4 people dead in wrong-way crash on Oklahoma City interstate
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Authorities say four people were killed in an early morning wrong-way crash on Interstate 40 in Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the collision happened shortly after 2 a.m. Friday when a pickup truck driving the wrong direction crashed into an oncoming car. The highway patrol says two people in the truck were killed, along with two people in the car.
The crash happened at eastbound I-40 and Oklahoma City Boulevard.
Troopers say they are still investigating why the driver was traveling in the wrong direction. The wreck shut down some lanes of the interstate for several hours, but they reopened at about 5:30 a.m. Friday.
3.1 magnitude earthquake shakes Oklahoma City metro area
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — No injuries have been reported after a 3.1 magnitude earthquake shook parts of the Oklahoma City area.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was reported at 6:15 p.m. Thursday about 7 miles (12 kilometers) northwest of the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond. It was recorded at a depth of about 5 miles (8 kilometers).
There were no immediate reports of damage. Geologists say damage is unlikely in temblors below magnitude 4.0.
Thousands of earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma in recent years have been linked to the underground injection of wastewater from oil and gas production.
Geologists say about 200 quakes of magnitude 3.0 or stronger were recorded in Oklahoma last year, down from 302 in 2017 and marks the third consecutive year of declines since regulators ordered producers to close some wells.
Governor taps business executive from Ohio to OU Regents
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's new Gov. Kevin Stitt tapped an Ohio business executive for the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents on Friday, following through on his plan to appoint an African-American member to help oversee a university rocked by racist incidents in recent years.
Stitt announced the selection of Eric Stevenson, the senior vice president of Nationwide Retirement Plans, to replace Clay Bennett on the seven-member panel. Stevenson, 55, is a native of Wagoner, Oklahoma, and received his bachelor's degree from OU and a master's from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He said he frequently visits the campus and serves on an advisory committee at the OU Price College of Business.
Stitt said he selected Stevenson after consulting with OU President James Gallogly and the rest of the members of the Board of Regents.
"They told me number one, we need an OU alum who is business-oriented, reform-minded and who can play a critical role in overseeing the university's finances," Stitt said. "We all agreed it was equally critical to find an Oklahoman who would bring diversity to the board, who would represent a large portion of our students at the University of Oklahoma."
The board has only had three African-American members in its history, most recently attorney Melvin Hall whose term expired in 1999.
OU students demanded more faculty and staff diversity during a January campus rally after two white students were involved in a video in which one of the women wore blackface and used a racial slur.
That followed a 2015 video showing members of a fraternity participating in a chant that included a racial slur, referenced lynching and said black students would never be admitted to the fraternity.
About 32 percent of OU students identified as a racial minority in 2018, including 9.5 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent Asian, 5.1 percent African American and 4.1 percent Native American. About 8 percent identified as two or more races.
Stevenson acknowledged his appointment alone does not address racial tension on campus, but that he hopes to work with university leaders to address the issue.
"That won't be something that any one person can tackle," Stevenson said. "I'm anxious to learn more about some of the issues that are happening, and we'll certainly talk and partner and collaborate the best way we can to make a difference there."
Nowata County Jail evacuated after carbon monoxide detected
NOWATA, Okla. (AP) — Inmates at the Nowata County Jail have been moved to another facility after carbon monoxide was detected at the sheriff's office.
The Nowata County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook that all inmates were transferred Thursday night when a dispatcher originally noticed an odor after the building's heat kicked in.
She became nauseated and contacted the undersheriff, who instructed her to leave the building and called the fire department. The building was evacuated after carbon monoxide was detected.
Authorities say Friday that no inmates have complained about illness. All inmates have been transferred to the Washington County Sheriff's Office and are being held in the Bartlesville facility.
The cause of the gas has not been determined, but the office said it suspects exhaust fans and sewer lines.
DOJ: No civil rights charge in deadly Tulsa police shooting
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — There is insufficient evidence to pursue federal civil rights charges against a white former Tulsa police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man, the Department of Justice said Friday.
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores announced the closure of the investigation into whether Betty Shelby willfully used unreasonable force against Terence Crutcher when she shot and killed him in September 2016.
"The Department of Justice devoted significant resources to this investigation to ensure that a thorough review was undertaken. Attorneys from both the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office worked closely with the FBI to examine the evidence and review applicable law," Shores said in a statement.
A Tulsa County jury acquitted Shelby in May 2017 in the shooting death of Crutcher, who was holding his hands above his head when he was shot. Shelby testified she fired her weapon out of fear because Crutcher didn't obey her commands and appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun. Crutcher was unarmed.
Attorneys for Crutcher's family haven't returned messages left Friday.
Shelby resigned from the Tulsa Police Department following her acquittal.
A federal lawsuit filed by Crutcher's family against the City of Tulsa and Shelby still is pending in federal court.
Shores said a team that included some of the department's most experienced prosecutors and FBI agents examined all of the evidence in the case, including enhanced video footage of the shooting . The investigation aimed to determine whether Shelby willfully violated federal law, which Shores said required prosecutors to determine that Shelby acted with the "deliberate and specific intent" to do something illegal.
"Any allegation of law enforcement misconduct and willful deprivation of civil rights is taken seriously," Shores said. "However, the evidence in this case did not support pursuing criminal prosecution."
Crutcher's killing was among a spate of officer-involved shootings in recent years that helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted calls for more police accountability.