Annual meeting set for CCT

The Chickasha Community Theatre annual membership meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 23rd, 4 p.m. at Eduardo's Mexican Restaurant in Chickasha.

All CCT members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Non-members are also welcome. 2015 board members and officers will be voted on, future plans for the Washita Theater will be discussed, and the 2015 shows will be announced.

Call 639-6111 for more information.

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Contract awarded for road improvements in Grady County

OKLAHOMA CITY - A contract was awarded this month for road improvements in Grady County, Sen. Ron Justice and Rep. Scott Biggs recently announced.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the project will involve installing school signs along State Highway 19C, between I street and Broadway Street in Alex.

Justice (R-Chickasha) said the State Transportation Commission awarded a $21,000 contract on the project to Traffic Signals Inc. The Edmond Company was the lowest of three bidders for the job, said Biggs (R-Chickasha).

Once construction begins, the project is estimated to be completed within one month.

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2014 Farm Bill Information meeting scheduled in Chickasha

Chickasha - There are several new twists and turns in the Farm Bill, which are all important to understand for producers, landowners, bankers, agribusinesses and crop insurance agents.

To help shed some light on some of these changes, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension has partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture to host Farm Bill Information meetings at various locations throughout the state. All meetings are free and open to the public.

"The 2014 Farm Bill includes key changes to farm commodity programs. Landowners and producers have the opportunity to choose between several commodity programs, update yields and reallocate base acreage," said Jody Campiche, assistant professor in OSU's Department of Agricultural Economics. "In addition, a new supplemental crop insurance program will be discussed."

Representatives from many different organizations including Oklahoma State University, Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development, and National Agriculture Statistics Service will present details on new programs and important deadlines within the bill. Discussion items will include Agricultural Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, ARC/PLC Decision Tools, Base Reallocation and Yield Update, Supplemental Coverage Option and other USDA programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

"Producers and landowners have a one-time opportunity to elect ARC or PLC, reallocate base acreage and/or update payment yields. The one-time decision will remain in effect for the life of the 2014 Farm Bill," Campiche said. "The optimal program choice will vary across different crops and farms, so producers and landowners should take the time to learn about the programs so they can choose the best option for their farming operations."

Grady County Extension will be hosting a meeting on Thursday, November 13, 2014 in Chickasha at the Canadian Valley Tech Center at 1401 Michigan Ave. The meeting will be in the evening starting at 5:30 p.m. and last until around 8:45 p.m. A free dinner will be served thanks to our generous sponsor Chisholm Trail Farm Credit.

It is asked that attendees RSVP for the meeting and contact the Grady County Extension office at 405-224-2216.

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Phil Cross to speak on Caddo American Indian Tribe

Phil Cross will speak at Chickasha Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 30th at 7 p.m.

Phil Cross was raised on his family's Caddo Indian allotted land in western Oklahoma. He is a member of the Caddo Indian Nation and of the Caddo Culture Club at Binger, Oklahoma. Cross serves as the historian for the Caddo Culture Club and is the lead singer for the Club's dances, ceremonies and appearances. For more information about Phil Cross visit the Library's webpage at http://www.chickashapl.okpls.org/

Cross's presentation coincides with an exhibit featuring the unique heritage of the Caddo Nation on display at the Chickasha Public Library from October 10th through November 10th, 2014. True to Tradition: History and Heritage of the Caddo People features the long history of the Caddo in Oklahoma, from their ancient roots in the southeastern part of the state through modern efforts in language revitalization. The exhibit is available whenever the Library is open.

"We hope many people will take advantage of this enriching opportunity to discover more about the Caddo Tribe and their traditions," says Library Director Lillie Huckaby, "Come and listen to Phil and view the exhibit."

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Chickasha FFA to host plant sale this weekend

The annual Chickasha FFA Fall Plant Sale will be held on Thursday, Oct. 30th from 3-7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31st from 3-7 p.m., and Saturday, Nov, 1st from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Chickasha FFA Greenhouse, located on the northwest corner of the high school complex.

"The horticulture classes at Chickasha High School grew the plants from small plugs and have spent many hours over the past two months making them look the best they can," said Stephen Tillinghast, Chickasha Agricultural Education Instructor. "The proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to purchase plants for the spring sale to be held in May 2015, update parts of the school greenhouse, and potentially build a school garden for teaching purposes."

This year, there will be pansies, violas, and chrysanthemums available for purchase. The pansies and violas are $10-$15 per flat and the chrysanthemums are $3-$5. Buyers may also purchase the plants individually if they so choose.

The FFA chapter will accept cash or check. Questions may be directed to Stephen Tillinghast, Chickasha FFA Advisor, at 918-430-4340.

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Senior art students get raw with upcoming show

CHICKASHA - Four graduating art students will exhibit their work in an early fall senior bachelor of fine arts show titled raw at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

An opening reception is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 in the third floor Art Gallery in Davis Hall.

The event is free and open to the public.

The graduating artists participating in the show are Michelle Birdwell, Ted Conley, Vaunda Knapp and Aubrey Van Tassell.

Michelle Birdwell

A native of the Ponca City area, Birdwell graduated from Newkirk High School in 2008.

While her passion has always been for drawing, Birdwell came out of high school with some specific goals in mind.

"I wanted to move into the digital realm as quickly as possible," Birdwell said. "I needed access to technology and instruction to make that happen."

Birdwell found her first home in the digital media program at the Tonkawa branch of the Northern Oklahoma College. She said her time there introduced her to the pressure of constant deadlines, an experience that has served her well ever since.

"Our director, Brad Matson, drilled into us from day one that time is money to the client," Birdwell said. "We worked under exhausting deadlines the entire time I was in the program but it made me a much faster artist."

Birdwell graduated with an associate's of applied science degree in digital media animation and design.

After graduation, Birdwell knew she had the technological expertise she had wanted but felt that she had gaps in her drawing technique. Her quest to continue improving her art led her to USAO in 2011.

"I could see the problems but I didn't know how to fix them," she said. "Jackie [Knapp, associate professor of art] helped me so much. Not only did she give me the artistic tools I needed to take my drawings to the next level but also she gave me the freedom as my adviser to explore."

Birdwell's work in the show demonstrates the many facets of her abilities, often blending graphite drawings with digital manipulation for a result that looks like neither. Her pieces, which focus on the human form, are grounded in realism but have a surreal quality that is both thrilling and slightly unsettling.

Birdwell is looking into internships with advertising firms in the state with one eye toward placing work in gallery shows.

Ted Conley

Conley comes from a family of artists but was the first to pursue it as a career. A native of Altus, Conley gives credit to the school system that he attended for nurturing his talent.

"I still believe that Altus has one of the best school systems in the state," Conley said. "I was able to benefit from a fantastic art curriculum all the way through my senior year, when I basically spent half of the day in my own studio space."

After graduating in 2001, Conley entered the painting program at the University of Oklahoma but put his studies on hold after a couple of years to test his accrued skills in the work force.

By 2009, Conley found the urge to paint impossible to ignore and began exploring his own interest in the highly technical painting style of the Flemish school of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Conley entered a piece in USAO's 2010 7 State Biennial art competition. The piece, titled Five Cherries, took the first place prize.

While many would have seen this as validation that further training was unnecessary, Conley saw it differently.

"I remember staring at the piece thinking, 'What's next? Five apples? Five oranges?'," Conley said. "You can only self-teach so much, and I wanted to push myself technically and conceptually. After meeting with the faculty at USAO, I knew these were people I could learn from."

Conley, primarily an oil painter, said he benefitted greatly from his instructors and newfound community of dedicated artists. He credits the art faculty with helping him to refine and expand his techniques and increase the speed at which he was able to create.

He also found conceptual inspiration in the interdisciplinary studies curriculum.

"The focus on world religions helped me find conceptual focus in my work," Conley said. "I had always had an interest in iconography and religion but the IDS classes helped me better understand the philosophy and social ramifications of those beliefs."

Conley's work in the show distills these interests into works that demand the viewer's attention. One series features children's candy dispensers, rendered in a smooth and hyperrealistic style, against a stark white background, effectively transforming these disposable objects into icons. Another series juxtaposes similarly realistic paintings of American cultural figures with iconographic styles more commonly associated with Byzantine and Medieval religious paintings.

"Photorealists take an object out of context and make them bigger than life, realer than real," Conley observed. "I asked the question, 'What is the American religion?' We take people and transform them into objects. They are martyrs to commercialism."

Conley is setting his post-graduation sights high. In addition to building a line of t-shirts that reflect his conceptual and design interests, he wants to see his work hanging in galleries all over the world.

Vaunda Knapp

Knapp credits her mother with sparking her interest in working in ceramics.

"When I was in the third or fourth grade, my mother bought me a child's plastic electric pottery wheel from the craft store," Knapp recalled. "With no training and no instruction, I pretty much ended up destroying the garage but this kind of no-holds barred play was encouraged. Messes could always be cleaned up."

A native of Ardmore, Knapp spent most of her time in art class working in traditional two-dimensional media, drawing and painting. Her instructor was a USAO grad so the university was on her radar early on.

"Those classes gave me an excellent grounding in what I could expect studying art in college," Knapp said. "I had made my decision to attend USAO by my sophomore year in high school and had far fewer growing pains adjusting to expectations and teaching methods when I finally arrived."

Knapp enrolled in a ceramic hand building course her first trimester at the university and felt immediately at home. Learning to work with clay and expressing concepts through it proved to be different experiences that happened on separate time-schedules, Knapp said.

"The first two years, it was about learning the skills that I needed to successfully develop concepts," she said. "I was a little slow coming into concepts. Part way through my junior work and then as a senior, I have become more comfortable working conceptually rather than technically.

"The thing about concepts is that you can't be concretely stuck on them. If your work needs to evolve, it's better to flow with it. By letting it evolve, you can catch the hidden inspirations or new ideas that you've turned away before and that can lead you down a completely different or even better path."

Knapp's pieces from the show demonstrate clearly her hard-won ability to tackle complex concepts and bring them to life in her work. Pushing the boundaries of working with clay to the limit, the pieces are both textural and, in some cases, mimic the qualities of other materials to startling effect.

In them, she opens herself, and the viewer, to a dialogue about mental illness.

"As a child I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)," she said. "My work in the show is an attempt to communicate my internal dialogue of what mental illness feels like experientially."

Knapp plans to work in the information technology field after graduation while saving money to build a home studio to continue pursuing her artistic vision.

Aubrey Van Tassell

Tulsa native Aubrey Van Tassell got her start as an artist at an early age, whether doodling on scraps of paper around the house or doing sidewalk chalk art.

Enrolling in the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences gave her access to quality art instruction, which she started taking advantage of her sophomore year of high school.

After visiting campus a couple of times, Van Tassell knew that she'd found the right mixture of value and academic rigor to continue along the trajectory she had set for herself.

Although she came to USAO's art department with an idea of becoming an interior designer, Van Tassell said that her experiences in the department steered her toward a less vocational approach to her art.

"I used to think that I had to be on point all of the time and that everything had to be perfect," Van Tassell said. "Now, I think of creating art more in terms of the process and less about the outcome."

Despite her turn toward art for art's sake, Van Tassell's love of architecture and design carried over into her growing love for painting.

"At first, I was afraid to jump straight into painting a building without trees and grass and people," she said. "You put a person in there and the painting becomes about the person, most of the time. My work now is focused on the things that attract my eye - lines, reflections, angles, light shining on things. That's what I find interesting."

Van Tassell's work in the show reflects these values, capturing largely empty spaces, often at curious angles that disrupt the openness of the scene and in muted color palettes that recall institutional buildings.

Now with graduation looming on the horizon, Van Tassell is looking at opportunities that will allow her to exercise her creativity and her love of utility.

"Interior design is still something I feel strongly about but I went to shadow at an corporate architecture firm and it didn't grab me like I hoped it might," Van Tassell said. "I'm still searching for that internship or apprenticeship with someone who straddles the line between fine art and functionality."

More information about the show can be obtained by calling 574-1302.

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Marotte to be inducted into Alumni Hall of Fame

CHICKASHA - For the influence she exerted on thousands of students' lives, Dr. Dorothy (Dot) Marotte will be honored this year as one of the inductees into the USAO Alumni Hall of Fame.

The Alumni Hall of Fame and Young Alumni ceremony is part of the Alumni Homecoming festivities, scheduled for Nov. 7-9.

Registrations are being accepted at the USAO Alumni Development Office, (405) 574-1290. An all-inclusive registration package is available for $65 per person through Oct. 25, which includes all meals.

Additional information, including registration, is available online at usao.edu/alumni.

Marotte was a part of the faculty at OCW/OCLA/USAO from 1960-1974.

She taught theory and activity classes, introduced gymnastics to the curriculum, supervised student teachers and served as the chairperson of the health, physical education and recreation department.

Marotte was the president of the OCW Faculty Association and Faculty Senate at the time the college transitioned to OCLA.

She said the hard work and frustration during this change were necessary in providing a base for what is now USAO.

After a tour of duty with the Women's Army Corps, Marotte earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Houston in 1955. She taught in Springfield, Massachusetts, and earned her master's degree from Springfield College in 1958.

Marotte completed her doctorial degree from Vanderbilt (Nashville) University in 1975.

After leaving the USAO faculty, she taught at the University of Central Oklahoma until her retirement in 1992.

While at UCO, Marotte developed a nationally-recognized program of developmental adapted physical education. She structured and taught a core of courses that included Gross Motor Assessment, Perceptual Motor Assessment, Therapeutic Recreation and others.

She has worked with clients from 10 months to 22 years of age who are blind, deaf, mentally challenged, emotionally disturbed, physically handicapped, neurologically impaired or multiple handicapped.

Marotte has been recognized as the primary state expert in developmental adapted physical education and is one of the founders of the Oklahoma Task Force for Adapted Physical Education.

She has worked with public and private schools to provide special programs for special needs children.

Marotte has set up therapeutic recreation programs for senior citizen centers and epilepsy foundation centers. She continues to speak to various organizations and associations throughout the state and nation.

She has been a member of the Oklahoma Education and National Education associations and the Oklahoma Southern District and American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

She has served as president, vice president and chairperson of the Adaptive and Division of Girls' and Women's Sports Sections and on various committees of the Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Marotte is a member of the Association for Learning Disabilities of America.

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Lamar to receive Young Alumni award

CHICKASHA -- Just 12 years after graduating from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Dr. Angus Lamar's resume reads like someone with many more years of experience.

In November, he will receive the USAO Alumni Association's Young Alumni Award as part of the Alumni Homecoming festivities.

Registrations are being accepted at the USAO Alumni Development Office, (405) 574-1290. An all-inclusive registration package is available for $65 per person through Oct. 25, which includes all meals.

Additional information, including registration, is available online at usao.edu/alumni.

Lamar graduate from USAO in 2002 with a chemistry degree. He went on to complete his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Oklahoma.

Lamar also completed post-doctorial studies in organic/organometallic chemistry at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

He is an assistant professor of chemistry at Hanover College (Indiana) and became the chemistry department chair in August 2014.

He teaches general chemistry, organic chemistry and special topics chemistry courses and accompanying labs. He has been the author/co-author of several grants and provides leadership, supervision and direction of research group endeavors.

"As an educator, (Angus) is a source of great pride and whatever contribution I made to his development has been repaid many times," said Dr. Darryel Reigh, professor emeritus of chemistry at USAO. "In my 30-plus years at USAO, I have experienced a handful of truly outstanding students, but none could more perfectly represent the Young Alumni Award than Dr. Angus Lamar."

Lamar has written several research publications in professional journals and made numerous professional presentations. He co-holds a patent for "Processes for the Preparation of Amides and Peptides via Amide Bond Formation and Compositions Related Thereto."

He has received Jerry J. Zuckerman Award for outstanding graduate research in organometallic chemistry twice.

He is a member of the American Chemical Society and Indiana Academy of Science.

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Grady County 4-H’ers Elected

October 15th-17th 4-H youth from all around the Southwest district attended the annual 4-H Youth Action Conference (YAC). During these three days 4-H members attended workshops and volunteered at the Oklahoma Food Bank in Oklahoma City. The 4-H Youth Development Program assists youth in building life skills and other healthy habits. This year's YAC theme was "Find your Inner Superhero." Youth from 13-18 years old had a great experience finding their inner superhero and meeting new friends. The Youth Action Conference also featured "Project Elevate" a hip-hop dance troop that promotes an anti-bullying and motivational message for all Oklahoma youth.

While at the conference the 2014-2015 Southwest district officer team was elected. From Grady County Ella Chaffin, Teen Leaders 4-H was elected President and Nathan Ratcliff, Amber-Pocasset 4-H will serve as the Reporter.

For more information about Grady 4-H contact the Grady OSU Cooperative Extension Service in at (405) 224-2216. We are located at 828 West Choctaw in Chickasha. Cooperative Extension, celebrating 100 years of service.

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Red Cross offers tips for a safe, yet spooky, Halloween

With Halloween festivities taking place this week in Oklahoma, the American Red Cross would like everyone to stay safe as they don their costumes and go out to Trick-or-Treat.

Halloween is just a few days away, and everyone is preparing to dress up and pig out; however, Halloween's greatest hazards aren't vampires and villains. For Oklahoma children suiting up this week, falls, costume mishaps and traffic accidents are a priority for concern.

To keep communities safe, the Red Cross is offering the following tips to help make this Halloween safe this year.

TRICK OR TREAT

- Look for flame-resistant costumes. - Plan the Trick-or-Treat route and make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood. - Make sure the Trick-or-Treaters have a flashlight. Add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing in order to be seen. - Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door, never go inside. - Consider using face paint instead of masks, which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see. - Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at the corner. Don't cut across yards or use alleys. Don't cross between parked cars. - Be cautious around pets and any other animals.

WELCOMING GHOSTS AND GOBLINS

If someone is welcoming Trick-or-Treaters at their home, they should make sure the outdoor light is on. Other safety steps include: - Sweep leaves from the sidewalks and steps. - Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over. - Restrain any household pets. - Use a glow stick instead of a candle in the jack-o-lantern to avoid a fire hazard.

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