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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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By Leilana McKindra - Communications Specialist- Agricultural Communications Services


STILLWATER, Okla. – With summer’s arrival and the less hectic pace it brings for families compared to the school year, it may be tempting for parents to allow children to watch a little more television or play that video game a little longer.

But, it is important to maintain a healthy balance when it comes to children’s exposure to screen media and devices, even during summer break.

“One of the big worries is that overexposure to screen media and devices could interfere with children getting the proper amounts of sleep or physical activity, playing, interacting with others and engaging in other behaviors that could affect their health both now and in years to come,” said Laura Hubbs-Tait, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension parenting specialist.

Summer time is a chance for families to get creative in the ways they keep children engaged without relying too heavily on media.

“The goal for parents of school-aged children and adolescents should be to find a good balance between media use and other healthy activities,” Hubbs-Tait said. “You can turn this into a family project with everyone participating in identifying the best ways to manage the family’s media diet.”

Families that already have a media plan should stick to it throughout the summer.

For guidance on putting together a customized plan, families can use the Family Media Use Plan tool recently launched by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is available at

A family media plan should include elements such as media-free periods during dinner or while in the car, when all media devices are turned off. There also may be media-free zones in the house such as bedrooms for sleeping and kitchens for eating and talking.

“Parents who set up and obey the rules of media-free zones serve as role models for the importance of limiting media and also encourage children’s language and social development,” Hubbs-Tait said.

As part of the family media plan, parents should often and openly discuss the importance of being safe and respectful to others both online and offline. They also should talk about the importance of the same rules of etiquette in screen media interactions as in face-to-face interactions.

The most recent AAP recommendations on media usage for children and adolescents were issued in October 2016.

Those guidelines suggest limiting screen media for children younger than 18 months to face-to-face video chatting only. For children between 18 and 24 months, if parents want to introduce them to media, the parents should select high-quality programming and watch and talk about it with them. This promotes parent-child social interaction and fosters child language development.

Meanwhile, children ages 2 years to 5 years should be limited to one hour of screen time per day featuring high-quality programming, with parents on hand to view it with them.
For children age 6 and older, the AAP recommends establishing and maintaining consistent limits on the time they spend interacting with media, as well as the types of media they are using.

“Screen media including computers, smart phones, tablets, televisions and other devices are a big part of our daily lives and that’s not going to change in the future,” Hubbs-Tait said. “However, parents should look to incorporate these technologies in ways that will best support their children’s healthy growth and development.”

For more information, visit the AAP at and contact the nearest county Extension office.


Friday, 16 June 2017 05:46

Craghead receives CASC Scholarship



Carl Albert State College is pleased to announce Cassidy Lynn Craghead has received the Buddy Spencer Academic Scholarship at CASC.

Cassidy is the daughter of Jeff and Christy Craghead and a graduate of Sallisaw High School.

Her major at CASC is Allied Health.



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




On June 15, 2017, the LeFlore County Network Resources along with the help of the Poteau Chamber of Commerce held a resources fair.

The fair to make the public aware of the many resources that are available within the community.

Some of the vendors who were set up were:

CREOKS, Ki Bois, Health & Wellness Center the LeFlore County Health Department,
HealthBack, Community Services Clearinghouse, Catholic Charities, Eastern Oklahoma Mental Health & Counseling, Choices Pregnancy Center, Mercy Hospice, Ascent Home Health, KI BOIS Head Start, KEDDO Area Agency on Aging, REI, Verizon Wireless Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Feed the Need Foundation, Pervasive Parenting Center, OSU EFNEP, HealthSouth Rehab Hospital, Forest Grove School, Take Shape For Life, San Bois CASA, Boys & Girls Club, Sans Bois Hospice, Compassion Home Care, LeFlore County Youth Services, ,LeFlore County Healthy Healthy Living Program, Mercy Health System, Veteran’s Center and the Poteau Chamber of Commerce.

Friday, 16 June 2017 03:03

Local Bank is Backing the Blue




On Thursday, June 15, 2017, The Community State Bank presented Sergeant Michael Shuttles and Sherry Miller Friends & Family of Wister Police with generous donation.


Wister Branch Manager Teresa Newby and John Ross Christenberry Branch Lender presented the Wister Police Department with a donation to help with the K-9 officer “Jack” who will soon be joining the Town of Wister Police Department.


"Jack" is a Belgium Malinois, and will be assisting officers as they patrol the streets as well as demonstrations at Wister Schools.


"The Community State Bank is pleased to have the opportunity to give a donation to the Friends & Family of Wister Police K-9 to help with the purchase of vest and other equipment for them to continue to serve the community or communities for their safety," said Gwenda Taylor, from TCSB.

If anyone would like to help get “Jack” his much needed supplies a T-Shirt fund raising event is currently underway to support the Wister Canine officer, “Jack.”


The orders for T-shirts will continue until August 4, 2017.


To order a T-Shirt - contact Sherry Miller at 918.208.1604 or Taylor Grigsby at 918.721.8547.

Thursday, 15 June 2017 16:19

Gun and Knife Show coming to Poteau


Poteau, Oklahoma - On July 1st & 2nd the largest gun show in Oklahoma is coming to the Donald W Reynolds Center.

The gun show has drawn in a huge crowd in past and this one is expected to do the same as some people come to look and some come to buy and others just come out and enjoy visiting with the vendors.

There will of course be guns, knives, and other items for sale at the venue which starts Saturday July 1, 2017 from 9am until 5pm and then again on Sunday July 2, 2017 from 9am until 4pm.

There is a $7 admission with free parking and concessions available at the Reynolds Center.

$40.00 Vendor spaces available for those wishing to set up a booth for the event.

Contact Jason Bowles at 918.647.6182 for more information.

Thursday, 15 June 2017 13:54

Hamner receives CASC Scholarship


Poteau, Oklahoma – Carl Albert State College is pleased to announce that Danielle Rae Hamner is the recipient of the Elizabeth McDow Memorial Scholarship.


Danielle is the daughter of Shelly and Randy Hamner and a graduated of Cameron High School.


She has declared Nursing as her major.




Thursday, 15 June 2017 13:45

Four Hummingbird Feeder Hints

A service of the Oklahoma Wildlife Department


With Oklahoma's hummingbird feeding season in full swing and sizzling summer temperatures looming, biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Wildlife Diversity Program offer the following hints for a successful hummingbird season.


Fill Feeders Weekly
"We recommend refilling and cleaning your hummingbird feeders on a weekly basis," said Melynda Hickman, wildlife diversity biologist for the Wildlife Department. "A simple four-part water to one-part sugar solution should do the trick."

Most commercially available feeders have enough red coloration to attract the small birds; adding red food coloring to the sugar-water solution is not necessary.
Though hummingbirds will use a variety of feeder styles, those with a wide mouth are easiest to clean. "When sugar-water is left in the hot sun, harmful bacteria may begin to grow," Hickman said. "A bottle brush and hot, soapy water is the ticket to a clean feeder."


Ease Territorial Disputes
Hummingbirds may be our state's smallest birds but they have a lot of attitude, especially at feeders. "Adding multiple feeders -- out of sight of one another -- may help cut down some of the territorial disputes and allow more hummingbirds to feed," Hickman said.


Prevent Pesky Pests
For many hummingbird enthusiasts, ants, wasps and other insects are unwelcome visitors. To deter these "pests," consider feeders with bee or wasp guards. These plastic mesh covers prevent insects from reaching the sugar-water. Water traps can be used to dissuade ants. "I've found that water traps hanging above the feeder work better than those built into the feeder," Hickman said.


Make Your Backyard a Hummingbird Oasis
"Hummingbirds also love feeding from blooming flowers," Hickman said. "We've found that salvia, trumpet creeper, coral honeysuckle and bee balm are all frequently visited by hummingbirds." Learn more about wildlife-friendly landscape designs in "Landscaping for Wildlife: A Guide to the Southern Great Plains," available in the Wildlife Department's Outdoor Store.


The ruby-throated hummingbird is Oklahoma's most common hummingbird species. These birds begin arriving in our state in March and migrate back to Central America by early November. Two white eggs are laid in tiny nests built on a downward sloping tree limb from May to July.

Southwestern Oklahoma hummingbird feeders may be visited also by the black-chinned hummingbird.

The mission of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is the management, protection, and enhancement of wildlife resources and habitat for the scientific, educational, recreational, aesthetic, and economic benefits to present and future generations of citizens and visitors to Oklahoma.


According to a press release from Mike Houck-Assistant AD/Strategic Communications, University of Oklahoma,  as the pleas have been entered in the court matter involving Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, the OU Athletics Department today announced sanctions in addition to what is required as part of the case.


Under those sanctions, Mayfield will be required to participate in university alcohol education and 35 hours of community service, some of which will include working with law enforcement, before the fall semester begins.


"As I stated earlier, I could not be more disappointed in my actions and the embarrassment they caused for my university and team," Mayfield said. "I am anxious to fulfill the responsibilities that have been set and am continuing to dedicate myself to the high standard that everyone rightfully expects from someone in my position."


OU head football coach Lincoln Riley added, "Baker has expressed regret for his actions and backed up his apology by being a model leader in our program. He has learned from his mistake and will continue to grow from it. The coaching staff and team has every confidence in him going forward."



For the Children: OICA Weekly Column

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman


I have had the great pleasure of working with many youth-related programs through the years, but one of my favorites continues to be Youth Leadership Oklahoma (YLOK). This class, held annually for high school juniors going into their senior year, selects around 50 Oklahomans to experience a week of activities that teach them about their home state.


For the past decade, I have had the opportunity to lead a two-hour seminar discussing the legislative process. I also lead a mock session for the YLOK, where participants sit at the desks of legislators, use their microphones and voting machines, and get a sense of how the process works by doing it themselves. I have fond memories of my own similar experiences as a student with the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature, the OSU Student Government Association and even my first term as a state House member.


Each of these times was a learning experience, as should be the case with every aspect of our lives.


The legislative process is oftentimes difficult to understand, especially for those who do not experience it frequently. While many will remember the old School House Rock cartoon describing how Bill becomes a law on Capitol Hill, writing and passing legislation is slightly different at the state level. It takes time and patience to learn the rules and parliamentary procedures. It also takes experience to learn how best to effectively pass laws.


OICA became much more engaged in the lawmaking process this year, something we believe helps us to better pursue our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.“ I consider the work we accomplished this past session highly successful; I am proud to say that 13 of the 21 bills on our priority list were passed and signed into law. In fact, that list actually underestimates OICA’s success, as it does not reflect some late, mid-session legislative additions or bad bills which we helped to defeat.


The statistic I am most proud of is this: when it comes to bills that directly impact child well-being -- such as improvements to the foster care system or child safety measures -- all 9 of OICA's priority bills gained final passage. In fact, the only bills we worked to support which did not make it through the process dealt with criminal justice reform modifications to keep families unified. Those bills will be brought back next year with a renewed effort for support. You can see our list of bills which we supported at, where you can also download our updated legislative process guide to help better understand the process.


As we begin the summer months, I hope our advocates have a time to recover from their hard work at the Capitol and feel a sense of accomplishment. We look forward to kicking off our legislative advocacy work at our annual KIDS COUNT Fall Forum, which will be held on November 2 at the Oklahoma State Capitol. It will be here that we begin to pinpoint our legislative goals for 2018. I hope you will consider joining us at this event and become a part of the solution, as well as learn more of the process so you can be an effective voice for children.


YLOK delegates debating policy on the floor of the Oklahoma House chamber


SAVE THE DATE: OICA Heroes Ball on August 10


OICA is hosting our first ever annual Gala, the Heroes Ball, on August 10 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. The event will be a superhero themed party that honors members of our community who go above and beyond to help Oklahoma's children. We will post more information on in the near future!

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.“




By Sean Hubbard


STILLWATER, Okla. – While most Oklahoma State University students were cramming for final exams over the last few weeks of the semester, some upperclassmen in OSU’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering were preparing to give presentations to an auditorium full of their peers, professors and industry professionals.

Paul Weckler, BAE professor, teaches the senior design course sequence. In the yearlong class, students are responsible for developing engineering solutions for clientele with real-life problems.


The design course is the BAE Department’s capstone course, a culmination of the students’ undergraduate program. During the summer, Weckler spends time visiting with private companies and government agencies to identify potential clientele-based engineering problems that could be solved by BAE seniors.


The potential clientele are provided an overview of what it is like to work with senior design teams and their willingness to interact with students over the next 8-9 months is assessed. Early in the fall semester, Weckler presents the potential projects to students and he works with the students to form project teams that best align student interests.

This class is always different because the projects and students are always different. Sometimes the class deals with machinery projects, other times they might be dealing with environmental projects, or food processing projects. Many of the projects have come through the OSU Application Engineers Program, which provides engineering assistance to small rural manufacturing companies.


“While it’s time consuming for me, as an educator, it’s also very enjoyable, challenging and rewarding,” Weckler said. “It’s a win-win-win situation, and the winners are OSU students, Oklahoma businesses and government agencies, the state's economy and rural economies in particular.”


One group of students, the self-proclaimed “Landfill Ladies,” took on a project in collaboration with the City of Enid and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, working on solving some of the erosions issues the local landfill was having.


“There is a problem with erosion at the City of Enid Municipal Landfill and we are having an issue getting anything to grow on our side slopes at the landfill,” said Barry Brummit, environmental specialist for the city.


Katie Schlotthauer, Christian Ley, Hannah Blankenship and Amethyst Kelly adopted the project as their own and began working toward a solution during the fall 2016 semester. As this problem is not unique to the City of Enid, the team dug into previously conducted research to get an idea of what other communities have tried.


They decided to divide their test area into equal sizes and run several different tests against a control plot, which was left alone with no treatment. Each area featured a different way of trying to slow erosion so that grass could grow on the slope and help reduce erosion.


Not surprisingly, the test plot finished at the back of the pack, while the most successful plot incorporated a compost blanket laid over the entire area. While the team’s time was short at the landfill, they did see some grass grow, which was encouraging to the city.


“I thought the women did a marvelous job in the short period of time that they had to complete this project,” said Brummit. “The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality would like to extend the project into the next school year.”


That very well may be a possibility, as this class will continue well into the future.



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