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Latest from April Hill

    University of Oklahoma President David Boren says he will resign as head of the state's flagship university at the end of the current school year. Boren is a former Democratic governor and U.S. senator. He has served as OU's president since 1994. Boren announced his plan Wednesday to retire June 30, but agreed to stay longer if a successor has not been selected by that time.
  • An environmental science teacher at Broken Arrow Public Schools has been named Oklahoma's Teacher of the Year for 2018. Gradel has taught at Broken Arrow Public Schools for 21 years. A 29-year veteran educator, Gradel began her teaching career after receiving one of the first women's basketball scholarships to West Virginia University. One of Gradel's biggest student project was instructing her students to design a large-scale aquaponics system.  The system provided clean water and a sustainable food system to raise fish and plants for impoverished orphans in a remote region of Kenya.  After months of research and data collection, Gradel and her students then traveled to Africa to complete the system.   The winner is chosen after extensive interviews with 12 finalists by a 20-member panel of judges.
  • Police are trying to figure out how a man ended up dead Monday morning at a reservoir near 193rd East Avenue and 21st Street. A witness reported seeing a fisherman, then only fishing gear and a hat on the shoreline around 8:30am. An hour later, police discovered the body. Investigators on the scene tell FOX23 that the bank is very steep and slippery. They are working to see if he slipped in.  A medical examiner was called to the scene to determine the exact cause of death. Investigators are working to notify the victim’s family before releasing the identity. Read more.
  • Governor Mary Fallin signed an executive order Friday calling for a special session on September 25 for state lawmakers to address the budget shortfall. “Lawmakers need to come together quickly to fill this fiscal year’s budget hole so our citizens can be assured they will receive necessary core services,” said Governor Fallin. The state’s 2018 fiscal year budget has a shortfall of $215 million. Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus, reacted to the news. 'The Oklahoma Senate is up to the challenge and is ready to get to work,” said Schulz. 
  • Voters are headed to the ballot box this week for Tulsa's Senate District 37.  Republican voters will pick from seven GOP candidates seeking to replace outgoing Republican state Sen. Dan Newberry in a winner-take-all primary.  The winner will face Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman in a November general election. Among the other ballot items Tuesday are sales tax hikes in Oklahoma City for road and public safety improvements and a race for sheriff in Oklahoma County. KRMG is Tulsa’s Election Headquarters. Tune to NEWS102.3 and AM740 for the latest developments.
  • A state senator is the third Republican in conservative lawmakers to face criminal charges this year. In court documents filed Wednesday, an Oklahoma City police detective says the driver told investigators that Republican State Sen. Bryce Marlatt stumbled into her car and commented on her appearance when she picked him up from a restaurant June 26. She said during the ride, he grabbed her and kissed her neck and shoulder. Sen. Marlatt, a 40-year-old married father of four, from Woodward, previously said he was shocked by the allegations. 
  • The state budget took a big hit after the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a proposed cigarette tax. The ruling resulted in a $215 million budget shortfall. Governor Mary Fallin has been meeting with lawmakers from both parties in recent weeks to discuss ways to make up for the lost revenue. Gov. Fallin announced Wednesday she intends to call for a special session later this month. The $215 million in cigarette tax revenue had been earmarked for three state agencies that provide health and human services.
  • A 9-year-old boy was killed in a crash on Okmulgee Lake Sunday night around 8:00. Police were called to a report of a two boat collision. The smaller of the two boats had several passengers on board, including two children. Investigators say a larger boat, driven by Jared Trotter was speeding when it hit the smaller boat. The 9-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. Another older boy was flown by Lifeflight to a hospital in Tulsa.  Trotter was arrested for operating a boat under the influence of intoxicants and manslaughter.  In a separate crash on Keystone Lake, a man and woman from Sand Springs were killed.  Police say they too were struck by a boat.  The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports the accident happened about 9:15 p.m. Sunday about five miles from Mannford.   The patrol says 56-year-old William Crocker and 48-year-old Cathy Crocker were riding a Sea Doo eastbound when a northbound boat crashed into them.   
  • You don’t have to be in Harvey’s path for it to cost you. Gasoline prices could rise across wide portions of the United States, including Oklahoma, as Hurricane Harvey shuts down refineries in the nation’s largest refining hub in Texas. Experts predict an increase of five to 15 cents over the weekend as Hurricane Harvey forces the evacuation of dozens of oil platforms off the coast of Texas. GasBuddy says a major refining hub in Houston continues to operate, but may come under attack from Harvey over the weekend, resulting in a possible large disruption to gasoline supply.   “While the picture continues to change, one thing is nearly guaranteed: gasoline prices in every state will be impacted to varying degrees over the next 1-2 weeks, possibly longer, so buckle up and be ready,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.    The shutdowns have led wholesale gasoline prices to rise nearly 10 cents per gallon.
  • Surveillance video at a Sapulpa QuikTrip captured two Major County jail escapees on Wednesday. Andrew Foy and Darren Walp escaped Tuesday after overpowering prison transport officers in northwest Oklahoma. Major County Sheriff's Deputy Gary Swymeler says they could be heading to Pennsylvania or Delaware where both have ties, or could still be in Oklahoma where Walp has ties.  'Walp has contacts all over Oklahoma, particularly in Lawton and Walters,' said Sheriff Swymeler.  Swymeler says the pair was driving a semitrailer stolen from El Reno when they stopped in Sapulpa and left the trailer in the store parking lot.  Both face charges for nonviolent offenses.
  • 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."

    Read More
  • Looking for ways to deal with hundreds of thousands of younger illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents, a group of Republican Senators introduced a plan on Monday which would let those “Dreamers” remain in the U.S. legally, but wait up to fifteen years in line with others who are seeking American citizenship. “This is not an amnesty bill where we take those individuals and just say, we’re going to give you a quick route to citizenship, and ignore the realities of what happened coming in,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). “They were children, many of them were two or three years old when they came,” Lankford told a news conference at the Capitol. “They’ve grown up in this country, they know no other place.” Sen. Tillis and Sen. Lankford introducing “succeed act”- bill offers merit-based pathway for dreamers to stay in the US pic.twitter.com/NSkU0aGGEu — Dorey Scheimer (@DoreyScheimer) September 25, 2017 The plan from Lankford, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), would not allow “Dreamers” to bring in relatives during that 15 year wait for possible citizenship – as critics worry it will mean ‘chain migration’ once those younger illegal immigrants are allowed to stay in the U.S. legally. Lankford made clear this bill to deal with the “DACA” children should not be considered on its own, but only as part of a broader Congressional deal on immigration matters. “This individual piece is not designed to be a stand-alone,” Lankford said, rattling off issues like border security, programs to stop companies from hiring illegal immigrants, and cracking down on people who enter the country legally, but then stay longer than their visa allows them to be in the U.S.
  • U.S. researchers are getting ready to recruit more than 1 million people for an unprecedented study to learn how our genes, environments and lifestyles interact. Today, health care is based on averages, what worked best in short studies of a few hundred or thousand patients. The massive “All of Us” project instead will push what’s called precision medicine, using traits that make us unique to forecast health and treat disease. The goal is to end cookie-cutter health care. A pilot is under way now. If all goes well, the National Institutes of Health plans to open enrollment early next year. Participants will get DNA tests, and report on their diet, sleep, exercise and numerous other health-affecting factors. It’s a commitment: The study aims to run for at least 10 years.
  • A kayaker found a grain bag containing six puppies floating in a river Sunday in Uxbridge. >> Read more trending newsThe bag was tied up and the puppies were dumped in the river and left for dead, police said. Uxbridge animal control was called to the scene and took the puppies. All of them are expected to be OK and are being taken care of. The puppies are receiving the necessary care, and will be available for adoption after they have been medically cleared. Uxbridge Police do not have any suspects yet.
  • Some Target workers will be getting more money in their paychecks starting next month. The company announced that starting in October, it will be paying at least $11 an hour, up a dollar from its current $10 an hour minimum wage, CNBC reported. But the retail chain isn’t stopping there. Company officials are promising that the pay will be increased to $15 by 2020. Target is answering Walmart’s pay increase last year to $10 an hour, Reuters reported. Target has promised that the minimum pay rate will apply to 100,000 temporary workers it will hire for the holiday shopping season, CNBC reported. Currently, Target employs 323,000 people at more than 1,800 stores. Earlier this year, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would raise federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The current federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 an hour.
  • It appeared no drivers, crew or other team members participated in a protest during the national anthem to start the NASCAR Cup series race Sunday. >> Read more trending newsSeveral team owners and executives said they wouldn’t tolerate anyone in their organizations protesting. They could be fired if they had. “It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus,” Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt’s long time team owner, said of protesting. “Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.” As the NFL, NBA and MLB have seen players, owners and teams protest and remark on social media in the wake of President Donald Trump's comments Friday and throughout the weekend about athletes who peacefully protest during the national anthem, several NASCAR owners weighed in. Richard Petty was asked if drivers protesting during the anthem would be fired, and he said, “You’re right.” “Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States,” Petty said. The Associated Press contributed to this report.