Absentee voter registration and the request for an absentee ballot closes at 5 p.m. CST on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (Forms will not be accepted after 5:00 p.m.)
Both forms need to be completed in order to receive an Absentee Ballot.
Forms can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to:
Mailing address: Election Board
P.O. Box 580
Okmulgee, Ok. 74447
Fax number: 918-756-2637
Absentee ballots will be mailed out August 31, 2015.
Precinct voter registration closes Sept. 9, 2015 5:00 p.m. CST.
The MCN Election Board Office can be reached at: 918-732-7685, 732-7631 and 732-7736.
Over before it even began, Ryan Olson’s mission to walk for Muscular Dystrophy has come to an end for now. Olson planned for his 2,800 mile journey to being in Coney Island, New York, a destination he would reach after two days on a greyhound bus.
The journey was expected to take 100 days, with Olson hoping to walk 28 miles a day primarily along Route 40, detouring to the Grand Canyon, and eventually ending in Long Beach, California. We received an email regretfully informing us that after only a few days into his expedition, Olson twisted his ankle and was unable to walk any further. No word on if Olson plans to attempt the walk again next year. Attempts to contact Ryan for more information have been unsuccessful so far.
With Tuesday’s weather a little more blustery than usual, it was only fitting that the Channel 6 Storm Chasers were the guest speakers at this weeks Okmulgee Lions Club Meeting. Darren Stephens and Von Castor were on hand to discuss the ins and outs of a day in the life of a storm chaser, and to show off their freshly equipped vehicles.
“What an honour it is to be here,” Stephens began. “Our peak season is Spring- March, April, May, and we will have a thunderstorm or a winter storm to keep us busy, but in the ‘off season’ this is it, this is what we do. We visit civic clubs or organizations, we visit the fairs. We get most of our enjoyment from meeting the citizens of Eastern Oklahoma.”
Stephens also spoke on the team’s brand new SUV and truck that have recently been outfitted with all the latest weather tracking equipment. Each vehicle has internet capabilities and the ability to stream 10 separate streams of information back to broadcast, enabling the videos to be seen more clearly, and with less interference, by the viewers. Stephens stated that the first big test for these vehicles and their equipment was the March 25 tornado that touched down in Sand Springs, the tornado that also knocked channel 6 off the air for a short time due to the high wind speeds.
Stephens also broke down the normal day for a storm chaser during their busy season, “By mid-day, Travis (Meyers) will have sent out an email letting us know who needs to be where and by when. This will change throughout the day depending on how the weather chooses to move. We stay in constant contact and our biggest challenge is to avoid ‘chaser convergence’. We need to make sure all areas are covered. We can't all switch positions and leave an area of severe storm uncovered.”
Stephens was also asked how he got into storm chasing, a career that began 11 years ago with Stephens working as a free lance chaser.
“I emailed every station and Jim Giles at Channel 6 was the only one to respond. I started ‘third string’, way out in the sticks. I knew I had to find a way to prove I could be ‘first string’,” Stephens highlighted his journey, along side Castor, to become one of the most trusted storm chasers in Oklahoma.
Castor took the podium next. His 30-year career as a chaser, began in 1986, when he was ‘conned’ by his brother, who is also a storm chaser for Channel 9 in Oklahoma City, into using his bag phone to help call in storm locations.
“Tornado’s are beautiful, dangerous but beautiful. No one ever wants to see any damage or lives lost, but tornado’s are one of God’s most beautiful creations.” Castor gushes.
Castor jokes that Stephens covered all the big stuff but was open to any questions. First question for Castor was for an explanation of the radars and how what we see as viewers differs from what they see in the field.
Castor explained that there are two different radars, one which shows rain, the other which shows wind, “When we are on the ground, what we are seeing, a tornado, that shows up up as colors on the radar, green when it is moving towards the radar, red when moving away. If the wind radar shows the red and the green moving next to each other, converging, these are the conditions for a tornado. The radars show how much rain and how quickly it is moving basically.”
Castor also spoke on the surge of hobbyist chasers and how dangerous their presence can be for those who are trained and certified, “When you are in an storm and you are trying to get the necessary data to keep lives protected and amateurs are getting closer than necessary or preventing us or others from getting out of harms way, its frustrating. But should they be regulated? No I don't think so, its how we all got our start.”
Both Stephens and Castor encouraged anyone looking to enter the field to do it properly, to begin with classes through the National Weather Service, get to know your local emergency management personnel, and check the spotter training calendar from NWS to see when and where classes will be held.
The program ended with the two storm chasers encouraging the members to come outside and take a look inside their newly outfitted vehicles and take pictures. Next weeks guest speaker will be Okmulgee Football Coach, Kevin Gordon.
Photo by Paul Orosco - ONN
OKLAHOMA CITY –There is only one week left for Oklahomans who sustained damages from the May 5 through June 22 storms to apply for state and federal disaster assistance.
Residents and business owners in the 45 counties approved for Individual Assistance have until August 26 to seek assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
The designated counties are Adair, Atoka, Beckham, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Delaware, Garvin, Grady, Hughes, Jefferson, Johnston, Kiowa, Latimer, Le Flore, Lincoln, Logan, Love, Marshall, Mayes, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Pushmataha, Rogers, Seminole, Stephens, Tillman, Tulsa and Wagoner.
To date, more than $47.5 million has been provided to Oklahoma disaster survivors. This assistance includes $16.9 million in funding for disaster related housing needs and other disaster related expenses, more than $19.9 million in SBA loans, and more than $10.6 million in payments to policyholders with the National Flood Insurance Program.
SBA has issued 1,546 applications for low-interest disaster loans to homeowners and businesses. More than $18 million has been approved for homeowners and more than $1.8 million has been approved for business owners rebuilding after the storms.
There have been more than 10,720 total registrations for assistance. There are several ways to register for assistance. Call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Or go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov using a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against emergencies and disasters. The department delivers service to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties through a network of more than 350 local emergency managers.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.
The public is invited to hear State Auditor Gary Jones who will be the featured speaker for the Tuesday, September 8, meeting of the Okmulgee County Republicans.
In addition to being the State Auditor, Gary is a former State Chairman of the Republican Party. He was also the whistleblower who helped the FBI bring down a group of very corrupt state politicians several years ago.
Gary has a unique perspective of the cost of government and what can be done to dramatically lower costs. From that perspective, Gary will explain his proposal that Oklahoma adopt a new format for our state government that could save millions of dollars annually.
It's a proposal that stirred quite a desire for debate at the June Republican State Committee meeting. We invite you to be one of the first outside of Republican State Committee members to hear about the idea that will ruffle so many legislators' feathers.
The September 8 meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the OSU Student Union Building. OSU is located at 1801 E 4th Street in Okmulgee.
Pursuant to the Notice of Regular Meeting properly filed and posted as required by law, a regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners of Okmulgee County was held August 10, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. in the County Commissioners Office at the Okmulgee County Courthouse. Present were Robert Hardridge, Chairman; James Connors, Vice-Chairman; Ron Ballard, Member. Becky Thomas, County Clerk, was present to take minutes.
The Board approved the minutes of August 3, 2015. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The Board approved the monthly reports for the following: Sheriff’s Office for the month of June 2015; Election Board for the month of July 2015. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The Board approved the following Blanket Purchase Orders:
Mack Truck Sales, TCR
Auto Zone, B-2
The Oil Pit, Sheriff’s Service Fee
O’Reilly Auto Parts, Sheriff’s Service Fee
Brown Printing, Court Clerk Revolving Fund
Motion, Connors; Second, Ballard. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The Board approved the following Utility Permit:
ONEOK Gas Transportation, for gas line in District #1
Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The Board approved the surplus of 2014-2015 Fiscal Year Highway monies to the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year as follows: Highway Cash Personal Services, $5,241.88; Highway Cash Maintenance & Operations, $6,569.02; County Bridge & Road-105 Fund, $29,106.17; CRT Highway Fund, $14,330.09; TCR Highway Fund, $10,200.82. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The Board approved the Tower/Ground Lease Agreements with Frosty Towers, Inc. and TEAM (Tower Erecting and Management) for the County-wide digital radio and repeater system. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The Board approved the reimbursement claim for expenditures of the District Attorney’s Office for the month of July 2015, in the amount of $1,988.51. Motion, Connors; Second, Ballard. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The Board approved the reimbursement claim for the Election Board Secretary’s salary for the month of July 2015, in the amount of 3,101.07. Motion, Connors; Second, Ballard. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The Board approved the payment of the following claim: P.O. #481 to the Twin Hills Fire Department out of the TCR Highway Fund, in the amount of $12,400.00. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The meeting adjourned at 9:19 a.m. with a motion by Connors and a second by Ballard. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.
The Okmulgee County Sharks Special Athletic Assoc. will hold their Shark Fun Fest on Saturday Aug. 22 downtown on the square from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be a car and motorcycle show, carnival games, a live D.J. Dave Crow, a dunk tank. There will be a silent auction from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.. The special Olympic Choir will sing at 11 a.m., a BBQ lunch will be served up by Newman’s Firehouse for $7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A three-car auto collision on Main Str. in Okmulgee ended with a busted storefront door windows at a local business.
According to the Okmulgee Police, one vehicle hit another, vehicle two, that ended up striking a third vehicle that was a black Chevy Avalanche and pushed it into a a set of double doors busting the glass panes at Ausbrook’s Used Cars.
The driver of vehicle the second vehicle was transported to the hospital and it is unknown the extent of their injuries. The accident is still pending investigation for the cause of collision.
Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN
This past Tuesday night the Okmulgee County Republicans held their regular monthly meeting with Pam Pollard, President Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women as the special guest speaker.
Pollard spoke about "The Politics Surrounding Israel - The Real Story". Pollard recently returned from a trip to Israel with a group hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The group toured not only religious sites, but other areas impacted by the Palestinian conflict, including an Israeli hospital close to the border. They were also briefed by an Israeli General and a member of Parliament and many came away with a different perspective of the situation in that area than what the U.S. media portrays.She relayed very informative facts and showed interesting slides about Israel.
She said, "...her purpose was to understand Israel's right to be a nation." She said there are many political issues and life is sometimes difficult in thist deeply religious historical country.
She said she saw first hand and became educated about the religious Israel and Historical Israel.
Pollard told the group that the Israelis have an advanced robust defense system in place such as their "Iron Dome."
"The youth at age 18 are required to join the military and there are no exceptions for them not to join," said Pollard. "There is always a military presence around the borders."
You want to be an entrepreneur? Well, let’s get started! Potential small business owners will benefit from “Entrepreneurship Basics Series,” a four-part series to provide basics for establishing a business. The September event will take place Thursday, September 10th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the We Watkins Technology Center, 7892 Highway 9, Wetumka. Registration is $15 per person and participants may register online at www.reiwbc.org.
The first workshop in the series will help you answer these questions: Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Will your idea work? How do you get started? Participants will work through the characteristics necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. Other discussions will focus on business structures, financials and registering your business. Additionally, tips will be shared on how to write a business plan, which is essential in getting a business off the ground and growing.
Presenters will include John Blue, Manager, Indian Business Development, Muscogee Creek Nation; Julie Stovall, Vice President, First United Bank, Holdenville; and Christina Culver, REI Women’s Business Center Coordinator.
“This is your opportunity to learn about approaches for starting a business and whether or not it’s right for you,” said Christina Culver, REI WBC Coordinator. “We are here to help guide you and you won’t want to miss this unique workshop!”
Running once a month from September through December, others topics in the series will include:
· Marketing Your Business
· Introduction to Digital Marketing
· Funding Options and Financials for Start-Ups
Event partners include Wes Watkins Technology Center, Okemah Chamber of Commerce, OSU Extension, Henryetta Chamber of Commerce, and REI Women’s Business Center, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
For more information about this event, call Christina Culver at 800-658-2823. In addition, visit www.reiwbc.org or facebook.com/REIWBC for a calendar of upcoming trainings.