2 deaths blamed on winter storm in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - At least two deaths have been blamed on a winter storm sweeping through Oklahoma that has brought snow and ice and bone-chilling temperatures.
Oklahoma City police say an unidentified man was discovered dead under an overpass in an area where transients are known to congregate. On Thursday, a 5-year-old boy from Fort Gibson was killed when a van he was riding in overturned on an icy road.
Officials are discouraging travel across much of Oklahoma on Friday because of slick and hazardous conditions. Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday declared a state of emergency for all 77 counties.
Forecasters say precipitation is expected to move out of the Oklahoma City metro area by midday Friday, but single-digit temperatures will blanket the state Friday night.
More than 3,700 outages reported in Oklahoma
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Utility companies say the winter storm is causing more than 3,700 power outages throughout Oklahoma.
The bulk of the outages have been reported mainly in southeastern Oklahoma, which remains under an ice storm warning until 6 p.m. Friday.
Public Service Company of Oklahoma reports more than 3,300 outages near the towns of Antlers and Hugo.
Oklahoma Gas and Electric reports more than 300 outages near Panama and Poteau. The utility says about 60 homes and businesses are without power in the Oklahoma City metro area.
PSO spokesman Ed Bettinger says the damage could have been far worse.
As storm moves out, SW Okla. ranchers 'fortunate'
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Some ranchers in the southwest part of Oklahoma say they're fortunate to have weathered a winter storm that brought more snow than ice.
The storm that dropped sleet, ice and snow on much of the state Thursday began to move out of Oklahoma early Friday.
Rancher Joe Kelly says he woke up Friday to about 4 inches of snow and called the accumulation "wonderful" for the roughly 3,000 acres of wheat and cotton he farms near Altus.
Wheat farmer David Gammill, who farms 1,000 acres near Grandfield, says farmers here could have had things a lot worse, based on the early forecasts.
Most of the ice and sleet problems have occurred in far southeastern parts of the state, where utilities reported thousands of homes and businesses without power early Friday.
GE picks site for Oklahoma global research center
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - General Electric Co. has selected a site near downtown Oklahoma City for its planned $110 million global research center.
The company says it will create 130 jobs at the 95,000-square-foot center, which will be located at 10th Street and Walnut Avenue. The research center will initially focus on technologies involving the production of unconventional oil and gas resources, such as shale.
The center's general manager, Michael Ming, says the center's proximity to Oklahoma universities and engineers will help researchers develop new technologies.
Construction is set to begin next spring with an opening date planned for 2015.
Oklahoman pleads guilty to Texas jewelry robbery
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A second Oklahoma City man has pleaded guilty to a South Texas mall store robbery that netted $2.3 million worth of jewelry.
Federal prosecutors in San Antonio say 45-year-old Johnny Kirk pleaded guilty Thursday. He remains in custody pending sentencing.
Investigators at the time said the March 2010 holdup of Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry at North Star Mall was San Antonio's most expensive jewelry robbery. Police got a break when some stolen items showed up at pawnshops in Oklahoma City.
A co-defendant in October pleaded guilty to the same counts and received 20 years in prison. Marvin Steel was also ordered to pay nearly $1.2 million in restitution.
10 arrests made at DUI checkpoint in Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Tulsa police officers made 10 arrests at a weekend drunken driving checkpoint in midtown.
The after-holiday checkpoint was set up last Saturday at 10 p.m. and ran until 3 a.m. as part of the state's "More Cops. More Stops." alcohol enforcement campaign.
Police say the checkpoint resulted in 95 vehicle stops, 71 citations issued and 10 arrests made.
The arrests were on complaints of driving under the influence, felony drug possession, misdemeanor warrants, a felony warrant out of California and public intoxication.
ROUTE 66 ART INSTALLATION
Art show featuring Route 66 motel images planned
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An art show featuring photographs of people staying in motels along Route 66 will be unveiled next month in Tulsa.
Livings Arts will show Western Doughty's Route 66: Room #116 project starting Jan. 3 and running through Jan. 23. The show depicts everyday people and their experiences in Route 66 motels since the historic highway opened in the 1920s.
Shooting for the project took three years. It included three one-week installments where Doughty slept and lived in a room at the Desert Hills Motel. People were invited to let their lives unfold for the camera.
The show will feature 75 original images.