Local & Regional

Tulsa, OK – Judge denies trial delay request

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A federal judge has rejected a request by 12 poultry companies to delay the trial in a lawsuit over pollution in the Illinois River watershed.

The companies had filed a motion earlier this week asking for more time to handle paperwork from Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson's office.

But at Thursday's hearing, U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell said the Sept. 21 trial date had long been in place.

Tulsa, OK – Weekend events

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Here is a roundup of weekend activities throughout the state of Oklahoma.

Friday, July 3

DISNEY Disney Island Fireworks on the Water, a spectacular fireworks display over the water of Grand Lake O' The Cherokees, dark, GRDA Spillways. Contact: Judy Barger, 918-435-4272 or jbarger@wavelinx.net

File Photo: American Red Cross

Tulsa, OK – Entire Tulsa Red Cross board resigns in protest

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The chairman of the Tulsa Area Red Cross board of directors says they all have resigned to protest the firing of the chapter's CEO by national officials.

Board Chairman George Singer said Thursday the mass resignation came after a power struggle that had been escalating for months. He says the local chapter wants to manage its own affairs and not take orders from national officials.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa. OK – Tulsa library commission violates open meeting law

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The Tulsa City-County Library Commission has violated the state's open meeting law, but the commission chairwoman says she's to blame and hopes to rectify the situation.

Chairwoman La Verne Ford Wimberly told the Tulsa World that commissioners voted in executive session during Wednesday's meeting to review the use of employee flex time and never returned to an open meeting. Both actions constitute violations of state law.

Bixby Public Schools

Bixby, OK – television personality Newsom dies at 64

BIXBY, Okla. (AP) An Oklahoma City television personality known for hosting a long-running outdoors show has died.

The Oklahoman reported that Paul Newsom died at his home in Bixby on Wednesday after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 64.

Newsom hosted "Paul Newsom's Great Outdoors" for more than 15 years and was president of an advertising, marketing and television production company that had offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Tulsa, OK – With many people traveling this holiday weekend, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation has provided KWGS with the following information on road related problems in the Tulsa area:

Tulsa Metro

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, OK – Kern promotes Morality Proclamation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) State Rep. Sally Kern is launching a Proclamation for Morality that acknowledges what Kern says is a need for a national awakening of righteousness.

Kern made headlines last year when she said homosexuality is a greater threat to the United States than terrorism.

Tulsa, OK – Today, we continue our special series dealing with alternative energy. Yesterday, we heard how AT&T would be using Oklahoma tax incentives to convert 30-of its vans to Compressed Natural Gas.

Today, we learn about Tulsa County's plans to save energy and become a little greener. Tulsa County's Director of Development and Governmental Affairs is Terry Simmonson. We recently visited with him about the county's plans. He says the goal is to lead by example.

KWGS News Map

Drummond, OK – Mighty mites cause problems

DRUMMOND, Okla. (AP) When the Garfield County Sheriff's office started receiving calls about millions of ants crossing the intersection of Oklahoma 132 and a county road, deputy Troy Bush thought it was joke.

Bush says when he arrived on Monday, there were so many insects that it appeared as if the ground were moving and the tiny critters had created a slick, hazardous area on the pavement stretching a quarter-mile long.

Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma ME's office loses accreditation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Officials say the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office has lost its accreditation because of problems with staffing levels and facilities.

Cherokee Ballard, a spokeswoman for the agency, says it's the first time she's aware of that the Medical Examiner's Office has failed accreditation.

KWGS News Photo

Catoosa, OK – The I-44/193rd E. Ave. interchange is getting a major upgrade. A $45 million project is set to begin Saturday, August 1, to widen I-44 from four lanes to eight at the junction, replace two bridges that are structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, and greatly improve the entrance/exit ramps. The work also includes widening 193rd E. Ave. to six lanes at the interchange.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa, OK – Oklahoma House Speaker Chris Benge and AT&T Oklahoma President Bryan Gonterman announced AT&T in Oklahoma will roll out a fleet of at least 30 compressed natural gas vehicles this year in part because of recently approved tax incentives developed by the Oklahoma Legislature.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – AG opposes lighter sentence for Fisher

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Attorney General Drew Edmondson's office wants a judge to reject former Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher's request to reduce his sentence for accepting bribes.

Fisher pleaded no contest to accepting bribes in February. Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth Watson sentenced him to six months in a private lock down facility, where he will be eligible for a work release program.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa, OK – At the mayor's request, additional funding is being transferred to bolster
right-of-way mowing and citywide graffiti removal.

The Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy (TARE), the board which oversees the
city's refuse-collection and disposal services, has approved transferring surplus
funds to add seven additional mowing cycles on public rights-of-way and to bring
back a second graffiti removal crew that was eliminated several years ago because of
tightening budgets.

Oral Roberts University

Tulsa, OK – Family tradition ends as Oral Roberts University revamps

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Workers in the Oklahoma summer heat are trying to bring the campus of Oral Roberts University into the current century.

Parking lots are torn up on the 1960s-era grounds and dormitory walls have been stripped to the studs while crates of new stainless-steel appliances wait to be put in the cafeteria.

Washington, D.C. – Washington, D.C. - Adult obesity rates increased in 23 states and did not decrease in a single state in the past year, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009, a report released today by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In addition, the percentage of obese or overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa police warn of scam

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tulsa police are warning residents of a telephone scam in which the caller uses the name of Police Chief Ron Palmer.

Police say several people have reported phone calls asking for money in Palmer's name but say Palmer hasn't endorsed any organization or given permission to use his name for solicitations.

Officers also warn residents to never give personal information such a credit card numbers or bank account information to unsolicited callers.

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa suburb becomes Oklahoma's 4th largest city

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow is now Oklahoma's fourth largest city after passing Lawton in population.

Estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau show Broken Arrow with 92,931 people as of July 1, 2008, compared to Lawton's estimated 90,091. Norman has 106,957 residents and is third behind Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa, OK – Democrat State Senator is the latest to announce he is running for Mayor of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK – Poultry companies seeking delay of Sept. 21 trial

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Twelve Arkansas poultry companies being sued by Oklahoma Attorney Drew Edmondson for polluting the Illinois River watershed with chicken waste are asking a judge to postpone the start date of the trial.

In motions filed Tuesday in federal court in Tulsa the companies blame delays by Edmondson's office in submitting key sampling data as one reason to reset the Sept. 21 trial date.

Department of Public Safety

Oklahoma City, OK – Law raises fee on late tag renewals

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahomans who are tardy on renewing their vehicle license tags will face higher fees under a new law taking effect Wednesday, the first day of the new fiscal year.

Other new laws increase penalties for a variety of crimes and ban the tattooing of eyeballs.

Motorists who are more than 30 days late on renewing the license plate tags used to pay 25 cents a day penalty. That is going up to $1 a day.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) The son of former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator Dewey Bartlett has announced his candidacy to become the mayor of Tulsa. Dewey Bartlett Jr. is a 62-year-old oilman and former Tulsa city councilor, having served from 1990 to 1994. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 1992 and for a state Senate seat in 2004. Bartlett is running as a Republican.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa employees to take 1st of 8 unpaid days off

TULSA, Okla. (AP) City employees in Tulsa will be taking the first of eight unpaid furlough days later this week.

The days off without pay are part of the city's effort to reduce spending because of falling sales tax revenue. Police and firefighters are included although their furlough schedules will be different.

Employees will be off Thursday without pay and will be off again Friday for the July 4th holiday.

Oklahoma City, OK –
Special Status Granted to Laid-off Employees Under Trade Act of 1974

Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) Two Tulsa-based companies plan to spend $37 million to buy the refined petroleum unit of bankrupt energy company SemGroup LP.

QuikTrip Corp. and Magellan Midstream Partners LP confirmed the sale of the SemFuel unit on Monday.

Court records indicate Magellan, a fee-based gasoline storer and transporter, will pay $23 million through a subsidiary to buy SemFuel's terminal operations in El Dorado, Kan., and Des Moines, Iowa, and storage sites in Glenpool and west Tulsa.

Tulsa, OK – - The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Ozone Alert for Tuesday in Tulsa. The hot, dry, windless weather is expected to continue.

Persons with lung or heart disease should be aware that increased pollution may cause them to experience adverse health effects. Ozone affects people differently. Learn your limits. Symptoms include chest pain, coughing, sneezing, nausea, headache and pulmonary congestion.

KWGS News Photo

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa University played host last week to an International Economic Forum. Nine delegates from European Countries were at Helmerich Hall on the TU Campus. The conference was entitled "Doing Business with Europe"

It was as much for the European delegates as it was for Tulsans. Among those attending the functions was Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith who had praise for the program.

U.S. Military

Catoosa, OK – Catoosa grad wins Silver Star

CATOOSA, Okla. (AP) Staff Sgt. Sean Samaroo, a graduate of Catoosa High School, has been awarded the Silver Star for heroic actions under enemy fire in Afghanistan.

Samaroo was among about 50 U.S. troops and two dozen Afghan fighters at a small base that came under attack by 200 or more Taliban armed with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades on July 13, 2008.

Tulsa County Jail Booking Photo

Tulsa, OK – An August 4th preliminary hearing is set for 38-year-old Tausha Borland. The Sand Springs woman is accused of June 9th crash that killed two bicyclists, 33-year-old Christa Voss of Owasso and 34-year-old Mathew Edmondson of Tulsa.

Borland is charged with two counts of first-degree manslaughter, DUI and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Borland is free on $300,000 bond.

St-John Medical Center

Tulsa, OK – St. John Health System has named Jan Slater to the position of Oklahoma State University Medical Center (OSUMC) chief executive officer. A seasoned medical executive with more than 33 years experience in healthcare management, Slater has served as interim chief executive officer upon OSUMC's transfer of ownership from Ardent Health Services to the OSUMC Trust on April 30, 2009.