The Edmond Sun

Local News

October 24, 2013

Bedlam storm shelter challenge kicks off in Edmond

EDMOND — OU Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims and elite OSU pass catcher Rashaun Woods have teamed up for a good cause — student safety.

On May 20, storm shelters in public schools became an issue after seven children in Plaza Towers Elementary School were killed by an EF-5 tornado that tracked through the Newcastle, south Oklahoma City and Moore areas.  

Parents of the victims and others began working toward a goal of having twister-proof shelters in every Oklahoma public school.

Thursday afternoon, Sims and Woods appeared at GFS Storm Shelters, 3404 S. Broadway, supporting a petition drive to collect 160,000 signatures by mid-December to get a measure funding school storm shelters on a statewide ballot.

Sims came to Oklahoma from east Texas, where he witnessed severe weather.

“The shelter deal to me is a no-brainer,” Sims said, referencing progress being made on the issue in Alabama, where a powerful twister struck in the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham areas in 2011. “I think the state of Oklahoma should do the same.”

Woods went to high school in the Oklahoma City metro area, in the middle of Tornado Alley. Anything to help keep students safe is good for the state, Woods said.

“Once I heard about what GFS was doing I thought it was a great idea,” he said, noting after he looked at the issue he was onboard immediately. “You have to think about it from a family man or a dad’s perspective.”

College students from OU and OSU fraternities and sororities will be collecting signatures on both campuses, before football games, at Stillwater and Norman high school football games and at a variety of other events and locations.

If Sims’ OU team collects the most signatures, members will be treated to a meal from Billy Sims Barbecue. If Woods’ OSU team wins, they will be treated to a meal from Hideaway Pizza. GFS is donating a shelter to be given away by the winning team.

Mark Nestlen, a member of the Take Shelter Oklahoma steering committee, said the panel believes the students will contribute about 100,000 signatures to the petition drive.

Danni Dunn-Legg, mother of Moore tornado victim Christopher Legg, 9, thanked the college students for their efforts. Parents of victims did not have enough time to make a life-and-death decision about picking up their child from school, she said.

On Sept. 18, Take Shelter Oklahoma filed paperwork with the secretary of state. According to the petition language, the measure would add a new section to the Oklahoma Constitution about selling bonds. Up to $500 million could be available.

Nestlen said the plan does not raises taxes or cut spending. Bond debt would be serviced by the reinstated state franchise tax. Local school districts would retain decision-making authority.

Edmond Public Schools spokeswoman Susan Parks-Schlepp said safely sheltering students is a high priority and the district has direction from the school board to do an analysis of its sheltering capacity and to create safe rooms where the need exists.

Officials have said it could cost about $30 million to add storm shelters to district schools without them.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Kenya Edmond man confesses to crimes in Kenya

    A federal grand jury alleges a 19-year-old Edmond man staying at a children’s’ home in Kenya engaged in illicit sexual conduct with residents ages 4-9.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS includes Edmond in heat advisory

    The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for areas including Edmond.
    It will be in effect from noon Tuesday to 7 p.m. Wednesday, a period during which afternoon heat index values will be near 105 degrees. Individuals exposed to the extreme heat for a prolonged period may develop heat-related illnesses, according to the NWS.

    July 22, 2014

  • Police respond to toddler tragedy at park

    A 2-year-old child has died after a tragic incident during the weekend at a popular Edmond park, a police spokeswoman said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Germans from Russia group plans annual meeting in Edmond

    The Central Oklahoma Chapter of American Historical Society of Germans from Russia will have its annual All State meeting on Aug. 9 at the Memorial Road Mennonite Brethren Church, 4201 E. Memorial Road, in Edmond.

    July 22, 2014

  • Goddard Students learn about animal behavior

    Animals can be fun, friendly and sometimes dangerous. That is what the students at Goddard School on North Western are learning this summer and this week they are learning about pets.
    Each summer Goddard School’s across the nation choose from a provided list of curriculum to use with their students that would be popular with the children. From learning about insects to a tiger safari, each summer is filled with creative learning.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Damaged areas not always first in line for FEMA funds

    As a massive tornado bore down on Moore on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, residents scrambled to find shelter.

    July 21, 2014

  • Edmond sex offender case, ‘Starkey law’ intersect

    A convicted Edmond sex offender faces additional legal issues including failing to register and living too close to a school, an incident report states.

    July 21, 2014

  • Spring Creek’s Reading teacher is Deer Creek’s Teacher of the Year

    She started teaching her stuffed animals at the age of five.
    “Great job, Teddy. Mr. Snuggles, thank you for raising your hand. Would you like to answer the next question?”

    July 21, 2014

  • MS_train 2.JPG Deputies investigate Logan Co. train wreck

    A mangled metal carcass is all that remains of a Jeep after it was pulverized at a railroad crossing in Logan County.
    Logan County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Richard Stephens said at 2:52 p.m. Sunday, the agency received a call about a train versus vehicle incident near the Academy-Camp intersection in south Guthrie.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • UCO campus 3.jpg University of Central Oklahoma recognized as having friendly work environment

    The Chronicle of Higher Education named the University of Central Oklahoma as one of the “2014 Great Colleges to Work For.” Central is the only higher education institution in the state recognized on the list and one of only a handful of institutions in the nation given the distinction of being named to the Honor Roll for being cited most often among all the recognition categories.          
    Central joins Duke, Baylor and Notre Dame on the list of the 10 universities named to the large institution honor roll.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton
Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results