January, 2014

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Mustang Flowers rises like Phoenix after storm

mustang flowers web

A Mustang business may have seen its building crumble after last May 31’s tornado, but the owners’ spirits led to a rebirth celebrated last week.

Teresa DeBord owns Mustang Flowers and Gifts with her husband, Dale and parents, Bill and Pat Null. Located on state Highway 152 for several years, the business’ roof was destroyed by the May 31 storm, which then allowed a torrent of rain into the structure.

“The storm took off the whole roof, which then let in about 12 inches of rain,” DeBord said Monday. “Basically everything inside was damaged or destroyed.”

mustang flowers web 2

The storm not only caused significant problems for Mustang Flowers’ inventory and roof, it also caused structural damage that couldn’t be repaired – at least not without a “huge” amount of money, DeBord said. The DeBords and Nulls decided to take the most prudent action and rebuild on the same site, a project that took more than six months to complete.

The hard work paid off on Dec. 16, when Mustang Flowers reopened to the public. Last week, the business’ new building and the owners’ commitment to the city were celebrated with a ribbon-cutting which brought the chairman of the board of Teleflora to Mustang.

“Tom and Becky Butler came out to celebrate with us and that was a big deal – it meant a lot to us,” DeBord said.

As Mustang Flowers heads toward one of its busiest days – Valentine’s Day – DeBord and her family were looking both to the past and the future, she said.

“We look at it, and me and my mom both worked for the previous owner, then we bought it in 1985, and it’s been a great business, we’ve been able to meet and know so many great people,” she said. “We’re looking to many more years here, with our new building and new, fresh start.”

Mustang Flowers and Gifts is located at 208 E. state Highway 152 and is open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday. More information is available online at http://www.mustangflowers.com or by calling 376-4171.

Animal control updates livestock listing

Mustang’s Animal Control Operations is asking for residents’ help in updating its local livestock listing.

Dennis Craig and Jill Heck said the department would be updating its livestock owner list over the next several weeks.

“The livestock owner list helps in identifying the owners of animals who have escaped from their enclosure,” Craig said Tuesday. “If you own the following animals, cattle, horses, goats, sheep or chickens, please contact Animal Control at jheck@cityofmustang.org and an electronic file will be sent to you for completion.”

Forms may also be picked up and returned to Mustang City Hall, Craig said. For more information, email Heck or call the city of Mustang at 376-4521.

Intersection hampers city’s progress

Spring is a time of renewal. What is brown and dreary now soon will be green and lush. Oklahoma truly can be a beautiful place.

Mustang is no exception. From its lovely, modern city buildings, golf course tucked into the center of town and new businesses and housing, Mustang is the picture of growth and progress.column shots.qxd

There are exceptions to that, though, and they are bad enough to detract from a lot of positive things going on in Mustang. I’m talking about the intersection of state Highway 152 and Mustang Road. I don’t think many of us would say the expanses of concrete – leading to run down and poorly maintained strip centers on either side of Mustang Road – are a reflection of how great our community is and where it’s going.

That’s where Mustang city officials come in. Many of our representatives, on council and on the county level, are far-thinking and progressive, constantly looking at ways to improve our community. From long-time advocates like Mayor Jay Adams to City Manager Tim Rooney, these individuals have stepped up and made a commitment to the city we love.

Work is being done to try to address these eyesores that sit in the center of our community. In addition to elected officials, Mustang is blessed to have staff working for the city who consistently give their all. This has been seen by the members of Mustang’s community development department, headed by Robert Coleman. It’s seen in the work of Mustang Planning Commission. Commissioners, like Mustang council members, are volunteers who are not paid for their work to make the city a better place.

But Mustang’s leaders and staff cannot carry the burden of making our community a better place alone. We need to support and assist these individuals in their attempts to beautify and move things forward. It doesn’t matter if you are a Mustang resident or – like me – a “73064er” living outside the city limits. What happens in Mustang proper affects us all, and many of us who live outside the 12 square miles care about and support the city as much as those who live there.

That commitment has not gone unnoticed, as both the city and Chamber of Commerce have worked to expand their networks, forging partnerships and expanding their view for Mustang – and the entire community.

But back to the 152/Mustang strip centers. What can we do? While in ways the city’s hands are tied in their attempts to force some of the business owners in that area to clean up their act, there are things all of us can do to help support them in that effort. We can work together to develop beautification efforts in the area – maybe planters, perhaps other ideas that could be presented to city staff and council members.

Something, anything would be better than the poorly maintained buildings and huge expanse of gray concrete that cover the center of our city.

Officials are working to make our area a better place – it’s up to us, as a community, to lend them a hand.

Preston Brock Williams

Preston Brock Williams of Mustang, age 13, went to heaven Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Preston was born Feb. 26, 2000, in Oklahoma City to Steve and Julia (Arms) Williams. Preston attended eighth grade at Union City High School and played baseball and basketball for the Tigers. He also played league sports since he was 5. He was coached by his dad on the Braves baseball team and the Hawks basketball team. He loved to play video games and hang out with his brothers and his friends.

Preston Williams

Preston Williams

He is survived by his parents and brothers, Brandon and Dikota, as well as numerous family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Preston Williams Memorial Fund c/o McNeil’s Funeral Service, P.O. Box 1616, Mustang, Okla. 73064.  

Services will be held Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 at 10 a.m. at The Bridge Assembly of God in Mustang, with interment to follow in the Union City Cemetery.

 

 

Board renews McDaniel contract

Sean McDaniel

By Traci Chapman

Mustang School Board members on Monday gave the district’s superintendent a vote of confidence, extending his contract and raising his salary.

Board members unanimously voted to extend by more than three years Superintendent Sean McDaniel’s contract, also increasing his pay by 3.4 percent, board president Chad Fulton said. The extended contract included the rest of 2014, as well as three years beyond, Fulton said.

The superintendent’s pay would increase from $145,000 to $150,000 annually. Board members chose the 3.4 percentage figure to coincide with an increase given to district teachers this year, Fulton said.

“We’re very happy with the direction of the district,” he said.

Mustang Public Schools Students of the Month for November (photo/Traci Chapman)

Mustang Public Schools Students of the Month for November (photo/Traci Chapman)

The move came as the district prepared for a Feb. 11 bond issue. McDaniel said posters, banners and fliers would be used to spread the word about the $7 million issue.

“What we have committed to as a group is voter participation,” McDaniel said. “Inform, inform, inform.”

District officials decided to send the $7 million bond issue to voters less than a month after a $4.05 million plan was rejected. The district could call a new election within 60 days if the proposal was “substantially different,” the superintendent said. The new issue contains several elements either not included or different than that listed on the November ballot.

If approved, the bond issue would provide:

  • $1.6 million for “technology infrastructure, equipment and software for classrooms and schools.” These items include smartboards, 3-D printers, tablets, laptops, iPads and lab equipment for use district-wide in its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – STEM – program.
  • $1 million for “constructing, equipping, renovating and furnishing” storm shelters at Mustang Education Center and Mustang High School campus.
  • $375,000 for district “arts programs.” This would include instruments, stage lighting, software and band uniforms.
  • $300,000 for “constructing, equipping and furnishing a new barn for the agricultural education program.” The district’s barn, utilized by FFA and 4-H students, is located at 7916 S. County Line Road.
  • $1.225 million for “constructing, equipping and furnishing a softball training center for use by the MHS softball and baseball teams.”
  • $1.4 million for “constructing, equipping and furnishing a new ROTC training and instructional center” at Mustang High School.
  • $800,000 for acquisition of “land for the construction of future schools and/or district needs in the south and central areas of the district.”
  • $200,000 for “new playground equipment” at Mustang and Lakehoma elementary schools.
  • $100,000 for “upgrading certain interior lighting” at Trails Elementary School and Mustang North Middle School.

In other business, board members approved a new name for the school currently under construction near NW 59th Street and County Line Road, accepting the suggestion of “Prairie View” Elementary. The name was recommended by two different students, who cited the open fields in the area, as well as similar school names, such as Mustang Trails, Creek and Valley elementary schools, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Angela Mills said.

Mustang Public Schools Students of the Month for December (photo/Traci Chapman)

Mustang Public Schools Students of the Month for December (photo/Traci Chapman)

“We received a lot more community involvement (in school naming) this year,” Mills told board members. “There was one clear choice.”

School officials also acknowledged board members during the meeting, held during School Board Appreciation Month.

Board members are Fulton, Jim Davis, Amanda Strassle, Jeff Landrith and Mike Kessler.

“We appreciate your time and your leadership,” Mustang Middle School Principal Linda Wilkes said. “Thank you for your service.”

Mustang girls see forward momentum

Laci Joyner

By Kyle Salomon

Despite several tough losses, the Mustang girls basketball team picked up some momentum as the girls capped off their week in the win column.

The Bronco girls earned their second win of the season on Saturday with a 52-42 victory against Word of Life Traditional School out of Wichita, Kan., in the Jaguar Invitation at Westmoore High School.

The victory against the Lady Fire was the one win out of three games for the Mustang girls. The Broncos fell to Sapulpa 52-32, then dropped their second game of the tournament to Norman 60-38 on Friday.

The 1-2 record in the event dropped Mustang’s regular season record to 2-7 on the year.

“I thought we played better as the tournament went on,” Mustang head coach Kevin Korstjens said. “I thought we played our hardest in that last game on Saturday. I was proud of the girls for competing the way they did after the first two days didn’t go our way.”

Against Word of Life, the Broncos jumped out to an early start. Mustang scored the most points they have scored in a single period this season with 18 points in the first. The Broncos controlled the period with strong offensive play as they got most of their points in the paint. Mustang led 18-5 after the first.

Brooke Irwin

Brooke Irwin

In the second and third periods the Lady Fire mounted a comeback on the Broncos as they cut the lead to four points before halftime at 26-22. Mustang’s offense began to slow down and Word of Life made several outside shots to slice into the MHS lead. The Broncos led by one at 36-35 after three periods of play.

Mustang was able to pull away in the fourth frame with solid defense and going back inside on the offensive end where the Broncos had a clear advantage with size. MHS was able to coast to the 10-point victory.

The Broncos finished the game with eight total turnovers and made 11 out of 20 foul shots. Senior Brooke Irwin recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Addyson Lawson had 14 points and five rebounds. Senior Laci Joyner totaled eight points and five rebounds.

Sophomore Brandi Russell finished with six points and two rebounds. Sophomore Sarah Kellogg totaled five points and seven rebounds, and junior Madison Maxwell had three points and two rebounds.

Maxwell was also named to the All-Tournament team following the game.

Against Norman the Bronco girls played even with the Tigers in the first period. Mustang used its defense to hold Norman down early in the game as both teams were knotted at eight apiece after one.

The Tigers exploded in the second period as their outside shots began to fall against the Broncos. Mustang’s offense continued to struggle as Norman took a 17-point lead into the halftime locker room, 31-14.

Norman continued to extend the lead in the second half, holding down Mustang defensively and scoring at will on the offensive end of the floor. The Tigers led by 24 after three periods and coasted in the fourth to the 22-point victory.

Mustang committed 13 turnovers in the game and made 12 out of 19 foul shots.

Maxwell led the Broncos in the contest with seven points and three rebounds. Lawson finished with six points and two rebounds. Joyner totaled six points and five rebounds.

Junior Rebecca Hicks had five points and three rebounds. Russell finished with four points and one rebound. Senior Tori Shockley had three points and two rebounds.

Kellogg finished with three points and one rebound. Junior Toniesha Cobbs posted two points and four rebounds. Irwin had one point and two rebounds, and sophomore Shelby Wright totaled one point and three rebounds.

In the first game of the tournament, the Broncos took on Sapulpa. The Chieftains got out to a hot start offensively as they put 20 points on the board in the opening frame. Mustang managed just nine points, putting them in a hole early.

The Broncos offense struggled even more in the second period as it put up four points in the frame compared to 10 points from Sapulpa, making the score 30-13 at halftime.

The Chieftains extended their lead to more than 20 points in the third period as they took a 44-22 advantage entering the fourth.

The final frame was the only one of the game the Broncos won as they scored 10 points to Sapulpa’s eight, making the final difference at 20 points.

Mustang finished the game with 17 turnovers and made 14 out of 19 free throws.

Maxwell closed the game with nine points and three rebounds. Irwin totaled seven points and 10 rebounds. Hicks had five points and three rebounds.

Wright finished the game with three points and one rebound. Kellogg totaled three points and three rebounds. Russell finished with two points and three rebounds.

Lawson had two points and five rebounds, while Joyner finished with one point and two rebounds.

“I thought we had a lot of good looks at the basket throughout the entire tournament,” Korstjens said. “Eventually, those will start falling for us. They did a little bit in our game Saturday and everything flowed much better.”

The totals from the three-day tournament included one win and two losses. The Broncos scored 122 total points and allowed 164. The Broncos turned the ball over 38 times and made 37 out of 58 free throws.

Irwin led the way for Mustang with 22 points and 33 rebounds. Lawson totaled 22 points and 12 rebounds. Maxwell finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. Joyner totaled 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Kellogg finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Russell had 12 points and six rebounds. Cobbs totaled two points and four rebounds.

Hicks finished with five points and three rebounds. Shockley totaled three points and two rebounds, and Wright had four points and four rebounds.

“I really like the fight in our girls,” Korstjens said. “No matter what we face, our girls never give up. They will always compete. We feel like we are improving every day.”

On Jan. 7 the Broncos took on district foe Putnam City in the Mustang High School gym in the home opener this season. The Pirates used a strong second half to defeat Mustang 48-39.

The Broncos controlled the game in the first half as they led 10-4 after the first period and 22-10 at halftime. Mustang’s defense was holding down the sharp-shooting guards from PC.

The second half was a different story as the Pirates began to make outside shots. Putnam City roared back to lead by six after three and finished with a nine-point victory on the road.

Mustang committed 16 turnovers in the game and made 10 out of 16 free throws.

Irwin led with eight points and five rebounds. Maxwell finished with seven points and five rebounds. Russell totaled six points and nine rebounds.

Cobbs finished with five points and four rebounds. Wright had five points and four rebounds. Kellogg finished with four points and three rebounds.

Joyner finished with two points and five rebounds, and Lawson had two points and one rebound.

 

Union City police officer charged with felonies in Oklahoma County

Canadian County Sheriff's office lead investigator Kevin Ward arrests Scottie Brothers, a Union City police officer accused of two felonies. (Photo/courtesy Canadian County Sheriff's office)

By Traci Chapman

Canadian County sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday arrested a Union City police officer on felony complaints of possession of stolen property and providing firearms to a convicted felon. The arrest came after another Union City deputy approached the sheriff’s office with information he claims was ignored by the Union City police chief. 

Undersheriff Chris West said deputies arrested Scottie Brothers, 32, at his home. The investigation into the Union City officer began in November, when former fellow Union City officer Bill Ingram came to the sheriff’s office about an alleged series of events that began in May 2010.

Scottie Brothers

Scottie Brothers

According to Ingram, Brothers had a key to his house while Ingram and his family went on vacation in May 2010. Upon the family’s return, Ingram found that two guns were missing from the house.

“Brothers was looking after the house while they were gone, and Ingram said he turned the house upside down looking for the guns,” West said. “Eventually he thought he had just misplaced the guns.”

That changed on June 25, 2011, when Ingram allegedly received a call from a known convicted felon who knew both Ingram and Brothers, West said. The man contacted Ingram to ask for his help with a malfunctioning gun, which Ingram said turned out to be one of the missing weapons from his home, the undersheriff said.

“He said he got the gun from Brothers, and Ingram believed Brothers took that and the other weapon while they were out of town,” West said.

When asked to explain why it took so long for Ingram to come forward, West said the Union City officer – who left that department after approaching sheriff’s investigators – told county law enforcement he first approached Union City Police Chief Eddie Dickerson about Brothers’ alleged actions.

“Ingram told us he went to Dickerson on numerous occasions and Dickerson put his hand on his shoulder and said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this,’” West said.

Dickerson has been incapacitated and off work since a motorcycle accident last summer. An attempt to call the Union City police chief Wednesday morning was unsuccessful.

Ingram told investigators the unnamed convicted felon agreed to get Brothers on the telephone and recorded a conversation that allegedly included admissions by Brothers that he had stolen the gun, West said. Brothers returned the man’s money to him after the conversation, he said.

“The sheriff’s office interviewed everyone, listened to the tape recordings and pulled the case together,” West said. “On Monday, we obtained a felony arrest warrant from Oklahoma County.”

Brothers, who has worked for Union City Police Department for “several years,” remains in Canadian County Jail and will be moved to Oklahoma County at some point, West said. A criminal felony case has been opened and assigned to District Judge Jerry Bass, according to the Oklahoma State Courts Network. No hearings have yet been scheduled in the case.

Organizers ready for annual chocolate festival

Organizers are counting down the days to what could be the city’s sweetest event – the Mustang Library Chocolate Festival.

Set for Friday, Feb. 7, the festival will feature tastings and chocolate treats for people to purchase for themselves or as gifts. There is still time for anyone wishing to participate in the festival as a vendor to get on board, said Nancy Keiser, Chocolate Festival event chair.

“Businesses, civic groups and individuals who are interested in having a table at the festival should contact me as soon as possible,” Keiser said. “It is a fun community event that benefits the Mustang Public Library.”

Tables are provided at no charge, and Friends of the Mustang Library will provide tablecloths, Keiser said. The festival will be held in Town Center’s newly expanded banquet hall.

In addition to chocolate tastings and gifts, those participating will vie for awards, and a silent auction will be held to benefit the library.

“Awards will be given for Most Unique Chocolate, Best Tasting Chocolate and Best Decorated Table,” Keiser said.  “Winners will be chosen by popular vote and announced before the end of the evening.”

Those wishing to make a donation to the silent auction may contact Tawni Phelan at tawni@tawniphelan.com, Keiser said.

“The silent auction will have all kinds of great prizes, such as limousine rides, hotel packages and more,” she said.

Proceeds from the festival will be used to purchase equipment and hire instructors for the library’s computer training lab, a part of the newly constructed education room, made possible by a recent bond election. Library computer classes are always free to the public, Keiser said.

“Over the years, the Friends have purchased public computer workstations, laptops for the computer training lab, software and books for the library,” Keiser said. “The community can come and enjoy a wonderful chocolate festival and support free, educational programming at the Mustang Public Library.”

The festival will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 7. Keiser said in years past, $8 would purchase six treats; this year, $8 will pay for eight treats. Anyone wishing to use a credit or debit card in the silent auction or to buy tickets may do so, she said.

For more information about the festival or to reserve a table, contact Keiser at 376-6071 or via email at mustangchocolatefest@gmail.com.

 

News announces personnel changes

Aaron Diment has joined the Mustang News as an advertising executive.

Diment is a Colorado native who moved to Mustang in the eighth grade and graduated from Mustang High School in 2000. He studied at Redlands Community College and Southern Nazarene University.

Aaron Diment

Aaron Diment

Diment has been working in Canadian County since 2001, first at Integris Canadian Valley Hospital from its opening until 2009, as well as volunteering and eventually serving for four years as coordinator for United Way of Canadian County. During Diment’s tenure at United Way, the organization’s annual campaign grew from $55,000 to $150,000. Diment also worked as lead estimator for Smith’s Home Service of Yukon for three years.

 

Diment is married to Danielle Diment and has a daughter, 8-year-old Sophia. The family lives in Surrey Hills. His parents live in Mustang. Diment is a former member of Leadership Canadian County and is a member of Mustang Masonic Lodge No. 407 and Valley of Guthrie Orient Scottish Rite.

Kristen Gray has also recently joined the News as administrative assistant.

Kristen Gray

Kristen Gray

Gray is a 2001 Mustang High School graduate. She has worked as a legal secretary and administrative assistant.

Kristen is married to Jay Gray, also a Mustang High School alumnus.  The couple lives in Mustang with their two children, Wyatt, 4, and Gracie-Lynn, 18 months.

 Traci Chapman has also been named editor of the Mustang News.

“Traci has demonstrated great dedication to producing factual, easy to read and pertinent news stories  throughout her time with the Mustang News and El Reno Tribune,” said Ray Dyer, co-publisher of the News and Tribune. “We are excited by her energy and willingness to tackle news and reporting assignments and believe as editor she will deliver a quality product to the readers of the Mustang News.”

Traci Chapman

Traci Chapman

Chapman joined the Mustang News in 2007 and worked as a reporter for her hometown newspaper for a year before accepting a move to work for the sister paper of the Tribune Corp., in El Reno. While in El Reno, Chapman’s reporting was instrumental in explaining financial issues concerning the city-owned hospital, leading to the resignation of the longtime administrator and eventually leading the city to contract with Mercy Health for management of the hospital.

Chapman has excelled as both a writer of hard news and feature stories, Dyer said.

“Traci is a true team player and will do her best to work in a way that makes Mustang a better place to live, work and raise a family for all,” Dyer said. “She has a great desire to tell stories people care about and explain how issues can impact their lives.”

 

 

Norma Nadine Davis Mills Hartnett – May 3, 1929 – Jan. 7, 2014

Norma Nadine Davis Mills Hartnett of Mustang, daughter of Otis and Mary Etta Davis, entered into Heaven Tuesday morning, Jan. 7, into the arms of Jesus. 

Norma Nadine Davis Mills Hartnett

Norma Nadine Davis Mills Hartnett

She loved people and always found the good in them. She loved children and even when the Alzheimer’s set in she still had that sparkle in her eyes when kids were around. Her smile was contagious to all around her.  She married Bluford A. Hartnett in 1974 in Hays, Kan. She was a member and president of the American’s Business Woman’s Association. She won the “Woman of the Year” award from the Fort Hays Chapter of ABWA in 1986. Her profession was managing restaurants in Oklahoma and Kansas. She never met a stranger, and was the best listener. She showed the LOVE of Jesus to everyone. She knew how to celebrate and dance and sing, even if she couldn’t carry a tune or dance with grace, she made you smile. She would always laugh during sad situations, because no matter what, we need to find joy in sadness.  She took her youngest sister in and raised her as her own, which Janice will be forever grateful. She would guide, help and love you when you needed it most. Simply put, she was Jesus to those around her. She was a wonderful, beautiful and fearless woman of God and will be missed dearly by all who knew her and loved her.

She was greeted in Heaven by her husband, son, grandson, mother, father, two sisters and two brothers. 

She is survived by her daughter, Wilda Young of Mustang; her son, Rusty Mills of Oklahoma City; Blu’s daughter, Vickie of Wisconsin; Blu’s son, Glenn of Kansas; sister, Janice of Oklahoma City; 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends. 

Services were held Saturday, Jan. 11 at Mustang Church of the Nazarene in Mustang.