• WalletHub ranks Tulsa No. 2 city nationally to start a business

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    Access to capital, quarters and encouragement apparently make Tulsa an ideal location for entrepreneurs. The city ranked as the second-best place in the U.S. to start a business, according to an analysis by financial website WalletHub released Monday. The report, which ranks 150 cities on factors such as access to resources and business environment, ranked Shreveport, Louisiana, at the top of the list. In the top five behind Tulsa were Springfield, Missouri; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Jackson, Mississippi. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Oklahoma teacher follows through on vow to not test first-graders, risks termination

    BY ANDREA EGER, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    Judgment day has come for a first-grade teacher who made national headlines in the fall for calling out Tulsa Public Schools on the use of high-stakes student surveys and tests. Skelly Elementary School’s Nikki Jones penned a blog on Monday about her final showdown with her superiors over the issue. “In January, they docked me for not giving the test. I got a second chance, and I didn’t give the test Monday, so they could terminate me,” Jones told the Tulsa World after school ended. “The retaliation began right away last fall from my principal and ILD (instructional leadership director).” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Tulsa reserve deputy Robert Bates boasts of connections in secret recording

    By SEAN MURPHY, AP | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    Embroiled in a legal battle over the sale of his insurance company, Robert Bates met a former colleague at a restaurant to discuss the court case over drinks. But Bates, the volunteer Tulsa County deputy now facing a manslaughter charge for shooting an unarmed suspect, did not know the 2012 conversation was being secretly recorded by his companion, Bryan Berman, the company’s new president. During the exchange, Bates boasted of his connections in the sheriff’s department and the U.S. attorney’s office and suggested he could make life miserable for the plaintiffs.

  • Former pastor sentenced to 23 years in lewd molestation case

    By AMANDA BLAND - Tulsa World | Updated: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    A district judge told a former Tulsa pastor convicted of lewd molestation that he found no reason to change a jury’s recommendation of 23 years in prison and sentenced him accordingly on Monday. The jury, which convened earlier this month, found 33-year-old Damien Keith Bonner Sr. guilty of two of nine molestation counts filed against him. He was convicted of having sex with a parishioner of Galilee Baptist Church, 721 E. Pine St., after he took over leadership of the congregation in 2013 when the girl was 14 to 15 years old. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Undersheriff Tim Albin resigns following release of report on Reserve Deputy Robert Bates

    By JARREL WADE - Tulsa World | Updated: Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz announced Monday the resignation of Undersheriff Tim Albin in the wake of documents released that allege Albin intimidated employees to elevate a reserve deputy in the program. "Given the gravity of the current situation ... he agreed that maybe it's time for a change," Glanz said. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Reserve Deputy Robert Bates' age, place on Violent Crimes Task Force questioned by expert

    By COREY JONES - Tulsa World | Updated: Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    Whether a 73-year-old Tulsa County reserve deputy ever should have been in a position to mistakenly kill an unarmed suspect is being debated nationally as well as locally, with one national policing expert telling the Tulsa World that Robert Bates’ involvement in a high-risk operation was inappropriate. Another expert, however, says the larger issue shouldn’t focus so much on the deputy’s age and reserve status as on whether he was adequately trained and mentally and physically capable of doing the job. Bates fatally shot Eric Harris on April 2 after Harris fled an undercover gun buy. Bates has said he inadvertently used his revolver on Harris instead of a Taser.

  • Listeria outbreak: Q&A with Oklahoma state epidemiologist

    By Jaclyn Cosgrove, Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Thus far, 10 people across four states, including one person in Oklahoma, have been sickened by several strains of Listeria after eating tainted Blue Bell ice cream products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

  • Fortune ranks Williams Cos. as No. 1 most admired U.S. energy company

    FROM TULSA WORLD STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Fortune magazine has ranked Tulsa-based Williams Cos. Inc. as the Most Admired Company among U.S. energy companies in 2015. "This award validates the strong commitment of our employees to focus on doing the right thing and propelling the company forward,” said Williams' CEO Alan Armstrong, in a written statement. “In the last four years, Williams has made great strides executing on our natural gas-focused business strategy, creating value for shareholders and building relationships in the communities where our employees live and work.” Companies considered for the Fortune lists were ranked on nine key attributes of reputation including innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment value, quality of products/services and global competitiveness. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Number of chronically homeless in Tulsa declines for third straight year

    BY MIKE AVERILL, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Tulsa has had a three-year decline in its number of chronically homeless, according to the Tulsa City-County Continuum of Care Point-in-Time Survey completed in 2015. Meanwhile, the number of situationally homeless has continued to increase, up 50 percent from the count done in 2008, the latest study found. The number of chronically homeless, defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as someone who has been continuously homeless for one full year or four times within the past three years and has a disability, surveyed during the count was 89, down from 99 last year and 114 two years ago, a 22 percent decrease. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Conspiracy theories fly around Tulsa's suddenly shuttered Wal-Mart

    BY ROBERT EVATT, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    From crime to labor issues to an intricate military coup of the entire United States, conspiracy theories are flying around the closed Wal-Mart supercenters in Tulsa and elsewhere. The official reason for the sudden closure of the store at Admiral Place and Memorial Drive last week was two years of plumbing issues which would take six months to fix. That was the same reason given for each of the four other Wal-Mart locations, which all closed at the same time with just a few hours' notice. The other stores are in Brandon, Florida; Pico Rivera, California; Midland, Texas; and Livingston, Texas. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Attorneys demand Tulsa County sheriff release report on 2009 investigation of reserve deputy

    BY JARREL WADE, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Attorneys for the family of the man slain when a Tulsa County Sheriff's Office reserve deputy mistook a gun for a Taser demanded the results of a prior internal investigation into the deputy, according to a statement released Thursday.  A CBS News report  Wednesday night alleged that a 2009 internal investigation by the Sheriff’s Office showed that reserve deputy and insurance company executive Robert Bates received preferential treatment from high-ranking officers and proof that he received proper training as a reserve was “questionable.” Bates is charged with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Eric Harris after an undercover gun buy April 2. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Judge assigned Eric Harris case weighs recusal because of ties to Sheriff's Office

    By COREY JONES - Tulsa World | Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    A Tulsa County District Court judge who is a former deputy sheriff in Tulsa County is weighing recusal after he was randomly assigned the Eric Harris fatal shooting case that has drawn national scrutiny. Judge James Caputo on Wednesday said no one has asked for his recusal. However, Caputo is pondering the possibility in an effort to do what is best for the case and community, which he said is important to him. “There’s a lot of perceptions out there, and I don’t want to be one of them,” he said by telephone with the Tulsa World. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • ​Tulsa Sheriff's Office had investigated Robert Bates in 2009

    Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    TULSA, Okla . -- CBS News has learned that a 2009 investigation by the Tulsa Sheriff's Office concluded that there were concerns over Robert Bates behavior in the field. Bates, a 73-year-old reserve deputy, pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of Eric Harris. Bates says he shot and killed Harris by mistake after pulling his gun instead of his taser. Since the incident there have been allegations that Bates was not properly trained. CBS News learned that in 2009, the Tulsa Sheriff's Office launched an internal investigation to find out if Bates received special treatment during training and while working as a reserve deputy. They also investigated whether supervisors pressured training officers on Bates' behalf. The investigation concluded Bates' training was questionable and that he was given preferential treatment.

  • Oklahoma attorney surrenders law license amid bar association probe

    BY CURTIS KILLMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    A Tulsa attorney has surrendered his law license, effectively halting an Oklahoma Bar Association probe into allegations involving his acceptance of over $1 million in gifts and loans from an elderly client. Jasen Elias, who also goes by the name Jasen Corns, surrendered his law license and resigned from the bar March 13, according to an Oklahoma Supreme Court order published April 11 in the Oklahoma Bar Journal. The resignation came about two years after a guardian for Elizabeth Stambaugh filed a complaint with the Bar Association claiming that Elias violated his professional duties and his oath as an attorney, records show. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Marilyn Manson visits Oklahoma skating rink

    Published: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    What did  Marilyn Manson  do this weekend? He just went roller skating in Oklahoma ... naturally. The goth rocker showed up at Skateland in Tulsa on Friday night, TMZ reports. Manson is in town filming a movie where he plays a hitman, and they were shooting at the rink. According to the manager, Manson's character wasn't in the scene, but he came along for the ride so he could get his skate on.

  • Baker Hughes laying off 3,500 more people to reach layoff total of 10,500 employees

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Oilfield services giant Baker Hughes is laying off another 3,500 employees companywide, bringing its total reduction to 10,500 people. Baker Hughes CEO Martin Craighead announced the deeper reduction during the Houston-based company's first-quarter earnings release Tuesday. An earlier layoff of 7,000 people was announced in January. "During the first quarter we took necessary actions to reduce our cost base and resize our footprint to mitigate current market conditions," Craighead said in a statement. "These actions include the closure and consolidation of approximately 140 facilities worldwide along with the idling or impairment of excess assets and inventory.

  • Man jailed after allegedly pulling gun during midtown road rage confrontation

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    A 24-year-old Tulsa man was taken into custody by Tulsa police after he was accused of pointing a gun at a motorist during a confrontation. Randy Glen Grutze, 24, was booked into the Tulsa Jail on a complaint of pointing a deadly weapon, jail records show. Officers were called about 6:25 p.m. Monday to the area of 15th Street and Yale Avenue after Grutze was accused by a motorist of pointing a gun at him after he inadvertently cut in front of Grutze's vehicle, police said. Read the rest of this story Tulsa World.com.

  • Tulsa police investigate shots fired into home of Legislature candidate

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    Police are investigating after someone fired shots at the north Tulsa home of a state House candidate. Jonathan Townsend, a member of the Young Adults Committee of the state’s NAACP branch and a candidate for the House District 73 seat, was at his home in the 3900 block of North Lansing Avenue with his girlfriend, mother, father and brother when he heard shots about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Charity Marcus, Townsend's campaign manager. Townsend said the home's occupants dived to the floor after a bullet entered the living room.  A second shot, he said, went through a bedroom window, narrowly missing his brother. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Oklahoma reserve deputy pleads not guilty in fatal shooting

    By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, AP | Published: Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    TULSA — A 73-year-old Oklahoma reserve deputy who fatally shot a suspect who was pinned down by officers on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to a second-degree manslaughter charge. Robert Bates declined to comment to reporters as he made his initial court appearance in Tulsa district court. His next court date is scheduled for July 2. The Tulsa County volunteer has said he shot Eric Harris on April 2 after confusing his stun gun and handgun. The 44-year-old suspect died after running from a sting operation involving gun sales. The district attorney charged Bates in the death after the sheriff’s office released video of shooting in which Bates is overheard apologizing for shooting the suspect.

  • Tulsa Jail breaks ground on pods for inmates with mental health needs, juveniles

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    A little upturned dirt signifies change for the Tulsa Jail, especially for those with mental health disorders. County commissioners, sheriff’s officials and a host of other dignitaries watched as ground was broken Monday on a jail addition that includes specially designed pods for people suffering from mental illness. “Nationally, jails have become the largest facilities for mental health institutions,” County Commissioner Ron Peters said. “We are dedicated to helping those with mental health issues improve.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.