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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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Friday, 05 October 2018 11:15

Voter registration surges as deadline nears

Press release

(Oklahoma City) – Oklahoma’s voter rolls have surged since January, with nearly 2.1 million voters now registered as of the end of September, State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said Friday.

Official statistics from the end of September show total voter registration in the state saw a net increase of 76,256 from January 15 to September 30 this year, with 2,092,413 total registered voters in the state.

The deadline to register for the 2018 General Election is Friday, Oct. 12.

“As Oklahoma's chief election official, I am pleased to see this increase in the voter rolls,” Ziriax said. “There is still plenty of time to register to vote for the General Election. I am hopeful this points to a larger voter turnout compared to the 2014 gubernatorial election.”

Republicans accounted for nearly 60% of the net increase in voters, with the number of registered Republicans increasing by 44,543 since January 15.

Independents saw the second largest net increase, up 23,438 since January. The number of registered Democrats increased by 5,142 since January, while the number of registered Libertarians increased by 3,133.

As a percentage, Republicans now make up 47.2 percent of all registered voters – up from 46.8 percent in January. Independents saw the largest percentage increase, moving from 14.8 percent of registered voters in January to 15.4 percent now.

Democrats are the second largest political party with 37 percent of registered voters, down from 38.2 percent in January. Libertarians became a recognized political party in 2016 and now make up 0.4 percent of Oklahoma voters, nearly double their percentage in January.

As recently as 2014 Democrats had the largest number of registered voters in Oklahoma, but decades-old trends have seen growth in the percentage of registered voters who are Republicans and Independents. In 1990, nearly 65 percent of Oklahoma’s registered voters were Democrats while 32.7 percent were Republicans and 2.4 percent were Independents.


stats vote

“In 2018 we have continued to see the long-term trend of an increasing percentage of Oklahoma’s registered voters who are Republicans and Independents,” Ziriax said.

Oklahomans have until Friday, Oct. 12 to register to vote or update their voter registration for the 2018 General Election. To register, a person must be a United States citizen, a resident of the State of Oklahoma and at least 18 years old on Election Day. Visit to learn more about voter registration in Oklahoma.

Press release


State Sen. Stephanie Bice has been chosen for the prestigious Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership, one of only 24 lawmakers nationwide. Bice, R-Oklahoma City, was notified Tuesday that she’d been selected for the class of 2018.

The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships program is headed by former U.S. Congressman Mickey Edwards of Edmond.


The organization works to identify rising political stars, seeking to build lasting bonds among these lawmakers and address the need for bipartisanship and leadership in governing and in the development of public policy.

Bice’s selection for the Rodel Fellowship is the result of an intensive year-long national search.

“I am excited and deeply honored to have been chosen for the Rodel Fellowship,” Bice said. “Finding effective, long-term solutions that will move Oklahoma forward requires the ability to work across partisan divisions and to promote greater civility in the political process.


It’s a philosophy I have long embraced and it’s at the heart of the Aspen Institute’s mission.”

Bice authored legislation leading to the most sweeping modernization of Oklahoma’s liquor laws since the repeal of prohibition in 1959. Those changes took effect October 1.


She’s been tapped as the next Senate Finance Committee Chair and currently serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader as well as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Vice Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Business and Commerce.

Previous honors include her selection for the U.S. States Legislative Leaders Foundation Emerging Leaders Class of 2015. She was named GOPAC Emerging Leader for 2015 and received the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce Rising Star award.


Bice was also selected as a member of the Governing Institute Women in Government Leadership Class of 2016.

Thursday, 04 October 2018 23:45

Susan Kay Ransome Obituary

Susan Kay Ransome of Van Buren, Arkansas, formerly of Dinuba, California was born July 9, 1949 to Don and Patricia (Nixon) Ransome and passed away October 3, 2018 in Van Buren, Arkansas at the age of 69.


She is survived by her sons, Jacob Galaviz and wife Kelly of Spiro, Oklahoma, Matthew Ransome of Van Buren, Arkansas, grandson, Joseph Saldivar Magana of Dinuba, California, brother Lynn Nixon of Clinton, Arkansas, sisters, Dianna Nixon Rodriguez, Debbie Nixon Martinez, and Tina Saldivar McLaughlin all of California, step-father, Jack Nixon of Duncan, Oklahoma, half-sister, Rhonda Ransome of California, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other family, and friends.


She was preceded in death by her parents, Don and Patricia, her grandson, Jeremy Saldivar Vargas, her brother, Timothy Jack Nixon and her nephew, Jonathan Michael Rodriguez.


Susan loved to read and loved her friends and family dearly.


Memorial/Visitation service will be 4pm- 6pm on Monday, October 8th at Mallory-Martin Funeral Home Chapel in Spiro, Oklahoma.


To sign Susan’s online guestbook please visit


Thursday, 04 October 2018 23:42

Annie Virginia (Martin) Starr

Annie Virginia (Martin) Starr of Spiro, Oklahoma, was born August 22, 1933 in Yell County, outside of Belleville, Arkansas.


Her parents were the late Marvin and Bertie (Brown) Martin. She was called to Heaven from North Hills Life in Fayetteville, Arkansas, October 3, 2018. She was 85.


She is survived by her son, Marvin and his wife Linda, two granddaughters Lori and Anna of Fayetteville, Arkansas.


She is preceded in death by her husband of 35 years, LeRoy Starr and her son Jimmy LeRoy Starr.


Annie was a member of Lakeview Baptist Church where she was the nursery mom for many years. She enjoyed sewing and cooking.


Funeral Services will be 10:00 am Saturday, October 6, 2018 at Mallory-Martin Funeral Home Chapel in Spiro, Oklahoma with Reverend Bryan Fouts officiating.


Burial will follow at New Hope Cemetery in Spiro, Oklahoma under the direction of Mallory-Martin Funeral Home of Spiro, Oklahoma.


To sign Ms. Starr’s online guestbook, please visit

Thursday, 04 October 2018 18:40

David Wendell Meeh Obituary

David Wendell Meeh of Fort Smith, Arkansas was born on January 24, 1935 in Heavener, Oklahoma to Charles Edward and Fannie (Forbes) Meeh and passed away October 4, 2018 in Fort Smith, Arkansas at the age of 83.


He is survived by:

His wife:
Anna Meeh of the home

Two sons:
David Meeh and wife Alicia of Paris, Arkansas
Charles Edward II and wife Leah of Fort Smith, Arkansas

One brother:
Jack Meeh and wife Alice of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

One brother-in-law:
Bobby Johnston of Heavener, Oklahoma

Six  grandchildren 

13 great-grandchildren

Numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of many friends


Pallbearers will be: Mickey Meeh, Mike Meeh, David Meeh, Paul Meeh, Richard Johnston, Randy Saunier, and Kennon Noble


He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Fannie Meeh; three sisters, Melinda Meeh, Frances Meeh Johnston, and Delorise Jo Meeh; and four brothers, Robert (Pete) Meeh, Bill Meeh, Jim Meeh, and Dan Meeh.


David was a 1954 graduate of Heavener High School and attended Poteau Community College.


He was a member of The Bridge Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas and a retired Field Representative for OG&E.


David was a family man and loved his family dearly. David will be deeply missed by his loved ones and friends.


Funeral service will be 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 6, 2018 at the Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home Chapel Church in Heavener, Oklahoma with Pastor Preston Smith officiating.


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


Pallbearers will be: His Nephews


Honorary Pallbearers will be: Juan Berrios, Bob Johnston, Marvin Rockmon, and Jimmy Graves


In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to the Gideon Bibles or a charity of your choice.


Viewing will be from noon until 8:30 p.m., Friday and 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Saturday at the funeral home.


The family will visit with friends from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Friday at the funeral home.


To sign David’s online guestbook please visit


Thursday, 04 October 2018 11:03

Marriage Licenses September 24-29, 2018

The following couples received their marriage licenses during the week of September 24-29, 2018, from the LeFlore County Court Clerk’s office:



Brandon Christopher Battiest and Taylor Nichole Robbins


Kyle Collett and Nicolle Gonzalez Solorzano


Frank William Stewart and Brenna Lee Vise


Jacob Anthony Balzanna and Audrey Marie Tennant


Richard Duane Higbee, Jr. and Felicia Renee Walker


Colton Shawn Garrett and Makayla Jessica Leigh McFarland


Dionick Josue Sanchez and Beverly Tiara Whitfield


Terry Joe Minor and Martha Gail McLeish

Press release

Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Interim Commissioner Tom Bates has announced the selection of Adrienne Rollins as Director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). Rollins has been a member of the implementation team for OMMA, in addition to her role as OSDH Director of Health Policy, Planning and Partnerships.

OMMA is a service area of OSDH, and is responsible for implementation, licensing and administration of the state’s medical marijuana program.

“Adrienne has been a key member of the team that has worked since April to develop and maintain OMMA. Her continued guidance and willingness to fill this role will prove beneficial for the work that is ongoing to meet the requirements of SQ788,” said Bates. “We interviewed a number of candidates who brought unique skills and experience to the table, but as we moved through the initiation phase of the program, the expected role of the director changed and we felt that Adrienne would be the best person to keep the program on track.”

Rollins will continue to split time between OMMA and her position in Health Policy, Planning and Partnerships. She has been with OSDH since 2012, serving previously in programs dealing with tobacco prevention and cessation, improving population health, and providing access to health care. Prior to that she was with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Rollins earned a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Public Relations and Organizational Communication from Cameron University and her Master of Public Administration with a focus in public policy from the University of Oklahoma.

Bates also announced that Ashley Scott will join the agency as legislative liaison. Scott has recently worked under Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Charles McCall and former speaker Jeff Hickman as Legislative Coordinator and Appointments Director.




Press release





Poteau Mayor, Jeff Shockley, addressed the CASC Scholar's Leadership class on Tuesday, October 2, at the Poteau campus.


Shockley offered real-world examples of leadership in the workplace and advised the students on putting others first, and what it takes to lead large groups of people.

Press release



WILBURTON, OK – The Eastern Oklahoma State College Development Foundation recently received a donation of more than $13,000 from the National Livestock Credit Corporation (NLCC) of Oklahoma City as a result of the sale of stocker cattle in the college’s ranch management degree program.


NLCC purchased 209 cattle earlier this spring for use on Eastern’s farm. Students in the ranch management degree program were responsible for the day-to-day management of the herd, including feeding and maintaining the health of the cattle.


This fall, the cattle were sold to a commercial feedlot for a profit of $13,102.20 and the funds were donated to the EOSC Development Foundation to support the Agriculture Division.


This was the fourth set of stocker cattle that have run through Eastern’s stocker operations program. After the initial investments were recovered, the total proceeds from all four sales total $89,696.41.


National Livestock is a group of companies formed in 1932 to assist cattle producers with their cattle purchasing, marketing and financing needs.


Eastern launched the ranch management degree with a focus on stocker operations in the fall of 2016 with the goal of preparing students for an affordable entry into the ranching and cattle business. Students in the program work closely with instructors and professional ranchers to learn how to operate a small business; maintain the financial, operational, production and employment records; and train and supervise personnel.


To learn more about the program, visit or call 918-465-1724.



Wednesday, 03 October 2018 22:49

Your Social Security Concerns, Answered

By Congressman Markwayne Mullin

In this week’s Mullin It Over, I’d like to take the time to answer a few of the questions that I’ve heard from my constituents recently about Social Security solvency. Protecting Social Security is a priority for all of us and it’s important that your questions are answered.
“Can you tell me why you voted for stealing from SS (Social Security)?”

Posted on Facebook on October 2, 2018

In April, the House considered H.J. Res 2, proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States. If it had passed, H.J. Res 2 would have forced Congress to only spend in a given year what they brought in as income. I voted in favor of the amendment because the spending in Washington, D.C. is out of control. Without a balanced budget amendment, Congress will never be forced to rein in outrageous federal spending.


Let me be clear, my vote for the balanced budget amendment was not a vote to ‘steal’ from Social Security. This scare tactic has been used by liberal groups and organizations to rile up fear among Americans who have dutifully paid into the Social Security fund. Just like families across the country have to spend within their means, the government should be held to a spending limit and a budget.



“A good starting point in my view would be that the government replace all the funds it has ‘borrowed’ from SSA over the years.”

Constituent Letter from August 18, 2018

Every year since 1984, Social Security brought in more income than necessary to pay out benefits. By the end of 2017, the Social Security fund held $2.89 trillion in reserves. Rather than sit in the bank, the SSA invests its surplus in government bonds that earn interest. These bonds, which are fully backed by the U.S. Treasury can then be used for other government needs, such as constructing roads and bridges, while they are making money for its Social Security beneficiaries. You can even see how the investments are doing on the Social Security Administration’s website at this link:


“A Balanced Budget Amendment would mean dramatic cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Retirees and disabled Americans are the most cruelly impacted by this terrible proposal.”


Constituent Letter from April 12, 2018

Not true. A balanced budget amendment would mandate that the SSA could only pay out in benefits what they brought in as revenue in a given year. As I previously stated, SSA’s income has exceeded its payouts every year since 1984. I believe Social Security helps form a very important safety net for Americans. I am committed to making sure these programs are made solvent by ensuring they are viable for future generations while at the same time protecting current recipients from having their benefits cuts.


“Social Security is an earned benefit that keeps many older Americans and those whose disabilities prevent them from working out of poverty. The balanced budget amendment would break that contract with the American people.”

Constituent Letter from April 12, 2018

Social Security is an earned benefit that Americans have paid into. I believe all Americans deserve the benefits to which they are entitled and worked so hard to earn. I also believe that with our national debt now over $21 trillion, it is beyond time for members of Congress to start doing their jobs and work towards paying down our debt.


Still have more questions about Social Security solvency? Visit SSA’s internet myths site at



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