bosslady

DEATHS

Randall Ray Woodall, 62

Born February 26, 1959

Died September 22, 2021

Jessie Madalyn Bingham, 96

Born May 11, 1925

Died September 22, 2021

Terry Jean Roach, 70

Born March 26, 1951

Died September 19, 2021

Virginia L. Cothran, 86

Born April 16, 1935

Died September 19, 2021

Ricky Jake Hamon, 51

Born December 31, 1969

Died September 18, 2021

Margaret A. Johnson, 70

Born August 8, 1951

Died September 18, 2021

William Kenneth Bailey, 76

Born August 27, 1945

Died September 18, 2021

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

THINGS TO DO

Friday, September 24, 2021, 3:03 PM

Timothy Van Etten, a teacher at Muskogee High School, has resigned after reports surfaced that he called female high school students “hot” or “cute”, according to reports from parents and the schools. Van Etten was formerly a girls’ soccer coach as well, one parent reported.

After inquiries from MuskogeeNOW.com, the schools released the following statement:

Muskogee Public Schools suspended a high school teacher pending an investigation into inappropriate comments made towards female students. The administration has also turned this information over to the police which is investigating the case independent of the district investigation.

The employee tendered his resignation on Thursday, September 23, 2021. However, the board will not take any action on the resignation until the situation is thoroughly investigated and the administration makes a final determination. Muskogee Public Schools condemns this type of behavior and will not tolerate inappropriate comments made to students or others.

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Friday, September 24, 2021, 8:24 AM

Muskogee High School assistant coach Pete Richardson is accused of punching a student in the stomach after “another kid was talking back and he thought it was … him,” according to a source close to the student.

Richardson is listed on the district’s web site as only a “class monitor,” though the district has confirmed he is an assistant coach.

The district also said the “incident” occurred during football practice and Richardson (who the district does not identify by name) “placed his hands on a student-athlete”.

Asked whether the police were informed of the incident, the district responded “Law enforcement was not informed of the incident because it was not deemed an assault or an endangerment to the student-athlete.”

Oklahoma law defines assault as an intentional attempt or threat of force or violence against another person (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 641). Assault and battery is defined as the intentional and unlawful use of force or violence against another (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 642). Both carry potential prison time as penalties. According to the statute, even raising a hand as if to strike is enough to constitute assault.

The schools stated that the assistant coach is currently on administrative leave while the situation is being investigated and “appropriate disciplinary action” will be taken against the employee.

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Friday, September 24, 2021, 7:45 AM

Andrew Ericson of Muskogee, the son of Tulsa attorney and former Oklahoma State representative from Muskogee Stuart Ericson, has pleaded guilty in federal court to a misdemeanor, reduced from his earlier felony charges in exchange for cooperation with federal investigators probing the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Ericson will also allow federal investigators full access to his social media accounts.

Ericson admitted taking pictures of himself in Speaker of the House Nanci Pelosi’s conference room and also admitted taking a beer from the refrigerator there, according to documents filed with the case.

He pleaded guilty to illegally entering the US Capitol. He could face up to six months in federal prison.

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Thursday, September 23, 2021, 9:22 AM

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Jeffrey Denton Sumka, 27, entered a guilty plea to one count of sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years, a fine of $250,000.00, a term of supervised release of not more than 5 years, and a special assessment in the amount of $100.00.

By pleading guilty, Sumka admitted that on May of 2017, a twelve-year-old female met him and he supplied the female with illegal drugs, and she then had sex with him at least ten times. The relationship continued until the female was fifteen years old, and in 2020, at the age of 15, the female became pregnant and had the defendant’s child, which was confirmed with DNA testing.

The charges arose from an investigation by the Muscogee Creek Nation Lighthorse Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberley West accepted the plea and ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 9:38 AM

Muskogee Public Schools’ board last night passed a mask mandate for all Muskogee schools, starting today, in defiance of a state law forbidding districts from mandating masks.

Exemptions are made for health reasons or strongly-held personal beliefs, according to a release from the district. Those wishing to exercise those exemptions must fill out forms from the schools, available at muskogeeps.org.

As COVID-19 and its Delta variant surge, infections are increasing, and this round, children are suffering symptoms and even dying.

“Since school started on August 24th, a number of factors have changed surrounding masks in schools,” Superintendent Jarod Mendenhal said. “A judge issued a temporary injunction regarding the state law that prohibited mask mandates for schools. We have also followed the COVID data within our district and have seen a steady number of positive cases. With those factors, we felt that it was the right thing to do to bring to the Board of Education the opportunity to have an open discussion regarding masks.”

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 8:37 AM

Patrick McHenry

Ashton Clark
Patrick Wayne McHenry, 28, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with two felonies, kidnapping and rape, after an incident on Sept. 11 and 12 during which a Muskogee woman was allegedly confined, raped in the presence of McHenry’s girlfriend, Ashton Clark, 28, of Muskogee, then forced into the trunk of a car and taken to a residence in Braggs, where she was locked into a shed.

The victim told police McHenry had shot her in the shoulder, and medical workers found small pieces of metal consistent with gunshot, but she would not consent to their removal, so they couldn’t determine with certainty what they were.

Residents at the Braggs location told police that McHenry and Clark had brought the victim to the residence and locked her in the shed, which she escaped on the next afternoon.

McHenry has numerous prior felony convictions, including drugs, theft, evading police and possession of firearms after felony conviction. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 8:10 AM

The Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation continues to offer the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with eligibility extending for the first time to Cherokee citizens living in certain areas outside Oklahoma, including in parts of Arkansas and Kansas. Renter households in need of assistance may submit their application online at www.hacn.org.

Applicants who meet the guidelines will be eligible for rental assistance through funds that were part of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s allocation to states, U.S. territories, and tribes for emergency rental assistance in response to the COVID 19-pandemic.

Eligibility criteria include the following:

  • At least one household member must be a Cherokee Nation citizen.
  • Applicants must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling or residential lot rent in the state of Oklahoma; in the Arkansas counties of Benton, Crawford or Washington; or in the Kansas counties of Chautauqua, Cherokee, Labette or Montgomery.
  • The landlord must be willing to complete a W-9 and accept payment from the Housing Authority of Cherokee Nation. Refusal to complete a W-9 and accept payment from the Housing Authority of Cherokee Nation may result in the Applicant’s ineligibility.
  • Household income may not exceed 80 percent of the Area Median Income. First preference given to households under 50 percent Area Median Income.

The extension of housing assistance extends to some at-large Cherokee citizens - those living outside Cherokee Nation’s reservation covering all or parts of 14 counties in northeast Oklahoma.

For more information about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program or for assistance with the application, contact the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation at services@hacn.org or by phone at 918-456-5482, ext. 1135.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 9:21 AM

The Muscogee Nation announced today the opening of a 65 suite, monoclonal antibody infusion center. The infusion center, located inside the Nation’s newest Tulsa-based hospital, Council Oak, will assist local health systems and providers in the fight against COVID-19. This public health initiative is a collaborative partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Indian Health Service and the Department of Health and Human Services and will treat both Native and non-Native patients.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that are designed to target a specific virus or bacteria. In the case of COVID-19, the antibodies attach to the virus and block it from entering human cells. The monoclonal antibody treatment is done through an intravenous infusion and should be administered within 10 days of developing COVID-19 symptoms.

“Research is showing monoclonal antibody infusions are extremely effective in preventing COVID-19 symptoms from worsening,” said Shawn Terry, Secretary of Health for the Muscogee Nation. “It is our hope this regional infusion center will help alleviate the current strain on our hospitals by preventing additional severe cases of COVID-19,” Terry said. “From the onset of this pandemic, the Muscogee Nation has been focused on protecting our people and all Oklahomans. This partnership is one more way we can offer our assistance in the fight against COVID.”

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 7:33 AM

The Oklahoma State Department of Health will host a virtual career fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29 in an effort to hire approximately 70 nurses statewide.

“Oklahoma needs more nurses, right now, to assist with COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Amy Gaither, Director of Nursing Service for OSDH. “This is a great time for RNs and LPNs to join the field of public health and make a positive difference in people’s lives and their local community.”

Online registration is open now for the Statewide RN Virtual Career Fair at https://app.careerfairplus.com/so_ok.

OSDH staff will be available during the one-day hiring event to answer questions about nursing careers in public health.

Available positions include standard 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work shifts, Mon. through Fri., and enjoy additional employee benefits including benefit allowance, and time off for holidays. 

If you are interested in a nursing career with OSDH, but are unable to attend, send your resume, city or county of interest, and desired salary to HumanResources@health.ok.gov.

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Monday, September 20, 2021, 9:08 AM

A Hilldale Middle School student who feared another student had brought a gun to school texted his family that there was an intruder and he loved them on Friday.

Just days after a student threatened to bring a gun to school at Hilldale, a false intruder alarm frightened students to the point that at least one sent a text to his family telling them he loved them.

The alarm, accidentally set off by a vendor, according to Superintendent Erik Puckett, announced to the middle school that there was an intruder in the building and instructed everyone to stay in their classrooms and lock the doors.

“He was scared,” the boy’s father said of the boy who sent the text. “So was everyone. I was scared too.”

Additional counseling services have been added for students traumatized by the event.

“We have added counseling services at all sites as part of the state counselors Corp grant,” Puckett said. “We have LPC and school counselors available.”

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Monday, September 20, 2021, 8:43 AM

House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, hosted an interim study last week focused on exploring Oklahoma’s state sales tax on groceries.

The study looked at how the state tax on groceries affects Oklahomans

“We heard a lot of comments and concerns regarding the state sales tax on groceries,” Virgin said. “I feel confident leaving the study that there are people on all sides of this conversation who want to see the tax end. Now it’s about finding the political will to make it happen.”

One of the key talking points of the study was regarding the state’s regressive tax system.

“Sales taxes are the most regressive types of taxes we have,” said Paul Shinn, Oklahoma Policy Institute budget and tax senior policy analyst. “Due to the reliance on sales taxes, like the grocery tax, Oklahomans making the least money pay significantly more in taxes as a percentage of their income than those making the most.”

Moving forward, legislation will be crafted to address the state sales tax on groceries, Virgin said.

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Thursday, September 16, 2021, 8:59 PM

Karen Felts, finance and principal’s secretary at Tony Goetz Elementary School, has died, according to schools spokesman Steve Braun.

According to numerous staff members at the school, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, Felts died from COVID.

Additional counseling services will be available for students and staff Friday and Monday at Tony Goetz, Braun said.

Meanwhile, the staffers who contacted MuskogeeNOW say the conditions at the school are daunting.

We have no mask mandate and we are horribly understaffed. Because … our superintendent will not mandate masking or quarantines, we have students in school that are positive for covid or who have been directly exposed. There are no safety protocols. Most secretaries supply their own Clorox wipes and Lysol and have to clean their own area. Sick students are babysat by secretaries waiting for parents to arrive.

The schools did not attribute Felts’ death to COVID, but multiple staffers did.

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Thursday, September 16, 2021, 11:30 AM

Alice Robertson Jr. High School’s new building has been open less than a month, and it’s already been vandalized, according to the principal, Ryan Buell. Several students have been “severely disciplined” for damaging the building in response to a Tik Tok challenge, he stated in a letter to parents.

Hilldale Schools, meanwhile, received a threat from a student to bring a gun to school, allegedly by the son of an administrator at the school.

Superintendent Erik Puckett initially sent this in response to a question about the threat:

Our staff investigates the possible threat or allegation of a threat. IF a threat is deemed to have been made, then a threat assessment is done by trained staff. IF a threat is considerate to be real and possible, then discipline actions are taken. We involve our school SROs in the process of all possible legal matters including possible threats.

Asked specifically if a threat had been made, he responded “We were made aware of a possible verbal threat and yes sir we then followed our procedure.”

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Thursday, September 16, 2021, 7:36 AM

Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott declared yesterday that his office will not require its employees to be vaccinated and that it will not enforce any federal vaccine mandate.

Citing what he called an “overreach” of the federal government, Elliott stated that any mandate was a breach of Americans’ fundamental rights as outlined in the Constitution. He did not mention whether longstanding vaccination mandates for school students were part of that “overreach.”

Several other Oklahoma sheriffs have issued similar statements.

No mandate has been issued from the federal level, although President Joe Biden did say in a speech that a sweeping mandate was coming as COVID-19 and several of its variants surge across the nation.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 7:23 AM

Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, today held an interim study on property rights, specifically looking at the parameters of the Oklahoma Landlord, Tenant Act. He says the act has been subverted by activist judges and the Center for Disease Control’s moratorium on evictions that was found unconstitutional.

“In this interim study, we wanted to give a voice to the small, mom-and-pop landlords and hear from national and state experts on this issue,” Gann said. “Landlord property rights have been violated, and our freedoms are under attack like never before.”

He opened the study by quoting from the recent court opinion and order of the United States District Court of Eastern Texas, in Terkel v. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which on Page 2 states, “The federal government cannot say that it has ever before invoked its power over interstate commerce to impose a residential eviction moratorium. It did not do so during the deadly Spanish Flu pandemic. Nor did it invoke such a power during the exigencies of the Great Depression. Id. The federal government has not claimed such a power at any point during our Nation’s history until last year.”

As late as July 21, Gann noted an article by Christian Datoc that quoted a statement from an opinion in the Washington Times: “The White House is working with states and local governments to ‘develop a new National infrastructure’ to provide rental aid and prevent restrictions in the future once the moratorium expires.”

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 7:42 AM

The Youth Volunteer Corps of Muskogee will host a regional summit for other chapters in the group this weekend. Teens are scheduled to come from Joplin, Springfield and Fayetteville to serve the Muskogee community.

“During the Summit, all of the youth volunteers get together and do a large project wherever we are,” said Leslie Hamil, Muskogee director of the corps. “We were extremely excited to be asked and have had a great time working with the other affiliates in our region.”

The groups will arrive Friday and will participate in an overnight lock-in at the Teen Center before engaging in a weekend of volunteer work. While in Muskogee, they plan to construct a wheelchair ramp for a local family, make benches for Camp Bennett, make wheelchair-accessible gardens for the Oklahoma School for the Blind and make clothing racks for the Muskogee Little Theater.

The YCV Muskogee affiliate ended their “Summer of Service” with some impressive stats and will be receiving numerous awards at the National Summit in October.

The Muskogee chapter has 27 volunteers who have earned awards for their service this year, including one legacy award winner, Valencia Rodriquez, who earned the award for completing more than 1,500 hours of volunteer service.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 7:35 AM

The Cherokee Nation on Monday passed a nearly $3 billion budget—the largest operating budget in the tribe’s history, and almost half the size of the state of Oklahoma’s budget.

The Council of the Cherokee Nation approved the FY22 General Operating Budget of $2.98 billion and a capital investment budget of $418.5 million during Monday night’s Council meeting.

The budget increase will help with COVID-19 response programs, and provide staffing and services to expand the tribe’s criminal justice system upholding obligations under the U.S. Supreme Court McGirt ruling, the tribe stated in a release.

The nation expects to grow its tribal government employee base to more than 5,000 employees in the fiscal year beginning Oct 1.

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Monday, September 13, 2021, 8:15 AM

A mother was injured when a car rolled forward and hit her in front of a Fort Gibson daycare just now, according to emergency officials.

The incident, which happened by Tiny Tots Daycare, delivered “moderate” injuries to the mother, who is currently being transported by Muskogee County EMS to the hospital in Muskogee. The child, who was not injured, has left with its father.

No word yet on how the wreck occurred.

UPDATE: The car was unoccupied at the time.

NOTE: A previous version of this story said the car rolled “over”, based on information given by an emergency official. The mother contacted MuskogeeNOW to say the car simply rolled forward, not over.

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Monday, September 13, 2021, 7:53 AM

Jacob Wyatt Sage, 19, of Checotah is charged in Muskogee County District Court with a felony count of first-degree rape through force and fear after he allegedly tied a 14-year-old girl to the back seat of his pickup truck and forcefully raped her, according to documents filed with the case.

Sage is accused of then using a knife to make multiple cuts on the girl’s skin.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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Monday, September 13, 2021, 7:31 AM

House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, is blaming Republicans for the national vaccine mandate announced by President Biden last week.

“Over the last several months, Governor Kevin Stitt and Republicans in the Legislature have remained silent on how to keep our children safe during this pandemic,” Virgin said. “The governor and those same Republicans hamstrung local officials with Senate Bill 658, which stripped school boards and local governments of the ability to implement a policy that protects the lives of children.”

Virgin said lies about the vaccine were also responsible for the recent surge in COVID cases.

“On top of the inaction from the last seven months, Americans have been forced to parse through misinformation and lies pushed by an extremist faction of the Republican Party,” she said. “We have had to do so while Republicans that know better have remained silent out of fear of upsetting their fellow party members.”

Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration has vowed to fight the vaccine mandates in court.

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Friday, September 10, 2021, 8:49 AM

Oklahaoma Attorney General John O’Connor has released the following statement after President Joe Biden announced new, imposing vaccine rules on health care workers, huge private companies and federal workers:

“We respect the right of Oklahoma businesses and individuals to make healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. My office will vigorously oppose any attempt by the federal government to mandate vaccines. We are preparing litigation to stand up for our rights and defend the rule of law against the overreach of the federal government.”

The Biden administration will also require all workers in healthcare settings that receive Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement be vaccinated, a move that applies to 50,000 providers and covers more than 17 million healthcare workers.

Biden has signed executive orders requiring vaccinations for all federal government workers as well as for employees of contractors that do business with the federal government. The move represents a toughening of measures that Biden announced in late July, requiring federal workers to offer proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing and physical distancing measures in the workplace.

Governor Kevin Stitt, who has declared that schools cannot mandate masks, railed against the mandate, saying, “It is not the government’s role to dictate to private businesses what to do.”

The vaccine is both safe and effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Over 369 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States from December 14, 2020, through August 30, 2021.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support approval or authorization of a vaccine.

Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for emergency use by FDA. These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems pdf icon to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

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Thursday, September 9, 2021, 8:34 AM

Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge will leave his position at the end of this month to become a special district judge in the Muskogee County Courthouse, he stated in a letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt.

The judgeship was left open by the retirement of Weldon Stout. Loge was picked by a panel of judges for the special judgeship.

First assistant Larry Edwards of Tulsa will be in charge of the DA’s office until an election next year.

Muskogee native and former Assistant DA Matthew Price has already filed his candidacy for the office.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 8:06 AM

Kyle VanNortwick

Kyle VanNortwick, 36, of Muskogee was convicted in federal court yesterday of second-degree murder and now faces 10 years in federal prison for stabbing his twin brother, Adam, to death with a kitchen knife in 2018.

The trial was originally in state court, but those charges were dismissed because VanNortwick is a Native American. He was charged with first-degree murder in federal court, and a jury yesterday found him not guilty of first-degree murder, which usually requires premeditated intent, instead convicting him of second-degree murder, which is not premeditated..

The murder occurred during a fight between the two in the kitchen of a house on Chestnut Street.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 6:37 AM

State Rep. Avery Frix, R-Muskogee, today commented on the awarding of a contract to rehabilitate pavement at the interchange of Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 69 near Checotah.

The project will run from 0.53 miles west of the U.S. 69 interchange, extending east near Checotah, and from U.S. 69, from 0.5 miles south of the I-40 interchange, extending north near Checotah.

“These highways are of vital importance to residents of House District 13 and to the many others who travel these roads and use them to move products throughout our state,” said Frix, who serves as chair of the House Transportation Committee. “I’m glad to see these latest improvements scheduled. I will continue to work with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation as they continue to update the infrastructure in our area.”

The project was awarded to the low bidder, Interstate Improvement Inc. of Faribault, MN, for $6,372,213.91, which was over the engineer’s estimate of $4,422,393.60. Other bidders included Diamond Surface Inc. with a bid of $6,999,330.53, Iowa Civil Contracting Inc. with a bid of $7,199,440.33, and Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. with a bid of $7,922,514.06.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2021, 6:55 AM

Bacone College continues to promote health and safety in both learning and work environments through the implementation of a new COVID policy. The policy provides prevention strategies aimed at keeping the College community, as well as the surrounding communities safe and healthy.

“We are educating our students and employees about COVID-19 and its multiple variants,” said Dr. Ferlin Clark, Bacone College president. “At the same time, through partners who are donating masks and sanitizers, health experts from the Muskogee County Health Department provided information as well as vaccination opportunities that protect us from the Covid virus.”

The Muskogee County Health Department provided students and staff with the opportunity to receive a COVID shot, as well as had staff on hand to answer questions that might be presented while on campus.

During their talk with Bacone staff and students, D’Elbie Walker, Community Engagement and Health Program Manager for Muskogee County Health Department and her staff delivered COVID education: steps to take for prevention, vaccine updates and what to do if you are positive or if you have been exposed to COVID.

“Assisting with the health of the students at Bacone College is very important to me because I work in the healthcare field and as a Choctaw Citizen. Also, we are very appreciative of our ongoing collaboration with Dr. Clark,” she said. “We plan to continue offering testing and vaccine opportunities to students and staff.”

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Friday, September 3, 2021, 8:08 AM

Apple has announced that it is working with several states across the country, including Oklahoma, which will roll out the ability for their residents to seamlessly and securely add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet on their iPhone and Apple Watch.

Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to introduce this new innovation to their residents, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will enable select airport security checkpoints and lanes in participating airports as the first locations customers can use their driver’s license or state ID in Wallet. Built with privacy at the forefront, Wallet provides a more secure and convenient way for customers to present their driver’s licenses and state IDs on iPhone or Apple Watch.

“We are excited to work with Apple on mobile IDs in Apple Wallet. This innovative project is yet another example of the momentum we are building as a state in our continued efforts to be a national leader in the digital transformation space,” said Jerry Moore, CIO of the state of Oklahoma.

Driver’s licenses and state IDs in the iPhone are only presented digitally through encrypted communication directly between the device and the identity reader, so users do not need to unlock, show, or hand over their device, according to Apple.

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Friday, September 3, 2021, 7:56 AM

Over the past several months, the Muskogee Police Department has received numerous complaints of a large amount of trash and the noxious odor associated with it in the area of the Arkansas River and Highway 16.

Officers discovered three adults, with tents, camping on the banks of the river in “deplorable, unsanitary, and hazardous conditions.”

Recognizing that these adults appear to have established residence on public property and have created a public nuisance by the amount of trash generated and improperly disposed, officers began working with them for the last several months to compel them to abate the public nuisance they have created. Their efforts failed, and the three continued to maintain the public nuisance.

“There have been countless verbal warnings to clean up the area and to properly dispose of the trash, as well as, remove abandoned vehicles,” police spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin said. “When the warnings failed to improve the conditions, officers then issued citations and gave a specific deadline for them to vacate the area. That deadline was by the end of the day on Wednesday.” Yesterday, officers verified that the three people had vacated the area. However, because they left the significant trash along the banks of the river, city crews were dispatched to remove the trash and abate the nuisance. The area has now been cleared of the public nuisance and is no longer a health concern, according to Hamlin.

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Friday, September 3, 2021, 7:44 AM

Alex Uribe, 34, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with felony child neglect after officials were called to his house in the 300 block of L Street to investigate a foul odor at the residence.

Police found three children, 10, 8 and 5 years old, living in “deplorable conditions,” according to an affidavit filed with the case. They found a dead and rotting dog in a tub in a back room, “covered” with maggots. The house, they said, was infested with fleas and bugs covered the floor and walls. Old food, dirty clothes and trash were also everywhere, the affidavit states.

A warrant has been issued for Uribe’s arrest.

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Friday, September 3, 2021, 7:34 AM

Thanks to the sponsorship of the Frank Gladd American Legion Post #20, Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, America’s Favorite Big Top Circus is coming Ft. Gibson, OK on September 22, to the Fort Gibson Youth Baseball Fields at 402 Revellie Ave. Now in its 36th edition, C&M Circus has become internationally known. The authentic One-Ring, Big Top Circus has been featured on National Geographic’s Explorer TV series, Entertainment Tonight, A&E Special: Under the Big Top and most recently, On the Road with Circus Kids, a Nickelodeon special featured on the Nick News Program.

On the first day between 9:30 and 10 a.m. citizens can watch the raising of the Big Top, then stay for the free tour. The presentation offers a unique face-to-face opportunity for families, schools, daycare centers and community members to meet and learn all about the circus, facts about performers, the history of the show and the different species of animals. Advance tickets are at the following Fort Gibson locations:

  • Firstar Bank
  • Armstrong Bank
  • The Tracks Coffee & Eatery
  • American Legion Post #20

Prices for advance tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for seniors 65 and older and children 2 to 12; children under 2 are free. Advance tickets can also be purchased online 10 days before the show at cmcircus.com until 10 pm the day before the show. On show day tickets will be $15 for adults and $8 for seniors/children.

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Thursday, September 2, 2021, 9:25 AM

Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Bryan Warner has been selected by the Northeastern State University Alumni Association Board of Directors as a 2021 Outstanding Young Alumnus.

Deputy Chief Warner will be recognized during NSU’s 2021 homecoming celebrations this fall along with Dr. James Williams, a 1977 NSU graduate who was selected by the board as this year’s Distinguished Alumnus.

“I am greatly honored to have received this recognition from the Northeastern State University Alumni Association Board of Directors,” Warner said. “Northeastern State University remains a great partner to the Cherokee Nation because of the unbreakable bonds that tie us together. While attending NSU, I was both challenged and inspired to go out and have an active role in bettering our communities. As a Cherokee, I am proud that NSU was my university of choice and I appreciate the Alumni Association for this honor.”

Warner graduated from NSU in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in organismic biology. He later received his master’s degree in education/instructional technology from East Central University. He previously served as a science instructor at Carl Albert State College, teaching chemistry, biology, microbiology and botany, and later served as the campus director at the Carl Albert State College Sallisaw campus.

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