• Kansas City's Oklahoma Joe's restaurant taking state out of name

    BY JERRY WOFFORD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    The popular Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que in Kansas City will lose Oklahoma in its name by the end of the year. The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that the new name will be Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que. Co-owner Jeff Stehney told the newspaper the change will happen by the end of the year. “It’s not a knock on Oklahoma or the Oklahoma name,” Stehney told the Star. “We are super proud of our Oklahoma beginnings. But it has been 17 years that it has been one hundred percent Kansas City owned. This will better represent the city as one of the top — I think it’s the best — barbecue destinations.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Former prison warden present at botched execution in Arizona hired by OK DOC

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER and CARY ASPINWALL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    Oklahoma's Department of Corrections has hired the former warden of an Arizona prison where a lengthy botched execution occurred last month, records show. Lance Hetmer has been hired as special assistant to DOC Director Robert Patton, a newly created position. Hetmer was the warden at Arizona’s Florence Prison complex. On July 23, the Florence prison was the site of the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood, which took nearly two hours while the inmate snorted and gasped for breath, witnesses said. Records show Wood was injected 15 times with an experimental combination of drugs, including midazolam. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Tulsa police ordered to remove bucket requesting donations for Ferguson officer

    By SAMANTHA VICENT - Tulsa World | Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    The Tulsa Police Department’s Gilcrease Division was ordered by the chief to remove from its building a donation bucket for contributions to embattled Ferguson, Missouri, Police Officer Darren Wilson’s legal fund, officials confirmed Monday. A Tulsa World staff member received a photo of the bucket that was taken Saturday at the division headquarters, at 3436 N. Delaware Ave. A note asking, “Can you spare $1.00 for Officer D. Wilson Ferguson P.D. Legal Fund?” was attached to the bucket. The note indicated that the Tulsa Police Department had an $800 collection goal. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Oklahoma named 6th worst place for equality for women

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Aug 25, 2014

    Women in Oklahoma aren’t being represented in board rooms or in political arenas, placing the state as the sixth worst in the U.S. in female equality, according to WalletHub.com. The personal finance social network comes out with analytical surveys quite often. Some are fun, others take on more meaty issues. The ranking for Oklahoma isn’t coming out of nowhere. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Tulsa minister charged in $930,000 scheme might have embezzled more

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Aug 21, 2014

    A Tulsa minister's alleged siphoning off of nearly $1 million from a nonprofit organization he founded is among the largest embezzlements of its kind that area federal prosecutors have seen in the past few years, U.S. Attorney Danny Williams said. And the total sum the minister is charged with embezzling — $933,507 — might have been more if not for the statute of limitations, Williams said. Willard Lenord Jones, pastor of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church and former executive director of the Greater Cornerstone Community Center, was charged last week with three counts of wire fraud and a single count of filing a false tax return. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • An Oklahoma program treats juvenile sex offenders as kids, not criminals

    Published: Thu, Aug 21, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Sex offender. The phrase conjures pariahs living under bridges. Adults "grooming" children for devastating abuse. Violent men who take what is not freely given. Broken people. And yet, here comes Tyler, bounding down the hall with his dusty blonde Justin Bieber haircut and chunky sneakers. He turned 16 today. He and his family have just come from Chuck E. Cheese. Tyler’s mom smiles as she tells the other parents in her support and education group at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, "Teenagers can regress back to Chuck E. Cheese if they want."

  • Former OU football star De'Mond Parker released on bond in gang case

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    Former OU running back De'Mond Parker was allowed to appear before a federal magistrate Tuesday and released on an unsecured bond for his role in a drug conspiracy, though records do not indicate he was arrested. Parker, 37, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank McCarthy Tuesday, the day federal authorities announced a 51-count indictment against members of the Hoover Crips gang and their associates. Parker, whose first name is spelled Demonn in the indictment, is named in 11 drug-related counts. U.S. Attorney Danny Williams said the investigation found that the Hoover Crips brought $10 million worth of cocaine — more than 600 kilograms — and marijuana through Tulsa over a three-year period, Williams said. He said the drugs came from cartels in Mexico and made their way through Dallas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa as they moved toward Ohio and the northeastern United States. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Hoover Crips investigation results in 51 people charged

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER and CURTIS KILLMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Aug 19, 2014

    An investigation focused on the Hoover Crips street gang has resulted in charges against 51 people, federal and state authorities announced Tuesday. At a press conference this afternoon, U.S. Attorney Danny Williams said multiple agencies focused on the gang because of its criminal impact on Tulsa. Williams said with the indictment, "we are going to decapitate" the gang. The gang brought $10 million worth of cocaine through Tulsa or more than 600 kilos, Williams said. He said the drugs came from cartels in Mexico and made their way through Dallas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa as they moved toward Ohio and the northeastern United States. Among those indicted was OU and NFL star De'Mond Parker, aka "Running Back," who is listed in the indictment as Demonn Parker. Also indicted was gang leader Donald Walters, who Williams said had 40 people working for him.  Of the 52 people named in the indictment, 23 have been arrested, authorities said. Read the rest of this story at Tulsa World.com .

  • Teacher shortage: Oklahoma schools begin academic year with more than 800 vacancies

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Aug 19, 2014

    A new survey conducted by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association during the first two weeks in August found public schools were still grappling with more than 800 teaching vacancies for the 2014-15 academic year. Districts representing nearly three-fourths of the state’s public school enrollment completed the survey, which illustrates the toll of a statewide shortage that has worsened significantly the last couple of years. “Local school officials have been saying for a while that finding qualified teachers is difficult,” said Shawn Hime, executive director of OSSBA. “This survey put actual numbers to the problem — and the results should concern every parent and policymaker in the state. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Second alleged victim added to lawsuit against OHP trooper

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

    A lawsuit accusing an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper of raping a woman last month during a traffic stop was amended on Monday to include a second alleged victim. Tulsa attorney Kevin Adams filed the lawsuit last week, accusing Trooper Eric Roberts of raping a Tulsa woman July 22 during a traffic stop in Creek County. Roberts, who was suspended with pay on July 24, is assigned to the Turner Turnpike and is a 16-year veteran of the OHP. Capt. George Brown said last week that Roberts has no disciplinary history within the department. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Oklahoma minister indicted in scheme that stole nearly $1M from his nonprofit

    BY COREY JONES and MIKE AVERILL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    A minister and former executive director of a Tulsa nonprofit organization has been indicted on three counts of wire fraud in a scheme that prosecutors say diverted nearly $1 million from a community center he founded. Willard Lenord Jones, pastor of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church and former executive director of the Greater Cornerstone Community Center, is alleged to have used community center funds for personal expenses and luxury items that include hotel stays, restaurants, casinos, liquor and automobiles, according to the indictment. He also is accused of failing to report almost $400,000 in income on a 2011 tax form. “This case is about a man who abused his position and misappropriated funds belonging to the community center project,” U.S. Attorney Danny Williams said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “Mr. Jones failed to honor the trust of the community.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Bridenstine blames Obama for problems in Iraq and on Texas' border

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Aug 12, 2014

    Problems in Iraq and on Texas’ border with Mexico are the fault of President Barack Obama, and he’s also partly responsible for conflict in eastern Europe, First District Congressman Jim Bridenstine said Tuesday. “The American public is waking up,” said Bridenstine. “What I will tell you, what a lot of folks in this room have been waiting for, is that the American public is looking at what the Democrat Party and this president have done on the southern border and they are not approving of it.” “His foreign policy has been an utter failure. His domestic policy has been an utter failure.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Woman who filed OHP rape lawsuit was charged previously with making a false rape report

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Aug 12, 2014

    The woman who filed a federal lawsuit alleging that an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper raped her last month is wanted in another county on an allegation that she falsely reported a rape in 2009. The woman, identified in the lawsuit only by her initials, is linked through public records to that Cherokee County charge as well as to an outstanding arrest warrant in Oklahoma County on charges of second-degree burglary and knowingly concealing stolen property. Gary James, an attorney for Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Roberts and the Oklahoma State Highway Troopers Association, said the allegations of rape "are unequivocally untrue." <a href="http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/crimewatch/woman-who-filed-ohp-rape-lawsuit-was-charged-previously-with/article_a9842c47-efc4-5e20-8bc2-62b0cd8a4891.html">Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com</a>.

  • Seismologists deploying more earthquake monitors in Oklahoma

    Published: Tue, Aug 12, 2014

    Within the next few months the state’s top earth scientists plan to add 20 new seismic-monitoring stations to better track temblors in Oklahoma, according to The Norman Transcript. Austin Holland, a research seismologist with Oklahoma Geological Survey, said eight permanent and 12 temporary stations will enhance the agency's existing network. "The more stations we have, the better information we can get about the earthquakes," Holland said. "We want to be consistent in monitoring so that we can say we can see everything above magnitude 2 across the state."

  • Daughter hopes arrested Tulsa police officers will 'rot in prison' for fatal shooting of boyfriend

    BY COREY JONES and KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 6, 2014

    Tears fell freely down Lisa Kepler’s face as the teen wondered aloud Wednesday morning why her father would fatally shoot her boyfriend and then turn his gun on her. Lisa Kepler was seated on the front porch steps of a house near the northwest corner of downtown. Its occupants had recently taken her in after her parents — two Tulsa police officers who are implicated in the Tuesday night homicide — had kicked her out of her home, she said. Shannon James Kepler, 54, was booked into the Tulsa Jail early Wednesday on complaints of first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill. Tulsa police said Kepler, a 24-year veteran of the department, works at the Police Academy. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Police report: Tulsa officer fatally shoots daughter's boyfriend

    BY COREY JONES, KENDRICK MARSHALL, and SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 6, 2014

    A Tulsa police husband and wife were arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man on a street near downtown, and the couple's daughter said her father shot at her, too. Shannon Kepler, 54, a 24-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, was booked into the Tulsa Jail on first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill complaints. His wife, Gina, 48, also a Tulsa police officer, was jailed on an accessory to murder complaint. The two weren't on duty at the time the shooting of 19-year-old Jeremy Lake occurred in the 200 block of North Maybelle Avenue about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, police said. Shannon Kepler works at TPD's police academy and worked Tuesday, public information officer Jillian Roberson said. Gina Kepler is a patrol officer at the department's Gilcrease division, and did not work Tuesday, Roberson said.

  • Oklahoma City is the second most conservative US city according to The Economist

    Published: Mon, Aug 4, 2014

    A recent blog post from The Economist weighing urban ideologies found Oklahoma City to be the second most conservative city of 250,000 or more people in the country. The Economist cites data from a study published this month in the American Political Science Review that, the publication says, "confirms the conventional widsom that most big cities swing liberal." Oklahoma City was outpaced in its conservatism only by Mesa, Ariz. Tulsa also skewed conservative, but only slightly so.

  • Affordable housing draws middle class to inland cities, like Oklahoma City

    Published: Mon, Aug 4, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The country’s fastest-growing cities are now those where housing is more affordable than average, a decisive reversal from the early years of the millennium, when easy credit allowed cities to grow without regard to housing cost and when the fastest-growing cities had housing that was less affordable than the national average, says The New York Times. Rising rents and the difficulty of securing a mortgage on the coasts have proved a boon to inland cities that offer the middle class a firmer footing and an easier life. In the eternal competition among urban centers, the shift has produced some new winners. Oklahoma City, for example, has outpaced most other cities in growth since 2011, becoming the 12th-fastest-growing city last year. It has also won over a coveted demographic, young adults age 25 to 34, going from a net loss of millennials to a net gain. Other affordable cities that have jumped in the growth rankings include several in Texas, including El Paso and San Antonio, as well as Columbus, Ohio, and Little Rock, Ark.

  • Oklahoma man delivered to jail after nearly 6 pounds of meth picked up from post office

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Aug 1, 2014

    Several pounds of crystal methamphetamine were picked up Friday morning in a package at a Tulsa post office, but ultimately its recipient was delivered to jail. A U.S. postal inspector intercepted a package Thursday, and upon obtaining a federal search warrant discovered 5.6 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, according to an arrest report for Scotty Wayne Harjo. Harjo, 30, of Tulsa, was incarcerated Friday afternoon inside Tulsa Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond. Harjo was being detained on a complaint of trafficking methamphetamine with a prior felony controlled drug conviction. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • New OSU mandate requires sexual-violence prevention training for all students

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

    STILLWATER — Beginning this semester, all Oklahoma State University students will have to complete an online course aimed at sexual-assault awareness and prevention, and the campus community now has a revamped central location for resources about such crimes. The course requirement, announced via email to students on Monday, is in conjunction with the public launch of 1is2many , a website created by the university that is dedicated to information about sexual-assault reporting and domestic violence and which provides resources for students and others. "Oklahoma State University takes acts of sexual violence and sexual harassment seriously," the university wrote in the email. "In an effort to comply with the Violence Against Women Act and the Office for Civil Rights federal guidelines, all students are required to complete online training on sexual violence prevention. A hold will be placed on your account, which will affect enrollment for the subsequent semester, until the training has been completed." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .