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Canyon Ridge student wins fire prevention poster contest

Photographer/Matt Montgomery
Canyon Ridge Intermediate students Bethany Hutto, Ella Emillio, Lily Dilbeck, Paige Gulley and Maya Beesley join Mustang Fire Cheif Carl Hickman and fire department representative Eric Halter to show off their posters they won trophies for during the Fire Prevention Month Poster Contest held by the fire department.

 By Matt Montgomery

editor@mustangnews.info

Several students from local schools participated in a poster contest for Fire Prevention Month, in which they had the opportunity to learn a few things about fire safety while having fun drawing.

Canyon Ridge Intermediate students had five of the top 10 poster contest winners. The top five from Canyon Ridge were Bethany Hutto, first place, Ella Emillio, third place, Lily Dilbeck, fourth place, Paige Gulley, fifth place and Maya Beesley, 10th place.

Canyon Ridge art teacher Nancy Matheson, who worked with the kids on the posters, said the students really enjoyed learning about fire safety and using art to do so.

“The kids loved designing the posters,” she said. “They took them (posters) home with them so they could focus on it. Sometimes they work better when it’s quiet at home.”

The most prominent was the smoke detector.

Mustang Fire Chief Carl Hickman said it is important to reach students at the elementary age to teach them about fire safety and how smoke detectors work.

“We know the younger we can instill in people’s minds the fire safety messages they need to know, then the easier it is to keep it in their minds,” Hickman said. “This is the perfect age to address those safety issues. Also, those kids are going to go home and pressure mom and dad to do what they were taught that day at school. It’s a good age for us to get in and spread that message to them.”

District judge rules in land dispute over Cedar Lake fire station

Cedar lake copy

By Daniel Lapham,

The Cedar Lake fire station belongs to Canadian County.

That’s how District Judge Gary E. Miller ruled after hearing arguments presented by Assistant District Attorney Paul Hesse. The action came Friday.

County employee Howie Sutton purchased the property in April after a clerical error allowed the property to be placed for sale as a tax delinquent property.

According to court documents, the county has owned the property for the last 14 years. The error in how the property was coded led to the Cedar Lake real estate being placed up for auction.

Seeing the property up for bid, Sutton purchased it for $100. According to documents, Sutton, through his attorney Mark Osby, asked the court to award him title to the property or pay Sutton more than $75,000 for the property plus fees associated with the case.

The judge agreed with Hesse that the county did not have authority to sell the land and vacated Sutton’s deed. Sutton’s $100 was reimbursed and the land went back to the county to be used by the Cedar Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

Hesse filed the initial petition on June 3 in district court asking that the deed be returned to the volunteer fire department. The property in question was donated to the county by the Western Sportsman Club to be used for the fire department. According to the deed the Western Sportsman Club was entitled to “right of first refusal” to buy the land back. The judge agreed with the county’s claims it did not have authority to sell due to this stipulation

In addition, Miller said Sutton did not do anything wrong by purchasing the property, but because there was no authority to sell the property, the sale was not legal and thus void.

County officials, energy companies prepare for more production

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By Daniel Lapham,

Canadian County commissioners approved nine permits related to energy exploration and production at their Sept. 22 meeting. And, according to District 1 Commissioner Phil Carson, more permit requests are on the way.

“It looks like a new shale layer could lead to more oil and gas traffic in the county,” Carson said. He encouraged Dist. 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart to begin meeting with energy firms to address infrastructure needs. Much of the energy exploration is taking place in Stewart’s district, which includes the west side of the county.

“Jack, I’d like you to meet and discuss a plan to prepare for this next boom,” Carson said.

Carson said if the projections being made are correct, it would make this area “one of the largest oil and gas fields in the country.” Stewart agreed to begin the discussion to review plans for roads and other county infrastructure that will partner with energy companies.

“We need to figure out something to do about the roads in the area between Highway 281, 164th Street and Highway 270,” Stewart said. “It’s killing me. I don’t have the money to keep up with the roads. It’s just not there.”

Stewart said state Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, has been keeping commissioners apprised of the energy outlook. And it appears more activity is on the horizon.

“From everything I can understand from the people I’ve talked to in the industry, there is another shale layer that they are looking at,” Justice said. “From what I understand right now, we could see the rigs in the Canadian County area doubling. From what I am hearing, this is just the starting point.”

Stewart compared the current energy boom in sports terms.

“I’ve heard it described as if this were a ballgame and we were asked what inning we are in, the answer would be the game hasn’t even started yet,” Stewart said.

Justice agreed.

“This could be bigger than the Bakkan from what I am hearing,” Justice said, referring to the massive oil play in North Dakota. He said a natural gas processing plant “like what is in Calumet” is being built for Stephens and Grady counties.

“I visited with a pipeline company the other day that is putting in a line in Grady County. These are all planned. The main thing is there seems to be tremendous opportunities all through Canadian County, Grady and all through the south,” Justice said. “When companies are building this kind of infrastructure, you know this is not short-term speculation. I think these infrastructure investments are indicators that we are positioned for growth.”

Woods prepares to hit century mark

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By Daniel Lapham,

On Saturday, five generations of the Woods family will celebrate the 100th birthday of life-long Union City resident Ethel (Ellie) Lillian Woods. The celebration will take place at 2:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall in Union City.

Woods was born Oct. 4, 1914, six miles east of Union City. As the youngest of five, Woods has lived through some of the most memorable decades in our nation’s history, and although she said she remembers much of it, it’s the present that continues to drive her to live life to its fullest.

“I just live in the now,” she said. “I bake bread and give it away to my neighbors, I walk to church every week and I play cards with my friends.”

When asked how she has stayed so happy and healthy in her 100 years in Union City, the petite 5-foot, silver-haired great-great-grandmother said she works out, eats healthy foods and just tries to have fun every day.

“It’s just about staying busy, eating right and working hard,” she said. “I raised seven kids, one girl and six boys. I worked with my husband, Robert, on the dairy farm and after the children were grown I worked as a cook for 14 or 15 years.”

Ellie’s family came to Oklahoma as homesteaders in the early 1900s as did her late husband’s family, settling in Union City in 1911. The couple married in 1933 and now Woods stands at the roots of a tree that spans five generations. She has 22 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and 15-great-great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.

“She went in for her check-up the other day and her doctor told us if all of his patients were as healthy as her, he’d be out of a job,” said Janice Woods, Ellie Woods’ daughter-in-law. “We just got her driver’s license renewed for her 100th birthday last week.”

The family matriarch said she just enjoys every day as it comes and enjoys the simple things in life.

“I have a good time with the girls,” she said about playing cards. “I can still drive if I want to, but I’d rather walk and stay active.”

The birthday party is an open invitation to anyone who has known Woods throughout the years.

Program offers grants to expand specialty crops

Plasticulture pic

Mustang News Staff Reports,

A program directed toward small, limited resource producers wanting to expand specialty crop production is offering grants and up to one acre of plasticulture installation. Applications to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry must be postmarked by Oct. 17.

Plasticulture implements the use of plastic in gardens and can help with weed control, water erosion, nutrient leaching and compaction. The use of raised beds covered in plastic can increase plant and product quality and bring greater yields. Each bed includes a drip irrigation line under the plastic covering to supply water and fertilizer.

Limited resource producers are defined as having direct or indirect gross farm sales of not more than $100,000 in each of the previous two years and receiving little or no assistance from the government.

The program emphasizes marketing and requires a three-year commitment as funds are provided in increments of a maximum of $500 each year. Micah Anderson, ODAFF plasticulture coordinator, said applicants will be evaluated based on experience, marketing plans and application date.

Farmers selected for the program supply water and soil testing, plants and soil preparation in addition to production reports. ODAFF will provide plastic, drip tape and shut-off valves.

Grant funds may be used for soil and water testing, animal depredation control, wildlife fencing, fertilizer, scales and plants. The plasticulture grant program currently has $17,000 available.

For additional information and grant forms, contact Ashley Bender at (405) 522-4330. Application forms are also available online at www.oda.state.ok.us/mktdev/plasticulture.htm.

Mustang elementary teacher Kent Hathaway a Rising Star in Oklahoma

21 TEACHER OF THE YEAR  RISING STARS 2015

By Daniel Lapham,

Mustang elementary teacher Kent Hathaway was honored earlier this month as one of six Rising Star Teachers from across Oklahoma.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi recognized six Rising Star Teachers on Sept. 16 during the state Teacher of the Year ceremony at the Oklahoma State Fair.

Rising Stars are teachers who show an amazing amount of promise in their profession. They are selected in addition to the 12 finalists for the state Teacher of the Year.

Hathaway said he believes the future of education lies in the integration of five specific subject areas into lesson plans for all ages.

“All students regardless of age, intellect or ability can experience success in learning science, technology, engineering, art and math,” he said. “Oklahoma educators will understand the integration and relationship in teaching these multiple subjects, and they will find that students achieve far more than they ever could in any subject alone.”
The selected Rising Star Teachers also received the title of Teacher of the Year for their respective districts. Each Rising Star is selected based on portfolios reviewed by the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year regional selection committees. The judges are made up of award-winning teachers, past Teachers of the Year and past finalists.

“It is an honor to recognize these teachers for the tremendous contributions they have made in the classroom and the promise they show for the future,” Barresi said. “Our students need teachers who think beyond the conventional bounds of education and who are interested in finding creative solutions so that each student can achieve his or her potential. These teachers show they are committed to making a brighter future for all their students.”

The five other Rising Star Teachers from across Oklahoma are Kent Lee, U.S. history, economics and government teacher at Vanoss High School; Georgia Ramsey, a kindergarten teacher at Oologah Lower Elementary School; Susan Thompson, an eighth-grade vocational family and consumer sciences teacher at Owasso Eighth Grade Center; Anita West, a fourth-grade teacher at Elgin Elementary School; and Meredith Ziegler, a vocal music teacher at Wilson Arts Integration Elementary School in the Oklahoma City School District.

In addition to recognition at the Teacher of the Year ceremony, Rising Star Teachers each receive $500 in cash from the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, as well as gifts from the Oklahoma Education Association and Professional Oklahoma Educators.

Mustang has 29 students earn AP Scholar Awards

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By Daniel Lapham,

Twenty-nine students at Mustang High School have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP exams.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement or both for successful performance on the AP exams. About 22 percent of the 2.2 million students worldwide who took AP exams performed at a sufficiently high level to also earn an AP Scholar Award.

The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students’ performance on AP exams.

Three students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of 4 or higher on a 5-point scale on all AP exams taken. In addition, they received scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. These students are Skyler Cornaby, James Nguyen and Corban Recknagel.

Nine students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. These students are Skyler Cornaby, Connor Forsythe, Lance Frost, Nicole Groves, Tanner Martin, Duy Nguyen, James Nguyen, Corban Recknagel and Deborah Samkutty.

Six students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. These students are Lyndon Crouch, Ethan Gorrell, Emma Moore, Lauren Oliver, Visha Patel and Emilee Romero.

Thirteen students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP exams with scores of 3 or higher. The AP Scholars are Ty Astle, David Burke, Jessica Clough, Lane Driskill, Jessica Garner, Christopher Hampton, Scott Kersh, Brandi Lazarus, Ryne Martin, Jacob Moore, Ali Morrison, Christine Thomas, Meenu Thomas and Tosha Williams.

Through 34 different college-level courses and exams, AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit or advanced placement and stand out in the college admission process. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP exams are aligned with the same high standards expected by college faculty at some of the nation’s leading liberal arts and research institutions. More than 3,600 colleges and universities annually receive AP scores. Most four-year colleges in the United States provide credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying exam scores. Research consistently shows that AP students who score a 3 or higher on AP exams (based on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest) typically experience greater academic success in college and have higher college graduation rates than students who do not participate in AP.

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than 7 million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

Bedlam Blood Drive coming to Mustang Saturday

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Rachel Brocklehurst,

Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) is bringing Bedlam to Mustang with a game plan to save lives. Anyone 16 years or older is urged to donate Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Each blood donor will receive the choice of a free University of Oklahoma or Oklahoma State University blood donor T-shirt and a chance to win a pair of tickets to the 2014 Bedlam football game.

“Someone needs blood every two seconds,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of OBI. “That is why we are asking everyone to rally their community spirit along with their school spirit this football season.”

Oklahoma Blood Institute exclusively provides every drop of blood needed by patients in Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital and all metro Oklahoma City area medical facilities.

Some 150 other medical facilities across the state rely solely on OBI donors to provide lifesaving blood for their patients.

Because there is no substitute for blood, the supply must constantly be renewed. All blood types are needed, but those with O-negative type blood are especially encouraged to donate. According to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), only nine in 100 people in the United States have this blood type. However, O-negative blood can be used for any patient. It is especially needed in emergency situations when a patient’s blood type has not yet been determined.

Blood can be given every 56 days. To find out more information or make an appointment to donate, call (877)-340-8777 or visit www.obi.org.

*It should be noted that 16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission, 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds, and 18 years and older must weigh at least 110 pounds.

Blood donation is voluntary, and no contribution, donation, purchase or payment is necessary to enter the prize drawing.

Toastmasters Club celebrates 21 years

8 Toastmasters Nine

By Rachel Brocklehurst,

The Mustang Toastmasters Club just celebrated 21 years helping individuals overcome their fear of public speaking and polish their presentation in a fun, laid-back atmosphere.

The club was founded in 1993, under the concept of providing a “speaking laboratory,” where participants can practice speaking and gain confidence in a friendly environment.

“It took a few months before we enlisted 20 members and became an official club of Toastmasters International on Sept. 20, 1993,” said Mitch Eaton, Toastmaster president.

The mission is to provide a positive, friendly environment where men and women, from all walks of life, can develop and maintain their communication and leadership skills.

“Over the years, we have witnessed many individuals become better communicators, better speakers and in general, better citizens by attending a few Toastmasters meetings,” Eaton said.

Currently, the club meets at 7 a.m., every Thursday at the Mustang Police Department.

The club currently boasts 12 members, with nine listed as active.

Each person is given the opportunity to speak in front of a friendly, caring group, who are interested in helping people become better communicators and better leaders.

By practicing short talks in front of a friendly audience, members gain confidence and skills that will help out in the real world, whether at home, work, or church, Eaton said.

Over the last 21 years, the club has been in several locations; from Mid-First Bank to the MustangSeniorCenter. No matter where the club meets, its purpose remains to provide a fun environment to push ones skills.

“Our meetings are fun, interesting, informative and rewarding,” Eaton said. “I’d encourage anyone to come join the fun.”

United Way aims to raise more than $150,000 at kickoff event

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By Daniel Lapham,

The United Way of Canadian County announced its goal to raise $163,000 at the 2014 Campaign Kickoff event last Thursday at the Czech Hall in Yukon.

More than 15 partner agencies handed out information to community members as they ate lunch and listened to the presentation from United Way leaders.

Kimari Ranney, Canadian County coordinator, said she is excited about the goal this year and knows the community will respond. The 13 “Pacesetter” organizations, partners that pledge to get a head start on the goal, gave the program a boost.

“Our Pacesetters have raised $68,948, giving us a huge push toward our goal,” Ranney said.

United Way of Canadian County was founded in 2002 by local volunteers seeking a unified solution to critical needs in the community. Now serving more than 40,000 county residents annually, United Way funds programs focused on “successful kids, strong families, healthy citizens, independent living and community preparedness.” Seventeen local partner agencies currently partner with the United Way.

“Our programs cannot function without the United Way and all of you,” said John Schneider, Youth and Family Services.

Anyone interested in giving to the United Way of Canadian County can donate online at www.unitedwaycanadiancounty.org.

In addition to online giving, there are many ways to give to United Way.

United Way’s Leadership Giving program gives individuals the opportunity to partner with United Way to help generate change in the community.

Workplace Campaigns are a way companies all over Canadian County come together in generous support of United Way by raising money at work.

United Way leaders said the organization is also in need of volunteers.