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Woman charged with leaving children in filth without food, water or utilities

Cheyenne Scraper

Muskogee woman Cheyenne Scraper, 23, was arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect after her children, ages 6 and 4, were found alone in her home at 1928 E. Okmulgee earlier this month.

The children had been alone in the home for an unknown amount of time. Police contacted Scraper by phone and she told them she was in Tulsa and could not return to the house.

Inside, police found what was called "extreme amounts of filth" and numerous kitchen knives on the floor with the unsupervised children, who had no access to running water and an empty refrigerator.

The house was also without electric service.

The case states Scraper "leaves the children alone in the house for days at a time."

The children were taken into custody by DHS.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 8:21 AM

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Second person dies in alleged moonshine poisoning

Barbara Chandler, 55, is the second person killed by what police and ABEL Commission officials believe to be methanol poisoning from tainted moonshine on May 19, when 24-year-old Colton Hooper died and two others besides Chandler were hospitalized.

Methanol is a poisonous byproduct of the distillation of liquor, according to an ABLE Commission officer we spoke to last week. Even legal distilleries must invest in expensive equipment to test for methanol before they can legally and safely sell their products. Amateur distillers have no way to test for methanol or other contaminants such as lead or glycol.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 7:50 AM

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Reversing Radio to play here Thursday

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host Reversing Radio Thursday, May 26th at 8 pm at the Frisco Depot, 401 S. 3rd in Muskogee.

Radio is Chris Tracy (vocals/guitar), Jeff Jones (drums), Bart Culver (lead guitar) and David Calvert (bass). One of the band's most desirable qualities is the ability to play a diverse range of music. Reversing Radio prides itself on playing Rock, Classic Rock, Country (new and old), Pop, Red Dirt, and the Blues.

They keep a busy yearly schedule playing everything from weddings to corporate parties, and backyards to the Civic Center. They have become a staple of the Muskogee music scene, headlining large events every year, such as, River Rumba, Muskogee Chocolate Festival, Muskogee Beer Festival, Garden of Lights Run, Muskogee Night at the Tropics, and many more.

Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8 pm. Admission is $5 at the door and all ages are welcome.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 5:04 AM

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Stigler man drowns at Robbers Cave

Aquino Mendez, 26, of Stigler drowned on Carlton Lake at Robbers Cave Sate Park on Sunday, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Mendez, who was in a boat with two other men, was dumped into the water when the boat overturned. A nearby boater in a paddleboat was able to pull the other two men out of the water, but Mendez did not resurface.

Troopers later recovered him on Monday in seven feet of water using side scan sonar and dragging operations.

None of the men were wearing flotation devices.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 5:00 AM

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Muskogee man jailed after failing to bring attorney to court on 2014 child sex abuse case

Bryan Eugene Morris

Bryan Eugene Morris, 27, of Muskogee, is in the Muskogee County Jail after he failed to bring an attorney with him to court on a 2014 charge of child sex abuse, according to sources at the courthouse.

Morris is facing three counts of child sex abuse for allegedly forcing a nine-year-old to place his penis in her mouth, then by manually penetrating her and having intercourse with her.

In January of this year, a protective order was granted against Morris after he allegedly kicked in the door of Nina Gonzales, threatened her, punched a hole in her wall, flipped her couch over and tried to attack her until a bystander stopped him.

Monday, May 23, 2016, 8:47 AM

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Tenth-annual golf tournament for Kelly B Todd is today

The tenth-annual Kelly B Todd Golf tournament is scheduled today, but if the rain doesn't move on, organizers will have to move it to a rain-out date.

"We're hoping the rain moves on," said event volunteer Lindsey Ketcham. "We've raised more than $100,000 over the past ten years."

Money raised from the tournament benefits the center, which provides therapy and medical equipment to children with spinal and neuromuscular disorders.

Monday, May 23, 2016, 8:39 AM

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Muskogee MMA fighter beats 95-to-5 odds, champ

Jeremy 'The Warrior' Vaughn poses with the championship belt.

Muskogee mixed martial arts fighter Jeremy "The Warrior" Vaughn was a 95-to-5 underdog as he took on champion Andrew Yates in Colorado on Saturday.

Oddsmakers were expecting Yates to win by either knockout or technical knockout.

But in the second round, Vaughn showed that odds are just that - odds. Vaughn forced Yates to submit, losing his championship and the fight in which he was an overwhelming favorite.

Vaughn trains at Crunchtime Gym under Codale Ford.

Monday, May 23, 2016, 7:44 AM

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UPDATE: Allegedly deadly moonshine also hurt three others

The apparently tainted moonshine that on-scene police believe killed 24-year-old Colton Hooper last night also seriously injured three other people.

"There were people losing their sight," an officer with a state police agency told MuskogeeNOW.com. "That's generally a good indication that someone has methanol poisoning."

Muskogee County EMS took two victims to Eastar Hospital, according to a worker at EMS: a 23-year-old male who was in "serious" condition and a 54-year-old male who was also in serious condition.

Hooper was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 56-year-old female was transported by private vehicle to the Muskogee ER, but was later taken by Muskogee County EMS to a Tulsa hospital in life-threatening condition.

As of this writing, all three survivors are still alive.

Friday, May 20, 2016, 5:02 PM

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Longtime Muskogee teacher dies

Pat Lunn

Pat H. Lunn, a longtime teacher at Muskogee Public Schools, died Wednesday.

She was 93. Lunn was the parent of a prominent former Muskogee attorney and assistant district attorney, Bill Lunn.

Services for her are 3:30 p.m. May 23 at Saint Paul United Methodist Church. Cornerstone Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Friday, May 20, 2016, 7:46 AM

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EXCLUSIVE: Bad moonshine blamed for killing one, sickening others

Bad moonshine is being blamed for a death in Muskogee on North 37th Street. The victim is Colton Hooper, 24.

"Others are sick from it," a police officer at the scene said. "We need people to know this stuff is out there and it's dangerous."

Moonshine is homemade whiskey and is not subject to stringent alcohol sanitation standards.

Police are advising residents to avoid any homemade liquor.

"We will have to wait for a medical examiner's report to be sure" it was the cause, the officer said. "But meanwhile, people shouldn't be drinking this stuff."

UPDATE: Capt. Joe Daniels of the state's ABLE Commission, which regulates alcohol in the state, said homemade liquor is illegal for a reason.

"It's a felony because it can be dangerous on both ends - in production and when people drink it," he said. "When you're distilling liquor, you can burn down a house or kill people easily. When people who don't know what they're doing make it, the process can leech toxins into the alcohol and kill people."

Using lead solder is a common mistake, he said, because the distillation process leeches the lead into the alcohol.

"Old timers used to take some of it and light it on fire and look at the color of the flame," he said. "They'd say 'if it burns red, you're dead'."

Another common danger is using a condenser that came from a car, which can leak glycol into the alcohol, even if the equipment has been thoroughly cleaned.

A third danger is the inclusion of methanol in the homemade alcohol, which in some quantities is dangerous and even fatal. Relatives of the victims of last night's incident tell MuskogeeNOW that one victim was rushed from Muskogee's Eastar Hospital to Saint John's hospital in Tulsa with methanol poisoning.

"Old-timers used to say you had to get rid of the heads and tails," Daniels said. "Because when you distill alcohol, you make ethanol, which is the part you drink, but you also produce methanol, and if you don't know what you're doing and start collecting as soon as you start producing, you can have a lot of methanol in there."

He said even commercial producers have to watch out for methanol, which isn't easy to detect.

"Unless you have some really good testing equipment, you can make a mistake pretty easy."

According to MedScape.com:

Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, is a commonly used organic solvent that, because of its toxicity, can cause metabolic acidosis, neurologic sequelae, and even death, when ingested. It is a constituent of many commercially available industrial solvents and of poorly adulterated alcoholic beverages. Methanol toxicity remains a common problem in many parts of the developing world, especially among members of lower socioeconomic classes.

Thursday, May 19, 2016, 9:41 PM

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Job fair is today at Martin Luther King Center

Neighbors Building Neighborhoods is hosting a job fair today at 3:30 p.m. at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 300 Martin Luther King Street.

Positions available and hiring now include certified teachers for the MLK summer learning, after-school program and community treasures summer camp; program staff at the center's summer learning, after school and summer camp and summer program staff at night hoops.

Bring your application and resume, interviews will be conducted on-site and background checks are required.

For more information, call the center at 918-684-6314.

Thursday, May 19, 2016, 6:28 AM

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Three women charged with getting high while pregnant

Amyllia Wilson

Three Muskogee women have been charged with child neglect in Muskogee County District Court after drugs turned up in their blood or that of their babies. Amyllia M. Wilson, Calnekia Whitfield and Jessica Eguia were all charged yesterday with the felony counts.

Calnekia Whitfield

Wilson was charged after she tested positive for benzodiazepine, opiates and oxycodone. An affidavit filed with the case states that she had tested positive several times during her pregnancy as well.

Whitfield was charged after she tested positive for amphetamines, methamphetamines and benzodiazepine when she gave birth. An affidavit states that the baby "is having medical problems caused from the drugs."

Eguia was charged after her infant's cord blood tested positive for THC, the active chemical in marijuana.

Medical personnel in Oklahoma are required by law to report infants born with chemical dependency or while their mothers are on drugs.

Thursday, May 19, 2016, 6:10 AM

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Man reaching for dropped water bottle hurt when truck wrecks

Patricio DeJesus, 42, of Okay was injured when his 1999 Ford F-150 pickup slammed into a street sign and ended up in a creek yesterday, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The wreck happened around 9:40 a.m. a mile north of Fort Gibson just east of 55th Street, the patrol reported.

DeJesus was trying to pick up a water bottle from the floorboard when his truck ran off the right side of the road and hit a sign, coming to rest in a creek.

DeJesus was transported to Eastar Hospital in Muskogee and then to Saint Francis in Tulsa with internal injuries. He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the patrol.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 5:53 AM

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City starts work on streets in northeast part of town

Streets in the affluent northeast quadrant of Muskogee started to get micro resurfacing done starting yesterday, according to the city.

The project will take two weeks.

Micro surfacing is a process in which streets are resurfaced using a chemical process that does not rely on sunshine and heat to evaporate water in the asphalt emulsion. It can be applied in colder weather and more high-traffic areas than traditional slurry.

Streets scheduled for the treatment:

  • North Street from York to Country Club
  • Haskell Boulevard from York to Eastside Boulevard
  • Callahan from Eastside Boulevard to York
  • Shawnee Access Road from York to Country Club
  • Robin Lane from Harris Road to Hyde Park
  • University Street from Robin Lane to Country Club
  • Porter Road from Robin Lane to Country Club
  • Severs Lane from Robin Lane to Country Club
  • North Country Club from Shawnee to Harris Road
  • Greenhill Cemetery

Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 5:49 AM

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Catch Bluefish on Thursday

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host Bluefish on Thursday, May 19th at 8 pm at the Frisco Depot, 401 S. 3rd.

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

Since 1987, vocalist/front man John Fabian, guitarist Shane Cook and bassist Jim Loftin have been turning out groovy, bluesy, soulful tunes to dancing room only crowds all over Oklahoma and Arkansas. Now they’re joined by drummer Daniel Williams and sax man Steve Jonkey. They’ve got more than 20 original songs, including uncanny compositions like, “Alimony Blues,” “Big Fat Woman” and “I Love My Pussycat.”

Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8 pm. Admission is $5 at the door – and all ages are welcome.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 6:05 AM

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CASA to host informational lunch

Every day in the United States, 1,900 children fall victim to abuse and neglect. Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children is a local nonprofit organization that recruits, trains, and supports citizen volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children both in the courtroom and community.

Volunteer advocates, empowered directly by the courts, offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care. For many abused children, a CASA volunteer is the only adult presence in their lives.

The CASA program will host an information session for those interested in obtaining information about CASA or learning what steps are necessary to become a volunteer. This meeting will be held over lunch at The Mahlon’s Barbecue, 3301 Chandler Road, on Thursday, May 19 at noon. Meals will be provided by the CASA for Children Program.

No previous education or experience is required to volunteer; the only prerequisite is that volunteers be at least 21 years of age. Volunteers from all cultures, professions, ages and ethnic backgrounds are welcomed. For more information about CASA or to request an application, call (918) 686-8199 or email jenny@casaok.org.

Monday, May 16, 2016, 5:54 AM

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Webbers Falls man hurt in collision with deer

Rodney White, 46, of Webbers Falls, was hurt late Friday about three miles east of Warner, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

White's 2016 Harley-Davidson motorcycle was northbound on 85th street when it hit a deer in the road. The motorcycle overturned and came to rest in the road.

White was flown by helicopter to Saint John's Hospital in Tulsa, where he was admitted with arm and internal injuries.

White was wearing a helmet at the time.

Saturday, May 14, 2016, 7:45 AM

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38 jailed in domestic violence warrant sweep; 22 warrants still out

District Attorney Orvil Loge announces results of a domestic violence warrant sweep.

An operation named Purple Rain by a US marshal has netted 38 arrests of Muskogee County domestic abuse suspects in the last two weeks, according to District Attorney Orvil Loge.

The operation, which combined the efforts of the Muskogee Police, the Muskogee County Sheriff, the US marshals, the Cherokee Nation, Wagoner and Tahlequah police, brought to jail 38 people accused of domestic violence as part of a grant that allowed Loge to hire a prosecutor specifically for domestic violence cases.

Even when victims don't testify, the grant allows Loge to prosecute cases based on evidence alone, he said.

The sweep, which is still ongoing, used the authority of the federal government to cross jurisdictional boundaries and serve Muskogee County warrants across the state and across state borders, Police Chief Rex Eskridge said.

"The power of the Marshals was essential."

Friday, May 13, 2016, 9:17 AM

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Clay shooting tournament this Saturday to help kids

Connors State College is playing host to the Clays For Kids Trap Shooting Tournament on Saturday at 9 a.m.

The tournament's proceeds will benefit Kids Space Child Advocacy Center.

Limited spots are available for shooters. Individuals cost $150, while a team of four is $500. To register, call 918-682-4204 or email farmer.mccac@gmail.com.

The tournament is at the Connors shooting range. Lunch will be provided. Shooters must provide their own guns, eye and ear protection.

Friday, May 13, 2016, 6:56 AM

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Muskogee man charged with sexually abusing girl from the time she was 12 to 16

Bryan Lorenzo Colbert

WARNING: Graphic content

Bryan Lorenzo Colbert, 37, is charged in Muskogee County District Court with child sexual abuse, according to court documents.

The abuse began in 2011, when the girl was 12, the filing states, and continued until October of 2015, when the girl was 16.

The girl would ask Colbert for money, she stated, and he would tell her she had to do something to get the money. When she was 12, he took her into a bedroom and made her touch his penis, she stated, and then get on top and "bounce."

Colbert would be lying in bed and make the girl get on top, she told investigators, and have sexual intercourse with him when no one else was in the home.

Thursday, May 12, 2016, 5:42 PM

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