StateImpact Oklahoma
7:49 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Lawton Turns to Weather Manipulation To Aid Drought-Stricken City Water Supplies

A Lockheed WC-130B used by U.S. government researchers Stormfury, a cloud seeding research project focused on reducing the strength of hurricanes.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Five years of drought has strangled lakes and reservoirs in southwestern Oklahoma.

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Weather and Climate
5:26 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Schools, Businesses Remain Closed Thursday After More Snow, Ice Across Oklahoma

Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

Updated 5:18 a.m.

After a delayed arrival, a winter storm dumped several inches of snow and coated roads and surfaces with a thin layer of ice Wednesday.

School districts canceled classes for a second day in a row Thursday, and most major universities have delayed openings and classes until later in the morning or early afternoon.

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Politics and Government
4:39 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Corrections Department Director Says Budget Cuts Risk Safety

Robert Patton, Director, Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The head of the Oklahoma's Department of Corrections says staff shortages and inmate overcrowding are jeopardizing the safety of prison workers and that many of them are leaving because of employee burnout.

DOC Executive Director Robert Patton told a Senate committee Wednesday that despite a pay increase for prison workers approved last year, the agency is struggling to retain workers. He says the agency needs to hire more than 850 prison guards to be fully staffed.

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U.S.
4:26 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

A Ruling Against Obamacare Would Have Broad Implications

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act gather in front of the U.S Supreme Court during a rally Wednesday. The court heard arguments in the case and is expected to announce its decision in June.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 7:29 pm

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case that could end Obamacare subsidies for policyholders in a majority of states, including Texas, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio. If the court sides with the plaintiffs, it would mean millions of people could no longer afford health insurance.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:16 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Hearing Begins Over OG&E’s Controversial Plan To Comply With Clean Air Act

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's coal-fired Sooner Plant in Red Rock, Okla.
Credit StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gas and Electric — the state’s largest utility — and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt fought the EPA’s new Clean Air Act regulations for years before being left with no choice but to comply.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Senate Fails To Override Obama's Veto On Keystone XL Pipeline

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:58 pm

The Senate has failed to override President Obama's veto on a measure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project.

The final vote was 62-37, short of the two-thirds needed to override the presidential veto. Supporters of the measure had previously said they lacked the votes.

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Politics and Government
1:25 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

House Passes Resolution Calling For Voters To Decide On Constitutional Convention

State Rep. Gary Banz (R-Midwest City)
Credit okhouse.gov

Oklahoma voters would decide whether to call a state constitutional convention under a resolution adopted by the Oklahoma House.

House members voted 83-8 for the resolution Wednesday and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

The measure by Republican Rep. Gary Banz of Midwest City says the Oklahoma Constitution requires that voters decide at least every 20 years whether a constitutional convention should be held to consider any changes. The proposal says the last resolution on a constitutional convention was submitted to a vote of the people in March 1970.

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Education
6:47 am
Wed March 4, 2015

History Hysteria: How Oklahoma's Teachers Are Tackling The AP U.S. History Course

Christine Bond teaches students in her AP U.S. history class
Kate Carlton Greer KGOU

Oklahoma lawmakers are criticizing the new outline for the high school Advanced Placement United States history courses, saying it doesn’t emphasize key figures in American history and that it focuses on a negative view of the country.

But history teachers say otherwise. Educators say they are experiencing more freedom - not less - with the new framework.

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NPR News Investigations
5:12 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Injured Workers Suffer As 'Reforms' Limit Workers' Compensation Benefits

Lupita Ramirez dresses her husband, Joel, at their home in Rialto, Calif. Joel was paralyzed from the waist down after being crushed by a pallet when he was working in a warehouse.
Patrick T. Fallon for ProPublica

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 9:25 am

Dennis Whedbee's crew was rushing to prepare an oil well for pumping on the Sweet Grass Woman lease site, a speck of dusty plains rich with crude in Mandaree, N.D.

It was getting late that September afternoon in 2012. Whedbee, a 50-year-old derrick hand, was helping another worker remove a pipe fitting on top of the well when it suddenly blew.

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Oklahoma News
5:53 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Consumer Groups Urge Attorney General Pruitt's Involvement In Utility Case

OK Attorney General Scott Pruitt
Credit Facebook

Consumer groups are calling on the Oklahoma attorney general to be more active in a case that would result in consumer utility bills increasing.

The Oklahoman reports that the utility company will request $1.1 billion from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission Tuesday to recover costs for environmental compliance and for the replacement of an aging natural gas plant in Oklahoma City. If approved, consumers will see an average bill increase of more than 15 percent by 2019.

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