News Minute: Here is the latest Oklahoma news from The Associate - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

News Minute: Here is the latest Oklahoma news from The Associated Press at 8:40 a.m. CDT

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CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) - A marijuana advocate in northeast Oklahoma alleges a sheriff grabbed him by the throat and escorted him out of a community forum on an upcoming state ballot measure on medical cannabis. The Claremore Progress reports that Chip Paul is accusing Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton of removing him with extreme force from the open forum on the measure residents will vote on next week. Walton says he believes the situation was orchestrated to cause disruption.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior Republican senator is defending Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, calling ethics allegations against Pruitt "outrageous lies." Sen. Jim Inhofe of Pruitt's home state of Oklahoma spoke Wednesday after summoning Pruitt to a meeting this week to discuss more than a dozen allegations that Pruitt has misused his office to obtain perks and material benefits for himself and his family. Inhofe says he now believes the media is the source of much of Pruitt's troubles.

ATLANTA (AP) - Forecasters say much of the central and southeast U.S. will be at risk of severe storms as the weekend approaches. The national Storm Prediction Center says two regions will be at most risk of strong to severe thunderstorms Friday. They include an area that encompasses parts of western Oklahoma, western Kansas and eastern Colorado. Also Friday, storms could be severe in the Deep South, especially in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Tennessee.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The United States' largest black denomination has convened its annual meeting in Oklahoma City, and its leaders are denouncing the separation of immigrant children from families at the border. The Rev. Jerry Young, who is president of the National Baptist Convention USA, criticized U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' use of scripture to justify the policy, saying Wednesday that it was out of context. Up to 16,000 delegates are attending the 113th annual meeting, which runs through Friday.

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