EC native on guard at the White House

Courtesy photo: Valton Doss, shown far right, is one of an elite group of ceremonial guards commissioned to protect the president and special guests of the White House during state dinners and ceremonies. Doss was on guard during the most recent visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, shown above with President Obama and his wife Michelle. Doss is a 2011 graduate of Elmore City-Pernell High School.

By Lindsey Temple
News Star Reporter

When Denise Martin opened the MSNBC web page for her daily news she was not expecting to be greeted with a picture of her son, dressed in uniform, standing stern faced three feet from President Obama during the White House state dinner honoring British Prime Minister and his wife, David and Samantha Cameron.

“I just started shouting, that’s my son, that’s my son,” laughed Martin, “I’m so proud of him.”

“I’ve carried the picture around with me since Wednesday,” smiled Martin as she pointed down at the face of her son in a large framed picture she had in her hands.

Valton Doss, 19, from Elmore City always had dreams of a life of military service.

Coming from a very large family where military service is common, Doss’s chosen profession while common within the family is anything but ordinary.

Doss is a ceremonial guard for the U.S. Navy and is based out of Washington D.C.

Doss graduated from Elmore City-Pernell in 2011. After graduation he quickly joined the U.S. Navy.

According to his mother, while in boot camp Doss tested very high in tests qualifying him to preside over ceremonies like the one held at the White House last week.

“It’s a little surreal to see your son in pictures at presidential functions,” said Martin.

Doss has been presiding over White House functions, military funerals and Pentagon functions since September of last year.

Doss’s parents include, Denise Martin and Val and Jerri Doss of Elmore City.

Brickfest plans underway; sponsors needed

By Lindsey Temple
News Star Reporter

As this year’s 13th annual Brickfest celebration fast approaches, organizers have their work cut out for them.

Missing out on a $2,400 Arts Council Grant to assist with funding the event was disappointing, but according to Main Street Program Director Samantha Robb, it will not hinder this year’s festivities.

“We are just going to have to gather addition local sponsors to make up for the difference,” explained Robb.

This year’s two day event includes entertainment from United Freestyle Stunt Team, The Texas Gypsies, local band Colby Ham and Mojo Band and many more.

There will also be a cake-decorating contest sponsored by How Sweet It Is and additional local talent and numerous vendors offering everything from food to clothing to home products.

Fields Pies will sponsor the annual pie eating contest and the PV Rotary Club’s Thunder in the Valley and the Valley Rally Bike ride will take place during the festival, as well.

Due to the change of the starting location for the Valley Rally, this year’s festival is being expanded into Rennie Park, according to Robb. The move will provide additional space and much needed electricity for vendors.

After contributions from the City of Pauls Valley and existing sponsors, the Main Street program is still looking to raise around $6,000 to meet the festival’s advertising and entertainment needs.

“We are really wanting to get Brickfest out there. There are some other events going on in our state that weekend but we have something truly unique and special, we want to bring people to it,” Robb explained, referencing the increased advertising for this year’s event.

Current existing sponsors include, Seth Wadley, The Garvin County News Star, Fields Pies and How Sweet It Is.

For more information on Brickfest or how to become a sponsor call the Pauls Valley Main Street office at 405-238-2555 or email Samantha Robb at

As Brickfest nears, schedules and a listing of events will be made available, keep reading the Garvin County News Star for more details.

Holden to retire after 22 years

Kenneth Holden

By Jeff Shultz



After 22 years of public service, District 1 Garvin County Commissioner Kenneth Holden has decided it’s time to retire.

“I’ve had a lot of fun as County Commissioner, but it’s time for someone else to step in,” said Holden during Monday’s regular commissioner’s meeting.

Holden submitted his resignation to County Commissioners Johnny Mann and Shon Richardson Monday, stating his resignation would be effective July 1, 2012.

“It’s time for me to retire,” Holden said. “I want to spend more time with my family plus I’ve had some health issues.”

Holden said he has a number of projects over his 22 years of service he’s particularly proud of, but he’s most proud of the employees and elected officials at the county courthouse.

“I’m very proud of everyone here and how well everyone worked with each other,” he said.

Holden said he was especially proud of the work he and his fellow county commissioners did in helping lure the Wal-Mart Distribution Center to Pauls Valley several years ago.

“That brought a lot of jobs to the county. I’m proud to have been involved in that,” he said.

Unlike other times in the past when a county official had stepped down, a replacement for Holden will have to be found by a special election.

“By law we can’t appoint a new commissioner,” state Mann. “We will have to hold a special election to find a new commissioner.”

All three commissioners approved a letter to Gov. Mary Fallin requesting a proclamation from her to call for a special election to replace Holden.

Plans are to hold the special election during the June 6 primary election with candidates filing for Holden’s office during the regular filing period of April 11-13.

PV man shot and killed by OHP Trooper

By Jeff Shultz



An Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper has been placed on routine administrative leave after he was involved in a shooting Sunday afternoon that left a Pauls Valley man dead.

According to the OHP, Trooper Danny Long was patrolling in the Pauls Valley area last Sunday afternoon when he approached a pickup truck parked in the roadway on Hamilton Road.

“When he went around the vehicle he noticed the driver was doing something with a shotgun while he was sitting there,” stated the OHP’s Public Information Officer Trooper Betsy Randolph.

Long then executed a u-turn to check on the subject in the pickup.

“At that time the subject in the vehicle sped away from the scene, taking Trooper Long on a brief pursuit,” Randolph said.

After about 15 minutes Long, according to Randolph, executed a tactical maneuver to force the pickup off the road.

Once the pickup came to a stop the driver, identified as Ray Kent Puckett, 41, of Pauls Valley, stepped out of the vehicle and pointed the shotgun at Long.

Long, said Randolph, then raised his weapon and shot Puckett, killing him at the scene.

Randolph did not know how many shots were fired.

Shortly before the altercation with Long, a member of Puckett’s family had called the Garvin County Sheriff’s Office informing the sheriff’s office that Puckett may be out to harm another family member.

“Sometime after one p.m. Sunday we received a call from a family member who said (Puckett) was on his way to another family member’s home and he had a weapon with him,” said Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes.

Rhodes said a deputy was told that Puckett was either in a white car or blue pickup, which was the vehicle the Trooper saw Puckett in.

Rhodes said his deputy did locate Puckett shortly after 2 p.m. and Puckett had led his deputy on a pursuit prior to his altercation with Long.

Long was put on routine administrative leave while the incident is under investigation.


School bond issues to greet voters on April 3rd

By Jeff Shultz



Patrons of the Maysville, Pauls Valley and Wynnewood schools will go to the polls on April 3 in a special election to decide the fate of three separate school bond issues.

In Maysville, school patrons will consider the approval of a $1,250,000 bond issue to construct a multi-purpose facility for the schools and community to use.

Plans are to locate the facility where the current old elementary gymnasium is located, converting the old gym into a cafeteria/multi-purpose building.

If approved by the voters in Maysville, the bond issue will be spread out for 10 years.

In Pauls Valley, voters will decide the fate of a pair of bond issues totaling $5.7 million to address three district projects as well some transportation needs.

Projects slated for this bond issue include the renovation of the PV Junior High auditorium, an expansion and renovation of the football field house and upgrading the Wacker Park gymnasium.

The anticipated cost of all three projects is $5.15 million.

A second transportation bond issue, totaling $550,00, will be for the purchase of new buses.

Wynnewood voters will also go to the polls on April 3 to consider two bond issues for their school district.

The first proposition, a $1.105 million bond issue, will be carried over seven years and will go toward the purchase and installation of HVAC and windows and general improvements to school sites.

The second bond proposal is for $385,000 and will provide funds for the purpose of constructing and equipping bleachers and the press box at the football field. It will also be spread over a seven-year period.

Voters in Garvin County, who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the April 3 School Bond Special Elections, should apply now, according to County Election Board Secretary, Cathy Brinley.

Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28th, Brinley urged voters that want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early.

Application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at the Garvin County Courthouse, First Floor, Room 8.

“At least two mail transactions must be made,” Brinley said.  “The County Election Board must mail the ballots to the voter and the voter must return the voted ballots by mail.”

Ballots must be in the hands of the County Election Board by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

Brinley said that any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he or she is eligible to vote.

Elmore City gearing up for Footloose Festival

One of the popular events during Elmore City’s Footloose Festival is the lawnmower races where souped up lawnmowers compete for the fastest mower in the area. (News Star archive photo)

By Lindsey Temple

News Star Reporter


With the second annual Footloose Festival approaching, Elmore City takes its place among many other Oklahoma towns offering unique festivals, paying homage to what makes them special.

On Saturday, April 21, Elmore City commemorates its place in cinema history with a day full of dancing, lawn mower races, an art show, car shows and much more.

The day starts at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast offered by Elmore City First United Methodist Church at the senior center.

“We added a lot of new events this year, it’s going to be even bigger than last year,” explained event coordinator Lisa Rollings.

The day will offer dance contests for the young and young at heart, along with  performances by the Billy K Band, the Christian artists Mike Bone and local dance artist Killa Stepz.

The day is open to residents and non-residents alike and is full of free fun for the entire family.

Entries are still available to participate in the lawn mower races, dance competitions, art show, cake decorating competition and parade.

For more information call Elmore City City Hall at 580-788-2345.

County towns getting ready to clean up

By Lindsey Temple

News Star Reporter


With April fast approaching, area towns are preparing once again to partake in the nation’s largest annual cleanup and beautification, The Great American Clean-Up.

The Great American Clean-Up is promoted through the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful campaign and during the entire month of April urges citizens to lend a hand in organizing local efforts in beautification, improving green efforts and general clean up around their areas.

Pauls Valley, with the help of Main Street Pauls Valley, is stepping up their efforts this year, adding a Trash In Fashion event with the Pauls Valley Arts Council and a Green and Clean day for the down town area.

Elmore City is also planning their second annual city-wide clean up on Saturday, April 14 at 9 a.m.

“We are really excited about this, we had some amazing support last year and we are hoping for even more this year. It’s really important that we all take pride in our town’s appearance”, said EC event coordinator, Quentin Casey.

Local towns are able to receive ideas and promotional material along with necessary materials to help with clean up efforts, available through the state of Oklahoma.

Additional towns within the Garvin County will also be partaking in the efforts, with dates to be announced.

Keep reading the Garvin County News Star for more details.

Muriel getting mixed responses in Elmore City

Elmore City EMT, Lauri Martin adds some finishing touches to a mural advertising the towns upcoming Footloose Festival and a guest appearance by Oklahoma City based, Christian rap group, Mike Bone.

By Lindsey Temple

News Star Reporter


City officials along with the help of some Elmore City-Pernell art students have turned one of Elmore City’s most viewed buildings into a canvas, promoting the town’s upcoming Footloose Festival, but not all residents are thrilled about the look of the building.

“There has been some question as to what we are actually promoting,” said EC City Clerk Lisa Rollings, referencing a particular painting of the Christian rap duo, Mike Bone.

“I have been asked to take down the logo. Some people around our town think that we are promoting violence and view this as some kind of gang graffiti, worrying that it will incite gang activity among the town’s young people,” Rollings explained.

Based out of Oklahoma City, the duo, Mike Bone, has had a profound effect on many young people stressing the dangers of gang life.

The artist known as “Lil Mike” understands all too well the dangers of such a life.

At the age of 10 he joined an Oklahoma City branch of the Los Angeles gang North Side Puri Bloods.

It wasn’t until one day in 1990 that the young man witnessed a gang shooting that haunted him and made him question his own life choices.

When trying to flee the gang, Lil Mike was met with beatings and opposition from those he once called friends, opposition that he still bears the scars from.

The incident drove him from the streets and into a Baptist church. Over the next few years he heard the testimony of the Gospel Gangster and a Christian rap group.

“We just want people know that these guys are positive influences, wonderful role models and they are ate up with Jesus,” explained Rollings. “I’m afraid this isn’t too far from the battle that we fought 32 years ago when people thought dancing caused teen pregnancies.”

Their songs have found radio play on Radio stations, including KOKF 91 FM and Power 103.5FM and other stations in Tampa, Florida and in Michigan. Others have appeared solely on albums with titles such as “Str-8 Outta OKC” and “From Da Flesh 2 Da Bone.”

Their most popular, a crunk CD titled “Dirty South Native Style,” features a song about a popular northeast Oklahoma City chicken stand.

The artists can be seen at the upcoming Elmore City Footloose Festival street dance at 7:15 p.m.

Elmore City pair injured in collision

By Jeff Shultz



Two Elmore City residents were injured last Friday night, March 9, one mile west of Elmore City on State Highway 29.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Kylee A. Rose, 20, was eastbound on Highway 29 when she swerved to avoid an animal in the road and ran off the right side of the roadway.

Rose, according to the OHP, then overcorrected and crossed the highway, running off the left side of the roadway and striking some trees.

The vehicle then overturned one complete time, coming to rest on it wheels in a creek bed.

Rose was pinned in the vehicle for approximately 30 minutes until the Elmore City Fire Department using the Hurst Tool freed her.

Rose was transported by Air Evac to the OU Medical Center where she was admitted in stable condition with head and arm injuries.

A passenger in the vehicle, Clayton L. Russell, 20, also of Elmore City, was transported by the Elmore City EMS to Pauls Valley General Hospital in Pauls Valley and was later transferred and admitted to Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City in stable condition with head and arm injuries.

The OHP reported both Rose and Russell were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Sheriff’s Office planning major warrant sweep in March

By Jeff Shultz



Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes is putting criminals in Garvin County with outstanding warrants on notice.

“I just want them to know a warrant sweep is forthcoming this month,” Rhodes said.

“An aggressive plan is being put in place to go out and arrest those with outstanding warrants in Garvin County at the end of the month,” he added.

Rhodes is hoping the advance notice will prompt many of those with arrest or bench warrants will “do the right thing” and voluntarily turn themselves in before they get a visit from the Sheriff’s office.

“By no means is this announcement an amnesty program, however it is fair warning that teams of deputies will soon be knocking on your doors if you have outstanding warrants,” Rhodes emphasized.

Rhodes said he is both astounded and frustrated by the high number of warrants issued in Garvin County.

“We are arresting the same people over and over, many times because they refuse to abide to the conditions of their sentencing, fail to appear for a court date or not pay their court ordered fees and fines,” he said.

Rhodes noted that in any given month, deputies from his office will serve an average of 100 arrest warrants.

The large number of warrants is troublesome in many ways, Rhodes said.

“Not only does the volume of outstanding warrants cause added work for my field deputies and detention staff, often pulling them away from more pressing issues, the number of warrants is bothersome because of the lack of respect for our criminal justice system,” he said.

Rhodes said his office receives a large number of bench warrants for offenders who openly refuse to comply with their court ordered supervision or the conditions of the court.

He noted that these people are often the same persons who have the ability to post bond when arrested, but cannot pay restitution or court fees associated with their criminal case and incarceration.

“Additionally, these are the same people out committing new crimes and once detected they are then found to have outstanding warrants,” he added.

“My office relies heavily on service fees to operate the sheriff’s office and when offenders do not pay their part, it causes concern to an already underfunded office,” he said.

Since taking office a year ago, Sheriff Rhodes has changed the position of the sheriff’s office in the extradition of offenders who leave the county thus avoiding prosecution or sentencing.

“I have found in the past, persons located outside of the county with an outstanding Garvin County warrant were not actively pursued,” he said.

Decisions to extradite offenders from outside the county is always affected by the severity of the crime verses the cost to bring someone back, however, the Rhodes said he no longer allows an automatic “no” to bringing these people back to the Garvin County jail.

“Every detention in another jurisdiction based on our warrant is now given careful consideration,” he said.

The best method to check for wanted persons, according to Rhodes, is to call the sheriff’s office directly or the Garvin County Court Clerk’s Office.

Public web sites such as and allow for criminal case status checks too.

Persons knowing the location of a person with an outstanding warrant are urged to contact their local law enforcement agency or the Garvin County Sheriff’s Office at 405-238-7591.

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