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Local & Regional
8:02 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Survey: Drought Dragging Down Midwest Economy

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The drought affecting Midwest and Plains states has put a further drag on the regional economy.

A report released Wednesday says July's Mid-America Business Conditions Index plunged below growth neutral for the first time since 2008. The index hit 48.7, compared with 57.2 in June.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the drought has already harmed ethanol and food processors in the region.

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Local & Regional
4:45 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Tribe to Appeal

Tahlequah casino
Keetoowah

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Cherokee Nation's attorney general says he'll appeal a federal decision to place casino land of a rival tribe into trust, a move that recognizes the parcel as Indian land.

Attorney General Todd Hembree says Monday's decision by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place roughly 2 acres into trust is not supported by law. The decision will keep the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees' namesake casino open in Tahlequah.

A federal judge had given the tribe, which claims about 15,000 members, until the last day of July to win the status.

Local & Regional
12:54 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Greenwood District on Track for National Listing

Street sign at Historic Tulsa intersection
File Photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tulsa preservationists say honoring the site of the city's 1921 race riot with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places will teach future generations about what atrocities happened here and how they can learn from them.

The Greenwood Historic District, which encompasses about 36 city blocks in north Tulsa, could make it on the federal register as early as December, if the city's 94-page nomination is approved.

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Local & Regional
5:49 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Governor Declares State of Emergency

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in all 77 Oklahoma counties due to extreme or exceptional drought conditions.

The executive order issued by Fallin on Monday allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief and preparedness. It is also a first step toward seeking federal assistance, if needed.

Fallin says extreme heat and dry conditions are affecting the entire state. So far, 47 Oklahoma counties have declared countywide burn bans because of the drought.

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Local & Regional
7:06 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Fire Leads to Evacuation Order in Oklahoma

Fi;e Photo

EARLSBORO, Okla. (AP) — Residents in Earlsboro have been allowed back in their homes after being ordered to evacuate because of a grass fire.

Emergency management officials said Sunday evening that about 30 homes had been evacuated in the town about 50 miles east of Oklahoma City. Several hours later, the Pottawatomie County sheriff's office reported that residents had returned home.

No injuries were reported. The fire's cause was not immediately known.

About 40 firefighters were called to battle the blaze. Some remained at the scene late Sunday night.

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Local & Regional
4:34 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Woman Arrested in Shooting Death of Husband

VINITA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says the wife of a Craig County man has been arrested on a manslaughter complaint in connection with the man's shooting death.

The OSBI says 48-year-old Glendora Beisley was arrested in the shooting death of 65-year-old John Beisley at the couple's home near Vinita.

Online court records on Sunday did not show that charges have been filed against Glendora Beisley. A phone call to a number listed for John Beisley was answered with a recording saying the number was disconnected.

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Local & Regional
4:23 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Tribe has Contingency Plan if Casino Closes

Keetoowah Casino at Tahlequah
Keetoowah

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees officials say they have a contingency plan in place for employees if the tribe's casino is forced to close.

The tribe and Attorney General Scott Pruitt signed an agreement last month that requires the tribe to pay $2 million to the state and secure federal trust status for land on which the Keetoowah Cherokee Casino is located. The tribe has until Monday to comply or it has to cease gaming operations.

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Local & Regional
8:00 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Foresters Warn of Rising Danger of Wildfires

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Forestry Services is warning of an increasing potential for extreme wildfires across the state.

State Forester George Geissler says conditions for wildfires to get out of control are increasing because of dry grasslands and hayfields coupled with the ongoing drought, heat and strong winds.

The agency says today will be especially dangerous with the fire danger very high the western half of the state and high in the eastern half.

The agency advises that fires can be started by common activities such as mowing the lawn or baling hay.

Local & Regional
7:55 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Indictment Naming 6 Unsealed in Oklahoma Court

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) — Six men have been named in a 15-count indictment that alleges racketeering, conspiracy and theft-related charges.

Oklahoma's multicounty grand jury indictment unsealed in Washington County District Court  names 72-year-old Philip Hawk; 65-year-old Coy Short; 55-year-old Joseph Fairchild; 48-year-old Stevie Starks; 64-year-old George Baker; and 39-year-old Kory Pierson.

The men are accused of conspiring to steal tractors, all-terrain vehicles, horse trailers and stock trailers in at least eight eastern Oklahoma counties.

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Local & Regional
7:53 am
Sun July 29, 2012

EPA Awards $1.6 million Grant to Oklahoma Agency

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded more than $1.6 million to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality to help with environmental permitting, enforcement and facility inspections.

EPA officials announced Friday that the Performance Partnership Grant also will be used to perform outreach and education and accreditation of training providers. It also will help with the certification of firms and individuals performing lead-based paint abatement activities.

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