Local & Regional

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Tulsa has announced formal federal criminal charges have been filed against Owasso State Senator Rick Brinkley.

Brinkley pleaded guilty to six federal charges this morning, admitting to taking more than $1.8 million from the Tulsa Better Business Bureau when he served as its director. He was fired last spring from that post.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. All are felonies. He is facing up to 20 years in prison and will be sentenced Nov. 20. 

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Police in Tulsa say two more suspects are now in custody in the death of a Talala man who was last seen alive in Tulsa.

Police Capt. Dave Walker announced Wednesday that one suspect was arrested in Longview, Texas, and the second is jailed in Cicero County, Arizona. The first suspect was arrested in Tulsa the day after Holly's body was found on July 19 along the Indian Nations Turnpike near Antlers in southeastern Oklahoma.

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Oktaha, Okla. (AP) — A man at an Oklahoma gun range and survivalist shop that declared itself a "Muslim-free" business dropped his weapon and accidentally shot himself.

Authorities say an unidentified man dropped his gun Tuesday and a bullet struck his arm. He was among armed residents in front of the Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear store in Oktaha, about 60 miles southeast of Tulsa.

In the local news:

  • ACT tests will be free for Oklahoma High School Juniors this year.
  • Charges are expected to be announced today against an Owasso State Senator.
  • A gun range guard accidently shoots himself.
Nelson Stowe Development

A downtown Tulsa retail development to be built out of shipping containers has its anchor tenants.

Dwelling Spaces and Joebot's Coffee will move to the Boxyard from Second and Detroit, and MASA food truck will set up a permanent location. Dwelling Spaces owner Mary Beth Babcock said the developers aren't talking about other tenants just yet.

"But I know my dreams," Babcock said. "A record store, bookstore, gosh, space — I've heard talk about a space-type shop, you know, telescopes."



OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Every high school junior in Oklahoma will have the opportunity to take the ACT college-preparatory test free of charge under a pilot program being launched by state education officials.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister announced the $1.5 million program Wednesday at a news conference in Oklahoma City. She says it will give as many as 22,000 more public high school juniors the opportunity to take the test who otherwise may not have taken the ACT.

Tulsa Fire Fighters Battle Salvage Blaze

Aug 19, 2015
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An estimated 60-vehicles burned in a massive salvage yard fire in north Tulsa. The blaze broke out around 6:30 this morning. Thick, black smoke was seen rising from the Superior Salvage near Hudson and Independence Streets.

The smoke was blowing across nearby I-244 at Sheridan. Fire fighters are still on the scene watching for hot spots. Tires, car interiors, fuel and plastic all contributed the smoke. The fire department was monitoring the air quality around the fire. 

No word on what caused the blaze. However, it did start during a thunderstorm.

Oil Prices Are Making State Budgeters Nervous

Aug 19, 2015
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The state budget is based on $59 barrel for oil. We are missing that mark by $16 a barrel today. The collapse of oil prices to near $43 is causing big concerns in Oklahoma.

The Budget Czar for Governor Fallin is former Tulsa Auditor Preston Doerflinger. He says they are paying very close attention to the decline. He is concerned about big oil's direction and the big impact it could have on the state budget next year.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Republican state senator from Woodward is proposing a constitutional amendment to allow the state to raid money from Oklahoma's Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust fund to pay for a teacher pay raise.

Sen. Bryce Marlatt announced Tuesday his plan to introduce a resolution to submit the proposal to a vote of the people.

Marlatt says since smoking rates have reached an all-time low in Oklahoma, the funds could be used without compromising the mission of the TSET.

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — In seven days of looking into operations at the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office, a special grand jury has heard from five agency employees mentioned in a 2009 memo that raised questions about reserve deputy training.

One of the reserves, Robert Bates, is a friend of Sheriff Stanley Glanz and made donations to the agency. Bates has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree manslaughter charge in the shooting death of an unarmed man in April. Grand jurors are exploring whether Bates received special treatment during training.