12 stories for 12 months in 2016
Some stories are just too big to miss. Need to catch up? We make it easy. Read on to learn more about major news making headlines in recent months.
Daniel Holtzclaw, a former Oklahoma City police officer, was sentenced to 263 years in prison after being convicted of 18 sexual offenses, including four counts of first-degree rape, involving eight victims. Holtzclaw was accused of sexually assaulting 13 black women while on duty between December 2013 and June 2014.
Plummeting oil prices blew a $1.3 billion hole in Oklahoma's state budget. Officials at the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services said that shortfall would give legislators 19.1 percent less money to fund state agencies in the 2017 fiscal year.
The shortfall prompted lawmakers to enact a round of sweeping budget cuts. Later, officials would find the cuts had been drastic enough to create a $100 million budget surplus.
Both presidential frontrunners found themselves in second place in Oklahoma's primary elections. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a drubbing by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and real estate mogul Donald Trump lost out to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Oklahoma City schools Superintendent Rob Neu announced plans to resign from the post after less than two years on the job. School board members, stunned by the news, held a special meeting to approve a separation agreement with Neu. The board appointed Aurora Lora, the previous associate superintendent, as acting superintendent.
A multi-county grand jury determined faulty protocol and inexcusable errors caused the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to use the wrong drug during a 2015 execution and nearly used the same drug in a second execution last year. The jury concluded a pharmacist's negligence was partially responsible for the mix-up, and questioned whether the pharmacist lied to jurors.
Oklahoma City's Muslim and Christian clerics, members of the LGBT community and others gather to condemn a shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, Fla. The melee, which officials called the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history, left 49 people dead and dozens wounded.
Two weeks later, at Oklahoma City's annual gay pride parade, participants carried signs bearing names of the victims of the attack. As they passed through the parade route, sign-bearers knelt after every block, holding their signs aloft, before standing up and yelling "Orlando!"
The announcement Thunder fans had feared for months finally came: Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors.
It wouldn't be overstating things to say that Thunder fans were devastated. Some burned jerseys. Others took to social media to wail and gnash their teeth publicly. And within a few days, Kd's Southern Cuisine, a Bricktown eatery bearing Durant's initials, announced plans to close its doors and reopen later under a new name.
Just weeks after Kevin Durant announced plans to skip town for the Bay Area, Russell Westbrook signed a three-year, $85.7 million contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Thunder fans were elated at the news, mobbing Westbrook after a press conference announcing the extension. But few were more excited than Thunder center Enes Kanter:
Stop refreshing the page Lol— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) August 4, 2016
it's true pic.twitter.com/WxyZUHImWN
Tulsa police Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher as officers were responding to reports of a stalled vehicle on the evening of Sept. 16. Police later said that Crutcher didn't have a weapon on him or in his SUV, and Crutcher, who was black, can be seen in police video with his hands in the air moments before Shelby, who is white, fired the fatal shot.
Protestors took to the streets during peaceful demonstrations in the days and weeks after the shooting, bearing signs with slogans like "Black Lives Matter" and "Justice for Crutch."
On Sept. 22, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler charged Shelby with a single count of first-degree manslaughter. Shelby surrendered to police later that day. Shelby, a five-year veteran of the police force, was released on bail Sept. 26. She has pleaded not guilty.
A statewide manhunt ensued after authorities said Michael Dale Vance Jr., of Chandler, killed two relatives and shot two Wellston police officers on the night of October 23.
After shooting the police officers, Vance hijacked a car, drove to the home of Ronald and Valerie Wilkson, near Luther. There, he stabbed both to death, nearly severing Ronald Wilkson's head, authorities said.
Authorities said Vance, who was already facing a child sexual abuse charge, was armed with an AK-47 rifle and had a hit list with as many as eight names.
A week after the Wilksons' deaths, Vance was killed in a dramatic shootout with Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers in western Oklahoma shortly after running a roadblock in a stolen flatbed pickup.
Bucking expectations put forth by national pollsters, Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States.
The Republican candidate garnered 947,937 votes in Oklahoma, or 65.3 percent of the state's vote, giving him all seven of the state's electoral votes.
Although Trump captured 306 electoral votes, enough to win the presidency, Clinton outpaced the real estate mogul in the popular vote, receiving more than 2 million more votes than Trump.
In his victory speech, Trump pledged to be a president for all Americans and to help "bind the wounds of division."
President-elect Donald Trump selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.
As attorney general, Pruitt has been a frequent critic of the agency and has been part of lawsuits against the agency, which enforces the nation's antipollution laws. Among them was a challenge to President Barack Obama's signature climate policy, the Clean Power Plan, which Pruitt has described as a "war on coal."
In a statement issued the day after his nomination was announced, Pruitt vowed to foster "responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses."