Local & Regional

Oklahoma House/KWGS News


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma legislators return to the Capitol on Monday facing an economic crisis and other troubling issues.

A sharp drop in oil and gas prices has cut revenues to key businesses, which has reduced state revenues. Lawmakers expect to see about a $1 billion budget shortfall for the next fiscal year.

Lawmakers are also expected to discuss the sharp rise in the number of earthquakes, an increase linked to the injection of wastewater underground from oil and gas production.

Guthrie Police


GUTHRIE, Okla. (AP) — A Guthrie police officer has been suspended after allegedly showing up for work while intoxicated.

Police say 34-year-old Bryan Crumb was arrested Friday night after arriving at the police station smelling of alcohol and visibly upset. He was also suspended pending an investigation into the incident.

Police say Crumb declined to take a breathalyzer test. He was arrested for public intoxication and possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

In the local news:

  • Governor Fallin delivers her State of the State address today. (Live coverage at 12:45 p.m. on 89.5)
  • The Iowa Caucus is tonight, Tulsa's Congressman weighs into the fight.
  • A Guthrie Police Officer is arrested from coming to work drunk.
KWGS News File Photo

HUGO, Okla. (AP) — Authorities say two people are dead following a three-vehicle collision in Choctaw County.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the collision occurred on Friday night along U.S. 271 five miles west of Hugo. Troopers identified the dead as 32-year-old Frances Chancellor of Hugo and 45-year-old Angie Thurman of Soper. Two other people, including a 14-year-old girl, were injured in the collision.

OKC Zoo-Facebook

SEATTLE (AP) — One of the two elephants that were at the center of a controversial move from Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo to Oklahoma City last year has died.

KIRO-TV reports that the Oklahoma City Zoo announced Saturday morning over Twitter that female elephant "Chai' was found dead in the elephant yard.

Chai and Bamboo arrived at their new home in Oklahoma City last spring.

Staff will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of her death.

fIle Photo


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The former owner of an Oklahoma City nursing home has been ordered to pay almost $1.6 million by a federal jury that determined he fraudulently transferred money from his nursing home's bank accounts to avoid paying two previous court judgments.

The jury decided that Ron E. Lusk of Dallas, Texas, former owner of Quail Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, must use his personal funds to pay the judgments.

File photo

PURCELL, Okla. (AP) — Firefighters in McClain County are battling a large grass fire as a red flag fire warning remains in effect for parts of Oklahoma.

Authorities say at least one home was evacuated Saturday as the fire burned between Blanchard and Goldsby about 28 miles south of Oklahoma City. Firefighters from across the region are working to control the fire and prevent damage to property.

File Photo

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — A federal contractor says it plans to close its Comanche County office and eliminate 124 jobs.

The Oklahoman reports that Novitex Government Solutions sent a layoff notice to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce on Tuesday.

The notice was filed with the Commerce Department under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires most large employers to give workers and local governments at least 60-days' notice of a mass layoff.

State of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The 2016 legislative session that begins Monday will prove challenging for Oklahoma lawmakers grappling with a roughly 13 percent hole in next year's budget that is likely to grow even larger.

Governor Mary Fallin and Republican legislative leaders have said they intend to target "off-the-top" funding streams earmarked for things like transportation and public schools as part of an attempt to fill the roughly $1 billion budget hole. They also plan on scaling back some of the billions of dollars in tax credits and exemptions the state offers.


HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 18 this week to 619.

The Houston firm said Friday 498 rigs sought oil and 121 explored for natural gas amid depressed energy prices. A year ago, 1,543 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas declined by 13 rigs, New Mexico was down four, Louisiana dropped three and Kansas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania were off one apiece.

Alaska and Colorado each increased by two rigs and Oklahoma was up one.