Deadly tornadoes strike Moore, Midwest City, OKC
More than 60 tornadoes struck central Oklahoma during an unprecedented outbreak of storms. One tornado formed near Chickasha and then devastated parts of Oklahoma City, Moore and Midwest City. A Doppler on wheels measured the tornado at 301 mph, the highest wind speed measured globally. During its 85 minutes on the ground, the tornado covered 38 miles, destroying thousands of homes, killing 36 people and causing $1 billion in damage. Storms also razed a large section of Stroud, including the Tanger Outlet Center. When the storm reached Sapulpa, its winds were estimated at 100 miles per hour. The tornado’s most heavily damaged building in Tulsa was the Carbondale Assembly of God Church at 2135 W. 51st St., which sustained an estimated $1 million in damage.
Staff Sgt. Petty killedin Iraq guarding weapons
Army Staff Sgt. Eric Petty of Fort Gibson was killed in Salman Al Habb, Iraq, while his unit was guarding a weapons cache. Petty, 28, who grew up in a military family, died while making sure all of his men made it to safety during an enemy attack on the weapons cache. Petty grew up in a military family and watched his father, Oklahoma National Guard Warrant Officer Ron Petty, wear a soldier’s uniform every day. Eric Petty, a 1993 graduate of Fort Gibson High School, enlisted in the reserves when he was 17. He later went full-time and was with the 1st Armored Division when he was killed. Services were held at the First Baptist Church in Fort Gibson and he was buried in the Fort Gibson National Cemetery.
Life sentences vacated in police corruption scandal
DeMarco Deon Williams, who had been serving two life sentences for dealing drugs, walked out of a Tulsa courtroom a free man after a federal judge vacated his sentences.
Williams was one of at least 49 people to be released from prison or have their cases modified in the wake of a Tulsa police corruption investigation.
Three Tulsa police officers and an ATF agent eventually were convicted of corruption.
Oklahoma bishop OKs same-sex ceremonies
The Oklahoma Episcopal bishop approved the use of a liturgy allowing gay and lesbian couples to be “bound together in holy covenant.” Bishop Edward Konieczny said certain guidelines would apply. Clergy who wanted to conduct same-sex ceremonies would first have to consult with their own church members and lay leaders. Then they would write to the bishop, who would determine how such ceremonies were likely to be received by lay leaders and the congregation as a whole. After that, the bishop would decide whether to approve the use of the liturgy in that congregation.