Applications for medical marijuana beginning in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health says officials are ready to begin accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses in the state.

The online application system will be available beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at www.OMMA.ok.gov .

Health Department spokesman Tony Sellars says the licenses are for all potential medical marijuana patients, growers, dispensaries and caregivers.

The applications must be made online and cannot be submitted at state or county health offices. Residents needing computer access are encouraged to visit a public library or ask a friend or relative for access.

In June, voters approved a statewide ballot measure authorizing the use of medicinal cannabis in Oklahoma.

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Native American charter school approved in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma education officials have approved plans for a charter school with a core mission of serving indigenous students.

The approval Thursday by the state Board of Education came just months after the Oklahoma City Public Schools board denied the application over questions regarding budget and leadership, the Oklahoman reported .

The approval gives the Sovereign Community School permission to open in 2019, creating a public charter school that plans to eventually serve 500 mostly Native American students through culturally sensitive curriculum and other support services.

"If you have an indigenous identity, and maybe you are super connected to it and maybe you're not, this will be a really good place for you," said Phil Gover, the lead applicant for the school.

More than 1,100 Native American students are spread throughout the Oklahoma City district's nearly 90 schools. Advocates for the proposed charter have said it can be difficult helping those students connect with their cultural identity.

Board member Cathryn Frank said she felt uncomfortable with a school targeting a specific ethnicity.

"I agree with so much that has been said on both sides, and I certainly agree with the heart of the matter, but I'm a child of the '60s," she said. "And we were taught segregation is wrong."

Gover told board members the school would reflect the district's diversity.

"Native identity isn't just rooted in our majoritarian concepts of what race and culture is," he said. "I think we are going to attract a cross-section in this city where this student body is going to look perhaps more diverse than any other school."

The school hopes to move into the former Mayfair Elementary School in northwest Oklahoma City.

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Oklahoma approves record number of emergency teachers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Board of Education has approved a record number of emergency certificates for non-traditionally trained teachers.

The Oklahoman reports that the board approved 916 certificates at Thursday's board meeting, increasing the total number of certificates approved for the 2018-19 school year to 2,153.

Joy Hofmeister is the state's superintendent of public instruction. She says the state is "now experiencing the full weight" of the teacher shortage.

Districts turn to emergency-certified candidates when they're unable to fill a teaching position with a certified candidate. An individual must pass a test in the subject area they'd be teaching. They also must pass a criminal background check before being granted the two-year emergency certificate.

Oklahoma hired 32 emergency-certified teachers in 2012.

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Life for Oklahoman in wrong-way crash fatal to 6-year-old

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Edmond man has been sentenced to life in prison for the death of a 6-year-old boy in a wrong way collision in 2015.

Court records show 48-year-old Kelly Waldon Corn was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in March to second-degree murder, driving under the influence, possession of methamphetamines and other charges.

Prosecutors say Corn had meth and pain killers in his system at the time of the Easter Sunday crash on the Kilpatrick Turnpike that killed Saxton Watley.

The Oklahoman reports that Corn apologized to the boy's parents and now-12-year-old brother, saying he understands their anger toward him.

Police say Corn drove about one mile east in the westbound lanes of the turnpike before colliding with the vehicle carrying the boy.

Corn will be eligible for parole when he is in his 80s.

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