Ledger/LCJ newsletter 1-1-2021

The Heavener Ledger/LCJ daily newsletter of LeFlore County, Oklahoma and national news, sports, obits and more.

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County sets new coronavirus record

LeFlore County set a new daily record for coronavirus cases in a date with 85 in Thursday’s report by the Oklahoma Department of Health, breaking the previous record of 76 set on Dec. 12.

Talihina had 20 new cases, Poteau 17, Spiro nine, Heavener eight, Pocola seven, Cameron and Shady Point four, Bokoshe three, and Arkoma and Panama each with one.

The county now has 412 active cases, up from 377 Wednesday. LeFlore County has had 3,578 cases, 3,137 recoveries and 29 deaths from complications due to the virus.

Oklahoma had 3,906 cases, 36 deaths and 3,629 recoveries in Friday’s report. Overall, the state has now had 290,936 cases, 2,489 deaths and 255,843 recoveries.

Active cases are 32,604, up 241 over Thursday.


New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, front right, drives past Oklahoma City Thunder's Al Horford, rear right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Ingram leads Pelicans to win over Thunder

By MURRAY EVANS Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Brandon Ingram had 20 points and seven rebounds before being ejected in the third quarter and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-80 on Thursday night.

Eric Bledsoe added 17 points and Lonzo Ball had 16 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for New Orleans, which lost all four of its games last season to the Thunder. But in their first meeting this season, the Pelicans built an 11-point halftime lead and never were seriously threatened after that.

"Early in the year, we're trying to get better," New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We've been struggling offensively so it was good to see the ball go in the basket. It was good to score some points. I thought our defense was pretty good overall. It was just a good night and we need to keep moving forward. The games come fast and furious here."

Oklahoma City, which lost its third straight game — all at home — after winning its season opener at Charlotte, had won 10 of its 12 previous games on New Year's Eve. Al Horford led the Thunder with 17 points and six rebounds.

The Pelicans led 77-67 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter when Bledsoe's arm caught Isaiah Roby across the face as Roby looked for a layup on a fast break. Officials ruled it a flagrant foul and ejected Ingram, but Roby missed both free throws and Oklahoma City came no closer than seven points the rest of the quarter.

The Pelicans extended their lead to 85-73 entering the fourth quarter and continued pulling away, eventually leading by as many as 33 points while matching their season high in scoring.

Steven Adams, in his first game against the Thunder after being traded during the offseason, had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Josh Hart added 12 points and 11 rebounds.


Pelicans: New Orleans posted a 58-40 rebounding advantage … Ingram entered the game averaging 10.3 points this season during the third quarter and had eight against the Thunder before his ejection … JJ Redick and Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo each were slapped with a technical foul in the third quarter after jawing at each other.

Thunder: George Hill returned to the starting lineup after missing Tuesday's loss to Orlando due to neck spasms … The Thunder matched their season high with 15 3-pointers (in 48 attempts).


Thunder coach Mark Daigneault, on his team's high volume of 3-point attempts: "(The Pelicans) are really aggressive with their on-ball defense and on help defense, and that leaves the perimeter open. I keep telling the team we've got to take what the defense gives us. If you have open 3s, you've got to take them. You'd like to have a bit more balance, and I thought there were times we tried to do too much with the ball, but overall we took good shots."


Adams spent seven seasons in Oklahoma City, where the New Zealand native became a fan favorite. The Thunder posted a tribute video to Adams on social media before the game and during pregame introductions, they turned up the fake crowd noise in the arena to simulate extra applause for Adams.


Pelicans: Will begin a four-game homestand on Saturday against Toronto.

Thunder: Will begin a five-game road swing on Saturday in Orlando, four days after losing to the Magic in Oklahoma City.

Tulsa wide receiver Keylon Stokes (2) runs the ball past Mississippi State cornerback Martin Emerson (1) during the second half of the Armed Forces Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

Brawl mars Mississippi State's win over Tulsa

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A bowl victory that increased Mississippi State's win total this season to four and No. 22 Tulsa's failed attempt to add another unlikely comeback to its impressive collection this season took a back seat to the melee that broke out Thursday shortly after the Armed Forces Bowl ended.

True freshman Will Rogers scored his first rushing touchdown of the season and had a 13-yard TD pass to lead Mississippi State past Tulsa 28-26 in a game that was tense from the start.

Minutes after it ended, the teams became involved in a large brawl on the field, with players punching and kicking one another. Tulsa coach Greg Montgomery said sophomore safety Kendarin Ray, who was helped off the field after being at the bottom of a dogpile during a scrum, was treated for "some sort of concussion."

"I'm not sure what exactly caused that," said Mississippi State coach Mike Leach, who referred to the altercation as a "mosh pit." "It was something before the game, too. We've never had any problem with that the entire season, so I can only guess without seeing the film."

In a video posted from Mississippi State's locker room, Malik Heath joked about kicking a Tulsa player in the facemask.

"The one thing I'll say is our program, our guys, we're a team that are going to stand up for each other and we're going to battle," Montgomery said. "We talk about faith, family, football, and family's going to take care of family. We're a team that has battled all year long. We battled again today. From that standpoint, our guys are going to continue to protect each other and go from there."

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement that the league will work with Tulsa to "conduct a thorough review of the altercation pursuant to our Conference Code of Sportsmanship process and expect that the university will respond accordingly."

Jo'quavious Marks scored a rushing touchdown on the game's first possession and Emmanuel Forbes returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown for the Bulldogs (4-7), who finished the season with a second straight win in a game played at TCU's Amon G. Carter Stadium in cold, rainy conditions.

Mississippi State's 148 passing yards were its fewest of the season. Marks' 72 rushing yards and his 28-yard run for the touchdown were the most in each category this season for the Bulldogs, whose 36-yard rushing average going into bowl play was the lowest in the FBS.

Forbes' third-quarter touchdown was initially called back on an illegal blocking penalty, but the Big Ten Conference officiating crew reversed its ruling to a penalty on Tulsa.

Deneric Prince and Corey Taylor II scored rushing touchdowns, Zach Smith had a 15-yard TD pass to Keylon Stokes and Zack Long kicked field goals of 27 and 33 yards for Tulsa (6-3, No. 24 CFP), which erased four double-digit deficits this season.

Smith was 26 for 46 passing for 347 yards with two interceptions. Tulsa outgained Mississippi State in total offense 484 yards to 271, but the Bulldogs got 138 valuable kickoff return yards from Lideatrick "Tulu" Griffin.

Tulsa pulled to within 21-19 with 12:30 left on Taylor's 5-yard run, but Smith's two-point conversion pass intended for Stokes was broken up in the end zone. Mississippi State answered with Rogers' 13-yard throw to Griffin to go ahead 28-19.

Smith's 15-yard scoring pass to Stokes came with 1:23 to play, and Tulsa failed to recover the ensuing onside kick. On the play, Mississippi State's Erroll Thompson leveled Tulsa's Ryan Nixon and was penalized 15 yards for taunting.

"It's just dumb," Leach said. "There was some stuff going back and forth during the course of the game. With any of it on our side, I don't want to see it because I feel like I got shorted, what, 15 yards, 30 yards on deals where if we could keep our mouth shut, you know."

During the brawl, Mississippi State's De'Monte Russell, in street clothes beneath his jersey, ripped the helmet off Tulsa's TieNeal Martin and appeared to land a punch to Martin's head.

"Coach Leach addressed us as a team after the game, and we will handle that in-house," Kobe Jones said. "It was emotional and a mishap. We have to be better and more disciplined."


Tulsa: A team that was picked to finish ninth in the 11-team American Athletic Conference played in the league championship game, losing to Cincinnati on a last-second field goal. The Golden Hurricane will wait to see if they finish in the final AP Top 25 of the season for the first time since 2010.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs played in their school-record 11th consecutive bowl thanks to pandemic qualification exemptions. The four wins are the Bulldogs' fewest since 2008, the last of Sylvester Croom's five seasons coaching in Starkville.


Tulsa: Among the seniors who have committed to returning in 2021 are running back Shamari Brooks, fifth in program career rushing despite missing all of 2020 with an ACL injury, and free safety TieNeal Martin. Next season, the Golden Hurricane will visit Oklahoma State and Ohio State.

Mississippi State: For all of Leach's Air Raid offenses at various stops, Rogers was his first true freshman quarterback. The Bulldogs' Southeastern Conference home schedule should include visits by Alabama and Mississippi.


Blast from the past 1-1-2021

Here is today’s blast from the past.

Blast from the past is a feature we run daily on ledgerlcj.com along with our newsletter heavenerledger.substack.com.

Each day we feature an old picture of the people, places and events in LeFlore County from days gone by.

This picture is a group photo of the State National Bank crew from the 1970s.

If you have an image you would like to post on the blast from the past, send an email to craig@heavenerledger.com or bring it by the Ledger’s office at 507 East First Street.

Cloudy and cool for Jan. 1

Cloudy skies and cool for the first day for 2021 in LeFlore County.

The high will be 47 degrees with a low of 33 degrees.

Sunrise is at 7:26 a.m. with sunset at 5:18 p.m.

Thursday’s high was 39 with a low of 36. Rainfall was 1.45 inches.

Average temperatures for Jan. 1 are a high of 52 and a low of 24. Records for the date for Jan. 1 were a high of 64 in 1985 and a low of 6 in 1974.

LeFlore County calendar of events

The LeFlore County calendar of events lists the upcoming events in the area. This is a free service so if you or your group have an event coming up and would like it added to the calendar, please send an email to craig@heavenerledger.com.


Happy New Year!


Memorial service for Nickie Jo Watts


LeFlore County commissioners meet 9 a.m.

City of Poteau meetings


Poteau Evening Lions Club meet 6 p.m. CASC

High school basketball: Wilburton at Heavener; Panama at Howe; LeFlore at McCurtain; Talihina at Pocola; Arkoma at Bokoshe; Cameron at Keota; Stilwell at Spiro.


Poteau Rotary Club meets noon at EOMC.


Kiwanis Club meets noon at Western Sizzlin’

Heavener VFW bingo 6 p.m.

Heavener Utilities Authority and City Council meets 6 p.m.

High school basketball: Panama, Wister at Rock Island Conference Tournament; Poteau at Spiro; Cameron, Whitesboro at Webbers Falls Tournament; Talihina at Kingston Tournament.

Michigan tailback Gordon Bell (5) gets hit high and low from Oklahoma defenders Dewey Selmon (91) and Lee Roy Belmon (93) in the first period of the Orange Bowl in Miami on Jan. 1, 1976. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Today in history 1-1-2021

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Friday, Jan. 1, the first day of 2021. There are 364 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states shall be "forever free."

On this date:

In 1660, Englishman Samuel Pepys (peeps) began keeping his famous diary.

In 1892, the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.

In 1953, country singer Hank Williams Sr., 29, was discovered dead in the back seat of his car during a stop in Oak Hill, West Virginia, while he was being driven to a concert date in Canton, Ohio.

In 1954, NBC broadcast the first coast-to-coast color TV program as it presented live coverage of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic.

In 1975, a jury in Washington found Nixon administration officials John N. Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman and Robert C. Mardian guilty of charges related to the Watergate cover-up (Mardian's conviction for conspiracy was later overturned on appeal).

In 1979, the United States and China held celebrations in Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In 1984, the breakup of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.

In 1992, Boutros Boutros-Ghali succeeded Javier Perez de Cuellar (hah-vee-EHR' PEHR'-ehs day KWAY'-yahr) as secretary-general of the United Nations.

In 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In 2005, desperate, homeless villagers on the tsunami-ravaged island of Sumatra mobbed American helicopters carrying aid as the U.S. military launched its largest operation in the region since the Vietnam War. Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, died near Daytona Beach, Florida, at age 80.

In 2014, the nation's first legal recreational pot shops opened in Colorado at 8 a.m. Mountain time.

Ten years ago: A suicide bomber killed 21 people outside a church in Alexandria, Egypt, in one of the country's worst attacks targeting Coptic Christians. Third-ranked TCU finished a perfect season by beating No. 4 Wisconsin 21-19 in the Rose Bowl. Oprah Winfrey launched her OWN cable network.

Five years ago: Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign said it had raised $37 million in the previous three months and more than $112 million in all of 2015 to support her bid for the Democratic nomination. Ohio State defeated Notre Dame 44-28 in the Fiesta Bowl; Stanford beat Iowa 45-16 in the Rose Bowl; Mississippi toppled Oklahoma State 48-20 in the Sugar Bowl. Death claimed former Arkansas governor and U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers at age 90; former U.S. Rep. Mike Oxley at age 71; and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond at age 85.

One year ago: Militiamen backed by Iran withdrew from the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad after two days of clashes with American security forces. David Stern, who spent 30 years as the NBA's commissioner as it grew into a global power, died at the age of 77, three weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage. A fire at the Krefeld Zoo in western Germany killed more than 30 primates, including five orangutans and two gorillas.

Today's Birthdays: Documentary maker Frederick Wiseman is 91. Actor Frank Langella is 83. Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald is 79. Writer-comedian Don Novello is 78. Actor Rick Hurst is 75. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is 67. The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, is 65. Rapper Grandmaster Flash is 63. Actor Renn Woods is 63. Actor Dedee Pfeiffer is 57. Country singer Brian Flynn (Flynnville Train) is 55. Actor Morris Chestnut is 52. Rhythm and blues singer Tank is 45. Model Elin Nordegren is 41. Actor Jonas Armstrong is 40. Actor Eden Riegel is 40. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Meryl Davis is 34. Rock musician Noah Sierota (Echosmith) is 25.


Obituary for Ronald Moore

Ronald Eugene Moore, 77, of Heavener, was born March 6, 1943 in Maryville, Missouri to Taul and Kathryn (Bears) Moore and passed away Dec. 29, 2020 in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Funeral service is 10 a.m. Saturday at Big Creek Baptist Church with Bro. John Mark Little officiating. Burial will follow in the Page Cemetery, under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener.

Ronald was a member of the Big Creek Baptist Church in the Haw Creek community, and was a retired machine operator. He enjoyed camping with his family and friends, as well as fishing and deer hunting. Ronald will be missed by all who knew him.

Surviving family members are two sons Jeff Moore of Menifee, California and Kevin Moore of San Diego, California ; one step-daughter, Kimberly Synder, of Huntington Beach, California; two sisters Pat Shipley and husband Marvin of Chickasha, and Connie Statley of Evans, Colorado; four brothers Taul David Moore of Rock Springs, Wyoming, Wayne Moore of Des Moines, Iowa, Irvin Moore of Avoca, Iowa and Dean Moore; two grandchildren Amy and Andrew; three great-grandchildren Wesley, Tristen and Taylor; one niece Deana Morrison and husband Marty of Heavener; special friends James and Sharon Herrington of Heavener; and other family members and a host of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Sondra Kay Moore; his second wife, Carol Sue Moore; one daughter, Gayla Dueutsch; one daughter-in-law, Barbara Moore; and one grandson, Ronnie Dueutsch.

Pallbearers are family members.

Viewing is from noon to 6 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

To sign Mr. Moore’s online guestbook please visit www.dowdenrobertsfuneralhome.com.

Death notice for James Oakes

James Thomas Oakes, 60, was born Sept. 13, 1960 in Loma Linda, California to Marjorie Nell (Carpenter) Oakes and Jesse Waymon Oakes and passed away Dec. 28, 2020 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Private family services will be held at a later date. Cremation is under the direction of Mallory-Martin Funeral Home in Spiro.

Survivors include his wife, Karen Oakes; daughters, Shady Oakes and Melissa Oakes; sons David Oakes and Jesse Oakes; sisters Linda Goldsmith, Nancy Harlow, Doris Robinson, Diane Stafford and Susan Flores; brother, David Oakes; and grandchildren Bentley James “Clyde”, Ryder, Lukas, Jeremiah, Vanessa, James, Joey and Oslin.

He was preceded in death by his parents.  

To sign his online guest book, visit www.mallorymartinfuneralhome.com.