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Smokers to kick the habit for a day
On Thursday, many smokers across the country will take the first step to kicking the habit by participating in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.
According to the American Cancer Society’s website, on Nov. 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society got nearly one million smokers to quit for one day, marking the first Great American Smokeout. The ACS took the project nationwide the following year, and since then, there have been dramatic changes in the way society views tobacco advertising and its use.
This year, members of the Cherokee County Communities of Excellence Tobacco Control Coalition and their partners will be providing tobacco quit kits at several locations – including Tahlequah City Hospital, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah Public Library, Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital, NeoHealth in Hulbert, Walmart and Reasor’s.
Former fire chief pleads not guilty
A former Peggs fire chief accused of 16 counts of forgery and a count of embezzlement has pleaded not guilty.
Roger D. Fine, 54, appeared in Cherokee County District Court Tuesday afternoon to enter his plea during an initial appearance. Fine was ordered back to court for a felony sounding docket in front of Associate District Judge Mark Dobbins on Jan. 6, 2014, at 9 a.m.
Fine was indicted by a multi-county grand jury in October. He’s accused of forging checks from the Peggs Volunteer Fire Department – about $4,725 – “for gambling, personal enrichment, and other unlawful purposes.”
Two charged with robbery at gunpoint
Two area men have been charged after they allegedly robbed a Tahlequah man at knife point earlier this month.
Mohawk Beaver, 19, of Cookson, and 28-year-old Jeremy L. Poafpybitty, of Bunch, are each charged with robbery by force or fear and first-degree burglary.
Council delays action on Dumpster ordinance
Tahlequah city councilors continued to kick the proverbial trash can down the road Monday evening when they tabled action on two proposals that could replace a Dumpster regulation ordinance.
Local businessman Bryce Felts has been pleading with the city council in recent months, hoping officials will revisit an ordinance that requires many Dumpsters in the city to be enclosed. Felts believes businesses that existed before the ordinance’s adoption last summer should be exempt.
EVENING UPDATE: Documents detail death of boy
Tahlequah detectives believe a 3-year-old boy suffered a “heinous” death Tuesday morning at the Stepping Stones Rooming House on East Chickasaw Street.
BREAKING: Two held in ‘heinous’ death of child
Tahlequah police detectives arrested a local couple Tuesday afternoon in what was described as the “heinous” death of a 3-year-old boy.
A major's memories
Through the generosity of his family, the wartime memorabilia of a Tahlequah veteran will soon be preserved for all Oklahomans to see.
Spurred by the news that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor, Cecil Wilcox, now deceased, was 21 when he enlisted in the air corps on Dec. 8, 1941. Like many veterans, he counted his service as only one person among many, but his wife, Dorothy, insisted he keep more than his medals.
Her persistence was evident in the treasure trove spread across a table at the Wilcox home. Matt Reed, curator of American Indian and military history collections for the Oklahoma Historical Society, was present to assess and accept the donation.
As Friday night turned into Saturday morning last weekend, Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele and his canine partner, Bo, had experienced a rather uneventful night.
But that all changed when a man with several past drug arrests led officers on a pursuit across Cherokee County.
Bo paced in the back of Keele’s patrol car early in the Charlie shift, which began at 10 p.m. Friday. The four-legged officer stopped only to slurp from his water bowl on occasion.
Tahlequah seemed unusually peaceful for a Friday night shift. In Keele’s patrol district, traffic was light, and at times nonexistent.
“It’s quiet,” said Keele.
NSU officially opens new multipurpose event center
After extensive planning and construction, Northeastern State University officially opened its multipurpose event center Saturday.
The Daily Press was guided around the $17.1 million facility by Alicia Henderson, one of the RIverHawk Ambassador student volunteers who led tours on Saturday morning.
“An important thing to remember about this building is that it was completed within budget,” Henderson said. “Construction projects often go over-budget, but not in this case.”
The structure covers 86,000 square feet. It is awaiting a name, because the university is availing naming rights for $4.5 million. Other naming opportunities exist around the building, ranging in price from $4,000 to $25,000.
Rocking their mocs
Traditional moccasin-maker Mary Horsechief-Henderson had a rare opportunity Friday.
It was her first time teaching four generations of one family at the same time, and she was thoroughly pleased.
“This is exactly why I teach, and what today is about,” Horsechief-Henderson said.
For Tiffany Simpson, of Peggs, the “Rock Your Mocs Day” class, offered by the Cherokee Nation, was a time to celebrate family and her mother’s birthday. Along with mom Kathy Simpson, she brought daughter Sydney Johnson, a freshman at Chouteau High School, and her grandmother, Ilene Davis.
“Rock Your Mocs Day” is part of Native American Heritage Month. The class, held at the John Ross Museum, was free, and allowed the first 25 participants to create their own traditional moccasins. All materials were provided to make traditional pucker-toe moccasins.
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