• Hot weather returns to central Oklahoma Wednesday

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Temperatures will heat up in central Oklahoma. Wednesday and Thursday the high temperatures in Oklahoma City will be in the 90s.

  • Health screening trailer will roll into northeast OKC

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    A mobile health screening trailer will be set up to offer free health tests at a northeast Oklahoma City church Sept. 12.

  • Oklahoma City youth visits German language village in Minnesota

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Thomas Cheek, a student at Quail Creek Elementary in northwest Oklahoma city, participated in the Concordia Language Villages program, attending a two-week session at Waldsee, near Bemidji, Minn.

  • Oklahoma City couple give $1 million gift to OU College of Public Health

    BY K.S. McNUTT Staff Writer kmcnutt@oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Two doctoral students will focus on reducing nicotine addiction and teen pregnancy, thanks to a $1 million gift from University of Oklahoma alumni Cliff and Leslie Hudson.

  • Variety Care receives grant for new health center in northwest Oklahoma City

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    The nonprofit community health center Variety Care will receive a $1.13 million grant from a federal agency for a new health center in the Britton area of northwest Oklahoma City.

  • Norman High School teacher is named Oklahoma's top educator

    By TIM WILLERT Staff Writer twillert@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Norman High School's Shawn Sheehan wants to shine a spotlight on the teaching profession and its importance as the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

  • Judge arraigns son accused in father's fatal stabbing in video conference from Oklahoma County jail

    BY KYLE SCHWAB Staff Writer kschwab@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Christian Erin Costello, 26, of Oklahoma City, was arraigned by video conference Tuesday from the Oklahoma County jail. He is accused of fatally stabbing his father, Mark Costello, 59, the state's labor commissioner, in an attack at a restaurant Sunday night.

  • Another Asian elephant coming to Oklahoma City Zoo

    BY MATT PATTERSON | Updated: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    The Oklahoma City Zoo will be adding another Asian elephant to its ranks when Kandula, a young male comes to Oklahoma City from the National Zoo in Washington D.C. He is expected to arrive in Oklahoma City in the fall, zoo spokeswoman Tara Henson said Tuesday. The move is the result of a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums species survival plan for elephants. Kandula, who was born at the National Zoo, is 11 and weighs 7,300 pounds. He will join a growing collection that includes adults Rex, Chandra and Asha along with Malee born in 2011 and Achara born in December. The zoo also has two more adult females, Chai and Bamboo, that came to Oklahoma City via the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle earlier this

  • High school notebook: OSSAA calls special board meeting to address Emerson attendance issue

    BY JACOB UNRUH | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association called a special board meeting Thursday to address the ongoing average daily attendance issue regarding Emerson High School. The meeting is set for 2 p.m. and the first item on the agenda is for the board to consider a request by Oklahoma City Public Schools to reconsider the application of the average daily membership from the alternative school among other OKCPS schools. OKCPS is taking the stance that no other school district in the state is being asked to take an accredited high school and divide its ADM among other schools.

  • Oklahoma sheriff says inmates' contraband plan foiled

    AP | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel says jail officials have broken up a system used by two inmates to smuggle contraband into the eighth floor of the jail by lowering a rope down to the ground level. Whetsel held a news conference Tuesday to announce that his investigators are recommending charges against the two inmates after their plot was foiled. Whetsel believes the two inmates used some kind of nylon string to slowly saw through metal bolts and cut out glass blocks in the side of their cell. They then fashioned a braided rope out of strips of bed sheets that was long enough to reach the ground. He says investigators believe the two used the rope to bring contraband into the jail and may

  • Medical examiner rules on Mark Costello's cause of death

    From Staff Reports | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Amy Elliott, spokeswoman for the State Medical Examiner’s office, said Tuesday that Mark Costello died from from stab wounds to the neck. The death was ruled a homicide. Costello, 59, who was state labor commissioner, died Sunday night at a hospital after being stabbed repeatedly at a northwest Oklahoma City ice cream store. His son, Christian Erin Costello, 26, was arrested in connection with his father's death.

  • Overtime, claims drive up costs to Oklahoma City taxpayers from deteriorating streets

    Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    The chronically poor condition of Oklahoma City streets is a headache for motorists and drain on taxpayers. Any doubt about that? Just ask residents.. The city asked the question in its 2015 community survey, and 72 percent of those who responded said they were dissatisfied with streets. Residents also said they thought the most important city service to emphasize over the next two years was condition of streets. Taxpayers bear the costs on the front end with street repair bills and on the back end through liability for damage claims. The city council this month alone paid $8,514.18 in claims for damage caused by potholes — and those payouts are only to

  • Bond denied for defendant in Oklahoma politician's killing

    AP | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A judge has denied bond to an Oklahoma man accused in the weekend stabbing death of his father, who was the state's labor commissioner. Special Judge Russell Hall decided the matter Tuesday during Christian Costello's initial court appearance in the Sunday night killing of his father, Mark Costello, at an Oklahoma City fast-food restaurant. Christian Costello appeared at the hearing via a video link from jail. The 26-year-old didn't say anything aside from giving the judge his name. Police say witnesses said they saw the defendant repeatedly stabbing his father with a kitchen knife. They say the victim's wife and defendant's mother tried to stop the attack.

  • Judge orders arrest in Del City death of pregnant woman

    BY KYLE SCHWAB Staff Writer kschwab@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    Rico Ramar Robinson, 22, of Bethany, is wanted on two murder complaints in connection with the deaths of Shartel Brown, 29, of Oklahoma City, and her unborn child.

  • Oklahoma County Free Fair offers fun for everyone

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Aug 25, 2015

    There was something for people of every age at the Oklahoma County Free Fair at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

  • Suspect in Oklahoma labor commissioner's fatal stabbing had been at odds with father before

    BY NOLAN CLAY AND GRAHAM LEE BREWER Staff Writers | Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    Police reports, court records and a statement from the Costello family portray Christian Costello as a young man troubled by mental issues. At times, he has been at odds with his parents, Mark and Cathy Costello.

  • Mark Costello had spoken about need for better mental health care in Oklahoma

    By JACLYN COSGROVE Staff Writer jcosgrove@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    At an April state Capitol gathering, Labor Commissioner Mark Costello told advocates they help others understand that when Oklahomans see people in need "we are looking to the image and likeness of Christ and that we must be humane.

  • School leaders in Oklahoma are making painful decisions as teacher shortage grows more dire

    By TIM WILLERT Staff Writer twillert@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    A survey of school districts by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association found that 1,000 teaching vacancies remain even after 600 teaching jobs were eliminated since the 2014-15 school year. Also alarming is the number of emergency teaching certificates school districts are requesting.

  • Store employee describes Mark Costello slaying suspect: 'He was clearly not all there'

    By Graham Lee Brewer, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    Immediately south of Christian Costello's apartment, at the Wall's Wine Bin liquor store, employee Destiny Skorkowski, 21, of Oklahoma City, said she would often see Costello walking along the street. He walked everywhere, she said, and it was not uncommon to see him pacing through the grounds of his apartment complex. > "He's an odd kid," she said. "He was clearly not all there, and a lot of people thought he might have had a drug problem." Around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, state Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, Christian's father, was stabbed to death at the restaurant. Police arrested Christian Costello. He remained in custody at the Oklahoma County jail on Monday afternoon.

  • VIDEO: Reporters discuss slaying of State Labor Commissioner

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    The Oklahoman editor Kelly Dyer Fry gets up to speed with health reporter Jaclyn Cosgrove, investigative reporter Nolan Clay, Capitol reporter Rick Green and breaking news reporter Graham Lee Brewer.