Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 9:12 am

Muskogee Police are investigating reports of a sex act in front of a juvenile, according to a Muskogee Police report.

The act, which occurred on July 26, was accompanied by marijuana smoking, the report states. The juvenile's observation of the act apparently was not forced, according to Officer Lincoln Anderson.

Police have a suspect, but will not release the name until that suspect has been arrested, he said.

Filed under: Local Crime


Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 9:04 am

In August, Air Evac Lifeteam celebrates 30 years of providing access to definitive healthcare for thousands of medically underserved people. The company began in West Plains, Mo., on August 1, 1985, with one helicopter and a dream to provide air medical service to citizens in the small southern Missouri community. Today, Air Evac Lifeteam has more than 115 air medical bases across 15 states, and is the nation's largest independently owned and operated air medical provider.

Air Evac Lifeteam President Seth Myers said the company's model was very different from other air medical providers.

"The founders wanted to put a helicopter where it was needed most - in a rural community," Myers said. "At the time, nearly all of the medical helicopters were based at receiving medical centers in cities. In 1985, a community-based air medical service was unheard of. After 30 years, we are still a community-based air medical service, and it is a compliment that a majority of the industry has changed its model to be community-based, too. I am extremely proud to represent this company and the people who have made it what it is today."

Air Evac Lifeteam serves as the critical link to improved response time and immediate access to medical care facilities for numerous medically underserved communities. An Air Evac Lifeteam crew is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, standing ready to deliver the care needed at the scene of an accident or medical emergency. Crews include a pilot, a flight nurse and a flight paramedic.

Filed under: Local Good News


Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 8:24 am

Roy Clark comes to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on Thursday night to share stories from his 65 years in the music business. Accompanied by Hall of Fame inductee Jim Halsey and John Wooley, these stories will be part of a taping of the TV program "Oklahoma Music Shop".

Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 pm. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and seating is limited!

Advanced tickets can be purchased at: www.eventbrite.com.

The Oklahoma Music Shop (OMS) is a statewide Television show taped before a live audience at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in Muskogee Oklahoma. The show provides singer/songwriters and bands a chance to showcase their talents while featuring Muskogee as a music destination location to all of Oklahoma on television and social media.

OMS airs on Tulsa's CW 19 at 3:30 pm and OKC's KSBI 52 at 11:30 am on Saturdays.

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10-5 pm.

"Live at the Frisco Depot" is presented every Thursday night at 8 pm and features local, regional and national musical acts. For OMHOF's upcoming events, "like" the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Facebook page or visit: www.omhof.com. To contact OMHOF: (918) 687-0800 or by email: okmusic@omhof.com.

Filed under: Local Entertainment


Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 8:22 am

Muskogee Police Department is hosting National Night Out tonight in Muskogee-area parks, with music, recreation and the chance to hang out with police officers.

The event takes place at Rotary Park, Spaulding Park, Elliott Park, Robison Park and the Muskogee Civic Center from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and it's free.

Free bicycle tune-ups will also be available.

Filed under: Local


Monday, August 3, 2015, 8:58 am

Muskogee's VFW Post 474, 3811 W. Okmulgee, is hosting a murder mystery on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.

The event, called Murder Under the Big Top, lets you participate as a main character or an extra, who still gets to try to figure out who done it. Popcorn, cotton candy, funnel cakes and more circus-related food will be available.

Tickets are $20 per person, RSVP deadline is Aug. 10.

Email vfwpost474@outlook.com for more information.

Filed under: Local Entertainment


Monday, August 3, 2015, 8:19 am

Looking for an affordable opportunity to buy a simple, decent home? Find that opportunity in Muskogee, Oklahoma with Muskogee Habitat for Humanity, Inc. We will be holding a Homeowner Application Drive from August 1, 2015- August 14, 2015. Applications can be picked up at the Muskogee Housing Authority Office. Applications are Due back to Muskogee Habitat for Humanity by August 28, 2015.

Could you be the next Muskogee Habitat Homeowner? Does this describe you?

  • You have a housing problem, which you can't solve on your income. Perhaps you're squeezing three into a one bedroom. Or your rental unit has poor insulation, serious mold, or a heating system that's giving up. Habitat can help if your family earns less than 60 percent of the median income for Muskogee County for a family of your size.
  • You can afford $450 per month for a Habitat Mortgage, insurance, and property taxes, and utilities.
  • You're ready to work toward owning your own home. Every Habitat household puts in at least 300 hours of their own labor. Some of those hours can come from relatives and friends, and if you can't do construction work, you can earn sweat equity in other ways.
  • You have lived in the City of Muskogee for at least one full year.

    Contact the Family Selection Committee

    muskogeehabitat@gmail.com or call 918.687.1470

    Visit their website www.muskogeehfh.org

Filed under: Local


Saturday, August 1, 2015, 3:33 pm

A Checotah K9 officer has been arrested following a report of missing drugs, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation.

Matthew Benton LeMasters, 35, is in the McIntosh County Jail on a complaint of obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud.

The Checotah police chief requested the OSBI investigate the missing drugs about a month ago, a news release states. On Friday night, the investigation resulted in the arrest of LeMaster's arrest.

Filed under: Local Crime


Saturday, August 1, 2015, 2:55 pm

A Wagoner Police Department cruiser struck a pedestrian and sent him to the hospital in critical condition, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The police car, driven by Robert Evans, 27, of Wagoner, was traveling eastbound on Oklahoma 51 near Mockingbird Lane around 2:40 this morning when it struck Lyle Hoop, 54, of Wagoner, who was crossing the highway to the north.

Hoop was flown by helicopter to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa with head, trunk, internal, arms and legs injuries in critical condition.

The Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

Filed under: Local


Friday, July 31, 2015, 12:36 pm

Muskogee man Stephen Ezell was struck by a vehicle while walking along US 64, according to emergency workers.

Ezell, who is frequently seen walking downtown and around Muskogee, walks to town from his home south of Muskogee almost every day.

He is still alive, but there is no indiction of how severe his injuries may be.

UPDATE 3:38 P.M.: Ezell is in Saint Francis Hospital with internal bleeding and brain trauma in poor condition, according to emergency workers.

UPDATE 8:30 P.M.: Family members report that Ezell's brain trauma has not affected him permanently. He has several broken bones, but his condition has improved dramatically.

UPDATE 10:14 P.M.: The vehicle was a 2013 Nissan Juke driven by Kevin Collins, white male , age 41, of Warner, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Filed under: Local


Friday, July 31, 2015, 9:22 am

Muskogee's outdoor summer concert series, "Dancing in the District," continues Friday, July 31st at the Beechcraft Hangar at Hatbox Field in Muskogee. The event has changed and will start at 7 pm and end approximately 11 pm, with the official after-party being held at Max's Garage, downtown Muskogee.

When brothers Jordan and Jonathan, raised in rural Missouri, met lively Arizona native Cassandra in the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona, the foundation was laid for the adventure of a lifetime. All three classically trained students had plans of making the 2,600 mile journey to Music City to follow their dreams. But it wasn't until an impromptu concert in Phoenix that the trio realized there was an undeniable blend between their musical styles.

So in January of 2002, the eldest brother Jonathan was the first to pack up his little truck and make the 28-hour drive. Cassandra followed suit 6 months later, with Jordan not far behind. For the next several years, they each paid bills by working various industry jobs, playing for several country artists including Sara Evans, Josh Turner and Lorrie Morgan. But it wasn't until May of 2008 when they met the easy going Indiana drummer, Tyler Oban, that the story was set in motion. After a couple years of fitting shows in between rigorous touring schedules and school, they reached a crucial fork in the road. On April 11, 2010 they all took a deep breath and a leap of faith, signing their names on a crumpled cafe napkin that said "September 1, 2010 or Bust." Vowing to quit their jobs, and start their quest to becoming full time artists. "It was probably the scariest time in our lives, walking away from a steady paycheck and into the great unknown," vocalist, mandolin and fiddle player Jordan Lawson said.

But so far, it's paid off. Within the first month of freedom, they landed an opening slot on Sara Evans' Fall and Christmas tour. And shortly after that, another 60 show tour was booked with an Irish starlet. More than 200 shows and 12 months later, they were sitting in the office of the President and CEO of Sony ATV Publishing. After two songs, he wouldn't let them leave his office until a contract was in the works. By the next year, they were offered a major label record deal with Warner Music Nashville/Atlantic and show no signs of slowing down. By combining personal lyrics, air tight harmonies and earthy instrumentation using Mandolin, Violin, Concertina, and Acoustic Guitar and percussion, the group melts their energetic songs with classic groundbreaking styles of the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Dixie Chicks, Nickel Creek and Bonnie Raitt, leaving audiences with an undeniable sound and unforgettable live show.

Like the city that brought them together, Uncle Lucius is a gumbo, with hints of Americana and folk juxtaposed with a slow-cooked roux that is steeped in classic rock 'n' roll and the blues. A certain spirit inhabits the tunes and tunesmiths alike, a seeking and a questioning that leads one far from the prescribed path. It was that spirit that brought Kevin Galloway, then a banker and music minister, from his East Texas upbringing to the streets of South Austin, in search of a life more imbued with meaning than financial well-being. Around his voice and songwriting the other pieces fell into place. Mike Carpenter left his job on a Houston assembly line to vie for greatness in one of America's foremost guitar scenes. San Antonio's Josh Greco fortified the emerging group with his considerable classical and jazz training. The road brought them to Lexington, KY, where restless Jonny "Keys" Grossman was ready to eschew his comfortable life for a van's eye view of the country. Last to join was Nigel Frye, the pride of Tulsa, Oklahoma's outcast jazz scene, and low-end accomplice for some of Austin's finest musicians.

Deeply indebted to the country/jazz/rock fusion native to Austin, as well as the ever-evolving gumbo that is New Orleans music, the band serves as a vehicle for its lyrical vision, one that imagines a life where profits and losses no longer rule man's motives. Though its focus falls on the darker edges at times, at heart the band's vision is a hopeful one. What could we possibly lose, after all, when "right now is all we've ever had"? After 8 years of touring across Texas and to both coasts and back, the band was named 2014's Best New Band by the Texas Regional Radio Report. Their most recent release, "Live @ Grady's 66 Pub," is available for free download at: www.noisetrade.com/unclelucius. They are currently in preproduction for their next studio recording with George Reiff (Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shinyribs, Band of Heathens), with the album to be released in early 2015.

Filed under: Local Entertainment


Friday, July 31, 2015, 8:31 am

Proud to Be a Rescue Dog will be at Petco, 938 W. Shawnee, on Saturday from 9:30 a.m until 4:00 p.m. They will be showing dogs from their rescue program. A

Adoption fees will range from $50.00-$200.00, all adoption fees including spay/neuter, current vaccinations, worming and microchip. The dogs have been heartworm tested and are on heartworm preventative and flea/tick preventative.

Onsite adoptions will be honored for preapproved adoption applications.

For more information on available pets visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/#!/proud2bearescuedog, email at P2BaRD@gmail.com or call/text (918) 348-4895.

Filed under: Local Good News


Thursday, July 30, 2015, 11:03 am

Death notices and obituaries are some of the most-read parts of any local news source's publications, and MuskogeeNOW.com is committed to serving that need of our readers.

We have been publishing death notices and obituaries for more than a year now, and both are done as a community service, with no charge to the grieving families or funeral homes.

To view our death notices, simply go to the "Local" menu item at the top of the page and select "Deaths" from the dropdown menu. Or select "Obituaries," which are much longer than death notices and give more details about the lives of the people who are being remembered.

At the bottom of each of those pages, you'll find links to the death notices and obituaries on our other sites from around the area so you'll be sure to not miss anyone you know and love. Death notices and obituaries are also searchable.

MuskogeeNOW and its sister sites will always provide this service for free.

Filed under: Local


Thursday, July 30, 2015, 8:14 am

Muskogee Police are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the National Night Out, a program for community relations from police forces.

The band Free Kennedy will play at Robison Park, a DJ will be spinning at Rotary, Ron and Don Mayes will be doing hip hop at Elliott Park, Spaulding Park will have music and a band will be playing at the Civic Center parking lot.

Hot dogs, chips, water, goodies for kids and free fingerprinting will be available, and Muskogee Cycling Association will be doing bike repairs and tune-ups and handing out spoke lights.

The event is Aug. 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is free.

Filed under: Local Entertainment


Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 9:24 am

Oklahoma has 11,684 parents owing past-due child support with active bench warrants for failing to appear at a court hearing. Throughout the month of August, these noncustodial parents can work with their local Child Support Services (CSS) office and the court to have their warrants recalled, not only removing the threat of arrest but also improving the opportunity to support their children in an initiative called Amnesty in August.

"Amnesty in August is an opportunity for Oklahoma parents who have fallen behind on child support to come in and work with us to get back on track," said Meg Cannon, a spokesperson for CSS. "Parents who seek our assistance in August have an opportunity to develop a payment plan that will help them move forward with their obligations and hopefully create stronger connections with their children."

Amnesty in August is available to noncustodial parents who have cases through CSS, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

"Children deserve the support of both parents. The last thing we want is for a parent to fall behind and stay behind, losing hope of providing the support his or her child needs and deserves," said CSS director Gary W. Dart. "As children across the state prepare to return to school, we want to make sure that as many as possible have the benefit of receiving support from both parents."

Amnesty in August is Oklahoma's first child support amnesty program in more than a decade.

"Child support is a legal and moral obligation," said Cannon. "If the threat of arrest has been a parent's main obstacle to meeting that obligation, then Amnesty in August is the perfect opportunity for that parent to re-engage in the support of his or her children."

Filed under: Local Crime


Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 4:47 pm

David Cody Lynch, 31, died of asphyxia due to physical restraint, according to the Oklahoma Medical Examiner, which ruled the death a homicide.

Lynch died April 3 after a Warner police officer stopped him for a traffic violation. He attacked the officer, according to law enforcement sources, even removing the officer's gun belt during the skirmish.

The autopsy noted scratches and bruises associated with the scuffle and noted that Lynch was handcuffed and leg-cuffed when he died, apparently while police were laying on top of him to restrain him.

Lynch was under "acute intoxication by methamphetamine" at the time of his death, as well as legally intoxicated on alcohol. He suffered abrasions, contusions, lacerations and hemorrhages in the head and neck, abrasions and contusions on the abdomen and legs and forearms. At the time of his death, he was suffering from hypertensive cardiovascular disease and had been shocked by a Taser device.

His blood-alcohol level was 0.12, almost twice the legal limit for driving. His blood also tested positive for 2.5 mug/mL of methamphetamine and 0.65 of amphetamine. Law enforcement sources say Lynch was still grabbing for the officer's gun after he was handcuffed.

In classifying the death as a homicide, the examiner was careful to mention that the actions of the police may have been justified.

The cause of death is asphyxia due to physical restraint. The combination of the decedent being in a prone position with police officers kneeling on top of him in an attempt to restrain him most likely cause a hypoxic event. Other significant conditions are acute methamphetamine intoxication, hypertensive cardiovascular disease and electric shock weapon discharge.

The manner of death is classified as homicide. According to the National Association of Medical Examiners Guidelines, "Deaths due to positional restraint induced by law enforcement personnel or to choke holds or other measures to subdue may be classified as Homicide. In such cases, there may not be intent to kill, but the death results from one or more intentional, volitional, potentially harmful acts directed at the decedent..."

You can read the autopsy here. (4mb PDF file) Warning: Graphic content.

District Attorney Orvil Loge says he is looking into the death still and hasn't made a decision on whether any prosecution is warranted.

"There's going to be additional investigation," he said. "I will make a decision in the next 30 days."

Filed under: Local


Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 8:53 am

People today know the importance of breastfeeding. While most new mothers start out breastfeeding, many Oklahoma mothers are not able to exclusively breastfeed for six months nor continue for up to 2 years of age as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). One of the challenges they face is continuing to breastfeed after they return to work.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is promoting World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, with the theme Breastfeeding and Work: Let's Make it Work. The goal is to empower and support all women, working in both the formal and informal sectors, to adequately combine work with child-rearing, particularly breastfeeding.

Major medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Association of Family Physicians recommend babies receive nothing but mother's milk during the first six months of life, and continue breastfeeding for at least the first year and beyond. Like any aspect of raising a child, breastfeeding requires the encouragement and support from a community of people. Support from hospitals, workplaces and family members go a long way in helping mothers and babies breastfeed for maximum benefit.

According to national and state surveys, mothers say breastfeeding is easier when they have support at home as well as at work. It is important that family members, clinicians, friends, co-workers and employers know how they can help make breastfeeding easier. Family members can help with household chores and other children, allowing the mother to have time to spend caring for her new baby. Employers can support mothers by being recognized as breastfeeding friendly worksites.

During World Breastfeeding Week, OSDH WIC clinics will be encouraging breastfeeding in Oklahoma by presenting award certificates to mothers who choose to breastfeed. Clinics may also hold receptions for breastfeeding mothers as well as display information that promotes the World Breastfeeding Week Theme.

OSDH and the Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates (COBA) recognize worksites that meet the following criteria for becoming breastfeeding friendly:

  • Flexible break times and a private location are provided for mothers to express milk.
  • A water source is accessible for washing hands and breast pump equipment.
  • A written breastfeeding policy.

    For information about becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite, and a list of current recognized sites, visit the Oklahoma breastfeeding website at http://bis.health.ok.gov.

    For breastfeeding support and information, call the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline toll free at 1-877-271-MILK (6455).

  • Filed under: Local


    Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 7:47 am

    Online applications for free/reduced meals at Muskogee Public Schools are now available online at School Lunch App. The full link to the site can be found on the MPS homepage at www.mpsi20.org.

    Parents/guardians are able to apply for all of their children with one application at this site.

    Students enrolled at Cherokee, Early Childhood Center, Grant Foreman, Irving, Pershing and Whittier do not need to fill out a form, as breakfast and lunch at these schools only are free for all students regardless of income.

    For more information, contact Child Nutrition Services at (918) 684-3765.

    Filed under: Local Education


    Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 7:43 am

    Roy Clark comes to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame to share stories from his 65+ years in the music business. Accompanied by Hall of Fame inductee Jim Halsey and John Wooley, these stories will be part of a taping of the TV program "Oklahoma Music Shop."

    Clark has a long history of TV fame, country music hits and crossover hits.

    Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 pm. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and seating is limited!

    Advanced tickets can be purchased at: www.eventbrite.com.

    The Oklahoma Music Shop (OMS) is a statewide Television show taped before a live audience at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in Muskogee Oklahoma. The show provides singer/songwriters and bands a chance to showcase their talents while featuring Muskogee as a music destination location to all of Oklahoma on television and social media.

    OMS airs on Tulsa's CW 19 at 3:30 pm and OKC's KSBI 52 at 11:30 am on Saturdays.

    Filed under: Local Entertainment


    Monday, July 27, 2015, 5:39 pm

    Capella, the company that owns the Eastar Hospitals in Muskogee, has sold to Medical Properties Trust, Inc., for $900 million in cash, according to a joint release from the companies.

    The transaction is expected to be finalized during the second half of 2015, following customary regulatory approvals. Capella is presently owned by funds affiliated with GTCR, a leading private equity firm.

    "After an extensive and year-long evaluation of different strategic opportunities, Capella Healthcare is pleased to announce that Medical Properties Trust, Inc. has agreed to provide the funding that will allow Capella continue to build upon our legacy of service excellence to our existing community hospitals and to provide attractive access to capital in support of our long-term growth plans," said Michael A. Wiechart, President and CEO of Capella. "Upon closing, we expect a management company - owned by current Capella senior management - will own with MPT the hospital operations and will operate and manage the hospital business while Capella's real estate interests are acquired by MPT."

    The management company will retain control of the day-to-day operations of Capella's hospitals with Wiechart continuing as President and CEO and no other changes anticipated in hospital management.