Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Norman City Council voted to require that masks be worn indoors at house parties if more than 25 people are present to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the college town — a step that angry residents said would infringe on their rights.

The council voted 5-3 on Tuesday night in favor of the ordinance, which took effect immediately and expires Nov. 30, despite the objections of some locals.

Oklahoma City Fire Department

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A girl was killed and her parents and brother were injured when their home in Oklahoma City exploded Thursday morning, fire officials said.

The ages of the girl or her brother were not immediately released, but both are younger than 18, according to District Fire Chief Benny Fulkerson. The boy and the parents were taken to a hospital with burn injuries in undisclosed condition, Fulkerson said.

No names were released. The explosion does not appear intentional, Fulkerson said.

KWGS News File photo

Arkansas State postponed Saturday’s home football game against Tulsa because of positive COVID-19 tests.

The school made the announcement Wednesday.

Arkansas State said it could not assemble a two-deep depth chart at one position group that would allow the game to be played safely.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group seeking to change the way Oklahoma's state and congressional districts are drawn is abandoning its plans to seek a public vote on the issue.

People Not Politicians Executive Director Andy Moore announced Tuesday the group would instead focus on making sure the redistricting process is conducted by the Legislature in a fair and open manner.

In a statement, Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat called the initative "flawed" and said he was not surprised it was withdrawn.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation convicted of murder in state court and another convicted of sexually assaulting a child in cases at the center of a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling on tribal sovereignty are now facing felony charges in federal court, U.S. Attorney Brian Kuester announced on Monday.

A federal grand jury in Muskogee returned criminal indictments against Jimcy McGirt, 71, for three counts of aggravated sexual abuse, and Patrick Dwayne Murphy, 51, for murder and kidnapping.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Growing anti-police sentiment around the country could have a profoundly negative impact on the ability to recruit quality officers, police chiefs from two Oklahoma cities told state lawmakers on Thursday.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday rejected the Oklahoma Democratic Party’s lawsuit challenging the state’s absentee voting rules.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John Dowell wrote that the state’s absentee voting rules are “reasonable, nondiscriminatory and legitimate.”

U.S. Census Bureau

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The head of the U.S. Census Bureau visited a census event Friday to encourage people to fill out their census form before the end of the month.

Director Steven Dillingham stopped by a census event outside the Oklahoma Capitol where people could drive by and pick up census forms ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline.

University of Tulsa Football

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — One week after its originally scheduled season opener was supposed to take place, No. 11 Oklahoma State will finally take the field this weekend. 

After Tulsa had several players test positive for COVID-19 earlier in camp, the Golden Hurricane had requested an extra week of practice and, conveniently, both teams initially had a bye week Saturday, so it was an easy decision to move the game back a week. Kickoff is at noon Saturday.

Twitter / @realdonaldtrump

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s former state epidemiologist warned that President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa in June could lead to as many as nine deaths and 228 new cases of COVID-19, according to documents released Wednesday.

The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane is set to begin its football season Saturday in Stillwater. That game was delayed a week to give TU more practice time after a COVID-shortened preseason.

Now, Tulsa’s next opponent on the schedule has pushed back a game, seemingly because of the coronavirus. 

Arkansas State’s home football game against Central Arkansas has been pushed back from Saturday to Oct. 10.

Needpix

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Collections to Oklahoma’s main government operating fund exceeded the estimate last month by about 1%, state finance officials reported Tuesday.

Office of Management and Enterprise Services Director Steven Harpe attributed the higher-than-expected collections to a couple of anomalies, including the timing of corporate income tax payments.

“These anomalies should not be expected to continue in other months, especially after federal assistance payments are fulfilled and deferred tax payments are received,” Harpe said.

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A group of citizens in Norman, Oklahoma, that was seeking to oust the mayor over her push to reallocate police funding has fallen short of the number of signatures needed to force a recall election, city officials said Monday.

City Clerk Brenda Hall said in a statement the group did gather enough signatures to force a recall election for City Council member Alison Patrone.

Courtesy

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Several Oklahoma House Democrats requested a legal opinion Monday on Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt’s decision to spend federal coronavirus relief funds to send students to private schools.

Members of the House Democratic Education Policy Group requested a formal opinion from state Attorney General Mike Hunter.

Stitt faced criticism in July when he announced his plan to spend $10 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to allow Oklahoma families to access $6,500 in funds for private-school tuition.

Facebook / The Village Police Department

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot a man wielding a baseball bat has been charged with first-degree manslaughter.

The Oklahoman reports Chance Avery, a corporal with The Village Police Department, shot Christopher Poor, 49, three times July 25, according to court records.

OU Football

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley confirmed after the No. 5 Sooners’ opening victory over Missouri State that the game Saturday night had been jeopardy of being postponed or canceled because of the Sooners’ COVID-19 cases.

Earlier, the Springfield News-Leader reported that Missouri State President Clif Smart told the school’s board of governors that the game had been in doubt.

T. Boone Pickens

DALLAS (AP) — Works of art depicting the American West and other pieces collected by the late Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens are expected to sell at auction for more than $15 million.

Christie’s said Thursday that the auction will be held Oct. 28 in New York. Christie’s said the art collection spans over a century, with works ranging from from Frederic Remington’s “The Signal” from 1900 to Howard Terpning’s “Flags on the Frontier” from 2001.

File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Claims for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma are declining after reaching record levels during the coronavirus pandemic, the state Employment Security Commission reported Thursday.

First-time weekly claims for the week ending Sept. 5 totaled of 5,241, and continuing claims numbered 103,903, down from 6,019 initial claims and 119,571 continuing claims from a week earlier, according to the commission.

The Big 12 has secured access to COVID-19 antigen testing that produces rapid results and will be used the day before competition on players, coaches and staff.

The conference announced a partnership with Virtual Care for Families. The testing program will use Quidel Rapid Antigen tests.

The Big 12 said it expects the Quidel test to provide results in about 15 minutes, the turnaround for its tests under a partnership with the Pac-12.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections on Thursday reported the death of a second inmate who tested positive for COVID-19.

The male inmate from Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington was admitted to an Oklahoma City hospital more than a week ago with COVID-19-related symptoms and died on Wednesday, the agency reported. The man’s name was not released.

In a statement, DOC said, "The man had signed a do not resuscitate directive and requested the hospital withdraw all treatment."

Office of Gov. Kevin Stitt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday named a former classroom teacher and CEO of an education reform group as his new secretary of education. 

Every Kid Counts CEO Ryan Walters will replace Secretary of State Michael Rogers, who stepped down from the education position last month, citing his workload.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Oklahoma zookeeper sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot and violating federal wildlife laws has formally requested a pardon.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The White House task force on the coronavirus is no longer recommending a statewide mask mandate in Oklahoma, according to the report released Wednesday by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The report, dated Sunday, instead recommends a mask mandate in urban areas and in counties where students and teachers in public schools have tested positive for the virus. 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A judge has set a trial date for a legal battle involving Oklahoma’s attempt to review financial records from a private company that manages a public charter school.

District Judge Natalie Mai set the trial date for Dec. 16, The Oklahoman reported Wednesday.

State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd said Epic Youth Services, which manages Epic Charter Schools, has refused to provide her office with records of Epic’s Learning Fund— a bank account that pays $1,000 per student for extracurricular activities, technology costs and supplemental curricula.

Dennis Adair, licensed under CC BY SA 2.0.

Billy Donovan won’t return as coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder after five seasons, the team announced Tuesday night, ending a largely successful run that ought to make him an attractive candidate for jobs around the league.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two people have been arrested in Texas for the June shooting death of a Texas man whose body was found in southern Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Shannon Mayorga, 20, was arrested Friday on a first-degree murder warrant, a day after Randall Rudd, 23, was arrested on the same warrant in the June slaying of Juan Manuel Rosas, 43, of Denton, Texas, the OSBI said Friday.

Rental Realities

This story was supported by grants from the Pulitzer Center, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Park Foundation. It was a collaboration by the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland, Big Local News at Stanford University, the University of Arkansas and Boston University.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A program in Tulsa, Oklahoma, designed to stem evictions amid the pandemic fell flat when lawyers advised landlords the deal offering to pay owed rent was too risky.

University of Tulsa Football

Oklahoma State’s season-opening game at home against Tulsa has been pushed back a week, with the opposing Golden Hurricane still recovering from multiple players testing positive for COVID-19.

The game, which was supposed to be played Saturday, was rescheduled for Sept. 19.

Alan Lebeda, licensed under GFDL 1.2.

CHESTER, Ark. (AP) — Four members of a family from Oklahoma were killed when their single-engine plane crashed into a ravine in rural northwest Arkansas, authorities said.

Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown said the plane crashed Friday evening and was found the following morning.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Overall collections to the state treasury last month were nearly 5% below collections from August 2019, driven mostly by a slump in oil and gas prices, Oklahoma Treasurer Randy McDaniel said Friday.

The decline in August marked the fifth month since February that total receipts were lower than those from the same month in the prior year, McDaniel reported.

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