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Wednesday January 17, 2018

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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Press release

OKLAHOMA CITY – In an effort to stop inappropriate relationships between school employees and students, Sen. Ron Sharp has filed legislation to require professional development training on the issue. Under Senate Bill 899, the training would begin with the 2018-2019 school year and would need to be completed at least once per semester.

“While the protection and safety of students is the highest priority for most Oklahoma public school personnel, there are those few that need to be periodically reminded of the confidence and responsibility that parents, the school district and state have entrusted in them,” said Sharp, R-Shawnee. “This reminder each semester of the legal and long-term consequences of inappropriate behavior with students will hopefully be enough to deter any temptation.”

The program would include information about the potential penalties associated with being convicted, whether upon a verdict or plea of guilty or upon a plea of nolo contendere, or receiving a suspended sentence or any probationary term for a crime or an attempt to commit a crime of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation against a minor. The training could be provided in person or online.

“This legislation would in no way eliminate school employees’ due process rights,” said Sharp. "I just believe when someone is being tempted and considering illegal behavior that being reminded every few months that such actions are a felony and they’ll be deemed a sex offender will change their perception and bring them to their senses.”

The State Department of Education (SDE) would be responsible for developing the training materials (DVD, online or booklets) and providing them to school districts.

Each school district board of education would submit a report to the SDE by June 30, 2019, and by the end of June thereafter verifying that all district employees had completed the training. Districts would also need to verify that teachers had received the training before being reissued their certified teaching certificates.

By November 1, 2018, the Commission of Educational Quality and Accountability would need to adopt rules requiring coursework or training on appropriate behavior between students and school employees as a requisite for program accreditation. The SDE, beginning November 1, 2020, would be required to verify before issuing teacher certification licenses that students have received this training.

The legislative session will begin on Monday, February 5.

Press release

Do not miss this weeklong Chamber Music Festival which includes a variety of private and public concerts


STILLWATER, Oklahoma, January 12, 2018 — Tickets are now on sale at for the Oklahoma debut performances that will culminate into The McKnight Center Chamber Music Festival April 10 through April 14, 2018. Featuring a variety of world-renowned talented chamber musicians, this inaugural festival will educate, inspire, and entertain music lovers of all ages.


This residency includes three intimate ticketed soiree performances with unique programs in Stillwater, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City; masterclasses for OSU students that are free and open to the public, a music-education concert for area elementary students, and our gift to the Stillwater community - a free concert on April 14 at 7:30pm as the finale to the Festival. Each of the three soiree performances include a pre-concert reception and post-concert dinner.


Famed concert pianist and chamber musician Anne-Marie McDermott is the Festival’s artistic director and is responsible for recruiting each of the musicians and programming the music highlighted throughout the week. Many of these highly talented artists have performed on world-renowned stages such as the Dallas Symphony, the Zurich Opera, Santa Fe Opera, the MET, Curtis Institute of Music, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet.


McDermott’s career spans more than 25 years as a soloist and collaborator. With over 50 concerti in her repertoire, Ms. McDermott has performed with many leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico among many others. She is also a member of the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center.

In addition to Anne-Marie McDermott, artists for the Chamber Music Festival include: Alex Kerr - violin, concertmaster of Dallas Symphony

Amy Schwartz Moretti – violin, former concertmaster of Oregon Symphony, head of Strings at McDuffie School for Strings

Roberto Diaz – viola, former Principal Viola of Philadelphia Orchestra and current President of Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia

Christopher Costanza – cello, St. Lawrence String Quartet

Todd Levy – clarinet, Principal Clarinet of Milwaukee Symphony and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra Susanna Phillips – soprano, Metropolitan Opera Singer

Bruce Adolphe – composer, musicologist and educator, member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

For more information about each of the artists participating in the Chamber Music Festival, please visit our website




Tickets and registration for the Free Community Concert available at


Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 6PM

The Soul of Gypsy – Philbrook Museum, 2727 S. Rockford Road, Tulsa Joseph Haydn Piano Trio No. 39 in G-major, Hob. XV:25, “GypsyRondo” Antonín Dvořák Gypsy Songs, Op. 55

Carl Maria von Weber Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B-flat major, Op. 34


Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 10AM

My What Big Ears You Have! Youth Concert – Seretean Center, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Hosted by Bruce Adolphe


Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 6PM

Amadeus – Gaillardia Country Club, 5300 Gaillardia Blvd, Oklahoma City

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart String Duo No. 1 in G-major for Violin and Viola, K. 423

Francis Poulenc Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in B-flat major, Op. 184

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Piano Quartet No. 1 in G-minor, K.478


Friday, April 13, 2018 at 6PM

A Viennese Evening – Willard Hall, Whitehurst Lane, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Erik Leidzen Kreisler String Quartet Arrangements

Franz Schubert “Der Hirt auf dem Felsen” (“The Shepherd on the Rock”) D.965

Ludwig van Beethoven Clarinet Trio in B-flat major, Opus 11

Alfred Gruenfeld Soiree de Vienne


Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 7:30PM

Just Great Music! Free Community Concert – Seretean Center, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater George Frideric Handel/Johann Halvorsen Passacaglia in G-Minor for Violin and Viola

Bruce Adolphe Out of the Air, Trio for Piano, Clarinet, and Cello (2016)

George Gershwin arr. by Rick Walters

Antonín Dvořák Piano Quintet No. 2 in A-major, Op. 81


chamber music logo



The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts will be a statement of artistic talent worth sharing and a cultural destination attracting artists and performing art lovers from around the world. The McKnight Center is an expression of Oklahoma State

University’s commitment to the arts to serve generations of students, performers and audience members alike. By helping us advance this project, The McKnight Center will also become a long-lasting expression of you — a reflection of your belief that art on the Oklahoma State University campus, in this community and in our world, is valuable and worth supporting.


The McKnight Foundation exists to manage and operate The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Construction of The McKnight Center has begun and is scheduled to be completed in 2019. The McKnight Foundationisgovernedbyaseven-memberboardoftrusteesandanexecutivedirector.Thefoundationwillbeengagedfortheoperation and programming of The McKnight Center. An aggressive fundraising campaign is underway to supplement construction costs and complete the innovative programmingendowment.


Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.

Press release


There will be a public meeting with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) regarding Carl Albert State College’s Nursing Program. The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. in the Larry Dickerson Health Science Center, Room HS722 on the Poteau campus. This is part of a site review for the continuing accreditation of the CASC nursing program.


The community is invited to meet the site visit team and share comments about the CASC program. Written comments are also welcome and should be mailed directly to:

Dr. Marsal Stoll, Chief Executive Officer
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326


In addition, comments can be emailed to Dr. Stoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Written comments should be received by Dr. Stoll no later than January 31, 2018.



CASC Mission Statement: To provide an affordable, accessible, and exceptional education that fosters student success.

Monday, 15 January 2018 17:41

Lessons from Winston Churchill

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman


One of my favorite eras of history to study is the period of World War II. With what Great Britain experienced as a nation, I have become a fan of Winston Churchill. I am fascinated with the role of his leadership during that time and by some of his inspirational quotes. Many of them apply to what we see today in Oklahoma.


“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. It’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”


Our state legislators have two options: take the opportunity to present ideas which could move our state forward, or choose to let Oklahoma continue down the path of dismal rankings. We have had many Oklahomans speak up with suggestions for fixing our problems. I hope lawmakers will take time to listen to these and other suggestions and move Oklahoma forward with solutions to improve our state.


“The price of greatness is responsibility.”


The fact that many of our elected officials have admitted some measures passed into law have not worked speaks volumes to the need to pass new initiatives which will correct and undo these mistakes. Finger-pointing and partisan bickering must stop if we are to experience better opportunities. Elected officials have an obligation by their oath of office to find responsible solutions and restore public trust, but it is also our responsibility as voters to hold them accountable.


“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”


These answers will take time and will not be popular with many. It will not be an immediate process, but it must take enough of these men and women to decide to take that first step. While it might be an election year and some of these acts might not win over some voters or donors, the moral obligation to fix the many wrongs with our state should take a priority. Long term thinking must also come into play to avoid short-term ideas that sound good, but could cause long-term harm.

“Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”


We need everyday citizens as advocates who are willing to step up and speak out on behalf of those who do not have a voice. OICA has stepped up to fill a void for providing two ways for citizens to engage through two upcoming avenues.
Our first initiative will provide information to educators through our “Chalk the Vote” network. We are seeking someone working in each school building across the state to serve as a “block captain” to receive information and share with colleagues. Educators should sign up at to receive updates.

OICA also is partnering with several organizations to provide an advocacy training. This will occur on Monday, February 5th, at a cost of $20. We will teach tips on how to effectively contact and interact with lawmakers. We also will watch a broadcast of Gov. Fallin’s final State of the State address, followed by a panel discussion regarding what to expect from it. Sign up at to reserve your spot!

Just like Churchill, we will persevere. I leave you with this final quote.


“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”




About OICA
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens, to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk.

Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.“


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Monday, 15 January 2018 17:38

Bobbie Jewel (Lowe) Hager Obituary

Bobbie Jewel (Lowe) Hager of Fairfield Bay, Arkansas (formerly of Heavener, Oklahoma) was born September 11, 1935 in Texarkana, Texas to James and Iva (Roberts) Lowe and passed away at her home on January 13, 2018 in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas at the age of 82.


She is survived by:

Her husband:
Bill Hager of the home

Two daughters:
Susan Tolbert of Poteau, Oklahoma
Cindy Vickers and husband Michael of Conway, Arkansas

Four grandchildren:
Jason Tolbert of Jouy-en-Jasas, France
Taylor Shockley and husband Taylor of Poteau, Oklahoma
Haleigh Vickers of Conway, Arkansas
Jastyn Vickers of Conway, Arkansas

Two great-grandchildren:
Treven and Holden Shockley of Poteau, Oklahoma

Numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends


She was preceded in death by her parents; her step-father, Greeley Edge; her son-in-law, Stanley Tolbert; one sister, Frances McMaster; and one brother, Raymond Lowe.


Bobbie was a long-time resident of the area, a homemaker, and a member of Heavener Faithbridge United Methodist Congregation. She was a loving wife, mother, grandma, great-grandma, aunt, and friend. Bobbie loved spending time with her family and friends. She will be deeply missed by many. Bobbie was known to many as “Mamoo”.


Memorial service will be 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at the Heavener Faithbridge United Methodist Congregation with Reverend Lisa Miller officiating. Burial of cremains will be in Heavener Memorial Park. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener, Oklahoma.


Mrs. Hager’s register book will be available to sign starting Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.


In lieu of flowers, family request donations to be made to the Heavener Faithbridge United Methodist Congregation or to the cure of Alzheimer’s and the link is


To sign Mrs. Hager’s online guestbook please visit


Monday, 15 January 2018 17:34

Fynley June Biernacki Obituary

Fynley June Biernacki, infant daughter of Jacob Ryan & Stacia Danell (Hall) Biernacki was born Saturday, January 13, 2018 in Tulsa, OK & passed away January 14, 2018 in Tulsa.


She was preceded in death by her paternal great grandmother, Lila Fairless & maternal great grandfather, Danny Bell.

Fynley is survived by her parents, Jacob & Stacia; brothers, Braxton & Corbin Biernacki; sisters, Raycee Biernacki, Kaylyx Thompson; paternal grandparents, Donny & Kay Gollihare of Panama, OK; maternal grandparents, Jeff & Danette Been of Shady Point, OK; paternal great grandfather, Harlen Fairless of Ft. Smith, AR; maternal great grandparents, Charles & Brenda Cook of Poteau, OK; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 2 pm, Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Robert Hill officiating. Interment will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Panama, 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, 15 January 2018 17:30

Norma Jean McClanahan Obituary

Norma Jean McClanahan of Pocola, Oklahoma was born March 16, 1936 in La Harpe, Illinois to Gibson and Madge (Conlee) Strausbaugh and passed away January 10, 2018 in Fort Smith, Arkansas at the age of 81.


She is survived by her daughter, Jana Barnes and husband Harlan of Pocola, two sons , James McClanahan of Spiro, Donald McClanahan and wife Tina of Burlington, Iowa, eight grandchildren, Damian Brown, Nick Rabenau, Chasity Cox, Skylar McClanahan, Shelby McClanahan, Christopher Barnes, Stephanie Barnes, Jennifer Cusick, ten great grandchildren, Shayla Owens, Alissa Owens, Joshua Cox, Christian Cox, Chloe Cox, Dylan Cusick, Colton Cusick, Landon Cusick, Hunter Jones, and special friend, Jason Junker of Burlington, Iowa.


She is preceded in death by her parents, daughter, Cathy Rabenau, and brother, Robert Strausbaugh. She loved her soap operas and shopping.


Memorial Services will be held at a later date.


To sign Ms. McClanahan’s online guest book please visit



Monday, 15 January 2018 15:51

Deborah Joan Mills Obituary

Beloved Mother, Grandmother & Friend, Deborah Joan Mills, 65, of Poteau, OK passed away Sunday, January 14, 2018, in Poteau.


Deborah was born March 12, 1952 in Los Angeles, CA to Leo H & Elaine Lona (Valkenaur) Sears.


She was a registered nurse.


Deborah was preceded in death by her husband, Harrison Wayne Mills and her parents; and brother, David.


Survivors include her sons & daughters in law, Nathan & Karen Mills of Poteau, OK, Michael & Serah Mills of San Antonio, TX; brothers Leo, Paul, Peter, Andrew & Tim; sisters, April & Tracy; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


The family will be at the funeral home on Wednesday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends. Private services will be held at a later date.


The Family requests no flowers.


Donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, PO Box 4527 NY, NY 10163, 800-344-4867, or online.


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

Press release



OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today released the following statement regarding Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in freedom and equality of opportunity. His dream was for us to be a nation where every person would be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. We need to continue to strive to achieve that goal. I encourage all Oklahomans to join me in remembering the life of Dr. King, and take time to consider what each of us can do to make his dream a reality.”


Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed Monday, January 15. It is a state holiday. The governor’s office will be closed in observance of the holiday.


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According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol injury collision occurred on January 14, 2018 on United State Highway 70,1.6 miles east of Eagletown in McCurtain County.


According to the report, 2004 Chevrolet Pickup driven by Juan Villeda 37, of Broken Bow was westbound on US70, crossed the center line striking a 2009 Lexus driven by Silvestre Flores, age 38, of DeQueen, AR.

Villeda was transported by Air Evac to East Tyler Medical Center in Tyler, TX with head, trunk-internal, trunk-external, arm and leg injuries and was listed in stable condition.


Silvestre Flores was transported by Air Evac to Plano Medical Center in Plano, TX with head, trunk-internal, trunk-external, arm and leg injuries he was listed in stable condition.

According to the report, condition of Villeda: Odor of alcohol.


The accident was investigated by Trooper Joe Nichols of the McCurtain County Detachment of Troop E. Assisted by Trooper Clint Owens also of the McCurtain County Detachment of Troop E, U.S. Wildlife Department, McCurtain County Sheriff’s office, Eagletown Fire Department and Broken Bow Fire Department.

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