TO)--The Closing Ceremony for “The One” featuring the Christ Tree, will be this evening in the Grand Ballroom of the Stride Bank Center beginning at 5:00. The Ceremony will begin with music from world-renowned fiddler, and Enid native, Kyle Dillingham. There will be several speakers making brief comments, and conclude tree-side with The One’s Grand Marshall Dr. Lyntel Murphy turning off the lights.
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JC)--Dr. Janet Cunningham, Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s 19th president and first woman to hold the position, has announced plans to retire at the end of the school year after nearly 50 years in higher education. She will retire on June 30, the last day of the current fiscal year, after 16 years as NWOSU’s second longest-serving president. The Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) and its board of regents will handle finding her replacement.
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WN)--Active COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma doubled over the past week, according to Wednesday’s Oklahoma State Department of Health weekly update. According to OSDH’s Situation Update, the weekly increase in Oklahoma was 24,077 cases. As of Wednesday there were 30,090 active cases in the state. As of Monday, weekly cases in Garfield County increased by 126. The number of cases over the past 30 days in Garfield County was 379. According to Wednesday’s report, 125 cases were considered active in Enid. OSDH reported a three-day average of statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations at 981. Of those, 263 are in ICU across the state. The three-day average hospitalizations in the Northwest Region, which includes Enid, was 44 with 15 in the ICU. Locally, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center reported it had 17 confirmed positive COVID-19 patients with six in the ICU, and Integris Bass Baptist Health Center reported nine confirmed positive COVID-19 patients with four in ICU on Wednesday.
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CT)--With COVID-19 testing in higher demand and increased cases over the last week, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is extending COVID-19 testing hours at local county health departments, and will offer weekend availability at select locations. In Garfield County, testing is available by appointment during regular business hours (M-F 8:00a-5:00p), and this Saturday. Again an appointment is required. Additionally, mobile units will be deployed to various locations throughout the state. Testing locations and hours can be found by visiting oklahoma.gov/covid19/testing-sites or county health department Facebook pages. Oklahomans can also call their local county health department or 2-1-1 for hours and locations.
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SB)--January is School Board Recognition Month and an opportunity for local schools and communities to honor Oklahoma's more than 2,700 elected school board members for their dedication to children and schools. "Providing Enid’s children with a quality education is the most important investment we can make," said Dr. Darrell Floyd, Superintendent of Enid Public Schools. "School Board Recognition Month is a time to say thank you to board members for selflessly volunteering their time and talent to our students and staff.” EPS board members bear responsibility for an annual budget of $87 million, over 7,700 students, 1,057 employees and 18 schools. "School board members make critical decisions that affect every aspect of student success," notes Floyd. "We thank them for their work and their dedication to Enid students.” The men and women currently serving on the EPS Board are Rev. Joe Blackwood, Matt Lohman, Chad Mantz, Frank Nelson, Matt Sampson, Torry Turnbow, Kyle Whitehead, and Vance Air Force Base honorary member Col. Paul Miller.
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KC)--Local students are being encouraged to participate in this month’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration. High school students in Enid are being invited to write a letter to the late civil rights movement leader on how they think his famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered in 1963 has affected the United States. The theme of this year’s celebration, “We Are America.” Students as young as pre-kindergarten age also can submit poems and posters for the holiday commission’s annual awards. Contest entries are due by 5:00 p.m. Jan. 7 to either the Enid High School library or the city administration building, at 401 W. Garriott. Letters should be typed and no longer than 500 words, while poems should be at least 10 lines long. Posters should be original, drawn by the child, no smaller than letter-sized and no larger than 18 by 24 inches. Student name, organization/school, teacher/sponsor and grade, as well as if a child is special needs should be taken into consideration, should be included on the back of the entry. Awards will be presented at the end of the holiday commission’s week of celebrating King’s birthday, during a ceremony Jan. 15 at Stride Bank Center. The long-held march in honor of King will begin at 1:30 p.m. outside Stride Bank Center, at 301 S. Independence. The program and dinner will begin inside at 2:00 p.m., with inspirational speakers, music and contest and diversity awards. Food will be provided by the event center. The event would be free and open to the public.
BD)--Yet another good reason to donate blood. Blood donors will know more about the status of their immunity to COVID-19 thanks to a new antibody testing method offered by the Oklahoma Blood Institute. The new testing is offered through January 31. Individual results will help donors understand their bodies’ immune response, whether those antibodies come from natural infection or the vaccine and boosters. Previously, Oklahoma Blood Institute’s ability to test for donors’ COVID exposure was limited to a detectable immune response from prior infection. The improved method will also detect if an individual has antibodies from receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine. The testing is free to all donors as a regular part of the donation process.
CT)--The City of Enid offers several options for live-cut Christmas tree recycling. Residents can drop off their live-cut Christmas trees at the landfill, located at 1313 East Southgate Road, during normal business hours at no cost. All customers must have an active City of Enid utility bill. Also, residents can request a free bulk pick up of their live-cut Christmas tree by calling City of Enid Solid Waste Services at (580) 616-7300 or (580) 616-7301. Trees must be ten feet away from other objects. Please do not include any other trash or debris with the bulk pickup. [NOTE: The fee for bulk pickup for other items is $20 for the first truck.]. The trees will be recycled into mulch at the landfill. Mulch is free for all residents if loaded by the resident at the landfill. If City equipment is used, there is a $10 equipment fee. Christmas trees will be accepted at the landfill until the end of January 2022.