Education
8:27 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Joy Hofmeister Wants To Improve Public Education

New State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister faces big challenges in the effort to improve Oklahoma’s public education.

A recently released report ranks Oklahoma 48th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia for the quality of education provided to students.

Oklahoma education faces financial challenges and growing teacher shortages.

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Politics and Government
8:17 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Mental Health Agency Hopes For No Funding Cuts

Terri White, Commissioner, The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Credit ok.gov

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) Commissioner Terri White said she is hopeful the agency will be one of the few not receiving budget cuts this legislative session at a board meeting on Friday.

White hopes the support from Governor Mary Fallin will ensure a stable budget for the agency in the nest fiscal year.

In her inaugural speech, Fallin noted three of her priority areas: educational attainment, over-incarceration and health.

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Oklahoma News
7:35 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Fort Sill Dedicates Its New Air Defense Training Facility

Credit www.military.com

Officials at Fort Sill have dedicated the post's new Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense training facility.

The Lawton Constitution reports that U.S. Army dignitaries cut the ribbon on the new facility on Friday.

The THAAD air defense system intercepts ballistic missiles. The Patriot missile system is designed for short-range missiles, while THAAD is designed to defeat longer-range ballistic missiles from various threats around the globe.

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Politics and Government
9:19 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Several Anti-Gay Bills Filed in State Legislature

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:15 pm

A trio of bills by Rep. Sally Kern are among several anti-gay bills that have been filed with the state legislature.

Oklahomans for Equality Advocacy Chair Mike Redman said Kern's filings especially are no surprise.

"Sally Kern targets the gay and lesbian community every opportunity that she gets," Redman said. "She is at the end of her term limit career, and she's just using this as another publicity opportunity to take one final jab at the gay and lesbian community."

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Politics and Government
8:20 am
Sat January 24, 2015

More Than 2,000 Bills Filed For 2015 Oklahoma Legislature

Oklahoma House of Representatives Chamber
Credit http://www.oklegislature.gov/

Oklahoma lawmakers will have more than 2,000 bills and resolutions to consider when they convene next month.

Thursday afternoon was the deadline for filing bills to be considered by the 2015 Oklahoma Legislature. Legislative officials say 1,219 bills and 26 joint resolutions were filed in the House. A total of 815 bills and 32 joint resolutions were filed in the state Senate by the deadline.

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Politics and Government
8:02 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Oklahoma AG Will Defend State Execution Protocol

Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt
Credit Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt / Facebook

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says his office will defend the constitutionality of the state's method for executing death row inmates as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge by three death row inmates.

Pruitt says Oklahoma's method has been deemed constitutional by two federal courts and has been successfully implemented in the state as well as in Florida.

Pruitt says his office will work to preserve the Department of Corrections' ability to proceed with death sentences given to each inmate by a jury of their peers.

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Oklahoma News
7:48 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Oklahoma's Hope For Cashing In On Heritage At A Standstill

American Indian Cultural Center & Museum
Credit American Indian Cultural Center & Museum

The state of Oklahoma wants to become a bigger tourist destination, but its plans to attract visitors with a major museum of Native American culture have remains incomplete because of financial issues.

But Gov. Mary Fallin and project supporters are pushing to salvage the museum, which is projected to draw 225,000 visitors annually.  

After nearly 10 years and $90 million spent, the museum is unfinished and the Legislature is balking at providing another $40 million for the project.

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Supreme Court Agrees To Rule On Constitutionality Of Execution Drug Cocktail

Bottles of the sedative midazolam, which is at issue in the Oklahoma death row prisoners' lawsuit. The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the drug is effective at preventing unconstitutional suffering.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 5:23 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review Oklahoma's method of execution by lethal injection. The justices agreed to hear the Oklahoma case a week after refusing to halt another execution that used the same drug formula.

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The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

DNA Exonerates Man Who Served Nearly 40 Years For Murder

Joseph Sledge, 70, addresses members of the media after being released from jail in Columbus County, N.C., on Friday. He served nearly four decades behind bars for two slayings he didn't commit.
Jonathan Drew AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 5:32 pm

Joseph Sledge is a free man after 37 years in prison following Friday's decision by a judicial panel in North Carolina to overturn his 1976 conviction in the stabbing deaths of an elderly mother and her daughter.

The Associated Press says DNA evidence had helped to exonerate Sledge, now 70, whose case was referred last month to the three-judge panel by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission.

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Oklahoma News
4:27 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Bureau Of Narcotics Goes After Meth Trafficking

Credit Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics

Arrest warrants have been issued following a yearlong methamphetamine trafficking investigation by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Spokesman Mark Woodward says agents and officers from several departments fanned out early Friday with 18 arrest warrants for defendants accused of trafficking crystal methamphetamine into Ponca City.

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