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Updated: 13 min 25 sec ago

Testimony at Moore beheading trial to begin

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 7:17pm

By Nolan Clay Staff Writer

NORMAN — A jury was told Thursday that murder defendant Alton Alexander Nolen beheaded a co-worker in 2014 at a Moore food plant because of delusional religious beliefs.

"He believed it 100 percent that what he was doing was right," attorney Shea Smith said in the defense's opening statement to jurors.

Nolen's three court-appointed defense attorneys are asking jurors to find him not guilty by reason of insanity.


Norman man killed in fiery wreck Thursday near Tuttle

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 3:02pm

From Staff Reports

TUTTLE — A 27-year-old Norman man was killed in a wreck Thursday morning along the H.E. Bailey Turnpike, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

About 7:55 a.m., Freedom K. Kinnaman, was driving a tractor-trailer west on the H.E. Bailey Spur, about 4 miles south of Tuttle.


Norman ushers in new film festival

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 2:56pm

By Whitney Bryen For The Oklahoman

NORMAN — A new film festival is coming to Norman this month aimed at boosting opportunities for students and professionals in Oklahoma's entertainment industry.

The Norman Film Festival kicks off its Year One event Saturday, with 16 featured films and more than 50 short films and music videos playing at four venues across the city.

Norman already is home to a Native American film festival and student film festival, but festival Director Chase Spivey hopes a general purpose festival will highlight the city's talent and attract professionals who could bring film projects to Oklahoma.

“As someone who makes music videos and films myself, I hear from friends all the time that you have to move away from Oklahoma and from Norman to get work or make it in this industry,” Spivey said.


Update: All clear given at University of Oklahoma apartments

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 1:29pm

From Staff Reports

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma officials gave the all clear Thursday afternoon at an apartment complex where possible explosive devices were reported.

OU police warned residents to stay clear of the Kraettli Apartments near Reeves Park after possible explosive devices were found Thursday.


Farm life not just for farm kids

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 9:57am

By Annette Price For The Oklahoman

Meet a special brand of Oklahoma-centric curriculum — it's a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll.

As teachers trailed out of a workshop at Moore-Norman Technology Center, where they learned to extract DNA from fruit with coffee filters and Ziploc bags, a recording of The Beatles filled the room with “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

“I'm really excited to start using this," said Heather Ozbun, Foyil Elementary first-grade teacher.


Norman store's glass pipes may be sold to people seeking 'little piece of history'

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 5:44pm

By Brianna Bailey Staff Writer 

The owner of a Norman business who has been fighting for the return of hundreds of glass pipes seized by police said he hopes eventually to sell them as commemorative items.

On Monday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court denied a request by the Cleveland County District Attorney's office to order a lower court judge to rule on whether the glass pipes are drug paraphernalia.


Norman is on tap to become destination for craft brewers

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 3:01pm

By Whitney Bryen For The Oklahoman

Liquid gold flows from the taps in a south Norman warehouse where customers line up for a fresh pint of Nite Lite blonde or the Cruel Summer India pale ale.

405 Brewing Co.


Audit finds Cleveland County sheriff's employees driving uninsured vehicles

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 6:42pm

By Randy Ellis Staff Writer

NORMAN — Widespread financial mismanagement within the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office has created cash flow problems and resulted in employees driving 48 vehicles that were not insured, a state audit has found.

Sheriff Joe Lester sued Cleveland County commissioners in March, accusing them of violating state law by failing to fully fund detention center operations.

However, many of the sheriff's funding problems appear to be self-inflicted, according to an audit released Monday by State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones.

From September 2016 through March 2017, the sheriff's office failed to timely bill the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for $243,837 that the county was owed for housing state prisoners, auditors said.

The failure to bill by the sheriff's office came at a time when Lester was complaining to commissioners that they were not giving him adequate funding.

"The Board of County Commissioners has grave concerns regarding the truthfulness of representations made by Sheriff Lester that are reflected in the minutes of the County Budget Board meetings for March 13 and March 20," Board Chairman Darry Stacy said in behalf of the board in a management response that was included with the audit.

The audit has revealed that Lester made "demonstrably false" representations to the board regarding billing and receivables from entities such as the Corrections Department and city of Norman, Stacy wrote in the audit response.

The sheriff's office later billed the state and received payment in April.

"We'll be discussing options with the district attorney's office," Stacy said Monday, adding that the audit "speaks for itself.


Oklahoma Supreme Court rules in favor of Friendly Market

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 5:28pm

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a Norman business that has been fighting for the return of hundreds of glass pipes police seized from the store. 

A copy of the ruling was not immediately available late Monday, but online court records show the decision was unanimous. 

Robert Cox, owner of The Friendly Market, has been trying to get police to return hundreds of glass pipes and other store inventory valued at $15,000 seized during two raids in 2015.

The store was forced to close after the raids.

Cox has said he hopes to eventually resume sales and reopen the business.

A Cleveland County jury acquitted Cox on drug-related charges in connection with his ownership of The Friendly Market earlier this year.


Teen excels nationally in chemistry but still makes time for friends, basketball

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 3:25pm

By Steve Gust For The Oklahoman

Aniket Dehadrai, 17, looks for more academic frontiers to conquer after a junior prep year, which saw him experience scholastic excellence in chemistry.

The Norman resident is now a senior at Oklahoma City's Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, established by the state for academically gifted students.


Fans fill the stands for Mustang, Norman game

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:45pm

The Tigers and Broncos had enthusiastic fan support Friday when the Norman and Mustang football teams took the field.

The Broncos ran away with the win in a 48-14 finish.


Norman artists bring Oil & Clay to Main Street

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 9:18am

By Whitney Bryen For The Oklahoman

NORMAN — After two years of molding Norman's young artists from their one-car garage, roommates Louisa Brewer and Nora Hall are hoping to inspire artists of all ages in their new Main Street studio.

The pair started with six students in July 2015 and grew to capacity with eight students by the end of the year.

“We literally couldn't fit any more kids in the garage,” Brewer said.

Now, the women can accommodate 12 students per class with room to spare at the new Oil & Clay Studio that is three times the size of their garage.

Classes began Aug.


LIVE: High school football Week 2

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 2:58pm

Local reports

For live coverage of all the high school football action around the state, tune in here.


Cleveland County Free Fair offers ribbons and fun

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 12:32pm

From gourds to goats, the Cleveland County Free Fair signaled the approach of fall by offering visitors a chance to pet a rooster, view various homemade crafts and homegrown produce, maneuver carnival rides and enjoy other fair traditions.


Norman business and cycling communities join to boost school attendance

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 2:54pm

By Chip Minty For The Oklahoman

NORMAN — The Norman Rotary Club is using something as simple as a bicycle to take on one of the fundamental challenges standing in the way of reading and math education at a handful of Norman elementary schools.

The club is giving dozens of new bikes to students in exchange for excellent school attendance, and it is paying for the program with the help of an organized bike tour in east Norman and southern Cleveland County on Sept.


Norman alternative school creates safe place focused not only on academic needs but emotional and social needs

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 2:01pm

By Annette Price For The Oklahoman

NORMAN — Death, alcoholism and family involved with gangs in a neighboring city made going to school difficult for a 16-year-old Norman girl.


University of Oklahoma opens residence halls for upperclassmen

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 10:40pm

By K.S. McNutt Staff Writer

NORMAN — Campus life is the good life for 600 upperclassmen who moved into the first residential colleges at the University of Oklahoma this semester.

The stately and elegant Headington College and Dunham College opened in August with spacious dining halls, made-to-order food options, private courtyards, game rooms, comfortable lounges and libraries filled with books and artwork on loan from the campus museum.

The amenities are not intended to pamper students, but to increase their academic achievement by enticing them to spend more time on campus interacting with faculty and fellow students.

"I'm really excited," said senior J.D. Baker, one of the resident mentors living in Headington College.


Oklahoma National Guard sending more support to Texas

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 10:14am

From Staff Reports

NORMAN — About 500 Army Guardsmen are set to deploy to Austin, Texas, Saturday in support of relief operations following Hurricane Harvey.

Members of the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, forming Task Force 179 will deploy in order to provide general security, distribution, maintenance and shelter operations, according to a news release.

The Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard has already deployed more than 60 soldiers and Airmen to support relief efforts.


OKC police issue Silver Alert Saturday for missing woman

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 9:06am

From Staff Reports

A Silver Alert was issued Saturday morning for a woman missing since Wednesday, according to Oklahoma City police.

Mary Ann Allen, 65, was last seen in Norman by a relative and was scheduled for a doctor’s appointment, but did not make it.


Boil order issued Friday for part of Cleveland County

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 8:50am

From Staff Reports

A boil order has been issued for some residents of Cleveland County after E. coli was discovered in the water supply.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality reports the bacteria was found in the Stonetown Sunnylane Estates Public Water Supply, north of Norman.