Local & Regional

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma custom home builder has been sentenced to three years in a federal prison in connection with an interstate theft ring.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that 45-year-old Dennis Lee pleaded guilty in November to possession of stolen property that crossed a state boundary and possession of a firearm after a felony conviction.

Friday's top stories:

  • Tulsa Police release body cam footage of the July 3 officer-involved shooting at a midtown QuikTrip.
  • The man accused of bombing the Air Force recruiting office in Bixby is still waiting for his day in court.
  • Tulsa City Council postpones a vote on changing driveway width regulations in the zoning code.

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Tulsa Police have released the name of the city's 20th homicide victim of 2018 and declared a death last month to be the 21st.

Anthony Porchia, 47, is the man who broke into his ex-girlfriend's house near 51st and Sheridan las week and was killed in a shooting police have deemed justified. The woman, however, did not shoot Porchia. Police say when the woman and her friend were confronted with inconsistences, they revealed that they originally lied about who shot Porchia.

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State athletics will start selling beer at its venues this fall.

The school made the announcement Thursday in a news release.

Oklahoma State's concessions partner, Sodexo, will administer all beer sales at sporting events following a successful pilot program at Oklahoma State's baseball and softball games during the spring.


A former U.S. Postal Service worker has been sentenced to a five-month prison term for her part in a scheme that involved stealing marijuana from packages at a mail sorting facility in Oklahoma.

Laura Mae Campbell, 47, was sentenced Wednesday.

Police records indicate that the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General received a tip last year that employees were taking drugs from packages at the Tulsa center. The complaint alleged Campbell and her co-worker, Derek Miller, were involved.

Carol Durkee

The arraignment of a man accused of bombing an Oklahoma military recruiting station has been postponed over concerns he hasn't received correct medical treatment in custody.

Federal Magistrate Frank McCarthy delayed Benjamin Roden's arraignment and competency hearing on Wednesday after his attorney said Tulsa County jail officials weren't following his doctor's medication orders.

A pipe bomb exploded July 2017 in front of an unoccupied Air Force recruiting station near Tulsa. Roden, 29, was indicted and determined incompetent to stand trial.

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A proposal for wider driveways for some Tulsa homes is on hold for a couple weeks.

City councilors are postponing a vote on the zoning code change, requested by a builders association, that would allow driveways up to 30 feet wide at the curb. As things stand now the limits are 20 feet in the right of way and 30 feet on the actual lot.

"If they want more than that, then, at this point in time, it’s a special exception. So, it goes to the Board of Adjustment," Miller said.


A Tulsa attorney up for a federal judgeship appeared on Capitol Hill this week.

John O’Connor visited the Senate Judiciary Committee for a hearing on his nomination to be a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of Oklahoma.

O’Connor said the judicial system depends on the honesty of the bench.

"When you can rely on the fact that there is someone you can go to for a remedy and that that person will be honest in the first instance and diligent and impartial, that is a backbone of justice," O'Connor said.

U-S Forest Service

You may camp at Cedar Lake, but no boating or swimming for now. The swim beaches at the popular southeastern Oklahoma lake have been closed as well as the boat ramp due to an outbreak of blue-green algae. U-S Forest Service Spokeswoman C.J. Norvell says the algae can be dangerous if you get in it, but not a health risk if you stay out of it.

Tulsa Police video

The July 3 police shooting at the 49th Street and Harvard Avenue QuikTrip was captured on both Tulsa Police officers’ body cameras.

Warning: Some viewers may find the video disturbing.

Tulsa Police are looking into a string of violent crimes that happened at an east Tulsa apartment complex, including two armed robberies apparently in the span of about 10 minutes.

Police first responded to the Sierra Pointe Apartments in the 1400 block of south 107th East Avenue around 11:30 p.m. for a stabbing. Police said the victim was in an altercation with her boyfriend's new girlfriend. When the couple came back to fight and she met them outside, the victim said the other woman stabbed her.

Groups supporting medical marijuana will go to the courts to fight rules tweaked and adopted by the Oklahoma State Board of Health and signed by Gov. Mary Fallin this week.

"We have a law. We don't need any more laws done. We have a proper law that 57 percent — over 500,ooo of us — just approved. So, we don't need to change the law, but we do need to change what happened," said Chip Paul with Oklahomans for Health. "And, again, we all live in a republic, by gosh, and we got screwed, and we're not going to take it. We're not going to take it."

Thursday's top stories:

  • Gov. Mary Fallin signs medical marijuana rules amended and approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Health, and medical marijuana groups promise legal action.
  • A City of Tulsa task force on hunger kicks around a plan to encourage grocery stores with a stormwater fee incentive.

Governor Fallin

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday signed into place strict emergency rules for medical marijuana that pot advocates say are intentionally aimed at delaying the voter-approved use of medicinal cannabis.

The term-limited Republican governor signed the rules just one day after her appointees on the state's Board of Health adopted them at an emergency meeting after last-minute changes to ban the sale of smokable marijuana and require a pharmacist at every pot dispensary.

James Pratt / Travel OK

HINTON, Okla. (AP) — A town west of Oklahoma City is hoping to take over operating a state park that may face closure.

The Journal Record reports that Hinton officials have submitted a proposal to operate or have another entity operate the Red Rock Canyon State Park. The state and town already have a management agreement that allows Oklahoma to still own the park.

Google Street View

MIAMI, Okla. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a fire that gutted a northeast Oklahoma shoe store that's run by a 103-year-old woman.

The fire broke out early Tuesday at Ander's Shoe Store in downtown Miami, about 90 miles northeast of Tulsa. Fire Chief Robert Wright tells the Miami News-Record that the blaze appears to be suspicious and an investigation is underway.

Authorities say the store had been burglarized recently and they're working to determine if the events are linked.

A city task force on hunger is in the early stages of coming up with a stormwater fee incentive to encourage grocery stores in underserved areas of Tulsa.

The City of Tulsa has taken a look at how much grocers generally pay, which is calculated based on how much impervious surface area they have — basically, how big the parking lot is. The typical range is $180 to $600 a month.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The 2018 Woody Guthrie Prize goes to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member John Mellencamp, and he’ll visit Tulsa next month to accept it.

"When the center opened five years ago, one of our initiatives was to establish an annual award to recognize those artists who best exemplify the spirit and life work of Woody Guthrie by speaking for the less fortunate through music, film, literature, dance or other art forms and serving as a positive force for social change in America," said Woody Guthrie Center Executive Director Deana McCloud.

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This weekend will see the hottest temperatures of the year in the Tulsa area. Highs are expected to be 100, with a heat index well into triple digits. Adam Paluka with EMSA reminds people to have a plan to deal with the heat. He says the most important thing is to pre-hydrate…that means start drinking water well before you go outside to get your body ready to deal with the heat.

When outside, continue drinking water. Also, take frequent breaks in a shady area, wear light colored loose clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your head and face.

Wednesday's top stories:

  • The Oklahoma State Board of Health approves proposed medical marijuana rules with a few changes.
  • Earthquakes might be taking a toll on Oklahomans' mental health.
  • Oklahoma's U.S. senators call for a "swift up-or-down vote" on President Trump's second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Karen Thompson / Innocence Project

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma man who spent more than 30 years in prison for rape in southeastern Oklahoma is free after the Innocence Project presented DNA evidence it said excluded him from the crime.

Court records show 56-year-old Perry Lott was released Monday.

Lott was sentenced in 1988 to more than 200 years for rape, robbery, burglary and making a bomb threat related to the 1987 attack on a woman at her home in Ada, about 65 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.

Michael Hampton / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

INDIAHOMA, Okla. (AP) — An advocacy group for southwest Oklahoma's Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is asking visitors to be vigilant looking out for vandals.

TV station KSWO reports spray-painted graffiti has shown up on trees in an area known as the Parallel Forest.

Friends of the Wichitas volunteer Robert Glass says he and others will use power washers and paint remover to clean pentagrams, upside down crosses and 6-6-6 drawings from the trees. Glass said the group will work as delicately to prevent further damage.

ABC Birds.org

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A grouse that has been the focus of an ongoing legal battle over whether it warrants federal protection has seen its numbers increase by nearly 30 percent over the past year.

Officials say aerial surveys for the lesser-prairie chicken in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas show an overall upward population trend over the last six years.

More favorable weather patterns this past year contributed to apparent increases in some areas where the birds are found.

Tulsa's first look at the long-awaited Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture will be Monday.

Museum officials plan to unveil a rendering of the building, along with planned hours and their groundbreaking schedule.

We've talked about it as a collision of cultures and really a crossroads of creativity," said Jeff Moore, the museum's executive director. "We wanted all of that to flavor the design for the building, that local work ethic, the state motto of 'labor conquers all.' That will be reflected in the rendering we reveal."

Tulsa Airports

A Washington state man accused of screaming on a flight and causing the pilot to make an emergency landing in Oklahoma has pleaded guilty to a federal assault charge.

Federal prosecutors in Tulsa say 29-year-old Bolutife Olorunda of Vancouver, Washington, pleaded guilty Tuesday and will pay Delta Airlines $9,118 for the cost of diverting the aircraft.

Laurie Avocado

The Oklahoma State Board of Health approved rules for medical marijuana on Tuesday, making one big change.

On a 5–4 vote, members passed an amendment making pills, oils, topical creams, tinctures and liquids the only forms medical marijuana may be dispensed in. In other words, no smoking it; the rules specifically prohibit dispensing marijuana in flower, dry leaf or plant form.

Board member Charles Skillings suggested the change.

"I don’t think we’re protecting the public that doesn’t smoke. In fact, I think we’re imposing a hazard on them," Skillings said.

Cleveland County Detention Center

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A sentencing date has been set for a former Oklahoma state senator who pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking.

Court documents show 36-year-old Ralph Shortey will be sentenced Sept. 5 in federal court in Oklahoma City.

Shortey pleaded guilty in November in exchange for prosecutors dismissing three similar charges. He faces 10 years to life in prison.

Eric Draper / White House

Oklahoma's U.S. senators are praising President Donald Trump's pick to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and calling for a swift vote.

In a statement, Sen. Jim Inhofe said Judge Brett Kavanaugh is respected and well-qualified.

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Earthquakes may be causing Oklahomans’ mental health to suffer.

"From 2010 to 2017, it looked like after there were fault earthquakes — earthquakes larger than or equal to magnitude 4.0 — in the state of Oklahoma, people were searching about anxiety more often on Google compared to times there weren’t these earthquakes," said Joan Casey, a researcher at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health.

BOK Center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Fighting Irish and country music will come together on the gridiron, with Garth Brooks announcing plans to play the first-ever music concert at Notre Dame's football stadium.

The country superstar joined famed former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz during a press conference Monday in Nashville, Tennessee.

Brooks says a date hasn't been set because organizers are waiting on the football team's schedule to be finalized.