May 2013 Tornado Outbreak
12:31 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Moore Tax Receipts Up As City Continues Recovery

Loading supplies for disaster relief - May 23, 2013
Credit Kerry Rodtnick / University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Leaders in Moore say tornado recovery efforts have caused sales tax collections to skyrocket in the city.

The Norman Transcript reports that Moore received more than $2.6 million in total sales tax from the Oklahoma Tax Commission in September. That includes general fund receipts, which are up more than 12 percent from last year.

City Manager Stephen Eddy calls the numbers "amazing" and says rebuilding efforts from the May 20 tornado are likely responsible.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

NPR To Offer Voluntary Buyouts In Bid To Balance Budget

NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:46 pm

Saying that the goal is to balance its budget in fiscal year 2015, NPR announced late Friday morning that it will soon offer "a voluntary buyout plan across the organization that reduces staffing levels by approximately 10 percent."

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World Views
11:32 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Big Winners In Latest Syria Developments? Moscow And Assad

President Obama meets in the White House Situation Room with his national security advisors to discuss strategy in Syria, Saturday, August 31, 2013.
Credit Pete Souza / The White House

Joshua Landis recaps this week's developments in Syria with Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise .

Earlier this week President Obama asked congressional leaders to postpone a vote on legislation that would authorize the use of force against Syria.

“We will work together in consultation with Russia and China to put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons and to ultimately destroy them under international control,” the president said in a televised address to the nation Tuesday night.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the author of the influential and widely-read blog Syria Comment, says the new diplomatic development is a victory for Moscow.

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Teacher Evaluation
10:21 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Oklahoma Teacher Prep Commission Releases Survey Results

Credit comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

A new survey from the Commission for Teacher Preparation performed by CTB shows that first year teachers, both those traditionally educated and those alternatively certified, feel overall they are prepared for classroom instruction.

The results were unveiled at the commission’s meeting Thursday. The survey, which was distributed to 2,059 first-year teachers across the state, assessed teachers’ challenges and strengths in the classroom.

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Health Education
9:10 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Tobacco Board Wants Assessment Of Oklahoma School-Based Health

Credit Wesley Fryer / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Board of Directors on Thursday approved the hiring of a consultant to assist with conducting an assessment of school-based health education in Oklahoma.

Following discussions of the need for a more youth-oriented movement, Chairwoman Casey Killblane expressed concern for the lack of health education in classrooms, saying the discussions often get tied up by “a lot of emotional garbage.”

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Fri September 13, 2013

'Biblical' Flooding Rages In Colorado

Patrick Tinsley and Mary Kerns walk from their mountain community, Magnolia, where road access is shut off by debris. Flash flooding in Colorado has left at least three people reportedly dead and the widespread high waters have hampered emergency workers' access to affected communities as heavy rains hammered northern Colorado.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:15 pm

"As heavy rains brought wide ranging flood conditions across the state Thursday, the Front Range is bracing for more Friday," our colleagues at Northern Colorado's KUNC report.

They add that:

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It's All Politics
5:33 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Feds Seek To Corral Medical Marijuana 'Wild West'

A man pulls out a bag of marijuana to fill a pipe at Hempfest in Seattle on Aug. 16. Thousands packed a waterfront park for the opening of a three-day marijuana festival, an event that is part party, part protest and part victory celebration after the legalization of pot in Washington and Colorado in 2012.
Elaine Thompson AP

When the Obama administration recently announced it wouldn't challenge the decision by Colorado and Washington voters to fully legalize marijuana, criticism rained down.

The administration's position, complained one Colorado congressman, was tantamount to allowing states to opt out of the federal law banning pot possession, cultivation and sale.

Other anti-legalization activists predicted that the administration was waving the white flag in the war on drugs.

The first claim is essentially true: The states will be creating their own regulatory regimes.

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Guns
6:10 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

4th Grade Football Team Has Surprising Raffle Prize... A Gun

Hand Gun
Credit Coast Ranger / Flickr.com

A youth football program in northeastern Oklahoma is making waves over a fundraiser that raffled off tickets saying the winner would receive a handgun.

But the president of the volunteer program said the raffle was actually for a gift certificate to a gun store — not for a gun.

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Non-Profits
4:00 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Feed The Children Looking To Businessmen For Guidance

Volunteers for Feed The Children
Credit Salvation Army USA West / Flickr.com

Feed the Children has named two Texas businessmen to its growing international board of directors.

The Oklahoma City-based charity announced Thursday the appointments of Michael Dinkins of Frisco and Michael Hogan of Grapevine to the board.

Dinkins is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Greatbatch, which designs and builds medical devices. Hogan is an executive vice president at GameStop, one of the world's largest video game retailers.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:53 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Regulator Will Respond To Risk of Injection Well Earthquakes With Suggestions, Not Rules Or Laws

Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy
Credit Provided / State of Oklahoma

Geophysicists have linked Oklahoma’s largest earthquake to an injection well used by the oil and gas industry, and there is growing concern among many seismologists that underground disposal of oilfield waste fluid can trigger quakes or make it easier for faults to slip.

Wastewater disposal wells have been linked to quakes in a half-dozen other states. Oklahoma’s regulatory response has been more passive than most, StateImpact reported in May.

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