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An Oklahoma Veterans Affairs hospital has placed a 90-day hold on admission referrals to an already struggling veterans center.

The Oklahoman reports that this is the second instance in less than six months that the Muskogee hospital has placed a hold on referrals to the Talihina Veterans Center.

Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs deputy director Doug Elliott says the center relies on referrals for about 60 or 70 percent of its new patients. Elliott says for every patient lost, the center loses $106 to $350 a day in revenues.

Children Found Wandering Tulsa Street

Apr 17, 2017
File photo-Tulsa Police

Two Tulsa preschoolers are very lucky to be alive. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Tulsa Police Department are investigating after the boys, aged two and three, were found wandering the streets of north Tulsa, dangerously close to the Tisdale Expressway.

Police say a motorists spotted the boys about 4:30 a.m. Monday and called police dispatch. The boys were taken  by EMSA to the St-Francis hospital for a medical review and were found to be find.

Oklahoma Education in Crisis

Apr 17, 2017

There is no way around it. When it comes to common education in Oklahoma we are no longer just spinning our wheels. This state is in reverse.

Shawn Hime is the head of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. He says the public schools have lost over $1 Billion in just the last few years. It appears more cuts will be on the way during the upcoming legislative session.               

Per-pupil: That amount is down over $220 with more cuts coming because of the state’s on-going fiscal crisis.

In the local news:

  • The education funding crisis deepens in Oklahoma.
  • Services are pending for Broken Arrow State Representative David Brumbaugh.
  • The tax filing deadline is rapidly approaching.

Tulsa Fire

Lightning may be responsible for an overnight house fire near Sapulpa. The fire department says the residents told them the home burst into flames after a loud boom about 2 a.m. Monday. A thunderstorm was in the area at the time.

While the home, near 96th Street South and Frankhoma Road, was destroyed, no one was injured.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

 

 The Oklahoma House speaker's office says state Rep. David Brumbaugh has died. He was 56.

Office spokesman Jason Sutton says in a statement that Brumbaugh's family confirmed he died Saturday evening. The cause of death was not immediately known.

The Republican from Broken Arrow was elected to the House in 2010, and currently served as the chairman of the House Republican Caucus.

According to the House website, Brumbaugh was an Army veteran and an ordained deacon.

KWGS News

  

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says a man is hospitalized in critical condition after being was shot by deputies in northeastern Oklahoma.

The OSBI says deputies were called to a home in Foyil Saturday night because of a domestic disturbance and found 42-year-old Shane Alexander Tresner outside the home and armed with a bow and arrow.

The agency says three deputies opened fire and struck Tresner several times after he refused to drop the weapon. The names of the deputies have not been released.

KWGS News Photo

 

An Oklahoma municipal court judge arrested for domestic abuse of his wife denies the allegation, and his wife also says she was never struck by the man.

Police say Muskogee Judge C. Bart Fite was arrested Friday after his wife — Margie Fite — complained to police following an argument with her husband. Police say officers saw signs of physical abuse on Margie Fite.

The couple told the Muskogee Phoenix (http://bit.ly/2oNxbe8) they argued and Bart Fite said he wanted a divorce and would seek to remove her from their home.

DOC

A 30-year-old Oklahoma death row inmate has become a newlywed after marrying a 41-year-old woman at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

The Oklahoman reports Gilbert Ray Postelle, who was convicted of murdering four people in Del City in 2005, wed Veronica Gale Ward at the prison in McAlester on March 16.

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The generosity of a retired dentist from Ardmore has prevented elimination of a 47-year-old tradition for Oklahoma science students — at least for a year.

Retired dentist James Young wrote a check on Thursday for $50,000 after learning that funding for the Oklahoma State Science and Engineering Fair would vanish in 2018.

The six regional and one statewide science and engineering fairs were among the casualties of the elimination of $38.2 million in public support for public school activities.

 Seven inmates at the North Fork Correctional Center in western Oklahoma have been injured in a disturbance at the prison.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says a group of inmates verbally confronted a second group of inmates in a cell pod at the Beckham County prison about 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The incident escalated and one group of inmates brandished homemade weapons during a physical confrontation. Officials say the disturbance was brought under control and the prison was locked down.

Eric Proctor

The Oklahoma House speaker's office says state Rep. David Brumbaugh of Broken Arrow, has died. He was 56.

Brumbaugh was a frequent guest on local segments of Morning Edition on KWGS. Brumbaugh, a Republican, often debated issues with Tulsa Democrat Eric Proctor. Despite, their political differences, the two men were close friends.

KWGS News File Photo

A federal judge on Saturday halted Arkansas' unprecedented plan to execute several inmates before the end of the month because one of its execution drugs is about to expire.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker granted a preliminary injunction requested by the inmates to block the executions. Arkansas was set to execute the first two of six inmates by lethal injection on Monday night. The state is expected to appeal the decision.

Taser Used to Capture Tulsa Drug Suspect

Apr 15, 2017

Tulsa Police used a taser to apprehend a drug suspect overnight. Police say a man in a car back into a Tulsa Police cruiser car early Saturday morning near Pine and North Harvard.

The man jumped out of the car and got into a fist-fight with the officer. That is when the man was tased.

Inside the man's vehicle, police found a gun and a large amount of methamphetamine.

KGGF Radio

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says preliminary information about the shooting deaths Thursday night of three people in Coffeyville indicates gunshots were exchanged between two of them.

Authorities said in a news release Friday that they do not believe any suspects remain at large.

Coffeyville police arriving at a residence found the three deceased individuals: 50-year-old Reginald Johnson of Coffeyville, 47-year-old Kimberly Bell of Coffeyville, and a 17-year-old male.

The KBI says it will be assisting Coffeyville police in the investigation.

'Grandma Witch' Prison Bound

Apr 15, 2017
File Photo

An Oklahoma City woman accused of terrorizing her 7-year-old granddaughter while dressed as a witch has been sentenced to life in prison.

The Oklahoman reports 51-year-old Geneva Robinson was sentenced Thursday to three consecutive life terms. She pleaded guilty to five counts of felony child abuse in February.

Court records say Robinson, who dressed as "Nelda" to scare her granddaughter, admitted to scratching the girl's neck, striking her face, hitting her hand with a rolling pin and cutting her hair while she slept.

Midwest City Police

A former police lieutenant of an Oklahoma City suburb has been sentenced to five years in prison after pawning items, including guns, belonging to the police department to fuel his gambling addiction.

The Oklahoman reports that 46-year-old Lacky Joe Harkins of Midwest City pleaded guilty Wednesday to 22 counts of making a false declaration of ownership to a pawnbroker, four counts of concealing stolen property and one count of embezzlement.

More Calls for Complete Shadow Mountain Review

Apr 15, 2017
Shadow Mountain

Governor Fallin is the latest to call for an internal investigation into Tulsa's Shadow Mountain Behavioral Centers. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services confirmed to KWGS, earlier this week, that nine cases of abuse and or neglect are being investigated at one or more of the seven licensed facilities in the  Tulsa area.

The centers treat Medicaid eligible juveniles with psychiatric issues.

A proposal for a $6,000 teacher pay raise over three years moved forward in the Oklahoma Senate this week.

That includes a $1,000 raise next year. How likely is it that will happen?

"Right now, not very. I think — still think — we end up with a framework to move forward, but we've got a lot of ground to make up in just the normal budget before we start spending more money," said Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz.

Schulz said lawmakers are passing the measure to keep a vehicle for teacher raises alive, but the language is likely to change.

File photo

Oklahoma House and Senate leaders have said this session will be all about the budget. Speaker Charles McCall says the real work is about to begin.

"Multiple vehicles have been introduced. We will start rolling language into those next week and moving those through committee to the floor of the House," McCall said. "I'm very excited about the timing of this. As I've said in the past, we are ahead of schedule."

Bills requiring only a simple majority will come first, and those requiring a three-fourths supermajority will be taken up later.

Oklahoma lawmakers continue work on a bill to allow out-of-state companies to sell health insurance in the state.

Senate Bill 478 will go to conference committee if it passes the house, as it was changed to apply only to individual coverage. Critics maintain out-of-state insurers will skimp on Oklahoma-mandated coverage. Rep. Lewis Moore addressed concerns the bill would be bad for families who just recently saw autism coverage become required by state law.

Three people are dead following a shooting in Coffeyville. Just after 10 last night Coffeyville Police were called to 208 S. Maple for a reported shooting. Upon arrival, officers found three people at the home. All three had been shot and were pronounced dead at the scene.

The deceased have been identified as Reginald L. Johnson, 50, of Coffeyville; Kimberly K. Bell, 47, of Coffeyville; and a 17-year-old juvenile. The name of the juvenile has not been released.

In the local news:

  • A science bill clears a house committee. Sponsor says it contains nothing "Wacko", other disagree.
  • Tulsa School officials urge patrons to lobby lawmakers for school funding.
  • U.S/Russian expert agrees relations are near an all time low.

Helmet Hut

 

Former Oklahoma cornerback Parrish Cobb was arrested for armed robbery Thursday morning.

A news release from the Norman Police Department on Thursday said Cobb and another suspect stole cash and drugs from a residence Wednesday before leaving on foot.

Cobb was arrested in January for aggravated robbery in Waco, Texas. A university spokesman said in an e-mail that Cobb "has not been enrolled at OU and has not been a member of the football team since January."

 

Children in the care of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs will no longer be exposed to pepper spray.

Members of the Board of Juvenile Affairs voted unanimously Wednesday to stop using the spray on children, The Oklahoman reported. The decision will be in effect by June 1.

"They've been traumatized by their parents, by their communities and a variety of things," said Terry Smith, deputy director of resident placement and support. "They come to us, and what they need in my opinion is a home life that they can trust and begin to develop relationships."

One Dead in Late Night Tulsa Crash

Apr 14, 2017
OHP

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a Tulsa man was killed in a late night crash in Interstate-244 in Tulsa. The OHP says 37-year-old Larry Miller lost control of his Infinity Q45 just before 11 p.m. last night. The patrol says the car left the roadway and crashed into a tree near the Memorial exit.

The Jaws of Life were used to extricate Miller from the car. He was trapped for about 20-minutes. 

He was taken to the St John Medical Center by EMSA, but was dead on arrival. 

KWGS News File Photo

 

An Oklahoma House staffer who sent an email saying high school pages could use a women's restroom reserved for House members and staff because "cross dressers" were in the state Capitol has issued a public apology.

House employee Karen Kipgen issued a statement Thursday apologizing for her "poor choice of words" and asking for forgiveness.

Kipgen used the term in an email this week to legislative assistants on the same day about 70 LGBTQ high school students from the Tulsa area were at the Capitol to lobby on behalf of HIV awareness and education funding.

A House committee advances a science education bill panned by critics as unnecessary and an opening for misinformation.

Rep. David Brumbaugh says the intent of Senate Bill 393 is to promote critical thinking by exposing students to a broader range of scientific data than what textbooks offer.

"Aristotle, even this far back, talked about that, that, you know, the mind that can entertain, uh, different thoughts without, you know, changing their mind but looking — reason obeys itself, OK?" Brumbaugh said.

Wikipedia

Add two to the number of fatalities from flu in Tulsa County this season. The latest report from the Oklahoma Department of Health shows a total of 22 deaths from flu in Tulsa. Oklahoma County has recorded 13 deaths. The Health Department’s Jamie Dukes says flu cases can be seen through May, so it isn’t too late to get a shot and take other precautions.

Statewide, 92 people have died of complications from flu so far this season. More than 530 have been hospitalized in Tulsa County alone.

USGS map

 

The U.S. Geological Survey reports two earthquakes have been recorded in north-central Oklahoma.

The USGS says a 3.6 magnitude quake was recorded at 5:36 a.m. Thursday about six miles west of Lamont and a 2.8 magnitude quake was recorded 56 minutes later in the same area, about 85 miles north of Oklahoma City.

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

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