• 'One of the worst I've seen': Oklahoma wildfires destroy homes, scorch 45,000-plus acres

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Nov 12, 2015

    Winds swept flames across tens of thousands of acres in numerous counties on Wednesday, destroying multiple structures and outbuildings, according to the Oklahoma Forestry Services. Two homes were confirmed destroyed in the blazes — one in Nowata County and the other in Washington County. A firefighter also reportedly suffered burns on an arm, and two fire trucks were damaged. An estimated 45,680 acres were scorched in Nowata, Washington and eastern Osage counties, according to a Thursday afternoon update from the Forestry Services. An additional 300-plus acres were burned in Delaware County, as well as two structures destroyed there.

  • Tulsa energy company reports 40 percent decrease in 2015 earnings

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Nov 12, 2015

    Helmerich & Payne Inc. reported Thursday a net income of $422 million from operating revenues of $3.2 billion for its fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared to net income of $709 million from operating revenues of $3.7 billion for its prior fiscal year that ended September 30, 2014. The Tulsa-based drilling company’s full-year net income works out to $3.87 per diluted share for fiscal year 2015, down 40 percent compared to the $6.46 per diluted share earned during fiscal year 2014. Included in net income per diluted share for fiscal years 2015 and 2014 are approximately $0.86 and $0.23, respectively, in after-tax income related to a combination of select items including long-term contract early termination compensation, gains from the sale of investment securities, abandonment charges and impairment charges.

  • Wind-whipped wildfires burn at least two houses, several barns in Nowata County

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Nov 12, 2015

    Two houses and several barns were burned when wildfires swept through parts of Nowata County on Wednesday and caused county officials to declare a state of emergency. One house was destroyed, another was damaged and multiple barns were burned down by fires near the towns of Lenepah and Delaware, Lenepah Fire Chief Doug Sondenberg said. The fires forced Nowata County authorities to request that Lenepah and Delaware residents evacuate their homes, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management reported shortly before 5 p.m.

  • Tulsa man suspected of killing his wife found with self-inflicted gunshot wound

    BY PAIGHTEN HARKINS, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Nov 12, 2015

    The search for a man who is accused of killing his wife ended Wednesday afternoon when officers found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an east Tulsa Wal-Mart parking lot. Members of the Tulsa Police Department’s Fugitive Warrants Task Force and homicide detectives found Derrick Wills Todd, 52, after locating his black Kia sedan around 1:30 p.m. in the southeast corner of the Wal-Mart parking lot at 207 S. Memorial Drive, Homicide Sgt. Dave Walker said. Officers broke out the car’s windows in their search for Todd and found him inside with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, Walker said.

  • Man accused of punching police dog, pulling officer into creek in north Tulsa

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Nov 12, 2015

    A burglary suspect was arrested after allegedly punching a police dog several times and throwing an officer into a creek in an attempt to evade capture early Thursday. Brian Lee Butler, 37, was booked into the Tulsa Jail on complaints of first-degree burglary, assaulting a police dog, assaulting an officer and resisting arrest. His bail was set at $25,500. Officers responded to a reported disturbance in the 3900 block of North Winston Avenue about 12:05 a.m. and spoke with the victims, who said they saw a man trying to force open a window in their house, according to an arrest report. The man then walked to the back of the residence and attempted to kick in the door before being chased off by the victims.

  • Taboo of tattoos in the workplace has been fading over time

    BY SAMUEL HARDIMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    A decade ago, Dixie Agostino always wore a jacket to hide her tiger lily-covered shoulder. Now, her wardrobe depends on whom she’s interacting with and the weather. Tulsa-area employers’ attitude toward tattoos have changed over the past 10 years, she said. That trend isn’t isolated to Green Country, either. Many national retailers, such as Jimmy Johns and Starbucks, are allowing customer-facing employees to have tattoos instead of covering them up.

  • Muslim group's first time in Veterans Day parade met with sporadic protests amid support

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    The controversy surrounding an Oklahoma Muslim group's historic participation in the Tulsa Veterans Day parade didn't amount to a response that could have overshadowed the spirit of the event honoring our nation's service members. Members of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations gathered at Third Street and Greenwood Avenue early Wednesday to put finishing touches on their float that would, along with Tulsa Police, conclude the Tulsa Veterans Day parade for the first time. By just after noon, they celebrated at the finish line and said they were glad for the support they received. The majority of spectators chanted "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" as CAIR-Oklahoma members passed them, with many in the group thanking veterans for their service. Children cheered loudly as the group marched through downtown Tulsa, and an Oklahoma National Guard member approached participant Faatimah Elghazali to apologize for inappropriate remarks she had heard or would hear.

  • 'Mystic' buck may be Osage County's largest ever

    BY KELLY BOSTIAN, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    Jim Stacy has a deer-hunting vision stuck in his mind and it’s one he never wants to lose. A fine eight-point buck walks into a clearing, a staging area at the edge of the timber deer use before they venture into the open wheat field on his leased hunting area in Osage County. It has big antlers, but the buck has the slender physique of a 3-year-old. As he decides to let the buck walk, suddenly it looks up and over its shoulder toward the dark woods.

  • Defendant seeks 'Stand Your Ground' immunity in Tulsa murder case

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Nov 11, 2015

    A murder defendant is asking a judge to dismiss his case more than a year after the state filed charges, claiming he’s immune from prosecution under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. A Tulsa County judge heard evidence Tuesday to determine whether Isaac Luna Ashton is immune from prosecution in a fatal shooting that occurred outside his home on Aug. 18, 2014. Ashton, 23, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 21-year-old Verdell Walker and 22-year-old Tiara Sawyer, who police say  were shot  at the Oak Park townhouse complex near 47th Street and Darlington Avenue.

  • World War II veteran couple celebrates 70 years of marriage

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    Jim Bates says he hit the jackpot in April 1945, waiting for his battleship to be re-armed and repaired at a Navy shipyard in San Francisco. The slot machine in the doorway of the officer’s club at Hunters Point spat out $25 worth of dimes, falling at the feet of a WAVES officer wearing red-rimmed glasses. “Well they were all over, around my feet, so I helped him pick them up,” recalled Ruth Bates, whose last name was Converse when she met Jim.

  • Tulsa man arrested on 841 complaints of identity theft

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    A Tulsa man faces more than 800 counts of identify theft after deputies reportedly found hundreds of stolen identity documents at his residence in south Tulsa on Monday. Wisam Sam Hibri, 33, was booked into the Tulsa Jail on 841 counts of identity theft, 60 counts of second degree forgery after former conviction of a felony, 22 counts of possession of an altered driver's license, as well as a complaint of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia after a felony conviction, Deputy Justin Green said. Tulsa County investigators located Hibri's home in the 7600 block of South Urbana Avenue through information gathered from  three people who were arrested last week for related accusations , Green said. 

  • Update: Former Tulsa sheriff charged with two misdemeanors, arraigned

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Nov 10, 2015

    Former Sheriff Stanley Glanz was formally charged Tuesday afternoon with two criminal misdemeanors before a brief court appearance in which he was arraigned. Presiding Judge Rebecca Nightingale ordered Glanz back at 2 p.m. Jan. 20 for a jury trial sounding docket. At the sounding docket, Glanz may announce a disposition for a jury trial, non-jury trial, plea or waive his rights and have the case set for a plea on another day. Glanz was released again on his own recognizance.

  • Muslim float sparks Veterans Day Parade controversy in Tulsa

    BY BILL SHERMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    The Tulsa Veterans Day Parade Wednesday will have a new element this year: controversy. The controversy erupted when  it became public  that the Oklahoma branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will have a float in the parade. "It's been unbelievable," said Patsy Varnell, vice president of the Tulsa Veterans Day Parade Association.

  • Bartlesville man takes plea, gets life for murders of wife, stepson

    BY LAURA SUMMERS, Tulsa World correspondent | Published: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    BARTLESVILLE — A 36-year-old Bartlesville man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife and stepson more than a year ago. Stephen Lee Adair was slated to go before a Washington County jury this month but waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, assault and battery with a deadly weapon and attempted first-degree arson. Adair has been jailed since Sept. 3, 2014, when he was taken into custody as the suspect in the stabbing deaths of Crystal Sue Adair, 41, and Charles Edward Lee, 23.

  • Tulsa police: Resident fatally shoots intruder in apparent home invasion

    BY PAIGHTEN HARKINS, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    A man is dead after he was shot during an apparent home invasion Sunday morning in north Tulsa, according to Tulsa police. Sgt. Dave Walker of the TPD Homicide Unit said the incident occurred about 10:30 a.m. in the 300 block of East 27th Court North. Police said the intruder, a 44-year-old man, knocked on the house’s front door and spoke with a male occupant before the occupant closed the door, Walker said.

  • OSSAA to take up issue of prayer policy at monthly meeting

    BY MIKE BROWN, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    A policy banning public prayer before high school playoff games, considered controversial by some, could be in for modifications Wednesday. The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association's board of directors will discuss the issue and consider possible action, according to an agenda item for the board's Nov. 11 business meeting in Oklahoma City. “They'll have a lot of options to look at,” OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley said.

  • Owasso police pursuit leads to arrest of alleged car thief

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    OWASSO — A Tulsa woman accused of stealing a car at an Owasso QuikTrip was arrested after leading police on a pursuit early Monday. Melodi Nicole Harbert, 26, was booked into the Tulsa Jail on complaints of eluding police, running a roadblock, larceny of a vehicle, driving under suspension and seat belt violations. Her bail was set at $11,500. Owasso police responded to a report of a stolen 2005 Toyota Avalon at the QuikTrip on East 76th Street North near U.S. 169 about 12:05 a.m. The victim told the officer he had left his car running while he went inside the store. When he came back outside, his car was gone, Lt. Nick Boatman said.

  • Mumford & Sons, Smokey Robinson coming to Oklahoma

    BY JERRY WOFFORD, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    Tulsa music venues are in for a busy winter and spring with the addition of several bands to their schedules Monday. Bands set to perform include the folk-rock group Mumford & Sons, country singer Chris Young, the jam rock band Umphrey’s McGee and the new group with Keller Williams. Up first is The Keller Williams KWahtro featuring Williams, Gibb Droll, Danton Boller and Rodney Holmes. The power quartet is set to perform at Cain’s Ballroom on Jan. 21. Tickets go on sale Friday and start at $18 plus fees in advance. Tickets to shows at Cain’s Ballroom will be available at cainsballroom.com , by phone at 877-4-FLYTIX or at the Cain’s box office, 423 N. Main St.

  • U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma says third term would be his last

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 9, 2015

    First District Congressman Jim Bridenstine said Monday he remains committed to serving no more than three terms. "I'm going to run for one more term, and then I plan to come home and get a job," Bridenstine said near the end of an appearance before the Tulsa Regional Chamber.

  • James Floyd says his election as Creek Nation chief 'pleasantly surprising'

    Published: Sun, Nov 8, 2015

    OKMULGEE — Color James Floyd pleasantly surprised. After all the ballots were tallied late Saturday night, unofficial results had Floyd receiving 3,090 votes, or 62.3 percent of the votes cast for principal chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, compared to 1,867 votes or 37.7 percent for the current chief, George Tiger.