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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Thursday, 11 June 2015 22:47

Welcome OKFreewheel Bike race


This Friday is the day the city has been preparing for since January.


The overnight stay for the OkFreewheels bike race.


The race began on Saturday in Hollis Oklahoma and will travel 500 miles East with Poteau the final Oklahoma destination as it ends in Fort Smith on June 13th.


On Thursday Night the group has a scheduled overnight stop in McAlester and then arrivals in Poteau around 9:30 Friday morning.


Several businesses decorated bikes to welcome their arrival.


A fun filled day has been planned for them on the parking lot of the Reynolds Center beginning at 9:30.

There will be crafts, commercial and food vendors. Hamburger, Hot Dogs will be available and concessions.


Restaurants are encouraged to be prepared for this large crowd.


Reports show the cyclist like to explore the community shopping and eating.


KIBOIS will be running buses all day to take the cyclist around town.


tcsb bike

The Community State Bank's bike



Kay Sullivan Real Estate has hung a bike on the sign to welcome the OK Freewheels

chamber bike

The Poteau Chamber decorated a bike to welcome the OKFreewheels

Two brothers were arrested after a woman was killed and another critically injured in a hit-and-run involving pedestrians in rural Rogers County on June 5 in Rogers County.

Gage Shriver and Dakota Shriver are currently being held for leaving the scene of a fatal crash and driving under the influence.

According to the OHP report - investigators believe that Gage Shriver was the driver of a Dodge pickup that struck the two women around 6 a.m. as they were walking on the shoulder on South Gordon Road Road near Verdigris.

The names of the two victims have not been released.

One woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The second was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition.

Troopers made a third arrest in the fatal hit-and-run collision on June 10th.

Dorothea Butanda was taken into custody for accessory to a felony and obstruction in connection to the collision.

Butanda is the mother to Gage and Dakota Shriver.


Butanda was transported and processed into the Rogers County Jail.

Thursday, 11 June 2015 15:01

Wayne Elbert Lewallen Obituary

Wayne Elbert Lewallen, 77, of Poteau, OK passed away Wednesday June 10, 2015 in Ft. Smith, AR.


Wayne was born September 27. 1937 in Pine Valley, OK to Marion "Jerde" & Lucinda Jane (Dunn). He was a farmer. Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary; grandson, Tyler Lee Phillips; daughter, Linda Osteen; 2 sisters & 5 brothers.



Survivors include his wife, Sue of the home; 3 daughters, Penny Sue & Adrian Wheeler of Waxahachie, TX, Zoe Ann Mills of Muskogee, OK, Virginia Kay Lewallen of California; 4 sons, Faron Wayne & Jennifer Lewallen of TX, Jess Dee Lewallen, "Bill" William Ray Lewallen, Kenneth Cremeans all of Poteau, OK; 20 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; sister, Nora Steelman of Poteau, OK; numerous nieces, nephews; other loved ones and friends.



Services will be 10 am, Saturday, June 13, 2015 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Victor Sweet officiating.


Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau.


Pallbearers will be Trey Willett, Ronnie Mills, Kenneth, Kenny, Jeremy & Chris Cremeans.



You may leave an online message at

Carl Albert State College and UA Fort Smith have agreed to amend a previous Memorandum of Understanding dealing with degree transfer to include additional transfer programs beginning July, 2015.


After graduating from Carl Albert, students will be able to transfer seamlessly to UAFS to work toward a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Applied Science, or a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. All of these programs will be available online from UAFS.


Dr. Jason Morrison, CASC Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dr. Georgia Hale, UAFS Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs recently signed the agreement on behalf of the College and the University on the campus of CASC.


Dr. Morrison stated, "We appreciate the opportunity to partner with UA Fort Smith. Seamless transfer is important to our graduates in that they will know their CASC degree hours will be applied to their degree program at UAFS without question." Morrison continued, "We are also pleased that UAFS has agreed to assist us with reverse transfer opportunities. This comes into play for students transferring to UAFS prior to graduating with us. It allows us to award an associate's degree when a student has completed enough additional hours at UAFS to earn a degree from CASC."


Dr. Hale shared, "Partnering with CASC allows us at UAFS to fulfill our commitment to provide opportunities for students in our service area, who have associate degrees, to pursue a baccalaureate degree with minimal difficulty."


For information about these agreements, contact the CASC Enrollment Center at 918-647-1393.

Press Release


OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill requiring schools to report if a teacher is fired due to criminal activities was signed into law on Wednesday, according to the bill's author, Senator John Sparks, D-Norman.

While the state Board of Education has always licensed state teachers, there has previously been no requirement that local school officials inform the state board about criminal misconduct involving educators. This has allowed teachers to move freely between districts after they've been fired due to criminal activities without being reported to the state board. Under Senate Bill 711, schools will now be required to notify the state board when a teacher is fired due to criminal activities, including reports of sex offenses, embezzlement and other activities which constitute a crime.

The law seeks to balance student safety and protect the due process rights of professional educators. SB 711 includes several safeguards to protect wrongly accused teachers.

"This law will help eliminate "teacher hopping" and will keep other school districts from unknowingly hiring teachers who have been accused of misconduct," said Sparks. "I commend my fellow legislators, especially co-author Senator Kyle Loveless and principal house author of SB 711, Representative Lee Denney, for supporting this measure all the way to the Governor's desk."

The new law goes into effect July 1.

For more information, contact Sen. Sparks at 405-521-6553 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Thursday, 11 June 2015 14:52

Eunice Jane (Burden) Earls


Eunice Jane Earls, 79, of Poteau, OK, passed away Wednesday, June 10, 2015, in Ft. Smith, AR.


She was born February 25, 1936, at Gilmore, OK, to William and Arra (Hooper) Burden. She retired as an adoption specialist for Orange County California.



Eunice is preceded in death by her beloved husband Billy Dean Earls, a son Brian Earls, and a brother Zeph Burden.


Left to cherish her memory is her son Doug Earls of Poteau, OK; brother Leo Burden and wife Betty of Upland, CA; sisters, Joyce Vandervoort and husband David of Santa Anna, CA and Melva Jett and husband Eugene of CA; special nephew Terry Earls; as well as a host of other family members, friends and loved ones.


Pallbearers will be Terry Earls, Tony Drury, Mark Vandervoort, Eddy Drury, Doug Earls, Rodney Burden and Durwin Hampton.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13, 2015, at Shady Point Assembly of God Church in Shady Point, OK, with Rev. Joe Owen officiating.


Interment will follow service at the Vaughn Cemetery near Gilmore, OK.


Family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday evening at the funeral home. Special thanks to Terry Earls and Katie Sockey for their unconditional love, support and caring during Eunice's illness.


Services are under the direction of Grace Manor Funeral Home of Poteau, Ok.


You may leave an on-line greeting to the family at

Eunice Jane (Burden) Earls - 2.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
Thursday, 11 June 2015 09:30

Jeanie Pitcher

Jeanie Pitcher of Arkoma was born March 7, 1949, in Augusta, Georgia to William Harold and Betty Jean (Brown) Carter and passed away June 8, 2015, in Arkoma, Oklahoma at the age of 66.



She is survived by; one daughter, Martina Thompson and husband, Randy of Greenwood, Arkansas; one son, Adam Pitcher of Cumberland, Maine; two brothers, William "Bill" Carter of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Roger Carter of Shreveport, Louisiana; five grandchildren, Seth Pitcher, Mason Pitcher, Ashley Baxter and husband, Brad, Clinton Thompson, Alex Thompson and one great grandson, Collin Baxter.



She was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Brenda Carter and Jo Henderson.


She retired from Whirlpool after 38 years and was an Air Force Veteran.



Memorial Services will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 12, 2015, at Mallory-Martin Chapel in Spiro with Reverend Rocky Boggs officiating.


Cremation under the direction of the Mallory-Martin Funeral Home of Spiro.


Please sign her online guestbook at


Thursday, 11 June 2015 09:03

Events in the area

If you are looking for something to do this summer, you don't have to travel very far. LeFlore County and the surrounding areas offer many things for some fun summer fun.


Poteau offers a walk in and Drive In Theater. Check out the bowling alley at Strike A Lot Lanes. Now – June 25th – "LeFlore County Presidential Visits" LeFlore County. Stop by the LeFlore County Museum in downtown Poteau. Why not read a good book or attend the summer reading program at Patrick Lynch Library or other area libraries.


If music is what you like then mark your calendars for the Summer Concert Series.

June 20 - Bandit
July 11 - Hillbilly Vegas
July 18 - Jay Falkner Band and Earl Hearon
July 25 - Heavens 2 Betsy
Admission is $5. Bring a lawn chair. Concessions available.


Take a scenic drive and visit Talihina or go up Talimena Drive. Get a little history lesson and visit the Spiro mounds or the Heavener Runestone. Travel to Wilburton and camp out or just spend the day at Robbers Cave. Wister Lake is good place to fish and they have a splash park for the kids. Swim at the Poteau City Pool or check out the view on top of the World's Highest Hill in Poteau.



Here are some events that might interest you as well.

June 11
Horticulture Field Day, 6:30 – 8:30pmKerr Center -Poteau, OK


June 12
OK FreeWheel 2015 Tour Across Oklahoma - Stopping in Poteau, OK.

June 12 and 13
The Fuel Center Yard Sale


June 13
Farmers Market 8am - 12 pm Downtown Poteau,OK


June 14
Benefit Chili Dinner for the Donahoe Family - Wister School Cafeteria 11am - 2pm - Wister, OK

June 19 and 20
LeFlore Co. OHCE Quilt Show : KTC - 9am - 4pm- Poteau, OK


June 19
LeFlore County Youth Services Golf Tournament at Choctaw Country Club - Poteau, OK

Ninja Turtles Live presented Reynolds Center , VIP 3pm, Doors Open at 5pm, Show Starts at 6pm -Poteau, OK


June 22
Poteau Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament - Poteau, OK


June 25
Pasture Plant Identification, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Kerr Center - Poteau, OK


June 26
Light 'Em Up Burnout Contest -Downtown Poteau

June 27
Wheels n Deals Car Show – Downtown Poteau


July 4
Celebrate America – DWRCC – 6pm


Upcoming events


July 4 – August 21

Kids Bowl Free at Strike A Lot Lanes

July  25

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for Blake Johnico – 11am – Choctaw Community Center, Talihina, OK

August 8

Cardboard Boat Regatta & 5K Run - Poteau, OK

turtles live

Ninja Turtles Live presented Reynolds Center

wheels and deals car show

Wheels and Deals Car Show

Events in the area - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 13:57

Rollover accident in LeFlore County

The Poteau Police, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, LeFlore County EMS and fire and rescue services were all called to the scene of a rollover accident.



The accident occurred around 2:10 pm on Highway 112 between Poteau and Cameron.



The driver of the semi was trapped in the vehicle for about 20 minutes after his semi suffered a blow out.





On June 3, 2015, an 83-year-old woman was sexually assaulted inside her home near Altus.


At approximately 10 o'clock that night, the suspect knocked on the woman's door and opened it.


The door was not locked.


He sexually and physically brutalized the woman breaking several bones in her body.


The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crime.

On June 10, OSBI Forensic Artist Harvey Pratt interviewed the woman and from her description of the suspect sketched a likeness of the man.

He is a white male in his mid to late 30s, 5'7", and weighs approximately 160 pounds.

He has bluish eyes and light sandy brown curly short hair. He was wearing light brown plastic round framed glasses.

He also has a small tattoo on his right shoulder.


The victim bit the man on his right forearm.


He drove away from the scene in a newer two door, white or cream colored, short bed pickup truck.


If anyone believes they may recognize the man in this sketch, please contact the Jackson County Sheriff's Office at 580-482-0408.

Latest Events

Poteau Chamber Banquet
Thu Feb 28 @ 5:00PM - 10:00PM