Associated Press

KWGS News-File photo

 

Tulsa police have identified an officer who used his patrol car to kill a woman during a gun battle with two other officers.

Police said Monday that Officer Jonathan Grafton intentionally struck 21-year-old Madison Sueann Dickson while Dickson exchanged gunfire with Officer Kayla Johnson and Det. Ronnie Leatherman on Saturday. Grafton is now on paid leave.

Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs

 

 A report on the death of a U.S. Navy veteran at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Talihina says the center didn't properly protect him and the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs says four staff members face possible disciplinary action.

Seventy-year-old Leonard Smith of Sapulpa died at the center Jan. 31 after choking. A plastic bag was later found lodged in his throat.

Wikipedia

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 21 this week to 789.

A year ago, 476 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 631 rigs sought oil and 157 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.

Oklahoma increased by 10 rigs, North Dakota added five, Texas gained four, Colorado and Utah were each up two, and Alaska gained one.

Wyoming lost two. Louisiana and New Mexico dropped one each.

KWGS News Photo

 Human remains discovered by children playing in a creek in Muskogee have been identified as that of a missing Oklahoma woman.

Muskogee Police Department officials say the decomposing body of 55-year-old Deborah Brooks of Muskogee was discovered about 1 p.m. Friday in a creek east of the Muskogee Turnpike.

A missing person's report filed on Tuesday says Brooks had not been seen since about March 1.

KWGS News File Photo

Jurors will resume deliberations on Monday morning as to whether they think a man's civil rights were violated when his last hours alive were spent lying on the floor of an Oklahoma jail with a broken neck.

Attorneys for the estate of Elliott Williams say jail and medical staff in Tulsa failed to provide medical care as 37-year-old Williams languished in his cell for five days in 2011, complaining he couldn't move.

The Williams estate attorney is asking for $51 million.

Wikipedia

 

 The Altus Chamber of Commerce says wind farms constructed near military installations disrupts low-level flying routes used for aircrew training.

The Oklahoman reports the chamber of commerce is requesting Oklahoma lawmakers to give the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission siting approval for wind farms near military installations.

Last week, the chamber of commerce sent letters with their request to Senate Pro Tempore Mike Schulz and Rep. Charles Ortega.

Both lawmakers couldn't be reached by The Oklahoman for comment.

KWGS News File Photo

 

Osage Nation voters will consider next week whether to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The tribe already recognizes gay marriages from other jurisdictions, but its legal code still defines marriage as a "personal relation between a man and a woman." Monday's vote is on whether marriage should be defined as a "personal relation between two persons."

The tribe has about 15,000 eligible voters. As of last Monday, the tribe had received 1,070 absentee ballots.

Hay on the Way

Mar 17, 2017
You Tube

   

Truckloads of hay from South Dakota farmers are headed south to states where ranchers have been devastated by wildfires.

More than a dozen trucks loaded with hay bales left South Dakota Wednesday and Thursday destined for ranches in Colorado and Kansas. Organizer Jed Olbertson says a load has already arrived in the southwest Kansas community of Ashland.

Olbertson tells the Capital Journal six or more truckloads organized by a rancher from the Garretson, South Dakota area are also headed for Colorado.

Lincoln County

 

Authorities in Lincoln County are looking for three inmates who they say escaped from the county jail overnight.

The Sheriff's Office said Friday 23-year-old Brian Allen Moody, 41-year-old Sonny Baker and 23-year-old Mark Dwayne Robbins escaped about 11 p.m. Thursday.

Officials say all three inmates escaped through the jail's ventilation system. Authorities say each had been in custody for property crimes.

NGA

 

Gov. Mary Fallin has named a former state senator from Tulsa as her new general counsel.

Fallin said Thursday that former Sen. James Williamson will start his new duties on Tuesday. He replaces Jennifer Chance, who announced her resignation earlier this month.

Williamson served in both the Oklahoma House and Senate. From 1980 through 1986, he represented the southeast part of Tulsa and Broken Arrow in the House. He was elected in 1996 to the Senate, where he represented part of Tulsa and Jenks until 2008.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

 

A two-term Oklahoma Republican state senator's fall from political power following his arrest on child prostitution charges has been stunningly fast.

Before state Sen. Ralph Shortey was even arrested or formally charged, Senate workers already had scraped his name from his office door, changed the locks and painted over his name in the parking lot.

State Impact-Oklahoma

 

A nearly century-old building in Cushing will be demolished because its front facade has collapsed after it was damaged during an earthquake last year.

The Stillwater News Press reports the 1920s Cushing Lion's Den was damaged but remained standing after the 5.0 earthquake hit a few miles outside Cushing and damaged some of the city's downtown area in November.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

 

The Oklahoma Senate has voted to punish a state senator who police say was found with a teenage boy in a motel room.

Police officials in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore are still investigating the circumstances surrounding an incident last week involving Sen. Ralph Shortey and a teenager. No charges have been filed.

The Senate voted 43-0 Wednesday for a resolution that imposes a series of punishments on the Republican from Oklahoma City. The resolution accuses Shortey of "disorderly behavior."

File photo

 

 The U.S. Geological Survey reports two small earthquakes in northern Oklahoma.

A 3.2 magnitude quake was recorded Wednesday near Pawnee, about 70 miles northeast of Oklahoma City and a 3.0 magnitude quake was recorded near Watonga, about 50 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

No injuries or damage are reported and geologists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

 

 Human remains found more than 24 years ago near Tulsa have been identified as a Tulsa woman who was reported missing in 2012.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that a DNA analysis has determined the remains are those of Greta Riles, who would have been 23 when the remains were found.

The sheriff's office says a hunter found a human skull on the north edge of Tulsa on Dec. 9, 1992, and bones were later found in the area. The remains were eventually sent to the University of North Texas for a DNA analysis and have now been identified as Riles.

Oklahoma Forest Department

 

 The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has sent seven wildland firefighters to Woodward, Oklahoma, to fight wildfires there.

Commissioner Mike Strain said Tuesday that they'll be in Oklahoma for about three weeks.

Oklahoma Forestry Services said late Monday that more than 1,200 square miles have burned, and the fires in northwestern Oklahoma and southwestern Kansas were 63 percent contained. It said the fires have killed one person in each state and destroyed "vast acreage of rangeland," killing thousands of livestock.

Google Street View

 

 The county clerk says she is unable to determine how much financial debt the Nowata County Sheriff's Office is in because the office did not follow "proper accounting procedures."

County Clerk Chris Freeman said to commissioners Monday that she couldn't "coherently" figure out the amount because the Sheriff's Office spent money without first creating purchasing orders.

On Monday, commissioners accepted Sheriff Rick Miller's resignation and signed off on several claims for payment from the Sheriff's Office.

Duke University

 

 The Oklahoma House has passed and sent to the state Senate a bill calling for public school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each school day.

The bill by Republican Rep. Terry O'Donnell of Catoosa passed the House Monday on a 93-1 vote.

The bill says students "shall recite the pledge" once each day, instead of once per week as required under current state law.

The bill allows an exemption for students who do not wish to take part in saying the pledge.

Preston Doerflinger

 

Oklahoma's secretary of finance says revenue received by the state's chief operating fund was higher than the official estimate last month, but not as high as they appear.

Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger said Tuesday a change in the payment date for a higher education scholarship fund caused receipts to the general revenue fund appear to rise 8.3 percent above the estimate for February.

Collections in February totaled $248 million and total collections for the first eight months of the fiscal year are $3.1 billion, or 2 percent below the estimate.

 

An early analysis of a Republican plan to overhaul the nation's health care system shows health care could become unaffordable for many poor Oklahomans and the state could be forced to subsidize health care costs for Native Americans.

A document prepared for Republican Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press shows health officials also project the state would immediately lose $9.3 million in public health funding.

 

The Cleveland County sheriff is seeking emergency funding from the county's budget board, saying that more money is needed so the county jail can meet payroll obligations next month.

Sheriff Joe Lester is requesting $135,000 in emergency funds from the Cleveland County Budget Board. Lester says the county's jail was not fully funded for the current fiscal year, and that more money is needed to keep it operational.

But some board members questioned whether the financial woes were caused by overspending.

American Bankers

 

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating has been appointed to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

Gov. Mary Fallin announced Keating's appointment on Tuesday to the seven-member governing body of OU, Cameron University in Lawton and Rogers State University in Claremore.

Keating will serve a seven-year term and replaces outgoing Regent Max Weitzenhoffer. Keating still must be confirmed by the state Senate.

File Photo-Glock Talk

 

A bill that would allow elected county officials in Oklahoma to carry guns into courthouses has passed the state House.

The bill by Republican Rep. Bobby Cleveland goes to the Senate after passing the House on an 85-11 vote Monday.

It would allow elected officials with a valid handgun license to carry a firearm into the courthouses of the county in which the person was elected when he or she is performing official duties. It would not allow guns in courtrooms.

Oklahoma Watch

 

 The Oklahoma Senate has approved legislation to repeal the trigger for a cut in the state's individual income tax rate.

The Senate voted 39-6 for the bill on Wednesday and sent it to the House for consideration.

Legislation passed in 2014 provided a mechanism to reduce Oklahoma's top tax rate from 5 percent to 4.85 percent when tax collections increase by about $100 million annually, enough to cover the cost of the tax cut. Since then, state revenues have plummeted and the state faces a budget hole of $878 million next year.

file photo

 

The Oklahoma unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in January, down from 4.8 percent in December as the construction industry showed job growth.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said Monday that total nonfarm employment rose by 1,500 from December to January as construction added 3,900 jobs. Government added 900 jobs, the financial activities sector grew by 800 jobs and mining and logging added 700 jobs.

The leisure and hospitality sector lost 3,400 jobs.

File Photo

Sheriffs across Oklahoma say the state Department of Corrections' decision to break contracts to house state inmates with 10 county jails creates hardships for their departments.

The Oklahoman  reports that sheriffs are responding to Corrections Department Director Joe Allbaugh's announcement last week with emotions ranging from concern to near panic.

The plan is an effort to save $775,000 this fiscal year and comes as Oklahoma deals with a revenue shortfall projected to grow by $878 million next fiscal year.

GSA

 

 A hearing is to begin later this month for an Oklahoma man who's appealing the death sentence he was given after being convicted of killing an Oklahoma state trooper.

The hearing is set for March 27th in U.S. District Court in Muskogee for 55-year-old Kenneth Eugene Barrett.

The Muskogee Phoenix reports the hearing is to focus on whether Barrett's trial lawyers failed to develop mitigating circumstances during the penalty phase of his trial, resulting ineffective assistance of counsel by not having a complete assessment of Barret's mental health.

Honda

   Authorities say a 10-year-old boy has died in a Tulsa hospital after an all-terrain vehicle crash in eastern Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the crash happened Sunday night in Poteau. According to a preliminary report, the boy was driving an ATV and collided with another ATV driven by a 14-year-old boy.

The highway patrol says the 10-year-old was pinned underneath his ATV, which had rolled over. He was taken to a Tulsa hospital with a head injury and was later pronounced dead.

Booking Photo

 

Authorities in Tulsa say a shooting that stemmed from the breakup of two teenagers has left two people dead and a third wounded.

Police Sgt. Dave Walker says an 18-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman were killed Sunday night, and a 19-year-old woman was hospitalized.

Wikipedia

 

The governors of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and New Mexico are seeking temporary suspension of grazing restrictions for farmers and ranchers because of wildfires.

The fires have burned more than 2,300 square miles in the four states, forcing farmers and ranchers to move their livestock.

The letter from the governors to acting Secretary of Agriculture Mike Young asks that the restrictions in the Conservation Reserve Program be lifted to provide more land for grazing.

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