Weather and Climate
9:04 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Flash Flood Watch -- 10pm Tuesday to Wednesday

National Weather Service currently thinking in terms of total rainfall amounts tonight through Thursday night.
Credit National Weather Service/Norman Forecast Office / Facebook

The National Weather Service Norman office warns that the heavy rain and flash flooding threat will increase late tonight into Wednesday, especially over northwestern and central Oklahoma.

Rainfall rates may exceed 1 inch per hour for several hours, even with little to no thunder.

A flash flood watch is effective after 10 PM tonight for northern and central Oklahoma. Until then an area of mostly light rain will affect parts of northwest and central and southern Oklahoma.

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Gas Prices
8:23 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Gas Prices Continue Downward Side In Oklahoma

Credit gnokii / Google Creative Commons

AAA Oklahoma says gas prices continue to drop in the state as demand nationwide drops below 9 million barrels per day.

On Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.30 in Oklahoma. That's down 22 cents over the past month. The agency says only four states have a lower statewide average than Oklahoma, led by South Carolina's average of $3.26 per gallon.

AAA Oklahoma says Tuesday's gas prices are the lowest average the state has seen since February.

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Oklahoma News
7:26 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Trentadue Claims Tampering In Case Over Bombing Videos

The Oklahoma City Memorial.
Credit debaird / Flickr.com

A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing says one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last week.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Utah attorney Jesse Trentadue made the accusation Tuesday to U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups during the second day of the trial.

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A Tax Increase?
7:18 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Supreme Court Referee Hears Challenge On Taxes For Oil and Gas Drilling

Retired Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent.
Credit Brent Fuchs/Journal Record

Earlier today, a State Supreme Court referee heard a lawsuit over a recently signed bill that was written to lower taxes for oil and gas drilling. The outcome of the constitutional challenge could go well beyond Oklahoma’s oil field.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent filed the lawsuit in June.

He argues the oil and gas tax bill is invalid because the Legislature ignored extra procedural burdens voters in the ‘90s placed on “revenue bills.” 

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Oklahoma Corrections Department
7:12 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Audit Of Oklahoma Corrections Department Recommends More Oversight

Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones
Credit State Auditor's Office

A recent audit of Oklahoma's prison system recommends more financial oversight from the governing board and a closer look at the increasing cost of health care.

The performance audit released Tuesday by State Auditor Gary Jones was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin following the resignation of former Department of Corrections Director Justin Jones.

The audit includes 10 recommendations to help the department reduce costs and better manage its inmate population. Among the recommendations is the creation of an audit committee to help the board ensure financial accountability.

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From Maine to Oklahoma
6:10 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Issue Of Illegal Immigrant Children Being Raised In Governor's Races Country Wide

Credit Joseph Nicolia / Flickr.com

The federal government has placed as many as 30,000 minors who have crossed the border illegally with sponsors across the country this year, spurring a wide range of reactions from governors, many of whom are up for re-election this fall.

The issue has dominated gubernatorial races in some Mexican border states, like Arizona, but it has also spilled into political races in states like Maine, where Republican Gov. Paul LePage faces a tough re-election fight in a three-person battle.

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Fallin Fundraiser
4:25 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Gov. Chris Christie Will Finally Make It To Oklahoma For Fundraiser

Credit IowaPolitics.com / Flickr.com

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning a return trip to Oklahoma after a December ice storm forced him to cancel a scheduled appearance with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.

The potential 2016 presidential candidate is expected to join Fallin and several executives with independent oil giant Devon Energy for private fundraiser in Oklahoma City Aug. 20 for the Republican Governors Association. The suggested contribution is $25,000.

Christie currently is the chairman of the RGA.

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Wildlife Protection
1:23 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Bridge Construction Halted To Protect Threatened Catfish

Credit Michael Khor / Flickr Creative Commons

Work on a $5.8 million bridge project has stopped after federal officials told an Oklahoma county that its construction method could harm a threatened fish species.

The Miami News-Record reports the Ottawa County Commission says work has been halted on the Stepps Ford bridge near Commerce.

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Open Records
10:06 am
Tue July 29, 2014

City Must Pay Law Firm In Oklahoma Dash-Cam Case

Credit Serge Melki / Flickr Creative Commons

An Oklahoma judge has ruled the city of Claremore owes a law firm more than $41,000 in a public records case relating to dashboard camera video.

A state appeals court ruled in 2013 the videos are public records. The Oklahoma Supreme Court declined later that year to hear an appeal by Claremore officials. The state's highest court also ordered the city to pay attorney's fees as determined by a trial court.

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Energy
9:19 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Inside The State Supreme Court Hearing On Lawsuit Over Oil And Gas Tax Rate

A lawsuit over recently signed legislation that changes state oil and gas tax rates will be heard by the Oklahoma Supreme Court today, a constitutional challenge that could have broad impact on industry and legislative procedure.

I broke down the lawsuit on an Oklahoma News Report segment with OETA’s Dick Pryor, which you can watch above. But there are five things you need to know about today’s hearing, which could hinge on legal subtleties and word interpretations.

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