Local & Regional

US Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died. He was 79.

The U.S. Marshal's Service in Washington confirmed Scalia's death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of South Texas.

The service's spokeswoman, Donna Sellers, says Scalia had retired for the evening and was found dead Saturday morning when he did not appear for breakfast.

FAIRVIEW, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 5.1 magnitude earthquake in northwest Oklahoma that was reportedly felt across Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Nebraska, Texas, Arkansas and Iowa.

Fairview police and the Major County Sheriff's Office say there are no reports of injury or damage as a result of the quake that struck Saturday at 11:07 a.m. about 17 miles north of Fairview. A second earthquake measured at magnitude 3.9 struck in the same area at 11:17 a.m. The area is about 100 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Democratic Party is suing Governor Mary Fallin, alleging that her office has failed to provide requested public records.

The Oklahoman reports that the party asked for records on how much money the governor spent on her trip to the Paris Air Show in June. The organization says its request still hasn't been fulfilled about eight months later.

Oklahoma Democratic Party chairman Mark Hammons says the party had concerns that it was inappropriate for the governor to take the trip while there were severe storms and flooding in Oklahoma.

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A spokesman for Governor Mary Fallin says the office's top attorney who announced his resignation this week will not receive a buyout package.

Spokesman Michael McNutt said Friday that general counsel Steve Mullins will receive his accrued annual leave pay, just like any other state employee.

Mullins indicated in his resignation letter on Thursday that he planned to accept a "voluntary buyout," but McNutt says the office is not offering any such package to its employees.

Mullins earned $100,000 a year as Fallin's general counsel.

File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Sixteen Oklahoma-based Indian tribes have received more than $11.8 million in federal grants to improve housing conditions and encourage construction projects and local jobs for low- and moderate-income families.

The grants by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development support a wide range of community development and affordable housing activities.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The fraternity connected to a racist chant that surfaced at the University of Oklahoma last spring says members at five other chapters acknowledged hearing the chant over the last five years.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon spokesman Brandon Weghorst said Friday that the Evanston, Illinois-based fraternity would not release the names of the other chapters. But he says none of the members who responded say they heard it more recently than 2012, except for the incident at OU.

Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation awarded a record $4.7 million in donations to 106 school districts during the tribe’s annual Public School Appreciation Day Friday, where many school superintendents said they are struggling from state budget cuts.

The Cherokee Nation sells tribal car tags and uses 38 percent of revenue for education.

The first full year that Cherokee Nation car tags were sold statewide was in 2015. Car tag revenues for education in that time increased from $4 million to $4.7 million.

Michael Willmus-Oklahoma Watch

After a little more than a month on the job and touring more than a dozen facilities, Interim Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh said he believes the agency is in a precarious position.

In an interview with Oklahoma Watch, Allbaugh, 62, said Oklahoma's prison system is dangerously antiquated and changes are needed. Among possible moves: leasing dormant private prisons and closing portions of outdated and dangerous state-run facilities.

Boulder Avenue will get an overhaul between First and 10th streets in downtown Tulsa.

Work should begin this fall to convert it into a two-way street. Water line repairs and fixes to make crossings compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act will also be involved.

"You go in some of those areas and it's like, it's hazardous for folks in wheelchairs and those kind of things, so, we're able to pick that up as we do these one-way to to-way conversions," said City Engineer Paul Zachary. "We get all new light, all new infrastructure, so it's a win."

Gov. Mary Fallin visited Green Country Friday to promote her initiative to recruit 1,000 new foster homes by June.

"We all share a common goal: To not only protect the vulnerable children in our state and communities, but to see them thrive and give them a hopeful future," said Tom Bates, Fallin's special adviser for child welfare.