StateImpact Oklahoma
1:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

State Officials: Oklahoma Needs Oil Industry’s Help To Meet Water Goals

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Insufficient rains and increasing demand put enormous pressure on Oklahoma’s water resources both on the surface and underground. But it’s also hard to overstate the role evaporation plays in the drought.

The oil and gas industry has been part of the problem, storing tens of millions of gallons of water needed for the hydraulic fracturing process in large, open pits, leaving it to be ravaged by evaporation until the water is needed.

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Native American
11:47 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Muscogee (Creek) Citizen Sarah Deer Among MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ Recipients

William Mitchell College of Law professor and 2014 MacArthur fellow Sarah Deer
Provided John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

A law professor from Minnesota and citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma has been named one of nearly two dozen MacArthur Fellows.

Sarah Deer has served as an assistant professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law since 2009, where she focuses on violent crime on Native American reservations.

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11:09 am
Wed September 17, 2014

OU Mulls Additional Storm Shelters

The University of Oklahoma is considering building additional storm shelters for student housing.
Credit benchilada / Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents plans to discuss construction of storm shelters at its regular meeting Thursday.

In a release this week, the university said the board will consider a recommendation for the design and construction management services for three above-ground storm-hardened shelters for residents of the university's student housing facility apartment complexes: Traditions Square-East, Traditions Square-West and Kraettli Apartments.

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Oklahoma Watch
10:07 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Rape Report Surge Reflects New Definition, Other Factors

Credit Nestor Lacle / Flickr Creative Commons

While recently released crime statistics from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation show a large spike in the number of reported rapes over the last two years, the actual increase might not be as dramatic, according to police.

The number of rape cases reported to police between 2011 and 2013 rose 21 percent, according to the OSBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report, which tracks several types of crime statistics across the state. All other forms of violent crime fell during that period.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Wed September 17, 2014

House Poised To Vote On Arming, Training Syrian Rebels

House Speaker John Boehner has expressed cautious support for the White House plan. He and other House GOP leaders are backing a measure to authorize the arming and training of moderate Syrian rebels.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 11:28 am

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

President Obama will meet today with military officials at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., to discuss the fight against the militants calling themselves the Islamic State, as House lawmakers prepare for a vote to authorize training for moderate rebels to oppose the extremist group.

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Death Penalty
7:05 am
Wed September 17, 2014

State Says Media Is Not Entitled To See Executions

Attorneys for the state of Oklahoma argue the media is not entitled to witness executions and that a lawsuit seeking more access to the procedure should be dismissed.

In a motion to dismiss filed Tuesday in federal court, assistant Attorney General Daniel Weitman wrote that having media witnesses at an execution does not play a "positive role in the actual functioning of the process."

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Vikings Now Say Adrian Peterson Is Banned From Team Activities

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:50 pm

Updated at 7:15 a.m. ET:

The Minnesota Vikings announced early Wednesday morning that they had placed running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt/commissioner's permission list.

The change to Peterson's status "will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved," according to a statement issued by the team.

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State Capitol
6:32 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Attorney Challenges Capitol Overhaul Bond Plan

Barricades surround the south steps of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Credit Meghan Blessing / KGOU

An Oklahoma City attorney is challenging the Legislature's plan for a $120 million bond issue to pay for improvements to the state Capitol.

Attorney Jerry Fent filed a notice Tuesday with the governor and attorney general indicating his opposition to the plan. Fent claims the bill authorizing the bond issue was an unconstitutional special law because it addressed only one state building.

Fent's formal opposition to the plan is expected to delay the issuing of the bonds to pay for the renovations to the nearly 100-year-old building.

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Calling For Justice Department Investigation
4:46 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Private Autopsy In Movie Theater Death Puts Cause As Asphyxia

Credit David Holt /

The family of a man who died after a struggle with police outside a movie theater says a private autopsy they had conducted came up with a different cause of death than the state medical examiner's office.

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3:12 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Oklahoma Teacher Of The Year Named

Teacher of the year Jason Proctor receives his award from State Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi.
Credit Provided / State Department of Education

State Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi Tuesday named a high school math instructor as Oklahoma'sTeacher of the Year.

Jason Scott Proctor garnered the honor from among 12 finalists during a ceremony at the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City.

Proctor is Oklahoma's 60th Teacher of the Year and the first from Tahlequah. He will represent Oklahoma in the National Teacher of the Year competition next spring.

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