Oklahoma News
4:46 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Fallin Signs Bill Allowing Judicial Discretion For Some Nonviolent Crimes

Credit Wesley Fryer / Flickr.com

Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation Monday allowing judicial discretion for a number of nonviolent crimes.

House Bill 1518, known as the Justice Safety Valve Act, permits judges to lessen mandatory minimum sentences when the term is “not necessary for the protection of the public” and could “result in substantial injustice to the defendant.”  

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Oklahoma News
4:25 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Tulsa Sheriff Will Not Resign But Has No Plans For Seeking Re-election

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz
Credit tcso.org

Embattled Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz says he has no plans to resign, but doesn't plan to seek re-election in 2016.

Glanz told the Tulsa World Monday that he won't resign over last month's shooting of an unarmed man by his close friend and volunteer deputy Robert Bates, who has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. Glanz has refused repeated requests for interviews by the AP.

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State Capitol
3:05 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

House Democrats Re-elect Scott Inman As Minority Leader

Oklahoma House Democratic Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City), flanked by state Reps. Ed Cannaday and Donnie Condit, during a press conference marking 25 years since the passage of HB 1017.
Credit HouseDems OK / YouTube

  Oklahoma House Democrats have re-elected Rep. Scott Inman of Del City to serve a fourth term as minority leader.

Inman was re-elected to the post Monday without opposition during a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus.

Democrats also picked Reps. Steve Kouplen of Beggs to serve as caucus chairman and David Perryman of Chickasha as caucus vice chairman.

Each will serve a two-year term beginning in 2016, if they are re-elected next year to their legislative districts.

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Oklahoma Voices
11:02 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Oklahoma Watch-Out: Challenges In South Oklahoma City

Left-to-right: Oklahoma Watch executive editor David Fritze, attorney Michael Brooks-Jimenez, Oklahoma City school board member Gloria Torres, Oklahoma City coucilwoman Meg Salyer
Jacob McCleland KGOU

Oklahoma Watch and the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication presented a public forum on April 16 about challenges in low-income neighborhoods in south Oklahoma City.

The Q&A forum with local leaders focused on the needs and concerns of south Oklahoma City communities and is tied to a mobile video news project, “Talk With Us: Poverty in Oklahoma City Neighborhoods.”

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Regional News
5:09 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Garland Police: SWAT Team Officers Helped Kill 2 Gunmen Outside Cartoon Event

Officer Joe Harn, a Garland police spokesman, addressed reporters Monday morning.
Stella M. Chávez KERA News

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 6:37 pm

Garland police now say SWAT team officers were involved in the shooting that left two gunmen dead outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest Sunday night.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:17 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

Debate: Is It Time To Abolish The Death Penalty?

Diann Rust-Tierney, executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, with teammate Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 1:10 pm

The death penalty is legal in more than 30 states, but the long-controversial practice has come under renewed scrutiny after a series of botched executions in several states last year.

Opponents of capital punishment argue that the death penalty undermines the fair administration of justice, as wealth, geography, race and quality of legal representation all come into play, with uneven results.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:27 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Racial Disparities In School Suspensions Found Across State

Thelma R. Parks Elementary School in Northeast Oklahoma City, which had the highest overall suspension rate in Oklahoma City at 42.1 percent.
Credit Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Minority students are being suspended at higher rates than their white classmates not only in Oklahoma City Public Schools, which triggered a federal probe, but also in other districts across the state, U.S. Department of Education data show.

The disparity is often greatest between black and white students, but also occurs between white students and American Indian and Hispanic students.

See student suspensions by school and race.

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Oklahoma Watch
6:54 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Lawmakers Reportedly Aim for ‘Standstill’ Education Budget

Oklahoma State Capitol
Credit Joseph Novak / Flickr

Oklahoma lawmakers are looking at taking between $100 and $140 million from the state's "rainy day fund" and could tap agency revolving funds for more than $100 million to help backfill the state's budget hole,  a source close to Governor Mary Fallin's office said Wednesday.

Oklahoma is facing a $611.3 million budget gap.

"Everything is very fluid right now, but it looks like revolving funds and 'rainy day' money will be used," said the source, who asked to remain unidentified.

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Manager's Desk
6:07 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Farewell To Our Spring And Graduating Students

Hayley Thornton (l) and Mark Antonio Wright (r) are graduating this May from the University of Oklahoma. Hayley produced Assignment Radio and Mark hosted the local news during 'Here and Now' and 'All Things Considered.'

May 3, 2015

This is from the Manager’s Desk.

It’s the end of the semester at the University of Oklahoma and I’d like to recognize the students who have been working with us for the last several months.

Finishing the Assignment: Radio class are Pam Ortega and Lydia Theban. Their final stories are scheduled for broadcast on Sunday, May 10 at noon.

Completing Practicum are Matthew Percival and Michael Roberts. They were instrumental in editing a lot of audio and other behind-the-scenes efforts.

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Politics and Government
8:00 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Gov. Fallin Signs Religious Freedom Legislation Into Law

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin
Credit Okla. National Guard / Flickr.com

Governor Mary Fallin has signed into law a bill that allows ministers to refuse to perform same-sex marriages if such marriages conflict with their religious beliefs.

Fallin said Friday that the law will protect the constitutional and religious rights of Oklahomans.

Troy Stevenson of Freedom Oklahoma, which advocates for gay and transgender rights in Oklahoma, has said he believes the bill is unnecessary but that he supports the spirit of the law.

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