Community

1000 Points, a Lawsuit and Farmers Market(s)

Most weeks are busy, but it seemed like the one we just ended was exceptionally wild. At Luther Public Schools, there was a snow day amidst many other activities. Samantha Pearson was named Teacher of the Year at Luther Elementary. Voted on by her peers, Pearson is a fourth grade teacher.

Samantha Pearson is Luther Elementary’s Teacher of the Year

The boys varsity basketball team had to win three times this weekend to get a ticket to the State 2A basketball tournament. They won Thursday (against Wellston) and Friday (against Pioneer), but they lost Saturday night to Hooker in a heart-stopping buzzer-beater. They lost by two points. That bucket ended the high school basketball careers of Seniors Syrus Grisby and Luke Mohr. Grisby, the dunking team leader who tossed in 1500 points over his high school career will be on the hunt for his next court to play on, considering offers and options. Mohr is headed to OSU. We’ll miss watching them play.

Tyler Becker has scored 1,000 points in his high school basketball career. He’ll return as a senior next season.

Amongst the excitement of the weekend, junior Tyler Becker hit a mile marker in his high school basketball career. He hit the 1,000 score mark. He’ll be back next year.

Coach Matt Jones said the guys should keep their head held high.

In Area play, the girls lost one game and won one and that was enough to earn their bid to State. They play at 3:30 pm on Thursday at Yukon High School in the opening round of the 2019 2A OSSAA State Tournament. When was the last time Luther went this far in the basketball tournament? 1960.

Town News

The Town got sued this week. It was over a zoning variance issue concerning medical marijuana on land zoned agricultural. The Town says the state defines medical marijuana growers as “commercial” businesses. The lawsuit says the Town can’t tell it what to do with their state-approved license to grow, even though its ag land. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority does not involve itself in zoning issues at the local level, an OMMA spokesperson told The Luther Register this week. The lawsuit also maintains the Board of Trustees was wrong to act as the Planning Commission and deny them in the first place. They might have a point there.

The Town of Luther Brought back its Planning Commission, dormant since 2017, and established a Board of Adjustment appeals board. They did that in meetings in February. The Board of Adjustment will get to work on Monday night and hear a variance appeal over moving in a manufactured home on ag land. 

Farmers Markets

Grand Champion
Lt. Gov Matt Pinnell and Luther Pecan Festival Cook-Off Grand Champion Pete Newsom (from The Chicken Shack).

A bunch of Luther folks, including me, met up in Edmond at the state Farmer’s Market conference, forcing ourselves to take a day away from our regular routines and obligations. Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell kicked off the event Thursday morning, and gave a shout out to Luther in his opening remarks in talking about small town tourism and the success of the Luther Pecan Festival. 

Oklahoma Agritourism tour shoppers at Rustic Farm in Luther.
Saying Goodbye after the Oklahoma Agritourism stop in Luther.
The group had lunch at 116 Farmstead Market & Table.

Breakout sessions and lectures at the conference ranged from growing methods for fruits and vegetables, how to make money, how to market, how to design your booth, how to grow alpacas, how to do hydroponics and hoop house growing, and how to enjoy everything you do.

The lunch speaker, Josh Harden is a fifth-generation fruit, vegetable and nut farmer from Arkansas who has been on the Farmer’s Market circuit since he was a teenager. He said farmers who sell in markets are not competing against each other. He said the real competition is WalMart and other grocers who see the appeal and success of local fresh food and try to copy it with their big budgets and store displays. How many times do you see the words “fresh, local and organic” in the grocery store? he asked.

Harden said the best farmer’s markets are the ones in an empty lot, with bright tents, where neighbors gather, share stories and welcome the city folks who come hunting for what we have grown or made with our hands and passion.

Last Friday, a group from the conference went on an AgriTourism Rolling Workshop. They visited Parkhurst Pumpkins in Arcadia, and Just Right Alpacas in Jones. Then the bus came to Luther. The group of 50 shopped on Luther’s Main Street and had lunch at 116 Farmstead Market & Table, before heading to their last stop at Tres Suenos Winery and Vineyard north of Luther.

Plans are underway to open a Farmer’s Market in Luther in April.

Superior, Excellent and a “D” Grade

The Luther Middle School and High School Bands did very well at Solo & Ensemble on Saturday, with many musicians earning bids to go to state. Congratulations.

Finally, the State Department of Education revamped its state report card system. It took more than two years. They finally released the new results on Thursday but the results were not better for Luther, actually the overall letter grades are worse than the last statewide assessment in 2016. However, the identifying data about the school district is wrong, with incorrect names of administrators for the 2017-2018 school years. The OSDE new overall grades are Elementary – C; Middle School – C, and High School – D. Superintendent Barry Gunn will meet with The Luther Register Monday to pour over the data and provide some insight and commentary.  You can look over the data and look at other districts here. 

dawnshelton

Every town needs news. The Luther Register is part of a growing movement of local, independent, online news that shines an informative light in our communities. Readers can support the work through one-time or monthly donations, advertising to directly reach an audience, sponsorships and also through participating in our events, such as the annual Luther Pecan Festival held in November. #lutherlocal #localnews

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