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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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More than half of the members of the Oklahoma State Senate represent communities impacted by this week’s storms, which included tornadoes and severe flooding across the state. On Wednesday those members issued the following statement:


“Although we are at the Capitol completing work on the 2019 session, we are all monitoring the weather situations in our districts, staying in contact with state and local emergency management officials, first responders and other officials as situations continue to unfold.


“To assist state and local emergency managers with response and recovery efforts, please report storm damage at or by calling 211. Those needing information on shelters or other assistance can also contact the Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767 or


“We urge all of our citizens to continue monitoring the weather situation, particularly those that are at risk for additional flooding. Some areas are seeing historic flooding levels and the danger has not yet passed. Please stay weather aware and heed warnings to take cover or evacuate.”


“All of us want to thank our state and local first responders for their tireless efforts assisting citizens, and we also want to thank members of the media throughout the state who have worked around the clock to provide crucial information to keep Oklahomans safe.


“Should you have any additional questions, each of us can be reached through the Senate’s main number at 405-524-0126. Please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.”


Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro
Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair
Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City
Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City
Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow
Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville
Sen. Kim David, R-Porter
Sen. J.J. Dossett, D-Owasso
Sen. Tom Dugger, R-Stillwater
Sen. Chuck Hall, R-Perry
Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow
Sen. Allison Ikley-Freeman, D-Tulsa
Sen. Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher
Sen. James Leewright, R-Bristow
Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa
Sen. Joe Newhouse, R-Broken Arrow
Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle
Sen. Roland Pederson, R-Enid
Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee
Sen. Marty Quinn, R-Claremore
Sen. David Rader, R-Tulsa
Sen. Wayne Shaw, R-Grove
Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa
Sen. Brenda Stanley, R-Midwest City
Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 16:45

Mary H. Gibson Obituary

Mary H. Gibson, 80, of Wister, OK passed away Wednesday May 22, 2019 in Wister. Mary was born August 25, 1938 in Wister to George & Ollie (Hunnicutt) Curtis.


Mary retired from the State of Oklahoma, Dept of Human Services after serving 30 years.


She worked for Wister Public Schools for 23 years and was currently employed at Shady Point Public Schools.


She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren & great grandchildren. Mary was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Billy Roy Gibson; son, Roy Gibson; 3 sisters; 3 brothers & 1 great grandson.


Mary is survived by 2 daughters, Robbie Santoyo and husband Larry of Kansas City, MO, & Karen Gibson of Wister, OK; 4 grandchildren, Crystal Fields & husband Scott of Frontenac, KS, Chris Inman & wife Lori of Lenapah, OK, Shelly Mutal of Seattle, WA, Dustin Gibson of Wister, OK; 6 great grandchildren, Kennedi, Karma & Kaston Fields, Taylor, Teague & Trace Inman; sisters, Georgia Jernigan of Wister, OK, Carolyn Curtis of Granada Hills, CA; brother, J.C. Curtis of Durant, OK; beloved friends, Marilyn Pledger & Ruby Hall; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 2 pm, Friday, May 24, 2019 at First Church of the Nazarene, Wister, OK with Pastor Jerry Townley officiating.


Interment will follow in Maxey Cemetery, Wister. Pallbearers will be Sam Walden, Ted Pride, Shane Turnipseed, Bruce Gillham, Todd Thompson & Rick Meeks

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

By Danette Russell, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/4-H/Int. CED
LeFlore & Haskell County OSU Extension


The LeFlore County Quilt Show is coming soon! It will be held at the Kiamichi Technology Center, right by Carl Albert State College in Poteau on June 7-8, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to come view these beautiful quilted



Admission is free.


As part of the Quilt Show activities, instructional demonstrations will be given. The schedule of these demonstrations is as follows:



            10:00               Microwave Peanut Brittle                   Danette Russell

            11:00               String Quilting                                    Bettye Glinski/Jane Naylor

LUNCH (available on site)

            1:00                 Can We Live Healthier????                Ann Nelson

            2:00                 Do As I Say, Not As I Do                   Wanda Cleaver




            10:00               Quilting by Sewing Machine              Debbie Christie

            11:00               Microwave Pie Surprise                      Charlene Kelly

LUNCH (available on site)

            1:00                 We Always Need a Zipper Bag          Renee’ Fisher

            2:00                 Flange Binding                                   Barbara Morris


Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments Cooperating. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a veteran, and is an equal opportunity employer.



Lowrey Hotel Investigation by Corps Paranormal and OPRA Public Reveal of The Lowery Hotel Investigation on Thursday May 30th at 6:00 PM



Poteau, OKLAHOMA - Come and join the LeFlore County Museum, CORPS Paranormal, and OPRA May 30th 6PM at the Lowrey Hotel as they present their scentific findings from the February 9th Investigation to the people of Leflore County and the city of Poteau.


William Brown stated "We will discuss not only our scentific findings but also the equipment we used that night, and answer questions from the public. There will be a survey to follow the reveal." CORPS Paranormal out of Poteau, OK was founded by Julie Brown, William Brown, Diandra Rogers, and Judah Rogers.


OPRA out of Eufala, OK and was founded by Chris King and Renee Hicks. "Both groups pride themselves on scientifically studying the Paranormal although we are not here to prove or disprove the Paranormal exist" state Brown.



Wednesday, 22 May 2019 07:27

Senate approves LOFT bill

Press release



Office would provide data to lawmakers, public on agency budgets and performance

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday gave approval to legislation creating the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT), an office that would provide independent data to lawmakers and the public on state agency budgets and program performance.

The highlights of Senate Bill 1:
• LOFT will conduct performance evaluations of agencies, programs, or specific divisions;
• LOFT would have open access to all agency data and budgets;
• LOFT would be overseen by a bipartisan committee of Senate and House members;
• LOFT would have a nonpartisan, independent staff of highly educated professionals;
• LOFT reports would be available to the public.

“More transparency in agency spending and program performance will increase and enhance accountability of how tax dollars are used. LOFT will increase transparency by providing lawmakers and the public with independent data on agency budgets and program performance,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma and author of SB 1.

“For too long, lawmakers have been dependent on agencies or those who benefit from state spending for spending and program performance data. That’s not the best system of accountability. The people of Oklahoma deserve and expect that their tax dollars will be used in the best and most efficient manner. LOFT will be a watchdog for the public and policy makers by providing better information to track and evaluate how tax dollars are spent.”

The Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes $1.7 million in funding for LOFT. SB 1 goes to the House for consideration, and if approved, would go to the governor’s desk.

Press release

Many communities across the state are dealing with flooded areas after the recent storms. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds the public that floodwater and standing water can be dangerous, making a person vulnerable to diseases, chemical hazards and injuries.

Floodwaters contain many potential hazards such as downed power lines, household trash, medical waste, large debris, human and livestock waste, industrial chemicals, rodents, and snakes. Exposure to contaminated water can cause wound infections, stomach illness, skin rash, tetanus and other illnesses.

The best practice for protection is to stay out of the water, and avoid recreational play such as swimming or fishing. However, the OSDH offers the following tips for those who do come into contact with floodwater during evacuation or cleanup:

• Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles.
• Wash skin with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer.
• Take care of wounds and seek medical attention if a foreign object such as wood or metal is embedded in the wound. Watch for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, draining, or developing a fever.
• Wash clothes contaminated with floodwater in hot water and detergent before reusing them.
• Do not allow children to play in floodwater, or play with toys that have been contaminated by floodwater and have not been disinfected.

As always, it’s important to remember that floodwaters may be hiding a washed out roadway or other dangerous obstacles. Never drive into flooded areas as vehicles may be swept away, or may stall in moving water. Turn around, don’t drown.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 21:29

Rebecca Darlene Winter Obituary

Rebecca Darlene Winter was born March 20, 1960 in Portales, New Mexico to William Melvin and Martha May (Ward) Kizer and passed away May 20, 2019 in Vian, Oklahoma at the age of 59.


She is survived by her three daughters; Summer Danielle Shrock, Winter Trista Dene' Wanzor and husband Brian, Autumn Di’Nessa Duran and husband Josue, two sons; Ward Austin Shrock, William Clayton Shrock and wife Jordan, brother, Brantley King, sisters; Drenda Lynn Murzin, Monica King, Nita Sheryl Kizer, sixteen grandchildren, her beloved pug, Baxter, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and loved ones.



Rebecca was preceded in death by her husband, Pat Winter, parents; Martha and Aurbrey King, father; Melvin Kizer, sisters, Drenda Joyce Kizer, Deborah Roten, and brother Melvin Dwayne Kizer.

She loved to cook and crochet.


A private family memorial service will be held at a later date in Portales, New Mexico. Cremation is under the direction of Grace Funeral Service in Poteau, Oklahoma.


“I’m so glad we’ve had this tome together; just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started and before you know it...comes the time we have to say so long.”


To sign Mrs. Winter’s online guestbook please visit

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced the sentencings of Joe David White, age 58, and Laci Marie Fox a/k/a Laci Marie Noah, age 27, both from Poteau, Oklahoma, on charges of Drug Conspiracy and Distribution of Methamphetamine.


White, a former Poteau City Councilman, was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment and 4 years of supervised release.


Fox was sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment and 4 years of supervised release.


The investigation which lead to the indictment and sentencing was conducted by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, District 16 District Attorney Narcotics Task Force, and Poteau Police Department.


The defendants had previously entered guilty pleas to an Indictment alleging that beginning in 2015 and continuing until January 9, 2017, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere, the defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired and agreed together, and with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.


The Indictment also alleged that on September 1, 2016 and December 15, 2016 the defendants knowingly distributed a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine.


United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester said, “Methamphetamine dealers deliver tragedy to communities along with the poison they sell for profit. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is proud to partner with state and local agencies, as we did here, to make a positive impact in Eastern Oklahoma by eliminating a distribution source.”


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.


First Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Wilson represented the United States.


Press release


**The following update is based on an ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as the OSBI interviews witnesses and collects evidence. The OSBI’s understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional witnesses are interviewed and additional evidence is collected and analyzed.**


BLACKWELL, OKLA. – The Blackwell Police Department has requested that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) investigate an officer-involved shooting that occurred in the early morning hours of May 20, 2019 in Blackwell, Okla.


The incident began at approximately 3:00 a.m. when the Blackwell Police Department received calls that shots were fired and a vehicle had been struck in the 1300 block of South Main in Blackwell.


Officers arrived and began working the scene.


Shortly thereafter, dispatch received additional calls of shots being fired from a white pickup truck at various locations around town.


Officers located the pickup truck and a pursuit began and shots were exchanged.


Eventually the pickup came to a stop at 13th and Doolin Avenue.


When officers approached the truck, they found 34-year-old Michael Ann Godsey deceased in the driver seat. She was the only passenger in the truck.


Two Blackwell Police Department officers were involved in the shooting. One sustained minor injuries in the incident. Both are on paid administrative leave.


The OSBI Investigative and Crime Scene Units responded to the scene.


Additional media inquiries regarding this incident should be directed to the Blackwell Police Department.

Press release



OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma optometrists today thanked the Legislature and Governor Kevin Stitt for passing and signing legislation that will protect Oklahoma’s vision health standards while increasing convenience for consumers.


Senate Bill 100, authored by State Representative Carl Newton, himself an optometrist, removes from statute a prohibition on the sale of eyewear in non-medical, retail settings. It would allow retail stores to sell frames and lenses. It would also allow retail stores to lease space to optometrists. However, unlike previous proposals (including the previously rejected State Question 793), SB 100 contains vigorous protections for patient safety, quality of care, and the independence of the doctor.


Under SB 100, any optometry clinic leasing space from a retail store would need to be a separate legal entity owned and operated by an optometric physician licensed in Oklahoma. That optometrist cannot be an employee of the retail entity. Furthermore, the optometry clinic would be required to be physically separate from the retail space, with its own external entrance. The language maintains Oklahoma’s status as one of 16 so-called “two door” states, which include neighboring Texas and Kansas.


Also unlike State Question 793, SB 100 clarifies that the independently operating Board of Examiners in Optometry regulates optometrists’ scope-of- practice, and that a corporate entity cannot restrict or influence how a doctor practices.


Dr. Selina McGee, an Edmond optometrist and president of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, said the bill is a positive development for optometric physicians and their patients.


“Our primary concern as eye doctors is protecting Oklahoma’s very high standards for quality of care and patient safety,” said Dr. McGee. “To preserve those high standards, optometrists need to be operating independently, free of corporate control or interference, and governed by a medical board. SB 100 is consistent with those principles, where State Question 793 and other previous proposals were not.”


More on SB 100:

SB 100 stipulates:
• That retail outlets may sell frames and lenses;
• That retail outlets may begin to lease space to optometric physicians in a phased-in, gradual manner with a timeline based on population density;
• That the doctor may not be an employee of the retail outlet;
• That the doctor will not receive any additional compensation for referring patients to the retail stores’ optical services;
• That the care given to the patient be the main concern of the optometric physician, or other physician providing vision care;
• That the doctor’s office be separate from the retail outlet’s optical shop; and
• That the current laws be followed in giving a patient a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

SB 100 also:
• Defines the responsibility of the doctor to his patients;
• Sets out penalties for infraction of the law;
• Includes language disallowing the retailer to sell below costs; and
• Adds new language that puts into law requirements for a contact lens prescription and requirements for the renewal of contact lens prescriptions by persons other than the prescribing doctor.

Gov. Kevin Stitt signs SB 100.


About OAOP
The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians exists to to lead optometric physicians through education and opportunities to improve vision, eye care, and health care.


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