• Police arrest Tulsa's Most Wanted fugitive

    BY PAIGHTEN HARKINS, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    A man who is charged with raping and beating his ex-girlfriend and who was recently named Tulsa’s Most Wanted fugitive was arrested Tuesday afternoon. Tulsa police arrested Jaune Antonio Johnson, 40, at 9 a.m. and booked him into the Tulsa Jail on charges of domestic assault and battery resulting in great bodily harm, domestic assault and battery — second offense, domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and first degree rape, court records indicate. Johnson’s charges stem from a July incident in which he allegedly punched the woman, bit her wrist, struck her with a two-by-four and then raped her, according to court records.

  • Williams Cos. sold in $37.7 billion deal; ETE says it will keep a 'meaningful presence' of jobs in Tulsa

    FROM TULSA WORLD STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Sep 29, 2015

    With more than 1,000 employees in Tulsa, the fate of Williams Cos. has been the source of much speculation since Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity began pursuing it this summer. On Monday morning, ETE announced that it would buy Williams in a $37.7 billion deal. Energy Transfer Equity LP will pay $43.50 per share, a 4.6 percent premium to Williams’ Friday closing price of $41.60. Williams shares plummeted more than 12 percent Monday.

  • DHS foster child deported within months of aging out of system

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    Foster mother Tylisha Oliver drove pregnant, 18-year-old Gabriella Portillo to a meeting asked by her foster daughter’s parole officer. She had a feeling something wasn’t right because it was an unusual request. But meeting all the sentence stipulations on a youthful offender guilty plea was part of getting Portillo on the right track. After surviving being forced into El Salvador’s sex trade as a child and spending five years in Oklahoma’s foster care, the girl finally seemed ready to accept help. “When we got there, we were surrounded by seven armed federal agents, and then they had handcuffs on her,” Oliver recalls. “It was a calm scene, though. They expected her to be angry and aggressive. She wasn’t. She’s pregnant, she’s tired and she’s 18. They think she was a bigger threat than what she is.”

  • Former Tulsa police officer appears before new judge, could see murder trial delayed

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    The judge now assigned to a former Tulsa police officer’s murder case asked for more time to review his case when he appeared in her court for the first time Monday for a scheduling conference. Former Tulsa Police Officer Shannon Kepler appeared in front of District Judge Sharon Holmes for the first time since the previous judge asked to remove herself from the case. District Judge Caroline Wall asked to recuse herself Aug. 21 due to an “unavoidable conflict,” court records show.

  • Tulsa police officer arrested on DUI complaint in Owasso this weekend

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    A Tulsa police officer with 10 years on the force has been placed on desk duty after she was arrested on a DUI complaint in Owasso on Saturday morning. Officer Shea Jojane Duff, 41 — also listed as Shea McClung — was arrested by Owasso police at 2:10 a.m. She was booked into the Tulsa Jail around 8:50 a.m. on complaints of DUI and changing lanes unsafely, according to jail records. She was released on $1,100 bond at 9:41 a.m. Tulsa police spokeswoman Jeanne MacKenzie could not comment on the details of the arrest, citing an internal investigation, though she did say Duff was off-duty at the time.

  • Williams, ETE announce acquisition in $37.7 billion deal

    FROM TULSA WORLD STAFF REPORTS | Published: Mon, Sep 28, 2015

    Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity announced Monday morning that it would buy Tulsa-based Williams Cos. in a $37.7 billion merger deal. Energy Transfer Equity LP will pay $43.50 per share, a 4.6 percent premium to Williams' Friday closing price of $41.60. Williams' stockholders can choose shares of Energy Transfer Equity affiliate Energy Transfer Corp., cash or a combination of both. Williams' stockholders will also receive a one-time special dividend of 10 cents per share that will be paid immediately before the acquisition closes.

  • Superintendent Joy Hofmeister describes educational initiatives at Sand Springs meeting

    BY NOUR HABIB, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Sep 25, 2015

    SAND SPRINGS — State Superintendent of Education Joy Hofmeister spoke to a crowd of about 75 people at a Sand Springs Parent Action and Advocacy Team meeting Thursday evening. “We want to champion excellence at the state department, and when we think about that, we think about ensuring that all kids in Oklahoma have a high-quality education, and one that leads to success for them,” Hofmeister said. “And I think we get there by having leadership, engagement, and inspiring service.” Hofmeister said that goal will be reached through three initiatives in her department: to build a culture of trust and respect, to work toward academic excellence, and to create capacity at the state, district and classroom levels.

  • City of Tulsa could pay in excess of $1 million in wrongful conviction lawsuit

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Sep 25, 2015

    A settlement from the city of Tulsa could exceed $1 million for a former Tulsa man who was wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years and later cleared of wrongdoing.  City officials are set to meet Federal Magistrate Judge T. Lane Wilson in court on Tuesday to discuss the case of Sedrick Courtney, who was exonerated based on newly discovered DNA evidence. Courtney, who now lives in Stephens County, filed a federal suit against the city in June 2014 alleging city officials used manufactured evidence to convict him of robbery and burglary and then obstructed his exoneration efforts while in prison and on parole. Courtney, 42, was convicted of robbing a woman at her Tulsa apartment in February 1996 and was sentenced to 60 years in prison, but he was paroled in 2011.

  • OHP: Woman Hit, Killed After Jumping Out Of Ambulance On Sand Springs Highway

    Published: Fri, Sep 25, 2015

    SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a woman is dead after she was hit by a car after she had jumped out of an ambulance in Sand Springs early Friday. Troopers said the 1 a.m. incident happened just west of the Sand Springs Expressway interchange with South 49th West Avenue. The OHP says EMSA was transporting the woman to the hospital when it pulled onto the shoulder and stopped after the woman starting fighting with paramedics.  Troopers said as they radioed for help, the woman jumped out and ran across the eastbound lanes and was crossing the westbound lanes when she was struck by a car.

  • Family of former doctor who molested daughter upset he is leaving prison early

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Sep 24, 2015

    The family of a former Tulsa physician who was convicted of molesting his daughter is upset that he is being released next week, having served 85 percent of his sentence. James Loerke, 58, is scheduled to be released from the Crabtree Correctional Center in Helena on Tuesday, according to a victim’s information network. His  daughter, Bethany Loerke, has spoken publicly  about the crime and has used her experience to encourage other victims to come forward. Now a young adult, she has written a children’s book distributed through the Justice Center to help young victims through trauma. “I thought I had another year to prepare and get ready, so it’s thrown me for a loop, as you can imagine,” she said. “I’m dealing with it as best I can. You can’t stop what’s about to happen, so I’m going to hunker down and get through it.”

  • Internal audit of Tulsa County reserves deputies found more than half to be missing records

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Sep 24, 2015

    An internal audit of the files of Tulsa County Sheriff's Office reserve deputies found more than half to be missing mandatory training hour records and yearly firearms qualifications, as well as nine advanced reserves who hadn't met minimum service hour requirements. The 13-page records audit noted 64 of 112 reserves were missing or hadn't met the aforementioned requirements in at least one or more of the reviewed years. The audit was released Thursday by the Sheriff's Office and spanned records from 2008 through 2014. A document released last week by the Sheriff's Office indicated all but three of the reserves rectified deficiencies in their files before a September deadline by submitting documents they kept, while eight others were listed as resigning. The three who remained deficient but not resigning were to be asked to resign.

  • $23K spent on legal costs in Tulsa sheriff's failed efforts to block grand jury petition

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Sep 24, 2015

    Sheriff Stanley Glanz's office so far has a bill of $23,000 in his unsuccessful fight to stamp out a grand jury petition seeking his ouster, according to the latest figures released Thursday. And the total cost will climb after more billings for hearings and other wranglings are available that aren't accounted for in current documents. The invoice is the second turned over by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office after open records requests by the Tulsa World. The two billings statements from the law firm of McDonald McCann Metcalf & Carwile total $23,253.

  • Oklahoma teacher shortage: State board approves 157 more emergency certificates

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Updated: Thu, Sep 24, 2015

    In response to the statewide teacher shortage, the Oklahoma State Department of Education on Thursday announced the launch of a task force and received board approval for 157 more emergency teaching certificates to allow applicants who haven’t completed basic higher education and training requirements to enter the classroom right away. After the board already approved 685 emergency certificates in July and August, the new total for the year comes to 842. That figure now surpasses the 825 emergency certificates issued over the previous four years.

  • Sluggish hotel occupancy predicted in Oklahoma City

    BY STEVE LACKMEYER Business Writer slackmeyer@oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, Sep 24, 2015

    The drop in oil prices is expected to impact Oklahoma's hotel industry in 2017. The industry is set to see supply growth in Oklahoma City, but occupancy is predicted to be sluggish amid a slowing market

  • Report: Williams Cos. board to consider revised offer as early as this week

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Sep 23, 2015

    Williams Cos. board of directors could meet as early as this week to consider a revised offer from Energy Transfer Equity, according to an exclusive report from  Reuters  on Wednesday. The article states that ETE has changed its original all-stock offer to buy Williams. Under the new deal, ETE would pay for about 15 percent of the Tulsa-based pipeline company in cash. Reuters reported that its anonymous sources are cautioning that the exact amount of cash the deal could include is still being negotiated.

  • Tulsa sheriff testifies; attorney says what he heard indicates 'no one did anything wrong'

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Sep 23, 2015

    Sheriff Stanley Glanz testified Wednesday for about three hours to the grand jury investigating operations of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. Glanz, who was represented by Tulsa attorney Scott Wood, had no comment to media members. Instead, Wood fielded questions, stating the sheriff was "happy to assist the grand jury" and to "clear the air." Generally speaking, Wood said subject matter of the questioning already has been reported in the media. He said "a lot was devoted" to events involving the 2009 internal investigation that was leaked to media and contained allegations of falsified records, intimidation of subordinates and special treatment.

  • Elementary-school counselor suspended with pay during investigation

    BY STACY RYBURN, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Sep 23, 2015

    A counselor at Columbus Elementary School in Tulsa has been suspended with pay while the district conducts an investigation following her most recent arrest. Lana Anita Hesley, 53, of Skiatook was arrested Sept. 17  and booked into the Osage County Jail on complaints of domestic abuse and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, according to records online. The Skiatook Journal reported  that Hesley allegedly tried to hit her husband with an ice-cream scoop before grabbing a butcher's knife and choking and threatening him.

  • Donut fundraiser for Special Olympics is Saturday in Oklahoma City and Tulsa

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Wed, Sep 23, 2015

    Donations for the Special Olympics will be collected at donut shops in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The event is sponsored by the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Torch Run.

  • Tulsa woman wakes up to find stranger standing by her bed; suspect arrested

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Sep 22, 2015

    An alleged burglar was arrested after a woman told police she woke up in the middle of the night and saw him standing at the end of her bed. Officers responded to a report of a burglary in progress at the Knollwood Apartments in the 1000 block of South 107th East Avenue around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday. Police learned a man had broken into an apartment unit, which was occupied by two adults and three children, and stole several items. The woman told police that after seeing the burglar, she yelled for him to leave, and he fled through the front door without incident, police reported.

  • Man celebrating birthday learns he was shot twice after arriving home

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Sep 22, 2015

    A Tulsa man arriving home late Monday after a heavy night of drinking soon came to  realize that he had been shot in the shoulder and buttock, according to police. The man said he and his brother had been at Sharky's Pool Hall near 35th Street and Peoria Avenue to celebrate his birthday. During the festivities, the brothers decided they were too intoxicated and called a friend to take them home. The group stopped at a Taco Bell restaurant down the street before proceeding home, police said. During the ride, they reportedly heard several "popping" noises on Interstate 44. The man in the passenger seat later said he saw a maroon Toyota Camry exiting the highway but was unsure whether it was related to the noise.