Sometimes good things come from texting.
Monday afternoon, Sydney Richardson, who will be Santa Fe’s student body president next year, was driving home and it was raining. Once home, she talked to her mother, who told her about the tornado in Moore. Then she began seeing the damage on TV.
“It was devastating,” Richardson said. “We watched it all night long. I just felt like we needed to do something immediately.”
Student leaders from Memorial, Santa Fe and North high schools began texting each other about how they could help. Before long, they were developing plans for a relief effort.
Monday evening, students spread the word about the effort via electronic social networking. They gathered at Santa Fe to clean out the student government store, Richardson said. Similar activity was transpiring at the other high schools. Before long, residents were already dropping off items. First thing Tuesday morning, Santa Fe staff members joined in the effort. After students finished final exams, they came to the spot.
“This is what happened,” Richardson said as she stood in the school’s foyer near an ever-growing area of donated items. “It’s awesome.”
Assisting the students at Santa Fe were Karen Gray, freshman counselor, and James Keeton, career counselor. Gray said she came to the Santa Fe foyer at about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday and the student council store was filled to capacity. Gray and Keeton felt a desire to help the students.
“This is what it’s all about,” Gray said. “These kids have the heart and the soul to want to help. Our kids have the spirit of giving.”
On May 3, 1999, Gray was principal of an elementary school in Noble near the path of the tornado. Some of her teachers live in the hard hit communities of Bridge Creek and Moore. It was two days before she knew they were alive.
“As an administrator that’s horrifying,” Gray said. “You’ve just got this sense that you’ve got to protect your people. My heart’s going out to the parents and administrators in Moore.”
The high school relief effort is a way to help others, Gray said.
Keeton said first thing Tuesday morning there was a need to start organizing and managing the relief effort. He said he was amazed by how many items were already there.
“After that initial surge I didn’t realize that the community was going to respond so strongly,” Keeton said. “It’s been a constant stream of donations.”
Keeton said Edmond Public Schools does a lot to encourage community service, but this effort speaks about the compassion of the students.
Monday afternoon, when school staff were making sure students were safe, Keeton was wondering how his 5-year-old son was going to be. After getting him home, seeing the devastation and knowing what the families of victims, especially of the trapped students, were going through was heart breaking.
“That could easily be his school,” Keeton said.
Amidst taking final exams the Edmond students still wanted to help others, Keeton said.
Students at all three high schools — all secondary — and volunteers at many elementary schools were also collecting items. Items being collected include bottled water, energy drinks, pre-packaged snacks, work gloves, work gloves, sunscreen and hand sanitizer.
The effort will continue through mid-afternoon Wednesday, the last day of school for Edmond Public Schools. John Ross Elementary students were writing letters to emergency workers.
Donations continue through today at local schools
Sometimes good things come from texting.
- Local News
DOC action could save $36.8 million annually
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
Audit recommendations included:
Regional Food Bank receives donation
At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.
Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB
A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.
NAMI classes begin in September
NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.
K9 hot on drug trail
An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.
City spends $1.7 million on ITS
Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
“Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.
Edmond church to host free eye clinic
An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.
July could be coolest in weather record books
With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.
Downtown Master Plan accepted by council
The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
“There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”
UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies
A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.
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- DOC action could save $36.8 million annually