• Former employer claims state Sen. Rick Brinkley stole $1 million over 15 years

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    State Sen. Rick Brinkley embezzled more than $1 million during his 15 years as president and chief operating officer of the Better Business Bureau of Tulsa, the organization alleges in court documents filed Friday. The BBB says Brinkley set up corporate entities to receive payments for phony credit card accounts and other alleged business expenses. The suit, filed in Tulsa County District Court, alleges Brinkley used the embezzled funds to "pay his mortgage, pool cleaner, personal credit card invoices, and to support a hidden gambling habit." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Popping the question: What will be in OKPOP museum?

    BY JIMMIE TRAMEL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, also known as OKPOP, will graduate from Senate Bill 829 to reality in 2018, when the facility is expected to open in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District. In the meanwhile, here’s a question: What’s going to be in it? “The wrong perception has been assumed by a lot of people because they think it’s a music museum,” said Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Veteran and chronic homelessness in Tulsa targeted for elimination by 2016

    BY MIKE AVERILL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    Efforts to end veteran and chronic homelessness within two years were announced Thursday by Tulsa community leaders and elected officials. Tulsa is one of 75 communities throughout the country participating in Zero:2016, a national initiative to end veteran homelessness by the end of this year and chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. Locally, the initiative will be led by A Way Home for Tulsa, a collective of 24 Tulsa-area service agencies that are working together to end homelessness. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • High school students to present alternative energy project at national competition

    BY NOUR HABIB, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    Three Jenks High School students have qualified for the U.S. Army’s eCybermission nationals for the third year. Becca Mackey, Riya Kaul and Hayden Hilst — all just out of ninth grade at Jenks — are headed to Baltimore later this month to present a project on an alternative energy source that they’ve been working on since November. “It’s a system that we designed to put in a revolving door so that when somebody walks through it, the kinetic energy that that produces is then harnessed to be put back into the grid or to power an emergency light system or what have you,” 15-year-old Mackey said of their project. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • U.S. Army Corps says water release program 'operated exactly as it was designed' during wet May

    BY RHETT MORGAN, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    SAND SPRINGS — Stressed by record Oklahoma rainfall during the month of May, the 11-reservoir system connected to the Arkansas River has "operated exactly as it was designed," a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officer said Friday. Col. Richard Pratt, commander of the Tulsa District of the Corps, spoke to reporters Friday morning against the backdrop of the Keystone Dam, which was releasing about 88,000 cubic feet of water — enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool — every few seconds. "You saw a few days ago where the crest on the Arkansas River … we were pushing about 390,000 cubic feet per second, which is way higher than the 150,000 cfs we would like to be able to maintain," Pratt said. "That's all part of the design of the system. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • America's 51 Best Mail-Order Foods

    Published: Fri, Jun 5, 2015

    Rachael Ray Magazine has tried hundreds of eats nominated by chefs, food writers and local experts to find the most awesome, most iconic, more delicious from every state--all of which can be shipped straight to your door.  The recipe for Aunt Bill's Brown Candy(printed in The Oklahoman newspaper everyday year) calls for two people to make it, so buying the praline-like fudge is much easier.

  • Ottawa County DA rules OHP trooper justified in Miami shooting death; medical examiner's office releases cause of death report

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    MIAMI, Okla. — A 63-year-old man who was killed by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper after he led the trooper on a chase in Miami in April was struck by gunfire at least seven times, according to a medical examiner’s report. The state Medical Examiner’s Office stated in its report, released Thursday, that Gary Timmie Collins died April 24 of three gunshot wounds to the middle and left upper back and also had wounds on the right side of his chest, his right arm, and his left arm and hand. The Ottawa County District Attorney’s Office ruled earlier this week that OHP Trooper Aaron Gibe, who fatally shot Collins, would not face criminal charges. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Several Tulsa companies crack the Fortune 500

    BY ROBERT EVATT, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    The prestigious Fortune 500 list of companies has been tabulated for 2015, and the list includes three Tulsa companies -- one that's never been on the list before. Even with the drop in petroleum prices, all three deal in energy -- ONEOK at 237, newcomer NGL Energy Partners at 299 and Williams Cos. at 370. Fortune's annual list ranks public companies and private companies that report their financial information in some form by their annual revenue. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Missing Okmulgee man's mother says she believes he and friend are alive

    BY BILL HAISTEN, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    The mother and a cousin of Benjamin Baber expressed their belief Wednesday that Baber and his best friend, Cody Parrick, are alive. Baber and Parrick, each of whom is 20 and an Okmulgee resident, have been missing since they attended the Rocklahoma music festival near Pryor on May 22. Baber was driving a silver 2005 Pontiac Montana minivan. The vehicle has a Muscogee (Creek) Nation license plate with the number B8E23. Volunteers and various law enforcement officers have searched flooded areas along U.S. 69 between Chouteau and Wagoner several times. On Wednesday, with water having receded about 2 feet during the past three days, there was another flyover search of the U.S. 69 area, and civilian drones were deployed, Baber’s cousin Julie Pendley said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • West Nile found in residents of Okfuskee and McIntosh counties in Oklahoma

    BY SHANNON MUCHMORE, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    West Nile Virus has been found in residents of Okfuskee and McIntosh counties, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. They are the first human cases of the virus this year, according to the department. No human cases have been reported in Tulsa County this year, but mosquitoes in the county have tested positive for the virus, according to the Tulsa Health Department. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Mounting evidence says injection wells cause Oklahoma's earthquake surge

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    Clarification: The story has been clarified to make clear the directive that disposal wells in the 16-county area injecting below the Arbuckle formation weren't to be plugged completely but were to be made shallower. Mounting evidence pointing to wastewater disposal wells as the culprit behind a six-fold increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma has now placed the onus on government and industry to determine whether current actions are sufficient or more solutions are needed to stop the damage. The latest studies are in a June special section of The Leading Edge, a journal of the Tulsa-based Society of Exploration Geophysicists that provides a forum for scholarly discussion. Harley Benz, director of the National Earthquake Information Center for the U.S. Geological Survey, is a co-author of one of the papers in the special section. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa man who fatally stabbed his mother found not guilty by reason of insanity

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, TULSA WORLD | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    A man charged with first-degree murder in his mother’s death was found not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday morning in Tulsa County District Court. William Matthew Stick, 22, was deemed legally insane when he stabbed his mother in their Tulsa home on Oct. 5, 2012, and will be confined to the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita until the court orders that he’s no longer dangerous to the public. Judge William Lafortune read the court’s decision, which stated that when Stick committed the murder, he was in a “highly psychotic state” that disabled him from distinguishing right from wrong and understanding the criminal nature of his acts. Stick was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder with psychotic features about 16 months after the murder.

  • Mold Shuts Down Broken Arrow Fire Station

    Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - A Broken Arrow fire station has shut down because of mold growing inside the station's walls. It closed last week and tests are now being run to determine what type of mold is growing, and if it could be hazardous to firefighter's health. One retired firefighter said it's not the first time mold's been found inside Station 1.

  • Man pleads guilty, gets 40 years in 2009 shooting death of Memorial High student

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    Nearly six years after a Memorial High School freshman was killed in a drive-by shooting as he walked home from school, one of two defendants in the case has pleaded guilty. Samuel Fullbright, 22, pleaded guilty on Tuesday and will serve 40 years for first-degree murder in the Sept. 25, 2009, death of Jacob Daniel “J.J.” Barnes, said Assistant District Attorney Erik Grayless, who prosecuted the case. Barnes was gunned down as he walked with his younger sister in the 900 block of East 33rd Street North. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Hearing for Tulsa woman accused of mutilating corpse postponed to determine competency

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    A hearing for a woman accused of mutilating a corpse at a funeral home has been postponed to next month to determine competency. The preliminary hearing for Shaynna Lauren Sims, 26, who also goes by Shaynna Smith, was scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed to allow the defense to evaluate Sims’ mental health, said Assistant District Attorney Tanya Wilson. The evaluation will be conducted through Sims’ private counsel, and the post-competency hearing will begin at 9 a.m. July 8 in Tulsa County District Court. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Trio accused in shooting of Oologah officer await charges while jailed in Kansas

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    A Kansas judge ruled there is probable cause to hold three suspects in anticipation of charges following the shooting of an Oologah police officer and another man during a high-speed chase that crossed the Oklahoma-Kansas border last week. Alejandro Garcia, Cesar Rios and Roxanne Mendoza were in Montgomery County District Court in Independence, Kansas, on Monday and are due back on June 25 for a formal first appearance in which they will be advised of any charges against them. Garcia, 22, is being held on complaints of attempted capital murder in connection with shots fired at a Montgomery County deputy, as well as burglary, criminal damage to property and felony obstruction. His bail is set at $2 million. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Investigation of Rick Brinkley, rising star in Oklahoma Senate, catches colleagues by surprise

    BY BARBARA HOBEROCK, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Some state lawmakers were surprised Tuesday by news that a Tulsa-area state senator is being investigated on embezzlement allegations. Officials confirmed that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the financial dealings of Sen. Rick Brinkley, R-Owasso, while he was chief operations officer of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Oklahoma. Brinkley is well-liked among his colleagues. Some viewed him as possibly the next leader of the Oklahoma Senate. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa man shot by security guard discusses paralysis, maintains he did nothing wrong

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    Monroe Bird III was recently released from the hospital, nearly four months after he was shot in the neck by a security guard at a Tulsa apartment complex. The homecoming, while welcomed, is bittersweet for Bird’s family, which has to provide around-the-clock care for the 6-foot-8-inch 21-year-old, who is now paralyzed from the neck down. Bird lies in a custom hospital bed and is hooked up to a ventilator and monitors in the living room in his parents’ Boley home. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Oklahoma top state in 2015 police fatal shootings per capita

    Published: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    Recent analyses by two national publications, including The Washington Post, of fatal encounters with United States law enforcement in 2015 have concluded Oklahoma has the highest amount of such incidents per capita and is a top 5 state in police-involved fatalities this year. 

  • Ginnie Graham: Children of imprisoned mothers have unique challenges, study shows

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Jun 2, 2015

    Children with mothers in prison are more likely to have outside caregivers play a prominent role in their lives than those with an imprisoned father, according to research from Cornell University . Oklahoma has been No. 1 in female incarceration for many years, according to the U.S. Bureau for Justice Statistics . Researchers Allison Dwyer Emory and Sherry Zhang compared the experiences in childhood and young adulthood of boys and girls who experienced one of four scenarios before their 18th birthdays. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.