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Tuesday March 20, 2018

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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Press release

OKLAHOMA CITY – Several House Democrats have responded to yesterday’s Oklahoma Supreme Court decision to allow an initiative petition to restore the gross production tax to pay for education costs to proceed.

State Question 795 would eliminate the tax rate that caps gross production at 2 percent and effectively restore the gross production tax back to 7 percent on all oil and gas wells. The restoration of the gross production tax will bring in an additional $340 million. A portion of this revenue would then be used to fund a $4,000 teacher pay raise and provide funding for other costs related to public education.

“This initiative represents the last stand for teachers,” said Minority Leader Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs. “In the absence of a substantial revenue package that restores funding to education, provides needed raises to teachers, support staff and state employees, this state question will give the people of Oklahoma an opportunity to increase funding for education by ensuring oil and gas companies pay their fair share.”

The Supreme Court’s decision doesn’t just signal a “plan b” for teacher pay raises. It also offers leverage to allow the Legislature to move on gross production and pass a more complete revenue package that addresses inadequate state agency funding and low teacher and state employee pay.

“The time is now,” said Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha. “The oil and gas industry has spent millions of dollars to keep the gross production rate at 2 percent. Now, they are staring down the barrel at 7 percent. Surely, with this added pressure on the industry, the Republicans inside the Capitol can come to the table and agree to a revenue package that includes a gross production tax of at least 5 percent.”

As the debate on gross production tax continues, oil and gas companies have threatened layoffs in response to the restoration of the tax rate, but many democrats have argued that the layoffs have already happened in education and other essential services despite the low GPT.

“Restoring the gross production tax isn’t about punishing oil and gas,” said Rep. Eric Proctor, D-Tulsa. “This is about restoring funding to rural health care so we can stop the closure of rural hospitals. This is about ensuring teachers in Oklahoma don’t have to take multiple jobs to provide for their family. This is about the Department of Corrections being able to hire more correctional officers so prisons are adequately staffed. This is about doing what is fair and what is right for the people of Oklahoma.”

Although restoring the gross production tax doesn’t bring in enough revenue by itself to shore up the state’s financial woes, it does provide a key element to a revenue package that could.

“Since early last year, our caucus has said we will not support a revenue package that continues to shift the tax burden in this state from the wealthy to working-class Oklahomans,” Kouplen said. “If Republicans are serious about wanting to fix this problem, now is their opportunity.Lawmakers will never have a better chance than this moment to negotiate a deal that fairly increases revenue to restore funding to state agencies and provide an opportunity to raise the pay of teachers, educational support staff and state employees.”

Monday, 19 March 2018 23:56

Voting For Our District

By Rep. Rick West


When voting on bills at the state Capitol, I always make it a point to vote for things that benefit House District 3 and against measures that could harm our community.


A few constituents have questioned my ‘yes’ vote on a bill that would move the Talihina Veterans Center. With only 99 beds occupied at the center, we are at risk of losing all 175 beds that we have in southeast Oklahoma. My ‘yes’ vote to relocate it was not an effort to shut the center down but to keep it open for 3 to 5 more years in hopes of another center being built. We must keep these 175 beds for our veterans. My vote was to provide the best for these dedicated individuals who sacrificed so much for our country.


I did everything I could to keep this center in Talihina. But when the director of the Department of Veterans Affairs tells me multiple times that ODVA is going to close the center, I have to listen. Those 175 beds – and 250 jobs – matter to me. So in the end, I decided to vote how I thought would best benefit the wellbeing of our veterans and their families.


On the House floor last week, representatives considered a measure that could ultimately lower the voting threshold for revenue-raising measures. Back in the 1990s, the people rallied up support and introduced a petition to raise the voting requirement to 75 percent. If voters want to lower that threshold back down, they should lead the charge on this and create an initiative petition of their own. I just don’t think lawmakers ought to be navigating this ship when the voters made their voice clear the first time around.


It’s important to also note any of these tax increases – from cigarettes to the motor fuel taxes – are eligible to go to a vote of the people. Under State Question 640, measures that do not receive 75 percent approval by the Legislature are able to go to a vote of the people. All those measures need by citizens is a 50 percent plus one vote. Perhaps we should let voters consider these bills that didn’t quite reach the threshold. That way, our constituencies can truly have a voice in this matter.


In other legislative news, I have gotten several calls from retirees about the Oklahoma Senate’s choice voting to end the capital gains deduction. One LeFlore County resident told me the bill meant he would pay an additional $1,200 annually – an amount that has him wondering if he’d be better off moving to another state. With so many retirees in our district, I was grateful to hear this man’s story. Please know I’ll be voting against killing the deduction if it reaches the House floor.


One last note: I enjoyed our somewhat-impromptu meeting on March 17 with members of the community, teachers and superintendents. I know our opinions may differ on certain issues, but I always appreciate the opportunity to discuss our views. The people of House District 3 are always kind and eager to listen. And trust me: I take your opinions back to the Capitol each week.


As always, if there’s anything I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


I’m at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and 405-557-7413.


Thanks, and God bless.




Press release


Poteau Oklahoma: 13th Annual Community Wide Trash-Off

Saturday, April 21st Check In 9:00 a.m.
Allstar Parking Center - Poteau


Daylight Savings Time has changed, Spring is in the air. It’s time to gather family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, club members, church members or just yourself to participate in the 13th Annual Community Wide Trash Off! FREE food is provided and some camaraderie among team-mates, and a little friendly competition for awards, makes the work fun for the day.


In addition to trophies for Most Business Members, Most Team Members, Most Bags Collected, Most Non-Profit Members, Most School/Organizations Members, Most Family Members & Most Church Members the Poteau Chamber is offering a $100 donation to the non-profit group that has the most members participating. Each year the volunteers come out in large numbers picking up trash around affected areas off Broadway, at City Parks, Downtown and at chosen neighborhoods. This does not include residents trash pick-up. We encourage to clean up the entire week or that day and haul their own trash south of town to the LeFlore County Solid Waste Transfer Station for FREE during the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


The nice weather is already calling people outside for activities and the yard cleaning fever. With the changing land scape, the greener grass and flowers popping up everywhere, most certainly make the need to pick up trash more apparent to get involved keeping our Community clean. Each year hundreds of volunteers take time out to choose a team, choose a location and pick up lots of trash.


This year’s event is April 21st ; the date is set in conjunction with the state Trash Off day each year. Check-in will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the parking lot in front of Strike – A- Lot Lanes. Donuts and juice will be available at check-in provided by Dee at Cakes & More. The Community State Bank will be grilling and serving hot dogs for lunch beginning at 11:30 as groups return with loads of trash. Each participant will receive a ticket for a free hot dog, chips, and a drink. Awards will be given after the teams have returned and bags have been tallied.


There are several ways you can help make this event a great success! Organize a team from your business, club, sports team, church, family, or friends. Or just participate as an individual. If you can’t get out-doors to help, pray for good weather and safety for all the participants. If you are interested in helping “Keep Poteau Beautiful” call the chamber office.


The entire week is dedicated to keeping our community clean and promoting and educating students and residence. Each year in conjunction with the Community Wide Trash Off, the 4th grade students from Poteau Upper Elementary participates in a Poster Contest as part of a; litter awareness campaign. The top 10 posters will be placed on Facebook and the public will vote.


Posters are chosen as 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, “Judges Choice” and “People’s Choice”. The winners receive gift cards from Wal-Mart. & Certificates from the local McDonalds. The Poster Awards Ceremony will take place at the Upper Elementary School on April 19th at 2:00 pm this year. You can also order the 2018 Trash-Off Shirt by calling Poteau Chamber.


Deadline for orders is April 10th. The trash-off shirts are purple this year with the art work of last year’s winner.

To register or volunteer to help, call the Chamber of Commerce office (918-647-9178). Maps are available for volunteers to request to pick up designated areas, but please check with chamber office to make sure those areas are not already assigned or requested.




“When this event was started 13 years ago there were only about 4 people that came out that day to help. Now numbers total over 300 each year, collecting over 250 bags and helping us make a difference in our community. This year will be even better. Poteau Chamber can’t say enough about the volunteers that help with any event that we choose to host, “states Karen Wages, CEO Poteau Chamber of Commerce.



Monday, 19 March 2018 23:34

Get ready for Cooking with C's


Press release


POTEAU, OKLAHOMA – The City of Poteau, Carl Albert State College, Classic Country 107.3 and The Poteau Chamber of Commerce are getting plans ready for the 2nd Annual Chili Cook Off.

Friday, April 20th 11: -2:00 at The Donald W. Reynolds Center.


Carl Albert State College and The Poteau Chamber of Commerce have put together another great team that results in a great day for this event. Last year was the first time to host the event at The Donald W. Reynolds Center. The format was changed from the previous CASC Chili Cook Off and those that had teams and came out to eat loved the new format and larger venue at DWRCC.


As last year’s event, each team will have an 8ft round table and could decorate, display and get crazy with ideas to draw the most attraction and votes. Team requirements are, each team must have a minimum of 5 crockpots of chili. If any one of the pots is chosen as the winner the team wins total prize of $300 in cash, a traveling trophy and bragging rights. Registration is FREE, and each registering team will receive 5 armbands for entrance to the event.

Other prizes will be awarded include $200 for second place and $100 people’s choice for best costume and presentation. This is a great business networking event and most of all some great chili. This will expose the teams to all those that have purchased tickets to sample the great chili of Poteau and the River Valley.

Classic Country 107.3 will be here helping with promotion and working with the crowds during the length of the event. Donald W. Reynolds Center will host the event in the large banquet room allowing everyone to be there at one time with lots seating space. Poteau Chamber will be serving hot-dogs chuck wagon style. Mark your calendar, get your teams ready and stay tuned for more information on our Facebook page Poteau Chili Cook Off. Proceeds of this event will benefit a local non-profit organization. Last year’s benefactor was The LeFlore County Youth Services.


“We could not do this without our corporate partners Classic Country 107.3, Wal-Mart and Pepsi. These great businesses helped make this event a huge success allowing business to network with new people, make new friends and just have some fun for the day. Poteau Chamber wants to see this grow into the largest Chili Cook-Off in the River Valley Area”, states Karen Wages CEO Poteau Chamber of Commerce.

To sign up as a team visit our website or the Facebook page Poteau Chili Cook Off or contact Sara at the Chamber Office 918-647-9178. Deadline for Team Entry April 16th. To purchase tickets, call the Chamber Office. Tickets only $8 per person and will get a chance to win cash door prizes. Get your Chili Cooking or Tasting Skills on and join us on Friday, April 20th from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.




Monday, 19 March 2018 23:32

Fatal Motorcycle crash in Payne County

At approximately 4:57pm on March 17, 2018, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol were dispatched to an accident between a semi-truck and a motorcycle.

The accident occurred on State Highway 51, just west of Prairie Road, approximately three miles east of Stillwater in Payne County.


According to the report, a 2007 Peterbuilt Semi truck driven by Hunter Clifton Taylor 24, of Glenrock, WY was east bound on SH51 and was attempting to make a wide turn to go south into a private drive when a 2014 Harley Davidson Motorcycle driven by Clarence H. Boss III 72, of Pawnee, OK was traveling east bound and collided into the front the semi.

Boss, expired at the scene due to massive injuries.

The accident is still under investigation by the OHP.

Payne County Sheriff's office and Stillwater Fire Department were dispatched to the scene.

Monday, 19 March 2018 23:23

Larry "Leo" Davis Obituary


Larry "Leo" Davis, 80, of Dog Creek, OK passed away Sunday, March 18, 2018 in Dog Creek. Leo was born March 15, 1938 in Shady Point, OK to Elvin & Juanita (Sides) Davis.


Leo was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He loved country music & was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Shelby Ross.


Survivors include his wife Mary, of the home; daughters, Nita Beebe & husband Randy,Pamela Bower & husband David; son, Loren Davis & wife Trudy; grandchildren, Justin Beebe, Larrisa Beebe, Brandon Bower, Alexandria Eaton, Ruthe Bryce, Laney Davis, Lezlie Davis, Shance Davis; great grandchildren, Jolee Williams, Candon Bower, Colt Williams, Breonna Bryce, Corbin Eaton, Jaston Bower, Jaxon Bryce; brother, Dale  Davis of Okemah; sister, Jo Hutton of OKC; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 10 am, Thursday, March 22, 2018 at Dog Creek Cemetery Pavilion with Jim Cook officiating.


Burial will follow.


Pallbearers will be Justin Beebe, Tracy Lovell, Andy Ayliffe, Jamin Eaton, Daniel Davis, Kris Davis, Brandon Bower, Dexter Ross. Honorary pallbearers will be Ray, Jerry, Jack & Burl Lovell.


The family will be at the funeral home on Wednesday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends.


You may leave an online message at


The family has chosen to entrust the ca re of the services toEvans & Miller Funeral Home, Poteau, Oklahoma.


By OICA CEO Joe Dorman


Last week was the deadline week for bills to be heard in the house of origin in the Oklahoma Legislature. In all, about 850 pieces of legislation are left alive in the House and Senate for consideration, down from an original total of 4100 in early February.


OICA has been working on several different pieces of legislation, and I am pleased to say that we have made progress in several of our priority areas. For instance, I recently wrote about my concerns regarding Senate Bill 1435, which allowed public schools to suspend students – even very young students – indefinitely. Since I voiced those concerns, we have worked with legislators to modify and moderate the language in that bill. While the newest version still lowers the age for which schools can suspend students for assault, it also reduces the length of time they can be suspended for and increases opportunities for counseling. We feel this language is far better than both existing law and the original bill. Thank you to Senators Ron Sharp and Allison Ikely-Freeman for their work with us in the Senate. We hope some of the minor changes we would like to see moving forward will be considered in the House of Representatives, including further strengthening the provisions dealing with counseling and treatment for suspended students.


Criminal Justice Reform also continues to make major headway this legislative session, with six separate bills gaining traction in both legislative chambers and receiving early support from the governor. OICA strongly supports reform measures that would help families stay united rather than seeing more parents imprisoned. It is my hope these bills will receive a thorough review and a fair opportunity to be considered. Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City, was selected to be the new chair of the House committee which will oversee these reforms and I am confident he will be much more willing to see compromise and allow fair hearings than previous committee chairs.


As has been well-documented in the press, negotiations are ongoing and thus far fruitless regarding potential revenue enhancements. I am personally very worried that our Legislature is not only incapable of passing a revenue raising measure with a three-quarters majority, but also incapable of mustering the simple majority required to place such a measure on the November ballot. While allowing the people to vote on new revenue may feel like a no-brainer, some legislators are hyper-sensitive to any vote that can be labelled as supportive of tax increases during an election year, even with the obvious and critical funding needs we now face. OICA will continue to work with legislators and advocates to champion needed funding for child-related issues. To that end, please join us on May 9 for Child Advocacy Day at the State Capitol as we call upon lawmakers to pass kid-friendly bills and a responsible budget. You can find details at for what will be scheduled.


Finally, congratulations are in order to Senator Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City and Representative Charles McCall, R-Atoka for their recent elections as the top leaders in their respective legislative bodies. We hope to continue our work with them to see better things for our state and hope for bipartisan solutions for the problems we face in Oklahoma. Both gentlemen have been personal friends of mine since before their elections to office, so I have a long track record of working with them and hope to continue that productive relationship in their leadership roles.


Press release


NORMAN – The No. 6 Oklahoma men’s golf team leads after two rounds at the Lone Star Invitational. The two-day, 54-hole tournament is being played at the par-72, 7,247-yard Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas.


The Sooners posted a 279 (-9) in the first round of action and a 286 (-2) in the second to grab a 13-shot lead with a 36-hole total of 565 (-11).


“The opportunities were out there for us today and we didn’t capitalize on them in the afternoon,” OU head coach Ryan Hybl said. “The guys feel good though and we will be ready for tomorrow.”


UTEP and Arkansas State are tied for second place with an overall 578 (+2), while Little Rock, New Mexico State and UTSA share fourth place at 581 (+5).


Senior Grant Hirschman is tied for first place on the individual leaderboard through 36 holes with a two-round score of 140 (-4). The senior opened the day with a 68 (-4) and followed up with a 72 (E) in the second round to share the lead with Arkansas State’s Jakub Bares. Hirschman pocketed seven birdies during Monday’s two rounds.


Junior Brad Dalke and redshirt sophomore Quade Cummins hold a share of third place, one shot back of the lead at the end of day one. Dalke totaled a 141 (-3) on Monday with a 70 (-2) and a 71 (-1) over two rounds. Cummins led after the first 18 holes, matching his career low with a 68 (-4) before closing out the day with a 73 (+1) to finish the first two rounds.


Redshirt sophomore Thomas Johnson is tied for 20th place with a 36-hole 145 (+1). Johnson carded a 73 (+1) and a 72 (E) in the first and second rounds, respectively.


Rounding out OU’s lineup, sophomore Garett Reband is tied for 26th place heading into Tuesday’s final round at 146 (+2). Reband posted a 75 (+3) in the first round before closing the day with a 71 (-1). The sophomore picked up a pair of eagles during Monday’s 36 holes.


Competing as an individual and unattached from team scoring, junior Blaine Hale is tied for 20th at 145 (+1) after two rounds. After posting a 74 (+2) in the first round, Hale carded a 71 (-1) in the second to close the day.


The final round of the Lone Star Invitational is scheduled for Tuesday. Playing as a group, the Sooners will tee off at 8:30 a.m. CT from hole No. 1. Live scoring will be available on


Written by Tyler Pigg | Associate Director- University of Oklahoma Athletics Communications



According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation, on Friday, March 16, 2018 just before 8am, a man checking his cattle in Pontotoc County discovered a dead body.

He called the sheriff’s office who, in turn, called the medical examiner’s office and the OSBI for assistance.

The medical examiner’s office has transported the body to its Oklahoma City office for an autopsy and identification.

OSBI special agents documented the scene and collected evidence.

OSBI forensic analysts will process the evidence at the OSBI Forensic Science Center.

Saturday, 17 March 2018 20:18

Two injured in accident near Red Oak

According to a report from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, two people were injured in an one vehicle accident that occurred on March 17, 2018 at approximately 3:30 pm on State Highway 82, 5.6 mile south of Red Oak in Latimer County.


According to the report, a 2017 Ford truck, driven by Jonita Neboyia 27, from Wilburton and her passenger Jonathan Sam 31, also from Wilburton, were traveling northbound on SH82, when the vehicle departed the road to the left.


Neboyia overcorrected the to the right, then the truck departed the road to the right and rolled an unknown amount of time coming to rest on the wheels.

Neboyia was ejected from the vehicle approximately 13 feet.


She was transported by Tulsa Life Flight to St John Hospital in Tulsa. She was listed in stable condition with arm, head and back injuries.


Sam was transported by LeFlore County EMS to Latimer County General Hospital in Wilburton where he was treated and released.


According to the report, the condition of driver - Odor of alcohol and the cause of the collision- Unsafe speed on a curve or turn.

The accident was investigated by the OHP.

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