Watch the eclipse this afternoon

A partial solar eclipse - when the moon gets between the sun and the earth - will darken the Muskogee area's skies between 4:40 p.m. and 5:48 p.m. today, according to NASA.

The sun will not be completely covered by the moon, but it will be enough that the effect is still fun to watch - if proper precautions are taken.

According to NASA, there are two safe ways to watch the eclipse without doing permanent damage to your eyes:

1) Projection: The safest and most inexpensive way to watch a partial solar eclipse is by projection. Place a pinhole or small opening in a card, and hold it between the sun and a screen - giant sheet of white paper works - a few feet away. An image of the sun will be seen on the screen. Projected images of the sun's crescent during an eclipse may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree. You can also use binoculars to project a magnified image of the sun on a white card. However, you must never look through the binoculars at the sun.

2) Filters: The sun can be viewed directly only when using filters specifically designed for this purpose. Such filters usually have a thin layer of aluminum, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces. One of the most widely available filters for safe eclipse viewing is a #14 (or darker) welder's glass. A welding glass that permits you to see the landscape is not safe. Aluminized mylar manufactured specifically for solar observation can also be used. Mylar can easily be cut with scissors and adapted to any kind of box or viewing device. Only use filters that you know have been approved for solar viewing.

When you watch tonight, be sure to send us your pictures of the event.

Filed under: Local
This story has 5 comments
, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

Add a comment

Learn about your lineage tonight at the library with guest speaker

Migration will be the topic when the Muskogee County Genealogical Society meets at 6 p.m. tonight in the Grant Foreman Room at Muskogee Public Library.

Fredrea Gregath Cook will be the speaker on "Expanding the Horizons, Opening Ohio."

Cook is a national speaker in addition to her usual role in the printing and publishing industry. As the second of three generations with Gregath Publishing, she has been involved in both genealogical and historical research, writing, teaching, lecturing, and touring. She is active in numerous patriotic and lineal organizations, as well as local community groups.

A speaker at national conferences, she is also a director of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, Association of Professional Genealogists and National Genealogical Society. The Genealogy and Local History collection at the library includes her books, "Forgotten Oklahoma Records," "Early School Census Records, Ottawa County," "Ottawa County, Oklahoma Families," "Index to the 1930 King Jack Newspaper, Picher, Oklahoma. She authored the biography of the late Wyandotte Chief Bearskin, "Kwa-hoo-she-ha-ke (Flying Eagle), American Indian War Hero" The most recent addition to the collection is the set of "Nannie Lee Burns IPH Interviews of Ottawa County, Oklahoma, 1937-1938." Burns was one of the most prolific interviewers for the WPA Indian Pioneer Collection.

Ohio was a major migration path following the Revolutionary War for those coming from both the northern and the southern states with land grants awarded to those who served in the war. Many migrated out of Ohio as the population then moved west. Oklahoma researchers frequently find their research leading back to this state. A knowledge of Ohio migration can help lead the researcher back to the east coast origins.

Filed under: Local
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Bacone house remodeled for criminal justice

Bacone College Trustee Richard West talked about his memories of living on campus at Bacone College as a child as he peeked out window blinds into the backyard of the home he once lived in on Faculty Row.

"My dad was a superb gardener," West said about the remnants of a rock walkway and a rock enclosure that once surrounded a lush weeping willow.

Then he looked around what was his parents' bedroom and said, "I think this is going to be a very nice place for the Criminal Justice Department."

West's father was the late Walter Richard "Dick" West, Sr. (1912-1996), who was a Southern Cheyenne painter, sculptor, and educator, well known locally for his time creating and teaching at Bacone College.

Though once the home West shared with his family until he went away to college in 1961, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom brick home is now the home of the Rennard Strickland School of Tribal Law/Criminal Justice, thanks to a grant from the school's namesake, a Muskogee native who is now a professor in Norman.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Director of Strickland School of Tribal Law/Criminal Justice Wambli Win and Instructor of Criminal Justice Cindy Farmer, along with several majors, hosted a reception last week for Bacone College's Board of Trustees to receive a tour of the newly renovated spaces.

Win said Strickland gave $10,000 to kick off the remodel of the home built in the early 40s into a classroom, mock interrogation room and offices for Win and Farmer.

"Criminal Justice is the largest program at Bacone College," Win said. "We are now in the process of raising more funds to complete the project, including adding computers for students' use and turning the garage into a forensics lab where students may practice plaster casting and fingerprinting, for example."

The newly remodeled kitchen and large classroom area will also allow students to hold gatherings there and host events, she said.

Filed under: Local Good News Education
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Help special needs kids while eating pancakes

HopeKids Outreach in Muskogee is a nonprofit that offers parenting classes and a private school-setting special needs class.

The organization is hosting a fundraiser at Applebee's this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for special-needs children.

"We integrate the kids with other kids, but we have a separate classroom for them to learn," Kelly Bolding, a teacher at the group said. "We also have parenting classes."

The group runs on a shoestring budget of less than $1,000 per month, Bolding said.

"We try to do as many fundraisers as we can to support it."

Tickets are $7 at Applebee's, and include pancakes, sausage and orange juice.

Filed under: Local
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Comments to be offline tonight

We will be upgrading our comments system tonight, so comments will be offline until we are done.

So if you have something to say, say it now.

Comments should be back before tomorrow.

11 p.m. UPDATE: I'm very tired; I've been working all day on this, and it may take a bit longer than anticipated. Because of spammers, who are scum of the earth, I have to find a balance between making it easy for you to comment and difficult for their automated programs to comment.

I'm adding some much-requested features while I'm at it, including passwords, which will enable you to edit or delete your own comments. I've already fixed a bug that caused comments to be dropped when commenters logged out and then logged back in. The new comments system will enable the page to load a LOT faster, too.

All that said, it takes a lot of time, and there's only so much time I can take away from my family, so I'll work on this again tomorrow.

Filed under: Local
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Harmonious women to sing here

Take a Dixie Chick, add two other Cherokee singers and you get The Cherokee Maidens, a musical group that creates a distinctive sound hearkening back to another era.

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host The Cherokee Maidens on November 6 at 7 pm at The Frisco Depot, 401 S. 3rd in Muskogee.

These maidens have more in common than just their Native American heritage. They share a love for old dogs, spicy Tex-Mex, crocheted pillowcases and harmonic melodies.

Young Jennifer Petterson teams up with Okie songbird Monica Taylor and Bartlett Arboretum steward Robin Macy. Think Bob Wills meets the Andrews Sisters.

This is familiar territory for Macy, who has performed for decades with other girl groups, some more famous than others; Macy is best known as a founding member of The Dixie Chicks.

Each maiden is a songwriter - Taylor has been featured on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. All have acclaimed recordings under their rodeo belt buckles, but it is this collective timbre and shared passion for the past that sets them apart from the pack and unites them as a tribe.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For advance tickets go to: www.eventbrite.com.

Refreshments will be served and all ages are welcome.

Filed under: Local Entertainment
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Finish this 5K before you start. Really.

If you've ever wanted to travel back in time, there's good news: you don't have to go 88 miles per hour. You can simply jog - or even walk fast - at the Back to the Future 5K on Nov. 2 at Hatbox Field.

Because the race begins at 1:50 a.m., time "falls back" an hour due to Daylight Saving Time, so you'll finish the race before you started it.

The event will have lights, a DJ and food available, as well as a viewing of "Back to the Future" on the side of one of the old hangar buildings during the run.

Half of this year's proceeds will go to Bobby and Debbie Lipscomb, missionaries with Baptist Collegiate Ministries for more than 35 years. Debbie Lipscomb was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer of the brain and had a tumor removed earlier this month.

You can register for the run at the run's web site.

Filed under: Local Good News
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Shooting suspect arrested

A suspect has been arrested in yesterday's shooting of Darian Jefferson, 40, of Muskogee.

The suspect, Shawn Gandy, is in the Muskogee County Jail on a count of shooting with intent to kill.

Police believe he and Jefferson were having an argument that turned physical, before Gandy produced a .40 caliber handgun and shot Jefferson once in the chest.

Jefferson and Gandy are believed to be cousins. Gandy was at the scene when police arrived but denied any knowledge of how the shooting took place. He later turned himself in and was arrested.

Filed under: Local Crime
This story has 3 comments
, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

Add a comment

Tulsa legends to play Hall of Fame induction concert

More than 25 legendary Tulsa musicians will gather on the Cain's Ballroom stage Saturday, November 1 to pay tribute to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame class of 2014 inductees. The induction concert, which starts at 8 pm, will feature performances by area Tulsa Sound artists as well several of the 2014 inductees.

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame 2014 class of inductees are: Elvin Bishop, Jim Keltner, Chuck Blackwell, JJ Cale (posthumous) and Lowell Fulson (posthumous).

One of the evening's highlights will include performances by OMHOF 2014 inductees; Elvin Bishop, Jim Keltner and Chuck Blackwell. Christine Lakeland Cale (wife of the late JJ Cale), along with an infamous list of Tulsa Sound Musicians, who will share the Cain's Ballroom stage in a historic gathering. Among the roster of performers are Gary Gilmore, Walt Richmond, Larry Bell, David Teegarden, Tommy Crook, Jimmy Markum, Don White, Rocky Frisco, Jim Byfield, Steve Hickerson, Charles Tuberville, Jamie Oldaker, Jimmy Karstein and James Cruse.

"This will be our first induction to focus on a genre and location. We are extremely excited to honor a number of Tulsa-based artists and look forward to doing similar inductions across the state," said Jim Blair, Executive Director for the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Beloved Tulsa radio personality, Scooter B. Seagraves will fittingly serve as the master of ceremonies. Seagraves' iconic radio career has spanned 50 plus years, many of those years at Tulsa's KAKC and Magic 99, spinning the hits of the very artists' performing at the November 1 event.

A V.I.P. reception will kick off the event at 6 pm in the Cain's side room. The induction concert will follow the reception beginning at 8 pm. V.I.P. tickets are currently sold out. A limited number of General Admission tickets are still available. Advance tickets are available online at www.cainsballroom.com for $30 and at the door the night of the concert for $33. Cain's Ballroom is located at 423 N. Main Street in Tulsa.

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame is located at 401 S. 3rd Street in Muskogee, OK and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10-5 pm. For more information, contact OMHOF at (918) 687-0800 or visit www.omhof.com.

Filed under: Local Entertainment
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Prescription drug disposal free this weekend, too

The regional prevention coordinators of Neighbors Building Neighborhoods, in cooperation with the Muskogee Police Department and Muskogee Community Anti-Drug Network, are encouraging area residents to remove all expired, unneeded or unused medicines from their homes and bring them to the Muskogee Fairgrounds, 1444 South Cherokee Street, Muskogee, OK 74403, for proper and safe disposal on October 25, 2014 from 10 am to 2 pm.

Medications can also be disposed of at any time at the drop off location in the lobby of the Muskogee Police Department at 112 South 3rd Street, Muskogee, OK 74401.

The Take Back Day offers a free, easy solution for people to dispose of old or unneeded pills. Needles, syringes, and liquids cannot be accepted.

For more information about concerning the Take Back Day contact Neighbors Building Neighborhoods at 918-683-4600.

Filed under: Local Good News
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Get rid of your household waste on Saturday for free

As part of its ongoing efforts to protect area water and enhance home safety, the City of Muskogee will once again provide a special waste collection day. This event offers free disposal of household chemical pollutants and waste tires to city residents.

Muskogee residents may bring their household chemicals from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, October 25th to the Muskogee City-County Fairgrounds. This event is free to Muskogee residents who present a current city water bill, and is sponsored by the City of Muskogee through its Public Works Department Stormwater Management Program.

Acceptable materials include pesticides, leftover oil-based paints, used motor oil, solvents, cleaners, acids, poisons, aerosols, fluorescent bulbs and all types of batteries. Products should be kept in their originals containers, if possible.

Up to three computers or TV sets, per household, will be accepted for recycling. A latex paint exchange will be provided. Residents may also dispose of latex paint after solidifying them through air drying and discarding in their local curbside trash container.

Select types of waste are excluded from this event, for safety reasons. Pressurized gas cylinders, ammunition, explosives or containers of unknown substances will not be accepted. Due to state and federal regulations, no wastes from commercial businesses or agricultural sources are allowed. Rineco, a third-party transport service will be onsite to dispose of fluorescent bulbs from commercial businesses. Fees will apply for this service, and are to be paid to Rineco Environmental Services directly.

Residents may also deliver passenger car, pickup and large truck tires to the site for free disposal, with a 25 tire limit per household. Tractor tires, large implement tires, tires on metal rims, or tires from commercial shops or dealers will not be accepted.

Mike Stewart, Director of Public Works, said with fall here, this is a time for many to clean out their garage or basement and complete home projects. These activities can often result in the need to dispose of potentially hazardous products, and unwanted items like old tires.

"We encourage residents to make their homes and environment safer by disposing of them properly through the city's special collection program," said Stewart.

The Muskogee Police Department will accept pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Liquids and sharp objects will not be accepted.

In the event of a lightning storm, gates will be temporarily closed for the safety of attendees until the storm has passed.

For more information, call Francie Martin, Stormwater Quality Technician, at 918-684-6340 or email mmartin@muskogeeonline.org

Filed under: Local Good News
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Man shot in chest

The Muskogee Police Department is currently investigating a shooting that took place today at approximately 4:11 p.m. at 2409 Garland Street. Officers were dispatched to this location and arrived to find a victim in the front yard of the residence suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest. The victim is a black male in his 30's and was transported by E.M.S. to Eastar West Emergency Room.

It is unknown at this time if the shooting took place inside the residence or in the front yard area.

Muskogee Police are attempting to interview witnesses, some of whom are not cooperating in the investigation.

Police are in the early stages of the investigation and are awaiting a search warrant for the residence. More information will be released as it becomes available. No suspect description or information on the victim's condition is available at this time.

Filed under: Local Crime
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Muskogee man accused of biting off part of woman's lip

Clyde Fields, 47, is in Muskogee County Jail after he allegedly bit off part of his 33-year-old girlfriend's lip, according to police.

"Apparently they were in a car at 2907 W. Okmulgee," Cpl. Michael Mahan said. "At some point, he reached over and bit her bottom lip."

The victim was treated and released at Eastar Hospital.

"He bit a big square out of her lip," a family member said. "It looks horrible."

Fields is charged with aggravated assault and maiming.

Filed under: Local Crime
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Muskogee County teacher, students sent home after Ebola scare

A teacher and two students are being sent home from Oktaha School right now after information came to light that they were on a cruise ship that suffered a scare with the deadly Ebola virus this weekend.

The teacher and the two students were on the ship, which docked in Galveston yesterday. The nurse on the ship who had come into contact with the blood of a patient who died from the disease has reportedly tested negative for it.

"We're being reasonably cautious and sending the teacher and the students (from the ship) home," said Oktaha Superintendent Jerry Needham. "I just heard about this five minutes ago. I'm going to contact the CDC and the state health department and find out what to do next."

It's likely that no one on the ship was exposed to the virus, the government has said, after the nurse was reported to be asymptomatic. A nurse we spoke to, however, said the nurse would not test positive until she became symptomatic.

Needham said he will know more about the school's next steps this afternoon. We will report at that time.

UPDATE 2:42 PM: Needham, who says he has been in contact with both the CDC and the state health department, says everyone will be back at school tomorrow.

"There's evidently a 21-day window where if you don't test positive, you're not positive," he said. "That nurse voluntarily quarantined herself and the 21-day period is up and she's tested negative, so everything is going back to normal."

Filed under: Local Breaking News Education Exclusive
This story has 3 comments
, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

Add a comment

Cherokee Youth Council sworn in

Seventeen Cherokee students from across northeastern Oklahoma pledged Monday to protect the Cherokee Nation Constitution and promote the tribe's culture and traditions.

With hands raised in the air, the newest members of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council were sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice Darrell Dowty during Monday night's regular Tribal Council meeting.

The Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council program started in 1989 and has 161 alumni, many who now work for the tribe. The 2014-15 youth council will meet monthly, and each member serves a one-year term.

The council learns the Cherokee Nation Constitution and youth council bylaws and identifies issues affecting Cherokee youth to potentially shape tribal policy. Students also serve as tribal ambassadors, learn leadership skills and volunteer in the community.

"The Tribal Youth Council is an opportunity for me to serve my tribe and repay it for everything it has done for me," said Tribal Youth Council member Ja-li-si Pittman, 20, NSU student and Tahlequah resident. "It's also a really good opportunity to represent and serve our people."

Tribal Youth Council members joining Pittman include Haylee Caviness, 17, of Tahlequah; Jacob Chavez, 17, of Tahlequah; Haley Teehee, 17, of Tahlequah; and Kaley Teehee, 17, of Tahlequah; Morgan Mouse, 16, of Welling; Ashton Shelley, 17, of Park Hill; Summer Eubanks, 17, of Stilwell; Elizabeth Hummingbird, 17, of Stilwell; Sarah Pilcher, 16, of Westville; Cierra Fields, 15, of Fort Gibson; Blake Henson, 16, of Fort Gibson; Taylor Armbrister, 15, of Kansas; Bradley Fields, 15, of Locust Grove; Ashlee Fox, 17, of Bartlesville; Abigail Shepherd, 15, of Ochelata; and Cassidy Henderson, 15, of Welch.

Filed under: Local
This story has 1 comment
, on , said:

Add a comment

Bacone to attempt world record attempt for biggest round dance

Bacone College, in conjunction with Brian Jackson, the "I Believe" guy, and the Bacone Criminal Justice Society Club, will attempt to break several world records beginning at 11 a.m. Nov. 6 at the college, 2299 Old Bacone Road.

Jackson, who is an eleven-time Guinness World Record Holder, will assist as Bacone and anyone in the community who wishes to join the attempt tries to break the record for the world's largest round or friendship dance.

Bacone is inviting as many people as possible, including area tribal delegates, schools and community groups, to show support for one of the oldest Native American colleges.

Currently, the Book of Alternative Records, Assist World Records, Unique World Records, Asia World Records, and Everest World Records are all interested in the attempts. Additionally, the Bacone College baseball team will participate in a surprise record attempt.

"We hope to inspire and motivate students, faculty, and community members to reach for their dreams with diligence and dedication," said Cindy Farmer, CJS advisor. "We just have to believe and then act... to achieve. We all have the ability to make a difference, to become part of a solution - we just have to be willing."

There will be refreshments available, and college representatives will be on hand to offer campus tours and information.

For more information, call 918-781-7301

Filed under: Local Entertainment Good News
This story has no comments

Add a comment

BREAKING: Fire in post office

A fuse box is on fire on the back side of the Muskogee Post Office.

Employees have been evacuated and the fire department is arriving at the scene.

3:42 pm UPDATE: Another truck has just arrived, bringing the total to four.

3:59 UPDATE: The damage was confined to the breaker box, Assistant Fire Chief John Tipton said.

"They're without electricity for now," he said. "They'll have to do everything the old-fashioned way for awhile."

Filed under: Local Breaking News
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Muskogee man suspected of embezzling at least $800,000 from doctor's office

Muskogee man David Edwards is suspected of embezzling at least $800,000 from a local children's clinic, possibly much more, according to several sources close to the matter.

Muskogee Police are at the clinic now.

"It could be up to two million," one source said. "No one is sure quite yet, but it's at least eight hundred thousand."

Edwards, who is the brother-in-law of one of the clinic's main doctors, did the books for the clinic.

"This is such a shame," said Sheriff Charles Pearson. "That clinic works so hard, they do such good work with the children, regardless of their ability to pay, and they spend numerous hours testifying in child abuse cases without compensation. I hate to see them suffer something like this."

Pearson said the Muskogee Police are handling the investigation, not his office. The police have not yet returned a call for comment.

An arrest will have to wait for a warrant, several sources said.

3:28 pm UPDATE: Muskogee Police just released the following:

Muskogee Police are currently investigating a report of possible embezzlement of funds from the Muskogee Children's Clinic located at 3101 Chandler Road. Initial investigation shows that funds were discovered missing during an inquiry by the Internal Revenue Service and confirmed by an independent auditor hired by the clinic. At this time we are in the initial stages of the investigation and no arrests have been made. Funds in excess of $700,000.00 have been reported as missing.
Filed under: Local Crime Exclusive
This story has 13 comments
, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

, on , said:

Add a comment

Cherokees help Tahlequah Fire Department buy extraction gear

The Cherokee Nation donated more than $14,000 to the Tahlequah Fire Department to help the station buy vital, lifesaving extraction equipment.

"In our capital city, it's important for the Cherokee Nation to support the infrastructure development of the community. That includes making sure Tahlequah's first responders are fully equipped to handle any emergency situation," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. "We are proud to support these brave men and women who diligently work to protect us all and ensure our citizens, Cherokee and non-Cherokee alike, remain as safe as possible."

The equipment will be used on a new rescue truck for the fire station on the south side of Tahlequah.

"It's tremendous to have the tribe's help," said Fire Chief Ray Hammons, of the Tahlequah Fire Department. "I know the rural areas get a little boost and help every now and then, but we here at the Tahlequah Fire Department protect a lot of Cherokee Nation property, and it is nice to partner with the tribe and to receive their help."

The Cherokee Nation donated $451,000 to 129 rural and city fire departments earlier this summer during the tribe's annual volunteer firefighters' ceremony.

Filed under: Local
This story has no comments

Add a comment

Thespians to host supper, pie auction, performance

The Competition Theater & Debate team of Muskogee High School will host a Spaghetti Supper and Pie Auction fundraiser to support their competition and travel costs.

The team will also give their only public performance of Fahrenheit 451, a one-act play, typically performed in competition. The Pie Auction will feature live bidding. Everyone is welcome.

The event is Saturday at 6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 600 E. Okmulgee Street.

No tickets necessary. Contributions for the supper are greatly appreciated.

Sponsorships are requested. Individuals: $30, Businesses: $100.

For more information call: (918)289-3471.

Filed under: Local Entertainment Education
This story has no comments

Add a comment

RSS