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Oklahoma News

 Robert Bever, second from left, and Michael Bever, third from left, are escorted into a courtroom for a hearing in Tulsa, February 23, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Robert Bever will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the the grisly 2015 killing of five of his family members in their Broken Arrow home.

Bever entered guilty pleas during an arraignment Wednesday in Tulsa County District Court.

Parents April and David Bever, along with 12-year-old Daniel, 7-year-old Christopher and 5-year-old Victoria were found stabbed to death July 22, 2015. A 13-year-old sister survived the attack, and a 2-year-old was unharmed.

The City of Bethany is suing a pair of aerospace companies after a “plume” of hazardous chemicals migrating from an airport manufacturing plant contaminated public water supplies and forced the city to shut down a pair of municipal water wells.

In the federal lawsuit, filed Aug. 31 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the city claims Rockwell Automation and Gulfstream Aerospace owned and operated an aircraft manufacturing facility at Wiley Post Airport contaminated with toxic solvents and degreasers containing trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene, which have been detected in municipal wells at levels exceeding federal limits.

gas pumps
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

AAA Oklahoma says more than 400,000 state residents will travel at least 50 miles over the Labor Day holiday weekend – the highest number since 2008.

Spokesman Chuck Mai said 96 percent of that figure will travel by car, and even though gas prices are up about $0.20 since August 1, he thinks many drivers are encouraged by gas prices about $0.19 below the 2015 Labor Day holiday.

A 5.6-magnitude earthquake damaged the facade of a brick building in the city of Pawnee, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The strongest earthquake to hit Oklahoma in nearly five years shook the state Saturday morning, rousing some residents from a dead sleep. It was felt as far north as Nebraska and as far south as Texas.

Updated 6:30 p.m.

Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for Pawnee County after the 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck the state Saturday morning, damaging buildings across north-central Oklahoma.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address Feb. 1, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin announced a new criminal justice task force Wednesday. The 18-member group wants to have data-driven policy reforms proposed in time for the 2017 legislative session.

 

Fallin says The Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force aims to reduce Oklahoma’s prison population while maintaining public safety and controlling the ever-increasing cost of the the state’s corrections system. Annually, Oklahoma pays roughly $500 million to the Department of Corrections.

Dustin Green, owner of 10 Acre Woods farm near Norman, feeds a few of his 400 or so chickens.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma voters decide on State Question 777 in November. Supporters call the ballot initiative right-to-farm, but opponents prefer right-to-harm. It’s a divisive, national issue that’s made its way to Oklahoma, pitting agriculture against environmentalists and animal rights activists.

Nasty Fight

Tom Kilpatrick, founder of CloudDeck Media and the Oklahoma Aviation testing center, pilots a drone.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Regulatory changes mean flying a drone is about to become a lot easier. Testing centers are scheduling their first exams as new rules take effect Monday.

Cattle are moved after auction at the Oklahoma City Stockyards.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association is still struggling to find support for a statewide marketing program.

Ranchers and other agriculture producers have been very active in their collective support of State Question 777, which would amend the state constitution to stringently limit lawmakers’ ability to regulate the industry.

Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general, gestures as he speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 8, 2013.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

One of the most contentious issues facing this new school year is which bathrooms and locker rooms transgender students will be allowed to use.

The Obama administration has issued what it calls guidance that students be allowed to use facilities consistent with their gender identity. The administration warned that schools refusing to do that could risk their federal school funding.

University of Oklahoma Vice President of the University Community Jabar Shumate.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

 

 

The University of Oklahoma made national headlines in March 2015 when members of a the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were recorded singing a racist chant on a bus while traveling to an event. Immediately following the spread of the video, the university expelled two students and shut down the SAE fraternity’s chapter on campus.

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