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State and Regional News

    There was a possibility of Kansas State overlooking Oklahoma State on Saturday with a huge matchup with Kansas looming Monday night. The Wildcats were ready to play overmatching the Cowboys from the opening tip in an 85-46 victory. 'I got on our guys this morning because our shoot around didn't have great emotion,' coach Bruce Weber said. 'We did some good things and got some layups early and moved the basketball. It all goes back to defense and defense gives you a chance and defense wins championships.' The Wildcats scored the first 15 points of the game, forcing five turnovers. Xavier Sneed and Austin Trice led Kansas State with 12 points each and Kamau Stokes had 11. K-State had 10 players score. Trice had his best game of the season and went 6 for 6 from the free throw line after struggling in that area early in the season. 'We keep talking about trust and he definitely helped his trust today,' Weber said. 'Xavier was fighting the flu and you just have to give him credit to play and be one of our leading scorers is great.' The Wildcats (21-6, 11-3 in Big 12 play) shot 62 percent and held the Cowboys to 31 percent. Yor Anei, who had 12 points for Oklahoma State (10-17, 3-11). 'K-State dominated us for 40 minutes and we never had a response,' coach Mike Boynton said. 'I don't have enough time to say all the things we could've done better. They've got size, experience and are well coached and they just have everything it takes to play for a national title.' It was largest margin of victory for the Wildcats in Big 12 play since 1998 when they beat Missouri by 55. BIG PICTURE The Wildcats will need to play at this level again Monday night when they take on Kansas with a chance to sweep the regular-season series for the first time in 36 years. K-State is in control to win the Big 12 title with four games to go. This was the beginning of a stretch of playing the top three teams in the conference for Oklahoma State, which must perform better to have any chance at victory. UP NEXT Oklahoma State: At Texas Tech on Wednesday night. Kansas State: At Kansas on Monday night. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Multiple fire crews are responding to a blaze that has badly damaged businesses in Guthrie, north of Oklahoma City. Firefighters battled to contain a structure fire Saturday afternoon after officials say it consumed two businesses that sold flowers and musical instruments in downtown Guthrie. Fire officials say that no injuries have been reported but that they expect to be working the scene well into the evening. The task of containing the fire was made more difficult by strong winds blowing through the city of 10,000 people.
  • In Oklahoma's first meeting against Texas, Jamal Bieniemy was nearly a hero. In Saturday's return matchup, Bieniemy was the hero. The freshman point guard blocked Matt Coleman III's potential game-winner at the buzzer to give Oklahoma a 69-67 win over the Longhorns. Coleman's chance to win came right after Oklahoma let an opportunity to put the game away slip by, as Kristian Doolittle missed the front half of a one-and-one and gave Texas one more chance. Though Texas had a timeout remaining, coach Shaka Smart decided to put the game in the hands of his players, as Coleman got the ball immediately after the rebound and ran up the court. Bieniemy picked him up just as Coleman crossed midcourt. When Coleman elevated over the 6-foot-4 Bieniemy at the 3-point line, Bieniemy reached his right hand up and knocked the ball away, sealing Oklahoma's second consecutive win and keeping alive the Sooners' NCAA Tournament hopes. 'Everyone works on that exact situation — late game, from the free-throw line,' Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. '(Coleman)'s so fast and so quick and is such a good player. I thought Jamal battled him and made a big-time block.' Smart said looking back, he'd have called a timeout after Doolittle's miss. 'I felt like we could be able to get the ball up the floor faster than we did,' Smart said. In the first meeting between the teams, Bieniemy hit three 3-pointers in the final four minutes before missing one with 11 seconds left that helped Texas escape with the win. LETDOWN As Texas (15-12, 7-7 Big 12) fights for its NCAA Tournament life, the Longhorns for now have to do it without leading scorer Kerwin Roach II. Roach was suspended indefinitely Friday for a violation of team rules. The senior guard was averaging 15 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Jase Febres started in Roach's place and hit five 3-pointers including two critical ones in the final three minutes but missed one in the final 10 seconds. TURNING POINT After Febres' missed 3-pointer in the final 10 seconds, Oklahoma defenders fought for several seconds for the rebound, eventually resulting in a shot-clock violation that gave the Sooners the ball back. Texas was forced to foul on the inbounds, giving Oklahoma the chance to put the game away with two free throws, though Doolittle missed to give Texas one final chance. BIG PICTURE Oklahoma: The Sooners' NCAA Tournament chances got a big boost with the win. Oklahoma's 12-1 nonconference record has kept the Sooners in the discussion despite a sub-.500 Big record. The Sooners figure to need to beat West Virginia at home on March 2 and win at least one of their other three remaining games — at Iowa State and Kansas State and at home against Kansas — to have a chance to make the field, and two of those three to feel secure with their spot. Texas: The Longhorns' lost for the second time in three games and their NCAA Tournament hopes took a hit in the process. Texas still has a solid chance to at least make the field, but Roach's indefinite suspension could have a lasting impact on their chances with tough games at Baylor and at home against Iowa State coming up. UP NEXT Texas: Travels to Baylor on Wednesday. The Longhorns beat the Bears, 84-72, on Feb. 6 at home. Oklahoma: Travels to No. 19 Iowa State on Monday. The Sooners lost to the Cyclones 75-74 at home on Feb. 4. Oklahoma hasn't won in Ames since 2011. MURRAY HONORED Late in the first half, former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was honored after winning the Heisman Trophy last season. Murray, who recently walked away from a contract with baseball's Oakland A's to pursue an NFL career, said he hadn't decided if he would work out at next week's NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Murray said he was content with his decision to choose football. Asked whether there was a chance he'd go back to baseball — the A's have reportedly kept the door open for Murray's return — Murray reiterated his decision. 'I mean, they can hold out all the hope they want to,' Murray said. 'I'm going to play football.' In addition to Murray, former Sooners star Buddy Hield was recognized at the game. Hield's Sacramento Kings played in Oklahoma City later Saturday. ______ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Quinton Rose had 25 points as Temple beat Tulsa 84-73 on Saturday. Shizz Alston Jr. added 24 points for the Owls. Alston Jr. also had seven assists for the Owls. Nate Pierre-Louis had 11 points for Temple (20-7, 10-4 American Athletic Conference). Justyn Hamilton added 10 points. Temple scored 53 second-half points, a season best for the team. Martins Igbanu had 15 points for the Golden Hurricane (16-12, 6-9). Curran Scott added 15 points. Sterling Taplin had 11 points. The Owls evened the season series against the Golden Hurricane with the win. Tulsa defeated Temple 76-58 on Feb. 9. Temple faces Memphis on the road on Tuesday. Tulsa plays Tulane at home on Thursday. ___ For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com
  • Several Oklahoma faith leaders are planning a vigil outside the office of Oklahoma's new governor urging him to rethink his support for a bill that would allow people to carry guns in public without training or background checks. The Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry and other faith leaders are expected to participate in Monday's prayer vigil. Dubbed 'constitutional carry' by its supporters , the gun bill that former Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed last year is being rushed to the desk of new Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has said he looks forward to signing it. House Bill 2597 would allow most Oklahomans 21 and older to carry concealed or unconcealed without a license, which currently requires a background check and completion of a training course.
  • Sacramento Kings (30-28, ninth in the Western Conference) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (38-20, third in the Western Conference) Oklahoma City; Saturday, 8 p.m. Eastern BOTTOM LINE: Oklahoma City hosts Sacramento looking to prolong its five-game home winning streak. The Thunder are 22-15 against Western Conference opponents. Oklahoma City is fourth in the Western Conference with 53 points in the paint per game, led by Steven Adams averaging 12.2. The Kings are 16-22 in conference games. Sacramento is fourth in the NBA in 3-point percentage, shooting 37.7 percent as a team from deep this season. Buddy Hield leads them shooting 44.6 percent from 3-point range. TOP PERFORMERS: Russell Westbrook is averaging 22.1 points and 11.3 rebounds for the Thunder. Paul George has averaged 38.4 points and totaled 8.2 rebounds while shooting 50.0 percent over the last 10 games for Oklahoma City. Hield has averaged 20.5 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Kings. Marvin Bagley III has averaged 16.7 points and added 9.2 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent over the last 10 games for Sacramento. LAST 10 GAMES: Kings: 6-4, averaging 114.5 points, 48.9 rebounds, 24.3 assists, 9.4 steals and 4.6 blocks per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 112.3 points on 44.3 percent shooting. Thunder: 8-2, averaging 124.7 points, 46.9 rebounds, 25.5 assists, 10.2 steals and 5.4 blocks per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field. Their opponents have averaged 118.3 points on 46.9 percent shooting. Thunder Injuries: Dennis Schroder: out (personal), Andre Roberson: out (knee), Jerami Grant: out (ankle). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by HERO Sports, and data from Sportradar.
  • Paul George cut through two defenders, lofted a shot over 7-foot-1 Rudy Gobert and waited just like everyone else. George's high-arching lob fell with less than a second remaining in double-overtime, capping a 45-point night with the winning shot in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 148-147 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday. George dribbled out the final seconds before making his move and connecting with 0.8 seconds remaining. 'I knew I just had to step over and put it up,' George said. 'I saw a little gap and so I put up the floater. It's a shot I work (on). Just thank God it went in.' Kyle Korver got off a desperate 3 for Utah, but it went long as the buzzer sounded. 'Tip your hat to him for making that play,' Jazz coach Quinn Snyder said of George. 'It's a heckuva play and that's why he is who he is. He's right there in the MVP conversation. It certainly looked like that tonight.' Russell Westbrook added 43 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, helping Oklahoma City overcome 38 points from Donovan Mitchell. Westbrook fouled out with 1:09 left in the first overtime, ending his NBA streak of 11 consecutive games with a triple-double. The teams were well rested coming off an All-Star break that included an extra day off after many other teams resumed action Thursday. Oklahoma City is chasing Denver for the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference, and coach Billy Donovan was pleased with his team's effort late into the night. 'I thought our guys showed a lot of toughness in the game,' Donovan said. 'There were different points in time, especially in regulation, where we needed to make a play and we did. Obviously with Russell and Terrance (Ferguson) fouling out, we had a lot of guys absorb minutes. The game went to overtime after the Thunder's Jerami Grant completed a tying three-point play, then blocked Mitchells shot at the other end. Grant had 18 points. In the first overtime, Abdel Nader hit a 3-pointer to give the Thunder a 139-137 lead in the final minute after Westbrook and Ferguson had fouled out. Gobert tipped in the tying basket with 33.7 seconds left, and George and Mitchell each missed jumpers in the closing seconds. Gobert hit two free throws with 1:10 left in the second overtime for a 147-146 lead, but Utah went cold from there. Mitchell's driving shot off the glass missed the rim, and Joe Ingles missed on a long 3-point try as the shot clock expired with 13.2 seconds left. Steven Adams played a game-high 47 minutes for Oklahoma City, returning from a pre-All-Star break ankle injury to score 16 points and grab 10 rebounds to go along with five steals. Derek Favors hit his first 10 shots, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds for Utah. Gobert had 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Jazz. The teams were physical throughout. Westbrook got a flagrant foul for crashing into Gobert while defending a layup, and there was a fracas late in the first half after Jae Crowder fouled the Thunder's Dennis Schroder. TIP-INS Jazz: It was the first time Utah had scored more than 140 points in a game in seven years and the first time they had allowed more than 140 points since 2009. Thunder: Oklahoma City scored at least 115 points for the 19th straight game, passing the Cincinnati Royals for the second longest such streak in NBA history. The Denver Nuggets hold the record with 22 straight. ... Oklahoma City swept the season series against Utah. ... The Thunder have won seven straight at home. WELCOME TO THE THUNDERDOME Markieff Morris received a rousing round of applause when he made his first appearance on the court for the Thunder. Morris, signed as a free agent Wednesday, checked in 3 1/2 minutes into the first quarter after Grant picked up two quick fouls, but was ineffective in his first stint. He played the rest of the quarter without taking a shot or grabbing a rebound, picking up two fouls of his own. He played 17 minutes, missed his only shot and had two assists. UP NEXT Jazz: Hosts Dallas on Saturday night. Thunder: Hosts Sacramento on Saturday night. ___ More AP NBA: https://apenws.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Ingles 5-10 0-0 15, Favors 10-11 4-4 24, Gobert 9-12 8-13 26, Rubio 4-9 3-3 14, Mitchell 14-35 6-6 38, Crowder 6-14 4-5 20, O'Neale 1-4 0-0 2, Sefolosha 0-1 0-0 0, Neto 1-4 0-0 2, Korver 2-5 0-0 6. Totals 52-105 25-31 147. George 17-31 6-6 45, Grant 6-10 3-3 18, Adams 7-14 2-4 16, Westbrook 15-29 7-10 43, Ferguson 5-8 0-0 12, Nader 1-2 0-0 3, Morris 0-1 0-0 0, Noel 1-3 0-0 2, Burton 0-4 0-0 0, Schroder 3-16 2-2 9. Totals 55-118 20-25 148. 3-Point Goals_Utah 18-41 (Ingles 5-9, Mitchell 4-11, Crowder 4-12, Rubio 3-4, Korver 2-4, O'Neale 0-1), Oklahoma City 18-44 (Westbrook 6-13, George 5-13, Grant 3-4, Ferguson 2-5, Nader 1-2, Schroder 1-6, Burton 0-1). Fouled Out_Westbrook, Ferguson. Rebounds_Utah 60 (Gobert 16), Oklahoma City 43 (Westbrook 15). Assists_Utah 33 (Ingles 7), Oklahoma City 29 (Westbrook 8). Total Fouls_Utah 25, Oklahoma City 29. Technicals_Crowder, Schroder, Ferguson. A_18,203 (18,203).
  • The winning numbers in Friday evening's drawing of the 'Mega Millions' game were: 18-24-31-34-55, Mega Ball: 4, Megaplier: 4 (eighteen, twenty-four, thirty-one, thirty-four, fifty-five; Mega Ball: four; Megaplier: four) Estimated jackpot: $224 million
  • Barton 4-8 0-0 10, Millsap 6-14 4-5 17, Jokic 7-16 4-4 19, Murray 5-16 0-0 12, Beasley 4-10 2-2 13, Vanderbilt 0-0 0-0 0, Hernangomez 0-1 0-0 0, Plumlee 5-9 2-7 12, Lydon 0-0 0-0 0, Morris 3-10 1-1 7, Thomas 5-11 2-4 16, G.Harris 3-8 1-2 8. Totals 42-103 16-25 114. Finney-Smith 4-9 5-6 13, Kleber 0-5 0-0 0, Mejri 1-2 1-2 4, Brunson 8-12 3-3 22, Hardaway Jr. 5-12 1-4 13, Jackson 0-7 0-0 0, Nowitzki 1-7 1-2 3, Powell 6-12 7-8 20, D.Harris 3-4 3-3 10, Burke 4-8 2-2 11, Broekhoff 0-1 0-0 0, Lee 2-5 3-3 8. Totals 34-84 26-33 104. 3-Point Goals_Denver 14-37 (Thomas 4-7, Beasley 3-7, Barton 2-3, Murray 2-7, Jokic 1-2, Millsap 1-3, G.Harris 1-3, Hernangomez 0-1, Morris 0-4), Dallas 10-41 (Brunson 3-5, Hardaway Jr. 2-6, D.Harris 1-2, Mejri 1-2, Lee 1-2, Powell 1-4, Burke 1-4, Broekhoff 0-1, Jackson 0-3, Nowitzki 0-3, Kleber 0-4, Finney-Smith 0-5). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Denver 63 (Millsap, Plumlee, Jokic 13), Dallas 42 (Finney-Smith 9). Assists_Denver 32 (Jokic 8), Dallas 19 (D.Harris, Brunson 5). Total Fouls_Denver 26, Dallas 21. Technicals_Denver coach Nuggets (Defensive three second), Thomas, Jokic. A_20,382 (19,200).
  • A Great Dane that died in 1990 helped conceive a litter of puppies born on Valentine’s Day, KHOU reported. >> Read more trending news  Topper was a Great Dane born in 1980. His owner, Marilyn Herdejurgen, had the dog’s semen frozen 34 years ago, the television station reported. Topper died in 1990. It was used to impregnate Herdejurgen’s latest Great Dane, 3-year-old Rubix, KHOU reported. The procedure is not new, but the long gap between the father’s death and the conception is unusual. “I’m not sure, but that’s what they’re saying that these are the oldest puppies that have been produced from the frozen semen,” Herdejurgen told the television station. “It’s strange … that it’s been so long ago, and here these puppies are from him (Topper). It’s pretty exciting. This is, like I said, I think a little miracle.”
  • U.S. Attorney Trent Shores announced at a news conference in Tulsa on Thursday that he has charged 18 members and associates of the Universal Aryan Brotherhood. “The Universal Aryan Brotherhood operated a lucrative criminal organization from within Oklahoma’s prison walls using contraband cell phones,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. The indictment alleges that the UAB gang members trafficked meth and killed rivals. “The tools of their trade were hate, fear, affliction, and violence. Prosecutors say nine people were murdered as part of the UAB’s racketeering operations  Four suspects were apprehended Monday and Tuesday in Tulsa, while seven others have been transferred from Oklahoma Department of Corrections at McAlester.  The remainder have been arrested or are in the custody of Department of Corrections or Bureau of Prisons facilities.  
  • Police in Chicago arrested “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett early Thursday on suspicion of lying to authorities when he reported last month that he had been assaulted early on Jan. 29 by a pair of men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him. At a news conference Thursday, police said Smollett sent himself a threatening letter and later paid two brothers to attack him in an effort to further his career. “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said. President Donald Trump responded on Twitter Thursday morning to reports that police had arrested Smollett on suspicion of filing a false police report. “What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!?” the president wrote. Smollett told police he was attacked early on Jan. 29 by a pair of white men who yelled that he was in “MAGA country” -- an apparent reference to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make American Great Again” -- and that they hit him in the face, poured an “unknown substance” on him and wrapped a rope around his neck, The Associated Press reported. Police arrested Smollett early Thursday on a charge of disorderly conduct after officers said they uncovered evidence he orchestrated the attack to boost his career. Police said Thursday that a pair of brothers who were arrested and later released in connection to the Jan. 29 incident confessed to authorities that they had been paid by Smollett to fake an attack on him. “They punched him a little bit, but as far as we can tell, the scratches and bruises that he had on his  face were self-inflicted,” police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a news conference. According to officials, Smollett paid the brothers $3,500 to stage the attack, with another $500 promised later. Johnson said officers had by Thursday obtained a copy of the check Smollett paid to the men. “One of the brothers worked on ‘Empire,’ so they had a relationship, an association,” Johnson said. “He probably knew that he needed somebody with bulk. ... (The brothers) did it because of the financial aspect of it.” Police said the brothers confessed to their roles in the attack in the 47th hour of their 48-hour holds after police arrested them last week. On Thursday, officers called them “victims,” and not offenders in the attack. Johnson said the brothers are cooperating witnesses and that, “Mr. Smollett is the one who orchestrated this crime.” “I think the fact that this was staged and that Jussie hired these two guys to stage this ... put them in a really tough party as well, to the point where now they were arrested for a hate crime,” Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki said Thursday. “Only because of just the incredible work by the entire team did we get to the point where we were able to get the truth from them.” Police said Thursday that Smollett sent himself a threatening, homophobic letter in the days before he reported he was attacked by a pair of assailants in downtown Chicago. “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said. “Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism” to boost his career, Johnson said. “We do not, nor will we ever tolerate hate in this city.” Police are expected to provide more information in the case at a news conference scheduled for 9 a.m. local time (10 a.m. EST) Thursday. Smollett turned himself in to Chicago police on a charge of felony disorderly conduct in falsifying a police report, The Associated Press is reporting. Smollett’s Chicago attorneys, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, released a statement following the indictment: “Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.” The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Jussie Smollett has been charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report on Jan.29. The charge is a Class 4 felony that carries a possible prison sentence of 1-3 years, but he could also receive probation. The bond hearing has been set for 1:30pm Thursday according to WLS-TV. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that detectives will make contact with his attorneys and negotiate a surrender for his arrest. “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is now considered a suspect and detectives are presenting case to grand jury according to the Chief Communications Officer for Chicago Police Department. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted the news on Wednesday after Smollett’s attorneys met with prosecutors and detectives. A police official said lawyers for Jussie Smollett are meeting with prosecutors and police investigators about the reported attack on the “Empire” actor.  Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Associated Press the meeting was taking place Wednesday afternoon. He declined to confirm reports that subpoenas had been issued for Smollett’s phone and bank records. Officials with 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment on Wednesday denied reports Smollett was being written out of “Empire” in a statement released to WBBM-TV. “Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” the statement said. The comment followed reports that Smollett's role on the show was being slashed amid investigations into the actor's report that he was attacked in Chicago last month. Authorities continue to investigate. Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself Monday from the investigation into the reported attack against Smollett, according to WMAQ-TV. In a statement emailed to the station, a spokesperson for Foxx’s office said First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats would instead serve as acting state’s attorney in the case. “Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case,” the statement said, according to WMAQ-TV. No further information was provided on the reason behind for the recusal. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday that authorities determined a tip they were investigating about a possible sighting of Smollett and the brothers who were previously suspected in the attack were unfounded. “It was not supported by video evidence obtained by detectives,” Guglielmi said. Original report: Authorities are investigating a tip that Smollett was seen in an elevator in his apartment building with two men who have since been arrested on suspicion of carrying out the attack in downtown Chicago, and were subsequently released without charges, police told The Associated Press. The men, who were identified by attorney Gloria Schmidt as brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo, were released without charges Friday after police said new evidence surfaced in the case, according to CNN and police.  >> 'I will only stand for love': 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett performs in California after attack Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The Associated Press a person who lives in the building or who was visiting someone there reported seeing the Osundairo brothers with Smollett on the night he was attacked. Guglielmi told the AP that as of Tuesday, officers had yet to confirm the account. Smollett told officers he was attacked around 2 a.m. Jan. 29, as he was walking downtown near the Chicago River. He said two men yelled that he was in “MAGA country” -- an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make American Great Again” -- and that they hit him in the face, poured an “unknown substance” on him and wrapped a rope around his neck, The Associated Press reported. >> Jussie Smollett's attorneys say he will not meet with investigators, despite reports Guglielmi told the AP that Smollett still had a rope around his neck when officers first made contact with him after the alleged attack. Last week, police announced that the 'investigation had shifted' following interviews with the brothers and their release from custody without charges. Police have requested another interview with Smollett. They have declined to comment on reports that the attack was a hoax, a claim Smollett’s attorneys have denied. 'Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,' Smollett’s attorneys said in a statement late Saturday. Authorities continue to investigate. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A soldier from Mississippi had a heartwarming and memorable homecoming Wednesday.  Sgt. Joshua Stokes, of the Mississippi National Guard, surprised his 8-year-old daughter in her classroom after a yearlong tour overseas. Shelby Stokes had no idea what was coming. As far as she knew, her dad had five more weeks of deployment in Kuwait.  The separation was tough for the whole family, but WHBQ-TV was there as Stokes gave his daughter the surprise of a lifetime at DeSoto Central Primary School in Mississippi.  Classmates, teachers and reporters looked on as Stokes approached Shelby from behind and tapped her on the shoulder. She thought she was getting in trouble, but then she quickly realized her father had come home. “I thought it was a teacher. But it wasn’t. It was Daddy,” Shelby said. Shelby jumped into her father’s arms, and the two embraced.  “I’m just happy to see my girl,” Stokes said.  The soldier and his family are heading for some long-overdue time at home. 
  • Tulsa County deputies were serving a warrant near Apache and M.L.K Jr. Blvd. when the suspect took off Wednesday morning. Investigators say the suspect, John McIntosh, was at work when he assaulted a deputy and drove to his home near Hamilton Elementary School. McIntosh then took off again and climbed the roof of the school near Virgin and Sheridan. Hamilton Elementary and Tulsa MET Junior & Senior High School were put on lockdown. Deputies were eventually able to get McIntosh off the roof and place him under arrest.

Washington Insider

  • Democrats in the House of Representatives unveiled their one page plan on Friday to overturn President Donald Trump's bid to funnel more money to a border wall by declaring a national emergency, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters said the House would vote next Tuesday to block the President's executive actions on funding for the wall. 'Members of Congress all swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution,' the Speaker said. 'The President’s decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated,' Pelosi wrote earlier this week in a letter to fellow Democrats. Democrats said they already have more than a majority of members signed on to the one page resolution to reject the Trump national emergency. 'We hope that enough of our normal Republican enablers will join us to stand up for the Constitution,' said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX). 'If not, we’re ready to turn to the courthouse.' As of Friday, only one Republican in the House had signed on to the plan to reject the President’s national emergency, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). “Trump’s absurd declaration of a “national emergency” undercuts the Constitution,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), as approval in the House would send the plan to the Senate. Under special rules governing this process, GOP leaders would not be able to ignore the House action, as a vote must take place on the resolution. But even if it passes in the Senate, a veto is likely by President Trump, and at this point - it seems unlikely that Democrats could muster enough GOP votes for a two-thirds supermajority to override a veto.
  • Federal prosecutors in California unveiled criminal charges on Thursday against an IRS investigator for leaking suspicious financial reports associated with President Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, allegedly giving banking information on Cohen to lawyer Michael Avenatti, who was then locked in a legal fight with the President over hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. An investigative analyst for the IRS Criminal Investigative Division in San Francisco, John Fry is alleged to have searched files for 'Suspicious Activity Reports' about Cohen, giving the information to Avenatti, who then tweeted out the material on May 8, 2018. The criminal complaint charges that the information Fry released was later published by the Washington Post on May 8, and then by the New Yorker on May 16. It was not immediately clear how Fry and Avenatti knew each other. The information which was released centered on a series of banking transactions involving Cohen - which had been flagged by federal officials - totaling over $6 million, and included questions about possible 'fraudulent and illegal financial transactions' by Cohen in 'Singapore, Hungary, Malaysia, Canada, Taiwan, Kenya, and Israel.' The feds allege that Avenatti then funneled the information to the Washington Post; a few days later, Fry and 'Reporter-1' - Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker - exchanged a series of WhatsApp messages about the same banking information. In the days that followed, Avenatti tried to create more media interest in the story by tweeting about the information. 'Why is no media outlet doing a story on the refusal of the Treasury Department to release to the public the 3 Suspicious Activity Reports that were filed concerning Essential Consultants, LLC's bank account?' Avenatti tweeted on May 9, 2018. After the release of the Fry charges on Thursday, Avenatti denied wrongdoing. 'Neither I nor R. Farrow (Reporter-1) did anything wrong or illegal with the financial info relating to Cohen’s crimes,' Avenatti said on Twitter in a post on Thursday evening, as he claimed that Fry had not violated the Bank Secrecy Act by disclosing the SAR information. Prosecutors said if Fry was convicted, he could face a maximum of five years in prison, and a fine of $250,000. This is the second time charges have been brought in the past year over leaks of bank transaction information about people with links to President Trump. In October of 2018, charges were filed against an official in the Treasury Department for illegally leaking financial information about bank transactions by certain people involved in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Those disclosures by Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior official in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, pertained to 'suspicious transactions' related to Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, Russian diplomatic accounts, and other matters. 'At the time of EDWARDS’s arrest, she was in possession of a flash drive appearing to be the flash drive on which she saved the unlawfully disclosed SARs, and a cellphone containing numerous communications over an encrypted application in which she transmitted SARs and other sensitive government information to Reporter-1,' the Justice Department said at the time. That 'Reporter-1' was also Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker.
  • After arguing for months that allegations of election fraud had nothing to do with his disputed victory in a race for Congress in North Carolina, Republican Mark Harris on Thursday called for a new election, a day after his son had testified that he had warned his father not to employ a local political operative because of concerns about possible illegal voting activities. An hour later, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted unanimously to do exactly that, ordering a new election for the Ninth Congressional District. The developments came on  the fourth day of a hearing before the board -  Harris testified in the morning, but instead of resuming that testimony in the afternoon, he told board members a new election was needed in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District. 'I believe a new election should be called,' Harris said. 'It has become clear to me that the public's confidence in the Ninth District seat general election has been undermined.' Harris refused to answer questions from reporters as he left the hearing room. The call for a new election came after board members said the Harris campaign had withheld documents from investigators, and in the wake of damning testimony from Harris' own son - a federal prosecutor - who said Wednesday that he had specifically warned his father not to employ Leslie McCrae Dowless to run an absentee ballot operation for his election. 'We support our candidates decision in this matter,' said Dallas Woodhouse, the head of the North Carolina Republican Party.  It was an about face for Woodhouse, who had sternly defended Harris for months, as Republicans said Harris should have been declared the winner, and sent to Congress. 'We are dealing with a limited number of ballots that are nowhere close to bringing the election result into question,' Woodhouse said just two days ago. 'Perhaps we should let @MarkHarrisNC9‘s team present their side of the case first,' Woodhouse tweeted just an hour before Harris called for a new election. It wasn't immediately clear if Harris would try to run in any new election. Harris won by 905 votes over Democrat Dan McCready, but in the days after the election, questions were raised about odd absentee ballot results in Bladen County, North Carolina, which favored Harris in a variety of abnormal ways. Evidence surfaced of a questionable absentee ballot operation run by Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was employed by a political firm allied with Harris. Dowless refused to testify at the state elections board hearing.
  • Recovering from recent shoulder surgery, and with plans to testify before at least three Congressional committees, Michael Cohen was granted an extra sixty days by a federal judge to report to prison to serve his three year sentence for campaign finance violations and lying to Congress in a case that has drawn the personal ire of President Donald Trump. 'Given Mr. Cohen's recent surgery and his health and recovery needs, at this time Defendant requests an extension of his reporting date for sixty (60) days,' lawyers for Cohen wrote in a request to Judge William H. Pauley, III, who approved it on Wednesday morning. 'Mr. Cohen also anticipates being called to testify before three (3) Congressional committees at the end of the month,' the letter continued - no dates have yet been set for that testimony, which is expected to occur before the House and Senate intelligence committees, along with the House Oversight Committee. On Wednesday night, Democrats set the first public hearing for Cohen next Wednesday, before the House Oversight Committee. Cohen plead guilty last year to charges in two different criminal matters - first, lying to Congress about the extent of contacts during 2016 between the Trump Organization and developers in Russia looking to build a Trump Tower Moscow, and second, over campaign finance violations surrounding hush money payments made to two women before the elections, to keep them quiet about their affairs with Mr. Trump. Cohen told a federal judge that he paid money to two women at the direction of a specific candidate for federal office, and coordinated “with one or more members of the campaign.” That person was referred to only as 'Individual-1,' which from the court documents was obviously President Trump. With testimony still ahead in Congress by Cohen - GOP lawmakers who have steadfastly defended the President in the Russia investigation - have already started to attack Cohen. “When Cohen appears before our Committee, we can only assume that he will continue his pattern of deceit and perjury,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), in a letter to the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. A day after his Oversight testimony, Cohen will appear before the House Intelligence Committee for a closed door session. President Trump has alternately denied wrongdoing in his work with Cohen, and attacked his former lawyer as a ‘rat.’ “I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” the President tweeted last year.
  • In a historic first from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Justices ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the Eighth Amendment ban on excessive fines does apply to state and local governments, ruling in favor of an Indiana man who had his expensive car seized by police after he was arrested for a small amount illegal drugs. Writing for the High Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said 'the protection against excessive fines guards against abuses of government’s punitive or criminal law-enforcement authority' found in the Eighth Amendment. Originally, the Bill of Rights was intended only to be applied to the federal government - but over time, the courts have ruled that it also applies to the states, and this was the first time the U.S. Supreme Court took that step when it comes to the issue of police and civil seizures. “For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history,' Ginsburg wrote. 'Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties.' At issue was a Land Rover SUV that Tyson Timbs had purchased before his arrest, with money from an insurance policy after the death of his father. Under Indiana guidelines, the maximum monetary fine which could be levied against Timbs for his crime of dealing in a controlled substance was $10,000 - but the car was worth more than four times that amount. Reaction was swift in favor of the ruling, as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund labeled it, “A huge victory for criminal justice reform.”