Food pantry under holiday pressure

By Carolyn Cole
Published on November 15, 2008

Mustang Kiwanians will spend about $1,300 for turkeys so local needy families will have a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, and more will be needed for Christmas.

Volunteer Glen Muse said the Kiwanis need money to help provide Thanksgiving dinner for more than 100 families who have already signed up for food baskets, which will be delivered Nov. 22. He said they expect that number to grow this week to closer to the 120 families who received help last Thanksgiving.

“The list is still growing,” he said.

Women’s center gets financial boost to make improvements

Women’s Service and Family Resource Center, a Canadian County domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center, was awarded $40,000 in grant funds to make improvements to its Canadian County office.

Sarkeys Foundation of Oklahoma awarded $20,000 and Ashbrook Foundation of El Reno awarded $20,000.
Curtis Blanc, longtime Women’s Service Center supporter, agreed to match a portion of the grant funds.

Citizen soldier and daddy - Area man returns to hugs of family

By Carolyn Cole
Published on November 15, 2008

At first Mustang-area resident Holly Patkowski couldn’t find her husband Max’s face among hundreds of soldiers returning home from Iraq with the Oklahoma National Guard.

Their five children couldn’t pick him out either.

“He tapped me on the shoulder,” Holly Patkowski said. “I turned around, and there he was. I could feel all of the year melt away — all of the worry and the stress.”

Obituaries for November 15, 2008

Tamarra Ann Christian-Dreiske
Tamarra Ann Christian-Dreiske, 37, born in Beaufort, S.C. died peacefully on Wednesday Nov. 12, surrounded by her family, friends and her very special co-workers.

Tamarra grew up in Oklahoma City and was the daughter of Michael Nitzel and Wanda Cobb. She was a graduate from Choctaw High School in Choctaw, Okla.
She was a successful business woman working in the automotive field as a marketing specialist, then as a financial administrator in Oklahoma, Texas and Florida.

Schools trim NCA relationship

By Brett Jones
Published on November 13, 2008

Mustang school board members voted Monday to whittle down the district’s relationship with a national organization whose mission is to help schools improve.

The board voted unanimously to end its association with the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement for its elementary and middle schools. The association, however, will continue to work with Mustang Mid-High and Mustang High School.

Juvenile center budget balloons

By Traci Chapman
Published on November 13, 2008

Personnel costs at the Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children’s Justice Center topped $4.48 million during the 2007-2008 fiscal year, more than the employee costs for all other county departments combined.

County personnel costs, excluding the juvenile justice center, were about $4.06 million, according to financial statements prepared by the county’s accounting firm, Yadon and Putnam.

Focused priorities - Mustang soldier finds life’s goals changing after Iraq deployment

By Carolyn Cole
Published on November 13, 2008

Family met Staff Sgt. Dillon Branham with hugs recently during his welcome home party at his parents Mustang-area home.

Branham held onto his squirming 16-month-old son Jackson, who he watched grow up in photographs while he was stationed at Camp Bucca detention center in Iraq with the Oklahoma National Guard.

Obituaries for November 13, 2008

Eletha Lena Price
Services for Eletha Lena Price will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008, at First Baptist Church in Helena with Pastor Dale Cummins officiating. Burial will be at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, 8801 N.W. Expressway, Oklahoma City, at 3:30 p.m. with Rev. Jim McNabb officiating with arrangements by Lanman Funeral Home Inc. of Helena.

Online condolences may be shared at

Mustang Valley leads in API results

By Carolyn Cole
Published on November 8, 2008

Mustang Valley Elementary teachers have 3,000 reasons to be disappointed that their students scored near perfect on the state Academic Performance Index.

The school received a 1498, two points shy of a perfect 1500 score and the state’s $3,000 per teacher incentive bonus.

Jail study locked down

By Traci Chapman
Published on November 8, 2008

An assessment of county law enforcement operations is scheduled for January, and county officials say they hope it will “light the way” in finding a solution to the problems plaguing the jail.

Sheriff-elect Randall Edwards approached commissioners last week and asked them to sign a letter requesting the study, which will be conducted by agents with the National Institute of Corrections. NIC is a federal agency that provides training and assistance to correctional agencies across the country, Edwards said.

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