Wednesday, June 19, 2019

ODOT Hopes Highway 64 Traffic Will Flow Both Directions Soon


Commuters from Oklahoma into Arkansas via Highway 64 have had to follow other detour routes since the flood waters have receded and revealed damage to bridges between Roland and Fort Smith.

But the Oklahoma Department of Transportation hopes to have traffic flowing at least one lane in each direction next week, according to Kenna Mitchell, ODOT Public Information Manager for Div. 8.

“Of the two damaged (eastbound) bridges, one has a very significant wash out underneath that will need extensive repairs,” Mitchell said, adding that that repair should take several months.

To help accommodate Oklahoma and Arkansas commuters who normally travel Highway 64, ODOT is working to build temporary cross-overs so that westbound traffic will narrow to one lane and one lane of eastbound traffic can also run on the westbound side during the time of the bridge repairs, according to Mitchell.

Mitchell said ODOT hopes to have those cross-overs in place sometime next week.

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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Two Arrested for Akins Burglary

Christian Cooper

Sebastian Southerland

Two males have been arrested in connection with a burglary at Akins General Store, according to the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office.

Christian Cooper, 20, of Sallisaw, and Sebastian Southerland, 19, of Muldrow, are each charged with second-degree burglary, according to Undersheriff Greg Cox.

Video surveillance shows a vehicle pulling up to the Akins general store in the early hours of Saturday morning, June 15. Cox said the video, which was posted on social media, shows a male getting out of the driver’s side rear door of the vehicle.

“He flung a plastic flower pot into the bottom glass of the door,” Cox explained, adding that the suspect then got back into the vehicle after only cracking the flower pot.

The suspect gets back into the vehicle and the vehicle drives off, returning approximately 30 minutes later.

“This time, he throws the jack to the vehicle through the door, making entry into the store, stealing property and taking off,” Cox said.

While the suspect’s appearance was not disguised during his initial attempt to break in the store, he attempted to disguise himself with a shirt wrapped around his face and head, but was wearing the same clothing, according to Cox.

Deputies were able to locate the two suspects in the Maple area. Cooper was initially arrested on an active felony warrant for larceny and Southerland was brought in for questioning.

“Both parties fully confessed of everything,” Cox said. “They’re going to have to face the charges.”

Cox said the pair will probably have to pay restitution to the store owner of approximately $350.

Southerland was released on a $5,000 bond. Cooper remains in custody at the Sequoyah County jail on a $5,000 bond. They will be formally arraigned next Wednesday.

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Cherokee Nation Contributes $7.7M to Road Project

(L to R): Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief-elect and Tribal Councilor Bryan Warner, Eastern Oklahoma Circuit Engineering District Program Director Scott Brians, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, former Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor David Thornton, Sequoyah County Commissioner Steve Carter, Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden and Tribal Councilor E.O. Smith.

Cherokee Nation is partnering with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Sequoyah County to continue improvements to Dwight Mission Road.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor E.O. Smith and Deputy Chief-elect Bryan Warner visited Sallisaw recently to present a check for $7.7 million to the Sequoyah County Commissioner for the second phase of the road project.

“We are proud to contribute to the improvement of roads in all parts of the Cherokee Nation, including this highly trafficked section of road in Sequoyah County,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Thanks to Cherokee Nation’s infrastructure investment, this project will make it safer for families and all travelers utilizing the roadway.”

Due to its size, the project was planned in a northern and a southern phase, covering a portion of highly traveled road in the county.

“We are proud to continue our efforts here in Sequoyah County and across other counties in our jurisdiction to make sure that we build partnerships and make healthy efforts that benefit our citizens,” said Bryan Warner, District 6 Tribal Councilor.

The northern portion of the project includes 5.6 miles of new roadway and three new bridge structures and will span north from Interstate 40 to Pinhook Corner. This portion of the project is expected to cost $9 million.

The southern phase, spanning from Interstate 40 to Sequoyah Bay, was completed in 2017.

“We’re so grateful for this. It takes a group effort to make these kinds of projects happen and that’s the only way you make them happen,” Sequoyah County Commissioner Steve Carter said. “If Cherokee Nation wouldn’t have stepped up the project wouldn’t have been fully funded. There’s a lot of people who need to be thanked for this project.”

In fiscal year 2018 Cherokee Nation replaced more than 57 miles of roadway in the tribe's jurisdiction. 


KXMX News Staff

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Informational Meeting Scheduled for SH-101/Polecat Creek Improvement Project


The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is hosting an informational open house on Thursday, June 20 for a proposal to improve the SH-101 bridge at Polecat Creek in Sequoyah County. This is located three miles east of the SH-64B junction.

The bridge was built in 1958 and is a narrow structure with no shoulders. The proposal would include replacing the current bridge and approaches with a wider structure on the current alignment. The project is tentatively scheduled to let for construction in 2022.

The open house will feature maps of the proposal and also give the public a chance to ask questions and provide feedback on the project. This will be a come-and-go format with no formal presentation.

The Informational Open House will be held Thursday, June 20 from 5-7 p.m. at Belfonte Public School.

All project materials will also be made available online following the meeting at: www.odot.org/publicmeetings.

To request an accommodation, please contact the ODOT ADA Coordinator at 405-521-4140 or the Oklahoma Relay Service at 1-800-722-0353. If you have any ADA or Title VI questions email ODOT-ada-titlevi@odot.org.

KXMX News Staff

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Arrests Made in Burglary Investigation


On May 31 and June 1 the Sallisaw Police Department received numerous reports from victims stating that various items had been stolen from their vehicles. One of the victims reported that the windows on their vehicle had been broken out by the suspects. There were also reports filed of fraudulent credit card usage on stolen credit/debit cards by the suspects, according to Sallisaw Police Chief Terry Franklin.

On June 10 Lt. Owens was contacted by the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies had made contact with a 15 year old juvenile male, whom had admitted to breaking a vehicle window out in Sallisaw and stealing a wallet. Lt. Owens met with the juvenile and his mother at the sheriff’s office. Franklin stated that Owens questioned the suspect and the juvenile admitted that he and other juvenile males had broken into ten or more vehicles during the morning hours of June 1.

The juvenile also admitted that he had stolen a handgun and the gun was still at his Marble City residence, said Franklin. Owens and Deputy Neighbors went to the residence and recovered the stolen gun. On June 11, Detective Biles arrested a 14 year old juvenile male whom had been with the first suspect arrested.

Det. Biles interviewed the second suspect. The suspect admitted to going through neighborhoods, checking for unlocked vehicles, and then going thru the vehicles, looking for any valuables, Franklin said. This suspect also named other individuals whom were also allegedly involved in the burglaries and the fraudulent use of credit/debit cards that they had stolen. Through Biles investigation, he learned that the suspects had actually gone out on three separate nights/mornings to break into cars.

At this time detectives have recovered some of the property from the suspects. The suspects admit that after finding a purse or a wallet, they would steal the valuables, and then throw the wallets or purses into trash cans as they walked down the street. On June 12, a third juvenile male, age 13 was arrested in connection to the car burglaries. Sallisaw detectives are continuing their investigation and more arrests are pending, according to Franklin.

Sallisaw Police are asking that if you find property belonging to someone else, that you please contact the police. The Sallisaw Police Department would like to warn residents to please not leave valuables in plain view in your vehicles and to keep your vehicles locked at all times.

KXMX News Staff

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KXMX News Staff

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Marble City Man Dies in Accident


A Father’s Day accident took the life of a Marble City man over the weekend.

Nathan Pettit, 41, of Marble City, was driving a 2007 Buick Rainier southbound on County Road 4620, nearly two miles north of Sallisaw, at approximately 6:35 a.m. Sunday, June 16, when he departed the roadway to the left, striking a mailbox, then striking a fence and tree, and coming to rest.

Pettit was pronounced deceased at the scene due to medical issues, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The OHP said Pettit was wearing a seatbelt and the airbag did deploy. The Sequoyah County Sheriff’s office, Pafford EMS, Brushy Volunteer Fire Department and Sallisaw Fire Department all assisted with the scene.

The cause of the collision and the condition of the driver are under investigation, according to the OHP. Weather did not appear to be a factor.


Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Flood Resource Center Set for Sunday in Roland


A Flood Resource Reception Center will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Sunday, June 16, at 105 E. Ray Fine Blvd., in Roland.

Sponsored by the Red Cross and Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations in Active Disaster, or VOAD, the Resource Reception Center is intended for Sequoyah County residents who have been impacted by the recent floods.

MaryLynn Lufkin, Director of Catholic Charities Outreach and Disaster Relief for Eastern Oklahoma, said the center is to assist the people who are impacted by the floods in their recovery.

“We’re just reaching out to the Moffett community to help in their recovery and help them with questions,” Lufkin said.

Several disaster relief organizations will be on hand with information and resources, such as the Red Cross, Oklahoma VOAD, Salvation Army and Catholic Charities.

Lufkin said these agencies can assist flood victims with the FEMA application process and other immediate needs the disaster survivors might have.

“We can help walk them through the FEMA process, and help them navigate through that,” Lufkin explained.

Some cleaning supplies and hygiene kits may also be available.

“It’s just a way for us to reach out and help them with what can happen to move forward in their recovery,” Lufkin added. “It’s rough; some of these folks have lost everything.

“We can lend a hand, lend an ear and just comfort them.”

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

For more news stories stay tuned to The MIX 105.1 or visit www.kxmx.com