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Oklahoma Watch
7:32 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Teacher Pay Raise Could Cost Oklahoma $100 Million Per Year

Lee Elementary School pre-kindergarten teacher Victoria Tsaras gets active with her students, dancing to “What Does the Fox Say?”
Clifton Adcock Oklahoma Watch

How much would a $2,000 a year raise for Oklahoma public school teachers cost? The state Department of Education estimates the price tag is close to $100 million a year.

A rough estimate giving each of the state’s 43,915 teachers a $2,000 raise would cost about $87.8 million a year, but that number does not include a corresponding increase in benefits.

State Department of Education spokeswoman Tricia Pemberton said a boost in benefits brings the state’s estimate to about $100 million a year.

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Pledge of allegiance now mandatory
6:20 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Fallin Signs 17 Bills Into Law Today

Credit U.S. Dept. of Agriculture / Flickr.com

The Pledge of Allegiance will be recited in public schools in Oklahoma at least once a week under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

The bill making the Pledge of Allegiance mandatory was one of 17 measures Fallin signed into law on Tuesday. Existing law requires the posting of a notice in a "conspicuous place" that students not wishing to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance shall not be required to do so.

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Calling for U.S. Justice Dept. probe
5:15 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Attorney For Deceased Inmate Seeking Second Autopsy

Credit finalwitness / Flickr.com

An attorney for a death row inmate who died after a botched execution last week says he is seeking a second independent autopsy of his client.

Attorney David Autry said Tuesday he has requested a second autopsy be conducted on Clayton Lockett. Lockett writhed on the gurney and moaned during an execution that was initially called off after a doctor determined some of the lethal drugs never made it into Lockett's system. He died anyway 43 minutes after the execution began from an apparent heart attack.

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Woodward Fire
3:26 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Northwest Oklahoma Wildfire Prompts Evacuations, Threatens Homes Near Woodward

A National Weather Service radar signature showing the plume of smoke from a fire burning northwest of Woodward.
National Weather Service Norman Forecast Office

Updated at 4:25 p.m.

Authorities are evacuating about two dozen homes as a wildfire moves rapidly northwest of Woodward.

Woodward County Emergency Manager Matt Lehenbauer says the fire is moving rapidly from north to east across U.S. 270. He told the Woodward News about two dozen homes are in the fire's path about five miles northwest of the city.

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Logan County Fire
1:02 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Officials Now Suspect Controlled Burn Did Not Contribute To Oklahoma Wildfire

Credit American Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma

Officials now say that a wildfire that has scorched more than five square miles in central Oklahoma was not started by a controlled burn.

Officials initially said a controlled burn got out of control and caused the fire to spread, killing one person and destroying more than 40 structures in rural Logan County.

But Oklahoma Incident Management Team spokesman Stan May said Tuesday that investigators now say they don't think that theory is correct.

May says investigators are looking into other possible causes and should release information in the next few days.

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Oklahoma City Thunder
12:16 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Oklahoma City Star Kevin Durant Named NBA's Most Valuable Player

Kevin Durant beat out the Miami Heat's LeBron James, and Oklahoma City native Blake Griffin for his first league MVP award.
Keith Allison Flickr Creative Commons

Despite a 122-105 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night in Game 1 of the NBA's Western Conference semifinals, Oklahoma City Thunder fans have reason to celebrate. Kevin Durant has been named the league's Most Valuable Player.

The 6-foot-9 forward won his fourth scoring title in five years by averaging 32 points per game. His run of 41 consecutive games with at least 25 points was the third-longest streak in NBA history. Durant finished second to Miami's LeBron James the previous two years.

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Oklahoma News
11:26 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Three New Piglets Born At Oklahoma City Zoo

Red river hogs in their native habitat burrow into impenetrable vegetation during the day while saving much of their activity for night.
Gillian Lang Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden now has three new red river hog piglets.

The zoo announced Monday that the piglets were born on April 29. The zoo says the piglets' parents, Divit and Sir David Pigglesworth III, came to Oklahoma City from the Los Angeles Zoo.

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Death Penalty
9:12 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Lawmaker, Attorneys, Officials Question Objectivity Of Fallin's Death Penalty Review

State Sen. and U.S. Senate candidate Connie Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) has called on Gov. Mary Fallin to issue a moratorium on the death penalty after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett April 29. Speaking to reporters Monday, Johnson said the government's role as an execution should be carried out in an open, transparent, and accountable way.

“We feel that has not been the case to date, given all the particulars leading up to this execution, and certainly given what we perceive was the rushed manner in which it was executed,” Johnson said.

State Sen. Connie Johnson speaks to reporters Monday/Instagram

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:34 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Federal And State Agencies Warn Of Earthquake Risk In Oklahoma

A pump jack near Kingfisher, Okla.
Credit KATSRCOOL / FLICKR

Federal and state seismologists on Monday issued a rare earthquake warning for central and north-central Oklahoma.

The state’s earthquake rate has increased 50 percent since October 2013, according to the joint warning by the U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma Geological Survey. A likely contributing factor is waste fluid from disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry, a link federal and university seismologists have made in several peer-reviewed studies.

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Burn ban prohibits any outdoor burning
6:13 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Fallin Declares State of Emergency, Issues 36-County Burn Ban

Credit Oklahoma Forestry Services

Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state emergency across Oklahoma after several wildfires broke out across the state, including a blaze north of Oklahoma City that destroyed at least a half dozen homes and left one man dead.

Fallin also on Monday issued an executive proclamation for a burn ban in 36 counties for about the western half of the state.

Besides a massive wildfire that burned nearly four square miles in Logan County on Sunday, other blazes have been reported near the communities of Altus, Jennings, Seiling, Stillwater and Woodward.

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