EDITORIAL: Fall cleanup; helpful upgrades

Oct. 7—THUMBS UP to everyone who plans to help a nonprofit on its final weekend of an annual event focused on cleaning up our community.

Keep McAlester Beautiful started its annual fall cleanup last weekend and will be back at it Saturday and Sunday.

The annual event is usually held on two weekend in October each year for McAlester citizens to get rid of hard-to-get-rid-of junk.

This year's event started last weekend and continues Saturday and Sunday with anyone looking to drop off stuff at the former National Guard Armory at 301 E. Polk Ave. Organizers ask people to start forming a line by going along Sixth Street.

The event is open to pretty much anything people want to discard — mattresses, hot water heaters, electronics that plug in or run on battery, tires, car batteries, refrigerators, commodes, roof shingles, and much more.

Organizers said Saturday is the only available day for anyone to bring paper for shredding and any hazardous materials like pesticides and motor oil.

Donations and volunteers for Keep McAlester Beautiful are welcome.

Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and must enter the armory to sign a waiver, put on a vest and glove, then get a quick demonstration.

Brush will not be taken at the armory — but can be taken to the landfill west of McAlester 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

Thanks to Keep McAlester Beautiful, volunteers and community members for working together to keep our community beautiful.

----THUMBS UP to county officials working to improve various aspects of the Pittsburg County Jail.

County commissioners approved using nearly $750,000 in federal American Rescue Plan funds to upgrade jail security. Commissioners previously agreed with the concept, but obtained an opinion from the State Auditor and Inspector's Office before taking a vote on the matter.

This week's action approved a proposal from Black Creek Integrated Systems Corporation and SHI International Corporation to install a new security and access control system at the Pittsburg County Jail through a Sourcewell Contract, to be purchased with American Rescue Plan funds at a total cost of $735,496.43.

The jail's old security system was failing, but that's not to say it wasn't already secure. A new system provides a long-needed update, especially after the old system failed and left staff to lock and unlock everything manually.

It will improve on the jail's existing security measures and help keep inmates and jail staff safer from community spread of COVID-19.

This is good news for our community.

—McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board