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DEATHS

Bill G. Shirel, 87

Born February 17, 1934

Died June 10, 2021

Russell Gilbert "Russ" Hayes, 92

Born June 22, 1928

Died June 9, 2021

Virginia Lee Tutt, 82

Born January 16, 1939

Died June 8, 2021

David Ronald Franklin, 75

Born September 4, 1945

Died June 8, 2021

Robert Lee Barker, 78

Born May 23, 1943

Died June 8, 2021

CLICK TO SEE MORE >>

Our death notices and obits are always free to the families and funeral homes.

THINGS TO DO

Monday, June 14, 2021, 8:51 AM

Muskogee’s Big Papa’s Okie Toke, a medical marijuana dispensary just south of Peak Boulevard on US 69, is hosting a day at the waterpark - and helping those in need.

The event is 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at River Country Water Park on June 26. No usage or promotion of marijuana products is allowed at the event. Hot dogs, hamburgers and snow cones will be free. The free event is limited to Big Papa’s loyalty members.

The dispensary also offers to pay for medical recommendations for certain patients in need, including disabled veterans and the elderly, said Bea Epperson.

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Friday, June 11, 2021, 8:39 AM

Oktaha Public schools has received a Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Healthy Incentive Grant.

The $20,000 grant will help purchase new playground equipment, install shading and build a walking path, all in an effort to give children more opportunities to be physically active.

Last July, the Muskogee County Health Department was awarded a new 5-year Healthy Living Program grant to help improve health of the residents in the department’s service area of McIntosh, Muskogee, Hughes and Okfuskee counties. The grant is being used to help reduce tobacco use, improve nutrition, and increase physical activity to decrease premature death.

TSET Healthy Incentive Grants are awarded to schools and communities that have implemented sustainable policies and strategies to encourage Oklahomans to adopt healthier lifestyles. This is in line with TSET’s constitutional mandate to improve the health of Oklahomans. Adopted policies focus on tobacco-free environments, increased access to nutritious foods and opportunities for physical activity.

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Thursday, June 10, 2021, 7:26 AM

Muskogee will host a regional boxing tournament on June 26 at the Muskogee Civic Center. The Kansas Oklahoma Regional Golden Gloves Tournament will feature more than 150 amateur boxers vying for their chance to qualify for the national tournament.

​“The KO Regional Golden Gloves Tournament is the second step on the path to the Golden Gloves of America Tournament of Champions set for the first week of August,” said Aaron Sloan, event organizer.

​This is the first time the regional or national tournaments have been held in Oklahoma, according to Sloan. The event is typically held in Wichita.

Oklahoma boxers slated to compete in the tournament include Jaime Noyola, Hakeem Eli’juwon, Keigan Stephenson, Aaron Goggins, Arrien Rask, Brayden Fimpe, Elayna Rowe, Heather Lloyd, Eric Moses, Edgar Trejo, Pedro Gallego Lopez, Angel Mora, Karlos Lizarraga, Bryce Edwards, Ron Gamble, Pablo Poros, Neida Ibarra and Shelby Mulcaire.

Tickets are $20 for adults and kids ages 10 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased online here or at the door the day of the event.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 9:50 AM

Eric Adcock

Eric Adcock, also known as Eric Ribin-Damien Adcock-Hall, 40, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with first-degree mueder in the March 6 death of Isaiah Westmoreland, according to documents filed in the case.

Lori Smith

Lori Smith (aka Allen, White or Wisniski), 46, of Muskogee is charged with accessory after the fact for allegedly helping Adcock flee and stay out of the hands of law enforcement.

Adcock is accused of stabbing Westmoreland in front of Adcock’s home on Columbus that night. Westmoreland was found near the street and transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Meanwhile, the state alleges, Smith and Adcock fled the scene, and eventually the state, to avoid capture.

There are outstanding warrants for both.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 9:04 AM

Jack Stanley, 80, of Braggs was injured when the 2014 Ford Escape he was driving yesterday afternoon overturned in a ditch full of water, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

He was driving around 1:15 p.m. northbound on US 64 south of Muskogee when his vehicle ran off the right side of the road and overturned in a ditch full of water, the patrol reported. He was pinned in the vehicle for three minutes, until troopers freed him. He was then flown by helicopter to Saint John Hospital in Tulsa with head and internal injuries.

He was wearing a seatbelt at the time.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 7:26 AM

Elijah Brown

Elijah Kejuan Brown, 24, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with one count of first-degree murder after a June 5 fight in Haskell, where he allegedly stabbed John Shackleford numerous times in front of several witnesses.

Shackleford, who later died of his wounds, told his girlfriend, “he stuck me in the heart.” Police also observed him bleeding from a stab wound on his face. The two men were involved n a fist fight when the stabbing occurred, and one witness said Shackleford threw the first two punches.

At first Shackleford told police he had fallen in the yard and impaled himself on something. He never changed his story, but the birlfriend, according to police, did change her story after it became clear that his injuries were life-threatening. She said Brown and Shackleford were talking in the yard and a fight broke out, resulting in the stabbing. She said she saw Brown wipe a knife off on his shirt, then get in a car with two other men and leave.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 7:01 AM

The Cherokee Nation has filed its 1000th case in Cherokee Nation District Court since the Supreme Court McGirt ruling and subsequent Hogner decision found that its reservation had never been disestablished, and that the state of Oklahoma had been improperly prosecuting cases outside of its jurisdiction for over a century.

The case, in which a Craig County defendant allegedly physically abused his wife, was dismissed in April following the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decision finding the McGirt ruling applies to the Cherokee Nation. In anticipation of this ruling, the Nation was already hard at work to ensure its justice system was prepared for case transfers and an expanded case load, while fully preserving tribal sovereignty. The victim has filed for a protective order and supports the continued efforts to prosecute the abuser.

“Since Indian Country’s victory in McGirt, the Cherokee Nation has made two priorities crystal clear: we will fight to protect every piece of our hard-earned sovereignty, and we will stand with victims and families to keep everyone on our reservations and our neighbors throughout Oklahoma safe,” said Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill. “By preparing proactively for case dismissals, expanding our judicial system capacity, and working closely with state, local and federal partners, our tribe has been able to continue to prosecute criminals and ensure continued justice.”

Before the McGirt decision, the Cherokee Nation would on average file six cases per month.

The Nation has also invested $10 million to expand its justice system. The tribe has added an additional eight marshals, for a current total of 37, and has hired two additional district court judges, six more prosecutors and several more victim advocates in the wake of the McGirt ruling.

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Monday, June 7, 2021, 9:51 AM

Four Tribal Council incumbents were re-elected, with one newcomer elected, while four other Tribal Council district races are heading to run offs next month, according to unofficial results from Saturday’s Cherokee Nation General Election.

The June 5 election drew 38 candidates vying for seats in Tribal Council Districts, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15 and one at-large.

The four incumbents returning to their seats include Mike Dobbins of District 4, E.O. Smith of District 5, Mike Shambaugh of District 9, and Victoria Vasquez of District 11.

Vazquez finished with 486 votes or 63 percent of votes cast in District 11.

District 9 Councilor Mike Shambaugh was also re-elected to a second term with 575 votes or 59 percent of votes.

Incumbents Mike Dobbins of District 4 and E.O. Smith of District 5 were also re-elected with 87 percent and 82 percent of the votes, respectively. Newcomer Danny Callison took the District 15 race with 60 percent of the votes.

Cherokee Nation Districts 2, 7, 10, and the At-large races are headed to runoffs on July 24.

Candidates vying for the District 2 Seat facing a runoff is Candessa Teehee and Bobby Slover.

David Comingdeer and Joshua Sam will be on the run-off ticket for District 7.

District 10 candidates Shaunda Handle-Davis and Melvina Shotpouch will be in the run off, as will Kyle Haskins and Jack Kidwell for the at-large seat.

The Cherokee Nation Election Commission will certify the vote count today.

Tribal Councilors will be sworn in on August 14. For more information on the General Election and to see unofficial results including challenge ballots, click here.

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Friday, June 4, 2021, 1:24 PM

A Muskogee police officer was involved in a wreck yesterday morning, according to police spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin. Hamilin said she couldn’t comment further until the investigation is complete.

The wreck, which was at Main and Court streets, was witnessed by a driver who took a photo and accused th officer of texting and running the stop light at that intersection. The photo does appear to show the light red.

We will update as more information becomes available.

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Thursday, June 3, 2021, 8:02 AM

Muskogee’s Symphony in the Park will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Honor Heights Park.

“We are expecting a large turnout for this event,” said Joel Everett, Muskogee Parks and Recreation’s special events coordinator. “I think people are ready to get out and enjoy public outings again and outdoor events are a great way to ease back into summer fun, while still being safe.”

The Muskogee Community Band will perform a selection of musical numbers from Oklahoma composers for the public’s enjoyment. Selections will include music by The Gap Band, Leon Russell, and highlights from “Oklahoma!”, the musical.

Admission is free and patrons are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for comfort.

For more information, contact Everett at (918) 684-6302 or email jeverett@muskogeeparks.org.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 8:09 AM

Stacey Brown, 52, of Muskogee was shot in the chest last night, according to witnesses and emergency officials.

The shooting occurred at a residence near the Family Dollar store on West Okmulgee late last night.

Brown was rushed by Muskogee County EMS to Saint Francis Hospital on emergency status. At least one worker said Brown had died from the wound.

Emergency workers say a family member or close friend is suspected.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 7:35 AM

The Greenleaf Apartments at 715 S. York St. are on fire, according to firefighters.

“There have been multiple rescues so far,” one firefighter said. “We have only been on the scene a little while.”

Witnesses reported some people trapped inside the apartments, but firefighters were unable to confirm that so far.

More as it becomes available.

UPDATE 8:31 a.m.: Police have a suspect, Rachel Sellers, in custody, according to spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 7:27 AM

Vicki Murdock, 60, of Eufaula died in a two-car wreck over the weekend, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The wreck happened 3 miles west of Eufaula on a countyr road at 5:34 p.m. on Sunday, the patrol reported. Murdock was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is unknown who was driving the 2007 Ford Taurus and wheter anyone was wearing seatbelts.

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Friday, May 28, 2021, 10:24 AM

The City of Muskogee announced today that it will use new technology to coordinate traffic signals around the Court Street intersection with Main Street and the Callahan intersection with Cherokee to help ease the traffic jams that occur in that area when trains block the main east-west roads.

“When a train is hindering the flow of traffic now, cars naturally detour to the viaduct,” said Mike Miller, city manager. “Under this new plan, the detour route should not back up and slow down traffic traveling on that route. “We’re going to get the backups off of Main Street and off of the viaduct. Some people may have to go a couple of blocks out of their way, but they won’t be sitting still.”

In addition to the four corners that will receive upgrades, Main Street will also get a new signal coordination systems to coordinate traffic flow, and a satellite detection system to detect an oncoming train in order to active the four corners traffic flow system.

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Friday, May 28, 2021, 8:38 AM

Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. signed legislation Thursday that will provide a $2,000 lump sum COVID relief individual assistance payment to all 392,832 Cherokee Nation citizens.

Tribal Councilors Mike Shambaugh and Joe Deere asked to amend the legislation saying citizens had expressed a preference for a lump sum of $2,000 in COVID assistance rather than $1,000 this year and another $1,000 next year. The amended resolution was approved by the Council of the Cherokee Nation and passed by a 16-1 vote during a special meeting shortly before Chief Hoskin signed it into law. District 3 Councilor Wes Nofire was the only dissenting vote.

“The Cherokee people are still hurting from the impact of COVID-19, health care and the economy and I appreciate those Council member leaders who came to us and said we should do a lump sum payment to extend our citizens relief,” Hoskin said. “In this resolution, we will appropriate funds out of the $1.8 billion to cover the individual assistance payments to citizens and adopt a broad spending framework with categories as a place to start which can be modified as we move forward.”

The total direct assistance for Cherokee citizens represents more than 43 percent of Cherokee Nation’s total $1.8 billion provided to the tribe as part of an historic investment in Indian Country through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act.

“The Cherokee Nation has already received its entire allocation of federal ARPA funds from the U.S. Treasury. With those funds now available to us, and with the support of the Council, we will not waste any time in helping our Cherokee families with the $2,000 payment in relief funds they need to recover and rebuild from this devastating pandemic,” Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said.

The tribe will begin launching applications for its Respond, Recover and Rebuild COVID-19 assistance through the tribe’s online Gadugi Portal. Applications for direct assistance are expected to be online in June. Pre-registering for the portal does not enroll citizens in the relief program, but citizens are encouraged to pre-register for the Gadugi Portal now to ease the application process later. The portal can be accessed at gadugiportal.cherokee.org.

Along with the direct relief to every Cherokee citizen, Hoskin and Warner’s spending plan includes mental health and wellness initiatives to help citizens recover from the impacts of the pandemic, assistance for Cherokee-owned small businesses, opportunities to reinforce tribal health care services, improvement of infrastructure, and support for education, housing, job training and more for Cherokee families.

The American Rescue Plan Act provides a $20 billion set aside for tribal governments under the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to help turn the tide of the pandemic, address the economic fallout, and build a strong foundation for recovery. This includes supporting immediate stabilization for households and businesses in Indian Country. An additional $12 billion in funds for tribal governments is also being set aside through Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Justice and other agencies.

Another portion of the funds will provide much-needed support to economic development throughout the reservation. This includes support for job training and small business programs with an emphasis on rebuilding the economy and training Cherokees who became unemployed due to the pandemic to re-enter the job market.

Included in the plan is $80 million for a new initiative to erase poverty barriers, called “a-sv-dlv-i,” the Cherokee word for “bridge.” According to Hoskin, programs under a-sv-dlv-i will be designed to knock down barriers to self-sufficiency created or worsened by the pandemic.

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Thursday, May 27, 2021, 6:52 AM

The Oklahoma House of Representatives yesterday passed a Senate bill that forbids local school boards from making safety decisions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 658 prohibits any school district, institution of Higher Education, the State Board of Education, or the State Board of Career and Technology Education from requiring vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of admittance to or attendance. Schools are also prohibited from requiring a vaccine passport as a condition of admittance or implementing a mask mandate for students that are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

The bill, which had already passed the Senate, does not affect schools requiring any other vaccines, only the COVID vaccine.

It now goes to the governor’s desk to sign into law.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 8:36 AM

Muskogee’s River Country Family Water Park is scheduled to open on Saturday, May 29 at 11 a.m. A shortage of lifeguards has forced the park to reduce its hours of operation for the 2021 season. The park will be closed on Mondays.

“We operate three separate pool facilities during the summer; Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center, River Country Water Park and Spaulding Pool,” said Baily Arnold, aquatics supervisor for the Muskogee Parks and Recreation department. “Lifeguarding is a rewarding job that gives you lifesaving skills with a certification, as well as CPR and AED certification.”

To encourage more teenagers and young adults to become lifeguard certified, the City of Muskogee is offering a scholarship program to help offset the cost of the course required for certification. A Lifeguard Certification class is scheduled June 3, 4, and 5.

Applicants must be 16yrs of age, complete a swimming skills pre-test, and be eligible for immediate hire with the city of Muskogee upon successful completion of the course.

Admission is $3, or free for season pass holders.

Season passes for adults are $60 and season passes for children ages 3-15 are $45. Day passes are available for $8 for adults and $7 for children. Children age 2 under are free.

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Monday, May 24, 2021, 7:18 AM

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation arrested the Chouteau Public School District’s School Resource Officer after a student told officials he had inappropriate contact with the student.

The District 12 District Attorney’s Office requested OSBI investigative assistance on May 14, 2021.

A student said 52-year-old Dale Tillotson inappropriately touched the student during school hours. Tillotson was arrested at the Choteau Police Department without incident.

He was booked into the Mayes County Jail and will face one charge of lewd molestation.

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Saturday, May 22, 2021, 7:27 AM

The Cherokee Nation is receiving $1.8 billion in COVID-19 recovery funds as part of an historic investment in Indian Country through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act.

Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner’s proposed spending plan for the funds will provide every Cherokee citizen with a total of $2,000 in direct relief assistance, allocating $1,000 each year for two years, while also bolstering the tribe’s mental health and wellness initiatives to help citizens recover from the impacts of the global pandemic, assisting Cherokee-owned small businesses, reinforcing tribal health care services, improving infrastructure, and supporting education, housing, job training and more for Cherokee families.

The American Rescue Plan Act, or “ARPA,” provides a $20 billion set aside for tribal governments under the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to help turn the tide of the pandemic, address the economic fallout, and build a strong foundation for recovery. This includes supporting immediate stabilization for households and businesses in Indian Country. An additional $12 billion in funds for tribal governments is also being set aside through Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Justice and other agencies.

The Cherokee Nation will begin launching applications for its Respond, Recover and Rebuild COVID-19 assistance using FRF funds through the tribe’s online Gadugi Portal. Applications for direct assistance are expected to be online in June, but citizens are encouraged to register for the Gadugi Portal now to ease the sign-up process later.

The Council will consider the spending resolution at its Executive and Finance Committee and special council meeting scheduled for May 27. The plan, which can be amended by the Principal Chief and the Council from time to time through the normal budget appropriation process is also subject to the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Additional ARPA funds totaling more than $300 million designated under federal law for health initiatives will also be used for health construction initiatives, including among other projects behavioral health facilities and a new hospital. Chief Hoskin will present health care construction plans to the Council later in the year.

Cherokee Nation citizens are encouraged to register for the tribe’s new Gadugi Portal, a centralized database that will be vital to citizens as they apply for future tribal programs and services, including COVID-19 relief offered through the tribe’s upcoming Respond, Recover and Rebuild initiatives. Through the portal, citizens can manage or update their essential information with the tribe and connect with many Cherokee Nation departments. They will also use the online portal to apply for RRR assistance once the applications are available.

The portal can be accessed at https://gadugiportal.cherokee.org.

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Friday, May 21, 2021, 7:37 AM

Robert Stewart, 43, and Micheal Daniels, 45, both of Muskogee, were hurt in a two-car wreck westbound on the Muskogee Turnpike yesterday at 5:20 p.m., according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Stewart was driving a Pontiac Vibe in which Daniels was a passenger when the vehicle was struck on the right side by a Jeep Compass driven by Michael Alberty, 39, of Tulsa, the patrol reported.

The Pontiac slammed into the center wall of the turnpike, while the Jeep departed the roadway to the right. Both Muskogee men were pinned in the vehicle until freed 20 minutes later by the Porter and Tullahassee Fire Departments.

Stewart was transported by helicopter to Saint Francis hospital in Tulsa with head, neck, and internal and external injuries to his torso and legs. Daniels was transported by Wagoner EMS to Saint Francis Muskogee with internal and leg injuries. Alberty was not injured.

The patrol cited the cause of the collision as inattentive driving.

UPDATE: Stewart, a Muskogee insurance agent and Led Zeppelin tribute band performer, has died from his injuries, according to the patrol.

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Thursday, May 20, 2021, 9:27 AM

Fourteen-year-old Zachary Crow receives his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center in Tahlequah.

The Cherokee Nation is now offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12-15 at all health center locations.

The tribe’s health centers in Tahlequah, Vinita, Muskogee and Sallisaw will offer the vaccine to this age group every weekday, with all other tribal health centers offering the vaccine to ages 12-15 every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention now recommends everyone 12 years and older should receive a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against the spread of this virus, which has impacted the Cherokee Nation for more than a year,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Getting your child vaccinated can help keep your entire family safe and allow your family to be one step closer to returning to the activities we have missed so dearly during the pandemic. Our Cherokee Nation health care experts have studied the science and the facts behind COVID-19 vaccines, and they know that the vaccines are safe and effective.”

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently approved a revised and expanded FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to allow immunization of ages 12 and older.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 9:37 AM

Corinzo Smith

Corinzo Ben Smith Jr., 72, of Muskogee has been charged in Muskogee County District Court with a felony of leaving the scene of an injury accident.

The victim, Walter Fletcher, was seriously injured and left lying in the road at Honor Heights on May 10, after Smith’s 2008 Ford Focus allegedly collided with him, according to a police affidavit filed with the case. Smith then allegedly left the scene.

He is also charged with driving without a license.

Smith was previously convicted of a felony count of leaving the scene of an injury accident in 2019 in Tulsa, for which he received a two-year suspended sentence.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 7:36 AM

The Council of the Cherokee Nation unanimously approved Monday a resolution authorizing the tribe to sign agreements with city municipalities within the Cherokee Nation Reservation to donate revenue from traffic and misdemeanor citations of ticketed Natives back to those municipalities. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said the tribe wants city municipalities to succeed, and not lose funding sources after the July 2020 McGirt ruling and subsequent Hogner ruling.

The McGirt and Hogner decisions acknowledged the state has no jurisdiction over Natives committing crimes on the Cherokee Nation Reservation. Since the Hogner ruling in March 2021, when Natives are ticketed for speeding or are issued other fines for traffic or misdemeanor offenses in cities within the reservation by municipal law enforcement, those agencies send the fines to the Cherokee Nation.

“We don’t want the cities around us to lose important revenue streams that help pay salaries and make city upgrades on the heels of the McGirt decision,” Chief Hoskin said. “These agreements will give our partners, who help us with law and order on the reservation, the cushion to continue helping their communities. These agreements will also ensure that our local law enforcement partners continue to provide needed policing to our communities.”

The agreement will be in effect for one year and will allow the municipality to retain all fees and fines except for a small fee that will be sent to the tribe, which will be equal to the current fee the municipality remits to the state on traffic and misdemeanor tickets.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 7:33 AM

The Oklahoma Movie Hall Of Fame 2021 Class of inductees has been updated and adjusted for the changes and delays caused by the 2020 pandemic.

The event, which will take place on May 29th at Muskogee’s Historic Roxy Theater, will induct six Oklahomans from diverse movie industry backgrounds.

Veteran actor Jack Ging, Hollywood producer Doug Claybourne and documentary film producer Julianna Brannum will be joined by actor, television host and movie critic Dino Lalli and veteran casting director Ricki Masklar for recognition of their decades long work and commitment to the movie industry. Native actor Will Sampson will be inducted posthumously.

The event will begin at 7 pm and is free and open to the public.

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Friday, May 14, 2021, 9:48 AM

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. announced today that the 69th Annual Cherokee National Holiday will be a hybrid celebration featuring both virtual and limited, smaller-scale in-person events.

Traditionally, the Cherokee National Holiday draws more than 100,000 visitors from both Oklahoma and out of state on Labor Day weekend. Although many residents have now received the COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19 cases continue to be confirmed in Oklahoma and the virus remains a threat. Cherokee Nation will safely proceed with a variety of events that allow for smaller, safe gatherings, while also remaining cautious by postponing events that traditionally draw larger public gatherings.

“The Cherokee National Holiday remains a time of year we celebrate our existence and culture, but it’s important we come together as a people this Labor Day weekend safely, and in a controlled environment with masks, social distancing and other COVID-19 protective measures, with the full-scale Cherokee National Holiday returning next year to ensure ultimate safety,” Cherokee National Holiday Coordinator Austin Patton said.

Events are subject to change depending on COVID-19 conditions. Check https://holiday.cherokee.org for more information and continual updates. For questions about the Holiday, call Patton at 918-822-2427.

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Thursday, May 13, 2021, 7:40 AM

The progression, adaptation and endurance of the Cherokee language is being presented in a special exhibit debuting May 11 at two historic locations in downtown Tahlequah.

“From its development in the early 19th century to its use today, the Cherokee syllabary, like the Cherokee people, has adapted and persevered throughout time,” said Krystan Moser, manager of cultural collections and exhibits for Cherokee Nation. “Although an endangered language, the Cherokee syllabary is still an intrinsic part of Cherokee culture and community. Whether you’re a speaker or not, there is a recognition, appreciation and connection that is shared by all.”

The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is hosting “From Talking Leaves to Pixels: Origins of the Syllabary and Early Printing,” which narrates the introduction of the syllabary by Sequoyah in 1821 as well as the creation of the printing press typeset and publication of the Cherokee Phoenix and early Cherokee Advocate newspapers.

The story continues just one block away at the Cherokee National Prison Museum. “From Talking Leaves to Pixels: The Cherokee Syllabary in the 20th Century and Beyond” highlights efforts to adapt the syllabary to ever-changing technology, including typewriters, word processors, computers and smartphones.

“As we take time this year to celebrate the iconic contribution of Sequoyah, we also pause to reflect on the impact the syllabary has had on the Cherokee people who came before us and the future generations to come,” Moser said.

“From Talking Leaves to Pixels” originally premiered in 2015 at the Cherokee Heritage Center and was co-curated by Roy Boney Jr. but has been adapted and incorporated into the tribe’s bicentennial celebration honoring the impact of Sequoyah’s historic literary achievement. Originally built in 1844, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court is Oklahoma’s oldest public building. Today, the 1,950-square-foot museum features exhibits on three historic aspects: the Cherokee National Judicial System, the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers, and the Cherokee language. It is located at 122 E. Keetoowah St.

The Cherokee National Prison once served as the only penitentiary building in Indian Territory from 1875 to 1901. Today, the interpretive site and museum educates visitors about law and order in Indian Territory. It is located at 124 E. Choctaw St.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 7:49 AM

Indians, Outlaws, Marshals and the Hanging Judge, a feature documentary about the Wild West Indian and Oklahoma Territory, is set for a showing at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday at the Roxy Theater. Using the actual written words of St Louis Republic newspaper reporter Ada Patterson the much lauded movie brings the gritty Old West to life as it tells the story of Judge Parker and his U.S.Marshal and their deputies as they try to bring law and order to one of the most lawless areas of the Old West.

Less than 200 U.S. deputy marshals and their possemen and the Indian Territory Tribes Lighthorsemen were tasked with fighting crime across 70,000 square miles that was home to more than 14,000 criminals.

The movie’s co-producer, Ed Eaves of Van Buren Arkansas will be in attendance to answer questions about the film and its production.

The movie will be shown at Muskogee’s Historic Roxy Theater on Saturday May 15 at 5:45pm as part of a slate of Western movies scheduled that day.

The movie showing is free and open to the public. Full concessions and an adult beverage bar will be available.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 11:51 AM

Archer Cleaners is helping unemployed workers in our area put a shine on their next job interview by cleaning a suit or interview outfit at no cost.

“When times are tough, we want to help job seekers look and feel their best,” says Colton Archer, Team Leader and Owner, Archer Cleaners. “We know better than anyone what a clean and pressed garment can do for morale. We’re pleased to do our part to restore the confidence of workers and families in our area.”

Archer Cleaners has not placed an expiration date on this new service to the community, Archer says. Anyone dropping off a garment for an interview can expect to receive it back ready to wear in just one business day. He asks that anyone taking advantage of the service mentions to the retail team member that it is for an interview.

Archer Cleaners has served the greater Muskogee area since 1949. Headquartered at 700 W. Okmulgee St., Muskogee, OK 74401, Archer Cleaners has 3 locations. Questions about the new service can be directed to 918-687-5531.

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Monday, May 10, 2021, 7:57 AM

The governor on Friday signed a bill that will prohibit Oklahoma public schools, colleges and universities from teaching “Critical Race Theory” and from requiring mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling.

House Bill 1775 is authored by Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore.

“I’m grateful to the governor for seeing the need for signing this crucial legislation,” West said. “Already, this harmful indoctrination has infiltrated Oklahoma schools from as early as pre-kindergarten classrooms all the way through college courses. Some of our state universities currently are requiring this mandatory training for their freshman students.”

West claimed that much of the curriculum, often referred to as “Critical Race Theory” is based on Marxist ideology that is designed to teach children to hate American exceptionalism and distrust others based on skin color or sex. Additionally it teaches that most laws and systems in America are historically rooted in the racist oppression of people of color and other marginalized groups. It promotes the theory of implicit bias and inherent racism due to one’s skin color.

Critical race theory is actually based in the idea that modern society, built on the backs of the enslavement and continued oppression of blacks, tries to whitewash that history and current reality.

Critical race theory recognizes that systemic racism is part of American society and challenges the beliefs that allow it to flourish.

“Critical race theory is a practice. It’s an approach to grappling with a history of White supremacy that rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past, and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it,” said Kimberlé Crenshaw, a founding critical race theorist and a law professor who teaches at UCLA and Columbia University.

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Saturday, May 8, 2021, 5:01 PM

One person was hurt in a fire at the Raintree Apartments at Chandler and David Lane just now, according to emergency officials.

The person was transported to the Muskogee hospital by EMS with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Muskogee Fire Department has released no information on how serious the fire is or what might have caused it.

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