Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Gause Charged with Shooting Toward a Residence

A felony arrest warrant was issued March 25 for a Muldrow man charged with discharging a firearm into a dwelling.

Christopher Gause, 21, faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted of the felony charge.

On March 17, a Sequoyah County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a rural residence, where he spoke with a female who stated that she was Gause's ex-girlfriend. She told the officer that Gause had driven by while she was standing on her porch, then backed up and fired several shots toward her vehicle. She said Gause then pulled up next-door at his parents’ house.

A pair of witnesses said they saw a camouflage-colored Chevrolet pickup back up and fire several shots out the passenger window toward the residence. The truck then went to the next driveway to the west, turned around and left.

The deputy looked on the road where the shooting occurred and found a spent .40-caliber shell casing lying on the ground about 8 inches from the road.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Cultural Pathway to Connect Historic Cherokee Sites

A destination for locals and tourists alike, downtown Tahlequah is home to several Cherokee Nation cultural and historic sites near the iconic Capitol Square. This week, the tribe announced a new project that will connect those sites and nearby resources.

A Cherokee art park and cultural pathway are being constructed to enable pedestrians to safely travel between the Cherokee National History Museum on Muskogee Avenue and the Cherokee National Prison Museum on Choctaw Street, as well as several additional sites, including the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, Cherokee Arts Center, Kawi Café and Spider Gallery.

“This is a real opportunity to invest in our capital city and showcase a unique collection of cultural and historical resources that are very much a natural draw for visitors,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “The pathway will serve as a tourism anchor and downtown destination. The First Lady, January Hoskin, and I love Tahlequah and we love Cherokee art, which makes this project near and dear to our hearts. We know this improvement will amplify all of Cherokee Nation’s strategies to share our culture with our fellow citizens, Tahlequah community members and guests from all over the world.”

The project will enhance pedestrian accessibility with new walkways and add features such as a public gathering space, art displays, a chalk wall, new landscaping, outdoor lighting and park-like furniture.

The project is slated for completion in late summer 2021.

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Ticer Arrested After High-Speed Chase

Reford Lee Ticer

A Sallisaw man pleaded guilty March 24 to endangering others while eluding/attempting to elude a police officer, driving with a revoked driver’s license and failure to maintain insurance, court records reveal.

Reford Lee Ticer, 35, was sentenced to at least five years in the Department of Corrections.

On March 21, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper was traveling northbound on County Road NS 4670 when he saw a light blue Ford pickup headed southbound with the driver not wearing a seat belt.

When the trooper initiated a traffic stop, the driver of the pickup sped up -- at times traveling upwards of 90 mph -- and began driving dangerously by failing to stop at stop signs, passing in no-passing zones and crossing the center line on Highway 64.

The truck narrowly missed other vehicles along Highway 64 before it arrived in Muldrow, where the Muldrow Police Department had placed “stop-sticks” at the intersection of Highway 64 and South Main Street to try and bring the chase to an end. The sticks were deployed in the turn lane in the eastbound lanes of Highway 64. The truck sped through the intersection and swerved toward a Muldrow police officer, who had to jump in his patrol vehicle for safety. The disabled Ford pickup briefly continued heading eastbound before having to stop.

 Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Arvest Bank Kicks Off 11th Year of Million Meals Initiative

Arvest Bank kicks off its 11th annual Million Meals campaign this week and it will continue through May 29. The campaign’s goal is to provide at least one million meals to those in need and it benefits more than 90 locally selected organizations throughout Arvest’s four-state footprint.

The campaign is particularly needed in Oklahoma and Arkansas, which rank 5th and 7th, respectively, among the most food-insecure states in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Arvest in Fort Smith region has partnered with United Way Fort Smith Region and Community Services Clearinghouse for the duration of the campaign. Both organizations will receive monetary donations made in Fort Smith, Greenwood, Van Buren, Alma, Waldron in Arkansas and Poteau and Sallisaw in Oklahoma from April 5-May 29.

River Valley regions residents can support Million Meals by making monetary donations at Arvest branches and drive-thrus or calling (866) 952-9523. Additionally, customers can donate via the Arvest Go mobile app and Arvest Flex Rewards™ credit cardholders can log in to to redeem and donate rewards points.

Every dollar raised through Million Meals provides the equivalent of five meals for local, hungry families. While Arvest is unable to accept food donations in branches this year, customers and community members can donate directly to the bank’s food partners.

“We’re always excited to kick off our Million Meals campaign because helping those in need in our communities is a big part of who we are as an organization,” Roger Holroyd, Arvest Bank president for the Fort Smith and River Valley Region, said. “Our associates are excited to join United Way and Community Services Clearinghouse, our customers and the community to fight hunger, and it’s especially rewarding to know everything we raise stays local.”

Arvest conducts Million Meals in the spring each year due to the fact food banks report an increased need in the summer, when many children do not have the benefit of eating meals at the schools they attend. According to the Food Research & Action Center, in fact, only one child participated in the USDA’s Summer Nutrition Programs in July 2019 for every seven children who received a free or reduced-price lunch during the 2018-2019 school year.

For more information about Million Meals, visit

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CN Joins Sequoyah County Water Association to Celebrate Completion of Water Treatment Plant

Cherokee Nation leaders joined Sequoyah County Water Association representatives on March 26 to celebrate the completion of the Sequoyah County Water Treatment Plant, which will provide fresh, cleaner and safer drinking water to about 5,300 residents and businesses.

“This water treatment plant is the main point of access to water for thousands of families and businesses throughout Sequoyah County, and even some neighboring counties, so the Cherokee Nation is always proud to work with the water organizations like Sequoyah County Water Association, especially when our work helps bring clean and reliable water to those communities,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “This is a great example of the strengths of a partnership between the Cherokee Nation and local organizations.”

The Cherokee Nation contributed $854,000 in Indian Health Service project funds to assist in the construction of approximately 54,000 feet of a new 24-inch water main from the water plant to the city of Vian.

“This project is going to make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of families, who will now not have to worry about safe drinking water,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “Partnerships like these with the Sequoyah County Water Association continue to show how we can greatly improve the crucial systems that carry water to our communities, and we do it by working together.”

Planning for the Sequoyah County Water Treatment Plant started in spring 2018.

“This just wouldn’t go without the Cherokee Nation,” said Sequoyah County Water Association manager Vance Mooney. “July will be 40 years that I have been with the water department and we have always worked with the Cherokee Nation on projects, so the Cherokee Nation has always been there for us and has been instrumental in our water projects. We just wouldn’t be where we are today without the Cherokee Nation.”

With construction now complete, the water treatment plant will serve communities across northern and western Sequoyah County, as well as parts of southern Cherokee County and southeast Muskogee County.

“The city of Vian receives their water through this water system, so in the past if there was a break in the main the city would have to shut down. Now, with the new water main Cherokee Nation helped fund we don’t have to do that. It’s a win-win for everybody - the city and the rural communities,” said District 5 Tribal Councilor E.O. Smith. “It’s just a great day to see this project completed and I am glad to be a part of it today.”

After the ribbon cutting, guests toured the new water treatment plant to see how the facility works. The water treatment plant has the capacity to pump about 5 million gallons per day, which is 3 million gallons more per day than was possible prior to the project.

“These pump systems have probably been here since about the 1960s, so they were dated and only had the capacity of pumping out 2 million gallons a day,” said District 6 Tribal Councilor Daryl Legg. “Now, they are up to 5 million per day, so this project is just good all-around for our Cherokee citizens and for the communities it provides water to.”


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CN Seeks National Treasure Nominees

In preparation for the 69th annual Cherokee National Holiday, the tribe is seeking nominations for its National Treasure distinction. The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. Friday, June 11.

The honor of Cherokee National Treasure is bestowed upon Cherokee Nation citizens who have shown exceptional knowledge of Cherokee art and culture. The award was established in 1988 by the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee National Historical Society.

Cherokee National Treasures actively work to preserve and revive traditional cultural practices that are in danger of being lost from generation to generation.

Nominations are accepted in nearly 30 categories, ranging from traditional foods and bow-making to beadwork, basketry and graphic arts. A full list of categories and the nomination form can be found at For questions or to schedule a drop-off, call (918) 384-7730 or email

Selected honorees will be recognized during the 69th annual Cherokee National Holiday.

The Cherokee National Holiday commemorates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839, which re-established the tribe’s government in Indian Territory after forced removal from the Cherokees’ original homelands in the Southeast.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Area Towns Gearing Up for April 3 Easter Celebrations

Towns all around the United States are gearing up for this Easter with high hopes for a much better celebration than last year’s, when many events were forced to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As more and more people are getting vaccinated and restriction rules are starting to be lifted, organizers have decided to go all out this year and have an “egg-cellent” holiday!


The Liberty Fire Department is hosting its annual Easter egg hunt at noon Saturday, April 3. There will be three age groups: 1-4, 5-7 and 8-12. There will be candy and prizes awarded to the top egg finders.


Gore’s annual Easter egg hunt will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 3, inside Ray Fine Park. There will be three age groups: 0-3 (parents will be allowed to help), 4-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-up (no parents allowed to help). Volunteers are needed to help stuff the eggs. To volunteer, call Kim Summerlin at (918) 489-2636.


The fun will begin for kids in Muldrow with an egg hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 3, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post on Wilson Street. Another egg hunt will follow at 11 a.m. at Muldrow Park and still another egg hunt will follow at 2 p.m. at Eastside Freewill Baptist Church’s Fellowship Center (near Interstate 40).


Organizers have divided Webbers Falls’ kids into three age groups: 0-3, 4-7 and 8-12 and they will begin searching for eggs around 1 p.m. Saturday, April 3, at the Webbers Falls School Sports Complex.

*Even though certain health restrictions have been lifted by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, masks, hand-sanitizing and social distancing are still recommended.

 Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Duo Charged With Animal Cruelty

Two people found dragging several animals at the intersection of Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 64 in Roland on Feb. 22 have been charged with animal cruelty, court records show.

Felony arrest warrants were issued March 25 for Melissa Coe, 41, of Muldrow and Arthur Coe III, 31, of Vian. The pair each face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. Their bond was set at $5,000 each.

At 3:34 p.m. on Feb. 22, a Roland police officer responded to a call about a man kicking and dragging a dog at Highway 64 and I-40.

When the officer arrived at the scene, he saw the Coes walking with several dogs who appeared to be in terrible health. Arthur Coe was also carrying a pet carrier, which was packed with so many items that the cat and puppy inside were unable to move. The puppy was pressed up against the carrier’s door.

The person who reported the incident told police that he had been stopped at the red light near I-40 when he saw a man and woman with several dogs walking west on U.S. 64. He said he saw Arthur Coe kick the German Shepherd several times and drag him with a yellow rope, all the while yelling at the dog.

When asked why the animals weren’t at home, Melissa Coe said it was because “she didn’t want them to freeze.” It was a 66-degree, sunny day, according to the National Weather Service.

Arthur Coe said the reason he was yelling at the black German Shepherd mix was because the dog “pretended” to be deaf. He said the animal had never been diagnosed with the condition.

An animal control officer arrived and took custody of the animals, who were immediately taken to a veterinarian for treatment.

After being examined, the six dogs and one cat were found to have mange and some had hookworms, but none had serious health issues other than severe malnutrition. The German Shepherd did show signs of impaired hearing.

Progress reports on the animals show that they are doing well and are responding to treatment.

 Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Early Voting Begins This Week

Early voting begins Thursday, April 1, for voters in Sequoyah County. Eligible voters will be voting for Town of Gore Office No. 2 Seat and Board of Education for Gore/Belfonte Public Schools.

Voters who will not be able to make it to the polls on Election Day (Tuesday, April 6), have the option of voting early at their County Election Board. Sequoyah County Election Board secretary Cindy Osborn said early voting is open to all voters.

“You do not need to provide an excuse to vote early. Oklahoma allows early voting for all elections conducted through the State Election Board — from school board and municipal elections to state and federal elections. This is a great option for those who will be out of town on Election Day or who want to avoid long lines,” Osborn said.

Early voting is available Thursday, April 1, and Friday, April 2, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the County Election Board, 110 E. Creek St in Sallisaw. For questions, please contact the Election Board at (918) 775-2614.

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Commissioners Discuss Purchase of New Paver

The Board of Sequoyah County Commissioners opened and awarded a bid for the purchase of a paver at their weekly meeting Monday.

District 3 Commissioner Jim Rogers said he wanted time to examine the Caterpillar paver himself before actually accepting Forsgren’s $44,000 bid -- the only one the county received. Rogers said after he saw the vehicle and reviewed the necessary documents, he would place the item back on the commissioners’ agenda for a future meeting.

The commissioners also approved a payment to Union Pacific Railroad Company as part of District 2’s Dwight Mission Road resurfacing project.

The panel also approved the removal of Bruce Tabor from the Bank of Cherokee County SAC Nutrition Checking Accounts, SAC Nutrition.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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SAC Nutrition Center in Need of 1,000 NEW Plastic Bags

The SAC Nutrition Center in Sallisaw is needing as many NEW plastic bags as possible for use in its senior citizens feeding program.

The bags, commonly used as shopping bags, come in handy at SAC, where they are used to hold meals for hungry senior diners.

Carol Thomas, who runs the nutrition center, said Monday that she and her staff “hope to open back up for dine-in service in July.”

Used shopping bags can not be acceptable due to sanitation reasons. The center is asking businesses and/or individuals to donate new bags. Many retailers sell the bags in bulk.

The center has been closed to in-person diners since the coronavirus pandemic hit the state more than a year ago. The group was quickly able to switch to takeout and delivery meal service to keep area seniors fed for the past year, providing a lifeline to elders in senior citizens in eastern Oklahoma.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Muldrow Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma has announced that Hunter Jacob James Hope, 21, of Muldrow pleaded guilty to seven counts of production of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography. According to the plea agreement, he will face between 262 and 327 months in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

According to court documents, Hope engaged in a pattern of conduct that involved threatening to share sensitive (typically undressed or partially undressed) images of minors unless the minors either engaged in sex acts with him or provided him with sexually explicit images of themselves over the internet.

The charges arose from an investigation by the Sallisaw Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.

The Hon. Kimberly E. West, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Muskogee, accepted the plea and ordered the completion of a pre-sentence investigation report.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Gwendelynn Bills represented the United States.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

For more news stories stay tuned to The MIX 105.1 or visit


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Pitts Tased After Attempting to Elude Deputy

Johnathon Pitts

Johnathan Pitts, 29, of Sallisaw was tased Friday evening after attempting to elude a Sequoyah County deputy.

Deputy Mark Choate was dispatched to a residence north of Sallisaw in response to a report of Pitts having taken his aunt's vehicle without permission. While Choate was obtaining information from the reporting party, Pitts pulled up in the vehicle and his aunt attempted to talk him into leaving the vehicle without incident but he drove away. Choate pursued him to the Dollar General located north of Sallisaw where Pitts pulled over.

Deputy Choate stated that Pitts refused to leave the vehicle so he called for a second unit. At that time Pitts put the vehicle in reverse and backed into the deputy's patrol unit. Pitts then began to drive away. "I was able to deploy my Taser through the car window and then take Pitts into custody," Choate said. (Click on link below for video)

Pitts also had in his possession his aunt's purse and her dog.

Sheriff Larry Lane stated that Pitts was charged with unauthorized use of motor vehicle, resisting arrest, attempting to elude, larceny of a dog and petit larceny.

Pitts is currently still in custody at the Sequoyah County Detention Center.

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Friday, March 26, 2021

COVID Vaccine to Become Available for All Oklahomans

Starting Monday, March 29, all Oklahoma residents will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced Tuesday.

For those wanting to schedule their vaccine, please note that the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for use with individuals 18 and older, and the Pfizer vaccine is approved for those 16 and older, according to the Federal Drug Administration.

Schedule your vaccine at

With thousands of Oklahomans continuing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, state health leaders say they are preparing to move on to the next and last phase of Oklahoma’s vaccination plan.

So far, the OSDH says, nearly 1.7 million Oklahomans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In all, about 71 percent of Oklahomans over age 65 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Keith Reed, Oklahoma’s deputy commissioner of health, says hospitalizations are steadily declining as the vaccine supply grows, a key factor in Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s decision last week to ease restrictions put in place in 2020 to try and keep the coronavirus pandemic under control.

Stitt’s move allowed hair salons, bars, restaurants and similar establishments to reopen despite concerns that the virus is still out there.

Stitt said the sacrifices made by Oklahomans – closing businesses and missing out on important life events like weddings and proms – have “flattened the curve.”

The governor warned that the virus hasn’t magically gone away simply because the state’s infections are trending in the right direction and hospital capacity is good.

“We still have coronavirus in the United States, it’s still in the state of Oklahoma, we’re still going to have people get this, we’re still going to have positive cases, but our rate of positive cases continues to decline,” Stitt said.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Cox Arrested for Public Intoxication

Sequoyah County Court Clerk Gina Cox

Sequoyah County Court Clerk Gina Cox was arrested near her home on Tuesday evening. Cox was placed under arrest by Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane.

At the time of her arrest Cox was charged with Public Intoxication and Malicious Destruction of Property Less Than $1,000. Both charges are misdemeanors. 

Sheriff Lane stated that although these are minor charges, "they become more magnified when it’s a public elected official being charged." Lane said that Cox was booked into the Sequoyah County Jail at approximately 3 p.m. and was held until about 10 p.m. when she bonded out.  

Sheriff Lane also stated that there were some questions about the delay in uploading the booking photo. In response Lane said, “We treat everyone the same, no matter who they are or what their title is. In this case the delay was due to Mrs. Cox being very belligerent, combative and uncooperative when the jail staff were trying to get booking photos and fingerprints of her. When this occurs, we do not let the inmate bond out until they fully complete the booking process. It was a few hours before she finally cooperated with jail staff. Therefore she ended up staying in jail for about seven hours instead of the normal four to six hours for an intoxicated person."

Sheriff Lane went on to say,  “I hate that she put me in the position to have to make this arrest but I really had no choice. I did my job and I will say that I am very proud of Undersheriff Cox for doing his job and maintaining his professionalism as well." 

“We should be praying for Mrs. Cox and her family," Sheriff Lane added. "All of us have had personal issues to deal with and we all deal with these problems in different ways. Hopefully she gets help if she needs it."

Cox was elected to the position of Sequoyah County Court Clerk in November of 2020 and took office in January of this year.

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Wright Says Tourism Key to Eastern Oklahoma Growth

Kenyatta Wright

Vian native Kenyatta Wright discussed the importance of tourism to eastern Oklahoma at the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting Wednesday.

Wright, a graduate of Vian High School and Oklahoma State University, played in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. He returned home to the Vian area after his football career and currently lives near Lake Tenkiller with his wife, Amber, and their four children.

Now in charge of the Tenkiller Association, Wright says he and Oklahoma Tourism Director Jerry Winchester agree that tourism works if state agencies work together. “We are all in this together,” he said, “and we need to cross-promote each other, highlight each other and try to connect everything.”

Wright talked about the importance of bringing in tourism dollars to the region, saying, “I want to get as many people as I can to come to Sequoyah, Cherokee, Adair and Muskogee counties.”

“Once we come together, we (eastern Oklahoma) are going to be a powerful place,” Wright said.

Also on hand at the meeting, Sallisaw City Manager Keith Skelton and Jerry Cook, vice president of GRDA’s Customer Service Division, thanked city electric customers who stepped up during February’s winter storm and complied with city requests to conserve power. The city only had one outage during the storm, Skelton said. The situation could have been a lot worse.

“We want to thank our 17 municipal public power communities,” Cook said. “Without them we could not have kept the power going as well as we did.”

Cook also praised customers for their efforts, saying, “You’re not just our customers, you’re our partners. We asked you to conserve and you did.”

Mayor Ernie Martens took the microphone to discuss the recent Junior Livestock Show, which brought in $82,649 this year. “Marty Green, me, FFA and 4-H leaders and others started brainstorming on ways we could get this show up and running this year. Area county shows have followed Sallisaw’s model,” Mayor Marten said.

The money donated at the sale goes back to the students. “It’s not an expense, it’s an investment in our kids,” he said.

Cliff’s Pharmacy was named the Chamber’s March Member of the Month. Accepting the award from Chamber President Rhonda Nicholson (above left) was Mike Meece. Mike is the son of the late Clif Meece, founder of Clif's Pharmacy.

Cazadores provided the meal for the meeting.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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