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pumping gas
futureatlas.com / Flickr Creative Commons

Gasoline prices across parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma are at some of their lowest levels in more than a decade, aiding consumers but worrying segments of the economy that rely on oil prices being high.

The Oklahoman reported Thursday that prices could fall to around $1.70 for a gallon of regular gasoline in Oklahoma by the end of the year, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said nationwide prices could reach an average of $2.03 per gallon in December.

Former Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello
Oklahoma Labor Commission

The widow of slain Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello is asking Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to appoint her to the remainder of her late husband's term. 

Cathy Costello made the request in a letter delivered to Fallin's office Tuesday. Among other things, it says she and her late husband have been partners since they were married and that state law allows the surviving spouse of an elected official to serve out the official's unexpired term.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is continuing his fight to keep a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol, despite an order from the state's highest court that it must be removed. 

Pruitt on Thursday filed a brief in state court alleging that the Oklahoma Supreme Court's ruling "evinces a hostility towards religion."

Christian Costello at the Oklahoma County Jail Monday after his Sunday arrest for the stabbing death of his father, Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

A judge has entered a not guilty plea for the son of Oklahoma's labor commissioner on a first-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of his father. 

Christian Costello appeared in a video arraignment before Oklahoma County Special Judge Russell Hall Wednesday in connection with the stabbing death of his father,Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.

The 26-year-old Costello said nothing as Hall entered the not guilty plea and appointed the Oklahoma County Public Defender's Office to represent him. Hall set a preliminary hearing for Sept. 24.

Oklahoma Attorney General's Office

The attorneys general of Oklahoma and Michigan are urging leaders in every state to impose state-based sanctions against Iran in response to a nuclear accord between Iran, the U.S. and other nations. 

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette sent a letter Monday encouraging sanctions to prohibit the investment of state assets in Iran.

The U.S. negotiated alongside other nations for nearly two years before finalizing an accord to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has instructed a judge to implement a ruling that a Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds is unconstitutional and must be removed. 

The state's highest court issued the mandate Thursday to carry out its June 30 decision that the monument is a religious symbol and must be removed because it violates a state constitutional ban on using public property to benefit a religion. The 7-2 ruling was reaffirmed last month when the court denied a rehearing sought by Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Christian Costello at the Oklahoma County Jail Monday after his Sunday arrest for the stabbing death of his father, Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

Oklahoma City police investigators believe the deadly stabbing of a prominent politician by his son was a premeditated attack and that the suspect intentionally separated his father and mother before the assault took place. 

Those details were disclosed in a police affidavit filed Wednesday as part of a request for a search warrant for a condominium where 26-year-old Christian Costello lived. Costello has been jailed on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder for the Sunday night stabbing death of his father, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello.

photo of slot machine
Frank Bonilla / Flickr

Leaders with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation are working to address an $18 million shortfall in the tribe's gaming budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

Principal Chief George Tiger addressed members of the tribe's National Council during an emergency meeting Thursday night. Tiger says he hopes the council takes the issue seriously because a budget must be approved before the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Medicinal marijuana in container.
Dank Depot / Flickr Creative Commons

A group seeking to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma has taken the first step toward putting the issue to a vote of the people in 2016.

Isaac Caviness with the group Green the Vote filed paperwork Friday with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's Office indicating their plans to have the question placed on the ballot.

Once the proposed language is approved, the group will have 90 days to gather about 124,000 signatures in order to qualify the state question.

police sirens
Highway Patrol Images / Flickr

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says a man on probation who disappeared after disabling his monitoring device has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a police chase through rural Pontotoc County.

Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins says 42-year-old Johnnie Lewis Hawkins II apparently shot himself in the head Friday after authorities disabled the stolen vehicle he was driving.

State Sen. Bryce Marlatt (R-Woodward)
Oklahoma Senate

A Republican state senator from Woodward is proposing a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to raid money from Oklahoma's Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust fund to pay for a teacher pay raise. 

Sen. Bryce Marlatt announced on Tuesday his plan to introduce a resolution that would submit the proposal to a vote of the people.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker
Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker has been sworn in for his second, four-year term.

More than 1,000 people attended Friday's inauguration at Sequoyah High School in the tribal capital of Tahlequah to watch Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden sworn in.

Tribal councilors Rex Jordan, David Walkingstick, Shawn Crittenden, Dick Lay, Buel Anglen, Bryan Warner, Keith Austin and Wanda Hatfield also took office.

Oklahoma state Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission has voted to suspend enforcement of two new agency rules that prompted a federal lawsuit by the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

The five-member commission voted Friday to suspend the rules that prohibit any fundraising or distribution of election materials on state-owned property.

The move comes after the Oklahoma Democratic Party filed a lawsuit earlier this week, arguing the new rules are an improper restraint on free speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

American currency
thinkpanama / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Democratic Party is suing the state Ethics Commission over new agency rules that prohibit any fundraising or distribution of election materials on state-owned property.

Party officials filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court in Oklahoma City, arguing the new rules are an improper restraint on free speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Mark Hammons says the rules already have forced the party to abandon a fundraiser scheduled at Oklahoma City Community College last month.

Republican state Sen. Rick Brinkley
Oklahoma Senate

Gov. Mary Fallin has called a special election to replace Republican state Sen. Rick Brinkley, who has announced he will resign at the end of the year. 

The Tulsa World reports that Fallin on Monday scheduled a Nov. 10 primary election for Brinkley's seat in north Tulsa County. A general election will be conducted on Jan. 12. The filing period for candidates is Aug. 31 through Sept. 2.

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