McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

September 12, 2012

City council delays decision on cross silhouettes

McALESTER — “We’re not going away.”

So spoke Lonnie Lu Anderson following the opening segment of the city council meeting held at McAlester City Hall on Tuesday night.

Anderson spoke in the crowded lobby of City Hall after the city council voted to postpone making any decision on whether to replace silhouetted figures containing crosses that have been removed from city street signs.

Although that not how the issue was phrased on the agenda, it’s clear that was the issue at hand when an overflow crowd once again jammed into City Hall for the Tuesday night council meeting.

Anderson had been among those attending the meeting strongly in support of having the figures with the crosses replaced atop the street signs. They were recently ordered removed by City Manager Pete Stasiak after he said he received a complaint about them.

They were part of a parcel of more than 100 metal silhouettes given to the city by McAlester businessman Bob Wallace, typically depicting historical or traditional scenes.

So many people, mostly from area churches, packed the Council Chambers at City Hall for the Tuesday night meeting, that city workers opened a second room upstairs, where those who could not find a seat downstairs could watch the proceedings on television.

Several speakers addressed the council, urging the city councilors to order the nine silhouetted figures that have been moved be replaced.

James Prince, representing the Gaines Creek Association of Free Will Baptist, spoke first.

He said the city has approached the entire matter from the standpoint of “what can we do to keep from getting in trouble” with the individual Stasiak said contacted him in opposition to the crosses on the few figurines in question.

“Why did the city not have the same concern before taking down the crosses?”Prince asked.

“The city obviously took the Christian community for granted,” that they would not cause a big uproar, he said.

He then read from scriptures from Ezekiel.

“You are the watchmen,” Prince said, looking at the city councilors.

With each generation, the hearts of youth are getting harder and harder, because no one will stand up, Prince said.

“They will never, I say never, confine God,” he said. Prince asked the council to take a stand and return the crosses to their previous locations.

Anderson addressed the council next.

“In our constitution, it does not say anything about the separation of church and state,” she said.

“As Christians, we need to speak up,” Anderson continued.

Joe Watkins also addressed the council.

“We’re not trying to force this down anybody’s throat,” he said.  “We’re only doing what we’re led to do by the Bible.”

Referring to City Hall, Watkins said “you’ve got ‘In God We Trust’ on the outside wall.

“I’m asking you to trust in God.”

City councilors also heard from Julia Collins Dedmon. She said she wanted to see what kind of precedents had already been set. She noted that the God’s Little Angel memorial in Chadick Park has an archway with a cross and she also noted the presence of crosses in the city’s cemetery.

“I find a big discrepancy why the cross on the street signs  differ from the cross on the archway, she said.

“I would like to see the crosses put back,” Dedmon said. “I would like to ask that we don’t take down what’s already there.”

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the

McAlester News-Capital. <a

href="http://readercare.cnhionline.com/index.php?location_id=mcalesternews">

Click here for print edition home delivery</a> or <a

href="http://mcalesternews.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx"> click

here to see the Smart Edition</a> for your computer, tablet, e-reader or

smartphone.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • HolyWeek4Wed 1.jpg Gospel: 'The Good News' heard at Holy Week Breakfast

    Steve Glazier presented a pair testimonies of individuals who went on to have a significant impact on others  — a bank robber and a hony-tonk songwriter — when he spoke at the second gathering of this year’s Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dogwood Decorations All ladies welcome to luncheon

    The 42nd annual Women’s Holy Week Salad Luncheon is Thursday. The Thursday before Easter is commonly called Maundy Thursday by most Christians.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos 2 Stories

  • Still no filings for Ward 4 city council seat

    What if they called an election and nobody came —no candidates, that is.
    That’s the way things were shaping up late Tuesday afternoon for the vacant Ward 4 seat on the McAlester City Council.

    April 15, 2014

  • Square logo.jpg The McAlester Public Library offering free Computer Skills Workshop

    The McAlester Public Library will offer a free Computer Skills Workshop from April 16 to 18.
    The hands-on workshop will be taught by computer technician Anthony Smart and each participant will have a computer to work with.  The class will be held from 2:30 until 4 p.m. each day and is limited to 10 students.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siren testing set for Wednesday, weather permitting

    Storm sirens are set for testing Wednesday in McAlester as well as a number of other Pittsburg County communities.
    “We will be testing from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., weather permitting,” said Lois Lupardus, assistant director of the McAlester/Pittsburg County Office of Emergency Management.

    April 15, 2014

  • 4-15-BREAKFAST-1.jpg Men's Holy Week Breakfasts begin

    Tom Curtis spoke about the impact of several days of Holy Week during Monday’s opening session of this year’s Holy Week Breakfasts, held at the First Christian Church in McAlester.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • Square logo.jpg The McAlester Public Library offering free Computer Skills Workshop

    The McAlester Public Library will offer a free Computer Skills Workshop from April 16 to 18.
    The hands-on workshop will be taught by computer technician Anthony Smart and each participant will have a computer to work with.  The class will be held from 2:30 until 4 p.m. each day and is limited to 10 students.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Filing period opens for Ward 4 McAlester City Council seat

    Take the Ward 4 McAlester City Council seat — please.
    That’s the wish of several McAlester city officials, who are trying for the second time to get someone to file as a candidate as the Ward 4 McAlester city councilor.

    April 14, 2014

  • Vehicle Accident Bridge Accident

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIBRARY.png AT THE LIBRARY

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
NDN Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.