Local & Regional

Local & Regional
9:24 am
Sat December 6, 2014

In Oklahoma, Few Efforts to Measure Gambling Addiction

Calls to a national gambling helpline from Oklahoma show that most people struggling with gambling addiction cite slot machines as the main problem.
Credit Oklahoma Watch

In fiscal 2013, a total of 1,838 Oklahomans called a national hotline seeking help related to compulsive gambling – a nearly 60 percent spike over the previous year.

Then, in 2014, the number of calls fell sharply to 1,310, according to HeartLine, an Oklahoma City call center that fields calls from Oklahomans to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (800-522-4700).

The sudden drop perplexes Danielle Harris, coordinator for HeartLine.

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Local & Regional
9:15 am
Sat December 6, 2014

El Reno Family Charged in New Car Conspiracy

File photo of a man reviewing the sticker-price of a new car.
Credit file photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Four members of an El Reno family are facing federal conspiracy charges in an alleged scheme to defraud new car purchasers out of cash rebates.

U.S. Attorney Sanford Coats on Friday announced that a grand jury had indicted 60-year-old Richard Arnold, Senior his sons 28-year-old Richard Arnold the Second and 25-year-old Robert Arnold, and his wife, 55-year-old Robyn Arnold. All four were arrested Friday and released on bond after appearing before a federal judge.

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Local & Regional
9:05 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Gas Prices Below $2 a Gallon in Texas, Oklahoma

Credit KWGS News Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gas has dropped below $2 a gallon at a handful of stations in Oklahoma and Texas this week, a level that a price-watching group says is the lowest in the nation and a bargain that's proven irresistible to some long lines of drivers coming from miles away to fill up.

Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy DOT com said early Friday that three Oklahoma City stations were the only ones in the United States with sub-$2 gas. A Texas station also later dropped its price below that level.

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Local & Regional
9:04 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Hickman Names 4 to Oklahoma House Leadership Posts

Credit KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — House Speaker Jeff Hickman has announced several appointments to leadership positions in the Republican-controlled House.

Hickman on Friday named Representative Charles Ortega of Altus as his majority floor leader, the person responsible for reviewing bills and determining which measures will be heard on the floor. Ortega replaces Rep. Pam Peterson of Tulsa, who served in the post under former Speaker T.W. Shannon.

Hickman also named Representatives Jason Nelson of Oklahoma City and Lisa Billy of Lindsay to serve as assistant floor leaders.

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Local & Regional
8:55 am
Sat December 6, 2014

One Dead in RSU/Claremore Shooting

The Rogers State Campus at Claremore
Credit RSU

An off-campus domestic disturbance spilled over on the Rogers State University campus on Friday evening when a man entered campus and fired multiple shots before turning the gun on himself.

No students or employees were injured during the incident, which occurred after business hours and classes were not being held.

The gunman, who was not affiliated with the university, died at the scene. The name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of family.

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Local & Regional
4:21 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Former Councilor Suggests Jazz Hall of Fame for Train Depot

A former city councilor suggests using a downtown landmark as a passenger rail depot.

Rail committee chair Rick Westcott said the Jazz Hall of Fame is at a great spot, though the city would have to help a school using space there to relocate.

"Use the jazz hall to help the train, use the train to help the jazz hall," Westcott said. "Let them cooperate with each other but not hurt the jazz hall, and also not hurt the school."

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Local & Regional
4:08 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

"Fourth Penny" Sales Tax for Tulsa?

Support for a “fourth penny” sales tax grows — slightly — among Tulsa city councilors.

Jack Henderson is usually the city councilor pushing for a tax increase, often using the catchphrase, “Give me a penny and I’ll do plenty.” Thursday, discussion on Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s public safety funding proposal turned to sales taxes, and it turns out another councilor is seeing things Henderson’s way.

"I personally support an operations budget increase," said Councilor Blake Ewing. "I support a tax increase for operations funding."

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Local & Regional
11:57 am
Fri December 5, 2014

An Official Announcement Is Made on a Planned Outlet Mall in West Tulsa

Illustrations show the proposed look for a new Tulsa Outlet Mall.
Credit KWGS News

Developers of one of the three outlet malls planned for Tulsa announce some details. Tulsa Premium Outlets is the only one of the three being built on the west side, at Highway 75 and 61st Street. Simon, the developer of Woodland Hills Mall, is behind this project. Company Exec Mark Silvestri says shops will be up-scale, but he isn’t ready to name any prospects yet. The 400-thousand square foot shopping mall will be built in two phases.

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Local & Regional
11:57 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Former Arrow CEO Arraigned

A file photo of an Arrow truck at a Tulsa auction.
Credit KWGS News File Photo

James Douglas Pielsticker, former Chief Executive Officer and President of Arrow Trucking Company, was arraigned today in U.S. District Court in Dallas, Texas, on bank fraud and tax fraud charges stemming from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations. Jonathan Leland Moore, former Chief Financial Officer of Arrow Trucking Company, previously waived indictment and pleaded guilty on December 4, 2014, to an one-count information charging him with conspiring to commit both bank fraud and tax fraud.

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Local & Regional
11:26 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Oklahoma Colleges Awarding More STEM Degrees

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Officials say Oklahoma public colleges are awarding more science and math related degrees.

The Oklahoman reports more than 6,100 degrees in the STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — were conferred in the last academic year. It's an increase of almost 4 percent from the previous year.

Tony Hutchison of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education said at a Thursday meeting that STEM degrees have increased by 28 percent over the last five years.

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