Sometimes it’s easy to miss an event, so here’s a look back at the past week or so to help bring you up to date.
A jury of seven men and five women decided on the death penalty for Kevin Ray Underwood in the April 2006 death of Jamie Rose Bolin. The jury deliberated for more than eight hours on the punishment phase.
Daylight saving time went into effect three weeks earlier than it has in recent years. The U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended it in the hopes of decreasing the need for artificial light in the evenings and thus saving electricity.
Oklahoma City is owed $3,671,148 for 77,482 outstanding parking tickets dating from 1998 to Feb. 25. Arrest warrants are issued for those who don’t pay the tickets on a timely basis.
The FBI is investigating circumstances surrounding the sale of 64 acres at Hugo Lake for $110,000 in 2004 and the resale of most of the property to a developer for $500,000 two years later.
Alicia Ochoa, an Indiana woman who was seriously injured in a traffic accident in 2005, is looking for a man who held her hand and comforted her until an ambulance arrived. The accident occurred on Interstate 40 near Canute on June 30, 2005, involving a motorcycle and a pickup used by an oil-field company.
Oklahoma’s two largest cities stand to lose nearly a collective $30 million in sales tax revenues if a measure is approved to redistribute municipal sales tax collections to help small cities. Rep. Steve Martin, R-Bartlesville, said the measure would “level the playing field” for communities that have lost independent businesses and stores, forcing residents to go to bigger cities for shopping and entertainment.
A five-month study by the Associated Press found that the government doesn’t require testing and hasn’t set testing limits for pharmaceuticals discovered in water supplies. Antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers, sex hormones and over-the-counter medicines are among the prescription drug residues discharged in human waste that are contaminating the world’s watersheds, rivers, lakes and oceans. The pharmaceuticals are being blamed for animal ailments and severe reproductive problems in many types of fish.
After having clinched the Republican presidential nomination, John McCain finds himself having to compete for the spotlight with potential challengers Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, as the latter two continue to battle for the Democratic party’s nomination. “It makes me have to work harder, obviously, to make sure that we maintain the visibility,” he said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s report, “The Year in Hate,” said it counted 888 hate groups in its latest tally, up from 844 in 2006 and 602 in 2000. The largest categories of hate groups were said to be neo-Nazi, white nationalist, racist skinheads and those with links to the Ku Klux Klan.
Thirty soldiers of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 645th Personnel Services Company soon will deploy to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit’s troops primarily will be based in Kuwait, but some members also could be sent to Iraq.
Pop singer Madonna, John Mellencamp and the British band, The Dave Clark Five, were among those inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.
Devon Energy is pursuing plans to build a new “iconic” downtown corporate headquarters — one that would be the tallest building in Oklahoma City. The proposed structure would be at least 37 stories, located on Sheridan Avenue between Hudson and Robinson.
Residue from an engine of the Cessna 500 Citation I that crashed recently, killing five men, has been sent to a bird specialist in hopes of determining whether a collision with a bird or flock of birds might have caused the accident.
Sen. Tom Coburn criticized the Internal Revenue Service for spending $42 million to notify taxpayers that they’ll receive an economic stimulus check if they file a tax return this year. “The IRS should instead ask Congress for permission to use this funding to crack down on fraud and close the tax gap,” he said.
Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said she does not plan to apologize for controversial comments she made about homosexuality. Kern drew national attention by calling homosexuality “the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam.”
At least one in four teenage girls in the United States — more than 3 million — has a sexually transmitted disease, according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State officials said Oklahoma’s statistics mirror the national ones.
The Environmental Protection Agency tightened its ozone emission standard, which means Oklahoma, Tulsa and seven other state counties will be out of compliance. The standard was established at 0.075 parts per million, down from the current 0.084 parts per million standard.
Sen. Glenn Coffee, the Senate’s co-leader said state Supreme Court rules blocking public access to court records online has not been received well by many people. “I think it’s a little bit of an overreaction,” Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, said of rules the court said were designed to balance privacy rights and public access to court documents. The rules, which take effect June 10, would block people who file court documents such as an attorney from including personal information such as birth dates, Social Security numbers and home addresses.
A presidential panel says U.S. schools can improve students’ math scores by working on the basics, such as addition and multiplication. The National Mathematics Advisory Panel also advised an increased focus on fractions and some geometry. The panel said the mastery of fractions was important to success in algebra.
Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., the first black American astronaut to walk in space, spoke with students at John Marshall High School, encouraging them to “dream the biggest dream possible.” He said studying math, science, technology and engineering would give them a boost in college and their future careers.
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