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Business and Economy
8:32 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Declining Corporate Tax Collections Biggest Contributor To Oklahoma’s Revenue Slump

Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma is one of only seven states in the nation where revenues available for appropriation are falling below expectations despite growth in the broader economy, according to a newly released survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The conference, in its spring 2014 state budget update, attributed Oklahoma's revenue shortfall primarily to an unanticipated decline in corporate tax collections. It said the same problem is creating budget difficulties in Delaware and Tennessee.

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Crime Committed when he was 13
4:50 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Governor Gives Tentative Parole To Inmate Sentenced To Life

Credit Okla. National Guard / Flickr.com

Gov. Mary Fallin has tentatively approved parole for an inmate who was sentenced to life in prison for a killing that occurred when he was 13.

Jesil Wilson was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1997 death of Mitchell Knighten of Tulsa, though Wilson was not the shooter. He is now 31.

Last year, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended parole for Wilson, provided he complete a vo-tech training program and serve 180 days in a work-release center. A governor's spokesman confirmed to the Tulsa World on Monday that Fallin has given tentative approval for parole.

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Man tried to lure girls into his car
3:51 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Lemonade Stand Cup Provides DNA Linked To Rape

Credit eren (sea+prairie) / Flickr.com

Police in Tulsa say DNA tests have linked a man accused of trying to lure two girls into his car from their lemonade stand to an unsolved rape of a 12-year girl in Glenpool.

Police tell Tulsa television station KOTV that investigators were able to collect a DNA sample from the man's lemonade cup, which the girls saved. The DNA profile matched a case from January 2013, when a man kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old girl in Glenpool.

Authorities have made no arrests in that case but were able to collect a DNA sample.

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Oklahoma News
3:21 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Logan County Wildfire Caused $944,331 In Damage

A wildfire burns near Guthrie on Sunday, May 4.
American Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma

The Logan County Assessor's Office says a wildfire that killed one person and scorched more than 5 square miles of land last week caused close to $1 million in damage to 60 structures.

Assessor Tisha Hampton says assessments done after the fire last week found more than $944,000 in damage in the county.

Authorities say the fire killed 56-year-old Johnnie Ray Knox on May 4 after he refused to leave his mobile home as flames approached. Logan County emergency manager David Ball says the cause of the wildfire is still under investigation.

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Corrections Funding
2:18 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Oklahoma Prison Funding Proposal Awaits Governor's Signature For Immediate Implementation

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma House has given final approval to a $13 million supplemental funding measure to help Oklahoma's prison system pay its bills for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

The House voted 68-23 for the measure Tuesday and sent it to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk to be signed into law. 

In a separate vote, House members voted 81-8 for an emergency clause that would permit the measure to go into effect as soon as it is signed. The Senate passed the measure last week.

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Education
1:02 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

A Recap Of Monday's Vote On Oklahoma Reading Retention Bill

State Rep. Katie Henke (R-Tulsa) speaking during a press conference after Monday's House vote.
Nate Robson Oklahoma Watch

Three days after it was announced that nearly 8,000 Oklahoma students are at risk of repeating the third grade for failing the state’s reading test, lawmakers voted to change the state’s retention requirements.

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Oklahoma News
11:27 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Hearing Delayed For Oklahoma Teen Charged In Australian Baseball Player's Death

A screenshot of a memorial Facebook page for 22-year-old Christopher Lane.
Credit R.I.P. Christopher Lane / Facebook

A hearing has been delayed for an Oklahoma teenager charged in the fatal shooting of an Australian baseball player.

Sixteen-year-old James Francis Edwards Jr. was due in court Tuesday in Duncan, but proceedings were delayed until June 17. Edwards is charged with first-degree murder and accessory after the fact in the death of 22-year-old Chris Lane.

Lane was preparing for his senior baseball season at East Central University when he was shot in Duncan while visiting his girlfriend's parents in August. Investigators say he was randomly targeted by "bored" teenagers.

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Early Childhood Education
7:47 am
Tue May 13, 2014

New National Report Highlights Oklahoma's Preschool Access, Standards

weldonlibrary Flickr Creative Commons

A new report says the availability of state-funded pre-kindergarten programs varies widely from one part of the country to another.

In Oklahoma, Florida, and Vermont, more than seven in 10 four-year-olds are enrolled in such programs, while 10 states have none.

The report released Tuesday is from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in collaboration with the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics.

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State Capitol
8:52 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Concrete Chunk Falls Into Capitol Office

Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma Capitol officials say a piece of concrete crashed through an employee's office after moisture leaked into the basement of the nearly 100-year-old building.

Five employees of the House of Representative's media division were packing up their offices Monday after the mishap occurred sometime during the weekend when the office was vacant.

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8:26 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

There's Now A Run On Quake Insurance In Fracking-Heavy Oklahoma

Lead in text: 
Oklahoma City resident Mark Myers said that after the USGS issued their warning, he called his insurance agent to look into coverage. "When you see a warning for a major earthquake in Oklahoma, which I understand is pretty rare, it makes you aware of what could happen," Myers said just after speaking to an agent.
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A warning from U.S. scientists that Oklahoma may be hit by a major earthquake has caused a run on insurance policies for tremors in the heartland state, adding to the woes of residents already in the firing line of devastating tornadoes.

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