Poteau Police Chief resigns
By KEN MILAM
The Poteau City Council approved several personnel changes Monday night, including the resignation of Police Chief Stephen Fruen.
Fruen will remain with the department as an officer over evidence.
Detective Billy Hooper was appointed to fill the remainder of Fruen’s term as chief. Greg Russell will remain as assistant chief.
Mayor Scotty White said Fruen, who was not at the meeting, told him he did not wish to run for re-election, then decide to retire early in his term if he was re-elected. White said Fruen is about 14 months shy of full retirement with the department.
Several other actions were taken regarding the police department. Brandon Richie was promoted to lieutenant, Jody Thompson to detective, Justin Dodson to sergeant and Matt Goodrich to corporal.
Two officers were hired pending approval from Police Pension – Dakota Witt and John Brooks.
Full-time benefits were approved for dispatchers Angela Killion and Gail Piersant and Nicholas Jackson with the Parks Department.
Kurt Morsund was recognized for 15 years with the Police Department and Alberta Davis for five years with the Nutrition Center.
Chamber of Commerce CEO Karen Wages Wages discussed upcoming events, including the 15th annual Balloonfest in October. September events include the Jeff Shockley Memorial Golf Tournament, the Barbecue Smackdown, the Old Frisco Trail Run and the Boys and Girls Club of LeFlore County’s Daddy/Daughter Dance on Aug. 20. She said that the chamber expected to spend at least $95,000 on Balloonfest this year.
She said last week’s Back-to-School Supply Bash was a success as 400 backpacks with school supplies were given out, sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center.
Wages also mentioned the LeFlore County Development Coalition’s Oct. 5-7 event, “The Poteau/Southeast Hog Hunt,” to help bring potential site consultants to Poteau and LeFlore County to showcase the area for potential business opportunities.
She mentioned that this Friday is the monthly “Positively Poteau Cruise Night” from 7-10 p.m. on Broadway and Dewey Avenue.
The LeFlore County Museum and LeFlore County Historical Society will have an organizational meeting at noon Aug. 30 at the museum to discuss organizing a large Independence Day celebration next year in connection with the annual Historic Downtown Poteau fireworks show.
The council denied a tort claim by Bubba Whitman on the advice of the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group. Whitman contended his vehicle was damaged in an accident because street signals were out at Broadway and Klutts Drive and stop signs were set up in their place.
The council approved a resolution supporting White’s nomination to the Oklahoma Municipal League Board of Directors, and a resolution to adopt the LeFlore County Hazard Mitigation Plan so the city can receive Federal Emergency Management Agency funds if needed.
A special use permit was approved to allow Charlotte Holly to put a daycare center at 312 ½ S. Saddler.
Council members also voted to clean up or remove nuisance or hazardous conditions at several locations in the city.
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