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Scanning Oklahoma for happenings

by Don Gammill Modified: April 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm •  Published: March 20, 2013

There’s always something that will grab your attention when you scan Oklahoma’s news sources.

Sometimes it might be of local interest, or it could be statewide. You might even see how locals are handling national news.

Here are examples of such items from a recent look:

  • Congratulations to all those cities and towns whose high schools competed in the recent state championships. Newspapers and other news sources, including The Oklahoman and NewsOK, filed numerous reports about the tournaments, among the best attended and most exciting sports events during the year. There were game accounts and some special features, such as those on Hugo’s Trey Johnson, who, during the excitement of the moment, scored in the wrong basket, giving the Millwood Falcons the win over his team. His story has gained national attention and he has received favorable comments from many fans and spectators who support him.
  • There have been several reports in recent months about problems with ferral hogs killing smaller animals, including pets, as they roamed near cities and towns. One such large animal met its end in Pushmataha County. The Antlers American published a photo of a group of guys with the 375-pound wild hog caught near the town of Moyers (http://okne.ws/WliYS5). The hog measured more than five feet long and had “cutters,” or tusks, of 3 1/4 inches.
  • There’s been a lot of swearing in recently in the wake of municipal and school board elections. Many cities, towns and school districts voted on leadership seats and money issues. Most every news source, including NewsOK and The Oklahoman, devoted time, space and attention to these important votes so they could keep the public informed. It’s important to know who represents you and how your tax money is being used (http://okne.ws/YzrzPF).
  • The money game in Washington, D.C., is getting attention locally and nationally. Among cutbacks expected by sequester moves is the number of air traffic controllers in airport control towers. The talk — and reports — from Enid, Stillwater, Norman, Ardmore, Lawton and Oklahoma City speak loud and clear about how these cuts would affect flights and training (http://okne.ws/YzpxyT).
  • Along that line, the cities and towns with military installations nearby (such as Altus, Lawton, Enid, McAlester, Oklahoma City-Midwest City are presenting information about the base or post and what it means to the local economy. For instance, the Altus Times did a story on the economic impact analysis on the 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base and its approximately $350 million contribution locally. The base is the largest employer in Jackson County and is credited with some 940 individual jobs (http://okne.ws/Wllt6V).
  • On the positive side militarily speaking, Stillwater NewsPress recognized a former local resident who was named commanding officer of Carrier Strike Group One (http://okne.ws/Yzo1No). Rear Adm. David F. Steindl, is a 1980 graduate of C.E. Donart High School in Stillwater. He is a 1984 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and earned his master’s degree at the Naval War College. Steindl has held several key positions with the Navy prior to this assignment.
  • Among other stories with wide interest was the execution of Steven Ray Thacker, convicted of the 1999 murder of Staci Dawn Hill, of Bixby. He went on a three-state crime spree that also include the death of a man in Missouri and another in Tennessee (http://okne.ws/YzoPBK).

And this was only a scan.

by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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