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Thursday February 22, 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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Press release

The philanthropic foundation founded by NBA All-Star Paul George gave $4,200 to the Oklahoma Fishing in the Schools (OKFITS) Program during February’s regular meeting of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Myles Williams of the Paul George Foundation presented the gift that will support travel expenses for fourth-graders in 13 Oklahoma City urban schools that are now participating in the youth fishing program of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, thanks to the foundation.

“As you know, he only has a one-year contract (with the OKC Thunder), so he wanted to come into Oklahoma City and have an impact right away to help the kids,” Williams said of George.

The foundation held a kickoff event in November on the Oklahoma River to announce the project. Dozens of schoolchildren attended and got the chance to wet a line with the pro basketball star who has enjoyed angling since he was a kid himself.

The foundation project has added 1,300 fourth-graders to OKFITS, which started in 2011 and has seen tremendous growth since. Colin Berg, Education Section supervisor with the Wildlife Department, presented an update on OKFITS for the Commission.

Berg said the program has grown from 6,100 students at the start to more than 31,000 presently. More than 350 schools are active in the program statewide. He said it’s easy for schools to get involved because OKFITS provides teacher training, Department-developed curriculum and fishing kits that include rods, reels and lures.

OKFITS is just one part of the Wildlife Department’s suite of educational programs designed to acquaint people with outdoor recreational opportunities available to them in Oklahoma. Programs include Archery in the Schools, Oklahoma Scholastic Shooting Sports Program, Explore Bowfishing, Explore Bowhunting and Hunter Education.

Also, Commissioners considered proposed changes for Title 800, the rules that govern operation of the Wildlife Department. The yearlong rule-changing process culminates with a hearing in January to collect public comments, which the Commissioners take into account before acting. Many of the approved rules were simple housekeeping measures to clarify existing rules or to adopt language to match other parts of Title 800.

Among the rules approved Feb. 5 were to open nine additional counties in central Oklahoma to the fall turkey hunting season; increase the hunting bag limit for squirrels to 25 daily; open spring turkey season on Waurika Lake Corps of Engineers non-licensed land; eliminate the bag limit for raccoon; remove the seven-round restriction on clips and magazines for .22-caliber centerfire rifles; increase shot size allowed for general hunting from BB to No. 4 buckshot; and make fishing regulations now in effect for all Department Fishing Areas applicable to all ponds on Wildlife Management Areas.

Commissioners made permanent the rules currently in place for the new Arbuckle Springs WMA, with a modification: deer archery season will run the same as statewide season but will be closed for any controlled hunts.
Proposals that were withdrawn or not approved included a new Chapter 30 section to define rules for private land access through Department-owned or managed lands, and a proposal to eliminate the annual state waterfowl stamp art contest and production of a state duck stamp.

In other business, Commissioners:
• Received reports on the status of current federal and state legislation proposals that could effect Wildlife Department operations if passed.
• Recognized Charmion Rose, payroll/benefits specialist, for 25 years of service.

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for the Wildlife Department and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities. Commission members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate.

Press release


Optometric Physicians Rally to Protect Vision Health and Medical Standards in Oklahoma

Preparations for a major effort to protect vision health and medical standards are now underway after the Oklahoma Supreme Court approved a ballot initiative submitted by a Walmart-backed political group.


As currently written, Oklahoma's Constitution mandates that optometry - like other kinds of medicine - must be practiced in medical settings and not large retail environments. The constitutional language reflects a commitment to a high standard of care and prevents large retailers from placing profit motives above medical priorities. Walmart is attempting to change the Constitution to fit their business model.


In a decision handed down today by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Walmart was given approval to begin the signature-collecting process which could ultimately put their proposal on the ballot.

Dr. Jason Ellen, president-elect of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians (OAOP) and a Tulsa-based optometrist, said that eye doctors will now begin the hard work of educating their patients and voters on why Walmart's proposal is bad for them.


"My partners and I perform surgeries, diagnose and manage chronic eye diseases, and can detect life-threatening conditions," said Dr. Ellen. "The right place to do that is a medical clinic, not a gigantic grocery and hardware store. If Walmart gets their way, corporate management will reduce quality and increase prices. It's a lose-lose situation for my patients and for Oklahoma consumers."


OAOP Vice-President Dr. Selina McGee, who practices in Edmond and Midwest City, said that putting optometrists in big retail settings - as Walmart has proposed - will ultimately raise prices and make vision care less convenient.


"Companies like Walmart want to control the market for vision care and raise prices," said Dr. McGee. "That's a losing proposition for patients, especially seniors on a fixed income. Walmart also wants to make their store the singular destination for vision care. The vast majority of the patients we treat don't want to navigate a Walmart parking lot or rush-hour shopping to get their eyes checked or a procedure done."

Should Walmart's proposal be placed on the November ballot, the OAOP and its members are committed to supporting a statewide education campaign emphasizing the dangers of reducing the standards for medical care in Oklahoma.


The OAOP represents over 500 Optometric Physicians in Oklahoma. OAOP's mission is to lead optometric physicians through education and opportunities to improve vision, eye care, and health care.

Press release

General Hunter: Behenna deserves his freedom back

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has sent a letter to President Donald Trump, expressing his support for a pardon of former U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna.

In 2009, Behenna was convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone after killing a suspected Al Qaeda terrorist in Iraq, while attempting to find individuals responsible for an IED that took the lives of two men in his unit. In 2014, he was granted parole by the U.S. Army Clemency and Parole Board, after serving five years of his 15-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Attorney General Hunter said without a pardon, Behenna’s punishment will continue outside of prison indefinitely.

“Michael Behenna was a courageous soldier, a great leader and does not deserve to be labeled a convicted felon for the rest of his life,” Attorney General Hunter said. “He has more than paid for the crimes he was convicted of while bravely serving our country in combat. He and his family have gone through enough. I encourage President Trump to act quickly and compassionately by pardoning Behenna, to give him back the freedoms he deserves.”

In the letter, Attorney General Hunter outlines three factors as to why a pardon is appropriate.

He points specifically to critical errors made during the original court-martial that wrongly affected Behenna’s self-defense arguments; the events taking place during wartime, where Behenna was risking his life to serve the country and attempting to track down terrorists; and Behenna serving his time as a model inmate, which led to his parole at the earliest date possible.

Attorney General Hunter ends the letter encouraging the president to look closely at the case and ask: “Does this situation – with incorrect jury instructions on a key issue and unlawfully withheld evidence – really display the type of justice we believe is appropriate for an otherwise outstanding soldier, who was attempting to protect his country and fellow soldiers from terror attacks?”

Read Attorney General Hunter's letter by clicking the download icon below

School Board Candidate Filing Set to Begin Monday, February 12th

Candidates for the Board of Education in the Cameron School District will file their Declarations of Candidacy beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, February 12th and continuing Tuesday and Wednesday, LeFlore County Election Board Secretary Sharon Steele said today.


Steele said the official filing period ends at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14th.


All candidate filings will occur at the LeFlore County Election Board office, 103 N. Church St., in Poteau, Steele said.

Candidates may file for the following offices:


Cameron School District---Office 4 (unexpired term)

If needed a Special Election will be held on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

For more information, contact the LeFlore County Election Board at (918) 647-3701.

Press release



OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 8, 2018) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister made the following remarks today after the House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget passed House Bill 1033, a revenue package that would fund a $5,000 across-the-board pay raise for Oklahoma schoolteachers. The committee also approved HB 1030, which includes language for the teacher pay raise.


"Our state is at a crossroads and time is running out. Oklahoma’s children, families and businesses cannot afford further erosion of public education in the form of a crippling teacher shortage. Passage of HB 1030 and HB 1033, which would provide a $5,000 teacher pay raise, will bring regionally competitive pay to Oklahoma educators. Most importantly, this $5,000 teacher pay raise strengthens our state's ability to give students a high-quality, competitive education. Oklahoma students, families and communities need this critical investment now more than ever."

Thursday, 08 February 2018 12:13

What’s Up: Events for Feb 10 through Feb 17


Feb 9

No School for Poteau students


Feb 10

The Lounge Pool Tourney – 2nd Saturday of each month - sign up begins at 7pm $5.00 entry fee – Poteau, OK

Eagle Tour & Loon Watch - Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge & Tenkiller State Park - Vian, OK

Showing at the Poteau Theaters (Feb 10 through Feb 12) – Fifty Shades Freed – Rascal Rebel Rabbit – Maze Runner Death Cure - check theater for show times – Poteau, OK


Feb 12

Poteau High School Basketball – 6pm - Poteau VS Heavener – Senior Night - Poteau, OK

Poteau School Board meeting – Poteau, OK


Feb 14

Happy Valentines Day

Wister Public Library – Code Club – 3:30pm- 5pm -Wister, OK

Code club is for kids and teens in 3rd grade through 12th grade. The program helps kids having no coding knowledge to creating websites, apps, and games.


Feb 15

Poteau Chamber Banquet – Poteau, OK


Feb 17

Williams/ Hogeye Fire Department – Pancake Breakfast – 7am – 10:30am – Cameron School Cafeteria – Cameron, OK


Upcoming Events


March 1

National Turkey Federation Banquet - Reynolds Center – Poteau, OK


March 3

Ladies Day Out - Spring Fling – Reynolds Center- 9am- 4pm – Poteau, OK


March 15

OBN Forum – 6PM – Reynolds Center – Poteau, OK


March 31

Poteau Rotary Winefest- Reynolds Center 4pm-8pm - Poteau, OK


April 21

Prom Gone Wrong – 4:30pm – Skatereation – Poteau, OK


Historic Downtown Poteau First Friday events:


First Friday’s will run from April through September on Friday evenings of the first Friday of each month and will include a beer and wine garden in the Pocket Park as well as other events.


Recurring events at Strike A Lot Lanes


Strike A Lot Lanes in Poteau group special – 3 hours of unlimited bowling and laser tag - $13.00 Pizza and soda bash included.


Wacky Wednesdays:

$1.00 Bowl Games (Shoe Rental $2.50) & ½ Priced Laser Tag


9-Pin Tourney Challenge - 7pm


Cosmic Bowl 9pm-11pm - 2 hr. unlimited bowling, $10 (shoe rental not included)

8pm-11pm; three-hour unlimited bowling and light show -$10 plus shoe rental


Bowlaraoke and Cosmic Bowl 8pm-11pm

Now Open on Sunday from 4-8pm.


Events at the Lounge in Poteau



Guy’s Night Out – Happy Hour Prices for guys All Night


Karaoke 9pm-Close & Reverse Happy Hour 9pm-12am


Thirsty Thursday = $2 large soda, games and shoes




Karaoke or scheduled band or event

Sunday's Fun day

Happy Hour 2pm-7pm

Pool tourney -5 pm

Thursday, 08 February 2018 09:05

Pearline M. Waren Obituary

Pearline M. Waren, 94, of Cameron, OK passed away Wednesday, February 7, 2018, in Pocola, OK.


Pearline was born September 25, 1923, in Quinton, OK to John B. & Ira (Parkerson) Pace.


She was a woman of many talents: most importantly - Nana, a Renaissance Woman, original roller skating car hop, professional bowler, hostess, lake floater and soup maker, swing dancer extraordinaire, gardener, traveler and volunteer. Pearline had two speeds, fast and stopped.


She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John E. "Jack" Waren (12/28/1997); brothers Vester Pace, R.B. Pace & Paul Pace; sister, Johnnie Mae Guest.


Survivors include her sons, John Waren & wife Shirley, Dennis Waren & wife Dru all of Cameron, OK; daughter, Marsha Waren of Denver; 7 grandchildren, Wes Waren, Jeff Waren, Lisa Pirrone, Warren Waren, Marnie Ward, Aisha Shariff and Collin Snyder; 14 great grandchildren; 2 great great grandchildren; brother, John Pace Jr. & wife Lonnie of California; sister in law, Joyce Pace; niece, Lynn Williams; special friends, Kay Shoup, Paul & Joyce Tankersley; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


A Baha'i burial service will be 2 pm, Saturday, February 10, 2018, at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK.


Interment will follow in Liberty Hill Cemetery, Cameron, 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, Oklahoma.

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 21:27

Byron Frank Black Obituary

Byron Frank Black of Panama, Oklahoma was born May 22, 1953 in Stockton, California to Jesse and Robbie (Turner) Black and passed away February 5, 2018 in Panama, Oklahoma at the age of 64.

He is survived by:


Three daughters:
Sarah Bryant of Lexington, Kentucky
Sonya and her wife Teresa Gavit of Poteau, Oklahoma
Myra Inge and husband Marvin of Fort Smith, Arkansas

One grandson:
Caleb Lassiter of Poteau, Oklahoma

Two aunts:
Hester Chandonias of Stockton, California
Lois Nelson of Stockton, California

Host of friends and loved ones

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Robbie Black.


Byron was a man of many trades, from welding on ships in Louisiana to working in the plastic factory in Poteau.


He also had an Associate’s Degree in Psychology. Byron will be missed deeply by many.


A private family service will be held at a later date.


Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener, Oklahoma.


To sign Mr. Black’s online guestbook please visit


Wednesday, 07 February 2018 21:23

James Edward Roop Obituary

James Edward Roop of Shreveport, Louisiana (formerly of Heavener, Oklahoma) was born November 14, 1931 in Heavener, Oklahoma to John and Bridgie Roop and departed to be with his Lord on February 6, 2018 in Shreveport, Louisiana at the age of 86.


He is survived by:

Two sons:
David Roop of Natchitoches, Louisiana
Danny Roop and wife Annie of Keatchie, Louisiana

One daughter:
Donna (Roop) Kuperman and husband Barry of Haughton, Louisiana

Seven grandchildren:
Heather Luoma, Ashley Bynog, Daniel Roop, Kyle Roop, Karah Roop Fulghum, Bryan Boughton, and Eric Boughton

Ten great-grandchildren

Numerous loved ones and friends


He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Jean Roop; and four brothers.


James was a life-long resident of the area. He was a longtime employee and retired from Sweetheart Cup Company.


Funeral service will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, February 10, 2018 at the Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home Chapel in Heavener, Oklahoma with Reverend Mark Morris officiating.


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


Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday at Rose-Neath Southside Funeral Home in Shreveport, Louisiana.


To sign Mr. Roop’s online guestbook please visit


Wednesday, 07 February 2018 13:30

Marriage Licenses January 29-February 2, 2018

The following couples received their marriage licenses from the LeFlore County Court Clerk’s office during the week of January 29-February 2, 2018.


Jamie Keith Russell and Jessica Lynn Henson


John Fritz Gill and Johnelle Julie Gill


Harold Cole Means and Katlyn Nicole Adams


Jimmie D. Poindexter and Crystal Ann Lovell

Latest Events

Sponsored By:
Benefit for Ms. Vickie Gillion
Thu Feb 22 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Poteau Blood Drive
Tue Feb 27 @12:30PM - 05:30PM
Storm Spotter Training
Tue Feb 27 @ 6:00PM - 08:30PM