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Green Country Technology Center to host Okmulgee County training July 11, 18 and 21, 2017

Okmulgee, OK, June 5, 2017: i2E, Inc., a nonprofit that assists Oklahoma’s emerging small businesses and seven state partners including the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Cherokee Nation, Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma Business Roundtable, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology (OCAST) along with REI of Oklahoma, Inc. announce the GrowOK initiative.

The GrowOK program is designed to explore the product/market fit of a new business concept. Applications are open for members of rural and tribal Oklahoma who have a concept for a business or an existing business. Each program includes three two-hour, in person classes, with outside activities to be completed by the participating company/entrepreneur. During the GrowOK program, participants will evaluate customer segments, product market fit, risks and competition, initial paths to market, how to reach potential customers, implementing customer feedback, setting metrics for success and introduction to startup capital. The goal of the GrowOK program is to increase jobs in rural Oklahoma. The project is funded by a grant from the US Economic Development Association (EDA) and is offered at no charge to qualifying participants.

The GrowOK program condenses a process that could take up to six months into a 5 week program which requires participant commitment to attending the 3 class sessions, July 11, 18 and 21, 2017 from 4:30-6:30 pm in the Panter Education Center on the campus of Green Country Technology Center. Participants also are required to engage in three individual follow-up calls (30-60 minutes/week) and complete all assignments associated with the program, including customer discovery calls. At the end of the 5 weeks, the i2E staff compiles a recommendation based on the GrowOK outcomes that serves as a springboard for the company to take action. More information and application is available online at www.growok.org. The deadline for application for the July session is June 27, 2017.

For more information, go to www.growok.org or contact Margaret Hess, Business Development Specialist with Green Country Technology Center at 918-295-4697 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 23:37

Kitchens Feelings and Friends

by: Tina Pierce LMFT

I have a drawer in my kitchen that I affectionately call the catch all drawer. I have tried multiple times to organize this drawer and it seems to be a mess again by the end of the week. If I am honest, I am not even sure what all is in this particular drawer. In fact, that is the first place I look if l loose something. There was at least one time that I found my car keys in there. Unfortunately, that drawer sometimes reflects my inside world. Often we go through life pretending we are ok and normal but inside we are hurting, sad, and overwhelmed.

How do you face the world with confidence when you struggle with doubts and pain on the inside? The truth is, you don’t. At least not on your own. The hardest world to live in is the one on your couch with only Ben and Jerry. What you need the most is a friend that you can trust. Someone you can call when it feels like the world is crashing down around you. Someone that needs you too. A friend that you can laugh and cry with in the good times and the bad. Someone willing to forgive you and give you a second chance when you fail. A friend that stands the test of time. If you have a friend like that, give them a call and say thanks for always standing by my side.

If you want a friend like that, start by being that kind of friend. Show others love and respect even when they do not deserve it. Be a shoulder to cry on, a joke to laugh at, and a warm friendly face. Then the hard part, be vulnerable, honest, and open. No one wants to be friends with someone that is always perfect and put together or fake. Be real and be you. Because you are ok. You are a friend worth having.

Tina Pierce LMFT
You Place, LLC
918-777-6045

The You Place offers Family, Marital, Pre-Marital, and Individual Counseling Services for people struggling with a variety of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, and more. The You Place also offers consultation and training services and LPC supervision. For more information call today. 918-777-6045

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It is always good to have a 15-minutes-of-fame program because that means we are adding more members to our ranks. Such was the case Tuesday for Lion Charles Otto, representing the newest member. Unlike the Okies in "Grapes of Wrath", Otto was born in California but migrated with his parents to Oklahoma in 1946, locating in a small town southeast of Ada. Otto's mother was originally from Oklahoma, and that is why they came here from California. His father bought 40 acres and thought he would be a farmer, but it didn't work out very well. There were some "rehabilitation" programs available back then, so his father took advantage of them and became a teacher, until he felt the "call" to preach and became a Methodist minister. Which, Otto explained, was the reason they lived in several different towns during his growing-up years before graduating high school in Copan.

After high school, Otto joined the U.S. Navy and spent some time on an aircraft carrier, U.S.S. BonHomme Richard, CVA-31. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he came to Haskell, where his parents were living at that time. He was employed by National Tank in Tulsa and began his career of 45 years as a welder. The last six of those years were spent with IC Bus Company, also in Tulsa. Otto retired, and he and his wife bought some acreage in the Twin Hills area, spending a lot of time improving the land. They eventually sold the acreage and moved to Okmulgee.

Needing "something to do", he worked for Walmart for six years, laughingly stating that he put bicycles together, but later admitting that was not all he really did. Nevertheless, we are glad to have this new member join our ranks and we certainly can find something for him to do.

On a related note, the 100-year celebration glass was won by Lion Kyle Powell on the ninth name drawn. We still have a few more slots for a few more good men and women. Come give us a try! "WE SERVE"
Pictured left to right: President Lion R.C. Morrow. Lion Charles Otto, and Program Chairman Lion Ron Martin.
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig)

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Pictured is Program Chairperson Lion Beth Flud, Paul Schatte, and President Lion R.C. Morrow. - Photo by Dean Craig

Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was another "Made in Oklahoma" product program by Paul Schatte (pronounced Shot-ee), Vice-President and part-owner of Head Country BBQ Sauce in Ponca City. This story, and history, has it's beginnings in World War II by Donovan "Bud" Head, a cook on a Navy destroyer, who served his own recipe sauce to the men on the ship. After coming home from the Navy, Bud and his wife Freda produced the popular sauce from their ranch house, and neighbors would line up with their fruit jars. In 1977, it became too much to handle, so Bud passed along his secret recipe to a nephew, Danny Head. Bud probably never imagined his sauce would become a staple at backyard BBQ's across 26 states and 18 foreign countries. Head Country is now Oklahoma's #1 selling BBQ sauce and the Ponca City plant produces 6,000 gallons of the sauce per day.

Paul Schatte grew up in Texas and he and his wife attended a college in Nebraska to become teachers. He was a classroom teacher for nine years and a Principal for 11 years before meeting Danny Head in 1990, when Schatte began competing in competitive championship BBQ contests. Schatte is a 15 year veteran of professional competition and won the Jack Daniels World Championship Cook-off in Tennessee in 1994. He won the Reserve Grand Championship American Royal Invitational in 2004 and has over 25 State Championships.

In June 1999, Danny Head convinced Schatte to join the Head Country competitive BBQ cook-off team, which he did, and became an employee of Head Country. Nine years later, Schatte bought a half-ownership in the plant and the restaurant. About three years ago, an equity group (which included a son of Tulsa resident and former NFL professional player Steve Largent) bought most of the company, with Schatte retaining a partial-owner share of the plant, and Danny assuming ownership of the Head Country BBQ Restaurant. However, the restaurant had to change the name due to copyright ownership and is now called Danny's BBQ Restaurant.

According to a recent survey, Head Country BBQ Sauce is #10 in the top 50 sauces marketed, even though they are in only about 12% of the grocery stores, unlike most of the major brands labeled under world-wide companies. Pretty good for a company which celebrates 70 years next month, and only has 27 employees They have expanded the product line to include (other than original); Hot flavor, Hickory Smoke flavor, Championship Seasoning (or dry rub), and Premium Marinade.

At the conclusion of his program (not to be out-done by the likes of the Dr. Phil show), Mr. Schatte announced that everyone gets a free bottle of sauce or seasoning. So, when the dismissal gong rang, we were lined up like pigs at the trough to pick up a free sample. What a pleasure to have Paul Schatte as our guest and help celebrate 70 years of success from another "Made in Oklahoma" company, Head BBQ Sauce. Now, y'all pick up a bottle or two of this juice, ya' hear?

On a related note, three Lions (Craig Brydges, Kyle Powell, and Christie Baldridge) were awarded special 100-year celebration pins for sponsoring a new member during this year. The 100-year commemorative glass was won by Lion Robert Bible on the third name drawn. We still have three more to give away, so ALL Lions should make an extra effort to be present for the drawing. We are still searching for a few more good men and women to join us. "WE SERVE"
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(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig with excerpts from an internet article by Lance West).

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Okmulgee Lions President R.C. Morrow was presented the District 3-0 Lion of the Year Award Saturday , May 20, at the Lions State Convention in Midwest City. Making the presentation is Lions International Director N. Alan Lundgren, Scottsdale, Arizona (left), Lion Morrow, and Incoming District 3-0 Governor Gene Redford. Lion Morrow is the fourth Okmulgee Lion to receive this prestigious award since this award began in 1974.
(Photo and information provided)

June 6 Charles Otto 15 Minutes-of-Fame
Program Chairman Ron Martin

9 & 10 Pecan Festival Lions Mobile Health Screening Unit
and Spot Vision Camera

13 Coleen Fowler Update on Lions Meadows of Hope
Program Chairman R.C. Morrow

20 Jacque Mooney Install Officers
Program Chairman Dean Craig

27 Meeting at Fireworks Stand

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Rotary President Elect Darryl Raley presents a check and certificate to Okmulgee High School’s Best All-Around Boy, Ian McAnally.

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On behalf of the Okmulgee Rotary Club, President Elect Darryl Raley presented the club’s annual Rotary scholarships to OSUIT to Kiara Jones and Michael Cook.

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 24, 2017) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister made the following remarks in response to an agreement with state legislative leaders to introduce a trailer bill that adds $18 million to the appropriation made in Senate Bill 860.

"While the budget crisis has been a formidable challenge for all involved, I am deeply grateful that the Oklahoma State Legislature has worked hard to successfully make the school funding formula whole for common education. This has been a tough process and many state agencies have weathered steep cuts, but legislators deserve praise for prioritizing education on behalf of Oklahoma’s schoolchildren.

“Under the trailer bill, the Legislature will ensure that the funding formula is preserved and that the state fulfills its statutory obligation to cover 100 percent of the health insurance costs so vital for educators. This agreement is welcome news for Oklahoma schools after a year of uncertainty and financial hardship.”

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Pictured left to right: Program Chairman Lion Rusty Milroy and Dan Bewley. Photo by Dean Craig

By Dean Craig Okmulgee Lion

Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was another trip to nostalgia-land with Okmulgee ties brought to us by Dan Bewley, former long-time news/sports reporter on both Channel 6 and Channel 8 in Tulsa. Additionally, he worked TV stations in Virginia, Michigan, and Texas, covering an approximate 25 year period. So, about three years ago he felt he needed a change of pace, and began a company called Your Story Media to produce videos geared toward advertising. But I'm getting ahead of my story.

Bewley graduated from high school in Edmond and graduated college from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha. He is a self-proclaimed baseball "nut", history "nut", and more specifically, an Oklahoma history baseball "nut", which is how he came to establish his present T-shirt business, Three Sands Clothing.

Three Sands is now a ghost town, but it existed right on the Noble County and Kay County line south of Ponca City. It was an oil boom town--there was just a massive oil field there. It was named because they found oil in three layers of sand, so Three Sands. But it's where his dad was born and his grandfather worked in the oil fields. The name of the company, Three Sands Clothing, is a tip of the hat to his grandfather, who was just like thousands of other Oklahomans who toiled every day to provide for his family and to make this state a better place, and they are kind of lost to history. So, Three Sands, to Bewley, is a shout-out to his grandfather, but also all of the men and women who worked hard and did the things that were necessary to do to survive.

Baseball was played in Oklahoma and Indian Territory as soon as there were enough players to field teams, Many towns and cities formed their own professional organizations. They hired players from around town and even brought in ringers from out of state. These players had dreams of making it to the Major Leagues and a surprising number of them actually made it. Bewley's research indicated that about 300 or 400 of these "town teams" played ball between 1882 and the 1950s, and they were a sense of pride for their communities. Bewley said the first recorded organized baseball game in Indian Territory was played July 4, 1882. Coal miners from Krebs and coal miners from Savanna got together and played a baseball game. They used cans and sacks of hay for bases. There was like 300 or 400 people there, so it was a big deal.

One of the "retro-vintage" T-shirts Bewley brought to the Lions to display/sell was this first game of Krebs vs. Savanna. The other one was the 1912 Champion Okmulgee Glassblowers. His research could not identify the sponsor of the team but it is believed that there were three glass plants in Okmulgee at that time, so probably were sponsored by one of the glass plants. Frank Gardner was player/manager, and other members of the team (mostly only last names known) were: Maddicks, Upton, Pierce, Clayton, Clark, Ash, Baxter, Jeffries (catcher), 6"3" first baseman Earl Roberts, Everdon, Burnett, Taylor, and Harris. Bewley was amused to recount a May 1928 baseball game that his research uncovered between an Okmulgee team and a Tulsa team played at the "Okmulgee Field" (has not been able to be identified) that ended in a "seat cushion battle". Fans began throwing seat cushions at each other after the game, but no injuries were recorded. Neither was the score, so apparently it wasn't important to either side.

Other early baseball teams mentioned were the Oklahoma City Pirates (1891, two years after the "land run"), the Tulsa Railroaders, the Bartlesville Boosters, the Broken Arrow Nine, and Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers playing against the Muskogee Mets and the Tulsa Producers in 1916. Also, according to research, the 1922 Okmulgee Drillers was one of the top 100 baseball teams ever. Shoppers can see the full inventory at threesandsclothing.com or GreenHouse Clothing, 3310 S. Yale Ave. Three Sands Clothing items also are available at Dwelling Spaces in the Boxyard, Beard and Blade in Jenks, and Studio 405 Clothing Company in Oklahoma City. Bewley is looking at the possibility of a retail outlet in Okmulgee for his T-shirts. One of his T-shirts has the first rules of early-days baseball and one of the rules says you are not allowed to kill the umpire.

On a related note, the newest member, Lion Charles Otto, won the 100-year celebration glass on the first name drawn, unlike the previous weeks. We still have a few more glasses to award and a few more spots for a few more good men and women. Come join in the revelry, relaxation, refreshing, and rewarding fun of our club. Hope to see you soon! "WE SERVE".

(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig, with excerpts from threesandsclothing.com and Jimmie Tramel, Tulsa World).

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the state's request for disaster assistance for 18 counties related to the severe weather that that occurred April 28 – May 2.

The approval means federal funding is available to assist municipalities, counties, rural electric cooperatives and the state with infrastructure repairs and costs associated with responding to the storm.

Disaster assistance is approved for Adair, Beaver, Caddo, Cherokee, Cimarron, Craig, Delaware, Haskell, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Sequoyah, Texas and Washita counties.

The storms caused extensive flooding in eastern and central Oklahoma, and widespread snow and high winds in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Three tornadoes occurred on April 28 and 29, including an EF-2 tornado near Cameron. The weather created treacherous travel conditions, road closures and power outages.

Damage assessments indicate the storm resulted in more than $12.7 million in infrastructure damage, debris and response costs.

Fallin also requested a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster declaration for Cherokee and Haskell counties. That request was approved Monday. It provides SBA low-interest disaster loans for homeowners and business owners to replace any property damaged by the storm that was not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.

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