Tulsa County Sheriff's reserve deputy Robert Bates enters the Tulsa County Jail Tuesday.
Matt Trotter / KWGS Public Radio Tulsa

Oklahoma State Bureau Of Investigation Opens Probe Into Tulsa County Sheriff's Office

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced Monday morning it's opened an investigation into allegations of misconduct in the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. The move comes nearly two months after the shooting of a restrained suspect by a volunteer deputy. Eric Harris died when Robert Bates shot him after reportedly confusing his service revolver with his stun gun. The OSBI said in a news release that was also posted on social media it formally opened the investigation Friday after it...
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Flooding along 36th Ave. NW and Telephone Road between Indian Hills Road and SW 34th Street at the border between Norman and Moore.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Governor Mary Fallin is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency for federal funding to help repair damage in 16 counties caused by recent tornadoes and flooding.

Fallin said in a news release Friday that the request is to help municipalities, counties and rural electric cooperatives with infrastructure repairs, debris removal and costs associated with responding to the storms that began May 5.

Officials are warning of more rain this weekend in Texas and Oklahoma, compounding severe flooding in the region that began last weekend and has been blamed for the deaths of at least 28 people.

Forecasters warn that the Colorado River at Wharton, Texas, could crest today, causing major flooding in that area. It is the wettest May on record for the state.

Meanwhile, volunteers searched the banks of the Blanco River in Central Texas, searching for people missing days after a vacation house was swept away, according to The Associated Press.

U.S Drought Monitor as of May 29, 2015
U.S. Drought Monitor

Given the choice between the crippling drought of the past nearly 5 years and the ongoing threat of flooding Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are currently dealing with, Chris Kirby with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission says she’ll take the rain every time.

“I’ve heard some people say, ‘well, I don’t want to complain about the rain, because the last time I did, it quit raining for six years,” Kirby tells StateImpact.

Chancellor for Higher Education Glen Johnson
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education approved a variety of measures during a meeting Friday with little discussion.

Among those measures was the approval of $963.4 million in state appropriations allocated by the state legislature and expected to be approved by Governor Mary Fallin.

The proposed appropriation total would represent a 2.4 percent cut from higher education's previous fiscal year.

Considering most state agencies saw larger percentage cuts, Chancellor Glen Johnson said he is thankful for what they were received.

Hofmeister's Education Goals Pushed To Next Year

May 30, 2015
Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma State Schools Superintendent
Provided

Oklahoma education had two big tickets this legislative session -- teacher pay raises and testing relief -- but bills addressing either one of those failed to make it out this legislative session.

Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said Wednesday that while interest was high to do something to alleviate mandatory testing on Oklahoma students, any measure attempting to so do “stalled out.”

She said “time ran out” for further discussions but promised that next legislative session she would “solve what couldn’t be solved” this year. 

Schlüsselbein2007 / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker have signed a compact authorizing bulk purchases of Oklahoma hunting and fishing licenses for members of the tribe.

Under the new compact, the Cherokee Nation is expected to purchase more than 150,000 licenses from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for Oklahoma-based tribal citizens over the age of 16. The agreement is expected to generate up to $4 million for the state to be dedicated to wildlife conservation efforts.

A rendering of the pop culture museum in Tulsa.
OKPOP

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill to approve a $25 million state bond issue to pay for the construction of a museum of popular culture in Tulsa.

The Republican governor signed the bill on Friday despite opposition from some conservative groups who argue operating museums is not a core function of state government.

The plan for the museum, nicknamed OKPOP, calls for the construction of an adjacent parking garage, which will generate revenue to help with the cost of museum operations.

Tammy Mix's sons play on the sidewalk as a drilling rig peeks above the tree line behind her Stillwater home.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma cities and counties would no longer be able to ban hydraulic fracturing - a process commonly called fracking - or other oil and gas operations within their boundaries under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Fallin on Friday signed the bill that was supported by the oil and gas industry, but fiercely opposed by municipalities and environmental groups.

The number of people who died because of storms that have inundated parts of Texas and Oklahoma this week has hit 25 people, after search crews found a drowned truck driver whose vehicle had overturned in a culvert near Dallas.

That's the word from member station KERA, where Lauren Silverman reports that a new batch of storms that hit Dallas-Fort Worth "dumped three to seven inches of rain on an already over-saturated area" Thursday night.

All that water created treacherous conditions for Friday morning's commute; widespread and serious delays were reported.

The Euphronios krater, repatriated to Italy by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 2006.
Jaime Ardiles-Arce / Wikimedia Commons

Last week, 25 stolen archaeological artifacts – some dating back to the first century – were repatriated to Italy. Italy’s Division for the Protection of Cultural Heritage worked in cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit to track down and return the items, which had been sold to museums, auction houses, and private collectors throughout the United States.

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