• Modernization of liquor laws likely won't happen this session, lawmaker says

    BY BARBARA HOBEROCK, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    An effort to allow liquor stores to sell cold, strong beer likely won’t materialize this legislative session. The Senate late Wednesday passed Senate Bill 383 by Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City. The vote was 33-10. The original measure called for allowing liquor stores to sell cold, strong beer. But she modified the measure hoping it would serve as the beginning of a discussion process that leads to an overhaul of the state’s antiquated liquor laws. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Area district attorney, judge at-odds over order creating a Pawnee County drug court

    BY RHETT MORGAN, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    An area district attorney and judge have been involved in a months-long legal spat stemming from the establishment of a drug court in Pawnee County. Rex Duncan, district attorney for Osage and Pawnee counties, has led the fight against Associate District Judge Patrick Pickerill, claiming the judge used "sham legal process" to backdate two administrative orders that appointed a secretary bailiff and created the drug court on Oct. 30. Denying those claims, Carlos Chappelle, presiding judge of Tulsa and Pawnee counties, ratified the orders on Jan. 14. Two weeks later, a search warrant executed by Duncan's office and signed by Clancy Smith, presiding judge for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, prompted the seizure of four computers from Pickerill's office in Pawnee, Duncan said in a telephone interview. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • 8 things you should know about Ed Harris and Oklahoma ties

    BY MICHAEL SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    Ed Harris has had a long career playing morally questionable guys, in movies including “The Truman Show,” “Places in the Heart” and “Pollock.” The intense actor has played more than his share of flat-out bad guys, like the mob boss he plays in the new crime drama “Run All Night,” opening in theaters on Friday. Harris has been the good guy, too, with his portrayal of astronaut John Glenn in “The Right Stuff” being one of the most true-blue Americans in film history. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • DNA evidence links Tulsa man to October rape

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    Tulsa police used DNA evidence to arrest a sex offender who reportedly raped a 33-year-old woman last October. Terrell James Littlejohn, 31, is accused of confronting a woman with a knife outside her home in the 3600 block of South Maplewood Avenue on Oct. 11, 2014 and forced her to perform sex acts at gunpoint, police said. Littlejohn later left the home with cash and several personal belongings following the attack, police said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Fleetwood Mac show at Chesapeake Arena rescheduled for April 17

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    The Fleetwood Mac tour date scheduled for Thursday, March 12 at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City has been postponed due to an illness, according to a press release. The show has been rescheduled for April 17. Tickets issued for the original concert date are valid and will be honored at the rescheduled date, according to the release.

  • Say No To Hate coalition speaks against racist video featuring OU fraternity members

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    Long before two University of Oklahoma students sang and were later expelled for a racist chant in which they gleefully described never allowing a black person into their fraternity, Tulsa's Say No To Hate coalition was formed. And, nearly 30 years after the coalition of Tulsa's civic leaders was organized as a way to protest a Ku Klux Klan rally in the city, its members are "dumbfounded" they are still fighting the same battle. "I've been with the group for 15 years," said Toby Jenkins, the director of Oklahomans for Equality. "And there hasn't been a year in which we didn't have to come together two or three times to combat some form of hate. It's embarrassing." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Legislator pulls controversial bill that would have created school vouchers

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    State Sen. Clark Jolley announced Wednesday that he was pulling a piece of legislation that would have created vouchers or "education savings accounts" to remit taxpayer funds to parents to pay for private school tuition. Jolley, of Edmond, had authored the highly controversial Senate Bill 609 with Oklahoma City State Rep. Jason Nelson, a fellow Republican. He said he needed more time to "address questions about the benefits of the school choice plan." A similar bill died in House committee last month despite the support of Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Competing 'Article V' convention legislation passes in Oklahoma House and Senate

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    Separate pieces of legislation calling for a so-called Article V convention advanced through the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday. House Joint Resolution 1018, by Rep. Gary Banz, R-Midwest City, joins to the list of states petitioning Congress for a convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. Banz' resolution would limit the convention to considering a budget-control amendment to the Constitution, although there is much dispute about whether such a limitation would be enforceable. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Brewing change: Beer advocates unite to update state's restrictive alcohol laws

    BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    St. Patrick’s Day revelers celebrate with cheers and beer. And as the holiday draws near this year, fans of Oklahoma’s breweries have a lot to be cheering for. The local craft beer industry is making big gains, with a boom in business and the legislature. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Creek tribal council votes 12-0 to ask Chief George Tiger to resign

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    OKMULGEE — The (Muscogee) Creek Nation’s tribal council voted unanimously Tuesday night that it had no confidence in Chief George Tiger and plans to send a letter asking him to resign his position. The action comes two days after a Tulsa World investigation reported that Tiger signed a secret contract in 2009 with the developer of a Broken Arrow casino project. The project would have benefitted another tribe, the Kialegee Tribal Town, and would have competed with his own tribe’s River Spirit casino in Tulsa. Citizens at Tuesday’s emergency session of the tribal council also said they planned to file a petition Wednesday seeking Tiger’s impeachment. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Chouteau woman charged with second-degree murder in ATV crash fatal to 2-year-old daughter

    BY RHETT MORGAN, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    PRYOR — A Chouteau woman whose blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit has been charged with second-degree murder stemming from an ATV crash that killed her 2-year-old daughter. Angela Michele Russell, 34, pleaded not guilty Monday in Mayes County District Court to second-degree murder in commission of a felony. Special Judge Rebecca Gore set bail at $500,000 and scheduled her to appear in court again April 16. Prosecutors claim Russell was engaged in child neglect when the 2013 Honda all-terrain vehicle she was driving on County Road 430 crashed Sept. 27, killing her daughter, Ava June Russell, who was strapped to her mother in a forward-facing device and not wearing a helmet, records show. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Second University of Oklahoma student from racist bus video identified

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    A second University of Oklahoma student shown leading a racist chant in a video that surfaced over the weekend has been identified. Levi Pettit, 20, of Dallas, was identified by his family in a statement on the website friendsandfamilyoflevipettit.com. "As parents of Levi, we love him and care for him deeply," the site reads, labeled as a statement by Brody & Susan Pettit. "He made a horrible mistake, and will live with the consequences forever." We would also like to apologize to the – entire African American community, University of Oklahoma student body and administration. Our family has the responsibility to apologize, and also to seek forgiveness and reconciliation.

  • Naked man found hiding in garage captured by Tulsa police

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    A Tulsa man was arrested by police after he was found naked outside a Tulsa home. Shawn Ray Miller, 30, was discovered about 10:40 p.m. Monday by a woman who was walking to her garage in the 1500 block of North Florence Place, police said.  Miller, who was inside the garage wearing only cowboy boots, ran after the woman screamed, police said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Neglect charge stands against mother who told emergency personnel her newborn was an alien

    BY AMANDA BLAND, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    A Tulsa woman who reportedly referred to her newborn infant as an alien to emergency personnel was bound over for trial on a child neglect charge alleging she abused several drugs while pregnant. Special Judge Cliff Smith found prosecutors had enough evidence against Candace Marie Stanley, 21, to support the charge at a preliminary hearing Tuesday. Blood tests found the baby, born at approximately 36 weeks gestation, tested positive for methamphetamine, marijuana and Xanax shortly after its birth. Stanley's blood tested positive for amphetamine use, documents show. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Sexual assault reports cited in upholding ban on new Coweta school board member

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    COWETA — The Coweta school board voted 4-1 on Monday to uphold the superintendent’s banning of a former Coweta High School principal who was recently elected to the board. Doyle Burress took the oath of office at the start of the meeting and then sat through a due process hearing for his own appeal of Superintendent Jeff Holmes’ Feb. 19 decision to restrict Burress’ access to school district property except for board meetings. Burress cast the lone “no” vote. Attorney John Moyer presented the board with documents detailing allegations of sexual assaults by two of Burress’ former students at Wagoner High School that he said Coweta Public Schools received between December 2011 and February 2012. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Newly elected Coweta school board member banned from school property

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    The superintendent of Coweta Public Schools has taken the extraordinary step of banning a man recently elected to the school board from setting foot on school property, and the man is now appealing that decision. Doyle Burress defeated incumbent Ward 5 board member Brian Baysinger in a Feb. 10 election, 212 votes to 145 votes. Burress, the former Coweta High School principal, is slated to be sworn in at Monday’s board meeting, set for 7 p.m. at Coweta Intermediate High School. According to the agenda, which was posted Friday, the second order of business is for the board to hear Burress’ appeal of Superintendent Jeff Holmes’ “decision to restrict Mr. Burress’ access to school district property on the grounds that Mr. Burress’ presence interferes with the peaceful conduct of school business and class.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • DOC workers resign after two inmates, including convicted Tulsa murderer, escape from prison

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    STRINGTOWN — Two Oklahoma Department of Corrections employees at Mack Alford Correctional Center resigned Monday after two inmates, including a convicted murderer from Tulsa, escaped from the facility Sunday night. Lance Colbert, 40, of Tulsa, and Dewayne Motsenbocker, 54, of Oklahoma City, left through a hole in the medium-security prison’s fence around 10:15 p.m. Sunday, DOC Director of Communications Terri Watkins said. “They were let out of their cells around 7 (Sunday night) to attend a church service,” she said. “The correctional officer failed to make sure they were back in their cells.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • White House calls Boren's decision an 'appropriate step'

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    University of Oklahoma president David Boren's decision to cut ties with the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon was called an "appropriate step" by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest during Monday's White House press briefing. When asked if President Obama was aware of the video, Earnest said he had not spoken with the president about it specifically, but he went on to offer this: "But I certainly, on behalf of everybody here at the White House, we would certainly welcome the steps taken by the president of the university as well as the steps that were taken by the national organization to completely repudiate the comments that were included in that video. And that certainly is an appropriate step." You can watch

  • Broken Arrow casino developer says project will resume at undisclosed Tulsa County location

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER and CURTIS KILLMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    A developer who partnered with a small Indian tribe that tried unsuccessfully to build a casino in Broken Arrow is not giving up on the project. Developer Shane Rolls, in an interview with the Tulsa World, said he hopes to announce sometime this year where a new casino will be built in Tulsa County. He declined to provide details. Rolls partnered with the Kialegee Tribal Town, a federally recognized tribe based in Wetumka, as part of an effort in 2011 to build a casino at Florence (111th) Street and Olive (129th East) Avenue in Broken Arrow. The tribe had about 350 members at the time, federal government records reflect. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Ginnie Graham: Oklahoma fourth worst state to live for a woman

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    What is it about Oklahoma that it can't seem to lift out of bad ratings for support of women and youth? Online lists are common and some aren't worth more than a 2-second pause after the click of a mouse. Some intrigue - or outrage - me enough to give a complete read. One out this week by WalletHub places Oklahoma as the 48th best state for women, meaning it's the fourth worst. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .