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No. 7 MacArthur edges No. 3 Ardmore again Page 1C
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$ 1 . 2 5 1 1 8 t h Y e A r N o . 9 1 B r e A k i N g N e w s At A r d M o r e i t e . C o M A r d M o r e , o k l A h o M A
Beyond the robesArdmore resident answers questions
about spending time in the Middle EastBy Marsha [email protected]
Editors Note: In the Nov. 28 edition of The Ardmoreite, Beth Marshall, who with her husband, Jim, owns and operates a petro-leum engineering consulting firm in Ardmore, shared her story of traveling alone and working for more than a month in the Islamic country of Bahrain. At the time of the interview, Beth was prepar-ing to return to Bahrain, for the second stint of her consulting job. She promised when the job was over and she was home again she would answer reader questions about her adventure in the male dominated Muslim world. Here are her answers to your ques-tions.
: What was the biggest change in the perception you had of Bahrain before
you went there to work and now?A: At first, the robes (Muslim
attire) terrified me. The biggest change was getting beyond the robes. When I really started look-ing at people teenage girls giggling and texting on their cell phones; men and women doing ordinary, everyday things I re-alized these are just people like you and I.
Q: Did you buy an abaya (tra-ditional Muslin womans robe) as a memento? If you did buy a robe, did you ever wear it while you were in Bahrain?
A: Yes I did buy one. Abayas are handmade. I went to a shop and picked out the fabric I want-ed and the trim I wanted. Then they measured me, but were very careful not to actually touch me while theyre doing it. After that I was told to come back in an hour, which I did and it was ready.
And, yes, I did wear it one time, when I visited the Grand Mosque (the largest place of worship in Bahrain). I wore it because it is required. It was an awesome experience and while
I was there I found out that as long as I was accompanied by a Muslim woman, I could go into any mosque anywhere to pray because I am considered a Per-son of the Book. A Person of the Book is a Christian, Jew or Muslim, because all three faiths have the same Old Testament.
Q: Were you ever in a situation where you were confronted either because you were a woman or an American?
A: I was never directly con-fronted. Some men would act like they didnt understand me or know what I wanted, but if a man asked for the same thing they would get it. There was some chauvinism, but it was subtle.
Q: What kinds of questions did people ask you? Did the women want to know what it was like to be a woman in America or have other questions?
A: I was always asking the women (who worked at the oil firm) questions about their cul-ture and I could tell some of them really wanted to ask me things but they were afraid to approach me.
Above: In this photo taken by Beth Marshall, three Bahraini women walk along the street covered in abayas, a robe that covers the wearer from head to toe. Bottom left: Marshall in an abaya, after having one made for her.
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Fallins budgetcuts onthe table
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) If Oklahoma legislators elect to ignore Gov. Mary Fallins plan to shield ed-ucation, health care and public safety from deep cuts in next years bud-get, theyll have to develop their own ideas for dealing with an expected $600 mil-lion shortfall.
Fallin last week pre-sented her way of doing it consolidate state agen-cies and services, shift to a two-year system on car tags and issue bonds to pay for transportation and other projects but fiscal analysts fear all of her pro-jected cost savings wont add up. That would leave it to lawmakers to make even more drastic cuts in state programs decimated by two years of dwindling revenues.
Thats exactly what will have to occur, said Secre-tary of State Glenn Coffee, last years Senate president pro tem and now Fallins chief budget negotiator. Ei-ther the Legislature comes up with alternative propos-als, or there will have to be deeper cuts.
Oklahoma is facing an anticipated budget short-fall of $600 million for the upcoming fiscal year, and Fallin in her budget calcu-lated savings of more than $270 million by consolidat-ing information technology, or IT, services at state agen-cies, imposing a hard hiring freeze on IT positions and streamlining other state services like purchasing and electronic payments.
These proposals, com-bined with agency consoli-dations and other ideas, would let Oklahoma limit cuts to most agencies to about 5 percent, while holding cuts to education, health and public safety to around 3 percent, she said. The Department of Trans-portation would actually have its funding increased under Fallins plan.
City looksat auto watersystemBy Michael Pinedamichael.pineda @ardmoreite.com
LONE GROVE The past two winter storms have played havoc with the citys water wells. Twice, electrical failure shut down one of the wells.
That problem, as well as others, have the city look-ing into the possibility of going to an automated sys-tem that would allow it to monitor its water supply from a central location.
The city council has asked me to look into it, In-terim City M a n -ager Ian O N e a l said. In the long run, it would be beneficial to the city. You can control the water wells from the office and you can turn the wells on and off, moni-tor the water pressure and check the water levels in the towers. Its pretty ex-pensive and I have just be-gun to contact companies and look into it.
The city is once again moving forward with plans to build a water treatment plant that will cost millions of dollars. But the expense of an automated system would pay off in the long run, according to ONeal.
In one tower, we have to manually check if there is overflow and in another tower, the cable pulley sys-tem needs to be repaired because of damage in the last tornado that we had, he said.
Today, The Ardmoreite celebrates couples in hon-or of Valentines Day with our annual love stories submitted by readers. Sundays Lifestyles section contains photos and stories written by sweethearts of all ages.
We wanted to start out with a unique story of how love can overcome any obstacle. Following is the story of Richard and Anna Wilson. We hope you find it, and our other True Love Tales, inspiring.
Mr. and Mrs. Richard WilsonAs I entered the sixth-grade classroom at St.
Anns School in Midland, Texas, in the fall of 1955, I noticed a newcomer to the meeting of our Oblate Club at St. Anns Church. The club was for unmar-ried parishioners, and commonly called Father Kennedys Marriage Bureau, because so many members had dated and later married.
Our meeting had been moved from the cafete-ria, where there was plenty of room, to the grade-
school classroom. The newcomer was sprawled from the small desk, long legs extending out into the aisle, and he had a white-bowl pipe between his teeth.
True Love TalesBy Marsha [email protected]
Ardmore police have re-leased photos and a physi-cal description of the un-identified man who died Wednesday night as the re-sult of a self-inflicted gun-shot wound.
The photos were taken from security video cam-era footage just moments before the man entered a restroom at the Ardmore Walmart and shot himself. Police who responded to the report of a man with a gun-shot wound were unable to locate any documentation that would identify him.
Anna and Richard Wilson
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See man, 3A
Police stillseek identity
Ardmore police are seek-ing the publics help in identifying this man.