Associated Press

Tulsa County Sheriff

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma authorities have arrested a fifth person and are seeking two more in the December slaying of a member of a white supremacist prison gang, Tulsa County officials said Thursday.

Billy Shawn Griffith, 39, was arrested Wednesday night and was being held on $2 million bail, said Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Casey Roebuck. Griffith is one of seven people charged with first-degree murder in the gang-related beating death of Jared Langworthy, 23.

Laurie Avocado-Wikimedia

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Some GOP lawmakers are taking steps to ban billboards that advertise medical marijuana, further limit where dispensaries can be located and make Oklahoma’s medical pot program more transparent.

Those lawmakers filed bills ahead of the Feb. 3 start of the legislative session, The Oklahoman reported, even though the legislators who passed last year’s “Unity Bill” that established a legal framework for State Question 788, indicated they don’t want sweeping changes to the medical marijuana program this year.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is making his first campaign stop to Tulsa to announce a policy on “economic mobility.”

The former New York City mayor will deliver a speech Sunday outlining his proposal that he says will offer a new path toward prosperity for communities that are often overlooked.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state panel that includes appointees of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has approved more taxpayer subsidies for the Jenks-based company the governor founded and ran until after his election in 2018.

The three-member Quality Jobs Program Incentive Approval Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to approve an application from Gateway First Bank. The contract was first reported by the online publication The Frontier.

OSU

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Two former students have given Oklahoma State University one of its biggest donations ever, $50 million, which the school will spend on agriculture research and the construction of a new building.

The contribution from alumni Kayleen and Larry Ferguson designates $25 million to the university’s agriculture college, which will be renamed Ferguson College of Agriculture. The other half of the donation will kick-start a fundraising campaign for the construction of the new agriculture college building on the Stillwater campus.

File photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A former manager at an Oklahoma Arby’s restaurant who was charged with fatally shooting a customer she said spit on her has been sentenced to two decades in prison.

Deionna Young, 26, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Monday, the Tulsa World reported. Young will serve 20 years in prison, with the remaining five years of her 25-year sentence suspended, for killing Desean Tallent, according to court records.

Young, reported to police that Tallent, 25, cursed and spit on her, so she asked him to leave.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — The wrongful death trial against a oilfield equipment contractor in connection with a January 2018 explosion and fire that killed five men in southeastern Oklahoma is underway.

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The attorneys general of Oklahoma and 20 other states have reached a $200,000 agreement with PayPal Charitable Giving Fund Inc. to settle complaints over its handling of charitable contributions through the company’s online fundraising platform.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said Tuesday PayPal’s charitable arm agreed to pay the money to the National Association of Attorneys General to deposit in its charities enforcement and training fund.

OKC Police

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An angry Oklahoma City woman is accused of slapping a nail salon worker and punching and threatening another with a knife because the workers were speaking Vietnamese, police said Tuesday.

Candace Nicole Muzny, 43, was arrested on complaints of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a police officer after the incident Sunday evening at the Creative Nail salon, said Oklahoma City police Sgt. Megan Morgan.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied the appeal of an Oklahoma death row inmate who was convicted of killing his common-law wife.

The Oklahoman first reported that the high court’s ruling on Monday that denied without comment the appeal of Carlos Cuesta-Rodriguez, 64.

Cuesta-Rodriguez was convicted and sentenced to death for the fatal shooting in 2003 of Olimpia Cardina Fisher at the south Oklahoma City home they shared.

A federal public defender representing Cuesta-Rodriguez did not immediately return a phone call for comment Tuesday.

Oklahoma-DOC

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The death penalty would no longer be a sentencing option in Oklahoma under a bill filed this week by an Oklahoma City Democrat.

Rep. Jason Dunnington filed the bill that would eliminate the death sentence beginning on Nov. 1. It would not apply retroactively to inmates already on death row.

KWGS News File Photo

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Moody’s Investors Service announced that it is downgrading the debt rating for Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. to junk-bond status after the major supplier of fuselages for Boeing’s troubled 737 Max announced massive layoffs last week.

Monday’s downgrade comes after Spirit announced Friday that it was laying off 2,800 workers in Wichita and that it planned smaller workforce reductions later this month at its plants in Tulsa and McAlester, Oklahoma.

NPR

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma has adopted a new electronic tracking system that will allow sexual assault survivors to monitor the location and status of their rape kits.

The purpose of the system is to empower survivors with information, help law enforcement with investigations, and foster transparency and public trust, The Oklahoman reported. Only survivors and entities that update the system can access the records.

File photo/Wikipedia

DALLAS (AP) — A subtle design feature of the AR-15 rifle has raised a technical legal question that is derailing cases against people who are charged with illegally buying and selling the gun’s parts or building the weapon.

At issue is whether a key piece of one of America’s most popular firearms meets the definition of a gun that prosecutors have long relied on.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter on Monday brought a lawsuit against three distributors of opioids after winning a lawsuit against one drug manufacturer and reaching pretrial settlements in other cases.

Hunter filed the lawsuit in Cleveland County District Court against Cardinal Health Inc., McKesson Corp. and AmerisourceBergen Corp.

TCSO

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — When Ken Friend learned a job transfer meant moving his family to California from the small farm they’d been living on in rural Oklahoma, he knew he’d have to find new homes for his animals.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations is probing the death of a woman who died while being held in the city’s jail on misdemeanor warrants.

The Tulsa Police Department says 46-year-old Lawanda Ward had been booked into the jail around 7 p.m. on Jan. 2. Ward had complained of not feeling well when she was booked, but Tulsa Police Lt. Shane Tuell says paramedics checked and cleared her.

Ward was found unresponsive about 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 6. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Stitt Campaign

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is taking steps to reduce the requirements for businesses to open in the state, echoing a federal move that implemented a similar policy.

The Republican governor said Wednesday that he plans to sign an executive order aimed at slashing the number of regulations in Oklahoma.

“My goal is to have a 25% reduction in regulations by the end of my term,” Stitt said at a Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma luncheon. His term ends January 2023.

NWS Photo

Icy roads, deadly tornadoes, punishing waves — severe weekend weather has been blamed for 11 deaths and major damage in parts of the Midwest, South and Northeast.

Tens of thousands remained without electrical power Sunday as a result of the storms a day earlier. Officials in far-flung locations were assessing the damages while utility crews worked to restore power.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma should overhaul its criminal code and change its bail and pre-trial detention programs to help address its high incarceration rate, a governor’s task force recommended on Friday.

OKC Thunder

 

Former Oklahoma City Thunder player Enes Kanter plans to open a charter school in the metro area that primarily serves low-income minority students and those from immigrant families with limited English-speaking abilities.

The Oklahoman reports that Kanter notified Oklahoma City Public Schools of his intentions to open the Enes Kanter School for Exceptional Learning. He and a group of “civic-minded individuals” from the city will submit a charter school application to the school district on Tuesday.

Google Street View

 

An Arkansas panel is calling for increased oversight of the state's levees after last year's historic flooding. The Arkansas Levee Task Force presented its final report Tuesday on the state's system of levees.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has approved a plan to add an area code for 19 central Oklahoma counties, including Oklahoma County.

The commission announced Wednesday that the North American Numbering Plan Administrator will announce the new area code later this month and it will be available beginning in July. Starting in January 2021, callers will have to dial 10 digits that include the area code plus the seven-digit number.

Commission spokesman Matt Skinner said existing phone numbers will not be affected.

Booking photo

A former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of raping and sexually victimizing women he encountered while on patrol is appealing his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court. Court records show Daniel Holtzclaw's petition to the nation's highest court was filed last week.

Holtzclaw's attorneys maintain prosecutors mischaracterized DNA evidence that was key to his conviction. They also cite a secret hearing held after he was convicted involving the state's forensic expert witness from which defense attorneys were excluded.

KWGS News File Photo

 A Oklahoma man is facing a federal charge after authorities say he called Tulsa International Airport on Christmas Eve and reported that a drive-up nuclear bomb would be detonated there. Federal prosecutors in Tulsa say 64-year-old Anthony John Michalski was charged Monday with one count of providing false information about bombs at an airport. According to an FBI officer's affidavit, Michalski admitted to making the bomb threats. He told investigators he was being held hostage by a terrorist organization. Michalski's family told investigators he has a history of mental illness.

Inhofe Press Office

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has proposed and Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is supporting a change in Senate rules that would allow the GOP-controlled chamber to dismiss President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

The proposal would empower the Senate to dismiss the articles of impeachment if the House fails to deliver them within 25 days of its impeachment vote, which was Dec. 18.

File photo

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The looming production shutdown of Boeing 737 Max jets is taking a toll on a key supplier.

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. is asking employees if they will take voluntarily buyouts. Spirit suspended production of fuselages and other parts for the Max on Jan. 1, after Boeing told the Wichita, Kansas, company to suspend shipments.

Tulsa Airport

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma man accused of calling Tulsa International Airport on Christmas Eve and reporting that a drive-up nuclear bomb would be detonated there is facing a criminal charge, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Anthony John Michalski, 64, was charged Monday with one count of providing false information about bombs at an airport.

OU Foundation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A third University of Oklahoma student has come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against a former university administrator.

The 21-year-old student claims in a lawsuit filed Monday that former OU Vice President Jim “Tripp” Hall III performed a sex act on him last year without his consent. The student claims Hall befriended him in 2017 when he was a sophomore and Hall was the vice president of university development.

OKC Police

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Five Oklahoma City police officers opened fire on a knife-wielding man, killing him, after he repeatedly refused officers’ commands to drop the weapon, police said Monday.

Officers were responding to a separate domestic assault call Sunday night when they encountered Samuel Lanham, 50, carrying a large knife, according to a narrative of the incident released by police.

Lanham repeatedly ignored officers’ commands to drop the weapon, and non-lethal devices including stun guns and bean-bag shotgun rounds were ineffective, police said.

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