Politics and Government
3:52 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Treasurer Ken Miller Calls Two Insurance Bills "Shameful"

Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma's treasurer is describing as "shameful" a pair of bills he says will keep his office from connecting Oklahomans with life insurance proceeds that are rightfully theirs.

Treasurer Ken Miller vowed Friday to sue the state if one of the bills — one pending in the Senate — becomes law.

That bill would require insurance companies to check a Social Security death list to see if policy holders have died, but would only apply to policies sold after 2016.

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World Views
3:21 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

'Strange Bedfellows' As U.S. Entangles Itself In Unlikely Middle East Alliances

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 23, 2014, before the two sat down to discuss a possible cease-fire to stop Israel's fight with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
U.S. Department of State

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address before Congress on Tuesday, urging President Obama not to craft a nuclear deal with Iran.

The domestic politics of the speech have been widely discussed, but the speech has raised issues of shifting U.S. alliances with Middle East countries.

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The Two-Way
7:52 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Nearly 300K New Jobs In February; Unemployment Dips To 5.5 Percent

Job applicant Rafael Ferrer, 49, (left) greets a representative of the Hilton Bentley Miami Beach hotel during a job fair at the Hospitality Institute in January.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 8:41 am

The U.S. economy added 295,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department's monthly survey, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent. The latest strong data beat expectations and follow a robust jump the previous month — a sign that the nation's economy is finally picking up steam.

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Business Intelligence Report
6:45 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Future Of MAPS 3 Convention Center Uncertain After Oklahoma City Drops Land Bid

The previous site plan for the downtown Oklahoma City convention center.
Courtesy rendering The Journal Record

Tuesday afternoon Oklahoma City leaders announced they would start looking for a new site for the convention center that's part of the Metropolitan Area Projects, or MAPS 3, proposal voters approved in 2009.

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Oklahoma News
5:27 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Col. Douglas Stall To Take Over At Camp Gruber

Credit Oklahoma National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma National Guard has announced a change of command ceremony for its largest training installation.

The ceremony will be Saturday at Camp Gruber Training Center about one mile north of Braggs in eastern Oklahoma.

Col. Douglas Stall will be installed as commander, taking over for Col. Curtis Arnold.

Stall previously served as commander at Camp Gruber from January 2011 until January 2014. He most recently served as the Deputy Commanding Officer of the 45th Infantry Brigade.

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NPR Ed
4:48 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Why Some Parents Are Sitting Kids Out Of Tests

GIRLRAY Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 3:08 pm

Meet Jenni Hofschulte, the 35-year-old mom who's one of the parents leading the charge against testing in Milwaukee.

"I have two children in Milwaukee Public Schools," Hofschulte says over coffee at a cafe near her home. "The oldest one is in eighth grade." She's interrupted by her fidgety 4-year-old son, Lachlan.

Hofschulte quiets him down, furrows her brow and begins again.

Hofschulte says that when she found out her son would have to take a diagnostic test next year that's required of all Wisconsin kindergartners, all kinds of red flags went up.

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State Capitol
3:53 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Capitol Building Interior Renovations To Take Five Years

Credit Meghan Blessing / KGOU

The construction company selected to overhaul the Oklahoma Capitol's interior estimates work will start in about one year and take up to five years to complete based on a phased plan that would focus one or two floors at a time.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Thousands Reportedly Flee Battle In Tikrit

A Shiite fighter sits on a military vehicle in the town of Hamrin in Salahuddin province on Thursday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:49 pm

Thousands of refugees have fled fighting in Tikrit, according to the U.N., as Iraqi forces backed by Shiite militias and Kurdish peshmerga battle to expel extremists from the self-declared Islamic State from the city.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that ISIS militants have set fire to oil wells in Iraq's north in an effort to slow government forces.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:42 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

New Severance Tax On Limestone Miners Passes Oklahoma House

An active aggregate mining operation near Mill Creek, Okla.
Logan Layden StateImpact Oklahoma

South-central Oklahoma — where the sensitive Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer provides water for thousands of Oklahomans — is home to some of the highest quality limestone in the country, and the ground holds vast supplies of the silica sand used by the oil and gas industry in the hydraulic fracturing process.

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Oklahoma News
1:30 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Former OKC Mayor James Norick Dies At 95

Former OKC Mayor James S. Norick
Credit okc.gov

Former Oklahoma City Mayor James Norick has died.

Norick's son, former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick, said Thursday that his father died Wednesday of natural causes. Ron Norick said funeral services are set for Monday, but details are not yet complete.

James Norick was elected Oklahoma City mayor twice, serving from 1959-63 and again from 1967-71.

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