Recent Articles

University of Oklahoma Launches ‘OU Online’

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NORMAN, Ok: The University of Oklahoma announced today the launch of OU Online, a central division that will deliver the university’s online graduate degree programs, expanding OU’s ability to reach students in Oklahoma and beyond. Designed for adult learners seeking career advancement, OU Online’s programs offer specialized graduate degrees in a variety of professional fields. Of the initial 33 online graduate programs being offered through OU Online, six are new programs launching this fall. “The University of Oklahoma has a strong tradition of serving learners across the globe through a number of highly acclaimed online graduate degree programs,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “By uniting our efforts through OU Online, we can provide a more accessible path to world-class learning at the graduate level. We see online education as a true fulfillment of our purpose as a public research university – to develop strategic educational opportunities that benefit a more diverse segment of students and foster economic growth for our state.” Continue Reading →

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TEXAS Extended Campus Launches New Graphic Design Certificate Program

AUSTIN, TX- The TEXAS Extended Campus (TEC) at The University of Texas at Austin is excited to announce the debut of their Graphic Design Certificate Program. Beginning Aug. 26, this 12-week online course prepares students to begin a new career as a graphic designer. The program also enhances the skills of those who hold other creative roles in their organization. Prospective students may attend an online information session on July 8, 2020, or Aug. Continue Reading →

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Liberty-Eylau Pitcher Signs with Goshen College

Ben Witterstaetter signs commitment to Goshen College

Ben is joined by his family and coaches for this Liberty-Eylau released signing picture

Texarkana, TX: Ben Witterstaetter has signed a letter of intent and acceptance to attend Goshen College. Ben is currently a senior pitcher for the Liberty-Eylau baseball team. He is being recruited to play baseball for Goshen. Goshen College is located in Indiana and is a private liberal arts college. The college has been ranked number one in Indiana by Washington Monthly. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas House of Rep Update 5-19-2020: Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship

A few weeks ago, we reminded Arkansans of the upcoming deadline for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship. This week, we received word that the deadline has been extended to August 1. Unlike in prior years, students who are already receiving the scholarship, have a sufficient number of hours, and have earned satisfactory academic progress before March 27 are automatically eligible for the scholarship for the 2020 fall semester. 

Traditional students must score at least 19 on the ACT to qualify for the scholarship. The latest ACT score accepted by Arkansas Department of Higher Education will be from the July testing. Students who have yet to achieve a score of 19 on the ACT may take the Accuplacer test remotely as a substitute. 

Meanwhile, we want to remind Arkansans of another valuable scholarship funded by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. Continue Reading →

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Ethan Lum selected as a winner in the 2020 Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship Contest

AUSTIN –Ethan Lum, a recent graduate of James Bowie High School in Simms, has been selected as a winner in the 2020 Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship Contest. Lum was awarded a $1,500 college scholarship that he will apply toward his studies in fisheries and wildlife conservation biology at Arkansas Tech University. 

The Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship Contest is presented annually in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful and recognizes the achievements of Texas high school seniors who demonstrate a leadership role in preventing litter in their schools and communities while building awareness of the Don’t mess with Texas litter-prevention campaign. A total of $13,500 in scholarships was awarded to four high school seniors. The 2020 scholarships were sponsored by iHeartMedia, Buc-ee’s, the Houston Astros Foundation and San Antonio Spurs Sports & Entertainment. 

Ethan’s passion for the outdoors led him to build three monofilament receptacles, after attending a Texas Coastal Brigade Camp. After learning monofilament materials are polluting waterways and harming fish and other wildlife, he built the receptacles and  worked to register them with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Corps of Engineers. He then partnered with a Texas Park Ranger to place them at Wright Patman Lake, which spans Bowie and Cass counties. Continue Reading →

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Arkansas High ROTC Program Raising Funds for 75th Anniversary D-Day Project

The Arkansas High AFJROTC (Air Force Junior ROTC) is busy once again with the new school year and a new project.  The ROTC group plans to create a Diorama of the World War 2 D-Day Normandy Beach Landing.  The class instructor, MSgt. Douglas McLane, USAF Ret., is planning the project as an educational tool and a 75th Anniversary event for the history of the landing.  The project will take a little over $1,120 to complete but will benefit not only the ROTC program at Arkansas High but all students at the school and beyond.   (Donate)

The ROTC program has a long history at Arkansas High dating
back to its establishment on September 1, 1967. 
The program is designated as AR-022 which notes that it was the 22nd
program of its kind put in place.  The
agreement between Arkansas High and the United States Air Force has allowed
several retired Air Force to serve as instructors and mentors for young people
since the founding in 1967.  Like many instructors,
MSgt. McLane was not looking for a job when he saw the advertisement for the
position.  Intrigued, he called to find
out that there were no applicants for the position which indicated to him that
this might be a calling.  McLane answered
the call of service once again.   Work started
to build on the program to help enhance the lives of those in the ROTC

Unit patch

In 2019, the program won the Outstanding Unit of the Year Award with Merit.  This was the first time the program has ever won the award.  In 2018, the unit attended the Drill and Fitness Competition along with 14 other units.  Arkansas High’s united won several awards at the event including 2nd Place Unarmed Drill Exhibition, 2nd Place Armed Tandem Exhibition, and 2nd Place Uniform Inspection.  The unit then brought home the 1st Place in the Individual Female Fitness Award. Before 2019, and in recent years, the unit has had several successful competitions and recognition that include:

2nd Place Unarmed Regulation Drill 20173rd Place Armed Regulation Drill 2017Recognized at the LA Tech’s Veteran Ceremony at Bulldog Stadium before the game with Rice UniversityWon Outstanding Civic Marching Group in the Veterans Day Parade 2018Won Outstanding marching Group in the Veterans Day Parade 2018Outstanding Color Guard Unit at the Live United Bowl for 2016, 2017 and 2018

With so much success and promise coming from the program,
Instructor MSgt. McLane is now reaching for more for the unit with the D-Day
Project.  Ultimately, any major project
like McLane has developed will need funds. 
The unit has created an online web page where community members,
business leaders, retired military, and anyone with interest in helping this
unit can donate specifically for the project.  
The project is described in detail on the page:

“The students will learn about the historical event of D-Day and the importance of the major military operation during World War 2. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Ratcliffe honors military academy appointees at inaugural recognition ceremony

Including Texas High School’s Hannah Klein

Hannah Klein with Rep. Ratcliffe and her family

WASHINGTON – Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) honored this year’s class of military appointees from the 4th Congressional District of Texas this weekend at an inaugural recognition ceremony held in Farmersville. 

“I was pleased for the opportunity to personally congratulate this year’s class of military academy appointees and thank them for their commitment to serving our country at our inaugural recognition ceremony for the 4th District of Texas,” Ratcliffe said. “Being appointed to attend a military academy is a distinct honor, and we’ve got an extremely impressive group of students in this year’s class. I’m confident that these young leaders will go on to achieve great accomplishments both in their college careers and beyond that will make Northeast Texas very proud.”

This year’s appointees include:

Baley Brown from Denison High School – U.S. Air Force AcademyCameron Fallon from Denison High School – U.S. Merchant Marine AcademyWilliam (Forrest) Harbin from Rockwall High School – U.S. Air Force AcademyPreston Horowitz from Whitewright (homeschooled) – U.S. Merchant Marine AcademyHannah Klein from Texas High School – U.S. Naval AcademyMichael (Bijan) Nichols from Rockwall-Heath High School – US Naval AcademyDavid Reichert from Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas – U.S. Naval AcademyNicholas Reid from Anna High School – U.S. Air Force Academy (Not Pictured)Aaron Cory from Rockwall High School – United States Military Academy West Point (Not Pictured)Ford Blaylock from USMA Preparatory High School – United States Military Academy West Point (Not Pictured)Carter Pearce from Anna (homeschooled) – U.S. Air Force Academy

Left to Right: Hannah Klein, Bijan Nichols, Forrest Harbin, Sam Mosby, Rep. John Ratcliffe, Cameron Fallon, Preston Horowitz, David Reichert, and Baley Brown

Each year, Members of Congress nominate graduating high school seniors from their congressional districts to attend one of our nation’s prestigious military academies. Nominees are evaluated by the academies they apply to based on a “whole person” approach, which assesses academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character, and motivation as factors for admission. 

Due to the high influx of applicants and low number of spots available each school year, receiving an appointment to attend a military academy is a prestigious honor worthy of national recognition. 
Continue Reading →

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Bullying Reported at Local School District

Local Bikers prepare to ride against bullying at Liberty Eylau School District

Bullying is a word no parent wants to hear or even think about when it comes to their own child’s safety.  School districts around the area have added policies to address bullying, cracked down on it, and even had the training to help promote “anti-bullying” agendas.  Despite the progress by many schools, the parents of some students in the Liberty Eylau School District feel that enough is not being done in the district. 

At this time three parents have come forward and contacted the Four States News with complaints about the Liberty Eylau schools.  One parent has pointed out that bullying of her daughter has been going on for well over three school years now with no real action from the district.  Another parent indicated that bullying has progressed from verbal threats of violence and even sexual threats to acts of violence and sexual assault.  There is a police report being investigated at this time. 

One parent stated that much of the bullying has now progressed into assault and even sexual assault for her daughter.  She has reported this to campus police, and there is an investigation going according to the parent, but no action or corrective action has been taken as of this date.  This parent stated that since she has reported the incidents, she has now learned there are other parents with the same problems for their children.  The parent said that “we are banding together to make a statement and to not let our daughters’ voices be left unheard.”  Based on her initial discussions, she feels the problem is district-wide, and while her daughter’s incident occurred at the middle school, she has been notified of issues in other schools within the district as well.  The parent said it was not okay for these students to continue in mainstream school while her daughter and others live in fear of being bullied daily.  

Last Friday several local bikers including members of the
Texarkana Fallen Bikers Memorial Wall and others joined together to escort the
children to school in an effort to promote “Stomp Out Bullying” at Liberty Eylau
and make a positive impact.  The bullying
has allegedly affected not only young girls in the district but also many of
the young boys in the schools.   After
the escort last Friday morning, one parent attempted to escort her child into
the school and was denied access.  When
she questioned why she could not enter the school to help her child feel
comfortable, she was told that only her child could enter.  The parent stated that no other reasons were
provided for why they could not enter the school and they only stated that
“no adults would enter the school.” 
Options such as signing in at the office and visiting her child’s
classroom were not offered.  When the
parent asked about eating breakfast or lunch with her child, it was denied as
well despite those options being part of the daily options for parents in the
district. Overall the parents are merely asking the officials at the Liberty Eylau school district to address the problem of bullying at the schools.  They feel that they have brought it to the district’s attention and at this time the district has done nothing to address their concerns.   They now think they have no choice except to reach to outside news sources, connect with other parents, and band together to address their concerns.   The Liberty Eylau Handbook states on page 38 that Bullying is prohibited by the district.  The handbook goes on to describe how the district will investigate and who may report bullying.  The handbook also notes that bullying may be reported on the district’s website and that it may be reported anonymously.   Anyone having knowledge of Bullying, assault, or sexual assault occurring on any Liberty Eylau campus is encouraged to contact the district and report it.   The district offers the online reporting at Liberty Eylau Website.   Those feeling their concerns are not adequately addressed, may reach out to other parents and local authorities. 
Continue Reading →

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Oklahoma Legislative Committees Advance Equal Opportunity Scholarship Expansions

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Committees in the Oklahoma House and Senate have passed two bills expanding the Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship program. The program currently offers tax credits to donors who give to non-profit organizations funding innovative learning opportunities in rural public schools, or that fund scholarships for students attending private school.Opportunity Scholarship donations support STEM and arts programs in rural public schools, such as Chickasha High School’s robotics team. In the private sector, schools like Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School and Crossover Preparatory Academy in Tulsa rely on Opportunity Scholarships to offer free or vastly discounted college-prep educations to underserved, inner-city communities.Although proven to be successful, the Opportunity Scholarship program’s growth has been hindered by a tax-credit cap. Currently, the state can only pay out $5 million in tax credits for donors. That limit has been reached for two years in a row, which has discouraged additional contributions.House Bill 2621, by Rep. Jon Echols, increases the tax credit cap to $60 million, and also allows larger school districts to benefit from programs supporting public schools. Continue Reading →

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