DEATHS

Nolan Pevehouse, 87

Born December 15, 1931

Died May 20, 2019

Connie Lynn Chandler, 49

Born August 2, 1969

Died May 20, 2019

Ann Elizabeth Long, 66

Born March 2, 1953

Died May 18, 2019

CLICK TO SEE MORE >>

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

THINGS TO DO

Thursday, May 23

Advanced PLC Programming & Troubleshooting

Saturday, May 25

The Jolly Rogers at The Castle of Muskogee Renaissance Festival
OKRF 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 9:55 PM

A mandatory evacuation has been issued for the south Muskogee County town of Webbers Falls.

The town, which sits on the Arkansas River, is in danger of being engulfed by record flooding.

Shelter has been set up in nearby Warner.

Flooding is wreaking havoc all along the river, including shutting down the main road between Muskogee and Fort Gibson and Muskogee and Okay.

Residents are asked to avoid flooded areas to allow emergency crews to do their jobs and not risk further complications.

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420 main

Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 9:55 PM

A mandatory evacuation has been issued for the south Muskogee County town of Webbers Falls.

The town, which sits on the Arkansas River, is in danger of being engulfed by record flooding.

Shelter has been set up in nearby Warner.

Flooding is wreaking havoc all along the river, including shutting down the main road between Muskogee and Fort Gibson and Muskogee and Okay.

Residents are asked to avoid flooded areas to allow emergency crews to do their jobs and not risk further complications.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 8:31 AM

Floodwaters contain many potential hazards such as downed power lines, household trash, medical waste, large debris, human and livestock waste, industrial chemicals, rodents, and snakes. Exposure to contaminated water can cause wound infections, stomach illness, skin rash, tetanus and other illnesses.

The best practice for protection is to stay out of the water, and avoid recreational play such as swimming or fishing. However, the OSDH offers the following tips for those who do come into contact with floodwater during evacuation or cleanup:

  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles.
  • Wash skin with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer.
  • Take care of wounds and seek medical attention if a foreign object such as wood or metal is embedded in the wound. Watch for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, draining, or developing a fever.
  • Wash clothes contaminated with floodwater in hot water and detergent before reusing them.
  • Do not allow children to play in floodwater, or play with toys that have been contaminated by floodwater and have not been disinfected.

As always, it’s important to remember that floodwaters may be hiding a washed out roadway or other dangerous obstacles. Never drive into flooded areas as vehicles may be swept away, or may stall in moving water. Turn around, don’t drown.

For more information about floodwater safety, visit https://go.usa.gov/xmwFW, or ready.gov. For information about tetanus shots or other services, contact a local county health department or medical provider.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 4:06 PM

Muskogee residents who leave near the Arkansas River are being asked to make plans for immediate evacuation, according to County Commissioner Ken Doke.

“The river is expected to crest 10 feet above flood stage on Thursday morning,” he said. “That’s very close to the levels that happened in the record flood in 1986.”

Muskogee County has issued a state of emergency. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the area.

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dragonfly dojo

Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 9:37 AM

Jessica Dawn Fox

Jessica Dawn Fox, 28, of Warner is one of three people charged in a conspiracy to kidnap a child whose mother was going to testify against one of the trio.

The other two suspects are Cody Fox and Richard Walker Jr.

According to an affidavit filed with the case, Cody Fox, who was charged with another kidnapping that ended up with him being arrested in Texas after allegedly being caught on video kidnapping the victim, is alleged to have sent his sister, Jessica Fox, and Walker to “pick up the child so that he could kill the child” in order to keep the child’s mother from testifying.

The pair allegedly went to an address on Eastside Boulevard in Muskogee to pick up the child, but they were stopped by police.

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herringshaw waste management

Monday, May 20, 2019, 9:59 AM

Wayland Driskell

Wayland Lee Driskell, 43, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with first-degree rape and unlawful possession of controlled drug with intent to distribute.

Driskell is accused of using the drug Phencyclidine — also known as PCP — to lace a cigarette and then use the drug’s effects to overcome her resistance and rape her on May 15.

The woman told police she said “no” and “stop” several times during the encounter, but that she was rendered physically unable to resist during the incident.

Several witnesses found the victim outside after the incident, the cigarette still in her position, according to an affidavit filed with the case. She immediately told the witnesses she was raped at that “Cuff” (Driskell) was the one who had done it.

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Monday, May 20, 2019, 9:37 AM

Warning: This story contains terms considered to be offensive.

A group called Transparency for Oklahomans has sued the City of Wagoner over the police department’s alleged refusal to release public documents regarding a wide range of subjects, including its failure to arrest one of its officers who was allegedly caught driving drunk.

The group is looking for call logs, Facebook browsing and posting history, email server searches, dash cam video, anti-racial profiling policy, emails between the Wagoner County District Attorney and officer Travis Ponds, the city’s arrest policy, the city’s policy on arresting intoxicated drivers and more.

The group also seeks records relating to arrests of minorities and a search of city servers for the terms “queer, faggot, nigger, homo, spic, wetback, beaner, Donald Trump, build that wall, Betty Shelby, SQ 788, illegal immigrant, HIV, AIDS, transgender and Jesus.”

The group also seeks an accounting of all money seized by the police department.

The police department has not responded to requests for comment.

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big papas

Friday, May 17, 2019, 7:13 AM

As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and Oklahoma law enforcement want to remind all drivers of the importance of seat belt use. The annual ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign is a high-visibility enforcement effort that runs from May 20 to June 2, 2019. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign runs concurrent with the busy travel season.

“During the Click It or Ticket campaign, we’ll be working with law enforcement officers across local and state lines to ensure the message gets out to drivers and passengers,” said Director Paul Harris of the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.

“We cannot overstate the importance of wearing a seat belt,” said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Commissioner Rusty Rhoades.

“It’s the law, but it’s more than that. By far, buckling up is the simplest thing you can do to limit injury or save your life during a crash. Unfortunately, we see what happens when someone is in a crash and isn’t wearing a seat belt. So often, those injuries and deaths could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt,” said Rhoades.

In 2017, 231 people were killed in crashes on Oklahoma roadways who were not buckled up. A total of 1,479 people were injured in crashes in Oklahoma who were not wearing their seat belt. Across the nation, 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes in 2017.

In that same year, 55 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts in the US. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

“Men, especially younger men ages 18-34, are much less likely to buckle up. In 2017, we lost 149 men in Oklahoma because they did not buckle their seat belts,” said Harris. “If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits.”

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steve money

Thursday, May 16, 2019, 4:05 PM

An 11-year-old girl was mauled by two large dogs yesterday in Oktaha, according to Muskogee County Chief Deputy Mike Mahan.

The dogs, one a pit bull and the other a pit bull/lab mix, were almost immediately pulled off the girl, he said. Her parents transported her to Saint Francis Hospital in Muskogee, and then Muskogee County EMS transported her to Tulsa.

The owners of the dogs, who are friends with the girl’s family, have voluntarily submitted the dogs to a 10-day quarantine to check for rabies, after which the dogs will both be euthanized.

At this time, the cause of the attack is unknown.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019, 1:55 PM

Georgia Pacific told Muskogee’s task force this afternoon that all employees would be back to work on their normal shifts by May 20th.

“On behalf of Muskogee County and all of our friends and family that have been affected by the recent disaster, I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Georgia Pacific for keeping all of its employees working,” said County Commissioner Ken Dome. “Not every company would agree to do that.”

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Thursday, May 16, 2019, 10:33 AM

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has confirmed that a measles case has occurred in Okmulgee County, which sits on the western border of Muskogee County.

This is the first confirmed case of measles in Oklahoma since May 2018. As of Jan. 1, there have been at least 839 cases of measles reported in the United States from 23 other states. This is the highest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994.

Measles was identified in a person who returned to Oklahoma after traveling to various domestic and international destinations. The virus is still common in many parts of the world with outbreaks occurring in Europe, Israel, Ukraine, and the Philippines. These outbreaks have resulted in travelers who develop illness in the U.S. following their return. In addition to the high number of cases, there are outbreaks ongoing in several states.

Based on collected information about the measles case during the time the patient was contagious, public health officials want to alert anyone who visited Saint Francis Glenpool emergency room, May 11, from 8 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. about potential exposure to the measles virus. Public health officials are collaborating with Saint Francis Glenpool to identify anyone who may have visited the facility to inform them of their exposure and provide recommendations.

People are protected if they are immunized with two doses of a measles-containing vaccine after the first birthday, or if they were born during or before 1957. Those who think they may have been at risk of exposure should review their immunization records and contact the Okmulgee County Health Department at 918-756-1883 during regular business hours, their local county health department or the OSDH epidemiologist-on-call at 800-234-5963.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus may remain airborne up to two hours in a room after the person with measles has left an indoor area. Those who are susceptible to measles usually develop symptoms about 10 days after exposure with a range of 7-21 days.

Symptoms of measles begin with a mild to moderate fever, runny nose, red eyes, and cough. A few days later, a rash appears starting on the face spreading to the rest of the body accompanied by a fever that can reach up to 105 degrees. Measles can lead to pneumonia and other complications, especially in young children and adults over 20. The disease can also cause serious problems in pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. A person with measles can spread the virus up to four days before the onset of the rash and until four days after the rash begins.

Approximately 90 percent of U.S. cases reported so far this year were either unvaccinated or had an unknown history of vaccination against measles. Measles can be prevented with the measles vaccine usually given in combination with rubella and mumps, called MMR vaccine, and is recommended for all children at 12 to 15 months of age and again at 4 to 6 years of age. If a person has not received a second dose of the vaccine between 4 to 6 years of age, the booster dose may be given at any age thereafter. Two doses of vaccine normally provide lifelong immunity.

Individuals who were exposed and are not experiencing symptoms of illness do not need to be evaluated by a health care provider. Anyone who does have symptoms should contact a health care provider before presenting for care to discuss instructions for check-in and registration.

For more information about measles, visit https://go.usa.gov/xmR3X. To receive the MMR vaccine, contact a health care provider or a county health department.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019, 10:10 AM

NASCAR Whelen Points Night racing gets going tomorrow night, according to Mike Withrow of Thunderbird Speedway in south Muskogee.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and races start at 7:30. General admission is $10, but children 10 and under are free.

All classes will run Friday night.

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herbal city

Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 2:21 PM

Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd, left, and Deputy Speaker of the Tribal Council Victoria Vazquez, right, presented Cherokee Nation citizen and acclaimed mezzo-soprano Barbara McAlister with a shawl during a special recognition at Monday night’s monthly Tribal Council meeting.

Tribal Councilors recognized Cherokee Nation citizen and internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Barbara McAlister during Monday night’s monthly meeting.

McAlister, of Muskogee, retired from a distinguished operatic career and is now teaching vocal performance to both youth and adults in northeastern Oklahoma. Tribal Councilors presented McAlister with a shawl made by Cherokee National Treasure Dorothy Ice in honor of McAlister’s contributions to the arts.

“We are very honored to recognize Cherokee mezzo-soprano Barbara McAlister,” Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd said. “In addition to her storied singing career both in the United States and abroad, Barbara is a 2019 recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award. She was recognized by Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma Arts Council for her longtime leadership and contribution to the arts. We are so honored that she represents our tribe.”

Cherokee Nation citizen Megan Jacobs, a four-year student of McAlister, also shared her operatic talents during a performance for the Tribal Council.

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family time rentals

Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 10:46 AM

Zackery Perry

Zackery Perry, the former Muskogee Firefighter who has been in prison for the last year after he pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of child pornography, sexual abuse of a child and bestiality for having sex with his dog, was in Muskogee County District Court today on a one-year review of his sentence.

His application was denied. However, Perry testified that he has received no treatment or counseling while in prison in Lawton. Muskogee County District Judge Bret Smith ordered the Department of Corrections to prepare and implement a comprehensive treatment plan for Perry an implement it.

Perry is serving sentences totally 55 years, some of which carry an 85 percent clause, meaning he has to serve 85 percent of the sentences before he can even be considered for parole.

He is due for another review May 15, 2023.

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quality care

Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 6:57 AM

May 12-18 is Women’s Health Week and the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System is offering a free Women Veterans Information Fair from 2-4 pm on May 15 at their outpatient clinic in Tulsa and on May 16 at their medical center in Muskogee.

“The purpose of this outreach effort is to support women Veterans on their health journey within VA,” said Mark Morgan, Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System Director. “We will not only have information on VA health services specific to Women Veterans, but also display the welcoming and supporting environments we have created for them. We encourage all women Veterans not currently using VA services to enroll and use the benefits they have earned.”

VA representatives will be on hand to discuss eligibility and enrollment, primary care, community care, suicide prevention, homeless veteran program, patient advocate program, military sexual trauma, peer support, and more. Staff from the Veterans Benefits Administration and National Cemetery Administration will also be there to share their programs and benefits.

The Tulsa clinic is located at 9322 E. 41st St. and event will be held on May 15 in the Boomer Sooner Room. The medical center in Muskogee is located at 1011 Honor Heights Dr. and event will be held on May 16 in the Auditorium on the second floor. Light refreshments will be served.

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Monday, May 13, 2019, 10:19 PM

Georgia-Pacific, Muskogee’s largest non-government employer, appears to be on fire, according to numerous witnesses.

Police, fire and ambulance personnel have not yet responded to requests for information.

A loud noise cracked through the Muskogee air an hour or so ago and then the building itself appeared to be engulfed in flames.

No words yet on any injuries.

UPDATE: We are hearing a roll truck exploded in the building where the large rolls of paper are stored.

Police are reporting that there was an explosion and then the fire started.

UPDATE: According to County Commissioner Ken Doke, all Georgia-Pacific staff have been accounted for. Doke is also asking that citizens don’t drive by the plant, because the traffic is impeding the work of emergency crews.

Muskogee Fire Department reports only two non-life-threatening injuries.

8 a.m. UPDATE: Four people were transported by Muskogee County EMS, according to spokeswoman Trish German. None had critical injuries. The fire department is still busy at the scene and no one is available for comment.

Every available fire truck in Muskogee responded to the scene, where a propane-powered clamp truck exploded after Georgia-Pacific’s fire brigade determined it wasn’t going to be able to extinguish a fire that started on the truck. The building was evacuated before the propane exploded.

The Muskogee Fire Department got the blaze under control at 5 a.m. today.

Only buildings 27 and 10 were engulfed. The mill is closed today.

Emergency officials are still working to put out several small fires and assess the damage, so they are still asking that onlookers don’t drive by the plant today, potentially impeding emergency vehicles.

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charlies chicken

Monday, May 13, 2019, 6:16 AM

Muskogee High School students in grades 11-12 will have the opportunity to take classes with Star University this fall thanks to the Star U’s first career dual enrollment program. The Digital Media Certificate program is part of Star University’s School of Media and Technology and will offer students the opportunity to graduate high school with college level credits.

The 12 credit hour program includes a summer internship with local and international companies.

The first of its kind in Muskogee, the high schoolers enrolled in the Digital Media Certificate program will learn production skills, social media and storytelling. Students will have the opportunity to study interactive technology, media communication and social media from a business perspective.

“Star University is committed to offering programs like this that will benefit students’ education and the future of the Muskogee community,” said Star University President Dr. Robert Brown. “Thanks to our strong relationship with Muskogee Public Schools, these students will have the opportunity to have career ready skills upon graduation.”

Star University will offer twelve full scholarships to participating Muskogee High School students this Fall 2019.

For more information about its Digital Media Certification program or its other certification program in Social Media Marketing, contact Star University at 539-302-7508 or info@staruniversity.org.

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Friday, May 10, 2019, 3:27 PM

A bill in the Oklahoma Senate that sounds good on the surface runs the risk of flooding the streets with recidivist criminals, Muskogee bail bondsman Jan Jordan said today.

“The ‘catch and release’ bill would allow criminal defendants to be released with only a promise to return to court,” Jordan said. “It would subject victims of crimes to further danger as accused offenders are continuously released without being held accountable.”

Jordan is Oklahoma’s longest-serving bondsman, writing bail bonds for 55 years.

“Failure-to-appear rates will skyrocket as those accused of crimes will not return to court,” he said. “In Oklahoma County in February of this year, 57 percent of defendants released without posting bonds failed to appear for their court dates. Counties in Oklahoma do not have the funding or resources to track down and arrest those who fail to appear. By comparison, those released on surety bonds cost the county and taxpayers nothing, and ensure the defendants return to court.”

The proposed bill, set for vote on Monday, also removes judges’ ability to consider defendants’ full criminal history when making decisions, including if they are potential threats to people or if they have already violated court or government orders. Violent criminals would be released to society without any incentive to return to court.

“Many studies have been done throughout the years that indicate ‘catch and release’ isn’t effective,” Jordan said. “This will create a haven in Oklahoma for criminals.”

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highers bonding

Thursday, May 9, 2019, 2:11 PM

Stephen Gilmore

Sgt. Stephen Gilmore, 40, is charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with a complicated plot to deliver contraband to inmates inside Jess Dunn Correctional Facility in Taft.

The allegations are that he received money — several hundred dollars — in exchange for looking the other way when outside associates of inmates dropped bags off inside the prison grounds that contained contraband.

Tobacco, marijuana, methamphetamine and cell phones were among the contraband items allegedly being delivered.

A very long affidavit accompanying the case details information provided by inmates and allegedly admitted to by Gilmore himself, who maintains (and who was alleged by inmates to have also said) that he would not look the other way while narcotics were delivered.

Some of the deliveries were intercepted by other guards, who then reported they saw Gilmore deliver part of the seized materials — a letter — to the inmate who is alleged to have paid him to allow the deliveries.

Numerous inmates are alleged to have participated in the scheme as well, including leaders of an influential and feared gang.

Gilmore was alleged to have received a total of $175. He allegedly told investigators he allowed the deliveries “to keep the peace.”

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secret desires

Thursday, May 9, 2019, 7:45 AM

Tori Looney

WARNING: This story contains adult language.

Tori Mikale Looney, 18, is charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor after police say they heard her yelling at her family and threatening someone to “beat your ass.”

According to an affidavit filed with the case, officers were called to a disturbance in Fort Gibson at 11:38 p.m. on Tuesday. Officer Austin Hughart says he heard Looney threaten someone “I will beat your ass,” and “you are never going to see your kids again, you cunt,” and “I will hurt all of you.”

Hughart says he attempted to place Looney under arrest, but she allegedly refused to place her hands behind her back. A short struggle ensued during which she was able to lay on her back and allegedly kick Hughart in the torso twice, also allegedly attempting to head-butt officer Brent Maddocks.

The two men were eventually able to subdue the teen, who is now charged with two counts of assault and battery on a police officer and one count of threatening to perform a violent act.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 9:57 AM

There are but a few milestone events that define the lives of children as they get older and long days turn into memories. The death last month of Zay Xzavion Mickey, 12, was one of them for the students of Cherokee Elementary School.

The school’s track team took up his nickname, X, as a rallying cry, even printing t-shirts to commemorate his life and his influence on their sport.

And last week, The New Tech at Cherokee Elementary track and field team won first place at the Small Institute MPS Elementary Track and Field meet, where they really weren’t expected to win, but to add to the bittersweet victory, they won overall, not just among small schools.

Students and teachers alike wore the shirts honoring X

“It was fun, we won for the first time,” said classmate Jericha Hughes, 13. “I did it all for Zay. I love and miss him.”

Students made and carried “We play for Zay” signs at the meet.

“It was a group effort,” said Physical Education teacher Beth Wells. “From the scholars who worked hard to train for the event, the teachers who gave of their time, the cafeteria staff, community support - including donations of shirts for every participating scholar.”

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Monday, May 6, 2019, 10:59 AM

Tom Martindale, left, and Muskogee County District Judge Bret Smith speak as State Rep. Avery Frix, R- Muskogee, District Judge Robin Adair and State Sen. Dwayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee discuss the mental health initiative.

Muskogee County District Court has announced they have launched a new mental health court program.

The Muskogee County District Court, in conjunction with the Muskogee County District Attorney’s Office, Green Country Behavioral Health Services, Inc., and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, has implemented a mental health court program to provide community-based supervision and treatment for people who have committed crimes in Muskogee County. The program, funded through the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, was made possible through legislation and appropriations that expanded the existing State Mental Health Court Program to Muskogee County.

Participation in the program is voluntary. Eligibility is initially determined by the District Attorney’s Office and is dependent on the type and severity of the crime. After initial eligibility is established, an assessment is conducted to determine if the individual has a serious mental health issue that could be safely treated in a community supervision setting. The program is at least 50 weeks in duration and completion of and graduation from the program is dependent on meeting individualized treatment goals.

This program will ensure those who commit crimes and have serious mental health issues receive needed treatment and supervision as well as coordinating to help meet other needs like housing and nutrition. The ultimate goal of the Mental Health Court Program is to prevent people with serious mental health issues from becoming involved again with the criminal justice system.

Questions about or referrals to the program can be made to the Honorable Robin W. Adair, Mental Health Court Program judge; Muskogee County District Attorney’s Office of Orvil Loge; Tom Martindale, Mental Health Court coordinator; or a representative of GCBHS.

“The utilization of this program will allow the participants of the program…to maximize their utility in life,” Robin Adair, Judge of the Mental Health Court Program, said. “At the same time it will afford society an extra degree of protection by enable us to offer more services to this very important critical need population.”

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3 rivers auto collision

Monday, May 6, 2019, 10:49 AM

Ernest Kazmir, 83, of Porum was killed in a wreck just south of Warner over the weekend, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Four other people were treated for injuries in the wreck. The other four were in a 2016 Cadillac SRX driven by Timothy Wood of Porum. Wood and his wife and two juveniles were transported to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa where there were treated for numerous injuries.

Kazmir was trapped in his 1991 Cadillac Deville and was extracted by Warner Fired Department.

The cause and conditions of the wreck are under investigation. Kazmir was not wearing a seatbelt. The other involved parties all were.

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twist and shout

Friday, May 3, 2019, 7:08 AM

Bryan Lynch

Bryan Lee Lynch, 29, of Warner is charged in Muskogee County District Court with felony eluding, running a roadblock, assault with a dangerous weapon, driving with suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing an officer and destroying evidence after an April 7 chase through Warner, according to documents filed with the case.

Warner Police Officer Clint Powell stopped Lynch around 3:45 p.m. in Warner when Lynch is accused of fleeing southbound in his pickup truck. Another officer joined the chase, and stopped the truck, attempting to reach in and turn the truck off.

The officer’s affidavit accuses Lynch of driving away with the officer’s arm still in the truck. The officer withdrew his arm and continued pursuing Lynch’s vehicle eight miles, during which Lynch is alleged to have almost caused several wrecks, rammed the patrol car and eventually fled on foot.

The officer stated he was able to catch Lynch and subdue him.

The charges accuse Lynch of attempting to swallow a small baggie during the incident.

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Friday, May 3, 2019, 6:48 AM

Muskogee High School senior Alexandria Love served as a Senate page for State Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, during the thirteenth week of the legislative session from April 29-May 1, 2019. Alexandria is the daughter of Muskogee residents Susan Richardson and Ryan Love.

Alexandria participates in HOSA and is the president of History Club and secretary of Junior Civitan. She also volunteers with Special Olympics and Antioch Church of Muskogee. After graduation, Alexandria wants to major in political science and international business at either the University of Oklahoma or Howard University.

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Friday, May 3, 2019, 6:45 AM

A measure to provide additional training for law enforcement officers relating to sexual assault calls, response and evidence collection received final approval Thursday in the Senate. Senate Bill 971 is one of three bills filed this session by Democratic Leader Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, to better serve victims and enhance the tools and training used by law enforcement to investigate and prosecute sexual assault crimes.

“Unfortunately, rape and attempted rape is a common crime in our state and our law enforcement officers are committed to continuing their efforts to assist victims while collecting evidence efficiently,” said Floyd. “We can’t take the pain away for victims, but we can do our best to ensure the process moves as quickly and smoothly as possible so that law enforcement can make sure justice is served.”

Floyd was a member of the 2017 Oklahoma Task Force on Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence that recommended the legislation. Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, served as the principal House author on the bill.

SB 971 directs the Council on Law Enforcement Education Training to refine training courses related to sexual assault calls, guidelines for the collection and maintenance of sexual assault kits, and continuing education on trauma-informed sexual assault response and intervention beginning November 1, 2019. The course, which will be included in the CLEET basic training services, must be completed on a regular basis as determined by CLEET.

The bill now goes to the governor for consideration.

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Thursday, May 2, 2019, 11:38 AM

The charges against me had their final hearing today in McIntosh County Court, and I am writing this story to head off the local newspaper at the pass, since they seem to enjoy publishing false information and outright lies about me and this case.

Today I pleaded no contest to the charges against me in exchange for a deferred judgment of three years. That means the judge has chosen to not rule on the case until after three years have passed. After three years, my case will be dismissed and later expunged.

My no-contest plea was entered specifically because I didn’t want to drag my two sons, 7 and 5 through a trial — a trial my attorney and I were confident we could win. After a long and contentious custody battle, I have my boys almost half the time, and I didn’t want them to suffer through a trial.

“Some things are more important than winning trials,” my attorney, Steve Money, said today, “such as continuing to enjoy a loving relationship between Mr. Wright and his children. I have absolutely no doubt we would have been successful at trial.”

“Mr. Wright is not convicted of anything,” he continued. “This case will be expunged.”

During the process of entering my plea, I specifically did not admit guilt in any way. In fact, I told my attorney that, as much as I didn’t want to go to trial for the sake of my babies, I steadfastly refused to participate in any plea that included admitting any guilt in the charges against me. I would much rather go to trial than admit something I didn’t do.

To recap: I have not been found guilty of any crimes, nor have I been convicted of any crimes. The court documents specifically say judgment has been deferred in the case. My only concern was sparing my two young boys the trauma of their daddy going on trial for crimes he did not commit.

So what happened? I was attacked and strangled by what amounted to a full-grown man, taller than me and strong enough to wrestle an engine into a pickup by himself. After I was able to break free of the stranglehold, I called 911 and reported that he had tried to kill me. Nine minutes later, the other adult involved in the case called 911 and told them a completely different story. Without anyone asking me what happened - I still have not been asked for an official statement of what happened, I was arrested and charged, even though I had a concussion that was diagnosed by two doctors, I was bleeding profusely from my head, and the alleged “victim” had no marks except for the one I made trying desperately to get his arm off my throat before I suffocated.

The evidence is all very clear: I was attacked, pummeled, strangled and then arrested because of a story that took nine minutes to concoct after I asked police to arrest him for trying to kill me.

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Thursday, May 2, 2019, 6:27 AM

Gerald Lamont MaxWell, Dacario Stancle and Clayton Spencer are charged in Muskogee County District Court with felony conjoint robbery after they were accused of stealing $6,500 and a cell phone from Jatayvia Satterwhite at gunpoint.

The crime allegedly occurred at 11:30 p.m. on April 30 on 13th Street.

According to an affidavit filed with the report, the men are alleged to have held a gun on the victim, then taken a debit card and her phone, which was later sold at the ecoATM at Arrowhead Mall.

The victim identified the suspects using Facebook photos and previous booking photos from the jail.

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Thursday, May 2, 2019, 6:23 AM

Jason McGlothin, 37, of Muskogee has been charged with a felony count of showing obscene material to a minor after he allegedly allowed two 16-year-olds to view pictures of breasts on his phone.

The breasts, which the charge deems were “obscene,” were allegedly shown to the teenagers at the Muskogee Walmart around 9:20 p.m. on March 14.

A warrant has been issued for McGlothin’s arrest.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 8:46 AM

The Cherokee Nation continues its effort to enroll Cherokee children for SoonerCare during an event May 1 at Redbird Smith Health Center in Sallisaw.

As part of the enrollment effort, health officials are giving away one tablet per family who is new to enrolling in SoonerCare or within 30 days of their expiration to re-enroll. Families must also be Cherokee Nation citizens or Cherokee Nation Health Services patients.

SoonerCare is an added security for qualifying families who might need certain specialized care or face an emergency and need medical attention while away from the Cherokee Nation health system.

“The Cherokee Nation has increased its focus on educating our patients on the importance of enrolling in insurance programs, such as SoonerCare and Medicaid, because it benefits families and helps our entire tribe,” said Rick Kelly, Cherokee Nation’s senior director of health finance and SoonerCare Campaign committee member. “Through a grant, we were able to establish a call center, hire more patient benefit coordinators and do outreach in the communities.”

The enrollment event will be at the Redbird Smith Health Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 1. Enrollment takes about 20 minutes per family. Bring a photo ID or tribal citizenship card.

Families of four must not exceed $54,084 per the Oklahoma Health Care Authority guidelines, and children 19 and under are eligible for SoonerCare (See www.okhca.org/programs.)

Tablet devices will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, one per household for qualifying families who successfully enroll.

Other enrollment tablet giveaway events will be held throughout the tribe’s 14-county health centers through May.

Since 2016, the Cherokee Nation has enrolled more than 6,000 uninsured Cherokee and Native children in SoonerCare after receiving a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The goal of the “Get in the Game, Get Covered” SoonerCare campaign is to lower the uninsured rate of Cherokee children to that of the national average of 6 percent.

For more information, call 844-749-GAME or visit www.cherokeecare.com.

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