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Former state Sen. Al McAffrey (left center) poses with his partner, David Stinson, and other supporters as they take a group photo during his August 23, 2016 night watch party for run-off election in the Democratic race for the 5th Congressional District.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

McAffrey Wins 5th District Democratic Race; Norman Stormwater Proposal Defeated

Voters across Oklahoma headed to the polls Tuesday to decide which Democratic candidate would represent the 5th Congressional District in this fall’s general election. There were also just over a dozen state legislative nominations up for grabs, as well as local and municipal propositions. Updated 9:32 p.m. Former Democratic state Sen. Al McAffrey will get another crack at Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Russell this fall in a rematch of the 2014 general election for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional...
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Black vulture
KELLY COLGAN AZAR / Flickr (CC-BY-ND 2.0)

This is the centennial year of the Migratory Bird Treaty. The compact between the United States and Canada assures many birds can travel undisturbed, but the international agreement protects one species that’s a menace to Oklahoma farmers and ranchers.

Hated, But Protected

Frank Lawrence is sick of the black vultures he’s been dealing with his entire life as a rancher in southeast Oklahoma.

empty classroom
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Leaders of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration are supporting a legal challenge filed in the state Supreme Court this week by Oklahoma City attorney David Slane.

Jimmy Hendershot, owner of 23rd Street Vapes in Oklahoma City, said he would consider converting his business to serve medical marijuana clients if the petition gets on the ballot and is approved.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The group Oklahomans for Health still needs several thousand signatures for its medical marijuana initiative petition by Thursday afternoon's deadline.

While the group has been collecting signatures, others have been thinking about how pot could be big business here, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

Attorney David Slane talks with media outside the Oklahoma Supreme Court clerk's office, August 9, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Attorney David Slane is suing Gov. Mary Fallin over $140 million in unspent state funds he contends should go to state agencies. Slane filed the lawsuit Tuesday with the Oklahoma Supreme Court on behalf of six clients who receive state services through the Department of Human Services.

Sgt. Rob Gallavan loads his department-issued rifle into his patrol car trunk on Aug. 1, 2016
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

A string of violent attacks across the country has many cops on high alert. And now, some departments are arming officers with more powerful gear. In Oklahoma City, that means police can soon start carrying personally owned rifles on duty, a decision that’s leading the department to find a balance between gearing up and preserving community relations.

'No longer rare'

It’s police sergeant Rob Gallavan’s day off. There’s a large black bag sitting on his kitchen table. He unzips it and casually removes a solid black, department-issued firearm.

Call specialists answer HeartLine Inc.’s various helplines inside the organization’s call center in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Two Oklahoma non-profits are struggling to determine how to maintain the state’s social services hotline due to budget shortfalls.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services cut all of the fund for the state's 211 call-in system.

The Norman Public Schools' administrative offices.
Jennifer Palmer / Oklahoma Watch

Parents upset over the axing of a Norman Public Schools language program are driving an effort to create what could be the state’s second charter school allowed outside Oklahoma City and Tulsa under a new law.

A group of parents is asking the district to sponsor the school, which would continue the mission of a French immersion program that was eliminated in the spring at Reagan Elementary School to save the district $400,000. The charter school, Le Monde International School, also would offer Spanish immersion.

The Chickasaw National Recreation Area in south-central Oklahoma is not a national park — but it used to be. And the story of what happened illustrates a changing view of what national parks are for.

For over a century, the area's mineral-rich springs have been a gathering point for locals, travelers and tribes that were forcibly relocated to land that later became Oklahoma, says Debbie Sharp, president of the Friends of Chickasaw National Recreation Area, a nonprofit group.

Randy Ross is executive director of the Oklahoma Accountancy Board.q
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that dentists on North Carolina's licensing board illegally suppressed competitors.

In Oklahoma, licensing board members are appointed by government officials, and state agencies have to get legislative approval to change their rules.

The United States' Ryan Murphy, right, and bronze medalist David Plummer celebrate with their medals after the men's 100-meter backstroke at the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Monday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Lee Jin-man / AP

Oklahoma City native and Westmoore High School graduate David Plummer won the bronze medal in the men’s 100 meter backstroke final Monday night at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

His teammate Ryan Murphy gave the United States its sixth straight gold medal in the event with an Olympic record-setting time of 51. 97 seconds. China's Xu Jiayu captured the silver medal with a time of 52.31 seconds, and Plummer took the bronze in 52.4 seconds, just .03 seconds ahead of fourth-place finisher Mitch Larkin from Australia.

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