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News Brief: Week of March 17-23


Mueller report submitted

After months of speculation and anticipation, the long-awaited Robert Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was submitted to U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Friday, March 22.

President Donald Trump was not criminally implicated as a result of the investigation, Barr said in a statement Sunday, March 24. However, Mueller neither accused or exonerated Trump for obstructing the investigation as it was ongoing.

Three of the president’s former lawyers and associates—Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stonewere charged as a result of the investigation.

Flooding devastates Midwest

A combination of heavy rain and melting snow caused devastating flooding across parts of the Midwest last week and is expected to continue this week as well.

Small towns and farms located along the Missouri River in Iowa and Nebraska were especially hit, as dozens of levees designed to protect the communities were breached by rushing floodwaters. Officials say the damage likely exceeds $1 billion. According to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, Nebraska “has never seen a disaster this widespread.”

Further flooding is expected to continue into April, as snowpack in South Dakota and North Dakota melts and flows down the Missouri River.

Two Parkland shooting survivors commit suicide

In a span of less than one week, two survivors of the Feb. 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, FL, died of apparent suicides.

On Sunday, March 17, former Douglas High student Sydney Aiello, 19, passed away. A freshman student at Florida International University, Aiello had recently experienced survivor’s guilt and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to family members.

On the evening of Saturday, March 23, an unnamed male sophomore at the school died from an “apparent suicide,” according to the Coral Springs Police Department.


Two killed in airplane crash

Two flight instructors were killed in far northwest Oklahoma City on the afternoon of Monday, March 18, after their plane crashed onto the Sundance Airport runway.

Officials say pilots Doug Durning, 60, and Britton Lee, 43, were returning to Oklahoma City from Panama City, FL, on a twin-engine corporate jet. Upon descent into the airport, their plane flipped upside down and crashed.

Durning was pronounced dead on the scene, while Lee was transported to a nearby hospital, where she later died from her injuries.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

New construction to begin on I-235

After five months free from construction, commuters who travel along Interstate 235 will once again have to deal with closed lanes and clogged traffic beginning today.

A two-year-long construction project will add a total of four lanes to I-235 at the intersection of Interstate 44. Upon completion, I-235 will have four lanes going in each direction from downtown Oklahoma City to Edmond.

According to state Transportation Department spokesperson Terri Angier, the construction will be “the most disruptive of any other project in the state.” In additional to regular congestion, I-235 and I-44 may have to be closed for full weekends at a time in order to remove and hang bridge beams.

Alternative north-south route options in Oklahoma City include Lake Hefner Parkway and Interstate 35.


Celebration of Excellence deadline today

Students who wish to have their talents showcased in Oklahoma Christian University’s Celebration of Excellence must submit an application by 5 p.m. today.

The April 8 event will award $5,000 in prizes, as well as discounts on university housing and Eagle Bucks, to students who display unique talents in their field of study.

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