Okmulgee in the News
(Photo by Paul Orosco Chief Photographer)
Gas prices have led Willie "D" to get a little creative in this economy. Willie who lives off of 13th street in Okmulgee. He has a one of a kind bike that he modified himself. He has altered his bike to best fit his needs with a complete AM/FM radio and a tape deck also.
He uses his bike for his personal transportation because gas is too high for his car. You will see "Willie D" riding his custom bike around Okmulgee from time to time.
Cedar Lake in southeast Oklahoma has produced its second state record largemouth bass in less than one year. The new record was caught Wednesday, March 13 by Dale Miller of Panama, Okla., and weighed 14 lbs. 13.7 oz.
Miller caught the bass at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday on a Hawg Hunter Bait Co. rod set up with an Abu Garcia Revo reel and an Alabama rig. The fish measured 26 1/8 inches in length and 23 inches in girth.
"Last month, I bought a fishing license, and this month I have the state record for the largemouth bass," Miller said.
Miller said when the fish first hit his line and he set the hook, he called for help from his brother, Vonnie, who was fishing with him. He said Vonnie questioned whether there was really a fish on the line.
Miller said they "both about passed out" when they saw the size of the fish. Using their own scales, they weighed the fish, then stopped fishing and began the process of contacting the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to determine if it would officially certify as a state record.
Miller's fish breaks a state record set less than a year ago on Cedar Lake when Benny Williams, Jr. of Poteau reeled in a 14 lbs. 12.3 oz. largemouth on March 23.
"Catching the state record largemouth bass in Oklahoma is a huge deal, but it's even more significant that the state record largemouth has now been caught two springs in a row in less than 12 months' time from the same lake," said Barry Bolton, chief of fisheries for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "It speaks to the quality of fishing we have in our state. It speaks to our Florida largemouth bass stocking program. And it speaks to our state's anglers."
In addition to being the second state record from Cedar Lake, the fish adds to a tremendous run of recent Oklahoma bass fishing headlines, including the hosting of the Bassmaster Classic at Grand Lake last month and two 40-plus-pound tournament stringers reeled in during successive recent weekends at Arbuckle Lake.
The last two state record largemouth bass as well as several from the state's Top 20 Largemouth Bass List have been caught in the southern and southeast regions of the state. Fish are cold-blooded, so their metabolisms work faster in warmer conditions and they grow more rapidly. Lakes in the southeast region of the state tend to warm up earlier and cool off later in the year than in other regions, which affords these fish a longer growing season.
According to Gene Gilliland, assistant chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Department, Cedar Lake has been known to produce big largemouth bass for anglers in recent years - not only because of its southeastern location, but also because it has a history of receiving Florida strain largemouth bass through the state's stocking program.
"They grow pretty fast down in that part of the state due to the long growing season," Gilliland said. "Cedar Lake has produced several double-digit fish in the last five years. The U.S. Forest Service played a role in the success story when they renovated Cedar Lake several years ago. This renovation created a "new lake environment" that along with the Florida-strain genetics, long growing season, good habitat and abundant forage has led Cedar Lake to become an outstanding bass fishery."
Anglers who believe they may have hooked a record fish must weigh the fish on an Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture certified scale, and a Wildlife Department employee must verify the weight. For a complete list of record fish and the procedures for certifying a state record, consult the current "Oklahoma Fishing Guide" or log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
by wearing Bulldog Team Jerseys. Thank you, Okmulgee Bulldogs!
Today, the Leadership Team from OMH had its first Leadership Development Institute. OMH Senior Leadership Team is dedicated to the success of our valued care system.
To improve service and care at OMH, Mr. Miller, CEO has instituted a quarterly education module for employees who exhibit leadership potential. The theme today was "Remember the Titans". Key Leaders at OMH presented to the rest of Team "What it means to be a leader", "Leading with attitude", "Connecting the dots for your team" and "Champions for your community".
These topics, among others were utilized to inspire workers to do their best, to truly care in their daily duties and to promote efficiency while growing as an organization and a community.
Employees said they had a wonderful time sharing the knowledge of experts in their fields and promoting the growth and leadership skills of those who have the potential to have a positive influence in the organization, the community and in the healthcare of our nation.
(Photos by Paul Orosco - Chief Photographer)
Circle K is installing new Diesel Fuel vent lines at their locations at 8th and Wood Drive. The construction crew finished their other location at 20th and Wood last week according to Circle K Supervisor Supr Larry Bradum.
Free information card being offered by the Wildlife Department to bass tournament groups. The heavy-duty plastic cards are two-sided with information on preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species and keeping bass alive during tournaments, so they can be released and caught another day.
Conserving fish and fish habitat and providing fishing opportunities to anglers are top priorities for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Fisheries Division, and partnering with anglers goes a long way in making these things happen.
Bass tournament anglers are an important part of the equation, since they typically travel to several lakes and land large numbers of fish during the competitions. Right now, the Wildlife Department is offering tournament participants a free resource to keep onboard their boats as a reminder of how they can protect fish and their habitat.
The Oklahoma B.A.S.S. Nation received funding from the Boat U.S. Foundation and partnered with the Wildlife Department to print and distribute a handy information card for anglers. The two-sided, 4"x6" Tournament Angler Card is made of heavy-duty plastic and can withstand exposure to the elements.
"One side displays quick tips about aquatic nuisance species and how anglers can help prevent their spread," said Curtis Tackett, aquatic nuisance species biologist for the Wildlife Department.
Aquatic nuisance species are fish, mussels, plants and algae that are not native and have the potential to cause severe economic or environmental damage. Boaters are encouraged to "check, clean, drain and dry" to help stop the spread of nuisance species.
"The other side depicts a 'Top 10 Tips for Fish Care' and how to keep bass alive for release following tournament," Tackett said. "Each card also comes with a lanyard."
Keeping fish alive is a high priority for tournament anglers, as most tournaments require that fish be alive at the weigh-in and that they be released back into the water.
Wildlife Department fisheries personnel recently helped with the live release of bass back into Grand Lake after the Bassmaster Classic weigh-ins in February. All 548 fish that were caught and weighed during the tournament were safely transported to the weigh-ins by the pro anglers and then back to Grand Lake by ODWC personnel alive and in good condition.
Tournament groups and competitive anglers interested in helping protect fish and their habitat can obtain these cards to hand out at tournaments and meetings.
"Our goal is to distribute these cards to all bass tournament anglers throughout Oklahoma free of charge," Tackett said. "If you are a member of a bass fishing club or a tournament director, please help us distribute these cards."
For more information or to obtain cards for a bass fishing group, contact Tackett at (405) 521-4623.
The Oklahoma Association of Conservation District Employees recognized employee Bobby Fain last Monday by awarding him with the Employee of the Year award for 2012. The recipient of this award is chosen from nominations submitted from the 88 conservation districts across the State of Oklahoma and only one recipient is chosen per year. The nominee has to have exhibited exceptional ability, proficiency, and quality of work.
Fain's nomination stated that has far exceeded the standards set by his job description. He has represented the Okmulgee County Conservation District and the conservation movement well. He develops a good rapport with clients, co-workers and conservation partners. In addition to his duties of providing conservation related equipment services, he reaches out to the area FFA and 4-H groups.
(Photo by Paul Orosco Chief Photographer)
In 2012 Fain developed a scholarship opportunity for the county clubs through recycling the large amount of waste generated at the Okmulgee County Fair. He developed the program, recruited the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality as the program sponsor, and provided support for the venture.
The recycling scholarship program generated a fun spirit of competition between the different clubs while promoting teamwork within the clubs. The recycling efforts at the fair grounds was hugely successful in that the grounds were left clean after the fair was over plus the refuse was sorted and taken to recycling rather than being sent to the landfill.
Fain was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Oklahoma City, but was presented his award plaque at Friday's legislative forum in Okmulgee by Dwane Thompson, Chairman of the Okmulgee County Conservation District. "Bobby is always looking for ways to improve our services to Okmulgee County" Thompson stated, "He is innovative and proactive."
Fenton Rood and Marvin Boatright represented the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality at the presentation. Rood commended Fain for his progressiveness. He said that Okmulgee County Conservation District is the most innovative conservation district in the state. ODEQ and OCCD have partnered for the last seventeen years to clean up abandoned mine land and abandoned oil fields in this area.
(Photo by Paul Orosco Chief Photographer)
Immediately after the presentation of the Employee of the Year award, Senator Roger Ballenger, Representative Jerry Shoemake and Representative Steve Kouplen presented Fain with a Citation from the State of Oklahoma. Shoemake expressed his gratitude to Fain for his years of tireless work maintaining the grounds and assisting however he was needed at the Okmulgee County Fair. Fain has utilized ODEQ and OCCD equipment to perform the maintenance on the grounds and the livestock barns.
The Patriot Guard was in Okmulgee to honor a military man.
Donald William Slape, a former resident of Okmulgee, passed away Thursday, February 28. He served in the United States Army and was a devoted member to the Creoks Mental Health Services in Okmulgee.
Funeral services were held in Okmulgee on March 6..
Military Honors were conducted by the United States Army and the Patriot Guard assisted with pallbearers and procession.
(Paul Orosco - Videographer)
Okmulgee YMCA is raising funds for their facility in their 2013 campaign.
Each week volunteers for the Okmulgee YMCA meet to turn in their campaign donations they have solicited and received from businesses and individuals from Okmulgee County.
The campaign is going well, but more funds will be needed to support the YMCA's efforts. A lot if new equipment was purchased from last years contributions. There are high hopes to improve the center with this years funding in order to keep Okmulgee with the latest family recreation facility.
In the following film clip is Angel Smith from the YMCA and Rundy Patterson. Chair Persons for the 2013 campaign.
City Manager Bob Baxter covered a major problem that lays within the city water distribution system at the last Okmulgee City Council meeting. (Pictured) Is a piece of rusted pipe cut from part of the Okmulgee water system that Baxter brought for example.
This has been the root of the brown water problem that Okmulgee has been dealing with for some time. The pipes have been in service since the 1920’s and are a common problem that most cities, if not all cities face.
The new federal stimulus law provides $6 billion for water projects, with $2 billion of that directed to drinking water systems. But that money is only, well, a drop in the bucket: a report released last month by the E.P.A. estimated that the nation’s drinking water systems require an investment of $334.8 billion over the next two decades, with most of the money needed to improve transmission and distribution systems. The dangers of the nation’s aging plumbing are everywhere.
The fix will not be cheap, quick or easy. Okmulgee has around 153 miles of pipe in the city for water service. The problem has literally been underlying for many years and the City is now delving into a solution as they address the issue.
The oldest cast-iron pipes, dating to the late 1800s, have an average useful life of about 120 years. For cast- iron pipes installed in the 1920s, that drops to about 100 years. And pipes put in after World War II has an average life of only around 75 years. The consequence is that all three vintages of pipe need replacement in a short period of time when looking at the task of what it takes to replace them.
Approximately 60 halves of beef that were born and raised in Okmulgee County will be sold at the Beef Carcass sale at the Okmulgee Fairgrounds Mar. 21 at 7 p.m. These calves have been fed specifically for this program by 4-H and FFA members in Okmulgee County.
For more information contact Doug Maxey at 918.756.1958