Associated Press


BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) — Broken Arrow police say a man was killed after a compressed natural gas tank exploded.

Police tell Tulsa television station KOTV that the man was working on a pickup truck that had a CNG tank. Broken Arrow Police Sgt. Ed Ferguson says someone driving past a business in an industrial park spotted the man's body at about 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

Ferguson says it appears the tank exploded, killing the man.

Authorities say the explosion sent debris into the street and caused minor property damage.

State of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's Senate leader is acknowledging a cut in the state's income tax of more than three-quarters of 1 percent next year will be "very difficult" to achieve this legislative session.

Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman told reporters Thursday he believes a cut in the state's top personal income tax rate will be somewhere between one-quarter and three-quarters of 1 percent next year. But Bingman acknowledged negotiations are ongoing and no final decision has been made.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Attorney General's Office will appeal a man's stay of execution to the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The state Court of Criminal Appeals on Tuesday denied Garry Allen's plea to stop his execution. But U.S. District Judge David L. Russell issued a ruling Wednesday to give Allen time to litigate claims about his competency.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma lawmaker wants a comprehensive study of a compensation plan for state workers who have not had a raise in six years.

Rep. Leslie Osborn of Tuttle said Tuesday the study would help determine if a market-based compensation plan could be adopted for all state workers. The plan would bring state worker salaries closer to private-sector pay.

VINITA, Okla. (AP) — A 73-year-old woman has been arrested for allegedly running a major marijuana drug operation out of her northeast Oklahoma home.

Sheriff Jimmie Sooter says a drug task force serving a search warrant late Monday seized several pounds of pot, about $277,000 in cash and guns from Darlene Mayes' home near Vinita.

The retired Department of Human Services worker was booked into jail on complaints that included possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Katie Henke Campaign

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A recount of votes in a special election for a seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives is scheduled for Wednesday.

The recount was requested by Republican candidate Katie Henke after unofficial returns from the April 3 election showed Democrat Dan Arthrell winning by three votes in the District 71 race. The district runs along the Arkansas River in central Tulsa.

KWGS News File Photo

WOODWARD, Okla. (AP) — Officials in Woodward County say softball-sized hail caused an estimated $250,000 in damages after severe storms swept through the area Monday night, injuring three people.

Woodward County Emergency Manager Matt Lehenbauer says an infant was injured by glass from a shattered car window and another person was hit in the face by a softball-sized hail stone that broke through a car window.

Lehenbauer tells the Woodward News the storms caused at least a quarter-million dollars in damages to buildings and vehicles.

Goveronor's office

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two bills targeting feral hogs are among 16 measures signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Fallin signed the bills on Monday, including one that specifically authorizes a "Judas pig tagging system" for wiping out feral hogs. The system allows hunters to outfit a feral hog with a radio collar, then track it down after it returns to the main herd.

Wild hogs have become a nuisance across the state, rooting up fields and crops, destroying fences and spreading diseases to livestock.


WELLSTON, Okla. (AP) — A small earthquake shook parts of Lincoln County on Easter.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 2.6-magnitude quake was recorded late Sunday 3 miles west of Wellston.

Lincoln County officials didn't receive any reports of injuries or damage.

Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest felt by humans.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

KWGS News Photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tulsa police documents say the two suspects arrested in a shooting spree that terrorized the city's black community have both confessed. The documents given to The Associated Press on Monday say 19-year-old Jake England confessed to shooting three people and 32-year-old Alvin Watts confessed to shooting two.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — At least one possible tornado has touched down and hail the size of softballs has damaged windows in northwestern Oklahoma. According to the National Weather Service, a tornado was spotted about 3 miles south-southwest of Woodward about 5:30 p.m. Monday. Hail ranging in size from an inch to 4.25 inches pounded the town, breaking out windows. There was no immediate confirmation of injuries. Woodward and seven other counties are under a tornado watch until late Monday.

Tulsa County Booking photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Friends say a suspect in a series of shootings that left three dead in Tulsa began coming unglued after his father died two years ago.

Nineteen-year-old Jake England and 32-year-old Alvin Watts were arrested Sunday in the Easter weekend slayings.

Court records say England's father died two years ago after being shot during a struggle with a black man. All the victims of the recent shootings were black.

Tulsa Public Schools

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Board of Education has identified six state schools as low-performing and director the Department of Education to work with the schools to improve student performance.

The board delayed action on a seventh school — Santa Fe South Middle School in Oklahoma City — that was recommended to be added to the list.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Members of an anti-death penalty group are asking Gov. Mary Fallin to commute the sentence of Oklahoma death row inmate Garry Allen to life in prison.

Members of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty met Monday with Fallin's general counsel, Steve Mullins.

Fallin denied clemency for Allen on March 13 and set his execution date for Thursday. The anti-death penalty group wants Fallin to reconsider that decision.

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. natural gas market is bursting at the seams.

So much natural gas is being produced that soon there may be nowhere left to put the country's swelling surplus. After years of explosive growth, natural gas producers are retrenching.

The underground salt caverns and depleted oil fields that store natural gas are rapidly filling up after a balmy winter depressed demand for home heating.

KWGS News File Photo

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma Indian tribe could partially open a casino in Broken Arrow by the end of the month -- despite protests from thousands of residents and a pending state lawsuit.

The Kialegee Tribal Town began bulldozing the 20-acre site near the heavily-trafficked Creek Turnpike late last year. In recent weeks, it has trucked in several pre-fabricated buildings to temporarily house the Red Clay Casino.

Opponents of the project say the casino site is too close to schools and churches and will hurt property values and attract crime to the area.

Tulsa County Jail Booking photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Police in Tulsa have arrested two men in a shooting rampage that killed three people, terrorizing the local African-American community, and said one suspect might have been trying to avenge his father's shooting two years ago by a black man.

Police arrested 19-year-old Jake England and 32-year-old Alvin Watts about 2 a.m. Sunday at a home north of Tulsa. Police said Sunday both suspects are white and all five victims in the early Friday were black.

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A Fort Smith-based poultry company plans to hire 182 people as part of a $7 million expansion of its processing facilities.

OK Industries officials said Friday the company wants to hire 110 employees in Fort Smith and another 72 in Heavener, Okla. Company spokeswoman Donna Miller says priority in hiring will be given to those who were laid off last year.

Officials say the majority of added jobs will be in deboning plant positions, which use both mechanized and hand-cutting methods.

State of Oklahoma

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A longtime state legislator has lost her long battle with ovarian cancer.

Homer Tibbs said Saturday his wife, Representative Sue Tibbs of Tulsa, died about 9:30 p.m. Friday. She was 77.

Homer Tibbs says his wife of 57 years had surgery in 2008 and underwent chemotherapy treatment but the treatment stopped working. At that point, Homer Tibbs said his wife told him she was through fighting.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma teachers say the elimination of a stipend program for completing a rigorous national certification process could have long-term consequences inside classrooms.

Legislation that would authorize $5,000 annual stipends for teachers who are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is pending in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee after it was resurrected by a budget subcommittee that defeated it a week earlier.

Tulsa, OK (AP) — An election official says provisional ballots did not change the unofficial outcome in a House of Representatives race where a Democrat won by three votes.

Democrat Dan Arthrell had a three-vote lead over Republican Katie Henke after Tuesday's special election. Tulsa County Election Commission Secretary Patty Bryant tells The Associated Press that four provisional ballots were determined to be from qualified voters.

USGS map

LUTHER, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a small earthquake near Luther in central Oklahoma.

The U.S.G.S. says the 3.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 11:20 a.m. Friday about 1 mile southeast of Luther and about 25 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma County sheriff's spokesman Mark Myers says there have been no reports of damage or injury.

Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest felt by humans.

KWGS File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Attorney General Scott Pruitt's office says a woman who allegedly coerced money from her developmentally disabled patients has been charged with three counts of financial exploitation.

The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit says an arrest warrant has been issued for 49-year-old Barbara Mangum of Okmulgee. The charges were filed on Thursday in Okmulgee County District Court.

Court records do not list an attorney for Mangum.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Department of Transportation says it is ordering an Oklahoma City-based charter bus company to shut down.

A news release said Friday the department is ordering Heartland Charters & Tours to immediately shut down because of what the department calls a "hazard to public safety."

The release said investigators with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that the company did not screen potential drivers for drugs and that it failed to use properly qualified drivers.

Copyright-Taco Bell

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A lawsuit filed by an Oklahoma woman who claimed she contracted salmonella after eating at Taco Bell has been transferred to federal court.

A judge in Cleveland County approved the transfer last week. Leah Smith sued Taco Bell in February, claiming that she was sick for two weeks after eating at Taco Bell. She's seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

In a court filing, Taco Bell denied it was liable for Smith's illness. The company asked a federal judge to dismiss it from the lawsuit.

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Oklahoma says a Mexican national has pleaded guilty to illegally re-entering the United States.

The office says 43-year-old Antonio Martinez-Angiano pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Muskogee. He faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. A formal sentencing date has not been set.

Martinez-Angiano was arrested in February in Tahlequah by the Tulsa Fugitive Operations Team.

The prosecutor's office says he had originally been deported from the U.S. in April 2000.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma National Guard says the final large group of soldiers with the 45th Infantry Brigade is set to return to the state.

The guard said Thursday that about 150 soldiers will arrive at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City about 10 a.m. Saturday. Their return comes after 208 soldiers arrived at the base Thursday morning.

The soldiers are among about 2,200 from the 45th that were deployed to Afghanistan and another 800 to Kuwait last June.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health is reporting an eighth death due to the flu during this year's flu season. The department reported Thursday that the latest death was a Wagoner County resident in the 19- to 64-year-old age group. The department also reported 16 additional hospitalizations in the state due to the flu. The department says about 280 people have been hospitalized because of the flu since Jan. 1. The number is down from about 840 hospitalizations and about two dozen deaths during the same time frame in 2011.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Oklahoma prison warden's wife convicted of helping an inmate escape almost 18 years ago has been released from prison.

Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie says Bobbi Parker was released at 1 a.m. Thursday from the Hillside Community Correctional Center in Oklahoma City. She served a little more than half of her 1-year prison sentence.

Parker was convicted Sept. 21 for helping convicted killer Randolph Franklin Dial escape from the Oklahoma State Reformatory where her husband, Randy, was deputy warden.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma man is $250,000 richer, thanks to a Mega Millions lottery ticket.

Oklahoma Lottery officials say Arthur Wallace claimed his prize Monday after purchasing the winning ticket for the March 30 drawing at a QuikTrip store in Sand Springs. The record-setting Mega Millions jackpot that day was $656 million.

Officials say after taxes were applied, Wallace pocketed $177,500.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.