Alice Patricia Shelton, 76

Born September 12, 1944

Died October 18, 2020

Diana Lynn Sparks, 64

Born November 18, 1955

Died October 16, 2020

Travis William Carter, 33

Born November 17, 1986

Died October 14, 2020

Karen Kaye Newell, 60

Born July 15, 1960

Died October 13, 2020

Chenina Rae Miller, 51

Born September 12, 1969

Died October 13, 2020

Velma L. James, 80

Born April 23, 1940

Died October 13, 2020


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


Tuesday, October 20

Wine & 9 Social Time Scramble
Inventory Management
Bios Virtual Hiring Event! No Experience Required!

Wednesday, October 21

Bios Virtual Hiring Event! No Experience Required!
In-Store Hiring Event
OSU Community Nutrition Group

Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 7:46 AM

Bacone College has announced the appointment of Mary Jo Pratt to the position of vice president of finance and chief financial officer of the 140-year-old institution of higher learning.

Pratt’s appointment means the executive team at Bacone College is now 85 percent Native American as she hails from Osage, Blackfeet, Shawnee, Delaware, Peoria, Chippewa-Cree and Cherokee bloodlines.

She has ample experience working in highly regulated industries, public and tribal interests, and tribally owned small businesses who have collectively created an economic impact of over $2 billion in Oklahoma. Pratt has served as a number-slayer in corporate accounting, finance, and development, and said she has dedicated time to creating revenue streams while creating a positive footprint in the community.

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Monday, October 19, 2020, 9:20 AM

Bradley Dillon of Muskogee was shot and killed at 2:20 a.m. today, according to Muskogee Police reports.

The shooting occurred in the 400 block of Augusta.

No further information has been released.

UPDATE 9:35 a.m.: The police just sent the following information:

On 10/19/2020 at approximately 2:25AM, officers were called to shots fired in the 400 block of West Augusta. When officers arrived on scene there was a subject laying in the front yard with an apparent gunshot wound. That subject was later identified as 19 year old Bradley Dillon.

EMS arrived on scene and transported the victim to St Francis Muskogee where he later died from his injuries.

After learning that the victim is a member of one the national recognized tribes the FBI was contacted and took over the investigation.


Monday, October 19, 2020, 8:47 AM

DT Kyser

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Navy Seaman 2nd Class D.T. Kyser, 18, of Muskogee, Oklahoma, killed during World War II, was accounted for on Aug. 9, 2019.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Kyser was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Kyser.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Kyser.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Kyser’s remains, scientists from DPAA dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome DNA analysis.

Kyser’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

The date and location for Kyser’s burial have yet to be decided by the family.

For family and funeral information, contact the Navy Service Casualty office at (800) 443-9298.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at, or call (703) 699-1420/1193.

Kyser’s personnel profile can be viewed at

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Monday, October 19, 2020, 8:25 AM

Jeffrey Wayne Wilson, 35, of Hulbert is charged in Muskogee County District Court with three felonies in an Oct. 15 incident in Muskogee.

Wilson is charged with first-degree burglary, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

On Oct. 15, Wilson is alleged to have kicked in the front door of an apartment on North 6th street containing his ex-girlfriend, Amanda Barnett, and Noel Ferguson. He is accused of pointing a gun at both occupants and then stabbing Ferguson.

There is currently a warrant for his arrest.


Friday, October 16, 2020, 8:52 AM

Drag racers of all stripes will gather at Hatbox Field in Muskogee on Saturday to find out who’s got the mettle and who can put the pedal to the metal.

Some professional racers from the TV show “Street Outlaws” are expected to be there, along with other very fast and expensive cars for the anticpated 100 percent cash payout. The event is the first legal drag race to occur at Hatbox.

The 1/8 mile course will pay $10,000 to the winner of the Big Tire class and $8,000 to the winner of the Small Tire class, contingent on a minimum of 28 cars per class.

The gates open at 9 a.m., racing starts at noon. Spectator entrance is at 40th and Denver; spectator tickets cost $10, pit pass is $20.

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Thursday, October 15, 2020, 8:37 AM

The Cherokee National History Museum is celebrating the life and photography of Cherokee Nation citizen Jennie Ross Cobb in a new exhibit open now. Cobb was the great-granddaughter of Principal Chief John Ross and took up photography while she was a student at the Cherokee National Female Seminary in Tahlequah.

The exhibit showcases Cobb’s work from 1896-1906 and reveals a glimpse of life in Indian Territory in the decade before Oklahoma statehood.

“At a time when photography as a hobby was just being introduced, Jennie Ross Cobb captured unique moments that are refreshingly relatable for their time,” said Krystan Moser, manager of cultural collections and exhibits for Cherokee Nation. “Her candid photos showcase what life was like for affluent Cherokees in the late 19th century, including young people eating watermelon on a hot summer day, female seminary students laughing at a joke we will never hear, and a young boy beaming with pride as he carries a dead turkey, presumably to be served for his family’s dinner.”

Among Cobb’s photographs are those of the historic Hunter’s Home, the only surviving antebellum plantation in Oklahoma, from the years her family lived there. She later served as the first curator of Hunter’s Home after it was purchased by the state for preservation, and her photos played a vital role in the home’s restoration and eventual use as a living history museum.

The Cherokee National History Museum is located in one of the tribe’s most iconic structures, the Cherokee National Capitol building. It housed Cherokee Nation’s executive, legislative and judicial offices until 1906 and was most recently home to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court until fall 2018.

The Cherokee National History Museum opened in 2019 and shares the history and culture of the Cherokee Nation within 4,000 square feet of permanent exhibit space that features Cherokee lifestyle from pre-European contact through the Trail of Tears and the revitalization of the tribe after the American Civil War. It is located at 101 S. Muskogee, Ave. in Tahlequah.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 9:16 AM

State Sen. Kay Floyd sent this letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt.

The Honorable J. Kevin Stitt Governor of Oklahoma Oklahoma State Capitol 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Oklahoma City, OK 73105 Dear Governor Stitt,

I write to you on behalf of the Oklahoma Senate Democrats to once again urge you to take stronger action to combat COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1,119 Oklahomans have died from COVID-19 and a record high 760 Oklahomans are currently hospitalized for treatment. Today the Emergency Medical Services Authority informed the Oklahoma City Council there are currently no additional staffed ICU beds available in Oklahoma City.

The October 4th White House Coronavirus Task Force report has ranked Oklahoma as the tenth highest positive test rate of any state in the country and concludes “Community transmission has remained high across the state for the past month, with many preventable deaths.” Oklahoma faces a serious public health emergency in the fight to contain COVID-19. The Oklahoma Senate Democrats urge you to implement the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s recommendations.

Senate Democrats also urge you to provide school districts with resources to prevent COVID-19 transmission in our schools. Many school districts lack the funding needed to fully implement COVID-19 safety protocols, including air filtration systems, plexiglass dividers, and thorough sanitation.

COVID-19 is also having a disproportionate impact on minority and underserved communities. Senate Democrats believe Oklahoma’s COVID-19 response should incorporate health equity to ensure all Oklahomans have access to affordable health care during the pandemic and going forward.

Finally, Senate Democrats urge you and the State Department of Health to fully engage with the medical community and rely on their expertise and input. Responding to the increase in hospitalizations, Dr. George Monks, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, stated “As hospitalizations increase, it is imperative our state leaders give our hospitals the resources, including staffing, needed to meet this increase.”

The State Department of Health Advisory Board, which includes medical experts, has not met since January. A comprehensive public health based approach is imperative if we are to turn the tide against COVID-19 in Oklahoma.


Kay Floyd, Democratic Leader Senate District, 46

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 7:25 AM

Cherokee Nation announced today a new virtual platform for the 15th annual Cherokee Art Market. The virtual market will run Dec. 7 – 21 and will feature premier Native American art from various tribal nations.

“With many art markets being forced to cancel this year, we wanted to develop a concept that would allow us to continue our annual celebration of Native American art and provide an opportunity for artists to safely sell their works,” said Travis Owens, director of Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism. “We hope the virtual market will expand the reach and visibility of these artists.”

Participating artists can showcase up to 10 items within the virtual market, with two being eligible for competition. Cash prizes will be awarded by class, including the annual Best of Show award.

In addition, the virtual market will feature interactive elements such as live demonstrations.

“Cherokee Art Market has built a reputation for excellence among participating artists and guests alike,” Owens said. “We look forward to recreating the inclusive, innovative and celebratory spirit of our annual event.”

The 15th annual Cherokee Art Market was originally slated to run Oct. 10-11 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. As one of the largest Native American art shows in the state, thousands of visitors attend the market each year.

For more information and updates on this year’s virtual market, visit

charlies chicken

Monday, October 12, 2020, 12:31 PM

Wahya Y Wolfpaw, blue shirt, traveled all the way from Massachusetts to be here to lend her  passion about correcting the white-washing of Native history.

With the largest concentration of Native Americans in the country, eastern Oklahoma is celebrating the heritage of the Natives who populated America before the arrival of Europeans.

At the Muskogee Civic Center, Natives and Europeans alike have gathered to commemorate the holiday, which used to celebrate Columbus, the explorer who stumbled upon the American continent in a futile search for a quicker route to India.

“After the genocides, sterilization and COVID-19, we are here celebrating our survival and honoring our veterans, dignitaries that help govern, and our community that are here supporting the Muskogee Oklahoma Native American Association,” Brandyann Brior, treasurer of the Muskogee Oklahoma Native American Association, said.

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Monday, October 12, 2020, 10:54 AM

The Regional Prevention Coordinator of Neighbors Building Neighborhoods, in conjunction with the Muskogee Police Department recently conducted alcohol compliance checks in the city on the night of Wednesday, September 23rd.

The visits were to assess that vendors are complying with the law by not selling alcohol to minors. Of the 12 outlets visited, one establishment sold alcohol to an underage minor. This resulted in an overall alcohol compliance rate of 92 percent. The store in violation was York Street Stop & Go, 803 N. York St.

The underage youth who are selected to participate in Alcohol Compliance Checks are youth leaders who have undergone training, and sign an agreement to follow the protocol set by law enforcement agencies.

These youth are honest about their age, and carry their own valid I.D. into the establishment.

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Monday, October 12, 2020, 7:37 AM

Teddy Brown, 67, of Broken Arrow was admitted at Saint Francis Hospital of Muskogee with head, internal, external and arm and leg injuries around 4 p.m. yesterday after a three-car wreck on the Muskogee Turnpike. Randy Weakley, 71, of Rogersville, Alabama was also injured but refused treatment at the scene, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Brown was driving a 2012 Nissan Frontier northbound on the turnpike behind a 2017 BMW X 6 driven by Weakley and a 2014 black Ford Focus driven by Halie Russell, 23, of Fort Gibson. Both Weakley and Russell slowed down to accommodate the flow of traffic, but Brown did not, the patrol reported.

Brown’s pickup struck Weakley’s car and then Russell’s car, then departed the roadway to the right, 75 yards into the grass. Both other vehicles came to controlled stops on the shoulder of the turnpike.

Everyone in all vehicles were wearing seatbelts, the patrol reported.

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Saturday, October 10, 2020, 8:47 AM

Two people were One person was shot last night at Berwick Apartments, according to emergency workers at the scene.

Though police have not released any details on the shooting, emergency workers say there were two patients, one 25, who was taken to a hospital in Tulsa by Muskogee County EMS, and the other taken to Muskogee’s Saint Francis Hospital.

The shootings occurred around 10 p.m.

UPDATE: Police have clarified that only one person was shot, Jaron Cone, 25. Cone was shot in the abdomen, police say, and was the one transported to a Tulsa hospital.

The suspect, Elijah Chandler, 32, was covered in mud and blood, the police state, and he was arrested on complaints of shooting with intent to kill.

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Friday, October 9, 2020, 1:53 PM

Dameion Mukes, 37, of Tulsa was killed on Wednesday night when the 2013 Camaro he was driving collided with a 1997 Kenworth Semi.

Mukes was northbound on the highway near Tullahassee around 8:30 p.m. when he tired to turn left across traffic, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. He failed to yield to the semi, the patrol reported, which collided with him. He was transported to Saint Francis Hospital in Muskogee, but died of his injuries.

Mukes was not wearing a seatbelt, the patrol stated.

treasure chest

Friday, October 9, 2020, 11:40 AM

Kevin Bowman is a year older than his father-in-law.

Bowman, 53, is married to Larry Longoria’s sixteen-year-old daughter. Longoria is 52, and he signed his consent for his teenage daughter to marry a man who is 37 years older than her.

The couple were married in Wagoner County. In Oklahoma, it is legal for 16-year-olds to marry with consent of one of their parents, but it us unusual for them to marry one so much older.

Muskogee-area social media has exploded with rage and disgust at the marriage, which happened in September. The bride’s Facebook account said yesterday she is deactivating it, and Bowman’s last public post is from April.

Bowman is not answering his phone, and Longoria has not returned a call for comment.

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Friday, October 9, 2020, 11:14 AM

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner announced Friday the tribe will build a meat processing facility in Tahlequah.

“The Deputy Chief and I are committed to developing programs and economic development in the area of agriculture and the Council of the Cherokee Nation had continued to express a desire to explore a meat processing facility for our citizens,” Chief Hoskin said.

The meat processing facility will be located on existing Cherokee Nation property west of Tahlequah.

The facility will grow in phases, first serving Cherokee citizens with food insecurities and then potentially expand into the larger commercial marketplace.

The facility is expected to provide up to seven jobs.

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Friday, October 9, 2020, 9:27 AM

The Commission for the Protection of Cherokee Nation Sovereignty established by the Principal Chief after the U.S. Supreme Court McGirt ruling, has issued its first recommendations on expanding the tribe’s courts, attorneys and marshal service.

In July, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Muscogee Creek Nation’s reservation was never disestablished. The Supreme Court’s reasoning in this case applies to all Five Tribes. Since the Supreme Court’s decision, Cherokee Nation’s Office of the Attorney General has identified more than 100 cases which may be dismissed by the state court of appeals and sent to either Cherokee Nation or federal courts for prosecution.

Appellate decisions could come by the end of the year.

“We must do everything in our power to protect our sovereignty, and we must continue to be ready for the challenges ahead and work with our partners on the ground while preparing to operate and expand our court system to prosecute more of these criminal cases on our lands,” said Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill, a member of the commission. “First, we must ask the Tribal Council for an increase in the budget so that we can begin the expansion of our court system, attorneys, marshal service, victim services, detention facilities and other necessary changes as our reservation land is acknowledged by the state and cases involving Native perpetrators are dismissed, and we begin trying those cases in our tribal courts.”

In order for the expansion and restructuring, the Commission recommends:

  • A $15.6M budget increase to restructure and expand the Cherokee Nation court system. It could expand the district court system from one district court to up to ten separate districts; add security, juvenile court services, technology and more.
  • A projected $3.5M increase for the Attorney General’s office for more staffing to prosecute cases.
  • Increase the Marshal budget and detention costs by an additional $16.25 million. This would add 12 marshals and increase detention facility costs.
  • Look at grants or funding for expansion of victim service programs.
  • Grants or funding for reentry type programs.
  • Update the Cherokee Nation criminal code to closely align with the Oklahoma Criminal Code so that law and order is consistent and the transition is as seamless as possible for officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys and the court.
  • That the Principal Chief engage with members of Congress who may be contemplating legislation and oppose any legislation that would disestablish tribal reservations.
  • That the Principal Chief discuss with state and federal elected leaders whether or not additional compacts, intergovernmental agreements or MOUs are needed or should be authorized to address civil, criminal, and other issues on the Cherokee Reservation.

The Commission is made up of internal cabinet members, law enforcement, Tribal Councilors, department heads and judges and meets monthly.

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Thursday, October 8, 2020, 9:49 AM

Two men were shot at the Whispering Pines apartments late last night, according to Muskogee police.

The men, whose identities were not released, were shot around 10 p.m., then transported by Muskogee County EMS to a Tulsa hospital in unknown condition after police arrived.

Police haven’t released any other details.

UPDATE: The police released this today:

The two victims from the shooting that took place on10/07/2020 at Whispering Pines Apartments have been identified.

Andre Harrison 04/09/1997 has been treated and released from a Tulsa hospital.

Tramel Porter 02/21/2000 was transported to a Tulsa hospital where he remains in critical condition at this time.

This is an ongoing investigation and we ask anyone who may have information to call our investigations division at 918-680-3112, or if you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 918-682-COPS (2677).

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 5:20 PM

Muskogee Police released the following information:

Today, 10/07/2020 at approximately 11:55 A.M. officers were dispatched to an armed robbery at Game Exchange located at 695 W. Shawnee Bypass. The caller stated a white male was holding a knife and requested the money from the register. The suspect left the scene in a vehicle. Responding officers were able to look at the video cameras and give the description of the suspect and the vehicle over the radio.

A short time later, officers located the suspect vehicle in the parking lot of Arrowhead Mall. A subject matching the physical description approached officers in the Arrowhead Mall parking lot. At 12:26 P.M. the suspect, Levi Nance 11/18/2000 was placed under arrest.

Nobody was injured during this incident.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 7:50 AM

Friday, October 9, 2020, is the last day to apply for voter registration in order to be eligible to vote in the November 3rd General Election, Muskogee County Election Board Secretary Kelly Beach said today.

Beach said that persons who are United States citizens, residents of Oklahoma, and at least 18 years old may apply to become registered voters. Those who aren’t registered or need to change their registration may apply by filling out and mailing an Oklahoma Voter Registration Application form in time for it to be postmarked no later than midnight Friday, October 9th.

Beach said applications postmarked after that time will be accepted and processed, but not until after November 3rd.

The County Election Board responds in writing to every person who submits an application for voter registration. The response is either a voter identification card listing the new voter’s precinct number and polling place location or a letter that explains the reason or reasons the application for voter registration was not approved. Beach said any person who has submitted a voter registration application and who has not received a response within 30 days should contact the County Election Board office.

Oklahoma Voter Registration Application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 400 W. Broadway St., Room 120 in Muskogee, and at most post offices, tag agencies and public libraries in the county. Applications also are available here.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 4:14 PM

A scammer is calling Muskogee County residents, pretending to be a law enforcement officer, and demanding they pay on outstanding warrants, according to Undersheriff Michael Mahan.

The scammer calls from a number that appears to be the Muskogee Police number (918-683-8000), but is not actually that number. The man claims to be various law enforcement offices, including Mahan, and tells the victims they have outstanding warrants, and because of COVID-19, they can’t take care of the warrants at the courthouse, so they need to pay over the phone.

“He’s really good at it,” Mahan said. “One person he had even done the research and cited a case she was being called as a witness on.”

Mahan said police will never demand money over the phone, and if this man calls you, just hang up.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 8:43 AM

Cherokee Nation is offering free flu vaccinations through the month of December to prepare for the upcoming flu season.

From now through December 16, anyone 6 months or older can get a flu vaccine for free.

Tribal health officials have dozens of vaccination clinics scheduled in October, November and December at various community buildings, local businesses, churches, town halls and health centers throughout the tribe’s 14-county reservation.

Flu season typically runs September to March, but each year it peaks during different months. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging early flu shots.

“The viruses that cause influenza and COVID will both be spreading through our communities this fall and winter and you can become infected with both,” said Cherokee Nation Health Services Executive Medical Director Dr. Roger Montgomery. “Getting a flu shot won’t prevent COVID infection but it will reduce your chance of getting influenza. Please take advantage of the proven protection that comes from getting a flu shot.”

For the flu vaccination schedule, visit the nation’s web site. Vaccination clinic dates and locations are subject to change.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 8:41 AM

The Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System will hold Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics for enrolled Veterans in Muskogee on Oct. 10. Veterans can call 888-397-8387 to schedule an appointment, but appointments aren’t required.

Veterans can also get a flu shot on a walk-in basis by visiting their Primary Care Team.

The shots are 8 a.m. to noon at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center south parking lot across from medical center, 1011 Honor Heights Dr.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 8:26 AM

One person was shot near Cincinnati yesterday around 4:30 p.m., according to police and witnesses.

Muskogee police responded to the scene, but because the victim is a member of a federally recognized tribe, the FBI has taken over the investigation.

Muskogee County EMS did not transport any victims, but one victim did drive in a private vehicle to the emergency room at Saint Francis Hospital, according to EMS.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 8:21 AM

The Muskogee Police just released the following:

On 10/04/2020, at approximately 9:55pm officers were dispatched to shots fired in the 2600 block of Denver. A short time after officers arrived on scene dispatch advised that a victim with a gunshot wound had arrived at the ER. Officers made contact with the victim, Kyla Taylor who had been shot and advised that she was unable to provide any suspect or vehicle information. Her injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

While still on scene at the ER another subject, Bryan Trimble arrived with an apparent gunshot wound. He was also unable to provide suspect or vehicle information to officers. Trimble’s injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

There was one residence and three vehicles at the scene that had been struck by gunfire.

This is an ongoing investigation and further details will be released as they become available.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 8:15 AM

Muskogee Little Theatre is putting on performances of Dracula starting on Friday. The show runs through Oct. 17.

Based on the Bram Stoker novel that touched off the vampire craze, this update by William McNulty drips with suspense, surprises and plenty of blood.

Due to audience distancing, seating is very limited, and tickets are selling quickly, according to the theater. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students, and the show is rated by the theater at PG-13.

Get tickets at

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 8:10 AM

Around 400 Jeeps converged on Muskogee’s Hatbox Field over the weekend, part of the Muskogee Exchange Club’s Jeep Jam, where participants could play, show off their Jeeps and visit food and beverage vendors while rallying around their affinity for the off-road vehicles.

Cody Canada and The Departed played a show for the Jeepers as well.

The event was a fundraiser for the club’s ongoing efforts to provide support for local agencies that deal with child abuse issues, education and organizations supporting Muskogee youth.

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Friday, October 2, 2020, 8:20 AM

Joshua Townsley

Joshua Townsley, 28, of Muskogee is charged in US District Court with Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country, and Megan Tillery, 27, of Muskogee is charged with Enabling Child Sexual Abuse, both felonies.

According to an FBI affidavit filed with the case, Townsley was caught on the morning of Aug. 5 by a roommate sleeping with his genitals exposed and the seven-year-old little girl sleeping with her head on his genitals.

Megan Tillery
The roommate told police she woke Townsley up, and he said said that Tillery, the girl and another child often slept in the bed with him in “weird positions.” Once Tillery woke up, the roommate said, Townsley would not allow her to speak with the roommate. When the roommate was able to get Tillery away, she told her what she had witnessed, the affidavit states. Tillery asked the little girl if Townsley had ever done anything inappropriate with her, the affidavit continues, and the girl reported that he “touches me with the thing that swings between his legs,” and also that he touches her with his penis when he is bathing her.

The girl also told Tillery, according to the affidavit, that Townsley touched her vagina. Tillery took the girl to Saint Francis Hospital in Muskogee, where hospital staff performed a sexual assault test and contacted police. The physical exam, according to the FBI, showed abrasion on the girl’s hymen and redness within the labia minora. When Tillery left the hospital, she took the girl and another child to Women In Safe Home in Muskogee.

On Aug. 11, investigators state, Tillery and the children left the WISH house with Townsley. Tillery allegedly told police that the girl had changed her statement and she believe Tillery had not sexually abused the girl. The roommate and Facebook told police that the four were staying with Townsley’s mother. Police searched for him at eight different addresses with no success.

On Aug. 29, police issued an arrest warrant for Tillery as well. On Sept. 1, the pair were arrested at Townsley’s mother’s house, and the children were at the residence as well.

The seven-year-old underwent another sexual assault exam, the affidavit states, and the results were consistent with sexual abuse — examiners said the girl had suffered additional sexual abuse since the Aug. 6 exam.

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Friday, October 2, 2020, 7:49 AM

Kelsey Sevier, 23, of Tahlequah has died of injuries sustained in an ATV wreck west of Tahlequah.

The wreck occurred on Sept. 26, the highway patrol reported. The reporting of the death was delayed by the patrol.

Sevier was riding the vehicle southbound on County Road S. 465 when a dog ran out in front of the vehicle, causing her to swerve and lose control, overturning an unknown number of times, the patrol reported. She was flown by helicopter to Saint John’s Hospital in Tulsa, where she later died of her injuries.

Her passenger, Shane Sevier, 22, was not injured.

The vehicle was equipped with seatbelts, but they were not in use.

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Thursday, October 1, 2020, 7:32 AM

Starting immediately, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is suspending visitation across all state-run facilities. The action quells a potential source for viral infection and spread.

Early in the pandemic, DOC suspended visitation as part of a comprehensive plan to keep inmates and staff insulated from the virus. Understanding the importance of inmates’ contact with family, the agency initiated a scaled-back visitation model this summer when infections decreased across the state. However, DOC recently declared numerous facilities “hot spots” for COVID-19, once again necessitating the suspension of visitation.

To help reduce inmates’ stress from the lack of contact with loved ones, DOC and its inmate telephone vendor provides all inmates two free 10-minute calls each week.

DOC says it will resume visitation as soon as possible.


Thursday, October 1, 2020, 7:29 AM

Local county health departments and other health care providers in Oklahoma will begin offering seasonal flu vaccinations today. Almost everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is an effective way to prevent flu illness and another great tool for mitigating the impacts of COVID-19.

The CDC recommends a flu vaccine by the end of October, before flu begins spreading in the community. The flu vaccine can keep a person from getting the flu and make the illness less severe if a person gets it.

CDC has worked with vaccine manufacturers to have extra flu vaccine available this flu season, and Oklahoma will distribute 400,000 flu vaccine doses to ensure availability of an affordable or free flu shot this year.

During the last flu season, 3,580 Oklahoma residents were hospitalized because of flu-related illnesses — including 383 children under age four — and 85 Oklahomans died, including three children under age 17.

While flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system and conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19.

Children through age 18 years are eligible to receive vaccines at no charge through the Vaccines for Children program if any of the following apply: they are Medicaid eligible, uninsured, Native American Indian, Native Alaskan, or their insurance policy does not cover vaccines. Free flu shots are available at health care providers enrolled in the VFC program, including all local county health departments and community health centers.

Uninsured adults may be able to get a flu shot at no out-of-pocket cost at most local county health departments and CHC across Oklahoma.

For more information, call (405) 271-7200 or visit

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