DEATHS

Ralph Harris Jr., 77

Born September 14, 1940

Died January 19, 2018

Ruth E. Wilson, 90

Born August 18, 1927

Died January 18, 2018

Shermita " She-She " Terell Mills, 58

Born September 20, 1959

Died January 17, 2018

John Bradshaw Tarbutton, 98

Born November 12, 1919

Died January 17, 2018

CLICK TO SEE MORE >>

Our death notices and obits are always free to the families and funeral homes.

EVENTS

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bull Riders Inc National Finals
Women's March on Tulsa
KMOD Blood Drive at Arrowhead
Relay For Life kickoff party
Tri-Highway Talent Showcase
The Great Gatsby Theme Party
SBR Defensive Training
MHS Robotics qualifiers

Monday, January 22, 2018

Bridges Out of Poverty Workshop
Hilldale Elementary Cheer Clinic
Art and Fun

Friday, January 19, 2018, 9:18 AM

Muskogee police officers with the Special Investigations Division and Criminal Investigation Division served a search warrant on 2405 N. 32nd Street yesterday in the apartment of Ricky Banks, 40 of Muskogee.

Police had received information that Banks was printing money and checks, according to Officer Lincoln Anderson.

Ricky Banks

Inside the apartment, police found “all the equipment a person could use to attempt to counterfeit cash and checks, cellphones, printers, ink, check paper, computers, hard drives and narcotics.”

There was also a four-year-old child in the residence.

The Muskogee Police contacted the United States Secret Service, which is in charge of counterfeiting crimes, and the service helped them identify the currency Banks was allegedly producing as the same that has been passed around numerous Muskogee businesses.

Banks was booked into the Muskogee County Jail on complaints of possession of counterfeit money, possession of controlled dangerous substance, child endangerment and more possibly to come, the police said.

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madewell wireless

Thursday, January 18, 2018, 10:11 AM

Logan Carpenter from a previous arrest.

Two water line breaks at the Muskogee County Jail yesterday ended up sending an allegedly dangerously drunk driver home instead of to the hospital or the jail last night, according to Sheriff Rob Frazier.

“We had a sprinkler head burst and it looked like smoke but ended up being mist, and we had water everywhere,” he said. “Another one burst later and I called dispatch and said ‘we don’t want any new people coming into the jail if we can help it.'”

Such orders are common when jails are full, he said, and the standing protocol is that people arrested on complaints of Assault and Battery Domestic and Driving Under the Influence are exceptions and should still be brought to the jail.

Logan Hoover-Carpenter, 30, was arrested last night around 10:50 on complaints of driving under the influence. He allegedly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.22, almost three times the legal limit. According to Wikipedia, a BAC of .22 produces nausea, vomiting, loss of understanding, impaired sensations, stupor, severe motor impairment, possible loss of consciousness and memory blackout.

“At that level, we probably wouldn’t have accepted him anyway,” Frazier said. “We would have sent him to the hospital to get his blood alcohol levels down before we took him in.”

Police, however, never brought Carpenter to the jail because of a miscommunication that the jail was accepting no new inmates. Instead, Carpenter was taken home.

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fastlane

Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 10:13 AM

Derek Bullett

Derek Bullett, 33, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with felonies of first-degree rape, threatening to perform an act of violence and domestic abuse - assault and battery in a case that happened on Jan. 10, according to court records.

Bullett is accused of threatening to beat his ex-girlfriend, whose name we are withholding, and burn her house down, then kill her. He also allegedly punched her in the face, choked her and then forced her to have sex with him.

The woman was telling him “no” and “stop” at the time, according to an affidavit filed with the case, but he allegedly held her down while penetrating her.

Bullett is also accused of head-butting the woman.

Bullett has been in and out of court for a decade for various offenses ranging from possession of controlled dangerous substance, burglary and marijuana to possession of a stolen vehicle and domestic assault and battery by strangulation.

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tj hamilton

Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 8:47 AM

Noel Grayson harvests wild potatoes grown from heritage seeds.

The Cherokee Nation will begin dispersing its limited supply of heirloom seeds Feb. 1 to tribal citizens who are interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops.

In 2017, the Cherokee Nation distributed 3,784 packages of seeds to tribal citizens.

“The Cherokee people have a long history of harvesting seeds and passing them down, and this seed bank program keeps that tradition alive with new generations of Cherokees,” said Pat Gwin, Cherokee Nation senior director of Cherokee Nation Environmental Resources. “These heirloom seeds are varieties that the Cherokee people harvested long before European contact. Planting and sustaining them is a great way to make a cultural connection to our history.”

Cherokee Nation citizens are limited to two varieties of seeds, and each applicant must submit a copy of his or her Cherokee Nation tribal citizenship card, proof of age and address.

This year’s available heirloom seeds include Cherokee White Eagle corn, Cherokee Long Greasy beans, Georgia Candy Roaster squash, Buffalo gourds and native plants such as Buttonbush, Possum Grape and Sunchoke.

Citizens can submit order requests by visiting https://secure.cherokee.org/seedbank. Create an account and follow the instructions to see a complete list of available seeds and to place and track orders.

For more information, email seedbank@cherokee.org or call 918-453-5336.

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estar builders

Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 8:44 AM

Nathan Elkins

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host local musician Nathan Elkins on Thursday, January 18th at 7 pm at the Frisco Depot, 401 S. 3rd in Muskogee.

Born and raised Fort Gibson, Nathan grew up listening to James Taylor, Garth Brooks, Aaron Neville and Nat King Cole. At about 15 years old, Nathan started learning to play the guitar because a friend told him it was a good way to pick up girls.

Two years after picking up the guitar, Nathan began performing live at local venues.

“I play because I like to entertain people,” he said. “Maybe someday I’ll influence someone to learn how to play and share their gifts so we can keep this cycle going.”

Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7 pm. Admission is $5 and all ages are welcome

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herringshaw waste management

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 10:33 AM

On Sunday, deputies with the Wagoner County K-9 program received information that led to a search warrant and the arrest of seven people and the seizure of drugs and guns and a stolen car.

Around 10:30 p.m., deputies and investigators served a search warrant at a home located in the 7300 block of S 234th E Ave in the Broken Arrow area of Wagoner County. Deputies received the warrant after a deputy assigned to the K9 division began investigating information he received about illegal narcotics being inside the house.

After making entry into the home and the subsequent search, deputies recovered 8 grams of meth, 4 grams of marijuana, several empty baggies that are commonly used for distribution, scales, and two guns. Also, deputies recovered a stolen Toyota Highlander SUV at the scene.

Six adults and one juvenile were arrested.

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american pie

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 10:31 AM

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Muskogee County will host a Relay for Life kickoff party on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Cherokee Nation Three Rivers Health Center.

The Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to save lives from cancer. Uniting communities across the globe, the group celebrates people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action for lifesaving change.

Cancer survivors, caregivers, volunteers, and community members will gather to kick off the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Muskogee County fundraising season. The event will celebrate and honor local cancer survivors, and showcase how funds raised benefit the local community. Guests will have the opportunity to register a team for the Relay For Life event, which will be held on Friday, May 12th at the Muskogee Indian Bowl Stadium.

For more information contact Christie Gibbs christie.gibbs@cancer.org (918) 477-5418

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Monday, January 15, 2018, 9:19 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY — Today Oklahoma State Conference National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has called for a meeting with Warner town officials concerning what the NAACP said in all-caps city employees had called “NIGGER DAY.”

“As Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approaches, and the State has standing proclamation for Martin Luther King Day, some City officials/employees of Warner, OK are calling MLK Day, the ‘Nigger Day,' and said that in Warner they call it ‘James Earl Ray Day.’

James Earl Ray was Martin Luther King Jr.‘s assassin. MuskogeeNOW earlier misheard the last name as “Rat,” but the speaker was saying “Ray.”

The release continues:

Sadly, there are some out there who are defending these indefensibly racist remarks that has found its way to the surface. These racist insults, when left unchecked, softens the grounds for increased racism that has bubbled itself to the surface and it becomes emboldened. It appears that these acts of racism by the City of Warner has not only been ongoing for quite some time, but also has become normalized behavior. We also believe that this was a conscientious act of exploiting the vulnerability of blacks who are overwhelmingly outnumbered in a state where blacks only represent 7 percent of the state’s population. Warner, Oklahoma has 1,600 whites and 43 blacks. This further causes fear and intimidation of this underrepresented group, when racism occurs.

The release went on to applaud Mike Wittmer, who recorded the conversation and released it exclusively to MuskogeeNOW.com.

The NAACP is calling for a federal investigation with the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and will call upon them to provide emergency monitoring.

“We also call upon the City of Warner for a meeting with the Mayor and All City officials to address this issue; and that this meeting happens promptly.”

The group raises the following questions:

  • Does the City of Warner receive or benefit from federal funding
  • Has the City of Warner applied for federal funding
  • How many blacks are currently employed with the Warner
  • How many blacks have been arrested by Warner; and law enforcement practices within this city
  • What are all the fee-basis services that Warner provide to the public
  • How many blacks have received cutoff notices or involuntary discontinued services from Warner
  • Has the Warner posted signage, prominently placed, at its place of business that informs any person of who they can contact when they feel their civil rights have been violated by the city, its officials or employees

In addition, the town has been accused of beginning retaliation against Wittmer, with Town Manager Johnny Lewis calling Wittmer into his office on Friday to discuss the state of his employment. Wittmer and Lewis both recorded the meeting.

A partial transcript of that meeting:

LEWIS: Want you to know we are recording the conversation. Christmas lights, we talked a week ago that you were going to get ‘em down and they’re still up.

WITTMER: Yeah, Steve was supposed to come and help me and he never did call me to help me on that.

LEWIS: (asks Steve says he talked to him Wednesday).

STEVE: Tried calling him.

WITTMER: No he didn’t. I got my phone bill.

LEWIS: I don’t care. It’s your responsibility, the Christmas lights.

...

LEWIS: One other thing I want to mention to you, I’ve had some people coming forward, uh, about some comments that you’ve made in racial nature. All I can tell you is that we’re not going to tolerate it. I don’t know whether you did or didn’t, but I’ve had that happen.

WITTMER: Racial nature?

LEWIS: That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying you did or didn’t. I’ve just had people come to me. We will not tolerate that.

WITTMER: I’m the one that recorded it and I’m the one doing the racial stuff?

LEWIS: Yeah

WITTMER: I don’t think so.

LEWIS: Well. That’s fine. I’m just telling you it’s come to me. We will not tolerate that.

WITTMER: OK.

LEWIS: The second thing is, you made the statement on the news that that type of behavior goes on here all the time, that these council and administration allows that to happen. That is absolutely not true.

WITTMER: What? From this moment right here it starts stopping now? Or what?

LEWIS: It’s not happened in this office, by me or by the staff. It has not been allowed by me or the staff.

WITTMER: It hasn’t?

LEWIS: It has not. That’s my statement. Here’s your work order.

The town has before been accused of retaliating against whistleblowers.

In 2015, firefighter Tiffany Armstrong (Newton) says there were rumors circulating that she was “having sex with everybody in town, including Johnny (Lewis).”

Armstrong was suspended from the fire department and told that she was being suspended for not finding a way to quell the rumors that other people were saying about her.

”(Lewis) called me into his office and asked what I was doing to stop the rumors,” she said. “I said I was trying to have a sense of humor about it, so I tell them ‘it must not have been very good, because I don’t remember it.'”

Armstrong says Lewis recoiled and said, “If you had had sex with me, you would remember it. I’m that good.”

“This was my boss saying this to me,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

Armstrong filed a complaint with the town, and she was summarily terminated. Numerous firefighters and other employees have offered to back up her claims.

“Lawyers have told me I would win if I sued them, but what I would get wouldn’t even pay the legal fees,” she said on Friday. “They told me I couldn’t even step on the grounds of the fire department, not even on the sidewalk outside, and several of the guys have told me they would get terminated if they were caught talking to me.”

The town has not yet released a comment, though Town Attorney Tom Wright did return a call on Friday and said he’d get back with MuskogeeNOW on the allegation that Lewis appeared to be initiating retaliation against Wittmer.

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harris electric

Friday, January 12, 2018, 9:15 AM

A Muskogee family is trying to warn others after a scammer made off with $5,000 of their money by posing as the Internal Revenue Service.

The thief called the family, claiming to be with the IRS and threatening to fine the family $85,000 and send the husband to prison for three years, the wife, who asked that her family’s name be withheld, said today.

The scammer, after a three-hour phone conversation, convinced the husband to pay $5,000.

According to information on IRS.gov, the “sophisticated” phone scam is designed to sound and look real, with even Caller ID showing “IRS.”

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a gift card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

The site goes on to state that the IRS doesn’t:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

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trucks for you

Friday, January 12, 2018, 9:02 AM

Jessica Neal

Jessica Neal, 27, of Braggs is in the Muskogee County Jail after she was charged with child abuse by injury when her child was born addicted to methamphetamine, according to court records.

The baby, born in August, was born with drugs in its system, an affidavit filed with the case states. The baby suffered immediate withdrawals and had to be taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where she was admitted until the state took her into custody.

Neal allegedly admitted smoking marijuana while pregnant, but did not mention the methamphetamine, according to the paperwork. She tested positive for drugs while she was pregnant.

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runts barbecue

Thursday, January 11, 2018, 11:05 AM

As the number of flu-related hospitalizations continues to increase, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds Oklahomans there is still time to get a flu shot.

OSDH reports a total of 22 deaths and more than 1,000 hospitalizations associated with the flu since the season began in September.

Public health influenza vaccination clinics are available at county health departments, medical providers and pharmacies throughout the state. The OSDH wants to remind Oklahomans that everyone is at risk for influenza and the flu vaccination is recommended for anyone 6 months of age and older.

Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for serious illness from the flu including pregnant women, children younger than 5 years of age and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease and other chronic conditions. Parents and family members of babies younger than 6 months of age and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for complications from the flu, including health care workers, should also get the vaccine.

Symptoms of the flu include cough, fever, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue.

It is important for those experiencing flu-like symptoms to consult with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. A provider may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment when started within 48 hours of noticing symptoms. Antiviral drugs may also be indicated as a prevention measure for especially vulnerable persons who have been in close contact with someone sick with the flu, infants less than 6 months old, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, or anyone with a medical condition which severely suppresses their immune system.

In addition to getting a flu shot, public health officials recommend the following prevention tips:

  • Frequent hand washing using soap and water, or alcohol-based products such as hand gels when hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Make respiratory hygiene a habit, using tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then disposing of them and washing hands at once. When tissues are not readily available, cough into your sleeve, never your hands
  • Stay home from work, school and other public places, except to get medical care or other necessities, until you have gone at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

Visit the OK Flu View at http://flu.health.ok.gov for weekly Oklahoma flu updates and additional information about the flu. Media inquiries should contact Jamie Dukes at (405) 271-5601 or JamieD@health.ok.gov.

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two broke ladies

Thursday, January 11, 2018, 9:38 AM

The Porum Fire Department is hosting a bean and chili benefit lunch on Sunday at the Forum School Event Center to raise money for Kevin Fraley, a firefighter who lost his wife and children in a house fire.

The event starts at noon.

Alternatively, you can make donations at Armstrong Bank under the name Porum Fire Fund for Kevin Fraley.

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Thursday, January 11, 2018, 8:57 AM

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker signed an executive order recently declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day a Cherokee Nation National Holiday for the first time. In his executive order, Chief Baker said the declaration was not only a tribute to Dr. King’s contributions to equality for all, but is a reminder that every day we can all play a part in continuing his critical work.

“A Cherokee Nation national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a time to celebrate the life and legacy of a man who dedicated his life to serving others and fighting for justice and equality for all people,” said Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “He was a remarkable advocate for change for all people of color in America, including Indian Country.”

In Dr. King’s 1963 book, “Why We Can’t Wait,” he wrote about colonization and the genocide and injustices committed against indigenous peoples.

“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race,” Dr. King wrote. “Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shores, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles of racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its Indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it.”

In recognition of the holiday, all Cherokee Nation government offices will be closed and employees will be granted one day of paid administrative leave on the third Monday of each January. Chief Baker encouraged employees and Cherokee Nation citizens to dedicate a day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to better their communities and follow the legacy of Dr. King.

“By devoting this day to service and care of others, we move closer to Dr. King’s vision of living and working together as one community,” Baker said. “Through our deeds, we honor Dr. King’s legacy. That commitment to service on the third Monday of January going forward will hopefully better unite and strengthen each of us, and the entire Cherokee Nation.”

This year Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed on Monday, Jan. 15.

For the complete executive order, visit www.anadisgoi.com.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 5:40 PM

The Warner town council meets.

The Warner town council has called a special meeting to discuss a recording posted by MuskogeeNOW.com, during which town employees are allegedly caught calling Martin Luther King Day “nigger day.”

With the community center packed full of media and residents, the meeting immediately went into executive session.

The employees are allegedly Joe Swimmer and Matt McClean.

UPDATE: Accordimg to town councilors, the employees have submitted their resignations, and town manager Johnny Lewis will further investigate.

The employee who reported the conversation faced no actions tonight and remains in his job, according to town attorney Tom Wright.

“The town administrator will investigate what was said and who said it,” he said. “The town of Warner does not tolerate conversations like that.”

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 8:53 AM

Jonita Mullins sits on the steps of Alice Robertson's home.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma has provided a grant of $5,000 in support of the Alice Robertson House restoration project. The grant was made to the Founders’ Place Historical District, which owns the home at 1109 Elgin Avenue in Muskogee. This was the final home of Oklahoma’s first Congresswoman, elected in 1920. Robertson occupied the home from 1925 until her death in 1931.

Muskogee District Councilor Joyce Deere sponsored the legislation adopted by the Muscogee National Council to make the grant to Founders’ Place. The bill’s co-sponsor was Pete Beaver, also a Muskogee District Councilor for the Creek tribe.

Muscogee Chief James Floyd expressed his endorsement of the restoration project stating that Alice Robertson was an important figure in Muscogee Nation culture and history.

The funds provided by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation will be used in restoration of exterior walls of the 1905 Queen Anne-style home.

Founders’ Place continues to raise funds for the project with the hopes of creating a museum that will tell the story of Alice Robertson and her family, who were important both to Creek and Cherokee history as well as Oklahoma and the nation. Donations may be made by check and mailed to Founders’ Place, P.O. Box 3827, Muskogee, OK 74402 or through PayPal at savinghistorichouses.com.

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3 rivers auto collision

Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 8:46 AM

 Cherokee Nation Department of Transportation Director Michael Lynn, Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden get a look at six new Ford 350 Transit vans.

The Cherokee Nation provided six vans to four Northeast Oklahoma transit service companies that help provide rides for thousands of Cherokee Nation citizens and employees each year.

The six vans were disbursed among Ki Bois Area Transit System, Pelivan, Cimarron and Muskogee County Transit, with KATS and Pelivan each receiving two new vans and Cimarron and Muskogee County Transit each receiving one.

“Many of our Cherokee Nation citizens rely on these four public transportation services to get to and from work, school, the grocery store and their medical appointments on a daily basis,” Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden said. “Easy, affordable transportation remains an essential part of life. I’m proud of the Cherokee Nation for helping ensure these transit services meet those transportation needs, not only for our citizens but for non-Cherokees as well.”

The F-350 Transit vans were purchased through a Federal Transit Administration grant worth more than $321,500, with an additional $46,200 being provided through Cherokee Nation Tribal Transportation Program funds.

“Getting two more vans from Cherokee Nation is a blessing,” said Charla Sloan, director of Ki Bois Area Transit System.

KATS operates more than 200 buses and vans in a 12-county area providing curb-to-curb, and in some circumstances door-to-door, on-demand transportation.

“Replacing two old vans with high mileage with two new vans that are more efficient and safer is better for the riders and KATS,” Sloan said. “Partnering with Cherokee Nation has been great for the people and great for KATS. It helps us maximize funding from the state and federal government that benefits the people with reliable transportation. More vehicles on the road opens the door to opportunity for Cherokee Nation citizens.”

In fiscal year 2017, Cherokee Nation invested nearly $265,000 in federal Tribal Transportation Program funding to enhance several area transit program operations, which totaled 102,148 rides. Each year, the tribe uses a portion of its TTP funds to provide additional transit services for both Cherokee Nation citizens and the general public.

Native Americans and tribal employees can access rides on fixed routes and on demand service transit buses for $1 roundtrip. For more information on Cherokee Nation Transit Services or the contracted transit providers, call 800-256-0671 or visit http://transit.cherokee.org.

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fish hut

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 8:58 AM

Four people were transported to area hospitals (two to Muskogee, two to Tulsa) by Muskogee County EMS after a four-vehicle wreck west of Muskogee this morning, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and EMS.

“We transported two to Muskogee in stable condition and two to Tulsa hospitals with possible life-threatening injuries,” Mechele Cruz of EMS said.

A highway patrol source says the wreck was between a semi and three passenger vehicles, though he did not know whether they were cars, vans or pickups yet.

“They’re still working the wreck,” he said.

The collision took place on State Highway 16 near 74th Street West and closed that road from 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

We will update as more information becomes available and the families of those involved are notified.

UPDATE 11:57 PM: The Highway Patrol sent the following information:

A personal injury collision occurred at approximately 0441 hours on 01/09/17 approximately one mile west of Muskogee on SH16 in Muskogee county.

Vehicle one: 1999 Freightliner tractor and flatbed trailer driven by Clyde Savage (SIC), white male, age 49 from Horton, Alabama. Not injured

Vehicle two: 1998 GMC pickup driven by Elma Lang (SIC), black male, age 58 from Boynton, Oklahoma. Pinned for approximately fifteen minutes, freed by Mountain View fire department. Transported to St. Johns Hospital in Tulsa. Admitted with trunk internal injuries in critical condition.

Vehicle three: 2007 Hyundai suv driven by Michael Rivera (SIC), white male, age 50 from Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Transported to St. Francis Hospital in Muskogee. Treated and released with head injury.

Vehicle four: 2010 Nissan sentra driven by Kaylee Brock (SIC), white female, age 22 from Muskogee, Oklahoma. Transported to St. Francis Hospital in Muskogee. Treated and released with trunk internal injuries.

Vehicle five: 2012 GMC pickup driven by Steven Clark (SIC), white male, age 53 from Muskogee, Oklahoma. Pinned for approximately fifteen minutes, freed by Mountain View fire department. Transported to St. Johns Hospital in Tulsa. Admitted in stable condition with trunk internal injuries.

What happened: Vehicle one was northbound on a county road (74th street). Vehicle one turned west on SH16. The trailer of vehicle one was struck by vehicles two and three that were eastbound on SH16 and by vehicles four and five that were westbound on SH16. All vehicles came to rest blocking SH16.

Condition of driver: apparently normal in all vehicles

Cause of collision: still under investigation Roadway: two lane, asphalt

Weather: dense fog

Seatbelts: In use by vehicles one, three, four and five. Not is use by vehicle two

Airbags: Not equipped in vehicle one, vehicle two and three not deployed. Vehicle four and five deployed

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Monday, January 8, 2018, 12:18 PM

WARNING: This story contains offensive language.

Several town employees have allegedly been caught on tape this morning at the town hall in Warner making racial slurs about Martin Luther King Day, and the conversation was caught on tape.

Mike Whittmer, who works on the street crew and is worried that higher-ups are looking for reasons to fire him, has taken to recording all his interactions at work. So today, when he went to clock in at 7:57 a.m., he started recording the conversation happening around that area.

Joe Swimmer, the water supervisor at the city, allegedly starts talking around 1:22 of the tape:

SWIMMER: Do we get Martin Luther King Day off?

Swimmer was answered by Matt McLean, according to Whittmer, an employee at the water department.

McLEAN: No nigger day for us.

SWIMMER: We’re off for nigger day?

McLEAN: Yes.

SWIMMER: They call it that. I’m not celebrating nigger day.

McLEAN: We can just call it JER Day: James Earl Rat. Not that we don’t like black people.

SWIMMER: I’m not racist, I’m just saying that’s what it’s called here.

McLEAN: You love everybody, Joe. (silence) Tough crowd this morning.

Town manager Johnny Lewis was shocked to hear of the conversation, he said, and anyone who is proven to have been saying the racist comments will face disciplinary action.

“The town of Warner is committed to equal opportunity,” he said. “If I find out somebody made comments of that nature on the clock in a public building, it will be dealt with.”

Hear the audio here. (The Martin Luther King comments start at 1:22).

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elder real estate

Monday, January 8, 2018, 8:46 AM

Debuting in 1980, The Blues Brothers movie is a light-hearted musical comedy that became a culturally significant event. It introduced the cultural significance of African-American music like jazz, blues and soul with legends Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, James Brown and Cab Calloway.

After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) — collectively known as the “Blues Brothers.” Jake’s first task is to save the orphanage the brothers grew up in from closing, by raising $5,000 to pay back taxes.

The two are convinced they can earn the money by getting their old band back together.

However, after playing several gigs and making a few enemies, including the police, the brothers face daunting odds to deliver the money on time.

The movie plays Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Roxy Theater, 220 W. Okmulgee. Tickets are $5 at the door, concessions are available.

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Friday, January 5, 2018, 6:03 PM

Christopher Maling

Christopher Maling, the listing agent for Muskogee’s Arrowhead Mall with Colliers International, contacted MuskogeeNOW.com to say the mall is “definitely not closing. It’s alive and well.”

With “several” prospective buyers on the line, Maling said the mall should have a new owner within 60 days.

“It’s currently in foreclosure,” he said. “That’s public record.”

Colliers had listed the mall for $5,950,000, but he said he could not disclose any other prices that may have been negotiated since the listing.

Whoever the new owner ends up being will keep the property as a mall, he confirmed.

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servpro

Friday, January 5, 2018, 9:20 AM

Former Attorney General Drew Edmondson

Former Oklahoma Attorney General and Muskogee native Drew Edmondson is pulling no punches when he discusses Gov. Mary Fallin’s setting of a vote date for State Question 788, which would legalize medical marijuana in the state.

“It would seem that by placing (it) on the primary ballot instead of on the general election ballot — where turnout has historically been higher — ... Ballin is hoping to minimize the number of voters who decide its fate,” he said. “The is an important issue and certainly one where all Oklahomans should vote — despite Governor Fallin’s efforts to stifle their voices.”

Fallin has long opposed legalizing medical marijuana in the state, but a successful petition drive forced her hand into allowing a statewide vote on the issue.

“Personally, I believe science supports the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” Edmondson continued. “I’m voting yes.”

Edmondson is running for governor this year. The marijuana vote is set for June 26.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018, 11:25 AM

Rumors have persisted for months that Muskogee’s mall, Arrowhead, is closing. The rumors have heated up after more rumors that the mall’s theater was closing on Jan. 14. Today, after being told “no one here can answer that question” and referred to corporate, MuskogeeNOW was able to confirm nothing.

“We can’t comment on anything,” Jennifer Logan, spokesperson, said. “Maybe at the end of the month.”

Another person reached at the corporate office, who later begged for anonymity, said “No,” when asked if the mall was planning on closing and then followed that with a quick, “Oh, God, that’s off the record. Can you keep my name out of that?”

Since there was no previous off-the-record discussion, we are publishing that quote, but withholding the speaker’s name per their request.

The mall’s office also refused to comment on whether the theater was closing, and calls to the theater’s office have gone unanswered and unreturned. The mall’s web site claims the mall has “over 60” stores and restaurants, but another page lists only 36, including the Muskogee Police sub station, a radio station and Office Depot, which is a separate building. The page also lists several kiosks as stores.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018, 9:25 AM

Misty Dawn Justus-Heart

Misty Dawn Justus-Heart, 28, of Muskogee is in the Muskogee County Jail after a six-year-old in her care made his way to the Early Childhood Center around 3:30 pm. in December, unable to get into his home, which was unoccupied.

The child had been found unsupervised multiple times, according to a worker at the Early Childhood Center.

Justus-Heart was charged with felony child neglect.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018, 8:44 AM

Act Now Insurance, 2311 Monta Ave., was robbed at gunpoint around 5:30 p.m. yesterday, according to a Muskogee police report.

An employee was working at the business when a slender white male, around six feet tall, with brownish or reddish hair in a pony tail came into the business and “ran right up upon” the employee, putting a gun to her head and demanding money, according to owner Traci McGee, who was not there at the time.

The employee gave the man money and he left, running northwest from the business, McGee said.

“We changed our policy that minute,” she said. “We no longer accept cash payments and we don’t keep cash at the business.”

The man made off with around $500, she said.

If you have information regarding this crime, call 918-683-COPS.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 2:53 PM

Adam Satterfield

WARNER — Warner has appointed a new chief of police, Adam Satterfield, according to Town Administrator Johnny Lewis.

“Adam has served Warner for 11 years,” Lewis said today. “He has been very busy making upgrades and is working to get the department accredited.”

Satterfield has a combined law enforcement experience of 14 years, working with the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office before becoming a Warner police officer. He was hired as a patrol officer, then promoted to assistant chief before his most recent appointment as chief.

Satterfield is also a sergeant in the military police in the Army, Lewis said, and a lifelong resident of Oktaha and Muskogee area.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 9:48 AM

The newly formed Association of Muskogee Musicians and Performers organization will be hosting its regular showcase at The Frisco Depot, Thursday January 4 at 7 pm.

Featured for this event will be Harold Aldridge, Selby Minner and “Blues on the Move!” AMMP will be doing regular showcases in the coming months at the Depot featuring members of the organization! Admission is $5 and proceeds will be split between AMMP and OMHOF.

Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7 pm - all ages are welcome

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 8:41 AM

Shaden Ward, 32, of Tahlequah was flown to a hospital in Fayetteville yesterday afternoon after the car he was driving flipped and pinned him, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Ward was northbound on Bryant Road outside Tahlequah when he swerved to avoid debris in the road and went off the roadway to the right, striking a bridge and a fence, rolling one and a half times, coming to rest on its top. He was pinned for 10 minutes before he was freed by the Tahlequah Fire Department.

He was admitted to the hospital in stable condition with internal injuries. Ward was cited for unsafe speed.

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sooner surplus

Friday, December 29, 2017, 10:00 AM

Attorney General Mike Hunter has filed five motions with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, asking for an immediate reduction in customer rates from the state’s leading utility companies.

The attorney general’s request came the day that a sweeping overhaul of federal income taxes was signed into law, to take effect Jan. 1. The new law lowers the highest corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

The estimated annual savings for Oklahoma Gas and Electric, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Natural Gas, CenterPoint Energy and Arkansas Oklahoma Gas is approximately $100 million, not including additional savings from other affected utility accounts.

Hunter said he is requesting customer rates be reduced by an amount reflecting lower federal corporate income tax rates.

“These companies will begin seeing major savings after the tax cut is implemented on Monday,” Hunter said. “Oklahomans who are customers of these companies should immediately retain the benefits of the savings from the tax cut in the form of lower rates. We urge the OCC to act quickly and in the best interests of customers, not company shareholders.”

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Friday, December 29, 2017, 9:57 AM

The Department of Homeland Security notified Cherokee Nation on Dec. 21 that it will suspend plans to conduct nonhazardous biochemical tests at Chilocco Indian School in Kay County near the Kansas border. The Cherokee Nation sent a letter to the agency on Nov. 13, 2017, objecting to the proposed tests on several grounds.

“For nearly a hundred years, Indians from across the United States, including generations of Cherokees, were sent to Chilocco boarding school,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Chilocco is sacred ground for thousands of Indian families. Any proposed plans for that site should undergo the utmost scrutiny, and take into consideration the cultural, historical and emotional significance for the tribes and families that are forever tied to that institution.”

Most notably, the Cherokee Nation objected to the testing based on the federal government’s noncompliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The Act requires the federal government to consider historic properties that may have cultural or historic significance to Indian tribes, and also to consider the effects of their actions on historic properties.

The Kaw Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Pawnee Nation, Ponca Nation, Tonkawa Tribe and Cherokee Nation each own land surrounding Chilocco. The Indian agricultural and vocational boarding school operated from 1884 until its closure in 1980.

In its response letter, DHS said it appreciates the concerns raised by the Cherokee Nation and received many comments objecting to the proposed tests during the public comment period. While stressing that the materials used in the proposed testing were nonhazardous, DHS went on to say that due to the comments received from tribes, state and local governments, as well as residents in the area, proposed testing would be suspended. Many citizens of the Cherokee Nation and other tribes had rallied in opposition to the testing.

“While the work remains very important for the security of our nation, further evaluation will be conducted to identify the best location for future testing,” said William N. Bryan, a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security. “DHS appreciates the engagement and work of tribal leadership and staff in this effort and looks forward to our continuing government to government partnership with each tribal nation.”

The testing would have used materials that are nonhazardous to humans to replicate how an aerosol or bacterial attack might move through modern homes and buildings using HVAC systems. Some buildings at Chilocco had been updated with modern HVAC systems to help replicate such an attack. The announcement last fall caught many in the area and those with ties to Chilocco off guard.

“This demonstrates what we’re capable of when we mobilize around a common cause,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “When individual citizens come together with tribal and local governments to have our voices heard, we’re capable of creating meaningful change, or in this case, protecting a site that is of special significance to many Native people.”

Chilocco was one of several Indian boarding schools known for its strict military-style daily regimen, and goal of assimilation of Native Americans through religious teachings, discouragement of Native hair styles and clothing, and deterrence of Native languages. Despite the conditions at the school, many students created meaningful relationships and bonds that exist still today.

In all, students from 124 tribes attended Chilocco, and according the Chilocco Alumni Association, more than 8,500 graduated with a high school diploma or technical degree. The Chilocco Alumni Association holds regular meetings, inducts an alumni hall of fame each hear and holds an annual reunion. Learn more at www.chiloccoalumni.org.

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