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Associated Press

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OversightAndReform / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Sen. James Lankford is introducing a bill to end all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood unless the organization stops performing all abortions.

Lankford announced Wednesday he has introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act, which would impose a one-year moratorium on federal funding to the organization unless it stops providing abortions.

Planned Parenthood provides a variety of non-abortion health services, including health screenings, family planning and adoption referrals at several clinics in Oklahoma.

The National Guard

Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and airmen could soon be carrying weapons at recruiting stations and armories across the state.

Guard spokesman Col. Max Moss said Tuesday that the Oklahoma National Guard is finalizing guidelines and identifying soldiers who would be eligible to carry firearms at its facilities.

usgs.gov / U.S. Geological Survey

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake centered in northern Oklahoma has shaken the state, with reports of it being felt hundreds of miles away. 

The U.S. Geological Survey reported Monday's quake happened at about 3:20 p.m., with the epicenter located about 9 miles east of Cherokee near the Kansas border. People reported feeling the quake in several states, including Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Alfalfa County Sheriff's Office said there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Former Tulsa County Sheriff's reserve deputy Robert Bates enters the Tulsa County Jail.
Matt Trotter / KWGS Public Radio Tulsa

A grand jury will begin investigating allegations of wrongdoing against the Tulsa County sheriff's office, which came under scrutiny after a reserve deputy shot and killed an unarmed and restrained suspect in April.

Among the accusations that the grand jury is expected to consider after convening Monday is whether Sheriff Stanley Glanz gave special treatment to the reserve deputy, Robert Bates, who was Glanz's close friend and had served as his campaign manager in 2012.

Copies of Gov. Mary Fallin's 2015-34 & 2015-35 executive orders
Jim Johnson / KGOU

After a deadly shooting at a military installation in Tennessee, Gov. Mary Fallin is authorizing the state's adjutant general to arm full-time Oklahoma National Guardsmen at military facilities in Oklahoma.

Fallin issued an executive order on Friday granting Maj. Gen. Robbie Asher the authority to arm National Guard soldiers and airmen with whatever weaponry he deems necessary to adequately provide for their safety and security.

Culex pipiens (the common house mosquito) is a species of blood-feeding mosquito of the family Culicidae. It is a vector of some diseases, such as Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, and urticaria. In the US, it can spread West Nile virus.
Wikimedia Commons

Public health officials in Oklahoma County say they have identified the county's second human case of West Nile Virus so far this year.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department confirmed the West Nile diagnosis on Thursday. Ken Johnson, a spokesman for the agency, declined to release details about the patient, including the person's age and gender. However, Johnson says the virus "hits seniors very hard."

ssalonso / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma attorney general is arguing in a court filing that a lawsuit challenging the state's use of its Unclaimed Property Fund should be dismissed.

In a motion to dismiss filed Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court, Assistant Solicitor General Jared Haines argues that state laws governing the fund are constitutional and that the lawsuit is without merit.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent filed the lawsuit last month, claiming the state is essentially operating a Ponzi scheme by routinely raiding the fund and using that money to fund state government operations.

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals / Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

A federal appeals court in Denver has ruled that the federal health care law doesn't infringe on the religious freedom of faith-based nonprofit organizations that object to covering birth control in employee health plans.

The case involves a group of Colorado nuns and four Christian colleges in Oklahoma.

Architects working on renovations to the Oklahoma Capitol have discovered two giant hidden doors on the south side of the building.

The nearly 20-foot-tall sheet metal doors with cast-iron decorations were rolled into compartments behind the building's limestone facade and apparently haven't been used in more than 20 years.

Vance Kelley of Treanor Architects says the doors were found Tuesday by a team working on the building's exterior. Kelley says he believes the doors were opened and closed using a pulley-and-cable system.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Some Oklahoma Democrats appear to be moving closer to allowing independents to vote in the party's primary elections.

The Tulsa World reports a majority of local Democrats favored the idea during a meeting on Friday.

Most of those attending said they were delegates to the state party convention July 25 in Oklahoma City, where the proposal will be voted on.

U.S. Army

Oklahoma's Fort Sill will see a 3 percent increase in soldiers in the next two years but overall troop strength at the Army base will remain 30 percent below 2001 numbers.

The Army said Thursday the number of soldiers at Fort Sill will increase to 6,746 over the next two years in a plan that will cut 1,200 or more soldiers at six other domestic bases to reduce the active-duty force by 40,000 troops.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma has been granted another one-year waiver from the U.S. Department of Education that will allow the state to avoid the implications of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced in a news release Thursday that it had been granted the waiver for the 2015-2016 school year.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says the waiver is good news for Oklahomaschools, but underscores the need for an end to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma's treasurer says low oil and natural gas prices helped push last month's state revenue below levels from a year earlier. 

Treasurer Ken Miller said Wednesday the state's gross receipts in June were less than collections from the prior year for the second consecutive month and the fourth time in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A group of Oklahoma lawmakers has filed a constitutional amendment to remove language from the state constitution that the Supreme Court says prohibits a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol.

Republican Rep. John Paul Jordan of Yukon is principal author of the resolution that calls for a statewide vote of the people to remove Article 2, Section 5 of the state constitution. The provision prohibits public money or property from being used for religious purposes. More than a dozen other lawmakers have signed on as co-authors.

OKC Police car.
Paul L. McCord Jr. / Flickr.com

Oklahoma City police say an officer has fatally shot a man who threatened the officer with a handgun.

Sgt. Gary Knight says the suspect was killed around 2 a.m. Monday morning following a search through a residential area. A homeowner had reported a burglary to police and the officer found the suspect in another person's backyard.

Knight says the suspect pointed the pistol at the officer before the officer shot the suspect, who died at the scene. Their identities haven't been released.

No other injuries were reported.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Supreme Court's decision to order a Ten Commandments monument removed from the state Capitol grounds has so angered conservatives in the Legislature that some Republicans are calling for justices to be impeached. Others want to amend the Bill of Rights in the 108-year-old state constitution.

The outcry immediately followed the court's 7-2 decision Tuesday that the monument violates the Oklahoma constitution's ban on using public property to benefit a religion.

The seal of the Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation

A recount supervised by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court has finalized the candidates in a runoff election.

The Cherokee Nation Election Commission on Friday announced the results of the Thursday recount, with Wanda Hatfield and Betsy Swimmer advancing to a July 25 runoff for an at-large tribal councilor position. The final results show Hatfield with 1,057 votes and Swimmer with 763.

Shane Jett, who came in third, finished 50 votes behind Swimmer. The general election results were certified Monday and Jett requested the recount on Wednesday.

Culex pipiens (the common house mosquito) is a species of blood-feeding mosquito of the family Culicidae. It is a vector of some diseases, such as Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, and urticaria. In the US, it can spread West Nile virus.
Wikimedia Commons

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says a third case of West Nile virus this year has been confirmed in the state.

The department says a resident of Ellis County in western Oklahoma has contracted the virus. The person's name and gender were not released. The department said Thursday that the person is between 18- and 50-years-old.

Two other confirmed cases were reported in June in McIntosh and Okfuskee counties in the eastern half of the state.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The fraternity connected to a racist video that roiled the University of Oklahoma campus during spring has announced the hiring of a new director of diversity and inclusion.

Evanston, Illinois-based Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity said in a news release Thursday it had hired North Carolina native Ashlee Canty to help oversee efforts to enhance diversity at the fraternity's more than 200 chapters.

OG&E's coal-fired power plant in Muskogee.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming the federal agency's proposed Clean Power Plan will threaten the reliability and affordability of power in the state.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Tulsa argues that the EPA is exceeding its authority and asks a court to grant an injunction prohibiting the EPA from regulating coal-fired electricity plants in Oklahoma.

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