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Okmulgee in the News

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

 Maddie BIt’s not often that a national championship is won in anything, but a Tulsa college student recently claimed first place in a nationwide financial analysis competition held in Anaheim, California, from June 23-28. Madeline Soukup, who recently graduated from Tulsa Community College with an Associate of Science in international business, won the college-level division (Phi Beta Lambda, or PBL) of the Future Business Leaders of America’s National Leadership Conference last week. The only level of education barred from this competition were those with Ph.D degrees.

In the final round, participants, which may be either individuals or teams of up to three competitors, were given twenty minutes to analyze case studies of business plans, preparing a 5-7 minute presentation to a judging panel of how they would solve the problem.

To get to that final round, participants had to place first or second at state-level competitions, and then once they got to Nationals there was an hour-long hundred-question timed multiple-choice test, with the top fifteen scores advancing to the final round.

“On a skill level, participants must have a good working knowledge in finance theory,” Soukup stated, adding that while most competitors have extensive experience with college classes in finance, her learning experience in this field was self-taught.

This commitment to independent learning likely is because Madeline was homeschooled before graduating from Jenks High School; she has lived in and around the Tulsa area for most of her life.

This was her third national PBL trophy overall, previously garnering two others in economics, which she described as a “widely-applicable social science that considers how decisions are made by countries and individuals,” while finance is “more about how money works and the way it flows through firms.” She was an officer of the TCC PBL chapter this past year.

While at the conference, “I developed contacts all over the nation, made some wonderful new friends, grew closer to my fellow TCC competitors, went to fantastic guest speakers and workshops, and I got to visit a beach for the first time since I was three,” Soukup said. “The trip was absolutely incredible, I wouldn't trade it for anything.”

Madeline, an Honors student with a 3.9 GPA, is continuing her education this fall at the University of Tulsa, where she will double-major in economics and finance.

Thursday, 06 July 2017 13:30

Diapers and Fireworks

By: Tina Pierce LMFT

Summers can be hard and fun all at the same time. I enjoy getting more time with the kids but then I find myself running ragged trying to do all the things we do not typically have time to do during the school year. Between diaper changes, library visits, splash pad play dates, and church who has time for anything else. I caught myself one day wondering when my husband would come save me from the needy toddlers. As he walked through the door I am sure I looked like a mess. The kids and I had just came home from the pool. I was slightly sunburnt sitting on the floor changing the baby’s stinky diaper while all three kids were whining about being hungry and thirsty. The first thing he did was come give me a kiss and ask what he could do to help, as if he had not been working hard all day himself. But I have to say that selfless attitude does not come naturally to either of us. Amazing marriages take hard work, day after day.

I am so blessed to be able to celebrate an 8th anniversary in a few weeks. I know some of you are thinking we are still newlyweds and others are saying they made it past the seven year itch. Either way I can attest that no marriage worth having is made without hard work and perseverance. So set aside the diapers and make time for the fireworks. Tell her she is just as beautiful now as she was the day you married her. Tell him he is an amazing leader for your family and you admire his strength and courage. Give her a hug without expecting anything in return. Bake him some cookies just for fun. Put the kids to bed a little early and spend time talking about something other than the kids. Make your spouse a priority because in reality they came before the kids and if you want them to still be there when the kids are out of the house you better invest in that relationship too. Besides the fireworks are worth the investment. So put down your phone and give him a kiss.

Tina Pierce LMFT
You Place, LLC

The You Place offers Family, Marital, Pre-Marital, and Individual Counseling Services for people struggling with a variety of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, and more. The You Place also offers consultation and training services and LPC supervision. For more information call today. 918-777-6045.


The highlight of Okmulgee’s Fourth of July celebration in Municipal Park is the fireworks show, choreographed by City Emergency Manager and licensed pyrotechnician Ken Anderson, with over thirty years’ experience in shooting commercial firework displays.

“You have to have numorous years of experience, and you have to be signed off by someone who knows you have the experience to operate the shells in a responsible way,” Anderson stated.

The displays, which consist of over a thousand shells, will be synchronized with music from John Phillip Sousa, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Broadway cast of Oklahoma!, Rodney Atkins, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and Blake Shelton.

The fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night, while the celebration begins at 7 p.m. Free hot dogs, popcorn and snow cones will be provided, while there will also be a shuttle service from the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Other attractions will include face painting, sand art, live music, a petting zoo and a waterslide.

“It’s a great event for the community, and it’s all free,” Mayor Steve Baldridge said.

Last year an estimated crowd of two thousand spectators attended the event.



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Pictured left to right: David Fetgatter, R.C. Morrow, Craig Brydges, Dean Craig, Philip Wright, Ron Martin, Leroy Parker, James Thompson, Mike Keaton, Tim Walker, Duaine Janzen, James Gray, Cassandra Northington, Jim Vaughn, Gary Volz, Jim McClendon, Anthony Nieto, and a truck load of fireworks.
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig).

Tuesday's Lions Club meeting brings to a close our calendar year for the "changing of the guard" and marked the final meeting for R.C. Morrow's year as President. It has been a remarkable year but he is just continuing what has been the "norm" for the past number of years of outstanding leadership for our club. The meeting place was changed from the First Baptist Church to the fireworks tent on Highway 75 north of town to show off our vast array of fireworks. This is our biggest project and ALL of the proceeds go back into the community and that is why we ask you to PLEASE buy your fireworks from the Lions. Of course, everyone gets the "family discount".

We welcomed our two newest members: Anthony Nieto, General Manager of the Okmulgee Times; and James Gray, Shelter Insurance, who has been a previous member and served as President of the club in 2000-2001. We still have a few more spots for a few more good men and women--just give us a call and we'll reserve your spot. "WE SERVE".

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The City of Okmulgee Fireworks Extravaganza is bigger and better this year. This free event is always a lot of fun for the whole family and something the citizens of Okmulgee don’t want to miss. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the City Municipal Park and celebrate America’s Birthday together with your family and friends. At 7:00 pm the celebration will begin with free hot dogs, chips, popcorn, bottled water and this year they are adding free snow cones. There will be a live band with great music and the children will enjoy a water slide/bounce house, face painting, sand art, a petting zoo and a circus train. There is a shuttle service from Walmart if you want to avoid parking.

City of Okmulgee Emergency Manager, Kenneth Anderson, the lead Licensed Pyro Technician, has an extraordinary fireworks show choreographed to music that is amazing and keeps the crowd excited throughout the whole event.

Anderson said, “The fireworks event starts the planning stage eight months in advance and it takes a lot of departments to prepare this show for the citizens of Okmulgee.” City of Okmulgee’s Technology Services, Okmulgee Police Department, Okmulgee Fire Department, Public Works, City Hall Employees and of course the Okmulgee City Council work hard to provide this outstanding demonstration. Many thanks go to the generous sponsors of the show, including CP Kelco, Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce, Polyvision, Muskogee Creek Nation, Harlan Motor Company, First National Bank, First Family Credit Union, Loves Travel Stop, McDonalds, B & C Mechanical, Okmulgee Tag Office, Morris State Bank, Okmulgee Main Street, Better Built Structures, M & M Machining, Jimmy Jones Electric, Stone Horse Construction, Mabrey Bank, Scott Wallick and Taylor Made Graphx.

Anderson said they try to make it bigger and better for you each year and this year’s choreographed music will include Martina McBride, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Rodney Atkins, Broadway cast of Oklahoma, John Phillip Sousa, Mariah Carey and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” The fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m.

Anderson has four teams of Pyro Technicians who build this magnificent show for you, working all night to put together the fireworks display of over 1000 shells. You can see it from a lot of locations in the city, but there is nothing like being right there to hear and see it up close; an event you will remember all year. Come out and join the celebration and wish America a Happy 241st Birthday.


By Wesley Coburn - ONN

The Fourth of July is almost here, and for many, that means shooting off fireworks. Within Okmulgee city limits, fireworks may be legally shot off from 3 p.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, July 3-5. Here are the rules spelled out by the city’s fireworks ordinance:

A permit must have been purchased at City Hall, and this may be done until 4 p.m. Monday afternoon. They cost $20 each and must be purchased by an adult (18 and up).

The permit holder needs to be physically present and within one hundred feet of the display to allow another household member to set them off.

Fireworks must be set off on a noncombustible surface at least fifty feet away from buildings, and at least five hundred feet away from churches, crops, hospitals, schools, and any locations where fireworks are sold or may reside in large quantities.

Fireworks by private citizens may not be shot off in any city or county park, nor can they be fired on any highway or street wider than 26 feet.

Debris caused by firework displays is expected to be cleaned up by the permit holder, failure to comply will result in a $225 fine. Any violations of the rules listed above will also result in a $225 fine, and use of fireworks outside of the designated times could be punished with a $550 fine.

Friday, 30 June 2017 13:22

MCN Festival held last weekend

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

The 43rd annual Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival was held this past weekend, with activities centered around the fairgrounds area, though events occurred throughout Okmulgee.

For the kids, there were bounce houses, a rock wall, a Tilt-a-Whirl, the Ferris wheel and Lightning McQueen and Mater from Pixar’s “Cars.”

Food vendors sold turkey legs, funnel cakes, frybread, roasted corn, barbeque, baked goods and Indian tacos.

Various MCN departments had vendor booths with informational material, including the Departments of Environmental Services and Health. The Department of Conservation set up a rainfall demonstration, seeking to educate visitors about proper soil-management techniques.

Arts and crafts vendors had T-shirts, cowboy hats, baseball caps, jewelry, flutes, metalwork, paintings and other items for sale. An art show was held Friday night in the Mvsokke Dome.

In sports, there were tournaments in basketball, horseshoes, softball and volleyball, with results to follow. This was in addition to the rodeo, which, despite a gate breaking down Friday night, went well.

IMG 0935The North Carolina-based southern rock band Delta Rae performed on the stage at 7 p.m. Friday night, their songs included “Chasing Twisters,” “Dance in the Graveyard,” “Outlaws,” and “The Wrong Ocean.”

Many audience members Friday night were attending the festival solely for the Lee Ann Womack concert at 9 p.m., including thirtysomething couple Heather and Greg, who had never attended the festival before. Mark and Ginger from Drumright also attended the concert, bringing friends of theirs from Texas. “My favorite part of the festival was the stomp dance, I’d never seen one before,” Ginger said. Womack performed songs including “Does My Ring Burn Your Finger?”, “Never Again Again,” “The Fool,” “Last Call,” and “You’ve Got to Talk to Me.”

Saturday afforded many options for attendees: in the morning there was a 5K and the parade down 6th Street, in the afternoon there was the Harlan Motors car show, and then Saturday night Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd performed on the main stage.

Mvskoke Media had a booth set up, and radio stations KOKL 1240 AM The Brew, K95.5 FM and KVOO 98.5 FM also attended.

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BY Wesley Coburn - ONN

Harlan Ford put on their first car show Saturday, June 24, and there were many attendees, likely in part bleeding over from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival held at the fairgrounds next door.

There were 137 vehicles that were entered, and 110 of those were judged.

The People’s Choice award went to Michelle Kennedy of 4WAYZ Car Club, with her 2012 Chevrolet Camaro painted like the character Bumblebee from the Transformers film series.

Best of Show, with a perfect maximum score of 150 points possible, was Lloyd Lang of Falcon Club of America, with his 1963 Ford F-Series unibody pickup. An Honorable Mention went to Bob Horn for his 1995 custom-painted Harley-Davidson Dyna Glide, the only motorcycle entered for judging.

A raffle raised over a thousand dollars for the Okmulgee Service League.

“We couldn’t have done it without our staff and sponsors, so a special shout-out to all of them for their hard work,” stated Andrew Harlan, finance and inventory manager.


Friday, 30 June 2017 13:14

Tdap vaccine required for 7th graders

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

It’s currently nearing the Fourth of July, but August - and with it the upcoming school year - will be here for Okmulgee County teachers, students and parents before they know it. As part of the immunization process, junior high students need proof of a Tdap vaccine before starting school.

Tdap is a booster vaccine that protects against tetnus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). It is commonly recommended for children ages 11-12, and required by Oklahoma law for incoming 7th graders.

Parents are requested to bring a copy of the immunization form on the first day of the 2017-18 school year.

preteen boy vac

By Wesley Coburn - ONN

The 43th annual Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival last weekend featured, as always, a fiercely-competitive softball tournament running from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening.

Thirty-one teams were entered in the men’s tournament, while twenty-five squads were on the women’s side of the bracket.

The Kansas Indians were the first-place team in the men’s division, coming out of the loser’s bracket to defeat Big Eagle Express, who had won every game they played previously. The third-place game was between Kansas City Sykos and the Southeast Indians, with the Sykos winning.

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Winning the women’s division were the Sundancers, who had a first-round bye and rolled through their opponents, defeating Pokko Nafkv in the final, while Chitto Harjo won their third-place game against the Beagles.

Other men’s teams competing included the All Americans, the Allniters, BHB, Cate Boys, Down-N-Dirty, Dye Hard, Fry Bread Nation, Gap It, the Goodfellas, Hog Creek, Indigenous, Just Us, Lil Hog Creek, Noo Trybe, O’Jays, the Oklahoma Hill Raiders, the Oklahoma Natives, OPVS, the Rebel Warriors, the Red Bandits, Redline, the Rez Sox, the Shawnee Indians, the Team Players, the Travelers, Tribal Brothers and the Warchiefs.

Other women’s teams competing included the Average Joes, Bext, BHB, the Cardinals, Chahtas, DS4JC Softball, HVPVTTAS, Lady MVP, KaKumbas, Nations, North Americans, the Oklahoma Indians, the Oklahoma Kuties, Red Nations, the Red Stars, the Renegades, Sga-Si-Yu, the Strokers, the Truckers, the War Ponies and the Wild Ponies.

Softball Women 1st

Softball Men 1st

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