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  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- The Oklahoma State Board of Education has approved a $2.3 billion budget request from Oklahoma lawmakers that includes additional funding for teacher pay raises. The request represents a $289 million increase over the funding levels for the current fiscal year.

  • TULSA, Okla.-- The Department of Labor announced Thursday it is suing a Tulsa- area restaurant chain over nearly $1 million in unpaid wages it alleges the business owes to more than 220 employees.

  • But government attorneys claim Hobby Lobby cannot claim to exercise religion to avoid laws designed to regulate commercial activity. "Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion," the government said.

  • JACKSON, Miss.-- An Oklahoma Indian tribe is moving forward with buying the DiamondJacks casinos in Bossier City, La., and Vicksburg, Miss.. Wilmington Trust, a Delaware institution, leads a syndicate holding $181 million in secured debt with the first claim on Legends assets.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 24- U.S. crude oil stocks rose sharply last week as imports increased and refinery utilization fell, government data showed on Wednesday. Domestic stocks of crude rose by 5.9 million barrels in the week to Oct. 19, the Energy Information Administration reported.

  • NEW YORK-- Nobody was expecting this round of corporate financial reports to be great. But underwhelming results _ particularly revenue, which offers a read on the economy _ are still rattling investors.

  • The chairman of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee and the secretary of finance both said that while they oppose the idea of set pay increases for all state workers, they are willing to support a performance-pay system.

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- The unemployment rate in Oklahoma has risen slightly for the third consecutive month _ although the number of Oklahomans with a job also increased. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said Friday that unemployment for September was 5.2 percent _ up from 5.1 percent in August and 4.9 percent in July.

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- Despite ongoing drought conditions _ Oklahoma wheat farmers are busy planting their winter crop with what one agreed is cautious optimism. Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mike Schulte said Friday that 75 percent of the 2012 crop is estimated to have been planted.

  • The price of oil is falling after TransCanada reaffirmed plans to restart a pipeline this weekend that carries crude from Canada to the Midwest. TransCanada closed the 2,100- mile pipeline Wednesday after tests showed possible safety issues.

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- Oklahoma's chief auditor says he's found a lack of financial safeguards at the Commission on Marginally Producing Oil and Gas Wells. Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones says an operational audit released Thursday cites the agency for not implementing a system of checks and balances to safeguard public assets.

  • In a scene reminiscent of the Dust Bowl days, choking dust suspended on strong wind gusts shrouded Interstate 35, which links Dallas and Oklahoma City to Kansas City, Mo. Video from television station helicopters showed the four-lane highway virtually disappearing into billowing dust on the harsh landscape near Blackwell, plus dozens of vehicles scattered in the median and on the shoulders.

  • KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- TransCanada Corp. has temporarily shut down its existing 2,100- mile Keystone pipeline after tests showed possible safety issues, a federal agency said Thursday.

  • SEATTLE-- King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed legislation Tuesday on the funding plan for construction of an arena that could be used to lure the NBA back to Seattle. Other investors include Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and two members of the Nordstrom department store family.

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- The average price of gasoline is down nearly 10 cents per gallon across Oklahoma. AAA Oklahoma reported Tuesday that the average price for a gallon of self-serve unleaded gas is just more than $3.53 per gallon _ compared to $3.63 per gallon last week.

  • SUMNER, Texas-- Oil has long lived in harmony with farmland and cattle across the Texas landscape, a symbiosis nurtured by generations and built on an unspoken honor code that allowed agriculture to thrive while oil was extracted. In the minds of some landowners approached by TransCanada for land, the company has broken the code.

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- A second man who was injured in an explosion at an Oklahoma oil refinery has died. A University of Oklahoma Medical Center spokesman says Russell Mann of Davis died Tuesday at the Oklahoma City hospital.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of Sonic Corp. advanced Wednesday after the company said its net income rose 18 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, helped by tighter cost controls at its drive-in restaurants. THE SPARK: The Oklahoma City company's earnings beat Wall Street expectations.

  • NEW YORK-- Sonic Corp. said Tuesday that its net income rose 18 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter despite a slight drop in revenue, partly because of lower sales at company drive-in restaurants. The Oklahoma City company's results beat Wall Street expectations and its shares rose nearly 3 percent in after-hours trading.

  • SEATTLE-- The King County Council and the Seattle City Council gave their final approval Monday to an agreement to build a $490 million basketball and hockey arena in the city, despite the threat of a lawsuit from longshore workers. Mayor Mike McGinn called the votes important steps toward bringing professional men's basketball back to Seattle.