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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017 11:17


By Rep. Rick West


Just hours after the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Senate adjourned special session on Nov. 17, Gov. Mary Fallin announced she was vetoing part of the budget agreement. She kept the parts of the bill that funded health care services, but she opted to do away with the rest of it. This caught lawmakers by surprise because Fallin had told us she would sign the bill – her action went against her word.



In her veto message, Fallin said the bill “does not provide a long-term solution to the re-occurring budget deficits.” She plans to call lawmakers back into a second special session, and we’re waiting to hear when that will be.

Fallin also issued three executive orders in the days before Thanksgiving – two aimed at streamlining school administrative costs and one seeking to eliminate agency spending for “swag” like pens and stress balls.



Fallin’s order concerning common education could force some schools to consolidate their administrative costs. According to the executive order, the Board of Education would put together a list of all K-12 schools spending less than 60 percent of their budgets on instructional costs. The Board would then “consider and make recommendations for consolidation or annexation of school districts.”



These plans would take affect during the 2020-2021 school year.



The governor’s higher ed consolidation plan calls on the Chancellor of Higher Education and the State Regents to present a plan for administrative consolidation of universities, colleges, centers and branch campuses by this time next year. Those plans would need to take affect by December 2019.



Carl Albert State College and our local schools do a great job at keeping administrative costs low. I am hopeful Fallin’s executive orders may eliminate some waste at the administrative level at huge schools like the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.



Fallin’s third executive order deals with an issue I have talked about several times – “swag” spending at various agencies.



This means the state should see immediate savings because agencies will no longer be permitted to spend thousands of dollars on nonessential items. Tourism, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Career and Technology Education are exempt.



One of my friends in the House actually introduced a bill similar to this twice, but the legislation didn’t go anywhere either time.



Perhaps if our governor had supported the bill originally, we would not have had to rob the roads and bridges fund to bail out the Department of Health because of gross mismanagement.



Finally, Speaker Charles McCall announced a special investigative committee on Nov. 20 to dig into the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).



The bipartisan committee will look at the financial mismanagement that cost taxpayers $31 million. Even though the group is starting with OSDH, McCall has said other agencies could come into the picture.



I’d like the committee to pin down exactly what people at OSDH were doing and how they managed to squirrel away more than $30 million.



State Health Commissioner Terry Cline owes the state some answers, and I hope we can get them before the next legislative session begins.



As we wait to hear when the second special session will start, please get in touch if you know of any government waste. Lawmakers depend on our constituents to help us make the state better.



You can reach me at 405-557-7413 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Thanks, and may God bless you.


By OICA CEO Joe Dorman


The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is pleased to partner with several organizations to fulfill the mission of OK Foster Wishes this year. This program helps fill the wish lists submitted by children in foster care under the Department of Human Services and ultimately delivers over 6,000 holiday gifts. We have been very pleased to have several generous organizations step up to help us complete this mission, including Feed the Children, Bob Moore Subaru, and the Oklahoma Employees Credit Union. This, of course, is in addition to the many individuals and businesses who have requested wish lists or made cash donations.


If you would like to learn more about this program and support our gift drive, please go to and request a wish list. If possible, ask if your place of work would like to take on one or more lists to help fulfill this program. Here are our key dates:

• Last day to request lists: 12/4
• Last day to drop your completed list off to a site: 12/8
• Last day to donate new, unwrapped toys to our warehouse in Oklahoma City: 12/20
• Last day to make a monetary donation online at so we can complete a list: 12/24


We are also asking people to consider becoming a foster parent during this time of year. Oklahoma Fosters (online at is an initiative “designed to provide a placement resource that is committed to working with the child’s birth family towards the goal of reunification; and, if reunification fails, is committed to raising/parenting the child.”


This program is committed to maintaining a permanent connection for the child, so the foster family not only provides care for the child, but also acts as a mentor role to the child’s birth family.


This approach to foster care is meant to best serve the child’s entire family. The foster families must meet both foster and adoptive program criteria; come from the same community as the child; and be willing to accept and agree to visitation and other types of contact with siblings, extended family and other important people in the child’s life.


An OK Foster family is a family who may be asked to:

• Provide temporary care, love, and nurturance to the child and serve as a mentor whose actively helping the parent improve their ability to safely care for their children
• Serve as the legal guardian for the child while maintaining the child’s connection to kin, culture, and community
• Adopt the child while maintaining the child’s connection to kin, culture and community.
• To be willing to care for children through foster care, legal guardianship, or adoption.
• To provide a temporary home for children needing out of home care due to abuse or neglect. Foster families provide a safe and nurturing home and are committed to working with birth families to reunite children with parents.
• Adopt and provide a permanent placement option for children who have been in foster care. Children are legally free for adoption only after the court has terminated the parental rights.
• Adopt children who range in age from 0 to 21 and frequently are part of a sibling group that must remain together. More than half of the children in care are children of color. Some of these children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities ranging from mild to severe.


If you are interested in becoming a Foster or Adoptive parent, please use the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Foster & Adoption Inquiry form at or call 1-800-376-9729.


Go to to sign up for a wish list or make a monetary donation.

Press release



MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The Department of Justice has awarded more than $500,000 to four Oklahoma cities to enhance law enforcement, announced Mark A. Yancey, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, and Brian J. Kuester, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.


The recipients are:


Dewar Police Department: $69,208

Lindsay Police Department: $99,428

City of Sallisaw: $95,569

Shawnee Police Department: $250,000


These funds will enable Dewar, Lindsay, and Sallisaw to hire one additional police officer each. Shawnee will be able to hire two additional officers.


These grants are part of more than $98 million awarded to 179 law enforcement agencies across the United States through the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, also known as “COPS.” These funds will support hiring 802 additional full-time law enforcement officers.



Monday, 27 November 2017 10:13

Howard Bandy Sr. Obituary

Howard Bandy Sr., 65, of Poteau, OK passed away Monday November 27, 2017 in Ft. Smith, AR. Howard was born August 29, 1952 in Tarby, OK to John Roy & Alline (Wise) Bandy.


He worked for Whirlpool for 38 years.


Howard was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Betty Smith & husband Billy Jack "Boy" Sr., Nephews, Billy Jack Smith and John Smith.


Survivors include his son, Howard Bandy Jr. & wife Amanda; daughter, Misty McGee & husband Cody; grandchildren, Darrick Brown, Cortney & husband Anthony Stankewitz, Quinncy & Browning Bandy, Kaydence McGee & Braelyn McGee; great grandchild, Reagan Stankewitz; brother, Lee Roy & Gayle Bandy; sister, Jeanette Chronister; nieces, nephews, other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 2 pm, Thursday, November 30, 2017 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev Clyde Steelman officiating.


Interment will follow in Monroe Cemetery.


Pallbearers will be Billy Shawn Terry & Billy Jack Terry.


Additional pallbearers Jesse Fout, Tom White, Don McMillin and Mike Warren.


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 care of the services to Evans & Miller Funeral Home, Poteau, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, November 28th Lunch Special.

Chicken Spaghetti or Meatballs w/mushroom gravy.

Sides: Fried or Mashed Potatoes, Fried Squash, Green Beans, Salad or Coleslaw and Rolls or Cornbread.


They also offer a full Breakfast and Lunch Menu.

The Lumberjack Café in Howe Oklahoma is a great place to eat.

Open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 – 2:00pm.

The Lumberjack Café is located inside Ron’s Discount Lumber in Howe.

All for reasonable prices.

Press release

The LeFlore County Historical presents “Ornaments at Christmas.”

Ornaments at Christmas is sponsored by Central National Bank - Poteau branch.

Any child who would like to make an ornament for their tree or to give as a gift to someone special can come to the fun event on Dec 2, 2017 at the Hotel Lowrey from 4pm until 5:30pm and make an ornament.

It is free of charge.

Children may select two or three ornaments to make.

Volunteers are on hand to assist in the making of the ornaments.


For more information or to volunteer, please contact Bonnie at 918-647-9330.

Monday, 27 November 2017 16:56

Yvonne Dassler Obituary

Yvonne Meeks Liles Dassler, 77, of Wister, OK passed away Sunday, November 26, 2017 in Ft. Smith, AR.


Yvonne was born January 29, 1940 in Wister, OK to Vernon Mutt & Bessie Iva (Box) Meeks.


She was a real estate broker.


Yvonne was preceded in death by her parents; son, Rocky Liles; brothers, Kenneth, Carrol & Gerald Meeks and Claude Smith.


Survivors include her sons, Vernon Dwayne "Bernie" Liles & wife Diane, Eddie Shane Liles & wife, Deborah; daughter, Debbie Been & husband Larry; grandchildren, Sheyenne Liles, Carmella Liles, Adam Liles, Donald Brown & Michael Brown; brothers, Wayne Meeks and Mack Smith; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 3 pm, Thursday, November 30, 2017 graveside at Ellis Chapel Cemetery, Wister, OK with Jeff Liles officiating. Interment will follow.


Pallbearers will be Adam Liles, Brandon Hemphill, Tanner Ward, Trent King, Logan Titsworth, Lane Titsworth & Colby Brown.


The family will be at the funeral home on Wednesday evening from 5-7 pm to visit with relatives & friends.


In lieu of flowers please donate to CASA in Memory of Yvonne Dassler at 204 S. Wall, Poteau, 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.

Monday, 27 November 2017 15:57

"Federal Fumbles”

By Senator, James Lankford


100 ways the government dropped the ball" volume three was released on Monday, Nov 27, 2017.

Here are the facts:

• The federal deficit for Fiscal Year 2017 was $666 billion, and overall debt is now $20.49 trillion, according to the Treasury Department.

• The total federal debt for each family in America equals about $819,323.

During 2017, we’ve worked to roll back wasteful spending and a number of harmful and burdensome regulations from the two previous Federal Fumbles reports.


The outrageous federal deficit remains too high. Unfortunately, Washington, DC seems to be distracted and the deficit has started increasing again.


Our $20 trillion national debt will continue to increase until we implement spending cuts, government reforms, and create a healthy economy.


This Federal Fumbles report provides commonsense examples of ways to limit our spending and fix government inefficiency. Every American should have access to how their tax dollars are spent. Congress should pass my Taxpayers Right to Know Act to give each American the opportunity to see how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent.


To few the full report click the download button below.

Press release


WILBURTON, OK (Nov. 27, 2017) – Eastern Oklahoma State College will host its annual high school invitational basketball tournament Dec. 4-9 in Wilburton.


This year’s tournament will feature 12 high school boys’ and girls’ teams from Oklahoma. Both boys and girls teams from Battiest, Buffalo Valley, Caney, Cameron, Gans, Haileyville, LeFlore, Panola, Red Oak, Smithville and Stuart will participate. In addition, the Red Oak JV boys’ team and Talihina JV girls’ team will round out the competition.


Eastern’s annual high school invitational basketball tournament is one of the largest and longest running tournaments of its kind in Oklahoma.


Five players from each bracket will earn All-Tournament Honors and one player from each bracket will be named Tournament MVP.


Games will be played at Eastern’s C.C. Dunlap Field House in Wilburton and the Wilburton High School gymnasium.


For tournament brackets and a complete schedule of games, visit


Monday, 27 November 2017 11:55

Joe Cox Obituary

Joe Cox of Bokoshe, Oklahoma was born October 24, 1949 in Bokoshe, Oklahoma to Milton James and Ferris Lee (Ritter) Cox and passed away on November 26, 2017 in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the age of 68.


Joe was a Veteran of the United States Army, where he served as a medic with the 229th Aviation Battalion 1st Calvary Division.


He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Cynthia Cox of the home, two sons: Chris Cox and wife Dena of Spiro, Oklahoma, Damon Cox and wife LaThenna of Poteau, Oklahoma, six grandchildren: Courtney, Garrett, Kennedy, Keaton, Keira, and Kaden Cox, one sister, Pat Drittler of Lamar, Arkansas, one brother, Milton Cox of Springfield, Tennessee.


Joe was preceded in death by his parents: Milton and Ferris (Ritter) Cox, three brothers: Harold Cox, James Cox, Robert Cox, and one sister, Viola "Gertie" Cox.


Joe was employed at Whirlpool for 20 years, after that he raised greyhound dogs for several years in Bokoshe. He loved playing with his grandkids and attending all of their activities.


Funeral Services will be 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at the First Baptist Church in Spiro, Oklahoma with the Reverend James Smith officiating.


Burial will follow at Milton Cemetery in Milton, Oklahoma under the direction of Mallory-Martin Funeral Home of Spiro, Oklahoma.


To sign Mr. Cox's online guest book, please visits


Latest Events

Sponsored By:
LeFlore Co Democratic Dinner
Thu Dec 14 @ 6:30PM - 08:00PM
Harry Potter Yule Ball
Fri Dec 15 @ 7:00PM - 10:00PM
Merry Christmas
Mon Dec 25 @12:00AM
Blood Drive
Wed Dec 27 @11:30AM - 05:30PM