Associated Press

State of Oklahoma

 

Gov. Mary Fallin's suggestion that lawmakers return for a special session to consider ways to increase teacher salaries is facing bipartisan criticism from legislators and even some teachers who call the idea short-sighted.

Fallin mentioned the possibility of a special session after state finance officials confirmed the state had $140.8 million available after the fiscal year that ended June 30.

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The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on a plane crash that killed two men near Fairmont in northern Oklahoma.

The crash last Thursday killed 55-year-old pilot Randall Lee Harris of Owasso and 25-year-old Lt. Dale Bryan Shillington of Vance Air Force Base in Enid.

The report says a witness saw the airplane performing aerobatic maneuvers before it disappeared behind trees and that he heard the plane's engine until he heard it crash into the ground.

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Oklahoma finance officials say more than $140 million can be reallocated to state agencies because mid-year budget cuts that were ordered amid a revenue downturn were deeper than necessary.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services announced Wednesday that it determined $140.8 million is available for reallocation following the fiscal year that ended June 30.

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health says the mosquito that carries the Zika virus has been discovered in southwestern Oklahoma, but no cases of the illness have been recorded in the region.

The department said Thursday that the Aedes aegypti mosquito was detected in Altus. In previous years, the tropical mosquito had been detected in Oklahoma and Comanche counties.

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Authorities say no workers were injured after a tractor-trailer crashed into a Turnpike Authority building on the Cimarron Turnpike in northern Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the truck drove into a Turnpike Authority building late Wednesday on U.S. 412 eastbound in Pawnee County. Tulsa television station KOTV reports that no one was inside the building, which is adjacent to the toll booth and serves as a break room.

Authorities say the truck's drivers told troopers that his brakes failed as he was approaching the toll gate.

Oklahoma Forestry Service

 

 Oklahoma Forestry Services says it's closing four offices and reducing services as part of a restructuring program forced by budget reductions.

Forestry Services Director George Geissler says the agency plans to reallocate resources to maximize its remaining services. While some services will no longer be available to landowners in western Oklahoma, all 77 Oklahoma counties will continue to receive wildfire suppression support.

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Family members say Oklahoma's first black state senator, who held a sit-in at the state Capitol with civil rights icon Clara Luper and fought to keep the state's only historically black university open, has died.

Sonya Porter says her father, E. Melvin Porter, died Tuesday at his Oklahoma City home after contracting a fever while in hospice care. He was 86.

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The head of Oklahoma's prison system has appointed a new warden at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary following a series of mishaps during the last few scheduled executions.

Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh announced Wednesday the appointment of Terry Royal of Clermont, Florida, to oversee the prison in McAlester that houses the state's death row and execution chamber.

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Supporters of a state question to overhaul Oklahoma's liquor laws and allow the sale of strong, cold beer and wine in grocery and convenience stores are launching an effort to build support for the proposal.

Grocers, winery operators and convenience store operators are among those who kicked off the "Yes on 792" campaign Wednesday during a trade show in Oklahoma City.

The proposal on the ballot in November would make numerous changes to Oklahoma's alcohol laws, including extending the hours that retail liquor stores can be open.

State of Oklahoma

   

Oklahoma finance officials say more than $140 million can be reallocated to state agencies because mid-year budget cuts that were ordered amid a revenue downturn were deeper than necessary.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services announced Wednesday that it determined $140.8 million is available for reallocation following the fiscal year that ended June 30.

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