• College baseball: Violations under Gene Stephenson land Wichita State on NCAA probation

    FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Wichita State’s baseball program was placed on probation Thursday after the NCAA found that the Shockers used 21 players who received impermissible benefits over a two-year period. The violations occurred under the watch of former coach Gene Stephenson, who was fired in June 2013 after 36 seasons. His dismissal was largely criticized by fans who had watched him lead the Shockers to 26 NCAA tournaments and seven trips to the College World Series. The school self-reported the violations last year, likely resulting in lighter sanctions. Still, the NCAA decided that Wichita State’s storied program would need to vacate wins from 2011-13 — including its 2013 NCAA tournament appearance — in which the

  • College basketball: Big 12/SEC Challenge moving to January in 2016

    BY RYAN ABER, Staff Writer, raber@opubco.com | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    The Big 12/SEC Challenge is moving to later in the season. The conferences announced Thursday that the third-annual men's basketball event next season would be played Jan. 30, 2016 with the conferences creating a common open date during conference play to accommodate the schedule. “We are excited to move this even to January to provide the Big 12 a unique showcase and help ESPN give the Big 12/SEC Challenge the attention it deserves,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “Our teams have shown a commitment to scheduling tough non-conference opponents and should be commended for setting a new standard by placing a key non-league matchup in the middle of the conference season.

  • Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The chances of a driver dying in a crash in a late-model car or light truck fell by more than a third over three years, and nine car models had zero deaths per million registered vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Improved vehicle designs and safety technology have a lot to do with the reduced risk, but a weak economy that led to reductions in driving may also have played a role, the institute said. The study, which examined fatalities involving 2011 model year vehicles, looked at how many driver fatalities occurred in a particular model over the course of a year of operation, expressed as a rate per million registered vehicle years.

  • Prescribed burn produces smoke near Lake Stanley Draper

    William Crum | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Smoke rising near Lake Stanley Draper on Thursday was from a “prescribed” burn intended in part to reduce the risk of a major wildfire. Managed by crews from the state’s Forestry Services division, the fire was expected to clear out brush and eastern red cedar, producing benefits for the native Cross Timbers ecosystem. Oklahoma Forestry […]

  • 'The Thorn Birds' author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SYDNEY (AP) — Best-selling Australian author Colleen McCullough, whose novel "The Thorn Birds" sold 30 million copies worldwide, has died at age 77 after a long illness. McCullough died Thursday in a hospital on remote Norfolk Island, HarperCollins Australia publishing director Shona Martyn said in a statement. McCullough had continued producing books despite a string of health and eyesight problems by using dictation, Martyn said. "Ever quick-witted and direct, we looked forward to her visits from Norfolk Island and the arrival of each new manuscript delivered in hard copy in custom-made maroon manuscript boxes inscribed with her name," Martyn said. McCullough wrote 25 novels throughout her career. Her final bo

  • The all-female 'Ghostbusters' cast, remade as paper dolls

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    After months of speculation, it seems the cast of the next Ghostbusters is set. On Tuesday, director Paul Feig tweeted an image of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, the new team of paranormal investigators in the upcoming all-female remake, Mashable reports. Filming isn't expected to begin until this summer, but it's never to early to start merchandising. So we made these paper dolls of the new squad in full bustin' regalia, complete with unlicensed nuclear accelerators. Plus Slimer, because why not? Print and cut them out to make your own ghastly adventures, or just make your officemates jealous.

  • When a tweet diverts a plane: FBI probing Twitter threats against airlines

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Five U.S. flights have been evacuated, delayed or diverted in the past week as a result of threats made against airlines on Twitter, Mashable reports.  On top of that, at least 20 different flights have been threatened in a series of tweets from different users since Saturday, NBC News reported. More than 50 threats have been made online since Jan. 17, CNN said. The messages are often bomb threats, or sometimes discuss other weapons supposedly aboard a plane.

  • Two dead in separate Oklahoma crashes

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 4 hr ago

    Two people are dead in Oklahoma wrecks. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports the crashes.

  • Texas Rep. to Staff: Ask Muslim Visitors to Pledge Allegiance to U.S.

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Freshman state Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, is not in Austin today to celebrate Texas Muslim Capitol Day. But she left instructions for the staff in her Capitol office on how to handle visitors who are, including asking them to declare allegiance to the United States, The Texas Tribune reports. "I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws," she posted on Facebook. "We will see how long they stay in my office." Texas Muslim Capitol Day is organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. On its website, the day-long event is described as "an opportunity for community members to learn about the democratic political process and how to be an advocate for important issues." The agenda calls for sessions about political activism and visits to the offices of state representatives.

  • DeMarco Murray says he's prepared to play elsewhere

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray stopped by the Dan Patrick show on Thursday morning (you can watch the entire interview here ), and said that he's prepared to play elsewhere in 2015 if he doesn't re-sign with the Cowboys. "Yeah. I understand the business aspect of it," Murray said when asked by Patrick if he's prepared to play for another team next season. "There's no hard feelings if we can't reach a deal together, but hopefully we can and we'll see what happens." Murray, who led the NFL in rushing in 2014 (1,845 yards), is a free agent entering the offseason. The former OU running back said it wasn't so much about a final pay day or big contract, but "at the end of the day, it's about winning a Super Bowl." "I don't know yet. We're just taking it day-by-day. We're not worried about it too much right now," Murray said of his contract negotiations. "We just wrapped up the Pro Bowl. We'll touch bases when we have to, but right now we don't." Patrick went on to ask Murray if both he and current Cowboys teammate Dez Bryant can both be re-signed. It's been widely debated whether or not the Cowboys can ( or should ) keep Murray, Bryant, or both. "You're asking the wrong guy," Murray said. "Hopefully, when it's all said and done, we both remain there. We've built a great foundation along with coach (Jason) Garrett and the rest of the team. I think that team is heading in the right direction." Murray's former OU teammate Sam Bradford  also addressed questions about his future Wednesday on WWLS 98.1 FM.

  • Jesse Ventura Won't See 'American Sniper'; Says Chris Kyle Is No Hero

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    American Sniper is tops at the box office but don’t expect to see former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura lining up at a theater for it.

  • Islamic State standoff involves prisoner, pilot, journalist

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A young Jordanian fighter pilot, a female al-Qaida recruit who tried to blow up a hotel ballroom in Amman and a veteran Japanese war correspondent are at the center of a life-and-death standoff with the Islamic State group. The militants, who hold the pilot and the journalist, have purportedly threatened to kill the airman at sundown Thursday, Iraq time, if the would-be suicide bomber is not released from death row in Jordan. The deadline passed without word on the two hostages. This is a look at the three people whose fate hangs in the balance. THE PRISONER Sajida al-Rishawi has close family ties to the Iraqi branch of the al-Qaida terror network that was the forerunner of the Islamic State group

  • Ball pit for grown ups opens in Hammersmith

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    A ball pit for adults only has opened in west London.

  • Amazing picture shows 200-year-old mummified monk in lotus position discovered in Mongolia

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    A 200-year-old mummified monk in a lotus position has been discovered in Mongolia.

  • Woman Turns 40, Marries Herself

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    A woman who vowed that if she didn’t find love by the time she turned 40 married herself earlier this month in a lavish ceremony here in Houston, according to reports. The Houston Chronicle reports Yasmin Eleby married herself at the Houston Museum of African American Culture on January 3 in a lavish ceremony with10 bridesmaids in attendance, plus family and other guests on hand to celebrate the event. For this ceremony, Eleby’s minister sister performed the spiritual service, as it’s not legal to marry yourself. The pictures from the ceremony look normal, except that Eleby is by herself in the photos and not standing with a spouse.

  • Denver airport bans pot-themed souvenir sales

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Visitors to the Mile High City will have to leave Denver International Airport before picking up marijuana-themed souvenirs, USA TODAY reports. Airport officials earlier this month banned the sale of pot-themed merchandise at DIA's shops after merchants began offering T-shirts and other items that officials felt were crossing the line from clever to overt. Well before the state legalized recreational marijuana sales a year ago, Colorado vendors sold T-shirts making oblique jokes about "the entire town being high."

  • Violent Psychopaths Don't Register Punishment, Study Says

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Violent psychopaths seem to have abnormalities in the parts of the brain that learn from punishment, according to a new study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry. Knowledge about these brain differences could one day be used to help children whose brain makeup puts them at risk for psychopathy, TIME reports. Using fMRI imaging, a team of researchers looked at the brain signaling of 50 men: 12 violent offenders—all people with antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy who had been convicted of murder, rape, attempted murder or grievous bodily harm—20 violent offenders with antisocial personality disorder but not psychopathy, and 18 non-offenders.

  • McCain to protesters: ‘Get out of here, you low-life scum’

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain has kicked protesters out of a budget hearing, calling them “low-life scum.” The upheaval came Thursday on Capitol Hill after members of an anti-war group calling itself Code Pink approached a witness table where former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright and George P. Shultz were testifying. The protesters carried signs calling the 91-year-old Kissinger a war criminal. McCain blurted out, “Get out of here, you low-life scum.” Capitol Police removed the protesters from the room. The hearing was the third in a series in which the Arizona Republican has called luminaries from the foreign policy world to share

  • Crews battling grass fires in Logan, Tulsa counties

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    SAND SPRINGS, Okla. (AP) — Crews are battling several grass fires across the state a day after unseasonably warm temperatures and strong wind gusts fueled the spread of the flames. Authorities say a fire was burning Thursday morning about four miles south of the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs. There was no estimate on the size of the fire, but it is located in a mountainous area. Efforts to fight the blaze have been hampered by the rural terrain. Crews were also battling a fire in Logan County that was moving south through the area. There were no reports of injuries or homes or other structures being threatened by the fires. The National Weather Service says high fire danger will continue Thursday throughout a

  • Bronze vases marking graves of children, veterans stolen from Norman cemetery

    By Jane Glenn Cannon, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    About 30 bronze vases marking graves in the Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Norman have been stolen. Cleveland County sheriff’s detectives say they believe the vases were taken for their metal value.