Friday, February 12, 2016, 7:56 am

To thank military veterans, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief and U.S. Navy veteran S. Joe Crittenden, Chief of Staff Chuck Hoskin, and Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. hand-delivered candy, stuffed animals and homemade valentines to veterans living in a vets center.

Each year tribal employees and students throughout northeastern Oklahoma schools create about 5,000 handmade Valentine cards as part of the tribe's annual Valentines for Vets program, which are then delivered to veterans in area hospitals and nursing homes in Tulsa, Tahlequah, Muskogee, Fayetteville, Vinita, Jay, Claremore and Talihina in time for Valentine's Day.

Cherokee Nation's Valentines for Vets program started in 2008 by the late Rogan Noble, a Marine Corps veteran and advocate for the tribe's veterans' affairs. The program is part of the National Salute to Veteran Patients.

For more information on the Cherokee Nation's Valentines for Vets program, call the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center at 918-772-4166.

Filed under: Local Tribes

Friday, February 12, 2016, 7:54 am

Muskogee's Home Sweet Home Chocolate Festival is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, the day before Valentine's Day, at the Muskogee Civic Center.

Enjoy chocolate and other treats from area businesses and restaurants, listen to live music and participate in silent auctions.

Must be 21 to attend. All proceeds benefit Muskogee Habitat for Humanity.

For information: 918-687-1470.

Filed under: Local Entertainment

Friday, February 12, 2016, 7:51 am

Muskogee Little Theatre is putting on its gripping new adaptation of "The Diary of Anne Frank" this weekend, featuring newly discovered writings from her diary as well as survivor accounts.

This adaptation is a contemporary, impassioned version of the story like you've never seen before.

Curtain time is 8 p.m.. Tickets are available at Soundworld, 123 E. Okmulgee, or at the MLT box office before the show.

Filed under: Local Entertainment

Thursday, February 11, 2016, 7:30 am

The Cherokee Nation will award a record $4.7 million in donations to 106 school districts during the tribe's annual Public School Appreciation Day Friday.

The Cherokee Nation sells tribal car tags and uses 38 percent of revenue for education.

The first full year that Cherokee Nation car tags were sold statewide was in 2015. Car tag revenues for education in that time increased from $4 million to $4.7 million. Since 2002, the tribe has awarded $40.1 million total in education donations to school districts in northeast Oklahoma.

Filed under: Local Education Tribes

Thursday, February 11, 2016, 7:18 am

Muskogee County EMS is an American Heart Association Training Center and all courses are taught according to the American Heart Association guidelines. All courses are taught at the central office, 200 Callahan St. The course fee includes the required textbook and course completion card. Pre-enrollment is required due to limited space. To enroll, please call (918) 683-0130.

9 a.m. March 7 - BLS-HealthCare Provider CPR. This course teaches the fundamentals of doing CPR on the adult, child and infant victims. It also teaches the use of a variety of barrier devices and the use of an automatic external defibrillator. Course length is approximately six hours.

2 p.m. March 7 - Heartsaver Pediatric CPR/first aid for the day care provider. This course teaches the fundamentals of first aid, CPR for the infant and child victim and the use of an automatic external defibrillator. This course meets the requirements for the Department of Human Services for childcare centers. Course length is approximately four hours.

9 a.m. March 14 - Heartsaver CPR for the adult and child victim. This course teaches the fundamentals of doing CPR on the adult and child victim and the use of an automatic external defibrillator. Course length is approximately two hours.

10:30 a.m. March 14 - First Aid for the adult victim. This course teaches the fundamentals of emergency first aid. Subjects covered include: medical emergencies, injuries and environmental emergencies. Course length is approximately three hours.

9 a.m. March 21 - BLS-HealthCare Provider CPR. This course teaches the fundamentals of doing CPR on the adult, child and infant victims. It also teaches the use of a variety of barrier devices and the use of an automatic external defibrillator. Course length is approximately six hours.

9 a.m. March 28 - Heartsaver CPR for the adult and child victim. This course teaches the fundamentals of doing CPR on the adult and child victim and the use of an automatic external defibrillator. Course length is approximately two hours.

10:30 a.m. March 28 - Heartsaver First Aid for the adult victim. This course teaches the fundamentals of emergency first aid. Subjects covered include: medical emergencies, injuries and environmental emergencies. Course length is approximately 3 hours.

Filed under: Local

Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 10:23 am

State Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee, proposed a bill this session at the State House that would have modernized Oklahoma's laws, enabling online newspapers like this one to post legal notices.

Legal notices are notices that are required by courts for certain legal proceedings. Newspapers are currently the only legal venues for such notices, because state law requires that a legal newspaper be one that is delivered at least partially through the mail and is printed on paper.

Faught's bill would have revised the requirements for a legal newspaper to include online news sources that could demonstrate longevity and readership.

The misnamed state "press" association - Oklahoma Press Association, which requires that its members be newspapers printed on paper - lobbied successfully to kill the bill on the grounds that they are the caretakers of an archive of legal notices that are published, receiving clippings of published notices from newspapers that pay to have them archived.

Though there are programs in place that could immediately and permanently capture published notices, archiving them in a central database, the OPA still fought against the measure.

Therefore, residents are still currently required by Oklahoma law to either subscribe to or buy copies of print newspapers in order to see legal notices that may affect them. Which means - at least in a market like Muskogee, where enjoys five times the daily readership of the print newspaper - most readers will never see legal notices that may affect them.

In effect, web sites like are forbidden by state law from competing for that business, and the big companies that profit from that business have gone all-out to protect their monopoly on it.

We are disappointed in the result, but we will continue to fight for the right to compete in an open marketplace to bring legal news to readers who aren't first required to pay to read it.

Filed under: Local Politics

Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 8:37 am

Youth wrestlers from Muskogee will be putting opponents to the mat starting on Friday night, according to tournament director Rocky Battenfield.

Division 5 - 15 and up - starts at 7 p.m., divisions 1 and 3 (six and up and 10 and up) wrestle Saturday at 9 a.m., with divisions 2 and 4 (eight and up and 12 and up) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The top six wrestlers will advance to the state tournament in Oklahoma City.

Each division will receive an outstanding wrestler plaque and the top six will receive medals.

Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for students. The events all take place at the Ron D. Milam Gym at Muskogee High School.

Filed under: Local Sports

Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 8:51 pm

Bob Coburn will be Muskogee's mayor for another term, with 71 percent of the total vote tonight.

Patrick Cale will be Ward 1's city councilor, with 51.59 percent of the vote over runner-up Lee Ann Langston's 27 percent.

Wayne Johnson won Ward 4 with 52 percent of the vote.

Janey Cagle Boydston won the unexpired term for Ward 1 with 68 percent of the vote.

School board member John Barton was unable to muster 51 percent of the vote, leaving him in a statistical tie with former Athletic Director Bobby Jefferson. David Ragsdale Jr. only received 17 percent of the vote, so Jefferson and Barton will face a runoff on April 5. Barton received 1,223 votes, Jefferson received 1,136.

Filed under: Local Politics

Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 8:40 am

Several units at the Berwick Apartments at 3300 E. Hancock Street were damaged by a blaze last night, according to the Muskogee Fire Department.

When firefighters arrived, the fire was already burning through the roof in building D of the complex. The fire, according to Assistant Fire Marshal Darrell Jones, started in a bottom-floor apartment and rapidly spread to the apartment above it, eventually burning through the attic and causing it to collapse.

"Most of the damage was in the attic and lower apartment," he said. "The upper apartment received mostly water damage and debris from the attic."

At this time the cause of the blaze is unknown. No one was injured.

Filed under: Local

Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 8:14 am

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host Bluefish Thursday, February 11th at 7 pm at the Frisco Depot, 401 S. 3rd in Muskogee.

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. Nowadays they're joined by drummer Daniel Williams and sax man Steve Jonkey.

They've got more than 20 original songs that reek of the Blues, including uncanny compositions like, "Alimony Blues," "Big Fat Woman" and "I Love My Pussycat." Bluefish has even won two "Best Local Band" awards in 2002 and 2007.

Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7 pm. Admission is $5 at the door - and all ages are welcome.

Filed under: Local Entertainment

Monday, February 8, 2016, 11:07 am

Stevie Nichole Beach, 32, of Muskogee, was jailed on Friday after allegedly throwing a 12-year-old into a wall and then punching her.

Police were called to the residence on West Lindsay Street after the assault, which was caused, allegedly, by the girl asking for food.

When officers arrived at the residence, they asked Beach to step outside, away from the three children in the home, so they could speak to her. One of the children brought her a pair of shoes and a jacket, and the officer noticed what appeared to be narcotics in one of the shoes. Beach was arrested, and while DHS was processing the scene and the children were gathering their belongings, one showed officers a red box with items related to narcotics inside it.

The children, a 12-year-old female, a 10-year-old male and an 8-year-old female, were placed in DHS custody.

Monday, February 8, 2016, 9:09 am

The Muskogee County Republican Party is accepting scholarship applications from graduating high school seniors who reside in Muskogee County. Over the years, the MCRP has bestowed at least 25 area students this monetary award, including six in 2015.

To apply for the scholarship, applicants must first meet the criteria below:

  • Must be a 2016 graduating high school senior and attend college the Fall semester of 2016
  • Must be a resident of Muskogee County
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0
  • If 18 years of age, MUST be a registered Republican prior to submitting application
  • If student is not 18, one parent must currently be a registered Republican

Students meeting the above criteria may mail a completed application to P.O. Box 2278, Muskogee, OK 74402, or e-mail it to no later than Friday, March 11, 2016. An appointment will then be set prior to April 1st for a mandatory interview with the MCRP Scholarship Committee to assist in determining the scholarship winners.

Public announcement of scholarship winners will be made at the 2016 Lincoln-Reagan Dinner hosted by the Muskogee County Republican Party on Thursday, April 21st , at the Indian Captial Technology Center (ICTC) Conference Center. The keynote speaker will be Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Scholarship recipients are requested to attend this event and will receive free admission for themselves and their parents.

Applications are available at every Muskogee County high school.

Filed under: Local Education

Friday, February 5, 2016, 11:06 am

Howard Haynes of Muskogee was convicted of child sexual abuse in 2010 when he pleaded guilty to the charges after he fondled and asked for sex from a 16-year-old girl.

Initially in the case, Nikki Baker of the DA's office asked for a revocation of the $50,000 bond Haynes had posted because he was still living with the victim even after the court had ordered him to have no contact with her.

He allegedly told the victim "You better talk to me now or you will never see tomorrow."

Intimidation of a witness charges were later dropped against him at the request of the child's mother.

Later, after he was sentenced, Haynes apparently moved to Tulsa.

December 21 of last year, Haynes violated a protective order filed by the now-adult victim by going to her house, according to court documents filed in the case.

Haynes was arrested yesterday in Muskogee and is now in the Muskogee County jail waiting on $5,000 bond. The district attorney has asked that his suspended sentence be revoked.

Filed under: Local Crime

Friday, February 5, 2016, 9:48 am

The American Heart Association is sponsoring a walk today at Arrowhead Mall, starting in the food court, to support heart health for women.

The walk, which begins at 11:30 a.m., will be accompanied by yoga at 12:15 and zumba at 1 p.m.

Anyone can attend and register to win an Arrowhead Mall gift card. Donations are welcome.

Filed under: Local

Thursday, February 4, 2016, 9:23 am

A 24-inch water line break on North Main Street has necessitated repairs that will leave many businesses and residents without water this morning, according to the city.

The affected area is within a one-mile radius of James Hodge Ford on North Main St.

Service is expected to remain off until tomorrow morning.

For more information, call 918-684-6333.

Filed under: Local

Thursday, February 4, 2016, 9:17 am

Muskogee police are hosting a community watch meeting tonight starting at 6 p.m.

The meeting will focus on issues surrounding drugs in the community.

Rev. Darren Wallace will speak, as well as community resource officers and assistant fire chief Marshal D. Jones.

The meeting is at Eastern Heights Baptist Church.

Filed under: Local

Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 9:26 am

Muskogee Public Schools is seeking community volunteers to help its third-graders across the district improve their reading skills.

With the Third-Grade Reading Sufficiency Act in place, it is more imperative than ever to help our students move forward, and research shows that students who are read to and who read to others make great strides in reading skills. Our teachers need classroom volunteers to simply spend time listening to our students read during the school day to really push our students forward.

There is no background check or application required, but volunteers will need a driver's license to scan in our Lobby Guard system each time they visit a school.

If you are interested in spending some time with our third-graders practicing reading, please contact Wendy Burton, (918) 684-3700;1613 or to make arrangements.

Filed under: Local Education

Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 7:43 am

Jim Paul Blair, Kenny Cornell and Bob Wiles are making sure "Anything Goes" at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on Thursday night, with three artists for five bucks.

The trio are each accomplished musicians, and when they take the stage together, there's just no telling what might happen.

Show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is $5 at the door.

Filed under: Local Entertainment

Monday, February 1, 2016, 1:16 pm

The two suspects in yesterday's shooting broke into a house on the 2500 block of South Cherokee around 2 this morning and held the resident hostage for five hours, putting a gun to his head and then into his mouth before punching him in the throat, stealing some money and leaving, according to Lincoln Andrrson with the Muskogee police.

The pair were discussing breaking into more houses and stealing guns, the victim reported.

"At this point, they're desperate," Anderson said. "There is no telling what they'll do."

The pair knocked on the man's door and forced it open when he answered. They escaped into a field east of Cherokee Street and are still at large.

This morning's victim, whose name is being withheld, is still in the hospital with complications from the throat punch.

If anyone has information about where they are, it is a felony to not tell police, Anderson said. Call 918-683-8000

The pair are Beau Trotter (29 year old white male, 5'8", 185lbs, Brown and Hazel) and Brittani Chuckluck aka:Griggs (25 year old Indian Female, 5'3", 135lbs Brown and Brown).

UPDATE 7:06 P.M.: The suspects were arrested without incident behind a shopping center at Peak and Cherokee, Anderson reports. The suspects were not in possession of any weapons.

UPDATE:Reports are circulating that Chuckluck may have been a hostage, not an active participant in the crimes.

Police, however, aren't yet ready to come to that conclusion.

"She will be interviewed," Anderson said. "And we will determine from there."

Filed under: Local Crime Breaking News

Monday, February 1, 2016, 9:07 am

Marvin A. Rowell, 42, of Muskogee died in the Muskogee County Jail last night, according to officers who asked to speak on condition of anonymity.

Rowell was in the jail a total of 16 minutes, according to Sheriff Charles Pearson.

"I really can't comment at this point, because we're just beginning the investigation," he said. "But I can say he was booked in and sixteen minutes later we were calling an ambulance. I'm looking at the video right now, and there's absolutely no struggle or fight or anything. He fell down and hit his head. I don't know whether he swallowed drugs or what, but he was really intoxicated when he was brought in."

The medical examiner was present when Rowell died, Pearson said.

"It's like his lights just went out," an officer who witnessed the event said. "He had a bunch of bruises all over his face when he came in."

We will report more when more information becomes available.

Filed under: Local Crime Breaking News