Oklahoma News

Oklahoma News
12:30 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Former Choctaw Nation Official To Testify In His Own Defence In Federal Case

Federal Court Case in Muskogee
Credit Credit Flickr Creative Commons

The former director of construction administration for the Choctaw Nation is expected to testify in his own defense on charges of theft, tax fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering and bribery.

Jason Merida is on trial in federal court in Muskogee for allegedly telling contractors to make regular contributions to golf tournaments and trail rides hosted by former Chief Gregory Pyle's re-election campaign. He has pleaded not guilty.

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Oklahoma News
12:00 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

OCU Law School Home To New Homeland Securtiy Law And Policy Center

OCU School of Law
Credit OCU School of Law

Officials have announced plans to launch a national center for homeland security law and policy at an Oklahoma law school.

The Oklahoma City University's School of Law will be home to the new Judge Alfred P. Murrah Center for Homeland Security Law and Policy. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb called the center a noble effort that will be historic and impactful.

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating and a former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will chair the center's advisory board.

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Odesse Barnes Is An Accessory
4:40 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Preliminary Hearing Waived In Shooting Death Of Australian Baseball Player

Duncan Police Department
Credit cityofduncan.com

A 22-year-old Oklahoma man has waived his preliminary hearing on charges related to the shooting death of a college baseball player from Australia.

Oddesse Barnes is charged as an accessory in the August 2013 death of Chris Lane while Lane was jogging near the home of his girlfriend's parents in Duncan. Lane — from Melbourne — was preparing for his senior season as a catcher at East Central University in Ada.

Prosecutors say Barnes helped hide the gun used to shoot Lane. He has pleaded not guilty.

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Sexual Assault
12:56 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Testimony Against OKC Police Officer Brings Two New Charges

Credit Paul L. McCord Jr. / Flickr.com

Two new charges have been filed against an Oklahoma City police officer accused of sexually assaulting 13 women while on patrol.

The new charges were filed Tuesday following testimony during a preliminary hearing for 27-year-old Daniel Holtzclaw, who was arrested in August and already faced 34 charges including rape, sexual battery and stalking.

Prosecutors added two charges of procuring lewd exhibition after a 44-year-old woman testified Holtzclaw forced her to raise her shirt and drop her pants to expose herself on May 8.

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Oklahoma Watch
9:39 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Study: Nearly 44,000 Children In Oklahoma Are Homeless

Credit Stefan Neubig / Flickr

Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of child homelessness in the nation, and the number of homeless children has grown, according to a report released Monday.

Oklahoma ranks fifth worst among states in the percentage of children under 18 who are homeless, according to the American Institutes for Research, a nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C.

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Oklahoma News
8:04 am
Tue November 18, 2014

First Asian American Oklahoma Legislator Elected: Historical Marker, But No Milestone

Dr. Ervin Yen gathers campaign signs after winning the open seat for Senate District 40
Kate Carlton Greer KGOU

State Senators and House representatives swore oaths to support, defend and obey the constitution during a ceremony Tuesday at the Oklahoma Capitol. A handful of racial minorities, including the state’s first Asian legislator, are present. But Senator and anesthesiologist Dr. Ervin Yen may not be a true symbol of change in Oklahoma’s cultural representation. 

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Oklahoma News
7:50 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Required Improvements For DHS To Address Shortcomings

Credit Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services must review plans to develop new foster homes, prepare weekly caseload reports and develop a remediation plan to reduce a Child Protective Services backlog.

Those are among the improvements ordered by monitors supervising Oklahoma's settlement of a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged DHS victimized foster children by failing to find safe homes for them and inadequately monitored their safety because employees were overworked and poorly managed.

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Due To Increase In Monthly Numbers
4:57 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Food Pantry Won't Be Handing Out Thanksgiving Turkeys

Credit slgckgc / Flickr.com

A Muskogee food pantry says it won't be able to continue its decades-old tradition of giving out Thanksgiving turkeys.

The Tulsa World reports the Muskogee County Community Food Pantry has provided turkeys to residents for about 30 years. But pantry coordinator Bud Ranks says that's coming to an end this year because of a lack of funds.

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Oklahoma News
12:00 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Evidence Against OKC Police Officer Accused Of Sexual Assault Presented In Court

Credit Paul L. McCord Jr. / Flickr Creative Commons

Evidence against an Oklahoma City police officer accused of sexually assaulting 13 women while on patrol is scheduled to be made public in an Oklahoma County courtroom.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Monday for 27-year-old Daniel Holtzclaw. Holtzclaw was arrested in August and faces a total of 32 charges including rape, sexual battery and stalking. Holtzclaw has pleaded not guilty.

The hearing will determine whether there is sufficient evidence that crimes have been committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that Holtzclaw committed them.

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Oklahoma News
7:30 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Oklahoma Public Retirees Want Cost-Of-Living Boost

Credit American Advisors Group / Flickr Creative Commons

Representatives of Oklahoma's public retirees who have not had a cost-of-living adjustment since 2008 say the time has come to increase their pension incomes now that the state's underfunded pension systems are regaining financial strength.

Managers of some of Oklahoma's biggest retirement systems say they are financially stronger than they were just four years ago. Unfunded liability has declined by $6.5 billion and the funded ratio of the systems has improved from 58 percent four years ago to 74.4 percent.

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