KGOU
Oklahoma Watch

Capitol Insider: Mental Health Commissioner Terri White Says ‘We're Talking About Life And Death’

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced it will be forced to cut half of its services if lawmakers don’t fix the state’s budget.

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Audiologist Jillian Detwiler reviews a patient’s hearing aid function at the John W. Keys Speech and Hearing Center in Oklahoma City. Detwiler oversees the Cabaret Hearing For Seniors Program, which provides high-quality hearing aids for $100 a pair.
Warren Vieth / Oklahoma Watch

When the government began providing health coverage to millions of older Americans five decades ago, it specifically excluded hearing aids.

Hearing loss among the aged was not a life-endangering medical condition, the reasoning went. Good hearing was not considered essential to good health.

That view has changed. Hearing specialists say the consequences of untreated hearing loss can be substantial, from impaired job performance and damaged relationships to social withdrawal, anxiety, depression and possibly even accelerated dementia.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Fourth graders at Chattanooga Elementary School play during recess.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

On the playground at Chattanooga Elementary School some kids are pretending to be pirates, a few boys are climbing on a baseball dugout, and another group is belting out the words to various pop songs as they wriggle across the monkey bars.

This is the students’ third 15-minute recess of the day, and they’ll get one more before the end of the school day in the tiny southwestern Oklahoma town of about 450.

Added up: That’s an hour of recess a day — double what these kids got two years ago, and double what most kids in America get.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at Rose State College in Midwest City on October 19, 2017.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

U.S. Jeff Sessions spoke to a receptive audience Thursday when he addressed members of the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association at Rose State College in Midwest City.

Sessions said law enforcement nationwide is dealing with an increase in the violent crime rate, gangs, the opioid epidemic and threats of terrorism. Sessions says these issues are combined with cultural changes that concern him.

State Mental Health And Substance Abuse Agency May Cut All Outpatient Service

Oct 18, 2017
Commissioner Terri White of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

As the state legislature continue to look for solutions to fill a $215 million budget gap, one state agency outlined how it will deal with the loss of nearly one quarter of its budget.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Oklahoma law enforcement agencies were among hundreds who participated in a nationwide investigation into underage human trafficking.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted Operation Cross Country XI last week, working in hotels, casinos, truck stops and street corners, as well as on the internet. Law enforcement recovered 84 minors and arrested 120 traffickers across the United States.

Rehab Work Camps Were About To Be Regulated. Then A Friend Stepped In

Oct 18, 2017
Oklahoma House of Representatives

This story was originally published by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit news organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at revealnews.org and subscribe to the Reveal podcast, produced with PRX, here.

A federal judge in Maryland has blocked parts of President Trump's most recent attempt to impose broad limits on who can enter the U.S., granting a motion for a preliminary injunction that was filed by plaintiffs led by the International Refugee Assistance Project.

The plaintiffs "have established that they are likely to succeed on the merits," District Judge Theodore D. Chuang wrote in the Tuesday order dealing another setback to the Trump administration's attempt to ban travel to the U.S. by citizens of certain countries.

Oklahoma state Capitol
elasticsoul / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A state board in charge of determining legislators’ salaries decided on Tuesday to keep compensation for state senators and representatives flat. They will consider reducing salaries and benefits when they meet again in January.

The Board on Legislative Compensation voted unanimously to maintain legislators’ current compensation, which includes a base salary of $38,400, in addition to benefits and compensation for per diem costs.

There was a time when the National Rifle Association was known primarily for promoting gun safety and advocating for gun ownership for hunting and home protection.

But that seems a long time ago.

It still does those things, to be sure, but these days the NRA is far more recognizable as an uncompromising political force, aggressively defending its interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, while working to defeat any and all politicians it views as its enemy.

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