Gov. Fallin: use tobacco funds for health care
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Governor Mary Fallin is proposing a last-minute legislative change to the state's Insure Oklahoma program that would direct $50 million in state tobacco taxes to pay for more than 9,000 Oklahomans who are expected to lose their health insurance under the program.
Fallin released a statement Friday urging lawmakers to redirect the $50 million so the Insure Oklahoma could continue to operate as a "smaller, more targeted program run with state dollars only."
The federal government notified Oklahoma it would no longer provide Medicaid funding to operate Insure Oklahoma, which provides health insurance to about 30,000 low-income workers in the state. The federal government's decision came after Fallin rejected an opportunity to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma and provide health insurance coverage to nearly 200,000 uninsured residents.
Okla. court upholds life sentence in uncle's death
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma appeals court has upheld the life prison sentence of a 38-year-old man who was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting his uncle to death.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals handed down the decision Friday in the case of Patrick Shane Yargee. A jury in Tulsa County found Yargee guilty in the 2010 shooting death of 48-year-old David Willie Harjo.
Authorities alleged that Yargee shot Harjo eight times in a residence in northern Tulsa. Reports filed in the case indicate that the two men had an argument involving a woman before the shooting.
The five-judge court unanimously rejected Yargee's claims that he was denied a fair trial.
Yargee's defense attorney, Stuart Southerland of the Tulsa County Public Defender's Office, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Life prison sentence upheld by Okla. appeals court
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The life prison sentences of 2 men convicted of first-degree murder have been upheld by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.
In separate decisions Friday, the court affirmed the convictions and sentences of 25-year-old Jerlon Morgan and 22-year-old William Hurt. A Tulsa County jury found them guilty in the May 2010 shooting death of 22-year-old Marcus Lewis.
Police found Lewis' body in a street near a park while responding to reports of gunshots in the area. Prosecutors say Lewis was shot five times by Hurt after a fistfight between Morgan and Lewis.
They will have to serve 38 years and three months before they are eligible for parole.
Morgan's and Hurt's defense attorneys, Traci Quick and Wayna Tyner, did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.
BALD EAGLE DEATH
Bald eagle found dead at Okla. motel
SALLISAW, Okla. (AP) - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers are working to learn the circumstances under which a bald eagle died.
Officials said Friday the dead eagle was found at a motel in Sallisaw.
Fort Smith television station KHBS reports that investigators say the raptor's talons and tail feathers had been removed. Feathers from the eagle's wings were also gone.
A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to a conviction in the death and mutilation of the eagle.
Investigators say the bird was about 3 years old - a juvenile. It is now yet known how the bird died.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Eagles are protected under federal law.
NORTH TEXAS TORNADOS
Graham, Texas struck by tornados
GRAHAM, Texas (AP) - Authorities say two tornadoes have struck near a small community in rural North Texas, destroying a house but causing no injuries.
National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh says the tornadoes struck near the small community of Eliasville in southwestern Young County on Friday evening.
Young County Sheriff Bryan Walls says the three people in the destroyed home were not hurt.
He says that trees have been uprooted and some barns destroyed in the storm.
The tornadoes Friday come after North Texas was hit with an outbreak of 16 tornados on Wednesday night, including one that struck the town of Granbury, killing six.
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