Okla. museum funding plan still faces tough battle
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - After nearly two decades and $95 million already spent, supporters of planned Native American museum in Oklahoma City are pushing for the final $40 million in state funding they say is needed to finish the project.
But whether construction resumes on the mothballed project at the busy crossroads of Interstates 35 and 40 will come down to the 72 members of the House Republican caucus.
The 29 Democrats in the House already committed unanimously to supporting the bill, but newly elected House Speaker Jeff Hickman says he won't push the project forward without overwhelming support within his own caucus.
Hickman says many GOP members are hesitant to spend the $40 million from the state's Unclaimed Property Fund while the state is facing a $188 million shortfall in the state budget.
ELK CITY SLAYING
Suspect arrested in shooting death of Elk City man
ELK CITY, Okla. (AP) - Police in Elk City say a man wanted in the shooting death of an Elk City man has been found in the Beckham County jail.
Police Chief Eddie Holland told KECO that the suspect was being held on an unrelated arrest warrant from Kansas. Formal charges against the suspect are pending.
Holland says the man is wanted in the shooting death of 64-year-old Javier Chavez Garcia. Garcia lived in Elk City, his body was found Thursday in a cistern in a remote area of Washita County with four gunshot wounds to the back.
Holland says witnesses reported seeing the suspect in the victim's pickup truck and that the truck was found at an oil field in Roger Mills County.
Man dies after being struck by SUV in Wal-Mart lot
ENID, Okla. (AP) - Police in Enid say a man has died after being struck by a sport utility vehicle that his grandson started in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Captain Jack Morris says 54-year-old Raymond Carson of Ames died at a hospital Saturday afternoon after being struck and run over by the SUV late Saturday morning.
Morris says Carson was loading items in the back of the SUV when his 9-year-old grandson started the vehicle and it began moving backward, knocking Carson to the ground and then running over him before stopping when it struck two other parked vehicles.
Oklahoma City pastor convicted of manslaughter
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma City preacher has been convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of his son-in-law.
An Oklahoma County jury late Friday found 54-year-old Michael Scott Elder guilty in the February 20th, 2013 shooting death of 27-year-old Gary Davidson and recommended a 15-year-prison sentence. Sentencing was scheduled for April 28th.
Elder testified that he shot Davidson after Davidson ran to and got into a pickup truck with his daughter because he feared Davidson would harm her. Court records show Davidson had filed for divorce from Elder's daughter the day before the shooting.
Elder had been charged with first-degree murder. The jury deliberated for about 10 hours before convicting him of the lesser crime.
GIRL SCOUT SLAYINGS
1977 Okla. Girl Scout slayings re-investigated
PRYOR, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says evidence from the slayings of three Girl Scouts in eastern Oklahoma more than 30 years ago is undergoing new testing.
The OSBI says its Cold Case Unit began reviewing the case three years ago and identified evidence that may reveal clues and those items were sent to a private lab for tests the OSBI is unable to perform.
The specific items submitted were not revealed.
The bodies of 8-year-old Lori Lee Farmer; 9-year-old Michel Guse; and 10-year-old Doris Denise Milner were found June 13th, 1977 at Camp Scott near Locust Grove after they were abducted from their tent during the night.
Prison escapee Gene Leroy Hart was charged with murder and rape in the case, but was acquitted and later died in prison.
Man sought in theft of cash from Okla. jail phones
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Authorities are searching for a telephone service employee who's suspected of stealing more than $40,000 from phone terminals in the Oklahoma County jail.
The sheriff's office says investigators are searching for 65-year-old Thomas Caldwell on felony embezzlement complaints. Caldwell was last seen March 3 by video cameras leaving the jail's rear entrance after removing cash from the terminals.
Authorities say Caldwell worked for Telmate - a company that provides telephone service for inmates. Authorities are also seeking Caldwell's pickup truck - a 2010 Ford F-150 extended cab that is silver or white and has an Oklahoma license plate number 497-HEG.
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