Jill Bleed is the supervisor for Oklahoma, followed by Ken Miller. 405-525-2121 or 800-715-7291.
Editors: Also note that political copy, including state political copy, is now moving under the Politics/Government category and is no longer moving under the General News category.
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OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma would no longer be the only state without a program allowing convicted criminals to request DNA testing in their cases under a measure approved by a Senate committee Tuesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8-0 for the Postconviction DNA Act, which establishes an application process for certain convicted criminals to request testing of evidence in their case. By Sean Murphy.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Lawmakers on Tuesday sent Gov. Mary Fallin proposed changes to how Oklahoma courts apply the death penalty in first-degree murder cases, a measure sponsored by a freshman representative and former county prosecutor. Under the proposal from Republican Rep. Scott Biggs of Chickasha, a former Grady County prosecutor, the death penalty would only be an option in first-degree murder cases if it is sought by the state, potentially limiting the number of executions. Current law tells judges to consider the penalty without specifying whether the state must ask for it as a possible punishment. By Dan Holtmeyer.
OKLAHOMA CITY — A former state senator charged with felony bribery has asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing that lawmakers are granted immunity from prosecution for official actions by the Oklahoma Constitution. Former Democratic Sen. Debbe Leftwich is accused of scheming with former Republican Rep. Randy Terrill to get set up with an $80,000-a-year job at the state Medical Examiner's Office so another Republican could run for her Senate seat. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges that allege Terrill offered a bribe and Leftwich solicited or accepted one. By Tim Talley.
WASHINGTON — An unusual and widely felt 5.6-magnitude quake in Oklahoma in 2011 was probably caused when oil drilling waste was pushed deep underground, a team of university and federal scientists concluded. That would make it the most powerful quake to be blamed on deep injections of wastewater, according to a study published Tuesday by the journal Geology. The waste was from traditional drilling, not from the hydraulic fracturing technique, or fracking. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein.
AP Photos NY897, NY898, NY899.
HOBBY LOBBY-BIRTH CONTROL
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt joined 12 other attorneys general Tuesday in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asking that it adopt broader religious exemptions to the federal health care law's requirement that employee insurance plans cover emergency contraceptives. The attorneys general sent their letter on the same day that a New York-based abortion rights group announced that it had filed of a friend of the court brief in Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby's appeal of a ruling that its plan must include emergency contraceptives, such as the so-called morning after pill.
SCHOOL SECURITY-INTRUDER DRILLS
OKLAHOMA CITY — Legislation requiring Oklahoma public schools to conduct drills to prepare students and teachers for possible intruders was approved by a state House committee Tuesday. The measure, passed by the House Education Committee 16-0, is among recommendations submitted to lawmakers earlier this month by the Oklahoma Commission on School Security, a task force created after last year's deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. By Tim Talley.
OKLAHOMA CITY — A bill that paves the way for a horse slaughtering facility in Oklahoma cleared the Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin, who is expected to sign it. Fallin typically withholds comment on pending legislation, but a spokesman said Tuesday that if the bill came to her desk in its current form, she "would be inclined to sign it." By Sean Murphy.
OKLAHOMA CITY — A scheduled Oklahoma House committee vote on a massive Republican-backed plan to overhaul the state's workers' compensation system has been delayed to allow legislators more time to review the bill. Judiciary Committee chairwoman Rep. Leslie Osborn said Tuesday she opted to give committee members and the bill's Senate sponsors more time — because the legislation's latest version was completed Monday night. She stressed that the delay didn't mean the legislation was in trouble and predicted the committee would reconsider it next week.
HEALTH OVERHAUL COSTS-OKLAHOMA
OKLAHOMA CITY — A study by the Society of Actuaries estimates that the new federal health care law will raise medical claims costs in Oklahoma by 29.3 percent, an increase that critics of the measure said comes as no surprise. "From day one, I was saying it could not be a savings in health care," said Sen. Bill Brown, R-Broken Arrow, a longtime critic of the Affordable Care Act championed by President Barack Obama.
LABOR COMMISSIONER-OFFICE CLOSING
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Department of Labor is shutting down its satellite office in Tulsa due to federal budget cuts and offering the office's 11 full-time employees voluntary buyouts or jobs in the agency's Oklahoma City office, Labor Commissioner Mark Costello said Tuesday. Costello said the agency expects to lose about $74,000 in federal dollars this year and at least another $481,000 next year following across-the-board federal spending cuts, known as sequestration, that went into effect March 1. Costello said the cuts forced closure of the "brick-and-mortar" office in Tulsa but that the agency will continue to provide services to Oklahomans. By Tim Talley.
— OKLAHOMA CAPITOL ALMANAC — Oklahoma Capitol Almanac.
— IRAQ-SOLDIER CHARGED-APPEAL — Gov't given more time to respond to soldier appeal.
— GOVERNORS MANSION-POWER — Power at the governor's mansion was knocked out briefly after three nearby power poles were knocked over.
— REMAINS FOUND — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is still working to identify the person whose remains were found last December in Pittsburg County.
— OKLAHOMA ABORTION LAWS BLOCKED — The nation's highest court is being asked to review a decision by Oklahoma's Supreme Court that invalidated a state anti-abortion law.
— VIDEO POKER-CONTRIBUTIONS — NC governor had more donations from Internet cafes.
Second-seeded Duke looks to return to the round of 16 of the women's NCAA tournament when the Blue Devils take on seventh-seeded Oklahoma State in the second round of the Norfolk Regional. By Joedy McCreary. Game starts 7 p.m. With hometown lede.
— TAVISTOCK CUP — Poulter lifts Albany past Lake Nona in Tavistock. AP Photos FLJR114, FLJR120, FLJR118, FLJR117, FLJR116, FLJR115, FLJR109, FLJR107, FLJR106, FLJR105, FLJR103, FLJR101, FLJR102.
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