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Every Wednesday You’ll Find What’s Happening in Southern Kansas and Northern Oklahoma by Reading… The Ponca City News SECTION C MID-WEEK (Postal Customer) PRSRT STD BULK RATE U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 182 Ponca City, OK AUGUST 31, 2011 Season Winding Down For Pools IME is winding down T for swimming at AMBUC Pool and Wentz Pool. Wentz Pool is open from 1 to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday for all swimmers. AMBUC Pool is open from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday only for adult/senior lap swim. It is open from 1 to 5 p.m. through Monday for all swimmers. For more information, call the Park and Recreation Department at (580) 767-0430. ————— MUSIC IN THE PARK will be presented from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday by the Ponca City Park and Recreation Department at the parking lot of the Wally Smith Tennis Center near Hutchins Memorial Auditorium. Bring your blanket and lawn chairs. For more information, call (580) 767-0430. ————— The September FLY-IN BREAKFAST at the Ponca City Regional Airport will be from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday. For more information, call (580) 767-0470. ————— The 50th annual CHEROKEE STRIP GOLF CLASSIC, benefitting the Opportunity Center, will be Sept. 8-10 at the Ponca City Country Club. Golf tournament is “two net low ball” (4 amateurs & 1 pro) using 85 percent handicap. Sign up as an individual or bring an entire team! Other activities include the Marty McArthur Memorial Ladies golf tournament, silent auction, live entertainment, ladies activities and an amateur golf horserace. Social passes are available. For more information, call Chuck at (580) 762-2580. ————— The PONCAN OPRY, presented by the Poncan Theatre, returns Sept. 10. This special “Four Sides of the Poncan Opry All Star Band” show features a mix of rock, bluegrass, gospel, country old and new, as well as blues. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $16 for adults and $8.50 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available by calling the box office at (580) 765-0943 or online at ————— The 94th annual KAY COUNTY FREE FAIR is Sept. 13-17 at the Kay County Fairgrounds in Blackwell. There will be livestock exhibits, arts, crafts, quilts, a petting zoo, food booths and a carnival. For more information, call (580) 363-4195. ————— “THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB” will be presented by Ponca Playhouse Sept. 16-18. A new comedy by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, this story is about five Southern women whose friendship began many years ago on their college swim team. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office and are $15 for adults, $10 for students 18 and under. For more information, call (580) 765-5360. ————— The 25TH ANNUAL CHEROKEE STRIP BBQ COOK OFF is Sept. 17 at Lake Ponca. All proceeds benefit Hospice of North Central Oklahoma. Tasting begins at 12:30 p.m. Tasting kits are $6 in advance, $7 day of event. Purchase tickets at local banks, the Ponca City Area Chamber of Commerce and the Conoco Museum. For more information, call (580) 767-2143 or visit ————— The 37th ANNUAL FINE ARTS FESTIVAL, sponsored by The Ponca City Art Association at the Ponca City Arts Center, 819 East Central, is Sept. 17-18. For more information, call (580) 765-9746. Ponca Playhouse Presentation Of ‘The Guys’ In Memory of 9/11 Following months of planning, casting, and rehearsals the Ponca Playhouse proudly announces its performances of “The Guys” Sept. 9-11, directed by Ruslyn Hermanson. The worldwide hit play written by Anne Nelson, an Oklahoma native, pays tribute to the heroic fallen first responders who gave their all to rescue the citizens of the world trapped in the twin towers on 09/11/2001. On the 10th anniversary of this day of tragedy and sacrifice, the performance of “The Guys” will help raise funds for participating rural firefighters and Ponca Playhouse Inc. The cast of two features Kevin Roe and Melanie Childers. Childers, a fourth-grade school teacher at St. Mary School in Ponca City, plays the part of Joan in this portrayal of the reallife events following the attack on 9/11. Joan is asked to help write the eulogies for the fallen heroes assigned to Captain Nick’s firefighting unit. Nick is played by Kevin Roe, who is Division Chief of Fire Training for the Ponca City Fire Department and brings his own life’s experiences to this heartwarming tribute. “Although John Q. Public is aware of the deaths of firefighters, police officers and harbor guard members that day, it will be interesting to see how the author explains Brotherhood, Sacrifice, and the acts of bravery displayed by those who climbed up those towers when everyone else was trying so hard to get out of them. Those brave men and women knew they were probably never coming back down, but they went anyway,” Roe said. “The Guys” will be performed around the country at approximately 61 different locations. The Ponca Playhouse is at 301 South First Street. Each performance of “The Guys” runs approximately 90 minutes without intermission. Sponsors for this production are Brad and Lea Ann Bechtel, Jack Bowker Ford Lincoln, Eastman National Bank, Evans and Associates, Brian and Ruslyn Hermanson, ONG, Carl and Carolyn Renfro, and Stolhand Heating and Air Conditioning. A display of firefighter gear will be in the lobby and area firefighters will serve as ushers and greeters. A reception will follow the performances hosted by AmeriCorps members. Show times are at 8 p.m. Sept. 9 and 10 and at 2 p.m. on Sept. 11. Tickets are $15 and reservations can be made by calling (580) 765-5360. This is not a part of the Ponca Playhouse regular season. Red Dirt Rangers To Perform for Fundraiser The Red Dirt Rangers There Are Some Days The Job Is Tougher By BEVERLY BRYANT Midweek Editor While City Manager Craig Stephenson enjoys his job most days, there are a few times when he’d just as soon be doing something else. For example: The eighth day of any month starting with “A.” On April 8 this year, Ponca City was hit with a very significant storm that heavily damaged the industrial area of the city and took out power poles on Waverly Street. The Ponca City Regional Airport, electrical system and environmental services had heavy damages, as did homeowners City Manager Craig Stephenson in the affected area. And on Aug. 8, the unimaginable happened when two feeder lines from OG&E went down at the same time during a storm south of Ponca City. All of Ponca City lost power after one of the feeder lines fell on city transmission lines. And that, in turn, started a domino effect of other problems. The pumps in the well field which provides Ponca City’s primary water source were unable to operate without electricity and there was a period of time when no water was available. Without electricity, gasoline pumps do not operate, and the emergency generator at the Public Safety Center ran out of gasoline and the dispatch system crashed. Stephenson addressed the problems during Friday’s Ponca Politics forum put on by the Ponca City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Committee “What did we learn?” Stephenson asked. “We learned we can use mobile generators to prevent unpermitted discharges at our wastewater lift stations. (See MANAGER, Page 2C) “An Evening with the Red Dirt Rangers” is the theme of this year’s annual fundraiser for Ponca City Arts and Humanities Council, a local non-profit arts organization. The fundraiser will be Sept. 16. Tickets are $30 each and include dinner and a show by the Red Dirt Rangers. Ticket holders will receive an Italian buffet dinner, which includes one domestic beer or one house wine at Zino’s Italian Ristorante from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. show at the Poncan Theatre with seating in a specially reserved section. Tickets are available by calling Leslie at 765-3966 or contacting any Ponca City Arts and Humanities Council board member. The show will be in honor of the Cherokee Strip Land Run Day and will showcase the talents of these gifted Oklahoma musicians. “An Evening with the Red Dirt Rangers” will be a unique opportunity for patrons to see both a play and a concert by the band members. The show will start with a one-act play about an imaginary meeting between Woody Guthrie and Bob Wills, both Oklahoma music legends. Two members of the Red Dirt Rangers will portray Guthrie and Wills in the play titled “Time Changes Everything,” which is about two musical giants on their way up and again after their respective careers have peaked. After a brief intermission, the full band of the Red Dirt Rangers will play a concert which highlights music by both Woody Guthrie and Bob Wills, as well as original compositions by the band. (See “Red Dirt” Page 2C) Leaders Point Out Ponca City’s Best Features During Forum By BEVERLY BRYANT munities. Midweek Editor The mayor said Ponca City Mayor Homer Nicholson offers many ways for citizens and City Manager Craig Steto be involved in their local phenson were the speakers in government, with 14 different Friday’s Ponca Politics forum, citizen advisory boards, comsponsored by the Governmenmissions and authorities which tal Affairs Committee of the work with the input of about Ponca City Area Chamber of 100 citizen volunteers. Commerce. The list of advisory boards is And while neither city leader available at www.poncacityok. likes to use the word “brag,” gov. Members of the boards are they both had the opportunity, appointed by the mayor and for an hour and a half, to showconfirmed by the City Commiscase the great things happening sion. in Ponca City and the features City Manager Stephenson that make the city a good place spoke about the strong fisto live. cal position of Ponca City and The forum will be rebroadexplained how city departcast three times daily through ments work together to protect next Sunday, at 10 a.m., 6:30 the city’s financial picture. and 9:30 p.m., forum moderator He said there are 389 full Lowell Lefebvre said. time employees, a decrease of Mayor Homer Nicholson Nicholson said that as mayor, five positions from last fiscal he spends a lot of time in Oklayear. homa City at the state Capitol representing “The fiscal 2011-12 budget was challengPonca City’s interest to the Legislature. ing,” Stephenson said. The $93 million budget “There are tedious days and demanding showed an increase of 5.79 percent from the schedules,” he said. previous year due largely to budgeting some He is a member of the Mayors Council of accumulated fund balance in the Street Tax Oklahoma; Oklahoma Congress of Mayors; Fund for capital improvements Oklahoma Municipal League’s Board of DirecStephenson said this year’s budget is only tors, Legislative Committee and Certified 35 percent higher than it was 18 years ago in Mayors Program; Oklahoma Municipal Power fiscal year 1993-94, amounting to an average Authority Board of Directors; Oklahoma annual increase of approximately 1.6 percent. Municipal Utility Providers Steering ComStephenson and Nicholson both said that tax mittee; Oklahoma Homeland Defense Board exemptions reduce the services the city can and the Governor’s Council on Workforce Eco- provide. nomic Development. “For every dollar spent in Ponca City, you Nicholson also hosts the Kay County May- pay an additional 8.667 cents,” Stephenson ors Round Table at City Hall, in an ongoing said. effort to increase dialogue regarding pertinent Of that sales tax, the state gets 4.5 cents; the issues facing North Central Oklahoma com(See FORUM, Page 2C)

Mid-Week 2011-08-31

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