David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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Thursday, 21 May 2020 19:00

Ocie Bell Walker

Ocie Bell Walker, 98, of Poteau, OK passed away Tuesday, May 19, 2020 in Poteau.  Ocie was born February 1, 1922 in Shady Point, OK to Frank & Lou (Fout) Harris.  She was preceded in death by her daughters, Freda Armstrong; son, Billy Walker & brother, Kenneth Harris.

          Survivors include her sons, Mike Walker, Ira Walker, Joe Walker, Tom Baily, Bruce Baily, Carl Walker & Ralph Walker; daughter, Lisa Walker; sisters, Alta Mayfield, Dorothy Griffin & Susie Scott; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, & great great grandchildren; other relatives, loved ones and friends.

          Graveside services will be 2 pm, Friday, May 22, 2020 at Oakland Cemetery, Poteau, OK with Jim Cook officiating.

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

Jackie Perez to Assistant Vice President:

Jackie Perez has been named Assistant Vice President of The Community State Bank. She came to work for The Community State Bank in April of 2010 as a Credit Analyst. Since this was a new position for our bank, Jackie was instrumental in developing and implementing this new role. Jackie became the Assistant to the Chief Credit Officer in 2011, and also the supervisor of the loan processors and CSRs. In March of 2015, she moved into the role of lender, specializing more in the Agriculture niche, where she has proven to be a valuable asset to our bank.

Jackie graduated from Carl Albert State College with her Associates in Business Administration and then with a Bachelors in Accounting from The University of Arkansas, Fort Smith. She has participated in Leadership LeFlore County, served on the Stigler Health and Wellness Board of Directors, and has attended several lending schools on behalf of the bank.   

Jackie makes her home in Wister with husband Tody, and their two children Kaiden and Preston.

Jackie Perez 2016 to Loan Officer

Jennifer Sommers to Assistant Vice President:

Jennifer Sommers was recently named Assistant Vice President of The Community State Bank. She is currently a Loan Officer and has been employed by the bank since 2001. Always looking for a new challenge, Jennifer has been in many different areas of the bank including branch manager at our Wal-Mart Branch, bookkeeping, teller, vault management, new accounts, and lending.

Jennifer currently serves on the Poteau Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She served on the OBA Women in Banking Committee for two years and was part of Leadership LeFlore County. She has attended the Oklahoma Bankers Association Branch Manager School and numerous lending schools on behalf of the bank.  

Married for 19 years to Jay Sommers, they have two boys, Jace and Jance. They make their home in Poteau.    

 Jennifer Sommers

 

Brenda Sheets to Marketing and Communications Officer:

Brenda Sheets has been promoted to Marketing and Communications Officer at The Community State Bank. She has been part of the TCSB Marketing team since 2008. Brenda leads a team of three with the development and implementation of all marketing, communications, and sales programs.  

Brenda graduated from the ABA School of Bank Marketing where she received her Advanced Marketing Certificate in 2019. In August of 2016, she completed her General Banking Degree from the American Bankers Association, and in 2014 achieved the American Bankers Association Bank Marketing Degree.

Brenda is very active in civic and community organizations and received the Poteau Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” for 2016. She is a current member and Past President of the Poteau Rotary Club and has served on the Poteau Valley Humane Society Board of Directors since 2012. Brenda served on the Poteau Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for two terms where she was the chair of the Education Committee and Banquet Committee. Brenda received the Poteau Chamber of Commerce “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2009 and was part of Leadership Leflore County in 2013. She participates in the CASC Adopt a Scholar Program and serves on the CASC Gold Dust Gala Committee.

Brenda makes her home in Poteau with her husband Ted, and their Jack Russell Frankie.

 Brenda Sheets2019

DeLona Holcomb to Human Resources Officer:

We are pleased to announce DeLona Holcomb has been promoted to the Human Resources Officer at The Community State Bank. DeLona came to the bank in 2004, with several years banking experience, as the Benefits & Payroll Administrator. During her time here, she has implemented protocols that have improved efficiency and willingly taken on more responsibility. She moved into the role as the Human Resources Director in November 2019.

DeLona attended Eastern Oklahoma State College where she majored in Ag Economics/ Accounting. DeLona is a member of SHRM and attended the Oklahoma Bankers Association Supervisor Boot Camp in 2019. She was voted Employee of the Year by her peers in 2006.

DeLona is a member of Southside Baptist Church and makes her home in Poteau.  She is the mother to Katie Foster and Kolton Foster.

 Holcomb DeLona

Press Release

Jackie Perez to Assistant Vice President:

Jackie Perez has been named Assistant Vice President of The Community State Bank. She came to work for The Community State Bank in April of 2010 as a Credit Analyst. Since this was a new position for our bank, Jackie was instrumental in developing and implementing this new role. Jackie became the Assistant to the Chief Credit Officer in 2011, and also the supervisor of the loan processors and CSRs. In March of 2015, she moved into the role of lender, specializing more in the Agriculture niche, where she has proven to be a valuable asset to our bank.

Jackie graduated from Carl Albert State College with her Associates in Business Administration and then with a Bachelors in Accounting from The University of Arkansas, Fort Smith. She has participated in Leadership LeFlore County, sat on the Stigler Health and Wellness Board of Directors, and has attended several lending schools on behalf of the bank.   

Jackie makes her home in Wister with husband Tody, and their two children Kaiden and Preston.

Jackie Perez 2016 to Loan Officer

Jennifer Sommers to Assistant Vice President:

Jennifer Sommers was recently named Assistant Vice President of The Community State Bank. She is currently a Loan Officer and has been employed by the bank since 2001. Always looking for a new challenge, Jennifer has been in many different areas of the bank including branch manager at our Wal-Mart Branch, bookkeeping, teller, vault management, new accounts, and lending.

Jennifer currently sits on the Poteau Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She sat on the OBA Women in Banking Committee for two years and was part of Leadership LeFlore County. She has attended the Oklahoma Bankers Association Branch Manager School and numerous lending schools on behalf of the bank.  

Married for 19 years to Jay Sommers, they have two boys, Jace and Jance. They make their home in Poteau.  

 Jennifer Sommers

 

Brenda Sheets to Marketing and Communications Officer:

Brenda Sheets has been promoted to Marketing and Communications Officer at The Community State Bank. She has been part of the TCSB Marketing team since 2008. Brenda leads a team of three with the development and implementation of all marketing, communications, and sales programs.  

Brenda graduated from the ABA School of Bank Marketing where she received her Advanced Marketing Certificate in 2019. In August of 2016, she completed her General Banking Degree from the American Bankers Association, and in 2014 achieved the American Bankers Association Bank Marketing Degree.

Brenda is very active in civic and community organizations and received the Poteau Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” for 2016. She is a current member and Past President of the Poteau Rotary Club and has served on the Poteau Valley Humane Society Board of Directors since 2012. Brenda served on the Poteau Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for two terms where she was the chair of the Education Committee and Banquet Committee. Brenda received the Poteau Chamber of Commerce “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2009 and was part of Leadership Leflore County in 2013. She participates in the CASC Adopt a Scholar Program and serves on the CASC Gold Dust Gala Committee.

Brenda makes her home in Poteau with her husband Ted, and their Jack Russell Frankie.

 Brenda Sheets2019

DeLona Holcomb to Human Resources Officer:

We are pleased to announce DeLona Holcomb has been promoted to the Human Resources Officer at The Community State Bank. DeLona came to the bank in 2004, with several years banking experience, as the Benefits & Payroll Administrator. During her time here, she has implemented protocols that have improved efficiency and willingly taken on more responsibility. She moved into the role as the Human Resources Director in November 2019.

DeLona attended Eastern Oklahoma State College where she majored in Ag Economics/ Accounting. DeLona is a member of SHRM and attended the Oklahoma Bankers Association Supervisor Boot Camp in 2019. She was voted Employee of the Year by her peers in 2006.

DeLona is a member of Southside Baptist Church and makes her home in Poteau.  She is the mother to Katie Foster and Kolton Foster.

 Holcomb DeLona

 

Approximately one million men and women of the U.S. military have lost their lives in defense of our nation since the founding of this great Republic. For many, Memorial Day weekend signifies the start of summer. Unfortunately, it can be easy to overlook the significance of Memorial Day, and what it means to all of us. This coming Monday, May 25, our country will honor all of the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. During World War I, the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, including World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I anticipate for many, this Memorial Day weekend will look vastly different than previous ones. With social distancing efforts in place to slow down the spread of COVID-19, Memorial Day parades and events have been canceled, but this doesn’t mean that Memorial Day is cancelled - far from it.

I encourage every Navy Reservist this weekend, no matter where you are, no matter your circumstances, to spend time remembering those who lost their lives and could not come home, reflecting on their service and why we have the freedoms that we enjoy today. Take time with your families to talk about the meaning of Memorial Day and why it is important. Read some of the stories posted this week on our Facebook page about Navy Reservists who made the ultimate sacrifice. Lastly, use this weekend to focus on your own values of military service; remind yourself of your oath, and what it means to be a citizen-Sailor.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend Shipmates.

Rear Admiral John Schommer,

Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command

Thursday, 21 May 2020 18:27

US Marshal's Museum Facebook LIVE Event

Have you wondered how the Marshal’s Museum will tell the stories of Judge Parker’s deputies? How about the men who helped to integrate America’s schools? If not that, what will be said about the modern Marshals who are wearing the badge today?

Join the United States Marshals Museum as our President / CEO, Patrick Weeks, gives us a live tour of the future Museum Experience tomorrow, Friday, May 22nd at 2 PM!

Make sure to tune in for tomorrow’s Facebook Live for a special treat as Marshals Museum President/CEO, Patrick Weeks, gives a tour of the future Museum Experience. Find out about the planning, development, and future of the storytelling which will take place in the 20,000 square feet Museum Experience.

Click HERE for the Marshal's Museum Facebook page.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Courtrooms across the state will now be allowed to use videoconferencing in district court proceedings after being signed by the Governor.

House Bill 3756, authored by Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, authorizes the use of videoconferencing technology in all stages of civil or criminal proceedings except in jury trials or trials before judges.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has really highlighted the flexibility and usefulness offered by videoconferencing,” Miller said. “The utilization of videoconferencing in district courts has the potential to save our criminal justice system both time and money, as well as maintaining public safety. I’m thankful Governor Stitt signed this legislation that will maximize efficiencies and bring our District Court technologies into the 21st century.”

Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, is the principal Senate author of HB3756. As a criminal defense lawyer for 20 years, Brooks says the bill is a much-needed step in modernizing the state’s judicial system.

“This is an important measure to improve public safety by allowing law enforcement more time to focus on enforcing the law rather than constantly transporting defendants to and from the district courthouse,” Brooks said. “One thing we’ve learned during this health crisis is that we have to be more efficient in government. This is a great example of using technology to modernize our court systems.”

Scott Crow, director of the Dept. of Corrections, expressed support for videoconferencing in a letter to Oklahoma district court judges. The Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association also asked Gov. Stitt in a letter to sign the legislation.

After being signed by the governor on Wednesday, the bill will become effective Nov. 1.

WASHINGTON— In an article published today, E&E News highlighted the role the House Energy Action Team (HEAT) has played in shaping energy policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) is a co-chair of HEAT, along with Republican Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01) and Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03).

Pandemic, price war propel House Republican energy team

George Cahlink, E&E News reporter

When House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) revived the House energy task force last year, it was largely to counter the Democrats' Green New Deal.

But amid the pandemic and oil price war, the House Energy Action Team is taking on an expanded and potentially more influential role — a leading Capitol Hill voice for energy industry relief.

Long allied with the fossil fuel industry and out of power for the first time in a decade, House Republicans are now using HEAT as a vehicle to shape energy policy during the crisis.

Understanding the group's priorities, recent activities and makeup offers a window into the policies that may emerge, as House Republicans' pro-energy views are often in line with those of the White House.

The members are also acting as conduits between constituents and federal officials often not within their reach.

Local energy companies "can talk to us but would not have the ability to talk to Secretary Brouillette, and Brouillette may not yet have the ability to actually know what storage farms are still available out there that are not being utilized. We were able to connect a lot of those dots, and it's been beneficial," said Mullin.

Duncan and Mullin said they have pitched more novel ideas for addressing the energy crisis that have come from the industry.

Duncan noted that he has talked with Bernhardt about the possibility of pumping oil back into shallow offshore wells for temporary storage, while Mullin said he mentioned an energy executive's plan for restructuring OPEC to Brouillette that has sparked several follow-up conversations.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation requiring all Oklahoma public high schools to offer at least four Advanced Placement (AP) courses to students beginning in the 2024-25 school year was signed into law by the governor Tuesday.

House Bill 3400, authored by State Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, and State Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, allows schools to choose the type of AP courses offered.

“Data-driven research shows that high school students are better prepared for higher education coursework and the workforce when they take a blend of both AP and concurrent enrollment classes,” said Baker, the chair of the House Common Education Committee. “Performing well in these classes and on subsequent exams also help reduce the cost of college tuition. In addition, having a skilled and trained workforce puts Oklahoma in a better position to attract job creators and build a stronger state economy.” 

Stanislawski, chair of the Senate Education Committee, is serving his final regular legislative session due to term limits.  He said he was gratified that this was his last measure to present to the full Senate.

“Throughout my time in the Senate, I’ve fought to expand educational opportunities throughout Oklahoma,” Stanislawski said.  “I appreciate the opportunity for this to be my final bill, promoting advanced placement courses, regardless of what zip code a child lives in. That’s a legacy we can all be proud of.”  

Baker said schools will be able to select the platform on which to offer these courses, whether in a traditional classroom setting, a virtual option or through an area CareerTech. The bill directs the State Department of Education to provide information to all local boards of education, to be distributed to students and parents, on available opportunities and the AP enrollment process. Virtual schools also would need to make these course options available.

Nearly six in 10 Oklahoma schools do not currently offer a single AP course, many of those in rural areas. Baker said this legislation is a way to ensure all students throughout the state have access to at least some AP courses so they are equally prepared for higher learning and the job market.

She said this measure builds on several investments the state has made to expand AP, including allocating funding for teacher training, test fee assistance for low-income students, and grants for districts to start new AP programs.

Press Release

As U.S. military veterans experience devastating impacts from coronavirus, preeminent veteran affairs authority to host a global Virtual Town Hall forum on June 3 addressing the unique issues of today’s veterans;

Live online event to feature Congressional leaders, heads of marquee veteran’s organizations, leading military figures and other expert panelists to address current and emerging COVID-19 impacts and challenges, misconceptions and problem/solution resolutions specific to the veteran community


As the world battles COVID-19, military veterans across the United States and beyond are disproportionately suffering devastating impacts from this pandemic. Not only are they dying from the coronavirus at a higher rate, but even those thwarting the viral infection are otherwise bearing a heavy emotional and economic burden amid social distancing. This as companies—both small and large—are relegated to furloughing and laying off employees ... or shutting down all together.

For some perspective on the breadth of this problem, a recently released report by the Bob Woodruff Foundation reveals that more than 500,000 veterans live in the 15 cities that are most likely to be affected by pandemic-driven difficulties. As worrisome, the report also emphasized that COVID-19 is creating a “perfect storm” of emergent trauma and loneliness due to social isolation and unplanned wage or job loss that could threaten the mental health of many veterans—a group of men and women who have selflessly served and protected our great nation.

Validating these concerns, the sobering statistics continue to stack up on all fronts. In fact, a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report cites that veteran unemployment is up to nearly 12 percent, with more than 1,000,000 veterans reporting being jobless this past April, alone. There is also escalating discourse regarding COVID-19-driven PTSD and other mental health issues within this community, underscoring that it is exacerbating anxiety and suicidal ideation among a litany of other specialized impacts that veterans are uniquely experiencing. This includes, but is not limited to, a higher risk of contracting the virus due to age and “toxic exposure” (and greater mortality vulnerabilities in relation), reduced access and barriers to healthcare and suitable treatment options, housing crises and funding problems for community-based veteran organizations serving as critical front-line touchpoints.

As part of an on-going commitment to support America’s veterans, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and Veterans Law Attorney John Berry, Jr., CEO of Berry Law Firm, will host a comprehensive Coronavirus and Veterans” virtual forum designed to tackle current challenges and address misconceptions. This virtual town hall discussion and education forum will include a cross section of leading individuals who serve the veteran community as well as other panelists to who will shed light on the impact the virus is having on veterans, specifically, across an array of categories. This includes efforts already underway in addition to what we as a society can do moving forward to uphold this group of individuals who have already sacrificed so much for the greater good. 

Participants of the virtual forum will include Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar; Assal Ravandi, CEO of The Academy of United States Veterans the Chair of The VETTYS Awards; Air Force Colonel Dr. Mickra Hamilton (and one of the organization’s Human Potential Subject Experts); retired Navy Seal Chriss Smith; and a representative of The Bob Woodruff Foundation. As host of the event, Berry’s law firm boasts one of the largest clientele of veteran clients in the United States and has been featured on the Inc. 5000 list this past three consecutive years. Other expert event panelists will address current and emerging COVID-19 impacts, challenges, misconceptions and problem/solution resolutions specific to the veteran community.

This virtual forum will be live streamed at 1:00 p.m. ET on June 3, and those interested in joining can register online for free at www.COVID19andVeterans.com. With nearly a dozen military organizations and other partners already scheduled to participate—and considering the easy accessibility of the forum around the world via America’s vast network of military organizations, other online platforms and through social media—an audience of over 200,000 viewers is anticipated.

“As a military veteran myself and hailing from a family that’s duly served, this issue is very personal to me and is what drives my legal work on behalf of veterans every day,” Berry said. “My father, John Stevens Berry, Sr. served in Vietnam and, during my own time in the U.S. Army, I led troops in the U.S., Bosnia and Iraq. Our law firm, started by my father, has worked with thousands of veterans in all 50 states, listening to their stories and helping them successfully navigate through the legal system when issues arise.”

In recognition of Berry Law Firm’s service to the veteran community nationwide, in 2019 it received the Department of Labor Platinum Medallion Award for their demonstrated commitment to hiring veterans. Most recently, Berry sponsored a report for members of Congress outlining 12 specific areas of concern among the veteran community. This report underscored the importance of the COVID-19 stimulus bill set to allocate $19.6 billion in additional funding to support the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to mitigate adverse impacts of the pandemic.

“As a veteran, I’m passionate about helping veterans better navigate health, financial and lifestyle obstacles that COVID-19 has presented,” Berry noted. “I want to do all I can to ensure the veteran community has vital, relevant, fact-based and useful information and this virtual event is a power means toward that end.”

Additional information on event host John Berry is available at www.JohnBerryLeads.com.

Thursday, 21 May 2020 17:49

Marriage Licenses May 11-15, 2020

 

 

The following couples received their marriage licenses during the week of May 11-15, 2020, from the LeFlore County Court Clerk’s office:

Greyson Walker Mitchell and Julia Beth Dubois

James Franklin Crossno, III and Jessica Mari Lewis

Dillan Ray Hickman and Braylee Dawn Palmer

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