Local & Regional

Pulaski County, Arkansas Booking Photo

  

A man yelled "Freedom!" as he crashed his vehicle into Arkansas' new Ten Commandments monument early Wednesday, nearly three years after he was arrested in the destruction of Oklahoma's monument at its state Capitol, authorities said.

The privately funded Arkansas monument had been in place outside the state Capitol in Little Rock for less than 24 hours before it was knocked from its plinth and smashed to pieces.

Wikimedia

  

  A new report from a national transportation group says Oklahoma's rural roads and bridges are among the 10 worst in the nation.

TRIP researchers say 16 percent of Oklahoma's rural bridges are substandard. That's the seventh highest rate in the nation.

They also say 22 percent of Oklahoma's rural roads are also in poor condition and rank 10th worst rate in the nation.

Oklahoma AAA spokesman Chuck Mai says the Legislature needs to help fund the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

In the local news:

  • Dire warnings from the Governor and Corrections Director over Oklahoma prison overcrowding.
  • Tulsa Sunday bus service is a reality.
  • Jury selection begins in the third Shannon Kepler murder trial.

Heat Alert for Tulsa

8 hours ago
KWGS News File photo

EMSA has issued a HEAT ADVISORY for the Tulsa area. The ambulance service says it responded to a half-dozen heat related calls during the day on Tuesday. Of the six, four were transported to the hospital.  Those taken to the hopsital were:

·         56 year old male

·         57 year old male

·         Age unknown adult male

·         23 year old female

In addition to those patients, EMSA medics treated at the scene, but did not transport, an 80 year old female and a 33 year old male.

Kepler Trial #3 Begins With Jury Selection

8 hours ago
Wikimedia

Jury selection continues in the 1st Degree Murder trial of former Tulsa Police officer Shannon Kepler. Kepler is accused in the murder of Jeremy Lake. Lake was his daughter's boyfriend.

This is the third time Kepler has been tried on the charge. The first two trials ended with juries deadlocked on a verdict. The trial is expected to take two weeks.

Michael Willmus-Oklahoma Watch

 

 Oklahoma's prison system director has told the state's prisons board that Oklahoma's prisons are in trouble.

Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh says the system suffers from aging, low staffing, skyrocketing medical costs for aging inmates and no budget increases in the face of growing inmate populations and decreasing paroles.

He told the Board of Corrections on Tuesday the day approaches when the system will "be incapable of taking more prisoners."

Governor Speaks to Packed Tulsa Luncheon

23 hours ago
Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Governor Fallin delivers what is billed as the "State of the State" to over 1,000 business and civic leaders in Tulsa. The sold-out event was sponsored by the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Governor discussed numerous topics, including state finances, education, public safety and criminal justice reform. On criminal justice, the Governor voiced her displeasure that reform measures never made it out of committee during the legislative session. She says of the 12 bills introduced, only three made it to her desk.

Former Tulsa Principal Admits to Child Porn at School

23 hours ago
Linkedin

 

A former principal of a Christian home-school alliance in Tulsa has pleaded guilty to accessing child pornography on a video chat room.

In a news release, the U.S. Attorney's office said 56-year-old Jeffrey Richard Goss pleaded guilty Monday under a plea bargain to one count of accessing with intent to view child pornography.

Goss was named in a two-count criminal complaint filed by the U.S. attorney after Homeland Security identified him in a wide-ranging child pornography investigation.

Sunday Bus Service Is Here

23 hours ago
KWGS News

Mayor Bynum announced, at a news conference, that Tulsa Transit will begin Sunday Bus Service on Sunday, July 2nd. The addition of Sunday Service for Tulsa Transit customers has been made possible through the Vision Tulsa sales tax, approved in April 2016.

File photo

While more research is needed, efforts to manage the potential risk of induced earthquakes not associated with wastewater injection wells are showing some positive results, say officials with the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC).

Google Street View

 

Authorities say a woman's body has been found in a restroom of a Walmart in northeastern Oklahoma.

Police in the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs say the body of 29-year-old Katherine Caraway of Muskogee was found Monday afternoon when the restroom was unlocked.

Police Capt. Todd Enzbrenner says store video shows Caraway entering the restroom about 6 p.m. Friday, but said it isn't known when she died.

Enzbrenner says the door to the room was locked and store employees thought it was out of order, so they placed a sign on the door saying it was out of order.

Preston Doerflinger

 

Oklahoma's attorney general says the state’s finance officials can legally borrow money from Oklahoma’s Constitutional Reserve Fund. 

Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger has borrowed $240.7 million, the entire balance of the fund, this budget year to cover the state’s expenses. 

Doerflinger requested Attorney General Mike Hunter’s opinion of whether it’s legal to borrow from the fund, since the Oklahoma Constitution states the finance secretary can transfer state funds to cover expenses when revenue is down. 

Cameron Felts

Russell Westbrook has been voted NBA MVP after setting a record with 42 triple-doubles last season. Westbrook's victory ended the first NBA Awards show, which included two wins apiece for the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.

He led the league with 31.6 points and added 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game, joining Oscar Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for the season.

He easily beat James Harden and Kawhi Leonard.

In the local news:

  • A drop in oil prices will hurt the state's rebounding economy.
  • Car dealers are the latest to sue over last minute legislative tax increases.
  • An internal investigation finds no wrongdoing in fatal Tulsa  law enforcement shooting.

Charles Kimbrough

 

A Native American flute, official state lapel pins and a turkey call from the Oklahoma lieutenant governor's annual turkey shoot are among the items being placed in a 100-year time capsule to be buried at the state Capitol.

Gov. Mary Fallin joined other state leaders Monday for a ceremony at the Capitol to dedicate the stainless steel capsule.

The box will be filled with artifacts, sealed and placed in a wall inside a wall in the new Capitol rotunda once renovations to the 100-year-old building are completed in the next few years.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

   

The jury trial for an ex-Tulsa police officer accused in the death of his daughter's boyfriend has been delayed at least another day while the former lawman asks a higher Oklahoma court for a delay.

Court records show District Judge Rebecca Nightingale agreed Monday to the daylong stay for ex-officer Shannon Kepler. His attorney filed the request Friday to the state Supreme Court.

Kepler's third murder trial in seven months was to begin Monday. Trials in November and February resulted in mistrials after both juries deadlocked.

Michigan Radio

 

A lawsuit alleges the removal of a sales tax exemption on vehicles sold in Oklahoma is unconstitutional.

The lawsuit filed Friday by the Oklahoma Automobile Dealers Association, an auto dealership and an individual alleges the removal of a 1.25 percent exemption on auto sales didn't receive the state constitutionally required 75 percent vote in both houses of the Legislature on revenue raising bills.

 

 

 

KWGS News

 

Investigators have found no criminal wrongdoing in the police killing of a mentally ill, knife-wielding black man last week by officers in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tulsa police homicide Sgt. Dave Walker released the findings Monday from the internal investigation of the June 9 shooting of Jason Barre. Tulsa County District Attorney's Office will review the findings next and decide if it concurs.

DOC

 

The Supreme Court is declining to reinstate a civil rights lawsuit filed by the brother of an Oklahoma man whose botched execution in 2014 lasted nearly three-quarters of an hour.

The justices on Monday left in place lower court rulings dismissing the suit against Gov. Mary Fallin and other officials. The suit was filed by Gary Lockett, brother of Clayton Lockett.

Clayton Lockett writhed on the gurney, mumbled and strained to lift his head before he was declared dead 43 minutes after the execution began.

In the local news:

  • Cuts are ahead for the giant Oklahoma DHS.
  • A small plane crashes near Grove.
  • The search continues for a drowning victim at Claremore Lake.

OCK Thunder

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook are among the finalists for best male athlete at The ESPYS. Tennis star Serena Williams and gymnast Simone Biles are two of the four finalists for best female athlete.

KWGS News

 

The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline dropped 7 cents nationally over the past two weeks, to $2.32.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the drop reflects lower costs for crude oil.

She says the national average is 4 cents a gallon below the price a year ago.

In Tulsa, the price for regular-unleaded is around $1.79 at most Tulsa stations.

File photo-Tulsa Police

 

Police in Tulsa say a man armed with a gun was fatally shot when three officers opened fire as the man tried to break into a home.

Police said in a news release Sunday that 47-year-old Jimmie Bevenue was killed in the shooting Saturday night in east Tulsa.

Police say officers stopped after seeing a stolen vehicle outside a home and approached three people standing outside the vehicle when Bevenue, armed with a gun, ran from the home to an adjoining home and kicked open a back door after ignoring orders to drop the weapon.

KWGS News photo

 

A one-day delay is granted in the Shannon Kepler murder retrial. Kepler, a former Tulsa Police officer, is accused of killing his daughter's boy friend.

Kepler's defense attorney asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday to postpone the trial that's scheduled to begin Monday in district court.

Kepler is seeking a delay until the next county jury term starts in August. Defense attorney Richard O'Carroll cited concerns with the computerized jury selection process in the petition.

KWGS News Photo

 

After years in the dark, crews in Tulsa are finally scrambling to rewire the city's decimated lighting grid after copper thieves stole 33 miles of the precious metal.

Tulsa is making the patchwork repairs and gambling that cheaper aluminum wiring will be less enticing to would-be thieves. City leaders hope to have most of the lights back on by year's end.

The city isn't alone in its struggle to keep the lights on. Copper thieves have pillaged lighting grids in cities large and small nationwide, causing municipal budgets to skyrocket.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

A former Tulsa police officer set to go on trial for a third time this week in the death of his daughter's boyfriend is seeking a delay.

Shannon Kepler's defense attorney asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday to postpone the trial that's scheduled to begin Monday in district court.

The Tulsa World reports that Kepler is seeking a delay until the next county jury term starts in August. Defense attorney Richard O'Carroll cited concerns with the computerized jury selection process in the petition.

File Photo- US Armys Corps of Engineers

A 22-year-old Arkansas resident has drowned after going underwater in a swimming area of an Oklahoma lake.

A preliminary report from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says Centerton, Arkansas, resident Anthony Scarpati died Friday afternoon on Skiatook Lake in Osage County.

Troopers say Scarpati was swimming at Twin Points Swimming Beach on the lake with friends when he swam out to a marker buoy. Troopers say he went underwater as he was returning to shore and didn't resurface. His body was recovered about an hour later about 20 yards from shore.

KWGS News photo

Tulsa County taxpayers are on the hook for more than $500,000 as officials continue to settle lawsuits and amass legal fees involving the 2015 shooting of an unarmed black man by an ex-sheriff's deputy.

An analysis by the Tulsa World found that the county topped $550,000 in public costs after settling this week with a former sheriff's deputy who claimed he was wrongfully fired by then-sheriff Stanley Glanz.

Glanz left office in 2015 after being indicted for not releasing an internal report questioning the qualifications of the volunteer deputy who shot Eric Harris.

TPD Involved in Saturday Night Fatal Shooting

Jun 25, 2017
Google Street View

For a third time this month,  a Tulsa Police officer is involved in a shooting. The latest took place last night near 4th and South Garnett. Tulsa Police and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had been attempting to stop a reportedly stolen vehicle.

The car pulled over and the driver jumped from the car and started running. Law enforcement gave chase on foot. The suspect ran to the front door of a home and tried to kick-in the door. As officers approached the man reportedly pulled a weapon. That is when the TPD officer fired.  The man was dead at the scene.

US Conference of Mayors

U.S. mayors meeting in Florida are urging bipartisan, local leadership at a time when many are pushing back against Trump administration policies on climate change and immigration.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors opened its annual meeting Friday in Miami Beach for the leaders of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

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