• Earnings for May 4, 2016

    From Staff Reports | Published: Tue, May 3, 2016

    Earnings for May 4, 2016

  • Williams, ETE agree to change timeline in merger

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, May 3, 2016

    Williams Cos. and Energy Transfer Equity have agreed to shorten the amount of time that will pass between the deadline for Williams shareholders to vote on the proposed merger and the anticipated closing date for the transaction. According to forms filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, Williams and ETE have agreed to amend the merger agreement to remove the requirement that the Election Deadline must come at least 30 days before the merger's anticipated closing date.

  • Tulsa attorney resigns from Oklahoma Bar Association after daughter's sex abuse revelations

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, May 3, 2016

    The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday approved the resignation of Tulsa attorney George Michael Lewis from the Oklahoma Bar Association after the professional organization launched disciplinary actions against him stemming from allegations that he sexually abused his daughter more than 30 years ago. A grievance was filed against Lewis after his daughter, Ginger Lewis, 45, revealed she was sexually assaulted by her father between the ages of 11 and 16. She has been seeking changes in the statute of limitations to allow for prosecution of child sex crimes decades after they occur. Lewis had been a senior partner at Doerner Saunders Daniel & Anderson, which placed him on “indefinite leave” immediately after being informed of the alleged abuse.

  • Robert Bates denied bail as he awaits sentencing at Tulsa Jail

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Updated: 7 hr ago

    Robert Bates was denied post-verdict bail after taking the stand Tuesday to tell a Tulsa County judge about the medical issues he's faced during his almost six-day stay in jail. The 74-year-old former Tulsa County reserve sheriff's deputy will remain in jail for the time being after the judge ruled against his request to set bail as he awaits formal sentencing and appeals. District Judge William Musseman agreed with prosecutors that he doesn't have discretion to set bail for Bates due to a statute prohibiting bail on appeal to those convicted of felonies committed while in the possession of a firearm.

  • Oklahoma news briefs for May 3

    From Staff Reports | Published: Tue, May 3, 2016

    Oklahoma news briefs for May 3, 2016

  • KKK ties: TU could change name of its law school

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    The University of Tulsa may soon remove the name of a key figure in the school’s development from a campus building because of a brief involvement with the Ku Klux Klan, the Tulsa World has confirmed. TU trustees are expected to decide Wednesday to take down the name of John Rogers from the university’s College of Law, which Rogers helped found in 1943. Rogers was also the attorney for J.A. and Leta Chapman, whose estate saved the university from almost certain bankruptcy in the 1960s and became the foundation for what is now a $1 billion endowment.

  • Man convicted in killings of 4 women sentenced to life terms

    AP | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A man convicted of fatally shooting four women in 2013 has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. A Tulsa judge gave James Poore four life terms on Monday after his March conviction for the murders of 23-year-old twins Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Melchor, 33-year-old Misty Nunley and 55-year-old Julie Jackson. Poore's brother, Cedric, is accused of the same crimes and goes to trial in December. He's pleaded not guilty. The four women were discovered Jan. 7, 2013, in a back bedroom of Powell's apartment. All had their hands tied behind their backs with blue or pink fabric and were shot in the head. Authorities believe the Poores shot the four because they feared the women might

  • Tulsa's Midstates Petroleum files for bankruptcy reorganization

    By Adam Wilmoth Energy Editor awilmoth@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, May 2, 2016

    Energy company cites more than $2 billion in debt.

  • DUI suspect captured after escaping from trooper's vehicle on U.S. 169, OHP says

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 29, 2016

    A DUI suspect who was handcuffed and placed in the back of a state trooper’s cruiser was taken into custody for a second time after reportedly escaping from the vehicle late Thursday. An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper initiated a traffic stop on a Ford Mustang speeding southbound on U.S. 169 near 21st Street about 11:40 p.m. While pulling to the shoulder of the highway, the driver — later identified as Crystal Renee Temple, 35 — cut off another driver without using a turn signal, according to an arrest report. The trooper reportedly smelled an odor of alcohol coming from the car and said Temple could not verify her insurance and had a suspended license. She also told the trooper she had one beer before driving, the report states, though two beer containers were found in her vehicle.

  • Federal judge dismisses Tulsan man's suit against Williams, ETE merger

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Apr 29, 2016

    Gregory K. Frizzell, chief judge in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, dismissed a lawsuit on Thursday that Tulsa plaintiff John Bumgarner filed against Williams Cos. and Energy Transfer Equity  earlier this year . Bumgarner, who previously held a variety of senior positions at Williams Cos., filed the class action lawsuit against his former employer and the Dallas-based company with which Williams is currently involved in a proposed merger on Jan. 14. The lawsuit, which was amended in February, was to enjoin the defendants from further proceeding with a proposed merger, including the dissemination of proxy materials, and the conduct of a special shareholders’ meeting of Williams to vote on the transaction.

  • Robert Bates jailed in individual cell to avoid inmates he may have come into contact with on duty

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Robert Bates is being housed in the Tulsa Jail’s medical unit, meaning the former Tulsa County reserve sheriff’s deputy and now convicted felon is alone in an individual cell about 23 hours a day. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Justin Green said housing current or past law enforcement officers in the medical unit is a standard safety and security precaution. The measure is to ensure they aren’t in the general jail population to potentially interact with an inmate they may have come into contact with on the job. Bates, 74, will be allowed one hour of recreation each day, as well as showers and commissary, Green said.

  • Tulsa jury finds Robert Bates guilty of manslaughter in shooting of Eric Harris

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD and COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Former Reserve Deputy Robert Bates was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter by a jury Wednesday evening after about three hours of deliberation. Bates, 74, was charged in the April 2, 2015, shooting death of Eric Harris. Bates was volunteering as a reserve deputy on a Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office drug task force operation when he shot Harris, the target of a gun-sale sting whom deputies were restraining on the ground after a short foot pursuit when he was shot.

  • Three people dead after wrecks on Oklahoma roads

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Three people died in wrecks along Oklahoma highways, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported Wednesday.

  • Profits keep shrinking for Oklahoma-based Alliance

    By Adam Wilmoth Energy Editor awilmoth@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Oklahoma-based Alliance Resource Partners LP recorded lower profits as the demand for coal continued to dwindle.

  • Jury to start deliberating in Robert Bates' manslaughter trial Wednesday

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD and COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    A jury is expected to begin deliberating a verdict for former Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Reserve Deputy Robert Bates following closing arguments Wednesday morning. Both sides rested their cases Tuesday evening after the the jury heard testimony from two medical experts called by the defense and two rebuttal witnesses from the prosecution. Bates elected not to testify.

  • Budget crisis: Tulsa school board reduces 102 administrative positions

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    The Tulsa school board approved the elimination or defunding of 175 administrative positions and the creation of 73 new ones late Monday for a net reduction of 102 positions. It was the first time the Tulsa school board heard Superintendent Deborah Gist's detailed proposal to reduce next year's budget by reorganizing a host of administrative positions. "I recognize the decisions you have tonight affect people's lives and services we provide to students," Gist said.

  • Union Public Schools sixth-grader receives handwritten letter from President Obama

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    Before Union Public Schools sixth-grader Vivian Torres began kindergarten, authorities in New Mexico arrested her father, Juvencio Torres-Montoro, in 2006 after pulling him over for a traffic stop. Torres-Montoro is a Mexican national, and he was held for about a year before being transferred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s facility in El Paso, Texas. A judge in 2008 ordered that Vivian’s father be deported, with a lifetime ban on re-entry to the U.S. That left Vivian, her mother, Heather Druktenis, and her brother, Sam Torres — who was born while his father was in custody — with little choice but to move back to Tulsa with Druktenis’ family. So when Vivian’s geography teacher at Union asked students to write letters to President Barack Obama a few months ago, Vivian decided to ask the president, who also grew up without his father present, for personal advice on how to succeed in a single-parent household and to name one thing in his life he would change.

  • Defense expert witness theorizes stress prompted Robert Bates to mistake gun for Taser

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 25, 2016

    Robert Bates’ defense was launched in his manslaughter trial Monday with an expert witness who theorized that stress prompted the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office reserve deputy’s “muscle memory” to trump his intention when he grabbed his gun instead of his Taser and shot Eric Harris. After the judge denied the defense's request to drop the case following the prosecution's 16th and final witness, the expert was grilled for about two hours on whether Bates’ admittedly mistaking his gun for his Taser was a reasonable error considering the stress of the situation. Dr. Charles Morgan, a psychiatrist who said he documents human cognitive error in stressful situations, is one of several expert witnesses the defense has indicated will discuss topics ranging from weapons confusion to whether Harris' death was caused by the gunshot and not other medical issues.

  • Oklahoma-based NGL receives $200M in sale; its stock skyrockets

    By Adam Wilmoth Energy Editor awilmoth@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    Tulsa-based propane distribution company NGL Energy Partners LP received $200 million in deal from Oaktree Capital Management LP, which becomes a general partner. The Oklahoma company's stock surged 24 percent in heavy trading Friday.

  • Deputy testifies Robert Bates was 'dozing off' ahead of Eric Harris undercover operation

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 21, 2016

    Deputy Ricardo Vaca testified on Thursday morning that he saw the then-73-year-old reserve deputy "kind of dozing off in his car" while the task force was staged for takedown of Eric Harris. Vaca, the deputy who tackled Harris and was wearing the eyeglass camera that captured the shooting, said on the witness stand that he and his partner saw Robert Bates' head droop and eyes close before Bates would rouse himself in his unmarked Tahoe. He testified about the pursuit when Harris tried to flee following the undercover gun buy, with Vaca saying that he never drew his weapon because he never saw the fleeing Harris with anything in his hands. Vaca said that when he took down Harris, he had him in a "seat belt" sort of hold with his arms and legs on ground. Vaca said he never felt or saw a weapon.