Oklahoma News
5:16 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Gov. Fallin Signs Texting While Driving Ban

Credit Jason Weaver / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation that makes it illegal to text message while driving in Oklahoma.

Flanked by lawmakers and state troopers, Fallin signed the measure into law Tuesday. The law goes into effect on Nov. 1.

The legislation makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using a hand-held electronic device to compose, send or read electronic messages while driving. Violations are punishable by a $100 fine.

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Oklahoma News
4:09 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Oklahoma Groups Ask That Scheduled Income Tax Cut Be Rescinded

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

With the state facing a $611 million budget hole, more than 90 Oklahoma businesses, foundations and nonprofit agencies are asking the governor and Republican legislative leaders to halt a scheduled income tax cut.

The Oklahoma Policy Institute delivered a letter Tuesday to Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Jeff Hickman.

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Oklahoma Watch
10:28 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Lawmaker: Budget Negotiators Could See Agreement This Week

Credit Serge Melki / Flickr

The House, Senate and the governor's office are said to be close to an agreement on the FY 2016 state budget, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee said Monday.

State Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, said he hoped to have an agreement by Friday.

"We're not millions of dollars apart," Sears said. "The differences are small; a million here, a million there...There's still a lot more work to do."

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StateImpact Oklahoma
9:50 am
Tue May 5, 2015

StateImpact On OETA: Why The State’s Official Position On Earthquake Cause Matters

The Oklahoma Geological Survey recently revised its formal position on Oklahoma’s exponential surge in earthquake activity, acknowledging for the first time in a official public statement that most of the seismic activity recently recorded in the state was linked to oil and gas activity.

On the May 1 episode of Oklahoma News Report, Joe Wertz talked with OETA host Dick Pryor about the earthquake situation and what the formal acknowledgement means for the state going forward, and also detailed efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey to forecast the hazard posed by oil and gas-related earthquakes.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Tue May 5, 2015

ISIS Claims Credit For Shooting In Garland, Texas

An FBI crime scene investigator documents evidence outside the Curtis Culwell Center on Monday in Garland, Texas.
Brandon Wade AP

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 10:05 am

The self-declared Islamic State is taking credit for a thwarted attack on a contest to draw the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas.

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Music Interviews
5:23 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Willie Nelson: 'Ain't Many Of Us Left'

In his new memoir, It's A Long Story, Willie Nelson writes about his early career as a DJ in Fort Worth. He can still recite what he'd say on the air.
David McClister Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 8:14 am

The first thing you notice when you get on Willie Nelson's tour bus is a pungent aroma. Parked outside a gigantic casino and performance venue in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson offers NPR's David Greene a joint, which Greene declines. Nelson says he understands.

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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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