Education
2:27 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Panel OKs Teacher Pay Bills Despite Lack Of Funds

Credit Terrapin Flyer / Flickr Creative Commons

Two bills to increase teacher pay have sailed through a House committee, although a projected shortage of revenue this year makes it's unlikely the measures will ever reach the governor's desk.

With educators from across the state packed into a committee room on Monday, a House budget panel unanimously approved the bills. They next will be scheduled for consideration by the full House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

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State Capitol
1:04 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Oklahoma Students Forced To Recite Pledge Under Bills

Credit Patrick Damiano / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma schoolchildren would be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day under two bills that cleared a legislative committee on Monday.

The Senate Education Committee passed both bills on Monday with just one dissenting vote. Both measures can now be scheduled for a hearing before the full Senate.

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Oklahoma Voices
11:35 am
Mon February 17, 2014

VIDEO: Capitol Reporters Discuss Start Of 2014 Oklahoma Legislative Session

Left-to-right: OETA's Dick Pryor, KGOU News Director Kurt Gwartney, eCapitol News Director Shawn Ashley, KOSU Radio's Michael Cross, Sean Murphy from the Associated Press.
Credit OETA - The Oklahoma Network

The 2014 Oklahoma legislative session kicked off two weeks ago Monday, with an income tax cut, reduced agency budgets, repairing the state Capitol, and employee compensation all facing lawmakers as they return to NE 23rd Street and Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City.

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Tax Cuts
11:30 am
Mon February 17, 2014

OSU Economist, OU President Question Governor's Tax Cut

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers the 2014 State of the State address as Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) look on - February 3, 2014.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin took her policy priorities to the overall friendly audience of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber last week. Speaking to the pro-business group’s members, Fallin reiterated her call for a cut to the state income tax rate and the graduation of more “job ready” residents.

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Transportation
9:42 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Lexington-Purcell Bridge Meeting Tuesday

The James C. Nance bridge.
Credit J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

A town hall meeting is planned to update residents in Cleveland County about repairs to the bridge connecting Lexington and Purcell.

The meeting is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Lexington Fire Department. The James C. Nance bridge over the Canadian River has been closed since Jan. 31, creating travel nightmares for residents of the two towns.

The bridge was closed after cracks were discovered in structural bridge beams. The Oklahoma Transportation Commission awarded an emergency contract last week for bridge repairs, and work began at 5 p.m. Friday.

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Earthquakes
9:07 am
Mon February 17, 2014

More Earthquakes Hit Central Oklahoma

The number of earthquakes in Oklahoma continues to increase.
Credit EQ Charts

READ StateImpact's Earthquake Coverage

Three earthquakes rumbled Logan County late Sunday, about a week after a 4.1 magnitude temblor caused minor damage at the county jail in Guthrie.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.8-magnitude earthquake struck shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday. The USGS initially estimated the earthquake as a 4.2 magnitude, but it was later downgraded to a 3.8 magnitude.

The earthquake was centered about 7 miles south-southwest of Guthrie.

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The Edge
8:51 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Foggy Weather Throws Events Off Course In Sochi

An athlete trains Monday at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center Coaches at the biathlon course said fog and poor snow quality were big problems.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:06 am

The blue skies couldn't last forever.

A fog as thick as Russian borscht rolled into the mountains above Sochi on Sunday night. From the vantage point of the relatively low-altitude bobsled track, the gondolas heading up to the cross-country center and alpine venues disappeared into the clouds.

The weather is creating all sorts of problems for Olympic planners. A men's biathlon race was postponed Sunday because of low visibility. It was postponed again Monday. (The women's race was still on track for today.)

As The Associated Press notes:

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Experts Say School Tornado Days Could Cause More Harm Than Good

Tornado damaged classroom in the Plaza Towers Elementary school in Moore, Oklahoma. An F5 tornado struck the area on May 20, causing widespread destruction.
Credit Andrea Booher / FEMA

The death of seven students in the tornado that hit Moore’s Plaza Towers Elementary School last May has ignited an ongoing debate about storm shelters and school safety.

State lawmakers and advocacy groups are calling for better school construction to protect kids from future storms, and some people are now also raising questions about whether they should simply keep their kids home when severe weather is in the forecast. 

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The Salt
7:05 am
Mon February 17, 2014

What Honest Abe's Appetite Tells Us About His Life

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, used to cook alongside his wife.
Brady Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:55 am

Most people know Abraham Lincoln for his achievements as president. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and held the nation together through the trauma of the Civil War. His Gettysburg Address is one of the best known in American history.

But what you might not know is that Lincoln cooked.

From his childhood to his days in the White House, food played an integral part in shaping Lincoln's life, food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey tells Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

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It's All Politics
2:58 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

For Some Olympians, Games Are Golden Ticket To Politics

Team USA enters the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games in Russia.
Tatyana Zenkovich EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 10:21 am

Ralph Metcalfe and Jim Ryun sprinted. Bill Bradley and Tom McMillen dribbled. Bob Mathias ran, tossed, and jumped. Wendell Anderson defended. Ben Nighthorse Campbell judo chopped.

The seven athletes competed in different Olympic sports and in different eras, but they had one thing in common: they all ran for Congress and won.

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