SALES TAX HOLIDAY
Institute: Oklahoma tax holiday is little relief
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Shoppers and merchants are preparing for Oklahoma's annual sales tax holiday on back-to-school clothing and shoes.
The three-day event begins Friday and ends Sunday as thousands of students prepare to return to the classroom for a new school year. Shoes and clothing costing less than $100 are exempt from state, city, county and local sales taxes during the holiday.
But a research group says the tax benefits of the event are minimal. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says that while shoppers can buy some items tax-free, it does nothing to provide relief to low- and moderate-income taxpayers throughout the remainder of the year.
The group says greater tax fairness would be achieved with a permanent refundable low-income sales tax credit to offset the impact of sales taxes.
AUSTRALIAN PLAYER-RANDOM SLAYING
Hearing delayed in Duncan baseball player slaying
DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) - A preliminary hearing has been postponed for a southern Oklahoma man charged with helping two people hide the gun used to shoot a baseball player from Australia.
The Duncan Banner reports that a hearing set for Wednesday for 22-year-old Oddesse Barnes has been moved to Nov. 18.
Chris Lane was shot last summer while jogging along a tree-lined road in Duncan while visiting his girlfriend's parents. Investigators say the 22-year-old from Melbourne was randomly targeted by bored teenagers. He had been preparing to enter his senior baseball season at East Central University in Ada.
Barnes was charged in April with accessory after murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
His attorney declined to comment Thursday.
OZARKA WATER-OKLAHOMA CITY
Water bottle company moves production to Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The CEO of a bottled water business has bought a multimillion-dollar machine to produce the company's entire inventory in Oklahoma.
The Journal Record reports Ozarka Water CEO Steve Raupe bought the 5,000-square-foot production line to fill, cap, label and package water bottles. It can produce 360 bottles per minute. The addition means Ozarka's entire stock will be bottled in-house.
Ozarka Water had previously outsourced some production to another company. The new equipment in Oklahoma will create four employee positions, bringing the company's total worker count to 100.
Raupe says the production line will help the company save money, but didn't disclose exact figures.
Ozarka also distributes Mountain Valley Spring, which is sourced and bottled in Arkansas, and Eureka Spring Water, which is sourced in Arkansas but bottled in Oklahoma.
Man sought in Oklahoma death arrested in Arkansas
STILLWELL, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma officials say a man who was sought in connection with his father-in-law's death is in jail.
Television station KOTV reports James Manken was arrested Wednesday at his mother's home in Cherokee City in Arkansas.
Manken was wanted in connection with the death of 71-year-old Wayne Wennerholm who was found dead in his home earlier this month.
Authorities say Manken is being held at Benton County jail. The jail says records don't show an attorney for Manken.
The Adair County Sheriff's Office says Wennerholm's daughter, Janice Manken, was arrested on a complaint of being an accessory to her father's death. Their records don't show an attorney for her.
Fiery crash ends in Oklahoma City parking lot
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a fatal, fiery crash that ended in the parking lot of an Oklahoma City hotel.
Oklahoma City television station KWTV reports the truck driver died at the scene and police are having trouble identifying him because of the fire.
They'd received reports that he was driving recklessly on Lake Hefner Parkway just before the crash early Wednesday.
The truck hit part of a highway bridge, then careened into the parking lot of the Country Inn and Suites Hotel.
People ran from the hotel and tried to put out the fire, but the flames were too intense.
FATAL SHOOTING-BRYAN COUNTY
Man arrested in connection with fatal shooting
DURANT, Okla. (AP) - Authorities have arrested another person in connection with a fatal shooting in southern Oklahoma.
The Durant Daily Democrat reports 31-year-old Craig Becker has been arrested for accessory to murder after the fact.
Twenty-two-year-old Frank Wendell Owens II was found shot Sunday on a highway near the Blue River Bridge in Bryan County. Owens was taken to a Durant hospital, where he later died.
Authorities say the victim's pickup was found burning by the river. A spokesman for Oklahoma's investigation bureau says officials believe Becker was involved in burning the victim's truck.
Police say they've arrested 22-year-old Mark Anthony Neal on Monday as a suspect in the shooting. An investigation is ongoing and a motive hasn't been determined.
The county's district court says records don't show attorneys for the men.
Man gets 2 life terms in Love County slayings
MARIETTA, Okla. (AP) - A 66-year-old man has been formally sentenced to two life terms without parole for the deaths of his father-in-law and father-in-law's sister in rural Love County.
The Daily Ardmoreite reports Aaron Eugene Carlile was sentenced Tuesday in Love County District Court.
He was found guilty in June of first-degree murder in the deaths of 78-year-old Thomas Monroe Culwell and 80-year-old Marion Almenia Culwell.
Almenia Culwell's son found the two shot to death one-and-a-half miles from their rural home in May 2013. Authorities say the shooting stemmed from a longstanding feud between Carlile and Sonny Culwell.
A notice of intent to appeal has been filed on Carlile's behalf.
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