Local & Regional

Gage Skidmore

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada cattleman and state's rights figure Cliven Bundy is due before a federal magistrate judge to say whether he intends to represent himself during his upcoming trial stemming from a 2014 armed standoff with federal agents.

The Wednesday hearing comes after Bundy's defense attorney, Bret Whipple, filed documents last week saying that Bundy wants him off his case.

Whipple says he doesn't know if Bundy has another lawyer or intends to serve as his own lawyer.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Authorities have filed charges in a prostitution investigation that included undercover police work at a network of illicit massage parlors in Oklahoma City and Lawton.

Oklahoma County court records show pandering and conspiracy charges were filed Sept. 21 against two men and two women from Oklahoma City. Authorities say in an affidavit of probable cause that one of the men has links to businesses in Houston and the nearby suburb of Spring, Texas, and that the man wired cash on two different occasions to China.

Oklahoma State University

NEW YORK (AP) — In one of the biggest crackdowns on the corrupting role of money in college basketball, 10 men — including a top Adidas executive and four assistant coaches — were charged Tuesday with using hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence star athletes' choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents, financial advisers, even tailors.

Some of the most explosive allegations appeared to involve Louisville, one of the college basketball's biggest powerhouses.

What do football, soccer and lacrosse players have in common? They’re the athletes most likely to suffer from concussions.

Concussion specialist Dr. Eric Sherburn will speak at a seminar about how concussions happen and how to recover from them. Sherburn said concussions are serious injuries, and student athletes must take themselves out of a game if they think they’ve suffered one but coaches or referees don’t recognize it.

okhca.org

Though the Senate now will not vote by Saturday’s deadline for Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a simple majority, it’s also the last day for another significant action.

Additional funding approved under President Barack Obama for the Children’s Health Insurance Program must be reauthorized by then.

"Should the enhanced CHIP funding not be reauthorized, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority stands to lose about $49 million in federal funds in state fiscal year 2018," said Cate Jeffries with OHCA.

Looking to fill a $215 million budget hole, Oklahoma House and Senate committees passed Tuesday a second run at a $1.50 per pack cigarette tax increase, but it probably doesn’t have the votes to pass both chambers.

Three distinct factions have emerged in the legislature: Those supporting the cigarette tax on its own, those supporting it as one piece of a package of revenue measures and those against the legislature raising taxes at all.

Senate Appropriations and Budget Chair Kim David is among those urging lawmakers to pass the cigarette tax now.

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The Oklahoma City School Board will not gather public input before deciding whether to rename three schools that are named for Confederate generals.

The board on Monday adopted an agenda for its next meeting that doesn't include a recommendation from Superintendent Aurora Lora to survey parents, students and others on whether to rename Lee, Jackson and Stand Watie elementary schools.

Board Chair Paula Lewis told The Oklahoman that board members consistently hear from the community and that the board's job is to lead.

Oklahoma Watch

A group of drug companies have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Oklahoma attorney general that accuses the companies of fueling the state's opioid epidemic through fraudulent marketing.

About a dozen pharmaceutical companies filed a legal brief Friday saying they've complied with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's requirements to warn the public about potential risks that come with using their drugs.

The brief also says the companies can't be blamed for all the state's opioid-related problems.

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VALLIANT, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says one man has been arrested and a second is sought in the fatal shooting of another man in southeastern Oklahoma.

The OSBI says 18-year-old Christyan Boswell was shot to death at an intersection Saturday night during an apparent drug transaction.

The agency says 20-year-old Cody Hilderbrand was arrested at the scene.

Hilderbrand is now jailed on a first-degree manslaughter charge. Court records do not list an attorney for him.

The OSBI says a second suspect remains at large.

Tuesday's top stories:

  • State lawmakers officially enter special session, with two new House members taking their seats.
  • Legislators entered the capitol without a budget deal, and the Oklahoma Policy Institute says they're short on revenue measures.
  • Oklahoma ranks as one of the least friendly states for teachers.

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A 1-month-old baby found on the side of an Oklahoma interstate in a car seat stuffed with $5,500 in cash and a birth certificate was in state custody Monday as authorities continued to investigate why the boy was abandoned.

Oklahoma City police said a church group returning from an amusement park spotted the child Saturday about 10 feet from the shoulder of Interstate 40. Sgt. Gary Knight said Monday that officers also found a Social Security card with the baby.

OCK Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who has yet to sign a contract extension, said Monday that Oklahoma City is where he wants to be and he is "happy" about the offseason additions of superstars Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.

"I love it here," he said. "I like where I'm at, and I like where our team is at."

Richardson Campaign

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson says he's putting $1 million of his own money into his race for the Republican nomination for Oklahoma governor in 2018.

Richardson said in a news release during the weekend he's making the personal loan to his campaign in part because he refuses to be "beholden to the special interest groups."

Richardson also is seeking to stand out in a crowded GOP field that includes several prominent Republican leaders, including Oklahoma City Mick Cornett, state Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.

Cherokee Nation

Eight U.S. military veterans from the Cherokee Nation are in Washington, D.C., this week on a tour of honor and history.

The fourth annual Cherokee Warrior Flight is taking veterans of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam to see their respective memorials, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol. There are more than 4,000 veterans in the Cherokee Nation.

"Native Americans have always served at a higher percentage, higher rate, than other populations, and Cherokees have always honored and revered our warriors, since before contact," said Chief Bill John Baker.

Sen. Thom Tillis

Legislation by Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch proposes a 15 year path to citizenship for thousands covered by the policy known as DACA.

President Trump said he is ending in six months the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. President Barack Obama's policy prevents undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S. as children from being deported simply for being in the country.

Lankford said such undocumented immigrants should not be punished for it.

KWGS News File Photo

State lawmakers began their special session Monday to make up for the loss of $215 million after the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a cigarette fee passed too late and with not enough votes during regular session.

Official proceedings on opening day took about 15 minutes in both the House and Senate. Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz announced his chamber’s members of the important Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget.

Monday's top stories:

  • Oklahoma lawmakers return to the capitol today for special session.
  • If lawmakers cannot replace revenue lost when the cigarette tax was struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, state health agencies will be in dire straits.
  • Department of Corrections director says Oklahoma prisons are "embarrassing, despicable, criminal."

File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Dozens of protesters marched in downtown Oklahoma City to call for justice days after a 35-year-old deaf man was fatally shot by a police officer.

Activists from groups including Black Lives Matter Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Association of the Deaf marched Sunday afternoon from City Hall to police headquarters in the "Justice For Magdiel Sanchez" rally.

Brewster law firm

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Rob Nigh, a defense attorney who represented Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and witnessed his 2001 execution, died Sunday after a battle with cancer, former colleagues said. He was 57.

Known for his encyclopedic legal knowledge, work ethic and intense preparation on every case he handled, Nigh also defended those accused of committing some of the state's most egregious crimes. Nigh died about three months after stepping down as Tulsa County's chief public defender for serious health issues.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Legislature will return to the state Capitol Monday for a special legislative session to try to fill a $215 million shortfall in the state budget and look for long-term solutions to chronic budget shortfalls that have forced deep cuts to state agencies and services for three consecutive years.

Keith Allison

NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony won't be at Knicks training camp after all. He'll be in Oklahoma City, joining Russell Westbrook and Paul George in a loaded lineup.

The Knicks agreed to trade Anthony to the Thunder on Saturday, saving themselves a potentially awkward reunion next week with the player they'd been trying to deal since last season.

New York will get Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick, a person with knowledge of the deal said. The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.

Jeremy Seto

OKARCHE, Okla. (AP) — Few religious pilgrimages lead down a dusty, unpaved Oklahoma road past grazing horses, metal barns and towering wind turbines in the distance.

But the unusual destination of this 2,000-mile trek from Central America to a farmhouse outside a one-stoplight town seems an appropriate honor for the Rev. Stanley Rother, a martyred Roman Catholic priest celebrated for his unassuming nature and hard work.

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If Tulsa wants to achieve Mayor G.T. Bynum’s goal of boosting per capita income, computers dictate the city should work to increase high school graduation rates.

Community nonprofit Tulsa Data Science let their computers analyze Census data with minimal human input to see which factors have the biggest impact on an area’s per capita income. While their analysis found each doctorate degree holder in a Census tract increases its per capita income by $468, there’s another correlation where the demographic is easier to improve.

Oklahoma Watch

A nonprofit that analyzes state finances has given Oklahoma a D grade.

"Oklahoma has accumulated over $5 billion in unfunded debt, debt beyond the assets available to pay the bills, which, in our framework, really represents costs for services that were delivered to citizens in the past but they're effectively going to have to be paid by future taxpayers," said Truth in Accounting Research Director Bill Bergman.

Wikipedia

 

The Roman Catholic Church's beatification of an Oklahoma priest killed during a mission in Guatemala more than three decades ago will be broadcast live on the Global Catholic Network.

The Rev. Stanley Rother is scheduled to be beatified during a Sept. 23 ceremony at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. A documentary on Rother's life and the ceremony will be broadcast on EWTN Global Catholic Network.

Rother was killed in 1981 during Guatemala's civil war after spending 13 years on a mission in that country.

In the local news:

  • A high school program at Union will held students get an Associates Degree while still in high school.
  • Funeral services start today for NSU students killed in a Tahlequah traffic crash.
  • An Oklahoma Air Force Colonel comes home, a half-century after being shot down over Vietnam

East Central University

 

A small chapel nestled on a university campus in a rural central Oklahoma town is at the center of a firestorm over the use of religious symbols on public property after a Washington, D.C.-based group insisted that a cross be removed from atop its steeple.

DOC

   

Jurors have heard a recorded confession of a man charged with murder for beheading a co-worker at a food plant in Oklahoma.

Prosecutors on Wednesday played recordings of 33-year-old Alton Nolen that were made while he was hospitalized after the 2014 attack. He's accused of killing 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and attacking another co-worker at Vaughan Foods in Moore.

In the recordings, Nolen says he doesn't "regret it at all" and that "oppressors don't need to be here."

OKC Police

 

Surveillance video shows a hit-and-run crash between two vehicles that led to the fatal shooting of a deaf man by an Oklahoma City police officer.

The crash happened Tuesday night, just minutes before police officers encountered 35-year-old Magdiel Sanchez at the address where a vehicle driven by his father that was involved in the hit-and-run had gone. Sanchez, who family members say was deaf, was holding a metal pipe in his right hand and was fatally shot when he didn't respond to commands to drop the pipe.

A new program will give Union students the chance to earn an associate degree while they’re in high school.

Early College High School will start next school year with 50 to 60 sophomores, most of them first-generation college students. Union Superintendent Kirt Hartzler said it’s an expansion of concurrent enrollment the district already offers.

"This is kind of just, I think, the next generation of what we need to be offering our students to make sure that the high school experience is more relevant and certainly adds some value," Hartzler said.

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