Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Night Football Scores











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Sallisaw Police Pin on Ribbons of Support

Sallisaw police officers pinned on ribbons in support of their fellow officers who have recently undergone treatment for cancer or who are currently undergoing treatment. Officer Beau Gabbert explained the burgundy and white ribbons are for cancers of the head and neck, and pink is for breast cancer. "Law enforcement is a tight-knit family," Gabbert said about supporting his fellow officers and co-workers. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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Gans Man Faces Molestation Charges

A 29-year-old Gans man was charged with two counts of lewd molestation in Sequoyah County District Court, Sallisaw. Billy Wayne Long is accused of molesting an eight-year-old on two occasions between May 1 and July 4. According to the investigating officer's report filed on Oct. 22 with the charges, Long denied molesting the child. Long's bond is $10,000, and his arraignment is set for Nov. 12. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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Officers Support Their Fellow Officers

Members of the Sallisaw Police Department demonstrated support for their officers who recently underwent or are presently undergoing treatments for various cancers. Officers, their families and friends gathered for a lunch and show of support Thursday at the police department. The three members of the 22-member department who have beaten cancer or are currently under treatment are Billy Oliver, who recently completed treatment for a cancer of the neck; Sandra Girdner, who is undergoing treatment for tumors; and DeShawn Barron, who was undergoing her last treatment on Thursday and was unavailable for the photo.

Police Chief Terry Franklin said, "Because October is National Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to recognize some of our family who are undergoing treatments or just finished treatments." Franklin said the police department is like an extended family. "We're like any other family," Franklin said. "We may have our disagreements, but when we need each other, we will be there standing behind them."

Barron has been with the department for almost 10 years, Oliver has been with the department for six years, and Girdner for almost 20 years, for a total of 36 years. "They've put in over 36 years, and are still working if they can. We appreciate them and want to thank them for their service," Franklin said. He added, "This is also Sandra's birthday." Franklin concluded, "We wish them all a speedy recovery and good health in the future."

At the event are, from the left in back above, Ronnie Davis, John Weber, Randy Freeman, John Robert Montgomery, Jeff Murray, Mark Rutherford, Tucker Martens, Justin Smithson and Ben Smith. In front are Stephanie Murray, Kim Jamison, Dianna Davis, Jessica Ernst, Sandra Girdner, Billy Oliver, Sarah Roberts, Franklin, Laci Gabbert, Beau Gabbert, and John Owens. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Florida Man Faces 17 Charges

A Florida man was arrested Oct. 9 on Interstate 40, and now faces 17 criminal counts in Sequoyah County District Court, Sallisaw. Troy Derrell Larkins of Pompano Beach, Florida is charged with escape from arrest or detention, false identification card, seven counts of identity theft, seven counts of being in possession of forged notes or instruments, and one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Oct. 22, and his case is on Judge Lawrence Langley's disposition docket for Nov. 5. Larkins has a $200,000 bond.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol report filed with the charges, Larkins was driving a black four-door Chevrolet east on the interstate, and was clocked at 78 miles per hour in a 70 miles per hour speed zone. He was stopped by an OHP trooper at the 299 eastbound marker. The trooper noticed Larkins was nervous, his hands were shaking uncontrollably and his stomach was quivering. Larkins gave the trooper several stories about his travels while seated in the OHP car, then reached into a pocket and pulled out some gift cards and told the trooper they were gift cards. When the trooper asked to see the cards, Larkin stuck them back into his pocket and refused to hand them over, even after several requests to do so. He also would not remove his hand from his pocket, suggesting to the trooper that he may have been searching for a weapon. When the trooper demanded Larkins remove his hand from his pocket, Larkins refused, according to the report. The trooper physically removed Larkins from the patrol car and told him he was under arrest. According to the report, Larkins refused to comply and continued to struggle with the trooper on the ground. Larkins made several attempts to pull away, and would not comply with the trooper's commands. At about that time a second trooper arrived to assist, and Larkins was taken into custody.

The investigation revealed Larkins was allegedly driving without a valid license, was driving a third-party expired rental vehicle, had several computers and printers, along with over 60 alleged counterfeit checks, some of which had been denied and some of which were used to purchase the gift cards. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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Cherokee Language Training Program Applications Due Nov. 15

Scholarship applications for the new Cherokee language teacher training program are due Nov. 15. The purpose of the scholarship program is to better recruit and train teachers for the Cherokee Nation's language immersion charter school.

Five Cherokee language students will receive four-year scholarships to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. The students will earn an elementary education degree in appropriate areas to obtain the state of Oklahoma's teaching certification. Students will spend 15 hours per week learning the Cherokee language. They will observe and assist at the immersion school and receive language instruction from fluent Cherokee language program employees.

Roy Boney Jr., Cherokee language programs manager, said,"We need to ensure our language will continue to be spoken and taught. We believe these scholarships will result in recruiting and hiring teachers for our immersion school, satellite programs in public schools and many other language initiatives. For Cherokees who want to teach their culture and language in the classroom on a daily basis, this is a wonderful opportunity for the tribe to help them along in their careers."

Students can opt out of the program after one semester. Those who choose to continue will sign a contract committing their services after graduation to working in the immersion school or one of the tribe's public school Cherokee language programs. Scholarship recipients will be selected by a committee from the tribe's Cherokee language program and immersion school. To qualify, applicants must be Cherokee Nation citizens with some conversational Cherokee language ability. Applicants should also have a desire to teach and speak the language.

The application is available at under the "College Resources" link. Select "Cherokee Teacher Scholarship" under the downloads section at the bottom of the page. Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 15. For more information on the program or a scholarship application, contact Roy Boney at 918-453-5487 or

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Men Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to Stop Violence

Chris Berton from KXMX strikes a pose for a good cause.

And they're off...Sallisaw Police Officer Jeff Murray and 
Treye Girdner of Armstrong Bank lead the pack.
District Attorney Brian Kuester complained of leg cramps!

No flat feet here! From the left Sallisaw Police Officers, 
Jeff Murray, Billy Oliver and Tucker Martens
sporting their fancy footwear.

Almost 30 men slipped into and taped on high heels to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a program sponsored by Carl Albert State College staff and Sequoyah Counseling Services. The national program to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes takes place in October which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, was started in 2001. The event is designed to be a playful opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and remediations to men's sexualized violence against women. First you walk the walk, and then you talk the talk to end rape, sexual assault and gender violence, according to organizers. The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event is helpful in preventive education, it helps men better understand and appreciate women's experiences, thus changing perspectives, helping improve gender relationships and decreasing the potential for violence. For healing, it informs the community that services are available for recovery.

The men who participated in Sequoyah County's Walk a Mile received T-shirts, and lunch for themselves and their families and friends who came to watch and provide support, literally in some cases. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Editor

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Voting Tips Offered by Election Board Secretary

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 (Tuesday) for the general election. Cindy Osburn, Sequoyah County Election Board Secretary, offered voters tips on how to make their votes count.

Osburn said that a valid ballot marking-a filled-in box (in either blue or black ballpoint ink) is important. If voters make mistakes marking their ballots, Osburn said they should not try to correct those errors. Instead, a voter should return the spoiled ballot to precinct officials, who will destroy it and issue a new ballot to the voter.

Osburn also urged voters to take their voter identification cards with them to the polls. She said, "Your voter ID card (issued by the election board)  can help precinct officials find their name in the Precinct Registry, and it may help them resolve the problem if you are not listed in the Registry for some reason." Alternatively, voters can bring an unexpired photo ID card issued by the U.S. government. Voters without ID, or whose names are not found in the Precinct Registry, or voters who disagree with the information shown in the registry, may always cast a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is sealed in a special envelope and counted after election day if the voter's information can be verified by the election board.

Osburn said that voters who want to get through the line quickly should vote at mid-morning or mid-afternoon, because those usually are the two slowest periods. She said, "Anyone who is eligible and in line at the polling place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday will be entitled to vote." By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Editor

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DPS Releases Fatality Report

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) recently released the state fatality report for the month of August. DPS officials report 54 fatalities in August 2014 compared to 74 in the same month last year. During the month of August there were five motorcyclists and six pedestrians who died in crashes. The highest daily fatality numbers include 12 deaths on Saturdays, dropping to 11 on Fridays. There were nine days in the month of August the DPS reported no fatalities. Two of the fatality crashes were alcohol-related, and 44 of the fatality victims were Oklahoma residents and 10 nonresidents. There were 33 male, 20 female victims and one unknown gender reported. Nine of the fatality victims were under the age of 20. The 21-30 age group led the fatality count with 11. Tulsa County led the state with a fatality count of six, followed by Oklahoma County with five fatalities. The highest number of fatalities occurred on U.S. highways with 14. There were 13 fatalities on state highways. Fifty-four percent of those who died in traffic collisions were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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1,700 Native Teens Helped over Past 26 Years

The Cherokee Nation celebrated the construction of its new $5 million Jack Brown Center, above, at a grand opening ceremony in Tahlequah Monday. The treatment center helps Native youth ages 13 to 18 overcome drug and alcohol addiction. It's one of only 10 centers of its kind in the country.

The former Jack Brown Center was located in a 1930's era facility on the Sequoyah Schools campus. The newly constructed center at 1413 Missionary Circle is a 28,000-square-foot, five-building campus with a farmstead architectural style. The expansion serves 36 Native teens instead of the previous capacity of 20. Since 1988 the Jack Brown Center has treated more than 1,700 Native teens.

Tim Maxville, 41, spent six months at Jack Brown getting treatment for alcohol addiction when he was a senior in high school. Maxville, a Choctaw citizen from Sand Springs, said, "I don't know that my trajectory in life would've been the same if I had not gone to the Jack Brown Center for treatment. I'm so glad this new center will serve more Native teens and show them there is a bright future. What had the biggest impact on me as a resident there was being around Natives that looked like me, talked like me and had the same problems as me, which I related to." Maxville now works in construction and is earning a degree in Native American Studies at Tulsa Community College. He has been sober for decades.

The new Jack Brown Center campus features a recreation center, male and female dorms, a cafeteria and large group therapy rooms. An iconic silo, part of the dairy farm on the original property, was kept as part of the design. The construction was fully funded by the Cherokee Nation. The center receives Indian Health Service funds to operate.

For more information about the Jack Brown Center, email or call 918-452-5500.

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Voters May Cast Ballots Early on Oct. 30

A new Oklahoma law allows for early voting for the Nov. 4 general election beginning Oct. 30. The law changes 'early' voting to the prior Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before the regular voting Tuesday. The new state law took effect Nov. 1, 2013. Now, early voting begins on Thursday and continues on Friday and Saturday, Sequoyah County Election Board Secretary Cindy Osburn explained. She pointed out that early voting is no longer conducted on Monday. The new law also adjusts the hours for Saturday in-person absentee voting. Saturday voting now takes place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Osburn explained that during federal and state elections such as Nov. 4, voter turnout is often heavier and providing early voting on Saturday gives voters an additional opportunity to vote before election day. More information about absentee voting in Oklahoma, as well as other election-related information, is available at

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Accidents Include One Fatality

A Cookson man was life-flighted to a Tulsa hospital Saturday after a crash at about 7:28 p.m. on State Highway 82, one-half mile north of Six Shooter Road in Cherokee County. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported Darrell Taulsen, 57, was driving his 2006 Ford F250 truck north on State Highway 82 when he left the road to the right, then over corrected and left the road to the left. The truck rolled one-half time, coming to rest on its top and partially ejecting the driver. Taulsen was admitted to the hospital and was listed in stable condition with internal and external trunk and leg injuries.

Two Bokoshe residents were injured at about 7:24 p.m. Saturday when struck by a truck while walking along U.S. Highway 270 in LeFlore County. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported Tammie King, 25, and a 12-year-old female were struck by a 1996 Dodge Truck driven by Dallas Lyons, 64, of Howe. White was transported by LeFlore County EMS to Mercy Medical Center in Fort Smith where she was listed in stable condition with a leg injury. The OHP reported Lyons was driving west on U.S. Highway 270 when he met a vehicle going east, then he hit the pedestrians. The OHP reported the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

A Broken Arrow man was killed Sunday in an accident in which one vehicle left the scene. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported Jason Mitchell Ashlock, 39, was on a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle going north on the Muskogee Turnpike when he struck a deer in the road. Ashlock was thrown from the motorcycle into the middle of the road where he was struck by an unknown vehicle. The OHP reported Ashlock was transported by Broken Arrow EMS to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa where he was pronounced dead.

By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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Corps Waives Fees for Military Personnel and Families

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Tulsa District announced Monday that it will waive day use fees for veterans, active and reserve service members and their families at Tulsa District USACE-operated recreation areas on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.  The fee waiver requires only verbal confirmation of service. The waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and swimming beaches. The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters. USACE does not charge an entrance fee to access its park. Other agencies that manage recreation areas on USACE lands are encouraged, but not required, to offer the waiver in the areas they manage. Earl Groves, the Tulsa District Chief of Operations, said, "The waiver is a small token of appreciation for our veterans, active and reserve service members and their families and an invitation to come out to one of the many Tulsa District lakes to enjoy the day in the great outdoors free of charge."

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CASC Graduate Speaks to Student Scholars

Rodney Shepard, President and CEO of Arvest Bank of Fort Smith, spoke to students of the Carl Albert State College Scholars Program on Oct. 21, and visited with CASC President Garry Ivey (above). Shepard, a native of Roland, is a graduate of Carl Albert State College and a prime example of how a CASC student has climbed the ladder of success. From CASC he went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Northeastern State University and a master's degree from Webster University. He is a graduate of Mid-South School of Banking, completed the ABA Commercial Lending School, and also completed the Graduate School of Banking program at Louisiana State University. In honor of his accomplishments, Shepard received the Distinguished Alumni Award at CASC in 2006.

Shepard shared that he attended CASC as a member of the Scholars Program. "Two of the best years of my life were at Carl Albert. I learned lots and had an awesome time." He went on to say, "My best friend today is someone I met here." Shepard talked to the students about life and encouraged them to not only complete their degree but to never quit learning. He encouraged them to value relationships, value other people, have a positive attitude, and find their passion. He also stressed to them the need to find balance in life. Shepard's community involvement reflects his commitment to leadership and service. Shepard is a graduate of both the Leadership Fort Smith and the Leadership Springfield programs. He has also served on many boards in the Springfield and Fort Smith Areas.

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Roland Man Charged for Destroying OKC Monument

The suspect being held for an incident which occurred at the state capitol Thursday evening, was charged and booked into the Oklahoma County Jail this weekend, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol announced Monday morning. Michael Tate Reed, 29, of Roland was formally charged with the following:

*Destruction of State Property/Improvements (felony)
*Indecent Exposure (felony)
*Making Threatening Statements (misdemeanor)
*Reckless Driving
*Operating a vehicle while license revoked

Reed was also charged with four counts of felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which stemmed from incidents that occurred during his initial emergency order of detention on Friday.

Chief of Patrol Colonel Ricky Adams, said, "This incident has the full attention of my office. We take this matter very seriously and are reviewing exactly what took place and areas we can improve. Our goal is public safety, any modifications to our security procedures we make in the future will be in pursuit of that goal."

Reed was taken into custody Friday after he was found at a federal building in Oklahoma City, threatening the president and admitting he crashed a car into a Ten Commandments Monument. Reed was then taken to an Oklahoma County mental facility for an emergency order of detention and mental evaluation. He allegedly told investigators that Satan made him do it. His family, interviewed in Roland by the media, said Reed was injured in an accident four years ago, which affected his mental health. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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Ribbon Cutting Held for New Trails at Brushy Lake Park

The Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce sponsored a ribbon cutting on Friday for the new Brushy Lake Trails at Sallisaw's Brushy Lake Park. Austin Carrigan, Sallisaw Parks Department employee, headed up the building of the trails along with a group of volunteers, most of whom are local cycling enthusiasts. The first trail is a mile-long loop with plans to add an additional 3-4 miles of trails. The trail was designed for mountain biking as well as hiking. "A lot of planning and hard work went into the construction of the trails. City Manager Bill Baker and Parks Superintendent Lee Risley were very supportive of the project. It is a beautiful addition to the park," stated Debby Keith, City of Sallisaw Grants Administrator.

The City of Sallisaw assumed control of the former Brushy Lake State Park in August 2011 after the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department announced their plan to close the park along with six other state parks due to budget cuts. The 90-acre park was already owned by the city but the State of Oklahoma had been leasing it.

The trails add to an already popular vacation spot. According to the City of Sallisaw, the facilities at the park include eight day-use picnic areas with tables and grills, group shelters with electricity, 23 concrete camping sites including RV sites, playgrounds and a lighted boat ramp, as well as boat and fishing docks. Electric service, water service and comfort stations with showers are available.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Night Football Scores










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Son Charged with Father's Murder

Steven L. Just, 40, of the rural Roland area, was charged with first-degree murder for the shooting of his 72-year-old-father, Robert Calvin Just, on Oct. 13 at the home where both lived. Just entered a not guilty plea to the charge Wednesday in Sequoyah County District Court, Sallisaw. His case was placed on Judge Lawrence Langley's felony disposition docket for Nov. 5.

In the investigator's affidavit filed with the charge, police reported Steven Just told them he was angry with his father for not giving him the money to go visit his seven-year-old son, Jacob, who was awaiting a heart transplant in a St. Louis, Missouri hospital. The boy died on Oct. 11. On Oct. 13, according to the report, Steven Just was believed to have been drinking, and was at his parents' home in the late afternoon when he confronted his father. Steven Just told the investigators, "I'd had enough, my son had just died, he treated my mom like ___, he wasn't about to contribute to my son's ___ funeral or nothing." Steven Just told investigators that his father went to his truck and came back with a shovel. Just said he believed his father was going to beat him with the shovel, and he went to his father's bedroom and got his father's .22-caliber pistol, and then shot his father as the elder Just walked toward his son. Steven Just told investigators, "All I know is he was coming at me with a shovel and I was ___scared and I shot him."

Investigators also took statements from witnesses and family members at the scene. They said Robert Just had given his son gas money to travel to St. Louis to see his son. Family members said Robert Just had been at his shop the day he was killed, preparing food for the family gathering. They also said they had never known Robert Just to be physically harmful to son since the son became an adult, and that Steven Just had been acting "weird" that day, crying then breaking into laughter. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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Sex Offender Charged with Rape, Molestation

A 34-year-old sex offender was charged Oct. 22 in Sequoyah County District Court in Sallisaw with first-degree rape (victim under age 14) and lewd molestation. Andrew Thomas Edwards pleaded not guilty to the charges on Wednesday, and his case was placed on Judge Lawrence Langley's Nov. 5 disposition docket. Edwards is being held without bond in the Sequoyah County Detention Center in Sallisaw.

The affidavit filed with the charges allege Edwards, who was arrested Oct. 9, had child pornography on his phone, was having sexually explicit phone conversations with four girls who live in other parts of the county and who are believed to between the ages of 14 and 16, had a sexual encounter with the 7-year-old daughter of a woman he was dating (who did not know he was a registered sex offender), and liked to wander through a store in Sallisaw "to look for children." According to the affidavit, Edwards told investigators he made a sexual advance to a young girl in the store while her mother wasn't looking and who did not notice.

Edwards was on probation for a previous felony conviction for production/distribution of child pornography and lewd or indecent proposals/acts to a child in 2001. He was sentenced to prison and began the sentence on Nov. 27, 2001. He was released on Jan. 4, 2011, and rearrested on April 6, 2011, for failure to register as a sex offender. Edwards told investigators that he has been out of prison for about two years, and "confirmed he has been committing violations of his probation since that time." By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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Tribe, U.S. Reclaim Mine Site in Sequoyah County

About 100 acres of former abandoned coal mines in Sequoyah County now have lush bluestem and other native grass, a 25-acre lake and an abundance of wildlife. The Cherokee Nation worked with the U.S. Department of Interior for the past year to replace high dangerous embankments and fill in strip pits to restore the area back to productive, usable land.

Visiting the reclaimed site on Wednesday are (above, left to right) Butch Garner, Cherokee Nation Natural Resources Specialist; Lachelle Harris, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Tulsa Field Office Program Specialist; Elaine Ransey, OSMRE Tulsa Field Office Director; Ervin Barchenger, OSMRE Mid-Continent Regional Director; Joe Pizarchik, U.S. Department of Interior OSMRE Director of Washington D.C.; Janelle Fullbright, Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Deputy Speaker; Bill John Baker, Principal Chief; Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittendon; David Thornton, Tribal Councilor; and Gaming Commissioner Shannon Fisher.

The Cherokee Nation received a $2 million abandoned mine land reclamation award from the U.S. Department of Interior, which uses money from coal companies to restore former mining sites considered the highest priority or dangerous. The Cherokee Nation is the only tribe in Oklahoma to receive reclamation funding. Officials with the U.S. Department of Interior took a tour of the site Wednesday with Principal Chief Baker and tribal leaders to see the finished project.

Baker said, "Anytime we can do a partnership and bring technical assistance and funding to make Cherokee Nation land safer and more usable is a win-win. Native Americans were the first conservationists to take care of the land, and, in turn, it takes care of us. To come back and fix blight on our land left by others and get it back to something our people can use and be proud of is truly a blessing."

The 100 acres at Sallisaw Creek Park was purchased by the federal government for the Cherokee Nation in the 1940's but was unusable. In 2013, the Department of Interior worked with the tribe to design and construct the reclamation project. It used contractors to level mounds of dirt that was unearthed from mining and replaced the top soil on the acreage. The two tracks were also reseeded with native grasses and replanted with native trees.

Pizarchick said, "We had great cooperation with the Cherokee Nation in order to get reclamation that met the tribe's needs and eliminated dangers that were posed by the abandoned mine lands so that it could be restored and productive. It was a great partnership designing the project, and the construction was completed in a timely manner."

The Cherokee Nation currently plans to use the area for recreation. The tribe also has 10 acres of trust land near Porum reclaimed through the same program.

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Harrell Honored as Outstanding Alumnus

Dr. Kathy Harrell was recently honored as the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus of South Arkansas Community College (Southark) during the Arkansas Community Colleges (ACC) Annual Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Southark is a community college located in El Dorado, Arkansas. Dr. Harrell, Carl Albert State College-Sallisaw vice president, stated, "My ties to community colleges run deep. I graduated from Southark, and have spent the past 20 years with CASC. At Carl Albert, I began as the tech prep specialist, and since have served in various capacities including faculty, division chair, and vice president of Academic Affairs."

She went on to explain, "I spent much of my time as a college student in the same shoes as many of our students. As a single mom, I had the responsibilities of a family while holding down a job and earning my degree all at the same time. Because of this, I understand the benefits our students receive upon graduation from Carl Albert State College. It's not easy to balance day to day responsibilities while being a student, but it is worth it." Along with an associate's degree, Dr. Harrell has a BSE from Southern Arkansas University and both master and doctorate degrees from the University of Arkansas.

Dr. Harrell lives in Sallisaw and is active in many community organizations including the boards for Sallisaw Main Street and Help In Crisis, Inc. She is a member of several organizations dealing with victims of crime. She also serves on the state level as the secretary for the Council on Extended Campus Administrators and is a member of the Economic Development Council for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, serving as co-chair of the Business Partnership Luncheon Committee. Dr. Harrell is an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church of Sallisaw and the GY Chapter of PEO. She has three children including Jeremy Ibert, daughter-in-law Kim and their two daughters, Bekah and Annalee, of El Dorado; Elisabeth Ibert Roop, her husband Sam, and their sons, Aiden and Tate of Edmond; and Lindsey Ibert of Oklahoma City.

Dr. Harrell concluded, "Community college serves a vital role in the education process. For our students attending right out of high school, community college is a valuable transition. Students receive a quality education at an affordable price, and they learn how to be successful before transferring to further their education or joining the work force. For our students who have been out of high school for years and decide to start or return to college, we are right here where they can continue their lives while earning their degree."

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

State's First Flu Cases Reported

The Oklahoma State Department of Health Acute Disease Service announced the first lab-confirmed cases of flu in the state today. One case is in Oklahoma County, a child under the age of five, and one case is in Tulsa County, a child also under the age of 5. One child is hospitalized, one is not. The health department is recommending the annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. The vaccinations are especially important for those at a high risk from flu complications, including persons age 65 and older and children less than 2 years of age. Persons age 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions such as a chronic lung disease like asthma or COPD, with diabetes (type 1 or 2), heart disease, neurological conditions, other long-term health conditions are at increased risk of more severe influenza disease and hospitalization. The health department also offers the following tips:

*Perform frequent hand hygiene using soap and water or alcohol-based products such as hand gels;

*Make respiratory hygiene a habit by using tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then disposing of them and washing hands at once, or, when tissues are unavailable, use your sleeve, never your hands;

*Stay home from work, school and other public places if ill.

Visit the health department's web site at for more information.

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Dates Announced for Area Trick-or-Treating

With Halloween falling on the same night as Friday night football, there has been some confusion regarding when the kiddos should be out candy hunting. Below are dates for trick or treating in area towns.

*Sallisaw: Halloween on Elm Street, sponsored by the Sallisaw Police Department, will be from 5 to  8 p.m. on Oct. 30; regular neighborhood trick-or-treating on Oct. 31.

*Vian: Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 30 to avoid conflict with the Friday night football game.

*Roland: Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 31.

*Muldrow: Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 31.

*Gans: Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 31.

*Gore: Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 31.

*Marble City: Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 31.

* Fort Smith: Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 31.

*Van Buren:  Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 31.

*Stigler: Oct. 31, from 4 p.m. until dark, businesses stay open for trick-or-treating.

*Tahlequah: Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 31.

*Muskogee:  Trick-or-Treating will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.

*Poteau:  Trick-or-Treating will be on Oct. 31.

*Spiro: A Fall Festival will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 30, and trick-or-treating will be held as usual on Oct. 31. 
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GED Diplomas Awarded by Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation officials and Career Services staff join the 2014 GED recipients from the tribe's adult education program, as the Cherokee Nation celebrated the accomplishments of 37 Cherokee citizens who received their GED diplomas this year through the tribe's adult education program. Those who completed the program and passed the GED test were awarded their diplomas and $300 incentive awards at a reception on Oct. 9 at Talking Leaves Job Corps.

The GED recipients are Jeannetta Childers, Matthew Coon, Randy Hornet, Dallas Falling, Kyle Masterson, Kendall Skinner and David Sutter, all of Tahlequah; Kylen Lemmings of Peggs; Rheanna Johnson of Welling; Janna Callahan, Rebecca Hensley, Rodena Roberts and George Scott, all of Stilwell; Kenneth Orman Jr., Lora Shannon, Kimber Sheppard and Kyle Wildcat, all of Muskogee; Chelsea Byrd and Cassandra Sutterfield, both of Porum; Amanda Moore and Emily Moore, both of Fort Gibson; Jennifer Davis, Todd Davis, Trevor Howington, Raven Jewell, Mark Powell and Chancie Rice, all of Sallisaw; Don Dugger, Stephanie Dugger and Billie Hudspeth, all of Gore; Robyn Pizana and J.C. Rothers, both of Vian; Nick Pruitt, of Marble City; James Crabtree, of Locust Grove; Charlie-Ann Denny of Jay; Amy Israel of Colcord; and Kayla Williamson of Catoosa.

The Cherokee Nation Adult Education Program allows participants to study subjects like math, reading and writing at their own pace until they are ready for the GED test. The tribe also provides GED instruction at 11 sites throughout its 14-county jurisdiction.

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