http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/education-advocates-call-on-lawmakers-to-penalize-themselves/

OKLAHOMA CITY – The April 1 deadline to fund education has come and gone for yet another year with no education budget from the legislature.

House Bill 1247 was signed into law back in 2003, mandating education be funded by April 1.

That’s so local districts can know how much money they’re getting from the state and can make critical decisions about hiring teachers and cutting classes.

That deadline, though, has only been met once since the law was passed.

And, some are now saying it’s time to hold legislators accountable.

“The reality is they’re breaking a law. They missed a deadline,” said Ward Curtin, political director for Stand For Children Oklahoma.

Stand For Children held a press conference mid-March, calling on legislators to meet their own imposed deadline.

Now that it didn’t happen, they’re asking lawmakers to penalize themselves.

“Obviously, it needs to be something that they feel almost personally, if it’s a salary reduction, or per diem reduction or look at their benefits. They literally have a job that they are not doing at this moment,” Curtin said.

“That’s the sad thing about the state of what we’re in today is that it’s become status quo. Because, this has become an annual event for us,” said Deer Creek School District Superintendent Ranet Tippens.

Tippens said, in the past, the state has told them the cuts will be anywhere from 0 to 2 percent.

This year, it could be anywhere from 0 to 14 percent.

It makes it difficult for her to hire the new teachers she knows she’ll need for their anticipated 300 new students next year.

“You’re gambling. You’re shooting in the dark. You’re looking at your carry forward and deciding how much can I risk? How much can I gamble?” Tippens said.

Education advocates know it will be politically difficult to get legislators to pass the penalties.

“But, you know, that penalty is tied to them not following their own law. So, we think it’s fair,” Curtin said.

Stand For Children said they are working with some lawmakers right now, trying to get the penalties added on to an existing education bill this session.

They said, right now, they are working the avenue and are not talking about filing a lawsuit as some other states have done.

35.467560
-97.516428

http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/sooners-and-vols-renew-series-on-gridiron/

Oklahoma and Tennessee have announced a renewal of their football series, with two games upcoming, one at each campus.

The Sooners and Volunteers will play September 12, 2020 in Norman, and September 7, 2024 in Knoxville.

OU and Tennessee played twice in the last three seasons, with the Sooners winning both games.

Oklahoma won 34-10 in Norman in 2014, and came from behind to beat UT 31-24 in double overtime in 2015.

In a statement, OU athletic director Joe Castiglione explained why the Sooners wanted to renew the seires with the Vols.

“The Tennessee series renews our commitment to marquee non-conference games,” Castiglione said. “The games in 2014 and ’15 demonstrated a tremendous respect between two storied programs, as well as between a pair of passionate fan bases, and so for the players, coaches and fans, we’re excited to renew this high-profile series.

“In signing the contract for this new series, we worked together to allow for other conflicts. That’s the reason we are not playing in back-to-back seasons.”

Oklahoma also announced Monday they have completed their non-conference schedule for 2019 by adding a game against the University of South Dakota.

 

http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/education-advocates-call-on-lawmakers-to-penalize-themselves/

OKLAHOMA CITY – The April 1 deadline to fund education has come and gone for yet another year with no education budget from the legislature.

House Bill 1247 was signed into law back in 2003, mandating education be funded by April 1.

That’s so local districts can know how much money they’re getting from the state and can make critical decisions about hiring teachers and cutting classes.

That deadline, though, has only been met once since the law was passed.

And, some are now saying it’s time to hold legislators accountable.

“The reality is they’re breaking a law. They missed a deadline,” said Ward Curtin, political director for Stand For Children Oklahoma.

Stand For Children held a press conference mid-March, calling on legislators to meet their own imposed deadline.

Now that it didn’t happen, they’re asking lawmakers to penalize themselves.

“Obviously, it needs to be something that they feel almost personally, if it’s a salary reduction, or per diem reduction or look at their benefits. They literally have a job that they are not doing at this moment,” Curtin said.

“That’s the sad thing about the state of what we’re in today is that it’s become status quo. Because, this has become an annual event for us,” said Deer Creek School District Superintendent Ranet Tippens.

Tippens said, in the past, the state has told them the cuts will be anywhere from 0 to 2 percent.

This year, it could be anywhere from 0 to 14 percent.

It makes it difficult for her to hire the new teachers she knows she’ll need for their anticipated 300 new students next year.

“You’re gambling. You’re shooting in the dark. You’re looking at your carry forward and deciding how much can I risk? How much can I gamble?” Tippens said.

Education advocates know it will be politically difficult to get legislators to pass the penalties.

“But, you know, that penalty is tied to them not following their own law. So, we think it’s fair,” Curtin said.

Stand For Children said they are working with some lawmakers right now, trying to get the penalties added on to an existing education bill this session.

They said, right now, they are working the avenue and are not talking about filing a lawsuit as some other states have done.

35.467560
-97.516428

http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/oklahoma-man-accused-of-beheading-coworker-removed-from-courtroom-after-outburst/

NORMAN, Okla. – A man accused of beheading a coworker in 2014 had an outburst inside a Cleveland County courtroom.

On Sept. 25, 2014, authorities said Alton Nolen stabbed 54-year-old Colleen Hufford multiple times and beheaded her inside the Vaughan Foods distribution center.

After attacking Hufford, Nolen is accused of stabbing 43-year-old Traci Johnson numerous times before being shot by Mark Vaughan, the former CEO of the company and a reserve sheriff’s deputy.

Hufford died from her injuries, but Johnson survived.

Authorities arrested Nolen for the attack and charged him with murder.

Last year, he attempted to plead guilty to the charge, but a judge refused to accept the plea.

On Monday, Nolen was in court for a competency hearing.

“We’ve had, on occasion, defendants act up in the courtroom,” said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.

Jumping up from his seat, Nolen resisted deputies.

At one point, a deputy asked Nolen if he understood her, and he replied, saying “Do you understand me?”

“Today, having the disturbance in the courtroom, not knowing if he was wanting to stay and be a part of the rest of the proceedings – that’s why the judge asked him if he wanted to stay or not,” Mashburn said.

When Nolen couldn’t answer the judge’s question, he was removed from the courtroom.

Nolen’s outburst came during testimony from several healthcare professionals.

“I think the deputies had it under control for the rest of the time. Once he got out of line, the deputies made sure they had control of the situation,” Mashburn said.

Whether or not he returns to the courtroom for the continuation of his court proceedings will be up to him.

“She’ll continue to make that request every morning: if he wants to come over. And, if he wants to come over, he can be a part and, if not, he’ll remain at the county jail,” Mashburn said.

If the judge determines Nolen is competent, the trial will move on to the punishment phase.

Court is in recess until 9 a.m. Tuesday. ​

35.222567
-97.439478

http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/education-advocates-call-on-lawmakers-to-penalize-themselves/

OKLAHOMA CITY – The April 1 deadline to fund education has come and gone for yet another year with no education budget from the legislature.

House Bill 1247 was signed into law back in 2003, mandating education be funded by April 1.

That’s so local districts can know how much money they’re getting from the state and can make critical decisions about hiring teachers and cutting classes.

That deadline, though, has only been met once since the law was passed.

And, some are now saying it’s time to hold legislators accountable.

“The reality is they’re breaking a law. They missed a deadline,” said Ward Curtin, political director for Stand For Children Oklahoma.

Stand For Children held a press conference mid-March, calling on legislators to meet their own imposed deadline.

Now that it didn’t happen, they’re asking lawmakers to penalize themselves.

“Obviously, it needs to be something that they feel almost personally, if it’s a salary reduction, or per diem reduction or look at their benefits. They literally have a job that they are not doing at this moment,” Curtin said.

“That’s the sad thing about the state of what we’re in today is that it’s become status quo. Because, this has become an annual event for us,” said Deer Creek School District Superintendent Ranet Tippens.

Tippens said, in the past, the state has told them the cuts will be anywhere from 0 to 2 percent.

This year, it could be anywhere from 0 to 14 percent.

It makes it difficult for her to hire the new teachers she knows she’ll need for their anticipated 300 new students next year.

“You’re gambling. You’re shooting in the dark. You’re looking at your carry forward and deciding how much can I risk? How much can I gamble?” Tippens said.

Education advocates know it will be politically difficult to get legislators to pass the penalties.

“But, you know, that penalty is tied to them not following their own law. So, we think it’s fair,” Curtin said.

Stand For Children said they are working with some lawmakers right now, trying to get the penalties added on to an existing education bill this session.

They said, right now, they are working the avenue and are not talking about filing a lawsuit as some other states have done.

35.467560
-97.516428

http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/oklahoma-man-accused-of-beheading-coworker-removed-from-courtroom-after-outburst/

NORMAN, Okla. – A man accused of beheading a coworker in 2014 had an outburst inside a Cleveland County courtroom.

On Sept. 25, 2014, authorities said Alton Nolen stabbed 54-year-old Colleen Hufford multiple times and beheaded her inside the Vaughan Foods distribution center.

After attacking Hufford, Nolen is accused of stabbing 43-year-old Traci Johnson numerous times before being shot by Mark Vaughan, the former CEO of the company and a reserve sheriff’s deputy.

Hufford died from her injuries, but Johnson survived.

Authorities arrested Nolen for the attack and charged him with murder.

Last year, he attempted to plead guilty to the charge, but a judge refused to accept the plea.

On Monday, Nolen was in court for a competency hearing.

“We’ve had, on occasion, defendants act up in the courtroom,” said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.

Jumping up from his seat, Nolen resisted deputies.

At one point, a deputy asked Nolen if he understood her, and he replied, saying “Do you understand me?”

“Today, having the disturbance in the courtroom, not knowing if he was wanting to stay and be a part of the rest of the proceedings – that’s why the judge asked him if he wanted to stay or not,” Mashburn said.

When Nolen couldn’t answer the judge’s question, he was removed from the courtroom.

Nolen’s outburst came during testimony from several healthcare professionals.

“I think the deputies had it under control for the rest of the time. Once he got out of line, the deputies made sure they had control of the situation,” Mashburn said.

Whether or not he returns to the courtroom for the continuation of his court proceedings will be up to him.

“She’ll continue to make that request every morning: if he wants to come over. And, if he wants to come over, he can be a part and, if not, he’ll remain at the county jail,” Mashburn said.

If the judge determines Nolen is competent, the trial will move on to the punishment phase.

Court is in recess until 9 a.m. Tuesday. ​

35.222567
-97.439478

http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/he-was-like-my-child-pet-owner-seeks-answers-after-dog-dies-at-oklahoma-groomer/

EDMOND, Okla. – An Oklahoma pet owner is asking for answers after she received a horrifying phone call from a groomer.

When Stephanie Hearon took her two pugs to get groomed at ‘Love On A Leash’ in Edmond last Wednesday, she never imagined what would happen later that day.

“When she called, I thought she was calling to tell me that my dog was ready to be picked up from being groomed. Instead, it was a girl hysterically crying telling me that my dog was dead,” Hearon said.

Hearon now wants to know how her 5-year-old pug, Bentley, died.

“I’ve gotten several different stories that my dog was tethered up on a table with three other dogs and that they left the room and, when they came back, my dog was hanging,” she said.

Hearon also said the business tried to resuscitate Bentley but it was too late.

She said she went to the grooming facility the next day to try to get a straight answer.

“They’re all blaming it on each other, so I don’t really know what really happened,” she said.

The owner of ‘Love On A Leash’ sent Hearon a message on Facebook, saying the incident has destroyed her soul and she closed her business because of it.

“She told me that she would replace my dog. Of course, she can’t really replace the dog that I’ve lost, because he was a family member,” she said. “He was a perfectly healthy dog.”

When NewsChannel 4 stopped by the shop on Monday morning, the doors were locked and the phone lines were busy.

Another customer who said she had an appointment was also unable to get inside the business.

On Monday afternoon, the owner of ‘Love On A Leash’ contacted NewsChannel 4 to dispute the allegations against her business.

She said Bentley was not strangled but was found limp on the table.

She said her employee tried to resuscitate him but it was no use.

She also claims Bentley was not healthy.

No matter what happened, Hearon said it won’t bring her dog back.

“He’s a family pet. He was like my child. We were very close,” she said. “Him and my other pug, they were who I came home to every night.”

The grooming facility said a necropsy is being done to determine exactly what killed Bentley.

35.652832
-97.478095

http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/oklahoma-man-accused-of-beheading-coworker-removed-from-courtroom-after-outburst/

NORMAN, Okla. – A man accused of beheading a coworker in 2014 had an outburst inside a Cleveland County courtroom.

On Sept. 25, 2014, authorities said Alton Nolen stabbed 54-year-old Colleen Hufford multiple times and beheaded her inside the Vaughan Foods distribution center.

After attacking Hufford, Nolen is accused of stabbing 43-year-old Traci Johnson numerous times before being shot by Mark Vaughan, the former CEO of the company and a reserve sheriff’s deputy.

Hufford died from her injuries, but Johnson survived.

Authorities arrested Nolen for the attack and charged him with murder.

Last year, he attempted to plead guilty to the charge, but a judge refused to accept the plea.

On Monday, Nolen was in court for a competency hearing.

“We’ve had, on occasion, defendants act up in the courtroom,” said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.

Jumping up from his seat, Nolen resisted deputies.

At one point, a deputy asked Nolen if he understood her, and he replied, saying “Do you understand me?”

“Today, having the disturbance in the courtroom, not knowing if he was wanting to stay and be a part of the rest of the proceedings – that’s why the judge asked him if he wanted to stay or not,” Mashburn said.

When Nolen couldn’t answer the judge’s question, he was removed from the courtroom.

Nolen’s outburst came during testimony from several healthcare professionals.

“I think the deputies had it under control for the rest of the time. Once he got out of line, the deputies made sure they had control of the situation,” Mashburn said.

Whether or not he returns to the courtroom for the continuation of his court proceedings will be up to him.

“She’ll continue to make that request every morning: if he wants to come over. And, if he wants to come over, he can be a part and, if not, he’ll remain at the county jail,” Mashburn said.

If the judge determines Nolen is competent, the trial will move on to the punishment phase.

Court is in recess until 9 a.m. Tuesday. ​

35.222567
-97.439478

http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/he-was-like-my-child-pet-owner-seeks-answers-after-dog-dies-at-oklahoma-groomer/

EDMOND, Okla. – An Oklahoma pet owner is asking for answers after she received a horrifying phone call from a groomer.

When Stephanie Hearon took her two pugs to get groomed at ‘Love On A Leash’ in Edmond last Wednesday, she never imagined what would happen later that day.

“When she called, I thought she was calling to tell me that my dog was ready to be picked up from being groomed. Instead, it was a girl hysterically crying telling me that my dog was dead,” Hearon said.

Hearon now wants to know how her 5-year-old pug, Bentley, died.

“I’ve gotten several different stories that my dog was tethered up on a table with three other dogs and that they left the room and, when they came back, my dog was hanging,” she said.

Hearon also said the business tried to resuscitate Bentley but it was too late.

She said she went to the grooming facility the next day to try to get a straight answer.

“They’re all blaming it on each other, so I don’t really know what really happened,” she said.

The owner of ‘Love On A Leash’ sent Hearon a message on Facebook, saying the incident has destroyed her soul and she closed her business because of it.

“She told me that she would replace my dog. Of course, she can’t really replace the dog that I’ve lost, because he was a family member,” she said. “He was a perfectly healthy dog.”

When NewsChannel 4 stopped by the shop on Monday morning, the doors were locked and the phone lines were busy.

Another customer who said she had an appointment was also unable to get inside the business.

On Monday afternoon, the owner of ‘Love On A Leash’ contacted NewsChannel 4 to dispute the allegations against her business.

She said Bentley was not strangled but was found limp on the table.

She said her employee tried to resuscitate him but it was no use.

She also claims Bentley was not healthy.

No matter what happened, Hearon said it won’t bring her dog back.

“He’s a family pet. He was like my child. We were very close,” she said. “Him and my other pug, they were who I came home to every night.”

The grooming facility said a necropsy is being done to determine exactly what killed Bentley.

35.652832
-97.478095

http://kfor.com/2017/04/03/he-was-like-my-child-pet-owner-seeks-answers-after-dog-dies-at-oklahoma-groomer/

EDMOND, Okla. – An Oklahoma pet owner is asking for answers after she received a horrifying phone call from a groomer.

When Stephanie Hearon took her two pugs to get groomed at ‘Love On A Leash’ in Edmond last Wednesday, she never imagined what would happen later that day.

“When she called, I thought she was calling to tell me that my dog was ready to be picked up from being groomed. Instead, it was a girl hysterically crying telling me that my dog was dead,” Hearon said.

Hearon now wants to know how her 5-year-old pug, Bentley, died.

“I’ve gotten several different stories that my dog was tethered up on a table with three other dogs and that they left the room and, when they came back, my dog was hanging,” she said.

Hearon also said the business tried to resuscitate Bentley but it was too late.

She said she went to the grooming facility the next day to try to get a straight answer.

“They’re all blaming it on each other, so I don’t really know what really happened,” she said.

The owner of ‘Love On A Leash’ sent Hearon a message on Facebook, saying the incident has destroyed her soul and she closed her business because of it.

“She told me that she would replace my dog. Of course, she can’t really replace the dog that I’ve lost, because he was a family member,” she said. “He was a perfectly healthy dog.”

When NewsChannel 4 stopped by the shop on Monday morning, the doors were locked and the phone lines were busy.

Another customer who said she had an appointment was also unable to get inside the business.

On Monday afternoon, the owner of ‘Love On A Leash’ contacted NewsChannel 4 to dispute the allegations against her business.

She said Bentley was not strangled but was found limp on the table.

She said her employee tried to resuscitate him but it was no use.

She also claims Bentley was not healthy.

No matter what happened, Hearon said it won’t bring her dog back.

“He’s a family pet. He was like my child. We were very close,” she said. “Him and my other pug, they were who I came home to every night.”

The grooming facility said a necropsy is being done to determine exactly what killed Bentley.

35.652832
-97.478095