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Latest from Skyler Cooper

    Voters will go to the polls Tuesday for the State Senate District 37 Special General Election, State House District 76 Special General Election, City of Bixby Special Utility Franchise Election, City of Sand Springs Special Bond Election and City of Tulsa Special Proposition Election, Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman said today. Please keep the following information and tips in mind as the election approaches. Lines are possible at peak voting times. Wait times will likely be shortest at mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Anyone in line to vote at 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot. Anyone who needs to look up their polling place, verify their registration information, or view a sample ballot can do so online. The Online Voter Tool can be accessed on the Oklahoma State Election Board’s website: www.elections.ok.gov. Those who vote by mail can also check the status of their ballot using the Online Voter Tool. Sample ballots are also available at the County Election Board office. - Oklahoma law requires every voter who votes in person at the precinct polling place or during early voting at the County Election Board to show proof of identity before receiving a ballot. There are three ways for voters to prove their identity under the law (only one proof of identity is required): Show a valid photo ID issued by federal, state, or tribal government; or show the free voter identification card issued to every voter by the County Election Board; or sign an affidavit and vote a provisional ballot. (If the information on the affidavit matches official voter registration records, the ballot will be counted after Election Day.) More here
  • Friday morning, the KRMG Morning News went in-depth on the topic of Veterans Day. Rick Couri and Skyler Cooper were joined in studio by Weydan Flax, U.S. Army Sergeant Vic St. Clair and U.S. Army Purple Heart recipient Tommy Thompson. The discussion included the 2017 Veterans Day Parade, VFW Post 577, the difference between war and warfare and more. Click here to listen to the KRMG Morning News 8am In-Depth Hour: Veterans Day 2017
  • The 99th Annual Tulsa Veterans Day Parade is happening this morning at 11 a.m.  Organizers told KRMG the parade was scheduled on the day before Veterans Day to allow schools to take students on a field to see it. Holding the parade Friday also allows for school bands to participate. The theme of this year’s parade is “Generations of Service” honoring veterans of all ages. According to 2017 Veterans Day Parade President Joshua Starks, the Tulsa parade is the largest free parade in the country. For the first time, the Tulsa Veterans Day Parade will include an F-16 flyover by the Oklahoma Air National Guard 138th Fighter Wing. The honorees this year are: William “Bill” Grisez (WW II POW 82nd Airborne, Army Air  Corps) Grand Marshall, age 94; Gordon Coleman, (U.S. Navy Korea) Parade Chief of Staff; Mitch  Reed (U.S. Army Vietnam 2 Purple Hearts & 1 Bronze Star) Parade Commander; Christina “Tina” Smith (U.S. Army Reserve Vietnam & Post Cold War era MSG Retired), Parade Adjutant. More here
  • The University of Tulsa announced the Institute for Bob Dylan Studies on Wednesday. The new research center will be dedicated to studying the life and work of singer-songwriter and American music legend Bob Dylan. “From pop culture historians to social scientists, the academic world clearly is excited to study Bob Dylan, his work and his influence,” said TU President Gerard P. Clancy. “An interdisciplinary institute devoted to the Nobel laureate and housed within a national university should bring increased prominence to The Bob Dylan Archive and the Tulsa community. It also will generate new findings and amplify the scope of Dylan’s legacy for generations.” Click here for more from FOX23 The University of Tulsa said the Institute for Bob Dylan Studies will sponsor scholarly symposia, as well as programs directed to the general public, student assistantships, institutes for teachers, community-based initiatives, and original research in the archives. The Bob Dylan Archives The Bob Dylan Archive is a unique treasure, and along with the Bob Dylan Center located in the Brady Arts District, TU’s institute will draw international attention from scholars and students as well as from a much larger public interested in the work of one of America’s most original artists.
  • Governor Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz and House Speaker Charles McCall today reached an agreement adjusting the 2018 fiscal year budget that, among other things, helps fill the $215 million budget hole and puts Oklahoma on a more stable budget path, as well as provides a needed teacher pay raise.  If passed by the Legislature, the agreement would:  Place a $1.50 tax on a package of cigarettes.   Provide for a 6-cent fuel tax increase.   Revise taxes on alcoholic beverages.   Restore the Earned Income Tax credit.   Provide for a $3,000 teacher pay increase, effective Aug. 1, 2018.   Provide for a $1,000 increase for state employees, effective Aug. 1, 2018. It does not pertain to higher education, legislators or constitutional officers, such as statewide elected officials and judges.  “This agreement is the result of countless hours of discussions and meetings,” said Fallin. “I appreciate President Pro Tem Schulz and Speaker McCall working to provide a long-term solution to our state’s continuing budget shortfalls. It is apparent that rapid changes in our economy have created unsustainable and unpredictable revenue collection patterns. We need to seek long-term sustainability and stability as opposed to unpredictability and volatility. This agreement makes more recurring revenue available, helps us stop balancing our budget with one-time funds, and provides a teacher pay raise as well as a raise for our hard-working state employees, who have not had an across-the-board pay increase in eleven years. And, most importantly, it provides sufficient revenues to meet the basic responsibilities of state government, such as education, health and public safety. We must deliver services that work for the people, and put people over politics.” Schulz said: The Legislature has a tremendous opportunity with this deal to solve our immediate budget crisis, put the state on more solid financial ground moving forward, and deliver on a much-needed and much-deserved pay raise for classroom teachers and most state employees. As Senate leader, I’ve stressed to senators the importance of long-term thinking and planning. This deal gives us the chance to deliver on that, and institute reforms that will have a tremendous impact on our state for years to come. I appreciate Governor Fallin and her staff, Speaker McCall and his team, and the members of the Senate leadership team for their hard work in bringing this deal to fruition.”  McCall said: “We believe this plan gives us the best opportunity to pass the House and Senate, and provide the state with needed revenue to stabilize mental health and substance abuse programs, keep rural hospitals open, and provide a pay raise that would make Oklahoma teachers the highest paid in the region for starting pay. This plan also provides recurring revenue for transportation infrastructure and restores the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income Oklahomans, which more than offsets any increased consumption costs for low-income earners.”
  • Watch as President Trump signs an executive order on health care. Click here to watch
  • As part of a multi-year, utility infrastructure reinvestment plan approved by the City Council last year, the City of Broken Arrow will implement a second rate increase for water, sewer and stormwater services. A similar rate increase was approved in December 2016.  Beginning with bills received in November 2017, a typical residential customer in the city limits that uses 7,000 gallons of water per month will see their water bill increase about $1.68 and their sewer bill increase about $1.05. The stormwater fee will increase by $0.52. The street light fee increases $1.00 to $1.50. These changes will make the bill for a typical household using 7,000 gallons increase about $3.75 per month.  “The City Council and City staff are very conscious of any increase in the cost of service and are committed to maintaining the most cost-effective and reliable utility services available in the metro area,” said City Manager Michael Spurgeon.  The rate increases are necessary to continue providing utility services in Broken Arrow and pay both operational costs and debt service payments on $90 million worth of capital projects for the utility infrastructure. The increased street light fee will also fund two new street signal technician positions to help maintain the City’s traffic lights.  The City of Broken Arrow operates 83 signalized intersections, 18 signalized school zones and 55 civil defense and outdoor storm warning sirens. In addition, Broken Arrow has approximately 5,000 streetlights, 1,750 of which are City owned.  Last year, the City hired the engineering consultant firm of Black and Veatch, which specializes in helping municipalities analyze costs for services delivered and establish appropriate utility rates. Black and Veatch, working with staff, determined what Broken Arrow’s water, sewer and stormwater fees should be in order to pay for the necessary utility systems improvements, operational expenses, and additional staffing needs to maintain the systems.  “These utility rate increases are required so that the City can continue to improve our water, sewer and stormwater systems to handle the explosive growth Broken Arrow has experienced over the past 30 years,” Spurgeon said. “Major capital investments are needed to make our utility systems reliable and efficient, and to ensure we can accommodate future growth anticipated in the next 10-15 years. We’ve made tremendous progress so far, such as beginning improvements at our Lynn Lane Wastewater Treatment Plant. These types of improvements are vital if we are to continue to provide high quality utility services to both current and future customers and position ourselves to accommodate continued economic growth in Broken Arrow.”
  • Jason Aldean’s Tulsa concert to be first since Las Vegas shooting
  • Fifty-six department and grocery stores have confirmed they will be closed Thanksgiving Day, with most saying they are closing to give employees time off with their families. The list, compiled by BestBlackFriday.com, includes retailers Costco, Lowes, Publix, Sam’s Club and TJ Maxx. As they have done in past years, Walmart, Best Buy, Kmart, Kohl’s, Target, Sears, JC Penney, and other major retailers are expected to open Thanksgiving Day.  According to a recent survey by BestBlackFriday.com, 16.2 percent polled favor Thanksgiving openings while 57.5 dislike Thanksgiving openings.  The stores that will be closed are: Academy Sports + Outdoors At Home Burlington Costco Ethan Allen Guitar Center Harbor Freight Hobby Lobby Home Depot JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores Jos. A. Bank Lowe’s Marshalls Mattress Firm Office Depot and OfficeMax Party City Petco PetSmart Pier 1 Imports Sam’s Club Sprint (Corporate & Dealer Owned Stores; Mall Kiosks May Open) Staples TJ Maxx Tractor Supply The list will be updated during the next few weeks, according to BestBlackFriday.com. Check back for updates.
  • Broken Arrow Public Schools confirmed Monday morning that one of its teachers was killed over the weekend. From BAPS: “Broken Arrow Public Schools s saddened to confirm Mr. Shane Anderson, a geography teacher at Oneta Ridge Middle School, was the victim of a terrible and senseless act of violence Sunday afternoon at his home in Tulsa. Mr. Anderson joined BAPS in 2013. He was a valuable member of our family and beloved by his students and colleagues. “I am devastated by the news of Mr. Anderson’s tragic passing,” Broken Arrow Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said. “Our hearts are breaking for his family, and we will support them every way possible during this unimaginable time.”  Counselors and support staff have been made available to the Oneta Ridge family and will continue to be available in the days ahead.”
  • Skyler Cooper

    Skyler started his radio career at KRMG in 2012. He started as a board operator on Sunday mornings and was quickly moved into the producer role for the KRMG Morning News with Dan Potter.

    Skyler became a reporter in 2014 and now works as KRMG Morning News Producer and Reporter.

    With both of his parents and a grandmother having all worked in the business, Skyler was hooked on radio from an early age.

    In his free time, Skyler enjoys playing guitar and spending time outdoors.

    Read More
  • The Massachusetts tribe whose ancestors shared a Thanksgiving meal with the Pilgrims nearly 400 years ago is reclaiming its long-lost language, one schoolchild at a time. “Weesowee mahkusunash,” says teacher Siobhan Brown, using the Wampanoag phrase for “yellow shoes” as she reads to a preschool class from Sandra Boynton’s popular children’s book “Blue Hat, Green Hat.” The Mukayuhsak Weekuw — or “Children’s House ” — is an immersion school launched by the Cape Cod-based Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, whose ancestors hosted a harvest celebration with the Pilgrims in 1621 that helped form the basis for the country’s Thanksgiving tradition. The 19 children from Wampanoag households that Brown and other teachers instruct are being taught exclusively in Wopanaotooaok, a language that had not been spoken for at least a century until the tribe started an effort to reclaim it more than two decades ago. The language brought to the English lexicon words like pumpkin (spelled pohpukun in Wopanaotooaok), moccasin (mahkus), skunk (sukok), powwow (pawaw) and Massachusetts (masachoosut), but, like hundreds of other native tongues, fell victim to the erosion of indigenous culture through centuries of colonialism.
  • A photo circulating on social media appears to show a Memphis Police Department officer . >> Watch the news report here The photo was posted on Saturday, and several viewers sent it to WHBQ. >> See the photo here Memphis police acknowledged the photo and issued the following statement: >> Read more trending news 'The officer in question has been identified, and an administrative investigation is underway. This behavior will not be tolerated, and I can assure you that corrective actions will be taken,' said Director Michael Rallings. 'This type of behavior does not represent the hardworking men and women of the Memphis Police Department.
  • Former Tulsa police officer Shannon Kepler was sentenced this week to 15 years in prison after a manslaughter conviction in the shooting death of Jeremy Lake, but like every aspect of the case, determining how long he may actually serve in prison is complicated. For starters his attorney, Richard O’Carroll, has already said they will appeal the conviction. There’s also the looming case of Patrick Dwayne Murphy, whose 1999 murder conviction was overturned by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals because it occurred in “Indian country,” and Lake’s death also occurred on what is - according to that ruling - part of a Creek Nation reservation which was never officially disestablished by the federal government. Since Kepler’s been on the roles of the Creek Nation since 1983, the pending appeal in the Murphy case could potentially land his case in federal court, obviating anything the state court did.
  • Some people just never get tired of trying to prove the Moon landing was a hoax. This time, it's a video that was uploaded to YouTube and has gotten around a million views. Newsweek reports the uploader, looking at an old photo from the Apollo 17 mission, claims to have spotted a person not wearing a spacesuit in the reflection of the helmet visor of an Astronaut walking on the moon. But some commenters say it looks just like another astronaut to them. And some point out that these days, just about anyone with simple software can convincingly alter a photo. You can look at the photo in question here.
  • A led to a Butler County couple suing their police department for a wrongful drug bust. >> Read more trending newsAudrey and Edward Cramer talked about that incident on Thursday as they announced the lawsuit. The Cramers said it all started when their insurance agent came to their Buffalo Township home for a property damage claim and took pictures of hibiscus plants. The agent thought they were marijuana and gave the pictures to police. Audrey Cramer could not hold back the tears as she described how three Buffalo Township police officers pulled her out of her home on Oct. 5 wearing only her underwear. 'I was not treated as though I was a human being. I was just something they were going to push aside,' she said. “I asked them again if I could put pants on and he told me no and I had to stand out on the porch.' The Cramers say that police thought they were growing marijuana in the backyard of their Garden Way home. When officers got a search warrant and went to their house, the Cramers say their home was ransacked and they were handcuffed and forced to sit in a police car for four hours. 'Sometimes I think they look for a crime where it doesn't exist in order to justify their existence,' Edward Cramer said. Edward Cramer says he tried to explain that the plants were hibiscus flowers. The couple's attorney, Al Lindsay, filed a lawsuit today on their behalf. 'I cannot understand the frame of reference that was on these police officers’ minds, what were they thinking,” Lindsay said. The Cramers say they never got an apology. Audrey says she has severe emotional trauma. 'I don't sleep at night,” she said. “And you don't leave me at the house by myself.' Channel 11 reached out to the Buffalo Township police and the township manager but they have yet to respond.