• For some smartphone holdouts, the older the phone, the better

    By MAE ANDERSON AP Technology Writer | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    NEW YORK — Between splashy launches, lavish new-phone offers (get a free HDTV on activation!) and frequent software updates that slow down your old handset, it sometimes feels like the entire technology industry is pushing you to buy the latest smartphone. Yet some holdouts resist. Take Zak Sommerfield, 35, a software analyst in New York, who has hung onto his LG Delight flip phone for five years, even though his friends and co-workers make fun of it. "I hate smartphones, I hate how they take over people's lives and they spend all their time looking at them," he says. "I'd love to stay on this phone forever." People like Sommerfield are a rarity.

  • In McLoud, 'There's just no good side to it'

    By Andrew Knittle Staff Writer aknittle@oklahoman.com | Updated: 4 hr ago

    McLOUD — The families of 14 young girls who were victimized by former elementary schoolteacher Kimberly Crain have reached a $1.4 million settlement with McLoud Public Schools, The Oklahoman has learned. Crain rattled this community four years ago when it was disclosed she had secretly videotaped students in suggestive poses and various stages of undress. She also had encouraged them to engage in classroom video chats with strange men, including one the children referred to as “Uncle G.”   McLoud schools Superintendent Doran Smith said the $1.4 million is “a total amount” for the families of all 14 children involved in the case. He did not know how the funds would be split up among the families, saying

  • What We're Talking About

    By The Associated Press | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    • VTECH-DATA BREACH: Kid's technology maker VTech says the personal information of about 5 million of its customers and their children may have been stolen by hackers. • FLIGHT ATTENDANT-CHARGES: Documents filed in federal court in North Carolina say an American Airlines flight attendant who described herself as “crazy” and a “train wreck” attacked fellow crew members and U.S. marshals during a flight from Charlotte to Frankfurt, Germany, last week. • BRITAIN-ANNIE LEIBOVITZ: Photographer Annie Leibovitz remakes Pirelli calendar: Women are high achievers — and dressed. • GRAND CANYON BACKCOUNTRY: The Grand Canyon is proposing changes to how backcountry areas are managed as more outdoor

  • Summit opens debate on ethics of gene editing

    By LAURAN NEERGAARD Associated Press | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    Designer babies or an end to intractable illnesses: A revolutionary technology is letting scientists learn to rewrite the genetic code, aiming to alter DNA in ways that, among other things, could erase disease-causing genes. How far should these experiments try to go — fix only the sick, or make changes that future generations could inherit? Hundreds of scientists and ethicists from around the world gather in Washington this week to debate the boundaries of human genome editing, sort of a biological cut-and-paste tool that allows researchers to spot a gene defect inside living cells and swap it out. It's all experimental so far, but the promise for new treatments is huge.

  • Nation and world news briefs

    From wire reports | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    Courts COLORADO | COLORADO SPRINGS — The man accused in the shooting rampage at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic made his first court appearance Monday and learned that he will face first-degree murder charges in the deaths of three people killed in the standoff with police. Speaking in a raspy voice, Robert Lewis Dear appeared via a video hookup from the El Paso County jail, where he has been held since surrendering after Friday's five-hour siege. The white-bearded suspect wore a padded vest with black straps that authorities described as a standard-issue “safety smock.” He gazed downward during most of the hearing. When asked by Chief District Judge Gilbert Martinez if he understood his rights, Dear

  • Crime briefs

    From Staff Reports | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    NORMAN Woman's death ruled homicide A woman whose body was found in a burned mobile home has been identified and her death ruled a homicide. Brandi Fish, 38, died of blunt force trauma, the state medical examiner said. Her husband, Cody Wayne Fish, 31, is in the Cleveland County jail on complaints of first-degree arson and first-degree murder. Charges are expected to be filed this week, said Meghan McCormick, spokeswoman for the Cleveland County sheriff's office. Firefighters found Brandi Fish's body Nov. 23 while putting out a fire at 16400 Carnegie Circle in northeast Cleveland County. Deputies found Cody Fish walking nearby. He was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant from McClain County and

  • 'Texting and driving' law rolls out slowly during its first month

    By Matt Dinger Staff Writer mdinger@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers wrote nearly 100 tickets for driving while texting during the first month the law was in effect, but other law enforcement agencies have not penned a single citation. Statute 47-11-901d, the "texting and driving" law, became state law Nov. 1. It states that it is illegal to "send, receive or compile a text while driving down the road," patrol Lt. John Vincent said. Fines for citations related to texting and driving are capped at $100, according to the statute. Since the law has taken effect, troopers have written 91 tickets for that specific violation, and another 200 for infractions related to not devoting full time and attention to driving, Vincent said Monday.

  • Clinton plans campaign stop in Tulsa

    By Chris Casteel Washington Bureau ccasteel@oklahoman.com | Updated: 5 hr ago

    TULSA — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, is planning to visit Tulsa on Dec. 11 to mobilize her supporters and talk about her economic agenda. Clinton, who won the state's Democratic primary in 2008, has the backing of most of the state's prominent Democratic office-holders past and present for the 2016 contest, which will be held on March 1 as part of Super Tuesday. An aide to Clinton said the candidate "is taking nothing for granted in the March primary and caucus states, and will continue working to build the support we need to win the Oklahoma primary." Specifics for the visit will be announced later.

  • NFL notebook

    Compiled by Trent Shadid from wire reports | Updated: 4 hr ago

    Ravens return blocked field goal as time expires to stun Browns Will Hill returned a blocked field goal 64 yards for a touchdown as time expired, giving the Baltimore Ravens a 33-27 win Monday night over the luckless Cleveland Browns, who lost their sixth straight game along with starting quarterback Josh McCown. Cleveland's Travis Coons lined up to kick a potential game-winning 51-yard field goal with 3 seconds to go, but it was deflected by defensive end Brent Urban, who was playing his first NFL game for the injury-riddled Ravens (4-7). Hill scooped it up and rumbled down the left sideline for an improbable win, stunning a Cleveland (2-9) crowd which moments earlier was ready to celebrate.

  • For Kelli O'Hara, OCU honor is 'beautiful time'

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    Capping a year during which she won her first Tony Award, Kelli O’Hara, 39, was conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters during a ceremony Monday at Oklahoma City University’s Petree Recital Hall, where she said she performed many times as an undergraduate, from her entrance audition to her senior recital.

  • OKC defense falters late in loss at Atlanta

    By Anthony Slater, staff writer, Aslater@Oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    ATLANTA — The Hawks forced a switch, planting Anthony Morrow on the slippery Jeff Teague with a well-timed small forward screen. Teague cleared out and attacked the mismatch, knifing by Morrow and laying in the game's biggest basket. On the next Atlanta possession, the Thunder adjusted, replacing Morrow with Andre Roberson, a more adept perimeter defender. But it didn't matter. Atlanta went to the same play and Teague produced the same result, crossing up Roberson and gliding to the hoop. The first layup gave Atlanta the lead. The second essentially sealed the Hawks' 106-100 win over the Thunder on Monday night, highlighting what was the issue in an otherwise competitive game. OKC had too many defensive breakdowns early

  • Lighting the holidays

    From Staff Reports | Updated: 5 hr ago

    Gov. Mary Fallin and state Schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister joined more than 700 students from across the state Monday for the lighting of the Capitol Christmas tree. The tree, a replica of a Douglas fir, has more than 2,500 energy-saving LED lights, according to a news release from the governor's office. The evening event also featured storytelling, music, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus. Before the tree lights went on, students decorated 26 small Christmas trees placed inside the Capitol. As part of the governor's Oklahoma Fosters initiative, a group of foster children participated in the festivities.

  • For O'Hara, OCU honor is 'beautiful time'

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com | Updated: 5 hr ago

    After winning the top award given for Broadway achievement over the summer, Kelli O'Hara now has received the highest honor her alma mater can bestow. Capping a year during which she won her first Tony Award, O'Hara, 39, was conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters during a ceremony Monday at Oklahoma City University's Petree Recital Hall, where she said she performed many times as an undergraduate, from her entrance audition to her senior recital. “I just always wanted to do what I'm doing so badly. This is above and beyond what I would ever need, just like the other thing,” O'Hara said, drawing laughs in reference to her Tony. “You don't know what to dream for and hope for when you're just wanting to do it.

  • Two more women give testimony in trial of ex-cop accused of sexual assault

    By Kyle Schwab Staff Writer kschwab@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    Jurors on Monday heard testimony from two more women who allege an on-duty Oklahoma City police officer sexually assaulted them in 2014. One woman testified the officer, Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, made her expose herself, perform oral sex and submit to rape near a northeast Oklahoma City school. “He had me pull my shirt up and my panties down to show I didn't have anything.” the woman told the jury. “He had me bend over … It felt like his gun was poking my hip.” Prosecutors allege Holtzclaw drove the woman to an abandoned elementary school and raped her while he was still on duty early June 18, 2014.

  • Environmental assessment draws ire in Osage County

    By LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    PAWHUKSA — For more than two hours Monday afternoon, Osage County oil and gas producers, residents and tribal officials took turns picking apart a proposed new environmental assessment on their area's drilling operations. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, which oversees the oil and gas industry in the county on behalf of the Osage Nation, has said the area needs a new environmental impact statement and conducted the study over the span of more than a year. If approved, the report on the study, published earlier this month in the Federal Register, would replace a blanket declaration issued in 1979 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs that Osage County's oil and gas production has no significant environmental impact.

  • 911 recording from water rescue released

    By Sheila Stogsdill For The Oklahoman | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    AFTON — A mother was heard crying hysterically on a 911 call describing how her 6-year-old son was clinging to a tree and she was unable to rescue him because she was holding onto her other two children. “We are all in the river,” Britta Franck is heard telling the 911 operator Friday. Britta Franck's tearful voice was shivering on the two 911 tapes describing how her Yukon XL had flipped on its side and was filling up with water. The 911 operator calmly reassured the young mother help was on its way. June Nolan, 72 of Wichita, Franck's three sons, Miguel, 6; Arturo, 3 and Devin, 1, and Franck, 25, all of Wichita, were rescued in Little Horse Creek, which is two miles east and one mile north of Afton.

  • Wax on, wax off

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com | Updated: 4 hr ago

    With a sure hand, Gayle Curry sends a vivid orange block of beeswax gliding across the silvery surface of her hot plate. The vividly hued strip left behind forms the ground layer of an abstract landscape that she swiftly embellishes. She sends emerald green, buttery yellow and sunset pink beeswax squares melting across the heated surface, then deftly drops a piece of rice paper over her creation. After a few quick swipes with a flat hand tool called a brayer, Curry, 52, peels back the paper and presents her complete   encaustic monotype, an art form that often seems both new and oddly familiar to visitors. “People really love the process. It's very organic.

  • Officials looking at options after strong quake rattles state

    By RANDY KREHBIEL Tulsa World randy.krehbiel@tulsaworld.com | Updated: 5 hr ago

    Regulators were again assessing their response to recent seismic activity on Monday after the second 4.7 magnitude earthquake in less than two weeks shook northwestern Oklahoma. The latest, west-southwest of Medford in Grant County, occurred at 3:49 a.m. Monday. Eight earthquakes of magnitude 4.2 or greater have occurred in that area this year. All told, Oklahoma has had more than 600 earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater in 2015, easily a record. The two 4.7 quakes are the strongest in four years. Geologists attribute the increased seismicity to the high-pressure injection of wastewater from crude-oil production into certain rock formations.

  • College Basketball Notebook

    AP | Updated: 4 hr ago

    No. 1 Kentucky pulls away from Illinois State Isaiah Briscoe scored 18 points, Jamal Murray added 16 and No. 1 Kentucky overcame a sluggish first half to pull away from Illinois State 75-63 on Monday night. Outhustled on both ends by the athletic Redbirds through 20 minutes while adjusting to playing without injured starting point guard Tyler Ulis (elbow), the Wildcats (7-0) emerged from halftime more physical and used that energy to gain some breathing room. College of Charleston stuns LSu tigers Canyon Barry had 19 points and College of Charleston used a big first-half charge to hand LSU its third consecutive loss, 70-58, on Monday night.

  • Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. states its case for rooftop solar tariff before judge

    By Paul Monies Business Writer pmonies@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    Oklahoma Gas and Electric made its arguments for a new rooftop solar tariff as an administrative law judge Monday heard arguments to dismiss the case. Judge Jacqueline Miller said she would rule on a motion to dismiss the case in a report to the three-member Oklahoma Corporation Commission.