COLD SNAP-OKLAHOMA HOMELESS
Okla. homeless shelters bracing for severe cold snap
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - As bitter cold settles in for a long winter's nap in much of the country's midsection, homeless shelters are operating beyond capacity, with officials worrying that the cramped quarters.
Communities have worked to recover from last weekend's winter storm, which brought freezing rain, sleet and snow, but temperatures have struggled to rebound in the Southern Plains.
A man was found dead beneath an Oklahoma City overpass last week in an area where transients are known to congregate. With temperatures rebounding slowly, homeless shelters are bracing for large crowds and their impact on operations.
Dan Straughan, executive director of the Oklahoma City-based nonprofit Homeless Alliance, says prolonged periods of cold strain resources on shelters because more people must be fed and housed.
CHILLED MAN-GUITAR CASE
Okla. man found chilled, wet in guitar case
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) - Officials in Muskogee say a man was rescued after he was found wet, cold, naked and sheltering himself in a guitar case.
Authorities said the man fell into an icy pond on Tuesday while walking from Gore to Checotah. Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson said the man got lost and was taking a short cut across a frozen pond when the ice broke.
Pearson said the man undressed and wedged inside the guitar case to try to stay warm.
The Muskogee Phoenix reports that people checking on their cattle found the man around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The man was treated at a hospital.
When the victim was found, the National Weather Service said the temperature was 35 degrees, which felt like 21 degrees when factoring the wind chill.
Hindu leader seeks monument at Okla. Capitol
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A Hindu leader from Nevada is the latest to inquire about erecting a monument at the Oklahoma Capitol.
Universal Society of Hinduism President Rajan Zed said Wednesday his Reno, Nevada-based organization is interested in donating a statue of Lord Hanuman, a Hindu deity with an ape-like face and a tail that Zed said is known for incredible strength. Zed said the group currently is in the "exploration stage" of donating a monument.
The Associated Press reported earlier this week about the New York-based Satanic Temple seeking to donate a statue that would be placed next to an existing Ten Commandments monument on the north steps of the Capitol.
The Oklahoma Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of the Ten Commandments monument.
Okla. man charged with video voyeurism
McALESTER, Okla. (AP) - A 55-year-old McAlester man is charged in federal court with three counts of video voyeurism for allegedly setting up a hidden camera to record women in a restroom.
Authorities said Wednesday that Kenneth Elkins, who worked at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, allegedly installed the camera in a women's bathroom there and viewed at least three separate victims.
Elkins also faces state charges after a search of his home in the federal case turned up evidence of alleged additional crimes, including images of child pornography.
Elkins is next due in court Dec. 20 on the state charges and is scheduled for arraignment January 15th in the federal case.
An attorney listed in court documents for Elkins in the federal case did not return a phone message seeking comment Wednesday.
Verdict not reached in sentencing of Ariz. inmate
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Jurors deliberating the sentencing for Arizona inmate John McCluskey have failed to reach a unanimous verdict.
That means the judge will sentence McCluskey to life in prison for murdering a retired Oklahoma couple during a multistate crime spree that followed a 2010 prison break. A sentencing date has yet to be set.
It ends a four-month trial. McCluskey shot and killed the couple from Tecumseh, Oklahoma as they passed through New Mexico while on vacation.
Prosecutors portrayed the McCluskey as a dangerous killer who deserved nothing less than execution.
The defense painted him as a broken man with a low IQ who suffered a hard life of abuse.
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