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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma"

Oklahoma pro-police group launches petition to oust Norman mayor, council for cutting funding

A group of Norman, Okla., residents have launched a recall effort to oust the city’s mayor and half the City Council over budget cuts to the police department and her order that people wear masks in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The group “Unite Norman” was borne out of frustration with a June 17 City Council vote to divert $865,000 — or 3.6 percent —  of police funds to community development programs to track police overtime and to fund an internal auditor position. The vote was taken after a contentious 11-hour meeting held amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd and calls to reign in police misconduct.

In a series of tweets, Mayor Breea Clark called the grounds for the recall alleged in the petition “false and baseless.”

Four of Norman’s eight City Council members being targeted are Ward 1 representative Kate Bierman, Ward 3 representative Alison Petrone, Ward 5 representative Sereta Wilson and Ward 7 representative Stephen Holman.

The group says it has a bipartisan agenda with the goal of removing “divisive and radical figures” in an effort to “to return Norman to the center politically,” according to its Facebook page.

“We are trying to get rid of radicals,” group member Russell Smith told KWTV-DT. “This has nothing to do with Democrat or Republican, left or right. We want to center the ship here in Norman.”

Group members were also upset with Clark’s decision to mandate the wearing of masks following an uptick in coronavirus cases. She was further criticized for keeping some businesses and houses of worship closed.

Westlake Legal Group AP20192690785829 Oklahoma pro-police group launches petition to oust Norman mayor, council for cutting funding Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/us fnc cac9a073-bc6c-5a50-8472-9ad6ad0e0fec article

Norman Mayor Breea Clark listens during a Tuesday City Council meeting. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

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As of Friday, Norman, the third-largest city in the state, reported 637 COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths.

The petition to oust Clark would require the collecting of at least 18,125 signatures — or 25 percent of registered voters to move forward, The Oklahoman reported. Signatures to oust the councilmembers would require significantly less since they represent portions of the city.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP20192690785829 Oklahoma pro-police group launches petition to oust Norman mayor, council for cutting funding Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/us fnc cac9a073-bc6c-5a50-8472-9ad6ad0e0fec article  Westlake Legal Group AP20192690785829 Oklahoma pro-police group launches petition to oust Norman mayor, council for cutting funding Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/us fnc cac9a073-bc6c-5a50-8472-9ad6ad0e0fec article

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Cold case disappearance of Indiana woman, 18, in 1986 leads to arrest

Westlake Legal Group cold-case-disappearance-of-indiana-woman-18-in-1986-leads-to-arrest Cold case disappearance of Indiana woman, 18, in 1986 leads to arrest Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/crime/cold-case fox news fnc/us fnc article 82f2c7fa-4f4a-5152-a923-177795642c1d

Indiana authorities have announced an arrest in the cold case disappearance of an 18-year-old woman 34 years ago.

Denise Pflum, of Connersville, vanished in 1986. Deputies found her abandoned car the day after she disappeared at a farm.

“She was an honor student. She was a talented athlete. She probably would have gotten scholarships, athletic or academic,” Judy Pflum said about her daughter in 2014, according to the Indianapolis Star. “She had so much going for her. There was no reason to run away.”

INDIANA HUSBAND ALLEGEDLY SHOOTS MAN FOUND IN BEDROOM WITH WIFE HOURS AFTER SEPARATING

Westlake Legal Group Shawn-McClung-Denise-Pflum Cold case disappearance of Indiana woman, 18, in 1986 leads to arrest Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/crime/cold-case fox news fnc/us fnc article 82f2c7fa-4f4a-5152-a923-177795642c1d

Mugshot for Shawn McClung, 55. Denise Pflume, 18 (Fayette County Sheriff’s Department/ Charley Project)

On Thursday, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department announced an arrest in the case.

Shawn McClung was charged with voluntary manslaughter after he recently admitted that he killed Pflum at the time of her disappearance, sheriff officials said in a news release.

They declined further comment.

MISSING SEOUL MAYOR’S BODY FOUND AFTER MASSIVE SEARCH

Local media reported that McClung was an ex-boyfriend of Pflum’s.

Online court records show McClung, 55, pleaded not guilty during a court appearance. Bond was set at $500,000. Defense attorney Jud McMillin declined to comment, according to the Associated Press.

Plume’s mother and her husband issued a statement saying that the family hopes the arrest persuades “others involved” to come forward with information on what happened that Good Friday or where Denise is, Fox 59 Indianapolis reported.

“They look forward to a day when Denise can be given a fitting memorial and laid in a peaceful resting place. That occasion is long overdue,” the statement said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Shawn-McClung-Denise-Pflum Cold case disappearance of Indiana woman, 18, in 1986 leads to arrest Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/crime/cold-case fox news fnc/us fnc article 82f2c7fa-4f4a-5152-a923-177795642c1d  Westlake Legal Group Shawn-McClung-Denise-Pflum Cold case disappearance of Indiana woman, 18, in 1986 leads to arrest Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/crime/cold-case fox news fnc/us fnc article 82f2c7fa-4f4a-5152-a923-177795642c1d

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Lightning strike comes ‘awfully close’ to Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper helping motorist

Westlake Legal Group lightning-strike-comes-awfully-close-to-oklahoma-highway-patrol-trooper-helping-motorist Lightning strike comes 'awfully close' to Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper helping motorist Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/disasters/lightning fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 01f92aa9-69ce-5a7c-97d6-3fd71245e88a

Talk about a close call.

A highway trooper in Oklahoma had a near miss last week while helping a driver when a bolt of lightning struck nearby.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said on Facebook the incident happened on Thursday along the Turner Turnpike/Interstate 44 between Bristow and Stroud, located southwest of Tulsa.

LIGHTNING DEATHS DROP ‘DRAMATICALLY’ OVER 2 DECADES ACROSS US, BUT DANGER STILL LINGERS

According to a short statement, the trooper had pulled over to “assist with some equipment that had fallen off a trailer,” when the bolt hit the highway.

Dashcam video shows the moment the bolt of lightning strikes near the roadway as the officer walks nearby.

Westlake Legal Group lightningokla_1 Lightning strike comes 'awfully close' to Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper helping motorist Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/disasters/lightning fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 01f92aa9-69ce-5a7c-97d6-3fd71245e88a

Lightning can be seen striking nearby as an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper assists a motorist. (Oklahoma Highway Patrol)

“Woah! That was close!” the highway patrol said.

It did not appear the officer suffered any injuries.

LIGHTNING SAFETY: THESE ARE THE STATES WITH THE MOST FATALITIES

Last year there were just 21 lightning-related fatalities, down from an average of 55 deaths per year in 2001.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-Lightning-Fatalities-Pictograph Lightning strike comes 'awfully close' to Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper helping motorist Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/disasters/lightning fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 01f92aa9-69ce-5a7c-97d6-3fd71245e88a

The number of lightning fatalities from 2010 to 2020. (Courtesy National Lightning Safety Council)

John Jensenius, a lightning safety specialist with the National Lightning Safety Council (NLSC), told Fox News last month there are still some major misconceptions about lightning safety.

Jensenius said he’s found that people still believe lightning is attracted toward metal, even though it typically strikes the tallest object in the area. People would believe that having jewelry or metal in their pockets would somehow make them more susceptible to being struck.

“It’s simply the fact that they are outside,” he said.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE WEATHER COVERAGE FROM FOX NEWS

Another myth is that rubber protects someone from lightning, since being in a vehicle during a thunderstorm is safer than being outside. But according to Jensenius, that’s due to a hard-topped metal vehicle and its metal shell being able to distribute the electric charge if it’s struck.

People also misjudge their distance from approaching storms, thinking that the lightning rise may be much farther away than it actually is.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

“They are in danger as soon as they hear a distant rumble of thunder,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group lightningokla_1 Lightning strike comes 'awfully close' to Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper helping motorist Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/disasters/lightning fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 01f92aa9-69ce-5a7c-97d6-3fd71245e88a  Westlake Legal Group lightningokla_1 Lightning strike comes 'awfully close' to Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper helping motorist Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/disasters/lightning fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 01f92aa9-69ce-5a7c-97d6-3fd71245e88a

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‘Tiger King’ star Jeff Lowe ordered to surrender documents in animal neglect case exposed by PETA

Westlake Legal Group tiger-king-star-jeff-lowe-ordered-to-surrender-documents-in-animal-neglect-case-exposed-by-peta 'Tiger King' star Jeff Lowe ordered to surrender documents in animal neglect case exposed by PETA Michael Ruiz fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 365dd19c-2788-5334-be8c-b7e336e5c333

Tiger King” star Jeff Lowe’s legal troubles continued this week after a judge sided with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and ordered him to hand over documents pertaining to young lions that have allegedly been neglected at his Oklahoma zoo.

“This ruling tells Jeff Lowe that he can no longer evade the court’s authority and needs to come clean about the ways these lions are suffering in his custody,” PETA attorney Brittany Peet said in a statement on the ruling. “PETA looks forward to reviewing these records and getting these animals transferred to accredited sanctuaries.”

FEDS LOOK INTO ‘TIGER KING’ ZOO AFTER DISTURBING PHOTOS OF INJURED ANIMALS EMERGE

Last week, PETA released what it said were images provided by a whistleblower that show young lions at G.W. Zoo, which had belonged to Joe Exotic and was featured in the Netflix series. They show lions with sores and an infestation called “flystrike,” which occurs under unclean conditions when flies lay eggs on an animal and hatching maggots gnaw away at their skin, according to PETA.

Westlake Legal Group PETA-Lion-Ears-PETA-1 'Tiger King' star Jeff Lowe ordered to surrender documents in animal neglect case exposed by PETA Michael Ruiz fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 365dd19c-2788-5334-be8c-b7e336e5c333

A juvenile lion shown with open wounds on its ears, believed to be caused by “flystrike.” (Courtesy: PETA)

PETA argued that Lowe “ludicrously” claimed that the animals’ veterinary records were protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal law that, among other things, protects the privacy of individuals’ medical records.

The court ordered Lowe to cover attorney’s fees, turn over relevant documents and sit for a deposition.

Lowe and his former business partner Tim Stark have been accused of violating the Endangered Species Act in an ongoing lawsuit brought by PETA. Stark allegedly flouted previous injunctions against declawing big cats and separating cubs from their mothers, according to court documents.

At least four of those cubs wound up at Lowe’s zoo, where the whistleblower photos prompted visits from local, state and federal investigators.

‘TIGER KING’ STAR JEFF LOWE SLAMS ‘VENGEFUL’ CAROLE BASKIN, REVEALS BIG PLANS FOR NEW ZOO

Separately, PETA has also asked the court to compel testimony from Lowe’s wife, Lauren Lowe, in connection with the case.

The animal rights group wants the court to remove the big cats from G.W. Zoo and place them in the care of an appropriate animal sanctuary.

Lowe told Fox News in early June that the judge had given him 120 days to vacate the property after granting control to Carole Baskin. He said he plans to bring his animals to a new, larger facility.

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His other legal troubles include a lawsuit from the state of Oklahoma for $50,000 in unpaid taxes and allegations that he possessed exotic animals without a license in Nevada.

Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot that targeted Baskin.

Westlake Legal Group jeff-lowe-tiger-king-netflix 'Tiger King' star Jeff Lowe ordered to surrender documents in animal neglect case exposed by PETA Michael Ruiz fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 365dd19c-2788-5334-be8c-b7e336e5c333  Westlake Legal Group jeff-lowe-tiger-king-netflix 'Tiger King' star Jeff Lowe ordered to surrender documents in animal neglect case exposed by PETA Michael Ruiz fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 365dd19c-2788-5334-be8c-b7e336e5c333

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

2 Oklahoma officers charged with murder of man allegedly tased more than 50 times in 2019

Westlake Legal Group 2-oklahoma-officers-charged-with-murder-of-man-allegedly-tased-more-than-50-times-in-2019 2 Oklahoma officers charged with murder of man allegedly tased more than 50 times in 2019 Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 98691ea0-63f3-50b6-800e-a24220943697
Westlake Legal Group iStock-157427831 2 Oklahoma officers charged with murder of man allegedly tased more than 50 times in 2019 Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 98691ea0-63f3-50b6-800e-a24220943697

Two Oklahoma police officers were arrested on second-degree murder charges Wednesday for the 2019 death of a 28-year-old man who was allegedly tased over 50 times.

The officers, from the Wilson Police Department, were responding to a disorderly conduct situation when the incident occurred, The Daily Ardmoreite reported.

Carter County Court records show that Jared Lakey died on the morning of July 6, 2019 — two days after he was allegedly tased more than 50 times by officers Joshua Taylor, 25, and Brandon Dingman, 34.

The documents also show Lakey’s cause of death to have been “complications of myocardial infarction (clinical) in the setting of cardiomegaly and critical coronary atherosclerosis and law enforcement use of electrical weapon and restraint.”

Taylor and Dingman got to the scene around midnight on July 4, 2019. Investigators said Lakey would not cooperate peacefully with commands from the officers, so they began using their tasers, according to Oklahoma’s News 4.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH IN OKLAHOMA CITY MOTORCADE FOR FALLEN OFFICER CRITICALLY WOUNDS AT LEAST 3 TROOPERS

A Carter County deputy reportedly joined Taylor and Dingman to help get Lakey into custody. Soon after, he stopped breathing and became unresponsive.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was brought in to probe the incident and arrest warrants were ultimately issues for Dingman and Taylor.

The Bureau said the officers were responding to reports of Lakey “running naked down a street in Wilson and screaming.” Investigators also reviewed dashcam and bodycam footage of the event.

“The footage reveals numerous instances of both officers using their X26P tasers to send electrical shocks through (the victim’s) body in an apparent attempt to persuade him to put his hands behind his back as he lay on the ground,” the investigating agent stated in an affidavit. “(The victim) is tased numerous times while merely lying naked in the ditch, presumably for not rolling onto his stomach and complying with the officers’ commands to ‘Put your hands behind your back’.”

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Wilson Mayor Frank Schaff said on Wednesday that the investigation is still ongoing. He gave no further comment, according to The Daily Ardmoreite.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-157427831 2 Oklahoma officers charged with murder of man allegedly tased more than 50 times in 2019 Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 98691ea0-63f3-50b6-800e-a24220943697  Westlake Legal Group iStock-157427831 2 Oklahoma officers charged with murder of man allegedly tased more than 50 times in 2019 Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 98691ea0-63f3-50b6-800e-a24220943697

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Motorcycle crash in Oklahoma City motorcade for fallen officer critically wounds at least 3 troopers

Westlake Legal Group motorcycle-crash-in-oklahoma-city-motorcade-for-fallen-officer-critically-wounds-at-least-3-troopers Motorcycle crash in Oklahoma City motorcade for fallen officer critically wounds at least 3 troopers Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox news fnc/us fnc article 0a4a66f0-c599-5ad3-8831-d662058addaa
Westlake Legal Group Sergeant-Craig-Johnson Motorcycle crash in Oklahoma City motorcade for fallen officer critically wounds at least 3 troopers Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox news fnc/us fnc article 0a4a66f0-c599-5ad3-8831-d662058addaa

Three Oklahoma highway patrolmen were injured and left in critical condition Thursday, as they were transporting the remains of Sgt. Craig Johnson who was killed during a traffic stop earlier this week.

The troopers were leading a motorcycle procession for Johnson when the crash occurred on the westbound lanes of the Kilpatrick Turnpike, KWTV reported.

Emergency crews arrived on the scene and a helicopter was also dispatched to the crash site. The patrolmen were escorting Johnson’s body to the state medical examiner’s office, according to KWTV.

Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a statement about the crash, asking people to pray for the injured troopers and their families.

“I ask Oklahomans to join the First Lady and me in praying for the recovery of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers who were injured, for their families and for all those affected by this terrible accident,” he said. “It is always difficult to receive news of first responders being injured in the line of duty, but it is especially heartbreaking to learn this incident happened during the procession for an officer who was senselessly murdered while protecting his community.”

TULSA OFFICER SHOT DURING TRAFFIC STOP HAS DIED, POLICE ANNOUNCE

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, also a Republican, reportedly said during a news conference that no Tulsa police officers were injured in the crash.

Johnson was shot on Monday after he and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan pulled over David Anthony Ware, 32, for having expired paper tags. Ware allegedly refused to exit the vehicle after he was informed that the car would likely be towed.

The encounter escalated from there before one of the officers tried to tase Ware, but he was able to pull out the taser prongs and continued to be belligerent. One of the officers then used pepper spray to subdue him.

After the officers tried to forcibly remove him from the car, he retrieved a gun from under his seat and began firing at them. Both men were shot several times, according to the arrest affidavit. Both Ware and his alleged accomplice, Matt Hall, 29, were arrested and taken into custody following the incident.

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Johnson, a husband and father of two, succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday.

Zarkeshan survived but is currently hospitalized and being treated for a gunshot wound to the head. His condition is steadily improving and he is able to respond to doctor’s commands, according to The Associated Press.

Westlake Legal Group Sergeant-Craig-Johnson Motorcycle crash in Oklahoma City motorcade for fallen officer critically wounds at least 3 troopers Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox news fnc/us fnc article 0a4a66f0-c599-5ad3-8831-d662058addaa  Westlake Legal Group Sergeant-Craig-Johnson Motorcycle crash in Oklahoma City motorcade for fallen officer critically wounds at least 3 troopers Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox news fnc/us fnc article 0a4a66f0-c599-5ad3-8831-d662058addaa

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Voters in Oklahoma narrowly approve Medicaid expansion

Westlake Legal Group voters-in-oklahoma-narrowly-approve-medicaid-expansion Voters in Oklahoma narrowly approve Medicaid expansion SEAN MURPHY fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us fox-news/health fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 6df4f4ff-58a6-5023-8f52-f6445aef2d3c

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma voters narrowly decided on Tuesday to expand Medicaid health insurance to tens of thousands low-income residents, becoming the first state to amend its Constitution to do so.

With 100% of precincts reporting unofficial results, State Question 802 passed by less than 1 percentage point. The question fared well in metropolitan areas, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa, but was overwhelmingly opposed in rural counties.

Idaho, Maine, Nebraska and Utah have all expanded Medicaid through ballot questions, but did so by amending state statutes, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

OKLAHOMA MAN ACCUSED OF SHOOTING 2 OFFICERS DURING TRAFFIC STOP IS IN CUSTODY, POLICE SAY

Amending the Oklahoma Constitution will prevent the Republican-controlled Legislature, which has resisted Medicaid expansion for a decade, from tinkering with the program or rolling back coverage. Missouri voters also will decide on a constitutional amendment on Aug. 4.

State Question 802 will extend Medicaid health insurance to those earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level, which is about $17,200 for an individual or $35,500 for a family of four.

Oklahoma was one of 14 states, along with neighboring Texas and Kansas, that had not expanded Medicaid under the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt and his predecessor, Mary Fallin, have opposed expansion, citing uncertainty about future costs for the state.

Westlake Legal Group oklahoma-cropped-224am Voters in Oklahoma narrowly approve Medicaid expansion SEAN MURPHY fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us fox-news/health fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 6df4f4ff-58a6-5023-8f52-f6445aef2d3c

Amber England, campaign manager, Yes on 802, addresses supporters via the internet Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Oklahoma City, as due to Covid-19 concerns, a virtual watch party replaces the normal watch party, as they await results in a vote in which Oklahoma voters are deciding whether to amend the state Constitution to expand Medicaid health coverage to tens of thousands of low-income residents. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

“We have a billion-dollar shortfall next year,” Stitt said recently at a forum hosted by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group that opposes the measure. The state would have to “either raise taxes or to cut services somewhere else like education, first responders, or roads and bridges” to cut additional Medicaid costs, he said.

After years of legislative inaction on health insurance proposals, supporters of Medicaid expansion launched an initiative petition last year to get the measure on the ballot, and collected a record number of signatures. The plan was endorsed by several politically powerful groups, including chambers of commerce, medical trade groups, the Oklahoma Education Association and the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.

TRUMP SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER EXPANDING HHS EFFORTS TO HELP FOSTER CHILDREN

Some Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion has eroded in recent years, particularly in rural areas where hospitals have suffered financial problems or closed.

Kevin Penry, a Republican and retired pastor from Edmond, said that before going on Medicare last month he had to buy expensive insurance on the federal marketplace, which “really made me feel for folks who are in a difficult financial situation.” He said he voted for the expansion.

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The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has projected that about 215,000 residents would qualify for a Medicaid expansion, for a total annual cost of about $1.3 billion. The estimated state share would be about $164 million. But those numbers could be considerably higher given the number of Oklahomans who have lost their jobs and work-related health insurance because of the economic shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

To help fund the proposal, the Legislature is expected to increase a fee that hospitals pay from 2.5% to 4%, which would generate about $134 million annually. Stitt vetoed such a measure earlier this year.

Westlake Legal Group oklahoma-cropped-224am Voters in Oklahoma narrowly approve Medicaid expansion SEAN MURPHY fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us fox-news/health fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 6df4f4ff-58a6-5023-8f52-f6445aef2d3c  Westlake Legal Group oklahoma-cropped-224am Voters in Oklahoma narrowly approve Medicaid expansion SEAN MURPHY fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us fox-news/health fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 6df4f4ff-58a6-5023-8f52-f6445aef2d3c

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Trump 2020 Campaign reshuffles; Brad Parscale stays put

Ten days after President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Okla., there has been a shakeup in the Trump 2020 Campaign.

Michael Glassner, organizer of the president’s rallies, has been reassigned and Jeff DeWit, who served as Arizona chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, joins the 2020 staff as chief operating officer.

Trump 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale is staying put despite reportedly taking heavy criticism after a lower-than-expected crowd turnout in Tulsa.

AS TRUMP BLASTS POLLS, SOME GOP DONORS STARTING TO RAISE CONCERNS

News of the shakeup was first reported by Axios.

Trump 2020 Campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh confirmed the staffing changes in a statement to Fox News.

“This is not a reaction to Tulsa,” Murtaugh said. “Michael Glassner is moving into the long-term role of navigating the many legal courses we face, including suits against major media outlets, some of which will likely extend beyond the end of the campaign.

“He is one of the founding members of Team Trump and his dedication to the success of the president is unmatched.”

Just days before the June 20 rally in Tulsa, Parscale claimed the campaign had received more than 1 million requests for free tickets. But on the day of the event, it became apparent that the expected large crowd did not materialize.

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Trump 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Parscale. (Fox News)

“Brad broke the first rule of American politics: under-promise and over-deliver,” Rick Wilson, co-founder of The Lincoln Project, a political action committee run by anti-Trump Republicans, told The Guardian.

The local fire marshal estimated the turnout at the 19,000-seat BOK Center arena at about 6,200 but Murtaugh – during an appearance June 22 on Fox News’ “Outnumbered Overtime,” disputed that estimate, asserting that Secret Service personnel counted about 12,000 people going through the turnstiles.

Both Parscale and Murtaugh also claimed that, in addition to concerns about the coronavirus, turnout was likely affected by more than a week of negative advance coverage on cable news networks, speculating that protesters and rioters might show up at the event. The campaign officials claimed such reports likely scared off many families who had hoped to attend.

Parscale also pushed back against claims that anti-Trump pranksters using TikTok may have sabotaged the turnout by making phony ticket reservations.

“Leftists and online trolls doing a victory lap, thinking they somehow impacted rally attendance, don’t know what they’re talking about or how our rallies work,” Parscale said June 21. “Reporters who wrote gleefully about TikTok and K-Pop [Korean pop music] fans — without contacting the campaign for comment — behaved unprofessionally and were willing dupes to the charade.”

In March 2016, with DeWit, then the Arizona state treasurer, heading his campaign in the state, candidate Donald Trump won a solid victory in the Grand Canyon State, capturing nearly 46 percent of the vote in a field of three active Republican candidates – plus 11 withdrawn candidates who also received votes.

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Jeff DeWit, then NASA’s chief financial officer, is seen at NASA headquarters in Washington, April 8, 2019. (NASA)

The Arizona win added 58 delegates to Trump’s tally as he eventually advanced to the GOP presidential nomination – and ultimately a White House win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

After taking office, Trump nominated DeWit to be NASA’s chief financial officer. The Senate confirmed DeWit’s nomination in March 2018.

DeWit resigned from the space agency in February, expressing a desire to return to his family in Arizona after working in Washington, according to SpaceNews.com.

He had served as Arizona’s state treasurer from January 2015 to April 2018, after succeeding Doug Ducey, who is now the state’s governor.

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Glassner, who had been a Trump campaign official as far back as 2015, was expecting to be reassigned, a source told Axios.

“Michael didn’t really make many mistakes [at Tulsa],” the source told the outlet. “He did what he always did, and it didn’t work post-COVID.”

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Tulsa officer shot during traffic stop has died, police announce

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Westlake Legal Group Sergeant-Craig-Johnson Tulsa officer shot during traffic stop has died, police announce Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox news fnc/us fnc article 1b106dbc-5387-5dc3-a486-49395eb0e221

A police officer and father of two from Tulsa, Okla. has succumbed to his wounds after being shot early Monday morning during a routine traffic stop, authorities said.

The department announced Sgt. Craig Johnson’s death on Tuesday afternoon, Fox 25 reported. Johnson is survived by his wife, two young children and his parents.

“He also leaves behind a bunch of brothers and sisters,” Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said, referring to Johnson’s fellow officers.

Officer Aurash Zarkeshan, who was also shot during the incident, had reportedly been out on patrol for less than six weeks. His wounds have not become fatal.

Police arrested the suspect and identified him as David Anthony Ware, 32. His alleged accomplice, Matt Hall, 29, was also taken into custody.

“I want to thank the Johnson family for sharing Sgt. Craig Johnson with us, for allowing him to be a part of our department, and for allowing him to serve this community,” the chief added.

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Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, a Republican, championed Johnson as a hero and quoted scripture to honor his self-sacrifice.

“In this moment of terrible loss for our city, I can’t help but think of John Chapter 15, Verse 13. ‘No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.’ Sgt. Craig Johnson lost his life protecting the lives of every Tulsan,” Bynum said.

Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt released a statement following Johnson’s passing according to Fox 25 and said, “My heart breaks for the family of Sergeant Craig Johnson and his fellow officers with the Tulsa Police Department. I ask Oklahomans to join the First Lady and me in continuing to pray for his family as well as for his fellow officers.

“My hope is that Sgt. Johnson is forever remembered for the heroism, courage and bravery he displayed while protecting Tulsa for 15 years,” he continued. “We will also continue to pray for a full recovery for Officer Aurash Zarkeshan, who was injured in the same senseless act of violence. Our law enforcement officers need the support of their community now more than ever, and I encourage Oklahomans to find ways to show their support for those who keep them protected.”

Body camera footage showed Ware arguing with the police after he was pulled over for expired paper tags, KTUL reported. Ware refused to exit the vehicle after he was informed that the car would likely be towed.

The encounter escalated from there before one of the officers tried to tase Ware. He was able to pull out the taser prongs, however, and continued to be belligerent. One of the officers then used pepper spray to subdue him, but Ware remained defiant.

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After the officers tried to forcibly remove him from the car, he retrieved a gun from under his seat and began firing at them. Both men were shot several times, according to the arrest affidavit.

Ware finally stepped out of the vehicle and fired three more shots as he stood over the wounded policemen.

Westlake Legal Group Sergeant-Craig-Johnson Tulsa officer shot during traffic stop has died, police announce Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox news fnc/us fnc article 1b106dbc-5387-5dc3-a486-49395eb0e221  Westlake Legal Group Sergeant-Craig-Johnson Tulsa officer shot during traffic stop has died, police announce Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox news fnc/us fnc article 1b106dbc-5387-5dc3-a486-49395eb0e221

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Hickenlooper seeks to overcome unforced errors in Colorado Senate race, as Utah and Oklahoma hold key primaries

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A Democratic primary that’s heated up at the last minute in Colorado — a crucial Senate race that could determine which party controls the chamber next year — is in the national spotlight on Tuesday as three states hold primaries.

It’s also decision day in Utah as former Gov. Jon Huntsman – who stepped down as the state’s governor nearly a dozen years ago to serve as ambassador to China under President Obama – is making a bid for his old job.

And Oklahoma joins Colorado and Utah in holding primaries on the last day of June.

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But the race grabbing the most attention the Democratic Senate primary in Colorado, where some unforced errors by former Gov. John Hickenlooper in recent weeks have made the contest competitive.

Coaxed by national Democrats, the former two-term Denver mayor and two-term governor jumped into a crowded Senate primary field last summer after ending an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The one-time geologist turned brewpub owner enjoyed large campaign cash and name recognition advantages over primary rivals but suffered slip-ups the past couple of months which have somewhat dampened hopes by Democrats that he will oust embattled Republican Sen. Corey Gardner in November’s general election.

Hickenlooper was found in contempt by the state’s independent ethics commission for ignoring a subpoena to appear at a hearing. He testified following plenty of negative media coverage – but was fined $2,750 for two ethics violations.

Over the past month – amid nationwide protests over police brutality against minorities and the bigger issue of systemic racism sparked by George Floyd’s death – Hickenlooper was forced to apologize twice for comments considered insensitive and dismissive to African Americans.

The slip-ups have allowed his much more progressive rival – former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff – to make the contest closer than expected. And national Democrats worry that a weakened Hickenlooper has given ammunition to Gardner and the GOP to use in the general election – in a race party leaders view as a must win as they hope to regain control of the chamber from the GOP.

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“Hickenlooper has had a very bad stretch. But he still remains the favorite in the primary,” noted Jessica Taylor of the Cook Report, a leading nonpartisan political handicapper.

But she highlighted that “Hickenlooper certainly has not done a lot lately to inspire confidence.”

On Monday, the day before ballots were due in the all-vote-by-mail primary, Hickenlooper touted a Colorado Supreme Court ruling which unanimously upheld the state’s ban on large-capacity gun magazines.

“In Colorado, we took on the NRA and won to pass life-saving gun safety measures. I’m thrilled that the Colorado Supreme Court has upheld this crucial legislation—now let’s bring these same results to Washington,” he tweeted.

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Romanoff in the closing days has touted his “bold, progressive agenda that matches the urgency of this moment,” including his support for the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all.

In Utah, Huntsman appears to be tied with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The winner of the GOP multi-candidate primary will be considered the favorite in November to win election as governor in a state heavily dominated by Republicans.

Cox has the endorsement of term-limited Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who took over after Huntsman stepped down nearly a dozen years ago. But Huntsman has enjoyed the cash advantage in the race – as well as much larger name recognition – thanks to his tenure as ambassador to China under Obama, ambassador to Russia under President Trump, and his unsuccessful 2012 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

In Oklahoma, a ballot initiative that would expand the state’s Medicaid health insurance program is grabbing national attention. The state is one of only 14 across the country that has not expanded Medicaid under the 10-year-old Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare.

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