The Two-Way
8:46 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Gaza Conflict: Cease-Fire Holds As Kerry Calls For Fresh Peace Talks

A Palestinian child goes through toys Wednesday at a vendor's stall in a market in Gaza City.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 9:31 am

After nearly a month of brutal war, Gaza was calm for a second day on Wednesday.

And as that negotiated, three-day peace took hold, diplomacy stepped front and center.

In an interview with the BBC, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said both sides should take advantage of this moment to forge a longer-lasting peace.

Kerry said the U.S. supports Palestinians' desire to rebuild and open up borders, but that will happen only under a "bigger, broader approach to the underlying solution of two states."

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Open Meeting Act To Be Discussed
2:15 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Special Meeting Called For Workers Compensation Commission With AG's Office

Credit Office of the Attorney General

Members of an agency that oversees Oklahoma's system for compensating injured workers will meet with representatives of the Attorney General's Office to discuss the agency's compliance with the state's Open Meeting Act.

A special meeting of the newly created Workers Compensation Commission is scheduled Wednesday. It was called last week after officials discovered possible violations of the law that requires certain meetings of public bodies to be conducted in public.

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Politics and Government
8:10 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

State Retirement System Interim Study To Be Held In November

State Rep. Randy McDaniel (R-OKC)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

As interim studies start to be heard, one of the most prevalent topics will not be heard until November: IS-H14-005, the annual review of the state retirement system.

The study will review the investment performance, best practices and funded status of each retirement system. Rep. Randy McDaniel, R-Edmond, who requested the study, says that this is similar to other interim studies on this topic that have been done in the last few years.

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Oklahoma News
7:59 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Oklahoma Unemployment Insurance Rates To Decrease In 2015

Richard McPherson - Executive Director, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
Credit Oklahoma Employment Security Commission

Oklahoma businesses will pay less for unemployment insurance beginning January 1, members of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission learned Tuesday.

“I estimate an additional $120 to $130 million in reduction in (unemployment insurance) tax contributions from employers in 2015,” OESC Chief Financial Officer Levi Onwuchuruba told the commissioners.

The unemployment insurance tax rate is determined by a formula set in state statutes that considers the unemployment insurance trust fund balance and the amount paid out annually in regular state unemployment benefits.

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7:50 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

OSSI Launches Security Tip Line For Schools

Oklahoma School Security Institute
Credit Oklahoma School Security Institute /

The Oklahoma School Security Institute launched the highly anticipated security tip line in late July after a series of IT delays in January.

The tip line was part of a series of recommendations made by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb’s School Security Commission, the task force established in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings to review school security procedures in Oklahoma.

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Campaign Heating Up
7:03 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Democrat Joe Dorman Airs Public Education Ad

Joe Dorman and Mary Fallin
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman's first television ad of the 2014 campaign focuses on public education and accuses Republican incumbent Gov. Mary Fallin of failing Oklahoma's public schools.

The ad was released by Dorman's campaign Tuesday and features the Democratic state representative from Rush Springs speaking in a rural setting. Dorman says he grew up in a small town and relied on public education to work his way up.

He accuses Fallin of flip-flopping on education and says he will provide strong leadership.

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6:56 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

AG Opens Inquiry Into Standardized Test Woes

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt
Credit Office Of The Attorney General

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has opened an inquiry into glitches in end of instruction examinations for Oklahoma schoolchildren in the last school year.

Pruitt sent a letter to state school superintendents on Monday seeking details about how their districts were affected by multiple failures from testing vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill that Pruitt says resulted in non-performance under its contract with the state.

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Oklahoma News
6:51 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Up To Seven Oil Trains A Week Through Oklahoma

Railroad Oil Cars
Credit Russ Allison Loar / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma emergency officials say as many as seven trains a week pass through the state carrying crude oil from the Northern Plains that's been involved in fiery derailments, including a 2008 explosion northeast of Oklahoma City.

Some of the trains are traveling through the state's two most populous counties:Oklahoma County, with one train a week, and Tulsa County, with four.

In August 2008, an oil train that originated in Fairview, Montana, derailed near Luther, causing an explosion and fire involving more than 80,000 gallons of crude.

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Prosecutors Appealed His Release
6:18 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Man Charged With Sexually Abusing Children Will Remain In Custody

Credit Victor /

A federal judge says a 19-year-old Oklahoma man charged with sexually abusing children at a Kenyan orphanage will remain in custody while prosecutors appeal an order granting his release on bond.

U.S. District Judge David Russell issued his order Tuesday in the case of Matthew Lane Durham, who was set to be released to confinement in his family's Edmond home. A U.S. magistrate granted bond Monday.

Russell's order says Durham's release is on hold pending resolution of an appeal. Prosecutors say Durham is a danger to the community and could flee.

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Same-sex Marriage
1:26 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Attorneys For Lesbian Couples Request Compensation From Court

Credit marsmettn tallahassee /

The attorneys for two lesbian couples who challenged Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage have requested that Tulsa County cover their legal fees.

The Tulsa World reports the attorneys asked Friday that the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals compensate them for their work on the case. They said the request stems from a law that allows plaintiffs in civil rights cases who are successful in court to recover reasonable attorney fees.

The defending attorneys who represent the Tulsa County Court Clerk have until Aug. 18 to respond to the request.

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