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Saturday December 15, 2018

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  • Members of the Poteau Chamber Commerce and community join James White of J-N-S for a ribbon cutting

    J-N-S Janitorial Joins Poteau…

    The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce J-N-S Janitorial Service as new member of the Chamber.

    If you…

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  • Chamber Welcomes Premier…

    Poteau Chamber of Commerce Welcomed a new Business to the Poteau Area.

    Premier Primary Care.

    Friends and Staff joined…

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  • Local Bank Honors Veterans

    By Britney Hambright, The Community State Bank -Spiro Branch

    On Friday, November 9, 2018, The Community State Bank…

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  • Governor Mary Fallin reads from a plaque she presented Friday to Eric DeMarco, president and chief executive officer of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the company's new 100,000-square-foot unmanned aircraft production facility in the Will Rogers Business Park in Oklahoma City.

    Kratos Defense & Security…

    Press release

    Governor Mary Fallin Helps Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Cut Ribbon on its New 100,000-Square-Foot…

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  • .  Great vendors were at this years fall festival.

    30th Talihina Fall Festival…

    By Vera Nelson, Talihina Chamber of Commerce

    This year’s Talihina Fall Foliage Festival was a great success. There…

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  • The Rock Island Plow building in Oklahoma City, site of Rural Sourcing's software development center. (PHOTO BY TIM SOAR PHOTOGRAPHY)

    Governor Mary Fallin Welcomes…

    Press release

    OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Mary Fallin today welcomed the announcement by Rural Sourcing, the leading…

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  • Haunting Good Time at Strike…

    If you are looking for something “Haunting do this Halloween Season, then check out Strike A Lot Lanes in Poteau. They…

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  • Chamber Welcomes McKimmey…

    The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce McKimmey Marketing and Productions LLC. as new members to the…

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  • STORE WIDE LIQUIDATION SALE!!

    Poteau, OKLAHOMA - Due to health reasons, the Peppercorn Antiques in downtown Poteau is going out of business.

    The…

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  • Pictures are Heather Baldwin, Shiloh Freeman, LaDonna Burdett, Loren Burdett, Brittany Freeman, Scott Sparks, Chase McDonald and Karen Wages, with the Poteau Chamber.

    Poteau Chamber welcomes L&L…

    The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce L & L Fencing and Construction as new members of the Poteau…

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  • Governor Mary Fallin…

    Press release

    Company to work to create high-tech jobs, partnerships with area universities

    OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor…

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  • Commercial Building for Rent…

    6,400 sq/ft of prime commercial real estate located at 806 S Broadway in Poteau for rent for only…

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  • Russell Cellular Holds Grand…

    Poteau, OKLAHOMA - The Poteau Chamber of Commerce welcomes Russell Cellular with a ribbon cutting during the Grand…

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  • Talihina City Wide Yard Sale…

    Press release by Heather Roughton

    Talihina City Wide Yard Sale and Fun DayAugust 4, 2018 7am – Until ?

    Time is…

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  • Meet Some Local #bossbabes &…

    I’ve seen #bossbabe on Twitter & Facebook for quite awhile now. I couldn’t find the term #bossguy, so I guess maybe I…

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Whatzup Politics

Whatzup Politics (1558)

Press release

 

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Following public outcry about school funding and concern over high administrative salaries, Sen. Ron Sharp filed legislation Friday to make superintendent salaries a completely local decision. Senate Bill 60 would require superintendent salaries and fringe benefits to be paid with only district (ad valorem dollars) and dedicated local funds. The bill would stop any state appropriated dollars from being used for the salaries in order for them to be diverted to the classroom.


“Schools boards already decide how much their administrators make but this bill would ensure that not only will the decision be completely local but the funds for them will be as well,” said Sharp, R-Shawnee. “I think when school boards have to use their local funds for superintendent salaries they’ll be more fiscally conservative and we’ll see more state funds going into the classrooms where they should be.”


SB 60 would apply to those positions coded under the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System (OCAS) as a superintendent or elementary superintendent. It would prohibit the board of education of an independent district or an elementary school district (a dependent district) from entering into a new contract or renewing a contract with a superintendent using state-appropriated dollars for salary or fringe benefits after July 1, 2019.


If a superintendent is also a principal, counselor or part-day teacher, the bill would only apply to the portion of his/her salary that is “coded” as superintendent. Any other job titles would still be paid with state dollars.


“This should also encourage administrative consolidation among districts if local dollars are insufficient to pay for superintendent salaries,” explained Sharp. “It will make these salaries and fringe benefits a 100% local decision as it should be.”
Sharp noted that the legislature does not set or control administrative salaries. It only sets the minimum teacher salary schedule. SB 60, however, would ensure that local districts would not only control the decision but the funds that pay for superintendent salaries.

 

 


By Congressman Markwayne Mullin


With the Christmas parades beginning and holiday decorations lining our towns, it is certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas. For my family, Christmas means getting the whole family together to have good food, play games of tag in the yard, and generally, to just be together.


Unfortunately, there are military families across the country that won’t have the chance to be together this Christmas. The men and women currently deployed around the world will dutifully be standing watch on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day—and every other day of the year—to protect Americans like us.


Still, there are numerous ways to show support for the men and women of our Armed Forces. One way is to participate in ‘R.E.D. Friday.’ R.E.D. stands for Remembering Everyone Deployed. The initiative’s mission is to encourage an outward display of support for all of the service members defending our freedoms and protecting our country. Companies like Raytheon, who has a presence at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant and in Lawton, Fort Sill, and Oklahoma City, participate in company-wide R.E.D. Fridays. This Christmas season, consider organizing a R.E.D. Friday at your office or school.


Remembering those deployed shouldn’t end when they return home safely, as we must continue to remember the sacrifice of those who gave all. Another way to honor the service of our men and women in uniform is to participate in a veterans event in your area. This year, Wreaths Across America is coming to Claremore for the first time to lay Christmas wreaths on the graves of every veteran at Woodlawn Cemetery. There will also be a wreath laying at Fort Gibson National Cemetery and a ceremony at Oak Hill Cemetery in McAlester. All are encouraged to join the event by volunteering a few hours of their day celebrating the lives of American veterans.


This Christmas season, I hope you’ll join me in remembering those who are deployed and the veterans who have served. My office has plans to hold our own R.E.D. Friday and participate in the Wreaths Across America in Washington, D.C. After all, we owe our men and women in uniform for our silent nights.

 

 

Press release

 

Oklahoma has a ban on tobacco products for public and private school buildings and vehicles. After conducting an interim study this fall, state Sen. J.J. Dossett has filed legislation for the 2019 session that would extend that ban to vaping.


“If you look at the studies coming out from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, there is clear evidence that vaping is harmful to adolescents. It gets kids addicted to nicotine which can harm their still-developing brains. It’s a fact that nicotine can affect decision making and impulse control. It can change the way synapses are formed, and it impacts attention and learning,” said Dossett, D-Owasso. “My bill will close the vaping loophole so these products cannot be used in our schools.”


Dossett said under Senate Bill 33, the Tobacco-Free Schools Act, which bans tobacco products in all forms, the ban would be extended to vapor products, including the noncombustible device as well as the cartridges whether or not they contain nicotine.


In addition to the harm nicotine can cause to children and teens, Dossett said there are other chemicals in the aerosol from e-cigarettes that are also alarming. Diacetyl, which is used in flavoring vaping products, has been linked to an irreversible and serious lung condition called obliterative bronchiolitis. The aerosol also contains other chemicals and heavy metals. Studies are being conducted to determine the impact of these materials on the user and for those exposed to secondhand vapors.


“When we had our interim study on vaping, I heard from educators, administrators and parents who were very concerned about how pervasive it’s become on school property,” Dossett said. “Kids think it’s safe for them to use, but that is simply not true. With all these serious health concerns, it just makes sense to extend the school tobacco ban to vaping.”


For more information, call Sen. J.J. Dossett at 405-521-5566 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Friday, December 14, is the last day to apply for voter registration in order to be eligible to vote in the January 8 Town of Arkoma and Poteau School Special Elections, Leflore County Election Board Secretary Sharon Steele said today.


Steele said that persons who are United States citizens, residents of Oklahoma, and at least 18 years old may apply to become registered voters.


Those who aren't registered or need to change their registration may apply by filling out and mailing an Oklahoma Voter Registration Application form in time for it to be postmarked no later than midnight Friday, December 14.


Steele said applications postmarked after that time will be accepted and processed, but not until after January 8.


The County Election Board responds in writing to every person who submits an application for voter registration.

 

The response is either a voter identification card listing the new voter's precinct number and polling place location or a letter that explains the reason or reasons the application for voter registration was not approved.

 

Steele said any person who has submitted a voter registration application and who has not received a response within 30 days should contact the County Election Board office.


Oklahoma Voter Registration Application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 103 N. Church St., Poteau, and at most post offices, tag agencies and public libraries in the county.

 

Applications also are available at www.elections.ok.gov

Press release



OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Johnny Tadlock today announced he is changing his political party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.


“This to me is not at all about party affiliation,” said Tadlock, from Idabel. “This is about representing the people who live in my district to the best of my ability and making sure their voice is heard at the state Capitol. To do this, I feel I would have better success in the majority party. I have not changed my beliefs. As a Democrat, I was endorsed by the National Rifle Association. I have always been pro-life. I have cared about safe and decent roads and bridges, public safety, free and fair public education and health care that reaches those in the rural communities. These are still the issues with which I will be concerned.”


Tadlock represents House District 1, which serves part of LeFlore and all of McCurtain counties in SE Oklahoma. He was first elected to serve in the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2014. He has served on the following committees: Agriculture and Rural Development; County and Municipal Government; General Government Oversight and Accountability; Judiciary and the House Special Investigation Committee.

By Congressman Markwayne Mullin


By now, we all know that President Trump is a negotiator. At the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires last weekend, the president showcased his dealmaking skills in yet another trade negotiation on behalf of the American people.


After the first round of U.S. tariffs, China targeted our agriculture products. One U.S. farm feeds 165 people annually in the United States and abroad. Oklahoma is home to over 77,000 farms on 34 million acres and plays a crucial role in food production for the country and in turn, the world. Our country, with its advanced infrastructure, has the ability to feed even more of the world’s population.


Starting on January 1, 2019, the Trump Administration was set to enact the next round of tariff increases on China with a 25 percent tariff on $250 billion in Chinese goods. However, in talks with Chinese President Xi at the G20, both presidents agreed to delay tariffs for 90 days so trade conversations and negotiations might continue.


This development is a welcomed one. As long as our countries continue discussions, we can inch closer and closer to fair and balanced trade. When I was negotiating business deals, I walked into every deal asking for 100 percent. I would negotiate down to 70 percent and when my take dropped to 69 percent, I walked away from the table. President Trump has a similar negotiation strategy and I believe it is one that will secure the best deal possible for the American people.


The future of our country’s trade deals may be uncertain, however I am confident that as long as the president is holding productive conversations with other countries, we are in a good place. The continued discussions with China also gives the U.S. an opportunity to negotiate a trade deal that could open the door for greater agricultural sales to China. Prior to President Trump, America’s generosity—and its farmers’ generosity—has been taken for granted. That ends here.



Press release


OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate Republicans on Wednesday announced their full leadership team for the 57th Legislature.


Senate Republicans previously designated Senator Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, as their pick to serve as the next President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Treat earlier this year announced his selection of Senator Kim David, R-Porter, to serve as Majority Floor Leader and of Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, to serve as Senate Appropriations chair.


“I am honored that my colleagues have placed faith in me, and I’m ready to lead Senate Republicans forward to accomplish great things for Oklahoma and its people,” Treat said. “Our entire leadership team brings a wide range of talent and expertise to the Senate, and each of them is committed to working on common sense, conservative ideas to move Oklahoma forward.”


Senate Republicans’ leadership team includes:
• Senator Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, President Pro Tempore-designate
• Senator Kim David, R-Porter, Majority Floor Leader
• Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, Appropriations chair
• Senator Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, Majority Caucus chair
• Senator Rob Standridge, R-Norman, Majority Whip
• Senator Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, Assistant Floor Leader
• Senator Frank Simpson, R-Springer, Assistant Floor Leader
• Senator Dave Rader, R-Tulsa, Majority Caucus vice chair
• Senator Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, Assistant Majority Whip
• Senator Casey Murdock, R-Felt, Assistant Majority Whip
• Senator Marty Quinn, R-Claremore, Assistant Majority Whip
• Senator Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher, Rural Caucus chair and Senator Darcy Jech as Rural Caucus chair.


Press release

 

 


OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 12 counties due to severe storms, tornadoes and straight-line winds that occurred Friday, November 30.

 

The counties included in the governor’s declaration are Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Haskell, Johnston, Latimer, Le Flore, Muskogee, Pittsburg, Pushmataha, Sequoyah, and Tulsa.

 

Under the governor’s executive order, state agencies may make emergency purchases and acquisitions needed to expedite the delivery of resources to local jurisdictions.

 

The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance should it be necessary.

 

The executive order is in effect for 30 days, and could be amended to include additional counties if needed.

Press release



OKLAHOMA CITY – President Pro Tempore-designate Greg Treat on Friday named the chairs and vice chairs of the Senate standing committees for the 57th Legislature.


“Senate Republicans are optimistic for the future and potential of Oklahoma. We are excited about working on common sense, practical conservative solutions that will usher in transformative change that will have a long-term, positive impact on our state,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “I have confidence in the women and men I have named committee chairs and vice chairs and know they will do great work for the Senate, for their constituents, and for the entire state of Oklahoma.”


Pro Tem-designate Treat in May named Senator Roger Thompson chair of the Appropriations Committee. In August, Treat named Senator Dave Rader vice chair of the Appropriations Committee and named the chairs of the appropriations subcommittees so that work on the Fiscal Year ‘20 budget would commence in earnest. In August, Treat also named Senator Stephanie Bice chair of the Senate Finance Committee.


The list of standing committee chairs and vice chairs is below.

 

The full committee makeup will be announced at a later date.


Agriculture and Wildlife Committee:
• Senator Casey Murdock, R-Felt, chair
• Senator Roland Pederson, R-Burlington, vice chair


Appropriations Committee
• Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, chair
• Senator Dave Rader, R-Tulsa, vice chair


Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee
• Senator James Leewright, R-Bristow, chair
• Senator Joseph Silk, R-Broken Bow, vice chair


Education Committee
• Senator Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, chair
• Senator Joe Newhouse, R-Broken Arrow, vice chair


Energy Committee
• Senator Mark Allen, R-Spiro, chair
• Senator Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, vice chair


Finance Committee
• Senator Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, chair
• Senator Chuck Hall, R-Perry, vice chair


General Government Committee
• Senator Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, chair
• Senator Tom Dugger, R-Stillwater, vice chair


Health and Human Services Committee
• Senator Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, chair
• Senator Greg McCortney, R-Ada, vice chair


Judiciary Committee
• Senator Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, chair
• Senator Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher, vice chair


Public Safety Committee
• Senator Wayne Shaw, R-Grove, chair
• Senator Lonnie Paxton, vice chair


Retirement and Insurance Committee
• Senator Marty Quinn, R-Claremore, chair
• Senator Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, vice chair


Rules Committee
• Senator Greg McCortney, chair
• Senator Mark Allen, vice chair


Transportation Committee
• Senator Rob Standridge, R-Norman, chair
• Senator Micheal Bergstrom, vice chair


Veterans and Military Affairs Committee
• Senator Frank Simpson, chair
• Senator Larry Boggs, R-Wilburton, vice chair

 

Pro Tem-designate Treat also announced Friday the vice chairs of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees.


“I announced the chairs of the appropriations subcommittees early so they could begin work alongside Senator Thompson on the Fiscal Year ’20 budget. I’m excited to announce the vice chairs of the appropriations subcommittees who will work well with the rest of our team in crafting a budget that prioritizes core services,” Treat said.


Appropriations Subcommittee on Education
• Senator Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, chair
• Senator Chris Kidd, R-Addington, vice chair


Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation
• Senator Gary Stanislawski, chair
• Senator John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton, vice chair


Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary
• Senator Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, chair
• Senator Julie Daniels, vice chair


Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services
• Senator Frank Simpson, chair
• Senator Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, vice chair


Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services
• Senator Darcy Jech, chair
• Senator Wayne Shaw, vice chair


Appropriations Subcommittee on Select Agencies
• Senator Tom Dugger, chair
• Senator Paul Scott, R-Duncan, vice chair

 


By Congressman Markwayne Mullin


The migrant caravan at our country’s southern border has taken a violent turn. The caravan of 8,500 individuals moving through Mexico have made several attempts to infiltrate our borders and attack law enforcement officers who are protecting law-abiding citizens. Many migrants are claiming asylum from the violence of their home countries. But some migrants are throwing rocks and bottles at law enforcement officers, rushing the border, and cutting border fences. This behavior is simply unacceptable from individuals who claim to want to be a part of the United States.


The United States is not against immigration. We, as Americans, embrace the fact that our country is a melting pot of people, culture, and ideas. Our country admits roughly one million legal immigrants each year—and has done so for the last 13 years. However, our generosity should never be taken for granted.


Protecting our southern border is more than an immigration issue—it is a matter of national security. The Department of Homeland Security has identified more than 600 convicted criminals as a part of the 8,500 member caravan. Meanwhile, the Mexican government has already arrested 100 caravan members for criminal activity. The individuals charging our borders do not possess values respected by the U.S. nor do they appear to have a willingness to acquire values like ours.


According to U.S. Asylum law, individuals legitimately fleeing their home country must apply for Affirmative Asylum or Defensive Asylum through the U.S. government. Historically, the vast majority of the migrants claiming asylum as they storm our border are not actually eligible. In the past, federal judges ruled that 90% of individuals from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador were not eligible to enter the U.S. under asylum. Many of these asylum seekers intend to find work or join family who are already in the U.S. Though both worthy aspirations, reuniting with family and job searching are not grounds for asylum.


The bottom line is that we cannot reward bad behavior. In order to be an American citizen, one must pledge to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. Individuals seeking to become citizens of our great nation should be held to the same standard. They should not be held above the rule of law that the rest of the nation’s law-abiding citizens follow.

 

 

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