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Latest from Michael Purdy

    You never know what you're going to find while diving in Oklahoma lakes and rock quarries.  On Sunday, two divers decided to brush up on their skills and explore a rock quarry in Lenapah.  During this time, they found five cars submerged. Nowata County deputies tell us a criminal investigation is underway.  “The way they were submerged and the years, make and model of the vehicles have us believing there is some criminal activity involved with them,” sheriff’s office said.  KRMG's told one of the vehicles was registered as far away as Texas. 
  • A 7th grade male student required stitches last week, after allegedly getting attacked by a female student. KRMG’s told the girl reportedly had scissors as a weapon.  Officials say the assault happened at Hale Junior High School last Thursday.  The victim's father explains what happened.   “The girl asked him to move, he moved, she scratched his arm,” the father said.  “He turned around and moved again and she stabbed him.” The student accused in the assault was immediately turned over to campus police and a police report will be sent to the district attorney's office.  The school district released a statement reading in part:    'Unfortunately, there are times when our kids might not make the best decisions in terms of how they behave – last week's incident between two 7th grade students at Hale Junior High School is one such example. After a verbal altercation, one student allegedly used a pair of scissors to cut the other student on the arm and on the back.
  • It's believed Tulsa officers may have stumbled upon an auto theft ring and a running chop shop on Monday.  Police say a reported stolen truck gave off a GPS signal that led officers to a location on North Richmond.  “We started running numbers on the vehicles and we found a stolen truck and a stolen motorcycle,” police said.   That’s not all.  They also found numerous car parts with scratched out or missing VIN markings or labels on them. Two unidentified suspects have been taken into custody.   Their charges will depend on what the ongoing investigation turns up.
  • A routine traffic stop early Sunday morning turned into a dangerous vehicle and foot chase. Everything started around 2:15 a.m., near Pine and Lewis. Oklahoma Highway Patrol say the driver took troopers on a vehicle pursuit until eventually crashing into a tree. From there, he took off on foot, leaving his passenger behind. A trooper caught up to him and a fight ensued.  During this time, the suspect’s gun fell to the ground.   With the help of Tulsa police, they were eventually able to subdue the suspect. OHP says the passenger was compliant.   As of early Sunday morning, no names have been released.  
  • It can be hard to be an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.   Tulsa police report an unidentified suspect was having trouble letting go and ended up shooting someone early Sunday morning.  The incident happened around 1 a.m., at the Normandy Apartments near 38th and Sheridan.   “Apparently, there was a disturbance between the old boyfriend and the new boyfriend,” police said.   The new boyfriend was transported to an area hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg.  His injuries are said to be non-life threatening.   Investigators at the scene were told this isn’t the first issue the suspect has caused.  As of early Sunday morning, he’s still on the loose.  
  • A group of Tulsa firefighters are being called heroes, after they rescued five people from a van that had crashed into a ditch Saturday morning. Officials tell us the driver missed a turn on Highway 169 at the BA.  When crews arrived, the vehicle was filling up with water. One of the passengers we spoke to says the firefighters were truly brave. “I’m thankful.  I’m very thankful,” the passenger said.  “We could have died, I guess.” KRMG's told the crew used a ladder, life jackets and ropes to rescue to occupants.
  • It has been a long weekend for Oklahoma legislatures.   However, a rare weekend session doesn't seem to be helping them find ways to close a nearly $880 million budget hole. KRMG's told one sticking point during negotiations was a proposal by Democrats.  They want to increase the gross production tax on oil and natural gas wells. The oil and natural gas industry and some Republican leaders don’t like that plan.  They state too much of a tax increase could prompt companies to drill in other states. For reference, lawmakers must pass revenue-raising measures by Sunday.  If not, a special session needs to be called to complete work on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
  • The Broken Arrow Warren Theatre is getting sold. Owner Bill Warren announced the chain's other six locations will also be sold to Regal Entertainment Group.  There is another Warren Theatre in Oklahoma, located in Moore.   For reference, Promenade Palace 12 in Tulsa is also owned by Regal Entertainment. So far, details regarding the sale have not been released.  KRMG will update the story as more information comes into the newsroom.  
  • A man is dead and another is in custody, following a homicide in Tulsa Saturday night. The fatal shooting happened at the Mohawk Manor Apartments, near East 36th Street North and Lewis. So far, the circumstances behind the shooting have not been released.  However, police did  say it didn't take very long to find the suspect. “Gang units spotted somebody running to the east,” police said.  “Confirmed by a witness, that was our suspect.” As of early Sunday morning, no names have been released.  
  • Temperatures are going to be running below normal in the Tulsa area this week. National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Plate explains. “For this time of the year, the normal highs climb up into the 80’s,” Plate said.   However, this week, the Tulsa area will see highs in the mid and low 70s.  Plate adds we could see temperatures in the 80s by next weekend. For reference, the average low for this time of year is right around 60 degrees.   
  • Michael Purdy

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  • While some of the plans proposed in President Donald Trump’s $4.1 trillion budget for 2018 seem unlikely to be approved by the Congress, the document sets out a unique road map of how the Trump Administration views a variety of functions within the federal government, and what items the White House would like to get rid of – big and small. Here are eight things you might have missed in the fine print of the 2018 Trump budget: 1. An effort to close down excess military bases. The Trump budget includes a provision to start a round of military base closures in 2021, an idea that is sure to draw strong opposition, despite clear evidence that the military has too much overhead and infrastructure. Lawmakers have routinely rejected such efforts in recent years, with some still simmering about the impact of past base closure rounds – especially the last one in 2005. “The Department of Defense (DOD) has approximately 20 percent excess infrastructure capacity across all Military Departments,” the budget argues. While it may make sense to some, the odds are probably stacked against this provision in the Congress. File this under 'things that will go nowhere.' Trump's Pentagon budget proposes a BRAC, @LeoShane writes. https://t.co/xnvAv755VV — Valerie Insinna (@ValerieInsinna) May 23, 2017 2. End funding for public broadcasting. For a number of years, Republicans have pushed to reduce the amount of money that the feds put into public broadcasting, and President Trump’s plan would do away with almost all the $484 million being spent this year on such activities, leaving $30 million to wind down operations. The White House argues that PBS and NPR ” could make up the shortfall by increasing revenues from corporate sponsors, foundations, and members.” As with the effort to close down military bases, the odds would seem to be against this – but Congress will have the final say. As expected, Trump's budget calls for zeroing out funding for public broadcasting, arts and humanities. https://t.co/79EO9ZOeJM — Ted Johnson (@tedstew) May 23, 2017 3. When is a Medicaid cut not a Medicaid cut? I have always tried to be very careful about using the term “cut” – because too often, there are not budget cuts, but just reductions in the level of increase in a program. Let’s look at Medicaid in the President’s 2018 budget as an example: If you look at this graphic, you will see how the President’s budget would save $610 billion by reforming Medicaid. The second set of figures is the “baseline” for Medicaid – where spending would go without any changes. That says $408 billion would be spent on Medicaid in 2018, ending up at $688 billion in 2027. The bottom graphic is the Trump proposal, which has Medicaid at $404 billion in 2018 and $524 billion in 2027. “There’s not cuts at all,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). “It’s a matter of slowing the growth rate.” Yes, the Trump plan would spend less money than current built-in automatic growth rate, but the overall amount still goes up over the ten year budget. 4. But those are real cuts at CDC and NIH. One of the areas with some of the strongest bipartisan support is on medical research at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. And so, when the numbers came in on Tuesday, there was a bipartisan negative reaction on cuts to NIH and CDC. NIH funding would be reduced by from $31.8 billion to $25.9 billion. CDC’s budget would go down $1.2 billion, a 17 percent cut. It’s a pretty good bet that lawmakers will not approve those cuts suggested by the President. The former head of the CDC expressed his displeasure: Proposed CDC budget: unsafe at any level of enactment. Would increase illness, death, risks to Americans, and health care costs. — Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFrieden) May 23, 2017 5. Still few details on funding infrastructure plan. For months, the President and his top aides have talked about a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to build new roads and bridges in the United States. There was a fact sheet released by the White House, setting out some ideas, like rolling back regulations on how infrastructure projects are developed, but no new pot of money to fund $200 billion in seed money. “Providing more federal funding, on its own, is not the solution to our infrastructure challenges,” the White House noted. One of the few ideas offered was to allow states to levy tolls on interstate highways, and allow private companies to run rest areas. The Trump plan reduces spending from the highway trust fund by $95 billion over ten years. 6. Farm country not pleased with Trump budget details. If you had an infrared heat detector just off the Senate floor today, you might have seen the steam coming from the ears of Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Speaking with reporters, Roberts – well known for his dry wit – suggested the White House needs to make its budget writers count to 60 multiple times every day – to remind them that 60 votes would be needed for major farm policy spending changes. The Trump plan would save $38 billion over 10 years by limiting crop insurance subsidies and eligibility, streamlining conservation programs and more. Outside groups quickly made their voices heard on the proposed changes as well. It is hard to imagine these plans becoming law. The time and place to debate farm bill programs is during the #farmbill, not the annual budget. #Budget2018 — NCGA Public Policy (@NCGA_DC) May 23, 2017 7. Legal Services Corporation again on the chopping block. One of the first debates that I distinctly remember from my first summer on Capitol Hill in 1980 was an effort to cut money from the non-profit Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal aid to low income Americans. The LSC budget is $384 million for this year, and under the Trump plan, would be cut down to around $30 million, to allow for operations to be terminated. Again, this is another budget cut that seems unlikely to be approved, as GOP lawmakers, like Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), are already saying they oppose such a plan. I support funding of @LSCtweets. #READ why it's important via @daytondailynews: https://t.co/VZL37GU0CL — US Rep. Mike Turner (@RepMikeTurner) May 20, 2017 8. Trump wants to sell D.C. drinking water authority. Created by Congress in 1859, the Washington Aqueduct brings drinking water to Washington, D.C., and parts of the Virginia suburbs. While the drinking facilities operate under the auspices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the water customers pay for all the operation and maintenance costs, as well as any improvements. Why does the White House want to sell this? “Ownership of local water supply is best carried out by State or local government or the private sector where there are appropriate market and regulatory incentives,” the budget documents state. It’s not clear how the feds estimated that selling the authority would bring in $119 million for Uncle Sam. Very proud to be your public servants! pic.twitter.com/BEOQXuYhmu — Washington Aqueduct (@WAqueduct) May 8, 2017 If you want to read more of the details about the Trump 2018 budget, you can find those on the White House website.
  • How much are the biggest tech companies worth? Try looking at the entire Chicago skyline. Just for comparison's sake, MarketWatch says Bank of America/Merrill Lynch looked at Apple's market value and Chicago's GDP and found that Apple has a value of $803 billion, while Chicago's GDP is 'only' $581 billion. In fact, Google with $654 billion also surpasses the Windy City. Both companies may eventually catch Los Angeles, which has a GDP of $832 billion. But the Big Apple lives up to its name, New York City with a GDP of more than $1.4 TRILLION. You can read more from MarketWatch here.
  • After a bomb detonated at a concert in Manchester, England, killing and injuring dozens, KIRO-TV asked a retired FBI agent what he thinks about and prepares for at large events.  >> Read more trending news  Retired FBI agent David Gomez said people should think about the following before attending a concert, sporting event or large gathering:  1. Don’t push through crowds to exit at the end of the show. While many fans are eager to beat the traffic, Gomez said he intentionally hangs back.  “I’m usually in no hurry to leave. Let the big crowds progress first. Let me have a clear space where I can watch,” Gomez said.  He said it’s harder to be aware of your surroundings when you’re shoulder to shoulder with the crowd. If someone on the outside is waiting to target a large group of people leaving a venue, the person will generally attack the first wave of people out the door.  2. Before the show starts, find the closest exit. Before the concert starts, look around for the closest exit. This might sometimes be a door toward the back of the venue, away from the doors where people entered.  Gomez compared it to the way he sometimes chooses where to sit in a restaurant: “We pick a table that’s away from the front door and close to the exit, rear door, so I know if somebody’s going to come in the front door and rob the establishment, or is going to shoot somebody in the establishment, I have an exit that’s not close to the front door.”  If someone enters through the back door, Gomez said he still has a clear line to the front door.  3. Note the security staff closest to you.  Know where they are in case you need to report suspicious activity or ask for help. In case of an emergency, they will likely be issuing instructions.  4. Discuss a meeting place for your group if you get separated. Make plans ahead of time so that if you are separated from your party, everyone knows where to meet. Members of your group should know that the spot might be adjusted if there is a threat inside the venue vs. the outside.  5. Observe who and what is around you -- not what’s on your phone screen. Matthew McLellan, a student on Mercer Island, told KIRO-TV he has attended concerts where many people are on their phones. He said he likes to send Snapchat photos to share his concert experience.  But McLellan said that because of this week’s attack, he’ll be thinking twice.  “It was shocking,” McLellan said. “Just seeing the numbers (of casualties) increase every couple of hours just hurts me.”  6. If something happens and you can’t find an exit, shelter in place.  Gomez said one girl who attended the concert in Manchester was reported to have stayed in her spot on the third level of the venue because she couldn’t find an easy way out. Police eventually entered the building to help people get out. 7. Before you go, check the venue website for specific entry rules. Some venues require clear bags only; some performers specifically call for no use of cellphones. Read the information on your ticket and on the venue website carefully before you leave the house so you won’t be turned away at the door or kicked out.  >> Related: Manchester attack at Ariana Grande concert: What we know now   
  • Tulsa police say 29-year-old Jerrica Lackey met a man online who eventually convinced her to touch a child. Lackey told police she sent the videos of the abuse to the man. She was arrested on five complaints of sexual abuse of a child under 12.  
  • Tuesday, Oklahoma lawmakers reacted to a $4.1 trillion budget proposal with a note of cautious optimism. Rep. Tom Cole made it clear the plan won’t make it through Congress unscathed. “There’s quite a bit of the president’s budget that simply aren’t (sic) going to be supported by any Democrats at all,” he said. “It’s good to have his sense of priorities, but we also have to be realistic about what we can fashion and pass.” He went on to say “our final product will be better because we had the president’s input, but it certainly won’t mirror the president’s proposals.” Senator James Lankford also noted that the president’s plan is only the beginning of the process. “The White House’s proposed FY2018 budget is the start of a long conversation on how to best fund the federal government for the next year,” he said in an email sent to KRMG. “I am glad to see that the Trump Administration is trying to address the nation’s long-term budget crisis with a budget proposal that balances in 10 years.” Critics, however, say the projections of a balanced budget in ten years rely on a lot of wishful thinking - including a growth in the economy at a rate of 3% a year, something that hasn’t happened in more than a decade. Lankford has also made it clear that the budgeting process itself is flawed, in his opinion. Since it was last reformed in 1974, he wrote, it has only worked four times. “Let’s put an end to the days of continuing resolutions and massive omnibus funding bills,” Lankford said. “It’s time to fix the issue that has been before us for 43 years. I ask Congress to bring responsibility and predictability back to the system and let’s make the needed reforms so that it actually works for the American people.”