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Okmulgee in the News

The Okmulgee Cheerleaders will be hosting a baked potato dinner on Friday April 26, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Okmulgee High School Cafeteria

The fundraiser will go to help Okmulgee Cheerleaders go to camp along with Cheer expenses.   They will be serving Lunch and Dinner. And will be delivering.

Lunch (11 a.m. -2 p.m.) and Dinner (4-7 p.m.)

Regan Ward tries on Olympic gold medals with assistance from her hero Olympic Champion Madeline Manning Mims. (Photos by Paul Orosco)

Madeline Manning Mims Olympic Gold Medalist, among a long list of other titles she could go by, was the guest speaker at the Okmulgee Lions Club on Tuesday April 9.  

Program Chair was Dr. James Ward and special honorary guest invited to hear Mims speak was Dr. Ward’s daughter Regan, who is a student and athlete from Beggs Public Schools.  Regan was delighted at the chance to sit next to and hear her role model’s testimony. She even had the chance to speak with Madeline personally and take photos with her.

Madeline Manning was the first U.S. 800 meter runner of truly world class. Her career at the top spanned 14 years and, despite the fact that she chose not to compete for six of those years, she won an Olympic and a Pan American title (1967), six AAU championships outdoors and three indoors, and won the 800 m at the 1967 World University Games.   In 1968, while attending Tennessee State, she won the 800 m gold medal in Mexico with a new Olympic record.

Among many of her other achievements, she was inducted in 1984 into the United States National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Admitting she is now 65, Mims is stunning and carries her age well.  She took the group of Lions on a journey back to her youth when her athletic abilities were realized.  She shared the account of how she met her first coach, Edward Temple, who went on to inspire, and challenge young Mims to lead her to the gold metal and his last words he left to her on the day he died.

She said that there were many hard times within the great moments, “But it is those low and hard times that help develop your character and helps you to see what other people go through.  I take those times and learn from them,” Mims said.

Mims stated there are a lot of things that people can accomplish just by showing a person that you believe in them.  “That’s what I do,” Mims said. “I look for those that I can inspire.”

Mims is also a talented Gospel singer and Jazz singer.  She was inducted in 2005 into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. She sang ‘America’ to the Lion members.

Watch for ONN’s video cast of Mims remarkable story within the speech that she gave during her visit with the Okmulgee Lions.  (Coming in a few days) We will notify you when it is up!

Madeline Manning Mims autographs photo for Beggs Student Regan Ward

Regan Ward, Olympic Gold Metalist Madeline Manning Mims and Lion Program Chair Dr. James Ward

...will be guest at the Okmulgee Library on April 11


Michael Wallis, voice of Sheriff on the Disney-Pixar movie Cars, author, biographer and historian of the American Wild West, Route 66, Outlaws and Native Americans will be speaking at the Okmulgee Public Library on April 11, 2013.

Michael will be signing books and giving a presentation on Route 66 “The Mother Road” in the Lurline Mabrey meeting room. The presentation and book signing will be from 6:00-8:00 P.M.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Okmulgee Public Library. For more information contact the Library at 918-756-1448.

Michael Wallis

            The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's popular controlled hunts program is open to online applicants now.
            The controlled hunts program offers once-in-a-lifetime elk and antelope hunts, highly sought-after buck hunts, and other quality hunting opportunities through randomized drawings that only cost sportsmen $5 to enter. Opportunities offered through the program include hunts on Department or other government-owned or managed lands where unrestricted hunting would pose safety concerns or where overharvest might occur.
            The online application process takes just a few minutes and must be completed through the Wildlife Department's website at wildlifedepartment.com. Applicants have until May 15 to submit their applications.
            "Whether you want to hunt a bull elk in the Wichita Mountains, an antelope in the Panhandle or a trophy buck at locations across the state like the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, the controlled hunts program is one of the best things going in Oklahoma hunting," said Melinda Sturgess-Streich, assistant director of administration and finance for the Wildlife Department.
            All applicants, including lifetime license holders, must pay the $5 application fee to enter the controlled hunts drawings. The fee is paid only once per person per year regardless of the number of categories entered.
            Applications are offered online through a secure process that only accepts applications once they have been filed correctly, and a print-out confirmation page is available for sportsmen to document their submitted application.
           Click here to complete an application for the Controlled Hunts program.


Friday, 05 April 2013 18:43

Home Run the Movie filmed in Okmulgee

To open nation-wide in Theatres April 19

Okmulgee hit a Home Run with a movie that was filmed in many locations around Okmulgee in Oct. 2011. The opening premiere was held in Tulsa and ONN’s own Paul Orosco attended the exciting event.

This movie is much more than just another baseball movie. The movie is a sports story, a love story and a story of redemption.

Many local residents were used as "Extras" in the movie. Some of the Okmulgee residents that will be seen are Kenneth Taylor, Officer Jerome Gresham, Herman Brown, Glenda Orosco, and Paul Orosco who did a lot of the still photography for the movie.  

The home of Mary Ann Dangott was used in a major scene.  You will see filming that was done at M& D Drugs store as well as Okmulgee Memorial Hospital and the Okmulgee Police station.

The majority of collage of still photos tow banner boards used at the theater opening were photographed by ONN’s Paul Orosco from Okmulgee.

"It was also nice to see my name on the screen trailer receiving a film credit,"  Paul Orosco said.

Home Run tells the story of Cory Brand, played by Scott Elrod, a big league baseball player who struggles with alcoholism. His past is riddled with problems including having an abusive alcoholic father. Cory is suspended from baseball when his out of control drinking collides with his rage. His suspension forces him to seek help and Celebrate Recovery is the only option available to him.

Through the character of Cory Brand the viewers will realize that personal transformation is possible. This character is a strong-willed, tough know it all who doesn't need anything from anyone--yet deep inside is damaged, scared, unsure and struggling. For years, Cory hides his pain until one day it explodes. He uses anger to cover up what he is really feeling. This character craves approval and feeds this need for approval by playing baseball really well.

As the movie unfolds, Cory is eventually forced to deal with his demons.
Can people really change? This movie explores the challenges that Cory Brand faces from losing everything to discovering what really matters. Home Run explores this transformation and reveals that there doesn't have to be shame along the journey.

Producer Carol Mathews and her producing partner Tom Newman develop "projects that matter." Carol was inspired to produce a feature film giving hope to those suffering from addiction.

"We want people who feel imprisoned by their choices or habits to know they don't have to carry that burden alone anymore," Mathews said. "We hope people will sit in the theater and see themselves, and will consider that whatever holds them back, God can heal it.

The faith message is developed in this movie by means of the Celebrate Recovery program. Celebrate Recovery was founded in 1991 by John and Cheryl Baker. While John Baker was attending Alcoholics Anonymous he longed for a Biblically based, Christ-centered program. His thoughts were expressed in a 13-page letter to Saddelback Senior Pastor Rick Warren. Warren's response was, "John, you do it."

Today, there are 19,000 individual churches and organizations hosting programs worldwide. More than 700,000 people have completed the program. The mission of Celebrate Recovery is to take a lost broken person, introduce them to the saving power of Christ and teach them how to grow into a fully devoted follower of Christ. The door to recovery is opened by spending time together sharing experiences, strengths and hopes with one another and celebrating God's healing power in our lives.

Home Run the movie is a feel good, Christian based family film that will be an inspiration to all. The film gives hope to those suffering from addiction. This is a movie about baseball, love and encouragement. A must see movie that will undoubtedly score big.

(Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer)

L-R Glenda and Paul Orosco of Okmulgee enjoyed a sneak preview and hanging out with the stars during the opening premiere in Tulsa on April 4.

Thursday, 04 April 2013 17:15

Terry Don West RPBR Bull Riding a success

The Terry Don West RPBR Bull Riding held March 30, in Henryetta seen 32 bull riders come through who entered from AR, KS, OK, TX and Brazil.

Those who placed were:

1st Tyler Eldridge
2nd Criseiao Fiqureao
3rd Venn Johns
4th Kyle Sherwood

Thursday, 04 April 2013 16:41

Who is Okmulgee County's Top Gun?

We aim to find as Okmulgee Rotary joins Pats Archery in the Duel at the Deep Fork April 27 at  1:00 p.m.

Teams of four will compete in a modified Sporting Clay setting.

Don't have 4 friends? Sign up and compete in the individual category. Cost is $50 per person. Contact Rob Hess at 918-756-1316 or Pats Archery at 918-756-4632 to be a part of this inaugural fun filled event.

Entries must be received by April 22 and proceeds go to benefit the youth of Okmulgee County through the Okmulgee Rotary Club.

Need a little help with your shooting or if you want to learn how to shoot? Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife will be hand to teach you the morning of the Duel from 9 a.m. to noon.  Limited to the first 50 people to sign up. (Guns and ammunition provided by the STEP program)

To participate in this program you must attend the informative orientation from 9-10 a.m. This program is free to participants.

(Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer)



Thursday, 04 April 2013 15:39

Keep our scenery clean, do your part!

Plans are being made to organize teams and partnerships with towns along the highway. Priorities are to clean up broken tree limbs, trash and other unsightly roadside debris along highway 75. This includes from Henryetta starting at I-40 going north to the Begg's exit (Highway 16).
Nevyle Cable, President and CEO of First National Bank and Trust said, "Highway 75 is the main arterial road for Okmulgee County. Cleaning up this stretch of highway will do a lot for the image of Okmulgee County, as well as, our communities. We are recruiting local groups to participate. With lots of community involvement, the job will be easier to accomplish. We invite businesses, civic groups, churches, garden clubs, Sunday School classes, youth groups, schools, individuals, and others to help. Anyone can team up to clean up."
The group has divided highway 75 into one mile-sections. Nevyle Cable added, "We will need about 30 teams county-wide in order to get the entire stretch of highway cleaned. If you have five or six people to a team, we think you should be able to get one mile done in about 1 hour. We plan to have arrangements to drop each group off at their designated area as well as pick them up when they are finished."
Clean Your Slate for a Working Date! Sharla Stephenson, Marketing Officer for First National Bank added, "Our Highway 75 area clean up is set for Saturday, April 20th, from 8:30 a.m. till 11:00 a.m.. First National Bank & Trust of Okmulgee and Henryetta will act as the facilitator and organizer for the event. We will provide coffee and doughnuts the morning of the event. All participants will receive a nice blue FNB flashlight for volunteering! Team leaders will receive safety/team packets filled with clean up essentials. There will also be a safety briefing that morning. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has provided us with trash bags and bright orange vests."

Any organizations or individuals interested in getting groups together, or even participate
individually, can contact Sharla Stephenson at First National Bank in Okmulgee at 610 E. 8th, 918-758-2465, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In Henryetta, contact Keith Estes at 305 W. Trudgeon, 918-586-4117, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can register your team at firstokmulgee.com or print the team registration form from the website and bring it by either bank location or fax it at 918-756-4510. (Registration deadline: Wednesday, April 10th.)

Click here to register:

Highway 75 Clean Up Team Registration

The Morris elementary students who met their reading goal for the nine weeks were rewarded with getting to play volleyball with the teachers.

In the heart of it all, they dressed up like Duck Dynasty characters from the hit TV show and marched in wakin & shakin Thursday morning to the song "Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top.

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 20:17

Arrival Of Spring Fails To Rescue Dry March

The wet conditions of February failed to translate into March, but the cooler than normal weather continued virtually uninterrupted. According to data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the month's statewide average temperature was 47.7 degrees, 2.5 degrees below normal and the 45th coolest March since records began in 1895. The two months together accomplished a relatively rare feat of late, becoming first consecutive months to finish below normal in Oklahoma since January and February 2011. This March stands in stark contrast to last year's record-breaking version, which ended at 59.6 degrees, 9.4 degrees above normal.  Thanks to a late-month taste of spring storminess, the statewide average rainfall total climbed to 1.5 inches for the month, which fell about 1.6 inches below normal and ranked as the 33th driest on record. The first three months of the year came out fairly close to normal for both precipitation and temperature. The statewide average January-March temperature finished at 42.8 degrees, a tenth of a degree above normal, while the precipitation total of 6.44 inches was a tenth of an in above normal as well.

That late burst of springtime weather also came with a fair amount of severe weather. Reports of hail from the size of marbles to tennis balls came in from across the state on the 29th and 30th. Hail covered the ground and actually drifted in some parts of the state. At least one tornado was confirmed to have touched down late on the 30th in Sequoyah County near Sallisaw, damaging a home and downing power poles. More localized severe weather struck southern Oklahoma on the ninth and northern Oklahoma saw up to 3 inches of snow on the 24th.

The cooler than normal weather kept drought from spreading or intensifying, although drought impacts continued to be felt statewide. Data from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service indicate 49 percent of the state’s topsoils were rated as either "adequate" or "surplus" for moisture, meaning 51 percent were rated as "short" or "very short." Subsoils have not fared quite so well given the long-term nature of this drought. The subsoils were rated at 88 percent "short" or "very short" and only 12 percent were rated as "adequate." State pasture and range conditions were rated 70 percent "very poor" or "poor," with only 25 percent rated as "fair" and 5 percent rated as "good."  Approximately 10 percent of the state was covered by Exceptional drought according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report, down from 35 percent three months ago. The entire state has remained in at least Moderate drought since July 2012. The Drought Monitor’s intensity scale slides from Moderate-Severe-Extreme-Exceptional, with exceptional being the worst category.

A very active weather pattern appears possible during the first two weeks of April, which could bring further drought relief. Short- to medium-range forecast models indicate the potential for 2-4 inches of rainfall across the state during the first two weeks of the month.

The April precipitation outlook from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center showed increased odds of above normal precipitation across the southeastern third of the state. The temperature outlook indicated increased odds of warmer than normal weather across all of Oklahoma. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook for April-June does call for drought to either persist or intensify through June for the southwestern third of the state and the Panhandle. Northeast of that area, “some improvement” could be seen, meaning drought will continue but not be eliminated. Far northeastern Oklahoma is expected to see drought improvement and impacts ease.

April is normally the fifth wettest month of the year with a statewide average of 3.36 inches. The last two Aprils have finished wetter than normal, only to be followed by drought intensification during May and June. The last two Aprils were also active severe weather months with 50 tornadoes during April 2011 and 53 in 2012, breaking the record for number of April tornadoes in consecutive years.