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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, 14 July 2017 13:13

Netha Mae Athey Obituary

Netha Mae Athey, 85, of Shady Point, OK passed away Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at her home.


Netha was born August 5, 1931 in Booneville, AR to Elmer & Dovie (Robison) Nickles. She was a member of the Assembly of God Church in Shady Point. Netha was preceded in death by her husband, Edgar B. Athey on May 5, 1983.


Survivors include her sons, Jimmy, Robert, Dale & Jerry; daughter, Mable Athey; 4 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; brother, Vondel Davenport; sisters, Hilda Slate & Nora Ruth; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 10 am, Monday, July 17, 2017 at Solid Rock Church, Panama, OK with Rev. Anthony Jiminez officiating.


Interment will follow in Shady Point Cemetery, Shady Point, 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, Oklahoma.

Thursday, 13 July 2017 23:28

Pauline "Polly" Hood Obituary

Pauline "Polly" Hood, 91, of Pocola, OK passed away Tuesday, July 11, 2017 in Ft. Smith, AR. Pauline was born May 23, 1926 in Hartman, AR to William H. & Irene (Burton) King.


She and her husband of 75 years were in the ministry with the Assemblies of God.


They pastored churches at Muldrow, Spiro, Latham and Roland, OK & Cedarville, AR. Polly was a dedicated wife and minister of the Gospel. She loved her family dearly. She was never blessed to have children of her own, but was a mother to all who knew her. Our loss is heaven's gain.


She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.


Polly was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Henry Jr. King & Billy King; sisters, Nova Walker, Ova Lee Standridge, Nadine Stewart.


Survivors include her husband of 75 years Rev. Ray Hood; sister & brother in law, Pat & Bill Grober of Ft. Smith, AR; nephew, Bryan & Stacy Grober of Pocola, OK; great niece & nephew, Chasidy Grober, Colton Grober, Caelum Grober; great great niece, Kenzlie Newby; many more special nieces & nephews; other loved ones and friends.


Services will be 1 pm, Saturday, July 15, 2017 at Roland Assembly of God Church.


Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau, OK.


Honorary pallbearers will be Bryan Grober, Colton Grober and Caelum Grober.


The family will be at the funeral home in Pocola on Friday evening from 6-8 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, Pocola, Oklahoma

Thursday, 13 July 2017 23:24


Press Release

Run, walk or crawl to the fifth annual Brave the Mud Run. It is set for Saturday, August 19, 8:00 am, at the Leflore County Fairgrounds.

Brave the Mud Run is the only local mud run that benefits the Women’s Crisis Services and it’s the only fundraiser they host each year. The monies raised stay in the community and is used to at the shelter to purchase things like Christmas and birthday gifts for women and children, new beds and bedding, appliances and everyday necessities.


“WCS provides nearly half a million dollars in yearly contract services to assist local women and children,” stated Deanna Chancellor, Executive Director of the Women’s Crisis Services. “The community and has really gotten behind this event year after year whether it be participants or sponsorships and we appreciate it now more than ever with all the state budget cuts,” Chancellor went on to say.

As always, the mud run will start and end at the Leflore County fairgrounds. Mudders will encounter some favorite obstacles like the Barn Burner and some new ones as well. Every participant earns a custom finisher’s medal. This event is also professionally chip-timed. Awards will be given for overall finishers, age divisions for individuals and teams and the best Star Wars costumes for teams and individuals.

After consulting with the timing company and many past race participants, the mud run committee if offering options to sign up for wave start times. The 8:00 am start time is suggested for the competitive runners, 8:15 am is for the somewhat competitive, 8:30 am for sort-of competitive, and 8:45 am start time is for the fun lovin’ racers.

To guarantee your shirt size sign up by August 1. Race fees are $45 per person individually or $40 per team member for teams of three or more. Registration forms can be found on the Brave the Mud Run Facebook page or participants can register online at

The race committee has also added another event on Friday, August 18 to help bring more awareness to the community about the shelter and domestic and sexual abuse. It is a Walk A Mile in Her Shoes® event to be held in downtown Poteau from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. There is no charge for this event, but the committee is needed donations of high heels size 7 or larger and men to walk a mile in high heels. There will be free food and music. Mud run participants can pick up their packets at this time.

Contact Glenda Wise, 918.839.4785 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. Organizers also encourage you to watch their Facebook page, Brave the Mud Run, for information regarding the events.


Grab your lightsaber and get signed up today!


mud run promo 3 003



By Joe Dorman


OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman today expressed disappointment that payments for families who foster and adopt children will be reduced by 5 percent (approximately $1/day). The Department of Human Services (DHS) recently announced the reduction as part of a plan to slash $29 million in programs that support children and elderly adults.


“As a state, we have got to find a better way to fund services that directly support vulnerable children,” said Dorman. “I understand it was a very difficult budget year, but the fact is the Department of Human Services, like many agencies, is not getting the support it needs to do the best job it can. The people who suffer from chronic underfunding and yearly cuts in services are children, low income adults and the elderly. It isn’t right. I urge our policymakers to find long term solutions to fix our budget and find a way to adequately fund core government services.”



About OICA
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens seeking 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.“


Poteau, Oklahoma - The Poteau Police Department had a bitter sweet retirement party for Corporal Jason Bandy of the Poteau Police Department.

Bandy retired on Thursday July 13, 2017 after 20 years of faithful service with the police department.

Many of Bandy friends, family and colleagues past and present were on hand as Poteau Police Chief Stephen Fruen presented Bandy with a plaque and a rifle.

Bandy who has always had a passion to help children will start a new adventure as a substitute teacher for Poteau Schools and will continue to work with the Boys Scouts.

Bandy and his wife Kelie have two sons Jace and Jaydon.


Congratulations Corporal Bandy for you many years of service to the community.



Sunday, 16 July 2017 11:26

Paul Mathis Bridge closed for repairs


Poteau, Oklahoma - According to Poteau Street Commissioner, Jim Seale, the street department will be replacing a bridge located by Bill J Barber Park on Paul Mathis Drive.

The Bridge on North Paul Mathis Drive at Bill J Barber Park will be closed to through traffic starting at 6:30 am on Monday, July 17, 2017 and will remain closed for a month to undergo extensive repairs.

If needing to access the Bill J Barber Park from the south, you'll need to come via Mockingbird or Stadium Lane from North Broadway,” said Seale. “If you normally travel south on N Paul Mathis to access Franzini for the bypass, you'll need to instead travel south on N Broadway and turn on College Avenue. When College hits N Paul Mathis you will take a right followed by a sharp left which will put you on Franzini and on your way to the bypass.”


The City of Poteau apologizes for any inconveniences this may cause and they appreciate your patience as the street department renovates this bridge.


According to a press release from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, on the morning of Sunday, July 9th just before 4:00 a.m., Randall Whitehorn, a 64-year-old male from Red Rock, was struck and killed as he walked on US Highway 177 south of Yearling Road in Noble County.


The driver of the vehicle that struck Whitehorn left the scene without rendering aid.


OHP Troopers have diligently worked the case and, based on evidence found at the scene, believe the vehicle involved to be a 1992-1995 Mercury Sable or Ford Taurus, color unknown.


The vehicle likely has damage to the passenger side, front headlight assembly and passenger side outside rear-view mirror.


OHP is asking anyone in the Noble County or surrounding area who has information, or who knows of a vehicle matching this description, to contact OHP Traffic Homicide Investigators by calling 866-OHP-TIPS or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


white car

This image is an example of a 1992-1995 Mercury Sable or Ford Taurus.

map of area

Map shows location near the Otoe-Missouri Tribal Casino and Complex where the crime occurred. 


According to a press release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, OSBI special agents and McCurtain County Sheriff’s deputies have located a body they believe is that of a man recently reported missing from the Broken Bow area.


Harold Jones, 41, and his pickup truck were reporting missing by his sister July 5, 2017. Jones was last seen June 29, 2017.

The sheriff’s office requested OSBI assist with the missing person’s investigation.

On July 8, police in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, made a traffic stop involving that missing vehicle. The driver told officers he bought the truck in Clarksville, Texas.

That information helped Oklahoma investigators locate persons with details which have led to what is presumed to be Jones’ body.

Currently, OSBI special agents, sheriff’s deputies, and Broken Bow Fire Department personnel are working to recover the body from an old well, located off state highway 3 on Church Street about 15 miles north of Idabel.

Members of the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner were also on scene.

Agents are working to identify suspects.

No arrests have been made at this time.


If anyone has information on this case, please call the OSBI Hotline at 1-800-522-8017.

Thursday, 13 July 2017 09:26

Jeffrey Taylor McConnell Obituary

Jeffrey Taylor McConnell passed away July 7, 2017, in Fayetteville, Ark.

Jeff was born Sept. 28, 1985, in Fort Myers, Fla., to Jerry Lee McConnell and Janet Ann Mezzano.

Jeff was a 2003 graduate of Poteau High School and obtained his Master’s Degree of Science specializing in Marketing and Operations Management at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 2015.

Jeff was proceeded in death by grandfathers Jim Pete Mezzano, Calif.; Orville McConnell and Kenneth Hamm, both of Poteau.

He is survived by his parents; grandmothers Minnie Hamm, Poteau; Betty Mezzano, Calif. Sisters and brother-in-law: Tiffany and David Julian, Oswego, Ill.; Jessica McConnell, Brea, Calif.; Ashley McConnell, Cameron, Okla. Brothers and sister-in-law: Jason Livingston, Kyle Livingston and Mark Fuller, all of Calif.; Matthew Fuller, South Carolina; Zak and Addie McConnell, Stigler, Okla.; and Zane McConnell, Fayetteville. Nieces and nephews: Peyton and Cooper Julian; Ronan and Berkley Fuller; Andrew Swick and Lucas Fuller; Paizley McConnell; and Braydon West; many aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family, friends and loved ones.

A memorial service in Jeff’s honor will be held Saturday, July 15, at 11 a.m. at Covenant Church Poteau located at 2101 S. Broadway. Pastor Rocky McConnell officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the City of Fayetteville, Ark., Parks and Recreations Department to help maintain the nature trails, soccer fields and many other outdoor venues Jeff spent so much time enjoying.

To make a donation in Jeff’s name contact Christina Jones at the FPRD at 479-444-3467.

Poteau, Oklahoma - According to a press release from Carl Albert State College, the Carl Albert State College Development Foundation inducted donors into the Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Clubs at the “Founders’ Evening – A Celebration of Giving” held at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center in Poteau on June 29, 2017.


The newest members of each level of giving include:


Bronze - $5,000 - $10,000
Johnie Ray & Peggy Adams
Vaughn & Traci Barnes
Mark & Lorraine Caldwell
Gean & Susan Davlin
Eastern Sequoyah County Chamber of Commerce
Jay & Kelly Falkner
Ron & Amy Hall
John & Sarah Hamilton
Will Higgins
Ramona Smith
Matt Webb


Silver - $10,000 - $25,000
Adams Abstract Company
Ryan & Ranada Adams
Mark & Nikki Allen
Donald Brooks
Don & Terri Chitwood
Richard & Tina Kingrey
Keith & Robin Marquez
People Inc. of Sequoyah County
Poteau Chamber of Commerce
Ryan & Lauren Rich
Sallisaw Masonic Lodge #120
James & Janet Smith
State Farm Insurance
Andrea Traywick
Kevin Traywick
Chad & Kendra Yandell


Gold - $25,000 - $50,000
Pat J. Brigance
Jose & Heather Chavez
Cherokee Nation Entertainment
Bill & Brenda Gann
Debbie Johnson (DJ’s Jewels & Jems)
Darali & Mark Mixon

Platinum - $50,000 - $100,000
BP Corporation North America, Inc.
Blue Ribbon Auto Group (Buddy & Doris Spencer)
Heavener Masonic Lodge
Jerry & Georgia Hetherington
Billy & Starla Hoffman
Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma
Mosholatubbee Masonic Lodge No. 13
Poteau Masonic Lodge
Phyllis Roberts
Tim Wilson & Kim Hoffman-Wilson


Diamond - $100,000 +
Russell & Belva Barber
Linda Holton
Mary Helen Lucas
Kelly O. Mitchell
The Community State Bank



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