IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD-OKLAHOMA PROTEST
Group to protest housing of immigrants
LAWTON, Okla. (AP) - A nonprofit organization based in Kansas that focuses on immigrant rights says it plans to travel to Oklahoma and protest the housing of unaccompanied minors at Fort Sill.
A delegation from Sunflower Community Action is traveling from Wichita to Lawton on Friday to protest the housing of the children.
The group says the children continue to be detained under questionable conditions.
Hundreds of teenagers from Central America have been housed at a troop barracks at the southwest Oklahoma Army post after detention centers near the border were overwhelmed with an influx of young people crossing the border.
Members of Oklahoma's all-Republican congressional delegation are urging President Barack Obama to reconsider using Fort Sill to the house unaccompanied minors.
Escaped Oklahoma inmate captured in north Texas
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma prison officials say an inmate who walked away from a minimum security facility in Granite has been captured in Texas.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins says 26-year-old Aaron Kelsey was arrested without incident Friday afternoon at an acquaintance's house in Denison, Texas.
Kelsey was discovered missing Wednesday during a 6 p.m. head count at a minimum security facility at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite. Watkins said Kelsey "basically walked away."
Prison records show Kelsey was serving time for convictions in Bryan County of second-degree burglary, possession of a firearm during probation, and use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon.
Watkins says Kelsey is being held in the Grayson County, Texas, Jail awaiting extradition.
POLICE CHIEF ARRESTED
Police chief charged with molestation
SPAVINAW, Okla. (AP) - The police chief of a small northeastern Oklahoma town is facing accusations he touched girls inappropriately.
Mayes County chief prosecutor Marny Hill says Spavinaw Police Chief Clarence Gregory has been charged with two counts of lewd molestation. He's due in court Friday afternoon for an initial appearance.
Detectives with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said they believe the abuse had been going on for a couple of years, though they wouldn't say how he knew the girls.
Vice Mayor Johnny Gifford tells KOTV the 75-year-old Gregory is no longer considered the town's police chief.
A special town hall is scheduled for Friday to decide who will be the interim police chief.
Sex offender gets prison for failing to register
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) - A Haskell man has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for failing to register as a sex offender.
The U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma says 42-year-old Albert Preston Alexander was sentenced to 35 months in prison for failing to register as a sex offender.
That sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release.
Alexander pleaded guilty to the charge in December 2013.
Authorities say Alexander failed to register and update his registration between May 2013 and Sept. 4, 2013.
Alexander has a felony conviction from California for the charge of inducing intercourse.
Fallin appoints veteran prosecutor to parole board
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed a longtime prosecutor to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board following the death of a board member earlier this month.
Fallin on Friday named Patricia High as one of the governor's three appointments to the five-member board. High will complete the remainder of the term of the late Currie Ballard, who died on July 11.
High was a prosecutor for nearly 20 years in the Oklahoma County district attorney's office where she served as a special prosecutor on death penalty cases and was chief of the child abuse and sexual assault division.
High also taught courses to police officers on sexual assault investigations, use of force, rules of evidence, and courtroom testimony.
She received her law degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma food pantries scrambling to meet demand
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Food pantries and shelters across the state are scrambling to meet demand for food and other supplies by the homeless, kids left in the lurch because they don't have access to free and discounted meals offered when schools are in session and other residents who are down on their luck.
Social service workers say supplies like meat and dairy are particularly in demand during the summer months - a period when donations to agencies tend to dip.
The Iron Gate soup kitchen and food pantry in downtown Tulsa, for example, fed a record 600-plus people Wednesday.
A pastor who operates the pantry at Eagle Heights Christian Center in the eastern Oklahoma town of Dewar says it's struggling to keep meats, fresh vegetables and bread on shelves.
US rig count up 12 to 1,883
HOUSTON (AP) - Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose 12 this week to 1,883.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,562 rigs were exploring for oil and 318 for gas. Three were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained six, California, New Mexico and Oklahoma were each up four, and West Virginia increased by one.
Alaska lost three rigs, Pennsylvania and Texas were down two apiece and Ohio was off one.
Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
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