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Gene McNeely pictured with his plane has been flying for the AeroShell Aerobatic team for 15 years.

Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer

The AreoShell Aerobatic Team has been performing for over Twenty-Five (25) years.  Amassing thousands of hours in front of air show fans. from all over North America.

This plane, nicknamed "The Pilot Maker" is the North American AT-6 (Advanced Trainer-6) Texan first appeared in 1938. Originally designed as a basic trainer for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC).  The Texan was the primary training platform for all U.S. Airmen in World War II.  

Basic Plane Specs:

Length is 29 ft., 6 inches
Wing Span 42 ft.
Max Speed 212 MPH

Mr. Gene McNeely, the owner is 72 years young, has been flying for the AeroShell Aerobatic team for 15 years. Prior to joining the team he was a "Crop-Duster flying in the Delta Region of Arkansas.

Gene periodically brings his plane for service to our Covington Aircraft Engine Co here in Okmulgee.  On Monday he was getting the plane serviced for an upcoming air show he will be participating in. 

Later this year Gene will be performing with his team at the Famous Oshkosh, Wisconsin Air-Show.

Air mechanics Mark Ernest and Josh McCall performed and oil change and tune-up for Gene's plane.

Published in Okmulgee in the News

Okmulgee enjoyed a huge Firework’s display provided by the City of Okmulgee on July 4.  Many volunteers from the City along with some of their spouses, Lions Club members, Judge Ken Adair, Okmulgee Police and Fire and many sponsors pulled together to make the show a huge success.   

Work began setting up the display late Wednesday evening as several volunteers began the first stages of assembly.  Officer Marty Williams, Detective James Ables, Cory and Sarah Radebough, Judge Ken Adair, Fireworks Specialist Ken Anderson along with tag team Police Chief Joe Prentice and his wife Margaret were there at 9 p.m. to lay the groundwork.  This is the third year that Margaret Prentice has worked on the Firework’s display and she has been quite an asset according to Ken Anderson becoming very skilled with the schematics of setting the wiring into place.  Many other volunteers joined in the work as the evening went on.  

The event was the largest ever and included 1240 aerial shots that were electronically set to Patriotic music.  Before the show began at the Harmon Stadium, volunteers served attendees a good old Fourth of July specialty, hotdogs, chips and a soda.

Becky Adcock sang the National Anthem.  

Mayor Steven Baldridge welcomed guests and was very happy with the turnout and the quality of the show. He expressed his gratitude to the many volunteers and sponsors who made it possibly.

There was much chatter and many ooo’s and aaah’s as the audience filtered out of the stadium after the show.

4th of July in OKmulgee 2013 Slide Show

Published in Okmulgee in the News

Saturday afternoon by passers in the Clovis Point swimming area at Okmulgee State Park Dripping Springs Lake discovered a body.  Okmulgee State Park Rangers were called to the scene to investigate and recover the body.  It is believed that the body found could be a man that was reported missing on Friday.

State Park Rangers are unable to release any information at this time.  However, one outside agency informed ONN that they had been searching for a missing person connected with a church group who had visited the lake.  The church group had a gathering on Friday and when everyone returned that evening, they discovered that one person from the group, a male in his early 20’s, had not returned.  In search for the missing man, some of the man’s belongings were found left at the location he was last known to be.  Officials have confirmed the body found was a male.  It has not been confirmed that the two incidents are related at this time.

Published in Law Enforcement & Fire
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 22:03

PRCA Rodeo highlights

The Tulsa RV Ranch Rodeo was exciting over the weekend for the PRCA Rodeo.  Take a look at some photos from the night.  This weekend July 6 and 7 will be the Team Roping and Chuck Wagon Races.

$20 for the whole weekend or $!0 Sunday only.  Kids just $5 both days with lots of activities for them to do.

Published in County News

Joni Carender, Social Services/Activities; Shelley Hensley, Dietary Supervisor; and Bobby Howard, Health Department Nutrition and Fitness Coordinator.  Photo by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer


Rebold Manor is the recipient of a new handicapped gardening bed.  The handicap bed was designed and built by Gayan Hearath and the Engineering Technologies Division at OSUIT. The bed was originally built for the Okmulgee Community Garden but was later decided to go to Rebold Manor for the residents to use and enjoy.  

The Okmulgee Community Garden Committee (OCGC) is trying to make a difference in fruit and vegetable consumption in the community. OCGC is planning on getting several more handicap beds that will be placed on the parking lot next to the garden.

If anyone would like to reserve a handicap bed to grow vegetables in at the garden they can contact Bobby Howard at 918-756-1883x139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

From left; front row: Barbara Grey, Marjorie Sanders, Cindy Howard. back row from left, Blanche Evans, Admissions/Marketing; Jennifer Ortega, Administrator; Shelley Hensley, Dietary Supervisor; and Joni Carender, Social Services/Activities.  Photo by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer

Published in Okmulgee in the News

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman is pictured with Debbie and Coy Green, while Trait Thompson is pictured at right.  Senate Chief of Staff Randy Dowell is pictured at left. 

After seeing recent media coverage of the discovery of long-lost light fixtures from the Senate chamber, a Norman man finally understood the significance of the large floor lamp he had been storing in his barn.  

Coy Green said he purchased the lamp at an Oklahoma City swap meet approximately 40 years ago for about $25.  When Green saw a picture of the Senate chamber in 1918, along with a story about the discovery, he knew he had something special.  On Tuesday, Green delivered the lamp to the state Senate.  

“When I saw the picture, I knew it was a Senate lamp,” Green said.  “We were very happy, and it’s good to be able to do this – it needs to be home.”

Last week, 11 of the 20 original wall sconces were discovered in long-forgotten attic space above the sixth floor of the Capitol.  The Senate is currently undertaking a restoration of a large conference room on the fifth floor, which had been divided into multiple offices decades ago.  

Photos provided by the Oklahoma Historical Society show approximately eight to ten floor lamps tracing the boundary of the Senate chamber shortly after its initial construction.  When fully assembled Tuesday, the bronze lamp measured approximately nine feet in height.  

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman said the donation will give the Senate a chance to replicate one of the most unique features of the chamber in its original condition.

“This is an important piece of the Capitol’s history, and I’m pleased it has been donated to the Senate,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa.  “Whenever we can restore part of our state Capitol to its original beauty, we can give Oklahomans another opportunity to connect with their unique history.”  

Trait Thompson, who serves as Vice Chair of the Capitol Preservation Commission, said the discovery of the lamp would greatly benefit efforts to restore the building.

“This is a wonderful find for not only the Senate but for the state Capitol,” he said. “It represents a piece of Oklahoma history that can be restored and returned to its rightful place.  We are very grateful to the Greens for their generosity in returning this piece to the Senate.”

Randy Dowell, Senate Chief of Staff, said it was his hope that the story would lead to the discovery and donation of additional pieces of Capitol history.  Dowell said anyone who believes they may have an original piece from the Senate Chamber, such as a lighting fixture or other decorative detail, should feel free to contact the state Senate at (405) 524-0126, and ask to speak with Dowell, Thompson, or Central Services Supervisor Roger Pirrong.

Published in Okmulgee in the News
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 10:50

June Weather Follows Script

June followed its normal script almost to the letter with a rainy and stormy first half of the month that gave way to the beginnings of a long hot stretch of Oklahoma summer. Mother Nature did manage to throw in a nice improvisation at the end of the month with a cool front dropping temperatures into the 80s over much of the state. The previous heat was enough to end the state's streak of below normal months at four, however. According to data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the statewide average temperature came in at 77.9 degrees, 1.4 degrees above normal to rank as the 34th warmest June since records began in 1895. Temperatures climbed into the triple-digits as early as May 3, but really got started at that level on the 10th. Freedom reached the month's highest temperature of 111 degrees on the 27th.

While the average statewide rainfall total fell 0.6 inches below normal at 3.69 inches – the 56th driest June on record – there were still parts of the state that had some hefty rainfall totals for the month. Probably the biggest surprise was the small Panhandle town of Slapout and its 5.7 inches. Okemah led the state with 8.73 inches. Other areas of the state did not fare so well. A large part of southwestern Oklahoma had less than 2 inches for the month. Northeastern Oklahoma and the western Panhandle were also particularly dry during the month. June's first day was merely a continuation of the tumultuous end of May. The tornadoes thankfully ended on May 31, but the flooding rains from those storms continued into June. More than 6 inches fell across parts of east central Oklahoma with more generalized amounts from 2-4 inches. Rain fell somewhere in the state on almost every day through the ninth, and again from the 15th through the 19th.

The rains throughout the first couple of weeks allowed further reduction of drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report. Nearly 59 percent of the state was covered by some intensity of drought on the May 28 Drought Monitor, but that number dropped to 53 percent on the June 25 map. The percentage of extreme-to-exceptional drought, the Monitor's two worst categories, remained virtually unchanged at 26 percent. Severe-to-exceptional drought still covers much of the western one-third of the state, and also parts of north central and south central Oklahoma.

The July temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) indicates equal odds of above-, below- and near-normal temperatures for Oklahoma. So no real clear temperature signal is showing up at this time. The precipitation outlook does show increased odds of above normal rainfall across the western Panhandle, an area that desperately needs moisture.  The CPC U.S. monthly Drought Outlook for July shows drought persisting or intensifying across the western third of Oklahoma, including much of the Panhandle. There is some limited improvement possible in the far western Panhandle. Those areas not in drought across central and eastern Oklahoma are expected to remain drought free, at least through July.

Published in County News

Charlie Hanger arresting officer of OKC bomber Timothy McVeigh tells his story

The Lions club meeting had the interest of many, and for good reason.  Guest Speaker Charlie Hanger, the arresting officer of Timothy McVeigh, would tell the details of what transpired during the time of the arrest.

Once the usual banter of the Lions had calmed to a light roar, the usual meeting details were cut short giving enough time for Hanger to tell his story.  Member Dean Craig took the podium and asked Sheriff Eddy Rice to introduce their guest.  

                                                                              Photo by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer

Sheriff Rice thanked the Lions Club and spoke of his admiration towards Sheriff Hanger stating that, “ Law enforcement is a calling that not everyone can do, but when the job is done well it needs recognition…if it were not for Charlie Hanger’s dedication to serving the public and making critical quick decisions as he was trained to do, crimes, such as the one in which he apprehended McVeigh, would never be solved.

Hanger took the podium and with a captured audience began to unveil the events that transpired the day he made a routine traffic stop that would in turn put the Timothy McVeigh, the man who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 taking the lives of 168 people and injuring more than 680, behind bars and to the death chamber.

Hanger counted that day to be Divine intervention that took place with the help of taking good traffic enforcement measures.  He began his morning early and was heading east on Hwy 64.  Shortly after he walked into OKC Troop headquarters on the Cimarron turnpike and instantly heard the dispatchers sending numerous units to the OKC downtown area, one after the other.  We knew something was going on, but we did not know what.  

“We turned on the television at the headquarters and seen the coverage that most people were seeing at the time, the Murrah building, a third of it was gone,” Hanger said.   “Cars parked across the street were on fire, total chaos. I was thinking to myself, many people must have been injured or killed, but never did I think it was an act of terrorism.”

See the full testimony and hear the rest of what happened than day in this video filmed at the Okmulgee Lions Club.  (Produced by ONN)  http://youtu.be/_A15X2Zo-Ug


Published in Okmulgee in the News

Bring the kids out to the YMCA park on Saturday March 30 in Okmulgee to enjoy a day of fun activities beginning at 10 a.m.  sponsored by the Okmulgee Service League.

An Easter egg hunt will be held at the Municiple Park next to the YMCA.  Areas will be sectioned off for ages 2-4, 5-7, and 8-10.  After the egg hunt Healthy Kids Day will kick off.

There will be several community businesses participating out to hand out information about health and wellness.  There will be goodies for the kids, two huge inflatables, relays, soccer, cardio dance, spin demos and many more activities to get kids moving!

Everything is FREE!!!

Published in Okmulgee in the News