The Two-Way
11:28 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Strong Quake Rattles Mexico, But No Injuries Reported

A parked car suffered damage when a adobe wall collapsed on it after a strong earthquake shook Chilpancingo, Mexico, on Friday, but there were no early reports of major damage or casualties.
Alejandrino Gonzalez AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 3:49 pm

A powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck near Mexico's resort town of Acapulco could be felt as far away as Mexico City, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the epicenter of Friday's quake was located about 80 miles northwest of Acapulco at a depth of about 15 miles. The effects, however, were felt 165 miles northeast in the Mexican capital, where shaking startled residents and lasted for about 30 seconds.

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State Capitol
9:07 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Top House Democrat: No Time For Tax Cut In Oklahoma

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) speaking to reporters Thursday.
Credit Oklahoma House Democrats / YouTube

The Oklahoma House's top Democrat says critical state education and transportation needs coupled with declining tax revenue means the timing is not right to pass an income tax cut this year.

House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) made the comments shortly after the House adjourned Thursday. Proposals to reduce the state's 5.25 percent top income tax rate by a quarter of a percentage point once revenues improve are expected to be considered by the Legislature next week.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:45 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Is Oklahoma Backing Off The Accountability Push For Public Schools?

Lee Elementary School pre-kindergarten teacher Victoria Tsaras gets active with her students, dancing to “What Does the Fox Say?”
Clifton Adcock Oklahoma Watch

One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal.

Among them: Common Core State Standards, the Reading Sufficiency Act, A-F school grades for districts, and middle-school end-of-instruction exams for history and social studies. These could all be scaled back or revoked by various legislative bills that have passed in both the House and Senate.

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Music & Memories
6:38 am
Fri April 18, 2014

JFJO Celebrates 20 Years Of Experimental Jazz Odyssey

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (Brian Haas - left, Chris Combs - center, Josh Raymer - right)
Credit Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey / JFJO.com

Brian Haas has his own theory of relativity: Spending so much of his life in a van over the past twenty years has actually “folded time and space.” 

“I’ve been moving faster and getting closer to the speed of light, which means time has been going by quicker, right?” Haas says.

2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, a band Haas took under his wing while attending the University of Tulsa. 

“I really just wanted to learn how to play jazz,” Haas says. “And then it just took on a life of its own.”

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Author Interviews
5:50 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Writes Of A Worldview Shaped In Youth

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:10 am

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren became an unlikely media star following the 2008 financial crisis.

She was a plainspoken law professor from Harvard who advocated on behalf of families and consumers affected by the Wall Street meltdown.

Warren was brought to Washington to help monitor the multibillion-dollar bank bailout package.

As part of that work, Warren helped to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a watchdog agency that oversees and enforces consumer finance laws.

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State Capitol
5:58 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

State House Takes Strong Stand Against Human Trafficking

Credit Imagens Evangélicas / Flickr Creative Commons

Three bills intended to toughen Oklahoma's human trafficking laws have been approved by the state House.

House members voted without opposition for a bill by Republican Rep. Pam Peterson of Tulsa that ensures provisions of the Sex Offender Registration Act apply to people convicted of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Another bill by Peterson adds human trafficking to the list of crimes requiring those convicted to serve 85 percent of their time before being eligible for parole.

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released joint statement today
4:59 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Two School Groups Declare No Confidence In Janet Barresi

Credit Tod Binger / Flickr.com

The leaders of two groups representing Oklahoma school administrators and suburban school districts are voicing their opposition to Republican state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi.

The directors of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration and the United Suburban Schools Association released a joint statement Thursday declaring "no confidence" in Barresi.

A Barresi spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Lexington-Purcell Bridge Update
12:47 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

SBA Loans Denied, But Repairs Ahead Of Schedule

Workers repair the structure of the James C. Nance Bridge over the Canadian River along U.S. 77/SH39 in March 2014.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation

Gov. Mary Fallin says she is disappointed the U.S. Small Business Administration denied her request for loans that would help two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure.

Fallin said Thursday the denial was based on the fact that the January 31 bridge closure does not meet the definition of a disaster declaration.

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This is KGOU
9:35 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Oklahoma Public Media's Tornado Coverage Honored With National Journalism Award

The aftermath of the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

On Wednesday, the Society of Professional Journalists honored KGOU, KOSU, and StateImpact Oklahoma with a national Sigma Delta Chi award for collaborative coverage during the immediate aftermath of the May 20, 2013 tornado that devastated Moore.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:35 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Red Tape, Not Rules, Used To Manage Disposal Wells In Oklahoma's Earthquake Country

Rig crews in Oklahoma City fracking a well.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

As earthquakes continue to shake the state and researchers study links to drilling, Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator has changed the way it approves permits for injection wells.

Oil and water have long mixed in Oklahoma and other petroleum states. In the early days of the U.S. oil boom, drillers were focused on finding ways to separate water from the oil they were pumping to the surface.

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