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Stillwater's First News with Bill Van Ness


Christie Hawkins, a political newcomer, has won election to the Stillwater City Council.

Hawkins topped Ariel Ross 1,289 to 890 for seat No. 4. Hawkins will replace Vice-Mayor Pat Darlington who chose not to run for re-election.

Also on Tuesday, Camille DeYong won her bid for re-election Tuesday to the Stillwater Board of Education.
DeYong, who is currently the school board's president, beat challenger Carle Santelli 1,980 to 386.

Marshall Baker will return to the Stillwater School Board after defeating incumbent Steve Hallgren 1,466 to 1,009 in Tuesday's election. Baker previously served on the board but vacated the seat after moving away from Stillwater two years ago.

Other area results:

Perkins-Tryon Public Schools Office 1
    Rick Lomenick – 37.56%
    Jessie Johnson – 62.44%

Coyle Public Schools Office 1
    Justin Whitmore – 73.17%
    Christie R. Calvert – 26.83%

Coyle Public Schools Office 4
    Chuck Edwards – 25.77%
    Amy Caldwell – 74.23%

Glencoe Public Schools Office 1
    Dalton Ross – 92.67%
    Colby Torres – 7.33%

City of Cushing Office 2
    Stephen R. Orton – 36.34%
    Lee R. Denney – 63.66%

City of Perkins Seat 1
    Gary N. Varnell, Sr. – 17.73%
    Aaron C. Box – 82.27%

Town of Langston City Office 2
    Michael Boyles – 83.58%
    Sheila D. Stevenson 16.42%

City of Perry Ward 2
    Amy K. Nation – 43.88%
    Amber Dilbeck – 56.12%

City of Perry Ward 4
    Betty Warner – 24.56%
    Derek Coldiron – 75.44%

City of Pawnee Ward 3
    Ryan Schulze – 74.51%
    Emily K. Elliott – 25.49%



The Oklahoma State University A&M Board of Regents has selected Dr. Kayse Shrum as the 19th president of Oklahoma State University. The announcement follows an extensive national search involving an inclusive process composed of representatives from across the OSU system, including faculty, students, staff and alumni.

The current president of the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dr. Shrum will be recommended for approval as the next president of OSU at the regularly scheduled Board of Regents meeting in Stillwater on April 23.

"The OSU/A&M Board of Regents recognized from the start of this process the importance of conducting a thorough search to make sure we selected the most qualified candidate to lead OSU and the system into the future following the successful Burns Hargis presidency," commented Rick Davis, chair of the Regents. "I appreciate the deliberative approach taken by our Regents, and we are grateful to Regent Joe Hall, who impressively led the process over the past five months."

Davis continued, "Dr. Shrum is well known and respected by the Regents and our university community. Her leadership has transformed our medical school in Tulsa, and her efforts have taken us to new heights we could only imagine a few years ago. The establishment of the National Center for Wellness and Recovery is one of several milestone achievements. The center, which has brought national acclaim to OSU, has become the national focal point for breakthrough research to address the opioid crisis. What is most impressive to me for all the notable achievements is her commitment to students and their success. Students matter to her. Dr. Shrum is an effective leader, innovative thinker and her collaborative style, in addition to her great love for OSU, means the momentum we have achieved with President Hargis will continue unabated. I am excited about the future of OSU, the system and the state of Oklahoma."

As the first woman to lead Oklahoma State University, Dr. Shrum has overcome barriers throughout her professional career. She has served as president of OSU's Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS) since 2013, and her selection at the time made her the youngest and first female president and dean of a medical school in the state of Oklahoma. Dr. Shrum trained and served rural Oklahoma as a pediatrician before beginning her academic work at OSU-CHS after current OSU President Burns Hargis appointed her to lead the medical school.

According to Regent and Selection Committee Chair Joe Hall, Dr. Shrum was chosen from a national pool of highly qualified candidates in large part because she brings a remarkable track record of professional success leading OSU’s medical school.

"I have watched Dr. Shrum transform our medical school in Tulsa, and I am convinced that success will translate to OSU and our system," Hall said. She understands and appreciates our distinctive land-grant mission of service to the advancement and betterment of our state. As a proud product of Coweta, Oklahoma, Dr. Shrum has a firsthand perspective of our state's challenges and the role OSU can play in meeting those challenges. Based on what she has achieved thus far, Dr. Shrum will promote student success, academic programs, productive research and an inclusive and diverse community built on mutual respect. As president of OSU, she will be a great leader for our university and state.”

"I am humbled and honored by this announcement," said Dr. Shrum. "I am also thrilled because outside of my dear family, OSU has a special place in my heart. Leading the OSU Center for Health Sciences and helping students, faculty and staff come together to create something truly impactful to our state has been immensely rewarding for me. To lead our vibrant university and the system, which is so vital to our state on many levels, will be the greatest challenge and honor of my professional career. I am looking forward to this opportunity with high anticipation.

“I want to thank Chair Davis, Regent Hall and our entire Board of Regents. I do not take the trust you have imparted to me lightly. I look forward to working with our board, faculty, students and staff on our shared vision of excellence and success. Let me also thank President Hargis, who had the confidence to appoint me to lead the medical school. I am forever grateful for our friendship and your mentorship.”

Under Dr. Shrum's leadership, OSU Center for Health Sciences has experienced unprecedented growth. Student enrollment doubled as the center established new academic programs designed to meet the health care workforce needs of Oklahoma. She also led the construction of the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Medical Academic Building. This state-of-the-art learning facility houses Oklahoma's largest and most technologically advanced hospital simulation center.

Her fundraising accomplishments also include securing a landmark investment in 2019 from Purdue Pharma for $197.5 million to create the National Center for Wellness and Recovery for addiction treatment and research to address the national opioid addiction epidemic. A strong supporter of collaborative partnerships, Shrum worked with Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and his administration to establish the nation's first tribally affiliated medical school, the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation, which opened fall 2020.

In March 2019, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt appointed Dr. Shrum to his cabinet as Oklahoma's first Secretary of Science and Innovation. In that role, she played a critical part in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her innovative leadership approach and medical expertise helped secure much-needed PPE supplies and led to the formation of Oklahoma's largest COVID diagnostics lab on OSU's Stillwater campus.

A native of Coweta, Oklahoma, Dr. Shrum is a fervent champion of rural health and primary care medicine and has made the creation of a sustainable, rural primary care physician pipeline a top priority. She launched innovative high school recruiting programs like Operation Orange and Blue Coat to White Coat, created the Rural Medical Track curriculum and expanded the number of residency training programs in rural Oklahoma by securing support from the Oklahoma Legislature, Oklahoma Health Care Authority and Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust. Her long list of awards and accolades includes being named The Journal Record's Woman of the Year in 2019.

Dr. Shrum and her husband Darren still actively farm near Coweta. They have six adult children.

Dr. Shrum will officially take over the role of president at the beginning of OSU's next fiscal year beginning July 1.



With the ongoing changes in guidelines coming from the CDC and the state regarding public safety measures for COVID, the City of Stillwater reiterates that its face covering ordinance remains in effect.

Payne County Health Department, Stillwater Medical Center, Stillwater Public Schools, Oklahoma State University and Meridian Technology Center met with the City of Stillwater earlier this month to discuss each group’s plans. All of these community partners plan to continue requiring face masks at their facilities, campuses, etc.

To facilitate vaccinations, the CDC has created vaccinefinder.org. It is a free, online service where users can search for locations that offer vaccinations. The site allows clinics, pharmacies, and health departments to provide accurate and up-to-date information about vaccination services and availability.

On Feb. 24, the Stillwater City Council adopted Ordinance No. 3472 which allowed the City’s face covering ordinance (No.3452) to remain in effect through May 25, 2021. Residents and visitors should continue to follow the current rules and regulations for face coverings through the new expiration date.

Stillwater’s mask ordinance requires that everyone wear a face covering in all public spaces, including educational institutions, food services, retail and personal service establishments that provide goods or services directly to the public.

Exceptions outlined in the ordinance include, but are not limited to, persons with medical, mental or developmental conditions, children under age 5 (unless required by school or day care to wear a face covering), and non-public areas or workplaces. See details and answers to common questions at Stillwater.org/covid-19.

Acceptable face coverings include R95, KN95, dust masks, procedural masks, cotton bandanas, neck gaiters, running buffs and some tightly woven scarves. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The City has an Ordinance 3452 Hotline (405.533.8533) that businesses or residents may call to report non-compliance or if they have questions.

ABC News

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