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Randy Dale Smith, age 57, passed away on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at his home in Mustang with his loving family by his side.
He was born June 19, 1957 in San Antonio, Texas to Dale and Doris (Spurgeon) Smith. Randy grew up in Odessa, Texas and was a 1975 graduate of Permian High School in Odessa. He moved with his family to Mustang in May of 1984 and was an employee of Enterprise Engineering Service, where he was an electrical technician. He was an avid golfer and never turned down a chance to play. His four legged companions, Dollie, Harley and Paris were very important to him. Dollie was by his side to the very end.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents and one sister, René.
Survivors include his wife, Sandy of the home; his parents, Dale and Doris Smith of Mustang; one son, Brian Ellis of Roundrock, Texas; one daughter, Kerri Weaver and husband Ty of McKinney, Texas; and five grandchildren, Alex, Madison, Brooklynn, Ashlyn and Hunter.
Visitation at the funeral home will be held from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 29, with the family greeting friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, June 30 in the Chapel of The Good Shepherd at McNeil’s Mustang Funeral Service, with interment following in the Mustang Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.mcneilsmustangfs.com.
By Traci Chapman
Mustang’s $1.52 million baseball complex is in its final stretch, as several projects wind down.
Emmons Construction was awarded a $135,960 contract on restrooms and concessions. Justin Battles, Mustang assistant city manager, said Tuesday work was moving forward, although recent frequent rains had slowed the project.
“The dirt pads have been built up and the footings have been dug out,” Battles said. “As soon as it dries up they will pour the fittings, then the slab.
“Once the slab is up any rain shouldn’t affect the erection of the building,” he said.
The total project was expected to wrap up within the next few months, depending on weather, Battles said.
Work would also move forward on new LED signs for the fields. Last week, Battles told Mustang City Council about a plan to purchase two LED scoreboards. The move was possible – without a budget increase – because the $71,400 baseball park bleacher estimate actually came in at a price of $42,260. Council agreed to use $17,950 remaining from the bleachers to purchase the scoreboards.
“Two local businesses also provided funds for two more of the scoreboards,” Battles said.
Crews with Silver Star Construction, working with Canadian County employees, already finished new parking lots, which were “desperately needed” as use of the fields increased – as did traffic surrounding Mustang Aquatic Center. Fencing was finished in March, they said.
The baseball complex is the final component of a three-prong improvement package of Mustang Town Center. Voters in March 2012 approved a $3.6 million bond issue, which also added space to Mustang Public Library and the banquet hall, as well as provided funds for new paint and carpet of existing areas.
By Traci Chapman
Mustang officials say they have been blown away by residents’ enthusiasm about the city’s Individual Safe Room Hazard Mitigation Grant.
“We were fearful the lack of watches and warnings would make some of the original selectees reluctant to follow through,” said Robert Coleman, Mustang community development director. “We understand money for a safe room may be competing with more glamorous items in the family budget, things like boats, bikes and vacations.”
That did not appear to be the case in Mustang, Coleman said Tuesday.
Residents were randomly selected to participate in the grant, which would reimburse homeowners for up to $2,000 of the cost of a storm shelter. Of 525 people originally selected to participate in the program, as of June 21, 474 of them had attended a meeting required under the grant’s parameters.
According to city permit records, more than 142 of the original group selected to participate in the program obtained building permits. Of those, 15 safe rooms were installed since the program commenced May 30. Coleman said traffic at city hall was “brisk” as homeowners worked to fulfill requirements to continue in the program.
“The original selectees must all have their commitment agreement filed with the city by next Monday, they must submit all materials necessary for a building permit by Aug. 1 and they must have the safe room installed and all close out paperwork filed by Jan. 30, 2015,” the community development director said. “Anyone missing any of these deadlines risks being eliminated from the program.”
Although this year’s tornado “season” has been unusually quiet, that wasn’t the case last year. Although a May 31 storm caused damage in Mustang, it resulted in eight deaths and the destruction of several homes and businesses near El Reno and in the western part of Canadian County.
Between September and December last year, community development received 829 individual safe room grant applications. Thirty-nine properties were disqualified because properties were located in floodplains; another 40 homeowners dropped out of the running before Mustang received confirmation it had received the grant, Coleman said.
“And a handful of others have chosen to forego their eligibility in the meantime,” he said. “As result, another 50 to 60 families are likely to be randomly selected from the alternates list on or about July 1.”
Those randomly chosen will receive a phone call and letter from community development in early July, Coleman said.
The grant was also helpful for the city department, Coleman said. Federal funds were awarded to pay 75 percent of the wage of a part-time assistant, who assists grant recipients, he said.
Assistance is available at city hall, located at 1501 N. Mustang Road, on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursdays. Help is also available at Mustang Public Library Tuesday evenings between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., Coleman said.
“There are a lot of steps involved in this process, and our citizens have taken it all in stride,” Coleman said. “This is a team effort between the Mustang City Council, city staff and our citizens with the ultimate goal of saving lives.
“Working with these parties has been a great experience, and we fully expect to have all 525 safe rooms in place well in advance of next year’s storm season,” he said.
Jaxon Kade Martin, infant son of Joshua and Brittany Martin, passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus on Thursday, June 19, 2014.
Though his time on this earth was short, Little Jaxon touched many lives and his memory will always be on our minds. Along with his parents, Joshua and Brittany; one brother, Landon Lum, and one sister, Lily Martin; grandparents, Dennis and Sharla Bush, Steve and Heidi Martin are left to mourn his passing and cherish his memory.
Memorial services were held Monday, June 23 in Babyland in Mustang Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of McNeil’s Mustang Funeral Service.
Online condolences may be made at www.mcneilsmustangfs.com.
Canadian County Coalition of Children and Families recently held its “first annual” awards banquet, acknowledging those among us who have shined in their efforts to help children and their families.
While it was gratifying to see people like Dolores Sanders-Alvarez, Billie Linam and others acknowledged, we need to also stop and thank people who every day put their hearts on the line as they work to make better lives for children and youth who have had to deal with situations far beyond their years.
The coalition probably isn’t known to many outside their own “community,” but it should be. Many of its members work long hours, and do a lot in their own time, to improve the situation for area children. They don’t have an 8 to 5 job they leave at the door; the situations they see and the children they literally help save are a testament to their dedication and caring.
It is people like Ann Parkhurst, Cedric Mills, Rosemary Klepper, Jenny Kellbach and so many others – their fight to help others is something that not only helps those directly involved. They make our communities a better place to live, they raise our standard of living.
Organizations like Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children’s Justice Center and Youth and Family Services are filled with others – many of them coalition members – who work to make the world a better place for the smallest and youngest of us. Michael Ellison has talked to thousands of students about bullying and how it can be prevented. He has helped countless students who have been a victim of other students’ cruelty – and in the process, has most likely helped our county avoid tragedies we see on the national news.
Special Judge Bob Hughey, like his predecessor and namesake at the children’s justice center, Gary Miller, see horrors they can’t even discuss in cases that involve children’s welfare. He makes decisions, day in and day out, that will impact families. Those decisions can be difficult – who wants to actually take a child from his or her parents? But sometimes that cannot be helped and Hughey takes that responsibility on his shoulders. It’s something I wouldn’t want to have to do.
The justice center sees the best and worst of families. They help children and youth who cannot help themselves, but they also work with youth who have lost their way. They may have trouble in school, an addiction problem, started in on criminal activity – Hughey and his staff work to try to turn those kids around, before their actions permanently scar their lives.
Turning lives around is a big part of Dee Blose’s life. The Youth and Family Services director celebrates every milestone, every positive as if it was her own child’s. And the children she and her staff deal with really are their own, through extension. Whether it’s a new playground, a program to help disabled adults or just helping families get through bureaucratic hurdles, these people display dedication and caring every single day.
As the saying goes, the children are our future. We are lucky – and we should thank – all of these people who work each day to make that future a bit brighter.
To the Editor,
Our granddaughter is in special education and Special Olympics and we have enjoyed all of the recent stories about these kids and who they are. It is difficult for the families sometimes because our loved one’s struggle is not seen by many people and people don’t realize how hard they work or how much they go through every day. It’s only through the hard work of people like Cherie Miller and her teachers that our granddaughter has grown and achieved so much.
She was once a very isolated and quiet girl. Now she has blossomed into a beautiful and outgoing person who is happy and content. Thanks to people at the school district and to those at the Mustang News, we now aren’t the only ones who know that.
We are very happy to see that the newspaper is looking at all of the positive things in Mustang and the school district. It is very nice for us to be able to show a newspaper and say to people, “That’s our girl,” just like football and athletes’ parents can do. They are athletes and they really are special. They’re a great group of kids and we appreciate this recognition. Keep up the good work.
Ed Barnes, Mustang
By Patrick Osborne,
Mustang native and current Oklahoma State University football player David Glidden is set to start his junior campaign on the gridiron.
A former Bronco three-sport athlete and current Cowboy, Glidden has come a long way since his time at Mustang High School.
“OSU has made me a lot stronger mentally over the past couple of years,” Glidden said. “There have been a lot of obstacles I’ve had to overcome and I believe that will help me in the long run of things in my life.”
While at OSU, Glidden has watched the Cowboys soar to a 30-9 record, including memorable wins against Bob Stoops and the University of Oklahoma in Stillwater and Heisman trophy runner-up Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinals in the Fiesta Bowl.
“I would love to go back and relive the Fiesta Bowl. That whole trip was a blast and the game was obviously just as fun.”
To this point in his career, he’s played alongside big-name Cowboys such as Justin Blackmon, Brandon Weeden and even fellow Mustang native Josh Cooper.
The former Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year coming out of high school has 16 career catches for 191 yards in his first two years, 15 receptions for 173 yards coming last season.
While at Mustang, Glidden was the Broncos go-to receiver as well as a solid defensive back. As a senior he averaged 19.1 yards on 65 receptions and reeled in 17 touchdowns as well as six interceptions. He was a first-team All-State selection as voted by the Oklahoman, Tulsa World and Oklahoma Coaches Association.
Looking back, he singled out the semifinal game his sophomore year against the east-side powerhouse Jenks Trojans as his favorite game as a Mustang Bronco.
Outside of football, he also shined on the basketball court and baseball diamond as well.
As most good athletes do, Glidden said he had his role model that he looked up to growing up.
“My brother was always the person I looked up to. He always included me in the neighborhood sports with the older kids. Then when we got older, I saw his work ethic and I wanted mine to be just like it. He always loved the game of football, and he would have loved to be in my shoes right now. Thinking about that pushes me every day.”
Just as he looked up to his brother, while at Mustang Glidden had plenty of kids and teammates who looked up to him.
“He was such a great player,” 2014 Mustang graduate and former teammate Colton Hadlock said. “Everyone loved him. He was so smart. He really was the man. In Mustang, we pride ourselves on our route running, and David was the best.”
Fellow 2014 graduate Frankie Edwards recalled his first varsity football experience against U.S. Grant as a freshman. He said just before going in, Glidden was there with him to calm him down.
“In high school, nobody could cover him with his route running but he was still so humble. I never heard any cockiness from him,” Edwards said.
With help from a solid spring for Coach Mike Gundy and the Cowboys, Glidden is expected to have his number called more this season. Oklahoma State opens up the 2014-2015 season with a 7 p.m. matchup Aug. 30 in Arlington against Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston and the rest of the Florida State Seminoles.
Glidden made sure to leave some encouraging words for Mustang kids wanting to follow in his footsteps and one day play college football.
“Do what you love and pursue your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.”
By Traci Chapman
Two Canadian County incumbents will return to their seats without the need for a runoff.
District 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart took 56 percent of the vote – 1,989 out of 3,553 ballots cast. Challengers Rick Opitz and Daniel Pugh received 831 and 733 votes, respectively.
Treasurer Carolyn Leck defeated accountant Kimberly Rhodes. Leck received 6,996 votes to 4,210 ballots cast for Rhodes. Leck’s tally was 62.4 percent, according to Canadian County Election Board records.
In District 1, five Republican candidates fought for the seat which will be vacated by longtime Commissioner Phil Carson, who did not seek re-election. Marc Hader and Wesley Higgins will go head-to-head in an Aug. 26 runoff election after receiving the most votes. Hader received 37.5 percent of the total ballots cast – 1,588 – while Higgins was chosen by 924 voters, 21.8 percent of the vote. Kevin Hopkins, Clifford Lawson and Scott Deatherage will not go on to the runoff. Hopkins received 657 votes, Lawson 510 ballots and 557 voters chose Deatherage. The victor in the runoff will face Democrat Bobby Williamson in November.
Incumbents across the board won their party races outright, with one exception. State Superintendent Janet Barresi not only lost the primary, she received the lowest number of votes cast by Republican voters across the state. Earning 55,015 ballots, Barresi captured 21 percent of the vote. Brian Kelly was selected by 56,014 voters, and 151,012 ballots were cast for Joy Hofmeister. Hofmeister will face in the general election the winner of a Democratic runoff between John Cox and Freda Deskin. Cox received 41 percent of Democrats’ votes – a total of 68,833 – while Deskin came in at 38.2 percent with 64,077 ballots cast in her favor.
Other victors in races involving Canadian County voters were:
Republican – Mary Fallin
Republican – John Doak
Republican – Todd Hiett
Republican – James Inhofe
Republican – James Lankford
Democrat – Connie Johnson
U.S. House District 3
Republican – Frank Lucas
U.S. House District 4
Republican – Tom Cole
Democrat – Bert Smith
State Senate District 22
Republican – Stephanie Bice (will face Mark Thomas in August runoff)
State House District 41
Republican – John Enns
State House District 43
Republican – John Paul Jordan (will face Jonathan Clour in August runoff)
By Traci Chapman
Farrah Love Sinclair has gone through more in her two years than many adults endure in a lifetime.
A little girl with a big heart, Farrah seems to have a knack at inspiring everyone around her, father Daxton Sinclair said. That was perhaps no better illustrated last weekend, when a group of Mustang Cub Scouts gathered in the Sunday heat to sell lemonade and baked items, all to raise funds for Farrah and her family.
“It was just a way we could help, it was something the boys wanted to do for her,” Monica Rachelle said, referring to her son, Hayden Weathers and his fellow Pack 398 members.
Hayden was one of those inspired by Farrah. Although young himself, he could recognize that Farrah was hurting and her family needed some support. After donating some money he received, he told his mom he wanted to do more. The Scouts and their parents banded together, and the group raised more than $1,092 in donations last weekend.
“It’s just incredible, we just can’t believe how people came out to support this,” Monica said Sunday.
The group’s efforts were more than just monetary, Daxton said. With a little girl who just turned 2 in April and who recently finished radiation treatments, the family has gone through a roller-coaster ride. Next up come experimental procedures – after another milestone for the family.
“We have a baby due on Monday, it’s literally any day,” Daxton said.
The new baby will arrive as Farrah, in a way, begins her own baby steps, her father said. Treatments have made it necessary for the little girl to learn again how to walk, to relearn speaking and other developmental milestones most parents take for granted.
“She re-learned to walk – three weeks ago she couldn’t do it, now she’s running everywhere,” Daxton said. “She loves babies, and we think she’s going to be great as big sister.
“Right now she’s having lots of good days, and that’s all we can ask for,” he said.
With the family living in Edmond, it was a surprise that a small Mustang boy, a family acquaintance, could find such generosity in his heart, Daxton said. It was a testament to the best people could be, he said.
“It’s a true blessing – of all the things we’ve seen through this, the generosity of a young child really is amazing,” Daxton said. “We named her ‘Love’ for a reason and we want as many people as possible to share in that love.
“Hayden showed all of us just how much love really can be shared,” he said.
By Traci Chapman
Just more than a year after an EF-5 tornado caused more than $1 million in damage at Youth and Family Services, children and youth can play basketball.
A new court was unveiled in a special ceremony Monday, attended by YFS officials, area residents, Thunder Girls and Drummers and other Oklahoma City Thunder officials. Thunder Cares Foundation provided funds to rebuild the YFS court as part of a million dollar tornado relief effort, said Dan Mahoney, Thunder vice president of corporation communications and community relations.
The foundation got involved in similar efforts after the May 20 tornado in Moore, Mahoney said Tuesday. Eleven days later, another tornado hit Canadian County, and officials realized they should expand their original efforts, he said.
“One of the key functions of the foundation is to refurbish basketball courts,” Mahoney said. We want to instill a love of the game, promote the physical fitness aspect of it.
“When we heard about Youth and Family Services, we knew this was a great opportunity not just to rebuild the court, but to also make a difference in the lives of these children.”
The foundation is also rebuilding three school courts in Moore, as well as other locations impacted by last year’s storms, Mahoney said. He was gratified by the Canadian County partnership and said what struck Thunder officials was their chance during Monday’s festivities to see first-hand the impact the new court had made.
“It was a joy to be out there last night and see so many kids out there enjoying the court already – it’s already in use, kids are already enjoying it,” Mahoney said.
The foundation helped make area children’s dreams come true in the wake of a storm that still resonates in the area, YFS Director Dee Blose said. The basketball court and playground were wiped out in the May 31 storm, which also severely damaged the roof and other areas of its offices. The court and playground are used by area children who visit the location and primarily children housed in the YFS children’s center, Blose said.
In April, YFs celebrated the opening of a new playground. Funded by Devon Energy and KaBOOM! The partnership not only funded the equipment; more than 200 volunteers, many of them Devon employees, were on hand to construct the playground April 12.
It’s an ongoing effort on behalf of area children who are at a difficult point in their lives when they arrive at YFS, Blose said. Children are taken to the shelter when their parents have legal issues, they are ordered removed from the home or there are other problems which could threaten their safety and well-being.
“Having things like this help our kids to feel like everything’s going to be OK,” Blose said. “We can’t get over the generosity of people and businesses who have shown their best after the damage the tornado left behind.”