Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 3, 2013

TFD personnel honored for service

TAHLEQUAH — Members of the Tahlequah Fire Department were recognized for their service last week during the department’s annual retirement banquet.

About 100 people attended the event, including current and retired firefighters and their families.

Fire Chief Ray Hammons said the event provides an opportunity to honor those who previously put their lives on the line for the city, while also recognizing those who are still doing so today.

“We do it mainly so we can honor the firefighters who paved the way before us, who gave us the opportunity to have the career and the calling right now,” said Hammons.

“Whether you’re a volunteer firefighter or full-time, the passion for the job is the same. Over the years, we’ve grown, and it’s because a lot of guys before us paved the way. I’m very proud to have that in my heritage, and I know the rest of the guys are, too.”

Firefighters honored Bill Moore with the ringing of a bell, which Hammons referred to as the “last alarm.” Moore, who died last November, served on the department for 25 years and retired as a captain.

“The ringing of the bell is done in honor of any firefighter we lost the previous year, retired or active, but we also ring that bell in remembrance of all those who have already gone on.”

Hammons conducted a passing-of-the-badge ceremony with new Assistant Chief Ted Kupsick. The presentation of the badge is a decades-old tradition.

“When I was named assistant chief, it was given to me, and I was very, very pleased to give it to Ted Kupsick,” said Hammons. “I have served with him my entire career, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”

TFD Lt. Justin Hackworth, a 14-year veteran with the department, received the Nick Purkey Award, which was previously known as the Firefighter of the Year award.

In 2009, members of the department opted to rename the award in honor of the late Purkey, who had given 28 years of service to the city and department. Purkey’s family became the first recipients of the renamed award.

“Nick Purkey was one of those guys who you could always count on, so it’s fitting that Justin was given the Nick Purkey award, because he’s one of those guys you can count on as well,” said Hammons.

“I’ve watched him grow as a person and a firefighter. He’s a go-to guy. When you need something done, you can put it on his shoulders, and he makes sure it gets done. He’s truly a firefighter at heart, and I can honestly say as a brother, a friend, and an employee, he’s surpassed any and all expectations anyone could have.”

Firefighters also recognized Nick Perkins as this year’s Rookie of the Year. Perkins has been with the department for about a year.

“He’s done an outstanding job this last year in performing any task put before him, and I’m excited about seeing where his career goes,” said Hammons. “He’s got quite the ambition to be a firefighter. That’s really what he loves, and you can tell that’s what he wants to do.”

Hammons said the department has many supporters in the community, including citizens, businesses, and elected leaders.

“We couldn’t do this without those supporters, and we thank them and appreciate their continued support,” he said.

Check it out

Go to the Multimedia section of our website, www.tahlequahdailypress.com, for a slideshow of the Tahlequah Fire Department’s annual retirement banquet.

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-Trail-show-1.jpg Jackson takes prize

    Cherokee Heritage Center Museum Curator Mickel Yantz kicked off his 10th anniversary at the venue with the opening of the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show this past Friday.
    “The Trail of Tears show was my first exhibit opening when I arrived 10 years ago,” said Yantz. “Since that time, the show has changed so dramatically; we’ve added so many new artists, and the art work has excelled over time. It’s like Christmas for me.”
    Yantz said he was exceptionally pleased with the opening reception.
    “We had a fantastic turnout,” said Yantz. “We had a lot of fun and sold some artwork, which is great for opening night.”
    The exhibit is on display at the Cherokee Heritage Center through May 26. This year’s show features 130 pieces of art spanning eight different categories, including basketry, graphics, jewelry, miniature, painting, pottery and sculpture.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • churchguy.jpg Some NSU students find Church of Monett offensive

    They turn heads every time they show up on campus, and some students at Northeastern State University are offended by their presence.
    The Church of Monett, Mo., has made periodic trips to Tahlequah to stage quiet demonstrations in public campus spaces in recent years. They carry signs that read, “Wives, Obey your Husbands,”; “To be Married to the divorced is Adultery”; and “Don’t be deceived: fornicators homosexuals idolaters adulterers thieves drunkards - shall not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teen sent to hospital after being struck by tractor-trailer

    An 18-year-old Tahlequah man was struck by a tractor-trailer early Tuesday morning on the State Highway 51 bypass near Mimosa Lane.
    Tahlequah Police Capt. Tom Jones said officers responded to the scene at about 5:40 a.m., when Sage Sohns was found injured and lying in the road. A medical helicopter responded to the scene to transport Sohns to a Tulsa hospital, where he was being treated for a closed-head injury, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • TPS board hears architect presentations for cafeteria

    Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education heard from four architectural firms seeking a contract for construction at Cherokee Elementary School.
    TPS plans to build a cafeteria-auditorium and a music room with a stage, which may also serve as a safe room during storms.

    April 16, 2014

  • Briggs.jpg Local man hit with assault, burglary charges

    Prosecutors have formally charged a Tahlequah man accused of breaking into a motel room, tying a rope around a man’s neck and stabbing him repeatedly with a syringe.
    Jimmy Dale Briggs Jr., 33, is charged with first-degree burglary, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of threatening to perform an act of violence.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boy whose mom scolded deputies in trouble again

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 15-year-old theft suspect Monday night after he allegedly assaulted his brother.
    Deputy Kim Novak said authorities were dispatched to a home and ultimately took the teen into custody. While there, they also discovered items that had been reported stolen, including a bed and several tools.
    Novak said the teen is the same boy who has previously been found to be in possession of stolen items.

    April 16, 2014

  • plane-crash-1-a.jpg Plane crash victims recovering

    Two Arkansas men remained in a Tulsa hospital Monday after the plane they were flying crashed into a wooded area in Cookson.
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the 1946 Ercoupe 415 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a mile from the Tenkiller Air Park in Cookson Saturday morning.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 75-year-old John McCreary and 85-year-old Albert Demarco Jr., both of Ozark, Ark., were flown from Cookson to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • walker-terrance.jpg Man taken for blood sample confuses hospital with hotel

    Tahlequah police say an Austin, Texas, man stopped Saturday mistook a local hospital for a hotel when he was taken to have his blood drawn.
    Officer Cory Keele’s affidavit says 20-year-old Terrance Walker was driving south on Muskogee Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday, swerving from one line to another.
    Keele tried to stop the car near Muskogee and Chickasaw, and Walker eventually slowed to a stop near South Street.
    Walker opened the car door as Keele approached. The officer said Walker had dilated pupils.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ennis-scottie.jpg Knife-cutting incident lands man in jail

    A Tahlequah man jailed for allegedly cutting a woman with a kitchen knife was released on a recognizance bond Monday.
    Scottie Lee Ennis, 42, was arrested after Officer Austin Yates was sent to Tahlequah City Hospital late Friday night.
    There, Yates spoke with Jennifer Pennell, who had apparently suffered a stab wound to her arm.
    Pennell told Yates she and her husband, Ennis, had gone to Dewain’s Place earlier in the evening, and while at the bar, a man bought her a drink.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hawley-jeremy.jpg Tahlequah man bonds out after arrest for assault

    A 22-year-old Tahlequah man bonded out of jail Monday after his weekend arrest on domestic assault charges.
    Jeremy Hawley was booked into jail Sunday for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interfering with a 911 call.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video