News Minute: Here is the latest Oklahoma news from The Associated Press at 8:40 a.m. CDT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The DNA test released by Sen. Elizabeth Warren has angered Native Americans in her home state. They complain that the genetic analysis cheapens the identities of tribal members with deeper ties to the Indian past. Warren was born in Oklahoma, where more than 7 percent of the population identifies as Native American. But she's not a member of a tribe. Many Indians take exception to anyone who claims to be part Indian without proven links to a tribe, especially for political purposes.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A group representing state workers says it intends to sue the Oklahoma State Department of Health over the agency's termination of 161 workers amid fears of financial insolvency that later proved to be unfounded. The Oklahoma Public Employees Association said Tuesday it has notified the agency of its plan to sue. A Health Department spokesman says the agency regrets the impact the layoffs had on its former employees and that they are working to rehire many of the workers.
AROKA, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma prison officials say they are searching for a minimum-security state prison inmate convicted of weapons charges who walked away from a state prison in southeastern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says 35-year-old Alvaro Rodriguez was discovered missing Monday from the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Atoka County. Prison records indicate Rodriguez was convicted in August of various charges in Tulsa County, including possession of a sawed-off shotgun or rifle.
POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) - An aging Choctaw stallion in southwest Mississippi is bringing new blood to a rare strain of horses. The stallion named DeSoto is being mated with Choctaw mares from Oklahoma to add diversity to the line. The horses are the descendants of those brought to America by Spanish explorers. They were raised and bred in the Deep South by Choctaw Indians until Native Americans were forcibly expelled westward.
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