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Okmulgee in the News

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. 



Wednesday, 03 April 2013 19:13

In your Easter Bonnet

The B.A.L.L. Group met April 3, at First Baptist Church in Okmulgee for their monthly meeting and these words from Irving Berlins famous song could have referred to the ladies in the B.A.L.L. Group.

"In your Easter Bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade".

The Okmulgee Elementary School youth choir entertained the group. Then the Easter Parade commenced and awards were made for the Best and Most original Easter hats along with some interesting stories where their hats originated.

(Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer)

Effort to promote entrepreneurship among Oklahomans ages 50 and older

OKLAHOMA CITY  – AARP Oklahoma is teaming up with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to host two entrepreneur workshops next week in Tulsa as part of National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month, a month set by AARP and SBA to encourage individuals over the age of 50 who want to start or grow their own business.

“Many new entrepreneurs are saving their best acts for their encore performance,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.  “They’re using their decades of expertise and their rolodexes to start new businesses and to finally pursue that venture that has been stirring their dreams for all these years.  The SBA and AARP are once again focusing our efforts during Encore Entrepreneurship Mentor Month to help transform those dreams into a reality.”

The Tulsa workshops are scheduled for April 10 at the Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 East 93rd Street. Two sessions, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., are available.

Attendees will hear from business experts about topics ranging from writing a business plan to seeking start-up capital and learn about programs and resources available through AARP, SBA and other organizations. Speakers include successful entrepreneur Michael Barber, who now serves as a procurement specialist for the National Center for American Indian Economic Development, as well as experts from the SBA and partner agencies.

“AARP supports older Americans who want to pursue entrepreneurship as a means to generate income, boost financial security and assist others in meeting needs,” said Marjorie Lyons, AARP Oklahoma state president. “AARP creates real possibilities by connecting experienced workers with the practical information and guidance they need to start or grow a small business.”

The free workshops are open to the public. Space is limited and registration is required. Registration is available online at http://aarp.cvent.com/d/mcqv8y/4W or by phone at 1-877-926-8300.

Mentor Month, which runs through April, is part of a larger effort by AARP and SBA to provide resources to more than 100,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners over the age of 50 this year.  The events will help connect encore entrepreneurs, and individuals interested in becoming entrepreneurs, with mentors from SBA’s network of Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE chapters, who can help throughout the life of an entrepreneur’s business.

Small business ownership is a good option for many baby boomers. One in four individuals between the ages of 44 and 70 is interested in becoming an entrepreneur, and 63 percent of Americans plan to work during retirement, according to the website www.encore.org.  

AARP and SBA are also producing two webinars this month to help current and potential entrepreneurs.  For more information, and to register, visit www.aarp.org/startabusiness.  You may also go online to www.sba.gov/encore for other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50.  

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. We advocate for consumers in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP VIVA, a bilingual news source.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

Tuesday, 02 April 2013 19:59

April 2 Okmulgee Election Final Results

City Of Beggs                                 
For Mayor City Of Beggs     

Jack Bell         156     62.4%
Regina Thompson     94     37.6%
Total Votes        250         
For Councilmember, Ward No. 1 City Of Beggs     
Teresa Jamison     160     64.8%
Walter M. Benjamin     87     35.2%
Total Votes        247         
For Councilmember, Ward No. 3 City Of Beggs   

Viola Crouch             104     42.1%
James E. Smith Smitty     143     57.9%
Total Votes            247         
City Of Henryetta     
For Councilmember, Ward No. 3 City Of Henryetta     

Henry Koelzer     368     44.4%
Jewett Nelson     107     12.9%
Michael Dickey     353     42.6%
Total Votes        828         
For Councilmember, Ward No. 4 City Of Henryetta     
Jennifer Clason         442     53.6%
Buck Sheward         120     14.5%
Robert E. Bob Patterson     263     31.9%
Total Votes             825         
For Councilmember At Large City Of Henryetta     
Ronnie Duke     343     41.0%
Bill Goodner     493     59.0%
Total Votes    836         

City Of Morris     
For Councilmember, Ward No. 3 Seat B City Of Morris     
Sarah Siegenthaler-Amador      33     45.8%
Kathy Stricker             39     54.2%
Total Votes                72         

City Of Okmulgee     
For Councilmember At Large City Of Okmulgee     

Terry Watkins     307     44.5%
Steven R. Baldridge      383     55.5%
Total Votes        690         
Henryetta Public Schools     
For Independent School Board Member Office No. 3 Henryetta Public Schools     

Brandy Dickey Cunningham     536     58.8%
Bruce Jones                 376     41.2%
Total Votes                912         

Henryetta Public Schools     
Proposition No 1 Henryetta Public Schools     

For The Proposition - Yes         472     50.8%
Against The Proposition - No     457     49.2%
Total Votes                    929         

Proposition No 2 Henryetta Public Schools
For The Proposition - Yes         411     44.4%
Against The Proposition - No     515     55.6%
Total Votes                926         

Town Of Dewar     
For Board Of Trustees, Office No. 2 Town Of Dewar     
Landon Jefferson Jr.      117     59.7%
Mike Deckard      79     40.3%
Total Votes         196         
For Board Of Trustees, Office No. 4 Town Of Dewar     
Mary Durbin         61     31.0%
Gary Mcgowin     136     69.0%
Total Votes         197         
For Board Of Trustees, Office No. 3 (Unexpired Term) Town Of Dewar     
Billie Jean Been     127     64.5%
Sam L. Kaler         70     35.5%
Total             197   

Okmulgee Board of County Commissioners held their regular meeting April 2. Present were Robert Hardridge, Chairman; James Connors, Vice-Chairman; J.W. Hill, Member.  Becky Thomas, County Clerk, was present to take minutes.  

After the regular order of business the County Commissioner covered the following agenda items: Approval of minutes.
Non agenda items. Tim Craighton was announced as the new Emergency Management Director. Craighton had held the assistant position for a year and though there were many good applicants, according to Bobby Hardridge, they felt like Craighton was the best choice.

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve.  I believe there is much that I can do. My goal is to help the whole community and county,” Craighton said.
A round of applause was given in his behalf.

On Officers report, there were three approved for the month of March, Assessors office $5,4051.02, County Clerks office $18,761.21 and Health Dept. $6834.68.
There were seven blanket purchases:  Johnny’s NAPA $250.  Distr. 1,  Parts Barn $300 Distr. 2, Universal Holdings $400 Distr. 2, Okmulgee Daily Times Legal Publications $1000, Fizzo Water Court House $75 and Auto Zone Okmulgee County Sheriff $500.

The Board acknowledged and approved the following employee acknowledgment: Tim Craighton moving from Temporary employee to Full Time employee as of April 1, 2013.

Under Utility Permits, the Board acknowledged Rural Water Distr. 7 will cut the road on 200 Rd. and  No Private Property Agreements.

Item F. was a normal yearly proclamation naming April as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month. “I appreciate the job that these organizations do for these children,” Hardridge said. “thank you.”

There was no new business. So regular signing of documents was done and meeting was adjourned.

Monday, 01 April 2013 11:30

Okmulgee's Thomas Parsons is an Ironman

Thomas Parsons of Okmulgee was a finisher at the Jeep 70.3 Ironman held in San Juan, Puerto Rico held on March 17, 2013.

A total of 1700 participants started the race and Thomas was one of the 1412 finishers who battled the extreme humid heat and hot winds to finish all 3 of the Ironman events.

The 3 Ironman events Thomas completed were;  1.2 Mile swim in the protected waters of Condado Lagoon, then transition from the swim to a 56 mile bike ride on the northern side of the island and then run a 13.1 mile or half Marathon through old San Juan.

Thomas placed 79th of 156 in his age group, which was the 30-34 Amateur Group.  Thomas finished 718 of the total 1412 finishers with a total time of 6 hours and 29 minutes, which is quite a remarkable achievement.

Thomas shared some interesting information from doing this race as the temps were 84 degrees and a very humid day. During the bike ride he had to endure sporadic rains and encountered many Iguanas crossing his path while on the bike portion of the race.

To help prepare for the Ironman, Thomas trained during the winter months at the Bixby YMCA which has an indoor pool.  A YMCA member can use other Y facilities which was a benefit to Thomas .

Congratulations Thomas, for truly being an "Ironman".   

Saturday, 30 March 2013 22:00

Keep On Truckin!

When you go to Walmart you will notice a lot of new construction going on at their fuel islands.  The demand for diesel fuel is so great in this part of Oklahoma that Walmart is now adding diesel fuel.

Oklahoma pick- up truck owners and anyone else who has diesel fuel requirements can now purchase their diesel fuel requirements at Walmart. Construction should be completed by early tomorrow.

See our previous story when Circle K stores in Okmulgee added diesel to their fuel islands.

(Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer)



OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — In a March 29 story about a $47 million judgment against a company for selling banned cigarettes in Oklahoma, The Associated Press, based on information from the state attorney general's office, erroneously reported where the company is based. Native Wholesale Supply is based in upstate New York, not in Okmulgee, Okla.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Okla. company gets $47M fine for cigarette sales

Oklahoma AG wins $47 million judgment against company for sales of banned cigarettes

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has won a $47 million judgment against an upstate New York company for selling banned cigarettes.

The Oklahoma County District Court released its judgment Friday against Native Wholesale Supply.

The case was originally filed by Pruitt's predecessor in 2008, alleging that the company was selling an illegal brand of cigarette to Muscogee Creek Nation Wholesale. Cigarettes must be on an approved state list to be sold.

Pruitt spokeswoman Diane Clay says the judgment amount is roughly equal to the amount the company profited off of the cigarettes.

Pruitt, who was elected in 2010, has filed cases against the cigarette manufacturer and Muscogee Creek Nation Wholesale. Grand River Enterprises, the manufacturer, lost a $5 million judgment in 2011. Muscogee Creek officials settled out of court in 2009 for $11.5 million.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Correction-Cigarette-Judgment-Oklahoma-story-4395891.php#ixzz2PGUI8u4c