Marguerite Dorothy Hayward, 81

Born January 30, 1940

Died January 17, 2022

Orville Grant Griffith, 65

Born August 12, 1956

Died January 15, 2022

Malcolm Don 'Sonny' Satterfield , 88

Born May 2, 1933

Died January 15, 2022

Mable Marie Taylor, 88

Born October 25, 1933

Died January 15, 2022

Barbara June Shackelford-Beaver-Whiteaker, 65

Born January 16, 1956

Died January 14, 2022

Albert G. Gresham, 84

Born September 26, 1937

Died January 14, 2022


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


Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 7:41 AM

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor today joined a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general from around the nation to end Facebook’s allegedly illegal efforts to stifle competition and protect its monopoly power.

The coalition — led by New York Attorney General Letitia James — filed an appeal brief arguing that the district court’s ruling dismissing the states’ case was in error. The coalition argues that the court was wrong to dismiss their case as time-barred, and made additional legal and factual errors.

Over the last decade, Facebook, now known as Meta, is alleged to have illegally acquired competitors in a predatory manner and cut or conditioned services to smaller threats — depriving users of the benefits of competition and reducing privacy protections and services along the way — all in an effort to boost its bottom line through increased advertising revenue.

In December 2020, the coalition filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The company filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted by the court last summer. Today’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit asks the court to allow the coalition of attorneys general to move forward with their suit.

Separately, the Federal Trade Commission also filed an amended complaint against Facebook in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In a ruling earlier this week, the court denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s complaint, allowing the FTC to proceed.

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Monday, January 17, 2022, 3:23 PM

Muskogee Public Schools announced today that all school sites will be in virtual learning for this week, Tuesday, January 18 through Friday, January 21, due to the continued increase of positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

All activities and athletics are canceled through Friday, January 21.

All teachers and staff will work remotely other than Child Nutrition Services and other staff identified by their supervisors and approved by the Superintendent. All district buildings will be closed through Friday, January 21, 2022.

Students can receive breakfast and/or lunch by calling the school cafeteria they wish to pick up a meal at by 9 a.m. Students can pick up a meal curbside at that site beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the location designated by the Child Nutrition Services staff.

The district plans on returning to in-person instruction on Monday, January 24, through the united efforts of staff and families in maintaining distance and lowering positive COVID-19 case numbers this week.

Students and families with lessons or classroom-related questions should contact the appropriate teacher via district email. Further questions should be directed via email to the student’s site principal. Staff should contact their supervisor with any questions.

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Monday, January 17, 2022, 8:18 AM

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. signed an executive order today to re-establish the tribe’s task force on domestic violence, following up on similar action he took last year.

In August of 2021, Hoskin created the Task Force to Protect Women and Families and implemented new policies across Cherokee Nation government to address domestic violence and support survivors. Those policies include requirements that tribal government employees self-disclose arrests and active protective orders as well as required training for employees to recognize, prevent and report domestic violence.

Following the creation of last year’s task force, Hoskin worked with the Council of the Cherokee Nation, the office of the attorney general and the Marshal Service on legislative changes to better address domestic violence.

Members of The Second Task Force to Protect Women and Families are: January Hoskin, First Lady of the Cherokee Nation; Shawna Baker, Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Justice; Chrissi Nimmo, Cherokee Nation Deputy Attorney General; Candessa Tehee, Cherokee Nation Councilor Member; Shawna Duch, One Fire Executive Director; Shawnna Roach, Cherokee Nation Marshal Service Investigator; Dawni Squirrel, Cherokee Nation Special Advisor on Community and Cultural Outreach; Debra Proctor, Cherokee Nation Health Services; Kim Teehee, Cherokee Nation’s Delegate to Congress; and Christy Shero Neuhoff, J.D., M.B.A. Nuehoff will serve as task force leader.

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Sunday, January 16, 2022, 7:18 PM

Wagoner County deputy James Burke was admitted to a hospital with what officials call blunt force trauma, but what witnesses call a stab wound to the face after a confrontation today that left a knife-wielding suspect dead.

The suspect was shot and killed in the Toppers neighborhood.

The sheriff’s department responded to a call of a suspect with a knife violating a protective order around 2:30 p.m.

The deputy was allegedly stabbed during the ensuing struggle, after which the suspect was shot and killed.

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Sunday, January 16, 2022, 7:18 PM

Wagoner County deputy James Burke was admitted to a hospital with what officials call blunt force trauma, but what witnesses call a stab wound to the face after a confrontation today that left a knife-wielding suspect dead.

The suspect was shot and killed in the Toppers neighborhood.

The sheriff’s department responded to a call of a suspect with a knife violating a protective order around 2:30 p.m.

The deputy was allegedly stabbed during the ensuing struggle, after which the suspect was shot and killed.

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Friday, January 14, 2022, 11:42 AM

With Oklahoma first in COVID-19 death rates and an average rate of 8,485 new cases per day, today’s new cases total was 11,315, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

There are currently 79,374 active cases of COVID that have been reported. In total, 12,775 Oklahomans have died of COVID. The state has been setting records regularly during the latest surge.

Among the 1,400 active hospitalizations for COVID, 43 are children.

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Friday, January 14, 2022, 8:19 AM

Sen. Kevin Matthews is inviting the public to an open house and reception for a new educational opportunity to help former justice-involved Oklahomans rebuild their lives. Matthews, D-Tulsa, has been collaborating with multiple organizations to start the North Tulsa Community Construction School, slated to open next month. Matthews said there would be a pre-opening reception and press conference on Monday, Jan. 17, at 3 p.m. at 3304 North Delaware Avenue, one block south of the Tulsa Police Uniform North Division.

Matthews explained the concept behind the new school.

“When people come home from prison, they often need housing and to make enough money to pay their fines and living expenses as they transition,” Matthews said. “So, we formed a board and support team which includes Urban Innovative Development Corporation, the 1st Step Male Diversion Program, David Collins of Fenix Construction Group, Carl Walker and Carl’s Contractors, and Meals on Wheels, which is sponsoring food for participants.”

Matthews said not only would participants be able to learn a construction trade to make a decent living upwards of $25 an hour, but they will also be part of creating new homeowners in affordable housing being built in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity planned over the next three years in north Tulsa and other communities.

Matthews, who authored legislation for affordable housing tax credits, had a goal of creating more homeowners, which drives much needed retail to the area.

“After the school is operational and successful in our community, I’ll also be working with other groups to possibly add truck driving and tech certifications as other options for those returning from prison, as well as for youth ages 16 to 24 that may not be college-bound,” Matthews said. “Most of us doing this work are second chance folks giving others an opportunity for a second chance and more options for those who may not be taking traditional routes to make a living.”

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Thursday, January 13, 2022, 7:52 AM

Muskogee’s firefighters’ union has announced the candidates it’s supporting for the upcoming city elections, and the police union has announced its pick for mayor.

Muskogee Fire Department Local 57 has endorsed Marlon Coleman for mayor, Shirley Hilton, Jamie Stout and Stanley Perkins for city council, according to Taylor Etchison, VP of Muskogee Fire Fighters Local 57.

The Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed incumbent Mayor Coleman for re-election as well, according to Coleman

Polling places for two precincts in the City of Muskogee have been changed, Kelly Beach, Secretary of the Muskogee County Election Board, announced yesterday.

Precinct 22, which formerly voted at American Legion, 4021 W. Broadway St., will now vote at Honor Heights Tower lobby, 300 N. 40th Street.

Precinct 28, which formerly voted at 24th Street Family Church, 2300 N. 24th St., will now vote at Macedonia Baptist Church, 418 W. Shawnee St. (Northwest corner of Shawnee and Chicago Streets).

Beach said reasons for the changes include repairs from last winter’s storm damage that have not been completed.

Voters who have questions about the polling location changes should contact the Muskogee County Election Board at (918) 687-8151 or

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 11:49 AM

The Barracks in Muskogee is putting together “Welcome home” kits for veterans who were homeless at one time and are moving into their new apartment or house.

The kits will contain the following: bed sheets, blanket, pillow, hamper, shower curtain and rings, toilet paper and paper towel, silverware, set of dishes (4 plates, saucers, bowls, coffee cups), plastic cups, ice trays, socks, washcloths, toiletries, bath mats, scarf, hat, gloves.

We always get asked how people can help and what items we need? Below is a list of items we are short on for these kits.

The group is requesting donations of the following items: hampers, pillows, silverware, bath mats, shower curtains and hooks, hair brushes, plastic drinkware, ice tray.

Contact the Barracks for more information or to donate.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 7:35 AM

Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has filed two bills to send Oklahoma money and soldiers to the Mexican border.

Senate Bill 1228 would send CARES funds received by the state of Oklahoma to border states to help them build a wall along the southern border.

Senate Bill 1231 would empower the governor to send Oklahoma National Guard members to border states guard the southern border — not Oklahoma.

Dahm said 2021 had some of the highest recorded border crossings ever, though official number show the surge is still less than half of what it was in 2010, and most of the increase last year was by unaccompanied children.

“Current estimates show record high numbers as millions of lawbreaking foreigners breach our southern border invading the various states,” Dahm said, although facts show the number is significantly less than a million, higher than 2020’s 400,000, but still significantly lower than a million.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 4:05 PM

Due to the recent massive surge of COVID-19 infections and sickness in Oklahoma, Oktaha School, just south of Muskogee, has joined the long list of area schools that have gone virtual because of staff and student shortages.

The school will do distance learning tomorrow and Thursday and be off on Friday and Monday. It is expected to resume a week from today.

A high school basketball game at Westville scheduled for Friday has been canceled, as has a junior high basketball game on Monday at Sallisaw. An ICTC trip for 10th-graders scheduled for tomorrow is also canceled.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 7:27 AM

The Cherokee Nation Veterans Color Guard has reorganized as a non-profit organization to continue honoring veterans and presenting the national colors during tribal events and ceremonies.

The guard has operated on a separate, non-governmental not-for-profit basis at the tribe since 1996. It relies on volunteer military veterans to present colors at official Cherokee Nation events and serve at veteran funerals across the Cherokee Nation Reservation, which includes parts of Muskogee.

In early 2021, Cherokee citizen and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Steven Morales began working with the Cherokee Nation’s Veterans Affairs department and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner to establish itself as a 501 (c)(19), giving a special tax-exempt status as a veteran’s organization and to operate more efficiently and effectively raise funds to sustain itself. The organization is in the final stages of achieving 501(c)(19) status.

Hoskin’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget, approved by the Council of the Cherokee Nation, included $10,000 for the Color Guard.

Morales said the guard appreciates the help of Cherokee Nation and feels the organization is now on a path of sustainability.

The guard can be reached on its Facebook page or contact Commander Morales at 702-443-0722, or the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center at 918-772-4166. Donations can also be mailed to 156 Reasor St., PMB #101, Tahlequah OK 74464.

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Monday, January 10, 2022, 5:36 PM

Muskogee Public Schools students in sixth through twelfth grade will move to virtual learning through the remainder of the week starting tomorrow.

Due to staffing shortages, positive COVID cases at the secondary schools, and out of an abundance of caution, the district will move sixth through twelfth-grade students to virtual learning from January 11 through January 14, 2022.

The district will recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 17, 2022, and plans for all students to return to in-person learning on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

This includes sixth through twelfth-grade students at Muskogee 6th & 7th Grade Academy at Ben Franklin, 8th & 9th Grade Academy at Alice Robertson, Roughers Alternative Academy, and Muskogee High School.

Sixth through twelfth-grade students will utilize district-issued technology devices to complete semester exams already scheduled for this week. Students with questions regarding assignments or semester exams should contact their teachers directly.

Virtual learning students can receive breakfast and/or lunch by calling any of the district’s open sites, asking for the cafeteria, and making arrangements to pick up meals at that site. Additionally, students can pick up a meal at Muskogee High School by contacting the cafeteria by 9 a.m. at 918-912-2512. Meals at MHS can be picked up at 11:30 a.m. in the circle drive.

The district will continue to monitor the situation at all campuses and updates will be posted at

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Monday, January 10, 2022, 7:32 AM

Jaci Bowlegs, 23, of Westville was injured in a single-vehicle wreck north of Westville, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Bowlegs was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado southbound on 610 Road seven miles north of Westville at 1:17 a.m. in foggy weather when she failed to negotiate a curve to the right, the patrol reported. Her vehicle departed the roadway to the left and struck a tree, it continued.

She was transported to Saint John’s Hospital in Tulsa with internal injuries and admitted in stable condition. She was not wearing a seatbelt at the time.

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Sunday, January 9, 2022, 4:10 PM

Muskogee’s Sixth and Seventh-Grade Academy will close tomorrow and move to virtual instruction.

The move to virtual learning is due to the inability to properly cover classes due to staff absences.

For more information, families should contact the main office at 918-684-3870.

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Sunday, January 9, 2022, 11:01 AM

The Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee is closed next week due to COVID, according to parents with students at the school.

The school will reopen on Jan. 18, the parents said.

Oklahoma is currently experiencing the worst surge of COVID of the entire pandemic, including running out of hospital beds in hospitals across the state, according to multiple reports. Oklahoma also leads the nation in percentage of deaths per population from COVID.

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Friday, January 7, 2022, 9:49 AM

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is working to protect the health and safety of all Oklahomans by accessing all available resources throughout this pandemic and most recent surge.

Monoclonal antibodies and antiviral oral treatments are currently in limited supply across the state and nation. The OSDH team has been working diligently with federal partners to secure more of these treatments for those who are at high-risk for severe COVID-19. Late yesterday, Oklahoma was approved to receive additional 1,000 doses each of Regen-Cov and BAM/ETE monoclonal treatments. OSDH will continue requesting COVID related treatments until we have a sufficient supply.

With the surge in cases, OSDH has increased access for testing, including expanded hours, some weekend hours and additional clinics across the state, as well as utilizing mobile units.

Those seeking a test are encouraged to first use one of these testing sites or others available through, rather than visiting the emergency room.

“We can’t put this pandemic in our rearview mirror yet,” said Keith Reed, interim commissioner of health. “Our team at OSDH is committed to making sure the right tools are in place through the state to fight the virus, and that we give Oklahomans the best shot at getting treatments they deserve if they get COVID-19.”

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Thursday, January 6, 2022, 7:30 AM

The King James Bible

Sen. George Burns — not to be confused with the actor who played God in the movie “Oh, God” — has introduced legislation for schools offering elective courses on Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament to utilize the source that influenced the work of America’s Founding Fathers—the King James Bible. He’s filed Senate Bill 1161 to ensure that version is used for the courses and is available in school libraries.

“Our Founding Fathers relied heavily upon the scriptures in the formation of our country, and the Bible they used was the King James Bible, which makes it an important historical document,” said Burns, R-Pollard.

Current state law already allows schools to teach elective courses on the Bible, teaching students the influence of Scripture on law, history, government, values, culture and the arts. Under Burns’ legislation, the King James Bible would be designated as the primary text for those courses. SB 1161 also directs other texts for the courses may be a parallel translation Bible or multi-translation Bible that uses more than one translation for side-by-side comparison chosen by the school district. Preference would be given to those translations that exist in the public domain. Any additional resources used would be subject to all applicable copyright laws.

While existing law requires teachers for such courses to be certified in social studies or literature, SB 1161 would allow school districts to choose an ordained or licensed member of the clergy to teach the courses, as long as they teach as a non-compensated volunteer.

For more information, contact Burns at 405-521-5614 or email

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022, 7:58 AM

Variant sequencing at the Oklahoma State Department of Health Public Health lab of most recent specimens from over the holidays shows a mix of omicron (57 percent) and delta (43 percent). The data are important to providers and the public to understand what is going on in the state.

The state is currently experiencing record numbers of new cases and is the number one state in the nation on death rates from Covid. Five days into the year, and the state already has 8,000 new cases

“Our team continues to monitor cases and hospitalizations to provide critical data that allow Oklahomans to make the best decisions for themselves,” said Keith Reed, interim commissioner of health. “Coinciding with our increased case count and what other states are seeing, current data show omicron is increasing in Oklahoma, and we anticipate that will continue.”

Variant sequencing continues to be conducted on all positive COVID-19 tests provided to the lab. This full sequencing process can take up to four days for completion.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2022, 7:29 AM

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is set to begin using a new licensing software provider, Thentia Cloud for Government. It plans to start accepting new applications and renewals through Thentia beginning Tuesday, Jan. 18.

The application and renewal portals are designed in a way that makes it more difficult to submit an application with errors, which will help reduce the number of applications in the queue and make for a smoother approval process on the regulator side.

If you are able to see the information in the current software, you will be able to find it more quickly in Thentia. You will be able to update your own information. Currently, if you need to make changes to your profile in the current software, you have to contact OMMA and request the change. With Thentia, you will be able to login and make changes to your contact information.

If you are unable to access the email address we have on file, you will need to request the OMMA update the information by this Friday, Jan. 7. You can do so by calling its call center at 405-522-6662 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. You can also email with requests to change or update your contact information.

The data migration process will take place Jan. 10-17. During the transition, the licensing system will be down and no one will be able to submit new applications or renewals.

Most licensees will receive an email from by Tuesday, Jan. 18 with Thentia login credentials. If you have not received your email by the 19th, please contact the call center at 405-522-6662 or email

In preparation for expected higher-than-normal call volumes, the OMMA Call Center will extend hours of operation to 6 p.m. Jan. 18-21.

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Monday, January 3, 2022, 10:59 AM

Autumn Richerson, 24, of Muskogee was injured in a two-vehicle fatality wreck in Tulsa on Nov. 25, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Richerson was treated and released at a Tulsa hospital for head injuries sustained in the wreck. The driver of the other vehicle, from Fullerton, California, was admitted in critical condition with massive injuries, and died on Dec. 29 as a result of those injuries.

Richerson was driving a 2018 Jeep Cherokee on I-244 eastbound near Harvard Avenue around 4 a.m., and the decedent, whose identity has not been released pending next-of-kin notification, was driving a 2019 Chervrolet Equinox. The cause of the wreck is still under investigation, as is the condition of each driver.

Richerson was wearing a seatbelt. The decedent was not. Airbags deployed in both vehicles.

UPDATE: The decedent has been identified as Leticia Lopez, 44, of Fullerton California.

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Monday, January 3, 2022, 8:24 AM

Inheritance Life and Annuity has signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer to serve the Haskell community.

The store, at 7691 N. Hwy. 64, will offer essential services like U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment, moving supplies and in-store pickup for boxes. Normal business hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Reserve U-Haul products at this dealer location by calling (918) 482-1522.

Inheritance Life & Annuity partners Erwin and Laura Londagin are proud to team with the industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage to better meet the demands of Muskogee County.

Because no financial investment is required to be a dealer, these local affiliates are not U-Haul franchises. They are simply small businesses that have committed a portion of their lot space for U-Haul equipment, and a portion of their time to help meet the mobility needs of customers.

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Saturday, January 1, 2022, 9:45 AM

Three people were hurt yesterday in a wrong-way collision, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Megan Briggs, 46, of Pryor was driving a 2022 Nissan Pathfinder southbound on Oklahoma 82 around 2:40 p.m. 7.3 miles north of Tahlequah, the patrol reported, when her vehicle entered the southbound lane and struck a 2011 Dodge 2500 pickup driven by Cecilia Williams, 41, of Hulbert.

Williams was admitted to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa with trunk external, arm and leg injuries, while a juvenile passenger, a 14-year-old female, was admitted to the same hospital with trunk external and leg injuries. A second passenger, a 17-year-old female, was not injured. Briggs was admitted to Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville with trunk external, arm and leg injuries.

Briggs, Williams and the injured female juvenile were all pinned in their vehicles for 25 minutes before being extricated by the Tahlequah Fire Department using extrication tools, the patrol reported.

The patrol is still investigating the cause of the collision and says the condition of Briggs at the time is still under investigation. Everyone involved were wearing seatbelts, and airbags deployed in both vehicles.

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Friday, December 31, 2021, 8:44 AM

Kyle Keith

Kyle Seth Keith, 38, of Fort Gibson is charged in Muskogee County District Court with two felony counts of child sexual abuse and two felony counts of forcible sodomy in a case where he is accused of raping a boy from May to December of 2021.

Keith is accused of having anal sex with the boy, who is unable to form consent because he is a minor. In addition, he is accused of forcing his penis into the boy’s mouth, holding the back of the boy’s head at the same time.

He was booked into jail on December 29 and released on bail the same day. He faces a sounding docket on January 13.


Friday, December 31, 2021, 8:29 AM

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma has announced Christopher J. Wilson has been appointed by United States Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and sworn in by Chief United States District Ronald A. White as Interim United States attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. The appointment became effective on December 26, 2021 and will continue for a period of 120 days.

Wilson has been the Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District pursuant to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 since March 1, 2021. Prior to his designation as acting U.S. attorney, Wilson was the first assistant united states attorney and previously served as chief of the criminal division.


Thursday, December 30, 2021, 9:24 PM

The National Weather Service has issued an alert for Muskogee County about a strong cold front and possibly strong to severe storms starting late Friday night and into Saturday morning.

Temperatures could reach into the teens, with wind chills approaching five below zero, according to the weather service.

The temperature is expected to start rapidly dropping late Friday, and New Year’s Day is expected to have strong storms, mainly across southeast Oklahoma and west central Arkansas, but are expected reach all of Eastern Oklahoma by mid-Saturday.

The service advises to bring in pets, plants and winterize hoses outdoors and irrigation systems.

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Thursday, December 30, 2021, 7:21 AM

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol ENDUI team will partner with law enforcement from across Oklahoma to set up DUI checkpoints over New Year’s Eve holiday. This effort is part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization. Similar efforts will take place across the United States this holiday weekend.

During the previous New Year holiday period, there were 149 crashes in Oklahoma. Two of those crashes were fatalities resulting in the deaths of two people. Of those 149 crashes, at least 27 of them were alcohol and/or drug-related, according to the patrol.

A checkpoint is planned in Tulsa County for New Year’s Eve from 10 p.m. Dec. 31, until 1 a.m. Jan. 1, 2022. Agencies involved with this checkpoint include the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Bixby and Broken Arrow police departments, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Muskogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police.

Another checkpoint is planned in Muskogee on New Year’s Eve. The checkpoint will start at 9 p.m. and is scheduled to end just before midnight. Once the checkpoint has finished, all the officers, deputies, and troopers working the checkpoint will hit the streets to join the others looking for impaired drivers. Agencies involved include the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Muskogee Police Department, Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Muskogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police.

The ENDUI enforcement team coordinates multi-jurisdictional events on a regular basis, including sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021, 7:34 AM

In 2022, Muskogee will celebrate its 150th birthday, commemorating the birth of the city when the Missouri-Kansas and Texas Railroad became the first rail line to cross Indian Territory in 1872. The yearlong celebration will start on January 1 with a citywide birthday party at Hatbox Event Center.

“We are having a free concert to celebrate, complete with birthday cake and fireworks,” said Tera Shows, spokesperson for the City of Muskogee.

The event will get started at 4 p.m. and entertainment will be provided by Brandon Bethel, the Micheal Rappe Quartet and headliner Ahna Jennings. The fireworks show will begin at 6:45, just north of the Hatbox Event Center. Food trucks will be available outside and free cupcakes and drinks will be available inside for the first 500 guests.

The yearlong celebration will continue throughout 2022 with signature events all year long including the Azalea Festival, Balloon Fest and a new rodeo in July. Details on all events will be released soon.

For more information on Muskogee’s 150th birthday celebration contact Shows at or by phone at (918) 684-6206.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 1:03 PM

Teresa Hardy, 39, of Gore died on Christmas morning in a single-vehicle wreck just south of Summit on Oktaha Road, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The report was delayed pending notification of next of kin.

Hardy’s 2009 Nissan Cube was southbound on Oktaha Road when it departed the roadway to the left, traveled 200 feet and struck a tree, the patrol reported. Hardy was pronounced dead at the scene due to massive injuries.

The cause of the wreck and the condition of Hardy at the time are still under investigation, the patrol reported. Hardy was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the report.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 8:23 AM

With 248 deaths per 100,000 population, Oklahoma ranks first among all 50 states in COVID death rates, according to Johns Hopkins University. Vermont has the lowest death rate, with only 50 deaths per 100,000 population. The national average is 137 deaths per 100,000. Alabama and West Virginia follow Oklahoma on the list.

The number of vaccine doses per 100,000 residents in Oklahoma hovers at just over half, meaning a large percentage of the state has received one vaccine dose, but a prohibitively small number has received two or three doses. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, 53 percent of eligible Oklahomans have had two doses of the vaccine. In Vermont — the state with the lowest death rate — 77 percent of the population is fully vaccinated — the highest rate in the nation.

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