Local & Regional

Wagoner County Sheriff's Office

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A woman wanted for killing a former roommate in Oklahoma has been arrested in Wisconsin. 

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office says 59-year-old Kore Adams was taken into custody during a traffic stop Thursday afternoon on a Wagoner County, Oklahoma warrant for first-degree murder with deliberate intent and desecration of a corpse. 

Friday's top stories:

• Tulsa's COVID-19 situation is a matter of both good news and bad news, says Mayor G.T. Bynum.

• The state of Oklahoma is seeking volunteers both with and without medical training all across the state to help with COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

The Tulsa Regional Chamber held a virtual inauguration Thursday for its 2021 chair.

Tulsa Economic Development Corporation CEO Rose Washington is the chamber’s first Black chair. In a recorded address, Washington said her priorities are rooted in improving diversity, equity and inclusivity, and her first area of focus is helping people.

State officials held a ribbon cutting Thursday at the Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence in Stillwater.

The center was announced in October, and its more rural location was always the plan. State Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur said human and animal health are closely related because of diseases that jump from animals to humans or that affect food supplies.

Several Broken Arrow schools are going to distance learning because of COVID-19 exposures and quarantine protocols.

Broken Arrow High School, Freshman Academy, Centennial Middle School and Liberty Elementary students are on distance learning from Jan. 22 until Feb. 2.

Buildings at those schools will remain open, and teachers will be available for on-site tutoring for students not on mandated quarantine.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread in the Tulsa metropolitan area, as local officials said on Thursday some metrics are improving while others are continuing to go in the wrong direction.

"By Jan. 18, more than 9% of all Tulsa County residents had tested positive for COVID-19," said Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa Health Department, at a virtual press conference Thursday morning. "We're on track to reach 10% of our population being positive within 12 days."

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Thursday 2,686 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 363,046.

Tulsa County had 469 of Thursday's cases. Its total now stands at 59,629, second to Oklahoma County's 70,543.

The state's seven-day average of new cases, which shows the trend in infections, fell for the eighth day in a row, dropping from 2,714 to 2,649, its lowest point since Dec. 31. The record of 4,256 was set last Wednesday. Oct. 5 was the last time the seven-day average was below 1,000.

Tulsa Health Department

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps put out a call for volunteers Wednesday, seeking nurses, paramedics and untrained community volunteers to help with the statewide COVID-19 vaccination effort.

Thursday's top stories:

• Oklahoma health experts are trying to figure out if the state's COVID-19 outbreak has peaked or plateaued, and what role potential new variants play in that assessment.

• 48 more Oklahomans were reported killed by the coronavirus on Wednesday.

• Oklahoma Democrats are celebrating the start of the Biden-Harris administration.

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.

Project ECHO

Given current COVID trends, health experts are trying to figure out whether Oklahoma’s outbreak has peaked or plateaued.

That determination is complicated by the emergence of a new mutation of the coronavirus that originated in the United Kingodm and is spread more easily and quickly. Genetic analyses have found the variant in a number of states, including Texas, but not Oklahoma.

Project ECHO faculty member Dr. Jennifer Clark said it’s hard to imagine the variant is not in the Sooner State.

Oklahoma Democratic Party

Leaders of the Oklahoma Democratic Party said Wednesday they were elated and moved by watching the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. 

"We are celebrating this with jubilation," said party chair Alicia Andrews on a Zoom press conference. "Today, we saw the ushering in of a hope personified by President Biden and Vice President Harris."

Food and Drug Administration

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Wednesday 1,986 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 360,360.

Tulsa County had 309 of Wednesday's cases. Its total now stands at 59,160, second to Oklahoma County's 70,044.

U.S. Senate

Oklahoma's two U.S. Senators, Republicans James Lankford and Jim Inhofe, participated in committee confirmation hearings Tuesday for several of President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominees. 

Inhofe, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, Biden's nominee for secretary of defense, about several policy priorities including the U.S. nuclear triad and American military operations in Africa. He also commented on Austin's recent retirement from the Army and the subsequent need for a Congressional waiver to serve in the civilian post.

Wednesday's top local stories:

• Oklahoma surpassed 3,000 people killed by COVID-19. Tulsa County surpassed 500.

• The Oklahoma State Department of Health says it expects federal policy around vaccine distribution to change under President-elect Joe Biden's administration, but they say they've yet to be briefed on the details.

• Oklahoman Garth Brooks will perform at the Biden inauguration Wednesday.

AP Photo / file

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The attack on the U.S. Capitol by an angry mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters shocked many Americans who thought such a violent assault by their fellow countrymen wasn’t possible.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — One name missing in President Donald Trump’s flurry of pardons is “Tiger King” Joe Exotic.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Some Oklahoma schools are advising people to throw away milk products received from districts last week after a dairy company recalled its chocolate milk because some of it may have been contaminated. 

Hiland Dairy is recalling 4,800 cases of its one-half pint 1% low fat chocolate milk made at the Norman, Oklahoma, plant because some of that milk may contain food-grade sanitizers, which can make people sick if consumed. 

Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s congressional delegation could see political repercussions after all five of the state’s U.S. House of Representatives members voted against certifying President-Elect Joe Biden’s electoral college win.

An Oklahoma Watch analysis of campaign finance records found that nearly half of the 35 largest corporate donors to Oklahoma’s U.S. House delegation are either pausing all campaign contributions or specifically suspending donations to the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the presidential election.

CVS Health

Better than one in eight Oklahomans — more than 510,000 people — have now registered through the vaccinate.oklahoma.gov portal to be notified when they can get a COVID-19 vaccine.

But how quickly the state can move past the 65 and older priority group is a question that can’t be answered yet.

Applications are now being accepted for the Commemoration Fund, a charitable trust intended to honor the memory of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

The Commemoration Fund was established in June by the Zarrow Family Foundation. Its focus is supporting nonprofits that help Black, Indigenous, Latinx and people of color in the community.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

With the start of the new legislative session less than two weeks away and COVID-19 trends still troubling, the state Capitol could be the site of a prolonged "superspreader" event, according to one public health figure.

"Well, it depends on how the legislators behave, right?" said Dr. Jean Hausheer, leader of the Healthier Oklahoma Coalition's COVID-19 Task Force, at a virtual press conference Tuesday. 

Google Maps Street View

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A federal judge in Oklahoma has ordered the new owners of an Oklahoma zoo featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King” documentary to turn over all the lion and tiger cubs in their possession, along with the animals’ mothers, to the federal government.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported on Tuesday 1,558 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 358,374.

Tulsa County had 380 of Tuesday's cases. Its total now stands at 58,851, second to Oklahoma County's 69,587.

Facebook / Garth Brooks

NEW YORK (AP) — Add Oklahoman Garth Brooks to the lineup of entertainers at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“This is a great day in our household,” the country music superstar said during a virtual press conference Monday, two days before Biden is to be sworn in. “This is not a political statement. This is a statement of unity.” 

Tuesday's top stories:

• The pandemic and the centennial year of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre each impacted Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in Oklahoma on Monday.

• The Opportunity Project is seeking to keep open sites for supervised distance learning programs.

www.vperemen.com / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

With Tulsa Public Schools pushing students’ in-person return back to late March, a local nonprofit aims to continue partnerships that set up low- and no-cost child care.

The Opportunity Project partnered with churches, community centers and other organizations in October to stand up almost two dozen sites where students could go for full days of supervised distance learning with personal protective equipment and social distancing, giving parents who may not be able to take time off the ability to keep working.


The Oklahoma Department of Transportation expects a $150 million dollar boost from the $900 billion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump last month.

The legislation included $10 billion for state departments of transportation. Exact allocations will be determined later this month. ODOT Executive Director and State Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz wants to use Oklahoma's to offset increased spending on winter storm response and spend the money on projects.

Courtesy Tulsa Health Department

Tulsa Health Department Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.

“We know that this vaccine is safe and effective, and we know that COVID can be a very serious illness for many people – and I don’t want to get sick. I encourage everybody to also get this vaccine,” said Dart.

Youtube / City of Norman

Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in Oklahoma were noticeably impacted by two unique circumstances Monday.

"Every year, usually ... they have the marching groups. Next year, we'll be back with the walking groups, with the dancing groups," said Tulsa's MLK Day Parade emcee Rebecca Marks-Jimerson, doing color commentary for a livestream of the event. "But this year, because of the COVID, we are doing the social distancing. But we're making it happen for you."