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Local & Regional
4:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

No New Challenge for Death Row Inmate Convicted in Tulsa Murders

Credit File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma appeals court has rejected a death row inmate's request to raise new issues to challenge his death sentence.

The state Court of Criminal Appeals handed down the decision Wednesday in the case of 40-year-old Raymond Eugene Johnson.

Johnson was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death by a Tulsa County jury in the June 2007 deaths of 24-year-old Brooke Whitaker and her 7-month-old daughter, Kya Whitaker.

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Local & Regional
3:39 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

House Overrides Fallin Veto of Reading Bill

Credit File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) —€” The Oklahoma House has voted to override Gov. Mary Fallin's veto of a bill making it easier for school districts to promote third graders who may not be reading at grade level.

The Republican-controlled House voted 79-17 Wednesday in favor of the override. The Senate author of the bill says he plans to seek an override in that chamber. If successful, the bill would become law notwithstanding the veto.

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Local & Regional
12:36 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

3 Men Rescued After Boat Sinks on Kiowa County Lake

Kiowa County is colored red

SNYDER, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says three people escaped serious injury after their boat capsized and sank on Tom Steed Lake in Kiowa County.

The highway patrol says the 16-foot metal boat took on water from the stern and capsized Tuesday night. The incident occurred near the Pelican Island area of the lake.

Two men were rescued from the water uninjured. A third man was rescued by crews from Great Plains State Park and the Kiowa County Sheriff's Office. That man was taken to Comanche County Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

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Local & Regional
12:25 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Oklahoma Legislative Panels OK Drilling Incentive

an Oklahoma drilling rig
Credit OU

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A bill that would adjust a generous tax incentive for horizontally drilled oil and gas wells and extend it to all wells drilled in Oklahoma has cleared budget committees in the House and Senate.

The full House and Senate will consider the measure that the committees approved Tuesday.

The bill would increase the tax rate on horizontal wells from 1 percent to 2 percent for the first three years of a well's production. After that, the rate would increase to the standard production tax rate of 7 percent.

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Local & Regional
8:05 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Tulsa Chamber Seeks Input on Development Plan

The Tulsa skyline from Utica Square
Credit KWGS News File Photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Tulsa Regional Chamber is reaching out to stakeholders across northeast Oklahoma through a survey with a hope of better shaping its economic development plan.

The Tulsa's Future plan launches its third phase in 2016. Chamber officials say the feedback will put the region in a better position to compete for jobs and capital investment over the next five years.

The Tulsa's Future program contributed to the announcement of nearly 6,000 new jobs in northeast Oklahoma last year.

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Local & Regional
8:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Oklahoma House Passes Worker Pension Overhaul Bill

Oklahoma House in session
Credit Oklahoma House/KWGS News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has approved legislation that eliminates traditional pension benefits for newly hired state workers and replaces it with a 401(k)-style retirement plan.

The House approved the measure 58-33 Tuesday and sent it to the state Senate for final passage.

The measure creates a defined contribution retirement system for state workers after November 2015. Workers hired prior to that time will keep their current defined benefit pension plan.

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Local & Regional
7:06 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Governor Vetoes Reading Revamp

Governor Fallin
Credit NGA

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for school districts to promote third graders who may not be reading at grade level.

Fallin vetoed the bill on Tuesday, saying that allowing students who can't read to advance to the fourth grade is "setting that child up for failure."

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Local & Regional
12:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Hospital Groundbreaking Marks Tornado Anniversary

Last year's tornado destroyed the old facility.
Credit Facebook

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — The 24 people killed a year ago when a tornado struck Moore were honored during a remembrance ceremony followed by a hospital groundbreaking to mark the one-year anniversary of the tornado that also left hundreds injured.

Gov. Mary Fallin and U.S. Rep. Tom Cole joined Moore city officials to break ground Tuesday on the new Moore Medical Center. The $29 million facility is expected to be completed in fall 2016.

The previous medical center was destroyed during the 2013 tornado that was rated an EF5.

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Local & Regional
11:53 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Ex-Oklahoma Senate leader charged with DUI, Bribery

Former State Senator Cal Hobson
Credit State of Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A former leader of the Oklahoma Senate has been charged with aggravated drunk driving and attempting to bribe a police officer after being arrested during the weekend in Noble.

Former state Sen. Cal Hobson was charged Monday in Cleveland County District Court.

A police affidavit says Hobson was stopped Sunday by a Noble police officer who witnessed his vehicle swerving. The officer reported Hobson's blood-alcohol content was .27, more than three times the legal limit.

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Local & Regional
7:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Remembering Moore: One Year After Killer Tornado

The Moore Water Tower that was in the tornado's path
Credit KWGS News

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — The city of Moore is holding a remembrance ceremony in honor of the one-year anniversary of a deadly EF5 twister that killed 24 people and injured hundreds more.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Moore city officials will break ground Tuesday on the new Moore Medical Center at a 10 a.m. event. The medical center was destroyed in last year's storm. Currently a temporary hospital sits in its place.

The program will start by paying tribute to the 24 people who died on May 20. It will conclude with the groundbreaking event.

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