The Chimney Hill chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held its March meeting recently at the Ada Arts and Heritage facility. Regent Myrtie Clarke and acting Chaplain Linda Hebert opened the meeting. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Ruth Ann Taylor. Ruth Franks led The Star-Spangled Banner and was accompanied by Rita Floyd on the piano. Jean Kelley led the Oklahoma flag salute. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution was led by Carol Meyer, and the American Creed was led by Arletta Good. The president general s message was read by Myrtie Clarke. President General Ann Turner Dillon said one of her favorite issues of the year is the one dedicated to Women s History Month. She reported on several women who fostered the cause of women s rights. She also saluted the U.S. Mint, which is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. She ended her message by wishing a happy spring to all.
The secretary s and treasurer s reports were e-mailed to members, and there are a few hard copies available at the meeting. A motion to accept the reports was made and seconded. The motion was approved. The registrar report was given by registrar Marian Paniague, who reported that there are three prospective members this month, which are Rena Scarbough, Binnie Wilson and Barbara Wilson. There was a member verified this month, Dana Hall Jordan, and there is also one name in review, Reta Boggs. The national defense report on the history of the U.S. Coast Guard was given by Carol Meyer. The Coast Guard is an amalgamation of five formally distinct federal services. On Aug. 7, 1789, the US Lighthouse Service was established under the control of the Treasury Department. On Aug. 4, 1790, Congress authorized the secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, to create a maritime service to enforce custom laws and inspect vessels.
President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Act to Create the Coast Guard on Jan. 28, 1915. By 1949 the Coast Guard was under the Navy Department, then the Treasury Department in 1946; then transferred to the newly formed Department of Transportation in 1967; then transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003. The Indian Minutes report from Mary Pfeffer detailed the Indian Youth of America (IYA), a non-profit charitable Indian service organization. It began in the summer of 1976 with an intertribal youth camp held on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. IYA has branched out to serve Indian youth and families on both local and national levels through a number of programs and activities. IYA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Native American children and serves these children through its resource center, scholarship assistance and sponsorship of students to leadership programs and sporting events, as well as the major focus on the Intertribal Summer Youth Camp Program. Camps are held in Arizona and South Dakota each summer, where campers experience a variety of cultural, educational, and recreational activities under the guidance of Indian counselors and staff. Special guests also share their songs, dances, stories, and cultural traditions. IYA was incorporated in 1978 and has its main office in Sioux City, Iowa. In the Conservation Minutes report, Janet Gibson reported on wildlife. She reported that some wild plants are wanted in our gardens and yards and some are not. She talked about redbud trees, holly bushes and butterfly plants, which are decorative and beneficial, but we do not like poison ivy and their family. She reminded us that it is time to plant the wanted varieties. She also talked about good wildlife, like rabbits and birds, but none of us want skunks in our yards and gardens.
The Veterans Report was given by Ruth Ann Taylor. Good news! We have raised enough money for two domino tables for the Sulphur Veteran Center. The tables will be ordered this week and should be at the center in about one month. The next visit to the center will be March 15th. The check for the tables will be presented to the center on this day. The programs section featured The Battle of Kings Mountain. Norma Reid from The Black Bead Chapter of DAR in Norman was the guest speaker. She has ties to Ada, being a graduate of Roff High School and East Central University, where she met her husband. She began by saying that Thomas Jefferson said the Battle of Kings Mountain changed the tide of the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Kings Mountain was between the patriot and the loyalist militias in South Carolina during the Southern campaign of the war. Kings Mountain is nine miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina. British Major Patrick Ferguson was ordered to raise a loyalist militia and protect the flank of Lord Cornwallis main force. The British gave the loyalists rifles and bayonets but not uniforms. Ferguson wrote a letter to patriot leader Isaac Shelby and other militia leaders to lay down their arms or he would lay waste to their country with fire and sword. In response the patriot leader Shelby, McDowell, and Campbell and others rallied an attack. Receiving intelligence on the upcoming attack Ferguson decided to stay on Kings Mountain. The battle began on Dec. 7, 1780, four and one half years into the war, and it lasted one hour. Patrick Ferguson rode his horse and blew a whistle for his men to attack the patriot forces coming up the mountain. He continued until he was shot and killed, after which his men surrendered. The loyalist forces had 225 men killed and 165 wounded while the patriot forces had 28 killed and 60 wounded. When the loyalist militia was destroyed, Cornwallis was forced to abandon his plan to invade North Carolina and retreated to South Carolina. In 1898, the Kings Mountain Chapter DAR launched a campaign to acquire the battlefield, and in 1931 Congress established The Kings Mountain National Military Park.
Ruth Ann Taylor the Kiamichi County district director has visited seven of the nine chapters in our district and plans on visiting the other two soon. She gave a program on Martha Washington to three of the chapters. She reported that at our district conference in April, we will be doing basket giveaways, and that Tammy Hinton of the McAlester chapter has taken care of our basket this year. Regent Myrtie Clarke thanked the chapter for their donation to the Oklahoma Heart Association. Elaina Bearden announced that the eighth-grade essay winner from our chapter won State. The sixth-grade and 10th grade essay writers won third at the state level, and the fifth grade essay writer placed fourth at state.
The door prize was won by Ruth Ann Taylor. Hostesses for the March meeting are Jean Kelley, Arletta Good, Erna Leach, Marian Paniagua and Linda Leach. Members present: Janet Barrett, Elaine Bearden, Tommie Beddow, Beth Buxton, Myrtie Clarke, Rita Floyd, Mary Ann Frame, Ruth Franks, Joyce Gentry, Janet Gibson, Sue Gonyon, Arletta Good, Linda Gebert, Lou Ann Hoover, Kathy Howry, Jean Kelley, Erna Leach, Ann Maxwell, Marian Paniaguia, Mary Pfeffer, Jerry Wages, and Elizabeth Witherow.
Guests are Norma Reid, Anita Renells and Binnie Wilson.
SANDISFIELD, Mass. Amid drizzle and mist, the sound of nothing but toads and faint rippling water, the unmarked patrol cars pass slowly by, stop and watch, then move on until the next patrol comes. It continues like this on a gray morning as Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. gets ready to start cutting trees here in Otis State Forest. Apart from one turkey, the only traffic this morning on Cold Spring Road is the host of Kinder Morgan s hired security to patrol the construction site for the company s 2-mile stretch of natural gas pipeline, part of its larger 13-mile Connecticut Expansion Project. Tennessee Gas is a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan.
The 24-inch pipes will go into a run next to two existing pipelines. But the corridor has to be expanded, and that involves cutting into state-owned forest protected by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, something the state fought before federal law forced it to give the company an easement. This and legal action by environmentalists delayed the project for about a year. But in mid-April the company got a green light when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued it a notice to proceed with tree-cutting and construction, galvanizing the company s plans in a town with about 800 residents.
On April 19, however, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey of Massachusetts challenged FERC over the notice to proceed, saying the commission did not make the decision with necessary quorum, and it still has not officially heard important objections to the project raised by Sandisfield citizens in March 2016. Workers hired by Tennessee Gas are living at a home the company purchased next to a remote farm here, waiting for the signal to start work, said Sandisfield Select Board Chairwoman Alice Boyd. And Boyd said an even larger security plan is waiting in the wings. She said the town s fire and police chiefs have attended state meetings about how to manage public safety and emergencies related to the pipeline expansion. She said there are concerns about everything from protests to accidents.
Then the pipes add a new level of concern, she said. We ve had leaking pipes before. We are not set up to address this. It s very scary stuff.
Fire Chief Ralph Morrison told Boyd that Tennessee Gas has hired three Massachusetts State Police details for daylight hours and eight full-time security guards for around-the-clock coverage. The security patrols are nice enough when they ask why a reporter has pulled to the side of the road to take photographs; one said he was from Woburn, the other, from East Hartford, Conn. Just making sure there s no trouble, they both say. Sandisfield resident Susan Baxter is talking to one uniformed security officer who said he had stopped to use the portable toilet at Lower Spectacle Pond, which is across the road from one of the main pipeline access points.
Tennessee Gas is very nervous about protests here, Baxter said after he left. The only way for them to calm down is to communicate with them. (AP)
I live here I don t want anything bad to happen, she added. Baxter grew up in Sandisfield, moved away then came back. Baxter is an intervener, one of the residents holding the gas company s feet to the fire throughout the process, and one of those who requested that FERC rehear concerns ranging from environmental concerns to whether there is truly a demand for more natural gas.
My rights are being abused and I am unhappy, she said, noting that an existing pipeline built in the 1980s runs through her property and makes her nervous. The adjacent existing pipeline was installed in the 1950s.
These are two high pressure live pipelines, Baxter said. She said when the 1980s pipes were being installed, workers popped a hole in the other one, and the area had to be evacuated.
FERC allows interveners to object to a [pipeline approval] certificate, and this was not a legal notice to proceed, she said.
Stuart Burke pulls up and said he had come to fish for largemouth bass. The Westfield resident asks why so many signs and flags are marking the area. Baxter tells him about the pipeline, but said she won t say too much about what will happen at this pond.
I don t want to ruin your good time here, she adds. Burke appears stricken. I come here all the time to fish, he said. It s quiet here, and I m retired, so on a gray misty day I throw a line in the water. He said he doesn t mind the pipeline. But don t mess with this pond.
Tennessee Gas plans to draw water from what is considered a pristine pond to test the new pipes for leaks then release the water, where it will flow toward the Clam River. While the company has a number of conditions attached to local and state permits that require it to take care of these areas, residents and environmentalists are worried pipe chemicals will leach into wetlands and vernal pools. And Kathryn Eiseman of PipeLine Awareness Network said another concern is sending a large volume of warmed water into the cold water fisheries. Another unmarked patrol pulls up and parks near the pond. Inside are plain clothes officers. Soon a patrol with New Jersey plates drives slowly by.
This is way creepy, Baxter says of the unmarked patrols. They are very nice, but there s not a lot of communication, so citizens don t know what s going on.
Boyd said she was troubled by this, as well, and will ask Kinder Morgan if they will use marked security details. Kinder Morgan spokesman Richard Wheatley said he could not comment on this.
Because we take the safety of the public, our people and our assets very seriously, we do not comment on the specifics of our security efforts, he said in an email. Boyd has other worries, too.
A lot of people are coming here, she said of what will soon be an invasion of heavy equipment, cars and more security.
She s also worried about the town s roads and the town s budget. Tennessee Gas lawyers last year made a verbal agreement to give the town about $1 million for wear and tear to roads, and to reimburse the town s roughly $40,000 in legal fees it took to draft the agreement. After spending months negotiating in good faith the company never signed, she said.
Our town and townspeople are in a very susceptible position and our Select Board remains extremely concerned, she added.
A gunman got sentenced Monday to 76 years to life in prison for callously murdering a hardworking father of six and permanently injuring another man.
He also got something else grace from the heartbroken mother of the man he killed.
I ll forgive you, but I will never forget what you did, Cheryl Locklear, the mother of Aaron Locklear, told killer Antonio Mahon.
Locklear, 30, and trainee James Merced, 28, were taking a lunch break from their job as security guards on Nov. 28, 2014, when Mahon walked passed them on Dumont Ave. in Brownsville. Then Mahon turned around and opened fire.
Cheryl Locklear, mother of murdered Aaron Locklear, forgave her son’s killer.
(Jesse Ward/for New York Daily News)
My son left behind six children, you took them away from him. You took him away from his family. I m praying you seek a Christian life while in prison, but I have forgiven you, Cheryl Locklear said in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Mahon, 22, admitted he thought Locklear and Merced were his enemies and was on drugs at the time of the shooting. Merced now uses a wheelchair.
I must say this, I never thought in my life as a judge, did I think I d have to impune a sentence like this to anyone, Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson said before giving Mahon 76 years to life.
Aaron Locklear was shot outside the housing complex where he worked by Antonio Mahon.
Prior to the shooting, Mahon chased after a young man armed with the murder weapon and pointed the same gun at a maintenance worker.
This is a very sad case. It pains my heart. It pains my soul that three young mens lives are ruined, but two really good men s lives are ruined, said Simpson.
Mahon told detectives he always walked around with a gun because he has problems with several gangs, including the HoodStarz, in the neighborhood.
Clayton Gravenhise, 22, a HoodStarz member, was on a revenge-fueled crime spree in 2014 after his brother Nathaniel Gravenhise was killed. Gravenhise suspected Mahon was the killer, sources said.