Oklahoma health officials prepare for flu season
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - After a record-breaking 63 people died as a result of the flu during the 2013-14 flu season, Oklahoma health officials preparing for the coming season say educating the public is key to reducing both the deaths and the number of people who contract the virus.
Oklahoma State Department of Health epidemiologist Becky Coffman says public awareness and persuading residents to get a flu shot are vital.
The flu season is late September through early May and Coffman says the strains expected this season are the same as last season. She says companies are just now starting to ship flu vaccines to pharmacies and doctors while health departments will likely begin receiving the vaccine in late September or early October.
The previous record of 46 flu deaths was set in 2009.
Man found dead outside north Tulsa home
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city's north side.
Detective Dave Walker told reporters that a neighbor found the man Saturday morning lying near a pickup truck outside the home. Authorities say the home was the scene of a recent fire and it's believed the man was working at the home and sleeping in the truck.
The man - whose name was not immediately released - was last seen about 5 p.m. Friday.
Police say the body will be sent to the state medical examiner's office in Tulsa to determine the cause and manner of death.
IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD-CON ARTISTS
FBI: Information on child migrants stolen in scam
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The FBI is investigating how con artists were able to obtain confidential information about unaccompanied child immigrants being held in Oklahoma and elsewhere as part of a scam netting the swindlers thousands of dollars.
Special agent Michelle Lee tells the San Antonio Express-News that information was obtained for children being held at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas and at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma.
She says scammers posing as charity workers have contacted people in a dozen states who are acting as sponsors for the children. They claim that payments of $300 to $6,000 are needed to cover processing costs and travel expenses to reunite families.
The contractor responsible for the child detention operations at the two facilities, BCFS (formerly Baptist Child and Family Services), referred questions to the FBI.
Fallin wants probe to include botched executions
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin says the governor wants investigators looking into Oklahoma's recent flawed execution to consider problems that have popped up in other states such as Ohio and Arizona.
Spokesman Alex Weintz said Friday that an investigation into Oklahoma's execution should consider what other states have done "both successfully and unsuccessfully."
Fallin ordered the Department of Public Safety to conduct a thorough investigation into the April 29 botched lethal injection of Clayton Lockett. The review also is to determine if prison officials followed the state's execution protocols and what changes should be made to those protocols.
DPS Capt. George Brown declined to discuss what information investigators have compiled, but Weintz said the probe's delay is connected to the complete toxicology reports that were ordered on Lockett's body.
EXECUTIONS-RETHINKING LETHAL INJECTION
Renewed debate over execution methods
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A third execution by lethal injection has gone awry in six months, renewing debate over whether there's a foolproof way to humanely kill condemned criminals.
Death penalty opponents say it shouldn't be done. But many supporters don't believe that some suffering by the condemned inmate should send government back to the drawing board.
Thirty years ago, little thought was given to condemned inmates' comfort. But mistakes occurred, including electric chairs catching fire.
In 1977, an Oklahoma medical director appeared to have found a solution. Dr. Jay Chapman came up with a three-drug combination that promised to put inmates to sleep before painlessly drifting off to death. Chapman's formula replaced Oklahoma's use of the electric chair.
Now, after botched executions in Oklahoma and elsewhere, calls are mounting to scrap lethal injection.
IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD-OKLAHOMA PROTEST
Group to protest housing of immigrants
LAWTON, Okla. (AP) - A nonprofit organization based in Kansas that focuses on immigrant rights says it plans to travel to Oklahoma and protest the housing of unaccompanied minors at Fort Sill.
A delegation from Sunflower Community Action is traveling from Wichita to Lawton on Friday to protest the housing of the children.
The group says the children continue to be detained under questionable conditions.
Hundreds of teenagers from Central America have been housed at a troop barracks at the southwest Oklahoma Army post after detention centers near the border were overwhelmed with an influx of young people crossing the border.
Members of Oklahoma's all-Republican congressional delegation are urging President Barack Obama to reconsider using Fort Sill to the house unaccompanied minors.
Escaped Oklahoma inmate captured in north Texas
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma prison officials say an inmate who walked away from a minimum security facility in Granite has been captured in Texas.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins says 26-year-old Aaron Kelsey was arrested without incident Friday afternoon at an acquaintance's house in Denison, Texas.
Kelsey was discovered missing Wednesday during a 6 p.m. head count at a minimum security facility at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite. Watkins said Kelsey "basically walked away."
Prison records show Kelsey was serving time for convictions in Bryan County of second-degree burglary, possession of a firearm during probation, and use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon.
Watkins says Kelsey is being held in the Grayson County, Texas, Jail awaiting extradition.
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