McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

February 4, 2011

ODOT sends, then recalls reserve crews

McALESTER — The Oklahoma Department of Transportation called in reinforcements to help battle ice-packed highways in the McAlester area on Thursday — but the extra trucks and drivers had to return home today.

Four ODOT trucks which had come to McAlester from Idabel have been sent home to their home territory.

“We had to move them back south,” ODOT Division 2 Manager Calvin Carney said this morning.

“We’ve already had 3 inches of snow in Choctaw County,” Carney said shortly after 7 a.m. today. At the same time, snow was falling over much of the McAlester area.

“It’s covering up what we did yesterday,” Carney said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to clear it again.”

Like city employees, state highway workers’ efforts have been hampered by the extremely low temperatures which followed Tuesday’s winter storm.

“What we’ve run into is, salt stops working when you get below 18 degrees,” Carney said.

The four additional ODOT trucks which were used on state highways in the McAlester area on Thursday had increased the available fleet to eight.

Carney said the trucks have plows on the front, and spreaders on the back used to distribute salt and sand.

“We’re low on salt. All of our counties are pretty low,” Carney said this morning.

He said an additional 100 tons of salt for use on highways in the McAlester area arrived on Thursday, along with 50 tons for Latimer County. He hoped another 50 tons would arrive today, with half to go to Latimer County and the rest to LeFlore County.

Carney noted that the

temperature hovered around 18 degrees at 7 this morning. Windows of opportunity to effectively use the salt have been relatively small.

Carney urged any drivers who must be out to drive carefully.

“Bear with us,” Carney said. “We’re doing the best we can with what we have.”

Contact James Beaty at


OSP repairs heat problems in two prison cellblocks


Staff Writer

The Oklahoma State Penitentiary lost heat in two separate cellblocks. “We’ve had heating issues,” said Terry Crenshaw, the Warden’s Assistant at OSP. “We’ve got maintenance working on it.”

A woman who said she was the mother of an inmate at OSP called the McAlester News-Capital and said her son, who is housed in the C cellhouse at OSP, hadn’t had heat since Friday. The woman refused to identify herself or her son.

“We’ve had some calls here too,” Crenshaw said, “and we’ve had issues with heating on the A and C units, but maintenance is working on it — they’re still working on it at this time.”

Due to budget cuts, low staffing levels and furloughs at OSP, all areas of staffing at the facility have been affected. The maintenance crew currently at OSP is comprised of 11 individuals — nine regular staff and two management staff — this is nearly half the number of workers approved, and needed, to maintain the infrastructure at OSP. “We struggle,” said Dan Heathcock, a maintenance crew member who has worked at OSP for more than 22 years.

On Thursday, just before 11 a.m., Crenshaw informed the News-Capital that the heating problems at the prison were fixed.

Besides the issues with heating, Crenshaw said that the recent downturn in weather hasn’t caused any other major problems at the facility. “Staffing levels are good and things seem to be getting back to normal,” Crenshaw said.

Contact Rachel Petersen at


Benefit set for man hurt in fall from roof


Staff Writer

A benefit dinner is set for Doyle Wilson Saturday to help with medical bills he received after a roofing accident in which he broke both ankles.

The Masonic Lodge 122 of Haileyville and Hartshorne will sponsor the event at the Assembly of God Church in Hartshorne. Chili, crackers and cornbread, and a bake sale, are planned from 4 to 6 p.m., “or we’ll stay until we run out of chili,” said Myrtle Shores, Wilson’s sister.

Donations may also be made at First National Bank of McAlester and Hartshorne.



Lawrence Hayes

Lawrence Hayes, 89, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Ardmore.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Brumley-Mills Funeral Home of McAlester.


Floyd Monroe Jackson Sr.

Floyd Monroe Jackson Sr., 83, of McAlester, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, at his home.

Private services are planned. Arrangements are under the direction of Bishop Funeral Service of McAlester.

Born June 24, 1927, in Adamson, he was the son of Thomas Jefferson and Annis Mae (Overstreet) Jackson.

He served in the United States Army.

He moved from Cyril to McAlester in 1965. He married Thelma Dell Blevins on Dec. 13, 1952, in Wichita Falls, Texas. He retired from the McAlester Ammunition Plant after 25 years.

He loved fishing, dancing, riding motorcycles, watching birds and visiting with his great-grandchildren.

Survivors include daughters, Tina Lightle and husband, Arthur, of McAlester, and Candy Lightle and husband, Shane, of McAlester; son, Floyd Jackson Jr. and wife, Cathy, of McAlester.

Also, grandchildren, Wallace Williamson, Erik Williamson and wife, Amy, Floyd Jackson III, Dale Wayne Jackson and Jennie Bierman.

And, great-grandchildren, Christopher Tadlock, Hannah Williamson, Joseph Williamson, Treavor Williamson and Bryce Lightle.

And, sister, Delores Arnetta and husband, Tom, of Indiahoma; special friends, Ottilie DeLana and Rozella Tadlock, and other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by; parents, Thomas Jefferson and Annis Mae Jackson; wife, Thelma in 2001; daughter, Betty Williams; sisters, Bette Elizabeth, Alice Mae and Patricia Vana, and brothers, Elijah Jackson and Charles Robert Jackson.

Floyd Preston Miller Sr.

Floyd Preston Miller Sr., of Midwest City, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011.

Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Friday at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Bill Eisenhour Funeral Home of Del City.

He was born Feb. 1, 1929

He served in the United States Navy for four years in World War II.

He as a professional painter and contractor for many years.

Survivors include his wife, Judith; son, Floyd Preston Miller Jr.; daughter, Melinda Miller; sister: Grace Green; two grandsons; three granddaughters; two stepgranddaughters and 12 great-grandchildren.

Clyde Wayne Petete

Clyde Wayne Petete, 79, of McAlester, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, in McAlester.

The family will receive visitors from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Bishop Chapel of Memories with the Rev. Harold Gaches and the Rev. Dwight Petete officiating. Burial will be at Memory Gardens Memorial Park Cemetery in McAlester.

Military honors will be provided by American Legion Post No. 79.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Bishop Funeral Service of McAlester.

Ronald Gene Rippee

Ronald Gene Rippee, 69, of McAlester, died Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, at his home.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Bishop Funeral Service of McAlester.

Ethel Tallant

Ethel Tallant, 90, of Tuskahoma, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, at Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina.

Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Old Town Cemetery, in Tuskahoma with Gene McCuistion officiating. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Talihina Funeral Home.

Saturday Funerals

Billie Fries, 10 a.m., Kelley Memorial Chapel, Hunn, Black & Merritt Funeral Home of Eufaula.

Leo Harold Skinner, memorial, 11 a.m., Canadian United Methodist Church, Bishop Funeral Service of McAlester.

Ethel Tallant, graveside, 2 p.m., Old Town Cemetery in Tuskahoma, Talihina Funeral Home.

Lahoma McIntosh Whitson, 10 a.m., Stidham Baptist Church, Brumley-Mills Funeral Home of McAlester.

Funeral postponed

Funeral services for Lahoma McIntosh Whitson set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Stidham Baptist Church have been postponed. New service information will be listed in Sunday’s paper. Arrangements are under the direction of Brumley-Mills Funeral Home of McAlester.



Due to the current weather conditions, some area government offices and schools have closed for business.

Closed today are the Pittsburg County Courthouse and McAlester area schools. Open are post offices in McAlester and Krebs, McAlester City Hall, and the McAlester office of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, although it was operating with minimal staff, a spokesperson said. There was no answer when calling phone numbers for Allied Waste, McAlester’s garbage collection contractor. The News-Capital was also unable to reach personnel at the McAlester office of the state employment office.

To report closings, call us at 421-2022.


Angel Food orders now being taken at McAlester churches

>From submitted reports

Lakewood Christian Church at 840 S. George Nigh Expwy. will be taking Angel Food orders until Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also, the McAlester Church of the Nazarene at 700 W. Adams Ave. will be taking Angel Food orders until Feb. 14 at 423-7999.

Online ordering is also available at www.angel

Credit and debit card payments are now being accepted online and at the Nazarene Church location.



Wilburton campus hosts livestock show

>From submitted reports

The 67th Annual Southeastern District Livestock Show was held Jan. 26- 28 on the Wilburton campus of Eastern Oklahoma State College. More than 330 swine were in competition in eight breed categories during Thursday’s competition, followed by more than 100 sheep and 120 goats Friday and more than 100 cattle Saturday. The show is jointly sponsored by the Eastern Agricultural Division and the Wilburton Lions Club.  


Kandra Wells


McAlester (Okla.) News-Capital


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