Friday, August 16, 2019

Bunch Man Sentenced

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Jeremy Lee Poafpybitty a/k/a “Chooch”, age 33, of Bunch, Oklahoma was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment, and 3 years of supervised release for Assaulting An Employee Of The United States With A Deadly And Dangerous Weapon. The charges arose from an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Tahlequah Police Department. 

The Indictment alleges that on or about July 24, 2018 the defendant knowingly, intentionally, and forcibly, with the use of a knife, assaulted, opposed, impeded, intimidated, and interfered with and inflicted bodily injury to an employee of the United States Postal Service while in the performance of official duties. 

“United States Postal Service employees overcome many challenges to delivering mail, but violence is one they should never have to face. The defendant is being justly punished for his violent acts against the victim, a postal employee,” said United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester. 

The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Henson represented the United States.

KXMX News Staff

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Bill John Baker Named Executive Chairman at CN Businesses

Bill John Baker

The Cherokee Nation Businesses Board of Directors has named former Principal Chief Bill John Baker to Executive Chairman at CNB, effective immediately. The position plays a new role of ambassador to the larger business community and the federal government, senior most advisor to the CNB board of directors and will be tasked with setting strategic vision and long-term benchmarks for the company. 

“Bill John Baker has been a friend and a mentor to me for more than 25 years,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. “During his tenure as Chief, he took our tribe from an economic impact of just $1.06 billion in 2012 to $2.17 billion in 2018. His leadership helped secure a Joint Venture with Indian Health Service that will bring $105 million per year into our health system and the economy of northeast Oklahoma. He established the first tribal medical school partnership with OSU Center for Health Sciences, so we can train our own doctors and keep those highly trained and well-paid professionals in rural Oklahoma. He brought large retailers like Amazon and Macy’s to northeast Oklahoma, along with manufacturers like Greenheck and Sofidel. With all the strides he’s made in luring large businesses to northeast Oklahoma, he’s also made sure small businesses are supported. Bill John Baker created business incubator programs, mentorships and strengthened our TERO process. With all this success as an elected official, I’m more than optimistic at what he can do as a business leader.” 

Baker assumes the role immediately. 

“I started my career in Tahlequah as a small businessman 50 years ago, before dedicating my life to the Cherokee people, first as a tribal councilor and then as Principal Chief for the past eight years,” said Bill John Baker, executive chairman for Cherokee Nation Businesses. “Serving the Cherokee people in elected office has been the honor of a lifetime. Now, to come full circle is both a new challenge, and a new honor. I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to serve and I thank Chief Hoskin and the CNB board of directors for the privilege of serving in this new role and for their confidence in me.” 

Chuck Garrett

Executive Vice President Chuck Garrett has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer, replacing Shawn Slaton, who has served as CEO since 2011. Garrett is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and Harvard Law School. A native of Muskogee, with family ties in Adair County, and a Cherokee Nation citizen, Garrett worked in real estate investment, asset management and investment banking prior to returning to Oklahoma to join CNB in 2013. 

“CNB is a company with competitive advantages that are so unique to a tribal business, that the opportunities are nearly endless. I couldn’t be more grateful and optimistic to be taking the helm at this time,” said Chief Executive Officer Chuck Garrett. “However, my time at CNB has also taught me the deeper meaning of purpose. There really is no greater job than helping generate profits for the benefit of our people, to help make lives better for our citizens. Every day CNB employees come to work, we know the work we put in and the money we help generate puts a roof over someone’s head, sends a young person to college or helps our loved ones with a medical treatment that may be life-saving. As a Cherokee Nation citizen, I can honestly say taking the role of CEO at Cherokee Nation Businesses is the responsibility and the honor of a lifetime.” 

“To continue to adequately provide for our citizens and expand valuable services and programs, we must be vigilant in pursing new ways to expand our business portfolio. Chuck Garrett’s national and international business experience across multiple sectors make him the right Cherokee for the job at the right time. I know he’ll do a fantastic job for our people,” Chief Hoskin said. “I’m also confident his skills, combined with Bill John Baker’s ability to form coalitions for the purpose of achieving long-range goals, will be the recipe for a winning success.”

This is the first time since 2011 a Cherokee Nation citizen has served as CEO.

“The Cherokee Nation is the largest tribe in the United States, and CNB employs more than 7,500 people – the majority of those being Cherokee Nation citizens. With the depth of talent inside CNB and the number of highly-skilled, highly-educated Cherokees at a record high, there is no reason a Cherokee Nation citizen shouldn’t be leading our corporate interests,” Chief Hoskin said. “I’m proud that we now have not one, but two, of the most innovative and forward-thinking Cherokees to do just that.”

Shawn Slaton will remain at CNB where he has served in various gaming, accounting and executive roles since 1997. Under his leadership, revenue generated by the tribe’s businesses has grown to more than $1 billion, with nearly 40 percent of revenue being generated through the tribe's non-gaming businesses.

“Shawn has served CNB admirably for more than 20 years, starting when the Cherokee Nation operated only bingo halls and smoke shops,” Chief Hoskin said. “In addition to our 10 gaming and hospitality properties, growing museums and cultural offerings and federal contracting all over the globe, we are actively and successfully pursuing our first commercial gaming venture outside of Oklahoma. Shawn Slaton has been a large part of that success over the years and we appreciate his service. To continue to provide for our citizens, we must be vigilant in pursing new ways to expand our business portfolio, and we are pleased Shawn will stay on board while we move through this transition and into the next phase of CNB’s success in new and emerging markets.” 

KXMX News Staff

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Clorox Gives $30,000 to Webbers Falls Schools

Clean up efforts continue at Webbers Falls Schools 
as they prepare to return to class on Sept. 3.

The makers of Clorox decided to make the cleanup of Webbers Falls Public Schools after devastating flooding in May just a little easier.

The company donated $30,000 to the school system, along with cleaning supplies to assist in the recovery effort. Of the $30,000, $25,000 of it will go toward the school’s rebuilding efforts. The remaining $5,000 will go toward getting supplies for teachers and students.

Dr. Dixie Swearingen, Webbers Falls superintendent, said the donation was “a wonderful surprise.”

“I’m not sure how it was initiated,” she said, adding that she has had several people ask how they can help, so perhaps it was one of them.

“School is the center of a community and I don’t want to lose that,” Swearingen said.

Webbers Falls has about 290 students and Swearingen said everything is on schedule to start school on Sept. 3. 

The school has scheduled enrollment on three days this year. The sign-up will begin Friday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration will continue on Monday, Aug. 26, and Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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OSHSA Work Day Scheduled for Saturday

The Old Sallisaw High School Association has scheduled a work day at the park, 200 W Creek, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, August 16.

Volunteers are needed to help the group mark the new walking trail and to hang photos on the Event Center’s walls. 

Organizers invite the public to join us in their efforts to beautify the park and the events center.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Greenwood Man Sought in Break-in

An affidavit issued Aug. 8 reveals that a Greenwood man faces three felony burglary charges after a break-in in rural Sequoyah County.

Records show that Jeremiah Nicholas Allen, 30, has been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, second-degree burglary and third-degree burglary.

Police say that on the night of July 16, Allen and three alleged co-conspirators went to a rural Sequoyah County home owned by Stephen Fowlkes. 

When Fowlkes discovered the theft, he told police that a large Dewalt commercial radio, a diamond horseshoe-shaped ring and other items had been stolen, as well as an old wallet containing several credit cards that had been in Fowlkes’ truck.

On July 17, police reports indicate that Allen and two other accomplices went to the Walmart on Zero Street in Fort Smith, where they bought two cell phones and three cards for putting minutes on the devices. The items were paid for with a Discover card belonging to Fowlkes.

Closed-circuit footage from the store showed the three inside the store. Walmart also gave police the receipts for the purchases.

Allen’s bond was fixed at $10,000.

The conspiracy count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. Second-degree burglary carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison. Third-degree burglary is subject to up to five years in prison.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Vehicle in Sallisaw Hit-and-Run Allegedly Used in Roland Robbery

Suspects and vehicle believed to be involved in a hit-and-run accident
in Sallisaw as well as a robbery in Roland.

A hit-and-run accident at Cherry and Oak streets in Sallisaw on Aug. 10 led Sallisaw police to a suspected getaway vehicle reportedly used in a Roland robbery the next day.

The Sallisaw Police Department was called to the location of the accident and discovered the vehicle, a gray Nissan Altima with an Oklahoma tag. The suspect vehicle has obviously chipped paint on the front bumper, police said, and the tag on the car was reported stolen and didn’t belong to that vehicle.

A short time later, a Roland police investigator alerted Sallisaw police that the vehicle fit the description of one used in an Aug. 11 robbery at the Cherokee Nation Casino in Roland.

If you have any information about who these individuals are, please contact Sallisaw Police Lt. Detective John Owens at (918) 775-4141 or Roland Police Investigator Chris Waters at (918) 427-3252.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Man Charged With Copper Theft

A Moffett man was arrested Aug. 5 in Roland after a witness saw him come out from under a house holding copper in his hands.

Records show that Daniel Alan Dye, 44, was seen in late July carrying copper he had allegedly stolen from under the home. He reportedly placed the copper in the truck he and his girlfriend were in, then left the scene.

When Roland police interviewed Dye, he told officers that he did go under the house, but denied cutting any copper, insisting instead that he only took copper that had been cut previously.

Dye told officers he sold the copper July 17 for $68.40 to Davis Iron and Metal.

Dye was charged with entering with intent to steal copper, a felony punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary for 1-5 years, or the county jail for 90-200 days, and a fine of $100-500.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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