Wiley Post seeking royalty, donations

By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

Most girls dream of being crowned a princess or queen at some point in their lives and now Maysville’s Wiley Post Festival will give those dreamers one more opportunity to become royalty.

“We are going to do it kind of like how they have the rodeo princess contests set up,” said Janet Dinwiddie, Town Librarian and organizer of the Saturday, August 29 event.

Age groups for the princess contest will be 4 – 12 and for the queen 13 – 18.

Contestants will sell tickets for two different prizes, both works in progress, but equally great; a getaway package and a “freezer full of meat.”

“We are actually looking for all kinds of donations; meat, a freezer, money, all types of gift cards. Anything people think would fit the guidelines of these prizes,” said Dinwiddie.

Tickets will be $5.00 apiece and the girl who sells the most tickets in each age group wins a great prize that will include flowers donated by Sunshine Flowers.

“They will also be library spokespeople,” she said.

Contestants have until Wednesday, July 29 to register for the princess and queen contests and can do so at the Maysville Library. Tickets will begin being sold the first week of August.

All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Maysville Public Library.

For more information, contact the library.

Lindsay EMS says no more free rides for Maysville

By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

EMS service in Maysville could come to a halt if an agreement between the City of Lindsay and the Town of Maysville is not reached by the end of the year.

In July of 2013, Lindsay EMS and the Maysville Board of Trustees reached a verbal agreement with Lindsay for ambulance service.

Maysville would pay Lindsay $500 per month for ambulance service, which would cover Lindsay’s cost for basic ambulance service, but did not include private EMS runs.

However, the Maysville Trustees never put that deal in writing; the City of Lindsay never sent an invoice because there was no actual agreement; therefore the Town of Maysville never paid the agreed amount.

According to the City of Lindsay, the Lindsay EMS is in the hole to the tune of $110,000 due mostly to private residents’ unpaid ambulance charges. Approximately $12,000 of that amount is what the Town of Maysville owes Lindsay EMS.

Now Lindsay and Maysville are trying to hash out a deal to continue emergency EMS service for Maysville, which is set to end December 31, 2015.

At a special meeting of the Maysville Board of Trustees held Wednesday, July 8, Lindsay City Manager John Noblitt and their EMS Director Curtis Rhodes were on hand to discuss a possible deal with the current trustees to continue service into the coming years and hopefully guaranteeing future payment for their services by having Maysville make an increase on their citizens’ water bills.

“There is no reason that the taxpayers in the City of Lindsay should have to subsidize the Town of Maysville,” Noblitt told the Board and others present, also stating that the service to Maysville accounts for 14 percent of their budget.

“$110,000 is a lot of money that our citizens are carrying the burden on,” he went on.

Last year alone, Lindsay EMS made 153 runs to Maysville, the most of any town they service outside of their own, with the next being Bradley with 23, and others averaging around 8.

“That’s a far stretch from 100,” explained Noblitt.

The City of Lindsay is asking for a $10.00 increase on water bills, an increase that would still mean that they would be operating at a $40,000 to $50,000 deficit for their services to Maysville. Otherwise Wallville Road would be where their service would end beginning in 2016.

“So I’m Joe Blow and I’m sitting on a street corner and I’m having a heart attack. I’m over here in Maysville and I call you. You’re telling me you wouldn’t come?” Mayor Bryson Tate asked Noblitt.

After a slight hesitation Noblitt answered, “Yes, I am.”

“Well, that’s just great,” Tate replied.

“We’re in a really bad situation as a town,” said Trustee Cathy Nobles.

In all, the board feels that citizens will feel like they are being “double-dipped” as they will still be billed for ambulance, but that isn’t the case.

“You’re paying for assurance that someone will come when you call,” said John Williams, longtime Maysville resident who used to run an EMS service to the town.

“No one gets a free lunch and I’m sorry you haven’t been paid,” said Nobles.

After much discussion, the Board agreed to let Noblitt draw up a five-year plan for them to look over with a gradual increase on water bills over that time period and the possibility of an EMS membership plan, but details on that are sketchy.

When the plan is ready, which could take 30-45 days, the Maysville Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing, giving citizens a chance to speak their minds on the subject.

“We have to take this to the people. We can’t make an increase without their input,” said Tate.

Noblitt also informed Mayor Tate and the Trustees that as long as they are “working towards an end”, service would not stop for Maysville.

“If you have to have an election and it is after the end of the year, we will keep coming. As long as we are working on a solution,” said Noblitt.

The News Star will have more on this story as details become available.

Too young to understand

By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

Lizzy Grace Lansdale had just started preschool and was feeling a little under the weather.

Her mother, Cammey Turner Lansdale, formerly of Maysville, didn’t think anything of it. Lizzy was in school and being exposed to new germs and it was probably a cold.

Cammey took Lizzy in for her yearly well-child checkup, something all parents do to check the health of their children, and Lizzy’s doctor decided to draw some blood.

Within the next few hours on January 13, 2015, everything changed and Lizzy was put in the hospital for the first of many stays.

“If it wasn’t for the well-child check, we might not have known,” said Cammey.

After a couple days in the hospital the diagnosis came back – acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Lizzy’s current prognosis is pretty good, with a 95 percent survival rate and she has been in remission since the beginning of February, but regardless treatment must go on and the financial strain must continue.

“No matter what, she has two and a half years of treatment. That is the best case scenario. Right now Lizzy is doing okay. She is at a higher risk of infection, but she is doing okay,” said Cammey.

Cammey, a single mother who receives no child support, has gone from working full-time to around fifteen hours a week in order to be there for her daughter, who needs her mother there more than anything.

“There was a time in the hospital that Lizzy refused to take her medicine because I was in the bathroom. I mean, I have to be there. She won’t take her medicine for anyone else,” she said.

While the bills are piling up due to lack of financial support, there is definite moral support coming from Cammey’s family.

“I have some great brothers. My older brother, Don’s wife Jessica works nights and she goes without sleep until 2:00 in the afternoon to watch Lizzy on the days that I actually get to go to work. It’s such a tremendous help,” said Cammey.

As for Lizzy’s state of mind, some days are better than others, but she fights on.

“Some days she sits around and says she’s so sad and other days she bounces back.”

“She lost all her hair and she had really long hair so that upsets her. Part of the treatment is steroids and it’s like I have a teenager. She’s too young to understand what’s happening,” an emotional Cammey went on.

To donate to funds toward Lizzy’s battle, visit www.gofundme.com/Lizzy-Grace.

People can also follow Lizzy’s story on Facebook by joining the group Pray for Lizzy Grace.

Edwards to take on new role

By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

Since 1998, John Edwards has served the Maysville community and its students as the high school agricultural teacher, but he is now turning those reigns over to a former student, Brittany Morphew, and taking on a new role in the Maysville school system; as elementary principal.

“I’m looking forward to working for the Maysville district in a different sector,” Edwards told the News Star.

Edwards, who lives in Maysville with his wife Leah and daughter Gracie, holds a Bachelors of Agriculture Education and a Masters of Education Administration.

When Superintendent Dr. Shelly Hildebrand–Beach contacted Edwards about the opportunity, he was thrilled by the chance to expand on his experience working in the district he has served for years.

“I was quite honored to be presented with the opportunity to lead Maysville schools in an administrative role,” Edwards said.

Edwards will be taking over for Jeanna Bearden, who retired as of June 30.

For Morphew, it is a bittersweet transition, but one that she is looking forward to nonetheless.

“When I got the call, I was very humbled and a little sad. I think a lot of him as an advisor, but I’m glad that he is still serving the Maysville community and its students,” Morphew shared, who was born and raised in Maysville.

Morphew holds a Bachelors of Agricultural Education from OSU and has taught in both Grandfield and Thackerville since receiving her degree.

While walking into the building where Morphew spent many years as a student will provide a daily time warp, she is excited to be back in her hometown, giving to the people she cares about.

“I’m excited that I get to be a bigger part of their lives. I know the students, I know their parents,” she said.

“This is my chance to give back to the community that has given so much to me,” Morphew went on.

Edwards and Morphew aren’t the only ones who are happy with the decisions made by the board during their special meeting Thursday, June 25; Dr. Hildebrand–Beach is happy as well.

“I’m pleased with the decision of the board,” she said after the meeting was completed.

Crops are just peachy, growers say

By Cortney Hatton

News Star Reporter

Peach growers around Stratford are gearing up the 39th Annual Peach Festival.

With the drought from last year and this year’s rain, both peach farms expected a much larger crop this year than the past years.

That is, until the rain continued to fall and the Brown Rot fungus (Monolinia fructicola) took over their fruit trees.

This type of fungi is caused by moisture and high humidity conditions.

According to Craig Pullen of Pullen Farms, 40 percent of the expected fruit was lost and nearly one dozen trees.

“I think they’ve done better in the drought than they did in the rain,” says Pullen.

However, both Pullen, as well as Tim Blackburn, owner of Peachtree Farms are expecting a crop as good, if not better than last year.

Though it may be a few bushels smaller, the peaches will be larger and sweeter and of a greater variety.

Both farmers say they are well on their way to having the Brown Rot fungus under control and expect those trees to begin production in time for the Peach Festival.

Peachtree Farms and Pullen Farms currently have many varieties available to the public for purchase. Both farms are located north of Stratford on Highway 177.

A flight to remember

By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

Washington, D.C. is rich with memorials honoring the veterans who fought in various wars, but as years pass, the opportunity for these men to visit these structures dwindle away with diminishing health and old age playing a major factor.

Oklahoma Honor Flights is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 that aims at getting these veterans to our countries capital to see these memorials, and Bill Freeman, a WWII Veteran and Maysville resident, is seizing the opportunity and will be making the trip this September thanks to the organization.

“We had seen reports about them [Honor Flights] on TV before, but it was really mentioned to Bill when he went on a tour of Tinker Air Force Base with our niece, who is in the Air Force,” said Gay Freeman, Bill’s wife.

From there, the Freemans got online and applied.

His father enlisted Bill when he was 16 and one-half years old and was sent to England as part of the Amphibious Forces, making small boats seaworthy.

When he was 17, he participated in the D-Day Invasion on Normandy’s Omaha Beach as part of the first wave, manning a Higgins Boat.

That day, he made seven trips from the main ship to the shore, and when the day was done, he was put on clean up.

“He had to bury all the bodies,” said Gay.

Bill stayed in the service until he was 19.

Priority for Honor Flights is giving to WWII vets, due to age, and any veteran going on the flight must have a Guardian.

“A Guardian is someone who sees to the veteran’s needs while they are on the trip,” said Gay.

Guardians must be able to aid veterans with wheelchairs, stairs, and any other assistance that they may need while they are away on the daylong journey.

Bill will be taking Ronald Endler, Commander of the Elmore City American Legion Post where he is a member, as his Guardian.

“When he got the notification that he was accepted, and he asked me, I was honored,” said Endler.

The flight and accommodations are free for veterans; a $500 donation is required for first time Guardians at least one week before the flight.

While Bill is excited about seeing the memorials, he is more excited to be around people who have shared an experience similar to his.

“I think he’s more excited to be around other guys from WWII and talking to them. He hasn’t talked about any of it much until a couple years ago,” shared Gay.

Gay also said another important part in Bill’s healing was a trip they took to Normandy a few years ago.

“I think it helped a lot. To see the beach clean and not all covered in bodies. I really did,” she said thoughtfully.

Veterans who are interested in applying for Oklahoma Honor Flights can go to www.oklahomahonorflights.org.

Maysville resident Michael Beach is willing to help local vets with the application process. He can be reached at 405-867-5135.

Oklahoma Honor Flights can help find a Guardian for veterans, if needed.

County Fair picking up a new stitch

 By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

Quilting is no stranger to the Garvin County Fair, but with this being the Centennial year, fair organizers are changing things up a bit and are adding a quilt block contest open to anyone in Garvin County.

“We just thought it would be a neat thing to do to celebrate the 100 years and to push quilting a little better,” said Kim Green, one of the organizers of the contest.

There is a $10.00 entry fee per block, and for each $10.00 paid, quilters receive 2 1/8” yards of fabric.

Other than sticking to the aligned color scheme, anything goes when it comes to the quilt block themes.

Fabrics can also be added, but the additions must be 100% cotton.

Finished blocks should be 12 ½” with a ¼” seam allowanced, and must also include some of the fabric from the 1/8” piece quilters receive when paying their entry fee.

The blocks submitted for judging will be used to make a quilt that will be auctioned off in a silent auction.

All contest fees go toward the completion of the quilt.

Registration forms are available at the Garvin County Cooperative Extension Service Office located inside the Garvin County Courthouse, room seven.

Completed blocks must be turned in by August 15.

There will be three classes; hand appliqué, pieced (hand), and pieced (machine).

Prizes will also be given for first through fifth place, with first place being $25.00.

In addition to the quilt block contest, there will also be a wall hanging contest.

There will only be one entry per person allowed and each project should be 35”x45”.

Any cotton fabric media may be used, such as photo, paint, embroidery, or, pieced, but the end product must have a county fair theme.

Entries become property of the fair and will be auctioned off in a silent auction as well.

Prizes will be given for first through third place, with $50.00 being the top prize.

Registration forms can be downloaded from www.oces.okstate.edu/garvin or picked up at the Garvin County Cooperative Extension Service Office.

Works can be submitted Tuesday, September 8 from 1:00 – 6:00 at the East Fair Grounds Building.

EC’s God and Country Celebration set for this Sunday

The First Baptist Church of Elmore City will be hosting its 15th Annual God and Country Celebration on Sunday, June 28, at the Elmore City Lake. Music will begin at 5:30 p.m. The food line will start at 6:00 p.m. The fireworks will be around 10:00 p.m.

There will be hotdogs, music, singing, volleyball, moon bounce, and face painting. We will also have special music provided by Southern Gospel artist, Steven Weatherford.

Please bring extra water, lawn chairs, and bug spray. Swimming is not allowed at this event. This is a FREE event sponsored by FBC Elmore City.

The Elmore City Lake is located 3 blocks north of the 4-way on State Hwy 74.  For more information, please call the church office 580-788-4110.

Watermelon Seed Spitting Championship set for July 4

By Cortney Hatton

News Star Reporter

People from far and wide come to the small town of Pauls Valley in hopes of becoming the next watermelon seed-spitting champion.

This year’s seed spitting contest is presented by Main Street Pauls Valley and takes place in conjunction with Pauls Valley’s annual Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza on July 4, hosted by the Pauls Valley Kiwanis.

According to MSPV Director Lindsey Temple, Pauls Valley was the first community to ever host this event and it has grown so large in it’s 58 years that it has been featured in the family-friendly game Trivial Pursuit as well as others.

The goal of the seed-spitting champion is to launch a watermelon seed the furthest distance than the other competitors, using only their mouth.

Registration for the seed-spitting contest will begin at 5:30 p.m. inside Thompson Field.

The official contest will begin at 7 p.m. inside Thompson Field.

Last year, more than 100 people registered to compete in the Watermelon Seed Spitting World Championship.

The record for the seed launched the furthest was set in 1989 when a man from Chicago traveled to Pauls Valley to spit a single watermelon seed 66 feet, 11 inches; just under 67 feet.

In an effort to include more area residents in the competition, MSPV will be holding a practice session at the Summer Fun Kids Camp at the Donald W. Reynolds Recreation Center in Pauls Valley.

For more information contact Temple at (405)-238-2555.

Bigger is in bloom for Sunshine Flowers

By Bonnie Seymour

News Star Reporter

When Ingrid Page was unpacking after recently moving her floral and gift business, Sunshine Flowers, into its new location, she was left baffled by how she fit everything into the space the business called home for a year and a half.

“I have no idea how I had it all in there! I have so much room now! It’s amazing!” said Page, who now has a 40×40 showroom, a 39×40 workroom, and even a small house on the new property.

Sunshine Flowers is now located where Let’s Ride Motorsports used to be, and with the roomier atmosphere comes the opportunity to offer a larger variety of gifts and landscaping options.

“I couldn’t offer as much in the old location, inside or out. Now I can,” she said.

With all the room outside, Page and her husband are now offering carports and buildings as well.

“They are built on site. People just have to pay 10% down and the rest when it’s built,” Page said.

“Business has been great for me and I’m thankful for it every day,” Page went on.

Sunshine Flowers will be having a grand opening around the beginning of July, complete with a cookout and lots of door prizes.

Sunshine Flowers is located at 403 6th Street in Maysville.

They are open Monday thru Friday 9:00-5:00, but will stay late as needed.

Sunshine Flowers is open Saturdays thru the summer.

For information on weekend arrangements, call 405-207-7938.

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