Local & Regional

Denver, Co – Nichols requests lawyer in suit over prison food

DENVER (AP) Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols has asked for representation in a lawsuit against a federal prison, which he claims is causing him to "sin against God" because he doesn't get enough whole grains and fresh food.

Tulsa, OK – The show will go on!

Matt Meyer is the executive director of the Tulsa River Parks. Each year it is a struggle to see if enough money can be raised for the annual 4th of July fireworks display along the Arkansas River.

This year, the show will cost $104,000. Meyer says the tight economy has made this year even more difficult. When you water bill arrives from the city you can expect to find a plea.

U.S.G.S. Photo

Picher, OK – Former mining community looking at Sept. 1 end

PICHER, Okla. (AP) Ravaged by decades of lead and zinc mining and a deadly tornado that killed six people last year, the northeastern Oklahoma town of Picher is likely to close Sept. 1.

But Mayor Tim Reeves says officials are still working to supply utilities to residents who choose to remain after that.

KWGS News Map

Muskogee, OK – DA seeks investigative audit

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) The Muskogee County District Attorney is seeking an investigative audit of the town of Webbers Falls.

District Attorney Larry Moore said yesterday his investigator has been examining the town's financial and government records and an audit is needed to determine the distribution of money that has come in since about 1991.

Tulsa, OK – Commissioners appeal ruling

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Haskell County commissioners want the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a ruling that a Ten Commandments monument on the county's courthouse lawn violates the U.S. Constitution.

A three-judge panel concluded June 8 that the 8-foot-tall monument in Stigler is unconstitutional because its primary effect is to endorse religion. The commissioners are appealing that decision, asking the full 12-judge panel based in Denver to weigh in.

Oklahoma City, OK – INCOG opposes overlay area code plan

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A regional planning agency in Tulsa opposes a plan to create a new area code within the existing area code's territory.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is considering a new area code for the northeastern Oklahoma. The existing 918 code is expected to run out of telephone numbers by late 2011.

Oklahoma City, OK – Commission spends more stimulus money

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Transportation Commission has spent another $23.9 million in federal economic stimulus money on state road and bridge projects.

Commissioners awarded contracts for the work on Monday. The state has now spent a total of $352 million in federal stimulus dollars on state road and bridge projects across the state. Including county road and bridge projects, the state has spent $382 million in stimulus funds.

Tulsa County Jail Booking

Tulsa, OK – A Tulsa County Judge has triple the bail for a Sand Springs woman accused of running over three bicyclists along Highway 51. 38-year-old Tausha Dion Borland is accused of crashing into the trio on June 9th. Officials say she had been drinking. Two of the cyclists died and third was seriously injured.

Sand Springs, OK – Sen. Dan Newberry on Monday expressed concern regarding news of the possible closure of the Gerdau Ameristeel plant in Sand Springs.

Workers were notified last week that Gerdau Ameristeel had targeted the facility for possible closure within the year. Company officials cited the declining price of steel in announcing possible closures. Newberry said the mill is a vital cog in the area economy, and every solution for saving jobs must be examined.


Tulsa, OK – At a time when many retail outlets, not only here, but across the nation are struggling this one is booming. Not only is business good but so is the cause.

This is Goodwill Thrift Store on Southwest Blvd. in Tulsa. Because of the recession Goodwill is attracting more customers. Across the nation Goodwill sales are up nearly six percent. The Tulsa District's nine stores are surpassing that.

City of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK – Taylor may be interested in another position

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The mayor of Oklahoma's second-largest city may not be running for re-election but she hasn't ruled out a bid for another elective office or accepting a public appointment.

Kathy Taylor told the Tulsa World she's not really thinking about it now, but is leaving herself open to possibilities.

Taylor on June 4 announced she would not seek another term, pointing to what she called "partisan politics" playing out between her and the City Council.

File Photo

Tulsa, OK – Baby left in hot vehicle

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tulsa police say an infant boy was taken to a local hospital for observation after he was reportedly left in a hot vehicle outside a department store.

Police Cpl. Mike Hanley says when officers responded to an emergency call Sunday afternoon at a Super Target in southeast Tulsa, the 1-month-old child had been taken out and was cooling off inside the store.

Hanley says the baby reportedly was in the vehicle's back seat for about 30 minutes.

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa County under heat warning

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Tulsa County and a heat advisory for the rest of northeastern Oklahoma.

The warning and advisory are in effect through Tuesday with afternoon temperatures expected in the mid to upper 90s and the heat index in the region may surpass 105 degrees.

The weather service has also issued an excessive heat watch for much of northeast Oklahoma from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening.

Oklahoma City, OK – New wind farm in western Oklahoma is state's 9th

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A new wind farm in far western Oklahoma that recently began delivering energy is the ninth in the state.

Officials from Acciona Energy North America gathered yesterday for a dedication ceremony for the Red Hills Wind Farm, located in Roger Mills and Custer counties near the towns of Elk City and Hammon.


Tulsa, OK – Tulsa police, fire consider deferring costs

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor says the city's police and fire unions are trying to determine what costs might be deferred for the upcoming tight budget year for the city.

She says the deferred costs would offset the eight furlough days for city employees that are a part of the $567 million budget just approved by the city council.

Oklahoma City, OK – Transportation official urges action on road fund

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma's top transportation official has urged members of Congress to develop a permanent solution for funding for the federal highway fund, warning them they risk delaying projects if they don't do so.

State Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley tells the Tulsa World's Washington bureau that uncertainty about the highway fund causes "distress" to states in their efforts to develop long-term plans for projects.

KWGS News Map

McAlester, OK – Bomb threat empties courthouse

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) Authorities say the Pittsburg County Courthouse was evacuated because someone called a bomb threat into the office of a judge.

The sheriff's department ordered the evacuation after the clerk of District Judge Thomas Bartheld received an anonymous call about 2:15 p.m. Friday implying that a bomb was on the premises.

Oklahoma City, OK – Schools to get money for nutrition

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Department of Education has awarded 200 Oklahoma schools more than $1.5 million in federal economic stimulus money for child nutrition.

The agency says the money is separate from funding schools received from the economic stimulus package for special education and Title I programs for math and reading.

Oklahoma House

Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma ethics panel ditches gag rule

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Ethics Commission will no longer enforce a gag rule on people who file ethics complaints.

Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday for the rule change, which will be submitted to the Oklahoma Legislature. Unless lawmakers reject the new rule, it will go into effect.

The commission adopted a resolution stating the change is more in line with current law on First Amendment rights.

Tulsa, OK – Methane pipeline to be dedicated in Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A new pipeline that transports methane gas from a Tulsa landfill to a nearby cement plant is dedicated during a ceremony at the facility in northeast Tulsa.

Mayor Kathy Taylor and city officials were on hand to showcase the pipeline at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Lafarge Cement Plant.

The pipeline will be used to transport naturally created methane from the landfill to the plant, where it will be used to fuel equipment there.


Tulsa, OK – Usually, the "dog days of summer" don't hit until late July or early August. But this year, they've come a little early to Oklahoma. On Wednesday, EMSA received a half-dozen calls from patients suffering from suspected heat-related illnesses - and one call from a person with an overheated canine. Listen to the actual 911 phone call.

Oklahoma City, OK – The Oklahoma unemployment rate was up in the month of May, but just slightly. In a news release from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission shows 111,720 people out of work in the state during May. That is up, one-tenth of one-percent from April figures.

The biggest drop came from the business sector, which reported a job lost of 5,000.

Three sectors, Government, Health & Education and Leisure & Hospitality, reported employment increases over -the-year additions in May.

file photo

Tulsa, OK – A three day conference on aerospace and its future in Oklahoma wrapped up yesterday. Spirit Bank President and CEO Albert "Kell" Kelly says aerospace is vital to Oklahoma's prosperity.

Conference Coordinator Mary Smith says the aerospace industry is becoming very competitive and Oklahoma must do more to keep and attract the industry's high paying jobs.

Oklahoma City, OK – Stimulus spending on schools in Oklahoma defended

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A spokesman for Gov. Brad Henry is defending how Oklahoma spent its federal stimulus dollars on education.

Paul Sund says Oklahoma met federal guidelines in spending the money and increased overall funding for education.

Sund commented after the Obama administration warned Pennsylvania it may withhold millions of dollars if states use stimulus money to plug budget holes instead of increasing aid for schools.

City of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa council votes against judge

In a special session of the Tulsa City Council, its members decided not to reappointed a municipal judge facing complaints of sexual harassment and nepotism.

Callers to an ethics hot line complained that Presiding Judge Dan Crawford asked a female employee about her underwear and allowed his daughter to work in his courtroom on a paid internship.

Crawford's two-year term is due to expire at the end of the month.

file photo

Tulsa, OK – The Tulsa metropolitan area will soon get $2,160,500 to enhance communications, planning and capabilities for fire, police and medical emergency agencies through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Urban Areas Security Initiative.

Sixty-two urban areas nationwide are eligible to receive funding through the program this fiscal year. Tulsa is one of only two cities added to the program this year.

Oklahoma City, OK – OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A former auditor for the Commissioners of the Land Office has been indicted on 174 counts of embezzlement.

Roger Melson appeared Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court. Prosecutors allege he stole more than $1.16 million in royalty payments to the office over the last five years.

KWGS photo

Tulsa, OK – After several hours of debate, the Tulsa City Council approves the budget as presented by Mayor Taylor.

The new city spending plan calls for eight furlough days for all city employees as a way to save money. The budget is some $18-million less than last year's because of a major drop in sales tax revenues caused by the recession. The furlough days will be grouped around holidays.

Tulsa, OK – Paramedics say it's time to start talking heat. So far this month, EMSA has treated only two patients in the Tulsa area with suspected heat-related illness. However, the week's forecast is cause for concern. Each year, hundreds of Americans die from heat-related illness, and with higher temperatures and high humidity expected this week in Tulsa, our health risk will increase.

Tulsa, OK – Oklahoma personal income declines in Q1

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma's personal income posted a 0.1 decline from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of this year, but that figure was still better than most states.

Estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that Oklahoma has not been as hard-hit as states like Florida, Nevada and Arizona, where the housing bust continued to take a toll on those economies.