Science
2:03 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Wise Old Whooping Cranes Keep Captive-Bred Fledglings On Track

This young whooping crane is on its first fall migration, guided by an Operation Migration ultralight aircraft. Each whooper in this population wears an identification band, and many carry tracking devices that record their movements in detail.
Joe Duff Operation Migration USA Inc.

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:40 pm

Being a wildlife biologist in the 21st century increasingly means rescuing rare animals from extinction. Among the success stories is the whooping crane. Seventy years ago there were only about 16 birds left on the planet. Now there are about 600.

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Adoption Dispute
6:14 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

South Carolina Sending Deputies To Oklahoma In Cherokee Custody Case

Seal of the Cherokee Nation
Credit Cherokee Nation

A South Carolina sheriff says he has sent two deputies and a state agent to Oklahoma as the dispute over the adoption of a 3-year-old Cherokee girl continues.

Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon told The Post and Courier of Charleston he sent the officers Thursday morning because he thought they could assist authorities in Oklahoma.

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150 Jobs On The Line
4:17 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Impending Closure Of Casino Prompts Negotiations With Cherokee Nation

Keetoowah Casino
Credit peggydavis66 / Flickr.com

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians is hoping to negotiate with the Cherokee Nation to keep the Keetoowahs' Tahlequah casino open.

The Tulsa World reports that the Keetoowah Council voted to enter negotiations with the Cherokees to sign over the land to the Cherokee Nation — which would then lease it back to the Keetoowahs to keep the casino open.

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Syrian Civil War
3:06 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Inhofe On Syria: "We Just Can’t Take On Anything Else"

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) says the Defense Department budget cuts due to sequestration have been too great to use military resources.
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Congress is in recess until September 9th, but lawmakers are calling for congressional involvement to any U.S. response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons against civilians last week.

This evening, U.S. House and Senate leaders will get a briefing from the White House. President Obama has said he is certain that the chemical weapon attack was initiated by Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

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School
12:28 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Longtime Okla. Democrat To Run For Superintendent

Credit Wesley Fryer / Flickr Creative Commons

The former chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is the latest candidate to announce they are running against first-term Republican State Superintendent Janet Barresi.

Longtime university professor Ivan Holmes officially announced his candidacy at a press conference Thursday at the state Capitol.

The 76-year-old joins a crowded field of Democrats seeking to oust Barresi, who also is facing a primary challenge from fellow Republican Joy Hofmeister, a former state school board member from Tulsa who was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin.

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Drought
11:20 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Dry Conditions Spread In Oklahoma

Parts of southwest Oklahoma remain in exceptional to extreme drought.
Credit Anthony Artusa / NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC

The worst drought categories are unchanged in Oklahoma this week, although abnormally dry conditions have spread into more areas of the state.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:01 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Twister Truths: Can Nothing Survive An EF5 Tornado?

The skeleton of a home on Lakeview Drive in Moore, which was ravaged by the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

This is part two in StateImpact Oklahoma's "Twister Truths" series where we use data to kick the tires on the conventional wisdom underlying severe weather policy in Oklahoma. Read part one here

Despite the risk that comes with living in Tornado Alley, many Oklahomans are reluctant to build tornado shelters. And state and local building codes don’t factor for twisters.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Are We Martians? Scientist Says We Just Might Be

Mars: Our "home" planet?
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 10:15 am

As Adam Frank has said over on the 13.7 blog, "Earth and Mars have been swapping spit (astrobiologically speaking) for eons ... [and] it is entirely possible we were Earth's first alien invasion."

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Prisons
9:56 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Why North Carolina Is Putting Fewer People Behind Bars As Oklahoma's Prison Population Climbs

Oklahoma's inmate population continues to climb despite efforts to reduce the number of resdients behind bars.
Oklahoma Watch

Several years ago, legislators in both Oklahoma and North Carolina began taking steps to address rising incarceration rates.

The number of incarcerated offenders in Oklahoma had increased by a few thousand inmates in the past decade, giving the state one of the highest rates of imprisonment in the nation.

The prison population was growing at a similar pace in North Carolina, and officials were expecting an additional 10 percent increase by 2020.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:43 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Can Coal Plants Dump Unlimited Amounts Of Toxic Metals Into OK’s Waterways?

Grand Riverkeeper Earl Hatley stands at the edge of the GRDA power plant's property near Chouteau, Okla
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

There’s a report out from a group of environmental organizations including Waterkeeper Alliance and the Sierra Club that says there are “essentially no limits” on the amounts toxic metals coal-fired power plants can dump into Oklahoma’s waterways.

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