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DEATHS

Jessie J. McCoy, 98

Born March 24, 1923

Died July 28, 2021

William Carl Collins Jr., 91

Born July 11, 1930

Died July 27, 2021

James Haskell "Jim" Gibson, 80

Born August 6, 1940

Died July 27, 2021

LARRY ALLEN KENNEDY, 42

Born October 18, 1978

Died July 27, 2021

Donald P. Hamilton, 100

Born August 5, 1920

Died July 27, 2021

CLICK TO SEE MORE >>

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

THINGS TO DO

Friday, July 30, 2021, 9:28 AM

The City of Muskogee hopes to spruce up local neighborhoods and is willing to help home owners with their projects. The city will be accepting applications for assistance with home repairs from residents in designated areas, in an effort to help make homes safer and increase curb appeal, beginning August 2.

The plan is a multi-year program targeting specific geographical areas each year. The city is currently accepting applications in Project Area 10, which includes the area that extends from 24th Street to 32nd Street and from Military Boulevard on the north side to Border Street on the south side.

Qualifying exterior home repairs include new roofs, foundation repairs, paint and siding, replacement of doors and windows, weatherization and new driveways. The maximum amount of funding is $20,000 per structure and will be awarded in the form of a grant. The city will provide contractors and oversee the construction. To qualify, applicants must own and occupy the home, meet income requirements and currently keep the home clean and well maintained. Applications may be rejected if the cost to repair the home exceeds the appraised value of the home or if the residence has current code violations. All applications will be ranked based on an established points systems and awarded contingent on funding availability. Commercial and rental properties are not eligible.

For a complete list of guidelines, including a map of the eligible areas, or to obtain an application call (918) 684-6232 or visit cityofmuskogee.com and click on the Planning department tab. Applications will be accepted until October 4 or until funds have been depleted.

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Friday, July 30, 2021, 8:53 AM

The Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning will be held at Hatbox Field, August 27 to August 29. This is the third year for Muskogee to host this event, after taking a year off for the Covid-19 pandemic. The event is expected to bring dozens of hot air balloons to town.

“We are excited to bring this event back to Muskogee,” said Mark Wilkerson, Muskogee Parks and Recreation Director. “We are looking forward to being able to host events again and can’t wait to see what the balloon crews have in store.”

The three-day event will feature tethered balloon rides, food trucks, helicopter rides, children’s activities, live music, a 5k run and parachute jumpers. Major highlights of the event include nightly balloon glows, morning flights on Saturday and Sunday and a fireworks finale on Sunday night. RV camping is available at Hatbox Field for $25 per night. Daily admission to the festival is $10 per car and all ages are welcome.

For more information on the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning visit okballoonfestival.com or the Facebook page @OkieBalloonFest.

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Thursday, July 29, 2021, 4:10 PM

Robyn Boswell

Muskogee County Treasurer Robyn Boswell has submitted her resume to county commissioner to be appointed by them to fulfill the remainder of Paula Sexton’s term until a special election next year. Sexton is retiring after tomorrow. Commissioners will appoint a new court clerk on Monday.

Sexton’s second deputy, Joe Church, has also submitted his resume.

Boswell has worked in the legal field for 32 years, and after her election two years ago, promptly turned around, organized and streamlined the treasurer’s office, putting in place a staff to keep the office running efficiently.

“I have managed a four county District Attorney’s office with 76 employees and eight different units,” she said. “My intentions are to bring a fresh face to the court clerk’s office and new ideas in areas of the office that are very much needed. Some of my goals are to update technology and to create acceptable business practices by implementing new policies and procedures that will result in accessibility, accountability, efficiency, and above all, oversight, which is long overdue.”

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Thursday, July 29, 2021, 2:03 PM

Russell Griffith

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that Russell Garvis Griffith Jr., age 47, of Muskogee, Oklahoma was found guilty by a federal jury of aggravated sexual abuse in Indian Country, sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country, and sexual abuse in Indian Country. The jury trial began with testimony on Monday, and concluded yesterday with the guilty verdicts. The defendant is facing imprisonment for not less than 30 years to life.

During the trial, the United States presented evidence the defendant sexually abused the girl repeatedly and continuously for approximately fourteen years, beginning when she was nine years old. The victim testified she often objected to the abuse but was physically and emotionally abused by the defendant in response. In addition, the victim testified the defendant exercised near complete control over her life, forcing her to drop out of school as a teenager, preventing her from spending time alone with friends or other family members, and requiring her to live in a rented house across the street from his own after she became an adult so he could monitor her activities. Despite the victim telling her mother and others about the defendant’s abuse over the years, she was not believed, and the abuse continued, the trial showed. When she was twenty-two years old, the defendant forcibly raped the victim in her home, which resulted in her becoming pregnant. Approximately one week after the birth of defendant’s child, with the help of a supportive relative, the victim fled the defendant’s home with her newborn baby in the middle of the night and reported the abuse to law enforcement.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma ultimately prosecuted the case because the defendant is a member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe and the crime occurred in Muskogee County, within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The guilty verdicts were the result of an investigation by the Muskogee Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Thursday, July 29, 2021, 12:51 PM

Michael Tomblinson

Michael Tomblinson, 40, of Muskogee will serve his life sentence for molesting a little boy, after the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled today that his conviction and sentence were valid.

Tomblinson appealed his February 2020 conviction, alleging the court shouldn’t have allowed the victim to testify behind a screen and that it shouldn’t have allowed adults to recount what the child told them.

The appeals court ruled that both practices were proper in the case, denying his appeal.

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Thursday, July 29, 2021, 8:46 AM

State Rep. Tommy Hardin, R-Madill, sent a letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt asking him to request businesses suspend mandatory vaccine requirements for their employees until they have discussed the issue with the Legislature and governor.

In the letter, Hardin further requested that before or after the upcoming special session to address congressional redistricting, the governor ask legislative leadership to conduct joint meetings with legislators and members of the healthcare profession on this issue.

Hardin is working to draft legislation that would order businesses to assume responsibility for any adverse effects on the employees required to receive mandatory medical procedures that are experimental and not fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The available vaccines for COVID-19 are, however, approved by the FDA.

Meanwhile, Muskogee County has been declared a county with a high transmission rate for the virus.

Though new variants have shown the ability to infect fully-vaccinated people, the resultant illness is generally significantly milder for those who are fully vaccinated, while more severe and deadly for those who aren’t. The new variants have also proven to be more infectious to children, who are dying at a much higher rate than with the initial wave.

A recently posted legal opinion from the U.S Justice Department finds that federal law doesn’t prohibit public agencies and private businesses from requiring Covid-19 vaccines. That finding could give cover for businesses to require their employees to be inoculated.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021, 7:35 AM

Front Row L-R - Ruben Little Head Jr., President Dr. Ferlin Clark, Ice Cube, Daice Marshall, Les Wahsise Jr., Coach Ruben Little Head. Back Row L-R- Corbain Lonebear, Stephen Moore, Bernadine Fisher, Cayden Pawpa, Derek Factor, Jacob Scroggins, Blaine Baldridge, Kenneth Keahna.

Bacone College basketball players were invited as special guests to Ice Cube’s Big 3 tournament, a 3-on-3 basketball league featuring world champions, all-stars, and hall of famers, held in Las Vegas on last Saturday.

The anonymous donor who generously sponsored Bacone’s trip said he wanted to inspire Bacone College students to pursue their dreams and refuse to allow anything to hold them back.

The donor told the 13 basketball players who were able to attend that “this isn’t about me and it’s not about your coaches, or even about these famous people you’ve been around all day. It’s about you. And this can belong to you. All of it. You go out there and get it by working hard.”

President of Bacone College Dr. Ferlin Clark said the invitation was a blessing for the students and the historic college.

“We were to be invited as special guests of Ice Cube and grateful for the love shown to our students,” he said. “We’re also excited about the news we received before we came home that bigger things are in the works for us. What an incredible experience for our athletes.”

Men’s Head Basketball Coach Ruben Little Head said the impromptu trip was a great opportunity to get to know his team better, and for them to build camaraderie as well.

“This experience has definitely motivated my players and inspired them to believe that opportunity and success is attainable no matter what background you come from,” Little Head said. “It was inspirational for me too. Thank you to our sponsor, and to Ice Cube and the Big 3 Tournament for having us.”

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 9:43 AM

A Muskogee-area teen girl was doxxed and swatted while on Discord, according to Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office.

Discord is an online communication service. Doxxing is releasing someone’s personal information online and swatting is someone using that information to call authorities and fake an emergency situation at the victim’s house so that law enforcement shows up in force.

A spoofed number called Muskogee 911 and said someone was being held against their will at the girl’s Wainwright-area home. Deputies arrived and surmised that the girl had been the victim of a swat from someone upset at her on a Discord server.

“He had traced her IP address somehow and got her address,” Lt. Skylar Green said. “When it gets to that point, it’s time to change all your passwords, check your firewall and take other precautions.”

Several people have been killed, injured or otherwise died as a result of the swatting practice nationwide.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 7:05 AM

Several Oklahoma House Democrats have now released statements calling for Gov. Kevin Stitt to reinstate the emergency declaration for COVID-19. The statements follow several schools, including Broken Arrow, Owasso, and Stillwater, announcing policies to not quarantine students who have been exposed to the deadly virus.

“Needs across Oklahoma are different, and one thing is clear - we need local control returned and we need it now. Our little ones cannot get the vaccine, and they are getting sick in larger numbers with the Delta variant,” said State Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa. “We must be able to take the steps necessary to protect the lives of those who cannot protect themselves.”

The virus and its new delta variant, which has shown to be more communicable and infects children at higher rates than previous strains, have surged in Oklahoma over the past several weeks, bringing thousands of new cases and deaths just as it seemed early vaccinations were slowing the spread.

“We are failing in our responsibility to keep our children safe, which is the most basic responsibility of government,” said State Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa. “So next year, rather than quarantine those who have been exposed, we will have to revert to virtual schooling again because our school buildings will have become hazardous environments.”

Stitt has remained adamant that he will not declare a state of emergency.

“This is about personal responsibility. It’s about freedoms,” he said. “I believe that’s where Oklahomans line up on this. This is something you should make those decisions in consultation with your medical professionals.”

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Monday, July 26, 2021, 12:02 PM

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is getting a head start on seasonal hiring by hosting two career fairs on Tuesday, July 27, from 2–7 p.m. and Saturday, July 31, from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Both events are located inside the Sequoyah Convention Center and are open to the public.

Seasonal, part-time and full-time positions are available. Many applicants will be interviewed and hired on the spot. Additionally, open interviews and on-the-spot hiring will also be available every Tuesday beginning Aug. 17 from 3–8 p.m. at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa for those who cannot attend.

Compensation is based on experience. Available key roles include personnel in banquet services, front desk, production cooks, pool attendants, security, environmental services and housekeeping staff.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health, life, vision and dental insurance; a matching 401(k) plan; and paid vacation and sick leave. In addition to annual performance pay adjustments, employees are also eligible for annual or quarterly monetary incentive awards. A full list of open positions can be found at www.JobsThatRock.com. All applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply.

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Monday, July 26, 2021, 7:34 AM

Joseph Berry

Agents from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Internet Crimes Against Children Unit arrested 37-year-old Joseph Lance Berry of Cherokee County on multiple child pornography charges.

The case originated earlier this month when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children forwarded a cyber tip they received from an internet service provider to the OSBI. The OSBI ICAC Unit opened an investigation upon receiving the tip. Based on their investigation, Berry was identified as the individual possessing hundreds of pornographic photographs and videos of children.

Berry is a lifetime aggravated sex offender from a 2012 conviction of lewd acts to a child under sixteen years of age. Berry is actively on probation through the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Today he met ICAC agents at his probation office in Cherokee County at which point he was taken into custody without incident. He was booked into the Cherokee County Jail on charges of aggravated possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and violation of the Oklahoma computer crimes act. If you suspect a child is being sexually exploited, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children immediately at 1-800-THE-LOST or www.cybertipline.com. You can also contact the OSBI Internet Crimes Against Children Unit at (800) 522-8017 or tips@osbi.ok.gov.

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Saturday, July 24, 2021, 10:16 AM

Robert Youngblood

Robert Youngblood, a man in prison for escaping prison, has escaped from Jess Dunn Correctional Facility in Taft, according to numerous law enforcement officials.

Youngblood, 41, has 12 previous convictions. He is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

If you see him, call police.

UPDATE 11:17 A.M.: Youngblood is in custody, according to Sheriff Andy Simmons.Youngblood is captured two miles west of the prison.

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Friday, July 23, 2021, 8:59 AM

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that Kendall Len Burgess, age 22, of Henryetta, Oklahoma was found guilty by a federal jury of aggravated sexual abuse in Indian Country, and abusive sexual contact in Indian Country. The defendant was acquitted on one count of assault by striking, beating, or wounding in Indian Country. The jury trial began with testimony on Monday and concluded on Wednesday with the guilty verdicts. The defendant is facing imprisonment for not less than 30 years to life.

During the trial, the United States presented evidence that the defendant was romantically involved with the minor victim’s adult sister, with whom he shared two children. During the spring of 2019, while living with the victim’s family, the defendant perpetrated various sexual acts on the seven-year-old victim. The child’s disclosure of the sexual abuse led to state court charges being filed against the defendant. The defendant failed to appear to answer those charges and was apprehended by law enforcement after high-speed chases through both Tulsa and Okmulgee counties.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma ultimately prosecuted the case because the defendant is a member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe and the crime occurred in Okmulgee County, within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report. Burgess was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending the imposition of sentencing.

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Friday, July 23, 2021, 8:54 AM

After one of the hardest years in retail history, Oklahoma’s locally-owned shops and restaurants are celebrating Weekend of Local this Friday and Saturday.

Main Street Muskogee is sponsoring a downtown Muskogee scavenger hunt to promote our shops, restaurants and cultural venues. All you have to do to participate is pick up a card at one of the local merchants and visit at least 7 places. Get your card signed and then turn it in at your last stop to be entered into a drawing for a gift basket full of Oklahoma products from our downtown shops and restaurants.

Participating shops are Kristie’s Scrub Shop, Broadway Market, Hattie’s House, Poppy’s Garden, Pinion Creek, Hoopes Hardware, The Festive Nest, Queen City + Co., and Okie Outfitters.

Participating restaurants are Mattie Jane’s on Main, Maxine’s and Max’s, Queen City + Co., The Break, American Pie, Pisano’s, Club Lunch International, Station 1 and Muskogee Brewing Co., Harmony House (Fri. only) and Momma C’s (Friday for curbside only). There’s also the Muskogee Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning!

For some creativity, stop by Blue Rabbit Pottery and Art Studio. You can also visit the Depot Green or take a selfie at downtown murals, the water tower at Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, or with the Girl Scout outside of Three Rivers Museum!

Check shop hours and deals on their websites or Facebook pages. Three Rivers Museum is closed Friday and Saturday for the Bass Reeves Western History Conference. If you are traveling in Okahoma this weekend, check out weekendoflocal.com to find opportunities across the state.

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Thursday, July 22, 2021, 7:35 AM

Volunteers will distribute Go Fresh food boxes at 3 p.m. today at the Muskogee Civic Center. Traffic will enter the back parking lot of the Civic Center, off of 4th Street and exit onto 5th Street.

Boxes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, until they are gone.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 9:11 AM

Muskogee Fire Chief Derrell Jones announced that he will retire at the end of July, after more than 36 years of service to the Muskogee community.

“It was my destiny to be a fireman, it has been unbelievable and I am truly grateful for God giving me the opportunity to show what I am capable of, and who I am as a person,” Jones said.

Jones’ career with the Muskogee Fire Department began in 1985 when he answered a help wanted ad looking for people to work at the fire station. His first job with the department was that of a firefighter, then a driver, before being promoted to captain, to training officer, to assistant fire marshal, to marshal and eventually to chief.

“My best memories of working with the Muskogee Fire Department are when I was hired by Fire Chief Marshal Beard in April of 1985 and then when I was hired by City Manager Mike Miller as fire chief in August of 2019,” Jones said.

Jones developed a passion for investigating fires. His curiosity was sparked as a child, after losing his grandmother in a house fire. The fire was ruled as arson, but a perpetrator was never identified or charged with the crime.

“Sometimes I was mentally and physically exhausted, but I loved digging through a fire scene in the wee hours of the morning and figuring out the origin and cause,” Jones added.

The city has begun the process of searching for someone to fill his shoes and hopes to have a new fire chief in place soon.

The city is planning a reception in his honor on Friday, July 30.

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Monday, July 19, 2021, 7:08 AM

Rudolph Dedmon

Rudolph Lorenzo Dedmon, 59, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with felony sexual abuse of a child under 12, according to documents filed with the case.

Dedmon is accused of using his hands and penis to rape the girl in multiple instances, she revealed to investigators.

Dedmon has previously been convicted of numerous drug and theft-related felonies.

He is also currently facing felony child abuse charges for allegedly hitting and choking the girl. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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Monday, July 19, 2021, 6:52 AM

Clifton Dean Youngblood, 36, of Muskogee drowned at 3:20 p.m. yesterday on Lake Tenkiller, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Witness told the patrol that Youngblood jumped off a boat at bluffs on the lake and started to swim, but them struggled, went under and did not resurface.

He was pronounced dead at Burnt Cabin boat ramp by Cherokee Nation EMS after the Cherokee Nation Marshal dive team recovered his body around 6:30 p.m., the patrol reported.

He was not wearing a personal flotation device.

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Friday, July 16, 2021, 7:44 AM

Aaliyah Wilson may be living in Indiana now and playing in major arenas, but the WNBA star got her start shooting hoops in her backyard in Muskogee.

Muskogee will honor her on Saturday during a welcome home celebration where the mayor will present a proclamation declaring July 17 “Aliyah Wilson Day” and present her with a key to the city.

“We are blessed as a community to see Aaliyah in the WNBA,” said Mayor Marlon J. Coleman. “We want it to be a very special day for her.”

Wilson, who graduated from Muskogee High School in 2016, went on to play college basketball at Texas A&M, before landing a first-round draft spot on the Seattle Storm. Seattle then traded her to the Indiana Fever, where she made her WNBA debut after being sidelined for a short time with an injury. During her time at Muskogee High, she led the team to three state tournament appearances, was named a McDonald’s All-American and a Jordan Brand Classic All-American. She also participated in the USA Olympic Trials in 2016 and 2017.

Saturday’s events will kick off at 1 p.m. with a presentation by Coleman and remarks by Wilson. There will be food, music and entertainment. The day will conclude with a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. The event will be held at Rotary Park at the corner of Elgin and 24th streets. The public is invited.

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Thursday, July 15, 2021, 8:30 AM

Robert Wayne Higgins

Robert Wayne Higgins, 54, of Muskogee has been charged in Muskogee County District Court with sexual abuse of a child under 12, according to documents filed with the case.

Higgins is accused of raping the child in 2012, when she was five years old, and in 2016, when she was nine. An affidavit filed with the case alleges that Higgins forced the girl to have sexual intercourse with him “multiple times.”

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 10:09 AM

Barbara Jean Freeman

Barbara Jean Freeman, 32, of Warner is charged in Muskogee County District Court with misdemeanor larceny of merchandise from a retailer and one felony count of escape from arrest after a July 9 incident in which she allegedly stole 264 items from the Dollar Tree on Main Street, then escaped after police had arrested her.

The store, which offers items for $1 each, told police that Freeman had filled two shopping carts with merchandise, then left the store without paying. Police say she then “slipped her cuffs” in the police car and fled.

She has previously been convicted of three felonies.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 6:58 PM

At least one person was killed in a multiple-vehicle collision on US 64 south of Muskogee just now, according to emergency officials.

Two people were flown to Tulsa hospitals and at least one more was transported by ambulance to a Muskogee hospital.

There is no word on whether more were injured or killed, nor what might have caused the collision. Officials have also not yet said how many vehicles were involved.

UPDATE: Four people were injured, one is dead.

UPDATE: The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has now released the names of the victims, which means their families have been notified. Bill Morris, 84, of Fort Gibson was killed after a medical condition caused the 2008 Ram 2500 he was driving to swerve into oncoming traffic, the patrol stated. The so far-unidentified driver of a 2011 Cadillac SUV was taken by Muskogee County EMS to Saint Francis Hospital, where they were admitted in fair condition with head and internal injuries.

The driver and passenger in a 2011 Hyundai Sonata were both flown to Tulsa, where they were admitted in serious condition with head, internal and external injuries.

It is not known which victims were wearing seatbelts. Morris was ejected from his pickup.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 9:13 AM

Wilburn Gene Campbell

Child molester Wilburn Gene Campbell, 52, was caught drunk and trying to follow little girls to a park bathroom in January, then leading police on a high-speed chase when they showed up.

District Attorney Orvil Loge filed to revoke Campbell’s suspended sentence for a 2007 molestation case after the incident. Campbell was also previously convicted of rape. At the park, Campbell told the girls’ father he was “looking for a party.”

His probation prohibited him from drinking or being near children.

On Friday, a judge revoked Campbell’s suspended sentence, and now he will serve 15 years in prison.

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Monday, July 12, 2021, 7:25 AM

Muskogee County is at substantial risk for the transmission of COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. All the surrounding counties are at the highest level of risk, the data show.

After trending downward since April, over the last two weeks, Muskogee area’s infection rate has spiked sharply upward. The delta variant of the virus, which is more transmissible than previous strains, has been infecting people who are fully vaccinated, though the CDC states that it infects the vaccinated at a far lower rate than the unvaccinated. The World Health Organization is recommending that everyone, even the fully vaccinated, continue to wear masks because of the very transmissible variant.

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Friday, July 9, 2021, 7:32 AM

Joshua E. Wilson, 40, of Wagoner was hurt last night when the scooter he was driving collided with a pickup on 49th Street East, just north of Okay, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The two collided around 7 p.m. due to a medical incident, the patrol reported. Wilson was flown to a Tulsa hospital with leg, trunk and internal injuries. He was wearing a helmet.

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Thursday, July 8, 2021, 4:12 PM

A car crashed through the front door of Urgent Care of Muskogee’s Checotah location today, narrowly missing a man and his son, according to eyewitnesses.

The car was driven by an elderly woman who did not explain what led to the wreck. She cut her wheels at the last second, missing the pair of customers.

No one was hurt in the incident.

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Thursday, July 8, 2021, 7:44 AM

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced federal grand juries sitting in Muskogee recently completed two separate June sessions and returned thirty-five felony indictments, including five superseding indictments.

The Eastern District of Oklahoma has experienced a dramatic increase in Indian Country cases for federal prosecution due to the U.S. Supreme Court decision of McGirt v. Oklahoma and recent Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals rulings. These opinions determined the reservations of the Five Civilized Tribes were never disestablished by Congress and, therefore, the United States has primary federal jurisdiction to prosecute major crimes committed by—or against—Native Americans occurring within the 26 counties of the Eastern District of Oklahoma. In response to the caseload rise, a second grand jury was empaneled in the Eastern District. This is a first for the Eastern District.

From the two grand jury sessions in June, thirty-three indictments were publicly filed and two remain sealed pending arrest of the charged defendants. All but two of the unsealed charges involve crimes arising out of Indian Country. Eleven of the unsealed indictments are for murder or involuntary manslaughter, eleven are for sex crimes, and the balance contain allegations of assault with a dangerous weapon or resulting in serious bodily injury, and robbery. The two unsealed non-Indian Country indictments involve possession with intent to distribute cocaine and rioting in a federal detention facility, assaulting a federal officer, and possessing contraband.

The following indictments were returned by the federal grand juries and filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. The information listed in brackets is the county and reservation where the crime(s) allegedly occurred.

Murder:

United States v. Michael Lee Wolfe and Carlos Allen Locust – Count 1: Murder in Perpetration of Kidnapping in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 1111(a), 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Kidnapping in Indian Country Resulting in Death – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 1201(a)(2), 1151 & 1153 [Adair County – Cherokee Nation Reservation]

United States v. David Deval Martin – Count 1: Murder in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 1151 & 1153 [McIntosh County – Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation] United States v. Robert Wayne Mitchell (superseding indictment) – Count 1: Murder in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Murder in Perpetration of Burglary in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 1151 & 1153 [Seminole County – Seminole Nation Reservation]

United States v. Bernard Richard Poulin – Count 1: Murder in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 1151 & 1152; Count 2: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to do Bodily Harm in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(3), 1151 & 1152; Count 3: Arson in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 81, 1151 & 1152 [Okmulgee County – Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation

United States v. William Clayton Brown – Count 1: Murder in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Do Bodily Harm in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(3), 1151, & 1153 [Pittsburg County – Choctaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. David Glen Thompson & Keith Bruno Titsworth (superseding indictment) – Count 1: Murder in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 2, 1151 & 1153 [Pontotoc County – Chickasaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. William Shirley – Count 1: Murder in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 2, 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Use of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence – 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A), 1111(a), 1151 & 1153; Count 3: Causing the Death of a Person in the Course of a Violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c) – 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1), 1111(a), 1151 & 1153 [Okmulgee County – Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation]

United States v. Lonnie Leonard Swarer III – Count 1: Involuntary Manslaughter in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1112, 1151 & 1152 [Wagoner County – Cherokee Nation Reservation]

United States v. Brittney Nicole Schmidt, a/k/a Brittany Nicole Schmidt, a/k/a Brittney Nicole Williams – Count 1: Involuntary Manslaughter in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1112, 1151 & 1153 [Bryan County – Choctaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. Robert James Grass – Count 1: Murder in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1111(a), 1151 & 1153 [Cherokee County – Cherokee Nation Reservation]

United States v. Dustin Randall Bulla– Count 1: Involuntary Manslaughter in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1112, 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Resulting in Great Bodily Injury – 18 U.S.C. §§ 13, 13(b)(2)(A), 1151 & 1152 & 47 O.S.A. § 11-904(B) [Carter County – Chickasaw Nation Reservation]

Sexual Assault:

United States v. Ashley Dawn Langford - Count 1: Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2243(a), 2246(2)(A), 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2243(a), 2246(2)(B), 1151 & 1153 [McIntosh County– Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation]

United States v. Montelito Sanchez Simpkins - Count 1: Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2243(a), 2246(2)(D), 1151 & 1152 [Pontotoc County – Chickasaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. Aaron Richard Eubanks - Count 1: Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c), 2246(2)(A), 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c), 2246(2)(C), 1151 & 1153; Count 3: Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c), 2246(2)(B), 1151 & 1153 [Adair County – Cherokee Nation Reservation]

United States v. Jeffery Denton Sumka - Count 1: Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2243(a)(1), 2246(2)(A), 1151 & 1153 [Okmulgee County– Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation]

United States v. Boyd Weldon Gross - Count 1: Coercion and Enticement of a Minor in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2422(b), 1151 & 1152 [Seminole County– Seminole Nation Reservation]

United States v. Tyler James Stephens (superseding indictment) - Count 1: Stalking – 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(2)(B); Count 2: Extortionate Interstate Communications – 18 U.S.C. § 875(d); Count 3: Video Voyeurism in Indian Country (Misdemeanor) – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1151, 1152, & 1801(a); Count 4: Attempted First Degree Burglary in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1151, 1153, & 21 O.S.A. §§ 44 & 1431; Count 5: Attempted Sexual Abuse in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2242(1), 2246(2)(A), 1151 & 1153; Count 6:First Degree Burglary in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1151, 1153, & 21 O.S.A. § 1431 [McIntosh County– Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation]

United States v. Christopher Wayne Webb - Count 1: Sexual Abuse in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2242(2)(B), 2246(2)(C), 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Sexual Abuse in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2243(a), 2246(2)(C), 1151 & 1153 [Bryan County– Choctaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. Brian Douglas Nicholson (superseding indictment) - Count 1: Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c), 2246(2)(B), 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. § 2243(a), 2246(2)(B), 1151 & 1153; Count 3: Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. § 2241(c), 2246(2)(D), 1151 & 1153; Count 4: Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. § 2243(a), 2246(2)(D), 1151 & 1153 [McCurtain County– Choctaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. Dustin Bristow (superseding indictment) - Count 1: Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(a), 2244(a)(5), 2246(2)(A), 2246(2)(D), 2246(3), 1151 & 1153 [Pittsburg County– Choctaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. Jerry Dewayne Rogers - Count 1: Aggravated Sexual Abuse in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c), 2246(2)(C), 1151 & 1152; Count 2: Abusive Sexual Contact in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2244(a)(5), 2246(3), 1151 & 1152; Count 3: Sexual Abuse of a Minor in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2243(a), 2246(2)(C), 1151 & 1152 [Sequoyah County– Cherokee Nation Reservation]

United States v. Joshua Michael Carter - Count 1: Lewd and Indecent Proposals to Child Under 16 in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1151, 1152, 13, & 21 O.S.A. § 1123(A)(1) [Sequoyah County– Cherokee Nation Reservation]

Other violent crime in Indian Country:

United States v. Tyler Cheyenne Ned – Count 1: Robbery in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2111, 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Use, Carry, Brandish and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation a Crime of Violence – 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(C)(1)(a)(i), (ii) & (iii); Count 3: Assault With a Dangerous Weapon With Intent to do Bodily Harm in Indian Country - §§ 113(a)(3), 1151 & 1153 [Carter County – Chickasaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. Cameron Dale Bowden – Count 1: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Do Bodily Harm in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(3), 1151, & 1153 [Haskell County– Choctaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. Charles Bradley Vinson – Count 1: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Do Bodily Harm in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(3), 1151, & 1152; Count 2: Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(6), 1151 & 1152 [Okmulgee County– Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation] United States v. Derek Scott Frazier – Count 1: Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(6), 1151, & 1153 [Pontotoc County– Chickasaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. Hunter Ray Kelley – Count 1: Robbery in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 2111, 1151 & 1152 [Muskogee County– Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation]

United States v. Darius Keshawn Seals – Count 1: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to do Bodily Harm in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(3), 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Use, Carry Brandish and Discharge a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence – 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i)(ii)(iii); Count 3: Use, Carry and Brandish a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence – 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i)(ii) [Marshall County – Chickasaw Nation Reservation]

United States v. Michael Wayne Pinnick – Count 1: Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(6), 1151 & 1153 [Johnston County– Chickasaw Nation Reservation

United States v. Tyler Wilson Hediger – Count 1: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to do Bodily Harm in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(3), 1151 & 1153; Count 2: Possession of an Unregistered Firearm – 26 U.S.C. §§ 5845, 5861(d) & 5871; Forfeiture Allegation – 28 U.S.C. § 2461(c), 49 U.S.C. § 80303 & 26 U.S.C. § 5872 [Sequoyah County– Cherokee Nation Reservation]

United States v. Shylow Shane Young - Count 1: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Do Bodily Harm in Indian Country – 18 U.S.C. §§ 113(a)(3), 1151, & 1153; Count 2: Use Carry, Brandish, and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence – 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i)(ii)(iii); Count 3: Felon in Possession of Firearm – 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) & 924(a)(2) [Sequoyah County– Cherokee Nation Reservation]

Non-Indian Country offenses:

United States v. Edgar Rodriguez – Count 1: Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine – 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) & 841(b)(1)(A) [Okfuskee County]

United States v. Matthew Dewayne Carter, Anthony Drake Ahaisek, Joshua Ryan Green, Jabaica Lee Tecumseh, Richard Loyd Jack, Samuel Wayne Washington, Jason Don Rowan, David Hurl Lemmon, and John Cole Haeberle – Count 1: Rioting in a Federal Detention Facility – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1792 & 2; Count 2: Conspiracy to Commit Assault on a Federal Officer – 18 U.S.C. § 371; Count 3: Assaulting a Federal Officer – 18 U.S.C. §§ 111(a), 111(b) & 2; Count 4: Possessing Contraband in Prison – 18 U.S.C. §§ 1791(a)(2), 1791(d)(1)(B), 1791(d)(1)(F) & 1791(d)(1)(G) [Okmulgee County]

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Wednesday, July 7, 2021, 8:49 AM

The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Office of Child Abuse Prevention is seeking input from private and public agencies, organizations, citizens and consumers to monitor and enhance development of a comprehensive statewide child abuse prevention plan.

OCAP requests input from individuals who can provide feedback by completing a brief, five- to seven-minute online survey – available in both English and Spanish – by clicking here.

Survey responses will help inform the ongoing development of the Oklahoma State Plan for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Information will be gathered statewide to ascertain current services and gaps in services, identify geographical areas with the greatest need, and to pinpoint supports that are most valued, while further assessing family needs and how those needs can be addressed.

The deadline for submitting input via the online questionnaire is Friday, August 6.

For more information about the Oklahoma State Plan for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Family Support and Prevention Office by calling (405) 426-8060, or email Sherie Trice at SherieT@health.ok.gov.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2021, 8:06 AM

The 50th Annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale is underway, with this year’s top award going to Cherokee National Treasure Vivian Cottrell for her black-ash basket “We Are Still Here.”

“I’ve been weaving now for about 49 years, almost as long as this show’s been around. The show was incredibly well represented this year, and it means so much to receive this honor among such talent,” Cottrell said. “There’s a lot of prayer that goes into my work, and this piece is no different. It was the first one of the year for me, coming out of the pandemic, and I wanted to push myself to create something that represents the strength and resilience of Native people across the country who were being affected by the virus at disproportionate rates. There’s several meaningful patterns incorporated into the basket, but at the end of the day, it’s all about us being connected to one another for our survival.”

The longest-running Native American art show and competition in Oklahoma announced its winners online July 1, with in-person, public viewing offered Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Cherokee National Research Center in Cherokee Springs Plaza.

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Sunday, July 4, 2021, 7:07 PM

A pickup truck overturned in the eastbound lane of Callahan/Court Street on the viaduct a bit ago after a tire blew out, according to Muskogee Police spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin.

No one was hurt in the wreck, though traffic was diverted.

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