Still sifting OKC bomb debris

July 31st, 2005

For those who feel there may be more to the OKC bombing investigation than has been revealed, the McCurtain Daily Gazette continues its coverage.

Newly released documents received by a Salt Lake City attorney in his suit against the Oklahoma City FBI office provide the strongest evidence yet that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has been conducting a well-orchestrated cover-up of evidence linking Timothy McVeigh to subjects that frequented, and in some cases resided, at an eastern Oklahoma paramilitary compound called Elohim City.

After months of legal wrangling in a Salt Lake City courtroom, the DOJ reluctantly turned over 17 FBI-generated documents Friday, to the plaintiff in a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit n Jesse C. Trentadue.

Trentadue, a well-respected Salt Lake City lawyer whose client list is made up of members of the insurance industry, became embroiled in the Oklahoma City bombing case after his brother was found beaten to death in his jail cell at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center in August 1995.

This eight year old Oklahoma Gazette story of Trentadue’s death seems a bit more interesting now.

At 3:21 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 21 someone at the prison phoned the EMSA ambulance service to report an inmate’s attempted suicide.

But the responding paramedics, Kay Barrett and Michael Smith, were not allowed to see the would-be patient.

More questions arose when Jesse learned his brother had died in the FIC’s solitary confinement area. In the security housing unit, prisoners are allowed few privileges, receive meals through a slot in the door and are checked by guards every 20 minutes.

Prison officials said Kenneth Trentadue was put there at his own request. But Jesse doubts his brother had asked to be placed in “the hole,” as it is known to inmates.

The request form for segregated housing had a line reserved for Trentadue’s signature. It was left blank.

Only guards have access to the security housing unit. But the BOP has not identified the guards who manned the seventh floor that night. Even though the floor uses surveillance cameras, prison officials say they malfunctioned when Kenneth Trentadue was there.

[state chief medical examiner Dr. Fred Jordan] listed the “manner of death” as “unknown.”

The problem, he said, was that the FTC blocked one of his investigators from examining Trentadue’s cell the morning the body was found.

If you like a good crime drama, this story is for you. And no one knows the ending.

Starry-eyed

July 31st, 2005

Take_a_cat_nap heads back to Florida in two weeks:

It’s a beautiful Saturday in Oklahoma. My family has finally moved into the house they built and left Choctaw (also known as “the land of awesomeness”).

I love all the stars that you can see out in the country. I could just look at the sky for hours. I saw a shooting star and made a wish so I hope it comes true.

Me too.

A stupid welcome

July 31st, 2005

Susan is a teacher who recently moved to Oklahoma and misses home:

Stupid Oklahoma.

Sorry you feel that way. The only thing I can say is, welcome.

Put me in the middle

July 30th, 2005

Isn’t it nice that the “War on terror” is over?

Recently, top officials of the Bush Administration have changed the way that they are talking about terrorism. They have stopped talking about a “war on terrorism.” Thinking it too narrowly defined, Administration officials now speak of a “struggle against global extremism.”

While I consider that a slight improvement over the “war on terror”, the new slogan does have me a little concerned. Okiedoke’s not extreme, is it?

I brake for bloggers

July 30th, 2005

If an Oklahoma sorority can have their own vanity license plate, why not Okie bloggers?

The newest special license plates adorning the cars of Oklahomans are those that bear the colors and symbols of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and that became the reality just a few days ago.

Hmmm… What could bloggers come up with? Some ideas:

We could get graphic…

Or we could get professional…

Or proud…

Or radical…

But that means we’d have to agree on colors and a symbol.

Never mind.

Unless we just want to adopt another group’s plate since the bulk of it applies…

Okie round-up

July 30th, 2005

BatesLine becomes an urban legend.
51313 Harbor Street almost dreads inspiration.
Inside Red’s Head is crushed by her blog.
The Bart and Cindy Podcast Show tour France with Lance (MP3).
JMBzine discusses the Green divide.
Sleeping Mommy has cramps (and they’re not writer’s).
Ramblin’ Educat scratches her itch.
Program Witch Pages gets NewsOK feeds via PubSub.
Adventures of a Curious Mind didn’t need help finding a sex offender.
Tom Coburn…Jerk is thinking more and talking less.
Wholesale Pants starts filling his asylum.
joyfulchristian gives advice when receiving a letter from the IRS.
ArklahomBoy can take anti-war Pat Buchanan, but not Jane Fonda.
That’s gonna leave a mark has a brain feeze at Braums.
Sister Scorpion starts something.
Redneck Diva adjusts her panties.
Incurable Insomniac has some big plans.
Okie Funk supports plurality.
Chad’s Crap floats the Illinois in a beer bong.
Her Own Invention feels Christians have it all wrong.
DaveTown knows why he’s disorganized.
This is not for you praises the day.
ITLnet blog looks at the top 10 web fads.
Überbrodt hooks up with a Zenith computer at his new job.
Is it just me? has a credible Oklahoma threat.
Torrent of Consciousness explains his political inspiration for cabaret.

Hiett’s burden

July 29th, 2005

State House Speaker Todd Hiett says reforming taxes is a number one priority for him:

“Oklahoma’s burdensome tax structure must change if we are going to make our state more competitive,” said Hiett, pointing to the estate tax and income tax as targets for reform.

Hiett said that House Republicans succeeded in pushing through the largest tax cut in the state’s history during the 2005 legislative session, including a permanent cut in Oklahoma’s income tax rate.

Hey Todd, since you (and some other people) already did such a fine job cutting income taxes, how about tackling a real burdensome tax; the sales tax on groceries? Or is that tax not a burden to the select people you serve?

Okies knew better

July 29th, 2005

At first, I thought this a good idea:

The demand for more interstates and highways is pushing Texas to explore a concept that’s quickly gaining momentum in America and ultimately may drag Oklahoma along as well: private toll roads.

But the more I read about it, the less I like it.

Imagine paying toll to a company instead of the state government to drive from one city to the next.

The thing about the private toll road is that in order to attract private investors, they’re going to have to take what you might call the cream of the crop of the sections

And then there’s always the endless demand for state incentives and subsidies to guarantee profits.

One good thing: Oklahoma Transportation Authority Director Phil Tomlinson says Oklahoma’s own plans include expanding capacity on existing roads before even looking at more arteries.

Tomlinson said Oklahoma is in pretty good financial shape, but we’re still basically spending everything we take in.

As it should be, having a state constitution with a “pay as you go” philosophy. Otherwise we could end up like Colorado.

Colorado’s Legislature has considered privatized tolls to offset its $100 billion transportation deficit.

And privatizing won’t make that debt go away either. It will just “refinance it” with an added maintenance fee for profit. Even Okies 100 years ago knew better than that.

Walgreen’s speedy service to slow

July 29th, 2005

I like Walgreens. Everyone there, employees and customers alike, are always full of energy. Also, they seem to have a better selection of some items than other drug stores. Like cold medicines.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs said in April that as many as 50 of Walgreen Co.’s 65 Oklahoma stores may have violated state laws requiring monitoring of sales of over-the-counter cold pills containing pseudoephedrine and limiting the supply that consumers may purchase to 9 grams in 30 days.

Tiffany Bruce, a Walgreen spokeswoman, said the company made a good-faith effort to comply with the Oklahoma law but there were problems with record-keeping at some stores.

Ouch! The company must pay a $1.3 million fine for mistakes in paperwork. It sure seems law enforcement is harsh on corporations. Especially ones like Walgreens, who never admit to any wrongdoing.

Scott Rowland, attorney for the state narcotics bureau, said he believes the company’s policy was that they didn’t have to comply with regulations on monitoring pseudoephedrine sales.

The Deerfield, Ill., company was also accused of breaking a federal law against distributing supplies that could be used to manufacture a controlled substance.

Great. Now when shopping at Walgreens, it’ll be like every other drug store: lethargic employees and dreary customers. Is it wrong to think that drug stores should be one place you can go to escape reality?

Kitten news

July 28th, 2005

Chelsea Hover, with southern Oklahoma’s TV channel 10, reports on Oklahoma’s Plan for Roads & Bridges:

Outdated bridges, bumpy roads, and dangerous driving conditions are some of the issues community leaders are trying to tackle…and resolve.

So far so good.

SQ723 is a proposed two-cent a galloon gas tax to pay for bridge and road repairs throughout the Sooner State.

Either Ms. Hover is a buffoon, or she thinks her audience is, by not mentioning that the measure increases taxes each year for a period of three years. Although to be fair, she alludes to it:

If it passes, state question 723 would create a total of $237 million by the end of 2006, with revenue increasing each year.

Then she finishes her “news coverage” of the issue:

The two-cent per gallon gas tax would only cost the average motorist about a dollar more a month.

I looked; the article said nothing about being a paid advertisement. If that passes for news, I hope there are some bloggers down there so folks will have a clue as to what SQ 723 really does.

The provision establishes a Bridge and Highway Trust Fund. The provision levies new gasoline and diesel fuel taxes. The new gasoline tax is capped at five cents per gallon. The new diesel tax is capped at eight cents per gallon. Eighty percent of the new gasoline tax and a portion of existing gasoline and diesel fuel taxes go into the Trust Fund.

I guess I should cut Chelsea a little slack.

Chelsea is very excited to begin her career here at KTEN and looking forward to bringing news to the friendly people of Texoma!

If you have any story ideas, please do no hesitate to email Chelsea at CHover@KTEN.com

Yeah, I have a story idea; finish the one you started. Or maybe a heavy-handed website editor is to blame.