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State and Regional News

    The Latest on a special session of the Oklahoma Legislature to patch a $215 million hole in the state budget (all times local): 1:35 p.m. The Oklahoma House and Senate have convened for a special legislative session to find a way to patch an estimated $215 million hole in the state budget. Both chambers of the Legislature met at 1:30 p.m. Monday for a session that could last at least two weeks. It is the first special session since 2013. The Senate on Monday unveiled its plan to shore up the state budget through a combination of a cigarette tax, motor fuel tax and the elimination of a sales tax exemption for the wind industry. But all sides have not reached a deal on a broad budget deal. Republican House leaders have said they'll support a cigarette tax, but House Speaker Charles McCall says his members are opposed to further tax increases. ___ 7:30 a.m. Oklahoma lawmakers are returning to Oklahoma City for the start of a special legislative session to address a $215 million shortfall in the state budget. Members of the House and Senate are to convene Monday for a session expected to last up to two weeks. Gov. Mary Fallin called the session after the state Supreme Court overturned a $1.50-per-pack 'fee' on cigarettes as unconstitutional. Republican leaders have said the cigarette tax is the clearest path to addressing the shortfall, but don't have enough votes in the House to pass the tax without support from Democrats. House Democratic Leader Scott Inman, who's running for governor, says many House Democrats likely would support the cigarette tax increase as part of a package that includes raising the gross production tax on oil and gas production.
  • Many Oklahoma residents are out of the workforce despite the state's low unemployment rates. The Tulsa World reports that about 25 percent of state residents between ages 25 and 54 don't have a job. Shelley Cadamy is the executive director of Workforce Tulsa, an organization connecting workers with businesses. Cadamy says the state has more jobs than qualified applicants. Princeton University researcher Alan Krueger says opioid use is keeping many residents from getting jobs. He says labor participation has decreased in places where more opioid pain medication is prescribed. Other factors keeping residents out of work include poor health, prison records, family obligations, transportation, education and training. Fewer workers mean less economic activity and state tax revenue. It also means more demands on public and private social service agencies. ___ Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com
  • Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson says he's putting $1 million of his own money into his race for the Republican nomination for Oklahoma governor in 2018. Richardson said in a news release during the weekend he's making the personal loan to his campaign in part because he refuses to be 'beholden to the special interest groups.' Richardson also is seeking to stand out in a crowded GOP field that includes several prominent Republican leaders, including Oklahoma City Mick Cornett, state Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb. Lamb's most recent campaign finance report shows he's raised more than $2 million. Richardson spent more than $2 million of his own money in a failed bid as an independent for Oklahoma governor in 2002.
  • Oklahoma City police say an infant about 1-month-old is safe after being found abandoned along Interstate 40. Police say the boy was discovered in a car seat Saturday by a group in a church van that was driving along the interstate. Police say the baby's mother has been found and is undergoing a mental evaluation. No names have been released. Police say the infant was likely left just minutes before he was found because it was sunny and hot at the time and the child was not sunburned. The boy is now is state custody.
  • Oklahoma lawmakers are returning to Oklahoma City for the start of a special legislative session to address a $215 million shortfall in the state budget. Members of the House and Senate are to convene Monday for a session expected to last up to two weeks. Gov. Mary Fallin called the session after the state Supreme Court overturned a $1.50-per-pack 'fee' on cigarettes as unconstitutional. Republican leaders have said the cigarette tax is the clearest path to addressing the shortfall, but don't have enough votes in the House to pass the tax without support from Democrats. House Democratic Leader Scott Inman, who's running for governor, says many House Democrats likely would support the cigarette tax increase as part of a package that includes raising the gross production tax on oil and gas production.
  • Twenty-five cities from Seattle to Miami are vying for funding to preserve or improve theaters, parks, landmarks and other venues in downtowns, historic neighborhoods and cultural districts. One proposal would create a park for vintage neon signs in Casa Grande, Arizona. Another would preserve the Formosa Cafe on Route 66 in West Hollywood, California. Several cities seek funding to preserve historic theaters, like the Woodward Theater in Cincinnati and the Yale Theatre in Oklahoma City. The program, called Partners in Preservation: Main Streets, is supported by American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Main Street America. National Geographic is hosting the http://VoteYourMainStreet.org website, where the public may vote once a day for up to five projects through Oct. 31. Winners will be announced Nov. 2. The sites with the most votes will get grants of up to $150,000 each, with as many projects funded as possible from a pool of $1.5 million. The 25 proposed projects are: —Alabama Theatre marquee, Birmingham, Alabama —Vintage Neon Sign Park, Casa Grande, Arizona —Marquee, Market Street Mall, Richmond, California —Stevens-Hartley Annex, San Diego —Formosa Cafe, Route 66, West Hollywood, California —Caboose, Creative District, Steamboat Springs, Colorado —Manuel Artime Theater, Miami's Little Havana neighborhood —Bryant Graves House, Sweet Auburn district, Atlanta —1893 cable car building, Hyde Park, Illinois —Lyric Theater, West Des Moines, Iowa —Old McCrory's Store, New Orleans —Pierce Building and Streetcar Comfort Station, Boston's Dorchester Arts and Culture Innovation District —The Treehouse, Detroit's northwest Livernois/6 Mile corridors —Bandstand and park, Ivers Square, Cape Girardeau, Missouri —E. Romero Hose and Fire Building, Las Vegas, New Mexico —Restoration Plaza, Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Brooklyn, New York —Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, North Carolina —Woodward Theater marquee, Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood —Yale Theatre, Oklahoma City —Trower Building, Parker Hall and other African-American landmarks in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood —Dr. McPhail Building, Franklin, Tennessee —Collin County Courthouse exterior, McKinney, Texas —Historic buildings, Granary District, Salt Lake City —Fading signs on historic buildings in Seattle's Chinatown —James Hughes Building, Washington, D.C. ___ Online: http://VoteYourMainStreet.org
  • 12-17-19-26-30 (twelve, seventeen, nineteen, twenty-six, thirty) 11-12-30-41-47, Hot Ball: 5 (eleven, twelve, thirty, forty-one, forty-seven; Hot Ball: five) Estimated jackpot: $10.84 million Estimated jackpot: $15 million 8-3-9 (eight, three, nine) KH-AH-7C-3D-8D (KH, AH, 7C, 3D, 8D) 24-45-55-56-57, Powerball: 19, Power Play: 2 (twenty-four, forty-five, fifty-five, fifty-six, fifty-seven; Powerball: nineteen; Power Play: two) Estimated jackpot: $53 million
  • AC-JH-QH-10C-9D (AC, JH, QH, 10C, 9D)
  • 04-06-20-27-29 (four, six, twenty, twenty-seven, twenty-nine)
  • 3-0-3 (three, zero, three)
  • Looking for ways to deal with hundreds of thousands of younger illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents, a group of Republican Senators introduced a plan on Monday which would let those “Dreamers” remain in the U.S. legally, but wait up to fifteen years in line with others who are seeking American citizenship. “This is not an amnesty bill where we take those individuals and just say, we’re going to give you a quick route to citizenship, and ignore the realities of what happened coming in,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). “They were children, many of them were two or three years old when they came,” Lankford told a news conference at the Capitol. “They’ve grown up in this country, they know no other place.” Sen. Tillis and Sen. Lankford introducing “succeed act”- bill offers merit-based pathway for dreamers to stay in the US pic.twitter.com/NSkU0aGGEu — Dorey Scheimer (@DoreyScheimer) September 25, 2017 The plan from Lankford, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), would not allow “Dreamers” to bring in relatives during that 15 year wait for possible citizenship – as critics worry it will mean ‘chain migration’ once those younger illegal immigrants are allowed to stay in the U.S. legally. Lankford made clear this bill to deal with the “DACA” children should not be considered on its own, but only as part of a broader Congressional deal on immigration matters. “This individual piece is not designed to be a stand-alone,” Lankford said, rattling off issues like border security, programs to stop companies from hiring illegal immigrants, and cracking down on people who enter the country legally, but then stay longer than their visa allows them to be in the U.S.
  • U.S. researchers are getting ready to recruit more than 1 million people for an unprecedented study to learn how our genes, environments and lifestyles interact. Today, health care is based on averages, what worked best in short studies of a few hundred or thousand patients. The massive “All of Us” project instead will push what’s called precision medicine, using traits that make us unique to forecast health and treat disease. The goal is to end cookie-cutter health care. A pilot is under way now. If all goes well, the National Institutes of Health plans to open enrollment early next year. Participants will get DNA tests, and report on their diet, sleep, exercise and numerous other health-affecting factors. It’s a commitment: The study aims to run for at least 10 years.
  • A kayaker found a grain bag containing six puppies floating in a river Sunday in Uxbridge. >> Read more trending newsThe bag was tied up and the puppies were dumped in the river and left for dead, police said. Uxbridge animal control was called to the scene and took the puppies. All of them are expected to be OK and are being taken care of. The puppies are receiving the necessary care, and will be available for adoption after they have been medically cleared. Uxbridge Police do not have any suspects yet.
  • Some Target workers will be getting more money in their paychecks starting next month. The company announced that starting in October, it will be paying at least $11 an hour, up a dollar from its current $10 an hour minimum wage, CNBC reported. But the retail chain isn’t stopping there. Company officials are promising that the pay will be increased to $15 by 2020. Target is answering Walmart’s pay increase last year to $10 an hour, Reuters reported. Target has promised that the minimum pay rate will apply to 100,000 temporary workers it will hire for the holiday shopping season, CNBC reported. Currently, Target employs 323,000 people at more than 1,800 stores. Earlier this year, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would raise federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The current federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 an hour.
  • It appeared no drivers, crew or other team members participated in a protest during the national anthem to start the NASCAR Cup series race Sunday. >> Read more trending newsSeveral team owners and executives said they wouldn’t tolerate anyone in their organizations protesting. They could be fired if they had. “It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus,” Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt’s long time team owner, said of protesting. “Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.” As the NFL, NBA and MLB have seen players, owners and teams protest and remark on social media in the wake of President Donald Trump's comments Friday and throughout the weekend about athletes who peacefully protest during the national anthem, several NASCAR owners weighed in. Richard Petty was asked if drivers protesting during the anthem would be fired, and he said, “You’re right.” “Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States,” Petty said. The Associated Press contributed to this report.