Associated Press

State Impact

 

A Nebraska regulator is set to decide whether to approve the proposed route of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline through the state.

The decision Monday could have a big impact on whether TransCanada Corp. decides to proceed with construction of the project, which was first proposed in 2008 but repeatedly delayed.

The five-member Nebraska Public Service Commission vote is the last major regulatory hurdle for Keystone XL, which was approved earlier this year by President Donald Trump in a reversal of the Obama administration's rejection in 2015.

 

The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded two earthquakes that struck near a central Oklahoma town.

Both temblors hit just east of the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond early Sunday. The first quake had a preliminary magnitude of 3.7 and struck at 2:12 a.m. The second quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 2.9, followed soon after, hitting at 2:20 a.m.

There were no immediate reports of injury or severe damage.

KWGS News

 

Republican leaders in the Oklahoma House and Senate say they're surprised that Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a budget plan to raid cash reserves and further cut state agency spending.

Fallon's veto late Friday underscored the ongoing tension between her and House leaders.

House Speaker Charles McCall criticized the governor in a statement Saturday, accusing her of interjecting "more chaos and drama into the lives of Oklahomans."

Trader Joe's

 

Trader Joe's says it has recalled several packaged salads after a supplier said there may be shards of glass or hard plastic inside.

The grocery chain said Saturday on its website that packages of white meat chicken salad, curried white chicken deli salad and turkey cranberry apple salad sold in some areas that expire from Nov. 10-21 could be contaminated.

The products are labeled with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "inspected" code P-40299.

KWGS Map

A former Oklahoma correctional officer has pleaded guilty to using unreasonable force on an inmate during a 2014 incident at a jail in El Reno.

The Oklahoman reports that 41-year-old Jason Barber entered the plea Thursday in federal court in Oklahoma City.

Barber was accused of hitting pretrial detainee Lloyd Wayne Tillman during a disciplinary hearing in December 2014. Prosecutors have classified the offense as a misdemeanor because Tillman didn't suffer "bodily injury."

KWGS News File photo

A group of Oklahoma seniors and adults with disabilities who receive in-home state services to keep them out of nursing homes has filed a federal lawsuit against the two agencies that fund the programs.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in Oklahoma City against the directors of the state's Medicaid agency, the Health Care Authority, and the Oklahoma's Department of Human Services.

Cleveland County Detention Center

The attorney for a former state senator charged with producing and transporting child pornography says his client will plead guilty to one count of child sex trafficking in exchange for U.S. prosecutors dropping three other child pornography charges against him.

Ex-state Sen. Ralph Shortey's attorney Ed Blau confirmed the details of the plea agreement to The Oklahoman on Friday. Blau told the newspaper Shortey wants to put the "painful and humiliating ordeal behind him."

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns after getting dissed by the Kansas captains before kickoff, leading the Number 3 Sooners to a 41-3 rout of the Jayhawks. Saturday's snub by the Jayhawks when Mayfield tried to shake hands began a game full of cursing, lewd gestures and histrionics every bit as interesting as what happened on the field.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Oklahoma correctional officer has pleaded guilty to using unreasonable force on an inmate during a 2014 incident at a jail in El Reno.

The Oklahoman reports that 41-year-old Jason Barber entered the plea Thursday in federal court in Oklahoma City.

Barber was accused of hitting pretrial detainee Lloyd Wayne Tillman during a disciplinary hearing in December 2014. Prosecutors have classified the offense as a misdemeanor because Tillman didn't suffer "bodily injury."

City of Enid

ENID, Okla. (AP) — A former Oklahoma mayor and bank vice president has been arraigned for his alleged involvement in a fraud scheme.

Ersnt LeRoy Currier, 62, was charged this week with 33 felonies related to $6.2 million in fraudulently obtained loans.

Currier was previously the mayor of Enid and senior vice president of commercial lending at Security National Bank. He resigned from the bank on Sept. 5.

Knoxville Police

 

Authorities say a man who was on Oklahoma's 15 most wanted list has been arrested in Tennessee.

Knoxville police told news outlets that officers responded to a disturbance at a business to investigate a man who was not who he was claiming to be on Saturday.

During the investigation, authorities discovered the suspect, 63-year-old Augustus King, had escaped from the Oklahoma Department of Correction in 2002.

File photo

All of Oklahoma's 149 state senators and representatives will get a pay cut of 8.8 percent in November 2018 after an independent nine-member panel narrowly voted to approve the reduction.

The Legislative Compensation Board voted 4–3 on Thursday to impose the pay cut effective on the next group of legislators elected next year.

State of Oklahoma

 

A man charged with crashing his vehicle into Arkansas' Ten Commandments display nearly three years after he was accused of destroying a monument at Oklahoma's Capitol has been found mentally unfit to go to trial.

A Pulaski County judge on Thursday found Michael Tate Reed unfit to proceed and ordered him to be held by the state hospital for further evaluation. Judge Chris Piazza set a September 2018 hearing on Reed's mental status.

OETA

 

Oklahoma legislators have been raising thousands of dollars from lobbyists at lavish fundraisers during a special session limping into its eighth week, yet they've failed to make much progress toward plugging a $215 million hole in the state budget.

The Associated Press obtained invitations to a dozen scheduled fundraisers for some of the Legislature's top Republican leaders, including the powerful chairs of the appropriations committees in the House and Senate.

File photo

 

 Oklahoma's 149 state senators and representatives will learn if they get their pay cut after a state committee meets to review the lawmakers' salary and benefits package.

OKC Police

 

Oklahoma City police say an officer shot and killed a man who doused himself in lighter fluid and was trying to set himself on fire.

Capt. Bo Mathews says Sgt. Keith Sweeney shot and killed 29-year-old Dustin Pigeon early Wednesday after another officer shot Pigeon with a bean bag gun to no effect. He says the officers were responding to a report about a suicidal man and that Pigeon tried to set himself on fire with a lighter before they took action.

 

An Oklahoma Department of Health spokesman says the financially troubled agency does not have enough money to pay its employees beyond November.

Spokesman Tony Sellars made the comments Wednesday as state lawmakers debate legislation that would appropriate an emergency $30 million to the Health Department while cutting the budgets of other state agencies and raiding several government accounts. Lawmakers are in the eighth week of a special legislative session to try to fill a $215 million shortfall in the state's budget.

VPS

 

Officials say a 9-year-old elementary school student in northeastern Oklahoma has died after losing consciousness in a physical education class at school.

The cause of death has yet to be determined for Milagros Villalpando. Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Amy Elliot says the toxicology reports could take several weeks.

Vinita Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Grimmett says the fourth-grader lost consciousness and stopped breathing while resting after playing a five-minute round of basketball with classmates on Monday.

Google Street View

 

A former Enid mayor and bank vice president has been charged with 33 felonies in what police say is the largest fraud investigation in the city's history.

Ernst Leroy Currier was charged Tuesday with multiple counts, including misapplication of funds, forgery and obtaining money by false pretenses. Police say the charges involve dozens of fraudulent loans and identity theft going back 15 years.

The Enid News & Eagle reports that the 64-year-old Currier faces up to 299 years in prison if convicted.

 

Oklahoma's former lead seismologist says he felt pressured by an official at the University of Oklahoma to not link the state's surge in earthquakes to oil and gas production.

The Tulsa World reports that Austin Holland's sworn testimony came in a lawsuit filed by a resident against two oil companies for damages sustained during an earthquake in 2011. The quake also was felt in Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas.

University President David Boren and the former dean of university's Earth and Energy College deny Holland was pressured by the school.

Facebook

 

Charges have been filed against a 25-year-old man who livestreamed part of a 2½-hour police chase in Oklahoma.

Cleveland County District Court records show eight charges were filed Monday against Brenton James Hager of Oklahoma City. That includes three felony counts including assault on a police officer with a dangerous weapon, endangering others while eluding and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He was also charged with five misdemeanors.

Bond was set at $100,000. Court documents list no defense attorney for Hager.

KWGS News File Photo

 

Oklahoma's legislative leaders are unveiling bills to cut funding to most state agencies and use cash reserves to finish plugging a budget hole after lawmakers failed to pass a broad package of tax increases.

A series of bills were introduced Tuesday in House and Senate budget committees. The bills would impose cuts of about 2.5 percent to most agencies to make up for expected revenue lost from an unconstitutional cigarette tax passed in May.

Freeman campaign

 

Democrats have added another win in the deep-red Oklahoma Legislature, continuing the minority party's string of success and chipping away at the Republican Party's hold on state government.

The previously GOP-held House seat and two Senate seats on the ballot Tuesday were all in mostly Republican districts around Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

But Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman eked out a win over Republican Brian O'Hara in Senate District 37, picking up the seat that represents parts of Sand Springs, Jenks and west Tulsa.

 

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has joined more than 40 other state attorneys general in asking Congress to repeal a law they say is "a step backward" in attempts to prevent opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

A letter signed Monday by 44 state attorneys general asks Congress to repeal the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act. The law requires the Drug Enforcement Administration to show cause before it denies, revokes or suspends a registration for a controlled substance act violation.

KWGS News

 

Police in Tulsa have arrested two people accused of driving a stolen SUV through three stores and stealing almost a dozen AR-15 rifles.

Investigators allege 43-year-old Anthony Martinez and 37-year-old Shannon Fryman drove through an exterior wall and two interior walls to reach a firearms store early Friday.

A probable cause affidavit says they were in the store for about a minute and loaded at least 11 rifles and five boxes of ammunition into the SUV.

CCA

   

An investigation is underway following the deaths of two inmates at a Tulsa halfway house in three days.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesman Matt Elliott says one inmate, 47-year-old David Walden, died on Friday. The second, 54-year-old Richard Eubanks, died Sunday.

Both were inmates of the Tulsa Transitional Center, a 390-bed halfway house in downtown Tulsa. Elliott says prison officials can't say whether the deaths were linked or where they occurred.

KWGS News File Photo

 

The Tulsa Zoo says a male African lion that has been on exhibit at the zoo since 2004 has died.

The zoo announced Monday that Kofi died during the weekend while surrounded by his caregivers. Kofi would have turned 19 years old later this month.

The zoo's animal care and veterinary staff had been monitoring Kofi since he was diagnosed with chronic end-stage renal disease. Kidney failure is a common cause of death in older members of the cat family, including domestic house cats.

KWGS News File Photo

 

The recent success of Democrats in deep-red Oklahoma amid continuing state budget problems will be put to a further test Tuesday in special elections for three previously Republican-held state legislative seats.

The races are in suburban districts in Oklahoma City and Tulsa where Republicans have nearly 2-to-1 registration advantages, but come at a time of voter frustration over years of state budget shortfalls and recent scandals that have led to the resignation of Republican incumbents.

 

 A national effort is launching that aims to help low-income defendants get out of jail by bailing them out as their criminal cases progress through the courts.

The Bail Project grew out of an effort in New York called the Bronx Freedom Fund, which paid bail for people who otherwise would be jailed. Robin Steinberg is running the project and says millions of dollars has been raised. The goal is to have a $16 million fund in five years that pays bail in 40 cities across the country and is able to get about 160,000 people out of jail.

OKC Police

 

Police say two people are dead and another is injured after a shooting in southwest Oklahoma City.

Police say the shooting happened late Sunday. According to police, officers found 15-year-old Erica Bradberry dead in the yard of the home and two other male victims suffering from gunshot wounds.

Oklahoma City police say one of those victims, 26-year-old Giovanny Portugal, died at a hospital, while the other person underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

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