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A man driving a stolen pickup was shot with a stun gun and arrested in Oklahoma after a 2½-hour police chase, part of which he streamed live on Facebook.

Police began pursuing the truck Friday in south Oklahoma City. Cleveland County sheriff's spokesman John Roberts says the man was arrested in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.

Authorities say the man stopped to talk to a postal worker during the chase before driving into a field.

Local TV stations also showed a man with a gun firing at the truck's tires.

State of Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed a longtime Oklahoma Highway Patrolman to serve as the state's next commissioner of public safety.

Fallin on Friday announced OHP Maj. Billy "Rusty" Rhoades will assume the post on Tuesday. He also will serve as Fallin's secretary of safety and security on her executive cabinet.

Rhoades is a 28-year veteran of the OHP whose assignments have included overseeing the Capitol patrol and the security detail for former Gov. David Walters. He also served on FBI task forces targeting gangs, violent crimes and terrorism.

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Oklahoma prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 36-year-old man accused of shooting a police officer to death.

Byron James Shepard is charged with first-degree murder in the March 27 death of 22-year-old Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney.

The Oklahoman reports Pottawatomie County prosecutors announced plans to seek the death penalty Thursday during a preliminary hearing that will determine whether there is probable cause to try Shepard for first-degree murder.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

 

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter says he wants the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case of a Native American man whose murder conviction in state court was overturned after it was determined he should have been tried in federal court.

Hunter issued a statement on Thursday after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined Hunter's request for a rehearing in the case of Patrick Dwayne Murphy.

Hunter says he will ask the 10th Circuit to stay the effectiveness of its ruling pending action by the Supreme Court.

St-Gregory's

  An Oklahoma university has announced that it will be shutting down at the end of the fall semester due to financial difficulties.

Students at St. Gregory's University were informed of the closure at an emergency meeting on Wednesday.

The board of directors says the decision came after the school was denied a loan application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The board says it will continue to "work actively to resolve financial difficulties and to explore possible partnerships in order to move forward."

 

Oklahoma authorities are investigating the death of a man who was hit by an officer's Taser and caught on fire after allegedly dousing himself with gasoline and taking out a lighter.

McClain County Sheriff Don Hewett says that Norman police requested a welfare check Tuesday on a man who'd made comments about suicide.

Authorities, who were responding to a call of a man acting erratic, found the man about 2 miles northwest of Lindsay sitting inside a van with a container of gasoline.

State of Oklahoma

 

A plan to hike taxes on tobacco, alcohol, fuel and energy production in order to plug a hole in Oklahoma's budget and to stabilize state spending has fallen five votes short in the House amid bipartisan opposition.

The full House voted 71-27 on Wednesday for the bill. A total of 76 votes were needed to pass a revenue-raising measure out of the House. Both Republicans and Democrats opposed it.

USGS

 

The U.S. Geological Survey reports an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.7 has been recorded in north central Oklahoma.

The quake struck at 5:47 a.m. Wednesday near Covington, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City.

There are no reports of injury or severe damage.

The quake struck about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of where a series of about a dozen earthquakes, including one of magnitude 4.1, have occurred since Oct. 31.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

 

A Senate panel has narrowly backed President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as the next NASA chief.

Republicans on the Commerce, Science and Transportation used their majority to overcome objections from Democrats to advance the selection of GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine. The vote was 14-13.

Democrats criticized past comments Bridenstine had made dismissive of global warming as a man-made problem.

Road Work Ahead

Nov 8, 2017
KWGS News File photo

 

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission has approved a work plan that calls for repairing or replacing nearly 400 county bridges and improving more than 800 miles of county roads over the next five years.

About $926 million in federal, state, local and tribal funds will go toward the County Improvement for Roads and Bridges plan that was approved on Monday. The plan is administered by the state Department of Transportation.

State of Oklahoma

 

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed Oklahoma County assistant district attorney Scott Rowland to the state Court of Criminal Appeals.

Rowland has spent nearly 11 years as first assistant district attorney in Oklahoma Count. He previously was an attorney for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control and is a former Oklahoma assistant attorney general.

As an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County, Rowland prosecuted capital murder, racketeering and conspiracy cases.

OU

 

After a series of small to moderate earthquakes in central Oklahoma, two companies are being told to reduce the amount of wastewater they inject into the ground.

About a dozen quakes have struck just south of Hennessey, about 45 miles northwest of Oklahoma City since Oct. 31, the largest being a magnitude 4.1.

There are no reports of injury or severe damage.

Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner says Choate Disposal Service and Chaparral Energy were told to reduce their injection of wastewater in the area.

State of Oklahoma

 

 Longtime energy industry executive and former Republican Oklahoma Senate leader Brian Bingman says he plans to run for a seat on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

The Republican from Sapulpa said Tuesday he would seek the post currently held by longtime Republican commissioner Bob Anthony. The three-member commission regulates Oklahoma utilities and the transportation, pipeline, railroad and oil and gas industries.

Oklahoma House/KWGS News

 

 A key Oklahoma House budget panel has passed a broad range of tax increases to shore up a hole in the budget, sending a signal that House leaders could be willing to give the package a vote on the floor this week.

The House budget committee on Tuesday voted 19-6 for the same package of taxes that cleared the full Senate a day earlier. It includes an additional tax of $1.50-per-pack on cigarettes, 6 cents on gasoline and diesel and a hike in the gross production tax on oil and gas from 2 percent to 4 percent.

Tulsa Fire Department-Facebook

A man and a woman have been found dead following a house fire in north Tulsa.

District Fire Chief Bryan Hickerson told reporters that firefighters were called to the home about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and found the couple inside the home after bringing the fire under control.

He said the couple had two children who were not at home at the time. The names of the victims have not been released.

 

One of the nation's top rating agencies is issuing Oklahoma a "credit negative" warning amid the state Legislature's inability to close a $215 million hole in its budget for the current fiscal year.

Moody's Investor Service issued the credit outlook for Oklahoma Monday in its latest credit bulletin on U.S. public finance.

The rating agency noted that while the estimated budget gap is only 4 percent of general fund spending, it is meaningful. It pointed specifically to the legislative budget impasse that has stretched on for nearly six weeks.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

 

Oklahoma's attorney general is refusing all political donations from prescription drug manufacturers and distributors.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, who's seeking election in 2018 to a four-year term, received $3,500 in donations from political action committees associated with drugmakers in July and August. He returned those donations last month.

 Hunter has prioritized battling the opioid epidemic since he was appointed in February by Gov. Mary Fallin. He's helped create and is the chairman of the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse.

 

  Authorities in northwestern Oklahoma say a 61-year-old flight instructor is dead following the crash of a single-engine aircraft in Woods County.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the crash occurred about 5:30 p.m. Saturday as the aircraft was approaching the Alva Municipal Airport. Troopers say a preliminary investigation indicates the aircraft experienced a mechanical failure during descent and that its landing gear struck some power lines. Authorities say the small aircraft struck some trees, plummeted to the ground and burst into flames.

OKC Fire

 

No injuries were reported when a fire damaged a single floor at a vacant high-rise building in downtown Oklahoma City.

Dark smoke poured from windows at the 33-story First National Center shortly before noon Sunday. Officials say the fire was contained to the 26th floor of the unoccupied building and did not spread to adjacent floors.

Bedlam sure lived up to its name. Baker Mayfield passed for a school-record 598 yards and 8th ranked Oklahoma outlasted Number 11 Oklahoma State 62-52 Saturday in one of the highest-scoring games in the rivalry. Marquise Brown caught nine passes for a school-record 265 yards, and he had touchdown receptions of 84 and 77 yards for the Sooners. OU gained 785 total yards in Stillwater.

An Oklahoma panel will consider providing millions for two key programs that are in jeopardy amid a state budget crisis.

The Tulsa World reports that the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Board of Directors will consider providing $1.81 million for senior nutrition services, and $1.27 million for mobile crisis response teams that offer behavioral health services to children. The board is expected to vote on Nov. 14.

KWGS News File Photo

The Oklahoma City and Tulsa school districts are being allowed to intervene in a lawsuit by charter schools over funding.

An Oklahoma County district court judge ruled Friday that the two can join the lawsuit by the Oklahoma Public Charter Schools Association against the state Board of Education.

District officials say each stands to lose $1 million to $1.5 million if the lawsuit succeeds.

KWGS News-File photo

Two Republican former Oklahoma state representatives have been named directors of U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies in Oklahoma.

The U.S.D.A. announced Saturday that former Rep. Scott Biggs of Chickasha was appointed by President Donald Trump as Farm Service Agency state director and Lee Denney of Cushing was named Rural Development state director.

Biggs announced his immediate resignation from the state House on Thursday. Denney was term--limited and did not seek re-election in 2016.

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The mayor of McAlester says at least some water service has been restored to most of the approximately 28,000 city and rural customers who lost service, including the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Mayor John Browne says one of the city's four pumps was working Saturday after a fire and a water line break shut off service, but the system will be shut down for about four hours starting at 7 a.m. Sunday for repairs.

Browne says pumps and fire trucks maintained water pressure at the hospital in the city of about 18,000, about 105 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.

State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma state Treasurer Ken Miller says the state collected 10.6 percent more revenue in October than in October 2016, with nearly 19 percent of the increase due to the elimination of some tax exemptions and rebates and some new fees.

Miller said Friday the treasury collected $980.2 million in October, an increase of $90.4 million from the same month last year and called the growth encouraging.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission says $17.8 million of the increase comes from bills passed during the regular Legislative session.

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A lawsuit is challenging Oklahoma's debt-collection system that routinely sends poor people to jail for failing to pay court fines and fees.

The Tulsa World reports that the federal lawsuit filed Thursday names the Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association, every county sheriff in the state and Aberdeen Enterprizes, a private collections company.

Oklahoma Watch

   

Legislation that appropriates $23.3 million to Oklahoma's mental health agency is headed to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk to be signed into law.

The measure received final approval in the state Senate on Wednesday. It's the first measure to pass both chambers of the Legislature after six weeks of a special legislative session to fill a $215 million hole in the state budget created when the Oklahoma Supreme Court invalidated a $1.50-per-pack cigarette fee passed by lawmakers earlier this year.

Google Street View

 

Authorities say a 28-year-old man has died after he reportedly stabbed two people then set himself on fire in a lakefront area of northeast Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says the three men were co-workers and had stopped to eat lunch Thursday at Monkey Island on Grand Lake, about 70 miles  northeast of Tulsa. Authorities say an altercation occurred, and the man stabbed his co-workers.

State of OKlahoma

State Rep. Scott Biggs, a three-term Chickasha Republican who has recently opposed changes in Oklahoma's criminal justice system, has announced his resignation effective immediately. Biggs resigned Thursday in a letter to House Speaker Charles McCall, in which he said he'd accepted a federal appointment effective immediately. He didn't specify what his new job will be but said he believes he "can do much more for out state as I work to promote the agriculture industry in Oklahoma."

Oklahoma Watch

 

A probe of the Oklahoma State Department of Health is being changed to an investigative audit, meaning it could lead to criminal charges.

State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones told The Oklahoman on Thursday that the state attorney general's office requested the change.

The health department requested an audit last month after Commissioner Terry Cline and senior Deputy Commissioner Julie Cox-Kain reported "a budget and operating cash shortfall" since the start of the fiscal year on July 1.

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