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June 20, 1997

There's something magic about the sound of band music in the park, and that's the special treat awaiting us tonight when the Stillwater Community Band visits our spacious courthouse park for a free concert starting at 7:30 p.m. Remember when Dr. W. C. Marshall led the Perry Community Band each summer, or perhaps in slightly more recent times when first Orlan Lemler, then Bill Rotter, directed a Perry summer band in the courthouse park? Those were wonderful times, and some of that will be recreated at tonight's performance by the Stillwater band, directed by William L. Ballenger of the OSU music department. Jim and Julie Luthye of Perry are part of the Stillwater hand. The program is designed to please all ages, so bring your lawn chairs or use the park's bleachers, but be sure to attend. In case of had weather, the concert will be moved to the Perry high school auditorium.

Speaking of Stillwater, that city's radio stations KSPI AM/FM have been sold by the Stillwater Publishing Co. to Stillwater Broadcasting, L.L.C., based in Springfield, Mo. This is the golden anniversary year for KSPI, which went on the air in 1947. L. F. (Chub) Bellatti and James R. Bellatti are owners of Stillwater Publishing Co. John and Robert Mahaffey, the new principal owners of KSPI, own and operate eight additional radio stations in Coffeyville, Kan., and Rolla and Osage Beach, Mo. No immediate programming changes are planned for KSPI-AM/FM.

Our friends over there in the Payne county capital also are debating a proposed new local tax increase. The city commission has been presented with a petition requesting a vote of the people on a use tax to benefit athletic improvements at Oklahoma State University. In May the commission approved an ordinance creating the use tax to provide up to $600,000 per year for the next 15 years to support the OSU project. OSU asked Stillwater to contribute $9 million toward its goal of a $45 million improvement program. If approved, Stillwater residents will pay the city's sales tax on catalog purchases from companies that collect it. Use taxes are equal to the sales tax. Stillwater's sales tax is 3 percent and the state sales tax is 4.5 percent. The issue will be settled at a referendum scheduled for September 9.

Also in Payne county, the folks in Yale are getting fed up with loud music emanating from vehicles driving along State Highway 51, which goes through town. Several residents addressed the Yale city commission recently to voice their objections to the noise, claiming it is depriving them of a good night's sleep. The Yale commissioners are considering a city code amendment to define a noise level deemed a nuisance, as well as directing enforcement of the present ordinance. A $73 fine is now imposed for such violations, but some Yale residents say their police are not giving the matter adequate attention. A petition signed by 54 persons are presented to the Yale city commission when the problem was brought up for discussion. They said a lot of the noise was the heavy bass type that sometimes makes walls vibrate and can be heard for blocks. It will be interesting to see how all this turns out.