Okmulgee in the News
Pictured left to right: Program Chairman Lion David Fetgatter, Lion Rev. Dale Fillmore, and Lion Anthony Nieto.
Things aren't always like Baby Bear's porridge--just right, but not to worry because we can usually come up with a contingency plan. Such was the case for Tuesday's Lions Club meeting when one of our planned program presenters notified our president that he was on his way out of town for a family emergency. Then the light bulb came on in our president's head because he had just sponsored our newest member of exactly one week, and our program was scheduled to include two new member's 15 minutes-of-fame speeches. The redeeming grace of the situation is that this new member of one week is Rev. Dale Fillmore, pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene, and everyone knows that pastors can fit in for every emergency, and can speak at the "drop of a hat". So, the show must go on, and it did, and without a hitch.
First up, though, was Anthony Nieto, General Manager of the Okmulgee Times, an Okmulgee County native and a Morris High School graduate, who had taken classes at Green Country Technology Center while in high school. One of his instructors, Julie Roberds, had sort of steered him in the area of Visual Communications, and he wanted to pursue this area with the goal of working for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. He enrolled at OSUIT, and then completed his degree. While in college, he had worked for and interned for an ad agency, but when he was ready for a full-time position, the agency closed. So, here he was, a college graduate without a job, so after about a year of this, he returned to the Morris area to move back in with his parents. Nieto expressed his humiliation of this situation.
One of his Morris High School teachers, the late Robbie McMurtry, had become a mentor to Nieto with his artistic ability, which proved to be an invaluable resource later. He explained that Lion Heather Sumner was working for Work Force at that time, where he had gone to apply for employment, and she just happened to know of a position available at the Okmulgee Times. Nieto interviewed for the job and went to work the next day.
During the past eight years, he has worked in nearly every facet of the newspaper industry before being appointed to his present position, succeeding the legendary late Herman Brown. Nieto is excited to be a part of Okmulgee Rising, a Chamber of Commerce Board Member, a supporter of Mainstreet, an Okmulgee resident, and now a Lions Club active member. He is a father to two daughters, ages nine and 13. We are excited to have Anthony Nieto as a new member of our club, but I just wish some of us older Lions had the excitement and energy to keep up with him.
Rev. Dale Fillmore is our newest Lion member of one week, born in California to his Oklahoma parents, a four month resident of Okmulgee, and pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene, who says he feels "at home" in Okmulgee and already feels like he is an "Okie", reversing the trend in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath". But to explain how he got to Okmulgee from California, and many points in between, would take us on a circumventurous (made-up word not in the dictionary) journey. But the pastor related that an incident in the third grade almost precluded him being able to speak in front of groups, which is not consistent with being a pastor.
Pastor Fillmore graduated high school in Norwalk, California where he was on the swim team, played water polo, and played clarinet in the band. He described himself as adventurous, and says his wife believes if he had been born in the 1800's, he would have been a Mountain Man. But, instead, he felt God's call to the ministry, which he rebelled against for several years before giving in. So, off to Seminary in Indiana (Church of God, Anderson, Indiana), then back to California before accepting his first church in Montana. Other churches he pastored were in Washington, Alaska, Kansas, Indiana, Colorado, and finally, a call to the Mission Field in Brazil. The last eight years in Brazil, he was the Academic Director for a church school because he had more education than any of the other pastors.
Returning to the States, he decided that he wasn't ready to retire, so he and his wife began looking for churches needing a pastor. His parents had moved back to Sand Springs so he was familiar with Oklahoma because of the many trips to visit. Thus, their circle was completed about four months ago when they came to Okmulgee. So, now that we have two pastors numbered among our membership (Lion Rev. Chris Tiews, Trinity Lutheran Church, and now Lion Rev. Dale Fillmore, First Church of the Nazarene), some of us Lions are going to have to "shape up or ship out" (old Navy term). But living life and loving life is what it's all about, isn't it? And lending a helping hand along the way, because we might only pass that way once. That's why we are pleased and honored to welcome these two new members into the fold. And why don't you consider passing our way at least once, and help lighten the load? "WE SERVE".
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig)
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
About 8 p.m. on Sunday, September 3, the Okmulgee Police Department responded to a two-boat collision on Okmulgee Lake. Once on the scene, officers provided aid for injured persons.
The smaller boat was moving very slowly or was stationary, and included young children as passengers. The larger boat, driven by Jared Trotter, 34, was piloted at a high rate of speed, and struck the small boat.
One occupant of the small boat, a 9-year-old boy, was pronounced dead at the scene, while another boy was LifeFlighted to a Tulsa hospital, where his condition is currently unknown. Because they are juveniles, their names will not be released by the OPD.
Witnesses saw another male in the large boat with Trotter, who left the scene and has not currently been identified.
Trotter was booked in the Okmulgee County Jail on complaints of Operating a Boat Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Manslaughter.
Anyone who witnessed the collision, or who knows the identity of the passenger in Trotter’s boat, is asked the contact the OPD at 918-756-3511.
Right - Jared Trotter (Photo provided)
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
On Monday morning, Labor Day, September 4, the Okmulgee Police Department responded to the emergency room of Okmulgee Hospital to investigate a report of an assault. Hospital personnel determined that the victim, a 14-year-old female, had been shot once in the face.
According to the victim, a man she knows only as “Mizellaneouz” came to her residence, and assaulted her while there. The juvenile has non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to survive.
The OPD asks anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of Mizellaneouz to call at 918-756-3511.
Jubilee Christian Center will be hosting the Women of Legacy Conference with the theme, "Passing the Power of Prayer to the Next Generation" on Friday, September 8th with services at 6:30 PM and Saturday, September 9th with services at 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM. The conference is free and includes a luncheon at noon on Saturday. Jubilee Christian is located 1/2 mile north of the Muscogee Nation Physical & Rehab Center on Hwy 75.
For more information call the church at 918-756-5338 or visit okmulgeechurch.com
Written By: Tina Pierce LMFT
I often tell my daughter how beautiful I think she is. One day she returned the compliment in a unique way. She asked me if I thought one of her daddy’s friends was handsome. I said he was, but not as handsome as daddy. She beamed with pride saying yes daddy is very handsome. So I added that her little brothers are lucky to look like daddy. Then this vibrant little girl stopped me in my tracks by saying no, baby looks like mommy and mommy is beautiful.
I know it is hard to feel good about yourself in a culture that increasingly idealizes sex and perfectly shaped bodies. However, it is important to remember all of that is learned behavior. Think back to when you were a child around age five or six. If you are like most children, you thought your mother was the most beautiful woman in the world. And you were right, she is beautiful. She cared for you, encouraged you, loved you, and guided you as best she could. Then the world snuck in and tried to taint your view of beauty. But still she is beautiful continuing to care and nurture well into your later years.
Even most teens, would still say that the most beautiful woman they know is their mom. One teen told me the most beautiful part of her mom were the stretch marks on her stomach because every mark represented her and her sisters and her mom’s willingness to have them. Another teen told me that her mom is the most beautiful person she knows because she is so strong and has worked so hard to raise her and her siblings. So moms, next time you look at yourself in the mirror see the woman you truly are. Strong, beautiful, and confident.
Tina Pierce LMFT
You Place, LLC
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, Autism Spectrum, and more. The You Place also offers consultation and training services and LPC supervision. For more information call today. 918-777-6045.
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
With the 2017-18 school year beginning this week for some Okmulgee County schools, Okmulgee Public Schools will be hosting an Open House event on Tuesday, August 8, so that parents and students can meet and interact with their teachers before classes begin.
Okmulgee Primary will holding their Open House from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Dunbar Intermediate from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Okmulgee High from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Classes begin Thursday, August 10, and the school day will run from 7:55 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Instead of a 180-Day instructional schedule, OPS will operate on a 1080-Hour instructional schedule this school year.
For more information, call OPS at 918-756-2000.
Pictured is Program Chairman Lion R.C. Morrow, Coach David Dunlap, and President Lion Duaine Janzen.
Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was another amazing story of "local boy does well" with championship results, presented by David Dunlap, a 1997 Okmulgee High School graduate and Head Coach of the 2017 Okmulgee Bulldogs Baseball Academic State Champions. What a marvelous turn-around from four years ago when Coach Dunlap took over the baseball team, and recounted that two of his freshman players had grade point averages of 1.36 and 1.85, and 18 of his 22 players were on the "ineligible list".
When Coach Dunlap was introduced by Program Chairman Lion R.C. Morrow, a former Okmulgee Bulldog baseball and football player (All-State and Northeastern Oklahoma State University All-American), from the back of the room came a "holler" of "Super Dave", from none other than Lion Craig Brydges, a "forever" legendary teacher at Okmulgee High School. Coach Dunlap explained that "Super Dave" was his nickname during his school years and no wonder, he received five letters in sports in one year, was an All-State tuba player, and valedictorian. It doesn't get much better than that, does it?
Coach Dunlap explained that three of his teachers had a great influence in his decision to become a teacher, even though the pay wasn't that good, and they were Lion Craig Brydges, Lion Beth Flud (Oklahoma History and Government), and Randy Hutchinson. He requested to teach Oklahoma History because this class is required of all students, so he became the only teacher to teach every student in school, in addition to teaching Government and American History classes.
He further related that 46 of his class of 137 students received college degrees, with quite a few receiving advanced degrees. With this background, one can see why the baseball team won runner-up academic champions last year with a GPA of 3.65, winning this year with a GPA of 3.78, and two having a 4.0 GPA, and the first year that more than one player attended college (five).
Coach Dunlap began his college career at St. Louis University (Missouri) on a baseball scholarship for one year, transferring "back home" to Western Oklahoma Junior College (Altus, Oklahoma), then attending and graduating from Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Weatherford). He had played pitcher, catcher, and first base, and was drafted by the Kansas City Royals professional baseball team, but didn't sign, opting to sign with Atlanta. He spent 6 1/2 years in the minor leagues, travelling mostly all over the South, before giving it up and coming home. What a good decision for our school system because Coach Dunlap also coaches girls fast-pitch softball, and he thinks they have a good chance to be Academic State Champions this year. He related what a thrill it was for him and some of the baseball players to be guests of, and introduced by, Rep. Scott Fetgatter to the Legislators at the State Capitol.
Coach Dunlap related that his grandfather, Fred Dunlap, moved to Morris in 1976 and was Morris High School Principal from 1977-88, but Dunlap's father wanted his son to attend Okmulgee Schools to play baseball for former Coach Dan Morgan. And Coach Dunlap says he learned so much from Coach Morgan in high school that he was able to help the assistant coaches in the minor leagues with things he had learned in high school. What a wonderful compliment paid to one of our long-time former coach. And what a wonderful compliment to our community when we, as a Lions Club, say "WE SERVE".
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig).
Pictured left to right: President Lion Duaine Janzen, Program Chairman Lion R.C. Morrow, Colleen Fowler, and Bob Fowler.
Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was an update of one of our state projects, The Meadows of Hope in Perkins, which was formerly called the Oklahoma Lions Boys' Ranch. When it initially began in 1952, it was called the IOA Ranch, which represented Individual Opportunity for Achievement. Most of the boys were wards of the court or had been in trouble, and the Ranch was an attempt to provide correction and direction in a young life. Over the years, and with societal and government changes, it now is basically foster home care, and for both males and females. Even though it is funded primarily by the Oklahoma Lions Clubs, it has oversight, direction, and some funding from the Department of Human Services.
Colleen and Bob Fowler (originally from Dewar) presented the program and had been house parents to four to six teenage boys for eight years, 2007-2015. The new foster care program started out in 2015 with the Fowlers and three kids in one house, so they have been foster parents for the past two years. They are on their 93rd teenage boy. Children in Oklahoma DHS custody are separated from their siblings 50% of the time. We have built 5 homes (not houses) on our campus in order to keep brothers and sisters together. Foster parents who are willing to serve sibling sets of 4 to 6 children live in these homes free of charge. We are building a community of hope!
DHS does provide an extra stipend of $250 per child per month but does not provide food, clothing, or any other necessities. The Meadows of Hope program has had so much success that foster families with other agencies have been contacting us a lot for information and advice.
The late Paul Milburn, a Lion from Shawnee, left an endowment of up to $250,000 per year for 30 years to his three favorite charities, with The Meadows of Hope first. If the Lions of Oklahoma can raise/donate the full $250,000, we get the full $250,000 matching funds. If we don't raise the full amount, we are matched only the amount we raise, and the two other charities can receive the balance of the un-matched funds So, if you have some funds not needed, what better way to enhance society in knowing that you have helped build a stronger world. It has been said that no man stands taller than those who stoop down to help a child (or someone in need). I guess Jesus said it best when He said (paraphrase) if you have done it to the least of these, then you have done it to Me. How could one not be blessed when you consider that ALL kids are our future? The success stories that we hear from the Oklahoma Lions Meadows of Hope project make us all proud to be a Lion. "WE SERVE".
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig, with excerpts from the Oklahoma Lions Meadows of Hope pamphlet).
The Okmulgee County Health Department is now offering extended hours on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Patients must be checked in by 6 p.m.
Services offered include children’s immunizations, checks on blood pressure and head lice, adult vaccinations, blood lead screenings, tuberculosis follow-up and treatment, emergency contraceptives and pregnancy tests. For current clients, they also offer refills of birth control pills and Depo-Provera.
The OCHD is located at 1304 Miller Drive in Okmulgee, and their number is 918-756-1883.