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News Brief: Week of Oct. 20-26


Islamic state leader dead following US raid

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, Oct. 27, the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group who ruled over its global jihad. He was killed on Saturday, Oct. 26, following a United States military raid in Syria. 

“Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice,” Trump announced at the White House. al-Baghdadi is described as the world’s most wanted man.

The operation began planning two weeks ago, after the U.S. received information about al-Baghdadi’s location. Helicopters flew over Russian and Syrian-controlled territory before firing at the compound which contained al-Baghdadi. After retreating into a tunnel with three of his children, al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest. No U.S. troops were killed in the operation.

Two dead, 14 injured following shooting at Texas college party

A gunman opened fire at a party at Texas A&M University-Commerce on Saturday, Oct. 26, leaving two dead and 14 injured.

The off-campus party was being held in honor of both homecoming weekend and Halloween. Approximately 750 individuals were in the venue when a male shooter entered the back of the venue around midnight and opened fire with a handgun. The suspect escaped and is still at large.

Authorities believe the suspect was targeting a specific individual and other casualties and injuries were incidental. No information about the identity of the suspect or the victims has been released.

Wildfires spread across California

Wildfires across California have left thousands without power and caused evacuations for thousands more. Several buildings and miles of land were scorched by the fires.

The Southern California and Santa Clarita area, north of Los Angeles, is being affected by 40 mph wind gusts and waves of flames. Over 40,000 individuals have evacuated, and more than 31,000 are without power. Authorities stated on Thursday, Oct. 24, there was no containment on the fires.

In Northern California, blazes have burned 49 buildings and 25 square miles of land. Outages affected half a million individuals, with 2,000 ordered to evacuate. Authorities stated the fire is 5% contained.


MAPS 3 trail opens

A new trail surrounding Lake Stanley Draper opened on Saturday, Oct. 26, leaving only a handful of MAPS 3 projects unfinished.

The $10 million trail was funded by taxpayer money as part of the MAPS 3 program, which uses sales tax for parks and public spaces.

The 13.5-mile trail features asphalt paths and greater elevation changes than other trails around Oklahoma City. Like other MAPS projects, it includes public art.

“Today is a great milestone to celebrate what we’ve been working on for the last decade,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said. “It really took that long to plan it and built it.”

Of the MAPS 3 projects, two senior centers and a convention center are still waiting to be built. 

The December ballot will allow voters to decide on MAPS 4, a new list of projects funded by sales tax.

Western Oklahoma receives record amount of snowfall

For most of Oklahoma, October means crisp fall weather and some rainfall. However, parts of western Oklahoma received up to 13 inches of snowfall beginning Thursday, Oct. 24. 

The National Weather Service reported 13 inches of snow in areas northeast of Arnett in Ellis County. In addition, 11 inches of snow were measured in Arnett and 10 inches were measured in Fargo.The previous record for earliest snowfall was on Oct. 25, 1957.

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