Local & Regional

Fore!

LaFortune Park’s par 3 golf course reopens Friday after being closed for a six-month renovation. The $3 million update includes a slight reconfiguration to keep balls from going into Yale Avenue traffic.

Tulsa County Parks Director Richard Bales said you’ll also notice cart paths there for the first time ever.

"Which has been a deterrent initially. But now the cart path is here. So, you’ll be able to ride the cart go on all the time on the par 3, which will be a big, big plus for sure for those golfers," Bales said.

Oklahoma Tourism

The City of Tulsa has started the process of establishing a tourism improvement district.

It would charge hotels with 110 rooms or more a 3 percent tax on their gross receipts, with the estimated $2.3 million in revenue going toward marketing to bring more tourists into the city.

The city will begin notifying affected hotels and motels now and aims to have the district in place by January. Councilor Karen Gilbert said every hotelier needs to benefit from the proposed citywide taxing district.

OKC Fire-Twitter

 

A 7,000-gallon tank containing an unknown substance is on fire and billowing thick, black smoke at an Oklahoma City power plant. Fire officials have evacuated the immediate area, citing the dangerous and volatile situation.

Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson says fire crews have retreated half a mile  from the tank and are monitoring the fire that began Thursday morning at an Oklahoma Gas & Electric plant west of downtown.

Authorities aren't certain what the tank contains. Fulkerson says spraying water on the tank made the fire worse.

 

Williams today reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the Company’s request to place its Atlantic Sunrise project into full service. The Company plans to place the project into full service on Oct. 6, 2018.

Tulsa Flag

Tulsa has a new city flag.

With Vanessa Hall-Harper and Connie Dodson absent, the city council voted 7–0 to officially adopt the blue-and-beige design with a gold line and shield, red circle, and six-pointed star.

The flag was revealed last May after a private campaign for a new one kicked off in November 2016. Councilor Ben Kimbro led the charge to make the flag official after that process stalled last year over concerns the social media and text–driven campaign left out some Tulsans.

State Revenue Up Yet Again

Oct 4, 2018
Ken Miller

 

Oklahoma Gross Receipts to the Treasury, which reflect general state economic activity, surged by 14 percent in September – the tenth month of double-digit growth in the past year, State Treasurer Ken Miller announced today.

Gross receipts of $1.2 billion during the past month are the highest September total on record. Cumulative gross receipts from the past 12 months, at $12.5 billion, are also at an all-time high.

Security Breach at Tulsa International

Oct 4, 2018
TIA

Life has returned to normal at the Tulsa International Airport after an early morning security breach. It happened around 5:30 then a woman appeared to have deliberately bypassed the Transportation Safety Administration’s screeners. 

The woman then boarded a flight to Chicago. The airport shut down both concourses for about a half hour and did a sweep of the facility.

Federal agents in Chicago detained the woman when her flight landed.   

Tulsa Federal Grand Jury Indictments Issued

Oct 4, 2018
File photo

 

 

 

United States Attorney Trent Shores announced today the results of the October 2018 Federal Grand Jury. 

 

Two Interim City Councilors Take Oath

Oct 4, 2018
Tulsa City Council

 

 

Two interim Tulsa City Councilors were sworn-in today to fill vacancies in Districts 3 and 7. 

 

District 3 Councilor Karen O’Brien serves on the Sales Tax Overview Committee and District 7 Councilor Arianna Moore is a former City Councilor serving from 2012 to 2014. 

 

OEA

 

Teachers have been making their mark in the U.S. midterm elections, running in what may be unprecedented numbers and empowered by the successful #RedForEd protests for higher teacher pay and increased school spending.

After years of dense education debates over teacher evaluations and the Common Core standards, analysts say the teachers' complaints about outdated textbooks and teacher shortages are resonating.

Teacher candidates from both major parties are on ballots from school board to governor, though most are Democrats.

In the local news:

  • Juveniles with "life with no parole" sentences could be getting parole.
  • Moore and O'Brien are named to the Tulsa City Council.
  • Protests are planned over the Gathering Place's gun regulations.

Laurie Avocado

The Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission signed off Wednesday on the city's proposed zoning regulations for medical marijuana businesses.

The regulations limit dispensaries to mixed-use and certain commercial and industrial districts, and they cannot be within 1,000 feet of another dispensary. 

City Director of Economic Development and Policy Nick Doctor said that distance is consistent across similar cities and is meant to address law enforcement agencies' concerns.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

City of Tulsa officials are no longer asking for a 1,000-foot buffer between houses and medical marijuana growers or processors.

The change comes after talks involving the mayor’s office, industry representatives and code enforcement. Chief of Economic Development and Policy Nick Doctor said that changes the stance of the mayor's office on a proposed freeze of up to 90 days on issuing permits for growers or processors.

In its 11th meeting, Oklahoma's Medical Marijuana Working Group got more information about testing and started talking about potential rules on products dispensaries will offer.

Lawmakers have concerns about whether there will be enough labs to test marijuana products. Equipment is expensive and certification takes time. Fenton Rood with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality said they already work with a network of private labs on environmental testing.

file photo

 

Dozens of prisoners serving no-parole sentences for killings they committed as juveniles are expected to one day get a chance for release, including the Oklahoma teenager sentenced in the shooting of a college baseball player from Australia.

District Attorney Jason Hicks told a state House committee on Tuesday he likely can't meet the new legal threshold for the life-without-parole sentence given to Chancey Luna, who was 16 when prosecutors say he shot and killed Chris Lane while the Australian was jogging down a street in Duncan, Oklahoma.

Neosho Police-Facebook

 

Authorities have captured an escaped Oklahoma prisoner who wrecked a stolen truck in Missouri before fleeing on foot.

The Newton County, Missouri, Sheriff's Office says 24-year-old Walter Blount was arrested Wednesday morning. He was among three suspects who were caught with stolen items a week ago, more than 200 miles away in Moore, Oklahoma, at the scene of a car break-in. Police there say he managed to dive through the window of a patrol car and steal a bike and then a truck.

 

Oklahoma State athletics has reported several secondary NCAA violations during the past year.

The Oklahoman reports that a football player received $65 to place a female student and her friend on the pass list for last season's homecoming game against Baylor. The player told the school he initially refused the request and returned the $65 the next day. The football team received additional rules training, while the player made a $65 donation to charity and lost complimentary passes for two games.

Joy Hofmeister-Facebook

Thousands of educators from across the state gathered in Oklahoma City on Tuesday for a sold-out conference about trauma and how it affects children in school. 

Stephanie Young, a teacher in Norman Public Schools, says a lot of her students have experienced trauma. She says it’s common for these kids to behave poorly, and when they do, she usually asks them to sit in the hall. 

STEPHANIE YOUNG: If you’re not going to listen or you’re not going to work, we’ll just set you somewhere else. Or just sit there and sleep. 

Search Will Resume for 1921 Victims

Oct 3, 2018

Mayor Bynum says the city will again look for possible mass graves tied to the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.

The official record puts the death toll at less than 50. Others say it was a massacre with hundreds of Blacks killed by angry Whites in a two day rampage. Their graves have never been found.

While no timetable has been set, the search will be in two locations, the  Oaklawn Cemetery and at Newblock Park.

Congressional Candidates Discuss the Issues

Oct 3, 2018
ABC-Oklahoma

The candidates for Congress debate the issues ahead of net month’s election.

Responses fell, pretty much, along party lines between Republican Kevin Hern and Democrat Tim Gilpin. The men disagreed to the Affordable Health Care Act, recent tax cuts and support for the President.

The gathering last night was sponsored by the Associated Builders and Contractors and held in Sapulpa

In the local news:

  • American Airlines announces non-stop service between Tulsa and L.A.
  • A break in Tulsa County's oldest cold case.
  • The BOK Center is again named "Arena of the Year". 

Clifton Adcock/Oklahoma Watch

Nearly three months into its work to develop comprehensive regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program, Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Working Group is not yet ready to issue recommendations.

One goal, however, is clear.

Sheriff's Office says Cold Case Cleared

Oct 2, 2018
Tulsa County

DNA evidence has cracked wide open a 45-year-old Tulsa County murder case.

In the summer of 1973, Sperry’s Veda “Susie” Woodson was on her way home for work when the mother of four was abducted, raped and strangled. Her car was found between Turley and Sperry. Her body was found not far away.

Tulsa County Homicide Detective Mike Huff says it has been a “who done it”…up till now.  Forensics testing on one item produced DNA evidence that links Woodson’s murder to 78 year-old Stanley Clabough. He was a person of interest in the case decades ago 

American Airlines

Starting April 2, you can fly American Airlines directly between Tulsa and Los Angeles International Airport.

The new flights go on sale Monday at American's website. For now, Tulsa-bound flights are set to leave LAX at 1:07 p.m. Pacific, and Los Angeles–bound flights set to leave Tulsa at 6:40 p.m. Central.

American spokeswoman Linda Brock said local officials and the business community showed the route was needed.

Oklahoma DOC

   

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from an Oklahoma man who was sentenced to death for the 1992 murder of a convenience store owner during a robbery.

The Oklahoman reports that Emmanuel Littlejohn had asked the court to consider if his sentence was unconstitutional because jurors didn't hear of how brain damage could've explained his actions. Littlejohn has admitted to taking part in the robbery, but denies firing the shot that killed 31-year-old Kenneth Meers.

KWGS News/You-Tube

 

A new survey suggests the economy remains strong in nine Midwest and Plains states, but business leaders are concerned about the ongoing trade disputes.

The overall economic index for the region slipped to 57.5 in September from August's 61.1, but it remained in positive territory.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says he expects business will slow down but continue growing in the next few months because of the trade concerns and rising interest rates.

St. John Adds Parent Company's Name

Oct 2, 2018
St John

  St. John Health System will add Ascension to its name as part of a national effort to make it clearer and easier for patients to access the care they need and to navigate their health. In moving toward a unified name, St. John will become Ascension St. John.

By creating more consistent names for its facilities and services across the country, Ascension will better connect every aspect of care and innovation across its hospitals and other sites of care.

Wikipedia

 

 

Authorities say an Oklahoma man was fatally mauled by a bear and two cubs near a southeast Alaska mine.

Alaska State Troopers identified the victim as 18-year-old Anthony David Montoya of Hollis, Oklahoma.

Troopers say all three bears were killed. Montoya's body is being sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

Montoya was a contract employee for Hecla Greens Creek Mine. The mine reported that the incident Monday occurred at a remote drill site accessible only by helicopter.

Filling The Gap; Council Turns to Interims

Oct 2, 2018
KWGS News File photo

Two vacancies on the Tulsa City Council could be filed with interim councilors. Karen O’Brien could fill the unexpired term on the late David Patrick in Council District 3.

Former council Arianna Moore could step in to fill the District 7 seat now that Anna America has been named the city’s new park director.

O'Brien and Moore are not candidates for the offices.

The proposal is being put forward by Council Chair Phil Lakin. It is expected to be discussed at Wednesday's City Council meeting.

In the local news:

  • Tulsa County eliminates at liquor tax.
  • County leaders get raises.
  • The health department is again offering free flu shots.

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