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Stillwater's First News with Bill Van Ness

Conversation opened. 1 read message. FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:FROM THE-------------------------FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:
-----------------------FROM THE CITY OF STILLWATER:


Note: The collection is based off of July transactions that were reported to the Oklahoma Tax Commission in August and apportioned to the City in September


·         INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $642,269 (21.43%)


·         INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $474,251 (17.32%)

·         Note: One cent ($0.01) of collected sales tax is dedicated to the Stillwater Utilities Authority and a half-cent ($0.005) is dedicated to Transportation projects, as determined by a vote of Stillwater residents.


·         INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $168,018 (64.72%)


·         INCREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR: $76,309 (161.74%)

For more information about the budget and taxes, visit the City’s Financial Center at

We also update a sales, use and hotel/motel tax report monthly at



American Airlines passengers flying through Stillwater Regional Airport (SWO) will soon enjoy more options and greater comfort.

Beginning Nov. 3, American Airlines will be using the larger CRJ-700 aircraft to connect Stillwater to Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW). The new planes offer more than additional seating; they offer passengers new amenities like premium seat upgrades and in-flight entertainment.

“American is excited to enhance service between Stillwater Regional Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport this fall with larger, dual class aircraft,” said Philippe Puech, American Airlines Director of Short-Haul Network Planning. “Thanks to the outstanding support of the Stillwater community, we look forward to connecting more Oklahomans to our global network with just one stop.”  

The planes aren’t the only things growing at SWO.  

The airport is wrapping up a multi-year aircraft apron rehabilitation project that added 100,000 square yards of concrete, expanding parking for planes and accommodating larger aircraft. In addition, a new airfield snow and ice removal fleet will help ensure winter flights arrive and depart on time.

“We’re excited to see continued growth here at SWO,” Airport Director Paul Priegel said. “Our passengers will continue to see upgraded experiences both on the ground and in the air, combined with continued reliability, even during winter weather events.”

More than 275,000 passengers have flown through SWO since American Airlines launched commercial air service from Stillwater in late 2016. And, that success is driving further growth.

On the horizon, a new, larger, commercial terminal designed to better serve all travelers is coming. Design recently began on a 32,000 square foot facility that will provide more than three times the current space. Construction is slated to begin in 2024.

SWO is known for its short lines and free parking and now with larger, more comfortable aircraft, passengers flying from Stillwater will have an even more enjoyable experience. SWO offers multiple daily flights to and from DFW that connect travelers to more than 250 domestic and international destinations. Tickets can be purchased through the Americans Airlines mobile app or by visiting and using airport code SWO. 



The Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education at Oklahoma State University has launched the Counter-UAS Center of Excellence and a new partnership aimed at strengthening national defense by developing counter-measures to thwart malicious Unmanned Aerial Systems.

The agreement solidifies OSU’s position as the preferred aerospace defense provider for the U.S. Army base at Fort Sill. The agreement includes receiving a $15 million Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity subcontract from Amentum to help the U.S. Department of Homeland Security develop technology to counter threats from drones and other UAS. Amentum is executing this contract under the Department of Defense Information Analysis Center’s multiple-award contract vehicle.

OSU President Kayse Shrum said that as a part of OAIRE, the center is a vital component of OSU’s aerospace infrastructure, which extends across the state of Oklahoma, Dr. Shrum said.

The partnership announcement was delivered Friday during the launch event celebrating the opening of the national CUAS COE, which was held at the Hamm Institute for American Energy at OSU in the Oklahoma City Innovation District.

The new center was established in partnership with the DOD via the National Defense Authorization Act. The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command contracted with OSU to initiate the CUAS COE with $6.5 million in appropriated funds across FY2021 and FY2022, with $5 million in additional funding pending for FY2023.

As the counter-UAS arm of OSU’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute, this new center brings together resources and research to place Oklahoma at the forefront of this vital specialty area charged with safeguarding the nation from the weaponization of drones.

Formalized in September 2022, the agreement will fund a series of projects at the center for up to $15 million over the course of the next 4.5 years.

These projects will involve developing, evaluating and improving technologies for DHS to identify, track and mitigate threats posed by drones to infrastructure and other sites that are critical to homeland security.

They also will involve the training of existing and potential professionals within DHS to understand and deploy counter-UAS technologies and techniques.

At the event, Dr. Jamey Jacob, the current director of the USRI, was named director of OAIRE.

Another mission of the center will be to improve facilities that allow the CUAS COE and U.S. Army partners to quickly and easily operate UAS systems for research, testing and training. The center also plans to host an annual counter-UAS symposium to bring together representatives from across the government to discuss new threats, technologies and best practices along with connecting with private industry to meet governmental CUAS needs.

Outside of counter-UAS efforts, USRI also addresses multiple aspects of unmanned systems research and development, including: drone development; use of drones for human health and safety; advanced air mobility; NASA applications for autonomous operations; and development of novel drone applications.



Oklahoma State University President Kayse Shrum and First Cowboy Darren Shrum have been named grand marshals of OSU’s 2022 Homecoming festivities by the OSU Alumni Association.
Shrum made history as the first woman to lead a public research institution in the state of
Oklahoma when she was appointed in 2021. Prior to taking office as OSU’s 19 th president, she
served as president of OSU Center for Health Sciences, and her selection in 2013 made her the
youngest and first female president and dean of a medical school in the state of Oklahoma.
Shrum trained and served rural Oklahoma as a pediatrician before beginning her academic work
at OSU-CHS after former OSU President Burns Hargis appointed her to lead the medical school.
First Cowboy Darren Shrum is an entrepreneur, salesman and craftsman. His business successes
include opening a 12,000 square-foot fitness center in Muskogee and starting FTD Motors, LLC.
The high-end automobile restoration business is still turning vintage cars and trucks into
showstoppers. He has a heart for philanthropy and is an enthusiastic leader and participant in
projects that make OSU, Stillwater and Payne County a better place. He has long been involved
in supporting groups like Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Payne County Youth Services,
Special Olympics Oklahoma and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“The Shrums have already had an incredible impact on the university in just over a year’s time,”
said Dr. Ann Caine, OSU Alumni Association president. “With this year’s theme celebrating
Cowboy heroes, now was the perfect time to recognize President Shrum and First Cowboy
Darren as Homecoming grand marshals.”
This year’s Homecoming theme, "Hats Off to Cowboy Heroes," was chosen to celebrate
individuals who serve, create, persevere, discover and learn with diligent, passionate hearts.
“The history of Oklahoma State is full of heroes from many different walks of life,” President
Shrum said. “It is a great honor to represent all these heroes as this year’s grand marshals for
America’s Greatest Homecoming. Darren and I can’t wait for the festivities to start next month.”
As grand marshals, the Shrums will take part in several Homecoming events during the week,
including the Sea of Orange Parade and the presentation of Homecoming awards during the
Texas vs. OSU football game.
OSU alumni and friends can learn more about this year’s Homecoming festivities and register at Events for alumni begin on Sunday, Oct. 16 with
the Sign Competition and Orange Fountain Dyeing in front of the Edmon Low Library, which is
also when this year’s Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned.

ABC News


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