Associated Press

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal for a former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of sexually assaulting black women he encountered while patrolling the city’s low-income neighborhoods.

Attorney James L. Hankins asked the highest court in December 2019 to review a ruling against 33-year-old Daniel Holtzclaw issued months earlier by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. The Supreme Court’s denial of the written request means the lower court’s decision stands.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration cannot divert gambling revenue from tribal casinos into a trust while a legal dispute between the governor and the tribes is pending in federal court, Oklahoma’s attorney general said in a legal opinion on Monday.

Grauesel

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two Oklahoma civil rights groups said Monday they intend to sue the state if the Legislature passes a bill to prohibit state contracts with companies that boycott Israel.

Attorneys with the Oklahoma chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and Council on American-Islamic Relations both say House Bill 3967, which passed the House last week, is unconstitutional.

Whitney Bryen-Oklahoma Watch

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — From their keen taste for sun-ripened pot to their first meeting at a pro-marijuana rally in college in the 1990s, everything about Chip and Jessica Baker fits the stereotype of cannabis country in Northern California, where they lived for 20 years.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A convicted killer found dead in his cell at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in November died of a methamphetamine overdose and had a small package of the drug found inside his body, according to a medical examiner’s report.

An autopsy report released on Thursday lists the cause of death for Albert Ray Johnson, 52, as acute intoxication by methamphetamine, The Oklahoman reported. The report also noted heart problems contributed to Johnson’s death and that a pathologist found white powder wrapped in plastic inside the inmate’s rectum.

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma high school student who was among three people to survive a hit-and-run that killed three of his friends says his fellow cross-country runners helped save his life.

Joseph White and others with the Moore High School cross-county team were jogging on the sidewalk near campus when a pickup truck hit the six students last month.

“That truck came so fast that we didn’t have time to react,” White, whose girlfriend was among those killed, told KWTV-TV in Oklahoma City.

Life.Church

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two leaders at an Oklahoma-based megachurch have been quarantined after learning they may have been exposed to the new coronavirus at a Germany conference where a scheduled speaker tested positive for the virus.

Rev. Craig Groeschel, Life.Church’s founder, went to speak at the Willow Creek Leadership Congress 2020, along with pastor-innovation leader Rev. Bobby Gruenewald. The leadership conference held in late February drew about 7,400 people.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, 85, a fixture in Oklahoma politics for more than 50 years, announced Thursday that he intends to seek another six-year term in office.

Inhofe told The Associated Press this week that his close relationship with President Donald Trump and his seniority on two key Senate committees are the main reasons he’s running again.

“He (Trump) has done an incredibly great job, and I’m very, very close personally with him, and that upsets a lot of people, but I am, and he does call with regularity,” Inhofe said of the president.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man serving a 90-year sentence for participating in the 1993 murder of a Kansas corrections officer is charged in a 55-count federal indictment with running a drug ring from his Oklahoma prison cell.

The U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release Wednesday that 47-year-old Travis Knighten was the brains behind a criminal organization that distributed methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine powder, crack cocaine and marijuana in Wichita. No attorney is listed for Knighten in online court records.

Google Street View

Oklahoma prison officials expect to lift a statewide lock down today following what they called a "disturbance" among about a half dozen inmates.

There were no serious injuries as a result of the disturbance Monday night at Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown, a medium-security men's prison about 105 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, said DOC spokesman Matt Elliott.

Elliott said the cause of the disturbances is under investigation and the lock down was ordered after investigators have learned of more potential violence at other state prisons.

Whitney Bryen-Oklahoma Watch

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The former finance director of a public housing authority in Washington state has been indicted on federal charges that she stole nearly $7 million from the agency.

The four-count wire fraud indictment was unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, a day after Cova Campbell was arrested in Redbird, Oklahoma. The Pierce County Housing Authority fired Campbell last August after the state auditor uncovered financial irregularities.

Gage Skidmore

Former Vice President Joe Biden won Oklahoma’s Democratic presidential primary on Super Tuesday, building on momentum from a dominant victory in South Carolina and last-minute endorsements from two former opponents.

Nearly 30% of eligible voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary. Tulsa County Democratic Party Chair Amanda Swope said they’ll need more of that turnout in November.

File photo

Tuesday’s presidential primaries across 14 states mark the first major security test since the 2018 midterm elections, with state and local election officials saying they are prepared to deal with everything from equipment problems to false information about the coronavirus.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A college president has apologized after a recruiter told students at an Oklahoma City high school to line up by the skin color and hair texture.

At an open campus meeting Sunday, Oklahoma Christian University President John DeSteiguer called recruiter Cedric Sunray’s actions at Harding Charter Preparatory High School “offensive, harmful and inappropriate.”

It's a big day in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — Super Tuesday.

Oklahoma and 13 other states will award about one-third of the party’s delegates. Tulsa County Democratic Party Chair Amanda Swope said that makes it important to vote in the primary, something independents can do in the Democratic contest but not the Republican one.

Sanders Campaign

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — It isn’t easy being a Bernie Sanders supporter in a conservative state like Oklahoma. Travis Wyman, a 40-year-old construction worker and online “social justice warrior,” says he and other Sanders fans can hear “fear-mongering words” like socialist and communist thrown at them many times a day.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

When Republican Kevin Stitt was elected Oklahoma governor in 2018, many Cherokee Nation members felt proud that one of their own had accomplished such a feat, even if their politics didn’t necessarily align with his.

But in less than a year in office, Stitt began facing fierce blowback, particularly from fellow tribal citizens, for engaging in a battle with the Cherokee Nation and other Oklahoma-based Native American tribes over the amount of casino gambling revenue they were giving to the state.

OU Black Emergency Response Team

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Dozens of students at the University of Oklahoma have ended a sit-in outside the university’s administrative offices following two instances in which professors used racial slurs in their classrooms.

The three-day sit-in organized by the Black Emergency Response Team, known as BERT, ended Friday with the student group saying that progress had been made.

Instagram/Garth Brooks

DETROIT (AP) — Leave it to the internet to interpret Garth Brooks wearing a Barry Sanders jersey during a recent concert in Detroit as a political endorsement of a certain liberal presidential candidate.

The more than 70,000 fans who attended the country music star’s Feb. 22 show at Ford Field understood it was a tribute to one of greatest NFL running backs and Detroit Lions players ever.

File photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Prosecutors say a Chinese national who admitted stealing trade secrets from a U.S. petroleum company has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.

Hongjin Tan pleaded guilty in November to theft of a trade secret in connection to his work as a scientist at a Phillips 66 research facility in Oklahoma.

Edward Kimmel

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Cherokee citizens are calling on Elizabeth Warren to publicly disavow a family story of indigenous heritage as a way to dissuade others from making false claims they say often romanticize Native Americans.

The topic has haunted the Massachusetts senator since even before she announced she would seek the Democratic nomination for president, despite Warren repeatedly apologizing for identifying as Native American in the past and for submitting a DNA test to back up what she heard growing up.

Joshua Doubek

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration moved Thursday on a water-recycling push it says could get good use out of more of the wastewater that industries, cities and farms spew out, including the billions of barrels of watery waste generated by oil and gas fields each year.

Oklahoma-DOC

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma is ill-prepared to resume executing inmates and its new lethal injection protocols would violate the constitutional rights of prisoners, attorneys for death row inmates said in a court filing Thursday.

Attorneys for several Oklahoma death row inmates filed a motion to reopen a case in federal court in Oklahoma City that challenges Oklahoma’s lethal injection method. In the motion, attorneys argue the newly released protocols are incomplete and that a grand jury investigation is unfinished.

OU Black Emergency Response Team

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Dozens of University of Oklahoma students staged a sit-in for a second day Thursday outside OU’s administrative offices following two instances of professors using racial slurs in the classroom.

OU’s Black Emergency Response Team, known as BERT, gathered Wednesday morning in Evans Hall and called for the resignation of OU provost Kyle Harper, mandatory equity training for faculty, semester-long diversity training and a new multicultural center on campus.

File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A man convicted of kidnapping and holding his stepdaughter captive for nearly 20 years has been sentenced to life in prison.

Henri Michelle Piette was sentenced Tuesday for kidnapping and traveling with intent to engage in sexual acts with a juvenile, Tulsa World reported. Piette also faces a $50,000 fine and $50,067 in restitution to the victim, Rosalynn Michelle McGinnis.

The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify people who say they have been sexually abused, but McGinnis has discussed her case publicly.

Gabriel Vieira

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration said Wednesday a resumption of coal sales from public lands that had been blocked under former President Barack Obama will result in a negligible increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Critics accused the administration of producing a flawed analysis of the federal coal program that ignores its broader impacts.

OKC Bombing Memorial

White supremacists and other far-right extremists killed at least 38 people in the U.S. in 2019, the sixth deadliest year for violence by all domestic extremists since 1970, according to a report issued Wednesday by a group that fights anti-semitism.

Architect of the Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A House committee approved Tuesday legislation that would require signs bearing the national motto “In God We Trust” to be displayed at all state buildings.

The House Rules Committee voted 6-1 to advance to the full House the bill by House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka.

The bill is fiercely opposed by the religious equality watchdog group American Atheists, which says the message is exclusionary. It says the bill is related to a campaign that seeks to weaken the separation of religion and government.

Karen Nutini / Federal Emergency Management Agency

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Former two-term Democratic Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry endorsed presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg in his race for the Democratic nomination, the Bloomberg campaign announced on Tuesday.

Henry is one of the most prominent Democrats in the state, having served two terms as governor after upsetting NFL star and then-U.S. Rep. Steve Largent in 2002.

Marelbu-Wikimedia

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Another University of Oklahoma professor used a racial slur in class, the school’s interim president said, marking the second time in less than two weeks that a faculty member used offensive language in the classroom.

Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. said Monday a history professor, whom he didn’t name, read from a historical document that used the N-word repeatedly. Harroz said the professor gave a “trigger warning” letting students know what she was about to say, but he said that didn’t excuse her behavior.

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