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Sunday September 23, 2018

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OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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By Glenda Wise 


I cannot believe I forgot to tell you last week that Grayson and her roommate, Karsyn, won the OU Admission and Recruitment’s competition for best dorm! To top it off one of the prizes was that they each receive a $1,000 scholarship. The best part is that we didn’t spend a fortune decorating it.

Last year she and her roommate met via OU’s roommate forum (it’s set up a lot like a combination of a social media and dating site).


She was able to search and narrow down possible roommates based on things they did or did not like to do and by how important schoolwork was to you, etcetera. She and Karsyn never officially met until last spring, but had everything worked out about decorating their dorm way before then. They sent one another pictures and decided on an overall theme while preserving the individuality of each girl. Grayson had a specific idea in mind for her side that blended well with Karsyn’s.


Grayson’s is a bit more muted, while Karsyn’s has a pop of a brighter color within the same color family. The best part is that we didn’t spend a fortune on decorating the dorm. Since Grayson had pictures and a general idea, we were able to really have fun shopping and buying a little along the way for several months before she needed it.

Once they each decorated their side of the dorm, they tied it all together with a beautiful layered rug. The rug really brought the whole look together and made it look and feel homey. Heck, you don’t even notice the off-whitish cinder block walls! Finally, they hung bistro lights on the ceiling to give a nice lighting effect rather than the harsh fluorescent lights.

You can apply this same method when decorating your home for everyday or even the fast-approaching holidays. Spend a little time doing the legwork and finding pictures of what you really want. Once you decide, and then start shopping. Allow yourself enough time to be able to shop and look in unexpected places like small shops, yard sales and Goodwill. Don’t automatically gravitate to the big box stores.


Grayson’s bedding came from a cute little local shop in downtown Ada when we there for the state science fair. It wasn’t exactly like the one from Anthropology, but very close and half the price! Moreover, I love supporting small, local businesses.

Speaking of local businesses, have you checked out Poteau’s very own Deep Roots Nursery? It might just be one of the cutest places I have ever shopped. The owner has done an incredible job by fixing the little shop up and offering some really unique items. I fell in love with two metal pumpkins for my flowerbed. They make me happy every time I come home! Her prices are great too! Go check it out and support a small, local business.


Saturday, 22 September 2018 23:07

Shirley Ray (Dennis) Koeninger Obituary


Shirley Ray (Dennis) Koeninger, 68, of Poteau, OK passed away Thursday, September 20, 2018 in Poteau.


Shirley was born October 28, 1949 in Ft. Smith, AR to Oscar Jackson & Retha Marie (Gipson) Barnes.


She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Donald J. Barnes; husband, Terry Koeninger.

Survivors include her daughter, Kelley Dennis & David Hardin of Poteau; son, Jeff Dennis of Poteau; sister & brother in law, Diane & Jim Adkins of Broken Arrow, OK; grandchildren, Layne, Zayden, Joshua, Kaycee Hall & fiancé Dylan Duncan; great grandchildren, Lauren Corley & Lexei Duncan of Poteau ; half-sister, Jenna; other relatives, loved ones and friends.

Services will be 2 pm, Monday, September 24, 2018 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau with Rev. Jim Cook officiating.


Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau. Pallbearers will be Gregg Qualls, Doug Rutledge, Skip Baxter, Jody Adams, Ed Sockey, Thomas Parkhurst.


You may leave an online message at


The family has chosen to entrust the care of the services to Evans & Miller Funeral Home, POTEAU, OK

Press release

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Nicholas Ryan Renfro, age 25, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release for Possession Of A Counterfeit Obligation Of The United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 474(a). The charges arose from an investigation by the Tahlequah Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Secret Service.


The Indictment alleged that on January 10, 2018, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the Defendant knowingly had in his possession and custody, with intent to sell or otherwise use, a falsely made and counterfeited one-hundred-dollar Federal Reserve Note made after the similitude of obligations issued under the authority of the United States.


“The circulation of counterfeit U.S. Currency in the Tahlequah area has been a problem for local businesses and residents for some time. Because of the diligent efforts of the Tahlequah Police Department, Secret Service, and ATF, members of this office were able to successfully prosecute Renfro. This source of counterfeit money is no longer contributing to the problem,” United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester said. “I continue to urge everyone accepting cash for goods or services to pay close attention to what they are receiving. If you have accepted a bill and have reason to believe it is a counterfeit, contact your local law enforcement agency. Receiving timely information is key to solving virtually every crime, including counterfeiting.”


The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing.


Assistant United States Attorney Dean Burris represented the United States. The defendant will remain in custody pending transportation to the designated federal facility at which the non-paroleable sentence will be served.

Saturday, 22 September 2018 22:58

Britton Powers Long Obituary



Britton Powers Long, 29, of Cameron, OK passed away Thursday, September 20, 2018 in Poteau, OK.


Britton was born January 12, 1989 in Oklahoma City, OK to Tracy and Julie Long.


He was preceded in death by Father Tracy Ward Long; Grandparents Dare Ward and Betty Long; Uncles Billy Powers, Tom Shoup, and Tom Long.

Britton was a loving father and wildly free spirit who loved every day to the fullest. He held a bachelors degree in Environmental Health and Safety from NSU. He was loved by many and will be missed by all.

He is survived by the two loves of his life Montoya Seymour and daughter Londyn Jayde Long; Sister Erin Long; Parents Julie and Mike Salgado; Grandparents Dewey and Marjorie Shoup, Gene and Jane Wood; and many other relatives, loved ones and friends.

Visitation will be at the funeral home on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 11am-1 pm.

Memorial Services will be 10:00 am, Monday, September 24, 2018 at the Evans Memorial Chapel Poteau, OK with Phil McGehee and Jim Cook officiating. The family will be at the funeral home on Monday evening from 6-8 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, Poteau, OK

Press release

MUSKOGEE—The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced over $1 billion in funding for a new round of grants to combat the opioid crisis nationwide. Over $1.8 million was awarded to Native American tribes by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This is in addition to the $50 million specifically allocated for tribes for their efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

“Indian Country has been hit hard by the opioid crisis,” said Mullin. “American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest opioid overdose rate in the country—higher than any other minority. I am glad to see HHS award grant funding to tribes across the country so tribal leaders can secure the resources and services necessary to turn the tide of the crisis devastating their communities.”

Congressman Mullin advocated strongly for tribes to receive their own opioid funding, rather than having to petition the state for grant funding. HHS will allot an additional $50 million to tribes on September 30, 2018.


This allotment fulfills the legislative intent of the Tribal Addiction and Recovery Act (TARA), which Congressman Mullin introduced in March that allows tribes direct access to federal opioid grants and permits grants to be used to treat all substance abuse disorders.



Press release

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has charged a former office manager at a Warr Acres nursing facility with two felony counts of embezzlement and three felony counts of obtaining money by false pretenses after an investigation by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The investigation found that Sandra Tovar was running a fraudulent billing scheme, where she would divert residents’ payments for nursing care at the facility to her own bank account. Throughout the course of her employment, investigators claim Tovar embezzled nearly $20,000.

“Crimes against the elderly, who are among the most vulnerable, and their family members will not be tolerated by my office,” Attorney General Hunter said. “We hope these charges serve as a deterrent to others who abuse their power for personal financial gain. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in my office, who investigated the claims that led to the charges.”

According to the probable cause affidavit, Tovar was fired in 2015 for requiring family members who admitted residents to pay the first three months up front by a cashier check or with cash, which was not the facility’s policy.

Administrators also discovered fictitious billing statements, which led to an internal audit. The auditor found checks from family members made out to cash to pay the facility.

Tovar was also charged with one misdemeanor count of obtaining money by false pretenses.

If convicted, Tovar faces up to 31 years in prison and/or fines of $26,000.

All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

Friday, 21 September 2018 10:06

Mullin Named ‘Friend of Farm Bureau’

Press release


MUSKOGEE—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) was recently named a ‘Friend of Farm Bureau’ for the 115th Congress by the American Farm Bureau Federation.


“I am honored to be named a Friend of Farm Bureau for the 115th Congress,” said Mullin. “The world depends on American farmers and ranchers. It is our job in Congress to ensure our farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to continue to feed the world. I want to thank the American Farm Bureau for this award and look forward to continuing to advocate for our nation’s farmers and ranchers.”


The American Farm Bureau Federation gives the ‘Friend of Farm Bureau’ award to members of Congress who have supported Farm Bureau’s position on policy issues, as demonstrated by their voting records, and who were nominated by their respective state Farm Bureaus and approved by the AFBF Board of Directors.


Thursday, 20 September 2018 16:49

One Killed in Multi Car Accident in Poteau

Press release


On September 20,  at approximately 1:53 pm, the Poteau Police Department, Poteau Fire Department, and LeFlore County EMS were dispatched to the 5000 block of North Broadway on a call of a motor vehicle collision with reported injuries and entrapment.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a white 2017 Ford F-250 pickup truck hauling a trailer loaded with dirt and gravel driven by Jonathan Mitchell (40 of Poteau) was stopped facing southbound in the turn lane of North Broadway, waiting to turn left.

A blue 2005 Dodge pickup truck driven by Britton Powers Long (29 of Cameron) was southbound on North Broadway. Witnesses stated that the Dodge was swerving across both southbound lanes. The Dodge swerved southbound into the turn lane and collided with the rear of the trailer attached to the F-250.

The impact with the trailer caused it to swing east into the inside northbound lane of North Broadway, colliding with the driver's side of a blue 2006 Hyundai Sonata driven by Cynthia Bordelean (45 of Hope Mills, North Carolina) and containing two passengers.

Long had to be extricated from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office will investigate.


No injuries were reported in the other two vehicles.

From Assistant Chief Greg Russell # 652 

Press release

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Johnny Ray Webb, age 51, of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, entered a guilty plea to Felon In Possession Of Firearm And Ammunition, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), punishable by not more than 10 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000.00 fine, or both.


The Indictment alleged that on or about March 14, 2018, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendant, having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, did knowingly possess in and affecting commerce, a firearm and ammunition which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce.


The charges arose from an investigation by the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


The Honorable Steven P. Shreder, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, accepted the plea and ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report.


Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Wilson represented the United States.

Press release

While the season for West Nile virus (WNV) has been mild compared to previous years, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) encourages residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV, a mosquito-borne illness.

So far in 2018, the OSDH reports there are seven confirmed cases of WNV disease with one case leading to a death. Five cases have occurred among Oklahomans older than 50 years of age. Most cases have been reported during the months of August and September.

Although relatively mild temperatures and heavy rainfall have contributed to a milder WNV season, health officials are reminding the public that mosquitoes often spread the virus through October and it is important to take precautions to prevent getting bitten by an infected mosquito.

WNV is spread through the bite of the Culex mosquito, which feeds on infected birds and transmits the virus when biting humans, horses and some other mammals.This type of mosquito increases in numbers during mid to late summer when the temperatures climb and the weather pattern is dry.

Precautions to prevent mosquito bites include:
• Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 on exposed skin and clothing when going outdoors, particularly between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to bite. Insect repellent with permethrin should be used on clothing only. Always follow instructions when applying repellent.
• Avoid spraying repellent on a child’s hands, eyes, mouth or irritated skin. Adults should apply repellent to their hands and then apply to a child’s face. Products containing DEET may be used on children older than 2 months of age.
• Protect infants by putting a mosquito net over infant carriers and strollers.
• Avoid outdoor activities when Culex mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and early evening.
• When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
• Repair or install window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of the home.
• Prevent items such as buckets, cans, pool covers, flower pots, children’s toys and tires from holding water so mosquitoes don’t have a place to breed.
• Clean leaves and debris from rain gutters regularly to ensure they are not clogged.
• Repair any leaking faucets or irrigation systems.

Symptoms of WNV vary widely depending on a person’s risk for more severe disease that involves the central nervous system. Some may experience sudden onset of fever, headache, dizziness, and muscle weakness and recover within one to three weeks while others develop life-threatening meningitis or encephalitis causing confusion, stupor, paralysis or a coma.

Long-lasting complications of WNV disease can include difficulty concentrating, migraine headaches, extreme muscle weakness and tremors, and paralysis of a limb. Those older than the age of 50, diabetics, or those suffering from uncontrolled hypertension are at greater risk of developing severe neurologic disease from WNV.


There is no vaccine or treatment drug for the illness, so taking steps to avoid mosquito bites is the only defense.

For more information, visit the OSDH web site at



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