• Kevin Durant on 'idol' Kobe: Media mistreating him

    Published: Mon, Nov 30, 2015

    In an effort to clarify his comments regarding the media's treatment of Kobe Bryant , Kevin Durant said his point was noting the negativity around the Los Angeles Lakers star, rather than appreciating the accomplishments of a legend on his way out. After telling reporters Monday morning that the media treated Bryant "like s***," Durant told ESPN.com that Bryant is still deserving of more respect. "I understand [the media] have to write about the game. Of course I understand that," Durant told ESPN.com. "Kobe hasn't played well and his team hasn't played well, but did we expect that from them? You did say he was the 93rd-best player in the league, you did have the Lakers as the worst team in the West, but it seems like everybody is happy that he's going out like this. Every game he's played on TV is about how terrible he looks, every article the next day is about how he should retire and give it up. Just killing him. "I never hear about the Finals MVPs, the accolades. They did it for Derek Jeter, they will do it for Tim Duncan when he leaves even if he's playing bad. I know you gotta report the games, but you're going too in-depth about how bad he is. You're almost kicking him out the league." ESPN.com has been at the forefront of the so-called criticism of Bryant. In its annual rankings prior to the 2014-15 season, the site rated Bryant as the NBA's 40th best player . Bryant responded to the ranking by saying "I've known for a long time that they're a bunch of idiots." At the time, however, Bryant was 36 and coming off a season in which injuries limited him to a career-low six games. In its fifth annual "NBA Rank" prior to the start of this season, ESPN.com then ranked Bryant as the league's 93rd best player . The site wrote "at this stage, he's turned into a parody of himself, with seemingly every field goal attempt coming against all odds as Bryant dominates the ball during possessions and often shoots long jumpers against double coverage." Bryant, 37, announced Sunday in a post on The Players' Tribune that this, his 20th season, will be his last . In 13 games, Bryant is averaging 15.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting a career-low 30.5 percent from the field. Durant was teammates with Bryant on the gold-medal winning 2012 men's Olympic basketball team and competed against Bryant and the Lakers in two postseason series. "He had an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally, physically," Durant told ESPN.com. "Means so much to the game of basketball. Somebody I'm always going to look to for advice for help, anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man. Sad to see him go. But he put his mark on the game while he was here."

  • New warming station opens; pets to be housed in El Reno

    From Staff Reports | Published: Mon, Nov 30, 2015

    The El Reno shelter remains open at Jenks Simmons Field House, and the Red Cross has partnered with the McClain County Animal Response Team to help house pets for people while they are staying at the shelter.

  • Jewish community, community-at-large loses Michael Barlow

    Updated: 15 min ago

    Michael Barlow (pictured), a prominent leader in the Oklahoma City Jewish community, died Saturday, Nov. 28. He was 71. Barlow had been featured in The Oklahoman numerous times, and many in the metro area community know him from his various leadership roles over the years. He was a teacher, administrator and local American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president for the Oklahoma City Public Schools, and, later executive director of the Oklahoma AFT, and director of governmental affairs with the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, according to the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame website. Barlow was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame in 2010.

  • Suspect in Planned Parenthood attack makes 1st appearance

    Updated: 19 min ago

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — 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 and gazed downward during most of the hearing. Victims' relatives watched from a courtroom. When asked by Chief District Judge Gilbert Martinez if he understood his rights, Dear replied, "no questions.

  • NYC's novel salt warning rule set to take effect at chains

    Updated: 20 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York City begins a new era in nutritional warnings this week, when chain restaurants will have to start putting a special symbol on highly salty dishes. The first-of-its-kind rule, which takes effect Tuesday, will require a salt-shaker emblem on some sandwiches, salads and other menu items that top the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams — about a teaspoon — of sodium. It's the latest in a series of novel nutritional moves by the nation's biggest city, and it comes as health advocates, federal regulators and some in the food industry are trying to get Americans to cut down on salt. Experts say most Americans consume too much salt, raising their risks of high blood pressure and heart problems.

  • Texas threatens resettlement agency over Syrian refugees

    Updated: 27 min ago

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas wanted assurances Monday from a major resettlement agency that it will not accept Syrian refugees and threatened legal action if Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's orders are defied. The International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit that's based in New York and runs a program in Dallas, gave no indication that it will change course and relocate Syrian refugees somewhere other than Texas. In a statement, the organization said "it is important not to conflate terrorists with the Syrian refugees who are seeking sanctuary in the United States." Abbott is among nearly two dozen governors, mostly Republicans, who have vowed to block efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in their states following the Nov. 13 terr

  • Midwest City police, volunteers searching for Arkansas man

    By Tricia Pemberton, For The Oklahoman | Updated: 27 min ago

    Brenner Wolfe, 19, from Bentonville, has been missing since Thursday.

  • Hundreds pay respects to slain California police officer

    Updated: 34 min ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Law enforcement officers from across the nation wiped away tears and saluted a flag-draped coffin Monday at the funeral for a Southern California police officer who was shot and killed outside his department's headquarters. Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles to remember Officer Ricardo "Ricky" Galvez. The 29-year-old former Marine was shot to death last month as he sat in his car near the suburban Downey Police Department in what authorities believe was a robbery attempt. The crowd at the cathedral included family members, Downey officials and police, as well as officers from agencies in California and as far away as Chicago and New York City.

  • Road conditions improve in Oklahoma Panhandle

    From Staff Reports | Updated: 42 min ago

    Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews report all highways and bridges are clear of snow and ice in the Panhandle and northwest Oklahoma.

  • Offensive line a big key in OU football turnaround

    Berry Tramel | Updated: 44 min ago

    Remember early in the season when OU’s offensive line seemed a total mess? Guys going in and out of the lineup. The running game stalled. Baker Mayfield running for his football life. That has changed. Now, Samaje Perine is finding big holes to run through before he runs over opponents, and while Mayfield remains a darting figure in and out of the pocket, he’s not under the constant assault he was against Tennessee and Texas. Senior center Ty Darlington credits assistant coach Bill Bedenbaugh. “I think he’s the best offensive line coach in the country,” Darlington said.

  • State of emergency declared in El Reno

    From Staff Reports | Updated: 55 min ago

    The shelter will remain open until Tuesday in El Reno for households without power.

  • Newspaper: California's top oil regulator quitting after 18 months on job

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Newspaper: California's top oil regulator quitting after 18 months on job.

  • Executive Q&A: Valir Health's entrepreneurial CEO aims to help many people

    By Paula Burkes Business Writer pburkes@oklahoman.com | Updated: 1 hr ago

    Executive Q&A with Tom Tucker Valir Health's entrepreneurial CEO aims to help many people

  • Video: Senator James Lankford releases wasteful spending report

    David Morris | Updated: 1 hr ago

    Always great to catch up with The Oklahoman's Chris Casteel via Skype to discuss politics. Today we discussed Sen. James Lankford's wasteful spending report. Casteel had the first question at Sen. Lankford's press conference. The exchange was a little prickly, but a valid question.  I asked Casteel about the exchange in the following interview. [brightcove]4638210320001[/brightcove] Of course more coverage and context from Casteel can be found in The Oklahoman and on NewsOK.com.

  • Tulsa police working with Texas to apprehend fourth defendant in kidnapping-murder case

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 30, 2015

    Tulsa police are working with Texas authorities to find and apprehend a fourth man who was charged last week in the death of a Talala man who was found deceased alongside a highway in July. James Vasco Jones, 42, was charged Nov. 23, joining defendants Vernon LeeMountel Smith, 27, Sidney Aaron Randall, 19, and William Earl Garrett II, 26. The four are charged with felony first-degree murder in the June 21 death of Chazz Holly, 27, who had cerebral palsy and was found alongside the Indian Nation Turnpike in Pushmataha County July 19.

  • The Latest: Protesters vow to stay outside police station

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The latest in the reaction to the fatal shooting of a black man by Minneapolis police that has sparked more than two weeks of demonstrations (all times local): 3:15 p.m. Protesters are rejecting a call from the mayor of Minneapolis that they end their demonstration outside a police station near where a black man was fatally shot by a police officer more than two weeks ago. Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds said Monday that her organization continues to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other protesters in demanding justice for Jamar Clark and all victims of police violence.

  • 51,300 power outages remain, Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. reports Monday

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 1 hr ago

    Power outages continue to affect Oklahomans due to a three-day ice storm. Temperatures are expected to warm into the 40s on Monday.

  • Metro cities plan downed-tree removal

    From Staff Report | Published: Mon, Nov 30, 2015

    Metro cities are planning for downed-tree removal as a result of the weekend weather. Here are those announced on Monday: In Edmond, tree debris pickup started Monday. Crews will begin at the west city limits and work their way back east. Pickup is only available at residential homes, and does not include businesses or apartment complexes. Tree debris must be cut into no more than 6-foot sections and must be placed within 10 feet of the curb. People are asked to avoid piling debris on or near water meters, gas meters, mailboxes or fire hydrants. With a large amount of tree debris in the city, the pickups will likely take place over several weeks. For people who would like to remove debris sooner, there are fee-based

  • Report: TCU’s Doug Meacham likely to be named head coach at North Texas

    Published: Mon, Nov 30, 2015

    TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, who over two stints coached at Oklahoma State for 10-plus years, will be the new head coach at North Texas, according to a report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Star-Telegram also reported Monday that TCU co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie is probably not going anywhere. Reports surfaced late Sunday that Cumbie was being courted by the University of Texas, who is reportedly looking for a new offensive coordinator. Meacham was at Oklahoma State from 2005 to 2012 as a tight ends and wide receivers coach. He also was in Stillwater from 1989 to 1991 as a graduate assistant coaching offensive linemen and linebackers. Meacham has been at TCU since 2014 and helped revamp the Horned Frogs offense and revitalized the career of TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin.

  • Former OU quarterback Justin Fuente takes Va. Tech job instead of holding out for something bigger

    Published: Mon, Nov 30, 2015

    BLACKSBURG, Va. – "Justin Fuente was not interested in exploring the marketplace," writes Paul Woody of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch. In a column written off a press conference introducing Fuente as the new Virginia Tech football coach, Woody highlighted the former University of Oklahoma quarterback and Tulsa Union High School star's decision to come to Blacksburg rather than pursue an SEC job at South Carolina or Georgia. “For me personally, there’s a draw to live in this town and be a part of this program, that’s gone about things the way I’ve always wanted our program to go about things,” Fuente said. “I just think that the fit is bigger than, well it’s Georgia or it’s the Southeastern Conference or Pac-12 or whatever it is.” Other nuggets from Woody's column on Fuente's news conference: -- "He is self-deprecating and humble, but make no mistake about this – Justin Fuente is confident," Woody writes." When he talked Monday during his press conference and afterward to a small group of reporters, he did not express doubt about being successful." Virginia Tech athletic director White Babcock on negotiations with Fuente: "“I kept thinking this is going too well. What’s going to go wrong? I’m prepared to recruit anybody to Virginia Tech, and I don’t think this school takes a backseat to anywhere in the country from a football program aspect. But it was nice to know … you want somebody who wants to be at Virginia Tech."