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David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017 10:22

Malcolm H. Stephens Obituary

Malcolm H. Stephens of Spiro, Oklahoma was born on August 1, 1939 to Eugene Brookin and Mary Marguerite (Ainsworth) Stephens in Ft. Smith, Arkansas and passed away on September 10, 2017 in Ft. Smith, Arkansas at the age of 78.

Malcolm is survived by his wife Carla (Benge) Stephens of the home, one son Brookin Stephens and wife, Crissy of Spiro, four special grandchildren, Emma, Samuel, Judge, and Olivia, a son-in-law, Chad Cox of Spiro, four sisters, Chavela Anderson and husband Ralph of Talihina, Mary Rode of Apple Valley, California, Michaela Knaus of Chico, California, Melanie Sowers and husband Jeff of Temecula, California, two brothers, Milton Stephens and wife Linda of Spiro and Charles Stephens of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.


He is preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Katey Stephens Cox.

Malcolm was a member of the Spiro VFW Post 4884 and the Spiro Choctaw Veteran’s Post 4501.


Cars and anything to do with cars was a big part of Malcolm’s life, whether it be working on them, restoring them, or watching his son race, he loved cars. He also enjoyed family gatherings and he could actually cook a little bit, anytime there was a dinner he had to make his famous deviled eggs and took pride in making them. Malcolm was a no frills, simple man with many other hobbies but his favorite hobby of all was loving his wife, his kids, and his grandkids.

Funeral services will be 2pm Thursday, at the Pocola First Assembly of God Church with Reverends Eddie Blankenship and Danny Kennedy officiating. Burial will follow in the Spiro City Cemetery under the of Mallory-Martin Funeral Home of Spiro, Oklahoma.


The family will visit with friend 5pm-7pm Wednesday at the funeral home, viewing hours will be 9am-7pm Wednesday.


Condolences can be made to the family at


Pallbearers will be Sam Gillion, Ronnie Parent, David Kerns, Gary Harper, Carl Chapple, Don Young, and Sherman Dix. Honorary Pallbearers will be members of Spiro VFW Post 4884 and Spiro Choctaw Veteran's Association Post 4501.


According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol a fatality collision occurred September 10, 2017 at approximately 10:31pm on State Highway , east of SE 1040th Avenue in Latimer County.


According to the report, Leonard Jackson 33, of Glenpool was walking along the highway and was struck by 2008 Pontic Coupe driven by Zachery Doyle 32, of Wister.

Jackson expired at the scene with multiple injuries.


Investigated by OHP and the Latimer County Sheriff’s Office.

Press Release

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter today has issued a consumer alert after last week’s Equifax breach that affected 143 million individuals nationwide.

Equifax, one of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies, announced it had experienced a cybersecurity incident on Sept. 7. The breach occurred between May and July, allowing personal information, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses, to be exposed to hackers.

Attorney General Hunter said the threat has potentially left all Oklahomans exposed. He urges individuals who haven’t already taken action to see if their personal information has been compromised, to do so immediately.
“There is a risk all Oklahomans had their personal and private information stolen by hackers,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Individuals must be diligent and take the proper steps to protect their families and loved ones.”

The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit encourages individuals to take the following steps:

• Visit the Equifax website for daily status updates, here:;
• Click on the “Potential Impact” tab to find out if personal information was exposed;
• Call the Equifax call center at (866) 447-7559 from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern time;
• Check credit reports;
• Consider placing a freeze on all credit files;
• Closely monitor existing credit card and bank account information and watch for unauthorized charges;
• Watch for phishing email that claim to be Equifax and request personal information.

Additionally, Equifax has updated the terms of use on its website, removing the language on the website last week that prohibited consumers from taking legal action in this incident.


A U.S. Supreme Court decision that permits corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in the guise of “free speech” has consequences at all levels of government, including local elections in Oklahoma.
The case was Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission, and the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in the case on 21 January 2010. Citizens United opened the door to so-called “dark money” in the guise of “free speech”.

Citizens United is a political action committee (PAC) that was founded in 1988 with major funding from the Koch Brothers – right-wing industrialists who have the second-largest privately owned company in the United States.
“Dark money” refers to political spending that is meant to influence the decision of a voter, where the donor is not disclosed and the source of the money is unknown. Depending upon the circumstances, dark money can refer to funds spent by a political nonprofit or a super PAC.


Here’s how:
--Political nonprofits are under no legal obligation to disclose their donors. When they choose not to, they are considered dark money groups.

--Super PACs can also be considered dark money groups in certain situations. While these organizations are legally required to disclose their donors, they can accept unlimited contributions from political non-profits and “shell” corporations that may not have disclosed their donors; in these cases they are considered dark money groups.

Citizens United was one of the most poisonous decisions the Supreme Court has ever issued. It allows wealthy Americans to hide in anonymity while stealing our democracy.

A recent story in the state’s largest newspaper mentioned the millions of dollars in dark money that non-profits spent in contributions from well-heeled and corporate-backed donors to defeat State Question 779, the proposed penny sales tax for education.

In case you think such expenditures are nickel-and-dime stuff, here’s what happened in my campaign earlier this year for the Oklahoma City Ward 4 City Council seat.

In a four-way primary, I nearly won outright, receiving 48 percent of the vote. But in the general election, I was defeated by 16 points: 58% to 42%.

What led to such a dramatic reversal? In the final days before the vote, a massive amount of “dark money” was pumped into the campaign to finance a last-minute advertising campaign in support of my opponent.

Records filed after the election showed that just under $100,000 from PACs and “dark money” sources was spent on my opponent’s campaign – for a municipal job that pays $12,000 per year.
The contributions to my opponent’s campaign included $45,000 from an outfit called “Catalyst Oklahoma”; the only name associated with the organization on campaign expenditure reports is that of former state Senator Glenn Coffee. During the week prior to the April 4 election, Catalyst Oklahoma spent $10,000 on telephone calls, $15,000 on canvassing and $20,000 on digital ads for my opponent.
As was demonstrated right here in Oklahoma City, Citizens United enables a gilded class of elites to maintain an iron grip on a political system that benefits them to the exclusion of everyone else.
(Richard Morrissette, an attorney in south Oklahoma City, represented District 92 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives for 12 years.)
For more information, contact:
Richard Morrissette
(405) 823-5386


By Teresa Black Bradway


Serious Bigfoot seekers can look for Sasquatch even when the annual Bigfoot festival is over, and an Oklahoma business will help them.

The Honobia Bigfoot Festival and Conference is set Oct. 6 and 7 at Kiamichi Mountains Christian Mission (Christ 40 acres) at Highway 144 and Indian Highway, Honobia, OK.

But some need more than this annual Bigfoot fix. They will head deep into Oklahoma woods to explore what fans call, “One of the greatest mysteries in history.”

“Every year, people from all over the US come to get their once-in-a- lifetime experience here within the Kiamichi Mountains,” said Troy Hudson of Kiamichi Mountain Adventures. “They come to southeast Oklahoma hoping to catch a glimpse of the most elusive folklore legend of all time.”

Hudson takes visitors into a 100 acre wilderness area in the Kiamichi Mountains to seek the legendary creature. Some report remarkable sightings which may be evidence of Bigfoot. His tours have included people from across the US, Canada, Sweden and England.

“The majority of our events happen after dark,” Hudson said. “We do have day hikes and some educational field demonstrations on how and what to look for.”

In March, six women from east Texas and Louisiana enjoyed an unscheduled Bigfoot tour and sightings.

“They were on their own Sasquatch expedition,” Hudson said. They rented a cabin near Smithville east of Honobia to celebrate a birthday and were told that someone at Honobia gave tours. The women located Hudson, who told them to return that night.

“Through the evening, several ladies observed extremely large man-like shadows on top of the ridge walking back and forth,” Hudson said. “Several others observed similar shadows near the base camp rocking back and forth between the trees.”

. “One young lady got the rare opportunity to watch a small child-like figure along with a larger figure move about just 50 yards from her for little over 10 minutes,” Hudson said. “She described that she at one moment could see a light-colored area of its face on the small figure. She said that it was so fast that all she could see was bridge of a nose and both eyes. She was so amazed she couldn't stop talking about it.”

Everyone in the group saw “eye shine,” near their base camp, he said.

Not everyone catches sight of something, Hutson said, but many do.

“More than half of the people who attended have their own experiences that leave them wanting more,” Hudson said.

“A lot of people come to learn,” about Bigfoot, Hudson said, “to try and get a glimpse which a lot do. Some see one or two, and many leave with a lot more than they expected.”

Hudson offers field expeditions in the fall, early winter and spring, usually for two days and two nights. Two or three experienced members of the Bigfoot conference staff may serve as guides. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Fees vary with the length of the trip.

Hudson, of Coalgate, Ok., has led Bigfoot expeditions in the Kiamichi Mountains for over ten years. Hudson.heads safety and security for the Kiamichi Mountains Christian Mission and the Bigfoot festival, which attracts an estimated four thousand people. He is on the board of directors for the Honobia Bigfoot Organization.

His Adventures business is separate from the Honobia Bigfoot Organization, a nonprofit which raises funds for scholarships for local students.

The festival runs Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7. A two-day conference opens at 10 am Friday, October 6th . Farlan Huff, M.K Davis of Mississippi, Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Idaho State University and Dr. Samuel Webb Sentell, of Louisiana will speak. Tickets to the conference are sold daily.

After dark, visitors gather around a campfire to tell of their encounters with Bigfoot. Many camp nearby.

There is a 5K Run sponsored by the Choctaw Nation, a free music festival, helicopter rides, a children’s area, an art contest, the Battiest Archer Booth, face painting and a street entertainer who juggles and makes balloon animals.
A church service is held on Sunday and all are invited to attend.

More information is at



Troy Hudson speaks about sightings of Bigfoot reported in Oklahoma.



hudson guide

 Troy Hudson, right, guides visitors from the Oklahoma City area on a Bigfoot expedition in the Kiamichi Mountains near Honobia.




Monday, 11 September 2017 12:26

Floyd Ray Morris Obituary

Floyd Ray Morris, 73, of Cameron, OK (formerly of Poteau) passed away Saturday, September 9, 2017 in Cameron. Floyd was born June 1, 1944 in Ft. Smith, AR to Floyd Franklin & Jessie C. (Gibson) Morris. He was a retired teacher. Floyd was a member of the Free Will Baptist Church. He was a Gideon since 1973; a lifetime NRA Member, member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Cattleman's Assoc.. He was a farmer & rancher. He loved to sing and play his guitar. He was a very proud Grandpa.

He was preceded in death by his father; brothers, Johnnie Lee & Ervin; and son in law, Mike Olbrish.


Survivors include his wife, Ernestine; daughter, Jennifer Olbrish; son, Bryan Morris; granddaughter, Preslie Olbrish; mother Jessie & Tom Pittman; brother, Dennis & wife Belinda; sister in law, Lydia Morris; other relatives, loved ones and many beloved friends.


Services will be 2 pm, Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at First Baptist Church in Poteau, OK with Jim Cook & Brad Kuhl officiating.

Interment will be in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau.


Pallbearers will be Aud Balentine, Grry Ivey, Clinton Stahlman, Don Goins, Russell Barber and Thomas Sullivan.


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.

Monday, 11 September 2017 12:23

Update of DoD Response to Hurricane Irma

Press release


The Department of Defense is well postured with naval, air, and ground assets to initiate response operations in Florida today and will continue response operations throughout the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico (VIPR) region. FEMA, NORTHCOM, and the USCG are closely coordinating on the management of air assets to maximize the effective unity of effort. DoD will complete the evacuation of U.S. citizens from St. Martin today, coordinate evacuation of U.S. citizens from the British Virgin Islands, and will provide humanitarian assistance (water, sanitation, logistics support, movement of disaster relief personnel, humanitarian commodities movement) in response to State Department requests.


Situation Update: Irma, now a tropical storm, continues to weaken as it moves northwesterly into the southeastern U.S. today. The center is located 60 miles north of Tampa, FL, with sustained winds of 70 mph. FEMA estimates that nearly 5 million (34%) customers are without power in Florida. The main water line into the Florida Keys is reported off-line. Damage to the Keys may necessitate evacuation of the 10,000 persons who did not evacuate prior to the storm.


DoD Response Details:
Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico (VIPR):
- Approximately 4,600 service-members are supporting relief operations in the region.

- USS KEARSARGE/26 MEU, USS OAK HILL, and USS WASP are on station in the U.S. Virgin Islands transferring non-critical care patients, delivering food and water.

- 26 MEU will transfer UK Marines in St. Croix forward to the UK Virgin Islands.

- TRANSCOM continues support to the St. Martin evacuation and humanitarian assistance, and the strategic lift of commodities to VIPR.

- USACE power restoration teams, debris removal experts, temporary roofing teams, and port survey personnel are on station.

- DLA is shipping commodities and large generators to VIPR.

- Approximately 10,400 service-members are supporting relief operations in the region.

- USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN arrived off Florida's east coast last night with 24 helicopters and is prepared for operations in southern Florida and the Florida Keys this morning. USS IWO JIMA and USS NEW YORK are expected to arrive this morning.

- Homestead ARGB is assessed to be in good condition. The assessment of NAS Key West is ongoing.

- US Army is pre-positioning 200 High Water Trucks to be able to rapidly support Florida National Guard requirements.

- USNORTHCOM intends to establish airfields in southern FL and support operations from the sea with air assets from USS IWO JIMA, USS NEW YORK, USS SAN JACINTO, and USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

- USACE power teams, debris removal teams, temporary roofing teams and port survey personnel are on alert and ready in Florida and Georgia.

- DLA will support distribution of over 12 million meals over the next 10 days. All fuel requirements are met.

- Evacuation of American citizens. USSOUTHCOM has coordinated the evacuation of 1,904 persons (including 35 foreign nationals) over the past three days. DoD and DOS plan to evacuate all U.S. remaining U.S. citizens requesting evacuation today. Overnight SecDef approved a DOS request to evacuate U.S. citizens from the British Virgin Islands.

Monday, 11 September 2017 12:20

Special Session Ahead

By Rep. Rick West


Gov. Mary Fallin announced last week she plans to formally call for a special legislative session beginning Sept. 25. While this isn’t necessarily a surprise, it is clear we still have a few things to figure out before we head back to the Capitol.


As a reminder, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the cigarette “fee” lawmakers passed in the final week of session was, in fact, unconstitutional. The Legislature’s attempt to sneakily raise taxes on its people and the Court’s decision to overturn that attempt has knocked $215 million out of our state budget. That money was mostly for three agencies: The Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.


Special sessions don’t happen all that often for the Legislature. The last time we had one was in 2013 for lawsuit reform. And even though the governor hasn’t technically called for the session to convene yet (it is splitting hairs, to say the least), lawmakers will most likely be spending our final week of September trying to fix this $215 million hole.


As I see it, there are a few options. First, House Republican leadership has already announced an intention to vote again on a cigarette tax. I will vote no on this. If it receives 75 percent support in both the House and the Senate, and if the governor signs it, it will become law. If the bill doesn’t receive that much support but does get at least 51 votes in the House and a simple majority in the Senate, the bill will go to a vote of the people.


Another option would be to enact across-the-board cuts of approximately 2 percent for every state agency the Legislature funds. We could also line item certain agency budgets and then put in place targeted cuts.

There are a lot of ways to fix this problem, but finding consensus is almost always easier said than done. The budget has been an uphill battle this entire year, and the decisions made in these coming weeks will be tough calls as well.


No matter what path the Legislature takes, we would be smart to remember the economy is rebounding. Unemployment rates are down in nearly every Oklahoma county, including right here in LeFlore. I suspect that if we just let the economy roll, we may be on better footing sooner rather than later.


One thing is clear though: the waste in government must stop. The folks at Lake Wister State Park sent me some great information last week comparing what they pay through their contracted bids versus what the same items – or more – would get them at Walmart or Atwoods. “This is just a tip of an iceberg,” one lady wrote. “But it is a big chunk of ice.”


At the end of the day, I can’t bring myself to increase taxes when I know the government could streamline spending. It’s sickening to see this amount of waste and then to ask taxpayers to bear the brunt of more taxes in the midst of it, and I won’t do it.

A Public Service Announcement


LeFlore County Health Department will be hosting a multi-agency free health and safety fair for the citizens of LeFlore County. This event will take place at the Donald W. Reynolds Center in Poteau, on Friday, September 15, 2017, from 8:30 until 1:30. The health and safety fair is FREE to everyone and will offer FREE FLU SHOTS (for 6 months and up), FREE BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENINGS, FREE BLOOD SUGAR SCREENINGS AND FREE CHOLESTEROL CHECKS. Learn basic CPR in 10 minutes!


ALSO, there will be multiple tables of free information on: health related topics, mental health care, home health and hospice, physical therapy, breast cancer awareness, dental health, tobacco cessation, prescription drug/opioid abuse awareness, Veterans services, Red Cross, nutrition, prescription assistance, foster parent enrollment, grandparent foster care program, EMS, family emergency preparedness planning, blood drives and much, much more!

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit. This September we must concentrate our efforts on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities as well as others with access and functional needs. LeFlore County Emergency Management will be offering FREE WEATHER RADIOS. Also, Free Smoke Detectors will be given away (for qualifying families).


The following agencies are sponsoring the LeFlore County Free Health and Safety Fair to provide screenings and information to help individuals manage their health care and be prepared for emergencies: LeFlore County Health Department, Choctaw Nation Health Care, Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center, LeFlore County Emergency Management, LeFlore County EMS, Advantage Home Health and Hospice, Compassion Home Care/San Bois Hospice, KIBOIS Community Action Foundation, Department of Human Services, Elite Therapy, The Health and Wellness Center, LeFlore County Youth Services/TSET, Mercy Medical Care, Millennium Community Services, Keddo Area Agency on Aging, Veterans Services, Southeast Oklahoma Interlocal Cooperative Region 6 Prevention, LeFlore Regional Medical Reserve Corps Unit, Arkansas/Oklahoma Blood Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Center.


Remember, the LeFlore County FREE Health and Safety Fair will be held FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 from 8:30 until 1:30. FREE ADMISSION!! For more information, contact LeFlore County Health Department at 918-647-8601.



According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma Jimmie John Likowski, 48, of Hitchita, pled guilty to Felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition

A crime punishable by not more than 10 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000.00 fine or both.


The Indictment alleged that on or about May 21, 2017, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendant, Likowski, having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, did knowingly possess in and affecting commerce which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce.


The charge arose from an investigation by the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.


The Honorable Steven P. Shreder, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, accepted the plea and ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report.


Assistant United States Attorney John David Luton represented the United States.



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