Local & Regional

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Music industry and Oklahoma officials are celebrating a benchmark linked to the film version of the famous musical bearing the state's name.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday proclaimed a weeklong observance honoring the 60th anniversary of the "Oklahoma!" soundtrack reaching gold status on July 8, 1958. It was the first album the Recording Industry Association of America certified for shipping 500,000 copies. The movie version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical starred Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, who both featured on the soundtrack.

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) — One of the last surviving eyewitnesses to the Tulsa Race Riot still recalls the glow of a massive fire that lit the horizon as a community known as "Black Wall Street" burned.

Wavel Ashbaugh, who turned 108 Sunday, was 11 when her Oklahoma hometown was ripped apart in 1921 by some of the worst racial violence in U.S. history. The Tulsa World reports Ashbaugh watched her mother help a black husband and wife hide from National Guard troops for safety.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Public health advocates expect more Oklahoma residents to try quitting smoking as they face the state's cigarette tax increase that began this month.

As many as 18,700 smokers in Oklahoma are expected to try quitting as they begin to pay an extra dollar in taxes on each pack of cigarettes or cigarillos, the Oklahoman reported . The increase brings the state's total cigarette tax to $2.03 per pack, moving Oklahoma from the 35th-highest state to 15th in tobacco taxes.

In Tuesday's news:

  • The Oklahoma State Medical Association urges the state health department to adopt strict medical marijuana rules.
  • The Cox Business Center's Vision-funded renovation begins.
  • More heat is on the way to Green Country.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group of medical professionals that opposed a medical marijuana state question approved by voters last month is now proposing strict new guidelines, including a ban on smoking the drug and a limit on the number of places where it is sold.

Representatives for doctors, hospitals and pharmacists outlined their concerns Monday, one day before the state Board of Health considers emergency rules for the new medical marijuana industry in Oklahoma.

The $55 million renovation of the Cox Business Center begins, marking the end of Tulsa’s convention center arena.

It’s being turned into a 41,000-square foot ballroom to boost the meeting space that's available. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said the arena holds a lot of memories for a lot of people, including a WWF wrestling event he attended as a kid.

"Ted DiBiase jumps out of the ring and grabs my dad’s metal chair and jumps in the ring and hits Killer Khan with it, and that was the most exciting event of my entire childhood. And it happened right here," Bynum said.

Copyright-Glock Talk

HARTSHORNE, Okla. (AP) — A school in eastern Oklahoma has added a security measure allowing staff to carry firearms during school and at events.

The McAlester News-Capital reports that the Hartshorne Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted last month to allow personnel to carry guns so long as they're certified by the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training.

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Kids 6 weeks through 18 years old can get all the immunizations they need for child care or school at mobile clinics this week, free of charge.

"Any immunizations that are recommended or required for school or childcare, we have on the Caring Vans and we’re happy to provide it," said Oklahoma Caring Foundation Program Coordinator Ivy Griffey.

Monday's top stories:

  • The Oklahoma State Board of Health considers proposed medical marijuana rules this week.
  • Interest in Oklahoma's 2018 elections is expected to continue through November.
  • Oklahoma is seeing more big earthquakes but fewer overall.

St-Gregory's

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) — Thousands of rare and historical books from a now-closed university in Oklahoma will be offered at auction on Thursday.

The Oklahoman reports the books from the library at St. Gregory's University include centuries-old religious texts stored in the school's Treasure Room.

Auctioneer Louis Dakil says about 3,000 historical books and documents dating from the 1400s to the 1900s are included in the sale in Shawnee.

NPR

Advocates for women in Oklahoma say a recent focus on untested rape kits in the state shouldn't deter anyone from getting examined.

The Oklahoma Attorney General's Office tallied more than 7,000 rape kits that law enforcement agencies had not sent for laboratory exams. The Oklahoman reports some of the kits date as far back as 1980.

YWCA Oklahoma City staffer Karla Docter says women who have been assaulted should still come forward to be tested and not be discouraged by the backlog. She says reporting can be the first step toward healing.

Oklahoma's 4.0 earthquakes are up significantly this year, but the overall rate of earthquakes is declining.

Oklahoma has had six quakes of at least magnitude 4.0 halfway through this year, which is one more than all of last year. But the overall rate of earthquakes has declined, with 96 quakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater through June 30, compared with 144 at this point last year and 302 by the end of 2017, the Tulsa World reported. A magnitude 4.6 in April near Perry was the 12th largest in state history.

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Activists in Oklahoma are looking to entrench the right to use marijuana in the state's constitution by promoting a pair of ballot measures.

The first state question would classify marijuana as an "herbal drug" and amend the Oklahoma Constitution. The other initiative says a person 21 years or older can possess or consume up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use. Both were filed in April.

EPA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Taking over from an ambitious predecessor known for seeking out the rich, powerful and conservative, the Environmental Protection Agency's newly named acting chief has promised to reach out to anxious staffers throughout the demoralized agency and to lawmakers of both political parties.

Carmelo Anthony has played his last game for the Oklahoma City Thunder, barring a massive change of plans.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday that Anthony and the Thunder have mutually decided that he will not be on the team next season, though it remains unclear how that departure will actually happen. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no buyout, trade or waiving has been executed.

KWGS News

Get ready for more construction work on a well-traveled section of Tulsa highway.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has awarded a $25 million contract for another major project on the Inner Dispersal Loop.

"It’s going to replace all of the pavement on the south leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop from the ground up and also rehabilitate five different bridges on the south and east legs of the IDL," said ODOT's Kenna Mitchell.

Work will likely start this fall and last roughly a year. Mitchell says the south leg's pavement has been the subject of many complaints.

NIH

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — Cherokee Nation officials in Oklahoma say more than 180 patients affected by a tribal hospital nurse improperly reusing syringes have been notified they can receive free blood tests and that no one has tested positive for HIV or hepatitis.

So far, 127 of the patients have been tested. Tribal officials said Thursday it's unclear whether the rest will get tested.

Experts have said the chance of infection is remote. The hospital CEO said patients were never directly in contact with a needle.

Fatal Home Invasion in South Tulsa

Jul 6, 2018
Tulsa Police

Tulsa Police are investigating a fatal home invasion near 51st and South Sheridan. Police say a 42-year-old man was shot and killed when he tried to break into the home of his ex-girlfriend in the 6800 block of East 50th.

Police say the woman heard a noise, grabbed her gun and when the man can into the house she shot it. He was dead at the scene. The woman reportedly told authorities that the man had a history of stalking her. 

In the local news:

  • Former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt resigns at federal EPA Chief.
  • A Tulsa Levee study is approved.
  • A primary recount is called off.

Recount Called Off

Jul 6, 2018

Republican Nick Mahoney has withdrawn his request for a recount of the votes in last month’s primary in State House District number 12. He lost to incumbent Kevin McDugle by only a hand full of votes.

Mahoney also alleged voter irregularities. That allegation was also withdrawn. The recount had been set for today.   

District 12 includes portions of Broken Arrow, Coweta and Porter in Wagoner County. 

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Millions of dollars in additional federal funding flow into Green Country to help shore up waterways.

It's coming from $17 billion in supplemental funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to tackle disaster recovery projects. There will be a $3 million study of the crumbling levee system along the Arkansas River in Tulsa.

Tulsa Levee Commissioner Todd Kilpatrick talked in 2016 about what that study will accomplish.

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Oklahoma authorities have captured an inmate who had escaped from a state prison.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says 32-year-old Markus Perry was apprehended Thursday afternoon in a wooded area just northwest of the Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Taft.

Perry had escaped earlier in the day. He was returned to the prison in East Oklahoma Thursday night.

State troopers, members of the Muskogee Creek Nation Lighthorse Tribal Police and the Muskogee County Sheriff's Office helped in the search.

EPA

 

 Scott Pruitt's tenure as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency ended with his resignation, but political experts in his home state of Oklahoma say that he could continue his career in public office.

The path could lead him back to Washington.

Pruitt, a former Oklahoma state senator and two-term Republican attorney general, resigned suddenly Thursday amid ethics investigations, including ones examining his lavish spending on first-class airline seats and a $43,000 soundproof booth for making private phone calls.

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Compared to other states, Oklahoma isn’t very tough on speeders and reckless drivers.

In fact, just Texas is easier on them, according to a WalletHub analysis of state laws and other information.

Oklahoma’s maximum fines for reckless driving convictions lag behind other states’. Several states also have a mandatory license suspension of one to three months for reckless driving.

A group backing medical marijuana in Oklahoma is trying to sell lawmakers on a special session to implement State Question 788.

New Health Solutions Oklahoma Director Bud Scott said there is a wide variety of issues to address in statute, and the short timeline for implementing SQ788 puts a lot of pressure on the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which is expected to vote on medical marijuana rules next week.

Tulsa Police

 

Police say a 15-year-old girl was shot in the chest in a drive-by shooting as she left a friend's home in Tulsa about three this morning.  The shooting took place near 56th Street and North Garrison. 

Police say the girl was shot once early Thursday morning.

Sgt. Brandon Smith says the first officer to arrive gave the girl first aid until paramedics arrived to take her to a hospital. He says she's been stabilized.

KWGS News File Photo

The state health board will take up medical marijuana regulations next week. However, it will be longer before the city of Tulsa gets its zoning codes redefined to include medical marijuana dispensaries.

Mayor G.T. Bynum says the city will regulate where such facilities can operate. His staff is reviewing what other cities have done. He says there is no clear-cut direction. Some cities have classified the dispensaries as drug stores while others consider them equal to liquor stores. Where the facilities can operate will depend on Tulsa's classification.

Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma State Department of Education is making moves to bolster school safety after state board members came away from a meeting dissatisfied with current plans.

State law says schools must conduct four security drills a year to prepare for threats like an active shooter. Each must be at a different time of day and schools can’t hold more than two per semester, but there are no further requirements.

In the local news:

  • The state seeks a grant to fight school violence.
  • Two people are rescued at Oologah Lake.
  • Out after curfew, a Tulsa teen is shot early this morning.

2 Dead in Turnpike Crash

Jul 5, 2018
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Two women are dead in a rear-ending crash on the Muskogee Turnpike.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol believes the women may have been driving too slow, or even stopped,  in the left lane when their car was  hit by a pick-up truck yesterday.

The minumun speed limit on the turnpike is 50 mph.

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