Local & Regional

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The chairman of Oklahoma's House Appropriations and Budget Committee has a plan to fill a $215 million budget shortfall that includes raising the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack and allowing Indian casinos to offer roulette and dice games.

Republican Rep. Kevin Wallace said Tuesday his plan covers the shortfall and creates nearly $300 million in additional revenue annually.

The shortfall was created when the state Supreme Court ruled a $1.50 per pack "fee" on cigarettes was an unconstitutional tax.

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The chairman of Oklahoma's House Appropriations and Budget Committee has a plan to fill a $215 million budget shortfall that includes raising the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack and allowing Indian casinos to offer roulette and dice games.

Republican Rep. Kevin Wallace said Tuesday his plan covers the shortfall and creates nearly $300 million in additional revenue annually.

The shortfall was created when the state Supreme Court ruled a $1.50 per pack "fee" on cigarettes was an unconstitutional tax.

If you’re curious about what driving an electric vehicle is like, Wednesday is your chance.

Plug-ins like the BMW i3, Chevy Bolt and Volt, Nissan LEAF and Toyota Prius Prime will be available to look at and test drive at Guthrie Green from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of National Drive Electric Week. Event organizer Tulsa Area Clean Cities is working on securing a Tesla model, too.

Trip Advisor

The Tulsa Route 66 Commission proposed a study Tuesday to support economic development along the city’s stretch of the Mother Road.

The commission will recommend the City of Tulsa pay for an economic development study of all 24 miles of Route 66 through the city.

Commission member and City Councilor Blake Ewing said it’s important the study provide verifiable data, much like a downtown housing study did several years ago to spark residential development.

Somber Homecoming for Fallen Air Force Colonel

Sep 12, 2017
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It was over a half century ago that Colonel Martin Scott was shot down over Vietnam. Now, 51-years later his family is finally getting closure.

The Colonel's remains have been positively identified and are being brought back to Oklahoma for internment. A memorial service is planned in Claremore for a week from this Friday.

KWGS News

 

Legislative seats in Norman and Tulsa, sales tax initiatives for improvements in Oklahoma City and a sheriff's race in the state's largest county are among the items on special elections ballots on Tuesday.

In the local news:

  • The latest on Helmerich Park.
  • Tulsa County will try its first death penalty case in five years.
  • GOP voters in West Tulsa County select a candidate for the state senate today.

TU Top Ranked University in State

Sep 12, 2017
University of Tulsa-Sports Information

Excuse us while we brag just a little. The University of Tulsa--- the owner of Public Radio Tulsa-- is still Oklahoma’s Top Ranked University.

The poll released by US News and World report ranks T-U number 87 in the nation. The University of Oklahoma was the only other Oklahoma school in the Top 100. It was ranked 97.

U.S. News and World Report Said:

Homeless Hit-&-Run Suspect Charged With Murder

Sep 12, 2017
Tulsa County Booking Photo

1st degree murder charges are filed against Jeremy Thacker of Owasso. The 40-year-old is accused of deliberately running over street people last week. One man was killed.

The Tulsa County District Attorney's office filed the charges yesterday. The attacks took place over the Labor Day weekend in Tulsa. One attack was near 500 North Cheyenne. The other was near 15th and South Carthage. 

Tulsa County Booking Photo

The Tulsa County District Attorney will seek the death penalty in last March’s murder of 19-year-old Kelsey Tennant. She was killed at her 65th and South Mingo Apartment. in Tulsa. Her boyfriend was severely assaulted.

41-year-old Greg Epperson is charged. The D.A's office announced yesterday, in court filings that it would see to have Epperson executed if he is found guilty. It is the first death penalty case in Tulsa County since 2012.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The Oklahoma Supreme Court will not take up a lawsuit against the City of Tulsa that seeks to block the sale of Helmerich Park land.

The city asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court last month to assume jurisdiction over the case, which was originally filed in August 2015. That request came after Tulsa District Court Judge Jefferson Sellers denied the city's motion to dismiss the lawsuit in June.

City Attorney David O'Meilia argued the district court doesn't have subject-matter jurisdiction, but the case now goes back to Sellers' courtroom.

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Local high schools have been in session less than a month, but juniors and seniors should already be thinking a year or two ahead.

To start, that means filing a federal student aid application as soon as possible after it becomes available Oct. 1. Tulsa Regional Chamber Interim Executive Director of Workforce and Mosaic Kuma Roberts said it also means thinking about what they might want to do for a living.

PSO Crews Head to Florida

Sep 11, 2017
PSO

More than 300 Public Service Company of Oklahoma employees and contract personnel today left for Florida to help restore electric service to some of the millions who lost power during Hurricane Irma.  The contingent includes line crews, servicers, tree crews and support personnel.

Caravans of trucks left early this morning from PSO service centers in Tulsa, Lawton and McAlester.  They expect to make it as far as Birmingham, AL, tonight and arrive in the Tampa, FL area on Tuesday.

9-11 Remembered in Bixby Park

Sep 11, 2017
City of Bixby

Bixby Elementary Students get a hands-on less about 9-11.

On permanent display at the Washington Irving Park is a twisted steel beam. It was plucked from the rubble of one of the collapsed World Trade Center Towers.

Each year, elementary students come to the park to see the beam and get a history lesson about the terror attack.

Today, the students heard from the Bixby Fire Chief Brian Wood. He talked about the loss of life the New York Fire Department suffered in the towers’ collapse and those who have died since because of related illnesses.

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Jury selection is scheduled to begin for an Oklahoma man accused of beheading a co-worker at a Moore food plant.

Jury selection begins Monday for 33-year-old Alton Nolen, who is charged with first-degree murder in the September 2014 beheading of 54-year-old Colleen Hufford at Vaughan Foods in Moore. Nolen is also charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon for allegedly attempting to behead a second co-worker. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

 

DACA Rally Held in Tulsa

Sep 11, 2017
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“You can killed the Dream Act, but you can’t kill the dream.” Just one of the signs at a Tulsa rally in support of DACA.

It was held yesterday afternoon. Several hundred people took part in the immigration rally. Speeches were delivered in both Spanish and English. 

DACA is short for Deferred Action on Children Arrivals. The Obama-era executive order allowed children, illegal brought here, to register and stay here.  President Trump last week announced the order would be repealed unless Congress takes action with in the next six months.

In the Local News:

  • The Native American Cultural Center is still 4-years away from opening.
  • DACA Rally held in Tulsa.
  • Ultra-light crashes near the Tulsa/Wagoner County line.

In the Local News:

  • The Native American Cultural Center is still 4-years away from opening.
  • DACA Rally held in Tulsa.
  • Ultra-light crashes near the Tulsa/Wagoner County line.

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Police in Oklahoma City are investigating skeletal remains discovered on the city's southwest side.

Authorities say the remains were reported Sunday afternoon in a field near some elevated roadways. Investigators believe the remains are likely those of a human.

Homicide detectives and the Office of the State Medical Examiner were at the scene Sunday afternoon collecting evidence. Details of the investigation, including how long the remains have been in the field and who they may belong to, were not immediately available.

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says the state is sending an emergency response team to Florida to help local communities recover from the impact of Hurricane Irma.

Fallin says a 12-person operations support team is deploying to the Florida State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, Florida's capital. The team includes representatives of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, the state Department of Health and the cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

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Firefighters from the Oklahoma-based Osage Nation are headed to Montana to help fight wildfires.

Television station KOTV reports thousands of acres of land have been scorched by wildfires in Montana, which has experienced widespread drought.

The Osage Nation was recruited to help fight the wildfires by the Flathead Reservation in Montana. Firefighter Britton Redeagle says the Flathead Reservation sends firefighting teams to Oklahoma during the winter months when wildfires are common in the state.

Ultra-Light Crash Hospitalizes Pilot

Sep 11, 2017
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A pilot is hospitalized after crashing his ultra-light air craft between Bixby and Coweta on Sunday evening. The crash took place about dusk.

The pilot was trapped in the wreckage. However, emergency respoders say he was alert enough to call 911 for help.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene, just over the county line into Wagoner County. The NTSB and the FAA will conduct an investigation. Initially, it appears the aircraft ran out of gas.

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TU

D'Angelo Brewer rushed for a career-high 262 yards and three of Tulsa's eight rushing touchdowns to help the Golden Hurricane defeat Louisiana 66-42. Corey Taylor the Second punched in from the 4 midway through the second quarter to break a 17-17 tie and Tulsa led 38-23 by halftime. The Golden Hurricane did not punt in the first half. Louisiana scored twice in first eight minutes of the third quarter to come within 38-35.

TU

D'Angelo Brewer rushed for a career-high 262 yards and three of Tulsa's eight rushing touchdowns to help the Golden Hurricane defeat Louisiana 66-42. Corey Taylor the Second punched in from the 4 midway through the second quarter to break a 17-17 tie and Tulsa led 38-23 by halftime. The Golden Hurricane did not punt in the first half. Louisiana scored twice in first eight minutes of the third quarter to come within 38-35.

File photo

Four small earthquakes have been recorded across northern Oklahoma by the U.S. Geological Survey.

No injuries or damage are reported.

The strongest quakes were magnitude 3.1 and magnitude 3.0, both recorded about 5:30 p.m. Friday near Covington, about 55 miles  north of Oklahoma City.

A 2.7 magnitude quake was recorded at 6:34 a.m. Saturday near Hunter, 80 miles  north of Oklahoma City and a 2.5 magnitude quake struck at 12:33 a.m. Saturday near Aline, 89 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

TCSO

Authorities are searching for a man who set fire to and destroyed a Tulsa County Sheriff's Office patrol car.

The sheriff's office says the car was in the parking lot of the Tulsa Tech campus at Sand Springs when it was set on fire Friday.

The office says surveillance video shows a man on a bicycle approach the car. That man is suspected of breaking a car window and throwing something inside the vehicle before leaving.

Moments after the man left, the car caught fire and was destroyed.

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Two people wanted in the August shooting death of a man in southwest Oklahoma have been arrested in Oklahoma City.

Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy told reporters that 24-year-old Marielle Trey Smith and 22-year-old Ryan McKenzie Fields were arrested Thursday and returned to Jackson County.

Smith is jailed on $500,000 bond on a second-degree murder charge and Fields is being held on $250,000 on a charge of being an accessory after the fact.

Court records do not list an attorney for either suspect.

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The Cherokee Nation has started processing tribal citizen applications for the descendants of black slaves once owned by tribal members.

A federal court in Washington, D.C., ended a longstanding fight last week by ruling that descendants of the slaves, known as freedmen, have the right to tribal citizenship.

Tribal spokeswoman Amanda Clinton says the tribe has begun processing about 3,000 applications that had been on hold. She says the tribe's registration office in Oklahoma received about 75 visits and hundreds of phone calls after the ruling.

KWGS News File Photo

A former Oklahoma sheriff indicted last year in a bribery and extortion case has received a five-year deferred sentence after pleading guilty to a reduced charge.

Former Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor neglect of duty charge.

Colbert and a former sheriff's office captain were indicted by a multicounty grand jury in March 2016 on allegations that the former lawmen released two motorists who were under arrest in exchange for $10,000 seized during a 2014 traffic stop.

  Amazon, bursting out of its Seattle headquarters, is hunting for a second home. Must haves: A prime location, close to transit, with plenty of space to grow.

The company said Thursday it will spend more than $5 billion to build another headquarters in North America to house as many as 50,000 employees. It plans to also stay in its sprawling Seattle headquarters, with the new space "a full equal" to that, said founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

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