News to Know: Oklahoma charter school founders face embezzlement charges, and MODOT & KDOT weigh in on a proposed gas holiday

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma law officers arrest three top officials in the state’s Epic Charter Schools program on multiple felony charges. On Thursday the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests of Epic Charter School founders Ben Harris and David Chaney and former Chief Financial Officer Josh Brook. They face a slew of charges including embezzlement of state funds, racketeering and conspiracy to commit a felony. The OSBI says their investigation began nearly a decade ago. Investigators claim the men were involved in a scheme that cost Oklahoma taxpayers more than 22-million dollars.

QUAPAW, Okla. – Authorities deploy a tactical team to end a police standoff in Quapaw, Oklahoma. Marshals responded to a report of shots fired in a domestic disturbance Wednesday. Authorities say they cornered a suspect in a home on Cayuga street in Quapaw. Officials say after he refused to come out, a Cherokee Nation Tactical Team used OC gas to force him from the home. Other people inside were removed safely. Authorities have not released the name of the suspect.  Find more here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Biden proposes a ‘gas tax holiday’ which would suspend the national gas tax for three months. According to AAA, the Joplin area has the lowest average price for a gallon of gas right now in the state, at $4.44 a gallon. The gas tax holiday, would drop that by around 18 cents. Officials with MODOT say it’s too early to know if the holiday, if approved, would impact current or future projects in the state. KDOT officials say they’re not worried.  Read more about the proposed tax holiday here.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Some 4-staters get a lesson on human trafficking in the work-place. The Crawford County Mental Health Center brought together area human resource professionals for Thursday’s seminar. The guest speaker of the meeting was Adah Hutchcraft, a spiritual care specialist, from Ascension Via Christi. The presentation stressed the importance of observable signs to look for in the workplace and stigmas the professionals should be aware of. The participants were also taught about how to approach sensitive situations involving trafficking to protect the victim and themselves. Read more about the seminar here.

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: NCAA athletes can now make a profit from their own name, image or likeness. Some have already begun using their social media following to sign deals and publish books. This morning we are asking if you think student athletes should be allowed to make money from their image? Join our KOAM Facebook discussion and cast your vote on our KOAM InstaPoll @ koamnewsnow.com/vote.

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