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Monday October 15, 2018

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OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol a Fort Smith man was injured in an automobile accident that occurred on Oct 6, 2018 at approximately 6:50 am on State Highway 31, approximately one mile west of Bokoshe, OK in Leflore County.



According to the report, a 2001 Dodge truck driven by Fredi Diaz Reyes 23, from Fort Smith was westbound on SH31, when he departed the roadway to the left and struck a tree.



He was transported by Tulsa Life Flight to St. John Hospital in Tulsa and was admitted in critical condition with multiple injuries.

By Glenda Wise


I had a relaxing weekend last weekend putting up all my Halloween décor. I started with another trip to Deep Roots Nursery and bought the cutest Jack-O-Lantern pots and filled them with corn stalks. They were perfect on each side of my front door. They are perfect!


They look just like something I could have gotten at Pottery Barn with the Pottery Barn price.

Admittedly, it felt a little weird putting up all my old Halloween decorations knowing it is different this year since my baby is in college now. She came home this weekend to go to the OU/Texas game with us and the first thing she said was, “It looks so festive. It feels like home.” Yes, my heart melted a little and I was oh so happy that I went ahead and decorated full out. Although, I mostly do the same decorations, I like to mix it up a little and try new ways of using old things (well, ok, I did buy the new pots for my front door, but you get the idea). Here are a few of my tried and true favorite ways of mixing it up:

• Get out those tall clear vases, take a trip around your yard and gather some natural elements like small twigs with leaves, acorns and gourds. Place the acorns or small gourds in the bottom of the vase and add your twigs for a simple and festive table centerpiece. To make a Halloween version, use Candy Corn in place of the acorns.
• Use pumpkins to elevate serving platters. For the Halloween version, place a black mask on the pumpkin and then top off with the platter.
• Top a candlestick with a small ornament pumpkin and place a few stems of Bittersweet on your table for a perfect fall table.
• Don’t feel like you have to keep your mums outside, bring one or two in to dress up a table, mantle or buffet. Place it in a great container and then finish off with twigs and berries to give it a very polished and designer-look.
• Create a cottage vintage look for your dining room table. Start with a crisp white table runner, greenery, white gourds and pumpkins plus a variety of other natural elements, and candles. Start with placing your larger more bulky items like the pumpkins and then just have fun with it by adding in a sprig of greenery here and there, candles and other natural elements you may have picked up.

This is the season of thankfulness and appreciating all natural gifts like the beautiful fall leaves, pumpkins, cooler temperatures and gathering with friends.


I hope you are able to take a weekend or two off here and there to do some fun decorating around your house for this beautiful season.

Saturday, 06 October 2018 00:30

Tommy Heston Armstrong Obituary

Tommy Heston Armstrong of Shady Point, Oklahoma was born May 21, 1940 in Fanshawe, Oklahoma to Raymond and Alice (Jones) Armstrong and passed away October 4, 2018 in Spiro, Oklahoma at the age of 78.


He is survived by:

One daughter:
Sherry and Mike Thompson of Shady Point, Oklahoma

Two sons:
Tommy and Susie Armstrong of Warner, Oklahoma
Shawn and Tonja Armstrong of Poteau, Oklahoma

Two brothers:
Jack Armstrong of Poteau. Oklahoma
RE Armstrong of Maumel, Arkansas

Numerous grandchildren, other loved ones, and a host of friends


He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Alice Armstrong; his wife, Linda Ward-Armstrong; one son, Terry Wayne Armstrong; three brothers, Sonny, Bill, and Bob Armstrong; and a sister, Mona.


Tom was a life-long resident of the area. He was born and raised in Fanshawe, Oklahoma and was a truck driver most of his life.


He loved to travel and made several trips between California and Oklahoma through the years.


Tom enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and loved to crack jokes. His main passion was playing the guitar and singing songs. Tom will be deeply missed by many.


Memorial service will be 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 13, 2018 at the Poteau Activity Center in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is located behind the Donald Reynolds Center.


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


To sign Mr. Armstrong’s online guestbook please visit


Saturday, 06 October 2018 00:27

Johnnie A. Wheat Obituary



Johnnie A. Wheat, 83, of Summerfield, OK passed away Friday, October 5, 2018 in Ft. Smith, AR. Johnnie was born September 17, 1935 in Summerfield to John & LuElla (Cox) Jones.


She was preceded in death by her husband Everett W. Wheat; son, Gregory Lee; brother, Carl Jones; sisters, Sally McGowen, Retha Wood & Jewell Jones.

Survivors include her sons & daughters in law, Doug & Lori Wheat of Bengal, OK, Ronnie & Robin Wheat of Springdale, AR, Joey & Patty Wheat of Summerfield, OK; daughter & son in law, Regina Gay & Kevin Smith of Springdale, AR; 13 grandchildren; 28 great grandchildren; 4 sisters in law; numerous church family and friends.

Services will be 2:00 pm, Monday, October 8, 2018 at Summerfield Church of Christ with Tracy Lloyd officiating.


Interment will follow in Summerfield Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Rick, Dustin, Keith, Tommy Jr. & Jay Wheat, Samuel Green with Eddy Green Jr. as honorary.

The family will be at the funeral home on Sunday afternoon from 2:00-4:00 pm to visit with relatives & friends.


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



According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, one man was injured in a motorcycle accident that occurred on State Highway 82 approximately 3 miles north of Talihina in LeFlore County.


According to the report, the accident occurred on October 5, 2018 at approximately 2:34pm when a 2018 Harley Davidson Motorcycle driven by Jorge Gonzalez 43, was going southbound on SH82, came around a curve to the left and swerved to miss a fox in the roadway.

The motorcycle departed the roadway to the right, struck the ditch and laid the motorcycle on its side causing the Gonzalez to depart from the motorcycle.

Gonzalez was transported by Pafford EMS to Choctaw Nation Hospital and later transferred to St. Frances Hospital in Tulsa and was admitted in stable condition with multiple injuries.


Poteau Balloonfest 2018 is scheduled for October 19th and 20th with 10 Balloons planning to attend this year’s event.

Another one of the Pilots returning this year is Michael Scott- “Spirit’s Rainbow”, is a multi-colored sawtooth spiral, which was designed by Josie Scott and holds 77,000 cubic foot of air.

The envelope has two Breast Cancer Ribbons on it in memory of Michael’s mom.

Spirit’s Rainbow is piloted by 2nd generation pilot Michael Scott.


Michael Scott Balloon 1 003
He has been involved in ballooning for over 30 years, spending the last 27 years as a pilot.

Highlights of his flying career include over 1,850 hours as pilot in command, flights in 4 countries, 37 states, a long-distance balloon flight of 318 miles, and an ascent to 17,600 feet above the ground.

Michael has been one of Poteau Balloon Fest Media Pilots and a Balloon Glow Pilot 4 years.

The Balloonfest will start Friday, October 19, 2018 - gates opens at 11:00 am to the public and will close at 11:00 pm.



Saturday, October 20, 2018 - gates opens at 9:00 am and close at 11:00 pm.

Admission is required for ages 4 & over.


Gate admission is $5 per person.

Special Pre-Purchase Family Package for $20 which includes 5 armbands available. (Must be purchased before Friday, October 19th at 5pm.) To purchase armbands in advance, please call 918-647-9178.

When using Debit or Credit Card there will be an additional $1.00 service charge per transaction.

The Poteau Balloon Fest will again be held at the LeFlore County Fair Grounds, 5015 S. Broadway, Poteau, Oklahoma.

Please note that all balloon events are wind and weather permitting! Any and all balloon flights are most likely to occur between the hours of 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm. However, they are not guaranteed during these times. The atmospheric pressure and wind speed plays a huge factor in balloon activities. THE POTEAU BALLOONFEST CANNOT GUARANTEE BALLOON ACTIVITIES and CANNOT give specific times for balloon activities. This event is non-refundable.


The Poteau Balloonfest was named #3 in the top 40 things to do in Oklahoma in 2014 by OKIESCENTRIC magazine.

Press release



The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is partnering with the National Rifle Association to offer an online hunter education course to Oklahomans. The course replaces the Wildlife Department's previously offered online course.

"This free course from the NRA will allow us to maintain high quality hunter education training at no cost to the Wildlife Department or our hunters,” said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Wildlife Department.

The free hunter education course is available online on the Wildlife Department's website at


 The same webpage also provides a schedule of classroom-taught hunter education courses led by certified instructors at locations across the state.

Hunter education topics include firearms safety, wildlife conservation and identification, safe archery and more. The classes help people become safe, legal and ethical hunters. The course is required for most hunters ages 10-30 who wish to hunt without a mentor present.

"We've always tried to make classes convenient for our hunters," Meek said. “The online class is great because it allows students to take the course at their own pace, even over the course of several days.”

The online course also offers young students the benefit of involving parents in learning about safe hunting. "I love the idea of the kids sitting down with their parents to work through the hunter safety curriculum," Meek said.


"Parents or mentors are a critical part of the process of becoming a hunter."

On the other hand, Meek said the in-class courses held throughout the state are a great opportunity to learn about hunting from a certified instructor in a structured setting.

Any Oklahoma resident 10 or older may complete the online course and print a hunter education certification card upon completion of the online final exam.


Youths 9 and younger may take the course for knowledge but are not eligible for certification; instead, these youths may buy an apprentice-designated hunting license.


Apprentice-designated licenses also may be used by anyone 30 or younger.


Hunter education certification is not required for anyone 31 or older in Oklahoma.



WILBURTON, OK (Oct. 5, 2018) – Twenty-eight area middle school math and science teachers recently participated in a three-day workshop sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP.


The workshop was designed to help them integrate technology effectively and successfully into instruction.


The beginners training was conducted by Texas Instruments (TI) Specialists Sandra Hocutt and Cassie Whitecotton. At the conclusion of the training, each teacher was presented with a TI Navigator system including 30 handhelds.

“We are excited to continue Phase I of the implementation of the STEM-related program into our 2017 grant partner schools,” said GEAR UP Professional Development Coordinator John Spiegel. “Students will benefit from collaborative learning facilitated by TI technology. The technology includes the TI Navigator, a system and software which allows for immediate teacher feedback through the use of graphing calculators pre-loaded with specialized math and science applications. We have evidence of how this technology can enhance student interest and learning.”

In addition to the technology, TI will provide extensive professional development for math and science teachers in interactive, instructional technology infused math and science instruction. TI coaches will also visit partner schools to provide “just-in-time” guidance for teachers delivering math and science instruction.

“The onsite and online professional development and coaching help educators learn how to use TI technologies as a core component of instruction,” said Spiegel. “It makes learning fun for students.

The technology, training and coaching is provided by Eastern Oklahoma State College’s 2017 GEAR UP grant. The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federal initiative to increase the number of low income students who enter and successfully transition into postsecondary education. Eastern will receive over $17 million during a seven–year period to help students and educators in 39 partner schools.

Attending the workshop were: (front row left to right) Cassie Whitecotton, TI Specialist; Kathy Ramsey, GEAR UP Administrative Assistant to the Professional Development Coordinator; Paige Lowder, Hartshorne; Jenneffer Parker, McAlester; Sherry Duncan, Rattan; Skylar Bell, Wilburton; Kammy Hall, Quinton; Teri Oliver, Eufaula; Michie Sokolosky, Buffalo Valley; Tiersten Fairchilds, Quinton; (row 2) John Spiegel, GEAR UP Professional Development Coordinator; Cory Pitts, Indianola; Jeanne Durrence, Clayton; Macey Savage, Moyers; Beverly Cochran, Harmony; Donna Baze, Rattan; Barbara Sharp, Stringtown; Pam Bailey, Eufaula; Sonya Costa, McAlester; Becky Graham, Savanna; Sandra Hocutt, TI Specialist; (back row) Holly Dean, Quinton; Jessie Snead, Harmony; Chris Countz, Hartshorne; Whitney Dixon, McAlester; Lacey Herring, Stringtown; Tandi Efurd, Eufaula; Lori Rippy, Eufaula; Pam Gardner, Coalgate; J W Stanley, Coalgate; and David Gibson, Buffalo Valley. Not pictured: Jacob Johnson, McAlester.

Press release

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 5, 2018) – On the heels of a trauma summit focused on equipping educators to respond to students suffering from toxic stress, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister today announced that the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) has received three federal grants totaling $12.5 million to support districts in meeting the mental health needs of their students.

“Far too many of our children in Oklahoma are enduring severe hardship,” said Hofmeister. “The OSDE stands ready to respond to districts in crisis. We are grateful that grantors recognize not only the gravity of our needs but have certainty that we will spend these critical dollars so our teachers receive the training they need to most effectively serve their students.”

In the largest of the grants, Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education), the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awarded $8.6 million over five years for prevention, intervention and treatment services to three Oklahoma districts – Elk City, Weatherford and Woodward – selected due to the scarcity of mental health resources west of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

Project AWARE will provide two new counselors for each district and opportunities for established district counselors to pursue Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credentials through a partnership with Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford.
The School Climate Transformation Grant, funded through the U.S. Department of Education, awards Oklahoma $3.7 million over five years.


Grant funding will include the development of five technical assistance centers in Hominy, Durant, Lawton, Oklahoma City and Woodward. A behavioral specialist at each center will train 10 schools on transforming school climate through implementation of a multi-tiered behavioral framework that integrates the Positive Behavioral Intervention System (PBIS) model. In addition, OSDE will provide opioid addiction prevention training through a collaboration with the School of Pharmacy at SWOSU.

The Oklahoma Prevention and Mental Health Project, a three-year, $148,661 U.S. Department of Justice grant, will benefit 303 students in Washington Public Schools and include prevention curriculum, mental health awareness and health insurance campaigns, mental health screenings and training for teachers and families, and intervention and treatment services for students.

To ensure the greatest possible number of students will be served, the grants will use a braided funding approach. National trainers hired under the Project AWARE grant, for example, will train the School Climate specialists on mental health intervention strategies. These specialists, in turn, will provide training to the schools in their programs.

“These grants give Oklahoma the opportunity to implement prevention and intervention strategies that include the best training in the nation on mental health prevention and intervention,” said Hofmeister. “In order to lift academic outcomes, we must first ensure we have met students’ basic needs for safety, trust and security. The programs funded by these grants will provide critical data on how to improve mental health outcomes among our students that can be leveraged statewide to benefit all students in need.”

Friday, 05 October 2018 11:21

ODOC #FugitiveFriday - Brenda Cole

Press release

OKLAHOMA CITY – Brenda S. Cole is a GPS absconder out of Southeast District since May 20, 2017.


She is considered armed and dangerous.

Cole is described as White, 5 feet tall, 9 inches tall, and weighing about 169 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

When she walked away, Cole was serving time for being caught with a firearm as a felon out of Pottawatomie County.

Anyone with information can call our escapee hotline at 405-425-2698 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All calls and emails are confidential.

Latest Events

Poteau Balloonfest
Fri Oct 19 @11:00AM - 11:00PM
Poteau Balloonfest
Sat Oct 20 @ 9:00AM - 11:00PM