Okmulgee in the News
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".
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
The 43rd annual Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival was held last weekend, June 22-25, and part of the activities was a 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament on Saturday. Games were halfcourt and held in the Mvskoke Dome, with each basket worth one point, first team to 15 winning, or whichever team was ahead after 15 minutes, whichever came first.
First place in the 10-12 Boys division were the Warriors, followed by Tenetke, and in third place were the Redskins. First place in the 10-12 Girls division was Swish, with the Lady Raiders in second place and Holdenville Community in third place.
Another team called the Warriors won the 13-15 Boys division, they defeated 4 Honka Boyz in the finals, and the Flyers took third place. Native Thunder won the 13-15 Girls division by beating Elite in the finals, and another group of Lady Raiders took third place.
The 16-18 Boys division was won by the Native Hustlers, with Native Heat coming in second and Truth in third place. The 16-18 Girls division was captured by the Ballers, with the Scrubs finishing in second place and the Tribe in the third spot.
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
Many Okmulgee County athletes were named to VYPE Magazine’s Three Rivers All-Region teams in five different sports.
In baseball the Beggs Demons were represented by Levi Bouse, Cade Furer and Garrett Pendergrass, and they were joined by the Preston Pirates’ Eugene Kahbeah and Dakota Ray and the Okmulgee Bulldogs’ Jacob Barrett and Tyler Robol. Beggs made the Class 3A state tournament, falling 8-7 to Marlow and finishing with a 28-6 record. On the softball side of the diamond sports, Beggs was represented by Madeline Nuckolls, Lindsi Spring and Mallorie Wilburn; the 28-13 Lady Demons made their first state title appearance this season, falling 18-1 in the Class 5A first round to Tahlequah Sequoyah. The Morris Lady Eagles also made the 5A state tournament, they crushed Kellyville 27-2 before getting stopped 12-2 in the semifinals by Chandler. Colby Christian, Justice Frazier and Nakyla Monahawee led the Lady Eagles to a 34-3 record. Three Dewar Lady Dragons were also present on the All-Region squad: Morgan Britt, Deljah Jackson and Skyler Randall.
The Henryetta Knights dominated the tennis squad, for the boys Kanon Bailey, Jarett Day, Tyger Freeman, Jordan Knox, Keaton Lollis and Colton Wion were named, while Summer Bryant, Bailey Davis, Haley Glass, Rachel Montgomery, Fallon Rodgers and Natalie Smith represented the Lady Knights. At the Class 4A state tournament in Oklahoma City, Smith finished fourth in No. 2 singles, while Bryant and Montgomery also earned fourth place in No. 1 doubles. Knox was fifth in boys No. 2 singles, and Bailey and Lollis earned fourth place in doubles.
Morris’ Kamarie Wallace was the lone county athlete to make either All-Region track team, as she won bronze in the 3A 100 meter hurdles.
Beggs’ McKenzie McCoy and Clay White made the girls’ and boys’ All-Region golf teams, respectively, while McCoy was joined by Henryettans Abby Green and Nicole Robertson. McCoy also made All-State after finishing third place during the state tournament, while Henryetta was fifth in the team competition.
Founded in Tulsa by former TU football player Austin Chadwick, VYPE Magazine covers high school sports in four states, broken into at least sixteen separate regional magazines.
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
The Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), together with the Muscogee Creek Nation Medical Center, will be holding a blood drive for healthy adults at 1401 Morris Road from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29. Adult donors must be 18 years old and they must weigh 110 pounds to qualify, there are varying restrictions on which 16-17 year olds may donate.
Donors will receive a voucher for two free tickets to Safari Joe’s H2O Water Park (formerly Big Splash) in Tulsa, in addition to a free T-shirt.
OBI Tulsa Executive Director Jan Laub said that while “families get busy with vacations and activities during the summer,” the need for blood remains constant. “Giving just an hour of your time will make a life-saving difference for someone in our community during these critical summer months.”
OBI supplies more than 160 hospitals and medical facilities across the state, relying on about 1,200 volunteers a day. Blood may be donated every 56 days, while platelets can be donated up to 24 times a year. Those with negative blood types are especially encouraged to donate, as there is a scarcity of this type.
Appointments are not required, but may be scheduled at the OBI website or by calling 877-340-8777.