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Okmulgee in the News

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It is always good to have a 15-minutes-of-fame program because that means we are adding more members to our ranks. Such was the case Tuesday for Lion Charles Otto, representing the newest member. Unlike the Okies in "Grapes of Wrath", Otto was born in California but migrated with his parents to Oklahoma in 1946, locating in a small town southeast of Ada. Otto's mother was originally from Oklahoma, and that is why they came here from California. His father bought 40 acres and thought he would be a farmer, but it didn't work out very well. There were some "rehabilitation" programs available back then, so his father took advantage of them and became a teacher, until he felt the "call" to preach and became a Methodist minister. Which, Otto explained, was the reason they lived in several different towns during his growing-up years before graduating high school in Copan.

After high school, Otto joined the U.S. Navy and spent some time on an aircraft carrier, U.S.S. BonHomme Richard, CVA-31. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he came to Haskell, where his parents were living at that time. He was employed by National Tank in Tulsa and began his career of 45 years as a welder. The last six of those years were spent with IC Bus Company, also in Tulsa. Otto retired, and he and his wife bought some acreage in the Twin Hills area, spending a lot of time improving the land. They eventually sold the acreage and moved to Okmulgee.

Needing "something to do", he worked for Walmart for six years, laughingly stating that he put bicycles together, but later admitting that was not all he really did. Nevertheless, we are glad to have this new member join our ranks and we certainly can find something for him to do.

On a related note, the 100-year celebration glass was won by Lion Kyle Powell on the ninth name drawn. We still have a few more slots for a few more good men and women. Come give us a try! "WE SERVE"
Pictured left to right: President Lion R.C. Morrow. Lion Charles Otto, and Program Chairman Lion Ron Martin.
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig)

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Pictured is Program Chairperson Lion Beth Flud, Paul Schatte, and President Lion R.C. Morrow. - Photo by Dean Craig

Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was another "Made in Oklahoma" product program by Paul Schatte (pronounced Shot-ee), Vice-President and part-owner of Head Country BBQ Sauce in Ponca City. This story, and history, has it's beginnings in World War II by Donovan "Bud" Head, a cook on a Navy destroyer, who served his own recipe sauce to the men on the ship. After coming home from the Navy, Bud and his wife Freda produced the popular sauce from their ranch house, and neighbors would line up with their fruit jars. In 1977, it became too much to handle, so Bud passed along his secret recipe to a nephew, Danny Head. Bud probably never imagined his sauce would become a staple at backyard BBQ's across 26 states and 18 foreign countries. Head Country is now Oklahoma's #1 selling BBQ sauce and the Ponca City plant produces 6,000 gallons of the sauce per day.

Paul Schatte grew up in Texas and he and his wife attended a college in Nebraska to become teachers. He was a classroom teacher for nine years and a Principal for 11 years before meeting Danny Head in 1990, when Schatte began competing in competitive championship BBQ contests. Schatte is a 15 year veteran of professional competition and won the Jack Daniels World Championship Cook-off in Tennessee in 1994. He won the Reserve Grand Championship American Royal Invitational in 2004 and has over 25 State Championships.

In June 1999, Danny Head convinced Schatte to join the Head Country competitive BBQ cook-off team, which he did, and became an employee of Head Country. Nine years later, Schatte bought a half-ownership in the plant and the restaurant. About three years ago, an equity group (which included a son of Tulsa resident and former NFL professional player Steve Largent) bought most of the company, with Schatte retaining a partial-owner share of the plant, and Danny assuming ownership of the Head Country BBQ Restaurant. However, the restaurant had to change the name due to copyright ownership and is now called Danny's BBQ Restaurant.

According to a recent survey, Head Country BBQ Sauce is #10 in the top 50 sauces marketed, even though they are in only about 12% of the grocery stores, unlike most of the major brands labeled under world-wide companies. Pretty good for a company which celebrates 70 years next month, and only has 27 employees They have expanded the product line to include (other than original); Hot flavor, Hickory Smoke flavor, Championship Seasoning (or dry rub), and Premium Marinade.

At the conclusion of his program (not to be out-done by the likes of the Dr. Phil show), Mr. Schatte announced that everyone gets a free bottle of sauce or seasoning. So, when the dismissal gong rang, we were lined up like pigs at the trough to pick up a free sample. What a pleasure to have Paul Schatte as our guest and help celebrate 70 years of success from another "Made in Oklahoma" company, Head BBQ Sauce. Now, y'all pick up a bottle or two of this juice, ya' hear?

On a related note, three Lions (Craig Brydges, Kyle Powell, and Christie Baldridge) were awarded special 100-year celebration pins for sponsoring a new member during this year. The 100-year commemorative glass was won by Lion Robert Bible on the third name drawn. We still have three more to give away, so ALL Lions should make an extra effort to be present for the drawing. We are still searching for a few more good men and women to join us. "WE SERVE"
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(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig with excerpts from an internet article by Lance West).

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Okmulgee Lions President R.C. Morrow was presented the District 3-0 Lion of the Year Award Saturday , May 20, at the Lions State Convention in Midwest City. Making the presentation is Lions International Director N. Alan Lundgren, Scottsdale, Arizona (left), Lion Morrow, and Incoming District 3-0 Governor Gene Redford. Lion Morrow is the fourth Okmulgee Lion to receive this prestigious award since this award began in 1974.
(Photo and information provided)


Rotary President Elect Darryl Raley presents a check and certificate to Okmulgee High School’s Best All-Around Boy, Ian McAnally.


On behalf of the Okmulgee Rotary Club, President Elect Darryl Raley presented the club’s annual Rotary scholarships to OSUIT to Kiara Jones and Michael Cook.

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Pictured left to right: Program Chairman Lion Rusty Milroy and Dan Bewley. Photo by Dean Craig

By Dean Craig Okmulgee Lion

Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was another trip to nostalgia-land with Okmulgee ties brought to us by Dan Bewley, former long-time news/sports reporter on both Channel 6 and Channel 8 in Tulsa. Additionally, he worked TV stations in Virginia, Michigan, and Texas, covering an approximate 25 year period. So, about three years ago he felt he needed a change of pace, and began a company called Your Story Media to produce videos geared toward advertising. But I'm getting ahead of my story.

Bewley graduated from high school in Edmond and graduated college from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha. He is a self-proclaimed baseball "nut", history "nut", and more specifically, an Oklahoma history baseball "nut", which is how he came to establish his present T-shirt business, Three Sands Clothing.

Three Sands is now a ghost town, but it existed right on the Noble County and Kay County line south of Ponca City. It was an oil boom town--there was just a massive oil field there. It was named because they found oil in three layers of sand, so Three Sands. But it's where his dad was born and his grandfather worked in the oil fields. The name of the company, Three Sands Clothing, is a tip of the hat to his grandfather, who was just like thousands of other Oklahomans who toiled every day to provide for his family and to make this state a better place, and they are kind of lost to history. So, Three Sands, to Bewley, is a shout-out to his grandfather, but also all of the men and women who worked hard and did the things that were necessary to do to survive.

Baseball was played in Oklahoma and Indian Territory as soon as there were enough players to field teams, Many towns and cities formed their own professional organizations. They hired players from around town and even brought in ringers from out of state. These players had dreams of making it to the Major Leagues and a surprising number of them actually made it. Bewley's research indicated that about 300 or 400 of these "town teams" played ball between 1882 and the 1950s, and they were a sense of pride for their communities. Bewley said the first recorded organized baseball game in Indian Territory was played July 4, 1882. Coal miners from Krebs and coal miners from Savanna got together and played a baseball game. They used cans and sacks of hay for bases. There was like 300 or 400 people there, so it was a big deal.

One of the "retro-vintage" T-shirts Bewley brought to the Lions to display/sell was this first game of Krebs vs. Savanna. The other one was the 1912 Champion Okmulgee Glassblowers. His research could not identify the sponsor of the team but it is believed that there were three glass plants in Okmulgee at that time, so probably were sponsored by one of the glass plants. Frank Gardner was player/manager, and other members of the team (mostly only last names known) were: Maddicks, Upton, Pierce, Clayton, Clark, Ash, Baxter, Jeffries (catcher), 6"3" first baseman Earl Roberts, Everdon, Burnett, Taylor, and Harris. Bewley was amused to recount a May 1928 baseball game that his research uncovered between an Okmulgee team and a Tulsa team played at the "Okmulgee Field" (has not been able to be identified) that ended in a "seat cushion battle". Fans began throwing seat cushions at each other after the game, but no injuries were recorded. Neither was the score, so apparently it wasn't important to either side.

Other early baseball teams mentioned were the Oklahoma City Pirates (1891, two years after the "land run"), the Tulsa Railroaders, the Bartlesville Boosters, the Broken Arrow Nine, and Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers playing against the Muskogee Mets and the Tulsa Producers in 1916. Also, according to research, the 1922 Okmulgee Drillers was one of the top 100 baseball teams ever. Shoppers can see the full inventory at threesandsclothing.com or GreenHouse Clothing, 3310 S. Yale Ave. Three Sands Clothing items also are available at Dwelling Spaces in the Boxyard, Beard and Blade in Jenks, and Studio 405 Clothing Company in Oklahoma City. Bewley is looking at the possibility of a retail outlet in Okmulgee for his T-shirts. One of his T-shirts has the first rules of early-days baseball and one of the rules says you are not allowed to kill the umpire.

On a related note, the newest member, Lion Charles Otto, won the 100-year celebration glass on the first name drawn, unlike the previous weeks. We still have a few more glasses to award and a few more spots for a few more good men and women. Come join in the revelry, relaxation, refreshing, and rewarding fun of our club. Hope to see you soon! "WE SERVE".

(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig, with excerpts from threesandsclothing.com and Jimmie Tramel, Tulsa World).

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(Broken Arrow, Oklahoma) -- Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow will be the host site for free professional development opportunities for Oklahoma third through 12th grade math teachers this summer June 12-15 and July 24-26.
The workshops are part of the Oklahoma Mathematics Advancement Project, a three-year Mathematics Science Partnership Grant funded by the National Department of Education through the Oklahoma State Department of Education at $550,000 per year.
The grant was awarded to Dr. Martha Parrott, Professor of Mathematics and Assistant Dean of the NSU Greg Wadley College of Science and Health Professions, Martha Wissler and Linda Hall, project managers and mathematics education consultants. NSU is the higher education partner.
Since there is only one three-year MSP award given in Oklahoma for mathematics, Parrott said it is a great honor for the team to have been selected as the recipients. Their project is focused on delivering OKMAP professional development across Oklahoma.
“The ultimate goal is to provide purposeful professional development for classroom teachers that will ultimately impact third grade through algebra II students in Oklahoma. We want our students know and understand mathematics more deeply so that their learning will be made more relevant and sustainable,” Parrott said.
According to Parrott, all MSP awards must have a local school district as the lead fiscal agent. The lead school district for this award is the Western Heights School District in the Oklahoma City area.
School district partners were selected in accordance with grant requirements and include Tahlequah, Glenpool and Muskogee public schools on the east side of the state and Western Heights, Millwood and Crooked Oak public schools from the west side of the state. Parrott said teachers from other districts are invited to participate as well.
This is the beginning of year two and Parrott said teachers who have been participating in the project say they feel better equipped to provide more relevant, sustainable learning experiences—this means more student engagement and less worksheets. Teachers say they can already see the positive impact that their new content and pedagogical knowledge is having on their students.
“As we move forward into year two of the grant, teachers will continue to share what they have learned with other teachers in their districts thus impacting even more students in Oklahoma,” Parrott said.
During the upcoming workshops, teachers will learn not only from Parrott, Hall and Wissler but also from national presenters including Cheryl Rose Tobey and Emily R. Fagan, known for their work with mathematics assessment probes, David Foster, author and director of the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative, and Chris Shore, contributing author to the Mathematics Project Journal “Ultimate Math Lessons.” 
For more information, contact Parrott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 918-449-6474.

State vs Cory Fish

DA Rob Barris announced that on May 26, 2017, Cory Fish entered a plea of guilty to the crime of murder first degree in the murder of Joshua Pascal that occurred in November 2015.

Fish entered his plea of guilty and was sentenced to serve a term of life imprisonment. Under Oklahoma law, a conviction and sentence for murder first degree requires a defendant to serve at least 85% of the sentence before they are eligible for parole. The state considers life to be equivalent to 45 years so Mr. Fish will be required to serve 38.25 years before he would become eligible for consideration for parole.

Mr. Fish also was revoked from probation on a prior drug possession charge and pled guilty to a charge of possessing drugs in jail. He was sentenced to serve ten (10) years on those charges to run consecutively to the life sentence.

“This case began as missing persons case in November 2015. As a direct result of the dedicated efforts of Okmulgee police and all members of the district 25 violent crime task force, we were able to finds parts of Mr. Pasquale’s body in 2 separate locations both connected to the defendant. Mr. Fish ultimately confessed to this murder”, said Barris.

“It is my hope that the hard work put in by the district 25 VCTF and this office will bring some closure and comfort to the Pascal family.”

OSU Prevention Programs
Margaret Black

In Okmulgee County, almost 39 percent of high school seniors have reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, and 21 percent of those seniors who are drinking are binge drinking according to the 2016 Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment (OPNA). When reviewing data for substance abuse issues, in Okmulgee County, underage drinking is one of the most pressing issues.

Underage drinking has many detrimental effects. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “underage drinking contributes to a wide range of costly health and social problems, including injury and death from motor vehicle crashes, interpersonal violence (such as homicides, assaults, and rapes), unintentional injuries (such as burns, falls, and drowning), brain impairment, alcohol dependence, risky sexual activity, academic problems, and alcohol and drug poisoning.” Allowing youth to drink alcohol is setting them up to have many long lasting consequences such as permanent danger to their still developing brains, alcoholism, unintended pregnancies, and even death.alcoholadsunderage

For the most part, Okmulgee County Seniors are not purchasing or stealing the alcohol they are consuming. Adults are providing the alcohol to them. The OPNA shows that seniors in the county are drinking at a friend’s house 70% of the time, and 53% of the time the alcohol is provided by someone they know who is 21 or older.

Parents and other adults in the community need to realize the dangers of providing alcohol to youth as well as the legal consequences. In November 2011, Cody’s Law, also known as the Social Host Law, went into effect. This law makes it illegal for someone to provide the place for youth to drink. This includes not only in your home, but also anywhere on your property.

The first offense of the Social Host Law is punishable by a $500 fine. The fine increases with the second offence and with the third offence it becomes a felony charge. If someone is injured or killed as a result of the underage drinking party, the host may also be charged with a felony.

Please do your part to prevent underage drinking, by not allowing youth a place to have drinking parties. If you are aware of an underage drinking party, please contact your local law enforcement. If you would like more information about the Social Host Law visit www.oklahomasocialhost.com, or call the Regional Prevention Coordinator (RPC), who is funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) at 918-756-1248.

High school seniors across the country are studying for their final exams in preparation for graduation. Graduation is a big accomplishment, and will likely be followed by parties honoring the students. Oklahoma State University’s department of Prevention Programs wants to remind everyone to celebrate safely and follow the law by not providing alcohol to minors.

The 2016 Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment (OPNA) reports 47% of Oklahoma seniors, who drank, were provided the alcoholic beverage from someone they knew over the age of 21. The current culture regarding alcohol use by minors suggests that many parents feel that this behavior is okay, as long as they can supervise it. However, underage drinking is not only dangerous for youth physically, it is also illegal.

Oklahoma’s social host law is intended to crack down on adults who allow underage drinking at their residence. This includes family members like parents and older siblings who provide alcohol to minors. Under the law, individuals as young as 17 can be charged and held accountable if a minor is found to be in possession of alcohol.  UnderageDrinking

The law, known as Cody’s Law, states that “no person shall knowingly and willfully permit any individual under twenty-one (21) years of age who is at the residence of the person or any building, structure or room owned, occupied, leased or otherwise procured by the person or on any land owned, occupied, leased or otherwise procured by the person, to possess or consume any alcoholic beverage.”

Those found in violation of Cody’s Law can be charged with a misdemeanor, be required to pay a $500 fine, or even be sentenced to five years in prison. Repeated convictions result in felony charges.

Under the law, prosecutors are not required to show that the host actually provided the alcohol; they simply need to demonstrate that the host provided a space that allowed minors to consume alcohol.
Local graduation ceremonies are fast approaching. Help keep graduation happy and safe; don’t provide alcohol to minors. For more information about the Social Host Law contact the Regional Prevention Coordinator (RPC), funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), (918)765-1248.

If you suspect underage drinking is taking place at a party, please contact the local police department or Sheriff’s Office.

First Family Federal Credit Union (FFFCU) is proud to announce membership expansion has been approved for six additional counties. Those who live, work, worship or attend school in Atoka, Coal, Haskell, Hughes, Latimer and Pushmataha counties are now eligible to open an account with FFFCU, in addition to the current membership of McIntosh, Okfuskee, Okmulgee and Pittsburg counties.

David Dykes President/CEO stated, “One of the advantages of credit unions is that we are a financial cooperative. Each and every member is not only a member; they are an owner of the credit union. All residents of the 10 counties will be able to take advantage of our full array of financial products and services. We pay our owners back by providing lower interest rates on loans, higher rates of return on deposits and lower fees and charges on services.”

Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans, and provide a wide array of other financial services. But as member-owned institutions, credit unions focus on providing a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates.

To better serve their members, a new position has been added to the employee roster. Ashley Morris of Okmulgee has been hired as FFFCU Member Development Representative. Her role is to visit the expanded membership region and educate the public on the credit union difference. Ashley said, "I'm very excited to be working with FFFCU! I've had family ties with them for many years! They are the most welcoming group of people I've ever come across. We are people helping people, and I'm very happy to be a part of this movement!"

With current locations in Checotah, Henryetta, McAlester and Okmulgee, FFFCU offers financial products such as competitive savings and CD rates, free checking, free debit cards, free online BillPay, free mobile app and so much more. FFFCU is a not-for-profit organization, which means that they give back what they earn.

FFFCU’s main goal is to serve their members rather than to maximize corporate profits. Their vision statement is Exceeding Expectations to Make a Positive Difference.

The term “member” may sound exclusive but their membership range is broad. Even if your immediate family is a current member, you can open a savings account with a minimum of $5.00 at FFFCU.

Your investments are secure at FFFCU. Savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. Government Agency. FFFCU Board of Directors are elected from membership and serve in a volunteer capacity. Election is held annually at the FFFCU Annual Meeting and each member is invited to attend and have a vote. As a member, YOU are the owner of FFFCU.

For more information about membership or if you just have financial questions, please visit online at www.firstfamilyfcu.com. FFFCU is also invested in the community! Find them on Facebook at facebook.com/firstfamilyfcu.

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