Wednesday November 22, 2017

okw news logo

OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

  • Ding Dong Cake

    Here is what you will need to make the best Ding Dong Cake

    1 box devils food cake mix--Prepared and baked in 2 round…
  • The Lumberjack Café Tuesday…

    The Tuesday November 21st Lunch Special at the Lumberjack Café is:

    Pork & Sauerkraut or Meatloaf w/ Sauce.

  • I’ll Be There For You

    Pervasive Parenting - by Kodey Toney

    We (the Pervasive Parenting Center) have recently started something that I’ve…
  • My niece, Brittany Lewis and her fiancé, Larami Marion.

    Decorating Wisely: Christmas…

    By Glenda Wise

    We had the best time last weekend taking pictures at the Pine Grove Christmas Tree Farm in…
  • November is Adoption…

    Press release

    OKLAHOMA CITY - November is National Adoption Awareness Month. In Oklahoma, there are over 600 children…
  • Dream A Little Dream

    Pervasive ParentingBy Kodey Toney

    I feel like I need to share a story about a local girl who has overcome so much to…
  • Decorating Wisely:…

    By Glenda Wise

    Our little Friendsgiving get together is fast approaching. We’ve got the menu all planned, timing of…
  • Wynnewood Care Center…

    Press release

    WYNNEWOOD – Oklahoma’s Wynnewood Care Center, a skilled nursing facility that is home to 25 elderly…
  • Decorating Wisely: Natural…

    By Glenda Wise

    I hope you all had a fantastic Halloween. There were so many awesome events around our community. One…
  • LeFlore County Health…

    The staff at LeFlore County Health Department would like to say “Thank you” to all of the citizens in LeFlore County…
  • Kitti Asberry

    DHS Practice & Policy Lecture…

    Press release

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Defining and establishing leadership styles in business and public service will be the…
  • Time After Time

    Pervasive Parenting by Kodey Toney

    The concept of time is lost on Konner. Not necessarily the idea of what time it…
  • Decorating Wisely: Countdown…

    By Glenda Wise

    Halloween is fast approaching and guess what that means?! The Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas…
  • OICA Thanks Senate for…

    Press release

    OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) thanked lawmakers in the State…
  • OSU App Center creates app to…

    Jeff Joiner, Research Communications Oklahoma State University

    (STILLWATER, Okla., Oct. 24, 2017) – The Oklahoma…
Health & Wellness
Sunday, 19 November 2017 21:25

I’ll Be There For You

Pervasive Parenting - by Kodey Toney


We (the Pervasive Parenting Center) have recently started something that I’ve wanted to do for several years now. We have begun the Pervasive Peers program in Panama Middle School.


This is a pilot program that we hope will grow throughout the area and into other schools.

This is a peer mentoring group that we have started to bring awareness and acceptance into the schools, and in turn into communities. Each program will be individual in that they get to name their group.


This group of 7th and 8th graders have decided on Panama Ambassadors of Random Kindness, or P.A.R.K. For short. We used the National Honor Society students to start the program.

So far they have gone through disability acceptance training as well as autism basics. The students seemed to really enjoy the autism training, and came away with a better understanding of what their peers on the spectrum may be going through.

For Bully Awareness Month the group learned skits about disability acceptance and performed them in the elementary schools.

They also work in leadership skills, and help to curb bullying in the school.

Several have agreed to volunteer as unified partners for the local Special Olympics program. This will include riding on a float with the Special Olympics athletes during the Christmas parade.

I have to thank Panama Schools for allowing us to start this program in the school. This especially includes Grant Ralls, Jamie Hoffman, Felisha McKensie, and Jennifer Toney. Also, the students have been amazing, so a big thanks to them.


Monday, 13 November 2017 16:05

November is Adoption Awareness Month

Press release


OKLAHOMA CITY - November is National Adoption Awareness Month. In Oklahoma, there are over 600 children and youth in foster care who are waiting for their forever families.


“No child should have to grow up without a family,” said Tricia Howell, Deputy Director for Foster Care and Adoptions.


Each November, National Adoption Month brings awareness to the needs of children and youth waiting for their permanent families. Children need and deserve to be in families. DHS needs families who are open-minded and willing to take sibling groups, teens and kids with special needs. These are the children who are hardest to place and who need special families willing to meet them where they are. By saying yes to adoption, families and individuals can create the stable family connections that will set the stage for a successful adulthood for children and youth in foster care.


“As Oklahomans, we know our children are our most precious resource, which is reflected through the wonderful families who step up to adopt. A loving and stable family provides the nurturing and healing that will forever change not only the child but the family as well,” said Howell.


Last fiscal year, DHS finalized adoptions for 2,577 children and youth, giving them a permanent home. This was the highest number of adoptions in a single fiscal year since 1998.


For more information about how to adopt through DHS or become a foster parent, call 800-376-9729 or visit


Sunday, 12 November 2017 22:08

Dream A Little Dream

Pervasive Parenting
By Kodey Toney


I feel like I need to share a story about a local girl who has overcome so much to achieve one of her dreams recently.

Patience Wilson is a girl that I have known for a couple years now, and she never ceases to amaze me with her determination and drive.

You see, a few years back she was in a horrendous car wreck that left her with a traumatic brain injury. While the healing process has been ongoing, she has already come so far from where she was supposed to be. She and her family were told that they she may never speak or walk again. There were many things they were told, but with hard work, she has recently competed in Special Olympics events, which she not only loves, but has excelled at. She made it to the State Games this summer in the 100 meter run, but was disappointed when it got rained out.

But, as with everything else, she sat her sights on the next big thing. This time it was the Miss Panama pageant.

Saturday night she walked across the stage to compete in the Little Miss division. She said she wanted to compete to show people that just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t be like everyone else, and follow your dreams.

As she walked across the stage her gait was a little different from the other girls. She has a bit of a noticeable limp, and her arm draws up slightly by her side because of her injury. However, her smile and confidence seemed to lift her across the floor, and were stronger than most of the other kids. That smile grew even larger when she saw me sitting in the corner of the stage running sound and working the curtain. She forgot that she was supposed to be working the crowd long enough to give me a wave.

I wasn’t the only one that she made feel special that night though. She was the only girl to receive a standing ovation.

Oh, did I mention, she won her division?

Patience is the epitome of what I preach every week. You can’t stop anyone if they are determined to achieve their dreams. The only thing holding someone with a disability back is themselves.

Congratulations Patience.



Dream A Little Dream - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Press release


WYNNEWOOD – Oklahoma’s Wynnewood Care Center, a skilled nursing facility that is home to 25 elderly residents, has closed its doors amid ongoing state and federal budget cuts. The home’s operator said that costs for medical care and treatment continue to rise while funding for the state’s Medicaid program continues to fall, making the facility’s finances untenable.


BK Strategies, a health care company headquartered in Ada, oversees operations of the Wynnewood home and several other skilled nursing facilities in Oklahoma. CEO Bart Reed said his staff worked to minimize the hardship to both his residents and employees.


“We were able to find all our residents homes and our employees jobs. However, this is still a major disruption for the residents, who had to leave their homes and home town. It’s a burden on family members that visit, some of whom are elderly themselves. Our employees are also going to face additional travel costs and longer commutes.”


Reed said the announcement of across-the-board cuts to the state’s Medicaid agency will likely trigger more nursing home closures, leaving many facilities with very few options.


“As nursing homes across the state close due to funding shortages, families are being forced to move their loved ones to other counties, to hospitals, or to find a way to care for them in their homes,” said Reed. “Most of our residents are sick and require around-the-clock care. We are talking about taking away their homes and uprooting their lives when they are in an extremely vulnerable state. That is no way to treat people.”

Reed said a home closure can also be a major economic blow to a community.


“It’s really sad what this causes in a lot of small towns,” he said. “A home closure means putting one of the largest local employers out-of-business.”


Skilled nursing facilities employ around 19,000 caretakers in Oklahoma. Approximately 70 to 75 percent of all residents at skilled nursing facilities rely on Medicaid as their form of payment. Oklahoma’s Medicaid reimbursement rate, at just 53 percent of the federal Medicare rate, is one of the lowest in the nation. The average facility loses $300,000 per year on Medicaid recipients. Since 2010, state and federal budget cuts to Oklahoma nursing homes have totaled $93 million, putting many homes at risk of closure.


Gay Lynne Vincent, a Wynnewood Care Center resident since 2015, has now moved to Purcell Care Center. She says the state is failing in its duty to care for elderly residents.


“You never think that at my age you are going to have to deal with a problem like this,” she said. “I worked and paid taxes all my life, and like everyone else here I expected the state to do its part. I don’t think our lawmakers realize that people like me literally just had to find a new home.”


Additional state cuts to Oklahoma nursing homes are expected to go into effect on December 1, 2017. Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers President and CEO Nico Gomez has said the cuts could jeopardize the financial stability of over half of those homes.


“We appreciate the legislators who are taking this crisis seriously and have voted for revenue raising measures that can stabilize our nursing homes,” said Gomez. “We need action now. Budget cuts and the ongoing budget crisis have created a terrible situation for some of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable and elderly residents.”



Gay Lynne Vincent moved to the Purcell Care Center after the Wynnewood Care Center informed residents it was closing.


The Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers represents the interest of more than 18,000 residents and 19,000 professionals that work in Oklahoma’s long-term care facilities. The mission of OAHCP is to assist its members in providing the highest quality care to the seniors, individuals with disabilities and vulnerable Oklahomans who live in our facilities. We advocate for the enhancement of that care so that Oklahoma long-term care residents may live in the comfort and dignity they deserve. For more information please visit



The staff at LeFlore County Health Department would like to say “Thank you” to all of the citizens in LeFlore County who participated in the community and school influenza vaccination events during October. Proper hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes along with taking a flu shot has proven to be the best prevention of influenza each year.


We would also like to thank all school staff that helped with the organization of the events at school, Pocola City Hall, City of Poteau for the use of the Donald W. Reynolds Center to hold the drive through flu shot event. Also, thanks go to our local media-Poteau Daily News, Heavener Ledger, OKWelcome, and Poteau Chamber of Commerce for the advertising.


And many thanks go to Choctaw Nation Health Care for providing the vaccine and their help during the events.


Thank you,

Leslie J. Covey
Public Information Officer
Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore and Sequoyah
County Health Departments

Press release


OKLAHOMA CITY – Defining and establishing leadership styles in business and public service will be the topic of the November Practice & Policy Lecture Series presented by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). “Leaders Matter: Women and Men in Leadership Positions” will be held Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City. The lecture is free and open to the public. Individuals who registered for the lecture prior to Oct. 29 should be aware the speaker and topic have changed.


Kitti Asberry is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and a longtime community activist and volunteer. Asberry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix. In addition, she is a 1986 graduate of the George Meany School of Political Science and Labor Studies in Washington, D.C.


Asberry will discuss leadership as a process of social influence and strategies to refine and practice leadership styles for women and men in the public and private sectors.


The Practice & Policy Lecture Series has been developed to provide thought-provoking presentations on Oklahoma's emerging policy issues, trends and best practices. The series is sponsored by the DHS Office of Performance Outcomes and Accountability (OPOA) and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management with the goal of providing the best educational opportunities available in a forum that offers participants an opportunity to question, share and learn from one another.


DHS staff can receive training credit for this event. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for social worker professionals. For more information and registration, visit or contact the DHS Office of Performance Outcomes and Accountability at 405-521-3552 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Monday, 30 October 2017 00:15

Time After Time

Pervasive Parenting by Kodey Toney


The concept of time is lost on Konner. Not necessarily the idea of what time it is, or how we track time, but more of the colloquial use of the terms. This is because he, like many people on the spectrum are so literal that everything is black or white. There is no gray area.

This morning I made breakfast. As I pulled the bacon off of the griddle I sat it in a plate on the counter to cool off.
Konner asked, “Can I have some bacon?”
I replied, “in just a second. It’s really hot and needs to cool.”
I walked in the other room to do something else and came back.
Konner said to me, “I already ate some bacon.”
When I asked why he said that I had told him he could eat it in a second, and it had been more than a second.
This is pretty typical with him. If you say we are going somewhere in a minute he will be ready in 60 seconds. He is very impatient too.

When we put on the C.L.E.E.T. trainings for law enforcement we remind them of this. If they are going to tell someone on the spectrum to wait a minute don’t be surprised if they start to talk or walk in about 60 seconds.

And they’re not being sarcastic. They just take everything at face value.

I’ve talked in the past about how figures of speech are hard for them. This is why speech therapists work with them on understanding idioms. The same is true for time concepts.


Thursday, 26 October 2017 22:16

OICA Thanks Senate for Bipartisan Proposal


Press release


OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) thanked lawmakers in the State Senate for passing a resolution supporting a budget deal that would include both a cigarette tax and an increase in the Gross Production Tax on oil and natural gas.


“The Senate’s bipartisan resolution endorsing an increase in the Gross Production Tax demonstrates that Republicans and Democrats can work together to find common ground," said OICA CEO Joe Dorman. "OICA is asking lawmakers to continue to work across party lines to prevent massive cuts to agencies that directly support Oklahoma children. We cannot allow political partisanship to hold hostage the delivery of health and mental health services that kids and families rely on.”


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


Jeff Joiner, Research Communications Oklahoma State University


(STILLWATER, Okla., Oct. 24, 2017) – The Oklahoma State University App Center has developed a mobile app for information about household health risks that professionals can share with individuals who want help in identifying indoor environmental hazards.


OSU designed the Healthy Homes Partners app for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD, which is among the key federal agencies and national sources for information about household hazards such as mold contamination, carbon monoxide poisoning, lead exposure, asthma triggers and other risks.


Rather than a consumer guide, the Healthy Homes Partners app puts technical information and guidance in the hands of housing experts and health care providers who advise people living with dangerous health conditions.

“It allows indoor environmental health professionals to help their clients navigate common residential health hazards and identify sources, find mitigation and removal recommendations and find more information from federal agencies,” said Dr. Michael Goldschmidt, national director of the Healthy Homes Partnership and associate teaching professor and state extension housing specialist at the University of Missouri in Columbia. “The app provides the stakeholder with specific action steps to use with their clients and a room-by-room checklist.”


Participants in app testing said the checklist is one of its most valuable features. During home visits, housing experts will use the app to advise clients while inspecting each room of the home. The app then generates a report with recommendations.


Until now, that information was only available in online or in printed publications, but updating material was slow. The mobile app makes updating the information faster. For example, the app can be revised rapidly as recommendations change for what is considered dangerous blood lead levels in children.


“We were able to take feedback from beta testing and add improvements that the partners really liked, such as the checklist,” said Jai Rajendran, head of the OSU App Center and technology and business development manager for the university’s Technology Development Center. “Working with a large government agency like HUD was valuable for the developers because they got to know how to interact with a large client and manage a project this size.”

For OSU App Center student interns, who work as developers and designers, experience working with mobile apps of varying complexities, both with university and off-campus projects, provides valuable career training and grows the center’s abilities. “The App Center is a good resource for projects from any size organization,” said Rajendran.


Funding to develop the informational app was awarded to OSU through a competitive grant from the HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, its Healthy Homes Partnership, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The Healthy Homes Partnership is made up of university extension services and federal agencies.


“Based on our resources at the App Center, I knew we had a good chance of securing the grant,” said Dr. Gina Peek, OSU assistant professor and housing and consumer specialist and the grant applicant. “The App Center worked with HUD partners to developed something that many people today prefer to use to receive information.”


The free Healthy Homes Partnership app is available for iOS smartphones and tablets and can be downloaded from the Apple Store at


Consumer information about home health risks is available at



Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.

Page 1 of 35

Latest Events

Sponsored By:
Thanksgiving Day
Thu Nov 23 @12:00AM
Second Chances Holiday Open house
Fri Nov 24 @10:00AM - 06:00PM
Poteau Chamber Lunch & Learn
Thu Nov 30 @12:00PM - 01:00PM