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Latest from Rick Couri

    Broken Arrow Ward 3 councilor Mike Lester began the drive, telling KRMG, “the neighbors contacted me became of the constant reminder they have with going by this house every day.” That, combined with the stories Lester hears from those who were first responders on that night in July of 2015, touched his heart. “To hear one of the police officers say ‘I just can’t drive by that house anymore, I just physically can’t do it,’” Lester recalled hearing. So he decided to start the fund and then early today, received an exciting call from Tulsa businessman and philanthropist Mike Case. “He reached out to me and has made a $20,000 matching pledge.” Lester stressed the pledge has an end date of just more than two-weeks, making it imperative people give quickly.  Donations can be made by clicking on the Tulsa Community Foundation website.  Once there, click on  “Bever Family-First Responders Memorial Garden Fund,' or youou can give by sending a check to the 'Bever Family -First Responders Fund.' Send the check to the Tulsa Community Foundation, 7030 South Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136. Lester also set up a GoFundMe page for donations, find it at Bever House First Responders Fund. Robert Bever pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole and Michael Bever has pleaded not guilty to killing their parents and three siblings at the home.
  • Firefighters responded around 11:30 p.m. to a mobile home near 41st and Mingo. When crews arrived they found the home completely involved and all three family members hurting. KRMG news has learned the father has burns over 50% of his body and the mother suffered burns on her arms and legs. The teenager was not burned but has cuts from being pulled through the window. Investigators told us intense heat melted siding on several nearby homes. The structure is a complete loss and the family is in the hospital but are expected to OK. Crews hope to find the cause of the fire in the next few hours.
  • The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department wants to help one of their own. The department sent the following message about the wife of a deputy. For months Crystal Eldridge has been bravely battling a rare form of cancer known as a sarcoma. In October she had a six inches tumor removed from her ribs. The 36 year old mother of two young daughters has undergone 32 rounds of radiation and is in the mist of chemo. Crystal is the wife of TCSO Cpl. Marshall Eldridge. As a show of support, members of the TCSO family will gather at the Faulkner Building at noon this Friday, to shave their heads to match Crystal’s. Staff members will also donate money to a cause that is very close to her heart, a non-profit called “Assistance in Healthcare, INC”. This worthy cause provides financial assistant for non-medical related costs for cancer patients undergoing treatment. Here’s a link to the organization: https://www.assistanceinhealthcare.org/ Friday’s event is a build up to the “Cuts Against Cancer” fundraiser on March 25th at Stylix Salon in Owasso, in a portion of all the haircuts that day will be donated.
  • Thousands of Green Country customers lost power and many report hail up to golf ball size denting cars following a Monday storm. In Tulsa, a tree came crashing down near 27th and Peoria. A driver who didn't see the tree in time crashed into it. Passenger in the car were not injured but the massive tree blocked the road for several hours before being cleared away. Another tree was knocked down near 61st and Garnett. In Bixby, five power lines came down in 121st and Memorial. PSO officials say 4,200 customers lost power, with most of those affected in Vinita but there some scattered in the Tulsa area. OG&E reported 1,416 customers lost power in the Sapulpa and Kiefer areas. The Verdigris Valley Electric Co-op reported that more than 2,400 customers were left in the dark between Owasso, Skiatook and Bartlesville. The storm knocked down a power pole near 10800 North 145th East Avenue in Owasso. The Adair County sheriff said homes and the community center took damage near Greasy, but it is unknown how severe things are. It's also unclear if straight-line winds or a tornado led to the dmage. Rogers County Emergency Management says the storm brought down power lines and included small hail. No injuries have been reported. If you have pictures of storm damage please leabe them on our Facebook page or text them to 95920.
  • Police and deputies are looking for 30-year-old Brian Benedict. It's believed Benedict shot and killed his father in a home near Maple and Willow in Verdigris and is likely still in the area.  KRMG news has learned the dead man's wife came home to find her husband dead and Brian Benedict, and a gun, missing. Investigators telling residents in the area to be on the lookout and to call them if they think they see anything unusual. Word of the homicide was hinted at when Verdigris schools released the following statement on their website just hours ago. 'Verdigris Public Schools has made the decision to cancel school today, March 6, 2017. Classes have been canceled today as a result of an incident in close proximity to our school. This incident has resulted in increased police activity in the area. While we are unable to release additional details as this time, please know the decision was made with the safety of all students in mind. There will be no school today, March 6, 2017.' Stay with KRMG for the latest on this story as it develops.
  • Mayor GT Bynum is heading to the nation’s capitol to tout the city of Tulsa. Bynum  (photos) G.T. Bynum wins mayoral election
  • With Election Day finally here each political party can now turn their focus to the sometimes excruciating task of watching results pile up from around the country. In Oklahoma there will be two major gatherings. One in Oklahoma City and the other at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. The galas serve as not only a way to witness history first-hand but also to relax a bit after a long, hard fought, and sometimes nasty campaign. You can find all the information you need about voting and polling places and the election by clicking here, on our one-stop voting page. KRMG is in place at the aquarium and will be updating the event and talking to the key players all night long so check back often for the latest. 4:05pm - I arrive at the Oklahoma Aquarium to find the main lobby set up with white tables and chairs w ith red and blue tablecloths and high tables with  reb covers filled with whiet stars. This gathering began with the idea of inviting 20-30 people but quickly grew to over 500. 4:40pm - All set up and ready to broadcast here at a table in the back of the room. 5:05pm - Tonight's host, State Seantor Dan Newberry just arrived and spnt a few minutes telling me what he thinks, and hopes, will happen tonight. 5:35pm - State senator Gary Stanislawski dropped over to tell us he's very hopeful as the night goes along. 6:05pm - Trump predicted the winner in Indiana and Kentucky with CLinton winning Vermont. 6:30pm - This place is rocking. The crowd is so big it's hard to get into the center of the floor and so loud you can't hear the music of the giant TV on Fox news. 6:55pm - Trump wins South Carolina and Illinois with Clinton taking the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland. 7:05pm - Trump wins Oklahoma and Senator James Lankford is already announced as the winner in the race for his first term in the senate. 7:31pm - A HUGE cheer here as Trump is shown with a 1 point lead in Florida with more than 80% of the vote counted. 8:10pm - Senator Inhofe grabbed the mic to be live with us. He told us he loves the early results and can't wait for the swing states to fall. 8:15pm - Congreeeman Jim Bridenstine slapped me on the back and said hello on his way in. He just spoke here trelling the crowd he's feeling a momentum that will carry Donald Trump to a win. 8:37pm - Trump is rollimg up states quickly now and the crowd here cheers like their favorite team just scored a touchdown every time one is announced. 9:10pm - Dave Rader just arrived and talked with KRMG about wining his race for the state senate. 10:00pm - It's pretty clear Donald J Trump will be elected president of the United States.
  • The quake was felt strongly across the Tulsa area with social media reports saying walls rattled in Bentonville and Fayetteville,  Arkansas. The quake epicenter was near Cushing, Oklahoma. The agencies 'feel it' map logged responses from Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. The USGS originally listed the temblor at 5.3 but adjusted back to 5.0 just under an hour later. The intensity felt around the state may have come because the quake was only 6.1 kilometers deep. Tell KRMG about your quake experience. Download the KRMG app and use the open mic feature to leave us a message. See some of the social media responses below. http://twitter.com/gtbynum/status/795442950289444865
  • Broken Arrow cops tell us a 15-year-old girl was riding a skateboard south in the northbound lane on Main street when she was hit by a car. Cpl. Leon Calhoun told KRMG news other drivers called to report the girl but the accident occured before anyone could get to the scene. Witnesses say one car was able to swerve and miss the girl but the following vehicle hit the student. A KRMG listener told us he belived the student was from the Freshman academy. Stay tuned for the latest on this story.
  • BA cops expect more than 30,000 people for the 16th 'Night out Against Crime with Fun and Games on Main.' The free event will occupy Main street from Denver to Detroit from 6:00-8:00 PM October 29th. Lisa Ford with BAPD told KRMG news the evening will feature 'free hot dogs, cotton candy, and of course, lots of candy.' Ford told us 'our objectives are to:'  * Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness  * Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships  * Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime  * Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts A release from BAPD explains, This will create the opportunity for our Police Department along with numerous public service agencies to distribute educational materials to the citizens of Broken Arrow. We want to provide attractions and family entertainment geared for children and parents who want to bring the entire family to participate. The Night Out Against Crime event will have:-Master of Ceremonies Ezell Ware (formerly of the Hip Hop Cops)-Free hot dogs courtesy of Reasor’s and the Broken Arrow Target-Broken Arrow Police Department’s Special Operations Team, bike patrol, communications, animalcontrol, K-9, crime scene investigator, Victims of Crime Advocates, and the traffic unit-Broken Arrow Fire Department-Petting zoo and jump houses-Vince and Larry Crash Dummies and McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog-Costume contests hosted by First National Bank.' Find out more on the BAPD Facebook page.
  • 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. 

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  • After the collapse of health care reform legislation in the House on Friday, Republicans in the Congress and President Donald Trump now must decide what’s next on their respective agendas, as the GOP tries to pick up the pieces from a very public legislative failure over an issue that had been their central political focus for the last seven years. Here’s the look from Capitol Hill. 1. The first big setback for the Trump agenda. You can try to downplay what happened, but there was little positive to take from this health care debacle in the House. “I will not sugarcoat this; this is a disappointing day for us,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan after the vote was canceled. President Trump tried to blame Democrats, but that rang hollow since the White House had done no serious outreach to the other party. With this setback, it’s even more apparent how little has been done so far by the GOP Congress with respect to the Trump Agenda. Other than approving a series of plans to reverse specific regulations of the Obama Administration, no bills of any import have been passed. Infrastructure, jobs bills, tax cuts, cutting government – all of that sounds good – but so far, no action. And Trump wrote 'The Art of the Deal' — Bill Mitchell (@JerseyGuy_Bill) March 25, 2017 2. Trump allies turn their sights on Speaker Ryan. It wasn’t hard to hear the low rumbling of some supporters of President Trump, as they used the Friday health care debacle to immediately try to make Speaker Ryan the scapegoat. Ann Coulter bluntly said, “Ryan is not on Trump’s side.” Pro-Trump websites like InfoWars and Breitbart immediately attacked Ryan as well, with some conservatives urging the House Freedom Caucus to help dump Ryan, arguing that he is the perfect illustration of the Republican Establishment that needs to be excised from Swamp of Washington, D.C. Paul Ryan is not on @POTUS' side – https://t.co/QVOHBDIKiT #KilledTheBill #FunFactFriday — Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) March 24, 2017 3. Full repeal of Obamacare needs 60 votes in the Senate. If Republicans couldn’t muster a majority in the House – how are they going to get 60 votes in the Senate to really change the bulk of the Obama health law? The answer – they’re not going to do that any time soon. But full repeal was still the mantra from a number of Republicans as the House GOP health care bill went down the tubes on Friday. “I remain committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with conservative reforms,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). “Congress should take its time and pass a good bill that actually repeals ObamaCare,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). But the truth is, unless Republicans get 60 votes in the 2018 elections, an Obama health law repeal bill faces a difficult road in the Congress. I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people. I look forward to passing full repeal https://t.co/ftyj6sCw0v — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 24, 2017 4. This fight on health care is already over? It seems hard to believe that Republicans are just going to drop the issue of health care reform, especially after making it such a central part of their political message in recent years. But President Trump seemed to send the signal that he is going to focus his political capital on other issues, like tax reform. “That one is going to be fun,” the President said earlier this week, as his Treasury Secretary predicted a final tax bill would on the President’s desk by early August. The last time Congress approved major tax reform was 1986. There’s a reason it hasn’t happened in over 30 years. It is not easy. And the lobbyists of Gucci Gulch will be ready. President Trump says tax reform is the next item on his agenda https://t.co/dLNduSPgl6 — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 24, 2017 5. This wasn’t really much of an effort. The White House said the President “left everything on the field” to get a health care bill. But it doesn’t look like that at all. Go back eight years, and Democrats were just launching their 13 month effort to forge what would become known as Obamacare. It went through the spring, summer, fall, winter, and then into the next spring of 2010, before being achieved. By contrast, the GOP introduced its health care bill on March 6 and gave up on March 24. Back in 2009 and 2010, Democrats struggled to keep their side together, but managed to get 60 votes for their package in the Senate. The GOP couldn’t even get a majority in the House. There is still time to go back to the drawing board. But it takes more than 18 days of work. Remember when Republicans promised they would try to fiddle with Obamacare for a few weeks and then give up? — Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) March 24, 2017 6. Let the Republican finger pointing begin. One of the biggest immediate targets was the Freedom Caucus, the group of more conservative lawmakers which for years has been very good at holding out against the GOP leadership, but has done almost nothing in the way of substantive legislating. Some of that ire was aimed at Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the head of the Freedom Caucus. “Mark Meadows is more interested in being on the TV than solving problems,” fumed Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who then aimed some more barbs at Meadows and pointedly made sure to tell a reporter – “You can quote me on that.” Exactly right. GOP & Trump own this,but @freedomcaucus & @Heritage_Action & others caused it. They are the pie-in-the-sky caucus. https://t.co/9tMcfk45ox — Brit Hume (@brithume) March 24, 2017 7. Don’t downplay the importance of this setback. Yes, it’s just one bill. Yes, it’s not the end of the world. But this failure was a big deal. Republicans have been talking for years about how they would repeal and replace the Obama health law. Donald Trump said he would do it right away. But for years, I have been reporting – and taking flak for saying – that while the GOP had lots of ideas, they didn’t have consensus on any plan. And that was obvious as they desperately tried to stitch together deals at the last minute to keep the bill moving. It’s pretty easy to lob verbal grenades at the other party – it’s a little different to offer substantive legislation and pass it. Humiliating defeat for GOP after years to prepare. Real blow to their argument that they could govern if only given the chance. — carl hulse (@hillhulse) March 24, 2017 8. This was not a good week for President Trump. It started Monday with the FBI Director publicly confirming that not only was there an investigation of how Russia meddled in last year’s election, but also a probe of any links between the Trump Campaign and Moscow. The FBI chief also made clear there was no evidence to back up Trump’s claim that he had been wiretapped in 2016. And the NSA shot down talk that British Intelligence had helped with surveillance on Trump Tower. Meanwhile, the Trump travel and refugee ban stayed on hold the courts, despite Mr. Trump’s declaration that judges were overstepping their authority. Then the week ended with a health care thud. Tomorrow's cover: Trump forced to cancel health care vote in stunning blow https://t.co/53Po4iXVbM pic.twitter.com/lEQe5Qc22g — New York Post (@nypost) March 24, 2017
  • Unable to convince GOP lawmakers to get on board with a plan to overhaul the Obama health law, Republicans in the House decided not to even force a vote on the measure, a major setback for both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. “This bill is dead,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who played a central role in cobbling together this plan. 'This bill is dead,' House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Walden says — Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) March 24, 2017 The bill never even came to a vote, as it became obvious that Republicans had nowhere near a majority of lawmakers ready to vote for it. Democrats were more than happy to pile on the GOP legislative debacle. #ObamaCare 1 – #Trumpcare 0. — Rep. Hank Johnson (@RepHankJohnson) March 24, 2017
  • In the end, monolithic opposition by Democrats coupled with opposition from the far right doomed Friday’s vote on the American Health Care Act, the GOP bill that would have repealed and replaced the law commonly known as “Obamacare.” GOP leadership decided to pull the bill, realizing that it could not pass. The Trump administration made it clear early Friday that negotiations were over, and the president wanted an up or down vote Friday. House Speaker Paul Ryan went to the White House to report he didn’t have the votes to pass the bill; President Trump had previously said win or lose, Rep. Ryan should keep his position as Speaker. The GOP plan (AHCA) would have ended the mandate that all Americans pay for health insurance, replacing it with a plan where the federal government would give Americans tax credits, based on age. That would have saved taxpayers billions of dollars, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, but would have left  24 million additional Americans without health coverage within the next decade. Many governors, including some Republicans, also had serious concerns about the additional burdens passed on to states under the AHCA.
  • The Pawhuska woman recently accused of exposing herself to a classroom of students was arrested this week on accusations of stealing a purse.  According to the arrest report, Lacey Sponsler allegedly stole a purse while at the Broken Arrow Lanes bowling alley near 111th and Elm last Thursday.   The report states that witnesses saw her acting suspiciously and looking at people’s belongings. One witness saw her grab a purse and asked if it was hers. She said it was not.   A witness then reportedly saw Sponsler walk into the game room and return wearing different clothes. Police were called and found her in the bathroom.   Sponsler was arrested in February for doing a cartwheel in front of students at a Pawhuska school. She was not wearing anything under her dress and exposed herself to the students.
  • Authorities in Ohio arrested three people after they discovered the badly decomposed body of a 71-year-old Vietnam veteran in a home, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news Deputies with the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office found the body of Bob Harris, 71, after learning that his Social Security debit card was being used despite the fact that he hadn’t been seen for months, WJW reported. The body had decomposed to the point where the remains were mostly skeletal, lying in the living room of a home in Wainwright. The body was kept a short distance from where the home’s residents slept, according to WJW. “It’s a horribly graphic case,” Sheriff Orvis Campbell told TimesReporter.com. He said Harris’ body was found in some “of the most deplorable conditions we can describe.” Trash and animal waste was found near the body. Harris was living with a married couple and their daughter, according to TimesReporter.com. The family had spread stories about Harris moving to Stark County and allowing them to use his Social Security benefits, Campbell said. Authorities arrested Brian and Stacy Sorohan on charges of abuse of a corpse and theft of a credit card, according to The Associated Press. The couple’s 18-year-old daughter was charged with abuse of a corpse. Deputies said the circumstances surrounding Harris’ death were not immediately clear. An autopsy will be performed to determine whether his death involved foul play, according to TimesReporter.com.