Written By State Rep. Rick West
I got some great news last week. The Oklahoma House of Representatives’ High School Page Program is restarting for the 2021 legislative session.
Special provisions are being taken this year in response to COVID, including limiting the program to high school seniors. Still, this is a wonderful opportunity for these young people to come to the House for four days. Pages work in the House Chamber during daily floor sessions, run errands for their representative and House staff, and take part in the House Page Mock Legislature.
Any high school senior from our House District interested is serving as a page this semester can find more information about the program and how to apply on this website: https://okhouse.gov/Pages/Index.aspx.
Back home in the district, I got to meet the Superintendent of Poteau Public Schools this week. He showed me the new building for seventh- and eighth-graders and some new classrooms for high school students. These are some great new facilities for our students, their teachers, school administrators and staff.
I also met with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation District 2 Field Division Engineer recently. We talked about roads in Pocola, the main highway running through Poteau, and other projects. The Poteau Bypass, Pleasant Valley Road, is a very dangerous intersection. We talked about possible solutions to improve safety there. We also talked about the $45 million Highway 9 project west of Spiro, which should be completed within the next two to three years. This is just outside of our district, but I know many of our residents drive it, so it’s important to me to stay updated on it. In addition, we talked about some county roads that join onto state highways and how ODOT and the county commissioners can work together on these issues. Our ODOT folks do a great job for us, and I want to thank them for all they do.
I also want to thank the Poteau Police Department as well as the LeFlore County Sheriff’s Department and LeFlore County Emergency Management workers for the work they are doing to help with our COVID vaccine clinics. I bragged last week on our Health Department and Chamber staff, but our law enforcement officers and our emergency management teams are doing wonderful work as well, and they deserve our thanks.
On a final note, our LeFlore County High School Basketball Tournament is underway; it runs through Saturday. This is the oldest high school basketball tournament in the state. It gives the 13 high schools in LeFlore County a chance to send their boys’ and girls’ teams to compete. If you can’t watch live games because of COVID, you can always listen to the play on KPRV radio.
Rick West represents District 3 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes part of LeFlore County.