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This Hour: Latest Oklahoma news, sports, business and entertainment

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ABORTION DRUGS

Okla. Senate OKs abortion drug restrictions

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A bill that would restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma has easily passed the state Senate.

The Senate voted 37-5 Tuesday for the bill that was written in direct response to a state Supreme Court decision that tossed a similar measure approved by the Legislature in 2011.

The bill would prohibit off-label uses of certain abortion-inducing drugs by requiring doctors to administer the drugs only in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court declared the bill unconstitutional, saying it effectively banned all drug-induced abortions in the state.

The bill specifically states it does not ban the use of misoprostol in chemical abortions or the off-label use of drugs for the treatment of ectopic pregnancies.

STATE REVENUE

March Oklahoma revenue misses mark by 9.1 percent

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma's finance secretary says collections by the general revenue fund fell 9.1 percent below the official estimate in March.

Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said Tuesday the state experienced another month of unusually low corporate income tax revenue. Doerflinger says that the decline followed a major increase in tax credit claims.

March collections totaled $413 million, which is $41 million, or 9.1 percent, below the official revenue estimate upon which the fiscal year's state budget is based.

Doerflinger says March's weak collections rekindled the possibility of mandatory cuts for all state agencies for the budget year that ends on June 30.

Collections totaled $3.9 billion during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year. That's $215 million, or 5.2 percent, below the official estimate for the nine-month period.

OKLAHOMA ELECTION-GOVERNOR

Candidacy of Okla. governor hopefuls challenged

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A Democrat running for Oklahoma governor is challenging the candidacy of two independents in the race, including one he alleges failed to disclose a guilty plea to a felony crime more than a decade ago.

Democratic state Rep. Joe Dorman on Tuesday challenged the candidacy of independents Joe Sills and Kimberly Willis, both of Oklahoma City.

Dorman claims Sills did not disclose on his candidacy form a guilty plea in 2000 to a felony crime of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Sills said Tuesday he thought the question on the candidacy form applied only to embezzlement-related crimes and that he plans to contest Dorman's challenge.

Dorman alleges Willis was not a registered independent for the amount of time required by law.

GAS PRICES-OKLAHOMA

AAA: Okla. gas prices hit 7-month high on tax day

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - AAA Oklahoma says the statewide average price for gasoline is the highest it's been since September.

AAA says Oklahoma's average price for a gallon of regular self-serve hit $3.47 Tuesday, the highest price since Sept. 15. Prices ranged from a high of $3.56 a gallon in Stillwater and Ponca City to a low of about $3.37 in Lawton. Drivers in Oklahoma City are paying $3.44 per gallon while those in Tulsa are paying nearly $3.52.

The national average is $3.64.

AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai says gas prices in the state have been in the $3.40 to $3.47 range for the past month being below $3 as recently as the day after Christmas.

Mai says declining inventories and signs of rebounding demand have resulted in rising prices across the country.

PHYSICAL FITNESS GRANTS-OKLAHOMA

Physical fitness grants awarded in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education has awarded four grants in Oklahoma to be used for physical fitness programs.

The grants announced Tuesday include more than $734,000 to the Putnam City School District; more than $607,000 to Keys Public Schools; $450,000 to Checotah Public Schools: and more than $934,000 to the nonprofit Schools for Healthy Lifestyles in Oklahoma City.

The grants are intended to help schools and community organizations start, expand or enhance physical education and nutrition education programs - including after-school programs - for students in kindergarten through 12th grades.

The Department of Education awarded a total of 67 grants nationwide worth more than $33 million.

NEW SPECIES DISCOVERED

University of Tulsa researchers find new species

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A salamander first discovered by a University of Tulsa doctoral student in 2011 is being hailed as a new species in an international journal for animal taxonomy.

Doctoral student Michael Steffen and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Herpetologist Kelly Irwin discovered the new species in May 2011 while studying genetic diversity of other salamanders in Lake Catherine State Park near Hot Springs, Ark.

The university says the latest issue of Zootaxa will feature the paper and provide details on the Ouachita Streambed Salamander. The school says the amphibian is one of the most "genetically distinct" species of salamander to be identified in the United States within the past 70 years.

This species currently has the smallest known range of any other amphibian in the country.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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