A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by media organizations that sought greater access to the execution of Oklahoma death row inmates.
U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton dismissed the lawsuit on Friday. He rejected allegations that Oklahoma's execution protocols violate the First Amendment.
The lawsuit was filed in August by Oklahoma Observer and the Guardian US news organizations following the April 29 of inmate Clayton Lockett, who writhed, moaned and clenched his teeth before he was pronounced dead about 43 minutes after his execution began.
State officials say Oklahoma's unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent last month.
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported Friday that November's unemployment rate showed a slight decrease from October's rate of 4.5 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent.
Over the year, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.1 percentage points.
A longtime lawyer for Oklahoma's prison system says he felt pressured by the governor's and attorney general's offices to make sure executions last spring happened on schedule, despite the lack of an execution method.
Corrections Department lawyer Michael Oakley said during a federal court hearing Thursday that he felt pressured "to get it done."
StateImpact racked up thousands of miles traveling across the state this year, filing more than 40 radio stories and hundreds of web posts on how government energy, environmental and economic policy affects ordinary Oklahomans. And many of those stories involve issues that are ongoing.
Groundwater pumping for agricultural irrigation is likely responsible for substantial depletions of the Ogallala Aquifer, which underlies 175,000 square miles in Oklahoma and seven other states, a report by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality says a gauge containing radioactive material has been stolen from the parking lot of an Oklahoma City hotel near Interstate 40.
The gauge is called a Humboldt Scientific 5001 EZ and is used to measure the moisture content and density of construction materials. It is not considered a health risk to humans unless it's opened and DEQ spokeswoman Skylar McElhaney said Wednesday that it would be difficult to open for a person unfamiliar with it.
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.
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.
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.