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Photo courtesy of Haskell County Emergency Management
An ominous funnel rotates in the sky above McCurtain Tuesday night as a line of thunderstorms roll through Haskell County.
By Doug Russell
Storms ripping through Oklahoma Tuesday night killed at least eight people in the state and destroyed buildings and trees across the eastern half of the state.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management reported at 10 p.m. Tuesday that four deaths and at least 60 injuries were directly attributed to the storms, which also left thousands without power as they rolled through the state. By 9 a.m. Wednesday, the death toll had risen to eight.
Locally, a woman who lives south of Stigler near state Highway 82 reported that high winds ripped her carport from its based, tore siding from the house and damaged the roof of her home. Another individual reported that several outbuildings, doghouses and numerous trees were blown over in the Keota area.
Storm chaser Wayne Adams said a massive wall cloud came in from Latimer County to the south, then produced a funnel as it rolled over McCurtain.
"It was huge," said Adams. "If it had actually produced a tornado at that time, it probably would have wiped out McCurtain." He added that he followed the storm to Arkansas, where it produced a tornado that hit the town of Denning. .(more on this story in this week's Stigler News Sentinel)
He wouldn't back up
By Doug Russell
He was a veteran, a biker and a community servant — and he wouldn't back up if he thought he was right.
Now he's gone.
Lifetime McCurtain resident Jimmy R. Anderson died May 18 after a long illness, and some believe that the town is smaller for his loss.
"It's hard to believe he's gone," said Joyce Adams. "He wasn't always the most popular person, but he wasn't worried about being popular. He wasn't afraid of offending anybody if he thought he was right.
"If they'd say, 'It's wrong,' he'd say, 'It's right and I can prove it. He did, too."
A lifelong resident of McCurtain, Anderson graduated from McCurtain High School before going into the Army during the Vietnam War."(more on this story in this week's Stigler News Sentinel)
Man accused of setting woman on fire
A Stigler man was being held without bond Tuesday after being arrested for allegedly setting a woman on fire.
Stigler police arrested Toby Moss, 41, for allegedly dousing 46-year-old Gayle Kaiser with gasoline and igniting it, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Police answering a 911 call to Northeast A Street found Kaiser with burns on her body, according to OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown. Neighbors said that Kaiser went to her home for help, telling them her boyfriend had poured gas on her and set her on fire.
Stigler police requested the OSBI to assist in the case and deferred all questions to that agency.
Police arrested Ward on a complaint of aggravated domestic assault.(more on this story in this week's Stigler News Sentinel)
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