Sequoyah County Commissioners Steve Carter, District 2, Ray Watts, District 1, and Jim Rogers, District 3, approved two proclamations at their regular meeting on Monday morning.
They approved designating October as Bullying Awareness Prevention Month and as Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the request of Cindy Smith, investigator with the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s office. With the extra awareness, Smith said bullying has declined and domestic violence is down some.
“Three out of four homicides are directly related to domestic violence,” Smith said, adding that the state is among the top five states in the numbers of cases of domestic violence. “We want to move ourselves out of the top five,” she said.
The commissioners also noted that Jack Thorp was sworn in as the county’s new district attorney on Monday morning. The former district attorney, Brian Kuester, is now the U.S. attorney in Muskogee, and was nominated for the job by President Donald Trump.
Julie Ward asked the commissioners to approve a $4 million loan Sequoyah Memorial Hospital wishes to obtain. Ward, hospital CEO, said $1.7 million will be used to pay debt, $600,000 will be used to obtain a contract with Cherokee Health Partners, and the remainder will be used to double the size of the emergency ward and open an intensive care unit. A portion of the loan will also pay off back taxes and other bills, Ward said.
The commissioners tabled a decision on the loan because, Ward said, the hospital board has not approved the loan yet because only three of the five member board were present at the meeting on the loan.
The loan must also be approved by Sallisaw City Commissioners and will be presented to them at their regular meeting on Monday, Ward said.
Steve Rutherford, Sequoyah County Emergency Management director, reported a train derailment near Central School is nearly cleaned up. The derailment was attributed to excessive rainfall on Aug. 13.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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