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DEATHS

W. Bruce Madding, 60

Born September 7, 1961

Died December 2, 2021

Bertie Faye "Nana" Metzger, 85

Born April 1, 1936

Died December 2, 2021

Larry D. Cragg, 69

Born February 17, 1952

Died December 1, 2021

Bill D. Chanslor, 88

Born June 3, 1933

Died December 1, 2021

Jimmy Lee Bryson, 83

Born July 28, 1938

Died November 30, 2021

CLICK TO SEE MORE >>

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

THINGS TO DO

Friday, November 5, 2021, 7:54 AM

The City of Muskogee will honor local veterans with a ceremony on November 11, at 11:00 a.m. at the Depot Green, complete with a special flyover by the Tulsa Warbirds.

​This year, the Tulsa Warbirds, a living history collection of World War II era aircraft, are expected to flyover in tribute to the sacrifices of our military men and women. The Warbirds’ planes are T-6 Texan training aircraft and are the same planes that all allied fighter pilots learned to fly during WW II. They are similar to fighter aircraft and were often called “pilot makers.”

​Veterans who have served in any branch of the United States military past or present are invited to attend and complete a registration card when they arrive. Each will be presented with a medal, courtesy of the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System and a goody bag from the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce.

Guest speakers include Muskogee Mayor Marlon J. Coleman and retired Major General Stephen Cortright. The Muskogee High School ROTC Color Guard will present the colors, Emma Roach will perform the National Anthem and the Muskogee High School Pride of Muskogee marching band will perform the Armed Forces Medley.

The public is invited. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Muskogee Little Theater.

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Thursday, November 4, 2021, 10:58 AM

The Cherokee Nation is now offering the Pfizer Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 at all its tribal health center locations.

This week the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices approved a revised and expanded FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to allow immunization of children ages 5 to 11.

The tribe received its first shipment of pediatric vaccine this week and currently has 1,200 doses available.

The dose schedule for the pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requires a series of two doses, with the second dose being administered three weeks after the first. A booster dose is not recommended for children at this time.

COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and effective, according to the CDC.

“The quicker we all get vaccinated the less likely we all need to wear a mask at school, church, and public events. Finally, we have the approval of the COVID vaccine for children and adults, which has proven to be safe and effective and those of us that get vaccinated will be able to more safely gather this holiday season,” said Dr. Dante Perez, chief of pediatrics at Cherokee Nation Health Services. “I am strongly recommending all of our patients and the general pediatric population to get vaccinated.”

Any member of the public including Native and non-Natives, regardless of residency, can receive the vaccines for free from Cherokee Nation Health Services.

Call 1-539-234-4099 to schedule an appointment. Walk-in appointments are also available through Cherokee Nation Health Services health centers.

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Thursday, November 4, 2021, 8:21 AM

Moto X-Treme Circus Show is a high-energy adrenaline rushing show coming to Muskogee Civic Center on Saturday November 6.

The show combines action sports with the most spectacular circus thrill acts. Moto X-treme will present two functions on Saturday starting at 4 p.m. and a second function at 7:30 p.m.

Doors and Box Office open one hour prior to each function. You can expect The X-Metal Riders, BMX freestyle, The Globe of Death with 5 motorcycles at the same time, Sky Masters – aerial thrills, pendulum wheel and The Nuclear Stunt Girls.

Tickets are available online at www.motoxtremecircus.com Adults online: $20, box office $20, children: online $8 | box office $12

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speedway grille

Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 8:41 AM

Billy Martin Cruse

Billy Martin Cruse, 47, of Muskogee is charged with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol (after he was previously convicted of driving under the influence in 2018 and received a two-year suspended sentence) with two small children in his car, then ending up in a three-car wreck.

The two charges are both felonies, and a third charge, driving with a suspended license, is a misdemeanor.

According to the affidavit filed with the case, “the … suspect was involved in an injury accident involving 3 vehicles. The above suspect was found to be intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle on a publicly maintained roadway. The suspect also had his 2 small children in the vehicle during this incident. The suspect was read implied consent and refused the State’s Test”

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Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 7:51 AM

Muskogee Police are looking into a case where Jared Bennett of Muskogee was accused by two young girls of inappropriately touching them and then taking one of the girls possibly out of state, away from her mother.

The mother reported that the now-missing girl had said Bennett had been touching her inappropriately for the past few years, and another girl, related to the first girl, said he had been doing the same to her. The mother contacted DHS, which she said told her to keep her daughter away from Bennett until it could investigate.

Bennett, however, showed up at the mother’s house, according to an affidavit filed by her, and took the girl, who didn’t show up to school the next day and may have been taken out of state with him to Colorado, where he spends part of his time. The mother said she has called and texted the girl and has received no response.

Muskogee Police investigators are working the situation as a missing persons case, according to spokeswoman Lynn Hamlin. No further updates on the active case are available.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 7:42 AM

Muskogee would stay in the Second Congressional District, currently represented by Congressman Markwayne Mullin, under a redistricting plan proposed by State Republicans. Tulsa and part of Wagoner County, however, would be a part of a small but populous First District.

The third district would cover about half of Oklahoma City and cover pretty much the entire western half of the state, while the fourth district would cover Norman and south and the fifth district would cover the main Oklahoma City area and a few surrounding counties.

Senate Democrats, who were not involved in the process, were not pleased:

“It is clear from the proposed map released today, the goal was to draw gerrymandered congressional districts to protect incumbents from competitive elections,” said state Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City “Neighborhoods I represent will now be split between different congressional districts. Oklahomans deserve a fair map which keeps communities of interest together and gives minority voters a chance to have their voices heard in Congress. This map ignores those concerns and puts partisan politics ahead of what is best for Oklahoma.”

Floyd’s state Senate district is not affected by the plan, which only covers federal legislators.

“Oklahomans deserve better,” said Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City, a member of the Select Committee on Redistricting.

“The public is just now seeing these maps after they are already decided. Many communities had their concerns ignored. A fair process would ensure all perspectives are not only heard, but also valued and reflected in the maps. Now this map will be pushed through in special session with little opportunity to make changes.”

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 9:13 AM

Buff City Soap is opening a brand-new Soap Makery in Muskogee at 703 W. Shawnee Ave. next to TJ Maxx this Thursday at 9 a.m.

The store will provide free soap for a year for the first 50 customers in the store from Thursday through Sunday. It will also offer specials sales in-store all opening weekend. Buff City Soap is a plant-based bath and body store offering handmade, delightfully-scented products like soap bars, bath bombs, and laundry soap.

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Monday, November 1, 2021, 8:06 AM

Today, the Cherokee Nation filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on the state of Oklahoma’s efforts to reverse last year’s McGirt v. Oklahoma decision. The brief outlines why the court should deny Oklahoma’s petition, as well as the flawed arguments and outright inaccuracies in the state and its amici’s filings.

“Governor Stitt could have spent the months since the McGirt decision working with tribes and local partners to keep Oklahomans safe. Instead, he has not only refused to accept the Supreme Court’s ruling but has prioritized overturning the decision over solutions that would actually protect public safety,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. “Our brief today demonstrates that the governor’s attacks on tribal sovereignty are inconsistent with the law and factually baseless. We hope the court will see through this blatantly political effort, reject the state’s petition, and put an end to the dangerous uncertainty and instability created by the state’s refusal to work with tribes.”

The Cherokee Nation’s brief also looks at the error-ridden amici filed in support of the state, which rely on incorrect information and unsupported anecdotes. These errors include criminal cases cited as supposed shortcomings in tribal justice systems following McGirt, but which upon closer inspection do not back these claims. The brief also addresses the issues in a study used by the state’s amici to demonstrate a failure to prosecute cases post-McGirt. In reality, the study exclusively looks at cases filed before state courts even applied McGirt to the Cherokee reservation, making its conclusions incorrect and its submission to the Supreme Court misleading.

“The state’s refusal to accept McGirt is not a valid reason why the court should revisit the case, and its legal arguments go against settled law and precedent,” said Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill. “It is telling that the amici briefs filed in support of Governor Stitt rely on easily disproven claims and contradict the facts on the ground. While the governor continues to mislead Oklahomans, the Cherokee Nation continues to work with our partners to meet our responsibilities and expand our justice system.”

To help meet its responsibilities, the Cherokee Nation has enhanced its justice system with new hires, courthouses and funding to ensure it can prosecute cases and provide support to victims. Since McGirt was applied to the Cherokee reservation, the tribe has already filed over 2,300 cases in tribal court and continues to work with federal officials as they do the same.

You can read the brief here.

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Sunday, October 31, 2021, 9:57 PM

An unidentified man was shot and injured around 8:10 p.m. today, and rushed to a Tulsa hospital by Muskogee County EMS on emergency status, according to police and EMS.

The shooting happened around Elgin and 24th. No suspects have been identified, nor has the victim.

More information will be posted if it becomes available.

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Sunday, October 31, 2021, 1:40 PM

This morning at 8:52 a.m., Muskogee County deputies responded to a burglary in progress at 112 N. 5 Mile. Once deputies arrived, they were informed by the homeowner that their blue dodge pickup was stolen.

Deputies located the pickup in a field near the house and also a white Jeep that was discovered to be stolen from Tulsa.

After reviewing cameras, the suspect is believed to have been driving the Jeep before stealing the pickup.

Suspect is a white or Native male, 40 to 50 years old, grey beard, wearing a camo jacket, blue jeans and he is traveling with a dog.

If you have any information, please call the Muskogee County Sheriffs Office at 918-687-0202

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Friday, October 29, 2021, 9:38 AM

Honor Heights Park will be closed for vehicle access beginning Monday, November 1 in preparation for the Garden of Lights festival. The park will remain closed until Thursday, November 25 and reopen on Thanksgiving night.

During the festival, gates will be open from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Cars will enter the park on top of Agency Hill, just north of the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center. Admission will be $5 per car and $10 per bus, with the proceeds being used to help sustain and grow the Garden of Lights. Monday night admission is free to accommodate those who can’t afford to pay.

​For more information on the Garden of Lights visit the Facebook page @Garden of Lights Muskogee or call (918) 684-6302.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021, 7:31 AM

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. implemented a new policy this week that strengthens the tribe’s response and support of domestic violence, including launching a new task force.

Hoskin signed an executive order during Domestic Violence Awareness Month that will now require tribal government employees to self-disclose arrests and active protective orders; to mandate training for employees to recognize, prevent and report domestic violence and launch a task force to examine current policies and make further recommendations.

The Task Force to Protect Women and Families will review current protocols and policies dedicated to helping domestic violence victims and their families, and develop recommendations and more effective strategies and issue a report of its findings to the Chief’s office by December 1.

The Cherokee Nation ONE Fire Victim Services office which assists domestic violence victims and families with critical services supported 334 new clients this year and continues serving more than 200 clients from 2020. The Cherokee Nation also filed 400 cases in Cherokee Nation District Court involving domestic violence, threats of violence, kidnapping or sexual violence since March of 2021. The need is great and task force members say they look forward to helping even more.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 4:22 PM

Allen Snow

Allen Lee Snow, 62, of Muskogee will spend the rest of his life in prison after a Muskogee County jury found him guilty of three counts of lewd molestation of children and one count of raping a child. He was sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison.

Snow’s victims were 10, 9 and 8 years old when he molested the older two and raped the youngest.

It was the first case tried by Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Edwards since being appointed DA by Gov. Stitt.

Snow was arrested in 2015, but delays and the COVID pandemic pushed the trial back until this week.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 7:24 AM

The Quapaw Nation Court currently employ three judges, a court clerk and a staff that conducts business five days a week during regular business hours.

Since 1885, Native Americans charged with felonies on tribal reservations have been tried in federal court under the Major Crimes Act. The U.S. Supreme Court famously upheld this precedent in McGirt v. Oklahoma in July of 2020. McGirt reaffirmed that only Congress has the authority to disestablish tribal reservations and that the Muscogee (Creek) Reservation has remained intact since 1833.

On Oct. 21, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals rendered a ruling involving the case of Jeremy Lawhorn, a Cherokee Nation citizen charged with a felony in the Ottawa County District Court. Lawhorn’s attorneys argued that since he is a tribal citizen accused of committing a crime within the scope of the Major Crimes Act, and the alleged crime occurred within the historical boundaries of the Quapaw Nation Reservation, the proper court of jurisdiction is United States federal court.

The OCCA rendered a unanimous 4-0 decision in Lawhorn’s favor, agreeing Congress never disestablished the tribe’s reservation and that the Quapaw Nation in present-day northeast Oklahoma has continuously existed as Indian Country since 1833.

The Quapaw Nation is the first tribal reservation in Oklahoma outside of the Five Tribes to be affirmed using the McGirt application. The Five Tribes in Oklahoma include the Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole Nations.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 8:00 AM

If you’re looking for somewhere to take your children on Halloween, 201 Elton Drive has a haunt just for you. The family there decorates to the extreme every year, and this year they’ve piled on even more.

“This is our eighth year doing this,” homeowner Thomas Banneck said. “ It takes about 2 weeks to get the display set up and about 2 hours after Trick or Treating is done to take it down and get it out of sight for our very cool and understanding neighbors.”

The free event, which will feature multiple actors the night of Halloween, is already open from dark to 11:30 each night. On Halloween, the family plans to give away up to 60 pounds of candy to trick-or-treaters.

“My wife and have seen through the years that we always have some kids who can’t afford costumes and show up with just a plastic shopping bag,” he said. “These kids’ families can not afford to take their kids to other events so we have tried to provide some measure of a fun Halloween for them.”

With dozens of skeletons — human and animal — in his Undead Circus, Banneck said there’s always something for every one of the 300 visitors who show up for Halloween.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 7:52 AM

Eric Long, 42, of Tahlequah died yesterday moringin after a car struck him, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Long was at the intersection of US 62 and Southgate Drive a mile west of Tahlequah around 5:30 a.m. when he was struck by a 2005 Toyota Camry driven by Jeremy Stephens, 37, of Tahlequah, the patrol reported.

Long died at the scene from massive injuries, the patrol stated.

The investigation has not yet revealed what happened to lead to the collision.

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Monday, October 25, 2021, 7:58 AM

The Cherokee Nation is investing an additional $29 million in the next three years to help Cherokee citizens negatively impacted by the COVID-19 receive vocational training in skilled trades such as health care, construction, child care, information technology and more.

Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. announced the initiative as part of the second anniversary of the Cherokee Nation Career Readiness Act, which he and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner proposed in 2019 and later signed into law with support of the Council of the Cherokee Nation.

Under the Career Readiness Act, hundreds of Cherokee citizens have already received vocational assistance through the Cherokee Nation Career Services department over the past two years.

Participants who qualify for the new vocational training opportunity funded by the American Rescue Plan Act must be Cherokee Nation citizens living in the Cherokee Nation Reservation or a contiguous county whose boundary touches the Cherokee Nation Reservation border.

The $29 million boost to the Career Readiness Act will specifically assist Cherokee citizens who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through loss of a job or through underemployment. Training programs include a wide array of sectors such as construction trades, information technology, HVAC, health care, graphic design, hospitality, facilities maintenance, medical billing and coding, welding, commercial driver’s license, electrical, culture and tourism, security and more.

The tribe may also connect participants to Cherokee Nation Career Services tribal training programs such as business technology, building trades, surgery technology, tribal nursing program or child care certification trainings.

To learn more, call Cherokee Nation Career Services at 918-453-5555 or email career-services-dept@cherokee.org.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021, 10:07 AM

The Oklahoma State Department of Health today reported that 98 people in Oklahoma have confirmed Salmonella Oranienburg infections, the second highest number of infections of the 37 states currently impacted by a fast-growing outbreak.

Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Infections most frequently occur through consumption of contaminated water or food. Salmonella infection is usually not life threatening and most people recover without treatment after four to seven days.

Texas has the most confirmed Salmonella Oranienburg infections, associated with this outbreak, with 158. Nationwide there have been 652 infections, and 129 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted a traceback investigation and identified ProSource Inc. as a common supplier of onions imported to many of the restaurants where sick people ate. Investigators are working to determine if other onions and suppliers are linked to this outbreak.

Public health guidance is to avoid eating, selling or serving fresh whole red, white or yellow onions distributed by ProSource Inc. that were imported from Chihuahua, Mexico. Fresh whole onions are often sold in bulk bins in grocery stores and may have stickers on them identifying the brand or where they were grown. If you have unlabeled fresh whole red, white or yellow onions at home, throw them away and don’t eat them.

OSDH requests that individuals experiencing symptoms of a Salmonella infection to please call their healthcare provider and ask if testing is needed. All Salmonella infections are reportable to OSDH and will be investigated.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021, 6:24 AM

Muskogee High School will move to virtual instruction on Thursday, October 21, 2021 following a water line break discovered overnight on campus, according to school spokesman Steve Braun.

All 10th, 11th and 12th grade students who attend MHS will work virtually today, this includes special education students who may typically come in when instruction moves virtual. Rougher Alternative Academy, Roughers Innovations Academy, BOOT School, and all other sites will remain in session as normal. Freshman students who attend a class at MHS should report to the 8th & 9th Grade Academy to complete their virtual MHS instruction.

All MHS students will access their assignments through their individual teachers’ Google Classroom or Schoology. Students failing to log in Thursday will receive an absence for all classes in which they do not log into. Students may email or message their teachers with any questions they may have.

A robocall informing families of this development is scheduled for 7 a.m.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 11:38 AM

Former District Attorney and now Special District Judge Orvil Loge swears in his replacement, Larry Edwards as District Judge Bret Smith presides.

Former Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge, who now is a special district judge, swore in his successor, Larry Edwards, at the Muskogee County Courthouse today. Edwards was appointed to the district attorney position by Gov. Kevin Stitt last week.

District Judge Bret Smith had words of wisdom for the new DA, who he said he has known for 30 years.

“As district attorney, you have the opportunity to … embrace medication assisted treatment (for drug-addicted offenders),” he said. “The way we treated them in the past by locking them up and throwing away the key does not work. It destroys families, it destroys homes and destroys lives. As district attorney, it comes from you. Judges are not in the business of brokering deals. It starts with the district attorney telling defenses ‘this is a new way forward; this is a way we can truly make a difference.’”

Edwards, who came to Muskogee from Tulsa as Loge’s first assistant DA, thanked former Assistant DA Nalani Ching, without whom, he said, Loge would have never heard his name to think to hire him as assistant.

Muskogee mayor Marlon Coleman opened and closed the ceremony with prayers.

In related news, Edwards’ assistant Jessie Heidlage will be honored tomorrow at the Oklahoma State Capitol for excellence in action against domestic violence at 1:30 p.m., Edwards said.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 8:16 AM

The Oklahoma State Department of Health encouraged all Oklahomans to get the flu shot as soon as they are able this flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines, meaning the flu shot and COVID vaccine can be safely co-administered the same day.

Previously, a waiting time of two weeks was suggested between administration of the COVID vaccine and any other vaccinations. It is now known adverse side effects are unlikely from co-administration of the COVID vaccine and others, the department reported. It is considered best practice to administer the vaccines in separate limbs if possible.

The flu and COVID have very similar symptoms along with the common cold and seasonal allergies; it is also possible to contract both the flu and COVID at the same time. The CDC and OSDH both recommend getting vaccinated for both the flu and COVID as soon as possible.

For protections against seasonal allergies and other upper respiratory illnesses, continue to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible and wash hands and wipe down surfaces frequently, the department recommends.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 1:48 PM

A big chunk of Chandler Road — between the funeral home and Country Club Road — has been shut down because of a gas leak, according to city workers.

The road should be out of commission until at least 6 p.m. today, according the workers.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 7:13 AM

In honor of Sequoyah and this year’s bicentennial celebration of the Cherokee syllabary, Cherokee Nation has become the first Native American tribe to use motion and facial capture technology to help preserve and promote an indigenous language.

In collaboration with the tribe’s language program, Cherokee Nation Film Office and Original Content today premiered “Sequoyah: Voice of the Inventor for the Bicentennial.”

Filmed at the Cherokee Nation Covid Response Virtual Soundstage, the production brings Sequoyah to life through real-time graphics and the voice and movements of first-language Cherokee speaker Steve Daugherty.

The tribe’s virtual video production implements a combination of video game engine and motion and facial capture technology using a motion capture suit and headset to record body movements, facial expressions and language. Through a live render engine, recorded data was then used to create a walking and talking digital character of Sequoyah.

The production was created using Unreal Engine, the same technology used for major industry productions such as “The Mandalorian” and for popular video games such as Fortnite.

Sequoyah, also known as George Guess or George Gist, introduced the Cherokee syllabary in 1821. The revered Cherokee statesman and linguist invented the first written language among Native American tribes and influenced written languages throughout the world.

For more information and to watch “Sequoyah: Voice of the Inventor for the Bicentennial,” visit https://anadisgoi.com/index.php/culture-stories/724-cherokee-nation-brings-burgeoning-technology-to-language-efforts. Photos and video from behind-the-scenes of the production are also available.

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Monday, October 18, 2021, 7:29 AM

Bryan Hillsberry

Bryan Hillsberry, 48, is charged in Muskogee County District Court with violating a protective order by stalking a Connors State College student while she was at school, according to documents filed with the case.

Hillsberry, owner of Hillsberry Doughgirl Food Truck, was seen by the victim, according to an affidavit filed with the case, lying in the back seat of his pickup truck outside the school. At the time, he allegedly had an AR-15 rifle and a Kimber .45-caliber pistol, the filing states. The victim has an active protective order against Hillsberry out of Wagoner County, filed in March of this year.

When he realized he’d been seen, the affidavit states, he left the area, headed toward Muskogee. The victim gathered friends around her and called police.

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Monday, October 18, 2021, 7:06 AM

A Porum man was hurt in a weekend single-car wreck on New Texanna Road, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Lane Graham, 23, was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado northbound on the road around midnight Saturday morning when he went to sleep, according to the patrol, missed a curve and departed the roadway to the right, before striking a county road sign, then continuing on 300 feet and coming to rest in a field.

Graham was transported by helicopter to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where he was admitted in serious condition with leg injuries. He was not wearing a seatbelt, and his pickup’s airbags did not deploy, the patrol reported.

In a separate wreck on Sunday, a Muskogee woman and a Fort Gibson toddler were hurt in a separate single-vehicle collision, the patrol reported.

Donna Hamilton, 22, of Muskogee and a four-year-old Fort Gibson boy were passengers in a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire driven by Mark Van-Velzor, 27 of Fort Gibson, who was eastbound on E. 60th St. N and departed the roadway to the right because he was driving too fast to negotiate a left curve, the patrol reported. The car struck a cement bridge face.

Hamilton was transported to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa in fair condition where she was admitted for head and internal injuries, while the toddler was treated and released for his injuries. Van-Velzor was wearing his seatbelt, the toddler was in a child restraint, but Hamilton was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the patrol. Airbags did deploy.

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Friday, October 15, 2021, 7:15 AM

Trafera, a technology provider to K-12 schools, has signed an agreement with the City of Muskogee that will bring around 20 new jobs to the Muskogee area.

“We are excited of the announcement by Trafera to open a location in Muskogee,” said Mayor Marlon Coleman. “Our goal has been to diversify our job opportunities, and with Trafera being one of the largest distributors of technology to K-12 schools, that goal is becoming a reality. Nearly 20 new jobs to start, and a projected job expansion over the next five years puts us light years closer to Muskogee being a place to live, work, and play. I am happy to have been engaged in a process that is yielding positive results for our community.”

Trafera, based out of St. Paul, Minnesota, provides technology hardware and digital lesson plans to schools in Oklahoma and across the country. They plan to use the Muskogee facility as a regional repair center and distribution hub for their company.

“Muskogee presented us a unique geographic opportunity to serve school districts in Oklahoma and surrounding states,” said Scott Gill, Trafera CEO. “We look forward to continuing our mission of creating brighter futures for kids through the use of technology and growing our employee base in Muskogee over time.”

Trafera will occupy an existing 24,000-square foot building at the Muskogee Davis Airport and is expected to bring 20 new jobs to the area within the first year of operation. Trafera offers employees a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid time off, insurance, 401K, employee wellness program, and product purchase discounts.

Trafera company leadership is planning to host a grand opening once the new regional operations facility is ready for occupancy later this year. For more information about Trafera, visit their website at www.trafera.com.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021, 7:37 AM

Tickets are on sale now for a Christmas season musical, Christmas In Killarney, an Irish Christmas Celebration that will premiere at the Muskogee Civic Center on November 30.

Set in Killarney, Ireland in the late 1920s, Christmas In Killarney shows what it means to celebrate Christmas the Irish way, where many of America’s Christmas traditions originated.

Created by the 2009 World Champion of Irish Dance, Scott Doherty, and worldwide touring musician Chris Smith, Christmas In Killarney combines the excitement of Irish dance with the harmonies of traditional Christmas classics.

Tickets for Christmas In Killarney start at $15 and can be purchased at the Muskogee Civic Center box office located at 425 Boston Street in Muskogee or at www.muskogeeciviccenter.com. For more information about this show, call 918-684-6363.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 7:28 AM

A Braggs seventh grader was allegedly choked and shoved by a teacher, identified by parents as Susan Kirk, according to parents and law-enforcement officials, last Wednesday, Oct. 6.

The teacher is accused of grabbing the student’s neck and telling them to “shut up.” The student, according to eyewitnesses, said “please don’t squeeze my neck,” to which Kirk is alleged to have squeezed harder and repeated, “I said shut up.” The student, according to the witnesses, said “I didn’t do anything,” and the teacher allegedly shoved the student and told them to go inside the school.

Muskogee County deputies are investigating the allegations, and the acting district attorney has been notified of the investigation.

UPDATE: Kirk was placed on unpaid leave yesterday, pending the outcome of the investigation, according to a source in a position to know, but who asked to remain unnamed.

UPDATE: Undersheriff Greg Martin just released the following:

The Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 to Braggs Public Schools to investigate an incident that occurred on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at approximately 11:00 a.m. between a teacher and a student.

According to statements taken, a teacher at Braggs school allegedly assaulted a 12 year old male student by grabbing the back of the child’s neck. The child did not require any medical attention. The Department of Human Services has been contacted and made aware of this incident.

The investigative report has been sent to the Muskogee County District Attorney’s Office for review of potential charges.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 7:19 AM

Cherokee Nation is now offering several flu vaccinations to prepare for the upcoming flu season and is open to all citizens of federally recognized tribes, as well as the public.

Beginning today, anyone six months of age or older can receive a flu vaccine at dozens of vaccination clinics held by Cherokee Nation Health Services and scheduled in October, November and December.

For the community vaccination schedule, please visit https://health.cherokee.org/community-flu-clinics/.

Flu season typically runs September to March, but it peaks during different months each year. This year, most of the community events will also offer the COVID-19 vaccine for those ages 12 and older. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the flu and COVID-19 vaccines to be given at the same time.

“Keeping our communities safe from the viruses that cause both influenza and COVID-19 is of the utmost importance as we continue working through the current surge of the pandemic,” said Cherokee Nation Health Services Executive Director Dr. R. Stephen Jones. “These viral diseases will be present in our communities in the coming months, and we must work together to protect each other. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated for both flu and COVID-19 to ensure the well-being of our friends, family and communities.”

Vaccination clinic dates and locations are subject to change.

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Monday, October 11, 2021, 8:42 AM

An Oktaha school bus overturned east of the school near Cemetery Road this morning, according to multiple sources. The bus was carrying seven students and the driver, according to Superintendent Jerry Needham.

“There were no injuries reported,” Needham said. “The children were dispatched either to their parents or to the school. The driver has been sent to get blood tested, although I don’t think there will be anything wrong there.”

The bus left the roadway and overturned, he said, but the cause of the wreck has yet to be determined. Muskogee County EMS checked out all of the students and none reported any injuries.

Needham said he will update MuskogeeNOW.com as soon as more information becomes available.

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