Local & Regional

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Oklahomans pay some of the highest total sales tax rates in the U.S.

A review by the Tax Foundation ranks the state sixth, with an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 8.78 percent. Policy Analyst Jared Walczak said Oklahoma is a bit of an outlier.

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Oklahoma’s Republican Party drew criticism Tuesday for a Facebook post comparing food stamp recipients to animals.

The post said the U.S. Department of Agriculture distributed its largest total of assistance this year while the National Park Service asks us not to feed the animals so they don’t grow dependent on hand outs.

"Thus ends today's lesson in irony," the post concludes.

  Oklahoma Democratic Party spokeswoman Sarah Baker said it’s not just a tasteless joke.

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Voters in north Tulsa will head to the polls to select a candidate for a vacant House seat.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for a special election in House District 73.

Seven Democrats are running for the seat left vacant when Democratic former state Rep. Kevin Matthews left to run for an open state Senate seat, which he won. The winner of the primary will take the seat, since no Republicans or independents filed to run.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee is scheduled to consider a request by the Tulsa County sheriff to stop a grand jury investigation following the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a volunteer deputy and longtime friend.

Referee Greg Albert will hear oral presentations Tuesday in Sheriff Stanley Glanz's request to overturn a lower court's decision to empanel a grand jury July 20.

Cherokee County

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — A Broken Arrow man convicted of first-degree murder in the 2013 slaying of a Northeastern State University professor has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Joshua John Schneider was sentenced Monday for the death of 38-year-old Tiffany Rene Maher. Schneider also received life sentences for larceny of a house and first-degree arson. His sentences are set to run concurrently.


CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) — Members of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma have visited the group's ancestral home in southern Illinois.

The visit was part of an effort to connect young tribe members to their cultural heritage. About a dozen members of the tribe visited as part of a collaboration with Southern Illinois University and the Shawnee National Forest.

U.S. Forest Service archaeologists accompanied the group to archaeologically significant sites, like Cahokia Mounds and Millstone Bluff in Pope County.

Satanic Temple

DETROIT (AP) — A group plans to unveil a monument depicting Satan as a goat-headed figure at a private event in Detroit after the owner of a popular restaurant scuttled plans to hold it at his venue.

The Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves says ticket holders to the July 25 event will learn the new location that day.

The unveiling of the 8½-foot-tall bronze Baphomet was to be held at Bert's Market Place. Bert Dearing says he initially thought the group "was a church" and returned its $3,000 because of safety concerns.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Death penalty opponents say they're looking for new evidence to exonerate an Oklahoma death row inmate who is scheduled to die by lethal injection in September.

Members of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty appeared with Sister Helen Prejean Monday on behalf of 52-year-old Richard Eugene Glossip, who is scheduled to be put to death on Sept. 16.

Blue Bell

WASHINGTON (AP) — Following a deadly listeria outbreak in ice cream, the Justice Department is warning food companies that they could face criminal and civil penalties if they inadvertently poison their customers.

In Tulsa news this morning:

  • Despite ties to the sheriff's office, the judge assigned to a former reserve deputy's manslaughter trial isn't recusing himself.
  • County commissioners stand by a decision to let Sheriff Stanley Glanz hire another attorney.
  • A U.S. congressman tries to honor Oklahoma City bombing victims with Purple Hearts.