Local & Regional

FEMA

 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A longtime Republican political operative who previously headed the Federal Emergency Management Agency has the daunting task of leading Oklahoma's overcrowded and underfunded prison system, which has come under scrutiny after problematic executions.

Joe Allbaugh said Wednesday that he's made unannounced visits to more than a dozen Oklahoma prisons. He says facilities are crumbling and overcrowded, guards are underpaid and understaffed, morale is low and the state is ill-prepared to handle a projected increase in inmates.

 

 

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tulsa-based WPX Energy has announced plans to close its Oklahoma City office and lay off 60 of the 95 employees.

The oil and natural gas company said Wednesday that of the remaining 35 employees, 33 will be offered the opportunity to relocate to Tulsa and two will be allowed to move to its office in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

PSO

  

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — President Barack Obama has declared that a major disaster exists in 41 Oklahoma counties following recent severe winter weather storms and flooding that affected the state.

The White House announced in a news release Wednesday that federal aid will be available to the state to supplement state, tribal and eligible local recovery efforts in the 41 counties affected from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. Affected counties include Adair, Comanche, Cherokee, Muskogee, Osage and Okmulgee.

10th Circuit Court

 

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A 71-year-old woman charged with fraud in an alleged cancer treatment scam has been found guilty in Tulsa.

Antonella Carpenter was convicted of two counts of mail fraud, five counts of travel fraud and 22 counts of wire fraud Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Carpenter committed fraud when she advertised that her laser treatments used to heat cancerous tissue injected with a mixture of saline solution and green dye or walnut hull extract were 100 percent effective in killing cancerous tumors.

In the local news:

  • Hertz to close the Dollar-Thrifty Tulsa facility.
  • WPX shuts down OKC operation.
  • Oil prices drops to 13-year low.
U.S. Department of Education

The filing deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is fast approaching for Oklahoma.

Though the federal deadline is June 30th, Oklahoma is among several states that want the FAFSA turned in by March 1. Monroe Nichols with ImpactTulsa said for various reasons, only about half of Tulsa County high school students fill out the FAFSA.

"Some people believe they may not qualify for any federal aid for college. Some folks feel like the form is a little too much," Nichols said. "Some people have some concerns on putting their financial information."

Oklahoma Watch

A new report confirms what local officials in Oklahoma have been saying for some time: Internet retail sales are eating away at sales tax revenues.

Two-man firm Civic Economics estimated e-commerce giant Amazon’s 2014 U.S. sales, allocating a proportional amount to each state. That allowed them to calculate a gap between state sales tax rates and what Amazon collects.

Oklahoma’s gap is the nation’s fifth-largest at $45 million.

Hertz to Pull Service Center Out of Tulsa

Feb 10, 2016
KWGS News Photo

Hertz will close its Tulsa Service Center. The company told its employees this morning. About 80 will be dismissed from the auto-rental firm. That will leave only about 100 employees in Tulsa. The firm will most likely move from its high-rise building on 31st at the Broken Arrow Expressway.

Tulsa was once the hub of the auto rental business, with Vanguard and Dollar-Thrifty headquartered here.  Dollar-Thrifty was purchased by Hertz several years ago.  The company has been slowly drawing down the number of Tulsa workers since taking over Dollar-Thrifty.

Citizens Crime Commission-Tulsa

 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation supported by Gov. Mary Fallin to increase the value threshold of some property crimes before they're prosecuted as felonies in Oklahoma has been approved by a legislative committee.

The House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee voted 8-1 for the bill Wednesday and sent it to the full House for a vote. It's among several proposals Fallin has made to help reduce overcrowding in the state prison system.

Citizens Crime Commission-Tulsa

 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation supported by Gov. Mary Fallin to increase the value threshold of some property crimes before they're prosecuted as felonies in Oklahoma has been approved by a legislative committee.

The House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee voted 8-1 for the bill Wednesday and sent it to the full House for a vote. It's among several proposals Fallin has made to help reduce overcrowding in the state prison system.

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