Associated Press

KWGS News

 

The supervisor of a white Oklahoma police officer who shot an unarmed black man told her to say nothing about the incident because he knew the shooting would be racially explosive.

Tulsa police Cpl. Wyett Poth testified Thursday about his directions to Officer Betty Jo Shelby after the shooting of Terence Crutcher. He said he walked up to Shelby at the shooting scene to make sure she knew she had the right to say nothing.

The testimony came in the second day of Shelby's manslaughter trial for the Sept. 16 shooting.

 

Internet retailer Amazon has confirmed that it's building a sorting center in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoman reports that work is underway on the $3 million, 300,000-square-foot facility.

Amazon spokeswoman Ashley Robinson says customers in Oklahoma should notice improved delivery times once the center opens. She says the company hopes to have the center open before the holiday season.

The company has not yet started hiring employees to operate the center.

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A police chief and an officer in an eastern Oklahoma town have resigned, citing pushback they say they faced after the recent arrest of a city councilor's son.

Vian Officer Lindsey Green and Police Chief Ted Johnson resigned this week.

Johnson says he and Green weren't told they'd be fired, but he feared they might be for going against the council "like I did."

Green arrested Joshua Smith on May 2 for driving without a license after confirming his license had been revoked. Smith was released 45 minutes later.

 

A police chief and an officer in an eastern Oklahoma town have resigned, citing pushback they say they faced after the recent arrest of a city councilor's son.

Vian Officer Lindsey Green and Police Chief Ted Johnson resigned this week.

Johnson says he and Green weren't told they'd be fired, but he feared they might be for going against the council "like I did."

Green arrested Joshua Smith on May 2 for driving without a license after confirming his license had been revoked. Smith was released 45 minutes later.

KWGS News

   

Strong storms spawned one tornado, and possibly two in Oklahoma, and threaten parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. The storms stretched from northeast Texas through the mid-Atlantic states to the North Carolina coast.

The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down in the Tulsa suburb of Owasso Thursday and a possible tornado struck near Perkins, about 45 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

Damage was reported to roofs and trees, but there are no reports of injuries.

KWGS News

 

Six witnesses have testified that an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white Oklahoma police officer didn't say or do anything indicating he posed a threat to officers at the scene.

A police officer who was inside a police helicopter hovering overhead last September described 40-year-old Terence Crutcher as looking "like a bad dude" who "could be on something." Moments later, Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby shot Crutcher.

KWGS File photo

 

Police continue to look for evidence in the death of a Colorado woman whose partial remains were found in Okmulgee in February.

Police in Boulder, Colorado said Wednesday that they plan to search an out-of-state landfill for evidence related to the killing of 25-year-old Ashley Mead. They won't say where the landfill is located.

Mead was reported missing in Boulder in February along with her 1-year-old daughter. The girl was found with her father, Adam Densmore, near Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Densmore is charged with killing her. He has not entered a plea yet.

KWGS News File Photo

An attorney who specializes in workers' compensation cases is challenging Gov. Mary Fallin's appointment of an assistant attorney general to the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission.

Attorney Bob Burke asked the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to block the appointment of Megan Tilly to a seat on the three-member commission. Burke alleges Tilly doesn't have the three years' experience in workers' compensation that state law requires of commission members.

KWGS News File Photo

Federal charges have been filed against the former accountant for the Oklahoma Beef Council who is accused of stealing more than $2.6 million from nonprofit group over a seven-year period. The Oklahoman reports that 45-year-old Melissa Day Morton of Edmond was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City. She is charged with one count of bank fraud and two counts of filing false tax returns.

KWGS News

 

Prosecutors say a white Oklahoma police officer acted unreasonably when she fatally shot an unarmed black man last year.

They said during opening statements Wednesday in Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby's manslaughter trial that Shelby shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher when he was obeying commands to raise his hands.

Shelby's attorneys said the 43-year-old officer was following her training in using deadly force against a person who wasn't complying with her orders.

KWGS News photo

 

 A national transportation research group says deteriorated and congested roads and bridges in Oklahoma cost the state's motorists $5 billion a year in higher vehicle costs, crashes and congestion-related delays.

A report released Wednesday by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group TRIP says almost three-fourths of major locally and state-maintained urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition and that 15 percent of Oklahoma's bridges are structurally deficient — eighth highest in the nation.

Lankford's office

 

Republican Sen. James Lankford says the public deserves an explanation for President Donald Trump's sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The junior senator from Oklahoma says he's grateful for Comey's service and described the FBI director's position as "an incredibly difficult job." Lankford said in a statement after Comey's firing Tuesday that "the American people need clarity and deserve an explanation for his immediate firing."

File photo

The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a small earthquake in northern Oklahoma. The agency recorded a magnitude 3.6 quake at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday near Hunter, about 75 miles  north-northwest of Oklahoma City.

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

State Impact-Oklahoma

 

 Oklahoma finance officials say revenue collections are continuing to fall below the official estimate, setting up the possibility of more cuts to schools, prisons and health care before the fiscal year ends June 30.

State Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger released figures on Tuesday that show April collections to the state's main operating fund were nearly 13 percent below the estimate.

KWGS News File Photo

In State House District 75, Republican Tressa Nunley and Democrat Karen Gaddis won their primaries to advance to a special election to replace former Rep. Dan Kirby.

Kirby resigned in February after being accused of sexually harassing two former legislative assistants.

Perry Public Schools

 

Ten girls who alleged a former teaching assistance fondled them at an Oklahoma elementary school have testified.

The Oklahoman  reports all but one of the girls could face 86-year-old former teaching assistant Arnold Cowen in a closed hearing Monday.

Cowen is accused of inappropriately touching 10 girls ranging in age from 10 to 13 at Upper Elementary School in Perry. He is charged with 18 felony counts of lewd or indecent acts with a child, two felony counts of lewd or indecent proposals and one felony count of possession of child pornography.

Oklahoma Watch

 

The Oklahoma Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill to repeal the trigger that would cut the state's individual income tax rate from 5 percent to 4.85 percent.

The Senate voted 32-9 for the bill Monday, sending it to Gov. Mary Fallin who is expected to sign it.

The bill would repeal 2014 legislation that provides a mechanism to reduce Oklahoma's top tax rate when tax collections increase by about $100 million annually. Since then, revenues have plummeted and the state faces a budget hole of $878 million next year.

KWGS News file photo

 

 A major expansion of tribal gambling in Oklahoma — to include roulette and dice games — that House Democrats wanted in exchange for votes on a cigarette tax has apparently derailed budget negotiations in the Legislature.

House Democrats and Senate Republicans held dueling press conferences Monday to blame each other for stalling an agreement on a plan to help close an $878 million budget gap.

Republicans hold super majorities in both legislative chambers, but not enough in the 101-member House to pass a tax increase, which requires a three-fourths vote.

Google Street View

 

Authorities are trying to find two acquaintances of a man whose body was found along a southeast Kansas road.

The Joplin Globe reports that Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves is describing the death of 64-year-old James McFarland as "suspicious." His body was found April 30 near Baxter Springs.

A 55-year-old woman who is believed to have had a romantic relationship with McFarland and her 21-year-old son are being sought.

State of Oklahoma

 

Republican State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones is the latest politician to jump into the race for Oklahoma's open governor's seat in 2018.

Jones told The Associated Press on Monday that he will formally launch his campaign in the fall, but that he will be a candidate. Republican Gov. Mary Fallin can't run again because of term limits.

KWGS News File Photo

 

The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline dropped 5 cents nationally over the past two weeks, to $2.41.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the drop reflected lower costs for crude oil, as well as abundant gas supplies.

She says the national average is 14 cents a gallon above the price a year ago.

Gas in San Francisco was the highest in the contiguous United States at an average of $3.02 a gallon. The lowest was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at $2.02 a gallon.

Google Street View

 

An Environmental Protection Agency administrator says three oil producers may be asked to temporarily shut down near an Oklahoma creek contaminated with saltwater.

EPA administrator Sam Coleman told the Tulsa World that producers near Bird Creek, near Pawhuska in Osage County will be asked for their daily production reports and may be asked to shut down while officials seek the source of the saltwater.

The water is a byproduct of extracting oil. The oil and water are separated and the water is injected back into rock formations.

KWGS File photo

 

Tulsa County voters in Oklahoma House District 75 will choose nominees to replace former Rep. Dan Kirby. Kirby resigned in scandal back in February.

Jamie Smith and Karen Gaddis are running for the Democratic nomination.

Former City Councilor Skip Steele; Tressa Nunley; Nik Berg; and AJ Oatsvall are seeking the Republican nomination.

KWGS News

   

A white Tulsa police officer will try to convince jurors she was justified in using deadly force when she fatally shot an unarmed black man last year because she feared for her life.

The first-degree manslaughter case against Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby begins Monday.

While the name of the law enforcement agency has changed and the circumstances of the September shooting are different, the question remains the same: Did a police officer go too far in using deadly force?

The Oklahoma Legislature faces political gridlock as lawmakers balk at legislation to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue and close an $878 million hole in next year's budget to avoid catastrophic cuts to state agencies and services.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has called for a "major overhaul" of the state's tax system and says she is willing to veto any budget that does not include new revenue for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

KWGS News

The Republican district attorney in the college down of Norman, Oklahoma, is pursuing criminal charges against a local shop owner and several of his clerks for selling glass pipes.

But the shop owner and his clerks, including a popular local city councilman, are fighting back.

The case has already resulted in a hung jury and an acquittal. The defendants have refused plea deals. And they're backed by a national individual liberty group that says law enforcement should quit wasting taxpayers' time and money.

A third trial began this week.

Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill pushed by the payday lending industry that would have added to the kinds of high-interest loans to be offered in the state.

Fallin issued her veto message late Friday, saying she had concerns about the impact that House Bill 1913 would have on low-income families in Oklahoma.

The bill was sponsored by Republican state Rep. Chris Kannaday of Oklahoma City and strongly supported by the payday lending industry, which has hired several lobbyists and given tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to legislators.

Dahm

 

Republican state Sen. Nathan Dahm says he's a candidate for northeastern Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District seat.

Dahm made the announcement Friday morning in downtown Broken Arrow. He's the fifth Republican to formally announce plans to seek the seat held by 1st District Rep. Jim Bridenstine, who is serving his third term and is not expected to seek re-election in 2018.

File Photo

 

Oklahoma's treasurer says last month's growth in state revenue marks the third time this year collections were higher than the previous year.

State Treasurer Ken Miller said Friday that April's receipts totaled $1.2 billion, $34.1 million higher than in April 2016. Collections in January and February also showed growth although March totals were down slightly.

Miller says all major revenue streams except the corporate income tax rose in April. The gross production tax on oil and gas was higher than the previous year for the seventh consecutive month.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Tulsa district is looking to drain water after a severe flood left hundreds of homes and businesses damaged in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois.

Corps spokesman Brannen Parrish says many campgrounds are closed and it may take weeks before they're open. He says no repairs can happen until the water has been drained from the river system.

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