The Tulsa Health Department (THD) and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) have partnered to investigate a confirmed case of measles in Okmulgee County. The confirmed case was announced by OSDH on May 15, and is the first confirmed case of measles in Oklahoma since May 2018. As of Jan. 1, there have been at least 880 cases of measles reported in the United States from 24 states. This is the highest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994.
Through information obtained from the ongoing investigation, health officials want to alert anyone who visited New Beginnings Church, 4104 E. 151st St. S. Bixby, on May 7, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for their end of the semester program and Pre-K graduation ceremony about potential exposure to the measles case. Health officials from the Tulsa Health Department are collaborating with New Beginnings Church and the Oklahoma State Department of Health to identify anyone who may have visited during this specific timeframe to inform them of their exposure and provide recommendations.
Individuals are protected if they are immunized with two doses of a measles-containing vaccine after their first birthday, or if they were born during or before 1957, or if they have previously had the measles. Anyone who is concerned about a possible exposure should contact public health officials at 800-234-5963. Measles was confirmed on May 15 in a person who returned to Oklahoma after traveling to various domestic and international destinations. The virus is still common in many parts of the world with outbreaks occurring in Europe, Israel, Ukraine, and the Philippines. These outbreaks have resulted in travelers who develop illness in the U.S. following their return. In addition to the high number of cases, there are outbreaks ongoing in several states. THD is offering the MMR vaccine at no cost to those exposed at all immunization clinics. View information about locations and hours at www.tulsa-health.org/vaccines. All OSDH County Health Department locations will also be providing MMR immunizations.
Immunization records may be obtained at www.tulsa-health.org/shotrecords, or through your private health care provider or school.
People who are susceptible to measles usually develop symptoms about 10 days after exposure with a range of 7-21 days. Symptoms of measles begin with a mild to moderate fever, runny nose, red eyes, and cough. A few days later, a rash appears starting on the face spreading to the rest of the body accompanied by a fever that can reach up to 105 degrees. Symptoms can range from severe to milder, depending on the individual. Measles can lead to pneumonia and other complications, especially in young children and adults over 20. The disease can also cause serious problems in pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.
People with measles can spread the virus up to four days before the onset of the rash and until four days after the rash starts.
Measles can be prevented with the measles vaccine (usually given in combination with rubella and mumps, called MMR vaccine). The vaccine is recommended for all children at 12 to 15 months of age and again at four to six years of age. If a person has not received a second dose of the vaccine between four to six years of age, the booster dose may be given at any age thereafter. The measles vaccine is very effective. One dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. Two doses are about 97% effective.

Darlene Franklin is both a resident of Crossroads of Love and Grace in Oklahoma City, and a full-time writer.

By Darlene Franklin

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 31

The year I was born (1954), President Eisenhower added the words “under God” to the pledge. The words hold a special place in my heart, for personal and patriotic reasons. Let’s raise the standard high to the music of Key, Sousa, Springsteen, and Cohen. 44
Although no other flag can replace the importance or meaning of the red, white, and blue in my life, I’ve lived under at least six different flags during my faith like the amusement parks of the same name. To the national flag, I would add three state flags, my family crest, and the
Christian flag. 55
At sixty-four, my life divides neatly into three twenty-year segments. I spent the first score of years in New England, mostly Maine; ten years in Oklahoma; twenty in Colorado; and now another ten years in Oklahoma. In between sprinkle brief stints in New Jersey, Texas, and Arkansas for job and school. 51
The flags for Maine, Colorado and Oklahoma differ widely. They each, in style and content, fairly scream the essence of the state they represent. 24
Maine’s flag depicts a moose laying on grass between ocean and a white pine tree, flanked on by a sailor and a farmer. If the state animal and tree left me in doubt, I couldn’t miss the bold letters proclaiming “Maine.” The state motto, “Dirigo,” means “I lead.” I chuckle to myself as I picture Mainers saying, “That’s right. We’re going to do things our way, and who cares about the rest of the world?” It makes me nostalgic to look at the flag. 84
Colorado’s flag is in your face in a very different way. The bold red C emblazoned upon a blue-white-blue striped background shares its colors with the United States flag. But such a simple design would never rep resent California, and I doubt Connecticut would add a gold nugget in the middle of the C. Clear blue skies, white snow, golden sunshine – that’s my Colorado. 64
The Indian war shield with a peace pipe and olive branch could only belong to Oklahoma. I agree with the words of its pledge, “its symbols of peace unite all people.” Not that Oklahoma has a perfect record—nowhere does—but I love living in a state where contemporary Indian life marches seamlessly and colorfully alongside our state life. 59
If Maine represents my past, and Colorado the stuff of my dreams, Oklahoma represents who I am today—at peace after a trauma-filled past. 24
Research into the crest for my maiden name Sparks revealed several surprises. For one things, “Sparks” is derived from Sparrowhawk, the favorite falcon of Richard the Lion-Hearted. One of his falconers took it as his surname, representing his occupation. When the Sparrowhawk and the Lion-Hearted fought side by side during the Crusades, the falconer saved the king’s life on two occasions. 62
I don’t know with one hundred percent legacy that Sparrowhawk is my ancestor, but it’s possible. I love the family crest. The family motto, “swift and true,” also comes from King Richard—the words he used to describe his favorite falcon. 41
Atop the crest stands a leopard with fire spewing from its mouth. Hmm, a big cat. I’m a Leo by birth, and I wonder if my affinity to all things cats is a family trait. The lively, fiery disposition attributed to Sparks has also been true of me. The green and gold checkered background both suggest the country—Scotland—but also qualities of generosity, elevation of mind, hope. 68
I bet everyone’s family flag holds similar interesting revelations. 9
What about the Christian flag? When I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the Bible, I declare my loyalty to “one Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe,” as well as “God’s Holy Word. I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path and will hide its words in my heart that I might not sin against God.” 72
Combined, they speak to me not of patriotism, but of my core values. I am daughter of the king, my birthright through my Savior, and that brings liberty to me, and to those around me. 35
Let’s take a few moments this month to think about the flags that represent our past, our present, and our future heritage. 22 193


Thursday, May 9 was a typical morning for Lt. Joshua Manion with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. He was asleep in his bed at Fire Station 22 when he briefly woke up at around 3 o’clock in the morning. He says he looked at the clock and decided it was too early to get up, so he went back to sleep. When he woke up again at 6 a.m. – something had changed.
“I was dizzy,” remembers Manion. “I thought I must have gotten out of bed too fast, so I sat back down. But each time I tried to get back up again, I would lose my balance.”
Manion only had an hour left on duty. He thought whatever he was experiencing would wear off if he just kept moving. He managed to make his bed but felt uncharacteristically uncoordinated on his left side. “I was walking like someone who was intoxicated – and then I became violently ill.”
Manion has been on numerous medical calls as a fire-fighter and has encountered many people exhibiting stroke symptoms, but he says his symptoms were different. “I didn’t have the typical facial droop, slurred speech or weak arms, so even with all my training, I never suspected I was having a stroke.”
Thankfully Lt. Clay Evans, a firefighter paramedic at Fire Station 22, did suspect it was a stroke. He and Major Milton Blackburn rushed Manion to INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center. The quick-thinking actions of these firefighters quite possibly saved the life of one of their own.
“Joshua suffered a posterior circulation stroke in the cerebellum of his brain. This area is responsible for balance and the coordination of muscle activity,” says Ashish Masih, M.D., a vascular neurologist at INTEGRIS. “There are varying outcomes for this type of stroke from slight uncoordinated movements, to coma, to even death. Joshua is remarkably lucky that his fellow firefighters were able to recognize the atypical signs of this type of stroke and to act as quickly as they did.”
Manuel Fortes, M.D., an interventional neuroradiologist with INTEGRIS, performed an endovascular thrombectomy on Manion to remove the clot that was blocking blood flow to his brain. “NIHSS stands for National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale,” explains Fortes. “It is a way to objectively score stroke symptoms, ranging from a score of 0 to 42. We’re happy to say Joshua has a score of zero, meaning he has little to no deficits as a result of his stroke.” The official cause of his stroke is unknown at this time. He will undergo more testing and will be closely monitored. He hopes his story will serve as a reminder that strokes can happen to anyone at any time. “I’m only 42 years old. I don’t smoke, I’m active and seemingly healthy,” says Manion. “In my sixteen years with the Oklahoma City Fire Department I’ve never taken one sick day. If a stroke can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.”
Manion encourages everyone to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke. He says even though his symptoms were a little different, it’s still good information to know – and may even save a life.
Manion is anxious to return to work and admits he doesn’t like being on the receiving end of a rescue. “I’m not used to people doing things for me. I’d much rather be on the other end for sure. But I think seeing things from the ‘patient perspective’ may actually help me become an even better firefighter.”


Join the Oklahoma History Center for Okietales, a storytelling and craft time for children ages five to nine, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. each Wednesday in June and July, except July 3. Kids will listen to a story about Oklahoma, then make a related craft. The cost for Okietales is $4 for nonmembers and $2 for members.
Sarah Dumas, director of education at the Oklahoma History Center, described this program as a reading and storytelling time that explores different topics of Oklahoma history. “The storyteller incorporates a literary work to broaden the child’s understanding of a particular period of history. This program has been extremely effective in entertaining the kids and teaching them the basic history of Oklahoma,” said Dumas.
Dates for Okietales are June 5, 12, 19, and 26 and July 10, 17, 24 and 31. The program will take place in the Oklahoma History Center Museum Store. For more information contact the Oklahoma History Center Education Department at education@okhistory.org or call Carrie Fox at 405-522-0791.
The Oklahoma History Center, is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.


The Oklahoma Legislature has created a new, 21-member Oklahoma Route 66 Centennial Commission to plan, coordinate and implement a statewide effort celebrating the 100th anniversary of Historic Route 66. Governor Kevin Stitt signed the bill on April 30, 2019.
Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who will serve as chairman of the commission, sees the effort in terms of economic development, historic preservation and marketing.
“Through the efforts of this commission, we have a unique opportunity to pull together all of the private and public assets that have made Route 66 an iconic destination for travelers from around the world,” said Pinnell. “We have the historic buildings, attractions and roadbed. We have dedicated community leaders who recognize the significance of the route. By working together, we can add value to all of those assets.” Route 66 was officially created by federal designation on November 11, 1926, which gives the commission a little more than seven years to build momentum for the centennial celebration.
The Oklahoma Historical Society will provide support services for the commission.
“My goal is to have a kick-off symposium for all stakeholders on Dec. 3 and 4, 2019,” said Pinnell. “We will gather people from across the state to identify attractions, set goals and develop a work plan.”
The symposium will be hosted at the Oklahoma History Center in the Capitol Complex in Oklahoma City.
As stipulated in the authorizing legislation, the master plan will include suggestions for exhibits, programs and events focused on Route 66; a greater awareness of the highway’s cultural impact through popular culture; and opportunities to combine private investment and public policy to encourage further preservation of assets along the route.
For more information about the Oklahoma Route 66 Centennial Commission, call Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, at 405-522-5202.



On Wednesday, June 19, from 1 to 3 p.m., the Oklahoma Historical Society will present a genealogy program entitled “Locating Early Oklahoma and Indian Territory Death Records.” Genealogist Mahlon Erickson will share information about death records and resources pertaining to early Oklahoma, Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory.
Researching deaths in early-day Oklahoma can be difficult, as official death records were not consistently kept until 1920. Erickson has compiled an extensive database with more than 600,000 entries for deaths found in sources including newspapers, cemeteries, county histories, census records, American Indian records and many more. This presentation will delve into these sources for early Oklahoma deaths and help researchers understand where to find and how to use these materials.
This program is $5 for Oklahoma Historical Society members and $10 for nonmembers. We ask that you register in advance by calling the Research Center at 405-522-5225. This program will be held in the Clark and Kay Musser Learning Lab, which is located inside the Research Center on the first floor of the Oklahoma History Center. The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.
The Research Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


Dear Savvy Senior,

As a teacher for 20 years, I receive a pension from a school system that did not withhold Social Security taxes from my pay. After teaching, I’ve been working for a small company where I do pay Social Security taxes. Now, approaching age 65, I would like to retire and apply for my Social Security benefits. But I’ve been told that my teacher’s pension may cause me to lose some of my Social Security. Is that true?

Ready to Retire

Dear Ready,
Yes, it’s true. It’s very likely that your Social Security retirement benefits will be reduced under the terms of a government rule called the Windfall Elimination Provision (or WEP).
The WEP affects people who receive pensions from jobs in which they were not required to pay Social Security taxes Ð for example, police officers, firefighters, teachers and state and local government workers whose employers were not part of the national Social Security system. People who worked for nonprofit or religious organizations before 1984 may also be outside the system.
Many of these people, like you, are also eligible for Social Security retirement or disability benefits based on other work they did over the course of their career for which Social Security taxes were paid.
Because of your teacher’s pension, Social Security will use a special formula to calculate your retirement benefits, reducing them compared to what you’d otherwise get.
How much they’ll be reduced depends on your work history. But one rule that generally applies is that your Social Security retirement benefits cannot be cut by more than half the size of your pension. And the WEP does not apply to survivor benefits. If you’re married and die, your dependents can get a full Social Security payment, unless your spouse has earned his or her own government pension for which they didn’t pay Social Security taxes. If that’s the case, Social Security has another rule known as the Government Pension Offset (or GPO) that affects spouses or widows/widowers benefits.
Under the GPO, spousal and survivor benefits will be cut by two-thirds of the amount of their pension. And if their pension is large enough, their Social Security spousal or survivor benefits will be zero.
There are a few exceptions to these rules most of which are based on when you entered the Social Security workforce.
Why Do These Rules Exist?
According to the Social Security Administration, the reason Congress created the WEP (in 1983) and GPO (in 1977) was to create a more equitable system. People who get both a pension from non-Social Security work and benefits from Social Security-covered work get an unfair windfall due to the formula of how benefit amounts are calculated.
These rules ensure that government employees who don’t pay Social Security taxes would end up with roughly the same income as people who work in the private sector and do pay them.
For more information on the WEP visit SSA.gov/planners/retire/wep.html, where you’ll also find a link to their WEP online calculator to help you figure out how much your Social Security benefits may be reduced. And for more information on GPO, including a GPO calculator, see SSA.gov/planners/retire/gpo.html.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

The Social Security Administration today announced the most popular baby names in Oklahoma for 2018. Liam and Emma topped the list.
The top five boys and girls names for 2018 in Oklahoma were: Boys: 1. Liam 2. Noah 3. William 4. Oliver and 5. Elijah
Girls Names were: 1. Emma 2. Olivia 3. Ava 4. Isabella and 5. Harper.
Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced last week that Liam and Emma were the most popular baby names in the U.S. How does Oklahoma compare to the rest of the country? Check out Social Security’s website — www.socialsecurity.gov– to see the top national baby names for 2018.
Acting Commissioner Berryhill encourages everyone to enjoy the baby names list and create a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. my Social Security is a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing while receiving Social Security benefits.
Social Security beneficiaries can have instant access to their benefit verification letter, payment history, and complete earnings record by establishing a my Social Security account. Beneficiaries also can change their address, start or change direct deposit information, and print a replacement SSA-1099 online. People receiving benefits can request a replacement Medicare card online.
People age 18 and older who are not receiving benefits can also sign up for a my Social Security account to get their personalized online Social Security Statement. The online Statement provides workers with secure and convenient access to their Social Security earnings and benefit information, and estimates of future benefits they can use to plan for their retirement.
The agency began compiling the baby name list in 1997, with names dating back to 1880. At the time of a child’s birth, parents supply the name to the agency when applying for a child’s Social Security card, thus making Social Security America’s source for the most popular baby names.
In addition to each state’s top baby names (and names for U.S. territories), Social Security’s website has a list of the 1,000 most popular boys and girls names for 2018.
To read about the winners for the biggest jump in popularity and to see how pop culture affects baby names, go to: www.socialsecurity.gov/news/press/releases/.
The agency is proud to announce Instagram as its newborn social media channel. The new addition arrived in April and will share information and resources that can help you and your loved ones.

Arcadia Trails, a 40-bed facility opened May 28th, is Oklahoma’s newest and most advanced residential drug and alcohol treatment center, situated among the rolling hills and oak forests between Lake Arcadia and Edmond on the medical campus of INTEGRIS Health Edmond.
Arcadia Trails is an intensive residential treatment center, and the first of its kind in Oklahoma, which means Oklahomans can be treated close to home. Studies show close-to-home treatment enhances aftercare and access to family support, which can be vital for continued recovery. Addiction, which is the number one cause of death in Oklahomans ages 25 to 64, is holistically addressed at Arcadia Trails, along with its co-occurring and compounding issues – mental illness and trauma – while incorporating the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The evidence-based treatments at Arcadia Trails comprise one of the most comprehensive addiction programs the region has seen. It begins with thorough, in-depth medical and psychological evaluations that inform the development of an individualized, integrated, intentional treatment plan for each patient.
The program also includes medication-assisted treatment when appropriate, overseen by Dr. Kimberlee Wilson, who is the Arcadia Trails addiction psychiatrist and medical director. Though the program is built on the medical model of addiction as a disease, Arcadia Trails also offers varied spiritual paths as well as an integrated family program and comprehensive aftercare planning.
To learn more, please visit the Arcadia Trails website.

by Ron Hendricks

May was better Speech & Hearing month. What did you do to preserve or improve your hearing in May? Your Central Oklahoma Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America (COC HLAA) encourages you to protect your valuable hearing by getting a hearing test — many Audiologists offer it for free. You should contact local public venues that are too loud and ask for the volume to be reduced and support businesses who offer quietness. Encourage public places where people gather to install a hearing loop so those who wear a hearing aid or Cochlear implant can hear too. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 and most public places here in Oklahoma still don’t offer hearing assistance as required by the ADA. When you have the opportunity, let them know you disapprove and encourage them to comply with the law.
COC HLAA offers meetings, free and open to the public, that are captioned so you can see as well as hear what is being said. Meetings that are fun and informative, educational & inspirational, and offer discussions about the law, the latest technology, and where you might even get a snack! Maybe you require a different kind of support… COC HLAA offers it: Scholarships to students attending higher education. Oklahoma Loop Initiative by offering seed money to assist with the instillation of hearing loops in gathering places. The Hearing Helpers Room where one can receive information about and test a myriad of assistive listening devices.?? And even a contest for a hearing aid complete with Audiologist’s supporting visits. Visit the website for more details, WWW.OKCHearingLoss.org.
If you have hearing loss or know of others who are struggling to hear normal conversations; someone who complains that you mumble or don’t speak plainly enough; a person who works in a noisy environment; a returning veteran; you are invited. Come check out the local chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America. There is no membership fee, only free information, self advocacy, fun & friendship and knowledge of how to open the hearing world to your full enjoyment.