Associated Press


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A lawsuit by a partner of Oklahoma City energy magnate Aubrey McClendon challenges the distribution of funds from McClendon's estate.

McClendon, the chairman and CEO of now-closed American Energy Partners LP, died in a March 2 vehicle crash in Oklahoma City.

The lawsuit by AEP Chief Financial Officer Scott Mueller says portions of the $136.5 million sale of SCOOP Energy Company and SCOOP Holdings should go to him, Chief Investment Officer Ryan Turner, company lawyer Tom Blalock and other company employees.

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 Tulsa police have arrested the suspect in the shooting deaths of two men earlier this month at a Tulsa motel.

Sgt. Dave Walker says 53-year-old James Mahdavi was found hiding in a shed in west Tulsa and arrested after a short standoff with police late Friday night.

He's being held without bond in the Tulsa County jail on two counts of first-degree murder. Online court records do not list an attorney for him.

Walker says Mahdavi was wanted for a Nov. 18 shooting at the Holiday Motel in west Tulsa that killed one man in the motel parking lot.

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 A man wanted in connection with a shooting death in Louisiana has been arrested in northeastern Oklahoma.

The U.S. Marshals Service says 42-year-old Leland Hamm was arrested Friday in Owasso.

Online records show Hamm is being held without bond in the Tulsa County jail on a fugitive from justice warrant.

The Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana says Hamm is wanted in connection with the July 1 shooting death of a Shreveport man at a home in Turkey Creek, Louisiana.

 Two political action committees that support Republican legislative candidates in Oklahoma are dropping a political strategist who is charged with conspiracy with state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

The Senate Majority Fund and the Majority Fund both told The Oklahoman that they'll use a consultant other than Fount Holland.

Both are "super" PACs registered with the Ethics Commission and report their expenditures and contributions.

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 With five weeks to go before the end of 2016, Tulsa is in a position to record its highest number of fatalities in a year.

Tulsa has logged 71 homicides this year, tying a record set in 2009. That year, a spike in gang activity was to blame for a majority of the killings.

Although handguns were used in about three-fourths of this year's killings, detectives say they're unable to find a unifying reason for the homicides as they have in past years, when gangs or drugs were to blame.

Remains Identified

Nov 26, 2016
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office has tentatively identified human remains found in a field in Harrah.

Investigators say the skeletal remains are those of 27-year-old Zachary Lang. Officials say DNA testing is needed to make a conclusive identification but that items found at the scene on Tuesday link the remains to Lang.

Lang was last seen on Dec. 20, 2013, while officers were trying to take him into custody on several warrants. He was spotted repeatedly that day, but officers lost Lang after he ran into a wooded area.

The American Athletic Conference

James Flanders, who rushed for 197 yards, broke into the end zone from the 4 in overtime as Tulsa charged back to beat Cincinnati 40-37 Friday night.

Tulsa had trailed throughout the game until Redford Jones nailed a 22-yard field goal as time expired to tie the game at 34 and send it into the extra period.

More Quakes

Nov 26, 2016
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USGS: 4.3 magnitude earthquake hits northern Oklahoma

No injuries or damage were reported after a 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck northern Oklahoma on Friday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake's epicenter was near Medford, or about 95 miles north of Oklahoma City. The USGS says the earthquake was felt in northern Oklahoma and in parts of Kansas, including the Wichita area.


This year, at least five Oklahoma sheriffs have found themselves crossways with the law, but they are not unique.

In the past decade, at least eight more sheriffs or their top deputies have been charged with embezzlement, sexual assault and illegal gambling, among other crimes.

Their missteps have the potential to threaten taxpayers' budgets as counties pay millions of dollars defending lawsuits and reach seven and eight-figure settlements with victims.

The mayor of Nowata says the city can start using water from the Verdigris River again after service was shut off because of contamination concerns following a chemical plant explosion in Kansas.

Mayor David Lynn says the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality gave the city permission Friday to resume pumping water from the river. A day earlier, water service had been shut off after an explosion and fire Tuesday at the Airosol, Inc., chemical plant in Neodesha, Kansas.

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The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.3 magnitude earthquakes were each reported on Thursday in Payne County, about 60 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

The first was reported about 2:18 a.m. eight miles north-northeast of Stillwater at a depth of about three miles. Geologists say the second occurred at 10:34 a.m. about two miles west of Cushing, the site of a key oil hub where a 5.0 magnitude earthquake on Nov. 7 damaged dozens of buildings. Thursday's quake occurred at a depth of about four miles.

A Nevada man has been arrested in connection with the death of an Oklahoma man who was found dead in his burning home.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday that Russell Dumlao of Reno was arrested on complaints of first-degree murder, first-degree arson, kidnapping and a weapons charge.

City of Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma City Council is awarding a $50 million contract to build a streetcar line.

The Oklahoman reports that the City Council voted Tuesday for the project to go to Herzog Contracting Corp. of St. Joseph, Missouri, in partnership with Stacy and Witbeck of Alameda, California.

The streetcar line's construction is expected to take about two years, and will involve the installation of electrical substations and overhead wires, and 4.9 miles of track bed in city streets. Nearly two dozen boarding platforms will have to be built as well.

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's office says her trip to New York to visit with President-elect Donald Trump on Monday cost the state more than $6,000, mostly in fuel costs for the state airplane.

Information released from Fallin's office on Wednesday in response to a request from The Associated Press shows the cost of using the "Spirit of Oklahoma" state airplane totaled $5,867. That amount includes $5,265 for fuel plus travel expenses for the pilot.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An American Indian photographer and artist says Oklahoma law violates her constitutional right to free speech by restricting her ability to label her works as American Indian-made.

Peggy Fontenot filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court Tuesday. Fontenot says a change made earlier this year to the state's American Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1974 is unconstitutional because it prohibits her from describing her artwork as American Indian-made in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma National Guard

BRAGGS, Okla. (AP) — Hundreds of Oklahoma soldiers are now training in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Ukraine.

The Oklahoma National Guard says members of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team are now conducting pre-mobilization training at Camp Gruber near Braggs.

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by five this week to 593.

A year ago, 744 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have curtailed exploration although the rig count has been rising in recent weeks.

Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said 474 rigs sought oil and 118 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.

Pennsylvania gained four rigs, Texas three and Colorado two.

Wyoming declined by three, New Mexico two and North Dakota one.

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Gov. Mary Fallin says she talked at length about Oklahoma's economy, the oil and gas industry and the 39 federally recognized Native American tribes in the state during a 40-minute interview in New York with President-elect Donald Trump.

Fallin spoke to reporters on Tuesday about her interview a day earlier with Trump and his incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus about the possibility of her accepting a position in Trump's administration.



Federal safety inspectors are investigating an explosion and fire at a southeast Kansas chemical plant that injured one employee.

The explosion occurred about 7 a.m. Tuesday at the Airosol, Inc., plant in Neodesha, a town of about 2,500 residents. It was still not contained early Tuesday afternoon.

A 57-year-old male employee was taken to a hospital with burns. Cassandra Edson, spokeswoman for Wilson County Emergency Management, says his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

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A federal court is blocking implementation of a regulation that would make an estimated 4 million more higher-earning workers eligible for overtime pay.

The U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction Tuesday that prevents the Department of Labor from implementing the changes until the rule's legality can be further examined. The order comes after 21 states sued to block the rule before it took effect on Dec. 1.

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 The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says a suspect is in custody in connection with the death of a man whose badly burned body was discovered inside his burning house in Sayre.

The OSBI said Tuesday that the charred body of Jerry Essary was discovered when authorities responded to reports of a fire at his home early Tuesday. The victim's wife told investigators that she witnessed Essary's murder and then fled before the suspect allegedly set the house on fire. Investigators say she hid in the neighborhood until authorities had arrived.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Education is releasing its first draft of a new public schools accountability plan that features less of an emphasis on standardized tests, and aims to tackle chronic absenteeism.



 Firefighters are working to contain a fire at a southeast Kansas chemical plant after an explosion there injured one employee.

The explosion occurred about 7 a.m. Tuesday at the Airosol, Inc., plant in Neodesha. Cassandra Edson, spokeswoman for Wilson County Emergency Management, says one employee was taken to a Wichita hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Several blocks around the plant have been evacuated and the town's schools are closed for the day. Residents also have been asked not to drink the water until further notice.

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Oklahoma lawmakers are set to consider cutting wind tax credits as they look for a way to bring more money into the state.

The Tulsa World reports that a consulting group has made recommendations to the state's Incentive Evaluation Commission on several business incentives, including the zero-emissions tax credit, which applies to power generation facilities that don't generate emissions.

The Tax Commission says the tax credit cost the state $59 million in 2014, the last year of available data.

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Tulsa's Port of Catoosa says the tonnage of waterborne freight passing through the port continues to increase.

Through October, the port says more than 1.79 million tons of freight in more than 1,000 barges has passed through the port. That compares to more than 1.2 million tons of freight in more than 760 barges that passed through the port during the same period in 2015.

The port says that in October, tonnage totaled 213,717 tons in 111 barges.

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 Federal records show a man who police say shot and killed a former co-worker outside an Oklahoma City airport last week was a decorated marksman during a four-year career in the U.S. Army.

Military records obtained by The Associated Press on Monday show 45-year-old Lloyd Dean Buie received an expert marksmanship badge during his stint as an infantryman from 1991 to 1995.

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Two earthquakes recorded within one minute of each other have shaken an area in north-central Oklahoma near the site near of a key oil hub.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquakes occurred Tuesday in Cushing in Payne County, about 50 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

The U.S.G.S. says the first 3.3 magnitude quake was recorded at 3:54 a.m. less than one mile north of Cushing. The second 4.0 magnitude temblor struck at 3:55 a.m. about two miles northeast of Cushing.

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says she "discussed a wide range of issues" with President-elect Donald Trump but that she has not yet been offered a post in his administration. Fallin, a Republican, is being considered to head the Interior Department, according to Trump aide Kellyanne Conway.

Fallin met with Trump at Trump Tower today and said they had a "wonderful discussion." Her meeting with Trump came after he sat down with former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Brown indicated he is under consideration to become Veterans Affairs secretary.


Oklahoma motorists will enjoy the lowest gasoline prices in the nation over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

AAA Oklahoma said Monday that Oklahoma's pump price average of $1.85 per gallon is not only the lowest of the 50 states but is also a full nickel below the three states that are tied for second place: Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri, where Monday's average is $1.90 a gallon.

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A 21-year-old Delaware, Oklahoma, woman is dead after crashing her pickup in Nowata County.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says in a preliminary report that Victoria Egermeier died in the accident early Sunday a few miles away from where she lived.

The patrol report says Egermeier was traveling eastbound on State Highway 28 when her pickup left the road, struck a guard rail and caught fire.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.