A disposal well in northwestern Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oil Companies Shut Down Wells Near Earthquake Swarm

After a swarm of earthquakes recorded near the town of Crescent, which peaked with a 4.5-magnitude temblor on Monday, state regulators asked a pair of oil companies to limit activity at three nearby disposal wells. Monday’s quake caused light damage. Multiple people reported feeling it in Arkansas, more than 400 miles away Oklahoma City’s Devon Energy Production and Arkansas-based Stephens Energy Group agreed to shut down the two wells nearest the shaking. Stephens also agreed to cut by half...
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Contractors discovered chalk drawings and lessons on blackboards in Emerson High School, dating to 1917.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Updated July 21, 7:40 a.m.: The Oklahoma City Public School Board voted without discussion during its board meeting to temporarily cover up the century-old chalkboards at Emerson Alternative School so renovations at the site can continue.

The drawings from 1917 were discovered last month, and school officials want to find a way to preserve them. The cover-up approved Tuesday night is expected to cost about $26,000.

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In a speech last week, President Obama made a case for overhauling the criminal justice system.

"Mass incarceration makes our country worse off, and we need to do something about it," he said.

Then he took his message to the people his proposals could affect most. On Thursday, he met with six inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla. — all convicted of nonviolent drug offenses — and became the first sitting president to ever visit a federal prison.

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

A grand jury will begin investigating allegations of wrongdoing against the Tulsa County sheriff's office, which came under scrutiny after a reserve deputy shot and killed an unarmed and restrained suspect in April.

Among the accusations that the grand jury is expected to consider after convening Monday is whether Sheriff Stanley Glanz gave special treatment to the reserve deputy, Robert Bates, who was Glanz's close friend and had served as his campaign manager in 2012.

Law Enforcement Seizures Misspent, Missing

Jul 18, 2015
Oklahoma state senator Kyle Loveless.
Oklahoma Senate

Funds and property seized by Oklahoma law enforcement agencies have gone missing or have been used for personal or other improper purposes, state audit records reveal.

Among the violations were using seized money to pay on a prosecutor’s student loans and allowing a prosecutor to live rent-free in a confiscated house for years, records show.

Copies of Gov. Mary Fallin's 2015-34 & 2015-35 executive orders
Jim Johnson / KGOU

After a deadly shooting at a military installation in Tennessee, Gov. Mary Fallin is authorizing the state's adjutant general to arm full-time Oklahoma National Guardsmen at military facilities in Oklahoma.

Fallin issued an executive order on Friday granting Maj. Gen. Robbie Asher the authority to arm National Guard soldiers and airmen with whatever weaponry he deems necessary to adequately provide for their safety and security.

An American Energy Woodford well near Perkins, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma oil and gas authorities are expanding regulations on disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state. The orders, known as directives, were issued this week and broaden restrictions issued nearly four months ago.

Kenneth Gyang grew up in Nigeria, watching action films starring people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan. But the narrative style of directors like Quentin Tarantino and Alejandro González Iñárritu convinced him to make a career out of it, and profoundly influenced his storytelling.

A motorist drives by a police barricade placed along Sheridan Avenue in downtown Oklahoma City in advance of a visit from President Barack Obama Wednesday.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

President Obama’s visit to Oklahoma dominated the news cycle this week, and basically shut down small portions of downtown Oklahoma City, Durant, Interstate 40 – pretty much anywhere inside a one-block radius of the president.

The White House provided only a six day heads up Obama was headed to Oklahoma, and that caused some rapid rearrangement of events in the area, according to The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt:

U.S. Sen. James Lankford speaking on the Senate floor July 16 about ending taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood in light of a recent undercover video.
YouTube

U.S. Sen. James Lankford delivered a speech on the chamber's floor Thursday calling on Congress to end taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood.

The remarks came in response to the release of an undercover video made by anti-abortion activists. It shows the organization's senior director of medical services discussing procedures for providing fetal body parts to researchers.

Lightning strikes have killed at least 20 people in the U.S. so far this year, according to the National Weather Service. That's higher than the average for recent years, the service says.

Most people who are injured or killed by lightning, it turns out, are not struck directly — instead, the bolt lands nearby.

That's what happened to Steve Marshburn in 1969. He was working inside a bank and says lightning somehow made its way through an ungrounded speaker at the drive-through window to the stool where he was sitting.

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