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Many may have noticed that the intersection of 8th Street and Wood Drive is getting a makeover. "For years I've heard complaints about the lack of flow at the intersection of 8th and Wood. This plan to expand began years ago and we tried, unsuccessfully, to create a solution that would please everyone," states Okmulgee Public Works Director Rick Miller.

A study of the intersection has been done by traffic engineers and Miller believes that, finally, a solution had been found.  After coordinating with Oklahoma Department of Transportation to keep highway traffic moving at optimal speed with minimal hindrance, it has been decided that the East and West lanes of traffic will receive an expansion.

The lanes traveling east to west are currently 4 lane intersections with lanes designated for traffic that move either straight or into a right turn. The traffic is impaired by cars who wish to make a left turn either north or south. The new intersection will have three east bound lanes that will contain a designated left turn lane as well as the already established right turn lane and straight bound lane. The study done by ODOT shows that the changes will improve the flow of traffic in all directions.

In addition to the physical changes in the intersection, the traffic light sensors will be getting an upgrade in an ongoing effort to replace the original sensors placed in the ground with video monitoring sensors.  These sensors will not only aid in the improved flow of traffic but will also withstand shifts in the ground or less than favorable weather conditions that had previously prevented the sensors from operating properly.

Completion of the project is slated for October.

Published in Okmulgee in the News
Saturday, 08 August 2015 18:17

Mvskoke inspired mural now lit up at night

The Mvskoke inspired mural painted by Creek artist and muralist Yatika Starr Fields is quite a site to see at night now in downtown Okmulgee. Lights have been installed and an information marker erected at the site.

MuralAtNight

The project was commissioned by the Muscogee Creek Nation located southwest of the MCN Council House in Okmulgee.

The project was a weeklong event that began on April 6 during OrangeFest. The mural depicts a combination of history of Okmulgee, Homage to Muscogee Culture and past artist of Muscogee Creek descent.

Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer

Published in Okmulgee in the News
Saturday, 08 August 2015 17:40

Roy LeBlanc Invitational Rodeo Parade

IMG 20150808 154729960Tayler and Kyleigh Williams of Little Rock Arkansas enjoying the parade. - Photo by Laura Rosbrugh

The smell of Indian tacos and the sounds of music filled the square in downtown Okmulgee today as spectators lined up for the Roy LeBlanc Rodeo Parade.  The parade attendants braved the Oklahoma sun, with temperatures in the triple digits.

The crowd was not disappointed as the parade began with two dance teams leading several of the riders from the invitational rodeo. Hundreds of horses, dressed in their best, from Oklahoma and across the United States pranced, played and dazzled the crowd.

Rodeo performances begin each night at 8:00 p.m. at the Bob Arington Rodeo Arena  on Highway 75 in Okmulgee.

Photos by Laura Rosbrugh - ONN Reporter

Published in Okmulgee in the News
Saturday, 08 August 2015 18:02

Nelson Leon Ford Jr.

Nelson Leon Ford Jr.

Place of Residence:    Stigler, Oklahoma  

Age:    74

Died:    Friday, August 7, 2015      

Occupation:    Factory Worker

Service Date:    2:00 PM Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Place of Service:    Wilson Baptist Church, Wilson Community, Oklahoma

Interment:    Salt Creek Cemetery

Published in Obituaries

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mike Shelton said Monday he will refile an earthquake training measure that House Republicans suffocated three years ago.

The Oklahoma City Democrat filed House Bill 2868 in 2012, to require every school district in the state to have “a written plan and procedures in place for protecting students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors from earthquakes.”

“The state must find a way to provide schools with sufficient funds to provide training on ‘earthquake preparedness and response’,” Shelton said Monday. At least two drills would be conducted each year “for the purpose of identifying a safe place to take cover and to teach participants how to react during an earthquake,” his prior legislation decreed.

The training would be coordinated and provided or approved by the state Department of Emergency Management.

After Shelton filed his measure, a governor’s staffer sent an email to the governor’s communications director, asking him to, “Make this go away.” Subsequently the Republican House leadership sent Shelton’s HB 2868 to the Common Education Committee, where it died without ever receiving a hearing.

“These earthquakes are centered largely in central and northern Oklahoma,” Shelton noted. “We have thousands of students attending elementary, junior and senior high schools in that area, as well as the thousands of students attending Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and Langston University in Logan County.”

Furthermore, Shelton pointed out, the earthquakes are growing in frequency and intensity.

Between 1978 and 2008, a 30-year period, Oklahoma averaged 1.6 earthquakes per year of magnitude 3 or greater.

Records indicate Oklahoma had been subjected to 18 earthquakes of magnitude 4 or greater as of July 28. In comparison, the Oklahoma Geological Survey recorded 14 magnitude 4 or greater tremors in all of 2014, three in 2013 and one in 2012.

The U.S. Geological Survey counted 585 ‘quakes in Oklahoma of magnitude 3 or greater last year. By noon Monday the USGS had logged 544 ‘quakes of magnitude 3 or greater in Oklahoma. Bob Jackman, an independent geologist who lives in Tulsa, said that at the existing rate, Oklahoma is on track to experience a record 923 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher by the end of the year.

Shelton’s legislative district includes Jones and Choctaw in eastern Oklahoma County, an area that has been seismically active and is just north of the five largest oilfield wastewater disposal wells in the state.

“This is our opportunity to get out in front of this and be proactive, not reactive,” Shelton asserted. “We need to do more to educate and to protect Oklahomans. Far too often we don’t pay attention until a disaster occurs because of some situation we were already aware of. Preparedness now will help avoid somebody being severely injured or killed in one of these earthquakes.”

Published in Political News

The public is invited to learn about “The Politics Surrounding Israel – The REAL Story”, at the Tuesday, August 11 meeting of the Okmulgee County Republicans.

The Republicans guest speaker will be Pam Pollard, the State President of the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women. Pollard was recently honored to travel 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.

Questions such as “Are the Israelies “haters” as portrayed in the U.S. media, or are they “helpers?” “What role does religion play in the regional conflict?” “Why does Israel have such a hard line attitude toward defense and what is the reason for such a robust defense system as the Iron Dome?”

Pollard will share pictures of sites visited and a question and answer time will be allowed at the end of the presentation.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the OSU Student Union Building. OSU is located at 1801 E 4th Street in Okmulgee.

Published in Okmulgee in the News

Following this week’s announcement by the Corporation Commission’s Oil and Gas Conservation Division (OGCD) that they will reduce oil and gas wastewater disposal well volume in two central Oklahoma counties, Gov. Mary Fallin met with Sec. of Energy and Environment Michael Teague and members of the Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity. Afterwards, those attending the meeting spoke with members of the press about their work and the latest state efforts to reduce earthquakes caused by disposal wells.

Sen. Roger Thompson also attended the briefing which was held Tuesday afternoon at the state Capitol. Thompson, R-Okemah, represents McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee and Okmulgee counties in the Senate.
“The latest Corporation Commission rules were announced on Monday and are aimed at Logan and Oklahoma Counties, where they’ve seen an undeniable increase in the frequency of quakes. While our part of the state hasn’t experienced what the citizens there are dealing with, we do have disposal wells here. I was interested to know what the governor and members of the Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity had to say about the situation,” Thompson said.

Last year the governor directed Teague’s office to lead the Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity, which brings together universities, regulators, legislators, seismologists and industry associations with the mission of coordinating and sharing information across state agencies and the state’s oil and gas industry, identify gaps in resources, and work cooperatively to develop solutions. While some seismic activity in Oklahoma occurs naturally, researchers agree that high volume, deep oil and gas wastewater disposal wells pose the highest risk for induced seismicity. The latest rules take into account other variables which may have triggered earthquakes.

“Because of the Council, the Corporation Commission has had access to excellent, in-depth data provided by oil and gas producers and this has proven invaluable as OGCD has worked to update their rules in response to the increase in seismic activity,” Thompson said. “Before they were focused on high-volume, deep wells. But those weren’t the kind of wells that were located in the areas having the most earthquakes. Other factors, like the cumulative volume of disposal wells, needed to be examined. With the data provided by Oklahoma energy companies and a new study conducted by Stanford University, OGCD modified their rules to better address the situation in Logan and northern Oklahoma Counties.”

“The governor said citizens shouldn’t expect the new rules to result in an immediate reduction in the frequency of earthquakes—it could take several months. But I was very glad to have an opportunity to hear what Governor Fallin, Secretary Teague and other members of the Council on Seismic Activity had to say about the current situation and the state’s response.”

Published in Political News
Thursday, 06 August 2015 08:30

MCNDH sponsors summit for diabetes awareness

OKMULGEE, Okla. — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health and Dewar Creek Indian Community proudly announce the ninth annual MCN Citizens’ Diabetes Awareness Summit will be held Thursday, Aug. 27 at First Baptist Church in Okmulgee.

“This exciting and informative conference will focus on finding ways to stop the rapid spread of one of the world’s most damaging, costly and preventable diseases, type 2 diabetes,” MCNDH Exercise Programs Manager Duane Meadows said.

Harold Hamm Diabetes Center Educators will provide the conference presentations.

The conference will cover the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, controlling, prevention and treatment of diabetes, nutrition and exercise tips.

The summit is free and is geared toward Muscogee (Creek) citizens. Limited seating will be available for spouses of citizens and other tribal citizens. There are no accommodations for children.

For more information about the ninth annual MCN Citizens’ Diabetes Awareness Summit, look for fliers available at MCNDH clinics, MCN community centers, or contact Duane Meadows at: 918-695-1325, or William Fixico at: 918-637-9683.

Published in Okmulgee in the News

IMG 1236

When the pumpkin turns into a carriage, and the mice become coachmen, and Cinderella arrives, it's time to start the Ball.  Such was the scene for Tuesday's Lions Club meeting with Jill Donovan, founder/owner of Rustic Cuff in Tulsa.  Once the meeting was turned over to Jill, she began taking us on this mythical journey that has been her life up until now--never, ever thinking she would be designing, creating, and fashioning bracelets that are "the rage" now.

Speaking to a jam-packed mixture of Lions and guests (all of whom were special), Jill had us "eating out of her hands" from the first "Hi, how are you", even though the signs clearly said "Do not feed the lions (pun intended)".  However, we supped sumptuously from the fountain of her experiences during her growing-up years, having been born in Baltimore, Maryland and finding her way to Tulsa (via Pensacola, Florida) to Oral Roberts University to play soccer.  There she met her husband,Terry, and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Ireland and August, who are her inspiration and great helpers.

Jill never wanted to have a business but began buying bracelets in different countries when she was working for American Airlines.  After researching on the internet how to work with leather and metal, she began fashioning her own designs and giving them to friends, some finding their way to celebrities.  The turning point was when, after five years of calling and writing trying to get a ticket to attend the Oprah Show, she was invited as a guest.  After one of the three airings, the next day she received orders for 2,000 bracelets.  At this point, it would be easy to say "and the rest is history"--but not yet.  She had obtained a law degree but stepped away from her practice to spend more time during the day with her daughters and teaching  law classes at TU during the evenings

Her shop is located on South Harvard and she presently has 24 employees.  Her boundless energy is only exceeded by her "giving nature", and as proof, gave everyone in attendance a bracelet in a draw-string cloth bag.  She was assisted by two of her employees in attendance, Meagen Smith and Jordan Coffman.

What an amazing story as well as a person.  Jill was such an entertaining and inspiring speaker that at times I had quit taking notes because I was so intent on listening to her, not wanting to miss any of the "funnies" that she continually tossed out--you never knew when they were coming.  If we do get her back later on for an update program, you certainly don't want to miss this one.

Pictured in Top Photo is Lion President Beth Flud, Jill Donovan, and Program Chairperson Lion Donna Thomas.   (Photo and information provided by Dean Craig)

Published in Okmulgee in the News

Monica Robertson, 40, was arrested at her Okmulgee home after being served a warrant out of Creek county. Michael Snyder an investigator with the Okmulgee County DA Task Force with the assistance of the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s arrested Robertson Tuesday afternoon and she was booked into the Creek County jail in connection with the recent Wal-Mart grand larceny heist.MonicaRobertson

Robertson is the wife of Rico Robertson who was first arrested in the case last month along with his step-daughter, Mariah Bustamonte, who was his accomplice to the robbery. Robertson was charged in Creek County with conspiracy to commit a felony. Her bond was set at $50,000.

Authorities are still in search of Bryan Johnson, 22, who posed as a Loomis Armored Truck driver and got away with over $70,000.

If anyone has information regarding this case or where Johnson might be located should contact the OSBI at 1-800-522-8017.

Published in Law Enforcement & Fire
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