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Okmulgee in the News

Saturday, 01 June 2013 12:47

Flash floods around Okmulgee County

Heavy rains are marking their damage around Okmulgee Co. mainly in the southern parts of the county.  Henryetta and Dewar have had some flash flooding that has forced residents from their homes.  

Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office has been patrolling the rural areas since the early morning hours. All Okmulgee county police agencies were on specialized patrols.  The county commissioners and their crews were working steadily in setting up barriers for non-passable roads.

Dewar City Hall at 105 N. Broadway Street has set up temporary shelter for Dewar residence.  Henryetta residents are being taken in at the 1st Methodist Church at 1212 Lake Road in Henryetta.

Road closures, according to Okmulgee Co. officials are:

Road closings in Okmulgee County
Arbeka and 1-40 overpass
West from Arbeka on Holly Rd.
Henryetta New Lake spillway
Highway 75 is closed at 4th Street
Juniper east from New Lake Rd
Mulberry between Indian Nation Turnpike and 250 Rd
200 and Sharp
Briar and Sharp
200 and Cedar
220 and Conifer
220 between Conifer and Chestnut
220 and Chestnut
US-266 at Dewar 

According to ODOT, some other areas that may experience flash flooding include Okmulgee, Council Hill, Morris, Okfuskee, Okmulgee State Park and Welty.

Okmulgee County has 19 flood control lakes that help stem flood waters when Okmulgee County receives torrential rains.

These structures were built because of cooperation and partnerships on the local, state and federal levels between landowners of Okmulgee County, the Okmulgee County Conservation District, the Okmulgee County Commissioners, the conservancy districts of each of these watershed systems, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Warning:  Do not drive your vehicle into areas where water covers the road. It only takes two feet of rushing water to carry away most SUVS and pickups. Turn around - don't drown.

The Okmulgee Main Street Program held its annual Hawaiian Luau promotion for the citizens of Okmulgee.  Over 75 adults and children enjoyed the good family festivities.

The weather turned out great and great fun was had by all participating in the Hula Hoop Contest, Limbo Contest and the Ugliest Hawaiian Shirt.  

There were some good Karaoke singers who entertained the crowd.  Main Street would like to thank to Mr. David Crow for providing the music.  

Winners In Photos  (Envelopes show which place):

(Photos and Story by Paul Orosco)

Hula Hoop Winners:

1st Place Sheyenn Burggraf
2nd Place  Jaime Fourkiller
3rd Place Benjamin Crow

Limbo Contest:

1st Place Sheyenn Burggraf
2nd Place Rainy Hayes
3rd Place Christopher Crow

Ugliest Hawaiian Shirt Contest

1st Place Benjamin Checotah
2nd Place Annie Hobson
3rd Place Russell Torbett

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 21:19

Okmulgee now has a free medical clinic


(L-R) George Schafer one of the founders of the Eternal Lifeline Clinic shown here recieving a donation from the organization Good Samaritan presented by their representative Lynn Hersey Operations Manager. (Photo by Broc Rice)

Eternal Lifeline Clinic (ELC), a new free medical clinic, has opened in downtown Okmulgee at 109 W. Sixth on the square. They held there grand opening May 29. The building was filled with supporters who came out to show their backing. Dr. Zachariah Anderson, a local physician, has come on board to be the facilities doctor.  He volunteers his time to see the clinics patients.

ELC was birthed to serve those who have need of health care but are unable to pay for private medical care or are not eligible for services provided through employer or government programs.

Founded January 2013, ELC desires to fill a gap in the Okmulgee community’s health care system by promoting the health and well being of those who are unemployed, disabled or ill, or not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, and often representing ‘all they have’ for medical care.

The clinic offers a safe, caring, and professional atmosphere for those in need of health care and spiritual care as well. ELC partners with local medical professionals, churches, pastors, business community, local agencies and many others to provide a beautiful and effective example of a community caring for its own, placing ‘service above self’.

ELC Administrator Kathy Rutherford serves alongside the numerous other community medical, administrative, and spiritual volunteers, meeting monthly at the Okmulgee location.

The clinic will be open once a month on a Wednesday afternoon.  Doors are open at 4 p.m. for doctor visit sign up. Doctor visits begin at 6 p.m. Individuals are seen based on a random drawing system according to the number of slots available on a given evening. The next clinic opening will be June 26.

Clinic services are available without charge for Okmulgee County area residents who are ages 19 to 64 and have no health insurance or coverage of any kind.

The Eternal Lifeline Clinic operates entirely on donations from the community. To contribute time or monies please contact Kathy at 918-625-3376.

Photos by Valerie Rice - ONN

Okmulgee Main Street is hosting their 2nd Annual Hawaiian Luau in conjunction with the Concert in the Park Thursday May 30 from 6 to 8 p.m.  

The concert will be held at the Jim Newton Memorial Pocket Park at 212 W. 6th Street in Okmulgee.  

There will be lots of activities and contest for everyone including a Limbo contest, Hula Hoop contest, and the ugliest Hawaiian shirt contest.  You can enter on the day of the event.  Music will be provided from the 50’s and 60’s and for those that want to share their vocal talent with the public there will be a period of Karaoke.  A local vendor will serve snow cones.  

Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy a night of fun, music and dance.

For more information contact Okmulgee Main Street at 918.758.1015

(L-R) Lions Club member Kyle Brooks, Mike Taylor, Chris Lindenberg and Gary Dollahon.

Lions Club Program Chair Kyle Brooks introduced three guest speakers at this week’s Lion’s Club meeting. Chris Lindenberg, owner of Tulsa-based Gene Larew Lures a manufacturer and supplier of innovative bass fishing baits and the Bobby Garland crappie baits, Gary Dollahon Public Relations Director and Mike Taylor fishing expert. 

Gary Dollahan brought examples fishing lures and spoke about the new colors along with showing off the new Electric Chicken fishing lures. Chris Lindenberg spoke about different aspects of the business.

Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer


(Pictured above - Foreman Chris Coreman)

By Paul Orosco

The new Track and Field house at Harmon Field in Okmulgee is taking shape as the construction comes together. Workers are busy on the new facility only being held up by the weather as the biggest factor.  The rain slowed progress somewhat and will hinder putting up the insulation as they don't want it to get wet when installing it, according to construction foreman Chris Corum.

The completion date is scheduled for mid to late August, which will be in time for the next school season.  

"The students of Okmulgee should be grateful and proud that someone is looking out for them to have a new facility like this," Corum said.

Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer

In honor of Memorial Day the Okmulgee VFW and The American Legion White-Williams Post 10 saluted the many Okmulgee heroes who laid down their lives while serving in America's Armed Forces.  

The annual Memorial Day service at Okmulgee Cemetery was held at 11:00 a.m.  There are many veterans from the Civil War to our current war in Afghanistan buried in Okmulgee.

Thanks to American Legion member Steve Sigmon who coordinated the placing of the many American Flags throughout the cemetery.

Today, give thanks for our blessings, and remember the price of freedom that has been paid by these many brave Americans who are buried in Okmulgee but also around the world.  

Memorial Day is about remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Photos by Paul Oroswco - ONN Chief Photographer

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave the greatest sacrifice. We honor those who have gone before us while serving our nation and celebrate their brave achievements. We share stories of war and sacrifice.  It is also a time to honor those who are still with us. A time to take a moment to tell them how we appreciate what they did and their service to our country.

These three Okmulgee men served in the United States proudly in time of need.

(Photo by Paul Orosco - ONN CHief Photographer) (L to R) Virgil Armstead, 21 Years in the U.S. Army,
James R. Vaughn 30 Years 11 months and 7 days.  Mr. Vaughn served both in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. He served in WW II to Viet Nam and Hugh Dugas 27 Years U.S. Marines

Saturday, 25 May 2013 08:55

Paige Smith Culinary Scholarship Winner

Paige Smith, who is enrolled in the OSUIT Culinary Arts Program at OSUIT Okmulgee, received notice she is being awarded a $ 1,000.00 scholarship from the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.

She will also be receiving another $ 1,000.00 scholarship award from the National Restaurant Association.

As a side note, Paige was one of the students instrumental in starting the campaign "We Made Lunch" or the 1,400 box sandwiches made for the Tornado victims in Shawnee and Moore, OK.

Congratulations Paige!

(Photos by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer)

From the Office of the Mayor

In light of recent storms, City staff would like to make the citizens of Okmulgee aware of the protocol and meaning of sirens when they are activated during severe weather events.

The City’s current storm siren guidelines require city staff to monitor severe weather conditions.

Storm sirens are activated when all three of the following conditions are present:

1. A storm is likely to produce a tornado
2. It is moving toward the City of Okmulgee
3. It crosses a pre-designated boundary.

Sirens do not mean a tornado has been sighted.  Because tornadoes can occur suddenly, the sirens are meant to alert citizens that the conditions have been met for a tornado to form.

City staff discovered during the most recent activation of the storm sirens, that some residents could hear them while others claimed they could not.
Citizens should be aware that the nature of storm sirens and surrounding geography highly affect whether people can hear a sounding siren. To ensure the safety of our residents, the city is working to improve the quality and range of sounding sirens.

We have already composed a list of sirens that may require maintenance and we have made a long-term plan for the replacement of older units.
Our goal is to make Okmulgee the best it can be, and our citizens’ safety is of the utmost importance. We are addressing these issues as quickly as possible.

Thank you
Steven R. Baldridge
Mayor, City of Okmulgee