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Local News

    As Oklahomans remember the men and woman who have sacrificed for our country, state agency leaders ask everyone to also remember safety. The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission says recent heavy rainfall has swelled river levels in the region.  Fallen trees and debris have accumulated along the Illinois River, posing navigational hazards to boaters and swimmers. They recommend that first-time, novice floaters and children team up with experienced floaters and do not float in canoes, kayaks or inner tubes. Floaters should wear a personal flotation device at all times while floating, wading and swimming in area waterways.
  • At the Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery Monday, President Donald Trump spoke at length about the stories of three soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan. One of them was Specialist Christopher Horton, an Oklahoma National Guardsman from Tulsa. [AUDIO: Hear President Trump’s comments about Spc. Christopher Horton and his wife, Jane] Chris’ widow, Jane, and father David Horton were among the guests seated on the grandstand during that ceremony. They called KRMG after leaving Arlington, and spoke about the honor and pride they felt to be a part of the day’s remembrance. But they also admitted to some frustration over the confusion in many people’s minds about the meaning of Memorial Day. David Horton summed it up by noting there are three days a year set aside for honoring members of the military. “Armed Forces Day, which honors those that are serving currently. And then Veterans Day (is for) those that have served in the past. But then Memorial Day is set aside to remember those who have died while in service,” he told KRMG. He related how hard it can be on a gold star family when well-intentioned people confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day. “I drove through my bank, and my bank teller says to me ‘happy veterans weekend,’” he said. He knows she was being friendly, and had no idea how what she said would bother him. “So I’m gonna go on a little campaign to try and educate people on just what Memorial Day is,” he added. Jane Horton, who has been a tireless advocate for gold star families over the years since Chris’ death, echoed his sentiments. “I will do anything for veterans 364 days out of the year,” she said, “but this is the one day that’s for the dead. Let them have their day.” She explained that “all of us will do anything for veterans, and we honor and love our veterans, but this is not the day. And it’s important for Americans to remember those that are no longer here with us, because they’re not here. All those others that are living that are veterans or the wounded can remind us by being here physically, or standing on stage to be honored. But Chris will never be here, so that’s why we have days like today so his spirit can live on, and so that people can actually stop and remember the person who is physically not here any more.” David said they’re not asking Americans to give up their holiday celebrations. “Yes, have your barbeque and really celebrate your life. Celebrate your freedom...remembering that somebody gave their life for you to have this federal holiday. Somebody gave their life so you could have your friends and enjoy your family, and just remember that freedom is not free.”
  • The National Weather Service confirms a few tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma Saturday night.    One was five miles west of Welty. The National Weather Service says it happened at about 8:30 Saturday night.   That tornado confirmed by several storm trackers in the area, the NWS survey team said they could not access the area where they think it touched down.   Hail up to 4.5 inches was seen there too.   Another tornado started in Sequoyah County a little before midnight Saturday and went over into Arkansas before fizzling out.   The National Weather Service tells us that tornado damaged homes, trees and some outbuildings.
  • The Liberty Foundations 2017 Salute to Veterans tour arrives in Tulsa at the Tulsa International Airport Monday, May 29th at 1pm. The historic B-17 “Madras Maiden” will be based at the Tulsa Air & Space Museum, 3624 North 74th East Ave, and on display this weekend for rides and visits. The Maiden is helping celebrate seventy two years since the end of WWII.  The aircraft will be open to the public and available for flights and Ground tours on Saturday & Sunday June 3-4.
  • Troopers pulled over a woman for DUI on I-44 at 193rd east avenue. The woman was cuffed and put into a cruiser but as the deputy pulled away, she began wriggling around in the back seat and claimed she was sick. The trooper pulled over to secure the woman but she had already gotten her hands in front of her and was able to jump out of the car and run. KRMG news has learned the woman sprinted straight to the edge of I-44 and jumped off the bridge, landing on 193rd below.  The trooper ran down the embankment to check on the woman and keep cars away from the site.  She was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition.
  • When she was 28 years old, Selma Schimmel was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not at first, mind you - doctors told her she was too young to have breast cancer. But she forced them to do exploratory surgery, and the battle was on. Eventually, she was cured of breast cancer, her sister Debby Bittick recently told KRMG, but eventually contracted ovarian cancer which claimed her life 30 years after that first diagnosis. Selma was a fighter, though, and she founded a non-profit organization called Vital Options International and became a internationally recognized advocate and educator. Bittick made a promise to her near the end of her life, and The Cancer Concierge is the result of that promise. It’s an e-book, available in several forms and completely free, that empowers patients and their loved ones to form a plan and take action from the moment of diagnosis. “The second you’re told you have cancer, or anyone you work with - anyone anywhere - can get organized immediately,” Bittick said. It’s about refusing to be a passive patient, swept along by the disease and the healthcare system. “Instead of going into panic - ‘I’ve just been told I have cancer’ - you change your philosophy to ‘I’m going to take charge of this,” she added. Bittick also lost her mother and grandmother to cancer, and is a survivor herself. Her sister, she told KRMG, asked her to “get out there and be a warrior.” She fights the battle every day.
  • Tulsa police want to find some possible teenagers who invaded a home early Monday morning.  Officers say four black males between 15 and 20 years of age entered a private residence in the unit block of North Louisville Avenue at 12:10 a.m. The robbers took items from the residents, but police wouldn't say what was taken. Tulsa Police Corporal James Stump says, “The suspects were last seen leaving the area in a black 2000-2005 model Ford F-150.” No one has been captured.
  • A woman is near death after jumping from the I-44 bridge down onto 193rd East Avenue near Catoosa. We're told a state trooper was arresting the woman for a possible DUI when she bolted and jumped off the bridge around 1:30 a.m. Monday. Her name has not been released. Rogers County deputies are also investigating.
  • A possible drunk driver slams into a woman and a girl near Chandler Park in west Tulsa. We're told the victims were posing for a photo next to their vehicle Sunday evening when a man driving a truck struck them. State troopers say both victims were taken to the hospital. The woman was in stable condition, but the girl was considered to be in serious condition. The driver could face charges, including driving under the influence.
  • Much of Pryor and the site of Rocklahoma lost power Sunday evening, bringing all music to a stop. The electricity went out during the final song of Buckcherry’s set. Things got quiet around 5:30 p.m. there in Pryor. An announcement was made on the stage at 6 p.m. that power was out in other areas of Pryor, not just at the festival site. Organizers used a generator to power just one microphone to update the crowd on what was happening. Power was restored shortly after 6 p.m. It’s the second day in a row the festival has faced difficulties. Powerful thunderstorms moved through Saturday night, forcing organizers to shut things down early.
  • While the calendar says we are days away from the month of June, Republicans in Congress are already feeling pressure over their legislative agenda for 2017, as time is already growing short for GOP efforts to overhaul the Obama health law, which also puts a time squeeze on other major initiatives on Capitol Hill. There are no votes scheduled this week in the Congress; the Senate returns to legislative session on June 5, while the House is back in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Here’s some of what faces Republicans in the Congress: 1. Everything keys off of the GOP health care bill. Because the GOP is trying to use the expedited “budget reconciliation” process, which allows them to avoid a filibuster in the Senate, nothing involved with next year’s budget – or with tax reform – can move until health care is settled. GOP Senators have been meeting regularly in recent weeks to decide what to do on health care – but they don’t have a deal as yet, and no one is quiet sure when they might have a vote. “We’re a long ways from that,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-ND) told reporters this week. “Damned if I know,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said about when a deal might be reached. Writing their own bill takes time. Senate laying groundwork for own health care replacement bill — Rusty Arrison (@RustyArrisonXVJ) May 26, 2017 2. Why do you keep saying there isn’t much time? Two things are at work here – the Congressional calendar, and the limits on the “budget reconciliation” process. The authorization to use reconciliation for a health care bill expires on September 30 – the end of the 2017 Fiscal Year. So, the GOP has four months to figure out a bill, and get it approved and sent to the President. But, lawmakers won’t be here much of that four month period. In fact, between now and the end of the fiscal year – there are 43 scheduled legislative work days in the House, which mirrors the Senate schedule. That’s 43 legislative days in session spread out over 18 weeks. You could always get extra time by scrapping the August recess, or working some weekends. 3. The budget is way behind schedule – more than usual. This past week, President Trump delivered his 2018 budget to the Congress. Normally that is done in February. The House and Senate only started having hearings on spending bills this past week. Lawmakers were supposed to approve the blueprint known as the “budget resolution” by April 15. As of now, that plan doesn’t even exist. Congress is supposed to pass all spending bills by October 1, the start of the new fiscal year, but that has not happened since 1996. With the schedule still showing five weeks off during the summer, there is no way that lawmakers are going to meet that spending deadline, which will pave the way for stop gap budgets, and then most likely a year-end omnibus spending deal. Sound familiar? @TheDCVince the congress cannot walk and crew gum at the same time. They haven't begun the FY18 budget.We will get more CRs and then omnibus — Bulldog 6 (@MC22554) May 24, 2017 4. Tax reform still hasn’t taken shape. Despite the Sunday tweet by President Trump about his tax plans, it was obvious in budget hearings last week involving Secretary of Treasury Stephen Mnuchin that a Trump tax plan is not ready to be rolled out any time soon. Remember – all we have right now is a one page document with some bullet points. Even if the White House put out the details this next week, Republicans couldn’t take it up under budget reconciliation rules until they get finished with health care legislation. And, as stated above, the GOP does not seem to be near a deal. Senate Republicans probably cannot let June go by without some kind of agreement on health care. The massive TAX CUTS/REFORM that I have submitted is moving along in the process very well, actually ahead of schedule. Big benefits to all! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2017 5. You can’t pass bills when you aren’t in DC. Whenever I point out how the Congress is going to be home for an extended break, I always hear from people who say, “If they’re not in DC, they can’t screw things up.” Yes, that’s true. On the other hand, it’s also true that when they aren’t working on Capitol Hill, they can’t pass any bills to fix things, either. And for Republicans right now, if you aren’t at work on the floors of the House and Senate, you aren’t passing any of President Trump’s agenda. Those Republican lawmakers having town hall meetings this week will get a lot of attention. If Republicans in the House and Senate were doing their job, Pres Trump could be returning home to sign laws for taxes, health care, etc. — Pat (@Pat170017001) May 26, 2017 It’s not even the end of May. But time is already running short for Republicans in 2017.
  • A soldier from Illinois was able to spend the Memorial Day weekend with his family in Missouri all thanks to the kindness of a stranger he met at a Dallas airport. U.S. Army mechanic Keaton Tilson, who is stationed at Fort Hood, was stuck at an airport for two days, trying to get a flight on standby, KTVI reported. But Josh Rainey from Glendale, Missouri, wasn’t having any of it.  >> Read more trending news  At first Rainey tried to give Tilson his ticket, but airline regulations wouldn’t allow the transfer, so Rainey decided on the next option, buying a last-minute ticket for Tilson to St. Louis so he can be with family over the holiday weekend. Rainey told KTVI that the he spent $341 on the ticket and that the fact that Tilson was able to get home was worth more than the money. “He walked away and came back and asked if he could hug me, and I think we both had to fight back the tears after that,” Rainey said.
  • Being the U-S Defense Secretary is a tough job, but Marine General James Mattis certainly sounds up to the task. He lit the social media world on fire after he was asked on CBS's Face the Nation what keeps him awake at night. He answered, 'Nothing, I keep other people awake at night.' While that quote has gotten the most attentions, the interview covered a wide range of important topics. He says President Trump standing alongside fellow NATO leaders last week shows he supports NATO. He says war with North Korea would be catastrophic. And he says he was humbled the commitment made by the younger generation of military personnel to carry out decisions made by leaders like himself.
  • Clear water laps at the white sand along crescent-shaped Siesta Beach, helping the Florida shore rank as the best in the country, according to a coastal expert. Dr. Stephan P. Leatherman, known as “Dr. Beach,” released his list of the 2017 best beaches Thursday.  Water and sand quality, as well as environmental management and beach safety efforts, are some of the 50 criteria Leatherman uses to develop the rankings. Here is the Top Ten:
  • For Memorial Day, it was the perfect sign of respect. The photo of a sandwich board outside Mayberry’s Bar & Grill in the northern Kansas city of Washington that pays tribute to the American servicemen who have lost their lives fighting for their country has gone viral.  >> Read more trending news  “We have 619,300 reasons to be closed on Monday,” is written in chalk on the sign, referring to U.S. service deaths from World War I, World War II and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The sign was the idea of Mayberry’s employee Kelly Ray, the Wichita Eagle reported. Ray moved from Missouri to northern Kansas earlier this year, and he brought a sign he made while working at a previous restaurant. Mayberry’s would be closed on Sunday and on Memorial Day, but the sign posted outside the restaurant would be photographed and shared across social media. By late Sunday it had been shared more than 109,000 times. “I just love the message,” Ray told the Wichita Eagle on Sunday. “You don’t have to like our president or like some of the things our government is doing, but you sure better respect those who have laid down their lives for us to be able to live here.” According to official U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs numbers, and depending on how deaths are calculated, the sign totals are not completely accurate, but the message is still relevant. Ray told KWCH that many patrons have thanked him for putting up the sign. One veteran thanked him in person, but Ray, who is the restaurant’s manager and chef, stopped him. “I said, ‘No, thank you,’” Ray told KWCH. “You guys are the reason we’re here and we appreciate that. “He said ‘Damn shame more people don’t think like that,’” Ray said. Ray said the idea for the sign was formed when he worked at a Missouri restaurant. “I mentioned to the owner that we should be closed for Memorial Day, and he said, ‘I can’t think of one good reason why we would do that, because people are going to be out and they’ll want to eat,’ ” Ray told the Wichita Eagle. “I saw a post on Facebook with the number of people who have died in our wars, so I basically just put that on a sign and showed it to him.” The owner closed the restaurant. “People talk about Memorial Day being the start of summer and that sort of thing,” Ray told the newspaper. “But what it’s really about is those people who died. I hope people think about them.”