Local & Regional

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OKMULGEE, Okla. (AP) — Authorities are investigating after a woman was fatally shot near an American Legion in Okmulgee. Police say the shooting was reported early Monday at the intersection of Smith and Wilson streets in Okmulgee, about 35 miles south of Tulsa. Okmulgee police identified the victim as Kimberly Lyons-Anderson and said in a statement that investigators "do not believe she was the intended target."

Recyling Christmas: Tulsa Style

Dec 26, 2016
City of Tulsa

During the holiday season, recycling is easy for Tulsa residents. Most packaging and wrapping paper are recyclable in the City’s recycling system, such as cardboard boxes and basic wrapping paper without foil and glitter.

Below is a list of items that cannot be recycled in the blue cart and should be placed in the gray trash cart. If residents have questions on what can be recycled, remember: When in doubt, check it out – go to www.TulsaRecycles.com

Illinois State Tops TU in Hawaii

Dec 26, 2016
File Photo-TU Sports Information

Tulsa’s comeback bid in the third-place game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic fell short as the Illinois State Redbirds held on for a 68-56 victory Sunday afternoon at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawai’i. Unlike 18 days earlier when the two teams met in Tulsa and the Hurricane had a 14-point comeback win over the Redbirds, it wasn’t meant to be in the rematch.

 

Tulsa fell to 6-6 on the season to conclude non-conference action, while Illinois State improved to 8-4.

 

OHP-Facebook

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a Sapulpa man was killed when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck near Beggs.

The OHP says 25-year-old Robert Smith-Frits was dead at the scene of the collision on U.S. 75 shortly after 6 p.m. Friday.

A police report says Smith-Frits was southbound when the driver of a northbound truck turned into his path on the highway.

The report says the weather was cloudy and the roadway was wet at the time of the crash.

Filling the Hole

Dec 26, 2016
KWGS News File Photo

 There will be familiar problems for Oklahoma lawmakers in the 2017 session, as well as a budget hole that's about 12 percent of state funding.

It will be the third consecutive year the Republican-controlled Legislature will face the prospect of either further cutting state services or finding new sources of revenue through increased taxes, fines or fees.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has said cuts alone won't be enough and has proposed expanding the state's sales tax.

A woman has been found dead in an Oklahoma City apartment following a fire.

Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson says the woman's body was found in the living room of an apartment by firefighters responding to the fire in northwest Oklahoma City about 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

The woman's name was not released.

Fulkerson says the fire was found in the kitchen, but a suspected cause of the blaze was not released.

Wikipedia

 The Oklahoma State Board of Education has approved a record number of certificates for emergency teachers to fill vacancies.

The board has approved 1,082 certificates this school year, up from 1,063 the previous year and more than double the 505 approved during the 2014-15 school year.

The greatest number of certificates are for elementary, early childhood, science and math teachers. An estimated 52,000 students are being taught by an emergency certified teacher.

Helmet Hut

 Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon made a tearful public apology Friday, more than two years after punching a woman and breaking bones in her face.

Mixon was suspended for a year after his assault on Oklahoma student Amelia Molitor. He said at a news conference he wanted to apologize earlier, but his legal team advised him not to.

Mixon said it is never acceptable to hit a woman and if he were in the same situation again he would walk away. He said he was disappointed he let down his team and family, especially his mother.

Mexican Fast Food Cafe Robbed in South Tulsa

Dec 24, 2016
Google Street View

Four bandits robbed a Mexican Fast Food cafe in South Tulsa Friday night. The Qdoba at 71st and Lewis was robbed at closing time. Officials say the robbers entered the business just before closing. At least one was armed with a pistol.

A Tulsa Policeman, patrolling the area, saw the bandits run out the front door. When he was able to turn around and return to the business, they had already made good their escape. No one was injured.

OU

 

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 16 this week to 653.

A year ago, 700 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have curtailed exploration, although the rig count has been rising in recent weeks.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 523 rigs sought oil and 129 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.

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 The U.S. Geological Survey says several earthquakes have struck northern Oklahoma, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 3.5.

No injuries or damage are reported from the quakes that occurred Friday afternoon near Mooreland, about 108 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

The 3.5 magnitude quake was recorded about 2:45 p.m. Friday, followed aftershocks with preliminary magnitudes ranging from 2.5 to 3.3.

Geologists say damage is unlikely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

Kirby Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal

Dec 24, 2016
State of Oklahoma-File Photo

An Oklahoma lawmaker who's been the subject of a sexual harassment complaint and subsequent quietly arranged settlement resigned Friday.

Rep. Dan Kirby's decision to quit came hours after attorneys for the Oklahoma House said the sexual harassment complaint against the Tulsa Republican was settled without his knowledge or input.

Fatal Fire at Muskogee

Dec 23, 2016
Muskogee Fire Department

A fatal fire at Muskogee is under investigation. The blaze took the life an elderly man .

The Muskogee Phoenix reports it was 88-year-old Zenifer Clark who dead in the blaze.

The newspaper reports the fire started in the bedroom of his north side Muskogee home. 

More Calls for Hofmeister to Go

Dec 23, 2016
State of Oklahoma

Broken Arrow State Representative Mike Ritze has joined those calling for State Education Superintendent Joy Hofmeister to resign. 

She has been accused of campaign fund raising fraud. In a news release, Ritze says court records show she operates outside the law.

Hofmeister has yet to go to trial and has NOT been convicted. 

KWGS News

 

A 31-year-old Tulsa man has been arrested on a hate crime charge in connection to an assault on a Hispanic man that involved racial and homophobic slurs.

The Tulsa World reports Joshua Price was arrested Monday. Price was charged in September for the alleged assault.

It wasn't immediately clear if Price has an attorney.

State Impact-Oklahoma

It was former Oklahoma House speaker Jeff Hickman of Fairview who authorized the $44,000 payout of state funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint against a Tulsa lawmaker.

Tulsa Republican Dan Kirby was accused of sexually harassing an office assistant. After she filed a complaint, she was fired. When she got an attorney to pursue legal action, settlement talks apparently started. No court case was ever filed.

Crash Leaves a Dozen Injured

Dec 23, 2016
KWGS News File Photo

12 people are hurt in a fiery crash in Highway 33 in Creek County. A car crossed the centerline near 326 West Avenue and hit another car. A third vehicle then struck the wreckage. 

The crash closed the roadway for several hours last night.

In the local news:

  • It was former House Speaker Jeff Hickman who authorized Kirby's $44,000 payout of state funds to pay for a sexual harassment settlement.
  • A fiery crash in Creek County injures 12 people.
  • Oklahoma records its first flu death of the season.

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas authorities say a woman was killed after crashing her car in Fort Smith after a police pursuit that began in eastern Oklahoma.

The pursuit began in Roland, Oklahoma, after an officer clocked the woman driving 77 mph in a 45 mph speed zone on U.S. 64 late Wednesday. Roland police say the woman did not pull over and instead sped up to 100 mph before crossing the state line in to Arkansas.

Police say the woman then crashed her car into a wall early Thursday in Fort Smith and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Voices of Oklahoma/TU

Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer figured when he told reporters he was going to be the Secretary of Offense for Donald Trump he assumed they knew he was joking about meeting the president-elect.

"I think they need to learn the cabinet positions," Switzer told The Associated Press by phone Thursday.

He was in New York City last week when he dropped by Trump Tower to see all the action around the building, which has been under heavy security since the November election.

State lawmakers will focus on finding more source of revenue for Oklahoma next session, some likely going to a stated goal of giving teachers a raise. State Treasurer Ken Miller has already put the kibosh on a couple proposals.

"There's been some ideas floated, I think even some bills filed. One, to take Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust fund money to pay for a teacher pay raise, another last year was to use the pension funds for a teacher pay raise," Miller said. "That's irresponsible. Those are not recurring revenue streams that will pay for a recurring expenditure."

 

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the life sentences of a 48-year-old man convicted in the stabbing deaths of two women in Tulsa.

Hilliard Andrew "Hilly" Fulgham was convicted by a Tulsa County jury on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 45-year-old Linda Wright and 60-year-old Dorothy Lindley. The victims' bodies were discovered in their apartment on Jan. 6, 2006.

 

 The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake has rattled part of central Oklahoma.

Geologists say the 3.2 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 8:21 a.m. Thursday about 4 miles east-northeast of Edmond. It was recorded at a depth of less than 4 miles.

No damage or injuries were immediately reported. Geologists say damage is unlikely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

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Oklahoma has the first flu death of the year. Tulsa County still leads in the number of flu related hospitalizations this season with 11, but the first flu death occurred in Johnston County in southern Oklahoma in the past week. Kaitlin Snider with the Tulsa Health Department says we’re just reaching the height of the flu season so it isn’t too late to get a shot.

State of Oklahoma-File Photo

 

Records reveal a former legislative assistant and her attorneys were paid $44,500 to settle a sexual harassment complaint against a state representative.

Hollie Anne Bishop says Republican Rep. Dan Kirby, a Tulsa Republican, began sexually harassing her shortly after she started working for him in January 2015. She says she was fired without an explanation Nov. 20, 2015, in retaliation for reporting the alleged harassment.

Kirby hasn't responded to requests for comment.

In the local news:

  • Filling the Gap! Lawmakers face an $869-Million budget hole.
  • Calls for Dan Kirby's resignation from the legislature.
  • Contraband found at a state prison dairy.

Governor Fallin

President-elect Donald Trump passed over Gov. Mary Fallin for a rumored cabinet position. Fallin was asked Wednesday whether that means she's still looking for a spot within Trump's administration.

"I don't anticipate on getting an offer, so, no," Fallin told reporters after the State Board of Equalization meeting.

Though she's on Trump's transition team and was reportedly in the running for Secretary of the Interior, Fallin said she's happy here in Oklahoma.

State of Oklahoma-File Photo

There are more questions than answers and virtually no one is talking; at least not on the record.

The Tulsa World and the Oklahoman both reported this morning  Tulsa State Representative Dan Kirby used state funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint from his former administrative assistant.  The amount is reported to be over 44-thousand dollars to the assistant and her attorney. There was no lawsuit.

KWGS News

Oklahoma follows up last year's $1.3 billion budget shortfall with another drop for fiscal year 2018.

The State Board of Equalization certified a fiscal year 2018 budget projection Wednesday $868.8 million less than this year's. 

Gov. Mary Fallin will craft a budget to present to lawmakers at February's state of the state address. 

"Listen, we've found ourselves in this position before, and we're going to provide the governor with a lot of options to mitigate the challenges that we face," said State Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger. 

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The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says two men were fatally shot by law enforcement officers in separate incidents Wednesday.

Investigators say Ponca City officers confronted a man who was reportedly assaulting a delivery man with what appeared to be a tire iron early Wednesday. The OSBI says officers shot the man after he reportedly threatened them with the weapon.

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