Oklahoma

Runaway barges threaten dam in another day of Midwest storms

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two barges broke loose and floated swiftly down the swollen Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma on Wednesday, spreading alarm downstream as they threatened to hit a dam.

The emergency was the latest consequence of storms and torrential rains that have ravaged the Midwest, from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.

Authorities urged residents of several small towns in Oklahoma and Kansas to leave their homes as rivers and streams rose.

Trump’s EPA shifts more environmental enforcement to states

BOKOSHE, Okla. (AP) — Susan Holmes’ home, corner store and roadside beef jerky stand are right off Oklahoma Highway 31, putting them in the path of trucks hauling ash and waste from a power plant that burns the high-sulfur coal mined near this small town.

For years, when Bokoshe residents were outside, the powdery ash blowing from the trucks and the ash dump on the edge of town would “kind of engulf you,” Holmes said. “They drove by, and you just couldn’t breathe.”

Oklahoma City bombing ‘Survivor Tree’ DNA to live on

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Science and technology are helping Oklahoma City to sustain the DNA — and the spirit — of a tree that has symbolized hope in the 24 years since the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history shook the city to its core.

As part of an annual remembrance of the bombing, civic leaders and state officials on Friday transplanted a tree that was cloned from a scarred American elm that withstood the blast that leveled half of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

No civil rights charge in deadly Tulsa police shooting

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — There is insufficient evidence to pursue federal civil rights charges against a white former Tulsa police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man, the Department of Justice said Friday.

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores announced the closure of the investigation into whether Betty Shelby willfully used unreasonable force against Terence Crutcher when she shot and killed him in September 2016.

Jury convicted terrorist in Oklahoma City federal bomb plot trial

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A 24-year-old man is guilty of trying to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van outside an Oklahoma City bank, a federal jury ruled Monday.

Jurors convicted Jerry Drake Varnell, of Sayre, of attempting to use an explosive device to damage a building and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Prosecutors alleged that Varnell planned to detonate what he thought was a half-ton (450-kilogram) vehicle bomb on Aug. 12, 2017.

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