It began as a way to keep people informed about local events or sales being offered by businesses in Tahlequah.
Using the Internet, or Facebook to be specific, to connect with interested patrons has become a way to keep everyone involved and directed toward the goal of the page’s creator, and the City of Firsts now has several pages on Facebook promoting the city, its businesses, various organizations or groups and even individuals that live in or around Tahlequah who wish to share simple information like food recipes or yard sale items and notices.
Tahlequah Main Street Association Director Drew Haley started the Tahlequah Facebook page with Sheri Gourde “three years or better ago” as way to use an already popular social networking website.
“The reason behind it was kind of similar to the yard sale thing. We just wanted a community page; a place where – and this was before I was doing Main Street - we just wanted a general page because you always hear that ‘Well, I didn’t know that was going on,’” he said. “Well, here’s a good way [to learn about what’s going on in Tahlequah].”
Haley created the Main Street Association’s Facebook page around two years ago, he said.
“And the purpose behind it is quite simple: To keep people informed on what’s going on downtown,” he said. “What’s happening. What to look forward to. It was mainly just a way to keep in contact with people that are interested in downtown. So much anymore you hear ‘We didn’t know about that’ or ‘Boy I sure wish I would have known that band was playing at The Branch’ or ‘I wished I would have known Edie’s was having a sale that day.’ It was just another way for the communication process to take place.”
The Tahlequah Facebook page, which has been renamed “In Tahlequah” due to the site’s requirement that FB pages not be named for a specific geographical location, isn’t without problems, as the world-wide-web of accessible information on Tahlequah is not being seen by everyone that “likes” the page. Folks that have liked the Tahlequah-related website occasionally communicate to Haley that they were uninformed about an event or business sale.
As many communities around the country are using websites like Facebook to promote the importance of buying from and supporting local businesses during touch economic times, the website can also be another source of information on actions that occur in the community or even providing city department details. Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols said the city’s Facebook page, which can be found by searching City of Tahlequah, was started “a little over a month ago” to help people connect with the departments from which they may be needing help or information.
“I had the city’s IT staff create web pages for each department/operation in the city. I think we are in the process of adding the final two we overlooked, but there are about eight or nine pages out there ranging from the Animal Shelter to the Street Department that are all going to be posting updates about city operations and events,” he said. “The examples I gave the staff when we first started this project were the Animal Shelter posting pictures of stray dogs to help find them a home, the Street Department posting updates on street closures for construction, city office closures, events like the Red Fern Festival or the Christmas parade, upcoming meetings of boards, the city council and many other things.”
Nichols said details are still being worked through, as some staff members weren’t users of Facebook.
“Some of us, myself included, were surprised at some of the changes Facebook had made since we’d last created pages that weren’t personal in nature,” he said. “We’re still trying to tightly define who will post what and when so that the content of the page isn’t repetitive or incomplete. But, we hope to have all those things smoothed out very soon. There are so many people that make use of social media to keep track of what’s going on in the world, we felt it was important that the city participate, as well. If that is the way in which large numbers of Tahlequah’s citizens look for updates and information, then we needed to take advantage of that as a communication tool.”
Ariane Molloy created the Tahlequah Online Garage Sale Facebook page with her aunt, Erin Dehling, as way to deal with the disconnected effect created by distance and location.
“We live out by Lake Tenkiller and having a yard sale out here is really impossible because we don’t get enough tracking to be able to sell stuff without having to borrow someone’s yard in town,” she said. “Stuff was accumulating.”
Molloy’s and Dehling’s group is a closed Facebook group to enable the ability to monitor and control content that is posted on the page.
“We try to make sure to keep it local. It’s just a bunch of people coming together to be able to sell their items. We don’t get a percentage from anything sold. It’s really just a nonprofit situation,” said Molloy. “We have guidelines, like for something that needs disclosure. We want it to stay honest. We don’t want someone getting ripped off. Be honest with your product. You can sell something broken on there so long as you disclose that it’s broken.”
Some other Tahlequah-related Facebook pages include Tahlequah Daily Press (www.facebook.com/tdpress) Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce, Tahlequah Pay It Forward Foundation Group, Tahlequah Public Library, Tahlequah Fire Department, Tahlequah Elks Lodge, Tahlequah Farmers Market, Tahlequah Recipe Swap, and Tahlequah/Cherokee County Emergency Management.
It began as a way to keep people informed about local events or sales being offered by businesses in Tahlequah.
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A stitch in time
They may be seasoned sewing veterans, but local members of the Oklahoma Home and Community Education clubs learned a new stitching craft Monday morning.
Beth Corn led the class, and the objective was to create decorative items from strips of fabric and cotton clothesline cord. Corn and fellow OHCE member Ann Lamons had several completed items on display, including coasters, trivets, throw rugs and even baskets with lids.
“I learned how to do this just watching TV, but I found some instructions in a book and printed them out for everybody,” said Corn. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes while learning, but that’s part of the fun. Once you learn how to do this today, you’ll be able to branch out and use the technique for all kinds of things.”
The class was well-attended, with so many mem bers some attendees ended up having to share sewing machines.
Sheppard takes place of Tinnin on TPS board
Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education reorganized, swore in a new member, and passed a further adjustment to the 2013-14 school calendar.
TPS has missed 13 days during the school year due to inclement weather, and classes will not be held on March 31 for a professional development day approved by the school board in the consent docket.
The district has invited teachers, parents and community leaders to attend the Oklahoma Education Coalition rally at the state capitol to demonstrate support for increased education funding.
Cherokee Nation touts minimum wage hike, credit rating upgrade
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. made an appearance at Monday night’s tribal council meeting, as both Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden were out of town.
“As you know, it’s a very busy and crucial time at the state capitol this week,” said Hoskin. “As such, Chief Baker is in Oklahoma City tending to issues that relate to the tribe. Joe Crittenden in Washington, D.C., this week, attending the National Congress of the American Indian.”
Hoskin touted the recent executive order raising the tribe’s minimum wage, as well as news that the Cherokee Nation’s credit rating has been upgraded to triple B.
Greenwood Elementary’s fourth-grade robotics team headed to world competition with innovative project
When five Greenwood Elementary School fourth-graders volunteered to be part of a newly-forming robotics team this past October, they never dreamed that six months later, they’d be competing in a world championship tournament in Anaheim, Calif.
Bryson Page, Lyndsie Kinney, Rylee Jafrie, Ryan Mattox and Ashton Kinsey, along with two robotics teams from Tahlequah Middle School, fared well enough at VEX robotics team regional and state competitions to earn slots among 72 other teams competing for world recognition.
“Back in October, we received a donation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum from the Cherokee Nation,” said Nikki Molloy, Greenwood parent liaison and robotics team coach. “The donation was a robotic kit, and each elementary site, along with TMS, received kits. The first time we gave the kids the kits, we just let them have at it.”
Seizure issues growing more controversial
Aside from the texts and the rights they enumerate, there are some stark contrasts between the Third and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Virtually no one disagrees about the Third Amendment. There are only rare instances of its being litigated, and it has never been the legal basis for a decision of the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, litigation and dissension over the Fourth Amendment is routine.
Education and consolidation topics at forum
State legislators enter the final week of bill hearings and committee meetings next week, and education and agency consolidation remain key concerns for local residents.
Friday morning, five area legislators made presentations and fielded questions from constituents during Legislative Focus at Go Ye Village. Lawmakers included Sen. Earl Garrison, D-Muskogee; Sen. Wayne Shaw, R-Grove; Rep. Will Fourkiller, D-Westville; Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove; and Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah.
Plea deal arranged for ex-fire chief
A former Cherokee County volunteer fire chief has agreed to plead guilty to forgery and embezzlement charges in exchange for a suspended sentence and payment of restitution.
Third Thursday Art Walk
Shoppers will have a chance to visit downtown merchants in the evening during the Tahlequah Main Street Association’s first Third Thursday Art Walk and After Party on Thursday, March 20.
Participating downtown businesses will keep their doors open to offer specials until 8 p.m., and artists will display their work at different locations. Art exhibitors, including the Cherokee Art Center’s Spider Gallery, will stay open late.
Sex offender bill reaches House
By a unanimous 44-0 vote of the Oklahoma Senate, a bill that would make it more difficult for registered sex offenders to change their names has reached the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 1421, authored by Kyle Loveless, Oklahoma City Republican, underwent its first reading in the House on Feb. 27.
Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said he did not know of any instances, during his service with the department, of registered sex offenders evading detection with new names for any length of time.
SB 1497 may aid transparency
Government transparency advocates were pleased, and some were surprised, when a proposed bill designed to strengthen Oklahoma’s Open Meetings Act passed the Senate Judicial Committee recently.
Senate Bill 1497, by Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, would allow citizens who are denied access to public meetings to bring civil lawsuits, and if the court rules in favor, to collect attorney’s fees. A continuing resolution has already been filed.
Should the legislation pass into law, it would become effective Nov. 1 this year.
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