Wednesday July 26, 2017

okw news logo

OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

  • Dee is always ready to serve

    Cakes and More Celebrates 20…

    Press Release from Poteau Chamber of Commerce

    Dee Milligan owner of Cakes and More celebrates her 20 year Anniversary…

    Submitted by Leslie J. Covey , Public Information Officer- Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore and SequoyahCounty Health…
  • Safely walking and riding a…

    By Leilana McKindra OSU Communications Specialist - Agricultural Communications Services

    STILLWATER, Okla. – When…
  • World Breastfeeding Week,…

    Peer Counselors Encourage Mothers to BreastfeedSubmitted by Leslie J. Covey, Public Information Officer Haskell,…
  • Plan to Obtain Back to School…

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) urges parents to avoid the last-minute scramble and long lines to get…
  • Decorating Wisely: Christmas…

    Well, some people are either going to love me or hate me for this week’s column, but it’s what’s on my mind--Christmas!…
  • The Pervasive Parenting…

    Press Release

    The Pervasive Parenting Sibshop meeting for September is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. This…
  • Child Well-being Advocates…

    By Joe Dorman

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman today expressed disappointment…
  • Function At The Junction

    Pervasive Parenting by Kodey Toney

    Function At The Junction if you want to know what you really look like ask a…
  • Myers Drive In – Good food,…

    If you are looking for a good hamburger in Poteau, well look no further than Myers Drive In.

    Myers Drive In has the…
  • Fourth of July Celebration with Ashton's work crew:   Erika Thomas, Krystle Sherrell, Ashton Wise, Brooke Grimsley

    Decorating Wisely: I hope you…

    By Glenda Wise

    I hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July! We hosted a celebration at our home with friends and…
  • OSDH Announces Rule Changes…

    According to a press release from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, a new design and safety standards for…
  • You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

    Pervasive ParentingBy Kodey Toney

    Since autism is a neurological disorder defined by a lack of language and social…
  • Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies…

    2 boxes Jiffy blueberry muffin mix4 oz cream cheese (softened)1 stick butter (softened)1/2 c light brown sugar, firmly…
  • Decorating Wisely: Fire Safety

    By Glenda Wise

    I’ve mentioned time and time again about my fear of running an appliance either while we’re gone or…
Health & Wellness
Monday, 24 July 2017 08:38



Submitted by Leslie J. Covey , Public Information Officer- Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore and SequoyahCounty Health Departments


LeFlore County Health Department is sponsoring a six-week workshop for people with diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. The workshop focuses on helping people take charge of their life by learning how to control this disease. According to the CDC, it is estimated that 30.3 million people have diabetes. That is 9.4% of the U.S. population.

By enrolling in the workshop, you will meet once a week for six weeks, have fun learning through games, activities and conversation, be involved in discussions to make sense of your blood sugar numbers plus, learn about nutrition, exercise, managing stress and much more.

LeFlore County Health Department is partnering with the “Health for Life”, an Everyone with Diabetes Counts Initiative to provide the most current information and to help people better understand this disease.

Learn how to take better care of your diabetes. SIGN UP TODAY!


To sign up, or for more information contact LeFlore County Health Department at 918-647-8601.

By Leilana McKindra OSU Communications Specialist - Agricultural Communications Services


STILLWATER, Okla. – When school begins this fall, many Oklahoma students will arrive by bus or car, while others will walk or ride bicycles, and that means keeping some important safety precautions in mind.

Walking and biking are easy, reliable ways to get anywhere, including to school, and are environmentally friendly and offer a great way to get in some physical activity, said Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension housing and consumer specialist.

“However, children can be at increased risk of injury because they’re smaller and can have trouble judging distances and speeds of cars,” Peek said. “They also generally don’t have a lot of experience with traffic laws.”

As a basic rule, walkers and bikers should obey all traffic signs, signals and laws, as well as any adult school crossing guards.

“Younger children who walk or ride their bikes to school and children who don’t know the rules of the road should be accompanied by an adult,” Peek said. “Keep in mind that in many states, bicycles are considered vehicles. Parents and caregivers also should check local and state laws to see if bicyclists can use the sidewalk.”

Regardless of the age of the children, family members should work together to map out the safest route from home to school.

“Parents and caregivers should talk with their children about sticking to the chosen route, not letting their friends talk them into taking shortcuts and not hitchhiking or accepting rides from people they don’t know or who weren’t sent by their parents,” Peek said.

Walkers should use sidewalks, if they are available. If not, keep to the shoulder of the road, facing traffic.

Meanwhile, bicycle riders should wear properly fitted bike helmets for protection from injury as well as brightly colored clothing to make them more visible to motorists.

Bikers should be predicable in their movements and go with the flow of the traffic, staying to the right and riding in a straight line, rather than weaving around cars.”

“Students riding their bikes to school should watch for road hazards such as potholes, storm grates, pools of water and other things that could cause them to lose control of their bikes,” Peek said. “Parking lots or other low-traffic areas are good places to practice riding to increase bike-handling skills such as riding in a straight line, stopping and signaling.”

Walkers and bikers should pay attention to their surroundings and keep distractions, such as cell phones or other electronic devices, to a minimum.

“Watch for parked, oncoming or moving vehicles when crossing driveways and intersections,” Peek said. “Use caution at intersections and crosswalks. Before crossing a street or intersection, stop and check the traffic. Only begin crossing when there is no traffic coming.”

For more information on bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at and contact your county Extension office.


Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Peer Counselors Encourage Mothers to Breastfeed
Submitted by Leslie J. Covey,  Public Information Officer Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore and Sequoyah County Health Departments


In Oklahoma, mother-to-mother support has proven to be one of the most successful approaches to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies. Since 2005, the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s WIC Peer Counselor Program has trained breastfeeding peer counselors to work in county health departments and provide one-on-one counseling for mothers wanting to breastfeed. These peer counselors have a passion for breastfeeding and a desire to help mothers have a positive breastfeeding experience. Since the program’s implementation, breastfeeding rates in pilot clinics have increased from 61.6 percent to 83.1 percent of mothers who initiate breastfeeding following childbirth.


The program has grown from four pilot clinics to 28 clinics in Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Creek, Custer, Delaware, Haskell, Kingfisher, LeFlore, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, McIntosh, Okmulgee, Ottawa, and Tulsa counties.

Research shows that there are many long-term health benefits for infants who are breastfed exclusively for six months or longer. These benefits reduce chronic diseases, such as obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and some childhood lymphomas and leukemia. Because of these health benefits, increasing breastfeeding rates has become a priority of the WIC program, as well as a benchmark to improving infant outcomes as part of Oklahoma’s “Preparing for a Lifetime – It’s Everyone’s Responsibility” infant mortality prevention initiative.

“I never expected to reap so many gratifying experiences from my work as a peer counselor. I have been able to assist so many mothers to successfully breastfeed their babies. I love the opportunity to positively influence a mother and her child’s life. It is definitely the most valuable work I have ever done,” said Amber DeWinter, WIC Peer Counselor in Comanche County.

During World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7, LeFlore County Health Department will be having a Breastfeeding bash on August 4th in our Community room. Pregnant and Breastfeeding moms are welcome to come celebrate World Breastfeeding Week at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m. Games, Door Prizes, and Fun to be expected, feel free to bring your children, Snacks and refreshments will be available.

In addition to the WIC Peer Counseling Program, Oklahoma has many programs, initiatives and laws that support breastfeeding mothers including the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline, the Breastfeeding Friendly Worksites recognition program, the new Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank, and the Baby-Friendly Hospital International Designation, which recently was awarded to the first Oklahoma Baby-Friendly Hospital, Claremore Indian Hospital. National and state laws also provide support for breastfeeding mothers in public places and in the workplace.

For more information about breastfeeding, visit the OSDH Breastfeeding website at or call the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline 1-877-271-MILK (6455).

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) urges parents to avoid the last-minute scramble and long lines to get their children’s birth certificates. Early August is usually the busiest time of the year to get birth records for children going back to school.

Birth records are available at three locations in the state: Oklahoma City - OSDH, 1000 N.E. 10th Street; Tulsa - James O. Goodwin Health Center, 5051 S. 129th East Ave.; and McAlester - Pittsburg County Health Department, 1400 East College Ave.

Parents can avoid the rush and plan to visit or contact these facilities now to obtain their children’s birth records. Birth certificates are issued between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays. It is recommended parents arrive early to avoid the long lines.

To obtain a copy of a birth certificate, qualified applicants will need to provide their government issued photo ID, the child’s full name, date of birth, place of birth, and parents’ full names (including the maiden name of the mother). Applications, as well as a complete list of authorized applicants, are available online at

The cost for a birth certificate is $15, which will provide for a search for the birth record and issuance of one certified copy of a birth certificate. Additional copies are $15 each. The search fee is not refundable or transferable. Adoptions, paternities, and other amendment requests may be subject to an additional administrative fee. Checks or money orders must be made payable to the Vital Records Service.

Eligible applicants can also apply for birth certificates by mailing their completed application, a copy of their government issued photo ID, and a check for the appropriate fees to: Vital Records Office, Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1000 N.E. 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117 (allow at least 8 weeks for receipt of the record).

While the OSDH does not accept internet orders directly, for your convenience, you may submit a request through VitalChek Network, Inc. at or by phone at 1-877-817-7364. An additional fee is charged by VitalChek for this service. All major credit cards are accepted.

For more information, visit or call (405) 271-4040.


Media inquiries should be directed to Cody McDonell at the OSDH Office of Communications at (405) 271-5601.

Press Release


The Pervasive Parenting Sibshop meeting for September is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. This meeting is designed to help children in eastern Oklahoma cope with the stress of living with a sibling with special needs. Meetings are held monthly throughout the area, and are open to children ages 6 to 15.

The meeting will be held at the Pervasive Parenting Center on the Poteau campus of Carl Albert State College, 1507 S. McKenna, Technical Occupational Building, Suite 502. The workshop will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

This is a FREE service and is open to siblings of children with ANY disability.

The children participate in games, crafts, and other activities throughout the day. They are also served a snack, and get to socialize with other children who are going through similar issues. The games are designed to be fun as well as allow them to open up about the problems they may have at home. It also gives them a chance to see the positive sides of having a sibling with a disability.

Sibshop is a national program created by Don Meyer as part of the Sibling Support Project. There are currently 340 Sibshops in eight countries.

If you have any questions contact Jennifer Toney @ 479-462-7508 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.“


Tuesday, 11 July 2017 09:15

Function At The Junction

Pervasive Parenting by Kodey Toney



Function At The Junction if you want to know what you really look like ask a person on the autism spectrum. This is because they are usually brutally honest and concrete thinkers. With this in mind I wanted to share some things I’ve learned in the past couple weeks from working with young-adults on the spectrum.

The Pervasive Parenting Center began a social group this summer for young adults on the spectrum. This is to help them prepare for “The Real World” as they start to think about education, jobs, living on their own, etc. My wife, Jennifer, and I are working with them a couple times a week, and we have four participants. It has been a great experience. The thing is, I’m learning as much, if not more, from them as they are from me.

I wanted to share a few of the, what I thought were, brilliant observations I’ve heard in the groups.

When we began talking about self-advocacy, we began on the subject of politics. This is something nobody really wants to cover. However, one of the group members described it in a way I feel most of us probably can relate. He summed it up by saying, “When I try to understand politics I feel like I’m walking out of a Michael Bay movie.”

I agree! We can usually come out of a conversation with someone about politics feeling confused, bitter, angry, and/or disappointed.

When we discussed moving into the “real world” the conversation went from living arrangements to getting a job, and finding friends. One of the members described real life like this: “After high school graduation I thought, ‘Great I will get away from all the drama,’ but I just graduated to the drama of life.”
So true. There is drama everywhere you turn.

We talked a little about disabilities and what that might mean. We kicked around the thoughts of the use of special needs, or disorders. I explained how Kruz said his brother has special abilities. One of the group members said that disability does not describe anyone, or who they really are as a person. This is what I try to explain to everyone in my trainings. However, another said that she feels like she just has an “alternate function”. I felt this was a great way to explain it.
I’ve reinforced some of the things that I already knew. One of these things is that people on the spectrum want jobs, friends, happiness, and to live meaningful lives. What a crazy concept. And with the help of society, they can.

More than anything they all explained that they want to be productive members of society. To be honest that is more than some people in society without an alternate function.

According to a press release from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, a new design and safety standards for hospital and ambulatory surgical center construction will go into effect Oct. 1. The standards administered by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) were adopted by the State Board of Health in February and approved by Governor Mary Fallin June 13.

The changes in OSDH standards for hospitals and surgical centers update building requirements to meet current national guidelines and Medicare and Medicaid safety codes. The revisions incorporate design, construction and safety innovations and improvements for health facilities. The changes replace OSDH design guidelines last updated in 1995 and safety codes last changed in 2000.

A new process for self-certification of plans will shorten the time required for OSDH approval of design and construction plans. Facilities and their architects and engineers will have the option to attest that their plans and specifications meet OSDH requirements. A facility meeting the criteria for self-certification may start construction as soon as 21 days after filing an application with OSDH. A self-certified facility accepts responsibility for making corrections if OSDH later finds the construction project does not meet guidelines and codes.

The amended rules establish a formal process for OSDH to grant exceptions and waivers of national guidelines. This change allows hospitals and surgical centers additional flexibility to make improvements in design and construction not contemplated in the current national guidelines.

The rule changes are a result of a collaborative effort between OSDH, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma Ambulatory Surgery Center Association and experts in architecture, engineering, law and project management to increase the speed of health care construction projects from “concept to market”. Since 2015, the group has developed and tested improvements in design and construction reviews for Oklahoma health care facilities and OSDH.

The changes will be codified in Chapters 310:615 and 310:677 of the Oklahoma Administrative Code maintained by the Secretary of State. The final rules will be published in the Oklahoma Register Sept. 1, and will be effective Oct. 1. Click here to access the Register.

Copies of the rules can be downloaded below by clicking the download icon

Tuesday, 04 July 2017 00:46

You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Pervasive Parenting
By Kodey Toney


Since autism is a neurological disorder defined by a lack of language and social skills I felt I should revisit some thoughts on communication.

This comes up because I've had some serious discussions lately with parents about their concerns with their child's speech delays. These are legitimate concerns. There is nothing harder than knowing your child can't tell you how they feel, what they need, or that they love you.

When Konner was younger and his speech regressed we were told he may never speak. Yes, I know how fortunate we are that he talks now.

I also know that being non-verbal doesn't mean non-communicative. I look at famous people on the spectrum like Carly Fleischmann and Naoki Higashida who have both written books despite being non-verbal. They have learned how to communicate through technology.

You see, communication isn't just speaking with your voice. In fact, part of the problem with communicating with someone on the spectrum is that we use body language and inflection in our voices to imply many things within our words. Those are things that those with autism have a hard time reading. Sarcasm and figures of speech are lost on many because they are concrete-thinkers. Things are very black-and-white.

Don't forget that behavior is communication. If I can't communicate my needs I'm going to be frustrated, I'm going to have anxiety. This is what causes many of the meltdowns.

As I said earlier in this column, I had a mom that was concerned because she wanted to hear her son's voice. I completely understand this. That, however, was only part of the problem. The communication barrier was causing behavior issues which turned into meltdowns.

I asked if they had tried other forms of communication like the pecs system or sign language. These are only a couple ways that have worked for families that we have worked with. A speech therapist can help with these things.

The mom said she didn't want her son to learn sign language because he would rely on those things, and she may never hear his voice. Again, this is a legitimate concern, but it's like crawling before walking. If they can tell you what they want you can possibly use that to curb the behaviors and spark verbal communication.

I'm not saying that every child will learn to speak. However, I also like to say, when you're talking about what someone on the spectrum can't do, always add "yet" to the end.


Kodey Toney, M.Ed Director

Page 1 of 31

Latest Events

Sponsored By:
Bandit Football Camp
Wed Jul 26 @ 6:30PM - 10:00PM
Cakes and More Open House
Thu Jul 27 @ 3:00PM - 06:00PM
Bandit Football Camp
Thu Jul 27 @ 6:30PM - 10:00PM