Local & Regional

Kalu is New to the Zoo

32 minutes ago
Tulsa Zoo

A new resident is joining the Tulsa Zoo. Male African lion, Kalu, has started the introductory process and will eventually be joining lioness Shatari on exhibit.

Kalu (pronounced Kuh-LOO) arrived at the Tulsa Zoo in April and underwent a standard quarantine period. During this time veterinary staff monitored his health and well-being. He was recently moved into the lion grottos and will slowly become familiar with the exhibit and Shatari.

Busy Holiday Weekend Expected At Oklahoma Lakes

49 minutes ago
U.S. Army Coprs of Engineers-Tulsa District

Most Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parks re-opened for the 2018 recreation season, April 1 and as the largest provider of water-based outdoor recreation in the nation, the Corps is working to reduce water-related fatalities by educating the public on water safety.

The Tulsa District, which manages 256 recreation areas at 37 lakes in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, encourages visitors to wear a properly-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices or life jackets when in or around the water. 

It’s now up to the Tulsa City Council to approve a special zoning code overlay for Route 66.

If approved, the zoning code amendment would allow new signs that are at least 25 percent neon to be up to 50 percent larger than currently allowed by sign regulations. The relaxed regulations won’t apply to dynamic displays, typically LED or video boards capable of showing constant animation.

TravelOK

 

 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a 66-year-old man drowned while swimming after his boat as it was floating away on an eastern Oklahoma lake.

An OHP report says James Cosper of McAlester drowned shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The report says Cosper was loading his boat at a boat ramp when the vessel began to drift away.

A witness said the man ran to a dock and jumped into the lake, then disappeared under water as he swam toward the boat.

The report says Cosper was not wearing a life preserver.

Wikimedia

  

President Donald Trump is canceling the planned June 12 summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, citing the "tremendous anger and open hostility" in a recent statement from North Korea.

Trump says in a letter to Kim released Thursday by the White House that based on the statement, he felt it was "inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting."

The president says the North Koreans talk about their nuclear capabilities, "but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used."

Here Come the Ticks

5 hours ago
Wikimedia

Get the tick repellant and stand by for what could be a rough season for the little blood-suckers in Oklahoma. While it did get cold, we had little ice or snow this past winter. That will help the tick population in Oklahoma flourish.

University of Tulsa Professor of Biological Science Dr. Richard Reeder says the ticks are now becoming active as the weather warms.

Ticks carry various diseases, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. Both can be fatal.

In the local news:

  • Tulsa slips in the national park rankings.
  • Storms cause some Tulsa metro damage.
  • Gas prices take a hike

 

Oklahoma City officials have agreed to spend $1.7 million to help Amazon open a customer order fulfillment center in hopes of creating more jobs.

The Oklahoma City Council voted Tuesday to authorize staff to negotiate a job-creation incentives agreement with the online retail giant.

The proposal includes $1 million in public payments to Amazon for more than 50 managerial jobs associated with a new warehouse and shipping terminal at Will Rogers World Airport. The city would provide another $700,000 in road improvements.

Oklahoma Senate

 

The incoming leader of the Oklahoma Senate has selected his top lieutenants for the upcoming legislative session.

Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Greg Treat announced Wednesday he picked Sen. Kim David of Porter as the majority floor leader. Floor leader IS the No. 2 post in the Senate and manages and schedules the daily business of the Senate. David previously served as chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

Treat also announced that Roger Thompson of Okemah will take over David's previous role as chair of the Appropriations Committee.

 

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission's Oil and Gas Division is directing some injection wells in north-central Oklahoma reduce injection volumes and others to stop operations.

The directive issued Wednesday comes after the U.S. Geological Survey recently recorded several earthquakes in the Crescent area, including at least two of magnitude 4.0 or stronger.

The directive applies to 25 total wells, including three that must cease operations and one other well that will not be allowed to resume operations.

The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust is preparing for the July 1 cigarette tax increase by budgeting more for the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline.

The helpline offers free resources to Oklahomans who want to quit smoking, including coaching and a two-week supply of nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges. TSET Executive Director John Woods said they usually devote $3 million to the 24 hours a day, seven days a week resource.

KWGS News

A year after climbing one spot to 59th, Tulsa slides back to 60th in annual park rankings of America’s 100 biggest cities by the Trust for Public Land.

ParkScore rankings consider park amenities, acreage, access and per-resident spending. The trust's Center for City Park Excellence Program Coordinator Ali Hiple said Tulsa’s drop isn’t so much because it’s doing worse in any area.

KWGS News

Crude oil prices hit a 3½-year high. The price of a barrel of oil has now topped $72. That is the highest since Thanksgiving on 2014.

Reimposed sanctions against Iran are being blamed, along with a summer driving season supply and demand.

As oil prices go up, so will the price you pay at the gasoline pump. Most Tulsa stations jumped prices about 14-cents a gallon overnight. Most stations are now charging $2.69 per gallon for regular unleaded. 

In the local news:

  • Some Tulsa School Board members voice regret over the Robert E. Lee school name change.
  • TU gets a new Board of Trustees Chairman.
  • Last week's Amber Alert mother goes to court via TV.

Bixby Schools

The Court of Criminal Appeals is being asked to get involved in a Bixby rape case.

Attorneys for four high school football players, accused of raping a team-mate, have asked the court to remove the Rogers County District Attorney's office from the case.

The attorneys cite a conflict of interest.

Frederic Dorwart New TU Board Chair

May 23, 2018
TU

 

 

The University of Tulsa announces that Frederic Dorwart manager of Frederic Dorwart, Lawyers PLLC, is the new chair of TU’s Board of Trustees.

 

OTA To Seek Loans For Gilcrease Expressway

May 23, 2018
Google Street View

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority discusses the expansion of the Gilcrease Expressway. It looks like the OTA will ask the federal government for a low interest loan to complete the roadway.

The authority is seeking $100-million for the project. The highway would connect north Tulsa to I-44 on the city’s west side.

The project has been on the drawing board for over 50 years.

Matt Trotter

Patriot, veteran, classic car fan or Route 66 enthusiast — all are welcome at the fourth annual Route 66 PatriotFest on Saturday.

The marquee event is a 13-mile cruise on Route 66 from East Central High to Crystal City Shopping Center. PatriotFest Chairman Matt Rose says the cruise drew a record number of cars in 2017.

"And I really hope more people and more cars want to cruise this year. It’s a rare opportunity that the police department actually shuts down the roadway for your to cruise down Route 66," Rose said.

OEA

Teacher walkouts in Oklahoma and other states may be over, but their message has reached Capitol Hill, where Senate Democrats are proposing a more than $100 billion increase in federal education spending.

The plan calls for $50 billion over the next decade for states to put toward teacher pay and recruitment, and another $50 billion to spend on school infrastructure and classroom resources.

Google Street View

 

The Environmental Protection Agency is barring The Associated Press, CNN and the environmental-focused news organization E&E from a national summit on harmful water contaminants.

The EPA blocked the news organizations from attending Tuesday's Washington meeting, convened by EPA chief Scott Pruitt.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told the barred organizations they were not invited and there was no space for them, but gave no indication of why they specifically were barred.

Mary Fallin

 

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says burn bans are being lifted in half of the 14 counties where they have been in place due to extreme fire conditions.

Fallin said Tuesday that recent rainfall has had a positive impact on some parched areas of the state, but the drought continues in northwestern Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Fallin says she modified the burn ban on the recommendation of Oklahoma Forestry Services. Counties where burn bans will remain in effect are: Beaver, Cimarron, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward.

File Photo

 

An Oklahoma lawsuit accusing an oil company of being responsible for damage caused by earthquakes in 2011 has gained class-action status and will go to trial.

 A judge ruled the class includes citizens with property in nine central Oklahoma counties that were damaged by the earthquakes near Prague.

The lawsuit alleges that New Dominion LLC's wastewater disposal operations caused a trio of earthquakes in November 2011. The quakes included a magnitude 5.7, which was the strongest quake in recorded state history until 2016.

Tulsa Police

A video arraignment is held for the Tulsa mother accused of stabbing one child, gagging another and then abducting a third child.                

Tarheera Almad is using a public defender as she faces four felony cases. The judge set a preliminary hearing for June 14th during this morning’s hearing.

The 39-year-old is accused of stabbing her 11 year-old over 50 times and then setting the house on fire. Her nine year-old daughter was bound and gaged but escaped and went for help. She is then accused of taking her 8-year-old daughter and fleeing. That led to an Amber alert.

Tulsa Public Schools

  

Some members of the Tulsa School Board may be suffering from “renaming remorse.” Several board members say the name change from "Robert E. Lee" to just "Lee Elementary" does not go far enough.

The board voted to make the change earlier in the month, as it reviews the names of all Tulsa Schools. The Robert E. Lee name is considered offensive to some because of his slave holdings and Confederate General status in the Civil War.

Board member, Dr. Cindy Decker, apologized  last night for her vote:

In the local news:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court takes up an appeal that could change the legal landscape of Oklahoma.
  • The Tulsa Ozone Alert Season is off to a rough start. Officials are concerned what a hot, dry summer could bring.
  • A Tulsa "non-stop" flight takes two days to make it to San Diego.

KWGS News File Photo

 

Lack of rainfall and above-average temperatures are prolonging the drought conditions that have stressed crops and rangelands and placed new pressures on groundwater sources across the U.S. Southern Plains.

New Mexico State Climatologist Dave Dubois said Monday that while some areas of the Texas Panhandle and southwestern Oklahoma have received plentiful precipitation in recent days, other parts of those states plus New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas have experienced only spotty precipitation since October.

Google Street View

 

An appeals court has upheld the 2014 firing of an Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality attorney accused of conspiring with a lawmaker to cut the agency's budget.

The Oklahoman reports that the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals unanimously affirmed last week the decisions of lower courts that Mista Burgess' dismissal was lawful.

Department administrators fired Burgess as supervising attorney in May 2014. Burgess was accused of conspiring with colleague Wendy Caperton and then-Rep. Don Armes to cut the department's budget.

OPMX

Experts are looking at how Oklahoma's seismic activity impacts critical infrastructure as frequent, low-level earthquake swarms continue to pop off throughout the state.

The Tulsa World reports that Oklahoma has experienced 80 earthquakes of 3.0 or greater magnitudes this year through Thursday morning. The Oklahoma Geological Survey says that 2015 was the state's peak year, with just over 900 quakes of 3.0 or greater.

File photo

Tulsa has already had as many Ozone Alert days this year as last year, and a summer that’s expected to be hot and dry means there could be many more.

"It’s looking like we’re going to have a summer where there will be the need to do what we can do on certain days. You know, postpone your mowing until a non-ozone alert day," said INCOG Air Quality Program Manager Nancy Graham.

The Tulsa area has had three alert days in May. There have been four or fewer alert days every year since 25 of them in 2011 and 21 in 2012.

Oklahoma Office of Highway Safety

Dozens of Oklahoma law enforcement agencies are participating in the "Click It or Ticket" seatbelt crackdown now through June 3.

Oklahoma Highway Safety Office Director Paul Harris said there will be zero tolerance for people not wearing seatbelts, but tickets aren't the intent.

"So many times we hear about the enforcement part, we’re trying to raise money or we’re trying to infringe on people’s rights. That is not the case," Harris said. "We’re all Oklahomans. We love Oklahoma, and we want Oklahomans to be safe so that we can have you around for years and years."

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