• Man gets life without parole in shooting death of ex-girlfriend in front of her children

    BY AMANDA BLAND, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, May 1, 2015

    A man accused of murdering a woman in front of their son and her two other children pleaded guilty to the crime Friday morning and received a sentence of life without parole. Robert Julius Tillotson III, 32, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Beverly Stratton; three counts of feloniously pointing a firearm; and possession of a firearm after the conviction of a felony. Stratton was 32 when Tillotson fatally shot her inside their home near 46th Street North and Martin Luther King Boulevard on Oct. 25, 2014. He pleaded guilty in September to two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault and battery that named Stratton and one of her sons as the victims. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Praying in Creek: Rural Indian church keeps faith with its ancestral language

    BY MICHAEL OVERALL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, May 1, 2015

    OKMULGEE — Two little girls, 7-year-old cousins who could almost pass for identical twins, come running across the grass, their waist-length hair flowing behind them, their shoes muddy from playing in the creek. “Look what we found,” one of them squeals, holding up a turtle the size of a brick. Jeremiah Wilson, in denim overalls and a dark T-shirt, leans down, almost face-to-face with the creature. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Leaked document: Wal-Mart tells employees of closed stores to avoid caffeine, chocolate, alcohol

    BY ROBERT EVATT, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, May 1, 2015

    Leaked handouts indicate the "plumbing issues" that closed the Admiral Place and Memorial Drive Wal-Mart, along with four others across the nation, did not pose health or safety concerns. The handouts, originally posted on the website Gawker and given to the 2,200 furloughed employees at the time of the stores' sudden closure, also is worried about its employees' health habits. The documents suggest they avoid caffeine, chocolate and alcohol. Gawker said the documents were given to them by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which also operates OUR Walmart, an organization that advocates for improved treatment of Wal-Mart employees. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa, OKC school superintendents talk funding with lawmakers

    BY BARBARA HOBEROCK, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Superintendents of the state’s two largest school districts discussed myriad issues with lawmakers Thursday during a breakfast at the Capitol. Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith Ballard covered finances, third-grade reading skills and his opposition to the possible expansion of charter school sponsorships to cities. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City Public Schools Rob Neu discussed “The Great Commitment,” a seven-point plan for improving the district. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Report: Oklahoma foster care plan seeing progress, but some areas falling behind

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Monitors of Oklahoma’s foster care improvement plan said the state Department of Human Services has made a “good faith effort” in some areas and has not made adequate progress in others, according to a report released Wednesday. The Pinnacle Plan is the settlement agreement that began implementation about three years ago in response to a federal class-action lawsuit. It sets out goals to reach by 2017 with targets of progress along the way overseen by a three-member monitoring panel. The monitors’ report found that areas not improving are the addition of new therapeutic foster homes, shelter use for children 6 and older, and finding permanent placements for children older than 13. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Next stunt? Wheelchair daredevil boosts kids' spirits at hospital

    BY JIMMIE TRAMEL, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Aaron Fotheringham, 23, has been in a wheelchair since he was 8. Look up next month and you’ll see him. Up? Fotheringham (“People call me Wheelz”) doesn’t like to keep his wheels on the ground. What’s the fun in that? Never mind the chair, he’s part of the Nitro Circus Live daredevil troupe, which is booked for a May 21 performance at the BOK Center. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Trial begins for man with mental illness accused of killing his mother

    BY AMANDA BLAND, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    A man charged with murdering his mother was "not in his right mind" that day and remained in a psychotic state for at least several days afterward, according to witnesses at his nonjury trial Thursday. William Matthew "Matt" Stick is charged with the first-degree murder of 43-year-old Veronica Stick, who was found dead outside her home on Oct. 5, 2012. District Judge William LaFortune will decide the case. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa County Sheriff names new undersheriff, also announces other personnel moves

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Chief Deputy Rick Weigel will replace outgoing Undersheriff Tim Albin, who is resigning this week in the wake of a 2009 internal report alleging falsified records and special treatment pertaining to Reserve Deputy Robert Bates. Tulsa County sheriff's Maj. Shannon Clark confirmed the promotion Wednesday afternoon, while also announcing two other personnel moves. Weigel had a 35-year career with the Tulsa Police Department that came to a close in 2007, according to his biography on the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office website. He worked from 2007 to 2008 for the Department of Homeland Security before then joining the Sheriff's Office. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • After Tulsa County Undersheriff Tim Albin's resignation, protesters call for Sheriff Stanley Glanz, Maj. Tom Huckeby to follow suit

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    Tulsa County Undersheriff Tim Albin will vacate his post effective Friday after being implicated in a 2009 internal affairs report that alleged he allowed former reserve deputy Robert Bates to receive special treatment during his training. But Albin's departure, according to protesters who gathered again outside the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Wednesday evening, is just one of multiple that should take place as a result of the fallout that occurred after Bates fatally shot Eric Harris April 2 after video captured Harris running from deputies during an undercover gun buy. "I don't get the opportunity to come to every one of 'em, but it lifts my spirits and puts a big smile on my face because these are the citizens of Tulsa that are crying out against this injustice," Harris' brother Andre Harris said of the numerous protests held by local activist group We The People Oklahoma. "I knew some resignations would come and some people would jump ship, but I also knew there would be a lot of people that would still be here at this point." Andre Harris was among about 100 people who marched from the Tulsa County courthouse to the sheriff's office to demand that Sheriff Stanley Glanz and Maj. Tom Huckeby resign, chanting "Glanz Gotta Go" and "No justice, no peace, no racist police" outside the facility's gate. Huckeby and Albin were accused in the report of pressuring and bullying subordinates and coworkers to sign off on training Bates never completed, and reportedly helped facilitate transfers of deputies who refused to do so. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Highest-ranking classification in TCSO reserve program suspended amid investigation

    BY JARREL WADE and COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    The highest-ranking classification in the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office's reserve program has been temporarily suspended as an investigation into records of its members is undertaken. Tulsa County Maj. Shannon Clark said a records audit of each reserve's training file is being conducted, resulting in the postponement of the auxiliary program's advanced status that allows reserves to patrol on their own. "Reserve deputies will still be utilized for law-enforcement purposes as long as they are partnered with a certified deputy," Clark said in a statement. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Cirque du Soleil takes flight in Tulsa next year

    BY JERRY WOFFORD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    The latest show from Cirque du Soleil will land in the BOK Center next year, the venue announced Wednesday. Inspired by the hit epic "Avatar," "TORUK - The First Flight" is set for March 25-27, 2016, in the BOK Center. Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. May 8. Tickets will be available at bokcenter.com , by phone at 866-7-BOKCTR or at the BOK Center box office at Third Street and Frisco Avenue. The 2009 blockbuster "Avatar" dazzled audiences with its special effects and design. TORUK hopes to do the same, bringing the audience to a world thousands of years before the film is set. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa County Commissioners awaiting investigation at Sheriff's Office before taking any action

    BY JARREL WADE and COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    County Commissioners said Tuesday they are waiting for an investigation to conclude before weighing in on the controversy surrounding Tulsa Sheriff Stanley Glanz and his office. The agency that would conduct an investigation, or the scope of any investigation, is unknown. However, a county official on Tuesday suggested the FBI may currently be conducting an investigation into the Sheriff’s Office. “We’ve heard that they’ve reached out and talked to some people,” said Terry Simonson, intergovernmental affairs and contract administrator for the Sheriff’s Office. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • BOK Financial nets $75 million profit on the strength of record fees and commission

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 29, 2015

    Increased loan growth and a record quarter for fees and commissions drove Tulsa-based BOK Financial Corp. to $74.8 million in net income for the three months ending March 31. Overall net revenue totaled $167.7 million, down $2 million from the fourth quarter of 2014. Company CEO Steven Bradshaw also noted that the mortgage business posted its best quarter in two years and rose 31 percent above the previous three months. "The year is off to an excellent start, with continued double-digit annualized loan growth and a record quarter from our fee-generating businesses, combined with careful expense controls," Bradshaw said in the earnings report released Wednesday morning. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • WalletHub ranks Tulsa No. 2 city nationally to start a business

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    Access to capital, quarters and encouragement apparently make Tulsa an ideal location for entrepreneurs. The city ranked as the second-best place in the U.S. to start a business, according to an analysis by financial website WalletHub released Monday. The report, which ranks 150 cities on factors such as access to resources and business environment, ranked Shreveport, Louisiana, at the top of the list. In the top five behind Tulsa were Springfield, Missouri; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Jackson, Mississippi. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Oklahoma Geological Survey closing Leonard seismic observatory out of cost concerns

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    LEONARD — After more than a half-century recording the state's every shimmy and shake, the Leonard Geophysical Observatory will close this summer, Oklahoma Geological Survey Interim Director Rick Andrews confirmed recently. "The Leonard Geophysical laboratory is a very old facility," Andrews said by telephone. "The cost savings (from closing it) are very significant." Built in 1961 by the Jersey Production Research Co., a subsidiary of what was then Standard Oil Co., the facility in far southeast Tulsa County was once among the most advanced seismic observatories in the world. For most of the 1990s, it was even used by the Soviet Union to monitor the United States' nuclear testing. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Senate sends anti-EPA bill to governor's desk

    BY BARBARA HOBEROCK, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday sent Gov. Mary Fallin a bill touted as a means to challenge a pollution rule by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Senate accepted House amendments Senate Bill 676, by Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, by vote of 38-7, sending it to Fallin’s desk. The measure sets up a process for the state to develop a plan to comply with a new EPA rule that requires states to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Oklahoma teacher follows through on vow to not test first-graders, risks termination

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    Judgment day has come for a first-grade teacher who made national headlines in the fall for calling out Tulsa Public Schools on the use of high-stakes student surveys and tests. Skelly Elementary School’s Nikki Jones penned a blog on Monday about her final showdown with her superiors over the issue. “In January, they docked me for not giving the test. I got a second chance, and I didn’t give the test Monday, so they could terminate me,” Jones told the Tulsa World after school ended. “The retaliation began right away last fall from my principal and ILD (instructional leadership director).” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Fortune ranks Williams Cos. as No. 1 most admired U.S. energy company

    FROM TULSA WORLD STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Fortune magazine has ranked Tulsa-based Williams Cos. Inc. as the Most Admired Company among U.S. energy companies in 2015. "This award validates the strong commitment of our employees to focus on doing the right thing and propelling the company forward,” said Williams' CEO Alan Armstrong, in a written statement. “In the last four years, Williams has made great strides executing on our natural gas-focused business strategy, creating value for shareholders and building relationships in the communities where our employees live and work.” Companies considered for the Fortune lists were ranked on nine key attributes of reputation including innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment value, quality of products/services and global competitiveness. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Number of chronically homeless in Tulsa declines for third straight year

    BY MIKE AVERILL, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Tulsa has had a three-year decline in its number of chronically homeless, according to the Tulsa City-County Continuum of Care Point-in-Time Survey completed in 2015. Meanwhile, the number of situationally homeless has continued to increase, up 50 percent from the count done in 2008, the latest study found. The number of chronically homeless, defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as someone who has been continuously homeless for one full year or four times within the past three years and has a disability, surveyed during the count was 89, down from 99 last year and 114 two years ago, a 22 percent decrease. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Conspiracy theories fly around Tulsa's suddenly shuttered Wal-Mart

    BY ROBERT EVATT, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    From crime to labor issues to an intricate military coup of the entire United States, conspiracy theories are flying around the closed Wal-Mart supercenters in Tulsa and elsewhere. The official reason for the sudden closure of the store at Admiral Place and Memorial Drive last week was two years of plumbing issues which would take six months to fix. That was the same reason given for each of the four other Wal-Mart locations, which all closed at the same time with just a few hours' notice. The other stores are in Brandon, Florida; Pico Rivera, California; Midland, Texas; and Livingston, Texas. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.