Local group to promote unity tomorrow

Too often, the news media report on the things that divide America into comfortable and easy-to-define things such as red states and blue states, liberal and conservative, religious and non-religious. But a Muskogee group believes a grassroots movement can begin to turn the tide back to focusing on the things that unite Americans as a single people.

Tomorrow, while the country celebrates its independence from England, a group of Muskogee residents will be waving the flags that signify that independence as a symbol of the united nature of the country's people.

The group's Facebook event page states it this way:

It's time for Americans to take a stand. Time to show everyone that we will ALWAYS Stand Up for the Constitution! Come join us in reminding our community what Independence Day is all about. Let's let our community and America know that we will Always Stand Up for Our Freedoms and that NO ONE will take them from us. We will be holding our flags on the Pedestrian Bridge that goes over Peak Blvd near Hilldale School and Grandview addition at noon on the 4th of July. Bring your flag and join us!

To join them, simply bring a flag to the pedestrian bridge and wave it with them at noon.

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Oklahoma Highway Patrol reminds you to live through the celebration this weekend

Last year during the Independence Day holiday period, 30 people were injured and 5 people died as a result of 103 traffic crashes involving a driver who had an alcohol or drug-related condition in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

If you're planning on drinking this holiday period, the patrol advises:

  • Plan transportation before you go anywhere alcohol will be served.
  • Host events at home, or stay overnight where the event is being hosted.
  • Keep cab or public transportation telephone numbers readily available.
  • Download NHTSA's SaferRide App (available for both Apple and Android devices).

If you aren't planning on drinking this holiday period, reach out to your friends and family through social media and offer to be a designated driver. You never know when this small gesture could save someone's life.

Even if you're being safe, others may not be, so pay extra attention to your surroundings. If you suspect someone has had too much to drink, here are some ways you can intervene:

  • Tell the person they have had too much to drink and need to find an alternative way to get home.
  • If you don't know the person well, speak to their friends and ask them to intervene.
  • If you went somewhere with this person, do not leave with them. Insist that you will call someone else for a ride, take a cab or walk.
  • If necessary, take the keys away and find a safe ride home or a safe place for this person to stay.
  • If you see a driver you suspect is under the influence call *55 or 911 to report it.

Celebrate your Independence Day by staying out of jail this holiday. Local, county and state law enforcement agencies will be joining together in statewide impaired driving enforcement teams. These teams will be conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols throughout the state in an effort to keep impaired drivers from injuring or killing innocent motorists.

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Churches sponsor Fourth celebrations

Want to celebrate the Fourth, but always hate the letdown you get when the celebration is all done? You're in luck. Muskogee will have two organized celebrations of America's independence, starting tonight.

Timothy Baptist Church, just west of town on Okmulgee St., is celebrating the Fourth tonight, starting at 7:30 p.m., with a kid zone, refreshments, concessions and fireworks that begin at dark. The event is free. Call 918-682-6130 for more information.

Then, on Saturday, Muskogee's First Assembly of God, at 3100 Gulick Street, will have its annual Freedom Celebration starting at 6:30 p.m. The church's fireworks show is usually spectacular, with a finale fitting of shows in much larger cities. The church will host a kids carnival with a launchpad, carousel and inflatables. The fireworks display begins at 9:45 p.m. Concessions are available, and admission and parking are free. For more information, call 918-682-9000.

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Football camp next week for eighth and ninth-graders

Muskogee Public Schools will be hosting an eighth- and ninth-grade football camp next week, and two parent meetings for all district football players have been scheduled in August.

  • The eighth- and ninth-grade football camp will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. July 7-9 at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Field at Indian Bowl. Students may register the first day of the camp, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
  • At 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, a high school (9-12) football parents meeting will be held in the Alice Robinson Junior High School auditorium.
  • At 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, an eighth-grade football parents meeting will be held in the stadium field house.

Information: Athletics Department, (918) 684-3700, ext. 1764.

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Muskogee police officer tases suspect after chase

Muskogee Police officer Lincoln Anderson found a way to use non-lethal force against a suspect who was threatening two other officers with a knife yesterday.

The suspect, Reshaun Alexander, had kicked in doors in a Muskogee neighborhood, assaulted an elderly woman and threatened others with a knife, as well as destroying one man's truck while fleeing from police.

After hitting the truck, Alexander bailed from his car and led police on a foot chase, during which he kicked in the front door of an elderly woman and assaulted her. The woman set off her Medical Alert System and Alexander left for another home, where a dog chased him out.

He next tore down a privacy fence, where he was confronted by officers, whom he threatened, running at them with a knife.

Both officers had drawn their weapons, but Anderson saw an opportunity to end the chase without Alexander in the morgue. He fired his Taser, which stopped Alexander cold in his tracks. Officers found a gun in his vehicle, large amounts of methamphetamine and crack.

Alexander is now facing nearly a dozen charges. He has formerly been in trouble over possession of a firearm while committing a felony, escape from arrest or detention, unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute, driving under the influence and driving under suspension.

9:46 a.m. UPDATE: Alexander is charged with:

  • failure to stop at a stop sign
  • reckless driving
  • eluding a police officer
  • accident resulting in nonfatal injury
  • failure to stop
  • possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony
  • trafficking in illegal drugs
  • possession of a dangerous drug without a prescription
  • receiving stolen property
  • resisting arrest
  • use of a firearm while committing a felony
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This story has been revised 3 times
  • By Leif M. Wright on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 7:25:21 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif M. Wright on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 9:48:26 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif M. Wright on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 9:49:06 a.m. (VIEW)

Muskogee author publishes her second novel

Author and speaker Jonita Mullins has self-published her latest novel, Look Unto the Fields. It is a sequel to her first novel, Journey to an Untamed Land, and continues the saga of Oklahoma's first school teacher working among the Osages at Union Mission. This first missionary effort was located on the Grand (Neosho) River in Mayes County. The book is available now for purchase from Amazon.com and from the author's website, okieheritage.com.

The novel is set in the early 1820s at a time when sparsely settled Oklahoma was still a part of Arkansas Territory. It continues the saga of the earliest missionaries who settled on the untamed prairie among the Osages and Cherokees in the Indian country. The book captures the drama of tribal feuds, a mysterious fever that plagues the mission and awakening love among the brave men and women who ventured west to offer service to others.

Though fiction, the novel is based in fact and draws from the journals and letters written by the missionaries themselves. Readers will enjoy the American West setting from a time when it was still the domain of American Indians, fur traders and mountain men.

Jonita Mullins has researched and written about Oklahoma history for the past twelve years. She is a native of Oklahoma and seeks to bring its rich heritage to life through her writing and speaking. Look Unto the Fields is her fifth self-published book and is the second in her series, The Missions of Indian Territory.

Mullins works as a freelance writer, public speaker and heritage tour guide. She is available for speaking engagements and custom history tours. Contact her at Jonita.Mullins@gmail.com. All her books can be ordered from her website.

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This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Leif M. Wright on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 7:13:09 a.m. (VIEW)

Food pantry changes its days

The number for the Community First Center and First Baptist Church Food Pantry is now 918.351.8771, and the group's new schedule beginning tomorrow is Tuesday 10 to noon and 6 to 8pm and Thursday 10 to noon.

The pantry will no longer be open on Monday or Wednesday.

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Cherokee Deputy Chief gets distinguished service medal

U.S. Navy veteran and Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation S. Joe Crittenden was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Service Award by the Disabled American Veterans of Oklahoma.

DAV Cmdr. Craig Vance presented Deputy Chief Crittenden a bronze award at the organization's 84th state convention held Wednesday at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

...Read the rest of the story on TahlequahTODAY.com

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Fourth moves Greenleaf Lunker Jackpot

Because of the holiday weekend coming up, the Greenleaf Lake Lunker Jackpot normally held on Friday evenings has been moved to Thursday night, July 2nd at the same time, 7:00 p.m.-11 p.m.

The change is just for this week.

Questions: call 918-348-9431.

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Taft man hurt in wreck in Wagoner County

Steven McHenry, 53, from Taft, was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa with leg injuries after his motorcycle crashed two miles east of Broken Arrow late last night, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

McHenry was operating the motorcycle at an unsafe speed, according to the patrol, when he lost control of the motorcycle and crashed, with the motorcycle landing on top of him.

He was not wearing a helmet at the time.

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Cherokee chief re-elected

Nearly 20,000 Cherokee Nation citizens turned out to the polls and elected Principal Chief Bill John Baker to another four-year term, according to unofficial 2015 General Election voting results.

Baker, of Tahlequah, took 9,786 of 18,583 votes or 52.6 percent of ballots cast. No run-off election is needed if a candidate takes more than 50 percent of the vote.

...Read the rest of the story on TahlequahTODAY.com

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Muskogee man hurt in shooting

A Muskogee man was injured in a shooting at Louisiana street, according to Rebecca Williamson of Muskogee County EMS.

The man was taken to a Tulsa hospital with critical injuries. No name has been released.

UPDATE: The victim's name is Jason Stout, and he was found on the side of the road with severe bleeding from his upper leg - an area where wounds can easily be fatal if not stopped in time.

He was suffering from a single gunshot wound. The suspects in the shooting were in a tan or light brown small SUV, according to police.

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This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Leif M. Wright on Monday, June 29, 2015 at 7:50:56 a.m. (VIEW)

Turnpike wreck kills woman, critically injures children

A wreck on the Muskogee Turnpike killed a woman and critically injured two children, according to Rebecca Williamson of the Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service.

None of the victims' names have yet been released.

Both children are being transported to a hospital in Fort Smith.

An adult male in the vehicle refused treatment at the scene. There is no word yet on what might have caused the accident.

9:46 P.M. UPDATE: The woman who died was 64-year-old Mary Patricia Kidd of Sallisaw. The first child is a 12-year-old girl from Sallisaw, who received head, arm, leg and internal injuries.

The second child is a seven-year-old boy from Sallisaw, who is in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Little Rock with head and internal injuries.

The man, who was driving a semi, is Edward Haan, 46, of Weatherford.

The Highway Patrol reports that Kidd's 2009 Chevrolet was driving northbound on the turnpike when it lost control on wet pavement, crossed the center median and struck the semi, which was driving southbound during heavy rain.

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This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:49:11 p.m. (VIEW)

Water main break at 12th and Broadway

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Couple charged with animal cruelty

An area couple have been charged with animal cruelty after their three dogs were found in deplorable condition in Fort Gibson, according to court records and District Attorney Orvil Loge.

Arrested were David Gene Gray, 33, and Elizabeth Dianne Meissner, 30, on three counts each of cruelty to animals.

"An officer initially went out on a domestic," Loge said today. "Then he saw the dogs and said 'what's going on with these dogs?'"

The dogs, breeds undetermined, were emaciated, their eyes were matted, they had what appeared to be mange and hookworms. A veterinarian took possession of the dogs, which were in "pretty bad condition."

A bowl of food sat outside the fence where the dogs were being kept, just out of reach of the dogs, who were trying anyway to poke their noses through the fence to get to it.

The dogs were found at 407 E. Armory in Fort Gibson, but the couple were found in Muskogee.

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This story has been revised 4 times
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:04:30 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:05:09 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:06:59 a.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:07:39 a.m. (VIEW)

Muskogee woman charged with murder after allegedly confessing on Facebook

A 20-year-old Muskogee woman living in Henryetta was charged with murder after she allegedly confessed on Facebook.

Samantha Stansifer, who told police she stabbed her ex-boyfriend to death, allegedly confessed on Facebook, according to her alleged victim's sister, who said she showed no remorse for the killing. She was covered in her boyfriend, Anthony Hall's blood when police arrested her.

The couple were broken up at the time, according to the sister, and Hall invited Stansifer to stay with him as "a kind gesture."

The Facebook post, according to the sister: "I did it. He deserved it."

While Hall was asleep, Stansifer went through his phone, according to the sister, saw that Hall had been texting another woman, went to the kitchen, got two knives and stabbed him to death.

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This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Leif M. Wright on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 8:01:11 a.m. (VIEW)

Locust Grove woman killed in wreck

A Pryor man was injured and his passenger, a 21-year-old woman from Locust Grove, was killed when their vehicle crashed in Cherokee County last night.

...Read the whole story on TahlequahTODAY.com

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Dancing in the District moves indoors

"Dancing in the District" has been moved to an airport Hangar at Hatbox Field due to a forecast of rain.

The event will still begin about 5pm with Old Dominion, followed by Jimmy "Junior" Markham and the Tulsa Sound and rounding out the night with Paul Thorn. The event will end at approximately 10pm, with the official after-party being held at Max's Garage.

Tickets are $10 and are on sale now at The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, Max's Garage, the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce and online at: www.eventbrite.com. Additional information regarding ticketing can be found at www.omhof.com or on the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Facebook page.

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Connors set to open $9M facility here next week

Connors State College is pleased to announce the opening of the all-new Nursing and Allied Health facility in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The $9 million, 35,000 square foot building, houses state-of-the-art classroom and lab space, a student's common area, a lecture hall and student courtyard.

The new facility is located at the Three Rivers Port Campus at 2501 N. 41st Street East, adjacent to the Indian Capital Technology Center. In order to streamline services for students, all Muskogee classes and CSC operations will move to this location effective June 29, 2015.

Beginning June 29, 2015, all Muskogee Summer 2015 classes already in session will meet at the Three Rivers Port Campus. For questions regarding classroom locations, please contact the class instructor, or view a list of new class locations at www.connorsstate.edu.

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Checotah man critically injured in four-wheeler crash

A 32-year-old Iraq War veteran was critically injured when the four-wheeler he was driving rolled over a cliff early this morning.

...Read the rest of the story on McIntoshCountyNOW.com

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