Huls' purse, but there is cash and other valuables lying around the house in plain sight and there are several guns in the home. It
doesn't appear as though anything else is missing from the home."
Sooter said the couple's daughter last spoke to her mother on Saturday around 7 p.m.
"Their daughter said they got up each morning and ate breakfast about 5 a.m.," Sooter said. "Based on her phone conversation, we have a
possible time frame for the killing between 7 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. However, because it appears Mr. Huls was eating breakfast, we believe the
couple was killed between 5 and 7 a.m. Sunday morning."
Sooter said the home is equipped with electronic locks on all doors.
"The only way to unlock the door is with a key code or from the inside," Sooter said. "One of the doors to the home was discovered
unlocked. This leads us to believe the couple knew the assailant."
The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation, according to Sooter. The couple was transported to the medical examiners office
in Tulsa for autopsies.
"We are very interested in locating Mrs. Huls' purse," Sooter said. "If anyone finds a black purse we are asking that they contact
the sheriff's office."
Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to contact the Craig County Sheriff's Office at 918-256-6466.
VINITA - Authorities seized more tan 500 pounds of marijuana after a high-speed chase on I-44.
"Jesus Martin-Arvizu, 23, and Jose Landa-Medina, 18 were taken into custody on federal charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana,"
said U.S. Attorney David E. O'Meilia.
About 9 a.m., Nov. 4, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper initiated a routine traffic stop on I-44 near the Vinita exit.
Authorities say the truck failed to stop and began weaving in and out of traffic on the interstate, reaching speeds exceeding 100 mph.
"The truck exited the turnpike, drove down a steep embankment and plowed through several fences and a pasture before stopping at a creek,"
Both men fled the scene, according to authorities, but were apprehended.
A search of the vehicle revealed 22 bundles of marijuana equal to 575 pounds.
The men have an federal court appearance slated for Thursday.
A Veterans Day Parade will kick off at 5:30 p.m. today, taking a route from 5th and N. Main Streets to the Ottawa County War Memorial
at the county courthouse.
The event culminates a day of activities slated at area schools to honor area veterans.
A group of local veterans and family members of fallen heroes organized the parade to honor the men and women who served this country.
According to Melvin Cook, president of the Vietnam Veteran's chapter 277, Miami has not held a Veteran's Day Parade in more than 50 years.
"It's time we join together as a community and let these men and women know they are appreciated for their sacrifices," Cook said.
For the third year, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College is supervising the Adopt an Angel program.
"I think the Adopt an Angel program and our department are a good fit," said Nicole Brown, coordinator of High School/College Relations for NEO.
The trees with the "angels" to be adopted will be erected Friday at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on N. Main Street in Miami.
The angels, small cardboard cutouts with children's ages and wishes listed under an identification number, represent area children whose families have
little to spend on the Christmas holiday.
"Yes, we are putting the trees up a little earlier this year," said Barbara Patterson also with NEO. "We're trying to make it a little
easier for everyone."
People who adopt an angel do not need to purchase all the gifts the child wished for.
People are asked to purchase what they can and leave the card with the present in the box by the trees at the store.
Brown and Patterson said they will still be grateful if only one item can be provided.
"We'll fill in as we sort the gifts," Patterson said.
"Every little bit helps," Brown said. "If 10 people donate just $10, that's $100. That will purchase the gifts for three children.
"Monetary gifts help make up the difference. I'm not quite sure how it works, but it does."
They estimate that it's $30 to purchase an article of clothing and a toy for each child.
Those interested in making a monetary donation to the Adopt an Angel program should contact Edie Ingram with the college's Development Foundation at
Last year, 738 children in 276 families were helped by the Adopt an Angel program.
Applications to have one's children on the Angel Tree are available only through the Department of Human Services. The final day to file an application is
There have been some changes in the rules this year.
Due to limited funding, at least one child in the family has to be 12 years old or younger. Children will only receive an angel if they are under the age of
Patterson asks that organizations which are already going to help a family for the holidays contact the High School/College Relations department at 540-6290 in
order to avoid duplication.
"Instead of giving gag gifts to each other that will be forgotten the next day, adopt an angel," Patterson said.
"Before this, I'd begun to think Christmas had become so commercial," Brown said. "Working with the Adopt an Angel program has brought back
the real meaning of Christmas."
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Vote-counting went smoothly during the general election in Oklahoma last week, but the state's election
machinery is outdated and may soon be headed for the scrap heap.
State Election Board Secretary Michael Clingman said Monday he is hopeful a new voting system will be in place for the 2010 election.
Clingman said at least two companies are working on a new system that will fulfill the state's needs, including an audio system and
touch pad to assist handicapped voters.
Most voters will not notice a difference under the new system, which will continue to use optical scanners and paper ballots.
It also will increase ballot box security because of the capability of taking a photograph of each ballot cast.
Oklahoma has about $28 million in federal funds from the 2002 Help America Vote Act to finance the new system.
"We've had an excellent system, especially for one that was bought in 1992," but it is antiquated, with all the
technological improvements since then, Clingman said.
"How many people have PC's (personal computers) from 1992 that are still on their desks today?" he asked.
Much of the cost of the new system will be replacing the main frame computer at the Capitol. About 3,000 voting machines also will be replaced in the
state's 77 counties.
Clingman said less than 20 of the state's voting machines at 2,300 precincts had to be swapped out Nov. 4 because of problems.
He said under the new system, votes will be counted more quickly and ballot design will be easier.
He said one option for the 2010 election will be designating so-called "super precincts" for early voting on Friday, Saturday and Monday before
election day, thereby reducing the number of provisional ballots.
A provisional ballot is created typically when people show up to vote, but their names are not on the precinct rolls.
Oklahoma, New York and New Hampshire are the only states that have not spent the bulk of their federal funds from the 2002 appropriation on new systems.
Several states spent large sums on new voting machines that were quickly outdated.
Congress voted to finance upgrading election systems around the country after the 2000 controversy in Florida over "hanging chads" that led to the
Supreme Court decision that decided the presidential election in favor of George W. Bush over Al Gore.
"Jack," played by Eric Sheckels, peaks out from under a table in a scene from Northeaster
Oklahoma A&M College's production of "Jack and the Beanstalk." Standing far left is Heather Colburn as she portrays
"Harp." Also pictured are Kyle VanMeter and Sarah Burk and who play the "Giant" and his wife, respectively. The students
will perform closed showings for area students this week. A public performance is slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday. Photo by JIM ELLIS
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College's holiday play for area children is "Jack and the Beanstalk."
It is directed by Maria Nichols, assisted by Siota Mulford.
It will be performed on the stage of the Fine Arts Auditorium at various times Thursday and Friday for students in Miami's
elementary schools as well as other schools in Ottawa County.
There are seats still available. Schools that are interested should call Barbara George, director of the Fine Arts Department at 542-8441.
The only performance open to the public will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $5 each.
Those who think the play is a little early should not be surprised to find out they are right.
"Usually we do it the first of December," Nichols said. "But last year I think we did one performance before an
ice storm hit. We rescheduled it only to have to cancel because of another a storm.
"This year we purposefully scheduled it early to make sure the students will be able to enjoy it."
The play will not have an intermission.
Nichols said the one long act is a good experience for actors.
"Kids today are used to television and video games, things that move really fast," Mulford said. "You've got to move fast to keep
"And children are totally honest," Nichols said. "If they don't like what you're doing, they'll let you know.
Eric Sheckels is looking forward to playing Jack.
"I think it will be fun to be a kid again," he said.
One of the characters Nicols and Mulford both enjoy is Bossy played by Shanika Randolph.
"She's the cow," Mulford said. "All she has to say is 'Moo,' but she has to get a variety of things across with the way she
Kyle VanMeter, who will play the Giant, performed in "Blood Wedding" which started the college's theater season.
Although he's all ready tall, his physique will be added to with platform shoes, a "fat suit" and a mask picked up at the after Halloween
The "fat suit," created by Nichols, looks like a layer of mattress stuffing.
"It certainly will 'enlarge' him, but I don't think it makes him frightening," Nichols said.
"All I can say is it's hot," VanMeter said with a laugh.
Nichols and Mulford also designed and created the costumes.
Steve McCurly designed and, with the help of the students, created the seat as well as served as tech director.
Additional performers include Chris Wells as both the Man in the Moon and Nicholas, Brett Robertson as Frihol, David Duncan as Rafe, Kassie Fugate as
the Widow, Megan Lauchner as Old Tyb, Sarah Burk as the Giant's wife, Heather Colburn as the Harp and Hannah Hudson as Joan.
A committee tasked with reviewing proposed elements of downtown design will make its first officials recommendation next week to the
Miami City Council.
The group, lead by chairman Fay Culver, decided last week that a proposed "gateway" sign should be placed at the intersection of N. Main and Second
The design element, drawn by Jessica Stout and reminiscent of a welcome sign that once greeted passengers deboarding at the Miami train
depot, promotes Route 66 and will be paid for through a combination of federal grant funds and matching funds provided by the City of Miami and the Miami
Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The City of Miami received notice in December of 2007 that its $120,000 application to the National Scenic Byways Program U.S. Department of Transportation was
The city and the CVB will match the grant with an additional $30,000, creating a $150,000 project.
The project is designed to increase national/international tourism on Route 66 to highlight and better tell the story of Miami's section of the historic
Route 66 roadbed, according to the city's grant coordinator Larry Eller.
Only the committee's chairwoman voted against the proposed location.
Fay Culver favors a location closer to the railroad tracks that cross N. Main about two blocks further north.
Committee member Ann Neal abstained from the vote, noting a potential conflict of interest due to property ownership and business affiliations on the proposed
If approved, the gateway would span Main Street near the First National Bank motor bank and the Miami Public Library.
Also at that location is a city clock and a small bench-seating area designed for pedestrian traffic.
The committee's recommendation is expected to go before city council members on Nov. 17.
An 8-year-old Miami boy was surprised last week with a gift from his favorite rock star.
Kyle Spriggs, who was diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma - a rare brain tumor - last year, made a request through Caps for Kids for an
autographed ball cap from Rage Against the Machine's Tommy Morelo.
In less than a month, his wish was granted.
Thursday, when Spriggs went to Dallas for a routine appointment at Children's Medical Center, he had no idea what was waiting for him.
Cristy Ecton, the outreach manager at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Dallas, had made contact with rocker Tommy Morelo and told him of her young
"Tommy was happy to oblige," Ecton said.
Caps for Kids is an international non-profit organization that gives hats signed by famous figures to children with cancer.
"Kids often lose their hair and their hope during cancer treatments," Ecton said. "Most celebrities we contact are more than happy to give these
kids a sparkle of hope by signing a ball cap for them."
One of Kyles favorite things to do is play guitar hero with his dad and sister according to Trish Spriggs, Kyle Spriggs' mother.
"His dad says Tommy Morelo is the greatest guitar player ever, so Kyle has become very fascinated with Tommy," said Trish Spriggs. "He wants to
be a rock star, too."
The young fan was very excited when he opened his gift from Morelo.
"Tommy Morelo didn't just sign a ball cap for Kyle," said Ecton. "He autographed a cap he has worn to many of his shows and sent it to
In addition to the ball cap, Morelo also sent Kyle Spriggs an autographed CD and a handwritten letter of encouragement.
"Thursday was very exciting for Kyle," said Trish Spriggs. "He had his MRI Wednesday night and we saw the doctors Thursday. The tumor has had no
sign of change since his last MRI, which is what we are wanting to see, especially since the chemo had to be discontinued due to his allergy. The doctor is
very happy with where we are at this point."
FAIRLAND - Town trustees voted to use community funds to pay for fencing a portion of Bush Park.
During a regular town meeting held Thursday that lasted 25 minutes, the trustees approved the use of up to $5,000 for the fencing and its related
During October's meeting, trustees approved constructing a fence partially around the east and west sides of the city park and a
gate on the north side of the park.
In the Fairland Public Works Authority meeting, members approved up to $4,200 to purchase a pipe locator for the gas service.
In other business, the fire department announced that the community Christmas Parade is set for 1 p.m. Nov. 29.
As far as the Miami Public Library is concerned, the elections are not over.
The motto for Family Reading Night is "Vote for books ... Elect to Read" and for the past two months the children's department has been holding
an election for the children's favorite book.
The winner will be announced at the library's Family Reading Night, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
"Family Reading Night is a special time to promote literacy in our community," children's librarian Connie Bradley said. "It encourages
families to read together. Families who read together, grow together."
Bradley selected 21 books for the children to vote on.
The books range from the Fancy Nancy books to the Harry Potter books to the Froggy books and include "Charlotte's Web" and "Griffin's
"There's classic books and new ones," Bradley said. "I think there's something for everyone."
State Rep. Larry Glenn is scheduled to read and has chosen "Duck for President" by Doreen Cronin.
State Sen. Charles Wyrick is trying to arrange his schedule to be able to attend.
They will be among at least 13 readers, seven of whom will be reading at Family Night for the first time.
New readers include David Wickham, an avid reader and library user who just completed his basic training and will talk to the children about his experiences.
Other new readers include teachers Carolee Pendergraft and Charlene Johnson, city employee Lisa Jewett and head of the local literacy program Ginny Stinson.
Those who have read before include Juli Matthews, Jennifer Engelbrecht who will read "Big Words for Little People" by Jamie Lee Curtis, 4-H leader
Kathryn Wenzel, retired teacher Claudia Harris, police office Ken Brodrick and Miami fire fighters.
In honor of the occasion, guests are invited to wear red, white and blue.
There will be refreshments, drawings for books and lots of handouts.
"The best advice I can give to families to keep their children reading no matter what age is to be an example," Bradley said. "If your children
see you reading, then chances are they will want to read. Have books handy for them to pick up.
"Reading is food for the brain."
Reservations are required.
For more information or to make reservations, call 541-2292.
As temperatures begin their winter decline, state emergency management officials say it is a good time for Oklahomans to prepare for
Toward that effort, Gov. Brad Henry has proclaimed Thursday as "Winter Weather Preparedness Day."
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the National Weather Service (NWS)
have teamed up to share information designed to assist the public in being better prepared for the season.
"It's especially timely to review winter weather travel safety plans since more people will be on the road during the holiday period," explained
OEM Director Albert Ashwood. "Before setting out on a holiday trip we encourage families to make sure they have prepared their automobile. Packing
blankets, emergency food and water, flashlights, a radio and cell phone with extra batteries will help you and your family, should you become stranded because
of the weather," he said.
If travel is unavoidable during a snow or ice event, allow extra time to reach the destination, and make sure the vehicle has plenty of fuel. Be particularly
cautious on bridges and overpasses as they will be the first to freeze.
It's also important to remember to protect residences, officials advised. Adding weather stripping and insulation, keeping furnaces clean and ready to use,
and being aware of vulnerable pipes that might freeze are just some of the actions that can help prevent costly winter weather-related damage.
In recent years, Oklahoma has been had record-breaking ice storms.
In 2007, ice storms were responsible for more than 50 deaths and power outages to more than 640,000 homes and businesses across the state. Infrastructure
damage to cities, towns and counties alone exceeded $230 million.
"By following some simple tips and monitoring the media during times of severe weather, Oklahomans stand their best chance at not becoming a victim of the
weather" said Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS Office in Norman.
Winter weather watches and warnings will be issued by the NWS on NOAA Weather Radios and over radio and television stations so that Oklahoman's can prepare
to have a happy and safe holiday season.
Below are some winter weather preparedness tips. Citizens who would like more information on how to cope with winter weather should contact local emergency
management offices in their area.
€ Know what winter storm and blizzard watches and warnings mean.
€ An NWS Winter Storm watch is a message indicating that conditions are favorable to a winter storm.
€ An NWS warning indicates that a winter storm is occurring or is imminent.
€ A blizzard warning means sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater and considerable falling or blowing snow are expected to prevail for a period
of three hours or longer.
€ Depend on a NOAA weather radio, along with local media outlets for reports.
Plan for a winter storm
€ Develop a family disaster plan for winter storms. Discuss with family members what should be done if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Everyone
should know what to do in case all family members are not together when a winter storm hits.
€ Understand the hazards of wind chill. A strong wind combined with a temperature of just below freezing can have the same effect as a still air temperature of
35 degrees or colder.
€ Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. Make sure they are prepared.
€ Don't forget about the pets. Make sure they have good food and water supplies and a place to seek shelter.
€ Have vehicles winterized before winter storm season.
Protect Your Property
€ Make sure residences are properly insulated. If necessary, insulate walls and attic. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills.
€ Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
€ To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of old newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
€ Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.
€ Know how to shut off water valves.
€ Consider storing extra heating fuel.
€ Install and check smoke alarms.
€ Keep safe emergency-heating equipment, such as a fireplace with wood. Always be cautious in using a portable space heater.
Out in the elements
€ The best way to stay safe in a snowstorm is not to be out in it. Long periods of exposure to severe cold can result in frostbite or hypothermia. It is easy
to become disoriented in blowing snow.
€ Stretch before getting out into the cold. If going out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This will reduce your chances of
€ Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow.
€ Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injury.
€ Dress in many layers and wear a hat and mittens or gloves.
€ Come inside often for warm-up breaks.
€ If starting to shiver or getting very tired, or if nose, fingers, toes or ear lobes start to feel numb, go inside right away and seek medical assistance. The
afore mentioned are signs of hypothermia and frostbite and need immediate attention.
€ Travelers should alert someone of their destination, route and when expected arrival time.
€ Travelers who get stranded should stay with their vehicle and hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood (after
snow stops falling)
If you must drive in a storm
- Check the local forecast through the media, which would announce closures, updates or locations to avoid
- Check for weather-related road conditions through the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety at www.dps.state.ok.us
<http://www.dps.state.ok.us> or by calling (405) 425-2385 or toll free
- Make sure you have plenty of fuel; a good rule of thumb is to keep your fuel tank at least half full
- Always wear your seat belt
- In ice or snow, take it slow; allow ample time to reach your destination
- Bring a cell phone with an emergency roadside assistance number (In case of emergency, you can call the Oklahoma Highway Patrol at *55 or 911)
- Remember that bridges and ramps will be the first to freeze
Make sure your Winter Storm Disaster Supply Kit includes:
- A cell phone with extra battery or two-way radio
- Windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal
- Several blankets or sleeping bags
- Rain gear and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks and a cap
- Non-perishable snacks like canned fruit, nuts and other high energy "munchies." Include non-- electric can opener if necessary.
- Several bottles of water. Eating snow will lower your body temperature. If necessary, melt it first.
- A small sack of sand or kitty litter for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats.
- Jumper cables
- A first aid kit
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- A brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna if you get stranded.
Krystina Frost cradles her newborn daughter, Wathena, a day after the newborn was delivered at home.
Photo by SHELLY SCHULTZ
A 21-year-old Miami woman had a surprise delivery at home Thursday afternoon.
Krystina Frost gave birth to a 6-pound 5-ounce baby girl on her bathroom floor.
"I wasn't due until Thanksgiving," Frost said.
Wathena Nicole Fayth Frost was born at 3:45 p.m., shortly after her mother made a trip to the bathroom and the baby embarked on a trip of her own.
The birth was over in minutes, according to Frost who gave birth to a son just short of a year ago.
"I just felt all alone," Frost said. "I called my mom. She was in Commerce and by the time she got to my house I was sitting on the
couch just looking at her (the newborn)."
Once Frost's mother arrived, she called 911.
"They were here pretty quick," Frost said. "They took care of everything else so, when I got to the hospital, everything was done."
Frost said she had been to see her physician on Tuesday and there was no anticipation of an early delivery.
The newest member of the Frost family was welcomed home by her older brother, who will celebrate his first birthday on Saturday.
"She's unique because she was born at home," Frost said. "But both my babies are miracles because I wasn't suppose to be able to
have any children."
Baby and mom are both doing fine and were released from the hospital Friday afternoon.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 1:46 PM EDT
Wed, Nov 12, 2008 3:57 PM
Area soldiers stand at rest during a re-dedication of the Ottawa County War Memorial on the grounds of
the new county courthouse. The event was held in conclusion of a Veterans Day parade - a patriotic tribute that returned to Miami on Tuesday
after more than a 50-year absence. See related story. Photos by KRISTA DUHON
Soldiers, young and old, were greeted with applause and heartfelt bellows of appreciation Tuesday as area residents lined the streets
to honor veterans.
Seasoned war veterans and young soldiers made their way through downtown Miami where young people waived and old men saluted to honor those who have fought -
and fight today - for this country.
Bands played, flags waived and engines roared as the parade made its way from 5th and N. Main streets to the Ottawa County Courthouse
for a re-dedication of the Ottawa County War Memorial.
Tuesday's patriotic event ended a 50-year absence of a Miami Veterans Day parade.
"It has been too long," said Miami Mayor Brent Brassfield as he addressed a large crowd that gathered around the courthouse memorial garden.
Brassfield offered his appreciation to veterans, saying that there is no more honorable thing that a person can do than to serve his country. He applauded the
efforts of Melvin Cook, president of the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 277, who led the effort to organize a parade.
The mayor's remarks were followed by words of appreciation offered by Ottawa County Commission member and Vietnam Veteran Kenneth
"It is an honor just to stand here and be offered an opportunity to speak," Palmer said.
Palmer encouraged Veterans to continue to stand together and find strength in unity.
Associate Judge Robert Reavis, who once served as a Marine, looked to the words of the late Gen. Douglas MacArthur as he recognized the willingness of soldiers
to reach beyond themselves and seek to serve a selfless role.
Reavis cited MacArthur's final public speech, offered in 1962, during which the much-admired general expounded on the merits of duty, honor and country.
"Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be," Macarthur said in that speech.
Reavis echoed MacArthur's words, saying "They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems
to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn ... They build your basic character ... They make you strong enough to know when you are
weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid. They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success ...
to learn to stand up in the storm but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others ... to learn to laugh, yet
never forget how to weep ... to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true
In closing, Reavis offered an earnest "thank you" to living veterans and prayed that eternal peace and rest be given to the men and women who died is
service to their country.
The placing of a wreath at the memorial site - carried by Cook and Burt Norton, the brother of Miami's only soldier to die in Iraq, - the raising of
American, Oklahoma and Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flags, a moment of silence, a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps concluded the ceremony.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:33 PM EDT
Thu, Nov 13, 2008 8:26 PM
Bailey McCarty, 21 months old, grips an American flag while a life-sized cutout of her father's
image stands near. McCarty's father, Spec. Richard McCarty, is active duty military and currently on his way back from an 18-month tour
of duty in Iraq. Young McCarty waived the flag during Tuesday's Veterans Day parade in Miami. For more pictures, look to Sunday's
edition of the News-Record. Photo by KRISTA DUHON
Authorities say there are no new leads in the investigation into the double homicide that occurred Sunday north of Welch.
"We've collected some really good evidence from the scene but we need suspects," said Craig County Sheriff Jimmie Sooter. "We are asking for
the public's assistance with this."
The sheriff's office is seeking information from anyone who was in the area of South 4390 Road between East 40 and East 50 roads on
"We know there were a lot of hunters in the area that day," Sooter said. "I am asking anyone who might have seen an unfamiliar vehicle early
Sunday morning to call me with that information."
Authorities believe that long-time Welch residents William and Leota Huls were murdered in their home sometime between 5 and 7 a.m. Sunday.
Shortly before 1 p.m., a neighbor entered the residence through an unlocked door and discovered the bodies of William Huls, 67, and his 66-year-old wife.
"The Huls' daughter became concerned when her parents didn't show up for church Sunday morning in Miami," Sooter
said. "She made contact with a neighbor who works for the couple and asked him to go check on her parents."
Deputies arrived around 1 p.m. to find the couple in separate rooms of the house. Both had suffered fatal gunshot wounds.
"This is a very unique case," Sooter said. "We are calling it a robbery/double homicide because Mrs. Huls' purse is missing - but that's
the only thing we've discovered that is missing."
Sooter said there was large amounts of cash, guns and other valuables in the house in plain view that were untouched.
Anyone who was in the area of the homicide in the early morning hours of Nov. 9 and saw something suspicious or unfamiliar should contact authorities at
A portion of 680 Road will be added to Ottawa County's five-year road improvement plan and proposed as the recipient of federal
transportation funding made available to one qualified county road project in each of Oklahoma's 77 counties.
Because of its proximity to the Five-Mile Boys Camp and the Downstream Casino, Dist. 1 Commissioner John Clarke asked that approximately 3.5 miles of the road
be considered for funding by the federal Surface Transportation Program.
Clarke told fellow commission members on Monday that, once paving is completed, the minor collector road could become a major collector
for Ottawa County and would likely be a highly traveled corridor for Oklahoma's far northeastern corner.
The current federal highway bill, referred to as "SAFTEA-LU," allows the use of federal Surface Transportation Program funds for roadway construction
projects on the county's major or minor collector system
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, ODOT, will allocate federal funds for use among county commission per each federal fiscal year.
A project ranking system has been developed to distribute the limited funding.
Commission chairman Russell Earls said Monday that Clarke's submission was "a good candidate for the funding" and he
pledged is full support of the project.
In 2006, Earls was the first to make application for STP funds on behalf of the county. Kenneth Palmer relinquished his proposed project - a 130 Road bridge -
as it did not meet criteria for the federal funding.
County officials will now make formal application as they submit project plans, accident reports and other data to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
If approved, the project will be placed within the lineup of a statewide four-year plan.
The annual holiday "Spend to Win" promotion will start Saturday.
Activities will start with a slate of open house events involving several local merchants.
"There are eight merchants participating in the Holiday Season Retail Open House this coming Saturday," said Cindy Morris,
chamber executive director. "These merchants invite you to come visit their retail locations and participate in special promotions and open house
The merchants participating in the open house include Chapters; Classy Brass Antiques; Copper Creek Flea Market and Consignment, a new Miami retail
establishment; Osborn Drugs; Goforth Jewelry, Harvey's Diamonds and Gifts; Miami True Value and Westco.
These retail establishments are also participating in the Spend To Win promotion along with 17 other retail establishments. The Spend to Win promotion kicks
off Saturday with double tickets being given out for dollars spent at the each participating establishment.
The Spend to Win promotion will continue through Dec. 27.
Shoppers will collect one ticket just for visiting a participating merchant.
Additional tickets can be collected, one for every $10 spent at the Miami stores up to $100, there after one ticket for every $100 spent to $1,000 and then one
ticket for every additional $1,000.
One must be 18 or older to collect a ticket.
Beginning November 24 a weekly cash drawing will be held each Monday afternoon. The chamber will draw a participating merchant's name from "the
hat" and then contact the merchant for them to draw from their collection box. This will be the weekly cash winner.
The winning ticket will be placed back in the collection box for the grand giveaway drawing to be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 4 at the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
College football field.
A vehicle, courtesy of Turnpike Chrysler Dodge Jeep and the City of Miami, will be given away through a drawing along with nine other grand prizes.
"Spend to Win is an outstanding retail promotion that is designed to encourage area consumers to shop Miami first," Morris stated. "There are
many reasons to shop at home versus in other communities.
The reasons she listed include shopping at home creates jobs, dollars are reinvested back to the community through the tax base and turn-around spending,
provides a wide range of products at affordable prices, saves the consumer time and money (less gas and travel time), and most importantly, Miami retail
merchants value their consumers.
Double tickets will also be given on Dec. 6 when the chamber will host a retail expo at the Miami Civic Center in conjunction with the Rotary Club pancake
breakfast and the business expo, hosted by the Miami Area Economic Development Services.
For more information, contact the Miami Area Chamber of
A Quapaw woman was injured Monday in a one-vehicle accident west of Joplin, Mo.
Michelle Reed, 37, sustained moderate injuries when her 2007 Pontiac ran off the roadway and struck a tree.
Authorities say Reed was traveling eastbound on Douglas Fir Road five miles west of Joplin when the accident occurred.
Reed was transported to Freeman Hospital where she is being treated for her injuries.
In recent months, communities throughout Ottawa County have seen an increase in burglaries.
Undersheriff Bob Ernst said the problem is not isolated.
"I think you'll find there is an increase in burglaries statewide - probably even nationwide," Ernst said.
Authorities say the economic meltdown, an influx in illegal drug use and lack of parental supervision are some of the contributors to the increase in crime.
Recently, a truck was stolen from a Cardin resident who is the sole occupant of his neighborhood.
Cardin is located in northern Ottawa County, west of Picher. The communities in that area are part of a federal buyout due to the risk of subsidence within the
former lead and zinc mining district.
Last year, the area took a hard hit from an EF-4 tornado that swept over 100 homes off their foundation.
The truck was recovered in Tulsa shortly after it was stolen, but residents of Picher and Cardin say they fear isolation makes them an easier target.
"The Quapaw Police Department has been hired to patrol the Picher area," Ernst said. "We also have deputies assigned to that area to help
Theft from automobiles is at the top of the list for burglaries in the area.
Every day, officials take reports of items stolen from parked vehicles.
"Generally, the cars are left unlocked with valuables in plain sight," said Miami's Assistant Chief of Police Todd Chenoweth.
Authorities say most burglaries are preventable.
Authorities suggest the following:
€ Keep doors locked - both at home and on vehicles.
€ Don't leave valuables in plain sight.
€ Don't leave keys in vehicles.
€ Don't leave purses or wallets unattended.
Thursday, November 13, 2008 11:33 PM EDT
Fri, Nov 14, 2008 12:30 PM
Fri, Nov 14, 2008 6:38 PM
State Rep. Larry Glenn reads author Karma Wilson's "Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo" to a
group of children and parents who gathered Thursday for "Family Reading Night" at the Miami Public Library. Glenn, along with state
Sen. Charles Wyrick and a number of city employees and library volunteers volunteered their time for the event that promotes literacy
encourages families to read together. Photo by KRISTA DUHON
A Miami woman says she was followed to her apartment, forced through the door and raped by an unknown man.
According to a police report, the alleged rape occurred just after the 38-year-old victim returned to her apartment complex Monday around 10 p.m.
"(The woman) said she entered the building on the west side and observed a black male wearing blue jeans, a gray and blue (hooded
sweatshirt), brown boots and a black boot sock," said Miami Police Officer Aaron Crockett.
The male allegedly followed her to an elevator and repeatedly asked her name and if she had a cigarette.
"(The woman) told him she only had enough cigarettes for herself and asked the suspect to leave her alone," Crockett said.
The woman said the man got on the elevator with her, rode to the second floor, exited the elevator behind her and followed her to her apartment.
"When she got her door unlocked the male subject pushed her inside the apartment and closed the door behind them," Crockett
said. "The man told her not to yell or make any kind of noises."
The woman said her attacker sat down in a chair and made a phone call.
"While the male was on the phone, (the victim) said she tried to leave her apartment but the man stood in front of the door and would not let her
leave," Crockett said.
The woman told authorities she was forced to her bed, her clothes were removed and the man raped her.
After her attacker left, the alleged victim said she waited about five minutes then walked to the sheriff's office and called the police.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office has preliminarily ruled the death of a toddler as an accident, a spokeswoman said.
Zoe Montgomery, 1, died Oct. 24 when she fell under the wheels of a trailer at Orr Family Farm, a farm-themed amusement park in Oklahoma
Montgomery is the daughter of Miami High School graduate Shane Montgomery and his wife Carrie. They reside in Moore.
The toddler's grandmother, Pam David, is a Miami resident.
Oklahoma City police are also calling the incident an accidental death. They will present their findings to the Cleveland County district attorney, who will
ultimately determine if anyone will be held criminally responsible for the death.
Capt. Steve McCool said investigators examine every unnatural death of a child, and neither the length of an investigation nor the act of presenting findings
to prosecutors has any correlation with criminal responsibility on anyone's part.
Carrie Montgomery said the family has received an outpouring of love and support from family, friends and strangers.
"It helps a lot knowing that any time I need to talk, I have plenty of people I can call," she said.
A bank account has been set up for donations to help the family pay for funeral costs.
To donate to the fund, call Republic Bank and Trust at (405) 360-5369, or Lisa Talley at (405) 613-3793.
JAY - A Delaware County man and woman have been charged with animal cruelty after the sheriff's department seized more than 100
dogs that had not been fed in six days, authorities said.
Sue Davis, 52, and Randall Dick, 55, were charged Thursday in Delaware County District Court in Jay with 12 counts of cruelty to animals. They
remain in custody on $20,000 bail.
According to a probable cause affidavit signed by Deputy Mark Berry, authorities found 107 cocker spaniels and miniature poodles in a
rural puppy mill near the Arkansas border.
Nine dogs were found dead and three dogs found in a wooded building were in "poor health and very thin." Other dogs were crammed into small cages -
often without sunlight - and left to walk in their own feces.
The dogs have since been taken to a Denver animal shelter.
The couple was living in a tent near the dogs' cages. Authorities said because of a dispute with the landlord, Davis hadn't been on the property for a
week and the dogs had not been fed.
The property owner reported the dogs' condition to the sheriff's office several times, the affidavit states.
Berry said that, at the time of the pair's arrest, some of the dogs were eating the dead dogs.
Days without food
The couple purchased three bags of dog food from an Arkansas feed store on Oct. 21 and told authorities the animals were last fed on Oct. 25.
On Nov. 2, the day the dogs were seized, the couple brought out four bags of dog food.
In August, Davis approached an Arkansas feed store wanting to buy 20 bags of dog food on credit because she had to feed 200 dogs, the affidavit states.
The store reported Davis has a $1,141 outstanding feed bill.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Increasing the availability of health care services, improving the quality of Oklahoma's health care system
and stressing disease prevention to decrease demand are among early recommendations by members of a legislative task force.
Following months of hearings, participants in the Health Care Reform Task Force have begun submitting ideas that may be included in legislation next year to
address health care issues and decrease the number of uninsured Oklahomans.
"All of us involved in this process are well aware of the dismal health outcomes of the Oklahoma population and large number of
people without health insurance," Oklahoma's health commissioner, Dr. James M. Crutcher, said in a letter outlining his recommendations to the task
But the state also suffers from an inadequate supply of health care workers, poor access to mental health and addiction services and issues involving the
quality and cost of health services, Crutcher said.
Additional recommendations have been submitted by various other groups including The State Chamber, a statewide business and industry group that said it
supports building on the employer-based health insurance system to improve quality, rein in costs and expand coverage.
"...Oklahoma has one of the highest per capita uninsured health insurance coverage levels in the nation. This places tremendous upward pressure on the
premiums those with insurance pay as well as a strain on state appropriations in paying for those who access indigent care," the chamber said.
More recommendations will be aired by lawmakers on the task force when it meets again.
Friday, November 14, 2008 1:45 PM EDT
Sun, Nov 16, 2008 12:22 PM
PICHER, Okla. - More than $6.2 million for the ongoing cleanup of the Tar Creek Superfund site has been secured via a grant from
the Environmental Protection Agency. The money is available immediately.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., and Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry made the announcement Friday.
"This grant will provide $6.24 million to further the buyout of residents as well as the demolition or relocation of homes,
businesses and public-use structures in areas susceptible to collapse," Inhofe said in a statement. "Because of the successful collaboration between
me, Congressman Boren and Gov. Henry, the finish line is now in sight."
"This is more good news for the people in the Picher and Cardin areas," said Henry. "This has been a long, difficult
process and there will be more challenges ahead, but with the continued flow of federal funds, we will complete the relocations in a timely manner."
The grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency brings the amount provided for relocation efforts to about $45 million.
Another $10 million may be needed for completion, officials have said.
The Tar Creek Superfund site includes 40 square miles of former zinc and lead mining land in Ottawa County, Okla. The site has been
on the EPA Superfund list for two decades.
A voluntary federal buyout was announced in May 2006. An earlier state buyout targeted families with young children.
Source: The Associated Press
Mon, Nov 17, 2008 6:06 PM
Members of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church's Altar Society work on posters advertising the
society's annual cookie sale scheduled for Dec. 5 in the parish hall. Those working on the posters include (from left) Marge
Jurgensmeyer, Pat Cantrell, Mary Foust and Mary Dainty. In the photo below, Jurgensmeyer perfects a busy poster that promotes the variety of
sweets available on the day of the sale. See related story. Photo by JIM ELLIS
Delaware County is no closer to solving their jail overcrowding dilemma than they were two years ago.
Thursday, commissioners reviewed an interlocal agreement proposal from Ottawa County Sheriff Terry Durborow. The proposal outlined a plan to contract the use
of the Ottawa County Jail to house Delaware County inmates.
"The (Delaware County )commissioners said some things needed reworded," said Clerk Carol Fortner. "No action was taken
on the proposal, it will be further review by the council."
The state Department of Health issued a compliance order in 2006 regarding the conditions at the county jail in Jay - particularly the overcrowding. For
several months the jail had been housing between 68 and 81 inmates in a facility designed to accommodate 61 inmates.
Taxpayers in Delaware County recently rejected a proposal to raise sales tax in Grove to 9.3-percent to build an $11 million jail. That, coupled with the
current economic status, District Attorney Eddie Wyant suggested commissioners look into other avenues.
"Now is not a good time to ask taxpayers for a bigger jail," Wyant said. "One temporary solution is to house some of the inmates in the Ottawa
County Jail. This plan would avoid a fine from the Department of Health and the pending lawsuit would be dismissed."
The proposal, in part, is to rent 20 beds from Ottawa County for three years, which would give Delaware County time to find a permanent
Ottawa County has a contract with the Department of Corrections to house DOC inmates for $31.50 a bed.
Durborow said Delaware County would have to pay the same amount.
"The approval of this contract would mean I would have to get rid of my DOC inmates," Durborow said. "That would be the only real benefit I can
see. Currently, I have to keep DOC inmates separate from county inmates. If we took on Delaware County inmates they could be jailed together."
According to Wyant, if Delaware County showed 30 days of consistent compliance the state would dismiss the lawsuit.
"Before this plan is implemented, Sheriff Durborow has to agree to free up the beds and Delaware County voters have to agree on a one-tenth of a percent
sales tax increase," Wyant said.
The tax increase would pay for the bed space rented from Ottawa County. It is estimated to generate approximately $300,000 annually.
Ottawa County faced similar circumstances last year. The state demanded the county resolve the issue of overcrowding in the jail.
"You have two problems in your jail that never seem to be corrected," said state Jail Inspector Don Garrison. "You are going to have to help me
with this ... overcrowding and understaffing are going to have to be corrected."
Under Durborow's administration, the Ottawa County Jail has solved the overcrowding issue and remains in compliance with state regulations.
"This is not a permanent solution," Wyant said. "Right now, we don't know how long the tax would be for. Let's just see what the economy
is going to do."
Doing nothing, according to Wyant, will cost taxpayers much more if the state follows through with a lawsuit against the county.
The Associated Press
A former Ku Klux Klan leader who has since renounced the organization says the hate group is "making a comeback in Oklahoma," pointing to the
recruitment -and eventual killing - of a Tulsa woman by a Louisiana segment of the group.
Louisiana authorities have said Cynthia Charlotte Lynch, 43, was recruited to join the group but was killed when she
decided to leave an initiation ritual that took place last Sunday.
Johnny Lee Clary, 49, used to be active in the KKK - rising to the rank of imperial wizard - but he quit in 1989 and now preaches against such
Clary, who lists a Miami, Okla., post office address on his Web site, said he's seen signs of the group's comeback in Oklahoma "for some time now,
and my message to my fellow Oklahomans is: Don't buy their messages of hate.
"There are a number of things they will try to use to their advantage to spread their hate propaganda - the poor economy, illegal immigration, the
election of a black president. Just remember, this is the kind of violence they are capable of. I know."
Other experts said it's easier now for hate groups to recruit such targets as Lynch, a divorced loner who was in and out of legal
trouble. Before she was killed, plans were for her to return to Oklahoma to recruit more KKK members.
"In the 1980s, we had the recession and the farm crisis when we saw a spike in KKK membership," said Mark Pitcavage, an Anti-Defamation League
historian and analyst on extremist groups. "Then in the 1990s, despite relatively prosperous economic times, we saw another spike with the election of
Bill Clinton, which didn't sit well with a number of right-wing, militant groups. Now, in a sense, we have both 'Äî an economic crisis and the first
"We're not going to be scared or intimidated. We're going to be vigilant."
Pitcavage said that while it's difficult to determine exactly how many KKK organizations there are in Oklahoma, he estimated there are at least "four
or five contact points" through which an interested person could become connected with the group.
The Southern Poverty Law Center said there are six KKK-organizations in Oklahoma. Five are connected with the Pennsylvania-based Brotherhood of Klans Knights
of the KKK while one is associated with the Louisiana-based Bayou Knights of the KKK. Clary said he believes there are "many, many more splinter
groups" beyond those six.
"The Klan preys on people during hard economic times - times when they are vulnerable," Clary said.
Christmas is coming - and so is the annual cookie sale at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
This year, the sale will begin at 7 a.m. Dec. 5 at the church's parish hall located at 2515 N. Main St.
According to Karen Painter with the church's Altar Society, sponsor of the cookie sale, 2008 will mark the 18th cookie sale the
group has sponsored.
"We're still going strong," Painter said. "This is our only fund-raiser to cover to cost of altar supplies."
The entire church parish comes together, men and women alike, to bake the cookies.
The men also turn up and help move the tables around as they set things up.
Painter admitted that moving the cookie sale to the parish hall from the Coleman Theatre might have been a blessing in disguise.
"We started the cookie sale in the courthouse annex and, when that was remodeled, moved it to the Coleman Theatre," she said. "We'd always
had it downtown.
"We had to move it to the parish hall two years ago and was afraid people would loose interest. Instead, even more people have turned out."
She credits part of that to the church being located right next door to the Wal-Mart Super Center, "one of the busiest places in town during the Christmas
"We have more space in the parish hall as well as more parking," Painter said. "It's just more convenient. We're able to keep better
track of our stock and our kitchen is right here so we can keep up with the dishes.
"You don't know how much of a relief it is not to have to box all those cookies up to transport them to the Coleman."
The extra space at the parish hall allows the customers to be greeted with free coffee and samples of the cookies for sale.
"It's kind of like old home week," Painter said. "People stand around visiting and talk of the upcoming holidays."
Advance orders are welcomed.
"We already have more than 100 pounds of cookies preordered," Painter said.
To place an order, call 541-6580.
"People leave the sale thanking us," Painter said. "I don't know how many say, 'Now, I've done my holiday baking.'"
After less than three hours of deliberations, an Ottawa County jury found a 19-year-old Miami woman guilty of abusing her 5-month-old
The jury recommended a one-year sentence with time served - leaving authorities, attorneys and spectators baffled.
Danyeal Nicole Childers could be free in three weeks, if the judge accepts the jury's recommendation.
"I was shocked," said Ottawa County Assistant District Attorney Ben Loring. "That's all I can say."
Detectives first made contact with Childers in December of 2007 while assisting with a court removal order.
Detective Chris Leamon said he doesn't understand how something like this can happen.
"That baby had multiple fractures," Leamon said. "She (Childers) admitted she abused her son."
Leamon said the recommended sentence is not befitting to the crime that was committed against the infant.
According to the arrest report, Leamon was contacted by the Department of Human Services on Dec. 28, 2007, after medical personnel reported what they suspected
to be child abuse.
A local orthopedic surgeon told Leamon that the child had suffered a "basket handle" break to the left ankle that is consistent with having been
The physician also told Leamon that there were additional injuries that needed further examination.
The child was taken into protective custody and an order for further treatment at the Tulsa Children's Justice Center was issued.
After further examination of the child, it was discovered that the infant had suffered multiple fractures over a period of time.
"Danyeal told me that she feels upset after 'incidents.'" Leamon said. "She admitted to me that she has hurt (the infant) while being
Childers is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 5. If the judge accepts the jury's recommendation, she could be released immediately.
TULSA (AP) - Another $6.2 million has been secured for efforts to purchase the homes and businesses of residents who live within the
Tar Creek Superfund site in Oklahoma's northeastern tip.
A grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency brings the amount provided for relocation efforts to about $45 million.
Another $10 million may be needed for completion, but U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said on Friday that the "finish line is now in
sight" as he joined with Gov. Brad Henry and Rep. Dan Boren in announcing the funding.
"As we continue the important work at the Tar Creek Superfund Site in northeast Oklahoma, this grant will provide $6.24 million to further the buyout of
residents as well as the demolition or relocation of homes, businesses, and public uses structures in areas susceptible to collapse," Inhofe, R-Okla.,
said in a story from the Tulsa World's Washington bureau.
Encompassing 40 square miles of Ottawa County, the former zinc and lead mining hub has been on the EPA Superfund list for two decades. Residents face potential
mine collapses, acid mine water that stains Tar Creek orange and mountains of lead-contaminated mine waste called chat. Local children repeatedly have tested
high for dangerous levels of lead in their blood.
Boren, D-Okla., said he was pleased that critical resources are being allocated to the area.
"Thousands of hardworking Oklahomans have been negatively impacted by living near one of the nation's largest Superfund sites,
and this funding will help bring closure for many of them," he said.
Henry said it's been a "long, difficult process and there will be more challenges ahead, but with the continued flow of federal funds, we will
complete the relocations in a timely manner."
The voluntary federal buyout was announced in May 2006. An early state buyout targeted families with young children.
The next Miami Little Theatre production, under the direction of David Froman, will be "Rumors" by Neil Simon.
It will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Coleman Theatre.
Tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for children.
"Simon is famous for his comedy and 'dramedy' plays, but this is the only farce he wrote," Froman said. "I was on the MLT selection
board last year and pushed to do this play."
As "Rumors" starts, several affluent couples gather in the posh suburban residence for a dinner party hosted by a couple celebrating their 10th
When the guests arrive, they discover there are no servants, the hostess is missing and the host - the deputy mayor of New York City - has shot himself in the
"It examines the nature of rumors and how they can be misleading," Froman said. "It pokes fun at human folly with the
cast reacting to each other in ways they normally wouldn't."
Froman describes the cast of "Rumors" as "wonderful."
"They've been working really hard," he said. "We've formed a special comradery. They like it so much they want to do extra
Performing as party guests in "Rumors" are Linda Kerby and Chad Jarvis, Paula Darnell and Shannon Duhon, Jeff Shlosser and Sallee Barger and Adam
Anderson and Kim Buffalo. Police officers are portrayed by Zachary Thomas and Jacque Cabrera.
Froman's pride in the cast is obvious.
"There's an old say, 'If you cast a play well, 60 percent of the director's work is done,'" he said. "I think I've done just
that with this cast.
"As you start out directing a play, you play all the parts in your mind. I read this script through five or six times before I ever cast it and played all
the parts over and over.
"But every good director reaches a point where the cast takes over."
He pointed out that several of the cast members, Anderson and Thomas, are NEO graduates and that Shlosser currently is employed there.
"I think their experience brings a lot to the play," Froman said.
As well as directing, Froman takes special interest in the sets of his plays which he traces back to his youth.
"I had shop when I was in high school," he said. "I helped build houses and furniture. I'm pretty handy around the house and can do anything
but pour concrete."
Froman designed the set for "Rumors" and, with the help of professionals Bud Catt and Ron Whaley as well as cast members, assembled the set in a few
"I had it all laid out," he said. "All the pieces cut to measure and stored back stage at the Coleman so all we had to do was screw
One special aspect of the set is the original paintings by Jessica Stout.
"Most of the theatrical painting on MLT sets for the last few years has been done by Jessica," Froman said. "For 'Rumors' she is
painting six free-standing modern art pieces. I can't wait to see what she comes up with."
Froman also expressed his gratitude to Westco for lending the furniture used on the set.
Froman did suggest that "Rumors" might not be appropriate for children, 10 and younger.
"We've cleaned up the language, but I'm not sure they will (understand) the comedy," he said.
Ottawa Tribe Chief John Berrey was sworn in Thursday to a presidential appointment to serve on the federal Advisory Council for
Thursday, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe sent congratulations to Berrey.
"John is a valued partner in working to bring relief to the residents who live near the Tar Creek Superfund site and the
environmental clean up of the site," Inhofe said. "He is the first chairman of the Quapaw Tribe to successfully work to lift the moratorium on chat
sales at Tar Creek ... As a result, the selling of chat is now a benefit to the tribe."
"I know John will bring the same kind of innovation and dedication to his work on the Council," Inhofe said.
An independent federal agency, the ACHP promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation's historic resources, and advises the
President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It also provides a forum for influencing federal activities, programs, and policies that
affect historic properties.
In addition, the ACHP has a role in carrying out the Preserve America initiative.
Berrey will serve as the Native American/Native Hawaiian organization member of the ACHP.
Berrey is a member of both the Quapaw and Osage tribes. He currently serves as chairman of the Quapaw Tribal Business Committee and the Downstream Development
Authority. He is also a fourth generation rancher on the family's original allotment on the Osage Reservation, north of Tulsa.
Since graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in journalism in 1991, Berrey has held a number of business positions, including several with
the Quapaw Tribe.
Representatives of Buffalo Run Casino and Resort, The Coleman Theatre Beautiful and Miami's Vance
Ford stand with state legislators including Lt. Gov. Jari Askins (far left) and state Sen. Charles Wyrick (far right) at the annual Grand Lake
Association banquet. All three organizations were honored at the banquet held Tuesday in Grove. Courtesy photo
The Buffalo Run Casino and Resort, The Coleman Theatre Beautiful and Miami's Vance Ford were honored at the 2008 Grand Lake
Association Banquet held Tuesday on Monkey Island.
Buffalo Run Casino and Resort, represented by Francesca Payne and Chris Tipton, was recognized as a top GLA member.
The Coleman Theatre Beautiful was honored as the area's "Outstanding Tourism Attraction."
Barbara and Willie Smith, executive directors of the theatre represented the Coleman. Also on hand for the presentation were Miami Downtown
Redevelopment Authority members Willie Osborn and Ann Gilbert
Friends of the Coleman were represented by Jane Osborn, Dr. Ron Gilbert and Gary Crow.
Also recognized was Miami's Vance Ford which was named "Outstanding Business" for its recent investment on Miami's Main Street.
John Vance and his wife Vicky accepted the award.
Other management staff with the dealership were also present. GLA also honored additional partners.
The Grand Lake Association is an organization that works in partnership with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department to encourage travel and
tourism in the 4-county Grand Lake region.
Guest speaker for the banquet was Lt. Gov. Jari Askins. She spoke about the positive impact that tourism has on the entire state.
Guests were congratulated for their combined efforts in positioning Northeast Oklahoma as a top destination. Askins thanked all partners for being a
voice for tourism, Oklahoma's third largest industry.
Amanda Davis, director of the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and representing the Grand Lake Association Board of Directors says this banquet has
special meaning for this region.
"We have all overcome great challenges over the past 12 months. Businesses, organizations and individuals honored this year made huge investments
in communities that provided vision for so many working hard to move forward. Tourism plays a huge role in the growth of our region and we look forward
to what is ahead for all partners."
Monday, November 17, 2008 1:55 PM EDT
Wed, Nov 19, 2008 5:39 PM
"Rumors" actors Adam Anderson and Kim Buffalo rehearse a scene from the upcoming Miami Little
Theatre production. The show, written by Neil Simon and directed by David Froman, is in final dress rehearsals this week. The curtain will
rise at 7:30 p.m. Thursday for the first of four productions at the Coleman Theatre. Photo by KRISTA DUHON
State Sen. Charles Wyrick is on the job for another four years in the Oklahoma Legislature.
The Fairland Democrat was formally sworn into office Tuesday for a second Senate term. Wyrick was unopposed in his bid for the District 1 Senate seat.
"I'm extremely proud of what we've accomplished in my first four years here at the Senate. We've worked to improve our
schools, put more resources into replacing and building new roads and bridges, and worked to improve access to healthcare and prescription medication,"
Wyrick said. "I am grateful for the chance to continue my service and I look forward to the many opportunities awaiting us in the next four years."
For the past two sessions, Wyrick has served as co-chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and has obtained membership on the
Appropriations, Natural Resources and Regulatory Services, Criminal Jurisprudence, Tourism and Wildlife, Transportation committees and the Joint Committee on
"Senator Wyrick is extremely committed to the needs of his district and to the future of our great state. I look forward to working with him again during
this next term as we build on our successes and work toward new goals," said Senator Charlie Laster, Democratic leader of the state Senate.
The Senate will meet for an organizational day in January.
The 2009 legislative session officially begins Feb. 2.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A new law requires drivers to move over or slow down when passing a tow truck or a wrecker on the shoulder of the
road with its lights flashing.
Motorists can be fined $206.50 under the addition to the state's Move Over Law. This new part of the law took effect Nov. 1.
The Move Over Law was passed in 2002 to require that drivers change lanes if a law enforcement car is on the shoulder of the road with
If a lane change is not safe, the driver must slow to a safe speed until past the emergency vehicle.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol records show troopers wrote 387 tickets to drivers who failed to follow the law.
The new provision will save lives, said Chris Puckett, president of the Oklahoma Wrecker Owners Association.
"The objective is to keep control of the vehicle and not hit the wrecker or the car being towed," Puckett said. "We just
want everybody to go home at night."
Nationally, 168 wrecker operators are killed each year, Puckett said.
"We're hoping people will see the flashing lights and it will make them more aware, more cautious," Puckett said.
Sara Carr (left) and her friend Ryan Hembree begin painting the mural on the wall of the hall at the entrance to
the Miami Academy. Photo by JIM ELLIS.
The entrance to the Miami Academy will change soon.
Enter by the north entrance and both walls will soon be painted in a mural of patriotic symbols.
Sara Carr, a senior at the academy, began working on the mural a week ago.
Her mural on one side of the hall includes the flag of Iwo Jima and the flag from Sept. 11, 2001, around the Statue of Liberty. It will be painted in an
She projected the images on the wall and outlined them in pencil before she began painting.
"I don't see the mural as a special challenge," Carr said. "It's just a bigger canvas.
"I don't have to pay as much attention to the smallest details like I normally do."
It was the secretaries at the academy who were familiar with her work and recommended that she paint the mural.
She's being assisted in the project by Ryan Hembree and Kim Selle, friends and fellow students at the academy.
Carr has done public art before.
Most recently, she was paid to paint a "choice wheel" in the playground at Washington Elementary School.
She also used wood-burning to create a piece on display at the Miami High School library.
Art has been a part of Carr's life since early childhood.
She began receiving awards for her art in the first grade.
In the fourth grade she won an art contest sponsored by a country western group appearing at the Coleman Theatre.
Although undecided about a future career, Carr said that she'd love to do something great with her art.
"Perhaps I'll enter advertising or become an interior designer," she said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency told city officials last week that boarding the windows of abandoned homes and fencing the
properties are possible remedies for remediating the city's flood-damaged areas.
The agency appears to be uninterested in the city's desire to use federal funds to demolish dozens of homes damaged beyond repair when Miami flooded more
than a year ago, city officials said.
The meeting, which included a tour of Miami's damaged neighborhoods, "was a waste of time," said city manager Huey P.
Long said the meeting left city staff and state emergency management officials frustrated.
"Boarding and fencing is just not an option," Long said. "It is not acceptable and it is not how we are going to resolve this issue."
The City of Miami - with help from state Emergency Management - is seeking funds from FEMA to purchase and demolish flood-damaged structures.
The request for assistance follows an announcement made earlier this year by FEMA that the City of Miami would not be getting all the
reimbursements for flood damage that it expected.
Miami, according to city officials, has been denied $1.3 million in reimbursement that administrators said was verbally promised.
In early October, the city reined in an aggressive effort to fast-track demolition of dilapidated structures as talks began with FEMA and state emergency
City officials recently moved demolition back to the front burner, sent out letters, published a legal notice of intent with property owners in condemnation
hearings as recently as last week.
"We are moving forward," Long said. "We may be repositioning to determine how to financially take this on on our own."
FEMA officials physically inspected one Miami home last week and conducted "drive-by" inspections on remaining structures, according to the city
staff, and ignored the city's engineering reports.
"They had no engineer, but insisted that they would do their own structural analysis," Long said. "It was frustrating ... our heads were hurting
Miami Mayor Brent Brassfield said Monday that boarding and fencing homes that flooded when the Neosho River and Tar Creek swelleed out of their banks will
advance a health and safety issue that is already growing within homes abandoned after the flood.
High grass, snakes, rodents and mold are a concern, Brassfield indicated.
"We need to move forward," Brassfield said.
Albert Ashwood, director of Oklahoma Emergency Management, said Monday that the state supports Miami's efforts to demolish homes.
"The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management stands firmly behind the City of Miami regarding demolition," Ashwood said. "I am currently
working with FEMA Region VI to ensure they are also on board."
Long said last week that the city will take its concerns to "whatever level necessary" to achieve its goal of ridding the community of the
Ottawa County officials received official word of the awarding of $1.4 million in federal funding to buy out nine property owners in in
Commission chairman Russell Earls praised the efforts of the Grand River Dam Authority as the panel signed documents Monday acknowledging the award.
"We could not have done this without GRDA ... or Grand Gateway (Economic Development Association)," Earls said.
GRDA will provide matching funds necessary in order to fulfill the requirements of the grant, according to county officials.
The burden of the 10 percent would have either fell on the property owner or the county, according to First Assistant District Attorney Ben Loring.
"The county did not have the money," Loring said. "GRDA is going to take care of it."
GRDA's contribution leaves spares the property owner of a reduction of the purchase price.
Notification of the Severe Repetitive Loss grant money comes more than a year after a devastating flood put much of the rural subdivision under water.
Once purchases are complete, GRDA will take ownership of the land, according to Jo Montana, assistant director of Grand Gateway Economic Development
In a related matter, Loring announced that the county and GRDA will be teaming up to purchase the home Ed Mrkonich.
GRDA will provide $68,000 and the county will contribute $12,000 toward the purchase of Mrkonich's home.
Mrkonich lost everything when his home flooded in 2007, despite his efforts to elevate his home out of the floodplain.
Mrkonich said he flooded twice in 1986 and decided then that he needed to elevate his home.
When Tar Creek and the Neosho River swelled out of their banks in July of 2007, the Mrkonich property - which sits at the south end of Elm Street that extends
to the limits of Miami - was destroyed.
The longtime resident said his decision to raise his property 9 feet served two purposes. It removed him from the 100-year floodplain and eliminated the need
for costly flood insurance.
Mrkonich said he has since been able to find alternate housing, but his losses exceed $195,000.
Now, Mrkonich is without flood insurance and does not meet the eligibility requirements for the county's planned buyout of flooded properties.
County officials and GRDA agreed that Mrkonich was in a unique situation and negotiated a buyout offer.
The county first asked GRDA to contribute $120,000 toward the purchase.
That proposal was rejected by the authority.
Mrkonich agreed to the arrangement on Monday. In return, he will release Ottawa County and the Grand River Dam Authority from any liability.
Wednesday, the State of Oklahoma will join the State of Arkansas in participating in a disaster exercise designed to test the response
capabilities necessary for an ice storm.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management will activate the State Emergency Operations Center for the training event which will begin at 8:30 a.m. and is
expected to end around 3 p.m.
The exercise is especially well timed as Oklahoma approaches ice storm season, state emergency officials said.
In January and December 2007 alone, ice storms were responsible for more than 50 deaths and power outages to more than 640,000 homes and businesses across the
state. Infrastructure damage to cities, towns and counties alone exceeded $230 million. Oklahoma also experienced deadly ice storms in 2000, 2002 and 2006.
Numerous state departments and agencies, along with private sector organizations, will be represented during the exercise.
The Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security is spearheading the project and has secured funding and coordination of the the exercise.
In addition to OEM and OKOHS, departments and organizations slated to participate include, the Oklahoma Military Department, Oklahoma
Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, OG&E, Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region Six Office in Denton, Texas.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma officials are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the settlement of a lawsuit against tobacco
Gov. Brad Henry has proclaimed Nov. 23 as "A Healthier Oklahoma Day," marking the anniversary of the Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco
companies in 1998.
At a news conference on Monday, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said Oklahoma is the only state in the nation to establish a
constitutionally protected trust fund to ensure anti-tobacco funding will be available year after year.
Officials report that the number of adult smokers fell from 28.7 percent in 2001 in Oklahoma to 25.2 percent in the first six months of this year. Still,
that's more than 5 percent higher than the national rate of smoking.
Edmondson said the trust fund will eventually allow Oklahoma to win the war against tobacco use. The fund provided $15.5 million for tobacco control programs
this fiscal year.
A survey showed that 33.5 percent of high school students smoked in 1999, and that figure was down to 23.4 percent in 2007.
"We are most proud of the decline in smoking among our youth," Edmondson said. "The MSA really changed the way the
tobacco industry markets their products. Gone are the days of cartoon Joe Camel and billboard tobacco ads.
"Instead, there is money dedicated to countering the tobacco industry's mass marketing. Kids are hearing the anti-tobacco message. We are seeing
To date, Oklahoma has received about $648 million from the tobacco settlement, and $368 million of that has been placed in the trust fund.
Earnings from the trust fund are used for such things as the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, which offers counseling and products to aid Oklahomans in quitting
"Tobacco is the No. 1 preventable cause of our greatest killers, such as cancer, heart disease and stroke," said Dr. Robert McAffree, chief of staff
at the Oklahoma VA Medical Center. "The MSA has served as a catalyst for the medical community and anti-smoking advocates and emboldened us in our efforts
against tobacco addiction."
"Ten years from now, I hope we are a state of nonsmokers. I believe it is possible," Edmondson said.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 2:16 PM EDT
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