CPHS Gold Pride Marching Band earns Fourth Place at prestigious Branson tournament

Photos courtesy of Todd Hunt.

This past weekend, the Charles Page High School Marching Band competed at the 3rd Annual Southwest Missouri Regional in Branson, MO and brought home several awards.  On October 14th, the Gold Pride band was one of 14 bands performing at the SWMO Regional.  During the preliminary round of judging, CPHS band was awarded 1st place in Class and Best Music, Best Percussion & Best Overall Effect!  For the finals, the Gold Pride was awarded 4th place overall and Best in Class!

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

City of Sand Springs officials held a formal ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday morning at the site of the future Colton's Steak House and Grill. Also on hand was franchisee Mark Dean and representatives from the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce. The restaurant will be located on the Southeast corner of the intersection of Alexander Boulevard and Booker T. Washington Avenue, across the street from El Maguey Mexican Restaurant. 

"This is a big day for Sand Springs," said Mayor Mike Burdge. "We were given charge several years ago by the population of Sand Springs. They told us what they wanted and it wasn't an easy task. Most of the kudos goes to staff. They were the ones who really went to work on this and worked with the developer and put this thing all together."

 "We're real excited about coming here," said Dean. "We looked at several towns here in Oklahoma and thought that this was the best fit for sure...We're going to come here and do you a good job."

Dean said that they would be breaking ground next week with the expectation of opening in mid-March. 

The upcoming Sand Springs location will be the second in Oklahoma and 37th location overall for the eight-state franchise. It is the fifth eatery to join the River West development, following McDonalds, IHOP, Starbucks, and El Maguey. Other businesses in the development include Holiday Inn Express, O'Reilly's Auto Parts, CVS pharmacy, and Centennial Baptist Church. 

Colton's Steak House was founded in 1996 in Conway, Arkansas and is named for Texas Ranger J.T. Colton, a character created for the Colton's brand. The steak house traces its fictitious roots to the late 1800s when Colton won the Tin Star Saloon from Sheriff Matthew Dillon in Dodge City, Kansas during a game of poker. 

Two other businesses are currently under development in River West. Warren Clinic's existing Sand Springs offices will join a brand new minor emergency clinic when construction is finished in River West. Groundwork on a new ALDI grocery store also began recently.  

The Sand Springs Retail Market Area encompasses more than 104,000 people, 40,000 households, and a Median Disposable Income of $38,583, according to a report generated by the Indian Nations Council on Government (INCOG). The Sand Springs population was 18,906 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census, and INCOG reports more than 5,000 commuters to Sand Springs from outside communities. 

Franchisee Mark Dean speaks at the Colton's Steak House groundbreaking ceremony.  

Franchisee Mark Dean speaks at the Colton's Steak House groundbreaking ceremony.  

This Week in Sand Springs (10/9 - 10/15/17)

Monday

  • Columbus Day
  • Indigenous Peoples Day

Tuesday 

  • 6:00 p.m. Sandite Volleyball vs. Ponca City (Regionals).
    • Winners advance to Championship match at 7:00 p.m.
    • Stillwater High School
      1224 North Husband Street
      Stillwater, OK 74075

Thursday

  • 11:00 a.m. Sandite Softball vs. Choctaw (State Quarterfinals).
    • ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
      2801 NE 50th St
      Oklahoma City, OK 73111
  • 5:30 p.m. Pogue Airport Advisory Board Meeting.
    • Airport Terminal Building
      3200 Airport Road Conference Room
  • 6:00 p.m. Sand Springs Homecoming Parade.
    • Downtown Sand Springs.

Friday

  • 11:00 a.m. OSSAA Softball State Semifinals.
    • Sandites play pending results of Thursday game.
    • ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
      2801 NE 50th St.
      Oklahoma City, OK 73111
  • 5:00 p.m. Sandite Letterman Gathering.
    • Ed Dubie Field House
      500 North Adams Road
    • Gathering for all former Sand Springs lettermen. 
  • 7:00 p.m. Free screening of Wonder Woman (2017).
    • Case Community Center
      1050 W. Wekiwa Rd
      Sand Springs, OK 74063
  • 7:00 p.m. Sandite Football vs Muskogee (H).
    • Memorial Stadium
      500 North Adams Road

Saturday

  • 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 7th Annual Pleasant Valley Farms Winter Squash
    • Pleasant Valley Farms
      22350 West 71st Street
  • 1:15 p.m. CPHS Gold Pride Marching Band Competition
    • 3rd Annual Southwest Missouri Regional
    • More competitions to follow, times pending first competition results.
    • Branson High School
      935 Buchanan
      Branson, MO 65616
  • 5:00 p.m. OSSAA Softball State Championship.
    • Sandites play pending results of Thursday/Friday games.
    • ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
      2801 NE 50th St.
      Oklahoma City, OK 73111

Sunday

  • 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 7th Annual Pleasant Valley Farms Winter Squash
    • Pleasant Valley Farms
      22350 West 71st Street

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

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

Speed Limit drops from 50 to 40 MPH on areas of 41st Street

Commuters from the Prattville side of Sand Springs awoke to a surprise on their way east this morning as the speed limit was unexpectedly dropped by 10 miles per hour along a one-mile stretch of 41st Street. 

Previously the speed limit increased from 35 M.P.H. to 50 M.P.H. at the area of Moriah Christian Academy, then dropped to 40 M.P.H. one mile later at 78th West Avenue right before the Oklahoma Army National Guard facilities. 

Police Chief Mike Carter addressed the issue on social media mid afternoon.

"The City was asked to evaluate the one stretch of 41st that was still at 50 mph because we have a new housing subdivision that is just starting to be populated. When vehicles exit the subdivision from Teal Ridge, they are doing so in an area that is 4 lane. The other areas of 41st that have been occupied by housing before now already have reduced speeds for safety. 

We wanted to start with this solution before resorting to other traffic control measures in order to keep traffic flowing as freely as possible. We will be instructing our officers to show a lot of discretion in enforcement as the speed reduction is new. 

As most of you may be aware, our police department has a policing plan, and that makes clear that we do not use traffic as a revenue generator for the city. We actually have at least 1/3-1/2 of all stops result in warnings either written or verbal. With that being said, we do need people to slow down on 41st as the new residents need to be able to exit their neighborhood safely. 

Saving lives is what is important, and unfortunately, 41st and the Highway 97 corridors are where people in Sand Springs are most likely to have a fatality collisions. Growth is good for our community, but it comes at a price of things must change. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as needed."

The Teal Ridge Housing Development being constructed at 8600 West 41st Street is a 115-lot addition resting on more than 200 acres of previously undeveloped land. Homes begin at 2100 square feet on .47 acre lots and cost between $201,000 and $416,000. The addition is in the Berryhill School District. 

City of Sand Springs strives to improve the view around town

City contractors clearing overgrowth along the bluffs near Highway 51. (Submitted). 

The City of Sand Springs is hard at work lately, beautifying parts of the city that see major traffic in an effort to improve the town's aesthetic and hopefully attract new businesses and residents. 

The most recent project is an overgrowth removal effort along the bluffs near the Highway 51-Highway 97 intersection. Similar projects are in various stages of completion along the Sand Springs Expressway, including the Katy Trail area along Charles Page Boulevard, and the Case Community Park area along Wekiwa Road. The projects were awarded to All Elements Solutions LLC at a total bid of $51,450. The work is expected to be done by November 13th with a $300/day penalty to the contractor for delays beyond that deadline. 

This mural will also wrap around the eastern (left) side of the silo and will include city-founder Charles Page pulling back a curtain to unveil Sand Springs. 

The City also recently commissioned a pair of murals from Josh Butts Creative Services. One is halfway complete and the other has yet to have its location announced. The City authorized $49,500 total for the two projects.

The City is 95% done with with a $6.2 million renovation of Case Community Park. One of the last remaining projects outlined in the Park Master Plan is the clearing of overgrowth along the river to enhance the view.

On the ballot this November are several General Obligation Bond Proposals that will allow the City to continue its efforts on a larger scale. City officials hope to be able to use landscaping to completely hide the Water Treatment Plant on Morrow Road from view. Gardens and other landscaping features would also be installed along major thoroughfares throughout the city. 

Attorney General Hunter Signs Letter Urging Congress to Pass Road to Recovery Act

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has signed a bipartisan letter with 38 other attorneys general and the National Association of Attorneys General, calling on Congress to pass the Road to Recovery Act.

The legislation eliminates the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion from the original Medicaid law, which currently acts as a barrier to residential addiction treatment. The elimination will help increase access to treatment for opioid addiction and help states expand access to inpatient treatment for Medicaid enrollees.

Attorney General Hunter, who has been at the forefront combating the state’s opioid epidemic, said the legislation will make treatment for Oklahomans who need it more accessible.

“The Road to Recovery Act will help save lives,” Attorney General Hunter said. “To combat the disease of addiction, we must commit to working together with our local, state and federal partners to find more treatment options for those already addicted. This legislation is a step in the right direction. My colleagues and I urge Congress to sign this bill to eliminate an archaic Medicaid rule, so we can better help the scores of individuals who are in need.”   

A recent study reveals that drug overdoses claimed as many as 65,000 American lives in 2016, a 24 percent increase from the year before. In Oklahoma, nearly 3,000 have died in the last three years as the result of a drug overdose.

Created in 1965 with the original Medicaid legislation, the IMD exclusion prevented the funding of large, residential mental health facilities. While the exclusion led to the closure of what were, in many cases, inhumane institutions, it now has the unintended effect of limiting Medicaid funding for residential treatment facilities, which can be one of the most effective ways to treat drug addiction.  

The Road to Recovery Act will remove the exclusion for addiction treatment facilities only. This will help open new avenues for addiction treatment while maintaining appropriate restrictions on mental health facilities.

The change in the law is supported by health care providers, insurers, treatment centers, governors of both political parties and the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

To read the letter, click here: http://bit.ly/2kkVtvy.

For more on Attorney General Hunter’s efforts to combat the state’s deadly opioid epidemic, click here: http://bit.ly/2xXVwCO.  

Governor Mary Fallin Issues Statement on State Budget Negotiations

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today issued the following statement on state budget negotiations: 

“Our state is facing serious budget challenges. It’s important to have thoughtful, honest negotiations with all parties. Let me just start out by stating bluntly – there is no budget deal. First off, if I had reached a budget deal, I would have announced it. House Minority Leader Scott Inman had a meeting yesterday with my senior staff for budget talks, as we have had with the other parties involved. I’ve been working to bring parties together. Any reference to him and me striking a deal must be clarified.

“To bring focus and move the budget process along, I provided legislative leaders of both parties with a worksheet of previously discussed ideas on how to accomplish the goals I placed in my special session call. However, like the public, I am disappointed by the lack of progress in accomplishing these goals almost two weeks after the start of the special session.

“The clock is ticking toward some very serious consequences for nearly one million Oklahomans who depend on services provided by the Department of Mental Health, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Department of Human Services.

“I again urge the Legislature to continue to work diligently to fill the budget hole and put our state on a more stable budget path, as well as provide a needed teacher pay raise. Ihope that soon we can announce that there is a budget agreement. But as of right now, let me be clear – if there’s only person at the altar, there is no marriage.”

Editorial: It's high time to beautify Sand Springs

This Centennial Clock is one of dozens across the State, commemorating Oklahoma's hundredth anniversary. 

Sand Springs is a wonderful community. I love it here. I was born and raised in Sand Springs and I've lived here for the majority of my life, with stents in Nowata, Bartlesville, Owasso, and Norman. I'm fairly well traveled for an Oklahoman of my age. The average American has visited only twelve states and at my 23 years of age I have been fortunate enough to spend time in seventeen, not counting layovers. 

I am not a turnpike traveler. I like to go with the land, not through it. I take the two-lane highways through the small towns that the interstate forgot. I read about them as I go, I stop in the downtown districts and see the sites. I use the pokestop information on the Pokemon Go! app to find unique parks, murals, statues, and other landmarks that I might otherwise drive right by. 

One thing I'm always struck by is how little art we have in Sand Springs. We have two existing murals and one that's still being painted. We have one statue and a handful of historical markers. That's it. If you visit nearby communities right here in Oklahoma, you're inundated with art. Not just the big cities like Tulsa or Oklahoma City, which have hundreds of murals across town. Sapulpa is the size of Sand Springs and has artwork on every corner. Drumright has a mere 3,000 people and yet their town is inundated with murals. 

Sapulpa Public Art

Drumright Public Art

Cushing Public Art

Sand Springs is in a pivotal time right now. With the demolition of the old steel plant, increased commercial development in RiverWest, and new businesses investing in downtown, the town has the opportunity to build momentum and really push Sand Springs into a new era of success. With the commercial development, we should also focus on developing the aesthetic so that the town doesn't lose its identity and end up like another Owasso or Broken Arrow, indistinguishable from Tulsa. 

The following are just a few areas that I think are ripe with potential for branding Sand Springs as a beautiful destination for a weekend getaway or a unique and perfect town in which to build a family and a future.

This grassy hillside is one of many empty areas that could use a little glam in Sand Springs. This spot is located on the southern side of US64 at the intersection with Main Street. The City already has beautification projects planned for many such areas, pending the passage of General Obligation Bond Proposal No. 4 this November, though this specific site hasn't been mentioned yet. A small flower garden here would go a long way, and it doesn't need to be some big expensive government project. This is the kind of simple project that a local youth group could knock out in a single afternoon. A mix of decorative rock and perennial plants would provide a low-maintenance and quality improvement to the town's beauty.

Nothing better to follow the hillside garden than a "Welcome to Downtown Sand Springs" mural. The US64/Main Street intersection is the gateway between old and new Sand Springs. On the south side you have the RiverWest development and the upcoming Sheffield Crossing development. An eye-catching garden and mural will help usher visitors from the modern growth to the heart of the city and hopefully encourage name-brand shoppers to spend a little time among the Mom and Pop shops that make our community unique. Efforts would need to be made to seal all of the cracks in the concrete where the weeds penetrate. Overpass murals have been done excellently in other communities, such as the I-244 intersection with North Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa.

Of all the sites in Sand Springs in need of a face-lift, this needs it the most. I mean no disrespect to the property owners, but most of downtown is red brick so this sticks out like a sore thumb. This is the side of the Yesterday to Now building and the parking for Hammond Family Dentistry. The white paint has clearly been touched up in various spots over the years so none of it is one consistent shade. This is also highly visible and unobstructed, making it a wonderful spot for a mural. The length of the building would bode well for a timelapse mural of Sand Springs throughout the years. 

There are many sites in Sand Springs that don't necessarily need a facelift, but would be fine candidates to receive murals if the community was in favor of more community artwork.
Left to right, top to bottom:

  • 21 East Broadway, owned by Montie Box Rental, currently leased by Bodley Insurance. 
  • 26 East Broadway, owned by Bekim Rexhepi LLC, leased by Napoli's Italian Eatery. This former site of the Sand Springs Trolley Depot aught to bear some reminder of its storied past.
  • 11 East 2nd Street, owned by Thomas & Sharecia Nowak Family Trust, leased by Boost Mobile.
  • 15 East 2nd Street, owned by Sand Springs Welfare Association, leased by Security Finance.
  • 100 North Main Street, owned by Tallent Electric, leased by Edward Jones and Chamber of Commerce.
  • 107 North Main Street, owned by Frank and Catherine Suraci, unoccupied. This is the first wall you see after entering downtown via Main Street.
  • 100 North Main Street, different side of aforementioned building.
  • 118 North Main Street, owned by Vazgen Minassian, leased by Doug's Rebuilders. 
  • 217 North Garfield Avenue, owned by Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. This building is probable the most visible location in downtown for a mural. 
  • 209 North Main Street, owned by IOWA LLC, occupied by Law Offices of Cynthia Phillips and Technology Consulting Services. 

This mural by Josh Butts is halfway done. The eastern side has yet to be primed due to the close proximity to power lines. 

The City of Sand Springs recently commissioned a pair of murals by Tulsa artist Josh Butts. One of these murals is about halfway finished on the abandoned Monarch Cement Co. silo just west of the Avery Drive-Highway 51 intersection. Neither the location nor the design of the second mural has been announced as of yet. City Council authorized $49,500 for the pair of them, funded by the Economic Development Capital Improvement Fund. That money is generated by a hotel tax.

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

$49,500 is a lot of money to most people. It may not be a lot of money for a pair of high-quality murals, but it's a lot of money to the average Sand Springs citizen. 

I'm not advocating that the City authorize another $300,000 for murals. I'm a conservative. I believe that the government exists to provide essential services and nothing else. I love the mural being painted by Josh Butts, and I would love to see more of his work around Sand Springs, but I don't personally believe that the taxpayers should be forced to pay for it. 

Sand Springs is blessed with countless service groups and organizations. There are dozens of churches and youth groups. We have great organizations like Beautiful Living in Sand Springs, the Sand Springs Rotary Club, the Power of Partial Improvements, and hundreds of involved citizens who are constantly open to improving the community. 

The Rotary Club donated $70,000 in 2015 to help open a free public splash pad in Case Community Park. Case Community Park received a $2 million donation from Mike and Pat Case. The Rotary Club also sponsors Centennial Park where the sandy springs from which the town draws its name are located. Word of Life Church recently held a work day at Limestone Elementary where they painted several rooms throughout the facility to help the school district rebrand all their schools with black and gold. Church That Matters recently held a city-wide service day where they worked in parks, painted a bridge, worked at a shelter for victims of domestic violence, and even gave out free quarters at local car washes and laundromats.

The town has a long history of those with excess giving back to those with little. The town was born out of the charity of Charles Page, who used his wealth to open an orphanage and widows' colony. He also opened an amusement park and gave away major incentives to attract businesses to the town to provide jobs for his "children." Page had a sense of community that is still very much alive in the hearts of thousands of Sandites to this day. 

You don't have to be a millionaire oil baron to make a difference in your community. Maybe you can't commission a painting, but you can probably give five bucks towards a community enhancement fundraiser, or pick up a shovel and help plant a garden, or help pick up trash and tree debris after a thunderstorm. A few thousand people working together can get a lot done. Let's stop waiting on the City to pass bond issues and raise taxes to get things done. Let's just be involved citizens, get things done ourselves, and make this town the most unique community in the country. 

Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce launches new Ambassador Program

The Sand Springs Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for community service-minded individuals to help launch a new Chamber Ambassador program. The Chamber hosted a free luncheon at Crescent Cafe Tuesday afternoon to discuss the program and distribute information, while the host restaurant graciously footed the bill.

The Ambassador Program will work to help inform the community of Chamber membership benefits, events, and opportunities to give back to Sand Springs. The Chamber has been working since 1946 to strengthen the community and local economy.

The Chamber hosts many events throughout the year, including: The Chillin & Grillin Festival, the Taste of Sand Springs event, and the Festival of Lights Christmas Parade. They also help other organizations with their events, such as the upcoming Ministerial Alliance-sponsored Boo On Broadway Halloween event in downtown.

Ambassadors will assist Chamber President Kristen Valentine with recruiting volunteers for events, recruiting new Chamber members, and networking with new and existing Chamber members. 

"We don't want people to have to work every single event," said Committee Chairwoman Jamie Halford. "We want to try to share the workload and plan ahead for events, rather than just throw things together at the last minute."

Ambassadors will earn participation points for attending or working events, for recruiting volunteers and new chamber members, and for helping with routine office work such as followup calls with existing Chamber members. Points will be turned in at quarterly meetings where an Ambassador of the Quarter will be recognized, as well as an Ambassador of the Year award at the Annual Chamber Reception. 

Chamber benefits include ribbon cutting ceremonies for new businesses, changes of ownership, and new locations. Members are able to submit information for the Chamber newsletter, are included in the online Chamber directory, and can include information in New Member Welcome Bags. 

Anyone interested in joining the Chamber or the Ambassador Program can contact Valentine at 918-245-3221 or Kristen@sandspringschamber.com. The Chamber offices are located at 1 West 1st Street in downtown. 

This Week in Sand Springs (10/2 - 10/8/17)

Monday

  • 12:00 p.m. Sand Springs Chamber Luncheon / Open Forum with City Manager Elizabeth Gray.
    • Tulsa Technology Center
      924 East Charles Page Boulevard
  • 5:30 p.m. Sand Springs Public Schools District Dialogue Meeting.
    • Sand Springs Fine Arts Building
      500 North Adams Road
  • 6:00 p.m. Sandite Volleyball vs. Muskogee (H).
    • Ed Dubie Field House
      500 North Adams Road
  • 6:30 p.m. Sand Springs Parks Advisory Board Meeting.
  • 7:00 p.m. Sand Springs Public School Board of Education Meeting.

Tuesday 

  • 12:00 p.m. Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Luncheon.
    • Crescent Cafe
      3417 South 113th West Avenue
  • 6:00 p.m. Sandite Volleyball vs. Sapulpa (H).
    • Ed Dubie Field House
      500 North Adams Road

Wednesday

Thursday

  • 12:00 p.m. Sandite Softball vs. Enid (H, Regionals).
    • Sandite Sports Complex
      508 West 55th Street
    • More games to follow, times depend on win or loss. Full bracket attached.
  • 5:30 p.m. Sand Springs Rotary's Non Profit Organization Showcase.
    • HillSpring Church
      8801 West 41st Street
  • 6:00 p.m. Sandite Volleyball vs. Ponca City (H).
    • Ed Dubie Field House
      500 North Adams Road

Friday

  • 7:00 p.m. Sandite Football vs Ponca City (A).
    • Po-Hi Football Stadium
      900 North 7th Street
      Ponca City, OK 74061

Saturday

  • 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Chipper Days.
    • Free for Sandites. Bring water bill for proof of residence. 
    • Sand Springs Street Department
      8620 West 21st Street.

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

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

Commission approves trimmed down ODOT Eight-year Plan; projects delayed, removed

Projects to reconstruct the I-40 interchange at Douglas Blvd. and widen I-40 to the I-240 junction, pictured here, were delayed from Federal Fiscal Year 2020 to 2025.

Progress made on the state’s transportation system, especially bridges, after decades of deferred infrastructure improvements is expected to slow considerably due to reductions in available state funding since 2010. The Oklahoma Transportation Commission voted on Oct. 2 to approve the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s rebalanced Eight-year Construction Work Plan which includes the agency’s planned highway and bridge projects for Federal Fiscal Years 2018-2025.

Because the fiscally constrained plan must be balanced with anticipated state and federal funding, ODOT was forced to delay projects and even take the unprecedented action of removing projects from the plan due to $840 million in cumulative state funding reductions in the last seven years. The Asset Preservation Plan for State Fiscal Years 2018-2021 was also presented as a companion to the Eight-year Plan, as in each year.

“It was very challenging and frustrating to rebalance the Eight-year Plan while keeping our commitment on structurally deficient bridges and trying to address pavement conditions and urban highway congestion,” Executive Director Mike Patterson said. “The cumulative state funding reductions since 2010 have produced a snowball effect where projects have been pushed back later and later and now they’re being pushed out of the plan, which changes our strategy and moves us in the wrong direction.”

Overall, 40 construction projects totaling more than $204 million were removed from the updated Eight-year Plan and about 42 percent of all programmed projects are being delayed at least one year, including 65 projects that were originally scheduled to go to bid this year. Additionally, several projects have been significantly reduced in scope in order to stretch funding as far as possible.

The FFY 2018-2025 Eight-year Plan includes:

  • $6.3 billion in federal and state transportation funding
  • 1,448 total projects (nearly 170 fewer than the previous plan)
  • 764 highway bridge replacements or major rehabilitations (60 fewer than the previous plan)
  • Only 15 bridges were added, compared to 44 in the previous plan
  • 696 miles of added shoulders or other improvements to two-lane highways (55 fewer miles)
  • Nearly 150 miles of interstate pavement improvements
  • Nearly $370 million in projects to address urban highway congestion

Examples of previously-scheduled projects that have been removed from the new plan include work as part of realignment of US-70 around Madill and $32 million replacement of the US-60 bridges over the Neosho and Spring rivers in Ottawa County. Delayed rural projects include reconstruction and widening of US-270 near Mutual in Woodward County, which was delayed from FFY 2018 to 2019. In Oklahoma’s urban areas, reconstruction of US-75 along the east leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop in downtown Tulsa and I-40 interchange reconstruction and widening at Douglas Blvd. in Midwest City were delayed two years and five years, respectively.

Planned realignment of US-70 was around Madill, pictured here, was removed from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Federal Fiscal Year 2018-2025 Eight-year Construction Work Plan.

Project delays ultimately cost Oklahoma taxpayers in increased maintenance necessary to preserve highways and bridges and higher construction costs, which are up 67 percent nationally since 2003. In addition to direct financial costs, Oklahomans also will spend more time stuck in traffic congestion and face rougher roads.

While the plan’s top priority remains replacing or rehabilitating Oklahoma’s existing structurally deficient highway bridges by the end of the decade, it falls short on other major needs including improving pavement conditions, adding shoulders to two-lane highways and addressing growing urban highway congestion. Even as the state nears its decade-old goal to address all remaining structurally deficient highway bridges by 2020, ODOT estimates that 90 bridges will still have to be replaced or rehabilitated each year just to keep up with the aging infrastructure system. Only 15 bridges were added to this Eight-year Plan.

The Asset Preservation Plan contains preventative maintenance projects designed to extend the life of transportation infrastructure. The more than $473 million plan has nearly 400 projects addressing 147 bridges and more than 1,200 miles of pavement. The plan also features 44 projects to improve highways to Americans with Disabilities Act standards with curb ramps, traffic signal push buttons for pedestrians, crosswalks and sidewalks.

Since being first implemented in its current format in 2003, ODOT’s Eight-year Plan has focused on addressing the state’s greatest transportation needs in a transparent, accountable and businesslike manner without political influence. These infrastructure improvements have been linked directly to economic growth. The project selection process is very rigorous, as transportation commissioners work with ODOT’s field division engineers and staff to identify the most critical highway and bridge projects and create a balanced statewide plan with anticipated federal and state funding. Each year, the plan is updated to reflect project completions, adjustments in projected revenue and changes in construction costs. As the previous fiscal year comes off of the plan, another year is added based on forecasting of available funding. Funding comes from state income tax allocation and state motor fuel tax appropriation, as well as the federal Highway Trust Fund.   

A full list and map of highway projects in ODOT’s Eight-year Construction Work Plan and Asset Preservation Plan can be viewed at www.odot.org under Programs and Projects.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Joseph Watt to Retire

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today received and accepted a letter from Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Joseph Watt stating his intention to retire at the end of this year.

Watt, justice for the 9th Supreme Court Judicial District, wrote that his retirement will take effect Dec. 31.

Watt, of Altus, began his judicial service in 1985, when he was appointed special district judge for Jackson County. He was elected associated district judge for Jackson County in 1986.

In 1991, then-Gov. David Walters named Watt as his general counsel. He was appointed by Walters to the Oklahoma Supreme Court on May 17, 1992, and is in his 26th year of service on the high court. He served two terms as chief justice, from 2003 until 2007.

“Having spent almost half of my entire life serving in the judicial branch of government, the past 25½ years on the Supreme Court have been the most rewarding of my entire life,” Watt said. “As the new year dawns, I look forward to beginning the next chapter in my life spending more quality time with my grandchildren, traveling with my wife, Cathy, and taking active retired status beginning Jan. 1, 2018.”

Supreme Court justices serve on the court as long as they are able and must appear on the ballot and be retained by voters every six years, according to state statute.

“Justice Watt has served the state well while being on the bench for more than 30 years, including the past 25 years as a Supreme Court justice,” said Fallin. “He’s been a man of integrity, and has served with distinction. I appreciate his knowledge, dedication and fairness while on the high court. I wish him the best in his retirement and want to thank his wife and family, too, for their sacrifice and service to our state.”

Watt earned a bachelor’s degree in history/government from Texas Tech University and a doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Texas Law School. In 1973, he moved to Altus, where he worked in private law practice and served as Altus city prosecutor until 1985.

The Judicial Nominating Commission will accept applications for nominees to the court. The commission reviews the applications and submits three nominees to the governor.

At the time of appointment, applicants must be 30 or older, have been a qualified elector in the 9th Supreme Court Judicial District for at least one year immediately prior to the date of appointment, and have been a licensed practicing attorney or judge of a court of record, or both, in Oklahoma for five years preceding the appointment. 

The 9th Judicial District consists of Harmon, Greer, Kiowa, Caddo, Canadian, Comanche, Jackson, Tillman and Cotton counties.

BancFirst rewards outstanding Sand Springs teachers with monthly donations

spotlight.JPG

BancFirst of Oklahoma is partnering with the Sand Springs Public School District to reward outstanding teachers at each of the district's many school sites. Each month, a teacher in the spotlight from each school site will receive a thank you gift such as gift cards, diner, etc.

BancFirst is Oklahoma's largest state-chartered bank with locations in more than fifty Oklahoma communities. BancFirst has two locations in Sand Springs, one on each side of the river. The north-side location is at 301 East 2nd Street and the south-side location is at 102 West 41st Street. 

Students and parents/guardians can write letters of recommendation and turn them in to the school offices, where they will then be passed on to BancFirst. 

 

CPHS Drumline takes 1st Place at Pryor, Gold Pride Marching Band places 6th overall

The Charles Page High School Gold Pride Marching Band took 6th place at the Pryor Band Day. (Photo: Tristia Watson). 

On Saturday, September 30th, the Charles Page High School Band competed in the 41st Annual Pryor Band Day in Pryor, OK.  Sixteen bands from around the state competed for Outstanding Color Guard, Outstanding Percussion, Outstanding Drum Majors and the overall Field Competition.

In the preliminary round, the CPHS Drumline took 1st place in the 6A schools' competition. The band was then selected to participate in the Finals round and ended the night with a 6thplace overall. Pryor Band Day is the first of several competitions that the band will attended this season and we look forward to seeing the results of the hard work and dedication that they put into their performances.

Drum Majors Brandi Sigala, Laura Loomis, and Jake Thompson lead the band onto the field for competition. (Photo: Tristia Watson).

Bill Knight Auto partners with Sand Springs Education Foundation in Driven to Give Day

For the fifth time, the Sand Springs Education Foundation (SSEF) will partner with Bill Knight Auto for "Driven to Give Day." 

The event will be held on Saturday, October 7th, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Charles Page High School parking lot at 500 North Adams Road. This is a FREE event.

Participants, 18 years or older, can come and test drive a new Lincoln. For each test drive, the SSEF will receive $20. Participants are asked to fill out some basic information before the drive and immediately after the drive to complete the process and help secure the donation. NO obligation, NO sales, NO return contact unless the participant agrees.

What an easy way to come help the SSEF raise $8,000! All Sand Springs teachers are also encouraged to stop by and do a test drive and put their name in the drawing for $500 to use in their classroom. This year the SSEF will give away $500 to two district teachers. 

CPHS Gold Pride Marching Band to compete in 3rd Annual Southwest Missouri Regional

The Charles Page High School Marching Band will be competing at the Third Annual Southwest Missouri Regional in Branson, Missouri on October 14th. The competition is presented by the Pride of Branson Bands in partnership with US Bands, the largest sanctioning body for scholastic music competition in the United States.

US Bands are part of Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) which is a non-profit organization based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. They are also the parent organization for The Cadets; 10-Time World Champion Drum and Bugle Corps. 

The Gold Pride band is one of sixteen bands performing at the SWMO Regional and it should be another year of top-tier performances, a nationally-renown judging panel, detailed feedback and evaluation, and a superb performance venue in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.

Competition will take place in a Prelims-Finals format with the highest-scoring band from each class continuing on to the Finals, along with the next eight highest-scoring bands regardless of class. 

The event is hosted at Branson High School (935 P Rd 65-60, Branson, MO 65616). Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from CPHS Band Director Kyle Wright (kyle.wright@sandites.org) prior to the competition. The band would love to have their fans in the stand during this extraordinary competition! Come join us in Branson for a day of exceptional performances!

This Week in Sand Springs (9/25 - 10/1/17)

Monday

  • 7:00 p.m. Sand Springs City Council Meeting.
  • 7:00 p.m. (Immediately following City Council) Sand Springs Municipal Authority Meeting.

Tuesday 

  • 7:30 a.m. Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce presents: Breakfast with County Commissioner Karen Keith.
    • Crescent Cafe
      3417 South 113th West Avenue
  • 5:00 p.m. Lady Sandite Softball vs. Skiatook (H).
    • Sandite Sports Complex
      508 West 55th Street
  • 6:00 p.m. Lady Sandite Volleyball vs. Broken Arrow (A).
    • Oneta Ridge Middle School
      6800 East Quincy Place
      Broken Arrow, OK 74014

Thursday

  • 6:00 p.m. Lady Sandite Softball vs. Bartlesville (H).
    • Ed Dubie Field House
      500 North Adams Road
  • 6:00 p.m. Lady Sandite Volleyball vs. Claremore (A).
    • Claremore High School
      201 East Stuart Roosa
      Claremore, OK 74017

Friday

  • 7:00 p.m. Sandite Football vs Yukon (A).
    • Miller Stadium
      1777 South Yukon Parkway
      Yukon, OK 73099

Saturday

  • Last day that Sand Springs splash pads are open.
  • 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Yellow House Market and Boutique Grand Opening
    • 1-year celebration and Grand Opening of new location
      122 North Main Street
    • Food drinks, door prizes, and more!

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

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

Sand Springs Education Foundation Golf Classic raises $40,000 for Grants to Teachers

The Sand Springs Education Foundation held their 21st Annual Golf Classic on Monday, September 18th at Tulsa Country Club. 92 golfers competed during the day as participants in “Teed Off for Education,” raising upwards of $40,000; funds of which will go towards the SSEF Grants to Teachers Program. 

The 4-Man Scramble format allows the golfers to participate in 2 Flights.

Winners of Flight A were:

  • 1st Place-Gene Case Team with golfers Gene Case, Harold Neal, Brandon Biles and Regan Streck.
  • 2nd Place-Keystone Insurance with golfers Guy Griggs, Jason Ward, Doug Haddock and Mike Ward.
  • 3rd Place-Direct Energy Team #2 with golfers Allen Rachel, Leslie Brackett, Chance Ross and Chris Miller.

Winners in Flight B were:

  • 1st Place-Mohawk Materials with golfers Lance Elliott, Megan Elliott, Matt Waller and Bob Bivens.
  • 2nd Place-Air Solutions Sand Springs with golfers Keith Hilligoss, Josh Copeland, Eli Tallent and Mike Bartlett.
  • 3rd Place-Sand Springs Home Team with golfers Ron Weese, Jason Charles, Mike Hixon and Erik Stuckey.

Honorable Mention was Sand Springs Public Schools with golfers Sherry Durkee, Rob Miller, Kristin Arnold and Laura Hamilton. Contest Hole winners were, Closest to the Pin on #6—Eric Davis and Closest to the Pin on #14—Tyler Sullivan. Raffle Prize was won by Brent Mackey.

A major Thank you goes out to this year’s Flagship Sponsor Sand Springs Meter Company, Adam Dudley. 22 area businesses and individuals participated as Hole Sponsors and Bill Knight Auto sponsored the Hole-in One Challenge on #9. Financial Advisors Paul Bizjack and Rocky Walters were the Logo Golf Ball Sponsor, Arvest Bank was the Lunch Sponsor and Direct Energy & Mr. & Mrs. Mark Boyd were the Dinner Sponsor. The SSEF also wishes to thank Bubble Town Car Wash, American Heritage Bank, Sand Springs CVS, TTCU, Tulsa Tech and Sherry Durkee for providing items for the Golfer Goodie Bags.

Funds raised at the Golf Classic go toward the Grants to Teachers Program, awarding of grants submitted by Sand Springs Schools teachers and principals.

Wilson's Call: Missions are not an event, they are a way of life

The following is a monthly newsletter shared by Michael and Baylee Wilson. The full-time ministers are from Sand Springs and consider Word of Life to be their home church. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH

Fontil now has his own 6X10 room, sleeping on a bed, receiving meals on a regular basis and hearing about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. 

Fontil

You remember Fontil? One of our Haitian friends found him sleeping on trash under some banana leaves and cardboard exposed to the elements. She moved him to Lascahobas to keep a better eye on him. He seems to have dementia. There are times we see him and he doesn't know where he is or what's going on around him. When we met him he was sharing a 6X6 room with another man and sleeping on the floor not knowing where his next meal is coming from...

Fontil now has his own 6X10 room, sleeping on a bed, receiving meals on a regular basis and hearing about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. 

From Death to Life

The Bible says to go lay your hands on the sick and pray for them to be healed. Today we saw that happen. We walked down a steep windy trail, walked along a river bank into a group of houses really close together. As we navigated through these houses we came to THE house we were looking for. We walked in to a man struggling to breath. We went in to pray for him and he accepted Christ and he gave his last breath right after we finished praying. God took him from glory to glory. He is healed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

After he passed, we walked out of the house and 3 voodoo priest came running up. They said that "Voodoo" told them to hurry before he dies so they can save him. They were late because our God is always one step ahead and this world offers what only God can give. Jesus Christ has defeated death and he stole the keys to the grave. God is so good! 

His Hope Ministry Growth

We are so excited to let you all know that we are now feeding eight abandoned elderly a week and increased to three feedings a week! 

We are still believing to start a home/living facility for our elderly. We know this may be a long way off, but we believe with God and your help, we can make it happen. To give them a place to live means we will be able to give them the care that they need on a daily basis, feed them every day, allow them to spend time with others their age, and be able to share the gospel in their every day lives. Please join us in prayer about this. 

Celebrate

Baylee and I celebrated two years of marriage in our favorite place, as well as Baylee's 23rd birthday!

We are so happy to share these joyful moments with the amazing people of Haiti. We look forward to a lifetime of happiness and serving together!

Michael will be doing a monthly Facebook live video where we will talk about everything missions. We will talk about Haiti, local & global missions, what it means to be on mission and everything else under the sun!

There will be an episode on the first Monday of every month at 6pm (CTD). I am excited to see how God uses this to be glorified. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP. Would you please send suggestions for what you would like to hear about? Simply message Wilson's Call on Facebook to share your thoughts.

Prayer Request

In Haiti you pay for your rent a year at a time and at the beginning of the year. We are believing that God will provide it all this month so that we can have a year of housing behind us and another amazing year of ministry in front of us here at RTS Missions! This would free up resources to be used in other ways to further the kingdom of God in Haiti for the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. We're believing that God is going to show up in a big way!

Would you consider joining our mission team with a one time donation this month? Thank you all for your continued prayer and support! We could never tell you how much we thank God for each and every one of you!

For more details message Baylee or myself or follow these steps
(all donations are tax deductible)
1. Go to www.rtsmissions.com
2. Click the red "donate" button
3. Create an account
4. ***click the scroll down arrow and select "Michael & Baylee Wilson"***
5. Enter and donate the amount God puts on your heart to give.

Praise Reports: We had our first ever Game Day at our house for those in the His Hope ministry, along with some other elderly in the neighborhood. We ate together, played bingo, sang a few songs, and prayed together. It was an amazing day and they all had a great time. We are working on putting together our next event for them and they are looking forward to it. 

Thanks to your generosity, we were able to pay for the first year of kindergarten for a little girl whose mom and dad left her whens she was a baby. She means the world to us and we were blessed to be able to do this for her. She is enjoying school and we pray that she makes many friends and learns more each day. 

Senator Mike Schulz releases Senate GOP budget plan

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz on Monday released the Senate Republicans' plan to address the $215 million hole in the Fiscal Year 2018 state budget.

“This plan not only addresses the immediate need of $215 million for critical health care agencies that was struck down in court, but it also provides recurring  revenue streams to help us address the long-term stability of the budget and prevent further cuts to core government services,” said Schulz, R-Altus.

“Oklahoma Senate Republicans have proven our willingness to address the state's long-term budget problems by passing a similar revenue package during the regular session. The elements of this plan for special session were fully vetted by the Senate during the regular session, and all received the necessary votes to pass constitutional muster. I’m confident Senate Republicans, if given the chance, again will put Oklahoma’s interests first and will be able to pass this responsible revenue plan that ensures education, public safety, transportation and other core services avoid further cuts.”

The Senate plan is as follows:

  • $1.50 per-pack increase in the cigarette tax, which generates $128.9 million in Fiscal Year 2018 and leaves $122.4 million for FY’18 appropriation;
  • a six-cent increase in the motor fuels tax, which generates $71 million in FY’18 and leaves $67.45 million for FY’18 appropriation; and
  • the elimination of the wind manufacturer sales tax exemption, which generates $10.97 million in FY’18 and leaves $9.87 million for FY’18 appropriation.

Because FY’18 collections are for less than a full fiscal year, the Senate plan also calls for a drawdown of $15.2 million from the Rainy Day Fund to entirely plug the hole in the FY’18 budget.

The governor’s call for special session included other issues like a teacher pay raise and finding more efficiency in government spending. Schulz said while the immediate need is addressing the FY’18 budget hole, Senate Republicans were open to considering those issues during the special session.

“Senate Republicans have said all along we must first address the short-term budget issues before acting on a teacher pay raise plan. Once we take care of the budget, Senate Republicans would consider a teacher pay plan that includes a permanent funding source,” Schulz said. “Additionally, Senate Republicans will keep working on making government more efficient and effective. We’ll keep pouring over agency spending and look at options like consolidation to improve the quality and delivery of services. There’s no doubt agencies can be more efficient in spending taxpayer dollars, and Senate Republicans will keep working on behalf of Oklahomans to make sure that happens.”