Monday, December 9, 2019

Commissioners OK Mental Health Court Agenda Items

The Board of Commissioners for Sequoyah County focused on the county’s new mental health court at their meeting Monday.

The commissioners unanimously approved a one-year lease for a building at 210 E. Creek St. to house the court, as well as naming official agents for the court itself.

The panel also accepted a $1,000 donation from the Cherokee Nation to the Sequoyah County Mental Health Court. “The Cherokee Nation does a lot for our county,” District 2 Commissioner Steve Carter said Monday. “It’s incredible.”

Kyle Waters was named requisitioning agent for the court, and Tina Edwards and Crystal Schulz were named receiving agents.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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CASC Delegates C.A.R.E for Local Elderly While Celebrating Their Culture

(Back Row - L to R) Ivan Baker Jr., Noah Martin-NASNTI Technology Specialist, Micky Solomon - NASNTI Project Coordinator, Katie Herr - College FYI First Year Experience Coordinator, & Kaylia Trejo (Front Row - L to R) Jagger Meshaya, Montana Farmer-NASNTI Coaching Coordinator, Alizah Baker

Through a campus-wide collaboration, Carl Albert State College delegates recently distributed hand-made corn husk dolls to residents of The Oaks Nursing Home in Poteau, and plan to distribute additional dolls to residents of The Sequoyah Manor in Sallisaw next week. 

In November, CASC departments collaborated to create Project C.A.R.E. (Collaborating Areas, Respecting the Elderly) as one of the initiatives developed through celebrating Native American Heritage Month. 

This project would allow campus departments and student organizations to give back to their communities while also celebrating Native American culture. CASC students and employees were invited to participate in a variety of cultural workshops throughout November. One of the workshops provided education and training for how to build a traditional native corn husk doll. 

The corn husk dolls made in the cultural workshops on both campuses would be combined with donated items gathered by the CASC Native American Club and Residential Assistants, to make gift bags to deliver to residents of The Oaks Nursing Home and the Sallisaw Manor Nursing Home during the upcoming holiday season. 

“It has been an honor to tie Native American Heritage Month events to a community project,” said Micky Solomon, CASC Title III Project Director, “that several clubs and classes at CASC could support. I believe we should take every opportunity we can to show love to others. It has been a privilege to work with CASC’s partners, students, faculty, and staff on Project C.A.R.E.”

Rachel Johnson, Native American Club Sponsor and CASC Enrollment & Advisement Director, said every member that participated in making the corn husk dolls poured love into each package they made, and saw this service opportunity as a way to share a piece of their heritage with others, while also giving back to their communities.

KXMX News Staff

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Vian Reschedules Downtown in December for Dec. 10

Vian’s Downtown in December event has been rescheduled. It will now be held Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 6-8 p.m. because Santa Claus and his reindeer are arriving a few days earlier than expected.

They were originally scheduled to arrive Dec. 14.

Everyone is welcome to attend this free event, organizers said. Christmas music, caroling, a fire pit,  and hot cocoa will be available. Kids will also be able to take photos with Santa and the reindeer. There will also be children’s activities and more.

Don’t miss the Jolly Old Elf and his crew!

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Chamber Announces December Schedule of Events

The Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce has released its December events schedule.

At noon on Wednesday, Dec. 11, chamber will hold its monthly membership luncheon at First United Methodist Church.

For holiday revelers, Saturday, Dec. 14, is your day. The following events are scheduled:

The day will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the Jingle Bell 5k race. It’s too late to register early, but $25 race-day registration will be from 6:30-7:15 a.m. There will also be a $15 Kids’ Fun Run. Walkers are welcome to participate. Race-day registration, post-race medals, door prizes and more holiday fun will be at the new Pocket Park at the corner of Cherokee Avenue and Oak Street. The start and finish line will be at the intersection of Oak Street and Choctaw Avenue.

At 5 p.m. Dec. 14, Shop Sallisaw will be held on the lawn of the Stanley Tubbs Memorial Library.

The chamber is presenting an Old Time Christmas parade at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Forms are available at the chamber, by calling (918) 775-2558 or visiting Forms are due Wednesday, Dec. 11. 

To cap off the day’s events, Studio 3.16 is staging a live concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Pocket Park in Sallisaw.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Friday, December 6, 2019

Webbers Falls Post Office to Reopen Monday

Residents of Webbers Falls will once again be able to receive mail at the Webbers Falls Post Office beginning Monday, Dec. 9.

The Webbers Falls Post Office has been closed since severe flooding did extensive damage to the town in May.

Residents have been receiving their mail in Gore during the interim.

According to a statement from the Webbers Falls postmaster, customers will be able to use their original postal box key and are asked to return their temporary key to Gore.

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Franklin Draws Opponent; Martens Unopposed

The filing period ended on Wednesday for Sallisaw city official races and local school board positions.

Sallisaw Police Chief Terry Franklin filed for re-election on Feb. 11, 2020 and will be opposed by Chris Abner.

Current Sallisaw Mayor Ernie Martens filed and is unopposed.

Two local school board positions are contested.

In Vian, James Thornton and Mike Cobb will vie for the Office 5 school board position on April 7, 2020.

Cecilia Muskrat and Lawana Turner are running for the Belfonte Office 3 school board position during the April 7 election.

Justin McGrew was unopposed for his seat on the Sallisaw School Board.

The following candidates were unopposed after filing for their respective school board seats: Lisa Price, Brushy Office 3; Roger D. Crawford, Central Office 5; Jesse James, Gans Office 3 (unexpired);
Jeremy Taylor, Gans Office 5; Ryan Hoog, Gore Office 5; Morgan Seubold, Liberty Office 3; Nancy L. Fields, Marble City Office 2; Sylvester Carolina, Moffett Office 2 (unexpired); Randy Hyatt, Moffett Office 3; Chad Sutton, Muldrow Office 5; and Roger Brunk, Roland Office 5.

KXMX News Staff

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Proposed Changes to Fish, Wildlife Rules Open for Public Comments

Each year, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation proposes changes in Title 800, the administrative rules that govern hunting, fishing and Wildlife Department operations. The public comment period for this year's proposed rule changes opened Monday, Dec. 2, and will close at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 3, 2020.

Many proposed changes are simple housekeeping matters, while some are more substantial. Some of this year's rule change proposals include:

*Increasing the deer gun hunting season by adding seven days to the end of the current season.

*Opening all of Osage County to pheasant hunting.

*Establishing restrictions on importing cervid carcasses or carcass parts to help prevent potential chronic wasting disease infectious materials from coming into Oklahoma from out of state.

*Expanding the Lower Mountain Fork River Trout Area boundaries and revising trout size limits, bag limits and tackle restrictions.

*Removing the minimum length limit for blue and channel catfish at Lake Texoma.

To read all of the proposed rule changes, go to

Anyone wanting to make comments on any of the proposed changes may do so in one of three ways:

Fill out the online public comment form at The online public comment period closes at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 3.

Write your comments in a letter and mail to Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Re: Public Comment, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City OK 73152. Letters must be postmarked by Jan. 3.

Voice your comments in person during one of two public hearings beginning at 7 p.m. Jan. 2. Hearings are scheduled at Wildlife Department headquarters, 1801 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City, and at Broken Bow Public Library, 404 N. Broadway in Broken Bow.

All public comments are collected and reviewed by the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission. Commissioners are expected to consider the proposed changes at their regular February meeting.

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Department of Health Recommends Flu Vaccine

As the number of flu-related hospitalizations continues to rise, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds Oklahomans there is still time to get a flu shot, and it is a good idea to have protection before upcoming holiday events and gatherings.

As of Dec. 3, the OSDH reports six deaths and nearly 200 hospitalizations associated with the flu since the season began in September. More than half of the hospitalizations have occurred among people 50 and older. 

Public health influenza vaccination clinics are available at county health departments, medical providers and pharmacies throughout the state. The OSDH wants to remind Oklahomans that everyone is at risk for influenza and the flu vaccination is recommended for anyone six months of age and older. Clinics at county health departments are stocked with regular flu vaccine and high-dose vaccine for those over age 65.

Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for serious illness from the flu, including pregnant women, children under five and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease and other chronic conditions. Parents and family members of babies younger than six months and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for complications from the flu, including health-care workers, should also get the vaccine.

“In addition to providing the flu vaccine, we encourage health-care providers to screen for all immunizations,” OSDH Immunization Service Director Dr. Fauzia Khan said. “This is especially important for the adult population.”

Symptoms of the flu include cough, fever, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue.

It is important for those experiencing flu-like symptoms to consult with a health-care provider as soon as possible. A provider may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment when started within 48 hours of noticing symptoms. Antiviral drugs may also be indicated as a prevention measure for especially vulnerable people who have been in close contact with someone sick with the flu, infants less than 6 months old, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women or anyone with a medical condition that severely suppresses their immune system. 

In addition to getting a flu shot, public health officials recommend the following prevention tips:

Frequent hand washing using soap and water, or using alcohol-based products such as hand gels when hands are not visibly soiled.

Make respiratory hygiene a habit, using tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then disposing of them and washing hands at once. When tissues are not readily available, cough into your sleeve, never your hands.

Stay home from work, school and other public places, except to get medical care or other necessities, until you have gone at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

Visit the “OK Flu View” at for weekly flu updates and additional information. Flu numbers are updated at 10 a.m. every Thursday.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Head-On Crash Leaves Two Dead

A car crash west of Tahlequah on Monday left two Oklahoma women dead.

According to an accident report, the collision happened at 5:23 p.m. on State Highway 51 east of Baker Road, about 1.4 miles west of Tahlequah in Cherokee County.

The report shows that a Ford Ecosport driven by Sharon Scrapper, 53, of Tahlequah was traveling eastbound on Highway 51 when it crossed left of center, colliding head-on with a 2007 Pontiac Torrent being driven by Ora Owens, 37, of Broken Arrow. Both vehicles came to rest in the westbound lane.

Scrapper and Kaitlyn Owens, 19, of Broken Arrow, a passenger in Ora Owens’ vehicle, both died of internal trunk injuries. 

Ora Owens was flown by Med Evac to St. John Hospital in Tulsa.

Roads were clear and dry at the time of the crash, the report shows. Scrapper was wearing her seat belt when the wreck occurred, but Ora Owens was not. Kaitlyn Owens was wearing her seat belt, the report reveals.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Church to Stage 8th Annual Presentation of ‘The Gift’

Oak Ridge Assembly of God, 2875 S. Kerr Blvd. in Sallisaw, is presenting its annual production of “The Gift,” which will give residents a chance to relive the greatest miracle of all, the birth of Jesus Christ.

The free, drive-through Nativity scene is in its eighth year and organizers say it will be even better this year.

Visitors can drop by the church this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 6-8) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. to view the spectacular presentation that organizers, actors and people behind the scenes have worked tirelessly on in an effort to share the spirit of God with everyone who drives through.

Melissa Buchanan, who has been involved with the production for five years, said the best thing about “The Gift” is that when people go through it, they feel the presence of God. “You come in, see the different scenes and you just feel it,” she said. “Everybody just needs to come at least once.”

That feeling is exactly what Oak Ridge Assembly is trying to bring to residents of Sallisaw, Sequoyah County and beyond, Buchanan said. “Our goal is to see people (who have gone through the scenes) give their lives to the Lord.”

The event itself is free, Buchanan said, but there will be a box at the end of the show for donations. Buchanan also pointed out that the refreshment area has been moved to the beginning of the show so patrons can enjoy the different scenes while having a warm drink or a snack.

The show will feature about 75 actors and people working behind the scenes, as well as several different barnyard animals.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Muldrow Man Charged in Burglary

Herman Ray Wheeler, 64, of Muldrow is facing a second-degree burglary charge after a reported break-in at a Sequoyah County home, according to a warrant filed Nov. 20.

On Nov. 3, a police report shows, a Sequoyah County deputy was dispatched to 472073 E. 1087 Road in reference to a burglary. When the deputy arrived at the home, he met with owner Tanner Shafer and another man, Stephen Magers. 

Shafer told the deputy he had returned home and saw a white Dodge Caravan backing out of his driveway and noticed the front door of the residence had been left ajar. He and Magers then confronted the two older men sitting in the van.

When questioned, one of the men said they were only “doing this so the people down the street didn’t do it.” The man said his home had been burglarized multiple times in the past.

Shafer then opened the van’s sliding door and asked why his car battery charger was in the back seat. When he said he was going to contact law enforcement, the men reportedly urged him not to do that and that if he did, they were leaving.

As they began to drive off, Shafer was dragged about 100 yards before he was able to get the charger out of the van. When the van drove off, he was able to take note of the Oklahoma license plate number. 

On Nov. 10, a deputy on patrol stopped the van, which had the same tag. Wheeler was one of the vehicle’s occupants. Shafer reportedly had been out driving and spotted the van, which he then followed until a deputy arrived on the scene.

Shafer identified Wheeler as one of the men that had been at his home the week before.

The battery charger was the only item reported stolen from the home.

The felony charge is punishable by up to seven years in prison. Wheeler’s bond has been set at $5,000.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Event to Raise Money for Carnie Welch Post

Carnie Welch American Legion Post 27 is hosting “A Patriotic Christmas” program at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in the agriculture building at the Sequoyah County Fairgrounds.

Post Commander Kathy Albertson-Shelton said Monday that the event is a fund-raiser for Post 27’s building fund and all money raised will go toward that end.

“We have long since outgrown our post,” she said, and this event will hopefully assist them in their search for a new home.

Gabrielle Gore, 16, a Muldrow High School student and Miss Oklahoma City’s Outstanding Teen, will perform a selection of patriotic songs for audience members. “She is going to go places,” Albertson-Shelton said. 

Concessions will be available at the event, along with patriotic T-shirts and more. Tickets are $7 for adults. Children under age 8 will get in free and older children can participate for $5. Tickets are available at the door or by contacting the American Legion.

For more information, contact Kathy Albertson-Shelton at (918) 774-4960.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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It’s Time for Toys for Tots Applications!

Two area Marine Corps Leagues (MCL) are teaming up to make Christmas a little brighter for kids in Sequoyah County and beyond. 

The River Valley MCL, based in Fort Smith, Ark., and the Cpl. Joshua J. Ware MCL # 1403 in Sallisaw have already spent lots of time working together to collect toys, including Nov. 22 and Nov. 25 at the Sallisaw Walmart.

Applications are being accepted at the Toy Store location on Oklahoma highways 59 North and 101 from 1-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until Dec. 14. 

Jackie Plank, adjutant pay master with the Ware MCL, said Monday that applications will be accepted from parents, guardians or foster parents. “You don’t have to be in need and you don’t have to be from Sequoyah County” to get toys, she added.

All applicants need to do is bring photo identification, along with the number of children they are getting toys for and their age groups, Plank said. Proof of income is not needed, she said.

Plank said the organization is also taking toy donations. New toys can be dropped off at the Toy Store and several other locations around the area, including any Dollar Store in Sequoyah County, Sonic of Sallisaw, Tractor Supply in Sallisaw, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8384 in Muldrow and VFW Post 4518 in Sallisaw and Pharm 788 in Roland. Financial donations are always welcome and Plank said all donated funds will go toward the Toys for Tots program.

“We appreciate everybody’s generosity,” Plank said. “We just want to help and we want to make sure every child has a good Christmas,” she said.

For more information, call John Wilson, Toys for Tots coordinator, at (479) 235-8226; Plank at (479) 883-5661; or email 

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Santa to Visit Muldrow Library

The Muldrow Public Library is kicking off the city’s Christmas holiday season at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, when Santa Claus arrives to bring free books and treats for kids.

The event will also feature Christmas carols sung by Muldrow’s Gabrielle Gore, 16.

Santa will arrive for the festivities at 6 p.m. and Gore will begin her performance at 7 p.m., followed by the library storyteller’s reading of the classic Christmas book “The Night Before Christmas,” written in 1837 by Clement Clark Moore. The festivities will end by 8 p.m.

For more information, call (918) 427-6703. The Muldrow Public Library, 711 W. Shawntel Smith Blvd., is a branch of the Eastern Oklahoma District Library Association.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Warrant Issued for Roland Jail Escapee

An arrest warrant was issued Nov. 25 for a Muldrow man who allegedly escaped from the Roland City Jail on Nov. 17.

On the day of the reported escape, a dispatcher said Joseph Buckhanan, 33, asked guards if he could step outside the jail for a moment. He exited the building at 9:24 a.m., a police report reveals, and about four minutes later he was not visible on camera.

Buckhanan was named a jail trusty on Nov. 15.

A look inside the jail and a trip outside failed to locate the suspect. Officers then searched the area, still not finding the man. Two witnesses told them they had seen Buckhanan running toward the school.

Later on, another inmate asked the dispatcher if Buchanan had fled, and when asked whether he knew Buckhanan was planning to escape he said the man had been planning to run since he came to jail. The inmate also stated that some of his clothing was stolen from his cell, clothing later discovered near the car wash area behind the Roland Fire Department.

Buckhanan was initially arrested on a Roland city warrant Nov. 14 and charged with failure to appear on charges of having an expired driver’s license, having no insurance and following too close. He became a jail trusty on Nov. 15.

The felony warrant is for the charge of escape from a city jail, which is punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years.

Buckhanan’s bond was set at $5,000.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Commissioners Open Bids for Health Department Renovations

The Board of Sequoyah County Commissioners opened three bids for renovations at the county Health Department at their weekly meeting Monday. The bids will now go to officials to determine which company will be chosen for the project.

The panel also unanimously approved the amendment of resolutions regarding the sales tax to provide funds for the 21 fire departments in Sequoyah County. The amendment creates a 21-member fire board (with one member for each fire department) that will advise the commissioners on purchasing decisions.

“We want to make the best possible decision on purchases and this panel will help facilitate that,” District 2 Commissioner Steve Carter said Monday.

Commissioners also approved a change to their 2020 schedule of meetings. They voted to move the first meeting of the month to 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. The change will set all of the weekly meetings at 10 a.m.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Deana Carter Brings Holiday Show to Lee Creek Tavern

Deana Carter took the industry and country music fans by storm with her wildly successful, multiplatinum, international-debut “Did I Shave My Legs for This?” more than a decade ago. On Dec. 14, she brings her hit songs, alongside classic Christmas favorites, to Lee Creek Tavern inside Cherokee Casino & Hotel Roland for an unprecedented holiday performance.

The free concert begins at 8 p.m. Local favorite Blake Turner Band closes out the show at 9 p.m.

Carter’s chart-topping debut album, anchored by the dreamy No. 1 super hit “Strawberry Wine,” showcased her own blend of country and retro-rock sprinkled with folksy singer-songwriter qualities.

Her debut album boasts six songs co-written and co-produced by Carter and was released to strong reviews in late summer 1996. By the end of the year, the record had climbed to the top of both the country and pop charts, quickly achieving RIAA multiplatinum status. A first for the genre, Carter’s celebrated debut held this distinction for more than five years. Along with the album title track and “Strawberry Wine,” the record features “We Danced Anyway” and “How Do I Get There,” both climbing to the coveted No. 1 position.

Her record “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” followed in late 1998. Making a strong move towards adult pop, Carter released “I’m Just a Girl” on Arista Records in 2003, the same year Capitol Records released a greatest hits compilation. The follow-ups, 2005’s “The Story of My Life” and 2007’s “The Chain,” were both released on Vanguard Records.

In an effort to pay homage to her musical roots and preserve her legendary father’s label, Nugget Records, which famously presented some of the best in country music some 40 years ago, Carter opened her own label, Little Nugget Records, on which her latest album, “Southern Way of Life,” was released.

Singer, songwriter and producer, Deana Carter continues to defy conventional expectations, making waves as she makes great music.

For more information on Carter, visit

Cherokee Casino & Hotel Roland is located off Highway 64 on Cherokee Boulevard in Roland.

For more information on Cherokee Casino & Hotel Roland, visit or call (800) 256-2338. All guests must be at least 21 years of age.

KXMX News Staff

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