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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Press release

WOODWARD – Attorney General Mike Hunter on Tuesday joined Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey for a tour of Western Oklahoma farms and ranches damaged by the recent wildfires.

While meeting with residents, Attorney General Hunter handed out disaster scam packets from his office and cautioned individuals to be wary of potential scams and fly-by-night companies that could be targeting the area.

“Meeting with those affected and seeing the devastation firsthand puts this heartbreaking tragedy into perspective,” Attorney General Hunter said. “This community has suffered greatly. Some lost loved ones, homes, livestock, their livelihoods and much more. As public officials during this time of recovery, it is our job to assure them that we stand by, ready to assist by any means necessary.

“After a disaster, we unfortunately see predators who want to take advantage of these victims in their vulnerable state. That is why it is important for my office to partner with organizations like the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, to put boots on the ground and send a clear message to would-be con artists that if they attempt to benefit off Oklahomans in their time of need, my office will prosecute to hold them accountable.”

The wildfires that ravaged Western Oklahoma tragically claimed two lives, while burning an excess of 300,000 acres, destroying more than 60 homes and killing hundreds of livestock. Authorities on yesterday’s tour said the fire spread rapidly, burning up to 137 acres per minute and consuming 8,250 acres per hour.

“During the recovery process, it is vital for organizations like the Cattlemen’s Association to work with state officials like Attorney General Hunter to spread information to individuals, who are not only left defenseless by the disaster, but also looking to rebuild,” said Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey. “We greatly appreciate the attorney general for his leadership and for coming to Western Oklahoma to let the members of this community know their concerns are his concerns.”

Joining Attorney General Hunter and Kelsey on the tour was life-long rancher and Senior Vice President of the Bank of Western Oklahoma Joe Farris, who lost dozens of cattle and had hundreds of acres of land during the wildfires.

Farris detailed the damage and praised the efforts of individuals and volunteers in the aftermath.

One stop on the tour was in Camargo at one of the six volunteer supply distribution centers set up in communities around Western Oklahoma to assist farmers and ranchers who lost hay, fences and other material in the fire. The centers also carry donated items like soap, water and living essentials.

“As we have seen in the past, tragedies like these have made Oklahomans stronger and more resilient,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Seeing and meeting people like Katrina Bryant and her husband Jimmy, who volunteer their time, resources and land to set up a distribution center to help those in need embodies the Oklahoma Standard. Continued volunteer efforts like theirs, matched with great organizations like the Cattlemen’s Association, I am certain this community will grow stronger.”


Wednesday, 23 May 2018 21:59

Fishing Report for May 23, 2018

A service of the Oklahoma Wildlife Departement 



Arbuckle: May 19. Elevation ½ ft. above normal, water 69 and stained. Largemouth bass good on plastics, shakey head, and topwater. Smallmouth bass slow on jerkbaits off points. White bass good near flats trolling. Crappie good on brush piles. Report submitted by Jack Melton.

Blue River: May 22. Elevation normal, water 76 and clear. Largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass biting good on crankbaits, spinnerbaits and topwater around brush structure, rocks and the shoreline. Channel Catfish good on Chicken LIver, Minnows and Stinkbait around Brush Structure, Rocks, and Deeper pools behind breaks in current. Bluegill, Green and Redear Sunfish biting good on Crickets and Worms in the shallows and shorelines. Trout are still present but warmer water makes them a difficult target. Report submitted by Matt Gamble.

Broken Bow: May 18. Elevation below average, water 83. Largemouth bass good on flukes, plastics, and spinnerbaits along brush structure, points, shallows, and standing timber. Crappie fair on grubs, jigs, and minnows along brush structure and standing timber. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Eufaula: May 18. Elevation normal, water murky. Striped bass and blue catfish excellent on cut bait, live bait, live shad, small lures, and topwater below and around the dam. Crappie good on grasshoppers, jigs, minnows, and tube jigs around coves, creek channels, docks, rocks, and shorelines. White bass excellent on jigs, plastics, and small lures below the dam and on main lake. Report submitted by Cannon Harrison, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

Hugo: May 18. Elevation normal, water 70 and murky. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish excellent on cut bait and shad below the dam and around channels. Crappie good on jigs and minnows below the dam and around brush structure, creek channels, and shorelines. Report submitted by Andrew Potter, game warden stationed in Choctaw County.

Konawa: May 17. Elevation normal, water 84 and clear. Largemouth bass excellent on crankbaits, lipless baits, and plastics along main lake, points, river mouth, and weed beds. Striped bass hybrids and white bass good on Alabama rig, crankbaits, and live shad along coves, discharge, main lake, and river channel. Channel catfish fair on chicken liver, cut bait, and stinkbait along coves, channels, inlets, and riprap. Report submitted by Garret Harley, game warden stationed in Seminole County.

Lower Mountain Fork: May 18. Elevation normal, water clear. Rainbow trout good on powerbait, small lures, and small, silver rooster tails below the dam and along creek channels. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

McGee Creek: May 19. Elevation above average, water 71 and stained. Crappie and spotted bass good on minnows and around standing timber. Largemouth and spotted bass good on plastics and spinnerbaits around brush structure, coves, and shallows. Report submitted by Jay Harvey, game warden stationed in Atoka County.

Pine Creek: May 18. Elevation below average, water clear. Largemouth bass good on plastics and spinnerbaits along points and shallows. Crappie excellent on jigs and minnows along shallows. Channel catfish good on chicken liver and punch bait along creek channels and shorelines. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Robert S. Kerr: May 18. Elevation normal, water murky. Largemouth and spotted bass good on Alabama rigs, bill baits, jerk baits, lipless baits, plastics, rogues, and spinnerbaits along brush structure, channels, coves, points, riprap, shorelines, and weed beds. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish fair on chicken liver, cut bait, dough bait, live bait, live shad, punch bait, and stinkbait along channels, flats, main lake, river channel, and river mouth. Crappie fair on hair jigs, jigs, minnows, and plastics along creek channels, river channels, river mouth, shallows, and weed beds. Report submitted by Allen Couch, game warden stationed in Haskell County.

Sardis: May 17. Elevation normal, water 71. Largemouth and spotted bass good on crankbaits, jerkbaits, jigs, lipless baits, plastics, spinnerbaits, and topwater around brush structure, points, riprap, rocks, shorelines, standing timber, and weed beds. Blue, channel, and flathead catfish fair on cut bait, shad, and sunfish along channels, flats, main lake, rocks, and shorelines. Crappie fair on hair jigs, minnows, and tube jigs along brush structure, rocks, shorelines, standing timber, and weed beds. Report submitted by Dane Polk, game warden stationed in Pushmataha County.

Texoma: May 18. Elevation normal, water 80 and stained. Crappie good on jigs, live bait. Minnows, and tube jigs around brush structure, docks, and riprap. White and striped bass good on Alabama rig, live bait, live shad, sassy shad, shad, slabs, and top water along channels, main lake, points, and shorelines. Channel catfish good on chicken liver, powerbait, punch bait, and shad below the dam, along channels, coves, main lake, river channels, and tailwater. Report submitted by Trey Hale, game warden stationed in Bryan County.

Wister: May 18. Elevation normal, water cloudy. Largemouth bass good on bill baits, plastics, and spinnerbaits around brush structure, points, and shorelines. Blue catfish good on cut bait, punch bait, and shad around channels and main lake. Crappie good on jigs and minnows around brush structure, channels, and standing timber. Report submitted by Thomas Gillham, game warden stationed in LeFlore County.

Press release


OKLAHOMA CITY - Senator Greg Treat, Majority Floor Leader and Republicans’ selection to serve as the next Senate leader, on Wednesday announced the senators who will round out his leadership team.

Treat said Senator Kim David, current Senate Appropriations Committee chair, will serve as the next Majority Floor Leader and that Senator Roger Thompson, current chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance, will serve as the next Appropriations Committee chair. David, the first woman to serve as Appropriations Committee chair, will be the first woman to serve as Majority Floor Leader.

“I’m grateful that my colleagues selected me to lead the Senate and I’m excited about the opportunity this new role presents,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “I’m excited to announce that Senator David and Senator Thompson have accepted my offer to take up key leadership roles next year in the Senate. Both are hardworking, skilled and talented, and have a deep dedication to the state of Oklahoma and will work hard for the members of the Oklahoma Senate. Though the official transition will take place later this year, we’re already looking ahead to next session and how we can help the Senate GOP continue to make Oklahoma an even better state.”

In March, Senate Republicans named Treat as their pick to succeed Senator Mike Schulz as Senate President Pro Tempore. The official transition from Pro Tem Schulz to Senator Treat will take place in November. The Pro Tem selects the senators who serve as Majority Floor Leader, Appropriations Committee chair, and other committee chairs, which will be announced at a later date.
“I appreciate Senator Treat for asking me to join his leadership team. The floor leader has a lot of responsibility to manage the flow of work and activity in the Senate. Senator Treat did a great job in this role, and I look forward to building upon his success to ensure the Senate continues to operate in a professional and orderly manner,” said David, R-Porter.

Senator Thompson, R-Okemah, said, “I want to thank Senator Treat for this honor and for the opportunity to serve the state and the Senate in an important role. Senator David has done a tremendous job as Appropriations chair during a difficult time. I look to build upon her efforts to inject more transparency into the budgeting process. Senate Republicans will keep our focus on making sure Oklahomans’ tax dollars are used wisely and efficiently.”

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 13:19

Clyde Allen Billings Obituary

Clyde Allen Billings, 60, of Leflore, OK passed away Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Poteau, OK. Clyde was born July 2, 1957 in Poteau to Ray L. & Ramona (Fulks) Billings.


He was a retired teacher/coach. He was preceded in death by his parents.


Survivors include his wife Karen; children, Linda Stepp & husband Lester of Summerfield, OK, Brittany Rodriguez of McAlester, OK; grandchildren, Greenlee, June & Shooter Stepp, Kylie, Andrew, Cooper & Lexi Rodriguez; brother, Paul Billings of Heavener, OK; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 2 pm, Saturday, May 26, 2018 at Summerfield Baptist Church, Summerfield, OK with Jim Cook officiating.


Interment will follow in Summerfield Cemetery.


Pallbearers will be Brent Billings, Dustin Ward, Blake Beckham, Scott Robinson.


Visitation on Friday evening from 6-8 pm at the funeral home 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

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 12:26

Lisa Ann Aguero-Burgess Obituary

Lisa Ann Aguero-Burgess 51, of Poteau, OK, passed away Tuesday, May 22, 2018 in Poteau, OK. She was born November 6, 1966, in Poteau, OK to Manuel and Mary Ann (Midgley) Aguero.


Survivors include, her parents, her husband Ronnie Burgess of the home, sons and daughter-in-law Jonathon and Brooke Burgess of Poteau, OK, Jeremy Burgess of Oklahoma City, OK, daughter and son-in-law Jordan and Clayton Shrock of Poteau, OK, brother Matt Aguero of Oklahoma City, OK, sisters and brothers-in-law, Terri and Mike Johnson of Alma, AR, Dana and Joel Phelps of Alabama, grandchildren, Karsyn and Kearsyn Burgess, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and other family members, friends, and loved ones.


Pallbearers will be, Kevin Knight, Terry Manlove, Homer Oglesby, and Mitch Dennis.


Service will be held 10:00 AM, Saturday, May 26, 2018 at Covenant Church, Poteau, OK with Rev. Keith Williams officiating.


Viewing will be Thursday 12-8 P.M. and Friday 9 A.M – 8 P.M. with the family greeting friends from 6 to 8 P.M. Friday at the funeral home.


Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery.


Services are under the direction of Grace Manor Funeral Home, Poteau, OK.


You may leave an on-line greeting to the family at


Tuesday, 22 May 2018 18:17

Secret documents revealed

By Joe Harwell


Oklahoma Welcome has intercepted secret documents revealing a potentially dangerous project underway by members of the Poteau Alumni Association in conjunction with the PHS all class reunion this weekend. The covert project, underway for decades, will take place between Thursday and Sunday evenings at Costner Stadium at sunset.


Reunion attendees will gather on the stadium track at the 50 yard line on the home side. At sunset they will begin walking backwards, and with each lap completed, their physical appearance will regress by one year. Those who jog the laps backwards will regerss 5 years per lap and 10 years if running backwards.This is all possible through an invisible transfunctional interface device covertly installed on top of Cavanal Hill.


Participats will retain all the knowledge and experience gained during their lifetime while their body gets younger. They are warned not to get carried away and stop making so many backward laps they regress to their infant stage of life.


Good walking, jogging or running shoes are recommended. Assistance devices like walking canes, walkers or wheelchairs are allowed but must be abandoned safely at the side of the track when they become unnecessary. With board approval, alumni may appoint a designated walker as long as both wear tin foil hats to traansmit the effect and protect designated walkers.


Authorities in Poteau are considering the legal remifications of allowing this to occur due to the possibility of a rift in the space time continuim. Citizens are cautioned to consider their own safety before participating or observing the phenominon this weekend.

The Monroe Prayer Walk is an annual gathering hosted by First Baptist Church and Springhill Baptist Church in Monroe.


The prayer walk consists of people of various ages and backgrounds gathered for one purpose - to unite in prayer as one body and proclaim the greatness of our God as they walk the town of Monroe and pray for the school, the volunteer fire fighters, all the churches in the community and the government.


Following the prayer walk, attendees enjoyed pizza from PJ’s Country Store and fellowship.


monroe walk1


monroe walk 4




monroe walk 7

Press release


WILBURTON, OK (May 22, 2018) – Four Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP team members joined over 300 educators from around the US for the 2018 Rural College Access and Success Summit in the commonwealth of Kentucky. Attending were Education Coordinator Denise Lovell, Education Coordinator Tara Martin, Professional Development Coordinator John Spiegel and Project Director Linda Morgan.

The conference began with a panel for the opening session, “What Is Rural?” The session challenged conventional notions of what rural America looks like, while exploring the many social economic factors that link these diverse communities. Panelists were Dr. Sean Alford, superintendent of Aiken County, South Carolina Public Schools; Kirsten Baesler, state superintendent of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction; John Davis, vice president of external affairs, Strive Together, and founding director of the Indianola (Mississippi) Promise Neighborhood; and Celesta Riffe, project director GEAR UP East Kentucky, Partners for Education at Berea College.

Educational practitioners ranging from state administrators to campus leaders will discuss the importance of teacher professional development and the use of varied delivery strategies to support the academic goals of traditionally underserved students during the luncheon plenary. Panelists were Derek Carlson, principal, Delta High School, Colorado; Ann Ellefson, director of academic support, North Dakota Department of Public Instruction; Anthony Mires, executive director, AdvanceKentucky; Randal Palmer, principal for Paonia Junior-Senior High School, Colorado; and Dr. Jerrod Wheeler, superintendent, Knob Noster, Missouri Public Schools.

Hasan Davis, J.D. shared his journey through the education, justice and social systems during Monday’s closing session. Attendees received a free copy if Davis’ book, “Written Off.”
Tuesday morning’s “Ready or Not: Stories from Behind the Statistics” plenary featured members of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team sharing what they learned by writing a book about other young people across Kentucky who are navigating the transition from high school to college. “Ready or Not: Stories from Students Behind the Statistics” touch on a range of themes, including the limits of the ACT as a college-readiness test, rural and urban cultural pulls, the impact of parent and teacher support, Kentucky’s school counseling crisis and college affordability.

“Moving the Dial on Rural” plenary featured Taimarie Adams, director of government relations, Service Year Alliance; Colin Groth, vice president, StriveTogether; and Ranjit Sidhu, executive director, National Council for Community and Education Partnerships. Today the need for partnerships is greater than ever, and practitioners at all levels are seeing that cross-sector coalitions—ones that encompass organizations that promote job growth, mental and physical health, addiction support, and more—are critical to creating educational success. Panelists discussed the need to foster partnerships at the local, regional and national levels to leverage resources on the scale needed to improve outcomes for all members of rural communities.

Dr. Jill Biden, EdD, Board Chair of Save the Children US, and former Second Lady of the US, addressed the need to prepare students of all ages for academic and life success during the closing session. A lifelong educator, Biden served as Second Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017.

Team members attended numerous workshops throughout the conference.

Press release

WASHINGTON—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) announced that he will host Taylor McClellan from Newalla, Oklahoma for the 7th Annual Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day tomorrow, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 on Capitol Hill. Taylor will join more than 100 foster youth and alumni in Washington, D.C. to accompany members of Congress on their daily routine and get a behind-the-scenes look at the House of Representatives.

"I look forward to welcoming Taylor to Capitol Hill as a part of National Foster Care Month," said Mullin. "With more than 400,000 young people in the foster care system, we need to make sure that the system in place is effective and functions properly. As adoptive parents of two, Christie and I are committed to ensuring that every child has a safe, supportive, and forever family.”

Taylor will visit with Mullin in the morning before joining a number of constituent meetings. Please contact Amy Lawrence in Mullin’s office if you are interested in press availability.

Want to stay up-to-date on what Congressman Mullin is doing in Oklahoma and Washington on your behalf? Sign up for his newsletter by visiting

Press release


WILBURTON, OK (May 22, 2018) – Eastern Oklahoma State College has named Matt Parker as the new athletic director and head coach of Mountaineer Baseball. Parker spent the past seven years as head coach at Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) where he led the Eagles to six 40-win seasons and a 325-111 overall record.


“I am honored to become the head baseball coach at Eastern and build on the successful tradition of this program,” Parker said. “As athletic director, I look forward to working with Eastern’s coaches and student-athletes to achieve our goals and excel both inside and outside the classroom.”


The OKWU Eagles finished this season with a 53-8 overall record, winning the Regular Season Conference Championship and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship. OKWU missed making its second-consecutive trip to the NAIA World Series with a loss in the Regional finals.


Under Parker’s leadership, OKWU won four conference championships, three conference tournament championships, two regional championships and made two appearances in the NAIA World Series, finishing in third place in 2014. He was named Conference Coach of the Year in 2012, 2017 and 2018. In addition to his coaching duties, Parker has served as the assistant athletic director for three years.


“Coach Parker has a proven record of success at Oklahoma Wesleyan University,” said Eastern President Dr. Stephen E. Smith. “We are excited for the opportunity to bring in someone with Matt’s qualifications to ensure we put our athletic programs in the best position to be successful and move forward in a positive direction.”


Prior to coaching at OKWU, Parker served as an assistant coach at California Baptist University, Garden City Community College and Henderson State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lyon College and a master’s degree in sports administration from Henderson State University.


Parker and his wife, Lindsey, are the parents of seven-month-old twins, Cortland and Charleigh.



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