Painting Horses Helping Kids | Coats for Kids
awareness OCTOBER 14 Vol. 11 Number 8
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13 FEATURES 13 Painting Horses Helping Kids 17 Bringing Awareness
28 DEPARTMENTS 6 COMMUNITY 6 NUTRITION 101 9 FROM THE EDITOR
21 Crackdown on Domestic Violence
10 BEAUTIFUL MESS
25 What’s Your History?
20 SONIC CONTEST
28 Coats for Kids
Aaron Morvan Layers Media, Inc.
Andrea Beck Jamie Bergsten Tim Burg Malialani McQuerry Angela Rowland Mindy Wood
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22 GREEN LIVING 22 KEEP THE CHANGE 26 CITY BEAT 29 EVENTS 30 LIVING PORTRAITS
Volume 11, Number 8 Shawnee Outlook is a publication of Layers Media, Inc. © 2014 Layers Media, Inc. Articles and advertisements in Shawnee Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Layers Media. Layers Media does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by Shawnee Outlook does not constitute endorsement of products, services, political candidates/parties or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. Shawnee Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.
Phone (405) 273-4401 37651 45th St., Shawnee www.shawneechristchurch.com Minister - Tommy Smith Sun. Class - 9:30 am Sun. Worship - 10:30 am Sun. Worship - 6:00 pm www.shawneeoutlook.com
The WAR that is already underway
Fish Tacos with Avocado Dressing
If you are a frequent reader of the Monday Memo, follow us on Facebook, read the local newspapers, keep seeing the ‘Now Hiring’ signs in front of the stores and businesses around town, then you know what we’re referring to by the war underway. Did I mention the billboards in the area that are advertising employment, or have you read the Facebook posts on the Shawnee Area Online Job Postings? Possibly you frequently visit the employment matching sites of Indeed, Monster or any of the other numerous employment sites, or work with the career services staff at one of the local universities, or might be well connected to the temporary agencies, or one of the many workforce agencies in the area. If any of these employment sources are on your radar screen, you most likely have a good grasp that there are a LOT of employment opportunities in the area. If there was ever an understatement on the subject of workforce those two previous and rather lengthy paragraphs are without question just the tip of the iceberg. Our community, region, and most parts of the state, are in a WAR FOR TALENT that is not just going to go away, take a break, or fade away very soon. As the economic strength of this state continues to gain momentum, the effect of these positive strides will continue to be felt in the reduction of available labor pool, unless we develop a sense of urgency. So what does a sense of urgency regarding workforce attraction or development of skilled employees entail? We’re glad you asked. For us, it means getting the message across to a wider audience that there are GREAT employment opportunities in the community to select from, AND some excellent venues you can access to help you develop the skills you need to get the best job possible. For us, it means not wasting or overlooking one person who can fill an available position, plus using the marketing and communication efforts we have at our disposal. We firmly believe that the workforce is here, but that not everyone in our immediate region knows what areas of employment are available, what skills are critical to getting the best job possible, or where they can effectively and efficiently access the skills training they need. What we really could use is some help from all of YOU to help spread the word about the wonderful opportunities that are now before us. Tell your family, your friends, your neighbors, and anyone who will listen to you. Suggest to them to get here as fast as they can to get in on the next wave of growth. If they need to know more, suggest to them to visit our website at www.sedf.biz and click on the FIND A JOB button. If we all develop a sense of urgency regarding workforce attraction and development, we can turn the tide and rally to meet the challenges facing us. All we need is an army of people who want to continue to see prosperity in the region.
Fish tacos don’t just have to be something you eat when at a restaurant. They are actually pretty quick to make. The dressing can also be used on taco salads or used as a dip. By making your own dressing, you save a ton of calories and sodium while getting a wonderful fresh taste.
Tim Burg is the Executive Director of the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation and is one of only 1200 certified economic developers in the world. His past business and civic experiences allows him to focus his expertise on business retention and expansion opportunities, plus undertake marketing, attraction, and recruitment of new business to this region. 6
Ingredients: • 4 tilapia fillets • Fiesta Lime salt-free seasoning • 8 corn tortillas • Cooking spray • 1 large avocado, peeled • 1 cup fat-free mayo • ½ cup fat-free sour cream • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce • 1/3 cup chopped onion • 2 cloves of garlic • 1 teaspoon salt • 2 tablespoons lime juice • Dash cayenne pepper Place avocado, mayo, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, salt, lime juice ,and cayenne pepper in blender or food processor. Blend all until liquid smooth. Place in refrigerator to chill while cooking fish. Season both sides of fillets with fiesta lime seasoning. Grill the fillets using either an outdoor or indoor grill for 5 minutes per side. oOr until fish is easily flaked with a fork. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Cook each tortilla about 2 minutes per side for a warm, crispy tortilla. Place ½ fillet in each tortilla and drizzle with avocado dressing. Optional additional toppings can include chopped tomatoes or salsa. Makes: 8 tacos, 2 each and 2 cups of avocado dressing. Use 2 tablespoons of dressing for each. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 303 – Total Fat: 6 g – Saturated Fat: 1 g – Cholesterol: 58 mg Sodium: 400 mg – Carbohydrates: 32.5 g – Fiber: 1 g – Protein: 29 g The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times (two servings) a week. Fish provides lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of abnormal heartbeats, decrease triglyceride levels, and slightly lower blood pressure. Salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna are other great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Andrea Beck is a Registered Dietitian and lives in Shawnee with her husband, son and 2 dogs. She received her Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics from UCO in Edmond. She works full-time for a Diabetes Program. She also works as a weight loss consultant and teaches Nutrition at St. Gregory’s University. Andrea is also the owner of strongHER, an all-women’s fitness group. Visit www. strongherfitneess.net for more information.
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FROM THE EDITOR
By Request: New Series for our Readers When readers speak, we listen. You are the reason we publish this magazine every month. It’s your hard work, interests, and passion for our community that drive the content we write. So at reader request, the Shawnee Outlook has two new series to offer: one on our local government and another on the history of our community. In a think tank discussion with civic, government, and business professionals, a common thread was the issue of communication. “People in Shawnee don’t realize all the things that we do at the city,” said one city employee. A county government official echoed the sentiment a few weeks ago. In order to better involve citizens and engage the available resources to the public, it’s important that we understand what exactly it is they do. In the madness of daily life, it seems as if citizens are not as connected to their local government as perhaps they once were. There are sixteen departments within the city, several of which overlap into the responsibilities of our county government. We will feature a department-by-department look at city and county government. Readers may be surprised by these features as we highlight the little known facts of each department. We might all be scratching our heads, saying, ‘I didn’t know they did that.’ You can read the first in our series this month about Emergency Management, a tiny crew who does much more than organize cleanup after tornadoes! The second series, which will begin in November, reveals the history of Pottawatomie County. From our ground-breaking beginnings as Indian Territory and Land Rush settlers, to the darkest and brightest days of “the greatest generation,” this section will prove to be
as entertaining as it will be educational. When we have featured articles involving the history of this area, the feedback was always positive. Where could we find historian experts to make our past shine in the pages of the magazine? As we were mulling this series over, it turns out board members had been discussing how they could publish stories about the county’s rich history. Several writers at the Historical Society of Pottawatomie County chose the Shawnee Outlook to submit features regarding the amusing, bizarre, and fascinating stories from our past. Tom Terry will write about a little known, local hero of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, Aloysius Larch-Miller for the November issue. Larch-Miller, a former Shawnee resident, worked tirelessly in the 1920’s for women’s rights. In December, our history series might bring us antiquated Christmas traditions, the history of the Christmas Parade, or perhaps stories about how the earliest residents survived winters. Our local historians have promised to bring the past to life, and we eagerly look forward to old photos, folklore, and fascinating revelations about who we once were…and who we still are. We hope you enjoy getting to know your community’s past and present a little better with us as we explore all we can be. As always, we enjoy hearing from our readers. If you have requests regarding features, please don’t hesitate to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for reading, Mindy Ragan Wood
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OFF BALANCE Last month, we embarked on a grand new adventure: we put our house on the market. Yes, with a 4-year-old starting Pre-K at home, a 1-year-old that just learned to walk, my husband starting his second full semester of college while working 50+ hours a week, and myself in week 6 of a beginner’s weight-lifting program and trying to learn yoga. We must be nuts. As anyone who has seen us this past month would readily testify! I should have known with all those irons in the fire, so to speak, that it was a recipe for a crash and burn. The first week of school, I came down with a virus. We made it through the first day--barely--but I had to cancel everything for the rest of the week to focus on getting well. Even once I was well, I struggled with asthma for another week. We were able to catch up and continue on with school, but I took another week off from the gym. This past week was hectic as we returned to our full, normal schedule, and our house matched. Try as I might, I could not seem to catch up with the house. Thankfully, I was finally able to return to yoga class. What a welcome break! My sore muscles reveled in being stretched and relaxed. My mind soaked up the quiet. Oh, the quiet! A much-needed reprieve from the busyness awaiting me. Now, I’m not naturally “good” at yoga. I am not flexible. I have terrible balance. But I love it. So I’ve kept going despite my awkwardness. Within a few weeks, I found that I could touch my toes again, and I could actually stand in tree pose without using the wall. These were some big gains for me, so I was sorely disappointed as I confidently balanced one foot on the other leg to stand like a tree and found myself unable to balance. Whatsoever. No matter how I fought
to stand still on one leg, I swayed, much more like a tree in stormy gale winds. I would begin to fall and catch myself. Frustrated, I turned to the wall for support. I realized it was an all too fitting representation of my current season of life. I was struggling to keep it all balanced only to be falling. And just like in yoga class, there was a wall to catch me. This time in the form of my husband. One particularly overwhelming evening, he came home after a long day of work and school and helped me for two hours. I hadn’t been able to catch up with managing our house since being sick and in only two hours of working together, it had been set to rights. An especially amazing accomplishment with two little boys running around! It’s remarkable, but that newly-clean environment lifted my spirits remarkably. As much as I hate to admit it, life is all about learning to live in the off-balance. And it’s okay to need support. I’m so thankful for all the people in my life who have been a wall for me, who’ve caught me as I fell. I’m also challenged by them to be a wall to others who are in need of a little support.
Shea Moore is a stay-at home mom to her sons, Kendrick and Jack, in Shawnee, OK and married to an Oklahoma National Guardsman. She loves to indulge in Cheez-its, dark chocolate, and a steamy cup of coffee. She enjoys journaling, jogging, crocheting/knitting, and a growing photography business. www.facebook. com/sheamoorephotography
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Painting Horses Helping Kids by: Jamie Bergsten Cargo Ranch’s first blog post says it all. “In 2008, Cargo began with the desire to use the land, gifts, skills, and hearts of a small group of people in Shawnee, Oklahoma to serve the Lord.” Founders Debbie & Jeff Goss and Robert & Carrie Carter had big visions at the time, but probably couldn’t have imagined what their nonprofit ranch for kids would be like today. Their ministry continues to help youth who need a place to feel welcome and important. They bring those elements together with horses in a beautiful, natural setting where kids can also fish, garden, hike, and do art projects. A lot of healing and happiness takes place in that setting, for both humans and horses alike. Shawnee Middle School art teacher and local artist, Corey Lumry, counts herself among those inspired by the work at Cargo. Debbie Goss is one of her closest friends, and Lumry said she continues to be in awe of what the volunteers at the ranch can do for kids facing some tough obstacles in their lives. “Shawnee is fortunate to have them,” she said. “They have a lot of OBU student volunteers, and I love the way
continued from pg. 13
they have brought together these collegeage mentors with the kids that Cargo serves. I’ve taught kids, in one form, or another, for most of my adult life, and I’ve always had a passion for horses and kids.” Lumry will put her artistic and teaching abilities, as well as her desire to help Cargo Ranch, to work very soon. She is already the instructor for Slanted Easel, a “paint and sip” business in Shawnee where budding artists can relax and enjoy an evening of painting their own masterpieces to take home. Based on a piece she created in one of those sessions, Lumry will hold two fundraising events for Cargo in November. “Everyone that has seen this painting has loved it and is anxious to paint it. I’ve been waiting for just the right event to do this, and I thought it would be perfect to use as a fundraiser for Cargo.” The horse painting, which will use a stencil, does not require any artistic ability from participants, she said, and they can customize their work with colors of the artist’s choosing. “There are so many horse lovers around, and I would love to introduce them to Cargo Ranch. Cargo always needs
money and manpower for maintenance of the horses and facilities. They also have plans to build a much-needed meeting barn and tool shed.” Lumry said she hopes to raise $1,500 from the events, with all proceeds going to Cargo Ranch. The first event will be held on Thursday evening, November 6th, from 6-9 p.m. at Main Street Photo Studio and Gallery, 420 East Main, in downtown Shawnee. Cost is $40 for those who pre-register and $45 at the door, if any seats remain. The second event will take place at Heritage Church, 2100 North Bryan, on Saturday, November 14th (time is still yet to be determined). Snacks will be available, and participants are welcome to bring their own food and beverages if they’d like. Everything needed to create a ready-to-hang art piece will be provided:
an easel, 16x20 canvas, paint, apron, brushes, and fun. Lumry has talents not only in the art world but the equine world as well. She has ridden and shown horses since she was in elementary school, taught riding lessons here for ten years, and enjoys competing in hunter-jumper competitions. She said that besides her lifelong love of art and horses, learning new things is probably her biggest hobby of all. For more information or to register for one of the painting events, visit the “Slanted Easel Paint and Sip” page on Facebook or email Lumry at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Cargo Ranch, visit cargoranch.org or search for “Cargo Ranch” on Facebook.
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awareness by: Jamie Bergsten
They are staggering statistics: about 40,000 women will die from breast cancer this year. The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer during her life is about 1 in 8. These figures from the American Cancer Society, though discouraging, are probably not surprising. Few people today can say they don’t know a woman affected by the disease. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and local citizens are doing their part to spread the word about prevention and awareness of this deadly disease. Elise Slaybaugh, M.D. recently joined the obstetrics and gynecology department at St. Anthony Shawnee. She said most risk factors for breast cancer can’t be avoided; among these are advancing age, family history, and age at first menstruation and menopause. However, regular exercise, lower alcohol use, and maintenance of a normal body weight after menopause can reduce the risk. With an emphasis on early detection through mammography, Slaybaugh said, 60 percent of breast cancer cases can be diagnosed at a localized stage, prior to spreading to lymph nodes, with a very high five-year survival
rate. Breast cancer is diagnosed most often between ages 45 and 74, with two-thirds of all cases found then. Slaybaugh said St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital and St. Anthony Physicians Shawnee offer surgical, medical, and radiation care for many types of cancer, including for women who face a breast cancer diagnosis. The hospital will be working with the Volunteer Health Clinic to provide ten free mammograms to area women. This service is made possible through the Pink Day Fund; an initiative held on the first Monday of October, where businesses are asked to encourage their employees to wear pink that day and pay a $5 donation. The hospital’s cancer center also offers a free program for cancer patients, “Look Good…. Feel Better,” which provides advice and tips on cosmetic issues and wigs, as well as encouragement and support. Mammograms, however, are just one of the screening methods available today. Steven Vaughn, HOM, is the only certified homeopathy doctor in the state of Oklahoma and practices in Prague. He offers a system of care that includes remedies outside of the typical FDA-patented
drugs. Among the services offered at his clinic is a thermography scan for women that Dr. Vaughn describes as noninvasive. “No touching, no squeezing, no radiation,” he said. Rather, a woman is screened with a specialized camera that takes thermal imagery, and a licensed radiologist reads the scans. This piece of modern technology is yet another tool used for prevention. Clinical thermographer, Susie Sturgeon administers the scans for numerous clinicians, including Dr. Vaughn. She noted that comparing mammography and thermography is like comparing apples to oranges. “The two see differently,” she said. “Thermography sees pathology. It can point out disease, infections, things like that, whereas mammograms see calcifications and structure. Thermography does not detect cancer but what it will detect is subtle physiological changes that point to breast pathology. If there are suspicious findings, a doctor can then refer the patient for an MRI, blood work, or a biopsy if necessary.” > www.shawneeoutlook.com
continued from pg. 17
Dr. Vaughn recommends that women receive their first thermography scan at an age younger than is typically suggested for a first mammogram. “A young lady in her late teens ought to have one done. I say that because there are so many cases of women that died in their late twenties, early thirties because there was a breast cancer in development for a number of years, and it was never detected. So if this was done as a pre-emptive act and put away in a patient’s records, then a radiologist has something to compare it with if something suspicious comes up later on.” Because insurance plans vary so widely, patients need to consult their insurance providers to determine if their policy covers a thermography scan. Some companies who offer a wellness or preventative program do include this type of screening. Medical professionals aren’t the only ones hoping to raise awareness during October either. Shawnee High School senior Sunny Stevens is making her own statement, and it’s hard to miss. Stevens, 17, dyed her mohawk hairstyle pink in mid-September to bring more attention
to the cause. “I think that cancer – and all kinds of cancer, not just breast cancer – are really bad, and it should be a big deal to help with awareness and finding a cure. Even if you don’t have enough money to donate, you should still try to spread awareness to people who do have the money to help and just to everybody (else).” Stevens isn’t aware of a friend or family member who’s had breast cancer, but she’s considering shaving her head next, to show that those going through chemo can still be attractive and embrace it. “Society expects women to have long hair in order to be beautiful, but that’s not always true,” she said. Her mother and many friends have been supportive of the light pink/hot pink combination, and explanations about it have given her a chance to spread awareness wherever she goes. St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital will offer an educational awareness event “Think Pink,” which will include a social painting class, hors d’oeuvres, and breast cancer information. The event begins at 6 PM. October 9 and 23 at Main Street Photo Studio and Gallery, located at 420 E. Main.
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CRACK DOWN ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE by: Mindy Wood
In 2007, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Deputy Sergeant, Scott Hawkins responded to a chilling phone call. A woman reported she was being held captive, couldn’t get out, and needed help immediately. Before she could whisper another word, the line went dead. When Hawkins and fellow officers arrived, a man emerged from the trailer house and provided a fake name, they soon learned. There was no sign of a victim inside the residence or in the yard. Finally, Hawkins heard a woman’s faint voice. “There was no skirting around the trailer. I shined my light under it and I saw a hand,” said Hawkins. They discovered a woman who was obviously a victim. “It was the worst domestic case I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen anyone who literally was black and blue from head to toe.” Dressed in shorts and a dirty tank top, she could barely stand, let alone shout, cry, or run into their arms. She identified her attacker and he was arrested on the spot. She had been bound in a
closet and beaten daily for two weeks. To Hawkins’ amazement, he knew the victim. He had been her manager at a department store. “I said, ‘Do you recognize me?’ She said, ‘Yes, Scott. You were always good to me. I know I’m going to be okay now.’” He never saw her again. At the time of the incident, Hawkins lacked the tools he has today to follow up on her case. “From a field deputy perspective, we didn’t have a lot of time to make that phone call and ask how the victim was doing or if they needed help filing a protective order. All we could do was give them the domestic violence packet and tell them what to do.” Thanks to a grant through the Violence Against Women Act, Hawkins is now the department’s VAWA Investigator. An additional investigator in the district attorney’s office is also funded by the grant. His primary job as a deputy is focused on domestic violence victims, female or male. “I have a few men who have been victims. It’s not unheard of. The Community Coordinated Response Team I’m part of designated August as domestic violence against men awareness month.” By far, the number of intimate partner violence against women outweighs those against men, but October is the awareness month for all victims of domestic violence. Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office just passed an audit last month for their performance according to the grant requirements. The VAWA grant pays for Hawkins salary and activities associated with grant requirements, like processing a minimum of 175 protective orders, and 7 sexual assault cases annually. He makes sure the victim has the tools they need to press charges and assists them with shelter if necessary. Hawkins interacts closely with victims and said it’s important to do so. After an incident, he makes follow up calls, takes photos of injuries, and helps the victim file a protective order if they choose to do so. Because the position allows him to focus only on domestic violence, Hawkins said
that focus allows him to develop expertise in intimate partner crimes while assisting victims. Hawkins said being more involved with victims has proven to help women who might not have been successful in obtaining their freedom. “One of the victims I talked to was mentally challenged. The sight of the courthouse intimidated her. She couldn’t write.” Hawkins said he is disappointed to see very few victims request to file charges. The invisible damage of psychological abuse is debilitating and is often the reason victims stay in the relationship. For these women, however, the evidence testifies on their behalf. The state of Oklahoma has “victimless prosecution,” so if an officer witnesses the incident, or believes a crime was committed and has enough physical evidence, the officer must arrest the suspect by law. With enough evidence, the district attorney could prosecute. As was the case with a woman who didn’t want her husband to go to jail, Hawkins had enough evidence to arrest him without her consent. The suspect had fled the scene in previous calls to the house, so when the man answered the door the next morning in his underwear, Hawkins didn’t hesitate. “He asked me to let him put on some clothes. I said, ‘Put your hands behind your back, you’re going to jail.’ I wanted to help her as much as I wanted to send him a message that we’re not going to tolerate that.” Hawkins works closely with Project Safe, the Unzner Center, and CPN House of Hope to give victims every chance to leave a violent relationship. Tiffany Barrett, director of House of Hope said, “Scott Hawkins has been a great asset. If we have questions or clients have questions, we can ask him.” According to a 2012 report released by the Violence Policy Center, Oklahoma ranks 3rd nationally for intimate partner homicide, with 2.03 out of 100,000 women killed by men. Hopefully, through coordinated efforts in Pottawatomie County, more victims will be empowered to find freedom and recovery from abuse.
KEEP THE CHANGE
It’s Halloween, Only Greener October is here and for many that means costumes, candy and parties. Many are already holding their own community or neighborhood events so they can create those special memories without worrying about the mass of unhealthy treats being handed out to their little ones. Some great ideas I have collected from others to create your own healthier Green Halloween traditions are: • Plant a shrub. October is a wonderful time to buy perennial plants, shrubs, and trees on sale. Take the family, pick out a few and have a green planting event. • Participate in the National Costume Swap Day that annually takes place the second Saturday in October. Or if there is not one near you, get together with friends or neighbors and have your own fun costume swap party. This is a great way to share those costumes that may have only been worn a few times. • Halloween Egg Hunt. I have mentioned making non-toxic dyes for face paint and egg decorating on my blog. Dye some hard boiled eggs with natural food dyes, and then have a hunt around the house. Have fun and cut down on the sugar load this year. • Think outside the candy box. Get together with family and friends and make a bunch of non-candy treasures
to give away this year. Friendship bracelets, pressed flowers, finger puppets, and origami animals are just a few ideas. This is a great idea for anyone, but especially appreciated by parents of kids with food allergies. The artificial dyes, gluten, colorings and flavors along with the sugar, not only create a toxic sugar load for the little ones, but research suggests could trigger many allergies. • Organize a post-Halloween neighborhood cleanup. The day after Halloween, get together with your neighbors and walk through your neighborhood picking up trash. Living a Green Lifestyle=Health and Fun! Happy Green Halloween!
Malialani McQuerry is a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach, Holistic Nutritionist, HN, a Green Living Specialist, blogger and business owner. When not coaching clients, she loves to cook, travel, blog, and spend time with her husband, David and dog, George. For more healthy living tips, visit www.greenisntforsissies.com or www.facebook.com/GreenisntForSissies.
Happy Birthday on a Budget Whether your guest of honor is celebrating their first or their onehundredth, birthday parties are a reason to celebrate, not break the bank! Here’s how: • Bake the cake yourself! If your baking skills aren’t the greatest, get a box mix for a dollar – no one will judge. If you’re not a good decorator (I’m with you!), take an on-line class. . . • Go to Craftsy.com! It’s basically an on-line classroom for all kinds of crafting. You can find relatively inexpensive full classes, offered via video, with live chat with the instructor to iron out questions. • Also look into their free mini-classes – including card creations, cake pops, cake decorating, and crochet! You can make your own present, card, AND cake – showing your special someone they are worth the time and effort! • Make a piñata! (Are you sensing a theme? The easiest way to save money is to get your hands dirty!) I’ve not met a partygoer of any age who isn’t intrigued by the idea of whacking a cardboard animal with a stick. You can do paper mache if you’re feeling fancy, but you can also use a shoebox filled with goodies. Use newspaper, balled up and formed into legs, neck and head for animals, or roll cardstock into cones to make a simple star shape – use tape to attach to the box. Cut strips of tissue paper two-inches wide and fringe the entire length. Paint a thin line of watered-down glue where you want the strip to be, glue on the strip, and repeat. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Remember, this will be destroyed, so perfection is not necessary. Just be creative! • Finally, check Pinterest for ideas. You can find great, home-spun ideas to fit any theme! Angela Rowland is an OBU graduate and a stay-athome mother of three. She enjoys finding new ways to stretch the paycheck and even posts some of her favorite tips and deals on her blog (steadfaststeward. blogspot.com)
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by: Mindy Wood
What’s Your History? The mystery of the past is irresistible to those who long to look back in time. The unanswered questions about family folklore, traits, and traditions often pique one’s curiosity enough to pick up the trail of the dead. Many people, often later in life, take an interest in their family’s history, but 850,000 women have traced their lineage to the American Revolution. These women belong to the service organization, National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). The organization, which began in 1890, promotes education, patriotism, and civic engagement. Every year the NSDAR chapters host constitution week to educate students about their freedoms and government. The organization also sponsors essay contests and offers scholarships. Local chapter members Sarah Epley, chapter regent emeritus, and Judith Michener, chapter regent, have traced their lineage to the boat ride which carried William Penn to America, well before the War of Independence. It’s a long and winding trail to follow, but both women say they have enjoyed the journey that has enriched their lives and made them more patriotic. In order to qualify for membership, applicants have to trace their lineage back to someone who either supported the Revolutionary War effort or was a soldier. Epley laughed, “You can’t get in if your relative was fighting for the other side. But there are some who changed sides.” For Michener, genealogy was perhaps easier than it is for others. Prior to her work at the Oklahoma Historical Society as an archivist, she had been a high school and college history teacher. History remains her passion. “To me history was never a dead subject,” she said. “These people are alive. They’re the reason why you are, what you are. That blood runs in my veins.” Michener found out just why she loved history so much and was so curious about her family’s past. The Micheners have five volumes of family history, kept faithfully by the Micheners in Pennsylvania. “They have a family reunion that’s been going on 110 years. We’ve always been family history oriented,” said Michener. Epley’s journey through the annals of time began with a letter she found in her mother’s possession in 1964. The letter inquired about the Barrett family. “Well, she wasn’t going to answer, after all,” she laughed, “she didn’t think it was any of his business. I said, ‘Well, can I have it, and I’ll tell him what I know?’ The great aunts would come to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, so I wrote and told him what I knew.” The reply took her quest to Georgia where she later established that she was eligible for membership in NSDAR. Epley, a genealogist who has researched others’ history, said that today’s technology has improved the
ability to acquire information. It wasn’t always so easy. “When I started, that was before the internet,” said Epley. “You had to write a letter and maybe in six months you’d get one back. You would find out a court house burned down, or the records were in the basement and it flooded. Or, you would go where you needed to and gather and pull out those books and do your own research. They would show you the room and tell you ‘good luck.’ You’d stand at a table for hours and they would make copies if they had a Xerox machine.” Many online records are available at the click of a button, and both women agreed records need to be digitized to preserve them. While they said sites like Ancestry.com are helpful, they caution that fact checking is important. Census workers misspelled names or might have had poor penmanship. Index cards can be misread, depending on the century. “Back in the 19th century, the p’s and the s’s were interchangeable,” said Michener. “Or the s’s looked life f’s” said Epley. “So if you’re looking for Moss, you might read it as Moff and just go right by it.”
Michener said there are three basic rules in research. “Number one, anything is possible. Number two, never pass up any cranny or nook. You never know where you’re going to find something. Number three, never assume anything.” Members of NSDAR host “paper parties,” which assist beginners in their quest. Attendees can bring death or birth records, family bibles, and personal papers of any kind to get started. Members are a wealth of information and guide newcomers to countless websites and locations across the state, including historical societies, libraries, and museums to help any way they can. Even if someone doesn’t qualify for membership ultimately, Epley and Michener said knowing your family history is enriching. “What you find out about your family, you appreciate where you are now so much more than you did before. There’s a depth of understanding that you didn’t have about what your ancestors went through to get you where you are,” said Michener. For more information, visit dar.org or contact Judith Michener at 405-273-9048 or email email@example.com www.shawneeoutlook.com
Inside Emergency Management
by: Mindy Wood
In Oklahoma, when we think about Emergency Management, our first thoughts turn to the storms that make our state famous. But, when it comes to this enormous job of handling crises, the city of Shawnee’s Emergency Management Department handles more than just those terrible twisters. Utility failures, hazardous waste, winter storms, flash floods, wildfires, and now earthquakes, keep them busy year around. The department’s responsibilities are far reaching, requiring them to coordinate with half a dozen other city departments. They network with federal and state agencies and partner with civic organizations. Their job as an Emergency Management Team is to respond to, recover from, prepare for, and mitigate against, both technological and natural emergency and disasters. Did you know EM is responsible for maintaining communication systems for disaster alerts? They ensure radios, phones, and outdoor emergency early warning sirens are running properly. EM runs the Blackboard Connect, an alert system that calls, texts, and emails subscribers messages about severe weather, hazardous incidents, and utility failures. EM also employs social media to alert the public. If you’ve ever wondered who sounds the sirens every Wednesday, meet Justin Beaver, EM’s communications system technician. In years past, sirens were activated by phone lines, which is far less reliable. “With the radio, we have the capabilities to set them off from any location. The chances of a siren not going off are very low,” said Beaver. EM Technician, Matt Miller, keys in new address-
Matt Miller Don Lynch, Justin Beaver at EOC
es for businesses and home into the Geographical Information System (GIS). It may be frustrating to follow a GPS navigation program to a residence or business only to end up lost, but that becomes a lifethreatening crisis if first responders can’t find someone because the address is incorrect or not in the database. Miller also oversees the private storm shelter registry. “We provide a copy of the database to all County Fire Departments and dispatch centers.” In the event of a presidentially recognized crisis, Miller also keeps track of city employee hours, equipment use, damages to city property and other resources used during a response. FEMA reimburses the city 75 percent of the cost incurred in a crisis while the state reimburses 12 percent. Everyone’s eyes are on the local radar coverage during severe weather, but EM has their own set of eyes on radar equipment. In fact, Lynch said their dual pole radar can detect the type of precipitation: rain, sleet, snow, hail, or ice. From the Emergency Operations Center, they dispatch street crews ahead of the storm to pretreat slick spots and work on the main roads. EM also sends out storm spotters, equipped with radar apps to keep them safe. With just three EM staff members, Lynch said
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they rely heavily on volunteers and are fortunate to have about fifty. Volunteers do storm spotting, others answer phones, update maps, or anything they can to help maintain EM’s ability to be ready in a disaster or assist their efforts after a crisis. Volunteer agencies are also faithful partners; a few include the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Rotary, Lion’s Club, Kiwanis, and more. Whether they’re just training for the next disaster or managing its chaos, their goal is to keep the community as safe as possible. Training is an important component in crisis prevention. Director of Emergency Management, Don Lynch said that includes educating anyone who is willing to think ahead. EM offers training for homeowners associations, neighborhood watch groups, and businesses. “Individuals and families need to be prepared to take care of themselves and their neighbors. They’re the first ones there after a disaster. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) participants receive training in damage assessment, basic first aid, and disaster psychology.” Wherever disaster might strike in Shawnee, the local EM team is always watching and prepared. For more information, contact the City of Shawnee Emergency Management at 405-878-1650.
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Coats for Kids (and Grownups Too)
When asked what prompted her to create the Coats for Kids program in Pottawatomie county, long time real estate agent Norma McKiddy gives a sad and yet uplifting response. “My daughter, Sandy McKiddy, died at Christmastime in 1995 with cancer at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston. I had spent seven months with her there, and after she died, I missed her so much and did a lot of crying. I couldn’t seem to get over it. But I’m a firm believer that God speaks to us in different ways, and one night, in the middle of the night, I woke up and in my spirit I felt God saying, ‘Coats for kids.’ I didn’t know what that meant so I disregarded it and went back to sleep, but the next night it happened again. After that, I said ‘Okay, God, I know you’re trying to tell me something.’ God unfolded the whole program to me, and I did everything as He said, and it worked exactly as He said it would.” During the program’s first year, in the winter of 1996, McKiddy was literally operating on faith. With help from a church friend, she sent letters to DHS and area schools, promising coats that she really didn’t have yet. Simultaneously, she contacted area businesses, asking them for donations or to hold coat drives of their own to provide her with inventory. Soon, a flood of coats came in, and what had begun as a nudge to her spirit, developed into a full-fledged charity operation. McKiddy remembered one little girl who came to find a coat not long after the closet had opened. She picked out a pretty pink and
purple coat and looked in the mirror, hugging it around her body. “Ma’am,” she said to McKiddy, “Are you Jesus?” McKiddy said, with tears in her eyes, she would never forget it. Sharon Baptist Church, at 19002 S. Gordon Dr., was the first home to the Coats for Kids program. However, as the years went by and donations and requests increased, McKiddy said they needed to find a bigger space. They are now housed in a building at the corner of Benson Park Road and Gordon Cooper Dr. and will be ready to begin their nineteenth season on Saturday, October 18. Volunteers are already signed up and ready to work, providing warm winter gear to our area’s needy. One unique aspect of the program is that even though it’s called “Coats for Kids,” the program actually provides coats to anyone, regardless of age. “We’ve got coats for everyone, from birth to adults, male or female,” as McKiddy puts it. Hours of operation are 9:00 AM. to noon on Saturdays thru mid-February. The only requirement is that those needing a coat must be present to receive one. When asked if the need had increased since the program’s inception, McKiddy said, “Yes, definitely.” The program gave away 800 coats last year alone. Even though it hasn’t officially begun yet this season, they have already given away some outerwear to the children whose mothers are staying at a local women’s shelter. McKiddy tries hard to make sure that needs are addressed, wherever they may be. School counselors and teachers are also welcome to refer students to the program or to pick up a coat for a child they know could use one. This wonderful service would not be possible without generous donations from those who are able to help in our area. If you have a coat that could benefit another person this winter, it can be dropped off at either Finley Cleaners location in Shawnee; at Morris Cleaners on Broadway in Tecumseh; at Sharon Baptist Church; or at the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services office in Tecumseh. Though volunteers spent this past summer gathering donations and buying at garage sales, more are always needed. McKiddy
by: Jamie Bergsten
said that bigger coats, especially women’s and men’s size XL up to 4XL are most desired, as they are hard to keep in stock. Monetary donations to the program are also appreciated and can be deposited to Coats for Kids at First United Bank. McKiddy notes that an abundance of blessings have come to her through her work with Coats for Kids. She can recount many heartwarming stories about recipients and situations, proof that triumph has followed the tragedy that led her to begin this program.
OCTOBER 2014 OCTOBER 9TH-11TH SGU will perform a classic play by one of America’s most well-regarded playwrights. Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, Tom, struggles with family relationships—a father who has abandoned them, a mother who is obsessed with finding a suitor for her daughter, and a sister whose crippling shyness keeps her trapped within herself. Shows start at 8 PM on the 9th-10th, and at 2 PM and 8 PM on the 11th.
OCTOBER 11TH-31ST First Christian Church of Shawnee will feature their annual Pumpkin Patch sale. Every Saturday, you find something special going on: bake sales, live music, a family fun day, free train rides, and much more. All proceeds from pumpkin sales are donated to community human service agencies. For more information call 405-275-1519
OCTOBER 9TH & 23RD St. Anthony Shawnee presents their 19th annual “Think Pink” event at the Main Street Photo Studio and Art Gallery at 420 E. Main. Starts at 6 PM, includes breast cancer lecture, social painting project, and hors d’oeuvres.
OCTOBER 17TH The DownTown Block Party on Main Street will offer live music, art displays in businesses, and an open campfire marshmallow roast on the corner of Main and Bell for “Monsters and Marshmallows.” Don’t miss this event for early Halloween fun!
OCTOBER 21ST Shawnee Public Library celebrates “Banned Books” week from 2 PM to 4 PM. Enjoy this action-packed new release movie based on the popular teen book by Veronica Roth, Divergent. Enjoy the PG-13 rated movie on a large screen with concession stand favorites.
OCTOBER 23RD-25TH Boo on Bell is back and bigger than ever! There are too many events and times to list here. Visit seffshawnee.org for a complete list of events under the events tab. Click on the Boo on Bell Schedule link.
OCTOBER 24TH The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is partnering with the Shawnee Public Library to feature artwork using books in their upcoming exhibit “Authors to Artists.” The exhibit’s goal is to draw attention to the importance of literacy and will feature works of art that address the theme of recycling, either through subject or medium. Oct. 24 is the submission deadline, with finished work due Nov 1-4. Contact the MGMOA for more information at 405-878-5622.
OCTOBER 24TH-26TH To advertise call Brad Carter (405) 445-3033
It’s a dog show weekend at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center. American Kennel Club sponsors the Boxer Club of Oklahoma the 24th and 25th, and an all dog breeds show the 25th and 26th. No unregistered personal pets allowed at this event. www.shawneeoutlook.com 29
NEW LESSONS ON LOVE
Larry Sparks who has worn many hats as pastor, and occasionally a missionary. Pastor of Blackburn Chapel Baptist Church. Educated at OBU and SWBT Seminary, Sparks managed supermarkets for Pratt’s as a great practical teacher. He and Vickie reside in Bethel Acres where they make time for their seventeen grandchildren, poetry, and football.
I was driving home on a Monday; about noon. I decided to check on my oldest daughter who has multiple sclerosis, but she didn’t answer her phone; her daughter did, and they were both crying. They were at the veterinarians with Dally, a 16-year-old black furry dog that had reached a ripe old age of 112 in dog years. He was dying; they were crying. It took me a moment to pull over, listen and pray for comfort for these broken-hearted girls. The more I listened, the more I understood their pain and love for this small, little dog that was more than a pet. This dark-eyed little dog was a loyal friend and family member. Dally was a pup when he first came to live with Cris. He was an energetic, cute, “let me get in your face” kind of a friend. Through several moves, Dally was there, adjusting and in some ways, encouraging. The MS would put Cris down for days, but Dally would come lay beside her, cuddle up, and settle her down. He didn’t know he was a therapy dog, but he was. I suppose he was a counselor, at least in the sense of being a listener. When parental trials came, Dally listened. When financial stresses came, and worries mounted, there couched on her lap was the little listener. His sad eyes peered over the black, full lashes while his chin rested on his paws. It’s as if he were saying without words, “There, there honey; it will pass. I understand.” it is a good thing he didn’t charge for these sessions. Most of all, he gave some unconditional love and loyalty. His reward? That was it; a life well spent being in a home, food to eat, an occasional hair-cut and a soft warm bed. He greeted her daily when she came in from work. He was always electric with emotion to
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Cris and Dally see His Cris walk through the door. That cheered her up every time. I am not the pet person some are, but Dally taught me a lesson or two as I listened to my daughter. Friendship and love, along with constant companionship, created a family member. I missed that truth and now I understand. A lady related to me that she was house-bound and her little dog, Winston, was her greatest solace besides the Lord. Another woman said that when her cat died, she grieved for a long time because of the emptiness she felt. I am finally starting to connect the dots. These pets are nearly people and provide someone to love and give love back. Dally, in human years would have been about 112. That is doggie “Depends” territory. Though he went out that back door a thousand times to do his business, he won’t be coming back in again. His name sake, Dally Jane, received all his earthly belongings. She is a young pup, but hopefully, learned some things from him. Why should I think so? He really was a teacher. I learned some lessons from this old dog. To all you shut-ins, pet owners, and those who have a circle of family that includes a four-legged member;,I now understand how you feel about your pets, because I learned a lesson from a little black, furry dog named Dally.
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