Local & Regional

Congressman Sullivan

Tulsa, OK – 44-year-old Tulsa Congressman John Sullivan (R) today announced via a news release that he has sought help from the Betty Ford Clinic for an alcohol addiction.

"Last night, I checked myself in to the Betty Ford Center in California to treat my addiction to alcohol.

Tulsa, OK –

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Mayor Kathy Taylor is continuing to make cuts to the $578 million budget plan she has proposed to the city council.

Taylor's top administrators are telling councilors that city employees now could face up to eight furlough days, a number that started at four and then increased to six.

City Finance Director Mike Kier says eight furlough days would practically amount to a 3.1 percent salary reduction for each of Tulsa's 4,000 employees. It would save the city $5.2 million.

KWGS News

Broken Arrow, OK – BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) Administrators of a private high school say plummeting enrollment caused by the economic slowdown has led to their decision to close its doors.

Grace Christian High School had 100 students enrolled this past year, but Superintendent Ken Stewart says that only 48 students had enrolled by the end of March for the upcoming school year.

Stewart says many students couldn't afford the tuition payments, which had not been a problem in previous years.

KWGS

Tulsa, OK – Welcome to the Mayo.

Downtown at 115 West 5th Street, the hotel was built in 1925 and was once the tallest building in Oklahoma. It has always been among the grandest.

Oklahoma City, OK – Report: Substance abuse costly to state budget

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A national study shows that Oklahoma spent nearly 12 percent of its state budget in 2005 on costs connected to substance abuse and addiction.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York released its study today.

The report shows Oklahoma spent less than 1 percent of its budget during the same year on substance abuse prevention, treatment and research.

Tulsa, OK – State's motion backs professor's testimony

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson says in a court filing that opinions by one of the state's expert witnesses in a poultry-litter pollution trial are based on sound science and weren't developed by attorneys to fit the lawsuit.

In a 109-page document filed Tuesday in federal court Drew Edmondson refutes a motion filed by 13 Arkansas poultry companies seeking to exclude the testimony of Valerie Harwood.

City Of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK – In this installment, KWGS' John Durkee examines Scenarios C and D for Tulsa's future.

For more information:

www.planitulsa.org

Rotary Club of Bixby

Bixby, OK – Bixby city manager resigns after dispute

BIXBY, Okla. (AP) A suspended Bixby city official who recently accused the city council of violating the city charter and the state Open Meeting Act has resigned.

Members of the Bixby City Council voted 5-0 yesterday after a two-hour executive session to accept the resignation of City Manager Micky Webb.

The action officially brought to a close Webb's three-week dispute and 16-year tenure with the city.

Chickasaw Nation

Oklahoma City, OK – Chickasaw Nation to bid on Remington

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby says a subsidiary of the tribe will try to buy Remington Park racetrack and casino in Oklahoma City.

Anoatubby told The Oklahoman in a copyright story that the tribe's Global Gaming Solutions will do all it can to buy the facility and Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Texas.

The two horse racing facilities are among four being sold by bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corp.

City of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK – In this installment, KWGS' John Durkee reviews the first two scenarios being discussed for Tulsa's new comprehensive plan.

We hear from Tulsa City Planners Theron Warlick and Martha Shultz, as well as Glen Bolen, the Vice President of Fregonese and Associates.

Tomorrow, in Part#2, we will learn about scenarios C and D.

For More information:
www.planitulsa.org

Tulsa, OK – NEW: Part of OSU-Tulsa campus evacuated after gas leak

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A gas leak that authorities say happened after a vehicle hit a commercial meter outside a building resulted in the evacuation of parts of Oklahoma State University's Tulsa campus.

Classes were not under way this afternoon when about 50 people were evacuated from two buildings as a precaution.

Officials have since shut off the meter and stopped the leak. Readings inside the buildings indicated the level of natural gas was not dangerous.

Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) A designation has been delayed that would silence the horns of trains passing through downtown Tulsa. The so-called "quiet zone" designation had been expected to be implemented this spring, after work to install vehicle-proof gates at five railroad crossings was finished. City planner Dennis Whitaker says that the designation likely won't be implemented until the end of the year.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

Reba McEntire

McAlester, OK – Country singer asks judge for leniency

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) Country music superstar Reba McEntire is among dozens of people asking a federal judge to show leniency on a Kiowa businessman scheduled to be sentenced this week.

McEntire is one of 46 people who wrote a letter or affidavit to U.S. District Judge Ronald White on behalf of Steve Phipps. The Kiowa businessman pleaded guilty in 2007 to a federal conspiracy charge and is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Muskogee.

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa fire investigators looking into 3 blazes


TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tulsa fire investigators are looking into three separate blazes at a midtown apartment complex and two northside houses.

Fire officials say that at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, a security guard spotted a fire in an outdoor hallway at the Normandy Apartments and saw two people run away.

The guard and a 9-year-old boy were taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. No serious damage was reported.

Tulsa, OK – Guard soldiers return from Iraq deployment

TULSA, Okla. (AP) About 120 members of the Oklahoma National Guard are back in their home state.

Eighty soldiers with the 834th Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Company returned yesterday to Tulsa after an eight-month deployment in Iraq.

Escorted by members of the Patriot Guard motorcycle group, the troops arrived at the Army's Aviation Facility just after 1 p.m. The troops served at Balad Air Base north of Baghdad.

Sapulpa, OK – Baby found alive in Sapulpa trash bin

SAPULPA, Okla. (AP) Sapulpa police are asking for the public's help in finding the mother of a newborn baby found alive in a trash bin.

Sapulpa police Maj. Jeff Gilliland says a man cleaning a nearby office discovered the baby about 11 a.m. yesterday in a trash bin behind a business.

Gilliland says the baby boy appeared to be in good health and was taken to a Tulsa hospital to be checked out.

Oklahoma City, OK – Boaters, travelers hit the road across Oklahoma


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers are stepping up enforcement on state lakes, rivers and highways on Saturday as the Memorial Day weekend gets under way.

OHP Lt. George Brown says extra troopers are being stationed at several lakes popular with boaters and campers and the Illinois River in northeast Oklahoma.

At least two fatality crashes have been reported today by the highway patrol.

Oklahoma City, OK – Henry surpasses highest veto total

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Gov. Brad Henry has now vetoed more bills this year than in any of his previous six years in office.

Henry's office announced yesterday that the governor had vetoed three more measures after the state House adjourned for the session. That brings his total for this year to 16.

Skiatook, OK – Passengers able to walk away from plane crash


SKIATOOK, Okla. (AP) Only minor injuries have been reported after a small skydiving plane crashed in a field north of Tulsa.

Police say the six people on board were able to walk away after the single-engine plane went down in a field near Skiatook High School on Saturday afternoon.

Police say the plane lost power shortly after takeoff and struck some trees and power lines as the pilot landed it in the field.

Muskogee, OK – Sheriff accused of stealing cash from motorist

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) The sheriff and undersheriff of McIntosh County have been accused of stealing money from a man during a traffic stop.

U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling yesterday filed a charge of deprivation of civil rights under color of law against Sheriff Terry Jones and Undersheriff Mykol Travis Brookshire.

Tulsa, OK – Agreement aimed at resolving poultry case dispute

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The Cherokee Nation has reached an agreement with the state in an attempt to defeat a challenge from poultry companies in Attorney General Drew Edmondson's lawsuit over pollution in the Illinois River watershed.

After poultry companies disputed whether Oklahoma could even claim ownership of the watershed and its resources, the tribe agreed to let the state prosecute its claims in the lawsuit.

Tulsa, OK – President of Oklahoma State hospital to resign

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The president of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences plans to resign this summer.

John Fernandes announced yesterday that he will be leaving his post July 1. Fernandes has led the Tulsa hospital and served as the dean of the university's medical school since 2003.

University President Burns Hargis thanked Fernandes for his leadership at a time when the medical center had an uncertain future.

Oklahoma City, OK – Senate abandons early adjournment plan


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Senate has abandoned plans to adjourn the 2009 legislative session one week early.

The Senate rescinded a resolution it passed in March to adjourn on Friday after failing to pass legislation to create a central information officer who would take charge of the state's computer systems.

The Senate then abruptly adjourned for the day and will reconvene on Tuesday.

KWGS News

Tulsa, OK – Officials from the Oklahoma Department of Labor inspect the Big Splash Water Park on the Tulsa State Fairgrounds. The Labor Department recently took over the inspections following an accident at the park in 2007 when a section of the Master Blaster water ride collapsed.

Chief Safety inspector Tom Monroe says a review in February found a few minor problems that needed attention. Park owner Loretta Murphy says those repairs have been made and the park is ready to open.

Tulsa, OK – Judge refuses to reconsider immigration law

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A Tulsa County judge has rejected a request to reconsider his decision to uphold the constitutionality of the controversial immigration law created by House Bill 1804.

After District Judge Jefferson Sellers declined yesterday to change any of his February decision, attorney James C. Thomas said he planned to appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Oklahoma City, OK – Bill bans cell phones in prisons

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Senate has given final approval to a bill to ban cell phones in Oklahoma prisons.

Sen. Don Barrington, a Lawton Republican, says items are already prohibited in prison include alcohol, tobacco, drugs and other items that can be used of weapons.

Wayman Tisdale

Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) Thousands packed a downtown Tulsa arena today for a lively and musical public memorial service to honor Wayman Tisdale.

The former University of Oklahoma basketball star, NBA player and popular jazz musician died last week at age 44 after a long battle with cancer.

Tisdale's casket was carried by horse-drawn carriage on a 3-mile procession to the BOK Center.

KWGS News

Tulsa, OK – At 240 acres, Tulsa's Memorial Park Cemetery is roughly the same size as the Tulsa Fairgrounds. It is the largest cemetery in Tulsa County. Getting Memorial Park ready for the Memorial Day holiday when an estimated 25,000 visitors will converge at 51st and South Memorial Drive a mammoth job.
Jason Thames is the grounds manager. He says his crews are working hard to get the cemetery ready for the visitors. He has 13-full time members working 12-hour days to get the park ready.

Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma City, OK – Gov. Brad Henry, House Speaker Chris Benge and Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee announced a budget agreement today that protects the four core functions of government, including education, health care, public safety and transportation.
Those four areas are at least held harmless in this agreement, all while not tapping the state's Rainy Day fund, leaving about $600 million in place for future needs if necessary.

KWGS

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