Local & Regional

Shop Cyber Monday... But Don't Forget the Taxes

Nov 27, 2017
KWGS News File Photo

 After offering online deals for days, retailers are rolling out even more promotions for Cyber Monday, hoping to keep people buying stuff on their smartphones or computers. Shoppers are expected to spend $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday, up more than 16 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, the research arm of software maker Adobe. And more people will be picking up their phones to shop: Web traffic from smartphones and tablets is expected to top desktop computers for the first time this year.

Wild Fire Threat is Elevated on Monday

Nov 27, 2017
Oklahoma Emergency Management

Gusty south winds could make for a dangerous fire weather day across Northeast Oklahoma. Winds are expected to blow at 30-mph this afternoon. That will be more than enough to fan the flames of any wildfire that gets started.

Several fires burned on Sunday afternoon. The largest was near Keetonville, about halfway between Owasso and Claremore on Highway 20. Fire officials say about 20 acres burned. While the fire got close to some houses, no homes were damaged. 

Wynnewood Animal Park

 

Court documents say a south Oklahoma animal park has agreed to send 19 tigers that are the subject of a federal lawsuit in Florida to a sanctuary in Colorado.

Documents filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida, say Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park reached the agreement with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The agreement calls for the tigers to be sent to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.

Tulsa Police

 

Police in Tulsa say a man has been arrested on a murder complaint in the fatal beating of his wife.

Sgt. Dave Walker says the man took the woman to a hospital emergency room Saturday and hospital officials called police.

Walker says the man told officers his wife had come home and said she had been robbed and beaten.

Walker says the man gave police a false home address, and after investigators learned where the couple lived they found evidence of a beating inside their apartment.

KWGS News Photo

Oklahoma has finalized a deal with a Massachusetts company to use license-plate scanners to catch uninsured drivers, and the firm expects to issue 20,000 citations a month starting as early as next year.

The program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, involves setting up automated high-speed cameras  on highways around the state to detect uninsured vehicles and mailing their owners a citation with a fine of $184, according to the District Attorneys Council.

Wikimedia

Director Ron Howard says his actor father Rance Howard has died. He was 89.

Howard announced his father's passing Saturday on Twitter. He praised his father for his ability to balance ambition with great personal integrity.

The elder Howard also was the father of actor Clint Howard and grandfather of actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard. The elder Howard was born and raised in Duncan. Son, Ron, was also born there.

KWGS News File Photo

The former chief executive of Tulsa-based Arrow Trucking Co. is asking a federal judge to reduce in prison sentence for conspiracy and tax evasion.

A motion in U.S. District Court in Tulsa asks for an unspecified reduction in the 7½ year sentence of 49-year-old Doug Pielsticker.

Pielsticker has served just more than two years after pleading guilty to the charges in 2015.

OHP-Facebook

One man has died and 11 others were injured after a Jeep Cherokee with three people car surfing on the roof swerved off an Oklahoma road and crashed.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 27-year-old Bryan Mitchel McGuirk of Miami, Oklahoma, died Saturday evening in Tulsa of injuries sustained in the accident Friday. He was riding on the roof and was ejected 20 feet.

Helmet Hut

Baker Mayfield threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns after being punished for directing a lewd gesture toward the Kansas bench last week, and Oklahoma routed West Virginia 59-31 on Saturday to maintain its momentum heading into the Big 12 Championship game. Mayfield was stripped of his captaincy and starting job for the game, his final home game as a Sooner. He received the loudest cheers when the seniors were announced, then more loud cheers when he entered the game on Oklahoma's second possession. Oklahoma will play TCU for the Big 12 title next Saturday in Arlington, Texas.

Tulsa Hurricane.com

Tulsa's D'Angelo Brewer had his third career 200+ rushing game, but the visiting Temple Owls (6-6, 4-4 AAC) clinched bowl eligibility Saturday with a 43-22 victory over the Golden Hurricane (2-10, 1-7 AAC).
 

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the murder conviction and life without parole sentence of a man convicted in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old during an attempted robbery at a home in Shawnee.

The court's Wednesday ruling rejected appeals by 28-year-old Aaron Bernard Bradford.

Bradford was convicted of the March 2015 shooting death of Karter Alderman.

Prosecutors say Bradford and two others had gone to the home to rob the residents of money and drugs and that Alderman was killed by a gunshot through the door of the home.

KCS Railway

A festive holiday train starts its trip through Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train began its journey Friday in Victoria, Texas. After stops in 20 cities, the trip will end Dec. 15 at Union Station in Kansas City, where the six-car train will remain on display through Dec. 19.

It features a smiling tank car dubbed "Rudy," a gingerbread boxcar, a flatcar carrying Santa's sleigh, plus a reindeer stable and a miniature village. There's also an elves' workshop and even a little red caboose.

KWGS News

The post-prison supervision for a former reserve deputy in Oklahoma convicted of manslaughter has been transferred to Florida.

The Tulsa World reports that 76-year-old Robert Bates' supervisory office changed last week, which will allow the former volunteer deputy to leave the state if he chooses.

A jury convicted Bates of second-degree manslaughter in the 2015 killing of Eric Harris, who was unarmed. Bates has said he mistook his handgun for a stun gun. Bates was released from prison last month after serving less than half of his four-year sentence.

State of Oklahoma

A top Republican Oklahoma House leader says work already is underway on potential changes to a broad tax-increase plan to shore up the state's budget and generate funding for a teacher pay raise.

Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols said Friday he's remaining in touch with the governor's office and that he's working on potential "tweaks" to the plan that could garner the necessary 76 votes in the House. A sweeping package of tax hikes on tobacco, fuel, alcohol and oil and gas production fell five votes short in the House after an eight-week special session.

KWGS News

Retailers worked hard to attract shoppers to stores on Black Friday, offering in-person deals meant to counter the ease of shopping by phone on Amazon.

A better economy and colder weather helped, to be sure. But stores have also tried to improve the store experience and offer better service. They've also made a big push toward offering store pickup for online orders, hoping to get people to pick up more items. But they're fighting a circumstance in which online leader Amazon is the first and only stop for many shoppers.

So they're getting creative with the deals.

Tulsa Goes Shopping

Nov 24, 2017
Taylor Puckett

It is music to the ears of merchants. Stores in Green Country are busy and those bar-code scanners are humming. This is Black Friday.

While not as crazy as in years past, lots of folks braved the pre-dawn darkness to head out shopping on what, for many, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

The Tulsa Police Department has stepped up its patrols along the 71st from Memorial to Garnett shopping corridor as well as West 71st and Highway 75 near Tulsa Hills. 96th and Riverside Parkway as well as 41st between Yale and Sheridan are also busy areas.

Oklahoma National Guard

 

About half of the estimated 500 Oklahoma National Guard soldiers who deployed to Ukraine have returned home.

Approximately 250 soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived Wednesday in Broken Arrow where they were met by family and friends.

The remaining soldiers are expected to return before Christmas.

The soldiers helped train two battalions of the Ukrainian Army, which has been fighting since 2014 in conflicts with Russia and separatists.

Henryetta Officer's Home and Cars Lost to Fire

Nov 24, 2017
Henryetta Police

A Henryetta Police officer lost his police car and home in a fire yesterday. He suffered some minor burns… but the rest of the family--- including his five children got out okay. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Henryetta Police Department released the following statement on its Facebook Page:

In the local news:

  • Tulsans are out shopping on Black Friday.
  • A Turley discount store is robbed at gunpoint.
  • A trustee walks away from the Pawhuska jail.

Trustee Walks Away from Osage County Jail

Nov 24, 2017
Osage County Sheriff's Office

Osage County officials are looking for 31-year-old Jessica Smith.

he was a county trustee, but the sheriff’s department is now not so sure she was trust-worthy.

She slipped away from the jail at Pawhuska last night. The sheriff's office says she has relatives in the area.

Tulsa County Sheriff

The Family Dollar store in Turley is robbed. A lone bandit got away with cash last night after pulling a gun on the clerks last night.  

The robber was dressed in all black and his face was covered with a ski mask.

The Tulsa Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation. The store is at 5700 North Peoria.

McIntosh County Sheriff

Authorities say the remains of a man and woman have been discovered in eastern Oklahoma.

McIntosh County Sheriff Kevin Ledbetter says the bodies were discovered Tuesday afternoon by local residents. He says his office and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are investigating.

The Muskogee Phoenix reports that police say the identities of the man and woman haven't been determined.

A spokeswoman for the bureau says the bodies were found near Interstate 40 and Tiger Mountain Road. Officials say the location is about 7 miles  east of Henryetta.

Pulaski County, Arkansas Booking Photo

A subcommittee of the Arts and Grounds Commission at the Arkansas state Capitol will meet next month to review new plans for a Ten Commandments monument.

The previous set of commandments was knocked over less than 24 hours after it went up in June.

At the open meeting, the panel will review changes proposed for the monument's base. If the changes are approved, a public hearing would follow at a later date.

File photo

A life-without-parole sentence for a man convicted of raping an elderly Nowata County woman has been thrown out by an Oklahoma appeals court that cited "alarming" prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday vacated the sentences of Travis Dillion Barnes for first-degree rape and burglary. The court said the prosecutor's commentary on Barnes' right to a trial was "nothing short of alarming."

The state agency that oversees Medicaid in Oklahoma will delay planned rate cuts for providers and nursing homes for another month.

But Oklahoma Health Care Authority officials warned Wednesday they're still planning for cuts in January.

The agency says it will delay reimbursement rate cuts of 9 percent for most health providers and 4 percent for nursing facilities that had been set to take effect Dec. 1.

Now, officials say they're preparing for smaller cuts of 6 percent for most providers and 1 percent for nursing facilities effective Jan. 1.

File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A life-without-parole sentence for a man convicted of raping an elderly Nowata County woman has been thrown out by an Oklahoma appeals court that cited "alarming" prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday vacated the sentences of Travis Dillion Barnes for first-degree rape and burglary. In its unanimous opinion, the court said the prosecutor's commentary on Barnes' right to a trial was "nothing short of alarming."

KWGS News File Photo

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has released the cause of a crash that killed five students from Northeastern State University earlier this year.

In a report issued Wednesday, investigators say the Sept. 17 wreck near Tahlequah was caused by unsafe speed on a curve and a wet roadway. The investigators' report says that the driver, 18-year-old Donovan Caldwell of Muskogee, was not impaired at the time of the crash.

The truck went off the road, slammed through a guardrail and plummeted about 35 feet into a creek, landing on its top.

File photo

The group representing Oklahoma’s public school districts speaks out against the governor’s district consolidation executive order.

Gov. Mary Fallin wants the state Board of Education to come up with a list of districts by Sept. 1 where less than 60 percent of the budget is spent on instructional costs. Those districts will have administrative functions consolidated starting in 2020.

Oklahoma State School Boards Association Executive Director Shawn Hime said 375 districts already share some services, including treasurers and encumbrance clerks.

 

A man accused of trying to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van outside an Oklahoma City bank in August has been found mentally competent to face trial.

A federal judge said Tuesday that 23-year-old Jerry Drake Varnell isn't suffering from a mental disease and can assist in his defense. The judge says his ruling was based on results of a psychological evaluation conducted earlier this month.

St-Gregory's

 

The city of Shawnee is beginning the process to re-annex land that includes the St. Gregory's University property, which had detached from city limits earlier this year in hopes of securing a loan that could keep the school open.

But the university failed to secure the $12.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the school is suspending classes as of Dec. 8 because of financial difficulties.

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