Cherokee Youth Council sworn in

Seventeen Cherokee students from across northeastern Oklahoma pledged Monday to protect the Cherokee Nation Constitution and promote the tribe's culture and traditions.

With hands raised in the air, the newest members of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council were sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice Darrell Dowty during Monday night's regular Tribal Council meeting.

The Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council program started in 1989 and has 161 alumni, many who now work for the tribe. The 2014-15 youth council will meet monthly, and each member serves a one-year term.

The council learns the Cherokee Nation Constitution and youth council bylaws and identifies issues affecting Cherokee youth to potentially shape tribal policy. Students also serve as tribal ambassadors, learn leadership skills and volunteer in the community.

"The Tribal Youth Council is an opportunity for me to serve my tribe and repay it for everything it has done for me," said Tribal Youth Council member Ja-li-si Pittman, 20, NSU student and Tahlequah resident. "It's also a really good opportunity to represent and serve our people."

Tribal Youth Council members joining Pittman include Haylee Caviness, 17, of Tahlequah; Jacob Chavez, 17, of Tahlequah; Haley Teehee, 17, of Tahlequah; and Kaley Teehee, 17, of Tahlequah; Morgan Mouse, 16, of Welling; Ashton Shelley, 17, of Park Hill; Summer Eubanks, 17, of Stilwell; Elizabeth Hummingbird, 17, of Stilwell; Sarah Pilcher, 16, of Westville; Cierra Fields, 15, of Fort Gibson; Blake Henson, 16, of Fort Gibson; Taylor Armbrister, 15, of Kansas; Bradley Fields, 15, of Locust Grove; Ashlee Fox, 17, of Bartlesville; Abigail Shepherd, 15, of Ochelata; and Cassidy Henderson, 15, of Welch.

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yeppers, on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 10:36:43 a.m., said:
I love that Oklahoma is keeping Native American Culture alive.

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Bacone to attempt world record attempt for biggest round dance

Bacone College, in conjunction with Brian Jackson, the "I Believe" guy, and the Bacone Criminal Justice Society Club, will attempt to break several world records beginning at 11 a.m. Nov. 6 at the college, 2299 Old Bacone Road.

Jackson, who is an eleven-time Guinness World Record Holder, will assist as Bacone and anyone in the community who wishes to join the attempt tries to break the record for the world's largest round or friendship dance.

Bacone is inviting as many people as possible, including area tribal delegates, schools and community groups, to show support for one of the oldest Native American colleges.

Currently, the Book of Alternative Records, Assist World Records, Unique World Records, Asia World Records, and Everest World Records are all interested in the attempts. Additionally, the Bacone College baseball team will participate in a surprise record attempt.

"We hope to inspire and motivate students, faculty, and community members to reach for their dreams with diligence and dedication," said Cindy Farmer, CJS advisor. "We just have to believe and then act... to achieve. We all have the ability to make a difference, to become part of a solution - we just have to be willing."

There will be refreshments available, and college representatives will be on hand to offer campus tours and information.

For more information, call 918-781-7301

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BREAKING: Fire in post office

A fuse box is on fire on the back side of the Muskogee Post Office.

Employees have been evacuated and the fire department is arriving at the scene.

3:42 pm UPDATE: Another truck has just arrived, bringing the total to four.

3:59 UPDATE: The damage was confined to the breaker box, Assistant Fire Chief John Tipton said.

"They're without electricity for now," he said. "They'll have to do everything the old-fashioned way for awhile."

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Muskogee man suspected of embezzling at least $800,000 from doctor's office

Muskogee man David Edwards is suspected of embezzling at least $800,000 from a local children's clinic, possibly much more, according to several sources close to the matter.

Muskogee Police are at the clinic now.

"It could be up to two million," one source said. "No one is sure quite yet, but it's at least eight hundred thousand."

Edwards, who is the brother-in-law of one of the clinic's main doctors, did the books for the clinic.

"This is such a shame," said Sheriff Charles Pearson. "That clinic works so hard, they do such good work with the children, regardless of their ability to pay, and they spend numerous hours testifying in child abuse cases without compensation. I hate to see them suffer something like this."

Pearson said the Muskogee Police are handling the investigation, not his office. The police have not yet returned a call for comment.

An arrest will have to wait for a warrant, several sources said.

3:28 pm UPDATE: Muskogee Police just released the following:

Muskogee Police are currently investigating a report of possible embezzlement of funds from the Muskogee Children's Clinic located at 3101 Chandler Road. Initial investigation shows that funds were discovered missing during an inquiry by the Internal Revenue Service and confirmed by an independent auditor hired by the clinic. At this time we are in the initial stages of the investigation and no arrests have been made. Funds in excess of $700,000.00 have been reported as missing.
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This story has 3 comments
brie, on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 4:24:57 p.m., said:
What a scum bag. Hope they get what they deserve.
Josh , on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 4:13:40 p.m., said:
sounds like the irs is hammering down and the easy way out is to blame some one ive seen that a lot
ytsur, on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 10:04:46 a.m., said:
any other details on this story?

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Cherokees help Tahlequah Fire Department buy extraction gear

The Cherokee Nation donated more than $14,000 to the Tahlequah Fire Department to help the station buy vital, lifesaving extraction equipment.

"In our capital city, it's important for the Cherokee Nation to support the infrastructure development of the community. That includes making sure Tahlequah's first responders are fully equipped to handle any emergency situation," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. "We are proud to support these brave men and women who diligently work to protect us all and ensure our citizens, Cherokee and non-Cherokee alike, remain as safe as possible."

The equipment will be used on a new rescue truck for the fire station on the south side of Tahlequah.

"It's tremendous to have the tribe's help," said Fire Chief Ray Hammons, of the Tahlequah Fire Department. "I know the rural areas get a little boost and help every now and then, but we here at the Tahlequah Fire Department protect a lot of Cherokee Nation property, and it is nice to partner with the tribe and to receive their help."

The Cherokee Nation donated $451,000 to 129 rural and city fire departments earlier this summer during the tribe's annual volunteer firefighters' ceremony.

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Thespians to host supper, pie auction, performance

The Competition Theater & Debate team of Muskogee High School will host a Spaghetti Supper and Pie Auction fundraiser to support their competition and travel costs.

The team will also give their only public performance of Fahrenheit 451, a one-act play, typically performed in competition. The Pie Auction will feature live bidding. Everyone is welcome.

The event is Saturday at 6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 600 E. Okmulgee Street.

No tickets necessary. Contributions for the supper are greatly appreciated.

Sponsorships are requested. Individuals: $30, Businesses: $100.

For more information call: (918)289-3471.

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Student arrested for having a gun at Bacone dorms

Jevone Valentine, 20, was arrested yesterday for having a gun at Bacone in the dorms, according to law enforcement sources.

Valentine, who lives in the dorms, was subject to a room check, where officials found a .22-caliber pistol on the window sill of his dorm room.

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Couple jailed on charges of child endangerment, manufacturing meth

Billy Robert Rodden, 43, and Jennifer Dail Gibson, 29 are in the Muskogee County Jail and their child, 2, is in DHS custody after police were called to their home in Muskogee yesterday to investigate reports that a child at the house was suffering from burns.

Police say when they arrived, they didn't see any burns on the child, but they did observe a glass pipe that gave them reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed in the house, according to Muskogee Police Cpl. Michael Mahan.

"The male subject had a warrant, so he was immediately taken into custody," Mahan said. "The female, who was a live-in, signed a consent to search."

Officers found multiple items in the house that led them to believe the couple were manufacturing and selling methamphetamine, including white powder, baggies, several items used in the manufacturing and sale of meth, digital scales, a Remington .22-caliber rifle and a Bearcat police scanner. In addition, police recovered drug paraphernalia used in the consumption of meth.

Officers then obtained a search warrant for Rodden's car, where they found Lithium batteries, cold packs and boxes of Sudafed, all commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Rodden was jailed on the outstanding warrant, child endangerment, use of a firearm while committing a felony, unlawful use of a radio capable of receiving police frequency, endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gibson was arrested on charges of endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful use of a radio capable of receiving police frequency, child endangerment and use of a firearm while committing a felony.

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Woman hit by truck at Main and MLK

A Muskogee woman was struck by a car yesterday while crossing the road at the intersection of Main and Martin Luther King Boulevard, according to Muskogee Police.

The woman, Pamela Dodd, posted on Facebook shortly afterward:

Hit by a truck while walking to work this morning. Broke wrist. 6 staples in back of my head. Sore all over. Feel like I've been hit by a truck. Wait..... oh yeah, I was.

Police say she was transported to Eastar Hosptial by EMS in stable condition, and was released today.

Dodd was walking westbound across Main Street just north of Martin Luther King when a vehicle driven by Ryan Thompson of Muskogee struck her as it was turning left from Martin Luther King onto Main Street.

Thompson told police he was blinded by the sun and didn't see Dodd. He had the green light, police say, but he was still cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a walkway.

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This story has 6 comments
steph, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 11:57:38 a.m., said:
My son was telling me about this yesterday when I picked him up from school. I did the usual, did you learn anything, did anything interesting happen today, etc. and he told me he saw a woman get smoked by a car this morning on the bus while headed to school.
ANONYMOUS, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:46:43 p.m., said:
Perhaps this should be a lesson to all that you should look both ways before crossing a street and not at your phone.
Don't walk on red... duh, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 3:13:22 p.m., said:
If he had the green light, then she is at fault regardless. He has the ride away with a green light. She is supposed to stop on her face g redlight. Walk on green, stop on red. Basic common sense people! I bet the guy feels awful but the woman was to stupid to stay stopped at a redlight. It was purely not the drivers fault in my opinion. It would be the same if a car ran a redlight and he had the green light and he hit the redlight car. It would be the redlight cars fault. Again my own opinion.
, on , said:

Tony, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 5:00:16 p.m., said:
She was headed west crossing the street and he was headed east turning north onto Main Street. They both had a green light. Feel bad for them both and glad she will be OK.
Str8jacket, on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 11:56:09 a.m., said:
I think pedestrians always have the right-of-way. Not sure though. I do know that intersection just after sun up is blinding, all the more readon to drive slower.

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Walk to support domestic violence victims

Women in Safe Homes is hosting a walk in support of domestic violence victims and in remembering those who have been murdered and still suffer from acts of violence.

The walk begins October 22 at 11:45 a.m. in front of the Courthouse and ends at Arrowhead Mall with a program at noon in front of J.C.Penny's.

Wear purple/pink to show your support.

Make a pledge to stop the violence in our community by showing your support.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

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Gospel music festival set

Local gospel recording artist Jeremy Hart has established an annual Gospel music event and now celebrates five years of hosting Gospel Music Celebration concerts in the heart of Muskogee.

Over the last eight years he has released six albums, the majority of which contain original songs, and feature Nashville musicians and production. Various well known southern gospel artists, such as Tribute Quartet and the Whisnants, have recorded songs he has written.

This year's concert, scheduled for the evening of Friday, November 21, 2014 at the Roxy Theatre, is expected to be one of the most exciting gospel concerts Muskogee has seen.

Stan Cook, who has been performing for more than 30 years, will sing his hits, including a Number One, "I'm Going Home With Jesus."

In addition, 11th Hour, a new trio will sing their numerous hit songs, including "Adam's Fall," "Steppin' Out" and "Room with a View," as well as their new hit single, "How Will You Plead."

Adult tickets are $15 and children under age 10 are $1. Tickets can be purchased by calling 918.348.8500 or by visiting Ticket locations include Ruth's Christian Bookstore (501 N Main Street, Muskogee, OK Ph. 918.686.0339) and The Blessing Christian Bookstore (930 Eastside Blvd, Muskogee, OK Ph. 918.686.8442).

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Early Childhood students run for king and queen

Muskogee Early Childhood students are vying for top honors - King and Queen of the school carnival, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30.

Crowning begins at 5:45 p.m. Students are selling votes for $1 each. The girl/boy student from each phase with the most votes will be the phase winners.

The boy and girl in the school with the most votes will be the school king and queen. The 2014-15 King and Queen will be announced at the carnival, where a 32-inch flat screen TV will also be given away as a door prize.

To "vote," you can purchase tickets from your favorite ECC students.

Information: (918) 684-3770.

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MHS freshmen football team works to help rival's coach fight cancer

Muskogee High School's freshmen football team is collecting donations for Jenks assistant football coach Bryant Calip, who is battling a rare form of blood cancer.

The MHS team collected donations at last night's freshmen home football game and will collect again at the 6 p.m. Oct. 20 freshmen home game, the 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21 eighth-grade home game and the 7 p.m. Oct. 24 varsity home game.

The freshmen team will make a special presentation to Coach Calip when Muskogee plays Jenks Oct. 28.

For information or to donate: MHS Head Freshmen Coach Don Yates, (918) 381-3628 or Kathy Rigney, athletic department secretary, (918) 684-3700, ext. 1764.

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Str8jacket, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 8:40:53 a.m., said:
Hey Leif, any word on the lady that was walking across main st at MLK that got hit by the car yesterday? Not seeing it anywhere.

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Loge announces first assistant, seeks investigator resumes

Orvil Loge, who takes office as Muskogee County's district attorney on Jan. 5, has announced his hire as first assistant district attorney, Ryan Roberts.

Roberts was assistant US attorney in Muskogee from 2002 to 2013. Before that, he was a Secret Service agent, and before that, he was an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County.

"He has tons of trial experience," Loge said. "He will immediately be a valuable asset for Muskogee County."

Loge said he is also actively looking for a chief investigator.

"I am taking resumes," he said. "I encourage all CLEET-certified law enforcement officers to send me their resumes by October 23."

Resumes can be sent to PO Box 2548, Muskogee OK 74402.

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Elderly Fort Gibson woman jailed after assault on police officer

A Fort Gibson woman got what she wanted - in a backhand way - while she cools her heels in the Muskogee County Jail.

Wilma Boling, 77, called 911 on Sunday requesting a protective order against her daughter. Then she called again. And again. And again.

The 911 center eventually dispatched a Fort Gibson police officer to the woman's home after she refused to accept that protective orders couldn't be issued on Sundays and argued with the dispatcher, tying up emergency phone lines.

When the officer arrived at the woman's house, according to Fort Gibson Police Chief Clint Vernon, he explained to her that the courthouse would be closed on Monday, too, due to Columbus Day. The woman, the officer reported, became belligerent and argued with the police officer.

Eventually, she shoved the officer in the chest and threw a soda on him, which is when he arrested her, Vernon said.

"That's the quick and easy story," Vernon said. "She cussed him and provoked him, but pushing him and throwing the Coke on him was the last straw. We have had numerous issues with this person."

The entire event was captured on video, which has been turned over to the authorities, Vernon said.

"We're comfortable and confident in what the officer did."

UPDATE: A video of the incident should be available this afternoon.

WARNING: This video contains Not Safe For Work language:

The video was captured by the officer's glasses-mounted camera, Vernon said, which the department is now using on every stop.

"This will save us a lot of trouble in the long run," he said. "They can claim one thing, but we can show the video."

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This story has 16 comments
Str8jacket, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 8:40:53 a.m., said:
Hey Leif, any word on the lady that was walking across main st at MLK that got hit by the car yesterday? Not seeing it anywhere.
yeppers, on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 12:42:15 p.m., said:
After my ex detained me for 3 hours in a hot garage the neighbors heard me trying to escape and called the ftg police. When they arrived all i wanted to do was get out of there so when they asked me what happened i said "I tried to leave but he wouldn't let me". In the process of trying to get away, I had accidentally scratched my husband at that time. They wanted to arrest me for domestic abuse, even tho I was the one with the huge bash on my forehead. The only reason they didn't arrest me is bc he didn't press charges. ftg is all about the good ol' boy system. women will always get the crappy end of the stick in that town.
Dez, on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 8:01:23 p.m., said:
Doesnt look like they came to answer a emergency call but to issue threats against her calling 911 again. Handled wrong from the start leading to the combative escalation. "Maam' I understand you called us and are having a problem. How may we assist you today?" She was fine until they took the hard stance with her and tried to assert control over her. If they had handled it with respect and dignity they could have communicated with her in a better way and then addressed the 911 calling problem after first addressing her complaint. I understand there is history with this person so all the more reason to handle it in a softer and more professional manner. There was no threat to their safety. This should be used as a training video on how not to handle a 911 call.
rocky parks, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 8:08:28 a.m., said:
A lawyer and his personal judge wins millions for the woman
A, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 8:20:33 a.m., said:
That woman is crazy. Selfish idiot.
uh huh, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 9:04:41 a.m., said:
Looks like police brutality from my angle. How many ftg police officers does it take to take down a 77 yr old woman? -3
CO, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 9:19:26 a.m., said:
This definitely could have been handled better. The ftg police dept phone automatically direct you to the 911 center now. So she was telling the truth if she was calling the police dept not 911. But she should have dropped it, arguing with the officer obviously didn't get her anywhere. But the officer should not have went in automatically with the tone and attitude he had. This is an example that they need to use for training. I understand this woman has been a pain for the cops, but you have to respond to calls to help people requesting help, you cant go in threatening to arrest people the second you walk in the door. I don't believe they did anything legally wrong, but this is what is wrong with society today. everyone is ready to jump to conclusions and start arguing. A lot of people need to learn some people skills. There are some people you have to speak to differently or it escalates like this situation did quickly.
Lawman, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 3:37:06 p.m., said:
You people have no idea what you are talking about. This lady got what she deserved. She can not do that to an officer and the officers have a right to confront her about continuing to call 911. This is not police brutality. You need to respect the officers and treat them right. How dare you people saying that this is police brutality! You talk a big game but you try to be a police officer and go through the stuff that they do.
david, on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 5:16:43 p.m., said:
really? ya'll that stupid!
concerned, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 7:10:58 a.m., said:
If the police want respect they need to give respect instead of coming in with attitude. Their job is to serve and protect not bully!
k, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 7:36:06 a.m., said:
For those of you commenting on how the Ftg police handled this situation let me tell you about the three home health employees SHE cussed and physically attacked when she didn't get her way. How she has cussed and gotten belligerent with multiple health care employees because she didn't get her way and multiple other issues this woman has caused in the last year or so for many people. With that being said. You cannot repeatedly call 911 because you arent getting your way and tie up phone lines arguing with dispatch. What if at that moment you needed 911 and couldnt get through because someone had the line tied up arguing about something that could have been handled in another way by the person complaining. This was not the first time she had called police for this matter that day and on many other occasions. I for one have been verbally attacked by this woman on several occasions because she didnt like what she was being told and wasnt getting her way. She has health issues that need addressed but if she refuses treatment then there is nothing anyone can do. The police cant allow anyone INCLUDING elderly women to cuss and attack them for any reason. They were doing their job. She needs help and I pray that by her going to jail, adult protective services will step in and place her in a home where care can be around the clock for her mental instability. Most of the people in this town think our officers are out to get them. I give Kudos to Chief Vernon and his team. They put their lives on the line everyday for the citizens of Ftg. Just remember, young , or elderly if someone is being arrested there is a reason. If the very people protecting us feel like they cant do their job because of someone's age or gender then this town and our world is in trouble. Do police make bad judgements? Hell yes, but this situation was handled professionaly and until you deal with this lady or someone like her keep in mind this is probably the best thing that could happen at the time because she has deteriorated in the past year and was only going to end up hurting herself o someone else.
CO, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 12:22:32 p.m., said:
I am not saying they did anything wrong for arresting her, but if you work in home health or hospice then you know people with instability have to be dealt with carefully. I know majority of FTG PD and I know Vernon, they are all great police officers and I think what Vernon has don't with the dept since he took over has really done improved the police dept. Here is what I am saying, anyone who calls 911 or their pd requesting an officer is then that responding officers "customer" in any business now days people have forgotten how to treat customers or other people in general. There is hardly any respect other in todays time. I am not condoning this womans actions or behavior, She was wrong. she should have shut up and handled it differently. But the way someone speaks to another really changes the direction of a situation. I have worked in casinos and dealt with a lot of these irrational people, but you have to pick you battle, you have to try and calm the situation. FYI she was one of the people I had seen when I worked there, not a great person, but still a person in my eyes so I treated her with respect. I understand they were frustrated with her, I do not blame them, she shouldn't have tied up their lines and she was very hateful and did assault an officer which is completely unacceptable, but it could have been started out a lot better. I am not an officer, I would not be an officer for reasons like this woman, And I respect the men and women who are officers that put their lives at risk every day to serve and protect. This is a public site for every one to voice their opinion that was all I was doing. Was not meant for disrespect towards these officers or any officer.
Dez, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:20:19 p.m., said:
Lawman or should we call you "Judge Dread?" Thats the problem you can always use police policy to back any of your actions. What you "can do" and what you choose to do is two different things. And both fall within Dept policy. Respect goes both way, If you cant take a cursing from a little ole onery lady that poses no physical threat without taking them down hard then maybe a LEO position in another country may suit you best. I come from a LEO family with a Chief, county, city , DEA and SS brothers. Im well aware of how professionalism within the ranks can and should be handled. You need a little thicker skin and a lot more training.
rocky parks, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:55:11 p.m., said:
not saying any wrong done but the right lawyer will make the money. if she is and was that bad she should have long been in in a mental facility.
uh huh, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 3:26:22 p.m., said:
I don't know this woman personally, but I do know Ftg police will shove an innocent woman against a car, handcuff her and throw her in a hot police car w no AC in 90 degree weather all based on what her lying husband told them.......... they are the dirtiest of the dirty and all you have to have is a penis for them to believe you
CONCERNED, on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 11:45:02 a.m., said:
I hope this lady gets herself a good attorney that will put ftg police in their place. Apparently they need to be reminded they are not God!

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Schools to close Thursday and Friday

Muskogee Public Schools will be closed Thursday, Oct. 16 and Friday, Oct. 17 for Fall Break.

The administrative offices at the BEST Center, 202 W. Broadway, will also be closed Thursday and Friday.

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

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Band of all trades to play hall of fame on Thursday

Willyecho, a trio based out of Tulsa, OK, is a modern, neo-soul band which blends together their original music with cover tunes ranging anywhere from classic rock, pop, contemporary rock and even a little country. Willyecho members include Kyle Williams - lead vocals and guitar, Micheal Rappe - vocals and bass guitar and Antjuan Robinson - percussion.

Their playlist includes songs everyone knows and loves from artists such as Bob Marley, Florida Georgia Line, Journey, Steve Miller Band, Johnny Cash, Maroon 5, Eli Young Band, Black Crows, The Temptations, Foo Fighters, Otis Redding, John Mayer, Queen, Train, U2, Amos Lee and many more.

Willyecho has an extensive repertoire of music, therefore they are sure to please any crowd. They are available to play at restaurants and/or bars, outdoor festivals, weddings, reunions and other private parties.

Admission will be $5 at the door and all ages are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

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This story has 2 comments
Str8jacket, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 8:40:53 a.m., said:
Hey Leif, any word on the lady that was walking across main st at MLK that got hit by the car yesterday? Not seeing it anywhere.
ANONYMOUS, on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:57:48 p.m., said:
Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7pm

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Some stuff may not work briefly

We are moving a few things around. Some of the internal pages on the site may not work for a few minutes today because of it.

Everything will be functioning normally soon.

UPDATE: Everything should be working now. We have completely overhauled the programs underlying the site, and in moving some things around, the site was unable to find everything it was looking for in order to get the news to you. We have now fixed that, with the bonus of making the home page (finally) load faster.

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State lawmakers to study homelessness, suicide in vets

More than 20 veterans commit suicide every day in the United States and an estimated 60,000 are homeless. Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Tommy Hardin will be holding a joint interim study beginning next week to develop a better understanding of the two issues and figure out a solution to better assist Oklahoma veterans.

Simpson, a retired Navy veteran, said the statistics are disturbing and Oklahoma's veterans deserve better.

Statistics show that while veterans constitute only eleven percent of the adult population nationwide, they represent 40 percent of the male homeless population. The percentage of homeless veterans has decreased over the past decade but the numbers remain high. Simpson and Hardin fear that with so many serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, the problem of veteran homelessness may get worse.

Suicide is another issue that is more prevalent among veterans than the civilian population. Approximately, ten percent of Oklahoma adults are veterans but they make up over 25 percent of the state's suicides.

The study is scheduled for Tuesday, October 14, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. at the state Capitol in conference room 419C.

Interim studies are public meetings so anyone is welcome to attend. The meeting can also be viewed live on the Senate website ( by selecting "Live Committee Meetings" at the bottom of the home page and then selecting the room number.

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Republicans to meet Thursday

The Muskogee County Republicans & Conservatives Club will host its October meeting on Thursday, October 16 in the Muskogee Public Library's downstairs meeting room starting at 7 p.m.

Guest speakers for this event will be Muskogee County Republican candidates. In addition, information will be presented regarding the state questions and the judges up for election.

With the election less than three weeks away from the club meeting, the club is focused on educating voters.

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