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Friday May 24, 2019

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OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Calling all Quilters in LeFlore County!!


Now is the time to prepare your quilted items for the annual LeFlore County Quilt Show, to be held in Poteau on June 7-8, 2019.


The LeFlore County Quilt Show is sponsored annually by theLeflore County Oklahoma Home and Community Education Groups.


This is an opportunity for both beginning and experienced quilters to share their love of color, fabric and design. Twenty-one categories of quilted items will be judged and ribbons will be awarded.


Deadline for entry is Tuesday, May 28, 2019.


Rules, entry forms and further information may be obtained from the LeFlore County OSU Extension Center, PO Box430, 103 N. Church St. (in the Annex Building behind the courthouse), Poteau, OK 74953. Phone # 918-647-8231.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 13:59

Tucker James Silva Obituary


Tucker James Silva, infant son of Cody Silva and Sabbrina Morris was born May 17, 2019 in Fort Smith, Arkansas and passed away May 17, 2019 in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Tucker is survived his parents, a sister Kenslie Cornell, a brother, Kolby Cornell, grandparents Carrie Miller, Jonathan Morris, and Cindy Silva, great grandparents, Opal Miller and Betty Roberts as well as a host of other family members.

Graveside services will be held 10:00 Thursday at Glendale Cemetery in Wister.


Services are under the direction of Grace Funeral Service of Poteau, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 11:19

Kiger Thanks All Involved After Storms

By State Rep. Lundy Kiger


As storms ripped through parts of LeFlore County doing significant damage to houses, trees and power lines, I want to thank everyone involved in acting to help get people’s lives back on track as quickly as possible.

Electric was out in Poteau right after the first storm blew through knocking down poles on the main highway and tearing down lines all over Poteau. Other parts of the county had some of the same issues, and Arkansas Valley Electric in Pocola and the area was also out making repairs.


Public Utility companies had their trucks and personnel in Poteau, and OG&E immediately went to work after outages were reported, getting power poles back up and electric on. Power outages lasted through the night and the next day for many as utilities continue working the neighborhoods.


Kiamichi Electric also had their employees and equipment in surrounding areas with the same situation, working through the night and weekend to get power back on in customer’s homes.


Poteau Fire and Police Department personnel spent time helping people all over town, and firefighters were out cutting up trees that had fallen onto roadways blocking people from getting home. We also saw many individual volunteers helping out their neighbors all over town with chain saws and trailers.


Many others including transmission line companies and internet companies were also in town and the county making repairs.


We are fortunate to have so many great companies and wonderful volunteers during times of natural disasters who drop everything to help people who are in need.


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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 10:47

Mary Louise Brown Obituary

Mary Louise Brown, of Poteau, Oklahoma was born August 15, 1946 in Los Angeles, California and passed away May 18, 2019 in Poteau, Oklahoma at the age of 72.


Mary is survived by her husband Oscar Elden Brown of the home; a daughter Robyn and Shawn Cox of Cameron, sons Logan Brown of the home, Jason Brown and Chris Brown of California; grandchildren Megan Fullen, Austyn Cox, Addyson Cox, Jaxyn Cox, and Crystal Brown; great grandchild, James Rogers; a brother Ronnie and Sue Sulis; as well as other family, friends, and loved ones.


Mary was preceded in death by her parents Charles and Rosemary (Stalcup) Sulis and a brother Freddie Sulis.


A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Cremation services are under the direction of Grace Funeral Services of Poteau.


Please log on to to sign Mary’s online guest book.



Strengthening Equity and Access for At-Risk Students Nationwide


Washington, DC - The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) is honored to announce its graduates of the 2019 District Leadership Institute (DLI). These 30 senior education leaders from across the United States who are all leaders in the national GEAR UP movement are recognized for their commitment to increasing access to higher education for low-income students through the more targeted use of advocacy, training and research.


The participants engaged in an intensive 10-month professional learning experience that empowered them to create, sustain and strengthen the college-going culture of their school districts. “I am tremendously proud of our 2019 Class for their completion of the NCCEP District Leadership Institute’s rigorous, ambitious and demanding program. As district leaders, they are in a unique role to drive change, but what we affirmed with this class of participants is that by sharing their varying local perspectives but planning their transformative solutions together, both their local communities and the greater whole will be the better for it” said NCCEP President Ranjit Sidhu. “The futures of thousands of students across America hold even greater promise because of the resources, collaborations, best practices and professional learning experiences these leaders will integrate into their school districts.”


Under the DLI, participants joined in five days of in-person professional learning and contributed to a variety of problem-solving discussions in person and on-line. The Class explored case studies, current research, advocacy strategies and leadership applications created to enhance their role as agents of systemic change on behalf of students.


A program developed for district leaders participating in the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) community, a federal grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Education, NCCEP’s DLI enhances the talent and leadership skills of district leaders and helps them to better leverage their GEAR UP resources and the broader national GEAR UP ecosystem. A large portion of the 10-month curriculum engaged district leaders in collaborative activities with their local GEAR UP leaders.


Program graduate Bruce Gillham, Superintendent of Shady Point (OK) School District, said of the experience, “The District Leadership Institute has given me access to information from a number of different learning environments from across the United States, providing me even more resources for my students.”

GEAR UP Project Director for the Lafayette (LA) Parish School System Traci Aucoin said, "DLI has been a valuable experience to explore issues and solutions, share programming successes and discover how others are addressing the needs of their community."


As the 30-member Class of 2019 exits the DLI program, a new cohort of approximately 50 district leaders is preparing to enter the Class of 2019-20.


To learn more about the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, the District Leadership Institute and GEAR UP please visit



District Leadership Institute Class of 2019



Dawn Cooper, Assistant Vice Chancellor of College Access Initiatives & GUGA Project Director GEAR UP Georgia Administration

Tammy Donalson, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Grady County

Alicia Dunn, Coordinator of School Counseling Clayton County Public Schools

Melissa Gattuso, Director of Implementation GEAR UP Georgia Administration

Dr. Sonji Leach, Director of School Improvement of Secondary Governance Savannah Chatham County School System

Brecca Pope, Director of Administrative Services Thomas County Schools



Traci Aucoin, LPSS GEAR UP Project Director Lafayette Parish School System

Tireka Cobb, Director of LA GEAR UP, Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance/LA GEAR UP

Royann Lane, District Grants Coordinator East Feliciana Parish

Brittany LeBlanc LA GEAR UP, Pointe Coupee Parish School Board

David LeJeune Principal, Acadiana High School Lafayette Parish SchoolSystem

Jacqueline Matthews Supervisor, Monroe City Schools

Dr. Candace Robertson, Chief School Improvement Officer St. Helena Parish School District

Donald Thornton, Jr. Principal, Lafayette High School Lafayette Parish School System

Maria Theresa G. Yabut, 21st CCLC Project Director Morehouse Parish Schools



Kate Schwab, Director of Program Operation Cleveland Heights University Heights

Michelle Scott-Taylor Chief Program Officer, Cleveland Heights University Heights

Robert Swaggard, Director of Curriculum and Instruction,Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District



Bryan Frazier Superintendent, Claremore Public Schools

Rick Garrison Superintendent, Elk City Public Schools

Bruce Gillham Superintendent Shady Point Public Schools

Randy Hughes Superintendent McAlester Public Schools

Cathy Hunt Superintendent Hobart Public Schools

Duane Merideth Superintendent, Durant Independent School District

Daniel Stokes,Assistant Superintendent Locust Grove Public Schools



Taffi Hertz, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction East Central ISD

Gabril Muñoz, Assistant Superintendent for HR & Student Support Services Del Valle ISD

Dr. Pilar Westbrook, Executive Director of Staff and Student Support Del Valle ISD



Ethel Reeves,Director for Engagement, Equity, and Opportunity Lynchburg City Schools



Linda Dezellem Principal,Brewster School District

Press release

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate on Monday passed a bill that provides increased classroom time for students beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.

Senate Bill 441 was one of four agenda items of Senate Republicans for the 2019 session. The bill passed the Senate on Monday by a 30-16 vote.

“More instructional time is a critical element in the formula of student success. That’s why Senate Republicans made this piece of legislation one of our four agenda items for this year’s session. When we look at education policy, everything we do should put the focus on the student. Senate Bill 441 puts student achievement squarely in focus by getting them more time in the classroom with a quality, professional educator,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City.

Senator Marty Quinn, R-Claremore, is the author of the bill.

“Everyone can agree that it’s beneficial for a student to spend more time in the classroom learning from a quality teacher. More time in the classroom should help improve student outcomes and potentially reduce the rates of college remedial enrollment. It’s also important to preserve the right of local school districts to make decisions that are best to meet their needs. Senate Bill 441 is a great piece of legislation that puts the focus on the students and lets local schools make the ultimate decision on their school calendar. This bill has been the culmination of a lot of hard work by members of the Senate and I appreciate those senators who supported this bill,” Quinn said.

The bill now goes to the House. If the House approves SB 441, the bill would go to the governor’s desk for consideration.

Key parts of SB 441:

 For the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 school year, there would be no change to existing law so school districts can choose to pursue 180 days of instruction or 1,080 hours of instruction with no restrictions.

 Beginning in 2021-2022 school year school districts will have three options:

 165 days of classroom time
 1,080 hours with a minimum of 165 days of classroom time
 1,080 hours with no minimum of days of classroom time if districts are able to meet the minimum guidelines for school performance and cost savings

 The Oklahoma State Department of Education will promulgate rules on minimum guidelines focusing on student achievement and fiscal savings to receive an exemption.

 The Oklahoma Legislature would have to approve the State Department of Education exemption rules.

Monday, 20 May 2019 07:51

Marriage Licenses May 13-17, 2019


The following couples applied for their marriage licenses at the LeFlore County Court Clerk’s Office during the week of May 13-17, 2019:


Teddy Ray Fowler Janway, Jr. and Hillarie Lynn Irvan

Jimmy Earl Goodnight, III and Alyssa Marie Cooper

Ronald Lee Burgess, Jr. and Kammy Lane Hall

Matthew Alan Carmack and Michelle Lynn Upton

Skylar Christian White and Paisley Grace Carter

Kevin Lee Ludlow and Rischel Ann Ludlow

James Michael Wayne Tracy and Sandra Jean Wells

Henry Keith Wells and Jacklin Annette Bibb

Press release


As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) and Oklahoma law enforcement want to remind all drivers of the importance of seat belt use. The annual 'Click It or Ticket' campaign is a high-visibility enforcement effort that runs from May 20 to June 2, 2019. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign runs concurrent with the busy travel season.

“During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll be working with law enforcement officers across local and state lines to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers,” said Director Paul Harris of the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.

“We cannot overstate the importance of wearing a seat belt," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Commissioner Rusty Rhoades.

"It’s the law, but it’s more than that. By far, buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. Unfortunately, we see what happens when someone is in a crash and isn’t wearing a seat belt. So often, those injuries and deaths could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt,” said Rhoades.


In 2017, 231 people were killed in crashes on Oklahoma roadways who were NOT buckled up. A total of 1,479 people were injured in crashes in Oklahoma who were not wearing their seat belt. Across the nation, 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes in 2017.

In that same year, 55 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts in the US. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

“Men, especially younger men ages 18-34, are much less likely to buckle up. In 2017, we lost 149 men in Oklahoma because they did not buckle their seat belts,” said Harris.

“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits," said Harris.

Each year, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office conducts a seat belt observation survey across the state. In 2018, the observed seat belt use rate for Oklahoma was at 85.6 percent. That's down from 86.9 percent in 2017.

"Help us spread this lifesaving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone—front seat and back, child and adult—needs to remember to buckle up—every trip, every time,” said Harris.



On Sunday, May 19, 2019, members of Springhill Baptist Church and Monroe First Baptist gathered together the Monroe Prayer Walk - an annual gathering hosted by the area churches.


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.


This year walkers stopped at prayed at specific homes in the community as well.


Following the prayer walk, attendees enjoyed a hot dogs cooked on the grill by Springhill Baptist Church members as Monroe First Baptist Church.



Saturday, 18 May 2019 22:33

Lillie Mae Sweeten Obituary

Lillie Mae Sweeten, 68, of Rock Island, OK passed away Friday, May 17, 2019 in Ft. Smith, AR.


Lillie was born August 20, 1950 in Cameron, OK to Elbert & Margaret Jane Ridenour. She worked at Southland Furniture for 32 years and Baldor for 10 years.


Lillie was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, J.P. & Johnnie Ridenour; sisters, Billie Satterfield & Reda Dalton; mother & father in law, Coy & Bea Sweeten.


She is survived by her husband, Johnnie; children, Theresa Sweeten-Fountain, Donald & Wendy Sweeten; grandchildren, Kacey McGowen, Destini & Micah Ellington, Christin Sweeten, Hailey & Caleb Wilcox, Donald Sweeten, Macey Sweeten, Colton Silvagni, Jeffrey & Artie Fountain, Allen & Britanie Fountain; 11 great grandchildren; sisters, Goldie Warren, Freda & Calvin Pierce, Lorene Parnell, Donna Ridenour; brothers in law, Mike & Kathy Sweeten, Billy Don & Brenda Sweeten, Troy & Linda Sweeten; sisters in law, Brenda Sweeten, Brenda & Donald Jones; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 2 pm, Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at Greenhill Cemetery Pavilion, Cameron, OK.


Pallbearers will be Shawn, Randy & Mikey Sweeten, Brent & Chase Ridenour, Dexter Jones, Jerry & Jessie Winters.


The family will be at the funeral home at Pocola on Monday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with friends and family.


You may leave an online message at


The family has chosen to entrust the care of the services to Evans & Miller Funeral Home.

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