Local & Regional

State Impact Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's finance secretary says cash-strapped state agencies will receive $34.6 million in leftover cash from the previous year.

The revenue had not been allocated when the previous fiscal year ended on June 30. The funds will replenish spending cuts triggered at state agencies in February when revenue estimates indicated collections would fall below estimates.

Youth Services Tulsa

A taco cart — well, bicycle — is the first winner of a competition among social enterprise start-ups.

"A social enterprise is any organization that applies a business principle to address a social issue. For us, it is employment for youth transitioning out of homelessness," said Youth Services Tulsa Social Enterprise Specialist Wesley Rose, who runs the T-Town Tacos program.

T-Town Tacos is a way for youth transitioning out of homelessness to learn culinary skills and earn a wage. They also work with employment specialists.

Tulsa County Sheriff

Tulsa Community College will offer a corrections certificate starting this fall.

It’s the result of a partnership with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, and the coursework focuses on psychology, addiction and mental health. TCSO spokeswoman Casey Roebuck said they want to lower turnover among detention officers.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Oklahoma House Democrats will host a public meeting on the state budget Aug. 3.

With some late-session revenue measures facing legal challenges, they want to negotiate a contingency plan.

"We have some concerns that if any of these court challenges with the Supreme Court come to fruition and they get thrown out that that's going to leave a hole in the already very tight budget," said Rep. Steve Kouplen.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

A Tulsa Radiologist is free on $5,000 bond after turning himself in to Tulsa County authorities.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter charged Doctor James Fleckenstein with writing fraudulent prescriptions for pain relievers. The A.G.’s office says the doctor would write the prescriptions to a family member or family friend. They would in turn have the prescriptions filled and give the medication to the doctor for his personal use.

When contact by KWGS, Doctor Fleckenstein declined comment on the case.

Tulsa Man Killed By Missouri Police

7 hours ago
Neosho Police-Facebook

A Tulsa man is shot and killed by police in Neosho, Missouri. Neosho is about 20-miles south of Joplin.

Police there say the man had been pulled over for a traffic violation  early this morning and appeared to be intoxicated. He got out of his car and pulled a pistol from the back of his waistband and point it at the officer. That is when the police officer pulled his weapon a fired. The man was dead at the scene.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has taken over the case.

New TCC Program Will Train Detention Officers

10 hours ago
Tulsa Sheriff's Office

Tulsa Community College is offering a new Corrections Certificate beginning fall 2017 for individuals who work in corrections facilities or prisons. The program is the result of a partnership between TCC and the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

“We work closely with community and business partners to provide employers with solutions to the challenges of recruiting and retaining workers,” TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. said. “Roughly one in three of our students who graduated last year did so with a workforce degree or certificate.”

Tulsa Needs Teachers

11 hours ago
TPS

Tulsa's Will Rogers High School hosts a day long teacher job fair for the Tulsa Public Schools. Numerous prospects filled out applications during the day.

There is a sense or urrgency for the district. The new school year starts in just about one-month. The school district is looking for over 100 new teachers.

Tulsa Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist says finding new educators can be very difficult. But, she has praise for the way the Tulsa district handles the situation. Gist says those taking part in job fairs are told about the positives of working for the Tulsa School.

In the local news:

  • The Tulsa School District needs teachers.
  • A candle light vigil is held in Tulsa for 4 crash victims.
  • Bringing back the Tulsa neon on Route 66

1,500 Turn Out for Tulsa Crash Victims' Vigil

12 hours ago
Hurricane Soccer

An estimated 1,500 people, mostly young soccer players, turned out to remember a mother and three friends/players killed in a car crash earlier this week in south central Oklahoma. The vigil was held at dusk last night.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a 13-year-old girl has become the fourth person to die of injuries suffered in a crash on Interstate 35 near Purcell.

Mike Brumit-Facebook

 

 Authorities say a fire has destroyed a dock and at least 20 boats at a marina on Lake Texoma.

Texas Game Warden Capt. Steve Stapleton tells KTVT-TV in Dallas that the fire spread from one vessel to another Wednesday and also destroyed a dock at the lake, which serves as a border between Texas and Oklahoma.

Photos show large flames consuming the boats and black smoke rising from Highport Marina.

Fire crews prevented flames from spreading to nearby docks at the marina located near Pottsboro, about 70 miles north of Dallas.

Tulsa’s iconic Meadow Gold neon sign on Route 66 was restored to its former glory almost nine months ago, and three long-gone signs west of the Arkansas River will soon make a comeback.

Those are just the start.

"The next big neon project on Route 66 is to try to reach out to all of the property owners and start getting some of the smaller neon signs restored — and maybe getting some more new neon — and really creating, you know, a whole corridor of fantastic signage," said Tulsa Route 66 Commission member Amanda DeCort.

Braun Ambulances

Broken Arrow Fire Department now has a seventh ambulance in service.

Chief Jeremy Moore said he’s been working with the city council for several months to get it for Fire Station 7, which opened in January 2016 on Elm Place north of 101st Street with only a fire truck.

4th Person with Tulsa Ties Dies in Purcell Crash

Jul 19, 2017
OHP-Facebook

 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a fourth person has died from injuries in a crash on Interstate 35 in central Oklahoma.

The crash happened Monday afternoon in Purcell, about 30 miles south of Oklahoma City. The highway patrol has not yet released details about what led to the crash, which involved an SUV and a tractor-trailer. The wreck shut down northbound lanes of I-35 for several hours Monday.

Facebook

 

The preliminary FBI investigation has determined that an explosive found in the apartment of a man accused of setting off a pipe bomb outside an Oklahoma military recruiting office had unusual features more common outside the U.S.

The Tulsa World reports that a pipe bomb allegedly found in Benjamin Roden's apartment utilized two 9-volt batteries and magnets. A government affidavit says the device's features were "unusual for Oklahoma" and "typically seen in other parts of the world."

Chemical Spill Leads to Business Evacuation

Jul 19, 2017
Tulsa Fire Department

A leaking container of medical nitroglycerin leads to an evacuation at a north Tulsa warehouse. Tulsa Fire Captain Stan May says the problem was first noticed when a container was delivered to a Tulsa hospital.

The container was leaking and St. Francis sent back to the warehouse. That is where it spilled onto the floor.

C-SPAN

 

A Democratic member of the U.S. Senate committee that conducted confirmation hearings for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt says Oklahoma's former attorney general presented "inconsistent and contradictory statements" to the panel.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island made the comments in a letter Tuesday about an ethics complaint against Pruitt being investigated by the Oklahoma Bar Association.

In the local news:

  • Broken Arrow gears up for a gaming fight.
  • Governor Fallin discusses female incarceration.
  • Frontier Airlines will come back to Tulsa.

City of BA

The Broken Arrow City Council discusses its options for dealing with a planned restaurant on tribal land. The restaurant is not the problem; it is the fact the owners want to offer gaming on the Kialegee Tribal Town property.

The off-shoot of the Muscogee Creek Tribe tried in the past to build a casino about a half-mile away from where the new Embers Grill is being constructed. That effort was halted after the Tribe and the Indian Gaming Commission got involved.

KWGS News File Photo

Frontier Airlines announced a big expansion Tuesday that will bring it back to Tulsa after a seven-year absence.

The airline is adding 21 cities and 85 routes to its network, with service for some starting as soon as October.

"Their Tulsa service, though, will come on board this spring, and they'll be providing nonstop service to three destinations: Denver, Orlando and San Diego," said Tulsa International Airport spokeswoman Alexis Higgins.

Frontier's flight schedules for Tulsa should be loaded sometime this fall.

Governor Fallin

Gov. Mary Fallin got a national stage Tuesday to tout Oklahoma’s work to stop sending so many women to prison.

Fallin was the keynote speaker at Women Unshackled, a forum to address female incarceration hosted by the Justice Action Network. Fallin said risk screenings to get nonviolent women out of prison and into local programs proved successful enough to expand them to county jails.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Speaker Charles McCall has replaced the House Appropriations and Budget chair the day after a public disagreement over Department of Human Services funding.

In an email Tuesday to some members, McCall said Rep. Leslie Osborn will be replaced by her vice chair, Kevin Wallace.

Members,

I wanted you to be the first to know that I have replaced Rep. Osborn as Chair of the Appropriations and Budget Committee.

KWGS News

 

 A former Tulsa church that Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Tulsa native Leon Russell converted into a recording studio could be nominated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Oklahoma Historic Preservation Review Committee is to vote Thursday on whether to nominate Tulsa's Church Studio to the list.

Oklahoma History Center architectural historian Lynda Ozan told the Tulsa World that the connection to Russell is the reason the building is being considered for nomination.

Google Street View

 

Some Oklahoma lawmakers are questioning the state Department of Human Services for making program cuts that total almost $30 million after receiving an 8 percent boost in appropriations.

The Oklahoman reports the department says years of chronic underfunding forced it to reduce services for children and vulnerable adults.

House Speaker Charles McCall says the cuts show that the agency needs to be audited. He says he was surprised by the cuts because the Legislature diligently worked to help meet the agency's needs.

KWGS News File Photo

 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says three people were killed and four others injured in a crash on Interstate 35 in central Oklahoma.

The crash happened Monday afternoon in Purcell, about 30 miles  south of Oklahoma City. The highway patrol has not yet released details about what led to the crash, which involved an SUV and a tractor-trailer. The wreck shut down northbound lanes of I-35 for several hours Monday.

KWGS News

   

New assessments and a school accountability system in Oklahoma has led to the omission of a U.S. history state test in the upcoming school year and high school juniors taking a new science test.

The Tulsa World reports that educators were told about the changes that will delay test score results and school report cards at the recent Oklahoma State Department of Education's annual conference called EngageOK.

B.A. Council To Discuss Restaurant and Gaming

Jul 18, 2017
KWGS News Photo

The Broken Arrow City Council will discuss the new Embers Grill tonight. The grill is being built on Indian allotment land near the Creek Turnpike, just west of 129th East Avenue.

The council is not worried about the food. It is concerned about statements from the owner that the facility will also offering gaming.  That is something Broken Arrow has fought in the passed and so has the Muscogee-Creek Nation.

The new restaurant is a half-mile away from where a casino was proposed several years ago. That half constructed facility remains shuttered.

In the local news:

  • A new plan is floated on Tulsa Jail costs.
  • The Broken Arrow City Council takes up a resolution dealing with a new restaurant.
  • Medicaid cuts could hurt the health of Oklahoma's Native population.

KWGS News

Saying he’s tired of ongoing jail cost negotiations with the City of Tulsa, Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo has another go at settling the matter.

Smaligo proposes multiplying the per capita cost for Broken Arrow to run its jail, $8.78, by Tulsa’s population to determine what the city should pay to use the county jail.

"$8.78 for every man, woman and child in the City of Tulsa comes to $3.5 million, which I think is absolutely reasonable. It's an apples-to-apples comparison," Smaligo said.

D.A. To Try Kepler 4th Time

Jul 17, 2017
Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler will try again. He has announced plans to re-try former Tulsa Police Officer Shannon Kepler.  

The first three trials ended in mistrial when the jury could not reach a verdict. Kepler is accused of murdering Jeremy Lake, who was his daughter’s boy friend.

The D.A. issued the following statement:

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