Local & Regional

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.