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Walking America

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Matt Grooms and Grace Nesseth admit to being a spontaneous couple, so neither were shocked when Matt came up with the idea of leaving their home in California and never looking back.

“It was around January of last year I was reading the book ‘To Shake the Sleeping Self’ by Jedidiah Jenkins and how he cycled from Oregon to South America. In the book he talked about his parents being one of the first to chronicle their walk across America and I thought that was pretty cool,” said Matt.

He posed the idea of walking across the United States to Grace.

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City leaders tour health center site

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El Reno city officials took a tour of the new SSM St. Anthony’s Health Center being built here. City Manager Matt Sandidge said the project is coming along and is expected to be open by the summer.

“Even though the finishings aren’t in and the building isn't dried in yet, you can tell this will be a beautiful facility when it is complete,” Sandidge said. He and Mayor Matt White and Assistant City Manager Kent Lagaly visited the site last week.

“This will be an asset that we all can use and will depend on as our city continues to grow,” Sandidge said.

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A 13-drum salute to the school board

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The Lincoln fourth-grade Bucket Band performed last week at the El Reno School Board meeting. The performance was held as part of the Public School Board Appreciation Month. Board members were also treated to a multitude of individual snacks, pastries and posters made by students from throughout the district. Members of the Bucket Band include Jacob Oakes, Jayleen Reyes, Gracie Colson, Josephine Davenport, Tyler Norton, Jentri Denwalt, Jaybie Simon, Olivia March, Desiree Estrada, Jaida Richardson, Kalli Whitney, Rylie Jeanson, Justin Vaughan, Asher Steffen and Kyndall Couch.

TSET accepting grant requests from schools, communities

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) announces that communities and schools now can apply for grants from the TSET Healthy Incentive Program. The application period closes at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5.

The TSET Healthy Incentive Program offers grants to cities, towns, schools and school districts that adopt policies supporting tobacco-free environments, improved nutrition, increased physical activity and employee wellness.

Housing sector ends year strong, while some Oklahomans experience challenges

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The Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City released its latest issue of the quarterly publication the Oklahoma Economist.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in some unique dynamics in Oklahoma’s housing sector, as many residents are spending more time in their homes than ever before, according to Chad Wilkerson, branch executive, vice president and economist at the Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Public Records - January 20

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DIVORCES GRANTED

Nikki Michelle Gray vs. Collin Gray.

McKenzie J. Cooper vs. Stedmon T. Cooper.

Crystal Medell vs. Ahmad Ahmad.

Erick T. Patraw vs. Valerie M. Patraw.

Rhonda Kaye Petty vs. Travis Jon Petty.

Victoria Marie McAvoy vs. Rae William McAvoy II.

James D. Thomas vs. Carla J. Carella-Thomas.

Traci Elaine Lambert vs. Chad Joseph Lambert.

Sherri Kay McAninch vs. James Russell McAninch.

Dawn Andrea King vs. Michael Shannon King.

Kevin Alfred Bolinsky vs. Bonnie Lee Bolinsky.

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Health officials work through vaccine hurdles

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Based on the number of phone calls flooding into the Canadian County Health Department, residents are eager to get in line to receive one of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines.

According to representatives at the El Reno branch, 700 or more calls are being fielded there each day related to either the disease or the vaccination efforts. The same, if not more, are being answered at the Yukon branch, according to one official, due to the proximity to Oklahoma City.

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McVay says El Reno will not follow Stitt’s new quarantine policy

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El Reno Public Schools will stay with its current protocols in dealing with quarantine issues related to COVID-19 and will not follow new guidelines announced by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

“I have said from the beginning that quarantine has been the big problem for us and not so much the virus – though it’s a serious deal. This (announcement) throws a monkey wrench into the whole scenario for us.