Local & Regional

Abducted Teen Found Safe. Suspect Arrested.

May 9, 2018
KWGS News

In less than three hours, Tulsa police are able to track down and recover safely an abducted teenager and arrest a suspect. Corporal Brandon Disney says 16-year-old Desi Hunt was taken at a school bus stop near 31st and Mingo by 20-year-old Tony George. He is described as an ex-boyfriend, who was told to leave the girl alone.

Using air support, the fugitive warrant squad, and patrol officers, police were able to track down and arrest George just miles away near 25th and Sheridan. Hunt was shaken, but otherwise unharmed.

In the local news:

  • The roof collapses on a Sapulpa Church.
  • The Bever trial goes to the jury today.
  • Muskogee names a new school superintendent.

KWGS News File Photo

 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday backed a state requirement that voters provide a photo ID at the polls, the latest decision in a nationwide battle between voting rights advocates who say the laws are aimed at suppressing turnout and conservatives who say the protections are needed to prevent voter fraud.

The court upheld a lower court ruling 8 to 0 with one justice recusing.

Former BA Super Gets New Job

May 9, 2018
File photo

Former Broken Arrow School Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall has a new job. He was named as the new school superintendent at Muskogee. The Muskogee School Board made the announcement last night.

Mendenhall served as B.A.’s superintendent for six years. He left suddenly, under somewhat mysterious circumstances, in late 2016. 

State Impact

 

Oklahoma oil and natural gas regulators have instructed the operators of 23 wastewater disposal wells to reduce their disposal volumes due to recent earthquakes in Garfield County.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission issued the directive Tuesday in response to earthquake activity around Covington and Douglas, located 65 miles north of Oklahoma City.

The commission says average daily volumes in wells within 10 miles of the earthquake activity are being reduced by 20 percent. The total daily average reduction is 11,226 barrels a day.

KWGS News photo

 

Defense attorneys have questioned their final witness in the trial of the younger of two Oklahoma brothers accused of fatally stabbing their parents and three siblings.

The defense finished Tuesday in the trial of 19-year-old Michael Bever. Court officials say closing arguments will be presented to Bever's 12-member jury on Wednesday before jurors begin deliberations in the case.

Bever is charged with five counts of first-degree murder and one count of assault and battery with intent to kill for his role in the July 2015 stabbings.

File photo

Defense attorneys have questioned their final witness in the trial of the younger of two Oklahoma brothers accused of fatally stabbing their parents and three siblings.

The defense finished Tuesday in the trial of 19-year-old Michael Bever. Court officials say closing arguments will be presented to Bever's 12-member jury on Wednesday before jurors begin deliberations in the case.

Bever is charged with five counts of first-degree murder and one count of assault and battery with intent to kill for his role in the July 2015 stabbings.

Trip Advisor

With its first of 15 annual funding allocations coming July 1, the Tulsa Route 66 Commission is finalizing its budget.

While the commission has been meeting since August 2016, its $262,500 in annual Vision sales tax funding doesn't start until fiscal year 2019.

"There are opportunities for marketing in various forms, beautification, actually marking the route, building improvements. I think that we’re doing a good job of being public stewards of these dollars and really crafting a plan that I think will be effective," said Tulsa Route 66 Commission Chairman Ed Sharrer.

Calvary Baptist

And the walls came tumbling down… at least the roof anyway. 

The roof over the sanctuary at the Calvary Baptist Church in Sapulpa suddenly collapsed on Monday. Pastor Scott Gordon says rafters and insulation now fill his worship center. He still praises God that this happened when no one was inside the sanctuary. He says the day before the sanctuary was filled with the faithful.            

What is next? The Pastor says the church will rebuild. The sanctuary was less than 20-years old.

One Dead in North Side Daylight Drive By

May 8, 2018
Tulsa Police

Tulsa Police homicide detectives are investigating a fatal drive by shooting in north Tulsa. The shooting took place about 10 a.m. in a neighborhood in the 3200 block of North Garrison.

It appears people in a truck, or possibly an SUV, deliberately targeted the driver of a passenger car.  Shots were fired striking the victim. The car went out of control and crashed in a front yard.

Homicide Detective Dave Walker says it appears the male victim is in his mid 20s. The driver was dead at the scene. 

KWGS News-File Photo

The traps are out, and the Tulsa Health Department begins testing for mosquitoes this week that might be carriers of West Nile Virus. Division Chief of Environmental Public Health with the Tulsa Department, Elizabeth Nutt, says while Zika gets a lot of news time, West Nile is the biggest threat in Oklahoma.

Last year, four deaths in the Sooner State were attributed to complications from West Nile. It’s also tick season, so people are cautioned to check closely for ticks after being outside for any length of time.

Cherokee Nation

 

 

The Cherokee Nation gave nearly half a million dollars to 131 Oklahoma volunteer fire departments Monday night during the tribe’s annual Volunteer Firefighter Ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

 

Each year, volunteer fire departments rely on fundraisers, membership dues and the help of good Samaritans to maintain their operations.

 

  •   One person dead in Tulsa Police shooting.
  •   Two Tulsa Schools get new names.
  •    FOP endorses Ben Fu for D.A.

Tulsa Public Schools

There was a split vote last night by the Tulsa School Board on renaming the Robert E. Lee Elementary School. In the future, the nearly 100-year-old school will be known simply as Lee Elementary. There will be no mention of the Confederate Civil War General.

Three board members felt that was not enough and that the school needed a complete new identity. Some in the audience walked out of the meeting after the vote.

The board also voted, without controversy, to rename the Andrew Jackson Elementary as the Unity Learning Center.

The name changes take effect on July 1.

Oklahoma Senate

 

An attorney and former judge from Oklahoma City has been tapped to lead the Democrats in the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate Democratic Caucus announced Monday they have selected Sen. Kay Floyd to replace term-limited Sen. John Sparks of Norman when the Legislature reconvenes in 2019.

Floyd was elected to the Senate in 2014 after serving one term in the state House. An Ada native, she previously worked as an administrative law judge, a municipal court judge and as an assistant attorney general.

KWGS News

 

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into a law bill that adds churches to the list of places where the so-called "Stand Your Ground" law is in effect and where people can use deadly force with greater impunity.

House Bill 2632 was one of eight measures signed into law by the governor on Monday.

The bill adds places of worship to the list of locations where Oklahoma citizens have a "right to expect absolute safety." The list already includes a person's home and place of business.

FORT SILL, Okla. (AP) — Army officials are now acknowledging they've investigated reports of child-on-child sexual assaults at Fort Sill.

The disclosure comes amid an Associated Press investigation that found many sexual assault reports among children at U.S. military bases where service member families live have languished in a dead zone of justice, in which victims and offenders go without help.

New documents released to AP show Army criminal investigators opened at least six cases at the southwestern Oklahoma base over a recent 10-year period, concluding five were true.

KWGS News

One man is dead, two more under arrest after a police shooting at a hotel in east Tulsa. Captain Rick Helberg says members of the Organized Gang Unit were working a special grant designed to get drugs and guns off the street.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa’s police union threw its hat into the ring on Monday and officially endorsed Ben Fu in the four-way race for Tulsa County district attorney.

The Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police has been a vocal critic of current Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler since he charged former Tulsa cop Betty Shelby with manslaughter for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in 2016. FOP Chairman Jerad Lindsey said he realizes the endorsement can be perceived as police having found a friend to occupy the DA's office.

OHP Twitter

Three people are dead in a crash on Route 66. It happened at 337th West Avenue in Creek County. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Dwight Durant says the crash took place about 7:20 between an pick-up and a passenger car. 

A woman was in the pick-up and a man and woman were in the car. All three were dead at the scene. 

The roadway was closed for nearly three hours.

Stillwater Police

 

Authorities say four people have been wounded by gunfire at an events center in Stillwater.

Police say the shooting occurred early Sunday as a party was winding down at the events center. Investigators say that's when someone pulled out a gun and fired into a crowd of people.

Officials say four people were wounded by gunfire. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Oklahoma Forestry Services

 

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says home and business owners in Dewey County who sustained uninsured damage from wildfires can now receive disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Fallin says Friday's designation provides SBA low-interest disaster loans to replace property damaged by last month's wildfires that was not covered by insurance or other assistance programs Under SBA rules, the contiguous counties of Blaine, Custer, Ellis, Roger Mills, and Woodward are also eligible for assistance.

In the local news:

  • Oil prices top $70 a barrel.
  • A man is accused of killing two women in Tulsa.
  • Security tighter in Bever murder trial after a reporter enters the courthouse with a gun.

KWGS News File Photo

 

 Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed legislation designating Oklahoma Native American Day on the same day the state observes Columbus Day.

The bill , which received bipartisan support in the state House and Senate, would have created a second holiday observance alongside Columbus Day on the second Monday in October by moving Native American Day, which is observed in November, ahead one month to correspond with Columbus Day.

Oil Prices Hit 4-Year High

May 7, 2018
KWGS FIle Photo

Oil prices have not been this high since Thanksgiving of 2014. The price of a barrel of oil climbed to over $70. That is great news for the cash-strapped state of Oklahoma. The news is not that wonderful if your gas gauge is pointing at “E”.

While gasoline prices trickled down last week, some Tulsa area stations have already boosted prices for regular unleaded to $2.54 per gallon.

According to GasBuddy.com historical data, gasoline prices on May 7 in Tulsa have ranged widely over the last five years:

$1.96/g in 2017

$1.92/g in 2016

$2.37/g in 2015

Tulsa County Booking Photo

Tulsa Police are holding 35-year-old Rolando Morales in the Tulsa County Jail. He is suspected of killing two women at his south Tulsa apartment. The bodies were discovered mid-day yesterday at the Westminster Apartments near 51st and Memorial.

KWGS News Photo

A drunk driver is catching the blame for a fatality traffic crash in north Tulsa. It happened at the Tisdale Expressway and Apache. Police say the 25-year-old intoxicated woman ran the stop sign and plowed into another vehicle. The drive of that vehicle was killed.

The driver was taken into custody early Sunday morning and is being held in the Tulsa Jail. At this writing no names have been released.

Woman Shot in Back Yard of Her Home

May 6, 2018

A Tulsa woman is hospitalized after she was shot early Sunday morning in her yard.

Police were dispatched around 2:15 to a home near Apache and MLK. The woman was found the the back yard.

She was alert and talking with police. She is in stable condition.

Catholic Online

Bills aimed at curtailing LGBT rights have been derailed in the deeply conservative Oklahoma Legislature in recent years as many Republicans grew weary of voting on measures that allow for discrimination against gay people.

Tens of thousands of people visit the Arizona Route 66 Museum each year, aiming to get a feel for what it was like to take the old highway route that crossed eight states to connect Chicago to the West Coast.

The Kingman Daily Miner reports visitors to the Kingman museum can see a 1950 Studebaker Champion, originally priced at $1,487, while another exhibit features a rusty old truck loaded with pots and pans, furniture and other worldly belongings of an Oklahoma family fleeing the Dust Bowl.

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