Okmulgee County News Source

Recent events spark meeting with citizens

What started as a negative in Okmulgee may turn into a long-term positive development for the community.
There were some problems reported between civilians and law enforcement during the recent rodeo weekend.
Marcus Jeffrey recently wrote a letter to the editor expressing his frustration and concern over what happened to him and others during traffic stops in local neighborhoods during rodeo weekend.
Jeffrey is a member of the Okmulgee Public Schools’ board of education. He is also the pastor of the Eastside Baptist Church.
Jeffrey did more than just write a letter to the Okmulgee Times. He stepped forward and organized the meeting with various community leaders and local activists. Here are the people who attended this session at the Eastside Baptist Church: Rev. Marcus Jeffrey, Brian Stallings, Rev. McKinley Rice, Rev. Preston Jackson, Chief Joe Prentice, District Attorney Rob Barris, City Manager Roger Ballenger, Mayor Steven Baldridge, OPD Officer Jerome Gresham, and MCNLHPD- Joey Comstock, Richard Fixico, and Jerry Wittman -plus, community activists Vivian LeBlanc and Texanna James.
 The problems reported during the rodeo weekend were the initial focus of the meeting. The biggest concern was the question why are the law enforcement officers so active in neighborhoods during the event.
It was suggested that there are two different standards (of law enforcement) in neighborhoods during rodeo weekends . The complaints have given officials something to think about - and a way to open a dialogue between the citizens and the law enforcement agencies.
“These issues are being addressed in trying to bridge this gap,” a spokesman said.
The meeting began with an introduction of complaints against law enforcement.
“Concerns are being addressed, but (success) will take more than just five people.”
To solve this issue on a long-term basis, citizens need to learn to come forward. It was noted that a petition is going around now. The petition is “not to get anybody - (we) want police to know that we as a community want to solve the problems that are going on.” The idea of getting know who the  local law enforcement are personally was also addressed.
The problems reportedly recently were not new to Okmulgee. The same kind of meeting was held in 1960 with the late D.P. Lilly. Sadly, there was a need for a similar one all these years later in 2014.
“If we are going to start this, we need to continue with these meetings, helping the public to come forward, even the proper way to  file a complaint, or possible intimidation.”
The meeting was a good way to begin a long-term conversation here in town.
Further discussions are planned for the next meeting. Citizens hope to address the past weekend cruising’s event, including concerns over people drinking on sidewalks outside the designated area.
Not all of the concerns were addressed or answered during the first meeting. However, those who attended it came away with a better feeling for moving ahead.
“It was a pretty decent first meeting,” the spokesman said.
In the spirit of the meeting, here is a quote from the great Henry Ford:
“Coming together is a beginning, Staying together is progress, Working together is success."

Fred Harlan and sister Mary Lewellen show off the concert program from the 1966 Beatle’s tour stop in Memphis. The Okmulgee natives saw the Fab Four in one of the final concerts they ever performed together.                          

(Staff photo by Herman Brown)

Fred, Mary remember
seeing Beatles concert

Okmulgee Times editor

The Beatles stand alone as the greatest Rock band in music history.
The mop-haired lads of Liverpool exploded on the scene in the early 1960s. John, Paul, George and Ringo won over fans in Europe before leading the British invasion into America.
The band remained together for only seven years. However, their music is still winning over fans more than a half-century later.
Two of the most loyal Beatle fans are Okmulgee natives Fred Harlan and his sister, Mary (Harlan) Lewellen. The siblings were caught up in Beatlemania in 1964. Like millions of others, they became hooked when they heard “I wanna hold your Hand” on American radio.  
Fred and Mary sat down with the Okmulgee Times recently to talk about their fond memories of the Beatles. They paused to recall the August 19, 1966 trip to Memphis to see the band perform live. What they witnessed that Friday afternoon was a piece of musical history. But that would come two years after the band hit it big with American teens.
In 1964, Fred recalls “when they first hit the radio and then when they did the Ed Sullivan Show. Of course we had three TV channels to watch back then and Sunday night was the Ed Sullivan Show. You didn’t watch anything but Sullivan on Sunday nights. That part of it ... seeing the Beatles live when they first hit New York, all the preliminary buildup. We had already heard about them. We’d heard some of the songs, and then to see them in person, the big thing I remember was the guys my dad’s age griping about how long their hair was, the suits with no lapels, skinny ties, but basically it was the hair, the long hair.”
Mary agrees.
“The hair was a big deal,” she adds. “The hair was the problem. Our dad had a big problem with their hair.”
Mary remembers that their dad, Jack Harlan, watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan even though he didn’t approve of their long hair.
“We all watched it together,” she said.
 The elder Harlan did not get caught up in the controversy over John Lennon’s comment about the Beatles being more popular than Jesus.
“There wasn’t a lot of discussion about that thing,” Fred said. “Anything these guys came out with at the time - I mean they were on the top of the charts all the time - and so anything they said (was big news).”
Mary remembers that her parents were “real musical.”
“We always had music going in the house,” she said. “I don’t remember either one of them ever saying ‘you can’t listen to this. They were open-minded.”
That open-minded approach came in handy for Fred and Mary in August 1966.
The Beatles’ 1966 US tour marked their final live public performances as a commercial touring band. The historic tour began in Chicago on August 12 and ended in San Francisco on August 29.
The Beatles offered 19 shows in 14 cities during the 17-day span. Memphis was basically the mid-point of the tour. The Fab Four played in seven cities before coming to Memphis. They went on to perform in six more cities to close the US trip.
The backdrop for the tour was the massive controversy created by John Lennon a few months earlier. The singer ignited the controversy by saying the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. His words ignited outrage all across America.
“Christianity will go,” Lennon said during an interview with the London Evening Standard newspaper. “It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I am right and I’ll be proven right. We’re more popular than Jesus now.”
Lennon’s beliefs were based on what he saw in England in the 1960’s. British religious institutions were suffering a steady decline of attendance. At the same time, the Beatles were worshipped in an insane manner by countless adoring fans. Lennon felt the white-hot passion for the Lads from Liverpool were receiving. It was a stark contrast to what many people offered to their religious faith.
Whether Lennon was right or wrong, he created a wave of resentment across America. The band was suddenly the focus of contempt from vocal citizens at every stop along the US tour. The strongest public backlash came from the Bible Belt states in the South. The Memphis show was the only stop in the Deep South - so all the resentment was directed to the 2-show performance on August 19, 1966. In fact, the Memphis city council voted to cancel the afternoon and evening shows. Additionally, the Ku Klux Klan nailed a Beatles album to a wooden cross and vowed “vengeance” on the band. According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, conservative groups state public burnings of Beatles’ records.
So this was the climate in Memphis when Fred and Mary went to the Beatles concert at the Mid-South Coliseum. They attended the afternoon concert with their Uncle Cleon Collier and their 64-year-old grandmother Bernice Collier.
So, how did they end up in Memphis for the Beatles show? It was all thanks to their Uncle - a bachelor and rice farmer in southeast Arkansas.
“He didn’t have any kids, and my mother was his only sister, so Fred and I were basically his kids. Margaret was so much younger that she didn’t get in on this because he died young. In the off-seasons and always in the summer, he would take Fred and I on trips. He made sure we knew how to go to nice restaurants and order food. He took us to concerts. He took us every summer to Dallas. We’d go to Six Flags, but also go see a musical. We saw all the musicals. So he taught us about the theater. He taught us about fine eating. He took us to Vegas. We went to the Rose Bowl one year. But he was also into music and he would go to Memphis and Little Rock and Tulsa. He was constantly going to concert and buy all their records and then he had this horrible old HiFi that had a terrible needle. He would destroy the record and then give them to me!”
Fred is proud that he now has that record player. He has since replaced the record-killing needle with one that works properly.
“We wound up with his HiFi,” he said. “I took it to Tulsa.”
“When the Beatles were coming, he ordered tickets and just pretty-much told us,” Mary said. “Now, mom was always great. Anything Cleon wanted to do was fine. On a rare occasion, dad would get a little  (concerned). He took me to see Hair. My dad said ‘you can not go see that because of the nudity.’ We did it anyway and told him afterwards. But Cleon was all about music and theater and musicals”
“Whatever was going on in Memphis, Little Rock, Dallas and Tulsa, he was all about it.”
Fred remembers that thrilling call.
“We have tickets to go see the Beatles,” the uncle said.
“Now, are you going to turn that down?” Fred asks.
The answer was no!
A total of 80 officers of the Memphis Police Department were assigned to the concert. The venue has a capacity of 13,000 fans. The afternoon show attracted 7,589 fans. The evening session swelled to 12,539. Meanwhile, a downtown rally for religion attracted an estimated 8,000 pro-Jesus supporters. Reports indicated that a lot of young people at the religious rally had earlier attended the Beatles concert.
 An add in the Memphis Appeal newspaper said GO TO CHURCH on Sunday ... but ... SEE THE BEATLES ON FRIDAY!
That’s exactly what Fred and Mary were looking to do. They entered the dark facility and took their seats in Section EE, Row 20, Seats 1-4. They were sitting in the right front of the stage, 20 rows back, on the isle closest to the stage.
“The view from there will be good and we are sure your children will be thrilled to be so close,” said H.P. Brewer, ticket manager.
“It was at the coliseum in Memphis,” Fred said. “ This was back before the days where you had like the BOK Center, etc. These were rodeo arenas and state fair coliseums. For us, it was a huge building. The thing that struck me on it was just the sheer volume of noise. When the Beatles came out you could not hear yourself think.”
“We had seats on the floor,” Mary added. “I remember sitting fairly far back. It was dark. I remember how dark it was ... and then of course they’d blast the lights! I remember the noise too and you really couldn’t hear the music. I know they (Beatles) got real discouraged after that last tour that the people were no longer appreciating the music because the fans were screaming so loud. That was one of the reasons they quit touring.”
The levels were not bad prior to the appearance of the Beatles. The other groups included The Cyrkle, Bobby Hebb, The Ronettes and the Remains.
“Bobby Hibb had just come out with “Sunny,” Fred said. “That was one of the top hits and then Cyrkle, the second act, had ‘Red Rubber Ball’ and that was a big hit too. Both of those groups were playing ....”
Mary said “you could hear ... you could hear Bobby Hibb and you could hear The Cyrkle. I remember (hearing) Red Rubber Ball.”
“And they had a fashion show,” Fred said. “It was the mod close of the time. It was to fill in the time. The Beatles did two sets so they’d take a break. You’d have 8 or 10 songs and then they took a break to change clothes. At one point they had on gray suits and then the next time they had on light blue.”
Fred said “you’re watching their mouths move and you’re hearing all this screaming ... so you could not hear them (singing the songs).”
The song list that day included Rock ‘n Roll Music, She’s a Woman,  If I needed Someone, Daytripper, What Can I Do, She Feels Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be a Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer, and Long Tall Sally.
“ Of course we knew all the words to the song because we’d been listening to them on the radio and we bought a lot of records,” Mary explains. “But you could not hear them!”
Grandmother Collier enjoyed the time with her grandchildren. Even with the screaming crowd, she was not about to leave the building.
“She was hard of hearing so it probably didn’t bother her anyway,” Fred said.
“She was a hoot,” Mary added. “She did not go for the quality of the music. She went because Fred and Mary were going to go have an experience. I remember her just a grinning and looking at us.”  
Fred knew he was seeing something really special.
“At 14, we hadn’t been to rock concerts at that point,” he said. “It was a new experience, just one of those things you know that you know at the time ‘Hey, we saw the Beatles.’ It was a big deal then an even bigger deal now!”
Mary bought a pennant, the program and a Beatles button at the show.
“No t-shirts ... they weren’t selling t-shirts back then,” she said. “You bought a program and this was THE program, and I got the pennant and the button. I still had them until I went to college probably, but who knows where they are now!”
Fred has a good explanation of the Beatles concert in Memphis.
“It was an event,” he said. “You look back on it and you think they’ve been around forever, but they only did three tours. It’s been nearly 50 years since we saw them in 1966.  But it’s been 48 years since 1966 and they are still selling music.”
 Fred and his circle of friends have gone to countless other concerts since that day back in 1966. Mary has also seen an incredible number of concerts with her group of friends. However, the brother and sister almost never go to a concert together.
“The only two concerts we have been to together ... we saw George Harrison in 1973 with Billy Preston on the keyboard ... and last year Fred called and wanted to know if Gene and I wanted to go see Paul McCartney with them. So we saw the best concert ever at the BOK with Paul McCartney.”
Fred remembers the George Harrison concert and how there was a special surprise during the show.
“Along about the end of the concert, Leon Russell walked out on the stage and joined them. That was when Leon was in his heyday ... and George was hanging out a lot in Tulsa at Leon’s house and up at the North Tulsa sound studio. We tried to get in the gate to meet them at Leon’s mansion but they wouldn’t let us in. We went over there that night to crash the party at Leon’s house!”
Fred and Mary have both gone to Tulsa to see ‘Beatles 1964’ tribute band performances.  
“They are probably the best I’ve seen,” Fred said. “You go watch them and that was the Beatles that we saw. It was the four of them standing there with guitars and amps. To watch a group like that, that’s the 1963, 1964, 1965 Beatles!”
To see the 1964 tribute band, Fred Harlan had come full circle. He could sit back and see these four musicians race through all those songs from so long ago. It was a reminder of the 14 year old who shared the experience with his grandmother, uncle and little sister.
  Thanks to their wonderful uncle, Fred and Mary had the joy of seeing (not really hearing) the Beatles in concert. That is about as good as it gets.

Local citizens to address city proposition on Nov. 4 ballot

Proposition: Shall the City of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, make use of a portion of the $3,200,000 in proceeds received from the sale of the Muscogee (Creek) Council House to transfer the fund to a City of Okmulgee public trust, which trust will be authorized to expend the money on 1) purchase and remodel one or more buildings for the use of city public safety and used for the public benefit; and 2) make use of the balance of the proceeds plus interest from the sale of the Muscogee (Creek) Council House to fund capital projects for any proper public use available under law to a municipality, including but not limited to promoting  economic development, quality of life, tourism, and the expenses thereof, and similar lawful governmental uses of the City of Okmulgee?

Okmulgee residents will vote November 4, 2014 on a proposal to purchase and remodel a building or buildings to house the Okmulgee Police Department. The proposal also includes a provision to use the balance of the funds from the sale of the Creek Council House to fund capital improvement projects.
The Okmulgee City Council adopted a resolution last Tuesday to put the proposal to a public vote later this year. A similar proposition was voted down by the citizens in early 2014.
The City of Okmulgee sold the Muscogee (Creek) Council House and grounds to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation for $3,200,000.00. However, under applicable state law, the proceeds from the sale including the interest earned, have the same restrictions on their use that the original bond proceeds had in 1919 - restricted to Public Park use.
Thus a  vote is needed by the citizens to have them change the uses to which the money may be available. Approval of the proposal will allow the monies to be used to fund capital projects that will include promoting economic develop, quality of life and tourism. See proposition in above box.
Other agenda approved were:
• Retirement benefits for Jeweldean Snow.
• Resolution of the City of Okmulgee casting a vote for one trustee (Jay Heinrichs) of the Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund (OMRF) to fill the expiring term of Trustee-at-Large.
•  Resolution acknowledging and reaffirming agreements for equipment leasing and contracts for services executed in prior fiscal years and carrying said agreements forward into fiscal year 2014-2015.
• Resolution to notify the public of compilation of a supplement to the penal ordinances known as the Okmulgee Municipal Code 2014A.
• Ordinance amending 3.40.022 involving the claims payment procedure  - This amendment gives the city manager the authority to make one-time purchases of $25,000 or less  without prior council approval. All claims are reported to the council on a monthly basis.
• Ordinance amending the zoning map of the City of Okmulgee for rezoning of Lots 1 through 3, Block E, Northeast Okmulgee Addition from RS-2 (Residential) to CG (Commerce General).
• Ordinance amending the zoning map of the City of Okmulgee for rezoning of Lots 4 - 13, Block E, Northeast Okmulgee Addition, from RS-2 to CG.
• Application for a variance to the Okmulgee Municipal Code for the property of OT Okmulgee E 65' Lot 1 Blk 97, AKA 1126 E. 7th Street.
• Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between the City of Okmulgee and the Board of County Commissioners of Okmulgee County for asbestos inspections of County owned property by City personnel with reimbursement of all related personnel costs to the city.
• Submission of applications/cooperative agreements between the City of Okmulgee and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for the construction of boating and fishing access facilities through the Sport Fish Restoration program at Lake Okmulgee and Drippings Springs Lake .
• Contract with Meshek & Associates, PLC, to update Okmulgee's Hazard Mitigation Plan, contingent on the City of Okmulgee receiving a Hazard Mitigation Planning Grant from FEMA at a cost of $51,547.33 of which $12,886.83 is local match and the remainder is FEMA Grant Funds.
• Contract with Meshek & Associates, PLC, for the development of a Hazard Mitigation Grant Application, for a property located within the city limits, from FEMA at a cost of $53,515.00 of which $13,378.75 is local match and the remainder is FEMA Grant Funds.
• Change Order No. 3 with Honeywell International, Inc. for a decrease of $3,142.00 for the annual contract on the Water Meter Testing Contract 401-01-1739
• Public Contracts between the Okmulgee Municipal Authority (the "Authority") and the City of Okmulgee (the "City"), under which the City agrees to purchase certain necessary equipment and materials in accordance with approved plans and specifications on behalf of the Authority for the AlP 3-40-0074-020-2014 Install Perimeter Fencing and Gates - Phase III at the Okmulgee Regional Airport.
• Appointment of Dolph Hayden and Walt Cotner to Recreation Board; appointment of Mary Lewellen to the Okmulgee Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Okmulgee.
• Authorized a pardon in the case of City of Okmulgee v. Virgil Wayne Harry NT 2014-75314.
• No action was taken on two executive session items
During Public Communications, the council heard from Barbara Shatswell (property issue) , Patsy Fisher (Senior Citizens Center) and Kenneth Lawrence (water discoloration problems).

Polls open 7 a.m. on Tuesday for run-off, muncipal elections

Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday, August 26th for citizens wishing to cast their vote in the Run-Off Election.
Other than Democrats or residents of Beggs and Morris of all party affiliations, Republicans and Independents elsewhere in the county will have no ballot to vote this election, said County Election Board Secretary Ava Ridgeway.
Besides several state posts, voters locally will decide in a run-off election between Mike Hubbell and Ron Ballard for the Democratic nomination for County Commissioner District No. 1.
In the State Senate District 8 run-off, Selina Jayne-Dornan of Eufaula will face Gary L. Clason of Henryetta.
Beggs voters will be casting ballots in the Municipal Race for Mayor. Kathryn Bell, O.G. Corky Thompson and Burton Jones are all vying for that post.
In Morris, residents will vote on the 25-year non-exclusive francise with Public Service Company of Oklahoma to continue PSO’s efforts to provide electricity to customers in the city limits of Morris. This is a standard agreement that utility companies sign with municipalities across the state of Oklahoma.
The polls will close at 7 p.m.
Voters who have questions can come by the office in the Okmulgee County Courthouse, 314 W 7th or contact  by phone at 918-756-2365, by fax at 918-758-1275 or by email at okmulgee_elections@yahoo.com.


Israel James Reed
Israel James Reed died August 16, 2014.  He was born: May 21, 1936 in Sharp, Oklahoma.He was a retired Farmland Foods employee.Survivors: Nancy L. Reed, Spouse James W. (Sonya) Reed, Son Eric Reed, Son Christopher Reed , Son Marcus Dewayne Reed, Son Chaquil Reed, Son Shakur Reed, Son Danna Mayfield, Daughter Valerie Mitchell, Daughter Yolanda Carol Wimbley, Daughter Kelly Reed, Daughter Gladys McFall, Sister 14 Grandchildren and 20 Great-Grandchildren Preceded in Death By Willie and Cora Willis Reed, Parents Pauline Farley, Sister Willa Mae Morris, Sister Cletis Reed, Sister Harold Reed, Brother Cleothis Reed, Brother Leothis Reed, Brother Services Celebration of Life Tuesday August 26, 2014, 11:00 AM at Greater Pentecostal COGIC. Please join the celebration via webcast by clicking the Watch Live Webcast Tab from the main page of: www.thejacksonmortuary.com

Ardath “Grammy” Louise Coday
Ardath “Grammy” Louise Coday, formerly of Wahoo, Nebraska and a resident of Rebold Manor in Okmulgee, passed away Wednesday evening, August 20, 2014 at 90 years of age.  She was born June 29, 1924 in Ainsworth, Nebraska to Clarence H. and Ethel Louise (Morgan) Fry.  She married Edward D. Coday.  Ardath worked for many years as a school teacher in a one room schoolhouse and later in retail before joining her husband in an automotive repair business.  Ardath and Edward moved from Wahoo to Morris, Oklahoma after retirement to be near family.  She was an avid Nebraska Cornhusker and Chicago Cubs fan and she loved the times she spent with family and friends.  Ardath was a Life Member of the VFW Auxiliary, 30 year member of the American Legion Auxiliary and longtime member of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church of Wahoo, Nebraska.

Ardath was preceded in death by her parents, husband, an infant son, brother and daughter-in-law.

Survivors include her daughter, Jeri Klabenes and husband Bob of Morris, son, Dan Coday of Omaha, Nebraska, grandchildren, Todd Klabenes and family of Tulsa, Kyle Klabenes and family of Keller, Texas, Susy Ewton and family of Morris, Jackie Johnson and family of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Teri Mowery and family of Newville, Pennsylvania, ten great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.  She is also survived by numerous friends in Nebraska and Oklahoma.
A viewing will be held Saturday, August 23, 2014 from 9:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M. at the McClendon-Winters Funeral Home.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in Wahoo, Nebraska.  Interment will follow in the St. Francis Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of the McClendon-Winters Funeral Home of Okmulgee.

Frankie Moats of Wagoner, Oklahoma passed this life on Monday, August 18, 2014 in Tulsa, at the age of 82.  She was born in Okemah, Oklahoma on November 11, 1931 to Lora (Hendrix) Harelson and Charles Harelson.  She received her early education in Schulter, Oklahoma.  Frankie met and married the love of her life Hollis Raymond Moats after  his military service .  They were married on January 27, 1951 in Van Buren, Arkansas.  They resided in the Okmulgee area until 1980 and then moved to Morris, Oklahoma.  Hollis preceded her in death in 1995. She was also preceded by an infant brother, Richard Harelson and  brother Elmer Harelson and one sister Virginia Kanada.  She was active in her church as a organist and pianist.  Frankie moved to Wagoner in 2008 where she attended the Church Of God Of Prophecy.  Frankie was an avid book reader,  she enjoyed studying Revelations and reading her Bible.   She definitely enjoyed traveling and had been to Israel eight times.  She was a loving mother , sister and grandma, that  will be missed. Frankie is survived by her three daughters; Anita Riley  and her husband George of Dewar, OK, Deanna Post and Angela Day and Wesley Shearrer all of Wagoner, Oklahoma, two brothers; Charles Harelson of Okemah and James Harelson and his wife Irene of Broken Arrow, seven grandchildren: Heather, Justus, Jeremiah, Matthew, Meagan, Stormi and Taegan, one great-grandson Neo, step grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.
Services were held at 1:00 P.M., Friday, August 22, 2014 at the Shipman Funeral Home Chapel with burial at the Morris Cemetery in Morris, Oklahoma, under the direction of Shipman Funeral Home & Crematory, Wagoner, OK.

Starr Long
 Starr Long, born April 30, 1966 was called to heaven on August 20, 2014. Starr, the youngest of six children was born to Mulsey and Reverend Harry Long at the Okmulgee Hospital and passed away in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
A Daddy’s girl to no end, Starr started school in San Diego, California, attended junior high school in Yuma, Arizona and graduated from Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona. As the youngest child, Starr stayed close to her parents, watching and caring for them with tender, loving care. She recently began caring for her sister, Beverly.
Starr had many dogs but her last, her favorite was Hutcho. She was well loved and adored by many. She had a loving and out-going personality that left a lasting impression on everyone she met.
She leaves behind one sister and three brothers, many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and a great-great-niece. Starr, our loving sister and aunt will be greatly missed by all that she has left behind and they are very thankful to the Creator for the blessing of baby sister, Starr. She is taking her place right beside her father, mother and oldest brother Larry.
 Memorial Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, August 25, 2014 at the Salt Creek United Methodist Church near Holdenville, Oklahoma with Reverend David Long officiating.
  Arrangements are under the direction of the Jackson Funeral Home and Crematory in Okmulgee.
  Friends may send their condolences to www.jacksonfhandcrematory.com

Mrs. Levester Wilson, after 93 seasons of life, "moved Near the Cross" on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Levester was born in Beggs, Oklahoma on June 22, 1921, the precious daughter of Leon Pickens and Mary Bell Chapel.
 She attended Olympia School at an early age until the 8th grade.  While still at an impressionable age, she came to know the Lord and accepted Him as her personal Savior.
 As a young woman, she married Jewell White and from their union, two children were born;  Hubert E. White and a stillborn daughter.
 In 1945, she and her son moved to Arizona to live and then later returned to Okmulgee.  In July of 1952, she met and later married Otis Wilson and they remained married until his death.
 Mrs. Wilson was a longtime beautician, taking care of her clients in her shop at her home.  She was also a Cook for Okmulgee Public Schools for 20 years at Historic Dunbar High School and later, Okmulgee Schools.
 After her retirement, she was active in "two" Prayer Bands;  one in Okmulgee and the other in Beggs.   You could always find her going to Church or the Prayer Band activities.  She loved the Lord and was a committed servant.
 Mrs. Wilson was a faithful member of the St. Matthew Baptist Church until her health began to fail.
 Those that remain to wait on the Lord;  one son, Hubert E. White;  her grandchildren who were more like her children;  daughters, Pamela, of the home;  Tonya; her sons, Steve White, Anthony White, Patrick White, Hubert White, Jr., and Stevie Mangum;  a host of great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren; her dear cousins, Vera Biglow, Bonnie Ruth and Dewetta;  other relatives and a very special friend, Sarah Fultz.
The Hour of Reflection will commence on Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. in the most Holy sanctuary of the St. Matthew Baptist Church.  Her Pastor, Reverend McKinley Rice, Sr., will Preside.   Burial will follow in Our Lady of Grace Cemetery in Okmulgee.  You may visit Mrs. Wilson, as she slumbers in sweet repose at the funeral home on Wednesday from 12 Noon until 6 PM.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Keith D. Biglow Funeral Directors, Inc. - Okmulgee.

Patty S. Morrow, 77, a resident of Okmulgee, died Tuesday, August 19, 2014 in Okmulgee. Graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at the Highland Cemetery in Okemah, OK. Arrangements are under the direction of the  Integrity Funeral Service of Henryetta.
An Online Guestbook is available at http://www.integrityfuneralservice.com.

 Frances Elizabeth "Betsy" Campbell, 61, a resident of Okmulgee, died Tuesday, August 19, 2014.  Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, August 25, 2014 at the Integrity Funeral Service in Henryetta.
An Online Guestbook is available at http://www.integrityfuneralservice.com.

Okmulgee Public Library to begin
Story Time 2014
Story Time with Miss Jeana at the Okmulgee Public Library will begin Wednesday September 3rd, for First Friends Lap sit and Circle of Friends.
Group Story Time for child care groups, head start or pre-school groups will be scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays and  will start September 4th.  Call and schedule a date and time for your group 918-756-1448.
First Friends Story Time starts at 10:00 am and lasts 30 minutes.  This play group encourages parents involvement and allows babies, 1 and 2 year olds more time for socializing and interacting within a class.  Playing with the same family group each week fosters the development of relationships and encourages fun.  This group will develop through circle time, songs, toys and more.  Don't miss out on this special time with your child! Everyone is welcome.
Circle of Friends Story Time starts at 11:00 am and lasts 45 minutes.  This story time is for children ages 3-5.  Specially designed classes will help your child develop listening skills.  Fine motor skills will be enhanced with book based crafts.  Spending time in the story time room with Miss Jeana and the same group of children each week, will develop independence and encourage friendships.  Let your child enjoy this special story time.
The main goal is for everyone to have a good time and develop your child's love of books.  Adults and children will enjoy story time more if they arrive 5 to 10 minutes before story time and spend time in the children's section of the library.

 Okmulgee County Commissioners Weekly Meeting

The Okmulgee County Commissioners approved a proclamation naming Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
In the U.S., almost 15,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year. A diagnosis turns the lives of the entire family upside down. The objective of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children, survivorship issues, and - importantly - to help raise funds for research and family support.
Agenda items approved were :
• Officer’s Reports - Treasurer’s Office, August, $181,681.97
• Blanket Purchase Order - O’Reilly Auto Parts, District 3, $250; Unifirst Holdings, District 3, $450.
• Employee Status Reports - David Blaine, District 3, employment ceased; Reginald Ligons, District 3, full-time; Desiree Roberts, 911 Center, full-time; Stacy Oglesby, 911 Center, full-time.
• Resolution to designate County depository banks for 2014-2015.
• Bond Resolution for County Treasurer ($75,000) and deputies ($40,000) for 2014-2015 fiscal year.
• Appropriations
During last week’s session, the board approved the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between the Board of County Commissioners and the City of Okmulgee for an Oklahoma Licensed Inspector for asbestos inspection of buildings and related structures.  This Agreement will allow the licensed City employee to conduct inspections for the County.  

Orpheum Theatre celebrates 94th birthday, renovations underway
It's a birthday party for the Orpheum! In celebration of its 94th anniversary August 23, the Orpheum is getting a new set of clothes!  The Orpheum has taken on some major renovations, with remodeled bathrooms, a new projector able to show movies in the new format of HD, a reconditioned stage capable handling live stage shows, a larger state-of-the-art screen installed capable of showing 3D movies, updated sound system and have recently acquired new seating for the downstairs.  Plans for an updated concession is in the works and the continuation of updating the upstairs bathrooms.
Owner John McConnel has been working on repairs for a while, just he and his small staff.  The pace has been slow and steady, but recently the Main Street Program stepped in to bring new energy to the project and some much needed resources.
McConnel said this energy has given him new inspiration and stated, “I appreciate all the volunteer help that's giving the theatre new clothes  --  she was ready for them!  And I also appreciate the recognition of the theatre's birthday.”
On Saturday, Aug. 23, the public was invited to a celebration ceremony that was held at 1 p.m.  There were several surprises in store for those attending.  After the party there was  cake and punch.  One free popcorn was given to each ticket holder that attends the Saturday matinee  showing.
 In Oklahoma, the Orpheum is second to Miami's Coleman Theatre in architectural significance. In years of service, the Orpheum's 1920 opening makes it the third oldest theatre continuing to operate in the state.  It's behind the Liberty in Carnegie that opened in 1915, and the Allred in Pryor that opened in 1917.
The restoration will continue on into its 95th year until complete.  Plans are in the works to utilize the stage for live shows becoming a mix of "on the screen and on the stage" venue. Okmulgee will be able to pride themselves in one of the first and oldest live and on screen theatres in the state of Oklahoma -   Making it a gem of a historic attraction to the area.