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Thursday June 22, 2017

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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin signed a number of education bills designed to promote early learning and literacy, improve teacher evaluations, and other items.


One closely watched piece of legislation, Senate Bill 630, was signed today. SB 630 extends for three years the use of reading teams meant to evaluate student literacy levels under the Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA). It also begins the use of reading sufficiency teams earlier, in the first grade, to identify children who are struggling to read at grade-appropriate level. Previously, the use of reading teams began in the third grade.



The RSA is designed to ensure that children are able to read at grade-appropriate level before they reach the fourth grade. The RSA uses standardized tests to evaluate student reading performance.


SB 630 raises the bar for student literacy, now requiring test scores of "proficient," rather than just "limited knowledge" for student advancement to fourth grade.


If a student does not score "proficient," reading teams continued under SB 630 are able to advance students to the fourth grade under "probationary promotion" if the decision to do so is unanimous.


The reading teams, officially designated as Student Reading Proficiency Teams (SRPT), would include a child's parent or guardian, current teacher, future teacher and reading specialist.


Principals and their district superintendent would then review and approve each reading team recommendation.



Fallin said that emphasizing reading skills is one of the best way to improve performance and learning beyond the third grade.



"Children 'learn to read' from kindergarten through third grade; in higher grades, they 'read to learn,'" said Fallin. "If children are to succeed in fourth grade and beyond, they need to have grade-appropriate reading skills.



"The Reading Sufficiency Act puts into place a rigorous system for measuring student reading and provides extra attention and instruction for children who are falling behind. The extension of the reading teams ensures that parents are well-informed about their children's progress and working cooperatively with teachers to get those children up to grade-level.



'I am also glad to see that legislators worked to strengthen the RSA requirements, raising the minimum requirements for students from a score of 'limited knowledge' to one of 'proficient.' Raising the bar in the classroom is essential to pursuing the goal of boosting educational attainment and outcomes across Oklahoma."


Education bills signed by Fallin


SB 630: Modifies the Reading Sufficiency Act. For students in first and second grade not reading at the corresponding grade level, an individualized remediation reading plan will be developed to get the student reading at grade level.


The plan will be developed by a committee consisting of the parent, the child's teacher who had the responsibility for reading instruction in the academic year, a teacher responsible for reading in the next grade level and a reading specialist when available.


The bill also increases the minimum reading level of students to be promoted to fourth grade from "limited knowledge" to "proficient" beginning in the 2016-17 school year. For the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years, probationary promotion may be considered by a Student Reading Proficiency Team composed of the parent, the child's teacher who had the responsibility for reading instruction in the academic year, a teacher responsible for reading in the next grade level and a reading specialist.


Once a student in the first, second or third grade demonstrates reading proficiency at the third grade level through an approved screening instrument, they will have met the reading requirement to be promoted to fourth grade.


· HB 1823: Directs the State Board of Education to study the calculation of the school report card and provide recommendations to the Legislature on how to improve the evaluation system.


· SB 706: The bill modifies the Oklahoma Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Evaluation System (TLE). Beginning in 2016-17 school year, teachers and administrators will receive both a qualitative and a quantitative rating. The TLE will be used for matters of employment beginning in the 2017-18 school year.


· HB 1693: This bill modifies The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act to allow any taxpayer, who makes a contribution to an eligible educational improvement grant organization and commits to contribute the same amount for an additional year, receives a credit for the first year and the additional year equal to seventy-five percent of the total amount of the contribution each year. In addition, the bill allows "eligible special needs students" to receive scholarships of up to $5,000.00 or eighty percent of the statewide annual average per-pupil expenditure to cover the educational costs of a qualified school which does not charge tuition and enrolls special populations of students.


· SB 711: This bill requires a superintendent who recommends the dismissal of a teacher to their local board of education to forward a copy of the recommendation to the State Board of Education if the reasons for dismissal could form the basis of criminal charges sufficient to result in the denial or revocation of a certificate. The State Board of Education will be notified after the completion of due process procedures.

Wednesday, 03 June 2015 22:51

Coconut Cake Recipe


Ingredient to make the cake
• ½ cup canola oil
• 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup maple syrup
• 2½ cups brown rice flour
• 1½ teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
For the frosting:
• 1 cup coconut oil
• 2 cups powdered evaporated cane juice
• ¼ teaspoon sea salt
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut
Here is what to do
. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the canola oil, coconut milk, vanilla, and maple syrup.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and coconut.
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and thoroughly combine.
Pour the batter into the pan
Bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
For the frosting
Mix the coconut oil, powdered evaporated cane juice, salt, and vanilla with mixer on low speed.
Increase the speed to high and whip until creamy.
Let cake cool completely in the pan before adding the frosting


The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced that Denise Woodard, 59,  Muskogee, pled guilty to an Information charging her with MAKING A FALSE STATEMENT.



The charge arose from an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General.



The Information alleged that on or about February 1, 2012, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendant did knowingly make and cause to be made a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Department of Veteran Affairs, an agency of the United States, in that on a Department of Veteran Affairs form known as "Improved Pension Eligibility Verification Report" Denise Woodard stated she was receiving no income, when in truth and fact, as defendant well knew, she was receiving pension benefits from another source.



The Honorable Steven P. Shreder, Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, accepted the defendant's guilty plea, and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled upon its completion. The defendant remains on bond pending sentencing.


The statutory range of punishment is up to 5 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00 or both.


Assistant United States Attorney Shannon Henson represented the United States.


US Department of Transportation press release


WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the immediate availability of $1 million in Emergency Relief funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to help the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) cover the costs of repairing federal-aid roads recently damaged by floods and torrential rains throughout the state.


"We are aware of Oklahoma's ongoing need to repair damage caused by recent rains and flooding," said Secretary Foxx. "The funding provided today is the first step toward the recovery process."


State officials continue to assess the damage as the waters recede in the 77 counties affected by the flooding.


The emergency funds provided today represent the first installment toward repairs to federal-aid highways and will be used for landslide damage to three major highways in the state – US-271 south of Clayton, SH-1 in LeFlore County, and SH-82 in Haskell County.


"We're working closely with ODOT to ensure it has the needed resources to make repairs as quickly as possible," said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "Emergency relief funds will make it possible to jump start repairs on key highways."



Funds from FHWA's Emergency Relief Program will reimburse the state for emergency work done in the immediate aftermath of the weather event. FHWA's Emergency Relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.

The Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is sponsoring a "21 Gun Salute" to honor Veterans.


The event will be Saturday June 6, 2015 at 5pm. at the McAlester Expo Center located at 4500 West Highway 270 in McAlester.


Come enjoy a fun evening with a great meal.


Over fifty guns, a Bad Boy Buggy and gun safe are just a few of the item being auctioned off.


Only 200 tickets available at $250 per ticket, includes gun drawing.


$300 you get to add a ticket to the Bad Boy Buggy.


Each ticket includes one meal and each ticket holder can bring additional guest for an extra $30 each.


Reserved tables for eight are available for $2,000 includes four gun tickets, four Bad Boy tickets eight meals and $500 gun.


For more information call Don Chitwood at 918 649-7470.

Wednesday, 03 June 2015 08:00

Gary Allen Caughron Obituary

Gary Allen Caughron, 51, of Cameron, OK passed away Tuesday, June 2, 2015 in Ft. Smith, AR. Gary was born in Nevada Missouri on October 11, 1963 to Robert & Elizabeth (Wolf) Caughron. He was an oil field inspector.



Survivors include his daughter, Kila Meador & husband James of Hackett, AR; granddaughters, Payson & Nova; his parents, Robert & Elizabeth Caughron; sisters, Debbie Lomon and husband Rick of Cameron, OK, Cindy Keel and husband Dwayne of Coweta, OK; brothers, Mike Caughron and wife, Melba of Richmond, TX, Mark Caughron and wife Cathy of Tulsa, OK; other relatives, loved ones and friends.



Services will be 2 pm, Friday, June 5, 2015 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with David Hardin officiating.



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


Top students from Poteau Kiamichi Technology Center attended the Business Professionals of America (BPA) 2015 National Leadership Conference, "Imagine, Believe, Become," in Anaheim, CA, May 5-10, 2015.



Kiamichi Technology Center chapter members, Sue Cantu, Glenda James, Danielle Mathews and Johanna Garcia joined over 5,000 other conference delegates from across the nation to participate in national level business skills competitions, workshops, general sessions, and they experienced the city of Anaheim California.



"The conference was the culmination of a school years' worth of business education and training which members of the local chapter of Business Professionals of America at Poteau Kiamichi Technology Center have received," said chapter advisor, Nina Morgan, who teaches Business Administration and Information Technology.



Sue Cantu, Glenda James and Danielle Mathews, placed 2nd in Administrative Support Team, Glenda James Top 10 in Prepared Speech, Danielle Mathews Top 10 in Basic Office Systems and Procedures, Johanna Garcia Top 10 in Presentation Management Individual and Database Applications.



Business Professionals of America is a national organization for high school, college, and middle school students preparing for careers in business and information.
For more information on KTC call the Poteau Campus at 918-647-4525 or visit their website at Like their Facebook page at to receive updates on events happening at the Poteau Campus.



KTC is a member of the state CareerTech system.

The Heavener Public Library is offering a series of free self-defense classes for girls ages 10-18, with Lyndon Nobles instructing.


Classes begin at noon and run until 2:00pm Saturday, June 6th, and will be held every Saturday in June.


Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and bring partners. Permission forms are required to participate! Forms are available at the Heavener Public Library. For more information, feel free to call 918-653-2870.

The library's Summer Reading Program is already in full swing


Their "Hometown Heroes" programs are on Tuesdays at 1:00pm and focus on our community heroes.


Super hero movies are shown every Wednesday at 1:00pm and on Fridays at 3:00pm and 6:00pm.



All programs at the  Heavener Public library are free

Tuesday, 02 June 2015 21:31

Summer Vacation

Over the last several years, families have increasingly focused on stretching every dollar they have. Rising fuel costs and an economy that is still struggling have inspired many families to permanently adopt a thriftier lifestyle.

While it's good to be financially prudent, families don't have to give up luxuries like summer vacations. Instead, parents can employ a few simple saving strategies that can reduce the cost but not the quality of a summer vacation with the family.


* Find accommodations that provide a kitchen. A significant portion of a family's summer vacation budget goes toward food. Families will need to eat no matter where they go, but cost-conscious parents should find accommodations that include a private kitchen. You won't need to eat in every night, but cooking two or three times over the course of a week-long vacation can save a substantial amount of money. If you can't find a room with its own kitchen, try to find one with its own refrigerator and microwave.


* Stay local. Staying close to home for summer vacation can save families a good deal of money. Rising fuel costs have made both driving and air travel more expensive. Finding affordable flights has become increasingly difficult, especially for families who don't have the luxury of planning their summer vacation several months in advance. Staying local for summer vacation reduces the need for costly hotel accommodations and saves money on fuel.


* Visit a major city or tourist area. For families who simply must get away, keep in mind that the further you go off the beaten path the more costly it will be to get there. For example, a remote locale is likely nowhere near a major airport, and it can be expensive to get from the airport to the resort. In addition, it's harder to find affordable flights to remote locales, as there are typically less flights available to such destinations, than flights to major cities or more popular tourist destinations.


So while vacationing in the middle of nowhere has its benefits, cost-conscious families might be better off choosing a destination that's much more accessible and affordable.

Taking a summer vacation is a tradition for many families. This summer, families focused on saving money can do so in a number of affordable ways.

Tuesday, 02 June 2015 21:18

18th Annual Poteau Chamber Golf Classic


(Poteau, Oklahoma) – The 18th Annual Chamber Golf Classic will be held Monday, June 22, 2015 at Wolf Ridge Country Club in Poteau, Oklahoma.


Corporate Sponsors are Adams Abstract, AES, Arvest Bank, Blake Trucking, EOMC, First National Bank, J.O.B. Construction, OG&E, Senator Mark Allen, Wells Completions, Remax Champion Land Brokers, Dunn Country Dodge Jeep Chrysler Ram, The Community State Bank, & Watson Motors.


There will be 1 round of 18 holes played. For networking, 2 man teams will be drawn and paired with other 2 man teams.


Teams will be notified of who their team mates are after drawings take place.


There will be 1 flight of prize packages given away and lots of door prizes.


Check in and lunch will begin at 10:30pm. Tee off will be at 11:30 pm. The field is open to men and women but is limited to the first 60 two man teams!


Entry fee is $65.00 per person or $130 per 2 man team.


Mulligans and other extras will be available for purchase the day of the event.


Early bird registration is June 13th!


Players who register by June 13th will receive a dry fit golfer shirt!!!


The cut off date for registration is June 19th at 5:00 pm. This is a great networking opportunity.


Entries are accepted on a first paid, first served basis. The field is filling up quickly so get your entry in now.


Entry forms are available by calling the Chamber of Commerce or visit our website at


Lunch and refreshments will be served.


For more information contact the Poteau Chamber of Commerce at 918.647.9178.

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