Saturday March 17, 2018

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  • Historic Downtown Poteau…

    Historic Downtown Poteau is offering some great events through the year and are looking for sponsors and volunteers to…

    Press release

    The Talihina Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center sponsored a ribbon cutting February 13, 2018 at…
  • Governor Mary Fallin Welcomes…

    Press release

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today said the decision by Google to invest an additional $600…
  • Talihina Chamber of Commerce…

    Press Release from Gail Caddell

    Talihina Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome Duncan Delights Bakery located at…
  • Darali Mixon, Jeff Shockley and Jim Mixon

    Jeff Shockley Joins United…

    United Country – Jim Mixon Realty is pleased to announce Jeff Shockley as a new sales associate/ broker.

  • Governor Mary Fallin…

    Press release

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced that Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.…
  • KTC offers some great…

    The Kiamichi Technology Center in Poteau is offering some great short-term classes.

    February 3, 2018 - Google Apps,…
  • Sign up now for Leadership…

    POTEAU, OKLAHOMA - It's time to sign up for Leadership LeFlore County 2018

    Leadership LeFlore County is a county wide…
  • EOMC Making an Impact in…

    POTEAU, OKLAHOMA - Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center in Poteau has been serving the needs of this community for over 60…
  • Chaffee Crossing – generating…

    Recently an Economic Summit was held in Poteau to help people become more educated on our local economy.

    The summit,…
  • Century 21 wins free…

    On Dec 8, 2017 the Poteau Chamber held their Annual Member Appreciation Open House.

    Members were treated to a large…
  • Chamber welcomes Jax’s BBQ as…

    The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Jax’s BBQ as new members.

    Jax's BBQ at Shady Point is locally…
  • Riverside Autoplex has some…

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Riverside Autoplex of Poteau! To help with the cost of all your…
  • Poteau Chamber welcomes…

    Poteau Chamber welcomes Carolyn’s Cheesecake House as members of the Poteau Chamber of Commerce.

    Carolyn’s is…
  • Poteau Chamber Welcomes Deep…

    The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Deep South Steakhouse as new member of the Poteau Chamber of…
Featured Business
Whatzup Politics
By Representative Brian Renegar, DVM HB 3440 by Gann (R)
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09 March 2018
Press release To be an effective leader in the Oklahoma
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07 March 2018
By Rep. Rick West   Tensions have been pretty
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By Rep. Rick West   Throughout the last few
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Press releaseState Budget Reforms OKLAHOMA CITY – Several
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17 February 2018
Press release OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Steve Kouplen, on
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Whatzup Politics

Whatzup Politics (1324)



OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Rick West welcomed Kaegan Clark as the high school page for House District 3 the week of March 12-15.


“Kaegan showed lots of promise while he was at the state Capitol,” said West, R-Heavener. “Not only was he actively involved in the legislative process, his fellow pages recognized him as page of the week. I know Kaegan is going to go on to do great things.”


House pages run messages to legislators while they are in the chamber debating policy and voting on measures.


Pages also participate in a mock session, in which they learn legislative procedure and how to write legislation.


Kaegan is a senior at Poteau High School and is the son of Dr. Jonathan Clark and Karna Clark.


This was Kaegan’s first time paging for the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

By Capitol Greetings by Representative Brian Renegar, DVMM

In the past it seems that a lot of bills on which I have reported have been taken as to be negative in nature. With that said I would like to report that HB 2772 by Osburn, Mike (R) Oklahoma City, which no longer requires “Hairbraiding Technician” to be registered with the State Cosmetology Board passed the House on Monday. Wow!! This has been long overdue and this is a “feel good” progressive move that will allow me to sleep better at night. I just want everyone in my district to know we are responsive to the needs of the people of Oklahoma. Nothing on education yet but hairbraiders licensing – Gone!!


Another feel good bill HB 2631 by Babinec (R) Cushing, will allow the Director of Corrections to wave requirements for hiring wardens with no experience. It’s about time we got some wardens that don’t know how to control inmates! I am thinking maybe people who work in donut shops would be more suited to protect us from felons. Of course, that’s just me, what do you think? I am sure this bill adds to the continuity of our Department of Corrections since our Director was hired by Governor Fallin and he had NO previous experience in the field of corrections.


One of the most common sense bills to come up for consideration is HB 3013 by Faught(R) Muskogee. This bill would exempt home schooled children from taking and passing the eighth grade reading proficiency test to acquire an Oklahoma Driver’s license. This bill passed the House so now public school and private school children have to pass the 8th grade proficiency test and home school children only have to have their parents sign a form that their children are exempt by being home schooled. On the House floor I asked the author if a parent of these home schooled children will be required to ride with the student so he/she can read the road signs. His answer was in the negative.


A real disappointment for me this week was failure to get a House vote on my bill  HB2655. This was merely a bill to extend the “sunset” date for the State Accrediting Agency. This is the agency that approves courses of on the job training, institutional on-farm training, apprentice training, war veterans programs or any other veterans training programs authorized by federal law. This agency has been running smoothly and has helped thousands of veterans get the training they need to reenter the work force after they either retire or are discharged from military service with the help of the GI bill. This bill passed unanimously out of committee and after multiple requests by me to the Floor Leader did not get a hearing simply because another agency (Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs) decided they wanted to usurp those responsibilities and administer the GI bill. They have told the personnel they won’t lose their jobs and if that is so, don’t you wonder why they (ODVA) need it under their umbrella?


Danny and Lee Baldwin came by this week and Jerry Pearce, Don Faulkner and Roy Griffin were here once again advocating for our veterans; thanks to all for dropping by.


Sure hope I left a good taste in your mouth with my report this week.


Phillipians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambitions or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Press release

Voters in LeFlore County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the April 3rd Cameron and Poteau Schools Special Election should apply now, County Election Board Secretary Sharon Steele said today. Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28th, Steele urged voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early.

Absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 103 N. Church St., Poteau. An online version of the form can be filled out and submitted electronically at: A print form can also be downloaded at that address.

Ballots must be in the hands of County Election Board officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

Steele said any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he/she is eligible to vote. However, a voter must be registered and reside at an address within the geographical boundaries of a school district or a municipality to be eligible to vote in school district or municipal elections. It is not necessary to give a reason for voting absentee.

"While anyone can vote absentee without giving a reason, the law still provides several advantages to absentee voters in some categories," Steele said.

By stating one of the following reasons on their applications, absentee voters can activate special conditions that make it easier for them to use absentee ballots. The reasons are:

• Voters who are physically incapacitated and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left unattended may vote absentee. They may apply only by mail, by fax, by email, online or via an agent who is at least 16 years of age and who is not employed by or related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to any person whose name appears on the ballot.


• Voters who are confined to nursing homes in the county may vote absentee. An Absentee Voting Board actually goes to the nursing home a few days before the election, sets up a small polling place and allows these persons to vote under circumstances similar to those at a regular precinct polling place. They may apply only by mail, by fax, by email, online or via an agent who is at least 16 years of age and who is not employed by or related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to any person whose name appears on the ballot.

• Military personnel and residents of the county living overseas and the spouses and dependents of each group are eligible receive absentee ballots. These voters may apply only by mail, fax, or by email. Military personnel should contact the Voting Service Officers in their units for application forms and additional information or visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website ( for more information and instructions. Residents of Oklahoma living overseas can obtain the same materials from any United States military installation and from United States Embassies and Consulates as well as on the FVAP website.

Press release

Brecheen says savings could fund $1,400 teacher pay raise


OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma leads 25 other states in the percentage of citizen’s personal income spent on welfare but is only higher than eight other states in the percentage spent on education funding. Sen. Josh Brecheen wants the state to shift its funding priorities.

The Senate approved his Senate Bill 1030 Monday afternoon to reform the state’s Medicaid program by lowering the working-age/able-bodied parent/caretaker Medicaid recipient income threshold to 20 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Currently, eleven other states have their threshold at 24 percent or lower while seven, including Texas and Arkansas, have theirs set below 20 percent.

“More of working Oklahomans’ money is spent on welfare than education. We need to change this and using other state models to make such reallocations is a great start,” said Brecheen, R-Coalgate. “Lowering the threshold for those who are able to work will result in $84 million in annual savings, which could be used to fund a $1,400 teacher pay raise, and do so without raising taxes on working families.”

There are approximately 106,000 Oklahomans who are a part of the parent/caretaker group receiving Medicaid coverage who are able-bodied/working aged adults 19 to 64 and are not pregnant, nursing, disabled or blind. Thirty-two percent of those recipients are male and 25 percent are two adults living in the same home and both receiving Medicaid coverage.

Eligibility for parent/caretaker Medicaid coverage is dependent upon having children, not income alone. However, fifteen percent of the parent/caretaker group is made up of 19 year olds who have no dependents.

SB 1030 now moves to the House for further consideration.

Press release

WASHINGTON—Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) will hold a telephone town hall for Oklahomans on Monday, March 19th at 7:00pm CDT. The call will last approximately one hour.

“When I’m in Washington, I hold telephone town halls so that I can hear directly from my constituents about issues that matter to their families,” Mullin said. “During the event, I’ll provide an update on what’s happening in Washington, take any questions you might have, and get your feedback on the work I’m doing in Congress on your behalf. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!”

Oklahomans can dial 877-229-8493, Passcode: 111439 to join the call. Participants can also sign up to be called when the event starts by visiting

*Please be advised that all telephone town halls are subject to last minute cancellation due to votes on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. In the event of a cancellation, Congressman Mullin’s Facebook and Twitter pages will provide the update.

Please call Congressman Mullin’s Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-2701 with any questions or for more information.

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman


There is nothing more important for Oklahoma’s children and the future of our state than ensuring every child has access to a good education. Education is a fundamental building block for a successful and fulfilling life; lack of education is often the driving force behind poverty, poor health and social problems.


It goes without saying that Oklahoma’s ability to recruit and retain quality teachers in our public school system is immensely important. Unfortunately, extremely low teacher salaries and poor working conditions are driving some of our most talented education professionals out of state and destroying the morale of those who choose to say.


Oklahoma’s teachers are taking matters into their own hands with a planned Teacher Walkout on April 2.


At OICA, we are glad there is a spotlight being put on education and teacher pay, but we also want to ensure children do not fall through the cracks while schools are temporarily closed.


Currently, 436,000 children in Oklahoma are participants in the National Free and Reduced Lunch Program according to data from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Many of these children are also supported by backpack programs which send food home over the weekend for families in need. Obviously, those resources are unavailable when schools are closed.


To fill that gap in services, the Regional Food Bank is preparing and distributing boxes of food to impacted families. We know there are a lot of other groups offering resources like this to parents as well, and we want to help them. Organizations that are offering services to children and families can contact OICA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in order to have their information listed by community. Once uploaded, Oklahomans will be given options listed at on where their children can be taken during the day for child care and food services while parents/guardians are at work.


Teacher pay in Oklahoma is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and requires the attention of our lawmakers and our state. We are proud of the Oklahoma organizations working to care for children and lessen the impact on families while this important public policy discussion takes place.



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.“


Press release

DURANT – Governor Mary Fallin today helped welcome Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to Oklahoma, where he visited here with members of the Choctaw Nation who donated money to Irish famine relief in 1847.

While in Oklahoma, Varadkar personally thanked Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton for the contribution made by his ancestors and announced a scholarship program that will allow members of the Choctaw Nation to come to Ireland to study. The prime minister made his comments during an event in which the Choctaw Nation presented traditional cultural and sporting performances.

“I appreciate Prime Minister Varadkar for coming to Oklahoma to thank descendants of the Choctaw Nation for collecting money to assist his forefathers in the mid-1800s during the potato famine,” said Fallin. “His visit demonstrates this unique relationship between the two nations. His arrival just ahead of St. Patrick’s Day helps illustrate the bonds of compassion and strength that unite them.”

On March 23, 1847, members of the Choctaw Nation raised $170 for Irish potato famine relief, an incredible sum at the time worth in the tens of thousands of dollars today.

Members of the Choctaw Nation visited Ireland in June 2017 to join in the unveiling of Kindred Spirits, a monument commemorating the bond between Ireland and the Choctaw Nation. In 1995, Ireland's then-president, Mary Robinson, visited the tribal complex here.

The Choctaw Nation has a history of deprivation themselves. Sixteen years after being forced off their lands in 1831 and forced to make a 500-mile trek to present-day Oklahoma, the Choctaws learned of people starving in Ireland. Having faced hunger and death on their Trail of Tears, tribal members raised money to help provide relief to the Irish people.




By Rep. Rick West


Throughout the last few weeks, I’ve been hearing from people who say that I don’t support teachers. That’s just not true.


Over the past five months, I’ve been working my tail off on House Bill 3440. This is the measure that directs the Commissioners of the Land Office to essentially double down on its mission of supporting common education. Just last year, the CLO had more than $175 million in unrealized gains. Why not take a portion of that money and put it toward teacher salaries?

This measure would help get educators the raise they deserve while protecting low- and middle-income earners from higher taxes. It would not take away or divert any money schools are already receiving, and it is constitutional. This is the right bill to help our teachers out.


My colleague Rep. Gann has led the charge with this bill, and I’m proud to stand by him. By the time you read this (due to print deadlines), HB3440 should have been heard on the House. My intention is to follow the measure through until I see Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature on the bottom line. Teachers deserve a raise they don’t have to fund themselves.


In addition to HB3440, the House has also approved bills that generate funds to help fund a teacher pay raise. For example, I voted on HB3375 last week, which reworks our tribal gaming compact. Estimates show this should raise about $24 million in the upcoming fiscal year. The House’s Romney-lite bill (HB2403) is awaiting a hearing in the Senate. That could generate $106 million annually. There are options on the table. Let’s get them done.


Instead of demanding vulnerable Oklahomans hand over more of their paychecks, why don’t we consider all other options? Let’s do something with the bill verifying Medicaid enrollment and save some cash there.


It feels a little ridiculous to even have to say this, but here it goes: I would not have spent so many hours working on the CLO bill if I didn’t believe our teachers deserve the best. I am for teachers. I am for quality education –primary, secondary and post-secondary.


I had the pleasure of attending the Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s legislative luncheon with Carl Albert State College regents on March 10. Speaker Charles McCall and I were both there, and I am grateful for the conversations I had with attendees. Your concerns and hopes for our higher education system are not lost on me. I’m fighting for you every day.


One final note: I also stand with state employees. I plan to support an increase to retirement systems when it hits the floor later this week. This measure will provide a bit of relief for many of our LeFlore County residents who dedicated their careers to the state, and I will gladly support any bill that provides our retirees a cost of living adjustment.


As a reminder, I’m on KPRV Thursday mornings at 7:35 catching listeners up with what’s happening in Oklahoma City


You can always reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 405-557-7413. Thanks, and God bless.



Being Pro-Education And Pro-Conservative Values - 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 votes

Press release


Oklahoma has long protected schools, day care centers and parks with “zones of safety” aimed at keeping convicted sex offenders away from potential victims. But a case in Bristow brought attention to a loophole in the law—a loophole Sen. James Leewright, R- Bristow, and Rep. Kyle Hilbert, R-Depew, are working to close this legislative session. Senate Bill 1221 was approved unanimously by the full Senate on Monday.

“There was a situation in Bristow where a convicted sex offender actually moved in next door to his victim. As you can imagine, this was an extremely traumatizing situation, but current law doesn’t prohibit it,” Leewright said. “The victim, Danyelle Dyer, and her family were forced to go to court to seek a protective order, but we wanted to permanently address such situations through our statutes.”

Current law prohibits sex offenders from residing or loitering within a 2,000 foot radius of any public or private school site, education institution, children’s organization, playground or park. SB 1221 would expand the zone of safety to prohibit the offender from loitering within 1,000 feet of the victim’s home or from living within 2,000 feet of the victim’s residence.

“By coming forward, Danyelle has actually brought attention to a loophole that wasn’t just a problem in Oklahoma, but in most every other state as well. Since this legislation was filed, Representative Hilbert and I have been contacted from many other states hoping to enact similar laws thanks to Danyelle’s courage and advocacy,” Leewright said.

SB 1221 will now move to the House for further consideration. A similar measure, House Bill 1124, is awaiting a floor vote in that chamber.

By Congressman Markwayne Mullin

It is no secret that President Trump supports products being made in America. He is a strong advocate for bringing back the middle class by returning manufacturing jobs to the states. A ‘Made in America’ comeback would revive the manufacturing industry we’ve slowly been losing to other countries and boost the economy and workforce.

Last week, President Trump announced that he would introduce a 25 percent tax on imported steel and a 10 percent tax on imported aluminum. As one can imagine, this ruffled feathers in the halls of Congress. Some members of Congress believe the president is unquestionably starting a trade war. Others believe the time to return manufacturing jobs in the rust belt and across industrial America is long overdue. I believe President Trump is starting a conversation to ensure America remains a key player in competitive manufacturing and trade. However, we have to make sure that these tariffs do not have unintended consequences, such as making exceptions for products that cannot be made in the United States.

President Trump isn’t starting a trade war, and if you think he is—you’re blind to the fact that we are already in the middle of one. Last year, the United States grew its trade deficit to $566 billion. The president is bringing everyone to the negotiating table. After the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last December, we now have one of the most competitive tax codes in the world. It’s important that we use it to our advantage when it comes to trading goods with other countries. While other countries will continue to look out for their own best interests, I’m grateful President Trump is looking out for ours.

When our car manufacturers market cars in China, there is a 25 percent tariff added to the cost. This is not free or fair trade. However, China believes they shouldn’t be paying tariffs on products that come to the United States. Other countries feel similarly. The trade deals these countries operate under are drastically in their favor. These countries want free trade when it comes to trading with the United States, but they do not extend the same to us when we try to sell products to their countries. They claim they do this in order to protect their working class. Shouldn’t we be doing the same?

President Trump is a negotiator. He was elected by the American people because he is a businessman aiming to Make America Great Again, not a politician who is loyal to a political party but is loyal to the American working class. Our international trade deals are outdated and in need of renegotiation. This is exactly what President Trump was elected to do: negotiate a deal that works in the best interests of the American people.


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