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OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Friday, 27 September 2019 05:44

Marriage Licenses September 16-20, 2019

The LeFlore County Court Clerk’s office issued marriage licenses to the following couples during the week of September 16-29, 2019:


Blake Trevor Blakey and Sarah Ann Townley

Kelly Shane Young and Ladonna Marie Blakey

Jeremiah Shane Taylor and Miranda Louise Jones

Cody Dean Cash Emily Nichole Cooper

Jeremiah James Bond and Jana Kay Robinson

Clinton R. Bradley and Tara Anne McGuire

Marcus Haskell Treadaway and Jennifer Anne Toner

Marriage Licenses September 16-20, 2019 - 1.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Press release


WILBURTON, Okla. – Eastern Oklahoma State College’s 2019 nursing graduates achieved a 97.5 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination. The NCLEX is a mandatory examination to receive licensure as a registered nurse.


Thirty-nine out of 40 Eastern graduates passed the exam on their first attempt. Students who attended classes in Wilburton achieved a 100 percent pass rate, while students in McAlester earned a 95 percent pass rate.


Gina Bullock, director of Eastern’s Nursing Division, said this year’s national pass rates have not been released. However, the past three years have ranged between 84.56 percent and 88.30 percent. If the national pass rates remains about the same, Eastern’s 2019 class will have far exceeded the national rate.


“We could not be more proud of our graduates for this accomplishment,” Bullock said. “They have all worked incredibly hard in their time at Eastern and I am thrilled to see it pay off for them. Our faculty have also poured countless hours into teaching these students and should take pride in this accomplishment as well.”


Eastern’s nursing program offers an associate of applied science degree for students to become registered nurses. The program typically takes two years (four semesters) of full-time academic study to complete. The program has two tracks – a basic licensure program and a LPN/EMTP transition program for students who have been practicing as a licensed practical nurse or paramedic.


For more information, visit or call 918-465-1794.


Eastern Class of 2019 nursing graduates post high NCLEX pass rate - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Press release

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has confirmed the first case in the state associated with a national occurrence of serious lung injuries related to e-cigarette and vaping product use. The patient is a Tulsa County resident under the age of 18.

State health officials began the investigation in early September when they issued an advisory to health care providers requesting them to report any cases of severe pulmonary disease of unknown origin and a history of recent e-cigarette use. Since then, OSDH officials continue to review medical records, gather data and conduct patient interviews.

“We are committed to working with our state and federal partners to learn everything we can about this investigation in order to prevent further injury and potential death,” said Commissioner of Health Gary Cox. “E-cigarettes are unregulated, and of great concern is the significant number of young people using the products. The public is advised to consider refraining from using all e-cigarette and vaping products while the investigation is ongoing.”

Regardless of the investigation, health officials advise strongly against buying e-cigarette and vaping products off the street and modifying products or adding substances not intended by the manufacturer. At no time are e-cigarette or vaping products recommended for use by youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products. There is no safe amount of nicotine exposure, and there is no e-cigarette product or vape device recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a cessation device.

People who are using e-cigarette or vaping devices as a method for quitting tobacco are urged not to return to smoking cigarettes. Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments including counseling and FDA-approved medications. Those who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping products, should contact a health care provider or the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), e-cigarette or vaping products are also called vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, tank systems, mods, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Using an e-cigarette or vapor product is commonly called vaping. Vaping can also refer to using an e-cigarette or vaping product to inhale many substances, including nicotine and THC or CBD oils.

Preliminary data from the 2019 Oklahoma Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows a 70% increase from 2017 to 2019 in the current electronic vapor products (EVPs) use by Oklahoma high school students. In particular, the 2019 preliminary data shows that more than a quarter of high school students in Oklahoma currently use EVPs. Among Oklahoma adults, data from the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System shows that 1 in 12 adults in Oklahoma were current e-cigarette users. Oklahoma had the highest prevalence of current e-cigarette use among adults in the nation for two years in a row (2016-2017).

Patients involved in the nationwide investigation have reported symptoms such as prolonged cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever and abdominal pain. Individuals who have a history of e-cigarette use or vaping in the last 90 days, and are experiencing any of these symptoms should contact a health care provider as soon as possible.

For more information visit,

Thursday, 26 September 2019 16:15

Lucille Ward Jackson Obituary

Lucille Ward Jackson of Spiro, Oklahoma was born July 20, 1957 in Kansas City, Missouri to William Bert and Effie Bell (Goad) Ward and passed away September 25, 2019 in Fort Smith, Arkansas at the age of 62.


She is survived by her husband, Edward Wayne Jackson, Kujo, her white poodle that she loved like a child, sister, Janet Lee Ward-Sowers and husband Alan Sowers of Fort Smith, Arkansas, nieces, Tyler Lucille Sowers-Benfield and husband Dale Benfield, Casey Lee Sowers-Shelor and husband Andrew Shelor, great-niece, Nora Reese Shelor, numerous other relatives and loved ones.


Lucille was preceded in death by her father, William Ward, mother, Effie Brasher, grandmother, Hester Lucille Cogburn, and grandfather, Oather Edward Cogburn.


Although Lucille never had any children of her own, she was a big part in raising her nieces Tyler and Casey. She coddled them when they couldn’t sleep, bandaged boo-boo’s, but mostly she played with them. She was very energetic and always willing to do whatever the girls had in mind, but she corrected them when they needed it too. Therefore, experiencing having the feeling of a Mother’s Love. Then there is Kujo, her beautiful white fluffy four legged “boy”. She was protective like a mother bear with never ending praise and love for her beloved poodle. He brightened her day, every day. Lucille was a member of Flower Hill Pentecostal Church of God and Proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.


Funeral Services will be 10:00 am Friday, September 27, 2019 at Flower Hill Pentecostal Church of God will Reverend Vernon Stone officiating. Burial will follow at New Hope Cemetery in Spiro, Oklahoma under the direction of Mallory-Martin Funeral Home in Spiro.

Pallbearers will be Jeff Goad, Wayne Goad, Andrew Shelor, Dale Benfield, Alan Sowers, and Junior Harper.


To sign Lucille’s online guest book, please visit www.


Thursday, 26 September 2019 16:10

Virginia Ann Lawler Obituary


Virginia Ann Lawler, Age 67, of Eagletown, OK passed from this life to her eternal home on Sept 25th surrounded by her family in Paris, TX. She was born on Dec 29th, 1951 in Oklahoma City, OK.


Ann or Memaw as she was known by many children she cared for in her small community. She was an employee of Wal-Mart in Broken Bow for over 15 years, then a private care taker of children and the elderly until her health wouldn’t allow her to anymore. She loved camping, fishing, playing cards, quilting and caring for the elderly and children. She was preceded in death by her dad, Dean E Worley.

She leaves to survive her soul mate, Teddy Owen; Four children, Tim & Sonya Lawler of Holly Creek, Tony & Jill Lawler of Eagletown, OK, Genia & Paul Mathews of Eagletown, OK, and Virgil & Tracie Owen of Ft. Towson, OK; Mother and Step-Father, Steve and Dob Worley of Eagletown, OK; Seven siblings, Donna & Bob Fikes of Mt. Belvieu, TX., Jan & Jim Cook of Poteau, OK., Brenda and Kelsey Keeney of Idabel, OK., Pam Bradshaw of Poteau, OK., Rick Worley of Broken Bow, OK., Vickie & Mike Gamble of Idabel, OK., Tammy & Billy Okley of Mt. Belvieu, TX; an aunt, Twalla Robinson of Poteau, Ok. Eleven grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and a host of relatives, friends & loved ones.

Services will be held at the Eagletown Gymnasium on Saturday, Sept. 28th at 10:00 a.m. with burial interment Oakland Cemetery , Poteau, OK. at 3:00 P.M.


Under the direction of Evans Miller Funeral Home of Poteau, Ok & Bunch-Singleton Funeral Home of Broken Bow, Ok. Officiating Rev. Larry Morris & Rev. Jim Cook.

Family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. on Friday, Sept. 27th at Bunch-Singleton Funeral Home in Broken Bow, OK.


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

Thursday, 26 September 2019 16:07

Adkins Joins KTC Team




Poteau, Okla. – Maggie Adkins has joined the Kiamichi Technology Center –Poteau Campus as a Customer Service Representative. Her responsibilities include greeting students and guests as they enter campus, answering all incoming telephone calls and transferring to the appropriate department, and assisting with data entry through the student accounting system.


Adkins is a 2008 graduate of Heavener Public Schools. She completed her Associates Degree from Carl Albert State College in 2010. Adkins worked as a veterinarian technician and receptionist for several years before completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Mid-American Christian University in 2016.


She and her husband, Todd, have two children: Mattie – 8, and Cabe – 3. She spends her free time enjoying her children and attending her daughter’s softball, basketball, and horseback riding events. Adkins enjoys photography and is active in a photography club in Fort Smith. She loves riding horses and spending time with her family. Adkins stated, “I am so excited to be a part of the KTC team and eager to see what my journey with KTC holds.”



Kiamichi Technology Centers has played an integral role in southeastern Oklahoma communities since 1968, serving ten full and three partial counties. KTC is one of 29 districts in the Oklahoma CareerTech system with more than 30 career programs. KTC also offers a wide variety of evening and weekend short-term courses as well as certifications in many diverse career fields. KTC serves nearly 23,000 individuals each year, including many area companies who receive training through the Business and Industry Services division that works with over 400 businesses annually.


Preparing People for Success

Press release


WILBURTON, OK (Sept. 26, 2019) – Eastern Oklahoma State College President Stephen E. Smith, Ed.D. has informed the EOSC Board of Regents that the current 2019-2020 academic year will conclude his service as president to the college after 13 years.


“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as president of this historic institution. I cannot say enough about the various members of the faculty, staff and administration that have helped assist with the total transformation of Eastern Oklahoma State College over the past 13 years,” Smith said. “It has been exciting to be part of the many changes and improvements that have taken place during my tenure, including improvements to academics, technology, finances, campus facilities, marketing, as well as community and public relations. It has been equally rewarding to provide a college environment that our students helped develop to ensure they have a quality campus life as they pursue their dream of completing a college degree.”


EOSC Board of Regents Chair Bobby Mouser praised Smith for his efforts and 15-year service to Eastern.


“I would like to thank Dr. Smith for his leadership at Eastern Oklahoma State College. He has been a passionate leader and a positive change agent for Eastern. He has met every challenge head on and worked with the Board, staff and students to provide solutions that ensured the institution would continue to provide a quality education in a pleasant environment and at an affordable cost.


“Dr. Smith had a role in many significant achievements during his tenure, including earning a number one ranking in the state for our nursing program, the development of five fully online degree programs, awards of more than $40 million in grant funding and Eastern’s positive role in regional economic development. Dr. Smith will be missed and I wish him the best,” Mouser said.


In an announcement to the campus community and EOSC Board of Regents, Smith stated that he made the decision well in advance to give the Board sufficient time to identify a successor for the 2020-21 academic year. His last scheduled date of employment is June 30, 2020.


Mouser said the Board of Regents is preparing to conduct a national search and the process will include opportunities for the Eastern community to provide feedback throughout the process, including input from students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

“We will begin a national search for a new president in October,” Mouser said. “We will have ample time to find a replacement and have a smooth leadership transition.”


Smith became Eastern’s 20th president on March 28, 2007. Upon his appointment as president, Smith was 38 years of age, making him the youngest college president in the state at that time.


Smith said that thanks to the collaborative efforts of the entire Eastern community, the institution has achieved significant milestones in the past 13 years.


Eastern received its largest endowed scholarship gift in the college’s 111-year history in 2016 with a $1 million donation from Pete Tourtellotte and his family in honor of their father, former president E.E. Tourtellotte. Additional fundraising efforts have resulted in about $3 million in donations and gifts to the EOSC Foundation and college. Smith also established Eastern’s Sapphire Ball, an annual event to recognize alumni, employees and community supporters. In 10 years, the event has raised more than $136,000 for student scholarships.

Efforts to advance Eastern’s academic programs include the completion of the Higher Learning Commission’s five-year Assessment Academy to improve student learning outcomes, the development of the college’s first study abroad program, the launch of five fully online degree programs, and the introduction of new degree programs in respiratory therapy and ranch management–stocker operations. In 2017, Eastern received a 10-year reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


In 2015, Eastern launched Mountaineer Radio, a 25,000 watt commercial radio station that reaches into five counties in the college’s service area. Students in the mass communication degree program serve as interns and on-air personalities, producing news and weather reports, public service announcements and providing play-by-play and color commentary during local sports broadcasts.


Eastern added men’s and women’s soccer to its athletics program in 2014, bringing in an additional 40 students annually and adding international diversity to the student population.


During Smith’s tenure, there have been numerous improvements and renovations to facilities in both Wilburton and McAlester. Construction of a new student center was completed in 2009, the first new building on campus in 40 years. New apartment-style student housing opened in 2012, and two state-of-the art greenhouses were built to support Eastern’s agriculture students and aquaponics programs.


Smith has also led several efforts to improve community outreach in southeast Oklahoma. He established the Four County Small Business Consortium, in partnership with the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, to offer no cost entrepreneurial and small business management advising to help Oklahomans start and grow small businesses. The Consortium serves citizens in Latimer, Pittsburg, Haskell and LeFlore counties. He also helped develop the Career and College Expo, a hands-on experience designed to encourage eighth grade students to think about their future education and career goals and take the necessary steps to work toward them.


“I really appreciate the partnerships we have created over the years with organizations such as the Choctaw Nation, Kiamichi Technology Center and the Puterbaugh Foundation, just to name a few,” Smith said. “We are also very grateful to the various donors to Eastern that have helped us in meeting our mission.”


Shelley Free, superintendent of Kiamichi Technology Centers and recipient of the Eastern Distinguished Alumnus Award, reflected on the importance Smith placed on local partnerships during his presidency.


“One of the many things that impressed me about Dr. Smith during his tenure as president is his steadfast devotion to developing relationships and championing partnerships between Eastern Oklahoma State College and K-12 schools, Kiamichi Technology Centers, and the stakeholders of southeast Oklahoma,” Free said. “Generations of Eastern students will continue to benefit from the vision, hard work, innovation, and seeds of greatness Dr. Smith planted during his Presidency.”


The Puterbaugh Foundation is an organization that focuses its giving on education, medical research, and youth and social services. Puterbaugh Foundation Chair and retired Oklahoma Chief Supreme Court Justice Steven W. Taylor expressed his gratitude for Smith’s leadership.


“For many years The Puterbaugh Foundation has provided major annual scholarship support to EOSC. We have always appreciated the stewardship of these funds provided by President Steve Smith,” Taylor said. “He has been a positive force and a great leader. He will be missed. The Puterbaugh Foundation wishes him the very best in the future.”


Before joining Eastern as the dean of the McAlester Campus in July 2005, Smith gained experience in both the public school and CareerTech systems. He began his career as a high school assistant, principal and coach at Stigler Public Schools. Upon leaving Stigler, he was hired as an assistant principal at Stillwater High School, where he became one of the state’s leaders in the development of the Teachers as Advisors program. Smith presented the concepts of this program to more than 100 public schools across Oklahoma. He was also named as a two-time finalist for Assistant Principal of the Year in the state of Oklahoma.

After his tenure with Stillwater Public Schools, Smith remained in Stillwater and was named the director of Full-Time Instructional Programs at Meridian Technology Center. During his time in this position, he assisted with the development of the first precision metal fabrication program in Oklahoma, as well as one of the first bio-technology programs. At the time of their development, both programs were considered cutting-edge training programs throughout the state.


A native of southeast Oklahoma and member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Smith graduated from Quinton High School and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from Northeastern State University. He also earned an education specialist and doctorate in educational leadership from Oklahoma State University. Smith received national recognition for his research on the transition of dependent school district students to independent school districts in Oklahoma.

Smith said he has accomplished many of the goals he set out to achieve at Eastern and is looking forward to his next challenge.


“I have reached a point in the retirement system that I am fully vested and this will allow me to seek other professional opportunities. From a personal standpoint, I am excited about what the future holds as I seek another position that I hope will be as equally rewarding as the one I have held for the past 13 years,” Smith said. “Whether the new opportunity is in education, private business, or the non-profit sector, it will be a new professional chapter in my life that I look forward to exploring.”


HEAVENER –State Rep. Lundy Kiger (R-Poteau) today commented on the completion of the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Heavener Water Treatment Assessment and announced two Town Hall meetings to discuss the report.

“Now that DEQ has issued their final report to the city of Heavener and Veolia, I want to first thank the citizens and business owners who stood up during a difficult time to tell how dirty water was affecting their lives, property and revenues” Kiger said. “Many of these citizens took a strong stand in light of harsh comments and at times personal threats. I commend each of them that told their stories because it did make a huge difference.


“I also want to thank DEQ for their time, effort and professionalism in reviewing the Heavener Utility Authority's water treatment facility and the city's distribution system,” Kiger said. “But more importantly, that DEQ took the time to go into the homes of those who filed complaints on the DEQ Complaint Line and tested their water and listened to the people affected.”


Kiger will hold two Town Hall meetings to discuss the results, both ON Tuesday, October 1: the first at 11 a.m. at the Heavener City Library, 203 E Avenue C; the second at 6 p.m. at the school's PAC building, 401 E Avenue G.

At the Town Halls, Kiger said he plans to have water professionals on hand to explain what the report says and to answer questions from the public that are specific to the report. DEQ will be unable to attend this meeting but will continue to work on unresolved issues, he said.


“I would ask the public to attend either of these meetings,” Kiger said. “At this time, it's still very important to bring your complaints, water issues and any pictures or water samples that you may have available. I also encourage the public to continue calling the DEQ Complaint Line when problems occur.”


The DEQ Complaint Line is (800) 522-0206. Heavener residents also can email Kiger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him at (918) 649-3142. He will make sure complaints reach DEQ.


Kiger said he did not wish to make lengthy comments in this release specific to the report, but he does believe that DEQ did what he personally requested on behalf of the people, and that was to discover the Sources of the dirty water and lay out a plan to help fix this huge problem. Turbidity, manganese, Ph and Chlorine all play a part in the dirty water, just as his water professional explained in multiple public meetings, he said.


“According to the DEQ report, the sources of the dirty water have been identified and now DEQ will take steps that will result in this long-term issue soon going away for the people of Heavener,” he said.


“Even though I now believe from reading this report that we are well on our way to resolution for cleaner water for the people of Heavener, I also believe this may be only the first of many steps that will be taken in learning all facts related to water treatment, chemical use or non-use, maintenance and operations of Veolia, and if the city has maintained their water distribution properly and acted properly in conjunction with Veolia on behalf of the end users,” Kiger said. “From the report I don't believe that either has done their jobs properly and much could come from these inactions.


“Still, I take great joy for the people of Heavener in learning these initial facts from the DEQ report, but I also know there is much more to come in learning all of the facts and how this will play out for the city and their citizens,” Kiger said. “Once again, I offer my office, which is ready to assist the city of Heavener and its citizens however possible.”




Candidates for municipal office in one LeFlore County municipality may file Declarations of Candidacy beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, September 30 for a Special Election for the Town of Shady Point.

Sharon Steele, Secretary of the County Election Board, said the filing period ends at 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 2.

Declarations of Candidacy will be accepted at the County Election Board office for the indicated offices for each of the following municipalities:


Town of Shady Point---Board of Trustee (unexpired term)


The nonpartisan election will be held on November 12.


The Bokoshe School District will also be having a Special School Bond Election for ($270,000) on the same day.


Wednesday, 25 September 2019 21:12

Talihina Fall Festival Receives Walmart Grant

Submitted by Vera Nelson, Talihina Chamber of Commerce


Thanks to the McAlester Walmart for sponsoring the Walmart Foundation Grant for this year’s festival to be held October 26, from 8am until 5 pm at the Talihina School Agricultural building.


This will be the 31st year for the Talihina Fall Festival.


Our Banner Ad Sponsors include: Belle Point Beverages, Black Rock Roost, CenterPoint Energy Arkla., Choctaw Nation Tourism, Community State Bank, El Rancho Mexican Grill, Sam Wampler Freedom Ford, Hilliary Communications, Hollands Thick and Thin Lumber, Lawson Pharmacy, Mansour Furniture and Appliances, McCarn Funeral Home, Pam’s Hateful Hussy Diner, Public Service Co., Spike’s Corner Garage, Subway, Talihina Branch Spiro State Bank, Talihina Family Dentistry, Talihina Stone, Ty Gliaudrone and Wrights Insurance. Be sure and thank these sponsors for helping make this festival a great success. This year’s festival will include arts and crafts, great food, a car show, Quilt Show, live entertainment, face painting and more.


Be sure and mark your calendar for a fun day.

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