Local & Regional

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If Tulsa wants to achieve Mayor G.T. Bynum’s goal of boosting per capita income, computers dictate the city should work to increase high school graduation rates.

Community nonprofit Tulsa Data Science let their computers analyze Census data with minimal human input to see which factors have the biggest impact on an area’s per capita income. While their analysis found each doctorate degree holder in a Census tract increases its per capita income by $468, there’s another correlation where the demographic is easier to improve.

Oklahoma Watch

A nonprofit that analyzes state finances has given Oklahoma a D grade.

"Oklahoma has accumulated over $5 billion in unfunded debt, debt beyond the assets available to pay the bills, which, in our framework, really represents costs for services that were delivered to citizens in the past but they're effectively going to have to be paid by future taxpayers," said Truth in Accounting Research Director Bill Bergman.



The Roman Catholic Church's beatification of an Oklahoma priest killed during a mission in Guatemala more than three decades ago will be broadcast live on the Global Catholic Network.

The Rev. Stanley Rother is scheduled to be beatified during a Sept. 23 ceremony at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. A documentary on Rother's life and the ceremony will be broadcast on EWTN Global Catholic Network.

Rother was killed in 1981 during Guatemala's civil war after spending 13 years on a mission in that country.

In the local news:

  • A high school program at Union will held students get an Associates Degree while still in high school.
  • Funeral services start today for NSU students killed in a Tahlequah traffic crash.
  • An Oklahoma Air Force Colonel comes home, a half-century after being shot down over Vietnam

East Central University


A small chapel nestled on a university campus in a rural central Oklahoma town is at the center of a firestorm over the use of religious symbols on public property after a Washington, D.C.-based group insisted that a cross be removed from atop its steeple.



Jurors have heard a recorded confession of a man charged with murder for beheading a co-worker at a food plant in Oklahoma.

Prosecutors on Wednesday played recordings of 33-year-old Alton Nolen that were made while he was hospitalized after the 2014 attack. He's accused of killing 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and attacking another co-worker at Vaughan Foods in Moore.

In the recordings, Nolen says he doesn't "regret it at all" and that "oppressors don't need to be here."

OKC Police


Surveillance video shows a hit-and-run crash between two vehicles that led to the fatal shooting of a deaf man by an Oklahoma City police officer.

The crash happened Tuesday night, just minutes before police officers encountered 35-year-old Magdiel Sanchez at the address where a vehicle driven by his father that was involved in the hit-and-run had gone. Sanchez, who family members say was deaf, was holding a metal pipe in his right hand and was fatally shot when he didn't respond to commands to drop the pipe.

A new program will give Union students the chance to earn an associate degree while they’re in high school.

Early College High School will start next school year with 50 to 60 sophomores, most of them first-generation college students. Union Superintendent Kirt Hartzler said it’s an expansion of concurrent enrollment the district already offers.

"This is kind of just, I think, the next generation of what we need to be offering our students to make sure that the high school experience is more relevant and certainly adds some value," Hartzler said.

From now on, the City of Tulsa will celebrate the second Monday of October as Native American Day.

City councilors unanimously approved a resolution to do so. Some might remember it as Columbus Day.

"It's more of re-educating the truth that there were Native Americans already in place before Columbus and that Columbus did not actually discover America," said Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission Chair Sammy Haynes.

You Tube


 A 12-year-old singing ventriloquist is getting a $1 million prize and her own Las Vegas show after taking the "America's Got Talent" crown on the season 12 finale of the NBC reality competition.

Darci Lynne Farmer, of Oklahoma City, beat out another youngster, 10-year-old singer Angelica Hale, for the 'AGT' title Wednesday by garnering the most votes from viewers.

Tulsa County Booking Photo


A 40-year-old Oklahoma man has pleaded not guilty in connection with two hit-and-run crashes that authorities believe targeted homeless people in Tulsa.

A judge entered the plea Wednesday on behalf of Jeremy Dean Thacker, who's charged in the Sept. 4 death of one man and five counts of assault and battery with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Thacker is accused of killing 46-year-old Shawn Birdo by intentionally running over him and two others as they slept under an interstate.

City to Pay for Shelby's Lawyers

Sep 21, 2017


Tulsa leaders approve paying  legal bills in a federal civil lawsuit for a former police officer acquitted of first-degree manslaughter in the death of an unarmed black man.

Former Police Officer Betty Shelby was acquitted last spring in the 2016 shooting death of Terence Crutcher.

Tulsa City Councilors approved paying for Shelby's representation in the civil lawsuit Crutcher's family filed against her and the city.

The lawsuit accuses Shelby of using excessive force and accuses the city of racially biased policing.

In the local news:

  • Tulsa City Council members approve a discount store moratorium. 
  • OU President David Boren will retire.
  • Iron Gates gets a judge's approval for a new site.


How far apart should be competing discount stores?  The Tulsa City Council will take 180-days to decide. The council enacted a moratorium on such stores.

Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper feels such stores are keeping a full service supermarket out of her area. This man spoke at last night’s meeting.                     

The final vote, after a lengthy discussion and comment period, was 5-to-4. The moratorium is effective immediately.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

An opioid crisis that knows no bounds is the focus of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s visit to Indian country.

Price's visit spans Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and he met with Pawnee and Cherokee nation leaders during that time. Chief Bill John Baker said enough prescription painkillers are shipped into the Cherokee Nation for every man, woman and child to have 153 doses. Baker also said 40 percent of foster care cases involve families fighting opioid addiction.


 University of Oklahoma President David Boren, a former Democratic governor and U.S. senator, says he will resign as head of the state's flagship university at the end of the current school year.

Boren announced his plan Wednesday to a standing-room-only crowd of several hundred students, faculty and staff inside OU's performing arts center.

Boren says he will retire June 30, but agreed to stay longer if a successor has not been selected by that time.

He has served as OU's president since 1994, when he stepped down from his U.S. Senate post to accept the position.


 University of Oklahoma President David Boren, a former Democratic governor and U.S. senator, says he will resign as head of the state's flagship university at the end of the current school year.

Boren announced his plan Wednesday to a standing-room-only crowd of several hundred students, faculty and staff inside OU's performing arts center.

Boren says he will retire June 30, but agreed to stay longer if a successor has not been selected by that time.

He has served as OU's president since 1994, when he stepped down from his U.S. Senate post to accept the position.


Churches, a college, and businesses come together to form a Cathedral District on the southern edge of downtown Tulsa. The area, named for six historic churches located there, will join other districts downtown in an attempt at revitalization and to draw new development. Gordy Guest is  C-E-O of Cyntergy and co-chair of the group organizing the district.

While urban renewal decades ago eliminated a lot of historic buildings and infrastructure in the area, Guest says the parking lots and open spaces now make it attractive for new development.

Judge Green Lights New Iron Gate Project

Sep 20, 2017

Tulsa County District Court Judge Rebecca Nightingale rules the relocation of Tulsa’s Iron Gate Soup Kitchen can move forward.

The agency that feeds Tulsa’s street people will relocate to the 7th and Elgin area, near the east leg of the IDL.

Director Carrie Henderson confirmed the ruling for KWGS News and said they are looking forward to move ahead with building a new location.

Neighbors had opposed the location on what is now vacant land. 

Chickasha Police


Police say seven officers were injured during a weekend shootout in central Oklahoma, including one who remains hospitalized.

Police initially said two officers were wounded Sunday as they tried to serve a search warrant following a kidnapping attempt in Chickasha, about 40 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

Chickasha Police Chief Goebel Music said Tuesday that seven officers were injured after the suspect allegedly opened fire from a home.

Tulsa Gets Immigrant Grant

Sep 20, 2017

Mayor G.T. Bynum announced today that Tulsa was selected as one of 25 Gateways for Growth Cities by the New American Economy and Welcoming America, joining the ranks of Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Des Moines, IA, Little Rock, AR, and Memphis, TN, among others. 

In the local news:

  • Tulsa Police gets a crime fighting grant
  • A Broken Arrow instructor is Oklahoma's Teacher of the Year.
  • Lawmakers urged to get serious during next week's Special Session.

TPD Stays Busy With Violent Crime

Sep 20, 2017
Tulsa Police

Tulsa Police say a woman was stabbed to death yesterday afternoon at the Sierra Pointe Apartments. That is near highways 169 and I-44. Officers are looking for a suspect. No names have been released.

Meanwhile, overnight a man is found shot and near death at the Somerset Apartments near 65th and South Mingo. The shooting was discovered about 12:30 this morning. The man is in the hospital in extremely critical condition.


The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 3.2 earthquake was recorded at 5:21 p.m. Tuesday about 18 miles northwest of Fairview, about 100 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The temblor occurred at a depth of about 1 mile.

No injuries or damage was immediately reported. Geologists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0 and that earthquakes of magnitudes 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest that are felt by humans.

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 The secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is in Oklahoma to meet with members of the Pawnee and Cherokee nations.

Secretary Tom Price began a three-day visit to Oklahoma Tuesday as part of the federal agency's integral relationship with tribal governments.

Trailers of the East Coast

Oklahoma financial industry lobbyists want state lawmakers to require registration for high-end livestock trailers.

Oklahoma Credit Union Association President Nate Webb told lawmakers at an interim study Tuesday some owners of high-end trailers are using them as collateral for multiple loans, leaving lenders to fight it out if the borrower defaults. Others are titling the trailers out of state if they fall behind on payments.

Webb said the solution is to require registration for high-end livestock trailers.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter awarded $404,980 to four Tulsa-area law enforcement agencies Tuesday.

The money comes from the Safe Oklahoma Grant Program, which is intended to help agencies combat violent crime. The Tulsa Police Department got $296,500. Deputy Chief Dennis Larsen said last year, TPD seized 335 illegal guns, largely thanks to the same grant program.

"That's 173 percent more than we took off the streets in 2012, just five years ago," Larsen said. "This year, 2017, the first of September, we're at 300 firearms seized."

Oklahoma City Community COllege

  An audit has found that test results were repeatedly altered for an adult basic education program at Oklahoma City Community College.

The audit was conducted by the Oklahoma City accounting firm Crawford & Associates. The audit found that six of the students who were selected for review had alterations on their scan sheets, including erased and replaced names.



A Democratic schoolteacher who defeated a Republican businessman in a special election for a state House seat in a traditionally GOP district is getting sworn into office.

Jacob Rosecrants will take the oath of office Wednesday morning in the House chamber at the Oklahoma Capitol.

Rosecrants won 60 percent of the vote last week over Republican Darin Chambers for the House District 46 seat in west Norman, despite a nearly 3,000-voter registration advantage for the GOP there. With his win, Republicans now hold a 72-28 edge in the House, with one seat vacant.

State Department of Education


 An environmental science teacher at Broken Arrow Public Schools has been named Oklahoma's Teacher of the Year for 2018.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said Tuesday that Donna Gradel  was named Oklahoma Teacher of the Year after extensive interviews with 12 finalists by a 20-member panel of judges.

A 29-year veteran educator, Gradel began her teaching career after receiving one of the first women's basketball scholarships to West Virginia University.