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  • Church youth leader charged with distributing child porn, lewd acts

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, May 6, 2014

    PONCA CITY – A volunteer church youth leader was arrested and charged Tuesday with producing and distributing child pornography, as well as with committing lewd or indecent acts with a child younger than 16, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced. Joel David Bolay, 28, was arrested after an investigation that began Friday when OSBI investigators received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, spokeswoman Jessica Brown said in a release. Bolay was a volunteer youth leader at the Foursquare Gospel Church in Ponca City. The child is not a member of that church, Brown said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Gov. Fallin issues stay of execution, orders evaluation of lethal dosage protocol

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Apr 29, 2014

    Governor Mary Fallin late Tuesday issued a stay of execution for one inmate after prison officials said another inmate’s veins collapsed during an earlier execution procedure . “I have asked the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of Oklahoma’s execution procedures to determine what happened and why during this evening’s execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett,” Fallin said in a statement. “I have issued an executive order delaying the execution of Charles Frederick Warner for 14 days to allow for that review to be completed.” Warner was scheduled to be executed two hours after Lockett’s procedure began. Warner’s execution is now scheduled for May 13. Lockett was convicted of the 1999 murder of Stephanie Neiman, 19, in Perry. Warner was convicted of killing his girlfriend’s baby daughter in 1997.

  • Two former school bus drivers charged in alleged sexual contact with young girls

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 28, 2014

    Two former school bus drivers jailed earlier this month on sexual assault allegations was were charged in Wagoner County District Court on Monday. Eugene Burchett, 71, was arrested April 18 after the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Coweta police revealed two parents provided tips to officers, which alleged Burchett was sending harassing text messages to their daughter. The Department of Human Services received a simultaneous anonymous tip indicating Burchett was running an unauthorized daycare center in Coweta, according to a release at the time. Burchett, who authorities have said was a bus driver at the time of his arrest, was charged with eight counts of lewd molestation and one count of making a lewd proposal to a minor, and attorneys say more charges could be filed. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Teacher arrested on molestation complaints involving 12-year-old student

    BY SHANNON MUCHMORE, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 25, 2014

    A Thoreau Demonstration Academy sixth-grade teacher was arrested Thursday on four complaints of lewd molestation of a minor involving a student. Brian Drabek, 41, is accused of inappropriate sexual activity with a 12-year-old female student at Thoreau, 7370 E. 71st St., said Tulsa Police Cpl. Greg Smith. Police picked him up at the school, interviewed him and then arrested him, Smith said. He was arrested at 3 p.m. and was booked into the Tulsa Jail on the complaints about 7:30 p.m., according to jail records. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Sixth-grade teacher arrested on sexual-assault complaint

    BY SHANNON MUCHMORE, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 24, 2014

    A Thoreau Demonstration Academy sixth-grade teacher has been arrested on a sexual-assault complaint, according to a letter the school's principal sent to parents Thursday afternoon. Brian Drabek, who has been employed with Tulsa Public Schools since August 2001, has been placed on paid suspension until further notice, Thoreau Principal Tom Padalino said in the letter. "Please know that we take charges like this very seriously, and are doing everything we can to cooperate with the authorities," he said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • CTB/McGraw-Hill executives apologize for testing problems

    BY KIM ARCHER, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 24, 2014

    Ellen Haley, president of testing vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill, apologized Thursday to the state Board of Education for Monday's widespread disruptions in state online testing. "We know how important tests are in the state, so even one child disrupted is not what we intended to happen," she told board members during their monthly meeting. This is the second consecutive year that state online testing in Oklahoma has been disrupted due to technical issues by CTB, which is in the second year of its contract with Oklahoma. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Authorities: Dozen arrested in Oklahoma ranch meth lab investigation

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 23, 2014

    Rogers County sheriff's deputies arrested a dozen people who had been operating a meth lab from their rural private ranch following a months long investigation. Authorities recovered large amounts of pseudoephedrine Saturday from the Foyil home just north of Claremore, Rogers County Sheriff's Capt. Jerry Smittle said. Led by the Sheriff Office's Thug Task Force, authorities had been tracking activity at the ranch for the last six months, Smittle said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Repeat DUI driver gets 40-year sentence in fatal crash

    BY BILL BRAUN, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 21, 2014

    A Tulsa woman with a prior record for driving under the influence of alcohol was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison for a "felony murder" conviction tied to a fatal traffic collision. In accordance with jury verdicts, a judge sentenced Marquita Littlebear to consecutive prison terms totaling 54 years, connected to a Feb. 12, 2012, crash that police categorized as a hit-and-run collision that claimed the life of Susan Mamary, a teacher at Marquette Catholic School. Mamary, 60, was fatally injured when two vehicles collided at 51st Street and Hudson Place, police said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Barresi opposes bill to cut state testing in social studies

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    The Oklahoma State Department of Education issued a statement Tuesday announcing State Superintendent Janet Barresi’s opposition to legislation that would eliminate three state tests in social studies and geography. Authored by State Senators Mark Allen, R-Spiro, and Tom Ivester, D-Elk City, Senate Bill 1654 would prohibit the state Board of Education from developing and administering tests for grades 3-8 not required by federal law and remove the requirement for social studies testing in grades five and eight, as well as geography testing in grade seven. In the press statement, state education officials said that while the high stakes, end-of-instruction exam in U.S. History would remain in place for high schoolers, eliminating the assessments would “de-emphasize” social studies instruction in elementary and middle schools. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine re-elected without opposition

    Published: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine will serve a second term after drawing no challengers during the three-day filing period that ended Friday. The 1st District Republican, a Navy Reserve pilot and business consultant from Tulsa, ousted 10-year incumbent John Sullivan in 2012. Bridenstine has become a rising celebrity among some conservatives, appearing on national radio and television programs and getting one of the conservative PAC Heritage Action's highest ratings. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • ThinkProgress calls Shawnee 'The Worst City In America To Be Homeless'

    Published: Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    News and opinion website ThinkProgess published a lengthy reported feature Tuesday under the headline "Welcome To Shawnee, Oklahoma: The Worst City In America To Be Homeless." It's a little over 5,000 words in length but the evidence it offers — which includes interviews with most of the people in the story, findings from city deeds and other public records — is compelling enough to validate the concern raised by the headline. Give it a read here .

  • Lankford, Shannon report campaign collections of $1.2 million, $800,000 respectively

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 7, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The campaign for one early front-runner for the Republican nomination in the race for outgoing U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s seat has raised $1.2 million thus far, while another early front-runner’s campaign has raised more than $800,000, they announced Monday. U.S. Rep. James Lankford’s campaign, Families for James Lankford, said it has now raised a total of $1.2 million and has more than $1 million on hand and that 82 percent of campaign donations have come from within the state of Oklahoma. “I am truly grateful to receive the support from thousands of Oklahomans who have given from $1 dollar to the maximum $2,600 so early in this primary campaign,” Lankford said in a statement. “The momentum is building daily as our volunteers and campaign team are working to reach Republican voters in all 77 counties.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Republican state Rep. criticizes his colleagues' stance on women's health issues

    Published: Fri, Apr 4, 2014

    In an interview with Salon published this morning, Oklahoma state Rep. Doug Cox explained to the news and politics site why his Republican colleagues' policies are "discriminatory against women." Citing his own experience as a physician, Rep. Cox said that a law the state legislature is currently considering, which would impose restrictions on abortion providers, is "nothing more than an attempt to throw up barriers to women's access to abortion services" and "totally unnecessary." Read the whole interview at Salon .

  • Fugitive in Tulsa carjacking said he wouldn't go back to Colorado alive, police say

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 2, 2014

    Criminal fugitive Roy Hanthorn told Rhiannon Vantassell and her relatives that he was not returning back to Colorado -- even if it meant his death. “He told her family that he was not going back alive,” Tulsa police Sgt. Dave Walker said Wednesday. Hanthorn, 36, and Vantassell, 32, had been wanted by Colorado Springs police. On Monday, they were placed on the Pikes Peak Region’s Most Wanted list. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Tulsa County officials declare victory in criminal justice proposals vote

    Published: Tue, Apr 1, 2014

    County officials on Tuesday declared victory with the passage of separate 15-year sales tax proposals to fund the construction of a new juvenile justice center and four new pods at the Tulsa Jail. With about 97 percent of the votes counted, Proposition 1, a 0.041 percent sales tax to fund the juvenile justice center, was passing by about a 70 percent margin, according to preliminary results provided by the Tulsa County Election Board. Proposition 2, a 0.026 percent sales tax to fund and operate the new jail pods, was passing by about 66 percent margin. Read the rest of this story, as well as the rest of Tuesday night's election results, at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Hillary Clinton touts new child-development initiative during Tulsa visit

    BY MIKE AVERILL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 25, 2014

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Tulsa on Monday to help launch an initiative to improve children's readiness for school and discuss with local leaders the success the city has had in early childhood education. "Talking is Teaching" is a new effort to empower parents and caregivers to boost young children's brain development and build their vocabularies by increasing the number of words they hear spoken to them every day. Children will usually know 500 words by the age of 4. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Records show state officials joked about exchanging OU-Texas tickets for help with lethal injection drugs

    Published: Thu, Mar 20, 2014

    An Oklahoma assistant attorney general joked in a January 2011 email to a colleague that the state would provide advice to Texas on how to deal with the scarcity of a drug needed for the lethal injection in exchange for tickets to an OU-Texas football game, according to public records obtained by the Colorado Independent. Email thread: Oklahoma searches for lethal injection drugs //

  • Oklahoma Sunday school teacher charged with lewd acts to a child

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 18, 2014

    A Talala Sunday school teacher was arrested in Tulsa and accused of lewd acts with a child, Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said. Timothy Maxey Gregston, 28, was arrested at his job in Tulsa, Walton said. He was charged Tuesday in Rogers County with four counts of lewd acts to a child under the age of 16, according to court records. Court records show his bond was set at $200,000.

  • Okmulgee native receives Medal of Honor

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 18, 2014

    Okmulgee native Melvin Morris was silent but proud when President Barack Obama bestowed him with what the president and family members said was a 44-year belated honor. “It was pretty emotional for some people,” said Rodney Powell, Morris’ nephew, after watching Morris receive the Medal of Honor in the nation's capital on Tuesday. “There were lots of tears in the audience.” Morris was one of 24 ethnic or minority U.S. soldiers to receive the honor, all of whom the government determined deserved recognition following a decade-long congressional review that concluded some veterans were unfairly passed over due to racial or ethnic biases. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • KTUL: Several Sheriffs Asked to Disarm at Oklahoma State Capitol

    Published: Fri, Mar 14, 2014

    It's a building of dignity and honor, but what happened at the state capitol recently has law enforcement officers upset, according to KTUL.com. "Everybody in that building knew who we were," said Wagoner county Sheriff Bob Colbert, who, along with 40 other sheriffs from around the state, converged on the capitol as they do every year to meet and greet and lobby. Until... "One of the senators, who they wouldn't tell us, complained because we were armed in the building," he said.