Cheryl Hooper sells TNT Fireworks from her stand near Route 66 and Westminster Road in Arcadia.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Pyrotechnic Peddlers Encouraged By Climate, Calendar; Brides Benefit From Record Rainfall

Fireworks stands popped up across more rural parts of the metro weeks ago ahead of the Independence Day holiday, and Oklahoma's climate, some calendar luck, and easing of fireworks laws in other states should a $695 million dollar nationwide industry continue to boom (and yes, of course, that bad pun was intended). Sales have steadily grown since 1998, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. Oklahoma's drought formally ended earlier this year after dozens of inches of rain fell...
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Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

House Speaker Jeff Hickman is joining the growing chorus of Republican legislators demanding action after the Supreme Court's decision to order the Ten Commandments monument removed from the Capitol grounds.

Hickman said in a statement Wednesday that calls for the impeachment of justices and for a public vote on amending the Oklahoma Constitution are within the Legislature's authority and "will be seriously considered."

H. Michael Karshis / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says crime is declining in the state.

The newly published OSBI Uniform Crime Report for 2014 shows the murder rate dropped 14 percent in 2014. The reports says the number of murders reported last year — 178 — was the lowest in a 10-year period. Since 2012, murders have declined at a rate of 10.3 percent annually.

Demonstrators gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. after Friday's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Ted Eytan / Flickr

Republican lawmakers, chafing after the U.S. Supreme Court shot down bans on same-sex marriage and upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, could push back with new bills in the 2016 session, two state lawmakers said Tuesday.

The proposals could come in the form of resolutions denouncing the rulings and bills aimed at protecting those who would oppose same-sex marriage, the lawmakers said. The moves would also appeal to many Republicans' conservative base during the 2016 election cycle.

oklahomanews / YouTube

Since 2011, one of the ways the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation has dealt with budget cuts has been to close state parks or transfer them to new managers, like tribal governments or nearby towns.

Marq Lewis with We The People Oklahoma walks out of the courtroom with his attorney, Laurie Phillips, after a judge ruled signatures collected in support of a grand jury investigation of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office are sufficient.
Matt Trotter / KWGS

A grand jury will be convened before the end of July to investigate the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

District Judge Rebecca Nightingale ruled Tuesday signatures collected by We The People Oklahoma are valid despite a request from Sheriff Stanley Glanz to dismiss them. Marq Lewis with We The People called it a victory for citizens of Tulsa County.

Richard Masoner / Flickr.com

A story detailing how University of Oklahoma officials sought a $25 million donation from an oil executive while scientists at the school formulated a state agency’s position on oil and gas-triggered earthquakes is under fire from both the university president and the billionaire oilman. 

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday the Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol has to be removed because it violates the state constitution’s ban on using public property to benefit a religion.

Justices ruled 7-2 the monument erected in 2012 indirectly benefits Judeo-Christian faiths because the Ten Commandments are “obviously religious in nature.”

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma is writing new academic standards in math and English that in some ways go beyond the current standards and the now-repealed Common Core goals, according to a review of initial drafts by Oklahoma Watch.

The drafts show, for example, that elementary-school students would have to write research papers and learn the use and concepts of American currency. High school students would be expected to grasp the “whys” behind math formulas.

"I voted" in the Cherokee language. / Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation Election Commission certified results Monday showing Principal Chief Bill John Baker won a second term.

Baker earned roughly 53 percent of the vote. He needed 50 percent to avoid a runoff with any of the other four candidates, including his predecessor, former Principal Chief Chad Smith, state Rep. Will Fourkiller, and Charlie Soap, the widow of former Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued the last of its opinions for this term — on the death penalty, anti-pollution regulations and the power of independent commissions to draw congressional and state legislative districts. In addition, the court issued a set of orders that set up cases to be heard next term on affirmative action and abortion.

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