Friday. Sept. 4, 2015

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Transcript of Friday. Sept. 4, 2015

  • O C O L L Y . C O Mseptember 4, 2015

    T H E O C O L L Y


    The Stillwater Ukulele association has made spreading joy in payne County its mission, one ukulele at a time.

    Football team opens season with win, page 5


    Stillwater woman makes teaching ukulele her mission

    Kami Koontz was browsing a flea market in Nashville when her friend encouraged her to buy a ukulele because it looked cute.Koontz bought the

    ukulele on impulse. Shes glad she did. It led her to hours of

    self-teaching, a new passion and eventually a ukulele movement in Still-water.Koontz, founder of the

    Stillwater Ukulele As-sociation, has made Payne County her mission field and her message: spread the joy of playing the ukulele.I know even if I left

    today, I left a legacy, Koontz said. Koontzs path to em-

    bracing the ukulele started

    with a change in perspec-tive.She was diagnosed with

    stage 3B breast cancer in January 2011 and con-tinued treatment through 2012, when she finally became a breast cancer survivor. It changed my attitude

    towards life, Koontz said. I realized I am going to live life to the full-est whatever I have left, whether it be one year or 40 years. The association started

    as a group of ukulele lovers who were tired of making the hour-long trip to Tulsa or Oklahoma City to participate in a ukulele jam session. Koontz connected

    with Blayne Mayfield, an Oklahoma State computer science professor and fel-low ukulele lover. A little more than a

    year ago, the Stillwater Ukulele Association was established, and since, the number of members has steadily grown.There were only three

    of us at the first meeting, Mayfield said. Now, the group sees

    more than 20 players per session.With the growing num-

    bers, the group has taken the opportunity to give

    back to the com-munity. Daddy Os Music Co., the groups corporate spon-sor, has

    donated ukuleles to Stillwater Public Schools and encouraged the group to match the donation and even exceed it, Koontz said. Dedication of the mem-

    bers, hours of fundrais-ing and the generosity of others has allowed the group to donate ukuleles to small schools covering Payne County, such as Westwood and Richmond elementary schools. The group plans on donating another 100 this fall, she said.Schools such as Perkins

    and Cushing have written grant proposals to match the groups donations and were able to get them ap-proved, going from zero ukuleles to 23, Koontz said. These ukuleles are being used in both the

    classrooms and after-school programs. Hoping to reach even

    more people, the group prides itself on being free.We even bring ukule-

    les for people to borrow, Koontz said. For college kids, money

    is often tight, and any or-ganization that advertises the word free is sure to spark some interest, es-pecially when it involves something as beneficial as learning a new instru-ment. At a typical meeting,

    each attendee is handed a list of songs from a va-riety of genres, including 20s swing and current radio hits.The assortment guaran-

    tees that everyone enjoys at least one song, Koontz said.

    Members play through the songs, and the more experienced members give tips to newbies. The goal is to keep it a

    no-pressure zone. Its good stress relief,

    Koontz said I call it my music therapy.More students came

    during dead week and fi-nals week than during the rest of the year, Koontz said.Leanna Elkins, a

    management information systems junior, has been playing the ukulele since she was 17. Elkins, 21, said she

    spent hours teaching herself how to play and encourages anyone whos interested in learning to get involved with the as-sociation. I think it would be a

    good way to get started, Elkins said. When I started, I basically just had to teach myself because I didnt have an option to do anything like that. It forces you to practice. The group has players

    whose ages range from 6 to 80. Both beginners and veterans are encouraged to attend. The group holds ses-

    sions the first and third Tuesday of the month. Details about time and place are posted weekly on the Stillwater Ukulele Associations Facebook page and at We are making the

    world a better place, one ukulele at a time, Koontz said.

    h a y l e eW h i t l o c k

    @ o c o l ly

    Staff reporter

    Hunter Hutchens/OCOLLY

    Kami Koontz bought her first ukulele in 2013 and has played it since. About one year ago, she started the Stillwater Ukulele Association, which holds jam sessions and has donated ukuleles to schools in Payne County.

    I know even if I

    left today, I left a legacy.Kami Koontz


    Coffee on the go coming to Stillwater

    Rumors of a drive-thru Aspen Coffee Company have been circling campus for weeks. Kelly Lyda, Aspen Cof-

    fee owner, confirmed the rumors.We will be opening in a

    few months with all of the customer favorites on the menu, Lyda said. While the menu is still

    pending, there are a few

    items certain to be on the list, including the Granita, Aspens famous coffee-flavored frozen treat. Aspen Coffee has three

    locations throughout Still-water. The drive-thru will be at Duck Street and Maple Avenue where Quench Buds used to be, Lyda said. The opening date has not

    been decided. The drive-thru Aspen un-

    derwent construction about a month ago and should be done in a few more, said Hannah Fleshman, an employee at the Aspen on Perkins Road. The outside design will

    look like a log cabin, sur-rounded by a patio. You will be able to drive up to two different windows, but you can walk up to one window.

    The hope of creating an easier way to access locally brewed coffee spurred the idea of a drive-thru, Lyda said.We will not be sacrificing

    time for quality, Lyda said. Our customer satisfaction is important to us.Accounting freshman

    Jessica Henson said the addition of another coffee venue close to campus might make the wait for coffee a bit shorter. The lines for coffee in the

    morning can be ridiculous, Henson said. Everyone has to have their morning coffee.The company has been

    searching for real estate near campus, but space is limited because of existing busi-nesses and restaurants, Lyda

    said.Im glad Aspen found

    a spot near campus, said Savannah Donica, an Aspen barista. People are always wanting coffee in-between classes.Lyda said the drive-thru

    will not only be conve-nient for students, but also families. We want to make Aspen a place for college kids to get coffee, but also a place for families to go as well, he said. But its not always easy to get out of your car with kids. Those interested in work-

    ing at the Aspen drive-thru can fill out an application inside the Aspen on Perkins Road.

    C a r l i e H a s t y

    @ o c o l ly

    Staff reporter

    Zack Furman/OCOLLYAspen Coffee Company has three locations in Stillwater, and a fourth is on the way. The new Aspen will be a


    Sniffles and sobs filled the Payne County Courthouse Wednesday morning as a Stillwater man pleaded guilty to the murder of a high school friend. Isaiah Zoar Marin, 22,

    was charged with first-degree murder Oct. 30 after he nearly beheaded Jacob Andrew Crockett at a Stillwater residence. I took the life of Jacob

    Crockett intentionally by stabbing him to death, Marin told Special Judge Phillip Corley on Wednes-day.

    Marin appeared before the court from the Payne County Jail with attorneys Peter Astor and Adam Haselgren, who stipu-lated that, according to an Oklahoma Forensic Center psychological evaluation, Marin was competent to participate in court pro-ceedings. Marin was deemed not

    competent to stand trial in April and objected to that evaluation at his June 1 court hearing.Many of Crocketts

    friends and family attend-ed the hearing, and his immediate family mem-bers addressed the court, expressing how Marins actions had personally af-fected them. Ben Crockett, an Okla-

    homa Highway Patrol lieutenant and Crocketts father, spoke first. This tragedy has

    absolutely ripped all of our hearts out, Ben said. Nothing will ever ease that pain or loss.Ben reminisced about

    the good times he had with his son and how he missed hearing Crocketts hearty laugh.Jacob, our sweet child,

    he was so easy to love, Ben said. None of us will ever be the same. We will forever cherish the 19

    years and three months we had with him.Ben said his twin boys,

    Jacob and Jesse, had been friends with Marin since high school.Ben asked Marin how

    he committed such a hor-rible crime against his friend.They loved you, and

    they trusted you, Ben said. You are a cow-ard. He never even had a chance. We feel your life should be over.Ben ended his emotion-

    al testimonial with more harsh words for Marin. He told Marin that if and when he sees the gates of heaven, Jacob will be

    there waiting for him with a loving smile on his face. You damn dont de-

    serve that, he said.Crocketts mother, Ky,

    spoke of the pain the loss of her son has caused her over the last 10 months.The pain and heartache

    is simply unbearable, Ky said. The hole in my heart is sometimes too big to fill.Ky also told of how

    kind and loving Crockett was, claiming he was the hands and feet of Christ.Jacob always had

    a smile for those who needed it, she said.Ky said Wednesday was

    a day of justic