By the end of June, This year, Matt Plenge’s Kahoka, Mo., farm has received close to four times its normal rainfall.
Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

After Stormy Spring, Farmers Could Face More Violent Weather In The Future

Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance. “Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.” Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern. “It seems like it rains for three or four days and after it rains, we get one day of sunshine,” Plenge said. “And...
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By the end of June, This year, Matt Plenge’s Kahoka, Mo., farm has received close to four times its normal rainfall.
Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

“It seems like it rains for three or four days and after it rains, we get one day of sunshine,” Plenge said. “And then it rains again.”

The seal of the Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation

A recount supervised by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court has finalized the candidates in a runoff election.

The Cherokee Nation Election Commission on Friday announced the results of the Thursday recount, with Wanda Hatfield and Betsy Swimmer advancing to a July 25 runoff for an at-large tribal councilor position. The final results show Hatfield with 1,057 votes and Swimmer with 763.

Shane Jett, who came in third, finished 50 votes behind Swimmer. The general election results were certified Monday and Jett requested the recount on Wednesday.

Culex pipiens (the common house mosquito) is a species of blood-feeding mosquito of the family Culicidae. It is a vector of some diseases, such as Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, and urticaria. In the US, it can spread West Nile virus.
Wikimedia Commons

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says a third case of West Nile virus this year has been confirmed in the state.

The department says a resident of Ellis County in western Oklahoma has contracted the virus. The person's name and gender were not released. The department said Thursday that the person is between 18- and 50-years-old.

Two other confirmed cases were reported in June in McIntosh and Okfuskee counties in the eastern half of the state.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) / Flickr

Last week the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security released a bulletin listing the July 4 holiday weekend as a possible target for terrorist attacks.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Two private health insurance companies participating in the Affordable Care Act market in Oklahoma are expected to leave the program next year, while another big insurer wants in.

The shuffle, which would occur on Jan. 1, illustrates the rapid evolution of the “Obamacare” health insurance marketplace as it approaches its third year of operation. Some insurers are finding it difficult to make a profit on Affordable Care Act policies, while others see an opportunity that could pay off big over time.

Cheryl Hooper sells TNT Fireworks from her stand near Route 66 and Westminster Road in Arcadia.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Fireworks stands popped up across more rural parts of the metro weeks ago ahead of the Independence Day holiday, and Oklahoma's climate, some calendar luck, and easing of fireworks laws in other states should a $695 million dollar nationwide industry continue to boom (and yes, of course, that bad pun was intended). Sales have steadily grown since 1998, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.

OG&E's coal-fired power plant in Muskogee.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed another suit against the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday. This time he’s going after the federal Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions at coal plants, as BloombergBusiness’ Andrew M. Harris reports:

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The fraternity connected to a racist video that roiled the University of Oklahoma campus during spring has announced the hiring of a new director of diversity and inclusion.

Evanston, Illinois-based Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity said in a news release Thursday it had hired North Carolina native Ashlee Canty to help oversee efforts to enhance diversity at the fraternity's more than 200 chapters.

The team at Reveal produced a nifty video on Oklahoma’s earthquake surge that shows, with entertaining visuals, the science of “induced seismicity” — the scientific mechanism that explains how disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry can trigger earthquakes.

The video, produced by Ariane Wu, was based on a reporting collaboration between myself and Reveal’s Michael Corey

dark keyboard and mouse
Michael Schreifels / Flickr

When President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act last month, he said the measure would “strengthen civil liberty safeguards” in government surveillance programs. The Freedom Act includes reformed provisions from the PATRIOT Act and was meant reign in government surveillance activities.

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