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    Two of the Big 12's most powerful offenses collided when No. 8 Kansas hosted Oklahoma. Only one lived up to the hype, though. Devonte Graham had 23 points and seven assists, Malik Newman added 20 points and No. 8 Kansas beat Oklahoma 104-74 on Monday night in its first true blowout of the Big 12 season. 'It was a fun night, a good win,' coach Bill Self said. 'Certainly we needed a game where we could not sweat until the very, very end.' The Jayhawks (22-6, 11-4 Big 12) controlled things early, jumping out to a 10-0 lead less than four minutes into the game and forcing Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger to burn a timeout before the first media break. The Sooners (16-11, 6-9 Big 12) never recovered. 'From the start, seemed like we were fighting uphill all night,' Kruger said. 'Just hanging on to stay within range. Guys fought it pretty good for a while, obviously didn't finish it like we want to or need to.' Kameron McGusty led the way for Oklahoma with 22 points while Jamuni McNeace added 18 in his first career start. It was a cold shooting night for Trae Young, who missed 10 of his 13 shots and had a career-low 11 points. He led the game with nine assists. Six Jayhawks scored in double figures, and the team broke the 100-point threshold for the first time since December. It was an offensive performance unlike any other during their Big 12 season, fueled partially by the memory of their loss to the Sooners in Norman back in January. 'The only the thing that was on our mind was just getting payback,' Newman said. 'We went down there, and they stole one from us.' The win marks No. 300 all-time in Big 12 play for the Jayhawks. Only two other schools (Texas, Oklahoma) have surpassed the 200 mark. NEW LOOK SOONERS Kruger made a drastic change to his team's starting lineup, replacing three starters before tonight's game. Only Young and Christian James remained from last game's starting five. 'We lost a few in a row,' Kruger said. 'We're just searching. We're just trying to get some sort of spark.' DAWN OF DE SOUSA Silvio De Sousa had the first notable performance of his Kansas career, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds in just 13 minutes. He's struggled mightily in his sparse playing time, as early graduation allowed him to enroll at the semester break while he should be a high school senior. 'Tonight he was poised, he took his time on the post,' Self said. 'You compare that performance and at OU, where he had three turnovers in one minute and everything, and it's night and day.' INTO THE RAFTERS Former Kansas point guard Sherron Collins had his jersey retired at halftime, making him the 33rd player in program history to receive the honor and the second in the last three days, after teammate Cole Aldrich had his number raised Saturday. Collins ranks No. 5 all-time in scoring at Kansas with 1,888 points, and No. 9 in assists with 552. In 2010, he was named a consensus first team All-American, and was the Big 12 sixth man of the year on the team that won the 2007-08 national championship. BIG PICTURE Kansas now sits a half-game ahead of Texas Tech atop the Big 12 standings after gaining a game on the Red Raiders when they fell to Baylor Saturday. Oklahoma has now dropped its last six games, and has fallen to No. 8 in the Big 12. The skid has led some to speculate that the Sooners could miss the NCAA Tournament. UP NEXT Kansas has a road clash with Texas Tech Saturday, serving as a battle for the outright Big 12 lead. Oklahoma will look to rebound at home against a hot Kansas State team on Saturday.
  • The winning numbers in Monday evening's drawing of the Oklahoma Lottery's 'Pick 3' game were: 7-7-0 (seven, seven, zero)
  • The winning numbers in Monday evening's drawing of the Oklahoma Lottery's 'Poker Pick' game were: JH-5C-10C-3S-4S (JH, 5C, 10C, 3S, 4S)
  • These Oklahoma lotteries were drawn Monday: 04-13-19-22-36 (four, thirteen, nineteen, twenty-two, thirty-six) Estimated jackpot: $185 million 7-7-0 (seven, seven, zero) JH-5C-10C-3S-4S (JH, 5C, 10C, 3S, 4S) Estimated jackpot: $246 million
  • The winning numbers in Monday evening's drawing of the Oklahoma Lottery's 'Cash 5' game were: 04-13-19-22-36 (four, thirteen, nineteen, twenty-two, thirty-six)
  • Baker Mayfield doesn't like comparisons to Johnny Manziel, although the Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma wasn't surprised by them after an arrest and other antics during his time with the Sooners. At a stop in his home state of Texas to accept the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback, Mayfield said Monday he and Manziel were 'two completely different people.' Mayfield will be at the NFL combine next week and is projected as a possible first-round pick in the draft in April. It's been four years since Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman at Texas A&M in 2012, was taken 22nd overall by Cleveland and dumped after two trouble-filled seasons. A former Texas high school star like Mayfield, Manziel has been out of football for two years. After an offseason arrest for public intoxication and disorderly conduct, Mayfield planted an OU flag at midfield after a win at Ohio State. He made a lewd gesture toward the Kansas sideline after the Jayhawks refused to shake his hand before the coin flip. 'We're two completely different people,' Mayfield said. 'I've always been a team-oriented guy. Not saying that Johnny wasn't. But I've quickly earned the respect of my teammates because of how I worked. 'I wasn't given the natural talent that Johnny had. Because he's a talent. And there's a reason he got taken in the first round, amazing player. We're just not the same mentally. Just wired differently.' Mayfield acknowledged last weekend that NFL personnel have talked to him about having more awareness of his social media use and trying to stay out of trouble. But coaches have long praised his leadership and infectious energy. 'I've always been an outgoing person, somebody that's confident, somebody who has passion and energy for the game of football and for whoever I'm playing for, I'm going to be passionate about it,' said Mayfield, who broke his own single-season passing efficiency rating and threw for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns. After the Sooners lost to Georgia in the Rose Bowl in the national semifinals, Mayfield stayed in the Los Angeles area and has spent most of his time there preparing for the combine and draft. 'This process right now is different than anything of the stuff I've been through before because it's more individualized right now than anything else,' Mayfield said. 'Normally in the offseason I'm with the team. We're working toward one goal together.' The Kansas sideline incident cost Mayfield a start in his final home game when coach Lincoln Riley benched him. He also apologized for the flag plant. But Mayfield said the arrest in Arkansas last February is what braced him for the Manziel chatter. 'I didn't want to be portrayed as the villain or somebody like that,' Mayfield said. 'I do good things within my community. I'm not trying to say those cover up any mistakes that I've made. But there's always a learning curve when you're growing up.' And Mayfield knows where his career is taking him next. 'You get a bunch of grown men that work really hard, so it'll be different going from 18 (to) 22-year-olds to people that are feeding their families, their children,' Mayfield said. 'A lot of these guys make their money just based off work ethic and never quitting.' Mayfield thinks that's what he's bringing to the NFL, not Manziel-like baggage. ___ More AP NFL: https://pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ More AP college football: https://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • An Oklahoma lawmaker isn't pushing for a vote on a resolution to oust a judge who approved probation for a man who admitted raping a 13-year-old Texas girl at a church camp in southern Oklahoma. Republican Rep. Mike Ritze tells The Oklahoman newspaper he's putting the resolution on hold so lawmakers can focus on other issues, including the state budget. The resolution wouldn't be legally binding. But it asks the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary to begin proceedings to remove District Judge Wallace Coppedge. It says Coppedge neglected his duty in accepting a plea agreement with Benjamin Petty, who was sentenced to 15 years' probation after pleading guilty to the 2016 attack. The prosecutor in the case says he didn't seek prison time because Petty is legally blind. The prosecutor resigned amid backlash. Coppedge hasn't commented on the case ___ Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com
  • It may be the only time he gets away with catcalling a judge. On her weekend mission to release certain inmates from the Oklahoma County jail, Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong, trading the black robe of the bench for blue jeans and a blazer, recently walked into the receiving area with a smile on her face and an armful of tacos. She was accompanied by two female outreach workers. To the delight of his fellow detainees, and over a backing track of clinking handcuffs, an inmate in the holding tank clawed at the metal mesh screen, whistled, and belted out a soulful but inappropriate 'Heyyyyyyyyy!' Inured to these weekly scenes, Truong delivered the tacos to jail staffers and set to work. Each weekend for the last three months, she has issued about 15 releases for inmates facing nonviolent charges. 'I have a stack of who was arrested last night and eligible for prerelease,' she said, pointing to paperwork for a man brought in on a failure-to-appear warrant stemming from bogus check charges. 'I don't let them all out. Just because they're eligible doesn't mean I approve them. I don't do DUIs unless there is some assurance that there is treatment or a program.' The work is part of a larger effort in the county to reduce jail overcrowding. At its peak, the Oklahoma County jail ran at double its capacity, with more than 2,400 inmates packed into the 13-story cloverleaf building rising above downtown bail bond shops just east of Classen Boulevard. In January, the average daily population of the jail was 1,769 inmates, according to figures released by the sheriff's office. 'When you decrease the population as all of these efforts have, it takes a lot of stress and strain off the system,' Mark Opgrande, spokesman for the sheriff's office, told The Oklahoman . 'It's allowing us to fix up some of the pods, do some reconstruction, painting and cleaning up. Whenever you have a huge population, it puts a lot of stress on the system. Of course, the staff who work there, it puts stress on them and it puts stress on the inmates too.' In the receiving area, an inmate approached a counter, across from which Truong stood with her stack of paperwork, mulling over whom to release. 'I saw you in court,' Truong said. 'What are you doing here?' The man was arrested for allegedly being drunk in public in Bethany. 'I called the cops on myself to get in detox,' he said. To his disappointment, Truong told the man he needed to stay in jail. According to Truong, the man is homeless and sleeps in apartment complex laundry rooms. 'I will take care of you Monday,' she told him. Truong approached another counter and set her paperwork down. Across from her, the men in the holding cell whispered to each other. No one whistled. They learned that Truong has the authority to release some of them. A detention officer looked on. 'She's like our 24-hour judge,' the officer said. While the kind of work Truong does receives full-throated support from some corners, others urge caution. Those in the bail bond industry have been critical of pretrial release programs. Admitting that the effort cuts into their profit, veterans of the industry also suggest taxpayers should carefully consider whether releasing more inmates pretrial is good for a community. 'The Oklahoma Bondsman Association does believe there are special circumstances that warrant the use of an (own recognizance) bond, but overuse of this alternative could have a disastrous effect on the judicial system, negative ramifications on victims of crime and, ultimately, increased costs to taxpayers,' said Laurie Poole, a board member for the bondsman group. The initial cost to house an inmate in jail may be saved through pretrial releases, but taxpayers may end up footing a bigger bill in the long run, Poole says. Poole claims that in December, roughly 41 percent of those released on an own recognizance (OR) bond — on their initial appearance before an Oklahoma County judge — did not return to court. In comparison, only 3 percent of those released by posting bail through a bondsman failed to appear, she said. 'This stark difference is due to the diligence and responsibility of bondsmen to ensure the defendants return to court, and since bondsmen operate as private businesses, their services are rendered at no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers,' Poole said. The lack of financial obligation, for the accused released on an OR bond to reappear for court, places any monetary responsibility for their apprehension onto taxpayers, bondsmen say. 'This means that while the release of a defendant on an OR bond may lead to a cost savings on the front end, taxpayers must then pay any expenses for their apprehension on the back end, if that defendant fails to return,' Poole said. About 80 percent of people in the Oklahoma County jail were held pretrial, meaning they had not been convicted of a crime, according to a 2016 report by the nonprofit Vera Institute of Justice. Many are too poor to get out. Some are good candidates for pretrial release, Truong said. 'These are people who cannot afford bail,' she said. Truong disputes failure-to-appear rates cited by bondsmen, saying they frequently tell people it's 50 percent among those released on their own recognizance. From October to November, 4,122 people were considered for OR bonds or conditional releases, according to a pretrial release report provided by Oklahoma County Court Services. Of those, 579 people, or about 14 percent, were let out on their own recognizance or conditional release. Ninety-four people, or about 16 percent, failed to appear in court, according to the report. Truong says for those under supervision, the failure-to-appear rate falls to about 4 percent. In some cases, Truong says, bondsmen call her and request that she release their clients, because another bondsman has surrendered them. Similar to other pretrial release programs, Truong says she looks for inmates who have committed low-level offenses such as property crimes and bogus check writing, or those for whom a diversion program could work. 'We want to protect the public, but at the same time, we want to get people into treatment and get jobs and be productive citizens,' she said. Outside the holding tank, an inmate clad in jailhouse orange sat on a bench, recovering from a bad night. He was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence. Abigail Otto, one of the outreach workers who joined Truong, sat down next to the man and explained a program for which he may be eligible. Otherwise, he could spend a long time in the county jail. 'Sign me up!' he said. Moments later, Truong warned the man not to drink and get behind the wheel. It was a fruitful day for the district judge. And a lucky day for a few inmates. Maybe they will gain entrance into a program, find employment or keep the jobs they have. Truong is proud to offer people second chances, but acknowledged that as she releases an inmate from jail, more are walking in. 'I really don't know what we can do to solve the problems we have,' Truong said. 'We don't have the funding for treatment. It's a revolving door.' ___ Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com An AP Member Exchange shared by The Oklahoman.
  • Thirteen years ago, in an unguarded moment on her first day of kindergarten, Emilee Chavez spoke a single word of English. And a classmate immediately ran to tell the teacher. 'Hey,' the teacher raised her voice harshly, 'you can't use English here. Speak Cherokee, or don't say anything at all.' Chavez's parents would have gotten in trouble if a teacher had caught them speaking a word of Cherokee, which is one reason the language began plummeting toward extinction. Schools banned it, so nearly an entire generation stopped speaking it. For Chavez and her classmates, however, the Cherokee Immersion School turned the tables. They were punished for speaking English. Launched in 2001 on the grounds of the tribal headquarters in Tahlequah, the school started with 23 students, the Tulsa World reported. But Cherokee is a hard language. Only nine made it all the way through the program. 'I didn't say much for the first few weeks,' remembers Chavez, now a high school senior. 'But when you're around the language eight hours a day, every day, you can't help picking it up. After a while, it's just natural.' Now the first batch of Cherokee immersion students is about to graduate from high school, a milestone in a grand experiment that is trying to revive the Cherokee language before it is too late. They haven't actually been immersed in the language since the seventh grade, when Chavez and her classmates began studying at the Cherokee Nation's Sequoyah Schools, where all classes are taught in English. The question then was how far behind would they be compared to their non-immersion classmates, who had gone to English-speaking grade schools. 'We were behind,' Chavez said, especially in reading and writing. 'But not for long.' Now the former Immersion School students are all near the top of their graduating class at Sequoyah, officials say. With their graduation upcoming, however, the program will face an even more critical test. Will they retain the language into adulthood? And will they pass it on to the next generation? Or will the tribe's ancient language continue to fade? 'We're not just going to walk away from it and forget it,' says Lauren Hummingbird, one of six immersion-school students who will earn their diplomas from Sequoyah this semester. 'We've worked too hard and we care too much to let that happen.' Growing up around her grandparents, who are fluent speakers, Hummingbird's first words were in Cherokee, not English, making her the closest thing her generation has to a 'native speaker.' Close listeners can even detect a mild Cherokee accent when she speaks English. But with most other speakers being her grandparents' age, 17-year-old Hummingbird has to go looking for opportunities to practice her language skills. Even her old immersion-school classmates tend to speak English to each other when they cross paths in the Sequoyah hallways, although Cherokee can serve as a useful code language when they don't want other teens to know what they are saying. 'Even then,' Hummingbird says, 'it's usually a mix of Cherokee and English. When I really want to speak Cherokee, I go see my grandparents.' After graduation this spring, she will spend a year working with the tribe's Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program, a sort of immersion class for adults, where Hummingbird will be both a student and a facilitator. Then she plans to study linguistics in college before returning to Tahlequah to do exactly what tribal officials always hoped some of the immersion students would do when they grew up. 'I see myself coming back here and working with immersion to teach the language,' she says. 'I honestly can't see my future going any other way.' Native speakers, however, continue to die off faster than immersion programs can replace them, with only 133 students enrolled in the entire grade school this semester, tribal officials say. For the foreseeable future, the Cherokee language will continue to decline. 'We're not doing enough,' says Chuck Hoskin Jr., the tribe's secretary of state. 'But we're taking steps in the right direction.' When the tribe started the immersion school in the early 2000s, it also conducted an extensive survey to gauge how endangered the language really was. And the results were shocking: Only 10,000 fluent speakers remained alive, almost all of them past middle age. Officials at the time estimated that without drastic efforts to reverse the language's decline, Cherokee would be dead 'within 30 or 40 years.' Roughly half that time has now gone by, but not without the tribe's making progress, Hoskin says. Before the immersion school and the more recent adult apprentice program, native speakers weren't being replaced at all as they died off. At least now, a new generation is learning to speak Cherokee. 'They amount to only a handful. We know that,' Hoskin says. 'But you can see the dedication, the commitment. And that's why I'm optimistic about the future of the language, because I can see how important it is to these young people.' An AP Member Exchange shared by the Tulsa World.
  • LeBron James and Kevin Durant swarmed all over Stephen Curry in the final seconds, preventing the NBA's best shooter from finding even a patch of open air to launch a tying 3-pointer. Defense? In an All-Star Game? That was just one of the many exciting surprises created by a big change to the league's midseason showcase. After James and Curry got to draft their own teams, this exhibition really seemed to matter to basketball's best. And LeBron picked a winner. James scored 29 points and hit the go-ahead layup with 34.5 seconds to play, winning his third All-Star Game MVP award while his team rallied to win an uncommonly entertaining edition of the event, beating Team Stephen 148-145 Sunday night. For the first time in 67 All-Star games, the league abandoned the traditional East-West format used since 1951, instead allowing the two captains to pick their sides. That twist turned a sometimes staid event into the world's richest pickup game, and the intrigue was reflected on the Staples Center court, where a real basketball game broke out. 'I think the format was great,' said James, who added 10 rebounds and eight assists in front of LA fans salivating at the still-remote possibility of the Lakers landing the superstar as a free agent this summer. 'The great thing about our commissioner (Adam Silver), he's absolutely OK with trying something new, to change the format, and it definitely worked out for everybody,' James added. 'It worked out not only for the players, not only for the league, but for our fans, for everybody. It was a great weekend, and we capped it off the right way.' Both teams played real defense for long stretches and contested many shots, with LeBron's group even picking up full-court late in the first half. And after an entertaining dunk contest won by Donovan Mitchell and a record-setting effort by Devin Booker in the 3-Point Shootout, the All-Star weekend ended with a recent novelty for the main event: a thrilling finish. 'The game was so good,' said a grinning Durant, who scored 19 points in his ninth All-Star Game. 'It was so competitive. It was the best one I've been a part of.' Team LeBron rallied from an 11-point deficit with six minutes to play, finishing the game on a 25-11 run. James tied it at 144-144 on a step-back 3-pointer with 1:31 to play. LA native DeMar DeRozan hit one free throw to put Team Steph back ahead, but LeBron claimed the lead with his layup after some sharp passing by his teammates. DeRozan then made a turnover on an attempted pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Russell Westbrook broke out for a layup with 10.7 seconds left. Team Steph had one last chance, but even the usually unguardable Curry couldn't elude James and Durant, who forced him to give up the ball to DeRozan, who couldn't score over Durant's arm in his face. 'That was great defense by myself,' said a grinning Durant, who scored 19 points in his ninth All-Star Game. 'I'm patting myself on the back.' Curry finished with 11 points on 4-for-14 shooting. 'Two tall giants out there not letting me shoot,' Curry said with a laugh when describing the last play. 'Tried to make a play, and it just didn't work out.' The All-Stars' shooting percentages and final scores were way down from recent seasons, reflecting the effort on the floor. The relaxed All-Star vibe was still at Staples, however: Curry chowed down on a box of popcorn on the bench during the third quarter, and the stars made time and room for plenty of good-looking dunks and alley-oops. 'They put on a show, but they gave the crowd something to root for rather than just wilding with dunks and lobs,' said Paul George, who scored 16 points for Team LeBron. Each member of the winning team made a cool $100,000, a distinct raise from previous seasons in another attempt to make things more interesting. 'It was better,' said Team Steph's Klay Thompson, who scored all 15 of his points on 3-pointers in his fourth All-Star Game. 'At the end, it was 100 percent. Throughout the game, it was probably 70, but guys were competitive and they really wanted to win that game.' TIP-INS TEAM STEPHEN: DeRozan and Damian Lillard led with 21 points apiece. ... Jimmy Butler didn't play after being selected for the fourth time. ... First-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns was outstanding. The Minnesota forward with 17 points and 10 rebounds. TEAM LEBRON: Kyrie Irving had 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Detroit's Andre Drummond added 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting. ... Three first-time All-Stars suited up. Washington's Bradley Beal scored 14 points, Miami's Goran Dragic had two and Indiana's Victor Oladipo got seven. SPEAKING OUT The All-Star weekend began with strong statements by James, Curry and other superstars about their determination to keep speaking out on issues of social injustice and racial tension despite criticism . It was a topic of discussion throughout the weekend with Commissioner Adam Silver praising current and former players for speaking on issues important to them. But it was all in the background when the players went to work on court. LA LOVE The All-Star Game featured no Lakers or Clippers, who share Staples Center during the regular season. But several All-Stars have Los Angeles roots, including area natives Paul George, Westbrook, DeRozan, James Harden and Thompson. George and James are coveted as offseason signings by Lakers fans, but there was no reprise of the 'We want Paul!' chants for the Palmdale native after Saturday's All-Star practice. THE ABSENT LeBron lost four of his original selections to injuries, including Cleveland teammate Kevin Love, Kristaps Porzingis and John Wall. Anthony Davis represented his fellow New Orleans All-Star, DeMarcus Cousins, by wearing Cousins' No. 0 jersey to start the game. HOLLYWOOD HOME GAME The All-Star weekend was held in Hollywood for a record sixth time. A partial list of celebrities attending the game: Jack Nicholson, Beyonce, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Chadwick Boseman, Chance the Rapper, Jimmy Kimmel, Michael B. Jordan, Chris Rock, Ludacris, Common, Spike Lee, Cardi B, Andy Garcia, Dave Chappelle, DJ Khaled, Tracy Morgan, Sean Combs, Odell Beckham Jr. and pregame host Kevin Hart, who lobbed roast-style jokes at the All-Stars with mostly blah results. After a much-criticized pregame national anthem from Fergie, N.E.R.D and Migos performed an energizing halftime show. UP NEXT The 68th NBA All-Star Game will be in Charlotte on Feb. 17, 2019. North Carolina was scheduled to host the 2017 All-Star Game, but lost it in July 2016 because of the state legislature's Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which is considered by many to be discriminatory. Hornets owner Michael Jordan got a standing ovation when he appeared at center court alongside Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer to reveal the logo for next year's game. ___ More AP basketball: www.apnews.com/tags/NBAbasketball
  • We may have found a different use for the oxygen mask on airplanes. The New York Post says, on a flight from Dubai to Amsterdam, a man wouldn't stop, to put it nicely, decompressing his cabin. He was passing gas, repeatedly, despite the men who had the bad luck to be sitting next to him telling him to stop. It was apparently bad enough that they got into a fight and the plane made an emergency landing. They were kicked off the plane along with two women who are completely baffled, because they say they don't even know the men. You can read more about the story here.
  • The White House on Monday signaled that President Donald Trump is willing to back at least one bipartisan measure to strengthen the national instant check system for those who buy firearms, as Democrats in the House and Senate continued to argue that action by the Congress on gun violence is long overdue. “While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. In a written statement sent to reporters, Sanders said the President spoke to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on Friday; the Texas Republican has a bipartisan bill with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), which would force states and federal agencies to submit more information into the instant gun check system. Our churches and schools should be refuges where children and parents feel secure. Many of these shootings can be prevented. There's no reason not to advance #FixNICS to help https://t.co/0JpZDiLPOr — Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) February 15, 2018 Interesting morning. Two quick thoughts: 1/ Trump's support for the FixNICS Act, my bill with @JohnCornyn, is another sign the politics of gun violence are shifting rapidly. 2/ No one should pretend this bill alone is an adequate response to this epidemic. — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 19, 2018 After a mass shooting last November in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 25 people died, the Air Force acknowledged that the killer – who received a ‘bad conduct’ discharge from the military – should not have been able to buy guns, but those records were never placed in the instant check system. “For years agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence,” Cornyn said in November when he introduced this bipartisan gun measure.” Democrats had hoped there would be action on that measure – just like they had hoped there would have been action to ban “bump stocks” after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, action on the “No Fly, No Buy” measure after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, and then the “FixNics” bill after the Texas shooting. I know assault rifles. I carried one in Iraq. They have no place on America's streets. #Orlando pic.twitter.com/ibKQE2PpqF — Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) June 14, 2016 Last week’s shooting in Florida simply put all of those requests for legislation to deal with guns on repeat for Democrats. “We can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). “And so, I’m asking – no, demanding – we take action now.” Democrats would certainly like to do much more than the ‘FixNics’ bill, or banning bump stocks, as other ideas have popped up in recent days, like not allowing anyone under age 21 to buy weapons like an AR-15. But as the President returned to Washington on Monday evening from a long weekend at his Florida retreat, it wasn’t clear if his support for one bipartisan plan would actually mean action – as GOP leaders have not put such measures on the fast track to a vote in the House and Senate. On Sunday, when the President met with House Speaker Paul Ryan in Florida, the two men discussed a series of issues, including “the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida.” The White House statement on their meeting did not characterize whether legislative action was discussed. No action will happen on anything gun-related this week – as the Congress won’t be back on Capitol Hill for votes until February 26.
  • No one’s counting their chickens just yet, but there’s hope among some Oklahoma lawmakers that a new budget proposal might be able to overcome the (thus far) insurmountable barrier of a 75-percent supermajority. There’s no handy nickname yet for the plan, which includes modifications to many of the elements of the “Step Up Oklahoma” proposal which went down to defeat last week in the House. But some lawmakers are cautiously optimistic that this time, they’ve got a plan that can actually pass. The question now becomes: Will the GOP House leadership bring it to the floor for a vote? Rep. Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa) tells KRMG that longtime State Auditor Gary Jones was a key architect of the new proposal. Jones, a candidate for Governor, also has GOP street cred, as he’s the longest-serving state party chairman in Oklahoma history. The plan has bipartisan support; indeed, Proctor said Friday, he believes all 28 Democrats in the House will vote for it. “Democrats are ready to deliver every member of our caucus for it,” he told KRMG. “Republicans would need to bring 48 of their 72 members.” And while that’s not a slam dunk by any means, it’s an obtainable goal in the eyes of many lawmakers. The main bullet points: An increase to 5% for the first 36 months in the gross production tax on oil and natural gas wells ($200 million) A 75-cent per pack tax on cigarettes ($130 million) A 6-cent increase per gallon on diesel, 3 cents per gallon on gasoline ($113 million) A cap on itemized deductions ($107 million) A hotel/motel tax ($50 million) Ball and Dice gaming reform ($22 million) Proctor said the plan would pay for a $5,000 annual pay raise for teachers, plus raises for other state employees who haven’t seen raises in a decade or more. “The way we see it, it’s a more fair. It spreads out the burden of the taxes not just on the working poor and middle income families, but across all economic spectrums. We believe it’s more fair, and equitable, and just,” Proctor said. “From what I’m hearing from friends on the other side of the aisle, I think if we put this plan on the board, it passes,” he added. “Now the question is gonna be: Are we going to be allowed to vote on it or not?”
  • A South Pacific cruise was interrupted by brawls apparently caused by a 23-member family who threw punches at other passengers, some of whom said they locked themselves in cabins to escape three days of violence. The Carnival Legend arrived in its home port of Melbourne on Saturday, a day after a family was offloaded in an unscheduled stop in Eden, New South Wales in Australia. Police said they were investigating the incident and the operator apologized for the “disruptive behavior” by the group that was removed from the cruise liner. The “big Italian family” spent days attacking Australians aboard the ship, with people “getting strangled and punched up,” passenger Lisa Bolitho told reporters. “Very violent, they were full-on attacks,” she said. She also questioned the ship’s management, quoting the captain as saying, “‘What do you want me to do about it — throw them overboard?’” Cellphone video footage purportedly of the brawl on Friday shows security guards fighting and trying to separate passengers amid shouting and kicking.
  • A 30-year-old man died of injuries after a shooting in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood that police believe involved an Uber Eats driver. >> Watch the news report here Police say Ryan Thornton, 30, ordered food from the app to be delivered to the Concorde Condominium on Pharr Court South late Saturday. At 11:30 p.m., Thornton walked away from the delivery car with his order.  Police said words may have been exchanged, and that's when shots were fired from the delivery car. The driver took off in a white Volkswagen.  One of the people WSB-TV's Lauren Pozen spoke with lives close to where the incident happened. The person, who didn't want to be identified, said he heard five gunshots go off outside his apartment.  >> Read more trending news  Thorton died at Grady Memorial Hospital.  If you’ve never heard of Uber Eats, it’s a smartphone app that many people use to order take-out. Uber told WSB-TV that it has a 'no weapons' policy for its drivers.  As the search for the driver continues, this shooting has those who use the app a little hesitant to continue to do so.  'Something needs to be done to further the safety of Uber Eats and make us feel safe,” said the man who lives near the scene. Uber said a statement that it is shocked and saddened by the news and is working with the Atlanta Police Department.