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A state senator who says he was trying to protect law enforcement has instead come under fire from people who think he's trying to ban hoodies in Oklahoma.

State Senator Don Barrington proposed SB0013. KGOU reported the story on January 4th. 

Other stories about it were featured on Jan. 3rd by the Huffington Post among others, and discussed by the Fox News Channel. The stories in various media suggested that “(W)earing a hoodie in Oklahoma could soon cost you a $500 fine.” 

As KGOU’s story noted, Barrington's bill doesn't mention hoodies, but would make it illegal for someone to conceal his or her identity in public by using a "robe, mask, or other disguise.”

The AP says the language would amend a section of law originally targeting the Ku Klux Klan. The proposed legislation adds a new paragraph to State Statute 21-1301, making it illegal to "intentionally conceal his or her identity in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise.”

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Several Republican Oklahoma legislators are criticizing Attorney General Scott Pruitt for his decision to join Nebraska in a lawsuit against Colorado over that state's legalization of marijuana.

A group of seven GOP legislators wrote to Pruitt, also a Republican, voicing their concern over the lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Colorado's legalization of marijuana unconstitutional.

Owasso Republican Rep. Mike Ritze says his concern is not about marijuana, but about the right of states to "govern themselves as they see fit."

Michael Coghlan

The state medical examiner's office says the death of an inmate last month at the Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville was due to strangulation.

Office spokeswoman Amy Elliott says the Dec. 2 death of 28-year-old Eric Grimm has been ruled a homicide.

It's the second strangulation at the private prison, following that of 22-year-old Tony Czernicki who was found strangled in his cell in October. Both inmates had cellmates.

Prison officials say they don't believe the two deaths are related.

Journal Record

An Oklahoma City-based natural gas exploration and production company says it will merge two affiliates to form one of the largest energy companies in Appalachia.

American Energy Partners LP said Monday that American Energy-Utica LLC and American Energy-Marcellus LLC will merge with more than 300,000 acres in the natural gas-rich Utica and Marcellus shales in eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia.

The new company, American Energy Appalachia Holdings LLC, will be wholly owned by current shareholders of the two American Energy affiliates.

The December 30, 2014 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor for Oklahoma.
U.S. Drought Monitor

The drought in southwest Oklahoma has lingered for more than four years now, and it will take more than a wet end to 2014 to stop it — a lot more.

Despite receiving above average December precipitation, the City of Duncan will ban all outdoor watering beginning next week. That’s because water levels in Waurika Lake, Duncan’s only current drinking water source, continue to drop.

OETA Managing Editor and Deputy Director Dick Pryor discuss the importance and preservation of American Indian culture in Oklahoma, with:

OETA Deputy Director and Managing Editor Dick Pryor discusses the top stories and the best and the worst of 2014 and look ahead to 2015.

Winter has arrived in the United States: Over the next day or so, the jet stream will dip and bring some bone-chilling temperatures to a huge swath of the country.

Meteorologists at the Weather Channel say the winter storm will "bring a swath of snow more than 2,000 miles long from the Cascades and Northern Rockies across the Midwest and into the Northeast through Tuesday."

Guthrie National Bank. Rushed to completion in the summer of 1889, the Guthrie National Bank Building was the first brick structure built in what became Oklahoma Territory.
Carleta Latham / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma banks were robbed less frequently last year than the year before.

The FBI says there were 43 bank robberies in the state in 2014, a decline from 2013 when there were more than 60 bank robberies in the state.

The Oklahoman reports that the number of bank robberies has fluctuated from year to year. The FBI says that in 2012, there were 22 bank robberies statewide, while in 2011 there were 66. In 2009 and 2010, there were 78 and 44 bank robberies, respectively.

madpoet_one / Flickr Creative Commons

Drug overdoses caused by prescription drug abuse are a growing problem in rural Oklahoma.

The Oklahoman reports that while most overdoses occur in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties, rural counties in the state represent a growing segment of the prescription drug epidemic.

Craig County in northeastern Oklahoma has been the worst in the state in recent years in terms of drug overdoses, both fatal and nonfatal. For the past two years in which information is available, Craig County has posted the highest overdose rates per 10,000 residents in Oklahoma.

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