Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fire at District 3 County Barn

The Sallisaw Fire Department responded to a report of an interior fire at the Sequoyah County District 3 County Barn Thursday afternoon. 

Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire but are currently still on location. 

The county barn is located just north of Taylor Drive on Maple St. (Old Highway 17). Motorists are advised to use caution in this area as there are still fire engines parked on the side of the highway.

We will bring you more details as they become available. 

KXMX News Staff

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Sallisaw Woman Charged with Larceny

A Sallisaw woman who allegedly stole a purse in the Walmart parking lot was charged Oct. 22 with larceny of lost property, a felony, records show.

According to a police report, a Sallisaw officer responded to an Oct. 5 call from Shannon Potts, who told him she had left her purse in a shopping cart at the store.

Potts returned home to begin canceling her debit card and other items that may have been compromised. She also activated the “Find my iPhone” application and noted the two phones that had been inside her purse were pinging in the Blackgum area.

A Sequoyah County Sheriff’s deputy was given the information the app provided and he made contact with Donita Stewart and Amanda Young. The woman agreed to allow the deputy to search the home. When the “Play a Sound” feature on the app was activated, the deputy discovered the two phones.

In another area of the house, law enforcement officials found a purse matching Potts’ description.

Young was subsequently arrested. She was released on $2,500 bond.

The larceny charge is punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for up to two years, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Webbers Falls to Host Christmas Festival

Webbers Falls is not planning a Christmas parade this year. Instead, officials have scheduled something a little different, a Christmas Festival! Everyone is invited to the event, which will be downtown from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

According to reports, the town hopes the event will bring the community and neighbors together after organizers canceled the annual parade because of a sewer project going on along the usual parade route. 

Folks can decorate booths and hand out candy and other goodies to advertise their business or organization at the event, and Santa Claus will be there taking photos with participants. Hot beverages will also be available for sale. If you have a float that’s been used in previous parades, you are welcome to set it up as your booth.

Organizers will have the town’s event center open for churches or other groups wanting to put on Christmas specials. Christmas carolers are also welcome at the festival.

For more information, call Webbers Falls City Hall at (918) 464-2920. Please RSVP by contacting Emily Ogg at the above telephone number or email her at

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Halloween Safety On and Off the Road

Kids love the magic of Halloween: Trick-or-treating, classroom parties and trips to a neighborhood haunted house. But for moms and dads, often there is a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.

National Safety Council (NSC) research reveals almost 18% of these deaths occurred at road crossings or intersections. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night also plays a factor in these deaths.

Here's a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. In 2017, October ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,700. July is No. 1, with 3,830 deaths.

Costume Safety

To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of Halloween safety tips. Before Halloween arrives, be sure to choose a costume that won't cause safety hazards.

*All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
*Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision
*If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
*When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
*Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation
*When They're on the Prowl
*A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
*If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
*Agree on a specific time children should return home
*Teach your children never to enter a stranger's home or car
*Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
*Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
*Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street

Safety Tips for Motorists

NSC offers these additional safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:

*Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
*Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
*At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
*Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween

Provided by the National Safety Council

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Man Attacks Fellow Inmate

A Muldrow man faces an aggravated assault and battery charge after a Sequoyah County Jail inmate had his ear nearly ripped off inside his cell.

Records show that Christopher John Ward, 39, was among four inmates sharing a cell with Paul Winton when the incident occurred. The inmates told a detention officer that Winton had fallen and struck his head on the corner of a metal table in the cell.

The detention officer took Winton to the jail’s booking area to be treated by a nurse, who reported that in addition to his ear injury, Winton had shoe marks on his back consistent with the type of footwear given to inmates upon intake.

Winton was later transported to Sequoyah Memorial Hospital for further treatment.

On Oct. 16, a recorded visitation between Ward and TreShawna Daugherty revealed that Ward had struck Winton.

Ward pleaded not guilty on Oct. 23. His next court appearance is at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The felony charge is punishable by up to five years in the penitentiary or up to one year in county jail as well as a $500 fine.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Speeding Infraction Ends With Arrest

A Sallisaw woman traveling 3 mph over the posted speed limit led police on a high-speed car chase Oct. 20. Speeds exceeded 100 mph after the failed traffic stop.

Krista Deann Tatum, 37, was driving a silver four-door Infiniti at 38 mph in a 35-mph zone, according to the Sallisaw Police Department’s report, which led to the attempted stop. 

While chasing the fleeing vehicle, the officer saw it pass another vehicle traveling in the same direction while negotiating a curve on Highway 64. The car then slowed down and the driver activated the right turn signal before stopping on the shoulder of Baucom Road.

Tatum was charged with eluding/attempting to elude a police officer, a felony, and a misdemeanor count of speeding. The felony is punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,000 or both. The punishment for speeding is imprisonment for up to 10 days, a fine of up to $205 or both.

Tatum was released from jail on a $1,500 bond. Her next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Roland Woman Hit With Contraband Charge

A Roland woman who reportedly brought a syringe into the Sequoyah County Detention Center was charged with bringing contraband into a jail facility, a felony, according to records filed Oct. 23.

Shantel Cleaver, 31, was also charged with misdemeanor counts of eluding and obstructing an officer. She was arrested Oct. 18 after a brief high-speed chase down rural county roads.

The woman identified herself as Shantel Brown, but a records search of that name yielded no results. 

Two passengers in the vehicle identified themselves as Aaron Wilborn and Kenneth Brown. A search of their records revealed that both men had valid arrest warrants in Muskogee and Sequoyah counties. Kenneth Brown was detained on his warrants, but Wilborn was released because Muskogee County chose not to have him extradited.

After learning the driver’s real name, Shantel Cleaver, the Sequoyah County deputy had dispatch check her records, which revealed two felony arrest warrants in Sequoyah County.

Upon arriving at the Sequoyah County Jail, Brown and Cleaver denied having any contraband on them and consented to a search. A hypodermic syringe and a white, crystalline substance were found inside Cleaver’s bra. The substance later tested positive for methamphetamine.

Cleaver pleaded not guilty to the charges on Oct. 23. Her next court appearance is at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The felony charge is punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for up to five years, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Monday, October 28, 2019

CN Cuts Ribbon on Road to Outpatient Health Center

Cherokee Nation DOT Highway Design Specialist Donald Moore, Cherokee Nation DOT Construction Manager Barry Hood, Cherokee Nation DOT Utility Coordinator Jackie King, Lake Region Electric Cooperative Manager of Engineering Services Jerry Latty, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Tina Glory-Jordan, Lake Region Electric Cooperative Director of Marketing Glen Clarke, District 1 Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, District 5 Tribal Councilor E.O. Smith, Cherokee Nation Community Services Executive Director Michael Lynn, Cherokee Nation Chief of Staff Todd Enlow, Cherokee Nation DOT Director Andy Quetone, City of Tahlequah Street Commissioner Wayne Ryals, Cherokee Nation DOT Chief Designer Regina Compelube, and Cherokee Nation DOT project inspector Jeff King.

Cherokee Nation and Tahlequah city officials cut the ribbon for a newly improved section of East Ross Street on Oct. 16. The street provides access to the tribe’s new outpatient health center on the W.W. Hastings campus.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, Tribal Councilors Rex Jordan and E.O. Smith, Secretary of State Tina Glory Jordan and Chief of Staff Todd Enlow met with staff of the tribe’s Department of Transportation and Tahlequah city officials to cut the ribbon and celebrate the project’s completion.

“This improved road will directly serve our new, state-of-the-art health facility,” Chief Hoskin said. “We expect it to be busy with patients and staff coming and going, and one of the best ways we can serve them is by making sure the roads to our facilities are safe. Our Department of Transportation made this all possible and completed the project ahead of schedule so there would be no issues with Cherokee Nation citizens getting access to the health care they need.”

Tribal leaders celebrated a soft opening of the new health facility on Oct. 7, and a grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 14.

“Project coordination between the Cherokee Nation Department of Transportation staff and the Hastings health facility construction staff was critical to ensure access was maintained and neither project was delayed,” said Michael Lynn, executive director of Cherokee Nation Community Services. “This is a major investment within the city of Tahlequah and I am extremely proud of the Cherokee Nation DOT staff for their hard work and countless hours on this project.”

The project extends nearly a mile long and provides new traffic loops, modifications to traffic signals, a pedestrian crossing sign and traffic lighting along East Ross Street and its intersection with US Highway 62, known as the Bertha Parker Bypass in Tahlequah. 

“I’m very pleased we were able to get this finished in time for the health facility’s opening,” said District 1 Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan. “The hard work from everyone involved made all of this possible, and thanks to them our citizens will have a safe way to get to the new health facility.”

The cost of the project was more than $2.7 million.

“This is a big safety improvement that will help members of the Cherokee Nation and all the citizens of Tahlequah and many other communities have access to this new health facility,” said Tahlequah Street Commissioner Wayne Ryals. “We are just so appreciative of the Cherokee Nation for doing this type of project.”

Cherokee Nation operates the largest tribal health system in the country with more than 1.3 million patient visits per year. The new Cherokee Nation outpatient facility at 19600 E. Ross St. in Tahlequah is the largest tribal outpatient health center in the country at 469,000 square feet.

KXMX News Story

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Trout Stocking to Begin Nov. 1

An angler enjoys the serenity of fly fishing on the Lower Mountain Fork River in southeastern Oklahoma, which along with the Lower Illinois River is a year-round trout fishery. 
(courtesy of

Exciting angling isn't just found during warmer weather. It's also available for anyone who takes advantage of the state’s trout fisheries during the colder months of the year.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation operates two year-round trout fisheries in the Lower Mountain Fork River below Broken Bow dam and in the Lower Illinois River below Tenkiller Ferry Dam. Trout are normally stocked in those areas every week or two.

Beginning Nov. 1, the Wildlife Department will begin stocking trout in six other designated trout fishing areas. Those areas are Perry CCC/Lake Perry Park, Robbers Cave, Blue River, Lake Watonga, Medicine Creek and Lake Carl Etling. For more details, go to

Trout anglers must carry a resident or nonresident fishing license while fishing. In addition, trout anglers at Dolese Youth Park Pond must have an Oklahoma City fishing permit, and municipal permits may be required at other seasonal sites.

Trout, both rainbows and browns, are introduced species to Oklahoma. They thrive in colder waters and make excellent table fare. Using ultralight fishing gear with 4- to 6-pound test line and small hooks can lead to some thrilling action. For other tips, go to

People looking to learn more about trout fishing will have a chance at Patton Fly Fishing's 32nd annual Illinois River Fly Fishing School Feb. 21-22, 2020, at Tenkiller State Park and the Illinois River. Instructors are Mark Patton, Tom Adams, Blake Patton and Tre Dupuy. Course fee is $175. Meals are available for $40. For more information or to enroll, call (405) 613-6520.

Trout fishing regulations, including daily and size limits, restricted areas and site maps, can be found in the current Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing Regulations Guide found online at, on the Go Outdoors Oklahoma free mobile app for Apple or Android devices, or in print across the state wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

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Tahlequah Man Sentenced

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Michael Lewis Killin, age 46, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment, and 3 years of supervised release for Possession Of Firearm In Furtherance Of a Drug Trafficking Crime. The charges arose from an investigation by the Tahlequah Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and the FBI Safe Trails Task Force. 

The Superseding Indictment alleges that on or about November 7, 2018 the defendant knowingly possessed a Strum, Ruger, and Co., Model LC9, 9mm Luger caliber semi-automatic pistol, a firearm he used in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime for which he may be prosecuted in a court of the United States.

U.S. Attorney Brian J. Kuester said, “Guns are tools of the trade and violence a characteristic of drug trafficking organizations. A top priority of the Department of Justice is to work with state, local, and tribal agencies to reduce violent crime. Enforcing federal firearms statutes gives us the opportunity to partner with those agencies as they serve and protect their communities.” 

The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jarrod Leaman represented the United States. 

KXMX Staff Writer

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ACT Prep Boot Camp Free to Cherokee Students

Cherokee Nation Foundation is offering a free ACT Boot Camp to Native American students on Saturday, Dec. 7. The one-day course will be held in the library at Fort Gibson High School from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“The ACT Boot Camp continues to serve as an effective and impactful tool for helping students increase their scores on the national exam,” said Janice Randall, executive director for Cherokee Nation Foundation. “We encourage students to take the ACT early and often, so that they can identify their strengths and weaknesses and work to achieve their highest possible score.”

ACT Boot Camp is led by Mastery-Prep, an organization dedicated to building students’ confidence on test day by providing essential test-taking strategies and skills. Instructors will guide students through content strategies for all four subjects on the ACT and administer mini-tests to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses.

The course is offered to Native American students in grades 10-12, with preference given to Cherokee Nation students.

The deadline to register is Nov. 29. Students interested in the course can call the foundation at 918-207-0950 or apply online at

KXMX News Staff

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‘Big Boy’ to Steam Into Sallisaw, Gore

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 16, when a big piece of history will be making its way to eastern Oklahoma.

Big Boy No. 4014, the largest steam locomotive in the world, will be stopping in Sallisaw and Gore as part of Union Pacific’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. 

The train’s Nov. 16 itinerary begins at the Van Buren, Ark., train depot, which is at the corner of Main Street and 2nd Avenue. The train will leave there at 8 a.m. and arrive at the Sallisaw depot, 101 E. Cherokee Ave., about 9:15 a.m. It will leave 15 minutes later and head to the Gore railroad station, where it will arrive at 10:15 a.m. at the corner of Southeast Railroad and South Campbell streets. It will only be at the Gore station for about 15 minutes.

The train’s stops are “viewing only” locations, meaning folks won’t be able to ride the train or take photos inside it. The quick visits are intended to give residents along the Union Pacific (UP) railway system a chance to see the newly refurbished Big Boy locomotive, the only one in operation.

As part of UP’s “Great Race Across the Southwest,” the train, the world’s only operating Big Boy locomotive, will travel through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The Big Boy's return to the rails is the product of more than two years of meticulous restoration work by the Union Pacific Steam Team. No. 4014 is the world's only operating Big Boy locomotive.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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CASC, SHS Debut High-Tech Classroom

Carl Albert State College and Sallisaw High School unveiled a new innovative classroom Thursday at the high school.

The state-of-the-art classroom is the result of a collaboration between the two educational institutions. It was designed to create a comfortable, college-style environment for SHS juniors and seniors to earn concurrent college credits from CASC without leaving the high school campus.

The state-of-the-art classroom is equipped with Zoom, a video communications software service that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat and mobile collaboration. Called a “Zoom room,” the classroom is equipped with a laptop, monitor or smartboard that can connect with Zoom software.

CASC serves 30 high schools and has 316 concurrently enrolled students. Sallisaw High School has 83 students concurrently enrolled at CASC.

Although concurrent enrollment through CASC isn't new, in the past students had to leave the SHS campus and drive to the college campus. This eliminated the concurrent option for students without transportation. It also caused some concerns for the safety of students traveling to the classes.

Dr. Jay Falkner, CASC President, pointed out the time saving aspect of being able to stay on campus for college classes. "By eliminating drive time, students can now take three classes instead of just one," Falkner said.

There are currently four different college classes offered in the Zoom room and each of them are at full capacity. Free tutoring is also available to students that might need it.

Dr. Sinclair Armstrong, Jr., a donor for the project, said, "The classroom will give our children the opportunity to go to college at a reduced cost and without having to leave home.”

The technology will allow CASC to broadcast classes to any school with an internet connection, said instructor Jordan Pace, who teaches government and history to SHS’s concurrently enrolled students in the new classroom.

Sallisaw Schools’ Superintendent Randy Wood said the high school is pleased to be a part of the project. He noted that the number of students who qualify for the program based on test scores and other criteria, has consistently risen since the concurrent enrollment program began years ago.

“(The concurrent enrollment program) lets a kid realize their capabilities by providing them with the college experience at a young age,” Wood said.

Bill Nowlin, CASC’s Vice President of Enrollment Management, said the program “provides another opportunity for students’ access to higher education that didn’t previously exist.” Nowlin said CASC plans to go “a step further” by creating sponsorship programs in each community in the area that will allow community members to donate to specific students. Plans for this program are still in progress.

Armstrong pointed out that the concurrent enrollment program helps all students, regardless of their backgrounds. Students lacking the resources often get left behind for fear that going on to college is beyond their means. Concurrent enrollment gives those students a better chance at reaching their educational goals.

“This program shows industries wanting to move into the area that our students are just as competitive as students in bigger cities,” Armstrong said.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Commissioners Approve Truck Lease, Change Employee Insurance

The Board of Sequoyah County Commissioners approved the lease-purchase of a 2019 Ford F550 brush truck between Welch State Bank and the county for the Brushy Fire Department at their weekly meeting Monday.

The panel also unanimously approved moving a 2001 Bomag Double Drum Roller vehicle to surplus for county Dist. 1.

The board also approved a request by the McFarland family to create a private cemetery. The panel also unanimously voted to opt out of Health Choice Insurance coverage for county employees in favor of a new insurance plan that is expected to lower deductibles and premiums for workers. 

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Make-A-Wish Event Rescheduled to Nov. 16

The Garrison Creek Arena in Muldrow will be busy Saturday, Nov. 16, for a Make-a-Wish fundraiser.

Gates will open at 10 a.m. for the event. All the action will begin at noon, organizer Linda Hicks said. 

The event was originally planned for Oct. 26, but rainy weather in the area that day led to the decision to reschedule.

Events on the Nov. 16 agenda include barrel races, a chili cook-off, pony rides, games for the kids and a “Vendor Alley” for shopping.

Tickets are $10 for adults and that price includes the chili and fixings, as well as games and other entertainment. Children’s tickets are $5 after 2 p.m. and kids under age 10 can get a $5 armband for entry.

T-shirts for the event’s barrel racers and shirts featuring a Make-A-Wish Christmas design will be available for purchase. The shirts will sell for $15 for barrel racing and $20 for the holiday-themed shirt.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Oklahoma chapter.

It will cost $20 to enter your favorite chili recipe in the cook-off. The first-prize winner will receive a grill, and there are cash prizes for second- and third-place winners.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Be a Legend, Be a Donor! Give Blood with Bigfoot.

Be a legend and give blood with Oklahoma Blood Institute. Bigfoot is stomping his way through blood drives in Oklahoma this fall!

Healthy adults, age sixteen and up, can give blood at one of the following Bigfoot-themed drives with Oklahoma Blood Institute:

· Vian Community; Friday, November 1, 1 to 6 p.m. on the bloodmobile will be parked at Marvin’s IGA.

Donors at this drive will receive the OU OSU Bedlam Series T -shirt.

· Wal Mart Sallisaw; Friday, November 1, 1:30 to 5:45 p.m. on the bloodmobile.

Each blood donor will receive a limited edition Bigfoot t-shirt.*

“The legend of Bigfoot is not only fun, but it is a way to motivate our donors to believe in themselves and the real power of blood donation,” said John Armitage, M.D., president & CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “One blood donation saves up to three lives, so your donation truly makes a positive impact for local patients and their families.”

All blood types are needed, but O-negative blood donors are especially urged to give, as this universal blood type helps any patient, regardless of blood type, in an emergency.

Only ten percent of people in the United States who are eligible to give blood actually do. Blood donation takes just about an hour, and each donation can save the lives of up to three patients. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. Platelet donations can be made as often as every 7 days, up to 24 times a year.

Donors also receive free health screenings and Donor Rewards points, redeemable at Oklahoma Blood Institute’s online store. If donors opt not to take the t-shirt, Oklahoma Blood Institute will make a monetary donation to Global Blood Fund for blood center assistance in developing countries.

As a non-profit blood center, Oklahoma Blood Institute’s donors provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 160 hospitals statewide. Approximately 1,200 volunteer blood donors are needed each day to maintain the supply. Appointments are not required but can be made by calling Greg at 479-652-2362 or visiting

*16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.

KXMX News Staff

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

National Drug Take Back Day Set for Saturday

National Drug Take Back Day is Oct. 26 and Sallisaw is teaming up with Walmart to provide a safe way for people to dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs.

Organizers will be outside Walmart in Sallisaw between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day, where they will accept unwanted medications that residents may need to dispose of.

The Sallisaw Police Department and the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office also have drug drop-off boxes available for residents.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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