Groundwater pumping for agricultural irrigation is likely responsible for substantial depletions of the Ogallala Aquifer, which underlies 175,000 square miles in Oklahoma and seven other states, a report by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests.
General Revenue Fund collections for fiscal year 2016 are forecast to increase, tripping the trigger for an individual income tax rate cut in calendar year 2016, Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger announced Wednesday.
Total revenue available for appropriations for the next fiscal year, however, is forecast to decline by nearly $300 million, he said.
Under Senate Bill 1246, which lawmakers approved during the 2014 legislative session and Gov. Mary Fallin signed, the state’s top personal income tax rate will drop from 5.25 percent to 5.0 percent beginning Jan. 1, 2016 if the FY2016 General Revenue Fund estimate made by the Board of Equalization at its meeting Thursday is equal to or greater than the FY2014 estimate approved in February 2013.
According to the estimate to be presented to the board Thursday, the FY2016 estimate will be $60.7 million more than the FY2014 estimate.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality says a gauge containing radioactive material has been stolen from the parking lot of an Oklahoma City hotel near Interstate 40.
The gauge is called a Humboldt Scientific 5001 EZ and is used to measure the moisture content and density of construction materials. It is not considered a health risk to humans unless it's opened and DEQ spokeswoman Skylar McElhaney said Wednesday that it would be difficult to open for a person unfamiliar with it.
Prosecutors are dropping a terrorism hoax charge against a former Oklahoma City nursing home employee who told his co-worker that he was going to cut off her head.
An Oklahoma County judge dismissed the felony charge Monday at the request of prosecutors.
District Attorney David Prater tells The Oklahoman the charge was withdrawn because the credibility of the co-worker came into question. Other witnesses at the nursing home said the ex-employee was clearly joking.
A doctor who examined the body of an Oklahoma inmate who died during a botched execution says he is convinced the man suffered after being declared unconscious.
A pathologist hired by the inmate's lawyer told a federal judge Wednesday that recently released witness statements corroborate his belief that Clayton Lockett was conscious when given drugs to stop his heart and breathing. A witness for the state said it didn't appear Lockett was uncomfortable or suffering.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says the October death of inmate at the Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville was due to strangulation.
The department says the state medical examiner's office determined the cause of death of 22-year-old Tory Czernecki. The department says Czernecki died Oct. 26 after being assaulted in his cell by his cellmate.
The cellmate has not been charged, but Hughes County District Attorney Chris Ross told The Oklahoman that unspecified charges are expected.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:41 pm
Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET
President Obama announced today the most significant change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in more than 50 years, paving the way for the normalization of relations and the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana.
Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."