• Tulsa woman who won Supreme Court head-scarf case meets President Obama at White House dinner

    BY BILL SHERMAN, Tulsa World | Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    President Barack Obama had kind words Monday night for Tulsan Samantha Elauf, who sat at his table at a Muslim Ramadan Iftar dinner in the East Room of the White House. Elauf recently won a U.S. Supreme Court case that developed when the Woodland Hills Abercrombie & Fitch store denied her a job because she wears a head scarf mandated by her Muslim faith. "Our Iftar is also a reminder of the freedoms that bind us together as Americans, including the freedom of religion — that inviolable right to practice our faiths freely," Obama said, according to a White House transcript of his comments.

  • Former Tulsa police officer gets 33 months in prison for FOP embezzlement

    BY CURTIS KILLMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    A retired Tulsa police officer was sentenced Monday to two years and nine months in federal prison after pleading guilty earlier to embezzling more than $400,000 from the state and Tulsa fraternal orders of police. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gregory Frizzell sentenced Lorna Jean VanLandingham to prison after hearing requests from her attorney to grant her probation. VanLandingham, 71, pleaded guilty March 25 to two counts of wire fraud. She could have faced up to 40 years in prison and a fine of more than $940,000.

  • Tulsa woman arrested in fatal wreck involving 1920s Ford

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    A Tulsa woman was arrested on a manslaughter complaint after a man was killed in a two-vehicle accident on Sunday night, according to police. Gregory Bush, 68, was driving along East 51st Street near the South Harvard Avenue intersection about 8 p.m. when his 1920 Ford Model A was rear-ended by A 2007 Jeep Liberty driven by 41-year-old Whitney Wheeler, police said. Bush was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Investigators said alcohol played a role in the fatal crash.

  • Oklahoma on record earthquake pace, up 90 percent from over a year ago

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    The ground is trembling underneath the feet of Oklahomans at a record pace this year and by a wide margin, but the jury remains out on whether recent mitigation measures on injection wells will curtail the troubling trend. Through April 2015, the seismically active region centered in Oklahoma has notched 468 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater. That figure is a leap of nearly 90 percent more than the 248 temblors of that strength experienced in the first four months of 2014, which went on to become the state’s most seismically active year by far, with 997 quakes. The 2014 final figure was a leap of nearly 500 percent from 2013’s record total of 172 temblors of magnitude 3.0 or more.

  • Energy Transfer Equity's $53 billion bid for Tulsa-based Williams shows history, future of natural gas industry

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    Nearly four years ago, Energy Transfer Equity LP and Tulsa-based Williams Cos. were duking it out over their shared desire for buying Southern Union Co.'s natural gas pipeline system. Williams lost that battle, although the company has been on a successful buying spree since then. Now the two are squared off again, but this time it's Williams that ETE is trying to acquire. On Sunday, Williams revealed that it was exploring "strategic alternatives" after receiving an unsolicited takeover offer.

  • Just how American are OKC and Tulsa?

    Richard Hall | Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    Independence Day is coming, which means Americans across the world will celebrate our nation's sovereignty. But just how American is Oklahoma City and Tulsa? According to WalletHub.com, pretty American! They compiled a bunch of data about both city's ethnic makeup, household characteristics and educational attainment, and compared it to the reference value for the entire nation. Then they put together this nifty map detailing more than 380 cities: <iframe src="//d2e70e9yced57e.cloudfront.net/wallethub/embed/6109/geochart-resemble.html" width="556" height="347" frameBorder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe> <div style="width:556px;font-size:12px;color:#888;">Source: <a

  • Judge rejects Tulsa group's request to keep petition signatures private

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    A Tulsa County district judge has rejected a group's request to keep private the names of people who signed a petition in an effort to have a grand jury investigate the sheriff's office. District Judge Rebecca Nightingale denied a motion on Friday by We the People Oklahoma to seal the names of signatures gathered during a petition drive in recent weeks. The organization sought to have the signatures kept private because of fears of harassment of those who signed.

  • Second defendant convicted of murder in 2013 shooting of Papa John's truck driver sentenced to life

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    One of two 19-year-olds convicted of first-degree murder in the 2013 fatal shooting of a Papa John’s truck driver was sentenced to life in prison Friday in Tulsa County District Court. Frankie Jackson Jr. is sentenced to life in prison with possibility of parole after serving 85 percent, or 38 years, of his sentence, District Judge William LaFortune ruled Friday. The state dismissed Jackson’s additional charge of attempted robbery with a firearm. A jury convicted Jackson of first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a firearm on June 12.

  • Former Tulsa school security guard gets two consecutive life sentences for child sex abuse

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    A former security guard at a Tulsa high school was given two consecutive life sentences and three concurrent 25-year sentences on Friday for five counts of child sexual abuse against a female relative. Yvon Demesmin, 43, was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for two counts involving intercourse, with the second count running concurrently with three 25-year sentences for three counts involving various other sex acts. “That should protect the public,” District Judge William LaFortune told the court after reading the ruling.

  • Ginnie Graham: Woman on the $10 insult to our $20 request

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World columnist | Published: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    So, it's the $10 bill is it? That's half of what we asked for. Typical. Why not just create a $75 bill and put a woman on that? Or, does this mean the $10 is now worth about $7.75? Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Wednesday that a redesign of the $10 will move off Alexander Hamilton in favor of  yet-to-be named woman. Legally, Lew gets the final say.

  • Fans motivate Tulsa-area festival organizers to grow and adapt

    BY JERRY WOFFORD, Tulsa World | Updated: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    When it comes to festivals, Tulsa knows how to celebrate. With comedy, music, food, arts, beer and even video games, Tulsa has a festival to mark just about every occasion, with new events added each year. And lots of work goes on behind the scenes to keep these festivals alive and thriving. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Dallas' popular 'Truck Yard' wants to bring a similar concept to Tulsa

    BY MICHAEL OVERALL, Tulsa World | Updated: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    The team behind Dallas’ popular “Truck Yard” wants to bring a similar concept to Tulsa’s riverfront, proposing a $2.1 million development that would combine local food trucks with sit-down restaurants and bars.

  • Turmoil continues in Oklahoma Republican Party over Brogdon hire

    BY BARBARA HOBEROCK, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Turmoil continues within the Oklahoma Republican Party over a controversial hire by new party Chairman Randy Brogdon. Brogdon’s decision to place T.C. Ryan on the staff as political director caused controversy in some quarters of the GOP because of a domestic violence incident. Ryan pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation in Tulsa County District Court in 2012 for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor child and interference with an emergency telephone call, according to court records.

  • Tulsa-area foreclosures in May rise significantly from last year

    BY ROBERT EVATT, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Though fewer people in the Tulsa area faced foreclosure in May than in April, the overall level of foreclosures was significantly higher than last year. Approximately 484 foreclosures were filed in the metro area last month, according to statistics from real estate data service RealtyTrac. The resulting foreclosure rate of one for every 852 households was down 43.3 percent from the previous year, though up 58.7 percent from the previous May.

  • Full lineup released for Tulsa's Center of the Universe Festival

    BY JERRY WOFFORD, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    It’s finally here: All of the more than 110 bands set to play the Center of the Universe Festival next month have been announced. Organizers on Thursday released the lineup for the festival’s 10 club venues, featuring an additional 87 bands, bringing the total for the July 24-25 event to 113. About 50 of the club venue bands are Oklahoma natives with more bands coming to Tulsa from across the country.

  • Bond revoked for alleged corpse mutilator after she goes near home of deceased woman's family

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    Handcuffs returned to the wrists of a Tulsa woman accused of mutilating a corpse at a funeral home after a judge revoked her bond Wednesday. Tulsa County Special Judge Cliff Smith ordered Shaynna Lauren Sims, 26, who also goes by Shaynna Smith, to be held without bond after hearing evidence that, while free on bond, she went to the apartment complex where the family of the deceased person lives. Sims was first released from jail on bond May 12, and an additional $10,000 was added to her bail May 18, according to court documents. Sims was released on bond again June 1 on the conditions that she wear a GPS ankle monitor and not leave Muskogee County or enter Tulsa County except for medical appointments or similar emergencies.

  • Jail authority approves budget despite Tulsa mayors' opposition

    BY JARREL WADE, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    The Tulsa County Criminal Justice Authority on Wednesday approved next year's jail budget despite objections from three mayors who sit on the authority. A 40-page letter that reads like a lawsuit originated from Mayor Dewey Bartlett on Monday and was signed by three of the four mayors who sit on the authority, alleging a lack of oversight and misspending of funds attached to the jail should delay budget approval. But facing the beginning of the fiscal year in two weeks, Tulsa County Criminal Justice Authority members moved ahead anyway with guarantees from legal counsel that the budget may be changed at any time through the year.

  • Grand jurors can expand probe if petition to investigate Sheriff's Office is accepted

    BY COREY JONE | Published: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    Should a petition seeking to oust Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz be accepted as valid, grand jurors will be able to probe not only the 20 areas of inquiry listed in the petition but any other issues they might turn up. The petition — expected to be submitted by Friday — has gathered more than 6,000 signatures, according to Marq Lewis, founder of We the People Oklahoma and the petition’s organizer. The Court Clerk’s Office will send the document to the Tulsa County Election Board for verification within seven business days of its receipt. If the threshold of 5,000 verified signatures is satisfied, the petition will go to the Tulsa County District Court presiding judge for review before summoning prospective jurors within 30 days.

  • Cousins arrested after overnight homicide in north Tulsa; third suspect sought

    BY KYLE HINCHEY and KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Jun 16, 2015

    Two cousins were arrested on first-degree murder complaints after a 31-year-old man was found shot to death in a north Tulsa apartment early Tuesday, minutes after his wife called police to report a break-in. Brandy Jordan, 23, and Xavier Jordan, 22, were booked into the Tulsa Jail on Tuesday afternoon. Police were still searching for a third suspect, Jerrick Washington, 18, who lives in the same complex as the Jordans and the victim. Officers were called to the Comanche Park Apartments, 3608 N. Quaker Ave., about 2 a.m. by a woman who apparently ran from the apartment with her children — ages 1 and 5 — after a group of men broke in and shot her husband, Sgt. Dave Walker said.

  • Tulsa murder trial begins for alleged Universal Aryan Brotherhood members

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Jun 16, 2015

    Jury selection began Monday for the trial of two alleged Universal Aryan Brotherhood members who are charged in the 2013 fatal stabbing of a man in Tulsa. Ronnie Dean Haskins III, 41, is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of possession of a firearm as a felon in the fatal stabbing of 24-year-old Zachary Hank Montgomery on Aug. 31, 2013. Rodney Lee Broomhall, 38, is charged as an accessory to first-degree murder on an allegation that he “willfully and knowingly” aided Haskins by booking a motel room at the Economy Inn in Chouteau, where Haskins stayed immediately following the homicide.