Storm Shelters
11:10 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Dorman Officially Files Bill To Fund Oklahoma School Shelters

Petitions are completed for the Take Shelter Oklahoma organization in December. The group did not have enough signatures to put its petition on the ballot.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

An Oklahoma lawmaker has filed legislation that would ask voters to decide whether to fund storm shelters in public schools.

The measure was filed Wednesday by Rep. Joe Dorman of Rush Springs, a Democratic candidate for governor. It is similar to an initiative petition Dorman helped spearhead that called for a statewide referendum on a $500 million bond issue to pay for storm shelters in schools.

Read more
2014 Election
9:12 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Harris Drops Out Of Governor's Race, Endorses Dorman

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

R.J. Harris has dropped out as a Democratic candidate forOklahoma governor.

Harris made the announcement on his website Wednesday and says he's endorsing Democratic state Rep. Joe Dorman in the race. Harris, who's previously run for office as a Republican and an independent candidate, says he's supporting Dorman because Dorman is "socially tolerant and fiscally conservative."

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin is running for her second term in office. She faces a GOP primary challenge from former state Sen. Randy Brogdon, who filed paperwork last month to run for governor.

Read more
Federal Judge Says It Violates Constitution
5:00 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Oklahoma's Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

Credit kjd / Flickr.com

A federal judge has struck down Oklahoma's gay marriage ban, ruling that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern handed down the ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples. Kern's ruling was immediately stayed pending appeal, meaning gay marriages won't immediately happen in Oklahoma.

The gay couples had sued for the right to marry and to have a marriage from another jurisdiction recognized in Oklahoma.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Oklahoma Ban On Gay Marriage

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:53 pm

Saying Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage is "arbitrary" and "irrational," a federal judge ruled the ban violated the constitution and it should be struck down.

U.S. Senior District Judge Terence Kern, however, put a hold on his ruling, pending an appeal. This means gay marriages will not begin immediately in the state.

Read more
Said Car Tag Image Counter To Christian Beliefs
4:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Judge Rejects Minister's Claim

Credit Oklahoma Tax Commission

A federal judge has rejected a claim by an Oklahoma minister that the image on the state's license plate of a young Apache warrior shooting an arrow skyward conveys a religious message that is counter to his Christian beliefs.  

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton dismissed the claim Tuesday filed against the state by Bethany pastor Keith Cressman.

Heaton wrote there is nothing about the image that suggests the Indian warrior is praying or that the arrow he is shooting is sacred, even though the image is inspired by artist Allan Houser's "Sacred Rain Arrow" sculpture.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
3:57 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The Economic Impact Of A Bunch Of Thirsty Oklahoma Cows

Cows Graze in Kay County, Okla.
Credit fireboat895 / Flickr Creative Commons

Cattle is big business in Oklahoma.

In 2013, the state ranked No. 5 in total heads of beef cattle — with 4.2 million heads that represent roughly 4.7 percent of the total U.S. cattle inventory, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show.

Read more
Transportation
2:42 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Gov. Fallin Urges Washington To Take Transportation Action

Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) testifies Tuesday before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Credit Provided / U.S. House

Gov. Mary Fallin testified Tuesday before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, urging lawmakers to negotiate a path forward on reauthorizing surface transportation.

"Well-managed dollars committed to infrastructure improvements directly impact our economy and enhance the ability of our industries to transport goods and provide services,” Fallin said. “Investing today in transportation is investing long term in our economic viability and the safety of our citizens."

Read more
World Views
1:13 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Iranian Hostage-Turned-Ambassador: Still Optimistic, Would Love To Return

A group photograph of the former Iranian hostages shortly after their release. The 52 Americans spent a few days in the hospital prior to their departure for the United States.
Credit Johnson Babela / U.S. Department of Defense

Ambassador John Limbert and 51 diplomatic and military colleagues were taken prisoner in the former U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. They were released 444 days later as Ronald Reagan was sworn into office on January 20, 1981.

Limbert has never been back to Iran in the 33 years after he boarded the plane for Algeria, even though he married an Iranian woman and his children were born there. He’s now a private citizen, no longer works for the State Department, and has no prohibition on his travel to Iran. But he says he’s not welcome by the Islamic Republic.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:43 am
Tue January 14, 2014

20 Million DirecTV Customers Just Lost The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore reporting from Manhattan's Battery Park during Hurricane Irene in August 2011.
Jonathan Saruk/The Weather Channel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 9:04 am

What was already a stormy relationship between The Weather Channel and DirectTV has now become something of a Category 3 communications catastrophe.

Twenty million DirecTV customers can't see The Weather Channel today because the two sides didn't reach an agreement on a new distribution deal before a midnight Monday deadline.

According to The Associated Press, "the two companies pointed fingers at each other":

Read more
Human Services
9:55 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Oklahoma Disabilities Waiting List Moving Forward, Still Almost A Decade Behind

Credit Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services / Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services Waiting List has been years in the making. The list serves individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities and his or her family.

Oklahoma’s waiting list is not an entitlement under Medicaid, even though services are provided with Medicaid funding, but many of the services are received via OKDHS. In that manner, Division Director JoAnne Goin said services are entitlements similar to nursing home services.

Read more

Pages