ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
23°
Clear
H 44° L 28°
  • cloudy-day
    23°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 44° L 28°
  • clear-night
    33°
    Evening
    Clear. H 44° L 28°
  • cloudy-day
    30°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 42° L 17°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Latest from Russell Mills

    The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma hosted an event designed to help federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay as a result of the ongoing partial federal shutdown. CFBEO Executive Director Eileen Bradshaw told KRMG her agency was contacted by federal “These are folks who don’t need to navigate the charitable assistance system,” she told KRMG Tuesday, pointing out that many of them don’t even know where to start. “211 is a real treasure for folks who find themselves in this situation,” she added. “If they need something other than food, they can call 211, explain what the need is, chances are there’s someone in our community who’s willing to help.” She told KRMG people lined up at 2:00 p.m. for the event, which ran from 3:00 to 7:00 so that both day and evening workers could make time to take advantage of the free food. KRMG spoke with federal workers who said they’d never expected to need food assistance, and had never visited a food bank before. But they were extremely grateful for the assistance.
  • University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly confirmed Monday that two students involved in posting a racist video on social media have withdrawn from the university. He went on to say he and the school will continue, and expand, efforts to create a culturally diverse campus where everyone feels welcome. “This type of behavior is not welcome here, and is condemned in the strongest terms by me, and by our university. This behavior does not reflect the values and principles of our university, our community, or our state,” he said. He said he’s committed to recruit more students, faculty and staff of different ethnicities, to review the code of conduct and how it deals with inequality and racism, and to ensure that the campus inclusion programs and training are “robust and impactful.”
  • Tulsa’s iconic new park has won top honors in USA Today’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards for “Best New Attraction” in the nation. That’s quite an accomplishment, considering Tulsa’s size relative to the other metropolitan areas under consideration. Park Director Tony Moore told KRMG Friday while there’s no prize money or anything of that nature involved, the national - and especially regional - exposure is huge for the Gathering Place, for Tulsa, and for Oklahoma. “To be nationally recognized in this way is validation that we’re a good park, a good product - well built, well managed. But it’s also so important from a regional point of view that for the first time ever, an attraction in the Midwest was recognized,” Moore said. Mayor G.T. Bynum was there for the announcement, and he noted that it was a pretty good birthday present for the city; the announcement fell on the 121st anniversary of Tulsa’s founding. He told KRMG that the synergy which resulted in the win is what makes it particularly special for him.  “This is a community achievement. This doesn’t happen if it doesn’t spread like wildfire across social media and so many people take time, over and over and over again, sharing word with their friends to get people to vote for this. It really was a community wide and a statewide accomplishment,” Bynum said.  He especially noted the efforts of Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, who also took pains to encourage people to vote in the online poll.  You can read more about the award on the USA Today website.
  • The City of Tulsa had hoped that by now, the road work along Lewis Avenue from 11th Street south to 21st Street would be complete, but it looks as though it will be at least April before they can close the books on the project.  That is unwelcome news for business owners in that busy corridor, many of whom have also expressed concerns about the new lane configurations.  When the project’s complete, Lewis from 11th Street to just south of the railroad crossing, near 12th Place, will be one lane in each direction, with a left-turn lane in the center. There will be a few spots for parallel parking added as well. [Hear the full interview with Tulsa City Engineer Paul Zachary HERE] KRMG reached out to City Engineer Paul Zachary, who explained that the ultimate goal is to develop a more pedestrian-oriented stretch of road, which dovetails with the types of businesses which have moved into the area.  “It’s really gonna become a vehicle and a pedestrian-oriented area,” Zachary said Wednesday, “and we’re actually going to be dropping the speed limits in the vicinity around the redevelopment that’s going up there to 25 miles per hour, similar to what we’ve done like on Brookside,  and then it’ll speed up on the other side of the intersection.”  Moving south from 12th Place, the road will return to two lanes in each direction.  The intersection of 15th and Lewis will now have dedicated left-turn lanes in each direction.  As for the lengthy delay in completing the work, he said the contractor found utilities in unexpected places, and also noted that because they wanted to avoid completely shutting Lewis down, they have had to work in some pretty tight conditions.  “We’re gonna work through this, and we look forward to this one being complete,” Zachary said. “It’s going to be a beautiful road one of these days. Right now, we’re just having to punch through, doing this work in a, in really a confined work space.”
  • On December 7th, 1941 Arles Cole found himself in the middle of hell on earth. He was aboard the USS West Virginia, one of five U.S. battleships sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan. Cole’s story of how he survived - climbing through a hole left by an unexploded Japanese bomb - is an amazing story in itself. He went on to serve on a minesweeper, then was assigned to a destroyer, the USS Pritchett, on which he finished out the war. KRMG spoke with Cole during a 9-11 remembrance in Bixby in 2011. Cole still lives in Tulsa, and still shares his story with as many people as he can, especially children. You can hear our interview with him here, or by using the audio player below.
  • The Tulsa Police Department’s Special Operations Team has received an invitation to take part in a competition against elite soldiers and police officers from around the world. It’s the 11th Annual Warrior Competition in Amman Jordan, which takes place beginning in April. Only two police agencies in the entire United States have been invited, which makes it a rare opportunity for some local officers. Captain Mike Eckert is commander of the Tulsa Police Department’s SOT, he tells KRMG he and his team want to go very badly - but don’t think using taxpayer money to make the trip is appropriate. So, they’re asking for the community to support them, and give them a chance to represent Tulsa - and the United States - in a competition which features the cream of the crop from across the planet. “We’re not using any departmental or city money for this trip at all,” Eckert said Wednesday. He’s estimated that including air fare, meals, uniform and equipment needs, it will take about $35,000 for an eight member team to make the trip. He wanted to make sure the money gets handled with full transparency, so turned to the TPD Foundation, a non-profit, for help. “Trying to manage money that’s being donated, it can be a problem,” he told KRMG. “And to have complete transparency and accountability for each dollar, we would rather have a separate entity do that for us, and the TPD Foundation has volunteered to do that.” That also means the donations will be tax-deductible. To donate, visit the TPD Foundation website donation page, check the “additional information” box, and type SOT, SWAT, or Warrior Competition so the foundation knows to earmark the money for that particular cause.
  • Police have released surveillance video showing the armed robbery of a pharmacy early Monday in which the suspect chose to wear a Santa hat. The video was posted Tuesday on the TPD YouTube channel. Sgt. Brian Blair, lead robbery detective, says the weapon used appears to be a metal pipe. The suspect is seen in the video pulling up to the Walgreen’s near 14th Street and Lewis Avenue, entering the store with the pipe in his hand, taking the entire cash drawer from the clerk and leaving. The vehicle is visible as well, it appears to be a small, blue four-door sedan without hubcaps. Anyone who can help identify that vehicle, or the robbery suspect, is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS. Tips can also be communicated via the Crime Stoppers website. 
  • Unlike several other Oklahoma communities, the City of Tulsa listened to the concerns from the business and legal community before passing an ordinance governing medical cannabis operations. The original draft of the ordinance raised some serious concerns among entrepreneurs looking to jump in to what promises to be a highly-competitive, fast-growing industry. Tulsa attorney Ron Durbin represents several of those business owners, and has spent a lot of time dealing with city attorneys, city councils, and lawsuits filed over municipalities’ efforts to regulate medical cannabis. He says Tulsa’s approach seemed more like an honest effort to implement the new state law, rather than trying to block it with overreaching regulations and punitive fee structures. “They didn’t, as a lot of cities have done across the state, put in those ridiculously high permit fees and application fees and license fees for any of the medical cannabis businesses,” he told KRMG Thursday. The city also grandfathered in dispensaries that had licenses prior to December 1 of this year, allowing them to locate within 1,000 feet of one another - a restriction that will be in place for dispensaries moving forward. And the city didn’t try to define medical cannabis - instead, basing its ordinances on businesses which had been issued licenses through the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). That prevented the unintended consequence of regulating businesses that sell products based on cannabidiol, or CBD, which were already legal before voters approved medical cannabis, or even businesses which make or sell items containing hemp - a plant related to marijuana, but which has extremely low levels of THC, the chemical which produces the “high” from ingesting marijuana. Durbin says there’s still room for improvement in the ordinance as passed by the city council, and that he will continue to work with the city and INCOG to try and address those concerns.
  • For the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, a visit to Oklahoma this week was something of a homecoming. His father and great-grandfather were both army artillerymen who were stationed at Fort Sill, and Robert Wilkie grew up in Lawton. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July, and started his administration by telling the roughly 370,000 employees of the VA that he wanted to hear from them, and would be looking for their ideas on how to rebuild the troubled agency. Tuesday, he told KRMG he’s a big believer in what people in the military call “leadership that actually walks the post.” That was one of several reasons he visited Oklahoma this week, first stopping in Muskogee, then moving on to Ada. In his exclusive interview with KRMG, he discusses his visit, the new VA medical center about to break ground in Tulsa, the troubled state of the VA and his plans to turn it around, and much more. TAP or CLICK HERE to hear our full interview with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, or use the audio player below.
  • In conjunction with Tulsa Animal Welfare, the Humane Society of Tulsa and the Tulsa Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the City of Tulsa today announced plans to reduce the number of animals euthanized in its shelters. The group unveiled a logo, featuring the Tulsa flag emblazoned with a paw print, saying it represents the “united effort and commitment toward animals in our community, as well as the important role each organization plays.” Mayor G.T. Bynum unveiled an eight-step plan designed to improve animal welfare in the city. It includes increased staffing and hours of operation at shelters, as well as improved conditions and “operational efficiency.” The plan also calls for updating animal ordinances and licensing. To help fund the changes, the coalition’s asking for donations and sponsors. According to a release sent to KRMG, the first partner to offer its support is WaterShed Animal Fund. It quotes Christy Counts, President of WaterShed, as saying “the WaterShed Animal Fund is pleased to see this promising coalition come to fruition and is proud to help fund their efforts for Tulsa animals.” A free vaccination clinic for pets is scheduled for Saturday, December 8 at the Hicks Community Center, 3342 S. Mingo, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is first come, first served and they hope to treat 500 dogs and cats.
  • Russell Mills

    Anchor/Reporter

    Russell Mills came to Tulsa in 1991 with an AA degree in Broadcast Journalism and a new family. He worked in local television for more than 20 years as a show producer, assignment editor, and online content director. He built one of the first television news websites in the country and helped pioneer streaming audio and video, especially as it related to weather and live news coverage on the Internet. Russell says working for KRMG fulfills a longtime dream. "I worked in newsrooms for a long, long time before finally getting the chance to get out and cover the news in person. I can't tell you how much I love doing just that -- driving toward the big story to talk to the people involved gets my adrenaline going like almost nothing else in life." Russell grew up in Bozeman, Montana then spent several years as an "itinerant musician and restaurant worker," living in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and California before finally starting college at 28 and discovering broadcasting as a possible career path. He is married to Shadia Dahlal, a nationally-known Middle Eastern Dancer and instructor, and has two stepchildren. You can connect with Russell via TwitterFacebook, or Linked In

    Read More
  • Denver teachers voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to go on strike after more than a year of negotiations over base pay. Rob Gould, lead negotiator for the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, said 93 percent of unionized teachers voted in favor of a strike. The union represents 5,635 educators in the Denver Public School system, which could see a strike as soon as Monday. “They’re striking for better pay, they’re striking for our profession and they’re striking for Denver students,” Gould said. The main sticking point was increasing base pay, including lessening teachers’ reliance on one-time bonuses for things such as having students with high test scores or working in a high-poverty school. Teachers also wanted to earn more for continuing their education.
  • With no evidence that President Donald Trump’s weekend speech on immigration and a border wall had changed the dynamic in Congress related to a partial government shutdown, Senate leaders set a pair of votes on competing plans from Democrats and Republicans for Thursday afternoon, the first time Senate Republicans have allowed votes to end the shutdown since before Christmas. “The President’s made a comprehensive and bipartisan offer,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “It’s a strong proposal, it’s the only thing on the table.” “It was not a good faith proposal. It was not intended to end the shutdown,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. “The President’s proposal is one-sided.” The political jousting came as representatives of federal workers – who seem likely to go without a paycheck again this Friday – urged the Congress and the President to fully fund the government, and then settle their differences over border security spending. Your Coast Guard leadership team & the American people stand in awe of your continued dedication to duty, resilience, & that of your families. I find it unacceptable that @USCG members must rely on food pantries & donations to get through day-to-day life. #uscg pic.twitter.com/TZ9ppUidyO — Admiral Karl Schultz (@ComdtUSCG) January 23, 2019 “Every family in the FBI has mortgages, car payments, bills that come in at the end of the month,” said Tom O’Connor, the head of the FBI Agents Association. “You have to pay those. Try doing that without a paycheck,” O’Connor told a Washington news conference. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration announced it was calling more federal employees back to work – as the Department of Agriculture said Farm Service Agency offices would resume operations on Thursday. “The FSA provides vital support for farmers and ranchers and they count on those services being available,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Farmers have complained for weeks that the lack of FSA offices was hampering all sorts of work, like applying for bailout payments related to retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., filing paperwork for operating loans, and a variety of other crop programs. But those Farm Service Agency workers won’t be paid until the Congress resolves the shutdown. Good News: @USDA just announced that all Farm Service Agency offices will reopen beginning Thursday, January 24th and offer expanded services to #Ag producers. More information and a list of services here: https://t.co/o8oiQkdnaS — Senator Deb Fischer (@SenatorFischer) January 22, 2019 Back on Capitol Hill, there were no signs that the President’s immigration offer from Saturday was going to break the gridlock over Mr. Trump call for $5.7 billion in border security funding. But the mere fact that there were going to be votes in the Senate related to the shutdown – the first votes on government funding since before Christmas – was seen by some as a welcome event. “I’m pleased that the gears of the legislative process are moving,” said Matt Glassman, a fellow at the Georgetown University Government Affairs Institute. Senate leaders agreed to two procedural votes on Thursday – with 60 votes needed – first on the President’s border plan, plus funding for the federal government, and then on a Democratic plan which combines disaster aid with a plan to simply fund shuttered agencies through February 8. For Glassman and a few others – the decision to set those votes so that Republicans would go first, and then Democrats second, raised questions about whether GOP Senators might vote first to approve money for a border wall, and then also vote to re-open the government, despite the President’s opposition. 1/ My Twitter feed tells me it's folly to think that Thursday's second cloture vote (open government with a 2-week CR) will get 60 votes (47 D + 13 R). I'm not so sure. Just because only 10 GOP signed a bipartisan letter doesn't mean that's the full lid on GOP votes. — Sarah Binder (@bindersab) January 22, 2019 A spokesman for the Senate Majority Leader rejected that idea, saying that Sen. McConnell was against the Democratic plan – but the schedule on Thursday does give GOP Senators the option to first vote for the border wall funding – and when that fails – then vote to re-open the government for about two weeks.
  • It's one thing to WATCH a show like Game of Thrones, but it’s something else to take a swing at an actual sword fight! Tomorrow night starting at 6:00 p.m., the Flying Tee driving range in Jenks is hosting a fundraiser for Tulsa Tyrants, a team in the Armored Combat League, which is just what it sounds like. These guys put on suits of armor and fight with real swords and battle axes and maces. League rules mandate that they dull the edges on the weapons, but they still pack a punch. Once they're done fighting, they'll walk out to the range and raise money by letting people buy chances to hit golf balls at them! They'll then cap the night by having a watch party for the new TV show on the History Channel called Knight Fight, which is all about sword-fighting competitions. You can find out more about the event here.
  • The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma hosted an event designed to help federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay as a result of the ongoing partial federal shutdown. CFBEO Executive Director Eileen Bradshaw told KRMG her agency was contacted by federal “These are folks who don’t need to navigate the charitable assistance system,” she told KRMG Tuesday, pointing out that many of them don’t even know where to start. “211 is a real treasure for folks who find themselves in this situation,” she added. “If they need something other than food, they can call 211, explain what the need is, chances are there’s someone in our community who’s willing to help.” She told KRMG people lined up at 2:00 p.m. for the event, which ran from 3:00 to 7:00 so that both day and evening workers could make time to take advantage of the free food. KRMG spoke with federal workers who said they’d never expected to need food assistance, and had never visited a food bank before. But they were extremely grateful for the assistance.
  • Two former University of Oklahoma students publicly apologized Tuesday for a video posted on Twitter last week. One of the girls on the video was in black face and made a racial slur. The university released the statements from Frances Ford and Olivia Urban.  Urban called the video 'the most regrettable decision of my life' and says there's no excuse for such behavior 'in private or public.'  Ford says the video was 'insensitive and irresponsible.' University President James Gallogly announced Monday that both women had voluntarily withdrawn from campus. Students held a rally on campus Tuesday demanding action from campus administrators.