2009 ONG Column & Editorial Winners

To read entire columns or editorials click the corresponding headline.
  • 2009 Editorial Sweepstakes Winner

    Tulsa County clerk out-of-line with open records law
    Ted Streuli, The Journal Record

    Tulsa County Clerk Earlene Wilson is picking your pocket.

    The county’s exorbitant, unconscionable fees to view and print public records clearly violate state law, and Wilson gets away with it because the law doesn’t have any teeth.
  • 2009 Column Sweepstakes Winner

    Christmas is all about memories
    Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle

    While we're living through it, Christmas is a blur of shopping, cooking, wrapping, eating, holiday programs and parties, wrapped around more mundane chores like work or school.

  • December 2009 Editorial Winner

    Let a very bad idea for courts go
    David Gerard, Muskogee Phoenix
    December 23, 2009

    Some bad ideas won't go away as much as you wish they would, and one bad idea won't go away here in Oklahoma.

  • December 2009 Column Winner

    Christmas is all about memories
    Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle
    December 25, 2009

    While we're living through it, Christmas is a blur of shopping, cooking, wrapping, eating, holiday programs and parties, wrapped around more mundane chores like work or school.

  • November 2009 Editorial Winner

    There is really no other choice
    Wayne Trotter, The Countywide & Sun
    November 5, 2009

    There are some things you have to do in life whether you want to or not. If the car won’t start and you must get to work, you have to fix it, trade it or find another ride. If the cupboard is bare, you have to find a way to feed your family. If the ox is really in the ditch, the Bible grants devout Christians permission to do that much work to get him out even on the Sabbath.

  • November 2009 Column Winner

    Editor asks if she’s prejudiced or a bigot
    By Barb Walter, Hennessey Clipper
    November 12, 2009

    A friend tells me I cut people too much slack.  She says I make excuses for their actions, and I’m wondering if she’d have made allowances for me Friday afternoon.

  • October 2009 Editorial Winner

    State’s own ‘Madoff’ lived high on school money
    By Bill Walter, The Hennessey Clipper
    Oct. 8, 2009

    How could a top official steal almost half a million dollars from the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) before the board of directors, staff accountants, auditors or janitors caught on to the scam?

  • October 2009 Column Winner

    It became harder and harder to leave…
    By Suzie Campbell, The Countywide & Sun
    Oct. 29, 2009

    Abusers use emotional, psychological and physical abuse followed by apologies, promises and affection to control their victims. The recipients of abuse often feel they are the cause. Their self-esteem and self-worth has been destroyed and they feel this is the best life they will ever have.

  • September 2009 Editorial Winner

    Make OSSAA accountable to taxpayers, students
    John M. Wylie II - Oolagah Lake Leader,  September 2009

    We’re not sure what the most shocking revelation was when Danny Rennels, who served for a decade as the chief regulator of Oklahoma high school athletics and activities, was charged with felony embezzlement Monday.

  • September 2009 Column Winner

    The Question Isn't Boxers or Briefs - Life Lessons
    Patti Marshall - Countywide & Sun,  September 2009

    I was reading an article from The Washington Post that expressed the use of men’s underwear as a leading economic indicator. And I quote, “Sales of men’s underwear typically are stable because they rank as a necessity. But during times of severe financial strain, men will try to stretch the time between buying new pairs, causing underwear sales to dip.”

  • August 2009 Column Winner

    No plans for funeral tardiness, but for aging with dignity
    David Gerard - Muskogee Phoenix,  August 2009
    Most people tell me I look pretty good for a guy in his late 50s. I think I look better than pretty good. But you want the truth, listen to children. So I’m riding my bicycle home from work recently, and this 7- or 8-year-old girl shouts, “Keep pedaling, grandpa. Don’t be late for your funeral.”
  • August 2009 Editorial Winner

    Step up, Mr. Mayor
    J.B. Bittner - Stillwater NewsPress,  August 2009
    A few months into his term, Mayor Nathan Bates generously made time to sit down with us and talk about himself, his campaign and his 27-vote victory.
  • July 2009 Column Winner

    Standing Tall
    Rusty Ferguson - Cleveland American,  July 2009

    Twenty-five steps. I’ve been thinking a lot about those steps. Arm-in-arm with my daughter, that’s how many times our feet will move forward Saturday evening as we stride from the back of the church sanctuary to the other end of the center aisle where Libby's Prince Charming will be waiting to take her hand from mine.

  • July 2009 Editorial Winner

    Michael Jackson was no Elvis
    Barb Walter - The Hennessey Clipper,  July 2009

    Last week when pop singer Michael Jackson died, I couldn't believe all the air time that the electronic media gave it. You would have thought the president had been shot.

  • June 2009 Editorial Winner

    The 10 again
    David Gerard - Muskogee Phoenix June 15, 2009

    The Ten Commandments monument in Stigler on the Haskell County Courthouse lawn has received a lot of media coverage and comment over the past three years.

    We’ve commented several times, upholding our belief that the monument was religious in nature and should not be displayed. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver rendered that decision this past week when asked to review a lower court decision favorable to the monument. The appellate court may not have the final say. Another appeal may follow.

  • June 2009 Column Winner

    Uninvited visitors can turn out to be a joy
    By Jerry Whited - Owasso Reporter June 9, 2009

    He arrived on our doorstep a little over a week ago. He’d been waiting at our mail box until we got home from work.

    We didn’t know he was coming, so it was quite a shock to have this little boy — probably a second grader — a stranger, ready to be entertained for a week or so. We weren’t told how long he was going to stay.

  • May 2009 Column Winner

    Day to Remember
    Mike Tupa, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise
     
    Friday nights used to be different for many of our soldiers in uniform. Frenzied crowds chanted their names or cheered them on to winning exploits on the gridiron or the basketball court. They were the hometown heroes, the clean-cut icons who drew praise from everyone, the barber to the store clerk to the pastor. But, now their weekends are filled with danger which has little to do with whether a blitzing linebacker is going to smash them to the turf.
  • May 2009 Editorial Winner

    Consumer Protection
    New credit card rules will provide necessary safeguards

    Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle
     
    During his term in the Oklahoma State Senate, Robert Milacek of Waukomis made it his mission to pass legislation restricting credit card companies from issuing cards to anyone under 21. In 1998 he was contacted by the mother of a University of Central Oklahoma student, who committed suicide after running up huge credit card debts.
  • April 2009 Editorial Winner

    Give It Up
    Wayne Trotter, The Countywide & Sun
     

    Shawnee is lucky to have Russell Frantz as police chief. He’s a bright young face in city government and he obviously knows his stuff when it comes to fighting crime. It should be no surprise that he’d like to stretch his department’s income a little by tapping into what looks like almost free money from the insurance companies. They’re all filthy rich anyway, aren’t they?

  • April 2009 Column Winner

    There’s a lot in a name – especially if it’s ‘Coach’
    Christian Potts - The Norman Transcript

    News Editor Christian Potts spent the last two months as a first-time volunteer coach in the 3- and 4-year-old indoor soccer league at the Cleveland County Family YMCA. I used to ask coaches during my journey as a sportswriter what the hardest part of coaching is.

  • March 2009 Editorial Winner

    Tulsa County clerk out-of-line with open records law
    Ted Streuli, The Journal Record

    Tulsa County Clerk Earlene Wilson is picking your pocket.

    The county’s exorbitant, unconscionable fees to view and print public records clearly violate state law, and Wilson gets away with it because the law doesn’t have any teeth.
  • March 2009 Column Winner

    Soldiers’ families won’t mourn alone
    Cindy Allen, Enid News & Eagle


    The U.S. government’s policy of not allowing news coverage of the return of war dead has always seemed to be futile, at best. 

    After all, what does the government expect to gain from barring coverage of these brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom?

  • February 2009 Editorial Winner

    By Wayne Trotter, The Countywide & Sun (Tecumseh)
    President Obama unquestionably is one of the greatest speakers of all time and he showed it again Tuesday night. He was so eloquent, so relaxed, so comfortable, so cool in his appropriately majestic setting that it was hard not to immediately concur with every single thought. Most of all, after a fortnight of crisis talk he turned Reaganesque or Rooseveltian in his optimism. Many in this shaken nation wanted and needed that. Count us among those.

  • February 2009 Column Winner

    By Shana Adkisson - The Norman Transcript
    It’s Valentine’s Day and men, if you haven’t already, it’s time to pony up some dough and get us ladies a present.

    Some naysayers will tell you that Valentine’s Day was only created by the flower, candy and card industry. True, it is a women’s holiday. And true again flowers, candy and cards are what women like. But I would argue that women deserve flowers, candy and cards because of our day-to-day routines. Men, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be an obligation, it should be your way of repaying us for all the unsexy tasks we must endure in order to make your lives better.

  • January 2009 Editorial Winner

    By David Gerard, Muskogee Phoenix
    The Muskogee County Court Clerk’s Office reports it has made changes in the way money is handled and checks are written to prevent embezzlement. That is welcome news after a state audit last year showed about $600,000 — 10 percent of the money collected by the office — was embezzled from November 2007 through September 2008. In today’s Sunday Extra, Court Clerk Paula Sexton states that the office now has three new digital security cameras and she and a judge sign all checks written by the office.
  • January 2009 Column Winner

    By Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle
    At first glance, it is pretty hilarious, the fate that recently befell a 48-year-old man spending the day skiing in Vail, Colo. The man boarded a ski lift at Vail’s Blue Sky Basin Jan. 1, but the lift’s fold-down seat apparently wasn’t in its proper position. So as the lift took off, the man fell through the seat. His right ski hung up, leaving him dangling from the lift head down. That was bad enough, but what made it worse was the fact his ski pants apparently got hung up on the lift seat, and yanked them down, er, up, leaving him not only dangling in the cold breeze high above the snowy slope, but doing so with his bare derriere hanging out for all to see.
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