Despite some signs of recovery, Oklahoma's budget struggles look set to continue for the foreseeable future.
"The budget challenges that we are facing this year in 2015, and looking ahead to 2016, are not one-off problems," said Oklahoma Policy Institute Director David Blatt.
At the group's 2015 budget summit in Oklahoma City, Blatt said state tax collections aren't keeping pace with a growing state economy, and tax cuts exacerbate the problem. Oklahoma is about on course with an OSU economist's 2007 projection of a multibillion dollar state deficit by 2035.
SAND SPRINGS, Okla. (AP) — Crews are battling several grass fires across the state a day after unseasonably warm temperatures and strong wind gusts fueled the spread of the flames.
Authorities say a fire was burning Thursday morning about four miles south of the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs. There was no estimate on the size of the fire, but it is located in a mountainous area. Efforts to fight the blaze have been hampered by the rural terrain.
Crews were also battling a fire in Logan County that was moving south through the area.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Health says influenza has taken the lives of 11 people during the past week.
Health officials reported Thursday 58 Oklahomans have died due to flu-related illness since the flu season began Sept. 28. About 1,400 others have been hospitalized, including 116 during the past week.
Forty-three of the flu victims were 65 or older while eight were in the 50-64 age group, two were aged 18-49 and three were 5-17. Two victims have been younger than 4.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Republican U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine has been named to serve on the House Armed Services Subcommittees on Strategic Forces and Seapower and Projection Forces.
The Oklahoma lawmaker's office in Washington made the announcement on Wednesday.
Strategic Forces oversees the country's nuclear arsenal, missile defense and space programs. Seapower and Projection Forces cover Navy and Marine Corps purchasing and research and development programs.
The HASC authorizes funding for national security and sets Department of Defense policy.
KINGSTON, Okla. (AP) — A single-engine plane has crashed into Lake Texoma in southern Oklahoma and emergency crews are searching for its pilot.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the plane was conducting low passes over the lake Wednesday morning when it went down. He says the Grumman AA1 was registered out of Durant.
Marshall County Undersheriff Danny Cryer says the plane crashed at least 500 yards offshore and was submerged in about 50 feet of water near the Alberta Creek Resort, southeast of Kingston.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ordered Oklahoma to postpone lethal injections executions using a controversial sedative until the court rules in a challenge involving the drug.
The court's order Wednesday came as little surprise after both the state and the lawyers for three inmates who faced execution between now and March requested the temporary halt. The justices agreed on Friday to take up the challenge to the use of the sedative midazolam, which has been used in problematic executions in Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma.