Oklahoma News

Robert Bates, a former Oklahoma volunteer sheriff’s deputy who said he mistook his handgun for his stun gun when he fatally shot an unarmed suspect last year, is escorted from the courtroom following his sentencing at the courthouse in Tulsa, May 31, 2016
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Former Tulsa County reserve sheriff's deputy Robert Bates says he doesn't expect to survive his four-year prison sentence for fatally shooting an unarmed suspect during a sting operation last year.

Bates says he suffers from an enlarged heart, and that it's a "good possibility" he will die in prison. The 74-year-old former insurance executive was convicted in April of second-degree manslaughter for the April 2015 death of Eric Harris. He says he mistook his gun for his Taser.

Mick Cornett, the mayor of Oklahoma City, grew up there and saw the city he now leads rebound from the 1995 bombing of the Murrah federal building. He’s the incoming head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which meets in Indianapolis this weekend.

In a conversation with Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd, Cornett weighs in on how a city recovers from a terrorist attack, and describes the crisis facing virtually every mayor in the U.S.: how to pay for repairs to crumbling infrastructure like roads and bridges.

Mike McGrath speaks at the Myriad Botanical Gardens on April 21, 2016.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Native bees provide a valuable service to gardeners, and there’s no downside to giving them a welcoming home in the garden. That’s the message Mike McGrath, the host of public radio program You Bet Your Garden, brought during a presentation on April 21 at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City.

KGOU broadcast portions of McGrath’s presentation in coordination with International Pollinator Week, which runs June 20 to June 26.

Governor Delays Use Of Card Scanners

Jun 17, 2016
Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address Feb. 1, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin directed the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety to delay use of recently obtained portable card readers capable of freezing or seizing funds from prepaid debit cards.

In a media release distributed late Friday, Fallin’s office said the governor had directed her cabinet secretary of safety and security to postpone use of the devices until more thorough policies can be developed and more public education undertaken. She did not specify a time frame.

Chris Lane was murdered in Duncan, Oklahoma in August 2013.

An 18-year-old who was an accomplice in the murder of an Australian baseball player in Duncan, Oklahoma was sentenced to over a decade in prison.

Stephens County District Judge Ken Graham handed down a 25 year sentence to James Francis Edwards, Jr. on Tuesday. Ten years of his sentence was suspended, and Graham credited him with 3 years for time already served. Edwards will have 2 years of probation following his release.

A rendering of the pop culture museum in Tulsa.

The Oklahoma Historical Society has applied to possibly build the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in downtown Tulsa across from the ONEOK Field. The vacant lot, owned by the Tulsa Development Authority, is one of two publicly-known sites for the museum.

Bob Blackburn, the director of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s, told The Tulsa World’s Curtis Killman the organization is considering all of the options.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

FBI agents raided a Norman bed-and-breakfast last week to look for evidence that the inn’s owners have been holding a Cambodian woman as an indentured servant.

The Cambodian woman works at Whispering Pines Inn, and her employers have allegedly subjected her to mental abuse and coerced her into giving up a child for adoption, according to a report by Brianna Bailey in The Oklahoman.

Rally goers greeted each other with hugs at the Freedom Oklahoma offices in Oklahoma City on June 12, 2016.
Paige Willett Lough / KGOU

Freedom Oklahoma held a candle light vigil for the victims of the Orlando, Florida shooting Sunday evening at their offices in Oklahoma City. The state’s LGBT advocacy organization welcomed about 500 people to the event.

Peggy Johnson opened the vigil with a song and was followed by local religious leaders, legislators and gay community advocates speaking about peace, healing and love. The June 12th shooting in Orlando comes during Pride Month, and Freedom Oklahoma director Troy Stevenson said that has not been lost on the people in attendance.

Tate Publishing & Enterprises at 127 Trade Center Terr. in Mustang.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Tate Publishing, a Christian book and music publisher based in Mustang, Oklahoma, is facing a lawsuit from Xerox. The printing company alleges Tate owes over $1.7 million.


Xerox and Tate have been working together since about 2003, and Xerox helped Tate increase their printing operation.


Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has purchased several devices capable of seizing funds loaded on to prepaid debit cards to aid troopers in roadside seizures of suspected drug-trafficking proceeds.

The portable card scanners are designed to be carried in law enforcement vehicles, allow troopers to freeze and seize money loaded onto a prepaid debit card, and to return money to an account whose funds were seized or frozen.