Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper says his goal was to put a fugitive on the defensive when he fired at the suspect through the windshield of his patrol vehicle during a pursuit.

Trooper Brian Costanza, a nearly 15-year veteran, joined the chase after Michael Dale Vance Jr. on Oct. 30 in Custer County. The manhunt for Vance, 38, began Oct. 23 after he allegedly killed two relatives and shot two police officers in central Oklahoma.

File Photo-Allegiant Air

 

An Oklahoma man is facing federal charges after allegedly holding a knife to a child's stomach during a commercial flight from Los Angeles to Tulsa that was forced to land in Las Vegas.

39-year-old Fredrick Johnson of Tulsa was charged Monday with simple assault in Nevada.

Court documents say Johnson dismantled and tried to rewire a tablet computer before brandishing a knife in an attempt to get the juvenile to hold the device on Jan. 6. An FBI affidavit says the child's adult sister intervened before Johnson pointed the knife at the child's abdomen.

Oklahoma House/KWGS News

 

 New House Speaker Charles McCall is endorsing a pay increase for Oklahoma teachers that would phase in a $6,000 pay raise during a three-year period.

McCall said in a statement released Thursday that he believes House Republicans will support the bill by Broken Arrow Republican Michael Rogers, chairman of the House Public Education Committee.

Rogers' House Bill 1114 includes a $1,000 raise next year, followed by raises of $2,000 the following year and $3,000 the next year.

 

 

Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties in advance of a winter storm that's forecast to bring crippling ice accumulations and heavy rain to the state.

Fallin issued the declaration Thursday after the National Weather Service in Norman issued an ice storm warning for much of northern and northwestern Oklahoma. Forecasters say the warning goes into effect on Friday. Ice accumulations may exceed one-half inch by Saturday and may cause power outages.

File photo

 The number of Oklahomans who've died due to the flu this flu season has risen to five.

 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Thursday reported two additional deaths since last week.

The latest deaths were in Logan and Tulsa counties and, based on previous reports, both persons were age 65 or older. Four of this season's deaths have been people 65 or older and the third was between the ages of 5 and 17.

Tulsa County has had two deaths during this season while Johnston, Logan and Rogers counties have had one each.

OPMX

 

Oklahoma finance officials say collections by the state's main operating fund are continuing to trail projections, setting up the possibility of a budget hole even deeper than first predicted.

Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger released figures on Wednesday showing collections to the state's General Revenue Fund missed December's monthly estimate by more than 12 percent. Overall collections for the first six months of the fiscal year were off by nearly 3 percent.

KWGS News

Attorneys for a White Tulsa police officer charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man say a police homicide sergeant told the prosecutor that the case was "unwinnable." Attorneys for 42-year-old Betty Shelby yesterday asked a judge to dismiss the charge against Shelby that was filed in the Sept. 16 shooting death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher. District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said his response to the motion will "take issue" with how the evidence is characterized.

 

Oklahoma's state school superintendent says every public school district will be able to choose between the ACT and the SAT college entrance exams for high school juniors this spring.

The Tulsa World reports administering the test this spring will be optional, but it is strongly encouraged so schools can be prepared for next year when students' scores on one of the exams will likely determine whether the state considers them proficient.

Oklahoma Forestry Service

 

The National Weather Service says strong winds, unseasonably warm temperatures and low humidity have combined to create a high risk of wildfires in Oklahoma.

Forecasters have issued a red flag fire warning for western Oklahoma until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters say temperatures in the mid-70s, wind gusts of up to 30 mph and 15 percent humidity will pose a critical fire danger.

Officials say that any wildfires that develop will likely spread rapidly due to strong winds and that outdoor burning is not recommended.

 

A special House committee investigating allegations of sexual harassment by two lawmakers and the use of taxpayer funds to settle a wrongful termination complaint is holding its first meeting at the state Capitol.

The committee met Wednesday and approved its rules, including a requirement that members sign a confidentiality agreement they won't publicly discuss their work. That prompted opposition from Chickasha Democrat David Perryman, one of three Democrats on the panel.

File photo

 

An Oklahoma lawmaker is proposing a bill that would make elementary school students subject to out-of-school suspensions for assaulting teachers and other school employees.

The Oklahoman reports Republican state Sen. Ron Sharp recently filed the bill, which would expand the list of students who can be suspended for violent acts to include students in grades three through five.

The Professional Oklahoma Educators organization requested the expansion. Executive director Ginger Tinney says some of the group's members have been assaulted by students.

Stillwater Police

A woman charged with killing four people and injuring dozens more by driving her car into spectators at Oklahoma State University's 2015 homecoming parade was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison after accepting a plea deal.

Adacia Chambers, 26, was sentenced in Payne County District Court after pleading no contest to four counts of second-degree murder and 39 counts of assault and battery.

Kendall Griffith

 

A woman charged with killing four people by driving her car into spectators at Oklahoma State University's 2015 homecoming parade has entered a no contest plea.

If a judge agrees to the deal with prosecutors, Adacia Chambers would be sentenced to life in prison on four murder counts and additional time for the assault and battery of others injured in the crash.

Oklahoma House/KWGS News

 

Officials with the Oklahoma House of Representatives say a panel investigating a wrongful termination claim paid to a House employee last year will look into at least two sexual harassment complaints against current legislators.  

House spokeswoman Tricia Pemberton confirmed Tuesday that formal complaints against both lawmakers had been filed with the House human resources department.

Grand Casino

 

Authorities say one person is dead and another is injured after a shooting involving two employees at an Oklahoma casino.

The shooting happened Tuesday morning at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, about 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The casino is run by the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

The tribe's police chief, James Collard, says the shooting occurred in an administrative area and not on the casino's floor. He says no other employees or casino visitors were at risk.

OU

Recent reports show that disposal well operators placed about 23 percent less saltwater from oil and natural gas production into Oklahoma's deepest geological formation within the earthquake zone in 2016 compared to the previous year. The year-end reports about the Arbuckle formation come from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The commission says the 2016 volume numbers are mostly complete, though some companies haven't reported their latest data.

 

Firefighters have contained a wildfire that broke out in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

The fire broke out Monday near the town of Slapout, about 165 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. Beaver County Emergency Management says the fire spread rapidly because of high winds, but said early Tuesday that crews have contained the blaze.

Beaver County officials say firefighters from surrounding agencies assisted in containing the blaze.

 

The director of Oklahoma's Department of Human Services says the agency could be forced to furlough workers or cut provider rates if it doesn't receive an infusion of more than $42 million before the current fiscal year ends in June.

DHS Director Ed Lake presented his agency's budget request to lawmakers on Monday, urging them to pass a supplemental appropriation bill after they reconvene next month.

KWGS News

 

A state audit of the inmate trust accounts at the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office during the previous administration shows the records were so poorly managed that auditors could not determine whether more than $188,000 was embezzled or misappropriated.

NWS Tulsa

 

A week of weather extremes is expected in Oklahoma, with forecasters predicting unseasonably warm temperatures early in the week followed by the possibility of a "significant winter weather event" heading into the weekend.

The National Weather Service in Tulsa says windy, warm weather is expected, then thunderstorms and winter weather could move in. Forecasters say there's still quite a bit of uncertainty about the forecast but that there is the potential for "damaging ice accumulations," Friday through Sunday, especially north of Interstate 44 in northeast Oklahoma.

Authorities in Stephens County say a duck hunter has drowned while trying to save his dog. Sheriff Wayne McKinney told The Duncan Banner that the victim was duck hunting when he tried to rescue his dog after it got into trouble in icy water while retrieving a duck Saturday near Duncan. The victim's name hasn't been released.

 

State of Oklahoma

 

More than 500 Oklahoma state employees received pay raises last year despite the state facing a $1.3 billion budget shortfall.

Information obtained by The Oklahoman from the state Office of Management and Enterprise shows 554 raises totaling just more than $5 million.

 

 The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says an Ottawa County sheriff's deputy fatally shot a man who pointed a gun at officers.

The OSBI says 42-year-old Travis Edward Baker was dead at the scene of the shooting Saturday near Fairland.

The agency says Baker was suspected of stealing several cars and breaking into homes earlier Saturday and when officers spotted him, he led them on a vehicle chase before stopping and running into a wooded area.

Stillwater Police

 

 An Oklahoma woman who drove into a crowd of spectators at Oklahoma State University's 2015 homecoming parade, killing four people and injuring dozens of others, is set to stand trial on murder charges.

Adacia Chambers is charged with 42 counts of assault and battery and four counts of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum life sentence.

Prosecutors say she sped up before slamming into the parade-goers.

OHP-Facebook

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says two Texas residents have been killed in a crash in Greer County.

A preliminary report says Kenedy, Texas, residents Emily Monson and Shaylene Monson died Friday afternoon west of the town of Granite.

Two young children traveling with them were treated and released from local hospitals.

The patrol report says the driver, Emily Monson, struck from behind a semitrailer that was making a right turn into a private drive.

They were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the semitrailer wasn't injured.

File Photo

 

The state's top law enforcement agency has arrested an Oklahoma man in connection with a Blaine County homicide.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said 35-year-old Alan Dale Brower was taken into custody late Friday after he was arrested at a relative's home in Watonga.

Brower was booked in the Blaine County jail on complaints of first-degree murder, second-degree burglary and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

The OSBI said Brower was living with the victim, 30-year-old Karlie Pierce, along with three children.

File photo

 Oklahoma's tax on gasoline and diesel fuel has remained untouched since 1987 and is among the lowest in the nation. That is making it a tempting target for state lawmakers desperate for revenue amid a third straight year of budget declines.

Several Republican legislators said last week they expect proposals will be unveiled once the session begins in February to increase the state's gasoline and diesel taxes of 17 cents and 14 cents, respectively.

KWGS File photo

 An American Indian tribe's plan to build a $25 million casino in the Oklahoma Panhandle — which is hundreds of miles from its headquarters — has prompted a state senator to question whether tribal gambling should be allowed in areas that have no historical tribal connections.

The Shawnee Tribe is proposing a 42,000-square-foot casino near Guymon, located 366 miles away from the tribe's headquarters in Miami (my-AM'-uh). Supporters say the proposed Golden Mesa Casino will draw visitors from the Texas Panhandle, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas and create 175 jobs.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Democratic and Republican lawmakers are planning to pass legislation in Oklahoma to comply with a federal law involving identification cards.

The Tulsa World reports that two Democratic senators — John Sparks of Norman and Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City — announced legislation in November to comply with the REAL ID Act. President George W. Bush signed the act into law as an anti-terrorism measure in 2005.

Republican Rep. Jon Echols, the House majority flood leader, says he expects similar legislation to pass the House.

Oklahoma finance officials say overall revenue collections to the state treasury are continuing on a downward slide.

Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller reported Friday that annual gross receipts to the treasury in 2016 shrank by 7.4 percent compared to the previous year.

Miller says gross receipts last month totaled $901 million, which is a decrease of more than $47 million, or 5 percent, from December 2015.

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