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Morning Bell: Comanche Times reporter saved by football coaches

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Good Thursday morning! For more than 25 years Steve Bolton has made it his mission to be at every Comanche school event, whether that's for football, basketball, baseball, softball or school plays, cookouts and fundraisers.

Bolton covers it all as editor in chief and publisher of the Comanche Times. But on Aug. 11, while standing at the 50-yard line on Barnett Field as he was finishing up the portraits of players and coaches, he said he felt “lava in his chest.”

He called for his wife and co-editor of the newspaper, Kelli, to come to him before dropping to his knees, collapsing on the football field.

Assistant coaches Montie Blair and Casy Rowell went to work starting CPR while paramedics were called. The Oklahoman's Adam Kemp has the rest of the story on how the coaches saved Bolton's life. 

"I hate that this happened, but it happened in a good place," Blair said, referencing the numerous AED machines around the school. "You wouldn't be here if you had been anywhere else, Steve. God had a different plan for you."

Oklahoma parents can opt out of immunizations

In the U.S., the vast majority of parents immunize their children for protection from more than a dozen vaccine-preventable diseases.

But, in Oklahoma, parents have a choice and a growing number of parents are choosing to skip the shots, reports KFOR

Fewer students training to become teachers

Last year's count of education majors at Oklahoma universities was 21 percent lower than just four years earlier, according to survey results from 21 of 23 teacher preparation programs compiled by the Oklahoma Association of Colleges for Teacher Preparation.

Oklahoma universities graduated 1,275 teacher certification holders in 2018, about a 19 percent decline from 2014, according to the same survey.

A similar trend can be found in many other states, but Oklahoma's shrinking number of traditionally trained teachers comes at the same time the state's use of emergency certified teachers is on the rise, which reached 1,975 last school year, setting a new state record.

Nonprofit shares reward with teachers

Tulsa teachers loaded up on free school supplies Tuesday, courtesy of The Pencil Box.

The store, operating since October 2015, provides free classroom necessities to area teachers throughout the school year, but the local nonprofit had more to offer than usual after winning a nationwide contest hosted by the Georgia-Pacific paper company, reports the Tulsa World

Georgia-Pacific partnered with the Kids in Need Foundation, a national network of 40 free school resource centers like The Pencil Box, and asked children to draw what happiness meant to them. The Pencil Box was one of four winners selected, and was awarded enough paper for each teacher to walk out the door with five reams.

That does it for today's Morning Bell. Have a great Thursday! 

Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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