KGOU

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.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma finance officials have announced an additional $235 million in cuts amid the slump in oil and natural gas prices, saying schools, prisons and other state agencies will have their budgets slashed by 7 percent for the rest of the year.

 

Public schools alone will have nearly $110 million cut from their budgets for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

 

Then-U.S. Rep. Dan Boren talking with former President Bill Clinton during a 2011 meeting of the Blue Dog Coalition of conservative Democrats in New York.
Blue Dog Coalition / U.S. House of Representatives

Dan Boren, a former Democratic congressman from one of Oklahoma's most distinguished political families, says he's actively exploring a run for Oklahoma's open governor seat in 2018.

After spending the last three years working on business development for the Chickasaw Nation, Boren told The Associated Press that he's started meeting with state political and business leaders and developing policy proposals in preparation for a potential candidacy.

Chesapeake Energy's Oklahoma City campus
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Pennsylvania's attorney general is suing one of the nation's largest producers of natural gas over claims it cheated thousands of landowners who signed drilling leases with the company.

The lawsuit alleges that Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. tricked landowners into signing one-sided leases in the early years of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom and then improperly deducted certain post-production expenses from landowner royalties.

The lawsuit seeks restitution and civil penalties. It was filed Wednesday in Bradford County.

Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections

The director of Oklahoma's prison system is the second high-ranking official to  step down amid an investigation into a series of botched executions in the  state. Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton announced this afternoon in a press release he will resign effective Jan. 31 and will begin taking accrued leave on Dec. 25. 

Oklahoma Lottery Commission

The head of the Oklahoma Lottery says a $1.2 million jackpot won in 2011 has been connected to a former security official of an Iowa-based multi-state lottery vendor accused of rigging lotteries in four different states. Oklahoma Lottery Executive Director Rollo Redburn confirmed Friday that a criminal investigation in Iowa has been expanded to include a winning Hot Lotto ticket sold in Idabel in November 2011.  Eddie Tipton, a former security director of the Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, has been convicted of fraud in connection with the attempted claim of a 2010 lottery jack

Copy of Governor Mary Fallin's executive order 2015-48
KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin is ordering state agencies to sell underused property to raise money that will pay for building maintenance and help offset projected revenue shortfalls.

Fallin issued an executive order Wednesday calling for the state to sell off undeveloped land, unused or underused office buildings, warehouses and residences.

Oklahoma State Capitol
mrlaugh / Flickr

Oklahoma finance officials say revenue collections to the state government's main operating fund are continuing to slide, increasing the possibility of a revenue failure and mandatory cuts in allocations to state agencies before the end of the fiscal year.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported Tuesday that collections to the state's General Revenue Fund in September were about 1 percent below the estimate upon which the current year's budget is based.

CDC map illustrating the 35 states impacted by the outbreak strains of Salmonella Poona, as of October 5, 2015
Centers For Disease Control And Prevention

One person has died in Oklahoma as a multi-state outbreak of salmonella infection linked to imported cucumbers continues.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as of Monday, 732 people infected with outbreak strains of salmonella have been reported in 35 states.  The Oklahoma death brings the total number of fatalities to four.

President Obama tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution on July 16, 2015
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Federal inmates who met with President Barack Obama at an Oklahoma prison during the filming of a documentary in July are hopeful the show will influence policymakers.

About 50 inmates gathered at the El Reno federal prison Wednesday to watch the premiere of Fixing the System, a Vice on HBO special report.

Bison grazing
Sequoia Hughes / Flickr.com

The Cherokee Nation is set to receive a tractor-trailer load of bison to add to the tribe's herd on its 1,000-acre ranch in the unincorporated Kenwood community in northeastern Oklahoma.

The tribe is to receive about 50 bison from a national park in South Dakota on Thursday after acquiring the animals from the InterTribal Buffalo Council. The Cherokee Nation had gone 40 years without raising bison until last year and now has 68 head of bison on its ranch.

Carly Fiorina speaking at a coffee reception and fundraising event in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Carly Fiorina is the latest Republican presidential hopeful scheduled to visit Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association says the former Hewlett-Packard CEO will speak Sept. 29 at a town hall discussion with independent oil and natural gas producers in Oklahoma City. The event is by invitation only and is not open to the public.

Fiorina is coming off a strong performance in last week's Republican presidential candidate debate.

Former Lt. Governor, Jari Askins
ok.gov

Former Democratic state legislator, special judge and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins has been hired to oversee Oklahoma's court system.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice John Reif announced Askins' hiring on Friday as the state's administrative director of the courts, effective Oct. 1.

Reif says Askins' hiring was a "conference decision" in which all nine justices participated. She will replace longtime administrator Michael Evans, who is retiring.

Reif says Askins will earn the same as a judge on the Court of Civil Appeals, or $138,235.

prison bars
mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

The head of an Oklahoma prison workers group says the stabbing deaths of four white inmates at a private prison in Cushing were the result of violence between two white prison gangs that also spilled over into other state prisons.

Oklahoma state flag
J Stephen Conn / Flickr.com

The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded more than $12.5 million to 13 Oklahoma tribes to improve public safety and programs for crime victims.

They grants are among 206 national awards totaling more than $97 million announced Wednesday for American Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, tribal consortia and tribal designees.

Alton Nolen in a 2011 photo from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

An Oklahoma judge has ordered a jury trial to determine whether a man charged in the beheading death of a co-worker is mentally competent to be tried for first-degree murder.

Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley scheduled an Oct. 26 competency trial for 31-year-old Alton Nolen, who is charged in the Sept. 25, 2014, slaying of 54-year-old Colleen Hufford at a food processing plant in Moore.

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