StateImpact Oklahoma
9:14 am
Thu August 22, 2013

As Oklahoma’s Oilfield Booms, State Tax Breaks Follow

Toolpusher and rig manager Darrin Silcot walks the perimeter of a Triad Energy horizontal drilling operation near Alva, Okla.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The energy industry fuels Oklahoma’s economy, and the state is flush with active rigs and plentiful oil and natural gas production.

Oklahoma’s oilfields are booming, as are state tax credits for drilling, which is leading some to question whether it’s sound fiscal policy to incentivize a thriving industry.

Joe Wertz visits and oil well site to help explain differing opinions on taxpayer support for drilling.

Read more
Testing
8:57 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Oklahoma Sees Increase In ACT Scores

Mean ACT test composite scores 1999-2008
Credit Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

 

Oklahoma high school seniors who took the American College Testing (ACT) exam last spring showed an increase in their composite scores over the previous year’s seniors, moving the state scores closer to the national average, a new report shows.

Data released Wednesday by ACT shows that this year’s senior class scored an average of 20.8 on the test, which is 0.1 point higher than the 2012 score.

The national average for 2013 graduates was 20.9, a 0.2 point decrease from 2012

Read more
OneSix8
7:30 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Entertaining The Hours Of Your Week: A Week For Words

This cell used to contain condemned slaves is one of many photographs on display as part of Douglas Henderson's Doors of No Return exhibit.
Credit Douglas Henderson

Words are powerful things. They shape our views on issues; they allow us to express ourselves; and they have the power to hurt and heal. This week’s OneSix8 brings three word-worthy events to fill the hours in your week. 

Read more
Business
7:25 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Bank Of America To Close Some Drive-Up Tellers

Bank of America won't say exactly how many drive-through lanes are closing. A spokeswoman did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking. At branches where drive-through lanes are closing, the bank says ATMs will be available.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:43 am

Some Bank of America branches with drive-through tellers from Georgia to Texas have already closed the lanes, according to spokeswoman Tara Burke.

She wouldn't divulge exactly how many are closing. She did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking.

About 13 million customers bank by mobile phone and 29 million participate in online services. Among them is 19-year-old Brittney Sprague who says, "Not too many folks will really miss the drive-through teller because everybody uses apps. It's all about the new technology."

Read more
Ellsberg Praises Bradley Manning
5:41 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Pentagon Papers Leaker Ellsberg Calls Manning Inspirational

Daniel Ellsberg at Whistleblower Conference
Credit Carol Leigh / Flickr.com

Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg says Bradley Manning is ``one more casualty of a horrible, wrongful war'' and he did not deserve any prison time.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday for giving troves of military and diplomatic secrets to WikiLeaks.  Ellsberg told The Associated Press by telephone that Manning will always be an inspiration of civil and moral courage to truth tellers. 

Read more
Measles in Texas
4:00 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Measles Outbreak In Texas Too Close For Comfort

Child With Measles
Credit Dave Haygarth / Flickr.com

Health officials in Oklahoma say they're keeping a close eye on a measles outbreak in Texas.

There have been no reported cases of measles in Oklahoma. But state Department of Health Immunization Service Director Lori Linstead says there is concern because measles is very contagious and "spreads like wildfire."

Read more
Politics and Government
2:51 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Ex-Oklahoma State Senator Arrested In Mississippi

Former State Sen. Jay Paul Gumm (D-Durant).
Credit Provided / Oklahoma Senate

The Mississippi state auditor says a former Oklahoma state senator has been arrested for embezzlement.

A news release from State Auditor Stacey Pickering's office says Jay Paul Gumm of Wiggins, Miss., was arrested last week for allegedly embezzling more than $24,000 from the Stone County Economic Development Partnership in Mississippi. Gumm is the former director of the partnership and is now free on $20,000 bond.

Pickering spokesman Brett Kittredge said Wednesday that Gumm is a former state senator from Durant, Okla.

Read more
Religion
2:24 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

New Southern Baptist Leader On Issues And The State Of The Church

Russell Moore is the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention.
Credit Provided / Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination, with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide.

The new president of its Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission – the division tasked with addressing moral and religious freedom issues — is Russell Moore, a theologian from Louisville, Kentucky.

The Southern Baptist Convention has been criticized for its strictly conservative views.

Read more
StateImpact Oklahoma
2:01 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

GRDA And Gov. Fallin Make Nice As Plans For New Natural Gas Plant Move Forward

Empty coal cars leaving the Grand River Dam Authority's coal-fired complex in Chouteau, Okla.
Credit Doug Wertman / Flickr Creative Commons

The summer was tough on the Grand River Dam Authority’s relationship with Gov. Mary Fallin.

It started when the GRDA announced plans earlier this year to spend almost $400 million to build a new natural gas power plant, and upgrade its newest coal-fired plant in compliance with new federal regulations.

Read more
Duncan Murder
1:27 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Killing Of Australian Sparks Calls For Boycott Of U.S.

A Facebook tribute page for murdered Australian baseball player Christopher Lane already has more than 50,000 followers.
Credit R.I.P. Christopher Lane / Facebook

Killing Of Australian Sparks Calls For Boycott Of U.S.

Former Australian deputy prime minister Tim Fischer is urging Australian tourists to stay away from the U.S., following the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Christopher Lane, an Australian on a baseball scholarship at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.

Fischer told the country’s Herald-Sun newspaper that Australians should boycott the U.S. as a way to force Congress to act on gun control.

WBUR and NPR's Here and Now host Robin Young spoke with Claire Crouch, a reporter for KSWO, the ABC television affiliate in Lawton.

Read more

Pages