StateImpact Oklahoma
9:11 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Federal Government Approves PSO’s Plan To Retire Coal-Fired Power Plants

Credit Mark Turnauckas / Flickr Creative Commons

Public Service Company of Oklahoma — which provides electricity to more than a half-million Oklahomans — can move ahead with plans to retire its coal-fired power plants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

The agreement between the utility, state, and EPA is expected to bring PSO into compliance with regional haze regulations, the federal government’s effort to clear the air at national parks and wildlife refuges.

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State Capitol
9:03 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Abortion Restriction Bills Set For Oklahoma House Panel Hearing

Two bills to further restrict abortion in Oklahoma are scheduled for a hearing in a state House committee.

The House Public Health Committee is expected to consider both bills during its regular meeting on Tuesday.

One bill by Broken Arrow Republican Rep. Mike Ritze would require abortion providers to have clinical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice. A second bill by Edmond Republican Rep. Randy Grau restricts the use of abortion inducing drugs.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Tue February 11, 2014

No Change In Fed Policy, Yellen Signals

Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Since every word that the head of the Federal Reserve utters is closely watched by those in the financial markets, it's worth noting that in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to say Tuesday that:

"I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy."

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple Dies; Childhood Movie Star Became Diplomat

Shirley Temple when she was the nation's biggest movie star.
AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:55 am

  • 'Morning Edition' looks back at the life of Shirley Temple
  • A bit of 'On the Good Ship Lollipop'

Shirley Temple, who charmed the nation as a child movie star in the 1930s and went on to become one of the nation's diplomats in posts that included ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, has died.

She was 85.

The Associated Press writes that publicist Cheryl Kagan says the actress, known as Shirley Temple Black in her private life, died late Monday evening at her home near San Francisco. Kagan tells the AP that Temple's family and caregivers were with her.

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Boy's Sister Made Complaint To Governor
6:23 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

DHS Firing Two Employees Over Disabled Youth's Death

Credit Department of Human Services

Oklahoma's Department of Human Services says it's firing two employees over their mishandling of a case involving a disabled 15-year-old boy who died of pneumonia last year after suffering alleged neglect and abuse at his father's home.

Quinten Wood died Jan. 4, 2013.

The state agency also said Monday that an internal investigation into Woods' case has prompted an overhaul of how it improves child protection — particularly when DHS becomes involved in cases with children who have mental and developmental disabilities.

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"the wrong side of history"
6:13 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Lawmakers Send Letter To NFL Over Team Name

Credit Keith Allison / Flickr.com

The latest back-and-forth over the Washington Redskins name includes a stern letter from two lawmakers and a public relations move from the team.

A letter sent Monday from Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state and Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma tells NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that the league is on "the wrong side of history" and mentions the league's tax-exempt status. Cantwell chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:28 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Oil Boom Keeping Western Oklahoma Towns Afloat Amid Worsening Drought

Credit Al Jazeera English / Flickr Creative Commons

Drought and agriculture don’t mix very well. So after three years of intense drought, you might expect rural western Oklahoma communities — where fortunes have traditionally hinged on the condition of wheat crops — to be dying on the vine.

But no. As The Journal Record‘s Brian Brus reports, many of these towns are adapting to a new economy with a little help from the oil and gas industry.

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11:17 am
Mon February 10, 2014

As Drug Deaths Rise, Millions of Narcotic Prescriptions Filled

Lead in text: 
Leading the list of Prescription Monitoring Program prescriptions and overdose contributors are three popular pharmaceuticals: hydrocodone, an opiod painkiller sold under the brand names Lortab, Vicodin, Vicoprofen, Norco and Tussionex; oxycodone, another opiod painkiller sold as OxyContin and Percoset, and alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug marketed as Xanax.
Oklahoma pharmacies filled nearly 10 million prescriptions for narcotic painkillers and other controlled dangerous substances last year, according to newly obtained state data. Those prescriptions - an average of 68 per patient, including refills - contained 597 million doses of painkillers, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, steroids and other controlled pharmaceuticals tracked by the state's Prescription Monitoring Program.
State Capitol
11:04 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Hickman Replaces Shannon As House Speaker

State Rep. Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) at Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address - February 3, 2014.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The 72 Republicans in the Oklahoma House of Representatives have selected 40-year-old state Rep. Jeff Hickman of Fairview as the next speaker of the House, one of the most powerful positions in state government.

The Republican caucus met behind closed doors Monday morning and selected Hickman via secret ballot.

The speaker's post was vacated last week when T.W. Shannon stepped down to focus on his race for the U.S. Senate.

Hickman previously served as speaker pro tem, the No. 2 spot in the House, and lost the speaker's race against Shannon by a razor-thin margin.

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State Capitol
9:31 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Republicans Voting On Next Oklahoma House Speaker

Credit LLudo / Flickr Creative Commons

The 72-member House Republican caucus is meeting behind closed doors to select the new Speaker of the House.

The House caucus is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Monday and will cast secret ballots to determine the winner.

Reps. Jeff Hickman of Fairview and Mike Jackson of Enid are vying for the post, one of the most powerful positions in state government. The speaker helps divvy up the state's $7 billion budget and helps shape the policy debate in the Legislature.

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