THUMBS up to Choctaw Nation for being an economic driver for our community, region and state.

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton said during a recent press conference about the results of an economic impact study that the tribe bolstered the state's economy by more than $2 billion n 2018.

Data from the study showed the tribe supported 16,974 jobs in Oklahoma with a total of $793.8 million in wages.

Choctaw Nation also invested more than $100 million in state roads and highways since 2010 and $3.8 million in water lines and other infrastructure. The tribe spent $45.6 million in education funding with $1.5 million going toward Choctaw language classes in 44 public schools.

We appreciate Choctaw Nation leading the way in many areas to help our state grow and move forward.

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THUMBS UP to McAlester Public Schools for adding two more admirable inductees to its Athletics Hall of Fame.

The school recently celebrated its two most recent inductees — Michelle (Thomas) Worthy and the late Bob Brumley — during a ceremony at the Bob Brumley Gymnasium.

Brumley coached at McAlester from 1951 to 1977 with a 423-185 record and six state tournament appearances and led McAlester tennis to the 1963 state championship.

Worthy is a 2000 McAlester High School graduate who was a state runner-up in 1999 and 2000, and helped McAlester win the 4x800 relay in those years. She also joins her twin sister, Kim, as Hall of Fame members.

McAlester High School has a saying — Once a Buff, always a Buff — and this rings true for these accomplished Hall of Famers.

We appreciate the school honoring athletic achievements of a diverse group of people who go on to excel beyond high school athletics.

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THUMBS UP to Randy Hughes for earning another raise.

MPS Board of Education members approved another raise for the school's superintendent, who was hired in 2016 amid a financial crisis.

Interim superintendent Monte Madewell said in March 2016 that state budget cuts and systematic problems resulted in a $1 million shortfall.

Under Hughes' leadership, MPS is back in good financial standing.

We thank Hughes for taking over a dire situation and putting together a solid team to help the school move forward.

• McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board

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