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Adam Knapp

Adam's Oklahoma City Blog


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Oklahoma's Best High Schools

Tuesday April 22, 2014

As it has over each of the last several years, the Oklahoma City metro area comes out quite nicely in terms of the state's best high schools. In fact, it holds 8 of the top 10 spots in the 2014 U.S. News and World Report list released this week. Harding Charter Preparatory High School in OKC takes the top spot, followed by Dove Science Academy and Edmond North High School at #3. Also ranking in the top 10 are Classen School of Advanced Studies, Edmond Memorial, Norman, Edmond Santa Fe and Harding Fine Arts Academy. Nationally, all rank in the top 1,800 of more than 19,000 evaluated.

The study, conducted in conjunction with Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research, analyzed public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia using data from the 2011-2012 school year. The three steps of evaluation were whether students performed better than statistically expected for the average student in the state, whether the school's least-advantaged students (black, Hispanic, and low-income) performed better than average for similar students in the state and whether students were "college ready" based on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test data.

Search the results online to see how your school performed.

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Festival of the Arts 2014

Sunday April 20, 2014

One of the city's most anticipated spring events begins Tuesday on the streets of downtown, from Walker to Robinson between Reno and Sheridan. Coordinated by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, the OKC Festival of the Arts includes wonderful visual art such as paintings and sculptures, street performances, stage shows, activities for kids, tasty culinary creations and much, much more.

From April 22-27, an expected crowd of over 700,000 will enjoy the work of nearly 150 artists from all over the United States and over 200 performers on three stages. Plus, in 2014, the festival is a sustainable event in which all waste will be composted or recycled. Admission is absolutely free, and here are some links to get you prepared:

Photo © Arts Council of Oklahoma City

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Easter Weekend Highlights

Friday April 18, 2014

There are a number of Easter events all over the metro this weekend. For example, the Orr Family Farm has an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday as well as duck races, egg decorating and more. There's a big egg hunt at the Myriad Gardens Saturday, and the Oklahoma City Zoo presents "Hopabaloo" on Easter Sunday, where kids can have brunch with the Easter Bunny, participate in a scavenger hunt, hear stories and more. Head to Yukon for "Easter on the Prairie" or to Choctaw for the 15th Annual Easter Egg Hunt, both on Saturday. Plus, there are multiple opportunities to meet the Easter Bunny. Get full information on all of these events and more.

This weekend also brings the 19th Annual Remembrance at the The Oklahoma City National Memorial on Saturday. People throughout Oklahoma and the nation pause to honor those lost on April 19, 1995. The ceremony begins at 8:55 a.m, followed shortly by the traditional 168 seconds of silence at 9:02 a.m. Entry into the museum is free all day, thanks to Cox Communications.

Other highlight events in Oklahoma City include...

2014 Earth Day Activities & Specials

Wednesday April 16, 2014

It is the day for us to evaluate what we're doing, or not doing, to protect our planet and its resources. And even though Earth Day isn't until April 22nd, there are a number of activities and events planned for the occasion. So even if it's only for a day, take the opportunity to participate and do something positive. From recycling and picking up litter in the community to riding a bike to work or making changes in your home, there are so many simple things we can do.

Here are some upcoming events and specials in honor of Earth Day:

  • April 18: From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., take a tour of the city's H.B. Parsons Municipal Fish Hatchery at 10940 N Meridian. It will cover how the biologists study the waters and monitor fish population in our city lakes and parks.
  • April 21-25: Go to Pottery Barn Kids for a free packet of seeds.
  • April 22: Metro Transit is offering free bus rides throughout the day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • April 22: The Disney Store will give out a free reusable Disneynature Bears tote when you bring in five plastic bags to recycle.
  • April 25: Anthropologie at Classen Curve has free butterfly crafts for kids 5-8. RSVP by calling (405) 842-8673.
  • April 27: The OKC Zoo hosts a Party for the Planet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy live music, giveaways, family activities and more, all included with zoo admission.
  • All Month: Consider volunteering for the Great American Cleanup efforts going on throughout the state or with OKC Beautiful's 14th Annual LitterBlitz.

Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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2014 Oklahoma Book Awards

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Representing a diverse range of subjects from the Civil War in Indian Territory to the stunning photography of the Devon Energy Center in downtown Oklahoma City, the 2014 Oklahoma Book Award winners were announced Saturday at the Jim Thorpe Museum. Sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book, part of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the awards were established in 1990 to honor Oklahoma authors and the literary heritage of the state.

Named the top fiction book was "Che Guevara's Marijuana and Baseball Savings and Loan," a novel by Oklahoma native Jack Shakely. The prize for non-fiction went to "When the Wolf Came: The Civil War and the Indian Territory" by Mary Jane Ward. Elsewhere on the list, you'll find standout young adult book "MOJO" from Rose State College Professor Tim Tharp and "Red Dirt Roads," a collection of poetry from five Oklahoma voices.

See a full list of the 2014 Oklahoma Book Award Winners.

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Tax Day Specials

Sunday April 13, 2014

Along with about a quarter of taxpayers, I once again waited until the last minute to do my income taxes. If you're in this group as well, know that time has officially run out. The deadline is Tuesday, April 15th, and officials warn that last minute filers are more likely to make simple mistakes such as checking the incorrect filing status box, forgetting social security numbers or, even with tax software, overlooking deductions and tax credits for which they are eligible.

To help with the frustration of tax day, or to celebrate the end of the affair, several chains are offering discounts and giveaways on Tuesday:

  • Get a cup of frozen yogurt and toppings at Orange Leaf for only $4.15 on tax day.
  • Arby's has a coupon for free snack-size curly fries.
  • Sonic extends "happy hour" on Tuesday, offering half-price drinks and slushes all day.
  • Get a free appetizer or dessert with entree purchase this week at Chili's by using this coupon.
  • Schlotzsky's is offering a free original small sandwich with a purchase of a 32-ounce drink and a bag of chips on Tuesday. No coupon is necessary.
  • Finally, relax at the close of tax day with a free HydroMassage at Oklahoma City Planet Fitness locations. Here's the coupon.

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Weekend Highlights: 4/11-4/13

Friday April 11, 2014

Sunday brings a free Family Day festival at the OKC Museum of Art, an opportunity for adults and kids alike to enjoy live music, art activities, photography exhibitions, story time, face painting and more. Museum admission is absolutely free from noon to 5 p.m. Open to the public and sponsored by Sonic, the event is appropriate for all ages, and there is no need to register in advance. Performances include Magician Michael King (12:30 p.m.), Silent Comedy Films (1:30 p.m.), Spaghetti Eddie! (2:30 p.m.) and Sugar Free Allstars (3:30 p.m.).

Elsewhere this weekend...

  • For more of that festival atmosphere, take part in Friday's LIVE on the Plaza from 7-11 p.m. There will be live music, store specials, food trucks and a giant projector showing cartoons.
  • Drive down to Norman for the Land Run celebration 89ers Day Parade on Saturday. See the official site for more information.
  • Do you want to get a look at more than a thousand vehicles, everything from muscle cars to antiques and restorations, together worth millions and millions of dollars...? Read More...

OKC Public Schools Survey

Thursday April 10, 2014

Whether you're a parent, an employee or simply a member of the community, we all have a stake in the quality and direction of our school systems. What do you think is the current state of Oklahoma City Public Schools? How do you think the district can improve? Officials are asking for your thoughts.

A survey from Oklahoma City Public Schools, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and other local partners is available at speakupokc.com. It takes 15-20 minutes to complete and will help set the direction for district improvement plans.

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RedHawks Home Opener

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Like last year, it will be eight games and over a week into the 2014 Triple-A season before we get to see our Oklahoma City RedHawks at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. But when we do, the experience should be a good one. After all, the team is off to a solid start, top Astros prospect George Springer is still in town and the weekend weather conditions look great for the first home game of the season.

With a fireworks show following, the home opener begins at 7:05 p.m. on Friday night against the New Orleans Zephyrs. Tickets are still available, and if they purchase soon, fans can take advantage of an opening night 4-pack offer, which includes 4 tickets, 4 ballpark meals and 4 limited edition RedHawks hats for $34.99.

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Steam Locomotive at Railway Museum

Sunday April 6, 2014

From Thomas the Tank Engine to the popular Christmas Train, the Oklahoma Railway Museum is a unique OKC attraction, offering visitors a chance to experience the thrill of the rail. And in April, the museum hosts Flagg Coal Company #75, a 1930s-era coal-burning steam locomotive called "Hank." Purchase your ticket for $18 and enjoy a 40-minute ride in a vintage passenger car pulled by the historic engine. Runs are scheduled for 9:15, 11:15, 1:15 and 3:15 on April 19, 20, 26 and 27.

But that's not the only opportunity presented by the special event. On April 18 and 25, you can take control of the locomotive on a 30-minute adventure. Participants will be supervised, of course, so no previous experience or knowledge is required. As long as you have a driver's license and are 18 or older, you can live the railway life for a half hour at a cost of $125. For information on times, release forms and tickets for either the ride or the drive, see oklahomarailwaymuseum.org.

Photo © Gramling Locomotive Works

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