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Statewide News

PokemonGoReutWASHINGTON — The Pentagon lost more than 1,000 man-hours of work over the past week due to fully grown adults blowing off work to look for Pokémon, a news release said today.

“I suspended training and gave the entire school a few days off,” said Capt. Kevin Byrne, commanding officer of Naval Nuclear Power Training Command. “Funny thing was it wasn’t because of the students. All the instructors threatened to strike if they didn’t get to play ‘Pokémon Go.’ I decided it was fine because it’ll be the only exercise they’ve had in years.”

“Cell phones are forbidden in Rickover Center because of all the classified information inside,” Byrne added. “But I’ve suspended that rule because there’s a venusaur on the third floor. Also I’m not worried about classified information anymore because nobody else is.”

The reports of service members playing ‘Pokémon Go’ were not limited to just one command.

In Norfolk, a sailor was arrested for forcing his way onto a submarine so he could capture a gyarados, and soldiers of the 10th Special Forces Group scheduled a training mission in the Rocky Mountains because they heard there was a graveler on top of Mt. Elbert.

A pilot died in a plane crash near Edwards Air Force Base, and his last transmission was apparently “There’s got to be a flying type up here!”

Meanwhile, Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, announced plans for invading Syria sometime early next week.

“Our mission is simple,” Dunford said. “Defeat ISIS, restore regional stability, and catch rare fire types. They thrive in the desert.”

Hardesty Center for Dance

Broken Arrow, OKLA. – After more than a year of construction, the Hardesty Center for Dance Education will open its doors in Broken Arrow this month. Community members, families and potential students are invited to attend a grand opening event on July 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will include class demonstrations, facility tours, meet and greet with the faculty, refreshments and special performances by Tulsa Ballet’s second company, Tulsa Ballet II.

“Opening this facility has been a dream of Tulsa Ballet for a long time,” said Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini. “Tulsa Ballet has recently been called ‘one of the five most influential American ballet companies’ by the Italian critics. It’s our mission and duty to share the quality, expertise and excellence intrinsic to our organization with a larger segment of our community. Achieving this goal was a dream of ours, one that was impeded by lack of space: our Brookside facility has been near capacity for years. Now with a new space, and a stellar staff to match the architectural attractiveness of the site, we will be able to reach everyone from the future prima ballerina to the little girl or boy who just wants to dance for fun.”

Located off of New Orleans street in Broken Arrow, the Hardesty CDE primarily serves Broken Arrow, Bixby and South Tulsa to complement Tulsa Ballet’s existing Brookside location. The new location is home to four ballet studios with basket-woven sprung floors with Marley covering, ten-foot mirrors and a state of the art sound system. One of the studios will be used for performances and has seating for 160 people. The facility also has administrative office space, dressing rooms for both boys and girls, a lobby spacious enough to accommodate waiting parents and 4,000 square feet of warehouse storage space for sets and costumes.

“Having danced and taught all over the world, I can truly say this is a state-of-the-art facility,” said Hardesty CDE Co-Principal Andre Reyes. “From the level of instruction these students will receive to the amenities, you can’t help but fall in love with dance by being here.”

The Hardesty CDE will offer classes to both children and adults, making it a place for everyone to have the option to further their talents. Enrollment for fall classes has begun and will remain open until they become full. Educational Outreach programs for elementary school students will also be offered through the Hardesty Center.

For more information about fall classes, the grand opening event and the Hardesty Center for Dance Education, please visit www.tulsaballet.org or call (918)712-5327.

July Commission Wrap-Up:

Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, July 11 meeting include details of a federal grant for major work on US-69/75 in Bryan County, action on an agreement to move forward with a bond issue for transportation projects and consideration of new memorial highway and bridge designations. Commissioners voted to award contracts for major projects on SH-51 in Stillwater and SH-39 near Lexington and to repair vehicle damage on I-40 in Oklahoma City and US-169 in Tulsa.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director Mike Patterson highlighted a recently-announced $62 million federal grant that will help fund a project to upgrade four miles of US-69/75 to a controlled-access highway between Calera and Durant in Bryan County. This corridor currently has interstate-like traffic traveling on a highway with several at-grade intersections and traffic signals, which causes significant congestion and safety concerns.

“There is an amazing amount of economic growth and development in this area of Oklahoma and this grant makes it possible for ODOT to upgrade the highway and support the increased freight movement in the region,” Patterson said. “I’m very thankful and proud of the agency for obtaining this grant, which was one of only 18 awarded nationwide.”

Patterson also expressed his thanks to Oklahoma’s congressional delegation and the Choctaw Nation for supporting the project. The total cost of the improvements is estimated at $120 million, and ODOT is expediting the environmental review, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation to prepare the project for bid in Federal Fiscal Year 2019.

The commission voted to allow ODOT to enter into an agreement with the Oklahoma Capital Improvement Authority for a $200 million bond issue to help finance highway and bridge projects in the Eight-year Construction Work Plan. The legislature authorized the sale of bonds through OCIA to help offset cuts to ODOT in the State Fiscal Year 2017 budget. The proceeds of the bond issue will be used to pay for work that is starting soon and construction projects scheduled in the Eight-year Plan.

Commissioners awarded a more than $7.3 million contract for bridge reconstruction on SH-51 in Stillwater and a contract with a $9.7 million base bid for a project to resurface, add paved shoulders and replace a bridge on SH-39 east of Lexington. They also approved contracts to repair vehicle impact damage to the I-40 bridge over Choctaw Rd. in Oklahoma City and the US-169 bridge over Pine St. in Tulsa.

As part of the consent docket, the commission also gave its approval to install signs designating five memorial highways and bridges, including the “Meteorologist Gary England Bridge” on US-60 in Major County.

In all, commissioners awarded 24 contracts totaling $50 million to improve bridges, highways, interstates and roads in 19 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Blaine, Bryan, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Garfield, Grant, Harmon, Jackson, Kay, Kingfisher, LeFlore, McClain, Major, Oklahoma, Payne, Seminole, Texas and Tulsa counties. A list of all awarded contracts can be found by visiting www.odot.org/contracts, selecting the June 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. Due to the Independence Day holiday, the next meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. August 1.

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

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At their Monday, July 11 meeting, members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission praised a recently-announced $62 million federal grant that will help fund an Oklahoma Department of Transportation project to upgrade US-69/75 between Calera and Durant in Bryan County, pictured here

Art fallin

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today welcomed Kaitlyn Haught to the state Capitol to celebrate the artist’s success in the inaugural Western Governors Association (WGA) “Celebrate the West” regional art competition.

Haught, a recent Hooker High School graduate, earned second place in the contest with her colored pencil drawing “Cutting Horse.”

The drawing will displayed in the lobby of the governor’s office at the Capitol for the next 30 days.

“This is a truly beautiful picture, fully deserving of a place alongside the works of other great Oklahoma artists here at the Capitol,” said Fallin. “I’m looking forward to seeing more of Kaitlyn’s work as she continues to hone her artistic talents.”

Haught’s drawing was one of more than 200 entries in the WGA contest, which drew from 19 Western states.

WGA staff selected the winners from each state, then the governors who attended the association’s summer meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., picked the “Best of Show” winners. Haught’s drawing won a $500 prize for finishing in second place.

"I have always loved horses, and I want to be able to show the power and the beauty of them in my artwork,” she wrote on her entry form. “This piece means the world to me, and I want the world to be able to appreciate its beauty as much as I do."

Haught, who plans to attend Oklahoma Panhandle State University in the fall to study computer graphics and animation, said she has been drawing since she was 2.

Haught said her drawing always has been an outlet for her imagination. She started by copying her mother’s sketches and borrowing as many drawing books and animal encyclopedias as she could from the local library.

She credits her art teacher, Joshua Muller, with showing her all of the media available to her and encouraging her to enter her work in competitions.

Her work earned top prizes in Texas County, Woodward and Mooreland, before she set her sights on a larger competition.

Haught said she spent a total of three months working on her “Cutting Horse” drawing, hoping to qualify for a competition in New York.

That didn’t work out, but the drawing did win best in show at the Panhandle Area Art Jubilee in April before earning second place in the WGA competition.

Haught said she hopes people who see her drawing will “not only see the spirit of Oklahoma but also the beauty God created.”

For more information about the WGA art competition, click here.

A $380 Million Cash Value

Oklahoma City (Jul. 7, 2016) —The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday night’s drawing has reached $540 million! This is the 3rd largest Mega Millions jackpot and 7th largest North American jackpot in history.
The estimated cash value of the jackpot is $380 million.

Players have until 8:59 p.m. on Friday to purchase tickets for the next Mega Millions drawing. Mega Millions drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:59 p.m.
Play Responsibly

With the Mega Millions jackpot at $540 million, the Oklahoma Lottery is encouraging everyone to play responsibly.

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If you enjoy traveling and sight seeing, the Confederate Rest Cemetery is a historical place to visit.  Paul Orosco former photojournalist for the Okmulgee News Network, now living in Alabama, recently visited the historic Confederate Rest Cemetery at Point Clear.  From time to time we will bring you interesting stories and photos from places around the US. We want to share his photos and a short video to help transport you there with him for a journey through this rich history.

Confederate Rest Cemetery is an inactive portion of Point Clear Cemetery, where Confederate dead were laid to rest, most of whom died at the Grand Hotel, when it was used as a hospital during the Civil War. No new burials take place in this cemetery.

Facts About Confederate Rest

The American Civil War began officially April 12, 1861 when the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina. 11 states seceedeed from the union.

Disease was the leading cause of death during the American Civil War. More than 400,000 soldiers died off deseases while battle wounds clamed approx 200,000 soldiers.

More Americans died in the American Civil War than in WW II. the civil war claimed 620,00 lives and WW II claimed 405,000 lives.

1.5 million served in the Confederate Army. Very few records available.

100,000 Confederate soldiers were probably killed due to combat.

A Confederate General was 50% more probably killed compared to a lowly enlisted
man.The Confederacy had 5 Secretaries of war during this time.

Enlisted men were forced to serve 2 more years in the army

200,000 Confederate soldiers died from sickness or in prison camps.

About 100,000 soldiers deserted during the war and fared better than those men who died for a lost cause.

At the outset of the war the strategy was to make North come to them.

A Confederate soldier earned $11.00 per month, hardly enough to offset the misery.

The Confederacy turned away volunteers at start of war cecause they simply did not have enough gear to outfit so many men.

In 1864 Confederacy President Jefferson Davis, who was the South's only President, publicy announced 65% of the their soldiers were AWOL. The beginning of the end. He originally was a US Senator from Mississippi.

The Confederate soldiers wore captured union uniforms. They have enough of their own and wore anything that fit.

Each sub group in the Confederate Army was named for the state of the groups origin. Most draft eligible southern men wound up voluntering instead of waiting for the draft. Reason the men were ashamed of being drafted and the social standard stigma was too harsh for them.

General Robert E. Lee surrendered the last Confederate Army on April 9, 1865 at the Appomattox Court House in Virgnia ending the Civil War.

Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN

(OKLAHOMA CITY) The Oklahoma Highway Patrol added 29 new Troopers to its ranks with the graduation of the 64th OHP Academy class on Friday, June 17. The ceremony took place at Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond.

Senator James Lankford was the keynote speaker for the event.

The Academy began on January 27 with 40 cadets in attendance. The graduates successfully completed 20 weeks of intensive training and will be assigned to OHP Troops across Oklahoma.


Wednesday, 15 June 2016 11:17

Americans See Gas Prices on the Rise

With the summer driving season at hand, Americans are much more pessimistic about gas prices than they were last summer.

The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on June 8-9, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 11:10

Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $310 Million

A $211.1 Million Cash Value

Oklahoma City (Jun. 15, 2016) —The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday night’s drawing has reached $310 million! The estimated cash value of the jackpot is $211.1 million.

Players have until 8:59 p.m. on Friday to purchase tickets for the next Mega Millions drawing. Mega Millions drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:59 p.m.
Play Responsibly

With the Mega Millions jackpot at $310 million, the Oklahoma Lottery is encouraging everyone to play responsibly.

(Shawnee, Okla. – June 6, 2016) St. Gregory’s University announced today that its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program has been granted full accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The accreditation is retroactive to October 15, 2015.

“Going through the development and implementation of a nursing program at St. Gregory’s is a great illustration of The Little Engine That Could. The faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to make the accreditation process a successful reality,” Dr. Susan Barnes, Dean of St. Gregory’s School of Nursing said. “This accreditation is a testimony to the good people that are so dedicated and passionate about nursing. This hard work is an acknowledgement of the nursing shortage and our ability to make a contribution to solving the problem. Nurses play an important role in each of our lives.”

St. Anthony Hospital, Saint Francis Health System, St. John Medical Center and Mercy Hospital — Oklahoma’s four Catholic healthcare systems — are key partners in St. Gregory’s nursing program, supporting a caring approach that preserves the dignity of the human person. The curriculum's ethical component is informed by the Catholic Church's moral teaching, and supports the University's overall mission of forming the whole person - mind, body and spirit.

The success of the nursing program has spurred the University to explore the possibility of opening a College of Health Care as part of its recently approved strategic plan, Vision for Our Next Century.

“This is a marquee day for not only our School of Nursing, but also for St. Gregory’s University,” Michael A. Scaperlanda, President of St. Gregory’s, said. “Our nursing program’s roots within the Catholic Liberal Arts intellectual tradition prepares our students to go out into the world and become beacons of light within their communities while serving others in a way that respects the dignity of human life. This is only our first step as we continue to look for ways the University can serve the vast Catholic health care network in Oklahoma and across the nation.”

The nursing program has previously been approved by the Higher Learning Commission, received provisional approval from the Oklahoma State Board of Nursing and has been offering nursing courses in a traditional format as well as the accelerated Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree completion program for working adults since August 2014. Currently there are over 75 students enrolled in both the traditional nursing and RN to BSN Degree programs.

For more information on St. Gregory’s Catholic Nursing or RN to BSN program, contact the St. Gregory’s admissions office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 1-844-BE EXTRA or visit www.stgregorys.edu/nursing.

Founded in 1875, St. Gregory’s University is Oklahoma’s oldest institution of higher learning and only Catholic university. St. Gregory’s offers a liberal arts education rooted in the Benedictine tradition of cultivating the whole person – mind, body and spirit. With campuses in Shawnee and Tulsa, St. Gregory’s features both traditional and adult degree programs, including associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. For more information about the University, visit www.stgregorys.edu.

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