Dallas, TX – Attendance was down slightly at this year's Oklahoma State Fair, but nothing like the dramatic downturn the Texas State Fair is experiencing.

With an ongoing national economic crisis, gas shortages and a hurricane recovery effort still in full swing, attendance and sales are significantly down at the Texas fair.

High-end vendors at the Texas fair in Dallas are reporting a roughly 80 percent drop in sales and a notable lack of crowds.

Tulsa, OK – Democrat Andrew Rice sought to portray his opponent, incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, as tied to the economic policies of the Bush administration in their first and possibly only debate.

Rice yesterday challenged any voters who think they are better off than they were eight years ago to re-elect Inhofe.

Inhofe, Oklahoma's senior senator, branded Rice a ``proud liberal'' and said the Senate race in Oklahoma had probably the greatest philosophic diversity of any in the country.

Oklahoma City, OK – A biologist at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has been awarded a nearly $600,000 grant for breast cancer research.

Wei-Qun Ding will receive the grant over three years from Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

He becomes the first Oklahoma scientist to receive a Komen research grant.

Ding researches how certain molecules called metal ionophores kill breast cancer cells.

Officials say they hope his research might be tested in 10 years.

Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma public health authorities say weather is the likely reason that reports of West Nile virus infections in the state are down sharply this year.

Only nine confirmed cases and no deaths have been reported so far this year. Last year in Oklahoma, there were 107 cases of the mosquito-borne virus. Eight of the cases were fatal.

Tulsa, OK – A new report says Oklahoma is tied for 43rd in the nation for promoting energy efficiency to boost the economy, meet electricity demands, combat global warming and contribute to the nation's security.

The Tulsa World reports today that an analysis by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy states that Oklahoma's score was zero in five of eight categories that were examined.

Tulsa, OK – The bailout package approved by Congress also renews expired tax breaks credited with generating millions of dollars in investments in Oklahoma.

One provision allows businesses that build or expand facilities on former American Indian lands to qualify for an accelerated depreciation schedule. It allows them to recover their costs more quickly.

A second provision provides an additional tax break to businesses that hire American Indians.

The bailout legislation also includes tax credits for wind energy and for research and development.

Oklahoma City, OK – The March of Dimes is joining with the Oklahoma Health Department and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to reduce premature births in the state.

Officials say about one in seven Oklahoma babies are born prematurely compared to one in eight nationwide.

The agencies hope to encourage expectant mothers to get prenatal care early in their pregnancy.

Health officials say pre-term births are often due to alcohol, smoking, drug use, eating disorders, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases or exposure to chemicals or lead.

Tulsa, OK – Republican Senator Jim Inhofe and Democratic challenger Andrew Rice are to meet later today for their first and possibly only debate.

The 45-minute debate is to begin at 5:15 this afternoon in Tulsa and will be aired by KJRH Channel 2.

Before today the two have largely traded barbs in television ads.

Rice says Inhofe has been in Washington too long and has a record of blocking legislation that would promote alternative energy sources to ease dependence on foreign oil.

Lawton, OK – It's the "Cameron Centennial Moment," an Oral History Project in conjunction with Cameron University and KCCU, dedicated to broadcasting perspectives from current and former students, alumni, faculty, staff, and others that were impacted by Cameron University.

The Cameron Centennial Moment will air every Friday until the conclusion of the Centennial Year at 7:30 in the morning and 4:30 in the afternoon.

This week's Cameron Centennial Moment features Dr. Jack Amyx, Cameron Instructor from 1965-2001.

Sherman, TX – Friends and family of 17 Vietnamese pilgrims from Houston who died in a bus crash near Sherman in August returned to the crash site Sunday to erect a cross and celebrate Mass.

The group also presented a plaque to the mayor to honor the North Texas city's assistance.

Arriving on two buses and in several sport utility vehicles, about 50 people gathered near the spot where the tour bus carrying the victims came to rest early Aug. 8. A vase for each of the 17 victims was set up, forming a semicircle around the 6-foot tall white wooden cross.


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