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Latest from Rick Couri

    One week after a tornado touched down in midtown Tulsa, business and shop owners are beginning to reopen their stores. Now Mayor G.T Bynum’s Office and the City’s Information Technology Department put together a map of open businesses in the area impacted by the tornado.  “I urge Tulsans to support and frequent our friends and neighbors that are open for business following the tornado,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “The 41st and Yale corridor received a substantial amount of damage and to have businesses operational today truly shows how resilient our community is.”  You can check the map here, it will be updated as businesses continue to open.  Businesses that are still closed due to the tornado continue working to make necessary repairs.  Officials say affected property owners will be issued expedited repair permits for any demolition, repair, trade (electrical, mechanical or plumbing) or temporary structure permits through September 15.  To speak with a City of Tulsa Permit Center representative, call (918) 596-9456. The permit center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Twin brothers in Oklahoma were awarded with the National Order of the Legion of Honour by France on Sunday.   Family and friends were there to celebrate Claude and Clyde Stokes at the First Baptist Church in McAlester.  The twins joined the U.S. Army when they were 18 years old. They are both decorated war heroes who have been given numerous honors, including the Purple Heart.   The Honorary French Consul for Oklahoma told us the Medal of Chevalier is the country's most prestigious order of merit.   'Claude and Clyde Stokes made significant contributions to the liberation of France and the campaign of southern France. For that reason, they've been awarded the Legion of Honour today,' French Consul Grant Moak said.
  • Officials say a train derailment in Sequoyah County prompting evacuations Sunday was likely caused by heavy rains. “We think it probably washed out underneath the tracks,” Sequoyah County Emergency management director Steve Rutherford confirmed.  10 cars and two engines went off the rails Sunday morning on Central High Road east of Sallisaw and north of Highway 64. Several of the cars were filled with highly flammable liquid propane, leading to the evacuation of homes and businesses nearby. Mark Walters lives near the accident. “I’m 49-years-old and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he told us. The two engineers on-board escaped without being hurt and officials say there was no other damage. Central Public Schools is closed Monday due to the train derailment and heavy rainfall. Union-Pacific believes it will take several days to clean up the mess.
  • A tree cutting company reported a possible pipe bomb while working near Pine and Dawson.  The report came in after 9 a.m. and Tulsa Police sent a bomb squad to the area. Officers confirmed it appeared to be a pipe bomb with firework powder inside. Investigators believe no criminal activity was involved, they think the device was leftover from Independence Day. The bomb squad plans to detonate the device 
  • Mayor GT Bynum and race organizers announced the changes at a 10:00 AM news conference. More than 1,000 people will float, paddle, and race down the Arkansas on Labor Day and now, all of them and everyone else will have other options for entertainment and participation.  The deadline for registration is  August 15th, nonprofits, and retail vendors are encouraged to apply for a vendor spot at the Bud Light Boatyard Bash.  Mayor Bynum confirms he and his family will take part in the race on a raft of their own. The new additions are below. Sand Sculpture Challenge  A 15-year Tulsa tradition that ended in 1993 Competition will be headlined and judged by world famous sand sculpture and international sand champion John Gowdy This will take place during the Great Raft Race Bud Light Boatyard Bash After Party  $250 to participate Sign up at http://tulsaraftrace.com  American Airlines STEM School Challenge  Tulsa’s Great Raft Race will host the American Airlines STEM School Challenge where students can participate in building a raft and taking part in September’s event Participating schools will be given STEM Raft Race curriculum to teach prior to raft construction and the raft construction guide via STEM Education Principles  KKT Architects and American Airlines will provide engineers to support student led teams in their raft building Ten schools will be selected to participate for free and schools from all over the region are encouraged to apply Teachers can apply at http://tulsaraftrace.com  Raft Race Rental Zone presented by Arrowhead Resort For the first time, participants can rent a raft or kayak that will be provided for them at the launch area in Sand Springs Spectators can also rent a kayak at the Bud Light Boatyard Bash at West Festival Park for the best view of the Raft Race from the water 
  • An experimental forecast model helped the National Weather Service predict the path of an Oklahoma tornado hours before the tornado formed, the agency said. According to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, western Oklahoma residents near Elk City were alerted to possible tornado chances on the afternoon of May 16.  “Ninety minutes later, a dangerous, rain-wrapped EF-2 tornado struck the small town: It killed one, injured eight, and destroyed about 200 homes and more than 30 businesses.” Officials said storm spotters and radar data can mean a tornado is minutes from touching down before warnings are issued. The new model reportedly offers at a better look at the storm's evolution at an early stage. Learn more about the model and how forecasters use it to warn residents of dangerous storms here. FOX23 Chief Meteorologist James Aydelott said the research improves forecasts and the FOX23 Severe Weather Team has worked with National Weather Service forecasters to implement new developments.
  • Investigators are checking into bomb threats made in Tahlequah. Reports say someone called the threats to the Cherokee County Courthouse and the Tahlequah Public Library.  The buildings, which are next door to each other, were both evacuated.  Law enforcement and firefighters are searching the buildings.
  • Tulsa Police are warning people about a new phone scam. TPD says someone is calling citizens claiming to be from the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.  The person calling told Sue Freeman her husband missed jury duty and had a bench warrant out for his arrest.  Freemand said the man, claiming to be Sgt. Daniels from TCSO, told her to go to CVS and load money onto a throwaway credit card and then meet him at the Sheriff's Office.  Freeman said she hung up the phone.  TPD says no state or federal agency will call you for money like this.
  • A new portion of a road project is set to being Monday in Broken Arrow. City officials said the intersection of Detroit and Main will close for about two weeks.  Drivers will be detoured around the area during the project, one of the best routes is Ash street, just one block away. to get around the area.  KRMG news has learned the city also plans to later add bike lanes to South Main Street. Workers will turn part of the road and sidewalk there into bike lanes as part of a 2014 General Obligation Bond and a grant from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.  Signs will also be added to streets that alert drivers to cyclists in the area.
  • Two of the four inmates who escaped the Lincoln County Jail are once again in custody. The Lincoln County Sheriff says Trey Goodnight and Jeremy Irvin have both been found and arrested in Pottawatomie County.  Authorities are still searching the two other inmates who escaped, but they are not believed to be in Pottawatomie County.  Tuesday Wagoner County Sheriff's deputies spent time this week searching for one of the escaped inmates in the woods near Broken Arrow.  Deputies initially thought they made contact with an individual they believed to be one of the four escaped inmates but later called off the search.  The four inmates, including a man charged with murder, escaped through the jail's ventilation system Monday. 
  • Rick Couri

    Managing Editor

    Rick Couri began his career with KRMG in 1982 and has since done "everything you could do" at the station. Rick has covered top sporting events such as the Olympic Games, the World Series, football bowl games and championship tennis. He even spent a day with boxing great Muhammad Ali. On the news side Rick was in Joplin and Moore hours after F-5 tornados. He’s also covered political conventions and a presidential visit.

    Rick is entering his 29th year as the color voice for TU basketball, and 12th year as the play-by-play voice for Union football. He’s also broadcast Tulsa basketball, Oklahoma State football, and Tulsa Talons Arena league football.

    Rick and Christine, his wife of 25-years, have three children. son Kelly (36), and his wife Jill. Kelly & Jill are the parents of granddaughter Hayden. 33-year-old daughter Lindsey works for Union public schools and 19-year-old daughter Delaney Catalina is a sophomore engineering major at Texas A&M. When away from the microphone, Rick is a PADI scuba instructor. He and his family have a dive instruction company, http://www.okiescuba.com/. While Rick will tell you he is a "sports guy", those familiar with the Tulsa market know Rick's influence extends well outside the circle of sports. As Co-host of the KRMG Morning News, Rick has interviewed everyone from local celebrities to national figures...A community leader who gives of his time and talent, Rick's commitment to the annual funding campaign for Operation Aware has resulted in over $1.3 million dollars being raised for this important charity... KRMG listeners have learned to appreciate Rick's insightful reporting and have developed a trust unique in today's media personalities. 

    Read More
  • 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