School disrupted in Jazz Hall conflict. County commissioners on Sept. 20 agreed to let school back in session at the Jazz Depot building -- and again chastised Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame leadership for not being forthright earlier about the school moving into the county-owned building.
The agreement ended a week of disruptions for students enrolled in the Deborah Brown Community School, which this school year began operating a second campus in the Jazz Depot building.
At the Sept. 20 meeting of the Tulsa County Industrial Authority, an attorney representing the charter school described how it came to move into the building in the first place.
"The initial agreement was that in exchange for a $12,000 payment, at that time the rent for the year would be taken care of for the first school year," said Stefan Mecke.
Commissioners had earlier said the Jazz Hall of Fame should have notified county officials about the school. They demanded a certificate of occupancy, going so far on Sept. 17 as asking the school to vacate the building until getting the certificate.
The school has been caught in the middle of a conflict between the county and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Voters in 2003 approved the purchase and renovation of the Tulsa Union Depot building as a new home for the Jazz Hall of Fame, with the nonprofit staying essentially rent free.
However, the deal does not include free utilities, and the Jazz Hall owes more than $50,000 in electricity bills, insurance payments and assessment fees. The county has sent a letter giving the group 30 days to comply with terms of the lease -- which include notifying the county of any subleases -- or face the possibility of eviction. The agreement to allow the school to stay is only temporary, pending the outcome of the larger issues surrounding Jazz Hall of Fame.
Re-introducing Steadman. The University of Tulsa alerted the media Sept. 20 about the return of Steadman Upham as university president.
But just before notifying news outlets, TU Board Chairman Duane Wilson first spoke to the university's Faculty Senate. The group was meeting for the first time since the firing of Geoffrey Orsak, who lost his post Sept. 12 for reasons not disclosed after serving barely two months in the top post.
At the Faculty Senate meeting, Wilson took questions from faculty, wrote Lara Foley, president of the Faculty Senate, in an email.
"The faculty discussion that followed the announcement focused on moving forward," Foley wrote. With Upham, the university has restored stability and perhaps turned the page on any lingering questions from the brief Orsak era. Upham will stay on as president for up to two years.
New clinics open. A grand opening event will be held Sept. 29 for the North Regional Health and Wellness Center, 5635 N. Cincinnati Ave., a newly constructed center operated by the Tulsa Health Department.
The clinic, which began operations Sept. 4, features doctors from the Oklahoma State University Physicians Practice Group.
It's more than a doctor's office for vaccinations and treatment, however. Along with a walking trail, the site features a demonstration kitchen and community meeting rooms.
Also in north Tulsa, the OU Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic, at North Hartford Avenue and East 36th Street, has been open since July 1.
This Land lawsuit continues. A lawsuit against This Land Press claiming defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy remains pending after a judge in an order filed Sept. 19 denied a motion made by This Land to have the case dismissed.
A Tulsa police officer, Christy Kellerhals, filed the suit in May after This Land described in a news article her sexual relationship with Tulsa Police Captain Shawn King.
This Land reported in a story by Joshua Kline (also named in the lawsuit) how King had been suspended for having sex while on-duty in his patrol car, but the incident did not involve Kellerhals. This Land reported on the connection between King and Kellerhals after obtaining photos and videos turned over to the publication by Keena Roberts, a former girlfriend of King's also named in the lawsuit.
Kellerhals claim states that, "to the extent the article contained any issues of public concern, those related exclusively to King."
Drug drop off service Sept. 29. Unwanted medications may be dropped off on Sept. 29 at several Tulsa locations as part of an effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration to combat pill abuse and theft.
From 10am--2pm, drugs will be accepted at three sites: Save-A-Lot at East Pine Street and North Lewis Avenue, Reasor's at South Sheridan Road and East 71st Street, and Reasor's at South Garnett Road and East 41st Street.
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