Meetings start in March
4:45 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Oklahoma Water Resources Board To Hold Public Meetings

Credit fox_kiyo / Flickr.com

State water officials have announced a series of public meetings across the state on various water conservation plans designed to mitigate water use over the next 50 years.

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board, which is hosting the meetings, announced the dates Monday. They will be held March 11 at the Oklahoma Panhandle State University campus in Goodwell, March 12 at the Quartz Mountain Resort near Altus, and March 13 at the Simmons Center in Duncan. Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:56 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Proposed Law Would Limit Construction Of Wind Farms In Eastern Oklahoma

A wind farm outside of Woodward in northwestern Oklahoma.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Western Oklahoma is on the forefront of U.S. wind energy development, and has been for more than a decade. But as wind farm projects creep east, they’re meeting more resistance from landowners and increased involvement from the state legislature.

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Fresh Air
2:22 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

If You Think You're Anonymous Online, Think Again

Sure, you can try doing your Internet browsing this way, but we can't promise that it will help you protect your personal data online.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:00 am

Investigative reporter Julia Angwin was curious what Google knew about her, so she asked the company for her search data. "It turns out I had been doing about 26,000 Google searches a month ... and I was amazed at how revealing they were," she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:28 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Bill To Change Permit Process For Mines In Sensitive Aquifer Clears Senate Committee

A gate into a silica sand mining operation near Mill Creek in south-central Oklahoma.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

When Oklahomans apply for a permit from most state agencies to, say, dam a river or build a wind farm, formal public hearings are held before the permit is issued, where evidence is presented, concerns are voiced, and legally binding decisions are made.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis, 'Ghostbuster' Actor And 'Groundhog Day' Director, Dies

Harold Ramis in 2009. He died Monday.
Jim Prisching AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 4:10 pm

Harold Ramis, who was in the director's chair for the comedies Groundhog Day and Caddyshack and was one of the stars of the Ghostbuster movies, has died. He was 69.

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Native American
11:38 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Cherokee Nation Raising Minimum Wage

Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker
Credit Cherokee Nation

The chief of one of the largest Native American tribes in the country has announced that the tribe is raising its minimum wage.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker signed an executive order last week raising the minimum wage for tribal employees to $9.50 over the next two years.

The tribe's current minimum wage is $9 per hour. Some workers will see the increase starting Oct. 1, while others will see a staggered increase over the fiscal year.

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State Budget
11:37 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Government Budget Hurting Again In Oklahoma

Credit 201(k) 2013 / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Policy Institute says although Oklahoma is now several years removed from the worst of the fiscal crisis that accompanied the Great Recession, the state continues to face significant budget challenges.

Funding levels have never fully recovered to pre-downturn levels, revenue collections are falling again, and the resources to address critical state needs are lacking.

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School Choice
9:42 am
Mon February 24, 2014

School-Choice Push: Education Savings Accounts And A ‘Parent Trigger’ Law

Oklahoma Rep. Jason Nelson (R-Oklahoma City)
Credit Warren Vieth / Oklahoma Watch

Four years ago, state Rep. Jason Nelson challenged the status quo in education by authoring the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Act. The measure allowed parents of special-needs students to use state dollars to pay private school tuition and other educational expenses. About 280 students are now participating.

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Corrections
8:41 am
Mon February 24, 2014

New Corrections Chief Open To Expanding Private-Prison Use

Robert Patton is the new Oklahoma Corrections Dept. director.
Credit Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

In Robert C. Patton, Oklahoma is getting a new corrections director from Arizona who is more than willing to use private prisons as a means to deal with inmate overcrowding.

“I’m a (prison) bed manager. I’ll tell the policy makers I need beds, and if I can convince them that I need beds, then it’s their jobs on whether it’s public or private,” said Patton, whose first day as Oklahoma Corrections Department director began Tuesday.

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State Capitol
8:21 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Oklahoma's Dept. Of Human Services Needs $33 Million This Year

Oklahoma DHS Director Ed Lake
Credit Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services

The director of Oklahoma's Department of Human Services is asking lawmakers to appropriate almost $33 million in state tax dollars to operate the agency through the end of June.

DHS director Ed Lake will discuss the supplemental funding request on Monday at a meeting of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Human Services.

In a letter to state officials, Lake says the agency has encountered several funding problems since the 2013 legislative session, when lawmakers approved the agency's budget for the fiscal that ends June 30.

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