EXECUTION DRUGS-OKLAHOMA LAWSUIT
Oklahoma inmates again request to stop executions
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Lawyers for two death row inmates who are scheduled to die in the next week have again asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to halt their executions.
Lawyers for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner filed a petition Monday asking the state's highest court to delay their executions so their ongoing case against the state can be fully litigated. The inmates sued the state corrections department in February over the secrecy protocol surrounding executions.
Friday, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled they were not the court to grant the inmates a stay, despite a ruing earlier in the week by the state Supreme Court that they were the only court that could issue a stay or move an execution.
Lockett is set to be executed Tuesday night.
Precautionary lockdown lifted at Oklahoma school
WEATHERFORD, Okla. (AP) - Southwestern Oklahoma State University has lifted a precautionary lockdown that had been issued after the school received an unconfirmed report of a man on campus with a gun.
The university sent an emergency alert to students Monday morning notifying them of the situation. The school lifted the lockdown about 90 minutes later after no gunman was located.
SWOSU says officers will remain on campus as a precaution.
The campus in the western Oklahoma city of Weatherford has about 4,000 students.
CHOCTAW COUNTY-FATAL CRASH
3 killed, 1 hurt in southern Oklahoma car crash
GRANT, Okla. (AP) - Authorities say three people were killed and another was injured in a two-car crash in southern Oklahoma near the Texas border.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the crash occurred Sunday night in Choctaw County. According to a preliminary report, a car driven by 35-year-old Rodney Sutterfield of Antlers failed to yield at a stop sign and pulled out in front of a car driving south on U.S. 271.
The cars collided and all four occupants of Sutterfield's car were pinned for about 25 minutes.
The highway patrol says Sutterfield was killed in the crash, along with 53-year-old J.W. Fleeks of Grant and 28-year-old Mildred Mitchell of Antlers. A fourth person in the car is in critical condition at a Hugo hospital.
The occupants of the other car were not injured.
Oklahoma Election Board hears candidacy challenges
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A Democrat running for Oklahoma governor is challenging the candidacy of a pro-marijuana independent in the race, claiming the man failed to disclose a guilty plea to a felony crime more than a decade ago.
Democratic state Rep. Joe Dorman of Rush Springs is challenging the candidacy of independent Joe Sills of Oklahoma City. The challenge is one of more than a half-dozen that are scheduled for a hearing Monday before the Oklahoma Election Board, including those against district judges, and a state representative and senator.
Dorman claims the 34-year-old Sills did not disclose on his candidacy form a guilty plea in 2000 to a felony crime of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Sills said last week that he thought the question only applied to embezzlement-related crimes.
HOSPITAL-HEALTH CARE FRAUD
Durant hospital agrees to settle fraud case
DURANT, Okla. (AP) - A hospital in Durant and its parent company have agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve claims alleging that an otolaryngologist billed the state's Medicaid program for unnecessary sinus surgeries.
According to the U.S. attorney's office, the Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma and its parent company, Health Management Associates Inc., will pay $1,065,000 to the federal government and $435,000 to SoonerCare, the state's Medicaid program.
Federal prosecutors accused the hospital of health care fraud.
The Durant Daily Democrat reports the hospital is denying the allegations. In a statement, the hospital said it is not admitting any wrongdoing or liability and that it agreed to the settlement to avoid costly litigation.
The hospital says the otolaryngologist involved in the case is no longer employed at the medical center.
Okla. climatologist to speak on drought's impact
ALTUS, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma's state climatologist is scheduled to speak in Altus this week on how the ongoing drought is impacting the area.
Tuesday's event with Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey will be at the Southwest Technology Center. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Altus is located in southwestern Oklahoma - part of the state experiencing the worst of the drought, which began late last summer and intensified through the winter.
Only a small area of southeastern Oklahoma is not in drought conditions, while the remainder of the state ranges from abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.
The state's climatological survey reported that the latest April through June weather outlook offers no clues as to the amount of rain the state can expect to receive during the spring.
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