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  • Special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators is seeking information from the White House related to Michael Flynn's stint as national security adviser and about the response to a meeting with a Russian lawyer that was attended by President Donald Trump's oldest son, The Associated Press has learned. Mueller's office has requested a large batch of documents from the White House and is expected to interview at least a half-dozen current and former aides in the coming weeks. Lawyers for the White House are in the process of trying to cooperate with the document requests. Though the full scope of the investigation is not clear, the information requests make evident at least some of the areas that Mueller and his team of prosecutors intend to look into and also reveal a strong interest in certain of Trump's actions as president. A person familiar with the investigation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation said investigators want information on, among other topics, a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that Donald Trump Jr. attended with a Russian lawyer as well as on the administration's response to it.
  • Former Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby was acquitted of criminal charges in the death of Terence Crutcher, but the Crutcher estate has moved forward with civil litigation. [CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story on KRMG.com indicated the city council had voted to pay for Shelby to hire private representation. We have corrected this after speaking with the Office of the City Attorney] The Tulsa City Council voted Wednesday night to allow the Office of the City Attorney to represent Shelby in that federal lawsuit.  Gerry Bender, the Litigation Division Manager for the city attorney’s office, tells KRMG that is standard procedure when a city employee faces litigation over something that happened in the performance of their professional duties. “There’s a process whereby any city employee - whether police, fire, someone working out in the field for water or sewer or anything else - if they get sued for doing something that occurred during the course and scope of their duties as an employee, they are allowed to make a request to the city council to have the city attorney’s office represent them, and that’s what happened in this particular instance,” Bender said Thursday. “When Officer Shelby was served, she came to our office with a request. That request was passed on to the city council. The city council went into executive session last night to consider that request, and when they came out of executive session the city council voted to extend representation by the city attorney’s office to former Officer Shelby.” The City of Tulsa is also named as a respondent in the lawsuit. Bender said there has also been a tort claim filed, which Bender says was filed “to attempt to satisfy requirements of the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act, which is a negligence standard, but that was filed with the city after the complaint was filed, and we’re going to take issue with the timeline on that.” There is no hearing scheduled yet in the federal lawsuit.
  • Ventriloquist singer Darci Lynne, 12,  Ten-year-old Johns Creek, Georgia, singing phenom Angelica Hale couldn’t fend off Lynne’s combination of humor, ventriloquism skills and charm. But Hale’s exceptional sweetness and vocal prowess helped her finish second. Based on polls, Lynne was the consensus favorite to win. Only Hale had a remote shot at upsetting her. Bottom line: America loves a good ventriloquist. Season 2 winner and fellow ventriloquist/singer Terry Fator is considered the most successful Vegas act to come out of the show. They even got to perform together during the finale. Earlier in the finale, Angelica and Kechi did a trio with Kelly Clarkson on her hit song “Stronger.” Clarkson noted that the finalists all get the same amount of airtime on the show as the winner.  Fifth place was the dog act Sara and Hero, which is a bit of a shocker but proof that Simon Cowell’s push for the act early on was worthwhile. Fourth place was deaf singer Mandy Harvey. In third? Dance/light act Light Balance. Evie Clair didn’t finish in the Top 5. There were too many good singers splitting votes.
  • Maria back to Major Hurricane status Cat 3. Severe flooding continues in Puerto Rico, especially mountainous terrain. Hurricane conditions continue for the Northeastern Dominican Republic. Although the large, 40 n mi diameter, eye of the hurricane is still a little ragged-looking, it is gradually becoming better defined, and a ring of cold cloud tops is intensifying around the eye. The current intensity estimate is 115 mph based on earlier Air Force Hurricane Hunter data and recent Dvorak classifications from TAFB and SAB. Maria is likely to move over warm waters with moderate southwesterly vertical shear for the next couple of days. Maria’s well-developed upper-level outflow suggests that shear is probably not having much influence over the hurricane at this time. Although the numerical guidance is not very aggressive about intensification, based on the current trends of the cloud pattern, some strengthening seems likely over the next day or so. Later in the forecast period, shear will probably cause gradual weakening. The official intensity forecast is a little above the latest model consensus. Maria continues its northwestward motion 9 mph. The hurricane is expected to turn north-northwestward and northward around a subtropical ridge over the Atlantic for the next 2 to 3 days. Late in the forecast period, a mid-level high over the northeastern U.S. could slow the forward motion somewhat. This high is forecast by the global models to subsequently weaken however, which should allow Maria to turn north-northeastward in the flow on the northwestern edge of a subtropical ridge over the west-central Atlantic. The official track forecast lies between the corrected consensus guidance and the latest ECMWF prediction. This is quite similar to the previous NHC track. KEY MESSAGES: 1. Heavy rainfall is expected to continue, and catastrophic flash flooding is occurring in Puerto Rico, especially in areas of mountainous terrain. Everyone in Puerto Rico should continue to follow advice from local officials to avoid these life-threatening flooding conditions. 2. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas, where Maria is expected to bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INIT 21/0900Z 19.6N 68.4W 100 KT 115 MPH 12H 21/1800Z 20.5N 69.3W 105 KT 120 MPH 24H 22/0600Z 21.6N 70.4W 110 KT 125 MPH 36H 22/1800Z 22.9N 71.1W 105 KT 120 MPH 48H 23/0600Z 24.3N 71.7W 100 KT 115 MPH 72H 24/0600Z 27.4N 72.3W 100 KT 115 MPH 96H 25/0600Z 30.0N 72.0W 90 KT 105 MPH 120H 26/0600Z 32.5N 70.5W 80 KT 90 MPH THE LONG RANGE PATH IS STILL HIGHLY UNCERTAIN, BUT IT SHOULD BE A WEAKER STORM AS IT HEADS NORTH: 8AM WEDNESDAY: 8AM THURSDAY: MODEL INTENSITY OUTPUT: MEANWHILE JOSE SITS AND SPINS AND WEAKENS: FOLLOW ME on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB  
  • A little known fact about flowers sold across the United States is that a large majority of them come from other countries, and most of them pass through the Port of Miami, Florida. Hurricane Irma disrupted operations at that port, and also caused problems with ground and air transportation. That has led to a major shortage of fresh flowers across the country, including in Tulsa. Nicki Argo owns Mary Murray’s Flowers, a locally-owned business that has operated for more than fifty years. She’s never seen anything like the current shortage, she told KRMG Wednesday.  Since Irma, she said, “I have yet to get my first shipment.” She was supposed to get one Wednesday morning, but the truck didn’t show. California is the only real source of fresh flowers within the U.S., she said, but buying from California is not cheap. “They’re beautiful flowers,” she said, “but because they pay American wages for their farmers and stuff, they’re incredibly expensive.” And there are many types of flowers that aren’t grown in California. She admits it’s been tough explaining the problem to customers, most of whom don’t realize that for instance nearly all roses sold in the U.S. are actually grown in Ecuador. It’s one thing not to be able to buy flowers for an anniversary or to decorate the home, but imagine being a bride-to-be. Argo says she’s gone out of her way to help. “That’s one thing I have to do, is I have to have that bride’s flowers for her,” Argo said. “There are no do-overs. So even if it means not making a dime on the wedding, you just have to do what’s right.” It will all get sorted out, she said, though she can’t predict how long it will take. “This has never happened before, so I don’t even know what that outcome’s gonna be.”