Local & Regional

Tulsa County Booking Photo

 

An Oklahoma man already sentenced to life in prison for the hate-crime killing of his Lebanese neighbor has pleaded guilty for a hit-and-run that injured the victim's mother.

Stanley Majors was convicted last month on murder and hate crime charges in the 2016 shooting death of 37-year-old Khalid Jabara. On Tuesday, Majors pleaded guilty to assault and battery with a deadly weapon, leaving the scene of an injury collision and violating a protective order for running over Jabara's mother, Haifa Jabara, with his car.

KWGS Map

 

An investigation and search warrant continues in east-central Oklahoma after deputies found about $250,000 in stolen property while raiding a burglary stash house.

The Shawnee News-Star reports that some of the stolen items discovered by Lincoln County deputies include several Purple Hearts, military items, a coffin, TVs and guitars. Some items have been identified and returned.

The search for a suspicious vehicle led to the search warrant that was served early Sunday at the home near Prague.

TPD

Homeland Security, Oklahoma Alcohol Beverage Law Enforcement, and the Tulsa Police Financial Crimes Unit are working to halt a fake ID factory. At least 100 false ID’s have been intercepted in the past several months, some bound for Oklahoma students. Corporal Matt Rose with TPD says at least one has been confiscated at a downtown Tulsa bar. He says it’s difficult to tell the real from the fake.

The ID’s are being ordered online and then mailed to high school and college students in Oklahoma and elsewhere.

Getting Tough on Truancy

Mar 20, 2018
File photo

Over 25% of the students in the Tulsa Public Schools are chronically absent. That is defined as missing 10 or more days per semester. The Tulsa City Council is looking at putting some teeth in truancy regulations.

A proposal is being considered that could mean fines and even jail time for parents of kids skipping school. However, Tulsa City Councilor Karen Gilbert says that is not the intent of the ordinance. She wants to work with the families.

Tulsa Police

The Texas bombings have officials here concerned about copy-cat explosive packages. Bombs have exploded in Austin and San Antonio causing deaths and injuries.

Tulsa Bomb Squad Sergeant Jacob Thompson says if a package, you are NOT expecting, shows up on your porch use caution. He says there are things to look for before you touch it.

In the local news:

  • Tulsa County Commissioners approve a land lease to Iron Gate.
  • The state supreme court says let the people vote on production tax hikes for education.
  • A retail survey is underway in Tulsa to help shore up business.

 

An Oklahoma appeals court has removed language that was critical of the state attorney general's office in an Open Records Act case involving communications between then-Attorney General Scott Pruitt and major energy companies as well as the Republican Attorney General's Association.

The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled Monday the trial judge's characterization of the office as an "abject failure" in complying with the law was "surplus and unnecessary."

Glenpool Schools

 

Officials in an Oklahoma school district recently surprised teachers and other employees with $1,000 bonuses as a potential statewide teacher walkout looms.

The Tulsa World reports that the Glenpool school district joined many area districts on March 12 when it approved a resolution "in support of Oklahoma public school teachers" and authorized school closings in the event of a teacher walkout.

Glenpool school officials say the surprise bonuses don't solve the bigger-picture problem of low pay, but that they did provide some relief and a boost to morale.

KWGS News photo

 

 Police say a man was hospitalized after leading an officer on a chase that ended at Tulsa International Airport.

Tulsa police Sgt. Shane Tuell said the chase started Monday after an officer tried to stop a speeding, black pickup. The pursuit eventually led onto a circular drive at the airport.

Tuell said the truck drove against traffic and blew two tires before it spun out and stopped near a gate. Police initially thought it had crashed.

OCC

 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says an initiative petition seeking a public vote on whether to increase the oil and gas production tax to help fund education can move forward.

The court ruled on Monday that the petition is "legally sufficient" to be submitted to a vote of the people. Supporters will now have a 90-day window to gather about 124,000 signatures.

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association argued the proposal created an unconstitutional retroactive tax and violated the single-subject rule. The court disagreed.

Iron Gate

It’s been difficult for Iron Gate to find a larger location to move its’ soup kitchen from Trinity Episcopal Church. Tulsa County leaders have now signed off on an agreement to lease land near the jail to Iron Gate. Commissioner John Smaligo opposed the deal though. He doesn’t like the 99-year term of the lease, and has other fears, including what he says is the possibility the site could eventually become a marijuana dispensary.

TPS Announces School Closing Plans

Mar 19, 2018
TPS

 

 

Tulsa Public Schools today released a letter to parents and families with preliminary information about how the district will manage in the event of school closures due to a teacher walk-out. District leaders are continuing to work to identify and address the impact of a shut-down on all 40,000 students and 7,000 team members and will share more information about the district’s plans after the spring break ends on Monday, March 26.

 

Missing Girl Found Safe At Sonic

Mar 19, 2018
Google Street View

The 13-year-old girl who disappeared over the weekend from Tahlequah has been found safe about 20 miles away in Fort Gibson.

Shawna Lowery was spotted last night at the Fort Gibson Sonic. The person she was with,  fled when police showed arrived.

Police had earlier said they feared she was with a 19-year-old and could be in danger. She does have a disability.

Google Street View

A Vision sales tax–funded citywide study of Tulsa’s retail environment is underway.

Wisconsin-based Place Dynamics is doing preliminary work now, gleaning what information it can about Tulsa through data sources like the U.S. Census. City Planning Director Dawn Warrick said they hope to figure out weaknesses in Tulsa’s various retail areas.

"That includes where we have what we would call ‘leakages’ in areas that are over-served or that are underserved with certain types of retail and then kind of a strategy as to what to do about that," Warrick said.

Oklahoma Gas Prices Swing from County to County

Mar 19, 2018
KWGS News

Gasoline prices are fluctuating wildly across Oklahoma.  The price you pay at the pump, really depends on where you do the pumping.

In Okfuskee County you can find regular unleaded for $2.11 per gallon. In Alfalfa County, that same gallon of gas is going for $2.78. 

 

Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan praised his team's poise following a hard-fought road win over the streaking Raptors.

Toronto, meanwhile, found it harder to stay calm and collected after some controversial calls down the stretch.

Russell Westbrook had 37 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds for his fifth straight triple-double, Steven Adams scored 25 points and the Thunder beat the Raptors 132-125 on Sunday, snapping Toronto's winning streak at 11.

 

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake has shaken parts of central Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was recorded at 1:50 p.m. Sunday about 9 miles north-northwest of Langston.]The temblor was recorded at a depth of about 3 miles 

No injuries or damage were reported. Geologists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

In the local news:

  • Major delays begin today on Highway 75
  • A man is arrested in Tulsa, He is suspected of killing his girlfriend.
  • In addition to a payhike, Oklahoma teachers want classroom funding restored to schools.

Man Arrested For Girlfriend's Murder

Mar 19, 2018
Tulsa County Booking Photo

Tulsa Police are holding 30-year-old Jermico Willis on a First Degree Murder complaint. The ex-con is accused of killing his girlfriend, 25-year-old Isesha Wallace, over the weekend.

When officers arrived on the scene, Willis told them she had committed suicide. Detective says Willis' statements did not match up to the crime scene.

OFS

 

Authorities say arson is suspected in a series of grass fires that burned acreage and forced evacuations in northeastern Oklahoma.

Sand Springs police are searching for two individuals who might have ignited a blaze that slowed traffic for several hours due to thick smoke that reduced visibilities on Friday afternoon

Multi-Mile Detour Begins Today on Highway 75

Mar 19, 2018
O-DOT

 

The second phase of an ongoing bridge rehabilitation project on US-75 in Tulsa will have a major impact to traffic starting Monday, March 19.

Tulsa Fire Fighter Hurt in Condo Blaze

Mar 18, 2018
Tulsa Fire Department

Tulsa fire fighters spend the overnight hours Sunday morning battling a large condominium fire in South Tulsa. The blaze was in a complex near 81st and South Yale.

A Tulsa fire fighter was taken to the hospital after a section of ceiling collapsed on him while battling the blaze. He is expected to recover.

The fire department says six units were damaged by the fire. The cause is under investigation.

Storms Are Possible Headed Into Monday Morning

Mar 18, 2018
NWS Graphic

Widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms will spread northeastward across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas this afternoon. Storms are likely to intensity over north Texas this afternoon and interact with a warm front, which is expected to be located along or just south of the Red River Valley. This corridor will be favorable for severe weather potential. Currently the warm front is expected to struggle to lift into southeast Oklahoma, which would focus the main severe weather threat further southward.

Republicans in Oklahoma are confronting a serious budget crisis that began after they took full control of state government in 2010.

GOP lawmakers tried to make the state a model of conservative principles, with lower taxes, lighter regulation and lots of business-friendly reforms. But those moves have left Oklahoma painfully short of money.

Now agencies that were cut during the Great Recession have been slashed even deeper. Rural hospitals are closing, and teachers are considering a statewide strike over low wages.

file photo

The city of Norman has agreed to pay $60,000 in attorney fees to settle a lawsuit over its refusal to release surveillance video that showed former University of Oklahoma and now-NFL running back Joe Mixon striking a woman in a deli.

The Norman City Council approved the agreement this week.

Fire Fighters Exhausted

Mar 17, 2018
OFS

Winds will be clammer across the state this weekend. That is good news for weary firefighters who have been battling wild fires nearly non-stop. A major blaze north of Sand Springs forced the Osage Casino to evacuate on Friday afternoon. Highway 412 between Sand Springs and the Keystone Dam was shut down because of smoke.

Department of Agriculture

Forecasters and climatologists say the amount of moisture received across the United States' southern high plains since October has been ridiculously low, resulting in critical fire danger and winter wheat crops being reduced to stubble across several states.

Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said Friday during a national briefing that some areas in the region have received less than one-tenth of an inch of rain in the past five months.

File photo

Five Oklahoma residents have pleaded guilty to participating in a drug trafficking ring they allege was led by a state prison inmate.

The Tulsa World reports that 31-year-old Rachael Georgia Danley; 23-year-old Ashton Chase Manicom; 30-year-old Jeremy Dallas Mann; 36-year-old Matthew Ray Stroud; and 46-year-old Todd Allen Pryer pleaded guilty this week to various drug-related counts.

Attorneys for the accused drug ring leader and his girlfriend, 35-year-old Slint Kenneth Tate and 36-year-old Robin Tracy Zumwalt, say that plea negotiations are ongoing with prosecutors.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Italian tissue paper manufacturer Sofidel is building a $360 million plant in the Rogers County town of Inola.

Sofidel’s new, nearly 2 million square foot facility should be running by 2020 and will be able to produce 120,000 tons of toilet paper, facial tissues and other products each year. That volume will require 300 workers. Inola Mayor Larry Grigg said that’s nothing to sneeze at.

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