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Oklahoma News
5:16 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Norman Man Booked In Norman High School Rape Case

Credit Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Prosecutors have charged an 18-year-old Oklahoma man with rape in a case that sparked a protest at Norman High School.

Cleveland County prosecutors filed two counts of first-degree rape Tuesday against Tristen Kole Killman-Hardin. Police say he is accused of assaulting a 16-year-old girl who was intoxicated and incapable of giving consent.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn confirmed Tuesday that police were investigating rape allegations by at least two other girls and that additional charges are "an open possibility."

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Reduces Personal Income Tax
1:22 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

OK Supreme Court Rules Income Tax Cut Bill Constitutional

Credit Oklahoma Supreme Court 2013

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says a bill passed by the Legislature this year to reduce Oklahoma's personal income tax rate is constitutional, clearing the way for a tax cut in 2016 if certain revenue conditions are met.

In a decision Tuesday, the state's highest court rejected an Oklahoma City attorney's argument that the income tax cut was a revenue-raising bill that should have originated in the Oklahoma House and received three-fourths approval votes.

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Sports
1:09 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Thunder Says Durant Will Play Tonight In New Orleans

Credit Keith Allison / Flickr.com

Reigning MVP Kevin Durant will return to action Tuesday night in New Orleans against the Pelicans after missing every game so far this season with a broken bone in his right foot.

A team spokesman confirmed the move hours before the game.

Durant played in two preseason games, but had surgery on Oct. 16. Nearly seven weeks later, Durant is ready to return.

Last season, Durant led the league with 32 points per game to claim his fourth scoring title in five years.

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Washington
11:19 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Inhofe: Obama Picks Carter To Lead Pentagon

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, right, speaks with Service members at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2013.
SrA Kayla Newman defenseimagery.mil

Oklahoma's senior Republican senator says President Obama has chosen Ashton Carter as his nominee for defense secretary.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) says he was informed of the decision early Tuesday.

Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he supports the choice of Carter to lead the Pentagon "very strongly."

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State Capitol
10:21 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Oral Arguments Set For Capitol Repair Challenge

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee is set to hear arguments at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday about whether a planned $120 million bond issue for improvements to the Capitol building should proceed.

Oral arguments are scheduled to take place Tuesday before Supreme Court Referee Greg Albert, who will compile a report and forward it to the full court.

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Politics and Government
9:02 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Conservation Commission Requesting More Funding For Watershed Projects

Aerial view of Wister Lake and Dam on the Poteau River and the Fourche Maline creek in Le Flore County, Oklahoma, USA. The dam was constructed in 1949 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and water supply.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wikimedia Commons

Update: an earlier version of this story said the Oklahoma legislature had appropriated $30 million towards the project. The actual appropriation was $3 million.

The Oklahoma Conservation Commission primarily will be focusing on watershed rehabilitation during the coming legislative session, Executive Director Trey Lam said Monday following a meeting.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:45 am
Tue December 2, 2014

In Oklahoma, Few Efforts To Measure Gambling Addiction

Calls to a national gambling helpline from Oklahoma show that most people struggling with gambling addiction cite slot machines as the main problem.
Oklahoma Watch

In fiscal 2013, a total of 1,838 Oklahomans called a national hotline seeking help related to compulsive gambling – a nearly 60 percent spike over the previous year.

Then, in 2014, the number of calls fell sharply to 1,310, according to HeartLine, an Oklahoma City call center that fields calls from Oklahomans to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (800-522-4700).

The sudden drop perplexes Danielle Harris, coordinator for HeartLine.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
6:26 am
Tue December 2, 2014

State Regulators: Stricter Ozone Standard Would Be Hard For Oklahoma To Meet

Ozone is a major contributor to smog, seen here blanketing Los Angeles.
Credit Pieter Edelman / Flickr

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for stricter ozone standards has been praised by environmentalists as a step in the right direction and derided by industry groups, which argue the rules will cost jobs and lead to higher prices for electricity and natural gas.

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Travel
4:46 am
Tue December 2, 2014

‘Pride Of The Plains’: National Geographic Calls Oklahoma City ‘Best Trip’ Of 2015

katsrcool Flickr

Last month National Geographic Traveler unveiled its annual Best Trips list online – 20 places editors say travelers have to see next year.

Oklahoma City and three other American locales appear in the December/January issue on newsstands Tuesday – alongside destinations as diverse as Choquequirao, Peru, Esteros del Iberá, Argentina, and the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar.

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Politics and Government
5:52 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Okla. Democrats Won't Sue Over 5th District Election

Congressman Markwayne Mullin
Credit Provided / U.S. House of Representatives

Oklahoma Democratic Party leaders say they will not file a lawsuit over Republican U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin's victory over the Democratic nominee who died two days before the general election. 

Party Chairman Wallace Collins said party officers met Monday and a majority voted not to challenge Mullin's victory.

Collins maintains state law calls for a special election to be held in the event of a candidate's death before the election, but he acknowledged the cost of a lawsuit was a factor in the officers' decision.

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