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StickWare / Flickr

With the number of registered independents on the rise in Oklahoma, the state Democratic Party is considering whether to open its traditionally closed primaries to independent voters.

New Democratic Party Chairman Mark Hammons says the proposal will be considered when the state party convention reconvenes on July 25 in Oklahoma City.

Hammons says the Democratic Party wants to focus on issues that matter to Oklahomans, regardless of party, and provide more opportunities for citizens to be active and involved in politics.

University of Oklahoma officials were seeking a $25 million donation from billionaire oilman Harold Hamm last year, records show, at a time when scientists at the school were formulating the state's position on oil drilling and earthquakes.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) speaking about the upcoming King vs. Burwell Supreme Court decision Monday on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
SenatorLankford / YouTube

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) says he thinks the Supreme Court likely will rule federal Affordable Care Act subsidies are unconstitutional in the 34 states without state insurance exchanges.

The Supreme Court will decide the King vs. Burwell case sometime between now and Monday, June 29.

President Obama dines with young Muslim leader's during Monday's annual Iftar celebration at the White House.
The White House / Twitter

Samantha Elauf, the Muslim woman from Tulsa who won a Supreme Court case against clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch after they didn't hire her when she showed up to a job interview wearing a headscarf, dined with President Obama Monday night during the White House's annual Iftar dinner.

It’s the seventh Iftar hosted by the president, a breaking of the fast at sunset during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Elauf was one of eight guests seated at the president’s table during the event with a special focus this year on young leaders and women.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma City attorney claims the state is essentially operating a Ponzi scheme by routinely raiding its Unclaimed Property Fund and using money that belongs to its citizens to fund state government operations. 

Attorney Jerry Fent alleges in a lawsuit filed Monday in Oklahoma County District Court that transfers from the Unclaimed Property Fund maintained by the state treasurer's office are illegal.

Left-to-right: David Fritze, Nicole Washington, Roxanne Hinther, Janet Cizek
Oklahoma Watch

Women in Oklahoma face often unique mental-health challenges in different life situations – whether incarcerated, suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, or dealing with severe anxiety as a professional or parent.

At an Oklahoma Watch-Out forum in Tulsa May 21, three experts talked about issues ranging from incarcerated women and trauma to postpartum depression and both the cultural and biological factors of mental health.

About 250 people attended Sunday night's vigil at Avery Chapel AME Church in Oklahoma City for the victims of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Sunday church services nationwide spoke to the tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina.

Pastors from across the state led prayers as hundreds gathered Sunday evening at Avery Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City for a prayer service honoring the nine victims of last week’s shooting.

“We will not lay down and be divided by evil,” Avery Chapel senior pastor the Rev. D. Lavel Crawford told the roughly 250 attendees.

The Newt Graham Lock and Dam near Inola, Okla.
Tyler / Flickr

Slow moving storms that dumped record amounts of rain on Oklahoma in April and May killed the five-year drought, but damaged wheat crops in western Oklahoma. This after one of the worst wheat harvests on record in 2014.

Kate Hiscock / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Employment and Security Commission reported Friday that Oklahoma's unemployment rate in March increased to 4.3 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month.

This marks the second consecutive month Oklahoma's unemployment rate has risen, but it still remains well below the national rate of 5.5 percent.

The commission reports about 80,000 Oklahomans were classified as unemployed last month.

Statistics show the oil and gas industry continues to shed jobs, with about 1,200 jobs lost from April to May in the mining and logging sector.

Tim (Timothy) Pearce / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections currently has 99 offenders categorized as fugitives, but most of those are from work-release programs, halfway houses or GPS monitoring.

Several Oklahoma fugitives, however, have escaped from medium- or maximum-security facilities, and some have been living on the run for decades.

Those include:

Kenneth Cook, now 85, convicted of first-degree manslaughter, who escaped from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite on Nov. 24, 1986;

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