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Washington is 1st state to allow composting of human bodies

Washington is 1st state to allow composting of human bodies

Ashes to ashes, guts to dirt. Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains. It allows licensed facilities to offer “natural organic reduction,” which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows’ worth of soil in a span of several weeks. Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated — or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree. “It gives meaning and use to what happens to our bodies after death,” said Nora Menkin, executive director of the Seattle-based People’s Memorial Association, which helps people plan for funerals. Supporters say the method is an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation, which releases carbon dioxide and particulates into the air, and conventional burial, in which people are drained of their blood, pumped full of formaldehyde and other chemicals that can pollute groundwater, and placed in a nearly indestructible coffin, taking up land. “That’s a serious weight on the earth and the environment as your final farewell,” said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, the Seattle Democrat who sponsored the measure. He said the legislation was inspired by his neighbor: Katrina Spade, who was an architecture graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, when she began researching the funeral industry. She came up with the idea for human composting, modeling it on a practice farmers have long used to dispose of livestock.

State, city leaders monitoring flooding in Oklahoma

State, city leaders monitoring flooding in Oklahoma

With more severe weather in the forecast, flooding is a major concern in northeast Oklahoma. Parts of the Tulsa metro and surrounding areas, like Skiatook, Sperry and Bixby are already seeing flooding. Governor Kevin Stitt has toured the already flooded areas and is working with state and city emergency management officials to monitor the situation. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum told KRMG the city has personnel ready to respond to areas most affected by flooding. The water release from Keystone Lake is at a level not seen in decades. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to increase the output from Keystone Dam to 215,000 cubic feet per second.  Monitor the release here That’s far greater than the capacity of the Arkansas River, so flooding downstream is extremely likely. City leaders in Tulsa, Sand Springs and Bixby are already recommending evacuations. The City of Tulsa has released a Keystone Dam Inundation Map showing areas in Tulsa likely to flood. Click here for the latest update from the City of Tulsa Sand Springs city leaders expect portions of the Meadow Valley neighborhood and potentially others to flood. Highway 51 near 137th West Avenue will likely flood, making vehicular traffic there impossible, according to the city. Keep up with the City of Sand Springs on Facebook here There are flooding concerns in Bixby as well. Areas south of the Arkansas River are most likely to see floodwaters.

OK Legislature gives final approval to state budget

OK Legislature gives final approval to state budget

The Oklahoma Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that appropriates $8.1 billion to various state agencies. A 5% boost in funding will go toward public schools, including money for another pay raise for teachers. The bill funds an average teacher pay hike of $1,220 for most public school teachers. “This is a tremendous budget for Oklahoma because it makes huge investments in our classrooms, gives teachers and state employees another significant pay raise, puts money toward criminal justice reforms, and saves $200 million to help in the event of an economic downturn in the future,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City The general appropriations bill was approved by a 37-to-11 vote. It now heads to Governor Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it. Lawmakers had nearly $600 million in surplus revenue to spend this year and opted to put about $200 million of that into savings, a priority for Stitt. Democrats criticized the plan for huge boosts in spending for the governor and Legislature and not doing enough for Oklahoma's working poor 

We open with a producer off-camera asking, “Can you give us a brief explanation of what’s going on with your voice?”  Jamie Dupree, dressed for Capitol Hill, immediately begins writing down his response on his tablet. He looks up at the camera with a smirk and simply replies, “No.”  In essence, the documentary ‘Voice of Reason’ is the story of Jamie Dupree’s return to air. But, Jamie’s story transcends radio waves.  Directed by WSB Videographer Jesse Brooks, ‘Voice of Reason’ is a story of triumph and how in Jamie’s words, despite life’s adversity, “There is no reason to give up.”  [Don’t see the video? Click here] As a Cox Media Group Washington correspondent, Jamie spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill. Nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.  Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak. “It’s hard, but I’m working to come back hard,” Jamie tells WSB.  As it became obvious in the last year that his voice was not coming back, Jamie doubled down his efforts to find answers. And that’s when Mike Lupo at CMG’s corporate headquarters contacted a company in Scotland called CereProc.  With innovative technology, CereProc developed a special voice app that allows Jamie to use a simple text-to-speech program to generate news reports in his old voice.  ‘Voice of Reason,’ which became a labor of love for WSB’s Jesse Brooks, delves deeper into CereProc’s technology and Jamie’s emotional journey over the past few years  The documentary is peppered with moving interviews with Jamie’s colleagues, and even a few candid glimpses of Jamie with his kids.  He’s thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that’s not what Jamie says hurts him the most –  “Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”  Specialists at Emory University in Atlanta are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of Jamie’s tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.  “Let’s be frank about this whole situation -- this sucks,” Jamie tells producers in ‘Voice of Reason,’ adding through misty eyes, “But there is no reason to quit.  “There is no reason to stop trying. And so I’m not going to stop trying.” >>READ MORE ON JAMIE’S 2019 REGIONAL MURROW AWARD.
We open with a producer off-camera asking, “Can you give us a brief explanation of what’s going on with your voice?”  Jamie Dupree, dressed for Capitol Hill, immediately begins writing down his response on his tablet. He looks up at the camera with a smirk and simply replies, “No.”  In essence, the documentary ‘Voice of Reason’ is the story of Jamie Dupree’s return to air. But, Jamie’s story transcends radio waves.  Directed by WSB Videographer Jesse Brooks, ‘Voice of Reason’ is a story of triumph and how in Jamie’s words, despite life’s adversity, “There is no reason to give up.”  [Don’t see the video? Click here] As a Cox Media Group Washington correspondent, Jamie spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill. Nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.  Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak. “It’s hard, but I’m working to come back hard,” Jamie tells WSB.  As it became obvious in the last year that his voice was not coming back, Jamie doubled down his efforts to find answers. And that’s when Mike Lupo at CMG’s corporate headquarters contacted a company in Scotland called CereProc.  With innovative technology, CereProc developed a special voice app that allows Jamie to use a simple text-to-speech program to generate news reports in his old voice.  ‘Voice of Reason,’ which became a labor of love for WSB’s Jesse Brooks, delves deeper into CereProc’s technology and Jamie’s emotional journey over the past few years  The documentary is peppered with moving interviews with Jamie’s colleagues, and even a few candid glimpses of Jamie with his kids.  He’s thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that’s not what Jamie says hurts him the most –  “Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”  Specialists at Emory University in Atlanta are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of Jamie’s tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.  “Let’s be frank about this whole situation -- this sucks,” Jamie tells producers in ‘Voice of Reason,’ adding through misty eyes, “But there is no reason to quit.  “There is no reason to stop trying. And so I’m not going to stop trying.” >>READ MORE ON JAMIE’S 2019 REGIONAL MURROW AWARD.
We open with a producer off-camera asking, “Can you give us a brief explanation of what’s going on with your voice?”  Jamie Dupree, dressed for Capitol Hill, immediately begins writing down his response on his tablet. He looks up at the camera with a smirk and simply replies, “No.”  In essence, the documentary ‘Voice of Reason’ is the story of Jamie Dupree’s return to air. But, Jamie’s story transcends radio waves.  Directed by WSB Videographer Jesse Brooks, ‘Voice of Reason’ is a story of triumph and how in Jamie’s words, despite life’s adversity, “There is no reason to give up.”  [Don’t see the video? Click here] As a Cox Media Group Washington correspondent, Jamie spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill. Nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.  Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak. “It’s hard, but I’m working to come back hard,” Jamie tells WSB.  As it became obvious in the last year that his voice was not coming back, Jamie doubled down his efforts to find answers. And that’s when Mike Lupo at CMG’s corporate headquarters contacted a company in Scotland called CereProc.  With innovative technology, CereProc developed a special voice app that allows Jamie to use a simple text-to-speech program to generate news reports in his old voice.  ‘Voice of Reason,’ which became a labor of love for WSB’s Jesse Brooks, delves deeper into CereProc’s technology and Jamie’s emotional journey over the past few years  The documentary is peppered with moving interviews with Jamie’s colleagues, and even a few candid glimpses of Jamie with his kids.  He’s thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that’s not what Jamie says hurts him the most –  “Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”  Specialists at Emory University in Atlanta are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of Jamie’s tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.  “Let’s be frank about this whole situation -- this sucks,” Jamie tells producers in ‘Voice of Reason,’ adding through misty eyes, “But there is no reason to quit.  “There is no reason to stop trying. And so I’m not going to stop trying.” >>READ MORE ON JAMIE’S 2019 REGIONAL MURROW AWARD.
We open with a producer off-camera asking, “Can you give us a brief explanation of what’s going on with your voice?”  Jamie Dupree, dressed for Capitol Hill, immediately begins writing down his response on his tablet. He looks up at the camera with a smirk and simply replies, “No.”  In essence, the documentary ‘Voice of Reason’ is the story of Jamie Dupree’s return to air. But, Jamie’s story transcends radio waves.  Directed by WSB Videographer Jesse Brooks, ‘Voice of Reason’ is a story of triumph and how in Jamie’s words, despite life’s adversity, “There is no reason to give up.”  [Don’t see the video? Click here] As a Cox Media Group Washington correspondent, Jamie spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill. Nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.  Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak. “It’s hard, but I’m working to come back hard,” Jamie tells WSB.  As it became obvious in the last year that his voice was not coming back, Jamie doubled down his efforts to find answers. And that’s when Mike Lupo at CMG’s corporate headquarters contacted a company in Scotland called CereProc.  With innovative technology, CereProc developed a special voice app that allows Jamie to use a simple text-to-speech program to generate news reports in his old voice.  ‘Voice of Reason,’ which became a labor of love for WSB’s Jesse Brooks, delves deeper into CereProc’s technology and Jamie’s emotional journey over the past few years  The documentary is peppered with moving interviews with Jamie’s colleagues, and even a few candid glimpses of Jamie with his kids.  He’s thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that’s not what Jamie says hurts him the most –  “Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”  Specialists at Emory University in Atlanta are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of Jamie’s tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.  “Let’s be frank about this whole situation -- this sucks,” Jamie tells producers in ‘Voice of Reason,’ adding through misty eyes, “But there is no reason to quit.  “There is no reason to stop trying. And so I’m not going to stop trying.” >>READ MORE ON JAMIE’S 2019 REGIONAL MURROW AWARD.
Trump tells Dems - no legislating until investigations are stopped Angered by investigative efforts in Congress pressed by House Democrats, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cut short an Oval Office meeting with Democratic leaders on an infrastructure bill, walking into the Rose Garden to tell reporters that he would not work with Democrats on major legislative initiatives until Congress ends investigations related to the Russia probe and more. 'Get these phony investigations over with,' the President said, clearly aggravated by comments made earlier in the day by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who accused Mr. Trump of engaging in a 'cover-up' by ignoring subpoenas and refusing to turn over documents in a series of investigations led by Democrats. 'I don't do cover-ups,' Mr. Trump said with a distinct note of frustration in his voice, as he again said the Mueller Report should have been the last word on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. 'As President Trump has always said: No Collusion. No Obstruction,' the White House tweeted soon after his impromptu Rose Garden remarks. Returning to the Capitol from the White House, Democrats said the scene seemed like a set up. 'It's clear that this was not a spontaneous move on the President's part,' said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, as Democrats accused the President of doing everything he could to avoid bipartisan agreements on issues like infrastructure, which was the subject of today's sit down at the White House. “I pray for the President,” Speaker Pelosi said afterwards. Just last night, Mr. Trump had sent Democrats a letter asking that infrastructure efforts be delayed until after approval of the US-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement - which still has not even been submitted to the Congress for a vote.