February 2007

Weekly Winner
Oologah Lake Leader
Helm case is serious
Editor John Wylie and Reporter Bill Snyder wrote a series of articles chronicling the serious issues concerning County Commissioner Mike Helm. The Leader reported that, among other things, Helm hired three-time convicted felon Scott Casler as a receiving officer, lavishly misspent federal grant money and stalled efforts to upgrade the 911 emergency response system. A Feb. 15 article detailed Helm's hiring of Casler along with Casler's extensive court and state prison records.

Daily Winner
Muskogee Phoenix
Insurance falls short
After winter ice storms crippled parts of eastern Oklahoma, Phoenix staff writer D.E. Smoot talked to homeowners who were battling their insurance companies for damages caused by the weather. Some homeowners found that their claims wouldn't be filed due to ice not being covered in the plan or that damages hadn't exceeded the deductible. One Muskogee resident had no insurance coverage and was awaiting federal disaster assistance. The Feb. 12 article also included insurance tips to protect consumers.