Associated Press

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.

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The chairman of Oklahoma's powerful House Appropriations Committee says a deal may be at hand with the Senate on a $200 million state bond issue that would fund repairs to the state's crumbling Capitol and other nearby buildings.

Representative Earl Sears told The Associated Press on Wednesday that a bill containing the proposal will be unveiled soon. His Senate counterpart wouldn't confirm the price tag.

Yellow barricades currently block the Capitol's south steps to prevent pedestrians from being hit by feared falling chunks of limestone and mortar.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Google says it will double its server capacity in Oklahoma and create 50 new jobs when it creates a new facility in Mayes County.  

Mike Wooten, the operations manager of Google's data center near Pryor, says Google is looking primarily for local residents to fill the new jobs. He says Google needs employees to work on deployment of servers and equipment maintenance.

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tulsa police say an officer shot and killed a man who allegedly pulled a knife on officers who were doing a welfare check.

Detective Dave Walker says officers were called to a Tulsa apartment complex Tuesday night on reports that the man was suicidal. Walker says  the man grabbed a knife and started running toward officers.

That's when an officer fired at the man.

Police say the man was taken to a Tulsa hospital where he later died. Police have not yet released his name or the name of the officer involved in the shooting.

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin's office says Google will announce a new facility at its data center in Mayes County near Pryor.

The governor's office is holding a press conference Wednesday morning along with Google officials to announce the new facility.

Google's $600 million data center opened last fall, and it employs more than 100 workers. The facility is located in the Mid-America Industrial Park.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group that supports the sale of wine in Oklahoma grocery stores is launching a signature drive to allow voters to decide whether the state's largest counties should have the option.

Oklahomans for Modern Laws filed their initiative petition Tuesday with the Secretary of State's office. The group now has 90 days to gather signatures from about 155,000 registered voters in the state to have the issue placed on the November ballot.

State of Oklahoma-File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State Treasurer Ken Miller says Oklahoma's two-year revenue growth streak has come to an end.

Miller said Tuesday that state revenue collections in March fell slightly below collections from the same month last year. Total collections for the month totaled about $921 million, down less than $3 million from collections in March 2011.

Miller says the biggest drop among the state's major sources of revenue was the gross production tax on oil and natural gas. He says revenue from that tax was down 36 percent in March.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The head of a nonprofit organization has won the House District 71 seat in Tulsa by only three votes.

According to unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Election Board, Democrat Dan Arthrell received 1,416 votes to 1,413 for Republican Katie Henke on Tuesday. They were vying for the seat vacated by Republican Rep. Dan Sullivan, who is now chief executive officer of the Grand River Dam Authority.

Henke could challenge the results.

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) — Bail has been set at $250,000 for a Sperry man charged with first-degree manslaughter in the traffic death of an Oklahoma Department of Transportation employee in a construction zone.

Nineteen-year-old Deven Franklin appeared before Washington County Special Judge Kyra Williams via video monitor from the county jail Monday. According to court records, he appeared without an attorney so Williams appointed one to represent him.

Tulsa County Jail Booking photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tulsa County prosecutors have filed child abuse murder charges against two women after a little boy was found dead inside their vehicle during a traffic stop.

Mica Shoate and Jazmin Williams also were charged Monday with child neglect in connection with the March 25 death of 1-year-old Zamontay Green.

Police say they stopped Shoate's car that day because it was moving erratically. The women told the officer they were trying to get Zamontay to a hospital.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation that would fund stipends for Oklahoma public school teachers has been approved by the same House budget subcommittee that earlier rejected the bill.

Rep. Ann Coody of Lawton asked members of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education Monday to reconsider the bill. The same committee defeated the measure a week ago over concerns about replacing the current system with a performance-pay system.

CHECOTAH, Okla. (AP) — The Department of Defense says a soldier from Oklahoma has died in Afghanistan.

The department says 25-year-old Spc. James E. Dutton of Checotah died Saturday in Logar province in Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 125th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas.

No details were available about how Dutton died.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An anti-death penalty group says a man scheduled to be executed next week is mentally impaired and wants Gov. Mary Fallin to reconsider clemency.

The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty wants Fallin to reconsider her denial of clemency for 56-year-old Garry Allen. The state Pardon and Parole Board in 2005 recommended the governor commute Allen's sentence to life in prison without parole.

But after reviewing the case, Fallin last month rejected that recommendation and ordered the execution to be carried out on April 12.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Plans to unseal an Oklahoma multicounty grand jury indictment have been postponed.

Oklahoma County District Judge Glenn Jones was scheduled to unseal the indictment Monday. But Diane Clay, spokeswoman for Attorney General Scott Pruitt, says unsealing has been postponed until Thursday.

The indictment is one of two handed up by the multicounty grand jury last week following a three-day investigation. The second sealed indictment will be unsealed on Tuesday in Pittsburg County.

KWGS File photo

OKMULGEE, Okla. (AP) — An attempt to override Muscogee Creek Nation Chief George Tiger's veto of a resolution opposing a proposed casino in Broken Arrow has failed.

The National Council's 10-5 vote fell two short of the votes needed for the override on Saturday. The Tulsa World reports that two members of the 17-member council were absent.

The National Council passed the resolution opposing the Kialegee Tribal Town's proposed casino on March 8th. The resolution says the Kialegees don't have jurisdiction on the restricted Creek allotment where the casino is to be built.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma school officials say they're prepared should tornadoes or other types of severe weather strike. What is considered to be Oklahoma's tornado season generally runs from late April through mid-June. The National Weather Service says Oklahoma has averaged about 52 tornadoes per year since record-keeping began in 1950 and had 119 confirmed tornadoes in 2011. School officials from Oklahoma City and Tulsa to Arnett in western Oklahoma say they have safe rooms for students in the event of severe weather.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Oklahoma prison warden's wife who was convicted of aiding the escape of a convicted killer she lived with for 11 years will be released from prison soon after serving about half of her one-year sentence. Bobbi Parker's trial was the most expensive in Greer County history, but with time off for good behavior she could be released in April after serving about six months. The state spent more than $66,000 for her trial, including $27,000 in juror fees.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Friends and family have welcomed home about 200 more soldiers with the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat team. The soldiers who were deployed last June arrived Friday morning at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City after serving in Afghanistan and Kuwait. About 500 soldiers with the 45th have returned this week and about 180 more are to arrive on Saturday. Nearly 2,200 soldiers from the 45th deployed to Afghanistan last June and about 800 more were sent to Kuwait at the same time.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A plan to improve Oklahoma's troubled child welfare services includes seeking 500 new foster families by the end of June 2013 and the restructuring of the Department of Human Services' child welfare staff. Gov. Mary Fallin, House Speaker Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman praised the five-year plan Friday during a news conference at the state Capitol. The plan was developed as part of a January settlement agreement reached with a children's advocacy group that sued over DHS' treatment of foster children.

KWGS News File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union and a New York abortion rights group are suing on behalf of several Oklahoma doctors to stop an initiative petition that seeks to define a fertilized human egg as a person.

The group filed a protest with the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Thursday that contends the proposed constitutional amendment is unconstitutional because it threatens the rights of women. The group also maintains the proposal violates the state's single-subject rule and that the explanation of the amendment is unclear.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says an Oklahoma City man has been given two suspended sentences and ordered to pay restitution after pleading guilty to home repair fraud.

Pruitt said 54-year-old Alan Holcombe was sentenced Thursday in Cleveland County to a 10 year suspended sentence and ordered to pay $64,000 restitution to six people.

Pruitt says Holcombe admitted taking payments from six homeowners for promised home repairs that were never completed.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

KWGS News File Photo

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a motorcyclist has died after a crash during a high-speed pursuit with a state trooper.

Authorities say a state trooper tried to pull over two motorcyclists shortly after 2 a.m. Friday on U.S. Highway 169 in Tulsa County. The patrol says the cyclists left the highway and led troopers on a chase through residential neighborhoods in Broken Arrow.

Authorities say one of the cyclists was able to evade the trooper, but the other driver ran a red light and crashed into a newspaper delivery van.

KWGS News File Photo

(AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot is now the largest in U.S. lottery history.

Georgia Lottery officials say the jackpot reached $500 million on Wednesday. It has rolled 18 times since Marcia Adams of College Park won $72 million in the Jan. 24 drawing.

A winner could get $19.2 million a year for 26 years or a single payment worth $359 million. The next drawing is Friday at 11 p.m.

Previously, the largest jackpot was $390 million, won by two players in Georgia and New Jersey in March 2007.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

State of Oklahoma-File photo / David Holt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a bill to require drug testing for certain welfare recipients.

The bill by Oklahoma City Republican Sen. David Holt passed 5-3 on Monday in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, with Democrats opposing the measure. The bill already has been approved in the Republican-controlled House.

Holt removed from the bill an amendment added in the House that would have required drug tests for those seeking elected office. He described that amendment as a "stunt" by those who oppose the concept.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State lawmakers are considering legislation that would grant "personhood" status to human embryos.

Members of the Oklahoma House's Public Health Committee are scheduled to debate and vote Tuesday on the Senate-passed measure.

The bill provides embryos and fetuses "all the rights, privileges and immunities" of other citizens. Supporters say it's modeled after a 1986 Missouri law that the U.S. Supreme Court has said is constitutional.

State Impact-Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones says his office will investigate a conference held last year by a private foundation on behalf of the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Jones said Monday he plans to launch the investigative audit at the request of state Superintendent Janet Barresi.

Details of an investigative audit released earlier this month showed former Department of Education officials under the previous administration used secret bank accounts during a 10-year period that the audit described as a "slush fund."

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma may receive a windfall of about $46 million a year in tobacco tax money if the federal health care goes into effect.

The law would ensure that most Americans have health insurance, either through Medicare, Medicaid, their employer or plans purchased with government subsidies.

Major League Baseball expanded its playoff format to 10 teams Friday, adding a second wild-card in each league.

The decision establishes a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records who are not division winners, meaning a third-place team could win the World Series.

This is the only change in baseball's playoff structure since the 1995 season, when wild-card teams were first added.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive proclamation expanding a ban on outdoor burning to cover the entire state of Oklahoma.

The burn ban put in place on July 14 now includes 32 additional counties

Fallin on Wednesday noted that Oklahoma has just experienced the hottest July on record, and predictions of unrelenting extreme heat with no relief in sight make the statewide burn ban necessary.

Fallin says Oklahoma Forestry Services has reported increased fire activity across the state, and firefighter fatigue is a growing concern.