Cato Institute attorney Adam Bates testifies at a special hearing on civil asset forfeiture at the state Capitol, Sept. 1, 2015. State Sen. Kyle Loveless is seated to the right.
Ben Fenwick / Oklahoma Watch

Lawmakers, Law Enforcement Debate Civil Asset Forfeiture In Oklahoma City, Tulsa

On Tuesday, separate hearings in Oklahoma City and Tulsa examined civil asset forfeiture, and a bill that would make the practice more difficult to carry out. State Sen. Kyle Loveless has introduced legislation that would prevent the seizure of cash or property unless that person is convicted of a crime. Under current law, police, sheriffs, and state troopers only require evidence or suspicion the assets came from illegal activity. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma's legal...
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The sun hasn't been up long in Kingfisher, Okla., but it already feels like it's burning. Trucks are moving wheat as people try to get their work done early. It looks like business as usual for a hot summer day an hour northwest of Oklahoma City.

Henry Senn, Jim Willms and Bill Stolz come to CHS Plains Partners, the local grain elevator, just about every day to share stories from the good old days and talk about wheat prices.

Jimmy Carter revealed Wednesday that he has cancer. Carter, 90 released a short statement with the news:

"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare. A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."

Savannah Kalman leads the state's effort to reduce the prevalence of suicide.
Ashley Sanchez / Oklahoma Watch

One of the paradoxes of Oklahoma is that as friendly as people are, many Oklahomans sink into despair and take their own lives.

The state has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, ranking 13th among states and the District of Columbia in 2013, according to the latest state-level figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson says he's troubled by some of the actions taken by police at the car dealership where Christian Taylor was fatally shot.
Arlington Police Department / Twitter

The unarmed college football player shot to death by a police officer in a Dallas-Fort Worth suburb has an Oklahoma tie. 19-year-old Christian Taylor was fatally shot by an Arlington police officer who responded to a burglary call at a car dealership Friday morning.

Days after a police officer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area city of Arlington fatally shot a young man at a car dealership, Arlington's police chief says that Officer Brad Miller has been fired.

Protesters are calling for criminal charges and police reforms, citing what they call a pattern of violence. Demonstrators held a rally and a march Monday at which people held placards bearing the names of people who have died at the hands of police. Miller, 49, is white; he shot Christian Taylor, 19, who is black.

Beekeeper Tim McCoy removes a rogue honeybees have from an electrical box in farmland near Weatherford, Okla in this June 2015 photo.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lost a greater percentage of its honeybee colonies than any other state over the last year. On Tuesday, beekeepers, scientists, and farmers gathered at Langston University’s Oklahoma City campus to give their input on a plan to better protect pollinators of all kinds.

Robert Hoefling performs at the Bluebonnet Bar during Norman Music Festival 8 - April 2015
Nathan Poppe / The Oklahoman

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman ruled Tuesday he won't turn his temporary injunction that forbids the Norman Music Festival from banning guns into a permanent order.

Balkman said the legislature is the appropriate place to ban enforcement of no-gun policies at public events, according to The Oklahoman’s Jane Glenn Cannon:

American currency
thinkpanama / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Democratic Party is suing the state Ethics Commission over new agency rules that prohibit any fundraising or distribution of election materials on state-owned property.

Party officials filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court in Oklahoma City, arguing the new rules are an improper restraint on free speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Mark Hammons says the rules already have forced the party to abandon a fundraiser scheduled at Oklahoma City Community College last month.

President Obama's perhaps most notable statement on race came recently in Charleston, S.C. That's where he gave the eulogy for nine African-Americans killed by a white man in a church.

The president has also continued to address the killings of black men at the hands of the police, and he's pushing to reduce the number of prison inmates, who are disproportionately black.

Republican state Sen. Rick Brinkley
Oklahoma Senate

Gov. Mary Fallin has called a special election to replace Republican state Sen. Rick Brinkley, who has announced he will resign at the end of the year. 

The Tulsa World reports that Fallin on Monday scheduled a Nov. 10 primary election for Brinkley's seat in north Tulsa County. A general election will be conducted on Jan. 12. The filing period for candidates is Aug. 31 through Sept. 2.

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