Local & Regional

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 The Heat Advisory is no longer in effect.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.

KWGS News Photo

 

Voters in eastern Oklahoma's Muskogee County have approved extending a local sales tax for another decade.

The Muskogee Phoenix reports that almost 85 percent of voters supported the 10-year extension of the county's half-penny sales tax during a special election Tuesday.

Half of the sales tax revenue goes to maintain roads and bridges. The rest is used by the county sheriff's office for law enforcement activities and courthouse security.

Only four percent of the county's nearly 39,000 eligible voters voted in the special election.

ACLU-Oklahoma

 

The American Civil Liberties Union says it will ask an Oklahoma court to review the case of a woman who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for failing to report that her boyfriend was abusing her children.

Brady Henderson, the legal director for the ACLU's state chapter, said Wednesday that the group plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of 33-year-old Tondalao Hall, who says her boyfriend was also abusing her.

She was sentenced to prison in 2006 after pleading guilty to failing to protect two of her children.

KWGS News

   

Authorities in Oklahoma have released the names of the three law enforcement officers involved in the fatal shooting of a black man whose family said he was having a mental crisis.

A joint release sent Wednesday says Tulsa County sheriff's deputies William Ramsey and Brandon Walker and Tulsa police officer Donnie Johnson were involved in Friday's shooting of 29-year-old Joshua Barre. Ramsey and Walker are white; Johnson is black.

All three have been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.

Michael Shick

A study says Tulsa is the 10th best U.S. city for a certain kind of self-driving cars.

The recommendation comes from a review of trip, parking and congestion data by Inrix, and the study focuses on shared vehicles — think self-driving shuttles or Ubers. Autonomous Vehicle Strategist Avery Ash said that means they’d be best deployed staying within a certain radius of downtown or similar core area.

File Photo

There’s been a lot of talk since Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum took office about how data will drive city hall, and now there’s an example.

"We wanted to look at the relationship between blight and violent crime in Tulsa. To our knowledge, the two have been individually looked at, but we did not find any data that showed we've ever looked at both the data sets together," said Chase Mohler with the city's Working In Neighborhoods Department.

 

Authorities say they've captured three of the four inmates who escaped from the Lincoln County jail earlier this week.

The Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office says inmates Jeremy Tyson Irvin and Trey Glenn Goodnight were caught early Wednesday near Dale, which is about 25 miles south of the jail from which they escaped early Monday.

Oklahoma Delegation Reacts to Shooting

Jun 14, 2017
KWGS News File Photo

Oklahoma members of the congressional delgation were quick to respond to this morning's shooting. All but Tulsa Congressman Jim Bridenstine Tweeted comments:

Sen. James Lankford‏Verified account @SenatorLankford  

Please join me in praying for @SteveScalise, congressional staffers & Capitol Hill police that were shot in Alexandria. This is so terrible.

In the local news:

  • Oklahoma moves up in Kids Count ratings.
  • A judge declines to toss out a lawsuit over the sale of a portion of Helmerich Park.
  • Ground is broken for a new Tulsa hotel in the Blue Dome District. 

KWGS News File Photo

 

Gov. Mary Fallin has scheduled a special election to fill the state Senate District 37 seat that will be vacated early next year.

Fallin on Tuesday scheduled a special primary election for Sept. 12 and the special general election for Nov. 14. If a special primary election is unnecessary, the special general election will be Sept. 12.

The filing period for candidates is June 26-28.

Republican state Sen. Dan Newberry of Tulsa has announced plans to resign the seat in January to seek a promotion in his professional career.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa’s newest police officer certainly knows how to be brave.

Five-year-old Aaliyah Alexander was sworn in as an honorary officer Tuesday after Officer Amley "Popsey" Floyd heard last week that’s what she wanted to be when she grew up.

"We put the wheels in motion to get the recognition from the mayor's office conferring upon her the title of honorary Tulsa Police officer," said Capt. Tom Bell, who swore in Aaliyah. "To my knowledge, it's the only time we've ever done that."

Google Street View

A Tulsa judge rules the lawsuit against the sale of Helmerich Park may continue. The judge today refused to dismiss the lawsuit, ruling against the city’s motion that the citizens did NOT have status to file the suit.

It means the challenge to selling a portion of the park along Riverside Drive for commercial purposes may go forward. A hearing is scheduled later this month.

Modest Oklahoma Improvement in Kids Count Book

Jun 13, 2017
Annie E. Casey Foundation

 

  Oklahoma falls below the national average in several areas of child well-being, placing the state at 36th in the nation, according to the 2017 KIDS COUNT® Data Book released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Despite seeing modest improvements, advocates say the state needs to do more. Download the complete Oklahoma rankings here.

Cherokees Help With Education Funding

Jun 13, 2017
Cherokee Nation

 

More than 150 educators traveled to Northeastern State University for training in the latest Science, Technology, Engineering and Math teaching and learning techniques at the Cherokee Nation’s Teachers of Successful Students conference.

For a fifth straight year, the Cherokee Nation funded conference at no cost to teachers.

To culminate the conference, the Cherokee Nation also awarded a Creative Teaching Grant of $1,000 to 10 teachers to start STEM projects in their classrooms next fall.

Tulsa County

Tulsa’s Sheriff says last week’s officer involved deadly shooting shows why more funding and resources are needed to deal with the mentally ill. The investigation into the shooting death is continuing, but Sheriff Vic Regalado says it points out the difficulties in dealing with those suffering from mental illness. He says the workload for deputies in the mental health unit has doubled in the past few years, but resources and funding from state and federal government has been severely cut, ‘leaving us behind the 8-ball’.

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