Please Dial 10 Digits
The first phase of transitioning to an additional area code begins Aug. 7, according to the Oklahoma Corporate Commission.
In January, the commission approved an "overlay" plan that would add the "539" area code to Tulsa and prevent the exhaustion of the "918" area code.
Starting Aug. 7, the "permissive calling period" will begin which will allow phone customers to begin dialing phone numbers with the "918" area code. They will still be allowed to dial numbers without the "918" area code as well, though. The period will run for seven months.
Beginning in March 2011, customers will be required to dial a complete 10-digit phone number, which would include the area code. The following month, the "539" area code will be made available for customers to use. Customers may continue to use their current "918" area code phone number and ask for additional numbers as needed, according to the commission.
The commission estimated that the "918" area code would be depleted by 2012.
For more information, visit occ.state.ok.us
Uniting for a Cause
Some of Oklahoma's best-known musicians have gotten behind a new public service campaign battling bias, bigotry and racism that will be unveiled this week in publications across the state.
A group of bands and artists that includes Cross Canadian Ragweed, Sam & the Stylees, P.D.A. and the Red Dirt Rangers is participating in the campaign, which is inspired by the "This Machine Kills Fascists" sign that legendary Oklahoma songwriter Woody Guthrie bore on the front of his car.
Those participating in the campaign were asked what "This Machine" means to them, and their responses were scrawled in black paint before the artists were photographed with the guitar, and they were interviewed about how music fights prejudice and hate.
Those images will appear in a series of public service announcements that will begin running in various publications throughout the next several days, including Urban Tulsa Weekly. The campaign also features an online and video component that can be found at occjrocks.com.
The campaign was the brainchild of local public relations executive Russ Florence, the vice chairman of public awareness for the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, which is leading the effort.
"The hope here is to start reaching a younger and broader audience for OCCJ," Florence said of the Tulsa-based nonprofit human relations organization that fights bias, bigotry and racism, and promotes respect and understanding among all races, religions and cultures.
Florence said he came up with the idea of using local music artists for a campaign after making a trip to Austin, Texas, last year and seeing singer-songwriters Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis appear in a commercial for a clinic.
After Florence approached a number of local photographers, journalists and other creative types for help in developing the idea, the campaign was born.
An event to launch the campaign will take place at 7pm on Saturday, Aug. 7 at the IDL Ballroom at First Street and Detroit Avenue. Performances by Sam & the Stylees, Little Joe McLarran and OK Sweetheart will be featured, while free appetizers will be provided by Yokozuna.
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