state university – Rogers County Blue Star Mothers http://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/ Sun, 17 Apr 2022 08:36:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-09T143024.308.png state university – Rogers County Blue Star Mothers http://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/ 32 32 Arthur Hays, Jr | obituary https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/arthur-hays-jr-obituary/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 21:28:21 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/arthur-hays-jr-obituary/ Arthur Graham Hays, Jr. (Billy) August 5, 1944 – March 16, 2022 On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Arthur Graham Hays, Jr., (Billy), 77, died peacefully at his home in Oklahoma City. Billy was born in Long Beach, California to Arthur Graham Hays and Dorothy Duncan Hays on August 5, 1944. After World War II, the […]]]>

August 5, 1944
March 16, 2022

On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Arthur Graham Hays, Jr., (Billy), 77, died peacefully at his home in Oklahoma City.
Billy was born in Long Beach, California to Arthur Graham Hays and Dorothy Duncan Hays on August 5, 1944. After World War II, the Hays family returned to their hometown of Muskogee, Oklahoma. Billy grew up in Muskogee and graduated from Muskogee Central High School in 1962. He began college at Baylor University and transferred to Oklahoma State University the following year, graduating in 1967. Billy then returned to Muskogee and worked in a family clothing business for several years.
In 1972, he moved to Oklahoma City and worked for Bankamericard. Five years later, he went into business by opening an antiques and accessories store which he called “Arthur-Graham”. Billy’s store was unique at the time and quickly became a big hit. He made many buying trips to England over the years and carried distinctive wares not found elsewhere in Oklahoma City.
Billy was a longtime member of Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. He has served as a host and Stephen Minister as well as a mentor in the Whiz Kids tutoring programs.
Billy was predeceased by his parents, Arthur G. and Dorothy D. Hays. He is survived by his brother, Louis Hays (Susan); his sister, Dotty Hendren (Mike); nephews, Mike Hendren (Heather) and David Hendren (Riah); nieces, Elizabeth Crump and Sara Hendren (Brian Funck); great-nieces and nephews, Grace VanderWoude (Tim), Olivia and Anna Crump, Graham, Freddie and Malcolm Funck, and Conley and Bennett Hendren; cousins, James Buchanan (Becky), Ann Hicks, John Reynolds and Pat Manzardo (Michael).
A funeral service open to the public will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22 at Greenhill Cemetery, 1500 N. York, Muskogee, OK 74401
A memorial service for Billy will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, March 23 at Crossings Community Church, 14600 N. Portland Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73134.
Donations in honor of Billy Hays may be sent to Crossings Community Church, 14600 N. Portland Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73134
www.smithandkernke.com

Published on March 18, 2022

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XFD acquires 792-bed student community in Oklahoma https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/xfd-acquires-792-bed-student-community-in-oklahoma/ Mon, 21 Feb 2022 15:49:10 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/xfd-acquires-792-bed-student-community-in-oklahoma/ Stillwater Student Life XFD Real Estate Partners acquired Stillwater Student Living, a 792-bed community in Stillwater, Okla., from Oklahoma State University Student Services. The company plans to rename the property to Cottage Row Stillwater and spend around $3.5 million to upgrade the asset. Acting on behalf of American bank, NRL Partners seized on a $38.1 […]]]>
Stillwater Student Life

XFD Real Estate Partners acquired Stillwater Student Living, a 792-bed community in Stillwater, Okla., from Oklahoma State University Student Services. The company plans to rename the property to Cottage Row Stillwater and spend around $3.5 million to upgrade the asset.

Acting on behalf of American bank, NRL Partners seized on a $38.1 million CMBS loan in 2020. The partnership paid out about $23.6 million for Stillwater Student Living, according to Yardi Matrix data. Before typing, Aspen Heights Partners owned the property.

Sprawling over 38 acres, the 2013-built community features 170 self-contained cottages and 231 units with a mix of two- to five-bedroom floor plans, ranging from 1,357 to 2,672 square feet. The units are equipped with a washer and dryer, high-speed Internet access and a patio or balcony. Common facilities include a swimming pool, fitness center, volleyball and basketball courts, group study rooms, computer lab, and dog parks.

The buyer plans to upgrade all unit interiors, redesign the community pavilion, add another fitness center with new equipment, and create study lounges and conference rooms. For green spaces, XFD will include amenities such as fitness classes, a frisbee golf course and off-leash dog courses.

Located at 920 E. Loveland Drive across from Boomer Lake Park, Stillwater Student Living is less than 3 miles from Oklahoma State University and surrounding areas including Boone Pickens Stadium, Colvin recreation center and many restaurants. The community is one of seven properties near the main campus, totaling 3,574 rooms, according to Yardi Matrix.

XFD’s Value Added Strategy

The acquisition is part of the company’s value-added strategy, which is focused on identifying assets in growth markets with strong listings and creating value through its operations and real estate improvements, said the CFO and Head of Capital Markets Daniel Lin in a prepared statement.

Last year, XFD formed a joint venture with Ash Real Estate, Real Estate Saxum and Anchor real estate capital and acquired The Landing, an 888-bed student housing community in Greenville, North Carolina, with plans to invest $2 million in improvements.

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OKFB organizes a successful leadership conference https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/okfb-organizes-a-successful-leadership-conference/ Thu, 17 Feb 2022 20:34:48 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/okfb-organizes-a-successful-leadership-conference/ More than 100 Oklahoma Farm Bureau members, guests and legislators gathered for the OKFB State Leadership Conference on Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Oklahoma City. The event started with Donnie Anderson, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, giving an update on medical marijuana in Oklahoma and explaining the challenges posed by the burgeoning industry. Anderson […]]]>

More than 100 Oklahoma Farm Bureau members, guests and legislators gathered for the OKFB State Leadership Conference on Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Oklahoma City.

The event started with Donnie Anderson, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, giving an update on medical marijuana in Oklahoma and explaining the challenges posed by the burgeoning industry. Anderson shared with OKFB members the growth the OBN has seen in the industry’s illegal activities.

“Drug trafficking organizations have infiltrated Oklahoma,” he said.

Oklahoma has seen exponential growth in marijuana operations – both legal and illegal – due to cheaper land prices, inexpensive license fees, and no limits on the number of dispensaries. Oklahoma has 2,300 marijuana dispensaries, while states like Oregon, Colorado, and California have a fraction with 560, 520, and 261, respectively.

Oklahoma also issued 382,069 medical marijuana cards, or nearly 10% of the state’s roughly 4 million people, Anderson said.

He also highlighted the impacts of marijuana operations on the land, the environment, and the surrounding community. The main environmental impacts are mold, waste and improper disposal, electrical hazards, excessive water consumption and strain on the electrical grid. Other impacts include suspect land sales, public safety and law enforcement security.

“It didn’t happen overnight, and it’s not going to change overnight,” Anderson said.

Members of the Farm Bureau also had the chance to hear Adria Berry, executive director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. Six months into his role at OMMA, Berry is optimistic about the direction his organization is headed.

“We can change the way we go and we can change the way we do things,” she said.

Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry began with the passage of State Question 788 in June 2018 and now has more than 8,300 growers in the state, Berry said.

Like Anderson, Berry attributed the unprecedented growth to the lack of licensing caps and the lack of qualifying requirements for obtaining a medical marijuana card.

Berry said the process to get a medical marijuana card is as simple as meeting a doctor online and submitting the doctor’s recommendation along with a photo ID. The applicant often receives his card within a week.

She encouraged OKFB members to be part of the solution and to contact her organization if they notice suspicious activity.

During dinner, Senator Roger Thompson and Representative Kevin Wallace visited with participants to give an update on state appropriations and budget.

They talked about the proposed elimination of the grocery tax and the importance of increasing state savings. They also discussed expanding rural broadband, improving roads and bridges, and the importance of Oklahoma State University’s extension service.

State Auditor Cindy Byrd kicked off the afternoon speaker list, discussing her role as a state auditor and the many types of audits she performs.

“It’s very important to me as a state auditor to listen to our citizens,” she said.

Byrd explained the role ad valorem taxes play in funding public schools and shared details from the Epic Charter Schools Investigative Audit. She also encouraged OKFB members to get involved in county government and to volunteer to serve on county councils.

“Taxpayer funds must be protected,” she said.

Members of the Farm Bureau also had the opportunity to hear from the Oklahoma delegation congress staff, including staff from the offices of Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. James Lankford and Rep. Frank Lucas. They visited OKFB members about the upcoming farm bill, challenges with U.S. waters, and growing tension between Russia and Ukraine.

Harrison Pittman, director of the National Ag Law Center, gave the opening speech for the evening, emphasizing the importance of understanding agriculture before understanding agricultural law. Pittman explained the factors that influence agricultural law, including consumer influence, interdependence with foreign countries, and tactical changes.

He also spoke about the future of agricultural law, citing challenges such as increasing foreign ownership of farmland and urban encroachment on rural areas.

The evening concluded with a reception and dinner to honor state legislators and recognize the 10 lawmakers who received the 2021 OKFB Champion Award. Winners of the Champion Award for the 2021 legislative session included Speaker of the House Charles McCall, Rep. Ryan Martinez, Rep. Dell Kerbs, Rep. Carl Newton, Rep. John Pfeiffer, Senator Greg Treat, Senator Darcy Jech, Senator Lonnie Paxton, Senator Frank Simpson, and Senator Zack Taylor.

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Putting your tax refund to work for you https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/putting-your-tax-refund-to-work-for-you/ Sun, 13 Feb 2022 11:13:20 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/putting-your-tax-refund-to-work-for-you/ ARDMORE, Okla. – Despite the terror that returns each year during tax season, many Oklahomans often plan to receive a refund. While it’s fun to dream and plan how to spend the windfall, don’t forget to consider how those dollars can help create a better future for financially savvy families. Sure, you can use some […]]]>
Putting your tax refund to work for you

ARDMORE, Okla. – Despite the terror that returns each year during tax season, many Oklahomans often plan to receive a refund.

While it’s fun to dream and plan how to spend the windfall, don’t forget to consider how those dollars can help create a better future for financially savvy families.

Sure, you can use some of your refund for something fun, but it’s a great opportunity to find ways to help you and your family reach your financial goals.

Regardless of the size of the refund check, here are three solid ways to make those funds work for the longer term.

Pay off high interest debt. It can be difficult to make meaningful progress on credit card and loan balances by only covering the minimum payment.

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We all benefit by making Oklahoma a place where everyone can thrive https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/we-all-benefit-by-making-oklahoma-a-place-where-everyone-can-thrive/ Sun, 06 Feb 2022 11:00:55 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/we-all-benefit-by-making-oklahoma-a-place-where-everyone-can-thrive/ Senator Julia Kirt is Co-Chair of the Developmental Disabilities Waiting List Caucus and Mental Health Legislative Caucus. Jennifer Jones As spring approaches, many high school students are finalizing their next steps, applying to schools, analyzing career options, and planning to achieve long-awaited independence. Graduation brings big changes for any student, but is especially difficult for […]]]>

Senator Julia Kirt is Co-Chair of the Developmental Disabilities Waiting List Caucus and Mental Health Legislative Caucus.

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones

As spring approaches, many high school students are finalizing their next steps, applying to schools, analyzing career options, and planning to achieve long-awaited independence. Graduation brings big changes for any student, but is especially difficult for students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The transition is a practical and emotional maze for families wondering: will my child be able to work? Will my child be accepted and included in their community? How will we take care of our loved one without the support of school every day?

Recently, we hosted an interim study at the Oklahoma Senate that explored how our education and rehabilitation services are already helping students make these transitions and what stronger services might look like.

We have found that educators are on the front lines of connecting students and families to the services they need. Ideally, students begin planning for transition to school at age 14, following an Individual Education Plan (IEP) written by educators and parents. The IEP supports academic progress, as well as preparation for competitive community employment suited to the student’s potential, personal goals, and career vision. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides funding for this academic and vocational support through age 21.

But the ideal is not always the reality.

The current system relies heavily on individual educators connecting points of opportunity between multiple state agencies, including the state Department of Education, Department of Rehabilitation Services, and Department of Human Services. disabilities in the development of services. And special educators are in trouble. They continue to see larger class sizes and a shortage of qualified teacher candidates.

To achieve best practice in supporting students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we need to invest in more staff and information infrastructure so that all families and educators have a direct line to the information they need. need and that service agencies have the resources to support the great potential of each student.

We now have decades of research that empirically proves what many of us have always known to be true: everyone benefits when people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities can live, work, learn and play with each other. . We have made great strides in making our communities more physically accessible, but much more needs to be done to move beyond physical access to true inclusion and belonging where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive the support that they need to thrive in school and beyond.

The challenge ahead is to make our current human service systems more usable for the people in those systems, including family members and the individuals themselves. How can our public systems and services show that we respect those served and value them as unique members and contributors to our communities?

We know we can build a more inclusive state where all Oklahomans can thrive, belong, and make meaningful contributions to our communities. By ensuring our state supports strong post-high school transitions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we all benefit.

Jennifer Jones is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at Oklahoma State University and Director of the Institute for Developmental Disabilities. Julia Kirt, a Democrat, represents District 30, including OKC, Bethany, Warr Acres and The Village. She is co-chair of the Developmental Disabilities Waiting Caucus and the Legislative Mental Health Caucus.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: POV: Let’s make Oklahoma a more inclusive state where all can thrive

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Paul Johnson | Obituaries | Greenville Herald Banner https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/paul-johnson-obituaries-greenville-herald-banner/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 21:28:56 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/paul-johnson-obituaries-greenville-herald-banner/ Paul johnson R. Paul Johnson, of Commerce, Texas, a retired professor at Texas A & M-Commerce and father, grandfather and beloved husband of Norma Johnson for 64 years, passed away on January 10. He was 90 years old. The cause of death was heart failure. Paul was born April 26, 1931 in Durant, Oklahoma, the […]]]>
Paul johnson
R. Paul Johnson, of Commerce, Texas, a retired professor at Texas A & M-Commerce and father, grandfather and beloved husband of Norma Johnson for 64 years, passed away on January 10. He was 90 years old. The cause of death was heart failure.
Paul was born April 26, 1931 in Durant, Oklahoma, the son of Thomas Earl Johnson and Allie Lee Tate Johnson. In 1957, after serving in the army, Paul married Norma Hewett, a native of Durant. Paul received his doctorate in guidance and counseling from the University of Oklahoma and in 1961 became a professor at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce).
Paul will be remembered for his compassion, meticulous work, intellectual curiosity, dedication to students and university, and love for his family. He helped establish the Truax Foundation at the university and was active on the building committee of the First United Methodist Church in Commerce.
Paul has played soccer, basketball, tennis and golf throughout his life and taught the love of the sport to his two daughters, Amy and Ellie. He avidly followed many teams, including his Lions and Sooners. He frequented the TAMUC leisure center, where he was known as “The Question Man”, asking students about history, geography or daily news.
Each week, he wrote messages on handmade cards by Norma to her three granddaughters, Rachel (daughter of Amy and her husband Michael Savage) and Emily and Allison (daughters of Ellie). He has self-published a memoir called PJ’s Route, which chronicles his life story.
His wife, daughters and granddaughters survive him.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the First United Methodist Church of Commerce or TAMUC Counseling Excellence, TAMUC Foundation, Box 3425, Commerce, TX, 75429.

Published on January 12, 2022

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The trucking industry was already struggling to keep drivers. COVID economy has made matters worse https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/the-trucking-industry-was-already-struggling-to-keep-drivers-covid-economy-has-made-matters-worse/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 14:00:00 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/the-trucking-industry-was-already-struggling-to-keep-drivers-covid-economy-has-made-matters-worse/ SUMMIT, SD – Eric Norquist and his wife, Krista, don’t always take turns sleeping in their truck’s cab on the road, but as an unusually warm weather system has closed in on Minnesota and the Dakotas earlier This month, they took turns driving in hopes of avoiding potentially dangerous conditions. “It’s definitely not something you […]]]>


SUMMIT, SD – Eric Norquist and his wife, Krista, don’t always take turns sleeping in their truck’s cab on the road, but as an unusually warm weather system has closed in on Minnesota and the Dakotas earlier This month, they took turns driving in hopes of avoiding potentially dangerous conditions.

“It’s definitely not something you want to drive a tractor-trailer in, that’s for sure,” Eric Norquist said on a helmet as he and his wife cruised Interstate 29 in South Dakota in carrying a load of French fries from Grand Forks, North Dakota. , Oklahoma. “Even without totally knocking you over, it can get you off the road.”

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Norquists have an ideal arrangement: They haul loads from the north to states such as Texas and Mississippi and can often return home to north-central Minnesota by the weekend. The couple married in 2008 and started driving the same truck two years ago after Krista got her commercial driver’s license.

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In a segment of an industry that has suffered from high turnover and a labor shortage due to a pandemic, Norquists are in a position that many frustrated freight business owners would like. maybe it’s more common. Long-haul trucking often takes weeks or maybe even months on the road, which drivers, business owners and economists who follow the industry agree that many people are stepping away from the road. job.

“If there were 50,000 couples like us scattered across the country, the driver problem would have gone,” said Eric Norquist. “It’s just not that everyone is treated with this hand.”


Eric Norquist and his wife, Krista, are an owner-operator couple who work together as long-haul truckers.  Eric Norquist / Photo submitted

Eric Norquist and his wife, Krista, are an owner-operator couple who work together as long-haul truckers. Eric Norquist / Photo submitted

Shortage or turnover?

Growing demand for shipping during the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded problems for the industry by fueling a shortage of drivers. Trucking industry groups in the United States have complained about a driver shortage for years, but it is a hotly debated topic. Many economists question the existence of a shortage before the pandemic, instead citing high turnover rates due to poor working conditions and pay in long-haul trucking.

Stephen Burks, professor of economics and management at the University of Minnesota Morris who drove tractor-trailers in the 1970s, says the problems started when the United States deregulated the trucking industry in the early 1970s. 1980. This decision reduced shipping costs by promoting more competition between companies, but ultimately led to the decline of unions and lower wages for drivers. In 1980, the average truck driver made about $ 100,000 in today’s dollars, Burks said. In 2021, it’s closer to $ 50,000.

Sales plagued the industry for decades. Between 1995 and 2017, large aircraft achieved an annual turnover of 94%, according to industry figures cited by Burks. Even as the country reeled from the financial crisis of the late 2000s, companies struggled to keep their workers.


Stephen burks

Stephen burks

“You couldn’t buy a job in the United States in 2010 and in long haul trucks the annualized turnover rate was 39%,” Burks said in an interview. “Having said that, it is the economic conditions in this part of the industry that are creating the situation that managers perceive as a shortage.”

The American Trucking Associations, a group that represents trucking companies across the country, warned this fall that a shortage of 80,000 drivers could add to the nation’s supply chain problems. The association warned that the shortage could reach 160,000 by 2030.

Burks disputes the ATA’s estimate, but said there was indeed a shortage of long-haul truck drivers due to a pandemic at the end of 2021. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, he estimates that the industry needs around 15,000 additional long-haul drivers to meet demand. – something he says will undoubtedly cause business headaches.

“Historically, there is no shortage of truckers,” he said. “There has been a relatively tight job market, but the noise, industry claims that there is a shortage reflect the point of view of managers in one sub-part of the business: long-haul trucks. , who have had this historically high turnover for a long time. “

“There’s actually kind of a shortage now, a real shortage, in the short term,” Burks said. “Why is there a shortage? Because there has been a huge increase in demand due to all the stimulus … and the rebound from the COVID shutdown. “

For now, that means higher freight rates for many long-haul drivers. Paul Mueller, president and owner of P&B Transportation, based in Bismarck, North Dakota, says his drivers have the best freight rates in 20 years.

Norquist, who started driving trucks in 2007, said the kilometer rates were some of the best he’s ever seen, and it’s been months since he’s turned down a job due to a low offer . When he first started, he often saw fares as low as $ 1.65 per mile. Once considered a good fare, $ 3 per mile has become very common over the past year, and many loads pay over $ 4, Norquist said.

“Right now, in the short term, it’s the best money we’ve ever made,” he said, adding that inflation had eaten away at his earnings. “But then I turn around and pay it at the diesel pump and the grocery store.”

Far from home


Eric and Krista Norquist's semi-trailer.  Eric Norquist / Photo submitted

Eric and Krista Norquist’s semi-trailer. Eric Norquist / Photo submitted

Mueller, whose company owns 65 trucks, says his No.1 problem is finding drivers. The turnover is high for his company, around 25-30% of drivers quit after a year. Half of its drivers leave after five years. It has a lot to do with the distance.

“They don’t want to work seven to ten days early,” he said, explaining that many drivers want to be home by the end of the work week. “Well, if you go to Chicago, it’s hard to come home on Friday night. “

Minnesota Trucking Association president John Hausladen said many companies are trying to make adjustments to attract more drivers.

“The fleets have adjusted the routes and the length of the trips to meet the needs of the modern truck driver,” he said in an email. “Today’s truckers can choose from a variety of local, regional and highway options. Today’s trucks are the safest and most comfortable they’ve ever been. “

Despite these efforts, it seems that more and more drivers are deciding to stay closer to home. Burks said Jason Miller, associate professor of logistics at Michigan State University, recognized a “large COVID-19 reallocation” in employment in trucking.

In a trend in part due to the increase in last mile deliveries for e-commerce, local general fear employment increased by 28,000 employees between October 2018 and 2021 – 10% nationally, Miller found. . Meanwhile, long-haul trucking less than full trucks fell by 14,600.

“It’s easier to find heavy truck drivers who will work locally and near the area because they come home more often,” Burks said.

“You might still be working 60 hours a week, but at least Saturday lunchtime they’re home and they don’t leave until Monday morning or Saturday night late.”

This relative consistency is something that even long-haul Norquists seek and are able to achieve as a driving team. They don’t like being stuck away from home in Backus, Minnesota for long periods of time.

“We choose our schedule, but we don’t like being away for too long,” said Eric Norquist. “Some guys stay out for months, and if you like to do that, that’s fine, but it’s not a lifetime.”

Norquist says that while the industry can be tough at times, he plans to continue trucking until he retires. Even then, the Park Rapids Minnesota native says he will continue to do so as a hobby – perhaps driving sugar beet trucks for farmers in the fall.

What about the nation’s logistical puzzle? He sees it getting worse.

“As an average Joe Watcher – you’ve got an increase in population, you’ve got a consumer society – and now a disposable consumer goods company that just consumes a lot of things, whether it’s phones, food, gadgets. Norquist said. “Don’t you think a truck driver shortage is inevitable?


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Oklahoma’s population growth exceeds that of the nation https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/oklahomas-population-growth-exceeds-that-of-the-nation/ Wed, 22 Dec 2021 21:02:55 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/oklahomas-population-growth-exceeds-that-of-the-nation/ Data recently released by the US Census Bureau shows that population growth in Oklahoma exceeded most of the country from July 2020 to July 2021, mainly due to an influx of people moving to Oklahoma from ‘other states. This population increase coincided with the removal of most COVID restrictions in Oklahoma even as warrants were […]]]>


Data recently released by the US Census Bureau shows that population growth in Oklahoma exceeded most of the country from July 2020 to July 2021, mainly due to an influx of people moving to Oklahoma from ‘other states.

This population increase coincided with the removal of most COVID restrictions in Oklahoma even as warrants were maintained in other states. Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration sees a strong correlation between the growth of Oklahoma and the governor’s focus on maximizing the freedom of citizens.

“There is nothing more powerful than voting with your feet and it is no surprise that Americans are choosing Oklahoma thanks to the leadership of Governor Stitt to protect individual freedoms and keep Oklahoma open for business.” said Charlie Hannema, communications manager for Stitt. “We continue to target businesses in states with more oppressive regulations and Oklahoma is well positioned to benefit from this national population shift.”

When discussing the reopening process in May 2020, Stitt predicted Oklahoma could become a national leader.

“I want Oklahoma to be the first state in the nation to reclaim its wings and serve as an example of a community that works together, not against each other, a community that wins together, succeeds together and thrives together,” Stitt said. . “Now is the time for us to show the courage and freedom of Oklahoma to the nation. “

“People are fed up with lockdowns and they are fed up with being told what to do. My business has never been better from the perspective of the people who come here. —Monty Strickland, real estate agent

More than a year later, the state’s recovery is evident in both the economic figures and the demographics. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Oklahoma had the third lowest unemployment rate in the country in October. Oklahoma’s unemployment rate was 2.7%, the state’s lowest rate since 1976 and one point lower than surrounding states.

Now, new data from the US Census Bureau shows Oklahoma ranked 16th out of 50 states in terms of population growth from July 2020 to July 2021, measured as a percentage of growth.

Oklahoma experienced a population growth of 0.6 percent during the year. The state added approximately 24,608 people from July 2020 to July 2021. Of this total, 24,687 people were added by national migration from other states, while 1,523 were added by international migration. This influx offset a slight decline in the indigenous population, as the number of deaths slightly exceeded the number of births.

In the immediate region, only Texas experienced better growth. Otherwise, Oklahoma is doing much better than any of the other states around it. Excluding Texas, net inland migration to Oklahoma was at least 54% higher than what occurred in all of the other border states. The net number of people who moved to Oklahoma from other states (24,687) was almost as much as the net number of domestic migrants in Colorado and Missouri combined.

Nationally, the only states with higher growth rates than Oklahoma were Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

In contrast, a significant number of states have experienced population decline: California, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Virginia -Western.

The remaining states all experienced population growth of between 0.01% and 0.5%.

That many people are moving to Oklahoma defies the predictions of some critics who claim that Oklahoma’s conservative political environment keeps more people away than it attracts. Such views were adopted earlier this year by participants in a June panel hosted by the Oklahoma Conference of Churches titled “Is America a ‘Fundamentally Racist Nation’?” A perspective of faith.

Much of the attention of this panel was on the enactment of the House Bill 1775, which prohibited K-12 schools in Oklahoma from teaching several concepts widely associated with critical race theory, including that “a race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex ”and that“ an individual, by reason of race or gender, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.

“Everyone around us despises this state,” said Lawrence Ware, assistant professor and diversity liaison in the philosophy department at Oklahoma State University. “And they despise this state because of these kinds of laws. Many, many of my friends refuse to come back to this state. Many, many people who are not from this state do not want to come here.

“There are so many people that I have contact with who tell me, ‘I’m leaving Oklahoma. I’m getting out of here. It is not safe for me here. I can’t be there, ”said Shannon Fleck, executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches. “And I don’t blame them.”

She added that “Oklahoma’s future literally leaves Oklahoma’s borders because of the laws that are passed.”

But those who interact directly with people who are now moving to Oklahoma say the state’s political climate is part of the draw for new residents, not only in terms of COVID restrictions, but also when it comes to political debates. wider.

“I’ve been in real estate for 20 years now, and over the past two years I’ve seen more people contact me from other states or parts of the country who wanted to settle here,” said Monty Strickland, 2021 President of MLSOK. , a local association of real estate agents. “I’ve helped people from California, South Carolina, Austin, Chicago. I mean, they come from all over the place. And I think there are several reasons, one being the political climate. Historically, we’ve been a fairly conservative state, which I appreciate and that’s why I’m here personally. And people are fed up with lockdowns and they are fed up with being told what they can do, where they can go. Fortunately, our governor did not lead us down this path. We took the conservative approach and it worked. My business has never been better from the perspective of the people who come here.

Strickland said Oklahoma’s relatively low cost of living also played a role. While the median price of a home in the Oklahoma market has increased by $ 50,000 over the past two years, the average price of a home is still lower than in many state markets, sometimes so spectacular.

The fact that most Oklahoma schools remained open throughout the 2020-2021 school year also made the state attractive to people wishing to relocate, he said.

“It was just kind of a perfect storm,” Strickland said, “for people who wanted to get a little piece of Oklahoma pie.”


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Byrd appointed library manager at UAFS (Movers & Shakers) | Arkansas Business News https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/byrd-appointed-library-manager-at-uafs-movers-shakers-arkansas-business-news/ Mon, 20 Dec 2021 06:00:00 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/byrd-appointed-library-manager-at-uafs-movers-shakers-arkansas-business-news/ We were unable to ship the item. Jason Byrd of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Jason Byrd has been chosen to lead the Boreham Library at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Byrd is the associate dean of research and user engagement at Adelphi University Libraries in New York City. He holds an MA in History […]]]>


We were unable to ship the item.

Jason Byrd of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

Jason Byrd has been chosen to lead the Boreham Library at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Byrd is the associate dean of research and user engagement at Adelphi University Libraries in New York City. He holds an MA in History and an MA in Library and Information Science from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and completed the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.


James Bell, vice president of Bentonville Economic Development at the Greater Bentonville Region Chamber of Commerce, is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Institute for Economic Development.

OU EDI is a 117 hour certificate program that provides training to economic development professionals.


Shari Erwin of UA Little Rock

Shari Erwin of UA Little Rock

Shari Erwin has been appointed Chief of Staff to the Chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Erwin, a 2003 UA Little Rock graduate, previously headed branding and communications for the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee.


Phil Shellhammer was hired by the University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation to lead their greenhouse outdoor recreation program at the Bentonville Collaborative. Shellhammer previously worked as a vice president in Sam’s Club’s merchandising department. In 2019, he created two education-focused tech startups: Eksplor Gaming and Wize Computing Academy of NW Arkansas.


Check out more of this week’s Movers & Shakers and submit your own ad at ArkansasBusiness.com/Movers.


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Oklahoma State University joins network to help Afghan refugees https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/oklahoma-state-university-joins-network-to-help-afghan-refugees/ Fri, 17 Dec 2021 16:10:20 +0000 https://rogerscountybluestarmothers.com/oklahoma-state-university-joins-network-to-help-afghan-refugees/ STILLWATER, Oklahoma (KFOR) – A local university says it has partnered with more than two dozen other colleges and universities to help Afghan refugees. Colleges and universities in more than 30 states are actively involved in providing scholarships, housing, community sponsorship, and educational pathways to thousands of Afghan refugees and their families. 3 arrested after […]]]>


STILLWATER, Oklahoma (KFOR) – A local university says it has partnered with more than two dozen other colleges and universities to help Afghan refugees.

Colleges and universities in more than 30 states are actively involved in providing scholarships, housing, community sponsorship, and educational pathways to thousands of Afghan refugees and their families.

Oklahoma State University has partnered with Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma to help relocate and settle up to 40 Afghan families who were evacuated to the United States.

“As Cowboys we are called to serve, and we are here to answer that call,” said Kyle Wray, OSU senior vice president for executive affairs. “The outpouring of support we have already seen at OSU has been incredible, and I look forward to giving them a big cowboy welcome. We are proud to be part of this higher education coalition and let’s take the opportunity to do our part to make a difference in the lives of these courageous and resilient people.

The Welcome Campus network includes:

  • Alamo Community College
  • Arizona State University
  • Central Washington University
  • Colorado State University
  • Each campus a refuge
  • Houston Community College
  • Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis
  • National Association of System Managers
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Pima Community College
  • Alliance of Presidents on Higher Education and Immigration
  • Sacramento State University
  • Salt Lake Community College
  • San José State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • Texas Women’s University
  • Texas International Education Consortium
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of Massachusetts at Boston
  • University of houston
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Tulsa
  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Commonwealth University of Virginia
  • Welcome.US.


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