Associated Press

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A Tulsa teacher who was launched into the spotlight last year after panhandling for money to buy school supplies is back on the streets to advocate for teachers and collect supplies.

The Tulsa World reports that Teresa Danks began panhandling by Interstate 44 on the one-year mark from the first time she hit the streets July 19, 2017. She has since left her position teaching third grade at Grimes Elementary School because she felt uncertain the teacher pay raises would stick.

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The Oklahoma unemployment rate fell slightly in June.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said Friday that the jobless rate fell from 4 percent in May to 3.9 percent in June.

The commission reported that the number of people with jobs rose by 5,805 while the number of jobless declined by 1,641.

St-Gregory's

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) — Investors have paid more than $10 million in bids for assets involving oil and natural gas wells owned by the bankrupt St. Gregory's University in central Oklahoma as part of a court-ordered auction.

The Oklahoman reports that bidders this week paid more than $10.2 million for minerals, royalties, overriding royalties and working interests involving nearly 1,700 properties the Shawnee university owned in 10 states.

Carmelo is Gone

Jul 20, 2018

Carmelo Anthony is done in Oklahoma City. The veteran NBA forward and a 2022 protected first-round pick were sent to Atlanta in exchange for guard Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala. Anthony is expected to be waived, leaving him a free agent. As part of the trade, the Thunder will send Muscala to the Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia's Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to Oklahoma City and the 76ers' Justin Anderson will be sent to Atlanta.

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Oklahoma prison officials say two inmates who walked away from a prison in southwestern Oklahoma have been recaptured.

State Department of Correction spokesman Matt Elliott says 29-year-old Jody Elmore and 32-year-old Chad Adams were found Thursday in a rural area of Jackson County. Elliott says the inmates were taken to the Jackson County Jail in Altus, about 23 miles (37 kilometers) from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in Granite where they had been incarcerated.

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Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater says he's asked state investigators to expand their criminal probe surrounding the former top attorney for the Health Department who wrote the state's new medical marijuana rules.

Prater confirmed late Thursday he learned of a text exchange between attorney Julia Ezell and the State Board of Pharmacy's Executive Director Chelsea Church. In the exchange, Church appears to offer Ezell a job at the agency in return for favorable rules on medical marijuana.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Leaders in the Oklahoma House and Senate have named a 13-member working group of legislators to recommend regulations for the new medical marijuana industry in the state.

The nine Republicans and four Democrats plan to convene a series of public meetings on medical marijuana beginning next week.

The authors of medical marijuana State Question 788, approved by 57 percent of voters last month, required the state to have a system for licensing applications for patients and dispensaries up and running within 30 days of passage.

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GRANITE, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma prison officials say two inmates who walked away from a prison in southwestern Oklahoma have been recaptured.

State Department of Correction spokesman Matt Elliott says 29-year-old Jody Elmore and 32-year-old Chad Adams were found Thursday in a rural area of Jackson County. Elliott says the inmates were taken to the Jackson County Jail in Altus, about 23 miles from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in Granite where they had been incarcerated.

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Oklahoma prison officials say they are searching for a pair of inmates who walked away from a southwestern Oklahoma prison.

The inmates are among three who walked away Wednesday morning from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite.

A state game warden captured one inmate, 22-year-old Jon Elliot, shortly after Elliot walked away. He is serving a four-year sentence for conspiracy to commit grand larceny out of Le Flore County.

The search continues for the other two: 29-year-old Jody Elmore and 32-year-old Chad Adams.

Lincoln County

 

Authorities say a malnourished 15-year-old Oklahoma boy who survived by eating sticks, leaves and grass has been found living in a barn, and four members of his family have been arrested for child neglect.

The Oklahoman reported Thursday that Lincoln County assistant District Attorney Adam Panter said the boy weighed 80 pounds (36 kilograms) July 12, when he was found sharing the barn with goats, rabbits and chickens.

The teen is hospitalized.

The boy's name and condition haven't been released. Panter says he could have died without medical attention.

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A Tulsa man is behind bars this morning for shooting his ex-girlfriend.

53-year-old Greg Trombley was arrested at a home just northwest of 91st and South Yale. Authorities say called police to tell them about the shooting and was waiting for officers.

The woman was 60-years old. Her name has not been released by homicide detectives. 

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Central Oklahoma authorities say three people have been injured in an explosion and fire at a saltwater disposal well.

Kingfisher County emergency management officials say the explosion occurred shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday at a saltwater disposal well south of Oklahoma Highway 33. The wells are used to dispose of wastewater from oil and natural gas operations.

Officials say those injured have been taken to a local hospital for treatment, but their conditions were not immediately available.

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Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter says the state's Board of Health overstepped its authority with several of the emergency rules it adopted last week for medical marijuana.

In a letter Wednesday to Interim Commissioner of Health Tom Bates, Hunter specifically cites last-minute changes that prohibit the sale of smokable marijuana and require a pharmacist at every dispensary.

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The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says there is an air conditioning outage at one of its prisons.

The department says a chiller malfunctioned Tuesday at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center in Lexington, causing outages in several areas of the prison.

Officials are using fans to circulate air in the administration and medical offices, the visiting room, mailroom and three inmate housing units.

A replacement part is expected to arrive Wednesday and the department says repairs will begin immediately.

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The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.1 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in central Oklahoma.

The USGS says the temblor was recorded at 3:38 p.m. Tuesday about 3 miles (5 kilometers) east of Edmond, or about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City. The earthquake was recorded at a depth of about 4 miles (6.3 kilometers).

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Geologists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

 

The chaplain of a minimum security prison for women has resigned after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a female inmate.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says Chaplain Don Dickerson resigned Tuesday after his arrest last week on a complaint of rape by instrumentation.

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The top lawyer at the Oklahoma State Department of Health who recently resigned now faces criminal charges after authorities said she sent threats to herself and then lied about it to investigators.

The agency's former general counsel, 37-year-old Julia Ezell of Edmond, was charged Tuesday in Oklahoma County with two felonies and one misdemeanor. An agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation wrote in an affidavit that Ezell sent threatening messages to her own official government email and then reported that to authorities.

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The top lawyer at the Oklahoma State Department of Health has quit her job, days after the agency's board ignored her advice on rules for medical marijuana. This apparently took place after she emailed herself a threat. She faces a felony complaint.

Health department officials confirmed Tuesday that Julie Ezell resigned as general counsel on Friday, effective immediately. The agency declined additional comment.

In a brief email to the agency's interim commissioner, Ezell wrote: "I am so sorry." 

Unhappy at TPS

Jul 17, 2018
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Tulsa Public Schools' planning documents show that the district has trouble teaching students and retaining teachers partly because of staff members' belief in a lack of support from administration and policy.

The documents obtained by the Tulsa World are presentations district administrators gave to principals and senior staff last month as part of the planning process for the next school year. The documents' information was compiled from University of Oklahoma-Tulsa surveys of district staff at school sites and internal district data.

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A municipal official in central Oklahoma is exploring ways to limit single-use plastic bags, similar to proposals in other parts of the U.S., to combat a leading source of litter and pollution.

Norman Councilwoman Breea Clark says she realized the need to act after touring the materials recycling facility where all the city's recyclable items collected from curbside bins are sorted. Clark says the plastic film gets caught in the machines and workers have to untangle or cut the plastic loose, slowing the sorting process.

Trip Advisor

 

A district attorney for a county near Tulsa has been cracking down on the old crime of not returning rental DVDs by offering a payment plan to avoid filing charges.

Rogers County District Attorney Matt Ballard's office is sending letters to several hundred residents with overdue DVD rentals. The letters spell out fines and fees that start at $200.

The letters are part of a diversion program that allows Ballard's office to recoup funds for businesses while avoiding filing charges. Super Video in Claremore is the only vendor being represented by the program.

BETHANY, Okla. (AP) — Police in suburban Oklahoma City say a 15-year-old boy has been fatally shot and that a 16-year-old has been arrested for manslaughter in his death.

The shooting occurred at about 7:39 p.m. Sunday at a residence in Bethany, located along Oklahoma City's western boundary. Officers who were called to the scene found the 15-year-old victim and the alleged assailant in the residence. Neither boy has been identified.

KGOU

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A new survey shows the chief executives of Oklahoma's public colleges are paid below the national average.

The Oklahoman reports the survey from The Chronicle of Higher Education found that heads of public colleges in the U.S. were paid an average of about $560,000 last year.

Former University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who retired June 30 , received total compensation of $437,992. Boren's successor, OU President Jim Gallogly, is paid $500,000.

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CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) — A district attorney for a county near Tulsa has been cracking down on the old crime of not returning rental DVDs by offering a payment plan to avoid filing charges.

Rogers County District Attorney Matt Ballard's office is sending letters to several hundred residents with overdue DVD rentals. The letters spell out fines and fees that start at $200.

NPR

 

State estimates show that testing more than 7,000 unsubmitted rape kits in Oklahoma could cost more than $9 million.

The Oklahoman reports the estimates were provided in a report by a statewide task force examining the issue. The actual cost could be different because officials haven't formally decided how to test the kits or how many to test, and the task force recommends some kits not be tested.

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Two-term Democratic state Rep. Claudia Griffith, a candidate for a seat in the Oklahoma Senate, has died.

Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall's office said in a statement that Griffith died on Saturday. Democratic Party officials say Griffith died after suffering an apparent heart attack. She was 67.

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to increase safety patrols on Oklahoma lakes following a string of recreational drownings.

Corps spokesman Matthew Nolen says officials plan to encourage the use of life jackets following the drowning deaths of 11 people in Oklahoma lakes since May.

Nolen says most drowning victims are not swimmers and fall into the water unexpectedly from a boat or dock. Officials say consistent life jacket use could reduce drownings by 90 percent.

Laurie Avocado

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Civil lawsuits have been filed in two Oklahoma counties accusing state health officials of improperly imposing strict rules on the state's recently approved medical marijuana industry.

Separate lawsuits were filed Friday in Cleveland and Oklahoma counties over the policies that were adopted this week by the State Board of Health and then quickly approved by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

Pot advocates celebrated the culmination of a yearslong effort to ease restrictions on the use of cannabis last month when nearly 60 percent of Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana.

Oklahoma's proponents had even included a two-month deadline for the implementation in their measure so as to avoid the years of delays they had seen elsewhere.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved Oklahoma's Medicaid program for a first-in-the-nation drug pricing experiment that supporters say could save taxpayer dollars and provide patients with the most effective medications for their ailments.

Under the "value-based purchasing" program approved in late June, the state and a pharmaceutical company would agree to a set payment if its medication works as advertised, but only a fraction of that if the drug is not as effective as promised.

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