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A look back at the second half of 2020, top stories that made the news – Cherokee Messenger & Republican


The second half of 2020 was busy with field namings, state honors, new construction and visitors. This week, we bring you just a few of the people and events that made headlines during the final six months of 2020.

It’s open for argument, but our vote for the top five stories between July. 1 and December 31 are as follows:

No. 1: Timberlake honors Severin by naming football stadium after him.

“I am very humbled and honored,” Timberlake Head Football Coach Brian Severin said in an interview after the naming of the stadium in his honor.

Prior to the football game on Oct. 9, Timberlake High School recognized the 1980 state runner-up, which included Severin as a player.

Following recognizing the 1980 team, the school surprised long-time head coach with a stadium dedication in his honor.

The field already bears the name of Ray Troutt Field, and it will remain, and now the stadium will henceforth be known as Brian Severin Stadium.

Following a recent bond issue, the school was able to upgrade the stands and build new bathroom and concession stands.

According to Timberlake Superintendent Kale Pierce, the naming of the stadium was something the school had discussed for about a year. Conversations became more serious and official as construction progressed.

In a statement read aloud the following was said, “The Timberlake community has always placed a high value on loyalty and dedication. No one exemplifies these two things more than Coach Severin.”

Severin, who is in his 27th season as head coach plus four years as an assistant, will coach his 304th career game. All of those games have come as a Timberlake Tiger.

During those more than 30 years he has had a record of 190-113 with six state semi-final appearances and two state championship appearances resulting in one runner-up and one state championship in 2009. He has appeared in the playoffs in 21 of his 26 seasons as a head coach.

Coach Severin’s first four years as an assistant came in the final years of Helena-Goltry and first year of Timberlake.

“More important than his on the field accomplishments, Coach Severin has had a lasting impact on generations of young men from the Timberlake community, as you can see tonight. For his loyalty, dedication, and impact on the community, the Timberlake administration and school board have decided unanimously that this beautiful new facility should bear Coach Severin’s name,” the statement said.

Pierce said, “Coach Severin has obviously led a successful program, but his loyalty and dedication to Timberlake, along with the huge impact he has had on so many young men that have come through his program are the primary reasons that he’s so deserving of this honor.”

The banner is currently temporary, but will be replaced with a permanent sign.  The school is hoping it can be installed before senior night this Friday, but it may be next week. It will be installed prior to upcoming home playoff games.

“I have been blessed above all measures by the athletes, students, school board, administration, parents and assistant coaches,” Severin said. “Because of them, this has been an easy job. It is great to coach at a school who loves football like Timberlake.”

Pierce added, “It was great to see so many former players and co-workers show up to support Coach Severin. There were so many more that wished they could make it, including several that were coaches or administrators that had to miss due to their games. It really shows the impact that Coach Severin has had on so many. It was also a little shocking to see that secrets can actually be kept in small town Oklahoma. Coach Severin may have been the only one that was unaware of what was going on.”

No. 2: Schaun Aker named Director of the Year for Oklahoma Main Street.

Cherokee’s Main Street Director was recently named the state Director of the Year for Oklahoma Main Street.

In the world of Main Street, people tend to lose their last names once becoming a Main Street Director. This was certainly true of “Watonga Bob.” Always an informal guy on a first-name-basis-as-soon-as-he-met-you, Watonga Bob took on the program director position later in life after a successful business career. He passed away suddenly in 2010 but not before leaving an indelible mark in the Oklahoma Main Street world. A common refrain heard about him was “when all others said it couldn’t be done, he went to work and got it done.”

In 2011, the Program Director of the Year award was renamed in his honor because of his work ethic, service to his community and promotion of the Main Street Program. It is a true testament to the outstanding person he was.

The nominees for the Watonga Bob Shoemaker Award for 2020 include these four outstanding program directors. Jeff DiMiceli, Ardmore; Schaun Aker, Cherokee; Heather Sumner, Okmulgee; and Chelsea McConnell, Ponca City.

The Oklahoma Main Street Center requires each local program to hire and oversee paid professional directors to facilitate the daily activities and guide the organization through its annual work plan. The director is the point person for the local Main Street organization. They work long days and dedicate more time than they are paid to see their program become successful.

We want to take time now to recognize the Main Street Program Director of the Year for 2020. This recognition begins with a nomination from the local Board of Directors and then is voted on by all the Oklahoma Main Street Program Directors.

Schaun Aker has served as the Cherokee Main Street program director for more than six years. Her board president said that Aker is dedicated to her job and is the heart of the Cherokee Main Street organization. She has been such an inspiration and so respectful in her approach to the job that there is now a waiting list for people wanting to serve on the board. She is conscientious of the town’s needs and is preservation-minded. She works well with the merchants, helping them see the need for improvement in their properties and reminding them of possible grant opportunities. She also has helped create some of the best events the town has seen. She is deserving of this award and much more.

No. 3: Cherokee Ministerial Alliance works with community to raise Cross.

After months of fundraising and work, the Cross on the south side of Cherokee was raised and set in place on Sept. 3.

“It’s been a God thing from the very beginning,” Keith Smith, who helped bring the project to Cherokee, said.

From the first contact and inquiry in November of 2019 to its commanding presence in the community, so many have positively impacted the process of getting the Cross in place.

An ad thanking those who helped make this project possible can be found elsewhere in today’s paper.

The raising of the Cross took about 30-45 minutes.

This is the 12th Cross that Tracy Davidson of Davidson Electric in Ringwood has erected. He, along with his crew, have this process down to a science.

As he was leaving to go on to the next project (there are five more crosses to put up) Davidson said, “If the Cross brings hope, comfort or leads just one person to know Christ, it is all worth it. “

The Cherokee Ministerial Alliance has partnered with Smith and Davidson and landowner Jeanne Ginder as well as Hammer Williams Jiffy Trip to get the project done. Many in the community have given their time and donations and positive encouragement during this 10 month effort.

For more information on, please contact the Ministerial Alliance.

No. 4: Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge receives visit from director.

Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Aurelia Skipwith visited Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge near Great Salt Plains Lake on July 24 while travelling the area and attending refuge events.

Director Skipwith met with the refuge staff at the visitor center and headquarters, greeting employees and introducing herself to as many staff and stakeholders of refuges as she could.

During this short visit, the Director was provided a tour of some of the refuge facilities, discussing biological priorities, visitor access and facilities, and challenges faced during the current pandemic.

From habitat and invasive species management, to hunter and angler opportunities, it was clear that the Director was keenly interested in learning about the refuge, its staff, and the relationships with partners and communities.

Of course, no visit would be complete without a visit to the Selenite Crystal Digging area on the refuge, where the Director learned about the value of the salt flats, not only to wildlife, but to visitors and communities around the refuge.

She even got her hands dirty finding her very own selenite crystals, the State Crystal of Oklahoma, to take back to her office in Washington D.C.

No. 5: Alfalfa Electric Cooperative recently moved into new building.

Alfalfa Electric Cooperative recently moved into their new building located at 305 West 12th Street in Cherokee.

The building offers many new upgrades to their former location.

One of the newest and most used features is the drive through area. At their old complex to pay a bill or ask a question, the customers had to walk inside the building. The drive-through now allows customers to do a quick drop-off through the window.

The next stop on the tour with CEO Greg Goetz and Communications Specialist Robyn Turney led to a specially built area inside the building. The whole building is Styrofoam blocks filled with concrete, but the area that houses the customer service, dispatch, vault and server room. AEC has the ability to lock down in case of a tornado.

AEC’s new building complex has a live digital outage map that is 16’ x 9’. This wall was three years in the making and is state of the art. The “War Room,” as it has been nicknamed, is in the dispatch center. The outage map has two main benefits. First, it gives an overall view of the health of the system. It shows outages or problems in the system in real time – as it happens.

If a member reports an outage on AEC’s SmartHub app, it will show up on the map immediately. Second, being able to see the outages allows better dispatch. Crews can get to the problem area much faster and restore power to the members. The wall also displays the GPS location of the trucks. This feature helps determine which trucks/crews are dispatched to the area. The digital map is an amazing addition to the dispatch center.

AEC used to utilize a “green wall” at their old location. It was a massive green pegboard that contains the mapped AEC service territory, which includes areas in five Oklahoma counties and two Kansas counties.

The green wall is still located in the linemen’s lounge of the old AEC building.

The next stop was the server room that in the old office was jammed into a closet. At the new location, it has room for them to spread out.

“The technology capabilities out here are just so much better than we had,” Goetz said.

Next were some of the offices that house employees and then the wing that contains the public relations and engineering offices.

There is also a meter room that has a testing board built in that allows for testing and programming of the meters.

The next stop was the board room that features a way to do presentations and have meetings.

There is also a smaller conference room that also features a television if somebody comes in to do a program or presentation.

The lineman lounge was the next stop and it offers a place for all the employees to be able to attend safety meetings and a place for the lineman to gather in the mornings.

The truck barn is connected to the building, offering a place for a crew to have their own bay and includes a digger, bucket and a pickup.

The old barn was an 80’ x 80’ building and with the trucks getting bigger, they weren’t able to store them all together. Some were at AEC Services and some were at their pole yard.

The floor is heated in the new truck barn.

Right off the lineman’s lounge is the kitchen that is utilized during meetings and safety meetings to prepare meals.

An addition to the building was a workout area for staff.

The remaining hallway contains more offices for the staff.

There will be two electric car chargers installed as they arrive on the front side of the building. There will be level two and level three chargers.

Several portions of the building construction were done by local companies as well as many of the resources bought locally.

The plan was to do an open house at the new building, but due to COVID-19, those plans have been put on hold.

The truck barn is 10,000 square feet and the building is 16,000 square feet. The old building was 13,000 and the truck barn was 8,000.

The old office east side was built in 1966 and then there were two other buildings on the west side that were 80-90 years old.

The cost of the new building was $4.8 million with no financing needed to fund the project. 

AEC with AEC Services employees around 50 people.

Since 1937, Alfalfa Electric Cooperative, Inc. has been dedicated to providing members in southern Kansas and north Central Oklahoma with the best electrical service at the lowest possible price.

A non-profit distribution cooperative, AEC is owned and controlled by the members. AEC continues to be committed to enhancing the quality of life of their member-owners in Alfalfa, Grant, Garfield, Major and Woods counties in Oklahoma and Barber and Harper counties in Kansas. Their headquarters are located in Cherokee.

Honorable Mention: NEO names Crissup as head coach.

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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) announced at a press conference on Thursday that Interim Head Coach Zach Crissup will officially be named as head coach of the NEO Golden Norsemen Football Program. Crissup entered into the interim role after former Head Coach Zach Allen took a position at Northeastern State University.

“I have confidence that Zach will be able to be the type of leader we need to carry on the rich and storied Golden Norsemen tradition,” said Joe Renfro, NEO Athletic Director. “Coach Crissup has the integrity to be a successful leader and I am thrilled to see what the future of NEO football holds.”

Crissup first joined the NEO coaching staff in 2010 and specialized in Linebackers and Strength/Conditioning. Under the direction of Head Coach Dale Patterson, Crissup helped lead the 2012 Golden Norseman to a 9-2 record and a SWJCFC Championship. Following stints at Fairmont State University and Missouri Southern State Universities, Crissup returned to NEO under Head Coach Zach Allen as the Defensive Coordinator and helped lead the team to the Regional Championship game in 2018. In the past two seasons, Crissup has led the #1 passing defense in the SWJCFC.

Originally from Helena, Crissup played as a safety under Coach Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State University until receiving his degree in 2008. He continued to complete his Master of Science in Health and Human Performance at Pittsburg State University in 2011. Crissup, his wife Stephanie, and their son, Patch now live in Miami.

For more information, contact Lisa Severe at lsevere@neo.edu, or call 918-540-6327.

Honorable Mention: REAL ID coming to Alfalfa County.

The Alfalfa County Tag agency will have their REAL ID system installed on Thursday, Oct. 15.

REAL ID compliant driver licenses and identification cards have a gold star in the upper right-hand corner of the license to indicate it is REAL ID compliant. This is the only physical difference from a non-compliant credential, but it allows airport and federal officials to quickly identify the card.

You will be given a temporary paper identification during your visit to get a REAL ID. Your official REAL ID will be mailed to you in 5-7 business days.

Those under 18 are not required to get the REAL ID.

Here is a list of what will be needed to obtain the REAL ID:

• You will need to provide proof of identity/lawful presence in the U.S. The document must be an original or a certified copy. Notarized documents are not accepted. Please select one document from the following: state-issued birth certificate, unexpired U.S. Passport, unexpired permanent resident card, unexpired employment authorization card, valid, unexpired foreign passport with a valid, unexpired U.S. visa and valid I-94, naturalization certificate, consular report of birth abroad or certificate of citizenship.

If your name is different from the document which is presented from Section One (1) above (due to adoption, marriage, divorce, court-ordered name change), or is not the same on all your documents, you must provide additional documents with legal proof of every name change. Each document must be an original or a certified copy.

Notarized documents are not accepted. Please bring one (1) document from the list for every name change from your Section One document to your current name: An official government-issued marriage certificate/license, court-ordered or legal name change document(s), court-ordered divorce decree, a government-issued death certificate of spouse which includes a connection to your current full legal name or legal adoption paperwork.

• You must provide proof of your Social Security number. The document must be an original or a certified copy. Notarized documents are not accepted. Please select one (1) document from the list: Current W-2 or 1099 showing full  Social Security number, Current pay stub showing full Social Security number, Social Security Card or on-SSA 1099 form.

• You must provide two (2) proofs of your current Oklahoma address. Both your name and current residential address must appear on the documents. Junk mail or personal letters will not be accepted. 3. Forwarded mail will not be accepted. Please bring two (2) documents from the list: Copy of previous year’s federal or Oklahoma tax return filing, Utility bill (electric, telephone [home or cell], water, sewer, cable, satellite, heating oil or propane provider), Installment loan contract from a bank, or other financial institution (payday loan company documents are not accepted), Current deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, or a residential lease, Property tax bill or receipt dated within the last 12 months, Professional license issued by an Oklahoma governmental agency, Certified copy of court order, Valid concealed carry permit, Current Certificate of Eligibility for  Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (DS-2019) W-2 wage or 1099 tax form from previous year, Social Security Administration (SSA) document with Oklahoma street address, dated within the last 12 months, Oklahoma high school, college, university or technology center transcript for current school year or semester, Transportation Security Administration, (TSA) letter or TWIC card, Oklahoma motor vehicle title or registration, Oklahoma boat title or registration, Tribal vehicle title or license, Sales tax or business license, Current homeowner or renter insurance policy or statement, Public assistance benefit card and correspondence dated within past 12 months, Correspondence from Oklahoma state agency or federal agency with current address, dated within last 12 months (not forwarded), Current and valid life insurance or automobile liability policy or card with address, Current documents issued by U.S. military, Oklahoma agriculture exemption permit card (farm tax permit), Pilot’s license, Oklahoma voter registration card, Any item delivered by the United States Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS sent by a verifiable business or government agency, For a minor, a DPS Shared Residency Form, completed by a parent or legal guardian living at the same residence address, For a minor, a residency document in their parents’ name by presenting a tracing document (such as a birth certificate) showing the relationship, School enrollment records, A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider or a halfway house verifying they receive mail for the customer. The letter must be accompanied by a Certification of Address form.

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Here are the prices for the Real ID:

• Non-commercial: first time, $42.50, those who are getting an Oklahoma driver license for the first time or transferring an out-of-state license; renew, $38.50, those who are renewing an Oklahoma driver license and you may renew within one year of its renewal date; convert/replace, $25, those who are converting your current non-real ID compliant driver license or identification card to be REAL ID compliant more than one year away from your renewal date or When replacing a lost REAL ID driver license or identification card.

• Senior REAL ID costs: age 62, $21.25; age 63, $17.50; age 64, $13.75; age 65 or older, free.

• Oklahoma identification card: $25, for those who are obtaining an Oklahoma REAL ID identification card at any time and this card is not a driver license, but will work for all other REAL ID purposes.

• Commercial: first time, Class A, $81.50, Class B, $71.50, Class C, $61.50, for those who getting an Oklahoma CDL for the first time or transferring an out-of-state CDL; renew, Class A, $56.50, Class B, $56.50, Class C, $46.50, for those who are renewing an Oklahoma CDL; replace, $25, for those who are replacing their current Oklahoma REAL ID CDL; and hazmat endorsement, $25.

The REAL IDs will be valid for four years.

July

• Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell recently made a stop in Burlington to visit with Senator Roland Pederson and take a ride on the combine with him.

• In an effort to bring their services to more people, Forgotten Ministries organized an event they dubbed “THE WALK”. Starting June 8 in Enid and concluding July 5 in Lahoma, THE WALK will see volunteers visit 14 cities in 28 days.

Stops on THE WALK include: Waukomis, Hennessey, Dover, Okeene, Canton, Longdale, Canton Lake, Fairview, Cleo Springs, Aline, Cherokee, Ringwood, Meno, Ames, Drummond and Lahoma

• The Burlington Board of Education met at 8 a.m., Thursday, June 18 for their regularly scheduled meeting.

The board returned to open session and voted to employ the following:

– Von Blankenship, boys’ head basketball coach.

– Stan Pederson, elementary teacher and assistant principal.

– Gail McNett, counselor.

The Masonic Student and Teacher of Today awards have been around for sixty years, and this program was designed to be a support for public schools in conjunction with American Education Week.

This year the Cherokee Corinthian Masonic Lodge #307 is proud to award the Student and Teacher of Today awards to:

– Seniors:  Kyla Colvin and Dakota Dooley.

– Eighth Graders:  Hope Jordan and Xander Jackson.

– 5th Graders:  Jocelyn Davis and Jose Castro.

– Elementary Teacher:  Ms. Candi Davis.

– JH & HS Teacher:  Mr. Jason Paris.

• Alfalfa County had three offices and a sales tax up for election this year. The offices of county clerk, District 2 commissioner and sheriff were on the ballot.

For the office of District 2 commissioner, Michael Roach, Kevin Irwin and Nelson Frantz all ran. The winner needed 51 percent to clinch the seat. Roach won with less than that number, therefore, Roach and Frantz will have  a runoff.

For the office of county clerk, incumbent Laneta Unruh ran against Shana Smallwood.

Unruh won the race 859 to 417.

For the office of sheriff, incumbent Rick Wallace ran against Ryan McNeil.

Wallace won 1,057 to 222.

Voters approved the sales tax renewal proposition 1,129 to 393.

Zachery Cunningham had the fastest turtle at the Rotary Turtle Race. His turtle was bought by Cale Gibson, who took a third of the money raised along with Rotary and Cunningham. Cunningham won it for the second straight year.

For the office number 5 on the Timberlake Board of Education incumbent Levi Johnson ran against Kodee Nickel.

Johnson won 419 to 130 across the four county race.

• A bar in Goltry sustained major damage following a storm that brought in estimated over 90 miles per hour winds during this past weekend. The bar had closed early due to weather.

• The first meeting was at 6 p.m., June 10. The meeting was called to order with Mindy Finney, Patsy Judd and Jay Jenlink present.

At 6:51 p.m., the board convened into executive session to discuss the re-employment of Darrell Barnett and hiring of an elementary special education teacher position.

They returned to open session at 7:30 p.m. and made a motion to re-employ Barnett and to hire Kasya Spade as an elementary special education teacher contingent of certificate requirements.

• Sean Sellers flew his powered parachute from Enid, landing at the Cherokee Airport on July 5. Sellers stayed overnight in Cherokee and left July 6 to fly back to Enid.

• The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education appointed Dr. Gary Dotterer, the director of the center for teaching and learning at Rogers State University, as the next chair for the Council for Online Learning Excellence. Dotterer begins his appointment July 1.

• Janet Sheik was named Citizen of the Year by the Carmen Chamber of Commerce at the 5th of July Celebration. Janet has been active in securing grants from OG&E for landscaping at the City Park, the Carmen Library and Main Street. She is a member of the Library Board, Methodist Church, and is involved in many volunteer activities, including Carmen beautification. Her children are Cody Sheik and Cara Bradt. She has three grandchildren. Congratulations, Janet.

• Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Lynda Ozan announced that an Oklahoma Centennial Ranch Award has been presented to the owner of an Alfalfa County ranch. Merle Hutcheson of Ringwood owns Hutcheson Ranch located in the vicinity of Ringwood. The family has grown wheat and alfalfa and raised cattle since great-grandfather Robert J. Clark settled the land in 1893.

Jessica Tidwell has been hired by the Town of Carmen as the librarian. She is married to Chris Tidwell and they live northwest of Carmen on the Pelter place.

August

• State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced that Aline-Cleo was one of 175 Oklahoma school districts have been awarded mobile internet access and devices through 50,000 Verizon Unlimited 4GE data plans and Jetpacks, following a competitive grant process. The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) grants leveraged a portion of the agency’s set-aside monies from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund created by the federal Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help ensure all students have connectivity to access online learning if community spread of COVID-19 requires districts to use distance or hybrid learning models.

Heather Gottsch, Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher and FCCLA Adviser at Cherokee High School, began her term as State President of the Oklahoma Association for Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences (OATFCS) at the conclusion of the organization’s business meeting on August 5 during the 53rd Annual Oklahoma Summit.

Gottsch was elected as President-Elect in May 2019 and spent the 2019-2020 school year as a member of the OATFCS Executive Council.

The Cherokee RoundUp Club named their 2020 Rodeo Marshall.

This year will offer co-marshalls with Richard (Dick) and Faye Ritter being honored.

• In front of a crowd at the auditorium at Cherokee High School August 6, Callista Studer was crowned Miss Cherokee 2020, Madison Wheeler Miss Cherokee High 2020 and Kenedy Hester Junior Miss Cherokee by Miss Cherokee and Miss Cherokee High 2019, Joslyn Clem.

Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Aurelia Skipwith visited Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge near Great Salt Plains Lake on July 24 while travelling the area and attending refuge events.

• The First Monday Ladies at First Baptist Church hosted a drive through Breakfast on the Run for teachers and parents taking their students to school on the first day.

Six new staff members greeted students at Burlington High School when school started.

The new hires were Angela Thomason, Tracy Granados, Gayle McNett, Vaughn Blankenship, Kristin Sciara and Stan Pedersen.

The Jet Utilities Authority (Authority) in Alfalfa County received approval Tuesday for a $88,923 Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) grant through the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) to improve the Authority’s water infrastructure.

September

• Voters in Alfalfa County District 2 went to the polls to vote in the run-off election on August. 25 and voted their new commissioner into office.

The run-off was between Michael Roach and Nelson Frantz. Roach won 185-122.

After months of fundraising and work, the Cross on the south side of Cherokee was raised and set in place on Sept. 3.

• Alfalfa Electric Cooperative recently moved into their new building located at 305 West 12th Street in Cherokee.

• Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) announced at a press conference on Thursday that Interim Head Coach Zach Crissup will officially be named as head coach of the NEO Golden Norsemen Football Program. Crissup entered into the interim role after former Head Coach Zach Allen took a position at Northeastern State University.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will extend several flexibilities through as late as Dec. 31, 2020. The flexibilities allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months.

As school districts continue to fine tune their policies in the COVID-19 environment, five local school districts will receive tools to help with fight against the virus.

Cleo State Bank last week made the first of a couple presentations as they presented Aline-Cleo and Timberlake with backpack style sanitizing units that will be used by the districts to disinfect classrooms.

In addition to the backpack style sprayers, Cleo State Bank is also presenting each district with handheld sanitizing units that will be used to disinfect buses.

• Jet Fire Chief Colton Castle took part in the memorial climb that was held differently.

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A Byron native was recently recognized by NASA for the assistance he has offered them over the years.

Carroll Allen is a 1947 graduate of Byron High School and now resides with his wife Carole in Longmont, Colorado. 

October

• Timberlake Lady Tigers advance to the fast pitch regional softball tournament.

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation recently awarded scholarships to three Alfalfa County high school graduates through the state’s largest independent scholarship program. Jade Hatch and Thomas Stanley Jr. from Cherokee High School and Zeb McCollum from Timberlake High School received a total of $6,000 in scholarships for 2020-21.

• On September 10, the Miss Burlington pageant was held in the Burlington auditorium and broadcast on BurlingtonElks.TV.

The Burlington student council is pleased to announce that Alyssa Russell is our 2020-2021 Miss Burlington.

• Jim and Rozella Hadwiger were named the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award winners.

• Regina Waugh was named the 2020 Community Service Award winner.

• Kolby Arnold was named the 2020 Citizen of the Year Award winner.

• Ronnie Eckhardt was named the 2020 Community Spirit Award winner.

• Alicia Mitchell was named the 2020 Educator of the Year Award winner.

The Cherokee Police Department and Alfalfa County Sheriff’s Department recently received an item to help when dealing with potential mental health patients.

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services provided each of the departments with an iPad.

• Ashlei Cosper, junior, was chosen as the September Student of the Month at Aline-Cleo High School.

• Timberlake crowned their royalty this past Friday prior to the football game against DCLA.

The 2020 Football Homecoming King and Queen were Dalton Leierer and Autumn Jones.

• 4HIM 4-H Club delivered food to the Timberlake’s Backpack Lunch program.

• Prior to the football game on Oct. 9, Timberlake High School recognized the 1980 state runner-up, which included Severin as a player.

Following recognizing the 1980 team, the school surprised long-time head coach with a stadium dedication in his honor.

The field already bears the name of Ray Troutt Field, and it will remain, and now the stadium will henceforth be known as Brian Severin Stadium.

• Officers of the Aline-Cleo, Cherokee, Timberlake and Burlington FFA chapters participated in the 2020 Oklahoma FFA Chapter Officer Leadership Training Conference Sep. 29 at the Enid Events Center in Enid.

• Kelly Stewart takes great pride in being a finance and lending professional, a field he’s worked in for over 27 years. He got his start at a bank in Alva, and over the years has become an expert in product development, perfection, cash flow, structure and risk. He’s been successful in his career by living by the golden rule in every aspect of his job, which is to treat others as you’d like to be treated.

• Cherokee crowned their 2020 football homecoming king and queen prior to the football game on Oct. 23. Charlten Smith was crowned king and Laynie Golden was crowned queen

November

Summer Finney, daughter of Shelby and Mindy Finney was crowned the new Miss Timberlake.

Cherokee and Timberlake cross country teams competed at the state cross country meet on Nov. 4 held at Edmond Santa Fe High School.

The results from the cross country meets are as follows:

Girls

• Abby Guffy, Cherokee, third, 12:33; Carson Schanbacher, Cherokee, 46th, 14:04; Macy Goodwin, Cherokee, 50th, 14:07; Riley Hensley, Cherokee, 52nd, 14:10.24; Raylen Weve, Cherokee, 53rd, 14:10.64; Maryanne Heim, Cherokee, 86th, 14:52; Katie Dahn, Cherokee, 139th, 16:38.

• Team: Cherokee, fourth.

Boys

• Payton Glenn, Timberlake, 11th, 18:08; Merric Judd, Timberlake, 21st, 18:43; Dylan Schlup, Timberlake, 33rd, 19:01; Jack McCoy, Timberlake, 19:15; Alec Ullrich, Timberlake, 42nd, 19:15; Chase Pierce, Timberlake, 58th, 19:39; JJ Pippin, Timberlake, 116th, 21:32.

• Team: Timberlake, third.

• Jiffy Trips at Newkirk, Medford, Ponca City and Cherokee took part in cow patty bingo to raise money for Oklahoma Children’s Hospital. The squares were sold for $20 each. Due to weather the winning number was drawn on Nov. 10 with the winner coming from the Cherokee Store and going to Chris Orr. Cherokee surpassed their goal of $7,000 with a total of $7,129.75 being raised. As a whole company Jiffy Trip raised $71,258.56 to be donated.

• Laynie Golden signs with Bethel to be a cheerleader.

• Keyon Brooks, senior, was chosen as the Aline-Cleo October Student of the Month.

• Paden Allen lays a masked kiss on Savannah Granados at the Burlington homecoming crowning.

• State Sen. Roland Pederson was officially sworn in for his second four-year term in the Oklahoma State Senate on Monday. The Burlington Republican represents communities in Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant and Kay counties.

NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and the sun, today announced its support of schools in rural Oklahoma through the donation of resources to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

The company invested approximately $26,000 to provide 1,500 STEM education kits to 10 high schools in Western Oklahoma, including: Enid, Chisolm, Kremlin-Hillsdale, Alva, Aline-Cleo, Timberlake, Cimarron, Balko, Rush Springs and Bray-Doyle.

December

• Fire departments in Major and Alfalfa counties received an unexpected boost recently, thanks to donations from the Anne Holmes-Parker Foundation, and Anne’s daughter, Susan Parker.

Present to award the donation to Cleo Springs Fire Chief Kyle Naugle, Ringwood Fire Chief Cliff Davidson, Meno Fire Chief Jay Decker and Aline Firefighter Mike Irwin Nov. 11 was Holmes-Parker’s daughter Susan Parker.

Additional donations were given to fire departments in Amorita-Byron, Helena, Ames and Jet.

• Kole Campbell, Kale Campbell and Nathan Campbell from the 4-Him 4-H Club qualified at the state livestock judging contest held in Stillwater to compete on the national level. The national contest was held in Kansas City at the American Royal where teams from all across the United States competed. They placed 14th in the nation. Their parents are Kyle and Gina Campbell and Troy and Amy Campbell all of Jet.

The Timberlake Tiger football team, under the direction of Brian Severin, returns to the state championship game for the first time since 2009 to take on the Tyrone Bobcats.

Timberlake advanced through the playoffs with a bye the first week, cancellation by Oaks Mission during the second due to Covid, defeated Waynoka in the quarterfinals and Buffalo in the semi-finals.

• After years of service to AEC, Manager of Operations & Engineering, Jim Daub is retiring. Jim has given a significant portion of his life to Alfalfa Electric Cooperative members.

Carly Hamen, eighth grader, was chosen as the November Student of the Month at Aline-Cleo.

• Drake Williams signs a letter of intent to livestock judge at Northern Oklahoma College.

The Burlington Board of Education met at 8 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14 for their monthly meeting.

Under new business, the resignation of Mark Guffy, maintenance, effective Dec. 31, and Dr. Croft, superintendent, effective June 30, were approved.

• George and Cheryl Washburn win first place in the annual lighting contest sponsored by Alfalfa Electric Cooperative. Their address is 614 E. 10th Street in Cherokee.

• Steve and Cindy Lohrding took home second place in the annual lighting contest sponsored by Alfalfa Electric Cooperative. Their address is 1410 South Oklahoma.

• Bo and Heidi Ginder took home third place in the annual lighting contest sponsored by Alfalfa Electric Cooperative. Their address is 1423 South Ohio.

• Dorsey and Debra Redd took home fourth place in the annual lighting contest sponsored by Alfalfa Electric Cooperative.  Their address is 1116 South Grand Avenue.

• Matt and Desiree Gibson took home fifth place in the annual lighting contest sponsored by Alfalfa Electric Cooperative. Their address is 616 East 7th Street.

Cherokee’s Main Street Director was recently named the state Director of the Year for Oklahoma Main Street.

• The Jet Utilities Authority (Authority) received approval Tuesday for $861,500 in funding from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) to improve the Authority’s water infrastructure. 

• The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced as of press time on Dec. 28, that Alfalfa County was up to 911 cases with 808  recovered from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Three students from the Timberlake FFA Chapter placed third overall at the 2020 American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) Livestock Handling Contest held at Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City Dec. 11. Joel Pecha, Ethan Jenlink and Jacob Diller competed against other FFA students from across Oklahoma to claim a top spot at the statewide contest.

Three students from the Cherokee FFA Chapter placed sixth overall at the Livestock Handling Contest. Drake Williams, Brant Failes and Abby Guffy competed against other FFA students.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister has named 97 Oklahoma high school students to her 2021 Student Advisory Council, the sixth consecutive year the group has been convened to assist Hofmeister and the Oklahoma State Department of Education in matters of policy.

Cherokee’s Bridget Wilhite was one of the 97 named to serve on the council.





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