Friday, February 21, 2020

Sallisaw Man Charged with Meth Possession

A Sallisaw man was arrested Feb. 7 at his residence and charged with felony drug possession with intent to distribute.

Jason Lee Kerr, 45, faces imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $20,000 on the charge, according to a police report.

On Feb. 7, a Sallisaw police officer spotted a Chrysler 200 drive past a stop sign at Redwood Avenue. The officer could see a handicapped placard hanging from the car’s rear-view mirror. Knowing that such placards clearly state that the permit should be removed before driving, the officer was prompted to initiate a traffic stop.

The vehicle pulled into a driveway on Redwood and stopped. When the officer contacted Kerr, he noticed a plastic baggie sticking out of his jacket pocket. When asked for his driver’s license and proof of insurance, a nervous Kerr handed the officer his license with visibly trembling hands. 

The officer’s report notes that he had known Kerr for several years and had never seen him act in such a manner.

Kerr exited the vehicle with his hand in his jacket pocket. The officer asked him to remove his hand and when he did, the plastic baggie became more visible and the officer could see that it contained a white, crystalline substance. Kerr was then arrested.

At the police department, a search uncovered $300 in small bills in the front of Kerr’s Carhartt overalls. The officer noted that the small bills were consistent with drug proceeds from selling small amounts. The baggie Kerr had in his jacket pocket weighed 14.85 grams, which is a larger amount than is common for personal use. A field test was positive for methamphetamine. The drugs were sent to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for further testing.

Kerr’s bond was set at $2,500. His next court appearance will be at 9 a.m. March 4.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Vian Man Pleads Not Guilty to Drug Charge


A Vian man pleaded not guilty Feb. 19 to a felony drug charge after his arrest Feb. 10 in Sallisaw.

Arland Dewayne Rowell, 60, was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute, a felony punishable by imprisonment in the Department of Corrections for up to five years and a fine of up to $20,000.

According to an arrest report, a Sallisaw detective went to the area of 39 Redwood Drive to watch a suspected drug house.

While in the area, the detective watched a blue sport-utility vehicle sitting in the home’s driveway. The detective recognized the SUV as belonging to a resident of Marble City.

After sitting outside the home for about 10 minutes, the deputy spotted Rowell and another male walking out of the residence.

The other male left the residence in the SUV and Rowell began walking away from the home. When the detective pulled up to Rowell, he was holding a white knife in his left hand. Rowell said he had just found the knife and reportedly was having uncontrollable movements. 

The detective asked Rowell if he had anything illegal on him, to which Rowell said, “Yes, some syringes and just a little dope.” Rowell was asked to empty his pockets. He handed the detective a pair of black socks from his left jacket pocket. The socks contained syringes and a small amount of suspected methamphetamine. 

The detective also found a loaded syringe in Rowell’s front pocket. Back at the Police Department, officers looked into the syringe bag inside the socks and found two plastic baggies, one containing a large crystalline rock weighing about 8 grams. The rock tested positive for methamphetamine.

Rowell’s bond was set at $15,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 8.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Two Announce Candidacies For Sheriff

Eric Cope                                Jim Linduff

Two Sequoyah County residents have announced their candidacies for the June election for sheriff.

Eric M. Cope and Jim Linduff are vying to replace incumbent Sheriff Larry Lane, who is running for re-election.

Cope is a lifelong resident of Sequoyah County. He grew up in Gore and lived there until October 2019, when he and his family moved to a home north of Vian.

A law enforcement officer with 14 years of experience, Cope says that as sheriff, he would have more of a presence in the county. “I believe the position of sheriff is solely for serving people,” he said in an interview. “The best way to do that is to be out there and be involved with the people of the county.”

Cope says his work as an officer with the Gore and Vian police departments and two stints in the sheriff’s office have given him long-term relationships with other law enforcement officers in the area that will enhance his role as the county’s top lawman. He said that doing “preventive maintenance” against crime is much better than doing “damage control” once a crime has been committed.

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Cope said, “Our home needs a sheriff who is hardworking, dedicated to ALL crime prevention and will always stay loyal to the residents of Sequoyah County. The safety and security of our residents will ALWAYS be my top priority.”

Jim Linduff says he also wants to see a greater law enforcement presence in the county. He lives between Gore and Vian and said he rarely, if ever, sees deputies patrolling the area and he would like that to change.

Linduff, a U.S. Navy veteran and longtime law enforcement officer, has received 38 police commendations in his career. He was awarded a Governor’s Award and the Police Meritorious Service Award for his work as one of the first responders to the 1995 bombing of the Edward R. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

When asked what changes he would make at the Sheriff’s Department, Linduff said, “I would like to see more deputies in the public and I would like to see the department run more efficiently.”

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Linduff said he also wanted to streamline the department. “There is no need for a sheriff’s department our size to have four drug dogs.”

With shootings at schools and churches on the rise, Linduff also pointed out that he is a certified instructor for active-shooter incidents and said he looks forward to sharing his knowledge and training with area schools, churches and businesses. 

Linduff said he also wants to add a search-and-rescue team to the department and expand the police reserve force, along with bringing in new technology for his officers. “We can’t keep doing mid-century solutions to law enforcement problems any more. We can save money with technology,” he said.



Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Car Chase Ends With Man’s Arrest


A Tahlequah man who led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase from Tahlequah to Sequoyah County is now facing two criminal charges.

Weylin Thompson was arrested Feb. 15 on U.S. Highway 59 in Sallisaw and charged with endangering others while attempting to elude a police officer, a felony, and driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor.

The Sallisaw Police Department and the Oklahoma State Police were among several law enforcement agencies involved in the chase.

Oklahoma State Troopers heard about the chase and started toward the location, where they saw the suspect pass by Highway 59 and State Highway 101 traveling approximately 100 mph through that intersection.

The SPD had placed stop sticks near Military Road north of Sallisaw and the suspect’s tires blew out when the vehicle hit them. The vehicle then traveled off the left side of the road and struck an electric pole and water meter. The crash led to a brief power outage in Sallisaw.

When law enforcement officers made contact with Thompson, he was reportedly very intoxicated and could barely talk. He refused to take a sobriety test, saying it was not necessary. Pafford EMS later took Thompson to Northeastern Health System Sequoyah for treatment.

Thompson’s bond was set at $15,000. The felony charge is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. The misdemeanor count carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to a year and a fine of up to $1,000.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sallisaw Man Dies in Sunday Night Fire


An elderly Sallisaw resident died Sunday when his home caught fire, Fire Chief Anthony Armstrong said.

The fire department was called to the scene at 10:39 p.m. Sunday. When crews arrived at the home, they found smoke billowing from the doors and windows. Armstrong said the home is behind the Sallisaw rodeo grounds.

The Sallisaw Police Department also responded to the scene.

When firefighters made entry into the home, they found the unnamed elderly man lying on a bed in the living room. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Armstrong said the fire appeared to be accidental. He noted that the elderly man was a heavy smoker and that oxygen was in use. Foul play is not suspected in the blaze.



Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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CASC Students Visit With Legislators




Front, left to right: Shara Olive, CASC Student Affairs, CASC Regent Dwight Spencer, State Rep. Lundy Kiger, State Rep. Johnny Tadlock, Cherish Palmer, Tonya Cruz, Alissa Ryan, Steven Lin, Susan Hill, CASC Instructor, Senator Mark Allen. Back Row: Michael Gurule, Ivan Baker, Hannah Mabry, CASC President Jay Falkner, Logan Nipper, Ben Dildine

Students from Carl Albert State College recently attended Higher Education Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The event was held on Tuesday, February 11th. 

Nine students from Carl Albert represented the college during the day’s festivities. Four students from the OAEA and five students from the Student Government Association had the opportunity to enjoy lunch with legislators from the Carl Albert district, visiting about educational opportunities, career aspirations, and the role higher education plays in the future of Oklahoma’s economic viability. The students ended their day by attending the formal Higher Education Day program in the House of Representatives Chamber. 

Many inspirational speakers offered insight into the benefits of higher education. The speakers included Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, officials from the State Regents office, select Representatives, and students from across the state who have benefited from the opportunities provided through higher education.

KXMX News Staff


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NWS to Hold Storm Spotter Training in Sallisaw


The National Weather Service in Tulsa will present a storm spotter training session beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25.

The session will be at the Sequoyah County Emergency Operations Center, 112 E. Choctaw St. (the old Agent Funeral Home Chapel).

The training will last about two hours, said Steve Rutherford, the Sequoyah County emergency management director.

Anyone interested in storms is invited and encouraged to attend the free training session. Law enforcement officers who participate will receive two hours of CLEET credit.

The goal of the training session is not just to recognize tornadoes, but to have some understanding of storm structure, which in turn better prepares spotters for the extreme and unusual circumstances that Oklahoma weather can bring.

Other topics that will be covered at the session include an update on the latest NWS technology and procedures, ideas for organizing/coordinating spotter groups and important safety considerations.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Sallisaw Man Pleads Guilty to Counterfeit Charge


The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Christopher Don Jackson, age 44, of Sallisaw entered a guilty plea to Conspiracy, punishable by not more than 5 years imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000.00 or both; and to Possession of Counterfeit Obligation of the United States, punishable by not more than 25 years imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000.00, or both. 

The Indictment alleged that beginning in or about July 2018, and continuing until on or about the 7th day of January, 2019, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere, the defendant, did knowingly and intentionally conspire, confederate and agree with others, others both known and unknown to the grand jury, to commit offenses against the United States, namely, Possession of Counterfeit Obligations of the United States. 

The Indictment further alleged that on or about October 9, 2018, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the Defendant, did knowingly have in his possession and custody, with intent to sell or otherwise use, a falsely made and counterfeited one (1) fifty-dollar Federal Reserve Note, made after the similitude of obligations issued under the authority of the United States. 

The charges arose from an investigation by the Sallisaw Police Department and the United States Secret Service. 

The Honorable Kimberly E. West, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, accepted the plea and ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report. 

Assistant United States Attorney Clay Compton represented the United States. 


KXMX  News Staff

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Commissioners OK Central High Road Project Agreement


The Sequoyah County Board of Commissioners approved a Central High Road (NS 4670) project agreement at their weekly meeting.

The agreement is for work on Central High Road over the Garvin branch in the county’s third district.

Commissioners also awarded a bid to purchase a pumper tanker truck for the Gore Fire Department.

In other business, the panel approved the transfer of appropriations from the Sequoyah County Election Board’s maintenance and operations and salary accounts to pay part-time workers during the upcoming election.

The commissioners also reappointed Carol Mitchell to the Sequoyah County Health Department board and approved a county action report adding seven-tenths of a mile to the county road system in the second district.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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NHS Hospice, Pafford to Host Heart Seminar

Northeastern Health System Sequoyah Hospice and Pafford EMS are hosting a heart awareness seminar from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at Indian Capital Technology Center, 403 E. Houser Road in Sallisaw.

Guest speaker will be registered nurse Courtney Davis with NHS Home Health & Hospice.

“Heart disease is a silent killer,” said Donna Rogers, hospice volunteer coordinator at NHS Hospice. Rogers is organizing the event along with Dawn Little of Pafford EMS. 

“Most people don’t think about their heart health,” Rogers said, “but it’s so important.”

The community is invited to attend this free educational event. Lunch will be provided. A door prize donated by Jodie Lee’s Furniture will also be given away.

If you’d like to attend, please RSVP by calling Rogers at (918) 774-1171 or by emailing drogers@smhok.com.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Blaze Destroys Truck in Sallisaw


A fire early Tuesday morning destroyed a truck in Sallisaw.

Sallisaw Fire Chief Anthony Armstrong said his department was called to the fire, which was at 2511 W. Redwood, at 6:50 a.m. Tuesday. 

The truck’s owner, Darren Toney, told officials he went out to start the truck then went back inside his home while it warmed up, but when he came back out, the truck was ablaze.

Armstrong said the fire was probably electrical in nature. No one was injured.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Monday, February 17, 2020

Deputies Cleared of Jan. 7 Shooting

Photo taken from bodycam footage of Swaim
 pointing a weapon at deputies.

The two Sequoyah County deputies involved in a Jan. 7 shooting have been cleared, according to a statement released Feb. 13 from District Attorney Jack Thorp.

In the statement, Thorp said deputies Robert Johnson and Thomas Stafford were justified in their actions and would not be prosecuted.

Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane said Monday that he is glad the deputies were cleared as they expected. Johnson and Stafford have been on administrative leave pending the outcome of the inquiry. They are expected to return to duty immediately, Lane said.

On Jan. 7, the two deputies were dispatched to the area of 4760 Road in Sequoyah County on a call of “threats with a firearm.” Upon their arrival, the law enforcement officers saw Matthew Leroy Swaim walking down the road with a firearm. 

When deputies tried to engage him, Swaim reportedly raised his weapon and pointed it at the deputies and they opened fire, injuring him. 


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Friday, February 14, 2020

Jay Reynolds Park Gets New Playground Equipment



The Splash Pad isn’t the only attraction at Sallisaw’s Jay Reynolds Park. City crews have been busy at work installing new playground equipment that is sure to charm every child who comes to visit.

The new equipment includes a swing that is handicap-accessible and large enough to accommodate wheelchair-bound children from ages 2-10.

Sallisaw City Manager Keith Skelton said Friday that the equipment cost about $50,000. “This is a really nice addition to the Splash Pad,” he said.

Recent rains and muddy conditions have hampered the installation and there is still work that needs to be done, Skelton said. “We wanted it open earlier but it just wasn’t possible.” 

“Everybody is excited” about the park’s new amenities, Skelton noted, adding that he “looks forward to seeing children playing there in the spring.”



Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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County Junior Livestock Show Coming Up


The Sequoyah County Junior Livestock Show will be Feb. 26-28 at the county fairgrounds, 464101 E. 1070 Road/East Redwood and Shurley in Sallisaw.

The 55th annual event will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, with weigh-in and sifting of the animals until noon the day of the show.

In an interview Monday, Madison Walters said members of 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America from around the county spend about a year raising and caring for their animals in preparation for livestock shows, where they get to show off their hard work. “It takes a lot of dedication,” she said.

The event is free and guests are welcome to arrive early and check out the animals before the show begins.

The schedule of events is as follows:

Wednesday, Feb. 26

9 a.m. to noon: Check-in

5 p.m.: 

Doe goats

Wether goats

Wether goat sale order

Goat showmanship

Lambs

Lamb sale order

Sheep showmanship

Heifers

Heifer sale order

Steers

Steer sale order

Beef showmanship

Thursday, Feb. 27

9 a.m. to noon: Swine check-in

5 p.m.: 

Breeding gilt jackpot

Market barrows

Barrow sale order

Swine showmanship

Friday, Feb. 28

6 p.m.: Bidders barbecue

7 p.m.: Premium auction



Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Boys & Girls Club Launches New Website


The Boys and Girls Club of Sequoyah County has officially launched a new website, bgcseq.org, where folks can find information about the clubs, membership applications, as well as the club handbook and much more. 

Lindsie Dyer, president of the Boys and Girls Club board of directors for Sequoyah County, said the agency is “really excited to finally have this website up and running.”

“It’s been one of our goals for several years,” Dyer said in an interview Friday. “We want to make it easier for people” to reach the agency or to find out information about the services the club offer, which include educational programs for children after school and during the summer. “We’re not just a baby sitter,” she said.

“We want the website to create more awareness of our programs for members of communities in Sequoyah County,” she added.

Donations to the club may also be made on the website.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Three Wanted in Connection with Roland Pharmacy Break-in

One of three suspects wanted in connection 
with a Roland pharmacy break-in.

Three suspects are wanted in connection with an early Thursday morning break-in that occurred at an unnamed Roland pharmacy.

According to authorities the break-in happened around 3:15 a.m. The suspects reportedly stole an unspecified amount of pharmaceuticals after breaking and entering through glass in the front of the business.

A photo of one of the suspects (above) has been released. The other two suspects had their faces covered and were wearing dark colored clothing.

There have been similar break-ins in the area including one in Ft. Smith. Roland Police and other area law enforcement agencies are working together to identify the suspects. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Roland Police Dept. at 918-427-3252.


KXMX News Staff


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Swon Brothers to Play Cherokee Casinos


After gaining notoriety as finalists on NBC’s “The Voice,” the Swon Brothers continue to charm and surprise fans with their incredible sibling harmonies and fun-loving personalities. 

On March 20, they’ll return to their Oklahoma roots and arrive at SEVEN Bar inside Cherokee Casino and Hotel West Siloam Springs, followed by a March 21 performance at Lee Creek Tavern inside Cherokee Casino and Hotel Roland. 

The West Siloam Springs show begins at 9 p.m. and the Roland show begins at 8 p.m. Both shows are free to attend. 

The Swon Brothers are comprised of Zach and Colton Swon, who hail from Muskogee. After reaching the 2013 finals of “The Voice,” the duo released its debut, “The Swon Brothers,” which features the Top 15 single “Later On.” They went on to receive CMA Award and ACM Award nominations for “Vocal Duo of the Year,” as well as a CMT Music Award nomination for “Duo Video of the Year.” 

In 2016, they released the EP “Timeless,” which peaked at No. 2 on the iTunes country charts and debuted at No. 19 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. They released the EP “Pretty Cool Scars,” which features the single “Don’t Call Me,” in 2017. They also co-wrote their latest songs, “What Ever Happened” and “Midnight Lovers.” 

Zach and Colton Swon were honored with the Rising Star Award by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and were inducted into the Rhythm and Routes Oklahoma Music Trail in 2017. 

For more information on the Swon Brothers, visit www.SwonBrothers.com

Cherokee Casino and Hotel West Siloam Springs is located off U.S. Highway 412 and State Highway 59 in West Siloam Springs. For more information, visit www.cherokeecasino.com or call (800) 754-4111. All guests must be at least 21 years of age to attend. 


KXMX News Staff

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