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Ardmore, Oklahoma

▼ Drought Conditions

Carter, Love counties included in state of emergency declaration Staff and Wire Reports

don alquist/the ardmoreite

City worker Lee Gothard kicks up some dry dirt while mowing grass at Regional Park.

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb declared a state of emergency Friday for 33 Oklahoma counties, including Carter and Love, because of extreme or exceptional drought conditions and associated wildfires. The executive order is the first step toward seeking federal assistance for victims of fires, should that be necessary. Lamb issued the declaration at the request of Gov. Mary Fallin, who is in Ireland this week attending her daughter’s wedding.

Fire forces evacuations; residents return — 7A Temperatures were expected in the 90s and 100s across Oklahoma this weekend. The National Weather Service issued a red flag fire warning — meaning conditions were ripe for wildfires — for eight southwestern Oklahoma counties. Much of western Oklahoma also was under heat and wind advisories.

▼ Ardmore Schools

With ‘Friends’ like these ... Social networking Internet sites have become increasingly popular as a way to stay in constant contact with family and friends. But traversing the instant communication system isn’t without pitfalls; it can have serious consequences for those who “share all” through messages and photos that can take on a life of their own once they are in cyberspace.

Editors’ Note — This is the first of a three-part series on posting on Facebook and other social network websites, privacy issues and repercussions users can face. The second part of the series will be printed in Wednesday’s edition and the final portion of the series will be published on Friday.

A

manda Funderburg clicks the Share button after writing a sentence about setting up her dog’s kiddie pool. Funderburg, an eighthgrader at Plainview Middle School, is one of more than 500 million people who use Facebook. The site, like many others, allows users to tell friends, family and complete strangers whatever is on their mind. However, the posts can

represent much more than a quirky update about innocent summer activities. What is posted on the Internet can have lasting consequences, whether users realize it or not. “I’ve seen how much it can hurt someone to post something bad about a friend. It can hurt a friendship,” Funderburg said. As Facebook grows, many people are learning to be selective with their posts. Chad Mitchell of Ard-

By Jennifer Lindsey

more is a recent graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. “I don’t post a lot. I just post what’s on my mind that everyone should hear,” Mitchell said. “I’m very selective. It’s things I care to know and read.” There is increasing awareness that Facebook is not just for teens and young adults. Teachers and potential employers are also using the site. See facebook, 7A

n jennifer.lindsey@ardmoreite.com

Bates to be named chief By Jennifer Lindsey

jennifer.lindsey@ardmoreite.com

Ardmore City Schools Board of Education will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday to discuss and possibly hire a new superintendent. An amended agenda posted Thursday says the board will meet in executive session to discuss the employment of the superintendent, followed by taking action to approve the hiring in open meeting. The board is expected to hire Nathaniel Sonny Bates Jr. of Wagoner. According to the Wagoner Tribune, Bates has been the superintendent of Wagoner Public Schools since 2008. Prior to that he was the director of curriculum and federal programs in the school system for approximately five years. Efforts to reach Bates were unsuccessful. If you have any questions for the school board or the new superintendent, email them to jennifer.lindsey@ardmoreite.com. The Ardmoreite will be your voice.

▼ Ardmore Police

Seven injured in crash By Marsha Miller

marsha.miller@ardmoreite.com

Saturday night members of Ardmore Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction Team were continuing to investigate a single-vehicle crash that injured seven people about 2:30 p.m. in the 3000 block of Springdale Road. Capt. Eric Hamblin, APD, said the preliminary-stage investigation indicated a 1999 GMC Yukon was traveling at a high rate of speed westbound on Springdale Road. The driver apparently lost control of the SUV. The

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Nine teens injured in pickup crash — 7A vehicle ran off the road, just west of Mary Niblack Road and rolled twice, ejecting several of the occupants. Five of the seven people in the SUV were identified as juveniles. Hamblin said at least four of the occupants had been airlifted to hospitals in Oklahoma City and Dallas with what he described as a “multitude” of injuries. See crash, 7A

don alquist/the ardmoreite

A two-vehicle wreck on Springdale Road west of Mary Niblack occurred Saturday afternoon. Four people were airlifted from the scene.

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n First of a three-part series on social networking, Page 1A. n Injuries reported in wreck on Springdale Road, Page 1A. n City manager named grand marshall for parade, Page 5A.

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▼ Oklahoma Wildfire

▼ Claremore

Blaze under control, residents return

Nine teens hurt when truck goes into creek bed

MEDICINE PARK (AP) — A massive wildfire that destroyed 13 homes in the Medicine Park area was contained Saturday, allowing residents to return to their homes. Firefighters from a few local agencies remained on the scene to mop up hot spots, but the fire was under control after crews worked “diligently” overnight to contain it, Comanche County spokesman Chris Killmer said. Retired U.S. Army Col. Henry Sabine, the town’s vice mayor, said the flames came within 500 feet of his two-story wooden house and he was grateful for the firefighters’ work. “The historic town of Medicine Park was extremely lucky,” he said. “The fire burned through an area

FACEBOOK Continued from 1A

“I try to have a positive view on myself because I think lots of employers are looking into Facebook,” Mitchell said. Funderburg said she worries about negative posts being connected to her. “I don’t post anything that would raise concern. I post the happier notes of life,” she said. Users can also refine their privacy settings so

of the town with few residents. It missed the entire historic business district. The firefighters were able to save all but two of the homes on Big Rock. There had to be historic efforts. “It’s amazing how many homes they were able to save, considering the path of the fire.” Medicine Park is located at the entrance to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, about 80 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. Sabine said most residents “will rest this weekend and Monday, we will do what we always do when there’s a crisis. We’ll pull our bootstraps up and start pulling it all together.” The fire started Thursday afternoon on the Fort Sill U.S. Army post

that only people they have approved can see a post. “People need to be more careful. Anyone can go on there and look at stuff,” Mitchell said. “I think you should have settings private so other people can’t see it because even an inside joke can be misinterpreted.” On Facebook, users can “Friend” other people to link their profiles. Facebook friends can see each other’s posts that may not be seen by a non-friend. “Privacy settings are important. Your friends

and high winds and tinder-dry conditions quickly fueled the blaze, which burned about 5,500 acres. About 1,500 people had to be evacuated from their homes, and one firefighter suffered a minor foot injury. The blaze tore through the Mt. Valley mobile home park, reducing seven mobile homes to a pile of ashy rubble and twisted metal frames. Charred bicycles and children’s toys littered the small neighborhood, along with a minivan completely gutted by flames. At least two homes were burned to the ground in the nearby Big Rock neighborhood, a collection of larger homes tucked into the rugged foothills near the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge.

should be people you know personally,” Mitchell said. Some people Friend only people they are close to, but many will Friend everyone they know (and some they don’t). “I don’t Friend everyone I know — only people I want to know what’s going on in my life and that I trust not to tell everyone,” Funderburg said. Sometimes, even people one knows, are not the best to Friend. Many teens express reservations about Friending their parents, teachers and other adult

figures. “I don’t Friend teachers because I see it ruining that teacher-student aspect. If you know what your teachers are up to and they know what you’re up to, they’re not going to respect you as much,” Funderburg said. Yet, at the end of the day, Funderburg also knows that no matter who sees what she posts, no one can think badly of her for setting up the dog’s kiddie pool. Jennifer Lindsey 221-6536

▼ Planned Parenthood

Oklahoma one of four states in affiliation The Associated Press The Planned Parenthood affiliate that covers Iowa and Nebraska has announced plans to merge with one that runs health clinics in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. Under the merger expected to be complete by Jan. 1, the expanded affiliate would have about 30 clinics in the four states. “Our communities deserve access to affordable quality health care,” said Jill June, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which covers Iowa and Nebraska. “The merger will allow us to expand our

service offerings to more people in need of care.” The new services would include adoption, education programs and care for men and for lesbian, gay and transgendered people. Kathy Sparks, board chairwoman of Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma, said the merger will make the multi-state affiliate “stronger and more efficient.” “We are transforming operations to ensure we are here for the women and men who need and want our services,” she said. June will be the interim

president of the expanded affiliate, which will have its headquarters at Heartland’s administrative offices in Des Moines, Iowa. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland had covered Nebraska and most of Iowa until its recent merger with the Southeast Iowa affiliate broadened its reach to the entire state. Heartland now operates about 20 clinics in Iowa and health centers in Lincoln and Omaha. In April, it announced plans to open 12 more clinics in those states over the next five years. Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern

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CLAREMORE (AP) — Nine teenagers suffered injuries when a pickup in which they were riding hit a sign and ended up in a Rogers County creek bed. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the accident occurred about 4:50 a.m. Saturday on a county road about two miles south of State Highway 66. Troopers say the driver, 19-year-old Victor Antonio Ramirez, ran the pickup off the right side of the

road in a curve. The pickup hit the sign and a bridge rail before landing in the creek bed. Seven passengers riding in the pickup’s bed were ejected. Two of those passengers eventually were taken by helicopter to a Tulsa hospital in stable condition. Two other passengers were taken to a Tulsa hospital and four others were treated and released at a Claremore hospital.

CRASH

families,” Hamblin said. While the cause of the accident remained “under investigation,” Hamblin said members of the reconstruction team “believed that only one seat belt was in use at the time of the accident.”

Continued from 1A

Three others were taken to Mercy Memorial Health Center. About 8 p.m. Hamblin said one of three had been admitted to local medical facility. The other two were believed to have been treated and released. “At this time we are still attempting to locate family members. We are withholding the names of all of the individuals involved pending notification of their

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▼ Ardmore City Schools

Bates named superintendent

Expectations run high as board votes 4-0 to make hiring official By Jennifer Lindsey

jennifer.lindsey@ardmoreite.com

Sonny Bates is still looking for the perfect two-story house in Ardmore, but he now has a job in what he called, “a very, very beautiful city.” In a 4-0 vote Tuesday, the Ardmore City Schools Board of Education hired Bates as the new super-

intendent. “He’s going to be a very visible superintendent for both the community and schools,” said board president Lucinda Hull. “I think he will help bring this community together and be good for the children and the district.” After the board made its decision, Bates spoke a few words to a crowd

of administrators, teachers and community members. “I thank the board for this opportunity. I bring to the table ideas for progression and a deep love of education,” he said. “I want students to be successful in higher education, industry and whatever else they pursue.” Bates, who replaces Dr. Ruth Ann

Carr, has been the Wagoner superintendent for three years and will begin work Friday. “I want to be as transparent as possible and inform the public of the on-goings of the school district and ask the public for feedback because it will take all of us to accomplish these goals,” he said. See bates, 10A

Sonny Bates

▼ New Mexico

Here’s how to not get the job Social networking Internet sites have become increasingly popular as a way to stay in constant contact with family and friends. But traversing the instant communication system isn’t without pitfalls; it can have serious consequences for those who “share all” through messages and photos that can take on a life of their own once they are in cyberspace.

A

manda Baldridge warns students about how postings on social media sites can turn a job hunt sour. “Potential employers go out and Google applicants. Students may social media themselves out of a job,” she said. Baldridge is the director of academic advisement at Murray State College and teaches a course on the psychology of adjustment, which features an entire

Editors’ Note — This is the second installment of The Ardmoreite’s threepart series on posting on Facebook and other social network websites, privacy issues and repercussions users can face. The final part of the series will be printed in Friday’s edition.

chapter on technology in the 21st century. When students ask Baldridge for letters of recommendation, she checks their Facebook pages. “If they are constantly negative about life, then I wonder do I really want to write a letter about this person,” she said. “In class, they may be delightful and participate, but when they are negative, that plays into my decision to recommend them.

By Jennifer Lindsey

I’m not sure I want to stake my representation on them.” Many of the students have become her friend on Facebook, which allows her to see nearly all of their posts. “A lot of times, young adults lose track of who can view their profiles and forget who’s out there when they rant and rave,” Baldridge said. See facebook, 11A

n jennifer.lindsey@ardmoreite.com

Nuclear lab under siege from fire; thousands evacuated LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — A wildfire burning near the desert birthplace of the atomic bomb advanced on the Los Alamos laboratory and thousands of outdoor drums of plutonium-contaminated waste Tuesday as authorities stepped up efforts to protect the site and monitor the air for radiation. Officials at the nation’s premier nuclear weapons lab gave assurances that dangerous materials were safely stored and capable of withstanding flames from the 93square-mile fire, which as of midday was as close as 50 feet from the grounds. A small patch of land at the laboratory caught fire Monday before firefighters quickly put it out. Teams were on high alert to pounce on any new blazes and spent the day removing brush and low-hanging tree limbs from the lab’s perimeter. “We are throwing absolutely everything at this that we got,” Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said in Los Alamos. The fire has forced the evacuation of the entire city of Los Alamos, population 11,000, cast giant plumes of smoke over the region and raised fears among nuclear watchdogs that it could reach up to 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste. See fire, 11A

▼ Summer Trips

Greater Ardmore Scholarship Foundation Golf Tournament Three event Highlights

1

The Greater Ardmore Scholarship Foundation provides $500 scholarships per semester ($1,000 for junior and senior years) to Carter County high school students. Any student who applies by the deadline and meets the grade-point average and income requirements will receive the scholarship.

2 Monday’s annual golf tournament and

fundraiser included hole sponsorships, raffles and a silent auction. All proceeds go to the scholarship fund. The golf tournament featured 21 teams.

3 GASF awarded 90 scholarships to the

Drivers urged to check vehicles

class of 2011, and currently awards nearly 300 scholarships to college students from Carter County.

By Steve Biehn

steve.biehn@ardmoreite.com

Overheard at the event “This year, we’ve stepped it up with more participants and more teams and businesses stepped up with more silent auction items.” — Roslyn Haile, GASF executive director

“I think it’s amazing that so many people in the area are willing to help students go to college. It makes me feel good that people come out and support.” — Bree Labeth, 2010 graduate of Wilson High School and scholarship recipient “We appreciate the community support to put this tournament on and the committee that made it happen. It all goes into supporting area students.” — Ryan Youderian, GASF Board of Trustees

Story and photo by Jennifer Lindsey/The Ardmoreite

Ryan Youderian looks at silent auction items during the Greater Ardmore Scholarship Foundation golf tournament.

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Motorists who perform simple driveway inspections could save themselves from the inconvenience of a roadside breakdown this summer. “No one wants to experience car trouble while on vacation,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “A simple vehicle inspection can help avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down many miles away from home.” White said motorists can use a simple 10-minute driveway inspection to determine how road ready their vehicles are. If problems are identified and maintenance is needed, it can be performed prior to the trip. See cars, 10A

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FACEBOOK Continued from 1A

the associated press

Hotshot crew members walk in line as they prepare to mop up in Pajarito Mountain ski area near Los Alamos, N.M., Tuesday. Firefighters battled a vicious wildfire that was spreading Tuesday through the mountains above the northern New Mexico town that is home to a government nuclear laboratory.

FIRE

Continued from 1A “The concern is that these drums will get so hot that they’ll burst. That would put this toxic material into the plume. It’s a concern for everybody,” said Joni Arends, executive director of the Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, an anti-nuclear group. Arends’ organization also worried that the fire could stir up nuclear-contaminated soil on lab property where experiments were conducted years ago. Burrowing animals have brought that contamination to the surface, she said. Lab officials said there was very little risk of the fire reaching the drums of low-level nuclear waste, since the flames would have to jump through canyons first. Officials also stood ready to coat the drums with fire-resistant foam if the blaze got too close. Lab spokeswoman Lisa Rosendorf said the drums contain Cold War-era waste that the lab sends away in weekly shipments for storage. She said the drums were on a paved area with few trees nearby. As of midday Tuesday, the flames were about two miles from

the material. “These drums are designed to a safety standard that would withstand a wildland fire worse than this one,” Rosendorf said. Los Alamos employs about 15,000 people, covers more than 36 square miles, includes about 2,000 buildings at nearly four dozen sites and plays a vital role in the nation’s nuclear program. The lab was created during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. It produced the weapons that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the decades since, the lab has evolved into a major scientific and nuclear research facility. It stockpiles aging atomic materials, tests warheads, produces triggers for nuclear weapons and operates supercomputers and particle accelerators. It also conducts research on such things as climate change and the development of a scanner for airports to detect explosive liquids. The lab’s supercomputer was used in designing an HIV vaccine. Lab officials gave assurances that buildings housing key research and scientific facilities were safe because they have been fireproofed over the years,

▼ Carter County

especially since a 2000 blaze that raged through the area but caused no damage to the lab. Trees and brush were thinned over the past several years, and key buildings were surrounded with gravel to keep flames at bay. Many of the buildings were also constructed to meet strict standards for nuclear safety, and aggressive wildfires were taken into account, lab spokesman Kevin Roark said. “We’ll pre-treat with foam if necessary, but we really want the buildings to stand on their own for the most part. That is exactly how they’ve been designed. Especially the ones holding anything that is of high value or high risk,” said Deputy Los Alamos County Fire Chief Mike Thompson. Teams from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Radiological Assistance Program were headed to the scene to help assess any hazards. Lab officials said they were closely watching at least 60 air monitors for radiation and other hazards. The New Mexico Environment Department was also monitoring the air, and Udall said he asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do the same.

A 21-year-old Ardmore man, Dakota Ross, who was a passenger in Pixler’s van, was pinned in the wreckage for 30 minutes until he was freed by first responders from the Criner Hills Fire Department. He was airlifted to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where he was admitted in fair condition with leg injuries. Pixler refused treatment at the accident scene, and medics from the Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service trans-

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Tips for Posting Online

Provided by Murray State College, Southern Oklahoma Technology Center and Gatehouse News Service n Remember that once something is posted, it is out there forever n Know what your friends are posting about you n Don’t post rants and raves because they could show you have a negative attitude n Protect your page by adjusting your settings and only allowing personal information to be seen by your friends. n Watch your spelling and grammar n Don’t accept everyone who asks to be your friends — make sure you know them and that it is not a spam account n Don’t post inappropriate photos (if you don’t want your parents to see it, don’t post it). n Don’t post inappropriate language n Un-tag yourself from friends’ pictures if necessary n Remove yourself from any trivial groups you might belong to n Don’t be excessively negative in status updates school. A threat on a weekend can lead to arguments and fights at school on Monday,” Beach said. When such posts are seen, school officials take action to help all parties involved receive counseling before the situation can escalate. On the other side of things, Beach also sees his teachers corresponding and collaborating through Facebook. “It’s a good tool if used properly or a bad tool if used for bullying,” Beach said. “It goes back to kids learning good morals.” Online presence can also begin with parents posting things about their children

who are too young to have a page. Baldridge said she sees children with social media presence before they are even a year old. “A lot of information is divulged about our kids. We need to think about protecting kids as well,” she said. At the end of the day, it comes down to people being careful with what they post online. “Most people are braver behind a keyboard than face to face,” Baldridge said. “They don’t see the consequences of what they say.” Jennifer Lindsey 221-6536

▼ S tat e

Pseudoephedrine prescriptions required

PRYOR (AP) — The owners of three independent pharmacies in Pryor say they will begin requiring a doctor’s prescription before selling medicines containing pseudoephedrine. The ingredient is found in common cold and allergy medicines and is a key ingredient in the production of methamphetamine. Elliott Plaza Pharmacy owner Drew Turner and Beggs Pharmacy owner Derek Sien tell the Tulsa World they will work with customers to make sure they can get the prescriptions they need. Cross Pharmacy owner Randy Quattlebaum said he’ll phase in the restriction ported Richburg to Mercy over a couple of months to Memorial Health Center, accommodate his customwhere he was treated and ers. released.

Two men injured in traffic accident Two men were injured in a two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 77 2.1 miles south of Ardmore Monday afternoon. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Rocky Northcutt’s report indicated a 1995 GMC pickup driven by Donald Richburg, 63, of Carrollton, Texas, was hit from behind by a 2005 Chevrolet van driven by Danny Pixler, 43, of Ardmore. Richburg’s vehicle was going slower than normal because of mechanical problems.

Employers can also find things posted by other people, which can be just as damaging. “Just because you don’t post pictures about yourself, a friend can,” Baldridge said. “Make sure the people you are hanging around share the same values as you.” Employers agree that they look for applicants online. “Of course, you bet. If they’ve posted something outrageous, it can show poor judgment,” said local attorney David Blankenship. Even companies that don’t currently do searches keep the option in mind. “We haven’t gotten into looking at employees,” said Jill Day, Ardmore City Schools executive director for human resources. “It’s nothing we’ve taken on right now, but always a possibility.” However, the consequences of online comments can begin much earlier than the job hunt. At Ardmore Middle School, administrators work with the school resource officer and social worker to monitor incidents that begin on Facebook and other social media sites. Students have been known to post bullyingtype messages online. “When they do it electronically, it rolls over to

11A

Turner also has restricted pseudoephedrine sales to prescription-only at Inola Drug and the Catoosa Family Pharmacy, which he also owns. Some state lawmakers and law enforcement have called for a law limiting the sale of pseudoephedrine to only those with a prescription, but a bill to do that stalled in the Legislature earlier this year. Turner said he thinks most customers who buy the drug do so for legitimate reasons. “I pretty much know who my customers are,” he said, adding that he recently turned away a questionable-looking pseudoephedrine customer whom

he had never seen in his store before. “If I just make it prescription-only, that’ll stop,” he said. Quattlebaum said he also limits how much pseudoephedrine his pharmacy sells. “We could sell a lot more; I’ll be honest,” he said. “We already limit it to people we know, anyway.” Turner said the new policy could cause some inconvenience for customers but that he thinks they will understand. “I think the people who know me know I’m doing this for the greater good, and they’ll be willing to maybe go through a little inconvenience,” he said.

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HOMEOWNERS!! FACTS & FICTION CONCERNING STORM DAMAGE Q - If I file an Insurance claim, will my insurance premium increase? A - When dealing with storm damage claims, If enough property owners file a claim your rates will increase whether you have filed a claim or not!!! Q - When should I file a storm damage claim? A - It is an insured responsibility to file a claim when damage is first suspected. Most insurance companies will allow one year from the date of the loss, However if the property damage is not mitigated in a timely manner, your insurance can deny your claim and any further damage that has occurred as a result of the storm. Q - I have had my roof looked and it appears to be okay. A - Was the individual that looked at the damage a trained property adjuster, skilled roofing contractor or a certified roofing inspector, If not, it should be inspected by a professional!

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With friends like these  

A series of articles written for The Ardmoreite by Jennifer Lindsey.

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