Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 2, 2013

2012 a mixed bag

Local officials and residents weigh in on what they liked best, and hated most, about the past year.

TAHLEQUAH — This past year included a wide scope of activity like the much-heated Presidential race, the continued frenzied obsession with smartphone technology, and the capture and death of the world’s most-wanted terrorist.

No matter the high or low point of 2012, it was a year many will remember for something or someone that made news around the globe  – either for its impact on the medical world, politics or the social life that has evolved into a highly digitized and constantly connected existence. The Daily Press spoke to some local folks to get their thoughts on what they viewed as a high or low point of 2012.

Northeastern State University President Dr. Steve Turner went the way of a David Letterman-like Top 10 list that included both the positive and negative moments of the year, in no particular order.

“Here is my list of 10 that includes both,” he said. “Embassy attack in Benghazi,  financial collapse in Greece, school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, Joe Paterno’s death and Penn State, election of the president of the United States, reduction of troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Oklahoma legislature’s decision not to reduce income tax, NSU’s groundbreaking for the $14.4 million multi-purpose event center, mayor and city council of Tahlequah’s support of sales tax vote, and Cherokee Nation efforts to provide new housing and better health care.”

For former Sen. Jim Wilson, the Supreme Court approval of the Affordable Care Act is “probably the most significant and best development of the year.”

“I am fully aware of significant resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Oklahoma, but I’m also aware that U.S. presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have been trying to improve access to health care for the masses since Teddy Roosevelt in the first decade of the 1900s,” he said. “Citizens in every other industrialized country are getting a better product for half the cost, giving them an economic development advantage, higher wages and a better quality of life.”

The worst singular events have to be the monthly mass shootings, he said.

“We were at risk of becoming anesthetized, even accepting the violence as societal, until the devastation in Newtown, Conn.,” he said. “Hopefully, we will never accept such an atrocity as unavoidable. The worst development for society in general has been the inability of politicians to work together for the benefit of their constituents. Neither party is without fault. Being against everything is not statesmanship. Being against something merely because the other party is for it is not thoughtful. The political climate has become more toxic over the past year with the continued inability to compromise. Voters deserve better.”

And for Michael Stopp, Oklahoma high school student-athletes deserve better, as his noted low point was the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s handling of the Sequoyah School football players found to be ineligible due to attending summer camps paid for by the school. This cost the players nine victories, and a chance at winning a state title.

“I was very disheartened by the OSSAA’s handling of it, and how they went after the players. They didn’t know any better. It was the coaches,” he said.

“If you want to penalize the school and coaches, that makes complete sense. They broke the rules, but the kids didn’t know any better. It was their senior year for some of them. It was completely unfortunate. I was disappointed in the way the state handled that. If there’s a low point in sports this year, that was a low point.”

Waking up when the Mayan calendar suggested otherwise is Stopp’s brightest memory of 2012.

“The high point of the year was Dec. 22 came, and we were all here,” he said.

Josh Hutchins’ low point connected to the lives lost and forever altered by Mother Nature and human-born tragedy.

“My low point would be the fact that no child in the next decade will ever be named Sandy, in lieu of the hurricane and the school shooting,” he said.

“That name might even be completely abolished from baby-name books.”

Hutchins noted positive fiscal effects experienced in his paper-recycling business recently as a high point.

“Paper prices went up three months straight at the end of the year,” he said. “That’s [a highlight] because the first nine months was quite the opposite.”

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-quality-MAIN-2.jpg Oklahoma may rank low on quality of life polls, but Tahlequah shines

    Tahlequah has been recognized several times as one of the best small towns in the country for a variety of reasons.
    So it may surprise area residents to learn that Oklahoma, on the whole, is ranked 43rd in the nation as far as quality of life is concerned.
    The Statemaster study indicated a state’s “livability rating” was based on 44 factors. Among those were the number of children living in supportive neighborhoods, percentage of households that are married couples, estimated sales at shopping malls, the number of restaurants available, etc.

    July 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ozark-big-eared-bat,#2C9C3C.jpg Local bat population may be under threat

    Cherokee County’s bat population could be under threat from a disease that is not deadly in itself, but can set up a chain reaction that can ultimately decimate whole colonies.
    Many years ago, professors at Northeastern State University studied the local bat population, mainly consisting of the big-eared bat, and at the time, little brown bats. Although the bats favored caves are generally closed to the public, wildlife officials still try to keep tabs on them.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • sg-Pot-petition.jpg Medical marijuana petition circulating here

    Two petitions are circulating that address the legalization of marijuana in Oklahoma. The petition for State Question 773 began this week and deals with legalization of marijuana for recreational, industrial, and medical use. The petition for State Question 768, or the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Amendment, was filed in April by a representative of Oklahomans for Health.

    July 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • northington-joby.jpg Grand jury indicts local man accused of making bomb

    A federal grand jury has indicted a Tahlequah man accused of possessing a destructive device in April.
    Joby Tucson Northington, 34, is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Records: Chamber money spent at horse track, bars, fast-food joints

    More than $150,000 was withdrawn with the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce check card between February 2006 and December 2011, taking the total ATM transactions in the past 8-1/2 years to around $420,000.
    Bank records show most withdrawals were made at bank or QuikTrip ATMs in Oklahoma, though a few others were made at casinos and horse racing tracks.

    July 10, 2014

  • Thieves shove woman into trunk, take purse

    Sheriff’s investigators say a woman was pushed into the trunk of her car and locked inside Wednesday afternoon on Stick Ross Mountain Road.
    Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said the woman pulled off of Stick Ross Mountain Road, at the top of the hill south of the State Highway 51 bypass, when she had a flat.

    July 10, 2014

  • 1-rf Flower.jpg Local florist lends his expertise to popular TV show

    Fans of the television show “Mistresses” will not only discover a surprise ending for the season finale when it airs in mid-August, but they’ll be able to see the design expertise of local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Chamber bank records reveal questionable expenditures

    The past year’s bank records for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce show a number of handwritten checks were made out to chamber members and local businesses for reasons yet to be explained by those caught up in an ongoing embezzlement probe.

    July 9, 2014

  • Chamber board can find no record of audits

    Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce board members are continuing their search for audits that may have been conducted after 2006.

    July 9, 2014

  • Woman’s boyfriend says she shook tot ‘like a Bobblehead’

    The mother of an 18-month-old girl who was found severely bruised this week told police detectives the child tripped and fell recently, but the woman’s boyfriend admits he saw the child being shaken “like a Bobblehead” on one occasion.

    July 9, 2014


Do you believe marijuana should be legalized in Oklahoma?

Absolutely not.
No, but it should be decriminalized.
Yes, but only for medicinal purposes.
Yes, both for medicinal and recreational purposes.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
FIFA Rejects Suarez Appeal Against Biting Ban World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral Neighbors Mourn Killing of Texas Family Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Attacks Escalate UN Secretary-General Urges Mideast Ceasefire 'Game of Thrones' Leads Emmy Nominees Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta At Texas Border, a Daily Tide of Poor Migrants Raw: Rescuers Push Beached Whale Back to Ocean Mass. Mayor: Families Lost Everything in Fire Four Kids, Two Adults Shot Dead Near Houston Connecticut Boy Dies Inside Parked Car Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup'