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Monday, May 20, 2019

Senate approves nonviolent offender sentencing reform measure

OKLAHOMA CITY – As part of ongoing criminal justice reform, the Senate approved legislation Thursday to reduce incarceration rates of repeat nonviolent offenders.  House Bill 2009, authored by Sen. Bill Coleman (R-Ponca City) and Rep. Garry Mize (R-Guthrie), will reduce the sentences of repeat nonviolent offenders with no history of violent or sexual offenses. 

            “Right now in Oklahoma, offenders serve 70 percent longer for property crimes and 79 percent longer for drug crimes than the national average. Excessive sentencing for repeat nonviolent offenders has caused Oklahoma to have the highest incarceration rates in the nation, which is extremely expensive for taxpayers and does nothing to help these individuals re-enter society as self-sufficient, productive citizens,” Coleman said.   “Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana…they’ve all reduced crime and incarceration rates at the same time.  I think it’s time for Oklahoma to do the same.  Let’s get our growing prison population under control and make Oklahoma more in line with the rest of the country on sentencing for nonviolent offenders.”

Currently, a second or subsequent offense of nonviolent crime carries as much as twice the original crime sentence.  Under HB 2009, subsequent offenses will get no more than the maximum sentence plus an additional quarter of the maximum. For example, a 10-year sentence can currently become a 20-year sentence on repeat offenses. Under HB 2009, a ten-year sentence could only increase to a 12.5-year sentence for nonviolent second and subsequent offenses.  

“I am happy to author House Bill 2009.  Oklahomans are asking for strides to be made in regards to Criminal Justice Reform,” Mize said.  “This priority bill takes a step in the right direction to help get our prison population under control and move us out of the #1 spot in a category we don’t want to lead.”

It is estimated that HB 2009 could reduce Oklahoma’s prison population by as much as 17 percent over ten years providing cost savings to the Department of Corrections (DOC) depending on how many individuals receive the reduced sentence. According to DOC, it costs an average of $58.70/day or $21,425.50/year to incarcerate an inmate.
            HB 2009 now returns to the House for final consideration.

Pilot Flies to All 108 Airports in Oklahoma’s System

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ENID, OK –  Lt. Col. Deirdre Gurry this week completed her personal mission to fly into all 108 public-use airports within the Oklahoma Airport System (OAS). Gurry is a military and general aviation pilot and hangars her plane at Enid Woodring Regional Airport (KWDG). 

In pursuit of general aviation, Gurry purchased an RV6 aircraft a little more than a year ago. Itching for an aviation adventure, it was mid-winter when she began looking for a goal to keep her busy. She said the idea came to her when she received the 2018 Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) official aeronautical chart during the Oklahoma Women in Aviation & Aerospace Day event held in Tulsa.

Gurry’s journey launched this past December and was fulfilled April 24th at Duncan’s Halliburton Field (KDUC).  Over a four month period, she took nine day-trips with the Oklahoma Panhandle being her longest. 

“I enjoyed finding buildings with paintings on the roofs. It’s fun to think about the people who leave the art just for us pilots to find! I’ve seen an eight-ball, a smiley face, and even a rooster!” said Gurry. “One thing that was a small, but fun, challenge was transiting between the airports that were very close. I would only do one “touch and go” or “low approach” to wet grass fields, and then move on to the next. With some airports very close, switching frequencies, finding the airport, and scanning for traffic kept me on my toes.”

Oklahoma has 4 commercial airports and 104 public general aviation airports and Gurry landed at every one of them.  The OAC is a non-appropriated agency funded directly by users of the state airport system through aircraft excise and fuel taxes, and aircraft registration fees. These taxes and fees generate $5 million on average annually funding the OAS.

“Lt. Col. Gurry probably has some great insight as to how the Aeronautics Commission is doing in our mission to maintain and improve the state’s airports,” said Grayson Ardies, deputy director of the Commission. 

“Pilots using the state’s runways can tell you that our pavement has dramatically improved over the past two decades, and we are proud of our 108 airports. A commitment by state, local, and federal officials has resulted in what is now a well-maintained comprehensive airport system,” Ardies continued. “OAC’s recently proposed Airport Construction Program (ACP) which invests $130M of federal/state/local funding in 66 projects will go a long way in helping ensure the state’s runways, taxiways, and other infrastructure items are the best they can be for the users of the system.”

Nearly twenty years ago, federal funding for Oklahoma general aviation airports was significantly lower. The Legislature providing dedicated funding sources enabled agency staff to develop an ACP proving to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) that the state was serious about improving their air transportation system, and now, the FAA uses Oklahoma as a model when talking to other states. 

“My home airport is Woodring Regional in Enid. The runway is in great condition and very long. And the shorter runway is great for those strong-crosswind days.” said Gurry. 

The 2,000 foot extension to the runway at Enid Woodring Regional Airport completed a few years ago would not have been possible without the largest State/OAC airport grant ever of $2.5 million. The extension was done so that T-38 trainer jets from nearby Vance Air Force Base could land and takeoff from the Enid regional airport rather than having to go to Wichita or Tulsa to train when the main runway at Vance is closed for maintenance. The record investment from OAC was necessary because the FAA could not invest what it usually would because the extension was driven mostly by military rather than civil aviation demand. This is just one example of several critical state investments in airports that the OAC has been able to do.

The core responsibility of OAC has been to ensure that the needs of communities and commerce across the state are met by a system of public airports, the Oklahoma Airport System (OAS). Since 2001, OAC has received $82 million from aviation-generated revenues and invested $68 million in airport infrastructure across the State—83% of the revenue that OAC received has been invested in airport infrastructure. That is a rate of return the users of the OAS, who pay the aircraft taxes and fees, can be very proud.

Five Inducted into Chickasaw Hall of Fame

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NORMAN, Okla. – Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby led the April 23 induction ceremonies for the Chickasaw Hall of Fame, an annual celebration honoring Chickasaws who have made significant contributions to Chickasaw people or the Native American community.

“Tonight, we recognize five individuals who are not only uniquely talented and extremely successful, but who used their success to serve and inspire others,” Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said, addressing the crowd.

“Perseverance, integrity, servant leadership and selflessness are but a few examples of what make these individuals special,” he said.

More than 600 people attended the event for this year’s inductees, who included a longtime tribal attorney and Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner; an architect, provider of scholarships and the nephew of famed Chickasaw storyteller Te Ata Thompson Fisher; the founder and chief executive officer of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores; an internationally renowned artist and 2017 Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Woman of the Year; and a famed oncologist forging new scientific discoveries and techniques to treat and cure cancer patients.

“This year, our inductees demonstrate the power of selflessness and service,” said T.W. Shannon, master of ceremonies for the event, and former speaker of the Oklahoma House “They possess the qualities of strength, character and servant leadership.”

Brenda Kingery, Reford Bond (1877-1954), Jonathan C. Trent, MD, PhD, Hiawatha Thompson Estes (1918-2003) and Tom Love were inducted in ceremonies at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

Brenda Kingery

Brenda Kingery is a celebrated artist and champion of women’s empowerment around the world. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she studied and taught in Okinawa, Japan. Mrs. Kingery uses her education and experiences to teach and inspire others. She is founder of Threads of Blessing, which empowers women around the world to develop artistic talents that reflect their own cultures. In 2007, Mrs. Kingery was appointed by President Bush to the board of trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Brenda Kingery has continued the Chickasaw tradition of expressing our history and culture through art,” Governor Anoatubby said. “Her dedication to helping others is inspiring. As a founding member of Threads of Blessing, she has touched lives in Honduras, Uganda and Haiti. We honor Brenda for her commitment to representing cultures, her passion for art and her service to others.”

Mrs. Kingery said she learned from the Chickasaw Nation, her studies in Japan and her work with Threads of Blessing how art is an essential tool to keep culture alive.

“I am thankful to the Chickasaw Nation and those before us that have taught us the importance of learning our language, our history and our culture,” Mrs. Kingery said. “Thank you, and God bless you.”

Reford Bond (1877 – 1954)

Mr. Bond was the principal member of one of the first law firms in Oklahoma, Bond & Melton. He served as the National Attorney of the Chickasaw Nation during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. Mr. Bond served as president of the Oklahoma State Election Board and Special Justice of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma. In 1934, he was appointed chairman of the Corporation Commission of the State of Oklahoma, where his leadership helped guide and protect Oklahoma’s oil industry for 20 years.

“Reford Bond served both the Chickasaw Nation and the state of Oklahoma during crucial points in history,” Governor Anoatubby said. “He successfully represented the Chickasaw Nation in numerous cases in Washington, D.C., protecting the sovereignty of the Chickasaw Nation and securing the rights of the Chickasaw people. As Chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, he helped guide Oklahoma’s energy industry and usher in practices still in use today.”

Accepting the award for Mr. Bond were his grandchildren, Myron and Jay Bond, and Catherine Ware Bond Wootten.

“His life truly was one of dedicated service, both to his fellow Chickasaws and all Oklahomans,” said Mr. Myron Bond. “Our family is pleased that he and his distinguished accomplishments are now enshrined in the Chickasaw Hall of Fame.”

Jonathan C. Trent, MD, PhD 

Dr. Trent is a leader in cutting-edge research and treatment of cancer. Dr. Trent attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the University of Texas. In 2011, he was appointed professor of medicine and co-director of the musculoskeletal center in the department of medicine at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Trent combined his skills as a researcher with patient care and developing precision medicine for cancer patients. His leadership contributed to breakthroughs in gene discovery that enabled treatment specific to individual cancer patients.

“Inductee Dr. Jonathan C. Trent has done great things for humanity from behind a microscope,” Governor Anoatubby said. “After experiencing the impact cancer had on his own family, he dedicated his life and career to saving lives and finding a cure. We are grateful for Dr. Trent’s career and the lives he has impacted through medical research and education.”

Dr. Trent said, as a Chickasaw, he’s been drawn to the natural world and the elements – particularly the wind. He said the wind can represent opposition, which has served to make him work harder, and can also be a helpful force at your back.

“I never could have accomplished what I have in my life without my family and my community at my back,” Dr. Trent said. “I would like to end by thanking the Chickasaw Nation for being the wind at my back, the wind at my family’s back and the wind that is carrying our entire community to new heights.”

Hiawatha Thompson Estes (1918 – 2003)

Mr. Estes was an architect and founder of the Nationwide House Plan Book Company, later known as Hiawatha Estes and Associates. He attended the University of Oklahoma and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He moved to California to design modern homes. Mr. Estes’ inexpensive, practical home designs were featured in newspapers across the country, reaching millions of Americans and, as a result, his homes are present in neighborhoods nationwide. He is a founding member of OU’s President’s Associates and financially supported more than 75 university scholarships.

“We honor Hiawatha Thompson Estes as an innovator and entrepreneur whose work had a positive impact on families across America. As a highly accomplished architect, his practical home designs allowed countless families to achieve their dreams of homeownership,” Governor Anoatubby said. “His contributions to home architecture can still be seen across the United States, and his generosity is still visible on the University of Oklahoma campus.” 

Accepting the award for Mr. Estes were his sons, Brian and Ken Estes.

“His drive showed the Chickasaw spirit,” said Mr. Ken Estes. “He never lost sight of the fact that his success resulted from the values he learned growing up in Chickasaw Country.”

“He would be so honored with this award and our family is so very grateful,” said Mr. Brian Estes. “His legacy will be honored in perpetuity in the Honor Garden in that very special place so close to where he grew up in Sulphur, Oklahoma.”

Tom Love

Tom Love is founder and executive chairman of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores. He and his wife, Judy, opened their first service station in 1964. Mr. Love pioneered combining gas stations with 24-hour convenience stores as well as self-service pumps. As of 2019, Love’s operates more than 480 locations nationwide. The Loves’ philanthropic giving has supported local and national charities as well as institutions of higher learning and they continue to give through partnerships with national charities, including Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

“Tom love is a prosperous businessman and devoted philanthropist. He has taken his business from a small filling station in Watonga, Oklahoma, and grown it to become one of the most successful enterprises of its kind,” Governor Anoatubby said. “While achieving that success, Tom and his wife have dedicated themselves to philanthropic causes, supporting numerous local and national charities. They have also raised more than $30 million for children’s medical research.”

“The same qualities that define Love’s Travel Stops define the Chickasaw Nation,” Mr. Love said. “Since Removal to the west, we have stood together during the hard times, helped one another in times of need and shared victories, both large and small. I’m proud to be a Chickasaw and I’m profoundly thankful for this honor you’ve offered me tonight.”

Chickasaw citizen and 2018 Silver Feather recipient Pauline Brown led the invocation, Chickasaw citizen Noah Hinson sang the national anthem, and the Chickasaw Honor Guard posted the colors. Oklahoma Strings provided entertainment at the event.

For more information about the Chickasaw Hall of Fame, visit HOF.Chickasaw.net.

Library News April 25 2019

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 The Waurika Public Library’s annual Scholastic Book Fair starts Saturday, May 4th to coincide with Downtown Again! At the Book Fair, you will find hundreds of books from new and favorite authors, popular series, cool posters, school supplies, and fun for everyone!  The Scholastic Book Fair brings to Waurika a wonderful selection of fun, engaging, and affordable books kids want to read. Giving kids access to good books and the opportunity to choose books will motivate them to read more!

Summer is right around the corner!  The Waurika Public Library invites elementary-aged children, those who will be entering 1st grade through 5th grade in September, to attend this year’s Summer Reading Program. A variety of weekday programming will be offered and lunch will be provided daily for any school-aged child.

The theme this year is A Universe of Stories!  Programming will run each weekday, June 3-July 26 with the exception of the July 4 holiday.  Reading and activities will be from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. with lunch served at 11:30 a.m.  Children attending the Summer Reading Program must be picked up by their parent/guardian at noon each day.

Children must be registered to attend. For more information or registration forms, visit the Waurika Public Library or call 580.228.3274.

The Summer Reading Program is free to attend.  The public library, community organizations and individuals care about your children. Together we raised funds to offer daily educational programs and week-day lunches to keep your children’s minds and bodies fed this summer. Whether keeping track of the amount of time your children spend reading or the number of books they’ve read this summer, children who attend the Summer Reading Program keep their minds active and enter the new school year ready to succeed.

For information about events, activities and more, visit our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/WaurikaPublicLibrary/

Attention Students: Time to Apply for Terral Alumni Scholarships!

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 It is time to apply for Terral Alumni Scholarships.

The Deadline is May 3, 2019, and the application must be postmarked on or before that date to be considered.

The Following are eligible to apply: Have graduated from Ryan High School, Are attending or will be attending an accredited institution of higher learning full time, 12 hours per semester, Reside in the Terral, Oklahoma School District.

Terral Alumni Association does not discriminate in its scholarship program on the basis of race.  

The Committee will be making the final decision for the scholarships in May. The Applicant receiving this scholarship must be enrolled and confirmed by the institution’s registrar before the check is mailed directly to the institution in the fall and spring. If you have not received a scholarship application in the mail and are interested in applying, please contact Karen Gunter, 580-437-2347.

Terral News and Happenings

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Quote of the Day- “Never get tired of little things for others, sometimes those little things occupy the biggest parts of their hearts.”

Terral School– Menu for the week- Tuesday Breakfast- Biscuit, gravy, fruit, milk & juice. Wednesday Breakfast- Poptart, Yogurt, Fruit, Milk & Juice. Lunch- Fish Sticks, Potato wedges, salad, fruit & milk. Thursday Breakfast- Egg, ham, biscuit, fruit, milk & juice. Lunch- Chicken Strips, okra, fries, fruit, bread & milk. No School Friday.

FBC Girls in Action – School is almost out and we will be out for summer also. We are gearing up for our Mother’s Appreciation Breakfast on May 11th. We will be finishing up our study of Super Hero’s soon. We made enough money from the Bake Sale on Saturday for our End-Of-The-Year Pool Party to be announced as soon as scheduled. Special thanks to everyone who supported us at the bake sale. 

Annual Easter Egg Hunt– We had a good turn out for our Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Terral Baseball Field. I would like to send out “Special Thanks” to everyone who donated candy, prizes, and helped by working a table to stuffing the eggs. It is not possible without the help of others. Just know you are very much appreciated! The winners by category Walking to Three years old- Girl with most eggs- Lillahna Landis, Boy with most eggs- Harlen Orten, and winner of the rocking horse(donated by Barry Alsup) Gauge Koetter. Four to Six years old- Girl with Most Eggs- Piper Kirkpatrick, Boy with the most eggs- Gunner Nunley and winner of the bicycle with training wheels was Damien Pruitt(Donated by the Terral Volunteer Fire Department)ven to nine year olds- Girl with most eggs- Jasmarie Cruz, Boy with the most eggs- Braden Sandfur and winner of the Bicycle was Oat Wyler(Donated by the Terral Volunteer Fire Department) Ten to Twelve year olds- Girl with the most eggs- Skye Lyons, Boy with the most eggs- Kolton Rodriguez and winner of the Kick Scooter (donated by the FBC GA’s) Angelina Hyde. Thanks to the persons who manned the tables- You are so appreciated!

Happy Birthday To You– Codi Bauer & Devin Behm Celebrated on the 16th. Andrew Villarreal will party on the 20th. Jordan Garcia will turn “9” on the 23rd. Kasen Rodriguez will celebrate on the 23rd also. Carrie Villarreal will Praise the Lord on the 27th. Rachel Sain will have cake on the 29th. Congrats and May God Bless you with many more.

Community Prayer List – Jan Campsey, Gary Bussey, A.R. and Martha Jane Goates, Wayne Wyler, Pat Bussey, Tony Rodriguez, Scotty Day, Tom Baysinger, Sue Linton, Martin Villarreal, Sr., Joe Martin, Adam White, Mary Loo Duke, Esther Grimes, Virginia Tanner, Darlene Hall, T.K. Delaney, Manuel Villarreal, Shawna Reed, Hardy Johnson and our military stationed around the world. Our Prayer is for God to keep you in his loving care. 

Round Ryan April 25 2019

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Ryan Main Street

 The Ryan School Athletic Department is having a fundraising meal on May 5th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, you can eat in or take home.  The menu consists of pulled pork and smoked sausage with the normal side dishes.  Join us and get some good groceries.

 The Ryan School music department and the cheerleaders are hosting a school wide variety show on May 14th at 6:30 pm.  Concessions will be available and you can purchase raffle tickets for a Texas Ranger game from any of the cheerleaders.

 Summer baseball and softball are starting up with practice going on as I write.  I will try to keep you apprised of the game schedules as they become available.

 Gardening season seems to be going strong.  Friends and family are posting photos on social media daily.  I picked strawberries this week and man they were good.  I am really looking forward to the fresh plums, apricots and peaches to get ripe.

 I just finished another book.  This one was written by Elmer Kelton.  The title is “Texas Standoff”.  If you have never read any of Mr. Keltons books, I would recommend any of his books.  The first one for me was “The Good Old Boys”.  This is a western set in the time when horses and buggies were being replaced with cars and tractors.  The main characters are stuck in between the old and the new and trying to figure out if and where they belong.  This would not make my top ten list but it is well worth your time.

Two books that should make that list are, “The Age of Eisenhower” by William I. Hitchcock.  Mr. Eisenhower is not one of the presidents that I learned much about in high school history which is a shame really.  He was a bit lukewarm on the subject of school desegregation but given his track record on race I think it may have been more about not rocking the boat.  President Eisenhower was an effective leader in many other ways.  The other book is a novel called “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn.  It begins with a three line ad in the personals section, Teacher Seeking Pupil, must have an earnest desire to save the world.  Every time I have read this book, I see something new but for the life of me I’m not sure I could sit down and do it justice in a book report.  I think I need to read it again.

 Until nest week. 

Senior Profile: Trenton Helloms

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1. How do you feel about your last year? It has been hectic and emotional

2. Sum up your school experience: It has been interesting and frantic.

3. Activities/Organizations you have participated in? I have only been in band.

4. Plans for the future: One of my plans is to go straight into the work force to be an auto body painter and detailer.

5. Favorite memory at WHS? There are too many to just chose just one.

6. What teacher or class has best prepared you? English unless I can count VoTech as a class.

7. Give advice to an underclassman: Don’t forget to turn in your work and don’t slack off

8. Anyone you want to thank? All the teachers dealing with me since I am a lot of work

9. Do you have a fear about leaving? Somewhat, but not really 

10. Are you going to miss being at WHS? Honestly, I will miss it some but not a lot.

Bella Starr Morrison Qualifies for Junior NFR

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Bella Starr Morrison qualified for the Junior NFR (National Finals Rodeo) in December. Bella recently qualified when she participated in a rodeo in Abilene, Texas. 

She will compete in the 11 & Under division December 11-14.

It will be held in conjunction with the PRCA NFR in Las Vegas.

What makes this story really remarkable is that Bella is only 8 years old!

Waurika City Commission Emergency Meeting

 The Waurika Depot is in need of new coils in the air conditioning unites that service the large meeting area. The coils were installed in 2009 and have outlived their warranties.  

The Waurika City Commissioners held an emergency meeting Tuesday evening at 5:00 pm to discuss and  take action on having the coils replaced. 

Climate Control of Duncan and Jamison Heating and air had both submitted proposals. 

The commissioners voted to accept the proposal from Climate Control of Duncan, Oklahoma in the amount of $4,166.00. They currently service the air conditioners for the city and provide the needed service for them.  

Although Jamison Heating and Air had submitted a proposal of $3,621.20, the commissioners accepted the proposal from Climate Control because of their experience and continued service on the city’s air conditioners. 

The money will come from the Depot account and will not affect the city budget. 

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