• Former pastor sentenced to 37 months in prison

    BY CURTIS KILLMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jan 12, 2015

    A judge Monday sentenced the former pastor of the Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church in Tulsa to a 37-month prison term and ordered him to repay nearly $1 million in funds prosecutors say he “pillaged” from a nonprofit he once led. U.S. District Judge John Dowdell also ordered Willard Lenord Jones, 63, to pay the Internal Revenue Service $155,112 and serve three years of supervised release after the completion of the prison term. U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams called the prison term and restitution order a “just sentence.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Passenger train service between Tulsa and OKC may be ready by March

    BY JARREL WADE, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jan 8, 2015

    The train is scheduled to leave the station in March. Representatives of the company bringing passenger trains to connect Tulsa and Oklahoma City told city councilors Thursday that they are hoping to be ready in March. Iowa Pacific Holdings is planning a trial run for at least six months, with basic tickets starting at about $20, the company's officials said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Classes canceled for second day as Oologah waits anxiously for more on girl's sudden death

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jan 8, 2015

    School has been canceled for a second day as confusion and concern continue over the sudden, mysterious death of a kindergartner this week. Oologah-Talala Superintendent Max Tanner said the Oklahoma State Department of Health had told him its tests indicated no need for "antivirals or vaccination" for anyone who might have had contact with the 6-year-old girl. "Further testing is still being performed to finalize results," Tanner said during a brief news conference Thursday afternoon at the school. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • About 200 Oologah-Talala students stay home after kindergartner dies

    BY NOUR HABIB, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jan 7, 2015

    OOLOGAH — Nearly half the students at Oologah-Talala’s lower elementary school stayed home from school Wednesday, a day after the district informed parents that a kindergartner who was sent home early Monday died that evening. Jenny Yang, 6, was sent home with a fever Monday, according to an online post by Aaron Yang, who identified himself as her brother. The girl died at an Owasso hospital Monday evening, according to the state Medical Examiner’s Office. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Four charged after meth lab items, bucket of human waste found in home

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Jan 6, 2015

    Four people were charged with felonies in Tulsa County District Court on Tuesday after Tulsa police found methamphetamine lab components and a bucket of human waste in a home without working utilities last week. Officers served a search warrant Dec. 29 at a home in the 200 block of South Phoenix Avenue, where they found three children — ages 2, 4 and 6 — living in what officers described as “unlivable” conditions, according to court and jail records. Ashley Pennington, 27, and Dennis Johnson II, 41, were arrested that day and later charged with child neglect. Both also face charges of having marijuana while in the presence of the children. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Number of female homicide victims, domestic violence-related deaths up in Tulsa in 2014

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Sun, Jan 4, 2015

    Still wearing blood-covered clothes as he sat on his front porch, Arthur Devaughn told Tulsa police on a cold February night that he had stabbed and killed his mother, Glenda Castaneda, during a dispute over her prescription medication. Castaneda’s body, with injuries to her face and head, was found in a pool of her own blood in her home in the 6200 block of North Cheyenne Avenue on Feb. 9, 2014. Castaneda’s killing was the first of 12 homicides the Tulsa Police Department classified as resulting from domestic violence last year. The majority of those victims were women, and the total number of women killed in Tulsa last year — 20 — was a 26-year high, an ignominious figure for a city that’s seen at least 10 women killed in each of the last four years. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Woman accused of stabbing neighbor over DVD player

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jan 2, 2015

    A Tulsa woman was arrested early Friday after police say she stabbed another woman during an argument over a DVD player. LaTroya Marie Grayson, 31, was booked into the Tulsa Jail on a complaint of assault with a deadly weapon, records show. Police were called about 12:30 a.m. to the Fairmont Terrace Apartments in the 1000 block of East 60th Street to investigate a reported stabbing. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Oklahoma State Sen. Jabar Shumate resigns

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, TULSA WORLD | Published: Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    State Sen. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa, has resigned effective Jan. 6, according to a statement released through the state Senate media office Wednesday afternoon. Shumate represents Senate District 11, which includes north Tulsa and rural areas of southeast Osage County. “Most of my professional career has been dedicated to serving the people of north Tulsa in the Oklahoma Legislature," Shumate said in the written statement.

  • Tulsa man receives year in prison, 14 years' probation, in boating deaths

    BY SHEILA STOGSDIL | Published: Tue, Dec 30, 2014

    JAY — A Tulsa man was sentenced to a year in prison and 14 years’ probation in connection with a Grand Lake boating accident that claimed the lives of two friends. John DeSelms, 22, pleaded no contest in August to two counts of first-degree manslaughter in Delaware County District Court. He appeared Tuesday for the second day of his sentencing hearing. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Census: State population grows by nearly 25,000 in past year

    BY CURTIS KILLMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Oklahoma added nearly 25,000 residents in the past year ending July 1 but grew slower than the national rate, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report. The state population increased from 3,853,118 in 2013 to 3,878,051 in 2014, according to Census Bureau estimates released Monday. The state’s 0.6 percent annual growth rate, which averages about 68 new residents per day, was slower than the 0.7 national population growth rate and even slower than that in Texas, which grew by 1.7 percent. But Oklahoma increased in population at a faster rate than in the neighboring states of Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri, where the population increased 0.3 percent in each state since 2013. In all, 23 states grew faster in population than Oklahoma between 2013 and 2014. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Iconic arch over Will Rogers Turnpike reopens

    BY RHETT MORGAN, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Dec 22, 2014

    VINITA — Its concrete bones crumbling, the 57-year-old arch over the Will Rogers Turnpike had been showing its age for a long time. On Monday, officials unveiled the signature structure’s face-lift. Several hundred people crowded onto the highway bridge for the dedication of the roughly $15.8 million, newly renovated “Will Rogers Archway,” a 27,000-square-foot travel plaza formerly known as “The Glass House.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Tulsa World sues Fallin, DPS over execution records

    BY CARY ASPINWALL, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Dec 22, 2014

    The Tulsa World has filed a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma seeking release of records related to the botched execution of Clayton Lockett. The lawsuit was filed by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on behalf of BH Media Group Inc., which owns the World, and Enterprise Editor Ziva Branstetter. It seeks the immediate release of documents and emails the World requested from Gov. Mary Fallin's office and the Department of Public Safety through mulitple Open Records Act requests since May. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Pruitt re-election campaign raised $300,000 after it learned it would have no opponent

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s re-election campaign has raised more than $300,000 — and spent almost $160,000 — since he learned in mid-April that he would not have an opponent this election cycle. Oklahoma Ethics Commission records show Pruitt not only continued to receive campaign contributions but actively raised funds through the Nov. 4 general election, even though he had no opponent and cannot seek re-election in 2018. While it is not unusual for term-limited officials with no opponents to continue fundraising, the extent of Pruitt’s activity is. By comparison, state Treasurer Ken Miller, who was also re-elected without opposition and is term-limited in 2018, has raised less than $2,000 since the filing period for this year’s elections ended on April 11. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Botched execution described as 'a bloody mess,' court filing shows

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER and CARY ASPINWALL, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    When Oklahoma investigators issued a report on what went wrong with the April execution of Clayton Lockett, they downplayed and omitted disturbing details from witnesses and officials, records filed in federal court show. During interviews with state investigators, the warden at Oklahoma State Penitentiary recalled the scene inside the execution chamber on April 29 as “a bloody mess,” according to a motion filed Friday by attorneys for death-row inmates. Another witness said the scene “was like a horror movie” as Lockett was bucking and attempting to raise himself off the gurney when he was supposed to be unconscious and dying. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com . Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Some Oklahoma teachers leaving the state, profession

    BY NOUR HABIB, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    Jamie Christian is where she belongs — in the classroom. Christian was hired at Broken Arrow’s Oliver Middle School last month as a long-term substitute, until she gets her certification from the state. She officially graduates from Northeastern State University this month. Christian, who out of high school had originally considered becoming a teacher before entering the computer science field instead, made the decision to return to education three years ago. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Visiting Hope Elephants Rosie and Opal in Oklahoma

    Published: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    HUGO, OK — Rosie and Opal lumbered slowly through the prairie grass Dec. 3, under a cold Oklahoma mist. At the fence, Henry Laurita was waiting, and when they arrived, the Penobscot Bay Pilot reports, he placed a gentle hand on Opal's shoulder. She turned her gaze into his eyes. 'Nice to see you, Henry,' she seemed to nod, adding, 'got any treats?' Rosie stood nearby, raising her trunk toward his heart in that slow regal gesture that elephants make when greeting friends. Henry had arrived the night before, riding shotgun for 1,800 miles from Hope, with Andrew Stewart in the driver's seat of the Dodge Caravan. They had left Maine at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, driving first to Baltimore, then to Nashville and finally arriving in Oklahoma Dec. 2. It was a sweet reunion taking place at the Endangered Ark Foundation. But it was also a trip loaded with intent and emotion, the cementing of a friendship between Hope Elephants and the Endangered Ark Foundation, the acknowledgement that Jim’s legacy was to continue, and the strengthening of a relationship between two distance communities: Midcoast Maine with the community of Hugo, Ok., where ranches intersperse with hunting and fishing camps. Where the median household income in 2012 was $21,360 and the economic issues of rural America are as sharp and hard as they are in many parts of Maine.

  • Injection wells in faults could trigger earthquakes, Devon executive chairman says

    By ZIVA BRANSTETTER - Tulsa World | Updated: Thu, Dec 11, 2014

    Although Devon Energy’s Larry Nichols said Wednesday that he doesn’t think fracking causes earthquakes, he said he believes that injecting the resulting wastewater into existing faults could trigger them. Speaking to the Tulsa Rotary Club, the co-founder and executive chairman of Devon Energy Corp. was asked whether fracking, or hydraulic fracturing during drilling, causes earthquakes. The $32 billion company is one of the largest natural gas and oil producers and independent processors of natural gas in North America. Nichols, who has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Princeton University, responded that “there’s no logical way” fracking could cause an earthquake. Read the full story at

  • Man sends text message to wife, jumps to death from Mayo Hotel, police say

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    A man sent a text message to his wife and then jumped to his death from the top of the Mayo Hotel in downtown Tulsa on Wednesday, police said. Police were called to Fifth Street and Cheyenne Avenue about 7 a.m. after pedestrians spotted the body of a man in the street near the hotel. Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker said investigators believe the 43-year-old man jumped from the building and suffered “massive injuries” to several parts of his body in the fall. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • QuikTrip ranked 21st nationally among best places to work by employees

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Dec 10, 2014

    QuikTrip's reputation for taking care of its employees keeps growing stronger. The Tulsa-based convenience store chain made yet another list of best places to work for Wednesday. Glassdoor's 7th annual Employee Choice Awards ranked QuikTrip 21st nationally among best places to work, according to those who work at these firms. The company already has made Fortune magazine's annual list of "100 Best Companies to Work for" 12 years in a row. This time is different, spokesman Michael Thornbrugh said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Tulsa young adult population sees vast demographic changes

    BY CURTIS KILLMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Dec 9, 2014

    Isaac Rocha always figured he’d be long gone from Oklahoma by now. “I kinda joke around and say, ‘I’ve been trying to get out of Oklahoma my entire life,’ ” Rocha said. It’s somewhat understandable. After all, the 31-year-old has seen many of his friends make the leap. “I’ve lost a lot of my friends to other states,” Rocha said. But opportunities have managed to keep Rocha here. As chairman of Tulsa’s Young Professionals, he is one of the biggest advocates for retaining and attracting young talent to Tulsa. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .