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07/15/2021

Is it a felony orMisdemenor?

Former Oklahoma City Thunder worker pleads guilty in U.S. Capitol riot

A former Oklahoma City Thunder worker has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for going inside the U.S. Capitol through a broken window on Jan. 6.

Danielle Nicole Doyle, 37, was one of four Oklahomans charged in federal court in Washington, D.C., after a mob stormed the Capitol.

She faces up to six months in federal prison and a fine of $5,000 at her sentencing. She already has agreed to pay the federal government $500 in restitution.

Her attorneys will ask the judge for probation.

"She's extremely remorseful. She just got caught up in the moment," defense attorney Irven Box said.

Related:Chandler man is the fifth Oklahoman charged in US Capitol attack

"She did not stay inside the Capitol long. She wrote in her statement that once she was in there that she realized, 'This is not who I am or what I am and I should get out of here.' And she got out.

"She didn't cause any damage. She didn't assault anyone."

She pleaded guilty Wednesday by Zoom from an Oklahoma City law office, Box said. She will have to appear in person in Washington, D.C., for her sentencing on Oct. 1.

Jan. 6 Capitol attack:Rioters face years in jail. Harsher penalties loom for more violent defendants

She acknowledged that she knew she did not have permission to enter the building but did so willfully "for the purpose of parading, demonstrating or picketing."

Congress had convened at 1 p.m. Jan. 6 to count Electoral College votes and affirm Joe Biden's presidential victory. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump first entered the building shortly after 2 p.m.

Doyle went in at 2:20 p.m. as House members, senators and then-Vice President Mike Pence began evacuating the chambers, according to a statement of the offense.

She claims she was only in the building 20 to 25 minutes.

She worked for more than 10 years for the Thunder and was a senior season ticket account manager when she left in December. She came under investigation after a former co-worker contacted the FBI about seeing her inside the Capitol on a CNN video.

An FBI agent then reviewed surveillance videos from Jan. 6 and spotted her multiple times including climbing through the window.

She was originally charged in February with four misdemeanors. Prosecutors agreed to ask the judge at sentencing to dismiss the other counts. She remains free on conditions.

Senate approves bill targeting social media censorship(For digital audio, go to oksenate.gov/audio)OKLAHOMA CITY – The f...
03/17/2021
Homepage | Oklahoma Senate

Senate approves bill targeting social media censorship

(For digital audio, go to oksenate.gov/audio)

OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate has approved legislation by Sen. Rob Standridge allowing social media users to sue for damages against any social media website that censors a user’s political or religious speech. Standridge, R-Norman, authored Senate Bill 383 to eliminate selective censorship of opinion on social media and to ensure free speech is treated fairly.

“Oklahomans throughout the state are fed up with liberal, multi-billion dollar tech companies trying to promote their ideology by censoring and deleting posts supporting conservative views,” Standridge said. “The free exchange of ideas is being suppressed, and it flies in the face of our right to free speech. Citizens should be able to have an opportunity to pursue civil recourse.”

Under SB 383, users in the state could sue any owner or operator of a social media website that purposely censors a user’s political or religious speech. The measure applies to deleted posts or the use of algorithms to suppress such speech. The websites would be immune from liability if any censored posts called for immediate acts of violence or enticed criminal conduct. It would also exempt posts involved in bullying minors, false impersonation or those from an inauthentic source. The measure does not apply to individual users who censor the speech of other users.

Users above the age 18 could seek damages of a minimum of $75,000 per intentional deletion or censoring of that user’s speech, along with actual damages and punitive damages if aggravating factors are present. The prevailing party may also be awarded costs and reasonable attorney fees.

SB 383 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, is principal House author of the bill.

For more information, contact Sen. Rob Standridge at 405-521-5535 or email [email protected].

-END-

Every 10 years, the Oklahoma Legislature is constitutionally required to redraw legislative and congressional district boundaries using the latest U.S. Census data. For more information about the Oklahoma Senate's redistricting process, visit www.oksenate.gov, or submit your redistricting questions at [email protected].

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Bill to attract retired teachers back to classroom passes committeeOKLAHOMA CITY – Hundreds of Oklahoma teaching positio...
02/18/2021
Homepage | Oklahoma Senate

Bill to attract retired teachers back to classroom passes committee

OKLAHOMA CITY – Hundreds of Oklahoma teaching positions are empty, and a 2017 statute allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom with no limitations on earnings expired June 30, 2020. The Senate Retirement and Insurance Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 267 Thursday to extend the earnings exemption through 2024. Senate Education Committee Vice Chairman, Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, authored the bill to ensure those retired educators in public school districts and career techs can continue working and get paid fairly.

“Oklahoma classrooms are in desperate need of teachers for math, science and other important subjects. Legislation was filed last session to extend this exemption for our retired teachers, but it was one among many bills that didn’t make it through when the pandemic shortened the session,” Pemberton said. “I want to thank my colleagues for supporting Oklahoma’s public schools by helping get these outstanding professionals back in the classroom.”
SB 267 provides for members of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) who retired as of July 1, 2020, and received retirement benefits for at least one year to be reemployed by a school district with no limitations on earnings, provided the teacher was not employed in a school district during the one-year period. The three-year exemption begins July 1, 2021 and applies to retired educators in common and career tech school districts.

The measure was requested by the State Department of Education and other education organizations around the state.
"We’re pleased to see this bill advance as it can help tackle Oklahoma’s significant teacher shortage. This issue was a real concern before the pandemic, but it’s expected to become more pronounced after this school year,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “Allowing retired teachers to come back to the profession without an earnings cap gives these experienced and much-needed educators a meaningful pathway back to the classroom."

SB 267 now goes before the full Senate.

For more information, contact: Sen. Pemberton: (405) 521-5533 or [email protected]
.

In order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities, this site has been designed with accessibility in mind. Click here to view

02/14/2021

Joseph A. Grzybowski Oklahoma Ornithological Society

Think we are looking at some high bird mortality in Oklahoma with these snows and extreme cold weather and wind. Lot of birds already stressed yesterday by the cold and wind. Snow and more snow covering the ground will leave a lot like Hermit Thrushes without access to food.

Had a Pine Warbler about midday that plopped in the snow, got up to a tree base, then went to another and another, plopping down again, pretty desperate. Probably won't make it through the day. Even some cardinals were looking stressed. Snow cover means ground feeders like sparrows have to look in wind-swept areas, so more thermal stress. Sub-zero temperatures with wind for a few more days is more than many can take. Could be population level, with years to fill back in.

Had a pretty tough winter back about 1978. Lake Thunderbird froze over--could walk across it. Snow on the ground for 30+ days. Carolina Wrens took about 4-6 years or so to come back up, same with Roadrunners. Took Winter Wrens well over ten years to come back to more routine presence. Some birds can tough it out better, others not so.

Feed what you can. Where those berry-bushes can help for some if you have them, or do what Tim did--pitch out some fruit.

Oklahoma City asks Supreme Court to Make Poverty a Crime
01/28/2021
Oklahoma City asks Supreme Court to Make Poverty a Crime

Oklahoma City asks Supreme Court to Make Poverty a Crime

A controversial Oklahoma City panhandling ordinance thrown out by a Denver court would have “withstood constitutional scrutiny” in other parts of the country, attorneys for the city said Wednesday …

01/16/2021
12/08/2020

GOP Leader Plays Partisan Politics at Expense of Oklahoma Children

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party issued the following statement on Gov. Kevin Stitt’s blasting citizens and groups advocating for Oklahoma children’s safety and voicing their concerns over his anti-masker choice for the Oklahoma State Board of Education:

“It is incomprehensible for me to understand
how any so-called leader can disregard the health and safety of our children and the teachers trying to protect students, their families, and themselves. Stitt accused concerned citizens and child advocacy groups of pushing a ‘political agenda’ on Monday. Protecting children is absolutely not a ‘political agenda.’ The data and experts have proven that masks work to save lives. The citizens and groups expressing their outrage against Stitt were not acting on behalf of any political party. Instead, sadly, it is our own state GOP leadership playing games for political gain,” said Alicia Andrews, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair.

“As our state continues to experience surges and cases and hospitalizations are at record highs, Stitt should be focused on curbing the COVID virus in our state versus picking petty partisan battles. This goes far beyond politics. It involves compassion and empathy, or, sadly, our Governor’s lack thereof when it comes to the lives of Oklahoma children and their families.

“We are calling on Stitt to honor his oath to protect all the people of our state. Oklahomans care deeply about our children and the people will no longer tolerate the Governor’s game-playing that will only serve to jeopardize the lives of our children, teachers, and their families. We will all remember in 2022 how Stitt put party politics before protecting the constituents he swore to serve,” concluded Andrews.

12/04/2020

Oklahoma Senate redistricting meetings begin next week

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate’s series of statewide redistricting town hall meetings gets underway next week with meetings in Ada and Chickasha. The Senate and Oklahoma House of Representatives are partnering together with each chamber hosting a series of meetings the next several weeks at sites across the state in an effort to solicit input and inform citizens about the redistricting process.

The first Senate-hosted meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Ada in the Seminar Center of the Pontotoc Technology Center. The second Senate meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday in Chickasha in the Community Building at the Grady County Fairgrounds. Each meeting will follow the pandemic protection protocols of the facility hosting the meeting.

“The Oklahoma Senate is committed to an open and transparent redistricting process and our series of town hall meetings across the state will help us inform citizens about redistricting,” said Senator Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle and chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting. “I encourage Oklahomans to participate in this series of meetings to learn more about redistricting.”

At each redistricting meeting, presenters will provide an overview of the legislative redistricting process and cover redistricting principles. The public also will have the chance to comment on the redistricting of legislative districts and congressional districts. The collaboration between the Senate and the House means the public at each meeting can share input on either House or Senate redistricting. Additionally, the public can submit redistricting comments via email to the Senate at [email protected].
Meetings will be livestreamed when possible. The ability to livestream is dependent upon the reliability of the internet connection and technical capabilities of the host facility. If the internet connection or technical capabilities of the host facility are not sufficient to livestream, meetings will be recorded and posted as archived video on the website of the chamber hosting the meeting. Archived videos of the meetings will be accessible by the public in the same manner other archived videos from each chamber are accessible.

The public can watch Senate and House meeting livestreams on the website of the chamber hosting the meeting, in the same manner other committee meetings and floor sessions are viewed. No password or log-in is necessary to watch meeting livestreams.
Dates, times and locations for other meetings can be found on the Senate and House websites.

The Legislature is constitutionally required every 10 years to redraw legislative and congressional district boundaries using the latest U.S. Census data.

11/03/2020

Media Advisory from the Oklahoma State Election Board

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security issued a media advisory this morning regarding polling places. Please see the advisory below:

Media Advisory
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Date: November 3, 2020
All Polling Sites Have Power This Morning
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Oklahoma State Election Board and OG&E report that all polling locations have power for today’s election.
There are a limited number of polling locations using generator power and OG&E and ODEMHS have back-up generators available if an additional outage occurs today.

https://www.ecapitol.net/index.wcsODVA director provides update to Norman facility COVID outbreak(eCap) Joel Kintsel, ex...
11/03/2020
eCapitol - Your First Choice for Capitol News and Information.

https://www.ecapitol.net/index.wcs

ODVA director provides update to Norman facility COVID outbreak

(eCap) Joel Kintsel, executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA), provided an update Monday on the outgoing coronavirus outbreak at the Norman Veterans Center.

In an interview with eCapitol, Kinstel confirmed that since Sept. 17 the facility has reported:

• 27 active positive COVID cases among residents;
• 5 recoveries among residents;
• 29 residents have died with the deaths initially characterized as COVID-19 deaths;
• 28 employees have tested positive for the virus with 12 still out of office recovering and the remaining 16 having since tested negative and returned to work.

Via contract tracing, ODVA was able to determine the outbreak stemmed from one asymptomatic employee.

"It is in our belief that the employee followed all of the appropriate protocols," Kinstel said. "There's no evidence they were not following in the protocols."

The Norman center, he continued, has dedicated a COVID wing in response to the outbreak. Additionally, engineers have built a "negative-pressure system" to keep air from circulating to other parts of the center as a means of infection control.

"Our staff are fully PPE'd all the time and are following all of the State Health Department protocols as well as the CDC applicable guidelines," Kinstel said.

Kinstel said that while the outbreak was ongoing, he was "optimistic" about ODVA soon gaining control of it, clarifying there was not a disparity among the reporting of cases between ODVA's case numbers and the numbers of the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) as some media outlets had insinuated.

"The Health Department has a fairly complex internal reporting system where they receive input from a lot of different entities...they have to verify it was indeed a COVID death and there's a lot of moving parts that go into their reporting," he argued. "It a lot of times takes 10 to 14 days for this to be reported through their formal system even though two weeks prior we knew at the center what the situation was."

The Norman outbreak mirrors an earlier COVID outbreak at the Claremore Veterans Center first confirmed by ODVA in July. Like in Norman, the Claremore outbreak began with a single asymptomatic staff member.

"The unfortunate pattern that we've seen, and this was the same up in Claremore as well, is when there's been a community outbreak in the county (where the veterans center is located). That seems to track right along in the center unfortunately because our employees obviously live in that local community," Kinstel related. "As (COVID) proliferates in the community, it's very hard to keep it out of the center because you can go I believe 48 hours being contagious and not even knowing that you have it."

As of Monday, 38 resident COVID fatalities had been confirmed at the Claremore center with 2 active cases still in treatment. Since the outbreak began in Claremore, 130 residents tested positive for the virus.

Kinstel added things have largely returned to "normal" at Claremore, noting the facility was doing "really well" since a majority of residents and staff have recovered and returned.

As provided by this agreement access to bill tracking / capitol news services is restricted to the registered User. The User shall have no right to divulge, publish, loan, give or sell any of the information provided under this agreement. Information retrieved from system may not be reproduced, tran...

Condolences to the family of former Democrat Speaker of the House Jim Glover (HD 65) who passed away recently. Glover se...
10/16/2020

Condolences to the family of former Democrat Speaker of the House Jim Glover (HD 65) who passed away recently. Glover served 26 years in the House including as Speaker from 1989-1996. He was well respected on both sides of the aisle, and known for a quick wit and the orderly manner in which he conducted House business.

Northern Section of Kickapoo Turnpike opensThe northern segment of the Kickapoo Turnpike was officially opened last Tues...
10/16/2020

Northern Section of Kickapoo Turnpike opens

The northern segment of the Kickapoo Turnpike was officially opened last Tuesday as OTA officials held a virtual grand opening event online. The 11-mile northern section runs from I-44/Turner Turnpike to NE 23rd/SH62. The southern 10-mile section, which will connect to I-40, is expected to open next February or March according to Secretary of Transportation and OTA Executive Director Tim Gatz. The entire turnpike is 21 miles long.

10/14/2020

Senate Democrats renew call for stronger action to combat COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY – Today Oklahoma Senate Democrats sent the following letter to Governor Kevin Stitt calling for stronger action to combat COVID-19:

October 13, 2020

The Honorable J. Kevin Stitt
Governor of Oklahoma
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Dear Governor Stitt,

I write to you on behalf of the Oklahoma Senate Democrats to once again urge you to take stronger action to combat COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1,119 Oklahomans have died from COVID-19 and a record high 760 Oklahomans are currently hospitalized for treatment. Today the Emergency Medical Services Authority informed the Oklahoma City Council there are currently no additional staffed ICU beds available in Oklahoma City.

The October 4th White House Coronavirus Task Force report has ranked Oklahoma as the tenth highest positive test rate of any state in the country and concludes “Community transmission has remained high across the state for the past month, with many preventable deaths.” Oklahoma faces a serious public health emergency in the fight to contain COVID-19. The Oklahoma Senate Democrats urge you to implement the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s recommendations.

Senate Democrats also urge you to provide school districts with resources to prevent COVID-19 transmission in our schools. Many school districts lack the funding needed to fully implement COVID-19 safety protocols, including air filtration systems, plexiglass dividers, and thorough sanitation.

COVID-19 is also having a disproportionate impact on minority and underserved communities. Senate Democrats believe Oklahoma’s COVID-19 response should incorporate health equity to ensure all Oklahomans have access to affordable health care during the pandemic and going forward.

Finally, Senate Democrats urge you and the State Department of Health to fully engage with the medical community and rely on their expertise and input. Responding to the increase in hospitalizations, Dr. George Monks, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, stated “As hospitalizations increase, it is imperative our state leaders give our hospitals the resources, including staffing, needed to meet this increase.”

The State Department of Health Advisory Board, which includes medical experts, has not met since January. A comprehensive public health based approach is imperative if we are to turn the tide against COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

Respectfully,

Kay Floyd, Democratic Leader
Senate District, 46

10/14/2020

Sen. Sharp statement on Statewide Virtual Charter School Board’s vote regarding Epic contract

“The Statewide Virtual Charter School Board’s decision to begin termination proceedings of Epic One-on-One’s contract is good news for Oklahoma public schools and taxpayers. I’ve talked to members of the board on numerous occasions over the last few years about Epic’s misuse of public funds, dual enrollment and outrageous administrative costs and was, essentially, ignored. Now that the school is under state and federal investigation, and the State Auditor’s office has brought to light all the school’s violations of state law, I’m glad this Board is finally ready to do its job.

“We are facing difficult financial times. It’s been sickening to watch Epic misuse hundreds of millions of dollars since its opening and no one doing anything. Virtual education plays an important role in helping Oklahoma students, but no district should profit at the expense of our children.

“I hope the Board terminates the contract to stop the hemorrhage of public education funds into Epic’s money-making scheme. Epic One-on-One and Epic Blended need to be reorganized to provide public education services legally and ethically just as all other school districts in the state do. They cannot be held to a different standard than our other public schools.

“While I will no longer be in office after November, I hope my legislative colleagues will continue my work to hold Epic Charter Schools accountable and not let their strong lobby presence, legal team or immense campaign funds scare them from doing what is right. We take an oath to uphold the constitution and provide oversight and accountability of state entities and taxpayer funds. I have upheld my oath and hope my colleagues do as well.”

For more information, contact: Sen. Sharp: (405) 521-5539 or [email protected]

Sen. Sharp comments on state audit of Epic Charter SchoolsSen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, issued the following statement Thur...
10/02/2020

Sen. Sharp comments on state audit of Epic Charter Schools

Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, issued the following statement Thursday afternoon after the State Auditor’s office released findings of the first part of their audit of Epic Charter Schools that focused on the funds held by the school.

“I’m not surprised with the findings of the audit of Epic Charter Schools as I’ve been trying to point out their illegal use of state funds for years with no avail. I commend Gov. Stitt for having the courage to call for this special audit and State Auditor Cindy Byrd for providing oversight and accountability of this unfortunate situation. Past leaders refused to listen to or acknowledge what I was trying to tell them. Not surprising, besides the millions of taxpayer dollars wasted by Epic on advertising, they also pay for a strong lobbying presence at the Oklahoma Capitol.

“I hope with this information, the OSBI and FBI can conclude their investigations quickly. The Oklahoma families who have put their faith in this school system need reassurance that their children are getting a proper education and not just being used in an illegal scheme to make the owners rich.

“Even after receiving the largest portion of state funds, our public school system has struggled financially in the last decade. I am disgusted that the owners of Epic would knowingly use the public education of Oklahoma’s children to grow their personal wealth while other public schools don’t have the funds to hire additional teachers, buy more books or take care of other classroom needs.
“As a public official and retired educator, I have been a strong advocate of fiscal transparency and accountability, especially when it comes to our public schools and the education of Oklahoma’s children. Bringing to light Epic’s unethical and illegal handling of taxpayer money has been a difficult road.
“My reputation and legislative career have been destroyed by what has now become Oklahoma’s largest school district because I brought their fraudulent activities to light. Their attempt to stop my inquiries and silence my criticism has not been successful.

“I’ve been accused of being against charter schools but I’m not. I dedicated 40 years of my life in the classroom and I know that not all children learn the same so having a virtual option is sometimes what’s best for the child. What I’m against is entities who fraudulently use tax dollars to financially benefit themselves with no concern how it hurts others. Epic Charter Schools has taken millions in much-needed funds away from other public schools who are following state guidelines and law, and I’m glad that they are finally being held accountable.”

For more information, contact: Sen. Sharp: (405) 521-5539 or [email protected]

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