Local & Regional

Asliyah Alexander is Remembered

Jul 30, 2017
Matt Trotter / KWGS

Aaliyah Alexander is laid to rest. A memorial service was held for the five year old, who lost her battle with kidney cancer, on Saturday.

Over 200 people attended the  service at  north Tulsa's Harvest Time Outreach Ministries.

In June, the little girl  was sworn in as an honorary Tulsa Police officer. It was Aaliyah's  dream to grow-up and become a police officer.

Jeff Raymond-Oklahoma Watch

As the number of people waiting for developmental disabilities services has reached an all-time high, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services is considering abandoning the first-come, first-served approach to the developmental disabilities services waiting list.

Instead, it would prioritize the list according to need, meaning families who have waited for help for years could be moved back in line while others are shifted to the front.

Wikimedia

Members of the Oklahoma House plan to return to the state Capitol for a series of mid-summer budget meetings where Republicans and Democrats will use different strategies to find solutions to creating a stable state budget.

Democrats want contingency plans in place in case hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue approved by the Legislature last spring is invalidated by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Cherokees Announce Plans for Annual Holiday

Jul 29, 2017
Cherokee Nation Welcome Center

The Cherokee Nation will host the 65th Cherokee National Holiday this Labor Day weekend when more than 100,000 visitors travel to Tahlequah to experience the annual celebration of history, culture and art.

 

This year’s event is Sept. 1-3 and features more than 50 activities, including an intertribal powwow, parade, arts and crafts vendors, music and a variety of competitions.

 

State of Oklahoma

An ethics watchdog group has filed a complaint asking for an investigation into Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's frequent flights to his home state of Oklahoma at taxpayer expense.

The group American Oversight sent a letter Thursday to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel asking for an investigation into whether Pruitt violated federal rules by using government resources to travel to Oklahoma for "personal or political reasons."

KWGS Map

State investigators have identified a man whose body was found on the side of a highway in central Oklahoma as a native of Thailand who had been living in Florida.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said Friday that 41-year-old Thanakrit Thuetong had been living in the United States since 2012 and may have been driving along Interstate 40 to visit relatives in California.

OG&E

Strong winds snapped utility poles and downed trees in parts of central Oklahoma as thunderstorms brought damaging wind gusts and a slight respite from sweltering conditions.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says wind gusts of more than 85 mph were reported in Canadian County on Thursday, toppling power poles and downing trees. There are no reports of widespread damage or injuries.

Google Street View

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has requested oil producers stop injecting wastewater in seven well sites in northeast Oklahoma to halt saltwater contamination in the area.

The EPA's request comes nearly a year after the Bird Creek saltwater contamination first was reported.

EPA Region Six Administrator Sam Coleman says the agency's goal "is to make sure that anything injected stays in the formation in which it's injected." Coleman says brine contamination in the drainage is a long-standing problem.

Suspect in $100K Tulsa Heist Nabbed by Police

Jul 28, 2017
Tulsa Gold and Silver-FB

32-year-old Roy Parker almost got away. Tulsa Police say he was spotted just before five this morning coming out of the back door of the Tulsa Gold and Silver location near 41st and Sheridan. He had with him an estimated $100,000 worth of rare coins, cash, gold and jewelry.

He took off on foot. But police were faster. He was taken into custody. Police say it appears he had been in the business for several hours making his selections.

He apparently entered the business from the roof.

In the local news:

  • Emergency Teaching Certifications skyrocket in Oklahoma.
  • A Tulsa medical facility expands.
  • Tulsa's Lacy Pool is going to the dogs!

File photo

 

 The attorney for an Oklahoma couple denies allegations in a federal lawsuit that claims the two engaged in a human trafficking scheme.

Kevin Donelson said Thursday that Walter and Carolyn Schumacher of Clinton are "heartsick" about the lawsuit by three Filipino workers and believe the allegations will be proven false.

Wikipedia

 

Two utilities that supply power to customers in four states say they plan to buy what is being billed as the largest wind farm in the U.S. once the $4.5 billion project is completed in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

The Oklahoman reports power development company Invenergy LLC and General Electric Co. on Wednesday announced plans for the Wind Catcher farm. It will have 800 wind turbines and is expected to be finished in 2020.

Fatal Crash on I-44 in Tulsa

Jul 28, 2017
OHP-Facebook

One man is dead after an evening car crash on I-44 near the Peoria exit. A 61-year-old man was killed when he rolled his car.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says alcohol played a factor in the crash. The man was not wearing a seat belt.

A female passenger was taken to the hospital.

Lacy Park Pool Going to the Dogs

Jul 28, 2017
City of Tulsa

The last day of the summer swimming season at Tulsa Parks pools will be Aug. 11. After the pools close for people, dogs will get their chance to swim at the annual K-9 Splash events at Lacy Pool on Aug. 12 and 13.

Two sessions will be available each day. Session I will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and Session II will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Tickets are $5 for each dog and tickets must be purchased prior to the event. Four people can get in free with each dog. 

A "Turf Battle" at TU

Jul 28, 2017
TU Sports Information

 The removal of the turf at T.U's H.A. Chapman Stadium is underway.

FieldTurf’s newest product, Revolution 360 with Cool Play 3.0, will be the new stadium surface. The Revolution 360 fiber features optimal durability, resilience and feel. FieldTurf's exclusive and innovative Extruded Composite top dressing allows the CoolPlay system to deliver the same behavior and overall stability as FieldTurf's Elite system fields found in the world's most famous stadiums.

KWGS News File Photo

Oklahoma’s teacher shortage is not easing. The State Board of Education today approved double-the-number of emergency teaching certificates that it did this month last year. The problem comes about as local schools scramble to put a teacher in every classroom.

State School Superintendent Joy Hofmeister recommended 631 emergency certifications today. In July of last year number was 304. Today the board okayed 631 requests.               

KWGS News

At a time when cutbacks are hurting many medical facilities, a Tulsa psychiatric hospital is expanding.

Ground is broken for a new state-of-the-art patient care treatment center  at Parkside in Tulsa. Robert Farris is chairman of the campaign that raised $38-million for the new facility. He says at a time many hospitals are cutting back or curtailing some services, Parkside is doing just the opposite, stepping up and expanding to treat more patients.

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An Oklahoma sheriff who was indicted with five others in the death of an inmate remains on the job, but two other employees have been placed on administrative leave.

Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles tells the Enid News & Eagle that he's "here to work" following this week's unsealing of an indictment accusing him of second-degree manslaughter in last year's death of 58-year-old Anthony Huff.

File photo

 

The ACLU and other groups have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Oklahoma business owners engaged in a human trafficking scheme that lured workers from the Philippines promising good wages, but instead used them as cheap labor.

A complaint seeking class-action status filed Wednesday says three Filipino workers brought to Clinton, Oklahoma, about 80 miles (128 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City, paid thousands of dollars in recruiting fees to cover visa-related costs that should be incurred by sponsoring U.S. employers.

File photo

 

The Oklahoma Public Charter School Association is suing the state Board of Education over inequities in funding.

The Okahoman reports that the suit filed this month is requesting that "funding between all public schools be equalized to assure equal education opportunities."

Public schools are funded through several local, state and federal sources. Charter schools are mainly funded through state aid.

The association argues that charter schools are receiving hundreds of dollars less in state-issued funding than public schools.

In the local news:

  • Local groups vow to fight the President's transgender military  ban.
  • The TPS is still looking for teachers.
  • An old warehouse to become the Mother Road Market.

Pawhuska Schools

 

A former substitute teacher in Oklahoma who exposed herself to students when she did a cartwheel while wearing a long skirt but no underwear has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

Lacey Sponsler pleaded guilty Monday to assault after the charge was reduced from indecent exposure. She was given a two year suspended sentence and can't teach for two years. She will not have to register as a sex offender.

Sponsler declined comment. Defense attorney Nathan Milner says Sponsler believes the incident was "blown out of proportion" and is glad the case is over.

OEM

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says a federal disaster declaration has been approved for 16 counties affected by storms and tornadoes in mid-May.

Fallin said Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved declaration for Alfalfa, Beckham, Cherokee, Coal, Cotton, Delaware, Johnston, Le Flore, Murray, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Roger Mills and Washita counties.

PSO Seeks New Energy Idea

Jul 26, 2017
PSO

The Public Service Company of Oklahoma  today announced a project that will provide, what it says will be, significant cost savings to customers and further diversify the Company’s energy supply.

The Wind Catcher Energy Connection  project includes the nation’s largest wind energy facility and a dedicated generation tie-line to efficiently deliver the wind energy to PSO’s customers.  PSO and its sister company, Southwestern Electric Power Company, will partner on the $4.5 billion project with PSO’s share of the investment totaling $1.3 billion.

KWGS News

An old red brick warehouse on the southwest corner of 11th and South Lewis is about to get new life. The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation announced today plans to convert the old warehouse into the Mother Road Market.

The Mother Road Market will be a community food destination, allowing Tulsans and tourists alike to eat, sip, shop and enjoy Tulsa’s favorite neighborhood restaurants and brand new food concepts - all under one roof. The project will cost $5.5 million.

Muskogee Man Faces Numerous Charges

Jul 26, 2017
Muskogee Police

Muskogee Police says a man is facing a myriad of charges running the gambit from child pornography to drug dealing.

The police department says 51-year-old Corry Volz was arrested for possession of high-grade marijuana with the intent to distribute. He is also accused of possessing drug paraphernalia and drug proceeds. He was arrested at his home at 625 North K Street in Muskogee.

Officers say they also found child pornography on his cellular phone. The department says there could be additional arrests.

Wikimedia

 

Two Oklahoma Democrats who swept special legislative elections this month have been sworn into office.

Rep. Karen Gaddis was sworn in last week in the House and Sen. Michael Brooks was sworn in Tuesday in the Senate. Both replace Republicans who resigned.

Gaddis now represents House District 75, which includes parts of east Tulsa and north Broken Arrow. She replaces former Rep. Dan Kirby, who resigned this year after two former legislative assistants accused him of sexual harassment. Kirby has admitted he used poor judgment but denied harassing them.

KWGS News

With less than a month until the start of classes, the Tulsa Public School District is still looking for teachers. Job hopefuls attend a TPS career fair at Rogers High School. There are still about 60 teaching positions to fill, according to the District’s Cherie Crosby. She says applicants don’t need to have a current teaching certificate, they can help qualified applicants with obtaining an emergency certificate.

In the local news:

  • A cold front will knock down temps on Friday.
  • A B&B fails before the Tulsa Board of Adjustment.
  • Some instructors go on strike at Spartan

Slightly Cooler Air is Just Ahead

Jul 26, 2017
NWS-Graphic

You won’t need a heavy coat. You won’t even need a light jacket. But a cold front is on its way toward Tulsa.

As you can see in Friday’s weather map, a cold front will have moved through much of Oklahoma. That will bring us slightly cooler temperatures.

The high temperature will be down about 10 degrees. The high on Friday will around 90 degrees.  There is, however, only a slight chance of rain. The slightly cooler temps will stay with us through the weekend.

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