Kathryn Joyce Cookson, 82

Born December 24, 1937

Died May 22, 2020

Terry Lee Shipman, 65

Born June 2, 1954

Died May 19, 2020

Shirley Ann Jackson, 79

Born July 19, 1940

Died May 18, 2020

Robert Lloyd Cox, 47

Born June 23, 1972

Died May 17, 2020

Leon Gilyard, 77

Born February 8, 1943

Died May 16, 2020

Earnest L. Edwards, Sr., 81

Born February 8, 1939

Died May 16, 2020

Rhunella Lillian Bailey, 83

Born August 9, 1936

Died May 16, 2020

Reverend Dr. Ray K. Gaines, 81

Born July 29, 1938

Died May 12, 2020

Hoy Gene Parson, 78

Born October 15, 1941

Died May 11, 2020

Louise Ward, 91

Born August 25, 1928

Died May 11, 2020

Anna Belle Perry, 82

Born August 16, 1937

Died May 11, 2020


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

Friday, May 22, 2020, 11:48 AM

Addison Paige Clark

Addison Paige Clark, 30, pleaded guilty today in Muskogee County District Court to manslaughter, DUI, transporting an open container, failure to yield, failure to carry insurance and driving with license suspended stemming from a June 2019 incident where her car slammed into a motorcycle driven by Joshua Ray Jackson on North York Street.

She told police at the time that she was attempting to go to a bar, but she was already drunk at the time. While trying to turn, she slammed into Jackson’s Harley-Davidson and killed him. Jackson’s passenger was also critically injured in the wreck.

Clark’s blind plea means she will receive and serve whatever sentence the judge pronounces without any deal from prosecutors. A pre-sentencing investigation has been ordered by Judge Josh King in Cherokee County, and she will be sentenced on July 24 at 1:30 p.m.

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Thursday, May 21, 2020, 9:52 AM

Feed the Children and Genesis 12:2 (a charity operated by Mini-Max grocery store owner Bill Johnson) are partnering together to feed and help 400 families currently receiving food stamp benefits.

Each family will receive a 25-pound box of food, a 15-pound box of essentials and additional food items.

Families can pre-register at the Mini-Max Foods grocery store today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The giveaway will take place on Saturday, May 23 in the store’s parking lot from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The store is located at 2408 E. Shawnee.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 7:50 AM

Georgia-Pacific has sued the manufacturer of the lift truck that burst into flames and later exploded on May 13, 2019, shutting down the plant and burning for days. The company is also suing the seller of the truck.

GP’s suit alleges that the truck was serviced and maintained by the companies it’s suing, used in the proper fashion since its purchase in 2015 and “lift trucks should not start on fire and explode.”

The company says it purchased and implemented all fire-related safety options offered and recommended by Hyster, the company that manufactured the lift, and Medley, the company that sold it.

GP is also suing Safecraft, which manufactured the fire-suppression equipment on the lift, and National Maintenance Services. It says the system should have been automatic, not manual, requiring the operator to activate it.

The suit includes quotes of contracts signed that require the two companies to compensate Georgia-Pacific for losses sustained as a result of their negligence, but neither company has.

The company is asking to be reimbursed for property damage to its buildings and inventory, costs for demolition and cleanup, additional costs associated with manufacturing, packaging, shipping and warehousing and loss of sales and profit in excess of $75,000.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 7:37 AM

Christopher Branton Melland

Christopher Branton Melland, 45, of Oktaha is charged in Muskogee County District Court with strangling his mother and threatening to kill her, according to documents filed with the case.

According to a police affidavit, on May 16, around 6 p.m., Melland wrapped and orange electrical cord around his mother’s neck and choked her until she couldn’t breathe. Police also allege he told his mother he would kill her and burn her belongings if she told anyone what happened.

Melland was convicted of domestic abuse - assault and battery previously in November 2017 and sentenced to a year in jail, with the sentence suspended. He’s also previously been convicted of endeavoring to manufacture controlled drugs, conspiracy to commit a felony, false personation, bribing an officer (two counts) and bringing contraband into a jail. He has received a total of 77 years in prison on those convictions.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 7:13 AM

State Rep. Avery Frix, R-Muskogee, on Tuesday commented on an announcement that the Taft Public Works Authority in Muskogee County received approval for a $99,999 Rural Economic Action Plan grant through the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to improve the authority’s water infrastructure.

“I very much appreciate the Water Resources Board working to administer this grant that will help improve the quality and delivery of water for the residents of Taft,” Frix said. “This also will help keep costs lower for these utility users in the long run.”

The Taft Public Works Authority will use the funds to sandblast and paint a water standpipe, to install an aeration/recirculation pump as well as a dedicated line at the standpipe, and to install other necessary valves and controls. The estimated total cost of the project is $345,838. In addition to the OWRB REAP grant of $99,999, the remainder is being funded by a Community Development Block Grant grant of $205,839, an Eastern Oklahoma Economic Development District REAP grant of $40,000.

Joe Freeman, chief of the OWRB’s Financial Assistance Division, calculated the grant will save the authority’s customers $179,998 in principal and interest charges by not having to borrow the project funds. Since 1983 the Water Resources Board has approved over $4.5 billion in loans and grants for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements throughout Oklahoma.

OWRB Executive Director Julie Cunningham expressed gratitude for Frix and State Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, for their continued support of water and wastewater infrastructure funding in Oklahoma.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 7:05 AM

Unemployed Oklahomans who are self-employed rallied at the state Capitol Monday wanting answers to why their claims have not been fulfilled after weeks of waiting. Sen. Mary Boren has been working tirelessly trying to get answers as many unemployed Oklahomans are facing eviction and other financial troubles.

“Being that the state has already received its federal unemployment funds, I don’t understand why these citizens aren’t getting their benefits,” Boren said. “It’s beyond frustrating that our citizens, through no fault of their own had to close their businesses because of the health crisis yet haven’t received the unemployment benefits they were promised. Something must be done immediately so these people don’t lose their homes, cars, or have to close their businesses permanently and experience complete financial ruin.”

Boren said her office has been inundated with calls and emails of Oklahomans who have not received any unemployment benefits, cannot get through to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission to get an update on their case, or if they do get through are told someone will get back to them but never does.

Three types of unemployment are currently available to self-employed Oklahomans, gig workers, independent contractors and those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. 1. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is available to those who do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits. PUA benefits became available at the end of April.

2. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance will begin this week and will provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits (through the week ending Dec. 26, 2020) to those who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits.

3. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation provides an additional $600 per week to all eligible Unemployment Insurance claimants through the week ending July 25, 2020.

The Norman senator cited a survey from the Oklahoma Self-Employed Professionals, a group of private citizens who have received no PUA assistance and are demanding accountability from the OESC, the governor and other state leaders. The survey included responses from more than 300 Oklahomans.

Nearly half of respondents said they have received no confirmation that their claim has been approved or denied. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they have been disconnected at least twice when calling in to check on the status of their claim. Only 14 percent of those approved for PUA have been able to file their weekly claims.

The survey found that when people did get through they experienced long wait times. More than 28 percent said they waited 30 minutes to an hour, nearly 16 percent waited 1-2 hours, and nearly 24 percent waited over 2 hours to talk to an OESC employee about their claim.

Of those surveyed, 88 percent said when their call was answered there was no Tier 1 Specialist available to help them. Nearly 46% said when they talked to a Tier 1 Specialist, they were provided incorrect information.

When speaking to a Tier 1 Specialist, 69 percent were told their case was “high priority” or “critical” and that they were at the top of the list for a Tier 2 agent to return their call. Nearly 85 percent of these individuals are still waiting to be contacted by a Tier 2 agent. Less than 3 percent of those who have talked to a Tier 2 agent said they were able to address their issue successfully.

“This is a just a small reflection of what is happening to Oklahomans all over the state. I urge Gov. Stitt to hold OESC accountable and get these hardworking Oklahomans the benefits they have earned and deserve before their lives are destroyed. This isn’t a game. These are people’s lives and they need relief immediately,” Boren said.

According to OESC, the state has received just over $1.21 billion in federal funds for PUA, PEUC and FPUC.

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Monday, May 18, 2020, 8:09 AM

Marissa Solenberg, 37, of Tahlequah was rushed to the hospital early yesterday morning after her car slammed into a tree, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Solenberg’s 2016 Hyundai Elantra was eastbound on Oklahoma Highway 51 near the intersection of Limbsey lane, around 1:30 a.m., when it departed the roadway to the left, traveled 217 feet and slammed into a tree. She was pinned in the vehicle for 20 minutes before the Tahlequah Fire Department was able to extract her.

She was rushed to the hospital, where she was admitted in critical condition with head, internal and external and leg injuries.

The patrol is investigating the cause of the wreck.

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Monday, May 18, 2020, 8:04 AM

William James Smith Jr.

William James Smith Jr., 39 of Okay is charged with seven crimes — including two felonies — after a high-speed chase that began on US 62 in Muskogee and reached speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour before running a Wagoner County deputy off the road and ending in Okay.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Duncan Smith attempted to stop William Smith’s white 2006 Nissan pickup truck at Shawnee and Country Club, but the suspect failed to stop. After the trooper shined his spotlight in the back window of the truck, Smith allegedly accelerated quickly and initiated a chase that turned north on York Street. Once in Wagoner County, Smith allegedly saw a Wagoner County deputy coming toward him and swerved into the deputy’s lane, forcing the deputy off the road.

When the chase hit Okay, Smith’s pickup allegedly ran off the road and got stuck in a yard, so he fled on foot. The trooper overcame him and arrested him. Smith then fell asleep in the trooper’s car after the trooper said he smelled a strong odor of marijuana on him and discovered numerous pieces of paraphernalia from the pickup.

Smith faces a felony charge of endangering others while attempting to elude a police officer, a felony charge of assault with a dangerous weapon (his pickup), a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor charge of possession of controlled dangerous substance, a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving and a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license.

He has also been convicted of numerous previous felonies, including possession of drugs, seven counts of burglary of a vehicle, bail jumping, endeavoring to manufacture controlled drug and second-degree forgery.

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Friday, May 15, 2020, 1:06 PM

High winds — possibly a tornado — ripped through Muskogee County this morning southeast of Muskogee near Keefeton, according to law enforcement reports.

So far, no injuries have been reported, but Muskogee County EMS is on standby in case any are.

Several buildings were destroyed and trees were uprooted.

Emergency workers are on the scene now.

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has now classified the event as an EF-1 tornado.


Friday, May 15, 2020, 7:12 AM

The Department of Public Safety is resuming drive tests and relaxing some other restrictions on the process of acquiring a driver license as Governor Kevin Stitt begins phase two of the state’s reopening.

Beginning today DPS will allow walk-ins at all offices for driver license and/or Oklahoma identification card processing. DPS has been operating on an appointment-only basis since offices opened to the public on May 1. Social distancing guidelines will continue to be enforced and citizens visiting our offices will still be required to wear a face covering and have their temperature taken before entering the building.

Also beginning May 15, DPS will resume all drive tests for Class D licenses as well as Commercial Driver Licenses These will be by appointment only and vehicles used for the drive test will have to be disinfected by the applicant. The applicant will also be required to wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose. Appointments can be made by visiting and clicking on “Online Services.”

DPS is continuing to waive school enrollment verification and documentation of reading proficiency (the eighth-grade English language arts assessment) for those under 18 years of age. The reading proficiency requirement is permanently waived for all students who are eighth-graders during the 2019-2020 school year. All extended expiration dates of Class D driver licenses, state-issued identification cards, handicap parking placards, CDLs and Commercial Learner Permits (CLPs) will be considered expired after June 30, 2020.

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Friday, May 15, 2020, 7:10 AM

The Cherokee Nation is canceling the 2020 Remember the Removal Bike Ride in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trek across seven states was initially scheduled to begin on June 1. Although the bike ride has been canceled, the nine Cherokee Nation cyclists who were selected to make the journey in 2020 will have first priority to participate in the 2021 program.

“The Remember the Removal Bike Ride is a tremendously important program for our Cherokee youth to learn the history and honor the legacy of their ancestors who endured some of the worst tragedy in the history of the great Cherokee Nation. There is not another life-changing opportunity like this ride,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “However, this year, with the threat of COVID-19, we simply cannot jeopardize the riders’ health and safety, nor that of our coordinators and all the volunteers who meet us along the Trail of Tears route. We understand this is disappointing, as our cyclists have spent months training both physically and mentally. They committed themselves to continuing this program’s legacy, and it is our hope that each one is able to participate next year. Our riders will be given first preference in 2021.”

The Remember the Removal Bike Ride is a youth leadership program that retraces the Northern Route of the Trail of Tears, beginning in New Echota, Georgia, the former capital of the Cherokee Nation, and ending in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the tribe’s modern-day capital.

The nearly 950-mile trek spans seven states including Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Participants retrace the same path their ancestors were forced to walk more than 180 years ago on the Trail of Tears.

The Remember the Removal Bike Ride was created in 1984 as a youth leadership program. The program was restarted in 2009 and in 2011 began to include cyclists from both the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

The ride will resume in 2021.

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Thursday, May 14, 2020, 9:08 AM

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating a homicide that occurred yesterday in Stilwell.

On May 13, the Adair County Sheriff’s Office requested OSBI assistance with a homicide, which occurred on S. 4725 Road in Stilwell. Brandon Stane was found deceased at that residence from a gunshot wound. After agents conducted interviews and collected evidence, 35-year-old Tyler Presley was identified as the suspect in Brandon’s death.

Presley fled the scene prior to the arrival of first responders and his whereabouts are currently unknown.

An arrest warrant was issued for Presley and multiple law enforcement agencies are assisting in the search for him. If you have any information about this case or know where Presley is, you are asked to contact the Adair County Sheriff’s Office or the OSBI at (800) 522-8017 or You can remain anonymous.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 7:42 AM

Jason Keith Morris Jason Keith Morris, 41, of Muskogee is charged with felony terrorism hoax in Muskogee County District Court after an event on April 25 where police were trying to arrest him in an alleged physical altercation.

Morris is accused of being involved in the altercation with three other men in the Keetoowah Trails apartment complex parking lot that night. When police were attempting to arrest him, they say he claimed to have COVID-19 and then proceeded to cough at the officers on scene.

In addition to the felony, he is charged with misdemeanor resisting an officer.

The district attorney added in the filing that Morris has been previously convicted of numerous felonies: first-degree burglary (for which he received a 15-year sentence in 2006), feloniously pointing a weapon, for which he received 10 years; kidnapping, for which he received 10 years; and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, for which he received 10 years.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 7:27 AM

Tuesday afternoon, the Muskogee City-County Port Authority and the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce announced that a new task force has been created to strategically address how the community moves from disaster response to economic recovery.

The program, called ‘Muskogee Forward’, isn’t a short-term plan, but is expected to be a 12-month effort focusing on restoring the local economy.

“Muskogee has experienced more than its fair share of disasters, but this COVID-19 pandemic has been unlike anything any of us have ever seen,” said Marie Synar, Director of the Muskogee City-County Port Authority. “Just as with any disaster, there comes a time when you roll your sleeves up, pick up the pieces and you begin again.”

Muskogee Forward is not meant to take place of the Joint City-County COVID-19 Task Force and will not be making any recommendations on Muskogee’s re-opening strategy. “Our priority is to do everything we can to help our businesses and citizens recover from this crisis, and to take action that will enable our economy to return stronger than before.” Synar said.

The creation of task force comes at a time when not only private businesses, but city employers across the country are also facing job cuts and loss of business.

The newly formed Task Force has established a series of objectives to include:

  • Assess and forecast the economic impact of COVID-19 within the city and county.
  • Monitor the economic health of employers within the city and county.
  • Provide communication and technical assistance resources to businesses.
  • Develop a strategy to stimulate the economy within key sectors.
  • Develop a strategy to assist unemployed and displaced workers.
  • Identify additional services needed to help businesses, individuals and families recover.
  • Host industry roundtable discussions to incorporate input/feedback from businesses.

There will be opportunities for businesses and community members to come together around creative ways to rebuild and recover in the near and long term.

The task force is asking for the local business community to provide insight as to how COVID-19 has impacted their business by participating in a survey. The survey can be found here. Deadline for responses are Wednesday, May 20th.

The best way to stay informed on the Economic Recovery Task Force is to visit the Muskogee Forward website at


Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 9:37 AM

Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge has cleared Muskogee police officers in the killing of Tulsa murder suspect Demontre Bruner on May 4.

After reviewing the case and watching the footage of the incident, Loge declared that officers Chris Dean and Lt. Shane Leach were legally justified to fire their weapons at Bruner after he fired several rounds at them.

You can read Loge’s report here.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 9:27 AM

Jeremy Hooten

Jeremy Thomas Rosson Jr., 19, and Jeremy Sanuel Hooten, 19, both of Muskogee are charged in Muskogee County District Court with several felonies each after an April 7 incident at 1 a.m. in the 700 block of Fredonia Street. The men are charged with holding two people at gunpoint, tying up one of the victims, then assaulting both victims and stealing items from their residence before stealing their vehicle and wrecking it nearby.

Rosson was charged with first-degree robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (an H&R 676 .22 revolver) and possession of a firearm after delinquent adjudication, all felonies. He was adjudicated as a juvenile for committing the offense of possession of child pornography, distribution of obscene material or child pornography, and producing child pornography in 2015, when he was 15.

Hooten is charged with first-degree robbery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, both felonies.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 9:02 AM

Muskogee High School’s Air Force JROTC unit has been selected as one of only 79 recipients of the 2019-2020 Distinguished Unit with Merit Award, which recognizes units that have performed well above and beyond expectations and have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their schools and communities.

“The cadets worked so hard for this,” said USAF Major (Retired) William L. Triplett, who leads the group. “As far as we can tell, this is the first time since the unit began that we have made the list.”

The objectives of the ROTC program are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills, responsibility, character and self-discipline. In addition, it provides instruction in air and space fundamentals. It is open to 9th through 12th grade students.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 8:54 AM

Adrian Smith of Muskogee was shot in the back on May 10 on B Street, according to police.

The shooting happened around 7 p.m. on the 900 block of South B Street. Smith was transported by Muskogee County EMS to the hospital to be treated for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to police.

The police do not yet have a description of the vehicle from which the shot was fired, nor do they have any suspects.

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Monday, May 11, 2020, 9:25 AM

The Oklahoma State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced its opposition to a law Oklahoma state legislators quickly passed last week that requires mail-in votes to be notarized.

The law quickly followed the Oklahoma Supreme Court striking down a previous law that required notarization for mail-in ballots.

Citing concerns over voter fraud, the House and Senate quickly passed the new law less than four days later. The law requires two witnesses for each vote and a notary public. During the coronavirus pandemic, voters can send in a photocopy of their state identification.

The NAACP said the new law amounts to voter suppression and violates the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.

“We believe this new law is purposely intended to intimidate racial minorities from voting by mail,” the state’s NAACP branch stated in a release. “It deliberately imposes a discriminatory trade off, which exposes a third party to the absentee ballots, versus when the in-person voter, can keep their voting choice private at the ballot box.”

The group vowed to fight the new law in court.

Meanwhile, the state Election Board’s three-month investigation showed that only 18 people out of Oklahoma’s 4 million population attempted to vote illegally in 2016, according to reporting from

“I have no idea what the disposition (of each case) is,” state Election Board Spokesman Bryan Dean told the Frontier. “Most of the time double voting is not prosecuted because it happened by accident and they (the DAs) don’t want to go after a little old lady who voted twice.”

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Thursday, May 7, 2020, 11:38 AM

Matthew Crittenden

Matthew Crittenden, 30, police chief in Webbers Falls, was upset that Officer Justin Truett hadn’t made as many traffic stops as he thought should be made, so he drunkenly tried to punch Truett in the groin and did punch him in the torso before later pointing a gun at his head in the Webbers Falls Police Station, according to an affidavit filed by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation in a felony case against Crittenden.

Crittenden was charged today in Muskogee County District Court with felony assault and battery on a police officer, feloniously pointing a firearm and carrying a firearm while under the influence.

Several Webbers Falls police officers witnessed the gun pointing part of the night, according to the affidavit.

One officer stated that Crittenden grabbed a bottle of Grey Goose vodka from an evidence storage cabinet while already unsteady on his feet and smelling of alcohol — and while his service pistol was on his hip. While discussing Truett, the other officer said Crittenden took several drinks from the bottle.

“During the conversation, Woody heard Crittenden tell Truett to wipe the smug grin off of his face and Crittenden asked Truett if he needed to fire rounds (bullets) over the head of Truett to motivate Truett to produce more results at work. Woody then observed Crittenden remove a black pistol from a holster on the side of Crittenden and point the pistol at the head area of Truett,” the affidavit states. “Woody stated during an interview that if a person on the street did the same thing, that person would have likely been shot.”

Several officers told investigators that Crittenden had threatened to kick and whoop Truett’s ass during the night.

Officers also told investigators that after they had talked him down, Crittenden stumbled to his vehicle and tried to drive off, only to be physically removed by other officers and told he would be arrested for DUI if he attempted to drive. Two children were in the vehicle at the time.

OSBI investigators said they reviewed a video that showed Crittenden choking and punching Truett outside the police building. Truett neither provoked nor responded to Crittenden’s attack, they stated.

A warrant has been issued for Crittenden’s arrest.

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Thursday, May 7, 2020, 7:09 AM

Cherokee Nation is extending the deadline for this year’s National Treasure nominations due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The honor of Cherokee National Treasure is bestowed upon Cherokee Nation citizens who have shown exceptional knowledge of Cherokee art and culture.

Selected recipients actively work to preserve and revive traditional cultural practices that are in danger of being lost from generation to generation. The award was established in 1988 by the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee National Historical Society.

Nominations will be accepted only by scheduled drop off now through June 12 at 5 p.m. For a full list of the nearly 30 categories or to download a nomination form, visit

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 8:30 AM

The Muskogee Police Department today released the names of six officers involved in the shooting death of homicide suspect Demontre Bruner, 19, on May 4.

Lieutenant Chris Dean, Officer Shane Leach fired their weapons in the incident and are on paid leave as the incident is investigated.

Officers Taylor Hignite, Kevin Gilbreth and Tyler Griffith and Bob Lynch were involved at the incident but did not fire their weapons. They will be back at work next week.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 1:41 PM

The Muskogee Police Department just sent out this release:

On today’s date at approximately 0735am officers were dispatched to 4700 block of Columbus in reference to shots fired. Dispatch advised that the reporting party stated a dark colored SUV left the area, and a blue car was still parked in the street.

The first officer on scene arrived and saw a subject standing in the road by the blue car with the driver’s side door open. The officer told the subject to step to the back of the car, as he approached the back of the car he threw a gun and took off running north. A foot pursuit ensued and the subject was taken into custody a few blocks away. He was later identified as Corey Rone and transported to the Muskogee Police Department. He is being charged with:

  • Shooting with intent to kill
  • Resisting arrest
  • Possession of a firearm AFCF (After former conviction of a felony)

The victim’s car received damage from multiple gunshots. There were several shell casing collected from the scene as well as a firearm. Officers received several conflicting statements on scene from witnesses, this appears to be an ongoing dispute between the victim, Matthew Spradlin and suspect Corey Rone. The investigation is ongoing.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 9:23 AM

The shooting was reported at 2321 Fredonia

A man was shot on Fredonia just now, according to multiple emergency officials.

No details are yet available, but EMS is en route to the scene.

Police have not yet officially responded to requests for information.

Police have a suspect in custody.

UPDATE: The victim is alive, but his condition is not yet available. Police have arrested a suspect and are transporting him to the police station.

UPDATE: There are two victims, according to EMS officials. One refused medical treatment at the scene and the other was transported to the nearest hospital under non-emergency status.

UPDATE: Muskogee Police just sent the following release.

On today’s date at approximately 9:15am officers were dispatched to the 2300 block of Fredonia in reference to a shooting. While en route dispatch advised that the suspect was possibly still in the area.

When officers arrived they made contact with the victim, Eric Speer, who advised he had been shot in the leg by the suspect. Additional officers on scene made contact down the street with a subject matching the description of the suspect, Brandon Thompson and he was immediately taken into custody. Witnesses advised that this is an ongoing dispute between these two neighbors.

Thompson was transported to the Muskogee Police Department where he will be booked in for assault with a deadly weapon.

The victim was transported to the hospital to be treated for his injuries.

This is still an ongoing investigation and any additional information will be released as it becomes available.

Muskogee Police spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin clarified that one person was shot, and the second person may have been grazed, but not injured enough to require medical attention.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 7:59 AM

The Council of the Cherokee Nation on Monday passed a resolution that allows Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. to expedite emergency contracts that will secure more protective equipment and supplies for tribal health care workers and food security for Cherokee elders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The approved resolution passed the Council of the Cherokee Nation 16-1, with the opposing vote coming from District 3 Tribal Councilor Wes Nofire.

With the passing of this resolution, Hoskin is authorized to temporarily execute certain contractual provisions that are ordinarily approved on a contract-by-contract basis at regular committee and council meetings, which can take at least 10 days to convene. Under the resolution, contracts are limited to COVID-19 pandemic emergency relief efforts, and include only contracts that are related to personal protective equipment; other medical supplies and equipment; software and other technology agreements to meet remote work and telemedicine requirements; and emergency food, supplies and equipment.

“This is a time that calls for cooperation and unity among government officials, and that’s what we are seeing in the Cherokee Nation,” said Deputy Speaker of the Tribal Council Victoria Vazquez. “Weeks of careful planning, consultation, revision and review led to potentially lifesaving measures approved by this Council.”

The resolution limits Hoskin’s authority to contracts for health supplies, technology and food relating only to the COVID-19 response that do not exceed $1 million, and that the Council will be notified of any contracts no later than one business day after being issued. The resolution is set to expire on June 15, or with the expiration of an Emergency Disaster Declaration, whichever comes first. The measure does not grant Chief Hoskin any additional budget authority beyond what a Council approves in the tribe’s budget.

The measure, which uses the Council’s constitutional authority to approve contractual provisions dealing with pledges of credit and sovereign immunity, was modeled on legislation the Council approved in 2018 to complete the construction of the new outpatient health facility in Tahlequah on time.

The Council also approved a change to the tribe’s budget, shifting more money to the tribe’s historic COVID-19 response effort. Funding included nearly $40 million for health care system, over $9 million to support the increased housing needs, and another $5 million to purchase supplies, food, and support public safety programs throughout the Cherokee Nation.

The budget measure also provided authority of up to $100 million for funds anticipated to come from the federal CARES Act, which earmarked $8 billion for COVID-19 recovery for tribal governments across the country. The actual amount of CARES Act funding for Cherokee Nation will be determined by the U.S. Department of Treasury, which could issue the funds within the next week.

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Monday, May 4, 2020, 9:08 AM

Muskogee Police officers shot a suspect who fired at officers first around 2 this morning, according to police spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin.

Another law enforcement source confirmed that the suspect died as a result of the gunfire.

No officers were hurt, and no further information is available at this time.

We will update when that changes.

UPDATE: A third law enforcement source said the suspect was possibly a murder suspect out of Tulsa County, but no official source has confirmed that yet.

UPDATE: The man was taken by Muskogee County EMS to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to EMS spokeswoman Trish German.

UPDATE: Hamlin sent the following release just now:

On Monday, May 4, 2020 at approximately 12:24am dispatch notified officers of an anonymous tip in reference to the location of a suspect wanted for Homicide out of the Tulsa Police Department.

At approximately 1:10 am officers were able to confirm with the Tulsa Police Department that they had probable cause to arrest Demontre Bruner DOB 05/30/1998 for Homicide and Shooting with intent to kill.

At approximately 1:30am as officers were checking the locations given by an anonymous caller they observed two subjects, one matching the description of the homicide suspect, on the porch of a residence located at 13th and Fremont. Both subjects ran from that location and one subject was apprehended and the second subject who was the homicide suspect fled on foot. A perimeter was set up and a K9 track started and the suspect was tracked to the area of 11th and Fremont.

At approximately 1:52am the suspect fired at the officers with a handgun and the officers returned fire. Officers already had EMS on standby in the area. The officers made numerous attempts to establish verbal contact with the suspect to determine if he was still a threat and if he had been injured by the gunfire. Officers then made a plan and approached the suspect to place him into custody and check for injuries. Once officers took possession of the suspect’s handgun EMS was able to approach and begin rendering aid.

The suspect was then transported to a Tulsa area hospital where he was pronounced dead at approximately 4:42am.

None of the officers were injured and six have been placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

This is an ongoing investigation and further details will be released as they become available. The body camera video will be released later this week as well.

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Friday, May 1, 2020, 8:20 AM

Malaski Hill, Marcus Antowon Jr., and Christopher Harris are all charged with multiple felonies in a gunfire incident that happened on the night of April 28, according to papers filed with the cases.

The three are charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of a firearm, eluding or attempting to elude a police officer, unlawful possession of controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and resisting an officer. In addition, Dolan is charged with possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony.

According to an affidavit filed with the cases, the suspects allegedly fired around 20 rounds from a .223 rifle from a 2004 Dodge Neon at Michelle Anderson. When police tried to do a traffic stop on the vehicle, they say the vehicle attempted to elude stop at a “high rate of speed.” The vehicle then crashed into an electrical box and the suspects allegedly exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Police also found a Canid 9mm 20 feet from the vehicle and they say Harris was in possession of marijuana, 50 Xanax pills and a substance they believe to be methamphetamine.

Each man is currently in the Muskogee County Jail on $100,000 bond.

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Thursday, April 30, 2020, 11:40 AM

Matthew Crittenden

Matthew Crittenden, 35, of Webbers Falls was arrested yesterday and accused of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, according to jail booking reports.

Crittenden is the Muskogee County town’s police chief.

According to law enforcement sources, Crittenden is believed to have been intoxicated and pointed a firearm at one of his employees, though the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which is working the case, has not confirmed that.

UPDATE: The OSBI released the following information:

Agents from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) arrested the chief of the Webbers Falls police department after an altercation with an officer in the department. Matthew Crittenden was arrested on April 29, 2020 and is facing one charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Muskogee County Jail.

The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. on April 28, 2020 and involved the chief assaulting one of the officers in his department. Another officer with the police department, who witnessed the altercation, contacted the OSBI and requested an investigation. Based on that investigation, Crittenden was arrested. He will likely face additional charges.

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Thursday, April 30, 2020, 7:36 AM

Muskogee citizens have reported to police numerous instances of someone using their identities to file unemployment claims with the state.

“It’s happening statewide,” Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge said. “The attorney general’s office is handling it.”

Attorney General Mike Hunter announced his office has developed a new resource to help process unemployment fraud claims.

Individuals or businesses that receive bogus claims are asked to fill out a new form on the attorney general’s website, where the claim will then be directed to the proper law enforcement agency.

Hunter said during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increased number of fraudulent filings to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

“After conferring with federal, state and local law enforcement authorities, our office has determined we are well positioned to help victims of unemployment fraud and the OESC, which has seen an inordinate amount of complaints,” he said. “Right now, thousands of Oklahomans have a legitimate need for the financial assistance offered by OESC. The hardworking citizens of Oklahoma deserve access to these funds, not con artists around the world who are using this public health crisis as an opportunity to exploit our residents and businesses.”

Criminals who commit unemployment fraud use the names, addresses and other information to fraudulently file for unemployment benefits intended for Oklahomans. The individual or business being defrauded is notified by mail their name has been used to collect unemployment benefits.

Oklahomans can stop false claims made in their names by contacting the OESC at (405) 962-4602 or For more information on false claims and other resources related to unemployment for individuals and business owners, visit

Individuals are also encouraged to fill out the new form and submit it to the attorney general’s office so the claim can be investigated by law enforcement. Or use

Access the form, here:

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