Food pantry changes its days

The number for the Community First Center and First Baptist Church Food Pantry is now 918.351.8771, and the group's new schedule beginning tomorrow is Tuesday 10 to noon and 6 to 8pm and Thursday 10 to noon.

The pantry will no longer be open on Monday or Wednesday.


Cherokee Deputy Chief gets distinguished service medal

U.S. Navy veteran and Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation S. Joe Crittenden was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Service Award by the Disabled American Veterans of Oklahoma.

DAV Cmdr. Craig Vance presented Deputy Chief Crittenden a bronze award at the organization's 84th state convention held Wednesday at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

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Fourth moves Greenleaf Lunker Jackpot

Because of the holiday weekend coming up, the Greenleaf Lake Lunker Jackpot normally held on Friday evenings has been moved to Thursday night, July 2nd at the same time, 7:00 p.m.-11 p.m.

The change is just for this week.

Questions: call 918-348-9431.


Taft man hurt in wreck in Wagoner County

Steven McHenry, 53, from Taft, was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa with leg injuries after his motorcycle crashed two miles east of Broken Arrow late last night, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

McHenry was operating the motorcycle at an unsafe speed, according to the patrol, when he lost control of the motorcycle and crashed, with the motorcycle landing on top of him.

He was not wearing a helmet at the time.


Cherokee chief re-elected

Nearly 20,000 Cherokee Nation citizens turned out to the polls and elected Principal Chief Bill John Baker to another four-year term, according to unofficial 2015 General Election voting results.

Baker, of Tahlequah, took 9,786 of 18,583 votes or 52.6 percent of ballots cast. No run-off election is needed if a candidate takes more than 50 percent of the vote.

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Muskogee man hurt in shooting

A Muskogee man was injured in a shooting at Louisiana street, according to Rebecca Williamson of Muskogee County EMS.

The man was taken to a Tulsa hospital with critical injuries. No name has been released.

UPDATE: The victim's name is Jason Stout, and he was found on the side of the road with severe bleeding from his upper leg - an area where wounds can easily be fatal if not stopped in time.

He was suffering from a single gunshot wound. The suspects in the shooting were in a tan or light brown small SUV, according to police.


This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Leif M. Wright on Monday, June 29, 2015 at 7:50:56 a.m. (VIEW)

Turnpike wreck kills woman, critically injures children

A wreck on the Muskogee Turnpike killed a woman and critically injured two children, according to Rebecca Williamson of the Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service.

None of the victims' names have yet been released.

Both children are being transported to a hospital in Fort Smith.

An adult male in the vehicle refused treatment at the scene. There is no word yet on what might have caused the accident.

9:46 P.M. UPDATE: The woman who died was 64-year-old Mary Patricia Kidd of Sallisaw. The first child is a 12-year-old girl from Sallisaw, who received head, arm, leg and internal injuries.

The second child is a seven-year-old boy from Sallisaw, who is in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Little Rock with head and internal injuries.

The man, who was driving a semi, is Edward Haan, 46, of Weatherford.

The Highway Patrol reports that Kidd's 2009 Chevrolet was driving northbound on the turnpike when it lost control on wet pavement, crossed the center median and struck the semi, which was driving southbound during heavy rain.


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  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:49:11 p.m. (VIEW)

Water main break at 12th and Broadway


Couple charged with animal cruelty

An area couple have been charged with animal cruelty after their three dogs were found in deplorable condition in Fort Gibson, according to court records and District Attorney Orvil Loge.

Arrested were David Gene Gray, 33, and Elizabeth Dianne Meissner, 30, on three counts each of cruelty to animals.

"An officer initially went out on a domestic," Loge said today. "Then he saw the dogs and said 'what's going on with these dogs?'"

The dogs, breeds undetermined, were emaciated, their eyes were matted, they had what appeared to be mange and hookworms. A veterinarian took possession of the dogs, which were in "pretty bad condition."

A bowl of food sat outside the fence where the dogs were being kept, just out of reach of the dogs, who were trying anyway to poke their noses through the fence to get to it.

The dogs were found at 407 E. Armory in Fort Gibson, but the couple were found in Muskogee.


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  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:04:30 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:05:09 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:06:59 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:07:39 a.m. (VIEW)

Muskogee woman charged with murder after allegedly confessing on Facebook

A 20-year-old Muskogee woman living in Henryetta was charged with murder after she allegedly confessed on Facebook.

Samantha Stansifer, who told police she stabbed her ex-boyfriend to death, allegedly confessed on Facebook, according to her alleged victim's sister, who said she showed no remorse for the killing. She was covered in her boyfriend, Anthony Hall's blood when police arrested her.

The couple were broken up at the time, according to the sister, and Hall invited Stansifer to stay with him as "a kind gesture."

The Facebook post, according to the sister: "I did it. He deserved it."

While Hall was asleep, Stansifer went through his phone, according to the sister, saw that Hall had been texting another woman, went to the kitchen, got two knives and stabbed him to death.


This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 8:01:11 a.m. (VIEW)

Locust Grove woman killed in wreck

A Pryor man was injured and his passenger, a 21-year-old woman from Locust Grove, was killed when their vehicle crashed in Cherokee County last night.

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Dancing in the District moves indoors

"Dancing in the District" has been moved to an airport Hangar at Hatbox Field due to a forecast of rain.

The event will still begin about 5pm with Old Dominion, followed by Jimmy "Junior" Markham and the Tulsa Sound and rounding out the night with Paul Thorn. The event will end at approximately 10pm, with the official after-party being held at Max's Garage.

Tickets are $10 and are on sale now at The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, Max's Garage, the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce and online at: Additional information regarding ticketing can be found at or on the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Facebook page.


Connors set to open $9M facility here next week

Connors State College is pleased to announce the opening of the all-new Nursing and Allied Health facility in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The $9 million, 35,000 square foot building, houses state-of-the-art classroom and lab space, a student's common area, a lecture hall and student courtyard.

The new facility is located at the Three Rivers Port Campus at 2501 N. 41st Street East, adjacent to the Indian Capital Technology Center. In order to streamline services for students, all Muskogee classes and CSC operations will move to this location effective June 29, 2015.

Beginning June 29, 2015, all Muskogee Summer 2015 classes already in session will meet at the Three Rivers Port Campus. For questions regarding classroom locations, please contact the class instructor, or view a list of new class locations at


Fort Gibson man dies trying to blow up tree trunk

Jason Lee Ragsdale, 36, died Sunday after an accident trying to blow up a tree trunk, according to friends of the family.

Ragsdale was using a shotgun shell to try to blow up a tree trunk, when something went wrong and the shell blew his leg off, causing him to bleed to death.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Clifford D. Garrett Funeral Home in Fort Gibson. A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Friday.


This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Leif M. Wright on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 8:51:10 a.m. (VIEW)

Van full of Muskogee juveniles escapes injury in four-vehicle crash that hurt three others

Stephen Conder, 39, of Porter was taken to Saint John's Hospital in tulsa, as was his passenger, Martha Conder, 68, also of Porter, after his 2007 Dodge van collided with two other vehicles on Oklahoma 51B just south of Coweta yesterday.

One of the vehicles was a van full of Muskogee juveniles.

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Post office looks to move

The Muskogee Post Office is seeking a move from its current location downtown, according to a letter taped to its doors.

The move will be part of sweeping cost-cutting measures designed to get the U.S. postal service into the financial black.

The issue will be discussed at the Muskogee City Council meeting on July 13.

Pictures of the letter are above.


Get the Tulsa Sound at Dancing in the District on Friday

Muskogee's outdoor summer concert series, "Dancing In The District," continues Friday, this time on Broadway, between 3rd and 4th streets in downtown Muskogee. The event will start at 5 pm and last until 10 pm, with the official after-party being held at Max's Garage.

Jimmy "Junior" Markham and the Tulsa Sound will kick off the event, followed by Old Dominion and headlining will be Paul Thorn.

Tupelo, Mississippi's Paul Thorn was a prizefighter and skydiver before becoming a rootsy singer/songwriter. As a boxer Thorn once fought against Roberto Duran, and as a musician he has toured and collaborated with Sting, Paul Carrack, Joe Diffie, Tanya Tucker, Ronnie Milsap, and Carole King, to name a scant few. Thorn is the son of a Pentecostal preacher; gospel music was in his blood from birth and has remained a lifelong passion. Music wasn't his first choice as a profession, however; boxing was. He fought professionally in the 1980s. After retiring, he embraced music, but continued to pay the rent with a day job -- until music entrepreneur and manager Miles Copeland heard him play a show in a Tupelo pizzeria. Copeland signed him to A&M. His debut album, Hammer and Nail, was issued in 1997. Thorn moved to Copeland's Ark 21 for 1999's Ain't Love Strange.

Food and beverages will be available, as well as event merchandise.

Tickets are $10 and are on sale now at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce, Max's Garage or on:


MHS cheer coach charged, hearing set

Muskogee High School Head Cheer Coach Elton "Trey" Rhoades III was formally charged in Tulsa County District Court with three counts of second-degree rape and three counts of exposing others to AIDS/HIV.

Rhoades appeared with a public defender and pleaded not guilty. Bond was set at $100,000 on each of the rape charges and $50,000 on each of the HIV charges, ending with a total bond of $450,000. He has not made bail and sits in the Tulsa County Jail.

A preliminary hearing has been set for July 14 at 1:30 p.m. in Court Room 347.

Muskogee Public Schools have not returned a message on whether Rhoades is still employed there.

UPDATE 807 a.m.: Rhoades is no longer employed at Muskogee Public Schools, according to spokeswoman Wendy Burton. The schools are currently accepting applications for the position.


This story has been revised 2 times
  • By Leif M. Wright on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 8:05:49 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif M. Wright on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 8:07:49 a.m. (VIEW)

Pastor who trekked through Muskogee seeks flag enshrinement

Tennessee Pastor Walter "Chick" McGill, a 69 year-old Vietnam veteran, completed his 3,200-mile coast-to-coast national prayer walk at Santa Monica Pier on the Pacific coast, April 29, 2015. He was greeted by supporters and social media contacts. Los Angeles-based ABC Eyewitness News 7 documented his arrival at the Pier.

The pastor is wanting his "cross country flag" enshrined at the National Museum of American History after being the first ever to be hand-carried "from sea to shining sea" by a veteran. He shouldered his large American flag the full distance from Atlantic to Pacific and saluted every passing motorist on the walk route as a gesture of honor and respect for his fellow Americans.

McGill received a "Day of Recognition" certificate from Tennessee Governor Haslam's office in Nashville, and numerous cities along the 14-state route demonstrated recognition by giving the veteran city lapel pins, keys to their cities, city memorial coins, and certificates of appreciation. He received police escorts through towns in Georgia and Tennessee and was published at Wikipedia online as one who had successfully walked across America. McGill's "TransAmerican Crosswalk 2014," billed as a national prayer-walk, promoted "'a new birth of freedom' and integrity in America," while calling attention to the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and the nation's founding documents.

You may read about McGill's trek and historic "cross-country flag" at


Motorcycle wreck closes I-40 near Warner

A 2011 Kawasaki motorcycle driven by Thomas Slattery, 47, of Thomas, Okla., sent the driver to the hospital in the westbound lanes of I-40 earlier today.

Slattery, according to the highway patrol, reached into his saddle bag to retrieve an unknown item as he was traveling down the interstate. He lost control of the motorcycle, which departed the roadway to the left. He then flipped the bike, struck and cable barrier and came to rest in the median. Slattery was thrown 40 feet.

He was rushed to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa via helicopter with head, trunk, external arm and leg injuries. He was wearing a helmet.

The westbound lanes of I-40 were closed for an hour and a half.


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