Local & Regional

TPS Board to Hold-Off On Lee Name Change

Jun 19, 2018

The Tulsa School Board votes to step back from changing the name of ‘Robert E. Lee Elementary’ to just ‘Lee Elementary’. The board took the action last night after school patrons and other community leaders came forward to say the proposed change did not go far enough to remove the Confederate stigma of the Lee name.

Robert E. Lee is one of the oldest schools in Tulsa. It is at the west end of the fashionable Maple Ridge neighborhood.

Earlier this spring, the board had approved dropping ‘Robert E.’ from the title. However, there was a community back lash to that decision.

Bixby Will Fight PSO's Windcatcher

Jun 19, 2018


Officials in a city outside Tulsa are discussing telling a public utilities commission to reject a proposed $4.5 billion wind power line after residents raised resistance against the project.

The Bixby City Council will approach the Oklahoma Corporation Commission about the Public Service Company of Oklahoma's Wind Catcher Connection power line.  The council voted last night to hire outside legal counsel.

Residents, near the site, are  opposed a proposed route that would take the 380-mile power line across south Tulsa County and through western Bixby.


In the local news:

  • The school board will again consider changing the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary.
  • The City of Bixby will fight the PSO Windcatcher project.
  • The Governor will call a special session if medical marijuana is approved next week.


Early in-person absentee balloting for next Tuesday’s primary will be allowed beginning on Thursday. Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman says you may only do in-person voting at the satellite location at Hardesty Library and the Election Board Headquarters. Hours at both locations are Thursday and Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm.

Local, State, and National offices as well as questions are on the ballot. Independents may vote in the Democratic primary, but not the Republican primary.

File photo


County health clinics across Oklahoma are struggling to survive after layoffs by the state Health Department.

The Oklahoman reports that the staffing shortage is leading clinics to reduce the number of people they serve and delay visits.

Statistics from April compared to the same time last year found clinics saw about 4,800 fewer people than a year ago. The data doesn't include Oklahoma and Tulsa counties, which have independent clinics.

KWGS News File Photo


AAA says motorists in Oklahoma and Arkansas are paying some of the nation's lowest prices for gasoline.

AAA said Monday that average pump prices in Oklahoma were the fifth lowest in the nation at $2.61 a gallon. Arkansas had the sixth lowest price at $2.63 a gallon.

Nationally, gas prices averaged $2.90 a gallon, one cent more expensive than a month ago and 60 cents higher than a year ago.

Nationwide, 44 states have less expensive or steady gas price averages compared to a week ago. But consumption is on the rise as the summer travel season intensifies.

BMX-Tulsa Contract Signed

Jun 18, 2018
City of Tulsa



Monday's News on KWGS

Jun 18, 2018

In the local news:

  • Oklahoma Health Outcomes are better, but still not great.
  • A Tulsa highway patrol shooting is under review.
  • Bixby residents voice concern over PSO's Wind Catcher project.

Some Bixby residents will gather at City Hall there tonight. They are upset over the proposed route of PSO's Windcatcher power lines.

The lines would cross their property leading to a PSO power plant along the Arkansas River at Jenks. The project would bring wind energy from western Oklahoma to the eastern part of the state. The multi-billion dollar project would stretch over 350 miles.

The meeting starts at five at Bixby City Hall.

Man Shot in Tulsa By State Trooper

Jun 17, 2018
KWGS News File Photo

An investigation has started into a trooper-involved shooting Saturday evening near Highway 169.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper stopped a vehicle just before midnight near the traffic circle and Mingo

The Patrol says man jumped from car ran away.

Shots were fired and the suspect was hit. He was rushed to the hospital. There is no word on the man's condition as of this writing.

A gun was found at the scene.

Hot Thru Monday... Then Storms

Jun 17, 2018
KWGS News File Photo

Unseasonably hot temperatures will combine with high humidity to produce heat indices of 100 to 105 degrees this afternoon across much of eastern Oklahoma and west central Arkansas. Widely scattered thunderstorms will likely develop in the hot and humid atmosphere over southeastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas this afternoon. The stronger storms will be capable of producing wind gusts up to 50 mph. Any activity that does develop this afternoon will dissipate shortly afternoon sunset.

Oil and Gas Industry Flexes Its Financial Muscle in Governor’s Race

Jun 17, 2018
Oklahoma Watch

The oil and gas industry is playing an early major role financially in trying to influence the outcome of the Oklahoma governor’s race.

As the debate persists over how much the state should tax oil and gas production, an Oklahoma Watch review of campaign finance reports found oil and gas interest groups and executives have spent heavily in the early months of this year’s gubernatorial campaign. Fifteen candidates are running for the office.

KWGS News File Photo

A 70-year-old man wanted by authorities in Kansas has been shot and wounded by a police officer following a traffic stop in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement Saturday that Ronald Dean Minix was stopped by an officer in Tonkawa, along Interstate 35 in the northern portion of the state.

Authorities say Minix put a gun to his head during the stop late Friday and the officer fired his own weapon, striking Minix in the hand. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will not renew the contract of the only television play-by-play announcer the team has had since it relocated in 2008.

The team said Friday the contract of Brian Davis, play-by-play announcer since the team relocated from Seattle, will not be renewed for the 2018-19 season.

A team statement does not give a reason for the decision.


Three people have died and two others were hurt after an early-morning collision involving two vehicles in southern Oklahoma.

The state Department of Public Safety said in a statement that the wreck occurred early Saturday south of Mill Creek in Johnston County.

Two passengers in a Lincoln Navigator were killed while a third passenger was flown to a hospital in critical condition. The 19-year-old driver of the Navigator was flown to a hospital in Denison, Texas, and listed in stable condition.

Hot Weekend on Tap

Jun 16, 2018
NWS Graphic

The combination of unseasonably hot temperatures and high humidity will result in afternoon heat indices climbing into the 100 to 103 degree range this afternoon across much of eastern Oklahoma and west central Arkansas. Unseasonably hot weather will continue through Monday with afternoon heat indices climbing to around 100 degrees across much of eastern Oklahoma and west central Arkansas each day. Thunderstorm chances will increase Monday and continue through late next week as moisture increases across the area.

Tulsa Public Schools

A Tulsa school district wants to delay renaming a school named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee amid pushback that the new name doesn't go far enough.

Tulsa Public Schools voted last month to rename the elementary school "Lee School." But many residents questioned why the school would keep the general's surname.

File Photo

Unemployment in Oklahoma remained at 4 percent last month for the third consecutive month.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said Friday that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment remained unchanged in May. Unemployment declined three-tenths of a percentage point when compared to May 2017.

The commission says employment increased by 4,434 persons statewide. Over the year, seasonally adjusted unemployment fell by 5,149 people.

File photo

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 4.0 magnitude earthquake has shaken parts of central Oklahoma, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The USGS says the earthquake was recorded at 3:56 p.m. about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north of Crescent, located about 34 miles (55 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City. The temblor was recorded at a depth of about 3 miles (5.5 kilometers).

Geologists say that a 2.7 magnitude aftershock was recorded about 14 minutes later about 7 miles (12 kilometers) north-northeast of Crescent.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says you should throw out Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal because of a salmonella outbreak.

That’s for 15.3- and 23-ounce packages of the cereal with "best if used by" dates prior to June 14, 2019.

If the cereal was stored in separate containers, wash them with warm, soapy water.

Symptoms of salmonellosis usually appear six to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. They may include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, muscle aches, nausea and sometimes vomiting.

Cherokee Nation Marshalls have recovered the body of an 18-year-old who disappeared Thursday night at Lake Tenkiller.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Cody Hancock of Muskogee surfaced after jumping off a 15-foot cliff just before 8 p.m. but then started struggling and went under.

Other swimmers couldn’t bring him up, and a search for Hancock was called off when it got too dark.

Hancock's body was found at 8:24 a.m., 11 feet underwater on a rock cliff ledge near where he was last seen.

Tulsa International Airport

Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, D.C. — all are markets the Tulsa Regional Chamber is pushing major airlines to offer direct routes for this year.

Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said there have been several meetings with airlines this year about new routes.

"The three prime ones are LAX, New York and Washington Reagan National. I think probably one that would maybe most likely to come first would be Philadelphia," Neal said.

State of Oklahoma-File Photo

With a party-line vote, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee moved Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Patrick Wyrick closer to a federal bench.

The American Bar Association has not yet issued a recommendation on whether Wyrick is qualified to be a judge for the Western District of Oklahoma, a practice standard for all judicial nominees. Chairman and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said he doesn’t need it.

Oklahoma Watch

The trial is next year, but a big fight is happening now in Oklahoma’s lawsuit blaming several drug companies for the state’s opioid epidemic.

Purdue Pharma wants the case moved from state to federal court and lumped in with many others around the country. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has filed to keep the case here and requested an emergency hearing but said until the issue is decided, the case will effectively be on hold.

Ground is Broken for A New Downtown Bank

Jun 15, 2018
Valley National Bank

Ground is broken for a new six story building downtown. It will become the home of Valley National Bank.

The facility will serve as the bank’s executive office as well as a banking facility. But, there will be more.

Retail shops will also occupy space on the ground floor and In The Raw will offer a roof top restaurant.

The facility will be directly across the street from the Oneok ball park.

Man Dead in Glenpool Crash

Jun 15, 2018
Glenpool Police

Glenpool Police officers are sorting through the details of a fatal crash on Highway 75. It happened just before daybreak near 171st Street South.

Police say a man apparently ran from the side of the roadway into oncoming traffic. He was struck by a pick-up and was dead at the scene.

The south-bound lanes were closed for most of this morning’s rush.


A new autopsy report says a 9-year-old Oklahoma girl who died after losing consciousness at school had an enlarged heart.

The Tulsa World reports that the state Medical Examiner's Office released its autopsy report Tuesday for Milagros Villalpando, known as Milly. The report lists the fourth-grader's cause of death as myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart, and the manner of death as natural.

Office spokeswoman Amy Elliott says Milly had no previous illnesses.


It looks like you will be voting in November of how and where you get your eye exam. The Secretary of State has certified there are enough signatures to call a vote on modernizing Oklahoma’s optometry laws.

Supporters gathered over twice as many signatures than they needed to call for a vote. They submitted 255,000 signatures. They needed 123,000.

If approved, State Question 793 would allow big box stores, like WalMart and Target, to sell eye-ware. Most of other states already allow this.

In the local news:

  • A new law could benefit tribal residents and Oklahoma schools.
  • A gas line explosion sends five people to the hospital.
  • You could be voting on where you can get your next eye exam.



An Oklahoma firefighter and four other people were injured in an explosion and fire that followed the rupture of a natural gas line in Tulsa.

Police say a tractor struck the gas line around 1:30 p.m. Thursday on the city's west side. A Tulsa Fire Department spokesman says an explosion and fire followed the rupture.