Sand Springs golf course ranked among top-ten Best Value courses in United States

Sand Springs, OK -  The City of Sand Springs' Canyons at Blackjack Ridge Golf Course has been named one of the top golf courses not only in Oklahoma, but in the U.S. The recent rankings come from Golf Advisor (golfadvisor.com) an online golfing review source, using feedback from golfers themselves. The 2017 rankings reflect online voting by golfers around the region and the results showcase the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge as the #3 rated top golf course in Oklahoma and among the Top 10 Best Value courses in the United States.

"We've been working on the course for more than ten years, and we're pretty pleased to be noticed in this manner," stated Brian Talley, Director of Golf for the City. "Our course has added many recent improvements like new tee boxes, pond features, beautiful vistas and our greens have been consistently strong."

The Canyons is a USGA sanctioned, 18 hole course overlooking the beautiful Tulsa skyline.  Each year tens of thousands of sports tourists play the course and enjoy the Sand Springs community. Talley says there are no shortcuts in producing the consistently strong product that is the Canyons golf course.

"Many hours are spent by staff every day monitoring the greens, irrigation and nutrient inputs which come together to create a fantastic golf experience for people", Talley added. "With many choices for people to play golf, we go the extra mile with great customer service and competitive rates to keep people coming back."

The Canyons boasts natural rolling topography and small canyons laid out across the course, providing unmatched natural beauty. In recent years the course's #12 hole was voted by Tulsa World readers as one of "Tulsa's Best Holes of Golf" with its dramatic cliff setting and nearly 200' vertical drop to the green below. 

The Canyons offers memberships, tournaments and lessons from PGA professionals. To make a golf reservation call (918) 246-2606 or visit www.canyonsatblackjackridge.com

For more information on the Golf Advisor resource, check out: 

 https://www.golfadvisor.com/best-of/

For more information about the City of Sand Springs, please visit  www.sandspringsok.org and www.seesandsprings.com and follow the City on Face Book for the latest updates.

This Week in Sand Springs (2/11 - 2/17/18)

Monday

  • 4:00 p.m. Sandite Baseball Scrimmage vs. Booker T. Washington (H)
    • Sandite Sports Complex
      408 West 55th Street
  • 7:00 p.m. Sandite Dance showcase
    • Ed Dubie Field House
      500 North Adams Road

Tuesday 

  • 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Sand Springs City Council Ward 6 Election
    • CrossPoint Church
      4600 South 129th West Avenue
    • Fisher Baptist Church
      4008 South 137th West Avenue
  • 5:00 p.m. Sandite Baseball Scrimmage vs. Hilldale (A)
    • Hilldale High School
      300 East Smith Ferry Road
      Muskogee, OK 74403
  • 5:30 p.m. Tulsa Boys' Home Hope Tour
    • Tulsa Boys' Home
      2727 South 137th West Avenue
    • Contact Shannon Curry at 918.245.0231 ext. 5055 or scurry@tbhinc.org to RSVP
  • 6:00 p.m. Lady Sandite Soccer Scrimmage v. Pryor (A)
    • Pryor High School
      1100 Southeast 9th Street
      Pryor, OK 74361
  • 6:30 p.m. No. 13 Lady Sandite Basketball v. Jenks (H)
    • Ed Dubie Field House
      500 North Adams Road
  • 8:00 p.m. No. 10 Sandite Basketball v. Jenks (H)
    • Ed Dubie Field House
      500 North Adams Road

Wednesday

  • Valentine's Day

Thursday

  • 6:00 p.m. Sand Springs Small Business Coalition Meeting
    • Pratt Library
      3219 South 113th West Avenue

Friday

  • OSSAA 6A East Regional Wrestling Tournament (A)
    • Broken Arrow High School
      1901 East Albany Street
      Broken Arrow, OK 74012
  • 4:30 p.m. Sandite Baseball Scrimmage v. Metro (H)
    • Sandite Sports Complex
      408 West 55th Street
  • 6:30 p.m. No. 13 Lady Sandite Basketball v. Bishop Kelley (A)
    • Bishop Kelley High School
      3905 South Hudson Avenue
      Tulsa, OK 74135
  • 8:00 p.m. No. 10 Sandite Basketball v. Bishop Kelley (A)
    • Bishop Kelley High School
      3905 South Hudson Avenue
      Tulsa, OK 74135

Saturday

  • OSSAA 6A East Regional Wrestling Tournament (A)
    • Broken Arrow High School
      1901 East Albany Street
      Broken Arrow, OK 74012
  • 1:00 p.m. Sandite Baseball Scrimmage v. Union (A)
    • Union Intermediate High School
      7616 South Garnett Road
      Broken Arrow, OK 74012

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Church of the Month: Word of Life exists to reach people

Lead Pastor Chad Stewart preaches at a Sunday Service at Word of Life. (Courtesy).

"Go to Sand Springs, raise up a New Testament church, and from there you will touch the world."

Like most nondenominational churches, Word of Life started as a handful of friends with a vision and a prayer. A dozen evangelicals meeting in a downtown Sand Springs storefront for prayer and bible study. They held their first official service on January 4th, 1981 in a twenty-year-old QuikTrip building near the intersection of 10th Street and Adams Road. 

David, Sharon, and Amanda Emigh. 

Pastor David Emigh founded the church at the age of 28 after a one-year stent in Rosebud, Missouri. During his tenure out of state, Emigh felt called by God to return to Sand Springs, raise up a new testament church, and from there he would touch the world. Together with wife Sharon, and their infant daughter Amanda, the Emigh family packed up and returned to their roots.

For thirty years, Emigh led the church. He published three books and aired an AM radio broadcast that reached tens of thousands. His team founded over a hundred churches on multiple continents, established a bible school, and ran an international ministerial organization.

By their 25th anniversary in 2006, the church had grown to over 800 members. They never got to celebrate their 30th anniversary. On June 15, 2011 Emigh died following a motorcycle accident. 

Word of Life founding pastors David and Sharon Emigh pray over current pastors Chad and Sarah Stewart.

Word of Life founding pastors David and Sharon Emigh pray over current pastors Chad and Sarah Stewart.

“Without the Thirty, there wouldn’t be the Seven.” – Linda Scott

On September 11, 2011 the church took its first step forward. Word of Life members voted more than 90% in favor of confirming Chad Stewart as the new Senior Pastor.

Stewart arrived at Word of Life as the College and Careers (Young Adult) Pastor. He worked his way throughout the church, briefly running the bookstore, custodial duties, and serving a year as interim youth pastor. He was promoted to Associate Pastor a few months before Emigh’s death.  

Moving a church forward after the death of its founding pastor was far from an easy task. Stewart had to honor the legacy of the church’s founder, maintain the church’s existing identity, while simultaneously following his own passions and calling.

“That was a rough transition,” says Church Administrator Linda Scott. “The message never stopped being preached. The missionaries that we supported eight years ago, are still being supported today. They have never missed a payment since David died. We cut staff, we cut salaries, we did all kinds of stuff right here, but they never had a loss. That value of what was important to David has been important to Chad.”

Wednesday night service was dropped, and instead an emphasis was put on creating small groups, both ministerial, and shared interest groups. For four years the church hosted a carnival that offered rides, food, snow cones, backpacks, and haircuts all for free. In 2017 the church decided to forgo the one-day-a-year festivities and invest even more into the community throughout the year.

REV. TERRY SCOTT WITH HIS 2012 SUMMER INTERNS ON A MISSION TRIP TO NEW ORLEANS. (PHOTO SCOTT EMIGH)

REV. TERRY SCOTT WITH HIS 2012 SUMMER INTERNS ON A MISSION TRIP TO NEW ORLEANS. (PHOTO SCOTT EMIGH)

Scott has been a member of the church since 1986 when she and her late husband Terry were invited by then-youth pastor Tom McCaslin. When McCaslin left Word of Life to start a church in Midwest City, the Scotts took over as Youth Pastors and served there for more than a decade. Under the Scotts, the Youth transitioned from the main church campus back to the old QuikTrip building where it all began. They continued meeting there until 2016 before rejoining the main campus.

Terry Scott stepped down as Youth Pastor to focus on FutureVision Ministries, but the two stayed plugged in at the church and Terry took on a part-time Missions Pastor position. Linda took on the Administrator position in 2011 and Terry took over as Associate Pastor soon after. Terry continued to travel the world, supporting Word of Life satellite churches, ministering, and leading missions until his death in 2016. He died doing what he loved, on a mission trip in Guatemala.

Volunteers from Word of Life church put in a work day at Limestone Elementary, painting and gardening. (Photo: Micah Felts).

“We exist to reach people.” –WOL Vision.

“We exist to reach people. We want to reach people with the love of Jesus Christ,” says Scott. “Sometimes to reach people, if we can reach a physical need in their life, that can help to bring them to the knowledge that God is a loving god and God is a caring god. We exist to reach people wherever they’re at in whatever condition they’re in.

“It’s not about the lights and all that. You have those things because you’re drawing people in, and we live in an age that people like that kind of stuff. But it’s more about getting to the heart of people. How can we impact them? How can we help them to get from Step A to Step B in their spiritual life? And sometimes it’s how do we get them from A to B when they’re going through a massive change in their life. It’s a divorce, it’s a death, it’s a crazy teenager, a crying baby. How do we help them in those hard times of life to stay on their feet and know that there’s a community behind them that cares about them and the whole time just reminding them what the Word of God says about those things, that He’s there to help them.

“We want people to understand that it’s not just the people at the pulpit that are called to reach people, but it’s all of us. Whether it’s inviting people to church, or handing someone a ‘bless you’ card because you bought their McDonald’s, or whatever. Just showing that love to people.”

Word of Life
1402 N 81st West Ave
Sand Springs, Oklahoma 74063
(918) 245-0262
Service: Sunday 10:00 a.m.
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
http://www.mywordoflife.com
Facebook: @Wordoflifess
Instagram: @Wordoflifess

Sand Springs Museum hopes to host world-famous Blue Dog art exhibit

The Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum could soon host an internationally-acclaimed series of paintings by George Rodrigue. 

The Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum could soon host an internationally-acclaimed series of paintings by George Rodrigue. 

The Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum could soon house a world-famous series of paintings by George Rodrigue. Northwoods Fine Arts Academy teacher Jennifer Barretto recently secured permission to display the art, but first she has to find a way to get it here.

Though the George Rodrigue Foundation has agreed to donate the art for a three-month exhibit next winter, it has to be transported, insured, and protected along its journey. Rodrigue's world-famous Blue Dog paintings are valued at no less than $60,000 apiece, meaning the small Sand Springs museum will have to provide both alarm hooks and security guards for the duration of the visit.

Inspired by the Cajun legend of the loup-garou, Rodrigue's Blue Dog series catapulted him to international acclaim when it was used in an advertising campaign by Absolut Vodka in the early 1990s. Rodrigue passed in 2013 after a battle with lung cancer. His funeral services were open to the public and held at the historic St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

The loup-garou was a Cajun adaptation of the french rougarou, or werewolf. The creature, who typically has a human body and and canine head, is said to prowl the swamps around New Orleans. In some legends he hunts down Catholics who disobey the rules of Lent. In other tales he punishes misbehaving Cajun children. 

The Blue Dog is more "man's best friend" than occult phenomenon, sharing the stance and shape of Rodrigue's deceased pet, Tiffany. Barretto's class has spent much of the year learning about Rodrigue's work and imitating it with their own Blue Dog-inspired art. 

Barretto believes that the display could draw thousands of visitors to Sand Springs from across the region. In addition to the cultural impact it would have on the community, she believes it will also be a financial stimulus for local shops and restaurants.

The Sand Springs Museum has until August 1st to secure the funding for the exhibit, which would arrive in November. According to Barretto, it would mark the first time that Rodrigue's work has ever been displayed in the State of Oklahoma. Rodrigue's widow, Wendy, and son Jacques will also be on hand to share stories of George.

Sand Springs native actor and musician Sam Harris has gotten involved in the project and has released two promotional videos encouraging people to donate to the cause. Harris has starred on television, film, and even Broadway. 

"Art is more than just something pretty or interesting," says Harris. "It is a personal experience...only bound by the imagination of the artist and the viewer. For kids it's really important...it's a foundation for creativity and for critical thinking, things that will stay with them for the rest of their lives."

A GoFundMe account has been set up by Barretto that has already begun receiving donations. To view the page and make a donation, click here.

Board of Ed: Torkleson, DeMurray, Solace Church receive awards, CPHS to offer interior design

The Sand Springs Public Schools Board of Education met in a regular monthly meeting Monday evening at the Charles Page High School Fine Arts Building. 

Board President Rusty Gunn presented the Sandite Spirit Award to Solace Church, accepted by Missions Pastor Ryne Isaac. 

"I love the churches in our community and the partnership that we all share. When churches step up to the plate in helping our schools, it's really an incredible thing. Solace Church has stepped up in a huge way," said Rusty Gunn. According to Gunn, Solace has awarded more than $40,000 in grants to local schools. 

Board member Mike Mullins presented a Sandite Spirit Award to Melissa Torkleson with Champions. According to a statement by SSPS School Counselor Megan Elliott, Champions provides Christmas gifts to many students/families and continually provides clothing, hygiene items, etc. throughout the year. 

Angus Valley Elementary Principal Angelia Noel presented a surprise Pacesetter Award to Graciella DeMurray. A video compilation showed students and peers speaking of DeMurray's kindness, selflessness, and infectious smile. 

Superintendent Sherry Durkee gave a positive report on Daybreak Family Services who provides pro bono counseling to students. She also spoke of difficulties in recruiting new teachers, particularly in the science department. 

Tulsa Tech will be partnering with SSPS to provide an interior design program at Charles Page. The program will remodel two classrooms at the high school. "It hasn't been that difficult to get students interested in meaningful elective courses that provides them a passageway to what's out there beyond high school," said Durkee. 

Durkee addressed the need for a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) center. The district is preparing for an upcoming bond election and hopes to add new buildings at the CPHS campus. 

The district plans to partner with Community Care to provide counseling for employees at a total cost of about $5,000 per year. 

The Board approved an agreement with SRC Solutions Inc. for an online enrollment program. 

The Board approved an agreement with Safe and Civil Schools for two days of professional development in the amount of $12,400.

The Board approved an agreement with the Oklahoma State School Board Association to review the district's current policy manual at a cost of $1,000.

The Board approved $12,600 to purchase a residential lot adjacent to Garfield STEAM Academy. The lot currently has a dilapidated house that will need to be demolished, and the grounds will eventually provide paved parking. 

The Board approved a policy revision that will allow employees to accumulate unused sick leave and vacation days. The days will roll over annually and will be compensated at $10/day upon retirement or resignation.

Sand Springs City Council candidates speak at Chamber forum

Incumbent City Councilman Brian Jackson and former City Councilman Harold Neal spoke at a Chamber of Commerce forum Monday morning at the Sand Springs Tulsa Tech campus. The two are running for the Ward Six seat and the election will be held Tuesday, February 13th.

Jackson, 35, is in his third three-year term on the Council. He graduated Charles Page High School in 2002 and Oklahoma State University in 2007 before taking office in May of 2009. He is currently the Development Manager at Junior Achievement of Oklahoma.

Neal, 65, was a four-term councilman from Ward Five, serving from 2003 to 2015 before moving to his current ward. He graduated Liberty Mounds High School in 1970 and currently serves on the Sand Springs Planning Commission.

Jackson pointed to teamwork among the existing Council as pivotal to the recent community successes such as ALDI and Starbucks. According to Jackson, he first suggested that the City work to put a splash pad on the South side of the river at Pratt Civitan Park. 

Neal says he was recruited to run for his first term by current Mayor Mike Burdge. "I had a big interest in this city as far as the golf course. I was in that business for thirty years." According to Neal, he was an advocate for the golf course at a time when it wasn't as popular, pointing to the sales tax it generates at local convenience stores and eateries from out-of-town visitors as immeasurable. 

Jackson said Angus Valley Park is in need of new equipment but that the passage of a recent general obligation bond will pave the way for a new playground by Spring of 2019. 

Neal identified sidewalks as an area of concern in the ward and said he would advocate for more neighborhood sidewalks if he is elected. 

"I wish more people would call their councilmen when they have complaints," said Neal. "I've never failed to go to the City if one of my voters had a problem. I go to the City and take care of it for them."

City Councilperson is an unpaid position. The City has six wards and one At-Large position. Click HERE to view a map of the City wards. Only residents of Ward Six will be able to vote. The winner of the election will be sworn in at the May City Council meeting.

"Brian's always been a good friend of mine," said Neal. "We worked on the City Council together...I don't feel like I'm running against him. If he beats me that's fine, that's not a problem."

This Week in Sand Springs (2/4 - 2/10/18)

Monday

  • 12:00 p.m. Sand Springs City Council Ward 6 Candidate Forum
    • Tulsa Tech - Sand Springs Campus
      924 East Charles Page Boulevard
  • 5:30 p.m. Sand Springs Public Schools District Dialogue Meeting
    • CPHS Performing Arts Building
      600 North Adams Road
  • 6:00 p.m. Sand Springs Parks Advisory Board
  • 7:00 p.m. Sand Springs Public Schools Board of Education Meeting

Tuesday 

  • 6:00 p.m. Guys Night Out
  • 6:30 p.m. No. 11 Lady Sandite Basketball v. Union (A)
    • Union Multipurpose Activity Center
      6836 South Mingo Road
      Tulsa, OK 74133
  • 7:00 p.m. No. 5 Sandite Wrestling vs. Bixby (H)
    • Ed Dubie Field House
      500 North Adams Road
  • 8:00 p.m. No. 10 Sandite Basketball v. No. 6 Union (A)
    • Union Multipurpose Activity Center
      6836 South Mingo Road
      Tulsa, OK 74133

Wednesday

  • 12:00 p.m. U.S. Cellular Ribbon Cutting
    • 430 West Wekiwa Road
    • Same store, new management. 

Thursday

  • 6:00 p.m. Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce Annual Reception and Silent Auction
    • PostOak Lodge
      5323 West 31st Street North
      Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127

Friday

  • 9:00 a.m. Oklahoma Youth Wrestling League State Championship
    • Lloyd Noble Center
      2900 Jenkins Avenue
      Norman, OK 73019
  • 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. CrossFit 1055 & YellowHouse Sip & Shop
  • 7:00 p.m. No. 10 Sandite Basketball v. No. 8 Owasso (A)
    • Owasso High School
      12901 East 86th Street North
      Owasso, OK 74055
  • 6:00 p.m. No. 5 Sandite Wrestling (A)
    • Dual State Championship Quarterfinals
    • Firelake Arena
      18145 Old Rangeline Road
      Shawnee, OK 74801

Saturday

  • 8:00 a.m. Oklahoma Youth Wrestling League State Championship
    • Lloyd Noble Center
      2900 Jenkins Avenue
      Norman, OK 73019
  • 1:00 p.m. Meet the Sandites - Baseball
    • Sandite Baseball Complex
      412 West 55th Street
  • 2:00 p.m. No. 5 Sandite Wrestling (A)
    • Dual State Championship Semi-Finals
    • Firelake Arena
      18145 Old Rangeline Road
      Shawnee, OK 74801
  • 6:30 p.m. No. 5 Sandite Wrestling (A)
    • Dual State Championship Finals
    • Firelake Arena
      18145 Old Rangeline Road
      Shawnee, OK 74801
  • 6:30 p.m. No. 11 Lady Sandite Basketball vs. No. 4 Owasso (A)
    • BOK Center
      200 South Denver Avenue
      Tulsa, OK 74103

Add your event to our weekly newsletter. Email SanditePrideNews@gmail.com

  • Free for nonprofit/free/charitable events.
  • Free for Sandite Pride Partners.
  • $5 fee for for-profit events.

Sand Springs Flowers to relocate under new ownership

Sand Springs Flowers held a grand opening Thursday evening in downtown Sand Springs, but the business is anything but new. Though it has changed hands a few times over the years, the business traces its roots back to before the city was officially incorporated.

Jessica Hendricks took over the shop after previous owner Carolyn Short announced her retirement in December. Short ran the business for more than two decades before closing its doors in January. Hendricks opened them right back up.

Originally owned by Sand Springs founder Charles Page in 1908, the business was moved to its current location in 1987. Three decades later, the shop has plans to move once again. Hendricks is currently renovating a storefront previously occupied by The Book Box at 26 East Broadway in the building with Napoli's Italian Restaurant.

Sand Springs Flowers will continue to offer the same quality floral arrangements it has been providing for over a century, but also looks to add new opportunities for the community. 

"We're now offering an art journaling class," says Hendricks. "I'm in the works on getting a glass-staining class. We've talked about trying to get a calligraphy class going, a floral design class, we've got all kinds of things in the works right now."

The store is now an exclusive carrier of Glacier Confections, a Tulsa-based chocolate company. Their flowers come from Green Leaf Florists in Tulsa and they're also carrying hand-painted signs by Hendricks's sister-in-law.

The store caters to patrons of all budgets, with Valentine's Day candy and balloon bouquets as cheap as $5.00. The store will also deliver throughout Sand Springs and Tulsa. 

Sand Springs Flowers is currently located at 206 North Main Street and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The store can be reached at 918-245-9511.

Allison Ikley-Freeman takes oath of office, begins first term in State Senate

Senator Allison Ikley-Freeman, D-Tulsa, was sworn into office by State Supreme Court Chief Justice Douglas Combs Thursday, February 1, in the Senate chamber at the Capitol.

Allison Ikley-Freeman is now officially on the job as State Senator for District 37. The West Tulsa Democrat was sworn in during a ceremony at the Capitol on Thursday morning as friends, family and other supporters looked on from the Senate gallery.

“I am grateful to the citizens of District 37 for trusting me to be their voice in the Senate,” Ikley-Freeman said. “I’m looking forward to promoting legislation to help increase access to quality education and fund public education programs. Ensuring access to health care and mental health care services is also high on my list of priorities while serving in office.”

Ikley-Freeman holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in clinical mental health. She most recently worked as a therapist at a non-profit, community mental health agency before being elected to office late last year. 

Ikley-Freeman and her wife, Dawn, have two sons and a daughter. They attend Centenary United Methodist Church in Tulsa. 

Senate Minority Leader John Sparks said he was looking forward to working with Ikley-Freeman.

“I’m pleased to welcome Senator Allison Ikley-Freeman as the newest member of the Senate Democratic Caucus,” Sparks said. “Her professional background as a mental health therapist will bring a much needed perspective to the Oklahoma Senate. I look forward to serving with Senator Ikley-Freeman and I know that she will work tirelessly on behalf of the Oklahomans in Tulsa County she was elected to represent.”

Flu Epidemic Impacting Blood Supply, Healthy Blood Donors Needed Now

The flu epidemic affecting Oklahoma is negatively impacting the blood supply. Because so many of our regular donors are ill, or taking care of sick family members, they’ve been unable to give blood. Additionally, the widespread flu is forcing school closures. High schools account for about 20 percent of Oklahoma Blood institute’s blood donations, and parents are unable to keep their blood donation appointments. All of this puts even more strain on the blood supply.

Oklahoma Blood Institute is urging all healthy adults, ages sixteen and up*, to give blood. Blood donors who have been diagnosed with flu should wait seven days since their last symptoms to give blood. Donors may give blood the same day they receive a flu vaccine.

Beginning February 1st, all Oklahoma Blood Institute blood donors will receive their choice of a new, trendy t-shirt in one of three featured colors, “Strong” olive, “Bold” maroon, or “Fearless” teal. 

“The flu has hit our state particularly hard, but the need for blood remains constant, and there is no substitute,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “That’s why we are calling on all donors who are able to give blood, or those who have never given before, to stop by one of our donor centers or mobile blood drives. If you have recovered from the flu, or been unaffected by it, we urge you to use your good health to save lives today.”

Only ten percent of people in the United States who are eligible to give blood actually do. Blood donation takes only about an hour, and each donation can save the lives of up to three patients. 

Oklahoma Blood Institute is the state’s local non-profit blood bank serving more than 160 hospitals, medical facilities, and air ambulances statewide. This includes all Children’s, Veterans and Indian Hospitals. Appointments to give blood aren’t required but can be made by calling 877.340.8777 or visiting obi.org.

*16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year-olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.

Sand Springs Progress Report: What's new and what's changing

ALDI grocery store is holding its grand opening this Thursday at 8:00 a.m. The store is located at 101 West Alexander Boulevard in River West.

SEE RELATED: ALDI grocery store to hold grand opening Thursday in Sand Springs

The QuikTrip convenience store at 2 East 41st Street is nearing completion. The existing building was demolished in November of last year to make way for the larger, newer facility. 

Braum's Ice Cream Shop & Burger Restaurant at 3950 South Highway 97 was demolished in October of 2017 to make room for a larger, newer facility with a full fresh produce selection.

Construction nears completion on the new Warren Clinic facility in the River West development near downtown. The building will house the relocated offices currently at 796 Charles Page Boulevard. It will also add a new urgent care clinic.

SEE RELATED: ALDI and St. Francis Urgent Care to open new locations in RiverWest Development

Colton's Steak House broke ground in River West in October of last year and is expected to open this spring.

SEE RELATED: Colton's Steak House & Grill holds ground-breaking ceremony in Sand Springs

Sandlot Sno-Balls will be opening a new Prattville location at 3 West 41st Street this summer.

This mural by Josh Butts Creative Services is currently unfinished and will eventually wrap partly around the eastern side of the silo. Located just west of the intersection of Highway 51 and Avery Drive.

SEE RELATED: City of Sand Springs commissions mural for abandoned Monarch Cement silo

Another mural by Josh Butts will be going in on the side of Yesterday to Now at 224 North Main Street. The project will begin this spring and will take about a week to complete. 

SEE RELATED: Plans unveiled for new mural in downtown Sand Springs

ZegART Studios is renovating the building at 700 East Charles Page Boulevard in the Atwoods Shopping Center. Formerly a Radio Shack, the storefront will now house a studio for local artists.

Construction has yet to begin on this City Council-approved "hardened room" storm shelter at the Case Community Center. Other improvements coming to the Case Park area include G.O. Bond-funded paved parking at the Jerry Adair Baseball Complex and a road will be constructed over the levee for easier access to the park. 

Demolition continues at the old Gerdau Steel Mill and future Sheffield Crossing development. The City of Sand Springs recently purchased eighteen acres from OmniTRAX with the long-term goal of providing a good location for a hardware store such as Lowe's or Home Depot. The City hopes to develop the land to incentivize one of these businesses as well as provide the infrastructure for other shopping/dining options nearby. 

The Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center will break ground this spring along Morrow Road inside the Sheffield Crossing development. The facility will house the Sand Springs Police Department and Municipal Courts as well as replace the existing Fire Station No. 1.

SEE RELATED:  New Sand Springs Public Safety Facility to be named in honor of war hero Billie A. Hall

Progress continues on the new Fire Station No. 2 at 4101 South 113th West Avenue. Construction is expected to be complete in August.

SEE RELATED: Sand Springs Fire Station #2 to receive $1.5 million new facility

Atwoods is currently undergoing a major expansion into the building space previously occupied by Stage department store and CrossFit 1055. Both of those businesses relocated to bigger and better facilities.

The old Spotless Car Wash at 3300 South Highway 97 was demolished this week to make way for new development.

Several upgrades were recently approved for the Keystone Ancient Forest. With passage of General Obligation Bond Proposition No. 3 in November, voters provided the funding for a new observation platform and visitors center.

Top: The Teal Ridge development at 8600 West 41st Street offers 115 lots with homes priced from $270,000 to over $400,000.
Middle: The Rivercrest Development at 3123 South 113th Avenue West offers twelve lots with homes priced from $200,000 to $300,000. 
Bottom: This Capital Homes development near the intersection of 51st Street and 129th West Avenue will hold 87 houses. 

Lee's Charburgers 171117 (Scott Emigh).jpg

Church That Matters recently purchased the Prattville Market at 3 West 41st Street. They also opened the Lee's Charburgers food truck at the same location. Both serve as fundraisers for the church's ministries. 

It's a Girl Thing 171209 (Scott Emigh).JPG

It's a Girl Thing Boutique opened recently at 4106 South 113th West Avenue.

IMG_4011.JPG

El Patron Cocina Mexicana recently opened in The Shops at Adams Road at 536 Plaza Court.

The House of Hair and Boutique recently opened at 407 East Broadway.

Sand Springs Leader closes downtown offices

The Sand Springs Leader newspaper is closing the doors on its offices and will be consolidating staff with the Tulsa World. Despite the closing of its local building, the paper will continue to be published from the downtown Tulsa World location. 

The century-old newspaper was purchased in 2015 by Berkshire Hathaway Media Group and brought under the umbrella of the Tulsa World. 

Print newspapers have been on the decline and numerous Oklahoma publications have closed their doors in recent years. 

The Leader absorbed the Mannford Eagle in 2011. In 2012 the Glenpool Post merged with the Jenks Journal and the Bixby Bulletin to form the South County Leader, which closed its doors two years later. The Catoosa Times ceased publication in December of 2013. In September of 2016, the Wagoner Tribune and Coweta American were consolidated as the Wagoner County American-Tribune. The Broken Arrow Ledger closed its offices in February of 2017 and ceased printed publication. 

 

Survey finds low teacher pay main reason for leaving Oklahoma classrooms

OKLAHOMA CITY – Teacher pay and education funding are among the chief reasons former Oklahoma educators have left the classroom, according to a comprehensive survey released by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister discussed the findings Mondayat a news conference at OSDE.

Hofmeister noted that 31 percent of the respondents indicated they would likely return to the classroom if teacher pay were increased – a net gain of thousands of additional educators in the classroom if the data were extrapolated.

“As our state continues suffering the effects of an unprecedented teacher shortage, Oklahoma cannot afford to ignore the results of this survey,” Hofmeister said. “Pay is no cure-all to staving off this shortage, but without regionally competitive compensation, we are trying to win a home run contest with one arm held behind our back.”

The survey was one of 40 recommendations made by the Teacher Shortage Task Force, a still-active panel that Hofmeister convened in September 2015. The Oklahoma Public School Resource Center (OPSRC), a member of that task force, funded the survey, which Oklahoma City-based polling firm Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates conducted this past fall.

“It was important to partner with OSDE on this project, which has important implications for all education stakeholders,” said Brent Bushey, executive director of OPSRC. “Funding a survey of this scope would have been a challenge for OSDE, and we wanted to step up to make it happen.”

The survey was sent to a list of nearly 30,000 deliverable emails. Of that number, there were 7,546 completions. Survey results focused on the 5,487 respondents under the age of 65 with active teaching certificates who are not currently teaching in Oklahoma public schools. The large sample size yielded a margin of error of less than 1 percent.

The vast majority of respondents, 90 percent, said they believe other teachers were leaving the classroom because of low pay, with 55 percent strongly agreeing with that statement. In addition, a significant number indicated that being unable to make decisions related to instruction and impediments to practicing the art of teaching were important factors in leaving the classroom.

When asked for their individual reasons for leaving, one-third identified pay or a better opportunity as the chief reason. However, a number of other factors cited by respondents – including inadequate education funding, hiring difficulties, relocating out of state and personal reasons – can also be related to matters of teacher compensation. 

The majority of respondents felt that from their first year in the classroom to their last, the quality of the work environment had deteriorated rather than improved. Nearly half (48 percent) believed it had deteriorated a great deal. When asked to identify why, more pointed to funding issues (17 percent) than low pay (15 percent) though again, the two may overlap.

In terms of certification type, the largest percentage of those who said pay was a primary reason for leaving were special education and secondary teachers.

Hofmeister said that finding is especially troubling.

“We have raised academic standards and expectations to give our students a competitive edge. We have a strong eight-year plan in place for education, but all of it depends on having well-supported teachers for our kids,” she said. “It is also alarming that our special education teachers are particularly pay sensitive, which does not bode well for serving our students with the greatest needs.”

Of particular interest among the survey results is the strong age line regarding pay sensitivity. Those under the age of 45 were more concerned about pay than older teachers. Forty-eight percent of respondents 18-24, 37 percent of those 24-34, and 36 percent of those 35-44 said that pay alone would be sufficient for them to return to the classroom.

Only in the age 18-24 category did more respondents indicate that pay alone, as opposed to more than pay, would bring them back to the classroom. Nonetheless, 31 percent of all those surveyed indicated that a pay increase would be sufficient to convince them to return. 

“While the survey reveals that a number of factors attribute to the teacher shortage,” said Hofmeister, “it also confirms that increasing teacher pay is the single most effective first step to reducing the crisis and perhaps even convincing teachers who have left the field to return.”

To see the report, click here.

ALDI grocery store to hold grand opening Thursday in Sand Springs

Sand Springs - ALDI grocery store will be holding a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony Thursday, January 25th in the Sand Springs River West development at 101 West Alexander Boulevard. 

The public is invited to attend the event, which will begin at 8:00 a.m. Following the ceremony, the first 100 customers will receive a golden ticket, each containing ALDI gift cards of various amounts. Customers can also tour the store, sample ALDI exclusive brand products and enter an on-site sweepstakes for a chance to win a year's supply of ALDI produce. 

“We value our customers in Sand Springs and we’re excited to open our new Sand Springs store to continue offering high-quality groceries at prices they love,” said Mark Bersted, Olathe division vice president for ALDI. “We’re proud to offer shoppers a variety of fresh produce, USDA Choice meats, organic items and gluten-free choices, all at affordable prices that our competitors can’t match, in an environment that’s easy and quick to navigate.”

The new store is part of a $3.4 billion investment plan to expand from 1,600 stores in 35 states to more than 2,500 stores by 2022. The Sand Springs location will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday. All ALDI stores nationwide accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

As part of its accelerated growth and expansion across the U.S., ALDI plans to add 25,000 new jobs in stores, warehouses and offices. ALDI was recently named to Forbes’ list of America’s Best Large Employers and offers employees generous wages and benefits that are higher than the national average for the retail industry. ALDI staff working at least 25 hours per week receive full health insurance benefits and dental coverage, and all ALDI employees are invited to participate in the 401(k) program.

Located adjacent to the historic downtown commercial district, the River West development currently is home to McDonald's, Starbucks, IHOP, CVS, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Centennial Baptist Church, and El Maguey Mexican Restaurant. Colton's Steak House and Warren Clinic are currently under construction and expected to open this Spring. 

Tulsa Historical Society Transportation Exhibit highlights Sand Springs

The Sand Springs trolley system will soon be featured in a new downtown mural.

On the Move: A History of Transportation in Tulsa
Through March 3, 2018
Lawson Exhibit Hall, Tulsa Historical Society & Museum – 2445 S. Peoria –
www.tulsahistory.org

EXHIBIT DESCRIPTION:

On the Move: A History of Transportation in Tulsa examines the many ways Tulsans have moved around through the decades since Tulsa first became a dot on the map. The first people in the area arrived here on foot, by horseback, or wagon. In the late nineteenth century, Tulsa became a stop on the railroad and the small settlement turned into a city. Before long there were bustling streets filled with cars and trolleys and Tulsa was well on its way to becoming the Oil Capital of the World.

Highlights include a 1955 Thunderbird, Skelly Gas Pumps, slight attendant uniforms, railroad tools, lanterns, timetables, and tickets, antique and locally made toys, Route 66 items, an original trolley bell conductor’s cap, and tokens from the Tulsa Street Railway Company, the World’s First Yield Sign, 1900-era baby carriage, “Countri Bike” – a celebrity bicycle that traveled the country in 2015, and hundreds of historical images of Tulsa and surrounding communities.

The exhibit also highlights Sand Springs history such as the old trolley system and the Sand Springs Railway, which has operated since 1911. 

A FEW ARTIFACTS OF NOTE:

  • 1955 Thunderbird
  • Skelly Gas Pumps
  • Flight attendant uniforms, 1960s – 2000s
  • Railroad tools, lanterns, timetables, tickets
  • Pratt & Whitney R-985 Airplane Engine
  • Airplane Seats from MD-80 Airplane
  • Terra Cotta from Tulsa Municipal Airport
  • Spittoon & Teapot used in Katy Railroad President’s Car
  • Spartan Coveralls
  • Skelly Coveralls
  • Antique & Locally made transportation toys
  • Route 66 Items
  • Hundreds of historical images of Tulsa and surrounding communities
  • Original Trolley Bell, Conductor’s Cap, and tokens from Tulsa Street Railway Company
  • “Countri Bike” – celebrity bicycle that traveled the country in 2015
  • 1900-era Baby Carriage
  • World’s First Yield Sign
  • Original Tulsa Street Pavers

ABOUT THE MUSEUM:
The Tulsa Historical Society & Museum (THSM) chronicles the city’s vibrant past through eight rotating exhibit galleries, special events, and activities for adults and youth. In addition, the Museum houses the Tribune Foundation Research Library and the beautiful Vintage Garden with its collection of architectural artifacts and bronze sculptures depicting Oklahoma’s five internationally famous Native American ballerinas.

Established in 1963, THSM holds an extensive collection of resources on our city’s rich past and is the only museum in Tulsa focused on building, preserving, and presenting a broad-based general collection of Tulsa’s history. The collection contains nearly 200,000 still photographs, books, maps, documents, textiles, architectural elements, building furnishings, and personal artifacts.

From 1985 until 1998, THSM had its headquarters in the Thomas Gilcrease house on the grounds of Gilcrease Museum. In December of 1997, with funds made available through the Tulsa Tribune Foundation, THSM purchased the historic Sam Travis Mansion off Peoria Avenue, just south of the Tulsa Garden Center. The mansion has been expanded and renovated to serve as the museum’s home.

Tulsa Historical Society & Museum is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

This Week in Sand Springs (1/21 - 1/27/18)

Monday

  • 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Sand Springs Budget Fair
    • Sand Springs Municipal Building
      100 East Broadway
  • 7:00 p.m. Sand Springs City Council Meeting

Tuesday 

  • 6:00 p.m. No. 9 Lady Sandite Basketball v. No. 2 Bartlesville (A)
    • Bartlesville High School
      1700 Hillcrest Drive
      Bartlesville, OK 74003
  • 8:00 p.m. No. 9 Sandite Basketball v. Bartlesville (A)
    • Bartlesville High School
      1700 Hillcrest Drive
      Bartlesville, OK 74003

Thursday

  • 8:00 a.m. ALDI Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening
    • 101 West Alexander Boulevard
  • 7:00 p.m. Sand Springs BMX Association Annual Membership Meeting
    • Case Community Center
      1050 West Wekiwa Road
  • 7:00 p.m. No. 5 Sandite Wrestling v. No. 9 Jenks (A)
    • Jenks High School
      205 East B Street
      Jenks, OK 74037

Friday

  • 6:00 p.m. No. 9 Lady Sandite Basketball v. Muskogee (A)
    • Muskogee High School
      3200 East Shawnee Road
      Muskogee, OK 74403
  • 8:00 p.m. No. 9 Sandite Basketball v. Muskogee (A)
    • Muskogee High School
      3200 East Shawnee Road
      Muskogee, OK 74403

Add your event to our weekly newsletter. Email SanditePrideNews@gmail.com

  • Free for nonprofit/free/charitable events.
  • $5 fee for for-profit events.

Senator Ikley-Freeman appointed to Education, Health, and Human Services Committees

OKLAHOMA CITY - Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus, on Thursday announced the full membership of Senate committees. The committee assignments are effective through the end of the 56th Legislature.

District 37 State Senator Allison Ikley-Freeman, who represents Sand Springs, was appointed to the following committees:

  • Education Committee
  • Health and Human Services Committee
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Health

Ikley-Freeman, a Democrat, was elected in a November 2017 special election to fill the seat vacated by Republican Dan Newberry. Newberry's resignation becomes effective January 31st and Ikley-Freeman will be sworn into office on February 1st. 

Governor Mary Fallin Amends Second Special Session Call

Photo Oct 24, 4 56 13 PM.jpg

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin amended the call of the second special session of the 56th Legislature, which has been in recess since Dec. 22.

The governor did not set a date when lawmakers would return to address the shortfall in the current fiscal year budget.

“Discussions are continuing about a revenue and reform plan, which seems to be growing in momentum,” said Fallin. “We’re excited that we have an opportunity to build some grass-roots support among our fellow Oklahomans to solve our budget crisis, to be able to put Oklahoma on a stable path forward, and to provide teachers a much-needed pay raise.”

The governor’s amended call asks lawmakers to consider providing a long-term revenue solution to the state’s budget shortfalls by:

  • Increasing the tax on cigarettes, and little cigars by $1.50 per pack, and an additional 10 percent on chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes;
  • Increasing the oil and gas gross production tax by increasing the rate on wells currently at 2 percent to 4 percent, and all future wells will begin at 4 percent for 36 months and move to 7 percent thereafter;
  • Implementing a renewable generation tax at $1.00 per MWH;
  • Increasing the rate on diesel and gasoline by 6 cents per gallon;
  • Imposing a dollar cap on transferability/cash refundability for coal, wind and railroad tax credits effective the 2018 tax year;
  • Expanding the definition of covered games in the model tribal gaming compact to include “non-house-banked table games;” and;
  • Reforming rates, exemptions, deductions and credits on the individual income tax code.

Other items in the governor's call are:

  • Creating an accountability office designed to expose waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayers’ dollars in state government;
  • Modifying the structure of state government and increasing accountability by replacing the appointing power of specified boards and commissions with granting the governor direct appointing authority over these specified agency directors.  This can be accomplished by statutory change or by referring a constitutional change to a vote of the people when necessary, and;
  • Addressing a needed $5,000 pay increase for certified education staff, excluding any superintendents.

The items in the governor’s call mirror many of the items recommended by Step Up Oklahoma, a group of Oklahoma business and community leaders.

“I appreciate the efforts of these business and community leaders working together to build statewide, nonpartisan support to help the Legislature address teacher pay raises and fix our budget crisis,” Fallin said. “It is critical to our state's future to fix the budget's structural problems and put our state on a predictable, stable foundation for success. I’m optimistic, with the effort and determination shown by Step Up Oklahoma, that lawmakers can pass a realistic solution to the state’s current budget problem.”

City of Sand Springs announces annual Budget Fair

Sand Springs, OK -  The City of Sand Springs announces an opportunity for citizens to provide input into annual budget priorities for the community. This year's Budget Fair will take place on Monday, January 22, 2018, from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Sand Springs Municipal Building, 100 E. Broadway, in downtown Sand Springs. This come and go event will take place on the second floor.

Departmental leaders including police, fire, parks, public works and more will be on-hand to listen to citizen input and help answer questions about annual operations and explain typical annual budget priorities. The Sand Springs City Council and City staff extend this important public opportunity to residents living within the corporate limits of Sand Springs to participate in the creation of the upcoming Fiscal Year 2019 Budget. The City's annual budget year begins on July 1, 2018, and runs through June 30, the following year.

For more information about the City of Sand Springs, please visit www.sandspringsok.org and www.seesandsprings.com and follow the City on Facebook for the latest updates.

Tulsa Air and Space Museum to host 2-week exhibit on Sand Springs graduate Bill Pogue

TULSA, Okla. – From Jan. 22 through Feb. 3, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium will present a special exhibit featuring Oklahoma-born, NASA Astronaut William ‘Bill’ Pogue.  The special exhibit will coincide with what would have been Pogue’s 88th birthday. Items from his distinguished, record-setting career will be on display.

Pogue was born in Okemah on Jan. 23, 1930. He grew up attending small rural schools, but graduated from Sand Springs High School in 1947. He earned degrees from Oklahoma Baptist University and Oklahoma State University. In 1990 he was inducted into the Sand Springs Education Foundation's inaugural Hall of Fame class.

Pogue served in the Air Force becoming a combat fighter pilot in Korea and an aerobatic pilot with the Air Force’s Thunderbirds. In 1966, he was selected by NASA for the space program but he finally got his chance at space when he blasted off on November 16, 1973 as the pilot for Skylab 4.

“This exhibit is an opportunity for Oklahomans to celebrate a fellow Oklahoman who achieved great things that were literally out of this world,” said Tonya Blansett, executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium.

Among several of his notable awards and titles, Pogue was also an honorary board member of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. He donated several items to the Museum including 3 NASA flight suits, signed prints from his collection of space photographs, honorary medallions and various letters and telegrams from notable people like President Richard Nixon and Oklahoma Governor Henry Bellmon.

“There are several artifacts in our archives we would like to have on permanent display,” said Blansett, “having a special exhibit like this, is one way we can share these stories. When we complete our expansion, we hope to find a permanent exhibit space for Pogue’s collection and other Oklahomans who have impacted the aviation industry and space exploration.”

Museum admission ranges from $15 for adults to $10 for students and free for children 4 and under. Admission includes access to the exhibit hall, the special exhibit, the MD-80 discovery center and one planetarium show. The museum also offers memberships as an affordable alternative for families, with several options and benefits including admission for a year and discount at the gift shop.

Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium is the region’s hub of science based learning through discovery. Each year, more than 50,000 visitors pass through the museum to explore Tulsa’s rich aviation heritage and explore the correlation of science and technology with flight.