Local & Regional

Weather Delays at Tulsa International

Dec 19, 2016
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There are cancelations and delays at the Tulsa International Airport. Click here to get the latest flight information.

KWGS News File Photo

   

Oklahoma transportation officials say crews have cleared snow and sleet from most parts of the state, but cautioned that some roadways remain hazardous.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said Sunday that crews are treating isolated slick spots in the eastern part of the state. The agency cautioned drivers to use extra caution traveling on highways in northeastern Oklahoma because they still could be slick.

Ken Miller

 

 Oklahoma budget writers are bracing for yet another gaping hole to work around for the upcoming fiscal year.

It's the third consecutive year with a significant shortfall.

Officials estimate a $600 million deficit for the budget that will pay for public safety, health care and infrastructure starting July 1.

The 2017 fiscal year deficit, as well as last year's $1.3 billion shortfall and $611 million one the year before, are all due to lower revenue from oil and natural gas production and the impact of various tax cuts and deductions.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

 

 An imprisoned ex-Tulsa police officer at the center of one of the worst corruption scandals in the history of the department is petitioning a federal judge for his early release.

Former Cpl. Harold Wells was one of four law enforcement officers sent to prison after being indicted by federal prosecutors on charges of fabricating drug buys, coaching informants and stealing drugs and cash.

The 65-year-old Wells was sentenced in 2011 to 10 years in prison.

KWGS News File Photo

 

 Tulsa police are investigating after an officer fatally shot a man near a house where a woman and three dogs were later found dead.

Police spokesman Leland Ashley says officers responded Sunday afternoon to the property on the city's west side on a shots fired call. As they arrived in the street, officers saw a man on the porch pointing a shotgun at an officer.

Ashley says the man went inside, then came back out and began walking toward officers, aiming the shotgun at them.

One officer then fatally shot the unidentified man.

In the Local News:

  • State officials brace for a $600-million budget hole.
  • A Tulsa man is shot and killed by police. Officers speculate he killed his wife before pointing a shotgun at officers.
  • A former Tulsa Police Corporal seeks early release from prison.

A video showing Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon punching a female student was released to The Associated Press on Friday.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the release last week of a video that the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters sued to obtain.

The Associated Press acquired videos showing two angles of the incident. One, which shows the altercation, is the video the OAB sued for. The other shows another angle of the incident.

 The sponsor of an Oklahoma law requiring signs in public restrooms directing pregnant women where to receive services to avoid abortions now wants to limit the signs only to abortion providers.

Republican Sen. A.J. Griffin filed a bill Friday that dramatically narrows the requirement. Her amendment to the law would require the information be available through social media, but only abortion providers would have to post restroom signs.

 Firefighters say a woman and a child have died in a house fire in northwest Oklahoma City.

Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson says the woman was dead at the scene of the fire that was reported about 5 a.m. Saturday and the child died later at a hospital.

No names have been released. Fulkerson says the two were the only people inside the home.

Fulkerson says both victims were found in a downstairs bedroom of the 1½ story home and were removed through a rear window.

The cause of the blaze has not been determined.

KWGS File photo

 The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says it's now supervising a record number of convicts.

The department said Friday it is overseeing 61,012 people, which includes 26,619 in state and private prisons or halfway houses and 32,564 who are supervised by GPS monitors, community supervision or by probation and parole officers. Another 1,829 are in county jails awaiting space in prison.

The department says the total number is the highest in its 49-year history.

Department director Joe Allbaugh said state prisons need more than $2 billion in infrastructure repairs.

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Oklahoma ranks ahead of just four states in overall health in a report by the United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings.

Oklahoma ranks No. 46 in the report released Thursday, one spot worse than in 2015. The state ranks better than only Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The report says Oklahoma has the fifth-worst rate in the U.S. of infant mortality; seventh-worst rate of cancer deaths; eighth-worst rate of obesity; ninth-worst rate of diabetes; and is third worst in heart disease related deaths.

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 A woman recalled maneuvering the vehicle her husband was driving after he was shot during testimony at a preliminary hearing for a Texas man accused of killing him and another person while randomly firing his gun along an Oklahoma interstate.

Jeremy Doss Hardy is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shootings of 45-year-old Jeffery Kent Powell of Arapaho and 63-year-old Billie Jean West of Lone Wolf.

The preliminary hearing was Thursday. A judge will determine if there's sufficient evidence for a trial to be held.

State of Oklahoma

 Gov. Mary Fallin has scheduled a special election to fill a vacant seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Fallin on Friday scheduled a special primary election for March 7 and a special general election for May 9 to fill the District 28 seat left open by the resignation of Republican Rep. Tom Newell of Seminole.

The filing period will be Jan. 9, 10 and 11.

If a primary isn't necessary, the general election will be March 7.

A 12-year-old boy has been killed in an all-terrain vehicle crash in Kay County.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the boy died Wednesday the ATV he was riding crashed in a pasture near Newkirk.

The boy's name was not released.

A police report says the boy was northbound in the pasture when ATV struck a wooden post lying on the ground/

The ATV then rolled and the boy was thrown from the vehicle.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

It’s a holiday tradition in Tulsa.

The Salvation Army has received eight special gold coins in its red kettles over the past week and a half.

Three are the South African gold coins called Krugerrands, four are U.S. gold $20 pieces. Altogether, those coins are valued at $6,885.

All four $20 coins were found Dec. 14 from kettles at Reasor's at 71st and Sheridan, Reasor's at 41st and Yale, Mardel's at 51st and Harvard, and JC Penney at Promenade Mall.

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the Tulsa region’s economy.

First, the bad news: Job growth is down slightly. Total job growth this year is projected to be about 3,500.

The good news: Tulsa is in the running for five major projects. Together, that’s potentially 2,500 new, high-wage jobs, and one project comes with nearly $60 million in capital investment. Tulsa Regional Chamber’s Brien Thorstenberg said the region is heading in the right direction.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Several City of Tulsa officials are calling for a change in management of royalties, license fees and bonuses for a warranty program.

The city partnered with Service Line Warranties of America in 2014 to give residents voluntary water and sewer line insurance. Although Tulsa is the only participant, INCOG manages the revenue from that as if it were a regional program, with its board of directors approving expenditures from the fund the revenue goes into.

File Photo

 

 The AAA is predicting that more than 900,000 Oklahomans will travel over the year-end holiday period, a slight increase from the year before.

Nationwide, a record 103 million Americans are expected to travel during the period that runs from Dec. 23 until Jan. 2. AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai says low gas prices and an increase in consumer spending this year are likely linked to the increase in holiday travelers.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

 

 The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the life prison sentence of a 26-year-old man convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a man who disappeared in 2011.

The court handed down the ruling Thursday in the case of Miguel Angel Chavira, who was found guilty by a Tulsa County jury in the shooting death of 24-year-old Joshua Counts.

Authorities say the victim's sister reported that her brother was missing in October 2011. Volunteers discovered his remains in December 2011 along a highway near Inola, east of Tulsa.

KWGS File Photo

Authorities say three people died in separate wrecks and more than 100 traffic crashes were reported after freezing drizzle slickened roads in the Oklahoma City area Thursday night.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported the fatal crashes on three interstates in the metro area. The Oklahoma City Fire Department says its crews responded to multiple wrecks, including an eight-vehicle pileup that shut down traffic.

This is your one-stop location for valuable information regarding our winter storm from Public Radio Tulsa:

• National Weather Service Radar can be found here from the Oklahoma Mesonet.

• What can you expect from the weather? 

Oklahoma City

 

 The president and top officers of the U.S. Conference of Mayors have discussed their priorities and municipal issues with President-elect Donald Trump.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, president of the organization, and other mayors met with Trump in New York City Thursday. Topics included infrastructure investment, public safety, unfunded federal mandates and immigration.

Cornett says members of the delegation had "a very positive, wide-ranging discussion" with Trump and appreciate his desire to work with the nation's mayors to strengthen metro economies.

In the local news:

  • Enjoy today,  for tomorrow we freeze.
  • The state revamps the A-F grade system for Oklahoma schools.
  • OK-POP officially gets a home.

Oklahoma County Sheriff

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The case of a Tulsa dentist charged in the death of the 19-month-old son of a woman he was in a relationship with has been ordered to go to trial.

Oklahoma County Special Judge Larry Shaw found enough evidence for 35-year-old Bert Franklin's case to proceed. Franklin is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lincoln Von Henry Lewis and has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Franklin caused fatal head injuries to Lincoln on July 16 at the Oklahoma City home of the child's mother. Lincoln died two days later.

KWGS News

Though it won’t open for almost three more years, OKPOP’s collection continues to grow.

Museum staff have been in touch with Steven and Charlene Ripley, who Leon Russell asked to take care of his personal archive. Before he died in November, Russell said he wanted it all to go to OKPOP.

The collection includes 2,500 master recordings, equipment, instruments and personal effects.

"In fact, we just got contact this morning from Jan Bridges, Leon's widow, that she wants his show piano that he toured with to come to OKPOP," said OKPOP Director Jeff Moore.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The long-awaited Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture has a home.

OKPOP will be at 422 N Main St. in downtown Tulsa, right across the street from the historic Cain’s Ballroom.

"We had other locations, but this was the right location that would not only bring that excitement to us, but add that special quality of history and to help make this sustainable," said Oklahoma Historical Society Executive Director Bob Blackburn.

Tulsa County Sheriff

30-year-old Kristan Ridick  is now in custody and her infant daughter is safe. This after a disturbance late this morning at a home near 4700 West 23rd, near Berryhill.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's office says Ridick kicked in the door of  the child's paternal grandmother's home. She reportedly assaulted the caregiver and took the baby. The grandmother had emergency guardianship of the child.

KWGS News

A Tulsa police officer charged with manslaughter will be back in court on Feb. 1 for formal arraignment.

A judge set the new arraignment date after Betty Shelby’s attorney asked for more time to file motions. Assistant D.A. Kevin Gray says such a request isn’t unusual. After Shelby’s attorneys file motions in January, Gray has two weeks to respond, then the arraignment will be held.

Mayor Appoints Community Policing Commission

Dec 15, 2016
Tulsa Police

Mayor G.T. Bynum announced the creation of the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing today. The Commission will be charged with providing recommendations to City leaders in 90 days regarding community policing strategies that could be implemented in Tulsa. The recommendations will be due by March 15, 2017 - Mayor Bynum’s 100th day in office.

Mary Fallin

 

  

Gov. Mary Fallin says early projections are that Oklahoma will have a hole in next year's state budget of as much as $600 million, or nearly 10 percent of state spending on the current year's budget.

Fallin said Wednesday she expects a projected shortfall of between $500 million to $600 million when the State Board of Equalization meets next week to certify available revenues. The governor says that figure includes about $245 million in one-time sources of money that were spent on this year's budget.

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