StateImpact Oklahoma
7:04 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Dust Bowl Survivors Gather At Oklahoma Capitol To Mark 80 Years Since ‘Black Sunday’

Dust Bowl survivor Pauline Hodges traveled to the Oklahoma Capitol to speak at an event commemorating the 80th anniversary of the "Black Sunday" dust storm.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

On April 14, 1935, a rolling mountain of dust and sand swept through Oklahoma, choked out the sun and filled homes with dirt piles so high residents had to clean their homes with shovels.

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon near the town of Forgan in Oklahoma’s Panhandle. Pauline Hodges was five at the time. She and her mother were visiting a neighbor when her friend’s father ran up to the backdoor.

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Oklahoma News
5:26 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Attorney General Scott Pruitt Says He Will Protect Citizens Distributing Bibles At Schools

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt
Credit Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt / Facebook

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says religious freedoms are under attack in Oklahoma and he's telling public school districts across the state he's ready to protect them for allowing citizens to distribute Bibles in schools.

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Oklahoma News
3:52 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio To Speak In OKC At GOP Conference In May

Marco Rubio speaking at CPAC 2014 in Washington, DC.
Credit wikipedia.org

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is the latest 2016 presidential candidate to announce plans to attend the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City next month.

Oklahoma Republican Party officials confirmed Tuesday that Rubio will join several other potential GOP presidential contenders, including, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

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Here & Now
1:27 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Police Weapon Use Under Fire, As More Videos Emerge

A video released by police shows North Charleston officer Michael Slager using a taser on the motorist after he had been pinned to the ground. (Screenshot)

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 3:02 pm

Bob Bates, the 73-year-old reserve police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who fatally shot a man after police say he confused his gun for his taser, now faces a second-degree manslaughter charge.

Meanwhile, in North Charleston, South Carolina, more video has surfaced showing another violent arrest by officer Michael Slager. Slager is being charged with murder after fatally shooting an unarmed motorist who tried to flee a traffic stop.

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Oklahoma News
1:06 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Tulsa Reserve Sheriff's Deputy Turns Himself In To Face Manslaughter Charges

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

Updated 4/14, 12:56 p.m.: Bates turns himself in

An Oklahoma reserve sheriff's deputy charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a man who was subdued on the ground has surrendered to authorities.

Robert Bates turned himself in Tuesday morning at the Tulsa County Jail. The 73-year-old insurance executive was charged with second-degree manslaughter Monday in the April 2 shooting.

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Code Switch
10:28 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Some Key Facts We've Learned About Police Shootings Over The Past Year

Makeshift memorials to Walter Scott sprouted up at the scene of his fatal encounter with Michael Slager, the police officer who shot him in the back as he ran away following a routine traffic stop.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 10:25 am

We've done a lot of writing and reporting at Code Switch over the past year on deadly police shootings of unarmed black people, cases that have become such a part of our landscape that they have a tendency to melt into each other. Indeed, sometimes the pattern of facts seems to barely change: Just last fall, we followed the story of an unarmed black man in South Carolina who was shot following a police traffic stop.

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OKC Bombing: 20 Years Later
8:05 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Oklahoma City University Theatre Students Portray Murrah Bombing Survivors In New Play

Michelle Roselle (right) is a senior at Oklahoma City University and portrays Oklahoma City bombing survivor Florence Rogers (left) in "The 20th Anniversary Oklahoma City Bombing Project," a play from Oklahoma City University’s School of Theatre.
Rachel Hubbard Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this story, Michelle Roselle's opening monologue was misidentified as portraying Florence Rogers instead of Jenifer Reynolds. 

Everyone remembers exactly where they were when they found out about the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building on April 19, 1995. It’s a moment frozen in time.

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Oklahoma News
5:37 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Gov. Fallin Signs Bill Banning Abortions That Dismember A Fetus

Gov. Mary Fallin
Credit facebook.com

Oklahoma has become the second state to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed the legislation Monday after it was overwhelmingly approved by the House and Senate.

The abortion measure prohibits doctors from using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a live fetus to remove it from the womb in pieces. Such instruments are used in dilation and evacuation procedures performed in the second trimester.

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Oklahoma News
4:35 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Oklahoma House Files Legal Notice On American Indian Museum

American Indian Cultural Center And Museum

The Oklahoma House is advertising a legal notice of plans to complete or transfer ownership of the unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum to the city of Oklahoma City.

Republican House Speaker Jeff Hickman said Monday that no legislation has been filed to address the museum. He says the House is required to advertise the notice for four weeks to move forward with any option for the museum before the Legislature must adjourn on May 29.

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Here & Now
1:59 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Police Video Shows Killing Of Black Oklahoma Suspect

In this frame from the video released by police, Eric Harris is held down after being shot by reserve deputy Robert Bates.

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 2:49 pm

A man can be heard apologizing and admitting to shooting a man in a video released at the weekend that documents the killing of a black suspect by a white reserve sheriff’s deputy in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Police have said that the 73-year-old Tulsa County reserve deputy Robert Bates thought he was holding a stun gun, not his handgun, when he fired at 44-year-old Eric Harris in the April 2 incident.

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