Oklahoma news briefs

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

Police kill man after shots fired at vehicles on interstate

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Police in Oklahoma City say they fatally shot a man who was shooting at vehicles along an interstate.

Investigators say at least four vehicles on Interstate 35 were struck by gunfire Monday morning before police and the shooter exchanged fire. There have been no reports of injuries to motorists.

The gunman has not been identified. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol closed part of I-35 to investigate.

It's the second time in days an Oklahoma City freeway has been closed because of a shooting.

In an unrelated incident, part of Interstate 235 in Oklahoma City was closed Saturday after shots were fired from one vehicle into another, killing one person and injuring a second.


Oklahoma judge wants more answers on $85M opioid settlement

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma judge is declining to approve the state's proposed $85 million settlement with an opioid maker until he's assured it complies with a new law targeting such deals.

The attorney general's office says Cleveland County Judge Thad Balkman on Monday ordered attorneys for both the state and Israeli-owned Teva Pharmaceuticals to file additional paperwork before he approves the settlement .

Attorney General spokesman Alex Gerszewski (ger-SHES'-kee) says the judge wants both sides to address how distribution of the money conforms to the new law .

Concerned about how the state's $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharmaceuticals was structured, the Republican-led Legislature passed a law directing any settlement funds directly into the state treasury.

Oklahoma's lawsuit blaming consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson and some of its subsidiaries for contributing to the opioid epidemic is continuing.


Hobby Lobby donates land for Oklahoma City transit hub plans

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Hobby Lobby is donating an acre of land for the proposed expansion of a commuter bus hub in southwest Oklahoma City.

The national arts and crafts retailer's estimated $300,000 donation will help metro transit agency Embark relocate and expand the city's southwest location from two shelters to an open-air hub, said Michael Scoggins, an agency spokesman.

The new hub will include bathrooms, more lighting, improved weather shelters and route information technology, Scoggins said.

"Hobby Lobby's generosity will help Embark further improve the customer experience while elevating the presence of public transit in the area," said Jason Ferbrache, Embark's director.

Ferbrache said the current bus location can become congested. It's the second busiest stop in the bus system, serving more than 300 passengers a day.

The plans call for relocating the buses from the existing stop, which is located near a Hobby Lobby store, to the donated land.

Ferbrache said the agency hopes to acquire an adjacent 1.19-acre parcel of land for the new site.

"Our store has been a neighbor to the current bus stop for years, and we've seen the need for a larger facility," said Peter Dobelbower, Hobby Lobby's senior vice president and general counsel. "By donating the land, we can help Embark move toward its goal of creating an even better transit system for our community."

Transit officials are also considering the new location for a potential rapid transit bus corridor to offer express buses for commuters. Plans for the area's first rapid transit bus line are underway in northwest Oklahoma City.


7 Oklahoma counties get federal disaster aid due to flooding

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says federal disaster assistance has been approved for seven more counties affected by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes.

Stitt says residents and business owners can apply for financial assistance to help recover from storm damage since May 7 in Canadian, Creek, Logan, Osage, Ottawa, Rogers and Washington counties. Disaster assistance has already been approved for Muskogee, Tulsa and Wagoner counties.

The relief will provide housing repairs or temporary housing, low-interest loans to repair or replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance and grants for expenses not met by other programs.

Heavy rainfall led to severe flooding throughout the Arkansas River valley last month, flooding hundreds of homes and businesses in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is seeking federal assistance for eight counties impacted by flooding.