Thursday, September 3, 2015, 8:11 am

In 1996 the members of country super group Ricochet watched their debut single, "What Do I Know", rise to the Top 5 earning the band the honor of the highest charting debut single of the year.

The follow up single release, "Daddy's Money", became an immediate across the board hit, rising to #1 on the Radio & Records Country Singles Chart, the Gavin Country Singles Chart and the Billboard Country Singles Chart (where it stayed #1 for two consecutive weeks).

The band's distinctive musical style and intricate harmonies earned them the recognition as one of the most popular vocal groups in country music, a mantle they still wear today.

The band will play at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame tonight. Tickets are $10 and all ages are welcome. The show will be for a taping of The Oklahoma Music Shop, a statewide television show taped before a live audience at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in Muskogee Oklahoma.

OMS airs on Tulsa's CW 19 at 3:30 pm and OKC's KSBI 52 at 11:30 am on Saturdays.

Filed under: Local Entertainment

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Thursday, September 3, 2015, 8:10 am

Right before the football season gets into high gear, head out to Indian Bowl tonight to meet the guys who will be knocking heads with other football teams around the state. Plus, meet the band, the dance team and the cheer squad.

The event takes place tonight at Indian Bowl from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m..

For more information: (918) 684-3700, ext. 1764

Filed under: Local Sports Education

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Thursday, September 3, 2015, 7:42 am

Muskogee police are re-establishing the Police Explorer program, which works with teens from 14 to 20.

The program will be run as a youth-style police academy, where students will learn everything from how police conduct their business to life experience training to help them later in life. Students will also compete in several nationwide competitions with other explorer posts.

The program is in cooperation with the Learning for Life Exploring organization. Along with the training, and first hand insight to Law enforcement, Explorers will be able to participate in Police Explorer Competitions. This will be a high energy, productive and community involved program that will require dedication and time from each participant.

The first meeting will be set for September 8th at 6pm, it will be an introductory meeting for explorer candidates. There will be several requirements that have to be met to be a full member of the program which will be discussed during the first meeting.

For more information: 918-680-3167 or email.

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Thursday, September 3, 2015, 7:41 am

Cherokee Nation citizen and Cherokee Nation Businesses Vice President of Government Relations Kim Teehee was recently honored by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for her role in the reauthorization process of the Violence Against Women Act.

Teehee, who then served as the first-ever senior policy advisor for Native American affairs for President Barack Obama's administration, was instrumental in advising the president's team and working with advocates on how to prosecute non-Natives who abuse Native women on tribal lands.

EBCI officials presented Teehee with a traditional basket at the recent Tri-Council meeting in Cherokee, North Carolina, after tribal leaders saw a play centered on VAWA.

"It's truly humbling to receive this honor from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and to have been part of such a wonderful collaboration that championed Native women's rights and was able to ignite change," Teehee said. "The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act was a major victory for all of Indian Country and will resonate for many generations to come."

Teehee now serves as the vice president of government relations for Cherokee Nation Businesses and government relations executive director for Cherokee Nation. Before serving in the White House, she was an advisor to Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), co-chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Native American Caucus. Teehee also served the bi-partisan caucus for more than a decade and helped make legislative progress on an array of Native American issues.

"Kim has long been a strong voice in Indian Country on women's issues," said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. "We are proud of her work on VAWA and pleased that a Cherokee Nation citizen contributed so much to protecting victims of domestic violence."

Teehee most recently worked for a Native American legislative policy firm in Washington, D.C., before accepting her position with the tribe in September 2014.

Filed under: Local Good News

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015, 8:58 am

Angel Birk, 23, of Muskogee was arrested on Monday for child endangerment after her child was found in unacceptable conditions, according to Muskogee Police Officer Lincoln Anderson.

The child, according to police, was found alone in a room with no air conditioning, with a diaper that was soiled and sagging, no proper bedding and was sweating profusely. Birk herself was found in the one room in the house furnished with air conditioning.

No one would answer the door when police were knocking, Anderson said. The child was placed into DHS custody.

Filed under: Local Crime

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015, 8:50 am

Muskogee High School football will be live-streamed through GameView this season, beginning with Friday's game vs. McAlester at 7 p.m.

MHS students will run the audio and video for each game, under the direction of instructor Shane Stewart. Bill Huddleston continues as the Roughers' play-by-play announcer with Nick Hampton as color analyst. The broadcast begins at 6:30 p.m. with the pre-game show.

"This is a great opportunity for former Roughers, grandparents, and friends to watch from home, whether that's just a few miles away or in another country," said Athletic Director Garrett Davis. "This greatly expands the audience for Muskogee Rougher football, and gives our video productions students a chance for hands-on experience."

The link to MHS's livestream can be found at www.rougherfootball.com on Friday, and will be posted on the athletics website at www.mpsi20.org and on the MPS district Facebook page.

Information: (918) 684-3700, ext. 1613.

Filed under: Local Sports Education

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015, 8:23 am

A man stopped for running a stop sign ended up going to jail on accusations of trafficking drugs, according to Muskogee Police Officer Lincoln Anderson.

The man, who was stopped yesterday, had warrants and was driving under suspension, Anderson said. A search of his truck, however, yielded $5,300 in cash and five ounces of methamphetamine.

The man could be charged with driving under suspension, running a stop sign and possession of controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute.

Filed under: Local Crime

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 9:34 am

After a few years of not having a board, the Gruber Recreational Trust Authority is going again, and they're hitting the ground running, according to Secretary TJ Ellis, a financial adviser in Muskogee.

"We are trying to get the park cleaned up so it can start being used as a tourism destination," Ellis said. "(We want to) bring economic dollars to Muskogee County."

As part of the initiative, the group is sponsoring two volunteer clean-up days at the park, on Sept. 12 and Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

"We're encouraging the off-road community to come out and enjoy a day with other enthusiasts playing around the park," he said. "And picking up trash and debris while they do it.

"Also, if folks have a weedeater, we are asking for a little maintenance with overgrown grass and weeds."

The group will provide trash bags, and RT&T Cycles in Muskogee is providing cold drinks, while Herringshaw Waste Management is providing a roll-off dumpster.

Filed under: Local Good News

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 9:17 am

The ENDUI enforcement teams will be proactively searching for impaired drivers with upcoming sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols on Sept. 5 around Lake Tenkiller and in and around the City of Tahlequah. The checkpoints will coincide with regular patrols aimed at impaired drivers. Agencies involved include: Tahlequah Police Department, Cherokee Nation Marshal's Office, Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Northeastern State University Police Department and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Impaired driving is one of Oklahoma's deadliest crimes. In 2014, 163 people died on Oklahoma's roads in crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, accounting for nearly one-third of traffic fatalities in the State.

With increased enforcement efforts, well trained law enforcement officers will have zero tolerance for persons driving while impaired. The goal is to have a highly visible ENDUI program that will discourage people who have been drinking or using impairing substances from getting behind the wheel, and to address those who make the poor decision to drive while impaired.

"On average there is one alcohol impaired driving-related fatality every 52 minutes across the country," said Col. Rick Adams, Chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. "Driving impaired or riding with someone impaired is not worth the risk."

Adams said law enforcement officials are making progress in the fight against impaired driving by working with our safety partners and by arming people with useful tools such as the SaferRide app. The app allows quick access to an alternate transportation and is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

The ENDUI enforcement teams want all of the citizens of the State of Oklahoma to have a safe and enjoyable weekend. If you are planning to drink or if you use any substance that can impair your ability to drive, designate a sober driver, call a taxi, use mass transit, or call a friend or family member.

Filed under: Local Crime

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 7:36 am

Leaders from the Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians gathered at Red Clay State Park in Tennessee recently for a historic Tri-Council meeting.

The event, held Friday, was the first time all three federally recognized Cherokee tribes assembled for a council meeting at Red Clay since removal on the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory in 1838.

After Georgia passed laws displacing Cherokees and preventing Cherokee leaders from meeting, the Cherokee capital was moved from New Echota to just over the Tennessee state line in Red Clay. Nearly a dozen separate council meetings held there between 1832 and 1837.

"The gathering of our Cherokee governments at this sacred site is not only historic, but a strong reflection of our inherent sovereignty," said Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd. "It is because of our Cherokee ancestors' spirit of perseverance that we are able to gather and conduct the business of our people. We must always keep that in mind and protect that right for our future generations."

During Tri-Council, attendees also visited Cherokee, North Carolina and toured the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' recently completed $28 million justice center and the tribe's $80 million hospital under construction. Attendees also watched a performance of the play Sliver of a Full Moon, written by Cherokee Nation citizen Mary Kathryn Nagle and directed by Cherokee Nation citizen Betsy Richards.

Tri-Council unites the legislative branches of government of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes and is designed to create a unified and federally recognized Cherokee voice dedicated to promoting and advancing tribal sovereignty.

The next Tri-Council meeting will be hosted by the Cherokee Nation in 2016.

Filed under: Local Tribes

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 7:31 am

The Pride of Muskogee High School Band has partnered with the Muskogee Fire Department to provide blankets for those in need.

Beginning today, area residents are encouraged to drop off new, unused blankets at any Muskogee Fire Station. Containers for The Pride of Muskogee Band Blanket Drive donations will be available through Nov. 30.

Students will help sort blankets and assist in delivering to families in need through local homeless shelters, nursing homes and Women In Safe Home (WISH).

Muskogee band students said they are very grateful for the support they receive from the Muskogee community and wanted an opportunity to pay it forward by helping those in need.

Muskogee Fire Blanket drop-off locations:

  • Station # 1, 515 Columbus St.
  • Station # 3, 2603 Border St.
  • Station # 4, 100 S. Country Club Road.
  • Station # 5, 1706 N. York St.
  • Station # 6, 513 E. Peak Blvd.
  • Station # 7, 200 40th N. St.

Information: Derek Tatum, Fire Chief (918) 684-6252 or Bruce Thompson, bruce.thompson@mpsi20.org.

Filed under: Local Good News Education

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Monday, August 31, 2015, 11:29 am

Muskogee police just sent the following:

​Recently we released 2 vehicle descriptions related to possible attempted abductions in the Muskogee area. We have made contact with the driver and passenger of the White Ford Focus, both juveniles, and they were interviewed by Muskogee Police Department Investigators.

​During the course of the Interviews it was determined that they were not a danger, and that they made a huge error in judgment that they thought was a big joke. They now understand the consequences, and the serious nature of what they did, and expressed sincere remorse for the bad joke.

​They were not charged with any crimes, as they did not commit an actual crime by what they did.

​We are still proactively seeking the maroon Pontiac that was described in a separate incident at the same time, and we are still seeking any leads or tips as to its location or if anyone see's that vehicle.

UPDATE 3:30 P.M.: Muskogee Police say the juveniles will be charged:

The Muskogee Police Department's investigations division submitted their findings to the Muskogee County District Attorney's Office, they have determined that we will be filing charges on the juveniles for Outraging Public Decency.

Filed under: Local Crime

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Monday, August 31, 2015, 8:38 am

Muskogee City Council is seeking citizens to fill vacancies for board and commission appointments.

A rotating appointment process will be used to ensure that each city councilor has the same number of appointments during their term, regardless of the board or commission. Interested parties can view brief descriptions of each board to determine if their qualifications meet the specific needs for the board. Applications can be located on the City website www.cityofmuskogee.com by searching under "City Council" and then "Boards and Commissions".

For additional questions, call the City Clerk's Office at 918-684-6270.

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Monday, August 31, 2015, 8:36 am

Cherokee Nation citizens can renew their tribal license plates online starting Sept. 1.

The online renewal is more convenient for Cherokee citizens in further corners of the state, saving them gas money, waiting in line and processing time. The Cherokee Nation expanded its car tags to Cherokee citizens in all 77 Oklahoma counties last year.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer this kind of progressive online service to the Cherokee people," said Principal Chief Bill John Baker. "No matter where our Cherokee Nation citizens reside in Oklahoma, they can easily log on and renew their license plate. The new online service will save time and money for our people by simplifying the renewal process. Instead of driving to the tag office and waiting in line for a renewal, the process is now just a few simple clicks on the computer. This effort was spearheaded by the talented staff at the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission, and I applaud them for their efforts. It will truly make the renewal process faster and easier."

The Cherokee Nation has six tag offices, including in Tulsa, Tahlequah, Collinsville, Sallisaw, Adair and Jay.

Tax Commission Administrator Sharon Swepston said the online service is for regular motor vehicles and motorcycles needing renewal stickers only.

New car tags, commercial vehicle plates and boats do not have the online service option since each requires additional paperwork.

"This is exciting for the tribe. It will be a great convenience for our citizens who live outside our 14-county jurisdiction, and even for those close by who want to save some time inside the jurisdiction," Swepston said. "Once received and processed online, the renewal should arrive by mail in about three to four days."

Cherokee Nation citizens need a copy of their citizenship card, last four digits of their VIN, insurance verification and tag number.

The Cherokee Nation averaged about $9 million annually in car tag revenue before expanding statewide last year.

In fiscal year 2014, the tribe earned $11.6 million in revenue, with projections expected to exceed that in fiscal year 2015, which ends Oct. 1.

The tribe donates 38 percent of the sale of its tribal car tag monies to schools, 20 percent for roads and bridges, and 5 percent to help law enforcement in northeastern Oklahoma.

For more information on tribal car tags or online tag renewals, call 918-453-5100 or log onto Cherokee.org and follow the links for the tag office and tax commission.

UPDATE Sept. 3: I did this yesterday for my wife's car and it was a smooth, flawless process.

Filed under: Local Tribes Traffic

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Sunday, August 30, 2015, 5:32 pm

David Villicana-Lopez, 38, of Tulsa is dead after he never resurfaced following a dive off of a stationary boat on Saturday, according to the Oklahoma Lake Patrol.

Witnesses said Villicana-Lopez was struggling in the water as soon as he entered it around 7 p.m., and attempts were made to extract him from the water, but he went under and never resurfaced. His body was recovered today around 2:30 p.m. by dragging operations in 11 feet of water. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Medical Examiner Manny Lopez.

Villicana-Lopez was not wearing a personal flotation device.

Filed under: Local

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Friday, August 28, 2015, 9:19 am

An older white man driving a four-door maroon Pontiac pulled up to a juvenile standing at the corner of 43rd and Gibson at 7 a.m. yesterday and offered the juvenile candy to get into his car, according to Muskogee Police.

The juvenile, who was waiting for a ride to school, ran away and the suspect drove off in an unknown direction.

"Patrol has saturated the area, looking for the vehicle," Officer Lincoln Anderson said just now. "They have not found it as of yet."

If you have information regarding this crime, call Muskogee Police at 918-683-8000.

Filed under: Local Crime

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Friday, August 28, 2015, 7:29 am

BancFirst has announced a statewide contest giving winners the chance to meet Steven Adams, the center for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and spend a day at the Oklahoma City Zoo with a private VIP sea lion show at the zoo's aquatic center.

One winner from each community with a BancFirst location will be selected. Following the aquatic show each community group will meet and have a photo taken with Adams.

Register for your chance to win at any BancFirst location in the state from September 1 through September 10. Each winner will be allowed to bring three guests to the event, but minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Filed under: Local Sports

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Thursday, August 27, 2015, 8:14 am

Twenty-nine students in Dr. Ryan Carlton's General Biology class at Connors State College were shocked and surprised today when the college's president, Dr. Tim Faltyn, interrupted their class to give them all free computers. The class was chosen for a pilot program called Connors Connects, which aims to put a computer in the hands of every student on campus.

"This particular class was chosen because the demographics of the class are almost identical to the demographics of our entire student body," said CSC's Associate VP for External Affairs, Dr. Ryan Blanton. "If this program works well for this class, we believe it will work well for all of our students."

Faltyn and Director of IT, Heath Hodges, came up with the idea in response to the demands of creating and maintaining lab spaces for students and classes.

"The vision is to make every classroom you are in an instant laboratory," Faltyn told students. "I don't know of any other college in Oklahoma doing this; but, we don't want to just be first, we want to be the best."

"This program is going to help me further my education and not be limited by a lack of technology," said student John Nelson. "I can now immediately communicate with my professor."

The program also reduces the financial burden for students as electronic textbooks are significantly more affordable than their print counterparts.

"It's going to help me tremendously with the book cost," said student Sarah Patterson. "I have to pay out of pocket for all of my books. I'm really excited."

The pilot program is currently funded by the Connors Development Foundation, directed by Blanton.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015, 7:51 am

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host an all-star jam session Thursday, August 27th, featuring Curt Hill and Harley Hamm at 8 pm, playing everything from CCR to Led Zepplin and Bob Marley!

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

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10-5 pm. "Live at The Frisco Depot" is presented every Thursday night at 8 pm and features local, regional and national musical acts. For OMHOF's upcoming events, "like" the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Facebook page or visit: www.omhof.com. To contact OMHOF: (918) 687-0800 or by email: okmusic@omhof.com.

Filed under: Local Entertainment

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Thursday, August 27, 2015, 7:45 am

The eighth annual River Rumba Regatta is happening this weekend at Three Forks Harbor in Muskogee, just over the Arkansas River of Shawnee.

The races start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with registrations starting at 9. Tomorrow night, the Parade of Boats and House party get started at 6:30 p.m., with live music starting at 8 at the harbor.

The regatta is presented by Muskogee Parks and Recreation, Muskogee Port Authority and Muskogee Exchange Club. Proceeds go to help underserved youth in the Muskogee area.

Filed under: Local Entertainment

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