“Have I got news for you.”
Ever heard that phrase? Most of us either have said that, heard it, or done both during our lives. There’s always something we think is important enough to share with others and they with us.
A few years ago, when we established our “know it” communities we offered readers a chance to share news releases, alerts, recognitions and other information (including photos) by sending their items by email to any or all of the five sites:
Many groups and individuals have participated. You can see what they are sending by going to the reader-submitted area (upper right) of each community:
(Note: You can see all of them by going to: http://knowit.newsok.com/)
The instructions also advise that editors at The Oklahoman will consider items submitted for publication in the newspaper. That has happened.
But now, that has been enhanced by using a page, labeled News From You, each Saturday in the Local/State section of the newspaper.
We even include posted blog material.
So how can you get your information to us for consideration?
You can send to the communities, as mentioned above, by following the directions for emailing.
Or, you can send email to Metro reporters Vallery Brown (email@example.com), Matt Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jane Glenn Cannon in Norman (email@example.com), or Diana Baldwin in Edmond (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It’s your news to share and be shared.
Pardon my sniff. Sorry about the snort. It may annoy you, but it isn’t the most enjoyable thing for me either.
Since I was a boy (and that’s been a while), I’ve had to deal with allergies and a sinus condition. Not that it’s ever any fun, come this time of year, it’s downright unpleasant.
Yes, I’ve been to medical experts. Yes, I’ve been tested for allergic reactions. Yes, I’ve used an inhaler. Yes, I’ve taken other prescribed medicines. And, yes, I still have sniffles.
I try not to sniff, but it’s just all but impossible. I’ve been told that it’s as much habit as need to sniff. Doesn’t feel that way on my end of the sniff, I can tell you. It helps me breathe when the sinus and allergies kick in.
I try to limit the snorts as much as possible because they can be rather embarrassing if they occur at the wrong time. As in, loud. It’s not like a laugher’s snort. You’d just have to hear it to understand.
When I read that this is expected to be an extremely bad season for allergy sufferers, I just thought about those who have severe respiratory problems during this time. It’s most uncomfortable, and it can be dangerous.
Try holding your finger on one side of your nose and using only one nostril to breathe. After you do so, maybe you’ll appreciate the breathing problems those with allergies and other such situations face. And maybe my little sniffs (and snorts) will be more acceptable.
I promise I’ll try to limit them. Just bear with me. It’s not fun for me either.
To learn more about allergies and how to cope with them, read reports on NewsOK and in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/FLU-PNEUMONIA-ALLERGIES-OKLAHOMA.
Holidays and winter days are just around the corner, and now’s a good time to make those last-minute preparations for colder weather.
If you haven’t already, there are some key repairs you should make, the experts say. Such as:
* If you have a fireplace, have it cleaned and inspected. A chimney sweep can remove built-up soot and creosote, which can lead to a chimney fire.
* Check the mortar for gaps and chips.
* Use a cap or screen on the top of the chimney to keep out birds and small animals. Fireplace experts say you should inspect the fireplace damper to make sure it opens and closes properly.
* Buy or cut up firewood and store it in a dry place, preferably away from the home exterior., call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
* Have a professional inspect your furnace. Clean the ducts.
* Change the furnace filters. If possible, have extras on hand.
* A programmable thermostate can help regulate temperatures better and save you money.
* If you have a hot-water radiator, have the valves bled. This is done by slightly opening them, then, when water appears, close them.
* Make sure all flammable material is removed from around the furnace.
* Check all doors and windows leading to the outside. Look for cracks and exposed areas around pipes. Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
* Replace cracked glass.
* If you have a basement, check for any water or gas leakes. You might want to protect window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
* Clean out gutters an downspouts.
* If necessary, add extra insulation in your attic and any other location that will accept it. Also be sure to inspect the roof and the flashing to avoid leaks.
* Check your foundation and seal up or cover any spaces where small animals could get under the house.
* Drain all outside hoses and disconnect them from the faucet, then cover the faucet.
* Know where your water cutoff is located.
These are just some preparations you can make. Learn more by going to http://knowit.newsok.com/severe-weather-oklahoma and checking the resources area.
It’s Winter Weather Awareness Day in Oklahoma and a good time to work on your pre-winter preparedness. It won’t be long until the consistent freezing weather, snow and ice will be in the forecast, so make plans now on how to survive them.
Gov. Mary Fallin issued a governor’s proclaimed naming the day. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, National Weather Service and other state and local agencies are sharing information to help the public prepare for the winter season.
State officials said last winter’s blizzards were strong reminders that we need to have our homes and vehicles, as well as our families and pets, ready to meet cold-weather challenges.
Weather officials said that “during the Christmas blizzard, record snowfall required stranded motorists to be rescued by the Oklahoma National Guard, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and local first responders.
“The experience of those stuck in the cold for long hours during the blizzard last winter should drive home the need to always prepare,” OEM Director Albert Ashwood said. “Having a blanket, emergency food and water, a flashlight, a well charged cell phone and a full tank of gas would have made a big difference for many of those awaiting rescue on Oklahoma roadways.”
The state officials remind you that if you have to travel in heavy snow or ice, you should allow extra time and “be particularly cautious on bridges and overpasses as they will be the first to freeze.”
Remember that “travel conditions can rapidly change. Drivers who must travel in these conditions are urged to drive slowly during snow or ice storms and to plan extra time for their travel. ODOT crews report they are ready for this upcoming winter season.
“Statewide, our salt and sand supplies are fully stocked, and more than 500 trucks are available to clear snow and ice from highways and interstates,” ODOT Director of Operations Casey Shell said. “During our clearance operations, we ask that drivers stay at least 200 feet behind our equipment, for both their safety and the safety of our crews.”
At home, be sure you have adequate weather stripping and insulation. Keep your furnace clean and ready to use. Make sure your pipes are protected against freezing temperatures.
“By following some simple tips and monitoring your local weather during times of severe weather, Oklahomans stand their best chance at not becoming a victim,” said Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS office in Norman.
He also reminds everyone that information regarding hazardous winter weather, including watches and warnings, is available on the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov, on NOAA Weather All Hazards Radio and on local radio and television stations.
You can sign up to receive OEM’s weather alerts and receive NWS watches and warnings on your cell phone or other email address at http://www.ok.gov/OEM/.
Go to knowit.newsok.com/severe-weather-oklahoma to find more ways to get ready for winter.
There’s more to our “know it” communities than news about Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon, and there’s an open invitation to you to become part of it.
Each of these communities has other cities and towns nearby. Sometimes, it’s hard to distinguish where one ends and another begins, and.or there is overlap. We set up the online communities to include them.
“Why didn’t you just use north, south, east and west?” a reader once asked me.
We needed a focal point, a center for each coverage area. Problem was, we still had some equally (or nearly as) large cities close enough in some areas that it almost required a double-emphasis name. For instance, Edmond and Guthrie; Midwest City and Del City; Norman and Moore; or Yukon and Mustang.
There also are those who believe that Bricktown is almost a city within itself … and within Oklahoma City.
So why didn’t we put together separate “know it” communities for each of them? For now, it’s more manageable, more functional to do it this way. Will that change in the future? We’ll see. Just about anything is possible.
We do have a “play position,” or key story on the page for each community. That allows us to emphasize a story from any of the cities and towns in that area. You might have a big event occurring in Guthrie or Piedmont in the lead position in “know it: Edmond.” Or, it might be a critical city council meeting in Moore that leads “know it: Norman.” The top story for “know it: Yukon” might be something big in Mustang.
You see how it works.
But there’s more. You can contribute to the coverage for your area.
If you’re looking for a way to get the news out about an upcoming event, deliver a word of praise, or perhaps an update or follow-up is needed to those in your community. Here’s a possibility for you. Our “know it” geographical communities can help.
Need some help getting the word out about your upcoming event? Maybe you want to say “thanks” to an individual or group. Or, it could be that you need to send an update or reminder about a community happening.
Our “know it” geographical communities can help.
Readers can use Twitter feeds to get their messages out in the five “know it” online communities — Edmond, Mid-Del, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon. These include the surrounding area for each city.
Each community has a specific hashtag, similar to other web tags, that helps add personal messages, or “tweets,” to a category. Hashtags have the “hash” or “pound” sign preceding them.
The specific hashtags for the “know it” communities are:
- Edmond area — #knowedmond
- Mid-Del area — #knowmwc
- Norman area — #knownorman
- Oklahoma City area — #knowokc
- Yukon area — #knowyukon
The tags also can be added to other hash tags, such as #NewsOK or #okpreps.
Each “know it” community features a special area titled “NEWS SUBMITTED BY YOU,” where information such as news releases can be added.
To use that area, the reader creates an e-mail with a document or photo attached, then sends it to the address for the particular community:
Here are some tips for using this feature:
- Add the e-mail address to your list of those who normally receive your news. (The other e-mail addresses will not appear online.)
- Send your information and/or photos as a SINGLE ATTACHMENT to your e-mail. (PLEASE NOTE: Text from the e-mail will not appear online. An attachment may be a WORD document [.doc], a text file [.txt], a portable document [.pdf], or a jpeg picture [.jpg].)
- The subject line will be your headline, so be specific about what is most important that you want to emphasize. Example: Cross Timbers Elementary plans open house on Tuesday.
- Avoid punctuation and ALL CAPS in your subject line, but do capitalize the first letter of the first word and all formal titles.
- Remember to tell others about this service!
All sites can be accessed by going to http://knowit.newsok.com.
Editors and reporters consider information submitted for possible use in other sections.
Each community link is a “window” into that city and area, its offerings, its people. These are living, growing communities online, just as they are in real life. We continuously look for new information to add to them, in addition to the items that flow there from The Oklahoman reports.
The design is such that readers can glean a wealth of information about their community, quickly and efficiently, by simply clicking on the topic, ranging from stories to facts and figures on people, services and locations.
It’s all here for you.