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Pursuant to the Notice of Regular Meeting properly filed and posted as required by law, a regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners of Okmulgee County was held August 10, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. in the County Commissioners Office at the Okmulgee County Courthouse. Present were Robert Hardridge, Chairman; James Connors, Vice-Chairman; Ron Ballard, Member. Becky Thomas, County Clerk, was present to take minutes.

The Board approved the minutes of August 3, 2015. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

The Board approved the monthly reports for the following: Sheriff’s Office for the month of June 2015; Election Board for the month of July 2015. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

The Board approved the following Blanket Purchase Orders:
Mack Truck Sales, TCR
Auto Zone, B-2
The Oil Pit, Sheriff’s Service Fee
O’Reilly Auto Parts, Sheriff’s Service Fee
Brown Printing, Court Clerk Revolving Fund
Motion, Connors; Second, Ballard. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

The Board approved the following Utility Permit:
ONEOK Gas Transportation, for gas line in District #1
Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

The Board approved the surplus of 2014-2015 Fiscal Year Highway monies to the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year as follows: Highway Cash Personal Services, $5,241.88; Highway Cash Maintenance & Operations, $6,569.02; County Bridge & Road-105 Fund, $29,106.17; CRT Highway Fund, $14,330.09; TCR Highway Fund, $10,200.82. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

The Board approved the Tower/Ground Lease Agreements with Frosty Towers, Inc. and TEAM (Tower Erecting and Management) for the County-wide digital radio and repeater system. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

The Board approved the reimbursement claim for expenditures of the District Attorney’s Office for the month of July 2015, in the amount of $1,988.51. Motion, Connors; Second, Ballard. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

The Board approved the reimbursement claim for the Election Board Secretary’s salary for the month of July 2015, in the amount of 3,101.07. Motion, Connors; Second, Ballard. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

The Board approved the payment of the following claim: P.O. #481 to the Twin Hills Fire Department out of the TCR Highway Fund, in the amount of $12,400.00. Motion, Ballard; Second, Connors. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

The meeting adjourned at 9:19 a.m. with a motion by Connors and a second by Ballard. Vote: Ballard, yes; Connors, yes; Hardridge, yes.

Published in Okmulgee in the News

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A three-car auto collision on Main Str. in Okmulgee ended with a busted storefront door windows at a local business.

According to the Okmulgee Police, one vehicle hit another, vehicle two, that ended up striking a third vehicle that was a black Chevy Avalanche and pushed it into a a set of double doors busting the glass panes at Ausbrook’s Used Cars.

The driver of vehicle the second vehicle was transported to the hospital and it is unknown the extent of their injuries. The accident is still pending investigation for the cause of collision.

Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN

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Published in Law Enforcement & Fire

This past Tuesday night the Okmulgee County Republicans held their regular monthly meeting with Pam Pollard, President Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women as the special guest speaker.

Pollard spoke about "The Politics Surrounding Israel - The Real Story". Pollard recently returned from a trip to Israel with a group hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The group toured not only religious sites, but other areas impacted by the Palestinian conflict, including an Israeli hospital close to the border. They were also briefed by an Israeli General and a member of Parliament and many came away with a different perspective of the situation in that area than what the U.S. media portrays.She relayed very informative facts and showed interesting slides about Israel.

She said, "...her purpose was to understand Israel's right to be a nation." She said there are many political issues and life is sometimes difficult in thist deeply religious historical country.

She said she saw first hand and became educated about the religious Israel and Historical Israel.

Pollard told the group that the Israelis have an advanced robust defense system in place such as their "Iron Dome."

"The youth at age 18 are required to join the military and there are no exceptions for them not to join," said Pollard.  "There is always a military presence around the borders."



Published in Okmulgee in the News

You want to be an entrepreneur? Well, let’s get started! Potential small business owners will benefit from “Entrepreneurship Basics Series,” a four-part series to provide basics for establishing a business. The September event will take place Thursday, September 10th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the We Watkins Technology Center, 7892 Highway 9, Wetumka. Registration is $15 per person and participants may register online at www.reiwbc.org.

The first workshop in the series will help you answer these questions: Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Will your idea work? How do you get started? Participants will work through the characteristics necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. Other discussions will focus on business structures, financials and registering your business. Additionally, tips will be shared on how to write a business plan, which is essential in getting a business off the ground and growing.

Presenters will include John Blue, Manager, Indian Business Development, Muscogee Creek Nation; Julie Stovall, Vice President, First United Bank, Holdenville; and Christina Culver, REI Women’s Business Center Coordinator.

“This is your opportunity to learn about approaches for starting a business and whether or not it’s right for you,” said Christina Culver, REI WBC Coordinator. “We are here to help guide you and you won’t want to miss this unique workshop!”

Running once a month from September through December, others topics in the series will include:

· Marketing Your Business
· Introduction to Digital Marketing
· Funding Options and Financials for Start-Ups

Event partners include Wes Watkins Technology Center, Okemah Chamber of Commerce, OSU Extension, Henryetta Chamber of Commerce, and REI Women’s Business Center, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For more information about this event, call Christina Culver at 800-658-2823. In addition, visit www.reiwbc.org or facebook.com/REIWBC for a calendar of upcoming trainings.

Published in Statewide News

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Photo by Paul Orosco - ONN

Ryan Olson has a mission when he left Okmulgee on Saturday. From Coney Island, New York to Long Beach, California, the Columbus Ohio native is attempting to walk 2800 miles, coast to coast. The goal of Olson is to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Olson, who has asthma, states that walking coast to coast has always been a dream of his, a “poor man’s Mount Everest, if you will”, but decided that if he was going to do it, why not do it to the benefit of others. “I do have asthma, so if I had chosen the American Lung Association, that would have felt a bit self serving, that I was doing this for my own cause.  So while I wear my breast cancer awareness bracelet, donate my hair to locks of love, I chose MDA because it felt, well, I am using my muscles for those who can not, it felt like it just made the most sense,” states Olson.

Olson will begin his 100 day journey in Coney Island, New York, a destination he will be reaching after a two day Greyhound Bus ride. Olson is currently residing in Okmulgee and working at the Dollar General in Beggs. The goal is to cover 28 miles a day, for 100 days, following a route that will lead him through the Great Plains and into the west, crossing near the Grand Canyon, a ‘must see’ stop for Olson.  

As for his food and lodging, Olson states that he is budgeting himself to no more than 10 dollars a day and plans to do a lot of camping.

“The kindness of strangers is my best plan but I have been packing this pack for 3 months and I have it narrowed down to what I need and what I don’t. I’ve gotten good at stretching the basics and my dollar,” says Olson of his day to day plan.  

In that pack, a laptop, a video camera, and a digital camera to document his journey. Olson will be posting daily videos to his YouTube Channel as well has his Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts.

This is not Olson’s first attempt at a long distance walk, he completed a trial run from New York to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio where he covered approximately 800 miles in just 21 days.

To follow his progress, visit his Twitter - @FeetofEndurance, his Instagram - pedestryan, or his Snapchat - pedestryan. To donate to the Muscular Dystrophy Association or to his journey, visit gofund.me/yppt5n8

Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN

Published in Okmulgee in the News
Thursday, 13 August 2015 15:34

Employment and Training hosts hiring event

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Employment and Training Department will host a hiring event from 9 a.m.-3p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21 at the MCN Education and Training Building. The event will search for qualified team members for the Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers that is under construction at the Tulsa Hills Shopping Center in Jenks, Okla.

Published in What's Happening?

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation offices will be closed Friday, Aug. 14 to allow all employees an opportunity to participate in the Employee Appreciation Day.

Published in Okmulgee in the News

The Roy Leblanc Invitational Rodeo, held August 7-9, saw thousands of people disregarding triple digit temperatures to enjoy the 60th year of Rodeo fun. In addition to the rodeo itself, Okmulgee residents were treated to the annual parade that included trail riding clubs from across the nation, many of who competed in the rodeo games, which began at 8:00 p.m. nightly.

Results of the rodeo were announced as each competition was completed. In BareBack Riding, Carl Barnes of Tulsa placed first with Michael Ferring of Tulsa and Rodrick Hunt of Houston, Texas tying for second. In the Steer Wrestling competition, first place was tied between Casey Richards of Houston, Texas and Lloyd Goodman of Beaumont, Texas. Chase Crain, Muskogee, placed third, with Ben Goodman of Cheeks Texas in fourth, Tony Burton of Oklahoma City in fifth, and Bobby Harrison, also of Beaumont Texas, in sixth.
Calf Roping’s first place was given to Derrick Traylor of Houston Texas, second to Trey Goff of Tulsa, third to Glen Jackson of Pawnee, fourth went to Anthony Jordon of Tulsa, fifth to Troy Pierce of Tulsa, and sixth was to J Demery of Beggs, Ok.

In the Junior BreakAway Roping, Anthony Craig of Preston took home the nights first place honor, with Jarvis Demery of Beggs placing second. The Ladies Steer Undecorating competition saw Denise Tyus of Conway Arkansas take first place, Stephanie Haynes of Hempstead Texas placed second, Megan Byrd of Houston Texas placed third, and Renae Thierry of Oklahomy City placed fourth. Only one person placed in the Bull Riding competition, Ryan Roberts, who hails from right here in Okmulgee.

In Junior Barrel Racing, Autumn Perry of Tulsa placed first, Demin Goff of Stigler earned the second place slot, and Kendra Tyus of Conway Arkansas placed third. In Ladies Barrel Racing, first placed belonged to Corianna Burkhalter of Oklahoma City. In second place we had Betsy Bramwell of Stillwater, third is Kanesha Jackson of Hempstead Texas, fourth is Michelle Baccus of Tulsa, fifth was given to Destiny Foster of Tulsa, and Stephanie Haynes, from Hempstead Texas, placed sixth.

The Pony Express Champions title went to the County Boyz located out of Oklahoma City. Thanks again to the participants of the rodeo as well as all of those who came to show their support for the legacy that is the Roy LeBlanc Invitational Rodeo. Hope to see you all again next year!


Photo by Allen Gardner - ONN

Published in Okmulgee in the News

“LONE MAN’S LAND” was produced and co-directed by Morris H. S. Graduate Ezra Gentle
and written and co-directed by Sand Springs resident Sheilah Bright

Okmulgee County has turned out another talented filmmaker in Ezra Gentle, who nurtured his filmmaking talent at Morris High School and polished it at the University of Oklahoma. His film, “LONE MAN’S LAND”, comes to the Orpheum in Okmulgee on Sunday, Aug. 16, at 2 pm. Admission is $5 for all seats. The film’s premiere showing was in Boise City, and it will have a 2-day run at the Circle Theatre in Tulsa ahead of its Okmulgee showing.

Sheilah Bright of Sand Springs wrote the story and co-directed the film with Ezra. A question and answer session will follow the showing.

The story takes place in the community of Kenton in the Panhandle, which was once called “No Man’s Land”. The little community of ranchers has a population of 20 and is so far west that it operates on Mountain Standard Time. Only the strong have survived in the Panhandle, and now their cowboy way of life is under attack from cattle corporations.

Ezra’s grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lewis, are residents of Okmulgee.


Published in Okmulgee in the News

 The University of Arkansas School of Law Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative has joined with the Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, the Wallace Center at Winrock International (Washington DC), Morse Marketing Connections (MMC), and the Choctaw Nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation along with Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative to offer an important “bootcamp” workshop for southern eastern Oklahoma August 13 in the Student Center Conference Room at The College of The Muscogee Nation, 2170 Raven Circle Okmulgee, Ok.

You will hear the latest on food safety regulations and GAP certification, crop insurance and risk management tools, and will be given hands-on experience in what are called “one page” financial, risk assessment and business plan tools. We will also provide information on new markets in the region and how your operation can participate in food hubs that are growing in number across the country as a way to link small, beginning, mid-sized, remote and new producers and their operations into new markets.

The in-person workshop will begin at 12:00 pm with light refreshments and conclude by 5 pm. The workshop will cover the following information:

  •  “One Page” Financials
  • “One Page” Business Planning
  • “One Page” Risk Assessment
  • Food Safety Regulations Update and GAP Overview
  • Risk Management and Crop Insurance Policy Updates
  • Choctaw Nation Update on Promise Zone, Food and Agriculture Plans
  •  Muscogee Creek Nation Update on Food and Agriculture Plans
  •  Food Hubs & Other New Markets
  • New and Old Legal Issues Facing Producers

Webinar Workshop:

In addition to the in-person workshops, a “One Page Cost Benefit Analysis Tool” webinar workshop will also be offered. It will be at least one hour long and will be on Thursday, Aug 20. The webinar requires registration to participate. Please use the link below to register:


This workshop is sponsored through the support of the USDA Risk Management Agency and each of the participating sponsors.

Thank you to the Choctaw Nation for their generous support at each of our locations. Thank you to the Muscogee Creek Nation for their generous support at our final location. Please Attend and Tell Others Who Might Be Interested! See you there!

If you have any questions, please contact Janie Hipp (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Rebecca Sims (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at 479-575-4434. In Okmulgee you may contact Lizanne Holata at 918-756-5915 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, organized exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes.

Published in Statewide News
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