In the Nation

Chuck Jordan at a news conference. Forensic tests are awaited. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Chuck Jordan at a news conference. Forensic tests are awaited. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World (Tulsa Police Chief)
Posted: April 08, 2012

Attacks unnerve Tulsa's north side

TULSA, Okla. - Residents of Tulsa's predominantly black north side said Saturday they're afraid a shooter is still roaming their neighborhoods looking for victims after five people were shot - and three killed - a day earlier.

"We're all nervous," said Renaldo Works, 52, who was getting his hair cut at the crowded Charlie's Angels Forever Hair Style Shop on Saturday morning. "I've got a 15-year-old, and I'm not going to let him out late. People are scared. We need facts."

Police are still waiting for the results of forensic tests, but investigators think the shootings are linked because they happened around the same time within a three-mile span, and all five victims were out walking when they were shot. All the victims were black, and community members met this weekend in an effort to calm any unrest.

One of the victims told police that the shooter was a white man driving a white pickup truck who stopped to ask for directions before opening fire. Officer Jason Willingham said Saturday that the pickup was spotted in the area of three of the shootings.

- AP

Big prizes went to GSA workers

WASHINGTON - The General Services Administration developed an employee awards program that spent more than $438,000 over four years, far exceeding the agency's per-gift limit of $99, congressional investigators reported Friday.

Investigators for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said the "Hats Off Program" initially gave out items of nominal value. Over time, the awards became iPods, digital cameras, GPS devices, and other electronics. The spending occurred from 2007 through 2010, the report said.

The GSA, the real estate agency for federal buildings, said in a statement: "Operations have been suspended pending a continuing top down review of all spending."

The agency has been under fire from Congress after its inspector general reported last week that the GSA lavishly spent $820,000 for a Las Vegas conference in 2010. The head of the agency resigned, two deputies were fired, and other employees were suspended.

- AP

L.A. budget chief sees 'crisis mode'

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles' top budget official said Friday that the city could go bankrupt if it doesn't overhaul its finances with new taxes, possible layoffs, and the privatization of some city services.

Chief administrative officer Miguel Santana told the Los Angeles Times that a $222 million budget gap has the city in "crisis mode." That figure is expected to increase to $427 million by 2014-15.

In a sweeping report, Santana blamed the shortfall on stagnant revenue and rising employee costs. He is searching for ways to come up with $150 million in new income. One proposal is to double the so-called documentary transfer tax imposed on property sales, which could generate $100 million.

- AP

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