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Doerflinger: Oklahoma must broaden its tax base

Doerflinger: Oklahoma must broaden its tax base

Oklahoma has shown signs recently that it has turned the corner after a sharp economic downturn, but State Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger warns that the underlying problems remain. “There’s so many good things occurring in this economy,” he told KRMG Wednesday, “but as far as the general revenue fund goes, which is what we use to fund state government, we’re not seeing the types of collections come into that that we need to as rapidly to really, really turn this thing - from a state funding standpoint - around.” And, he said, that’s because of a problem he and Gov. Mary Fallin have been talking about for years. We know many of the things that drive our economy today weren’t even in existence when our tax code was developed, many of the services that people utilize -- State Secretary of Finance, Administration, and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger Much of Oklahoma’s tax code was written in the 1930s, when Oklahoma’s economy was very different. The governor talked about taxing services at the beginning of the last legislative session, an idea that gained no traction whatsoever in the legislature. Doerflinger said what he and Fallin propose will not be easy. “We are talking about transforming the overall way we approach tax in this state,” he told KRMG. And he admitted that much of the opposition to that approach comes from within his - and the governor’s - own party.  “It’s always going to be a difficult proposition to get Republicans to realize that we’re talking about investment when we talk about taxes. I think the fundamental question that people are going to have to ask themselves, and specifically sitting members of the legislature - but the citizens too - is what type of state do we want to have? And are we going to invest in the things that are going to make our state better, more competitive, and be able to provide for the most vulnerable among us?”

Man shoots himself in heart with nail gun, drives to hospital

Man shoots himself in heart with nail gun, drives to hospital

Doug Bergeson is your typical construction worker, except he’s got a story that would make even the most hardened roofer shudder.  >> Read more trending news  The Peshtigo, Wisconsin man was working on a fireplace when his nail gun accidentally fired and a 3.5-inch nail sunk dangerously close to his heart. A graphic photo of the image shows just how disturbing the situation was. (Warning - Video has graphic images) Thankfully, Bergeson is back on his farm, but he had a close call. He had to undergo open heart surgery to remove the nail. He explained to WBAY “I was just bringing the nail gun forward and I was on my tip-toes and I just didn’t quite have enough room, and it fired before I was really ready for it, and then it dropped down and it fired again.” Rather than calling for help, Doug decided to take himself to the emergency room. He joked with WBAY, “I felt fine, other than a little too much iron in my diet.” Hospital staff at the Bay Area Medical Center decided to rush Doug to another medical center where cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Alexander Roitstein, was working. Roitstein was able to remove the nail but noted that “a wrong heartbeat [or] a wrong position” could have been the end for Doug. But he made it out all right and humbly admitted he “must have somebody watching over [him].”

Father charged in son’s overdose death

Father charged in son’s overdose death

An Ohio man has been charged in the fatal drug overdose of his 1-year-old son. Thirty-three-year-old Dorrico Brown, of Trenton, Ohio, was jailed Wednesday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in the death of Dorrico Brown Jr. Authorities say the man called 911 in May after finding his son on a bed not breathing. The baby was pronounced dead at a hospital. The Butler County Coroner's Office says tests showed the child died from a combination of drugs including oxycodone, an opioid, and anti-anxiety medication. It wasn't clear how the boy ingested the drugs. Court records don't indicate if Brown has an attorney.

Trump issues fresh warning to North Korea, says U.S. military is “locked and loaded”

President Donald Trump on Friday again warned North Korea not to attack American interests or allies, as Mr. Trump tweeted out photos of U.S. military forces on the Pacific island of Guam, aiming his remarks directly at the leader of the Pyongyang regime, Kim Jong Un, again saying that any military action by North Korea will meet with a swift and serious U.S. response.

“If he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that is an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it, and regret it fast,” the President said in a Friday afternoon [More]