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Waurika
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
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Waurika Sorosis Club Hosts “Let’s Talk Waurika”

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Last Thursday evening the Waurika Sorosis Club hosted Let’s Talk Waurika.  Rain and cold weather moved the meeting inside the Fellowship Hall of the Methodist Church, but did not dampen the enthusiasm for the presenters and the public forum after where attendees shared their visions for Parks and Recreation for Waurika.  “It was a great start to a much bigger conversation,” Sharon Duncan, project chairman stated. “Waurika has a beautiful landscape to work with and we are thrilled that so many came out and provided excellent ideas for the project.”  This is the fourth year that the Sorosis Club has sponsored the Let’s Talk Waurika event. 

Monica Bartling

Cody Simmons, Waurika Public Schools Superintendent, was the first presenter and gave an excellent update on how the most recent bond issue had significantly helped the elementary, middle and high school campuses, the athletic fields, and provided technology upgrades that benefit all students.  He also provided an update on the on-going virtual learning plans for the school and also thanked the community for its continuous investment in our children. 

Waurika Supt. Cody Simmons

Next up on the program was Richard Gillespie, President of Jefferson County Hospital.  Mr. Gillespie spoke about the improvements taking place at the hospital through the investment of Duncan Regional Hospital in our facility.  One of the main improvements is the air handling capabilities and air conditioning systems being added at this time.  These improvements allow patient rooms to have updated airflow that do not recycle the same air and replace the current hotel style units. This is a significant upgrade and will improve the overall patient care. There will also be a new backup generator installed. This upgrade will provide electrical power to the whole building. He also talked about the new rotation for Doctors from Duncan Regional Hospital who are now providing patient care for those patients in the skilled care wing of the hospital.  Gillespie said that one cent sales tax bond should be retired a little ahead of schedule. The $2,100,000 loan started in February of 2017 for seven years. The balance is now $843,000.  In closing, Mr. Gillespie thanked the Team at JCH for their dedication to providing exceptional quality care. He also thanked the community for their strong support of the hospital.

Richard Gillespie, President of Jefferson County Hospital

City Manager, Kyote Dunn, was next up on the program and he talked about how he was now almost three months into the job and was still learning, but is already working on a CDBG Grant to provide a major improvement and repair on Waurika’s Sewer System as well as several additional grants for various projects that he would like to pursue. The CDBG Grant will allow the City to perform much needed maintenance and repair on the City’s sewer system and will save the City almost $300,000. 

Dunn also mentioned that he is pleased with the current path that Waurika is on and will work diligently with the community and various groups to continue pushing Waurika forward. 

Waurika City Manager Kyote Dunn

Jefferson County Commissioner for District One, Bryce Bohot, was next on the program.  He talked about the retirement of the Hospital Bond coming up in a couple of years and how our community needed to begin considering keeping that one cent sales tax to support Jefferson County.  He mentioned that we do not want to be consolidated with another county and lose the local presence of our government offices and that having the funds from the 1 cent sales tax go to the county, might help us avoid that happening. 

Dist. 1 County Commissioner Bryce Bohot

At the conclusion of the four speakers, Brad Scott, former City Manager and community leader, lead a community forum on the vision for Waurika’s Parks and Recreation opportunities and what the group felt was the best use for our open spaces.  When the 50 plus attendees entered the meeting, they were asked to go to 7 stations where easels had questions about parks and recreational needs. The questions asked and the responses are listed below. Scott discussed the responses on the boards and talked about additional plans and ideas that were still in the concept stages.  When Scott was city manager, he started working with a small group of citizens to work on clean up projects and to come up with a three, five and longer-term plan for parks and recreation for the city.  This group has worked with Craig Williams from Williams Landscape in Lawton to assist his efforts with main street beautification, Sorosis Park updates and to maintain the flowers and flower beds at Veterans Park.  With the Sorosis Park project coming to conclusion soon, the group wanted to bring in more thoughts on what the community felt were the biggest needs to enhance Waurika as the best place to live, work and play. 

Brad Scott, former city manager and community leader.

Question One: “What is your favorite type of outdoor Recreation and fun?”. Responses: Green Space for open play for kids and families; walking, basketball, picnic areas, swimming/water play; walking, bicycling; hunting and fishing; and planting flowers.

Question Two: “Does Waurika need a Splash Pad and Where should it be located?”  We had 10 yes responses from the group and about 10 more from people who couldn’t attend, but asked to be included.  Responses to location were varied and equally divided between Harmon Park (close to the former golf course/clubhouse) and Centennial Park.  One concept presented was a splash pad in conjunction with a Water Park like Boomtown Bay.  We had one no because of water treatment issues. 

Question Three: “Would you use a Walking/Fitness Trail through Harmon Park?”  Nine participants voted yes to this with one clarification about clearing the poison ivy first.

Question Four: “Would you enjoy a Par 3 golf course at Harmon Park?”  We had seven participants respond yes to this question with no negative votes.

Question Five: “Do we need more playground equipment at Centennial (former Jaycee) Park?” Responses were all yes. Suggestions for equipment were:  Volleyball, tetherball, small basketball area, sandbox, tricycle path, large artboard, new swings and a soccer goal. Also mentioned was to update the current metal equipment with new paint and to add a few items for younger children. 

Question Six: “What is your vision for using the clubhouse at the former golf course?”  Several mentions were made for a restaurant with a bar and grill, patio space, outdoor music venue, and a family gathering spot. 

Question Seven: “When was your last visit to Harmon Park and what did you do?”  Responses:  Two years ago, took family pictures; five years ago, pictures; often for disc golf; 2 years ago, cleaning up brush; 1 month ago, to let kids and dogs run around; and pictures.  

Scott wrapped up the meeting by making sure that people were aware that work continues on all the spaces and that the pavilion at Harmon Park was one example of work completed.  He also invited everyone to a community event and fundraiser on May 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Sorosis Park at D and Main.  Proceeds from this event will support continued beautification efforts. 

Chisholm Trail Heritage Center Seeking Volunteers

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DUNCAN, Okla. — The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is seeking volunteers to celebrate the history, art, and culture of the Chisholm Trail, the American cowboy, and the American West. A wide variety of opportunities exist for volunteers, from sharing knowledge with visitors, helping with events, and non-public roles such as keeping our collections organized and safe, and updating our website. Other needs include woodworking, design, maintenance, and light groundskeeping. “Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and serve your community,” said Scott Metelko, CTHC executive director. “It is good for your mind and body and will keep you connected with others.” A volunteer training and luncheon will be held Saturday, May 1, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. The center is located at 1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway, Duncan, OK.  Volunteer benefits include complimentary admission to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center and a 15% discount in the gift shop. Volunteering is easy and flexible, whether it’s just for a few hours a week or a few days a week. Volunteers are not required to have previous training, and anyone can volunteer. You will meet people of all ages from across the U.S. and around the world and help them make the memories of a lifetime. Volunteers inspire visitors to explore the cowboy way of life. Heritage Center staff members are looking forward to working alongside volunteers to create a memorable experience for guests For more information on volunteer opportunities, call 580-252-6692, email tina@onthechisholmtrail, or visit www.onthechisholmtrail.com

Champions of Health Awards Accepting Nominations for Health Heroes

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Tulsa, Okla. ‹ Nominations are open now through May 21 for the 2021
Champions of Health awards. Since 2004, the Champions of Health awards
program has honored those working to positively change the health status
of Oklahomans through unique and innovative programs. From the front-line
workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic to the nonprofit organizations
keeping food on the table for those experiencing job loss, it’s as
important as ever to recognize those making a difference. There is no cost
to submit a nomination.

Winners will be honored on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. Nonprofit winners will
receive a $5,000 contribution toward their organization or program.
Winners from each award category will be considered for the highest honor,
the Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health, which
includes a $15,000 contribution to the organization or program. Award
categories include:

€       Champion of Children’s Health
€       Champion of Senior Health
€       Champion of the Uninsured
€       Community Health Champion
€       Corporate Health Champion

Additional details and nomination requirements can be found at
championsofhealth.org. The website also provides information about
previous winners, event sponsorship opportunities and further program
details. 

About Champions of Health
The annual Champions of Health event benefits The Oklahoma Caring
Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization that provides Oklahoma children
with immunizations at no charge. Founded in 1994, the foundation is funded
by community contributions and administered as an in-kind gift by Blue
Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a division of Health Care Service
Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an independent licensee of
the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The Champions of Health awards program is presented by Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of Oklahoma, in partnership with Care Providers Oklahoma, the
Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, the Oklahoma Dental
Association, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Services, the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, the Oklahoma Health
Care Authority, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma
Osteopathic Association, the Oklahoma Primary Care Association, the
Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma State Medical
Association.

Senior Profile: Isaac Gholson

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How do you feel about your last year?

I’m excited for my last year, but definitely ready to see what the world has to offer.

What Activities/Organizations have you participated in? 

I have participated in Oklahoma High School Rodeo, Beta, NHS, and FFA.

What are your plans for the future? 

I want to attend college and rodeo.

Favorite memory at WHS? 

My favorite memory is going on FFA trips. 

What teacher or class has best prepared you? 

Mrs.Hodges helped me a lot while she was at Waurika. 

Give advice to an underclassman?:

 Keep your head up, don’t be afraid to fail and learn from your mistakes..

Who would you like to thank?

My family, friends, teachers, for not giving up on me. 

What fears do you have about leaving? 

I’m not scared of leaving. I’m excited to go off and be on my own.

What are you going to miss most about being at WHS?

 I’m going to miss my friends the most.

What lessons have you learned from previous classes (class of 2020, etc)?

 I’ve learned it’s never too early to start chasing after what you want most.

What event did/do you most look forward to this year?

This year I was most looking forward to Ag. I was excited to see what the new teacher is like. I’m very pleased with all that we have done so far.

Do you have any regrets? 

 I do not have any regrets. I feel that the decisions I have made have shaped me into who I am today.

ODOT Plants Wildflowers in Waurika Hwy 81 and 70

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 District 7 ODOT engineers Tracy Terrill and Cole Vonfeldt were in Waurika last Wednesday to kick off the wildflower seed planting. Jefferson County ODOT Superintendent, Billy Martin, and his crew planted about 40 pounds of wildflower seeds on State Hwys 70, 81 and 5.  The planting area was expanded this year to include all entrances to Waurika.  The annual project was at started by the Waurika Sorosis Club three years ago and is a joint project of the Waurika Sorosis Club, Color Oklahoma, the City of Waurika, Jefferson County and ODOT.  ODOT plants the seeds each fall.  Color Oklahoma board members Craig Williams and Monica Bartling were also here for the annual planting.  Many new flowers were planted this year and should bloom in April through the beginning of July.

Operation Christmas

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 The Waurika fire department will be having a fundraiser for operation Christmas. This will start Monday through Christmas. They will be smoking meat; $20 for a slab of pork ribs, ham-will be the cost Of the ham plus $10, brisket- will be the cost of the brisket plus $10. If you would like to purchase any, please call Stephen Dyer at 580-228-2838.

Second Annual Waurika Powder Puff Football Game Fundraiser

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Story by Karlee Brinson & Cecilia Wilson

The second annual Powder Puff football band fundraiser was held last Thursday, November 5th at the Cy Sloan Memorial Stadium. The participants were divided into two teams; the Pink Team was made up of Freshman and Juniors girls, and the Blue Team was made up of Sophomore and Senior girls. Eagle football players Cache Dunn, Kevin Garcia, Treyton Torrez, and Isaac Camarillo. 

Submitted Photo

The Pink team won 36-0.  Coach Treyton Torrez had no trouble expressing his excitement over their win, saying, “Well, I knew we were going to beat them, and the team played hard. They did their jobs great.  The whole team played awesome and with the help of the great coach Treyton Torrez, we got a big win.” Garcia, who coached for the Blue Team, said, “The game didn’t go as planned.  I hoped we would have scored at least once, but I know they’ll get them next year.”  

Submitted Photo

Mackinze Taylor, a sophomore player on the Blue Team, said, “Well I had a blast. Whether my team won or not, I had so much fun playing with the girls. Never thought I’d have a better team. I love all of them and I’m going to miss my seniors next year.”   Freshman player Faith Hill agreed, saying “I think it’s safe to say both teams enjoyed themselves.”

State Power Lifting Champ

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Roger Jessie, Gustavo Gomez, and Kassie Bohot. (submitted photo)

Jessie and Bohot were Gustavo’s power lifting coaches in the Spring of 2020.

He recently received his State Championship Ring.

Former Waurika Resident, Dr. Jared Wood, to Speak About Dinosaurs

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Dinosaurs…What’s the Big Deal?

What’s the big deal???  Well….Dinosaurs!    We are excited to have a nationally known Biologist and Archaeologist “come home” to our community and share his personal experiences from recent dinosaur “digs” he has supervised.

Dr. Jared Wood, who grew up in Waurika, is an Associate Professor of Biology at Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) in Keene, Texas.  Dr. Wood is also the Director of the University’s Dinosaur Museum and Research Center.

For over 20 years, the Dinosaur Museum has been conducting a dinosaur dig on the Hanson Ranch in eastern Wyoming.  Using advanced GPS technology, Dr. Wood and his team have excavated and mapped 30,000 fossils buried on the ranch.  All of these fossils are currently housed at SWAU’s Museum, making it one of the largest collections of Cretaceous fossils in the world.

Dr. Wood and his team give talks around the world about their research and what their findings mean for Christians.  They have been featured on Hope Channel, 3ABN, and National Geographic.

Please join us on Saturday, October 10th, at 10 a.m. at Waurika Lake SDA Church, 1843 N. 2790 Road (Old Advent Road), Waurika, OK 73573 for this free and informative 90-minute presentation, including Dr. Wood answering all questions you may have on this topic.  All are welcome to attend.  School age children enjoy this presentation, too!!!  

See you there!

Senior Profile: Home Cummings

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How do you feel about your last year?

I feel pretty good! I’m just glad we are almost done with our first nine weeks and we are still in school.

What Activities/Organizations have you participated in? 

I am an officer in FCCLA, Beta, Student Council, and NHS. I play softball, cheer, run cross country, and play in Band.

What are your plans for the future? 

I plan to attend college and complete my nursing home career and go on to become a Nurse Practitioner.

Favorite memory at WHS? 

I have a lot of WHS but my favorite would have to be the late nights our class would stay at school decorating hallways and making Sonic trips. 

What teacher or class has best prepared you? 

I attend Red River Technology school and those teachers have best prepared me for what college is going to be like. The other teacher that has best prepared me would have to be my mom; she has always told me straight forward “life is not easy.” 

Give advice to an underclassman?:

 Don’t let anyone bring you down. If you want to do something don’t let someone try and talk you out of it.

Who would you like to thank?

I would like to thank my mom. She has been to every game, banquet, and anything else I could think of. She has been my rock. Also I would like to thank Brooklyn for always being by my side and cheering me on. 

What fears do you have about leaving? 

I fear I will miss my friends more than I think I will. I don’t do very well when it comes to change, especially moving out and being on my own.

What are you going to miss most about being at WHS?

 I’m going to miss being around all of my friends who I’ve grown up with. I’m going to miss eating lunch with my mom everyday.

What lessons have you learned from previous classes (class of 2020, etc)?

 I have learned to enjoy the time spent in class with friends. Even though we all dislike work we will miss it one day.

What event did/do you most look forward to this year?

 The event I look forward to the most this year is when I finally get an acceptance letter back from college.

Do you have any regrets? 

I do not have any regrets. I have enjoyed my high school years.