Local & Regional

KWGS News

Applicants show up for a Tulsa Public Schools job fair. Despite financial woes, the district still needs teachers. A steady stream of hopefuls show up at the Education Service Center to fill out applications and sit for interviews to work in the Tulsa school system.

Tyson Foods

 

Tyson Foods says it's being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, likely in connection over lawsuits alleging that the poultry company and others engaged in price fixing activities.

The Springdale, Arkansas company says in a regulatory filing that it received a subpoena from the SEC on Jan. 20. It says it is cooperating with the investigation, which is in an "early stage."

KWGS File photo

 

Gov. Mary Fallin is asking state lawmakers to boost the state tax on gasoline and diesel fuel and to increase the state tax on cigarettes.

Fallin's cigarette tax proposal is similar to one she proposed last year that lawmakers failed to act on.

The governor says smoking remains the No. 1 preventable cause of death in Oklahoma and costs the state $1.62 billion in health care costs.

Court Date Planned for Suspected Double Killer

Feb 7, 2017

37-year-old Heath Haney is due in Creek County District Court later today. He stands accused of killing two people last month at a Sapulpa gas station/convenience store.

Authorities say Haney entered the store and shot owner Mohid Khandker. As he was robbing the business customer Bob Fields entered and was also shot. Both men were found dead by another customers later in the evening.

Jury Selection Continues in Kepler Re-Trial

Feb 7, 2017
File photo

Attorneys will continue to question potential jurors today in the re-trial of former Tulsa Police officer Shannon Kepler.  Kepler's first murder trial ended with a hung jury.

He stands accused of shooting death of Jeremy Lake in 2014. Lake was the boyfriend of Kepler's daughter. He was arrested hours after the shooting, after his daughter identified him as the shooter. 

State of Oklahoma

 

  

Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall has appointed a new chair of the House Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee following a sexual harassment investigation into the committee's former chair.

McCall on Monday announced that Republican Rep. Elise Hall of Oklahoma City will chair the committee. Hall is already a member of the committee.

She replaces Rep. Dan Kirby as committee chair.

McCall suspended Kirby as committee chair in January while a special committee investigated sexual harassment allegations against him.

In the local news:

  • Governor Fallin calls for an end to the state tax on groceries and the Oklahoma Corporate Tax.
  • This is day two of the Shannon Kepler retrial.
  • Tulsa will get an African-American Affairs Commission.

Tulsa is on track to have an African-American Affairs Commission after a couple years of delays.

An ordinance creating the commission goes to the city council this week. The ordinance calls for 23 members to be appointed for terms beginning May 1.

State Impact-Oklahoma

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin says she wants to eliminate the sales tax on groceries and the corporate income tax while expanding the state's sales tax base in other areas to boost state revenue and help eliminate an $870 million budget hole.

Fallin's plans came from prepared remarks from her state of the state speech to the state House and Senate to open the 2017 Oklahoma Legislature.

Lieutenant Governor Lamb, statewide elected officials, Speaker McCall, President Pro Tem Schulz, members of the court, honorable senators and representatives, Cabinet members, tribal leaders, distinguished guests, and citizens of Oklahoma:

It’s my pleasure to be with you today to discuss the state of our state.

I’m joined today by my family – my husband, Wade, and my wonderful children and family members. Thank you for your love and support.

TPS To Hold Teacher Job Fair

Feb 6, 2017
File photo

  The Tulsa School District will hold a career fair on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Selman Room at the Education Service Center, 3027 S. New Haven Ave. in Tulsa. Anyone interested in public education is invited to attend – including both active and retired certified teachers, current college students, and individuals without certification who would like to change career paths. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree at minimum to be considered for a teaching position.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

   

Tulsa police have arrested a man accused of shooting and killing someone during a Super Bowl watch party.

Jail records show 41-year-old Fredrick Durrell Green was arrested Sunday on a complaint of first-degree murder and several outstanding traffic violations.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker says Green was invited to watch the game with his children by their mother.

Green allegedly left the residence after shooting 48-year-old Charles LaMorris Ward, who was knocking at the door. Green was arrested a few blocks away from the residence.

Google Street View

  The Federal Aviation Administration has been unable to determine why a Kansas woman became disconnected from her parachute and fell to her death in northern Oklahoma.

Twenty-six-year-old Sheralynn Neff of North Newton, Kansas, had jumped with an instructor from 10,000 feet on July 24 and deployed her parachute at about 6,000 feet. The instructor continued falling to clear her path before deploying her parachute, but Neff could not be found.

Her parachute was later found in a tree and her body was found the next day near Cushing, about five miles away.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

 

 The second murder trial of a former Tulsa police officer for the shooting death of his daughter's boyfriend is scheduled to begin.

Potential jurors are to gather Monday in Tulsa County District Court for the start of the first-degree murder trial of 56-year-old Shannon Kepler.

Drug Bust During Pawhuska Traffic Stop

Feb 6, 2017
Pawhuska Police

The Pawhuska Police Department says it made a substantial drug bust during traffic stop over the weekend.

Officers say they recovered two-pounds of marijuana and about $2,000 in cash.

Five people were taken into custody.  Charges are pending in Osage County District Court.

State of Oklahoma

 

If the Oklahoma Legislature wants to continue funding critical services like education, public safety and infrastructure, Gov. Mary Fallin says lawmakers should work with her to come up with permanent ways to fund those priorities.

Fallin will deliver her seventh state of the state speech to members of the House and Senate on Monday. The Republican governor says she will lay out a plan for a "major overhaul of our tax system" designed to close the budget gap and eliminate the need for lawmakers to continue using one-time sources of money to plug deficits.

In the local news:

  • Governor Fallin is set to deliver her 'State of the State Address' today. Live Coverage of KWGS about 12:45 this afternoon.
  • The 2nd trial for former Tulsa Police Officer Shannon Kepler is set to begin today.
  • A man is murdered at a Tulsa Super Bowl party.

Fire Danger on Monday

Feb 5, 2017
NWS-Tulsa

The fire weather danger will be on the increase on Monday in Eastern Oklahoma. Strong south winds of over 20-mph could rapidly whip any wild fires that get started in the area.

The threat will begin late morning on Monday and peak in the evening, after sunset.

Fatal Crash Near Pryor

Feb 5, 2017
OHP

A 28-year-old Pryor woman is dead after a car crash of a Mayes County road.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says Ashlee Ward was killed when her car went off a gravel road about a mile east of Pryor. The patrol says the vehicle rolled several times and Ward was ejected out the back window.

The OHP says she was not wearing a seatbelt.

Silver Alert Man Found Dead at Okmulgee Lake

Feb 5, 2017
Okmulgee County Sheriff

Authorities in Okmulgee County are investigating the death of Larry Andrews. He was the subject of a Silver Alert. His body was found yesterday near Okmulgee Lake. He was suffering from early onset dementia.

He had been missing for several days. His pick-up truck is still missing.

Disappointing Loss for TU

Feb 5, 2017
File Photo

SMU (20-4, 10-1 AAC) shot a sizzling 63-percent in the second half and pulled away from Tulsa (12-10, 6-4 AAC) for a 76-53 victory Saturday night in front of 5,606 fans at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.

 

Junior Etou and Sterling Taplin led the Hurricane with 18 and 12 points, respectively.

SMU’s Sterling Brown had a game-high 27 points, followed by 19 from Shake Milton and 16 from Semi Ojeleye.

 

Keller-Williams

An Oklahoma lawmaker who admitted asking a legislative aide to send him topless photos and accompany him to a strip club has announced his resignation, two days after a special House committee recommended he be expelled from office.

Republican Rep. Dan Kirby of Tulsa submitted a two sentence letter Saturday to House Speaker Charles McCall saying his resignation is irrevocable and takes effect March 1. A spokesman for McCall says the speaker received the letter and forwarded it to the governor.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers will be confronted by familiar issues when they convene the 2017 Oklahoma Legislature.

Leaders of the Republican-controlled House and Senate say they'll focus on their priorities when the four-month legislative session begins on Monday.

High on that list is coping with an $870 million state budget shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Republican Gov. Mary Fallin will call for "a major overhaul of our tax system" in her state-of-the-state speech to tap new revenue streams to help boost teacher pay and meet other needs.

Sources: "Kirby Will Resign... Again"

Feb 4, 2017
State of Oklahoma-File Photo

Sources, in the know, say Tulsa State Representative Dan Kirby will submit his resignation rather than face expulsion by the full house.

A special investigative panel, on Thursday,  released a report critical of Kirby and the sexual harassment allegations against him. The report recommended Kirby be removed from office.  The panel vote was 7-0. The full house was expected to take up the matter early this coming week.

Tulsa Gets New Airports Director

Feb 4, 2017
Tulsa Airports-File photo

After a nationwide search, Mark D. VanLoh is named as Chief Executive Officer of Tulsa's airports by the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust. He will begin on February 13th.

The announcement was made Friday following an executive session of the airport trustees.  The trustees, including Mayor GT Bynum, unanimously agreed to the selection of VanLoh who has over 26 years of airport leadership experience.

Fire Damages Business at Tulsa's Port

Feb 4, 2017
Tulsa Fire-Twitter

Tulsa Fire Fighters worked through the night at Tulsa's Port of Catoosa.

Shortly after 2 a.m. on Saturday, fire alarms started sounding in the Advance Research Chemical facility at the port.

Three employees were inside the building at the time. The Tulsa Fire Department responded and quickly got a handle on the situation. No one was injured.

The roads leading to and from the port were closed overnight as a safety precaution.

File photo

 The Environmental Protection Agency has told Oklahoma regulators to do more to protect the state from a surge in earthquake activity that scientists have linked to the underground disposal of oil and gas wastewater.

An EPA administrator sent a letter in November to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, saying a magnitude 5.0 earthquake happened despite state and federal action to curb wastewater injection. The Frontier first reported the contents of the letter

 An Oklahoma woman has been sentenced to life in prison in the beating death of an 83-year-old Bluejacket resident.

A Craig County judge sentenced 21-year-old Chelsea Raulston on Friday in the death of Velma Bennett. Raulston was also given 30 more years for robbery, plus five years for the unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Court documents show that Raulston told authorities she and an accomplice planned to kill Bennett and take her money.

She admitted in a pre-sentencing investigation report that she used a metal pipe she was "able to swing" in the killing.

File Photo

A resource center for Oklahoma nonprofits raises concerns over the movement to allow political activity by tax-exempt organizations.

Similar U.S. House and Senate measures would accomplish President Donald Trump's stated goal of destroying the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits nonprofits from political activity for or against particular candidates, to allow churches broader political involvement.

The Oklahoma Arts Council wants a little more state money next year for certain programs.

The arts council request for fiscal year 2018 asks for "targeted investments" — funding increases for grants to teacher professional development, community arts programs and an arts in the military program started last year.

Arts council Executive Director Amber Sharples said the military program helps veterans.

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