futureatlas.com / Flickr.com

Missouri is the first state in more than five years to have a statewide average gas price of below $2 a gallon, and Oklahoma was expected to get there by the weekend.

AAA spokesman Michael Green says the national average price of gas is $2.32 per gallon, the lowest since May 2009. Missouri's average fell below $2 per gallon Friday morning and stood at $1.98 midday.

Green says Oklahoma's average Friday morning was $2.01, while Kansas had the third-lowest average at $2.06.

Kat Masback / Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Department of Health says the death toll due to influenza this season remains at six after no new deaths were recorded in the state during the past week.

State health officials said Friday 70 more people were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms between Dec. 17 and Dec. 22. Since the current flu season began on Sept. 28, a total of 250 people in the state have either been hospitalized or died.

Health officials say all six deaths and more than half of those hospitalized with the flu have been 65 years of age or older.

Shoppers lining up at the Chadstone Shopping Centre just outside Melbourne, Australia - December 26, 2007.
avlxyz / Flickr

The United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries typically celebrate Boxing Day every December 26. The tradition of giving servants and tradespeople a "Christmas box" of food and gifts from their employers dates back to the Middle Ages.

In South Africa, the holiday was officially renamed the Day of Goodwill in 1994. But in other European countries, December 26 is celebrated as "Second Christmas Day" - an entirely different holiday.

Phil's 1st Pix / Flickr.com

An across-the-board pay hike for state troopers is among several new state laws that take effect Jan. 1.

Although most new laws take effect on Nov. 1 or shortly after the governor's signature, about a dozen measures have an effective date that coincides with the calendar year.

The pay raises for troopers will average between 14 and 20 percent and cost the state about $8.5 million when fully annualized. A starting trooper who currently makes about $38,000 will see his or her pay boosted to more than $43,000 under the bill.

U.S.G.S. National Earthquake Information Center

Two earthquakes have rattled parts of central Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 3.8 earthquake struck in Logan County at about 2.30 p.m. on Christmas Day about three miles south of Guthrie and 30 miles north of Oklahoma City.

Less than three hours later, a 3.7 magnitude earthquake struck about 15 miles east-northeast of Perry in Noble County, about 60 miles north of Oklahoma City. The survey says the quake was recorded at 5:11 p.m.

Authorities say no injuries or damage has been reported following the temblor.

Courtroom entrance.
Serge Melki

Tougher requirements could soon arrive interpreters inside Oklahoma's courtrooms.

The Tulsa World reported Friday that several current interpreters are seeking stronger guidelines from the state Supreme Court.

Sebastian Lantos of the Oklahoma Board of Courtroom Interpreters has wanted a change for more than a decade. He says unqualified people can derail the judicial process, even if they don't mean to.

Grimilda Sanchez (October 1990) installing the sign that indicates the location of the mass grave that was discovered 15 kilometers from Calama on July 19, 1990
Paula Allen

On Christmas Day in 1989, photographer Paula Allen took a 26-hour bus ride to the remote city of Calama in northern Chile, and walked into one of the most hostile deserts on Earth. The half-dozen women she traveled with spread hundreds of red carnations across the floor of the Atacama Desert to honor 26 men likely buried beneath the sand.

Sony Pictures' The Interview, the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, will be shown on streaming services starting today, the studio said in a statement.

Starting at 10 a.m. PST, the comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco will be available to rent in HD on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and a dedicated website at a price of $5.99. The film can also be bought in HD for $14.99, the statement said.

A 5 million-pound dome placed atop the Oklahoma Capitol 12 years ago already is exhibiting cracking in its exterior cast stone panels, but building officials say there are no structural problems or evidence of weakness in the dome's supports.

According to an engineering report on the building's exterior, about 10 percent of the cast stone units on the dome's exterior show signs of cracking. Most of the cracks occur at the base of the dome.

rutio / Flickr.com

Oklahoma lawmakers could bring home a smaller paycheck, work less and even see their numbers cut by a third under a few of the measures that have been filed ahead of the 2015 legislative session.

Nearly 70 measures have been filed so far in the Senate, with another handful in the House, but already legislators are coming up with some quirky and unusual ideas.

Republican Sen. Patrick Anderson of Enid has introduced a measure that would allow the people of Oklahoma decide whether to abolish the Senate altogether and change the Legislature to a single, 101-member body.

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