DEATHS

Donald Anderson Duffus Sr., 94

Born April 13, 1925

Died November 19, 2019

Thelmarie Hill, 78

Born September 17, 1941

Died November 11, 2019

James Edward Scott, 78

Born July 22, 1941

Died November 10, 2019

Nelson James Upton, 96

Born May 27, 1923

Died November 10, 2019

Peggy Joe Moore, 89

Born August 14, 1930

Died November 10, 2019

CLICK TO SEE MORE >>

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

THINGS TO DO

Wednesday, November 13

Wednesday Play Day "Open to the Public"
Tai Chi for Better Balance
Rib Sale
Dinner Church
The Janway Holiday Party Challenge November Version

Thursday, November 14

Book Discussion Events
Rib Sale
Future Soldier Training
Responsible Beverage Service & Sales Training (RBSS) - Muskogee
The Janway Holiday Party Challenge November Version

Friday, November 15

Rib Sale
The Janway Holiday Party Challenge November Version
Dueling in the Depot with ‘The FUN Piano Show’

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 9:14 AM

Cherokee Nation and Indian Health Service leaders will celebrate the grand opening of the largest tribal outpatient health center in the country on Thursday, Nov. 14. The 469,000-square-foot health facility in Tahlequah features more than 240 exam rooms, two MRI machines, an ambulatory surgery center, 34 dental chairs, full service optometry and specialty health services.

The grand opening will also showcase many features of the state-of-the-art health facility. Over 600 pieces of Cherokee art and art-related items will be on display, including 64 items made by Cherokee National Treasures. An interactive experience on the third floor, near the pediatrics department, will teach children Cherokee words. The Cherokee Nation invested about $200 million of its general fund dollars into the facility’s construction and purchase of equipment. IHS is funding $100 million per year in staffing and operating costs in a historic joint-venture agreement with the tribe.

During Thursday’s grand opening, a ribbon-cutting will be followed by a meal.

The Cherokee Nation operates the largest tribal health system in the country with more than 1.3 million patient visits per year.

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charlies chicken

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 9:07 AM

The first movie based on the life of Bass Reeves, former US Marshal and Muskogee policeman, will premiere here in Muskogee on Friday night.

Reeves, who was the first black US Marshal west of the Mississippi, served in Muskogee from 1897 until 1907 and is considered by many to be the inspiration for the Lone Ranger. After the new state of Oklahoma passed a law that blacks could not be in charge of whites, Reeves served as a Muskogee police officer, patrolling predominantly black neighborhoods.

The movie, Hell on the Border, stars Ron Perlman of Hellboy fame, David Gyasi and Frank Grillo and is described as a great Western movie based on a true-life legend.

The Three Rivers Museum in Downtown Muskogee will host a press reception from 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., then the movie will premiere at 7 at the Roxy Theater. It debuts nationwide on Dec. 13.

You can buy tickets here.

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pisanos pizza

Monday, November 11, 2019, 8:35 AM

Saving Private Ryan was a groundbreaking movie whose opening scenes really need to be experienced in a theater, on the big screen.

Tonight, veterans and their families can have that experience at the Roxy Theater for free — and thanks to a silent auction, you can raise money for veterans in need.

Everyone is invited, even non-veterans. The event is sponsored by Muskogee’s Steve Money Law, PLLC.

The movie starts at 7 p.m. at the Roxy Theater, 220 W. Okmulgee, and concessions will be available.

UPDATE 10:44 A.M.: The movie has been canceled due to expected inclement weather.

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ace television and appliance

Friday, November 8, 2019, 11:42 AM

Payroll direct deposits from the City of Muskogee have been delayed today, according to multiple reports from employees and the city itself.

The direct deposits, which were supposed to post to recipients’ accounts by 8 this morning, did not post on time, according to sources at the bank and the city.

“They will post no later than 5 p.m. today,” the bank representative said. “The city is in the process of changing financial institutions ... this is a one-time occurrence due solely to the transition.”

The bank’s representatives are calling local financial institutions and requesting that they grant immediate credit for City of Muskogee payroll deposits.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story (and the headline link) stated that the payroll bounced, which is technically incorrect. The payroll wasn’t deposited when expected.

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diamond finance

Friday, November 8, 2019, 9:20 AM

The Rusty Smith Law Group renovated this building downtown.

Rusty Smith of the Rusty Smith Law Group had his heart set on building a new office on York Street for his firm — until he heard through the grapevine that the Leader Mortgage building at 555 W. Okmulgee was available for a steal.

“It was a great building that has been a fixture in downtown since the 1960s, but it was not quite what I needed,” he said today. He had somewhat of a vision what he wanted the place to be, but he didn’t know how to pull it off himself. “Luckily, my wife is really good friends with a great local designer, Ann Davis. Ann took the concept and ran with it.”

The result is a work of art with mid-century modern overtones and sleek, clean lines.

Firm mascot Chloe keeps watch over the main foyer, which was added onto the west side of the existing building.

Until very recently, the firm only handled civil litigation, including a few whoppers of cases against a huge insurance company, a suit generated after a well-known college and NFL football player attacked and severely injured a female college student, and a huge verdict resulting from a semi collision on US 69.

But with the addition of former Muskogee County prosecutor Dan Medlock, now a criminal defense attorney, the firm is expanding from its civil roots.

“We will continue to focus on complex, catastrophic civil litigation,” Smith said. “Dan will also handle all criminal and domestic/family cases. My goal is for the firm to be a one-stop shop, even though the foundation of the firm has been kind of a unique trial practice.”

The renovated downtown stalwart building is a key part of that expanding vision, he said.

“My mentor, Mike Masterson, taught me how to not only practice law, but to try and make good business decisions. My father is also a small business owner,” he said. “I realized from being around Mike and my father that there are great benefits in owning your own building.”

Smith, Medlock and office staff discuss business in the building's new conference room.

“In the end, I think the building will be a great addition to downtown Muskogee for a long time. Ann, my contractor Travis Steward and my wife, Toni Bradley Smith, really made this happen, and they deserve a lot of the credit.”

Disclaimer: Smith represented MuskogeeMUGS.com in an action over acquiring mugs early last year. In addition, he is an advertiser on this site, but he did not pay for this story, which is about the building’s complete overhaul.

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herringshaw

Friday, November 8, 2019, 6:53 AM

The Muskogee Medical Foundation will host “Peccato Originale,” a unique evening of food, drinks, dancing and intrigue for charity.

“Peccato Originale,” (Original Sin), will be Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 7 p.m. to 11 pm at the Muskogee Civic Center. Tickets are on sale now at www.eventbrite.com. Tickets start at $80 per person and include dinner, dessert auction, raffle and silent auction, music, traditional Victorian dancing and featured unique dinner entertainment! A cash bar will also be available.

Not familiar with Victorian dancing? Free Victorian group dancing lessons will also be available prior to the event.

Guests will need to arrive in costume, black tie or cocktail attire and theatrical hair and/or makeup – along with a festive mask. Masks are mandatory (masks will be provided to those who arrive without one). The event is only for 21 and older.

Sponsorships are also available. If you’d like more information on becoming a sponsor, please contact Angelina Villegas-Cummings at (918) 683-5168.

The Muskogee Medical Foundation was formed for the charitable purpose of raising and administering funds for the healthcare needs of Muskogee and its immediate surrounding area.

To find out more about the Muskogee Medical Foundation or how to donate, please visit: www.muskogeemedicalfoundation.org.

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servpro

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 9:21 AM

Muskogee police are investigating a case in town where a human child was allegedly traded for a dog.

Details on the case are scant at this hour, but it is alleged to have happened on North 18th Street between August 21 and November 6.

We will update as details become available.

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dragonfly dojo

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 6:48 AM

Eddie Ray Maxwell

Eddie Ray Maxwell, 36, was killed by Tahlequah police last night after he allegedly killed his wife, Rachel, according to family members.

“I tried to talk you into surrendering,” Travis Scott, who claimed to be on the phone with Maxwell at the time, complained on Facebook. “I heard them shots and it really fucced me up!”

The family members claim Maxwell was shot 15 times after police tried to get him to surrender for an hour, though the circumstances surrounding the shooting are at this time unclear.

“Meth is an epidemic and it is out of control,” Amie Maxwell, mother of some of Maxwell’s children, said. “I hurt for my kids the most, and I’m angry at you for taking Rachel’s life.”

The family members said Rachel Maxwell was killed during an argument over infidelity, but could not say which party was accused of it. She allegedly received a gunshot to the head.

Tahlequah Police have not yet commented on this story. When they do, we will update here.

UPDATE 9:09 a.m.: Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King responded to our request for comment with the following release:

On November 6, 2019 at approximately 1948 hrs.the Tahlequah Police Department received multiple calls of gunshots at 611 Pamela St. in Tahlequah, the last of which was from a woman who indicated her sister, Rachel Maxwell 40 yoa of Tahlequah, had been shot in the head by her estranged husband, Eddie Ray Maxwell Sr. 37 yoa of Muskogee. The caller indicated she ran out of the apartment and did not know where Mr. Maxwell was at the time of the call.

Response:: Multiple officers arrived on scene within minutes and notified dispatch they were in a stand-off at 1955 hrs. Officers Steven Smith, Detective Elden Graves, Chief Nate King, Officer Matt Frits, and Lt. Brandon Vick made entry into the residence. Eddie Maxwell was discovered in the living room and a revolver could be seen in his right hand. Despite multiple attempts to persuade Maxwell to surrender he refused. The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service S.W.A.T. Team, who had been requested by Chief King, arrived and relieved Tahlequah officers in the residence. After a few minutes shots were fired by one of the Marshals striking and subsequently killing Eddie Ray Maxwell. Rachel Maxwell was found in the residence and pronounced deceased. The OSBI is investigating the incident.

Information:

  • Case #: 1911T0477 Time of Call: 1948 hrs. Time of Arrival:1951 hrs.
  • Suspect: Eddie Ray Maxwell Sr. DOB 2/21/1982 Address: Muskogee
  • Victim Rachel Dawn Maxwell DOB: 1/24/1979 Address: Tahlequah
  • Body camera footage of the Tahlequah Police Department will be made available no later than November 12th.

This is a tragic event and two families are mourning the loss of loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families and friends of those involved along with the officers who responded to the scene. A special thank you to the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, G.R.D.A. Police, Cherokee Nation EMS, and Norhteastern Health Systems EMS for their assistance with this incident.

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steve money

Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 9:29 AM

Jacob JZ Smith

Jacob Joseph Zachariah Smith, 44, of Muskogee is accused of breaking into his mother’s home yesterday, stealing her phone, strangling her ... and her dog, according to Muskogee Police reports.

Smith, who has been charged with domestic violence by strangulation before in May of this year, pleaded no contest to the charges and is currently under a deferred judgment in that case, where he admitted to strangling his then-girlfriend, putting his fingers in her mouth and threatening to break her jaw. He also had a 2011 case expunged after completing a deferred judgment on that one.

A protective order was filed against him in May, alleging that he jammed his elbow into the petitioner’s throat, threatened to strangler her if she didn’t shut up, put his fingers in her throat and threatened to break her jaw if she didn’t quit screaming.

“He threatened to cut me and possibly kill me,” the petitioner wrote. “He said someone was in Texas, killing my husband.”

That protective order was ultimately dismissed because the petitioner failed to show up in court.

A warrant is being issued for his arrest on the events that allegedly happened yesterday at his mother’s house.

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speedway grille

Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 8:55 AM

Brandon Terrel McFrazier, 23, of Tulsa is facing two felony counts of larceny of domestic animals after an Oct. 3 incident in Taft, according to documents filed with the case.

McFrazier is accused of stealing two horses from Steven McHenry in Taft, then selling them in Catoosa.

McFrazier was convicted in 2016 of feloniously pointing a firearm and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was also convicted again in 2016 of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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3 rivers auto collision

Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 8:28 AM

The District 27 district attorney and the director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced charges have been filed against the suspect in the murder of Donald Hawley, a 24-year-old Wagoner County cold case.

Based on evidence reviewed by the OSBI Cold Case Unit and analyzed by the OSBI lab, District Attorney Jack Thorp charged 58-year-old Kenneth Tyrone Brown with Murder in the First Degree.

“For Mr. Hawley’s family, this day has been a long time coming,” Thorp said. “For nearly a quarter of a century they have been waiting for answers as to who killed Donald. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of OSBI Director Adams and the OSBI Cold Case Unit for their efforts, which has led to these charges being filed and a path to justice for the Hawley family.”

On April 7, 1995, the Wagoner Count y Sheriff’s Office requested OSBI investigative assistance in the murder of Hawley, who was found deceased on the bank of the Verdigris River north of Muskogee. He had been beaten and his hands were bound behind his back. Hawley’s wallet was also missing. The medical examiner determined Hawley’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

At the time, agents collected evidence found near Hawley’s truck, and the vehicle was processed for evidence, including DNA.

“This was a brutal and senseless murder,” said Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott. “This shows that there is no timetable in Wagoner County for any case to be solved. With the advances in technology, DNA identification, increased law enforcement resources, and interagency cooperation, these types of crimes are more likely to be solved.”

The OSBI Cold Case Unit started reviewing the Hawley case in November of 2018, and shortly thereafter began resubmitting evidence to the lab for analysis in hopes DNA could solve this case. The lab found that blood collected from the road near Hawley’s truck and blood from a sock that was recovered are both consistent with Hawley’s DNA. A hair was also collected at the scene and the lab found that the DNA from the hair matched the DNA profile of Brown.

“After nearly a quarter of a century, we finally have answers for Donald Hawley’s family,” said OSBI Director Ricky Adams. “Donald suffered a violent death and certainly this won’t bring him back, but we were never going to give up on the idea of solving his murder. Once the Cold Case Unit was stood up in the fall of 2018, they got involved in this case. And today a suspect has bee n charged. I hope this brings peace to the Hawley family and provides hope for other families desperate for answers.”

Brown is serving life without parole in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for the May 10, 1995 murder of 41-year-old Elizabeth Alloway. Alloway was found dead near 10th and Lincoln Street in Muskogee. She had been beaten and run over. The Medical Examiner determined her cause of death to be blunt force trauma and ruled her death a homicide. Brown became a suspect after it was discovered that he was seen with Alloway hours before her death. He was charged with her murder, and in February 1998, Brown was convicted of first degree murder.

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jordan bonding

Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 8:53 AM

John Mark Lowrimore

Muskogee mayoral candidate John Lowrimore was arrested yesterday, according to Muskogee police.

He was jailed on an outstanding warrant for no security verification.

Lowrimore can often be seen driving around town in a pickup truck with a huge “Lowrimore for Mayor” sticker in the back window.

Lowrimore was convicted in 2010 of placing harassing phone calls and stalking an underage girl while pretending himself to be 19.

UPDATE 9:55 a.m.: Lowrimore called to say that he has not yet officially filed paperwork to run for mayor, though he does have the campaign slogans on his pickup.

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sarah ladd

Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 8:23 AM

Christopher Thomas Moore

Christopher Thomas Moore, 52, of Haskell is charged in Muskogee County District Court with two felonies, elder abuse and aggravated assault and battery after he is alleged to have attacked his 92-year-old grandmother.

On Oct. 21, according to documents filed with the case, Moore allegedly asked his grandmother for money, but she didn’t give it to him, so, the accusation states, he shoved a table into her, causing “major bruising and swelling.”

Moore was convicted in 2015 of assault and battery with intent to commit a felony and sentenced to two years in prison. He was convicted in 2001 of one count of lewd molestation and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was also convicted in 1990 of two counts of lewd molestation and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He is also currently facing felony charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon in a case from August of this year where he is alleged to have tried to run someone over with a Chevy pickup truck.

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sooner surplus 1541949930

Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 7:57 AM

Sadler Arts Academy is hosting the Seventh-Annual Veterans Memorial 5k and One Mile Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, Nov. 9. Both races will get under way at 8 a.m. from Third and Broadway.

The fundraiser race benefits 7th and 8th grade students’ trip to Washington D.C. and 20 percent of the profits benefit a local veterans organization. The event precedes the Muskogee Veterans Parade later that morning.

Participants can register online here. The 5K race costs $30 while the One Mile Fun Run/Walk costs $15 with registration open through November 8. Pre-registration includes a t-shirt with day-of-race signups receiving t-shirts on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information, please contact Sadler Arts Academy at 918-684-3820

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elite divorce

Monday, November 4, 2019, 4:15 PM

Tim King

Timothy King, a prosecutor in the Muskogee County District Attorney’s office, has been named District Judge, replacing Mike Norman, who passed away early this year.

“Mr. King’s wide-ranging experience as a military officer, private practice attorney, and public servant in the United States Department of State and, most recently, as First Assistant District Attorney, has more than prepared him to assume the role of District Court Judge,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt, in naming King to the post. “The people of Muskogee County will benefit greatly from having a man with Mr. King’s compassion, intellect, and work-ethic on the bench.”

A retired officer in the Oklahoma Army National Guard, King currently serves as the First Assistant District Attorney for Muskogee County where he focuses on criminal litigation. King has prior experience as the Chief of Party for the Rule of Law Stabilization Program, Senior Democracy and Rule of Law Advisor for the United States Department of State-Bureau of Eastern Affairs, Deputy Chief of Team and Advisor to the Ministry of the Interior for the Afghanistan Justice Sector Support Program, and a private attorney in Muskogee. King holds a Bachelor’s of Science in business administration from Oklahoma State University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa College of Law, and a Master of Law from Widener University.

“I am humbled and honored by Governor Stitt’s trust and confidence,” said King. “I look forward to serving my fellow Oklahomans with dedication, independence, integrity, and impartiality.”

State Rep. Avery Frix quickly congratulated King.

“Mr. King has long served the people of Muskogee County with wisdom and fairness,” he said. “Now we will benefit from his dedication as a judge.”

District Attorney Orvil Loge said King will be tough to replace.

“I am proud of his service to the district attorney’s office and our community,” Loge said. “He served with honor and distinction. I will immediately begin the search to replace him.”

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seasons of green

Monday, November 4, 2019, 8:23 AM

Cherokee Nation officials are celebrating Native American Heritage Month by offering free museum admission throughout the month of November.

“The national recognition of November as Native American Heritage Month plays an important role in raising awareness about the rich and diverse cultures of our nation’s first people,” said Travis Owens, director of Cherokee Nation’s cultural tourism department. “Oklahoma is home to 39 federally recognized tribes, and each has its own identity. We hope people will make time to visit us throughout the month of November so that we can celebrate and share the unique history and thriving culture of the largest tribal nation in the United States, the Cherokee Nation.”

Cherokee Nation currently owns and operates five cultural museum locations, including:

  • Cherokee National Prison Museum – 124 E. Choctaw St.
  • Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum – 122 E. Keetoowah St.
  • Cherokee National History Museum – 101 S. Muskogee Ave.
  • Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum – 470288 Highway 101, Sallisaw
  • John Ross Museum – 22366 S. 530 Road, Park Hill

For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, visit www.VisitCherokeeNation.com.

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cooper 1570042735

Friday, November 1, 2019, 8:51 AM

Muskogee police officers are raising awareness of male-specific cancers this month by participating in No-Shave November, according to Officer Lynn Hamlin.

Lieutenant Andy Simmons got the idea started off, and now even officers who aren’t growing beards are donating money to the event, because they are using all money raised to support the annual Cops and Kids event in December, where police take underprivileged children shopping at Walmart.

“Just knowing they’re helping the children in our community was enough for our officers to say ‘yes, sign me up’”, Hamlin said.

Officers who are growing beards must keep them neat and trimmed, according to the department.

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secret desires

Thursday, October 31, 2019, 10:11 AM

CL Johnson, 27, of Muskogee was charged today with first-degree murder in a 2011 case where a two-year-old boy was shot in the face and killed.

On Dec. 21, 2011, Ezzard Onebear, now 25, shot the little boy instead of Cassandra Logan, who was his target. He was convicted in 2016 of second-degree murder and is currently in prison.

The charges against Johnson allege that he offered Onebear money to shoot Logan, then provided him with a firearm, drove him to the residence to show him where to kill her, then drove him to a location nearby, where he dropped him off. After the baby was murdered, Johnson is alleged to have picked Onebear up and helped him flee the scene, then retrieving the firearm from him.

“We have been working on this case for quite some time,” District Attorney Orvil Loge said today. “We are glad we were finally able to file.”

Johnson is currently serving time for drug trafficking, possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony and child neglect.

Johnson is now charged with first-degree murder, or in the alternative, accessory to first-degree murder after the fact.

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family time rentals

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 8:00 PM

The Muskogee Medical Center Authority, which is in charge of managing the lease for the Muskogee hospital, has sued Saint Francis Hospital and Capella, saying the healthcare providers have failed to fulfill the lease they signed by not paying “in-kind” payments which replace property taxes they would otherwise pay.

The amount in arrears is $655,022 from 2018 — but that is expected to increase in February, when Saint Francis has indicated they will not pay for the 2019 year either.

“Pursuant to section 4.4 of the Lease Agreement, in kind payments must be made to the Muskogee County Treasurer,” the lawsuit states. Saint Francis “is in default by the failure to cure within 30 days after notice ... Written notice of default was provided to Defendants on September 4, 2019.”

Saint Francis has steadfastly refused to pay the money, arguing that it is a nonprofit, and therefore not subject to taxes. However, it signed the lease agreeing to the in-kind payments, which are not taxes, but an agreed-to payment the hospital is supposed to make to support education in Muskogee.

“The in kind payment provides vital funds for county health initiatives, the City of Muskogee and Muskogee public libraries, and is a material source of funding for Muskogee Public Schools,” the suit states.

The healthcare authority is asking for Saint Francis and Capella, which has never been released from its responsibility for the in-kind payments, to be held liable for all future in-kind payments for the remainder of the lease.

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gibson clean 1569417784

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 7:46 PM

Shots were fired outside Walmart around 6:30 p.m., according to Muskogee Police.

No one was injured in the shooting.

Police are investigating and have arrested a suspect, but have not yet released the suspect’s name.

UPDATE: Muskogee Police Officer Lynn Hamlin sent the following release:

On 10/30/2019, at approximately 1810 hours Officers were dispatched to Walmart in reference to shots fired. As officers where en route dispatch advised that several witnesses saw the suspect hide something behind a pink dumpster in the parking lot. When the officers arrived on scene they made contact with the suspect in the parking lot. The suspect advised that he was chasing a female that he said stole his ex-wife’s wallet and he shot one round into the air from his weapon.

Officers recovered a jacket from behind the pink dumpster and located the firearm inside the jacket. They also recovered one shell casing from the scene. The suspect identified as Kirk Kuykendall was placed under arrest and transported to Muskogee Police Department where he was booked on the following charges:

Use of a firearm while committing a felony

Possession of firearm after felony conviction

Reckless conduct with a firearm

Assault and/or battery with a dangerous weapon

Anyone with information or that witnessed this incident is ask to call Muskogee Crime Stoppers at 918-682-COPS (2677).

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network command 918

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 12:36 PM

Jason Houston

Jason Lamont Houston, 40, a jailer at the Muskogee County Jail, is facing felony charges of possession of contraband in a penal institution after Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office officials searched him and his vehicle and found numerous items of contraband.

Sheriff Rob Frazier said he had received several reports from inmates about a jailer bringing contraband into the jail.

“He was slick about it,” Frazier said today. “A lot of times, people sneaking contraband into the jail are easy to catch, but he was savvy.”

Jailers are routinely patted down before they are allowed entry into the jail, and during a pat-down on Monday, the sheriff took Houston into custody.

Contraband items were found on the suspect and in his car.

“He had phone chargers, cords, pills, and in his vehicle he had packages of tobacco, and inside those packages were prepackaged baggies of marijuana,” Frazier said. “He also had rolling papers.”

Houston was arrested and jailed in another county for his safety.

“He admits to everything,” Frazier said. “He said he just got caught up in the cash.”

Jails everywhere have trouble with jailers providing contraband to inmates, he said.

“We don’t turn our head to it,” he said. “We hold our jailers to a higher standard.”

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highers bonding

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 8:25 AM

Muskogee County Court Clerk Paula Sexton, who has held the position since 2002, announced she is running for re-election in 2020.

“This is how I contribute to society,” she said. “The law comes naturally to me, and I absolutely love what I do.”

The court clerk serves many functions in the court system, from filing, archiving and retrieving records to receiving payments on behalf of the court and managing jury pool during jury dockets. Sexton has been doing it for 18 years.

No candidates have yet filed for the position.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 9:46 AM

The Oklahoma Arts Council has selected Muskogee as the host community for the 2020 Oklahoma Arts Conference. Scheduled October 14-16, the conference will provide professional development and networking opportunities for hundreds of individuals from across the state who want to use the arts to benefit their communities and schools.

“We are thrilled to bring the Oklahoma Arts Conference to Muskogee for the first time,” said Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples. “Muskogee reflects its roots as a thriving African American community, an important center of Oklahoma American Indian cultures, and a vital outpost for commerce and the exchange of goods and ideas. Its diverse artistic and cultural heritage are assets that we look forward to highlighting during the conference.”

Muskogee’s elected officials lined up to praise and celebrate the conference:

  • State Senator Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee: “Hosting the 2020 Oklahoma Arts Conference is a dream come true for Muskogee. Muskogee has a rich and deep art history that will be on display for visitors across the state to observe and enjoy.”
  • State Representative Avery Frix, R-Muskogee: “I’m excited to welcome to Muskogee all who will participate in the 2020 Oklahoma Arts Conference. The arts add so much to our state in terms of culture and helping us grow our economy. I can’t wait to hear and see all that this conference will bring to Muskogee.”
  • Muskogee Mayor Janey Boydston: “Muskogee is excited to share everything we can about our community with the 2020 Oklahoma Arts Conference. We have immersive experiences in the arts and beyond and we’re ready to show those off! I don’t think there is a more passionate city when it comes to hospitality and collaboration. We so look forward to this partnership and what we can learn from one another going forward in a renewed focus on the arts as an important part of our city.”
  • Muskogee city manager Mike Miller: “Muskogee is proudly home to a great arts community and we look forward to hosting 500 artistically-inclined fellow Oklahomans next October.”

Among Muskogee’s cultural assets are the Ataloa Lodge Museum, Bacone College, Bare Bones Film Festival, Five Civilized Tribes Museum, Martin Luther King Community Center, Muskogee Area Arts Council, Muskogee Art Guild, Muskogee Little Theatre, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, Roxy Theatre, and the Three Rivers Museum. Depot Green, a downtown Muskogee outdoor community gathering space that will host performances and other events, is scheduled to be completed before the Oklahoma Arts Conference.

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Monday, October 28, 2019, 8:51 AM

Walter Hunt, 54, of Braggs and a two-year-old passenger were hurt in an ATV wreck around 7:30 last night, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Hunt was driving a 2018 Polaris Ranger with two passengers, 2 and 3, a quarter mile north of 93rd St. South near Braggs. Hunt suffered head injuries. The two-year-old was treated and released for minor injuries and the three-year-old was not injured.

What exactly happened is still under investigation, as is the cause of the wreck.

None in the vehicle were wearing seatbelts, though the vehicle was equipped with them.

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Monday, October 28, 2019, 8:36 AM

Brooke Isbell, 34, of Muskogee was admitted to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa with head and leg injuries after a single-vehicle wreck early Sunday Morning in Cherokee County, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Isbell was driving a 2017 Buick Encore northbound on Manard Road 8.5 miles west of Tahlequah when she failed to negotiate a right curve, departing the roadway to the left and striking an embankment and a tree, the patrol reported.

She was rushed to the hospital by Cherokee Nation EMS and was admitted in stable condition.

The Highway Patrol listed the cause of the collision as impairment and said there was an odor of alcohol on Isbell.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019, 7:53 AM

Stephanie Lynell Williams, 34, of Tahlequah was killed last night in a two-car wreck almost five miles east of Tahlequah, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Williams was a passenger in a 2010 Dodge Charger driven by Billy Crittenden, 36, of Tahlequah. An 11-year-old juvenile female was also in the car. Both Crittenden and the juvenile were taken by Cherokee Nation EMS to Northeast Health Systems hospital in Tahlequah, where they were admitted for injuries.

The Charger collided with a 2003 pickup driven by Javier Garay-Trejo, 24. He and his six-year-old male passenger were treated and released for their injuries.

The wreck closed down US Highway 62 for three hours.

The Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the collision.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 8:36 AM

Mrs. Martha Peters’ seventh-grade class at Saint Joseph Catholic School are among three finalists in a statewide contest to raise awareness of litter and its cleanup.

The students wrote a collaborative essay describing the consequences of litter and the hazards and dangers of landfills in an effort to encourage recycling as part of the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful initiative.

The public voted for the finalists, and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will select a winner, which will be announced Nov. 22.

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful is a nonprofit working to empower Oklahoma citizens to preserve and enhance the state’s natural beauty and ensure a healthy, sustainable environment. For more information visit www.keepoklahomabeautiful.com.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 11:36 AM

Kirstey Washington, 29, of Muskogee died last night of injuries sustained when a semi collided with the pickup in which she was a passenger.

Mark Maples, 55, and Kimberly Maples, 53, were also critically injured in the collision with a semi driven by Robert Roberts.

Roberts will be charged today with first-degree manslaughter and two counts of driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, according to District Attorney Orvil Loge.

Roberts allegedly admitted to police that he used methamphetamine and also allegedly stated “he is feeling the effects of methamphetamine during the interview, that was not just due to the collision alone.”

A blood analysis done by officials determined that Roberts was under the influence of drugs and could not safely operate a vehicle.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 9:29 AM

You must shiver with antici-

This week, the historic Roxy Theater in downtown Muskogee is showing two classic Halloween movies, The Addams Family and the interactive Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Tonight, The Addams Family Movie is showing at 7 p.m., tickets are $5, and concessions will be available.

On Friday , the Rocky Horror Picture Show will be screened, with audience participation encouraged. Prop packs are available for purchase for $5. No outside packs allowed. Tickets are available on eventbrite for $10.

Then on Saturday, the theater is featuring master hypnotist Michael Mayo as part of a fundraiser to benefit Susan G. Komen and Women Who Care breast cancer charities. The doors open at 7, and show starts at 8. Tickets are $10 at eventbrite.

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Sunday, October 20, 2019, 6:47 PM

Three people were rushed to Saint Francis Hospital in Muskogee by Muskogee County EMS under emergency status after a truck/semi wreck just east of Fort Gibson, emergency workers report.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that a semi collided with a Dodge pickup truck at US 62 and Four Mile Road.

EMS reported that three unidentified patients were transported to Saint Francis.

No other details are immediately available.

UPDATE: The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has identified the victims as driver Mark Maples, 55, and passengers Kimberly Maples, 53, and Kirstey Washington, 29, all of Muskogee. They were in a 2008 Lincoln Mark LT which collided with an International tractor trailer driven by Robert Roberts, 34, of Tahlequah, who was not injured.

The three were all admitted to the hospital in critical condition. The Maples were wearing their seatbelts, but Washington was not, according to the patrol. The conditions of the drivers and the cause of the collision are under investigation.

Robert Roberts

UPDATE: Roberts has been booked on a complaint of driving under the influence involving great bodily injury. Kirstey Washington remains in critical condition, according to a family member.

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