Local & Regional

CAP Tulsa Gets New Director

14 hours ago
CAP-Tulsa

CAP Tulsa’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to name Karen Kiely as the agency’s nextExecutive Director, effective October 1. Steven Dow, the founding Executive Director is stepping down to relocate to Houston, TX to be closer to his aging parents. Dow will remain a Special Advisor for the agency during this transition and beyond.

Tulsa's Greek Festival Gets Underway Today

16 hours ago
tulsagreekfestival.com

Tulsa’s longest running ethnic festival kicks off this weekend. Each day of the Tulsa Greek Festival, Thursday through Sunday, is full of dance performance, live music, and sprinkles of Greek tradition and culturally inspired activities. The event welcomes all ages for its 59th year. 

Among entertainment, this year’s festival will feature a new Temple of Fire Tent where traditional foods like Saganaki, Loukaniko, Keftedes, Gyros, Souvlaki and Loukoumades will be served. 

OSCN

 

An Oklahoma County district judge has been indicted on four counts of failing to file state income tax returns.

Court records indicate the misdemeanor charges were filed Tuesday against 43-year-old Kendra Coleman of Oklahoma City.

Big Mac Prison Drug Cartel Busted

18 hours ago
File Photo

 

29 people are named in federal grand jury indictments tied to a drug ring operated from behind the prison walls at McAlester. The indictments were announced yesterday by the U.S. Attormey for the Eastern District for Oklahoma.

KWGS News

 

 

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Plans to visit Oklahoma this weekend, including campaign stops in Norman and at a Comanche Nation powwow outside of Lawton.

The Vermont senator's visit to the Sooner State is his first in the 2020 election cycle. He visited Oklahoma several times four years ago and won the state's 2016 Democratic primary.

Sanders will hold a rally at 3 p.m. Sunday in Norman's Reaves Park, adjacent to the University of Oklahoma campus.

In the local news:

  • More questions and answers regarding the Tulsa School District budget cuts.
  • A drug ring, operated behind prison walls is busted.
  • Cherokee Business workers see a minimum wage hike.

Muskogee Police

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma prosecutor says a Muskogee police officer acted lawfully when he wounded a man who tried to throw a flaming Molotov cocktail at the suspect's mother and the officer.

Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge said Tuesday Lt. Josh Jenkins was "legally justified" when he twice shot 32-year-old Darnell Cox on Sept. 4. Cox was treated for wounds in the left hip and left upper arm and charged with first-degree arson, assault and battery with a deadly weapon and other counts.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Department of Corrections officials said Wednesday that numerous weapons, cellphones and drugs have been found by investigators following a series of apparently coordinated fights at six state prisons that left one inmate dead, dozens injured and prisons statewide locked down.

"A lot of shanks ... broken broom handles, broken faucets, faucet heads that have a cord attached to them," according to department spokesman Matt Elliott. "The types of weapons inmates typically use and fight with."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum embarked Wednesday on his second 24-hour tour of Tulsa to celebrate 918 Day.

The tour started at midnight Wednesday and will last until midnight Thursday. Stops included McClure Park, where participants in the Better Way Program were working, Reading Partners and the Greenheck manufacturing plant.

Bynum said planning started during last year’s tour.

"In thinking ahead to this year, one, knew I wanted to do it again, but then also, there are things that I want to draw attention to in this city utilizing this tour," Bynum said.

CNB

Cherokee Nation Businesses is following the tribal government’s suit and increasing its minimum wage for hundreds of workers.

The board of directors is raising minimum wage to $11 an hour. Lower-paid workers making above $11 an hour will also get raises.

"This is going to affect over 2,500 employees across our businesses, which range, of course, from gaming to manufacturing … to the whole gamut of the diversified portfolio we have," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

KWGS News file photo

Whether it’s Medicaid expansion or an eligible Oklahoma plan, experts said Wednesday the state must find a way to bring in additional federal funds for its hospitals.

Duncan Regional Hospital President and CEO Jay Johnson and OU Medicine President and CEO Chuck Spicer told members of the Oklahoma Healthcare Working Group the nine-to-one funding match would go a long way in increasing access to care and improving dismal health outcomes.

Johnson said Oklahoma has seen six rural hospitals close and eight go bankrupt since 2016.

NPR/AP

On Friday people are planning to walk out of class, offices, and homes to draw attention to the ‘climate crisis.’ Oklahomans and Tulsans will participate in what is being called a global climate strike. Michael Koster with ‘Tulsa Talks Climate’ says young people are the driving force. The strike is related to the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement, started by a Swedish teenager.

NPR

The Oklahoma Attorney General's office says Purdue Pharma's recent bankruptcy filing won't change its settlement with the state.

In March, Purdue Pharma agreed to pay Oklahoma $270 million to settle claims the company helped ignite the opioid crisis by deceptively marketing its blockbuster drug OxyContin. That agreement kept Purdue out of court in Oklahoma, but it didn’t stop other lawsuits.

Now, as part of the proposed settlement agreement for a federal case, the drug giant filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

KWGS News Photo

Chris Miles and his partners were ready to open their new, seaside barbecue joint just in time for the summer season when they got stunning news: There would be no gas to fuel the fryers, griddles and stoves.

National Grid, the utility that serves the Rockaway Beach section of Queens, refused to turn on natural gas service. It had declared a moratorium on new hook-ups after the state rejected an application for a new pipeline in May.

Unless that pipeline or others were built, the utility said, there simply wouldn't be enough gas to serve additional customers.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Texas company that made Idaho a natural gas and oil-producing state but is facing a federal lawsuit from disgruntled royalty recipients as well as an investigation by Idaho authorities has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Alta Mesa Resources and associated companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Texas.

The filing means the federal lawsuit in Idaho is on hold. Some Idaho mineral rights holders contend the company underpaid royalties using shady accounting methods. The company has denied the allegation.

Wednesday's top stories:

  • Tulsa Public Schools holds its first community meeting on next year's budget, which must be cut by $20 million.
  • What does Purdue Pharma's bankruptcy filing mean for Oklahoma's settlement with the company?
  • A study of Tulsa's levee system is out now.

Legal Aid Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma County district judge has been indicted on four counts of failing to file state income tax returns.

Court records indicate the misdemeanor charges were filed Tuesday against 43-year-old Kendra Coleman of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma's multi-county grand jury accused Coleman of not filing income tax returns between 2015 and 2018. Each count is punishable by up to one year in the county jail and a $5,000 fine. Court records don't indicate if Coleman is represented by an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — New criminal justice guidelines will likely make hundreds of Oklahoma inmates eligible for accelerated release from prison, according to the executive director of the state Pardon and Parole Board.

The board's staff is working with the Department of Corrections to ensure a single-stage commutation docket mandated by a new law will be implemented with "excellence" and "urgency," Executive Director Steven Bickley told the board Monday.

The tentative multibillion-dollar settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma would raise money to help clean up the opioid mess by ... selling more OxyContin.

That would amount to blood money, in the opinion of some critics. And it's one reason two dozen states have rejected the deal.

"The settlement agreement basically requires the settlement payments to be made based on the future sales and profits of opioids. That doesn't really feel to me like the right way to do this," Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said this week.

Yukon Schools

YUKON, Okla. (AP) — Two students have been arrested for what police say were hoax threats on social media to a suburban Oklahoma City school district.

Yukon Public Schools Superintendent Jason Simeroth and Police Chief John Corn said at a news conference Tuesday that the two Yukon students were arrested earlier in the day for making a terroristic hoax threat that was discovered on Monday.

Simeroth and Corn declined to provide additional information about the students.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The Gathering Place will host a beer and wine festival spanning the entire park.

The inaugural Tulsa Beer & Wine Festival will be Nov. 2. Gathering Place Executive Director Tony Moore said it will be a high-end event featuring themed areas where foods are paired with craft beers and wines.

File photo

A series of community budget meetings for Tulsa Public Schools continues tonight at Hale High School.

TPS kicked off Tuesday a series of 11 community meetings for input as officials plan to trim $20 million from next year’s budget.

TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said cutting that much from the budget will be a challenge.

"Since I’ve been superintendent, we have needed to cut $22 million from our budget because of these state cuts, and that’s been over four years. And so, this is nearly that amount in one year," Gist said.

Levee Study Released, Public Input Sought

Sep 17, 2019
County Commissioner Karen Keith

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Tulsa-West Tulsa Levees Integrated Feasibly Study Report and Environmental Assessment was released on September 16, 2019, for a 33-day comment period. It evaluated various alternatives to upgrade and modernize the "very high risk" Tulsa-West Tulsa levees, which are at risk of failure due to overtopping and inadequately controlled under-seepage and through seepage, the effects of which were evident during the 2019 flooding.

CNB Workers To Learn About Pay Hikes

Sep 17, 2019
CNB

 

 

Cherokee Nation’s business arm will introduce its plan to increase wages for certain hourly employees on Wednesday.

Cherokee Nation Businesses prides itself on being an employer of choice that offers benefit packages and career options, as well as competitive wages. CNB began evaluating its entry-level wages when Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. announced a wage increase for tribal employees last month.

Cherokee Nation Businesses employs more than 7,560 people in 47 states, 25 countries and two U.S. territories.  

Google Street View

 

All Oklahoma prisons are locked down after several inmate fights left one inmate dead and more than a dozen injured.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says fights broke out Saturday at the Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center in Vinita and on Sunday at prisons in Hominy, Sayre, Fort Supply, Lawton and Stringtown. The department says one inmate died at the medium-security Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy. More than a dozen inmates were taken to hospitals with injuries that aren't considered life-threatening.

File photo

 

An Oklahoma judge is refusing to halt a ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure following a ruling that abortion rights proponents have decried as a "rogue" decision that could threaten women's reproductive rights.

Oklahoma County District Court Judge Cindy Truong on Monday denied a motion for a temporary injunction that would keep the law from taking effect while the case continues.

In the local news:

  • The prison brawls were gang related.
  • A McAlester teen is arrested for school threats. She had recently purchased an AK47
  • A small plane overshoots an Owasso runway.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A program to help disadvantaged students improve their reading abilities is looking for volunteers as Tulsa moves into the thick of the school year.

Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist said more than 1,900 Tulsans gave their time to the Reading Partners program last year, and she’s hoping even more will volunteer this year to get young readers back on track.

Plane Makes Hard Landing at Owasso Air Strip

Sep 16, 2019
Google Street View

No one is hurt as a small plane makes a hard landing at Gundy’s Airport in Rogers County.

Initial reports say the plane overshot the runway east of Owasso on 76thStreet North at 172nd East Avenue. 

Pittsburg County

Another day… another school treat. The latest is at McAlester where an 18-year-old woman threatened to shoot up the school. Authorities are holding Alexis Wilson.

Chris Morris is the Sheriff in Pittsburg County. He says she has been talking with authorities. 

She’s been somewhat cooperative. The only motive that we can find is I believe she was kicked out of McAlester school or was trying to get back into McAlester’s school system. So she could have possibly been upset about them not letting her back in.

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