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Stillwater's First News with Bill Van Ness

Conversation opened. 1 read message. FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:FROM THE-------------------------FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:
-----------------------FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:
FROM OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY:FROM Oklahoma State University President Kayse Shrum and First Cowboy Darren Shrum have been named grand marshals of OSU’s 2022 Homecoming festivities by the OSU Alumni Association.FROM OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSFROMM

Few exemplify the Cowboy Code’s life of service like Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson.

Thompson, an Oklahoma State University alumnus, is the speaker at his alma mater’s fall 2023 commencement.

In 1983, Thompson joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard and was later commissioned to second lieutenant in 1986 through the Oklahoma Military Department Office Candidate School.  

Over the course of his career, he has commanded at the company, battalion and brigade levels. Thompson was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2008.   

In 2017, then Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin appointed him as the adjutant general for the Oklahoma National Guard. Thompson served as the top military advisor to the governor and commanded the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard from November 2017 to November 2021.   

Before being appointed as adjutant general, Thompson also had a distinguished 28-year career with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. Thompson joined DPS as an Oklahoma state trooper in 1990. He concluded his DPS career by serving as commissioner of DPS and cabinet secretary for safety and security from 2011 to 2017. Thompson was inducted into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame in 2019 and received the Governor George Nigh Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022. That same year, Thompson served as the deputy director for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. In 2023, he was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame.     

Thompson is a graduate of Oklahoma’s only historically black college, Langston University. He also holds master’s degrees from OSU and the United States Army War College. Thompson is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the United States Secret Service Executive Seminar and the United States War College.   

OSU President Shrum said it is a privilege to have Thompson for the ceremonies.  

Undergraduate ceremonies, which Thompson will be speaking at, will be Dec. 16, starting with the 10:30 a.m. slot, which includes the Ferguson College of Agriculture, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The ceremonies will wrap up following the Spears School of Business, the College of Education and Human Sciences ceremonies along with the College of Professional Studies, which begin at 1:30 p.m.

Graduates should arrive 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time and enter through Boone Pickens Stadium’s Gate 1 South. Doors on the east side of Gallagher-Iba Arena will open for guests one hour prior to the ceremony start time.  

Commencement can also be livestreamed on your TV through Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV via the Inside OSU app, and at  For more information on OSU’s 147th graduation ceremonies, visit


Tax Apportionment Report, November 2023 City of Stillwater

The collection is based off of August transactions that were reported to the Oklahoma Tax Commission in September and apportioned to the City in October.

• DECREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $-40,273 (-2.22%)

• DECREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $-20,137 (-2.22%)

• DECREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $-20,137 (-2.22%)

• INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $101,530 (28.38%)

• INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $-22,833 (-12.18%)

Go to the City’s Financial Center for more information about the budget and taxes and monthly reports for sales, use and visitor tax:


Our Daily Bread Food & Resource Center has received a $10,000 grant through the Potts Family Foundation (PFF) based in Oklahoma City to identify needs of families with young children in effort to encourage and assist partner agencies to develop new and improve upon existing community resources.

This is part of a statewide project known as Know and Grow Oklahoma: Building Resilient Children, Families & Communities. Our Daily Bread will utilize Oklahoma State University Center for Rural Health to collect feedback through surveys, conversations, and building relationships within the Stillwater community and surrounding areas.

“We plan to work diligently together throughout our service area and with partners statewide to identify challenges and concerns, while discovering new needs for the families we serve,” Rachael Condley, Our Daily Bread Food & Resource Center said. “We rely on the support of organizations like Healthy Communities Healthy Children in Stillwater to help us find the best connections for information and relationships, but also to help act on the information we receive to be sure that families in our area can get needs met. Their organization is imperative to helping families in our area get needs met, and we’re so thankful for their support during this project.”

In collaboration with the OSU Center for Rural Health and Healthy Communities Healthy Children, Our Daily Bread Food & Resource Center will begin collecting information, hosting community events and interviews within the next few weeks in order to submit findings to PFF prior to mid-January 2024.
Members of Healthy Communities Healthy Children are representatives from Resilient Payne County, Early Childhood Coalition, City of Stillwater, Payne County Health Department, Oklahoma State University, Meridian Technology Center, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, Head Start, and Stillwater Public Schools.

“These efforts will help us acquire a better understanding of how the children and their families are doing and how individuals and/or community groups might respond in support of them. As part of 15 coalitions statewide, we know it doesn’t matter where you live or what your community looks like, we can all learn from each other about how to better serve Oklahoma children and families,” said Condley.

To join this community-led project, email: Join the conversation at or on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn using @knowandgrowok.


The Stillwater Public Library is nearing the end of its 2023 centennial celebration with the announcement of its “$100 for 100 Years" fundraising campaign and a “Winter Read-a-thon.” The library asks the community to consider joining in the preservation and expansion of its legacy by contributing $1 for each year of its service to Stillwater or by taking part in the library’s challenge to raise funds through reading. The Friends of the Stillwater Public Library are matching donations.

The ultimate goal for these fundraising efforts is to raise a total of $100,000 for the Library Trust. So far, the library has raised nearly $70,000 through individual donations and fundraising events like the “Retro Book Fair” and the “Stillwater Haunted Library.”

For individuals who may not be able to donate, the library is also holding a “Winter Read-a-thon” from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, as a twist on the annual winter reading program. To participate, individuals can sign up through Beanstack, the library’s online reading challenge platform and mobile app. Participants can log and earn prizes for their reading and share their individualized donation pages with family, friends and social networks. Donations made through individual’s donation pages will earn badges and help the library reach its fundraising goal. Details and registration info are available at

Over the next several years, Stacy DeLano, library director hopes that a yearly fundraising event like the read-a-thon can help the Trust grow enough to allow the library to make even more substantial changes.

According to DeLano, some of the Library Trust's future investments include:
    Renovation of library spaces to accommodate a wider variety of activities
    Upgrading technology infrastructure and equipment to ensure all residents have access to digital resources and knowledge
    Collection building in the newest formats that best fit community members’ needs
    Programs and services that empower community members of all ages

Centennial-year donors are being recognized on the library’s webpage at Donors contributing $500 or more will have a place on the Library Trust’s donor installation wall that will be informally unveiled at the end of the year. To donate to the Library Trust, visit or contact the library business office at 405-372-3633 x8100.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday- Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


The Stillwater City Council has approved new, aligned rate structures to meet the cost of service and infrastructure projects after several months of rate studies, consultations with experts who specialize in utility rate structures, community meetings, and staff recommendations.

Vice Mayor Amy Dzialowski requested staff dive deeper into conservation options and initiatives for customers to participate in that may help them in the long run. She also requested additional programs to help those who may experience a financial hardship. Loren Smith, Electric Utility Director, explained there will be additional opportunities available once installation of the new electric meters is complete. The AMI system is automated and allows for real-time collection of utility usage.

Currently, the City offers a program for customers to donate funds to help other customers who experience a financial hardship. Dana Mattox, Utility and Billing Services Director, explained customers can check a box on the bill stub when paying their bill and set the donation amount. She said the City partners with Community Action to determine eligibility of those who receive the donated funds, and included other partnerships the City has with community groups to help customers during hardships.

Funds collected from the rate increase will pay for cost of service and address vital infrastructure concerns with the regional water projects. The City is also looking into grants to address regional water projects. Receipt of grants could lower utility rates in the future.

The resolutions were adopted unanimously and the new rates will be phased in beginning January 2024. For more information about the water, wastewater, stormwater, and electric rate studies and information, go to:

ABC News


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