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Cops, Communities Work Together To Address Use Of Force Issues

Oklahoma police have shot and killed more people per capita this year than any other state in the nation. In Oklahoma City, fatal officer-involved shootings are on the rise as well, and that’s causing some to question officer training. In July, four Oklahoma City police officers arrived at a house in the northeast part of the city. They were looking for Andre Williams. Williams was a registered sex offender with a lengthy record, and he had allegedly just raped a woman. When the four cops...
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Kelly Freeman at home with her 7-year-old son while he assembles a puzzle.  The Freemans say their son still feels traumatized after being handcuffed at a Jenks school last school year.
Nate Robson / Oklahoma Watch

In Jenks Public Schools, campus police physically restrained and handcuffed a second-grade special education student.

His crime? He ran to the playground to escape a noisy classroom.

At Tulsa Public Schools, officials called a father and told him to pick up his 6-year-old daughter, who was having an emotional meltdown. He arrived to find four armed campus police officers holding her down, saying she assaulted one of them.

photo of slot machine
Frank Bonilla / Flickr

Leaders with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation are working to address an $18 million shortfall in the tribe's gaming budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

Principal Chief George Tiger addressed members of the tribe's National Council during an emergency meeting Thursday night. Tiger says he hopes the council takes the issue seriously because a budget must be approved before the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Medicinal marijuana in container.
Dank Depot / Flickr Creative Commons

A group seeking to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma has taken the first step toward putting the issue to a vote of the people in 2016.

Isaac Caviness with the group Green the Vote filed paperwork Friday with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's Office indicating their plans to have the question placed on the ballot.

Once the proposed language is approved, the group will have 90 days to gather about 124,000 signatures in order to qualify the state question.

police sirens
Highway Patrol Images / Flickr

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says a man on probation who disappeared after disabling his monitoring device has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a police chase through rural Pontotoc County.

Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins says 42-year-old Johnnie Lewis Hawkins II apparently shot himself in the head Friday after authorities disabled the stolen vehicle he was driving.

United States President Barack Obama meets with Stephen Harper in Ottawa.
Pete Souza / The White House

In the international arena, social dynamics and shared identities are as important in shaping relationships as they are among individuals.

“We can think about identities as shared systems of meaning that we use to interpret the world because the world is very chaotic, very messy,” says Georgia Institute of Technology political scientist Jarrod Hayes.

These shared systems of meaning are not only important in how we interact on an individual level, but also have a significant impact in international relations.

From right: US Attorney Danny Williams, Special Agent in Charge Madie Branch with the Dallas IRS office, FBI Special Agent in Charge Scott Cruse with the Oklahoma City office, OSBI Director Stan Florence.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Tulsa announced Thursday formal federal criminal charges have been filed against State Sen. Rick Brinkley (R-Owasso). He also resigned his Senate seat, effective immediately.

Brinkley pleaded guilty to six federal charges Thursday morning, admitting to taking more than $1.8 million from the Tulsa Better Business Bureau when he served as its director. He was fired last spring from that post.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma City covers more than 600 square miles, and completely surrounds several communities. That can lead to lost or delayed revenue, which is becoming even more problematic with the rise of so-called “gig economy” businesses like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, Oklahoma City’s assistant treasurer Matt Boggs said Oklahoma City recapture $1.1 million in lost revenue during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

It wasn't all in your head — last month was hotter than ever before.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report that July had the highest average temperatures in records since 1880.

And it's not just in the U.S. Average July temperatures around the world set heat records too, NPR's Kat Chow reports.

She tells our Newscast unit that:

"This confirms what NASA and a Japanese agency found using separate data.

A scene from 1967's "Son of Godzilla."
Toho / Sony Pictures

This year’s El Niño might be the strongest ever. The phenomenon — marked by unusually warm waters in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America — means more precipitation could be on the way for Oklahoma. The state’s wheat farmers are hopeful, but know too much rain at the wrong time can be ruinous.

Mike Rosen runs a grain elevator near Kingfisher. He says Oklahoma’s wheat farmers can’t seem to catch a break.

Former President Jimmy Carter said he and his wife, Rosalynn, are going to "cut back dramatically" on their public schedule as he begins radiation therapy later today.

During a press conference in Atlanta, Carter said doctors found melanoma that had spread to his liver and his brain. Ninety-eight percent of that kind of cancer first shows up on the skin, he said. Two percent develops first inside the body.

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