Local & Regional

Oklahoma City, OK – Senate abandons early adjournment plan

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Senate has abandoned plans to adjourn the 2009 legislative session one week early.

The Senate rescinded a resolution it passed in March to adjourn on Friday after failing to pass legislation to create a central information officer who would take charge of the state's computer systems.

The Senate then abruptly adjourned for the day and will reconvene on Tuesday.


Tulsa, OK – Officials from the Oklahoma Department of Labor inspect the Big Splash Water Park on the Tulsa State Fairgrounds. The Labor Department recently took over the inspections following an accident at the park in 2007 when a section of the Master Blaster water ride collapsed.

Chief Safety inspector Tom Monroe says a review in February found a few minor problems that needed attention. Park owner Loretta Murphy says those repairs have been made and the park is ready to open.

Tulsa, OK – Judge refuses to reconsider immigration law

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A Tulsa County judge has rejected a request to reconsider his decision to uphold the constitutionality of the controversial immigration law created by House Bill 1804.

After District Judge Jefferson Sellers declined yesterday to change any of his February decision, attorney James C. Thomas said he planned to appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Oklahoma City, OK – Bill bans cell phones in prisons

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Senate has given final approval to a bill to ban cell phones in Oklahoma prisons.

Sen. Don Barrington, a Lawton Republican, says items are already prohibited in prison include alcohol, tobacco, drugs and other items that can be used of weapons.

Wayman Tisdale

Tulsa, OK – TULSA, Okla. (AP) Thousands packed a downtown Tulsa arena today for a lively and musical public memorial service to honor Wayman Tisdale.

The former University of Oklahoma basketball star, NBA player and popular jazz musician died last week at age 44 after a long battle with cancer.

Tisdale's casket was carried by horse-drawn carriage on a 3-mile procession to the BOK Center.


Tulsa, OK – At 240 acres, Tulsa's Memorial Park Cemetery is roughly the same size as the Tulsa Fairgrounds. It is the largest cemetery in Tulsa County. Getting Memorial Park ready for the Memorial Day holiday when an estimated 25,000 visitors will converge at 51st and South Memorial Drive a mammoth job.
Jason Thames is the grounds manager. He says his crews are working hard to get the cemetery ready for the visitors. He has 13-full time members working 12-hour days to get the park ready.

Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma City, OK – Gov. Brad Henry, House Speaker Chris Benge and Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee announced a budget agreement today that protects the four core functions of government, including education, health care, public safety and transportation.
Those four areas are at least held harmless in this agreement, all while not tapping the state's Rainy Day fund, leaving about $600 million in place for future needs if necessary.


City of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa mayor abruptly walks out of council meeting

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor abruptly walked out of a city council meeting after a testy exchange with Councilor Bill Martinson.

Martinson interrupted Taylor to say something during yesterday's meeting while the mayor was discussing the Tulsa Stadium Improvement District. She told Martinson that she "would sure like to finish a sentence ... if you don't mind."


Tulsa, OK – Museum of Oklahoma pop culture proposed for Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The top official at the Oklahoma Historical Society and Tulsa leaders are announcing plans to build a $33 million museum of state popular culture in the city's Brady District.

Bob Blackburn, the historical society's executive director, says that officials can't pull back from the project even during a tough economic time.

Tulsa Airport Authority

Tulsa, OK – Work will begin next year on a $60-to-65 million renovation of the main runway at the Tulsa International Airport. Airports Deputy Director Jeff Hough says grants from the federal government will pay 95% of the project's cost.

Most airport runways last about 20-years before major rehabilitation is needed. Hough says it has been 25-years or more for the Tulsa runway. He expects the work to get underway in the summer of 2010 and last almost five years.

Photo by KWGS News

Tulsa, OK – City, county reach Tulsa jail contract agreement

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The city of Tulsa and Tulsa County have reached a deal on a new jail contract.

The deal was reached Monday night and officials say its details will be announced Tuesday.

The agreement came after Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor said during a court-ordered mediation session Monday morning that the city had dropped its lawsuit against the county over jail operations.

The 10-Commandments

Oklahoma City, OK – Governor signs Ten Commandments bill

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Gov. Brad Henry has signed a bill allowing for the creation of a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol.

This was one of several bills he signed into law Monday.

Civil libertarians and some religious groups argued that such a monument would be a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution. Similar monuments have drawn legal challenges elsewhere.


Tulsa, OK – The price of crude oil is bouncing all over the place and that is causing our gasoline prices to do the same. Tulsan Dewey Bartlett, Junior is the president and CEO of Tulsa based Keener Oil. He says the price of oil has jumped about $10 a barrel within a month. He believes the spikes are brought on by what some see as an economic recovery.

Tulsa Police

Lake Keystone, OK – A Tulsa man missing for almost a week is found dead at Keystone Lake west of Tulsa. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the body of 53-year-old Jerry Dale Adkins was found Sunday morning about nine.

The Patrol says Adkins had drown. He went missing from his home earlier in the week. Tulsa Police had been searching for him because of a medical problem. It is not known if the medical condition contributed to his drowning .

Oklahoma City, OK – Computer system targets uninsured drivers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Uninsured motorists might soon find it more difficult to elude Oklahoma state troopers.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol could be using the state's electronic insurance verification system in time for the Memorial Day weekend travel rush.

Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum

Tulsa, OK – Polar bear at Tulsa Zoo euthanized after illness

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A 23-year-old polar bear at the Tulsa Zoo has been euthanized after fighting kidney disease.

A press release issued by the zoo says the bear, named Kavek, died Thursday.

Kavek had been undergoing treatment for the illness since December. After zookeepers noticed a change in the animal's appetite, he was given an emergency medical examination, which indicated that his kidney disease had progressed dramatically.

Wayman Tisdale

Tulsa, OK – UNDATED (AP) Former Oklahoma All-America and NBA basketball player Wayman Tisdale has died at a Tulsa hospital after a two-year battle with cancer.

Tisdale died about 8 this morning at St. John Medical Center. He was 44.

After three years at OU Tisdale spent 12 seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, then became an award-winning jazz musician.

Tisdale also played on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games.


Tulsa, OK – On May 12, 2009, Mayor Kathy Taylor kicked off a brand-new mentoring initiative called, "Mentoring to the Max with Music. This new program came about through the leadership and vision of Dr. Barry Epperley, artistic director and conductor for TCC's Signature Symphony. Dr. Epperley said, "The fact is that music is the universal language because that's how we're built and we can measure it. An individual's brain lights up when music is played during a CAT scan or an MRI -- it's how we're made."

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa sets record for days of consecutive rainfall

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The wet weather in recent weeks in Oklahoma has resulted in a record-setting stretch of rainfall for the state's second-largest city.

The National Weather Service says that through Thursday, Tulsa has had 20 straight days with at least a trace of precipitation.


Tulsa, OK – Restoration continues on unearthed 1957 car

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Nearly two years after it was pulled from a concrete vault in Tulsa, a rusted-out 1957 Plymouth Belvedere is still being restored in New Jersey.

The two-door car was buried in the concrete time capsule near the Tulsa County Courthouse in 1957 as part of a contest. The person who most accurately guessed the city's 2007 population would receive the car.

Tulsa, OK – Topping off the tank in time for that summer trip!

Oklahoma City, OK – Stimulus brings $22M more to Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Another $22 million in economic stimulus money is headed to Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma District Attorneys Council will receive more than $16 million to fight illegal drug production and trafficking and gang-related crime through funding announced Wednesday by Attorney General Eric Holder.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced $6.4 million for four other areas in Oklahoma.

File photo

Tulsa, OK – Expect to pay more at the pump. Gasoline prices in Tulsa took a jump overnight. The cost of regular unleaded fuel reached $2.09 per-gallon. Chuck Mai with the AAA auto club says prices have not been this high since November of last year. He expects prices to continue to climb during the summer months, in part because of signs the recession may be ending.

Tulsa Police Department

Tulsa, OK –
Tulsa Police are seeking your help in finding a missing Tulsa man with medical issues. Police say 53-year-old Jerry Adkins disappeared on May 10th when he left his home in the 1300 block of North 77th East Avenue.

The Police Department says Adkins has health issues and takes medication daily. They are concerned for his well being, especially without his medication. Adkins has not been to work or known to have called anyone.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, OK – Bill passed for drug testing of welfare moms

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A Senate budget committee has passed a bill calling for drug testing of mothers who receive welfare payments.

The measure was sent to the Senate floor on Tuesday, despite a warning from a Department of Human Services official that it could lead to a loss of federal stimulus money.

Sen. Randy Brogdon, an Owasso Republican, said the goal of his measure is not to penalize recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Family payments.


Catoosa, Oklahoma – It may sound a little silly but the Catoosa Fire Department would like to cut-up your car for practice. Catoosa Fire Chief Dennis Benton says his department is seeking donations of junk cars. The Catoosa Fire Department is a combination department, with eight paid fire fighters and 16 volunteers. Chief Benton they need training.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, OK – Agreement reached on civil justice plan

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Compromise legislation affecting the way Oklahomans file and litigate lawsuits has been unveiled by Republican legislative leaders.

Lawmakers described Monday's announcement as a historic agreement that will help block frivolous lawsuits and lower medical malpractice and other insurance costs.

City of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa schools drop lawsuit over charter schools

TULSA, Okla. (AP) The Tulsa school board has voted unanimously to drop a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Charter Schools Association.

The lawsuit claimed the state's Charter Schools Act adopted in 1999 violates the state Constitution's provision against "local" or "special" laws.

But last month an Oklahoma County judge ruled the law to be constitutional.


Tulsa, OK – An update for you on the H1N1 virus in the Tulsa Public Schools. There has been one confirmed case of the virus, better known as the swine flu, at the Jackson Elementary School at 2137 North Pittsburg.

Below is the text of a letter the Tulsa School District sent home with parents in the Jackson district on Monday:

May 11, 2009

RE: H1N1 Influenza in staff member at Jackson Elementary School