Columns/Opinions

Tue
25
Feb

A Word From The Superintendent

By Brad Overton.
 
Basketball playoff time is a favorite for many within the Cordell Community. Cordell hosted the district tournament this past week, and both teams will advance to the regional tournament this week. The girls’ team drew a first round bye in the district tournament before facing Dibble in the district finals. Dibble played tough, but the Lady Blue ended up cruising to an easy win. The ladies played a solid game and will look to play better in each round of the playoffs. The ladies will play at Amber-Pocasset Thursday at 6:30 pm. The Friday and Saturday games will be held at Purcell. The area tournament will be played at Byng. It’s time to put on your travelin’ shoes.
 
Tue
25
Feb

Seeing the benefit of Avanced Placement

By Janet Barresi.
 
The College Board’s 2014 Advanced Placement (AP) Report to the Nation showed some encouraging signs for Oklahoma. Among its findings, I was pleased to see that in May of last year, Oklahoma high school students achieved a score of 3 or higher on more than 13,000 AP exams. If each of these scores resulted in three college credits earned at state universities, students and their families stood to save almost $9 million in tuition. The best result, however is that students taking an AP course and its subsequent exam are better prepared for college and career.
 
Tue
18
Feb

Serious Policy Proposals Advance

By State Representative Todd Russ.
 
Tue
18
Feb

A Fresh Perspective

By Shawn Brubaker.
 
Environmental science was my favorite subject in college, developing a strong interest in the environment and passion for environmental policy. When I moved here, my expectations were pretty low for the environmental standards. In fact, an Oklahoma City resident complained to me about how filthy the water was on my first flight to the state.
 
Tue
11
Feb

A Word From The Superintendent

By Brad Overton.
 
Last week the 2014 Legislative Session began, and it looks to be a very important session for the state of Oklahoma. Actually, all sessions of the legislature are important; I believe that this session will be especially crucial for public education within our state. It is my opinion that public education has come under attack during the past few years. The combination of decreased funding along with increased unfunded mandates has lead me to this opinion. This opinion has also been developed as a result of the continued negative attitude towards teachers and public education from some of our state leaders.
 

 

Tue
11
Feb

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ.
 
The Oklahoma economy is still very healthy and we saw revenues continue to go up in January in the state treasurer’s report. The unemployment rate has dropped by almost 2 percent and Oklahoma families have seen their incomes rise by more than 6.3 percent since 2011. Governor Mary Fallin has unveiled her fiscal year 2015 executive budget, the first step in the budget negotiation process as required by our state constitution. In it, she is calling for a $50 million increase for education, a $2.4 million increase for corrections and a $2 million increase for the state medical examiner’s office. To make these proposed increases in a responsible way, she is proposing a 5 percent budget cut too many other agencies. She is also calling for a quarter of a percent reduction to the state income tax and yet keeping state revenue healthy by eliminating certain tax credits.
 
Tue
04
Feb

A Fresh Perspective

By Shawn Brubaker.
 
President Barack Obama gave his yearly State of the Union speech Tuesday, January 28. Almost immediately, Congressman Frank Lucas offered his rebuttal, which the Beacon received by e-mail. In it, Lucas laid out point by point everything he disliked about the speech. Ignoring the actual substance of both Obama’s remarks and Lucas’ rebuttal, the tone of Lucas’ e-mail is everything that is wrong with American politics right now.
 

 

Tue
04
Feb

My Point Of View

By Zonelle Cox Rainbolt.
 
For almost 15 years, people making purchases in Washita County have been paying a 5/8 cent sales tax to support the OSU Extension Center, senior citizen centers in the County, the fair, the health services department, and County maintenance. What those purchasers probably don’t realize, however, is that over 80% of the funds collected from that sales tax do NOT go to support those groups. That 80+% goes directly to the Washita County general fund. As stated in the story on the front page, in the fiscal years 2009 to 2013, over $6 million dollars was raised through the 5/8 cent sales tax. Of that amount, over $5 million went to the general fund - meaning only $956,000.00 was distributed to the only groups actually named on the ballot!
 
Tue
28
Jan

More Work At The Capitol Begins

By State Representative Todd Russ.
 
Committee chairmen are pushing to wrap up their hearings before the legislative session begins. I have been busy participating in hearings on the Office of Management and Enterprise Service, which manages agency accounting, agency purchasing, fleet services and other programs. We also reviewed Merit Protection Services, the state auditor’s office, the state treasurer’s office, and other independent agencies and departments. These reviews are mainly agency requests for money but is also our opportunity as representatives of the people to question them on any area that may seem deficient or not serving the taxpayer as intended to hold them accountable as we prepare for the 2014 session which begins Feb. 3. We are contemplating a small dip in state revenue due to a cyclical lag in the corporate income tax. Pretty much all other revenue streams are up or steady.
 
Tue
28
Jan

A Fresh Perspective

By Shawn Brubaker.
 
At the Cordell Chamber of Commerce Banquet, Lavern “Straw” Berry, the entertainment, made decisions the theme of his show. He asserted that where we are in life is a direct result of the decisions we make, which he then followed with a catchy poem about roping a bear. Roping bears aside, Straw hit the nail on the head. We control our own destinies. If I didn’t believe that, I would have given up a long time ago. One of the biggest decisions I made in my life was to commit to track and field in college. My experience there would shape my world view, and prove Straw’s assertion to be completely true.
 

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