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Okmulgee in the News

Story by Sgt. Bradley A. Cooney, 145th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

BRAGGS, Okla.—Jana and Matthew Machniak—if seen shopping at the local supermarket with their two children—would appear to be a conventional, everyday married couple.

But underneath that sublime small-town family exterior are two Oklahoma Army National Guard members on the road to mobilize to the Southwest Asia. Their unit, the 1345th Transportation Company, Oklahoma Army National Guard, deployed to Southwest Asia. That means the couple will be going together.

It’s difficult enough for married folks to manage the usual range of weekly duties—getting the kids off to school, soccer practice, appointments—but the Machniaks, just three years into their marriage, say deploying together will be simple. It’s just a matter of faith.

“Faith is the foundation of our relationship,” said Matthew, of Adrian, Michigan, adding he and Jana first met at a church group. “We wouldn’t be together if we didn’t have the same beliefs.”

Shortly before they met, Jana decided to join the Oklahoma Guard and Matthew followed not long after. Their bond grew stronger through their faith in God and service to their county.

“We have always been headed in the same direction since we met,” said Jana of Hydro, Oklahoma. “We have the same goals, which makes it easier.”

When they were told that their unit was mobilizing, they were faced with some tough choices.

“We were given the option for one of us to stay,” said Matthew. “We thought about it in terms of what is best for our family and we both wanted the experience.”

The couple had the support of their leadership during the decision-making process.

“These two soldiers really impressed me,” said Cpt. Dustin Ruth, 1345th Transportation Company commander. “For these two to sacrifice being away from their two young children for an entire year, to put their unit and mission first, says a lot about their courage and conviction. I don’t know many people who would not have jumped at the chance to stay home.”

Matthew is a motor transport operator and Jana is unit supply specialist. The two are in different platoons so their time spent together during a busy pre-deployment training is limited. They make everything work through texts and brief run-ins during their day. Through their dedication to the mission and each other, their bond stays strong.

“We have gone into this with the mindset that when we get to see each other, it’ll be awesome,” said Jana. “When we can’t, at least we know that we are going through it together.”

One very important detail comes to mind during all of this: where will their children be while their parents are off serving our country? The couple’s two children are staying with their grandparents in western Oklahoma during the mobilization.

“Their grandma and grandpa run a farm that they spend a lot of time at,” said Matthew. “So we couldn’t have asked for a better situation to leave them in.”

Through all of this, their children are never far from their thoughts.

“I hope that they recognize that we did this to honor our commitment,” said Jana. “Not only did we do this to keep our marriage strong, we also wanted to keep our commitment and fulfill our duty.”

Matthew agreed. “We will come back with a new appreciation of time with our family, that’s for sure.”

OKLAHOMA CITY –Attorney General Scott Pruitt is once again recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month with several events scheduled throughout the month to raise awareness about domestic violence prevention.

The 9th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Press Conference and Awards Ceremony will take place Thursday, Oct. 13 at 1:30 p.m., in the Blue Room of the Oklahoma State Capitol. The yearly press conference aims to increase awareness of domestic violence in our communities and honor the law enforcement, victims’ advocates, prosecutors and other partners who have gone above and beyond to assist victims of domestic violence. Award winners this year are Jacobi Nichols Whatley, District 21 Assistant District Attorney; Captain James Bell, Northeastern State University Police Department; Evelyn Hibbs, Executive Director of Women in Safe Home; and Brian Reeves, children services volunteer for YWCA-OKC. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held at the Attorney General’s Office to honor the awardees.

 “Domestic violence continues to have a devastating impact on families across our state,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “Through the cooperative efforts of several state agencies and local organizations, our mission this month is to bring awareness to this issue and recognize the many endeavors already taking place to prevent domestic violence with the hope to one day eliminate the tragedy entirely.”

Other events planned in October to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month include:

October 12th - Domestic Violence Awareness Month Balloon Release –OU/DHS Training Center, Norman at 12pm
 October 27th - DHS Walk to Remember – Sequoyah Building South lawn, 1:00pmOctober 27th - YWCA Wreath of Hope Ceremony – State Capitol, 1:30pm

Also, in what has become a tradition across the state during the month of October, Attorney General Pruitt is inviting Oklahomans to join him in wearing purple every Thursday of the month as a visual reminder to honor those victims who lost their lives and to celebrate survivors of domestic violence. Adding to that tradition, community partners, state agencies and local leaders are being asked to light their homes or businesses purple during the week of October 24-28.

Other agencies and organizations partnering with the Attorney General’s Office to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month include District Attorney’s Council, Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Native Alliance Against Violence, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, and YWCA.

To report incidents of domestic violence or to seek help, call the statewide 24-hour hotline at 1-800-522-SAFE (7233). For other resources to assist victims of domestic abuse, contact the Attorney General’s Victim Services Unit at (405) 521-3921 or (918) 581-2885.

Monday, October 10th at 4:00 pm at the Mvskoke Nation Youth Services office located at 112 E. 6th Street just west of Paddy's Kickboxing. 

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 21:07

FFFCU Celebrates Credit Union Difference

On October 20, 2016, First Family Federal Credit Union (FFFCU) will, along with more than 56,000 credit unions around the world, celebrate International Credit Union Day, and the foundational principles that make credit unions unique.

Join the celebration at their annual Open House event on Thursday, October 20th from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. There will be refreshments and FFFCU promotional giveaways at your nearest location.

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives guided by nine principles, including democratic control, social responsibility, and returning all profits to members. This year’s theme is “The Authentic Difference,” a description of credit union’s cooperative structure and principles. FFFCU celebrates International Credit Union Day because it believes banking should be principled.

On International Credit Union Day, FFFCU joins the more than 217 million credit union members around the world in celebrating the people-first principles that have helped lift people out of poverty and strengthen communities all over the globe.

The public is welcome to stop by any of the four FFFCU locations (Checotah, Henryetta, McAlester and Okmulgee) and celebrate a movement that concerns itself with the financial success of all people.

2016 ICU Day Principles

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 18:27

October is Quit Month in Oklahoma

SmokingisNotOK Campaign will inform Oklahomans about the importance of smoking cessation

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Insurance Department, along with the American Cancer Action Network and the American Lung Association, will partner with numerous local health care providers in Oklahoma to sponsor SmokingisNotOK, a public awareness campaign aimed at informing residents about the importance of quitting smoking.  

“Smoking is Oklahoma's leading preventable cause of death, killing more Oklahomans than alcohol, auto accidents, AIDS, suicide, murder and illegal drug use combined,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Last year, federal agencies clarified a requirement that health insurance companies cover tobacco use counseling and interventions. Coverage of the preventive services is required. The services are covered with no out-of-pocket costs and no prior authorization.”

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma ranks 39th among all states for its adult smoking rate, with about 23 percent of adult Oklahomans smoking cigarettes.

“Oklahoma is among 13 states that don't have comprehensive smoke-free state laws in place,” said Dawn Watson, Oklahoma government relations director, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc. “Oklahoma residents can smoke in bars and the state allows restaurants to have separate ventilated smoking rooms so there is still more to be done in making Oklahoma smoke-free.”

Oklahoma residents can get involved in Quit Month by using the hashtag #SmokingIsNotOK to share stories about quitting on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

“Our main goal is to educate and inform Oklahoma residents about the resources available to help them quit smoking,” said Jeremy Hughey, executive director, American Lung Association in Oklahoma. “We realize it is no easy feat to give up the addiction to tobacco, but Oklahomans need to know there is help available to them when they’re ready to quit.”

You can get more information about Oklahoma Quit Month at NOTOK.oid.ok.gov. There are also helpful tools online at QuittersCircle.com and you can download the Quitter’s Circle® app* from the App Store or Google Play.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is also available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) for access to FREE resources.

About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.

Main Street is looking for the best chili cooks to face off in this years Harvest Spoon 22nd Annual Chili Festival and contest.

The event will be held around the historic square in downtown Okmulgee from 10:30 to 6. Chili Judging will happen at 10:30 and at 11 a.m. tasting kits go on sale.

Categories are the same as last year:

Uncles, aunts, cousins, sisters, brothers, grandmas, moms, dads (you get
the point) are all eligible to enter this class, but no more than two folks in one booth (maybe three if they are small family members).

Family or Business ...
This is an opportunity for company teams and families to participate in the community and just have fun!

Non-profit or Organization ... This division will give local organizations, schools, groups, clubs and charities the opportunity to win cash prizes and is a fun way to increase your group's visibility in the community!

The entry fee for each category is $25.00. Registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 9th, 2015.

Winners will be chosen from each of the three categories who will be awarded a trophy and a cash prize of$250.00.

In addition, and through votes cast by the chili tasters, a People's choice award will also be awarded and the cash prize for this honor is $500.00. This winner will also be receiving the never awarded before traveling BASS Spoon award as the final part of the prize package!

Contenders will also have a chance to compete for the best "Cool Factor" at their booth if they choose.

Main Street hopes to have many entries this year, so get your form in early as it is a first come first chosen selection process.

Pick up your entry form here:  http://okmulgeemainstreet.wixsite.com/okmulgeechilifest

Open to Democrats, Independents, as well as Republicans:

The October 11 meeting of the Okmulgee County Republicans will feature guest speakers covering the VOTE NO side of State Question 777 (Right to Farm) and State Question 779 (1 cent sales tax). We will also have a speaker informing us why we should vote NO on whether to retain two Oklahoma Supreme Court justices. You DO NOT have to be registered Republican to attend. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the OSUIT Student Union – Okmulgee Conference Room - located at 1801 E 4th St. in Okmulgee.

Speaker information:

Brian Jones – Kirkpatrick Foundation – NO on State Question 777 (Right to Farm)

Brian Ted Jones is a lawyer and director of education for Kirkpatrick Foundation. He was born in 1984 and raised in the towns of Talihina and Red Oak, Oklahoma. He's a graduate of St. John's College and holds a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. He lives with his wife, Jenne, and their sons, Oscar and GuyJack.

Kirkpatrick Foundation, founded in 1955 by John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick, is a private foundation located in Oklahoma City. The philanthropy funds arts, culture, education, animal wellbeing, environmental conservation, and historic preservation nonprofit organizations, distributing approximately $3 million annually in grants and charitable activities.
Robert Aery – NO on State Question 779 (1 cent sales tax)

Robert Aery is the Deputy State Director of Americans for Prosperity in Oklahoma, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of economic freedom in the public policy process. At AFP-OK, Robert manages the state chapter’s policy agenda, field program, media and community outreach, and daily operations.

Robert is a native Tulsan and currently resides in the Tulsa metro area with his wife, Julia, who is a public school teacher.

Robert is an attorney licensed to practice in Oklahoma. He earned a law degree (J.D.) from the University Of Tulsa College Of Law, with a Certificate in Sustainable Energy and Resources Law. At Tulsa Law, Robert was a member and editor for the University of Tulsa Energy Law Journal. He also has experience in party committee leadership, lobbying, grassroots strategy and training, public relations, political consultation, legal writing, non-profit management, and issue advocacy. He is a regular contributor to Townhall.com and other media outlets.


Bill McArthur – Oklahoma Supreme Court Justices

Bill McArthur is a retired engineer. He will be speaking on the Oklahoma judicial appointment and retention process, and the makeup and voting record of the OK Supreme Court, and our opportunity in 2016 to unseat (DO NOT RETAIN) two of them.

While Oklahoma is considered “the reddest of the red states”, and been conservative Republican for years, our liberal Supreme Court has overturned multiple laws limiting abortion and ruled the display of the 10 Commandments unconstitutional under the Oklahoma Constitution.

The Henryetta Police are looking into an unexplained fatality that occurred Sunday evening in Henryetta.  Parts of Lake Road was blocked off for several hours while police investigated a man’s body that was found dead at a home near Corporation Str.  It was reported that the man was seen by passing motorist in his yard.

Henryetta Police Chief Steve Norman said that it appeared to be an accident and that the man was potentially working in his truck.  The identity of the man has not been released yet.

“The State Medical Examiner was called in and we are waiting on an official report to the actual cause of death, “ said Chief Norman.

IMG 5658

Photo by Allen Gardner - ONN

Monday, 03 October 2016 14:57

Voter Registration Deadline is October 14

Friday, October 14, 2016, is the last day to apply for voter registration in order to be eligible to vote in the November 8, 2016, General Election.

Persons who are United States citizens, residents of Oklahoma, and at least 18 years old may apply to become registered voters.

Those who aren’t registered or need to change their registration may apply in person at the Okmulgee County Election Board office or by filling out and mailing an Oklahoma Voter Registration Application form in time for it to be postmarked no later than midnight Friday, October 14th. Applications postmarked after that time will be accepted and processed, but not until after the November 8, 2016 election.

The County Election Board responds in writing to every person who submits an application for voter registration.  The response is either a voter identification card listing the new voter's precinct number and polling place location or a letter that explains the reason or reasons the application for voter registration was not approved. Any person who has submitted a voter registration application and who has not received a response within 30 days should contact the County Election Board office.

Oklahoma Voter Registration Application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 314 W. 7th Street, Room 102 of the Okmulgee County Courthouse, and at most post offices, tag agencies and public libraries in the county. Applications also are available at www.elections.ok.gov.

For more election related information, call the Okmulgee County Election Board at 918-756-2365 or the State Election Board website www.ok.gov/elections.


The Board and Staff of Anne Moroney Youth Services Congratulate Director, Jackie Miller on 28 years of service to our Community.


Pictured left to right: Carol Smith, Chris Dixon, Melinda Moudy, Jackie Miller, Ron Sawyer, Leona McDowell, Janna Duggan, Benita Casselman and Rae Ann Wilson.

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