Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Couple Charged with Damaging Rental Property

Arrest warrants were issued April 15 for a pair of Sequoyah County residents charged with malicious injury to property (over $1,000), a felony, and misdemeanor petit larceny.

Dennis Allen Coughran, 59, of Muldrow and Heather M. McCully, 43, of Sallisaw each face up to two years in the State Penitentiary, a fine of up to $1,000 or both if convicted of the felony counts. They both face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500 on the larceny charge.

On April 2, a Sequoyah County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to Muldrow and spoke with David Brown, who said he had rented a trailer to Coughran. McCully also lived in the trailer and is listed as Coughran's wife. Brown said he had served Coughran with an eviction notice through the court system and that he was supposed to be out by 5 p.m. April 1. Brown said that when he went to the residence around 5:30 p.m., he noticed that someone had cut the wires to the trailer’s breaker box, taken the copper from the air conditioner, removed the coil and taken the 220 wiring. Brown also said someone had run over the sprinkler system at the home, destroying it. He estimated damages at about $6,000.

An investigation later revealed that Coughran sold several of the allegedly stolen items to a metal scrap yard in Fort Smith. Coughran had provided the scrap yard with a Sallisaw address but no one answered the door when police tried to make contact. A phone number for Coughran was no longer in service and a phone number for McCully was answered by a woman who said the phone did not belong to McCully but she was willing to take a message for her. The female then hung up and further attempts to call her were unsuccessful.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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2021 Downtown Diamond Daze Begins Friday

This year’s Downtown Diamond Daze will be held Friday and Saturday, Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marty Green said.

The newly renamed weekend event will be filled with family fun for all ages and this year’s celebration will even have a new location. It will take place along Oak, Choctaw and Elm streets from Cherokee Avenue, and the Stanley W. Tubbs Memorial Library lawn will also host some events.

Sallisaw Main Street’s Finger Lickin’ barbecue contest is back this year and the group will be selling taster kits to those in attendance.

Downtown Diamond Days is sponsored by the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce and Sallisaw Main Street.

Following is the schedule of Downtown Diamond Daze events:

Friday, April 30

Main Street “Pig” -- Indian taco sales at lunchtime

Vendor set-up in assigned places after 5 p.m.

Barbecue contestants set up on Cherokee Avenue

6 p.m. -- Talent Contest preliminaries on the GRDA Stage

6 p.m. Treasure Hunt rules and details will be released

Saturday, May 1

10-11 a.m. -- Car Show registration and setup

10-11 a.m. -- Diamond Daze Cornhole Tournament sign-in

11 a.m. -- Cornhole Tournament begins

11 a.m. to 8 p.m. -- Children’s area opens

11 a.m. -- Talent Contest preliminaries (2nd Round) on the GRDA Stage

11 a.m. -- Taster kits go on sale for the barbecue contest

Noon to 4 p.m. -- Hot air balloon rides (weather permitting)

2 p.m. -- Barbecue Contest award presentations on the GRDA Stage

3-3:30 p.m. -- Local Singer Drake Hyde on the Pocket Park Stage

3:30 p.m. -- Award presentations for Car Show winners

3:30 p.m. -- Cornhole tournament awards

5 p.m. -- Music by the Black Diamonds on the Pocket Park Stage

6-8 p.m. -- Cruise Night on Cherokee Avenue

6:45 p.m. -- Final round of Talent Show -- Top three perform on the Main Event Stage

7-8:30 p.m. -- Crossroads -- Main Event Stage

9 p.m. -- Main attraction Greg “The Ultimate Aldean” West on the Main Event Stage

The deadline to enter the Finger Lickin’ Barbecue Contest has already passed, but talent show, car show, cornhole and treasure hunt participants can find entry forms at, by calling (918) 775-2558 or stopping by the chamber office, 101 N. Wheeler.

The event will also feature a Children’s Zone, complete with inflatables and other fun activities.

Vendors are welcome to sign up for Diamond Daze for May 1. Arts and crafts vendors are free, as are businesses/chamber members/non-profits. Food vendors and food trucks are $50. Vendor applications are now available at the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce and the chamber’s webpage, where payment may also be made.

Green said the organizers of this event were thrilled to get Downtown Diamond Daze up and running again after the disappointment of last year’s cancellation of the festival because of the coronavirus.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Arrest Warrant Issued for Failure to Register

Michael Richard Sivak Jr

An arrest warrant was issued April 15 for a Wagoner man accused of failing to register as a sex offender and living within 2,000 feet of a school, both felonies.

Michael Richard Sivak Jr., 36, faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for not registering, and he faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000 on the second felony count.

On April 13, a Muldrow police officer was contacted by an employee of the Garvin County (Okla.) Sheriff’s Office in regard to Sivak, a registered sex offender. An unidentified caller had informed Garvin County that Sivak had moved to Muldrow without notifying them.

The Muldrow officer then went to the address provided and spoke with a female who said Sivak had married her daughter April 5. She stated that Sivak had stayed at that residence from April 8-12. The home is within 2,000 feet of Muldrow Elementary School.

A check of Sivak’s criminal history revealed that he was a registered sex offender as of 2019, but failed to register with the Muldrow Police Department for his stay, which lasted beyond the 72-hour limit, was within 2,000 feet of a school and he was at that residence with a juvenile without a self-referral to the Department of Human Services.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

TSET Healthy Living To Host Public Discussions Friday

The TSET Healthy Living Program will host public discussions at the Sallisaw Performing Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 23.

The free event, which will only take 15-30 minutes of your time, will allow area residents to discuss their creative ideas to promote health, perceived barriers to health and local resources. Light refreshments will be served.

The Performing Arts Center is at 601 W. Choctaw. For more information, visit the TSET Healthy Living Discussions Facebook page.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Late-Spring Cold Snap Expected Tuesday Night

Sequoyah County residents will be under a freeze warning from 11 p.m. Tuesday until 9 a.m. Wednesday as a strong cold front moves into the area.

The unprecedented cold snap is expected to bring freezing temperatures to Eastern Oklahoma and even the possibility of a light spring snowfall mixed with rain. Look out for frost over much of Northeastern Oklahoma. Temperatures are expected to dip throughout the day Tuesday as the cold front brings gusty north winds and sharply colder temperatures. Because temperatures have been so warm recently, little snow accumulation is expected, according to the National Weather Service.

Max Smith, chairman of the Sallisaw Farmers Market, said Tuesday that folks with outdoor plants should be sure and cover them up overnight to protect them from the frigid temps, noting that if you use plastic to cover your plants, make sure it is not touching the plants. Also, Smith said, if you have a sprinkler on your fruit trees, turn it ON. The water will freeze on the blooms, leading to a big chunk of ice, Smith said, but it will also protect the buds from the freeze.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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CN unveils first electric transit and school buses in region

The Cherokee Nation on Monday unveiled its first public, rural eco-friendly electric buses to transport employees and tribal citizens to work and tribal health centers, and its first electric school bus, which is the first of its kind in the state of Oklahoma.

The two electric transit buses and new charging stations built to accommodate the vehicles were purchased through a $1.5 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant awarded to the tribe in 2018, along with other funding sources, as part of Cherokee Nation’s ongoing effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

Cherokee Nation’s transit services produce more than 500,000 vehicle miles for an average of 110,000 riders each year within the tribe’s 14-county reservation in Northeast Oklahoma. Routes increase the mobility of Cherokee Nation citizens and for many, represent a lifeline to vital services.

The $375,000 electric school bus is for student transportation at Sequoyah High School.

“The Cherokee Nation has always been a leader in environmental conservation and forward-thinking efforts that will reduce harmful activities impacting our natural resources,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “As we work to reduce our carbon emmissions by 25 percent by 2027, we are wisely investing in sustainable projects that will have many long-term benefits. Our responsibility as stewards of the land, air and water will always be one of our most signficant values, and introducing these eco-friendly transit vehicles into our fleet is an example of how we can make a great difference in our environment.”

The tribe’s new electric buses will produce zero tailpipe emissions and are expected to reduce harmful carbon emissions within the tribe’s jurisdiction by more than 5 million pounds over the lifespan of the vehicles. The two new electric transit buses will be used to replace existing diesel-powered buses serving routes between Tahlequah and the Catoosa-area, and West Siloam Springs and Stilwell.

“Taking care of our land, our water and our air has always been important to Cherokees. We understand the sacred responsibility that comes with being good stewards of everything the Creator has given us,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “Replacing traditional transit buses with eco-friendly vehicles is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint we are leaving on the Earth.”

The Cherokee Nation is the only tribe in the country and the only entity in Oklahoma to receive federal grant funding in 2018 to purchase the two electric transit buses that will be used to transport tribal citizens and employees.

“I’m proud that the Cherokee Nation is continuing to lead the way among local, state and federal governments as well as tribal nations as we find new and innovate ways to better care for our environment,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of Natural Resources Chad Harsha. “These new eco-friendly transit routes and our new electric school bus will soon be providing reliable transportation that helps our citizens and students.”

Monday’s announcement by the tribe is part of a week-long celebration of Earth Day. Activities include:

• Tuesday, April 20 – Tribal leaders met at 4 p.m. to celebrate after the Bee Conservancy awarded Cherokee Nation with a grant for two pollinator houses to be built at the tribe’s heirloom garden in Tahlequah, in addition to the 16 bee pollinator homes previously placed in the garden as part of First Lady January Hoskin’s initiative to boost the population of pollinators while improving the environment.

• Wednesday, April 21 – The Cherokee Nation will host an e-waste and battery recycling event from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. behind the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah.

• Thursday, April 22 – On Earth Day, a solar panel roof installation will kick off at 1 p.m. at the Mid-County Community Building in the Peavine community of Adair County. Principal Chief Hoskin will also read an Earth Day proclamation celebrating the tribe’s clean energy initiatives such as investing millions of dollars into sustainable communities by providing solar panel roofs at Cherokee community buildings to lower utility costs and provide renewable energy upgrades.

• Friday, April 23 – The Cherokee Nation will hold a free drive-through tree giveaway to hand out 500 trees on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Cherokee Nation heirloom garden from noon to 2 p.m.

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Moffett Students Collect Items for Blessing Boxes

Students at Moffett School recently participated in a drive to collect items for area community blessing boxes. Over 5,000 cans of food, nonperishable items and personal care items were collected.

Shannon Edwards, sponsor for the Student Wealth Activity Team (SWAT) at Moffett and Brushy Schools, said there is a total of 12 students that are currently a part of SWAT. “I want to teach and encourage my students to give back to the community," Edwards said.  Edwards is also the school nurse for Moffett and Brushy schools. 

Nehemiah Reagan, a Moffett student, said, “Every day after school I would go into our pantry and fill up my backpack full of canned foods to take to school the next day. I didn’t care if I won the pizza party. I just wanted to help feed families in need.” 

“All five of my kids were nose to nose about who was filling up a bag from the pantry and bringing in the donations that day,” said Jessie Reagan, Nehemiah's mother.

After all donations were gathered on April 9, Edwards and the team went to Belfonte, Liberty and Muldrow to give a portion of donations to each blessing box.

Blessing Boxes can be found in Roland, Moffett, Gore, Sallisaw, Belfonte, Brushy, Vian, Muldrow, and Liberty communities.

For those wanting to donate or volunteer contact Lindsey Dyer at email or Shannon Edwards at

Anna Ramos, News Staff

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