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OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Thursday, 31 March 2016 12:17

Cavanal Clean-Up Day


The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Cavanal Cleanup day on Saturday April 2, at 10am.


Earlier this week the Jim Hamilton Correctional Facility worked extremely hard trimming back overgrown greenery and brush that had taken over.


cavanal 1

Thursday, 31 March 2016 10:42

Calendar of Events

Here’s what going on in the area.

Strike A Lot Lanes in Poteau is offering Cosmic Bowl Family Special every Friday and Saturday - $50 Family of 4, Unlimited Bowling & Large Pizza, Includes Shoe Rental.

March 31
LeFlore County Art Challenge Reception – LeFlore County Museum at Hotel Lowery – 11:00am – Poteau, OK

April 2
Dobson Technologies Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting -Poteau, OK
Boys and Girls Club Banquet – Reynolds Center - Poteau, OK

April 9
Rotary Wine & Arts Festival – Reynolds Center – Poteau, OK

April 10
Viking Festival – Heavener, OK

April 15
LeFlore County Health Fair – Reynolds Center – Poteau, OK

April 23
City Wide Trash-off – Poteau, OK

April 28
Police and Fire Expo – Reynolds Center – Poteau, OK

According to a press release from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, Preliminary information shows 40 traffic-related fatalities in February 2016, compared to a preliminary total of 30 for the same month last year.


Some 35 of the fatality victims were Oklahoma residents and 5 were non-residents.


The highest number of fatalities occurred on U.S. highways with 12, followed by city streets with 10 and county roads with nine.


Some 22 of the fatality victims were drivers; five were pedestrians, seven were passengers, and 6 were motorcycle operators.


The daily fatality numbers include 10 deaths on Fridays, with 7 each on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.


There were six days in the month of February with no reported fatalities.


Data is not available for alcohol-related crashes in February 2016.


There were nine female victims and 31 male victims.


Two of the victims were age 20 or younger. The 21-to-25 age group led the fatality count with eight, followed by the 31-to-35 age group with five.


Oklahoma County led the state with a total of seven fatalities, followed by Tulsa County with five.


Some 26.1 percent of those who died in traffic collisions were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash.

The Pervasive Parenting Center recently purchased 15 sets of headphones to help a local special education department.


Recently director Kodey Toney delivered more than $200 worth of equipment to help Liberty Schools.


More awards are available.

The headphones will be used to help children in the special education program with taking tests and other assignments. The equipment the school currently was using is outdated and limited. The new headphones will help all children, but especially those with sensory and attention issues.

“With the huge deficit we are all feeling in Oklahoma we understand that budgets are tight in schools,” said Kodey Toney, director of the Pervasive Parenting Center. “This is especially true in the special education departments. We felt this was a little way to give back to the community and help the children in our local schools. We’re here to help families, schools, and especially the students,”

The Pervasive Parenting Center is a non-profit organization that helps families in eastern Oklahoma find resources available for people in eastern Oklahoma diagnosed with autism and other disabilities.

The board of directors provide grants of up to $200 for local schools that provide a reasonable and necessary need for the funding throughout the year.


More grants are available to schools in LeFlore, Sequoyah, and Haskell counties.


To apply visit and fill out an application.

If you have any questions contact Kodey Toney @ 918-658-5076 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Visit the website at

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 23:04

Vagelia J. "Judy" Walker Obituary

Vagelia J. "Judy" Walker, 95, of Heavener was born February 17, 1921 in Reichert, OK to James "Bud" & Hettie Forehand.


Judy grew up helping care for her disabled brother, Cecil and her younger brother, James. She would often go with her Dad on projects and would spend time with him in the fire tower (US Forest Service).


Judy had a way with animals.


She had pets all her life, including some that we would consider wild.


Her current pet is a cat named Ginger. She had a wild mocking bird in Tulsa that she had trained to eat p-nut butter out of her hand. She also fed chipmunks that would get in her lap to be fed.


During her school years she would ride a horse on Sunday to Peter Conser's house where she boarded during the week in order to catch the school bus. She'd ride back home on Friday night.

Judy played guard on the Heavener Varsity Girl's Basketball time & went to the state championship.


She graduated at age 16; attended cosmetology school and opened her own business at age 17.


She and Edward Walker attended Heavener HS together and were married March 17, 1942. They were married for 64 years.


Vagelia (Judy) & Edward moved to San Diego, CA at the beginning of WWII.


They both worked in the defense industry building B24 bombers and PBYs. They would entertain the soldiers that were from Heavener, before they were shipped out to the Pacific. In many cases it would be their last home-cooked meal. After the war, they had a son, Larry Walker, born in 1947.


They stayed in California until 1953 and then moved to Tulsa, OK. Vagelia & Ed spent 57 years in Tulsa.


They were members of First Baptist Church, Tulsa; were very active in the Masonic organization and the Eastern Star - having had over 60 years of service in many positions.


Both Vagelia & Edward were active in the Red Cross Disaster Recovery group. After Edward's retirement, they spent time traveling throughout the US. Vagelia always was very committed to her family & friends.


They enjoyed getting to know their new daughter in law, Sheryl.


They treated her as the daughter they never had. She and Ed enjoyed their grandchildren, Beth & Doug.


Every summer the grandkids got a full week of spoiling alone with their grandparents. In her later years she got to know and enjoy her new granddaughter in law, Jill Walker, and great granddaughters, Avery & Addison Walker. They called her GG, Great Grandma.

Vagelia's relationships with several long-time neighbors were very important to her. After Edward's death in 2006, Vagelia lived in Tulsa until 2010 when she moved to Missouri to be closer with her immediate family.

She is survived by her son & daughter in law, Larry & Sheryl Walker; granddaughter, Elizabeth "Beth" Walker; grandson, Douglas "Doug" Walker & wife Jill; great granddaughters, Avery & Addison Walker.


Services will be 10 am Friday, April 1, 2016 graveside at Heavener Memorial Park, Heavener, OK.


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

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin announced that 10 Oklahoma counties may now receive disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a result of the winter storm and flooding that began December 26.

The designation provides SBA low-interest disaster loans for homeowners and business owners in Cherokee, Mayes and Ottawa counties to replace any property damaged by the storm that was not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.


The loan program is also available to assist businesses that sustained economic injury due to the storm.

Under SBA rules, the contiguous counties of Adair, Craig, Delaware, Muskogee, Rogers, Sequoyah and Wagoner are also eligible for assistance.

The state requested the SBA declaration on March 23 after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the governor’s appeal for individual assistance.


Two counties included in the governor’s request, Pushmataha and McCurtain, were not approved for the SBA declaration.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange released the following statement Wednesday:

“Yesterday, Al Gore, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and a small handful of other East Coast State Attorneys General announced what they called an “unprecedented coalition” that “vows to defend climate change progress made under President Obama and to push the next President for even more aggressive action” by seeking to criminally investigate energy companies for disputing the science behind global warming.

“We won’t be joining this effort, and we want to explain why. Reasonable minds can disagree about the science behind global warming, and disagree they do. This scientific and political debate is healthy, and it should be encouraged. It should not be silenced with threats of criminal prosecution by those who believe that their position is the only correct one and that all dissenting voices must therefore be intimidated and coerced into silence. It is inappropriate for State Attorneys General to use the power of their office to attempt to silence core political speech on one of the major policy debates of our time.

“We are proud to be a part of a different coalition, one driven by respect for the rule of law, rather than by ambition to use the law to silence voices with which we disagree. Our coalition of 29 states is leading the fight to challenge the legality of President Obama’s plan to kill off fossil fuels – his so-called “Clean Power Plan.” The 29 states and state Attorneys General who are part of this effort respect our proper role, which is not to pick winners and losers in the energy sector nor to silence those who disagree with us, but rather to ensure that the EPA is acting consistent with the power granted to it by Congress and to fulfill our statutory duties to ensure that the consumers in our states have access to reliable, affordable energy. In fulfilling these duties, the 29 states and their Attorney Generals understand that all sources of energy should be considered – not just those that we may prefer for one policy reason or another – so that we give ourselves the best possible chance to achieve our goal of energy independence, with reliable and affordable energy available at the lowest possible cost to our citizens.”


MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Randall Leon Girdner 48, of Park Hill, was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release for Felon in possession of a firearm.

The charge arose from an investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


The Indictment alleges that on or about February 14, 2015, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma that Girdner having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, did knowingly possess in and affecting commerce, a firearm, to-wit: One (1) Herman Weihrauch, Model Regent, .22 caliber revolver, serial number 32796, which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce.


The Honorable Ronald A. White, District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing.


The defendant will remain in the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending transportation to the designated federal facility at which he will serve his nonparoleable sentence.


Assistant United States Attorney Dean Burris represented the United States.

Since 2006, Kiamichi Technology Center’s OSSM (Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics) program has graduated over 130 students that have received approximately $5 million in scholarships.


KTC’s OSSM students receive instruction in AP Calculus AB and AP Physics C-Mechanics.


Students in KTC’s OSSM program also take the Advance Placement Calculus AB exam.


Thirty-Five percent of KTC’s OSSM students earn a perfect score. This is more than the Oklahoma average of twenty-six percent earning perfect scores.


A large percentage of KTC’s OSSM students have received college credit for calculus one and two.


Ninety-eight percent of KTC’s OSSM graduates have gone on to attend college.


Several of these individuals, are National Merit finalists and some are even academic all-staters.


KTC’s OSSM students have attended college at more than 30 different universities majoring in multiple fields of study.


At the present time there is a KTC OSSM alum at the Naval Academy and one at Carnegie Mellan in Pittsburg pursuing his doctorate.


KTC’s OSSM program is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year.


To receive an application please visit your school counselor or call Sam Abbott, OSSM Calculus instructor, at (918)647-5461 or Marjorie Wann, KTC counselor, at (918) 647-4525.


Please feel free to call or come by for a visit if you have any questions about KTC’s OSSM program.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:38

Quilts Wanted for Annual Quilt Show

Calling all Quilters in LeFlore County!!


Now is the time to prepare your quilted items for the Quilt Show, to be held in Poteau at the Kiamichi Technology Center on June 3-4, 2016.

The Quilt Show is sponsored annually by the LeFlore County Oklahoma Home and Community Education groups.


This is an opportunity for both beginning and experienced quilters to share their love of color, fabric and design.


Twenty-one categories of quilted items will be judged and ribbons will be awarded.

Deadline for entry is Wednesday, May 24, 2016.


Rules, entry forms and further information may be obtained from the OSU Extension Center in Poteau.


For more information call  918-647-8231.

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