Local & Regional

Protest Set Over Helmerich Park Use

Apr 25, 2017

11:45 is the time announced for a protest this morning at Helmerich Park. Those upset over the sale of eight acres of the 71st and Riverside Park are miffed by signs saying “authorized uses only”. 

 The city voted to abandon that portion of the park and to sell the land to a developer for a sporting goods store. The city has removed all its equipment,  like park benches, from that section of the park.   The city put out a statement last night, attributed to Public Facility Board Member Kathy Taylor: 

KWGS News

For the first time in nearly ten years, the Tulsa County Election Board will have a new boss. Patty Bryant is leaving the post when her latest two-year appointment is up April 30th. She’s been a real estate broker for 30 years, and is headed back to that profession. She says she will miss co-workers and friends she made while running the election board, but is looking forward to returning to real estate and spending more time with her granddaughter.

Gwen Freeman, a former Tulsa radio personality, has been appointed to take over as Election Board Secretary.

Former D.A. to Run for Congress

Apr 24, 2017
KWGS News

Former Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris announces he will be a candidate for 1st District Congress. The Republican’s announcement sounded a lot like a Sunday church service.

File photo

   

The former executive director of an Oklahoma charity for abused and neglected children has been sentenced to 10 months in federal prison after she embezzled more than $55,000 from the group.

Federal prosecutors say 48-year-old Edmond resident Traci Lorre Owens was sentenced Friday after a grand jury indicted her for allegedly embezzling money from Canadian County Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Owens was also ordered to pay back what she took from the charity and will be on three years of probation when she gets out of prison.

KWGS News

 

Two Tulsa sheriff's reserve deputies have returned to active duty after the agency began reforming the program and strengthened its training requirements.

The program's overhaul came after former reserve deputy Robert Bates fatally shot an unarmed man during a 2015 sting operation. Bates alleged he mistook his revolved for his Taser. He was later found guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

Records released after the incident showed many reserve deputies' files were missing training-hours and firearms qualification documents.

File Photo-Facebook

 

Authorities in eastern Oklahoma say a 6-year-old boy has died and his parents are still missing after the family's boat capsized on the Arkansas River over the weekend.

LeFlore County Undersheriff Kendall Morgan told reporters the boy died overnight at an Arkansas hospital following Sunday's accident.

A 4-year-old boy who washed up about a mile down the river and climbed out and onto an embankment was found by firefighters and remains hospitalized.

In the local news:

  • All eyes are on April's revenue figures from the state.
  • One man is dead and one is in custody near Keystone Lake.
  • You have until Friday to decide your favorite pedestrian bridge design for Tulsa.

NASA

 

Ten microfilm Bibles once launched hundreds of thousands of miles into space sit landlocked today inside an Oklahoma courthouse while a legal battle rages in two states over who is the rightful owner of the celestial keepsakes.

KWGS News

 

 Forecasters say severe storms packing large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes are possible throughout much of Oklahoma and the surrounding region by the end of the week.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman says the storm system could produce multiple rounds of severe weather on Friday and Saturday. Forecasters say thunderstorms are expected to develop Friday afternoon and sweep eastward across central Kansas and Oklahoma.

That line of storms could spawn tornadoes, large hail and damaging wind gusts as it tracks east.

File photo

 

 The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a 61-year-old Eucha man has died after his car ran off the road in Delaware County.

A preliminary report from the patrol says David Allen Jones was killed in the Saturday afternoon crash near the town of Jay in eastern Oklahoma.

The report says Jones was traveling west on State Highway 20 when his car ran off the road to the right, struck a culvert and overturned twice.

Troopers say Jones was ejected and then pinned by the vehicle for about 20 minutes as crews worked to free him from the wreckage.

File photo

 

A study estimates that the Cherokee Nation has a direct economic impact on the Oklahoma economy that's greater than $2 billion.

Economist Russell Evans conducted the study, which was commissioned by the tribe.

It found that direct or indirect employment by the Tahlequah-based tribe totals nearly 18,000 jobs in northeast Oklahoma alone. Those positions are estimated to support $785 million in salary and benefits.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.4 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 9:54 a.m. Saturday in Grant County.

Geologists say the earthquake's epicenter was about eight miles south-southeast of Medford in far northern Oklahoma. The USGS says the earthquake occurred at a depth of less than three miles.

No damage or injuries was immediately reported and geologists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

Kodak

A western Oklahoma manufacturing facility has announced plans to expand.

Gov. Mary Fallin joined officials of Kodak Friday in announcing a $15 million expansion of the imaging company's manufacturing facility in Weatherford.

The investment represents one of the company's largest capital investments since 2000. Kodak officials say the Weatherford plant was chosen because of its strong technical capabilities and existing skilled, tenured workforce.

KWGS Takes Home 1st Place Honors

Apr 23, 2017
KWGS News

The professional chapter of the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists presented KWGS with First Place Awards for radio News Broadcast and Talk Show/Interview program at its annual banquet Saturday evening in Stillwater.

Studio Tulsa with Richard Fisher, produced by Scott Gregory, was named the best interview program in the state. KWGS was also presented First Place honors for its local news cast during Morning Edition with John Durkee, Marshall Stewart and Matt Trotter.

U.S Army Corps of Engineers-Tulsa

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings and advisories following heavy rainfall across northeastern Oklahoma.

Forecasters in Tulsa issued flood warnings for the Illinois River near Tahlequah, Chewey and Watts. The river was forecast to rise above flood stage at each location and minor flooding is expected through Monday.

A Tulsa newspaper carrier has been wounded by gunfire while making deliveries on her route.

Tulsa police say they received reports of a shooting at 4:30 a.m. Saturday and that officers found a woman sitting in her car with two gunshot wounds to her chest. Officers say the woman was alert and was transported in stable condition to a Tulsa hospital.

Courtesy OCCA

The Environmental Protection Agency says it has narrowed the source of salt contamination in an Osage County creek to three nearby oil and natural gas injection wells.

The Tulsa World reports  the contamination was first reported in August 2016 when an oily sheen appeared on North Bird Creek on the Chapman Ranch in Osage County, a few miles from the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

The contaminated water would be deadly to cattle and horses. Ranch operators moved livestock about two miles away from the stream. Hundreds more were sold.

Former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon has settled a lawsuit filed by a woman he punched nearly three years ago, the parties said in a joint statement Friday.

The statement said the two spoke in person, and Amelia Molitor's lawsuit has been "amicably resolved and dismissed."

Mixon hopes to be selected in the NFL draft next week. He's one of the most talented running backs available, but he could drop in the draft because of the incident. He was not invited to the NFL combine, but he posted excellent numbers on his pro day.

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 10 this week to 857.

A year ago, 431 rigs were active.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 688 rigs sought oil and 167 explored for natural gas this week. Two were listed as miscellaneous.

Texas added six rigs and Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each gained one.

Oklahoma lost one rig.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah and West Virginia were unchanged.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Newly released emails from the office of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin reveal that she had asked a member of her legal staff to look into the manslaughter case of a former Tulsa reserve deputy as a favor for her sister-in-law.

The Tulsa World reports the governor's office released 14 pages of emails this week showing Fallin's discourse with sister-in-law Jane Vanfossen — a friend of the jailed officer Robert Bates' daughter — and Jennifer Chance, her then-deputy general counsel, over the case.

Animal House

Students who attended the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education's public hearing voiced their concerns about college affordability.

The Oklahoman reports the state's 25 public colleges and universities enacted tuition increases last year ranging from 3.7 percent to 12.9 percent after the higher education appropriation cut 16 percent.

The regents' meeting is held each spring before approving tuition and fees for each of the state's public colleges and universities.

Students told the regents of the struggles they're facing while trying to earn their degrees.

Twitter

Former Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell of Tulsa says he is running for lieutenant governor.

Pinnell said in a statement Friday that he's filed a statement of organization with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission and will be a candidate for the office in 2018.

Pinnell was chairman of the state GOP from 2010 until 2013, when he was named the Republican National Committee's National State Party Director.

Current Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, also a Republican, is term-limited and has said he's "strongly considering" running for governor in 2018.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

An Oklahoma woman has been convicted of burglary and four other charges after she slashed the corpse of her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend.

A Tulsa County jury deliberated about four hours before finding Shaynna Lauren Sims guilty of all five counts related to the mutilation of Tabatha Lynch's corpse in a casket at a Tulsa mortuary.

Lynch had died of natural causes on April 30, 2015, of natural causes at age 38.

Tulsa Police

Tulsa Police will conduct another DUI checkpoint this weekend downtown. It’s part of an on-going effort to get drunk and impaired drivers off the roadways. Officer Leland Ashley says motorists are warned ahead of time these enforcement efforts are coming, but the exact location isn’t publicized.

The checkpoint will be conducted downtown, no specific location is given, from 10pm tomorrow night until 3am Sunday morning

In the local news:

  • More heavy rain is expected today in the Tulsa Metro.
  • Educators discuss consolidation plan.
  • Murder charges are filed in deputy's death

  

An economist from the University of Oklahoma says the state isn't keeping up with the nation in producing the college-educated workforce.

Economist Robert Dauffenbach says Oklahoma ranks near the bottom for the percentage in adults who have an associate degree or higher when compared to other states across the U.S.

The Oklahoman reports Colorado is at the top of the list with 47 percent, while only 32 percent of Oklahoma adults age 25 or older have at least an associate degree.

Logan County

 

A man suspected of fatally shooting an Oklahoma deputy was charged Thursday with murder, and the district attorney later vowed she'll seek the death penalty against him because of the "particularly heinous, atrocious and cruel" nature of the crime.

Nathan LeForce, 45, was charged Thursday in Logan County with first-degree murder, larceny of a vehicle and armed robbery, court records show. Those records don't list an attorney for him, and he remains jailed.

KWGS News/State of Oklahoma

 

Democratic state Rep. Scott Inman announced Thursday he is running for Oklahoma governor next year after serving as the leader of the House Democratic caucus for the past seven years.

Inman said he plans to file paperwork to run for governor in 2018 and begin raising funds for a wide-open campaign that is expected to attract a crowded field. Two-term Republican governor Mary Fallin is term limited and cannot seek re-election.

Heavy Weather: Get Your Information Here

Apr 21, 2017

 

Here is your one stop location for information you need concerning our severe weather threat in Green Country.

Oklahoma Watch

A bill expected to net millions in revenue next year by expanding the definition of “noncompliant taxpayer” goes to the governor.

House Bill 2343 says the definition now applies when filings are missed on any tax but income for two out of 24 months. Currently, the definition only applies to missed sales tax filings and payments.

Sen. Roger Thompson said the change doesn't mean the Oklahoma Tax Commission will suddenly have broad powers to go after anyone in the state.

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