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Latest from Michael Purdy

    We have updated information regarding an undercover sting at a midtown Tulsa massage parlor that resulted in the owner being busted last week. Court records show 44-year-old Willie Whitman was charged on Tuesday with two counts of human trafficking.  Police tell us five women were found working at  the Break Room Massage Parlor on South Fulton Avenue.  The female workers were allegedly forced and coerced into committing acts of prostitution by Whitman. Undercover officers took Whitman into custody, after one of his female employees offered sex for money.  Investigators believe Whitman has a past history of this at other massage parlors as well.
  • A former University of Tulsa football player was recently arrested in Dallas, for a sexual assault that allegedly happened at a campus apartment. Police have been investigating the case since March.  William Barrow is accused of making unwanted advances on a fellow student.   He reportedly grabbed the female by her neck, while demanding sex acts.   Police tell us the case boils down to one basic point. “When a female says no, it’s no,” police said.  “There is no if, and or buts, it’s black and white.  No.” During an interview with campus police, Barrow reportedly admitted that the encounter might have gone too far. When asked for comment, the university said they are referring inquires to police and the district attorney’s office.  
  • A Broken Arrow man reportedly can’t control himself.  19-year-old Robert Long was previously convicted of indecent exposure back in November of 2016.  On Monday, he was allegedly back at it again. KRMG's told two female witnesses spotted 19-year-old Robert Long with his private area exposed.  During this time, he was reportedly acting incident.  This happened outside, on West Southpark Street.  When officers showed up at his place to confront him, Long reportedly stated, 'Am I going back to prison?' During the course of the investigation, officers learned Long might also be responsible for another indecent exposure back on July 29. “Det. Zumwalt provided this victim a photo lineup and she positively identified the suspect Robert Long as the subject she observed,” police said.  Long has been booked into the Tulsa County Jail.  [Information from arrest and booking report]
  • For the second time in less than a week, a Tulsa Subway has been robbed. The incident happened Monday night around 7:30 p.m., at the location on East Admiral Place.  “The employees at the store stated that the suspect entered the store, walked around to the register and produced a knife,” police said.  “The suspect then demanded cash from the register, and ran out of the store on foot.”  For reference, he's said to be a white male in his early 20s and was wearing a white shirt and black pants. Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.    
  • Apparently, people still play Pokemon Go.  A man was recently playing the once popular fad in south Tulsa, when he was ambushed by a robbery suspect with a knife.  KRMG’s told the suspect took the victim’s wallet.     The victim tells us he was looking at his phone and didn't notice the suspect until it was too late. “It was my fault at the end of the day because I wasn’t paying attention,” the victim said.  “More shame on me than on him because I should know better.” For reference, the robbery happened by a hotel at 81st and Lewis.  The suspect is still on the loose. A description of the suspect hasn’t been released.  Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.  
  • A brush truck from an east Tulsa fire station was stolen Friday night. The theft occurred at Station 30 near 145th East Avenue and 11th Street.  Firefighters were said to be inside the station at the time.    Neighbors we spoke to were surprised by the crime. “I don’t like hearing about that kind of activity so close to my house,” one neighbor said. The truck was later found crashed into a tree. So far, no suspects have been arrested.  Anyone with information regarding the theft is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.   For reference, a brush truck is used to battle wildfires.   
  • We told you about a home invasion in Claremore back in May, where Dakota Rex was shot and killed. On Saturday, 19-year-old Kairee Cooks was arrested in connection with the homicide. “Through investigation, Cooks was identified as one of the three suspects that particpated in the drug-related home invasion robbery that resulted in Rex’s shooting death,” police said.   He has been booked into the Rogers County Jail.   Police tell us they're still looking for the other two suspects.  Anyone with information regarding those suspects is asked to call 918-283-8255.
  • Sometimes, police officers have to help more than just people. An Oklahoma City newspaper reports an OKC officer recently helped a raccoon who took a page out of Winnie the Pooh's playbook.  The poor animal got his head stuck inside a food can, while having a late night snack. The officer helped the furry creature get unstuck.  She added the animal seemed grateful for the help because he held still the whole time. No word on if there was any honey inside the can.  The raccoon is said to be doing just fine.    
  • An armed robbery suspect attempted to flush his clothes and handgun down a toilet on Saturday. The incident happened around 4:18 p.m. Tulsa police tell us the suspect robbed a hair salon near 31st and S. 111th E. Ave. He reportedly received an undisclosed amount of cash from the salon. “He then fled west and entered the Zachsby's where he changed clothes in the bathroom and tried to flush his clothes and the handgun down the toilet,” police said.  “He was not successful in doing this and fled south across 31st St and south down 108th E. Ave.” His gun turned out to be a toy. The suspect is said to be a a black male, 170 pounds and he was wearing a red ball cap, black shirt and blue shorts. Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.
  • Any outdoor plans for today should be scheduled for the afternoon. National Weather Service Meteorologist Bart Haake says we could see some rain during the morning hours. “We’re looking at just some low chances for showers and thunderstorms for the first part of the day,” Haake said.  “In the afternoon, we should see cloudy skies.” The high for today will be around 81 degrees. Our chances for showers and thunderstorms continue throughout the week.  NWS lists at least a chance of both through next Saturday.  
  • Michael Purdy

    Michael.Purdy@coxinc.com

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  • Baltimore has removed statues that honored the Confederacy in the city overnight. Crews worked in Wyman Park starting around midnight Wednesday to remove the Lee and Jackson monument.  >> Read more trending news  They took down the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson early Wednesday after the city council passed a resolution Monday that ordered the immediate destruction of the monuments, WBAL reported. The board cited the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia for the quick removal. “Destroyed. I want them destroyed, and as soon as possible. I want them destroyed,” city councilman Brandon Scott said Monday. The statues may be sent to Confederate cemeteries after Mayor Catherine Pugh reached out to the Maryland Historical Trust for permission to remove the monuments, WBAL reported. The removal didn’t come without cost. WBAL reported Monday that the bill could be between $1 million and $2 million. The city had four monuments to the Confederacy: a Confederate women’s monument, a soldiers’ and sailors’ monument, the Lee and Jackson monument and a statue of Robert Taney, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice who wrote the Dred Scott ruling in 1857, WRC reported. Baltimore isn’t the only area that is trying to erase its Confederate history.  North Carolina’s governor said he is trying to reverse a law that prohibits the removal or relocation of monuments in the state. Dallas’ mayor is looking at the city’s options. Tennessee’s governor called for the removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust. Forrest was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The Sons of the Confederate Veterans have spoken out about the removal of the monuments across the country. “These statues were erected over 100 years ago to honor the history of the United states. They’re just as important to the entire history of the U.S. as the monuments to our other forefathers,” Thomas V. Strain Jr. told WRC.
  • U.S. Coast Guard and Army officials were responding Wednesday morning to reports of a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter off the coast of Hawaii. >> Read more trending news The helicopter had five crew on board when it reportedly went down, Coast Guard officials said. Officials spotted a debris field just before 11:30 p.m. local time Tuesday near Oahu’s Keana Point.
  • The head of the Georgia-based company that makes Tiki torches says he was offended by images of white supremacists marching through Charlottesville, Virginia, using his company's products. W.C. Bradley Co. President and CEO Marc Olivie said on Tuesday he has special reason to feel deeply offended. “Obviously, we cannot control the way people use our torches, but the fact the people who promote bigotry and promote hatred are using these torches was really shocking to me,” he said. Many of the protesters who marched Friday carried Tiki torches. The Tiki brand is a product of Lamplight, a Wisconsin company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bradley company. Lamplight, in a Facebook post Saturday, said, in part, 'TIKI Brand is not associated in any way with the events that took place in Charlottesville and (we) are deeply saddened and disappointed.' Olivie said the torches are a shining light symbolizing joy, not division and hatred. “I would hope people would continue to use them for enjoyment and being together with friends and family. And that's the way these products should be used,” he said. Tiki brand's 70 employees were also upset to see their product used in the controversial march.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want parents to think about Type 2 Diabetes, that’s what used to be called adult-onset diabetes. >> Read more trending news It almost never happened to kids or teenagers, instead kids would get Type 1 or juvenile diabetes. Now with about one-third of American children being overweight, doctors are starting to see Type 2 diabetes in children, sometimes as young as 10 years old. Typically it’s happening in their teen years when hormone fluctuations make it harder for the body to absorb insulin. What can you do? Worry about weight. People who are overweight or more likely to have insulin resistance, especially if they have excess weight around their bellies. The CDC offers these tips: Limit TV time (and the mindless eating that comes with it.) Drink more water and fewer sugary drinks. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no juice before age 1, 4 ounces or less a day for toddlers and 8 ounces or less for children.  Eat more fruits and vegetables. Make favorite foods healthier. Get kids involved in making healthier meals. Eat slowly — it takes at least 20 minutes to start feeling full. Eat at the dinner table only, not in front of the TV or computer. Shop for food together. Shop on a full stomach so you’re not tempted to buy unhealthy food. Teach your kids to read food labels to understand which foods are healthiest. Have meals together as a family as often as you can. Don’t insist kids clean their plates. Don’t put serving dishes on the table. Serve small portions; let kids ask for seconds. Reward kids with praise instead of food. Get active. Kids should get 60 minutes of activity a day. It doesn’t have to be all together, but it should add up to an hour of movement. That activities helps keep kids at a healthier weight and helps the body better use insulin. The CDC offers these tips: Start slow and build up. Keep it positive — focus on progress. Take parent and kid fitness classes together. Make physical activity more fun; try new things. Ask kids what activities they like best — everyone is different. Encourage kids to join a sports team. Have a “fit kit” available — a jump rope, hand weights, resistance bands. Limit screen time to 2 hours a day. Plan active outings, like hiking or biking. Take walks together. Move more in and out of the house — vacuuming, raking leaves, gardening. Turn chores into games, like racing to see how fast you can clean the house. Care about family history. Your child’s risk factor goes up when they have a family member with Type 2 diabetes or were born to a mom who had gestational diabetes; are African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American, Pacific Islander or Alaska Native; or have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or polycystic ovary syndrome. Consult with your doctor if any of these ring true for your child. Usually, a doctor will start testing blood sugar levels at around age 10.
  • President Donald Trump defiantly blamed 'both sides' for the weekend violence between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators in Virginia, seeking to rebuff the widespread criticism of his handling of the emotionally-charged protests while showing sympathy for the fringe group's efforts to preserve Confederate monuments. In doing so, Trump used the bullhorn of the presidency to give voice to the grievances of white nationalists, and aired some of his own. His remarks Tuesday amounted to a rejection of the Republicans, business leaders and White House advisers who earlier this week had pushed the president to more forcefully and specifically condemn the KKK members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who took to the streets of Charlottesville. The angry exchange with reporters at his skyscraper hotel in New York City laid bare a reality of the Trump presidency: Trump cannot be managed by others or steered away from damaging political land mines. His top aides were stunned by his comments, with some — including new chief of staff John Kelly — standing by helplessly as the president escalated his rhetoric. Standing in the lobby of Trump Tower, Trump acknowledged that there were 'some very bad people' among those who gathered to protest Saturday. But he added: 'You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.' The rally was organized by white supremacists and other groups under a 'Unite the Right' banner. Organizers said they were initially activated by their objections to the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, but the larger aim was to protest what they saw as an 'anti-white' climate in America. In his remarks, Trump condemned bigoted ideology and called James Alex Fields Jr., who drove his car into a crowd of counter-protester killing a 32-year-old woman, 'a disgrace to himself, his family and his country.' But Trump also expressed support for those seeking to maintain the monument to Lee, equating him with some of the nation's founders who also owned slaves. 'So, this week it's Robert E. Lee,' he said. 'I noticed that Stonewall Jackson's coming down. I wonder, 'is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?' You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?' He continued: 'You're changing history. You're changing culture.' The president's comments effectively wiped away the more conventional statement he delivered at the White House a day earlier when he branded the white supremacists who take part in violence as 'criminals and thugs.' Trump's advisers had hoped those remarks might quell criticism of his initial response, but the president's retorts Tuesday suggested he had been a reluctant participant in that cleanup effort. Once again, the blowback was swift, including from fellow Republicans. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Trump should not allow white supremacists 'to share only part of the blame.' House Speaker Paul Ryan declared in a tweet that 'white supremacy is repulsive' and there should be 'no moral ambiguity,' though he did not specifically address the president. Trump's remarks were welcomed by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who tweeted: 'Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth.' Some of the president's comments Tuesday mirrored rhetoric from the far-right fringe. A post Monday by the publisher of The Daily Stormer, a notorious neo-Nazi website, predicted that protesters are going to demand that the Washington Monument be torn down. Trump's handling of the weekend violence has raised new and troubling questions, even among some supporters. Members of his own Republican Party have pressured him to be more vigorous in criticizing bigoted groups, and business leaders have begun abandoning a White House jobs panel in response to his comments. White House officials were caught off guard by his remarks Tuesday. He had signed off on a plan to ignore questions from journalists during an event touting infrastructure policies, according to a White House official not authorized to speak publicly about a private discussion. Once behind the lectern and facing the cameras, he overruled the decision. As Trump talked, his aides on the sidelines in the lobby stood in silence. Chief of staff John Kelly crossed his arms and stared down at his shoes, barely glancing at the president. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders looked around the room trying to make eye contact with other senior aides. One young staffer stood with her mouth agape. Kelly was brought into the White House less than a month ago to try to bring order and stability to a chaotic West Wing. Some Trump allies hoped the retired Marine general might be able to succeed where others have failed: controlling some of Trump's impulses. But the remarks Tuesday once again underscored Trump's insistence on airing his complaints and opinions. Democrats were aghast at Trump's comments. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine said on Twitter that the Charlottesville violence 'was fueled by one side: white supremacists spreading racism, intolerance & intimidation. Those are the facts.' Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii said on Twitter that he no longer views Trump as his president. 'As a Jew, as an American, as a human, words cannot express my disgust and disappointment,' Schatz said. 'This is not my president.' When asked to explain his Saturday comments about Charlottesville, Trump looked down at his notes and again read a section of his initial statement that denounced bigotry but did not single out white supremacists. He then tucked the paper back into his jacket pocket. Trump, who has quickly deemed other deadly incidents in the U.S. and around the world as acts of terrorism, waffled when asked whether the car death was a terrorist attack. 'There is a question. Is it murder? Is it terrorism?' Trump said. 'And then you get into legal semantics. The driver of the car is a murderer and what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing.' Trump said he had yet to call the mother of crash victim Heather Heyer, but would soon 'reach out.' He praised her for what he said was a nice statement about him on social media. As he finally walked away from his lectern, he stopped to answer one more shouted question: Would he visit Charlottesville? The president noted he owned property there and said — inaccurately — that it was one of the largest wineries in the United States. ___ AP writers Darlene Superville and Richard Lardner contributed to this report. Pace reported from Washington. ___ Follow Lemire at http://twitter.com/jonlemire and Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC