Local & Regional

State of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — She's been a judge, a state legislator, a state agency head, Oklahoma's lieutenant governor and her party's choice to serve as the state's chief executive.

Now, former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jari Askins may be facing her toughest challenge. Askins is overseeing implementation of a court-ordered plan to improve the state's foster care system to better protect the thousands of children in Oklahoma's child welfare system.

13-Year Old Shot in North Tulsa; 5 in Custody

Aug 22, 2015
KWGS News-File photo

A 13-year-old boy is hospitalized after being shot in the head late Friday afternoon. It happened in a neighborhood south of Pine and North Denver Avenue. The boy was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He underwent surgery late Friday night.

KWGS News file photo

OKMULGEE, Okla. (AP) — Leaders with the Muscogee Creek Nation are working to address an $18 million shortfall in the tribe's gaming budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

Principal Chief George Tiger addressed members of the tribe's National Council during an emergency meeting Thursday night. Tiger says he hopes the council takes the issue seriously because a budget must be approved before the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

FIle Photo

ADA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says a man on probation who disappeared after disabling his monitoring device has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a police chase through rural Pontotoc County.

Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins says 42-year-old Johnnie Lewis Hawkins the Second apparently shot himself in the head Friday after authorities disabled the stolen vehicle he was driving.

NSU Football Player Hurt in Bar Fight

Aug 22, 2015

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — Police say a football player from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma was among three people injured when a fight broke out at a Tahlequah nightclub.

Police Chief Nate King told the Tahlequah Daily Press that one of two people shot was an NSU football player. Another person was stabbed in the Friday morning fight at Club Effx.

None of the injuries was considered life-threatening.

Two people were in custody and were being questioned Friday. Officers say the suspects did not attend the 8,500-student university.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group seeking to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma has taken the first step toward putting the issue to a vote of the people in 2016.

Isaac Caviness with the group Green the Vote filed paperwork Friday with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's Office indicating their plans to have the question placed on the ballot.

Once the proposed language is approved, the group will have 90 days to gather about 124,000 signatures in order to qualify the state question.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A newly renovated Central Library will open in June, and if you need a tall, half-caff soy latte while you’re there, you’re in luck. A Starbucks will be on the ground floor.

"We will be the first public library in the nation to have a Starbucks in its building," said Tulsa City-County Library Chief Operating Officer Kim Johnson. "We really see this as an extension of our library service and enhancing the customer experience."

The coffeehouse will likely be open earlier and close later than the library, which will be a perk for patrons.


Tulsa City-County Library CEO Gary Shaffer is taking some time off.

He’ll be gone about three and a half months starting in September so he can complete his doctorate in library and information science. The library commission approved Shaffer’s request for a sabbatical, and Chair Judy Randle said it was a good move.

"We'll be very honored to be one of the few libraries in the country that has a CEO with a Ph.D., so we're looking forward to that," Randle said.

City of Tulsa

A recent compromise to use two-tenths of Tulsa’s upcoming Vision renewal on public safety may not be the final word.

A former state senator at this week's Vision public hearing urged city councilors to move ahead with a public safety funding package that would capture a total of three-tenths of a cent. James Williamson said citizens won’t care about economic development projects if they’re afraid of becoming crime victims.

File Photo


OWASSO, Okla. (AP) — A man wanted for the July death of a 10-month-old Owasso girl has been arrested in Kansas.

Owasso Police Chief Scott Chambless says the suspect was arrested Thursday in Hutchinson, Kansas. Court records do not show that formal charges have been filed.

Chambless says the infant was the daughter of the suspect's girlfriend. The child was taken to a hospital in Owasso on July 11 and transferred to a Tulsa hospital where she died on July 12.