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Police, sheriff, highway patrol, US marshals search for fugitive

Friday, September 23, 2016, 9:37 PM

Clint Joseph Kirk
Muskogee police, sheriff’s deputies, highway patrol troopers and US marshals are all canvassing a south Muskogee neighborhood, trying to capture a fugitive who ran from the marshals, several law enforcement sources have confirmed.

The man, who was last spotted on a road near the First Assembly of God on Gulick, is a white supremacist named Clint Kirk, according to three law enforcement officers.

Kirk is 36 and has “a lot” of outstanding warrants, the officers said.

He is wanted for violent crimes such as assault, kidnapping and others, and is considered dangerous. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans, cowboy boots and a red baseball hat.

If you see him, call 911 immediately.

CrimeLocal

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Deputies, state catch Muskogee man allegedly making moonshine

Friday, September 23, 2016, 10:20 AM

Danny Lee Brogdon

Muskogee County Sheriff’s deputies and representatives from the state Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission arrested a Muskogee man after they were called to a domestic violence complaint.

Danny Lee Brogdon, 54, was believed to be involved in assaulting someone at the house where he was found, and while they were investigating that case, the deputies called to the scene called in the ABLE Commission after they saw and smelled what they believed to be moonshine and the mash made to use it.

“It was a rudimentary homemade still,” said Pedro Zardeneta with ABLE. “We also found clear alcohol we believe to be moonshine, and mash.”

Earlier this year, moonshine is believed to have killed two people at a Muskogee party and sickened several others. (Moonshine kills one) (Second victim dies)

Brogdon was arrested on complaints of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, domestic assault and battery, threats to perform acts of violence, possession of alcoholic beverage without tax and operating a whiskey still without a license.

BizarreCrimeLocal

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Teenage blacksmith finds science success in search for a better forge

Friday, September 23, 2016, 9:51 AM

Brendan Crotty

Most eighth graders like to spend their free time on social media, playing video games or chatting online. Working their own metal in a homemade forge probably doesn’t make it onto most of their lists of recreation activities. But for Brendan Crotty, who is now in the ninth grade, blacksmithing has been a passion since he was 11 and saw blacksmiths at the Muskogee Renaissance Festival and other re-enactments.

That passion and the desire to have his own gas forge led him to start investigating building his own forge.

“They’re very expensive,” he said. “So I started trying to test out homemade ones to see if it would work.”

Using soup cans and various insulators, Brendan fabricated seven mini-forges using different insulating materials - some of which he invented - then comparing their performance to that of a commercial forge.

Using a sophisticated infrared thermometer, he methodically tested each homemade forge’s lining and how fast each heated metal with the purpose of showing a homemade insulator could be safer, more cost-effective and just as efficient as a commercial insulator.

As a side-effect, the project earned him first place in engineering in a divisional science fair - and an invitation to the prestigious Broadcom Masters competition in October. He is one of 30 finalists chosen from 300 semifinalists in the national competition, and the first ever from Oklahoma.

“My interest is still mostly blacksmithing,” he said after the unexpected science and engineering wins, “but I’m also interested in engineering and design.”

Brendan is homeschooled. His parents are Dr. James and Jennifer Crotty. He will travel to Washington DC for the competition on Oct. 28.

EducationGood NewsLocal

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Man pleads no contest to shooting Muskogee woman, leaving her for dead

Friday, September 23, 2016, 9:22 AM

Bennie Freeman

If LaCauna Adams hadn’t been wearing her hair in a bun last year, she likely wouldn’t be here today - and a Kansas man wouldn’t be headed to prison for trying to kill her.

Bennie Freeman, 47, of Coffeyville, Kansas pleaded no contest yesterday to charges that he shot her after forcing her to give him money. A no-contest plea means the defendant does not refute the charges, but also does not accept guilt. The courts, however, treat a no-contest plea as kind of an equivalent to a guilty plea and impose punishment on the defendant anyway. Other local media have reported that Freeman pleaded guilty, which is not true.

He did, however, admit that he took her from her house, took money from her and “shot her with a deadly weapon.”

What happened was Adams had received a settlement that Freeman knew about and he demanded money from her at gunpoint. Adams had only around $300 on hand in cash, which he took and then forced her to get into a car and drove her out to a remote location on Oktaha Road.

Once there, he took her cell phone and tried to get her rings, which he couldn’t get off her fingers. He shot her in the back, and she fell into some mud, appearing to be dead, according to investigators. He then walked away, thought better of it and came back, shooting her in the back of the head.

He then drove away, thought better of it again and came back, only to find her gone. She had crawled 200 feet and flagged down a motorist, who drove her to the hospital. The tight bun she was wearing on her head, investigators said, slowed the bullet down enough that it didn’t kill her when it entered her head.

Freeman will be sentenced on Dec. 15.

CrimeLocal

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Catch the Bedouin Shrine circus this weekend

Thursday, September 22, 2016, 7:33 AM

The Bedouin Shrine Circus will land at the Muskogee Civic Center this weekend, bringing amazing human feats, fun skits and performing animals.

Bedouin Shrine circus

  • Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The circus is a major fund raiser for the Muskogee Shrine, a fellowship of freemasons that helps children throughout the area get necessary medical treatment for spinal issues and burns.

The show starts Saturday and runs through Sunday.

EntertainmentLocal

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BREAKING: Body found in Wagoner

Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 8:31 AM

A body has been found in Wagoner, a police officer has confirmed.

No other details are being released at this time, according to a police spokeswoman.

We are pursuing this story.

The man was elderly, according to Wagoner police, had several hospital bracelets and refused to receive hospice care.

The man is apparently from Florida.

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Quicker access is above

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 1:32 PM

We are constantly trying to improve this site to make it easier and more intuitive for you to use. As such, we like to point out even what seem to be small changes. The “menu” button beside our logo has now been moved to the top of the page. Here’s what happens when you click it:

If you’re looking for something on the site, chances are you’ll find it in that menu.

We also decided we wanted to make some frequently-clicked pages more accessible, so we added them to the top of the page, next to the Menu button. Clicking on those buttons immediately filters the stories down to only the ones you clicked.

We have also changed our URL scheme. For instance, to get to entertainment stories before, you’d have to type something convoluted like ‘https://muskogeenow.com/index.php?c=Entertainment’. That’s craziness. So now, all you have to type is ‘https://muskogeenow.com/entertainment’ and it works just like it did with the more convoluted scheme.

We hope this makes the site easier to use, and we’re continually working behind the scenes to introduce more improvements like this.

LocalOpinions

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Cherokee Elders Summit expands to two locations

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 8:45 AM

Hundreds of Cherokee elders attended the first Cherokee Nation Elder’s Summit in 2015.

Cherokee elders across the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction have been invited to the second annual Cherokee Nation Elder’s Summit. This year’s summit is being held in two locations, Vinita and Tahlequah, in order to reach more elders.

Cherokee Elders Summit

Vinita
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 27
  • Vinita Health Center
Tahlequah
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29
  • Armory Municipal Center
Cherokee elders 60 years of age and older RSVP to Kamisha Hair-Daniels at 918-453-5238 or email.

Last year’s summit marked the launch of the tribe’s Elder Fraud Protection Initiative. Led by Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, the Cherokee Nation administration, Attorney General’s office and Marshal Service joined forces, seeking to put an end to the growing problem of elder abuse. The coalition continues to collaborate with state and local agencies to prevent elder abuse and prosecute individuals who financially exploit or otherwise abuse Cherokee elders.

“It’s our responsibly to ensure our most valuable, and in many cases our most vulnerable, citizens remain safe from abuse, whether it’s physical or financial or emotional. Our elders should be respected and appreciated for their experience and cultural knowledge. That has always been an important Cherokee value,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “We started this awareness and education initiative last year and continue to add more content to better connect Cherokee senior citizens with programs and services that can help them the most.”

Various booths will be set up at the summit locations, offering information on how to spot and report elder abuse and resources if one is a victim. Elder abuse has reached epidemic proportions in Oklahoma. In 2012, Oklahoma Adult Protective Services received nearly 19,000 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of seniors. Often elders experiencing abuse or exploitation don’t know where to turn or how to seek help.

In addition to information and resources, the Cherokee Nation Elder’s Summit will provide lunch and time for fellowship for attendees.

Good NewsLocalTribes

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Man jailed on complaint of masturbating in car

Monday, September 19, 2016, 11:07 AM

Jerome Edward Nagel

Jerome Edward Nagel, 44 of Weatherford was arrested yesterday after a father and child playing Pokémon Go approached his car, according to a Muskogee police report.

The father approached Nagel’s car at Beckmann Park to ask if he knew about any Pokémon in the park, and that’s when he saw Nagel apparently masturbating and called the police.

Police arrested him on complaints of indecent exposure, possession of drugs and possession of paraphernalia.

BizarreCrimeLocal

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Raper, Crow and Nicks to play on Thursday

Monday, September 19, 2016, 10:19 AM

Melissa Raper, Tim Crow and Gary Nicks will play at the Oklahoma Music Hall of fame on Thursday.

Raper, Crow and Nicks

  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, 401 S. 3rd.
  • $5 at the door
  • All ages

The group had its foundations in the 90s, when Raper and Crow were members of Five Guys and a Skirt, the house band at The Warehouse. They decided to join with Nicks, who wrote, played and sang for Indie Skies, a Tulsa band that got radio airplay and opened for Christopher Cross. The group plays Americana and original songs that are acoustic guitar-based.

EntertainmentLocal

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Murder victims remembrance set for Thursday

Monday, September 19, 2016, 7:53 AM

Muskogee’s ninth annual Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims will be held on Thursday.

Murder victims remembrance

  • 6 p.m. Sept. 22
  • The Venue at Oasis Community Church, 800 W. Peak Blvd.
  • Open to the public

The ceremony is set to remember and honor those who have been lost to murder and to show support for the victims’ families and friends.

Master of ceremonies is Pastor Rodney Mattox of Oasis Community Church. Speakers are District Attorney Orvil Loge, Pastor Michael Webber and Evelyn Hibbs.

CrimeLocal

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Cherokees launch program to stop diabetes

Monday, September 19, 2016, 7:48 AM

The Cherokee Nation is launching a health and fitness program for about 30 Cherokee Nation citizens to prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases.

The Healthy Native Program will be implemented at the Male Seminary Recreation Center in Tahlequah and the Cherokee Nation Vinita Wellness Center. The Tahlequah program will begin Sept. 27 at noon and Sept. 29 at 6:15 p.m. and will meet every week for the next year. The Vinita program will begin Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m. and will also meet every week for the next year.

Program officials expect to offer the program at more Cherokee Nation health centers starting January 2017.

“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” Cherokee Nation Diabetes Prevention Coordinator Tonya Wapskineh said. “The Healthy Native program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

Participants will receive tools and incentives to help make healthier lifestyle choices. Participants will also have a personal lifestyle coach who will help participants reach personal health and weight loss goals.

Participants must be a Male Seminary Recreation Center or Vinita Wellness Center member, a Native American with a CDIB card, 18 years of age or older and have had no diagnosis of diabetes to join the Healthy Native Program.

Participants must also meet other requirements, including a history of gestational diabetes while pregnant or be at high risk according to the CDC prediabetes screening test.

The Healthy Native Program is based on research that shows people with prediabetes who lose up to 7 percent of their body weight by making modest changes reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

To participate in the Healthy Native Program, call the Male Seminary Recreation Center in Tahlequah at 918-453-5496 or the Cherokee Nation Vinita Wellness Center at 918-256-4841.

LocalTribes

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Several hurt in Saturday wrecks

Sunday, September 18, 2016, 8:43 AM

A Porter woman was admitted to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa after her vehicle crossed the center lane and hit another vehicle head-on just south of Porter Saturday night, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Angela Davis, 34, was admitted with trunk, arm and ankle injuries. The other car’s 17-year-old driver was treated and released for minor injuries, as was a 14-year-old passenger.

The patrol cited unsafe speed as the wreck’s cause.

Two more wrecks shut down both directions of the Muskogee Turnpike for an hour and a half last night near the 51B toll plaza. Troopers have not given a reason for those crashes or injury reports for them.

Finally, a Vian man was hurt when he laid down his scooter east of Vian late last night, the patrol reported. Richard Fieldgrove, 63, had the odor of alcohol on him, according to troopers, when he departed County Road East 1000 to the right and laid the scooter down before sliding 32 feet. He was admitted to Saint Francis with a head injury. He was not wearing a helmet.

LocalTraffic

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Braggs man hurt in wreck on US 62

Friday, September 16, 2016, 9:36 AM

Freddy McDaniel, 58, of Braggs was admitted to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa with head, trunk internal and external injuries after his vehicle collided with another on US 62 just east of Fort Gibson, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

McDaniel was driving a 2004 Buick four-door on a county road yesterday around 1 p.m. and failed to yield from a stop sign while entering the highway, the patrol reported. A 2014 Chevrolet PK was headed west and struck McDaniel’s car. Neither its driver nor its passenger were injured.

McDaniel was pinned in the vehicle and later freed by Fort Gibson Fire and Rescue. His passenger, Patsy McDaniel, was treated and released for her injuries at Eastar Hospital.

Everyone involved was wearing a seatbelt, the patrol reported.

LocalTraffic

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Eat pie to help Mechele Cruz

Friday, September 16, 2016, 7:58 AM

Mechele Cruz is fighting a rare form of kidney disease.

Mechele Cruz has spent most of her adult life helping other people at Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service. And now, the Muskogee Masons are stepping up to help her.

Benefit dinner

  • Where: Muskogee Masonic Temple, 121 S. 6th St.
  • When: Saturday, Sept. 17, 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $10 per adult, $5 for children under 12

Mechele has a rare form of kidney disease called membranous nephropathy, for which she is receiving experimental treatments in Minnesota.

Though her insurance pays some of the cost, her family must foot huge copayments and traveling and lodging expenses for the treatments.

Tomorrow, starting at 5 p.m., two Muskogee Masonic lodges and one Haskell lodge are hosing a benefit barbecue dinner and pie auction to help the family with the expenses.

EntertainmentGood NewsLocal

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Arrowhead Mall to celebrate anniversary

Friday, September 16, 2016, 7:29 AM

Arrowhead Mall will celebrate its 29th birthday tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. inside the mall, with inflatables, face painting and Honky Da Clown making balloon art. In addition, the Farmer’s Market will be inside the mall and there will be a giant cake.

Stores inside the mall will have birthday deals going on, according to Frank Cooper, general manager.

BusinessLocal

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Muskogee man arrested in Owasso slaying

Thursday, September 15, 2016, 4:47 PM

David Wayne Ellis

David Wayne Ellis, 60, of Muskogee was arrested on murder charges after Owasso’s first homicide of the year near 116th and Garnett Street, according to Tulsa Police.

The victim, Michael Shane Floyd, 37, was stabbed just after midnight this morning multiple times. Witnesses told police Ellis ran away after the stabbing.

Police found him in a field near the house and arrested him. There was some sort of party or get-together at the house and the two men, according to witnesses, got into an argument, which allegedly led to the stabbing.

CrimeLocal

BREAKING: Mumps cases confirmed in Oklahoma

Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 7:25 PM

Four cases of mumps have been confirmed this week in Garfield County, and at least 34 more suspected cases are under investigation after students in two Enid Public Schools exhibited symptoms of the disease.

Those currently affected range in age from less than one-year old to 41 years of age, with the majority of cases being found in middle school and high school students. State and local public health officials are working closely with schools and healthcare providers to rapidly identify suspected cases and exclude affected people from childcare centers, schools or workplaces during the timeframe they are able to transmit mumps to other people.

Mumps is a virus that is spread from one person to another by coughing, sneezing, and direct contact with saliva, such as eating or drinking after an infected person. Symptoms of mumps include swelling on one or both sides of the face, tenderness of the salivary glands in the cheek and jaw area, slight fever, headache, general aches and muscle pain. The illness usually resolves without medical intervention, but in rare cases can lead to serious complications and hospitalization.

Symptoms usually appear 16 to 18 days after infection. Infected individuals can transmit the virus two days before symptoms appear and up to five days after symptoms begin.

“If parents observe symptoms of mumps in their child, we are strongly requesting that the child be kept at home for the five days after those symptoms are discovered,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. “This is the most effective way to prevent the disease from spreading.”

Two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine required for school attendance are 88 percent effective in preventing mumps. The MMR vaccine is recommended on or after a child’s first birthday with a second dose at four to six years of age. People who are born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against mumps should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. OSDH recommends that parents follow-up with your child’s healthcare provider to determine if your child is up-to-date on their MMR vaccination. Children that need to receive the MMR vaccine may get it from their healthcare provider or the Garfield County Health Department.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has prepared a fact sheet on mumps that can be found here.

Breaking NewsEducationLocalOklahoma

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Highway Patrol vehicle hit on turnpike

Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 12:59 PM

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper narrowly escaped injury last night when a driver struck his unoccupied car on the side of the Muskogee Turnpike, according to the patrol.

Trooper Adam Wood’s vehicle was in the left lane of the eastbound lanes of the turnpike with its emergency lights on after he had worked on a motorist assist and was clearing debris from the shoulder of the road.

Wood saw an SUV headed toward his car, not slowing down, and he had to jump over the center wall of the turnpike to avoid being hit. The SUV hit the patrol car, sending it more than 200 feet down the road. The driver sustained only minor injuries, but was cited for inattentive driving and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

“This incident illustrates how vitally important it is for drivers to be aware and attentive at all times,” said OHP Chief Ricky Adams. “We are fortunate that there were no serious injuries or loss of life to anyone in this crash.”

Oklahoma law requires drivers to either change lanes or slow down when passing emergency vehicles on the road with lights flashing.

“Our Troopers face many dangers each and every day,” Adams said. “In the last several years, we’ve had far too many near-misses and units struck. Please avoid all distractions when you’re driving, and when you see flashing lights, slow down and move over. Help us all avoid needless tragedies.”

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