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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Friday, 12 January 2018 15:56

Helen Louise Williams Obituary

Helen Louise Williams of Heavener, Oklahoma was born June 13, 1921 in Heavener, Oklahoma to Lee and Emma (Forehand) Doyle and passed away on January 11, 2018 in Heavener, Oklahoma at the age of 96.


She is survived by:

Three daughters:

Wona Hill of Heavener, Oklahoma

Sharon Carter of Monroe, Oklahoma

DeLois Vinson of Poteau, Oklahoma

Two sons:

John D. Williams of Howe, Oklahoma

C.L. Williams of Claremore, Oklahoma

13 grandchildren

Several great grandchildren

Several great-great grandchildren

Numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other loved ones


She was preceded in death by her parents; her late husband, John Douglas Williams; two sisters, Reba Taylor and Charlene Young; and two brothers, Jimmy and James Doyle.


Helen was a homemaker and a member of the Big Creek Baptist Church. She was a loving mother, sister, aunt, grandma, great-grandma, great-great grandma, and friend. Helen will be deeply missed.


Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m., Monday, January 15, 2018 at the Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend James Collins officiating.


Burial will follow in Loving Cemetery under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener, Oklahoma.


Pallbearers will be: Family


Viewing will be noon until 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at the funeral home.


To sign Mrs. Williams’ online guestbook please visit


Press release

ODOC #FugitiveFriday -  Gary Jenkins - Parole Violator from Southwest District

Jenkins violated his parole with the Southwest District Probation and Parole Office, and an arrest warrant was issued Dec. 4, 2017.

Jenkins is a 68-year-old white man with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5-feet 9-inches tall, weighing about 156 pounds. Jenkins is serving time for drug trafficking. He has ties to both Arkansas and Arizona.

If you have any information on Jenkins' location, please call our escapee hotline at (866) 363-1119. All contact with the hotline remains confidential.


By  Joe Dorman


The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is launching a new initiative – “Chalk the Vote” – to communicate directly with teachers about policies that impact children and education professionals. Chalk the Vote and OICA are seeking a “block captain” in every school building in Oklahoma. The block captains will receive and share policy updates regarding legislation, relevant state agency rules, nonpartisan electoral information regarding voter engagement and advocacy tools to help teachers engage with lawmakers. The goal is to maximize information, voting and political participation in Oklahoma’s education community.


Educators wishing to receive updates about Chalk the Vote or to serve as block captains can sign up at


Chalk the Vote is co-chaired by two former teachers, Claudia Swisher and Sharon Pyeatt, both from Norman.


Pyeatt has worked as both a kindergarten teacher and an assistant professor of early childhood education. She said there is an underappreciation for how hard it can be for teachers to make time to vote.


“Voting is more difficult for educators than many people realize,” said Pyeatt. “We get to school early and stay late. We work extremely hard to plan, strategize, individualize, and create learning experiences that will leave our students thinking. This doesn’t happen during the school day; it happens during our free time. If a Chalk the Vote school block captain can help by ensuring absentee ballots are available, or cover bus duty that day, it goes a long way toward making it easier for a teacher to get to his or her polling place.”


Swisher, who taught English at Norman High School North, said that children develop an appreciation for the political process when they see their teachers being more engaged.


“Just like with reading or math or science, students develop an appreciation for political participation when they see how passionate their teachers are about the subject,” said Swisher. “When teachers are informed, active and engaged, they demonstrate by their actions that voting is a privilege and an honor. Chalk the Vote will help to create an accountability network, a support system and a sounding board for ideas to maximize political engagement from teachers and send a positive message to our students.”

OICA Board Member and Millwood Public Schools Superintendent Cecilia Robinson-Woods said that teachers have the ability to directly impact elections and public policy.


“Teachers have the power to make a real difference at the polls,” said Robinson-Woods. “Keeping teachers informed and providing a strategy to ensure their voices are heard can sway elections and directly lead to policies that promote the health and well being of Oklahoma’s children.”


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.“


Press release

Oklahoma is first state in nation to have a trial scheduled in opioid litigation

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today commended Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman for granting the state’s requested May 2019 trial date for its lawsuit against opioid manufacturers for their role in creating the opioid epidemic.

Oklahoma is the first state in the nation to have a trial date set among the multitude of states across the country suing drug manufacturers.

Attorney General Hunter said the 2019 trial date will allow the state sufficient time to gather evidence and prove its case.

“We appreciate the urgency Judge Balkman saw in getting the case to trial,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Rather than dragging it out longer, which is what the companies had requested, Oklahomans who have suffered immeasurably from the years of fraudulent marketing campaigns will see this case resolved sooner rather than later.

“The state’s case is solid and our team is prepared to hold these companies accountable for their role in the deadliest drug epidemic the state and nation have ever seen.”

Attorney General Hunter filed the lawsuit against the nation’s leading opioid manufacturers in June 2017, claiming the effects of deceptive marketing campaigns over the last decade have fueled the state’s opioid epidemic.

Manufacturers responded to the lawsuit with motions to dismiss, which Judge Balkman ruled against last December, allowing discovery in the case to begin.

In the last three years, nearly 3,000 Oklahomans have died from overdose deaths and more than 1,300 newborns have tested positive for substance exposure.


In 2016 Oklahoma ranked first in the number of milligrams of opioids distributed per adult, and in the 14 counties surrounding Tulsa, there were enough opioids for every man, woman and child to have 90 pills.

By Brian Petrotta, Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University


(STILLWATER, Okla) – Critically-acclaimed author and human and civil rights advocate Carol Anderson will speak at Oklahoma State University’s Student Union Theater on Thursday, February 8, at 7 p.m. Her 2016 book “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of America’s Racial Divide,” was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award Winner. The talk is free and open to the public.


The book rose from her Washington Post op-ed, “White Rage,” which was the most widely shared for the paper in 2014. Currently a professor of African American Studies at Emory University, Anderson has published two previous books, while her research has attracted funding from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, National Humanities Center, Harvard University, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.


“Carol Anderson is an unforgettable speaker and award-winning author who articulates the causes and effects of America’s racial divide with brilliance and power,” said Laura Belmonte, head of the Department of History at OSU. “This will be an unforgettable and timely event that anyone who cares about diversity and inclusion in the United States will not want to miss.”


Anderson has served on working groups dealing with race at Stanford’s Center for Applied Science and Behavioral Studies, the Aspen Institute, and the United Nations. In addition, based on the strength and accessibility of her research, the leadership at Amnesty International, USA, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Ford Foundation, and others have used her book “Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955” to frame and examine their human rights work in the United States.


This has also led to sought-after commentary in Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, and that places contemporary issues dealing with race, human rights, and politics in a historical perspective.


Anderson was a member of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative.


She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science (international relations) and history. She earned her doctorate in history from The Ohio State University.


Her talk is made possible by a collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, Health, and Aviation, the Spears School of Business, and the Office of Institutional Diversity at OSU.


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.

From the Oklahoma State Treasurer, Ken Miller


Treasurer Miller's wish list for the upcoming regular legislative session.

2018 Session Wish List


Fix the structural imbalance in the budget
– The habit of filling annual budget holes with one-time funds must be broken.

Properly fund core services
– Additional funds from recurring revenue sources should be appropriated to the Core Four – education, public safety, transportation, and health care.

Continue tax incentive reform
– Heed the recommendations ofthe Incentive Evaluation Commission and curtail inefficient tax incentives.

Bring Oklahoma’s tax code into the 21st Century
– The state’s taxcode is built for an economy that ceased to exist more than ageneration ago.

Allow TSET to continue its success
– The tobacco settlement endowment is not a quick fix for the state’s current revenue problem.

Protect unclaimed property
– The unclaimed property fund can not be the go-to source of extra money to fill budget holes.


Read the full report at

Thursday, 11 January 2018 22:41

Clyde Odis Brown Obituary

Clyde Odis Brown of Hodgen, Oklahoma was born May 25, 1929 in Heavener, Oklahoma to Walter and Maggie (Watson) Brown and went to be with Jesus on January 10, 2018 in Hodgen, Oklahoma at the age of 88.

He is survived by:


His wife:
Bernice Brown of the home

Three sons:
Clyde Brown of Howe, Oklahoma
Walter Brown and wife Georgia of Wellington, Texas
Ronald Brown of Hodgen, Oklahoma

One sister:
Jewel Dean Holmes of Sallisaw, Oklahoma

One brother:
Delbert Brown of Panama, Oklahoma

Four grandchildren

Six great-grandchildren

A host of other family, friends, and loved ones


He was preceded in death by his parents; six sisters, Helen, Wanda, Mildred, Lois, Alta Mae, and Laverne; and three brothers, J.D., Earl and Floyd Brown.


Odis was a life-long resident of the area, a retired farmer, and a member of Heavener First Baptist Church. He was a wonderful husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. Odis enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, and life itself. He will be deeply missed by many.


Memorial service will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, January 12, 2018 at the Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home Chapel in Heavener, Oklahoma with Brother Sam Dyer officiating.


Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener, Oklahoma.


To sign Mr. Brown’s online guestbook please visit


Brown. Odis 003

Thursday, 11 January 2018 22:39

Gearldean Heavener (Fisher) Thrift Obituary

Gearldean Heavener (Fisher) Thrift of Heavener, Oklahoma was born on November 24, 1918 in Heavener, Oklahoma to Joseph and Ora (Milligan) Heavener and passed away on January 9, 2018 in Heavener, Oklahoma at the age of 99.

She is survived by:


Two daughters:
Carolyn Doris Avila (Leo) of Modesto, California
Linda Rae Henry of Conser, Oklahoma

One son:
David Fisher

Three brothers:
Dave Heavener of Conser, Oklahoma
Herman Ray Heavener and wife Phyllis of Conser, Oklahoma
LeRoy Heavener and wife Mary of Howe, Oklahoma

One sister:
Doris Jean Jahn of Modesto, California

10 grandchildren

10 great-grandchildren

Numerous nieces, nephews, loved ones, and her church family at Perry Chapel Baptist Church


She was preceded in death by her parents. Gearldean was a life-long resident of the area, was a member of Perry Chapel Baptist Church, and a retired nurse’s aide. She was also a member of the Reichert/Summerfield Quilting Club. She loved spending time with her family and friends. Gearldean will be deeply missed.


Funeral service will be 1:30 p.m., Monday, January 15, 2018 at Perry Chapel Baptist Church with Mr. LeRoy Heavener and Brother Jerry Turner officiating. Burial will follow in Reichert Cemetery under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener, Oklahoma.


Pallbearers will be: Family


Viewing will be from noon until 8:00 p.m., Saturday; 8:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., Sunday; and 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., Monday.


The family will be visiting with friends from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home.


To sign Ms. Thrift’s online guestbook please visit


Press release


Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks on Thursday said committee assignments for members of his caucus had been finalized. Each member will serve on multiple committees as well as serving on the Senate Appropriations Committee during the 2018 legislative session.


“Our members come from a variety of backgrounds—education, business, agriculture, first responders, military, mental health and the law—and that real world experience serves the citizens of this state well as our members work to find solutions to the problems facing Oklahoma. This caucus is an important and necessary check and balance within the legislative process,” said Sparks, D-Norman. “All the more, the addition of Senator Michael Brooks and Senator-elect Allison Ikley-Freeman, will bring fresh ideas to this year’s legislative cycle as well as enhance the talent and expertise of our caucus and entire Senate Chamber.”


The committee assignments for the Senate Democratic Caucus are:


Appropriations Committee
• All Senators

Agriculture and Wildlife Committee
• Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton
• Sen. J.J. Dossett, D-Sperry

Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee
• Sen. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City
• Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City

Education Committee
• Sen. J.J. Dossett, D-Sperry
• Sen. Allison Ikley-Freeman, D-Tulsa

Energy Committee
• Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City
• Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa

General Government Committee
• Pittman
• Floyd

Health and Human Services Committee
• Floyd
• Ikley-Freeman

Judiciary Committee
• Floyd
• Brooks

Public Safety Committee
• Matthews
• Brooks

Retirement and Insurance Committee
• Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman
• Matthews

Rules Committee
• Floyd
• Brooks

Transportation Committee
• Bass
• Matthews

Veterans and Military Affairs Committee
• Bass
• Dossett

Appropriations Subcommittee on Education
• Dossett

Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance
• Sparks
• Dossett

Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation
• Matthews

Appropriations Subcommittee on Health
• Ikley-Freeman

Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Services
• Pittman

Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services
• Bass

Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary
• Brooks

Appropriations Subcommittee on Select Agencies
• Pittman


According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a Calera man was killed in motorcycle accident that occurred on January 10, 2017 Fatality collision occurred 01-10-17 at approximately 4:55pm on United States Highway 70 in Bryan County.


According to the report, the accident occurred when a 2011 Chevrolet Suburban driven Peggy 47, of Durant, was attempting to turn left from private drive to go eastbound on US70 and was struck by a 2012 Honda motorcycle, driven by Joseph Craig 32, of Calera who was traveling westbound.


Craig was pronounced dead at the scene from head, trunk internal, and trunk external injuries, by M.E. Investigator John Miller.

He was transported to the medical examiner’s office in Oklahoma City.


The accident is still under investigation.

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