Local & Regional

Tulsa, OK – Today, we continue our special series dealing with alternative energy. Yesterday, we heard how AT&T would be using Oklahoma tax incentives to convert 30-of its vans to Compressed Natural Gas.

Today, we learn about Tulsa County's plans to save energy and become a little greener. Tulsa County's Director of Development and Governmental Affairs is Terry Simmonson. We recently visited with him about the county's plans. He says the goal is to lead by example.

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Drummond, OK – Mighty mites cause problems

DRUMMOND, Okla. (AP) When the Garfield County Sheriff's office started receiving calls about millions of ants crossing the intersection of Oklahoma 132 and a county road, deputy Troy Bush thought it was joke.

Bush says when he arrived on Monday, there were so many insects that it appeared as if the ground were moving and the tiny critters had created a slick, hazardous area on the pavement stretching a quarter-mile long.

Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma ME's office loses accreditation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Officials say the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office has lost its accreditation because of problems with staffing levels and facilities.

Cherokee Ballard, a spokeswoman for the agency, says it's the first time she's aware of that the Medical Examiner's Office has failed accreditation.

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Catoosa, OK – The I-44/193rd E. Ave. interchange is getting a major upgrade. A $45 million project is set to begin Saturday, August 1, to widen I-44 from four lanes to eight at the junction, replace two bridges that are structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, and greatly improve the entrance/exit ramps. The work also includes widening 193rd E. Ave. to six lanes at the interchange.

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Tulsa, OK – Oklahoma House Speaker Chris Benge and AT&T Oklahoma President Bryan Gonterman announced AT&T in Oklahoma will roll out a fleet of at least 30 compressed natural gas vehicles this year in part because of recently approved tax incentives developed by the Oklahoma Legislature.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – AG opposes lighter sentence for Fisher

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Attorney General Drew Edmondson's office wants a judge to reject former Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher's request to reduce his sentence for accepting bribes.

Fisher pleaded no contest to accepting bribes in February. Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth Watson sentenced him to six months in a private lock down facility, where he will be eligible for a work release program.

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Tulsa, OK – At the mayor's request, additional funding is being transferred to bolster
right-of-way mowing and citywide graffiti removal.

The Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy (TARE), the board which oversees the
city's refuse-collection and disposal services, has approved transferring surplus
funds to add seven additional mowing cycles on public rights-of-way and to bring
back a second graffiti removal crew that was eliminated several years ago because of
tightening budgets.

Oral Roberts University

Tulsa, OK – Family tradition ends as Oral Roberts University revamps

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Workers in the Oklahoma summer heat are trying to bring the campus of Oral Roberts University into the current century.

Parking lots are torn up on the 1960s-era grounds and dormitory walls have been stripped to the studs while crates of new stainless-steel appliances wait to be put in the cafeteria.

Washington, D.C. – Washington, D.C. - Adult obesity rates increased in 23 states and did not decrease in a single state in the past year, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009, a report released today by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In addition, the percentage of obese or overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states.

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Tulsa, OK – Tulsa police warn of scam

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tulsa police are warning residents of a telephone scam in which the caller uses the name of Police Chief Ron Palmer.

Police say several people have reported phone calls asking for money in Palmer's name but say Palmer hasn't endorsed any organization or given permission to use his name for solicitations.

Officers also warn residents to never give personal information such a credit card numbers or bank account information to unsolicited callers.

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa suburb becomes Oklahoma's 4th largest city

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow is now Oklahoma's fourth largest city after passing Lawton in population.

Estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau show Broken Arrow with 92,931 people as of July 1, 2008, compared to Lawton's estimated 90,091. Norman has 106,957 residents and is third behind Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

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Tulsa, OK – Democrat State Senator is the latest to announce he is running for Mayor of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK – Poultry companies seeking delay of Sept. 21 trial

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Twelve Arkansas poultry companies being sued by Oklahoma Attorney Drew Edmondson for polluting the Illinois River watershed with chicken waste are asking a judge to postpone the start date of the trial.

In motions filed Tuesday in federal court in Tulsa the companies blame delays by Edmondson's office in submitting key sampling data as one reason to reset the Sept. 21 trial date.

Department of Public Safety

Oklahoma City, OK – Law raises fee on late tag renewals

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahomans who are tardy on renewing their vehicle license tags will face higher fees under a new law taking effect Wednesday, the first day of the new fiscal year.

Other new laws increase penalties for a variety of crimes and ban the tattooing of eyeballs.

Motorists who are more than 30 days late on renewing the license plate tags used to pay 25 cents a day penalty. That is going up to $1 a day.

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Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) The son of former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator Dewey Bartlett has announced his candidacy to become the mayor of Tulsa. Dewey Bartlett Jr. is a 62-year-old oilman and former Tulsa city councilor, having served from 1990 to 1994. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 1992 and for a state Senate seat in 2004. Bartlett is running as a Republican.

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Tulsa, OK – Tulsa employees to take 1st of 8 unpaid days off

TULSA, Okla. (AP) City employees in Tulsa will be taking the first of eight unpaid furlough days later this week.

The days off without pay are part of the city's effort to reduce spending because of falling sales tax revenue. Police and firefighters are included although their furlough schedules will be different.

Employees will be off Thursday without pay and will be off again Friday for the July 4th holiday.

Oklahoma City, OK –
Special Status Granted to Laid-off Employees Under Trade Act of 1974

Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) Two Tulsa-based companies plan to spend $37 million to buy the refined petroleum unit of bankrupt energy company SemGroup LP.

QuikTrip Corp. and Magellan Midstream Partners LP confirmed the sale of the SemFuel unit on Monday.

Court records indicate Magellan, a fee-based gasoline storer and transporter, will pay $23 million through a subsidiary to buy SemFuel's terminal operations in El Dorado, Kan., and Des Moines, Iowa, and storage sites in Glenpool and west Tulsa.

Tulsa, OK – - The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Ozone Alert for Tuesday in Tulsa. The hot, dry, windless weather is expected to continue.

Persons with lung or heart disease should be aware that increased pollution may cause them to experience adverse health effects. Ozone affects people differently. Learn your limits. Symptoms include chest pain, coughing, sneezing, nausea, headache and pulmonary congestion.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa University played host last week to an International Economic Forum. Nine delegates from European Countries were at Helmerich Hall on the TU Campus. The conference was entitled "Doing Business with Europe"

It was as much for the European delegates as it was for Tulsans. Among those attending the functions was Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith who had praise for the program.

U.S. Military

Catoosa, OK – Catoosa grad wins Silver Star

CATOOSA, Okla. (AP) Staff Sgt. Sean Samaroo, a graduate of Catoosa High School, has been awarded the Silver Star for heroic actions under enemy fire in Afghanistan.

Samaroo was among about 50 U.S. troops and two dozen Afghan fighters at a small base that came under attack by 200 or more Taliban armed with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades on July 13, 2008.

Tulsa County Jail Booking Photo

Tulsa, OK – An August 4th preliminary hearing is set for 38-year-old Tausha Borland. The Sand Springs woman is accused of June 9th crash that killed two bicyclists, 33-year-old Christa Voss of Owasso and 34-year-old Mathew Edmondson of Tulsa.

Borland is charged with two counts of first-degree manslaughter, DUI and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Borland is free on $300,000 bond.

St-John Medical Center

Tulsa, OK – St. John Health System has named Jan Slater to the position of Oklahoma State University Medical Center (OSUMC) chief executive officer. A seasoned medical executive with more than 33 years experience in healthcare management, Slater has served as interim chief executive officer upon OSUMC's transfer of ownership from Ardent Health Services to the OSUMC Trust on April 30, 2009.

Department of Public Safety

Miami, OK – Families struggle to cope with deaths of loved ones in devastating crash

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Two families are struggling to cope with the deaths of their loved ones in a devastating chain-reaction collision in northeast Oklahoma.

The death toll from Friday's crash climbed to 10 yesterday after Frisco, Texas, resident Shelby Hayes died at a Joplin, Mo., hospital.

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Tulsa, OK – Edmondson leads in contributions

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma Ethics Commission filings show more than half the early contributions to Attorney General Drew Edmondson's gubernatorial campaign have been from private-practice lawyers and law firms.


Maimi, OK – 9 killed in Okla. turnpike traffic wreck

MIAMI, Okla. (AP) the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has identified the victims of a chain-reaction crash that killed nine people on the Will Rogers Turnpike in far northeastern Oklahoma.

Troopers say an earlier crash had stopped eastbound traffic when a tractor-trailer slammed into at least three cars, which then crashed into more vehicles on Friday.

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Webbers Falls, OK – Prosecutor: Funds possibly misappropriated

WEBBERS FALLS, Okla. (AP) The Muskogee County District Attorney says a possible misappropriation of more than $300,000 in municipal funds is one reason he requested a state audit of Webbers Falls.

District Attorney Larry Moore says he wrote to the state auditor seeking a review of the collection of monies for fines, fees and utility services for the town.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, OK – Corporation Commission offers buyouts

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Workers at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission are being offered voluntary buyouts to help ease a budget crisis.

Agency employees were told Friday to inform their division directors by Tuesday if they want to participate in the buyout plan.

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Miami, OK – 10th person dies from crash injuries

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A horrific chain-reaction accident on Interstate 44 in far northeast Oklahoma has claimed a 10th victim.

Tina Freeman of Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Mo., confirmed on Sunday that Shelby Hayes had died.

The 35-year-old Frisco, Texas, resident was admitted to the hospital in critical condition with head, internal and external injuries stemming from Friday's crash near Miami.

File Photo

Miami, OK – 9 killed in Okla. turnpike traffic wreck

MIAMI, Okla. (AP) the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has identified the victims of a chain-reaction crash that killed nine people on the Will Rogers Turnpike in far northeastern Oklahoma.

Troopers say an earlier crash had stopped eastbound traffic when a tractor-trailer slammed into at least three cars, which then crashed into more vehicles.