Local & Regional

Expressway Blocked By Vehicle-RV Fire

Jul 23, 2017
Google Street View

Traffic is flowing again on the Broken Arrow Expressway near Lynn Lane. A vehicle, pulling an RV, on Saturday over heated. That cause the vehicle, and later the RV, to catch on fire.

The flaming vehicle started rolling into traffic and blocked the entire expressway while Broken Arrow's Fire Department put out the blaze and cleared away the smoldering wreckage.

No reports of injuries, despite the intense heat.

In Defense of Revenue Bills, State Mounts Technicalities Argument

Jul 23, 2017
Wikimedia

Two of the three court challenges seeking to overturn $343 million worth of revenue bills that the Legislature passed during the final days of this year’s session could face a quick demise if the state has its way.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office responded this week to a pair of lawsuits  – one brought by GOP gubernatorial candidate Gary Richardson and one by a group of automobile dealers. Lawyers for the state argued the court challenges should be rejected on procedural grounds, among other reasons.

KWGS News File photo

The following cooling stations are open for business until further notice:

The Salvation Army Center of Hope

102 N. Denver Ave.

Tulsa, OK 74103

24/7

Tulsa County Social Services Cooling station

2401 Charles Page Blvd.

Tulsa OK 74127

8:30 am – 8:00 pm

Dennis R. Neill Equality Center

621 East 4th Street

Tulsa, OK 74120

Noon to 9 pm 7-days a week

John 3:16 Mission

506 N. Cheyenne

Tulsa, Okla. 74103

24/7

KWGS News File Photo

The summer heat continues to take a toll on Green County residents.  EMSA responded to 11 heat related calls on Saturday. Several people were transported to the hospital, including at 83 year-old man.

EMSA is urging citizens to make a plan to stay safe. Plan the amount of time you think will be outdoors and take appropriate amounts of water or other fluids with you, even if just planning for a short amount of outdoor time. Emergencies can happen and you could be stranded outdoors longer than expected. Always have a cell with you to call 911, if needed.

File photo

The Oklahoma medical board has suspended a Muskogee doctor after complaints that a number of his patients died from overdoses.

A complaint filed with the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision says that 14 of Scott Gregory Lilly's patients had died from overdoses. The Oklahoman newspaper reports that Lilly will be banned from prescribing opioids and other potentially dangerous drugs. He also must serve a six-month suspension from practicing medicine.

NWS Graphic

Excessive heat warnings are in effect for parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas as triple-digit temperatures are recorded across the region.

The National Weather Service says heat warnings will remain in effect through Sunday night for northeastern Oklahoma and northeastern Arkansas as hot and humid conditions continue. Heat advisories are in effect elsewhere in the two states.

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An Oklahoma lawmaker is seeking an interim study on how much the state spends to defend its newly passed laws in court.

Democratic Sen. Kay Floyd says she wants taxpayers to know how much it costs when the state is repeatedly brought to court to defend its laws.

The Journal Record reported that for 2017 the state attorney general's office will defend four bills from constitutional challenges.

File photo

A former Oklahoma legislator has served only 10 days in jail after reaching a plea agreement in a felony case accusing him of embezzlement.

Bryan County Jail officials say 52-year-old Terry J. Matlock's jail term was reduced because he was a well-behaved inmate. The Oklahoman reports that Matlock was also sentenced to 10 years of probation.

Heat Keeps Ambulances Rolling in Tulsa

Jul 22, 2017
KWGS News File Photo

EMSA responded to eight different heat related emergency calls on Friday. More are expected over the weekend as the high heat stays with us.

One of the most disturbing calls was at a west Tulsa supermarket. The ambulance service issued the following statement about that call:

NWS Graphic

.High temperatures are expected to range from the upper 90s to around 103 degrees this afternoon and again Sunday afternoon across parts of eastern Oklahoma. These temperatures, combined with high humidity, will create dangerous heat index values in the 108 to 113 degree range. Overnight temperatures will provide little relief from the heat, especially in the more urban areas. * IMPACTS...The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's unemployment rate remained at 4.3 percent in June, slightly better than the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported Friday that Oklahoma's unemployment rate has been steady at 4.3 percent since March. Oklahoma's unemployment rate was 5 percent in June 2016.

The commission says the state added 3,700 jobs last month. Seven employment sectors added jobs in June with professional and business services posting the largest monthly gain with 2,600 jobs.

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma sheriff forced a former high-ranking sheriff's official to "take the hit" and resign following the shooting of an unarmed black man by a white reserve deputy whose qualifications subsequently came under heavy scrutiny, a federal lawsuit claims.

According to the lawsuit filed Thursday, former Tulsa County Sheriff's Maj. Tom Huckeby says then-Sheriff Stanley Glanz went so far as to issue a veiled threat against Huckeby's son, who also worked at the agency, and told the elder Huckeby that he should keep that in mind before deciding whether to resign.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma lawmaker is seeking an interim study on how much the state spends to defend its newly passed laws in court.

Democratic Sen. Kay Floyd says she wants taxpayers to know how much it costs when the state is repeatedly brought to court to defend its laws.

For 2017, the state attorney general's office will defend four bills from constitutional challenges.

Floyd says the study will show that the costs aren't rare because the state has seen about 20 cases in the past decade. She says that also includes years when Democrats held the majority.

Wikimedia

According to a new study, Oklahoma's older teens and young adults are more at risk than their peers in 41 states and D.C.

According to a WalletHub analysis, Oklahoma has high proportions of youth not working, not attending school, without a degree, overweight or obese, or homeless.

The state has a couple of top-10 rankings it doesn’t want, like ninth in the percentage of youth without a high school diploma.

Co-authors of an interim study on passenger rail in Oklahoma say they have the support of the state, Tulsa Regional and Oklahoma City chambers of commerce, along with other business groups.

"There are about 5,000 daily commuters between Tulsa and Oklahoma City for business alone, so if we think about the safety implications, think about the productivity implications for those folks who are working and traveling back and forth, that alone shows that this has tremendous viability," said Rep. Monroe Nichols.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa’s Great Raft Race will feature a few new things this year.

Race director Seth Erkenbeck said they’re bringing back the sand castle contest, which garnered national attention.

"We are flying in a world champion sand sculptor from the east coast, and he will produce a live, Tulsa-themed exhibition piece at the after-party at West Festival Park," Erkenbeck said.

The raft race will also have boat rentals this year for people who want to make the eight-mile float but don’t want to build or buy a raft.

Our Friday Local News

Jul 21, 2017

In the local news:

  • A Heat Advisory is issued for Tulsa.
  • State Democrats want to fix the budget now, rather than waiting on the courts to possibly strike it down.
  • A Tulsa man is killed by Missouri Police. 

"...And The Heat Goes On!"

Jul 21, 2017
NWS-Graphic

The thermostat is set on 'Oklahoma Broil'. The extreme hot weather will continue through the weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a HEAT ADVISORY for Tulsa.  We could see the mercury climb to at least 100 today. The Heat Index in Tulsa could reach 108.

EMSA responded to six heat related calls yesterday.

Watch the forecast here from the National Weather Service in Tulsa

OKC Zoo

 

 A rare baby Amur tiger cub that was neglected by its mother after its birth at the Philadelphia Zoo this month is being sent to Oklahoma to integrate with a tiger cub litter there.

The Philadelphia Zoo says 10-year-old Koosaka gave birth July 10 to a litter of five cubs. Two were stillborn, and one was accidentally injured by the mother and died. The zoo says the mother never showed maternal behavior toward the remaining cubs, and they were moved to the zoo's animal hospital, where the fourth died.

 

Authorities say a woman has died and her 14-year-old son was critically wounded in a suspected home invasion and shooting in western Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says 36-year-old Tammi Thomas died at an Oklahoma City hospital where she was taken following the shooting early Thursday at a home in Cordell, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City.

The son's name has not been released.

GAO

 

A federal appeals court has upheld the life prison sentences of an Oklahoma man convicted in the fatal shootings of three people in 2004.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal handed down the decision Thursday to 55-year-old David Magnan, who was convicted in federal court in the deaths of James Howard, Karen Wolf and Lucilla McGirt.

Prosecutors say Magnan shot the victims as they lay in bed in a house near Seminole. McGirt identified Magnan as the gunman before she died.

KWGS News

 

Two former Oklahoma jail officials allege a physician routinely delayed or denied medications to incoming inmates.

Former Capt. Billy McKelvey and former Maj. Shannon Clark of the Tulsa Jail filed testimonies Friday in a former inmate's civil rights lawsuit against Armor Correctional Health Services.

The suit alleges "deliberate indifference" to the medical needs of 39-year-old Catherine Lee Freeman. Freeman says she suffered seizures and was put on mechanical ventilation after the Armour physician halted her prescribed medications in 2014.

State Impact Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's finance secretary says cash-strapped state agencies will receive $34.6 million in leftover cash from the previous year.

The revenue had not been allocated when the previous fiscal year ended on June 30. The funds will replenish spending cuts triggered at state agencies in February when revenue estimates indicated collections would fall below estimates.

Youth Services Tulsa

A taco cart — well, bicycle — is the first winner of a competition among social enterprise start-ups.

"A social enterprise is any organization that applies a business principle to address a social issue. For us, it is employment for youth transitioning out of homelessness," said Youth Services Tulsa Social Enterprise Specialist Wesley Rose, who runs the T-Town Tacos program.

T-Town Tacos is a way for youth transitioning out of homelessness to learn culinary skills and earn a wage. They also work with employment specialists.

Tulsa County Sheriff

Tulsa Community College will offer a corrections certificate starting this fall.

It’s the result of a partnership with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, and the coursework focuses on psychology, addiction and mental health. TCSO spokeswoman Casey Roebuck said they want to lower turnover among detention officers.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Oklahoma House Democrats will host a public meeting on the state budget Aug. 3.

With some late-session revenue measures facing legal challenges, they want to negotiate a contingency plan.

"We have some concerns that if any of these court challenges with the Supreme Court come to fruition and they get thrown out that that's going to leave a hole in the already very tight budget," said Rep. Steve Kouplen.

Tulsa Radiologist Accused of Prescription Fraud

Jul 20, 2017
Tulsa County Booking Photo

A Tulsa Radiologist is free on $5,000 bond after turning himself in to Tulsa County authorities.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter charged Doctor James Fleckenstein with writing fraudulent prescriptions for pain relievers. The A.G.’s office says the doctor would write the prescriptions to a family member or family friend. They would in turn have the prescriptions filled and give the medication to the doctor for his personal use.

When contact by KWGS, Doctor Fleckenstein declined comment on the case.

Tulsa Man Killed By Missouri Police

Jul 20, 2017
Neosho Police-Facebook

A Tulsa man is shot and killed by police in Neosho, Missouri. Neosho is about 20-miles south of Joplin.

Police there say the man had been pulled over for a traffic violation  early this morning and appeared to be intoxicated. He got out of his car and pulled a pistol from the back of his waistband and point it at the officer. That is when the police officer pulled his weapon a fired. The man was dead at the scene.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has taken over the case.

New TCC Program Will Train Detention Officers

Jul 20, 2017
Tulsa Sheriff's Office

Tulsa Community College is offering a new Corrections Certificate beginning fall 2017 for individuals who work in corrections facilities or prisons. The program is the result of a partnership between TCC and the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

“We work closely with community and business partners to provide employers with solutions to the challenges of recruiting and retaining workers,” TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. said. “Roughly one in three of our students who graduated last year did so with a workforce degree or certificate.”

Tulsa Needs Teachers

Jul 20, 2017
TPS

Tulsa's Will Rogers High School hosts a day long teacher job fair for the Tulsa Public Schools. Numerous prospects filled out applications during the day.

There is a sense or urrgency for the district. The new school year starts in just about one-month. The school district is looking for over 100 new teachers.

Tulsa Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist says finding new educators can be very difficult. But, she has praise for the way the Tulsa district handles the situation. Gist says those taking part in job fairs are told about the positives of working for the Tulsa School.

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