• Oklahoma's private prisons operate in secrecy, advocacy group says

    BY CARY ASPINWALL, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Feb 24, 2014

    Taxpayers fund the operations of private prisons in Oklahoma, just as they do state and federal ones — but they largely don’t have access to the same information and records about those private facilities. According to a report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, private prisons avoid greater public scrutiny because they are not subject to the same federal Freedom of Information Act and state open records law requirements as government-run prisons. "We find ourselves unable to develop any information about these facilities," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW. "They can hide under the rug civil rights violations, how prisoners might be harmed or have died, or employment issues or understaffing. There's sort of nothing they can't hide." Read the rest of this story and a copy of the report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Oklahoma City broker deals single-tenant, net lease sales all over

    BY RICHARD MIZE | Updated: Sat, Feb 22, 2014

    Will Lightfoot, a broker with CB Richard Ellis-Oklahoma, is one of a handful of brokers in Oklahoma specializing in the niche property market. Such deals often underlie the development of Taco Bell, Jack in the Box and other national restaurants, as well as drug stores and other retail and service store chains.

  • Oklahoma news briefs for Feb. 22

    | Updated: Fri, Feb 21, 2014

    Oklahoma news briefs for Feb. 22

  • Tulsa basketball player investigated on suspicion of sexual assault

    Published: Fri, Feb 21, 2014

    ESPN reports that University of Tulsa senior guard Pat Swilling Jr. has been accused of raping a fellow student, according to details from a protection order granted this week. Police said Friday they are investigating. Last week, the university said Swilling was suspended from the team, but did not say why, pending a university disciplinary review. A protection order filed Tuesday in Tulsa County Court accuses Swilling of raping a woman at his apartment on the evening of Jan. 27. A Tulsa police spokeswoman said Friday that the department is investigating allegations against Swilling but offered no further details.

  • 'Science Guy' Bill Nye speaks to thousands at OSU about changing the world

    BY MURPHY MITCHELL, Tulsa World | Updated: Fri, Feb 21, 2014

    The man charged with capturing the imaginations of children during the '90s made a visit to Oklahoma State University's campus to talk to thousands about science Thursday night.

  • Passenger injured while vomiting out of vehicle window

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Updated: Thu, Feb 20, 2014

    A Chouteau man is hospitalized in serious condition after his head struck a mailbox as he attempted to throw up through the window of a moving vehicle, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. The incident occurred about 8 p.m. Wednesday on County Road 320 in Wagoner County, OHP said. Troopers reported that Brandon Rodgers, 23, a passenger in a vehicle traveling southbound stuck his head out of the window to vomit and collided with a steel mailbox.

  • Bill to allow handguns at state Capitol advances from committee

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    Handguns would be allowed in the state Capitol under a bill passed Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee. Author David Derby, R-Owasso, said House Bill 2672 would allow "law-abiding citizens" to "express their Second Amendment rights" by carrying properly licensed guns with them in the Capitol. Asked if that meant guns could be carried onto the House floor, Derby said, "If the House rules allow it." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • American Airlines not laying off 400 in Tulsa this year but asking for retirements, changed shifts

    BY KYLE ARNOLD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    American Airlines has taken its projected 400 layoffs at the Tulsa maintenance base off the table for this year, but will ask for voluntary retirements and shift work to weekends, the company reported Wednesday. American Airlines announced that it will bring in MD-80s for rib checks and take brand new Boeing 737 aircraft for acceptance work to help avoid involuntary layoffs at the plant this year. “As we’re revitalizing our fleet and completing several aircraft modification incentives in anticipation of American’s changing operational needs, we continue to collaborate with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to find ways to mitigate any potential labor surplus in Tulsa and at the Alliance Airport maintenance base (Dallas),” said a statement from American Airlines. “These efforts to rebalance operations through work schedules and workload will ensure that the impact to our Tulsa and TAESL operations remains minimal.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Oklahoma man faces federal charge of pointing laser at police helicopter

    By DAVID HARPER & DYLAN GOFORTH, Tulsa World | Updated: Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    A Tulsa man was charged Tuesday with aiming a laser pointer at a Tulsa Police Department helicopter Saturday night.

  • Tulsa Shock's Skylar Diggins Featured In Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

    Published: Wed, Feb 19, 2014

    Basking on a sun-drenched beach for Sports Illustrated photographers, South Bend’s Skylar Diggins added another unique chapter to her growing legacy, according to SouthBendTribune.com. An All-American point guard for Notre Dame and one of the rising entrepreneurs in the Jay-Z and Roc Nation family, Diggins has now joined the elite ranks of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. She is featured in the magazine’s 50th edition of the cultural icon, which hit news stands on Tuesday. "Such an amazing honor to join so many wonderful, beautiful women in#SISwim50!” Diggins tweeted to her more than 441,000 Twitter followers.

  • Arizona father arrested on child abduction complaint in Oklahoma

    | Updated: Tue, Feb 18, 2014

    Arizona man wanted on a child abduction complaint was arrested in Oklahoma on Monday. The father of the 11-year-old girl from Missouri was arrested in Oklahoma City where the girl was found with him safe.

  • City of Tulsa to cut health insurance subsidies to police, fire retirees

    BY KEVIN CANFIELD, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Feb 18, 2014

    In another effort to cut costs, the city of Tulsa has informed retired police and firefighters that it will no longer subsidize their health insurance effective July 1. The city has subsidized the (health care programs) for some time," said City Manager Jim Twombly. "As we look at out budgets going forward, this is something we feel we can cease. "It does change the economics for employees, but the main thing is the insurance is still available." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Baby tortoises hatch at the Tulsa Zoo

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT | Updated: Tue, Feb 18, 2014

    The Tulsa Zoo on Monday announced the hatching of nine Aldabra tortoises, becoming the first zoo to successfully breed the species more than once.

  • Oklahoma pharmacy won't sell drug for inmate's execution

    Published: Tue, Feb 18, 2014

    An Oklahoma pharmacy has agreed not to provide Missouri with a made-to-order drug for an inmate's execution scheduled for later this month, according to court documents filed Monday. The Associated Press reports the Apothecary Shoppe, of Tulsa, will not prepare or provide pentobarbital or any other drug for use in Michael Taylor's execution. The documents ask a judge to dismiss the case that Taylor's lawyers had filed against the pharmacy seeking to stop it from providing the execution drug. Taylor's attorney, Matt Hellman, said that as part of the deal, the pharmacy acknowledged it has not already provided any such drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections for the execution, which is scheduled for Feb. 26, the AP reports.

  • Same-sex marriage laws, religious business owners on collision course

    BY BILL SHERMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Feb 17, 2014

    Oklahoma may soon join a growing number of states where same-sex marriage laws and religious liberty concerns are on a collision course. A federal judge's ruling last month that Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional raises questions that eventually will need to be addressed by lawmakers and judges. If the ruling is upheld, will a church that rents its facilities to the public for weddings be allowed to turn down a gay or lesbian wedding? Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Boren decries Fallin's proposed funding cuts for higher education

    BY KIM ARCHER, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Feb 17, 2014

    University of Oklahoma President David Boren is decrying the governor's proposal to again cut higher education funding and is urging Oklahoma residents to raise their voices to stop further reductions. He became more troubled when Gov. Mary Fallin also proposed cutting the state income tax by a quarter of a percent to 5 percent during her State of the State speech two weeks ago, a move that would further reduce education funding. "We should start asking what kind of state do we want to be? Who are we as a people? I don't think we want ignorance and lack of opportunity to be our legacy," he said. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Baby siamang born at Tulsa Zoo

    Published: Mon, Feb 17, 2014

    TULSA (AP) — An endangered siamang has been born at the Tulsa Zoo. A siamang is a primate native to rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia. The Tulsa Zoo says a female siamang named Sophie gave birth to a baby on Feb. 10. It’s the first siamang to be born at the Tulsa Zoo in 23 years and the 14th siamang birth since the zoo began exhibiting the species in 1968. The baby siamang’s sex is not yet known. It will remain in an off-exhibit with its parents as they continue to bond. Siamangs spend most of their time in trees and the arboreal siamang is listed as endangered because of the destruction of forests in their home ranges.

  • Cancer-stricken golden retriever garners more Facebook friends, donations

    BY TIM STANLEY, Tulsa World | Updated: Mon, Feb 17, 2014

    One of the side effects of his condition is that Platty can't stop smiling. With the tumor, his mouth is more or less fixed that way. But chances are good, say his friends, that the happy-go-lucky golden retriever would be smiling anyway. And in his fight to survive, he's inspiring plenty of smiles from others.

  • One person dies in early morning Oklahoma mobile home fire

    BY KENDRICK MARSHAL - Tulsa World | Updated: Mon, Feb 17, 2014

    One man is confirmed dead and another was transported to a local hospital early Monday following a mobile home fire. Tulsa firefighters were called about 4 a.m. Monday to a home in the 5500 block of East Oklahoma Street. Crews arrived at the scene to find smoke and flames shooting from the residence, Fire Capt. Stan May said. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Man jailed after reportedly throwing barbells at woman during fight

    by SAMANTHA VICENT World Staff Writer | Updated: Sat, Feb 15, 2014

    A Tulsa man is in custody without bond Saturday after officers alleged he physically assaulted a woman multiple times in front of two different children this week. On Wednesday, officers alleged Alfonso Gallegos, 37, got into a fight with the woman, choking her around her neck with both his hands. The woman’s 13-year-old son saw Gallegos throw the woman into their fireplace, and officers noted scratches and bruises on her neck, arms and legs, according to an arrest report.