The new Stephens County Youth Shelter has a roof and will soon have its windows in place.
During Thursday’s Duncan Chamber of Commerce & Industry community breakfast, John Herdt, executive director of Youth Services of Stephens County, provided an update on the $1.1 million construction project. Through community fundraising efforts and grants, Youth Services was able to raise enough money to build a new youth shelter.
“We’re not all the way there, but we’re getting there,” Herdt said.
The fundraising efforts for the building project started in January 2010. By June 2013, construction was ready to start, beginning with a groundbreaking June 18. Work on the new shelter began June 24.
The goal is to have the project completed in December.
“I just want to thank everyone for their help,” Herdt said.
Youth Services of Stephens County is one of 16 United Way partner agencies. Those 16 agencies receive funding from the United Way through its annual campaign. This year’s campaign has a goal of $350,000 and has already met 25 percent of the goal.
United Way was one of two sponsors for Thursday’s breakfast, sharing hosting duties with Stephens County Abstract. At each breakfast, that month’s sponsor is able to talk about its business or organization.
Although Stephens County Abstract Manager Marty Askins was given an opportunity to talk about Stephens County Abstract, Askins chose to donate his time to the United Way to give United Way Director Lauren Ellis and Campaign Chairwoman Haylee Root more time to talk about the United Way and the current campaign.
“We’re right in the middle of our campaign,” Ellis said. “We’re working on new initiatives. One of our new initiatives is education.”
Ellis and Root said although this year’s campaign started earlier than the past few years and has already started making significant headway, 99 percent of the money raised through the campaign will be used to help people in Stephens County.
About 16,000 people are helped each year through the United Way.
“We are thrilled and excited about it,” Root said about the progress made on this year’s goal. “We still have aways to go.”
For the monthly drawing of $75, Hal Labyer was the winner. Labyer donated the money to the United Way of Stephens County.
Herdt also gave recognition for what United Way of Stephens County does for the entire county.
“Being with a United Way agency, I just want to say, support the United Way,” Herdt said.
n Duncan Public Schools Superintendent Sherry Labyer provided an update on construction projects throughout the school district.
Labyer said the new press box at Halliburton Stadium is mostly complete. The project is being paid with building funds. The bid accepted for the project was $564,340 by L. Wallace Construction. The bid was approved during the Duncan Board of Education’s April 9 regular meeting.
“We’re glad the school district was able to find the funds to do it,” Labyer said. “We’re pretty proud of that project.”
Labyer also talked about construction on the Duncan High School, which is part of a $19.03 million bond issue approved by Duncan voters Feb. 14, 2012.
“The south portion of Duncan High School is all boarded up; it is gutted,” Labyer said. “The west side had dirt work being done. Soon, they’ll start building what will be our commons area.”
n Duncan Regional Hospital Foundation will have its gala Oct. 29 at the Simmons Center. The theme is “Taste of the World.”
n The Save the 905 organization is working on restoring the boiler section of the Rock Island 905 locomotive in Fuqua Park. This section makes up about 95 percent of the train.
“We’re on the final stages,” Save the 905 President Mike Suckert said. “It’s the final two years.”
Christmas lights on the train will be lit in a ceremony Dec. 14.
The new Stephens County Youth Shelter has a roof and will soon have its windows in place.
- Local News
Duncan Machine moves to vacant Valco building
In 2007, Duncan Machine started in the backyard of Chris and Teri Billings’ home. On Tuesday, the manufacturing company continued its expansion, taking over the 27,000 square foot Valco building at Second and Oklahoma Highway 7.
This is the first expansion of the company. Two years ago, the Billings purchased a 4,000 square foot building on Ridley Road (the new office is about 4,100 square feet). At the time, the business owners thought Duncan Machine would only use about half of the square footage.
But it took about 13 months for the company to outgrow the space. That’s where the 5 acres across from Halliburton Manufacturing came in.
FBC of Duncan’s renewal project almost completed
It’s going to be an exciting Sunday for First Baptist Church of Duncan this weekend with a return to the newly renovated worship center and the revival of a favorite holiday production.
FBC began raising funds for the Renovation and Renewal capitol campaign in November 2012. Budget for the project was set at $500,000 and that goal was surpassed. Work began in late May of this year and services have been being held in the FBC Family Life Center for the duration of construction.
New youth shelter to host open house
Since the day in November 2008 when land at 5th and Cedar was donated, those involved with the Stephens County Youth Services have been looking forward to showing off a new youth shelter at that location.
That day has finally come and an open house for the new Stephens County Youth Shelter will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the shelter, 810 N. 5th Street. This will be the only opportunity for the community to view the shelter before children are moved in from the current shelter.
Jarrett shares fourth-round title
LAS VEGAS — Tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett’s philosophy at the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is quite simple: He’s on a money-making mission.
“I came here with nothing to lose,” said Jarrett, an eight-time NFR qualifier from Comanche. “It’s just time to get at it and try to get what money you can and go home.”
The Georgia-raised cowboy came to ProRodeo’s championship event No. 13 in the world standings. Through four go-rounds inside the Thomas & Mack Center, Jarrett has placed three times and earned $37,410.
Award winning artist to perform in Duncan
Before “Wind Beneath My Wings” was a hit for Bette Midler, the song won both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music Song of the Year awards for Gary Morris.
Morris is a Texan native who decided upon a career in music while in college and was the first to record the ballad that is known to recognize heroes. The Duncan community will have the chance to see the award-winning artist perform at 7 p.m. today at the Simmons Center.
This will be the second time for Morris to take the Simmons Center stage. He performed as part of the CTAC Live Concert Series in November 2010.
Duncan students set on inclement weather time
So far, Duncan students won’t have to make up any school days missed because of inclement weather.
For several years, the Duncan School District has based its calendar on an hourly schedule instead of a set number of days. This means the school district has to have 1,080 hours of instructional time, as opposed to make sure students are in class 175 days each school year.
“We go more than 1,080 hours,” Labyer said. “As long as we have 1,080 hours, the schools don’t have to make those days up.”
Duncan area Realtors honored at luncheon
Duncan Association of Realtors celebrated those who have made 2013 Christmas Luncheon, including a father and son duo.
Grant Perkins had the pleasure of passing the presidential gavel to his father Keith Perkins this year. Both men also received prestigious awards during the annual event Wednesday afternoon at First Christian Church.
Grant was named the 2013 Realtor of the Year. A Duncan native, Grant is the third generation of Perkins to work for Perkins Insurance and Realty.
Velma’s holiday activities rescheduled
When a winter storm blew in last week it caused several area events to be canceled and rescheduled, including Velma’s Christmas Parade.
After City of Velma officials met Tuesday, they decided to reschedule most of the town’s holiday activities. The Christmas Parade will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 on Main Street, with lineup beginning at 10 a.m. at the east of town near the E&S Feed Store.
DMS to establish sixth-grade athletics program
In an effort to instill more school spirit in its sixth-graders, Duncan Middle School is working to establish a sixth-grade athletics program.
During Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Duncan Board of Education, Rodney Calhoun, Duncan Public Schools assistant superintendent, talked to board members about the program and the goals associated with sixth-grade athletics. Calhoun said the biggest expense schools accrue while establishing a sixth-grade program is the cost of equipment. He said the Duncan Middle School has plenty of excess equipment to be used for the sixth-grade program.
“Last week, Ponca City launched a sixth-grade program,” Calhoun said. “They spent $200,000 on equipment.”
Deadline Friday for Santa letters
The deadline for getting letters in Santa’s Mailbox, a partnership between the Jolly ‘ol Man and The Duncan Banner, is 5 p.m. Friday.
- More Local News Headlines
- Duncan Machine moves to vacant Valco building