If every dog has its day, well, Saturday couldn’t have been better.
The skies were sunny, the breeze was cool and Fuqua Park was packed with smiling faces and wagging tails.
Bark in the Park, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Stephens County Humane Society, was a smashing success all the way around.
“This is the best crowd we’ve ever had, the best weather we’ve ever had and hopefully the most money we’ve ever raised for these shelter pets,” said event organizer Patti Whitaker. “Every time you hear an air horn that means an adoption.”
After just an hour into the four-hour event, the horn had sounded five times — four times for dogs that had been adopted from the Humane Society shelter and one for a cat. They would soon be off to new homes.
Many folks who showed — and there were too many to count — had rescued the dogs they brought with them.
Brian and Beverly Murphy of Duncan were accompanied by their dogs Denali and Yukon. The dogs were on leashes while 18-month-old Kinsley Brown, a girl the Murphy’s were baby-sitting, rode along in a stroller — gazing up at some big dogs and looking down at the small ones.
The Murphy’s found Yukon, a small, Shepherd mix, under a bridge in Tennessee several years ago. She was among five pups left there in a large, plastic container to fend for themselves and probably die had the Murphys not found them.
“They still had their eyes closed,” Brian Murphy said. “Now he (Yukon) will be 7-years-old. You couldn’t ask for a better dog.”
There were contests throughout the day, including weenie dog races. The dachshunds were called to their starting positions with the same blaring horn-announcement heard when horses are called to the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby.
At a dog-and-a-half long and half-a-dog high, the dachshunds weren’t nearly as big as thoroughbreds, not nearly as fast. They didn’t cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, either, but to the folks who brought them, they are priceless.
Pickle won the first weenie dog race and was hoisted into the air by a delighted Megan Holloway of Marlow. She found Pickle seven years ago wandering around homeless at a convenience store.
“I’m so proud of her,” Holloway said. “We’ve been practicing at this. I’ll stand on one side of the yard and she stands on the other and then she runs.”
There were 15 entrants in the Best Dog Trick contest. Some rolled over, one danced in circles at the sight of a cheese slice, one sneezed on command. Bullet, an 11-year-old black lab, let a treat rest on his nose then flipped it up into his mouth when 6-year-old Tommy Miller of Marlow said it was OK.
“He’s been working on this for awhile,” said Tommy’s dad, Ray Miller. He meant Tommy, because several years ago, Bullet already had the treat-on-the-nose gig down.
Some dogs were going to do something special, but well, they got stage fright. They got just as much applause, however.
It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the dogs or people. Both categories came in all sizes.
There were tall dogs and short dogs, giant dogs and tiny dogs, skinny dogs and yes, some fat ones, too.
One was so hefty, it promoted an event announcer to say over the microphone, “That dog looks awfully big. You sure he didn’t eat one of the younger ones here?”
Last year’s Bark in the Park raised more than $35,000 for the Stephens County Humane Society, whose workers and volunteers - with lots of help from people all over Stephens County - rescue and feed and shelter dogs and cats and find them homes.
Folks who want to help can call the society at 580-252-7387 or go to www.stephenscountyshelter.com - the group’s website.
If every dog has its day, well, Saturday couldn’t have been better.
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Babineaux sentenced in armed robberies
A Duncan teenager was sentenced Monday for his role in a series of armed robberies of convenience stores earlier this year.
Tre Demetrius Babineaux, 18, was one of four Duncan teens arrested in relation to three armed robberies that took place toward the end of March. The other teens included Dakota John Smith, 19; Quincy Sahtoren Barnes, 20; and Peyton Thad Graham, 20.
Babineaux was the only one charged as a youthful offender.
Tree, Wreath Auction has highest grossing year yet
The Tree and Wreath Auction had its best year even, garnering $3,335 for its grand total.
The auction, which is a collaborative effort between the Duncan Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Simmons Center, raises funds for area charities. This was the 12th year for the silent auction event.
Items, including decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, centerpieces and various other goodies, were donated and auctioned with the funds going toward selected charities. For instance, the Friends of the Stephens County Humane Society donated items with the Stephens County Humane Society as the benefactor.
Christmas Auction raises $30,000 to help local children
Though there are some pledges still out, the annual Christmas Auction was deemed successful after raising more than $32,000 last week.
All 400 plus donation items were sold during the five-night event, which was turned over the Duncan Rotary Club this year. It was previously run by the Duncan Jaycees Club.
“All of the items sold, most of them for retail value,” said Cindy Reynolds, auction chairperson. “We’re pleased with the outcome.”
Duncan school board to discuss possible bond issue
Another bond issue may be on the horizon for Duncan Public Schools.
Tuesday’s meeting will explore the possibility of adding a safe/art room at the Duncan High School. This would be contingent on the passage of a bond issue April 2014.
PBK Architect and CMS Willowbrook, both companies involved in the renovation process at the Duncan High School, will be giving a presentation about the DHS safe/art room project to the Duncan Board of Education.
CU Victorian Tea draws 60
Snow didn’t hinder Cameron University’s Simmons Center tie-in program, the Victorian Tea on Sunday.
And in its fifth year, the Victorian Tea had a strong participation, regardless of recent winter weather. Vivian Thomlinson, CU professor of English, hosted the program through the School of Liberal Arts.
Commissioners approve county’s portion of road project
An industrial access road for South Second is a step closer to becoming reality for Stephens County District 2.
During Monday’s regular meeting, the Board of Stephens County Commissioners approved its portion of the project, which has an agreement with the commissioners board, the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation, the City of Duncan and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
All schools closed Tuesday
All Stephens County public schools and Red River Technology Center will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Winter weather continues
Temperatures dropped to 10 degrees. Freezing rain and snow fell, covering roads and yards. Through all of it, one thing was certain: Winter weather had come to Duncan.
In fact, about 0.23 inches of precipitation fell between 10:30 a.m. Thursday and about 9 a.m. Friday. By Friday afternoon, snow drifts ranged from about 2 inches up to 4 inches. And high temperatures leveled out at 25 degrees.
Museum on track for holidays
Although watching car after car go by while waiting for the caboose to pass at a railroad crossing is usually inconvenient, there is something almost mesmerizing about a model train going round and round a track.
In the past, many a family Christmas tree was accompanied by a model train at its base. In Duncan, one woman set up an entire Christmas village, complete with train, at her home and opened it up to the public. That scene has now been recreated by the Stephens County Historical Museum.
Duncan FD battles blaze
Snow fell Friday, but Duncan firefighters stayed warm by the heat of a structure fire.
About 10 firefighters responded to a blaze around 10:30 a.m. Friday in the 100 block of South Fourth Street. A structure, just south of Main Street, was fully involved.
The building was across Fourth Street from Southwest Foods. The fire was contained to the one building.
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- Babineaux sentenced in armed robberies