DEATHS

Jerry Patterson, 77

Born December 27, 1942

Died February 17, 2020

Judy Faye Higley, 80

Born July 12, 1939

Died January 22, 2020

Larry Jackson Cooper, 78

Born March 14, 1941

Died January 21, 2020

CLICK TO SEE MORE >>

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

THINGS TO DO

Saturday, January 25, 2020, 8:34 AM

After a Wednesday deadline for candidates to submit applications to be appointed Muskogee County sheriff to replace Rob Frazier, who resigned to become Fort Gibson’s police chief, the Muskogee County Commissioners have come up with four candidates.

The candidates are:

  • OHP Trooper Jessie Everett
  • Undersheriff Terry Freeman
  • Police lieutenant Andy Simmons
  • Former sheriff Charles Pearson

The commissioners will decide on a new sheriff from this list at 9 a.m. during the regular board meeting of the board of commissioners on Monday.

Frazier told MuskogeeNOW.com that Pearson “has my support” and the support of “people in my camp.”

According to several sources inside law enforcement, Pearson met with Frazier and Freeman at the sheriff’s office before Frazier announced his resignation.

The commissioners, according to sources at the commission, were formerly debating not appointing a sheriff who may later run for the office during the next election — the incumbency giving him an unfair advantage over the other candidates who may run — but all of the candidates on the list have declared interest in running during the next election, so that logic may no longer apply.

UPDATE 9:04 a.m.: Freeman called and clarified that, although other sources were saying he may be interested in the next election, he is not.

“I have no interest in running for sheriff in the next election,” Freeman said.

UPDATE 10:15 a.m.: Everett called and said he also has no intentions of running in the next election.

“My only goal is to fill out this expired term,” he said.

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Friday, January 24, 2020, 10:30 AM

Jacob David Grant

Jacob David Grant, 28, of Muskogee has been charged in Muskogee County District Court with sexually abusing a seven-year-old girl in 2013, according to documents filed with the case.

The girl, who is now either 13 or 14, disclosed the alleged abuse during a forensic interview in another state. She told police that Grant used his fingers to penetrate her vagina at a residence in Muskogee.

Grant was previously convicted in 2016 of setting a fire in a bathroom at the Muskogee County Jail, and he was arrested on Jan. 7 for failure to pay fines and costs on that felony. He was also convicted in 2015 of unlawful possession of controlled drugs with intent to distribute, possession of controlled drugs (two counts), unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying weapons.

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Friday, January 24, 2020, 8:18 AM

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. has appointed a Cherokee Nation workgroup to study issues relating to hemp and cannabis in fields such as commerce, health care and agriculture.

“As Chief, I want well-informed policy, and the team we have assembled will be a great asset in that regard. I believe there are opportunities for Cherokee Nation, our businesses and our citizens to benefit from this emerging industry. But, we need to move forward carefully and responsibly and in absolute strict adherence to the law in order to ensure success and sustainability,” Chief Hoskin said.

The “Executive Work Group on Hemp, Cannabis and Related Opportunities” will have several primary functions, such as making recommendations on internal Cherokee Nation policies, including Human Resources policies. The workgroup will also make recommendations on modernizing Cherokee Nation statutes impacting the growth and use of hemp and cannabis.

It will also consider what, if any, role cannabis can play in the Cherokee Nation’s Health Services system, including identifying any legal or ethical barriers on the use of the substance.

Workgroup members will also study and make recommendations on opportunities for Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation citizens to engage in raising, processing, and engaging in commercial sales of hemp and cannabis.

While marijuana use is still illegal under federal law, there are provisions allowing commercial hemp production. Oklahoma has also legalized medical cannabis under SQ 788 in 2018.

Under Cherokee law, it still remains illegal to use or possess marijuana in all tribally owned properties. Cherokee Nation recently revised its workplace drug use policy to protect employees and applicants who possess a valid medical marijuana patient license.

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dragonfly dojo

Thursday, January 23, 2020, 10:27 AM

Daryl Thomas, owner of Diamond T Woodcrafts (right), presents Marine Veteran Tom Jones with a hand crafted wooden flag to thank him for his service.

Veterans at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee received a special gift when Daryl Thomas, owner of Diamond T Woodcrafts, presented 50 hand-crafted wooden flags to inpatients.

Muskogee is the first VA medical center to receive such a donation from Thomas, but he says he hopes to add others to the list as the project grows.

Thomas received many different reactions as he made his way across the inpatient floors personally delivering flags and expressing his gratitude to each Veteran along the way.

Coast Guard veteran Joy Neal was brought to tears as he was handed his flag.

“I’m 96 and to have someone come in here to show their appreciation in this way just makes me feel good,” said Neal.

Army veteran Kenneth Baker’s face lit up when Thomas presented him with his flag and shook his hand. He stared at it in silence for a moment, running his fingers across the stars and stripes and said, “This is beautiful, I’m going to hang it above my bed.” The event wasn’t just emotional for those receiving a flag. During his visit, Thomas had tears in his eyes as one Veteran asked his nurse to help him raise his arm so that he could salute his visitor. “I have not served in the military myself, but I knew this was the greatest honor a Veteran could give to me,” said Thomas. “I was humbled and in shock and will never forget that moment.”

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traci mcgee

Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 7:28 AM

With the exception of Oktaha School, most public schools are out of session today because of snow and potentially icy roads.

Hilldale delayed its announcement until recently, but it is closed as well.

Muskogee County Transit is also closed due to weather.

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charlies chicken

Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 6:35 AM

Lost in the shuffle after Fort Gibson’s town council voted to hire Rob Frazier as its police chief, the council also hotly debated and ultimately approved a change to its ordinances that now will allow medical marijuana dispensaries closer to churches and parks.

“The proposed changes would bring us in line with state law,” Town Attorney Larry Moore said during the council’s debate. “It would keep the provision forbidding dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools, but would no longer address churches or parks.”

Formerly, the ordinance forbade dispensaries from being located within 300 feet of churches, schools or parks, far stricter than the state law, which only restricts locating them within 1,000 feet of schools.

The new ordinance, in parallel with state law now, goes into effect immediately.

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3 rivers auto collision

Saturday, January 18, 2020, 6:05 PM

A teenage boy went into cardiac arrest outside the Kum & Go store at Shawnee and Country Club streets yesterday, according to emergency officials.

He was transported via EMS to Muskogee’s Saint Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Officials are not releasing his name, but eyewitnesses say he was 16 years old. EMS officials say it was “a medical problem that turned into cardiac arrest.”

Police do not suspect foul play, but are waiting on the medical examiner’s report for a final determination and cause.

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jordan bonding

Friday, January 17, 2020, 9:10 AM

Carlos Humberto Munoz, 40, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with three felony counts of rape, kidnapping and aggravated assault and battery after an incident that allegedly occurred on Dec. 28 in the county.

According to documents filed with the case, Munoz is accused of offering the 26-year-old woman a ride, then blindfolding her and taking her against her will to another location on Wainwright Road, where he allegedly beat her, strangled her, sexually assaulted her and then put his penis inside her against her will, threatening to kill her as he did.

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steve money

Friday, January 17, 2020, 9:04 AM

Nicholas Owens, 35, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with a felony count of sexual abuse of a child under age 12, according to documents filed with the case.

Owens is accused of molesting a 10-year-old girl by touching her on her vagina and forcing her to touch his penis with her mouth.

The girl underwent a forensic interview and a medical exam that prosecutors say yielded results consistent with her disclosure and with child sexual abuse.

Owens is being held on a $25,000 bond.

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sooner surplus 1541949930

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 2:04 PM

Michael Bo Guthrie

An inmate, Michael Bo Guthrie, 47, at the Muskogee County Jail was assaulted by a cellmate on Jan. 3, according to jail personnel. Following the assault, Guthrie was sent via EMS to the Muskogee Saint Francis Hospital for treatment.

After he was released back to the jail, he later began exhibiting more signs of medical distress, so he was again taken to the hospital by EMS and released on his own recognizance. The hospital transferred him to Tulsa, where he died ten days later, according to Chief Deputy Michael Mahan.

“We called in the OSBI to investigate,” Mahan said. “In the interest of transparency, we want an outside agency to conduct this.”

There is no word yet on whether the cellmate will be charged with any crime, pending the outcome of the OSBI investigation.

Guthrie was in jail facing felony charges of assault and battery on an emergency medical technician, accused of twice punching a female hospital security guard.

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elite divorce

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 9:59 AM

Muskogee County Commissioners decided yesterday to open the application process for an interim sheriff to replace Rob Frazier, who has resigned and will leave the office at the end of the month to become Fort Gibson’s new police chief.

“We will take applications through next Wednesday,” County Commissioner Ken Doke said. “We will interview applicants the following Monday in the regularly scheduled meeting.”

Commissioners will make their appointment at 8 a.m. on Jan. 31.

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ace television and appliance

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 8:10 AM

Muskogee Public Schools is pooh poohing numerous parents’ reports of an allegedly dangerous bus driver and students so crowded onto the bus that they have to stand while the bus is moving — which goes against state rules for bus drivers.

According to one parent, bus 12 has “hit several cars this (school) year,” including one as recent as last week.

In another incident, a parent complained that students who were sitting in the aisle and standing were jarred from their positions when the driver slammed on the brakes. Another student walks 20 minutes, according to her parent, to another bus stop so she doesn’t have to stand on the bus ride to school. Other students complained that the driver routinely runs stop signs. Students apparently openly discuss “what a crazy driver he is,” according to parents. Yet another parent pulled her student from the bus after the student informed her that there were not enough seats on the bus so some students had to stand.

When asked about the numerous reports (and sent the video linked above), the schools sent the following statement:

On Monday, January 13, 2020, Muskogee Public Schools Transportation Department was made aware of a social media post regarding bus number 12 and the report has been found to be unsubstantiated. After reviewing bus camera footage and the six-second cell phone footage there has been no video evidence of a motor vehicle incident or student overcrowding. There is room for two students to a seat inside the bus. While we are appreciative of the concerns of parents and patrons, social media posts are not the appropriate venue to address safety and security.

Student safety is the utmost concern for the district and we always follow up when brought to our attention. The best way to report any issues or concerns regarding district transportation is to call the Transportation Department at 918-684-3730. MPS is always reviewing best practices in departments and will use this as an opportunity to improve.

Parents, however, say that phone number is rarely answered and messages are not returned.

The schools did not explain how, reviewing the video above, they were able to determine there is “no video evidence of ... student overcrowding,” given that the seats appear to be full with numerous students standing in the aisles as the bus is in motion.

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seasons of green

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 7:27 AM

Muskogee Police Lieutenant Andy Simmons has announced he is running for Muskogee County Sheriff.

The incumbent, Rob Frazier, has resigned and will leave the post at the end of this month. County Commissioners are meeting today to discuss appointing an interim sheriff, and sources close to the council have indicated councilors want to appoint a sheriff who isn’t interested in running for the job to avoid giving an unfair advantage by incumbency to any candidate.

“I want to make Muskogee County better, safer,” Simmons said.

A US Navy submarine veteran, Simmons has served on the Muskogee Police force for 24 years and is currently the president of the local chapter of Fraternal Order of Police. His mission, he said, is to provide training for law enforcement, address issues at the jail, step up narcotics enforcement and reach out to the youth of the county.

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diamond finance

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 7:20 AM

Fort Gibson police officer Jeremy Johnson has been on paid leave from the town’s police force since he was accused of domestic abuse. He has now been reinstated.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Department of Humans Services conducted two separate investigations into the allegations, according to Johnson’s attorney. DHS found both claims to be “unsubstantiated.”

After receiving the OSBI report, the district attorney declined to file any charges in the allegations.

On Monday night the Fort Gibson town council voted to immediately reinstate Johnson.

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coopers

Monday, January 13, 2020, 7:25 PM

Muskogee County Sheriff Rob Frazier talks to members of the Tulsa media after Fort Gibson town council hired him as the town's new police chief just now.

Muskogee County Sheriff Rob Frazier will resign his post as the county’s top law enforcement officer to become police chief in the town of Fort Gibson after the town council hired him just now.

He will fill the job left vacant by Donnie Yarbrough, whose accusations of sexual assault and harassment got the town sued.

Frazier said this move is right for his family.

Frazier unseated then-incumbent Charles Pearson in June of 2016 to become sheriff. County commissioners will be tasked with appointing his replacement.

UPDATE, 8:57 P.M.: Frazier just sent the following press release:

County Commissioners and Citizens of Muskogee County,

As of January 31, 2020, I will be resigning my position as Muskogee County Sheriff. It has been an honor to be one of your Muskogee County elected officials. It has been a privilege to work with a great group of men and women. I am leaving the Sheriff’s Office in good hands with Undersheriff Terry Freeman, Chief Deputy Michael Mahan, and the rest of the command staff. I know the employees there will continue to work hard and keep it running in a professional manner.

While serving as your Sheriff, Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office has purchased a new fleet of vehicles, computers and GPS in every vehicle, new ballistic vests for all field deputies (full time and reserve), duty issued Glock 19 handguns, new uniforms for deputies and jail staff, raised employee wages, built a drone program with FAA certified pilots, and built a secured vehicle storage lot. All of this was done on a limited budget, with the help of the County Commissioners, and with federal and state funds through multiple grants we have received.

We have provided better training to the employees. We increased the patrol presence by adding more deputies and placing deputies in strategic areas throughout the county for better and quicker coverage. We have teamed with other local, state, and federal agencies to help combat the drug problem in Muskogee County which has led to two of the largest drug investigations in Muskogee County history.

We have made Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office a professional organization, and one if not the best, Sheriff’s Office in the state of Oklahoma. We have made Muskogee County a better and safer place to live and raise your family. In closing I would like to thank the employees of the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work and professionalism. I would also like to thank everyone who played a part in electing me as your Muskogee County Sheriff. I wish Muskogee County the best of luck.

God Bless You All, Muskogee County Sheriff Rob Frazier

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sarah ladd

Monday, January 13, 2020, 8:14 AM

John Pruitt

John Leroy Pruitt III, 42, of Braggs, is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors in an incident that shut down State Highway 62 in Fort Gibson on Jan. 8.

Police pulled Pruitt over, alleging that he and his passenger were not wearing seatbelts. When the officer observed the inside of the car, he noticed that Pruitt had a shotgun, after he was formerly convicted of a felony, according to documents filed with the case.

While inventorying the car after arresting Pruitt, the officer noticed what appeared to be an explosive device, so the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s bomb unit was called in and determined that the device was indeed an explosive, according to police.

Pruitt is charged with possession of an incendiary explosive, possession of a firearm after former felony conviction, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was convicted in 2018 of manufacture of controlled dangerous substance and possession of precursors with intent to manufacture and sentenced to seven years suspended. He was also convicted in 2018 of second-degree burglary, receiving another seven-year suspended sentence.

He is being held in the Muskogee County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

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locke law office

Friday, January 10, 2020, 9:16 AM

Noramae Montoya

Noramae Montoya, 38, of Muskogee is charged with felony child neglect in Muskogee County District Court after police say they found her son playing on a busy street in 30-degree thick fog while she slept inside her house — again.

On December 22, police say they received calls of a young child playing in the street near the intersection of York and Jefferson streets around 8 a.m., when fog was very thick and the temperature was two degrees below freezing.

“Defendant has had contact with the police multiple times in reference to her child playing in the road unsupervised,” an affidavit filed with the case states. “Every time police made contact, the defendant was sleeping within the residence.”

Officers later learned that Montoya’s house had no water, while the child was on Christmas break from school. DHS was called and the child was supposed to go to his grandmother’s house for the remainder of the break.

Earlier this week, she posted the following to her Facebook account:

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big papas

Thursday, January 9, 2020, 9:11 AM

Jacob Staton

Jacob Staton, 24, Douglas Sail Jr., 41, Ashley Burks, 33, and Ashley Johnson, 46, have all been charged with conspiracy in an attempt Jan. 4 to rob Sammy Henry, owner of Sammy’s Jewelry, as he left the Dollar General Store on South York Street.

According to an affidavit filed with the cases, the four were in a gray Kia Soul and pulled into the store, waiting for Henry to leave. Henry exited the store, put his purchases in the passenger side of his car, and when he went around to get into the driver’s side, prosecutors allege Staton got out of the Soul wearing a dark hoodie and a face mask, armed with a gun, demanding Henry give him all his money.

When Henry refused, prosecutors allege, Staton punched him in the face with the pistol, and as Henry tried to run away, he fired two rounds, both of which missed Henry. Staton is then accused of trying to get back into the Soul, but couldn’t, so he ran on foot, only to get back in the car about a block away.

Sail and Johnson have both been arrested. Warrants are out for Burks and Staton.

Staton has a previous conviction for falsely personating another to create liability, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison on Aug. 2, 2017.

Sail has numerous previous convictions, including trafficking oxycodone, for which he received 15 months in prison, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, for which he got five years suspended, but that suspension was revoked in 2013; possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony, 10 years suspended, revoked in 2013; conspiracy, 10 years suspended, revoked in 2012; second-degree burglary, for which he got seven years; kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery domestic by strangulation, for which he received 26 years in prison.

Johnson has numerous previous convictions, including second-degree burglary, three years; larceny from the house, 5 years; uttering a forged instrument (three separate convictions, for which she received a total of 18 years); taking or receiving a stolen credit card (six separate convictions, for which she received a total of 48 years).

Burks was previously convicted of larceny of an automobile, for which she received 8 years; possession of contraband by an inmate, for which she received 5 years; and possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute, for which she received 10 years.

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secret desires

Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 3:01 PM

A Muskogee County deputy pulled over a driver just outside of Fort Gibson today and found something extra, according to the sheriff’s office.

The man, who is a convicted felon, had a firearm in the car, Chief Deputy Michael Mahan said. The deputy arrested the man, and while he was inventorying the car, found what looked to be an improvised explosive device. The sheriff immediately called the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s bomb squad, while deputies and Fort Gibson police directed traffic away from the vehicle.

The device was confirmed to be an explosive device, and law enforcement officials are interviewing the suspect, whose name has not yet been released.

UPDATE: John Pruitt

Mahan released the following information on the case:

On 1-8-20 at approximately 11:10 a.m., Deputy D.J. Masterson with the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle due to the driver not wearing his seatbelt. The stop took place on HWY 62 between Muskogee and Ft. Gibson. Deputy Masterson observed a firearm in the vehicle and subsequently arrested the driver for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Deputy Masterson then began a routine inventory of the vehicle and called for a tow truck. While conducting the inventory, Deputy Masterson located a small cylindrical object with a pull pin resembling an explosive device. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad responded to the scene and secured the device.

The device was determined to be a legitimate explosive device. The driver, identified as John Leroy Pruitt III, DOB 4-18-77, Braggs, OK resident, was placed under arrest and faces the following charges:

  1. Possession of an explosive device
  2. Possession of a firearm after former felony conviction
  3. Possession of a controlled, dangerous substance
  4. Possession of drug paraphernalia

This is an ongoing investigation in cooperation with the ATF.

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servpro

Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 9:16 AM

Allen Dale Law

Allen Dale Law Jr., 57, of Muskogee is charged with third-degree arson in Muskogee County District Court after police say he set a field on fire while high on PCP.

According to an affidavit filed with the case, Law was seen by witnesses setting an empty lot on fire on the 700 block of North E. St around 4 p.m. on Jan. 4. When police arrived, Law allegedly pulled away from the officer attempting to arrest him, which led to a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer.

Police also say they found phencyclidine (PCP) on Law, which led to a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Police contend Law was also high on the substance at the time.

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speedway grille

Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 10:42 AM

Chasity Brewer

The Muskogee County district attorney says Chasity Renee Brewer, 41, of Muskogee set her own vehicle on fire, told police it was stolen when she was kidnapped by two men and filed an insurance claim on property she allegedly lost in the destruction of the vehicle.

On Dec. 4, Brewer allegedly told police she had stopped for a broken-down vehicle, but two armed men approached her and kidnapped her, stealing her 2016 Chevrolet Malibu in the process. She told police she was later able to escape, and police later found the vehicle on fire.

Police say she filed a claim with her insurance company to cover the vehicle, $1,668 in cash, an iPad, a gold diamond ring worth $1,300 and a gold necklace worth $500, “when this property had not in fact been destroyed and defendant was well aware of that fact.”

She is facing two felonies: third-degree arson and false claim for insurance, and one misdemeanor: false reporting of a crime.

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herringshaw

Monday, January 6, 2020, 7:35 AM

Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, has filed legislation to increase Oklahoman’s minimum wage requirement.

Senate Bill 1165 would require employers to pay their employees a minimum wage of $10.50 per hour, or match the federal minimum wage rate, whichever is greater. Oklahoma’s current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which is equal to the federal minimum wage.

“The spending power of a minimum wage paycheck has been significantly reduced since the last minimum wage raise more than a decade ago,” Young said, noting the last minimum wage increase in Oklahoma was in 2008 when the rate increased from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour.

Thirty-one states have a minimum wage requirement higher than the federal minimum, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. While Texas and Kansas match Oklahoma’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage, Missouri’s minimum wage rate is $8.60 per hour and Arkansas’ minimum wage rate is $10 per hour. Both states have plans to further increase their rates in the coming years.

“Oklahomans deserve to be paid fairly so they can offset the rising costs of healthcare, housing and food,” Young said. “Closing the wage gap between the poverty line and middle class would have a tremendous impact on our economy by increasing consumer spending and generating more tax revenue for our municipalities and state.”

For more information, contact Young at 405-521-5531, or email George.young@oksenate.gov.

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wayne divelbiss

Sunday, January 5, 2020, 11:50 AM

Chasity Brewer of Muskogee was arrested this week after she allegedly set her own vehicle on fire around 6th and Talladega and told police it had been stolen.

Brewer told police she had stopped for a broken-down vehicle at C and Fredonia streets around 10 p.m. when two men approached her vehicle and kidnapped her.

She told police she was able to escape and was picked up by her husband around 11th and Talladega around 10:30 p.m. Police found her vehicle around 6th and Talladega, completely engulfed in flames.

“During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Chasity was never kidnapped and that she set her own vehicle on fire,” Muskogee Police Officer Lynn Hamlin said.

Brewer was arrested on complaints of arson, false claim for insurance and false reporting of a crime.

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family time rentals

Saturday, January 4, 2020, 10:13 PM

Sammy Henry, the 74-year old owner of Sammy’s Jewelry Store and the brother of infamous Muskogee ex-pat Dayne Henry, was assaulted in the parking lot of the Dollar General Store at 501 S. York Street around 4 p.m. today, according to Henry and Muskogee police reports.

Police, who didn’t identify Henry as the victim, stated that the victim was assaulted in the parking lot as he was trying to get into his car. Henry confirmed to MuskogeeNOW that he was the victim.

The assailant hit Henry in the head with a gun. As Henry attempted to run, the assailant opened fire with the pistol. Henry, according to police, sustained minor injuries, but he refused medical treatment at the scene.

The assailant was a male, wearing a black hoodie, Henry told police.

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Friday, January 3, 2020, 8:47 PM

A Pampa, Texas man was killed six miles east of Checotah on I-40 after the bicycle he was riding collided with an SUV on the highway at 3:05 p.m. today.

Cody Ellis, 31, was riding eastbound on the shoulder of the highway when he unexpectedly entered the lane of traffic where a 2016 GMS Sierra driven by Brittany Booth, 28, of Wister, was driving.

Ellis was ejected 240 feet from the wreck.

He was pronounced dead at Saint Francis Hospital in Muskogee with head, trunk internal and external injuries.

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highers bonding

Friday, January 3, 2020, 7:18 AM

The Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation is accepting College Housing Assistance Program applications for the Spring 2020 semester from now to Jan 17.

The College Housing Assistance Program is a Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act funded program designed to assist low-income Native American students to secure safe and affordable housing while seeking a first-time bachelor’s degree and maintaining full-time student status at an accredited institute of higher education.

Eligible applicants must be a member of a federally recognized tribe and be a resident of the Cherokee Nation jurisdictional area. Applicants must also meet NAHASDA income guidelines as well as other eligibility requirements according to the College Housing Assistance Program policy. Priority will be given to Cherokee Nation tribal citizens and students who were served on the program the previous semester.

For more information, call 918-456-5482.

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Thursday, January 2, 2020, 7:02 AM

The Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center will host a creative arts competition for enrolled veterans on Feb. 7 and Feb. 10.

The competition includes categories in the visual arts division that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are categories in writing as well as the performing arts of dance, drama, and music.

  • Friday, Feb. 7: Judging for Dance/Drama/Music Divisions
  • Monday, Feb. 10: Judging for Art/Creative Writing Divisions

Local creative arts competition first place winning entries advance to a national judging process and first, second and third place entries in each category are determined. Selected gold-medal-winning Veterans are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival hosted by a different VA facility each year.

For registration and competition information, contact Deborah Moreno at 918-577-4014. To view entry rules, please visit https://www.blogs.va.gov/nvspse/national-veterans-creative-arts-festival/.

The public is invited to view Veteran artwork on Feb. 10, which will be on display in the Main Lobby of the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, which is located at 1011 Honor Heights Dr. in Muskogee.

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Wednesday, January 1, 2020, 7:53 AM

The Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations filed a federal lawsuit yesterday to bring an end to the uncertainty cast over Tribal gaming operations during an argument with Governor J. Kevin Stitt.

The suit names Stitt in his official capacity and seeks a judicial declaration that the gaming compacts renew in accord with their express terms, effective today. The nations provided a copy of the federal complaint to Governor Stitt, along with a letter explaining their reasons for filing it. Counsel for the Nations, former United States Circuit Judge Robert Henry, provided a companion letter and copy of the complaint to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.

While revenue-share rates have generated significant public interest, the nations’ lawsuit does not address that matter. It instead calls for the court to declare the legal effect of the compact’s Part 15.B., which states—

This Compact shall have a term which will expire on January 1, 2020, and at that time, if organization licensees or others are authorized to conduct electronic gaming in any form other than pari-mutuel wagering on live horse racing pursuant to any governmental action of the state or court order following the effective date of this Compact, the Compact shall automatically renew for successive additional fifteen-year terms.

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Wednesday, January 1, 2020, 7:49 AM

D.B., 16, of Boynton is charged in Muskogee County District Court with two felony counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child. One victim is 13, one is 8.

Both counts say the events happened “on or between the 17th day of May, 2006 and the 18th day of July, 2019.” The case was filed yesterday, the last day of 2019.

In the case of the 13-year-old, DB is accused of removing his pants, placing his buttocks in the face of the child and moving his buttocks in a humping motion. In the case of the 8-year-old, DB is accused of touching the boy under his pants.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019, 9:00 AM

The Bass Reeves Conference Committee, called “the Posse,” will honor U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves near the 110th anniversary of his death in 1910. A special memorial event will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2020 at 3 p.m. at the Three Rivers Museum in Muskogee.

In period dress, re-enactors with the Bass Reeves Legacy Troupe will remember the legendary lawman who concluded his 34-year career serving as a Muskogee police officer. Music and individual tributes will celebrate his life. This will be followed by refreshments at the museum. The museum will charge its regular admission fee for this event of $5 for adults and $3 for children.

Reeves was among the first African-Americans to serve as marshal west of the Mississippi. Reeves’ more than 3,000 arrests during his illustrious career marks him as one of the most successful lawmen in U.S. history. Though his gravesite in Muskogee is unknown, his tombstone is displayed at Three Rivers Museum.

The Posse is currently raising funds to create a larger-than-life statue of Reeves to be placed near the police beat he walked while a Muskogee officer. The hat will be passed at the conclusion of the memorial for those wishing to donate to the statue fund.

Each year, the Conference Committee also hosts the Bass Reeves Western History Conference to bring attention to this outstanding Oklahoma lawman. This year’s event will be held on July 24 and 25 in Muskogee. More information is available at bassreevesconference.com.

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