• May Editorial Winner

    Memorial Day; Untouchable by Politics
    By Zeke Lay, Choctaw Times

    Memorial Day; a holiday for heroes. What could be more appropriate? There is actually some disagreement on when it started but I think we can righteously say that these arguments don't matter. As long as a country honors its heroes, it has a chance. Hail our victorious dead. As we also hail all those that perpetuate the true meaning of Memorial Day.
    It is impossible to keep politics out of war.  Read More...

  • May Column Winner

    The night Depression didn't win
    By Jaden Jennings, Tri-County Herald

    I told myself this cool evening in April would be my last.
    Driving home from cheer practice, I was crying and bashing the steering wheel, cursing God for not helping me to overcome this deep sadness.
    When I got home, I headed straight to the medicine cabinet.
    Without thinking twice, I swallowed an 800 milligram Motrin and wished things could be different, that I could just feel different. Another pill followed, then another and another...  Read More...

  • April Editorial Winner

    Despicable swastika still freedom of expression
    Kim Poindexter, Tahlequah Daily Press

    Last Friday, the Press received several phone calls, emails and texts from alarmed readers who had seen a man walking around town wearing a swastika armband. Photos were shared on social media, and astonishment was expressed.
    At this point, no one knows his identity. He has been described as possibly an older teen. He may or may not be a local resident, but his appearance in the wake of the anti-Semitic and anti-black graffiti on monuments and structures in Norman and Oklahoma City can’t be a coincidence.  Read More...

  • April Column Winner

    She made better choices after hugging trees
    Kaycee Campbell, The Countywide & Sun

    In August of 1997, while attending open house at my school, I met a woman who would forever impact my life. She sat at a little table just off the sidewalk between buildings with a sign up sheet for Camp Fire Boys and Girls. She had grey curly hair, bright blue eyes, and the biggest, most beautiful, genuine smile. Her name was Judy Bridges.
    Over the next 12 years Judy became like family to me. She taught me so many things.  Read More...

  • March Editorial Winner

    Vote 'Yes' for student safety, Altus' future
    Rick Carpenter, The Altus Times

    It’s appropriate that the slogan for the Altus Public School bond issue proposal is “This is the Year.” That’s because voters haven’t passed one in at least 60 years, but this may be the defining year for Altus to pass it. That’s because the future of Altus may depend on how well we support our children.
    Altus Air Force Base is the driving force for the Altus economy. It’s the number one job producer along with cotton production. The base employs 1,507 civilians and 1,410 fulltime military personnel ...  Read More...

  • March Column Winner

    Write 'Okie' on tombstone for Woody Guthrie's baby sister, Mary Jo
    Rob Collins, Enid News & Eagle

    Growing up in Enid, I never heard too much about Woody Guthrie. Sure, we sang “This Land Is Your Land” at Hayes Elementary School, but I didn’t know much more besides the iconic song being written by an Oklahoman. Still, I was proud of that.
    Little did I know at that time how my future journalistic efforts would lead to discovering his mother’s lost grave.  Read More...

  • February Column Winner

    Second-hand sadness; firsthand rage
    Linda Provost, The Duncan Banner

    I know I have written before about my tender heart, something while working in media you must protect fiercely. However sometimes a blow comes which your defenses just cannot deflect.
    Recently there have been several traveling exhibits going around the world. These are neither art nor science but important all the same.
    These exhibits display clothes, not high fashion, or from a movie. They are at first glance garage sale finds, overalls, pajamas, school uniforms, baggy yard-work tees and an occasional burka.
    But they have history – a sad, dark history.
    These are all outfits people were wearing when they were raped.


  • February Editorial Winner

    Constitutional Carry Gun Bill: Put it to a vote of the people
    Debi DeSilver, The Chronicle (Elgin)

    The gun debate.
    Not being able to go to the voting booth and have a voice in one of the most polarizing issues facing our great Nation elicits fear, frustration and anger among most people I know.  Read More...

  • January 2019 Editorial Winner

    The Closure Crisis
    Wayne Trotter, Countywide & Sun

    Every living American who truly cares about the dignity, integrity and continuity of this country’s great experiment in self-governance is bound to be aware of the momentous events that occurred in 1776. In that fateful year, 48 patriots who had been born and raised on these shores joined with eight brethren who had been born in Mother England but by 1776 had become residents of the 13 colonies in mind and in spirit. Together, these 56 men signed a message to the tyrant King George that would change the entire world.  Read More...

  • January 2019 Column Winner

    A trip to the grocery store:
    Stranger in a strange land
    Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle

    It's that time of year again, the time for taking down Christmas decorations, for beginning to pay off the holiday bills and for making New Year’s resolutions you know you won’t possibly fulfill.

    Resolutions date back to the ancient Babylonians, who promised at the start of every year to return borrowed objects and pay their debts. Residents of the Roman empire opened the year making promises to the god Janus, from which we get the name January. There’s no record of what these promises were, but they undoubtedly involved losing weight and getting more exercise.  Read More...

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