Local & Regional

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Two city councilors have introduced the first piece of their plan to deal with short-term rentals like Airbnb in Tulsa.

A zoning code amendment would add them as a lodging type, eliminating the need for owners to pursue a special exception before legally operating as a bed and breakfast. Councilor Blake Ewing said the next part of his and Councilor Ben Kimbro's plan will tackle how those properties will register with the city.

The Children's Society

Monitors report the Oklahoma Department of Human Services is slipping when it comes to foster care system improvements.

After noting "discernible progress" in January toward improvements laid out in the Pinnacle Plan, the monitors, known as co-neutrals, noted nine areas where DHS is not making good faith efforts, up from three in their last semi-annual review.

Oklahoma County


The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office says an inmate has died in his cell.

Sheriff's spokesman Mark Opgrande says 41-year-old Jeremy Lee Simmons was found unresponsive in the cell Wednesday night by jailers, who began life-saving measures and called for an ambulance.

Opgrande says Simmons died at the scene and his body is being sent to the state medical examiner's office to determine the cause of death.

Opgrande says the sheriff's office is investigating the death and will provide a report to the district attorney.

Vernon AME


A church that was spared destruction during the 1921 Tulsa race riots has been added to the National Register for Historic Places.

The Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church is in the Greenwood District of Tulsa where the riots took place in May and June 1921.

Whites attacked blacks and destroyed buildings in the area known as "Black Wall Street" after a black man was accused of assaulting a white woman. An estimated three dozen to 300 people were killed.

Catholic Herald


The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City plans to soon release two reports disclosing all credible allegations of child sex abuse by priests who were part of the local archdiocese.

The Oklahoman reports that the Archdiocesan Review Board on Wednesday approved the plan by Archbishop Paul Coakley and Chancellor Michael Scaperlanda. The board is part of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Crashed Bus Had Just Been In Tulsa

Aug 31, 2018
Google Street View

The Greyhound Bus involved in the deadly crash near the New Mexico/Arizona border had just been through Tulsa. 

The bus was traveling from St-Louis to L.A. It was on the Albuquerque to Phoenix leg of the trip when a tractor-trailer rig crashed head on into the bus.

The crash killed 7-people.

In the local news:

  • Beer could be in short supply at stores before the switch over to strong beer on October 1st.
  • A new arts program is announced for Tulsa.
  • Contractors say they are having a hard time finding skilled workers in Oklahoma.

campaign supplied photo


President Donald Trump is weighing in on Oklahoma's governor's race, giving his "complete and total Endorsement!" to Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt, who won the state's GOP primary on Tuesday.

Trump tweeted his endorsement Thursday, saying Stitt is strong on crime and borders, the Second Amendment and "loves our Military & Vets."

Loyalty to Trump came up in the campaign. Stitt attacked longtime Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett as not being supportive enough of the president or his immigration policies.



The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is taking issue with the latest report on its efforts to improve the foster care program for children.

DHS Director Ed Lake said Thursday that DHS "strongly" objects to a number of portions of the report that says the agency has not made good faith efforts to improve foster care in some areas, notably the number of children who are abused or neglected.

DHS says the number of foster children reported as maltreated is inflated because state law requires it to investigate the threat of abuse or neglect before it happens.


As Oklahoma gets ready to allow the sale of strong beer at convenience and grocery stores, some Oklahoma merchants are starting to worry about current inventory.

Mike Thornbrugh is with Tulsa-based Quik-Trip. He says distributors are already phasing out low-point beer. There is over a month left before stores can sell strong beer and wine. The change over is October 1st.

Thornburgh says that means stores will be forced to carefully manage beer inventories. He say there could a shortage of some brands ahead of the change over. 

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Theater by, of and for the people — that’s the aim of the Orbit Initiative, a new program with the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

PAC Director Mark Frie said the Orbit Initiative will teach things like music, acting and technical theater skills to anyone who wants to learn.

"We are partnering with five different locations across the city to bring the arts to communities that otherwise may not have access to the arts. These programs will be free to anyone and everyone," Frie said.

File Photo

Oklahoma construction companies want to hire more craft personnel in the next 12 months, but they’re having a hard time finding them, according to a workforce survey by the Associated General Contractors of America.

No respondents said it’s easier this year to hire positions like carpenters, heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, mechanics, welders and concrete workers. AGC Chief economist Ken Simonson said federal labor statistics show job openings at record levels and construction unemployment at a series low.

Bank Robber Looking at Prison Time

Aug 30, 2018
10th Circuit Court

A Sapulpa man admits to robbing a bank at Tulsa’s Utica Square earlier this year. He led law enforcement on a high speed chase.  37-year-old Mark Jones was arrested after state troopers crashed his car on I-44.

He faces seven years in a federal prison.



A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions and 40-year prison sentence of a former Oklahoma missionary convicted of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday handed down the decision to 24-year-old Matthew Durham, who was found guilty in 2015 of four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. The same jury cleared Durham of accusations he planned to abuse the children before leaving the United States.

Macy's To Revamp Tulsa Store

Aug 30, 2018
Google Street View

Tulsa’s Macy’s store will undergo a change.

The Woodland Hills Mall store will be part regular Macy’s and part Macy’s Backstage. That is the name of Macy’s fashion outlet.

The company says the change begins September 15th.

In the local news:

  • Gentner Drummond bows out of AG race.
  • Democrat Drew Edmondson says he is ready for a hard fought gubernatorial campaign.
  • The Osage Nation opens is expanded casino north of downtown.

OKC Marathon

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Organizers of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon say they are changing the race's course to reflect development of new public projects and help unify the city.

Race officials said Wednesday the 18-year-old marathon has outgrown its traditional space and will expand the race and its finish line south of the downtown area to reflect development of a new streetcar system and a downtown park.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions and 40-year prison sentence of a former Oklahoma missionary convicted of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday handed down the decision to 24-year-old Matthew Durham, who was found guilty in 2015 of four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. The same jury cleared Durham of accusations he planned to abuse the children before leaving the United States.

File Photo

POTEAU, Okla. (AP) — The future of an independent coal-fired electricity generator and its about 100 employees in eastern Oklahoma is looking bleak in the face of cheaper power.

The AES Shady Point plant in Le Flore County could close as soon as January.

Vice President Lundy Kiger said Tuesday that closing may be the 360-megawatt plant's only option after being notified this month that Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. won't proceed with another extension of its long-running power purchase agreement with AES Shady Point.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

An announcement Wednesday afternoon by Gentner Drummond put to an end an incredibly close runoff election for the Republican nomination for Oklahoma attorney general.

"After considering whether to seek a recount and researching what that would entail, I’ve decided that instead, we would concede the election today in an effort to bring unity to the Republican party," Drummond said at a news conference at the Tulsa Press Club. "The upcoming elections are critically important to the future of Oklahoma, and a statewide recount would simply serve as a prolonging distraction."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The Osage Nation’s new Tulsa casino and hotel is open for business.

The 247,000-square foot property north of downtown Tulsa includes 141 hotel rooms, event space, a pool and a full-service brewery. Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear said the $160 million investment is well worth it.

"This is where we derive our revenue for our programs to serve our elderly, our youth, our language retention, and just about every aspect of our government, these casino funds have some impact," Standing Bear said.

KWGS News File photo


A white Oklahoma law officer who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man says a "critical incident" class that she's been criticized for teaching isn't just about officer-involved shootings.

Betty Shelby, a Rogers County sheriff's deputy, told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday that the class touches on any critical incident an officer might face, including seeing a dead child.

Warning About 2nd Hand Marijuana Smoke

Aug 29, 2018

We have heard the dangers of breathing second hand tobacco smoke. University of Oklahoma Doctor Bob McCaffree says the medical marijuana is no different.                 

Doctor McCafree was speaking before the legislature’s ‘Medical Marijuana Working Committee”. The committee is looking a fine tune the pot regulations.

He told the committee, marijuana’s THC can be transferred from one person to another by second hand smoke.

AG Race Could Go to a Recount

Aug 29, 2018


A bruising Republican primary runoff in the race to become Oklahoma's next attorney general was too close to call Tuesday night.

With nearly all votes counted late Tuesday, unofficial results show Attorney General Mike Hunter leading Tulsa attorney Gentner Drummond by fewer than 300 votes.

Tuesday's primary runoff comes after a campaign that included a series of heated attack ads by both candidates

  •  A quick correction: In this cast we state Cyndi Byrd has won the state auditor's race. While it is true no Democrat filed for the post. There is a Libertarian. The race will be decided in November. Our mistake.

State of Oklahoma


Six more incumbent Republican state House members in Oklahoma lost their jobs Tuesday, and all six voted against a tax hike used to fund a teacher pay raise.

The tax hike on fuel, cigarettes and energy production was used to pay for an average teacher pay raise of $6,100 annually, the first salary increase in a decade. But 19 House Republicans voted against it, and many of them are paying for it at the ballot box.

Municipal Results

Aug 28, 2018

Tulsa City Council:

District #-1 Vanessa Hall Harper/Re-elected.

District #-2 Crista Patrick and Justin Rolph in November run-off.

District #-4 Daniel Regan and Kara McKee in November run-off.

District #-5 Ty Walker and Cass Fahler in November run-off.

District #-6 Connie Dodson/Re-elected.

District #-9 Ben Kimbro/Re-elected.

Tulsa District Attorney

Incumbent Steve Kunzweiler advances to November General Election.

Tulsa County Assessor

John Wright/Elected.



A Tulsa fast-food restaurateur has won the Republican nomination in the race for the open U.S. House seat in Tulsa.

Kevin Hern defeated longtime Tulsa prosecutor Tim Harris in Tuesday's GOP primary runoff to advance to the November ballot in the race for the state's only open congressional seat. Hern will face Democratic nominee Tim Gilpin in November.

The seat was previously held by U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a Republican tapped by President Donald Trump to be administrator of NASA.

Broken Arrow Bonds Approved

Aug 28, 2018
City of Broken Arrow



Broken Arrow voters approved all six propositions for the 2018 Build Our Future BA General Obligation (GO) Bond on Tuesday, Aug. 28.  This is the largest municipal bond package in the history of the City of Broken Arrow.


Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa mortgage company owner Kevin Stitt, who criticized his opponent as being inadequately supportive of President Trump, won the Republican nomination Tuesday in the race to become Oklahoma's next governor.

  The 45-year-old owner of Gateway Mortgage Group defeated former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and advanced to face Democrat Drew Edmondson and Libertarian Chris Powell in November.

"Let's celebrate this victory tonight, because tomorrow we get back to work," Stitt told supporters at a watch party at his company headquarters.