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Latest from Bert Williams

    A pro-law enforcement rally is taking place until 5 PM today (Tuesday) at the Tulsa County Courthouse. The rally is organized by LESMA, the Law Enforcement Supporters for Media Accountability, a group that wants to raise awareness to the challenges faced on a daily basic by police officers everywhere. The rally attracted a small crowd of supporters who displayed signs saying Back the Blue and All Lives Matter. The rally took place at the same time Al Sharpton was scheduled to appear at the Greenwood Cultural Center. A third rally is scheduled for 6 PM at the Jazz Hall of Fame.
  • Three rallies are scheduled in Tulsa Tuesday in response to the officer-involved killing of Terence Crutcher. At 1 PM Law Enforcement in Support of Media Accountability will hold a rally at the courthouse in support of law enforcement and Officer Betty Shelby, who has been charged with felony manslaughter in connection with Crutcher’s death. Another rally is taking place near City Hall where Al Sharpton will be in attendance. A third event will be held at the Jazz Hall at 6 PM this evening. KRMG will attend all three events. Tune in to the KRMG Evening News with Dick Loftin at 5 PM.
  • Two women and a man were killed early Saturday morning in a car-motorcycle accident on hiway 75 north at 96th St north, Owasso. Police say the car was driving southbound in the northbound lane of highway 75. The car hit the motorcycle head-on. A man and a woman on the motorcycle both died at the scene. One woman in the car also died Two more people were taken to the hospital, one of them in critical condition. Both lanes of highway 75 northbound were closed for over five hours this morning as police investigated the accident.
  • Area restaurants love Valentine's Day. Many say it's the single biggest day of the year, accounting for up to eight percent of all of their business for the month of February. Jason Scarpa, owner of Main Street Tavern and The Rooftop Restaurant in downtown Broken Arrow, says business doubles on the Day of Love. Jennifer Sohl, Polo Grill manager says they are already full for Saturday night and have a waiting list for cancelations. The Grill has also opened up Friday night for reservations in case you want to get started early. Broken Arrow Charleston's manager Allison Cotner expects that since the holiday falls on Saturday this year, even Thursday will be a big day for them. Valentine's Day menu items at Charleston's will include filet and shrimp with dessert included. Main Street will ofer a special once-a year menu with your choice of a filet, pork chop, or sea bass for $75 per couple. The Rooftop will offer salad, dessert, and your choice of three pasta plates for $40 per couple. The Polo Grill will serve a 5 oz. filet and a 5 oz. lobster tail for $75 per plate. Call soon or you could be eating in... the dog house.
  • Tulsa's Annual Christmas Parade will get underway tomorrow night at 6 PM downtown. Organizers say it will be big. There will be four marching bands, one rock bad, and several floats including a Kermit the Frog float that is five stories high. A special appearance by the big man in the red suit is also scheduled. He'll be arriving by special transportation this year. The parade will start at 6th and Boston at 6 PM and 30,000 visitors are expected downtown. You can find out more about the 2014 Christmas parade at www.tulsachristmasparade.org.
  • Authorities are reporting a medical helicopter has crashed just a few blocks away from the hospital where it was transporting a patient this morning. The accident happened just before 2 AM in downtown Wichita Falls. The patient was killed in the crash. The pilot is in serious but stable condition in the Wichita Falls hospital. The two crew members were transferred to Parkland Hospital burn unit in Dallas and are in critical condition.
  • Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin today announced the creation of a Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity to link researchers with policy makers and energy industry experts. “Oklahoma has always had seismic activity,” said Fallin. “But the reality is, we are seeing more earthquakes today than we did several decades ago. It’s important we study this issue and have sound science that can inform decisions made in both the public and private sector. We can’t examine a complex issue like this in a vacuum; everyone needs to be at the same table andtalking.” The coordinating council will include input from public sector groups like the Oklahoma Geologic Survey, the Corporation Commission, and the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board; research institutions including the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University; industry groups like the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association; and state legislators.
  • (TULSA, Okla.) — Tulsa’s Young Professionals is partnering with the Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off next weekend to bring the Steak Cookoff Association’s U.S. Steak Championship to downtown Tulsa in a two-day steak, music and beer festival benefiting the Tulsa Zoo. The Aug. 22-23 festival, which also includes the sixth-annual Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off, will bring top steak cooks to compete in teams for the state and national championships. The event will feature Oklahoma’s largest steak dinner, live music, beer, a car show and numerous children’s activities in an area centered on Sixth Street and Cincinnati Avenue. In all, nearly 4,000 steaks — about two tons — will be cooked. For the general public, $20 admission includes steak and side dishes. More information about activities and advanced ticket sales can be found at www.oksteakcookoff.com.
  • A fireworks shell exploded on a trailer Friday night at Boomfest in Jenks. According to Jenks fire officials, fireworks were being launched near 96th St near the Jenks Riverwalk. One of the firwworks shells actually exploded on the ground which caused heavy smoke. No one was injured.
  • Senators Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe praised the Supreme Court ruling today upholding Hobby Lobby’s objections to providing contraceptives in their insurance plans. Senator Inhofe said, “The Green family has built a successful business based on principles that are rooted in their deeply held faith. Today the Supreme Court ruled to protect those principles and the religious liberties of private employers.” Senator Tom Coburn said, “The Supreme Court’s decision today is a victory for all Americans.  The Court wisely affirmed that it is wrong for the government to violate the freedom of conscience and religious liberties of American citizens.  Religious freedom is the foundation of all of our rights and that foundation was strengthened by today’s ruling.” Oklahoma based Hobby Lobby and Mardel’s objected to the provision of the Affordable Care Act that forces companies to provide abortion inducing contraceptives as part of the company’s health care plans. The Court split 5-4 on the decision.
  • Bert Williams

    bert.williams@coxinc.com

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  • On every Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to take some time and think about what you and your family are thankful for in 2017 – but at the same time, we may as well try to figure how Turkey Day is playing in political circles as well. In terms of political news, reporters on Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C. are currently going through an almost never-ending avalanche of stories, erupting daily (or even hourly) in what seems to be a high rate of speed in this new social media atmosphere. Let’s take a look at a few things on this Thanksgiving 2017: 1. Roy Moore – Roy Moore might be thankful for a lot right now, mainly a number of men in high profile positions in the Congress and the news media who have been ensnared in the recent swarm of news about sex. The latest person to hit the news – and take the focus off of Moore – is Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who had a nude photo of himself leaked on to social media by a woman he was once in a relationship with, which some say might be ‘revenge porn.’ No matter what the details might be of how this occurred, the Barton story is a reminder of the perfect piece of advice that my father gave as he dropped me off at the U.S. Capitol on my first day of work in 1980, when he told me that ‘They call it the House of Representatives for a reason” – members of Congress are no different from our neighbors and friends. Some are good. Some are bad. Some make bad choices along the way. Roy Moore is thankful for Al Franken, John Conyers, Joe Barton, Charlie Rose, and many others. Their stories keep Moore out of the headlines. So the count for today if I'm not mistaken is two more accusers against Al Franken, one more against John Conyers and a picture of Joe Barton's genitalia splashed across the Internet — Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) November 23, 2017 2. President Donald Trump. – Mr. Trump may be most thankful for political opponents like Hillary Clinton, who continues to be a Trump punching bag on Twitter. While many Inside the Beltway cringe at “Crooked Hillary” tweets, those missives continue to delight the President’s legions of fans, as it helps to keep the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee in the news. (While Mr. Trump is probably also thankful for sports figures like Lavar Ball, Steph Curry, Richard Sherman, and others, I’ll stick to the political arena.) Over the last year, this President has proven himself to be very adept at verbally smacking people on Twitter – whether you think it’s right or wrong for Mr. Trump to be doing that isn’t the point. The longer that President Trump can keep Hillary Clinton in the news, the better for him, and maybe the better for the Republican Party. Donald Trump is thankful that Hillary Clinton is still around. Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017 3. Tax lawyers and accountants. – Yes, Republicans say their tax reform plan will make the tax code simpler to deal with, and for some individuals, it would be easier to file your taxes under the plans envisioned in the House and Senate. But before you think that it’s going to change everything, a simple review of Congressional tax plans shows there will be plenty of work for people who need to explain the intricacies of the tax code, like tax lawyers and accountants. You don’t have to go very far into the GOP bills to feel confused about what’s being changed. Tax lawyers and accountants are thankful for the GOP tax reform bill. There will still be plenty of business for them, even if that bill becomes law. 4. Federal workers. All the talk for years from Republicans has been about making deep cuts in the budget of various federal agencies. On the campaign trail, President Trump promised much the same. But this first year of a combination of a GOP House & Senate, and the Trump Administration, produced almost nothing in terms of spending cuts and budget savings. Last week, the White House proposed $44 billion in (generic) budget savings to offset disaster aid for recent hurricanes – except it would come between 2025 and 2027, when Mr. Trump would be long gone from the White House. So, as they enjoy a big turkey dinner, federal workers can say ‘thanks’ that the Republican Congress and the President, as they really haven’t been able to wield a budget axe on the Executive Branch. Mr. Trump said before Thanksgiving that he would push for budget cuts in the next year. On Thanksgiving, President Trump visited a Coast Guard facility in Florida. Back in April, Mr. Trump wanted to cut over a billion from the Coast Guard budget. That didn’t make it through the Congress. Pres Trump to reporters 'Admin. Dept. heads will work next on spending cuts, welfare reform ('very shortly aftr taxes') & infrastructure' — AWPS NEWS llc (@AWPSNews) November 20, 2017 5. Politics at Thanksgiving. A year ago, the recent election of Donald Trump was a prime topic for many families, as a lot of Democratic voters were struggling to come to terms with President Trump’s election. Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2017, and it’s possible that a lot of those same people are still somewhat aggravated about the way things have gone in political circles after Mr. Trump’s first 10 months in office. And that leads me to believe that some of you will have a few things to say at the dinner table about President Trump, good and bad. Some will be saying “thanks” for the President – others, not so much. But it isn’t hard to argue over whether you should talk about politics at the table, eh? If you’re a republican having thanksgiving dinner with your democrat family, as you go around the table saying what you’re thankful for, I highly encourage you to say “the electoral college.” — Lord Single Malt (@Singlemaltfiend) November 22, 2017 My advice: Don't print anything out. Don't bring a chart to dinner. At Thanksgiving tell weird stories about when you were a kid to the kids and funny stories about loved ones no longer with us. Politics aren't that important. — Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) November 23, 2017
  • Just in time for Thanksgiving, more than 100 members of Oklahoma's National Guard arrived at the Broken Arrow Armed Services Reserve Center Wednesday night. KRMG's told the unit had been serving a six-month deployment in the Ukraine as part of a joint, multi-national training group. They also provided training support to Ukrainian forces. The soldiers were thrilled to see their friends and family. “I’ve been waiting for this feeling,” one soldier said.  “I’m proud of everything we did over there, but I’m happy to be home.” More soldiers from the unit are expected to return home over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to thank the soldiers in the comments.  
  • We have a beautiful day ahead of us for Thanksgiving. National Weather Service Meteorologist Bart Haake says we'll see plenty of sun on turkey day. “Skies will be mostly sunny today with highs in the middle 60s,” Haake said.   If you’re heading out shopping Thanksgiving night or just walking off the stuffing, Mother Nature won't be an issue.  NWS is reporting mostly clear skies and a low around 42 degrees.   We're going to see higher than normal temperatures in the Tulsa area for Black Friday. “The highs will be in the low to middle 70s,” Haake said.   That's around 12 degrees above normal for this time of year.
  • If the thought of spending hours in the kitchen on Thursday just doesn’t sound like a good use of your time, what with family all around and the prospect of Black Friday shopping beginning at 7 a.m. that day, there are a variety of restaurants that just may have the answer for you. Several chain restaurants and many local ones are open on Thanksgiving, with options ranging from dining in to carrying out to catering the whole affair. Important note: Not all restaurants listed below will be open on Thanksgiving or offer special deals. Some franchise restaurants of certain chains may be closed. It is important to call the restaurant closest to you to confirm the hours and deals. These restaurants are set to be open on Thanksgiving.
  • The city of Everett, Washington, ,” but the baristas are not backing down. The baristas are arguing that their skimpy costumes fall under freedom of expression.In recent court filings, the city claimed the coffee stands have a history of prostitution, sexual assault and exploitation. One of Everett's new laws requires the workers to wear a minimum of tank tops and shorts. It specifically applies to employees at 'quick service' restaurants, which also include fast food and food trucks. >> Read more trending news The other redefined the city's lewd conduct ordinance and created a new crime of facilitating lewd conduct. Both ordinances took effect in early September. But seven bikini baristas and the owner of a chain of the coffee stands called 'Hillbilly Hotties' sued the city to block the dress code in September, saying it's vague, unlawfully targets women, and denies them the ability to communicate through their attire.  KIRO-TV asked a constitutional law attorney about that argument.  “That is not a frivolous argument. One can see that this is conduct which may not be pure speech, but nevertheless is a conduct that does enjoy constitutional protections. The question is how much constitutional protection,” said constitutional law attorney Jeffrey Needle. The Everett City Council unanimously passed the ordinances in August but halted the ban while the case is in court.  A senior U.S. district court judge heard the arguments Tuesday in a federal Seattle court.