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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

1995

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1995 — In January, the biggest event in town was the Keating Inaugural Ball at the Marland Mansion, with Carl and Carolyn Renfro heading up the Inaugural Committee.

The Ponca City Country Club celebrated their 50th year.

At the East Central University Invitational tournament in Ada, both the Wildcats and Lady Cats advanced to semifinal action.

Rick Sodowsky was named head coach of the Po-Hi football team. He had been assistant coach for five years. He was a 1975 Ponca City graduate.

City commissioners designated Virginia Avenue from Highland to Gary as an ornamental lighting district. Property owners would be assessed for additional improvements.

Apple Cart Catering took over the food and beverage service at the Marland Mansion.

Hospice of Ponca City moved to a new location, 1904 N. Union. They had outgrown their space downtown.

The “Tobacco Free School District” ordinance went into effect January 1st. More than 60 signs were erected at all the public schools in the city.

Friendship Feast at the First Christian Church celebrated their fifth anniversary. They had served their first free meal on Jan. 2, 1990 to seven people. They now fed about 70 people each meal.

Kathy Adams, chairman of Festival of Angels, reported that over 88,000 people saw the lighting displays. Sales at the Visitor Center totaled $3,200 and donations at the Mansion were $7,000. Initial donations from the community were over $50,000. It took more than 300 volunteers to make the first annual festival happen.

Professional Office Products, owned by Dick Bird, moved downtown to 314 E. Grand.

Holly Dawn Long was named Miss Ponca City for 1995.

David Mills and Vivian Mertz were named co-chairs for the Pioneer Woman Museum Expansion fund drive. Madalynne Peel was named honorary chairman. Announced plans for the expansion are for a 5,000 square foot facility with an 80-seat educational center. The museum received $220,000 from the Oklahoma Historical Society, and the local fund drive needed to raise $350,000.

John Maddox, newly elected District Attorney, named Douglas Revard and Lisa Goodspeed Tate as assistant D.A.’s.

Martin Smith resigned as Fire Chief, and Dale Hicks was named acting Fire Chief.

Ponca City Economic Development approved two financial incentive packages for new companies planning to come to town. Unitherm would manufacture equipment for meat processing. Encompass Mold manufactures molds for plastic injection.

Ponca City was selected as one of 19 sites for an AmeriCorps program called Oklahoma PATCH, which stands for Planned Approach to Community Health.

New Chamber of Commerce Chairman was Tom Muchmore, vice president and general manager of Ponca City Publishing Co. and general manager of WBBZ Radio. At the annual banquet, political analysts Mike Turpen and Burns Hargis provided the entertainment. Cheryl Fletcher was named Outstanding Citizen, Ambassador of the year was Tim Burg, Albertson’s Distribution Center was named Large Industry Award winner, and Ratliff Construction was Small Industry of the Year. A special award from the Economic Development Foundation was presented to City Manager Gary Martin and Mayor Marilyn Andrews for the City’s assistance in bringing the Thorn Apple Valley plant to Ponca City.

Shawn Manor Nursing Home added an eight-bed skilled nursing unit to its facility.

Char-Pei Chen was crowned “Queen of Courts” at the Lady Cats basketball game in Robson Fieldhouse. She was escorted by Ryan Christian.

Mayor Marilyn Andrews won another three-year term by default, as no one filed to run against her.

Floyd Treiber, director of the YMCA, retired after 24 years of service.

A plastic encased directory was placed at the front of Centennial Plaza to help people locate their named bricks.

Kim Ghylin, Justin Shurts and Sarah Round were selected the outstanding musicians at the NOC Junior High Honor Band clinic.

The library instituted a new program, “Let’s Talk About It,” a book discussion series focusing on the American writers of the Gilded Age.

The North Central Chapter of Quail Unlimited sponsored its 9th annual dinner and auction at the Elks Lodge.

The Pioneer Genealogical Society sponsored a beginner’s workshop, “Looking for Your Roots.” Ruth Starnes coordinated the meeting, and teachers included Marquetta and Graydon Brown, Loyd Bishop, Marlene Stewart, Bill Ziegenhain, and Paula Denson.

Mayor Andrews presented 25-year awards to five city employees – Melvin Schoonover, Kenneth Brookshire, Stephen Shea, Tom Montgomery, and R.N. Taylor.

The Ponca City Women’s Bowling Assn. honored Hall of Fame inductees Nadine Laughlin and Mary Wilson.

The City Commission took action to obtain a $3.9 million loan for a number of utility projects, including water storage improvements, a pump station, a back-up generator, water distribution system improvements, and wastewater collection system improvements. The loan would come from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

The Lady Cats won the first round of the regional basketball playoff games against Shawnee
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In February, Bob Caine, Charlie Hollar, and Jim Kelly turned over their seats on the Board of Education to newly elected members Michael Kruck, Janet Goll, and Phyllis Mitchell. Pat Smith had resigned due to a job transfer.

Dr. Bill White, Superintendent of Schools, served on an 11-member High School Superintendents Advisory Committee, established to give grassroots advice to the State Vo-Tech director.

Ryan Gawel began law school at Southwestern University of Law in Los Angeles. Sara Dee Stotts graduated from University of Kansas. Amy Rebecca Barr, a sophomore at Bethany College, was designated “distinguished in scholarship,” and named to the Dean’s List.

Gina Kasselman and Julian Stokke were named to the 1994 Dean’s Honor Roll at Wichita State University. Kari Russell, chemical engineering senior at the University of Tulsa, was named to the President’s Honor Roll for earning a 4.0 GPA. Rhonda Ann Johnson was named to the Dean’s Academic Honor List at Baylor University.

Three Po-Hi seniors, Patrick Muchmore, Danny Mulligan, and Brian Phillips, qualified as National Merit Finalists.

A reception was held honoring Paul Ingersol’s retirement. “P.I.” had served 38 years as a Ponca City teacher and administrator. At Po-Hi, he had been a teacher, counselor, advisor for several activities, bookstore operator and assistant principal.

Jo Ann Muchmore, executive director of the Poncan Theatre, published a children’s book, “Johnny Rides Again.”

Stolhand Heating and Air Conditioning opened a new facility and commemorated their 18th year in business.

John Young was named the new President of the Board of Education. Michael Kruck, Janet Goll, and Phyliss Mitchael were sworn in as new board members. Avis Braggs was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Pat Smith.

The local American Legion post marked the organization’s 76th birthday.

The Oklahoma Historical Society chose Rand Elliott, of Elliott and Associates of Tulsa, as the architect for the expansion of the Pioneer Woman Museum. The time line proposed by Elliott was to begin construction in February 1996 with the completion date of August 1996. A donation from Conoco boosted the matching fund amount closer to the $350,000 goal.

In March, Jim Holt announced that he would not be a candidate for the State House in 1996. He had held the seat for 21 consecutive years, and currently ranked third in house tenure.

Due to a significant increase in felonies in the last four years by 12-17 year olds, the Police Department proposed a juvenile curfew ordinance, which the City Commission approved.

Juveniles 15-18 would be off the streets from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and midnight to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday. A curfew for juveniles less than 15 would be 10:30 p.m. each night. The ordinance was approved in April.

Lt. Clayton Johnson, a Ponca City Police Department officer, graduated from the 180th session of the National FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Missy Morland, coordinator for the Ponca City Tourism Authority, reported that the economic impact of tourism in Ponca City in February, 1995, was over $170,000. The January hotel/motel tax received was $6,311 compared to $5,367 in 1994. The February tax was $7,081 compared to $4971 in 1994.

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence announced the 100 public high school seniors named as 1995 Academic All-State, including Patrick Muchmore. The students represent 75 public high schools from 64 cities and towns across the state. Selected from more than 700 nominations, each All-Stater received a $1,000 scholarship.

Ponca City Lady Wildcat senior Char-Pei-Chen was named to the Oklahoma High School Girls Basketball Coaches Assn. All-State Large East 5-on-5 team. She was also selected to the Frontier Conference All-Conference First Team, and also the Tulsa World’s 5-0n-5 Super Girls team. Head Coach Larry Rehl was selected as the “Charles K. Heatly Coach of the Year” winner.

Personnel in two labor unions of the city reached agreements and contracts were officially signed during a city commission meeting in March. The Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Fire Fighters both agreed to extend the current contracts through the 1995-96 contract year. This was the earliest collective signing of agreements by the two unions and the city.

Larry Millikin, a 26-year veteran with the Wichita, Kansas Fire Department, became the Ponca City fire chief May 1.

Tom Montgomery, a police officer since 1969, was named Emergency Management Director for the city.

The Park Department thinned out several of the old pear trees downtown that had grown too tall and were hiding business signs. Caddo maples replaced some of the trees.

Award winners from the Tipoff Club Basketball Banquet were Matt Brown, Cameron Anderson, Ryan Christian, Char-pei Chen, Melissa Childers, Todd Frankenfield, Erin Cunningham and Teresa Boles.

The Crown and Rose English Pub opened on North 14th St. Owned by Brian Harpster, the pub had four eating areas, a huge fireplace, and a pub room. The menu was typically British.

A new Taco Mayo restaurant was built at 1312 Princeton, adjacent to Kentucky Fried Chicken.

In April, Hughes Lumber celebrated the opening of its new kitchen and bath showroom and Drive-Thru lumberyard.

The old Kettle Restaurant was demolished. In that location at 2125 N. 14th St., a new Perkins Family Restaurant was planned.

Sound technician Don Dobbs installed a state-of-the-art Dolby sound system and new speakers in the Poncan Theatre. The system was especially designed for movies. The Poncan already had a new Yamaha 32-track sound board for live performances.

Po-Hi sophomores Aaron Zimmerman and Matt Szabo worked with their instructor, J.D. Hanks, to master the German language in advance of their departure to study at a German high school for the 1995-96 school year. The two boys were selected from more than 350 applicants to represent Oklahoma in an exchange program with Germany.

FFA students from the Po-Hi Chapter earned State Degrees, the highest degree awarded by the Oklahoma FFA Association. Nominated for the degree were Troy Crowell, Ryan Kirkpatrick, Jeff Orr, Chad Otto, Chad Ross, Robb Taylor, and Justin Williams.

Trout School dancers performed a German folk Dance at the Culture-Fest celebration at Pioneer Park. Another group of Trout dancers did a Chinese Fan dance.

The newest addition to the Taste and Tasteless in 1995 was “The Big Top” tent behind the Poncan Theatre, where patrons could “taste” prior to the “tasteless.” The show, titled “There’ve Been Some Changes Made –or- “I Got Plastered at The Poncan,” was written by Foster Johnson, Jerry Hughes, Terry Huston, David May, and Jo Ann Muchmore.
John Pototschnik, well-known Southwest artist, was the judge for the 21st Annual Ponca City Fine Arts Festival held in May at the Art Center.

The “Angel” committee was already planning the 1995 Festival of Angels in April, brainstorming new ideas. Lighted displays would again be set up at the Pioneer Woman Museum, Cann Garden Center, Cultural Center, Poncan Theatre, Art Center, and Centennial Plaza. The budget to purchase new displays and lights was set at $60,000 for this second year of the event. Members of the committee were Kathy Adams, Festival chairman; Cindy Bays, Design; Earl Whittaker and Jim Lindsay, Electrical; Linda Sparks, souvenirs; Matt Auld, Treasurer; Gary Stephens, Signs; Gael Hancock, Advertising; Roy Sullivan, Bill Valenta, Dick Stone, Don White, Site Supervisors; Debbie Taiclet, Main Street; and Missy Morland, Ponca City Tourism Authority.

A steady flow of wanna be movie extras filed through the Chamber of Commerce to fill out applications to appear in “Twister.” More than 200 hotel rooms in Ponca City were booked for May and June for the movie production crews. Filming was to begin in May.

In April, Linda Groth was named new executive director of the Opportunity Center, a habilitation organization providing training for adults with developmental disabilities through vocational, residential and supported employment programs. The center currently served 48 Kay County residents.

A new addition at the Opportunity Screenprint Shop doubled the present size of the facility, allowing the shop to use the new 8-color press purchased by the Land of Country and to hire more clients.

Ponca City Tourism Authority granted $10,000 to the Pioneer Woman Museum expansion project. The money, which comes from a 3% motel tax devoted to promoting tourism, was earmarked for exhibit development.

An explosion at the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City occurred on Wednesday, April 19, causing extensive damage and casualties. Conoco donated and provided gasoline by tanker to the site, to be used to fuel the emergency generators. The Salvation Army Disaster Relief crews from Ponca City provided 24-hour assistance. By noon the day of the bombing, they had set up four canteens in the area. Conoco gave $100,000 to assist the victims. Head Country took their smokers to Oklahoma City and fed 3100 volunteers on the disaster crew. Dr. Paul Davis, Kay county coroner, was called in to assist the Medical Examiner’s office.

On Friday, April 21st, WBBZ Radio celebrated the 65th Anniversary of the Pioneer Woman Statue. The station broadcast live from the museum, starting at 7:30 a.m. Dubbed the “Buzz Club” Birthday Bash, the station offered free donuts, coffee, birthday cake, and door prizes. Comments at the gathering came from Sen. Don Nickles, Rep. Ernest Istook, and Argus Hamilton. Also in attendance were Mayor Marilyn Andrews, Rep. Jim Holt, Sen. Paul Muegge, and Dist. Attorney John Maddox.

Carl Renfro, Marland Mansion Commission chairman, announced that the financial picture for the estate was over $100,000 better off than at the same time last year.

Personnel from the movie “Twister” had rented the gatehouse and two suites at the conference center hotel.

Habitat for Humanity completed their second house, and had two more underway.

The City Commission and Economic Development reached an agreement with Sykes Enterprises to invest $1.5 million to purchase land, install utilities, and improve the road. The Computer Services Firm agreed to an initial investment of $6.5 million. Sykes is a customer support center that provides third-party technical support 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. One of the reasons the company selected Oklahoma and Ponca City in particular was the Quality Jobs Bill that would provide quarterly cash incentive payments for ten years directly to the company.

Three U.S. Olympic swimmers presented a Gold Medal Swim Clinic for Sailfish swimmers at the Community Pool.

KIXR Radio held a “Bachelor Auction” and raised $7000 for the Kay County Special Olympics team.

The Poncan Theatre presented the Oklahoma Festival Ballet from O.U.

The schools celebrated Native American Heritage week in April. Activities included powwows, fashion shows, the Great American Indian Dancers, artists and storytellers.

A jury found James David Goza guilty of second-degree arson for starting a fire at his business, A&A Paint and Decorating. The jury recommended a 20-year sentence and $20,000 fine.

A Tulsa construction firm was approved to construct the northwest water transmission pipelines to the Airport Industrial Park water tank.

Festival of Angels set up “Angel Alley” at the annual Iris Festival. Ponca Citians had expressed an interest in purchasing angels for their yards, so there were three display vendors with samples of yard displays for patrons to choose. The Angels committee accepted donations and signed up volunteers for the festival. There was also a street dance that evening with music provided by Country Mile Band.

Ponca City High School Boys Chorus, Girls Chorus and Chorale received Superior ratings in concert and sight reading, and the chorale received the State 5A Sweepstakes Award. Those receiving the awards included Marci Spore, Vishal Bhakta, Lori Bivin, B.J. Huston, Matt Payne, Kristin Maddox, and Travis Pardee.

Prom Royalty was crowned at the 1995 Junior-Senior Prom at the Marland Mansion. Jennifer Kastendick was Po-Hi Princess and Ryan Christian was Po-Hi Prince. Attendants were Fred Cavner and Brooke Bandy and Lyndsey Merrifield and Matt Nida.

Po-Hi senior John Jochum received the 1995 Conoco Memorial Scholarship. Other seniors receiving scholarships included Christopher Adams, Kathryn Bryan, Sarah Koster, Angela Luis, Richard Shepard, and Andrew Stoeckley.

Chuck Greenwood of Greenwood Aviation was awarded the Oklahoma Fix Base Operator for 1995. The award is based on the outstanding service, professional trained employees, overall facility appearance, strong management and community involvement.

Natalie Lindsay, Lady Cat singles tennis player, was named individual regional champion in the Class 5A Region IV Tournament, and advanced to the State Tournament.

Po-Hi Stepper squad members brought home six awards from the National Drill Team School Competition. The Lady Wildcat golfers were named the Academic State Champions at the Class 5A girls state tournament.

The city contracted with a Tulsa construction firm to construct the northwest water transmission pipelines to the Airport Industrial Park water tank.

The Ponca City schools celebrated Native American Heritage Week by involving students in powwows, fashion shows, the Great American Indian Dancers, storytellers and artists.

PoHi’s tennis teams qualified for the 5A State tournament and both teams finished in the top 10. Boys team members were Bryan Carter, Jeremy Pober, Nathan Graf, Bryan Magstadt, Corey Roussel, Fernando Sada, Jon Hoover, and Greg Carter.

Lady Cats who went to state or won awards were Michelle Means, Angie Woody, Heather Hohensee, Stephanie Mahon, Jamie Runyan, Lisa Heck, Natalie Lindsay, Amanda Berry, Jill Thompson, Juli Thompson and Julie Nigh.

Winners at the State Federation of Music Clubs play-off were Kevin Goldman, Kara Hardy, and Nathan Kellert.

Po-Hi baseball coach, Roydon Tilley, announced that Ponca City seniors Brad Gibson and Ryan Hintergardt were named to the Frontier Conference All-Conference baseball team.

Four Po-Hi soccer players were voted to the All-State teams - Jennifer Kastendick and Cristie Foreman on the Lady Cat team and Chad Woucek and Ryan Quinn on the Wildcat team.

A major methamphetamine distribution link between California and the Ponca City area was cut, according to Kay County District Attorney John Maddox. There were 15 people arrested, including three from California. Total value of the drugs taken off the streets was in excess of $81,000. All the agents of the Major Crimes Unit assisted with the investigation.

Jim Murr, local metal sculptor, designed and built a unique permanent 30-foot sign identifying Standing Bear Native American Park near the intersection of U.S. 60 and U.S. 177.

The Pioneer Woman Museum opened a new exhibit, “Photographers in Petticoats: Oklahoma Territories, 1890-1907.” Karen Dye of Newkirk assisted the museum staff in mounting the exhibit.

Jerry Runyan resigned as Po-Hi Athletic Director, ending a 31-year career with the school.

Rusty Benson was assigned to replace Runyan.

The Chamber of Commerce and 14 corporate sponsors hosted a casual reception at the Marland Mansion for the cast and crew of “Twister.”

The Engineering and Planning Departments moved their offices to the Commercial Federal Building. Traffic Engineering offices moved to the operations center on West Prospect. They had outgrown the City Hall building.

The City approved a $10,000 grant request for the Pioneer Woman Museum.

In July, the Marland Mansion held an auction to raise money for restoration. The items included many excess furniture pieces that were not needed for the museum collection, but could be treasures for those wanting to own a piece of Marland history. Proceeds were going to restore Lydie’s Cottage and make some necessary structural repairs to the Mansion. Proceeds were $11,262.

Ground was broken for the new Sykes Enterprises building. The new customer services center was to be in the industrial park west of the airport, and would bring 600 new jobs to Ponca City.

Steve Frick, plant manager for Air System Components, announced the company would expand their building, adding about 20,000 square feet. The firm manufactures registers and grills for heating and air conditioning units, mainly for industrial use.

The Kaw Fest ’95 Celebration was full of activities for all ages. Events included a Big Bass Tournament, Classic Car Show, Craft Show, Tour De Kaw boat rally, 3-D Archery Shoot, Sailboat Regatta, Civil War Encampment, Motorcycle Poker Run, Beach Volleyball Tournament, Native American Dance Exhibition, Jet Ski Races, Barbecue on the Beach, Model Airplane Demonstration, and Dancin’ on the Dock. Bill Murphy and Sam Fite were co-chairs.

Boyd Braden, principal at McCord Elementary School, was selected as the 1994-95 District Administrator of the Year for Kay and Osage Counties.

Witco Corporation sold the assets of its wholly owned subsidiary, Continental Carbon Co., to China Synthetic Rubber Corp. of Taipei, Taiwan.

When filming started for “Twister,” the entire town of Wakita was closed down. During the filming, only local residents were allowed to enter the area.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a $300,000 grant for a scenic and cultural heritage project at Standing Bear Park. The funds would help finish Phase I of the complex, including the statue of Chief Standing Bear, Memorial Walk, the Plaza area and the landscaping of the eight-acre site.

The School Board approved a $10 million bond issue, with the vote to be on September 12. According to Superintendent Bill White, the money would mark the first step in an ambitious three-phase program. Phase I would be an addition to the Howell Building and other improvements at Po-Hi, as well as a new Lincoln Elementary School.

Bill and Charlene Mock cut the ribbon on their new store, Bill Mock Fashion Floors and Interiors at 300 W. Grand. The new facility replaced the one that was destroyed by a fire in 1994.

Commissioners took a bus tour to view the new construction going on as a result of the new companies locating here. Phase one of the wastewater treatment plant improvement project was completed at a cost of $4.3 million. Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority was in the process of repowering the No. 1 steam plant at a cost of $41 million. In the industrial park, crews were building a 1.5 million gallon water tank and a pump station, and a new sewer line from West Highland north towards the industrial park. A new water line project along Overbrook at Pine Street was working its way towards Waverly, and then north to the Industrial Park.

The Ninth Annual Cherokee Strip Chili and Bar-B-Que Cookoff in July were dedicated to the memory of George Jeffries, who had died in a motorcycle accident. George and the 101 Beverage Co. played an important part in the event every year.

The City renewed their lease with Lone Star Airlines, so Ponca City was assured of continuing air service.

Bank IV moved four portable buildings to the parking lot in front of Bud’s Outlet on the southwest corner of 14th and Prospect. Customers could use the temporary drive-thru lanes while construction of a new North-Side branch was going on.

Missy Morland, tourism coordinator, reported that the economic impact of tourism activities in April was near $396,000, due partly to the movie “Twister.” In May, the report was over $500,000.

Ponca City firefighter, John Rhyne, landed a speaking part in “Twister.” He had two lines, and reportedly was paid $500 a line.

Holiday Lighting Specialists, a Tonkawa company that specializes in lighted Christmas displays, set up a large booth during Crazy Days. They showed several styles of lighted sculptured angels for purchase. Artist Gene Dougherty designed the angels.

Radio Station WBBZ’s “Buzz Club” presented “The Best of Ponca,” a variety show at the Poncan Theatre to benefit Helpline. “Buzz Club” favorites Dave May and Dave Jefferis were the emcees.

In mid-July, Thorn Apple Valley had a special “Job Fair” at Pioneer Technology Center for prospective employees. Over 1,100 persons attended, with 85% from Kay County. With Thorn Apple Valley and Sykes Enterprises both opening by October, Ponca City would have 1,000 new jobs.

Ponca City banker, Carl Renfro, was named to the State Board of Regents for Higher Education.

The former IGA building at First and Highland was completely renovated and became the new home of Quality Water Services.

Effective Jan. 1, 1996, the city ruled that they would not be picking up grass clippings at the curbside. They encouraged citizens to use a mulching mower.

Mayor Andrews updated the community on current projects within the city, and others that were in the planning stages. The North 5th Street extension project from Hartford to Prospect would let bids in February 1996, with construction to begin in May. The Traffic Engineer division is currently operating a state-of-the-art traffic signal system with 36 signalized intersections and 27 flashing warning beacons, all interconnected to a central computer. The department also maintains street markings for 355,000 square feet of pavement. The motor pool division maintains and repairs 319 rolling vehicles, including 97 heavy-duty equipment vehicles. The new curfew for youth had received numerous positive comments of appreciation from parents, and the juvenile crime rate was significantly reduced. The fire department reported an average response time of three minutes and only one fatality in three years. The light department purchased an 80-foot pole “trouble truck,” and also formed three tree-trimming crews to begin the 8-foot clearing of trees from all power lines to reduce outages. Larger water lines had been laid to residences on the west side of the city to improve water pressure. Expansion of the water plant was scheduled for completion in October. The Park department was maintaining two greenhouses where all the flowers and foliage were being grown, cutting the landscaping costs for the downtown area and the 28 parks. The Park department had also taken over maintenance of the Marland Mansion grounds. At the airport, the T-hangar ramp construction was complete, and a 1,000-foot runway extension was in process. The library had installed a new computer system so patrons could more easily access the 75,000 catalogued items available.

Perkins Family Restaurant opened in Ponca Plaza in August.

A new four-laned Industrial Boulevard was completed in late July where Thorn Apple Valley was building their new meat processing plant. The road also serviced Albertson’s Warehouse.

Arts Adventure students completed their two-week workshop at the Marland Estate. All 120 students presented a showcase for their parents and friends on the last day.

Clients at the Opportunity Center created Festival of Angels souvenir earrings and necklaces from strings of lights that were no longer usable for displays.

The 101 Wild West Rodeo celebrated its 36th year, with shows on August 16, 17, 18 and 19.

Planners added a new event, Bill Pickett Memorial Bulldogging. J.D. Crouse won the event, biting the lip of a steer while bulldogging him to the ground in 5.6 seconds. Also, for the first time, a cowgirl, Polly Reich of Huntsville, Arkansas, entered the bull-riding event, coming out of the chute on “Terminator.” Volunteers had worked on beautifying the parking lot area, and changed the entrance roads.

Michael Duran, 9-year-old Ponca City motocross rider, continued to be one of the best in the nation in the Pee-Wee class of the Grand National Motocross Championships held in Ponca City. He finished eighth overall in a field of 40 riders from across the country.

Gov. Keating proclaimed August 19 as Paul Davis Day in Oklahoma. Dr. Davis spent at least four days and nights in Oklahoma City without relief, identifying victims from the Murrah Building bombing.

Deachi Guier was named Collegiate All-American after attending camp with the OSU varsity cheerleading squad.

Main Street Program managers from 23 Main Street towns across Oklahoma met in Ponca City for their annual retreat. The Ponca City Main Street Program was the first Oklahoma town to reach a $10 million private reinvestment level.

Sykes Enterprises held a job fair for prospective employees at the Pioneer Technology Center.

Ponca City Tomorrow Education Committee and the Conoco Retirees Association sponsored a public forum concerning the Sept. 12 $10 million school bond election. Supt. Bill White addressed the issues and answered questions. The specific projects included constructing and equipping a new Lincoln Elementary, additions and renovations to infrastructures of various other school buildings, adding classrooms, relocating administrative offices, and purchasing at least seven busses.

Kay County’s four branches of Bank IV were among the 56 locations in Oklahoma involved in Boatmen’s Bank purchase of Bank IV. A new branch office was currently being built on North 14th St.

Ponca City High School’s Marching Band, with 126 members, performed at the Wildcat’s first football game at Jenks High School. Drum majors for the “Big Blue” are seniors Christine Gans and Tyris Williams. The Flag Captain is Kristen Day, and Assistant Flag Captain, Carina Matli. The Po-Hi band is under the direction of Steve Workman, Mel Arner, and Tricia Bovenschen.

The Land of Country Antique and Craft Festival were held in early September at the Hutchins Memorial. Proceeds were donated to the Pioneer Woman Museum Expansion fund. In 1994, proceeds from the Festival had gone towards the purchase of a new eight-color silk screen press for the Land of Opportunity Village.

It wasn’t pretty, but Wildcat coach Rick Sodowsky was a happy man after the Wildcats presented him with his first victory as a head coach in a wacky 35-20 win over Duncan. Chad Hacker became the first Wildcat back to rush for 100 yards in a game.

Residents of the Ponca City school district passed the $10 million school bond issue. There were 71% of the voters who voted yes.

Lowe’s Company Inc. officially announced that a new superstore would be built in Ponca City, located on North 14th St. The future Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse would be a 160,000 square-foot retail facility which will include a 120,000 square-foot sales floor and an additional 30,00 plus-square foot lawn and garden center. The company currently operated over 350 stores in 22 states located primarily in the South Atlantic and south central regions of the country. Lowe’s is a Fortune 500 company and one of the nation’s top 30 retailers.

The “Grate Ponca City Spelling Bee” was held at the Poncan Theatre in September. There were 33 teams competing to find out who were the best spellers in Ponca City. Proceeds went to the Ponca City Area Literacy Council.

First Lutheran School students went to class in their new building for the first time. The new school housed sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classrooms, plus a computer lab.

A Dollar General Store opened in Pioneer Shopping Center on North 14th Street in September.

Based on hotel/motel collections for the 1994-95 fiscal year, tourism increased by 13% in Ponca City. Since 1987, when the tax was first voted in, tourism tax income has increased by 91%. Missy Morland, coordinator for Ponca City Tourism Authority, exhibited at four travel shows during the year and arranged for 58 motorcoach tours to visit Ponca City.

Douglas Revard, former district attorney, was named special district judge.

On October 1st, the Ponca City Utility Authority and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority hosted an open house for the repowering project at the city’s power plant complex at 1400 N. Union. Citizens took tours of steam unit No. 1, the steam plant and diesel plant. The project was completed six months ahead of schedule and under budget.

Oktoberfest Music filled the air at the 15th Annual celebration at the Marland Mansion on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The ever popular Polkatimers played “Happy Music for Happy People.”

The Lady Wildcats softball team claimed the Regional title, beating Bartlesville 4-3.
The Wildcat football team won their first two games under the direction of Coach Sodowsky.

Tim Burg was elected Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for 1996.

The Country Club golf course underwent a $200,000 renovation and reconstruction.

Ponca City Tourism Authority was nominated for three awards at the 1995 Governor’s Conference on Tourism. The Poncan Theatre was nominated for Attraction of the Year, Cann Garden Center for native beauty, and Festival of Angels for a new event.

David Zimmerman presented a brochure for a new tour, entitled “Petroleum, From the Ground to the Glamour.” The tour includes an oil field ghost town, largest refinery in Oklahoma, geologic oil find, natural gas plant, production and pipeline facilities, a working drill site, a producing oil field and the Petroleum Museum plus a tour of the Marland Mansion.

“Angel Central,” the gift shop for Festival of Angels, opened October 3rd in the Pioneer Shopping Center on North 14th St. There was a wide variety of gifts, sweatshirts, jewelry, ornaments, toys, and the limited edition 1995 ornament.

Larry Felix, Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, announced upcoming promotions and events at the chamber board meeting. Felix said that, to date, the Chamber had sold some 1,600 “Chamber Bucks” for more than $40,000. Members purchased the bucks at the Chamber and redeemed them at various businesses in Ponca City. Several companies bought them for gift certificates and bonus awards for employees.

JoAnn Muchmore directed the Playhouse production of “The Cemetery Club,” a comedy featuring Vicki Poulson, Marge Parker, Iris Ballou, and Nancy Vunovich.

Sykes Enterprises, the new computer support center, was up and running by October with 200 employees. They conducted a preview tour for a group of Union School fourth graders, and held an open house for the public. Later, at an assembly at Union, CEO John Sykes contributed $30,000 in computers and software programs to the school. The students cheered, “Let’s get Syked up!”

Oreland C. Joe, Sr. was chosen as the sculptor for the bronze statue of Standing Bear.

Air Systems Components completed a new building addition. The growing company manufactures registers and grills for commercial use.

The Marland Estate received a $50,000 grant from the Sarkeys Foundation for restoration of Lydie’s Cottage.

The YMCA celebrated their 40th anniversary in Ponca City. Highlights of the year included 360 youngsters in summer day camp; 246 youths in “Free Begin to Swim” program; service to 100 seniors through the Senior Health Fair; biweekly service to the Ponca Tribe substance abuse program; service to nine power lifters as part of the Special Olympics; and hosted 8 international youths with the International Student Exchange.

The Pioneer Woman Museum closed in November, and would be closed for a year while the building was expanded and new exhibits were designed.

Kim Manning, Po-Hi Senior, won the National American Kids first place award for her ballet number “Memories” at the Civic Center in Oklahoma City. She is a student of Inciardi School of Dance and an award-winning member of the Po-Hi Drill Team.

The Marland Mansion commemorated the 20th anniversary of the city’s purchase of the estate. Dignitaries who had participated in the transfer of ownership were honored at a reception prior to the Gala. There was a delegation from the Felician Sisters, who now reside in New Mexico.

As a part of “Make a Difference Day,” students at Garfield, with assistance from parents and teachers, picked up trash on their playground, trimmed the trees and repainted the parking lot and playground lines. This was the first annual “Make a Difference Day,” sponsored by Ponca City Tomorrow.

“Big Blue” of Po-Hi again broke the Oklahoma School Band record with its 47th straight “Superior” rating at the Regional Marching Contest. Ponca City was one of 32 high school bands in the competition.

City dignitaries and company officials celebrated the grand opening of the new state-of-the-art, 170,000 square foot plant of Thorn Apple Valley in early November.

Construction of the facility had begun in September 1994. The new $40 million plant would produce spiral sliced hams, premium sliced lunchmeats and other ham products. The company would employ more than 350 people. Since its founding in the 1950s, TAV had grown to become one of the largest meat processors in the country. In honor of the grand opening, the company donated 1,000 pounds of meat products to Ponca City United Way. Each agency received 20 cases of turkey lunchmeat and ten cases of smoked sausage.

Patti Apman, director of the Marland Estate Mansion, was removed from her position.
 
In November, citizens in Kay County voted to repeal the personal property tax.

Architect Rand Elliott presented architectural plans for the Pioneer Woman Museum addition to advisory board members and the media. The architectural concept will be “I see no boundaries.” The theme of the museum will emphasize the importance of women pioneering in various professions. Oklahoma Historical Society had designated $220,000 for the expansion, and Ponca City citizens donated $420,000. Kathy Dickson, museum director of the OHS, congratulated the group, saying this is the most money raised by a community of this size for a museum project. Opening date was to be April, 1997.

Bill Coleman, vice president and general manager of KPNC-FM, became majority owner of the station. He had been manager since 1991.

In December, George Rahme opened The Renaissance, a new 30-suite, assisted living facility for senior adults, at 2616 N. Turner Road.

The Marland Estate Commission voted unanimously to privatize the Conference Center and Hotel. Apple Cart Catering had already taken over the food service.

Several new displays were added to the second annual Festival of Angels. The most obvious one was the towering 30-foot angel at the intersection of 14th Street and Lake Road near the Pioneer Woman Statue. The lighted exhibits were on display from the Friday after Thanksgiving until December 28.