Broken Arrow

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The City of Broken Arrow is now the official owner of a 90-acre field between Aspen and Olive avenues south of Florence Street.

Mayor Debra Wimpee says they have big plans for the $5 million purchase.

"This will be the future site of our Innovation District, which will be a mixed-use featuring residential, commercial and educational components while focusing on high-paying career opportunities. Keep in mind, this is an investment into the future of Broken Arrow. So, we don't have plans to break ground just yet," Wimpee said in a video posted by the city.

Courtesy Freedom From Religion Foundation

Broken Arrow Public Schools violated the United States Constitution by allowing a local church to perform baptisms on student athletes and coaches following a football practice, a national advocacy group alleges.

Broken Arrow has revealed a new brand for the area of Elm Place and New Orleans Street.

A new logo features a segmented square and "New Orleans Square" in blue, with the font giving a subtle nod to the style of the Louisiana city. The word "square" is set off from the rest by a horizontal gold bar, giving the logo a tie-in to Broken Arrow's municipal logo.

City of Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow City Councilors Debra Wimpee and Christi Gillespie were elected mayor and vice mayor, respectively, at the council's Tuesday meeting, the first time in city history the positions will both be held by women.

Wimpee, an incumbent who held off multiple challengers to retain her council seat earlier this month, was nominated for the position by Gillespie. (In Broken Arrow's council-manager form of government, mayor and vice mayor are chosen by a vote of the council from among the five elected city councilors.) 

Each vote was unanimous.

City of Broken Arrow

Municipal and school board elections were held Tuesday across much of Oklahoma, with several Green Country contests decided.

Incumbent Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond lost his reelection bid for his seat on the Broken Arrow City Council. Challenger Lisa Ford, an employee of the Broken Arrow Police Department, won the Ward 2 seat with 4,811 votes to Thurmond's 3,335.

Broken Arrow Councilor Debra Wimpee held off two challengers to retain her Ward 1 seat. She finished with 3,278 votes, ahead of Jonathan Kelly (2,510) and Cathy Smythe (2,363). 

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A proposed Innovation District the City of Broken Arrow has been kicking around since 2017 appears to have a location. 

"An agreement has been reached for a 90-plus acre site right here in south Broken Arrow with easy access to the Creek Turnpike for the home of the innovation district," said Broken Arrow Economic Development Authority President and CEO Jennifer Conway on Monday after a news conference about a mixed-use development planned nearby.

A 60,000-square foot Reasor’s will anchor a $40 million mixed-use project in south Broken Arrow.

The city council and Broken Arrow Economic Development Authority approved a resolution last week for OakTrust Development to buy 40 acres of city-owned land on Aspen Avenue just north of the Creek Turnpike for the project.

The Reasor's store will be the company's second in Broken Arrow. The company closed what was its second Broken Arrow store at New Orleans and Elm in 2019.

Broken Arrow City Council

At a meeting repeatedly disrupted by anti-mask hecklers, the Broken Arrow City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday evening to adopt a non-binding resolution simply encouraging residents to wear masks in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor Craig Thurmond, long opposed to a mandatory mask ordinance as well as to a similar non-binding resolution brought previously, cast the tie-breaking vote to pass the measure.

A study of Tulsa Transit services in Broken Arrow makes several recommendations to ramp up public transportation in the coming years for a growing community.

Livestream / Broken Arrow City Council

The city of Broken Arrow is declining to condemn a video presentation given during public comment at their Tuesday council meeting which linked the wearing of masks to prevent COVID-19 with the Holocaust. 

The Broken Arrow City Council had a mask mandate on its agenda for the first time Tuesday night, but it didn’t even come up for a vote.

Broken Arrow City Council

It was a familiar scene at Tuesday's Broken Arrow City Council meeting: Councilor Johnnie Parks expressed interest in exploring a mask mandate to address rising rates of COVID-19, but the suggestion did not garner enthusiasm from the majority of either his colleagues or public commenters. 

Rose District

Broken Arrow’s Rose District will be the home of a satellite office for the Tulsa County Court Clerk.

The office will process civil filings and should be up and running by February.

City of Broken Arrow Economic Development Manager Norm Stephens said the idea stemmed from a plan to market the Rose District as a one-stop wedding destination in order to help businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The City of Broken Arrow has donated land to help keep tabs on groundwater quality in the state.

A new well at the Verdigris Water Treatment Plant will be added to the statewide Groundwater Monitoring and Assessment Program, a network of around 750 wells established in 2012. Oklahoma Water Resources Board Water Programs Division Manager Bill Cauthron said there’s a distinct advantage to working with local governments.

The sixth time was the charm for the Muskogee City Council to pass a mandatory mask ordinance to combat the dramatic rise in COVID-19 infections. After five failed votes in recent weeks, the measure passed Monday night 5-3. 

The vote came the same day that Muskogee County declared a state of emergency due to a sharp increase in coronavirus infections and the possibility of overwhelming the already strained hospital system even further.

The Broken Arrow City Council on Monday voted against passage of a resolution that would have strongly encouraged the use of masks and other measures to lower community transmission of COVID-19.

The vote failed 1-4, with only Councilor Johnnie Parks voting in favor.

A Broken Arrow–based maker of flight simulators is looking for dozens of new workers after winning another round of multimillion-dollar military contracts.

CymSTAR LLC needs 80 new employees for its coming work on simulators to train pilots on the Air Force’s upgraded A-10 planes and its aging E-4B, a 747 dubbed the "Doomsday plane" that serves as a command center when the president is out of the White House. The E-4B is getting too old for training runs.

City of Broken Arrow

Despite worsening COVID-19 numbers as the pandemic heightens to its direst point ever in Oklahoma and nationwide, the Broken Arrow City Council Tuesday showed little interest in pursuing the sort of mandatory mask ordinance passed by Tulsa, Jenks and Sapulpa, spending more time at their meeting asserting false claims about masks and the pandemic, and calling for more civility on "both sides" of the issue.

Facebook / City of Broken Arrow

The city of Broken Arrow is unlikely to adopt a mandatory mask policy recommended by the county health department, according to Mayor Craig Thurmond.

"I do not see this council passing a mask ordinance at this time," Thurmond said in a video posted to Facebook on Friday.

In the video update, the only additional action shared by the mayor, beyond recommendations and encouragement, was the posting of signage by the city encouraging social distancing in parks and athletic facilities. 

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Workers installed the last beam of Broken Arrow’s replacement Fire Station 3 on Monday.

The topping out ceremony took the place of a groundbreaking, which couldn’t be held earlier this year because of a COVID-19 shelter-in-place order.

The replacement Fire Station 3 is on County Line Road near 115th Street. Broken Arrow Fire Chief Jeremy Moore said they crunched some numbers to figure out where to place it.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

The city of Broken Arrow's share of COVID-19 cases relative to the Tulsa County total is increasing, a trend possibly related to its lack of a mask mandate, according to the Tulsa Health Department.

At a Thursday press conference at Tulsa Police headquarters, Dr. Bruce Dart, the health department's director, described the trend.

The start date for Broken Arrow Public Schools has been pushed back from Aug. 19 to Sept. 3 as district officials keep an eye on local coronavirus infection rates and other data.

Pre-K's start has been delayed from Aug. 21 to Sept. 8.

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Gov. Kevin Stitt continues to say Oklahoma is handling the coronavirus pandemic well and is months ahead of other states.

During the Tulsa Regional Chamber State of the State on Tuesday, Stitt compared the state’s hospitalization numbers from earlier in the pandemic to now.

“You know, on March 30, we had 560 people in the hospital being treated for COVID across the state of Oklahoma. Yesterday, we had 504 people in the hospital with capacity well above that,” Stitt said.

Facebook / Broken Arrow High School

In a 5-0 vote, the Broken Arrow Public Schools Board of Education voted on Wednesday to accept the district administration's plan to move forward with a return to in-person learning for the upcoming fall semester beginning Aug. 19th.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Work is underway at one of the last sites available for commercial development in north Broken Arrow’s retail core.

Tiger Hill Plaza is 30,000-square foot restaurant and retail project going up on 5.5 acres on the southwest corner of Lynn Lane and Kenosha.

File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma court is expected to rule Thursday on an appeal by a man who was convicted in the fatal stabbings of five family members when he was 16. 

Michael Bever, 21, is asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to change his sentence to allow him to eventually become eligible for parole. 

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Hundreds of people came to a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Broken Arrow on Saturday.

The crowd gathered at Central Park before marching down Main Street, the Tulsa World reported.

Rose District

Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond canceled on Thursday some emergency proclamations that instituted restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

They will expire at midnight. Thurmond's action coincides with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s plan to begin reopening some nonessential businesses and clears the way for places like barber shops, salons, tattoo parlors and pet groomers in the city to start taking clients by appointment only Friday after being closed more than a month.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says a man who escaped from a minimum security state prison in McAlester has been captured.

The department says 40-year-old Jeremiah Hobbs was arrested Monday following a traffic stop 75 miles away from McAlester in the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow.

Hobbs disappeared Thursday from the unfenced Jackie Brannon Correctional Center. The corrections department says a woman identified as Hobbs' girlfriend was also arrested during the traffic stop on a warrant for harboring a fugitive.

You might call it "adding insult to injury," as the old saying goes. Yesterday's announcement that the State of Oklahoma has authorized an additional 4% cut to state expenditures will hurt all agencies statewide, but perhaps especially school districts, since their school year is now almost 3/4 complete. This cut comes at a time of extreme uncertainty for public school leadership all across Oklahoma regarding the shape of next year's appropriation, given the $1.3 billion shortfall in the state budget.

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