Local & Regional

Opening Prep Underway at The Gathering Place

Sep 7, 2018
KWGS News

The final touches are being put on the Gathering Place just ahead of tomorrow’s opening.

The parade to celebrate the “game changer park” along Riverside steps off at 8:30 in the morning. The park opens at 10 with opening ceremonies.

In today’s climate, you can expect to see lots of security at the $465-million park. The park is being donated to Tulsa by charitable organizations, led by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Shuttles will run from Expo Square, OSU-Tulsa and the River Spirit Casino.

In the local news:

  • TCC plans a 50th Anniversary Celebration.
  • Final touches on the Gathering Place are being done ahead of tomorrow's opening.
  • Edmondson outlines his education plans.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A proposed $6.95 million settlement has been filed to end a class-action lawsuit alleging Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy co-founders Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward conspired to rig bids on leases for land to explore for oil and natural gas in northwestern Oklahoma and southwestern Kansas.

The proposal filed late Wednesday in federal court calls for thousands of people in Oklahoma and Kansas to share in the settlement proceeds, and said it comes after two mediation sessions conducted earlier this year by a retired federal judge in Oklahoma City.

EJ Hersom / Department of Defense

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Country singer and "The Voice" star Blake Shelton has been appointed to the board of a foundation that will raise money for wildlife conservation in his home state of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation spokesman Micah Holmes said Shelton was appointed Tuesday to the newly formed board of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation. The foundation will fundraise for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

A new group wants to amplify rural Oklahoma’s voice to state and federal lawmakers.

Oklahoma Rural Association President Monica Miller said with the focus seemingly on the state's urban areas, there are fewer opportunities and lower quality of life outside of them.

"You know, it gets as basic as, I say, when you drive down Main Street and you just see what used to be thriving and vibrant communities with boarded-up buildings where there’s no longer activity," Miller said.

Democratic candidate for Oklahoma governor Drew Edmondson said a statewide tour taught him public education still needs to be fully funded.

"We are tired of four-day school weeks in one-fifth of our school districts. We’re tired of 30 percent of our school districts not offering a foreign language when it remains a requirement for admission to many of our colleges and universities. And we are tired of overcrowded classrooms and too few teachers," Edmondson said.

KWGS News File photo

 

  A recent AARP report has ranked Oklahoma's nursing homes near or at the bottom for several factors determining quality of care.

The Public Policy Institute is the research and analysis branch of the AARP, a non-partisan organization. The institute's report ranks Oklahoma lowest in the hours of nursing care per resident per day in the U.S.

The report indicates that the number of Oklahoma's residents at least 85 years old is expected to grow to 95,000 by 2030, a 38 percent increase from 2015 of people who may need nursing home care in a poorly rated system.

 

Two members of Lynyrd Skynyrd killed in a plane crash at the Southern rock band's peak will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

The Miami News-Record reports guitarist Steve Gaines and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines will be inducted Saturday in Miami, where the siblings were raised. Both were killed along with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant when the band's chartered plane crashed in Mississippi in 1977.

Mathews Suspends Commission Campaign

Sep 6, 2018
State of Oklahoma-File photo

Former state senator Kevin Mathews suspends his campaign for the Tulsa County Commission in District One. District One takes in north and some of east Tulsa. 

He tells reporters he has personal issues to work through. The Democrat faces Republican Stan Salle in November.

Tulsa Police

Two brothers from Muskogee are shot and killed in the parking lot of a Tulsa shopping center. The brothers operated a cleaning company and had been called to the center by a crew working on a project near I-44 and Darlington.

The shooting took place just before 11 last night.

When the men got out of their vehicle, they were shot by people in another car. Tulsa Police say they were dead at the scene. Killed were 61-year-old Keith Williams and his younger brother, 53-year-old Glen Williams.

They become Tulsa's 36 and 37th homicide victims of the year. 

Jenks Schools: "Not Our Tweet"

Sep 6, 2018

The Jenks School District says a negative tweet about Nike was not sent by the school district.

The tweet regarding Nike spokesman Colin Kaepernick was sent from the 'Jenks Trojan Football' Twitter account. The district says that is not one of their accounts. 

The district say the account is maintained by a parents booster group. 

In the local news:

  • 'A Better Way' exceeds expectations.
  • Two men are shot and killed in a south Tulsa parking lot. 
  • Tulsa prepares for the opening on 'A Gathering Place'.

KWGS File photo

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A casino legalization proposal that two Native American tribes have each contributed more than $1 million to support was approved Wednesday to appear on the Arkansas ballot in November.

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office said supporters of the proposed constitutional amendment had submitted 99,988 valid signatures from registered voters, more than the nearly 85,000 needed to qualify for the ballot. The group behind the measure, Driving Arkansas Forward, turned in more than 138,000 signatures.

City of Tulsa

Consultants for Tulsa’s Arena District Master Plan have some big concepts, including a bold move to better connect the area.

Chris Hermann with planning and design firm MKSK said the BOK Center and Cox Business Center are good starts.

"And the thing between them is the federal building, the Page Belcher Building, and it’s just this huge block. And so, if you’re trying to get activity and energy to go between the two, it’s in the way," Hermann said. "And so, at a minimum, figuring out some way to create a kind of arcade or pedestrian space through it."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Partners in Tulsa’s A Better Way Program hoped it would reach 100 people in its first few months.

Six months in, 394 have taken paid work cleaning up public spaces, getting a meal and referrals to social services, too.

Mental Health Association Oklahoma CEO Mike Brose said Wednesday morning’s pick up shows how popular the program is and that they might need another van.

Wikimedia

The Oklahoma legislature’s Medical Marijuana committee takes up safety requirements for edible cannabis. The State Health Department’s Buffy Heater says the Department’s Food Safety Board will also require editable medical marijuana to carry a label showing the THC amount in the product. 

Edible medical marijuana in Oklahoma will carry content labels like any other food product.

Judge to Decide on Court Venue for Bixby Teens

Sep 5, 2018
Google Street View

Tulsa Judge April Seibert will rule by Monday on whether four Bixby football players will be tried in juvenile or adult court. The teens are accused of raping a teammate by instrumentation. 

The teens and their various attorneys appeared in court yesterday as the judge heard arguments. The state wants to try the boys as adults. The defense wants the case heard in juvenile court.

 

They're called an invisible and disposable population. Native American women have gone missing and been murdered for years, but many cases remain unsolved. Now the push is on for answers — and ways to stop these tragedies.

Federal and state lawmakers have proposed or adopted a series of measures designed to address the problem of missing and murdered Native women and girls and related issues, such as human trafficking, domestic violence and rape.

Candidate Field Narrowed to the Top 5

Sep 5, 2018
File photo

It almost seems like a reality TV show. The Tulsa School Board votes four applicants off the island as they search for a new board member. 

The field of candidates vying for Amy Shelton’s board seat has been narrowed to five. They will advance to the next board meeting.

The final five are: Robert Howard, Jania Wester, Alvin Okonkwo, Jenni Plaster and Gary Cooper.

Storm Causes Gas Price Spike in Tulsa

Sep 5, 2018
KWGS News

Tropical Storm Gordon never made it to hurricane status,  but it was strong enough to mess with our gasoline prices.

Oilrigs in the Gulf of Mexico were shut down and evacuated. That caused oil prices to spike yesterday. Oil today is trading near $70 a barrel. That is actually down from over $71 yesterday.

It also caused the price of gasoline to jump 14-cents a gallon here overnight to $2.65.

Tulsa's First News for Wednesday

Sep 5, 2018
National Geographic

Four months in, the 2018 West Nile season is a slow one.

"So, in Tulsa County, we have not had a confirmed case of West Nile virus, compared to last year, during 2017, when we saw seven cases," said Tulsa Health Department disease and data specialist Jessica Rice.

While there have been zero human cases reported, the health department isn't sure why that is.

Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker highlighted economic growth, more jobs, and new, affordable housing created over the past seven years in his state of the nation address.

Speaking during the Cherokee National Holiday celebration, Baker said the Cherokee Nation is enjoying greater financial independence.

"Over the past seven years, our economic impact has more than doubled, from just under $1 billion a year to over $2 billion this last year," Baker said.

KWGS News

 

Patients throughout Oklahoma may have limited options for providers able and willing to sign medical marijuana recommendations due to major health care systems telling their doctors not to talk to patients about cannabis treatment options.

American Legion

 

A flight terminal in Kabul, Afghanistan, has been named in honor of an Oklahoma Army National Guard soldier who was killed in action.

The National Guard says the "Hughie Terminal" at New Kabul Compound was dedicated Friday and is named for Sgt. Buddy James Hughie of Poteau.

Hughie, who was known as "Doc" was a medic and a member of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 180th Infantry Regiment when he was killed Feb. 19, 2007, in Afghanistan.

EPA

 

 The Environmental Protection Agency had no proper justification for spending more than $3.5 million on round-the-clock security for former head Scott Pruitt, including nearly $1 million in travel costs for his bodyguards, the agency's internal watchdog concluded on Tuesday.

The EPA allowed Pruitt and his team to increase the security detail from six agents for Pruitt's predecessor to 19 for Pruitt without proving the need, "an undocumented decision (that) represents an inefficient use of agency resources," the EPA Office of the Inspector General concluded.

Oklahoma City Community COllege

 

Students statewide and in Oklahoma's largest district fared poorly on state tests taken this spring following a two-week walkout by teachers.

The Oklahoman reports statewide, student proficiency rates dropped among third-graders and seventh-graders from 2017 in English/language arts, and among sixth-graders in math. Similar declines were reported in the Oklahoma City district, the state's largest.

OETA

 

A monthly survey report suggests economic conditions in nine Midwest and Plains states took a leap forward last month.

The report released Tuesday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index jumped to 61.1 in August, compared with 57.0 in July. It's the 21st straight month that the index remained above growth neutral 50.0.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the region's manufacturing growth of 3.1 percent over the past 12 months exceeds the U.S. growth rate of 2.6 percent.

Here Comes Gordon

Sep 4, 2018
NHC

Areas of rain will continue this morning mainly in areas west of Highway 75 as a weak upper level low continues to drift north. Local rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible across western portions of Osage and Pawnee Counties. Additional scattered showers and a few thunderstorms will develop later today in the very moist airmass residing over eastern Oklahoma and parts of western Arkansas. Occasional lightning and localized heavy rainfall will be the main threats with any thunderstorms.

In the local news:

  • Oklahoma roads and bridges are among the worst in the nation.
  • An Owasso man is killed in a Will Rogers Turnpike crash.
  • The seach for a new Tulsa School Board member enters a new phase tonight. 

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