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Dead body found at Kmart

Rick Allen Majors

A dead body has been found near Kmart, according to emergency officials.

At this time, no other details are available, but we are actively pursuing the story.

UPDATE: According to a police officer who asked not to be named, the victim appears to be Rick Allen Majors, 51, who appears to have died somewhere else and have been dumped behind Kmart.

"There doesn't appear to be any trauma," the officer said. "But it's too early to tell what happened."

UPDATE 12:31 a.m.: Another emergency worker just told MuskogeeNOW.com that there are no marks or signs of foul play, but until the medical examiner has had time to evaluate, police are treating it as a crime scene.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 10:14 PM

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Frazier defeats Pearson in sheriff primary

Rob Frazier has defeated incumbent Sheriff Charles Pearson in the Democrat primary. He will face Republican Roger Posey in November.

Pearson has been sheriff for 16 years.

Frazier won 53 percent to 47 percent - 300 votes separated the two.

"You made a huge mistake," Pearson told Frazier in a concession call. "You won. You're going to do a good job, I know it."

Incumbent County Clerk Dianna Cope won with 73 percent of the vote.

Other races: DEMOCRAT

State Rep., District 2: Joshua Harris-Till defeated Paul E. Schiefelbein, 62% to 38%

State Senate, District 9: Jack Reavis won 68 % versus Stephen Highers, 27% and John Uzzo, 6%. He will face Republican Dewayne Pemberton in the fall.

REPUBLICAN

US. Representative, District 2: Markwayne Mullin won 55% over Jarrin Jackson

State Senator District 9: Dewayne Pemberton won 55% over John Tyler Hammons. He will face Democrat Jack Reavis in the fall.

State Representative District 13: Avery Frix won 52 % over Al Stevens and Leah Todd. He will face Democrat Wayne Herriman in the fall.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 7:03 PM

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Vote today

Today's primaries will decide who is running for multiple offices in Muskogee County, and for some races, the winner will be decided.

Democrats Joshua Harris-Till and Paul E. Schiefelbein are facing off for U.S. House district 2, currently held by Markwayne Mullin.

Democrats Stephen Highers, Jack A. Reavis and John Uzzo are facing off for state Senate, district 9.

Ronnie Kell, Brenda Golden and Anna Dearmore are running for District 16 in the state House. Joe Hughart is challenging Dianna Cope for county clerk.

Charles Pearson is facing Rob Frazier for sheriff.

Republican Jarrin Jackson is facing Markwayne Mullin in US House race for district 2.

Dewayne Pemberton is facing former Muskogee mayor John Tyler Hammons for state Senate district 9.

Republicans Al Stevens, Avery Frix and Leah Todd are all vying for the state House in district 13.

Charles Kanada, Scott Fetgatter and James Bo Delso are vying for state Senate, district 16 and Libertarians Robert T. Murphy and Dax Ewbank are running for U.S. Senate.

During your lunch break, after work or whenever, make your way down to your local precinct and let your vote be heard.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 7:14 AM

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DA warns of online sales scam

People selling items online are prime targets for a scam circulating, according to Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge.

"The gist of the scam is that thieves find individuals who have something for sale on Craigslist or other sites," he said. "The thieves make contact with the individual (to purchase the item), then express mail a cashier's check ... for a substantial amount over the sales price."

Before the check arrives, the scammers contact the seller with instructions on what to do with the money once the check arrives, usually depositing the extra money with a "shipper", minus the sales price.

But the cashier's check is fake, so the money paid to the "shipper" ends up being deducted from your bank account.

"One individual even had a number for a bank and called to see if the cashier’s check was okay and would clear and the 'bank' told her it would clear," he said. "Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, it was discovered that the cashier’s check was fake."

Refusing to deposit the "check" sometimes results in the scammers threatening to call government agencies, Loge said.

"No legitimate purchaser is going to send you $1,000 to $2,000 more than your asking price and trust that you will forward the money to someone else. If someone is asking you to do that for them and you don’t even know them, that is a huge red flag that their cashier’s check is fraudulent."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 6:02 AM

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Road rage suspect arrested

Aarick Caldwell

Aarick Caldwell, the suspect in last month's road rage incident, which resulted in a video of a truck running a car off the road on Shawnee Bypass going viral, has been arrested, according to Muskogee Police Officer Lincoln Anderson.

His bond is set at $30,000.

Monday, June 27, 2016, 3:08 PM

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Police report: Suspect kept $19,000 that was supposed to go to GAP Band for Muskogee show

The GAP Band, which played in Muskogee last weekend, walked away empty-handed, according to a report filed with the Muskogee Police on Saturday.

The band was supposed to get $19,000 for the show, but according to the report, an unnamed suspect did not give the money to the band after accepting it for the band.

Carlos Keyes

UPDATE: Roy Tucker, city attorney and acting city manager, said the city paid the band's agent, Carlos Keyes of Red Entertainment. Tucker was later told Keys hadn't forwarded the money to the band, and that they were not able to get hold of him.

"Initially I didn't think it was anything that rose to the level of a crime," Tucker said. "I thought maybe he was on a plane or something or for whatever reason he wasn't available."

That wasn't the case, however, Tucker said. In speaking with the band's lawyer, it was discovered that the problem had been ongoing and, the lawyer said, "we're going to file a police report and go after him."

The city will cooperate with the investigation, Tucker said.

Monday, June 27, 2016, 7:18 AM

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Muskogee teen hurt in wreck with semi

Logal Stovall, 19, of Muskogee is in stable condition at Saint John Hospital in Tulsa after his pickup collided with a semi near the junction of US 69 and Oktaha Road south of Muskogee last night, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Stovall was stopped at the stop sign, preparing to cross the northbound lanes of 69, the patrol reports. The semi, driven by Michael Brown, 51, of Alderson, Oklahoma, was northbound on 69. Stovall, the patrol reports, failed to yield to the semi and pulled out in front of it, when the semi struck the pickup in the right side. Both vehicles departed the highway on the east side. The semi rolled over onto its side and came to rest on the shoulder. The pickup came to rest in the ditch.

Both men were wearing seatbelts. Brown was not injured.

Saturday, June 25, 2016, 8:22 PM

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EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff candidate Rob Frazier failed to pay employees at private business he ran

Rob Frazier

Rob Frazier, candidate for sheriff in Muskogee County in the upcoming Democratic primary on Tuesday, lost a judgment in 2001 for failure to pay for employees at his contracting company. The court held Frazier personally responsible for almost $30,000 of the $55,000 his company owed because he operated the business after the state told him to stop.

The business was suspended on June 21, 2001 for failure to pay state taxes. The business continued operating, according to the lawsuit filed by MyStaf, incurring $28,787 in employee salary liability after the state had suspended the company. Frazier, according to the suit, ignored state law requiring him to suspend business operations under the auspices of his business, All-Comm Contracting. According to state law, he was personally responsible for all the debts the business incurred after the state ordered him to stop doing business - almost $30,000 owed to Muskogee's MyStaf.

According to the suit, All-Comm contracted with Muskogee's MyStaf in April of 2001 to provide temporary employees, but All-Comm did not pay invoices MyStaf sent according to the agreement. MyStaf sued in November of 2001 and was granted a judgment against the company and Frazier personally on December 28 of 2001 after Frazier failed to respond to summons in the case.

The Muskogee County sheriff is responsible for a $7.8 million yearly budget, including payroll for dozens of employees. In addition, the sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in the county, responsible for executing state laws.

Frazier filed for bankruptcy in 2002, leaving the debt to MyStaf unpaid.

He has not returned repeated calls and texts for comment.

Read the court documents here

Friday, June 24, 2016, 9:27 AM

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Muskogee man charged with first-degree rape, aggravated assault and battery

Jerry Lynn Clemons

Jerry Lynn Clemons, 51 of Muskogee has been charged in Muskogee County District court with first-degree rape, aggravated assault and battery and assault and battery against a 25-year-old Muskogee woman.

On June 19, the charges allege, Clemons forced the women to have sex with him by threats of force with the apparent ability to execute that force. In addition, the charges alleged Clemons strangled the woman with the intent to d her "great bodily injury."

The district attorney lists numerous previous felonies and misdemeanors -- including bail jumping, robbery by force or fear, possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, forgery, concealing stolen property, and many others -- as supplemental information in the case against Clemons.

Friday, June 24, 2016, 7:39 AM

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Muskogee man charged with fondling juvenile girl

Joseph Stanley Harjo

Joseph Stanley Harjo, 35, of Muskogee was arrested at a residence on North K Street after a juvenile reported that he had repeatedly touched her vagina with his hands underneath her clothing.

A second juvenile confirmed the girl's story.

When police came looking for Harjo, they found him hiding underneath a bunk bed.

Thursday, June 23, 2016, 12:55 PM

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Muskogee woman and man charged with child neglect after toddler poisoned

Casey Duren

Brittney Gray and Casey Duren have been charged with child neglect after a two-year-old ingested a poisonous substance that made the child "severely sick."

According to an affidavit filed with the case, Duren would not tell police where the couple were when the baby ingested the substance.

"Casey stated ... he would take care of things himself, because the Aryan Brotherhood would kill his kids," the affidavit states. Gray insisted she didn't know where their residence was.

After officers explained that they needed to know where the ingestion occurred so they could go see what substances were around to provide the child proper medical care, they still refused to give police any information.

Thursday, June 23, 2016, 12:52 PM

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OSU helps families enroll in SoonerCare today

Oklahoma State University is helping area families enroll in SoonerCare today at Children's Clinic, 3101 Chandler Road, according to Ryan Hardaway, general manager of the clinic.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is free.

Prospective patients should bring the following:

  • Yours and your spouse's taxable income
  • Social Security Numbers and birthdates of people in your household
  • Current or recent health insurance information
  • Identity and citizenship information
  • Income information, including employer name, address and phone numbers of all household members who are employed
  • Amount of money received from other types of income

The professionals from OSU will help with new sign-ups, renewals and adjustments to SoonerCare.

For more information, call 918-687-4411

Thursday, June 23, 2016, 6:30 AM

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Wagoner County undersheriff adds to exodus from sheriff's office

Chris Cook

Wagoner County Undersheriff Chris Cook is the latest high-ranking officer to depart the Wagoner County sheriff's office, citing turmoil in the office as his reason.

He was initially hired as the jail administrator, but about a week later, he was appointed undersheriff by Sheriff Dan David.

In a resignation letter, Cook stated "I cannot be an effective law enforcement professional in the current environment. While I understand the need to sacrifice, there is also a greater need for unity within the structure of an organization and government ... I am saddened by the wants and actions of the few, impeding the needs of the citizens of Wagoner County."

The first day of this month, Shannon Clark, a former chief deputy and public information officer, announced his resignation. Christopher Ramsey, a former lieutenant, resigned the next day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 6:10 AM

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GAP Band to drop a bomb on Mus ... kogee

The GAP Band, which has produced numerous gold albums and number 1 singles in the nearly 50 years since they formed in Tulsa, is coming to Muskogee on Saturday to celebrate Black Music Month.

The event is free and will be at the Hatbox Hangar, where gates open at 4 p.m.

Music starts at 6 p.m. with DJ Ron Alexander, continues at 7 with Dylan Whitney, 8 with Starr Fisher and the GAP Band will take the stage at 9:15 p.m.

Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets, no outside food or drinks, no firearms, vendors and food trucks will be available. Beer and liquor will be available to those 21 and older.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 5:21 AM

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Program will match SNAP dollars spent at Farmer's Market

The US Department of Agriculture has awarded a grant to the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa to increase fruit and vegetable consumption through the Double Up Oklahoma program, which is intended to help low-income families using SNAP benefits.

The program will match up to $20 per day at farmers' markets for SNAP recipients using the benefits to buy fresh fruits, vegetables or food-bearing plants that were grown in Oklahoma.

The Muskogee Farmer's Market, which is Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Civic Center parking lot, is participating in the program.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 8:44 AM

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Muskogee Subway restaurant robbed at gunpoint

The Subway restaurant at 944 W. Shawnee, next to Walmart, was robbed late last night, according to a Muskogee Police report.

A suspect pointed a gun at the employee there, Harley Thomas, and robbed the business around 10:30 p.m., the report states.

It's unknown at this time how much money the robber got away with. We will update when police return calls we've made for comment.

UPDATE: Officer Lincoln Anderson said the suspect is a "skinny black male wearing a green shirt and a silver gun."

The suspect came in, demanded money and then left. No more information is currently available.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 7:39 AM

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Lt. governor addresses Muskogee manufacturers

Oklahoma’s Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb shared his vision for the future of Oklahoma during a luncheon last week where he addressed Greater Muskogee Manufacturers Alliance (GMMA) members and other business interests.

Through his newly formed E Foundation, he discussed how he plans to prioritize legislative policies which align with the following six pillars: education, energy, exporting, entrepreneurship, efficiency in government and enduring freedom.

Lamb also pointed out that Oklahoma is “ideally situated for manufacturing growth”. The state’s central location, access to major interstates, as well as, global access via the inland waterway, are logistical advantages that enable manufacturers to prosper in Oklahoma. In addition to favorable logistics, he stressed that the “biggest asset in Oklahoma, is the people of Oklahoma”.

Monday, June 20, 2016, 7:28 AM

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Stilwell man drowns in Lake Tenkiller

Benjamin Floyd Chambers, 42, of Stilwell, was found drowned in Lake Tenkiller after he had been under water for almost two hours, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Chambers was swimming at the edge of the water, holding onto rocks in about 20 feet of water, when he went under for an unknown reason and never resurfaced, according to the patrol.

He was transported by the medical examiner to the ME's office in Tulsa, where he was pronounced dead.

A diver from the Cookson Fire Department recovered his body.

He was not using a personal flotation device, and the highway patrol reported the odor of alcohol on him.

Saturday, June 18, 2016, 10:16 PM

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Crowds grow for day two of G Fest

People throng to hear Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Crowds at Hatbox Field grew even bigger for day two of G Fest, the three-day music festival that continues today and tonight.

Thousands of people from all over the country poured in and enjoyed music on three stages from local, state and national musicians, many of whom attracted followers to travel to Muskogee to see them.

Gemma and Morgan made the eight-hour trip from Austin, Texas to Muskogee just to see the Avett Brothers.

The crowd was a good mix of old and young, with children dancing during the songs and adults listening and cheering to the music. Heat seemed less oppressive on Friday, with several cooling stations and lots of beverage vendors.

Aubi and Blakely Hawke groove to the music.

Crowds appeared to show up and cheer for local rock acts just as much as they did for national country acts, with Muskogee regular blues rockers Blue Fish getting ovations worthy of stadium-packing musicians. Muskogee sons The Swon Brothers played early in the day, fresh off their tour accompanying Checotah native Carrie Underwood.

Blue Fish threw in a little blues and rock to ovations from the crowd

Friday night headliners the Avett Brothers brought down the house with a set met with roaring applause and cheers as the crowd cooled off and the music heated up.

The festival concludes tonight with headliner Kacey Mausgraves and numerous other local and national artists.

Saturday, June 18, 2016, 6:40 AM

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Artists heat up stages at G Fest

Blistering heat couldn't keep the crowds away as thousands packed Hatbox Field for Muskogee's G Fest, a celebration of music. Cooling stations and hammocks kept crowds chilled during the festival, where people from all over the nation crowded to Muskogee to catch national music acts.

"This was the easiest, friendliest music festival I've ever been to," said Randy Woods of Muskogee. "And I've been to a lot. Everything is really thought out and convenient here."

Music lovers brought chairs and umbrellas to catch all the tunes.

The event, designed to turn Muskogee into a music destination, appeared to be living up to its promise, as people from all over the nation converged on Muskogee for the three-day event, which continues today with Full Flava Kings, Uncle Lucius, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Swon Brothers, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and The Avett Brothers take the Love Bottling Stage starting at 1pm.

Bruce and Kathy Cox

Bruce and Kathy Cox came from Chicago to follow their favorite act, Paul Thorn.

"We've even been on cruises with him," Bruce Cox said. "I saw him perform for the first time at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame last Thanksgiving."

The festival continues today and tomorrow, with a mix of local, state and national headliners bringing more music, entertainment and fun. Vendors are at the site with food and beverages and lots of unobtrusive security ensures the event is friendly for families.

Paul Thorn, right, and Jim Paul Blair catch the Old Crow Medicine Show performance backstage.

Friday, June 17, 2016, 6:26 AM

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