Associated Press

U.S. Drought Monitor


The U.S. Drought Monitor says drought-stricken areas are spreading across Oklahoma due to lack of rainfall.

The monitor says more than 19 percent of the state is in moderate drought, including the Tulsa metropolitan area and parts of northeastern and southern Oklahoma.

In addition, more than 3 percent of the state is in severe drought, particularly some eastern and south central Oklahoma counties.

Another 42 percent of the state is categorized as particularly dry, including much of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

Tulsa County Booking Photo


A Tulsa police officer is expected to plead not guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of an unarmed black man when she makes her first appearance before a Tulsa County judge.

Tulsa officer Betty Shelby is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday for the fatal shooting two weeks ago of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. A judge is expected to inform Shelby of the charge against her and set a date for a preliminary hearing, where the court will decide if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.


A medical helicopter with four people on board has crash landed outside a hospital in Comanche County.

Lawton police say the helicopter lost power around 6 a.m. Thursday while landing at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. Hospital officials say the helicopter's pilot managed to safely land it along a nearby roadway.

Authorities say all four people on board were crew members and that none was seriously hurt.

Lawton Police


 Police in Lawton are investigating an early-morning shooting in which an officer at a private correctional facility was wounded.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh says a female employee at the Lawton Correctional Facility was shot several times outside of her home about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday as she was preparing to leave for work.

Pablo Paez, a spokesman for the prison facility's owner, The GEO Group of Boca Raton, Florida, says the employee is listed stable condition. She has not been identified.



A Dallas County grand jury has opted not to indict a former sheriff's deputy from Oklahoma who shot an inmate during a 2015 escape attempt at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office issued a statement about the decision this week. Former deputy John Werts and another deputy were escorting Brent Taff from Utah to Oklahoma in February 2015 to face charges of threatening a judge overseeing a separate kidnapping case against him.

KWGS File photo


 A federal appeals court has revived an Oklahoma prison inmate's lawsuit that alleges overcrowding and understaffing at state prison facilities has created dangerous conditions for inmates and inadequate sanitation, laundry and other services.



The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has voted to increase the costs on Oklahoma tollways by 17 percent to help expand and renovate the state's turnpike system, including the construction of new toll roads in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

OTA spokesman Jack Damrill says the rate hikes approved on Tuesday are contingent upon the resolution of a lawsuit challenging the use of toll revenue to finance the new construction. That lawsuit is pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.



The University of Tulsa is getting a share of $3.3 million in grants by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to identify and control residential health hazards.

HUD said Tuesday that TU will receive almost $700,000 to address hazards like pest infestation and mold, which can trigger asthma and other illnesses. Other housing hazards include poor indoor air quality due to exposure to tobacco smoke and other contaminants and injury hazards.

KWGS News File Photo


AAA Oklahoma says statewide gasoline price averages have fallen 11 cents since the end of August and are continuing to decline.

AAA says the state's average price for regular self-serve gasoline Monday stood at $2.02. Spokesman Chuck Mai says inventories have been good and demand is down following the end of the summer driving season. Mai says it's likely the statewide average gas price will fall below $2 per gallon in the state sometime this week.

KWGS News Photo


 A "march for justice" is planned in Tulsa as civil rights leaders call for further investigation into all police officers who were present when Terence Crutcher was shot to death earlier this month.

The Rev. Al Sharpton is set to lead the march and rally Tuesday afternoon. He'll be joined by attorneys representing Crutcher's family and others who are calling for disciplinary action against all officers who responded Sept. 16 when Crutcher was fatally shot.



State officials in charge of a $245 million renovation of the Oklahoma Capitol are warning tenants and visitors of major changes, including an end to reserving public space in the building through 2022.

Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokesman John Estus said Monday that reservations for most public spaces inside the building will be suspended for safety purposes beginning in 2017. That includes reserving space for weddings and receptions and other events in the building rotundas or hallways.

Creek County Sheriff


 The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Creek County man.

OSBI agents said Monday that 34-year-old Richard Dylan Vawter of Jennings was arrested Sunday night in Sand Springs. Vawter was booked into the Creek County Jail and online court records indicate he is being held on $5 million bond on a first-degree murder complaint. The records do not indicate if Vawter has an attorney.

  Geologists say a 3.2 magnitude earthquake has rattled parts of central Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake was recorded at 10:27 a.m. Monday about 12 miles northeast of Crescent in Logan County, about 39 miles north of Oklahoma City.

The earthquake was recorded at a depth of about three miles and no damage was immediately reported. Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest felt by humans and damage is not likely in quakes below magnitude 4.0.

OSBI arrests suspect in fatal Creek County shooting 

SAPULPA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Creek County man.

OSBI agents said Monday that 34-year-old Richard Dylan Vawter of Jennings was arrested Sunday night in Sand Springs. Vawter was booked into the Creek County Jail and online court records indicate he is being held on $5 million bond on a first-degree murder complaint. The records do not indicate if Vawter has an attorney.

File photo


The annual deer mating season is about to begin, and AAA Oklahoma is urging drivers to be on the lookout for animals on roadways across the state.

The months of October, November and December are when most animal collisions occur in the state. The rutting season for deer generally hits its peak in Oklahoma in early-to-mid-November.

Over the last two decades, an average of 110 Oklahomans have been killed or injured annually in collisions involving deer. Collisions have been trending higher in recent years as urban growth has driven deer into more populated regions.

 Houston police say several people have been shot at a strip mall in the city's southwest and that officers shot the gunman. Police said via Twitter that there are no reports of other suspects. Police say several people have been taken to the hospital but that they cannot provide details about how many were shot or the severity of their injuries. The shooting comes days after a shooting at a Washington state mall that left five people dead. On Sept. 17, a 20-year-old man stabbed 10 people at a Minnesota mall before being shot to death by an off-duty police officer.

file photo


A $1 million federal grant will help rural Oklahoma oil and natural gas companies diversify to help create jobs and boost the region's economy.

The Oklahoman reports that the U.S. Economic Development Authority grant was presented to the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.

Yukon Schools

The Yukon school board is suing the district's former food supplier for allegedly overbilling the district by $427,000. The lawsuit dated Thursday against Sysco Oklahoma LLC asks for compensatory damages of more than $10,000, punitive damages of more than $10,000 and attorney fees. Sysco said in a statement that it disputes the allegations.

KWGS News Photo

 Oklahoma Natural Gas could be fined up to $1.5 million because of a gas line explosion in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission's transportation division filed a complaint Friday alleging ONG failed to properly investigate a leak reported the day before the explosion; didn't investigate or document an investigation of at least eight previous leaks in the area; and didn't perform or document performance of surveillance after the leaks. Each count carries a maximum $500,000 fine.

Ben Fenwick-Oklahoma Watch

 State prison officials say three of six water pumps that supply water to two state prisons in Lexington have failed, causing an outage.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections said Saturday that the pumps provide water to the Lexington Correctional Center and the Joseph Harp Correctional Center.

The Harp center is rationing water and weekend visits at the Lexington center have been canceled.

1,000 Attend Crutcher Service

Sep 25, 2016

An estimated 1,000 people packed a church for a funeral honoring an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer.

Attendees filled the Antioch Baptist Church late Saturday to remember 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, who was fatally shot Sept. 16 by Officer Betty Jo Shelby.

Shelby has been charged with first degree manslaughter and turned herself in Friday. She was released after posting bond.

Oklahoma County

 The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office says an inmate has died after being found unresponsive in her cell.

Sheriff's spokesman Mark Opgrande says 39-year-old Joann Cortez died Thursday.

Opgrande says Cortez was booked in the jail Tuesday on charges of enabling child sexual abuse and possession of a controlled dangerous substance and was initially placed on suicide watch.

OCK Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star guard Russell Westbrook says "something has to change" in the United States following the recent police shootings of black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

The NBA player made the comments Friday at the Thunder's annual media day.

Westbrook, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, says the Sept. 16 shooting of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man in Tulsa, hit home for him because of where he grew up and how he was raised.

KWGS News File Photo

 A former Tulsa Jail detention officer has been charged with ignoring a fight involving dozens of inmates.

The Tulsa World reports that 28-year-old Marc Moncrief was charged Thursday with one count of willfully neglecting to perform the duty of a public officer. Online court records didn't list an attorney for Moncrief.

The sheriff's office released a surveillance video from the July 9 brawl. Authorities say Moncrief failed to call for help or prevent inmates from carrying out an assault.

 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a 90-extension to Department of Defense installations for compliance with what's known as the Real ID Act.

Officials at Fort Sill announced the extension Friday and say it includes Fort Sill in addition to Altus, Tinker and Vance Air Force bases.

Without the extension, an Oklahoma driver's license would not be accepted for entrance onto military installations starting Oct. 10. The extension moves the date to Jan. 10, 2017. An ID such as a passport would be needed.



 A teacher at a Tulsa charter school attended by the daughter of an unarmed black man killed by a white officer says the tragedy "lives and breathes" among her classmates in a moving essay she posted on Facebook detailing her experience helping students cope.

Rebecca Lee is a teacher at KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory. She writes that she facilitated three small-group discussions about Terence Crutcher's death. She says one group included sixth-grade classmates of Crutcher's daughter.

File photo


A state audit of an Oklahoma City school district has revealed several financial discrepancies.

The audit says a former maintenance worker for Crooked Oak school district received $59,000 in unauthorized compensation over two years through the use of false time sheets, and a district teacher was accidentally overpaid by $9,000 for an extra-duty assignment.

KWGS photo


The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office says the man killed by a Tulsa, Oklahoma, officer died from "a penetrating gunshot wound of chest" and his death is considered a homicide.

But spokeswoman Amy Elliott says a full autopsy report and toxicology results for Terence Crutcher are not yet complete.

Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby was charged Thursday with first-degree manslaughter in Crutcher's Sept. 16 death. An affidavit from District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler's office said the officer "reacted unreasonably" when she shot Crutcher, who did not have a gun.

Blue Bell


Blue Bell Creameries is recalling select flavors of ice cream distributed across the South after finding chocolate chip cookie dough from a third-party supplier for use as an ingredient was potentially contaminated with listeria.



The Muskogee County Board of Commissioners has authorized a settlement of up to $10,000 in a lawsuit filed by a former sheriff's deputy who disputed overtime pay.

The Muskogee Phoenix reports the commissioners made the authorization on Monday.