• Protest rally draws crowd, ends at Tulsa County sheriff's doorstep

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    More than 100 people turned out for a rally and march Tuesday night, demanding action against deputies who are seen and heard in a video showing the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a Tulsa County reserve deputy. The rally began with a few dozen people in the plaza in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse and quickly grew to more than 100. A group called "We the People Oklahoma" organized the rally to call for action by Sheriff Stanley Glanz following the shooting of Eric Harris by Robert Bates, a reserve deputy. Bates, also an insurance company owner, was Glanz's campaign manager. He has purchased and donated cars and equipment for the sheriff's Violent Crime Task Force, on which he served. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt defends Bible distribution in schools, says 'religious freedoms are under attack'

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has sent a letter to public school superintendents across the state vowing to defend religious freedom amid "veiled legal threats" over the distribution of Bibles on campus. "Few things are as sacred and as fundamental to Oklahomans as the constitutional rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion," Pruitt wrote Tuesday. "It is a challenging time in our country for those who believe in religious liberty. Our religious freedoms are under constant attack from a variety of groups who seek to undermine our constitutional rights and threaten our founding principles." Aaron Cooper, a spokesman, said Pruitt's office is trying to determine the extent of contact between the Freedom From Religion Foundation and similar groups and Oklahoma school districts. From that information, legal training on the topic of religious freedom will be developed for public school officials, he said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • OKC bombing changed the way Oklahoma thinks about itself

    BY MICHAEL OVERALL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Living out of the Skirvin Hotel when he first came to town in 2008, Sam Presti wanted to get a sense of what the locals were like. So he walked across downtown to a Redhawks game. Not that he cared about baseball. Presti’s job was to launch an NBA franchise, which didn’t have a name yet. Or even a practice facility. Would Oklahoma embrace professional basketball? Could Sooners and Cowboys cheer for the same team? He watched fans at the game and mingled with the crowds in Bricktown, noticing how courteous people were to each other. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Rocklahoma daily lineup announced

    BY JERRY WOFFORD, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Rocklahoma approaches, and festival organizers have released the daily lineup for the May 22-24 festival. Here's what to expect each day: Friday, May 22: Godsmack, Slayer, Papa Roach, In This Moment, Ministry, Apocolyptica, We Are Harlot, Nonpoint, Young Guns, Butcher Babies, Upon A Burning Body, Like A Storm, Wayland, Ivy Stone, Warlock Texas, ASKA, Dead Metal Society, Lynam, Ragdoll, Lola Black, Ruff Justice, Kingdragon, NICNOS, Vilifi, DREK, Kingshifter, Even the Dogs, Sovereign Dame, Kirra Read the rest of the schedule at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Sheriff's office confirms names of deputies in video, says they didn't hear gunshot

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER and DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    A deputy who made a controversial statement to a man in a video that has gained national attention did not hear the gunshot, sheriff's officials told the Tulsa World. When asked by the World to confirm whether two names on a court witness list were the deputies depicted in the video, Undersheriff Tim Albin confirmed their names. The witness list is attached to a criminal charge filed Tuesday against Robert Bates, a reserve deputy who claimed he mistook his gun for a Taser when he shot Eric Harris, who was on the ground and unarmed. The deputy who made the statement — "f--- your breath" — to Harris after he had been shot is Joseph Byars. A deputy shown in the video kneeling on Harris' head is Michael Huckeby. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Three arrested as new video surveillance system foils thefts at Tulsa gun show

    BY KELLY BOSTIAN, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Three men were arrested Friday and Saturday during the Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show with the help of a new video surveillance system in the River Spirit Expo building, and the accused are longtime trusted gun dealers. “The surprising thing, all three of these were dealers, they had (vendor) badges, and they had been coming to our show for several years,” said show founder Joe Wanenmacher. “These were not young guys, either. I’ll just say they were old enough to know better. This is wild!” Arrested were show vendors Kenneth Lee Reynolds, 74, of Ottumwa, Iowa; George Reginald Adams, 78, of Wichita Falls, Texas; and Richard Eugene Futch, 68, of Seymore, Texas. Read the rest of this story TulsaWorld.com.

  • WATCH: Officer-involved shooting 'tragic incident,' say Sand Springs police

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Updated: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    SAND SPRINGS — An officer who shot and killed a man with a history of mental illness on Saturday followed proper procedure in what the assistant police chief said was a "tragic incident," the city's Deputy Police Chief said Monday. "There are no winners here," Mike Carter said during a Monday news conference. "This is a tragedy." Carter said Sand Springs officer Brian Barnett, 25, killed Donald W. Allen, 66, after Allen made threatening statements while approaching Barnett with a loaded .22-caliber pistol. Allen, according to a phone call his wife had with police, had a paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis, and Carter said he had been detained for mental health reasons in the past. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • World War II veterans remember: Oklahoma man hunted Nazis with Counterintelligence Corps

    BY TIM STANLEY, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    “Can you handle a Thompson (submachine gun)?” The question, whispered under cover of darkness, was simple and direct. And Newell West didn’t hesitate: Yes, he whispered back. He could. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Reserve deputy bought cars, equipment for undercover unit

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    A Tulsa County reserve deputy who has been charged in a fatal shooting bought at least four automobiles and surveillance equipment for the undercover unit to which he was assigned, records show. The incident was also not the first time Robert Bates has been involved in a use of force during an arrest while serving as a reserve deputy. Undersheriff Tim Albin told the Tulsa World Bates used a Taser on a person during an arrest in the past but no policy violation occurred. Bates owns an insurance company and served as chairman of the Re-elect Sheriff (Stanley) Glanz Committee in 2012. Records show he donated $2,500 to Glanz’s campaign that year. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Distracted driving among teens far worse than thought, new study shows

    BY MICHAEL SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Teens have the highest rate of crashes among any group of drivers, and a new study shows that some form of distraction — with cellphone usage a major culprit — is a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 teen crashes. That 58 percent figure announced by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is more than four times the 14 percent figure that officials with the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration had gleaned from police reports. “Obviously we want this to be the year that our legislators really make a difference,” said Danial Karnes, AAA Oklahoma spokesman in Tulsa. “There are 45 states that ban texting and driving, and we need Oklahoma to be the 46th state, because this is becoming an epidemic.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Luke Bryan coming to Tulsa, Durant

    BY JERRY WOFFORD, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Country star Luke Bryan is coming to the BOK Center in June, the venue announced Saturday. Tickets to the June 18 show go on sale at 10 a.m. April 17 and start at $37.75 plus fees. Tickets are available at bokcenter.com , by phone at 866-7-BOKCTR or at the BOK Center box office at Third Street and Frisco Avenue. Country singers Randy Houser and Dustin Lynch will open the show. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • The baby in the photo: 20 years later, Baylee Almon lives on through others

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Baylee Almon celebrated her first and only birthday the day before she was killed in the Murrah Building bombing. Where that fact lies on the scale of cruelties her family has faced in the 20 years since is up for debate. Every April 19, Aren Almon Kok, Baylee’s mother, is faced with not just marking down another year since the worst day in her life, but also watching as time erodes the memories of the 366 days she was able to spend with her daughter. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • UPDATED: District attorney Steve Kunzweiler charges reserve deputy with second-degree manslaughter

    FROM TULSA WORLD STAFF REPORTS | Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    A reserve deputy who fatally shot a man during an undercover drug sting was charged with second-degree manslaughter Monday, according to a press release from the Tulsa County district attorney's office.  “Mr. Bates is charged with Second-Degree Manslaughter involving culpable negligence. Oklahoma law defines culpable negligence as ‘the omission to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the lack of the usual ordinary care and caution in the performance of an act usually and ordinarily exercised by a person under similar circumstances and conditions,’” District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said in the press release. “The defendant is presumed to be innocent under the law but we will be prepared to present evidence at future court hearings."

  • ORU marks memory of Oral Roberts' healing with tent crusade on campus

    BY BILL SHERMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    Close to 2,000 people filled a large tent on the Oral Roberts University campus Wednesday for the opening night of a healing revival that was part of a weeklong ORU Celebration of Healing. The week included a two-day academic conference on the subject of healing on Monday and Tuesday, and healing services Wednesday through Friday. ORU President William Wilson said after the Wednesday service that the tent meetings were a nod to ORU’s roots as the university celebrates its 50th anniversary. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa police Special Operations Team destroys office building from inside as part of training

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    Tulsa police Cpl. Jason Muse held a heavy tool in a south Tulsa office building littered with broken glass and debris, demonstrating how to effectively break a window for gaining access during an emergency. “You swing it just like a baseball bat,” Muse told a group of Special Operations Team members while taking a careful practice swing. An officer then grabbed the tool and promptly shattered the window. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa Public Schools releases footage of school bus rollover that injured students, driver

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    Tulsa Public Schools released dashboard camera footage of the Tulsa school bus wreck that injured four elementary school students after it slid off U.S. 75 Wednesday. The brief video shows the 21 seconds leading up to the wreck when the school bus swerves between southbound lanes before veering off U.S. 75, slamming through a guardrail, hitting a light pole then turning over onto its side and careening down an embankment. Students can be heard screaming in the background on the bus. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Gale force: Storm chaser rides with 'serendipitous luck' on quest for tornadoes

    BY JARREL WADE, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    It started in 1993 for Greg McLaughlin after witnessing the destruction left by an F4 tornado in Catoosa that left dozens injured and seven dead. He was 12 when it hit, and he wanted to know more. He found out all a library card could tell him, and then he got his driver’s license and took to the road. He wanted to see his passion in its raw form, he said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Family of man killed by undercover reserve deputy asks Sheriff's Office to release video

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    The family of Eric Harris, who was fatally shot last week by a Tulsa County reserve deputy during an undercover operation, gathered Thursday to ask the Sheriff’s Office to release video of Harris’ death. The video of reserve deputy Robert Bates shooting Harris was recorded via sunglass cameras, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Shannon Clark said earlier this week. Bates, Clark told reporters, believed he was holding a Taser and intended to incapacitate Harris, who the Sheriff’s Office said was wrestling with another deputy. Video also exists which was captured from a nearby business, attorney Dan Smolen said at a news conference Thursday. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Timothy McVeigh lawyer Stephen Jones reflects on Oklahoma City bombing

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    Stephen Jones was Oklahoma’s patron saint of unpopular causes long before he became Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s lawyer. He probably would not have been asked to defend McVeigh if he hadn’t already represented the likes of mass murderers Roger Dale Stafford and Bobby Wayne Collins. Jones represented McVeigh from May 6, 1995, after two other defense attorneys asked to be removed from the case, until after McVeigh’s conviction in June 1997. On Wednesday, with the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing approaching on April 19, Jones reflected on the experience during an appearance at the Rotary Club of Tulsa. He read the first network news bulletin on the attack, recited statistics related to it and said, “We all remember what we were doing. It is the Pearl Harbor Day of Oklahoma. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Woman dubbed 'Military Mistress' sought in fraud in Oklahoma, two other states

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon authorities are searching for the woman they've dubbed the "Military Mistress," saying she and her husband have been writing fraudulent checks in three states. Bobbi Ann Finley of Dallas, Oregon, got her nickname in 2010, when national news outlets spotlighted allegations she went from one military base to the next, marrying service members to gain access to their bank accounts. In all, she married 14 U.S. service members. ABC News reports that she went to prison after pleading guilty to theft by deception. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.