Niles City performs at Red River Valley Venue & Opry


The Red River Valley Venue & Opry House hosted a country music event on Saturday, May 12th, in Byers, Texas at the newly restored (former) Byers Methodist Church.

Niles City, a Country/Rock/Blues/Funk music group from Ft. Worth, entertained for two hours; delighting the audience with a variety of genres ranging from classic country to gospel music.  These EFI recording artists are talented singers, songwriters and musicians who are no strangers to the music industry.   Most of them have over 20 years in the music industry; offering an amazing and professional entertaining experience. They recently opened for headliners at Billy Bob’s Texas in Ft. Worth, including country artist, Steve Wariner,  as well as opening for Kiefer Sutherland and his band the same weekend.  Read more about Niles City and these amazing musicians on their website and on their Niles City official FB page.  

Based on the numerous positive comments and feedback from those in attendance, they have been invited to return.  That date and time is yet to be determined, but we anticipate it to be within the next couple of months.  The Red River Valley Venue & Opry House official FB page will post dates for this and all upcoming music/entertaining events,  as they are confirmed.   For more information regarding the venue, dates and rental pricing, please contact, Jerry McMahan @ 281-785-1990. 

Chris Largent visiting with Niles City after the concert at the Red River Valley Venue & Opry House


Phil Scott enjoyed the Niles City concert.

Dalee Barrick is one of Waurika’s Valedictorians


Dalee Barrick is one of the Valedictorians of this year’s senior class of Waurika. 

Barrick has a deep love for agriculture. 

She will be attending Oklahoma State University and majoring in agricultural communications. 

Her time serving in her church and spending time with her friends from her youth group at the Waurika Church of Christ is really important to her.

Barrick loves to sing and has participated at the state talent competition for both Beta Club and FFA. 

She recently received the Outstanding Freshman English composition Award from Cameron University. 

When asked about her favorite memories from high school she replied, “I suppose my favorite memories from high school weren’t necessarily at the school itself. Through these last four years, I have developed deep friendships with the people in my Church of Christ youth group. We have spent many nights doing anything from studying the Bible to playing cards and roasting marshmallows in my back yard. I have never been a student with gobs of friends. However, the friends I have are true ones. You can’t beat that.”

She has been a member of the academic team, Oklahoma honor society, FFA, Student council, national honor society, cross-country, power-lifting, and track. She also has participated in the drama club play. 

Barrick has served as a student council representative, class officer, Waurika FFA Jr. Officer, National Honor Society president, Beta Club vice-president, FFA president, and editor of both the Eagle Yearbook and the Eagle Talk Newspaper. As our readers know, she is also a frequent contributor to the Waurika News Journal & The Ryan Leader.

Besides that she has also served as a member of the speech team and co-captain of the academic team. 

Her academic awards include English 1, physical science, and algebra 1, and third place in creed speaking.

Her accomplishments in the livestock show arena include  Grand Champion heifer at the Waurika Livestock show, Breed Champion heifer at the Jefferson County Livestock show,  second in class Maintener Heifer State Fair, first place OYE Futurity Show and second place in the opening and closing ceremonies for FFA. 

Barrick has completed classes at Cameron University while finishing her Senior Year at Waurika. 

When asked about her favorite genre of music she states, “I can listen to just about anything. When it comes down to it, I think I’d have to say it’s a pretty even tie between 80’s – 90’s country and anything Frank Sinatra ever sang. Two completely different sounds, but I love them!”

She doesn’t necessarily have a favorite color. She says, “When I was younger, I thought my favorite color was purple, but now that I’m older I can’t say I have a favorite color necessarily. They all have a purpose, so I guess I love them all!”

To the younger students says, “I pray that the students of Waurika below me find their place just as I did. Join a school club, do your best in class, and let God be in your life. I can assure you if I hadn’t had done these things, I don’t know where I’d be.”

Dalee Barrick will enjoy a fruitful and successful collegiate experience. 

Her desire to serve God and her fellowman will be assets that will carry her far in life. 

Samantha Horner is one of Waurika’s Valedictorians


 Samantha Horner is one of the Valedictorians of this year’s senior class of Waurika.

Besides being a cheerleader, she has also enjoyed showing pigs and playing basketball. 

Her love of working with pigs began when she was in the 7th grade and inspired her to found Sam’s Show Pigs, a business that breeds, raises and sells show pigs. 

Horner has a huge love for all animals and plans to be a veterinarian when she graduates from Oklahoma State University. 

She is currently working at Chisholm Trail Animal Hospital on Fuller Road near Duncan and has even earned her certification of veterinary assistant. 

Horner says she has known since  her sophomore year in high school that she wanted to be a veterinarian. 

When she starts college in the fall she will  be classified as a second semester freshman because she has already earned 12 hours of college credit. 

Her most memorable moments from high school are from her experiences showing pigs. 

Purple is her favorite color and her favorite genre of music is country. 

She has been involved in Oklahoma Honor Society, FFA, 4H, Student council, National Honor Society, scholastic meets, Cross-Country, basketball, golf, cheer leading, and track. 

Horner has also served as President of Beta Club and her senior class, treasurer for National Honor Society, student council representative and captain of Waurika Cheer. 

At times she has volunteered at the Waurika Public Library and has served as a mentor to incoming 6th graders. 

She served as a mentor at middle school cheer tryouts, leader for little eagle basketball camp, and was a spokesperson for the local effort to support the hurricane Harvey relief project. 

Horner has earned many awards and honors. She has received FFA awards and 4H awards such as Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Swine Showmanship. 

She was the recipient of the Hollis Dickey Award and the HOBY Leadership Conference Ambassador honor. 

She has also received academic awards in physical science, biology, US History, Oklahoma history, anatomy, and the OSU Academic Excellence Scholarship. 

Honer was Homecoming Queen. 

Samantha Horner has a great future in front of her and will continue to excel at college and in her chosen profession. 

Kindergarten Graduation 2018 for Waurika & Ryan

Waurika and Ryan have both held graduation ceremonies for their Kindergarten classes.

This is just the beginning for these future leaders in Jefferson County.

The graduation edition for the High School Seniors will be out at the end of this month in the May 31st edition.

Top Row: Jayden Acebo, Makenzie Elliott, Elijah Foster, Bradli Allen, Benny Franco, Sadie Bayless, Asher Garison, Turner Graham, Bella Gutierrez, Kaitlyn Cast, Marley Herrera, Harlan Combs, Dominic Killgore, Maddex Denny, Hukston Krautlarger, Jackson Edwards
Bottom Row: Libby Langford, Johnny Lindsey, Rodger Moss, Lilly Poage, Stony Sellers, Cassidy Shea, Jaxon Torrez, Jesse Vega, Lilly White, Maci Wilkerson


Ryan Kindergarten Class
Left to Right:
Not pictured is Joey Aycoth

Cody Simmons Reflects on the Transition from Principal to Superintendent


Although he began his student teaching in Waurika back in 2004, his history with Waurika schools goes back further than that. 

His family have deep roots in Jefferson County. 

After beginning his student teaching, he was hired soon thereafter in January of 2005 as the second grade teacher at the Elementary. 

For the past eight years he has served as the Elementary Principal. 

By now, everyone is probably aware that Cody Simmons is the new Waurika Public Schools Superintendent beginning July of this year. 

Over the past couple of weeks the reality of the role has sunk in. 

He says he has been getting more familiar with the high school.

Cody said he recently met with the high school principal and the athletic director. 

He is becoming more familiar with the high school.

The adjustment for him will be managing the overall school system rather than just the Elementary. 

He says he is looking forward to the new experience. 

Simmons says that one of his expectations for the upcoming year is to close the gap between the Elementary and the High School. 

He would like to see the school system be more of a whole than separate parts (Elementary, Middle School, and High School).

During his time as principal, the Elementary has achieved “Blue Ribbon” status. 

That status is determined by the test scores over three consecutive years. 

Simmons is a busy man.


Besides being a full time school administrator, he also enjoys mowing yards, working out, and most of all spending time with his family. 

He says right now they are enjoying ball games several nights per week. 

Simmons is also deeply involved in the community.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Veterans Park downtown. 

He is quick to give credit to others who have assisted in the success of the park. 

Craig Williams, he says was gracious to add his professional touch to the landscaping. 

Simmons also attributes the success of the Elementary, including its “Blue Ribbon” status, to the hard work and dedication of the teachers. 

“I feel like the teachers here are all high quality enthusiastic professional teachers. Whenever you surround yourself with [people like ] that good things will happen,” Simmons says .

Students Recognized for Highest Waurika School Honor


Recently some much deserving students of Waurika High School were recognized during the presentation of the 2018 Mr. WHS and Ms. WHS.

This year’s election was Senior Michael Bryant as Mr. WHS and Senior Dalee Barrick as Ms. WHS.

According to Mr. Lunn at this year’s ceremony, it is the highest honor bestowed on students of Waurika High School. The winners are selected by a committee that only knows the students by their submitted resumes. It’s truly unbiased.

Back Row: Seth Cathey-third runner up, Aaron Nitka-second runner up, Braden Woods-first runner up
Front Row: Hayden Brown,
and Michael W. Bryant, Jr.-Mr. WHS
Back Row: Alexandria Jennings, Dalee Barrick-Ms. WHS, Kylie Waters
Front Row: Karlee Bethiaume-first runner up, Emily Waid-third runner up, Samantha Horner-second runner up, Madison Roberson

Here are the list of candidates and their resumes.


Hayden Brown 

Hayden is a dedicated student at Waurika High School. Hayden has participated in FCCLA and FFA, and also been a part of the cross-country and baseball teams.

Hayden has been a very active member of his local FCCLA chapter. He has spent his time being involved in many service activities including raising funds for Toys for Tots organization, participating in Autism Awareness Fundraiser, and raising funds for Operation Christmas Toys.

Hayden has donated his time by volunteering to teach elementary students about Halloween safety, working at the Regional Food Bank in Oklahoma City, and assisted children with crafts the Waurika Public Library.

Hayden attends the First Baptist Church in Ringling, OK. He has volunteered to  help with various activities around their church including being an assistant at Vacation Bible School, working as their worship sound technician, and lending a hand in the church nursery. He also spent a June participating in Super Summer with the Oklahoma Baptist University.

Hayden is also a hard worker, having spent his high school  years working cattle, tutoring students, working at Walmart, and serving as a lifeguard at the community pool. Hayden has also been a regular student on the Principal’s Honor roll.

Alexandria Jennings

Allee is a dedicated member of Waurika High Schools. Allee is a member of FFA and has participated in cheerleading, cross-country, basketball, fast-pitch softball, and track.

Allee has been an active  member of our local FFA chapter. She has attended many activities to further her role as a member and leader such as state convention, FFA camp, and banquets. She has showed her dedication and hardworking by showing pigs for FFA. She has spent hours working and training with her animals, which has required dedication and persistence.

Allee has earned many awards as a high school student including the letter W award in athletics, being a state qualifier on the opening and closing team, and earning the Greenhand award for Waurika FFA.

Allee continues to exhibit her work ethic by babysitting and working for Headrick Insurance Agency in the summer. Allee has also been a student on the Principal’s Honor Roll.

Aaron Nitka

Aaron has been a member of FFA, Beta Club, and Student Council. He has participated in scholastic meets and the drama club play. Aaron has also been on many teams at WHS including cross-country, baseball, basketball, football, golf, track, and Academic Team.

Aaron has had many leadership roles including being a treasurer for FFA, president of his class, and quarterback of his high school football team.

Aaron has earned many awards during his high school years including academic awards for physical science, biology, algebra 1 and English 2. He has also earned athletic awards such as Southern 8 All-Conference Pitcher and Southern 8 All-Conference Quarterback.

As an active member of the FFA, Aaron has spent time planting flowers at the nursing home, helping elderly members of our community move furniture and volunteering at the Parker Ranch Bull Sale.

Aaron is also a hard worker outside of the classroom having worked at the Waurika Golf Course, Redstone Ranch, Price Cattle Co., and Colt Morrison Cattle Co.

Madison Roberson

Madison is a very active member at Waurika High School. Madison is a member of the Oklahoma Honor Society, FFA, Student Council, and National Honor Society. Madison has also been active in scholastic meets, cheerleading, cross-country, baseball, basketball, football, golf, power-lifting, fast-pitch softball, and track.

Madison has been very active as a leader in her school. She has been an officer for the class every year, vice-president of FFA, vice-president of student council, and a captain for her basketball team. She has volunteered her time through these groups to participate in the angel tree and canned food drives.

Madison has received many athletic awards including basketball Southern 8 Offensive Player of the year, Oilfield Defensive Player of the year, Southern 8 Most Valuable Player, and third place in shot put at the state competition.

Madison spends her time outside of the classroom remaining veery active. She has worked for the summer reading program at the Waurika Public Library, Eagletown Daycare and Waurika Quik Mart.

Emily Waid

Emily is a very involved student at Waurika High School. She has been a member of the Academic team, Oklahoma honor society, FFA, gifted and talented program, student council, National  honor society, band cheerleading, cross-country, basketball, and track. She has also been involved in scholastic meets and the drama club play.

Emily has held many leadership roles at WHS including being a class officer, student council representative, FFA sentinel, FFA secretary, and Beta club secretary. She has developed her role as a leader by attending the FFA Made for Excellence conference, State and National FFA convention, FFA alumni camp and serving as a Hugh O’Bryan Youth Leadership representative.

Emily has received many awards such as being a state qualifier for the FFA opening/closing team, placing on the meat judging team, and division champion doe goat at the Jefferson County Livestock Show. she has received academic awards for animal science, algebra 1, and English 1. She was also a member of the district champions in basketball and received an excellence rating in the solo band contest. Emily has also received Leadership Training for Christ medals in bible bowl, teaching, and drama. Emily is a regular student on the principal’s honor roll and superintendent’s honor roll.

Emily has spent a vast amount of time volunteering in her community. She has worked the Church of Christ Golden Age Banquet, FFA Christmas Angel Tree, Benny G. Adkin’s Day, and on the Chris Kidd for Senate Campaign, among many other activities.

Emily also demonstrates her work ethic at the Eagletown Daycare in Waurika. She also spends her time outside of WHS, as an active member of the Waurika Church of Christ.

Kylie Waters

Kylie is an active member of Waurika High School. Kylie has been a member of the academic team, Oklahoma honor society, FFA, 4H, student council, and national honor society. She has been a strong member of many teams including cross-country, basketball, fast-pitch softball, and track. Kylie has also participated in the drama club play.

Kylie has held many leadership roles such as class officer, FFA officer, cross-country manager, school newspaper educator, and serving on the prom committee in her junior year.

Kylie has been the recipient of many awards. She has received awards for her yearbook articles, beef production, and article merit. Kylie also received an honorable mention in basketball and the letter W award in 3 sports.

Kylie dedicates her time outside of the classroom to volunteering and working in the community. Kylie has volunteered painting pens, working the Veterans Day program, the annual 5K run, back to school bash, canned food drives, hurricane Harvey relief effort, Christmas caroling, and serving Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.


Dalee Barrick

Dalee is a very active and dedicated member of Waurika High School. Dalee has been a member of the academic team, Oklahoma honor society, FFA, Student council, National Honor Society, cross-country, power-lifting, and track. She also performed in the drama club play.

Dalee has been a leader to her peers and held many leadership roles at WHS. She has been a student council representative, class officer, Waurika FFA Jr. Officer, National Honor Society president, beta club vice-president, FFA president, and editor of both the Eagle Yearbook and the Eagle Talk newspaper. She has also served as a member of the speech team and co-captain of the academic team.

Dalee’s list of academic and extra-curricular awards is lengthy including, but not limited to, academic awards in English 1, physical science, and algebra 1, third place creed speaking, grand champion heifer at the Waurika Livestock show, breed champion heifer at the Jefferson County Livestock Show, second in class Maintener Heifer State Fair, first place OYE Futurity Show and second place in the opening and closing ceremonies for FFA.

Dalee has also participated at the state talent competition for both Beta Club and FFA. Dalee was an honorary junior last  year and will be valedictorian of her graduating class.

Dalee has been a concurrent student her senior year, taking classes at Cameron University. She recently received the Outstanding Freshman English Composition Award for Cameron University.

Dalee is very involved in Waurika Church of Christ. She attends camps and leadership conventions through her church, allowing her to be a role-model for the younger members of her church.

Karlee Bethiaume

Karlee has attended Waurika Public Schools her entire life. Karlee has been involved in Oklahoma Honor Society, Gifted and Talented, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Scholastic Meets, Newspaper, Yearbook, fast-pitch softball, and Skills USA.

Karlee has served her peers as a leader in many different organizations. She has served as a treasurer for beta club, reporter for National Honor Society, vice-president for her senior class, and editor of the yearbook. Karlee has also volunteered her time at VBS and Sunday School, assisting younger children.

Karlee has been the recipient of many awards at Waurika High School. Some of these awards include distinguished merit online news reporting, excellent sports photo, superior online news photo, academic award for English II and English III, Skills USA local, second place hair and second place make-up.

Karlee is a young adult with a very admirable work ethic. She took classes at Cameron University while being enrolled as a high school senior. She also works for the summer reading program at Waurika Public Library and at the Duncan AMC Movie theater while reaming a full time student.

Michael W. Bryant, Jr. 

Michael is a very involved member of Waurika Public Schools. Michael is a member of the anaemic team, FFA, gifted and talented, jazz band, student council, National Honor Society, band, cross-country, basketball, football, and power-lifting. Michael also performed in the drama club play.

Michael is a very dedicated student. He took a concurrent college course at Cameron University during the final semester of his senior year. Michael has attended many scholastic meets participating in music, pre-calculus, algebra 2, and government competitions.

Michael has received many awards and honors in band and athletics. Some of these include being a state soloist, 5 time state qualifier in concert band, football all-district, baseball all-district, and cross-country state qualifier.

Michael dedicates his time outside the classroom to volunteer throughout our community. He has participated in the annual community wide cleanup, the o youth summer baseball program, picked up trash in and around the school, and hauled dirt to level the new church land. Michael also serves as a fill-in teacher at Sunday School and usher for his church.

Seth Cathey

Seth has been a student at Waurika Public schools all of his life. Seth has been involved in FFA, Beta Club, Student Council, National honor Society, band, cross-country, basketball, football, golf, power-lifting, and track. Seth also took concurrent classes at Cameron University during his senior year while remaining an active student.

Seth has served as role model for his younger peers. He has done this through his leadership roles as a student council representative, class officer and captain of his football, golf, and basketball teams. He has also demonstrated his leadership through the volunteer work and community service he participates in. Some of these activities include community cleanup, summer reading program, Smithsonian server, church usher, hurricane Harvey relief effort, and gathering supplies for our alumni serving in the military.

Seth has received many athletic and academic awards as a Waurika Eagle. Some of these awards include football All-District offensive receiver, 8 man All-Star linebacker, basketball Oilfield Conference 1st team, golfer of the year at Oklahoma State University golf camp, state golf regional qualifier, powerlifting state qualifier, state qualifier in 3 track events his junior year, state qualifier in 2 track events his senior year, and state champion in the 4×400 relay. Seth is also an Eagle Scholar of his senior class.

Samantha Horner

Sam is a very active student at Waurika High School. Sam has been involved in Oklahoma Honor Society, FFA, 4H, Student Council, National Honor Society, cheerleading, scholastic meets, cross-country, basketball, golf, and track. Sam is a very disciplined student. She completed 12 hours of concurrent enrollment at Cameron University during her senior year.

Sam serves as a role-model to her peers and Waurika High School. She has served as president of Beta Club and her senior class, treasurer for National Honor Society, student council representative and captain of Waurika Cheer. Through these leadership roles, Sam has fulfilled the opportunity to volunteer for her school and community. She has participated as a public library volunteer, mentor for incoming 6th grace students, mentor at middle school cheer tryouts, leader for little eagle baseball camp, and a spokesperson for our local efforts to support the hurricane Harvey relief project.

Sam has earned many awards and honors. She has received FFA awards and 4H awards such as Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Swine Showmanship. Sam was the recipient of leadership awards of the highest honors such as the Hollis Dickey Leadership Award and the HOBY Leadership Conference Ambassador honor. She has received academic awards in physical science, biology, US History, Oklahoma history, anatomy, and the OSU Academic Excellence Scholarship. Samantha has also been homecoming queen and will serve as valedictorian of her senior class.

Samantha continues to display her work ethic outside of the classroom, working hard to receive her certification of veterinary assistant. She also works for Sam’s Show Pigs which she founded to breed, raise and sell show pigs. She currently works at Chisholm Trial Animal Hospital where she is gaining knowledge that will help serve her in her future career.

Braden Woods

Braden is a very involved student at Waurika High School. Braden has been involved with the academic team, FCCLA, Gifted and Talented, Student Council, National Honor Society, band, Beta Club, and National Technical Honor Society. Braden has also performed in the Drama Club play and participated in scholastic meets.

Braden displays a strong dedication to his academics. Braden spent the summer before  his senior year participating in Sooner Discover at the University of Oklahoma. This opportunity allowed him to take college courses while living on campus as a college student.

Braden has performed many leadership roles during his time as a Waurika Eagle. Braden has held office for his class for two years, served as a student council representative for two years, served as officer for FCCLA for two years, served as vice-president of the National Honor Society, Ambassador for Red River technology Center and captain of his academic team.

Braden has received a multitude of awards and honors as a high school student. some of these awards include superior rating at district band competition qualifying for state, principal’s honor roll, superintendent’s honor roll, 1st place in American history at Cameron University interscholastic meet, class academic awards for computer 2 and American history, Mr. WHS third runner-up, and runner-up at Oklahoma Beta Convention in social studies senior division.

Braden also displays a passion to work and volunteer outside of the classroom. some of this volunteer work includes Waurika Library Summer Reading Program, Relay for Life, Band Carnival, Chamber of Commerce banquet set-up, and NHS blood drive. Braden is also gaining work experience by working part-time at Small Town Creations.

Michael Bryant Hired as New City Clerk and More Waurika City News

There were two big stories to come out of the May City Commissioner meeting for the city of Waurika.

The first was the hiring of former Jefferson County Sheriff Michael Bryant. He will bring administrative and law enforcement experience to the position which will be a plus as one of his duties will be city code enforcement.

Bryant is the longest serving sheriff in Jefferson County’s history. When he first took office as sheriff the department had just enough money to last 30 days and yet there were 90 days left in the fiscal year. When he left the department there was over $500,000.00 in the accounts.

He will begin his duties as city clerk on June 1st.

The other story of interest from Monday’s meeting was the recognition by the Oklahoma Water Resource Board for the city’s loan consolidation.

Charles de Coune, Leading Manager of the Financial Assistance Division of OWRB, presented the City Commissioners with a commemorative check symbolizing the $975,000.00 loan consolidation.

The loan will save the city 10 years of payments and over $240,000.00.

Other business included the hiring of Jeffrey Overton in the city’s Water Department. Scott spoke highly of him and said he is a willing and dedicated worker who will be an asset to the department. He is also willing to work in other departments when needed.

The city also began the process of closing an alley next to the Waurika Fire Department.

Purchase orders and claims for the City of Waurika was paid in the amount of $21,726.81.

The city will begin advising property owners near Lot 1 Block 26 of the Sycamore Addition in Waurika that Bobby Taylor is wanting to move a mobile home on the the premises.

The procedure will also be followed to notify property owners near 407 E. Iowa, Lots 15-18 of the Harper Addition in Waurika that Mary Harvey and Tyler Bowen want to move a manufactured home on the premises of 407 E. Iowa.

After the business for the city of Waurika was completed the commissioners entered the Waurika Public Works Authority meeting.

The council opened the 1 bid for the Waurika Golf Course from Michael Delaney. The commissioners voted to keep the bidding open for another 30 days. Delaney understood and said he just wants to keep the golf course open.

The commissioners approved the purchase of 12 new membranes for the Water Treatment Facility in the amount of $10,800.00. That’s around $300 less per membrane than they spent on a previous purchase.

Last but not least, the commissioners approved $39,456.54 in purchase orders and claims.


Award-winning area artist won’t give up day job


For one Sulphur resident, the downside of being a “starving artist” is just that – the potential for starvation. It is for this reason that Chickasaw artist Steve Adamietz has no plans to give up his day job despite the fact he produces and sells award winning pieces.

Adamietz and over 100 other Native American artists will be presenting their works at the Artesian Arts Festival May 26 in Sulphur.

When Adamietz is not fulfilling his duties as a quality manager at DDB Unlimited in Pauls Valley, he is busy creating beadwork originated by his ancestors from whom he draws inspiration.

“Beading was just one of the ways our ancestors used to tell stories,” Adamietz said.

“I was always artistic and I started seeing my drawings in beads and thought it would look really nice if I could combine my beadwork with my drawing skills. I started seeing pictures of things done in beadwork in my head,” he said.

Adamietz started with simple geometric patterns which soon drew the approval of family members. “I liked to make my mom and family beaded jewelry such as earrings and bracelets. The pieces kept getting bigger and more elaborate. The more I learned, the more creative I got with my work.”

He says his mother, Paula Byers, travels the powwow circuit where she sells her son’s art as well as her own Native American wares.

Animals are some of his favorite subjects. “I did one of a white dog that was 12 inches in diameter, he said. “I’ve done some of a Chickasaw horse, an eagle and falcons.

“The longest piece I’ve worked on was a southeastern red wolf. It was a huge piece that took me nine months to complete.”

People can also be subjects. One such is a portrait of Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby that now hangs in the Chickasaw Nation museum in Ada, Oklahoma.

The 44-year-old Adamietz says he has friends whose only income is derived from their art; but he doesn’t think the romantic notion of a “starving artist” fits his overall plan. “They’re a little bit older than me and probably retired and I think it’s great for them.

“My concern is for my 401K,” he laughs. “I’m working on a 15-year-plan right now and that doesn’t include quitting my job.”

For Adamietz, participating in the Artesian Arts Festival is a way of sharing his Chickasaw culture, connecting with others and comparing notes.

“I’m going there to show a piece of my culture and share with my fellow Chickasaw and other southeastern artists, and with any other type of art aficionado that appreciates southeastern American Indian artwork.”

That, and compete for all-important prize money, which he says benefits artists and patrons alike.

“Prize money helps keep artists from starving,” he said. “It brings out the better artists; the more skilled.”

This, in turn, is a plus for Native American art lovers because, he says, it brings in a high quality of artwork for them to peruse.

A Message From the Dale K. Veterans Foundation

Dale K. Veterans Foundation Veteran of the Week, Ralph Roll served in the Korean War while serving in the United States Air Force.  Mr. Roll lives in Clinton, Oklahoma and we were proud to recognize him for his service to our country.  Thank you, Mr. Roll!  We appreciate your service and sacrifice.  One of my favorite things that I get to do is to present a cap to our first-time visitors who served in WW 2 and the Korean War veterans.  I have been told on many occasions that we are the first ones to ever recognize them for their service in either of those Wars.  The men and women who served in those wars have some stories to tell other veterans.  Many of them have never filed a claim for VA benefits.  One thing I tell all veterans is that it will be much easier to help their spouse to receive VA benefits if they are receiving benefits themselves.  
Today we recognize the Oklahoma Electric Cooperative Operation Round-up for their recent gift to this organization to be used for the needs of the men and women who served our country.   Our cost to provide services to veterans is averaging more than thirty thousand dollars each month.  Our costs include transportation to VA appointments, medical testing, rents, utilities, food items along with countless other unforeseen expenses all of us have from time to time.  For those of you who do not participate in the OEC Round-Up billing program, please contact its office for more information.  A few extra pennies go a long way toward helping many organizations in our area.  Thank You OEC.
  It looks like the warm weather is bringing veterans and surviving spouses from all over Oklahoma and surrounding states.  Our local hotels and restaurants are certainly seeing an increase in the number of people coming to Norman for help with their VA claims and questions.  Many of those who visit us are here for several days at a time which means more business for our local retailers.  Maybe they could start offering some type of incentives such as discounted rooms and ten percent off coupons for meals.  As we continue to see an increased number of visitors, there will be many opportunities for our local business to see an increase too.  In 2017, we provided our services to more than 10,000 veterans and surviving spouses.   We are on track to serve more than 14,000 this year.  I don’t know of any single place in this state or any other place that can top what we do for the men and women who served in the American Military.  I’m very proud of the men and women who volunteer their time each week to make a difference in the lives of our veterans and their families.  
  We are now accepting volunteer applications from caring individuals. We recently added another Van to our fleet and need another driver to transport veterans to their VA appointments and our location.  A safe driving record and a will to help others could be your key to join our other three full-time drivers.  We also have other positions available.  For more information, please visit with our Executive Director Lora Malone Tuesday or Thursday morning.
   Last week I received the following rating decisions from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Six veterans received a 100% rating for their service-connected disabilities.  These men and women will receive an annual combined amount of $221,6617 per year.  They will also be eligible for the following Oklahoma State benefits, including property tax exemption on their primary residence, reduced auto tags, free hunting and fishing licenses, and pay no excise tax on a new car or truck once every three years.  Their spouses and dependents may be eligible for Champ VA medical insurance if they are not retired military.  We had 17 veterans who received a disability rating decision from ten to ninety percent for their service-connected disabilities.  This group of deserving veterans will receive $265,392 per year. We received two $30,795 decisions for DIC, Pension or Aid and Attendance for the surviving spouses of veterans.  These surviving spouses will receive $30,795 per year.  One of the benefits that I have not written about recently is the education benefit that is available for the spouse and dependents of veterans who receive a one hundred percent permanent rating for their service-connected disabilities.  This rating could be $1200 per month for spouse or dependents to continue their education.  
    There were veterans from Texas, Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas and Kansas who visited us last week.  Just proves that our volunteers can help people to receive the VA benefits for which they are eligible while others have failed.  I believe that most veterans could receive benefits if they provided evidence of a disability.  That could be as simple as a claim for hearing loss and tinnitus that was caused by gunfire or exposure to other types of acoustic trauma in the military.  Another disability we are seeing a lot of veterans suffering from are depressive disorders caused by a service-connected disability.  An example, a veteran who is service-connected for hearing loss and tinnitus then becomes depressed because they can’t understand what people are saying or what is on television or radio.   For many years, I have not been able to understand children and some females when they are talking.  The Department of Veterans Affairs has Disability Benefits Questionnaires for several types of mental conditions with Depressive Disorder and PTSD being the most common.  We have seen an increased number of veterans who are service connected for TBI (traumatic brain injury) caused by roadside bombs or IED (improvised explosive devices).  Many of those who were knocked unconscious will have a cognitive disorder where they have difficulty concentrating and may have chronic headaches.  We encourage the veterans we assist in seeking medical and mental treatment for all their disabilities.   
    Our volunteers helping the surviving spouses of veterans continue to make a huge difference in the lives of those they assist with their VA claims and questions. Last week I received several decisions from VA where surviving spouses had recently been approved for DIC, Pension and Aid and Attendance.   Please stop by any Tuesday or Thursday morning for assistance or call us at 405-550-8806.
    Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation has food sacks available to those in need.  An application for this type of assistance will be available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  A DD-214 or military discharge will be necessary to apply.  Please contact 405-550-8806 Extension 103 to request a food sack.
If you need a ride to and from a VA Medical Appointment, please contact 405-550-8806 to reach Clayton at Extension 105 or Louie at Ext. 106. 
We are available every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the 1268 North Interstate Drive Norman, OK 73072.  We open the doors by 5:30 a.m. and we begin working as soon as volunteers have their computers ready.  We stop taking clients as soon as we reach the quota for the day, and that time varies depending on the number of visitors and the number of available volunteers, which usually occurs around 8:00 a.m.  Contact us with any questions by email  For telephone assistance, please call 405-550-8806 to listen to our options.  For help with Surviving Spouse Benefits, Shirley can also be reached at 405-361-9322, or stop by any Tuesday or Thursday morning. Visit our website at Semper Fi! 

What to look for when kenneling your pets


STILLWATER, Okla. (May 14, 2018) – When planning a summer vacation, many people take trips that include their furry, four-legged family members. However, there will be times when vacations may not be very pet friendly.

Long car trips or airplane rides can be stressful to your pet, said Dr. Elisabeth Giedt, director of Continuing Education, Extension and Community Engagement at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University.

“Even if your vacation destination includes staying with friends or family, they may not be able to accommodate your pet,” Giedt said. “If this is the case, you’ll need to find a reputable kennel where your pet can stay while you’re gone. Kenneling your pet will allow your cat or dog to receive more attention and supervision than they would at home alone if you’re using a house sitter. In addition, a well-run kennel is staffed by trained personnel who will be able to spot any health problems should they arise.”

Much like parents do with their infants when searching for a daycare, do your research for reputable kennels in your area. Get recommendations from your veterinarian, friends and family. It is a good idea to check out the facility in person before your planned trip to make sure you are comfortable with the staff and the accommodations.

Giedt suggests asking if you can bring your pet’s own food, bedding and toys. Also, inquire about what veterinary services are available in the event of an emergency. Check for cleanliness of the kennel and the outdoor area where the pets will co-mingle. Make sure the facility is well ventilated.

“If your pet has any special needs, be sure to discuss this with the staff at the kennel ahead of time to ensure they are capable of meeting those needs,” she said. “Double check the dates you’ll need the kennel’s services and inquire about drop off and pick up hours. For those leaving on a trip early in the morning, you may need to drop off your pet the day before. If you return late in the day from your vacation, you may not be able to pick up your pet until the next day.”

Something else for pet owners to keep in mind is possibly scheduling your pet for a short stay at the facility before boarding the animal for an extended period of time. This will help ensure any issues can be worked out before your longer trip.

Most kennels will require pet owners to have their pets up to date on vaccinations and may ask for documentation. Your veterinarian can provide this information. Plan to bring any medications your pet may be taking, along with detailed instructions on how it is to be administered. Be sure to bring an extra day or two of medications in the event your trip is delayed. In addition, make sure your pet has proper tag identification. You may want to consider having your pet microchipped.

“Going on vacation is a fun and relaxing way for families to spend time together. Knowing your pet is being well taken care of will help ensure you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest,” Giedt said.


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