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Livin Country band plays more than country

Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 10:11 AM

Muskogee’s Livin Country band is out to show that a country band can straddle genres and put on a good show, regardless of the musical tastes of the audience.

Livin Country

  • Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
  • Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
  • $5 per person
  • All ages are welcome.

From old country favorites to new country to rock and pop, the group sports three lead singers, two guitars, a keyboard, drums and a bass guitar, and with that combination, they stretch out beyond their name. Dewey Hammons, Mike Maddocks, Tony Epperson and David Rila make up the group, which uses a 50-year-old name from Dewey’s dad’s band. The current group has been together for eight years.


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MHS homecoming festival to shut down downtown tonight

Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 9:56 AM

Muskogee High School’s Homecoming Festival will shut down several downtown streets tonight from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Streets will be blocked off from Second Street to Third Street and Broadway. Parking will be available in the old Connors parking lot and Arrowhead Mall.

The festival will feature a spirit wagon parade at 6 p.m., carnival games, booths, food and more.

Admission is free.


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Police wrap car for breast cancer awareness

Monday, September 26, 2016, 3:33 PM

Officer Drew Branan will be driving the pink-adorned police cruiser

The Muskogee Police Department unveiled a pink-wrapped cruiser today in support of breast cancer awareness.

The car will be driven by Officer Drew Branan, whose mother is a cancer survivor.

“It wasn’t done for me,” he said, “but it will be an honor to drive it in support of her.”

The car is part of the department’s efforts to increase visibility for the disease, Chief Rex Eskridge said.

“We wanted to let people know it’s an important cause,” he said. “It affects so many people in our community.”

The car, which was wrapped with free labor by Blake Russell of Reaction Wraps, also sports a pink and purple ribbon, which stands to raise awareness for cancer and domestic violence, which affect many Muskogee residents, Deputy Chief Chad Farmer said.

“All our cars will soon have those ribbons.”

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Man jailed after child drinks cleaning fluid while he is allegedly drunk

Monday, September 26, 2016, 1:27 PM

Elijah Harjo

Elijah Harjo, 34, was arrested early this morning after he brought a child to the hospital who had ingested cleaning fluid while under his care.

The five-year-old child was taken to a hospital in Oklahoma City for testing that needed to be done after the ingestion.

Harjo was allegedly intoxicated while taking care of the child, and the child’s other parent allegedly knew of his condition, according to Muskogee police.

Harjo was arrested after DHS was called.


Pedestrian hit by pizza delivery

Monday, September 26, 2016, 1:20 PM

Mark Brown

Christopher Gist, 17, was walking on North 40th Street on Friday around 11 p.m. when he was struck by the mirror of a “fast-moving” vehicle, according to a Muskogee Police report.

He was injured, but not severely, by the hit.

The vehicle was being driven by Mark Brown, 52, for Pizza Hut. Police attempted to make contact with him at Pizza Hut, but they were told he had needed to leave after he returned from a delivery.

He was later found at the Western Motel and arrested on complaints of an accident resulting in nonfatal injury and failure to stop.


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Couple threaten, shoot at man working on van

Monday, September 26, 2016, 1:15 PM

Gregory Gillispe of Muskogee was working on his van at 206 Dorchester when a man and a woman kicked the front door of the building in, armed with hand guns and threatened to kill him.

The man, who has been identified but not yet arrested, pointed the gun slightly away from Gillispe and fired a shot into the ground. The couple then threatened him again and left, according to Muskogee police.

Police recovered a .9mm casing at the scene.


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BREAKING: Hilldale, Fort Gibson and Woodall schools evacuated due to bomb threats

Monday, September 26, 2016, 11:26 AM

Officials are confirming that Hilldale, Fort Gibson and Woodall schools have been evacuated due to bomb threats.

No bombs have yet been found, and no injuries reported, but emergency services are on alert and standing by.

More as we get it.

UPDATE: Hilldale has beeen cleared by Muskogee Police. No explosive devices were found. Fort Gibson is reporting cleared as well.

UPDATE 12:06 p.m.: The law enforcement official who reported to us that Woodall was among the schools receiving threats was incorrect, according to Linda Clinkenbeard, the superintendent at Woodall.

“We have received no threats,” she said just now.

Breaking NewsEducationExclusiveLocal

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MHS assistant band director whistles harmony with himself, video goes wild

Monday, September 26, 2016, 9:27 AM

Steve Wiles whistles in harmony with himself

Muskogee High School assistant band director Steve Wiles was featured in a video recorded two years ago of him whistling the hymn Gloria in excelsis Dio, and then in the middle, whistling harmony notes with himself on the song.

By the middle of last week, the video had a total of 2,000 views on Youtube, but from that time until this, the views jumped to a whopping 313,000 views.

The requirement for a video to be called “viral” is five million views, but several hundred thousand views in just a view days is still very unusual. The video was posted by Jeff Jones of Zomac School of Music in Muskogee with the title “Most Amazing Whistler in the World”. Commenters on the video seem to agree.

EducationEntertainmentGood NewsLocal

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Fort Gibson man charged with DUI in wreck that killed motorcyclist

Monday, September 26, 2016, 9:06 AM

Brian Bias

Brian Bias of Fort Gibson was charged in Cherokee County District Court with driving under the influence and transporting an open container of beer in the wreck last month that ended in the death of Brian McElmurry, who was riding a motorcycle near the Fort Gibson dam on Aug. 21.

The wreck occurred at the junction of Oklahoma 80 and Oklahoma 251 A, just past the dam, where the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that McElmurry was southbound on 80 on his motorcycle and Bias was northbound in a 2004 GMC Yukon. McElmurry failed to negotiate a turn and laid his bike down and Bias then struck him and the motorcycle.

Both drivers had the “smell of alcohol” about them, the patrol reported.

Bias now faces a $1,000 fine and between 10 days to a year in jail for the DUI and a $500 fine and up to six months in jail for the open container of beer.


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Police, sheriff, highway patrol, US marshals search for fugitive

Friday, September 23, 2016, 9:37 PM

Clint Joseph Kirk
Muskogee police, sheriff’s deputies, highway patrol troopers and US marshals are all canvassing a south Muskogee neighborhood, trying to capture a fugitive who ran from the marshals, several law enforcement sources have confirmed.

The man, who was last spotted on a road near the First Assembly of God on Gulick, is a white supremacist named Clint Kirk, according to three law enforcement officers.

Kirk is 36 and has “a lot” of outstanding warrants, the officers said.

He is wanted for violent crimes such as assault, kidnapping and others, and is considered dangerous. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans, cowboy boots and a red baseball hat.

If you see him, call 911 immediately.


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Deputies, state catch Muskogee man allegedly making moonshine

Friday, September 23, 2016, 10:20 AM

Danny Lee Brogdon

Muskogee County Sheriff’s deputies and representatives from the state Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission arrested a Muskogee man after they were called to a domestic violence complaint.

Danny Lee Brogdon, 54, was believed to be involved in assaulting someone at the house where he was found, and while they were investigating that case, the deputies called to the scene called in the ABLE Commission after they saw and smelled what they believed to be moonshine and the mash made to use it.

“It was a rudimentary homemade still,” said Pedro Zardeneta with ABLE. “We also found clear alcohol we believe to be moonshine, and mash.”

Earlier this year, moonshine is believed to have killed two people at a Muskogee party and sickened several others. (Moonshine kills one) (Second victim dies)

Brogdon was arrested on complaints of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, domestic assault and battery, threats to perform acts of violence, possession of alcoholic beverage without tax and operating a whiskey still without a license.


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Teenage blacksmith finds science success in search for a better forge

Friday, September 23, 2016, 9:51 AM

Brendan Crotty

Most eighth graders like to spend their free time on social media, playing video games or chatting online. Working their own metal in a homemade forge probably doesn’t make it onto most of their lists of recreation activities. But for Brendan Crotty, who is now in the ninth grade, blacksmithing has been a passion since he was 11 and saw blacksmiths at the Muskogee Renaissance Festival and other re-enactments.

That passion and the desire to have his own gas forge led him to start investigating building his own forge.

“They’re very expensive,” he said. “So I started trying to test out homemade ones to see if it would work.”

Using soup cans and various insulators, Brendan fabricated seven mini-forges using different insulating materials - some of which he invented - then comparing their performance to that of a commercial forge.

Using a sophisticated infrared thermometer, he methodically tested each homemade forge’s lining and how fast each heated metal with the purpose of showing a homemade insulator could be safer, more cost-effective and just as efficient as a commercial insulator.

As a side-effect, the project earned him first place in engineering in a divisional science fair - and an invitation to the prestigious Broadcom Masters competition in October. He is one of 30 finalists chosen from 300 semifinalists in the national competition, and the first ever from Oklahoma.

“My interest is still mostly blacksmithing,” he said after the unexpected science and engineering wins, “but I’m also interested in engineering and design.”

Brendan is homeschooled. His parents are Dr. James and Jennifer Crotty. He will travel to Washington DC for the competition on Oct. 28.

EducationGood NewsLocal

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Man pleads no contest to shooting Muskogee woman, leaving her for dead

Friday, September 23, 2016, 9:22 AM

Bennie Freeman

If LaCauna Adams hadn’t been wearing her hair in a bun last year, she likely wouldn’t be here today - and a Kansas man wouldn’t be headed to prison for trying to kill her.

Bennie Freeman, 47, of Coffeyville, Kansas pleaded no contest yesterday to charges that he shot her after forcing her to give him money. A no-contest plea means the defendant does not refute the charges, but also does not accept guilt. The courts, however, treat a no-contest plea as kind of an equivalent to a guilty plea and impose punishment on the defendant anyway. Other local media have reported that Freeman pleaded guilty, which is not true.

He did, however, admit that he took her from her house, took money from her and “shot her with a deadly weapon.”

What happened was Adams had received a settlement that Freeman knew about and he demanded money from her at gunpoint. Adams had only around $300 on hand in cash, which he took and then forced her to get into a car and drove her out to a remote location on Oktaha Road.

Once there, he took her cell phone and tried to get her rings, which he couldn’t get off her fingers. He shot her in the back, and she fell into some mud, appearing to be dead, according to investigators. He then walked away, thought better of it and came back, shooting her in the back of the head.

He then drove away, thought better of it again and came back, only to find her gone. She had crawled 200 feet and flagged down a motorist, who drove her to the hospital. The tight bun she was wearing on her head, investigators said, slowed the bullet down enough that it didn’t kill her when it entered her head.

Freeman will be sentenced on Dec. 15.


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Catch the Bedouin Shrine circus this weekend

Thursday, September 22, 2016, 7:33 AM

The Bedouin Shrine Circus will land at the Muskogee Civic Center this weekend, bringing amazing human feats, fun skits and performing animals.

Bedouin Shrine circus

  • Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The circus is a major fund raiser for the Muskogee Shrine, a fellowship of freemasons that helps children throughout the area get necessary medical treatment for spinal issues and burns.

The show starts Saturday and runs through Sunday.


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BREAKING: Body found in Wagoner

Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 8:31 AM

A body has been found in Wagoner, a police officer has confirmed.

No other details are being released at this time, according to a police spokeswoman.

We are pursuing this story.

The man was elderly, according to Wagoner police, had several hospital bracelets and refused to receive hospice care.

The man is apparently from Florida.

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Quicker access is above

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 1:32 PM

We are constantly trying to improve this site to make it easier and more intuitive for you to use. As such, we like to point out even what seem to be small changes. The “menu” button beside our logo has now been moved to the top of the page. Here’s what happens when you click it:

If you’re looking for something on the site, chances are you’ll find it in that menu.

We also decided we wanted to make some frequently-clicked pages more accessible, so we added them to the top of the page, next to the Menu button. Clicking on those buttons immediately filters the stories down to only the ones you clicked.

We have also changed our URL scheme. For instance, to get to entertainment stories before, you’d have to type something convoluted like ‘’. That’s craziness. So now, all you have to type is ‘’ and it works just like it did with the more convoluted scheme.

We hope this makes the site easier to use, and we’re continually working behind the scenes to introduce more improvements like this.


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Cherokee Elders Summit expands to two locations

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 8:45 AM

Hundreds of Cherokee elders attended the first Cherokee Nation Elder’s Summit in 2015.

Cherokee elders across the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction have been invited to the second annual Cherokee Nation Elder’s Summit. This year’s summit is being held in two locations, Vinita and Tahlequah, in order to reach more elders.

Cherokee Elders Summit

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 27
  • Vinita Health Center
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29
  • Armory Municipal Center
Cherokee elders 60 years of age and older RSVP to Kamisha Hair-Daniels at 918-453-5238 or email.

Last year’s summit marked the launch of the tribe’s Elder Fraud Protection Initiative. Led by Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, the Cherokee Nation administration, Attorney General’s office and Marshal Service joined forces, seeking to put an end to the growing problem of elder abuse. The coalition continues to collaborate with state and local agencies to prevent elder abuse and prosecute individuals who financially exploit or otherwise abuse Cherokee elders.

“It’s our responsibly to ensure our most valuable, and in many cases our most vulnerable, citizens remain safe from abuse, whether it’s physical or financial or emotional. Our elders should be respected and appreciated for their experience and cultural knowledge. That has always been an important Cherokee value,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “We started this awareness and education initiative last year and continue to add more content to better connect Cherokee senior citizens with programs and services that can help them the most.”

Various booths will be set up at the summit locations, offering information on how to spot and report elder abuse and resources if one is a victim. Elder abuse has reached epidemic proportions in Oklahoma. In 2012, Oklahoma Adult Protective Services received nearly 19,000 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of seniors. Often elders experiencing abuse or exploitation don’t know where to turn or how to seek help.

In addition to information and resources, the Cherokee Nation Elder’s Summit will provide lunch and time for fellowship for attendees.

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Man jailed on complaint of masturbating in car

Monday, September 19, 2016, 11:07 AM

Jerome Edward Nagel

Jerome Edward Nagel, 44 of Weatherford was arrested yesterday after a father and child playing Pokémon Go approached his car, according to a Muskogee police report.

The father approached Nagel’s car at Beckmann Park to ask if he knew about any Pokémon in the park, and that’s when he saw Nagel apparently masturbating and called the police.

Police arrested him on complaints of indecent exposure, possession of drugs and possession of paraphernalia.


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Raper, Crow and Nicks to play on Thursday

Monday, September 19, 2016, 10:19 AM

Melissa Raper, Tim Crow and Gary Nicks will play at the Oklahoma Music Hall of fame on Thursday.

Raper, Crow and Nicks

  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, 401 S. 3rd.
  • $5 at the door
  • All ages

The group had its foundations in the 90s, when Raper and Crow were members of Five Guys and a Skirt, the house band at The Warehouse. They decided to join with Nicks, who wrote, played and sang for Indie Skies, a Tulsa band that got radio airplay and opened for Christopher Cross. The group plays Americana and original songs that are acoustic guitar-based.


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Murder victims remembrance set for Thursday

Monday, September 19, 2016, 7:53 AM

Muskogee’s ninth annual Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims will be held on Thursday.

Murder victims remembrance

  • 6 p.m. Sept. 22
  • The Venue at Oasis Community Church, 800 W. Peak Blvd.
  • Open to the public

The ceremony is set to remember and honor those who have been lost to murder and to show support for the victims’ families and friends.

Master of ceremonies is Pastor Rodney Mattox of Oasis Community Church. Speakers are District Attorney Orvil Loge, Pastor Michael Webber and Evelyn Hibbs.


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