Police capture missing inmateAn Arkansas inmate who escaped after stabbing a guard at a rest stop was captured near Sallisaw on Thursday. Van Buren, Ark., police Lt. Brent Grill said Justin Welch, 26, escaped about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday and was arrested about noon Thursday. Grill said Welch had taken a truck driver hostage but was arrested without further incident. He stabbed a private extradition company guard and stole the company’s van during a rest stop in Van Buren, police said. The guard was treated and released. Welch was being taken to Wisconsin where he is wanted in the stabbing death of a woman.
District mulls Budget cutsFort Gibson school Superintendent Derald Glover said the district likely will cut back on the number of teachers it employs next year. The budget may be down by as much as $700,000 because of cuts and lower property tax collections, he said. He said the number of cuts will depend on whether some teachers retire.
Layoffs begin At St. Gregory’sSt. Gregory’s University interim president David Marker said the school will lay off about 5 percent of the 119 faculty and staff. Marker said St. Gregory’s also is implementing a hiring freeze and cutting expenditures. A dozen open positions within the university will not be filled at this time. He said the measures are necessary to ensure the university’s fiscal stability in the face of declining enrollment and endowment figures. St. Gregory’s has about 700 students.
Woman pleads Guilty in courtA southwestern Oklahoma woman faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to taking a 12-year-old girl to a hotel for sex with Marines from Fort Sill. Amy Rivera, 34, of Fletcher, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Comanche County District Court. Sentencing is set for March 11. Still pending are rape charges against three Marines and charges of enabling child neglect against the girl’s parents. Police said the girl is now 13 and is in protective custody.
Marietta woman dies in accidentLinda Banks, 47, of Marietta died Thursday after a one-vehicle accident on U.S. 77 about 3 miles north of Marietta, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. Banks died at a Marietta hospital after the sport utility vehicle she was riding in went into a ditch and overturned. She was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the SUV, troopers said. The driver, Eric W. Banks, 26, of Ardmore, was wearing a seat belt and was not injured. FROM STAFF REPORTS
No new cases of H1N1 deathsState Health Department officials said no new deaths from swine flu were reported last week, and there were nine new hospitalizations. Forty Oklahomans have died from H1N1 and more than 1,000 have been hospitalized since Sept. 1. Flu activity has slowed but not ceased, so officials still recommend vaccinations. For a list of sites, go to www.ok.gov/health. For information, go to NewsOK. com/swineflu.
SUSAN SIMPSON, STAFF WRITER
Educator set to retireBob Klabenes, president of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology at Okmulgee, said he plans to retire in January 2011. Klabenes has been the president since 1983. In the interim, he’ll help with the transition as OSU conducts a national search for his successor.