Local & Regional

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday upheld the separate murder convictions and life prison sentences of two people in the deaths of two young girls.

The court rejected appeals by Michael Andrew Nordbye, 33, of Vera and Melissa Clark, 49, of Noble. Attorneys for Nordbye and Clark did not immediately return phone calls for comment.

Nordbye was convicted in Washington County of the 2015 death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter. Court records show the girl, identified only by the initials J.H., died of multiple blunt force injuries.

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LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Charges were filed this week against an Oklahoma state prison inmate in connection with prison fights that led to a statewide lockdown of the facilities.

Court documents show former Lawton Correctional Facility inmate Justin Hill was charged Monday with conspiracy, participating in a riot, assault and battery and taking part in gang-related crime.

12&12

It's Dec. 12, or 12/12, and Tulsa's comprehensive addiction recovery center 12&12 is taking advantage of the date to remind people there is help.

Chief Operating Officer Tricia Mason said addiction is still prevalent in Tulsa.

"In fact, we’ve seen a slight decrease in opiate use disorders but a real increase in methamphetamine disorders, and alcohol remains consistent," Mason said.

City of Tulsa

The City of Tulsa rolled out a plan Thursday to tackle its shortage of affordable housing units.

Housing Policy Director Becky Gligo said the city needs 3,000 to 4,000 more affordable housing units, and that gap has a big impact.

"One-third of Tulsans are actually paying more than one-third of their income toward rent or their mortgage. We’re the 11th-highest evictor in the country as well. And our homelessness numbers are continuing to rise — not astronomically, but they’re on the rise," Gligo said.

Grand Jury Indictments Released

7 hours ago
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The following individuals have been charged with violations of United States law in indictments returned by the Grand Jury. The return of an indictment is a method of informing a defendant of alleged violations of federal law, which must be proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt to overcome a defendant’s presumption of innocence.

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An Oklahoma woman whose four children, aged 1 to 5, were inside a pickup truck when police officers opened fire on a man also in the vehicle, wounding three of the kids, has taken the first step toward suing the city of Hugo.

TU Athletics

 

 

 

Darien Jackson had 12 points for Tulsa (8-2). Lawson Korita, another backup, added 11 points. Brandon Rachal had 10 points for the Golden Hurricane.

Epic Schools

 

 

Oklahoma’s largest virtual charter school system has filed a lawsuit against a state senator, alleging he knowingly published false statements about the school.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A civil rights group has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against court officials in central Oklahoma, alleging a county’s bail system unconstitutionally discriminates against poor and disabled people.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed the suit late Tuesday in federal court in Oklahoma City on behalf of six inmates currently being held in the Canadian County jail.

City of Broken Arrow

In his fifth state of the city address to the Broken Arrow Chamber, City Manager Michael Spurgeon said Wednesday the state of the city is strong.

"We’re one of the safest cities in Oklahoma and in America. Secondly is that sales tax is coming in right at projections, use tax — financially, things, they’re going very well right now. And then the fact that we’re seeing tremendous growth in our community in the private sector," Spurgeon said.

Spurgeon noted the city has issued 20 commercial building permits and more than 530 residential ones this year.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

As they started work on the fiscal year 2021 budget, Tulsa’s mayor and city council agreed they need to continue putting money toward hiring cops and raising employee compensation.

Those were also goals for the current budget, but the city wasn’t able to make up as much ground as officials had hoped.

More Budget Cutting Meetings Planned

Dec 11, 2019
TPS/KWGS News

Two down and two to go. The Tulsa Public Schools will hold another town hall meeting to discuss proposed budget cuts with the community. Tonight’s meeting will be at East Central High School and will begin at 5:30.

The District is looking to trim $20-million from its budget. $3 million would come from closing four schools. Superintendent Deborah Gist believes $13 to- $14 million could come from cuts at the Education Service Center and the rest could come from increasing class sizes by one student.

Teacher Arrested for Sex with Students

Dec 11, 2019
Sequoyah County Booking Photo

A Sallisaw area school teacher is in deep legal trouble. 29-year-old Brandy Foreman has been arrested on allegations of having sex with male members of her class.

The Central Public School’s English Teacher and Cheerleading coach will be arraigned in Sequoyah County District Court later today. She is accused of four counts.

Investigators say the dalliances started in 2017 and continued through last March. 

In the local news:

  • Oklahoma elegation reaction is along party lines to impreachment articles.
  • An Amber Alert child is found safe. Her dad is in jail.
  • A Sallisaw area  teacher is arrested on multiple counts of having sex with students. 

Woody Guthrie Center

 

New York City will host a concert in February to mark the 80th anniversary of Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie's classic song, “This Land Is Your Land.”

The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa announced Tuesday that the concert will take place Feb. 23, 2020, at The Town Hall, which is in midtown Manhattan and near where Guthrie is believed to have written the song on Feb. 23, 1940.

The concert will include performances by Oklahoma natives John Fullbright and Branjae, as well as Haley Heynderickx, Jeff Tweedy and Gangstagrass.

Amber Alert Over: Found Safe in Fort Smith Motel

Dec 11, 2019
Muskogee Police

A two-year-old girl is found safe in Arkansas after an Oklahoma Amber Alert. Police say two-year-old Olivia Perez and her mother were found in a motel at Fort Smith.

Police say they were abducted by the girl’s father at Muskogee. He was suspected of stabbing his work supervisor at a Muskogee McDonald’s after a workplace disagreement. 

Police pinged the cell phone of Derek Perez to find his location. 

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board says its caseload has more than doubled this year.

Its executive director, Steven Bickley, said Monday at a board meeting that the his agency has had 6,940 docketed cases this year, compared to 3,183 last year.

Much of that increase was driven by a bill that retroactively applied misdemeanor sentences for simple drug possession and low-level property crimes. Bickley says the board in January is likely to consider additional possession crime cases affected by the bill.

Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson have appealed an Oklahoma judge's order for the company to pay $465 million to address the state's opioid crisis.

The company argues in an appeal filed Monday that the judge misapplied the state's public nuisance laws in reaching his decision and that the award should be reduced by $355 million to offset pretrial settlements between the state and two other drugmakers.

The state also plans to appeal the judge's order, arguing that the $465 million is only enough to cover one year of the state's cleanup plan.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A new vision for the Mother Road is in the works.

The Tulsa Planning Office is in the middle of an update to the city’s Route 66 master plan. The current plan was adopted in 2005.

"We have a multigenerational, multicultural audience to please now. There’s technological advances. And there’s already several projects on the ground that were a part of the package of that capital project investment that came from the project 15 years ago," said Tulsa Planning Office Senior Planner Paulina Baeza.

publicradiotulsa.org

Advocates for children say too many have traumatic experiences at an early age and they can be impacted the rest of their lives. Joe Dorman with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy says an agenda has been drafted for legislators to address.

Top Oklahoma Uber Destination is in Tulsa

Dec 10, 2019
KWGS News

In the vast Uber-universe what is the most popular destination in Oklahoma? It is right here in Tulsa,

The ride service says the top destination in Oklahoma  is  81st and South Riverside Drive in Tulsa. That is the address of the River Spirit Casino.  The casino beat out the Gathering Place, The BOK Center and all sites in Oklahoma City. 

The Casino is impressed, especially  considering  it was closed for a month earlier this year in the spring floods. 

In the local news:

  • Superintendent Gist discusses additional school district cuts.
  • TU offers programs to help students with mental health concerns.
  • Ardmore energy man appointed to OU Regents

TPS/KWGS News

TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist is laying out the rest of her plan to make up a $20 million budget shortfall this week in a series of community meetings.

Gist announced last week she would recommend closing four elementary schools — Grimes, Jones, Wright and Mark Twain — to make up $2 million to $3 million of Tulsa Public Schools’ $20 million budget shortfall.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Kevin Stitt has appointed the longtime head of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation as the newest member of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

Stitt announced Monday that he has chosen Michael A. Cawley for the seven-member board. He replaces former OU Regent Renzi Stone, who abruptly resigned from the board in October.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

Tulsa County authorities say a dispute involving two associates of a white-supremacist prison gang led to the death of one man and the other being held on a murder complaint.

Tulsa County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Casey Roebuck says her office is recommending first-degree murder charges against 31-year-old Cody Lee Fulmer. She says those recommended charges were upgraded after the victim, 23-year-old Jared Langworthy, died as a result of his wounds.

KWGS News

Oklahoma election officials say registered independents will be able to continue voting in Democratic primaries during the next election cycle.

Oklahoma Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said Monday he'd been notified by the Oklahoma Democratic Party that it will continue to allow independents to vote in its primaries in 2020 and 2021.

Ziriax said both the Republican and Libertarian parties have notified his office that their primaries will remain closed to independent voters.

University of Tulsa

TU President Gerry Clancy traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of his involvement in a study of college students’ mental health and well-being.

Clancy, a psychiatrist, is on a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine performing the study and presented some national trend data on Monday. He said American universities are seeing more indicators of poor mental health among students.

OSU

 

 

Oklahoma State (8-4, Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (7-5, SEC), Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m. ET

LOCATION: Houston

TOP PLAYERS

Oklahoma State: RB Chuba Hubbard, 1,936 yards rushing, 21 rushing touchdowns.

Tulsans Go "Hog Wild" for Toy Drive

Dec 9, 2019
ABATE-Tulsa

Motorcycles rumbled from the Tulsa Fairgrounds to the Guthrie Green yesterday afternoon. Thousands took part to bring new, unwrapped toys for the Marine’s Toys for Tots campaign.

The ride was hosted by ABATE-Tulsa. ABATE stands for “American Bikers Aimed Toward Education.” This was the 40th year for the event.

The Marines filled two tractor-trailer rigs with toys. 

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