2:15 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Tornado Emergency Declared As Storm Moves Through Central Oklahoma

Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

Updated 6:18 p.m.: Tornado Warning for Cleveland, Oklahoma counties until 6:45 p.m.

Storms with rotation are forming on the east side of Interstate 35 in Moore along Southeast 19th Street.

Updated 6:15 p.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warnings issued for multiple Oklahoma counties.

The National Weather Service in Norman has issued Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for Cleveland, Caddo, Grady, Canadian and Oklahoma Counties until 7:00 p.m. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is also in effect for Alfalfa and Grant Counties until 6:45 p.m.

Updated 6:01 p.m.: Tornado Warning for Cleveland County extended until 6:30 p.m. 

The National Weather Service in Norman confirms a large and "extremely dangerous" tornado is headed northeast at 15 mph. 

The Norman

Updated 5:57 p.m.: Tornadoes in Norman

Two tornadoes have been confirmed in Norman. One was spotted near Journey Church and is moving northeast toward south Moore. 

Updated 5:38 p.m.: Tornado warning for west Moore and south Oklahoma City canceled.

A tornado warning remains in effect for Norman as a storm moves into the city. 

Updated 5:36 p.m.: Funnel developing west of Norman

Roads are being shut down across the metro as a funnel forms west of Sooner Mall. The tornado will likely be just west of the Canadian River. 

Updated 5:28 p.m.: Tornado Emergency now includes Cleveland County

The tornado emergency now includes Cleveland County, with sirens sounding in Moore and Norman. 

Updated 5:21 p.m.: Will Rogers World Airport evacuated

Passengers and employees at Will Rogers World Airport have been moved to the underground tunnel between the terminal and the parking garages.

Updated 5:04 p.m.: Tornado Emergency declared for storm moving through Bridge Creek

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Emergency due to a life-threatening, large, rain-wrapped wedge tornado moving through McClain and Grady Counties.

The classification is higher than a Tornado Warning due to the severity of the situation. Damage has been reported on Interstate 44/the H.E. Bailey Turnpike and the Norman Spur that connects to State Highway 9. Several cars have been flipped by the storm.

Updated 4:57 p.m.: H.E. Bailey Turnpike/Interstate 44 closed

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has closed the H.E. Bailey Turnpike/Interstate 44 southbound from Oklahoma City and northbound from Chickasha as a large, rain-wrapped wedge tornado moves northeast through the area.

Updated 4:44 p.m.: Torando Warning extended to McClain County until 5:30 p.m.

A new Tornado Warning has been issued for the storm moving through central Oklahoma. McClain County is now affected as the storm approaches the Oklahoma City metro at the height of rush hour.

Travel southwest out of the Oklahoma City metro is strongly discouraged at this hour.

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Oklahoma News
11:54 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Sen. James Lankford To Give First Senate Floor Speech Thursday

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)
OversightAndReform Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Sen. James Lankford is scheduled to deliver his first formal address on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

The first-term Republican plans to give his maiden floor speech at 10 a.m. central time on Thursday.

Lankford says his speech will focus on challenges that lie ahead for America and how the nation can address them.

He is an advocate for streamlining federal government, especially simplifying the federal tax code, and has been a fierce critic of the new federal health care law.

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Business and Economy
8:46 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Oklahoma City Council Approves Incentives For Paycom, Boeing; Overholser Entertainment

The modernized cockpit of a C-130 cargo plane, one of the projects at Boeing's Oklahoma City facility.
Provided Boeing

Oklahoma City Council members signed off on $7.2 million worth of incentives Tuesday designed to encourage Paycom Software and aircraft manufacturer Boeing to create 1,300 new jobs and expand their facilities in central Oklahoma.

During the meeting, Ward 8 councilmember Mark Stonecipher said the Paycom deal would create 423 new jobs over the next two years, with an average salary of about $51,000.

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Oklahoma News
5:16 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Gov. Fallin Signs Texting While Driving Ban

Credit Jason Weaver / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation that makes it illegal to text message while driving in Oklahoma.

Flanked by lawmakers and state troopers, Fallin signed the measure into law Tuesday. The law goes into effect on Nov. 1.

The legislation makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using a hand-held electronic device to compose, send or read electronic messages while driving. Violations are punishable by a $100 fine.

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Oklahoma News
4:09 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Oklahoma Groups Ask That Scheduled Income Tax Cut Be Rescinded

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

With the state facing a $611 million budget hole, more than 90 Oklahoma businesses, foundations and nonprofit agencies are asking the governor and Republican legislative leaders to halt a scheduled income tax cut.

The Oklahoma Policy Institute delivered a letter Tuesday to Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Jeff Hickman.

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Oklahoma Watch
10:28 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Lawmaker: Budget Negotiators Could See Agreement This Week

Credit Serge Melki / Flickr

The House, Senate and the governor's office are said to be close to an agreement on the FY 2016 state budget, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee said Monday.

State Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, said he hoped to have an agreement by Friday.

"We're not millions of dollars apart," Sears said. "The differences are small; a million here, a million there...There's still a lot more work to do."

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StateImpact Oklahoma
9:50 am
Tue May 5, 2015

StateImpact On OETA: Why The State’s Official Position On Earthquake Cause Matters

The Oklahoma Geological Survey recently revised its formal position on Oklahoma’s exponential surge in earthquake activity, acknowledging for the first time in a official public statement that most of the seismic activity recently recorded in the state was linked to oil and gas activity.

On the May 1 episode of Oklahoma News Report, Joe Wertz talked with OETA host Dick Pryor about the earthquake situation and what the formal acknowledgement means for the state going forward, and also detailed efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey to forecast the hazard posed by oil and gas-related earthquakes.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Tue May 5, 2015

ISIS Claims Credit For Shooting In Garland, Texas

An FBI crime scene investigator documents evidence outside the Curtis Culwell Center on Monday in Garland, Texas.
Brandon Wade AP

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 10:05 am

The self-declared Islamic State is taking credit for a thwarted attack on a contest to draw the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas.

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Music Interviews
5:23 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Willie Nelson: 'Ain't Many Of Us Left'

In his new memoir, It's A Long Story, Willie Nelson writes about his early career as a DJ in Fort Worth. He can still recite what he'd say on the air.
David McClister Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 8:14 am

The first thing you notice when you get on Willie Nelson's tour bus is a pungent aroma. Parked outside a gigantic casino and performance venue in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson offers NPR's David Greene a joint, which Greene declines. Nelson says he understands.

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Oklahoma News
4:46 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Fallin Signs Bill Allowing Judicial Discretion For Some Nonviolent Crimes

Credit Wesley Fryer /

Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation Monday allowing judicial discretion for a number of nonviolent crimes.

House Bill 1518, known as the Justice Safety Valve Act, permits judges to lessen mandatory minimum sentences when the term is “not necessary for the protection of the public” and could “result in substantial injustice to the defendant.”  

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