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March Commission Wrap-Up: Funding cuts could reverse transportation progress, centerline rumble strip projects coming to highways, $87 million in contracts awarded

Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, March 6 meeting include a discussion about the state’s budget and the impacts of funding cuts to highway maintenance, recognition of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s anti-litter efforts and approval of several centerline rumble strip and resurfacing projects statewide. The commission also awarded contracts for resurfacing and added shoulders on SH-66 in Oklahoma County and bridge rehabilitation on US-64/SH-51 (Broken Arrow Expressway) and SH-11 in Tulsa and on I-35 in Garvin County.

Following the recent announcement of a revenue failure and cuts to state agencies, Transportation Commission Chairman David Burrage, Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley and ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson had a frank discussion about the negative impact of state funding cuts, the state’s recent bond rating downgrade and the overall downward budget trend on ODOT and the state’s competitiveness.

“In the past decade, we’ve seen major improvements to our bridges, but that’s only part of the infrastructure issues that need to be addressed,” Burrage said. “With the same budget shortfalls facing our state year after year, we need to let the taxpayers know that further cuts to transportation funding will hurt the current and future condition of roads and bridges in Oklahoma.”

Video of this discussion can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/207192854. Since 2010, a total of nearly $437 million in state funding has been cut from ODOT.

Patterson restated to the commission that funding proposals being considered by the state legislature, including motor fuel tax measures, would not increase funding to ODOT. In fact, the governor’s proposed executive budget would direct nearly all motor fuel tax revenue to ODOT while sending the income revenue that the agency currently receives back to the state’s general fund, a move that would not increase ODOT’s budget.

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Executive Director Jeanette Nance presented the commission and ODOT with the State Agency Partnership Award from Keep America Beautiful in recognition of the department’s partnership in anti-litter efforts. The award was previously given to ODOT in 2012 and 2014 for its work with KOB to conduct litter cleanup events statewide. Thanks to efforts by ODOT and other agencies in 2016, volunteers with KOB were able to help state and local governments in Oklahoma avoid millions of dollars in litter cleanup costs. The department estimates that it costs $5 million annually to clean up litter along highways.

The commission voted to award several contracts for installation of centerline rumble strips to help improve safety on undivided highways in different parts of the state. Similar to shoulder rumble strips, the centerline pavement will be milled to produce vibrations and noise to alert drivers who drift from their lane. The department plans to deploy this safety improvement statewide to help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by crossover collisions. A full list of locations receiving centerline rumble strips is attached.

Commissioners approved contracts to resurface and add paved shoulders to SH-66 near Luther and rehabilitate bridges on US-64/SH-51 (Broken Arrow Expressway) and SH-11 in Tulsa and rehabilitate two I-35 bridges near Pauls Valley and Wynnewood in Garvin County. They also approved contracts for numerous pavement improvement projects, including resurfacing on I-40 near Elk City, US-70 near Hugo and US-77 in Norman.

In all, commissioners awarded 46 contracts totaling more than $87 million to improve bridges, highways, interstates and roads in 32 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Atoka, Beckham, Caddo, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cleveland, Coal, Comanche, Creek, Dewey, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Kiowa, LeFlore, Lincoln, Logan, Mayes, Nowata, Oklahoma, Osage, Ottawa, Payne, Pittsburg, Pushmataha, Roger Mills, Rogers, Seminole, Texas, Tulsa, Wagoner and Woods counties. A list of all awarded contracts may be found by visiting www.odot.org/contracts, selecting the February 2017 letting and clicking Go and then Award.

The eight-member panel, appointed by the governor to oversee the state’s transportation development, awards project contracts for road and bridge construction every month. The next meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 10, one week later than usual.

Contracts, bid information, the commission’s monthly agenda and project details can be viewed at www.odot.org.

Area cattle producers are invited to attend the Deep Fork Cattle Conference on March 9th at 5:45 pm at the Okmulgee County Fairgrounds. A meal will be provided by the hosting counties’ Cattlemen’s Associations, so free of charge to attendees! It is critical that we have all meal RSVP’s by 4:30 on March 6th. The agenda for the evening is: current cattle market report, record keeping for profitability, mineral supplementation, and weed ID and control. Here is a great opportunity for cattle producers to learn about some new techniques that could put dollars in their pocket.

This program is presented by the McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee, and Okmulgee County OSU Extension offices. We are bringing research based information to area livestock producers. The meeting is open to the public and free of charge. The meal will begin at 5:45pm and the program will begin at 6:30pm. If you have any questions, and to reserve your place at the table, please call the McIntosh County Extension Office at (918) 689-7772, the Okfuskee County Extension Office at (918) 623-0641 or Okmulgee County Extension at 918-756-1958.

Wednesday, 01 March 2017 18:21

Okmulgee County Re-issues Burn Ban

Okmulgee, Okla. -- During last week, Okmulgee county fire departments responded to at least eight wildfires. Do to the warmer than average temperatures, dormant vegetation, windy conditions and the continued threat of wildfire poses to the citizens of the county. The Okmulgee County Commissioners have again issue a seven (7) day Burn Ban for all of Okmulgee County beginning today.

Under this burn ban in Okmulgee County it is unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, range, crop, or other wildlands, or to build a campfire or bonfire, or to burn trash or other materials that may cause a forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands fire.

Any person convicted of violating this burn during a ban is subject a fine of not more than $500, to imprisonment for not more than one year imprisonment or to both fine and imprisonment.

Even a small spark can turn into a massive life threating wildfire.
If you see a fire immediately dial 9-1-1. If you see hazardous conditions please report them by contacting your local fire department, or the Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office 918-756-4311.

By Betty Anderson

Marty Williams, Directory of Technology Services/Planning and Zoning Department and his crew work regularly to keep the computers and all of the technical aspects of the City running smoothly. He fixes the computers, networking and printers in the city but is currently working on a project to save the city money with the lighting for the various areas.

Williams said, “We ordered replacement LED lighting for five places in the Library to test them out.” He went on to say, “Everyone involved was very happy with the look of the fixtures, the amount and quality of light they gave off and the ease of installation. These lights will be installed as time allows and will decrease the amount of time and money spent on replacing malfunctioning CFL bulbs. The average life of these fixtures is 50,000 hours which should give us an average lifespan in the range of twelve to fifteen per year. Over time, this should save a substantial amount of money, in electricity, replacement bulbs and man-hours spent in working on the fixtures.”2017 01 17 MartyWilliams

Williams continued, “Due to increasing amount of money being spent on the utility bills, we’ve been analyzing the bills and rate structures in detail. We’ve cancelled several electric accounts that were no longer needed, but had not been disconnected. We’ve also identified several possibilities where we can change the rate code that certain meters are charges under and by modifying plant processes at the Wastewater Plant we can significantly reduce our costs.”

He stated, “We also worked with Wastewater plant personnel in helping them to run their aerators in a more energy efficient manner, utilizing equipment that was already in place.” Williams said that the crew at the Wastewater plant is now trained as to how to operate more efficiently. In working with the City’s PSO Representative, Williams will have the plant operating the lifts out of peak hours which will be a considerable savings of utility expense. At this time William said the savings are between $5,000 and $6,000 in electricity costs per month and he is working towards getting them down to approximately one half of what they were paying.

AGENDA FOR REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

OKMULGEE COUNTY

As required by Section 311, Title 25 of the Oklahoma Statutes, notice is hereby given that the Board of County Commissioners of Okmulgee County will hold a regular meeting on December 27, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. The meeting will be held in the County Commissioners Conference Room in the County Courthouse, located at 314 W. 7th, Okmulgee.

NOTE: The Board may discuss, vote to approve, vote to disapprove, vote to table or decide not to discuss any item on the agenda.

AGENDA

1. Call to Order, Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

2. Possible approval of minutes from regular meeting

3. Input by the Public on any non-agenda items

4. Order of Business:

A. Discussion and possible approval of Officers’ Reports

B. Discussion and possible approval of Blanket Purchase Orders

C. Discussion and possible approval of Employee Acknowledgment Forms

D. Discussion and possible approval of submitted Utility Permits

E. Discussion and possible approval of Private Property Agreements

F. Discussion and possible approval of amended Employee Personnel Policy Handbook

G. Discussion and possible approval of Memorandum of Agreement with Muscogee (Creek)

Nation for work on Grayson Road

H. Possible approval of Invitation to Bid #9 for legal publications for twelve-month period

5. Report from Emergency Management Director

6. New Business

7. Discussion and possible approval of claims and/or signing of documents

8. Vote to go into Executive Session to discuss a confidential communication matter with the

Board of County Commissioners’ Attorney

Attorney communications:

25 O.S. §307(B) (4) Executive Sessions: Confidential communications between a public body and its attorney concerning a pending investigation, claim or action if the public body with the advice of its attorney, determines that disclosure will seriously impair the ability of the public body to process the claim or conduct a pending investigation, litigation, or proceeding in the public interest.

9. Vote to return from Executive Session

10. Discussion and possible vote on matters discussed in Executive Session

11. Adjourn

Name/Title of Person Posting This Notice: Becky Thomas/County Clerk

Date: December 21, 2016 Signature: __________________________________

Monday, 26 December 2016 19:08

January 2017 menu for Mounds Senior Citizens

JANUARY 2017 menu for the Mounds Senior Citizens center:

EVERYONE WELCOME - Open @ 9:00 am; Serving @ 11:30 am
~~Dine-In or Carry-Out (918-827-6828)~~

 
Tues, Jan 3 - Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans , Dessert
 
Thur, Jan 5 - Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread, Veggie, Dessert
 
Tues, Jan 10 - Ham & Potato Chowder, Cornbread, Dessert
 
Thur, Jan 12 - King Ranch Chicken, Veggie, Chips, Dessert
 
Tues, Jan 17 - Tator Tot Casserole, Salad, Dessert
 
Thur, Jan 19 - Brown Beans, Fried Potatoes, Cornbread, Dessert
 
Tues, Jan 24 - Frito Chicken Casserole, Veggie, Dessert
 
Thur, Jan 26 - Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Veggie, Dessert
 
Tues, Jan 31 - Taco Soup, Cornbread, Dessert

EngageOK On the RoadOKLAHOMA CITY (August 11, 2016) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) recently concluded its first professional development conference for educators in a regional road trip format, and officials are praising the results.

“At a time when every education dollar is precious, we were determined to minimize travel costs to educators by bringing our EngageOK conference to them rather than asking them to make their way to Oklahoma City,” said Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The feedback we received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. They were so grateful for the opportunity to earn much-needed professional development in a format more convenient to them.”

Educators appreciated OSDE’s closer-to-home conference approach.

“It is nice to have a State Superintendent who is willing to think out of the box for ways to get all stakeholders involved in moving Oklahoma’s education system in a forward direction,” said Lindsay Rana, who teaches first grade in Howe Public Schools. “Quality professional development is essential for providing our students with the most current methods of pedagogy available.”

Held July 18-28 at Broken Arrow High School, Sallisaw Middle School, Durant High School, Edmond Santa Fe High School, Woodward High School and Lawton High School, the conference was free for attendees, whose numbers surpassed last year’s estimate of 5,000. During the eight days of EngageOK on the Road, nearly 6,000 participated in dozens of sessions on a host of education topics, including new academic standards, classroom management, suicide prevention, accreditation, certification and updates on education-related legislation, assessments and the Reading Sufficiency Act. Four of the six sites had more than 100 on waiting lists to register.

Host schools underwrote all or the majority of their costs. Christian Moore of the WhyTry Program waived his speaking fees, and OSDE minimized travel expenses. In total, the agency saved approximately $350,000 over the 2015 conference while reaching a broader audience.

“I would like to applaud Superintendent Hofmeister for making a bold and creative move in taking EngageOK on the road,” said Woodward Public Schools Superintendent Kyle Reynolds, who hosted the conference on July 27. “Having lived in northwest Oklahoma most of my life, I’ve become accustomed to traveling at least a couple of hours for workshops and training. We loved having EngageOK right here in our town. We take great pride in our facilities, so this was an opportunity to put our best foot forward and invite our neighbors to join us for a day packed with meaningful learning.”

The majority of attendees – 58 percent – were teachers, another 27 percent school administrators. Among the most sought-after sessions were those devoted to implementing new academic standards in English language arts and mathematics.

“I’ve been diligent in keeping up with the adoption process of our new Oklahoma Academic Standards,” said Mandi Cloud, a kindergarten teacher at Limestone Technology Academy in Sand Springs. “I attended EngageOK in Edmond and walked away with clarification and strategies that will help me with full implementation of new standards this year.”

During the conference, Hofmeister hosted several town hall meetings to solicit stakeholder feedback on Oklahoma’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan. Some 275 administrators, teachers, support personnel, community members and parents from every region of the state participated in a lunch hour survey and conversation to provide guidance on what Oklahoma public schools should do and be.

Hofmeister said the future for EngageOK on the Road is assured.

“Those of us who worked at the conference – hosts, presenters and OSDE staff – left so rejuvenated at the end of the second week,” she said. “It was a blessing to be able to connect with so many educators around the state. In fact, the response to the format was so positive that we have made the decision to take EngageOK on the road again next year.”

 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 14:18

Henretta Chamber proud of new tennis courts

The Henryetta Chamber held a ribbon cutting recently after the official dedication of the Dr. Carlton E. Smith Tennis Complex. (See related story)

President Jeremy Roberts made comments about the project, “When you look at the tennis courts, this is something that you would see in Tulsa or Oklahoma City, but it is right here in Henryetta, Ok.”JeremyRoberts

Roberts went on to say, “On behalf of the Henryetta Chamber of Commerce, we want to say Thank you to the Henryetta Tennis Association for the work they have done by completing a very large project. The Tennis Association attained funding for over $250,000 for the first phase of the project. This group of people saw a need of improving the existing courts, a plan was formed and executed. Countless hours were put into this by each and every one of them. Many people in this community invested in this project and we thank you as well.  Not only will this improve the quality of the tennis courts, but also our Main Street. This is a treasure to have right here in our city.”

Roberts went on, “The economic impact will be felt with the tournaments and matches that will take place for years to come.  Parents and grandparents, friends and family will be following the tennis players around I am sure. They will need to eat, purchase fuel and other supplies and  they may need to stay a night or two in our hotels.”

Roberts said the investment will pay dividends for the community  as well as provide a fun learning experience for all that play tennis. He thanked the Tennis Association for their vision and improvement of the city

“It is something to be proud of and I would encourage everyone to get involved in some capacity and take pride in Henryetta, our home town. It’s a great day to be a Henryetta Knight!”

RibbonCuttingTennis2

Photos by Allen Gardner

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TennisSponsors

Sponsors help support the tennis courts year round. 100% of the sign income is used to support the summer tennis program.

By Valerie Rice - ONN

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Henryetta is well known for the fine tennis teams they have produced throughout the years. With much work in refurbishing the old tennis court into a brand new facility through their Main Street Tennis Court Project, the citizens of Henryetta plan to keep it that way. An official dedication ceremony was held Saturday as a large crowd came out as well as the sunshine that made a perfect day for the occasion. It was an eventful experience for all those involved in the project.

Stan Swyden welcomed everyone and said as a part of the exciting day they wanted to recognize specific components that helped accomplish all that has been done.

Swyden gave special recognition to the Lions Club, “They have done so much for the tennis program. They immediately picked up the summer program after Dr. Carlton Smith’s passing.” Dr. Smith who died in 1982, supported the entire tennis program for over 30 years, both financially and as an active participant. Smith was inducted into the Oklahoma Tennis Hall of Fame as well as named Henryettan of the Year by his community.

Janice Spurlock and Billie Been spoke on behalf of the Henryetta Lions Club. They thanked all the visionaries who began the program.

In thanking the coaches and assistants Been said, “They truly understand how this tennis program builds more than athletes, it builds our leaders of tomorrow. We are extremely proud to be a part of this program.”

Several was recognized who worked on the project; Mark Milligan, Johnny Trusdale, Stan Swyden, Mike Kennedy, and James and Connie McCullah. “Without them, this surely would not have been possible,” said Swyden.

Mark Johnson was recognized as being the originator and spearheaded the project. He is a 1979 HHS Graduate, two-time state champion, nationally ranked through his jrs’ career, Southwest conference Champion at Arkansas in college, Big 8 Champion at OSU and NCAA Div. 1 All-American and 20-year retired women’s coach University of Oklahoma where he won multiple coaches award’s.

Mark Johnson took the podium to explain the 3-year project to attendees. He said, in February 2015 the project was approved by City Council. The two adjoining lots were donated to the city and the next four months were spent preparing the site for the court builders. The old fencing and many trees were removed and a major cleanup was needed on the lot behind the backboard. This was necessary to protect the new courts, make room for future expansion, and most importantly to make the facility safer for Henryetta kids.

“We want to thank Tristan Demmitt, Graham City Manager, Arley and his staff for their help,” said Johnson.

Sign structures were built to hold 20 advertising signs that now generate a little over $5000 a year in income. 100% of the sign income will be used to support the summer tennis program.

“We want to thank American Exchange Bank for paying for the construction of the sign structure, at a cost of $4433. Kole Sutton and Midwest Fence did an outstanding job building it and HTA wants to say thank you to them and special thanks to Mr. Ron McAfee for his ideas and guidance on the design,” said Johnson.

The committee hired one of the top court builders recognized in the United States for over 25 years, Australian Courtworks, who built four new post tension concrete courts. State-of-the-art technology was used at every step.

“Paul Lockwood, an Oklahoma tennis Hall of Famer and former men’s tennis coach at OU, said recently he thought these were the best courts in the state,” said Johnson.
New black vinyl fencing was added to frame in the new facility. With the addition of new lights, Henryetta kids now have a visible, safe location to socialize with their friends and play tennis at night.

“HTA would like to say thank you to Henryettan Mike Vail who did an outstanding job installing the new lights,” said Johnson.

There were many more highlights to mention such as the 36’ x 12’ backboard built by contractor Danny Taylor and crew, a new sidewalk and drain was added behind the south fence, contracted by David Wilhite to protect the court surface and keep water off the courts and the final touches of phase 1 adding a windscreen, painting the bleachers, and adding court benches and signs.

A little over a quarter of a million dollars has been done in renovations. Donations came in to HTA from 128 individual and family donations ranging from $20 to $37,000 that came in from all over the state and CA, AR, MO, TX, FL, WA, NC.

Donors included: $1000 each - First National Bank, Jimmie and Terry Goodman, coach Kennedy, Mark and Joanne Milligan, Glen Bawcum, Tim Richie, First Family Federal Credit Union, Jimmy and Carla Thompson, and Stan Swyden. $1500 – Don and DeRhonda Andrews, $2000 – Dr. David and Kathy Warden, $2500 – Paul and Jill Neal, Joe and Ginger Shockley, $3000 – Lynn Prullage, Mr. Frank Ward (also donated all new nets), $5000 – OTE&R Foundation Steve Henry, $9435 – AEB ($5000 plus $4435 sign structure), $10,000 Kim Creech Champagne, and $25,000+ Phil Carter, Connie and James McCullough, Johnson family, Linda Smith, and Mike and Frankie Crawford.

The Henryetta economic development authority added 19% of the project with $49,926.

“The HEDA donation came at an important time and helped close the deal on this project,” said Johnson. “The HTA would like to say thanks again to Keith Estes, Steve Pearson, Ron McAfee, Mike Meeks, Gary Clason, and Henry Koelzer the HEDA board members who voted last year to support this project.”

Creech Family Bench was put in place for Kim Creech Champagne who donated $10,000. She is a 1976 HHS graduate who played tennis often on the courts and participated in the summer tennis program. Kim introduced tennis to her family and Kim’s son Brandon became an outstanding tennis player who played for OSU.

A $10,000 donation was made by a family who requested a bench be placed on the courts to honor Coach Kennedy. Coach Kennedy ran the summer tennis program for over 20 years. He coached three state championship teams and numerous individual state champions.
“No one worked harder on this project and Mr. Kennedy. During the past three years, I know I have talked to him about the project on an average of 3 to 4 times a day, every day. This has resulted in my wife Michelle naming my phone Mr. Kennedy he laughed. He has been involved with every part of this project from day one,” said Johnson.

The Henryetta Tennis Association recognized five donors who gave $25,000 or more.
The backboard and a court bench was named after the McCullough family. They were specially recognized for their upkeep of the park throughout the years.

“Connie and James pledged $25,000 at one of the earliest meetings and also donated the adjoining property to the city that provides room for the complex to expand. This couple has been strong supporters of Henryetta tennis for over 25 years. Their daughters were outstanding players in high school. They have been on the project committee from day one and are passionate supporters of Henryetta tennis. The McCullough family backboard in the McCollum family bench are now a part of this new facility,” said Johnson.

Johnson recognized Linda Smith, Dr. Carlton E. Smith’s daughter and Shelly Yoder his granddaughter, “It is so special having them here today and we all know that without Dr. Smith, none of us would be here today. We presented some information about this project a few years ago at a tennis reunion. Right after the presentation, Linda told me she wanted to be a major donor. About six months later, we had a meeting and talked about the summer tennis program Dr. Smith started, and how Henryetta kids had received free tennis lessons at the site for over 50 years. Linda said she wanted this tradition to continue, and she wrote a check for $25,000 that day. The Smith family name is going up on the second Court, it was Dr. Smith’s favorite court.”

“I know my dad would be so proud, and I am so thankful to everyone who donated and made this project possible,” said Smith.

Phil Carter was one of the first to step up and support of the project pledging to donate $25,000. “Without some early commitments from donors like Phil this project would not have been possible. The Carter Family Court will honor Phil’s parents and family and will be a permanent fixture here on Main Street,” said Johnson.

Phil said he would never forget Dr. Smith and how he was introduced to tennis among so many other children, “It is an honor to be a part of this project.”

Johnson recognized his own family, ”It has been a true honor for our family to contribute to this project. I’ve told many people that I think our family benefited from this facility more than anyone. We all learned to play in the summer tennis program, and we had different family members compete on the three state championship teams. We basically lived at these courts when we were kids. Paul, Ann, Stephen, and I are so thankful for the opportunities we were provided by our parents, Dr. Smith, Coach Kennedy, Phil Carter, and these very special four courts. We have enjoyed partnering with so many friends to get this project built and we are excited to honor our parents, Mr. Eugene and Adeline Johnson, with their names on the Johnson Family Court.”

The Crawford family was recognized next. Johnson explained after being asked to send an email with more details about the project to Mike and Frankie Crawford, he said he received a message back shortly that said, “Frank and I would like to pledge $25,000 to this project. The main street courts and Henryetta tennis in general have been a big part of our lives, and now that the Crawford family no longer have anyone living in Henryetta, this would be a nice tribute that they can pay to our family and our hometown.”

He went on to say, “Mike’s message puts into words what this project is all about, and I know Mike and Frank you’re excited to honor your parents, Mr. Frank in Virginia Crawford, with the Crawford Family Court.”

Mike came to the podium, “We would like to thank Dr. Smith and his family. Not only did Dr. Smith bring all the Crawford kids into this world, but he brought us onto the courts. This was a second home to us. We spent so many hours here. As a matter fact, the old concrete back board was my first girlfriend. I hit on her more then I hit on any girl in Henryetta,” he laughed. “I could not count the number of tennis balls I hit off that wall. So it seems quite appropriate to get court four as our family court as we spent so much time there.”

Johnson finalized, “When our committee first got together to organize this project, we all agreed that when it was completed, we needed to have the facility at 12th and Main officially named after Dr. Carlton E. Smith. He did so much for tennis in Henryetta, and more specifically, he did so much for the kids of Henryetta. Dr. Smith started the summer tennis program, recruited and paid for excellent instructors, he paid for travel expenses to help kids play tournaments, he purchase shoes, rackets, and balls for kids who needed the help. Dr. Smith gave back to the Henryetta community in a big way. It is his example that we are trying to follow, by supporting his summer tennis program, and with the building of this new facility. Thank you Dr. Smith.”

Henryetta Mayor Jennifer Clason brought a special proclamation officially dedicating the tennis complex in his honor in which Dr. Smith daughter excepted.

“The tennis courts have always been special. Whenever you drive down Main Street, there’s always someone playing on the tennis courts. To have this is amazing. We never would’ve guessed it would turn out like this. The beautification of this project will last for many years to come for Henryetta. The quality of life improvement that it has given to Henryetta children and so many others is amazing. The City of Henryetta cannot thank you enough.”

“I am very touched and dad would be so proud,” said Linda Smith.

The Henryetta Chamber of Commerce ended the presentation with a special ribbon cutting. (See related Story)

There are two more phases to the project in which phase 2 is now beginning that will add a brand-new pavilion and some restrooms not to be used just for tennis but for the community. In phase 3 there may be additional parking and more additions.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City man is facing felony charges for scamming a Moore couple out of $3,577.53. The money was part of the insurance settlement the couple received after their home was damaged in the March 25, 2015 tornado.

“We will not tolerate scam artists going after storm victims,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “It’s extremely difficult to put your life back together after a traumatic event. For someone to take advantage of people in a vulnerable situation is extremely disturbing.”

An investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s (OID) Anti-Fraud Unit found that Antario Brown, 36, led the victims to believe he was a public adjuster and that his services were required to process their insurance claim. Not only is a public adjuster not required to process a claim, but Brown has never been a licensed public adjuster.

The victims, both 78 at the time, signed a contract with Brown allowing him to negotiate with the insurance company on their behalf in exchange for 7 percent of the final insurance settlement. Brown then contacted a licensed public adjuster to perform the service. The legitimate adjuster charged the client an additional 10 percent fee. She later contacted OID after learning the victims also paid Brown. When OID investigators spoke to Brown he claimed he was paid as a consultant.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office charged Brown with one count of obtaining by false pretense.

“I know Attorney General Scott Pruitt takes these crimes as seriously as I do and I appreciate his hard work on this case,” said Doak.

If convicted, Brown faces up to 10 years in prison.

About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.

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