2011 Grant County News Archives

GRANT COUNTY FAIR BOARD -

The five day filing period for candidates to the Grant County Free Fair Board begins Monday, January 30, 2012, at 8:00 o’clock, a.m. and ends Friday, February 3, 2012 at 4:30 o’clock, p.m. Each candidate must be a registered voter and will represent the district in which they reside. Filing is done on forms made available in the Grant County Clerk’s Office in Medford, Oklahoma. No filing fees are required. Directors of the Fair Board serve a three year term. In the event any district lacks a candidate at the end of the filing period, an appointment will be made by that district’s County Commissioner. In districts where necessary, an election will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2012, at 2:00 o’clock, p.m. at the following locations: District #1 - County Shop in Wakita; District #2 - City Building in Deer Creek; District #3 - County Shop in Pond Creek. Terms to expire are: (Vacancy), District 1 Wakita; Shirlene McKee, and Vacancy to complete term for Kirk Schuelein, District 2 Lamont; Shane Krittenbrink, District 3, Pond Creek.

LARGEST WIND FARM IN STATE TO BE BUILT IN GRANT COUNTY -

TradeWind Energy, LLC and Alabama Power Company have entered into a long-term renewable energy purchase agreement that will deliver low-cost wind energy from the wind-rich resources of Oklahoma to communities in Alabama. The Chisholm View Wind Project, developed as a 300 MW site, will be the largest wind farm in Oklahoma once it is complete. The 20-year power purchase agreement between TradeWind Energy and Alabama Power for 202 MW was approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission on September 7. TradeWind Energy’s plan allows flexibility for construction of a wind project between 200 and 300 MW. The Project will be constructed across approximately 20,000 acres and hosted by over 100 landowners in southern Grant and northern Garfield Counties in Oklahoma. A public meeting is planned for Tuesday, October 18, 2011 for Grant County residents. The meeting will be held at the Pond Creek-Hunter School auditorium in Pond Creek beginning at 6:30. Mr. Joe Arb, Development Manager of TradeWind Energy will be the speaker. Mr. Arb will be talking about the investment TradeWind Energy is making in Grant County and what that means for the future of our county.  For more information, please contact Rich Donaldson, Executive Assistant to the Grant County Board of Commissioners at 580-395-2274.

GRANT COUNTY REMOVED FROM GOVERNOR'S BURN BAN - OKLAHOMA CITY –

Due to recent rainfall across Oklahoma, Governor Mary Fallin will amend the burn ban in central Oklahoma. Effective Tuesday, September 27, at 1 p.m. the ban will be modified to cover 28 counties: Atoka, Beaver, Beckham, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Cimarron, Coal, Comanche, Cotton, Garvin, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnston, Kiowa, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, Murray, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Roger Mills, Stephens, Texas, Tillman, and Washita. Statewide, most county commissioners meet Monday and will have a chance to assess local conditions and consider their own countywide burn bans at that time. “The drought continues to persist across Oklahoma, but the recent light rains have given some counties a temporary reprieve from extreme fire conditions,” Fallin said. “Individual counties can utilize more localized data, conditions and fire occurrence to decide if burn bans are called for on a county level.” The 28 counties that remain under the Governor’s Burn Ban still have very high fire danger due to the wildland fuel conditions and fire behavior. Citizens in counties outside the Governor’s Burn Ban should check with local officials or visit www.forestry.ok.gov/burn-ban-information to see if a county burn ban has been enacted. Unlawful activities under the ban include campfires, bonfires, fireworks and setting fire to trash, grass, woods or other materials outdoors. Gas and charcoal grilling is allowed provided that it is over a nonflammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation. “Oklahomans should remain very cautious with any outdoor burning. Oklahoma typically experiences our fire season during the winter months when vegetation is brown, but our situation this summer has put us in fire season early and there is no real relief in sight,” State Forester George Geissler said. “We are just hopeful that we will get some precipitation this winter to allow spring green up which often signals the end of fire season.” There are exemptions to the Governor’s Burn Ban for a number of items such as welding and road construction. For more information, visit www.forestry.ok.gov or call Michelle Finch-Walker at Oklahoma Forestry Services at (580) 236-1021.

TRADEWIND ENERGY AND ALABAMA POWER COMPANY WILL DELIVER WIND ENERGY FROM WIND-RICH RESOURCES IN OKLAHOMA TO COMMUNITIES IN ALABAMA -

The Chisholm View Wind Project in rural Oklahoma is unique in that it will transport low-cost renewable wind energy across three transmission systems to Alabama under a long-term energy agreement between TradeWind Energy and Alabama Power Company LENEXA, Kan. (September 19, 2011) –TradeWind Energy, LLC and Alabama Power Company have entered into a long-term renewable energy purchase agreement that will deliver low-cost wind energy from the wind-rich resources of Oklahoma to communities in Alabama. The Chisholm View Wind Project, developed as a 300 MW site, will be the largest wind farm in Oklahoma once it is complete. The 20-year power purchase agreement between TradeWind Energy and Alabama Power for 202 MW was approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission on September 7. TradeWind Energy’s plan allows flexibility for construction of a wind project between 200 and 300 MW. The Project will be constructed across approximately 20,000 acres and hosted by over 100 landowners in northern Garfield and southern Grant Counties in Oklahoma. Grant County Commissioners have been working with TradeWind Energy since 2008. “We are very excited to see this project move forward. It will be a great economic boost for the people of Grant and Garfield Counties,” Grant County Commissioner Cindy Bobbitt said. The contract is the first agreement to come out of Alabama Power’s 2009 request-for-proposals for renewable energy projects, said John Kelley, director of Forecasting and Resource Planning for the Birmingham, Ala.-based company.  “This agreement not only boosts our use of renewable energy, it also provides real savings for our customers,” said Matt Bowden, Alabama Power vice president for Environmental Affairs. “It benefits both the environment and the people we serve.” An estimated 150 people will be employed during the construction phase with the fully operational project requiring 10 – 15 full-time workers. Commercial operation is anticipated in December 2012. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin praised the project. "Our business-friendly atmosphere and pro-growth policies are helping to attract great companies like TradeWind Energy to Oklahoma. The result is job creation and the infusion of money back into the State in the form of tax revenues and landowner lease payments," Fallin said. The project is expected to contribute up to $5 million annually in direct payments to the local community via property taxes and rent payments to landowners who will host the turbine easements over the 20-year contract term. This is the largest renewable energy power purchase agreement to be entered into by a Southeastern utility, and the second project developed by TradeWind Energy that will deliver wind energy from the Midwest into the Southeastern United States. Over the past 12 months, TradeWind has entered long term PPAs that will lead to the construction of three wind projects that will deliver over 600 MW of energy to utility customers in the 10 states served by Alabama Power, Tennessee Valley Authority and Western Farmers Cooperative. "We have been working closely with Alabama Power to meet their needs for affordable renewable energy," said Frank Costanza, TradeWind Energy Executive Vice President Corporate Development. "Signing this agreement is a significant accomplishment for Alabama Power, TradeWind Energy and the wind industry, demonstrating that wind energy from the Great Plains can be delivered to Southeast utilities while reducing cost to their customers." ABOUT TRADEWIND ENERGY TradeWind Energy, LLC, is one of the largest independent wind project development companies in the U.S. Founded in 2003, the Lenexa, Kansas based company partners with local utilities, cooperatives, environmental groups, municipalities and landowner’s to develop mutually beneficial wind energy projects. TradeWind Energy, the 2009 recipient of the Kansas Governor’s Energy Achievement Award, takes great pride in its ability to deliver low-cost wind energy while maintaining an uncompromising commitment to long-term project quality. The company is actively developing 4,000 MW of clean, renewable energy in 11 states throughout the central United States. For more information, visit www.tradewindenergy.com. ABOUT ALABAMA POWER COMPANY Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers in the southern two-thirds of the state. To learn more, visit www.alabamapower.com.

PERMITS AVAILABLE TO BALE HAY FROM ODOT RIGHTS-OF-WAY -

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, is reminding local farmers and ranchers that through a simple permitting process, they are allowed to bale hay from highway rights-of-way. There are over 135,000 mowable acres along highways rights-of-way in the state. By state statute, permits to bale hay from area highway rights-of-way are available to the adjacent landowner first, but a be requested by anyone if all requirements are met. Applications for permits are available on the ODOT web site http://www.okladot.state.ok.us:80/ in the “forms” link. They must be filled out then taken to a local ODOT division headquarters of ODOT county maintenance yard between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for approval. There is no fee to apply and insurance verification must also be provided as part of the approval process. Additional requirements/restrictions include: All work has to be completed during daylight hours, Monday through Friday. Bales cannot be left within 30 feet of the roadway. Warning signs must be in place when working in the rights-of-way. Grass cannot be cut shorter than 5 inches tall. Citizens wanting to take advantage of this opportunity are asked to avoid garden plots and landscaped areas currently maintained by local civic groups and ODOT. While some weight restrictions have recently been lifted for those hauling hay in the state, ODOT asks citizens to follow all size and weight restrictions still in effect. These regulations help protect the traveling public in addition to maintaining our infrastructure. For more information on size and weight restrictions, contact the Department of Public Safety at 1-877-425-2390.

BE A COUNTY COMMISSIONER! -

This fall, students in schools across the country will be able to learn about county government through an online game and curriculum that NACo created in partnership with iCivics, Inc. The game, “Counties Work,” will educate students, grades 6 through 12, about the important role and functions of county government by letting them run their own county. A curriculum and webquest has also been developed to assist teachers with preparing lessons on county government. While playing the game, a student will be a county official responsible for providing services, dealing with citizen requests, setting and raising revenues, and working within a budget. Along the way, students will learn about the various services provided by county departments while having to make tough decisions. Immediate Past President of NACo, Glen Whitley, stated “We need to get students to play the game. I encourage county officials and county staff to contact teachers, principals and school superintendents in your county to let them know the game is available at www.naco.org/CountiesWork." For more information, please email Bill Cramer, marketing director or Tom Goodman, public affairs director or by phone at 888-407-NACo.  Game on!

CAKE DECORATING LESSON SET FOR JAN. 19, 2011-

A lesson on Cake Decorating will be held at the Grant County OSU Cooperative Extension Office, 112 E. Guthrie Room 301 Courthouse Medford, Oklahoma on Wednesday January 19 at 10:00am. Marcy Wichert, Alfalfa County Extension Educator Family & Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development will be the presenter. The public is invited to attend. Please contact the extension office at 580-395-2134 or grant.oces@okstate.edu for more information or to request a copy of the lesson handout.

The Grant County Fairgrounds in Pond Creek consists of Exhibit Building, Concession/Office Building and Show Ring with attached barns for sheep, goats, swine and beef exhibits. 

GRANT COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS IMPROVEMENT PROPOSITION -

On February 8, 2011 Grant County registered voters will have the opportunity to vote on a resolution for the collection of sales tax to make needed improvements to the Grant County Fairgrounds. These improvements would provide a place for meetings, reunions, educational events and activities for future generations of our youth, individuals, groups and residents. The resolution reads as follows: SHALL RESOLUTION NO. 2010-27 OF GRANT COUNTY, OKLAHOMA ENTITLED: A RESOULTION PROVIDING FOR THE GENERAL OPERATIONS, CONSTRUCTION, PERSONAL SERVICES, MAINTENANCE, OPERATION AND REPAIR OF THE GRANT COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS LEVYING A TOTAL TWENTY-FIVE ONE-HUNDREDTH OF ONE PERCENT (0.25%) PER DOLLAR UPON THE GROSS RECEIPTS DERIVED FROM ALL SALES TAXABLE UNDER THE OKLAHOMA SALES TAX CODE INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO CERTAIN ENUMERATED SALES LISTED THEREIN; PROVIDING FOR THE EFFECTIVE DATE AND DURATION; PROVIDING EXEMPTIONS EXEMPTED FROM THE OKLAHOMA SALES TAX CODE INCLUDED BUT NOT LIMITED TO CERTAIN ENUMERATED EXEMPTIONS LISTED THEREIN; REQUIRING THE FILING OF RETURNS; PROVIDING FOR INTEREST AND PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO PAY TAX WHEN DUE; PROVIDING FOR TAXPAYER TO KEEP RECORDS; REQUIRING VENDORS TO COLLECT TAX FROM PURCHASER AT TIME OF SALE; ESTABLISHING LIENS, AUTHORIZING THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO MAKE ADMINISTRATIVE AND TECHNICAL CHANGES AND ADDITIONS EXCEPT TAX RATE; MAKING THE TAX SEVERABILITY OF PORVISIONS; FIXING AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF MARCH 1, 2011; LIMITING THE LIFE OF SAID LEVY TO 120 MONTHS, TO EXPIRE ON FEBRUARY 28, 2021, MAKING PROVISIONS SEPARABLE; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. BE APPROVED? FOR THE PROPOSITION YES AGAINST THE PROPOSITION NO Often times the first thing that comes to one’s mind when you hear fairgrounds is the county fair and spring livestock show and our 4-H and FFA youth. Youth in both of these Grant County organizations have spent hours with their projects at the fairgrounds during hot summer county fairs and frozen spring stock shows on their way to becoming leaders in their representative organizations. They have been elected to District and State Officers including State President in both 4-H and FFA.  Through their project work they have been recognized as state and national proficiency winners. Grant County has produced numerous State Farmers, the highest degree a member can receive at the state level, and American Farmers, the highest award a member can receive at the national level. They have been on state winning judging teams and participated in judging contests at the national level. These students walked through these barns at the fairgrounds on their way to these accomplishments. Informational meetings are scheduled across Grant County where members of the Grant County Fair Board will be present to discuss the needs at the fairgrounds, listen to ideas and gather input from those in attendance. Meetings to be held are: January 12, 7 p.m., Lamont School Cafeteria January 17, 7 p.m., Nash Fire Department, Nash January 19, 7 p.m., Wakita School Library January 26, 7 p.m., Medford School Cafeteria January 31, 7 p.m. Pond Creek School Cafeteria For information on this opportunity to improve the county fairgrounds feel free to contact your local representative of the Grant County Fair Board: District #1 Phil Ransom 580-541-4414, Don Krejsek 580-542-3490, Kelly Childress 580-554-5676, District #2 Shirlene McKee 580-532-5048, Jim Blaser 580-532-5170,Kirk Schuelein 580-532-5198, District #3 Shane Krittenbrink 580-741-1261, Steve Stinson 580-741-0003, and Randy Czapansky 580-532-5120.

HAWLEY FD NOW EMERGENCY RESPONDER -

The Hawley Volunteer Fire Department located in western Grant County was recently approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) as an Emergency Medical Response Agency. The accreditation was earned by the Hawley Fire Department after fulfilling the requirements of the OSDH, submitting the supporting paperwork and records, acquiring the required equipment and passing an on-site inspection. The Hawley FD is honored to join the approximate 125 other Emergency Medical Response Agencies in Oklahoma.  The Emergency Medical Response Agency (EMRA) was previously referred to as a “First Response Agency”. The role of an EMRA is to provide immediate medical treatment prior to the arrival of an ambulance. The goal is to stabilize and evaluate the patient so that immediate transport can take place. It is well documented that a trauma patient needs to be in an Emergency Room within one hour of their injury. Since Grant County is a rural area, it is vital to be able to responded, evaluate, stabilize and transport as quickly as possible. 

Dr. Michael Ogle is the Medical Director for the Hawley FD. The Hawley FD will work closely with the local Ambulance Services to provide the quickest transport possible. Also it has the capability of calling for a medical evacuation helicopter if so needed. Currently the trained EMT’s at Hawley are: Gary Lillie, William Weve, Jo-An Clover, Dennis Loijens, and Julia Matlock. Trained first responders are: JJ Green, Jeff Bollman, John Rayner and Cliff Biby. The Hawley FD maintains basic life-support equipment including two AED’s (Automatic External Defibrillator), portable oxygen, and the needed medical supplies for emergency calls. In addition to the medical equipment, they also are equipped with advanced rescue equipment such as the “Jaws of Life”.  The Hawley FD emergency phone number is 839-2323 or you can call 911 and dispatch will immediately notify Hawley of your emergency.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS AVAILABLE FOR UPCOMING ELECTION -

Voters in Grant County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the February 8 Annual School Election to be held in the Pond Creek-Hunter I-90 School District and the Special County Election should apply now, County Election Board Secretary Harvey Bush said today. Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 2, Bush urged voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early. Absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at the Grant County Courthouse, 112 E. Guthrie, Medford Rm. 101-A. The absentee ballot application forms also can be downloaded and printed from the Internet at www.elections.state.ok.us.

"At least two mail transactions must be made," Bush said. "The County Election Board must mail the ballots to the voter and the voter must return the voted ballots by mail." Ballots must be in the hands of the County Election Board by 7 p.m. on election day in order to be counted. Bush said that any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he or she is eligible to vote. However, a voter must be registered and reside at an address within the geographical boundaries of a school district or a municipality to be eligible to vote in school district or municipal elections. It is not necessary to give a reason---or excuse---for voting absentee. "While anyone can vote absentee without giving a reason, the law still provides several excuses, and it is to the advantage of some voters to use one of them," Bush said. By stating one of the following reasons on their applications, these voters can activate some special conditions that make it easier for them to use absentee ballots. The reasons are: -- Voters who are physically incapacitated and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left unattended may vote absentee. They may apply only by mail, by fax, or by telegraph. -- Voters who are confined to nursing homes in the county may vote absentee. An Absentee Voting Board actually goes to the nursing home a few days before the election, sets up a small polling place and allows these persons to vote under circumstances similar to those at a regular precinct polling place. They may apply only by mail or by fax. -- Military personnel and residents of the county living overseas and the spouses and dependents of each group are eligible to vote absentee without being registered. These voters may apply only by mail or by fax. Military personnel should contact the Voting Service Officers in their units for application forms and additional information. Residents of Oklahoma living overseas can obtain the same materials from any United States military installation and from United States Embassies and Consulates. Military personnel and overseas citizens also can download and print the appropriate application form from the Internet at www.fvap.gov.