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Tulsa police say one of two people arrested this week in a money fraud case was in possession of a special key that can open outgoing mail boxes in the city.

A probable cause affidavit said the pair cashed stolen money orders worth nearly $2,800. One of the suspects had a master key that opens blue U.S. Postal Service boxes.

According to police, the found several stolen postal service crates when they raided a hotel room this week. Police say one of the suspects admitted stealing money orders from the mail.

Chili Bowl Nationals

 

 

Christopher Bell used the Chili Bowl a year ago to open the biggest season of his career.

He's got a chance now to defend his victory, and perhaps launch yet another breakthrough for one of NASCAR's upcoming stars.

Bell scored a dominating win in Thursday night's qualifying event at the Chili Bowl to earn one of the automatic berths into the main event at the Tulsa Expo Center. The 55-lap Saturday night feature is the Super Bowl of midget racing.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma oil and gas industry group has challenged a proposed state question that seeks to give teachers a $4,000 pay raise by equalizing gross production taxes on oil and gas wells.

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association filed two challenges Wednesday with the Oklahoma Supreme Court against State Question 795. The association's filings argue that the proposal is unconstitutional because it addresses numerous general subjects and is unclear, and that the petition uses biased language.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge who's overseeing lawsuits from around the country against the pharmaceutical industry has invited state attorneys general to join discussions and provide input.

Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland is overseeing a consolidated case involving dozens of suits filed by communities against drugmakers and drug distributors.

Polster told The Associated Press Thursday he invited representatives this week from two groups of attorneys general to attend a hearing later this month.

A coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders is announcing support for a broad swath of tax hikes to support a $5,000 teacher pay raise and other changes like more appointment power for the governor and longer term limits for state legislators.

The group "Step Up Oklahoma " held a press conference Thursday in Oklahoma City. Among its supporters are Devon Energy co-founder Larry Nichols and BancFirst Executive Chairman David Rainbolt.

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To keep flu sufferers from clogging its emergency room, a Fort Smith hospital has opened a separate clinic to keep non-emergency patients away.

The president of Mercy Clinic, Dr. Cole Goodman, said the emergency room at Mercy Fort Smith is "bursting at the seams" with waits of up to 10 hours. He told The Times Record that about 60 percent of recent emergency room cases have been flu-related, but flu isn't always an emergency.

 

Cherokee Nation leaders say that since a federal judge has ruled that the tribe cannot sue opioid distributors in a tribal court, it will sue in state court.

A Tulsa federal judge this week agreed with major drug distributors who said Cherokee Nation courts have no jurisdiction over them.

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Tulsa has recorded its first murder of 2018. The Tulsa Police Department says a man was shot early this morning in the 300 Block of West 50th Street North. He had been shot mulitple times. He was found several blocks away along North Osage Drive.

The man was rushed to the hospital but later died. Police do not have a motive or a suspect at this point. 

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New court documents show five Oklahoma high school football players admitted to taking part in the sexual assault of a teammate that prosecutors say wasn't promptly reported.

Written statements from the Bixby High School players were included in paperwork filed Tuesday as prosecutors investigate whether school officials waited too long to tell police about the accusation.

The players' names are redacted, and documents don't specify what the boys admitted. It's unclear whether the school district disciplined any player.

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The Environmental Protection Agency has placed a contaminated industrial site in Midwest City to the national priorities list for Superfund sites.

Soil and groundwater around the former Eagle Industries site are polluted with industrial chemicals. The EPA said Tuesday that trichloroethylene and dichloroethane have been found in private water wells away from the plant. The plant is also above a recharge area for the central Oklahoma aquifer system.

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A survey has found that many Oklahoma students who've enrolled in a virtual charter school left their previous school because of bullying or problems with school administration.

The study was commissioned by the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board, which oversees the state's four virtual charter schools.

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The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has ordered five public utilities to track savings from reductions in federal corporate income tax rates and develop a method to return that money to ratepayers.

The three-member panel took the action Tuesday after Attorney General Mike Hunter's office asked for the reduction for Oklahoma customers. The utilities involved are Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Natural Gas, CenterPoint Energy and Arkansas Oklahoma Gas.

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A Burlington Northern freight train has jumped the tracks in Tulsa’s Dawson area.

Several cars and the engine derailed near Dawson Road and North Fulton. The incident took place about 11 last night.

Emergency responders says no hazardous chemicals were involved.

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A member of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission says he supports cutting rates charged by five public utilities in the state to prevent windfall profits that he says would result due to lower federal corporate tax rates.

Commissioner Bob Anthony said in a statement Monday he believes ratepayers need lower rates after the new corporate tax rates went into effect Jan. 1 and "not just IOUs to be paid later."

Bridenstine's office

 

President Donald Trump has re-nominated Republican Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine to head NASA.

A news release from the White House on Monday announced dozens of nominations, including that of Bridenstine to replace Charles F. Bolden, Jr., who resigned.

Bridenstine's original nomination expired in December when the Senate left town for the year without acting on dozens of Trump's nominees, including Bridenstine, and returned the nomination to the White House.

 

Former Baylor quarterback Zach Smith has transferred to Tulsa and will be eligible to play in 2019.

Tulsa made the announcement in a news release on Monday, the day Smith enrolled in classes.

Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery is a former Baylor offensive coordinator who recruited Smith to Baylor. Smith will sit out the upcoming season because of NCAA transfer rules and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

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Oklahoma's Republican gubernatorial candidates have mostly avoided taking a clear stance on legalizing medical marijuana while both Democratic candidates support the policy change.

The Tulsa World reports that Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday set a June 26 election for the medical marijuana legalization question. The measure is on the primary ballot instead of the November general election.

Democrats Connie Johnson and Drew Edmondson both say they support the use of medical marijuana. Johnson is a former state senator and Edmondson is a former state attorney general.

 

Officials at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality want the public's help in selecting a design for new license plates.

The state will soon release environmental awareness specialty plates. Voting opened Monday on three possible designs and will continue through Jan. 19. Two winners will be announced Jan. 22.

The choices include the state bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher, flying over the western plains; a grazing buffalo and a vivid sunset over a field of flowers.

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Oklahoma's treasurer says taxes collected by the state in December jumped 12 percent over the same month a year ago, indicating that Oklahoma's economy is growing.

Treasurer Ken Miller says gross receipts to the state treasury in December totaled $1 billion, up $108 million over receipts in December 2016. Miller says gross receipts for the year totaled $11.45 billion, about $668 million more than collections in 2016.

Miller says gross receipts in 2016 were higher than the same month of the prior year in all but one month.

 

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating a fatal shooting involving a Pottawatomie County sheriff's deputy.

The OSBI says the shooting occurred Saturday night after deputies received a report about a man attacking family members inside a residence west of Shawnee. A deputy who responded encountered a man matching a description of the suspect walking along a road carrying a baseball bat.

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Authorities in Rogers County say a 31-year-old man suffered extensive burns after he allegedly set fire to his estranged wife's house.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton says the incident occurred about 2 p.m. Saturday after the woman returned home and found a man under her porch with a machete. Sgt. Logan Eller says the couple is in the process of getting a divorce and she had a protective order against the man. The names of the man and woman were not made public.

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A magnitude 3.1 earthquake has shaken part of north-central Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was recorded at 1:37 p.m. Sunday about 10 miles east of Hennessey in Kingfisher County. The temblor was recorded at a depth of two miles.

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

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State wildlife officials are investigating after an American bald eagle was discovered fatally shot last month along a rural road in southeast Oklahoma.

Authorities said the bird was found by a passerby on Dec. 27 near Broken Bow, a small McCurtain County town.

Game wardens determined the bird had been shot out of a nearby tree and recovered a spent rifle casing at the scene. Officials are asking anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

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Norman Lamb, a former Oklahoma state senator and the father of Republican Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, has died.

An owner at Ladusau-Evans Funeral Home confirmed Saturday that Norman Lamb died Friday in Enid at age 82. The owner didn't know the cause of death.

The elder Lamb was elected senator in 1971 and served nearly 20 years.

In 1995, he was appointed state secretary of veterans affairs by then-Gov. Frank Keating. Lamb held that position until 2011 under Keating's successor, Gov. Brad Henry.

TU Sports Information

Jeremiah Martin scored a career-high 28 points and had eight assists and Memphis beat Tulsa 76-67 on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.

Tulsa led 33-32 at halftime and stretched it to 55-47 with a Junior Etou 3-pointer before Memphis took control. Martin scored seven points during a 13-5 run and Memphis (10-6, 1-2 American Athletic Conference) led the rest of the way.

Martin added a pair of 3s and two free throws, Jamal Johnson and Mike Parks Jr. each hit two free throws and the Tigers led 72-60 with 77 seconds to play.

Rain on the Way

Jan 6, 2018
NWS Graphic

Temperatures are anticipated to fall just below freezing across parts northwest Arkansas early Sunday. Increasing low level moisture will occur ahead of an approaching storm system today and tonight, and some patchy freezing drizzle will be possible in these locations. Duration of any freezing precipitation will be brief as temperatures rise above freezing by mid morning. Widespread rainfall is expected to move into the area Sunday, with one half to three quarters of an inch possible through Sunday night.

Rose Bowl tickets were pricey and scarce for common football fans, but not for several Georgia politicians.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that organizations affiliated with the University of Georgia gave free tickets to several state lawmakers and officials.

The Georgia Legislature passed a bill in 2014 that prohibited public officials from accepting free tickets, golf games and anything of value over $75 from lobbyists.

However, colleges and universities don't have to register as lobbyists.

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The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by five this week to 924.

That exceeds the 665 rigs that were active this time a year ago.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported on Friday that 742 rigs were drilling for oil and 182 for natural gas this week.

Among oil- and gas-producing states, Wyoming gained two rigs and New Mexico and Texas each gained one.

Louisiana lost six rigs, Oklahoma declined by two and North Dakota lost one.

Pilots and Paws

Colleagues of a missing pilot who was volunteering for a pet rescue operation when his plane failed to land at a Texas airport have completed the rescue flight in his honor.

Missing pilot Dr. Bill Kinsinger left an Oklahoma City airport on Wednesday bound for the Austin area to pick up a disabled dog. His plane never landed. The Coast Guard was still searching Friday for 55-year-old Kinsinger, who was last seen over the Gulf of Mexico.

 

A dog rescue group says the pilot of a small plane that disappeared over the Gulf of Mexico was flying to Central Texas to collect a disabled dog and deliver it to a foster home in Oklahoma.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Lexie Preston on Thursday identified the pilot as Dr. Bill Kinsinger.

The executive director of the Oklahoma Medical Board, Lyle Kelsey, says Kinsinger serves on the board and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. Kinsinger is an anesthesiologist.

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