Local & Regional

Ree Drummond-Twitter

 

Growing up in an Oklahoma town she considered too tiny, Ree Drummond sought the bright lights of a city and headed west for Los Angeles.

She never dreamed the journey would send her back to the plains of northeast Oklahoma, to a place with even fewer lights where she's become known and built a brand as "The Pioneer Woman."

Booking an Airbnb listing in Oklahoma will get more expensive in a couple weeks.

On July first, Airbnb will start collecting the 4.5 percent state sales tax, local sales and use taxes, and local lodging taxes on bookings in Oklahoma.

Airbnb is the latest major internet company to work with the commission on the issue of online sales tax.

"So, they will remit that to the state, and that's something that we will remit back to the local communities," said Paula Ross with the Oklahoma Tax Commission. "So, it's something that's good for the state of Oklahoma."

Tulsa County Sheriff's Office

Nearly two dozen school resource officers are training in Tulsa this week.

Tulsa County Undersheriff George Brown said whether they work in public or private schools, agencies are asking a lot of school resource officers nowadays.

"They have to be effective communicators. They have to be good mentors and examples for the young children that they work with," Brown said. "They have to be part medic and part communicator and part police officer."

OBN

Authorities say they've seized 715 pounds of raw marijuana from a tractor-trailer at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says the truck's driver attempted to enter the base last week to deliver other items when the drugs were discovered. The OBN says searchers found 35 boxes of raw marijuana and several thousand small containers of marijuana oil in the truck's trailer.

Tulsa County

Tulsa County settles with a former top deputy in the deposed Sheriff Stanley Glanz administration. An agreement is reached with former Captain Billy McKelvey in his lawsuit. Assistant District Attorney Doug Wilson says it allows the county to confess judgement without admitting any liability.

McKelvey was one of several administrators who were fired, retired,  or resigned after the Reserve Deputy Bob Bates scandal that led to the downfall of Glanz. McKelvey will get more than $137-thousand in the judgement.

Traffic Stop Leads To Huge Tulsa Drug Bust

Jun 19, 2017
Tulsa Police

58-year-old Kevin Jamieson of Vancouver, Washington, is behind bars in Tulsa. He is facing charges of drug trafficking and failure to use his turn signals.

That latter violation, on Highway 169, is what caused Tulsa Police to pull Jamieson's car over on Sunday. A police drug-dog immediately hit on the odor coming from nearly 45 pounds of methanphetamine. With probable cause, officers searched the car and found the bags of meth.

Police did not immediately have a street value on the meth, but did say it was substanial. 

State of Oklahoma

 

Oklahoma is planning a series of events to mark the centennial of the state Capitol as work continues on the restoration and renovation of the century-old building.

Gov. Mary Fallin announced Monday that she'll host a public ceremony June 26 to commemorate the centennial. Fallin says visitors can sign a guestbook, which will later be placed in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years.

The state will also fly Oklahoma's original flag from 1917 over the next two weeks to mark the anniversary.

In the local news:

  • Saving the Heartland Flyer.
  • The school board takes up a new education partnership program tonight.
  • Dangerous Blue-Green Algae is back at Grand Lake.

 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a 10-year-old Texas girl drowned in the Red River in southeastern Oklahoma.

An OHP report says the girl from Texarkana, Texas, was not wearing a personal flotation device while wading in the river south of Idabel about 6 p.m. Saturday.

The report says she apparently slipped and went under water, and never resurfaced.

Her body was found about three hours later more than 200 feet from where she disappeared.

The girl's name has not been released.

okhca.org

 

A plan to privatize Oklahoma's Medicaid program has stalled because of a lack of funds.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has canceled bids from companies seeking to manage services for the elderly, blind and disabled.

OHCA CEO Becky Pasternik-Ikard told The Oklahoman that the agency asked for about $52 million to pay for the model program and the request was not funded.

Under the proposed program, for-profit companies pay medical and related costs while receiving payments from the state.

Federal Court Sides With Oklahoma, Blocks Caps on Inmate Phone Costs

Jun 18, 2017
Oklahoma Watch

A legal challenge, partly spearheaded by Oklahoma leaders, has blocked the federal government from setting limits on how much inmates and their families can be charged for in-state telephone calls.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2-1 decision Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission exceeded its authority in creating a national rule that sought to cap fees on intrastate phone calls for the first time.

A legal challenge, partly spearheaded by Oklahoma leaders, has blocked the federal government from setting limits on how much inmates and their families can be charged for in-state telephone calls.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2-1 decision Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission exceeded its authority in creating a national rule that sought to cap fees on intrastate phone calls for the first time.

KWGS File Photo

Investigators say three relatives from Oklahoma died when their SUV bound for Houston rolled in a three-vehicle Central Texas wreck.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says the accident happened early Saturday on Interstate 45 just south of Huntsville. Sgt. Richard Standifer  says two other people in the SUV and a car driver were hurt.

Standifer says a car following the SUV struck the larger vehicle. The SUV then hit an unoccupied vehicle left along I-45, rolled and killed three passengers.

File photo

Two earthquakes have shaken parts of north and south central Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 3.2 quake Saturday morning about 9 miles  south of Blanchard. Earlier Saturday, the survey says a magnitude 2.6 temblor rattled about 15 miles  east of Cherokee.

No damage or injuries were immediately reported.

Geologists say damage isn't likely in quakes below magnitude 4.0. Earthquakes of magnitudes 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest that are felt by humans.

Blue-Green Algae Back At Grand Lake

Jun 18, 2017
KWGS News Photo

The Grand River Dam Authority is urging caution as Blue-Green Algae is found on Grand Lake. The discovery was made in the Fly Creek arm of the lake.

The GRDA Laboratory say the algae's toxin levels are 5 times higher than what is considered toxic. The scum- like algae looks like pea-green soup on top of the water.

Contact with the algae can cause skin irritation, blisters and hive-like sores. It can cause breathing problems if inhaled.

Children are most at risk.

Arrest Made in Katy Trail Murder

Jun 18, 2017
Tulsa County Booking Photo

Tulsa Police arrest a 40 year old man in connection with the Friday murder along the Katy Trail in Tulsa. Officers arrested Derrick Mathes on Saturday. He is accused of stabbing a man to death on the trail near the Tulsa Jail.

In addition to being stabbed, the victim was also severely beaten. Police know the victim's name, but have not released it yet.

This is Tulsa's 40th homicide of this year.

Heat Warning For Tulsa Area

Jun 17, 2017
NWS Graphic

The National Weather Service in Tulsa has issued an Excessive Heat Warning, which is in effect from 11 AM this morning to 9 PM CDT this evening. The Heat Advisory is no longer in effect. * TEMPERATURE...High temperatures in the middle to upper 90s will combine with increased relative humidity values..and will result in heat indices around 110 degrees this afternoon. * IMPACTS...The increasingly hot and humid conditions will increase the potential for heat related illness for much of eastern Oklahoma and west central Arkansas Saturday afternoon and evening.

ORU Athletics

An Oral Roberts University official says the death of a women's basketball player is being investigated as a suicide. The university says the body of 20-year-old Ashley Beatty was discovered in a campus dormitory Thursday night. ORU security officials and the Tulsa Police Department say they found no evidence of foul play. Blake Freeland, ORU's associate athletic director for media relations, tells the Associated Press that her death of being investigated as a suicide.

Incog

Authorities are investigating after a man was found dead near a walking path behind the Tulsa County jail.

Police say someone walking on the path found the body Friday morning and notified a jail detention officer, who then contacted police.

Police say the man had been beaten to death, making it the city's 39th homicide of the year.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker says the man appeared to be in his 40s and that he had trauma wounds to his face.

KWGS News Photo

Plans that included $15.2 million from a larger tax renewal package to bring USA BMX to Tulsa has hit a roadblock.

The organization planned to move its headquarters to Expo Square, a multi-purpose arena in the Tulsa County Fairgrounds. The original plan was to refurbish office space and replace the old Drillers Stadium with a BMX training facility.

Expo Square CEO Mark Andrus tells the Tulsa World the plan fell through because of contractual requirements to Coca-Cola.

Google Earth View

Victims of a fatal bank robbery in eastern Oklahoma are suing over the shooter's improper prison release.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday on behalf of Randy Peterson, who was president of the Bank of Eufaula when fatally shot in the January 2016 robbery. Other plaintiffs include an employee who survived.

The shooter, Cedric Norris, had twice been released from Texas prisons despite having a 60-year sentence to serve in Oklahoma for robbery convictions in Tulsa and Creek counties. Police fatally shot Norris after the bank robbery.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says federal officials have extended the state's deadline for complying with the REAL ID Act to Oct. 10.

Fallin said Friday that the compliance deadline was extended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The agency had previously set July 10 as the deadline for complying.

C-SPAN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly obtained emails underscore just how closely Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt coordinated with fossil fuel companies while serving as Oklahoma's state attorney general, a position in which he frequently sued to block federal efforts to curb planet-warming carbon emissions.

 

An earthquake has shaken parts of northern Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.5 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 2:35 a.m. about 12 miles west of Perry in Noble County. The earthquake was recorded at a depth of about one mile.

No damage or injuries were reported. Geologists say damage is not likely in quakes below magnitude 4.0 and that earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest that are felt by humans.

In the local news:

  • Police release video from north Tulsa shooting.
  • BMX will not be at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.
  • The Tulsa Zoo readies for 'Waltz on the Wild Side'.

NGA

 

 Gov. Mary Fallin has signed an executive order that appears to override some provisions of a new drunken-driving law.

The Oklahoman reports Fallin signed legislation earlier this month containing provisions that abolished the appeals process individuals can use to try to keep their licenses after being arrested.

Several DUI defense attorneys were concerned the changes could be interpreted to give the Public Safety Department permission to annul someone's license without providing a chance for the person to legally challenge the action.

KWGS News

   One of the three Oklahoma officers involved in the fatal shooting of a mentally distressed black man last week was sued in federal court after he shot a woman in the face in 2006.

Tulsa County sheriff's deputy William Ramsey was among the officers identified in last Friday's shooting of 29-year-old Joshua Barre, who was having a mental crisis according to his family.

In the earlier case, Ashley Barr sued Ramsey in 2008, two years after he fired at her truck. Ramsey claimed Barr was trying to harm his partner with her pickup.

Facebook

 

   The family of an unarmed black man fatally shot by a white Oklahoma police officer who was later acquitted of manslaughter has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the policewoman and the city of Tulsa.

The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday on behalf of Terence Crutcher seeks at least $75,000 in damages and calls for widespread reforms and increased transparency from the police department, including better training.

Tulsa Police

Tulsa Police have released their video of last Friday’s fatal shooting of a mentally ill man armed with knives.

Besides three videos from patrol car dash cams, one video is from a body camera worn by Officer Donnie Johnson. TPD said Johnson’s body cam didn’t capture the shooting because it was powered off rather than in standby mode when it was activated.

The camera did capture the on-scene supervisor’s exchange with Johnson about two minutes after Joshua Barre was shot.

"Was that you?" the supervisor said.

In the local news:

  • An Oklahoma Congressman reacts to yesterday's shooting.
  • Only one of the four escapees from Lincoln County are still on the run.
  • Blight and crime could be connected according to a Tulsa study.

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