Friday, October 17, 2014 at 3:35:40 p.m.
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."
Filed under: Local Breaking News
Friday, October 17, 2014 at 12:50:29 p.m.
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.
Friday, October 17, 2014 at 12:41:34 a.m.
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.
Filed under: Local
Friday, October 17, 2014 at 12:39:24 a.m.
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.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:57:16 a.m.
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.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:32:35 a.m.
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.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:18:15 a.m.
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.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 12:28:27 a.m.
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.
Filed under: Local
Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 12:11:29 a.m.
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 www.jeremyhartmusic.com. 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).
Filed under: Local Entertainment
Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 12:05:41 a.m.
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.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 9:36:53 a.m.
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.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 9:08:26 a.m.
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.
Filed under: Local Exclusive
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 12:40:26 a.m.
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."
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 9:18:12 a.m.
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
Filed under: Local Education
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 9:13:58 a.m.
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.
Filed under: Local Entertainment
Monday, October 13, 2014 at 12:33:35 a.m.
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.
Filed under: Local
Monday, October 13, 2014 at 7:55:53 a.m.
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 (www.oksenate.gov) by selecting "Live Committee Meetings" at the bottom of the home page and then selecting the room number.
Filed under: Local
Monday, October 13, 2014 at 7:54:43 a.m.
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.
Filed under: Local Politics
Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 12:39:52 p.m.
Designing a site for desktop and mobile users at the same time is daunting.
As part of a complete site overhaul that we've been undertaking for the last month in preparation for a big addition to the site, we noticed that navigation on mobile browsers, well, sucked.
Our site is designed to be efficient, both from your end and from our end. We need to be able to update something one time and have it affect both mobile and desktop versions of the site, so we can't have a separate mobile page as many websites do. Our site just has to "know" you're using a mobile browser and change the way the content is presented to take advantage of the smaller screen and touch input.
And therein lies part of the problem. Our menus above use the fact that you're hovering your mouse above them to activate the menu. But on a mobile device, you can't hover the mouse because there is no mouse. So we had a problem: mobile users couldn't activate the menus. In addition, even if they could, the menus were too small to hit with a finger, and if they were activated, they scrolled down past the bottom of the screen.
Almost all of those problems could be overcome by you, the user, just with a few extra clicks and scrolls, but our credo has always been to eliminate every single barrier possible between you and the news you want, which is why we list entire stories instead of just headlines and a few lines of text with a link to the story. Similarly, making you zoom in or otherwise work harder to access features from your mobile device was an unacceptable idea.
Instead, we worked the entire weekend to come up with an alternate solution: a mobile-only solution that used the same basic data as the desktop site without requiring users to jump through hoops to get to it.
If you're using a mobile browser, you'll notice there's no menu above; instead, there's a big, white arrow with a dark gray background on the top left of the page. Touch that arrow and a menu will pop out from the left. It has all the same features as the desktop menu, with just a different presentation.
We know it's not perfect yet, and we'll keep refining it, but right now, we have to get back to work on the big addition that's coming, which is why all these changes have been happening in the first place.
We hope you like it.
Filed under: Local
Friday, October 10, 2014 at 2:53:55 p.m.
Alice Robertson Junior High School held a special event Friday for their seventh- and eighth-grade boys, featuring several guest speakers and a barbecue lunch.
"Man Up is a day where we bring in the speakers to encourage our boys as they become young men," said Jarrod Adair, family and school interventionist. "We try to guide them in making the right decisions by 'manning up.'"
Speakers included Shaun Derik, a motivational speaker and founder of "Speaker for the Dreamer;" Kenyatta Wright, former New York Jets linebacker and Fellowship for Christian Athletes representative for eastern Oklahoma; and Lonnie Baker, a Muskogee native who is a Christian hip-hop artist and motivational speaker.
Additionally, Muskogee native Jermaine Mondaine, and many local ministers, Muskogee Public School coaches, teachers and staff, participated in the inspirational event.
Derik talked about world-view, and how it impacts life. "Maybe you wake up and see it's raining and think you'll have a bad day today, no matter what," Derik said. "Or maybe you wake up and see it's raining and decide you'll have a good day and there's nothing you can do about it. It's all about your perception, how you view your world."
Wright talked about times in his life he made a bad decision, some so bad he was afraid he might end his career. He encouraged the boys to always think before they leap.
Baker told the boys a story about chickens and eagles - chickens who "cluck around you, telling you not to do things because they aren't cool, or telling you to go off and smoke something with them."
"What's the moral of this story? Don't act like a chicken and don't let chickens influence your life," Baker said. "You are eagles, and you were built to fly."
Filed under: Local Education