Business Intelligence Report
5:00 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Top Business Stories: Bone Museum Expansion, De-Annexing In Shawnee, And Von Maur Arrival

Anaconda skeleton at the Museum of Osteology.
Credit Skulls Unlimited

An Unusual Oklahoma City Business Expands To Another State.

The Museum of Osteology signed a 15-year lease in a new entertainment district in Orlando, Florida.

The museum, which is on Sunnylane Road, grew out of a business called Skulls Unlimited. Jay Villemarette started the company in 1986. It sells more than 100 types of animal skulls and full skeletons through catalogs.

The new museum, called “Skeletons” will be near a Ferris wheel, a wax museum and an aquarium.

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Harvest Public Media
7:00 am
Sun August 17, 2014

What Goes Into The Price Of Your Tomato

Vegetable farmer Tom Goeke of St. Charles, Mo., sells his Red Deuce tomatoes wholesale at about $1.50 per pound.
Kristofor Husted Harvest Public Media

Late summer in the Midwest is tomato season. For tomato growers around that country, it’s time to pick their bounty and calculate their earnings.

While sun and rain might be free, tomato farmers have to carefully weigh everything else they put in to growing their crop. Research and the development of new tools – from novel seed varieties resistant to diseases to additional fertilizers – has changed the input costs for growers.

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Manager's Desk
6:00 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Celebrating Three Glorious Years of StateImpact Oklahoma

Credit StateImpact Oklahoma

I just completed a final report for the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation for their support of the third year of StateImpact Oklahoma.

I want to highlight the great year we had with StateImpact Oklahoma.

Last year, StateImpact Oklahoma reporters Joe Wertz and Logan Layden created 47 radio stories, appeared on OETA or other TV outlets 18 times, created 254 regular web posts and 27 multi-media web stories with interactive maps and visualizations.

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Business and Economy
5:30 am
Sun August 17, 2014

McAlester Ammunition Plant Says It Needs More Workers

LTG Pillsbury watching removal of a bomb rear casing plate in 2010 at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.
Credit Jack Hughes / McAlester Army Ammunition Plant’s PAO.

The Oklahoma army ammunition plant in McAlester says it wants to hire 200 new employees.

The McAlester News-Capital reports the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant hired nearly 100 workers in November. According to plant official Robert Mabray, the group still needs the additional employees to fill current and future ammunition orders.

The plant's commander Col. Joseph G. Dalessio says the group currently has more than 1,250 employees.

Dalessio says some employees have retired or are seeking work elsewhere.

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10:22 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

Where We Came From, State by State

The New York Times created an interactive graph to show how people have moved between the states over the decades, verus how many were born in that state. Take a look! For Oklahoma, they wrote: "Remember "Grapes of Wrath" and the migration of the "Okies" to California in the Great Depression? In a modern twist, as part of the Golden State's great out-migration, the California-born population of Oklahoma has doubled since 1980."
These charts were compiled using Census microdata obtained from at the University of Minnesota Population Center. The microdata are records containing the characteristics of individuals compiled from a representative sample of Census forms. The individual, anonymized records are provided by the Census Bureau so researchers can explore the data beyond the published summary tables.
Indian Times
3:06 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

Cherokee Makes A Living Map Showing Pre-Contact Native America

Credit Aaron Carapella

When Aaron Carapella (Cherokee) contacted the U.S. Copyright office about his concept for a map that showed Native America pre-contact, he was told it had never been done before on such a grand scale.

This news seemed to validate his hours of long work, traveling and contacting more than 250 reservations and tribal communities. It had all started when he was an adolescent growing up in southern California.

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Oklahoma News
12:00 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

Oklahoma Officials Pleased DOD Continues Sending Surplus Military Diesel Vehicles To Local Agencies

Wewoka Fire Department
Credit Travel Aficionado / Creative Commons

State officials are praising the final decision that allows the U.S. Department of Defense to permanently transfer the title of surplus equipment – vehicles with diesel engines -- to local law enforcement and fire departments.

Press releases from Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and State Representative Mike Sanders approve the decision “that benefit Oklahoma counties, school districts and rural fire departments.” That that decision also restores the transfer of surplus vehicles for law enforcement agencies.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:00 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Most Oklahoma Prisons Are Over Capacity

With the transfer of state inmates from jails, the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown is now 131 percent, or 156 inmates, over capacity.
Atoka County Times

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ effort to shift thousands of state prisoners out of county jails has resulted in nearly two-thirds of state prisons being over capacity.

The Corrections Department is placing many inmates in designated “temporary” beds in various common areas of prisons, such as a gymnasium or day room.

In a related move, the agency is proposing to revise how it determines the maximum capacity of its prisons, by using a higher “operational” capacity that includes temporary beds, on top of the current “rated design capacity” — the number of inmates a facility is designed to hold. Under operational capacity, the current reported percentages of occupancy at many prisons could drop from over to under 100 percent.

The recent inmate population growth is raising concerns from the head of the state correctional officers’ group, who says safety is being compromised because inmates are being added while correctional staffing levels remain inadequate.

“I think it’s absolutely putting them (officers) in a dangerous spot,” said Sean Wallace, director of Oklahoma Correctional Professionals. “I’ve heard it from staff before … but now I’m hearing it directly from officers – they’re afraid to go to work.”

According to the corrections department’s Aug. 4 count of inmates, 16 of the state’s 24 minimum-, medium- and maximum-security prisons were at more than 100 percent capacity. The number slipped to 15 the following week. Five facilities had more than 100 inmates above their official capacity limits.

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6:30 am
Sat August 16, 2014

$3.1 Million Grant From U.S. Department Of Education

Credit U.S. Department of Education

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi recently approved awarding almost $3.1 million in 21st Century Community Learning Center grants to 13 recipients for a five-year period beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

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5:30 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Oklahoma Receives CDC Grant Of $1M Plus

U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded Oklahoma a grant of more than $1 million that will be distributed over the next three years to help prevent prescription drug overdoses.

The grant will help Oklahoma officials improve the state's prescription drug monitoring program and identify drug abuse hot spots.

The CDC says Oklahoma has the sixth-highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the U.S.

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