McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

May 7, 2013

Gov. Fallin signs bill regulating Narconon Arrowhead

McALESTER — A bill giving the state oversight of Narconon Arrowhead and other drug rehabs according to legislation signed today by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Senate Bill 295 co-authored by a Senate Democrat Tom Ivester D- Sayer and House Republican Jason Murphey R-Guthrie was signed today at the Capitol after passing the Senate unopposed last week.

The legislation was written after an investigation into a string of deaths that happened within months of each other at Narconon Arrowhead.

Narconon Arrowhead is a non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Canadian that uses the teachings of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.The bill originally passed the Senate unopposed in February. Then in April the legislation passed the House Public Health Committee 9 to 1 with an amendment, the amended legislation went on to pass the House 80 to 13. The final Senate vote was Wednesday. It is now headed to Gov. Mary Fallins desk.

Last week Ivester said he wrote the bill because of the deaths at Narconon Arrowhead.

 “It was the repeated deaths, that’s what did it for me,” Ivester said.

“That, and that nothing was being done legislatively about it.”

He said the legislation will force drug rehabs such as Narconon Arrowhead to be certified by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Heath and Substance Abuse, giving the state oversight over such facilities.

Narconon Arrowhead under a multi-agency investigation since the July death of Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, of Owasso. Her father, Robert Murphy said he calls the bill Stacy's Bill in memory of his daughter. After Stacy Murphy was found dead at Narconon Arrowhead in July 21, the case was investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Mental Health.

The investigation expanded into the 2012 deaths of two others found dead at the facility. All three deaths occurred within months of each other.

In 2012, two months before Stacy Murphy was found dead, Hillary Holten, 21, was found dead in April, and Gabriel Graves, 32, was found dead at the facility in October of 2011.

Also under investigation was the 2009 death of Kaysie Dianne Werninck, 28.

Werninck died at a local hospital while a patient of Narconon Arrowhead.In April Narconon Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith issued a statement regarding the legislation.

“We have no problem with SB295."

However, we do not understand the amount of legislative attention that has been spent on (the bill) when you consider the number of critical issues facing Oklahomans that require legislative solutions,” Smith said in the statement.

 Meanwhile SB295 is now aw and will it take effect in November.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Men's Holy Week Breakfast Washington: Jesus forgives is message at Holy Week Breakfast

    All of us can find salvation and forgiveness of our sins, just like one of the thieves who had been crucified next to Jesus on the cross.
    That’s the message the Rev. Anthony Washington, pastor of the Mount Triumph Baptist Church in McAlester, delivered as featured speaker for the third gathering of this year’s Men’s Holy Week breakfast.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mills: 'Nothing personal' in contesting Layden's candidacy

    Pittsburg County Special District Judge Tim Mills says there’s nothing personal in his contesting the candidacy of Bill Layden, who is also a former special district judge in the county.

    April 16, 2014

  • MCALESTER GENERIC 1 McAlester student accepted to Arts Institute

    Brandi Hongell, of McAlester, has been accepted to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, an arts academy held in June in southwestern Oklahoma.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cuttin' it close: Karr files for Ward 4 seat, barely beating deadline

    Three minutes.
    Former Ward 4 City Councilor Robert Karr filed his declaration of candidacy for the vacant Ward 4 seat, filled out the papers, got them notarized and back into the  Pittsburg County Election Board office just three minutes before the deadline to do so elapsed at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Honored McAlester grad - Commander Pete Nilsen to speak at Armed Forces Day luncheon

    McAlester High School alumnus Commander Peter K. Nilsen assistant chief of staff, Navy Missile and Defense Command will be the keynote speaker May 2 at the Armed Forces Day Luncheon at the McAlester Army Ammunitions Plant.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg April and May named Cleanup McAlester Months

    McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison signed a proclamation Tuesday designating the months of April and May as “Cleanup McAlester Month.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • HolyWeek4Wed 1.jpg Gospel: 'The Good News' heard at Holy Week Breakfast

    Steve Glazier presented a pair testimonies of individuals who went on to have a significant impact on others  — a bank robber and a hony-tonk songwriter — when he spoke at the second gathering of this year’s Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dogwood Decorations All ladies welcome to luncheon

    The 42nd annual Women’s Holy Week Salad Luncheon is Thursday. The Thursday before Easter is commonly called Maundy Thursday by most Christians.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos 2 Stories

  • Still no filings for Ward 4 city council seat

    What if they called an election and nobody came —no candidates, that is.
    That’s the way things were shaping up late Tuesday afternoon for the vacant Ward 4 seat on the McAlester City Council.

    April 15, 2014

  • Square logo.jpg The McAlester Public Library offering free Computer Skills Workshop

    The McAlester Public Library will offer a free Computer Skills Workshop from April 16 to 18.
    The hands-on workshop will be taught by computer technician Anthony Smart and each participant will have a computer to work with.  The class will be held from 2:30 until 4 p.m. each day and is limited to 10 students.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
NDN Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.