Freeze warning for tonight, tomorrow

The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for Muskogee County and all of northeast Oklahoma.

The warning, in effect 11 p.m. Friday through 10 a.m. Saturday, also includes Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Creek, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.

According to the weather service, a cold front will move through the area this afternoon and tonight, which will bring significantly colder temperatures Friday.

A freeze is expected Friday night into Saturday morning as a cold, Canadian air mass settles over the area, the weather service forecasts.

Temperatures may fall into the mid-20s in some parts of northeast Oklahoma and northern Arkansas by Saturday morning, which will kill plants and other tender vegetation left outdoors or unprotected, according to the weather service.

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Area student gets national honor

Cherokee Nation citizen Sarah Ferrell, of Tahlequah, was recently selected to the 2014-15 American Indian Graduate Center All Native American High School Academic Team.

Ferrell, 18, a student at Northeastern State University, was one of 10 high school seniors in the country to receive the title, which was announced in "The American Indian Graduate" fall magazine. Ferrell is the only Cherokee Nation citizen in her class to earn the distinction. She was also awarded a $250 scholarship.

"It feels awesome to be recognized along with such an outstanding and small group of people," Ferrell said. "I feel so honored. I'm proud to represent the state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation."

Awards are given to high school students who succeed academically, in leadership roles and through community service, according to the AIGC. The organization raises awareness for young Native role models to increase participation in high school academic programs.

"This is a wonderful and well-deserved honor," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. "We are proud of our talented and successful young Cherokee citizens, like Sarah. I know she will continue to represent her community and her tribe well."

Ferrell graduated from Tahlequah High School in May 2014. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar. Ferrell volunteers at her church and helps coach a youth soccer team.

For more information on the American Indian Graduate Center and their scholarship offerings, visit www.aigc.com.

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Broadway actress to perform here

Acclaimed Broadway actress Jenn Gambatese, who recently played Maria in the Chicago Lyric Opera production of "The Sound of Music," will perform for the public in Muskogee at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at a special concert in Bacone College's Memorial Chapel, 2299 Old Bacone Road.

Gambatese's Broadway debut was in the musical Footloose, and whose credits include since originating the role of everyone's favorite saddle-shoed sidekick, 'Penny Pingleton' in Broadway's Hairspray, bringing 'Mouse' to life in the enchanting A Year with Frog and Toad and channeling 'Natalie' (and her alter-ego, 'Ed') in All Shook Up -- a portrayal which earned her an Outer Critics Circle nomination.

Gambatese said she is delighted to visit Muskogee to perform, and she's looking forward to leading a Master Class, too - something she never had the opportunity to be a participant in when she was in theater arts at her small-town high school in Ohio or during her time at New York University.

"I think it's so wonderful that MAAC (Muskogee Area Arts Council) is making this available to the local singers of Muskogee, and I really hope I can bring some insight and practical tips to them when we work together," she said. "The class will entail me working with each student one on one on a song they have prepared for about 20 minutes. We will look at it in terms of singing technique and acting choices because of course great performances need both."

Following the public concert, she will coach local talented singers Michelle Williams, Betsy Kennedy, Meaghan McCawley, Emily Dean, Carly Johnson and Madison Eckerson, who were among many who auditioned for a spot in early October.

McCawley, who often sings at public events in Muskogee, said this is an "awesome opportunity" for her to learn new techniques to improve her own performances.

"This kind of thing doesn't come around to a small, Midwestern town very often," McCawley said. "I'm looking forward to gaining from her extensive knowledge and experience on Broadway. She's a big deal; she's done so much."

The class will not be open to the public, but tickets to the 7 p.m. concert are $5 at the door, thanks to MAAC, who is sponsoring the concert and class in conjunction with Bacone College, the City of Muskogee and the Oklahoma Area Arts Council.

For more information, contact Bacone Director of Development Kimberly Gilliland at (918) 781-7226 or gillilandk@bacone.edu.

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Police to take on fire department in hoops for MHS team

The Muskogee Police Department is taking on the Muskogee Fire Department in a game of basketball on Saturday for bragging rights - and to help the Muskogee High School basketball team.

The game takes place at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Ron Milam Field House at MHS, cost is $3.

From the police, Ty Pickering, Micah Fleak, James Poffel, Ron Mayes, Taylor Reeves, Darrin Reeves, Don Mayes, Russ Andis, James Moore and Ken Hughey will play, while the fire department will field Jody Moore, Clint Edwards, Chance Parker, Austin Eller, Lance Rolland, Logan VanLoo, Jesse Morgan and TJ Tidwell.

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$7 million investment to bring jobs to Muskogee

Metals USA, owned by Reliance Steel and Aluminum, the largest steel service center in the United States, is expanding its Muskogee operations with plans to complete more than $7 million worth of additions and improvements including equipment, security updates and roofing throughout the next three years, while adding 15 new jobs in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

This investment will help increase cutting capabilities through the addition of a new machine to bevel plates and allow the company to increase operating efficiency and production. In 2015, they plan to increase their ability to miter cut structural items.

Metals USA is a carbon steel distributor which services a five-state area. Reliance Steel and Aluminum Company, acquired them in 2013. They moved to the Port of Muskogee in 2000. Today, they feature 36 employees in their 232,000 sq. ft. facility. "Metals USA prides themselves on a strong commitment to the Muskogee community through support of growth and development," said Eric Miller, Director of Business and Economic Development. "One of the many ways they've done this is through the utilization of Muskogee's workforce program for employee recruitment." "Fostering growth of our existing industry is a vital part of our economic development strategy," said Miller. "The Muskogee City-County Port Authority's Strategic Investment Program has played an integral part in economic contribution for the city of Muskogee."

SIP, a grant from the City of Muskogee Foundation, allows the Port to consider incentive awards to companies creating a minimum of 15 full-time jobs and/or investing a minimum of $250,000 in new or expanded facilities within a 36-month time frame. This expansion project is anticipated to have a positive impact on local economy, generating a total of more than $1 million throughout the next 10 years for all local taxing authorities.

"This investment is not only being made here at Metals USA, but here in the Muskogee community as well, "said Ken Scott, Plant Manager for Metals USA. "This investment will allow us to meet the ever- changing demands of our customers and by investing here in Muskogee we intend on helping insure a more stable economic environment for future generations of Okies'."

Through this investment, Metals USA will help increase employment while stimulating local economy.

Reliance Steel features 360 locations worldwide, including their Muskogee location at 2800 North 43rd Street.

Michele Arnold, a native from the area, has been with the organization for approximately 34 years and plays a huge role in the continued success of the Metals USA Muskogee facility. By recommending the investments needed to solidify this competiveness in the current marketplace, Michele's decisions help ensure the company's continued success. For more information about Metals USA, call Michele Arnold, General Manager, at 918-682-7833

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Tyson, Nofire coming to area in November

Boxing legend Mike Tyson and Iron Mike Productions present "Hard Knocks at the Hard Rock" on Friday, Nov. 21, at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The event features the triumphant return of popular local heavyweight prospect Wes "Cherokee Warrior" Nofire, 15-0-0 (11KO's), battling Ty Cobb, 18-5-0 (10KO's), of Wichita Falls, Texas.

Advance tickets are on sale starting at $42. VIP/Meet & Greet Tickets are also available for the event. Tickets can be purchased online at www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com or by calling (918) 384-ROCK. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the first bell at 8 p.m.

"There's nothing like coming home and feeling the energy that the people around here bring, especially the Cherokee people," Nofire said. "When they show up, there are no other fans like them. When they are all there and you know they are cheering for you specifically, it's quite an empowering feeling."

Although residing in rural Cherokee County near Tahlequah, Nofire trains in Miami, Florida.

The 6-foot-6-inch, 240-pound Nofire defeated Earl Ladson in Mesquite, Texas, by unanimous decision in his last bout on Sept. 26, which was his first fight and victory with Iron Mike Productions.

Co-featured at "Hard Knocks at the Hard Rock" is an excellent ten-round welterweight clash between 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz, 15-0-0 (10KO's), of the Dominican Republic vs. tough Chicago veteran Adrian "EL Tigre" Grandados, 13-2-2 (9KO's).

Also featured will be an eight-round middleweight battle between 2012 Ukrainian Olympic Gold Medalist Ievgen Khytrov, 6-0-0 (6KO's), and Louis Rose, 11-1-1 (3KO's), of Lynwood, California.

Four additional bouts will be announced shortly.

For additional information on Iron Mike Productions, visit www.IronMikeProductions or follow on Twitter at @IronMikeProd and on Facebook at IronMikeProductionsOfficial.

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Early voting begins on Thursday

A new state law which took effect on Nov. 1, 2013, changes the dates and times voters have come to expect for early voting in Oklahoma. Now, early voting begins a day earlier-on Thursday-and continues on Friday and Saturday, Muskogee County Election Board Secretary Kelly G. Beach explained today. Of special note, all early voting on Monday is discontinued.

These changes have occurred due to the approval of SB 869, which was signed into law in May, 2013. As a result, Thursday, October 30, 2014 is the first day for in-person absentee, aka "early" voting, in the November 4th General Election, Beach said.

The new law also adjusts the hours for Saturday in-person absentee voting to begin and end one hour later than previously authorized. Beach explained that during federal and state elections, when voter turnout is often heaviest, the Saturday option gives voters a third opportunity to vote early prior to the election day.

Voters in Muskogee County may vote early at the Muskogee County Election Board located in the Muskogee County Services Building, 400 W. Broadway, Room 120 in Muskogee.

Among the changes which became effective on Nov. 1, 2013:

  • In-person absentee "early" voting now occurs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and continues on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Under the new statute, Monday voting is discontinued entirely.
  • Previously, early voting began on Friday and continued on Monday. Under the old statute, Saturday hours were 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More information about absentee voting in Oklahoma, as well as other election-related information, is available at www.elections.ok.gov.

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Tom Skinner's Science Project to play here Oct. 30

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host Tom Skinner's Science Project Thursday, October 30th at 7 pm at The Frisco Depot, 401 S. 3rd in Muskogee.

During the 1980's, Tom was the leader of the Skinner Brothers band and then a Stillwater-based group - Santa Fe - that featured the young Garth Brooks. The band - including Skinner's brothers Craig and Mike - played a type of music that anticipated Red Dirt: country-influenced, with emphasis on the lyric rather than the groove, blended with rock and folk and other musical elements. In the late 80's, Santa Fe headed to Nashville, hoping to score a record deal. Against all odds, Brooks emerged as one of the biggest music stars who ever lived. Skinner, on the other hand, gave up the chase and came back home to Bristow, OK.

It has often been said that Tom Skinner is the greatest songwriter you've never heard of, but in the end, Skinner doesn't really consider himself to be a guy who played a major role in creating a musical movement. Skinner has a weekly show - Tom Skinner's Science Project - and in many ways is the official Red Dirt gig in Tulsa.

Every week they feature a new guest and this has become a gateway into Red Dirt music for some of the most talented young songwriters in the Tulsa Red Dirt scene. Tom Skinner's generosity and willingness to help younger songwriters has nurtured the Tulsa branch of the Red Dirt family for many years and it continues to do so until this day.

"When you're on stage, I figure it ought to be the best two or three hours of your day," Skinner said.

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24th Street to undergo construction

The City of Muskogee would like to advise motorists that 24th Street (from Inman Street to Topeka Avenue) will undergo construction from Oct. 28 through Nov. 2.

During this project, 24th Street will be closed to thru traffic from Inman Street to Topeka Avenue between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to relocate a water line. Both lanes of traffic will reopen each day after 5 p.m. and reclose at 9 a.m. the following day. Also, 24th Street between Shawnee Street and Okmulgee Avenue will be closed to heavy truck traffic.

Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes during this time.

For more information, call the City of Muskogee Public Works Department at 918-684- 6333.

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Report: School bus driver, goaded by kids, guns bus at railroad crossing, narrowly misses train

A Muskogee school bus driver is under investigation after a railroad contacted Muskogee Schools and complained about a close call a month ago.

The TP and W Railroad contacted the schools after one of its engineers complained that his train narrowly missed Muskogee School bus 25 at a crossing on L Street in Muskogee.

A school district employee said the driver, Darryl Lee, stopped at the crossing, but students on the bus began goading him to "go! Go! Go!"

Lee allegedly acquiesced, gunning the bus and crossing in front of the oncoming train. The engineer reported that his train barely missed the bus, which was carrying children.

"This is under investigation," Wendy Burton, spokeswoman for the schools, said. "We are waiting for a video from the train to see what happened."

The schools reviewed a video from the bus, she said, but it was inconclusive.

Lee is in Tulsa today with a bus full of students on a field trip. Asked why the driver is still driving while under investigation for allegedly endangering students, Burton said she would have to get information from transportation officials.

Burton also said she was unfamiliar with transportation rules after Lee said he was at the next stop sign when the train crossed, which would mean he knowingly crossed in front of an oncoming train.

1:51 PM UPDATE: It was a stop light, not a sign, Burton said.

On why he is still driving at this time:

Transportation officials said he is a long-time driver, with no previous safety violations.

3:38 PM UPDATE: According to the schools, the incident occurred on September 24.

The driver, the schools reported, immediately told his supervisor when he arrived back at the transportation department, saying he violated safety rules by crossing the tracks as the warning lights went off.

"The driver said the train did not cross the road until he was at the light at Eastside Boulevard," said Burton, "a little more than a block past the railway."

"Appropriate" discipline was enacted for the safety violation, Burton said, but declined to share the details, citing employee confidentiality.

The driver is currently driving buses, she added, saying he had eight years of service with no safety violations.

Filed under: Local Education
This story has been revised 3 times
  • By Leif Wright on Monday, October 27, 2014 at 1:42:34 p.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif Wright on Monday, October 27, 2014 at 4:29:35 p.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif Wright on Monday, October 27, 2014 at 4:29:50 p.m. (VIEW)
This story has 1 comment
savedbygrace, on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 1:22:40 a.m., said:
8 years without previous incidents would not bring these kids back to life if they had been killed by this idiotic move.

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Highway Patrol seeks hit-and-run driver from Muskogee Turnpike that killed motorcycle rider

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is asking for help in finding a vehicle which struck a motorcycle rider who had just hit a deer on the Muskogee Turnpike late Sunday in Wagoner County.

Troopers said Jason Ashlock, 39, of Broken Arrow was riding his 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle north on the turnpike about five miles south of Broken Arrow when he struck the deer at about 10 p.m. The OHP said the impact threw Ashlock off the bike and an unknown vehicle also northbound struck Ashlock moments later.

Troopers said Ashlock was taken to a Broken Arrow hospital where he was pronounced dead. The OHP says anyone with information about the vehicle involved in the crash to call 405-425-7709.

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Schools name Miss NASA

Muskogee Public Schools Indian Education has announced Muskogee High School junior Madison Shoemaker is 2015 Miss NASA. Freshman Samiyra Logan is 2015 Jr. Miss NASA.

The MPS Native American Student Advocacy representatives were chosen during a pageant presentation Thursday at Bacone College's Memorial Chapel, with presenter Joe Byrd, former chief of the Cherokee Nation and guest speakers Miss Muscogee (Creek) Nation Brittany Morgan-Hill and Jr. Miss Muscogee (Creek) Nation River Nokvs-Yyhiky Watson, and 2014 Jr. Miss NASA Spring Chalakee.

First runners-up were MHS junior Shauna Logan and seventh-grader Chaylee Page. President of Bacone College Franklin Willis surprised Shoemaker with a $40,000 scholarship of $10,000 a year for up to four years to Bacone College.

"You are an admirable young person and we want you to be here with us," Willis said. "But no matter where you choose to go, we also wish you great success."

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This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Leif Wright on Monday, October 27, 2014 at 9:36:26 a.m. (VIEW)
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UPDATE: Horses adopted out, owner charged with animal cruelty

Richard Lee Clark of Muskogee has been charged with felony animal cruelty after his horses were found malnourished and injured, with no food available to them, according to court records.

Clark signed over rights to the horses, which were immediately adopted out to people wanting to rehabilitate them, according to Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson.

A warrant has been issued for Clark's arrest.

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One more thing: You can now read all the edits we make

We're done making announcements about the site after this one (for awhile, anyway). But this one is kind of cool, so we thought you'd like to know.

People don't trust journalists. They think we all have some sort of agenda, likely, and definitely think we're hiding things. Well, at MuskogeeNOW.com, we don't have anything to hide. We've explained multiple times that this site covers news as it happens, and that means stories get changed as we go along.

Details of the stories change as we cover them, as does the arrangement of the stories. Then, sometimes, people let us know things that we got wrong, and we change those details, too.

Some of that helps add to the perception that we have something to hide. People think, "Hey, I saw something on this story, now it's gone! They're hiding something!"

Well, no longer. Now, when we edit a story, the server automatically records that and displays the information at the bottom of the story so you can go back and see what we've changed.

In my opinion, it's us being as transparent as we can possibly be. It's part of the unwritten contract between us and you that you can trust what we say, and when we get something wrong, we fix it, but we don't hide the fact that we got it wrong before we fixed it.

Trust isn't built upon being right all the time. It's built upon admitting when you're wrong and not hiding that fact. The new "revisions" feature of MuskogeeNOW.com is designed to maintain that trust that you have given us.

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This story has been revised 1 time
  • By Leif Wright on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 9:58:21 p.m. (VIEW)
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Comments are (really) fixed now

OK. To fix comments, I had to do a lot of work. To do it without deleting all the comments that already existed, I had to make a compromise: I had to keep the comments, but lose the commenter names (it's a long, complicated story, but that's what had to happen).

So when you go to stories before this one, you'll see a lot of "[commenter from previous system]" as the name of the commenter. Again, sorry, but it had to happen, because there was no other way to get the comments working than by deleting all the existing commenters.

That means to comment, even if you've commented before, you'll have to sign up, but it's not a complicated process, and it involves no needles being inserted into you, so it shouldn't really be a problem.

The lone exception to this is lawman, who had the good fortune of signing up after I had deleted all the old commenters' names.

Sorry for any inconvenience, but in the long run, it will be better for everyone, and it will keep people like walmartramen from hijacking stories with their weird and off-subject rants.

Filed under: Local
This story has been revised 2 times
  • By Leif Wright on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 7:20:39 p.m. (VIEW)
  • By Leif Wright on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 9:43:55 p.m. (VIEW)
This story has 1 comment
Steve, on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 6:59:39 p.m., said:
Wow. That was a long time. Glad to see comments back, though.

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Shooting on Emporia leaves holes in house, police get the silent treatment

Multiple shots were fired this morning at 18th and Emporia Streets, not that you'd know that by talking to the witnesses, according to police.

"We have a situation where we have a victim and multiple witnesses," said Cpl. Michael Mahan with the Muskogee Police Department, "none of whom are cooperating or providing any detail."

The victim, Eugene Rogers, 31, of Kansas City, was not hit by any of the bullets, Mahan said.

Rogers was traveling in a silver Malibu near the intersection when someone started shooting at him, police say. Rogers accelerated the vehicle when shots began to fly and got into a wreck at 460 N. 19th, where he ran into a fence, then hopped out of the vehicle and started running. The suspect, who was still chasing him, continued firing at him as he ran around the house, then got back into his vehicle and fled the scene.

Police stopped him on South Sixth Street, but were unable to get information from him.

"He was uncooperative," Mahan said. "I have no doubt the victim knows who the suspect is but doesn't want to disclose that information."

The suspect was believed to have run into a residence in the 1700 block of Emporia, but the residents there say they didn't see or hear anything.

The suspect is a black male wearing black clothing with short hair.

Filed under: Local Crime
This story has 3 comments
lawman, on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 5:36:09 p.m., said:
Dont call the police if you won't even give a statement or help with the investigation. Smh!
Leif M. Wright, on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 9:46:13 p.m., said:
This is a test comment. Although I do agree with lawman. (And now I'm testing whether I can edit my own comment - but I still agree with lawman.)

Edited by Leif M. Wright at Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 5:33:20 p.m. (View comment before edit)

[Commenter from previous system], on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 11:03:01 p.m., said:
Why call the cops if you're not going to help?

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Muskogee Schools appoint board member

Muskogee Public Schools has appointed Gilbert Hall of Muskogee to the Muskogee Public Schools Board of Education to fill out the unexpired term of Keith Biglow, which comes up for re-election in December.

"I am honored to be asked to serve on the Muskogee Public Schools Board of Education," he said. "And I look forward to helping Muskogee create a better future for our students."

Hall's interests and experience in workforce development complement his interest in public education, he said.

He is the Chairman of the Eastern Workforce Investment Board, where he has served the past twelve years, and is serving his fifth term as the President of the Oklahoma Association of Workforce Investment Boards (OAWIB). He is also a member of the Governor's Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED) representing OAWIB and a State Youth Council member. Hall promotes innovation in the Eastern area and the State of Oklahoma. He is a vocal community advocate for education, workforce and economic development.

Hall is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and was employed with Oklahoma Gas & Electric for 35 years, retiring August 2012. For the past 25 years, he has been an adjunct instructor of economics and management for Connors State College. He is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma Class XIII.

Hall currently serves on the advisory board of Firstar Bank, NSU Alumni Board, a Trustee for Muskogee Medical Center Authority and Chairman of the Muskogee Medical Foundation. He previously served as Chairman of Greater Muskogee Development Corporation (GMDC), the Chairman of Oklahoma Partnership for Industry and Education (OPIE), and as community Chair for M.E.S.H. (Muskogee's Endeavor for Social Harmony), a collaborative business committee of GMDC.

Filed under: Local Education
This story has 4 comments
Leif M. Wright, on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 2:18:19 a.m., said:
This is a test comment. I sure hope it works.
Leif M. Wright, on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 2:24:18 a.m., said:
This is my second comment. Still just a test.
Leif M. Wright, on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 2:29:38 a.m., said:
Whatever. Another test.
Leif M. Wright, on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 2:32:56 a.m., said:
I'm testing again. Grr.

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Muskogee ranked third in nation for least-expensive cities for transportation

A recent measure of the cost of living index, which compared 279 urban areas, ranks Muskogee as the third least expensive city in the nation for transportation costs.

The rankings are determined using the average cost of auto maintenance and price of gasoline. The average price per gallon of gasoline in Muskogee for the second quarter in 2014 was $3.45, twelve cents lower than the national average of $3.57 per gallon.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top-income quintile. It is based on prices covering almost 60 different items. The price data are collected three times a year by The Port of Muskogee's Business & Economic Development Office.

Filed under: Local Good News
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Sheriff confiscates three horses, files animal cruelty case

The Muskogee Sheriff's Office has confiscated three horses and filed a criminal case of animal cruelty against a Muskogee man, according to Deputy Brandon Caster.

"The horses were malnourished and had sores all over them," he said. "The guy tried to say a dog got hold of them, but it obviously wasn't that."

The man hasn't been arrested, but the case has been sent to the district attorney.

"The injuries to the one horse were severe," Sheriff Charles Pearson said. "His face was all cut up and he had cuts all over his chest and legs. The vet had to do a lot of work, and he lost a lot of skin."

The horses had nothing to eat and were trying to push through a fence that separated them from round bales of hay that were outside the fence.

Filed under: Local Crime
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Watch the eclipse this afternoon

A partial solar eclipse - when the moon gets between the sun and the earth - will darken the Muskogee area's skies between 4:40 p.m. and 5:48 p.m. today, according to NASA.

The sun will not be completely covered by the moon, but it will be enough that the effect is still fun to watch - if proper precautions are taken.

According to NASA, there are two safe ways to watch the eclipse without doing permanent damage to your eyes:

1) Projection: The safest and most inexpensive way to watch a partial solar eclipse is by projection. Place a pinhole or small opening in a card, and hold it between the sun and a screen - giant sheet of white paper works - a few feet away. An image of the sun will be seen on the screen. Projected images of the sun's crescent during an eclipse may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree. You can also use binoculars to project a magnified image of the sun on a white card. However, you must never look through the binoculars at the sun.

2) Filters: The sun can be viewed directly only when using filters specifically designed for this purpose. Such filters usually have a thin layer of aluminum, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces. One of the most widely available filters for safe eclipse viewing is a #14 (or darker) welder's glass. A welding glass that permits you to see the landscape is not safe. Aluminized mylar manufactured specifically for solar observation can also be used. Mylar can easily be cut with scissors and adapted to any kind of box or viewing device. Only use filters that you know have been approved for solar viewing.

When you watch tonight, be sure to send us your pictures of the event.

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