Harris back on the road after opening weeks in Washington
Vice President Kamala Harris gives her order to Germaine Turnbow, while stopping for lunch at Tacotarian, Monday March 15, 2021, in Las Vegas. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses are opening an ambitious, cross-country tour to highlight the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan and its benefits. After weeks of swearing in Cabinet members, appearing alongside President Joe Biden and making stops in the Washington area, the vice president was on the road on her first big outing since taking office. As the first woman, Black person and Indian American to be elected vice president, Harris has plenty of eyes on her in her new position. ___Associated Press writer Michelle Price in Las Vegas and Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, Calif., contributed to this report.
Oklahoma killer's conviction overturned based on McGirt
FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is Shaun Michael Bosse of Oklahoma. Bosse's murder convictions and death sentence were overturned Thursday, March 11, 2021, by a state court based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that much of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction and sentence of Bosse, 38, because the crime occurred on land within the Chickasaw Nation's historic reservation and the victims were Native American. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP, File)OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma man’s murder convictions and death sentence have been overturned following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that much of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation. “He's relieved to know his death sentence will be vacated.”Bosse's case could now be retried in federal criminal court.
Tight supply creates reluctance over federal vaccine sites
With vaccine supplies running tight, they want assurances that the doses will come from a separate federal supply and not their own. Eager to protect more people against the coronavirus, health officials in Oklahoma jumped at the chance to add large, federally supported vaccination sites. The Biden administration's virus response plan calls for opening 100 federally supported vaccination sites by the end of February. “We just opened our first two federal vaccination centers, in California this week," Klain told NBC News. Officials in New York and Texas said the federal government told them that the vaccines distributed in the federal sites there would not count against the states’ allocations.
2 in 5 Americans live where COVID-19 strains hospital ICUs
More than 40% of Americans now live in areas running out of ICU space, with only 15% of beds still available. According to data through Thursday from the COVID Tracking Project, hospitalizations are still high in the West and the South, with over 80,000 current COVID-19 hospital patients in those regions. “Initially, when the COVID surges were hitting one part of the country at a time, traveling nurses were able to go to areas more severely affected. “There’s a lot of these agencies that are out there charging absolutely ridiculous sums of money to get ICU nurses in,” Boom said. Augusta University Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, is treating adult ICU patients, under age 30, in the children’s hospital.
Virus cases continue climbing in US during holiday season
Employees schedule COVID-19 tests and prepare test kits at Primary Health Medical Group's clinic in Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. A new daily high of nearly 228,000 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases was reported nationwide Friday, eclipsing the previous high mark of 217,000 cases set the day before, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There were 2,607 deaths reported in the U.S. on Friday. Johns Hopkins had previously reported Wednesday daily COVID-19 deaths at 3,157. “In less than a week, we went from exceeding 5,000 new cases reported in one day to exceeding 6,000,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina's health secretary.
For some who bore toll of virus, Biden offers sign of hope
After suffering the worst day of 2020 in July, she pronounced Saturday the best day of the year. “I feel that we are now going to start listening to science,” said 56-year-old Taylor, who blamed President Donald Trump's handling of the virus for her mother's death. Kennedy Johnson, a 19-year-old in Rancho Cucamonga, California, watched as her mother and grandmother cried with joy at the news of Biden’s win, barely able to produce words. “The difference in which Biden has talked about it and said he was going to handle it is stark. ___Associated Press writers Ken Miller in Oklahoma City and Stephen Groves in Sioux City, South Dakota, contributed to this report.
Jerry Jeff Walker, Texas singer and songwriter, dies at 78
Jerry Jeff Walker, a Texas country singer and songwriter who wrote the pop song “Mr. Walker died Friday of cancer, family spokesman John T. Davis told The Associated Press. “He had battled throat cancer for many years, and some other health issues,” Davis said Saturday. In 1986, he formed independent music label Tried & True Music and released albums under it. Walker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, he told the Austin American Statesman in 2018.
Tulsa digs again for victims of 1921 race massacre
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)OKLAHOMA CITY – A second excavation begins Monday at a cemetery in an effort to find and identify victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and shed light on violence that left hundreds dead and decimated an area that was once a cultural and economic mecca for African Americans. The two locations to be searched are in Oaklawn Cemetery in north Tulsa, where a search for remains of victims ended without success in July, and near the Greenwood District where the massacre took place. Bynum, who first proposed looking for victims of the violence in 2018 and later budgeted $100,000 to fund it after previous searches failed to find victims. “People didn’t start talking about this event in Tulsa until about 20 years ago.”Bodies, if discovered, will not be disturbed, Bynum said. One site to be searched, known as the Original 18, is where old funeral home records indicate up to 18 Black people who were massacre victims were buried.
GOP governors in spiking states strain for silver linings
But that's not the message coming from a number of Republican governors in the region, who are working to find silver linings in the ominous health data as outbreaks surge in their states. North Dakota's governor has called his state's test positivity rate an achievement, even though its rate of new cases tops the nation. Kim Reynolds, however, has defended the state's decision to reopen bars and send students back into classrooms without masks required. Some governors are even pushing back against Trump's own advisers for giving blunter assessments of their states' situations. Hutchinson has continued resisting calls to roll back some of the state's reopening, saying he's relying more on personal responsibility.
Tropical Storm Beta churns slowly toward Texas and Louisiana
Forecasters said Beta was not expected to bring the same amount of rainfall that Texas experienced during either Hurricane Harvey in 2017 or Tropical Storm Imelda last year. The first rain bands from Beta reached the Texas coast on Sunday, but the heaviest rain wasn't expected to arrive until Monday into Tuesday. If the system makes landfall in Texas, it would be the ninth named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. in 2020. A tropical storm warning was in effect for Bermuda. Wilfred, which had been a tropical storm, weakened to a tropical depression earlier Sunday.
Convictions, life sentences upheld in "Cathouse" slayings
FILE - In this June 16, 2016, file photo, Russell Lee Hogshooter, center, is escorted from the courtroom as the case goes to jury in the penalty phase of his trial in Oklahoma City. An Oklahoma appeals court has upheld the murder convictions and life without parole sentences of two men convicted in 2009 slayings of four people, including a woman who was featured in the HBO series "Cathouse." The two additional murder charges were because Brooke Phillips and Barrera were both pregnant. Denny Phillips is not related to Brooke Phillips, who had appeared in the HBO series about the Moonlite BunnyRanch, a legal brothel near Carson City, Nevada. Two other co-defendants, David Tyner and Jonathan Cochran, pleaded guilty in the case as part of a deal with prosecutors and testified against Hogshooter and Phillips.
Metal barriers, Trump gear: Crowd readies for Tulsa rally
TULSA, Okla. Supporters of President Donald Trump were lining up Saturday outside metal barriers surrounding the Tulsa stadium where the president will hold his first rally in months, ready to welcome him back to the campaign trail despite warnings from health officials about the coronavirus. Trump also will speak at an outdoor event to be held inside the barriers. Protests also are planned for Saturday, and some Black leaders in Tulsa have said they're worried the visit could lead to violence. Tulsa has seen cases of COVID-19 spike in the past week, and the local health department director asked that the rally be postponed. The Trump campaign said it will hand out masks and hand sanitizer, but there is no requirement that participants use them.
How black history is taught in schools faces new scrutiny
The states new standards are going out to schools as a national conversation on racial injustice brings new scrutiny to how African American history is taught nationwide. There is no national curriculum or set of standards for teaching black history in America. A University of Texas professor involved in developing the curriculum, Kevin Cokley, said his college students say they are taught a sanitized version of black history in high school. King provided training last year for 300 educators around the country who are interested in teaching black history. The push for diversity in education so far has led to mostly cosmetic changes, he said, without enough emphasis on the entry points and perspective of black history.