Oklahoma News
3:27 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Fallin Declares Lexington-Purcell Bridge Closure Emergency

Gov. Mary Fallin tours the closed James C. Nance Bridge over the Canadian River Friday.
Credit Governor Mary Fallin / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency over the closure of a bridge that connects Lexington and Purcell.

Fallin declared the emergency Friday while touring the James. C. Nance Bridge over the Canadian River. The bridge was closed last week after the discovery of several cracks in the bridge's truss beams. Officials declared the bridge unsafe and shut it down.

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World Views
2:09 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Reminders Of The Rwandan Genocide In France And Central African Republic

In 1994, 800,000 people were killed in 100 days of systematic slaughter. Many sites around Rwanda now stand as memorials to the genocide. Here, people's personal items are collected. Glasses, pens, rosaries, collected from those who were killed.
Credit configmanager / Flickr Creative Commons

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified Rwanda as a former French colony.

During the Rwandan genocide, many suspected war criminals fled to Europe seeking safe haven, but now nearly two decades later, 2014 marks France’s first opening of a trial over the African country’s genocide.

The opened trials may not reveal much new about the systematic killing of ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderated by radical Hutus in 1994. Books on the genocide have been written, rivers of tears shed, and documentary films made. A U.N. war crimes tribunal and other courts have already sent dozens to prison — some for life.

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World Views
1:58 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Tenuous Order Threatens Central African Republic’s Stability

Burundi peacekeeping forces arrive in Central African Republic in December 2013 to work toward CAR security.
Credit Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas, USAF / US Army Africa / Flickr Creative Commons

Continued conflict in Central African Republic is troubling world leaders and international peacekeepers. Six thousand African peacekeepers have been deployed to try to control the chaos that has enveloped Central African Republic, alongside 1,600 French soldiers.

Peacekeeping forces, however, have failed to stop killings and violence between Christian majority and Muslim minority groups in the country. Multiple reports cite murders occurring in the presence of peacekeeping forces.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:38 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

What Oklahomans Need To Know About The Escalating Oil And Gas Tax Debate

Crews at work on a Helmerich & Payne drilling rig in western Oklahoma.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A tax credit for horizontal drilling expires next year, and, as we’ve reported, the looming deadline has spurred lawmakers to discuss overall changes to Oklahoma’s oil and gas tax policy.

A 7 percent tax is levied on most oil and gas production, but the Legislature in the ’90s created a tax credit for horizontal drilling that reduced those taxes to 1 percent for the first 48 months of production.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Far Out Photo: Earth As 'Evening Star' Over Mars

From 99 million miles away on Mars, Earth is just a tiny dot in the evening sky.
NASA.gov

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:26 pm

Seeing a new photo taken by NASA's Curiosity rover of Earth in the night sky over Mars sent us through The Two-Way's back pages in search of other images of home taken from space.

Earth, the tiny bright spot above the Mars horizon, is so hard to see that it helps to also look at the version of the photo in which NASA has embedded a handy pointer. But perhaps Earth being just a tiny spot puts in perspective what it's like to be 99 million miles away.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Biden: 'No Obvious Reason' He Shouldn't Run For President

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:35 am

He's far behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent poll of Democrats, but Vice President Joe Biden tells CNN that "there's no obvious reason" why he shouldn't seek his party's 2016 presidential nomination.

The network reports that:

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Dogs Do Their Doodies And Salmon Swim Home Magnetically

A fish that knows the way to go: the Chinook salmon, which appears to use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate ocean waters and rivers.
Jeff T. Green Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:40 am

You might say we're attracted to this kind of story:

Last month, there was the news that Czech researchers believe that dogs prefer to align themselves along "the North-South axis under calm [magnetic field] conditions" when they're dropping those deposits that we owners have to pick up.

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Education
9:32 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Oklahoma Lawmakers Criticize Student Lobbying

Credit comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Two Oklahoma lawmakers are criticizing several schools that decided to cancel class one day next month so teachers and students can attend a rally at the state Capitol.

Many districts, including those in Tulsa and Sand Springs, canceled classes March 31 for the Rally for Education. But Republican Reps. Jason Murphey of Guthrie and Mike Turner of Oklahoma City say public districts shouldn't use public resources to lobby the state for more funding.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Job Growth Less Than Expected, But Unemployment Hits 5-Year Low

Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 12:06 pm

Note: This post was updated several times after the jobs report was released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The nation's unemployment rate slipped to 6.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent a month before, but employers added only 113,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

The jobless rate figure was expected. The job growth number, however, was well below the 185,000 that economists expected.

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House Committee Votes 8-0 For Bill
6:30 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

State Board Of Corrections On Its Way Out?

Credit mikecogh / Flickr.com

An Oklahoma House committee has approved legislation to abolish the state Board of Corrections and hand its duties over to the agency's director.

The House Government Modernization Committee voted 8-0 for the bill Thursday and sent it to the full House for a vote.

Currently, the seven-member Board of Corrections sets corrections policy for the state and appoints a director. Its members are chosen by the governor.

Under the bill, the corrections director would to be supervised by the governor's public safety secretary.

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