Storm knocks out power, spawns tornado in central Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A storm spawned a weak tornado in central Oklahoma, left thousands without power from that state into Arkansas, and led to about a dozen high-water rescues.
National Weather Service meteorologist Phil Ware said Tuesday that an EF1 tornado damaged a home, downed trees and destroyed a barn Monday night in Logan County, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of downtown Oklahoma City.
No injuries were reported.
Oklahoma City Fire Capt. David Macy said firefighters rescued about a dozen motorists from high water and a fisherman who was trapped by rising water on a lake.
Some Oklahoma schools that lost power closed Tuesday.
Oklahoma Gas & Electric reported about 34,000 outages Tuesday afternoon. More than 66,000 customers from that utility and Public Service Company of Oklahoma were without electricity from the Lawton area to the Fort Smith, Arkansas, area.
Oklahoma group challenges move to block permitless carry law
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association is challenging efforts that would put on hold a new permitless carry law until voters weigh in on the issue.
The law passed earlier this year will allow Oklahoma residents to openly carry guns without a background check or training. The new law takes effect Nov. 1, but efforts are now underway for a statewide referendum on the measure.
The Oklahoman reports that the association filed a legal challenge Monday to the wording of the referendum petition, calling it inaccurate and misleading. Second Amendment Association President Don Spencer called the statewide vote a waste of time.
"Citizens of the state of Oklahoma have been waiting on this for over 112 years and it's time for them to get their rights back," he said.
But the measure's backers, who have until 5 p.m. Thursday to collect nearly 60,000 signatures to get the measure on the 2020 ballot, dismissed those claims. State Rep. Jason Lowe, a Democrat from Oklahoma City, said Oklahomans think the new law is dangerous and that they deserve the opportunity to vote on it.
"I say to the naysayers, I say to the individuals who cite the Second Amendment, who indicate they believe in the Constitution, what's more enshrined in the Constitution than the right to vote?" he said.
The debate comes in the wake of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio earlier this month, and as lawmakers nationwide push for proposals , including "red flag" laws, aimed at removing guns from people who are considered to be dangerous.
Dubbed "constitutional carry" by its supporters, the bill would allow most residents 21 and older to carry concealed or unconcealed firearms without a license. Exceptions would include anyone in the country illegally or those convicted of certain crimes. Firearms would still be prohibited in certain locations, including public buildings, schools, professional sporting events, casinos and bars.
Currently, those wishing to carry a firearm in public must apply for a license that includes a state background check and completion of a training course.
A similar bill was vetoed last year by Republican former Gov. Mary Fallin amid opposition from the business community and law enforcement.
2 suspects arrested in death of man found in Oklahoma ditch
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says two men have been arrested in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in a northeastern Oklahoma ditch.
The OSBI said in a news release Tuesday that the suspects were arrested Sunday in Mayes County. Both are jailed without bond in neighboring Craig County on first-degree murder warrants in the death of 28-year-old Christopher Boren. Court records do not show that formal charges have been filed.
An OSBI spokeswoman did not immediately return a phone call for further comment.
The agency previously said Boren's body was found in southern Craig County near the Mayes County line, about 55 miles (90 kilometers) northeast of Tulsa.
The state medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death.
Oklahoma couple charged in drowning death of 4-year-old boy
WAGONER, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma couple is charged with second-degree murder in the drowning death of a 4-year-old boy.
The Wagoner County sheriff's office said Monday that 28-year-old Steven Powers II and his 34-year-old wife, Tina Powers, are charged in the Aug. 15 death of Steven Powers III.
Jail records show both are in custody. No attorney is listed to speak on either's behalf.
The child died two days after being pulled from a lake in the Toppers area, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Tulsa.
Authorities say Steven Powers II, the boy's father, was under the influence of drugs when Tina Powers left the boy alone with him at the lake.
Tina Powers' relationship with the child was not revealed and the sheriff's office didn't return a phone call for comment.