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Chocolate bars, chocolate fruit, chocolate chips, hot chocolate, frozen hot chocolate, chocolate and peanut butter, what ever your preference, today is the day for you chocolate lovers. July 7 is National Chocolate Day!

Now don't feel guilty for indulging today chocoholics, studies have been shown that its benefits to your health outweigh any of bad publicity chocolate has gotten over the years, including its effects of aging, oxidized stress blood pressure regulation, its amazing antioxidant potential, the ability to lower cholesterol, prevention of cognitive decline, and the ability to lower the risk of cardiovascular issues.

The history of chocolate is a rich one, including its use as a medicine, evidence that it was enjoyed in drink form dating back to 1900 B.C., and as an aphrodisiac. By the mid 1800’s sugars and salts were added to cut the bitterness, forming the chocolate that we know and love today.

So whatever your flavor, white, milk, dark, bittersweet, semi sweet, partake and enjoy. Be sure and let chocolate know, that today, it is celebrated!

CNational Chocolate Day

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Three Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) set up to help people who were affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4, are scheduled to close soon in Cleveland, Grady and Pittsburg counties.

The DRC in Grady County will close on Friday, July 10 at 7 p.m.

Bridge Creek Elementary

2209 East Sooner Road

Blanchard, OK 73010

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The DRC in Cleveland County will close on Saturday, July 11 at 7 p.m.

Noble High School

4601 E. Etowah Road

Noble, OK 73068

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The DRC in Pittsburg County will close on Saturday, July 11 at 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh County Firefighters Association and Training Center

1505 Wade Watts Avenue

McAlester, OK 74501

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To find an open DRC near you visit http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm.

Survivors can apply for state and federal assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or web-enabled device at m.fema.gov. People may also call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 800-621-3362 to register. Visiting a DRC is not required to qualify for assistance.

For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4222 or visit OEM at www.oem.ok.gov.

IMAGE Holiday travel genericWhile rain is in the forecast for our area this Fourth of July weekend, many will be traveling elsewhere to be with friends or family during the holiday. Statistically, this holiday weekend is the most dangerous holiday for travelers. The department of transportation offers a few tips for those who will be on the road this weekend to keep themselves and others safe.

Do not drive while under the influence. Over 400 plus fatalities occur this weekend annually due to high blood alcohol content. Get a designated driver, find a friend or family member to take the wheel and allow safe celebrations to continue.

Next, make sure to get plenty of sleep. Pull over if you must, it’s perfectly legal, and can save not only your life but your friends, family, and other drivers on the road. Recognizing impaired drivers will also help to keep you and the other drivers on the roadway out of harm. Watch for swerving, erratic lane changes, and report any dangers to local police. BUCKLE UP! Also keep your travel plans flexible. Give your self extra hours, maybe even an extra day, and take your time to travel safely instead of rushing to reach your destination and putting yourself and others in danger.

So whether you're staying put and enjoying local activities and events or traveling to other parts of our beautiful country, have a happy and safe Independence Day!

Shell Shakers2

This little girl shows off her traditional tortoise shell shakers during the Mvskoke Nation Festival stomp dance held at the Claude Cox Omniplex and she certainly showed how to use them as she danced along side her mother who is showing her set of tin can shakers in the photo, another popular type that is also used.
Photos by Valerie Rice - ONN

Shell Shakers1

The dress of most Stomp Dancers is casual but nice. Most Stomp Dancers keep special attire for ceremonial occasions, but the physical nature of the dance and summery, outdoor conditions of the dance make comfort more important than flair. Women wear skirts and blouses that usually incorporate traditional patterns. The men wear blue jeans or slacks and hats, which are usually cowboy or ballcap styles, usually with a single eagle, hawk or crane feather in the hatband. The ribbon shirt is the standard ceremonial attire for both men and women, which consists of a loose-fitted tunic decorated with ribbons. Cherokee women typically wear full cotton skirts featuring ribbonwork in a rattlesnake pattern.

The women wear tortoise shell shakers, or shackles, on both legs (typically six to 12 on each leg). The shakers are hollowed out tortoise shells which have holes drilled in them and are filled with certain river rocks that will make them rattle. The traditional Creek and Seminole shell shakers are made of terrapin or box turtle shells. Lydia Sam, a Natchez-Cherokee traditionalist, was the first to dance with tin, condensed milk can leg shackles in the 1920s. Some ground leaders insist on the use of the terrapin by head lady shell shakers. This tradition continues today and most women start out with a set of "cans" before moving up to having their own set of shells. Women stomp dancers are called "Shell Shakers" or "Turtles."

Tulsa, OK—The “Spirit of ‘76” has taken many forms, including a painting (also known as “Yankee Doodle” circa 1875 by Archibald MacNeal Willard), a n album (released in 1975 by Spirit for Mercury Records), comic book characters (published by both Harvey and Marvel Comics), a game (the first microprocessor-based pinball game), two films (a 1917 silent short and a 1990 feature-length comedy), and the moniker for Richard Nixon’s Air Force One planes. However, usually the phrase refers to patriotic sentiment. This sentiment was manifested in the Declaration of Independence which focused on individual liberty and, when adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, began the American Revolution.

Saied Music Company and the Jimmie & Helen Saied Foundation present “The Spirit of ‘76” as performed by Starlight Concert Band. The free concert will begin at 8pm on Tuesday, June 23 at Guthrie Green. “This concert will feature many patriotic favorites, including ‘America the Beautiful’, a salute to our Armed Forces, and two Sousa marches,” said Artistic Director L. Dale Barnett. “It’s a great way to kick off Independence Day celebrations.” The University of Tulsa Festival Band, comprise of local high school students, will provide the evening’s opening entertainment.

Other 2015 concert dates are June 30 “Things That Go Bump in the Night”; July 7 “Way Out West”; July 14 “Night at the Movies”; and July 21 “Jazz Standards.” Starlight’s concerts are ideal entertainment for the entire family. Guthrie Green offers free parking and is accessible to those with disabilities. Concessions will be available. Guarantors for the 2015 season are the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Treeman Family Foundation in honor of Jeff Treeman. Other major sponsors include: Cedar Creek, Circle Cinema, Creative State, First Fidelity Bank, Guthrie Green, Liberty Press, National Endowment for the Arts, Public Radio Tulsa: KWGS/KWTU, Saied Music Company and The Jimmie & Helen Saied Foundation, Universal Combustion Corporation, The Charles & Marion Weber Foundation in memory of Dr. Charles E. and Marion L. Weber, and Will Rogers Rotary Club.

For more information, go online to www.starlightbands.net or call 918.798.STAR (7827). The public can also follow Starlight Bands on Facebook and Twitter.

black rock church solar panels

SunLight General Capital Brings Solar Power to Community Church

FAIRFIELD, CONNECTICUT, UNITED STATES, June 19, 2015 - Construction is now complete on a 132kW solar array on the rooftop of the Black Rock Congregational Church of Fairfield, Connecticut. The church plans to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.

SHR Energy Management, of Weston, Connecticut, developed the project from inception. The solar project was financed and built by SunLight General Capital of New York City. The solar array was built at no cost to the Black Rock Congregational Church. The Church will purchase all of the electricity generated by the system under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The church, which was founded in 1849, finished construction of a new building, its third home, in 2014. “We were delighted with the opportunity to sponsor renewable energy on our new building. It is very much in keeping with the spirit of the church, which seeks to be a good steward of the environment,” said Ken Brix, Executive Director.

Stacey Hughes, of SunLight General Capital, commented, “We were very pleased to invest in this project. Our investors want to put their money to work not just for financial return, but also in a socially responsible way. Clean solar energy installed for a faith-based community organization is a double win.”

The carbon offset of this rooftop solar system is comparable 89 acres of forest, according to the EPA. Over the life of the PPA, the clean electricity produced is enough to power 224 homes for a year, or to take 342 cars off the road for a year.

“When we heard that Black Rock Congregational Church was planning a new building, we approached the staff right away,” Noel Lafayette of SHR said. “We knew that the church has a commitment to sustainability and that solar power would be a welcome idea.”

SunLight General Capital raises and manages funds that invest in solar projects, typically on small-to-midsize commercial or municipal buildings. http://www.sunlightgeneral.com/

SHR Energy Management is a developer of solar projects, with a primary focus on the Northeast. http://shrenergy.com/

Black Rock Congregational Church is a non-denominational, evangelical Christian church with a long-standing presence in the community. http://brcc.org/

FOR MORE INFORMATION please contact: Stacey Hughes, 212-286-1801 x11, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saturday, 20 June 2015 22:59

Stephen Victor Thrailkill obituary

Stephen Victor Thrailkill was born on June 9, 1981 in Okmulgee to Allen and Nancy Thrailkill. He passed away on June 13, 2015. Stephen was very social. He loved visiting with friends and riding his motorcycle. He was a movie buff, and enjoyed listening to music, but most of all, he treasured spending time with his family- especially his kids.
Stephen is preceded in death by his father, Allen Thrailkill, sister, Stephanie Thrailkill, grandmother, Anna Louise Thrailkill, and grandfather, J. Snowder. Survivors include his mother, Nancy Thrailkill, wife, Olivia Ellis, daughter, Gracie Thrailkill, sons, Kole Allen Thrailkill and Dylan White, uncle, Terry Thrailkill, and cousins, James Thrailkill and Makayla Thrailkill, along with a host of other family members and countless friends.
A memorial service for Stephen will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at Hoffman First Baptist Church. Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to McClendon-Winters Funeral Home of Okmulgee.

ENDUI Checkpoint Planned for Saturday June 20, 2015 at 1509 West Grant Avenue in Pauls Valley, Ok from 2200 hours until 0100 hours.

The ENDUI Prevention teams are continuing their proactive search for impaired drivers and will be conducting a DUI checkpoint Saturday June 20, 2015 at 1509 West Grant Avenue in Pauls Valley Ok. The checkpoint will coincide with regular patrols aimed at impaired drivers and several local and county law enforcement agencies will be taking part.

Impaired driving is one of Oklahoma’s deadliest crimes. In 2013, 189 people died on Oklahoma’s roadways in crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

The deadly risks and costly consequences of driving while impaired are far too serious. With increased enforcement efforts, well trained law enforcement officers will have zero tolerance for driving while intoxicated. The goal is to have a highly visible ENDUI program that will discourage people who have been drinking or using impairing substances from getting behind the wheel, and to address those who do make a poor decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Driving impaired or riding with someone impaired is not worth the risk. The consequences are serious. Not only are lives at stake, but also the trauma and financial costs incurred from a crash or arrest for driving while impaired can be significant. Violators face jail time, the loss or suspension of driver licenses, increased insurance rates, and dozens of other fees.

The ENDUI Prevention teams want all of the citizens of the State of Oklahoma to have a safe and enjoyable spring and summer. If you are planning to drink, designate a non-drinking driver, call a taxi, use mass transit, or call a friend or family member. Remember to read medication warning labels and never drive after taking a medication or substance that can cause impairment. Together, we can ENDUI.

OKLAHOMA CITY – If you live in one of 20 Oklahoma counties designated for Individual Assistance as a result of the severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds and tornadoes occurring May 5 through June 4, be sure to complete your U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application. Discarding it could be like throwing away money.

Homeowners and renters in Atoka, Beckham, Bryan, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Grady, Johnston, Kiowa, Le Flore, Marshall, McClain, McCurtain, McIntosh, Oklahoma, Pittsburg, Pottawatomie, Seminole and Wagoner counties who register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may also receive an application for a low-interest loan from the SBA.

“Filling out the SBA loan application is a very necessary and important step for you to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance,” said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management Deputy Director and State Coordinating Officer Michelann Ooten. “Even if you have no intention of borrowing money, the information provided on the application is critical should other financial needs arise.”

Applicants should know:

Loans of up $200,000, with interest rates as low as 1.688 percent, are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed primary residences. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations
Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair/replace personal property;
Businesses may borrow up to $2 million at interest rates as low as 4.0 percent for any combination of property damage or economic injury;
Businesses that suffered economic distress in counties sharing a county line with those included a federal disaster declaration might be eligible for SBA loans; and
The term of a low-interest disaster loan can be up to 30 years.
If the SBA is not able to approve a loan, you may be referred back to FEMA for some other type of disaster aid which could include assistance to repair or replace destroyed personal items such as clothing and vehicles.

Survivors who have questions about the application should call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or are hard of hearing can call TTY 1-800-877-8339. Survivors can also apply online using the electronic loan applications. That website is https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

SBA specialists also are working at the Disaster Recovery Centers that are operating throughout the affected areas. They can answer questions regarding the disaster-loan process, help residents fill out loan applications and accept the completed forms.

Oklahoma homeowners and renters can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by telephone via FEMA’s toll-free numbers: 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362. Disaster recovery specialists are available by phone daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4222 or visit OEM at www.oem.ok.gov.

Meetings have been set across the state for OPEA members to gather to discuss platform planks to be presented at this year’s annual convention. These local meetings are open to all OPEA members and are where OPEA’s legislative agenda begins. Any OPEA member, retired or active, may attend and participate in these meetings.

“If members want to have a voice in OPEA’s future, they need to attend one of these meetings and work with fellow members to decide OPEA’s direction,” said Candice Scarpitti, OPEA membership director. “Our program needs to come up from the grass-roots, local level and be finalized at the convention.”

Platform planks that are approved at the local meetings are then voted on by the membership at the annual convention in August. Those that are approved there are worked on during the year by OPEA staff and membership. If a member wants OPEA to take a certain position on an issue that is important to them they need to discuss it with other members at their workplace, take it to their local platform meeting and propose it.

A platform plank form and a regional map is contained in this edition of The Advocate. We encourage members to complete them at home and then bring their plank to their local meeting. If they can’t attend the local meeting, give your completed form to your Regional Director or another member who will attend. Platform planks sent to the OPEA office will not be considered. They must be heard at the local meeting.

If you have any questions, please contact Candice Scarpitti or call her at (405) 524-6764

The upcoming meeting locations and times are as follows. Additional meetings may be scheduled for future dates:

Region 2:
June 15th, 5:30 p.m., Lawton Public Library
110 SW 4th St., Lawton, Okla

Region 3:
June 17th, 10:00 a.m., Enid Public Library,
Red Earth Room
120 W. Maine Ave., Enid, Okla

June 29th, 6:00 p.m., Pizza Hut
2301 N 14th St., Ponca City, Okla

Region 4:
June 25th, 5:30 p.m. Ardmore Public Library – Smith Room
320 E St., NW, Ardmore, Okla

June 30th, 1 p.m. Salita’s Mexican Restaurant
1102 W. Main, Durant, Okla

Region 6:
June 15th, 3:00 p.m. Norman Central Library, Room C
225 N Webster Ave., Norman, Okla

June 18th, 5:30 p.m. South Oklahoma City Library
2201 SW 134th St., Oklahoma City, Okla

June 26th, 6:00 p.m. Pizza Hut
413 S. Green Ave., Purcell, Okla

Region 7:
June 9th, 5:30 p.m. First National Bank – Motor Bank Community Room
235 N. Wilson, Vinita, Okla

June 23rd, 11:00 a.m. Bricktown Brewery
11909 E 96th St., Owasso, Okla

Region 8:
June 18th, 5:30 p.m. Ollies Restaurant
4070 Southwest Blvd., Tulsa, Okla

Region 9:
June 11th, 5:30 p.m. JL’s Barbeque
5501 S. Mill St. Pryor, Okla

Region 10:
June 23rd, 3:00 p.m., Disabled American Veterans
4815 W. Okmulgee , Muskogee, Okla

June 25th, 5:30 p.m. Okmulgee Public Library
218 S. Okmulgee, Okmulgee, Okla

Region 11:
June 30th, 5:30 p.m. Roseanna’s Italian Food
200 E. Washington, Krebs, Okla

June 15th, 5:30 p.m.
Papa Poblanos
502 Lincoln Rd, Idabel, OK

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