Oklahoma

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Tiger Zoo Owner Accused of Hiring Hit Man to Kill a Critic

'Joe Exotic' allegedly tried to arrange murder of woman who runs animal sanctuary

(Newser) - It's a bizarre and disturbing tale involving tigers, animal rights, and a hit man. Federal authorities have arrested Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka "Joe Exotic," and accused him of trying to arrange the murder of a longtime critic of his roadside tiger zoo in Oklahoma, reports the Pensacola News ... More »

Larry Nassar Leaves Tucson Prison After Reported Attack

On Sunday night he was at a holdover facility in Oklahoma

(Newser) - Last month brought word that within hours of being released into the general prison population in late May, Larry Nassar was attacked by other inmates. So said a court filing by his lawyer, and now the Detroit News reports Nassar, 55, has been removed from the federal penitentiary in Tucson,... More »

Backstreet Boys Show Proves Dangerous

14 injured in Oklahoma after storm blows entrance trusses over

(Newser) - At least 14 people have been injured and transported to hospitals after trusses holding up the entrance to a resort where the Backstreet Boys were set to begin a concert in Oklahoma collapsed. WinStar World Casino and Resort says in a statement Saturday that the resort began an evacuation at... More »

Girl, 11, Catches Piranha Relative in Oklahoma

Invasive species bit her grandmother

(Newser) - An 11-year-old girl has quite the fish tale: A rare pacu with human-like teeth chomped down on the worm at the end of her line while she was fishing with her grandparents and brother in an Oklahoma lake. But Kennedy Smith isn't exaggerating when she describes her catch, the... More »

Cops: Armed Citizen Ended 'Terrible, Terrible Incident'

Civilian killed Oklahoma restaurant gunman

(Newser) - A man armed with a pistol walked into an Oklahoma City restaurant at the dinner hour Thursday and opened fire, wounding two customers, before being shot dead by a handgun-carrying civilian in the parking lot, police say. The shooting happened around 6:30pm at Louie's On The Lake, a... More »

Woman Killed in Attack by 7 Dachshund-Mix Dogs

One of the dogs even went after first responders

(Newser) - They weighed no more than 40 pounds each and reached just up to one's knees, but all together, a pack of seven dachshunds proved a deadly force in Oklahoma. Carter County Sheriff Chris Bryant says 52-year-old Tracy Garcia was mauled and killed Thursday night by her neighbor's dogs... More »

Governor Angers Libs, Conservatives in Single Day

Mary Fallin vetoed one bill and signed another

(Newser) - With two swoops of a pen, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin managed to enrage liberals and conservatives on the same day. First off, the Republican signed a bill allowing faith-based groups to deny adoption placement to anyone who defies their beliefs, the Washington Post reports. Gay rights advocates say this will... More »

Finally, Arrest in 18-Year-Old Cold Case of Vanished Teens

Ronnie Dean Busick faces murder, kidnapping charges after 2 girls disappeared in 1999

(Newser) - Two families have finally received some answers in what had been a nearly 20-year-old cold case, but an Oklahoma district attorney says those answers "no doubt [come] as little solace to their grief." The Tulsa World reports on the charges brought this week against 66-year-old Ronnie Dean Busick... More »

Mom's Obituary Helps Feds Catch 1981 Prison Escapee

He walked away from 9-year sentence

(Newser) - Investigators say a woman's obituary helped federal agents capture her fugitive son nearly four decades after he escaped from an Oklahoma prison. The US Marshals Service says 58-year-old Stephen Michael Paris was arrested without incident Thursday at an office in Houston where he worked under a pseudonym, the AP... More »

Okla. Politicians to Striking Teachers: Keep Striking

Legislature isn't exactly leaping to meet demands as strike enters its 8th day

(Newser) - A top GOP lawmaker said Tuesday that the Oklahoma Legislature has no plans to bow to striking teachers' demands to eliminate a capital gains tax break as a way to end a walkout in its second week. Rep. John Pfeiffer, a House majority floor leader, also said lawmakers are unlikely... More »

10 States Where Chance of Dying Young Is Highest

JAMA study blames opioids, alcoholism, suicide

(Newser) - "Some of our states are falling behind other, less developed countries" when it comes to premature death, says University of Washington epidemiologist Ali Mokdad, whose new study in JAMA shows a major disparity in the death rates of people aged 20 to 55 in California and those in West... More »

100 Female Attorneys Give Ultimatum in Oklahoma

They're going to the capital to demand a resolution to teacher strike

(Newser) - As lawmakers in Oklahoma scramble to find a solution to the state's teacher strike, a female adoption lawyer has fired off a gone-viral warning to them: "I, along with 100 female attorneys, will be coming to see you Monday," writes Becki Murphy in a Facebook post . She... More »

Donations Pour In After Oklahoma Teacher's Post

Laurissa Kovacs included an image of a broken classroom chair

(Newser) - Teachers in Oklahoma will continue their protests for better pay and more education funding for a fourth day on Thursday, reports the AP . One of those participating in the walkout is middle school art teacher Laurissa Kovacs, who has received an overwhelming response to a Facebook post about classroom conditions,... More »

As Teachers Walk Out, an 'Unofficial Anthem' Emerges

Protesters in multiple states adopt 'We're Not Going to Take It' by Twisted Sister

(Newser) - Many schools were expected to be closed Tuesday throughout Oklahoma as teachers there continue their walkout for higher pay for a second straight day, reports CNN . Teachers in Kentucky also protested Monday—following the lead of their colleagues in West Virginia earlier this year—but most schools were expected to... More »

Teachers in 2 More States Walk Off the Job

Educators in Oklahoma, Kentucky are protesting everything from pay and pensions to state budgets

(Newser) - First teachers in West Virginia did it. Now educators in Oklahoma and Kentucky are walking out on their jobs and rallying at their respective state capitols, reports CNN . The issue, as it was in West Virginia, is money, though the particulars vary. In Kentucky, teachers are marching over the state... More »

Oklahoma Plans to Be First to Use Execution Method

Nitrogen gas will be new primary method of execution

(Newser) - If new protocols are successfully developed and the change isn't blocked by court challenges, one of Oklahoma's 49 condemned inmates will soon become the first person in the US legally executed with nitrogen gas. The state—which started exploring the use of the inert gas after a botched... More »

No Prison Time for Man Who Raped Teen at Church Camp

Benjamin Petty sentenced to 15 years probation

(Newser) - Benjamin Petty, a cook at a Baptist church camp in Oklahoma, pleaded guilty to tying up a 13-year-old camper, raping her, sodomizing her, and threatening her if she told anyone, the Oklahoman reports. Despite pleading guilty to three felonies, Petty was sentenced to 15 years probation with no prison time... More »

Father Who Said Daughter Killed Herself Faces Trial

Cops say his story doesn't add up

(Newser) - An Oklahoma father who claimed his daughter fatally shot herself in the face while playing with a gun is going to stand trial for her murder. At a hearing Monday, a police detective in Norman testified that father Ronald Lee McMullen Jr.'s version of events is physically impossible,... More »

'Extremely Valuable' Cold Case Find: a Crate

New leads in 1999 disappearance follow discovery of case files

(Newser) - The disappearance of two teenage girls in Oklahoma 18 years ago is getting renewed attention—and the case is potentially making progress—thanks to the lucky discovery of an old crate. Craig County Sheriff Heath Winfrey was moving into the Sheriff’s Office in 2017 when he found a crate... More »

Bioterror Tests Planned Near Graves of Native American Kids

Five tribes are opposing the Department of Homeland Security's plans

(Newser) - Five Native American tribes that own an Oklahoma site where the US Department of Homeland Security intends to conduct bioterrorism drills next year now oppose the government's plan, saying the agency didn't inform them about chemicals it plans to release on grounds the tribes consider sacred because more... More »

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