Associated Press

Office of the State Treasurer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Revenue collections in Oklahoma fell by half a billion dollars in April from a year ago as an economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic swept the state, Treasurer Randy McDaniel said Thursday.

Gross receipts fell $502.5 million to just under $1.1 billion, down 31.8% from April 2019, McDaniel said.

Income tax collections fell by 50.5% to $405.8 million. McDaniel noted that the filing deadline for income taxes was postponed from April 15 until July 15 because of the pandemic.

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Capitol will reopen to the public on a limited basis this week as the Legislature prepares to return and residents began returning to businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

State Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall said the public can enter the building starting 10 a.m. Monday after being screened and under social distancing and health safety protocols. 

DURANT, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter refiled lawsuits Friday against three opioid distributors in one of the state’s counties hit hardest by the opioid epidemic.

The litigation previously filed as one case in Cleveland County was refiled as three separate cases in Bryan County in southeast Oklahoma against AmerisourceBergen Corp., Cardinal Health and McKesson.

Hunter calculated the three companies were responsible for supplying nearly 70% of the pain pills distributed in Bryan County from 2006 to 2014.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Federal relief aid and reopening Oklahoma businesses shuttered to slow down the spread of the coronavirus could potentially offset the steep economic impact of the pandemic, state lawmakers said.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission projected earlier this month that the state is slated to have $1.366 billion less to spend in fiscal 2021 than it had the previous year, based on analysis of current trends in revenue streams such as oil and gas production, tax collections and sales, and payroll tax receipts.

ABC Birds.org

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists are questioning spending by wildlife managers who oversee a conservation effort for the lesser prairie chicken after money was used on a building and salaries rather than on projects to help the bird.

File Photo-OU

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma-based oil and gas drilling company will pay $650,000 to resolve a lawsuit filed on behalf of a fired worker and hundreds of unsuccessful job applicants who claimed they were victims of age discrimination.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity announced the settlement on Friday with Purcell-based Horizontal Well Drillers LLC.

The agency alleged in its lawsuit that the company fired a rig hand based on health information obtained from an unlawful medical exam and rejected rig hand applicants older than 40 because of their age.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s top prosecutor on Tuesday requested an investigative audit of the state Health Department over the agency’s spending of state-appropriated funds. 

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Attorney General Mike Hunter’s request was related to the state’s coronavirus response, which the agency is leading.

Marco Verch on Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- State and local governments across the United States have obtained about 30 million doses of a malaria drug touted by President Trump to treat patients with the coronavirus, despite warnings from doctors that more research is needed. 

TRP0 on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Journalists from around the U.S. are finding ways to help their colleagues simply pay rent or buy groceries as they face lost or reduced paychecks because of layoffs and furloughs caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Serge Melki on Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma and two voters at high risk of contracting the coronavirus are suing the state to make it easier for residents to cast absentee ballots by mail.

Magellan MidStream

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended a nationwide program used to approve oil and gas pipelines, power lines and other utility work, spurred by a court ruling that industry representatives warn could slow or halt numerous infrastructure projects over environmental concerns

File photo

MADILL, Okla. (AP) — Severe weather is blowing across the South after apparent tornadoes tore through parts of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.

At least seven people have been killed, including a factory worker whose body was found a quarter mile from where an apparent tornado struck the factory in southern Oklahoma.

A Louisiana man was swept away in flood waters after going out to grab a trash can, and a woman was killed on a bridge.

Three more died when apparent tornado touched down near Onalaska, Texas.

More than 150,000 customers are without power. 

U.S. Navy

CHICAGO (AP) — Conspiracy theorists are twisting facts online about country singer Joe Diffie’s death from COVID-19 complications in an effort to promote their claims that health officials are exaggerating the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Diffie, who topped the charts in the 1990s with honky-tonk singles including “Home” and “Pickup Man,” died in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 29 after he tested positive for the virus. He was 61.

Courtesy

BOSTON (AP) — The oldest brother of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Donald Reed Herring, has died from the coronavirus, the Massachusetts senator said Thursday.

The former Democratic presidential candidate said her brother died Tuesday evening. He spent his career in the military after joining the U.S. Air Force at the age of 19 and was “charming and funny, a natural leader,” Warren tweeted.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt overstepped his authority when he signed gambling compacts with two Native American tribes this week, House and Senate GOP leaders said in a joint letter to the governor on Wednesday.

House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat said the governor’s inclusion of sports betting is one of several flaws they found in their review of the compacts.

“Sadly, the documents signed yesterday are legally flawed and sow more division than unity,” the two leaders wrote.

OEM

MADILL, Okla. (AP) — Two people have been killed as an apparent tornado tore through southern Oklahoma.

The storm hit the area around Madill, Oklahoma, about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, as  clusters of severe weather roared through parts of Oklahoma and Texas.

Marshall County Emergency Management Director Robert Chaney says one person's body was found about a quarter-mile from a J&I Manufacturing trailer plant just outside Madill. Chaney said he had no other information.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The White House has told governors their leadership is critical in testing for coronavirus and provided a map showing that Oklahoma is one of four states with the lowest testing capacity in the United States.

Whitney Bryen-Oklahoma Watch

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s attempt to ban abortions during the coronavirus pandemic cannot be enforced, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin issued a preliminary injunction late Monday after abortion providers sued Stitt over the ban. The injunction replaces a temporary restraining order that the same judge issued last week that allowed most abortions to continue.

OKC Memorial and Museum

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Survivors and loved ones of the 168 people who were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing were not able to gather Sunday to mark the 25th anniversary of the attack, but that did not stop them from remembering.

Because the annual remembrance ceremony was canceled due to coronavirus restrictions, those the victims instead were honored with a video tribute that included the reading of the names of those who died followed by 168 seconds of silence.

U.S. Treasury

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Several Native American tribes sued the federal government Friday, seeking to keep any of the $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief for tribes kept out of the hands of for-profit Alaska Native corporations.

The U.S. Treasury Department is tasked with doling out the money by April 26 to help tribes nationwide stay afloat, respond to the virus and recover after having to shut down casinos, tourism operations and other businesses that serve as their main moneymakers.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

In response to an order from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, a budget board led by Gov. Kevin Stitt will meet Monday afternoon.

House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat asked the high court to weigh in on the dispute between them and Stitt. The lawmakers want the court to order the Board of Equalization, chaired by Stitt, to meet and declare a revenue failure.

Chief Justice Noma Gurich also set oral arguments in the case for Tuesday before a Supreme Court referee.

U.S. Air Force

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Search-and-rescue workers came straight from the blast site, hard hats atop their heads and mud and grime on their boots.

Relatives of the missing joined loved ones of those already confirmed dead in holding teddy bears and wiping tears as this grieving heartland city — indeed, an entire shaken nation — came together to pray.

On a somber Sunday 25 years ago, the late Rev. Billy Graham shook off the flu to try and explain how a loving God could have allowed the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building to occur.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — EDITOR’S NOTE: On April 19, 1995, a former U.S. Army soldier parked a rented Ryder truck loaded with explosives outside a federal office building in Oklahoma City. The blast at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 168 people and injured more than 500 others in what remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism on American soil.

OKC Bombing Memorial

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Americans have been through a lot in the 25 years since the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, including foreign wars, mass shootings and the deadly Sept. 11 attacks.

But on April 19, 1995, the attack on the nation’s heartland shocked Americans out of their sense of security.

TC Energy

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. judge canceled a key permit Wednesday for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that’s expected to stretch from Canada to Nebraska, another setback for the disputed project that got underway less than two weeks ago following years of delays.

Judge Brian Morris said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately consider effects on endangered species such as pallid sturgeon, a massive, dinosaur-like fish that lives in rivers the pipeline would cross.

OMES

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Revenue collections to Oklahoma’s main state operating fund were just 3.6% below projections last month, but state finance officials warned Tuesday that the biggest hit is expected over the next three months.

Collections to the General Revenue Fund in March totaled $494.6 million, which was 3.6% below the monthly estimate, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says a man who escaped from a minimum security state prison in McAlester has been captured.

The department says 40-year-old Jeremiah Hobbs was arrested Monday following a traffic stop 75 miles away from McAlester in the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow.

Hobbs disappeared Thursday from the unfenced Jackie Brannon Correctional Center. The corrections department says a woman identified as Hobbs' girlfriend was also arrested during the traffic stop on a warrant for harboring a fugitive.

KWGS News File Photo

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — As demand declines during the coronavirus pandemic, the country's lowest average price per gallon is in Tulsa.

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline fell 14 cents over the past two weeks, to $2.01 per gallon. An industry analyst says prices at the pump have dropped 52 cents over the past seven weeks.

The highest average price in the nation for regular-grade gas is $3.22 per gallon in Honolulu. The average price of diesel is $2.69, down seven cents.

U.S. Courts

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a lower-court order that overturned the Oklahoma governor’s ban on abortions during the coronavirus outbreak emergency.

Wikipedia

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The only U.S. Senate seat up for grabs in Oklahoma drew a crowded field of challengers as the state’s three-day filing period for political office ended Friday.

Four Democrats, three Republicans, two independents and a Libertarian filed this week to challenge Sen. Jim Inhofe for the seat. The Republican incumbent, who has held the seat since 1994, is seeking another six-year term.

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