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Local News

    Tulsa City Council unanimously voted on Wednesday to establish the second Monday in October as Native American Day.  It will be held on the same day that Columbus Day is recognized.   According to the resolution approved by Mayor G.T. Bynum, all Native American tribes and Americans 'are called to commemorate this day with appropriate programs and activities to celebrate, honor the culture, contributions and traditions of Native Americans.'   It also states, 'a growing number of American cities have recognized the second Monday of October as 'Indigenous Peoples Day' reassigning Columbus Day.
  • We have new information regarding Mounds police sharing religious messages on the department's Facebook page. We told you last week the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma sent city officials a letter asking them to stop due to multiple violations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.  In response to the letter, Chief of Police Antonio Porter stated he wasn't concerned about the ACLU.  Porter went on to comment that he only wants to spread words of encouragement.  On Thursday, the department posted religious messages will no longer be shared on the official page, but a private account instead. Do you agree with the department’s decision?  
  • A Foyil man recently donated two drones to the Rogers County Sheriff's Department. They will be used for investigations, natural disasters, and searches. Lewis Moore tells us he's simply paying his success forward. “Makes me feel good that maybe some time in the future we’ll be able to help somebody,” Moore said.  “Maybe, save a life.” KRMG's told two deputies will undergo training to use the drones.
  • We have updated information regarding a man accused of killing a 60-year-old victim back in December. Tulsa County court records show Jose Rivera-Chavez was found guilty on Thursday of first-degree murder. The jury recommended Chavez spend life in prison without the possibility of parole. He had been accused of fatally stabbing a woman at the Extended Stay Motel near 41st and Memorial. KRMG will update the story when Chavez is officially sentenced. 
  • Americans suffering from drug and alcohol addiction often find themselves with few alternatives outside of a jail cell or expensive rehabilitation facilities. But there is an alternative, available in Tulsa, that provides a chance to turn one’s life around with the help and support of others who know what the struggle is like. The organization is called Oxford House, and local outreach worker Thomas Floyd says it has experienced rapid growth in Oklahoma in recent years. “It’s actually the largest sober-living organization in the world,” he told KRMG. “How I actually got involved with it was a life of 20 years of addiction, incarceration, all those things. And the last time I was incarcerated, some people came in to the prison I was in and talked about Oxford House.” He moved into an Oxford House in 2013, he said. “The men in that house taught me about a 12-step program and how to live a productive life,” Floyd added. “We’re growing at a really fast rate here in Oklahoma, we’re up to 102 houses, 899 beds, in which we accept individuals either off the street, or out of treatment or detox, or just like me, out of prison. And we get them plugged into a 12-step program and teach them how to live life, on life’s terms.” He said there are three charter requirements for an Oxford House, which are segregated into house that accept males, females, or females with children. “The house must be democratically ran, it must be financially self-supporting, and it must evict anyone who drinks or uses.” He said residents have to pitch in on chores, hold a job, and contribute to the house’s collective finances. One can check the Oxford House vacancies website to see if any room is available in a particular area. A check by KRMG showed a number of beds available in the Tulsa area. To learn more about Oxford House, visit the website.
  • A reach for candy in her grandmother’s purse is deadly for a 4-year old girl.  She accidentally pulled the trigger of a gun.   Yanelly 'Nelly' Zoller died Sept. 14 at the Tampa home of her grandparents, Michael and Christie Zoller.    Her 22-year-old father Shane Zoller told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday that she just wanted candy.    Tampa police told the newspaper they are investigating the case, but have no reason to doubt Zoller's story.    Shane Zoller says he was in high school when he became a father, and if his parents had not helped with Nelly, he would have had to drop out of school. He says Nelly was 'attached to her nana's hip' and loved staying at her grandparents' house.    Zoller shared custody with the girl's mother.
  • A person of interest in Tulsa's 64th homicide for the year surrenders to police. 29-year old David Jerome Silas was interviewed and arrested Thursday. We're told Silas may have been the last person to see the victim, 27-year old Brittany Green, alive. Her body was found stabbed to death Tuesday inside the doorway to her apartment near I-44 and Highway 169. Tulsa police say Silas has several warrants for his arrest for several crimes.
  • Former Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby was acquitted of criminal charges in the death of Terence Crutcher, but the Crutcher estate has moved forward with civil litigation. [CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story on KRMG.com indicated the city council had voted to pay for Shelby to hire private representation. We have corrected this after speaking with the Office of the City Attorney] The Tulsa City Council voted Wednesday night to allow the Office of the City Attorney to represent Shelby in that federal lawsuit.  Gerry Bender, the Litigation Division Manager for the city attorney’s office, tells KRMG that is standard procedure when a city employee faces litigation over something that happened in the performance of their professional duties. “There’s a process whereby any city employee - whether police, fire, someone working out in the field for water or sewer or anything else - if they get sued for doing something that occurred during the course and scope of their duties as an employee, they are allowed to make a request to the city council to have the city attorney’s office represent them, and that’s what happened in this particular instance,” Bender said Thursday. “When Officer Shelby was served, she came to our office with a request. That request was passed on to the city council. The city council went into executive session last night to consider that request, and when they came out of executive session the city council voted to extend representation by the city attorney’s office to former Officer Shelby.” The City of Tulsa is also named as a respondent in the lawsuit. Bender said there has also been a tort claim filed, which Bender says was filed “to attempt to satisfy requirements of the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act, which is a negligence standard, but that was filed with the city after the complaint was filed, and we’re going to take issue with the timeline on that.” There is no hearing scheduled yet in the federal lawsuit.
  • A suspect tried his luck one too many times and now he's in custody. An Oklahoma City newspaper reports 38-year-old Lloyd Tillman allegedly stole steaks and a painting off the porch of an Edmond home last week. Next, he reportedly fled from OKC officers when they tried to stop him at a convenience store.  During this time, Tillman reputedly drove right at officers, but didn’t hit them.   Tillman's luck came to an end on Wednesday, when he was tracked down following a high-speed chase in Texas.
  • We've all heard of people getting robbed while trying to sell items on Craigslist. Facebook Marketplace has come close to overtaking Craigslist as the No. 1 site to buy and sell items. Robberies are on the rise in Tulsa from that site and investigators believe they think they know why.  Sgt. Brandon Watkins tells us people get a false sense of security from Facebook that they didn't have on other sites because you can see the poster's name and face. “What we’re finding is a lot of guys are creating a purely bogus deal,” Watkins said.  One of the latest examples happened at an apartment in south Tulsa. A seller had an expensive camera stolen from him. Remember, never give a potential buyer your address.  It’s better to meet them at a police station. 
  • Former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams was arrested in Texas on Tuesday on traffic warrants, records show. >> Read more trending news  Williams was pulled over for a traffic offense, then arrested on warrants, Austin police said. He is no longer in the Travis County Jail, records show.  Williams, who starred at the University of Texas and played seven seasons in the NFL, is currently a football analyst for ESPN's Longhorn Network. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1998 and was the second Longhorn to win college football’s top prize, and was also a two-time All-American. Earlier this year, Williams said he was racially profiled while walking through a neighborhood in Tyler. A man called 911 when he 'observed a black male, wearing all black, crouched down behind his wire fence,' and Tyler police stopped and searched Williams, according to media reports.  Williams was taken to the Travis County Jail 17 years ago, when he was playing for the New Orleans Saints, when he refused to sign a traffic ticket, according to previous media reports. 
  • A former Michigan health official testified Thursday that he started asking questions about bacteria in Flint’s water supply a year before the state publicly acknowledged an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Tim Becker, who was deputy director at the Department of Health and Human Services, acknowledged that the agency could have issued a public warning in January 2015. But it was 12 more months before the department and Gov. Rick Snyder said something publicly. Becker was the first witness at a key court hearing involving his former boss, department director Nick Lyon, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 85-year-old man and misconduct in office. A judge must decide whether there’s enough evidence to send him to trial. Lyon’s attorneys call the charges “baseless.” The attorney general’s office says a timely announcement about a Legionnaires’ outbreak in the Flint area in 2014-15 might have saved Robert Skidmore. He died of congestive heart failure, six months after he was treated for Legionnaires’.
  • Another day, another Facebook Hoax.  This time you may have seen people warning you on your Facebook feed that there’s a secret list of people following your posts. They’re supposedly not your friends, but complete strangers.  The posts then direct you to search “Following Me” in your Facebook account and there will be a list of names you won’t recognize, The Times Union reported. >> Read more trending news  The problem is, it is all a hoax that your Facebook friends are unknowingly perpetuating. This isn’t the first time a following hoax took root on social media. Snopes investigated a similar claim in January that people from “Facebook security” were paid to watch people on the platform.  Both are untrue, according to Snopes. So how can you find out how who really is following you? According to Facebook’s Help Center, you go to the right corner and select settings, then click public posts, then select friends or public next to who can follow me. 
  • The word “dotard” is not new, although it hasn’t been used lately in polite (or even impolite) conversation. Kim Jong-Un unearthed it during a speech he made Friday; translators used the word “dotard” in describing President Donald Trump. >> Read more trending news Dictionary.com defines “dotard” as, “a person, especially an old person, exhibiting a decline in mental faculties; a weak-minded or foolish old person.” Merriam-Webster cites the first known use of the word in the 14th century and notes it’s in the “bottom 30 percent of words” on its website. It defines dotard as “a person in his or her dotage.” >> Twitter abuzz after Kim calls Trump a “dotard” “Dotage” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.” According to the Ngram tool on Google, the word “dotard” peaked in 1823. William Shakespeare was a fan of the word. In “Much Ado About Nothing,” Leonato defends himself against Claudio and tells the soldier: “Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me. I speak not like a dotard nor a fool.” In “Taming of the Shrew,” Baptista commands that Vincentio be imprisoned, saying 'Away with the dotard; to jail with him.”The “Irish Monthly Magazine of Politics and Literature” from 1833 carries this sentence: “A father’s stern command resigned her to the arms of a dotard. …”The “Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction” from 1842 contains this sentence: “This old favourite, and ‘father of cheap literature,’ though advanced in years, is not cast off as a thing lacking in interest; a dotard in its second childhood; but, on the contrary, is now looked upon as a hoary-headed sage, abounding in humour. …”Dotard appears to be making a comeback, thanks to Kim.
  • Don’t cry over spilled ... vodka? A tractor-trailer carrying 40,000 pints of vodka rolled over in Interstate 70 in Clayton, North Carolina. And the load was so heavy that when crews tried to put the trailer back on its wheels, the bottles of booze bent the truck’s body, WRAL reported. >> Read more trending news Crews had to remove each box of vodka from the truck by hand nearly 12 hours after the crash, The Associated Press reported. Police said that the driver, Johnathan Davis Crissy didn’t secure the load and it shifted when he navigated a turn, WRAL reported.