StateImpact Oklahoma
10:11 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Cleanup Of Hazardous Oklahoma Refinery Site Went Unfunded Until People Moved In

Tyler Lane pulls up a wooden marker covered with oily sludge in the land behind his Bristow home. Lane uses stakes and rope to keep his two children out of the oiliest, most dangerous parts of his property, which sits atop the abandoned Wilcox Refinery, Oklahoma’s newest Superfund site.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

You can’t see it from street, or when you look out the window of Glen Jones’ parents’ house, but the Wilcox Refinery is still here. Parts of it, anyway.

In December 2013, the abandoned refinery complex near Bristow became Oklahoma’s newest federal Superfund site. The Wilcox Refinery closed more than 50 years ago, but lead and other toxic chemicals remain, and residents are uneasy about the long cleanup ahead.

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Shots - Health News
9:40 am
Thu February 13, 2014

With This Year's Flu, Young Adults Are Not So Invincible

A flu shot would have helped protect young adults, but most didn't get it.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 10:40 am

We usually think of the flu as an illness that afflicts the elderly. But this season the virus seems to be hitting younger people hard.

This winter at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., the median age of people hospitalized with influenza was 28.5 years. Many of the worst cases of flu occurred in young, otherwise healthy people.

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Transportation
9:39 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Oklahoma To Offer Incentives To Speed Lexington-Purcell Bridge Repair

The James C. Nance bridge that links Lexington and Purcell.
Credit J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission will offer financial incentives to the contractor it chooses to fix a closed bridge between Lexington and Purcell.

The commission has called a special meeting for Friday to award the contract. Commissioners will choose a contractor to perform emergency repairs to the James C. Nance Bridge that was closed Jan. 31 after cracks were found in structural bridge beams.

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Native American
8:23 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Oklahoma Tribal College To Get Federal Funds

College of the Muscogee Nation in Okmulgee, Okla.
Credit Muscogee (Creek) Nation

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Education has authorized funding for the College of the Muscogee Nation in Okmulgee.

The college sought funding in April as a tribal college under the Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Assistance Act of 1978. Approval was announced Wednesday by Kevin Washburn, the assistant secretary for Indian Affairs with the U.S. Department of the Interior. Funding is to begin in July.

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OneSix8
8:03 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Entertaining The Hours Of Your Week With Swing Era Throwbacks, Love, And Lectures

The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra directed by Dennis Mackrel.
Credit BasieBand.org

The University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab hosts the legendary Count Basie Orchestra in celebration of the venue’s 12th Anniversary. 

The name William “Count” Basie is synonymous with big-band jazz. UCO’s Jazz Studies Division head Brian Gorrell goes so far as to say, “The Count Basie Orchestra is without a doubt the most famous big band in all of American music history.”

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Afghans Release 65 Prisoners The U.S. Deems Dangerous

Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the Parwan Detention Facility Center on the outskirts of Bagram. Afghan authorities released 65 prisoners from there Thursday.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 2:03 pm

Afghan authorities on Thursday went ahead and released 65 prisoners from a high-security prison north of Kabul over the strong objections of U.S. military commanders, who say the men are dangerous terrorists who have attacked civilians and soldiers in the past.

As the Los Angeles Times writes:

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More Potent than vicodin
3:47 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

FDA Approved Powerful Painkiller Raises Questions

Credit RambergMediaImages / Flickr.com

Three U.S. senators are raising concerns about the Food and Drug Administration's approval of a powerful painkiller called Zohydro, which experts say could add to the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

Republicans Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee sent a letter to the head of the FDA Wednesday asking how the agency will prevent misuse and abuse of Zohydro and similar drugs in development.

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Oklahoma News
2:36 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Oklahoma Governor, Congressional Delegation Praise Behenna Release

Former U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna
Credit Free Michael Behenna / Facebook

A soldier from Edmond who has spent the last five years in a military prison after being convicted of killing an Iraqi detainee during questioning won his parole Wednesday morning.

Former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna will be released from Fort Leavenworth in Kansas March 14. The Oklahoman reports Behenna called his parents in Oklahoma City early this morning, telling them he received a letter saying the military denied his clemency request, but approved his parole request.

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Oklahoma Politics
2:05 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

SLIDESHOW: Pro-Marijuana Group Wants Option To Toke In Oklahoma

Supporters of Senate Bill 2116 gather at the state Capitol Wednesday.
Meghan Blessing KGOU

Emboldened by the legalization of marijuana in two states, hundreds of marijuana advocates held a rally at the state Capitol to call for fewer restrictions on pot smoking in Oklahoma.

Two separate pro-marijuana groups held events at the Capitol on Wednesday. One is supporting the use of medicinal marijuana, while the other is pushing for full-scale legalization of cannabis.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:19 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Lawmakers Question Governors’ Deal To Let Texas Pump Water From Oklahoma

Credit K. Latham / Flickr Creative Commons

When Gov. Mary Fallin and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in January agreed a north Texas water district could take water out of the Red River using a pump station in Oklahoma, they avoided what could’ve been a long legal battle over the exact location of the state’s southern boundary.

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