• Tulsa resident befuddled after police officer kills family dog

    BY DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    A Tulsa police officer shot a loose dog outside a midtown home Thursday evening, leaving the animal's owner questioning whether the shooting was necessary. Matthew Belanger and his wife were sitting in their home in the 1100 block of South Atlanta Place when an officer knocked on their door, saying police had shot a dog and asking them to see whether it belonged to them. "I thought, 'Surely that's not my dog,'" Belanger said. "But I went outside, and there he was." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Former CEO of bankrupt Oklahoma company arrested in Dallas

    By COREY JONES - Tulsa World | Updated: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    A former executive of a Tulsa-based trucking company that closed unexpectedly and went into bankruptcy is behind bars in Dallas, online jail records indicate. James Douglas “Doug” Pielsticker, 46, was booked into a Dallas jail at 4:18 p.m. Thursday on a hold for the FBI, the jail records indicate. It wasn’t immediately clear why Pielsticker was arrested or exactly what the FBI had been investigating. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Bar-hopping driver gets four years for manslaughter

    By AMANDA BLAND - Tulsa World | Updated: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    A Tulsa man was convicted of second-degree manslaughter Thursday in the death of a passenger in his vehicle with whom he’d been bar-hopping. Prosecutors charged Brian Christopher Cripps, 30, with first-degree manslaughter in the death of 28-year-old Samuel Joseph Dash, who died on March 25, 2012, when Cripps’ SUV rolled “due to excessive speed” during a single-vehicle crash on the Broken Arrow Expressway, police said. Cripps blood-alcohol content was three times the legal limit, documents show. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Man dies after being dragged under Tulsa Transit bus

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Dec 3, 2014

    A pedestrian was killed Wednesday evening when he was struck by a Tulsa Transit bus. Tulsa Police Sgt. Mark Mackenzie said the man, who appeared to be in his 50s, apparently was trying to catch the attention of a Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority bus driver while running south alongside the bus on Harvard Avenue just south of 31st Street around 6:35 p.m. Wednesday. Police don't know whether he stumbled while running alongside the Route 222 bus, but they think his arm got caught in a bus wheel, and he was dragged under it, Mackenzie said. The man died at the scene. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Tulsa police officer awaiting trial on murder charge retires, seeks lump sum pension payout

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Dec 2, 2014

    A Tulsa police officer charged in the murder of his daughter’s boyfriend retired last month and collected a lump sum pension payout of more than $160,000, records show. While a state law prevents officers convicted of felonies from collecting their monthly pensions, Officer Shannon Kepler gets to keep the lump sum even if convicted in the case, said Steven Snyder, executive director of the state Police Pension and Retirement board. However, Kepler would forfeit monthly pension benefits if convicted of a felony not resulting in a deferred sentence, Snyder said. Records show that during its meeting Nov. 19, the state Police Pension and Retirement Board approved Kepler’s request to retire and collect his pension payments. His retirement date was listed as Nov. 1. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Survey respondents: Addressing problems with testing first priority for Hofmeister

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Dec 2, 2014

    State Superintendent-elect Joy Hofmeister on Tuesday released the results of an unscientific poll conducted by her transition team that identified testing, teacher pay and overall funding as the top three priorities identified by more than 10,000 respondents. “The survey found that the first priority of parents, teachers, principals and superintendents is addressing problems with testing,” Hofmeister said. “We must stop over-testing our students, and instead reach a balance where assessments are aligned to the goal and inform instruction.” Increased teacher compensation and overall funding were also mentioned frequently as goals for her first 90 days in office, which begins Jan. 12. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Homicide victim, jailed roommate may have fought over rent payments

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL and SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Dec 2, 2014

    The suspect in the bludgeoning death of his roommate at a Tulsa home late Monday possibly killed the man over a dispute about rent payments, a Tulsa police detective said Tuesday. Ted Wayne Kissel, 31, was found dead underneath a mattress inside a bedroom, Homicide Sgt. Dave Walker said in a news release. His roommate, Joel Giefer, 29, was booked into the Tulsa Jail at 5:38 a.m. Tuesday on a first-degree murder complaint. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Miranda Lambert businesses kickstart small town of Tishomingo

    BY RHETT MORGAN, Tulsa World | Updated: Mon, Dec 1, 2014

    With no interstate close and the nearest metropolitan area some 90 minutes away, Tishomingo isn’t an easy place to get to. But thanks to the economic presence of a sassy country singer, people are finding it with increased regularity. Married to “The Voice” star and Ada native Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert has opened in her adopted hometown two new Main Street businesses since 2012, the Pink Pistol boutique and the Ladysmith bed and breakfast. They have transformed Tishomingo from sleepy county seat to wide-eyed tourist destination, energizing other start-up merchants in the process.

  • Passenger rail coming next year between Oklahoma City and Tulsa

    By JARREL WADE - Tulsa World | Updated: Mon, Dec 1, 2014

    The long-awaited train, connecting passengers from Tulsa to Oklahoma City, is arriving next year with plans to connect riders from downtown to downtown, officials said. While the trains won’t actually be able to arrive in downtown from the start, train officials plan to have shuttle buses that connect passengers from several pickup and drop-off points around town to the train station in Sapulpa. Ed Ellis, president and CEO of Iowa Pacific Holdings, said the current plan is to have shuttles from the end of the train’s line in Sapulpa and Midwest City that take passengers to several points in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Names of women shot to death are released

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Thu, Nov 27, 2014

    TULSA — Tulsa police have released the names of two women found shot to death outside Bristol Park Apartments on the city’s east side. Sgt. Dave Walker told reporters that the victims are 26-year-old Amanda Douglas and 37-year-old Jennifer Sanders. The two were found dead about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday outside the apartment complex were police say Sanders lived. Police say Douglas was an acquaintance of Sanders and had been staying at the apartment. A possible motive for the shooting has not been released. Police are searching for a gray or gold 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix with Oklahoma license plate 231 GDS that was seen on surveillance video leaving the apartment complex after the shooting.

  • Two women dead in east Tulsa shooting

    By KENDRICK MARSHALL - Tulsa World | Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    Two women were shot to death early Wednesday outside an east Tulsa apartment, according to police. One woman was found in a vehicle outside the Bristol Park Apartments, 4414 S. Garnett Road, Tulsa police spokesman Jill Roberson said. The other woman was found on the ground outside the apartment. Roberson said the shooting occurred about 9:30 a.m. http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/crimewatch/two-women-dead-in-east-tulsa-shooting/article_00207ca7-acfa-5890-baee-93cdc865f1cd.html">Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • With Tulsa's history of race riots, speaker at Ferguson vigil says 'undercurrent of racism' still present

    By ZIVA BRANSTETTER & KENDRICK MARSHALL - Tulsa World | Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    While local officials say the type of violent outbursts seen in Ferguson, Missouri, are unlikely here, speakers during a somber vigil Tuesday night said the same underlying issues are present in Tulsa. Mia Wright, among those who spoke at the vigil, read a poem she wrote in August after the police-shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown sparked unrest in Ferguson. As a teacher at Tulsa’s Street School, Wright said she often hears firsthand about the distrust between some Tulsa residents — especially young black men — and law enforcement. “The undercurrent of racism is so real here,” Wright said after the vigil, which was held at John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park and sponsored by the YWCA.

  • New details released in Oklahoma mother's fatal shooting by 3-year-old son

    By SAMANTHA VICENT - Tulsa World | Updated: Wed, Nov 26, 2014

    The Tulsa Police Department on Tuesday identified a U.S. Army Reserve specialist as the woman who was fatally shot by her 3-year-old son in their east Tulsa home Monday afternoon. Christa Engles, 26, was in a residence in the 100 block of South 168th East Avenue with the toddler and her 10-month-old daughter about 4:30 p.m. Monday when, according to Tulsa Police Homicide Sgt. Dave Walker, the boy shot her in the head while she appeared to be changing her daughter’s diaper in their living room. “There was a holster on a table right (by) where she would have been changing the diaper,” Walker said Tuesday. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • 3-year-old fatally shoots mother with semiautomatic handgun in Tulsa

    By Samantha Vicent, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    The shooting was reported at a house in the 100 block of South 168th E Avenue about 4:30 p.m.

  • Oklahoma woman fatally shot by 3-year-old son with semi-automatic handgun

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    TULSA — Tulsa police say a woman has died after her 3-year-old son accidentally shot her in the head with a semi-automatic handgun. Sgt. Dave Walker says the 26-year-old woman was taken to an area hospital in critical condition Monday and later died from the injury. Her identity hasn’t been released. The woman had been home with the toddler and her 1-year-old daughter. Police say the woman’s mother-in-law found the woman shot and called 911. They say the boy tried to leave the house before his grandmother arrived.

  • Police: Trash truck driver finds body near Tulsa

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Tue, Nov 25, 2014

    SAPULPA — Tulsa-area police are investigating after a trash truck driver found a body on the side of a road. Sapulpa Police say the driver saw a stopped car on Tuesday and stopped to offer assistance. They say he called police after finding the man’s body on the ground next to the car. The man was shot multiple times in the abdomen. His identity hasn’t been released. No arrests have been reported.

  • Tulsa woman, 24, shot in head in 'horrible, horrible accident'

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 24, 2014

    Tulsa police are at the scene of an apparent accidental shooting in east Tulsa. Officers were called to a house in the 100 block of South 168th East Avenue about 4:30 p.m. A 24-year-old woman was transported from the scene in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head, an EMSA spokeswoman said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Oklahoma Watch: Number of homeless children in Oklahoma is among highest in nation

    By Nate Robson, Oklahoma Watch | Updated: Sun, Nov 23, 2014

    Oklahoma Watch: Oklahoma ranks fifth worst among states in the percentage of children under 18 who are homeless, according to the American Institutes for Research, a nonpartisan group based in Washington, D.C.

  • Two teachers' refusal to give tests puts their jobs at risk, but they say it's worth it

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Sun, Nov 23, 2014

    Why are two first-grade teachers risking the jobs they love to take a stand against new student tests and surveys? Because they know they’re not alone. “It’s definitely not about my evaluation,” said Skelly Elementary School’s Nikki Jones. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Few Oklahoma exonerees receive payment for wrongful convictions

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Sun, Nov 23, 2014

    What Greg Wilhoit really wanted after five years on death row was an apology from the state of Oklahoma. Sure, the money would have made a huge difference in Wilhoit’s life after being convicted of murdering his wife, losing his freedom and missing the chance to raise his two daughters. After 12 forensic experts said Wilhoit’s teeth did not match a bite mark used to convict him in 1987, an appeals court threw out his conviction. Two years later, a judge halted Osage County prosecutors’ efforts to retry him, telling Wilhoit: “You’re free to go.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .