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Okmulgee in the News

Creek Village Apartments with the help of Dr. Ed Osborn, Okmulgee County Homeless Shelter and Johnny Watkins will be having a bicycle repair event next Wednesday, March 15 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.  

Watkins donated several bicycle parts to the Homeless Shelter when he closed his business last year and through Dr. Osborn’s efforts some of the old parts will be used to repair bikes and refurbish abandoned bikes for the children living at Creek Village Apartments.   

Numorous volunteers are lined up to assist in fixing bikes and will have other activities going on for the children.
If you or someone you know might have bicycles to donate to the project, please call Holly Barris at 918-756-4423 for more information.

Children can benefit when communites come together.

Man Therapy’s Groundbreaking, Humorous Approach Provides Resources for Men to Tackle Depression, Divorce, Suicidal Thoughts and More

OKMULGEE, Okla. — Muscogee (Creek) Nation Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Services announced Mar. 1 the launch of a new campaign targeted at working-aged men to erase the stigma surrounding mental health.

Man Therapy reshapes the conversation, using humor to cut through stigma and tackle issues like depression, divorce and even suicidal thoughts head on, the way a man would do it.

Man Therapy™ provides men approaching crisis, and the people who care about them, a place to go and learn more about men’s mental health, examine their own and consider a wide array of actions that will put them on the path to treatment and recovery, all within an easy-to-access online portal at www.mantherapy.org.

Upon visiting www.mantherapy.org, men and their loved ones will find they have a virtual appointment with Dr. Rich Mahogany – a character created to greet visitors, make them feel at ease and provide an overview of what they will find and explore during their visit.

Dr. Mahogany is a man’s man who is dedicated to cutting through the denial with a fresh approach using his rapier wit, odd sense of humor, straightforward approach and practical, useful advice for men. His tone debunks the age-old stigma that says mental health disorders are an unmanly sign of weakness.

Resources and tools available at www.mantherapy.org include:

The Man Therapy 18-point Head Inspection – a 5-minute online quiz
Man Therapies Section, with:

One-on-none with featured partner, The Mind Master
Pro Therapy, powered by helppro.com
Rich’s List of Man Therapy-certified resources: The “Little Black Book” for your brain
A Veteran’s Resources section under “Gentlemental Health”
A “worried about someone” section with resources for anyone worried about a man in their life
Man Therapy e-cards available in partnership with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Man Therapy initially launched in Colorado on July 9, 2012 as the result of a unique partnership between Cactus, a Denver-based advertising agency, the Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Carson J. Spencer Foundation. This groundbreaking new approach to men’s mental health issues has since launched in several states across the U.S., as well as internationally.

“This campaign goes beyond just awareness to really engage men and draw them into the conversation,” says Dr. Tamara Newcomb PhD, Director of MCN Behavioral Health. “We feel it is critical to bring this important tool to Oklahoma to reach both men and their loved ones. With Man Therapy, you can learn about mental health and the options to increase your mental health wellness range from do-it-yourself techniques all the way to professional therapy and resources.”

For more information about Man Therapy, please visit www.mantherapy.org or contact Muscogee (Creek) Nation Behavioral Health at 918-758-1930.

MCN Behavioral Health & Substance Abuse Services

MCN Behavioral Health promotes healthy lifestyles and provides a quality of care that enhances the lives of Native Americans and their families living in our communities. MCN Behavioral health embraces a holistic treatment approach that includes body, mind, and spirit. This facilitates self-empowerment, prevention, education, and intervention. Respect for culture and involvement in our Indian communities is essential to the success of our program. Behavioral Heath provides mental health and substance abuse services for children, adolescents, adults, and elders who can present a CDIB card.


Cactus creates meaningful work that makes a huge impact. A full-service communications agency, Cactus delivers brand impact for companies and causes through data-driven strategies, advertising, design, interactive, digital and integrated media services. The agency has been nationally recognized for its innovative work by The One Show, Communication Arts, The Webby Awards, SXSW, Favourite Website Awards, Advertising Age, Creativity and Print’s Regional Design Annual, among others. For more information visit www.cactusdenver.com.

Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention

Office of Suicide Prevention, a legislatively mandated entity of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, charged with serving as the lead entity for statewide suicide prevention and intervention efforts, collaborating with Colorado communities to reduce the number of suicide deaths and attempts in the state.

Carson J Spencer Foundation

The Carson J Spencer Foundation is a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) organization that delivers innovative and effective suicide prevention programs for working-aged people, coaches young leaders to develop social enterprises for mental health promotion and suicide prevention and supports people bereaved by suicide.

A Small Business Tax Basics Workshop will be held on the campus of Green Country Technology Center on Thursday, March 9, 2017 from 9am-11am in the seminar center. Dewey Brandon from the Oklahoma Tax Commission will be the presenter. Sponsoring partners include Green Country Technology Center, Okmulgee Main Street, Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce, Henryetta Chamber of Commerce and OSUIT, Muscogee (Creek) Nation and REI Women's Business Center. Register for this FREE workshop at www.reiok.org.


Pictured is Dale Day, Program Chairman Lion Duaine Janzen, and President Lion R.C. Morrow.
Photo by Dean Craig

The phrase, "the show must go on" came to mind regarding Tuesday's Lions Club meeting as the regularly scheduled program by Scott Wells, President and General Manager of Remington Park in Oklahoma City, was presented by Dale Day, Announcer and Communications Manager of Remington Park. Mr. Wells was out of the state so Dale admirably stepped in to present the program. And who better to be program chairman than Lion Duaine Janzen because he deals with Mustangs, only a different kind through Harlan Ford Motor Company. (Pun intended).

Dale said he was an "Air Force brat" (his father was an Air Force pilot and his mother was an Air Force nurse) and they lived in a lot of places before moving from Ohio to Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in Broadcast Journalism and joined the Remington Park staff in 1993 after spending many years working for sports radio station WWLS.. He announced football, basketball, baseball games, and even hockey games with John Brooks. His first job at Remington in October 1993 was as the operator of the message board, advancing to head of communications in 1996, marketing director from 1999 to 2005, adding the duties of announcer in 2004.

Remington Park was built by Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. and opened in 1988. The years between 1994-2004 were rather lean years, and the track was close to closing in 2002. House Bill 712 allowed casinos, which basically rescued Remington Park. That, and the fact that the Chickasaw Nation, through Global Gaming, became the third owner of Remington, and began infusing money into the Park on January1, 2010. According to Dale, this was the best thing that could have happened for the track's future. Their purses are much higher now so they are attracting better horses and more of them. The State of Oklahoma receives 1/3 of the track's proceeds, Remington Park receives 1/3, and the horses 1/3. Since 2005, the Park has put $165 million in education.

March 10 the quarter horse racing begins, followed by the thoroughbred racing season. April 23 will be a special day of racing camels, zebras, and ostriches. Several Lions members wanted to nominate certain other Lions members to be jockeys for these special races, but Dale stated that would not be allowed because it is against track rules and, besides, it is too dangerous.

Admission, parking, and valet parking are always FREE at Remington Park, something you can't say about other sporting entertainment venues. Becoming a Lion member is not free but the blessings of serving the community is kind of like Mastercard..........Priceless!! (WE SERVE).

OKMULGEE, Okla. — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health (MCNDH) Behavioral Health Services (BHS) is pleased to announce the receipt of an $8,291,875 five-year grant, including annual funding of $1,658,375. This opportunity is funded by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).

This grant will fund a new program known as Many Paths-SBIRT through MCNDH BHS. The new program will focus on a practical approach called “Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment,” or “SBIRT,” and will support earlier diagnosis and treatment of substance misuse.

Studies show that SBIRT can be a cost effective way to prevent serious complications from substance abuse. Many Paths- SBIRT will screen adults in primary care for substance misuse and substance use disorders (SUD).

On February 6, 2017 a pilot program was implemented into the Koweta Indian Health Center.

“This is a chance at early intervention and prevention for American Indian people in our communities” said Michael Burnside, SBIRT Project Director.

Mr. Burnside went on to say “Many Paths is a non-judgmental approach to work with adults who suffer from alcohol and substance use disorders”.

If you have any questions about Many Paths-SBIRT please contact Muscogee (Creek) Nation Behavioral Health Services at 918-758-1910.

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Pictured, left to right: President Lion R.C. Morrow, Chuck Pyle, and Program Chairperson Lion Heather Sumner. Photo by Dean Craig. 

By Dean Craig - Okmulgee Lion

The mood for Tuesday's Lions Club meeting was one of light comedy, audience participation, and nostalgia in remembering catchy jingles and commercials from past years of yore, presented by Chuck Pyle, creator/owner of Jinglesmith Productions. Chuck was brought to our attention by Paul Brown, who had met and worked with Chuck when Paul was working with the Okmulgee radio station. He was also in attendance for Chuck's presentation.

Chuck began his "musical career" while still in high school by playing in several bands and, in fact, had begun writing songs. After several "career jobs", one of his friend who owned a business asked Chuck to write a jingle/song for his business campaign. So, sitting down with his guitar, he wrote the campaign ad in about 30 minutes, played it for his friend, and was immediately hired to go on a campaign tour, private jet and all the works. Thus, began the beginning of Jinglesmith Productions in 1976. He stressed that even though we might not like certain company jingles, we all know them and remember them. For example, he started jingles by Camel and Winston cigarettes, Oscar Meyer wieners, etc., and the audience could finish most of them. Of course, in 1973, cigarette ads were being removed from commercials by the government due to health hazards and concerns.

He sang a jingle for a funeral home, made from three Lions' members names (Tiews-Vaughn-Kennedy), even though Gary Volz (Schaudt's Funeral Home) was in attendance. Then, a jingle for a Mexican restaurant made up of three names suggested by the audience. Next, a jewelry store jingle taken from names of our cook and helper (Rissler-Caudle Jewelry Store). All were "catchy and witty, designed to catch your attention. Of course, the two best were jingles for the Lions Club and "Okmulgee Rising", as follows:

Being a Lions Club member himself made it easier to write about without much research. And who better to serve as program chairperson but Mainstreet Director, Lion Heather Sumner. What a fun and enlightening program, full of enth_siasm--the only thing missing Is u. Why don't u join us?? "WE SERVE".


They're movers and shakers, they get things done!
The big rainmakers, having lots of fun!
Doers and dreamers with a heart to share!
Okmulgee Lions Club is beyond compare!

Providing eyeglasses, helping kids to see!
You find a need and fill it, and take the lead!
For pancakes and sausage, raising money for the cause!
Okmulgee Lions Club, like a dose of hot sauce!

Your teamwork is effective and efficient!
Your hundred years of service is profound!
Your catered meals each week are so delicious!
With 2nd and 3rd helpings for Paul Brown!
Okmulgee's best and brightest are two thumbs up!
The movers and the shakers........join us!
The movers and the shakers, Okmulgee Lions Club!


Come together Okmulgee Rising
Our hometown spirit's alive again!
With innovative leaders and creative people
As we walk together, everybody wins!
With great events and celebration,
And the good life that we share
Our loyalty to community is beyond compare!
Come together Okmulgee Rising
Our hometown spirit's alive again!

We support our Mainstreet merchants,
And local businesses large and small
Reaching out to attract new business to our town!
With fresh ideas and a heart to win
Bringing jobs and growth
Back home again!
Feel the momentum building
We're Okmulgee proud!
Come together Okmulgee Rising
Our hometown spirit's alive again!

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(Photo by Dean Craig)



The Henryetta Chamber of Commerce has scheduled the first Friday of February, March, and April for the 2017 Legislative Forums. The forums will be held at the Cowboy Corner located at I-40 Exit 237. The forums will begin at noon. Hopefully this noon schedule will allow for expanded attendance for these very informative meetings with your legislators.

The Legislative Forums are designed to offer an opportunity for constituents to hear directly from their elected representatives regarding the details of various legislative efforts that may affect our area, the State of Oklahoma, and the nation. The Forum also offers a chance to meet one-on-one with your elected representative and to voice your input on the issues being addressed during the current session.

Friday, March 10, 2017, is the last day to apply for voter registration in order to be eligible to vote in the April 4, 2017, Annual School Runoff and Regular Municipal Election, Okmulgee County Election Board Secretary Ashley Carnes said today.

Carnes said that 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 by filling out and mailing an Oklahoma Voter Registration Application form in time for it to be postmarked no later than midnight Friday, March 10th.

Carnes said applications postmarked after that time will be accepted and processed, but not until after April 4, 2017.

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. Carnes said 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 Okmulgee County Election Board office located at 314 W 7 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.

I love the fact that once an individual catches a glimpse of their potential, and they see how much more there is to life and what they hold within themselves – it becomes nearly impossible to get them to settle for less than what they know they are capable of. Think about the athlete who has a ‘personal best’ goal – it’s hard for them to not aim for beating that target! Think of when you were in school, and how the students with a LarabeeHeadshot2history of straight A’s remained diligent in their studies and were disappointed with anything less than high scores in all of their academic pursuits. The talented musician that’s perfected their craft for years – they won’t be satisfied with missed notes and sloppy practices. Once someone’s potential has been unleashed, they desire to do more and more!

So why do some never recognize their potential to begin with? Maybe they need someone else to see it, and then encourage them to work hard reach it. That’s what good coaches and excellent teachers do. It’s what we hope to accomplish as parents. If no one ever tells you there’s more inside of you, only a very few can see it for themselves and are able to reach out and achieve it. Most of us need a cheerleader – we need encouragers and influencers who challenge our thinking and tell us there’s more, or we might in danger of settling for less.

I think that’s part of our challenge here in Okmulgee. So many people have settled for less in terms of what they think our city is capable of. There are some cheerleaders out there that are working hard and see the potential, but we still have a large number of people who really do think Okmulgee’s best days are behind us. I’m tired of that kind of thinking!

When we go through seasons of negativity and hurt, much like Okmulgee recently has with the violent incidents that have taken place, there’s a temptation to just give up and resign ourselves to thinking maybe that’s all we’re capable of. If you’re like me, or you’ve had the opportunity to be around someone who’s caught the ‘Okmulgee Rising’ bug, then thoughts like those seem ridiculous! We’ve only caught a glimpse of what our town is capable of, and we won’t settle for anything less than our best efforts even on our worst days! I know there’s something worth fighting for here in Okmulgee because I’m constantly surrounded by other cheerleaders who know exactly how much more potential there is within our community, and they sincerely believe that we are able to achieve it!

So, maybe if you can’t say the same, you should come hang out with all of us crazies who are excited about how great Okmulgee is, and who believe we’re going full steam ahead to days that will be better than anything Okmulgee has experienced in the past. Warning: there might be work involved. It’s possible that we won’t listen to your complaints without asking you what you plan to do about them. It’s also likely that when you begin doing something, you too will see the amazing potential our city has and you’ll realize what you once settled for when you considered Okmulgee has been far less than what we’re actually capable of. Don’t Settle!

You’re welcome to email me anytime at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*Additional (and awesome) contributions were made to this article by Kasey Bowers.

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Richard Larabee is an Okmulgee downtown resident. He serves on the board of Main Street, and operates his own business out of the historic McCulloch building in downtown Okmulgee.

(Oklahoma City, Okla.) – The Oklahoma Main Street Center announced today the finalists of the program’s annual statewide awards competition. All finalists will be honored, and the winners announced, at the 28th annual Main Street Awards Banquet, May 9, at the Embassy Suites OKC Downtown/Medical Center Hotel.

“The Oklahoma Main Street Center Awards Banquet celebrates the communities, people and events that make the program thrive,” said Buffy Hughes, Oklahoma Main Street director. “There are 21 competitive award categories representing the Main Street Four Points, and 19 different programs are in the top three of each. We are always excited to see so many projects, events and people highlighted by the local programs. It is a joyful time for all involved in Main Street.”

Each award category falls under one of the “four points” in the Main Street Approach – Organization, Promotion, Economic Vitality and Design. Panels of outside judges for each point review the entries and determine the winners.

The Community of the Year Award will recognize the Main Street program that earned the most quality assurance points during the 2016 calendar year. The top 10 programs (in alphabetical order) include: Altus, Bartlesville, Duncan, Guymon, Hobart, Newkirk, Okmulgee, Ponca City, Prague, and Wilburton. The top program will also be announced at the banquet.

In addition, the top Main Street Program Directors will be recognized at the banquet. Those making the top three this year include Stephen Boyd, Hobart Main Street, Inc.; Melyn Johnson, Main Street Guymon Inc.; and Ed Sharrer, Kendall Whittier Main Street.

The award finalists are:


Premier Partner
Bartlesville – Hilton Garden Inn/Bartlesville
Okmulgee – Street Signs
Ponca City – City of Ponca City

Best Community Education/Public Awareness
Ardmore – “Your Favorite New Place” Billboard Campaign
Duncan – “This Place Matters”
Wilburton – Main Street Week Activities

Best Volunteer Development Program
Durant – Durant High School Service Learning Project
Guymon – Football Families
Hobart – Main Street Design Committee


Main Street Hero
Altus – Shannon Preston
Newkirk – Caryl Morgan
Okmulgee – Richard Larabee
Ponca City – Richard Winterrowd

Best Creative Fundraising Effort
Durant – Dancing with the Stars
Okmulgee – Big Brain Trivia Night
Ponca City – 2016 Battle of the Burger


Premier Special Event Under 1,000 Attendees
Claremore – Food Truck Thursday
Enid – Butterfly Invasion
Enid – Downtown Dogfest

Premier Special Event Over 1,000 Attendees
Collinsville – 15th Annual Hogs ‘n’ Hot Rods
Durant – Trick or Treat on Third Street Carnival
Hobart – 9/11: Never Forget

Best Retail Event
Durant – Dash for Cash
Ponca City – Ladies Night Out
Tahlequah – Ladies Night Out 2016

Outstanding Image Promotion
Enid – Elf on the Downtown Shelf
Enid – Shop the Square & Main Street Menu
Ponca City – The Downtown Flyer

Creative New Event
Hobart – 9/11: Never Forget
Ponca City – 2016 Battle of the Burger
Stockyards City – “Cowboys and Caboodles” Art Show and Sale


Best Placemaking Project
Enid – The Trail Mural
Ponca City – City of Ponca City/Light Poles & Street Signs
Ponca City – Veterans’ Plaza

Best Sustainable Design Project
Enid – Lamp Post Refurbishment
Enid – Mural Program
Ponca City – Veterans’ Plaza

Best Interior Design Project
Enid – Leonardo’s Children’s Museum
Kendall Whittier – The Beehive Lounge
Okmulgee – Park on the Square

Best Façade Rehabilitation Under $10,000
Claremore – Barron Law Firm
Hobart – Krieger Insurance
Newkirk – A Perfect Day

Best Façade Rehabilitation Over $10,000
Bartlesville – Chris Dizmang – CR Anthony Building
Claremore – Main Street Tavern
Newkirk – Newkirk City Hall
Tahlequah – Wilson Building Façade Project

Best Visual Merchandising
Ada – Farm Girl Boutique
Ada – Rustic Ridge
McAlester – Harper and Gray House

Best Building/Business Branding
Durant – Bliss Boutique
Kendall Whittier – The Beehive Lounge
Newkirk – Cheeky Burgers


Best Adaptive Reuse Project
Claremore – Main Street Tavern
Hobart – Frisco Creek Barbeque
Newkirk – Inner Spaces

Best Business Practices
Ada -- Scraptopia
Altus – Belles & Beaux
Durant – With Bump

Best New Business
Kendall Whittier – Calaveras Mexican Grill
Okmulgee – 102 Ristorante
Stockyards City – Prairie Dust Soaps and Stuff

Business of the Year
Hobart – General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute & Museum
Newkirk – Urban Prairie Art Gallery
Ponca City – Lewis Associates Architects, Inc.

The dinner and program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased from your local Main Street Program for $45.

For a listing of Main Street programs in the state, or for more information about the Oklahoma Main Street Program, please call (405) 815-6552 or visit OKcommerce.gov/mainstreet.

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