By Chris Eversole
The months of April through August in the Mustang area were highlighted by a teachers’ walkout that led to pay raises, the Oklahoma Supreme court siding with the city council in its restrictions on two proposed oil and gas wells and the school superintendent leaving to head Oklahoma City Schools.
In this edition, the Mustang News presenting its year in review for those months.
– Mustang teachers joined their counterparts from across the state in a walkout aimed at increasing their pay.
The walkout ended after two weeks when the Legislature approved new taxes providing an average pay raise of $6,100.
– Jess Schweinberg defeated Jan Yakish in the Mustang mayoral race.
Schweinberg said during his campaign that he believed his four years on the council prepared him to serve as mayor.
– Two teachers and one former teacher were among seven people running for the District 47 Oklahoma House seat – a field with three Democrats and four Republicans.
The candidates with experience as educators were Democrat Sarah Carnes, a Mustang teacher; Republican Beverly Adams, who previously taught in Mustang schools; and Republican Lindsey Strader, a Yukon teacher.
– The Oklahoma Supreme Court refused to hear an oil and gas company’s appeal of the City of Mustang’s restrictions on two proposed oil and gas wells.
The ruling was a victory for the city, leaving in place a temporary injunction issued by Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse.
“It was a good win for the city and an even bigger win for our residents,” City Manager Timothy Rooney said.
– The Mustang City Council approved a bid for expansion of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
The winning bid of $5 million was $500,000 under budget, Assistant City Manager Justin Battles said.
“Any time you can come in half a million dollars under budget, I do cartwheels,” he said.
– Arlon Hadlock, Mustang’s first full-time fire chief, was named to the Mustang Hall of Fame at the Mustang Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.
Hadlock became a volunteer with the fire department in 1971, and was named the first full-time chief in 1977.
He served as acting city manager in 1978 and 1987.
– Mustang resident Gage Cole graduated from high school, but the cheers he heard were muffled.
That’s because Gage graduated from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in Sulphur, and he has a severe hearing loss.
He excelled in high school – playing football and basketball, making lots of friends, serving as a student ambassador and holding a work-study job at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
– Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mustang broke ground on a new church, an $8 million project.
The church began in 1983 with the Rev. Larry B. Gatlin, and it initially met in a funeral home and then in a storefront.
– Mustang Public Schools broke ground for the school district’s third middle school, located east of 44th Street and Czech Hall Road, behind the new Riverwood Elementary School.
The new middle school will be open for the 2019-2020 school year.
– School Superintendent Sean McDaniel was named superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools.
The job took him from a district of about 11,000 students to one of 46,000.
– The Board of Education expanded its efforts to make schools safe in the wake of nationwide school shootings.
The board approved a plan that would add school resource officers.
One of the new resource officers would be a school district employee – who would coordinate school safety – and the other one will be a Canadian County sheriff’s deputy.
– The Canadian Valley Rangerettes, an equestrian drill team based in Mustang, won three national titles in U.S. Equestrian Drill Association competition.
The team performs in Western Days in Mustang and at rodeos and parades throughout Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.
– Work began on installing traffic lights at the intersection of Mustang Road and SW 44th Street.
The work came four years after resident Gayleen Greer wrote a request for the signal to the city of Oklahoma City.
She was pleased that the signal was being installed, but was disappointed that it took so long.
“Four years is a long time,” she said. “People have been dying.”
– The city completed work on Elliott Park, buried deep in the Canadian Estates neighborhood north of State Highway 152 and east of Morgan Road.
The park is nestled among spacious homes in a rolling setting, and it has a pond at its center, surrounded by mature trees.
The city replaced the asphalt trail that was in disrepair with a wide concrete path.
It raised the drainage outlet, which increased the depth of pond.
– The Oklahoma Twisters played in the National Granny Basketball Tournament in Norman.
Players, age 50 to 86, participated in the six-on-six competition, based on 1920s-style rules, at the Cleveland County YMCA.
Nine members of team, which has grown to 25 women, are from the Mustang, Yukon and Union City area.
– Mustang Public Library’s Youth Services was bustling – with the staff of three and 16 teen volunteers providing stimulating activities to keep students learning during their vacation from school.
Family performances on Thursdays attracted 100 to 300 participants. “Our attendance doubled from last year,” said Youth Services Librarian Nichole Valencia.
Since 2015, the Mustang Treatment Center has been quietly providing a safe environment that has helped dozens of young women recover from the effects of trauma and neglect.
The city council approved an extension of its special use permit that will allow it to expand its residential program for girls from 13 to 17 years old.
– A pair of 4-H’ers who graduated from Mustang High School this spring brought home awards and educational scholarships from the 97th State 4-H Roundup.
Brandy DeVous and Natally Owen were awarded the Oklahoma Youth Expo Scholarship. They each received a $1,000 scholarship.
DeVous also received the Advanced Achievement Scholarship. In addition, she was named a member of the Blue Award Group.
– The school board approved plans for a $33.4 million new performing arts center.
“This will be a premier performing arts center in Oklahoma, including the main auditorium, a black box theater, art gallery and classrooms,” said Ryan McKinney, executive director of secondary schools.