Leonard Harris, 91

Born December 23, 1926

Died June 13, 2018

Herbert "Lockie" Wayne Talton, 76

Born September 30, 1941

Died June 13, 2018

James Allen Arnett, 74

Born October 1, 1943

Died June 12, 2018

Joanne Marie Reynolds, 78

Born October 21, 1939

Died June 12, 2018

Loyal Ruben Harrold, Jr., 97

Born October 22, 1920

Died June 12, 2018

Sammie Willene Pierce, 87

Born March 18, 1931

Died June 12, 2018


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


Sunday, June 17

Summer Art Camp
Handgun carry course
Rosé event

Monday, June 18

Summer Art Camp

Tuesday, June 19

Summer Art Camp

Friday, June 15, 2018, 2:25 PM

Ken Adams, left, and Dr. Ferlin Clark talk about the future of Bacone

Ken Adams, chairman of the Bacone board of trustees, and Dr. Ferlin Clark, the new president of the college, announced today that the college is undergoing a massive downsizing campaign in an attempt to stay open. first reported the college’s financial woes back in March, when students were complaining of substandard living conditions. In April, we reported that staff members were saying the college was in dire straits, while the college denied those reports. In May, we reported the college laying off employees. And later, we reported grave concerns about Clark expressed in an investigative report from a previous college he helmed.

Today, Adams said the college is intending to stay open, while “resizing” the college, which “grew too fast.”

“We are going to reduce our burden by focusing on a smaller group of classes and students,” he said. “We are going to focus on the academic needs of our students.”

Clark added that the school is refocusing on academics, jettisoning athletic programs and one academic program in an effort to cut costs.

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Friday, June 15, 2018, 2:12 PM

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has joined public health officials from multiple states along with the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka associated with Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. As of June 14, there were 73 cases from 31 states, including two Oklahoma residents.

The OSDH is informing consumers of Kellogg Company’s decision to voluntarily recall 15.3 oz. and 23 oz. packages of Honey Smacks cereal due to the results of the investigation to date. Consumers should check the boxes of Honey Smacks cereal in their pantries for the recalled UPC codes listed below, and “best if used by” dates prior to June 14, 2019. The OSDH advises the public to avoid consuming any of the recalled cereal by throwing it away. If cereal is stored in a separate container without the packaging, throw the cereal away and thoroughly wash the container with warm, soapy water to remove harmful germs that could contaminate other foods.

The list of affected cereals may be updated based on further results of the investigation. Additional information regarding the recalled product and the investigation can be found on the CDC website.

Symptoms of salmonellosis will generally appear within 6 to 72 hours after consumption of a contaminated food. The symptoms may include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, muscle aches, nausea and sometimes vomiting. Blood is sometimes seen in the stool. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, but may last up to two weeks. People with compromised immune systems, infants less than 1 year old, and the elderly are more likely to experience severe or prolonged illness. OSDH recommends that Oklahomans having concerns regarding symptoms contact their healthcare provider.

Click for more information about salmonella.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018, 11:51 PM

An 18-year-old Muskogee man has been presumed drowned after he dove off a cliff on Lake Tenkiller tonight, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The teenager, whose name is not being released pending notification of next of kin, jumped from a 15-foot cliff at Burnt Cabin Cliffs around 8 p.m., the patrol reported. Once in the water, he started struggling and went under the water. Other swimmers were unable to bring him back to the surface.

A surface search was conducted, but search operations were suspended due to darkness, the patrol reported. Search will resume in the morning using Sonar and recovery equipment. The teen was not using a personal flotation device, according to the patrol.

UPDATE 9:30 a.m.: The Highway Patrol has recovered the teen’s body this morning, but is not yet prepared to release his name.

UPDATE: 10 a.m.: The teen’s name is being reported as Cody Hancock, though the patrol has not yet confirmed that.

UPDATE 11:13 a.m.: The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has now confirmed that the deceased was Cody Hancock:

Drowning occurred on 06-14-2018 at 1957 hours at Burnt Cabin Cliffs on Lake Tenkiller in Cherokee County.

Victim #1: Cody Hancock, 18 year old male from Muskogee, OK. Body released to Reed Culver Funeral Home in Tahlequah, transported to the Medical Examiners office in Tulsa.

What Happened: At approximately 1957 hours a subject jumped from a 15 ft. cliff, surfaced, and started struggling and then went under the water. Other swimmers attempted to help but were not able to bring the subject to the surface. Surface search was conducted and search operations were suspended due to darkness. The search resumed at approximately 0600 hours on 06/15/2018. Recovery was made at 0824 hours 11 feet under the surface of the water on a rock cliff ledge by the Cherokee Nation Marshalls dive team.

Personal Flotation Device: Not In Use

Investigated by Trooper Joseph R. Couch #448 of the Marine Enforcement Division of Troop W. Assisted by Lt. Greg Giles #104, Trp. B.J. Gage #207, Keys Fire Department, Tim Knight of Cookson Fire Department, and Jason Little of Sixshooter Marina and Cherokee Nation Marshalls Dive Team.

“This report is based upon the trooper’s investigation of this collision. It may contain the opinion of the trooper.”

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Thursday, June 14, 2018, 7:20 AM

Jesse Hansen

Muskogee Police are looking for Jesse Hansen, 21, of Muskogee after they say he shot his wife in the arm, neck and face when she was attempting to leave the Port City apartment where they live around 5:30 p.m. yesterday.

The victim was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Muskogee and then transferred to Tulsa. There is no word on her condition.

Police say they have recovered the gun they believe was used to shoot the woman, as well as “other evidence.”

If you know where Jesse Hansen is, call Muskogee Police at 918-682-COPS. You can stay anonymous.


The Muskogee County district attorney has filed charges against Hansen.

He is charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon “for the shooting of, and his intent to kill, his wife,” according to a press release. The shotgun in question is a .410, according to the DA’s office.

“Anyone caught aiding and assisting his fugitive status will be held accountable,” the release states. “If you see him, contact the Muskogee Police Department, the U.S. marshal’s service at 918-687-2523 or call 911.”

According to an affidavit filed with the case, Hansen is charged after he allegedly “shot his wife with a shotgun in her left arm and face during an argument and struggle.”


Hansen has been captured in Pittsburg County, according to police sources. The victim was shot three times, according to the sources, one of which severely damaged her arm and another that damaged the lower part of her face.

She is awake and aware of what happened to her, according to the police sources, who asked to remain anonymous, and has undergone some surgery to repair some of the damage. No official sources have yet confirmed those details.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 9:32 AM

District 6 Oklahoma House Representative and Cherokee Nation Chief of Staff Chuck Hoskin presents Deanna Gordon, a second-grade teacher from Cleora Public Schools, with a $1,000 grant to fund her 'Experiencing Science' project in the fall.

More than 100 teachers from across northeast Oklahoma participated in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math training during Cherokee Nation’s annual Teachers of Successful Students conference. The sixth annual TOSS conference took place June 6-7 in Tahlequah at no cost to the 140 teachers who attended. The two-day training was held at Northeastern State University and included remarks by Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Tribal Councilor and Carl Albert State College Campus Director Bryan Warner, and Chief of Staff and Oklahoma House Representative Chuck Hoskin. It also included teacher workshops on everything from reading strategies and using archery to finding STEM activities on a shoestring budget. “Many schools don’t have the funding to send teachers to fee-based STEM trainings, so the Cherokee Nation is helping these classroom teachers by providing them with free resources,” Tribal Councilor Warner said. “It not only counts toward professional development hours and enhances learning, but also helps students down the line in their jobs and career paths.” The tribe also awarded $10,000 total in Creative Teaching Grants to split among 10 teachers that can be used to start STEM projects in their classrooms in the coming school year. Cleora Public School’s second-grade teacher Deanna Gordon was awarded $1,000 and said she hopes it makes science more interactive for her students. “This grant is going to make it possible to make science different than what comes from the textbook,” Gordon said. “I am working on hands-on science experiments that involve butterflies and things that can get my students active in learning.” The teachers receiving $1,000 grants:

  • Tenkiller Public School’s Tonya Moreno for “Coding Station”
  • Tenkiller Public School’s Samantha Davis for “Wonder Workshop”
  • Pryor Public School’s Jeanine Clark for “A Smart Garden”
  • Tahlequah Public School’s Josh Davis for “Engineering and Energy”
  • Bluejacket Public School’s Tracy Mendez for “Put an A in STEM”
  • Tenkiller Public School’s Sinea Girdner and Joleta Cole for “Butterfly Gardens”
  • Stilwell Public School’s Angie Catron for “A High Altitude Balloon Project”
  • Bluejacket Public School’s Shawn Martin for “STEM Lab Laser Cutter”
  • Justus-Tiawah Public School’s Christy Sterba for “Classroom Robotics”
  • Cleora Public School’s Deanna Gordon for “Experiencing Science”

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Monday, June 11, 2018, 9:05 PM

A single-vehicle wreck just off Gibson Road and the Muskogee turnpike has resulted in a motorcycle rider receiving life-threatening injuries, according to Mechele Cruz with Muskogee County EMS.

The rider, whose identity and gender have not yet been released, is being transported to a Tulsa hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.

Details about the wreck have not yet been released by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

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Monday, June 11, 2018, 9:52 AM

Gubernatorial candidate Drew Edmondson, former Oklahoma attorney general and former Muskogee County district attorney, will be at Speedway Grille tomorrow from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., hanging out and talking about his plans to #TakeBackOklahoma.

Edmondson served as Oklahoma’s attorney general from 1995 to 2011. Before that, he was Muskogee County’s district attorney from 1983 to 1995.

He is a Navy veteran and was responsible for many of the state’s legal victories over Wall Street, Big Tobacco and other special interests trying to hurt farmers, small businesses and everyday people.

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Monday, June 11, 2018, 9:08 AM

Aaron Ray Earhart

Aaron Ray Earhart, 26, also known as Aaron Earnhart, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with a felony count of embezzlement after he was accused of stealing more than $17,000 from Muskogee Beverage, according to court documents.

Earhart was allegedly caught on video making sales, then canceling the sales and keeping the money, according to an affidavit filed with the case. The total amount allegedly stolen was $17,243.06.

Earhart was formerly convicted of felony driving under the influence in 2013, false declaration of ownership in pawn (felony) and knowingly concealing stolen property (felony). He received a total of 10 years in prison with the sentences suspended. In 2015, his sentence for the DUI was revoked and he was sentenced to a year in prison.

muskogee fence

Sunday, June 10, 2018, 12:27 PM

Chad Bibler talks about the importance of cannabis.

Medical marijuana advocates are gathering now in Muskogee’s Spaulding Park to foster enthusiasm for a statewide vote on legalizing medical cannabis later this month.

More than a dozen vendors, advocates and activists have set up booths to educate the public, and crowds are steadily gathering.

The event started at noon and continues until 6 p.m.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018, 12:27 PM

Chad Bibler talks about the importance of cannabis.

Medical marijuana advocates are gathering now in Muskogee’s Spaulding Park to foster enthusiasm for a statewide vote on legalizing medical cannabis later this month.

More than a dozen vendors, advocates and activists have set up booths to educate the public, and crowds are steadily gathering.

The event started at noon and continues until 6 p.m.

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Friday, June 8, 2018, 11:43 AM

The Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office is looking for help from the public in identifying suspects in a home invasion near Webbers Falls on May 18.

Around 1 p.m., two men and a woman entered a home in the 13,000 block of Rocky Top Road, bound an elderly man’s hands and feet with tape and then stole his televisions, a safe, medication and more than $1,000 in cash.

Three suspects were described as follows (one of the suspects was called “fat boy”):

  • Suspect #1: White Female, approximately 5’2, late twenties or thirties, blond hair, with colorful tattoos across her chest. At the time of the incident she was wearing a sleeveless shirt and blue jeans.
  • Suspect #2: White male, approximately 5’7 to 5’8, unknown age, with dark hair and was last seen wearing a blue bandana over his face, unknown shirt and jeans.
  • Suspect #3: Unknown white male.

The victim was not hurt, but remained bound until he could free himself and call for help at around 9:30 a.m. the next morning.

Anyone with information about the incident or the woman in the photo is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 918-687-0202.

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Friday, June 8, 2018, 8:51 AM

Mildred Hardy, 92, of McAlester is dead after a pickup she was riding in crashed in McIntosh County just north of Checotah, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Hardy was riding in a 2008 Chevrolet pickup driven by Norma Wright, 66, also of McAlester about three miles north and four miles west of Checotah on State Highway 72 around noon yesterday, the patrol reported. Wright apparently fell asleep, departed the roadway to the left and struck an embankment, where it came to rest.

Wright was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Muskogee. Hardy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Neither woman was wearing a seatbelt.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018, 8:12 AM

Christopher Harris, 49, of Oktaha died last night when his car smashed into a stationary train, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The wreck occurred around 10 p.m.

Harris was driving a 2017 Jaguar westbound on 123rd St. South in Oktaha when he slammed into the side of a stationary train on the tracks, the patrol reported.

The train then moved northbound around five miles before coming to a stop.

The cause of the wreck and the condition of Harris at the time are under investigation.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018, 8:08 AM

Four people were hurt — including an infant — in a head-on collision just south of Haskell last night, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

James Gregory Plunkett, 22, of Wainwright was driving south on State Highway 72 around 10 p.m. when he went left of center, striking a pickup driven by Brett Douglas, 27, of Oktaha. Douglas was carrying a 20-year-old female, Haelee Douglas, and a seven-week-old baby when the wreck occurred.

Plunkett was admitted to Muskogee’s Saint Francis Hospital with arm and leg injuries. Douglas was admitted withheld, leg and arm injuries. Haelee Douglas was admitted with leg and arm injuries and the infant was admitted in unknown condition with head injuries. All parties were wearing seatbelts and the infant was secured in a rear-facing car seat.

The cause of the wreck is under investigation.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 9:50 AM

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

I’m sure you’ve noticed specialty license plates on vehicles, but you may not have realized each plate required legislation for it to be made available for purchase. Many are fundraisers, with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the license plates going back to the schools or organizations promoted.

In this past legislative session, I was proud to sponsor the addition of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in Muskogee to the list of license plates to be sold as a fundraiser. This came through House Bill 3373.

The new license plates will be designed in consultation with the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and issued to any member of the organization wishing to demonstrate support. The law takes effect Nov. 1, and plates will be available for sale after that through the Oklahoma Tax Commission and licensed tag agents. The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will make up to $20 for each plate issued, with a minimum of 100 plates ordered before the plates are manufactured or issued.

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame draws people from across the country, from every age bracket and from every background and culture, to enjoy and celebrate the history of the Oklahoma musicians who are honored for their lifetime achievements in music and their contributions to the world’s music culture. The Hall of Fame staff members are experienced and knowledgeable and make every visitor feel welcome and informed.

It’s an honor to give back to this great organization that has brought so much culture and tourism to Muskogee. The money will help the organization continue to give area and worldwide visitors a stellar experience. This in turn benefits other businesses in our area and our economy overall.

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

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 8:59 AM

Two juveniles from Warner were injured in an apparent drunk driving wreck early this morning, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The juveniles’ names have been withheld, but they are both 17 years old. The male juvenile was driving a 1998 Dodge pickup northbound on State Highway 2 just south of Warner around 12:30 a.m., according to the patrol. The pickup departed the roadway to the right, overcorrected and rolled two times.

The driver, a male, was ejected from the vehicle.

The driver was taken by helicopter to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa with head, arm and internal injuries and was admitted in guarded condition. The passenger, a female, was treated and released at Muskogee’s Saint Francis Hospital with internal, arm, leg and head injuries.

The driver’s ability was impaired by alcohol, according to the patrol, and the cause of the wreck was listed as driving under the influence. Neither person was wearing a seatbelt.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 11:43 AM

Joshua Herrington

Joshua Herrington of Okay has pleaded guilty to murdering 15-year-old Brennon Davis near Lake Fort Gibson in January of 2017.

Herrington was arrested along with Cody Thompson, and the pair were accused of shooting Davis and then burning his body to obscure his identity.

Yesterday, just prior to going to trial for the murder, Herrington pleaded guilty and agreed to a sentence of life in prison for first degree murder and defacing the body after the fact. Herrington said he and Thompson were scared that Davis would tell police about a bank robbery they were planning. According to police, Herrington said the men lured Davis into a remote area with the express intent to kill him. Herrington said Thompson put a loaded shotgun and a can of gas into the vehicle and then gave Herrington a loaded .38 pistol to hide. The pair then picked up Davis, Herrington told police, and drove to Jackson Bay, where both he and Thompson shot him several times with the .38. He told police Thompson shot Davis fatally with the shotgun, then the pair poured gasoline on the body and lit it on fire.

Thompson has pleaded not guilty to the crime, and will face trial in October.

Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliot said he believes Herrington will testify against Thompson. Herrington will be transferred to the department of corrections in the next few weeks to begin serving his sentence.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 9:50 AM

Muskogee’s Spaulding Park will host Cannabis in the Park on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., according to event organizers.

Speakers from Oklahomans for Health and from Green the Vote will present their cases for approval of state questions June 26 that would legalize medical marijuana in the state.

Cannabis-friendly businesses will host booths, and CBD samples will be available. In addition, the event will raise funds for cannabis activists and veterans through The Barracks of Muskogee.

The event is said to be family-friendly.

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Monday, June 4, 2018, 10:05 AM

The City of Muskogee Office of Public Works is advising motorists that Signal Tech will be repairing the traffic signal box at 6th and Shawnee Streets on June 6 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The intersection will be reduced to a 4-way stop until the traffic box is repaired. Shawnee is a major thoroughfare and delays are expected. Please use caution when traveling in this area, and if possible, use an alternate route.

For additional information, contact the Office of Public Works at 918-684-6333.

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Monday, June 4, 2018, 9:25 AM

The City of Muskogee Office of Public Works is advising motorists that Signal Tech will be repairing the traffic signal box at 6th and Shawnee Streets on June 6 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The intersection will be reduced to a 4-way stop until the traffic box is repaired. Shawnee is a major thoroughfare and delays are expected. Please use caution when traveling in this area, and if possible, use an alternate route.

For additional information, contact the Office of Public Works at 918-684-6333.

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Monday, June 4, 2018, 9:24 AM

The City of Muskogee Office of Public Works is advising motorists that Signal Tech will be repairing the traffic signal box at 6th and Shawnee Streets on June 6 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The intersection will be reduced to a 4-way stop until the traffic box is repaired. Shawnee is a major thoroughfare and delays are expected. Please use caution when traveling in this area, and if possible, use an alternate route.

For additional information, contact the Office of Public Works at 918-684-6333.

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Monday, June 4, 2018, 9:12 AM

Litha Marie Horton

WARNING: This story contains graphic details.

Litha Marie Horton, 35, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with raping a 13-year-old boy, according to documents filed with the case.

Horton is accused of having vaginal intercourse with the boy between June and July of 2017 at 712 N. L Street. According to an affidavit filed with the case, Horton admitted to police “having sex” with the boy when she was 34 and he was 13, and that she knew his age at the time.

Horton’s latest Facebook post, posted on Saturday, is a meme that says “B4I (picture of a screw) U, RU/18 QT (pi symbol)” and then “Share if you can read it :P”.

The translation: “Before I screw you, are you 18, cutie pie”.

Horton did not respond to requests for comment.


Saturday, June 2, 2018, 4:13 PM

Han Howard

Han Howard, a former smoke shop employee who lived in Muskogee but was from Oktaha, died Thursday night after a gun he was playing with went off, according to two sources in the Muskogee Police Department.

The sources, who asked to not be identified by name, said Howard had been on a date, and as the evening was winding down, he started playing with a revolver. He apparently opened the revolver and emptied out the bullets, but one bullet stayed in, without his knowledge, the police said.

Howard then allegedly began to play Russian Roulette with the pistol, which he thought he had emptied. On the third trigger pull, the bullet that had escaped his attention fired, mortally wounding him.

No funeral home or service have yet been announced.

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Friday, June 1, 2018, 10:49 AM

Kaylee Bryson

Kaylee Bryson, 17, of Muskogee, will be featured as part of the Rev Racing Youth Driver line-up at the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Development Program, competing at the Bojangles Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway, according to Rev Racing.

Bryson is an accomplished race driver who started racing winged karts in 2010 when she was only 8 years old. In two and a half years, she racked up 50 wins in the division, before she made the transition to Restrictor Micro-Sprint cars, where she got another 16 wins between 2013 and 2015. She was just the second female in history to win a Golden Driller at the Tulsa Shootout in 2015. In 2016, she won both of the micro-sprint races she ran before moving up to A-Class and Outlaw Micro-Sprint Cars, where she garnered multiple top three, top five and top 10 finishes before claiming the 2016 Port City Raceway A-Class rookie of the year and points championship honors.

In 2017, she won two A Feature races.

The junior NASCAR program she’s entering “cultivates growth and seizes the opportunity for development in drivers at the earliest age possible,” Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR senior manager of racing operations and event management, said. “Drivers who are successful and show promise are considered to compete for a chance at the next level of the program in the Late Model Series.”

The summer shootout will kick off with a practice session on Tuesday.

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Friday, June 1, 2018, 10:05 AM

The Friends of Honor Heights Park Association is hosting a craft beer festival tonight at the Hangar at Hatbox Field.

Celebrating nothing but craft beers that are brewed in Oklahoma, the second-annual event raises money to benefit the park association.

Last year, more than 500 people attended the event, and this year, it has grown to include food trucks, beer tasting, snacks and entertainment. Designated drivers are $5 at the gate, and tickets are $20. A $40 VIP ticket gets you in 30 minutes early and access to the VIP lounge, which includes private seating, more beer and food, plus a souvenir Belgian-style beer glass or sample lanyard.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Friday, June 1, 2018, 9:59 AM

Alep Javier Bravo Jr.

Alep Javier Bravo Jr., 21, is charged in Muskogee County District court with one count of first-degree rape of an unconscious victim, according to court documents.

Bravo is accused of raping the juvenile victim on May 27. The victim told police she was staying with a friend and Bravo at 1302 Ellsworth on that date when she woke up and Bravo was having sex with her.

The case filed against Bravo alleges that the was both “asleep and intoxicated” and that while Bravo was aware of those facts, he had intercourse with her “against her will and consent.”

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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Thursday, May 31, 2018, 9:59 AM

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation released its eight-year plan yesterday detailing projects that will be ongoing for the next eight years. In the plan that was released, the Muskogee area receives plenty of attention, but the reroute of US 69 appears nowhere.

“Right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation for the US-69 project are scheduled in the Eight-year Plan to begin in FFY 2022,” the department responded after I tweeted a question about what had happened to the rerouting. “Construction is estimated to go to bid in FFY 2025.”

Included in the current eight-year plan are resurfacing and pavement rehabilitation on the highway, as well as some bridge work. US 62 will also receive some attention in the Muskogee area.

As far as the rerouting or whatever alternative the department is able to come up with, “the exact design of the construction project has yet to be determined,” the department said. “ODOT will be looking at possible realignment as well as improvements to the existing alignment during the public involvement and environmental review process.”

In other words, the department isn’t settled on rerouting the highway; instead, it will conduct studies and public input sessions to determine whether rerouting or just improving the existing highway is the best option.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 9:41 AM

Sarah Brixey, 27, of Wagoner is in a Tulsa hospital after a wreck around 7 p.m. yesterday just east of Fort Gibson, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Brixey was driving a 2015 Toyota RAV4 eastbound on US 62 near Leaning Tree Road, about 3 miles east of Fort Gibson. She was behind an International semi that was also eastbound. The semi attempted to turn onto Leaning Tree Road, but Brixey closed in too quickly, according to the patrol, swerved to the right to miss the semi and ended up slamming into the rear passenger side of the trailer, departing to the right of the roadway. Brixey was pinned inside her vehicle and had to be extracted by the Fort Gibson Fire Department.

She was transported by helicopter to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa with head, internal trunk, external trunk, arm and leg injuries in stable condition.

The cause of the wreck is still under investigation.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 2:46 PM

Tony Ferguson of Muskogee died March 5 from ALS.

The Okies Against ALS 5k and Fun Run gets going on June 9 to help support the Muskogee area’s ALS victims and those who support them. All proceeds go to the Oklahoma chapter of the ALS Association and to APSO – ALS Patient Services Outreach.

About the race

  • 5k Registration fees: 5k is $25 before May 30th, or $30 after that until race day.
  • Fun Run Registration Fees: Fun Run is $15 before May 30th, or $20 after that until race day.
  • Wings Discount: All wings members can take $5 off their pre-registration with coupon code: wings5k
  • T-shirts: Sign up by May 30th to get a guaranteed t-shirt
  • Finishers Medals: To all participants
  • Trophies: To the top 3 in each age group
  • CONTACT: Tami Flock, 918-869-8280 or
  • ALS —Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Physicist Stephen Hawking just died of the disease this year. It causes stiff muscles, twitching and eventual difficulty speaking, swallowing and even breathing. Muskogee has a number of sufferers from the disease, including Joanie Stout, Marlene Burress and Barry Boswell, who succumbed to the disease a few weeks ago, and Tony Ferguson, who died March 5.

    This race was originally planned to be the first 5k on the new certified course at Hatbox Sports Complex, but the trail extension through hatbox is not complete. The old loop course that starts and finishes by the softball fields and water park at 34th and Arline will be used instead.

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    Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 2:31 PM

    U.S. Marine Corps veteran J.C. Wilson receives food from the tribe’s new mobile food pantry established with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden helped load items in Wilson’s car.

    Disabled U.S. Marine Corps veteran J.C. Wilson drove his silver Nissan Versa into the parking lot of the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center Tuesday, where volunteers loaded it down with everything from fresh tomatoes, avocadoes and apples to canned milk and crackers.

    He was among 125 veterans or widows of veterans to benefit from the tribe’s new mobile food pantry established with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

    The new arrangement started Tuesday with 10,000 pounds of food and will offer mobile pantries to veterans quarterly at the tribe in Tahlequah.

    “Anytime you can get help with food it’s great, especially with the price of groceries getting higher,” said Wilson, of Tahlequah. “I’m disabled and retired, but I do work with the color guard and think this will help a lot of veterans. I’m proud of Cherokee Nation for doing this.”

    Principal Chief Bill John Baker shook veterans’ hands as they drove up, and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden helped load food.

    “As a veteran myself, it means so much to know that our state, our community and our Nation is working together to help our veterans,” said Crittenden, a U.S. Navy veteran. “At the end of the month, times can get a little rough for some of our veterans working to feed their families, and this is such a great partnership that we get to celebrate today with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. I know that we are making a world of difference in the lives of so many veterans and their families.”

    The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, based in Tulsa, serves about 110,000 veterans and their families in their service area. Its partnership with the Cherokee Nation is the first in Tahlequah and among tribes in Oklahoma.

    “The Cherokee Nation is off to a fantastic start. This food pantry is highly organized, and you can see people interacting and having a good time but also doing the right thing for veterans,” said Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma Outreach Coordinator James “Jim” Lyall. “We have more than 6,000 veterans in Cherokee County, so it’s great that we can expand our circle to Cherokee veterans.”

    John Christie, of Hulbert, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, also received food from the mobile pantry Tuesday.

    “I think it helps and am glad they are doing this for veterans. I wasn’t eligible for the food distribution center, but I am retired and every little bit helps,” Christie said.

    Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd; U.S. Congressman and Cherokee Nation citizen Markwayne Mullin; William Barnes, veterans and military representative for Congressman Mullin; and Jeff Underwood, field representative for U.S. Senator James Lankford’s office, also volunteered Tuesday to sort and load food.

    The Cherokee Nation identified and distributed tickets to veterans in need for the mobile food pantry. The next delivery is scheduled for August.

    The Mobile Pantry Program creates a farmers market-style of food distribution in rural communities. Fresh produce, bakery items and nonperishable food items are distributed. Through its Veterans Outreach Program, the food bank provides food to veterans through the Claremore, Verdigris and Poteau Disabled American Veterans chapters. In addition, plans are underway to also begin a mobile pantry at the Veterans Colony in Wilburton.

    The Cherokee Nation also offers a food distribution program at the tribe that some veterans may qualify for. For more information on the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center and food pantry, call 918-772-4166.

    As a member of the national Feeding America network, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma delivers nutritious food to clients in the 24 counties of eastern Oklahoma through its network of 465 Partner Programs. For more information about the food bank, visit or call 918-585-2800.

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