Stitt Easily Wins Reelection, Health Officials Look for E. Coli Outbreak Cause, Police Rely On Technology to Fight Crime: This Week’s Top News Stories

Weekly news report graphic

The following summaries are of events that took place over the past week throughout Oklahoma. Visit the link provided with each story to learn more.

Stitt’s victory demonstrates that Oklahoma is as red as ever

Throughout a criminal case, a criminal defense attorney plays a number of crucial functions. He or she is in charge of representing a defendant in a criminal case. He or she represents the individual charged while speaking.

A crime law attorney also investigates your case, analyzes evidence, speaks to all parties involved, conducts jury selection, and helps with plea bargaining and sentencing.

Source: Stitt’s big win shows Oklahoma is as red as ever – The Frontier

Health officials in western Oklahoma looking for the source of an E. coli outbreak infecting 30-plus people

Over the past several weeks, there has been an increase in E. coli infections in two counties in Western Oklahoma.

Both communities’ water supplies have been tested, but no E. coli was identified in the tests. The reason for the outbreak is being investigated by investigators.

Since Oct. 25, about 36 instances have been verified in Caddo and Custer counties.

‘That is most likely an underreported number for the total number of cases that we could potentially see,’ said Jolianne Stone, an epidemiologist with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Weatherford and Hydro have the most active instances.

The state health agency is distributing a survey to compare replies from individuals who have reported being unwell vs those who have not.

Source: Western Oklahoma counties, health officials look for cause of E. coli outbreak – KOCO

To combat crime, Oklahoma City police use new technology

In the face of low staffing, Oklahoma City police officers turned to new technology to help boost their police presence.

Police are using new tools, such as drones, to inspect areas that may be too dangerous for officers to enter.

‘We have drones that really increase our capability,’ said Chief Wade Gourley of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Officers can communicate with people using the drone’s speakers, according to Gourley. On Thursday, a drone was also sent inside a house to assist in the search for a suspect.

License plate recognition cameras have also been strategically placed throughout the city and attached to police vehicles.

‘We put those only in the areas where we know people are likely to be victimized,’ Gourley explained. ‘We can target those specific individuals that are committing the crimes.’

According to Oklahoma City police, the department has lost more than 180 officers, but one department has more than doubled in size in the last six months.

Source: Oklahoma City police turn to technology to help fight crime – KOCO

Oklahoma’s new education secretary wants to teach “Christian” American history.

The guy chosen to oversee Oklahoma public schools for the next four years thinks that all teachers in the state must remedial education from a conservative evangelical institution in Michigan in order to teach ‘true history’ that promotes ‘Judeo-Christian values.’

In last week’s election, Republican candidate Ryan Walters beat Democratic challenger Jena Nelson, continuing the trend that has made Oklahoma one of the most conservative states in terms of political leadership. Walters, a former McAlester high school teacher, was appointed to the top education role by Gov. Kevin Stitt after the well-respected secretary, Joy Hoffmeister, resigned to run for governor against Stitt.

Professional educators and allied professional groups vigorously opposed Walters, but they were unable to persuade the general public to act on their concerns that the new secretary possesses extremist beliefs that endanger public education in the state.

Source: Oklahoma elects secretary of education who wants to require training in ‘Christian’ version of American history – Baptist News

New manufacturing plant from Canoo to create 500 jobs in Oklahoma City

The effort to attract the electric car sector to Oklahoma has progressed again again.

Canoo, an electric vehicle business, is opening a new factory in Oklahoma City.

Canoo requested that the site be kept hidden by the State Department of Commerce.

The agreement hasn’t been finalized yet, but a real estate agent informed FOX25 that the future Canoo plant would be located in west OKC, between I-40 and Morgan Road.

While Oklahoma has been successful in oil and gas, the Governor hopes to expand the state’s energy portfolio with electric.

Source: Canoo aims to bring 500 jobs to Oklahoma City with a new manufacturing facility – Fox25

Judge: Oklahoma is prohibited by federal law from regulating surface mining on tribal reservations

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s July 2020 ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma, a federal judge issued an order Wednesday ruling in favor of the federal agency in a case about whether the state or the federal government has regulatory authority over surface mining and reclamation operations on affirmed tribal reservation land.

Following the July 2020 landmark SCOTUS ruling, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement — a branch of the U.S. Department of Interior — holds sole regulatory authority over surface mining, according to U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Friot’s order, because state regulation of surface mining is ‘now precluded’ by a federal law — the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.

Each side asked Friot for a summary judgment, and he approved the federal government’s petition but refused the state’s.

Source: Judge: Federal law preempts Oklahoma from regulating surface mining on tribal reservations – NonDoc

Officials in Oklahoma City have requested assistance in clearing up campaign road signs

Campaign signs have been erected all over the city, and city authorities are urging individuals who put them there to help remove them, particularly from locations where they might put pedestrians in danger.

Source: Oklahoma City officials asks for help cleaning up campaign signs – KOCO

Former Oklahoma undersheriff pleads guilty to excessive force charge in federal court

Kendall Morgan, 44, the former undersheriff of the Le Flore County Sheriff’s Department (LCSO) in Le Flore County, Oklahoma, pled guilty today to a felony civil rights violation for using unreasonable force on an arrestee.

According to court records, Morgan willfully attacked D.P. on January 25, 2017, while working in his official role as LCSO’s undersheriff. by repeatedly hitting D.P. while D.P. was handcuffed and not resisting arrest. The attack deprives D.P. violated his right to be free from undue force, did not serve a legitimate law enforcement objective, and resulted in physical harm to D.P.

Source: Former Oklahoma Undersheriff Pleads Guilty to Federal Civil Rights Charge for Using Excessive Force – United States Department of Justice

In Oklahoma City, work has started on a new cycling hub

This week, work began on a $1.5 million project that would help Oklahoma City bikers.

Next year, Riversport Adventures aims to create a new bike hub for riders. Around the existing pump track, the building will include services such as a coffee shop, bathrooms, and retail businesses.

This hub will also connect to the growing Oklahoma bike trail network, which will include pathways for bikers around Oklahoma City.

‘It’s going to be free for people to use and participate,’ said Mike Knopp, executive director of the Riversport Foundation.

The center will include bike safety lessons as well as other activities.

Riversport initiatives The new center will be a popular destination for city bikers, with facilities for riders of all ages and skill levels.

Source: Construction begins for new cyclist hub in Oklahoma City – KOCO

New hearing for a death row inmate denied by an Oklahoma court

On Thursday, an Oklahoma appeals court rejected death row convict Richard Glossip’s plea for a fresh evidentiary hearing, which his defenders claim will show his innocence in the 1997 beating murder of Glossip’s employer at an Oklahoma City hotel.

Glossip’s counsel argued to the Court of Criminal Appeals that he is factually innocent of the murder, that the state destroyed important evidence, that his trial attorneys were inadequate, and that he is mentally impaired.

However, the court emphasized that Oklahoma law prohibits defendants from continuing to appeal grounds that have already been presented or might have been brought earlier but were not. The court also questioned Glossip’s notion that his co-defendant, Justin Sneed, robbed and killed Barry Van Treese alone or with his girlfriend.

Source: Oklahoma Court Denies New Hearing for Death Row Inmate – U.S. News

Oklahoma’s laws fail survivors of domestic abuse

Brenda Golden recalls the first time her children’s father beat her vividly decades later. She was cradling their newborn child in the college dorm where they resided, having just begun in school at The University of Oklahoma.

‘I was trying to fix her bottle when he hit me full-on with his fist,’ Golden said.

Despite apologies and assurances that ‘it would never happen again,’ It happened, according to Golden, and she has the scars to prove it. There’s a bruise beneath her nose from her face being pushed against the floor, which she recalls as nearly being ‘ripped off,’

Source: Survived and Sentenced: Are Oklahoma’s laws failing domestic violence survivors? – KTUL


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