Local & Regional

Jails: Revolving Doors for the Mentally Ill

Jul 26, 2015
Clifton Adcock/Oklahoma Watch

Before he was locked up in the Tulsa County jail, James Alexander lived in a hole in the ground.

That hole was under Interstate 44 in east Tulsa, and there he slept, ate and stored his belongings, including food he had stolen from nearby stores. He lived with depression related to bipiolar II disorder.

In jail for nearly two years since, Alexander, 30, now has a stable life. He is locked up 23 hours a day but gets steady meals. He is offered medication but refuses to take it.

His red beard is wiry and his fingernails long and yellowed.

File photo

Oklahoma Democrats will decide tomorrow whether to let independents vote in primary elections.

Proponents hope the change will improve voter participation. Registered Republican voters barely outnumber registered Democrats in Oklahoma. Democrats think opening their primary election to the more than 260,000 independent voters — nearly 13 percent of registered voters — may improve their electoral success.


Tulsa City Councilor G.T. Bynum presented his new low-water dam proposal to the Arkansas River task force.

It was well-received by Tulsa city and county officials, who focused on the need to discuss how people will access the lakes formed by three dams.

"I mean, today there's kayaking, there's rowing, there's fishing, but there's not a lot of access points, so if we can improve that, that's good," said River Parks Director Matt Meyer. "The water quality's not bad. The raft race is coming back, as you all know, so that'll probably get some publicity."


A new report is out, and to almost no one's surprise, Tulsa roads are among the worst in the nation.

The findings, released by a national transportation research group, shows 45 percent of Tulsa roadways in poor condition, and it shows they cause area motorists to spend more than $900 in additional operating costs due to vehicle deterioration.

"Not only does the motorist feel that they're getting jarred around by those rough roads, also very critically, the vehicles are getting kicked around by those rough roads," said Rocky Moretti with transportation research group TRIP.

The Tulsa Shock's majority owner has cleared the final hurdle with the league before he moves the team to Dallas.

WNBA owners approved relocation on a unanimous vote. The Shock's home next year will be College Park Center at the University of Texas in Arlington if the university system's board of regents approves it.

"The WNBA is extremely grateful to the city of Tulsa and the team’s loyal fans," said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie in a statement. "The support they have shown for the Shock and women’s professional basketball over the past six seasons has been tremendous."

Oklahoma Historical Society

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma History Center has opened a Depression-era exhibit of 20 black and white photographs from the Farm Security Administration taken between 1935 and 1945.

The exhibit, "Photographing the Plains: Farm Security Administration, 1935-45," is being displayed in the Chesapeake Events Center Monday through Saturday.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)— Representatives of the oil and natural gas industry warn that issuing a moratorium on wastewater disposal wells could hurt Oklahoma's economy.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is investigating whether the wells are triggering earthquakes in the state.

Oklahoma recorded 585 earthquakes last year. The Oklahoma Geological Survey says there have been more than 500 earthquakes so far this year.


DENVER (AP) — An order of nuns wants the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling letting their employees receive birth control from a third party under the health care law.

An appeals court found last week that the law accommodates religious nonprofits by letting them seek an exemption.

But attorneys for the Little Sisters of the Poor and four Oklahoma Christian colleges say arranging for someone else to provide contraceptives amounts to a permission slip. A lawyer representing the nuns says they "consider it immoral to help the government distribute these drugs."

Broken Arrow Police

Broken Arrow Police have released the name of the 18-year-old suspect in a family homicide that happened late Wednesday night.

Robert Bever, 18, is in custody along with his 16-year-old brother. They are suspected of stabbing their parents, 52-year-old David Bever and 44-year-old April Bever, and three of their siblings to death with knives and hatchets. Police have tentatively identified the other victims as a 5-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy and a 12-year old boy.

In the news this morning:

  • Broken Arrow police name one suspect, two victims in family homicide.
  • A new report ranks Tulsa's roads among the worst in the nation.
  • Arkansas River task force members react to a new dam proposal.