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OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Submitted by Tayler Richey


WILBURTON, OK (Sept. 3, 2015) – Five new full-time faculty members began teaching classes at Eastern Oklahoma State College this fall.

Eastern welcomed two new faculty members in the Agriculture Division. Jade Jenkins is teaching animal science and coaching the livestock judging teams; and EOSC alumna Crystal Shipman is teaching agronomy and coaching the soils and crops judging teams.



Jenkins graduated from Illinois Central College in 2011 with an associate of arts degree in agriculture education. She received her bachelor’s in agriculture education from Oklahoma State University in 2014. She was a livestock judging team member throughout her collegiate career. Before coming to Eastern, she was the vocational agriculture instructor in Linn County, MO for two years. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree from Oklahoma State University.



Shipman graduated from Eastern in 2005 with an associate of science degree in agronomy, then went on to finish her bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science at Oklahoma State University in 2007. She was the vocational agriculture instructor in Smithville, OK for five years before moving to Leflore, OK. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in agriculture from Oklahoma State University. 



Eastern’s Language, Humanities and Education Division also welcomed two new faculty members. Timothy O’Neal is teaching speech and humanities; and EOSC alumna Haley Cadle is teaching English composition  at the McAlester campus.



O’Neal graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in theater in 2005, and completed his master’s degree in performance and direction at the University of New Orleans in 2015. Before coming to Eastern, he worked professionally at theaters in Atlanta, New Orleans, and most recently Champaign-Urbana, IL.



Cadle graduated from Eastern in 2013 as the Outstanding Graduate in the division she now works for. During her time as a student, she was active in many clubs and organizations including cheerleading, Honors, Phi Theta Kappa and PASS Club. She went on earn her bachelor’s degree in English education, graduating summa cum laude from Northeastern State University in 2015. She is currently completing her master’s degree in English rhetoric and composition from Northeastern.



Eastern’s Nursing Division welcomed one new faculty member this semester. EOSC alumna Bethany Stewart is teaching sophomore-level nursing courses at the McAlester campus.



Stewart graduated from Eastern’s nursing program in 2010, going on to complete her nursing bachelor’s degree from Southwestern State University. Stewart’s extensive professional career includes home health, nursing and outpatient services. She is also working on a master’s degree from Western Governors University.



A Service of the Oklahoma Wildlife Department

Several lucky families who attend the free Oklahoma Wildlife Expo later this month will definitely walk away with a new house! A bluebird house, that is.
This perennially popular "make-n-take" activity allows family groups to enjoy completing a project as a group activity as part of their Wildlife Expo experience. But the Bluebird Nest Box Make-n-Take building sessions fill up fast, so families are urged to visit the outdoor booth as soon as possible each day to reserve a spot on the list.

"The Wildlife Expo offers so many hands-on activities that visitors can enjoy, including several arts-and-crafts booths that are fun to do and give everyone a chance to take a souvenir home with them," said Rhonda Hurst, Wildlife Expo coordinator for the Wildlife Department.

The Bluebird Nest Box Make-n-Take is designed to be a project allowing family groups to work together to create one bluebird house that can be taken home and used to benefit bluebirds or other songbirds.

Organizers will sign up family groups on a first-come, first-served basis for one of the six daily build sessions. Each session can have up to 25 family groups. All materials and tools are supplied for this free activity. But remember to sign up early before the sessions are full!

The 10th edition of the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo will unfold Sept. 26-27 at the Lazy E Arena, just north of Oklahoma City. Thousands of visitors are expected to turn out for all the fun at this free event conducted by the Wildlife Department with the help of many great organizations, partners and volunteers.

Other crafty activities that Expo visitors will find include Basketweaving Make-n-Take, Wildlife Bling Make-n-Take, Fishing Lures Make-n-Take, rope making and fly tying.

The Expo takes a hands-on approach to educating visitors of all ages and all experience levels about Oklahoma's wildlife and natural resources and how to enjoy them. All the crowd favorites will be there, including kayaking on an indoor pond, shotgun and pellet gun target shooting, fishing in a stocked pond, and archery in the woods.

"This is the state's largest outdoor recreation event, and it draws thousands of people each year," Hurst said. She urges visitors to plan to spend the entire day at the Expo, because there are so many things to see and do there. And the best thing about all of this: It's free!

"In short, the Expo is a celebration of everything outdoors in the state of Oklahoma," Hurst said. "We want you to leave the Expo with a new appreciation for wildlife and the hobbies of hunting, fishing and wildlife watching."

The Wildlife Expo has its own website at Log onto the site to find out the latest information, including how to get to the event, lists of activities and events, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Expo hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27. Admission and parking are free. Be sure to mark your calendar now and make plans to be a part of the fun at the 2015 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo!


The mission of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is the management of Oklahoma's wildlife resources and habitat to provide scientific, educational, aesthetic, economic and recreational benefits for present and future generations of hunters, anglers and others who appreciate wildlife.
This program receives federal assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and thus prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age and sex (gender) pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. To request an accommodation or informational material in an alternative format, contact Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, (405) 521-3851. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or service, contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041.



Monday, 07 September 2015 22:50

Child drowns at Lake Oologah


According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol the body of an 8-year-old child has been recovered from Lake Oologah.



According to the report, an 8 year old child had disappeared around 2:40 p.m. Sunday at Hawthorne Swim Beach in Rogers County. The Rogers County Sheriff's Office was notified of the missing child at 4 p.m.


The child was last seen standing near the water. The Northwest Fire Department, the Rogers County Sheriff's Office, the Corps of Engineers and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol were called to do a search and rescue mission for the missing child.


Around 6:00pm the Northwest Fire located the juvenile using Sonar equipment in approximately nine feet of water, in the swim beach area.



The incident was investigated by Trooper Gena Gillis of the Marine Enforcement Division. Assisted by Trooper Brian Gage of the Marine Enforcement Division, Northwest Fire Department, Rogers County Sheriff's Office and Corps of Engineers.


The 1st Annual "Team Family" Golf Tournament to Benefit Relay for Life coming September 25, 2015.


Your team doesn't have to consist of your family, so get your team together and get into the "swing" of things and help fight a cure for cancer.


Tee time is at 10 am with registration from 9 to 9:30 am at the Choctaw Country Club in Poteau.


$50 per player
$10 for 2 mulligans
$15 per player golf cart fee (if player needs a cart)
Lunch will be provided

If interested in sponsoring a hole or need more information contact Kali at 918- 839-0436.

You can download entry form below

Sunday, 06 September 2015 16:34

A Fatality collision in Craig County

A fatality accident in Vinita occurred on 10:18 am on Interstate 44, Will Rogers Turnpike, 1/10 of a mile East of Vinita in Craig County.



According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Terrance C. Otis 56, of Claremore was traveling eastbound and a 2014 Toyota Highlander driven by Robin D. Malone 45, of Grove was traveling westbound, when for some unknown reason the Equinox departed theroadway to the left, struck the center barrier wall, continued eastbound along the wall for approximately 843 feet coming to rest against the wall.


Malone's vehicle was struck by flying debris from the collision.


Terrance C. Otis was transported by Mercy Ambulance to Craig General Hospital then Flown by Air-Evac Air Ambulance to St. Francis, Tulsa. Admitted in critical condition with an unknown medical condition.


He was pronounced dead at St. Francis hospital on September 6, 2015 at 9:29 am. Cause of death is under investigation with the medical examiner.


Investigated by Trooper Brett Bennett of the Will Rogers I44 Turnpike Division. Assisted by Trooper Brady Coyle of the Will Rogers I44 Turnpike Division. Lt. Mark Roach of the Will Rogers I44 Turnpike Division.


The cause of the crash is still under investigation.


OKLAHOMA CITY – according to Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak, Workers’ compensations rates in Oklahoma are expected to drop in 2016.

According to the press release, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) filed an overall loss cost decrease of 14.8 percent. This is the third straight year rates have decreased.



“Since my department’s push for workers’ compensation reform, we’re seeing this positive trend,” Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said. “As these rates decrease, Oklahoma business owners can pay less for workers’ compensation insurance and instead invest in growing their business. It’s a step in the right direction for Oklahoma’s economy.”



Workers’ compensation loss costs are used by insurers to determine rates for employers. With this year’s drop, the total of the three consecutive decreases is 37.2 percent.


Commissioner Doak praised Oklahoma lawmakers and Gov. Mary Fallin for their efforts to improve the state’s workers’ compensation system.


“Today’s news is a win for all Oklahomans,” said Fallin. “A third year of rate reductions demonstrates that reforms to the workers' compensation process have delivered a system that is efficient and fair to both workers and employers. Money saved on insurance premiums can now be used to invest in our economy and produce more and better jobs.”



The NCCI is an advisory organization that studies workplace injuries, collects workers’ compensation claim data, analyzes industry trends and develops loss costs to be used in the ratemaking process. Most workers’ compensation carriers use the NCCI loss cost values when determining the rates charged to Oklahoma employers.

NCCI credits Oklahoma’s premium level decrease to declines in market experience and market trend, as well as the recent reforms.



The new loss costs go into effect on Jan. 1.



About the Oklahoma Insurance Department

The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.


MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – According to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

Christopher Jacob Froehlich 29, of Sallisaw, was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment on three counts of Wire Fraud, and one count of Uttering a Counterfeit Security with intent to deceive.

Froehlich was also sentenced to 24 months on two counts of Aggravated Indentity Theft, and were ordered to run consecutive to the other charges.

The defendant was ordered to pay $4,851 restitution.


The charges arose from an investigation by the United States Postal Inspector and the United States Secret Service. The defendant was indicted in September, 2014.


The Indictment alleged that from December 25, 2013 to March 24, 2014, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere, the defendant devised a scheme and artifice to defraud and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises. It was part of the scheme that the defendant used his computer to create fraudulent accounts at various financial institutions. The defendant created these fraudulent accounts using the identities of other persons without their permission. The defendant also created and uttered counterfeit checks.


The Honorable James H. Payne, District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, presided over the hearing. The defendant remains in the custody of the United States Marshal pending transportation to the designated federal facility at which he will serve his nonparolable sentence.

Assistant United States Attorney Chris Wilson represented the United States.

Sallisaw Man Sentenced To 52 Months, $4,800 Restitution for Wire Fraud, Uttering a Counterfeiting Security And Identity Theft - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

More FREE Tools to Help Oklahoma Tobacco Users Quit



OKLAHOMA CITY – according to a press release from the  Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline.


TSET has launched a new suite of services, providing more tools and enhanced resources to help Oklahomans quit tobacco. In addition to phone and web coaching, and patches, gum and lozenges for registered participants, the Helpline has added free text and email support. These innovative tools provide comprehensive, customizable options for Oklahomans who are considering quitting tobacco.


“No matter where you are in the process of quitting, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has a variety of services to fit your unique needs,” said Paola Klein, MHR, CTTS, Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline Coordinator for the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center. “Whichever way you choose to quit, the Helpline lets tobacco users approach quitting their own way. It delivers genuine support from specially trained Quit Coaches, all without judgment or lectures.”


The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has a long history of providing state-of-the-art tobacco cessation services that have already helped thousands of Oklahomans successfully quit tobacco. In an effort to engage people in the way that best suits their needs, the Helpline is now offering a menu of services which encourages participants to select items “a la carte” or select a comprehensive or “bundled” program.


Ready to quit? Thinking about quitting? No matter where you are in the process, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline can help. Which option can help you quit your way?

TSET morst comprehensive package includes:


  • Coaching calls
  • Web coaching
  • Supportive text messages
  • Helpful emails
  • A Quit Guide and other materials
  • At least a two-week supply of free patches, gum or lozenges


In this private online community, you can access helpful digital tools, develop your own Quit Plan and track your progress: You’ll receive:


  • Web coaching
  • Helpful emails
  • Supportive text messages
  • A Quit Guide
  • A free Starter Kit with a two-week supply of free patches, gum or lozenges

This customized program is designed to fits your needs. Select some or all of the following services:


  • Supportive text messages
  • Helpful emails
  • A Quit Guide
  • A free Starter Kit with a two-week supply of free patches, gum or lozenges

To learn more about free services from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit with the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline through social media by liking the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline on Facebookor following @OKhelplineon Twitter.



The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is a free service for Oklahomans wanting to quit tobacco. Funding is primarily provided by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Oklahoma Employees Group Insurance Division and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has served more than 275,000 Oklahomans since 2003 and was ranked the top quitline for reaching tobacco users seeking treatment in FY2013 by the North American Quitline Consortium.


The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health. To learn more go to:

Sunday, 06 September 2015 00:12

Gov. Fallin Fills CareerTech Board Vacancy


OKLAHOMA CITY –On September 4th, Governor Mary Fallin announced she has appointed Robert J. "Bob" Ross to serve on the State Board of Career and Technology Education.



Ross, of Oklahoma City, will represent the State Board of Education. Two appointed members of the State Board of Education, selected by the Governor, serve as ex officio voting members on the Board of Career and Technology Education. Senate confirmation is not required.


Ross replaces Amy Ford. His term expires April 1, 2016.



"Bob Ross is a visionary Oklahoman whose leadership has expanded educational opportunities for our state's students," said Fallin. "As a member of the State Board of Career and Technology Education, he will continue to help students gain leadership skills and to achieve postsecondary credentials and certificates in fields that are in demand by Oklahoma's businesses. I am proud to appoint him to this important board."



Since 2003, Ross has been with the Inasmuch Foundation and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation (EEJF). He became president and chief executive officer of both in 2005. Inasmuch Foundation is a philanthropic organization that invests in education, health and human services and community enhancement in Oklahoma. EEJF provides grants and contributions to media institutions and journalism schools nationwide, primarily in the areas of investigative reporting, youth education, professional development and special opportunities.



Prior to his work at Inasmuch Foundation and EEJF, Ross was an attorney with the Oklahoma City law firm of McAfee and Taft. He serves on the board of directors for a variety of organizations, including the University of Oklahoma Foundation, Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma Public School Resource Center, John W. Rex Elementary School, and Teach for America-Oklahoma City.



In 2013, he was awarded the Oklahoma Center for Non-Profits' Visionary Impact Award.


Ross earned his bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Heather, have two children.


The State Board of Career and Technology Education oversees the state's Career Tech system, which offers programs and services throughout nearly 400 public school districts, 29 technology centers on 59 campuses and 13 skills centers in correctional facilities. Each technology center works closely with advisers from local industry to ensure that students learn the skills needed to be valued members of the workforce.

Saturday, 05 September 2015 19:03

Pedestrian hit by car near Tahlequah


According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol a pedestrian was hit while trying to cross the street on a county road, south of Chapel Road, four miles south of Tahlequah, in Cherokee County.

According to the report the incident occurred on September 5th at approximately 10:24 am when a 2005 Chevrolet driven by David Rittenhouse 66, of Park Hill, was traveling northbound and struck Kyle W. Kelley, 31, of Park Hill near the center line of the roadway.

Kelley was transported by Eagle Med to Saint Francis Hospital.

Admitted in guarded condition with head and trunk internal injuries.

Investigated by OHP and assisted by Key Fire Department, Cherokee Nation EMS, and Eagle Med.

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