The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Amid Criticism, Indiana's Republicans To Revisit Religious Freedom Law

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (left) and House Speaker Brian C. Bosma, both Republicans, discuss their plans for clarifying the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act during a news conference today at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 10:43 am

Republican leaders in Indiana say they will work to ensure the state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

"This law does not discriminate, and it will not be allowed to do so," Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long said at a news conference with state House Speaker Brian Bosma.

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Education
12:13 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Teachers Rally At State Capitol For More School Funding

Credit ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of educators, parents and schoolchildren are rallying at the state Capitol seeking a boost in funding for public schools and a reduction in the number of state-mandated tests.

Wearing T-shirts from their hometown schools, attendees wandered the halls of the Capitol and congregated outside legislators' offices to talk about the importance of more funding for schools.

A similar rally held last year drew an estimated 25,000 people.

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U.S.
8:45 am
Mon March 30, 2015

With So Much Oil Flowing, U.S. May Be Reaching Storage Limits

Cushing, Okla., is a major oil storage site. Amid record oil production, some analysts worry the U.S. will run out of places to put it all.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 10:16 am

Never before has the U.S. had so much oil spurting up out of the ground and sloshing into storage tanks around the country. There's so much oil that the U.S. now rivals Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer.

But there has been some concern that the U.S. will run out of places to put it all. Some analysts speculate that could spark another dramatic crash in oil prices.

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Health
7:53 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Study Finds Kingfisher County Healthiest In Oklahoma, Jefferson County Unhealthiest

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

A new study of county health rankings lists Kingfisher County as the healthiest in Oklahoma.

Kingfisher County snagged the top ranking thanks, in part, to its low rates of smoking, child poverty and single-parent families.

It’s also seen its unemployment rate decline to 3.3 percent since 2010.

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Education
6:53 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Bill Keeps Oklahoma Teachers From Paying Union Dues Through Payroll Deduction

Mark Twain Elementary second grade teacher Elizabeth Clarke staples together work from two of her second-grade students in this 2013 photo.
Chase Cook Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma school districts won’t be able to automatically deduct teachers’ union fees from their paychecks if Gov. Mary Fallin signs a bill that was passed by the Senate last week. The legislation has drawn the ire of educators and some Republicans.

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Corrections
11:49 am
Sun March 29, 2015

In Prisons, Fewer Therapy Sessions For The Mentally Ill

Dr. Janna Morgan, who directs the mental health services unit for the Corrections Department, has had to travel to prisons to conduct therapy sessions herself because of a shortage of mental-health staff.
Clifton Adcock Oklahoma Watch

Despite rising numbers of mentally ill prisoners, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has slashed by nearly half its group therapy programs and pared back individual therapy for inmates, resulting in fewer offenders receiving preventive treatment.

The department’s psychologists, psychiatrists and related staff members instead are focusing on crisis intervention, reacting to things like suicide attempts and erratic or violent behavior.

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Manager's Desk
6:15 am
Sun March 29, 2015

We Are Half-Way To The Goal of $180,000!

March 29, 2015

This is from the Manager’s Desk.

We are now in the third week of our non-traditional fundraiser. This is actually rather exciting because this is something different, and it seems to be working. We are halfway to our goal of $180,000. And when we reach the goal, this fundraising effort is over!

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Health
8:03 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

Person Infected With Measles Traveled Through Will Rogers World Airport

An electron micrograph of the measles virus
Credit Cynthia S. Goldsmith / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A person in Oklahoma with measles traveled through Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City and may have exposed others to the virus.

The state Health Department said Friday the infected person lives in Stillwater and has the first confirmed case of measles in Oklahoma since 1997.

The airport said in a news release that the person was a passenger on a United Airlines Flight from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport that arrived at 9:30 p.m. on March 12th. The person went to the United baggage claim area.

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Education
9:56 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Teachers Won't Receive Credit For Attending Rally

Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma State Schools Superintendent
Credit Provided

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is warning school districts that teachers will not be able to receive professional development credit for attending an education rally Monday at the Capitol.

In a letter to Hofmeister on Friday, Attorney General Scott Pruitt wrote that districts are prohibited from using any professional development funds from the Legislature on programs that aren't approved by the Board of Education.

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Business and Economy
5:41 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

U.S. Rig Counts Falls By 21 More

Credit Meredithw / Flickr Creative Commons

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 21 this week to 1,048 amid falling oil prices.

Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 813 rigs were seeking oil and 233 exploring for natural gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,809 rigs were active.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas each lost three rigs while California, Colorado, New Mexico and North Dakota were down two apiece. Wyoming was off by one.

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