Associated Press

Department of Transportation

 

An Oklahoma law forbidding motorists on four-lane highways to impede traffic by traveling in the left lane has resulted in dozens of citations since going into effect last year.

Records obtained by The Oklahoman show that 60 people were cited for violating the "left lane" law during the first three months it was enacted.

KWGS News

 

Heavy rain is forecast across parts of the central United States and the National Weather Service says there is a threat of flooding.

The weather service issued a flood watch Monday that will continue through Thursday night for northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, southern Missouri and southern Illinois.

The weather service says rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are expected with locally heavier amounts of 5 to 6 inches, particularly in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Flash flooding will also be possible along streams, creeks and in low-lying areas.

OU Twitter

 

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents has named a longtime energy company executive as the university's next president.

The regents announced Monday that 65-year-old Jim Gallogly will become OU's 14th president on July 1.

He will succeed David Boren, who announced in September that that he would step down on June 30 from the post he's held since 1994.

KWGS News Photo

 

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says an inmate at the Muskogee County jail has died after being found unresponsive in her cell.

The OSBI says jailers found 23-year-old Brandy Edwardsen early Saturday and she was taken to a hospital where she later died.

The body was sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy.

The OSBI said a report on the death will be sent to the district attorney following an investigation.

Tulsans 'March for our Lives'

Mar 25, 2018
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They came from a place of heartbreak to claim their spot in history: Hundreds of thousands of teenagers and supporters, rallying across the United States for tougher laws to fight gun violence.

The "March for Our Lives" events on Saturday drew massive crowds in cities across the country, marking the largest youth-led protests since the Vietnam War era.

File photo

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was recorded at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday about 8 miles  south-southeast of Medford in Grant County. That's about 120 miles north of Oklahoma City. It was recorded at a depth of about 1 mile .

An earlier 2.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 2:06 a.m. about 8 miles northeast of Enid, or about 33 miles south-southwest of Medford.

No damage or injuries were reported. Geologists say damage isn't likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

Tulsa Police

Police in Tulsa say the discovery of a man's badly beaten body is being investigated as a homicide.

Tulsa Police Cpl. Scott Anderson says the body of the man was discovered about 7:30 a.m. Saturday after a second man flagged down an off-duty Tulsa police officer and reported that an acquaintance had been injured.

Anderson says the officer found the homeless man's body among some tree limbs on a highway embankment. The man had been beaten in the head and face.

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A group of inmates is tending to 200 roosters at an Arkansas sheriff's office pending their use as evidence against 137 people arrested at a cockfight.

Sheriff Robert Gentry said the birds would be held at his office until a court decides what to do with them.

The Texarkana Gazette reported several agencies raided a cockfight near De Queen March 17, tracking down an operation that moved every weekend. The sheriff said 34 people face felony counts of unlawful animal fighting and 86 face misdemeanors. Others arrested were spectators.

Inmate on the Run

Mar 24, 2018
DOC

Authorities in southwest Oklahoma are searching for a state prison inmate who escaped while working at a golf course.

Police in Mangum say 42-year-old Teddy Ely escaped Thursday from the golf course in Mangum.

Police say Ely took a four-wheeler and drove to a nearby house, where he stole an orange pickup truck and drove away.

Department of Corrections records say Ely was an inmate at the Oklahoma State Reformatory Work Center in Granite, about 10 miles from the golf course.

Recent data numbers show Oklahoma's large counties are growing in population while smaller counties are losing residents.

The U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday show Oklahoma City has continued its growing streak, gaining more than 11,200 people between mid-2016 and mid-2017.

The Tulsa area also grew last year by more than 3,200 people. Oklahoma's other two metropolitan areas saw little change, with Lawton's population remaining relatively stagnant and Enid losing about 800 people.

DOC

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has denied a white former Oklahoma reserve deputy's request to reconsider his conviction for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

The court on rejected a request for a rehearing in the appeal of 76-year-old Robert Bates.

The court last month upheld his second-degree manslaughter conviction in the April 2015 fatal shooting of 44-year-old Eric Harris.

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Attorneys for four former Bixby High School football players charged with second-degree rape by instrumentation are asking to have their clients certified as juveniles.

Friday's filing in Tulsa County District Court says none of the teenagers charged have had previous contact with the criminal justice system and have not been involved with past disciplinary problems at school.

It also says they are "amenable, if necessary" to supervision and rehabilitation by the state Office of Juvenile Affairs.

OEA

Oklahoma's largest teachers' union is outlining a list of proposed tax increases for lawmakers to consider to avoid a statewide teacher strike.

The Oklahoma Education Association presented a list Friday and criticized state lawmakers for taking a three-day weekend ahead of a pending teacher walkout on April 2.

Among the items proposed for tax increases are oil and gas production, cigarettes, alcohol, motor fuel, lodging and internet sales.

File photo

 

Alabama will become the third state to authorize the untested use of nitrogen gas to execute prisoners, under legislation signed into law Thursday by Gov. Kay Ivey.

As lethal injection drugs become difficult to obtain, states have begun looking at alternative ideas for carrying out death sentences. While lethal injection would remain the state's primary execution method, the new law would allow the state to asphyxiate condemned inmates with nitrogen gas if lethal injection drugs are unavailable or lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional.

OFS

Fire crews were hopping yesterday afternoon from one blaze to another.

Several hundred acres were burned near Nuyaka in Okmulgee County.  There was also a big fire near Bristow in Creek County that made driving nearly impossible on the Turner Turnpike.

Grady County emergency management official Amanda Wilkerson says evacuations were ordered Thursday as flames burned pastures and threatened structures near the H.E. Bailey Turnpike south of Bridge Creek.

Owasso Police

 

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the fatal shooting of two men by police in separate northeastern Oklahoma cities.

The OSBI says 39-year-old Duane Preciado died after being shot Wednesday night in the Tulsa suburb of Owasso.

The OSBI says Preciado carried an AK-47 as he met two officers responding to a disturbance call about 10:30 p.m., and was shot as he moved toward officers while making threatening comments.

State of Oklahoma

 

A Republican state senator from Guthrie says she won't seek re-election when her term is up this year.

Sen. A.J. Griffin announced in a press release on Wednesday that she plans to step down after serving six years in office. Her Senate District 20 seat includes Kingfisher, Logan, Noble and Pawnee counties. Griffin says she has struggled with whether to run again but said she heard "God's call in another direction."

OFS

 

Oklahoma emergency management officials say a grass fire in rural McClain County has forced at least one home to be evacuated.

The grass fire flared up Wednesday afternoon near Dibble, located about 37 miles south of Oklahoma City.

Keli Cain, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, says at least one residence has been evacuated due to the flames. McClain County sheriff's deputies are working to relocate other nearby residents.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries due to the grass fire.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

 

Authorities in Oklahoma say a Nebraska man wanted on a firearms warrant has been taken into custody following an hours-long standoff at a Tulsa motel.

Officials say Rush Lincoln Hembree surrendered to police about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The standoff began about 11 p.m. Tuesday after police surrounded Hembree's motel room on Tulsa's eastside.

 

A Tennessee company has issued a recall of Southgate Hot Dog Chili Sauce distributed in 13 states due to mislabeling.

Vietti Foods in Nashville said it is recalling approximately 200 cases of 15-ounce cans of the chili sauce, UPC 0 71846 95242 6, LOT # P642 M1217 70026, marked on the bottom of the can.

Vietti said some of the cans may contain dumplings with chicken, which contains egg and wheat not listed on the label, and could cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in people with allergies.

Tulsa County Booking Photo

 

An Oklahoma man already sentenced to life in prison for the hate-crime killing of his Lebanese neighbor has pleaded guilty for a hit-and-run that injured the victim's mother.

Stanley Majors was convicted last month on murder and hate crime charges in the 2016 shooting death of 37-year-old Khalid Jabara. On Tuesday, Majors pleaded guilty to assault and battery with a deadly weapon, leaving the scene of an injury collision and violating a protective order for running over Jabara's mother, Haifa Jabara, with his car.

KWGS Map

 

An investigation and search warrant continues in east-central Oklahoma after deputies found about $250,000 in stolen property while raiding a burglary stash house.

The Shawnee News-Star reports that some of the stolen items discovered by Lincoln County deputies include several Purple Hearts, military items, a coffin, TVs and guitars. Some items have been identified and returned.

The search for a suspicious vehicle led to the search warrant that was served early Sunday at the home near Prague.

 

An Oklahoma appeals court has removed language that was critical of the state attorney general's office in an Open Records Act case involving communications between then-Attorney General Scott Pruitt and major energy companies as well as the Republican Attorney General's Association.

The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled Monday the trial judge's characterization of the office as an "abject failure" in complying with the law was "surplus and unnecessary."

Glenpool Schools

 

Officials in an Oklahoma school district recently surprised teachers and other employees with $1,000 bonuses as a potential statewide teacher walkout looms.

The Tulsa World reports that the Glenpool school district joined many area districts on March 12 when it approved a resolution "in support of Oklahoma public school teachers" and authorized school closings in the event of a teacher walkout.

Glenpool school officials say the surprise bonuses don't solve the bigger-picture problem of low pay, but that they did provide some relief and a boost to morale.

KWGS News photo

 

 Police say a man was hospitalized after leading an officer on a chase that ended at Tulsa International Airport.

Tulsa police Sgt. Shane Tuell said the chase started Monday after an officer tried to stop a speeding, black pickup. The pursuit eventually led onto a circular drive at the airport.

Tuell said the truck drove against traffic and blew two tires before it spun out and stopped near a gate. Police initially thought it had crashed.

OCC

 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says an initiative petition seeking a public vote on whether to increase the oil and gas production tax to help fund education can move forward.

The court ruled on Monday that the petition is "legally sufficient" to be submitted to a vote of the people. Supporters will now have a 90-day window to gather about 124,000 signatures.

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association argued the proposal created an unconstitutional retroactive tax and violated the single-subject rule. The court disagreed.

 

Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan praised his team's poise following a hard-fought road win over the streaking Raptors.

Toronto, meanwhile, found it harder to stay calm and collected after some controversial calls down the stretch.

Russell Westbrook had 37 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds for his fifth straight triple-double, Steven Adams scored 25 points and the Thunder beat the Raptors 132-125 on Sunday, snapping Toronto's winning streak at 11.

 

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake has shaken parts of central Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was recorded at 1:50 p.m. Sunday about 9 miles north-northwest of Langston.]The temblor was recorded at a depth of about 3 miles 

No injuries or damage were reported. Geologists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

OFS

 

Authorities say arson is suspected in a series of grass fires that burned acreage and forced evacuations in northeastern Oklahoma.

Sand Springs police are searching for two individuals who might have ignited a blaze that slowed traffic for several hours due to thick smoke that reduced visibilities on Friday afternoon

Republicans in Oklahoma are confronting a serious budget crisis that began after they took full control of state government in 2010.

GOP lawmakers tried to make the state a model of conservative principles, with lower taxes, lighter regulation and lots of business-friendly reforms. But those moves have left Oklahoma painfully short of money.

Now agencies that were cut during the Great Recession have been slashed even deeper. Rural hospitals are closing, and teachers are considering a statewide strike over low wages.

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