Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

August 29, 2013

Shelter being renovated for seniors

TAHLEQUAH — tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

When severe weather strikes, the people often in harm’s way are those least able to care for themselves, including the elderly.

Retired registered nurse and nursing home developer-turned builder and contractor Veraman Davis said his passion is providing safe, affordable places for those in their golden years.

His latest development includes repurposing a bomb shelter built in the early 1950s. Now a storm shelter, it will provide a haven for residents of his new retirement complex, Billie Davis Retirement Homes, when severe weather or a tornado approaches.

“People who have never been in a tornado always say, ‘It’ll never happen to me,’” said Davis. “Those who have experienced one, never forget it.”

The complex, on North Jones Avenue between the United Methodist Children’s home and West Allen Road, has a number of units already finished. The shelter renovation should be complete at the same time the complex is finished.

Davis’ own homestead is a stone’s throw from the complex.

“We moved to this property back in 1952,” said Davis. “The place we’re standing on now was owned by the Britt family, who were pioneers to this area. Well, back in the ‘50s, the Britts  built the shelter. Back then, everyone was afraid of a nuclear holocaust with Russia.”

Given the fearful climate of the time, the shelter was built to include beds, tables, and just about anything a family would need to survive over the long haul.

“It’s 10 feet wide and runs all the way to the street,” said Davis. “It’s got 12-inch reinforced concrete walls and ceiling, and I can say it’s tough, because I’ve driving over the top of it a bunch of times with backhoes and bulldozers.”

The shelter is wheelchair-accessible, and will include a carpeted ceiling and walls to dampen the sound.

“Every single resident will have a key to the shelter, but I’ve appointed the man who lives [nearest to the shelter] kind of the deputy sheriff,” Davis said. “When a storm comes up, he’ll be here with the door open, helping people get in and get situated.”

The shelter has not yet been rated by the local branch of Civil Defense, but Davis said it will be before it opens in earnest.

“It functions as a shelter now; I have electricity run to it,” he said. “But we want to make it more comfortable for the residents.”

Anyone who has lived in the area for a while is probably familiar with the tornadoes that leveled Peggs, as well as the near-misses on the north end of town in the past decade.

“I grew up in the Peggs area, and we didn’t have the advanced warning systems we have now,” said Davis. “With the technology available, we can get residents in and safe at the first sign of a bad storm.”

Davis believes the facility is an asset, as many elderly and retired people lack the means and ability to drive to a designated shelter elsewhere.

“Caring for the elderly has always been my passion,” said Davis.

“Now that I’m retired, building nice, safe affordable retirement housing is what I focus on.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • alcohol-info.jpg Alcohol screening can be critical

    It has been decades since Prohibition brought Americans gangsters, flappers and speakeasies, but statistics for alcohol addiction are staggering.
    Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse, which affects families and friends.
    Today, April 10, is the annual National Alcohol Screening Day, and raising awareness through education, outreach and screening programs is the goal, according to the website at www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn-CCSO-2.jpg Law enforcement agencies to get new facility

    Area law enforcement agencies will soon have a new training facility in Cherokee County.
    The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is building the new training room near its gun range, located north of the detention center. Sheriff Norman Fisher said tax dollars were not used for the building.
    “This is something we’ve been trying to work on, and it was built with no money from the taxpayers,” said Fisher. “It was paid for with drug forfeitures and gun sales.”

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Stocks