Local & Regional

Blue Cross Oklahoma Gets New President

Sep 18, 2018

 

 

Dr. Joseph R. Cunningham, M.D., has been selected as the incoming president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, effective Oct. 1.  Dr. Cunningham will replace current BCBSOK President Ted Haynes who will retire on Jan. 1, 2019, after a 20-year tenure with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Oklahoma and Texas.  

 

City of Broken Arrow

 

 

The Broken Arrow City Council at Tuesday night’s meeting will consider adopting two ordinances that designate permissible zoning areas and licensing requirements for medical marijuana dispensaries, commercial growers and marijuana processors operating in the City of Broken Arrow. The City Council Meeting on Tuesday, Sept 18, begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 220 S. First Street.

 

Tulsa School Board Tabs Wester to Fill Void

Sep 18, 2018
Tulsa Public Schools

Jania Wester is the newest member of the Tulsa School Board.

She was appointed last night to the unexpired term of Amy Shelton.  Shleton resigned to spend more time with her family.

Wester is the former principal at the Zarrow International School.

Councilor Patrick Service Set

Sep 18, 2018
Tgov

Long time District Three  Tulsa City Councilor David Patrick’s Memorial Service is set.

Patrick, who was the current Council Chair died unexpectedly on Friday.

The service will be Thursday at the Floral Haven Cemetary. It starts at 10 a.m.

In the local news:

  • The ABLE Commission discusses liquor law changes.
  • An Owasso student is arrested after brining  a loaded gun to school.
  • Jania Wester is appointed to the Tulsa School Board.

OutdoorsOK.com

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas officials are distributing about $1.4 million appropriated to improve the Illinois River more than a decade ago to applicants who want to implement practices to keep the river clean.

The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission will give the funding to the Illinois River Watershed Partnership, a nonprofit in Cave Springs dedicated to improving the river's water quality.

File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma candidates have spent $33 million running for state offices so far in this election cycle, with nearly half of the money going toward the governor's race.

About $2 million of the total has flowed through outside groups, and most of that money has been designated for the Republican races for governor and attorney general, the Oklahoman reported. Candidates are seeking money from individual donors and special interest groups, but in many cases are also tapping their own bank accounts.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Sweeping changes to Oklahoma’s liquor laws are just two weeks away, and the Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement Commission is trying to tell sellers what to expect.

Dozens of current and potential future alcohol vendors, from bar owners to grocers, got the scoop Monday on liquor law changes at a forum in Tulsa. There is still some confusion about what will be allowed under the new laws.

A state task force is creating a resource handbook to help Oklahoma’s parents and teachers help kids with dyslexia.

Decoding Dyslexia Oklahoma founder Michelle Keiper said it’s not too difficult to identify kids with some reading difficulties.

"But we don’t really know much about dyslexia. Our teachers will say, 'I didn’t learn anything about that. I haven’t had any professional development in that. I really don’t know what that is,'" Keiper said.

Oklahoma Senate

 

A former Republican state senator in Oklahoma has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on a child sex trafficking charge.

Ralph Shortey was sentenced Monday in federal court in Oklahoma City. He had faced a sentence of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Loaded Gun Found on Owasso School Campus

Sep 17, 2018
Owasso Public Schools

A loaded handgun is found in a student’s backpack at the Owasso High School early Monday morning. Another student told a guidance counselor they had seen, what appeared to be a gun, in the other student’s bag.

School Resource officers contacted the student who admitted to having the gun on school property. The weapon was then confiscated by law enforcement. 

In the local news:

  • Despite increasing student loan debt, a state officials says Oklahoma is still a higher education bargain.
  • The PAC would like your input.
  • Game Wardens make a huge illegal marijuana harvest.

Student/College Debt Increases

Sep 17, 2018
Marelbu-Wikimedia

The high cost of higher education keeps on getting higher!

Nationally, student loan debt is at $1.52 Trillion.  Tuition has increased in Oklahoma less than 5% per year.

Oklahoma Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson says despite that fact, Oklahoma is still relatively cheap. He says other states have been forced to increase college tuition over 25-percent.

The average student debt upon graduation in Oklahoma is just over $26,000.

Pot Found Growing In State Wildlife Area

Sep 17, 2018
Oklahoma Game Wardens

Oklahoma Game Wardens uproot illegal marijuana grow site in northeast Oklahoma. 

Game Wardens were contacted by a hunter about a marijuana grow site on the 14,000-acre Spavinaw Wildlife Management Area while scouting for the upcoming deer season. The Spavinaw WMA is located in western Deleware Co. and eastern Mayes Co. which is southwest of the Jay, Ok. Game Wardens Monte Reid, Kody Moore and Cody Morris  spent the morning pulling the illegal plants. 

If you have any information regarding this we urge you to contact our operation game thief hotline (800)522-8039 

File photo

 

An Oklahoma oil company owner is facing up to 250 years in prison after being convicted of defrauding investors in his company.

Federal court records show 52-year-old Wieck Oil Company owner Kevin Wieck of Cromwell was convicted Friday on 10 counts of wire fraud and five counts of money laundering in the case.

Wieck had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

PAC Wants to Hear From You

Sep 17, 2018
Tulsa PAC

The Tulsa Performing Arts Center will like to hear from you.

With Vision-Tax dollars in hand, the PAC would like a make-over. The 41-year-old center is asking for your input on ways to enhance the center.

The public meeting starts tonight at 6 at the PAC's Williams Theatre.

Hot With Maybe Some Rain on Monday

Sep 16, 2018
NWS Graphic

Isolated showers and thunderstorms will be possible Monday afternoon across parts of northeast Oklahoma as well as southeast Oklahoma. Better chances of showers and thunderstorms arrive late in the week as a cold front stalls just north of the region.

Celine Harrand-Wikimedia

A Texas man has pleaded guilty in a Tulsa federal courtroom for his role in a scheme that defrauded investors of more than $875,000 that was used to promote his country music career ambitions.

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores says 31-year-old Timothy Paul Hamilton, Jr. admitted during a court hearing Friday he promoted false investment opportunities for various companies that claimed to produce and market sportswear and nutritional supplements.

Hamilton, from Dallas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was living in Oklahoma at the time of the scheme.

Cleveland County Detention Center

Sentencing is scheduled for a former Oklahoma state senator on a child sex trafficking conviction.

Ralph Shortey is due in federal court in Oklahoma City Monday where he faces a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Shortey pleaded guilty in November as part of a plea deal in which he said the deal was in the best interest of both him and his family.

The 36-year-old Shortey was arrested in March 2017 after police found him about 1 a.m. in a suburban Oklahoma City motel room with a then-17-year-old boy. He resigned shortly after the arrest.

Wikimedia

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission has again adopted a rule to prohibit elected officials and state agency heads from becoming state lobbyists until they're out of office for at least two years.

The commission voted 5-0 Friday for the same rule it adopted in February, which was rejected by both the state House and Senate.

Gov. Mary Fallin said the commission overstepped its authority with the previous rule.

The rules will go into effect at the end of the 2019 regular legislative session, unless legislators again vote to reject them.

How The Rest Fared

Sep 16, 2018
KWGS News File photo

OU:

Kyler Murray threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns and fifth-ranked Oklahoma held off Iowa State 37-27 in the Big 12 opener for both teams. Marquise Brown had 191 yards receiving and a TD for the Sooners, who extended the nation's longest road winning streak to 17 games while avenging a stunning home loss to the Cyclones a year ago.

OSU:

American Conference

Game Video Recap

Demari Medley picked off a Luke Skipper pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown as Arkansas State held off Tulsa to earn a 29-20 victory on Saturday night.

A week after being routed by Alabama, the Red Wolves put up 415 yards of offense on the road.

Justice Hansen completed 20 of 33 passes for 191 yards and ran for another 80 yards, including an 18-yard run for a touchdown.

American Conference

Game Video Recap

Demari Medley picked off a Luke Skipper pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown as Arkansas State held off Tulsa to earn a 29-20 victory on Saturday night.

A week after being routed by Alabama, the Red Wolves put up 415 yards of offense on the road.

Justice Hansen completed 20 of 33 passes for 191 yards and ran for another 80 yards, including an 18-yard run for a touchdown.

Former 'Tower Guy' Arrested for Bank Robbery

Sep 15, 2018
Tulsa County Booking Photo

32-year-old William Sturdivant is being held in the Tulsa County Jail on $100,000 bond. He was arrested yesterday after the Arvest Bank at 31st and South Mingo was robbed.

No one was injured in the robbery, however, a pregnant woman did suffer a panic attack according to authorities.

If Sturdivant’s name sounds familiar, you may recall he remained perched on a Tulsa TV tower for six days in 2011, while law enforcement tried to talk him down.

Hot with a Slight Chance of Rain

Sep 15, 2018
NWS Graphic

Slightly better moisture across parts of southeast Oklahoma may result in isolated showers and thunderstorms, mainly this afternoon. Brief downpours and some gusty winds will be possible although severe weather is not expected. Isolated, mainly afternoon, thunderstorms will be possible across much of the area on Monday. Better chances of rainfall arrive later in the week as a cold front approaches.

A jury has convicted a man of first-degree murder in the drowning of his 21-month-old daughter in southeastern Oklahoma.

The McAlester News Capital reports the Pittsburg County jury deliberated about five hours Thursday before finding 23-year-old Devin Sizemore of Krebs guilty in the July 2016 death of Emily Sizemore.

Police testified they found the girl floating face down in a pond with Sizemore nearby after searching for the two much of the previous day. Police say after the girl was recovered, Sizemore ran into the water and fought with officers who were arresting him.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has been asked to decide whether a sheriff will go to trial over the death of an inmate who spent more than two days in a restraint chair.

The Oklahoman reports that special prosecutor Chris Boring asked the court Wednesday to decide on a trial for Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles. Niles has pleaded not guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the June 2016 death of Anthony Huff.

OETA

Oklahoma medical professionals will get more money for treating Medicaid patients for the first time in nearly a decade.

The Oklahoman reports that the 3 percent rate hike comes after years of cuts from budget shortfalls. Medical professionals saw their Medicaid reimbursements rates fall by nearly 3.3 percent in 2010, by almost 7.8 percent in 2014 and by 3 percent in 2016.

The last time the rate increased was in 2009.

Tulsa City Council Chair David Patrick Dies

Sep 14, 2018
City of Tulsa

Longtime Tulsa City Councilor David Patrick has died. His death was unexpected.  Sources tell KWGS,  Patrick was discovered dead around 3 p.m. this afternoon.

Patrick first ran for office two decades ago, after his brother, Councilor Mike Patrick, died in an oil field accident.  David Patrick often faced, and occasionally lost to, Roscoe Turner in elections for District 3.

He had decided to not to seek re-election this year. His daughter, Crista Patrick,  is on the ballot in November seeking the District 3 Council Seat.

KWGS News File Photo

 

A northeast Oklahoma school district has canceled classes after what school and police officials say was a bogus threat of a school shooting.

Kansas Public School Principal Phil Isom says the threats began on social media after a fight between two girls on Monday, leading to low attendance that led to the decision to cancel Friday classes at the district, which is about 65 miles east of Tulsa.

Both Isom and Kansas Police Chief Mike Wilkerson say the alleged threat has been investigated and found to not be credible.

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