Four Year Custody Dispute
11:02 am
Thu October 10, 2013

UPDATE: Cherokee Nation, Brown Drop Fight For Veronica

Dusten Brown and now-four-year-old Veronica.
Credit Cherokee Nation

The biological father of a Cherokee girl adopted by a South Carolina couple has dropped his custody claims. 

Dusten Brown and a Cherokee Nation assistant attorney general said Thursday proceedings over 4-year-old Veronica have been dropped in the Oklahoma and Cherokee court systems. Brown and the attorney asked that Matt and Melanie Capobianco of Charleston, S.C., drop a contempt complaint against Brown.

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Woody Guthrie
10:35 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Concert To Benefit Rebuilding Of Woody Guthrie's Okemah Home

Woody Guthrie
Credit Courtesy of the Woody Guthrie Archives.

Singer Kris Kristofferson is scheduled to play a benefit concert in Tulsa to help a project to rebuild folk legend Woody Guthrie's boyhood home.

The concert is Sunday night at the Mabee Center.

Organizers want to raise about $500,000 to rebuild Guthrie's home in Okemah. The rebuild of the property will use original planks of wood salvaged from the site decades ago.

Guthrie, best known for the song "This Land is Your Land," wrote hundreds of folk songs and ballads. His lyrics celebrated American workers, lamented the woes of the poor and advocated for civil rights.

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7:43 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Pettingill Stepping Down As Head Of Oklahoma Highway Patrol

Col. Kerry Pettingill
Credit Oklahoma Dept of Public Safety

The chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is retiring early next year.

Col. Kerry Pettingill says he'll step down Feb. 1, 2014, after serving three years as the agency's chief. Pettingill started off as a trooper with the highway patrol in 1982 and worked his way up to chief.

He is a native of Mangum.

Pettingill has also served as director of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and as commander of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's bomb squad.

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Massive Computer Glitch
4:02 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Oklahoma Education Officials Report To Legislators On Computer Failure

Credit jmeriac /

Oklahoma education officials are briefing legislators on the different tests used to measure student performance in Oklahoma and providing details of a massive computer glitch in April that affected thousands of test taking students in the state.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. John Ford requested the joint House and Senate study to help bring individual members up to speed on what was happening with testing in the state.

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Grand Jury
10:01 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Board Certifies Rogers County Grand Jury Petition

Janice Steidley
Credit Oklahoma District Attorneys Council

The Rogers County Election Board has certified a petition calling for a grand jury to investigate county officials, including District Attorney Janice Steidley.

The board verified 6,994 signatures on the petition turned in last week. Petitioners needed 4,487 verified signatures of registered voters to convene the grand jury.

The Claremore Daily Progress reports the election board spent four days verifying the signatures and eliminated 717 of the 7,711 submitted signatures.

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No Housing Means A Big Commute
6:18 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Affordable Housing In Rural Oklahoma A Must If Economy To Grow

Credit OakleyOriginals /

Business advocates say the lack of affordable housing in rural Oklahoma is stalling growth in the region.

Officials from the Oklahoma Panhandle and other rural areas appeared at the state Capitol Tuesday to discuss the region's housing needs.

Vicky Ayres McCune of the Panhandle Regional Economic Development Coalition says more than 500 people who work in Guymon commute from Texas or Kansas because of a lack of housing in the area.

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640 Laid Off in Oklahoma City
4:58 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Chesapeake's Bad News Tuesday

Credit Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is laying off 800 workers across the company, including 640 at its home base of Oklahoma City.

The company says the Tuesday layoff announcement is necessary to keep the oil and natural gas specialist competitive.

Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler told The Oklahoman that he's working to keep the company vibrant for "decades to come."

About 1,200 people have left jobs with Chesapeake since the start of 2013.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
4:32 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Tulsa Escaping Worst Of Drought, But ‘Abnormally Dry’ Conditions Taking A Toll

Arkansas River near Tulsa, Okla.
Credit OakleyOriginals / Flickr Creative Commons

Tulsa has been spared the worst effects of Oklahoma’s drought, which has been concentrated in western and southwestern regions of the state.

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U.S. Senate
10:34 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Inhofe Recovering From Heart Surgery

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe is recovering in a Tulsa hospital after undergoing an emergency quadruple bypass last week.

The Republican senator, who turns 79 next month, says doctors discovered the massive blockage in his arteries during a routine medical screening. He flew home to Tulsa and underwent the emergency heart surgery Friday at St. John Medical Center.

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10:02 am
Tue October 8, 2013

OKC Zoo Elephant Expecting

Asha and her sister Chandra at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Credit Oklahoma City Zoo

Another baby elephant is expected at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

Officials say Asha, an 18-year-old Asian elephant, is expecting her second baby calf. The zoo used ultrasound images and blood hormone analysis to confirm the happy news, and the zoo estimates that Asha is about 7 months pregnant.

But the baby isn't coming anytime soon. The average gestation for elephants is 22 months, so the big bundle of joy is due sometime around December 2014.

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