Local & Regional

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With Oklahoma’s population getting older, it might be time to talk to an older driver you know about whether they can continue to be on the road safely.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research says 83 percent of older drivers have never had that conversation with a family member or doctor.

"It’s a very touchy subject because one of the freedoms that we enjoy the very most as Americans is having an automobile and being able to get in it any time we want to and go anywhere we want to," said AAA Oklahoma's Mark Madeja.

File photo-Tulsa Police

Tulsa Police have specific concerns about medical marijuana, chief among them home-growing regulations.

Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks said loosely regulated home growing is the biggest contributor to gray- and black-market marijuana.

"What it has allowed is organized crime and drug traffickers to avoid the statutory laws that they already have in place or to circumvent those. It results in the purchasing and renting of houses in neighborhoods and using those homes for grow facilities," Brooks said.

Laurie Avocado

Law enforcement officials took their turn before Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Working Group on Wednesday, including the head of the agency supporting Oklahoma prosecutors.

District Attorneys Council President Brian Hermanson said the language voters approved with State Question 788 is missing what prosecutors consider an important piece to deter abuse.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City is observing the 60th anniversary of a youth sit-in that local historians say deserves more recognition in the collective memory of the national civil rights moment.

Oklahoma History Center staffer Bruce Fisher said the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council's peaceful protest at a Katz Drug Store counter on Aug. 19, 1958, preceded a 1960 sit-in at a Woolworth department store in Greensboro, North Carolina, which many highlight as the start of the movement.

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ACHILLE, Okla. (AP) — Officials have reopened a rural Oklahoma school system after an investigation into comments authorities deemed threatening to a transgender student.

Achille Public Schools, near the Texas border, reopened Wednesday after being closed for two days while the Bryan County Sheriff's Office investigated.

Sheriff Johnny Christian says the investigation started over the weekend after adults made threatening comments on Facebook about a 12-year-old transgender girl using a girls' bathroom at school.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's Health Department is warning a judge that the public will be harmed if the state can't implement key rules on medical marijuana.

The agency on Tuesday listed eight potential dangers to the public if the new rules aren't enforced. Dangers include selling contaminated food and drug products.

The warning comes in response to a legal petition asking for an emergency injunction on more than 20 medical marijuana rules. The Board of Health adopted new guidelines Aug. 1 after rules hastily adopted last month came under harsh criticism.

In the local news:

  • Federal funds available for Tulsa Route 66 clean-up evaluation.
  • Flooding issues in Oklahoma City.
  • 101st Street South reopens to two-way traffic

Heavy Rain Causes Emergency Rescues

19 hours ago
OKC Fire-Facebook

Oklahoma City Fire crews responded to over two dozen emergency weather related calls last night. Heavy rain caused flash flooding leaving people stranded in cars across the Capitol City.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department reported on its Facebook page that dispatchers were "slammed" by the storms.

Other heavy storms caused problems in South East Kansas. People had to be rescued from the homes and cars in the town on Independence, north of Coffeyville. 

101st Reopens to 2-Way Traffic

19 hours ago
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In time for school starting this week, East 101st Street is opening today to two-way traffic between Riverside Parkway and South Yale Avenue. Some street rehabilitation work remains, however, on 101st Street between Jamestown and Marion avenues, and workers will be flagging traffic when necessary until the project is completed in December.

 

Access to the Silver Chase neighborhood will change to Jamestown Avenue.

 

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A board is tackling another aspect of Oklahoma’s medical marijuana regulations starting this week.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s Food Safety Standards Board is coming up with recommendations for the state board of health’s approval when it comes to things like manufacturing edibles, packaging and quality assurance. The group is holding back-to-back all-day meetings Tuesday and Wednesday.

OKC Police

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A rodeo bull broke free from the Oklahoma City Stockyards late Monday, charging through city streets and chasing people, including one person who jumped into a river to escape the animal.

Oklahoma City police spokeswoman Megan Morgan says the animal managed to escape a pen at the stockyards then made its way downtown, nearing a hospital and bus station. Morgan says cowboys and police eventually corralled the bull but the animal collapsed and died after it was captured.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City received a record $40.2 million in sales tax revenue this month, benefiting from the upswing in the local economy.

The August revenue distances the city further from recent budgets that led to staff cuts and reduced spending, the Oklahoman reported.

August is the 16th straight month of positive sales tax growth, said city budget director Doug Dowler. He said the trend shows the city's recovery "from the regional recession that occurred from mid-2015 through early 2017 is continuing."

Valkyrie Systems Aerospace

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An aerospace manufacturer that produces unmanned aircraft plans to locate its operations center in Oklahoma City and create more than 350 jobs over the next five years, Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday.

Nevada-based Valkyrie Systems Aerospace has formed a partnership with the state to operate manufacturing facilities as well as flight operations and training in the Oklahoma City area, Fallin said.

Broken Arrow is two weeks away from residents voting on a $210 million general obligation bond package.

In a news conference Tuesday, representatives of Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce, Broken Arrow Public Schools, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10887, Broken Arrow Seniors and Indian Nations Football Conference asked for voters' support of the bonds.

Build A Better Broken Arrow Committee Chairman Russell Peterson said the six propositions have the potential to spur even more growth for the city.

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The City of Tulsa will have grant funding available starting Oct. 1 to help with Route 66 redevelopment.

The $300,000 total grant is through the Environmental Protection Agency's Targeted Brownfields Assessment Program, which also exists at the state level.

"What’ll be different about this one at the local level is we’ll be able to work with nonprofits and local businesses on doing the type of environmental due diligence that’s required before purchase," said City of Tulsa Deputy Chief of Economic Development Michelle Barnett.

Jogger Hit While on Brookside Run

Aug 14, 2018
Tulsa Police

Tulsa Police are investigating a crash this morning, where a Brookside jogger was struck by a car. That car did not stop.

Police say the incident took place about 6:15 this morning near 39th and South Peoria. The jogger did suffer injuries, but is expected to recover.

Police are looking for a small, red or maroon vehicle. The car has damage to the passenger side view mirror and a front headlight.

In the local news:

  • Despite pay raise, Oklahoma still faces a teacher shortage.
  • Broken Arrow says its water is safe despite that smell.
  • Flash Flooding will be possible across Northeast Oklahoma.

Flooding Rains Possible

Aug 14, 2018
NWS-Graphic

Multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms producing locally heavy rainfall are expected to affect eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas through Wednesday.

There will be breaks in the rainfall at any one location, but when it is raining, the rainfall rates will be high enough to cause some higher totals.  

Two to four inches of rainfall will be likely at most locations   through this time frame, with isolated amounts to seven inches   possible.

Carmelo Anthony has signed a one-year, $2.4 million deal with the Houston Rockets. Anthony was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks last month before the Hawks released him. Houston general manager Daryl Morey announced the signing and the Rockets posted a picture on social media of the 34-year-old Anthony signing his contract.

KWGS News

 

  Oklahoma prison officials say an inmate remains hospitalized after being stabbed at a facility in the southwestern part of the state.

Officials say 36-year-old James Bever was stabbed Saturday at Lawton Correctional Facility. Bever was found lying in a pod shower with multiple stab wounds.

Department of Corrections spokesman Matt Elliott says Bever was taken to an area hospital for treatment and remained hospitalized Monday. Prison records show he's serving a 10-year sentence for burglary and other charges in Pittsburg County.

The gloves appear to be off in Oklahoma’s Republican gubernatorial runoff election.

After former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Gateway Mortgage founder Kevin Stitt's debate last week, a pro-Cornett group attacked Stitt’s business record.

"If Kevin Stitt couldn't be trusted to run a business in three other states, how can Oklahomans trust him to run ours now?" the ad said, referring to 2009 regulatory actions against Gateway Mortgage in Arkansas, Illinois and Georgia.

A Stitt group ad bashed Cornett for not being conservative enough.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Despite a pay raise, Oklahoma’s teacher shortage is almost the same as it was last year.

Districts responding to the Oklahoma State School Boards Association’s fifth-annual survey reported 494 vacancies, down just 7 percent from last year.

OSSBA Executive Director Shawn Hime said the teacher pay raise that was supposed to make a big dent in the teacher shortage was hampered by uncertainty as it faced a potential veto referendum until just last month.

Federal, state, local and tribal officials are convening in northeastern Oklahoma this week to talk about new ways to reduce crime in Indian Country.

The talks are the work of the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Native American Issues. U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores is the committee chair and says there are four areas of focus.

KWGS File photo

 

An Oklahoma coalition is campaigning to reduce sentences of dozens of people incarcerated for crimes that no longer carry such severe punishments following the state's criminal justice reform efforts.

Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform has partnered with University of Tulsa law students for what they call the "commutation campaign." The bipartisan group includes law enforcement, lawmakers and business and community leaders.

OKC Police

 

Oklahoma City police say an officer fatally shot a man who pointed a gun at him as he responded to a disturbance at a convenience store.

Police Capt. Bo Matthews says the shooting happened shortly before 1 a.m. Monday. Matthews says the man was bothering patrons in the parking lot and saying the store was "going to be shot up." He was identified as 33-year-old Chris Stone.

Matthews says Officer Matthew Patten arrived at the scene and that Stone began running before turning and pointing a gun at Patten. Patten then fired his weapon, mortally wounding Stone.

 

Many of the teachers who converged on their state capitols in protest this past spring are hoping to return soon — this time as lawmakers.

Hundreds of teachers are running for office in November elections. They say they want to be at the table when legislatures make decisions about public education spending and teacher wages, issues that were at the root of walkouts in states including Arizona, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Union counts put the number of educators nationwide on ballots for offices from school board to state legislature at more than 300.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The City of Broken Arrow is increasing its water pretreatment operations in an effort to reduce taste and odor issues with its treated water.

The city said an earthy smell and taste are the only problems, though.

"We are not under a boil advisory. The water is safe to drink. The taste and odor issues are being caused by algae in the Verdigris River, which is the city’s main source of raw water," said city spokeswoman Krista Flasch.

  

In the local news:

  • Governor Fallin wants to speed-up rape kit testing.
  • Some Tulsa residents are not happy about a new LED billboard.
  • Tulsa man holds police at bay for several hours.

Man Arrested After Holding Tulsa Police at Bay

Aug 13, 2018
KWGS News Photo

Tulsa Police are hold 41-year-old Robert Blake after a stand-off yesterday afternoon at a home near Apache and North Peoria.

Police say Blake had threatened neighbors with a tire-tool and then punched an officer before barricading himself in a home for several hours.

Heavy Rain Heads to Green Country

Aug 13, 2018
NWS-Graphic

Rain showers along with scattered thunderstorms will continue to spread into and across Eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas today and tonight as an area of low pressure approaches the region. Large amounts of available moisture in the atmosphere will create the potential for periods of heavy rainfall with widespread amounts of 1 to 2 plus inches forecast over Eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas through tonight.

Organized severe weather is not currently anticipated into tonight.

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