Local & Regional

Oklahoma State University

OSU Medical Center is putting its emergency room on the front lines of fighting addiction.

Patients coming in for opioid withdrawal will be administered a medication that alleviates their symptoms and helps curb drug cravings. When they’re discharged, they’ll have a follow-up appointment to continue medication-assisted addiction treatment.

Monday's top stories:

  • OSU Medical Center will start patients in opioid withdrawal on medication-assisted treatment for addiction.
  • Muscogee (Creek) voters choose David Hill for principal chief again.
  • The City of Tulsa wants state funding to help a long-delayed downtown project move forward.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Virginia man was convicted Friday in federal court in Missouri for his role in a scheme that defrauded lonely women across the country out of nearly $3 million.

Henry N. Asomani, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ghana who lived in Dumfries, Virginia, was found guilty of six counts involving fraud and conspiracy.

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Oklahoma, state, tribal and local entities will receive $5.3 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to help communities affected by the opioid crisis.

"Oklahomans are committed to the fight for our families and communities," said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. "The opioid crisis must be fought on multiple fronts, including prevention, recovery and enforcement."

The largest chunk of the state's funding, $2 million, is going to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to help set up a prescription drug monitoring program.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

It’s a holiday tradition in Tulsa.

Special coins from anonymous donors have been found in Salvation Army red kettles, including three South African krugerrands and an 1899 U.S. gold piece.

Two 1978 gold krugerrands were donated at the 71st Street and Sheridan Road Reasor's on Nov. 30. On Wednesday, the 1899 $20 gold piece was found wrapped in a $2 silver certificate bill at the Hobby Lobby at 51st Street and Sheridan Road. A third krugerrand turned up Thursday at the Reasor's at 41st Street and Yale Avenue.

Kansas Department of Corrections

VINITA, Okla. (AP) — A trial began Friday to determine the mental competency of a Kansas man to stand trial on murder charges in the deaths of a northeast Oklahoma couple and the presumed deaths of their 16-year-old daughter and her 16-year-old friend.

Craig County district attorney spokeswoman Michelle Lowry said the 6-person jury and two alternates were selected early Friday afternoon for the trial of 68-year-old Ronnie Dean Busick of Wichita.

pxhere.com

The City of Tulsa is setting up a program that would allow licensed third parties to review building plans and perform some inspections.

It’s intended to help developers finish projects faster by getting inspections done sooner than the city can do them now with the staff it has.

The city's development services department, however, still has the final say.

Tulsa City Council

Tulsa District 2 City Councilor Jeannie Cue took a trip to the nation’s capital this week.

Cue was invited to the White House for the Women’s Municipal Leaders Conference along with officials like Monique Owens, the first black mayor of Eastpointe, Michigan, and Dawni Seymore, the first woman mayor of Ballinger, Texas.

Cue was skeptical of her email invitation at first.

"Well, at first I didn’t know if this was true or not, so I called Congressman Hern’s office and they verified it, but it’s about community development, it’s about childcare," Cue said.

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A fourth person has died from flu in Oklahoma. This fatality is in the northwestern part of the state. The other three were in eastern Oklahoma. All are in the older population category, with one between 50 and 64 and the others 65 or older. State Epidemiologist Laurence Burnsed says those old and young and with compromised immune systems should definitely get shots, but it’s recommended for everyone six months and older.

There have been 168 hospitalizations in the state so far this flu season.

Hearing Set for Today at Vinita

Dec 13, 2019
Harvey County, Kansas

A competency hearing is set for today at Vinita. A jury will decide if Ronnie Busick is competent to stand trial for the abduction and murder of two Welch teenagers.

Jury selection is set to start this morning. The crime took place in the late 90s.  The victims have yet to be found. 

American Indian Museum

 

 

 

The long-awaited American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City is getting a new name.

City and tribal officials announced Thursday the facility will be called the First Americans Museum. Museum officials say the old name was unwieldy and that the term “Indians” is historically inaccurate.

Wikipedia

 

 

Billionaire oil tycoon Harold Hamm is stepping down as chief executive of Continental Resources Inc. to serve as executive chairman, company officials said.

In the local news:

  • Tulsa moves forward with affordable housing goals.
  • A state audit points up concerns at the Oklahoma School of Science and Math.
  • Harold Hamm steps down as CEO of Continental Resources.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday upheld the separate murder convictions and life prison sentences of two people in the deaths of two young girls.

The court rejected appeals by Michael Andrew Nordbye, 33, of Vera and Melissa Clark, 49, of Noble. Attorneys for Nordbye and Clark did not immediately return phone calls for comment.

Nordbye was convicted in Washington County of the 2015 death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter. Court records show the girl, identified only by the initials J.H., died of multiple blunt force injuries.

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LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Charges were filed this week against an Oklahoma state prison inmate in connection with prison fights that led to a statewide lockdown of the facilities.

Court documents show former Lawton Correctional Facility inmate Justin Hill was charged Monday with conspiracy, participating in a riot, assault and battery and taking part in gang-related crime.

12&12

It's Dec. 12, or 12/12, and Tulsa's comprehensive addiction recovery center 12&12 is taking advantage of the date to remind people there is help.

Chief Operating Officer Tricia Mason said addiction is still prevalent in Tulsa.

"In fact, we’ve seen a slight decrease in opiate use disorders but a real increase in methamphetamine disorders, and alcohol remains consistent," Mason said.

City of Tulsa

The City of Tulsa rolled out a plan Thursday to tackle its shortage of affordable housing units.

Housing Policy Director Becky Gligo said the city needs 3,000 to 4,000 more affordable housing units, and that gap has a big impact.

"One-third of Tulsans are actually paying more than one-third of their income toward rent or their mortgage. We’re the 11th-highest evictor in the country as well. And our homelessness numbers are continuing to rise — not astronomically, but they’re on the rise," Gligo said.

Grand Jury Indictments Released

Dec 12, 2019
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The following individuals have been charged with violations of United States law in indictments returned by the Grand Jury. The return of an indictment is a method of informing a defendant of alleged violations of federal law, which must be proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt to overcome a defendant’s presumption of innocence.

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An Oklahoma woman whose four children, aged 1 to 5, were inside a pickup truck when police officers opened fire on a man also in the vehicle, wounding three of the kids, has taken the first step toward suing the city of Hugo.

TU Athletics

 

 

 

Darien Jackson had 12 points for Tulsa (8-2). Lawson Korita, another backup, added 11 points. Brandon Rachal had 10 points for the Golden Hurricane.

Epic Schools

 

 

Oklahoma’s largest virtual charter school system has filed a lawsuit against a state senator, alleging he knowingly published false statements about the school.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A civil rights group has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against court officials in central Oklahoma, alleging a county’s bail system unconstitutionally discriminates against poor and disabled people.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed the suit late Tuesday in federal court in Oklahoma City on behalf of six inmates currently being held in the Canadian County jail.

City of Broken Arrow

In his fifth state of the city address to the Broken Arrow Chamber, City Manager Michael Spurgeon said Wednesday the state of the city is strong.

"We’re one of the safest cities in Oklahoma and in America. Secondly is that sales tax is coming in right at projections, use tax — financially, things, they’re going very well right now. And then the fact that we’re seeing tremendous growth in our community in the private sector," Spurgeon said.

Spurgeon noted the city has issued 20 commercial building permits and more than 530 residential ones this year.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

As they started work on the fiscal year 2021 budget, Tulsa’s mayor and city council agreed they need to continue putting money toward hiring cops and raising employee compensation.

Those were also goals for the current budget, but the city wasn’t able to make up as much ground as officials had hoped.

More Budget Cutting Meetings Planned

Dec 11, 2019
TPS/KWGS News

Two down and two to go. The Tulsa Public Schools will hold another town hall meeting to discuss proposed budget cuts with the community. Tonight’s meeting will be at East Central High School and will begin at 5:30.

The District is looking to trim $20-million from its budget. $3 million would come from closing four schools. Superintendent Deborah Gist believes $13 to- $14 million could come from cuts at the Education Service Center and the rest could come from increasing class sizes by one student.

Teacher Arrested for Sex with Students

Dec 11, 2019
Sequoyah County Booking Photo

A Sallisaw area school teacher is in deep legal trouble. 29-year-old Brandy Foreman has been arrested on allegations of having sex with male members of her class.

The Central Public School’s English Teacher and Cheerleading coach will be arraigned in Sequoyah County District Court later today. She is accused of four counts.

Investigators say the dalliances started in 2017 and continued through last March. 

In the local news:

  • Oklahoma elegation reaction is along party lines to impreachment articles.
  • An Amber Alert child is found safe. Her dad is in jail.
  • A Sallisaw area  teacher is arrested on multiple counts of having sex with students. 

Woody Guthrie Center

 

New York City will host a concert in February to mark the 80th anniversary of Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie's classic song, “This Land Is Your Land.”

The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa announced Tuesday that the concert will take place Feb. 23, 2020, at The Town Hall, which is in midtown Manhattan and near where Guthrie is believed to have written the song on Feb. 23, 1940.

The concert will include performances by Oklahoma natives John Fullbright and Branjae, as well as Haley Heynderickx, Jeff Tweedy and Gangstagrass.

Amber Alert Over: Found Safe in Fort Smith Motel

Dec 11, 2019
Muskogee Police

A two-year-old girl is found safe in Arkansas after an Oklahoma Amber Alert. Police say two-year-old Olivia Perez and her mother were found in a motel at Fort Smith.

Police say they were abducted by the girl’s father at Muskogee. He was suspected of stabbing his work supervisor at a Muskogee McDonald’s after a workplace disagreement. 

Police pinged the cell phone of Derek Perez to find his location. 

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