2017 ONG Column & Editorial Winners

  • December 2017 Column Winner

    Children are not as innocent as they seem
    Patti Marshall, Countywide & Sun

    The problem is that I don’t believe children are as innocent as they seem. Almost always portrayed as guileless cherubs at the mercy of adults, children tend to exhibit their evil tendencies when in my presence. A bit harsh on my part, but it’s the truth as I’ve experienced it.  Read More...

  • December 2017 Editorial Winner

    Some good news
    Wayne Trotter, Countywide & Sun

    Finding good financial news in any Oklahoma school district these days is sort of like following the rainbow to the pot of gold … or spotting the four-leaf clover in a sea of its three-pronged cousins … or in pure Oklahoma terms, watching the menacing tornado dissolve to uncover the silver lining hiding in the accompanying clouds.  Read More...

  • November 2017 Column Winner

    A place where lives can be changed
    Suzie Campbell, Countywide & Sun

    Last month I wrote a series about domestic violence. I wrote my own experience with this national problem. While writing the series I discovered how much the perspective has changed regarding this, but I also discovered how much it has remained the same.  Read More...

  • November 2017 Editorial Winner

    Rep. Bennett should apologize for making 'terrorist' remark
    Kim Poindexter, Tahlequah Daily Press

    No one who follows Oklahoma politics will be surprised Rep. John Bennett is again in the hot seat – and this time, Gov. Mary Fallin is among those putting him in the crosshairs.  Read More...

  • October 2017 Editorial Winenr

    Impasse must end
    Wayne Trotter, Countywide & Sun

    If you sat down and wrote a political novel describing the current gridlock in the Oklahoma Legislature, you’d probably have a hard time selling it. Yes, it would have political conflict. Yes, it would hold the potential of shutting down the government.  Read More...

  • October 2017 Column Winner

    Shake the disease
    Dorothy Ballard, Miami News-Record

    My mother died too young.
    She also died an addict.
    When I talk about her to those outside of my family, I rarely speak about her lifelong battle with addiction.
    Something I have recently vowed to amend. 

  • September 2017 Editorial Winner

    Kaylea Hutson-Miller, The Delaware County Journal

    On Thursday, Sept. 14, members of the Jay Public Schools Board of Education voted 3-1 to discontinue slow-pitch softball.
    During the meeting, no discussion took place among the board members. They simply addressed the issue, voted and the decision was made.
    A school program impacting multiple lives was over. 

  • September 2017 Column Winner

    Aiming for the splits
    Kindra Coffman, Tri-County Herald

    I walked in the living room Tuesday evening to find my dear husband Jarred standing behind our sectional couch with his foot propped up on the back of the couch.
    He was also closely watching a timer on his phone.
    Since he appeared to be in some level of discomfort I asked why he was doing it.
    Apparently he’s set a new goal. He intends to eventually be able to do the splits.  Read More...

  • August 2017 Editorial Winner

    Half-Truths and deception is always inexcusable
    Paul Laubach, The Hennessey Clipper

    Last week the Oklahoma Supreme Court declared a “cessation fee” on cigarettes passed by the legislature unconstitutional.
    Because if it looks like a tax increase, walks like a tax increase, and smells like a tax increase, it is a tax increase.  Read More...

  • August 2017 Column Winner

    Serving others
    Kaylea Hutson-Miller, The Grove Sun

    So, I’m at work.
    I’ve got the “closed” sign on the door, but haven’t locked myself in.
    I’m just trying to get a bit more done, before the weekend. The streets of Grove are filled with folks going to local restaurants.
    It’s a busy Friday night on Third Street. 

  • July 2017 Editorial Winner

    If Lankford says Russia meddled, it's probably true
    Kim Poindexter, Tahlequah Daily Press

    Whatever side of the political aisle you sit on, you have to admire the tenacity and candor of Sen. James Lankford when it comes to Russia’s purported involvement in the 2016 U.S. election process.  Read More...

  • July 2017 Column Winner

    Collusion confusion, is it real or mere illusion?
    Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle

    Collusion. It’s a word causing confusion, providing an intrusion, dominating the news to the exclusion of nearly everything else.
    Is it truly collusion or a mere illusion, the president’s people meeting with Russians to dig up dirt on a political foe with a profusion of political baggage?
    Collusion? The president’s detractors think it a foregone conclusion, a case of circumclusion, of the White House being wrapped in a cloak of abject abusion.  Read More...

  • June 2017 Column Winner

    Answers from fishing
    Chelsea Weeks, Tri-County Herald

    I sat on the chair fidgeting with the fishing poles while the stranger hooked up the trolling motor to the battery.
    It was awkward.
    I was nervous because it was my first time going fishing. And even more nervous because it was the first time being alone with this stranger, who was my biological father.  Read More...

  • June 2017 Editorial Winner

    Looking at newspapers
    Brian Blansett, Tri-County Herald

    Last weekend was the Oklahoma Press Association’s annual convention, which was a good occasion for the Herald staff to bump elbows with other journalists from around the state.
    It also provided an opportunity to pause and reflect on the state of journalism and newspapers in this age of Facebook and smart phones.  Read More...

  • May 2017 Editorial Contest Winner

    Seems an obvious choice
    J.D. Meisner, Bristow News

    When the voters defeated State Question 779 last November and killed the plan for a one-penny sales tax intended to fund a $5,000 annual raise for Oklahoma's teachers, Legislators at the state capitol misinterpreted the message taxpayers were sending.
    Some said the people of Oklahoma were saying they did not want to give teachers a pay raise.  Read More...

  • May 2017 Column Contest Winner

    A note to my mother
    John Small, Johnston County Capital-Democrat

    I am told that one of my relatives apparently did not appreciate my sharing the following story at my mother’s funeral last Friday.
    This surprised me; everyone else seemed to appreciate it.
    But the fact that this one particular lone individual didn’t seems ample enough reason to share it again here...
    It happened on Sunday, Aug. 13, 1978. I know the date because, for whatever reason, I thought to write it down at the time. I know it was a Sunday because... well, okay, I looked it up. I Googled it.  Read More...

  • April 2017 Editorial Contest Winner

    Considering a New Kind of Manager
    Mike McCormick, Tri-County Herald

    Wonder what it would be like if there was one full-time administrator for several of the small towns and cities in this area?
    Seems like maybe a novel idea, but it appears it sure might be worth some consideration.
    Think of some of the benefits, rather than trying to come up with all the possible negatives and trying to shoot holes in an idea that might have a lot of positives.
    If several communities were willing to band together and pay the salary and benefits for one full-time administrator, they might find a professionally trained manager that could guide and direct the staffs of each community that would be beneficial to each.  Read More...

  • April 2017 Column Winner

    You could safely say he's not handy
    Aaron McDonald, Countywide & Sun

    I’m not exactly what you would call “handy.”
    Growing up on a working cattle ranch, you’d think I would have picked up a thing or two about fixing this and that.
    I did not.
    A few weeks ago, the refrigerator in one of our rent houses went out. After putting the word out on, where else, Facebook, we located one for a reasonable price.
    After a quick text to a friend, I secured the assistance of some handy men to help me out.  Read More...

  • March 2017 Column Winner

    Looks like she'll never get bored
    Suzie Campbell, Countywide & Sun

    Twelve years ago I received a phone call from my mom telling me about a job ad she saw in the local weekly paper. She was sure it was exactly what I was looking for. She read me the ad with the fax number. I sent in my resume and within minutes I received a phone call.
    Gloria Trotter called me for an interview. She wanted me to come in right then. I was just finishing cleaning the Bethel Community Center. I was sweaty and grimy and tried to convince her to let me wait, but she was insistent. I conceded.  Read More...

  • March 2017 Editorial Winner

    Following the will of the people
    Ted Streuli, The Journal Record

    House Bill 1482 has drawn more attention than most and for good reason. It’s not often that Oklahomans pass a state question by more than 17 percentage points only to have their legislators try to undo it just months after the election.
    Although Rep. Scott Biggs, R-Chickasha, is the bill’s primary sponsor, Purcell Republican Tim Downing has been the most vocal defender since the bill predictably stomped on a hornet’s nest.  Read More...

  • February 2017 Editorial Winner

    He is our president
    John M. Wylie II, Oologah Lake Leader

    He IS our President no matter what we think of him.
    We were deeply troubled by the “Not our President” demonstrations Monday, much as we believe President Donald Trump is totally unfit for the office he holds.
    He IS our President, duly elected by the process set forth by the Constitution.
    He remains so unless he fails certain tests set by the Constitution:  Read More...

  • February 2017 Column Winner

    Time disappears when he smiles
    Jennifer Pitts, Tri-County Herald

    In the blink of an eye, somehow, it’s been six months already.
    I’m still struggling to wrap my head around how, but a half a year has indeed gone by since my first day on the job as a tiny human attendant.
    Since welcoming Little Man into our home, on what was initially said to be a temporary basis, it’s becoming increasingly harder to imagine my life without him in it.  Read More...

  • January 2017 Column Winner

    Kaylea Hutson-Miller, The Grove Sun

    This is a column I never wanted to write.
    As I stood at the Zena air strip, looking at the stars, I listened as Pastor Marty Dyer cried out to God. His words, echoed what my mouth could not give voice to at the time.
    We both wanted the same thing.
    A miracle.
    A friend laughing at first responders, as they came to rescue him, possibly hanging from a tree.  Read More...

  • January 2017 Editorial Winner

    Rural America trumps the new world order
    Paul Laubach, The Hennessey Clipper

    When George H.W. Bush addressed a Joint Session of Congress for his State of The Union address in 1991 he declared “A New World Order” should evolve following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    And in many aspects a New World Order of globalization, technological advancement, and political alliances did evolve.  Read More...

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