David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Wednesday, 02 December 2020 15:14

Dana Marie Jewel

Dana Marie Jewell, 57, of Shady Point, OK passed away Monday, November 30, 2020 in Ft. Smith, AR.

Dana was born in Tucson, AZ to Larry & Phyllis (Chaney) Lambert.

Dana was a long time owner of Poteau Pets.

She was preceded in death by her parents; mother & father in law, Clyde & Joetta Vance; and brother, Mark Bland.

Survivors include her husband, Roger Vance; daughters, Madison Rosira Pearl Vance of the home, Juanita Inez Marie & Jason Landry of Edmond, OK; sons & daughters in law, Charles Eugene Jr. & Megan Jewell of Indiana, Zachary Joseph & Ashley Jewell of Poteau, OK; 9 grandchildren; special niece, Ashley, husband Jake, & daughter Alivia Roth; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives & friends.

Private services will be held.

You may leave an online message at evansandmillerfuneralhomes.com

The family has chosen to entrust the care of the services to Evans & Miller Funeral Home, POTEAU, OK

Wednesday, 02 December 2020 15:07

Paul David Spangler

Paul David Spangler, 73, of Poteau, OK passed away Tuesday, December 1, 2020 in Ft. Smith, AR. Paul was born July 5, 1947 in Poteau, OK to Arthur & Ora Lee (Brown) Spangler.

He was a veteran of the US Army.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents; son, Byron Keith Spangler; sister, Reba Williams; brother, L.G. Spangler.

Survivors include his wife, Connie Spangler; son, Paul Denver Spangler & wife Patricia; grandchildren, Brennen, Corey, Patrick, Seth Spangler; sisters, Sue Chitwood & Phil, Lisa Longest & Paul; brother Terry Spangler; other relatives, loved ones and friends.

Services will be 10 am, Friday, at Southside Baptist Church, Poteau, OK with Jim Reed officiating. Burial will follow at Oakland Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Todd Peters, Ken Sisco, Tim Olive, Lane Putman, Van Stuckey, Justin Barrix.

You may leave an online message at evansandmillerfuneralhomes.com

The family has chosen to entrust the care of the services to Evans & Miller Funeral Home, POTEAU, OK

Press Release

“When Lincoln (Riley) asked me if I'd be willing to help in a coaching role while he was a little short-handed I didn't hesitate to say yes. Certainly I'm happy to do anything I can to assist the team for however long I'm asked to. But obviously with me being away from the day-to-day activities of the program for a while now, my input will be minimal. If I can add some enthusiasm or positive energy for these players — and I do know most of them — that's a good thing. But let's not get carried away. The people that will influence this game and the rest of our games this season will be Coach Riley, his staff and the players. I'm just going to do my best to help out however I can while keeping a low profile.”

by Jose Olivero 

Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, recently received an honor as a 2020 Influencer in Aging by PBS’s Next Avenue, a digital publication dedicated to covering issues for people 50 and older.  The list honors advocates, researchers, and thought leaders who are changing how people collectively age and think about aging. Commissioner Saul earned the distinction for being an innovative leader and making customer service his top priority since his confirmation in 2019.

“When I came in, the first thing I did was make it very clear that our job at the agency, meaning the whole team, was to serve the public.  Customer service is the most important feature--that's the mojo here, and that's what we are dedicated to do,” said Commissioner Saul.  “The global pandemic has changed the way we do business, and I think it will be changed forever.  We must provide the public with additional online, remote service, and self-service options that we all expect from organizations today.”

The agency has made tremendous progress in improving service delivery, despite the unprecedented times.  Commissioner Saul has led the agency to significantly reduce the wait time for a disability hearing, offer remote hearings via video or telephone, hire new  employees, improve staff training, and streamline workflows and communications.  His full interview with Next Avenue is available at www.nextavenue.org/for-social-securitys-chief-andrew-saul-customer-service-is-job-1/.

During his interview, Commissioner Saul highlighted two topics that are especially relevant during the COVID pandemic and holiday season: scam calls and Social Security’s online services.

Social Security continues to raise public awareness, particularly during the holiday season, about telephone impersonation schemes.  These calls include scammers pretending to be government employees or requesting cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems.  The agency urges the public to remain vigilant, hang up on these fraudsters, and report the call to Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov.

A safe and secure way to conduct business with Social Security is through the agency’s website, where people can create their my Social Security account, a personalized online service.  Through a personal my Social Security account, people can request a replacement Social Security card, check their Social Security Statement, apply for benefits, manage their benefits, and more.  Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount for more information.

Agency employees continue to work remotely to provide the vital services the public relies on through online services and phone services, and offices are not able to accept in-person visitors at this time, except by appointment for dire need situations, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus for more information about services during the pandemic. 

Press Release

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.  On Tuesday, the Great American Conference announced the results of its 2021 women’s basketball preseason poll. Harding earned the top spot in the Eastern Division while Southeastern Oklahoma State and Southwestern Oklahoma State tied for first in the Western Division.

Last month, the GAC announced its basketball regular season would consist of a 20-game division schedule. As such, the league’s head coaches only ranked their division opponents. Both Southeastern and SWOSU received three first-place votes. In the Eastern Division, The Lady Bisons claimed four first-place votes while Arkansas Tech captured the remaining two. The 12 head coaches also chose an overall champion. In that poll, Harding and Southeastern each garnered four votes while Arkansas Tech and Southwestern Oklahoma State picked up two.

In 2019-20, the Savage Storm and the Lady Bulldogs shared the GAC’s regular-season title and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Southeastern won the GAC Championship led by Tournament MVP Kamryn Cantwell. The first-team All-GAC selection averaged 22.7 points per game at the GAC Championships. Briley Moon, an Honorable Mention pick in the regular season also made the All-Tournament Team. They must replace Katie Webb, the league’s Player of the Year. She put together an All-American campaign in which she averaged a league-leading 18.7 points per game.

A season ago, the Lady Bulldogs became the first women’s program to win at least a share of three consecutive GAC regular-season titles. They return five of their top six scorers including three All-GAC honorees – Makyra Tramble, Taber Beer and Bethany Franks. Tramble joined former SWOSU All-American Hailey Tucker as the second Lady Bulldog to win GAC Freshman of the Year. Her 15.8 points per game ranked seventh amongst Division II freshmen.

Harding tied Southeastern and SWOSU in winning a share of the 2019-20 regular season title. The Lady Bisons’ Carissa Caples joins Southeastern’s Cantwell as the only two returning First-Team All-GAC selections. She led the team in scoring and ranked in the top five in the league in both 3-point field goals and 3-point field goal percentage. Harding also brings back Jordan Elder who garnered the Newcomer of the Year accolade. She placed second in the league in 3-point field goals made per game. Harding also hopes to have former All-Region forward Kellie Lampo back from injury in January.

Arkansas Tech took second in the Eastern Division balloting. The Golden Suns return six players that started at least five games last season. In an injury-shortened freshman season, Jalei Oglesby reached double figures in all eight contests and averaged 19.4 points. Kaley Shipman averaged 13.8 points – second among GAC freshmen - and shot 42.3 percent from the 3-point arc. Jayana Sanders placed second in the league in assists per game and made the All-GAC Second Team. 

Henderson State and Southern Arkansas shared third place in the Eastern Division. The Reddies enter 2021 off of their second 20-win season in their last three seasons. They return three double-digit scorers in Karrington WhaleyMaci Mains and Lani SnowdenWhaley ranked third in the league in rebounds and blocks. Mains averaged 11.9 points per game off the bench and Snowden placed second in the league in 3-point field goals and 3-point field-goal percentage.

Last season, SAU produced the most-improved turnaround in Division II as the Muleriders went from 3-25 in 2018-19 to 17-12 in 2019-20. They ranked second in Division II and shattered the GAC’s single-season records for both steals per game and turnovers forced per game. They return eight of the 12 players that averaged between 11.7 and 18.9 minutes per game.

In the Western Division, Southern Nazarene placed third, followed by East Central. The Crimson Storm has produced consecutive 17-win campaigns in the two seasons with Trent May at the helm. He brings back four starters including leading scorer Jaycee Soap, leading rebounder Alexus Jones and leading shot blocker Abby NiehuesNiehues has led the GAC in blocked shots per game in each of her previous three seasons and she needs 19 to set the GAC career record. ECU brings back three double-figure scorers in Kendall Schulte, Madison Rehl and Hannah Ladd.

Arkansas-Monticello and Ouachita tied for fifth in the Eastern Division while Oklahoma Baptist and Northwestern Oklahoma State rounded out the Western Division poll. The Blossoms registered their first 20-win season since 2008-09 and advanced to the final of the GAC Championships. They replace GAC Defender of the Year and All-Region selection Berniezha Tidwell and have a first-year head coach as Markell Cox takes over for Greg Long. Oklahoma Baptist also features a new head coach in Bo Overton. He inherits a squad that includes Kalifa Ford; she averaged 17.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in a truncated 2019-20.

The league’s basketball season will feature a 20-game divisional schedule with an opening night slated for Thursday, January 7 with six doubleheaders – Arkansas Tech at Arkansas-Monticello, Southwestern Oklahoma State at East Central, Ouachita at Harding, Southern Arkansas at Henderson State, Southern Nazarene at Northwestern Oklahoma State and Southeastern Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Baptist. 

Press Release

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.  On Tuesday, the Great American Conference announced the results of its 2021 men’s basketball preseason poll. Southeastern Oklahoma State placed first in the Western Division while Southern Arkansas garnered the top spot in the Eastern Division.

Last month, the GAC announced its basketball regular season would consist of a 20-game division schedule. As such, the league’s head coaches only ranked their division opponents. Both Southeastern and SAU received four first-place votes. In the Eastern Division, Henderson State, the 2020 GAC Champions, finished second and received two first-place votes. In the Western Division, Oklahoma Baptist, runners-up to the Reddies at the GAC Championships, took second. The 12 head coaches also chose an overall champion. In that poll, the Savage Storm claimed eight of the 12 votes.

A season ago, the Savage Storm posted a 23-8 record and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament. While they must replace 2,000-point scorer and All-American Kevin Buckingham, the Savage Storm bring back a pair of All-GAC selections in Adam Dworsky and Kellen Manek. Dworsky, a D2CCA All-Region honoree, set the league’s single-season assist record a season ago. Manek averaged 14.0 points and 6.6 rebounds. He shot 48.1 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from the 3-point arc.

The Muleriders return their three double-figure scores in Aaron Lucas, Devante Brooks and Jalen Brooks. Lucas also paced the teams in assists and steals. Devante Brooks led the league in rebounds and ranked second with nine double-doubles. Jalen Brooks ranked second on the team in rebounds and led in blocked shots.

Last season, Henderson State captured the program’s first league title in 17 years and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 13 seasons. The Reddies must replace four starters from last season. Raekwon Rogers returns after ranking second in the league in field-goal percentage and fifth in rebounding. He earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

The Bison joined Southeastern, Henderson State and Southern Nazarene as NCAA qualifiers as the GAC sent four schools to the Central Regional for the first time in league history. The Bison earned their first appearance at the NCAA Division II level. They bring back three starters –Jaquan Simms, Harrison Stoddart and Brantley Thompson – as well as their top reserve in Jarius Hicklen. Simms led the team in scoring and 3-point field goals; Stoddart shot 51.7 percent from the floor and led in blocks; Thompson ranked second in assists and third in rebounds. As a freshman, Hicklen averaged 9.1 points and shot 38.7 percent from the 3-point arc.

Southern Nazarene, the GAC’s three-time regular season champion, took third in the Western Division. The Crimson Storm faces the task of replacing the dynamic duo of Jhonathan Dunn and Micah Speight. Dunn, the GAC’s Male Athlete of the Year, set the league’s single-season and career scoring records. Speight captured the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honor after leading the GAC in steals for the third time. He finished his career as the GAC’s all-time leader in steals and assists. 

Arkansas Tech and Arkansas-Monticello shared third place in the Eastern Division. The Wonder Boys made a change at head coach and hired a familiar name in Mark Downey. He coached the Wonder Boys from 2006-10 and posted a 77-43 record - 53-11 in his final two seasons. In 2010, Tech held the No. 1 spot in the NABC poll for seven weeks.

For the third time in the last four seasons, the Weevils won at least 19 games. They lose four double-digit scorers from last year. Denzel McDuffey returns after leading the teams in rebounds, blocks and steals while averaging 10.7 points per game.

Southwestern Oklahoma State and Northwestern Oklahoma State tied for fourth place in the Western Division. The Bulldogs saw an eight-win improvement from 2018-19. Damion Thornton earned the league’s Newcomer of the Year honor as he ranked in the top five in points, rebounds and steals. He shot 50.6 percent from the floor. The Rangers’ Parrish Hewitt returns after led the team in scoring in his first season on the team.

Ouachita and Harding rounded out the Eastern Division while East Central took sixth in the Western Division. The Bisons’ Romio Harvey ranked fourth in the GAC in scoring by averaging 20.9 points per game. ECU features a new head coach in Chris Crutchfield. In the last nine seasons he spent eight as an assistant at Oklahoma and one as an assistant at Arkansas. He inherits two double-digit scorers in Tylor Arnold and Gerren Jackson.

The league’s basketball season will feature a 20-game divisional schedule with an opening night slated for Thursday, January 7 with six doubleheaders – Arkansas Tech at Arkansas-Monticello, Southwestern Oklahoma State at East Central, Ouachita at Harding, Southern Arkansas at Henderson State, Southern Nazarene at Northwestern Oklahoma State and Southeastern Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Baptist. 

NORMAN — The Davey O'Brien Foundation has announced its QB Class of 2020 and Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler is on the list of 35 signal callers eligible to win the 2020 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.

Rattler is one of only four freshmen on the list and one of three representatives from the Big 12 (also Sam Ehlinger of Texas and Brock Purdy of Iowa State). The class of quarterbacks was selected using a point-scoring model, with points awarded to players based on their overall performance as well as inclusion on the Davey O'Brien Preseason Watch List, weekly Great 8 lists and National Quarterback of the Week winners. Rattler was the National QB of the Week on Nov. 25 after his performance in a 41-13 win over Oklahoma State.

This season, Rattler has completed 158 of 232 passes (68%) for 2,319 yards and 22 touchdowns, compiling a 178.2 passing efficiency rating. He has also rushed for four TDs. The redshirt freshman has thrown for at least two touchdown passes in seven of eight games, has registered at least three TD passes in four contests and had four in the Missouri State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State outings.

Among freshman quarterbacks, the Phoenix, Ariz., product paces the country in passing touchdowns (22), passing offense (289.9 ypg), yards per pass attempt (10.0) and total offense (304.3 ypg). Among all players who have played more than three games this season, Rattler ranks ninth in yards per pass attempt, 10th in passing TDs, 11th in pass efficiency rating (178.2), 13th in yards per completion (14.7), 14th in passing offense, 16th in completion percentage (68.1) and 19th in total offense.

The 16 semifinalists for the 2020 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award will be announced on Monday, Dec. 7, and will be selected based on voting from the award's national selection committee and the first round of the Davey O'Brien Fan Vote, which will run through Sunday, Dec. 6.

Fans will vote via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and the top vote getter on each platform will each receive the equivalent of two additional committee member ballots for that voting period. Fan voting will be done by liking the quarterback's photo from the original post on the official Davey O'Brien social media account.

Former Sooners to win the Davey O'Brien Award are Billy Sims in 1978 (before it was a quarterback-only award), Jason White in 2003 and '04, Sam Bradford in 2008, Baker Mayfield in 2017 and Kyler Murray in 2018.

Oklahoma (6-2, 5-2 Big 12) plays host to Baylor (2-5, 2-5) on Saturday at Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT on FOX.

Press Release

Dr. John Bennet Herrington (Chickasaw) is a retired Naval Aviator, test pilot, and astronaut who has traveled the world and interacted with people from many cultures. His experiences have instilled a deep appreciation and respect for the diverse nature of the human race and a desire to engage and understand the perspective of others. It is tremendously important he share his Native American perspective with a broad audience that has not had the opportunity to understand or appreciate the talents Native American students bring to the world. He believes the most effective way is to bring more Native American graduates into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions.

Herrington is considered the first tribally-enrolled Native American astronaut who was a crew member aboard the STS-113 on the Space Shuttle Endeavour. It was in November 2002, nine years before the final flight of the NASA Space Shuttle program.

The mission lasted 14 days where the Endeavour crew and the Expedition Six crew combined to install the new P1 truss to the International Space Station (ISS). The crew performed three spacewalks to outfit and activate the truss, and transfer supplies and equipment between the two spacecraft. Endeavour brought more than 2,500 pounds of material to the ISS.

Dr. Herrington holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, a Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Naval Postgraduate School, and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Education from the University of Idaho.

Herrington’s career is impressive and demonstrates what is possible for Native American students if they are provided resources and support in STEM education. He is committed to helping Native American students achieve success in a field they are passionate about. In 2008, he rode a bicycle 4,300 miles across the United States, promoting education to Native American students.

Dr. Herrington is the recipient of numerous awards and has been inducted into the first National Native American Hall of Fame, the International Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame.

John is the father of two daughters and lives in Montana. He enjoys flying with his dog Emme, skiing, cycling, rock climbing, and being a doting grandfather.

Dr. Herrington will be visiting with the KTC Poteau campus EAST students via ZOOM in both the morning and afternoon classes.

“I had the good fortune of meeting John while working on a summer STEM camp organized by Sharona Farmer of Choctaw Nation Career Development. She became the connection for so many of us in this area to learn from Dr. Herrington. We are thankful for the opportunity to learn more about global citizenship and servitude from a generous leader eager to connect with students in our area.” – Kelly Falkner, EAST Facilitator 

Tuesday, 01 December 2020 18:56

SITUATION UPDATE: COVID-19 December 1, 2020

OSDH Advisory

As of this advisory, there are 199,482 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma. 

There are 15 additional deaths identified to report.

  • One in Bryan County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • Two in Canadian County, two females in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Carter County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Coal County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Creek County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Garvin County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Jackson County, one male in the 65 older age group.
  • One in Major County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • Four in Oklahoma County, two females in the 50-64 age group, two males in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Stephens County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Tulsa County, one male in the 65 or older age group.

There are 1,758 total deaths in the state.

Additional hospitalization data can be found in the Hospital Tiers report, published evenings Monday through Friday.

For more information, visit coronavirus.health.ok.gov.

COVID-19 Oklahoma Test Results



*Total Cumulative Negative Specimens to Date


*Total Cumulative Number of Specimens to Date


Acute Care OSDH Licensed Facility Hospitalizations


Other Types of Facilities Hospitalizations


Total Cumulative Hospitalizations


Total Cumulative Deaths


*The total includes laboratory information provided to OSDH at the time of the report. Total counts may not reflect unique individuals. 

***The purpose of publishing aggregated statistical COVID-19 data through the OSDH Dashboard, the Executive Order Report, and the Weekly Epidemiology and Surveillance Report is to support the needs of the general public in receiving important and necessary information regarding the state of the health and safety of the citizens of Oklahoma. These resources may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be used in any way that would determine the identity of any reported cases.

Data Source: Acute Disease Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health.
*As of 2020-12-01 at 7:00 a.m.

Detailed case statistics are published on the website. Click here for more information.

Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 5:30 PM. 303 Dewey Ave, Poteau, OK 74953.  
Bring your children by the LeFlore County Museum at Hotel Lowrey to pick up supplies for Christmas ornaments to take home and make them with your family. A booth will be in front of the museum on Dewey Avenue at 5:30. We will give them out until they are all gone.
Directions are in the bags, all you will need is some glue. The event is sponsored by Central National Bank.
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