DEATHS

Lorrie Ann Paden, 53

Born May 27, 1965

Died July 20, 2018

Carol Lee Preston, 75

Born January 9, 1943

Died July 19, 2018

Barbara J. Hammond, 80

Born June 30, 1938

Died July 18, 2018

Bonnie Jane Harrison, 93

Born May 17, 1925

Died July 18, 2018

Scharyl Celeste Gates, 61

Born August 24, 1956

Died July 18, 2018

CLICK TO SEE MORE >>

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

THINGS TO DO

Friday, July 20, 2018, 12:06 PM

Muskogee police process the scene after they removed a man from this house.

Muskogee police are asking residents to avoid Houston and N streets, where they have a suspect barricaded inside a house.

More information as it becomes available.

UPDATE 3:16 p.m.: Muskogee Police Officer Lincoln Anderson, who was working at the scene, just responded to our request for comment.

“At this time, all I can say is we have an ongoing investigation of a missing person.”

Rumors on Facebook are abounding as to the whereabouts and condition of the woman who lives at the residence pictured above, but police have given no indications one way or another.

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speedway grille

Friday, July 20, 2018, 9:40 AM

House Minority Leader Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs, issued the following statement in response to Attorney General Mike Hunter’s opinion that the rules implemented by the Oklahoma Health Department’s board are not authorized by state statutes.

“I do agree with the attorney general’s assessment. The House Democratic Caucus has taken a stronger stance against the board’s decision than any elected official in the state. Unlike our counterparts, we feel that a special session is necessary to provide a permanent structure for medical marijuana. Contrary to the governor’s original statement after signing the rules, we believe it will be easier to protect the will of the people and put in place effective oversight during a special session when legislators don’t have to worry about the budget.

“However, if the attorney general believes the board’s actions are not authorized by the law, why did he let the governor sign them in the first place? One of the attorney general’s main jobs is to advise the executive branch on legal issues. Considering the lawyer for the health department at the time literally told the board that the rules would most likely be challenged in court, why didn’t the attorney general advise the governor before she signed them into law?

“After the health department voted the first time, many of my Republican colleagues pointed to the unelected board, due to their lack of accountability, as the problem. Well, you can’t have it both ways. If they really believe this, they should take this issue out of the board’s hands and call a special session so that the decisions made during that special session can be held accountable by the people in November.”

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Friday, July 20, 2018, 9:16 AM

Devon Deshon Thomas, 22, of Broken Arrow was shot at by a Louisiana state trooper in Slidell, La., yesterday afternoon as he allegedly charged officers while holding a large knife, according to reports from the Louisiana State Police.

Yesterday, troopers from the US Marshals Fugitive Taskforce were serving warrants for armed robbery at an address in Slidell. As officers approached the house, Thomas allegedly ran out and charged officers with a large knife. A trooper fired his weapon, but did not strike Thomas. Thomas was, however, transported to a hospital and treated for minor injuries after he was subdued.

He will be booked into the Tammany Parish Jail as a federal fugitive with additional state charges.

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locke law office

Thursday, July 19, 2018, 9:35 AM

Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks (D-Norman) released the following statement on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus:

“The Senate Democratic Caucus urges Governor Fallin to call the legislature into special session to address issues related to medical marijuana. Today’s letter from Attorney General Mike Hunter to Health Department Interim Director Tom Bates clearly concludes that the Board of Health approved medical marijuana rules that exceed its statutory authority.

“The leadership of the Oklahoma Legislature will soon be convening a bipartisan working group to make recommendations regarding medical marijuana regulations. The legislature should convene in special session without delay to consider the working group’s recommendations. As elected legislators, it is our constitutional duty to carry out the will of the people.”

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family time rentals

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 10:09 AM

Howard Elton Rhea Jr, 51, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with a felony count of child sexual abuse.

Rhea is accused of touching a three-year-old girl in the vagina with his hand and a blue marker, and then touching her on the “butt” with an unknown object, according to court documents.

The alleged touching was revealed during a well-child exam at Kids’ Space.

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that mechanic guy

Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 9:10 AM

Brandon Leon Buckman, 38, of Vian is charged in Muskogee County District Court with felony child neglect after an infant was found in a car outside El Chico restaurant on July 11.

The three-week-old infant was found in 100-degree weather in a car parked outside the restaurant while Buckman was eating inside, according to documents filed with the case. Though some windows on the vehicle were down, the infant was unattended and it was “hot inside the vehicle,” according to an affidavit filed with the case.

The child was not injured in the incident.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 9:03 AM

Samuel Crawford II

Samuel Oliver Crawford II is charged with felony child neglect in Muskogee County District Court after six children were found on July 12 to be living with him in deplorable conditions, according to documents filed with the case.

The home, at 517 S. Junction, has no running water and was “filthy,” according to police officers who investigated the scene. The six children, ages 5 to 10, were in a house “with trash scattered through it,” and which “smelled like human feces.”

Police reported finding urine on the living room floor in the presence of all six children.

“There was only one bathroom and the sin, the bathtub and the toilet were not working. The toilet was full of feces and had maggots crawling in the feces.”

In addition, all the children were “dirty and were wearing dirty clothes.”

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chris sneed

Monday, July 16, 2018, 6:46 AM

The Real Okie Heroes Military and Veteran Banner Program is a tribute created to recognize and honor Muskogee residents and their family members who are serving, or are veterans who have served, our country in the United States Armed Forces. Each banner will honor a specific person and will include their name, branch of service, rank and photo.

The 18”-by- 36” banners will be displayed on street lamps along Broadway between Main Street and Fourth streets in downtown Muskogee in fall. The banners will be on display October 1 through Thanksgiving, incorporating Veteran’s Day on November 11. Applications for banners are now being accepted through September 7 and are available online at visitmuskogee.com or at the Chamber of Commerce office, 310 W. Broadway.

Banners that were displayed last year will be hung again this year.

“The banners can be used again in future years and we hope to increase how many are displayed and grow this program every year”, said Angela Wilson, Vice President for the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. “Honoring and supporting our local veterans and military personnel is extremely important to the Chamber.”

Proceeds from the program will be used to provide a veteran’s appreciation dinner hosted by the Chamber on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

For more information, call (918) 642-2401.

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tj hamilton

Friday, July 13, 2018, 11:51 AM

Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge has determined that the death of Brandy Edwardsen in the spring while in custody of the Muskogee County Jail was caused by her ingesting drugs.

“The medical examiner concluded the probable cause of death as methamphetamine toxicity,” Loge wrote to the Oklahoma State Bureau Investigation special agent in charge of the investigation. “I can summarily conclude, based on your investigation, that Ms. Edwardsen had brought an ounce of meth into the jail and had swallowed approximately 7 grams of meth. This is consistent with the medical examiner’s report.”

No criminal charges will be filed in the case, Loge’s letter concludes.

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charlies chicken

Friday, July 13, 2018, 11:45 AM

Karolina Boulet was just promoted to jail administrator.

It’s been a good two Fridays for Karolina Boulet. Last week, the native of Poland became a U.S. citizen after nine years in America. Today, she was named jail administrator at the Muskogee County Jail.

Current Jail Administrator Melissa Jackson is moving on to work at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Boulet has been at the Muskogee County Jail since 2011, and has served with distinction, said Sheriff Rob Frazier.

“She’s a hard worker,” he said today. “She deserves this, and she is going to do a great job.”

The jail administrator is in charge of the operations of the jail.

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nuage medical spa

Friday, July 13, 2018, 8:37 AM

A four-year-old boy from Eufaula has apparently drowned near the South Point area of Lake Eufaula, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The boy, whose identity has not been released, had a history of wandering off from the residence, the patrol reported. Around 3:30 a.m. yesterday, the boy’s step-father noticed the boy asleep in bed. Around 10:30 a.m., the boy’s mother awoke and the door to the house was open, with the boy missing.

A Eufaula firefighter found the boy’s body against the shore around 150 yards west of a house.

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harris electric

Thursday, July 12, 2018, 3:51 PM

A baby who was left in a hot car yesterday outside a Muskogee restaurant suffered no ill effects, police say.

The baby was left in a car outside El Chico Restaurant. Muskogee police say the child was checked out by Muskogee County EMS and was found to be OK.

“The child was released back to the father,” Muskogee Police Officer Lincoln Anderson said. “No arrests were made.”

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rachel gilstrap state farm

Thursday, July 12, 2018, 8:41 AM

The Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System’s Black Employment Committee and Federally Employed Women are hosting a career development fair on Saturday, July 14 at the Martin Luther King Community Center, 300 W. Martin Luther King St.

The event is open to the public and will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Register on https://www.eventbrite.com/.

The event will provide information on the federal job application process, career advice, interview preparation, resume assistance, fashion tips for how to dress for interviews and in the workplace, and professional etiquette.

For more information, contact Debbie Boyattia-Jones at 918-577-3976.

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aarons furniture

Thursday, July 12, 2018, 8:39 AM

The Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce recognized two local women at the 14th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference held at Indian Capital Technology Center on Wednesday.

The Spirit of Excellence Award winner is Angela Martindale. The award is presented to a woman who is demonstrating well-rounded and exemplary success throughout the many facets of her life and community and is at the peak of her experiences.

The Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Kathy Adair, business and industry services director for Indian Capital Technology Center. The award is given to a remarkable woman for contributions and accomplishments made over the term of her career or a sustained period of time.

The chamber accepted nominations from the community and businesses. Candidates were evaluated by an anonymous committee based on their career accomplishments, community involvement, work – life balance, educational accomplishments, and criteria such as being a role model, a door opener for other women and girls, and on how they participate with the chamber.

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Thursday, July 12, 2018, 8:34 AM

The Muskogee County Republican Party will hold its annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner on Thursday, July 19th, at the Muskogee Civic Center. A candidate forum/debate featuring Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt, the two Republican candidates in the runoff primary election for governor, will be held.

This event will give voters the opportunity to hear Cornett and Stitt discuss and debate the top issues facing Oklahoma. Other local and statewide Republican candidates will also be present. In addition, six $500 college scholarships will be awarded to area students during the event.

The dinner will begin at 6:30 pm. Advance dinner tickets are $30 if purchased by Sunday, July 15th, while tickets at the door will be $40.

The public is invited to attend. For more information or to purchase advance discount tickets, email MuskogeeRepublicans@gmail.com or call Jaime Stout at 918-869-8930.

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coopers furniture

Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 4:33 PM

The Muskogee Police Department has announced a new K9 officer on the street, after the unexpected death of K9 Indie.

K9 Oli is a 3 year old Belgian Malinois that was born in Poland and then imported through Holland, and purchased by the Police Department from Vohne Liche Kennels. Oli is replacing Indie as Lieutenant Peters’ K9 partner after Indie’s death while at work. Oli has hit the ground running and on his third day of work located two suspects who had run from officers in opposite directions. He found one attempting to hide under a shed, and the other was hiding in the woods. Oli has also been CLEET certified for narcotics locating.

Lt. Peters has also become the department’s first dual purpose trainer from Vohne Liche Kennels. He completed nine weeks of training at Vohne Liche to receive the certification, all while working and training Oli.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 3:44 PM

The Cherokee Nation donated a total of $90,000 to six domestic violence shelters on Tuesday.

Each shelter received $15,000, including Women in Safe Homes Inc., of Muskogee; Safenet Services, of Claremore; Help-In-Crisis, of Tahlequah; Family Crisis Counseling Center, of Bartlesville; Domestic Violence Intervention Services, of Tulsa; and Community Crisis Center Inc., of Miami.

“Together, these entities are helping hundreds of domestic violence victims across northeast Oklahoma escape the atmosphere of physical, verbal and emotional abuse,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “All six of these services are doing some fantastic work with the help of their employees and volunteers. There should be no doubt they are committed to breaking the cycle of domestic violence which is, unfortunately, plaguing Indian Country. I’m proud to say the Cherokee Nation is supportive of their mission.”

Safenet Services, of Claremore, operates a 35-bed center for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Among the key services offered by Safenet is an intervention program for those accused of domestic violence.

Cherokee Nation’s donation is helping Safenet recruit new volunteers and organize approximately 300 who already work with the entity throughout the year.

“Cherokee Nation has always helped us,” said Donna Grabow, executive director of Safenet Services. “This day and age, it’s hard to keep the funds coming and not be cut, and it’s really tough because utilities and food costs are going up and we’re helping three times the number of people. When they come in with nothing, it makes such a big difference to have the help of Cherokee Nation.”

Tribal Councilor Keith Austin, of Claremore, often visits with Grabow and others who work at Safenet Services to check in on their programs.

“The team at Safenet, led by Donna Grabow, is so dedicated to helping those who are most vulnerable build a better future,” Austin said. “I am proud the Cherokee Nation supports their good work.”

The donations to the shelters were provided through the Cherokee Nation’s charitable contributions fund.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 2:21 PM

Muskogee employer Paper Transport, Inc. announced a four-cent CPM pay increase for its Class A CDL Regional and Dedicated fleets along with an additional 50-cent-an-hour increase for its hourly professional drivers. This is PTI’s second announced pay increase for the majority of its fleets within the last six months.

As a for-hire dry-van trucking company, PTI competes with more than 500,000 trucking companies in the U.S. To meet tight capacity demands in a climate of a 3.8 percent unemployment rate low and driver shortages, PTI strives to offer professional drivers top-tier pay packages.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $42,480. PTI’s full-time mileage earners are well above this average, earning $53,000 per year.

“At PTI, we understand the economic climate is ever changing and that our team is affected by those changes,” stated Ben Schill, Vice President of Paper Transport, Inc. “We updated our driver compensation plan to continue to remain a top tier carrier in total compensation in an industry that is always competing for quality drivers.”

In addition to the pay increase, PTI also increased the amount of vacation time and pay across most of its fleets. Now, all drivers will receive two weeks of vacation pay per year. Drivers paid by the mile will earn $170 a day and drivers paid by the hour will receive 8.5 hours per day.

The company can be reached at 800-317-3650, info@papertransport.com, or www.papertransport.com

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twist and shout

Monday, July 9, 2018, 12:04 PM

Thomas Kyle Tyer

Thomas Kyle Tyer, 30, of Fort Gibson is charged in Muskogee County District Court with aggravated assault and battery, assault and battery on an emergency medical technician, indecent exposure and threats to perform an act of violence, according to documents filed with the case.

On July 3, Tyer is accused of shoving his grandfather, 86, to the ground, causing the man to hit his eye on a doorknob, also injuring his arm. During the same incident, he is alleged to have tried to slap an emergency medical technician who arrived at the scene to help.

Tyer is then alleged to have exposed his genitals during the intent, and threatening Sherri Richie, saying he would shoot her and burn her house down. He the allegedly said he would slit a deputy’s throat and kill his own family.

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Monday, July 9, 2018, 11:57 AM

Ryan Roy Kennedy

Ryan Roy Kennedy, 37, of Haskell is charged in Muskogee County District Court with felony child sexual abuse, according to documents filed with the case.

Kennedy is accused of putting his hands over the top and underneath the clothes of a fifth-grade girl, and then telling her not to tell anyone. Kennedy is alleged to have put his hands “where they shouldn’t have been,” according to the girl.

The abuse is alleged to have started on Jan. 3, 2013 and continued for five years, until this year.

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Monday, July 9, 2018, 7:23 AM

A new program sponsored by Neighbors Building Neighborhoods can help those running from the law to get back on track, according to Muskogee attorney Jim McClure. The warrant amnesty program is set for two days this week, he said.

“With no questions asked, those who have warrants or are behind on paying their court fines and costs now have help,” McClure said. The program is designed to remove barriers that keep people from starting to get caught up.

From 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow and Wednesday, those who are delinquent on paying the court or have warrants for failure to pay can go to the Gospel Rescue Mission, 323 Callahan St., pay $100 toward their fines and costs and their warrants will be recalled. As long as they stay on schedule after that, it will be like the delinquency never happened.

“You have to be able to show proof of steady income,” McClure said, “and pass a basic drug screen.”

Steady income can be from anything; a job, Social Security benefits, worker’s compensation. “All kinds of things,” McClure said. The program is only for Muskogee County courts and is designed to help keep people out of jail for failure to pay.

For more information on the program, call Neighbors Building Neighborhoods at 918-683-4600.

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Friday, July 6, 2018, 2:07 PM

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an opinion column written by State Rep. Avery Frix.

Muskogee County voters approved State Question 788 by 56.4 percent; McIntosh County voters by 54 percent. Statewide, the vote was 57 percent in favor of the measure, which legalizes the licensed use, sale and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes.

From the state question itself, “A license is required for use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes and must be approved by an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician. The State Department of Health will issue medical marijuana licenses if the applicant is eighteen years or older and an Oklahoma resident. A special exception will be granted to an applicant under the age of eighteen, however these applications must be signed by two physicians and a parent or legal guardian. The Department will also issue seller, grower, packaging, transportation, research and caregiver licenses. Individual and retail businesses must meet minimal requirements to be licensed to sell marijuana to licensees. The punishment for unlicensed possession of permitted amounts of marijuana for individuals who can state a medical condition is a fine not exceeding four hundred dollars. Fees and zoning restrictions are established. A seven percent state tax is imposed on medical marijuana sales.”

It’s one thing to vote for a new law; it’s another thing entirely to implement it and to regulate a new industry.

What we must focus on is preserving the will of the people while we work on regulations that make sense for the protection of Oklahomans and that help guide this new industry as well as employers, Realtors, bankers, lawyers and others who will be called upon to assist license holders and granters.

With this in mind, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has created the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to oversee the implementation of SQ788. This panel, whose members are appointed by the commissioner of health, includes representatives from the following areas: a national or state marijuana industry association; a laboratory scientist or representative; a chemist or environmental scientist; employees of the Department of Agriculture, Poison Control, the ABLE Commission, the Board of Pharmacy, the Oklahoma Board of Osteopathic Physicians, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control. A member of the Oklahoma State Medical Association and an attorney licensed to practice in Oklahoma or a food processor or manufacturer will also be on the board.

This group has drafted a 61-page draft of emergency rules to regulate the new industry and the licensing of individuals who qualify for use under a licensed physician’s prescription, those who will grow, process, transport and dispense the product. The proposed rules also outline restrictions including a ban on having marijuana-infused products with an appearance that could potentially appeal to children – such as lollipops or gummy candies – and a ban on smoking marijuana in places where smoking is now prohibited and in front of minors, as well as proposals on what standards prescribing physicians should follow.

OSDH officials will meet July 10 to discuss the approval of the emergency rules.

In advance of the vote on SQ788, the governor said a special session of the Legislature would likely be necessary to ensure practical implementation of the law, expressing concern that the state wouldn’t be able to have a system operating within 30 days, as called for in the state question. Legislative leaders have assured her the Health Departments rules will be fine for now. If anything further is needed, the Legislature can consider that in the next session, which starts in February.

I’ve heard concerns from all sides of this issue I appreciate the input and will give all of it careful thought as I continue to consider the ramifications of this new law.

Meanwhile, if I can be of service to you, or you just want to share your ideas or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me on my cell phone at (918) 680-1218.

Avery Frix serves District 13 of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He can be reached by phone at (405) 557-7302 or via email at avery.frix@okhouse.gov.

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Friday, July 6, 2018, 1:30 PM

The Muskogee Police Department has recently implemented digiTICKET electronic citation devices to patrol officers to use when issuing traffic citations.

As a result, the department has received numerous questions about the devices asking why officers are taking pictures of drivers during interactions with them, according to Officer Lincoln Anderson

digiTICKET allows officers to scan information directly from a suspect’s driver’s license, improving accuracy and efficiency. Once data is entered in the system, it is automatically available for police records and court software. Having this information accessible streamlines the citation workflow and makes it simpler to compile violation statistics for later use.

The digiTICKET deployment consists of 11 handheld units and portable printers, so officers can print accurate tickets immediately during traffic stops. The digiTICKET has the ability to capture a picture of the driver during the interaction with the officer and officers are required to take that picture. The picture electronically attaches to the citation. This allows the court to properly charge the correct person that was issued the citation and ensure that someone’s identity is not being misused.

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Friday, July 6, 2018, 8:54 AM

The Cherokee National Treasures Advisory Committee will host an art show on Saturday, July 7 showcasing student work created during this year’s mentoring program.

The show will be held in the Cherokee Nation Community Room located behind the Restaurant of the Cherokees at 17793 U.S. Highway 62 from noon to 2 p.m.

The family-friendly event is open to the public and free to attend.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018, 4:11 PM

Editor’s note: Pittsburg County is normally outside our coverage area, but this story is unusual enough to warrant coverage.

A driver who stood on the roof of his semi and grabbed a power line for an unknown reason has shut down US 270 in both directions at Arpelar in Pittsburg County.

The driver is still on the roof of his semi, waiting for the line to be shut off, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

A helicopter is on standby and fire and EMS are en route to the location.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018, 3:58 PM

Stacey Swanson, 49, of Park Hill, has died in a wreck five miles west of Tahlequah in Cherokee County this afternoon, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Swanson was driving a 1999 four-door eastbound on US 62 around noon when she ran off the right side of the road for an unknown reason, the patrol reported. She overcorrected to the left, entered a broad slide and was struck by a Chevrolet PK driven by Jake Green of Park Hill.

Swanson was trapped in the vehicle and had to be freed by Woodall and Tahlequah Fire Rescue. She was pronounced dead at Northeastern Health Systems Hospital in Tahlequah.

Green was treated and released for injuries he sustained in the crash.

Swanson and Green were both wearing seatbelts. Swanson’s vehicle was not equipped with airbags.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018, 9:33 AM

Markus J. Perry

The Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Markus J. Perry, who escaped from Jess Dunn:

Deputies are on scene with D.O.C attempting to locate the subject. He was last seen around 7:50 this morning on foot, northbound, from 134th and old Taft road. Was wearing a white t-shirt and grey scrub pants. If you see him call 911.

Perry is alleged to have run north from the prison.

Perry was in prison for multiple counts of child sexual abuse and violation of sex offender registration, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. He was handed two 23-year sentences in 2015 for child abuse involving sexual abuse. He also received a year-sentence in 2017 for violation of the sex offender registry. He received two two-year sentences in 2015 for child abuse involving sexual abuse and another two-year sentence in 2017 for violation of sex-offender registry. He received a 25-year sentence in 2015 for child abuse. He was released on that charge and the 2017 registration charge in June of this year. But he is actively serving the other sentences.

Multiple law enforcement agencies have set up a perimeter to attempt to capture him before he goes too far.

Perry is a white male, 6’1” tall, around 180 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 33 years old.

UPDATE 5:59 pm: The inmate has been captured, Sheriff Rob Frazier said just now.

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3 rivers auto collision

Thursday, July 5, 2018, 8:55 AM

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and 2017 Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program graduates Ronnie Duncan, Lisa O’Field, Larry Carney and Tony Owens.

The Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program is now accepting applications. The two-year language program is centered on a group language immersion experience and only accepts a limited number of applications each year.

“Our language is a part of what makes us who we are as Cherokees, and this program is the foundation of how we will continue to preserve and promote our language,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “This program gives individuals the opportunity to be immersed in our language and our culture, and through the hard work of the men and women in that department, we are making strides each and every day toward language preservation.”

After completing the program, students will have 4,000 contact hours with the Cherokee language and spend more than 40 hours each week studying and speaking the language.

“Our program is about more than teaching someone the Cherokee language, it is about naturally absorbing our language and our way of life to the point that it changes the way we see the world and think. The real goal is to activate people that will spread the language wherever they go,” said Howard Paden, program director. “Our learners say it is a challenging program, but every day they push to give them more language. When they graduate, their passion for speaking the Cherokee language is only rivaled by their commitment to share our language.”

In 2014, the tribe began the program as a part of the Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach department as a way to promote the Cherokee language. Since its inception, the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program has grown into its own department and has graduated six Cherokee speakers.

To apply for the program you must be 18 years or older, be available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., live near Tahlequah or be willing to relocate, and possess a strong desire to learn and cultivate the Cherokee language and culture through teaching.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 1, 2018.

For more information or to apply, call the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program office at 918-207-4964.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018, 8:47 AM

Chad M. Williams

Chad M. Williams, 20, of Muskogee, is charged in Muskogee County District Court with felony child endangerment by driving under the influence, driving under the influence, an intersection violation and violation of driver’s license restrictions, according to court documents.

Williams is alleged to have been driving drunk on the night of June 28 at the intersection of North 14th and Broadway, according to police. Around 9:41 p.m., he allegedly pulled out in front of another vehicle and caused a collision. Williams only had a learner’s permit at the time, not a driver’s license. According to police, he had a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath and glassy eyes.” In addition, he could not stand steadily, according to the reporting officer, and displayed numerous cues indicating intoxication.

His passengers were ages 17, 16 and 14 at the time.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018, 7:52 AM

Two women were critically inured in a wreck caused by running from police, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Christa Brewer, 29, of Muskogee was driving a 1999 Toyota Corolla, being followed by police at Hancock and US 69 when she allegedly crossed the intersection and went left of center, striking a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Gary Andrews, 63 of Muskogee, head-on, the patrol reported.

Brewer was ejected through the driver’s side window. She was transported to Saint John’s Hospital in Tulsa, where she was admitted in critical condition with trunk external, trunk internal, arm and leg injuries. Her passenger, Tanisha Barber, 36, of Muskogee, was admitted to Saint John’s in critical condition with the same injuries.

Andrews was not hurt, but his passenger, Kelli Smallen, 18, of Broken Arrow, was treated and released from Muskogee’s Saint Francis Hospital. Neither person in Brewer’s vehicle was wearing a seatbelt. Both in Andrews’ vehicle were.

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