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Monday, January 24, 2022

Veterans Day Parade


Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Veterans Day Parade.

Here are some of the highlights from the event:

Chickasaw Nation offers virtual tour of the Aaholiitobli’ Honor Garden


During the Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival, the Chickasaw Nation has made a virtual tour of the Chickasaw Cultural Center’s Aaholiitobli’ Honor Garden available to the public. The virtual tour can be viewed at AnnualMeeting.Chickasaw.net

The honor garden is a beautiful and serene monument dedicated to Chickasaw leaders, elders and warriors inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame. Its peaceful setting invites visitors to reflect and view the etched granite plaques commemorating each inductee.

Chickasaw Nation Director of Event Operations Francine Parchcorn said, “The Aaholiitobli’ Honor Garden is one of the cultural center’s most esteemed outdoor attractions.” 

Located on the Chickasaw Cultural Center campus in Sulphur, Oklahoma, the Aaholiitobli’  Honor Garden is crafted from rock, granite and copper. The architecture is an original design inspired by the four directions and incorporates spiral symbols indicative of traditional Chickasaw culture.

Induction into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed on Chickasaw citizens.

Inductees must have distinguished themselves in their business, profession, craft or vocation, thereby bringing honor to the Chickasaw Nation, and/or have made outstanding contributions to the Chickasaw Nation or society in general. 

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby’s vision of honoring Chickasaws who have distinguished themselves and the Chickasaw Nation led to the dedication of the Aaholiitobli’ Honor Garden in 2010.

New members are added to the honor garden to acknowledge the Chickasaw Nation’s past and the people who have made the Chickasaw Nation successful.

For more information on the Chickasaw Hall of Fame, visit Chickasaw.net/HOF. To enjoy all the festivities of the Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival, visit AnnualMeeting.Chickasaw.net.                 

Round Ryan


When the subject of the conversation turns to the good old days, the younger crowd tends to go into automatic eye rolling mode.  I am sure that I did my fair share of eye rolling when I was young but people my age had to be careful because the nearest adult was likely to give you a dope slap to the back of the head if they perceived rude behavior in your eye movements.  So back to the good old days.  My friend, Jon Harris and I have had an ongoing conversation about the businesses that once occupied the various buildings around Ryan.  In an effort to gain insight, I repaired to “The Parlor” to do some research.  The best that I could do was a book of maps prepared by the Sanborn Map Company of Chicago, Illinois dated May, 1914 with an update in April, 1923.  What this collection of maps tells us is that with the exception of a few businesses, one bakery and a few boarding houses, the business district of Ryan went from 1st Street to 7th Street between Taylor Street and Lincoln Street.  The thickest congregation of businesses was on Washington Street between 5th Street and 6th Street.  In that one block there were multiple drug stores, general stores and hardware stores.  There were also three banks, two were in their present locations and one was across the street in the middle of the block.  Ryan also had an opera house and something called an electric theater.  I am assuming that this was an early version of a moving picture show.  A great many of the buildings on this block were two stories tall.  Living quarters and offices occupied most but a few did house businesses.  In the middle of the intersection at 5th Street and Washington Street, there was a grandstand.  I am told that this would have been used for outdoor concerts and public meetings.  On the west corner at 5th and Washington (where the American Legion building now stands) was a two story hotel.  Going north from there were two garages.  That was a surprise to me.  I would not have thought that there would have been that much need for garages in 1914.  On the alley next to the garages was a meeting lodge.  The maps did not explain who owned the businesses in any of the buildings, nor did it show what lodge was meeting on 5th Street.  The only building occupants that are shown are the local churches.  The Baptists, Methodists and Nazarenes were in the places that we still associate with them.  The Church of God stood where the Church of Christ is now and I could not find the Assembly of God or Catholic Church.

Let the eye rolling begin and y’all be kind to one another.

Waurika School and Students Enjoy Improvements


The list of improvements to the Waurika Schools is lengthy and impressive. 

Visitors to the waurikaschools.org website will notice quite a change. There is a professionally produced video with drone shots and scenes of a refurbished school complete with new computers and technology.

Other improvements include: Completely renovated bathrooms at the High School and the Elementary Schools.

Renovated basketball concession stand. Power washed and repainted football stadium.

There is a new fence going in at the softball field. 

Waurika is enjoying an increase in enrollment. As of right now there are 466 students attending school this year. 

There is a STEM lag in the middle school. 

There are upgrades  in the Agriculture shop. There are new welders, welding booths, tools and a rod oven.

Fans will be glad to learn there are new cameras installed to view all football and basketball games online. 

https://www.unitedforoklahoma.com/?utm_source=opa&utm_ medium=display&utm_campaign=uo21&utm_content=mix_3 00x250_websiteclicks_ros_standard

Beautiful Day Celebrations at Elementary Honors Student’s Birthdays


 On the second Tuesday of each month, volunteers meet at the Waurika Elementary to celebrate the birthdays of those students who were born during the month. 

During the month of August, because school was not in session during July, those having birthdays during July and August were celebrated. 

The day of celebration is known as Beautiful Day because everyone’s birthday should be celebrated as a beautiful day. 

More adult volunteers are needed.  For more information visit the website: beautifuldayfoundation.net.

Stuart Freeny with some of the children….(Submitted photo)
Submitted Photo
(Front Row) Lindsay Forst, Haley Wilson, Elizabeth Scott, Crystal Wilkerson, and Jane Carter.
(Back Row) Meagan Bryant, Adam Brinson,
Sharon Duncan, and Jacob Eck.
(Submitted Photo)
https://www.unitedforoklahoma.com/?utm_source=opa&utm_ medium=display&utm_campaign=uo21&utm_content=mix_3 00x250_websiteclicks_ros_standard

Terral Telephone Company Recipient of USDA Investment


Terral Telephone Company Recipient 

of USDA Investment in Rural High-Speed Broadband 

Terral Telephone Company was recently the recipient of the USDA investment in High-Speed Broadband in Rural areas. 

The rural Development investment in the amount of $1,854,675 will be used to deploy fiber-to-the-premises broadband service in rural Oklahoma which covers 132 square miles and will service 105 households, two educational facilities, and one healthcare facility. 

https://www.unitedforoklahoma.com/?utm_source=opa&utm_ medium=display&utm_campaign=uo21&utm_content=mix_3 00x250_websiteclicks_ros_standard

Todd Segress, Managing Partner, of Terral Telephone and 81Broadband says, “Affordable, Fiber Internet to the home or business  will allow our customers to take advantage of all the best applications such as… telemedicine, distance-learning, e-commerce, video conferencing, webCams, and streaming tv.” 

81Broadband provides the fiber Internet connection, sets up a secure WiFi network, and connects all your devices. We make it easy to enjoy the benefits of technology. 



How to Talk To Your Kids about Drugs & Alcohol

LAWTON, Oklahoma – Heading back to school can be a stressful time for students, especially with the added stress of the global pandemic. “Everyone is eager to return to a sense of normalcy and desparate to fit in,” says Jennifer Gormley, CBPS Coordinator with the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network. “Because of this, students may be even more susceptible to peer pressure when it comes to experimenting with substances. Parents can help by staying informed on current drug and alcohol trends, and regularly speaking with their child about these issues and concerns.” 

According to www.drugfree.org, teens say that their parents are the most important influence on their view of substances. Here are some tips on how to have a clear, productive, and meaningful discussion with your child about substances:

  1. Clearly communicate that you do not want your teen using substances. 
  2. Talk short and long-term effects of drug and alcohol and the toll it takes on mental/physical health and hinders the ability to make good decisions.
  3. Explain that experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence is extremely risky and dangerous as their brain is still developing. 
  4. Look for blocks of one-on-one time where you can talk to them such as after dinner, to or from school, before bed, while watching TV together, etc. 
  5. Take a walk or drive together- teens may be more privy to listen when they don’t feel like they are under a microscope.
  6. Listen to what they have to say too. In order to make the conversation more meaningful, it is important that your child feel comfortable to expressing

These tips and practices can give both you and your child a peace of mind, allow your child to learn the facts, and help your child say no peer pressure when it comes to substance use while also learning how to cope with stress in a more productive and safe way. Wichita Mountains Prevention Network wishes everyone a safe, healthy, and happy school year. Wichita Mountains Prevention Network (WMPN) is a nonprofit dedicated to creating safe communities through promoting proven substance abuse prevention strategies among teens and adults. WMPN is grant funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. For more information on how you can protect your teens, please contact RPC Prevention Specialist Jennifer Gormley at jgormley@wmpn.org, and follow WMPN on Facebook.

Educator workshops provide opportunity for free STEM supplies


The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas are sponsoring four energy education workshops this fall that provide teachers with up to $1,100 in classroom supplies.

The free workshops coordinated by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) offer training in nine different energy curricula for K-12. Each curriculum includes hands-on lessons aligned to Oklahoma academic standards and provide real-world applications to concepts that are already being taught in the classroom. Teachers who complete the training receive a free kit of materials and equipment, a teacher’s guide and a stipend for attending. 

The kit materials, which range from graphing calculators and graduated cylinders to pencils and rulers, provide a much-needed boost in classroom resources. Planned for Enid, McAlester, Blanchard and Bartlesville, the workshop locations are designed to give teachers across the state access to this opportunity.

“We hear so often that the materials provided in our kits significantly increase the equipment in many science and math classrooms,” said OERB Executive Director Mindy Stitt. “From calculators to hot plates, these valuable resources can be used year-round.”

Educators are also eligible for a free field trip to one of 13 museums across the state for every year they teach the curricula in their classrooms. For more information or to register, visit OERBHomeRoom.com.

The OERB is funded by the over 2,500 producers and thousands of royalty owners across Oklahoma through a voluntary one-tenth of 1 percent assessment on oil and natural gas production. Since 1993, the agency’s purpose is to conduct environmental restoration of abandoned well sites and to provide energy education in Oklahoma.

Round Ryan


 I recently changed my place of employment.  I now work for the Town of Ryan and do whatever is needed.  Interestingly my primary responsibility so far has been supervising a gaggle of teenagers that came seeking summer employment.  A lot of people are finding humor in the idea of my being in charge of, being patient with and teaching ten teenagers.  Yes, you read that right, ten young people looking at me like I know what I am doing.  It has been an interesting experience to say the least.  The first lesson that I imparted was that they needed to speak louder and not so fast.  As I age, my hearing has suffered from years of being around a lot of noise.  After me repeatedly having to say what, they have gotten into the habit of speaking louder.  If your child is one of my crew and they have started talking louder at home, I am to blame.  An important series of lessons that I have tried to teach have been about safety at work.  Wear your safety glasses, hearing protection when operating power tools, don’t stand there , don’t put your hand there and in one instance, go home and change your shoes, sandals are not acceptable at work.  Having never raised children myself, it has also been a learning experience for me.  The first advice that I received was, treat them like they are human.  Okay I can handle that, I think.  I also had to learn to let go and let them make mistakes on their own.  The best way to learn a job is by doing.  I had to remember myself as a kid and being allowed to try and fail and learn from the failure.  I owed it to these young people to let them try and at times fail and hopefully to learn.  No one comes into this world knowing anything useful but whenever I let one of them operate power equipment or climb behind the wheel of a vehicle, I am still as nervous as that proverbial long tailed cat.  I don’t know how parents manage.  I don’t want to leave you with the idea that it has been a negative experience because it hasn’t been in the least.  It has at times for me been highly entertaining to see just how goofy a cluster of teenage boys can be and no, I was no better at that age, I was just as goofy.  I hope that the summer employees have learned something useful and the importance of public service.  To all of the young people, thank you for your efforts.

 Y’all take care of one another. 

Terral School Announces Gym Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House


A hail storm that blew through Terral in the spring of 2017 left significant damage to the roof, playing surface floor and the lighting of the 80 year old WPA era school gymnasium. After the contractors that repaired the roof and lighting completed their task and all that was left was the refinish of the gym floor new Superintendent Donna Anderson walked through the historic old building and decided the interior looked tired and needed some tender loving care. Over the next eight months plans were put into place to give the building a fresh new look without changing the architectural history of the building.  

The project included renovation of the entry foyer-concession area with new doors, windows, and flooring.  The floor plan of the concession area was also changed to allow for more room for staff working behind the counter and improve traffic flow in the small area. Restroom facilities were updated with new toilets, and electric hand dryers to replace the old paper towel dispensers. Other plans were to change the graphics on the gym floor playing surface, install new scoreboards, new wall pads and new backboard padding. 

The final project was a revamp of the team dressing rooms which was completed with the assistance of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Art classes and the teacher Rayma Powers.  The team room renovation saw new paint in Terral school colors of red and white painted by the Art students complete with stenciled in school logo and a wall of honor featuring the students that worked on the project.  The update to the team rooms and weight training room included new carpet and reorganization of the weight room equipment.  Hannah Spence and eight grader that worked on the ream room renovation stated “it was a lot of work, but if you put your nose to the grindstone you can accomplish anything, everyone that helped was in there working hard.”

Transportation and Maintenance Director Bret Foster who over saw the project spent time trying to chase down the history of the building but found very limited information.  He believes based on the limited data the gym was a WPA project completed around 1940.  His message to the community is “we have an old gym that represents part of the history of the United States at a time when the country was struggling. I want to have a gym that our community and students can be proud of and maintain the historic identity”

Superintendent Donna Anderson whose leadership was instrumental in this undertaking stated “we are so proud of the work going on to improve all areas of education at Terral.  With the gym remodel we are able to update the entire building while keeping a balance of new construction and hometown memories. It is an exciting time at Terral Public School and we invite everyone to come out and view the facilities as we head into another great year”

The leadership team at Terral believes the community will notice and appreciate the changes to improve the building.  Former Terral student Dustin Bryant who saw the building inside for the first time in many years commented “it really looks different, new and fresh I think the team has done a great job with the renovation.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony complete with an open house will be held Thursday July 29th at 6:00PM. Hotdogs and drinks will be available for purchase. Students new to Terral are encouraged to come by see the school and meet the staff. The district encourages everyone to attend. For more information contact the school office at 580-437-2244.