• 2011 ONG Sweepstakes Column Winner

    Community's heart trumps hate

    Dyrinda Tyson-Jones, Mustang News

    It's never good news when Westboro Baptist Church rolls into town — but you don't need me to tell you that. Westboro members link the misery in the world to what they consider America's casual acceptance of homosexuality.

  • 2011 ONG Sweepstakes Editorial Winner

    Taking on a flawed system

    Ted Streuli, The Journal Record

    Two pit bull puppies in Sheila Ingram's care injured a neighbor, who complained to Oklahoma City officials. No one disputes that, but the extent of the injury and aggressiveness of the puppies remains a topic of debate. A municipal court judge will get a second chance to sort it out next week.

  • December Editorial Winner

    We Need Seven Ready

    JOHN M. WYLIE III, The Oologah Lake Leader

    Directors of Rural Water District No. 4 may vote as early as 2 p.m. Friday, during a rescheduled regular meting, on the Seven Ready Plan from OTEMS ambulance district.
    The plan, already being implemented for OTEMS district residents served by Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative, would allow residents of the ambulance district who are not members of VVEC to be billed for the $7 monthly fee on their water bill.
    As in the VVEC program, any RWD4 tap holder who wants to opt out of the program could do so.

  • December Column Winner

    Letter From Santa

    BRIAN BLANSETT, The Shawnee News-Star

    Ho, ho, ho everyone.
    I'll probably be back home by the time you read this, but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my trip to the Shawnee area this year.
    And — let me clear this up right away — I'm so very sorry about Blitzen's little accident as we were flying across I-4o. Talk about a Christmas memory for the family in that white Ford.

  • November Column Winner

    About Rules and Responsibility

    ANN McDONALD, The Countywide and Sun

    Last week we experienced the worst behavior imaginable from the sports world as well as the some good stuff from others involved in athletics.
    We can't ignore the horrible situation at Penn State University. It's everywhere, on the sports page to the news to the internet to the local coffee shop. No question that more is yet to come out. What we do know is that a man has been arrested for molesting several young boys. And because there seemed to be a cover-up, several high profile men lost their jobs.

  • November Editorial Winner

    Protecting John Smith

    Ted Streuli, The Journal Record

    The Oklahoma Supreme Court justices will soon decide whether to further restrict access to public information. We understand the court's concerns, but the proposed rule needs extensive work. As it now reads, it is much too broad and could create a mudslide of unanticipated consequences.

  • October Column Winner

    Tough question: To mow or not to mow?

    David Burgess, Vinita Daily Journal

    Harold Camping says the world is going to end Friday - probably.
    That could be worrisome, if he hadn't already been wrong twice before.
    Camping predicted doom in 1994, but somehow the world survived.

  • October Editorial Winner

    Commission may be making a huge mistake

    Mike McCormick, Shawnee News-Star

    THE ISSUE: City commission board retreat
    OUR OPINION: They should stay in Shawnee
    Shawnee city commissioners may be making a huge mistake. They will be in Stillwater tonight and most of Monday for what is being billed as a Board of City Commissioners' retreat.

  • September Editorial Winner

    Taking on a flawed system

    Ted Streuli, The Journal Record

    Two pit bull puppies in Sheila Ingram's care injured a neighbor, who complained to Oklahoma City officials. No one disputes that, but the extent of the injury and aggressiveness of the puppies remains a topic of debate. A municipal court judge will get a second chance to sort it out next week.

  • September Column Winner

    Community's heart trumps hate

    Dyrinda Tyson-Jones, Mustang News

    It's never good news when Westboro Baptist Church rolls into town — but you don't need me to tell you that. Westboro members link the misery in the world to what they consider America's casual acceptance of homosexuality.

  • August Column Winner

    Tom Lee and a life changed

    Kendall Brown, The Norman Transcript

    Everyone is afforded in life those few moments, those ‘flashbulb memories,’ where you meet someone truly inspiring, someone who in an instant changes your life forever. Something they do, something they say or maybe just something they simply are touches something inside of you, and you’re better for it.
    Tom Lee did that for me.

  • August Editorial Winner

    State ranking in child well being not acceptable

    Kim Benedict, The Ardmoreite

    Most of us know that life is a work in progress.
    We leverage our strengths, identify and work to improve our weaknesses.
    And, for the most part, have control over what we do.
    However, one of our most vulnerable populations is our children, and they have little to no control over their life circumstances.

  • July Column Winner

    Journal

    Gloria Trotter, Countywide & Sun

    Two heat-related deaths have been reported at 412 S.Ninth St., Tecumseh.

  • July Editorial Winner

    Welcome Addition

    Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle

    Planned joint-use hangar at airport will help protect both military, civilian aircraft
    It is a spring evening, and a group of training aircraft from Vance Air Force Base are on the tarmac at Enid Woodring Regional Airport, where they will spend the night.

  • June Column Winner

    Murphy could be in your yard today

    Melissa Choate, The Hennessey Clipper

    My dog's name is Murphy, and he's the cutest little white Shih Tzu. Unfortunately, he is more often than not the bane of my existence.

  • June Editorial Winner

    A district divided

    Regina Smith, Poteau Daily News

    As we are sure you have heard by now it looks as though Poteau Public Schools will be without a superintendent as of June 30 when Dr. Alice Smith is set to retire. Of course rumors abound as to whether she is really going to relinquish control of the position or not. It was, after-all, according to several sources, Dr. Smith who placed the item regarding Hank Harris on the agenda. The problem is the same as it has always been, the school board has given too much power to Dr. Smith.

  • May Column Winner

    The perils of late-breaking news

    Gloria Trotter, Countywide & Sun

    What an amazing week it has been, as we all heard the news of Osama Bin Laden's death and the details of the operation that led to it.
    As a journalist, it's fascinating to watch how the story's been covered in this day of electronic media. Like most of you, I heard the news on television — and stayed glued to it well past my bedtime.

  • May Editorial Winner

    It's been a long time coming

    Mike McCormick, Shawnee News-Star

    THE ISSUE: Jim Thorpe Stadium project
    OUR STANCE: Schools patrons deserved better

    Finally, it looks like construction on the new high school track at Jim Thorpe Stadium will resume immediately, barring unforeseen, bad weather.

  • April 2011 Column Winner

    April Breaks Hearts

    Faith Wylie, Oologah Lake Leader

    April showers? Not here. April brings violent storms and heart-breaking memories. Traveling back in time to the Oologah tornado has been a bumpy journey. Stories of strength and perseverance have reminded us of the courage and character of our community. But the stories have also raised twinges of the pain of those days. News reports also remind us of the Branch Davidian tragedy at Waco 18 years ago, and the Murrah bombing in Oklahoma City 16 ...
  • April 2011 Editorial Winner

    Fix the Real Problems

    Ted Streuli, The Journal Record

    Oklahoma's Legislature should stop fixing imaginary problems and find solutions to the issues that face the state, primarily a substantial budget deficit.This week's nonproblem was affirmative action. A proposal by state Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher, and state Rep.
  • March 2011 Column Winner

    Will of the people

    John M. Wylie II, Oologah Lake Leader

    When Oklahoma humorist Will Rogers died in 1935, the people of Oklahoma, of America, and around the world mourned.
    The people of Claremore and Oologah like to claim Will Rogers, but Will was bigger than those two communities.

  • March 2011 Editorial Winner

    Regional park carries hefty price tag

    Mike McCormick, Shawnee News-Star

    When city of Shawnee voters approved making the third penny sales tax permanent more than 12 years ago, little did they envision probably a regional park with a price tag estimated at between $19 to $20 million. With city commissioners last Monday night approving the master plan for the park, it could happen.

  • February 2011 Column Winner

    If you knew Lou, the way we knew Lou

    Barb Walter, Hennessey Clipper

    She was a good-looking woman. Even at 82, Lou Ledbetter looked good, and her eyes would light up when I'd compliment her appearance. It was just a few weeks ago when I'd last told her she was lookin' good. Our printer was having press problems that week, so she'd come into the office wanting her Clipper. "I need my Clipper," she said.

  • February 2011 Editorial Winner

    Our "archaic" liquor laws 

    J. Leland Gourley, OKC Friday

    Community leaders across Oklahoma are campaigning to get Oklahoma's liquor laws amended to allow at least wine and strong beer to be sold in grocery stores and possibly convenience stores. Current law restricts the sale of these beverages to holders of liquor licenses that give them the legal right to sell alcoholic beverages. And no person, or other entity, who has a license can have more than one store.

  • January 2011 Column Winner

    What's in a name? Quite a bit apparently

    Kim Poindexter, Tahlequah Daily Press

    We were at my in-laws' home near Los Angeles just after Christmas, and I had with me the latest edition of Biblical Archaeology Review. There, in one of the scholarly articles about digs in the Holy Land, I spotted something that made me hoot with laughter: The writer quoted a seriously sheep-skinned person named "Sharon A. Bong."

  • January 2011 Editorial Winner

    Hard times are when we most need the arts

    Jeff Kaley, The Duncan Banner

    0bviously, budget cutting is a key factor in continuing to get a handle on the economic mess in the USofA, and paring down has to happen at the federal, state and local levels.
    At the local level, what’s sad and frustrating — even counterproductive — is part of the budget-cutting in public education will come from slicing the arts from school curriculums. It’s already happening in school districts around Oklahoma, in part because there’s a public mindset the arts aren’t really essential to the education experience.

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