Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

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Oklahoma News
1:36 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Prosecutors Drop Terrorism Hoax Charge For Beheading Threat

Credit creationc / Stock.XCHNG

Prosecutors are dropping a terrorism hoax charge against a former Oklahoma City nursing home employee who told his co-worker that he was going to cut off her head.

An Oklahoma County judge dismissed the felony charge Monday at the request of prosecutors.

District Attorney David Prater tells The Oklahoman the charge was withdrawn because the credibility of the co-worker came into question. Other witnesses at the nursing home said the ex-employee was clearly joking.

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Oklahoma Executions
1:13 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Federal Judge Hears Testimony On Lethal Injection Challenge

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

A doctor who examined the body of an Oklahoma inmate who died during a botched execution says he is convinced the man suffered after being declared unconscious.

A pathologist hired by the inmate's lawyer told a federal judge Wednesday that recently released witness statements corroborate his belief that Clayton Lockett was conscious when given drugs to stop his heart and breathing. A witness for the state said it didn't appear Lockett was uncomfortable or suffering.

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Oklahoma News
12:19 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

State Medical Examiner Determines Inmate Cause Of Death

Tory Czernecki
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says the October death of inmate at the Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville was due to strangulation.

The department says the state medical examiner's office determined the cause of death of 22-year-old Tory Czernecki. The department says Czernecki died Oct. 26 after being assaulted in his cell by his cellmate.

The cellmate has not been charged, but Hughes County District Attorney Chris Ross told The Oklahoman that unspecified charges are expected.

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Weather and Climate
6:31 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Declining

Saturated thickness map of Ogallala Aquifer with Keystone XL route layered.
Credit Kbh3rd / Wikipedia Commons

The U.S. Geological Survey says groundwater levels are declining in an aquifer that serves parts of Oklahoma and seven other states.

The USGS has released a report on changes in groundwater levels in the High Plains Aquifer, also known as the Ogallala Aquifer.

USGS scientist Virginia McGuire says measurements between 2011 and 2013 represent a large decline in groundwater levels and are likely due to increased groundwater pumping.

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Oklahoma News
5:01 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Norman Police Release Information On Sunday Shooting

Credit Norman Police Department

Police in Norman have identified the officer involved in a weekend shooting that left a man in critical condition.

Capt. Tom Easley said Tuesday Master Police Officer Heather Glazier was involved in a shooting on Sunday that injured 34-year-old Martin Sanchez-Juarez. Glazier has served with the department since May 2008. She is on paid administrative assignment pending an investigation.

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Politics and Government
3:58 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

OK Supreme Court Rules Governors Can Use Executive Privilege To Protect Advice

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The state's highest court says Oklahoma governors have a privilege to protect confidential advice from top officials while deliberating policy and making executive decisions.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court said in a ruling released Tuesday the governor has a unique executive privilege that can't be encroached by the Legislature.

The decision was handed down Tuesday in a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on behalf of the owners of a satirical website that pokes fun at Gov. Mary Fallin and other public officials.

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Politics and Government
6:53 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Oklahoma Supreme Court OKs $120 Million Capitol Bond Issue

Credit Meghan Blessing / KGOU

 The Oklahoma Supreme Court has upheld legislation authorizing a $120 million bond issue to renovate and repair Oklahoma's crumbling State Capitol building.

In a unanimous decision, the nine-member court handed down a decision Monday rejecting allegations that the bond legislation was an unconstitutional special law that should be struck down.

The Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority asked the Supreme Court for guidance on whether to issue the bonds after Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent announced plans to protest the issuance.

Fent claims the bill authorizing the bond issue is unconstitutional because it addressed only one state building.

But attorneys for the state say the bill is a universal general law that applies to a unique building that serves as both the seat of state government and as a symbol of Oklahoma.

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Health
4:37 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

State's Low Blood Supply Constitutes Emergency

Credit Clint Budd / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Blood Institute has declared a blood emergency because of a statewide blood shortage.

The Oklahoman reports that the institute declared the emergency on Monday as the state's supply of donated blood fell below the amount needed for an average day. It is encouraging donors to give blood this month to help reverse the shortage.

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Death Penalty
4:22 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Attorneys For 21 Death Row Inmates Head To Federal Court

Credit T. Woodward / Flickr Creative Commons

Attorneys for 21 Oklahoma death row inmates head to federal court this week hoping that behind-the-scenes details of an execution gone awry will prevent a "bloody mess" from ever happening again.

Attorneys for the state of Oklahoma say new lethal injection protocols will address the problems encountered during April's bungled execution of 38-year-old Clayton Lockett. But the inmates argue the state is experimenting on them with new drug combinations that amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

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Oklahoma News
11:57 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Small Tornado Touches Down In Arcadia During Sunday Storm

National Weather Center in Norman
Credit Paul L. McCord Jr. / Flickr Creative Commons

A small tornado that touched ground briefly in Arcadia has been rated an EF0 by the National Weather Service in Norman.

Weather service meteorologist Marc Austin said Monday that the tornado caused no damage and appeared to have been on the ground for 30 seconds or less in the small town in the northeastern Oklahoma City metro.

The preliminary rating for the Sunday afternoon twister is the smallest given by the weather service and indicates wind speeds of 40-72 mph.

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