Associated Press

Pork Choppers Aviation

 

Oklahoma could soon join Louisiana and Texas in allowing hunters to shoot feral hogs from helicopters.

Aerial gunners are already used to help control feral swine in Oklahoma, but the work can only be done by trained, licensed contractors with support from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry.

Lawmakers are considering a bill to expand that to private operations. Under the proposal, landowners, companies and pilots would have to apply for a state license and be responsible for the activity.

KWGS News-File Photo

Oklahoma authorities say three would-be burglars have been fatally shot by a homeowner's adult son who was armed with a rifle.

 

The Wagoner County Sheriff's Office received a call around 12:30 p.m. Monday from someone inside a home who told dispatchers that people had broken into the house and that shots had been fired.

Deputy Nick Mahoney says officers arrived to find three men fatally shot. The neighborhood is in an unincorporated part of the county about 20 miles southeast of Tulsa.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

 

Oklahoma court records show that a 35-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting a 22-year-old police officer in a shootout during a traffic stop faced a charge of knowingly concealing stolen property.

Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon identified the suspect Tuesday as Byron James Shepard. Shepard is suspected of fatally shooting Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney on Sunday night. Terney died Monday morning after undergoing surgery overnight.

Authorities say Shepard was also struck by gunfire and remains hospitalized.

KWGS News File Photo

 

Multiple rounds of severe weather are in the forecast this week for Southern Plains states, with Texas and Oklahoma at risk Tuesday for big hail, tornadoes and damaging winds.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says a mostly rural area of north Texas and southern Oklahoma could see the worst of it Tuesday. Forecasters say the biggest risk Tuesday is for "very large" hail though tornadoes and powerful winds are still possible.

   

Gov. Mary Fallin is offering her condolences to the family of a 22-year-old police officer who died after a shootout during a traffic stop in her hometown of Tecumseh.

Fallin says Tecumseh officer Justin Terney's body is being returned to his family in eastern Oklahoma and that she intends to order flags on state property to be flown at half-staff on the day of Terney's funeral, which hasn't been scheduled.

KWGS News File Photo

 

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has set the dates for a special election to fill the seat of a former state senator who stepped down while facing felony prostitution charges involving a 17-year-old boy.

A special general election will be held Sept. 12 to fill the seat in south Oklahoma City left vacant after state Sen. Ralph Shortey resigned last week.

Shortey has been charged with three felony counts after police say he solicited sex from the teen.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected a proposed rewrite of a ballot question on medical marijuana that was submitted by the state Attorney General's office.

In a 7-1 ruling on Monday, the state's highest court rejected the proposed rewrite that supporters of the medical marijuana initiative had argued was intentionally misleading and could confuse people into thinking they were voting to fully legalize marijuana.

Under the ruling, the original ballot language drafted by the marijuana supporters will appear on the ballot.

KWGS News File Photo

Oklahoma authorities say three would-be burglars have been fatally shot by a homeowner's armed son.

A Wagoner County Sheriff's Office spokesman says the agency received a call around 12:30 p.m. Monday from someone inside a home who told dispatchers that people had broken into the house and that shots had been fired.

Deputy Nick Mahoney says authorities arrived in the 9100 block of Clearview Drive to find the alleged burglars all fatally shot by the adult son, who met the intruders with a rifle.

 

The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a bill to immediately provide $34 million in funding to the Department of Human Services to prevent worker furloughs and provider rate cuts.

A bill is scheduled for a hearing Monday that would tap about $30 million from the state's Unclaimed Property Fund and another $4 million from the Rainy Day Fund. The money would be used to fund programs for the elderly and developmentally disabled.

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A so-called 'Good Samaritan' bill that wouldn't criminally charge a person who is either having or observing a drug overdose and calls police for help has failed to advance in the Oklahoma Legislature.

Guthrie Republican Sen. AJ Griffin has proposed the legislation for the past two years as the country deals with an opioid epidemic.

The Oklahoman reports Griffin's bill gives law enforcement officers discretion when they arrive at the scene of an overdose.

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An Oklahoma councilwoman is asking homeowners to rename a street honoring a former university professor and Ku Klux Klan member.

Norman Councilwoman Breea Clark has posted an online petition asking residents to help change the name of DeBarr Avenue.

The block is named after Edwin DeBarr, one of the first professors at the University of Oklahoma. DeBarr became a grand dragon in the KKK while at the school and was forced out in 1923 because of his Klan involvement.

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Large hail and strong winds hit parts of Texas and Oklahoma as a storm system rolled through the Southern Plains.

Heavy rains also occurred during Sunday's storms along with a funnel cloud near Ada, Oklahoma, about 70 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.

Denton, Texas, police told the Dallas Morning News that hail up to the size of softballs fell on the area.

The National Weather Service issued multiple storm advisories throughout the day Sunday.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers can claim at least one accomplishment nearly halfway through this year's legislative session.

They passed legislation that finally brings the state into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. That imposes tougher requirements for proof of legal residency to get state driver's licenses.

But much more is on the agenda before the Legislature is required to adjourn May 26. That includes raising teacher pay, modifying guidelines for the judiciary and criminal justice, abortion and ways to bring in more money.

NPR

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a magnitude 4.0 earthquake and three smaller temblors have struck Oklahoma.

The survey reported that the magnitude 4.0 quake hit Saturday south of Medford in north-central Oklahoma. Three smaller temblors — with magnitudes of 3.5, 3.0 and 2.8, all struck near Perry.

No injuries or damage were immediately reported. Geologists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

Perry Public Schools

 

A principal and a teacher north of Oklahoma City who are accused of failing to report alleged child abuse may resign.

An agenda shows that the Perry Public School board will meet Monday to consider the resignations and resignation agreements of Upper Elementary School Principal Kenda Miller and math teacher Jeffrey Sullins.

The Oklahoman reports that the educators are charged with failure to promptly report child abuse or neglect.

An Oklahoma food company is recalling more than 466 tons of breaded chicken because of possible metal in the food.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday that OK Food, Inc. is recalling 933,272 pounds of the food shipped nationwide that was produced between Dec. 19, 2016, and March 7, 2017, and includes the number "P-7092" inside the USDA inspection mark.

The USDA said in a news release that contamination came from metal conveyor belts and was discovered Tuesday. An agency spokesman did not immediately return a phone call for further comment.

Cleveland County Detention Center

 A former Oklahoma state senator charged with child prostitution will have a preliminary hearing conference next month.

Ralph Shortey, an Oklahoma City Republican, made his first court appearance in the case Friday in Cleveland County District Court in Norman. The preliminary hearing was set for April 11 on charges of engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church and transporting a minor for prostitution.

 At least one person has been killed in the crash of a single-engine airplane in Oklahoma.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro says the plane crashed in a field Friday in Union City due to "unknown circumstances" and that local law enforcement confirms the pilot of the aircraft died in the crash.

The name of the victim and details of the crash were not immediately released and police did not return a phone call for comment.

Lincoln County

 

 Officials say two of three inmates who escaped the Lincoln County Jail have been apprehended.

Sheriff Charles Dougherty told reporters Thursday that 23-year-old Brian Allen Moody and 23-year-old Mark Dwayne Robbins are back in custody while 41-year-old Sonny Baker remains at large and is possibly armed.

Details of the arrests were not immediately released.

Authorities say three escaped the jail in Chandler about 11:30 p.m. Thursday by going through the jail's ventilation system and climbing over a wire fence.

DHS

 

Oklahoma's Department of Human Services would be forced to close 11 county offices and slash funding to a dozen programs that support poor, disabled and elderly Oklahomans under a 14 percent budget reduction being discussed by the Legislature.

DHS Director Ed Lake sent a letter to agency employees on Wednesday warning of cuts he described as ranging from "the terrible to the unthinkable."

Amid a state budget shortfall of about $878 million, legislative leaders have agencies outlining how they would handle cuts of up to 14 percent.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

 

The Tulsa Jail is expecting a shortfall of $3.5 million for the next fiscal year.

The jail conducted a survey that showed Tulsa County may have to subsidize jail operations for a third straight year.

The projection comes six weeks after the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said the jail would likely need an additional $2 million to make it through the current budget year. That would be in addition to $2.4 million allocated at the outset of the budget year.

KWGS News File Photo

 

Potentially severe storms packing damaging winds, large hail and possibly tornadoes are in the forecast for parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas heading into the weekend.

The National Weather Service says thunderstorms will develop Friday and move east across Oklahoma, causing storms that could produce damaging winds and heavy rainfall.

Forecasters say the line of strong to severe storms will reach Arkansas by late Friday afternoon and evening and sweep across the state.

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A death row inmate who was convicted of killing three people in Oklahoma City has died in prison.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says 37-year-old Jared Jones died Wednesday after being found unresponsive in his cell at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

The department said the cause of death will be determined by the state medical examiner.

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The Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services says more than 430,000 people in the state may have had their personal information compromised by a data breach.

The agency said Wednesday that the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the Office of Workforce Development both use the breached website of Kansas-based American Job Link Alliance that's used to coordinate federal unemployment and workforce development programs.

Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs

 

The Oklahoma Senate has passed legislation that would allow for the relocation of the veterans center in Talihina.

The Tulsa World reports the bill passed Tuesday comes after two high-profile deaths at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Talihina.

Republican Sen. Frank Simpson authored the bill, which would allow the Oklahoma Veterans Center to relocate within 40 miles of its current location to a town with at least 8,000 residents.

Cleveland County Detention Center

An Oklahoma state senator accused of hiring a 17-year-old boy for sex has resigned.

Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey submitted his resignation letter Wednesday. He was arrested last week on charges of engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of church.

The 35-year-old married father of three is out on $100,000 bond. Oklahoma's most prominent Republican leaders had called for his resignation after he was charged.

USGS Market

 

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a magnitude 4.0 earthquake and two smaller temblors have struck Oklahoma.

The larger quake was recorded Wednesday near Stroud, located about 60 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. Two smaller quakes were also recorded. A magnitude 2.7 quake struck near Fairview and a magnitude 2.5 temblor hit near Mooreland.

No injuries or damage are reported and geologists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

KWGS News File Photo

 

 An attorney for the estate of a man who was naked and paralyzed when he died in a cell in the Tulsa County Jail's medical unit is hailing a jury's $10.25 million verdict in a federal civil rights trial.

Dan Smolen, attorney for the estate of Elliott Williams, says he hopes the county takes the verdict seriously.

The Tulsa World reports that an eight-person jury deliberated for about 10 hours over two days before deciding on Monday that Williams' civil rights were violated by the sheriff's office and former Sheriff Stanley Glanz.

OFS

 

  

A wildfire in eastern Oklahoma that burned nine homes grew Tuesday, but emergency crews don't expect it to spread much further.

Oklahoma Forestry Service spokeswoman Michelle Finch-Walker says the fire has consumed about 1.5 square miles in Pittsburg and Haskell counties. She says firefighters are using streams and roadways as barriers as much as possible. Finch-Walker says cooler weather and higher humidity also kept the fire from spreading as quickly.

Forestry Service calculations put containment at 19 percent.

KWGS News File Photo

 

 The Osage Nation has voted to change the definition of marriage in an election that drew an overwhelming number of absentee ballots.

The tribe will now define marriage as a union between "two persons" rather than "a man and a woman."

More than 1,100 people sent in absentee ballots but only 347 people showed up for onsite balloting during a two-day early voting period and on Monday, the actual election day.

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