Okla. public workers’ group to fight pension bills

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group that represents public workers in Oklahoma is issuing a call to action to its members and urging them to oppose measures to change the retirement system for newly hired state employees.

Oklahoma Public Employees Association Executive Director Sterling Zearley said Monday the group opposes bills in both the House and Senate that would switch new workers from the traditional defined-benefit pension to a 401(k)-style defined contribution retirement system.

Zearley says he’s been working with legislators for several years to get a pay increase for state workers, which is unlikely to happen this year because of budget constraints. He says state workers are not willing to take away the pension for new hires without an agreement to substantially increase salaries.

 

Name released of woman who died in jail cell

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Cleveland County authorities have released the name of a woman who died in a county jail cell.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Meghan McCormick said Monday that 36-year-old Rebekah Reed was found unresponsive in the cell about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. McCormick says Reed was brought to the jail by Moore police who had arrested her on a city warrant.

McCormick says Reed was checked by the jail’s medical staff and found her to be fit before she was placed in the cell. 

McCormick says there were no visible injuries to the woman and that her body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death.

 

Oklahoma water officials announce public meetings

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State water officials have announced a series of public meetings across the state on various water conservation plans designed to mitigate water use over the next 50 years.

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board, which is hosting the meetings, announced the dates Monday. They will be held March 11 at the Oklahoma Panhandle State University campus in Goodwell, March 12 at the Quartz Mountain Resort near Altus, and March 13 at the Simmons Center in Duncan. Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

The meeting locations were selected to target agriculture producers, water providers and those living in or near so-called “hot spot” planning basins that are projected to have the most serious water supply challenges over the next several decades.

 

Oklahoma boy dies in apparent accidental stabbing

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Authorities in Oklahoma City say a 4-year-old boy was killed after he fell on top of a knife used  by his uncle to whittle a piece of wood.

Oklahoma City police Sgt. Gary Knight says 4-year-old Bralyn Shively was pushing on a hammock where his uncle was lying Saturday afternoon when it suddenly broke and fell to the ground. The boy fell on top of his uncle who was still holding the knife used for whittling.

Knight says the child landed on top of the knife. Emergency responders were summoned and the boy was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Knight says the case will be turned over to the Canadian County District Attorney’s Office but all evidence indicates it was an accidental death.

 

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