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.


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.


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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