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Ponca City Information

Ponca City History

2001

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2001 — Tyson Tyson Foods became the world’s largest processor and marketer of not only chicken, but also red meat with the acquisition of beef and pork powerhouse, IBP, Inc.
 
On January 4, President George W. Bush named Blackwell native Joe Allbaugh as head of FEMA.
 
Quality Water Services, a third generation Ponca City business, developed a product to be distributed nationwide to Wal-Mart photo labs. Kelly Johnson, president and owner, said they had begun the process about five years earlier with the Ponca City Wal-Mart.
 
Kimbrough Temple, 1020 S. 12th street, was named one of Oklahoma’s Most Endangered Historic Properties. Built by community volunteers in 1946, the structure served the African-American community in Ponca City.
 
The Big Blue Po-Hi Band raised $25,000 to go to Washington D.C. to march in the Inaugural parade on January 16, honoring President George W. Bush.
 
Wayne Leven was sworn in as District II Kay County Commissioner.
 
Sen. Jim Inhofe was appointed chairman of the powerful Highway and Infrastructure committee in Washington.
 
On Jan. 9, city commissioners approved the Fifth Street extension project and construction was scheduled to begin.
 
Dr. Doug Major’s contract as superintendent of Pioneer Technology Center was renewed. Two new programs were approved by the PTC Board – Mechanical Maintenance and Information Technology.
 
Mayor Tom Leonard announced he would seek re-election. Bret Carter, Conoco employee, and Estle Lampe also filed.
 
University Learning Center Foundation received over $15,000 in scholarship funds.
 
Dan Gilliam, Conoco, was elected chairman of the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce. Former Mayor Marilyn Andrews was honored as Outstanding Citizen. James York was named
Volunteer of the year, United Supermarket was named Business of the year, and Conoco was Industry of the year. The Larry Hughes Award was given to Lowell LeFebvre and Gary Denny. Mike Turpen and Burns Hargis entertained Chamber members with the program.
 
In February, Norris Frederick defeated David Kinkaid for Office 6 on the Board of Education. The mill levies were made permanent.
 
Rep. Jim Newport announced that Ponca City Literacy Council had been awarded two $3,000 grants from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. They also received a $1542 grant to purchase New Readers Press books and instructional materials.
 
Ponca City Public Schools were awarded a Century Learning Center grant for $306,207.
 
The Ponca City Public School Foundation awarded 16 grants totaling $11,790 to those teachers who had submitted ideas for new and innovative classroom projects.
 
The Lady Cat swim team broke three long-standing team records as the girls swam to a 7th place finish and the boys finished 10th in the state swimming and diving championships.
 
Ponca City Arts & Humanities Council sponsored “Artrain USA,” an art museum on a six-car train with a locomotive engine and a caboose. Citizens could view “Artistry of Space - The NASA Exhibit” as they walked through the train cars, assisted by volunteer guides. The train was parked next to the depot for three days. At one point, there were over 200 people waiting to board the train.
 
Pamela Hunter and Tamara Chaney, Ponca City teachers, earned the distinction of National Board Certification.
 
Conoco and its subsidiary, Conoco Pipeline Company, paid more than $5 million in 2000 ad valorem taxes to 33 county treasurers in Oklahoma. Ad valorem taxes provide critical funding for maintaining the operation of county governments and school districts. Kay County received the largest share for a single county - $3.975 million. The Ponca City School District received $3.855 million, about 28% of all revenue received from property taxes by the local school district.
 
Two Ponca City companies were among 17 firms recognized with The Journal Record Innovator of the Year Awards. Advanced Academics, Inc. of Ponca City and Edmond, founded by Ponca Citian Gary Gallagher, was recognized in the Technology/E-commerce category. Gallagher is a former Ponca City educator who developed a concept to deliver educational courses over the Internet to students in grades 6-12. Although he used highly skilled professional teachers to deliver the online courses, the curriculum was still delivered at a cost lower than classroom instruction at a typical school. Within six months after its formal opening, the company was serving nearly 1,500 students nationwide.

Ponca City citizens voted in favor of the city’s last best offer concerning the firefighter’s pay raises.
 
The Small Business Administration named Michael Engster, founder and owner of Centerline, Inc., Small Business Person of the Year for Oklahoma.
 
City Commissioners accepted an agreement for design and construction phase services for the Community Trails Project. The trail would begin at Hartford and Redbud Park, go south through the Marland Estate grounds, down Monument Road, then west on Highland to War Memorial Park. The final phase will share the road south on Seventh Street, connecting to the trails at Standing Bear Park.
 
New officers of the Pioneer Technology Center’s Board of Education were Robert Howard, president, J.D. Soulek, vice-president, Orva Rothgeb, board clerk, and Larry Buck, deputy clerk.
 
On March 12, Kay County Commissioners approved a bid of $1,584,715 by Rick Scott Construction to build the new Kay County Health Department building on Fairview Ave.
 
A portrait of Shirley Bellmon, twice first lady of Oklahoma, was unveiled at the Pioneer Woman Museum. It was to hang on the museum’s Wall of Fame, which features women from Oklahoma who have made a significant contribution to history in the state and the nation.
 
Craig Stephenson, former assistant city manager for Enid, was name Ponca City’s new Public Works director, replacing Ken Parr, who moved to Texas. The new department consists of Engineering, Traffic Engineering, Street Department, Airport, Motor Pool Services, and Lew Wentz Municipal Golf Course.
 
The Lady Cat golfers won their fourth tournament title at Cushing, finishing 22 strokes in front of second place Bartlesville. Michaela Cavener won her fifth straight medallist title, posting a 76. Other Cat golfers were Christi Rutledge, Jenni Nimmo, Katie Girardi, and Kellie Waddell.
 
On April 5, the State Senate voted 32-10 for a bill doing away with the vehicle inspection program. The House later approved the bill.
 
Junior Matt Ellis set a course record at Enid’s Meadowlake course in the Enid Invitational golf tournament, leading the Wildcats to a second place finish.
 
A new addition to Ponca City’s skyline is the yellow tanks of the new asphalt plant of Evans and Associates Construction.
 
Karen Shiflet was named Director of Community Education at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.
 
Carl Schwager, 10-year-old Ponca City fourth grader, won the Tulsa World Eastern Oklahoma Spelling Bee against 245 other contestants.
 
Ponca City girls junior high golf team won their first two tournaments of the season. Team members included Haley Schauvliege, Lauren Degan, April Forcum, Lindsay Giddens, and Jessica Woods.
 
The 9th grade girls track team placed first in a field of 20 teams at the Catoosa Invitational.
 
During a speech on April 11, Archie Dunham, Conoco CEO, commented on the company’s $225 million investment in the new carbon fibers pilot plant and the gas-to-liquids plant in Ponca City. Dunham credited Gov. Frank Keating for Conoco’s new investments in Oklahoma and in Ponca City. He said there had been some stiff competition for the carbon fibers plant, but due to Keating’s persistence, the plant was located in Oklahoma.
 
Retired music teachers from the Ponca City schools were honored during the 75th annual Elementary Vocal Music Spring Festival. Honorees included Kay Anthony, Mary Sunshine Cogman, Alice Crowder, Carol Green, Pat Purkey, Elma Robson, Myra Schultz and Kay Smith. Bob Moore, retired supervisor of vocal music, and Bob Stephens, retired Spring Festival percussionist, were also recognized.
 
Five Po-Hi junior girls were selected as Girls State Delegates for 2001. Local delegates included Desiree Franseen, Lauren Detten, Jenna Wedd, Lisa Lechtenberg, and Jennifer Cowan.
 
Farm Fresh Inc., founded in Ponca City in 1974, announced it was selling out to Hiland Dairy Inc. In 1995, Farm Fresh had moved from Ponca City to a new plant in Chandler. It retained its corporate headquarters here until moving to Oklahoma City in 2000.
 
Andra Nuzum, daughter of Don and Lori Nuzum, was awarded the Regents Academic Scholar Award from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.
 
The 9th Annual Taste and Tasteless production was at the Poncan Theatre on April 20. Louise Abercrombie quipped, “Plans are being made to bury the script – in a time capsule located beneath the proposed statue of Mayor Tom Leonard or in a vault at Carl Renfro’s Bank.”
 
All Army veterans, past and present members of the Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard were invited to attend a Ponca City area Army Reunion at the American Legion Post. World War II veteran, C.D. Northcutt, was master of ceremonies. Other presenters included Lynn Moore, Joe Day, Earl Czaplinski, Keith Mitchell, Don Hatfield, Bob Robbins, Jack Spurlock, Jake McNiece, Herb Hopkins, and Robert James.
 
April 28 was a beautiful night for the Po-Hi Prom at the Marland Mansion. Prom Prince Jared Brashears and Prom Princess Kate Connelly were crowned amidst thousands of residents who showed up for the annual Grand March.
 
The new Marland Oil Museum opened in the north wing of the renovated Artist Studio on the grounds of the Marland Mansion. Eldridge Manering, Conoco retiree, was volunteer coordinator. The 15-month project was a gift to the Marland Estate and the City of Ponca City from Conoco as a part of its 125th anniversary.
 
The Wildcat baseball team broke the 1997 record for most wins in a season.
 
The 9th grade girls track team won the Northern Oklahoma Junior High Track Conference meet for the first time in 12 years. Coach Penny Surber said, “Almost every team member broke her personal best, and several broke some school records.”
 
Kristi Hayes, education editor for the Ponca City News, received statewide recognition for journalistic excellence at the annual Oklahoma Education Association Delegate Assembly in OKC. She was awarded a Marshall Gregory Award from OEA for Outstanding Single News Coverage for the year 2000. The award was for her coverage of the teachers’ rally at the state capitol.
 
Visitors and residents found plenty to do in Ponca City in June. The Draggin’ Grand Cruise featured close to 500 antique and classic cars. The Relay for Life raised money for the American Cancer Society. Garden lovers enjoyed the 8th Annual Herb Festival at Cann Memorial Garden. Lake Ponca greeted the Show-n-Shine Classic Car Show. The Marland Grand Home featured a photo exhibit, “This Contest is for Real Hands: Rodeo Photographs of the 1930s.”
 
Students from Trout School delivered a million pop tabs to the recycling center, weighing 723 pounds. The fifth graders received $245.82 that they donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Oklahoma City. Collection of the pop tabs had begun in 1997.
 
Timothy James McVeigh was executed on June 11 for the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
 
There were 22 Po-Hi students attending Boys State at Northern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami. Sean Cochran was appointed to the office of State Adjutant General.
 
A total of 682 students, kindergarten through 8th grade, attended summer school classes.
 
Pioneer Tech introduced a new program called ProStart. The 2-year class featured a curriculum designed by food service industry leaders and the National Restaurant Assn.
 
To celebrate their 75th anniversary, members of First Lutheran Church decided to give 75 gifts to the community. The City trash collectors each received a dozen freshly baked homemade cookies. The night shift at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center was treated to a delicious midnight supper. Students gave away bottled water at baseball games, and they donated a car to the Domestic Violence Task Force.
 
Five Po-Hi students and two sponsors geared up for the 2001 Generation X-Cup Great Race. The race, approximately 4,000 miles, began on June 17 in Atlanta, Georgia, and finished on June 30 in Pasadena, California. Team members included Bart Suter, Chase Kelly, Jason Snelson, Ashton Herbert, with J.D. Hanks and Greg Cunningham, drivers and sponsors.
 
After qualifying by winning one of the regional tournaments, the Po Hi Academic Team continued its winning ways at the National Academic Championships in Washington D.C.
Team members included Elizabeth Newman, Susan Taylor, Michael Proctor, James Cullen and Brian Tollison. Their coach and sponsor was Irene Baird.
 
The Domestic Violence Program of north central Oklahoma received an $8,000 Philip Morris “Doors of Hope” grant.
 
Local citizen and former Conoco employee, Muriel Goll, was selected as the model for a worldwide Conoco color advertisement. The Wall Street Journal ran the full-page ad in May, and it also ran in the New York Times and Barrons. The ad’s message is “Very soon the world will descend on Ponca City, Oklahoma.” Muriel is depicted as the welcoming hostess, holding a beautifully decorated cake with the greeting, “Say Hello to Ponca City.”
 
Ponca City Arts & Humanities Council sponsored Chautauqua 2001 under the big tent on the Marland Estate grounds. The theme of the week-long event was “The American 20th Century: Navigating a Changing World.” Featured characters, portrayed by nationally recognized scholars, were Mary McLeod Bethune, an early civil rights activist; Orson Welles, actor; Branch Rickey, early baseball manager; Thomas Edison, inventor; and Georgia O’Keeffe, artist.
 
Ponca City’s Freedom Festival 2001 began on Flag Day, June 14, and continued through the 4th of July. Citizens were encouraged to show their patriotism by flying the U.S. Flag for the entire 21 days.
 
The Standing Bear Native American Foundation received an Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History for the Standing Bear Park Phase II Tribal Viewing Courts. The award is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of local, state, and regional history.
“Ponca City Energy: The Power of Ponca City” became the new name and logo for city utilities.
 
Michaela Cavener won the girls division of the Independent Insurance Agent Junior Classic state golf championship at OU by 11 strokes.
 
Stephanie Beier was selected to be a part of the first Youth Leadership Oklahoma Class. Leadership Oklahoma created YLOk with a mission to develop young leaders who feel hope, pride, and responsibility for Oklahoma’s future. Beier was chosen based on her demonstrated leadership in her school and community.
 
The Po-Hi entry in the History Channel’s Great Race finished second in Stage 12 of the X-Cup division. The local team, in their 1931 Ford Deluxe Coupe, finished second in the final stage, only .05 behind the winner from Bedford, Iowa High School.
 
Matt Ellis, a senior-to-be with the Wildcat golf team, shot a 10-under 62 at the Ponca City Country Club. Club pro, Rich Maril, commented that he didn’t know of any golfer who had shot a 62 on the local course, certainly not a junior player.
 
Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in mid July. The article told about pilots flying in from various locations to have a meal at the Mexican restaurant.
 
The School Board adopted a new Children’s Internet Protection Policy, putting restrictions in place to safeguard the students and staff from inappropriate material on the Internet.
 
The board of directors for the Cimarron Broadband Project took a step toward making broadband telecommunications a reality in Ponca City by hiring Jerald Stone, former Cable One manager, as executive director.
 
“It will never work” is what the Kiwanis Club members heard in 1981 when the group planned to put a 9-hole disc golf course in War Memorial Park. Twenty years later, the sport of disc golf is so popular that the Ponca City Golf Association built an additional course at the Lake Ponca area.
 
National Motocross Championships and the annual 101 Wild West Rodeo were two annual highlights in August, with both bringing a large contingency of participants and spectators.
 
Public school officials decided to move the Alternative School to the East Middle School Annex Building on the north side of Grand Ave.
 
From the first week in June to the first week in August, there were 7,699 visitors at the Ambuc Pool, 1,700 more than the previous year.
 
Ponca City Sailfish competed at a swim meet in Moore. Maria Hester won five titles during the competition.
 
Work began on some demolition at the Civic Center to prepare for renovation of the city offices. Demolition was also in process at the Marland Estate, where the conference center and chapel were being dismantled. Rayer’s Bearden Stained Glass from Wichita, Kansas, removed the stained glass windows from the chapel. Valued at $100,000, the windows had been purchased by the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Some were to be installed in a new church, The Mission of the Good Shepherd, in Marietta.

In an effort to clear up clutter, the city began an effort to discourage temporary signs on city rights-of-way.
 
Jim Reese of Nardin resigned from the state legislature. In an election on August 14, Dale DeWitt of Braman was elected to fill the seat, defeating Doug Eisenhauer of Newkirk.
 
Po-Hi steppers Lakeysta Tipton and Errin Rutherford earned special awards at the American Dance/Drill camp in Dallas.
 
On August 15, at the Board of Commissioners meeting, Mayor Tom Leonard and Skip Jump, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local Union 2479, signed the 2001-2002 bargaining agreement between the city and the local firefighters union.
 
Plans were approved for the second phase of the North Fifth Street extension, from north of Prospect Avenue to Knight Avenue. The plan included a continuous left turn lane on Prospect, from Fifth to Fourteenth.
 
The Dewey Kelly wagon train made its official appearance at the Ponca City Rodeo parade to kick off the rodeo activities for the coming week.
 
For the eighth consecutive year, Dr. Bill White, superintendent of schools, delivered roses to all first year teachers in the district, noting, “I think it’s special to do this. It’s a tradition I’ve brought with me.”
 
Ponca City Board of Commissioners named Paula Cain as the new safety/emergency management director, replacing Tom Montgomery, who retired.
 
The estate of Joe Miller Jr. gave a more-than-$600,000 bequest to the University of Oklahoma Foundation.
 
The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 750 of Ponca City, was the official color guard in the 101 Wild West Rodeo Parade, followed directly by the Ponca City High School Marching Band.
 
Stacie Schneeberger was named 101 Ranch Wild West Rodeo Queen at the Saturday finale of the rodeo. Her brother, Jerome Schneeberger, remained on top of the calf roping event.
 
Ponca City Christian Academy opened school at Angela Hall on the Marland Estate grounds on August 22.
 
New signs were installed along Sixth Street from Cleveland Avenue to Hazel Avenue, noting that it was the “Gateway Historic District.”
 
South Avenue extension east of 14th Street began to have a new look. Dangerous bridges were being removed and the road was widened and straightened.
 
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad donated the old depot just west of South First Street to the Ponca City Landmark Conservancy.
 
Super Heroes represented the 2001 United Way Campaign theme of “Changing Lives Feels Good…Be a Hero.” The goal was $705,000 and Jeff Smith was the Campaign Chair.
 
Many Ponca Citians enjoyed the walk-through maze shaped like the state of Oklahoma, located in an 11-acre field of corn at The Family Farm on Waverly.
 
The Cherokee Strip Golf Classic celebrated its 40th anniversary at the Ponca City Country Club. The event benefits the Opportunity Center.
 
Gas prices peaked during August and September, causing an unusual number of “gas drive-offs.” Prices reached $1.57 a gallon.
 
District Attorney Mark Gibson presented Judge Douglas Revard with the 2001 Southwest Regional Child Support Enforcement Association award.
 
Kay County and Ponca City Development Authority agreed to pay half the cost of the road construction to Conoco’s Gas to Liquids facility. The State of Oklahoma funded the other half of the cost.
 
During September, Ponca City firefighters gave away smoke alarms in an effort to reduce the number of fire-related injuries and deaths in the city. The alarms were provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Kay County Health Department.
 
Cimarron Transit celebrated “Try Transit Week,” honoring regular customers, attracting non-riders, and engaging new supporters.
 
The Cherokee Strip Barbecue and Chili Cook-off was again a great success. Founded in 1986, the cook-off had contributed $90,000 to Hospice over the 15-year period.
Enrollment at Pioneer Technology center was 612, up 20% from the previous year.
 
On Tuesday, September 11, the World Trade Center in New York City was attacked. Tom Muchmore, publisher of The Ponca City News, was in New York City with his wife, Sherry. They were on the 23rd floor of a hotel in Manhattan when the incident happened. WBBZ Radio was able to reach Muchmore by phone and he shared an eyewitness account on the radio via the telephone. President Bush declared a national emergency and the military called in 50,000 reservists to active duty for homeland defense and recovery missions.
 
Mayor Tom Leonard was named 2001 Oklahoma Mayor of the Year. The award, sponsored by the Oklahoma Conference of Mayors, recognizes the dedication and commitment
brought to the highest elected post in municipal government.
 
Dr. Ron Kreger delivered his 5,000th baby at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.
 
Ponca Playhouse opened its 2001-2002 season with the comedy, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, abridged.”
 
The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission rededicated its building at 900 NE 23rd Street in Oklahoma City as the “E.W. Marland Memorial Building.” Marland was the founder of the IOGCC.
 
In the statewide election held Tuesday, September 24, Oklahoma residents voted Oklahoma a right-to-work state.
 
In early October, Po-Hi knocked off Stillwater 35-31 at Stillwater. It was the first time in 14 years that the Wildcats had defeated the Pioneers. The win also guaranteed a spot in the class 6A football playoffs, the first time since 1986 that Ponca City had reached that goal.
 
On October 2, Conoco, like most other major business operations, announced that it was increasing its security because of the September 11 tragedy. The Conoco plan was to be “user friendly.”
 
The Ponca City Fire Department raised more than $18,000 for disaster relief. Captain Skip Jump and Lt. David Branscum, Ponca City firefighters, went to New York in late October to hand deliver a check for the amount raised.
 
Lisa Marie Lechtenberg was named Miss Ponca City 2001. A senior at Po-Hi, she also won the Miss Congeniality award.
 
In homecoming activities at Po-Hi, Lacy Cobble was crowned homecoming queen. The queen’s court was freshman Laura Lechtenberg, junior Morgan Meister, senior Desiree Franseen, senior Lauren Detten and sophomore Erin Wright. Escorts were freshman Aaron Auld, junior Patrick Quinn, senior Aaron Jones, senior Dominque Lawson, senior Luke Gray, senior Colby Payne and sophomore Matt Drouhard.
 
Stacie Schneeberger was the first runner-up and Miss Congeniality at the 2002 Miss Oklahoma Rodeo Pageant in Tulsa.
 
In October, David O’Meilia, a native of Ponca City and an attorney in Tulsa, was sworn in as the new U.S. attorney for the Northern district of Oklahoma.
 
The Poncan Theatre announced their upcoming season featuring Michael Martin Murphey, Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters, the Kingston Trio, and John Mueller, appearing as legendary rock singer Buddy Holly.
 
Resurfacing of Osage Street, a $250,000 project, was completed in October. An estimated 10,800 square yards of historic bricks were removed from approximately three-quarters of a mile of roadway. The street was resurfaced from South Avenue to Liberty Avenue.
 
Jerome Schneeberger qualified to compete in the Copenhagen Cup Finale in Dallas. He had consistently been in the top 10 pro rodeo earnings. At the time he qualified for the Dallas event, he was fourth in earnings in his category, calf roping, with $99,548 in prize money.
 
On October 28, Northern Oklahoma College celebrated its 100th anniversary. A highlight of the observance was the dedication of the clock tower at the west end of Brining-Hayton Plaza. NOC began as University Preparatory School in 1901 and was created by the Sixth Oklahoma Territorial Legislature.
 
Jack Bowker was one of six to receive 2001 Distinguished Alumni Awards from OSU. Bowker graduated from OSU in 1947 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
 
The school administration announced that all 6th graders will attend West Middle School in the 2002-2003 school year. Six classrooms would be added to house the additional 400 students.
 
Po-Hi varsity cheerleaders placed fourth in the state in Class 5A OSSAA state cheerleading competition. This was the first time they had finished in the top four.
 
Ponca City children celebrated Halloween at the YMCA Spooktacular that featured games, treats and a haunted house. Also, Ponca City Main Street conducted a safe trick or treat night in downtown stores, and then the kids paraded down Grand Avenue.
 
On November 3, a fire destroyed Farha Wholesale, located in the old Rock Island Lumber Company building at 208 S. First Street. Firemen were forced to knock down the walls of the historic structure as they fought the flames. A 17-year old Ponca City boy was arrested in connection with the fire.
 
William “Bill” O’Connor, owner of O’Connor Pharmacy, died November 3. O’Connor had served in the State Senate for six years, the Board of Regents for NOC, and the board of the University Learning Center. As a tribute to O’Connor’s dedication to excellence in education, Pioneer Bank established the William P. O’Connor Scholarship Fund through the University Learning Center with a $10,000 donation.
 
C.D. Northcutt charmed the packed ballroom of the Myriad in Oklahoma City as he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Other Ponca Citians in the Hall of Fame include
E.W. Marland, W. H. McFadden, Lew Wentz, Jerrie Cobb, and Don Nickles.
 
The Wildcats had a winning football season for the first time in 15 years, finishing 6-4. Six players were named to the 6A-3 All-District team – Micah Johnson, Luke Gray, Fabaron Porter, Cameron Moore, Chase Kelly and Jeremy Luis.
 
A 25-foot Red Oak tree was dedicated Nov. 11 in honor of John Northcutt, who served as assistant municipal judge for the City from 1992 until his death in November 2000. Northcutt also spearheaded the formation of the Juvenile Municipal Court.
 
Retiring Kenneth W. Wilson received a service award medallion commemorating his 41 years of service with the city. He had been Solid Waste Superintendent since 1979.
 
After 14 years, the Ponca City Main Street Authority became inactive.
 
National Merit semi-finalists from Po-Hi were Meena Chahar, James Cullin, Elizabeth Newman, Michael Proctor and Zac Loney. James Cullin, Elizabeth Newman, and Robin Maril earned the NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing.
 
Elec Rains, 84, assistant to the publisher and director of advertising for the Ponca City News, was selected as the Outstanding Older Worker of Oklahoma. Gov. Keating honored him in a special ceremony at the state Capitol, proclaiming Nov 20 as Ellsworth Rains Day.
 
Demolition began in the areas around the old McKinley school and the former Southside Baptist Church. Workers left the unique arches of McKinley School to be a part of a memorial commemorating the history of the school and the Southside Buyout area.
 
The Ponca Tribe began operating its own Head Start program in December at White Eagle.
 
Ponca Citians Randy and Madelyn Smith wrote and published a children’s book, “Wildlife Wise,” focused toward second and third graders.
 
Kindergarten students at Lincoln moved into the new addition. The 80 students had been housed at the old Lincoln building.
 
Garfield Academy was recognized as one of three winners of the ArtsPower Merit Award for providing a quality arts education program.
 
Robyn Ryan, 2001 Chili and Barbecue Cookoff chairman, was named “outstanding member” of the local Professionals Today organization.
 
Stephanie Blochowiak, Karen Colum, Katrina Heidlage, Emily Hufnagel, Sara Nunn and Glen Simpson were inducted into OSU’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society.
 
Andrew Cooper and Justin Ross were inducted into OSU’s chapter of Golden Key National Honor Society.
 
Tom Quillin was elected chairman of the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce for 2002.
 
Dan Gilliam was outgoing chairman.
 
The Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives Association named Jan Jarrett, president and CEO of the Ponca City Chamber, as Executive of the Year.
 
United Way campaign chairman, Jeff Smith, announced that they raised $725,888, exceeding the $705,000 goal.
 
Lt. Bobby Miller of the Ponca City Police Department graduated from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. Returning graduates who also took part in the program were Chief Raymond Ham, Asst. Chief Clayton Johnson, and Detective Captain Dwaine Vincent.
 
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center changed its name to Via Christi Oklahoma Regional Medical Center of Ponca City.