Local & Regional

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board says its caseload has more than doubled this year.

Its executive director, Steven Bickley, said Monday at a board meeting that the his agency has had 6,940 docketed cases this year, compared to 3,183 last year.

Much of that increase was driven by a bill that retroactively applied misdemeanor sentences for simple drug possession and low-level property crimes. Bickley says the board in January is likely to consider additional possession crime cases affected by the bill.

Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson have appealed an Oklahoma judge's order for the company to pay $465 million to address the state's opioid crisis.

The company argues in an appeal filed Monday that the judge misapplied the state's public nuisance laws in reaching his decision and that the award should be reduced by $355 million to offset pretrial settlements between the state and two other drugmakers.

The state also plans to appeal the judge's order, arguing that the $465 million is only enough to cover one year of the state's cleanup plan.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

A new vision for the Mother Road is in the works.

The Tulsa Planning Office is in the middle of an update to the city’s Route 66 master plan. The current plan was adopted in 2005.

"We have a multigenerational, multicultural audience to please now. There’s technological advances. And there’s already several projects on the ground that were a part of the package of that capital project investment that came from the project 15 years ago," said Tulsa Planning Office Senior Planner Paulina Baeza.

publicradiotulsa.org

Advocates for children say too many have traumatic experiences at an early age and they can be impacted the rest of their lives. Joe Dorman with the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy says an agenda has been drafted for legislators to address.

Top Oklahoma Uber Destination is in Tulsa

Dec 10, 2019
KWGS News

In the vast Uber-universe what is the most popular destination in Oklahoma? It is right here in Tulsa,

The ride service says the top destination in Oklahoma  is  81st and South Riverside Drive in Tulsa. That is the address of the River Spirit Casino.  The casino beat out the Gathering Place, The BOK Center and all sites in Oklahoma City. 

The Casino is impressed, especially  considering  it was closed for a month earlier this year in the spring floods. 

In the local news:

  • Superintendent Gist discusses additional school district cuts.
  • TU offers programs to help students with mental health concerns.
  • Ardmore energy man appointed to OU Regents

TPS/KWGS News

TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist is laying out the rest of her plan to make up a $20 million budget shortfall this week in a series of community meetings.

Gist announced last week she would recommend closing four elementary schools — Grimes, Jones, Wright and Mark Twain — to make up $2 million to $3 million of Tulsa Public Schools’ $20 million budget shortfall.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Kevin Stitt has appointed the longtime head of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation as the newest member of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

Stitt announced Monday that he has chosen Michael A. Cawley for the seven-member board. He replaces former OU Regent Renzi Stone, who abruptly resigned from the board in October.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

Tulsa County authorities say a dispute involving two associates of a white-supremacist prison gang led to the death of one man and the other being held on a murder complaint.

Tulsa County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Casey Roebuck says her office is recommending first-degree murder charges against 31-year-old Cody Lee Fulmer. She says those recommended charges were upgraded after the victim, 23-year-old Jared Langworthy, died as a result of his wounds.

KWGS News

Oklahoma election officials say registered independents will be able to continue voting in Democratic primaries during the next election cycle.

Oklahoma Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said Monday he'd been notified by the Oklahoma Democratic Party that it will continue to allow independents to vote in its primaries in 2020 and 2021.

Ziriax said both the Republican and Libertarian parties have notified his office that their primaries will remain closed to independent voters.

University of Tulsa

TU President Gerry Clancy traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of his involvement in a study of college students’ mental health and well-being.

Clancy, a psychiatrist, is on a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine performing the study and presented some national trend data on Monday. He said American universities are seeing more indicators of poor mental health among students.

OSU

 

 

Oklahoma State (8-4, Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (7-5, SEC), Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m. ET

LOCATION: Houston

TOP PLAYERS

Oklahoma State: RB Chuba Hubbard, 1,936 yards rushing, 21 rushing touchdowns.

Tulsans Go "Hog Wild" for Toy Drive

Dec 9, 2019
ABATE-Tulsa

Motorcycles rumbled from the Tulsa Fairgrounds to the Guthrie Green yesterday afternoon. Thousands took part to bring new, unwrapped toys for the Marine’s Toys for Tots campaign.

The ride was hosted by ABATE-Tulsa. ABATE stands for “American Bikers Aimed Toward Education.” This was the 40th year for the event.

The Marines filled two tractor-trailer rigs with toys. 

KWGS News Photo

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline has dipped 1 penny per gallon to $2.65 over the past two weeks.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg says Sunday that further cuts to gas prices are unlikely because crude oil costs are on the rise. The price at the pump is 14 cents higher than it was a year ago.

The highest average price in the nation for regular-grade gas is $3.74 per gallon in San Diego. The lowest average is $2.14 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The average price of diesel is $3.06, down a penny.

Fayetteville Police

Police say a man who was looking for an officer to kill ambushed and fatally shot an officer who was sitting in his patrol vehicle outside a police station in northwestern Arkansas.

Fayetteville police say Officer Stephen Carr was shot and killed late Saturday by a suspect identified as 35-year-old London Phillips, of Fayetteville. Police say police responding to the sound of gunfire found an armed suspect behind the police department.

The suspect confronted the officers, who shot and killed him. Officers then found Carr shot inside his vehicle.

In the local news:

  •  Help is offered to former inmates making the transition to freedom. 
  • Thousands take part in the ABATE Toy Ride.
  • A police officer is shot and killed in northwest Arkansas.

Minor Changes Coming Early in the Work Week

Dec 8, 2019
NWS-Graphic

Warm temperatures, gusty winds above 20 miles per hour, and generally dry fuels will allow for a limited fire danger this afternoon. RH values will likely be in the 50 to 60 percent range which will limit the overall fire threat.

TU Athletics

Jerry Johnson Jr. scored 16 points and Marquis Eaton scored 15 and Arkansas State beat Tulsa 66-63 on Saturday.

The Red Wolves (7-2) handed Tulsa (7-2) its first home loss of the season. Arkansas State led the entire second half.

Big 12 Conference

No. 6 Oklahoma has done all it can, winning a fifth Big 12 title in a row with another close win over No. 8 Baylor.

Now the Sooners wait to see if they are going to get in back in the College Football Playoff. That is up to the selection committee, though it will be virtually impossible to keep Oklahoma from being one of those four teams.

Google Street View

A Tulsa doctor and two of his former employees are facing federal charges tied to the deaths of three patients who authorities allege were given medically unnecessary opioid drugs.

Dr. Christopher Moses and clinic employees Melisa Million and Kay Speir had earlier this year been charged with illegally dispensing opioid drugs from 2010 to 2018.

In a superseding indictment announced on Friday by federal prosecutors in Tulsa, the three now face additional charges of distributing Fentanyl, Hydrocodone and Oxycodone resulting in death.

TPD

Tulsa Police are looking for twins in connection with a Saturday night shooting southeast of Pine and North Harvard. The victim is in stable condition at a Tulsa hospital after being shot.

The shooting took place in a blue-collar neighborhood in the 1200 block of North Knoxville, near Grotto Park. The victim was shot one time in the chest.

Police suspect Luis Carlos Gomez and Luis Navarrete Gomez in the shooting. They are said to be identical twins in their mid-to-late 30s. They were last seen fleeing the area in a red, four-door pickup.

First Reponders Awarded for Flood Service

Dec 8, 2019
OK Guard

The Oklahoma National Guard presents its highest civilian honor to emergency personnel in a Muskogee County town.

Major General Michael Thompson presented the “Thunderbird Medal”, Saturday, to a group of first responders in Braggs.

The award was for their performance during last spring’s devastating flooding. The flooding cut off the town and left it as a rural island for days.

A Stretch of Seasonal Weather

Dec 7, 2019

Breezy southerly winds will develop on Sunday ahead of the next cold front which will pass on Monday. Gusty winds can also be expected with the cold frontal passage. A chance for light rain will develop Sunday night through Monday night across far eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Any rainfall amounts will remain light. Temperatures through much of next week will remain near seasonal normals for early December.

Oklahoma Public School Enrollment Tops 700K

Dec 7, 2019
TPS

For the first time in history, Oklahoma public school enrollment exceeds 700,000 students. The state’s annual student count shows 703,650 students enrolled in Pre-K through 12th grade for the 2019-20 school year, an increase of 5,064 over last year’s total. The figures were collected Oct. 1, and released today by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

TPS Announces Community Budget Meetings

Dec 7, 2019
TPS

Tulsa Public Schools will hold a second series of four community-wide meetings the second week of December to share the district’s potential budget redesign plan for the 2020-2021 school year.

The four community events will take place on the following dates:

Monday, Dec. 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

McLain High School, fieldhouse (4929 N. Peoria Ave.)

 

Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

I-244 Expressway Starts This Weekend

Dec 7, 2019
Google Street View

 

 

As part of a bridge rehabilitation project, scheduled for overall completion in early summer 2020:

Federal prosecutors in Oklahoma City say 35 people have been indicted as part of a drug-trafficking conspiracy coordinated by imprisoned gang leaders using contraband cellphones. U.S. Attorney Timothy Downing said in a statement Friday that the indictments resulted from a year-long investigation of activities of the Southside Locos Gang and some of its imprisoned leaders.

Downing said law enforcement seized more than 111 pounds of methamphetamine, 8 pounds of heroin, 34 firearms and $200,000 in currency during the investigation.

File Photo

Hobby Lobby says it plans to donate the campus of the now-defunct St. Gregory's University to nearby Oklahoma Baptist University. The Oklahoma City-based craft retailer and its founding Green family announced Friday that they've scheduled a Wednesday news conference to formally announce details of the donation.

The university closed in 2017 after failing to receive a $12.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hobby Lobby bought the 75-acre campus in 2018 for almost $4.8 million and leased it to Oklahoma Baptist.

The OBU main campus also is in Shawnee.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has appointed a longtime Department of Corrections veteran to lead the agency.

Stitt on Friday announced Scott Crow would serve as the agency's executive director. A 23-year employee of the agency, Crow has served as the agency's interim director since June, when his predecessor Joe Allbaugh abruptly resigned.

In a statement, Stitt praised Crow for helping organize re-entry fairs ahead of a mass commutation and for improving morale among agency employees.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says the state's Native American tribes would be illegally operating certain gambling games after Jan. 1 if they don't resolve a dispute over the tribes' compacts with the state.

He made the remarks Thursday amid an impasse between the state and several tribes over the gaming compacts. Stitt says the compacts expire at the end of the year, but the tribes say the current compacts will automatically renew.

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