Don Hawthorne

County Commissioner

Another month with little rainfall, however the grass is beginning to grow and we have started our mowing operations.

The road crew has continued to prepare roads to be oil and chipped this summer. They have recycled the road surface on two miles of McClung Road between State Highway 59 and Shroyer Road.  This is the last of our FEMA funded roads.

We have been working on funds to do a 2 inch overlay on the Meers-Porterhill Road which is classified as a major collector and did not qualify for FEMA funds.  The total cost of this project would be about one million dollars.

We also have Crater Creek Road between Coombs and Woodlawn Roads, Chattanooga’s Cemetery Road, and Paradise Valley Road north of Meers-Porterhill Road prepared and ready to oil & chip.

The crew will next move to Holsey Acres Road from Old Cache Road to Bandy Road and 2nd Street in the City of Cache.

H.K. Builders have started the bridge on Boulder Creek at Gore Blvd.  Construction is almost half completed. They should be finished by the first of July.

Several of our crew worked at the Fair Grounds hauling off woodchips that was used in the stock show.  Once the wood chips are used for such an event, it has so much manure and trash in it that it has to be hauled off.

We are continuing to make progress on our Phase 2 of 112th Street.  The necessary right of way has been acquired and the survey completed.  The fence will be moved over from the old property line.  C.E.C. Engineering, Road Forman Kenny Kinder and I met with the various utility companies so they can start moving their lines to accommodate the new roadway.

This past month we hauled sand to the Cache Middle School new playgrounds.  We have also continued to clear the trees and brush out of the bar ditches in anticipation of someday getting rain.

ODOT is requiring all of our street signs with 4 inch lettering to be replaced with 6 inch letters.  The signs cost about $50 each and with 625 miles of road, one can only imagine how many signs that we will have to replace & the big increase in expense this will be.  Also we have been requested to photograph every intersection to be posted on Google earth.

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at or you may phone the Courthouse or County Barn.

You can access this report monthly on the county web site as well as the County Times. The official web site is maintained by the Comanche County Public Information Office.  You may also access it at


Don Hawthorne of Cache has announced he is a candidate for re-election for Comanche County Commissioner, District 3.


Hawthorne said “I am proud of the accomplishments that we have made during my first term, but there is more I would like to see done.”


During Commissioner Hawthorne’s first term, he placed a major emphasis on repairing roads and bridges within the District and upgrading District 3 equipment.


Under his direction, the S.W. Lee Blvd project was completed. This project was 5.4 miles and cost over $6 million.  The road crew has redone over 60 miles of roads, using County Highway and FEMA funding.  Two bridges have been replaced and three more scheduled for replacement, as well as 42 bridges repaired. Working with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the City of Lawton, he initiated obtaining funding for the replacement of 112th Street between Cache Road and S.W. Lee Blvd.


He has upgraded District 3’s equipment, by replacing five older motor graders with new ones, bought a new backhoe and front-end loader, added newer trucks to the fleet, including obtaining a no interest loan from ODOT Revolving Fund for three 2014 10-wheel Mack dump trucks.  He also obtained a grant to purchase a new wood chipper.  He purchased a boom truck for trimming trees that hang over the road ways, a patch truck, and a Graudall to clean out bar ditches around culverts.


Commissioner Hawthorne values his relationship with local tribal governments.  Joint projects have been undertaken with both the Comanche Nation and the Kiowa Nation Transportation Departments.


He has made improvements to the District Barn adding 1,475 square feet of office space adjoining the existing structure using non-highway funds, which enhanced cohesiveness of the office staff and the road crewHawthorne stated, “We have a good team working in District 3.”


Commissioner Hawthorne prepared a balanced budget for the last two fiscal years for the County.  This was accomplished by working closely with other elected officials and department heads.


He currently serves on the Citizens Advisory Board for the Juvenile Detention Center and the Comanche County Health Department Board.  He is on the Board of Director’s of Circuit Engineering District # 6 representing Comanche County, and also is a member on the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma’s Legislative Committee.


Don graduated from Cache High School, where he was a member of the Bulldog baseball and basketball teams.  He then attended Oklahoma State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management in 1965.


He began his federal service career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1965.  Later he transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and retired in 1999, with 33 years of service.


During his career, Don has held numerous positions of responsibility.  He has managed multiple levels of funding from federal, state, county and private sources.  He has been accountable for being a good steward of the monies that were entrusted to him, and to implement and manage programs that met the needs of the public.  Hawthorne received numerous awards and recognition for his leadership, management abilities and accomplishments.


After retirement from federal service, he served as Legislative Liaison for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture during the 1999 Session of the Oklahoma Legislature.  He was a Trustee and served as Chairman of the Cache Economic Development Authority.


Don has been married 51 years to Carolyn Holden Hawthorne.  They are the parents of 3 daughters, Dana, Sheri and Susanne and have five grandchildren.


He and his wife are active members of the First United Methodist Church of Cache and Don is the Church Treasurer.  He is a member of the National Cattlemen’s and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Associations, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the National Rifle Association of America.  Don and his brother Arnold Hawthorne run a small cow/calf operation in the county.


Commissioner Hawthorne stated, “As rural populations continue to grow, more demands are put on our roads and bridges in the county.   I would like to have the opportunity to continue the improvements we are making in the Western District,  therefore I am seeking a second term.”

The ½ inch of rain we received in Comanche County was nice, but we all are well aware that much more is needed to break this long drought.  According to a recent report, we have a deficiency of over 50 inches of rainfall during the last 7 years.

I mentioned last month that we had 35 bridges out of 133 that were identified as needing some type of maintenance to keep them serviceable. The crew has repaired about half of those on the list, including replacing the wing wall on the bridge on old Cache Road where it passes under the railroad tracks.

We received the final bridge inspection report on the five truss bridges that we have in District 3.  All except one were determined to be in safe but fair condition.  The only one that rated a poor condition was over Medicine Creek at Medicine Park.  That rating was due to the condition of the deck.  This bridge is in the Town of Medicine Park, but the County has responsibility for inspections.  We have passed this information on to the City of Medicine Park officials.

We have been clearing out dead trees and limbs upstream from bridges to ensure the creeks and draws can handle high water, with hope the rains will come this spring.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation gave the County the beams from the I-44 overpass.  The beams are over 50 feet long and can be used in future bridge projects.

On March 10, 2014, the ODOT Commission approved $960,000 for the paving of Phase 2, which is the north end of the 112th Street project. The road crew has completely recycled the asphalt and we have acquired the needed right of ways.  The engineers will be meeting with the utilities companies concerning those that need to be moved.

At the request of the Fire Chief of the Paradise Valley Fire Department, we added gravel to their driveway from where a water meter had been removed.

The construction has begun by H K Builders, Inc. on putting a bridge on Gore Blvd. between Paint and Airport Roads to replace the low water crossing on Boulder Creek.  The total cost of the project is $692,000 and completion date is the 1st of June, depending upon the weather.

The road crew has recycled the old black top on 197th Road from State Highway 36 to Coffee Road.  This road is on our list to oil and chip this summer.

The bar ditches were cleaned on 197th Road between Woodland and Coombs Roads.  This was done to improve drainage and move the water away from the roadway.

With a fleet of trucks, graders, backhoes and loaders, it takes a lot of work to keep them serviced and running properly.  Wayne Cassell, and Kenneth Roach are the dedicated mechanics that we depend on to see to it that all the equipment is in tip top running order.  We appreciate being able to depend on these two guys to get the job done!

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at or you may phone the Courthouse or County Barn.



Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner District 3

The holidays are behind us, and we are looking forward to a productive year in 2014. The crew took their vacations, and we were glad to not have to ask them back on to the job for any weather related emergencies.

Road Foreman, Kenny Kinder, and a number of guys worked Super Bowl Sunday clearing the snow from roads. Some of the roads received large amounts of traffic before they could be plowed, and they turned to ice making it difficult to clear off. But the crew did a good job – hauled lots of sand, plowed lots of roads and made the roads as safe as they could.

The ice storm last month caused some damage to sections of about 20 miles of District 3 roads. Road Foreman Kenny Kinder, FEMA Coordinator Debbie McDonald and I met with representatives from FEMA and Oklahoma Emergency Management to determine if we qualify for assistance to repair this damage. The economic damage has to reach a threshold dollar amount for us to qualify. We will be informed of their decision later.

At the request of the Town of Chattanooga, we have started to prepare approximately 12 blocks of streets in their town. We will oil and chip them when the weather warms to a temperature of 50 degrees or higher and we are able to obtain the oil. As in similar projects, the municipality will pay for the materials.
We have received a request from the City of Cache to redo 2nd Street from G Avenue to the railroad tracks. We will begin this project in the spring.

Every two years, we pay for an engineer to inspect our bridges. The inspections were completed, and we received the report. I am happy to say that out of 128 bridges inspected none failed to pass, but we have 35 that require some maintenance to prevent further damage. That maintenance will be completed as quickly as possible.

Kenny and I met with ODOT for a preconstruction meeting and with H & K Bridge Builders who will begin construction to replace the low water crossing over Boulder Creek on Gore Road. Construction will begin on February 17, and the contractor has 90 calendar days to complete the project.
CEC Engineering was selected to begin to design the bridge that will replace the small bridge on Airport Road between Old Cache Road and Gore Blvd. The construction of the new bridge will start next year.

Richard Sellers and Billy Bigbow helped the City of Lawton road crew recycle the old asphalt road on Lee Blvd. from the 112th Street intersection east to the four lane section of the road. Lawton has gone out for bids for resurfacing on Phase One of that project.
Our road crew will start milling up old asphalt on Phase Two which is the section of 112th Street from the railroad tracks north to old Cache Road starting February 10, weather permitting. We are confident that the ODOT Commission will approve the funding for the Phase Two resurfacing at their March meeting.

A crew put concrete headers on the culvert at the intersection of Curts Drive and Stoney Point Roads. There is a large ditch on the west side of the road, and we have received several calls from citizens worried about cars turning too short and running off the culvert.

We often mention the work of the road crew but fail to mention those in the office who keep our every day operation running smoothly. I want to take this opportunity to publicly express our appreciation to Betty Berthold, the Commissioners Assistant, John Mark Fisher, the Receiving Officer, and Debbie McDonald, the FEMA Coordinator for their dedication and commitment to District 3.

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at or you may phone the Courthouse or County Barn & I will return your call.
You can access this report monthly on the county web site and the County Times, as well as this website. The official web site is maintained by the Comanche County Public Information Office.

This past month snow, sleet and ice have occupied our time.  We estimate that during the last storm, we used over 500 tons of sand.  Much time was spent cleaning off bridges of an accumulation of ice and sand. 

At the request of Medicine Park officials, we sanded the major streets and hauled several loads of sand for them to use where needed.

We have purchased additional sanders from ODOT.  This will double our capability to sand roads and bridges during snow and ice weather conditions.

We rented a crack sealer to fill in the cracks that had developed in our asphalt roads due to drought conditions. We were particularly concerned about a number of cracks that had developed in the new portion of Lee Blvd.  By filling the cracks, it will prevent water from getting into the cracks and causing further damage to the road when it freezes. 

Beginning on December 20, 2013, the District 3 Barn will be closed until January 6, 2014.  That is unless an emergency occurs, such as snow and ice. Then a crew will be called out to sand intersections and bridges.  Otherwise it is a good time for them to use their accrued leave & comp time.

As the New Year approaches, we reflect back on some of our accomplishments over the past three years:

·        Completed S.W. Lee Blvd from Lawton City limits to County Road 115, a 5.5 mile project costing $6.5 million.

·        Redone or resurfaced 60.75 miles of District 3 roads funded by County Highways funds & FEMA.

·        Replaced 2 bridges and repaired 10, including working with the Comanche Nation Transportation Department to complete the bridge on S.W. Lee Blvd that crosses Post Oak Creek.

·        Striped 58 miles of roads.

·        Using non-highway funds added on 1,475 square foot office space at the District 3 barn replacing a trailer, which housed the District 3 offices.

·        Up graded equipment – adding 3 new motor graders, acquired 3 new 10-wheel Mack dump trucks, purchased additional low mileage trucks (10-wheel dump trucks and 3 semi trucks), a new John Deere back hoe and front-end loader. 

·        Also purchased a boom truck for trimming trees that hang over the road way, a new patch truck, upgraded our track hoe and a Graudall to clean out bar ditches around culverts. Applied for and received a grant to purchase a new wood chipper.

·        Worked with the Kiowa Nation Transportation Department to asphalt Miller Road from Meers-PorterHill Road to the Kiowa Mission Church.

·        Acquired funding for 112th Street between Old Cache Road and S.W. Lee Blvd.


The District 3 crew wants to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at or you may phone the Courthouse or County Barn & I will return your call.


 You can access this report monthly on the county web site as well as the County Times. The official web site is maintained by the Comanche County Public Information Office.





Don Hawthorne

Comanche County Commissioner,

District 3

We finally had our first fall freeze and are mowing ditches along graveled roads.  The growing season has been longer than normal and the weeds are tall.  Of course in Oklahoma, “What is normal weather?”   As this piece is being written, the County’s trucks are being prepared for winter weather expected this weekend.   The sanding operation will be ready to go, if we do get freezing rain on roads & bridges.  In anticipation of icy winter weather, a crew has been out trimming trees along tree lined roads and around bridges.

With cooler temperatures, this has ended our oil and chipping for this year. Our plans were to oil and chip the two miles of Stoney Point Road from State Highway 49 to Welch Road the week of October 25th, but two soft spots developed in the base of the first mile – one at Foxfire Road and one at Curtis Road.  We had to dig out the bad base, build it up and we finished the last mile from Tackle Box Road to State Highway 49 on Friday November 15.

Other roads we have oil and chipped since my last report are Lee Blvd. from Indiahoma Road to 157th Road and Red Elk Road from Cache Road to Lee Blvd.

We put a single oil and chip overlay on Gore Blvd. from Airport Road to Crater Creek Road, and on Bandy from Holsey Acres Road to New Cache Road.

We put asphalt millings on Stoney Point Road north of Meers-Porterhill Road and on Autumn Drive.

The crew cleaned out the bar ditches and added gravel to North Road west of State Highway 115.

We tore out a small bridge on Wolf Road, deteriorated beyond repair, and replace it with two six-foot culverts.  Also the stream bed was cleaned out and banks shaped to allow for better water flow.

Working with the City of Lawton on 112th Street, we have finished our part of Phase 1 that runs from Lee Blvd. north to the Railroad tracks. We have offered to help recycle the portion of Phase1 that goes east on Lee Blvd for .3 miles from the intersection.  We did so to speed up the project.  Lawton estimates that Phase 1 will be finished in late spring.

Phase 2 of 112th Street runs from the railroad tracks north to old Cache Road and is currently in the engineering design stage.

A crew has been working in Pecan Valley South digging out bad spots in the road and building the base up with 1½ inch gravel in preparation for patching them later this month.

We worked with the Town of Faxon getting their streets shaped up by patching some and graveling others.

Road Forman Kenny Kinder and I have been working with Sunoco Logistics who will be putting in the proposed Granite Wash pipeline that will cross the south west part of the county.   Kenny has been sizing culverts, for roads going into their valve stations.

We purchased a used Gradall Hydraulic Excavator that will be used to clean out bar ditches around culverts and other places where finished dirt work is needed.

The County Crew & I wish you and your families a happy & safe Thanksgiving.

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at or you may phone the Courthouse or County Barn & I will return your call.

You can access this report monthly on the county web site as well as the County Times. The official web site is maintained by the Comanche County Public Information Office.














District 3:  Road and Bridge Report

Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner District 3

There is a feel of fall in the air and we are hustling to get as many of our FEMA roads completed as we can.  FEMA funds are paying to repair and redo roads that were damaged in the 2010 ice storm. We have until March 2014 to finish the projects, unless we request an extension.  

This past month we have completed three miles on Tackle Box Rd. from State Highway 58 to Stoney Point Rd., and two miles of 4-Mile from Tackle Box Rd. to Welch Rd. Two miles of Red Elk Rd. from Cache Rd. to Lee Blvd. are almost completed.  However, the road crew found several spots in the road base on Red Elk that must be dug out and replaced with 1 1/2 inches of gravel and re-packed.  Once we are satisfied we have a good solid road bed, it will be oiled & chipped.  

 Stoney Point Rd. has been made ready to oil and chip one mile from Tackle Box Rd. to McIntosh Rd.  Once that mile is completed, we will redo Stoney Point Rd. from Tackle Box Rd. to S. H. 49.

While we are waiting on the City of Lawton to get the concrete cross-drains for the 112th street project, we have been hauling native gravel to the Phase 1 portion of the road to raise the road bed base. Also, regarding 112th Street, Road Foreman Kenny Kinder and I met with Cobb Engineering to start the design of Phase two of this project.  This second phase will go from Cache Road to 100 feet north of the railroad tracks.

Mowing has been steady because of the rains that have come throughout the summer.  Usually by this time, the mowing is pretty well completed, but this summer the rains have kept the grass growing.  We have also continued to trim trees that have died because of the drought and also some that have blocked vision at intersections. 

Some of the crew is learning the ODOT technique of blade leveling using hot mix asphalt from the APAC plant at Snyder. It makes for a smoother patch.  Using this method they have re-patched bad spots on County Highway 115 and on Meers-Porterhill Road. 

Foreman Kenny Kinder and I met with the Transportation Director of the Kiowa Tribe, Carla Davis, regarding beginning of the construction of Miller Rd. from S.H. 58 to the Mt. Scott Kiowa United Methodist Church.  The County had entered into an agreement over a year ago for the Tribe to pay for this construction. Our part of the agreement was to do the engineering and acquire the needed right of way for the project, which we have completed. 

The crew did some street patching in Robinson Landing.  We also put up Neighborhood Watch signs in Pecan Valley North, Pecan Valley South and the Blue Beaver community, and moved the marquee sign for the Indiahoma School.

We mowed and improved the parking lot around the ball field at the Wichita Mountain Senior Citizens Center. 

Not road related, but a time consuming task was putting together the County’s budget for 2013-14. The process started the end of July and I had meetings with the County elected officials and department heads as a group and each reviewed their respective estimate of needs.  They then did the same before the Excise Board. The next step for me was to meet with each of them individually and negotiate what could be included into the County’s budget.

The completed County Budget was then reviewed and passed by the Board of County Commissioners. The Excise Board cut what they thought was $200,000 excess carry over out of the Sheriff’s budget.  I met with the Sheriff and his staff and determined that there was not a carry over and presented the original budget back to the Board of County Commissioners, which they passed and then back to the Excise Board and this time it was approved. The whole process took approximately 7 weeks.

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at 

 You can access this report monthly on the county web site as well as the County Times. The official web site is maintained by the Comanche County Public Information Office.






District 3:  Road and Bridge Report

Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner District 3

The summer rains have been a welcome event, but they have caused us to be behind in the number of roads we had planned to oil and chip, as well as the mowing.  Also, we are one man short on our mowing crew.

The contractor did complete the widening of the narrow bridge on Four Mile Road just north of Tackle Box Road.  This will make this road safer.  There have been several fatalities at that bridge in recent years.

The crew oiled and chipped a mile on Post Oak Road between Bishop and Coombs roads, two miles of Crater Creek Road between Old Cache Road and Lee Blvd, and a mile of Paint Road between Gore and Lee Blvd. They have completed a portion of Tackle Box Road, and will finish it before moving on to Four Mile and Stoney Point roads.

We had the opportunity to put a two inch overlay on Deyo Mission Road between Lee Blvd and old Cache Road.  The county crew got the road ready to be asphalted by T & G Construction Co.  The project has been completed.

The construction of Phase 1 of the 112th Street project has begun.  Lawton is responsible for milling up the existing road surface and putting in the cross drains.  We are waiting on Lawton to put in the cross drains before we can do our part in preparing the road and shaping the drainage ditches.

Earlier in the year, we had applied to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Revolving Fund for the purchase of 3 new 10-wheel dump trucks.  That was approved and on the first of August we took delivery on three 2014 Mack trucks.  This is a great addition to the District’s aging truck fleet.

The winds associated with the thunder storms have caused dead trees to blow down into the roadway.  In the day time, at night or on the weekends, no matter when it occurs the Road Forman and a crew goes out and removes the obstacles from the roads.  We try to identify potential problems before they fall, but with 625 miles of roads that we are responsible for that is hard to do.

We assisted the Fair Grounds in hauling the dirt into the Expo Building for the Grand National Horseman Association’s Play Day Finals.  Our guys also removed the dirt after the event was over.

With school starting, we helped Indiahoma Schools by removing old concrete bleachers from their baseball field and hauled in wood chips for the playground.

For Chattanooga Schools, we removed some concrete from their playgrounds and hauled some “Choctaw Mix” dirt to their ball field. We also recycled and graded 197th Street for the Town of Chattanooga.

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at 






District 3:  Road and Bridge Report

Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner District 3

Our office space, an addition to the County barn, was finished this past month and we finally are all moved in.   As soon as we get settled, we are planning an open house.   

 Summer has set in and the grass has started to grow at a rapid rate.  The mowing crews have begun mowing their territories.  The bridge guard railings have been sprayed with weed killer. The intersections that had trees and shrubs blocking the view of oncoming traffic were trimmed back.

 The rains this month have slowed getting the roads that are scheduled to be redone.  The road crew finished preparing Stoney Point Road and is now working on Tackle Box Road and will move on to Four Mile Road and also we are widening a narrow bridge on Four Mile Road north of Tackle Box intersection.  There have been several fatalities at the bridge through the years.

With the warm temperatures, we plan to start oiling and chipping the roads that were prepared this past winter.  As of now, we plan to start with Post Oak Road and work our way east to Crater Creek Road and Paint Road and then move to the roads in the northern part of the District to include Stoney Point, Tackle Box and Four Mile roads.

After several meetings with Lawton engineers and Cobb Engineering, the final engineer’s plan and design for Phase 1 of the 112th Street project has been approved by the Comanche County Board of County Commissioners and the Lawton City Council.  We have had a meeting with the utilities companies and they should have their part done by July 17.  The construction of Phase 1 of 112th Street from Lee Blvd to the Railroad tracks will begin on June 17.  This portion of the road will be closed to traffic during construction.

This past month we had a rash of street and stop signs taken from the area of Madische and McCracken Roads.  There is a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons committing these crimes.

The two-year drought has caused trees to die along many of our right of ways and with the high spring winds some have fallen onto the roads.  We try to identify and remove the dead trees before they fall into the roadway, and we appreciate residents alerting us to possible hazards.

District 3 employees enjoyed the appreciation dinner given by members of Deyo Mission Church.  This is an annual event and we look forward to their generous hospitality and the tasty Indian tacos.

The Pecan Cemetery was enlarged and we assisted them in making gravel roadways through the expansion.

We helped the Town of Indiahoma with their clean-up day.  We did the hauling for them. 

District 3 employee, Jamie Dorrell demonstrated how the back hoe operates to the Cache School primary classes.

We graveled the parking lot of the little league ball fields at the Wichita Mountain Senior Citizens Center, which was formerly the VFW at the Medicine Park “Y”.  A league from Elgin made arrangements with the Center to use the fields this summer. 

I want to remind our constituents that the County barn closes during the week of July 4th.  It is an occasion when District 3 county workers all take their vacation time.  If you need to contact us you may do so by calling the courthouse office at 580-353-3717.

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at 

 You can access this report monthly on the county web site as well as the County Times. The official web site is maintained by the Comanche County Public Information Office.