Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 8:40 am

Several units at the Berwick Apartments at 3300 E. Hancock Street were damaged by a blaze last night, according to the Muskogee Fire Department.

When firefighters arrived, the fire was already burning through the roof in building D of the complex. The fire, according to Assistant Fire Marshal Darrell Jones, started in a bottom-floor apartment and rapidly spread to the apartment above it, eventually burning through the attic and causing it to collapse.

"Most of the damage was in the attic and lower apartment," he said. "The upper apartment received mostly water damage and debris from the attic."

At this time the cause of the blaze is unknown. No one was injured.

Filed under: Local

Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 8:14 am

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host Bluefish Thursday, February 11th at 7 pm at the Frisco Depot, 401 S. 3rd in Muskogee.

In Oklahoma, few bands last more than half a decade, unless of course you're Muskogee-based R&B band - Bluefish.

Since 1987, vocalist/front man John Fabian, guitarist Shane Cook and bassist Jim Loftin have been turning out groovy, bluesy, soulful tunes to dancing room only crowds all over Oklahoma and Arkansas. Nowadays they're joined by drummer Daniel Williams and sax man Steve Jonkey.

They've got more than 20 original songs that reek of the Blues, including uncanny compositions like, "Alimony Blues," "Big Fat Woman" and "I Love My Pussycat." Bluefish has even won two "Best Local Band" awards in 2002 and 2007.

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

Filed under: Local Entertainment

Monday, February 8, 2016, 11:07 am

Stevie Nichole Beach, 32, of Muskogee, was jailed on Friday after allegedly throwing a 12-year-old into a wall and then punching her.

Police were called to the residence on West Lindsay Street after the assault, which was caused, allegedly, by the girl asking for food.

When officers arrived at the residence, they asked Beach to step outside, away from the three children in the home, so they could speak to her. One of the children brought her a pair of shoes and a jacket, and the officer noticed what appeared to be narcotics in one of the shoes. Beach was arrested, and while DHS was processing the scene and the children were gathering their belongings, one showed officers a red box with items related to narcotics inside it.

The children, a 12-year-old female, a 10-year-old male and an 8-year-old female, were placed in DHS custody.

Monday, February 8, 2016, 9:09 am

The Muskogee County Republican Party is accepting scholarship applications from graduating high school seniors who reside in Muskogee County. Over the years, the MCRP has bestowed at least 25 area students this monetary award, including six in 2015.

To apply for the scholarship, applicants must first meet the criteria below:

  • Must be a 2016 graduating high school senior and attend college the Fall semester of 2016
  • Must be a resident of Muskogee County
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0
  • If 18 years of age, MUST be a registered Republican prior to submitting application
  • If student is not 18, one parent must currently be a registered Republican

Students meeting the above criteria may mail a completed application to P.O. Box 2278, Muskogee, OK 74402, or e-mail it to muskogeerepublicans@gmail.com no later than Friday, March 11, 2016. An appointment will then be set prior to April 1st for a mandatory interview with the MCRP Scholarship Committee to assist in determining the scholarship winners.

Public announcement of scholarship winners will be made at the 2016 Lincoln-Reagan Dinner hosted by the Muskogee County Republican Party on Thursday, April 21st , at the Indian Captial Technology Center (ICTC) Conference Center. The keynote speaker will be Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Scholarship recipients are requested to attend this event and will receive free admission for themselves and their parents.

Applications are available at every Muskogee County high school.

Filed under: Local Education

Friday, February 5, 2016, 11:06 am

Howard Haynes of Muskogee was convicted of child sexual abuse in 2010 when he pleaded guilty to the charges after he fondled and asked for sex from a 16-year-old girl.

Initially in the case, Nikki Baker of the DA's office asked for a revocation of the $50,000 bond Haynes had posted because he was still living with the victim even after the court had ordered him to have no contact with her.

He allegedly told the victim "You better talk to me now or you will never see tomorrow."

Intimidation of a witness charges were later dropped against him at the request of the child's mother.

Later, after he was sentenced, Haynes apparently moved to Tulsa.

December 21 of last year, Haynes violated a protective order filed by the now-adult victim by going to her house, according to court documents filed in the case.

Haynes was arrested yesterday in Muskogee and is now in the Muskogee County jail waiting on $5,000 bond. The district attorney has asked that his suspended sentence be revoked.

Filed under: Local Crime

Friday, February 5, 2016, 9:48 am

The American Heart Association is sponsoring a walk today at Arrowhead Mall, starting in the food court, to support heart health for women.

The walk, which begins at 11:30 a.m., will be accompanied by yoga at 12:15 and zumba at 1 p.m.

Anyone can attend and register to win an Arrowhead Mall gift card. Donations are welcome.

Filed under: Local

Thursday, February 4, 2016, 9:23 am

A 24-inch water line break on North Main Street has necessitated repairs that will leave many businesses and residents without water this morning, according to the city.

The affected area is within a one-mile radius of James Hodge Ford on North Main St.

Service is expected to remain off until tomorrow morning.

For more information, call 918-684-6333.

Filed under: Local

Thursday, February 4, 2016, 9:17 am

Muskogee police are hosting a community watch meeting tonight starting at 6 p.m.

The meeting will focus on issues surrounding drugs in the community.

Rev. Darren Wallace will speak, as well as community resource officers and assistant fire chief Marshal D. Jones.

The meeting is at Eastern Heights Baptist Church.

Filed under: Local

Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 9:26 am

Muskogee Public Schools is seeking community volunteers to help its third-graders across the district improve their reading skills.

With the Third-Grade Reading Sufficiency Act in place, it is more imperative than ever to help our students move forward, and research shows that students who are read to and who read to others make great strides in reading skills. Our teachers need classroom volunteers to simply spend time listening to our students read during the school day to really push our students forward.

There is no background check or application required, but volunteers will need a driver's license to scan in our Lobby Guard system each time they visit a school.

If you are interested in spending some time with our third-graders practicing reading, please contact Wendy Burton, (918) 684-3700;1613 or wendy.burton@mpsi20.org to make arrangements.

Filed under: Local Education

Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 7:43 am

Jim Paul Blair, Kenny Cornell and Bob Wiles are making sure "Anything Goes" at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on Thursday night, with three artists for five bucks.

The trio are each accomplished musicians, and when they take the stage together, there's just no telling what might happen.

Show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is $5 at the door.

Filed under: Local Entertainment

Monday, February 1, 2016, 1:16 pm

The two suspects in yesterday's shooting broke into a house on the 2500 block of South Cherokee around 2 this morning and held the resident hostage for five hours, putting a gun to his head and then into his mouth before punching him in the throat, stealing some money and leaving, according to Lincoln Andrrson with the Muskogee police.

The pair were discussing breaking into more houses and stealing guns, the victim reported.

"At this point, they're desperate," Anderson said. "There is no telling what they'll do."

The pair knocked on the man's door and forced it open when he answered. They escaped into a field east of Cherokee Street and are still at large.

This morning's victim, whose name is being withheld, is still in the hospital with complications from the throat punch.

If anyone has information about where they are, it is a felony to not tell police, Anderson said. Call 918-683-8000

The pair are Beau Trotter (29 year old white male, 5'8", 185lbs, Brown and Hazel) and Brittani Chuckluck aka:Griggs (25 year old Indian Female, 5'3", 135lbs Brown and Brown).

UPDATE 7:06 P.M.: The suspects were arrested without incident behind a shopping center at Peak and Cherokee, Anderson reports. The suspects were not in possession of any weapons.

UPDATE:Reports are circulating that Chuckluck may have been a hostage, not an active participant in the crimes.

Police, however, aren't yet ready to come to that conclusion.

"She will be interviewed," Anderson said. "And we will determine from there."

Filed under: Local Crime Breaking News

Monday, February 1, 2016, 9:07 am

Marvin A. Rowell, 42, of Muskogee died in the Muskogee County Jail last night, according to officers who asked to speak on condition of anonymity.

Rowell was in the jail a total of 16 minutes, according to Sheriff Charles Pearson.

"I really can't comment at this point, because we're just beginning the investigation," he said. "But I can say he was booked in and sixteen minutes later we were calling an ambulance. I'm looking at the video right now, and there's absolutely no struggle or fight or anything. He fell down and hit his head. I don't know whether he swallowed drugs or what, but he was really intoxicated when he was brought in."

The medical examiner was present when Rowell died, Pearson said.

"It's like his lights just went out," an officer who witnessed the event said. "He had a bunch of bruises all over his face when he came in."

We will report more when more information becomes available.

Filed under: Local Crime Breaking News

Monday, February 1, 2016, 8:27 am

Christopher Alan Cox, 47, of Fort Gibson, is accused in district court of attempting to molest a 10-year-old girl, according to court documents.

The girl, who was staying at Cox's house, reported to authorities that Cox touched her breasts and her buttocks and attempted to touch her vagina.

The crime occurred on Oct. 17.

Cox has been charged with lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16.

Filed under: Local Crime

Monday, February 1, 2016, 7:45 am

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has announced that an error has been found on some Oklahoma driver licenses and identification cards. The holographic security emblem that should appear on the front of each individual license or card may, in some instances, appear on the back or not at all.

License holders and ID card holders are asked to examine their documents to make sure the image appears on the front. Please see attached image for an example of the correct holographic image.

DPS officials say the licenses and ID cards with incorrect or missing images are still considered valid, but will likely cause delays when the holder attempts to use them for personal identification in places such as airports, banks or federal buildings.

Those who have licenses or ID cards with incorrect images are encouraged to return to the Motor License Agency (Tag Agency) where the document was issued. A corrected license or ID card will be issued at no charge. Individuals are urged to do so at their earliest convenience.

To confirm which tag agency issued the faulty license or ID card, the bearer may check the four-digit number printed at the top right corner of the photograph on the card. The corresponding list of tag agencies is posted on the DPS website at https://www.dps.state.ok.us/dls/motor_license_agents.php.

Public inquiries may be directed to the DPS Driver License Help Desk at 405-425-2020.

Filed under: Local

Sunday, January 31, 2016, 5:07 pm

Muskogee Police sent the following information:

Around 6 a.m. today, officers from the Muskogee Police Department were dispatched to the Day's Inn at 900 South 32nd for a shots fired call.

Prior to officer's arrival on scene a caller told dispatch that they had seen people running south from the scene. Once officers were on scene they found blood on a sidewalk, and a room at the motel that appeared that a large struggle had taken place. The scene was secured by patrol officers and we were later told that the victims had been taken to Eastar Emergency room, where investigators made contact with the victims, who were identified as Mark Cox, and Kenny Middleton. Their injuries appear to be non-life-threatening at this time. Cox was shot multiple times including gun shots in his legs and arms, Middleton was shot once in the area of his left wrist, and both men had been assaulted with various items that were in the room.

Through the course of the investigation police were able to determine our 3 suspects involved are Beau Trotter (29 year old white male, 5'8", 185lbs, Brown and Hazel), Jason Maxwell (32 year old black male, 5'11", 190lbs, Black and brown, possibly shaved head), and Brittani Chuckluck aka:Griggs (25 year old Indian Female, 5'3", 135lbs Brown and Brown).

Investigators say that at some point Chuckluck called the 2 victims to meet with them at the motel on South 32nd for an unknown reason, when the 2 men arrived and entered the room, they were then attacked by at least 2 suspects physically which led to at least one person of the 3 suspects shooting the 2 victims. At some point during the assault the 3 suspects left the motel and ran south from there to an unknown location and left the area. We are also looking for an unknown model Grey Ford Windstar mini van that is driven by a white couple, unknown tag at this time. We have not yet determined what caliber was used in the shooting, nor have we been able to establish a motive or what was robbed from the victims. The suspects are considered to be armed and dangerous, and any information regarding their whereabouts please call: 918-680-3116.

UPDATE Jason Maxwell was taken into custody without incident around 4:15 p.m. at 2616 Columbus.

Filed under: Local Crime Breaking News

Friday, January 29, 2016, 8:41 am

Christopher Lindsay Stuart, 38, of Muskogee has been charged with child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation, both felonies, after he allegedly fondled a teenager and asked her to text nude pictures to him.

The crime, which occurred Jan 18, according to an affidavit filed with the case, occurred at 4111 S. 30th St. W. in Muskogee around 8:30 p.m.

Filed under: Local Crime

Friday, January 29, 2016, 8:25 am

The Cherokee language is one of North America's healthiest native languages primarily due to its extensive documentation throughout history. The progression and adaptation of the language is being presented in a special exhibit at the Cherokee Heritage Center.

"Cherokee Syllabary: From Talking Leaves to Pixels" is on display through April 2 and showcases the development and evolution of the language into modern-day.

"Our language is a direct connection to our ancestors and a living reminder of the strength and intelligence of the Cherokee people," said Candessa Tehee, executive director for CHC. "These 85 characters have connected us all in such a beautiful way for decades, and this exhibit honors that connection."

Featured within the exhibit are examples of how the Cherokee syllabary has been restored throughout time by the Cherokee Immersion School and the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper as well as through clothing, d

Filed under: Local Tribes

Thursday, January 28, 2016, 2:39 pm

On Tuesday, Muskogee Police Special Operations Team served a search warrant at 2512 Arline based on a monthlong investigation conducted by the Special Investigations Unit.

Once the house was safely secured without incident, the investigations unit found about 10 grams of methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana, more than 100 prescription pills of various types, baggies, several scales and a surviellence system attached to the house. A firearm also was located in the residence.

Arrested were Demetrius Carey, 27, Kitty Angelo, 38 and Dawn Greer, 39.

Filed under: Local Crime

Thursday, January 28, 2016, 8:06 am

The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) has announced an educational outreach partnership with Muskogee-based Bacone College. The agreement, which extends through the 2016 calendar year, gives the 21st Century Media Communication program access to OETA's Tulsa studio for broadcast student training, career development and the development of a new television magazine. All productions are live-to-media and widely available to local communities.

"We're excited to partner with Bacone College to provide the opportunity for students to learn about electronic media production using our Tulsa studios," said OETA Executive Director Dan Schiedel. "We're committed to expanding our educational outreach programs and this is a long-term rewarding partnership."

The pilot television series depicts the Greater Muskogee community, its people, issues, arts and entertainment and is a weekly production assembled at the Tulsa studio. The programs intend to reflect local activities, diverse voices, for-profit as well as nonprofit institutions, which are shaping the future of the Greater Muskogee region. This production enhances the quality of information available in Muskogee using both television and online distribution. Bacone's programming will be distributed via traditional media outlets in Muskogee, as well as through online news channels. OETA is also providing production and engineering support staffing during the college's production sessions at the studio.

"The partnership with OETA provides our faculty and students with invaluable access to cutting-edge resources," said Dr. Robert Brown, Executive Vice President of Bacone College. "Additionally, it is indicative of our commitment to serve the ever changing needs of today's media students by providing hands on career ready skills."

Filed under: Local Education

Thursday, January 28, 2016, 8:03 am

Micheal O'Dell, a 26-year veteran of the Muskogee Fire Department, has been named fire chief following the retirement of Derek Tatum, who will leave tomorrow.

"Chief O'Dell is a proven leader who will make an excellent fire chief," said interim City Manager Roy Tucker. "We have an exceptional fire department, and I am confident it will grow even stronger under Chief O'Dell's leadership."

Filed under: Local