Local & Regional

Tulsa Drillers

Tulsa, OK – What to do with the old Driller's ballpark? Tulsa County leaders are trying now to decide. Next fall, the Tulsa Drillers will move from the Tulsa State Fairgrounds to the new Oneok Field downtown . That will leave an empty ballpark at the fairgrounds.

The Tulsa County Commission has formed a committee to examine the options for the property. It could be left as a ballpark or torn down and the land used for some other event. The committee is made up of county and civic leaders including Tulsa City Councilor Eric Gomez.

Tulsa Public Schools Photo

Tulsa, OK – No criminal charges are anticipated, but a Tulsa High School teacher is headed to the unemployment line. Hale High School social studies teacher, 42-year-old Scott Factor has been dismissed.

Tulsa Jail booking photo

Tulsa, OK – Woman charged with manslaughter in bikers' deaths

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A Sand Springs woman has been charged with manslaughter in the deaths of two bicyclists.

Tulsa County prosecutors charged 38-year-old Tausha Borland with two counts of first-degree manslaughter and one count each of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a fatality accident.

Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma's Multicounty Grand Jury adjourned from its June session today after issuing one sealed indictment, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said.

The indictment accuses one person on 174 counts. The indictment will be unsealed at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow in Oklahoma County District Court.

Edmondson's office administers the Multicounty Grand Jury which is scheduled to reconvene July 20.


Tulsa, OK – Tulsa hosts national championship for SWAT teams

TULSA, Okla. (AP) SWAT teams and sniper squads from across the U.S. will compete in Tulsa this week to be named the best in the nation.

The U.S. National SWAT Championships begin Monday with the first of two days of sniper competitions featuring two-person teams made up of a sniper and a spotter.

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa City Councilors have their pencils all sharpened. They are making the last edits to the new City of Tulsa budget.

Mayor Kathy Taylor trimmed over $10-million from her original budget as city sales tax revenue continues to decline. However, some council members worry that the cuts may be too deep. At yesterday's budget meeting there was much discussion on adding dollars back into the budget.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, OK – Revenue down in license plate reissuance

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma's first statewide license plate reissuance is not producing the kind of revenue officials had hoped it would.

Preliminary figures from the Oklahoma Tax Commission indicate that revenue from Oklahomans who pay to keep their old license plate number is far below expectations.

State officials had expected to collect $2.1 million from motorists who pay a $15 fee to reserve their old license plate number.

Oklahoma City, OK – Paramedic wants trooper's gun and badge

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The paramedic who scuffled with an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper says he wants the trooper to have "his badge and his gun" taken away.

Maurice White Jr. said on the CBS Early Show Tuesday that trooper Daniel Martin was in a state of rage and totally disregarded the patient in the ambulance.

Martin stopped the ambulance May 24 near Paden and told the driver he was going to ticket him for failing to yield.


Cushing, OK – Payne County residents tested for tuberculosis

CUSHING, Okla. (AP) Health officials are testing Payne County residents for tuberculosis after a Cushing High School student was diagnosed with the disease.

Associate tuberculosis control officer Dr. Phillip Lindsey at the state Health Department says about 125 people who had contact with the student were asked to have skin tests for the disease.

He says about half of the 125 have been tested and 16 of those have tested positive.

Enid, OK – Crop showing some positive signs

ENID, Okla. (AP) Wheat farmers in Oklahoma say the crop has taken a beating but is showing some positive signs.

The harvest is well under way in some parts of the state while just getting started in areas such as Enid.

Waukomis Cooperative manager James Wilson says farmers there have been cutting for about 10 days and are getting from 18 to 30 bushels an acre.

Wheat production has been inconsistent in recent years.

Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) Federal investigators say a Dallas pilot who was killed when his plane crashed in Tulsa was disoriented by freezing rain and pushed the aircraft beyond its stress limits.

Darrin Ogletree radioed flight controllers about an equipment failure shortly before his plane went down in Mohawk Park on Jan. 16, 2008.

City of Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow, OK – Broken Arrow city manager leaving

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) The Broken Arrow City Council has voted 5-0 to accept a "separation agreement" and end the contract of City Manager Jim Twombly.

The vote Monday night comes two weeks after Twombly placed Fire Chief Jackie Carner on paid leave for undisclosed reasons.

City officials say the two instances are not related and that the city needs different leadership.


Tulsa, OK – The parking facilities at Tulsa International Airport are now equipped with Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Pike Pass readers. If you have a credit-card backed Pike Pass account, you simply enter through a designated Pike Pass lane. Your Pike Pass account will be automatically billed when you exit. There is no need to pull a ticket or wait to pay at the exit.

The Airport Authority announced the service last week.

Oklahoma City, OK – Alba won't face charges

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Police have decided not to pursue a criminal vandalism case against actress Jessica Alba over some whale posters that were plastered up in downtown Oklahoma City.

Police Sgt. Gary Knight said none of the owners of property on which the posters were placed wanted to pursue charges against Alba, who has apologized for the incident.

File photo

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Attorney defends trooper's actions

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) An attorney for a state trooper who pulled over an ambulance with a patient inside said the lawman had the legal right to make the traffic stop.

Gary James, attorney for trooper Daniel Martin, said at a news conference Monday that since the ambulance was not running with its emergency lights and sirens on, Martin was allowed to pull over the vehicle for failing to yield the right of way in a previous traffic incident.


Sparks, OK – Small earthquake recorded in Lincoln County

SPARKS, Okla. (AP) A small earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale has been recorded near the town of Sparks in Lincoln County.

No injuries or damage is reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake struck at 3:31 p.m. Sunday. The epicenter was about two miles northwest of Sparks about 40 miles east of Oklahoma City.

A magnitude 2.5 to 3 quake is generally the smallest that is felt by people.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Network

Tulsa, OK – Case dropped against district judge

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Prosecutors have dropped an indecent exposure case against Tulsa County District Judge Jesse Harris.

A trial for Harris was to begin this week, with jury selection on Monday.

Harris was accused of exposing himself to two women in a hotel parking lot. He repeatedly denied the allegations.


Tulsa, OK – Mayor Kathy Taylor announced the Bank of America and the Walton Family Foundation have donated funding to benefit 18 community school after-school programs in at risk areas through the City of Tulsa's Mentoring to the Max initiative.

The grants total $40,000. The announcement was made by bank and Walton family spokesmen at the Alcott Elementary School in North Tulsa.

Alcott is one of the schools that will benefit from the grant.

Broken Arrow, OK – Study says city could close fire station

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) A consultant's study for the city of Broken Arrow recommends closing a fire station and evaluating whether the city should operate its own jail.

The report by ICMA Consulting Services was to find ways the police and fire departments can operate more efficiently.

File Photo of tornado damage

Norman, OK – Norman tornado likely an EF-1

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Meteorologists at the National Weather Service say a tornado that struck Norman will likely be rated as an EF-1.

The weather service issued a statement yesterday saying that a weak tornado left a 2-mile damage path in southeastern Norman on Friday night.

A tornado with an EF-1 rating would have winds between 86 and 109 mph. The weather service says the tornado likely was on the low end of that scale.

Tulsa, OK – Man standing on sign over Tulsa highway rescued

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Emergency crews have rescued a man who found himself stuck standing on a sign over a Tulsa highway.

Tulsa police say the man was walking along a bridge above the city's Inner Dispersal Loop near downtown just before 6 a.m. yesterday when he fell and landed on the sign's platform.

Tulsa firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Authority workers got the man to safety while police shut down the highway for about 15 minutes.

Sallisaw, OK – Monument could be built on private property

POTEAU, Okla. (AP) A Ten Commandments monument that had been planned on the Le Flore County Courthouse lawn may instead be built on private property.

Former Poteau Mayor Don Barnes says the monument could be built along a major road in Poteau where thousands of people would drive past it.

Oklahoma City, OK – OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has released a dashboard camera video showing an altercation between a trooper and an ambulance paramedic.

Capt. Chris West says the highway patrol decided to release the video because it had "drawn enormous attention" and a department investigation wouldn't be affected.

Oklahoma City, OK – Study: Few students in US illegally

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A new study shows that only a fraction of 1 percent of Oklahoma's college students are in the country illegally.

The report approved by the Advancement of Hispanic Students in Higher Education Task Force found that only 272 of the nearly 230,000 Oklahoma higher education students are not legal U.S. residents. That's about one in every 845 students, or 0.11 percent.


Norman, OK – NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Authorities say severe thunderstorms damaged trees and blew over a fence in the Norman area.

A tornado warning was issued for Cleveland County just before 10:30 p.m. yesterday after radar indicated a storm capable of producing a tornado. A storm spotter reported seeing a funnel in southeast Norman but there was no immediate confirmation of a tornado.

Damage reported by emergency management officials was clustered between downtown Norman and Lake Thunderbird.


Tulsa, OK – Heavy thunderstorms rolled through Tulsa with high winds and large hail. The storm hit just before 10AM on Friday. The National Weather Service Issues a severe thunderstorms warning for the Tulsa Metro and estimated storm winds at 80-miles-per-hour.

Damage is being reported along Riverside Drive near I-44. A tree has fallen into a home. A resident, who declined a recorded interview, says the tree was struck by lightning

One person has been injured in Pryor from a downed tree.


Tulsa, OK – With the assessment fee approved, the City of Tulsa, moves forward to collect the revenue. The fee is 6 cents for each square foot of property inside the Inter Dispersal Loop downtown.

The federal government, churches and private homes with homestead exemption are exempt.

White House

Oklahoma City, OK – Cartoon of Sotomayor as pinata draws criticism

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Some Hispanics and advocates for women are criticizing an editorial cartoon that depicts Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as a strung-up pinata that President Barack Obama is inviting Republicans to whack.

The cartoon by Chip Bok of Creators Syndicate ran in The Oklahoman on Tuesday. It shows Obama wearing a sombrero and saying, quote, "Now, who wants to be first?" to a group of elephants in suits holding sticks.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

Tulsa, OK – Hearing set for man accused of killing

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A preliminary hearing will be held August 7 for a man charged in with murder in the shooting death of a Tulsa businessman.

Terrico Bethel is accused of shooting Neal Sweeney in the head at Retail Fuels Marketing on September 4. The 63-year-old Sweeney died the next day at a Tulsa hospital.

Oklahoma City, OK – OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma State Department of Health says the number of swine flu cases in the state has risen to 114.

Scott Sproat, the Health Department's chief of emergency preparedness and response, says state health officials have yet to see a plateau in the number of swine flu reports, even during what typically is a slow season for flu cases.