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Okmulgee in the News

Saturday, 17 September 2016 10:12

Okmulgee County Commissioners Agenda for Sept. 19

AGENDA FOR REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OKMULGEE COUNTY

As required by Section 311, Title 25 of the Oklahoma Statutes, notice is hereby given that the Board of County Commissioners of Okmulgee County will hold a regular meeting on September 19, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. The meeting will be held in the County Commissioners Conference Room in the County Courthouse, located at 314 W. 7th, Okmulgee.
AGENDA

1. Call to Order, Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance

2. Possible approval of minutes from regular meeting '

3. Input by the Public on any non-agenda items

4. Order of Business:

A. Discussion and possible approval of Officers’ Reports

B. Discussion and possible approval of Blanket Purchase Orders

C. Discussion and possible approval of Employee Acknowledgment Forms

D. Discussion and possible approval of submitted Utility Permits

E. Discussion and possible approval of Private Property Agreements

F. Open and possible award of Bid #3 for one or more, 2009 or newer backhoe

G. Discussion and possible approval to add Project Eagle Proposed TIF Term Sheet to
Statement of Intent

H. Discussion and possible acceptance of the CDBG Water/Wastewater award for Rural
Water District #5

I. Discussion and possible approval of Receiving/Requisitioning Officers

J. Discussion and possible approval of Resolutions for Disposing of Equipment

K. Possible approval of reimbursement claim for expenditures of the District Attorney’s
Office

L. Possible approval of reimbursement claim for Election Board Secretary’s salary

M. Possible approval of monthly Appropriations

5. Report from Emergency Management Director

6. New Business

7. Discussion and possible approval of claims and/or signing of documents

8. Vote to go into Executive Session to discuss a confidential communication matter with the
Board of County Commissioners’ Attorney

Attorney communications:

25 O.S. §307(B) (4) Executive Sessions: Confidential communications between a public body and its attorney concerning a pending investigation, claim or action if the public body with the advice of its attorney, determines that disclosure will seriously impair the ability of the public body to process the claim or conduct a pending investigation, litigation, or proceeding in the public interest.

9. Vote to return from Executive Session

10. Discussion and possible vote on matters discussed in Executive Session

11. Adjourn

RotarylogoAs Rotary Club of Okmulgee celebrates the beginning of the second century of service in Okmulgee, we are seeking help from our fellow Okmulgee residents. As we are gathering information and preparing for our celebration dinner, we would like to hear from those who would like to share memories with us. Those who have played on baseball or other teams, those who have received scholarships, anyone having photos of events we’ve participated in, anyone who remembers exchange students sponsored by the local club and any other memorable event, please contact us and share your memories with us.

I know we’ve rang Salvation Army bells, fed football players, helped handicapped with accessibility ramps and done many more things in the past. Please let us know about your memories.

You can send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write letters to Rotary Memories PO BOX 571, Okmulgee, OK 74447.

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The city of Okmulgee is undergoing some recycling changes the public should be aware of. The city of Okmulgee provides an opportunity to recycle in order to reduce the amount of reusable material sent to the landfill and to provide those concerned about the environment, the opportunity to reuse valuable materials while at the same time reducing energy consumption associated with the manufacturing process.

Because Okmulgee is 30 or more miles from any large multi-commodity recycler, transportation expenses are significant recycling expense for the city and her options for finding a service provider or limited. The city does not "make money" by providing the service. Please help us keep cost down by following the guidelines.

Because of concerns about rising transportation expenses and poor vendor responsiveness and picking up field containers when notified to do so, the city about muggy will begin operating under a contract with the new service provider September 21. It is very important that we comply with our recyclers requirements if we are to keep cost at a level that allows the city to continue providing the service.

The most important requirement is to bring only excepted items to the recycling center for recycling.

Plastics: only plastics with a number one or number two printed on them in the triangular recycling symbol are acceptable. Other plastics may not be left at the recycling center. Container should be empty and rinsed out. Do not bring plastic toys to the recycling center. Do not bring plastic bags or plastic film to the center. Plastic bags and plastic film interfere with the operation of sorting machinery at the vendors recycling plant. Please – no plastic bags and no food soiled items!

Paper products: there will be no change. In the paper products that are acceptable: newspapers, office paper, junk mail, paper fiber products, paper drink cartons (no fool pouches), telephone books, magazines, paper egg cartons open parentheses no Styrofoam), brown and white paper bags, cardboard, cereal and other paperboard products paper towels, facial tissue and toilet tissue are not acceptable! Food sold items are not acceptable!

The Okmulgee Recycling Center is located at 301 E. 3rd Street.

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By Darren DeLaune/MCN Reporter

OKMULGEE, Okla. — Through a collaboration of Nike N7, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tourism and Recreation Department, TR’s popular CreekFit program will be showcased Oct. 13 at the BOK center in Tulsa before a Thunder preseason game.

In the beginning, CreekFit was started to get people active and to show interest in fitness.

“We wanted to show people what we can do with little or no equipment,” MCN TR Recreation Manager Rojer Johnson said.

The popularity of CreekFit has been noticed by organizations such as Nike N7 and the OKC Thunder.

“This is the fruits of the labor,” Johnson said.

The Thunder are proud to see MCN’s exercise demonstration shown at the BOK Center before they face the Memphis Grizzlies.

“The Thunder has proudly worked with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation over the years on initiatives to promote health and fitness,” Vice President of Community Relations for the Thunder Christine Berney said. “The Oct. 13 Thunder preseason game in Tulsa seemed like a perfect opportunity to highlight CreekFit and the importance of making healthy choices.”

CreekFit has been around for nearly two years and has seen its popularity jump throughout that time. Johnson sees the improvements wih everyone who has taken apart of these exercises.

“People are getting more active,” Johnson said. “A lot of people come out here throughout the day and during their lunch hour to work and grind it out just for the sake of exercise and making healthy choices.”

Berney discussed partnering with MCN.

“The Muscogee (Creek) Nation has been a meaningful community partner in Green Country, working to foster generational change and improve lives,” Berney said. “They have created innovative programs to help people of all ages make healthy choices, which is a core area for the Thunder, as well. We are excited to showcase their efforts.”

For more information regarding CreekFit and the OKC Thunder preseason game, contact TR at: 918-732-7984.

Thursday, 15 September 2016 12:17

Election officials warn of e-mail phishing scam

(Oklahoma City) – Oklahoma State Election Board officials are warning voters to be cautious after multiple Oklahomans reported receiving phishing e-mails designed to look like communications from state or county election boards.

The e-mails indicate the recipient’s voter information has been changed or is in need of verification and contain a link to a malicious website.

Do not open links from any e-mail sent unsolicited from someone claiming to be an election official. All communications regarding changes in voter information or the need to verify registration information are sent by U.S. mail and not through e-mail.

People can verify their registration information, access other important information and contact the Oklahoma State Election Board at http://elections.ok.gov. The election board responds to e-mails sent through a web form on its website. Those responses will always be from someone with an elections.ok.gov e-mail address and will not be sent unless you have provided your e-mail in an effort to contact the agency.

Military and overseas voters may receive e-mail from a no-reply address ending in okelections.us, however all replies are sent directly to the appropriate county election board’s e-mail address.

Voters who are unsure of the authenticity of an e-mail claiming to be from the Oklahoma State Election Board or their county election board should contact the state election board at (405) 521-2391 to verify whether the communication is legitimate.

Those who receive phishing e-mails should report them to the Federal Trade Commission at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or the Anti-Phishing Working Group at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LovesTravelStop

Photo by Allen Gardner - ONN

Okmulgee welcomes a new travel stop and restaurant as the Love’s Travel Stop with an IHOP Express opens for business at U.S. Highway 75. The new travel stop brings approximately 60 jobs to Okmulgee County. The official grand opening and a ribbon cutting ceremony will happen tomorrow Friday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. The public is invited to come out. There will be tour of the facility and a reception with light refreshments.

“We’re excited to bring services and a new dining option to residents, travelers and professional drivers in the Okmulgee area,” said Tom Love, founder and executive chairman of Love’s Travel Stops. “Okmulgee is home to Love’s third IHOP Express restaurant. We look forward to providing quality menu items and the ‘Clean Places, Friendly Faces’ Love’s is known for to more Customers.”

IHOP Express is a convenient way for guests to enjoy IHOP signature food and beverages, even when visiting a local IHOP restaurant isn’t an option. In addition to breakfast served all day -- like their world-famous buttermilk pancakes, hickory-smoked bacon and never-ending coffee pot -- guests can also choose from delicious lunch and dinner menu items. IHOP Express guests order from the convenience of a service counter with food delivered by a team member to the dining area.

Along with the travel stop, the IHOP Express is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The 10,000 square-foot travel stop features gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift merchandise, name-brand electronics and more. Professional drivers can take advantage of five showers and 59 truck-parking spaces.

The new store is opening during Love’s annual companywide campaign to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Okmulgee residents can get involved by purchasing a paper balloon for $1, $5 or $20 through September 30. In addition, a cookout will be held at the store on Saturday, Sept. 24. All the money raised locally goes to The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis, the local CMN Hospital. For 18 years, Love’s and its Customers have raised more than $15 million to help sick and injured children.

Love’s will celebrate the opening of the new location with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 16. Love’s will donate $2,000 to Okmulgee High School as a part of the grand opening festivities.

The store opens during Love’s annual companywide campaign to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Customers can purchase paper balloons for $1, $5 or $20 through Sept. 30. All the money raised locally goes to The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa, the local CMN Hospital. Employees will also host a cookout on Saturday, Sept. 24 to raise funds.

 

OKMULGEE, Okla. - The Christian Motorcycle Association Okmulgee Chapter Youth Movement donated birthday gifts for all kids in custody of Children and Family Services. This youth motorcycle chapter refers to themselves as the “Spark Plugs,” and they chose this project for their yearly project. All members of this group are youth ages 12-18. Some members of this association had been foster children themselves, so they know the importance of this type of kind gesture.

The Spark Plugs donation was substantial donation of hair care products, stuffed animals, toys for all ages, and lots of books. So many items were donated that Holly Dunn an employee of Children and Family Services stated that,” we will have enough to save for Christmas gifts for children in custody this year as well.” Holly went on to say in the interview that, “ it means so much that we have partners in the community that care as much about children in custody as we do here at Children and Family Services. “

At the Muscogee (Creek) Nation there is always an ever-growing need for foster homes and adoptive placement homes, so to see this recognition from an association of the community gives us hope in our adoptive services venture.

If you are interested in joining the Christian Motorcyclist Association or want any more information on the group please call 918-753-4575.Also, if you are interested in becoming a foster home or curious about adoption please call 918-732-7869.

The Republican Party will meet Tuesday Sept. 13 with Special speakers who will discuss the "Yes" side of State Questions 777 - Right to Farm and Stacy Bullard with OEA - Oklahoma Education Association speaking for State Questions 779 - the 1% (1 cent) sales tax for education. (See all listed below)

Meeting is located in the Okmulgee Conference Room of the OSUIT Student Union located at 1801 E. 4th Street in Okmulgee. The general meeting is open to the public.  As a reminder, the county business meeting begins at 6:30 in the same room.

State Questions – November 8 General Election

Information provided by Oklahoma Council Of Public Affairs

SQ 776 – Death Penalty

            This measure adds a new section to the Oklahoma Constitution. It adds Section 9A of Article 2. It states that all death penalty statutes are in effect. It states that methods of execution can be changed. It states that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment.

A “Yes” Vote:

  • Provides Constitutional reasoning for the death penalty.
  • States that methods for execution can be changed.
  • It would prevent the death penalty from being interpreted as “the infliction of cruel or unusual punishments.”

A “No” Vote:

  • Opponents want to abolish the death penalty and feel that Oklahoma’s death penalty is unconstitutional.
  • Opponents calling all forms of execution cruel and unusual punishment.

SQ 777 – Agriculture

            “To protect agriculture as a vital sector of Oklahoma’s economy, which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security and is the foundation and stabilizing force of Oklahoma’s economy, the rights of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state. The Legislature shall pass no law which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices without a compelling state interest.”

A “Yes” Vote:

  • Amends the constitution to guarantee the right to certain farming and ranching practices.
  • Forbids the Legislature from passing laws that restrict farmers and ranchers from certain practices without persuasive state interests.

A “No” Vote:

  • Takes away the power of the Legislature and Municipal governments to regulate agricultural practices.
  • Opponents feel it protects large corporate farming and ranching interests and empowers large agribusinesses.

SQ 779 – Education Taxes

            This measure adds a new Article to the Oklahoma Constitution. The article creates a limited purpose fund to increase funding for public education. It increases State sales tax by one cent per dollar to provide revenue for the fund. The revenue to be used for public education shall be allocated: 69.50% for common school districts, 19.25% for the institutions under the authority of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 3.25% for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, and 8% for the State Department of Education. It requires teach salary increases funded by this measure raise teacher salaries by at least $5,000 over the salaries paid in the year prior to adoption of this measure. It requires that monies from the fund no supplant or replace other educational funding. If the Oklahoma Board of Equalization determines funding has been replaced, the Legislature may not make any appropriations until the amount of replaced funding is returned to the fund. This article takes effect on July 1 after its passage.

A “Yes” Vote:

  • Increases taxes by 1%, making Oklahoma the highest sales tax in the nation.
  • Funds public education, higher education and career tech.
  • Gives teachers a $5000 pay raise in 2017.

A “No” Vote:

  • A “no” vote is a vote against raising taxes.
  • Teacher pay raise is possible without raising taxes.
  • It would negatively impact economic development and threaten cities and towns that rely solely on sales tax revenues to fund public safety and other operations.

SQ 780 & 781 – Criminal Justice

780 – This measure amends statues to reform criminal sentences for certain property and drug offenses. It makes certain property offenses misdemeanors. It makes simple drug possession a misdemeanor. Property offenses where the value of the property is one thousand dollars or more remain felonies, and the distribution, possession with intent to distribute, transportation with intent to distribute, manufacture, or trafficking or drugs remain felonies.

780 – This measure creates the County Community Safe Investment Fund. The fund consists of costs savings by reclassifying as misdemeanors certain property crimes and drug possession. The funds must be distributed to counties for the purpose of funding rehabilitative programs, such as mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. This measure only becomes effective if voters approve State Question 780.

A “Yes” Vote:

  • Reclassifies certain minor offenses from felonies to misdemeanor.
  • Reduces prison over-crowding.
  • Saves tax payers nearly $500 millon/year in correction spending.

A “No” Vote:

Ballot’s wording has been challenged by the Attorney General.

Simple drug possession will always remain a misdemeanor.

Opponents feel that more access to drug court is needed.

SQ 790 – Religion

            This measure repeals Section 5 of Article 2 of the Oklahoma Constitution. This section prohibits the use of public monies or property for sectarian or religious purposes.

“No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.”

 A “Yes” Vote:

  • This constitutional amendment repeals Section 5 of Article 2 of the Oklahoma Constitution.
  • Approving this measure allows public money to be spent for religious purposes.
  • Allow the Ten Commandments monument to return to the Capitol grounds.

A “No” Vote:

  • A “no” vote is against allowing public money to be spent for religious purposes.
  • A “no” vote will keep the Ten Commandments off State Capitol grounds.

SQ 792 – Alcohol

            This measure enacts Article 28A and repeals Article 28 of the Oklahoma Constitution. Beverages that contain alcohol are governed ty the new Article and other laws. It requires the Legislature to enact laws to regulate alcoholic beverages. Common ownership between tiers of the alcoholic beverage business is prohibited with some exceptions. Some restrictions apply to manufacturers, brewers, winemakers, and wholesalers. Direct shipments to consumers are prohibited unless direct shipments of wine are authorized by law, subject to limitations. Licenses to sell wine, beer and spirits at retail locations are required. The Legislature could prescribe other licenses. Sales of wine and beer are permitted at certain licensed retail locations. Licensees may sell refrigerated or non-refrigerated products, and Retail Spirits Licensees may sell products other than alcoholic beverages in a limited amount. Certain persons are prohibited from being licensed. Certain acts are made unlawful. The Legislature could by law, designate days and hours during which alcoholic beverages could be sold, and impose taxes on sales. Certain restrictions relating to the involvement of the state and political subdivisions and public employees are specified. Municipalities could also levy an occupation tax. The amendment will be effective October 1, 2018, with one provision becoming effective upon passage.

A “Yes” Vote:

  • Allows grocery stores and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer and wine seven days a week.
  • Licensees may sell refrigerated or non-refrigerated products.

A “No” Vote:

  • Opponents feel it’s unconstitutional because it has different laws for grocery stores and convenience stores.
  • Liquor stores are limited to 2 locations and must be residents of Oklahoma for 5 years.
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 13:26

Skip the Line and Vote Early by Mail

SKIP THE LINE AND VOTE EARLY BY MAIL

Voters in Okmulgee County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the November 8, 2016, Federal, State, and County General Election should apply Now, County Election Board Secretary Ashley Carnes said today. Although the County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2nd, Carnes urged voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early.
Military and Overseas absentee ballots go out 45 days before an election. Standard and Physically Incapacitated/ Care of Incapacitated Absentee ballots are mailed out 30 days before an election. If an application for absentee ballots is received after the initial mailing of the ballots, then ballots will be mailed upon reception of said application up to the deadline.

Absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 314 W 7 Street, Room 102 of the Okmulgee County Courthouse. An online version of the form can be filled out and submitted electronically at: www.elections.ok.gov. A print form can also be downloaded at that address.

“At least two mail transactions must be made,” Carnes said. “The County Election Board must mail the ballots to the voter and the voter must return the voted ballots by mail.”
Ballots must be in the hands of County Election Board officials by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.
Carnes said any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he/she is eligible to vote. It is not necessary to give a reason for voting absentee.

“While anyone can vote absentee without giving a reason, the law still provides several advantages to absentee voters in some categories,” Carnes said.

By stating one of the following reasons on their applications, absentee voters can activate special conditions that make it easier for them to use absentee ballots. The reasons are:

• Voters who are physically incapacitated and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left unattended may vote absentee. They may apply only by mail, by fax, by email, online or via an agent who is at least 16 years of age and who is not employed by or related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to any person whose name appears on the ballot.

• Voters who are confined to nursing homes in the county may vote absentee. An Absentee Voting Board actually goes to the nursing home a few days before the election, sets up a small polling place and allows these persons to vote under circumstances similar to those at a regular precinct polling place. They may apply only by mail, by fax, by email, online or via an agent who is at least 16 years of age and who is not employed by or related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to any person whose name appears on the ballot..

• Military personnel and residents of the county living overseas and the spouses and dependents of each group are eligible receive absentee ballots. These voters may apply only by mail, fax, or by email. Military personnel should contact the Voting Service Officers in their units for application forms and additional information or visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website (www.fvap.gov/oklahoma) for more information and instructions. Residents of Oklahoma living overseas can obtain the same materials from any United States military installation and from United States Embassies and Consulates as well as on the FVAP website.

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.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016 13:24

Voter Registration Deadline is October 14, 2016

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.

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