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News Brief: Week of Oct. 21-27


Pittsburgh shooting

A man opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning, killing 11 and injuring six others. At least three police officers responding to the incident were also shot.

According to one officer, the shooter made anti-Semitic remarks while carrying out the attack.

Robert Bowers, 46, was arrested on the scene by Pittsburgh police. He now faces 11 counts of first degree murder, as well as federal hate crime charges.

Speaking to reporters shortly after the incident, President Donald Trump said “the results would have been better” had the synagogue utilized armed security.

Bomb suspect arrested

A man accused of mailing pipe bombs to CNN and several high-profile Democratic political figures was arrested Friday.  

FBI officials identified Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, FL as their main suspect through DNA found on one of the packages. He was taken into custody Friday morning outside of a business 30 miles north of his hometown in Plantation, FL.  

Authorities towed away Sayoc’s personal vehicle, a white van plastered with images of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, shortly after his arrest.  

The first bomb, identified and intercepted by local police, arrived Monday at billionaire philanthropist George Soros’ Bedford, New York home. By Wednesday, suspicious packages had been sent to approximately one dozen Democratic public figures, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and former attorney general Eric Holder.  

On Wednesday, CNN anchors were forced to evacuate their studio after a suspicious package arrived at their station.  

None of the mail bombs detonated. According to Justice Department officials, Sayoc will face five federal charges, including illegal mailing of explosives and making threats against former presidents.  

Typhoon slams U.S. Territory

Super Typhoon Yutu battered the Northern Mariana Islands Wednesday and Thursday, causing one death, hundreds of injuries and widespread destruction.

With maximum sustained winds of 180 mph, Yutu flattened buildings and wreaked havoc on the island’s power grid. Edwin Propst, a local official on the island of Saipan, said it may take months to restore power to the territory’s 55,000 residents.

According to the National Weather Service, Yutu was the strongest storm to hit any part of the U.S. this year. The Red Cross is currently accepting donations to help those impacted by the storm.


State education spending up

The Oklahoma State Board of Education approved a $3.35 billion budget plan for the 2020 fiscal year on Thursday, a $440 million dollar increase from the current budget.

According to state superintendent Joy Hofmeister, the updated budget will shrink class sizes and allow schools to purchase more textbooks and classroom supplies.

In addition to higher classroom supply funding, the budget includes increased appropriations for employee health insurance, student counseling services and teacher training. (NewsOK)

Oklahoma gubernatorial debate

Gubernatorial candidates Drew Edmondson (D) and Kevin Stitt (R) defended their attack ads and argued over tax plans Tuesday night during a televised debate.  

Stitt, often referring to himself as an outsider, said he could increase state revenue without increasing taxes by auditing state agencies and reducing government waste.

Edmondson said restoring the gross production tax on oil and natural gas to 7 percent, ending the capital gains tax deduction and increasing cigarette taxes by 50 cents is the answer to generating more state revenue.

Both candidates agreed Oklahoma is not ready for recreational marijuana and teachers deserve another pay raise.  

Oklahomans will decide between Edmondson, Stitt and Libertarian candidate Chris Powell in the Nov. 6 general election. (KOCO)


Gunn Henderson Water Leak  

A plumbing issue caused freshmen female students living in Gunn Henderson to scramble for shelter on multiple nights last week.

According to an email sent to residents, an unidentified resident flushed a T-shirt and towel down a toilet, causing drainage to become backed up. After water began flooding the first floor of the building on Monday night, the building’s water supply was shut off and first-floor residents were told to find another place to stay. Second-floor residents were told they could stay, but there would be no running water.

Most local students stayed at home, while students from far away sought shelter in upperclassmen apartments and nearby Memorial Road Church of Christ, freshman Claire Richardson said.

After allowing students to move back in, students were told once again Friday night they would have to find another place to stay.

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