Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A term-limited Republican state House member from Cordell said Tuesday he plans to run for Oklahoma state treasurer.

Rep. Todd Russ, 60, is a longtime banker who is finishing his sixth term in the House, where he represents parts of five western Oklahoma counties. Russ said he plans to seek the post being vacated by Republican Randy McDaniel, who announced earlier this month that he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Oklahoma County Clerk David Hooten also has announced he plans to seek the Republican nomination for state treasurer.

Oklahoma National Guard

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma National Guard troops who have been assisting with the state’s response to COVID-19 will begin ending their assignment this week, health officials announced Monday.

The State Health Department said in a statement that the troops will begin transitioning out of the agency beginning Thursday.

Cleveland County Sheriff's Office

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A man accused of crashing into an Oklahoma high school cross-country team, killing three and injuring several others, has been found guilty of murder.

Cleveland County jurors on Friday found Max Townsend, 58, guilty of three counts of second-degree murder. He was also found guilty of three counts of leaving the scene of a fatality accident and four counts of leaving the scene of an injury accident.

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission on Friday reported a drop in the state’s jobless rate in May, even as the numbers of initial unemployment claims and the moving average of initial claims rise.

The May unemployment rate of 4% is down from 4.3% in April while initial claims for the week ending June 12 increased by 1,680 to 10,614. The four-week moving average of initial claims rose by 493 to 10,158, according to the report released Thursday.

The four-week moving average for continued claims in the state rose by 353 to 34,404.

City of Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Those responsible for a ransomware attack on the city of Tulsa last month are sharing personal information of some residents online, city officials said Wednesday.

More than 18,000 city files, mostly police reports and internal police department files, have been posted on the dark web, said Michael Dellinger, Tulsa’s chief information officer.

Oklahoma County

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Five inmates have been charged with murder in the death of another inmate during a hostage-taking incident at an Oklahoma jail.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed charges Monday and says more are expected after further investigation into the incident at the county’s detention center, according to The Oklahoman.

Two inmates were charged with first-degree murder and three others were charged with second-degree murder for alleged actions that led to the death of Curtis Montrell Williams, 34, after taking a detention officer hostage.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The number of people planning to run for Oklahoma governor next year is continuing to grow, with two more candidates filing paperwork to seek the office.

Independent Paul Tay, a perennial political candidate from Tulsa, and Libertarian Natalie Bruno of Edmond both filed paperwork with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission indicating their plans to run. That brings to five the number of candidates seeking to run for governor in 2022, including incumbent Republican Kevin Stitt.

Oklahoma Watch

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Prosecutors charged two former employees of the Oklahoma County Jail in separate cases in which they are accused of allowing inmates to severely injure each other.

Town of Tullahassee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Eleven U.S. mayors — from Los Angeles to tiny Tullahassee, Oklahoma — have pledged to pay reparations for slavery to a small group of Black residents in their cities, saying their aim is to set an example for the federal government on how a nationwide program could work.

Google Maps Street View

CAMERON, Okla. (AP) — Five northwest Arkansas residents, including two teenagers, were killed in a head-on collision in eastern Oklahoma near the Oklahoma-Arkansas state line, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports.

The five died Friday in the collision on State Highway 112 near Cameron, about 170 miles (274 kilometers) east of Oklahoma City, according to an OHP report.

University of Oklahoma President Joseph Harroz Jr.

PRYOR, Okla. (AP) — Los Angeles-based electric vehicle company Canoo announced Thursday it has selected Pryor, Oklahoma, for its U.S. manufacturing facility, which is expected to employ 2,000 people.

The company plans to build its factory on a 400-acre campus at the MidAmerica Industrial Park near Tulsa. It will include a paint and body shop, along with a general assembly plant, and is targeted to open in 2023.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Thirty-four Oklahoma lawmakers, including 28 Republicans, called Wednesday for reopening the investigation that led to the conviction of death row inmate Richard Glossip. 

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A Tulsa man and three U.S. Postal Service carriers have been charged with participating in a methamphetamine drug conspiracy, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

A federal grand jury in Tulsa indicted Kamau Jahi Williams, 42; Erick Scott, 49; Christine Conner, 54, all of Tulsa; and Shawn Boike, 46, of Skiatook, with drug conspiracy, acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson said in a statement. The defendants made initial federal court appearances Tuesday.

City of Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The examination of remains exhumed from a Tulsa cemetery has not yet confirmed that they were victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre, an investigator said Monday.

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — The second-degree murder trial of an Oklahoma man accused of crashing his pickup truck into a group of high school cross country runners, killing three and injuring five, is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission announced Thursday that it is expanding the eligibility for cash incentives to those who return to work.

Anyone working two part-time jobs totaling 32 or more hours per week will qualify for the $1,200 stipend, the OESC said.

The incentive announced in May by Gov. Kevin Stitt was to be available only to those working full-time for 32 or more hours weekly.

SAYRE, Okla. (AP) — Nearly all Oklahoma prisons returned to normal operations on Saturday after a statewide lockdown following a fight at one facility in the western part of the state.

The statewide lockdown had been ordered on Friday after a fight among inmates at the North Fork Correctional Center in Sayre.

One inmate at the prison randomly attacked six others, some of whom were stabbed or cut, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

The six inmates who were attacked received medical care at area hospitals. All the inmates are expected to recover.

Oklahoma Watch

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — More than 51,700 Oklahomans have qualified for Medicaid since enrollment began this week under an expansion of the program that voters approved last year, state officials said Friday.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which oversees the Medicaid program, reported that 51,708 Oklahomans have already qualified for benefits, including about 30,000 from urban areas and more than 21,000 from rural Oklahoma. Enrollment opened June 1, and benefits will begin July 1.

City of Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Crews searching a Tulsa cemetery for victims of the 1921 Race Massacrefound five more coffins on Thursday, bringing to 20 the number of coffins found at a mass-grave feature there, city officials said Thursday.

Sonic

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday that his chief operating officer, John Budd, will step down effective July 2.

Budd was the state’s first COO and a member of Stitt’s cabinet since he took office.

With the legislative session having just wrapped up, Budd said it was a “good time for me to move on to my next journey.”

Before joining the Stitt administration, Budd was chief strategy and business development officer for Oklahoma City-based Sonic Corp.

State of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Treasurer Randy McDaniel says he won’t seek re-election in 2022.

The first-term Republican said in a statement Tuesday that with his children in middle school, he plans to focus on his family instead of a statewide campaign.

McDaniel said he made the announcement to give potential candidates plenty of time to organize and campaign.

A former state House member who served 12 years in the Legislature, McDaniel won all 77 counties in his race for treasurer in 2018, receiving nearly 72% of the vote against independent Charles de Coune.

Michael Ives / Oklahoma Tourism

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — Police are investigating a separate shooting and a fatal boating accident that occurred in the Grand Lake area in northeast Oklahoma over Memorial Day weekend.

The Grand River Dam Authority police said in a statement a woman was shot in the neck late Saturday night at the Eagle Bluff Resort along the Illinois River. The woman was taken to an area hospital, and her condition was not immediately known. A 19-year-old woman was taken into custody in connection with the shooting, and an investigation is ongoing.

The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma state agencies will be barred from requiring a mask or coronavirus vaccination as a condition of being allowed to enter a state building or office under an executive order signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

“It is time to return to normal,” Stitt said in a statement after signing the order Friday. “Every Oklahoman must have access to all government services whether or not they choose to be vaccinated or wear a mask.”

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Hundreds gathered Monday for an interfaith service dedicating a prayer wall outside historic Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood on the centennial of the first day of one of the deadliest racist massacres in the nation.

City of Tulsa

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Several documentary filmmakers — some backed by NBA superstars — are shedding light on the historically ignored Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, one of the most horrific tragedies in American history. 

University of Tulsa

When the smoke cleared in June 1921, the toll from the massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was catastrophic — scores of lives lost, homes and businesses burned to the ground, a thriving Black community gutted by a white mob.

The nightmare cried out for attention, as something to be investigated and memorialized, with speeches and statues and anniversary commemorations.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Officials say two Colorado men employed by a Grand Junction drilling firm died in a May 13 underground explosion while they were working at a dam in Oklahoma.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that 22-year-old Hayden Tucker of Grand Junction and 48-year-old Philip E. Hughes Jr. of South Fork died in the incident, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Oklahoma.

Gov. Kevin Stitt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed key legislation Monday to implement a $9 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The general appropriations bill Stitt signed outlines state funding for various agencies.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Democratic state senator from Oklahoma City has filed paperwork to run for Oklahoma governor in 2022.

Connie Johnson filed a statement of organization last week with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, which allows her to start raising and spending money on her campaign.

Johnson is the first Democrat to file paperwork indicating plans to run for the seat. Former state Sen. Ervin Yen, a Republican from Oklahoma City, also has filed candidacy paperwork indicating he plans to challenge Gov. Kevin Stitt in the GOP primary.

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN is cutting ties with former Republican senator and current TV analyst Rick Santorum over disparaging comments he made about Native American culture.

On CNN, Santorum was a senior political commentator who was often tasked with giving the Republican point of view during campaign coverage. His parting ways with the network was confirmed Saturday by Alison Rudnick, vice president of HLN Communications and CNN Diversity and Inclusion.

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