Local & Regional

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A federal judge has placed the man at the center of a documentary series "The Innocent Man" on the path to potential freedom.

U.S. District Judge James Payne of Muskogee, Oklahoma, has ruled there was reasonable doubt that Karl Fontenot should have been convicted in 1988 in the kidnapping and killing of Ada convenience store clerk Denice Haraway in 1984.

Payne gave the state 120 days to grant Fontenot a new trial or release him permanently.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. formally announced former Obama White House adviser Kim Teehee on Thursday as his choice to be the tribe’s delegate to Congress.

A provision in the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, which laid the groundwork for the federal government's forced removal of the Cherokees from the southeastern United States, entitles the tribe to a delegate to the House of Representatives.

Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole this week questioned whether the treaty is still valid.

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Several recent earthquakes show Oklahoma must still deal with manmade seismic activity. Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission says recent quakes don’t necessarily equate to an upward trend. He says policies and actions have led to an overall downward trend since protocols were put in place in 2015. Skinner says much seismicity now appears to be more related to completion well activity than to disposal well actions, which tend to be stronger.

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A U.S. appeals court in Denver said Electoral College members can vote for the presidential candidate of their choice and aren’t bound by the popular vote in their states.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Colorado secretary of state violated the Constitution in 2016 when he removed an elector and nullified his vote because the elector refused to cast his ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote.

 

Federal prosecutors say 19 people have been indicted for conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine in Oklahoma City.

Officials said Wednesday 17 of the defendants in the indictments have been arrested following an investigation in which 14 search warrants were executed and firearms, illegal drugs and cash was seized.

Cleveland County Democratic Party

 

 

A woman charged with spray-painting racist, anti-gay and anti-Semitic graffiti on the county Democratic Party's offices, an art center and an elementary school in Norman, Oklahoma, was hospitalized for medical and mental health treatment.

Court documents show that on Aug. 1, 45-year-old Allison Johnson was ordered to be taken to a hospital because "of a possible danger to (her) health." The order, which was first reported on by The Oklahoman, says Johnson will be returned to the Cleveland County jail in Norman when she's released.

Epic Schools

 

State investigators have raided a vendor for an online Oklahoma charter school whose enrollment, funding and some of its leaders are at the center of an investigation.

In the local news:

  • The Tulsa Sheriff announces a new effort to help addicts stay out of jail.
  • The EPIC Charter School investigation intensifies.
  • Tulsa's top educator wants to keep the pressure on state lawmakers.

Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma Healthcare Working Group on Wednesday dug into the issue of prison health care and the sudden lack of care inmates face when they get out.

It’s rare for former inmates to have insurance, and few meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Adults in Oklahoma must earn no more than 42% of the federal poverty level and be either 65 years old, blind, disabled, pregnant or caring for a child.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado attorney who represented Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh has been disbarred after he acknowledged a series of misdeeds as part of a settlement.

The Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel disbarred Dennis Hartley, 77, as part of a deal that allowed him to avoid a disciplinary hearing, The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Tuesday. He did not return the newspaper's call for comment.

McVeigh was executed by lethal injection in June 2001.

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A judge is expected to rule next week in Oklahoma’s case alleging consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson helped fuel the opioid crisis in the state.

A court spokesman says Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman is expected to read his decision in open court at 3 p.m. Monday.

The trial began on May 28 and lasted about six weeks.

KWGS News

Next week, the Tulsa County jail embarks on a new program designed to keep inmates off opioids. Sheriff Vic Regalado says the jail will be the first in the state to allow inmates who have completed detox to get injections of the prescription med Vivitrol. The drug has proven to curb the craving for opioids. The drug’s effects only last a month and will be given shortly before a detoxed and eligible inmate is scheduled to get out of jail.

State of Oklahoma-File Photo

Through an Open Records request, the website Non-Doc has obtained phone calls made by state representative Dean Davis after he was arrested for DUI.

The phone calls are automatically recorded at the Broken Arrow Detention Center. It is unknown if Davis was aware of that.

The arrest took place earlier this month at 121stSouth and 145thEast Avenue in south Broken Arrow.  

In one of the calls, he complained to fellow B.A. Republican lawmaker TJ Marti of being shoved around by the arresting officer. Davis claims he was never read his Miranda rights.  

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  The price of insulin in the U.S. has more than tripled since 2003. The price hikes are forcing some people into dangerous compromises. 

 

A quarter of adults with diabetes say that they’ve asked their doctor for lower-cost insulin, the life-saving hormone that controls their blood sugar levels. That’s according to a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Sheriff To Announce Opioid Program for Addicts

Aug 21, 2019
Matt Trotter / KWGS

Sheriff Regalado will hold a news conference to announce a program aimed at helping opioid addicted inmates stay clean after they are released from the Tulsa County Jail. 

The Tulsa County Jail is the first jail in the state of Oklahoma to offer inmates a prescription medication that will curb the craving for opioids for weeks after their release. The purpose of the medication is to bridge the gap between the time when the inmate is released from the jail and when they begin receiving counseling and aftercare services from TCSO’s various community partners. 

Man Enters A Guilty Plea to a Gun Charge

Aug 21, 2019
KWGS News Map

 

 

A former fugitive from Arkansas who was arrested in Delaware County pleaded guilty to a federal firearms charge, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

 

Levi Owen Handle, 30, of Gravette, Arkansas, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to being a fugitive in possession of firearms. A Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and a Ruger .22 caliber pistol were discovered in Handle’s vehicle during his arrest.

TPS

As the new school year gets underway in Tulsa, we talk with Tulsa School Superintendent Doctor Deborah Gist. She discusses the new school year, as she visits with support staff at the transportation center and the school district’s warehouse. 

Hear her comments on the 2019-2020 school year.

In the local news:

  • The 2019-2020 school year begins in Tulsa.
  • Power is restored to about 10,000 PSO customers.
  • New information is coming to light about a state representative's DUI charge.

Tulsa Roughnecks

The Tulsa Roughnecks pro soccer team has been sold to three brothers from the city.

J.W., Ryan and Kyle Craft — sons of wealthy coal man Joseph Craft III — bought the team from the Tulsa Drillers organization for an undisclosed amount. Similar teams have been valued at $15 million to $20 million.

Ryan Craft said there are a few reasons they took the plunge.

"First and foremost, it’s about the community. We’re incredibly excited about this opportunity to be able to ensure that a professional sports tram has a future in Tulsa, Oklahoma," Ryan Craft said.

Toby Jenkins / Oklahomans for Equality

Official City of Tulsa policy now prohibits discrimination based on someone’s gender identity or gender expression.

With Mayor G.T. Bynum’s executive order, Tulsa is extending employment protections to people who are transgender. In a statement, Bynum said the move will help create a workplace based on trust and respect, putting the city in a better position to attract and keep the best employees.

Oklahomans for Equality Medical Services Coordinator Alex Wade said it’s a big step right now.

 

 

Governor Kevin Stitt announced today the Federal Emergency Management Agency  has approved the state’s request for public assistance for disaster assistance for Okfuskee County related to severe weather that occurred April 30 to May 1.

 

The approval means federal funding is now available in in Okfuskee County to assist municipalities, counties, rural electric cooperatives, and the state with infrastructure repairs and eligible costs associated with responding to the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding.

 

Oklahoma County

 

 

Officials say an investigation has found no misconduct by employees at the Oklahoma County Jail in the death of a teenage inmate who apparently took his own life.

Oklahoma Schools: More Work To Do

Aug 20, 2019
TCC

Oklahoma’s public schools are poised to hire more teachers and make other classroom investments thanks to back-to-back years of increased education funding, but teacher recruitment and retention remain challenging, according to a new survey from the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.  

Hamilton Opens Tonight in Tulsa

Aug 20, 2019
Celebrity Attractions

Look for more nightlife downtown for the next several weeks. The Broadway musical Hamilton begins its three week run in Tulsa tonight.  

Hamilton is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now.

Tulsa Officer Arrested for Disorderly Conduct

Aug 20, 2019
Tulsa County Booking Photo

A Tulsa Police Officer is arrested for taking a gun inside a bar.

34-year-old Jeffrey Statum is accused of getting drunk and harassing some customers of the Majestic Club near  Archer and Boston in the Arts District.   He reportedly told some of the customers he was there undercover to investigate a drug ring.

He has been on the department for two years.

 

An Oklahoma judge sided with CBS News, granting their request to make internal drug company documents public.  The documents are part of Oklahoma’s ongoing lawsuit against opioid manufacturers. 

 

The documents mainly relate to Teva pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest generic drugmaker. They include a 70-page marketing plan, sealed motions filed by attorneys and transcripts of hearings. A supply and distribution agreement involving Purdue Pharma will also be made public.

In the local news:

  • A Tulsa book store is again targeted by Neo-Nazis.
  • Mayor expands City's non-discrimination policy to include gender identity.
  • Hamilton opens in Tulsa.

University of Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tulsa and Louisiana Tech have agreed to a home-and-home football series for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Tulsa made the announcement on Monday.

The first game will be on Sept. 21, 2024, at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston, Louisiana. The second will be on Sept. 27, 2025, at Tulsa's H.A. Chapman Stadium.

The teams have played 10 times. Most recently, Tulsa won 24-14 at Louisiana Tech in 2013 when both were members of Conference USA.

Note: KWGS is licensed by the University of Tulsa.

Whitney Bryen-Oklahoma Watch

A consulting firm says Oklahoma would need to come up with $2.8 million to bring assistant district attorneys' pay up to the national market average.

First-year ADA salaries are almost $7,000 lower than the national average. After 10 years, the gap is more than $16,000.

Oklahoma's prosecutors could make more in neighboring Arkansas or New Mexico at every stage of their careers. The study shows assistant district attorneys can earn significantly more in those states doing the same job and with similar costs of living.

Phantasmagoria

A suspect is arrested for spray painting the sidewalk in front of a Tulsa book store. The man as been placed in a mental health facility for an evaluation.  

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