Moore police searching for 1-year-old girl




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Latest from April Hill

    The Oklahoma House passed a $6.8 billion spending plan just hours before lawmakers are constitutionally required to adjourn the 2017 legislative session. The Senate passed the measure on Wednesday. The proposal protects the budgets of about 15 state agencies but cuts many others by about 5 percent. Supporters say the spending plan closes a projected budget hole of about $878 million and protects core services like public education and road and bridge construction. Opponents say it includes new revenue approved during the final week of the session in apparent violation of a constitutional prohibition against such measures. It now heads to Governor Mary Fallin for her signature.
  • Forecasters say potentially explosive thunderstorms packing large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes could develop this holiday weekend over parts of eastern Oklahoma. “A couple of scattered showers and thunderstorms approach Friday evening and Friday night. Higher rain and storm chances, and a higher severe weather risk, late Saturday afternoon,” said FOX23 Chief Meteorologist James Aydelott. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says widespread severe storms are expected Saturday, stretching from parts of the central and southern Plains east to the mid-Atlantic coast. Sunshine is expected to return for Memorial Day.  
  • There are a lot of unhappy lawmakers at the Oklahoma Capitol. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are complaining about how two budget panels approved a $6.8 billion spending bill. Rank-and-file legislators were given few details ahead of Tuesday night's vote. The bill slashes spending to most state agencies by nearly 5 percent.  Public schools were spared from cuts, and a handful of state agencies were given spending increases. Governor Mary Fallin said, “This plan keeps our government from shutting down. It is not an ideal budget, but it avoids draconian cuts to our core services such as education, health and human services, and public safety.”  
  • 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.  
  • Meteorologists with the National Weather Service office went out to survey storm damage in Green Country after Thursday’s storms. The meteorologists determined that there were seven tornadoes in northeast Oklahoma last week. Tornadoes near Wagoner, Red Bird and Porter reached estimated wind speeds of up to 105 mph. Houses and buildings were damaged or destroyed.  National Weather Service is also still assessing damage from tornados in Peggs, Hulbert and two near Muskogee.
  • Jurors from the trial of Officer Betty Shelby released a letter to the media asking for privacy. The letter also describes more details on how they arrived at the not guilty decision. Jury members requested that the letter be released in full. Officer Shelby was found not guilty of a first degree manslaughter charge in the death of Terence Crutcher. She faced four years to life in prison. On Friday, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan announced that Officer Shelby will be allowed to return to duty, but not as a patrol officer.    Read the entire letter below:   I am providing this statement in effort to placate the desire of various media members to interview members of the Jury.   Before I begin, I have instructions that I request you respect with regard to this correspondence and what you choose to do with it:   As of the trial's end, each Juror was adamant about staying as anonymous as possible. We ask that members of the media do not try to seek out our identities or to try to interact with us in any way. Please respect our privacy.   I suspect that once completed, this letter may be somewhat lengthy, at least with regard to how you might release information from it. I understand that editing, sound bites or snippets are part of reporting that are necessary to keep news concise, but it is also a tool for reporters to edit comments to serve the angle for which they personally see the story. do not ask, but rather implore you to maintain the continuity of the concepts presented in this letter and, to the best of your ability, preserve the intentions for which each of these concepts are discussed. The Jury in this case has been keenly aware of the significance of its outcome to our community. We do not want to be misrepresented in any way shape or form. We trust that you will respect our desire to be represented accurately   This letter attempts to capture the thoughts of the Jury as a whole as accurately as is reasonable. This however, should not be viewed to represent any individual's thoughts or beliefs as each arrived at their decision independently and of their own accord. It is possible that I may mischaracterize an individual's thoughts, though I will do my best to stay away from matters where I cannot generalize the thought process of the Jury as a whole, though it should be understood that the intensity and language any individual Juror might use to describe the same concepts may be different.     Before I get into the details that we want to share, I want to thank Judge Drummond, his bailiff Walt, the Sheriffs' Office, Courtroom Deputies and staff of the court who made the Jury feel comfortable and safe for the duration of the trial, and after the verdict was reached. In addition, I want to thank Steve Kunzweiler, the Tulsa County District Attorney for his kind words regarding the Jury and its efforts during a post-trial interview. Even if he was not pleased with the outcome, I have a great amount of respect in the way he handled the matter and for his regard of the Jury's efforts in coming to its decision.   On the Matter of the Open Window: It is clear to the Jury after intensely studying the video, still photos, and testimony that the windows to the SUV driven by Terrance Crutcher that evening were open and that the Jury believes from said evidence that Terrance Crutcher did in fact reach into the window, disobeying the instructions of the police officers on location.   On the Matter of the Instant in which Terrance Crutcher was shot: The Jury concluded that any officer put in that situation at that exact moment and regardless of the skin color, gender or size of the suspect, would have performed the same way, which is in accordance with their law enforcement training. By all evidence presented, that instant required action, which two officers took simultaneously. That moment, according to the evidence presented, was unfortunate and tragic, but justifiable due to the actions of the suspect.   On the Matter of the Moments Proceeding the Weapons Discharge: While Officer Shelby made a justifiable decision at the very moment she pulled the trigger according to her training, when reviewing the moments before she discharged her weapon, the jury wonders and some believe that she had other options available to subdue Mr. Crutcher before he reached his car. What is unclear based on the testimony and the evidence presented in that courtroom, was whether her judgment at that time was in accordance to her training as a police officer in the line of duty or whether her training allowed her to holster her service weapon and draw her Taser instead. There was no evidence presented that she was acting outside of her training, or even if her training allowed her flexibility of a decision at that point. All discussion of what her training requires in that instant, as presented in the trial, favored the Defense's case.   The Jury, without knowledge of the guidelines learned through law enforcement training, believes that a Taser attempt to subdue Mr. Crutcher before he reached his vehicle could have saved his life and that potential scenario was seemingly an option available to her; however, there was no evidence presented that her extensive training allowed such an option. The Jury could not, beyond a reasonable doubt, conclude that she did anything outside of her duties and training as a police officer in that situation. This was critical to the verdict rendered. Because of this perceived option that she may have had, many on the Jury could never get comfortable with the concept of Betty Shelby being blameless for Mr. Crutcher's death, but due to the lack of direct or even circumstantial evidence that she was acting outside of her training in the 30 feet prior to Mr. Crutcher reaching the window of that SUV, the Jury was forced by the rule of law to render a not guilty verdict.   On the Matter of Heat of Passion: The Jury was provided very specific instructions regarding the Heat of Passion aspect of the Manslaughter in the First Degree charge. Key to these instructions was that the intense emotion had to dominate the person's thought process at the very instant the act of homicide was committed. Evidence presented led the Jury to believe that Officer Shelby was indeed fearful, increasingly so as the incident escalated. However, the Jury concluded that she did act with in the confines of her training at that very moment when the homicide was committed.   The evidence presented did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt anything to the contrary that Training, not fear, dominated in her choice to perform that action at that time she discharged her weapon, which was evidenced at least in part by the fact that two officers simultaneously fired their weapons in response to Mr. Crutcher's actions.   On the Matter of Deliberation. I am confident this was a strong jury and it was an honor to serve with them. Each took his or her respective civic duty and the oath made to the court very seriously. Each was engaged in the process, taking notes of the extensive and complicated evidence and testimony brought before them. Each honored the instructions given by the Judge throughout the process. The deliberation, though long, was extremely efficient with regard to the ground it covered in reviewing and discussing the evidence. The members of the Jury were collaborative and respectful of each others views as we muddled through a very complicated matter. In addition to the review of the testimony and evidence presented in court, we also very carefully studied and considered the judges instructions which guided the Jury in how to reach its conclusions under the narrow constraints of the law.   I believe that I speak for the whole of the Jury, when I say that the general public in these types of cases are unaware of just how specifically the rule of law dictates how a Jury must reach a verdict. The State, in this case, had the burden to prove guilt to each element of the respective charge, beyond a reasonable doubt. Some elements are extremely specific, which makes it more challenging for the prosecution to cross that barrier of 'beyond a reasonable doubt'. In this case, after extensive deliberation, we the Jury, in accordance with the instructions provided by the Court and through examination of all evidence presented, could not overcome guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and consequently delivered a 'not guilty' verdict.   On the Matter of Terrance Crutcher's History Terrance Crutcher had an arrest history and multiple outstanding arrest warrants. Guilt in previous incidents, were not considered as a means to justify Officer Shelby's actions.
  • Police say they victim, Vennie Jean Blalock, tried to fight off her attackers after they approached her from behind. Blalock was killed as she was getting out of her car at the Sawmill Apartments near 31st and S. 129th E. Ave. around 3:30 Thursday morning. Detectives say she was reaching for her attacker’s gun when it went off and struck her in the head. Police dogs were able to track the suspect’s scent for a while, but the robbers were able to get away.
  • The White House says President Donald Trump will be interviewing four potential candidates to run the FBI. Press Secretary Sean Spicer says President Trump will meet later Wednesday with former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating. Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, FBI acting director Andrew McCabe and former top FBI official Richard McFeely are also on the list. The meetings come more than a week after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.  The president has suggested he hopes to name Comey's successor before he departs Friday for his first overseas trip as president.  
  • Police are interviewing witnesses after a Claremore man was shot while trying to stop three masked men breaking into his home. Investigators were called to the home on S. Maryland Ave. around 2:30 Monday morning. The victim, 22-year-old Dakota Rex, died at the scene. His three roommates were also home at the time of the robbery. The OSBI and Rogers County DA's office are assisting in the investigation.
  • Lawmakers in the Oklahoma Legislature are still trying to figure out how to raise revenue to help fix a huge budget hole.   A proposed tax increase on cigarettes was a key piece of a budget deal between House Republicans and Democrats.   The idea has now been rejected with bipartisan opposition.   House members voted 63-34 on Monday in favor of the $1.50-per-pack tax increase, 13 votes short of the 76 needed for a tax increase to pass the House.   Fourteen Democrats joined 20 Republicans in voting against the bill.   The vote will likely send budget writers back to the negotiating table with less than two weeks before the end of the legislative session.   House Democratic leader Rep. Scott Inman and some of his Democratic colleagues have insisted they wouldn't support a cigarette tax increase without a plan to raise the gross production tax on oil and natural gas.
  • April Hill

    News Director

    April Hill's first "job" in radio was in college at WMSV. Early every morning she would rise and shine after waiting tables late into the night. Hill didn't actually get paid. She was just thrilled to have an opportunity to get real live on-air experience. The importance of her first morning radio anchor gig wouldn't be realized until more than a decade later.

    Hill's first paid job in broadcasting was at the CBS TV affiliate in Jackson, MS, in 1998. Her shift as the associate producer on the morning show at WJTV started at 10:00 p.m. Hill said, "I remember telling my boss how excited I was after getting my first paycheck and he laughed. The check was very small, but I was still a kid really. I'd never had a check that big." She worked a retail job to afford rent in a high crime area of town. "I didn't care. For the first time, I had my own place all to myself. I also got a good laugh when people asked where I lived. Their facial expressions, filled with horror, were so entertaining."

    Hill decided to get in on the action in front of the camera. The market size in Jackson was too big for them to giver her a shot (although she tried). After sending out at least 100 resumés with no response. Hill quit her job to concentrate on chasing her dream full-time. Hill's  brother lived in Tulsa and was willing to let her live there rent free for a few months. "I drove to every small television station from Florida to Iowa, 25 cities altogether. I got only one offer and that's all I needed."

    In 2001, Hill started as a reporter at KLKN-TV in Lincoln, NE. She said, "I really loved Lincoln. It's filled with honest, hard working people." Hill was what they call in the business a one-man-band. She was the reporter, photographer and the editor. Living in a capitol city, and the home of the Husker's, taught her how to cover every story under the sun. "I worked weekends at first, so I was on the 50-yard line every home game covering the fans. I then moved up to the legislature beat Monday through Friday. In between, there were tornados, snow storms and drought... a lot like here in Oklahoma."

    In 2007, Hill decided she wanted to move home. Since she grew up in the small town of Independence, KS, Tulsa was the perfect distance and size. "I had been away from home for so long and it was strange when I would talk to people who knew about my home town. Some had even been there." She took a producer job at KJRH, which had a weather camera on main street in Independence. Hill said, "The meteorologists would use it as much as possible during my newscast because they knew I'd love it."

    Hill was back home and content, until KRMG's Steve Berg approached her about a weekend anchor job that was open at the radio station. "I thought, oh radio? I haven't done that in a while. Sounds like fun." Dan Potter was the news director and hired her a couple of months later. Hill worked seven days a week for three years. She said, "I looked forward to my weekends at KRMG, but I wanted full-time. I wanted it so badly that I would fill-in working both jobs on holidays and only took one weekend off for a family wedding." Her hard work paid off.

    The morning show host at the time, KRMG's Joe Kelley, hired Hill full-time as soon as a position was available. She said, "I loved it from day one. Joe and I just clicked. He worked hard and recognized my work ethic and passion for the radio station. So, Joe became my mentor and all of the sudden promotions started happening faster than I could even ask." A few months after going full-time, Hill was asked to take the morning anchor position. It was only another few months and she was tapped to be the news director, taking over Kelley's position when he moved to sister station WDBO in Orlando. "My emotions were all over the board. I was losing my best boss and gaining the highest position of my career."

    Kelley left Hill in good hands. Dan Potter took over as morning host (remember, he was the one who hired her). "Dan and I are going to continue the momentum than KRMG has been building for years. We're here to stay and even get better. I believe that 100 percent."

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  • A 43-year-old pilot is dead, following a small aircraft crash Friday night in Leflore County. Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports the crash happened around 7:42 p.m., near Arkoma. “A witness who observed the aircraft for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, advised the aircraft began flying in steep banked spiral, entered a fast downward spiral and collided with the ground, resulting in a small explosion,” OHP said.   Richard Biggerstaff was pronounced dead at the scene.  There were no passengers on the aircraft.   A cause for the crash is still under investigation.  
  • An inquiry into possible wrongdoing by IT staffers employed by a number of Democrats in Congress has garnered more attention in recent days, after a prominent lawmaker gave a public tongue lashing to the Capitol Hill police chief, vowing “consequences” over his refusal to return computer equipment that is evidently part of the ongoing investigation. At issue is a probe into a possible security breach involving Imran Awan, who has worked for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and other Democratic lawmakers, as a shared information technology worker. Little has been made public by Capitol Police on what exactly is being investigated; news reports in recent months have linked Awan, several of his relatives, and his wife to some type of Capitol Hill investigation that could involve stolen property and more. The new scrutiny came after a budget hearing on May 18 with U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa; the hearing before a House Appropriations subcommittee had escaped notice, until reports earlier this week by the Daily Caller, noting the sharp words that Wasserman Schultz had for Verderosa. At the end of her Q&A with the police chief, Wasserman Schultz asks what happens when police find lost items. “I’d like to know how Capitol Police handle equipment that belongs to a member, or a staffer, that’s been lost within the Capitol complex, and found or recovered by one of your officers,” Wasserman Schultz begins. The bottom line from the chief was simple – until an investigation is completed, “I can’t return the equipment,” which is reportedly a laptop from Wasserman Schultz’s office. That answer did not satisfy the Florida Democrat. “I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way,” Wasserman Schultz said bluntly, as she told the chief that he should “expect that there will be consequences.” In the wake of that somewhat jarring verbal exchange, a reporter on Thursday asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi about the Awan investigation. “I’m really not familiar with what you’re talking about,” Pelosi said. “We’ve been busy with a lot of other things,” Pelosi added. U.S. Capitol Police have released little information about what this probe involves, and who exactly is being investigated. According to U.S. House spending records, Imran Awan was a shared employee for thirteen different House members in 2016, earning in the third quarter anywhere from as little as $300 from a pair of Democrats to $6,624.99 from another. Wasserman Schultz paid Awan $5,000.01 for work between July 1 and September 30, 2016. Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, worked for seven Democrats, plus the House Democratic Caucus, earning close to $44,000 in the third quarter of 2016. Records also show two relatives of Awan’s on the Congressional payroll: Abid Awan worked for eight different House Democrats, while Jamal Awan worked for eight others – all as ‘shared’ employees.
  • Four suspects were arrested Friday afternoon in west Tulsa, following an armed robbery of a woman and a standoff. Police report the victim's help led them to a home near 4th and South 54th West Avenue. “She had a good suspect description,” police said.  “She also had a good description of the suspect’s vehicle.” Around three hours later, the suspects were taken into custody without incident.  As of early Saturday morning, their names haven’t been released.   KRMG's told the victim wasn't harmed.
  • If you're sticking around the Tulsa area this weekend, make sure to stay weather aware. National Weather Service says conditions will turn bumpy later today. “Looks like we could see some storms in the late afternoon and into the evening hours,” NWS said.  “All modes of severe weather look to be possible.” KRMG’s told this could include hail, strong winds and even a tornado.   The high today will be around 90 degrees. KRMG Stormcenter is manned and ready to go if severe weather hits our area.
  • Trying to save you some time and misery on your family vacation this summer, Business Insider is ranking the worst “tourist traps” in each state. We've all driven past those highway signs promising all sorts of superlatives from biggest to strangest to oldest and wondered if it was worth stopping. The list from the site is by no means complete and obviously subjective, but for people passing through Oklahoma, Business Insider (again, their opinion, not ours) says to skip the J.M. Davis Gun Museum in Claremore. But we bet you'll agree that “Foamhenge,” a replica of Stonehenge made of styrofoam is not the best use of your time in Virginia. And don't put the Gum Wall in Seattle on your bucket list. It’s just what it sounds like, a wall where thousands upon thousands of people have stuck their used chewing gum. You can find the full list of tourist traps from Business Insider here.