• December 2018 Column Winner

    God did something about it, and you're it!
    Kaycee Campbell, Countywide & Sun

    Something popped up on my Facebook timehop the other day that shows me that God has a sense of humor. Three years ago I posted: “When people ask “How many children do you have?” I respond with: I have two dogs #IDoWhatIWant-WhenIWant, #ILoveMyFurBabies!
    You see, God MUST have a sense of humor because fast forward three years, and I now live in Anna’s House Community with my loving husband, my fur-baby Hunter, and eight children … Yes, you heard me right: EIGHT.  Read More...

  • December 2018 Editorial Winner

    AHS Tigers and tremendous season; school spirit, pride reach new levels
    Kim Benedict, The Ardmoreite

    School spirit is a nebulous thing. It ebbs and flows with the personalities of a school’s staff and students. It ebbs and flows with the success of sports teams, academic teams, and other extra curricular activities.
    But at a certain ebb point it’s tough to bring back.
    Ardmore City Schools’ population, with community support, has brought it back.  Read More...

  • November 2018 Column Winner

    The most beautiful heartache
    Kaycee Campbell, Countywide & Sun

    When most people think of loss and grief it’s of a loved one they have lost; a Mom, a Dad, a grandma, or granddad, sister, brother, or close friend. Sometimes it’s the loss of a child taken far before their time.
    Holidays usually bring up raw emotions of our loved ones that we no longer get to share the day with. But the memories we have of them stays with us and often times can leave us smiling at the thought of them while heart broken that they will never get to share the holiday with us again.  Read More...

  • November 2018 Editorial Winner

    Face it
    Wayne Trotter, Countywide & Sun

    “You can’t justify this many school districts to anyone.”
    That comment comes from Dr. James R. Machell, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. Dr. Machell made the remark back in September through The Oklahoman and he may well live to regret having ever said anything at all. The ground he walks on is proven to be very shaky.  Read More...

  • October 2018 Editorial Contest Winner

    SQ801 a bad idea
    Mike McCormick, Tri-County Herald

    Voters will decide five state questions in the Nov. 6 general election.
    One of those, State Question 801, concerns funding in local districts, but it won’t necessarily impact them one way or another.
    It does not increase the amount of taxes school patrons will pay annually if it passes. It doesn’t mean there will be additional money to use. It’s not all of a sudden creating a new source of revenue.  Read More...

  • October 2018 Column Winner

    Haunted barn experience is too much
    Patti Marshall, Countywide & Sun

    As a child, I loved dressing up as a ballerina in a pink tutu or a swirly-skirted gypsy and walking my GI Joe brothers door-to-door on Halloween for sugar-fortified treats. By the end of the evening our sacks were full of candy as were our bellies. Halloween was difficult for me because I never liked scary things. No scary movies, no jumping out from behind a door to scare me and no dressing in scary costumes.  Read More...

  • September 2018 Column Winner

    He said, she said: It's déjà vu all over again
    Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle

    He said, she said.
    It’s a tale as old as time, a situation as venerable as humanity itself.
    She says he did something to her, he says he didn’t. Who are we to believe?
    Increasingly of late, in the midst of the burgeoning #MeToo movement, the accusations of all the she's out there are gaining more traction.
    He said, she said. 

  • September 2018 Editorial Winner

    More than enough time
    Mike McCormick, Tri-County Herald

    When school patrons are provided information about a bond issue and given an estimated timeline of when it will be completed, they expect it to be correct.
    They figure what they are being told about a bond proposal is accurate and have some degree of trust in the authorities that are trying to ensure them why they should make this investment.   Read More...

  • August 2018 Editorial Winner

    Caring and saving a life
    Mike McCormick, Tri-County Herald 

    A 15-year-old Meeker teenager is alive today only because some people were concerned enough about him to notify authorities.
    The youth, identified only as JJ, remains in Children’s Hospital where he has been for three weeks. After law enforcement authorities found him nearly starved to death, doctors told them in another week the youth most likely would have died.
    His parents and two other adults face felony charges.  Read More...

  • August 2018 Column Winner

    She loves them, but now they're leaving
    Suzie Campbell, Countywide & Sun

    I’ve often heard a picture is worth a thousand words. That was never truer for me than this last week when two photos brought forth waves of emotion and even a few tears.
    The photo I received Monday morning of my son and his daughters, minutes after he arrived back home from an overseas deployment, made my heart burst with joy.   Read More...

  • July 2018 Column Winner

    Learning from old scars
    Chelsea Weeks, Tri-County Herald

    The rushing water felt cool against my sunburnt skin and as I began to wash the hot line of blood off my leg, I knew my foolish mistake would leave me with a scar.
    Growing up, all my three-day weekends, summers and extended vacations included something outdoors.  Read More...

  • July 2018 Editorial Winner

    Don't waste your vote on candidates who aren't accountable
    Kim Poindexter, Tahlequah Daily Press

    Are you registered to vote in the Aug. 28 runoff election? If not, you have until Aug. 3 to get that way – and you should do it before it’s too late.
    Since the contentious November 2017 general election, a number of people have awoken from what might be described as an “electoral stupor.”  Read More...

  • June 2018 Column Winner

    Shopping is different on Venus
    J. D. Meisner, Bristow News

    I was visiting with a friend of mine who had recently visited Washington DC and had visited the Smithsonian Institute with her husband. She said it was amazing, but added that when they visited the Air and Space Museum, her husband had to stop and read every single sign on every exhibit and that she had eventually left him behind, then had to wait for him on the next floor.
    Sorry friend, I empathize with the husband because that would have been me… wanting to take it all in and not miss a thing – I mean who doesn’t love airplanes and rockets?  Read More...

  • June 2018 Editorial Winner

    Voters make displeasure known
    Todd Brooks, Marlow Review

    Stephens County Commissioners may have taken off the public comment portion of their agenda, but the public spoke loud and clear to the commission at the ballot box Tuesday.
    That message seemed to be, do better.
    Not only was current District 1 Commissioner David McCarley defeated in the primary but so was the renewal of the fairgrounds tax.  Read More...

  • May 2018 Column Winner

    Where have all the businesses gone
    Aaron McDonald, Countywide & Sun

    Buck’s Western Wear, O’Dell’s Western Wear, C.R. Anthony’s, Condon Hardware, Western Auto, H.O. Lloyd Lumber, J&M Discount Carpet, Five Star Milling.
    Looking through one of the newspaper’s bound collections the other day revealed something interesting. Said interesting thing came off the sports page from 1983. Specifically, the number of sports page sponsors that adorned the Tecumseh football schedule.  Read More...

  • May 2018 Editorial Winner

    Dorothy Ballard, The Miami News-Record

    When reading the number 101 I tend to hear it in my head as “oneoh- one” because it had become so strongly linked with every high school and college introductory course I have taken in my lifetime.
    In a fair number of American educational institutions, 101 represents a meaningful starting place. It is where students gain the essentials for a core course of study – English 101, Chemistry 101, Welding 101 and so on.  Read More...

  • April 2018 Editorial Winner

    Riley heads to Texas
    JJ Francais, The Chronicle

    No, Lincoln Riley - head football coach at the University of Oklahoma - isn’t headed to Texas. However, if the headline grabbed your attention, then the facts just might scare you. We aren’t losing a football coach to Texas but rather thousands of teachers.  Read More...

  • April 2018 Column Winner

    Life is not fair, but its fairer than death
    Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle

    Life is not fair.
    Earlier this month, Wells Fargo Bank executive Jennifer Riordan boarded Southwest Airlines flight 1380 from New York LaGuardia Airport to Dallas Love Field. She was one of 144 passengers who walked onto the Boeing 737 that day.
    The 43-year-old wife and mother of two buckled herself into her seat and settled in for what should have been a routine flight.  Read More...

  • March 2018 Column Winner

    A response to Parkland: We have to start somewhere
    John A. Small, Johnston County Sentinel

    I was going through my e-mails Monday morning when I came across a message from one of my more faithful readers, one who has been following this column for more years now than I have fingers and toes to count on. (That may come as a surprise to some people, but I do have a few readers like that.)  Read More...

  • March 2018 Editorial Winner

    What goes around comes around
    Wayne Trotter, Countywide & Sun

    Most politicians like the phrase “what goes around comes around.” It is easy to understand and fits nicely in whatever Mr. or Ms. Politico may be supporting or opposing this particular week. If you don’t use it more than two times an hour or wisely change audiences every 15 minutes, you can make the phrase sound downright intelligent, giving you a good shot at reaching that political dream of fooling most of the people most of the time.  Read More...

  • February 2018 Column Winner

    My father was a very mean man
    Kati Gibson, The Chelsea Reporter

    My father was a very mean man.
    And I can say that. Oh, I would hear the bits of yelling and arguing from time to time when I was young, but it wasn’t until he left us for his secretary that things got real. I was six years old.   Read More...

  • February 2018 Editorial Winner

    A defining moment
    Wayne Trotter, Countywide & Sun

    Governance Oklahoma Style has followed a frustrating pattern in the last few years. In the chill of each successive winter, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, Tecumseh’s favorite daughter, would open a new session of the legislature by reminding its members that the state must pay its bills and its employees and teachers have to pay theirs as well. At that point, Gov. Fallin typically would roll out a smorgasbord of untapped or undertapped revenue sources. In effect, the governor would then say, “Choose some.”  Read More...

  • January 2018 Column Winner

    Kaylea Hutson-Miller, The Grove Sun

    Life is a precious thing.
    Life, especially at the beginning, is amazing.
    Think about it. A young child enters this world a bit like a blank canvas — albeit a messy, screaming one — ready to have the imprint of its parents, grandparents, siblings and other significant folks, made on its blooming personality.
    Life is amazing. 

  • January 2018 Editorial Winner

    Some Resolutions
    Brian Blansett, Stroud American

    New Year’s is always the time for setting personal goals and aspirations, and it seems like a good time to do some for our great state, as well.
    So, in the spirit making a better Oklahoma, we offer these New Year’s Resolutions, most of which involve state government:
    1. Fix Oklahoma’s short-term revenue problems in the next Legislative session.  Read More...

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