Associated Press

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The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says three people were killed and four others injured in a crash on Interstate 35 in central Oklahoma.

The crash happened Monday afternoon in Purcell, about 30 miles  south of Oklahoma City. The highway patrol has not yet released details about what led to the crash, which involved an SUV and a tractor-trailer. The wreck shut down northbound lanes of I-35 for several hours Monday.

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New assessments and a school accountability system in Oklahoma has led to the omission of a U.S. history state test in the upcoming school year and high school juniors taking a new science test.

The Tulsa World reports that educators were told about the changes that will delay test score results and school report cards at the recent Oklahoma State Department of Education's annual conference called EngageOK.

State Impact-Oklahoma

 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a 4-year-old boy has drowned while swimming in a lake in southwestern Oklahoma.

The highway patrol says the death happened Sunday at Tom Steed Reservoir in Kiowa County. According to a preliminary report, the boy was floating on an inflatable raft shaped like a duck when winds pushed the raft out of the shallow swimming area.

The highway patrol says the child jumped off the raft into the deeper water and never resurfaced. The boy's body was recovered Sunday night.

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Residents of Oklahoma and Arkansas are bracing for some of the hottest temperatures so far this summer. The National Weather Service says high temperatures during the upcoming work week will rise to above normal levels for this time of year, with the hottest conditions expected near the end of the week. Forecasters say a ridge of high pressure will shift east across the Southern Plains, setting up a typical mid-summer heat wave and creating hot and humid conditions in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Oklahoma Watch

 

A man who pleaded guilty to shooting and seriously wounding an Oklahoma police officer has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The Oklahoman reports that 27-year-old Cory Lee Hartsell of Midwest City pleaded guilty to assault and battery with a deadly weapon for shooting Valley Brook Officer Brian Southerland in south Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of investigation says badly burned human remains discovered in a vehicle in western Oklahoma have been identified as those of an 86-year-old man.

Investigators said Friday that the remains of Billy Wayne Wilson of Clinton were discovered in a burned vehicle on March 3 in Washita County. The remains were identified by DNA analysts at the OSBI Forensic Science Laboratory.

Tulsa Police

The results of an internal investigation into a white Oklahoma police officer recently acquitted in the fatal shooting an unarmed black man may not be known now that the officer has resigned.

A lawyer for Officer Betty Shelby says Friday her client sent a letter of resignation to the Tulsa police department. Shelby's resignation is effective Aug. 3.

Shelby was acquitted of manslaughter in May in last year's shooting death of Terence Crutcher.

Oklahoma universities and colleges have increased tuition, cut programs, faculty and staff in an effort to make up for those cuts.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education approved tuition increases in June at 25 of the state's 27 public colleges and universities.

The study found that appropriations for Louisiana, West Virginia, Alaska, Kentucky, Arkansas and Kansas have also decreased over the last five years.

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Researchers running highly detailed simulations using satellite images, radar and ground-based weather stations were able to predict a specific violent storm 90 minutes before it hit a western Oklahoma town and killed a man two months ago.

The National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, said Friday the still-experimental forecast system could give emergency planners up to three hours' notice of upcoming bad weather. Such notice is key for places where large crowds gather.

Carol Durkee

A man accused of setting off a pipe bomb outside an Air Force recruiting office in Oklahoma has been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.

The Tulsa World reports that U.S. Magistrate Frank McCarthy ordered the evaluation Friday for 28-year-old Benjamin Roden after defense attorneys questioned whether he can assist in his own defense.

Noting his recent apparent mental decline, McCarthy says Roden may be suffering from a mental health issue that has rendered him incompetent to prepare for trial.

OK House

 

An Oklahoma lawmaker who is holding an interim study on a ballot question that would legalize medical marijuana wants to discuss what policies the state would implement if the initiative passes.

Republican Rep. John Paul Jordan of Yukon says  he wants to make sure voters are informed and that the Legislature is ready for whatever voters decide.

Jordan says he wants to know which agency would oversee the law's implementation, if marijuana sales should be taxed, and if the state needs new policies on workers' compensation and banking.

Magellan MidStream

 

Authorities have allowed residents to return to homes evacuated after about 50,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a cut underground pipeline in Central Texas.

Cleanup crews worked all day Thursday to clean up the oil spilled after a contractor accidentally cut the Longhorn pipeline near Bastrop. That's about 30 miles east of Austin.

A spokesman for Magellan Midstream Partners of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bruce Heine (hyn), says no one was injured by in the spill.

About 15 households were displaced by the spill.

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President Donald Trump plans to nominate an Oklahoma judge to a position as a federal judge.

The White House announced Thursday that Trump will nominate U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Barnes Goodwin to fill a position on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Goodwin has served as a magistrate judge in Oklahoma's western district for the past four years and presides over initial proceedings in felony cases as well as overseeing civil and misdemeanor cases.

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Colorado prosecutors have enough evidence to move forward with a first-degree murder case against a Boulder man charged with killing his ex-girlfriend in Colorado, dismembering her body in Louisiana and putting a suitcase containing her torso in a dumpster in Oklahoma, a judge has ruled.

District Judge Ingrid Bakke also ruled Wednesday that Adam Densmore, 32, will remain jailed without bail, pending trial in the February death of Ashley Mead.

Mead's totso was found in a suitcase at an Okmuglee gas station dumpster.

McDonald County

 

Authorities say two men have escaped through an air conditioning duct at a southwest Missouri jail.

McDonald County Sheriff Michael Hall says the escape was discovered Wednesday night when John Weeks and Christopher Walker weren't at supper for a headcount. Hall says it appears the two were able to get into the duct by removing shower heads. They exited the building through new construction.

Hall says the two may be driving a 2006 silver Dodge Caravan with the possible Oklahoma tag 073-DLV.

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 Officials say seven beehives containing more than 400,000 bees have been swiped from a northern Oklahoma apiary.

Beekeeper Bob Martin says he notified the Rogers County Sheriff's Office last week of the apparent theft. He tells the Claremore Daily Progress that the bees are worth about $2,500 to $3,000.

Martin is a beekeeper with weBEEjammin Honey BEEs in Foyil, about 30 miles northeast of Tulsa. He says the thief was likely inexperienced with bees, noting that the blanket used to cover the bees was left behind.

Wikimedia

 

  Oklahoma's drop in bond ratings may increase the state's borrowing costs for several major projects.

The Oklahoman reports credit rating services agency Fitch Ratings announced Tuesday that it's lowering Oklahoma's issuer default rating from AA+ to AA.

In its report the agency says economic and political factors contributed to the downgrade.

OKC Police

 

Police have released the names of a man fatally shot by Oklahoma City police and of the officers involved.

Capt. Bo Mathews said Thursday that 33-year-old Dorsey Glenn Taulbee Jr. of Oklahoma City died after seven officers opened fire when Taulbee first shot at them.

Mathews said he doesn't know how many shots were fired or how many times Taulbee was struck in the shooting early Wednesday inside a southwest Oklahoma City home.

 

A northern Oklahoma woman charged with using the internet to solicit the killing of her ex-husband in Israel has been released from federal detention.

The Oklahoman reports 37-year-old Danielle Layman of Ponca City was released Tuesday and will be on house arrest pending her trial in Oklahoma City. If convicted, she could face 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Investigators say Layman was arrested June 30 after FBI officials learned of the alleged "murder-for-hire" plot to kill her ex-husband with ricin, a poison made with beans of castor oil plants.

10th Circuit Court

 

Prosecutors say a 28-year-old man facing federal charges in a pipe bomb explosion outside an Air Force recruiting center in Oklahoma left that branch of the military when he couldn't complete the training required to become a certified electrician.

Authorities offered a first glimpse Wednesday of what they believe might have driven Benjamin Don Roden to plant the bomb late Monday at the recruiting center in suburban Tulsa.

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Federal prosecutors say a Texas doctor wrote unnecessary prescriptions for powerful drugs that contributed to the overdose deaths of at least seven people over a four-year period.

Fifty-six-year-old Howard Gregg Diamond was arrested Monday on charges that include conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Prosecutors contend that Diamond began issuing prescriptions in 2010 that had no legitimate medical purpose. The prescriptions were for drugs such as hydrocodone and morphine.

KWGS News File Photo

 

Authorities say two people were struck and killed while changing a vehicle's tire along an interstate in southern Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the deadly collision happened Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 35 near Davis, about 70 miles south of Oklahoma City. According to a preliminary report, the car with a flat tire was parked on the shoulder of the northbound I-35 lanes, partially blocking the inside lane of traffic.

Tulsa Police

 

A Tulsa man has been sentenced to one year of probation for pointing a laser at a police helicopter.

The Tulsa World reports that U.S. District Judge John Dowdell sentenced Jay Scott Howell on Monday. Howell pleaded guilty in April to pointing a laser at a Tulsa Police Department helicopter 11 times on Dec. 29.

The 53-year-old says he requested probation because of his age, limited criminal history and remorse for his actions.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Litchfield didn't object to the request.

 

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is reducing services to children, senior citizens and residents with disabilities as it deals with what its director says is $30 million in budget cuts to the agency.

DHS officials announced the cuts Tuesday.

Although the Legislature increased appropriations to the agency by $18 million over last year's spending level, Director Ed Lake says the cumulative effects of previous cuts and increasing fixed costs led to the $30 million shortfall.

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Democrats have swept two special elections in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas for state representative and senator after the resignation of Republican lawmakers.

In House District 75, which includes portions of east Tulsa and north Broken Arrow, unofficial results show voters picked Democrat Karen Gaddis over Republican Tressa Nunley. Both were vying to replace former Republican state Rep. Dan Kirby, who resigned this year after two former legislative assistants accused him of sexual harassment.

Church at BattleCreek

 

 The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 14 children on a bus from Oklahoma suffered minor injuries when a school bus taking them to a church camp in overturned. The bus was from the Church at BattleCreek in Broken Arrow.

The accident was reported Monday afternoon on a highway between Macks Creek and Camdenton in western Camden County.

The bus was on its way to Windermere Church Camp at the Lake of the Ozarks. The patrol says the driver failed to negotiate a turn and the bus overturned.

KWGS News File Photo

 

An Oklahoma man who was exonerated after spending 20 years in prison is suing the city of Tulsa and two former detectives.

40-year-olds Malcolm Scott and De'Marchoe Carpenter were freed from prison last year after a judge found them "actually innocent" based on new evidence in the 1994 shooting death of 19-year-old Karen Summers.

KWGS News Photo

 

An explosion outside an Oklahoma Air Force recruiting center is being investigated as a possible act of domestic terrorism, but the late-night blast could also have been a horrible prank, a federal agent said Tuesday.

Federal authorities said a device was set off around 10:30 p.m. Monday in front of the recruiting center in the Tulsa suburb of Bixby. The center was closed at the time and no one was injured. Authorities declined to specify the nature of the device.

Google Street View

 

Authorities say hundreds of inmates rioted at an Oklahoma federal prison, taking two guards hostage and refusing to return to their cells.

Caddo County Sheriff Lennis Miller says the riot started late Sunday at the Great Plains Correctional Facility in Hinton after a fight broke out in a yard. He says 150 inmates, some armed with baseball bats and iron pipes, were involved.

The Florida-based prison operator, The GEO Group, Inc., says about 400 inmates caused a disturbance in two yards.

File photo

 

An Oklahoma prosecutor says he has not decided whether to try a white former Tulsa police officer a fourth time on a murder charge in the fatal shooting of his daughter's black boyfriend.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said Monday he remains disappointed a third mistrial was declared in the trial of Shannon Kepler and is exploring "all options" in continuing prosecution of Kepler prior to a scheduled Aug. 1 hearing.

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