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Homebuilding Boosting Tuttle Tax Revenue City of Tuttle Continues to Grow By Jayson Knight Managing Editor

-Staff photo by Jayson Knight

Construction workers frame a house in the Silver Ridge housing addition Thursday, March 2 in Tuttle. Tuttle continues to grow with houses being built in multiple housing additions.

The City of Tuttle is growing and finished ahead on the books for its recently-completed fiscal year. “We ended the year about two percent up for calendar year 2016,” Tuttle City Manager Tim Young said. “We have a different fiscal year than most communities. Most measure theirs from July 1 to June 30. Ours is from Jan. 1 to Dec. 30. We’re just slightly up for last year.” Young said the city is performing close to par for the early part of 2017. “For the first two months, we are just slightly down, but our other revenue streams are running as we estimated,” he said. “We don’t have anything alarming us at the moment.” Young said a recent addition to the city could help with retail sales. “The new Dollar General just opened up a few weeks ago,” he said. “The Dollar General has the potential to get more people from the Bridge Creek area on the east side of Tuttle. If you need a quick gallon of milk or just a few little things, it’s a good option to have.” The city gets limited revenue for sales tax, but local homebuilding contributes heavily. “It’s mostly just the grocery store and the convenient stores,” Young said. “Then you get some sales tax off your utilities. As a general rule, the only thing that causes our sales tax to go up or down is the level of homebuilding going on.” For 2016, the city finished slightly behind in the number of building permits it’s issued with 42. “We’re about average with where we expected to be,” Young said. “That’s to be expected, not just because of the economy, but we’re also not seeing as many lots platted at the moment.” There are many homes being built so far this year. “Right now, the Hill’s are working on another potential neighborhood,” Young said. “We’ll have those plattes ready to issue hopefully early this summer. Deer Ridge Run is working on an expansion, and they’re breaking ground on The Montford now. We have a lot of positives right now, nothing that’s scaring us.” Young said the city will remain cautious as always. “We’ve learned to be very frugal with our spending, and we’ve learned to make due.”

-Staff photo by Jayson Knight

Sprague’s Backhoe unloads dirt from a dumptruck to bury a tinhorn for a driveway in Tuttle earlier this month. Tuttle’s city manager said the city benefits heavily in tax revenue with the addition of new homes.


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Blanchard’s Proud Community Atmosphere By Traci Chapman Staff Writer While economic development and promoting business are every city’s bread and butter, Blanchard area officials know what brings – and keeps – happy residents invested in the community are those little touches of “home.” “We love our little town, and we are very proud of the business community and city’s accomplishments,” Blanchard Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Carter said. “But, for a family, it’s important to know there are fun and entertaining things to do and things that make our community special.” That includes special events, something city officials have worked to expand over the years, as well as Blanchard’s two parks, Parks Director Chris Wittenbach said. “There is always something to do here – and I’m a big proponent for enriching our lives through resources like our parks, our special events and the community atmosphere we’re really proud of here in Blanchard,” Wittenbach said.

Lions Park With its 10 acres of walking trials, a water park, basketball court, pavilions and playground areas, Lions Park has seen a lot of changes in the last five-plus years. In the summer, one of the city’s biggest draw has become the park’s splash pad, completed in 2011 and open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. “We knew this would be a popular thing for our residents, but it was even bigger than we anticipated,” the parks director said.

-Photo provided by City of Blanchard

An overview of Blanchard’s 2016 May Daze Festival shows hundreds of attendees enjoying dozens of vendors.

South Park South Park Sports Complex has allowed the city to host baseball and other tournaments it otherwise couldn’t ad has illustrated a successful partnership between city officials and the Blanchard Little League Association, Wittenbach said. Featuring six baseball fields, facilities also host football practices and more, he said.

Special Events Partnerships are the key to the surge in special events held in Blanchard throughout See Parks, page 30A

There is always something to do here – and I’m a big proponent for enriching our lives through resources like our parks.

Chris Wittenbach City of Blanchard Parks Director

-Photo provided by City of Blanchard

A boy enjoys the splash pad at Blanchard’s Lions Park last summer. The park also includes a walking trail, basketball court, pavilions and more.


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Newcastle’s population boom boosts business

By Van Mitchell Staff Writer

Newcastle’s population has continued to grow and that has resulted in more businesses finding it as an attractive landing spot. And, in 2017, that growth continues with the addition of a new Love’s Travel Stop, new gaming facility and a new restaurant, said Newcastle City Manager Nick Nazar. “We are working with a few retailers as far as new businesses coming to town,” he said. “Love’s Travel Stop is going in at 24th and State Highway 62 and it will join a gaming facility that will be built on the same property. We are hoping they can put together some additional retail to compliment that location.” Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is

headquartered in Oklahoma City. Founded in 1964, Love’s has more than 410 locations in 40 states. Love’s provides professional truck drivers and motorists with 24-hour access to clean and safe places to purchase gasoline, diesel fuel, travel items, electronics, snacks and more, as well as a selection of restaurant offerings. Nazar work is set to begin shortly on the Love’s project and is expected to be completed by August. He added that Tri-City Café is coming to the north end of town on the State Highway 37 corridor. “We are pretty excited about that,” Nazar said. “It is another restaurant that will be available for people to eat at.” Nazar said the City continues work on developing a plan for a new waste water treatment plant. “We are working on developing a new location for our sewer plant,” he said. “We are trying to acquire a piece of property to build it.” Nazar said the current plant is nearing capacity and a larger one is needed to meet the population growth. He said a new plant is estimated to cost $6 million. “It is a little small,” he said. “We are getting upwards of about 75 percent to 80 percent capacity and we are going to be building a bigger one that will work more efficiently.” Nazar said several new housing subdivisions are

We are really working on a variety of things that we hope will help improve the whole standard of living here. Nick Nazar Newcastle City Manager

-Staff photo by Jayson Knight

At the intersection of Highway 62 and 24th Street in Newcastle, surveyor crews begin the process for installing a Love’s Travel Stop. Newcastle’s city manager Nick Nazar attributes the city’s commercial growth to its growing population.

either in the planning stages or under construction. “We have several subdivisions that are starting to build out,” he said. Nazar said Newcastle’s population has surpassed the 10,000 mark. He said the district’s school system and proximity to Oklahoma City are attractive to businesses and residents. “I think the school system is one of the primary things that people are pretty excited about it,” he said. “That is a piece of the puzzle here. I think people also like the fact that Newcastle is in the country but very close to Oklahoma City and still has that country feel.” Nazar said the City is working towards completing See Newcastle, page 22A

-Staff photo by Jayson Knight

Directional drillers work to install pipe under a street in Newcastle for the future location of a Love’s Travel Stop.


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Tuttle Rolling out Soccer Complex

-Staff photo by Jayson Knight

The Tuttle Soccer Complex, located along the 1500 block of Cemetery Road in Tuttle, is currently in the earliest phases of development. With sod growing, a parking lot paved, and a walking trail carved out, the 40-acre property could be open to residents as early as summer, according to City of Tuttle officials.

Upcoming 40-acre park will provide soccer fields and walking trail By Jayson Knight Managing Editor

-Staff photo by Jayson Knight

Tuttle Youth Soccer Club players compete during a soccer match last spring. The organization is currently struggling with adequate practice space and will be among the first to benefit from the completion of the Tuttle Soccer Complex.

A new 40-acre park, going by the name Tuttle Soccer Complex, is an ongoing project located along the 1500 block of Cemetery Road in Tuttle. The park has recently completed paving of a parking lot, and also a walking trail that explores the back 20 acres of the property. The front 20 will include soccer fields, which will take up about six acres. The Tuttle Public Works Authority is saving room for future development. “We won’t be utilizing that entire 20 acres for soccer fields,” Tuttle Public Works Director

Aaron Slattery said recently. “There’s an area north of the soccer fields that is undeveloped still. We’re not sure specifically what we’ll be doing with the southern end of that yet. We know we needed to save room for future expansion for possibly a building to store equipment and things like that. Somewhere down the road we hope to have a concession stand and restrooms.” Slattery said the project has experienced its share of hiccups, but they’re taking their time with it to get it right. “It’s going well,” he said. “It’s just been slow because of the weather. We’ve had a hard time getting started on it because of the rain. The equipment they bring in is really heavy, so they

have to be able to get in there and out without tearing a lot of stuff up. This is all back in the trees where they have to back trucks a half a mile in there to begin paving, and then drive back out the same way so it’s a real slow, painful process to get that paving put down.” With the paving now finished, the TPWA will begin exploring its next steps with the complex. “We’re at the point now where we’re wrapping things up so we can get the soccer club on there,” Slattery said. “They’re having a camp in July so that’s really a deadline we’ve set for ourselves for having certain things out there. We need fencing around See Soccer Complex, page 28A


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Blanchard’s City Growth a Partnership Puzzle Much More Than Just a Small Town By Traci Chapman Staff Writer Blanchard is a city of contrasts – a small town that’s seen explosive growth over the last 15 years; a rural area marked by slowly turning windmills down the road from the rolling golf course of a country club. And that’s just how Blanchard’s residents like it, officials say. “We get that all the time – the small-town feel, the friendliness, but it’s also growing, so we are expanding amenities we didn’t have for a long time,” Blanchard City Manager Robert Floyd said. “We consider it the best of all worlds.” Railroads and farming were what marked Blanchard’s roots. Established in 1907 in Chickasaw Indian Territory – before Oklahoma was a state – the city retained its sleepy small town reputation for years, nestled in the rolling hills of central Oklahoma. And that’s how it was at the 2000 census – 2,816 residents lived in Blanchard, much like they had for decades before that, Floyd said. By 2010, however, there had been change – and big change, at that, as the city posted 7,670 population that year. The entire area really began a metamorphosis that has continued since then, although it really has slowed a bit since Blanchard developed its Comprehensive Plan Update in 2007,” Floyd said. “Although we don’t anticipate the kind of

We get that all the time – the small-town feel, the friendliness, but it’s also growing. Robert Floyd Blanchard City Manager

growth they expected at that time, we’re still looking at an anticipating doubling of our population by about 2030.” Blanchard was recently named one of 10 fastest growing communities across Oklahoma, Floyd said. Part of that growth stems from several projects undertaken in recent years, officials said. Those included construction of a new library, relocation of Blanchard City Hall to the historic city center, completion of a new high school and senior living center and development of recreational facilities, like a Lions Park splash pad and South Park baseball fields, Floyd said. “We’ve also seen a change thanks to the widening of U.S. Highway 62, which runs from Newcastle through Blanchard,” the city manager said. A 2013 market assessment showed while infrastructure and other improvements had helped shoot the city’s population into the stratosphere – at least

considering its quiet past – other projects like a Main Street beautification project and partnership with the city’s Chamber of Commerce was looking at ways to bring businesses and jobs to the area. “And, we’ve seen these efforts really begin to pay off,” Floyd said. “Our figures indicated recently 686 new residential permits in Blanchard city limits over 10 years, which translates to $100 million in value.” One way to keep the momentum moving forward was to revive an entity left dormant for a time, the Blanchard Economic Trust Authority, or BETA, the city manager said. When Floyd became city manager in 2012, BETA was not a factor; since that time, the authority’s economic development team has worked to foster expansion and growth for both new and existing firms, helping to secure investments See Blanchard, page 27A

- Staff photo by Jayson Knight

A veterans memorial in downtown Blanchard features a statue of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and Korean War veteran Tony K. Burris. Burris was born May 1929 in Blanchard.


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Love’s opens in Newcastle By Van Mitchell Staff Writer

-Provided photo

A Love’s Travel Stop, similar to the one pictured above, is under construction at the corner of Highway 62 and 24th Street in Newcastle.

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is adding a new location at the intersection of I-44 and NWNE 24th Street in Newcastle. Construction started in February and should be completed by late fall, said Kealey Dorian, Love’s spokesperson. “The travel stop will feature Dunkin Donuts and Subway restaurants,” Dorian said. “It will have 48 truck-parking spots, as well as showers for professional drivers and other convenience store items, like coffee, fountain drinks, name-brand snacks, fresh cut fruits and vegetables and more.” Dorian said the new store will employ 50 people. A new See Love’s Travel Stop, page 22A

Chamber Backing Newcastle Business

By Van Mitchell Staff Writer

city in our area,” Lore said. “Our location is so prime because of its proximity to Oklahoma City and Norman Newcastle continued to see and Moore. We see so many growth in businesses and new people that are ready to move home construction in 2016 and outside of the city but they still officials say that trend should want to be able to touch the continue in 2017. city. We are minutes away from Jeanette Lore serves as anything you need or want president of the Newcastle to go do. We are seeing more Chamber of Commerce and also people wanting to live out here. works for the City of Newcastle We are just growing.” as its director of Economic Lore said the Newcastle Development. Chamber of Commerce located She said Newcastle’s location at 820 North Main Street has and public school system are about 150 members. attractive to both home and “We try to help our businesses business owners. that are here,” Lore said. “We “We are the fastest growing

spotlight them. We train them. We do a lot of networking events and a lot of advertising events. We want to help them grow and expand.” She said several new businesses opened or relocated to Newcastle in the past year. “We have had several new businesses come to town,” she said. “We had the Bridge Creek Burrito relocate and moved here. We had Luigi’s Bistro, Optimal Wireless. There have been quite a few smaller businesses come to town. We are expecting in August the new Love’s Travel Plaza will be open. We know See NC Chamber, page 27A

Auto Auction opens shop in Newcastle By Van Mitchell Staff Writer

Tri City Auto Auction specializes in selling vehicles from area dealerships and Buddy Gomes has been in finance companies at low prices to the public every the car business most of his Thursday night at 7 p.m. professional career including “The year, 2016, marked having a car lot in Newcastle. a change in the direction Now, Gomes and his wife for the Gomes family after Amanda have started a new 15 years of owning and venture with Tri-City Auto operating my own used car Auction, located at 3245 dealership,” Gomes said. NW 32nd Street. They “We have a good sense of opened last fall. where we came from and Tri City Auto Auction where we want to be in the is an independent family future. At TCAA we are owned auction offering constantly trying to improve inventory and services the quality of our service. to customers Monday We consider this essential Wednesday and Friday 10 to the future growth of our a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 10 business.” a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed Saturday and Sundays. See Auto Aucon, page 22A


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‘Exciting’ Change for Blanchard Chamber By Traci Chapman Staff Writer

-Staff photo by Traci Chapman

The Blanchard Chamber’s recently-appointed executive director Julie Carter is pictured at her desk earlier this month.

For Blanchard Chamber of Commerce, 2017 has started off as a year of change, and no one is more excited about that change than the organization’s new director. That’s because the new job has been a homecoming for Julie Carter, who became Blanchard Chamber’s executive director in December. Armed with a lot of determination and drive, Carter said while taking on a position with such a “fast learning curve” was a challenge, it was also a lot of fun, as she strove to make the

job her own. “There have been a lot of things I needed to look at – how they were done in the past, if they were done in the past, things like that – and some of them were really good, others had been stopped and I thought maybe we should revive them.” That included the annual chamber banquet, an event not held for a year or two, Carter said. This year’s event, set for March 3, will go retro in its revival – as “Back to the ‘80s” celebrates the chamber’s 100-plus members, their employees and guests. “I was hoping it would be something that interested

everyone, and I’ve been very pleased at the response,” Carter said. “So far, we have about 170 people attending, so that’s a very positive thing.” While the annual banquet is a way to show appreciation for chamber members, other activities and events help raise funds for chamber operations and community projects, Carter said. Those include the Chamber golf tournament, set this year for July 14, and the 24th annual May Daze Festival, which will be held on Main Street May 20 and 21. The chamber also sponsors See Chamber, page 22A

Winter Creek Golf & Country Club Blanchard Club Features More Than Just Golf By Traci Chapman Staff Writer With its small-town feel and rural setting, Blanchard, Oklahoma, might seem like an unlikely setting for a country club, but Winter Creek is just that – and it’s an asset officials say more people need to know about. “It’s amazing to me that I knew this was here, but I never knew Winter Creek was open to the public for meals or weddings, events like that,” Blanchard

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Carter said. “It’s a tremendous asset to our community that a lot of people don’t know anything about.” The 545-acre development, which also features home sites inside its gated community, and 14 small lakes dotting the landscape. Property owners are members of Winter Creek Homeowners Association, as well as the country club,

representatives said. Featuring an 18-hole championship golf course, swimming pool and fitness center, Winter Creek also offers weekly Zumba classes open to the public and taught by instructor Noel Lundy. Social events include game nights, special golf outings and more. The bar features four televisions and offers food and drink, while the formal dining room is open to the public for all-day breakfast, -Staff photo by Traci Chapman See Club, page 28A Winter Creek Golf & Country Club is located at 2300 Clubhouse Drive in Blanchard.


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Main Street Cafe brings new breakfast option to Tuttle Burgers and Breakfast Providing More Variety to Tuttle’s eatery options By Jayson Knight Managing Editor Tuttle’s Main Street Café is now its main option for breakfast in Tuttle after opening its doors to a thick crowd Friday. Located at 151 East Main Street, Suite 123 in Tuttle, the new restaurant has a diner-style breakfast menu as well as a breakfast buffet. The restaurant opens at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at 7 a.m. on Sundays with plenty of breakfast options. The restaurant also has dinner options including specialty burgers. The owners/operators of Tuttle’s Main Street Café are the same father-and-sons team that opened Casey’s Cajun Fried Catfish Plus in Tuttle in January 2016. The team heard the demand for another restaurant, and began trying to meet it. “We’ve heard people say we could use a breakfast option out here,” Reggie Lilly

said Friday. “We realized there really wasn’t much to choose from except the donut shop. When you look at how busy Jimmy’s Eggs are, there’s definitely enough business for it here.” Lilly said the burgers will have a special touch to them. “These are not just run-of-the-mill, they are very top-of-the-line burgers,” Lilly said. Burgers such as the Tuttle Burger, the Trump, Cowboy Burger and more will come with Angus beef and a list of fresh ingredients. The Trump has been the big seller so far. Lilly said his personal favorite is the Momma Lilly’s Burger. “Momma Lilly was my grandmother and she made the best burgers in the world when I was a little kid so that’s one of my best memories is her big, thick burgers. Another one you don’t see everywhere is the Cowboy Burger. It See Main Street Cafe, page 20A

-Staff photos by Jayson Knight

Above, Reggie Lilly puts oranges into a Zumex orange juicer opening day of Tuttle’s newest breakfast option. The restaurant also serves burgers. At right, patrons load up on the breakfast buffet opening day.

Tuesday - Friday 6:30 am - 2 pm 5 pm - 8 pm

Saturday 6:30 am - 9 pm

Sunday 7 am - 3 pm Buffet served Friday, Saturdayy and Sunday until 10:30 a.m. and all day Sunday


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Main Street Cafe From Page 19A

-Staff photo by Jayson Knight

The future home of the Tuttle Tigers is pictured in late February as the school district awaits the final touches. The school will include a safe room, basketball gym, state-of-the-art performing arts center, and a lot more.

New Tuttle High School Nearing Completion By Jayson Knight Managing Editor The new Tuttle High School, under construction at 790 North Cimarron Road, is taking shape. Dozens of contractors are working to complete the 116,000-square-foot facility, which is being built with funds secured with a bond agreement that was passed by Tuttle voters in March of 2015. Tuttle Schools Superintendent Bobby Waitman gave a tour of the facilities to the Tuttle City Council Monday, Jan. 23. Ward 2 councilmember Mary Smith described the new high school as ‘awesome.’ “It has well thought out placement of classrooms, room for future expansion, and the performing arts auditorium is going to

be a great addition to the community,” Smith said Friday. “Kudos to Bobby Waitman and the school board.” The new high school will include a performing arts center with an orchestra pit, catwalk, and balcony seating. A much larger band room meant to facilitate the 100-plus band members at the school is under construction, along with a wrestling room/tornado shelter that will be joined to the building. The finishing touches were being put on art rooms, science labs, classrooms, bathrooms with more than two dozen stalls, a weight room, and other facilities Thursday. “This is the kind of school I think anybody would be happy to see their kids graduate from,” Waitman said. And he would know since he has

-Staff photo by Jayson Knight

The future Tuttle High School’s performing arts stage is pictured from its balcony seating.

one son who will graduate there. “I don’t care if you’re in Oklahoma City or Norman, this is the kind of facility that I think anybody would want their student to have the opportunity to have their high school experience in. We are blessed to have been supported by the community on the bond issue.”

Waitman said there were also two committees that deserved credit for the project’s success. “The facilities action team had the vision to start the project, and the school board had the commitment to help see it through.” Waitman said that the school would be open in August at the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

comes with hash browns, bacon and two over-easy eggs.” Reggie’s dad Reginald Lilly is well-versed in restaurant cooking, and he will lead the kitchen staff at the restaurant. “Daddy is the chef here,” Reggie said. “He’s experienced with everything. He’s the one who runs the kitchen, comes up with all the recipes. This is 100 percent my father here. My dad was a big-time chef in the 70s and the 80s, and buffets like this one are what he used to do. It won’t be new to us, but it’ll be new to Tuttle.” The breakfast buffet includes biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, eggs, sweet potato casserole and a lot more. When a parent purchases the buffet, kids five and under eat free. The buffet will be open until 10:30 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For dinner, kids’ options start at $4.99 with options such as a cheeseburger, grilled cheese, chili cheese dog and chicken tenders. Sides will include French fries, fruit cups, and more. Reggie said the restaurant will soon be developing themed evenings on Wednesdays. “Every Wednesday, it’ll be something different. One night, it’ll be nothing but barbecue, another we’re going to have Italian nights.” The buffet will be more elaborate on Sundays. Reggie said the menu at the café will include more diversity than Casey’s. “Even though Casey’s is doing very well, the menu is 90 percent fried food,” he said. “People want something besides fried food sometimes, so we will have a lot of variety here. This will allow my dad the opportunity to really show his expertise, especially on Sunday brunch. We’re going to close down Casey’s on Sunday and we’ll host the church crowd here at Tuttle’s Main Street Café Sunday brunch is really going to be the highlight of this restaurant.” The Lillys brought their restaurant in Midwest City to Tuttle just over a year ago, and have decided it’s the place for them. The local businessmen are now local homeowners, having moved to Tuttle to raise their families. Aside from the restaurant business, the Lillys also own and operate Ice Machine Innovations out of Oklahoma City. The company re-manufactures after-market parts for restaurant equipment. The Lillys said they are interested in bringing that company to Tuttle as well, which would generate jobs for the area. “We’d like to thank the City of Tuttle and all its citizens for supporting us and helping our dreams come true,” Reggie said. For more information on Tuttle’s Main Street Cafe, find them on Facebook.


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Chamber

From Page 14A

Blanchard Farmers Market, held from 8 a.m. until noon each Saturday May through September. While each of these events are important, for Carter her focus must be on business and making it as successful as possible for every Blanchard company. To do so, things like the monthly chamber luncheon provides an opportunity for networking and informative guest speakers Carter said she hopes inspire members to take their businesses to ever-higher plateaus. “These are your ‘normal’ chamber activities, but they’re so important for all of our businesses,” Carter said. “It’s also a way for me to get to know each of our members individually and learn what’s important to them and to

their businesses.” Blanchard chamber luncheons are held from noon until 1 p.m. the third Thursday of each month in Pioneer Telephone’s community room. Carter’s outreach efforts have been an education – not only for someone returning to her hometown after working in Purcell, but also in realizing the challenges some area businesses might face. Some businesses are too insulated, while others offer goods and services no one knows about. “So, that’s one of my challenges – to get that word out there so people know just how much our businesses must offer and to whom,” Carter said. “It’s a really exciting process.” For more information about Blanchard’s chamber, go online to its website, located -Staff photo by Jayson Knight at http://blanchardchamber. A walkway in downtown Blanchard is lined with publishpath.com/. shade trees.

Love’s Travel Stop From Page 12A

gaming center will also be built on the same property but will be separate from Love’s. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is headquartered in Oklahoma City. Founded in 1964, Love’s has more than 410 locations in 40 states. Love’s provides professional truck drivers and motorists with 24-hour access to clean and safe places to purchase gasoline, diesel fuel, travel items, electronics, snacks and more, as well as a selection of restaurant offerings. On-site Love’s Truck Tire Care centers offer roadside assistance, tire care and light mechanical services for professional truck drivers. Showers, CAT scales and other services for professional truck drivers are also available. Dorian said the new store location is ideal due to the I-44 traffic route. “Newcastle is an ideal location for a Love’s because of its location along I-44,” Dorian said. “We’ll be able to provide a safe place to park and rest for professional drivers coming into and out of Oklahoma City, as well as leisure travelers and residents.”

Auto Auction

From Page 12A

-Staff photo by Traci Chapman

Blanchard retailer The Cottage on Main is pictured above within one of the city’s shopping centers downtown.

Newcastle From Page 5A

several waterline upgrades in neighborhoods. “We have completed

most our infrastructure,” he said. “And now we have about a halfdozen water lines that will be upgraded in neighborhoods where there is growth still taking

place. We are also doing infrastructure designed to improve water capabilities on the north end of town.” Nazar said the City continues to look at ways to improve the standard of

living in Newcastle. “We are really working a on a variety of things that we hope will help improve the whole standard of living here in town,” he said.

Gomes said moving into the auction realm was a natural progression. “We have been doing cars our whole life,” Gomes said. “We own a car lot next door which made us decide to do this. Auto auction is what I have always wanted to do.” Gomes said they auction everything from automobiles to boats to RVs and campers. He said they have been averaging auctioning about 70 cars per week. “It has been great,” Gomes said. “It has been better than we expected being four months into it. Our goal is to average 150 to 200 cars a week. The public can come in here and get cars just like the dealers.” Gomes said they plan to move their auction office across the street but will continue to have the Thursday night auctions in their current location. Gomes said providing quality customer service is a key principle that his family business is built on. “Tri-City Auto Auction is built on a foundation of partnerships,” he said. “In today’s market we must be able to offer more than good service. One of the ways we do this is through personal, professional attention to every detail.” For more information call (405) 387-2233.


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Blanchard

From Page 11A

and funding for those businesses. “We saw in the 2013 market report a strong need for BETA and the chamber to work with the city, as well as the advantages of reviewing ongoing studies, as well as some we had on the books – like one done in 2006 by Blanchard Planning Department that looked at our business climate and a separate report looking at retail options,” the city manager said. “Working together with all of this will help the city move forward with a balanced approach of residential, business and retail, and that helps us maintain a healthy economic outlook.” Although studies might not seem exciting to residents, things like that help to keep the city healthy, something some municipalities were struggling with as oil and gas industry saw a downturn, Floyd said. “It’s like a puzzle we’re all working on, full of challenges and the need for us all to work together,” Floyd said. “In Blanchard, we’re blessed to have a community that works together to do just that.”

-Provided photo

Construction workers are pictured working on a home in Blanchard in late February. Blanchard is a community blossoming thanks to a growing population and increased economic expansion.

NC Chamber From Page 12A

-Provided photo

The Newcastle Chamber held a ribbon cutting at the Newcastle Pentecostal Church recently. For more information on the Newcastle Chamber, go online to newcastleok.org.

there is an Onion Burger Café that is supposed to start construction this year. Some other new strip centers are coming as well.” Lore said she believes the Chickasaw Nation will be putting in around a 9,000 square foot gaming center next to the Love’s. She said new home construction is also on the rise. “We know we have a need for more houses out here,” Lore said. “There are several subdivisions that are coming online now and several other large parcels of land are now under contract. There will be more options for families who are looking to come out here and find a house. I think you will start to see our population grow in the next year or so.”


28 • TRI-CITY TODAY – MARCH 9, 2017

-Provided photo

A golfer at Blanchard’s Winter Creek Golf Course and Country Club eyes his drive during a golf tournament last summer.

Club From Page 14A -Provided photo

City officials are pictured during the groundbreaking of the Tuttle Soccer Complex which is expected to be open to the public before summer.

Soccer Complex From Page 6A the fields to keep vehicles off of them. We’ve got some trees that we’re planting. We’re basically trying to have what we call Phase 1 of it completed by then so that we’re just focused on Phase 2 and we’re not 100 percent sure exactly what that is just yet.” The Tuttle Youth Soccer Club is eager for the park to be completed. Currently, coaches struggle with finding space to practice. Some of the teams share a grass field behind Tuttle Middle School to hold their practices. With the new park completed, the teams will have actual soccer pitches to practice on. Tuttle Youth Soccer Club President Jonathan McDermott said he has been impressed with the city’s proactive approach towards the project. “I’m really impressed with how suddenly they were able to get the sod put down,” McDermott said. “They’re planning on putting fences up in March and the trails look nice. We’re super excited. It looks really good.” With the sod still waiting to set, McDermott and Slattery agreed that it was pertinent for the club teams to find somewhere else to practice in the meantime. “We’ve had to tell our teams they have

to stay off of it for now,” McDermott said. “You don’t want to destroy it. We have to let it grow. Unless we just have some massive, crazy weather situation this spring, I don’t foresee any delays. They already have the sod laid down, the parking lot paved, they’ve got the water lines in to water it regularly. We just need the sun to come out, the weather to get warm, and let the grass green up and grow.” “We have a camp coming up July 1721 with British-founded Challenger Sports,” McDermott said. “They run British soccer camps and they bring in young adult soccer players from Britain to host the camps. Mustang does it every summer; so this year, we’re getting on board to broaden our reach within the soccer community.” McDermott said he will be looking for volunteers to move soccer goals when the camp comes around. “South Lakes Soccer Club has generously donated whatever soccer balls we need,” he said. “Whatever goals we need, they’ll let us use, we’ll just need people with trucks and trailers who can help us go get them.” For more information on Tuttle youth soccer, find the Tuttle Youth Soccer Club on Facebook. For more information on city projects and programs, go online to cityoftuttle. com.

lunch and dinner six days a week. The club’s banquet room can be reserved for special events and meetings, not just by members, but also the public, representatives said. While many aspects of the club are

open to the public, Winter Creek does offer specialized memberships, many of them pertaining to golf. Full, corporate, junior, senior and non-resident golf and social membership categories are available. More information about Winter Creek is available on its website, located at http://www.wintercreekgc.com/Home. aspx.

-Provided photo

Blanchard’s Winter creek Golf Course and Country Club includes 14 small lakes, an 18-hole golf course, and a variety of recreational and fitness programs.


TRI-CITY TODAY – MARCH 9, 2017 • 29


30 • TRI-CITY TODAY – MARCH 9, 2017

Parks From Page 4A

-Photo provided

Downtown Blanchard is pictured during the Mufflers on Main Car Show that was held September 2016. The City of Blanchard has many activities throughout the year to entertain its citizens.

the year, officials said. From the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which also features a 5K run, Celtic dancing, live Irish music, food and more, to Christmas on Main, officials said they are always on the lookout for new ways to engage residents. “You don’t want things to get stagnant – while we have our regular events that people love year after year, we also need to keep interest in other activities, as well,” Wittenbach said. That was one of the reasons for one of the city’s newest event ideas, “Monarchs in the Park.” Held in September, the Lions Park activity combines Monarch butterfly migration education with fun. “We have things like live music, food, moon bounces and other

activities,” Wittenbach said. “It’s become a very popular event.”

May Daze Arguably the city’s biggest and most notable annual event is May Daze, held the third weekend of May each year, Carter said. This year will be the 24th outing for the Main Street event. “We always refer to this as the start of the summer, and it’s always just a fun, fun time for everyone,” she said.

Summer Activities Two recent entries for summertime fun include Movies Under the Stars and the Blanchard Concert Series, Wittenbach said. Movies are screened outside in Lions Park the last Friday of June, July and August, as residents bring their lawn chairs and blankets for a relaxing time. During June and July, a variety of talent appears for the Summer

Concert Series, which begins at 7 p.m. each Friday and are free to the public, Wittenbach said. The city’s Independence Day festival is “small town fun,” while the Bluegrass Festival is held each August with free admission, the parks director said.

Fall Fun Monarchs aren’t the only attraction on Blanchard’s fall calendar. Mufflers on Main is a late September outing featuring fair food, music and “some really awesome rides” on Main Street, while Pumpkinfest turns downtown Blanchard into a spooky center filled with music, games, contests and candy, Wittenbach said. More information about Blanchard’s parks and recreation amenities, as well as special events, can be found on the city’s website, located at http:// www.cityofblanchard.us/ visitors/events/index.php

-Photo provided

A band warms up before the annual Blanchard May Daze Festival last year.


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