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Muskogee teen hurt in wreck with semi

Logal Stovall, 19, of Muskogee is in stable condition at Saint John Hospital in Tulsa after his pickup collided with a semi near the junction of US 69 and Oktaha Road south of Muskogee last night, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Stovall was stopped at the stop sign, preparing to cross the northbound lanes of 69, the patrol reports. The semi, driven by Michael Brown, 51, of Alderson, Oklahoma, was northbound on 69. Stovall, the patrol reports, failed to yield to the semi and pulled out in front of it, when the semi struck the pickup in the right side. Both vehicles departed the highway on the east side. The semi rolled over onto its side and came to rest on the shoulder. The pickup came to rest in the ditch.

Both men were wearing seatbelts. Brown was not injured.

Saturday, June 25, 2016, 8:22 PM

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EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff candidate Rob Frazier failed to pay employees at private business he ran

Rob Frazier

Rob Frazier, candidate for sheriff in Muskogee County in the upcoming Democratic primary on Tuesday, lost a judgment in 2001 for failure to pay for employees at his contracting company. The court held Frazier personally responsible for almost $30,000 of the $55,000 his company owed because he operated the business after the state told him to stop.

The business was suspended on June 21, 2001 for failure to pay state taxes. The business continued operating, according to the lawsuit filed by MyStaf, incurring $28,787 in employee salary liability after the state had suspended the company. Frazier, according to the suit, ignored state law requiring him to suspend business operations under the auspices of his business, All-Comm Contracting. According to state law, he was personally responsible for all the debts the business incurred after the state ordered him to stop doing business - almost $30,000 owed to Muskogee's MyStaf.

According to the suit, All-Comm contracted with Muskogee's MyStaf in April of 2001 to provide temporary employees, but All-Comm did not pay invoices MyStaf sent according to the agreement. MyStaf sued in November of 2001 and was granted a judgment against the company and Frazier personally on December 28 of 2001 after Frazier failed to respond to summons in the case.

The Muskogee County sheriff is responsible for a $7.8 million yearly budget, including payroll for dozens of employees. In addition, the sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in the county, responsible for executing state laws.

Frazier filed for bankruptcy in 2002, leaving the debt to MyStaf unpaid.

He has not returned repeated calls and texts for comment.

Read the court documents here

Friday, June 24, 2016, 9:27 AM

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Muskogee man charged with first-degree rape, aggravated assault and battery

Jerry Lynn Clemons

Jerry Lynn Clemons, 51 of Muskogee has been charged in Muskogee County District court with first-degree rape, aggravated assault and battery and assault and battery against a 25-year-old Muskogee woman.

On June 19, the charges allege, Clemons forced the women to have sex with him by threats of force with the apparent ability to execute that force. In addition, the charges alleged Clemons strangled the woman with the intent to d her "great bodily injury."

The district attorney lists numerous previous felonies and misdemeanors -- including bail jumping, robbery by force or fear, possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, forgery, concealing stolen property, and many others -- as supplemental information in the case against Clemons.

Friday, June 24, 2016, 7:39 AM

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Muskogee man charged with fondling juvenile girl

Joseph Stanley Harjo

Joseph Stanley Harjo, 35, of Muskogee was arrested at a residence on North K Street after a juvenile reported that he had repeatedly touched her vagina with his hands underneath her clothing.

A second juvenile confirmed the girl's story.

When police came looking for Harjo, they found him hiding underneath a bunk bed.

Thursday, June 23, 2016, 12:55 PM

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Muskogee woman and man charged with child neglect after toddler poisoned

Casey Duren

Brittney Gray and Casey Duren have been charged with child neglect after a two-year-old ingested a poisonous substance that made the child "severely sick."

According to an affidavit filed with the case, Duren would not tell police where the couple were when the baby ingested the substance.

"Casey stated ... he would take care of things himself, because the Aryan Brotherhood would kill his kids," the affidavit states. Gray insisted she didn't know where their residence was.

After officers explained that they needed to know where the ingestion occurred so they could go see what substances were around to provide the child proper medical care, they still refused to give police any information.

Thursday, June 23, 2016, 12:52 PM

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OSU helps families enroll in SoonerCare today

Oklahoma State University is helping area families enroll in SoonerCare today at Children's Clinic, 3101 Chandler Road, according to Ryan Hardaway, general manager of the clinic.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is free.

Prospective patients should bring the following:

  • Yours and your spouse's taxable income
  • Social Security Numbers and birthdates of people in your household
  • Current or recent health insurance information
  • Identity and citizenship information
  • Income information, including employer name, address and phone numbers of all household members who are employed
  • Amount of money received from other types of income

The professionals from OSU will help with new sign-ups, renewals and adjustments to SoonerCare.

For more information, call 918-687-4411

Thursday, June 23, 2016, 6:30 AM

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Wagoner County undersheriff adds to exodus from sheriff's office

Chris Cook

Wagoner County Undersheriff Chris Cook is the latest high-ranking officer to depart the Wagoner County sheriff's office, citing turmoil in the office as his reason.

He was initially hired as the jail administrator, but about a week later, he was appointed undersheriff by Sheriff Dan David.

In a resignation letter, Cook stated "I cannot be an effective law enforcement professional in the current environment. While I understand the need to sacrifice, there is also a greater need for unity within the structure of an organization and government ... I am saddened by the wants and actions of the few, impeding the needs of the citizens of Wagoner County."

The first day of this month, Shannon Clark, a former chief deputy and public information officer, announced his resignation. Christopher Ramsey, a former lieutenant, resigned the next day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 6:10 AM

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GAP Band to drop a bomb on Mus ... kogee

The GAP Band, which has produced numerous gold albums and number 1 singles in the nearly 50 years since they formed in Tulsa, is coming to Muskogee on Saturday to celebrate Black Music Month.

The event is free and will be at the Hatbox Hangar, where gates open at 4 p.m.

Music starts at 6 p.m. with DJ Ron Alexander, continues at 7 with Dylan Whitney, 8 with Starr Fisher and the GAP Band will take the stage at 9:15 p.m.

Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets, no outside food or drinks, no firearms, vendors and food trucks will be available. Beer and liquor will be available to those 21 and older.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 5:21 AM

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Program will match SNAP dollars spent at Farmer's Market

The US Department of Agriculture has awarded a grant to the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa to increase fruit and vegetable consumption through the Double Up Oklahoma program, which is intended to help low-income families using SNAP benefits.

The program will match up to $20 per day at farmers' markets for SNAP recipients using the benefits to buy fresh fruits, vegetables or food-bearing plants that were grown in Oklahoma.

The Muskogee Farmer's Market, which is Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Civic Center parking lot, is participating in the program.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 8:44 AM

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Muskogee Subway restaurant robbed at gunpoint

The Subway restaurant at 944 W. Shawnee, next to Walmart, was robbed late last night, according to a Muskogee Police report.

A suspect pointed a gun at the employee there, Harley Thomas, and robbed the business around 10:30 p.m., the report states.

It's unknown at this time how much money the robber got away with. We will update when police return calls we've made for comment.

UPDATE: Officer Lincoln Anderson said the suspect is a "skinny black male wearing a green shirt and a silver gun."

The suspect came in, demanded money and then left. No more information is currently available.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 7:39 AM

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Lt. governor addresses Muskogee manufacturers

Oklahoma’s Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb shared his vision for the future of Oklahoma during a luncheon last week where he addressed Greater Muskogee Manufacturers Alliance (GMMA) members and other business interests.

Through his newly formed E Foundation, he discussed how he plans to prioritize legislative policies which align with the following six pillars: education, energy, exporting, entrepreneurship, efficiency in government and enduring freedom.

Lamb also pointed out that Oklahoma is “ideally situated for manufacturing growth”. The state’s central location, access to major interstates, as well as, global access via the inland waterway, are logistical advantages that enable manufacturers to prosper in Oklahoma. In addition to favorable logistics, he stressed that the “biggest asset in Oklahoma, is the people of Oklahoma”.

Monday, June 20, 2016, 7:28 AM

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Stilwell man drowns in Lake Tenkiller

Benjamin Floyd Chambers, 42, of Stilwell, was found drowned in Lake Tenkiller after he had been under water for almost two hours, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Chambers was swimming at the edge of the water, holding onto rocks in about 20 feet of water, when he went under for an unknown reason and never resurfaced, according to the patrol.

He was transported by the medical examiner to the ME's office in Tulsa, where he was pronounced dead.

A diver from the Cookson Fire Department recovered his body.

He was not using a personal flotation device, and the highway patrol reported the odor of alcohol on him.

Saturday, June 18, 2016, 10:16 PM

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Crowds grow for day two of G Fest

People throng to hear Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Crowds at Hatbox Field grew even bigger for day two of G Fest, the three-day music festival that continues today and tonight.

Thousands of people from all over the country poured in and enjoyed music on three stages from local, state and national musicians, many of whom attracted followers to travel to Muskogee to see them.

Gemma and Morgan made the eight-hour trip from Austin, Texas to Muskogee just to see the Avett Brothers.

The crowd was a good mix of old and young, with children dancing during the songs and adults listening and cheering to the music. Heat seemed less oppressive on Friday, with several cooling stations and lots of beverage vendors.

Aubi and Blakely Hawke groove to the music.

Crowds appeared to show up and cheer for local rock acts just as much as they did for national country acts, with Muskogee regular blues rockers Blue Fish getting ovations worthy of stadium-packing musicians. Muskogee sons The Swon Brothers played early in the day, fresh off their tour accompanying Checotah native Carrie Underwood.

Blue Fish threw in a little blues and rock to ovations from the crowd

Friday night headliners the Avett Brothers brought down the house with a set met with roaring applause and cheers as the crowd cooled off and the music heated up.

The festival concludes tonight with headliner Kacey Mausgraves and numerous other local and national artists.

Saturday, June 18, 2016, 6:40 AM

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Artists heat up stages at G Fest

Blistering heat couldn't keep the crowds away as thousands packed Hatbox Field for Muskogee's G Fest, a celebration of music. Cooling stations and hammocks kept crowds chilled during the festival, where people from all over the nation crowded to Muskogee to catch national music acts.

"This was the easiest, friendliest music festival I've ever been to," said Randy Woods of Muskogee. "And I've been to a lot. Everything is really thought out and convenient here."

Music lovers brought chairs and umbrellas to catch all the tunes.

The event, designed to turn Muskogee into a music destination, appeared to be living up to its promise, as people from all over the nation converged on Muskogee for the three-day event, which continues today with Full Flava Kings, Uncle Lucius, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Swon Brothers, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and The Avett Brothers take the Love Bottling Stage starting at 1pm.

Bruce and Kathy Cox

Bruce and Kathy Cox came from Chicago to follow their favorite act, Paul Thorn.

"We've even been on cruises with him," Bruce Cox said. "I saw him perform for the first time at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame last Thanksgiving."

The festival continues today and tomorrow, with a mix of local, state and national headliners bringing more music, entertainment and fun. Vendors are at the site with food and beverages and lots of unobtrusive security ensures the event is friendly for families.

Paul Thorn, right, and Jim Paul Blair catch the Old Crow Medicine Show performance backstage.

Friday, June 17, 2016, 6:26 AM

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Warner man charged with having sex with 13-year-old, getting other kids high

George Braswell

George Braswell, 19, of Warner is charged with statutory rape and contributing to the delinquency of minors after he allegedly hosted a party at his apartment where a 13-year-old girl, an 11-year-old and others got high.

After the party was over, he allegedly had sex with the 13-year-old, according to court documents.

He is in the Muskogee County Jail.

Thursday, June 16, 2016, 9:38 AM

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Muskogee man jumps from moving car, critically injures self

Robert Baez, 26, of Muskogee was traveling south on the Muskogee Turnpike a mile north of the toll gate between Muskogee and Webbers Falls when he and his significant other, Shanta Maldonado, 28, of Muskogee started arguing.

Maldonado was driving.

Baez jumped out of the car and sustained injuries when he hit the ground, coming to rest about 30 feet later.

He was transported by helicopter to Saint John's Hospital in Tulsa in critical condition with arm, leg, head, internal and external trunk injuries.

Maldonado was not injured.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 10:53 PM

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Muskogee girl receives lewd pictures over Facebook

A Muskogee girl accepted a friend request from an unknown person on Facebook, and almost immediately began receiving lewd pictures from the account.

"The suspect is unknown at this time," said Lt. Kevin Hammons of the Muskogee Police Department. "The account he used was fake. Just don't be accepting friend requests from people you don't know."

Police Investigations Unit now has the girl's phone and is working to identify the man who sent the pictures.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 7:46 AM

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Area woman critically injured in wreck

Kasey Elliott, 41, of Wagoner was critically injured in a wreck just south of Tallahassee yesterday, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Elliott's 1995 Buick LeSabre was northbound on US 69 and passed another vehicle and lost control, going into the center median then came back onto the roadway, overcorrected to the left, striking a ditch and overturned one time.

She was transported to Eastar Hospital in Muskogee, then lifeflighted to St. John in Tulsa, where she was admitted in critical condition with head and internal injuries.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 6:28 AM

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Oklahoma School for the Blind leaves student in hot van for hours during field trip to Tulsa

Oklahoma School for the Blind employee Sherry Holder posted this picture after students attended art show in Tulsa. It's alleged by parents that she left a student in a hot van during the exhibition.

Parents at the Oklahoma School for the Blind are alleging that a student was left in a hot van last week during a field trip to the Tulsa Community College Art Workshop.

The temperature in Tulsa was 93 on June 8, when the event occurred.

Students reported that the person in charge, Sherry Holder, yelled at the student and blamed him for being left behind. The child was transported by ambulance to a OSU Medical Center to be checked out, and the Tulsa police dispatched an officer to the hospital.

No charges were filed.

A person answering the phone at the school for the blind said she had been instructed to refer any inquiries about the incident to the Department of Rehabilitation Services in Oklahoma City. Voicemails and text messages left for public information officer Jody Harlan there have not been returned.

UPDATE: Reached by phone, Holder said she was not authorized to talk about the incident and referred inquiries to Harlan.

UPDATE, 9:30 a.m.: Harlan confirmed the incident happened.

"It's the truth," she said by phone just now. "It's not just an allegation."

She is sending a prepared media release about the incident, and when we receive it, we will post it here.

UPDATE, 9:41 a.m.: The media release states the following:

A teenage Oklahoma School for the Blind summer school student was left in a van at Tulsa Community College during an art workshop on Wednesday, June 8.

When OSB staff realized the student was missing, they searched with campus police and found the student inside the van. He was alert and responsive, but received first aid onsite and was transported to OSU Medical Center as a precaution.

His family was immediately informed. The student was released from the hospital at 2:45 p.m. and returned to OSB.

OSB immediately contacted the Office of Client Advocacy in the Oklahoma Department of Human Services on June 8 to initiate an independent investigation.

The school and their parent agency Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services reviewed and improved operational procedures and safety protocols the same day.

An OCA representative arrived on campus on Thursday, June 9, at 10:35 a.m. OSB incorporated initial OCA input in their improvement plans. DRS and OSB will take additional appropriate action if needed as soon as the final OCA report is available.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 7:03 AM

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Tahlequah man arrested after pipe bomb found near Lake Fort Gibson

Jacob Duncan

Jacob Duncan, 26 of Tahlequah, was arrested after an Oklahoma Highway Patrol bomb squad and a special agent of the ATF found a pipe bomb made of metal pipe and fittings near Fort Gibson Lake late yesterday.

Investigators traced the pipe back to a Tahlequah hardware store, where they found out Duncan had purchased the pipe, they said. They arrested him at his home, 1101 E. Allen Road, where they found three more explosive devices and the materials to make more, along with firearms, ammunition, several crude methamphetamine labs and three previously-detonated explosive devices.

He was arrested for felony possession and manufacturing of an explosive device, endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The bomb squad safely detonated the bomb found near Fort Gibson Lake.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 6:00 AM

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