By Alisha Thompson
2023 came and went and 2024 is off to a great start. Here’s to another trip around the sun and our eighth year as owners of the best newspaper around.
The last three months of 2023 were full of celebrations and honoring achievements. There was a music festival, Wolves football, gubernatorial appointments and the littlest Wolves helping celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in The News. A man hunt dominated a week of our mental bandwidth ending with the suspect taking his own life according to the medical examiner. Several major drug busts from the Murray County Sheriff’s office dotted the end of the year with taking pounds of drugs off the streets.
Oct. 4: Want to attend a concert in our own hometown with not one but two Billboard Top 100 Recording Artists, a viral hitmaker who is a CMT featured artist, a season 23 contestant on the Voice, a singing doctor and Murray County’s very own up and coming super star? The concert is at Turner Falls Park on Oct. 14 the first act is on stage at 2 p.m. with the last act beginning at 8:45 p.m. Tickets are $35 and are going fast. You don’t want to miss, what organizers hope to be annual event. In a column submitted by Mark Thomas, Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Press Association entitled “The Value of Your Hometown Newspaper,” he wrote: There’s an old saying that you don’t really appreciate something until you don’t have it anymore. We all know that to be true in our personal life with each loss of a lifelong friend or family member. It’s no secret many newspapers in the United States have closed in recent years. Every time it happens it feels like losing a lifelong friend or family member. The Davis Wolves scored on all but two of their offensive possessions last Friday at Lexington and defeated the Bulldogs 53-0 on Floyd West Field.
Oct. 11: What is now, a nation-wide news, is entering its sixth day (on Monday) for 25 year-old, Kameron Jenkins. Jenkins has been charged with four felonies including: felony murder, shooting with intent to kill, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction. Jenkins is wanted in connection to the shooting of Cleveland County Deputy and District 21 Task Force officer Sean Steadmon. The Turner Falls Red Dirt Music Festival was touted on the front page. Don’t miss this top tier concert in your own hometown with not one but two Billboard Top 100 Recording Artists, a viral hitmaker who is a CMT featured artist, a season 23 contestant on the Voice, a singing doctor and Murray County’s very own up and coming super star. It’s going to be a night to remember! The City of Davis recently hosted a National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) SARTECH II certification class at Turner Falls Park. Brian McDaniel, Davis Police Department Reserve officer and Murray County Emergency Management Director; Ashley Siska, Turner Falls Park Ranger; and Jeramy Hutcherson, Turner Falls Lifeguard completed took part in and completed the rigorous 56- hour course along with participants from Oklahoma City and Kansas groups.
Oct. 18: Dr. James P. Rhodes II has been appointed by Governor J. Kevin Stitt to the Board of Chiropractic Examiners as of Oct. 5. He will begin a four-year term on Nov. 2, 2023, that expires on Nov. 1, 2027. Dr. James P. Rhodes III is replacing Dr. Donald Aguilar and serve as chiropractic physician from District 4. The Davis News had just gone to the printers for the week and the news had come that a body had been found near the crime scene by Ruppe road in Garvin County. Over 900 tickets were sold, vendors were busy and it was a successful day at Turner Falls Park. The City of Davis and Turner Falls Park were joined by the Oklahoma Film and Music Festival, BNSF, Chickasaw Nation, Mike Hellack Chevrolet, C&C Contracting Services, Outdoor Solutions By Jeremy Hoffman, ProVinyl Solutions and The Davis News as sponsors of the concert. Special thanks to Stacey Harness for her hard work in planning the event.
Oct. 25: In a coordinated effort, law enforcement agencies successfully executed a search warrant on Oct. 23, leading to the discovery and dismantling of an illegal marijuana grow operation in Garvin County. The operation was identified as Yo Verde Farm, LLC and was situated at 37499 E. County Road 1630, Wynnewood. The Pumpkin Cart took home first place honors at the Boo Crew Halloween Parade, and rightfully so. Marsha Roady and Zoey Ogletree carefully crafted the Halloween Pumpkin and, just in time for time for Trick or Treat. Big plays from the special teams spurred Davis to an early lead and a 48-14 win at Atoka on Oct. 20. Trey Melton and Dakota Carter combined for 131 return yards in the first quarter. That advantage in the kicking game allowed the Wolves to score on their first four possessions and enjoy a 35-7 margin by halftime.
Nov. 4: Michelin North America has informed employees, customers, community leaders and other public stakeholders that the Company will begin winding down tire production at its Ardmore site, with the goal of completing the process by year-end 2025 or sooner. Rubber-mixing operations at the Ardmore factory are expected to continue. The Davis Wolves celebrated Senior Night on Oct. 27 with a 51-6 win over Coalgate at Wolf Field. Davis jumped out to another quick start that fueled the victory. P. House District 22 Candidate Troy Golden stopped at the Davis Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 26 to speak with members at their second meeting of the month. Golden, the mayor of Tishomingo, spoke about the importance of working together to accomplish common goals and ignoring the naysayers. He said sometimes turning a situation around is just as simple as inviting those who say you can’t to your office for a conversation. Golden said that sometimes those people become part of the process.
Nov. 8: Five Davis High School Alumni Class of 2022 were awarded the FFA American Degree at the 96th FFA National Convention in Indianapolis Indiana on Nov. 4. This is the highest degree that can be earned by an FFA member. Those who attended the ceremony included: Kavan Bolding, Connor Mohr, Logan Boley, Kaden McCurtain and Mr. Brandon Sapp. Jaysen Welty, who was unable to attend. The Davis Wolves finished the regular season on Nov. 3 with a 50-8 win at Tishomingo-Mill Creek. Awaiting Davis now is the first round of the Class 2A playoffs and a matchup with Lindsay this Friday at Wolf Field. The Tyre Masonic Lodge #42 and helped presented a $4,175 to Gayla Garrison Smathers to help cover medical expenses as she fights stage four breast cancer. The Masonic Lodge hosted a pulled pork sandwich fundraiser in October that brought the community together to bless one of our very own in need.
Nov. 15: The DHS Academic Team was set to advance to Area Competition in January. The Davis High School won Academic Team Regional Championship on November in Wynnewood. Members attending the meeting included: Jesse Henley, captain Jett Jennings, Jennifer White, Makenzie Steury, Ainsley Waters, Xavier Cox, Jacen Stewart, Coby Gibson, Tyler Stout and CarterCowan. Not attending: Lexy Poyner, Reese Goodin, Aaron Rankin, Lola Thompson and Kimbra Buntin. Their coach is Amanda Rogers. The Davis Wolves used a dominant fourth quarter against Lindsay on Nov. 10 to post a come-from-behind 44 – 30 win at Wolf Field in the first round of the Class 2A State Playoffs. In The News’ “How to Cook A Turkey Section” kindergartner Kolt Montgomery give us a good recipe for his turkey: You got to a barn and get a turkey. My mom kills it and we take it home. She has to cook it in the stove for 35 hours and 55 degrees. Then you cut it and eat it.
Nov. 22: Fifth grader Gemma Mann’s design will grace the front of the Davis Chamber of Commerce Christmas T-shirts this year. Mann’s forward thinking included Davis tourist attraction, Turner Falls, the railroad tracks, a football to represent the Davis Wolves and of course, Christmas lights. Mann, will get to ride in the Christmas parade, receive a cash prize and be recognized at events in Fullerton Park. Mann is pictured with Chamber Director Brandy Baldwin. The Davis Wolves trailed Jones early on Nov. 17 and despite a gallant comeback attempt, suffered a 30-26 loss in the second round of the Class 2A State Playoffs at the Longhorns’ Tim Wallace Stadium. Deputy Brandon Eddy pulled over a driver for rules of the road violations that resulted in finding 60 pounds of marijuana in that stop.
Nov. 29: November Wolves of Excellence honored by Davis High School staff are: Celia Ross, Lawton Hammer, Jo-Lynn Wolfe and Ryleigh Eaves. The Davis News sponsored the $25 gift cards for each student. The University of Oklahoma’s K20 Center is proud to unveil its groundbreaking initiative, “GEAR UP for LIFE,” aimed at reshaping educational opportunities for students across 27 partner schools in Oklahoma. This initiative, forged in collaboration with under-resourced schools, is designed to empower students and their families for successful college pursuits and workforce training. Davis Middle School one of those 27 partnering schools. Trout fishing at Turner Falls Park is back. Trout are in a “super-frenzy” with all the bait that has been thrown their way. It is expected they will be that way for the next two weeks. Trout fishing permits are $25 and rules are online. Fishermen who catch a gold trout get a free day of fishing. Trout fishing is expected to run through March. For more information visit turnerfallspark.com.
Dec.6: Deputy Mike Woods and his K-9 partner Max assisted Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Francisco Valdez on Nov. 29. Trooper Valdez initially noticed a Black Toyota Tacoma traveling north in rural Murray County at a speed greater than posted.After a short visit with the driver, Trooper Valdez asked for Deputy Woods and K-9 Max to assist him on the stop. Deputy Woods advised Troper Valdez of a positive alert from K-9 Max. A subsequent search of the vehicles bed resulted in the seizure of approximately 115 pounds of processed marijuana. Wrestling Homecoming candidates are Sophomore Jakobi LaNoy, Senior Kimbra Buntin and Junior Hunter Smith. Homecoming will be Dec. 14 against Pauls Valley after Junior High Dual starting at 6 p.m. Senior night will be directly after High School Dual. First place winner of the A Very Davis Christmas Soup Cookoff was Vision Bank.
Dec. 13: Murray County Sheriff’s Deputy, Ryan Thomas, was the Mystery Reader in Mrs. King’s second grade class. The book? How to Catch Santa. Second graders enjoyed Deputy Thomas’s visit to their classroom. Davis basketball relished in a highly successful week. The two teams defeated Wynnewood on Feb. 5, then both won the Comet Classic at Velma-Alma this past weekend. Following their win over Wynnewood, the Lady Wolves claimed their second CC title in three years with victories over Cache JV, Amber-Pocasset and Walters. The Wolves downed the Savages as well and won their first ever title by beating Cache JV, Walters and Am-Po. Little Ronan left a sweet Letter to Santa. Here it is: My name is Ronin. This year for Christmas I have been very good. What I would most like for Christmas this year is an ATV because I want to go places I want to go. If your elves aren’t too busy, I would like a robot, a spin jacket, a real tv, and a guitar, and a dinosaur robot. I promise to leave you some chocolate chip cookies, milk in case you get thirsty, and a note so you always remember my name.
Dec. 20: Sophomore Jakobi LaNoy took home the crown during wrestling homecoming on Dec 14. Included in the homecoming court: Kimbra Buntin, senior Hunter Smith, junior with flower girl Korbyn Hall and crown bearer Case Lewis. Rise Vision Davis Public Schools, home of the wolves in Davis, Okla., faced a unique challenge: how to keep a student connected to her community despite facing a battle with cancer. Ava Parsons, a determined and resilient student at Davis High School, and Bobby Alexander, the IT Director and Media Class Teacher, joined forces to tackle this challenge using Rise Vision’s innovative digital signage platform. Ava, a student at Davis School diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, and Bobby, the District Technology Director, played pivotal roles in implementing Rise Vision digital signage to improve communication, student engagement, and create a positive school culture. Students gathered outside on Dec. 9 to make a wish and watch their wishes take flight. Students in second through fourth grade with birthdays in the current month are celebrated by the Beautiful Day Foundation. If you would like to volunteer for the program, visit beautifuldayfoundation.net and fill out the background check to volunteer. After completing that step, volunteers will contacted when before the next party with instructions. (Editors note: Balloons and strings provided to students for the program are biodegradable.)
Dec. 27: Davis and Sulphur Chambers of Commerce host “Take A Bet on Murray County: Murray County Joint Chamber Banquet.” The banquet is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, at the Murray County Expo Center. Nominations for banquet awards are due by Jan. 1. Tickets are available for pre-purchase only by contacting the Davis Chamber of Commerce or the Sulphur Chamber of Commerce. Formal attire is recommended but not required. Students on the Dean’s Honor Roll at East Central University from Davis include: Dane Parker, Jolee Grinstead, Kylie Moss, Dalton Davis, Noah McCartney, Gavin Moore, Roger Moison and Jake Parker. Students from Davis on the President’s Honor Roll at East Central University are: Josiah Bittner, Payton Brewer, Elijah Hoopes, Madilyn Merrell, Anna Merrell, Leah Moison, Grace Murphy, Brody Rogers and Casie Webb. Leadership Murray County Class XIX recently participated in County and CityGovernment Day. The class began the day at the Murray County Courthouse and continued by touring the Murray County jail and the Davis Fire Department. They ended the day at SouthernTech in Ardmore to complete the December session. Class members attending were: Dr. Heather Laine, Jeily Enriquez, Daniel Robledo, Robert Thomas, Cade McDaniel, Katie Moothart, Blair Jones, Bethany McCord, Brandy Baldwin, Lauren Payne and Ricky Fullen.
By Alisha Thompson