Local & Regional

KWGS News

A veteran’s group working to solve food insecurity in rural and under-served areas is honored by Tulsa County leaders. Honor Capital is on a mission to help end food deserts through a program called Hub and Spoke. Jim Allen is President of Honor Capital, a veteran’s owned organization. He says Hub and Spoke partners grocery stores with mobile units to bring fresh, nutritious food to areas where it isn’t easy to find or where transportation is lacking.

File photo

After a couple of starts and stops finding a location, bids are finally opened for a new Tulsa County Family Justice Center. Five bids were received, all under $30-million, below the estimated cost of around $39-million. Current Justice Center Director Justin Jones says alternatives were included within the bids, so a committee will determine the lowest and best.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, a bid should be awarded next week, and construction will begin in mid-April. Construction time is estimated at about 18 months. 

OU Twitter

 

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents has named a longtime energy company executive as the university's next president.

The regents announced Monday that 65-year-old Jim Gallogly will become OU's 14th president on July 1.

He will succeed David Boren, who announced in September that that he would step down on June 30 from the post he's held since 1994.

KWGS News Photo

 

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says an inmate at the Muskogee County jail has died after being found unresponsive in her cell.

The OSBI says jailers found 23-year-old Brandy Edwardsen early Saturday and she was taken to a hospital where she later died.

The body was sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy.

The OSBI said a report on the death will be sent to the district attorney following an investigation.

In the local news:

  • The Oklahoma teachers and state employee walkout is one week away.
  • OU gets a new President.
  • The ACLU wonders if Oklahoma's next execution method will be legal,

U.S. Army Coprs of Engineers-Tulsa District

Thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon and continue into the evening and overnight across much of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. A few storms from mid afternoon into the evening may produce hail to the size of half dollars and winds approaching 60 mph. The heavy rain and flash flooding risk will increase during the evening and overnight across northeast Oklahoma and far northwest Arkansas. A Flood Watch is in effect for most of the area beginning at 7 pm this evening.

Car Crashes Into Claremore C-Store

Mar 26, 2018

A car crashes into the Claremore Kum and Go, just down the hill from Rogers State University. It happened on Sunday afternoon.

A customer in the store was briefly pinned between the vehicle and the store’s counter.

Claremore Police say the driver stepped on the gas rather than the brake.

Heavy Rain This Week

Mar 25, 2018
NWS Graphic

A strong mid level speed max will lift into northeast Oklahoma this

afternoon.  Moderate elevated instability combined with strong deep

layer shear will support a few severe thunderstorms with the

potential for hail to the size of half dollars. The limited severe

weather potential will persist through tonight with a continued

threat for mainly large hail.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms should be ongoing across parts

of the area Monday morning, with additional showers and

Tulsans 'March for our Lives'

Mar 25, 2018
You Tube

They came from a place of heartbreak to claim their spot in history: Hundreds of thousands of teenagers and supporters, rallying across the United States for tougher laws to fight gun violence.

The "March for Our Lives" events on Saturday drew massive crowds in cities across the country, marking the largest youth-led protests since the Vietnam War era.

File photo

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was recorded at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday about 8 miles  south-southeast of Medford in Grant County. That's about 120 miles north of Oklahoma City. It was recorded at a depth of about 1 mile .

An earlier 2.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 2:06 a.m. about 8 miles northeast of Enid, or about 33 miles south-southwest of Medford.

No damage or injuries were reported. Geologists say damage isn't likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

Tulsa Police

Police in Tulsa say the discovery of a man's badly beaten body is being investigated as a homicide.

Tulsa Police Cpl. Scott Anderson says the body of the man was discovered about 7:30 a.m. Saturday after a second man flagged down an off-duty Tulsa police officer and reported that an acquaintance had been injured.

Anderson says the officer found the homeless man's body among some tree limbs on a highway embankment. The man had been beaten in the head and face.

pinay06 Wikimedia

A group of inmates is tending to 200 roosters at an Arkansas sheriff's office pending their use as evidence against 137 people arrested at a cockfight.

Sheriff Robert Gentry said the birds would be held at his office until a court decides what to do with them.

The Texarkana Gazette reported several agencies raided a cockfight near De Queen March 17, tracking down an operation that moved every weekend. The sheriff said 34 people face felony counts of unlawful animal fighting and 86 face misdemeanors. Others arrested were spectators.

Inmate on the Run

Mar 24, 2018
DOC

Authorities in southwest Oklahoma are searching for a state prison inmate who escaped while working at a golf course.

Police in Mangum say 42-year-old Teddy Ely escaped Thursday from the golf course in Mangum.

Police say Ely took a four-wheeler and drove to a nearby house, where he stole an orange pickup truck and drove away.

Department of Corrections records say Ely was an inmate at the Oklahoma State Reformatory Work Center in Granite, about 10 miles from the golf course.

Recent data numbers show Oklahoma's large counties are growing in population while smaller counties are losing residents.

The U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday show Oklahoma City has continued its growing streak, gaining more than 11,200 people between mid-2016 and mid-2017.

The Tulsa area also grew last year by more than 3,200 people. Oklahoma's other two metropolitan areas saw little change, with Lawton's population remaining relatively stagnant and Enid losing about 800 people.

DOC

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has denied a white former Oklahoma reserve deputy's request to reconsider his conviction for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

The court on rejected a request for a rehearing in the appeal of 76-year-old Robert Bates.

The court last month upheld his second-degree manslaughter conviction in the April 2015 fatal shooting of 44-year-old Eric Harris.

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Attorneys for four former Bixby High School football players charged with second-degree rape by instrumentation are asking to have their clients certified as juveniles.

Friday's filing in Tulsa County District Court says none of the teenagers charged have had previous contact with the criminal justice system and have not been involved with past disciplinary problems at school.

It also says they are "amenable, if necessary" to supervision and rehabilitation by the state Office of Juvenile Affairs.

OEA

Oklahoma's largest teachers' union is outlining a list of proposed tax increases for lawmakers to consider to avoid a statewide teacher strike.

The Oklahoma Education Association presented a list Friday and criticized state lawmakers for taking a three-day weekend ahead of a pending teacher walkout on April 2.

Among the items proposed for tax increases are oil and gas production, cigarettes, alcohol, motor fuel, lodging and internet sales.

One Killed in Tulsa Expressway Crash

Mar 23, 2018
ODOT Traffic Cameras

One person is killed in a pre-dawn traffic crash on I-44 in Tulsa. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports the crash was between an 18-wheeler and a SUV.

The SUV was lodged under the back wheels of the semi’s trailer.

The collision about 5:30 this morning closed the east bound ramp onto I-44 at Yale Avenue.

The roadway was block for most of the morning commute as the OHP investigated the crash and the wreckage was cleared away.

In the local news:

  • A fatality crash involving an 18-wheeler closes the I-44 eastbound ramp at Yale.
  • The state school board is briefed on teacher walkout plans and the student testing impact.
  • The flu takes more lives in Oklahoma.

File photo

 

Alabama will become the third state to authorize the untested use of nitrogen gas to execute prisoners, under legislation signed into law Thursday by Gov. Kay Ivey.

As lethal injection drugs become difficult to obtain, states have begun looking at alternative ideas for carrying out death sentences. While lethal injection would remain the state's primary execution method, the new law would allow the state to asphyxiate condemned inmates with nitrogen gas if lethal injection drugs are unavailable or lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional.

OU to Get New President Monday

Mar 23, 2018
OU

The University of Oklahoma will get a new president on Monday. The board meets Monday morning. Selection of a new president is the only item on the agenda.  

The new leader will replace former Governor and U.S. Senator David Boren, who is retiring.

The new president will be presented on campus at Norman later in the morning. He or she is expected to be at the OU Tulsa campus later in the afternoon.

OFS

Fire crews were hopping yesterday afternoon from one blaze to another.

Several hundred acres were burned near Nuyaka in Okmulgee County.  There was also a big fire near Bristow in Creek County that made driving nearly impossible on the Turner Turnpike.

Grady County emergency management official Amanda Wilkerson says evacuations were ordered Thursday as flames burned pastures and threatened structures near the H.E. Bailey Turnpike south of Bridge Creek.

Household Pollutant Event Set for this Weekend

Mar 22, 2018
M.E.T-Facebook

A Household Pollutant Disposal Special Event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the City of Tulsa’s Household Pollutant Collection Facility, 4502 S. Galveston Ave. In addition to the usually accepted items, special items accepted only at this event are tires, e-waste, medications and ammunition. No appointment is necessary for the special event.

For more information about household pollutant disposal in Tulsa, see www.cityoftulsa.org/resourcerecovery

Owasso Police

 

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the fatal shooting of two men by police in separate northeastern Oklahoma cities.

The OSBI says 39-year-old Duane Preciado died after being shot Wednesday night in the Tulsa suburb of Owasso.

The OSBI says Preciado carried an AK-47 as he met two officers responding to a disturbance call about 10:30 p.m., and was shot as he moved toward officers while making threatening comments.

Stolen Car Crashes After a Downtown Tulsa Chase

Mar 22, 2018
TCSO

A Chandler man is looking at spending some time behind bars. It appears 21-year old Joseph Dearmond is a heap of trouble.

He apparently stole a Black GMC SUV in Stroud. Tulsa Sheriff’s deputies spotted the vehicle in Tulsa and tried to pull it over near 2300 Charles Page Boulevard. A chase ensued with speeds of 70 mph coming into downtown Tulsa. The deputies backed off when the vehicle took off down railroad tracks.

Hofmeister Says Walkout Now Likely

Mar 22, 2018
KWGS News/SDE

Oklahoma’s top educator tells the state school board that a teacher walkout now appears likely in the state. Joy Hofmeister made the comment at the opening of today's state board meeting in Oklahoma City.

Homeister says nearly 70% of the students statewide will be impacted if teachers walk on April 2nd.  She also briefed the board on how the strike could complicate mandated state testing.  She says ACT and SAT college entrance exams are also scheduled for early April. However, there is a make-up ACT test scheduled for late April.

Flu Deaths Mount in Oklahoma

Mar 22, 2018
File Photo-EMSA

The number of flu deaths continues to increase across Oklahoma. Four more deaths were reported this week. Three of those were in Tulsa County. The flu shot does not prevent the flu, but can lower your risks.                     

Statewide, 242 people have died from the flu this year in Oklahoma.  47 of those have been in Tulsa County. That is a modern day record.

As for hospitalizations, the State Health Department reports 4,503. Over a fourth of those (1,138) have been in Tulsa County. 

In the local news:

  • State lawmakers looking for dollars to avoid a teacher walkout.
  • Two people are killed in separate incidents with area law enforcement.
  • A long police stand-off ends with the suspect behind bars.

State of Oklahoma

 

A Republican state senator from Guthrie says she won't seek re-election when her term is up this year.

Sen. A.J. Griffin announced in a press release on Wednesday that she plans to step down after serving six years in office. Her Senate District 20 seat includes Kingfisher, Logan, Noble and Pawnee counties. Griffin says she has struggled with whether to run again but said she heard "God's call in another direction."

OFS

 

Oklahoma emergency management officials say a grass fire in rural McClain County has forced at least one home to be evacuated.

The grass fire flared up Wednesday afternoon near Dibble, located about 37 miles south of Oklahoma City.

Keli Cain, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, says at least one residence has been evacuated due to the flames. McClain County sheriff's deputies are working to relocate other nearby residents.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries due to the grass fire.

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