DEATHS

Edna R. Bruce, 88

Born July 17, 1929

Died February 15, 2018

Virginia Mary Dunevant, 86

Born July 23, 1931

Died February 15, 2018

Laura Young, 79

Born October 25, 1938

Died February 14, 2018

Richard Wayne "Dutch" Hughes, 80

Born January 16, 1938

Died February 14, 2018

CLICK TO SEE MORE >>

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

THINGS TO DO

Tuesday, February 20

Homeschool Genealogy Meeting
Zumba at the Library
Bare Bones Movie and Mixer

Wednesday, February 21

Adults Craftastic
Oil painting in the painterly style

Thursday, February 22

Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Night
Greg Jacobs with Kenny Cornell

Thursday, February 1, 2018, 9:06 AM

A group calling itself StopODOT is circulating an online petition to be sent to the governor and state legislators opposing the proposed bypass of Muskogee by US 69.

The MoveOn.org petition, started by Gerald Miller, states the following:

I oppose ODOT’s poor planning and an administration that proposes an unneeded, unwanted, and poorly thought out bypass of US69 Highway that passes through Muskogee. The cost will be at least $80,000,000.00 and would only save from 2 to 8 minutes of time to travel through Muskogee. This is an example of bad government! Please take whatever action necessary to ensure that this bad idea by ODOT is never implemented!

As of this writing at 9 a.m., the petition has exactly 1,800 signers.

To read Miller’s site for the petition, click here. To go directly to the petition, click here.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 3:21 PM

Luther Don Hyslope

Luther Don Hyslope, 56, tried to further torture his victim in court today while he was being sentenced on three counts of child molestation.

Hyslope was convicted in September of horrific acts against the girl.

Today, in District Judge Tom Alford’s courtroom, Hyslope claimed he was railroaded and that Assistant District Attorney Nalani Ching had tampered with the jury. He also claimed that he never got a chance to put on witnesses or a defense and asked for a new trial. At one point, he started directly addressing witnesses who had testified against him and Ching stood up and put herself between him and the witnesses, asking Alford to make him address the court, not the witnesses.

Alford sentenced him to two consecutive life terms in prison, followed by a 50-year prison term. He will rule on the motion for a new trial on Feb. 22.

CrimeLocal
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harris electric

Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 10:21 AM

Less than a week remains for registered voters in Muskogee County to apply for absentee ballots to be mailed to them for the February 13th Annual School Board and City of Muskogee Municipal Elections, County Election Board Secretary Kelly Beach said today.

Applications for absentee ballots must be in the hands of the County Election Board no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feburary 7, to be processed.

Any registered voter eligible to vote in the election may vote by absentee ballot without stating a reason, Beach said. Absentee voters may apply in person at the County Election Board office or may send their applications by mail, fax, e-mail or online at www.ok.gov/elections.

LocalPolitics
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wayne divelbiss for mayor

Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 9:59 AM

Marvel Johnson, 17, is charged in Muskogee County District Court with first-degree rape after he allegedly forced an underage victim to have sex with him in October 2017.

Johnson allegedly made his way into the victim’s bedroom and had sex with her while she was asleep. The victim woke up and said she told him “no” and pushed him off, then went to take a shower.

Johnson is alleged to have digitally penetrated the victim in another county in Oklahoma while the two were attending a funeral.

CrimeLocal
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aarons furniture

Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 9:28 AM

A Subway restaurant at 944 W. Shawnee in the Walmart shopping center was robbed at gunpoint yesterday morning, the second time in three months the store has been robbed, the third time in two years.

A black male wearing a dark hoodie, a white mask on his face, gloves and dark jeans came into the restaurant brandishing a black handgun, according to Muskogee Police Officer Lincoln Anderson.

“He left in an unknown direction. No one was hurt.”

In the October robbery, a man fitting the same description performed an identical robbery around the same time of day.

CrimeLocal
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ace television and appliance

Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 9:19 AM

Cody Shepherd, 31, of Haskell was hurt when his 2002 Chevrolet pickup failed to negotiate a curve three miles south of Redbird in Wagoner County late last night, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Four juvenile females in the truck with him were also hurt.

Shepherd was admitted to Saint Francis Hospital in Muskogee with trunk and head injuries. A seven-year-old girl was admitted to Saint Francis in Tulsa after being taken there by helicopter. She was in critical condition with head injuries. A five-year-old girl also was admitted with head injuries in stable condition. A nine-year-old girl was admitted with head injuries and a ten-year-old girl was admitted with arm and leg injuries.

Neither Shepherd or the girls were wearing seatbelt or child restraints.

CrimeLocalTraffic
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concorde loan

Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 9:13 AM

The Cherokee Nation is formally recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an officially observed tribal holiday beginning in October 2018.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be recognized annually on the second Monday in October under the updated Cherokee Nation policy recently approved by Principal Chief Bill John Baker.

“My hope is that by formally recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an observed Cherokee Nation holiday, we will encourage people to learn about and respect Native contributions to American history, our country and the state of Oklahoma,” Baker said.

In recognition of the holiday, all Cherokee Nation government offices will be closed on Indigenous Peoples’ Day and employees will be granted one day of paid administrative leave. The holiday will be observed in lieu of Presidents’ Day in February.

“As a tribal government, it makes more sense for us to celebrate Native people and culture in October instead of a day set aside for presidents, including Andrew Jackson, whose legacy of genocide should never be celebrated,” Baker said.

Earlier this year, Baker also signed an executive order declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official Cherokee Nation holiday for the first time ever.

Good NewsLocalTribes
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bret smith for district judge

Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 9:09 AM

The Muskogee Chamber of Commerce is asking for the public’s help on a survey about the proposed rerouting of State Highway 69, as reported exclusively by MuskogeeNOW.com on Nov. 7 of last year.

“The Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism believes strongly that the bypass will be detrimental to business and tourism in Muskogee,” a release states.

The group asks Muskogee residents and business owners to take a survey to help them assess the impact of the proposal. It should take between two to three minutes, they say.

LocalTraffic
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twist and shout

Monday, January 29, 2018, 9:17 AM

Attorney General Mike Hunter last week met at a local Walmart pharmacy with officials from Walmart and DisposeRx to receive a hands-on demonstration of an innovative new initiative to help curb the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic.

Walmart announced last week it would carry and distribute the opioid disposal solution, known as DisposeRx, in all of its 4,700 pharmacies nationwide, free of charge. Additionally, pharmacists have been trained to help educate customers on how to safely and effectively use the product.

DisposeRx is a powder that when mixed with warm water in a pill bottle, creates a gel that can responsibly be thrown out with household trash.

The new program comes after more than 64,000 individuals in the United States died from a drug overdose in 2016, up from 59,000 deaths in 2015, the largest jump in the nation’s history.

In Oklahoma over the last 15 years, drug overdose deaths have increased by 91 percent. Between 2015 and 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported overdose deaths in the state increased by 13.2 percent.

As part of the program, patients filling Class II opioid prescriptions at Walmart pharmacies now receive a DisposeRx packet and an opioid safety brochure. Additionally, patients can request a free DisposeRx packet at any time.

Good NewsLocal
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Friday, January 26, 2018, 4:02 PM

Joshua Michael Allen Rhoden

Joshua Michael Allen Rhoden was only 22 when he died September 17 of last year.

Today, police and the district attorney are still investigating his death, which they believe was caused by an overdose of the opioid fentanyl, which is similar to heroin, but much more deadly.

“There are police officers out there who have died from just touching it,” District Attorney Orvil Loge said. “It is an incredibly dangerous drug.”

Fentanyl kills by suppressing the body’s systems so much that victims suffocate because their bodies won’t breathe. It is commonly mixed with low-quality heroin or used as a substitute, but it is much more powerful than heroin, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Rhoden’s death is being investigated because the police and DA received information that he had fentanyl in his body when he was found, and he died several days later in a hospital.

“We have a person of interest,” Loge said. “But this is an ongoing investigation, so we’re still gathering information.”

CrimeExclusiveLocal
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american pie

Friday, January 26, 2018, 11:53 AM

Juana Martinez-Salinas

Juana Martinez-Salinas (whose surname may also be spelled Martenez), 23, of Muskogee (her arrest report lists her address as Tahlequah, but the felony charges list her as a Muskogee resident) has been charged in Muskogee County District Court with felony child neglect after she gave birth to a baby who tested positive for methamphetamine.

Martinez-Salinas gave birth to the baby on Dec. 21, 2017 and allegedly admitted to smoking meth on Dec. 18, just three days before giving birth.

The baby tested positive for meth and Saint Francis Hospital contacted police, who contacted DHS.

CrimeLocal
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nuage salon plasma ad

Friday, January 26, 2018, 9:25 AM

Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden; Tribal Councilor Mike Dobbins, of Fort Gibson; Murrow Indian Children’s Home Board of Directors President Chris Martin; Executive Director Betty Martin; Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker; and Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr.

The Cherokee Nation this week donated $15,000 to the Murrow Indian Children’s Home in Muskogee as part of the tribe’s annual contribution to the nonprofit organization.

The Murrow Indian Children’s Home provides a safe, nurturing environment to Native American children who are in state or tribal custody.

“This annual contribution to the Murrow Indian Children’s Home helps provide a stable environment for children who are in need, including Cherokee youth,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “These children are our future, and they deserve our attention and our care. I’m proud the Cherokee Nation continues to support such a worthy endeavor.”

In recent years, the tribe’s annual contribution to the children’s home has been used to help with funding for a new activity center and other operational costs. The tribe also donated a surplus van to the organization in 2016 to help staff safely transport children who stay at the home.

“The Murrow Indian Children’s Home ensures Native children who are facing difficulties in their lives have a safe place to call home,” said Tribal Councilor Mike Dobbins, of Fort Gibson. “The care they receive at this home is essential to their well-being, and it’s wonderful that the Cherokee Nation is a partner in this effort.”

At any one time, nearly 40 children may be living at the home where they are provided with clothing and other necessities.

“This Cherokee Nation donation helps us continue to provide care for the children who come to stay at our home,” said Betty Martin, executive director of the Murrow Indian Children’s Home. “We count on this Cherokee Nation donation and appreciate it very much.”

For more information on the Murrow Indian Children’s Home, call 918-682-2586.

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madewell wireless

Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 8:44 PM

David Walkingstick

Muskogee Public Schools Indian Education Director David Walkingstick was forced to resign from his position yesterday, according to two district officials familiar with the situation.

According to an agreement drawn up between the schools and Walkingstick, he was to be paid a lump sum of $17,528 upon execution of the resignation in order for him to “release” the district of any claims or liabilities, including unemployment payments.

According to official missives sent to district officials by Superintendent Mike Garde on Jan. 10, “the agreement states that our only comment in regard to David is that he left voluntarily.”

Garde had on Dec. 22 written that Walkingstick “will appeal termination unless district pays for all remaining months of the contract year. I told him that was not an option on the table. He will also be filing EEOC claim if not paid out for the year.”

Walkingstick was allegedly observed numerous times between August and Dec. 12 working at his other job as a Tribal Councilor for the Cherokee Nation when he was being paid to be working for the schools.

Some of the observed absences when he was being paid by the schools:

  • Aug. 14, where school records showed him at the schools all day, he was actually being sworn into office at 10 a.m. in Tahlequah
  • Sept. 11, he was absent half the day with no record of why while he was at the Cherokee Nation Council from 11:30 a.m. on
  • Sept. 20, where he was allegedly at the schools all day, but actually at the Cherokee Nation all afternoon.
  • at the Cherokee Nation all afternoon.
  • Oct. 26, same
  • Oct 31 at the Cherokee nation from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 3, he was at a veterans recognition ceremony in Tahlequah from noon to 1::30
  • Nov. 13, he was in Tahlequah from 11 a.m. through the rest of the day
  • Nov. 14, he was in Tahlequah from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., but stayed gone the rest of the day
  • Dec. 8, he was in Tahlequah from 10 a.m. through the rest of the day
  • Dec. 11, he was in Tahlequah from 10 a.m. on
  • Dec. 12, he was in Tahlequah at 9 a.m.

District insiders say they are incensed that there has been no attempt by the district to hold Walkingstick accountable for absent days where he was paid but not working for the district with “hundreds of emails on MPS equipment” that serve as evidence that he was doing “Cherokee Nation business on district time.”

Walkingstick was earning $70,110 per year at the school district.

“Walkingstick was 18 days absent,” one said. “No one thinks they need to work or be accountable to anyone unless they get caught or someone gets mad and tells on them.”

The district did not return calls for comment on this case today.

But with this case coming to light a day after revelations that a man who pleaded guilty to assaulting and battering a four-year-old autistic boy is still teaching students, numerous district insiders and employees have been relentlessly contacting MuskogeeNOW.com asking for answers to “what in the world is going on at the BEST center?”

UPDATE: According to this site, Cherokee Nation tribal councilors are paid $55,333.67 per year.

EducationExclusiveLocal
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Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 8:23 PM

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is reporting a fatality wreck on Oklahoma Highway 2 just north of Porum.

The wreck involves a semi and a pickup truck, the patrol reports.

The highway is closed in both directions, and the medical examiner’s office is en route.

UPDATE: According to the patrol, the victim is Maxwell Kade Gower, 26, of Oklahoma City. He was driving southbound on the highway when he crossed the center line for an unknown reason and slammed into a 2016 Kenworth semi driven by Dale Lee Carson, 56, of Stilwell.

Gower was pinned inside his truck for two hours.

The patrol is not yet certain what caused Gower’s truck to go left of center.

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trucks for you

Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 2:20 PM

The following was sent by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol:

US69 approximately four miles north of Eufaula will have the outside lane blocked due to a stalled commercial vehicle that was hauling elephants. A local veterinary office is on scene to transport the elephants and a wrecker service is on scene providing assistance with the vehicle. The outside lane will be shut-down while the elephants are transferred to the secondary trailer.

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steve money

Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 10:53 AM

Bret Smith, a Muskogee lawyer and the city’s municipal judge, is hosting a campaign kickoff event at Mahylon’s Barbecue tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Snacks will be served.

Smith is running for the district judge seat being vacated by the retiring Judge Tom Alford. Smith attended both Muskogee and Hilldale high schools and has practiced law in Muskogee since graduating law school.

He has been an associate municipal judge in Muskogee since 2007 and became the city’s municipal judge in 2017. He is also the town judge for Fort Gibson and Okay.

LocalPolitics
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servpro

Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 8:54 PM

When the first bell rings at Grant Foreman Elementary school tomorrow morning, a man who pleaded guilty last week to assaulting and battering an autistic child will be teaching students in the classroom.

Daniel Watson was charged last year with child abuse in Cherokee County for spanking an autistic four-year-old so hard it left marks that medical professionals said were “not accidental.”

Witnesses in court last week said the Cherokee County District Attorney became frustrated after Watson’s lawyer got continuance after continuance on the case and, not wanting to put the victim or the victim’s family through any more, offered to accept a guilty plea on a lesser charge of assault and battery against the child.

Watson admitted in court that he hit and hurt the child and was sentenced to five years plus no contact with the child or the child’s family and he was required to complete an anger management course. The five-year prison sentence was deferred, meaning if Watson behaves for five years, he will not have to go to prison.

Mike Garde
Then Watson allegedly told Muskogee Schools Superintendent Mike Garde that he was “not guilty” and that the charges had been “reduced to something like running a stop sign,” according to three separate witnesses inside the school district who asked for anonymity because they fear retribution from Garde. Going solely on Watson’s word, apparently, Garde reinstated him to teaching status.

Two of the three district insiders said Garde told them Watson had “not been formally charged” with child abuse when freely-available court records confirmed that he, in fact, had been charged. Another insider said Garde said he had called the Cherokee County DA, who had “confirmed” that no charges had been filed. The DA said no such conversation ever took place.

“He’s a good teacher,” Garde allegedly said to the insider in response to further questions.

Asked by MuskogeeNOW.com about allowing Watson to be in a classroom teaching children at an elementary school, Garde did not comment.

Several school board members who would not comment expressed shock that Watson had pleaded guilty and received a five-year sentence for assaulting and battering the child.

“I’ve never heard anything about that,” one said before quickly following with “that’s off the record.”

Off-the-record comments must be preceded with an agreement, so we quoted that board member because no agreement was in place at the time.

During a meeting of the school board tonight, the board also voted to accept David Walkingstick’s resignation as Indian Education boss after he was allegedly caught working another job while being paid by the schools for months. The schools also apparently agreed to give Walkingstick a $17,000 settlement as part of the agreement.

If Garde or the schools issue a statement on either of these cases, we will report it here or in an updated story. We are currently sourcing more information on both cases.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 5:12 PM

Tiffany Evitt

Tiffany Evitt, 30, of Muskogee was arrested this morning after police say she tried to help a man escape from the Muskogee County Jail.

John Thomas Words
John Thomas Words was in jail on complaints of possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony, receiving stolen property, obstruction of police, on hold for Douglas County, Kansas (where he faces charges of aggravated battery and armed robbery) and on a felony charge of falsely impersonating another person to create liability and a misdemeanor obstructing an officer charge. An informant told police that Evitt was making plans to get Words out of jail and distribute narcotics with him.

Police Special Investigation Unit officers then observed the reported activity and obtained information they say showed Evitt was selling drugs for Words. Officers believed Words and Evitt had planned an escape attempt during his transport from the jail to the courthouse for court. Evitt was supposed to be his getaway driver, allegedly.

Officers obtained a search warrant for 2905 Inman Street and began to surveil the location, stopping Evitt after she left, where they noticed a bulletproof vest, another firearm, and inside the house they found narcotics, scales and drug paraphernalia.

CrimeLocal
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 11:08 AM

Mudbound, the award-winning movie based on former Muskogee author Hillary Jordan’s novel of the same name, has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay.

Jordan will attend the awards, her father, Muskogee’s Jan Jordan, said today.

The movie was nominated for:

  • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Mary J. Blige)
  • Cinematography
  • Best Original Song (“Mighty River” by Blige)

You can watch the movie on Netflix, and the book is available on Amazon.com

EntertainmentGood NewsLocalNational
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charlies chicken

Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 9:19 AM

Daniel Watson

Daniel Watson, a former elementary teacher at a Muskogee public elementary school who now is doing administrative duties, pleaded guilty late last week on charges of domestic assault and battery and given a five-year prison sentence, with the incarceration deferred.

Watson is not allowed to have contact with the victims or their family, the court ruled.

He also must undergo anger management classes and submit to the supervision of the district attorney in Cherokee County.

Watson was initially charged with child abuse for allegedly leaving “significant” bruises on the body of a four-year-old autistic child during a “malicious” spanking.

“I didn’t mean to hurt him,” Watson is alleged to have told a DHS investigator, continuing that the boy was getting up too often during the night.

Dr. Kim Dyce, spokesperson for Muskogee Public Schools, said last week that the district would not comment on the Watson case because “it is a personnel issue.” When pressed that a teacher who pleaded guilty to a violent crime against a child being around students would be a public issue, not a personnel one, she reiterated that the schools would not comment on Watson or whether he was still allowed to be around students.

CrimeEducationLocal
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 8:42 AM

Cherokee Nation Community Resource Investigator Shawnna Eubanks, Cherokee Nation Marshal Shannon Buhl and Tribal Councilor E.O. Smith, of Vian, visit with Vian High School senior Morghan Taylor about her new desktop computer.

The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service recently surprised seven high school students with new desktop computers to use for both high school and college studies.

Sequoyah High School freshmen Anna Johnson and Ricky Ross, Hulbert High School senior Jamie Keener, Watts High School senior Brendon Garriot, Westville High School senior Jessica York, Kansas High School junior Daris Glass and Vian High School senior Morghan Taylor each received a computer through the “North Pole Project.”

The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service receives desktop computers each year to present to deserving students who are chosen by their school leaders. The project is a collaboration between the Marshal Service and Broken Arrow Police Department, which originally started the program. A number of law enforcement agencies, including the tribe’s Marshal Service, now participate.

“I plan to go to the University of Oklahoma and major in forensic science, so this is really important to be able to do my work,” said Morghan Taylor, of Vian. “Instead of having to go to the library all the time to use the computers, I’ll have one in my own dorm. I am surprised; I didn’t know I was going to get all of this.”

Kansas High School junior Daris Glass is concurrently enrolled in classes at Northeastern Oklahoma A and M College. He expects to pursue a career in education once he graduates high school. “I have an interest in algebra, and I will probably be a coach on the side for powerlifting or baseball,” Glass said. “Getting this computer is awesome because I’m taking classes at NEO and now I don’t have to borrow a school laptop to do homework and all of the other school work.”

Cherokee Nation Marshal Service Community Resource Investigator Shawnna Eubanks said 2018 marks the seventh year the marshals have worked with the North Pole Project and Broken Arrow Police Department.

“These desktop computers are already loaded with the software and features that students will need to write their papers and complete other homework. In today’s world, it’s crucial that our students have every available resource to succeed in school,” Eubanks said. “That’s why it’s so important for the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service to participate in the North Pole Project and to continue providing students with computers.”

In the past, the marshal service has also presented computers to students at Cave Springs, Jay, Salina, Caney Valley, South Coffeyville, Oaks, Chelsea, Catoosa, Okay, Pryor, Claremore, Colcord and Gans high schools.

EducationGood NewsLocalTribes
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tj hamilton

Monday, January 22, 2018, 9:36 AM

Sunday night at approximately 10:45, a Sallisaw police officer stopped a silver Ford Focus in the parking lot of the Northeastern Health Systems-Sequoyah.

The driver, Jonathan Duane Atchley, 36, allegedly began physically assaulting the officer. A second officer arrived shortly after to assist. Atchley then is alleged to have begun fighting with the second officer. At some point after that second physical altercation, the first officer shot Atchley.

Atchley was treated at Northeastern Health Systems hospital, but he died from the gunshot wound.

The Sallisaw Police Department requested OSBI agents investigate the officer-involved shooting.

Several agents arrived on scene to interview witnesses, collect evidence, and document the scene.

CrimeLocal
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Monday, January 22, 2018, 9:34 AM

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame has received a $5000 grant from The Kirschner Trusts to provide continued concerts at the Hall on Thursday nights. The concerts are part of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame’s mission to bring recognition to Oklahoma’s artists and musical history.

The program will continue to bring recognition to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame as well as recognition to the artists that perform at these concerts.

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame held its first induction in 1997 and has inducted more than 90 Oklahoma artists since.

The five Kirschner Trusts have supported charitable projects in the Muskogee area since 1979. In 2013, the assets of three of the Kirschner Trusts were transferred to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to establish the E. Phil and Roberta Kirschner Foundation Affiliated Fund. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations that provide direct services in the areas of social services, youth and education, health and disabilities and Jewish culture and religion, with a preference for programs in Muskogee and the surrounding area. For more information, visit www.occf.org/kirschner.

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Monday, January 22, 2018, 9:30 AM

A hydroplane wreck last night involving three vehicles on the Muskogee Turnpike sent two people to area hospitals.

A Ford F150 driven by Timothy Martin of Guthrie was westbound on the highway near Webbers Falls when his vehicle hydroplaned during heavy rain and traveled into the center median, striking several barrels and becoming disabled in the roadway, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

A Toyota Yaris saw the wreck and pulled over, turning on its emergency flashers.

A GMC pickup driven by Robert Hughes of Chester, Arkansas, saw the lights and swerved to avoid the Toyota, but didn’t see Martin’s vehicle and struck it, and then the Toyota as well.

Martin was transported by Muskogee EMS to Saint Francis Hospital in Muskogee with internal and external injuries.

Donna Hughes, of Chester, Arkansas, was a passenger in the Toyota and was transported to Saint Francis Tulsa with leg injuries.

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Friday, January 19, 2018, 9:18 AM

Muskogee police officers with the Special Investigations Division and Criminal Investigation Division served a search warrant on 2405 N. 32nd Street yesterday in the apartment of Ricky Banks, 40 of Muskogee.

Police had received information that Banks was printing money and checks, according to Officer Lincoln Anderson.

Ricky Banks

Inside the apartment, police found “all the equipment a person could use to attempt to counterfeit cash and checks, cellphones, printers, ink, check paper, computers, hard drives and narcotics.”

There was also a four-year-old child in the residence.

The Muskogee Police contacted the United States Secret Service, which is in charge of counterfeiting crimes, and the service helped them identify the currency Banks was allegedly producing as the same that has been passed around numerous Muskogee businesses.

Banks was booked into the Muskogee County Jail on complaints of possession of counterfeit money, possession of controlled dangerous substance, child endangerment and more possibly to come, the police said.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018, 10:11 AM

Logan Carpenter from a previous arrest.

Two water line breaks at the Muskogee County Jail yesterday ended up sending an allegedly dangerously drunk driver home instead of to the hospital or the jail last night, according to Sheriff Rob Frazier.

“We had a sprinkler head burst and it looked like smoke but ended up being mist, and we had water everywhere,” he said. “Another one burst later and I called dispatch and said ‘we don’t want any new people coming into the jail if we can help it.'”

Such orders are common when jails are full, he said, and the standing protocol is that people arrested on complaints of Assault and Battery Domestic and Driving Under the Influence are exceptions and should still be brought to the jail.

Logan Hoover-Carpenter, 30, was arrested last night around 10:50 on complaints of driving under the influence. He allegedly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.22, almost three times the legal limit. According to Wikipedia, a BAC of .22 produces nausea, vomiting, loss of understanding, impaired sensations, stupor, severe motor impairment, possible loss of consciousness and memory blackout.

“At that level, we probably wouldn’t have accepted him anyway,” Frazier said. “We would have sent him to the hospital to get his blood alcohol levels down before we took him in.”

Police, however, never brought Carpenter to the jail because of a miscommunication that the jail was accepting no new inmates. Instead, Carpenter was taken home.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 10:13 AM

Derek Bullett

Derek Bullett, 33, of Muskogee is charged in Muskogee County District Court with felonies of first-degree rape, threatening to perform an act of violence and domestic abuse - assault and battery in a case that happened on Jan. 10, according to court records.

Bullett is accused of threatening to beat his ex-girlfriend, whose name we are withholding, and burn her house down, then kill her. He also allegedly punched her in the face, choked her and then forced her to have sex with him.

The woman was telling him “no” and “stop” at the time, according to an affidavit filed with the case, but he allegedly held her down while penetrating her.

Bullett is also accused of head-butting the woman.

Bullett has been in and out of court for a decade for various offenses ranging from possession of controlled dangerous substance, burglary and marijuana to possession of a stolen vehicle and domestic assault and battery by strangulation.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 8:47 AM

Noel Grayson harvests wild potatoes grown from heritage seeds.

The Cherokee Nation will begin dispersing its limited supply of heirloom seeds Feb. 1 to tribal citizens who are interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops.

In 2017, the Cherokee Nation distributed 3,784 packages of seeds to tribal citizens.

“The Cherokee people have a long history of harvesting seeds and passing them down, and this seed bank program keeps that tradition alive with new generations of Cherokees,” said Pat Gwin, Cherokee Nation senior director of Cherokee Nation Environmental Resources. “These heirloom seeds are varieties that the Cherokee people harvested long before European contact. Planting and sustaining them is a great way to make a cultural connection to our history.”

Cherokee Nation citizens are limited to two varieties of seeds, and each applicant must submit a copy of his or her Cherokee Nation tribal citizenship card, proof of age and address.

This year’s available heirloom seeds include Cherokee White Eagle corn, Cherokee Long Greasy beans, Georgia Candy Roaster squash, Buffalo gourds and native plants such as Buttonbush, Possum Grape and Sunchoke.

Citizens can submit order requests by visiting https://secure.cherokee.org/seedbank. Create an account and follow the instructions to see a complete list of available seeds and to place and track orders.

For more information, email seedbank@cherokee.org or call 918-453-5336.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 8:44 AM

Nathan Elkins

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host local musician Nathan Elkins on Thursday, January 18th at 7 pm at the Frisco Depot, 401 S. 3rd in Muskogee.

Born and raised Fort Gibson, Nathan grew up listening to James Taylor, Garth Brooks, Aaron Neville and Nat King Cole. At about 15 years old, Nathan started learning to play the guitar because a friend told him it was a good way to pick up girls.

Two years after picking up the guitar, Nathan began performing live at local venues.

“I play because I like to entertain people,” he said. “Maybe someday I’ll influence someone to learn how to play and share their gifts so we can keep this cycle going.”

Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7 pm. Admission is $5 and all ages are welcome

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 10:33 AM

On Sunday, deputies with the Wagoner County K-9 program received information that led to a search warrant and the arrest of seven people and the seizure of drugs and guns and a stolen car.

Around 10:30 p.m., deputies and investigators served a search warrant at a home located in the 7300 block of S 234th E Ave in the Broken Arrow area of Wagoner County. Deputies received the warrant after a deputy assigned to the K9 division began investigating information he received about illegal narcotics being inside the house.

After making entry into the home and the subsequent search, deputies recovered 8 grams of meth, 4 grams of marijuana, several empty baggies that are commonly used for distribution, scales, and two guns. Also, deputies recovered a stolen Toyota Highlander SUV at the scene.

Six adults and one juvenile were arrested.

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