Blog Page
Saturday June 24, 2017

okw news logo

OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

Google +

Friday, 23 June 2017 17:10

Joyce Irene Hanselman

Joyce Irene Hanselman of Pocola, Oklahoma (formerly of Heavener, Oklahoma) was born November 20, 1942 in Upland, Pennsylvania and passed away June 23, 2017 in Pocola, Oklahoma at the age of 74.


She is survived by:

Her good friend:
Pat Bell of Mulberry, Arkansas


She was preceded in death by her husband, William Bill Hanselman. Joyce was a life-long resident of the area and a Bookkeeper.


Graveside service will be 10:00 a.m., Monday, June 26, 2017 at Greenhill Cemetery in Cameron, Oklahoma with Chaplain Jeff Little officiating.


Burial will follow in Greenhill Cemetery under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener, Oklahoma.


To sign Ms. Hanselman’s online guestbook please visit


The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is working in 13 rural counties, including LeFlore County, to work to reduce patients’ risk for heart disease and stroke through care coordination. The counties selected for the program have the highest percentage of adults with a history of coronary heart disease or heart attack.

The project, which brings together healthcare and public health, promotes the ABCS of heart health:
• Aspirin as directed by your healthcare professional
• Blood pressure control
• Cholesterol management
• Smoking cessation


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Oklahoma, resulting in 9,000 deaths per year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one in three American adults has high blood pressure and is at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. However, only about half of those individuals with HBP have it under control.


Individuals 18-85 years old are eligible for inclusion into the Heartland OK project. They must be referred to the local county health department by their primary care provider and meet one of the following criteria:


• Newly diagnosed with hypertension and been placed on a diuretic and/or anti-hypertensive medication as a result of a medical visit to a primary care provider or a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)
• Previously documented diagnosis of hypertension currently medically uncontrolled
• Social determinants that increase the risk of non-adherence with medical recommendations for the control of hypertension (exclusions would include acute mental health or substance abuse issues/diagnoses)


A coordinated care team and healthcare providers in each participating county will provide participants with free blood pressure checks, track participants blood pressure readings and work with pharmacists to help patients follow medication plans.

The Heartland OK Process is based upon collaboration between the treating clinician and the local health department to maximize benefits to hypertensive patients through a partnership with locally available medical care systems.


For more information about the Heartland OK project, contact the LeFlore County Health Department at 918-647-8601.



Friday, 23 June 2017 15:23

Luella "Lue" Thomas Obituary

Luella "Lue" Thomas, 90, of Poteau, OK passed away Friday, June 23, 2017 in Poteau, OK. Lue was born November 2, 1926 in Tahlequah, OK to Tom & Nevada (Turney) Martin.


She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, J.C. on January 9, 2004 {married August 3, 1946}; sisters, Violet Mae Woodall, Thelma Anderson; brothers, Oscar Lee & Cecil Norman Martin.


Survivors include her daughters, Lynda & Jimmie Archey of Cameron, OK, Sherry Weatherred of Crowell, TX; son, Chris & Darlene Thomas of Early, TX; 5 grandchildren, Bryce & Sasha Archey of Hochatown, OK, Christopher Thomas of Tahlequah, OK; Deidre Thomas of Poteau, OK, Stevi & Adam Arredondo of Iowa Park, TX, Andrea & Jeff Ryan of Clovis, NM; 6 great grandchildren, Jacie, Spencer, Zane, Grady, Jeffrey & Jace; 1 niece and 2 nephews; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 10 am, Monday, June 26, 2017 at Oakland Cemetery Pavilion, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow.


Pallbearers will be Jimmie Archey, Bryce Archey, Chris Thomas, Christopher Thomas, Adam Arredondo and Dean Martin.


The family will be at the funeral home on Sunday from 2-4 pm to visit with relatives & friends.


You may leave an online message at


The family has chosen to entrust the care of the services to Evans & Miller Funeral Home.

Attorney General Hunter Charges Doctor with Five Counts of Second Degree Murder

OKLAHOMA CITY – According to a press release from Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, charges have been filed against Dr. Regan Nichols with five counts of second degree murder.


Charges are in relation to the death of at least five patients during her time working at a Midwest City clinic.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Nichols, an osteopathic physician, knowingly prescribed controlled dangerous substances to patients without a legitimate medical need, in quantities and circumstances that are considered an extreme disregard of human life.

Attorney General Hunter thanked the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office and the investigating agents and attorneys who worked the case. He said attorneys in his office will do whatever it takes to ensure justice is served to the victims.

“I appreciate the effort from everyone who worked as a team and put this case together,” Attorney General Hunter said. “The dangers associated with opioid drugs have been well documented and most doctors follow strict guidelines when prescribing opioids to their patients. Nichols prescribed patients, who entrusted their well-being to her, a horrifyingly excessive amount of opioid medications. Nichols' blatant disregard for the lives of her patients is unconscionable.”

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s reports stated all five deaths were the result of multi-drug toxicity.

Through the investigation, agents found the five individuals who died were prescribed more than 1,800 opioid pills in the same months as their deaths.


Three of the five individuals were prescribed a deadly three drug combination of a narcotic opioid pain reliever, an anti-anxiety drug and a muscle relaxer. All of the prescriptions were signed by Nichols.

In addition, data gathered by agents through the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control Prescription Monitoring Program indicates that from Jan. 1, 2010 to Oct. 7, 2014, Nichols prescribed in excess of 3 million dosage units of controlled dangerous substances.

After a September 2015 hearing before the Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners, the board stripped Nichols of her prescribing authority of controlled dangerous substances. She voluntarily surrendered her credentials with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

An Oklahoma County judge has issued a warrant for her arrest. Nichols will be held in lieu of $50,000 bond.

Friday, 23 June 2017 10:19

Ruby L. Pendergrass Obituary


Ruby Pendergrass, 83, of Cameron, OK, passed away Thursday, June 22, 2017 in Cameron.


She was born October 20, 1933 at Cameron, OK, to G.W. and Willie Mae (Newman) Moody. She was retired from Rheem and was a homemaker.


She was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. Ruby could lift the spirits of anyone she met. She was very loving, kind, generous and would do anything for anyone. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.


Ruby is preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband Pete Pendergrass, a daughter Evelyn “Cookie” Anderson, a granddaughter Sharla Shirley, grandson Tony Wagnon, and numerous siblings.


Survivors include her son, Ronnie Pendergrass, and wife Hazel of Perkins, OK, daughters Peggy Pendergrass and Brenda Rowton both of Cameron, OK, and Christy and husband Jerry Rodgers of Heavener, OK, grandchildren, David Myers, Brad, Randy, and Rebecca Pendergrass, and seven great-grandchildren, as well as a host of nieces, nephews and other family members, friends, and loved ones.


Per Ruby’s wishes, there will be no viewing and a private family service will be held prior to interment at Greenhill Cemetery.


Arrangements are under the direction of Grace Manor Funeral Home, Poteau, OK.


You may leave an on-line greeting to the family at


Friday, 23 June 2017 08:20

National HIV Testing Day is June 27

Press Release:

National HIV Testing Day is Tuesday, June 27, and OSDH encourages everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 to get tested at least once in their life as part of their routine health care. People with certain risk factors should get tested more often.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 1.2 million people in the United States living with HIV. Due to effective treatments, people are living long and healthy lives with HIV. However, it is important to start treatment as soon as a person finds out they are HIV-positive. Since 1982, Oklahoma has had more than 10,000 HIV/AIDS cases and there are currently about 6,000 people living with HIV throughout the state.

The CDC estimates there are 50,000 new cases of HIV each year in the United States. Almost one in seven people are unaware of their HIV status. For young people between the ages of 13-24 living with HIV, more than half are unaware of their status. Getting tested is the only way to know.

County health departments provide testing services Monday-Friday.


Other testing sites can be found at or text your zip code to KNOW IT (566948).


There are also community-based organizations throughout the state which offer rapid HIV testing able to give results in about 20 minutes.


Locations and dates are below.

Oklahoma City
Expressions Community Center has testers available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. They are located at 2245 N.W. 39th Street.

Health Outreach Prevention Education, Inc. (H.O.P.E.) will be accepting walk-ins, June 26, at the East 31st Street location from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. They will be at the Dennis R. Neil Equality Center, June 27, from 4-8 p.m.

MAMA Knows will be testing at the North Commerce Street Walgreens June 27-29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Behaviors which place persons at risk for acquiring HIV include injecting drugs and sharing needles, men having sex with men, and persons having sex with someone whose sexual history is unknown. Among other risk reduction strategies, the OSDH encourages pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a prevention option. PrEP is a once-a-day pill for people who are HIV-negative, but who are at risk of contracting HIV. According to the CDC, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting HIV by more than 90 percent.

Press Release


Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma City’s Evelyn Smith’s summer will be anything but typical. Friday, June 9, Evelyn was crowned Miss Oklahoma’s Outstanding Teen 2017, a competition open statewide to teens across Oklahoma. An accomplished dancer, Smith wowed the judges and audience at ORU’s Mabee Center while performing a lyrical dance to “Rise Up.” 16-year-old Smith is a junior at Odyssey Leadership Academy, and plans to become a Civil Engineer. She is the daughter of Dana Carter.


Life has presented many challenges for Smith. Being raised as an overcomer led her to find a platform that would help her empower others: FEMA’s Ready Kids. It provides real world scenarios to teach young people what to do before, during, and after an emergency. Children comprise about 25 percent of our population, and according to FEMA, “disaster planning, response, and recovery efforts needs to take into account their unique needs.” In addition to teaching emergency preparedness, the program helps children develop real world life skills, such as problem solving, teamwork, creativity, leadership, and communication. “Emergencies don’t consider your age before they happen, which is why we need Ready Kids in every school. My goal is to help young people prepare themselves for life’s challenges and disasters, while equipping them with essential skills that can help them succeed every day,” Smith explains.


Smith is the first African American to capture the teen title in the 14 year history of the program, and she is excited to share a message of inclusion and diversity, along with her platform as she speaks to Oklahoman’s around the state. “My peers are faced with so many pressures that make them want to be like someone else. I wanted to win for all the quirky kids like me, so they knew that being themselves was more than enough!”


The Oklahoma state pageant is a preliminary to Miss America, an organization known for a long history of providing scholarships and performance opportunities to accomplished 13 to 24-year-olds, in the Miss and Teen divisions. She will be busy preparing for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, which will be held in July in Orlando, FL. And hopes to bring the coveted national crown to Oklahoma for back to back wins. The reigning Miss America’s Outstanding Teen is Edmond’s own Nicole Jia.


miss teen ok

miss teenok

State Board of Education prioritizes early learners, struggling readers, new educators amid continued funding losses

According to a press reelease from Oklahoma State Board of Education, the board of Education prioritized a budget focus on early learning and strengthening young readers.
Other priority areas included support for a well-rounded education that includes arts education as well as expanded supports and training for educators and new teachers.
At the board’s regular monthly meeting, officials from the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) presented the Fiscal Year 2018 budget as appropriated by the legislature for Pre-K through 12th grade public education.

“Restoring funding in early childhood initiatives and those that support struggling readers with the Reading Sufficiency Act will help bolster early literacy efforts for Oklahoma’s neediest young learners as school’s work to implement more challenging academic standards,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “Directing funding to these targeted initiatives will benefit Oklahoma’s at-risk schoolchildren and prepare them to excel in all subjects and grades.”

Schools will assess the reading skills of children in kindergarten through third grade at the beginning of the school year and receive reading allocation funds based on the number of those whose skills do not meet grade level targets.

Other programs that received funding increases over last year include the Oklahoma Arts Institute, Ag in the Classroom, Teach for America and high-need areas like alternative education, professional learning for educators and initiatives to combat the state’s ongoing teacher shortage.

The public education funding formula received a flat budget for FY18 that maintains funding from the Legislature’s initial appropriation for FY17. But reductions in funding in prior fiscal years included a $38 million cut to the Support of Public School Activities budget in FY17, which resulted in the loss of 38 education programs.

“Enduring these losses for the second fiscal year in a row means many essential programs in support of children and educators will again be without funding for the start of the new school year beginning July 1,” Hofmeister said.

The LeFlore County Branch of the NAACP is  proud to announce their 6th Dr. John Montgomery Scholarship Banquet, August 26, 2017 at 6pm at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center in Poteau, OK.


Dr. Montgomery helped organize the local NAACP and was very instrumental in ending segregation and bridging racial gaps that existed in the mid 1900’s. Dr. John Montgomery’s voice is still ringing loud and clear in our communities.


Sue Ann Arnall is an energy industry veteran, achieving numerous milestones for Continental Resources, Inc, and industry. In the early years of the company, she launched a lawsuit to protect the company’s assets, and won a $30 million judgment, the largest punitive damage award in Oklahoma up to that date. She ran a successful commodity trading desk, earning over $5 million a year in profit, boosting the company’s financials from a deficit to a profit. She pioneered the first successful large scale rail transportation of oil from the wellhead to the refinery.

After retiring from the corporate world, Ms Arnall founded Arnall Family Foundation. The foundation focuses on prison reform, foster children, and animal welfare. In the last year, Ms Arnall has donated over $30 million, and is committed to donating over $150 million more through the next five years. She is particularly concerned and focused on lowering the incarceration rate for African American men.

Ms Arnall is also politically active. Last year she ran a successful campaign against Oklahoma SQ 777, Right to Farm. She feared that if it had passed, that international agriculture companies, such as Monsanto, would have a free rein to pollute Oklahoma’s rivers and streams.

Ms. Arnall is a proud graduate of Poteau High School, and obtained a BA in Economics and a JD from the University of Tulsa.


She is a member of the The Giving Pledge, Oklahoma Bar Association, and is on the Board of Directors for OK Humane Society, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, and the University of Tulsa.


For more information on tickets or to make contributions to the fund please contact: Wesley Hooks, President LeFlore County Branch NAACP at (479) 420-3721.


Tickets are also available at Poteau Chamber of Commerce, Poteau Ok - Adults - $25, Youth - $15 -17 and under.


Corporate tables are also available



Ms. Sue Ann Arnall – Guest Speaker

OSBI Investigates Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting in McCurtain County.


According to a press release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, on Wednesday June 21, 2017, the McCurtain County District Attorney’s Office requested OSBI special agents investigate an officer-involved shooting in Millerton.

The shooting occurred when a McCurtain County Sheriff’s deputy and a Valliant police officer responded to a call of a domestic altercation in the 300 block of Chickasaw Road.
When officers arrived, they encountered Daniel Francisco Valenzuela, 37, who had forced his way into the residence.

Valenzuela was armed with a knife and ignored commands by officers to drop the knife.

Valenzuela reportedly threatened officers with the knife and advanced toward them.

One officer shot Valenzuela.

Valenzuela was transported by ambulance to McCurtain Memorial Hospital where he died from his injuries.

Page 1 of 425

Latest Events

Sponsored By: