MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

December 31, 2012

Top 10 area stories of 2012

(Continued)

— 5. OMHOF gets a reprieve

A $209,000 grant to the city of Muskogee gave the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame a break from its money troubles.

OMHOF briefly closed its doors in February after announcing financial issues had led to staff cuts. But in June, the city received a grant, $160,000 of which was used to buy land that had been donated to OMHOF. That money was used to pay off a $35,000 debt for the museum’s children’s exhibit and the organization’s operations.

OMHOF’s governing board had requested $205,000 to fund operations, upgrades and marketing, but that request had been denied.

4. Ronald Sanders’ body discovered

Man’s best friend helped bring the story of a missing man turned fugitive to a gruesome end.

In the span of less than two months Ronald Sanders, 46, went from being a missing person, to a missing fugitive, to a deceased person after a dog dragged Sanders’ decomposed arm and dropped it on a section of 12th Street in October. The complete body, later identified by dental records as that of Sanders, was found a block away in a wooded area.

Sanders walked out of a house at 1611 Fairmont St. on Aug. 2. Muskogee County Sheriff’s Investigator Faye Banks spent a handful of days getting information and looking for Sanders before officially asking for the public’s assistance Aug. 10.

The story took a twist the next week when officials discovered Sanders was  wanted. He had allegedly entered a house in 2009 and beaten a teenager with a baseball bat.

Sanders had moved to Florida after the alleged attack and had returned to Muskogee in August to visit family. The search for Sanders, who was wanted on a $100,000 arrest warrant, switched gears from a missing-person search to a manhunt.

No cause of death has been determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

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