Winter Weather Hits Jefferson County

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Winter weather has hit Jefferson county!

Below are some of your pictures taken over the past couple of days!

Thanks for your submissions.

Tammy Richardson took this picture!
Nanette Foster took this picture at Grady, Oklahoma.
Marie Hardie took this picture at the Hardie Ranch.
Gayla Keeter took this picture of her fish pond.
Decole James Myers took this picture of the Red River.
Courtney Nobles took this picture 2 miles south east of Waurika.

Christina Fowler took this picture of downtown Hastings.
Alecia Prewitt took this picture of Monroe Street in Waurika.

New Business in Waurika

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There is a new gun store in town. 

It’s called Pop’s Guns and More and is owned by Sherry Rochelle.

She is pictured with Chris Bayless at the counter at the new store in downtown Waurika. 

The hours of operation are as follows:

Mon – Closed

Tues – 5:30 p – 8:30 p

Wed – 5:30 p – 8:30 p

Thu – 12:00 p – 6:00 p

Fri –   12:00 p – 6:00 p

Sat –  10:00 a – 6:00 p

Sun – Closed

Harold Winton Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame

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He started on the  oval dirt track circuit in 1971. Now he is in the racing hall of fame.

Harold Winton’s life has been influenced by cars.

In a pair of photo albums you can trace his racing history. These two albums are overflowing with pictures, racing stats and news clippings.

Thumbing through the first pages of one of the albums a picture of a  young Harold Winton can be found.

In the photo he is in front of a car in mid-reconstruction. The car could metaphorically be seen as his inspiration for the passions of his life—racing and cars.

A young Harold standing in front of the car he raced around in the back yard.

He has placed in the top ten at every track he has raced on. That includes Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

The first time he was ever on a race track he crashed, flipping end over end. That, he says, is his most memorable race. 

His first car was blue with the number four painted on the side. After Harold was born he changed his number to 71 because Lisa was seven and Harold was almost one.

Harold’s Frist Race Car
First Car with #71 painted on the side.

In the early days he took his family – wife Beverly, daughter Lisa, and son Harold Jr. The family grew up watching dad race. As busy as he was racing, he never missed any of their ball games or activities.  These days his son Harold races with him. They build their own bodies on their modified race cars. There were many Monday’s they didn’t make it home from the races until about 6 am in the morning. Harold Jr. was only two weeks old when he attended his first race. Together they have set records, one of them was when they tied. It was the first time in the history of dirt track racing a father/son team tied.

That will probably not be the last record they will set.

Waurika Teachers Not Walking Out?

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A special school board  meeting was held Monday evening in the Waurika Library at 6:30 pm.

The subject of the meeting was to discuss any possible board action with regard to proposed teacher walkout.

Roxie Terry, Waurika Superintendent started the session saying that the teachers have not had a raise in nine years.

He also stated that their had been a decrease in school funding.

He said the teachers across the state feel that their back is against the wall. He said something has to be done. “We are losing teachers across the state.”

Terry went on to say that it was the Oklahoma Education Association who called for the Walkout scheduled for April 2, 2018.

He said the decision to participate in the walkout was not up to the administration.

A week ago the teachers voted 19-14 to stay in school and not participate in the walkout.

Someone had suggested that the vote was not fair. Mr. Simmons said later in the meeting that the vote was fair and teachers had not been influenced in anyway. He said he believed the teachers deserve a raise.

There was another vote taken. The second time 17 teachers voted  to participate in the walkout and 14 teachers voted not to walkout. Two teachers didn’t participate in the second vote.

Terry went on to state that with 17 teachers being absent it wouldn’t be possible to have school.

He further stated that they needed to decide whether or not to support the teachers by passing a resolution stating such and allow them to leave without loss of pay and what to do about the extra-curricular activities left on the school calender.

Terry said that the OSSAA would probably not change the sports calender just because the teachers had participated in the walkout.

Nobody could say how long the walkout may last.

This became a concern the board wanted to discuss because of the need to fulfill the number of days required to complete the school year.

Terry informed the board the length of the teacher’s absence was up to the teachers.

The last time there was a walkout, Terry said that the teachers were only absent from school for about four days.

Currently, Waurika has five days that they can use between now and the end of school that can be missed without having to have any makeup days.

Anything over those five days would require another day be tacked on to the end of the year for each day missed.

Waurika has 24 working days that have to be fulfilled starting April 2, 2018.

The walkout would affect support people Terry said. It could even possibly hurt their pay. (The board voted to continue to pay support staff if there is a walkout).

According to Mr. Terry, Red River VoTech will still be conducting classes and the school will continue to run a bus to Red River.

The special education bus that takes students to Walters will continue to run each school day.

An immediate question that was asked was “Who will take the students to the extra-curricular activities?” The answer was that some teachers had volunteered to take students to the scheduled sport activities that are on the schedule. This would become a point of contention later in the meeting.

The concern the board expressed was in essence that not teaching in the classroom and yet still participating in athletics was setting a bad example for the students— as if to say that sports is more important than education.

The board wanted to know what was meant by “work stoppage” and Mr. Terry said that it meant that all classroom instruction would be suspended. The teachers would not be in the classrooms.

The next question that was asked was “when will the walkout end?”

There was no definite answer to that question.

The board did vote to support the teachers and not penalize them financially for participating in the walkout. Board members expressed their support for the teachers having a raise and that they appreciate all that they do for our students.

Board members expressed that if the teachers were walking out that it should encompass all activities and not just classroom activities. Otherwise it defeats the purpose. Therefore,  if the teachers walk out on April 2, there will be no further school activities until the teachers return to their contracted duties in the classrooms.

According to Mr. Terry, on Tuesday afternoon, the day after the emergency board meeting, 65% of the teachers decided to not participate in the walkout.

Mr. Terry felt confident that there should be enough teachers present to have school this coming Monday.

If the situation changes we will post it on our website at www.waurikanewsjournal.com.

Brad Scott Serving on Duncan Regional Hospital Board

Duncan Regional Hospital is fortunate to have many passionate people serving on its boards who are willing to share their time and talent. We are pleased to announce the addition of Brad Scott to the DRH Board of Directors.

A fifth-generation Jefferson County resident, Brad graduated from Waurika High School in 1990. He attended Oklahoma State University graduating with a degree in agricultural economics. He returned to Waurika where he owned the Farmers Insurance Agency for 19 years. Three years ago, he sold the business to devote his time to running his and his family’s ranching business.

It was through his grandfather’s legacy of serving in the Oklahoma legislature for 30 years (the longest-serving member) Brad learned the importance of service. He ran for state representative while at OSU. “I won 3 out of 4 counties and lost the overall election by 117 votes,” said Scott. “It was a great learning experience for me.”

His commitment to service continues through his role as City Manager for Waurika. He has held this position for two terms and will serve in the role as long as he is needed. “I love our community,” shared Scott. “Our town looks as good as it has in 20 years. Main Street looks phenomenal as does the new Veterans Park.”

Additional boards, he has served on include the Oklahoma AgCredit, Jefferson County Hospital Authority and First Christian Church of Waurika.

Brad has been married to Elizabeth for 22 years, and they have two sons, Lodge, a freshman at Oklahoma State University and Houston, who is in 8th grade.

While welcoming a new member, it is also time to say thank you to Scott Stone as he steps off the Board of Directors.  Scott, a Duncan attorney, has served on the board since 2009.  During this time Scott served on several board committees including Compliance, Governance, Institutional Development, and Professional Affairs. Additionally, he served as Board Secretary for two years and as Chair for two.

“It’s truly an honor to welcome Brad to the DRH Board of Directors. He brings a lot of different talents and a passion for Jefferson County to the board that we need in our growing organization.  As well, we want to thank Scott Stone for all his work, direction, guidance and dedication to DRH over the past 9 years. It was an honor to have him on our board,” said Jay R. Johnson, President and CEO, Duncan Regional Hospital.

Brenda Johnson Retires from Ryan Clinic

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Brenda Johnson

She has been practicing medicine for thirty-four years. Twenty-seven of those years were spent at the Ryan Health Clinic now known as Ryan Family Care clinic.

Friends and family gathered at the Ryan Family Care clinic Friday afternoon to wish her a happy retirement.

Jefferson County Hospital Administrator presented her with a framed picture of Duncan Regional Hospital that also featured service medals for her many years of dedication.

Brenda reminisced about the early days when Dr. Stout would come by the hospital where she and her sister were working just to give them instructions in how to stitch up a patient.

She will be sorely missed.

Waurika Native Graduates from Oklahoma School for the Deaf

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Allie Herrera

SULPHUR, Okla. — Waurika native Allie Herrera will graduate from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in a commencement ceremony that will be held at 1 p.m. May 23, in the Larry Hawkins Activity Center, at 1100 East Oklahoma Street in Sulphur.

After graduation,  Herrera plans to study computers at Great Plains Technology Center.

The OSD 2018 graduating class includes Kaitlyn Bean of Ada, Hailey Billey of Ada, Bryce Bristow of Tecumseh, Gage  Cole of Mustang, Jenita Felker of Bartlesville, Justice Glory of Ada, Allie Herrera of Waurika, Brianna Neese of Madill, Jaleesa Osborn of Sulphur, Taylor Tweedy of Checotah and Grace Woodall of Sulphur.

“I am so proud of this year’s Senior Class. They worked really hard and I am excited for them as the move on to the next phase of their lives,” Larry Hawkins, OSD superintendent, said.

OSD is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, a state agency which assists Oklahomans with disabilities through vocational rehabilitation, education, employment, independent living programs and the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits.

OSD has been located in Sulphur since 1908.  OSD provides residential and day school educational services at no charge for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.  The school provides a range of outreach programs, including pre-school programs and onsite consultation for public school students, their families, public school districts and communities statewide.

Round Ryan March 22 2018

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Ryan Main Street

Spring is officially here, and, plants and trees are really beginning to show their awesome beauty around here.  I went over to my peach tree (I think) and wanted to smell the blooms to see if there was an odor to their blooms.  There is.  There was also a honey bee headed into one of the blooms that I was about to stick close to my nose.  I let him have it. We also still have those bugs that look like lady bugs, around town in great numbers.  I’ve seen them in peoples homes as well as outside.  They are some sort of a Japanese beetle, from what I’ve heard.  I do believe they will bite a person, if you are so inclined to pick them up to hold them.

We were blessed with a little bit of rain after church service was over Sunday afternoon.  It began a very fine mist as I was going to church at about 9:15am and wound up raining before the sun came out and displayed its’ beauty Sunday afternoon.  We welcome any and all precipitation around here.  We are still in great need of precipitation.  We are in a burn ban, so, be very careful if you strike a match outside your home or in pastures or fields around Jefferson county.

I went to Duncan Saturday afternoon and while I was there, it began to get really cloudy late in the afternoon.  It began raining there as I was leaving out around 5:00 in the early evening. We weren’t as fortunate to have been blessed by that same rain system.

This Saturday is the food bank distribution at 10:00am.  Also at 1:00 in the park there will be the Easter egg hunt.

Joe Turner is in the Jefferson County Hospital for a little while. Prayers for him as he is in the healing process and for Fern as she travels daily to be with him.  Wayne Harrison, Linda’s husband, is in need of our prayers as he recuperates from having had surgery to repair an aneurism.  They were unable to make the repair as he sustained a heart attack during his surgical procedure.  Linda says that he is doing much better now, though.  That is good to hear.

I haven’t spoken about the casino in Terral, since they opened.  Brionna, Jim, and I went up there to check it out on the night they opened on March 1.  None of us got back what we put into the machines.  That seemed to be what was happening with everyone we spoke to that went that day.  There has been one lucky individual that got quite a jackpot of nearly $1 million.

The Ryan Family Clinic hosted a party for Brenda Johnson last Friday, as she is nearing her retirement this month.  I am not sure if Brenda is looking forward to this occasion or dreading it since all she has ever done in her life is work.  Bless her as she begins a new chapter in her life. Her kids and grandkids and siblings will keep her busy, I’ll bet.

Kim’s news for this week:

I enjoy talking to Ron and Traci, I do.  Especially about their pet rooster, LaRae.

What a blessed week, I can’t complain.  Praise God for the rain.

Everyone have a blessed week.  Keep praying for rain and for each other and have a Happy Palm Sunday this coming weekend.

Downtown Again Continues to Grow

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Downtown Again 2018 is a wrap! This year’s event was the best yet. The chamber of commerce started this event 6 years ago with a vision. The vision was to bring life back to Main Street on the usually quiet weekends, to reimagine forgotten spaces with new activity, and to bring pride and excitement back to our community. If you were downtown on Saturday you undoubtedly saw and felt that vision coming to life. 

Doc’s Place opened up downtown for the festivities.

The Downtown Dash which began as the Moneka Trail Run got back to its roots. This year’s route led runners and walkers down Broadway, through both sides of Harmon Park, and even through portions of the golf course. This year’s added obstacle course was a big hit with participants which ranged in ages 3-70, and will surely be an ongoing feature of the event.

The Farmers Market was a great success in its debut and official opening. As one of the featured draws for this year’s event, the Farmers Market definitely brought in the crowd. Local and area vendors sold items such as fresh eggs, garden greens, honey, handmade soaps and crafts, and of course salsa. The salsa making contest, won by Dee Goss, was a crowd favorite. Our four participants brought in over 70 votes and lots of excitement. Most of our vendors and salsa makers sold most if not all of their items. 

Participants in the Paint and Party on Saturday.

The real vision of Downtown Again is to promote ideas and visions of what we can do to continue to transform our Main Street and to promote our current businesses. We encourage “pop-up shops” where locals can test out an idea for a business they have been dreaming of, or businesses to try something new. This year’s pop-up shops included Doc’s Place, The Book Fair, Mexican Food trailer, and Brickstreet BBQ (Food Pantry). In talking with all of our, food vendors, farmers market vendors, and local businesses open that day, it is estimated that at least $3K was spent in Waurika on Saturday. The best part is that it directly benefited Waurikans.

Winners in the 3 on 3 Elementary Basketball Tournament: Sage Mayfield, Noah Torrez, and Aaron Torrez

There is much more that can be said about all of the activity over the weekend. There are some things that we all should be proud of. On a Saturday in Waurika, the street was packed. On a Saturday in Waurika, families were playing, shopping, and spending time downtown. On a Saturday in Waurika, we all got a glimpse of where we can go from here. It takes all of us working together but what a wonderful thing to look forward to. 

The Downtown Again article in last week’s paper said that this is an event “created by Waurikans for Waurikans.” If you were not able to make it downtown last Saturday you truly missed out on a wonderful day in Waurika.

Winners of the 3 on 3 Junior High Basketball Tournament: Isaac Camarillo, Treyton Torrez, and Aiden Torrez
Winners of the 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament: Anthony Torrez, Carlos Camarillo, and Alex Torrez.

Waurika Native Serves with the U.S. Navy Half a World Away

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Duran Rodney

YOKOSUKA, Japan – A Waurika, Oklahoma, native and 1999 Waurika High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy with Commander, Task Force 70, Destroyer Squadron 15 (DESRON 15).

Senior Chief Petty Officer Rodney Duran is a damage controlman serving with DESRON 15, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

A Navy damage controlman is responsible for performing organizational and intermediate level maintenance and repairing of damage control equipment and systems.

Duran is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Waurika.

“I’ve been in the Navy 19 years and I am having fun,” said Duran. “The Navy is a bigger extension of my family. One of my most memorable moments was when I was part of the honor guard in the 2008 presidential inauguration.”

Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests. With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy’s presence in Yokosuka is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.

“It’s not easy being forward deployed,” said Duran. “The fast-paced tempo allows you to step up to challenges and reap all of the rewards that comes with completing the mission successfully. The leadership opportunity the Navy has given me has made me who I am today.”

Duran is also proud of receiving the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for continuous volunteering off duty hours to the community.

“You make a difference every day,” said Deputy Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Joey Dodgen. “We are the most prepared, highly trained and the most capable force in the Indo Pacific. Our carriers, amphibious assault ships, aircraft and most importantly, our people, are ready today to face regional challenges and lead our Navy’s forces in this theater, just as the officers and sailors of 7th Fleet have done for 75 years. So thank you for all that you do.”

The mission of the DESRON 15 is to conduct underway operations and exercise tactical control of destroyers during peace and wartime operations.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Duran and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means pride and honor,” said Duran. Wearing the uniform is a huge reward and I am very appreciative of having this opportunity.”

Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.

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