State Capitol
11:19 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Oops: Fallin's Special Session Order Includes Typo

Gov. Mary Fallin's August 12, 2013 executive order. Democratic Senate Leader Sean Burrage called the special session "a waste of time and taxpayer dollars." In a news release, he said it will cost close to a $250,000 to fix a problem he says was created by the Republican majority.
Credit Provided (Photo Illustration by Brian Hardzinski) / Gov. Mary Fallin

Gov. Mary Fallin has reissued a call for a special legislative session to address changes in Oklahoma's civil justice system after she made reference to a part of the state constitution that doesn't exist.

Fallin issued an amended executive order on Tuesday that advised the Legislature not to violate Article 5, Section 57, which requires that each bill address only one subject.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court referenced that section of the Oklahoma Constitution when they overturned a 2009 civil justice bill two months ago.

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Native American
9:50 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Authorities Working To Bring Cherokee Girl, Father To South Carolina

Credit Cherokee Nation

A South Carolina sheriff says he is working with authorities to figure out how to bring a Cherokee girl from Oklahoma to her adoptive parents.

Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said Monday he is also working with state and federal authorities to bring biological father Dusten Brown to South Carolina to face charges.

The 3-year-old named Veronica has been living with Brown since 2011, but courts have finalized her adoption by a Charleston-area couple.

Brown was charged with custodial interference after he failed to appear at a scheduled meeting Aug. 4.

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Affordable Care Act
8:48 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Oklahoma's Federal Health Care Lawsuit Allowed To Continue

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt
Credit Oklahoma Attorney General's Office

A federal judge has denied part of the federal government's motion to dismiss Oklahoma's lawsuit challenging the new federal health care law.

U.S. District Judge Ronald White handed down the ruling Monday in Muskogee. The ruling grants parts of the government's request to dismiss the case but denies other parts.

White rejected the government's argument that Oklahoma lacked standing to challenge the law. The decision means that parts of the lawsuit, filed by OklahomaAttorney General Scott Pruitt in 2011, will continue to be litigated.

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Code Switch
8:03 am
Tue August 13, 2013

How Would You Kill The N-Word?

In 2007, the NAACP held a mock burial for the N-word to symbolize its campaign to stamp out the word's usage. But it's proved to be a hardy foe.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 9:10 am

We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology or just because it has an interesting story.

NOTE TO READERS: This is a post about one of the harshest racial slurs in American English. In the interest of forthrightness, we're going to use the slur throughout this essay. In other words, you'll see "nigger" used throughout the essay. We understand that the word is upsetting, so we wanted to offer people a chance to opt out now

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Special Session Called
5:20 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Fallin Ends Suspense And Calls Special Session

Oklahoma State Capital Building
Credit rutio / Flickr.com

Governor Mary Fallin finally ended the speculation that a special session would be called by issuing an executive order today for the Oklahoma Legislature to meet beginning Tuesday, September 3. The executive order calls on lawmakers to re-institute components of House Bill 1603, a comprehensive lawsuit reform package signed into law in 2009.

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Prison Overcrowding
4:20 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Lawmakers Want Prison Funding Discussed In Special Session

Prison Window
Credit Jelle Vancoppenolle / Flickr.com

Some Oklahoma lawmakers with state prison facilities in their districts are asking Gov. Mary Fallin to include corrections funding in any special legislative session she calls.

Nine state senators and 12 members of the House have signed a petition calling for corrections funding to be addressed if a special session is called by the governor.

Fallin is considering calling a special session to consider restoring laws overturned by the state Supreme Court that were designed to cut businesses' legal liability costs.

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Drugs And Narcotics
1:37 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

State’s Marijuana Arrest Rates Slightly Higher Than Nation’s

Oklahoma’s arrest rate for marijuana possession is slightly above the national rate, and arrest rates vary considerably among counties, according to an Oklahoma Watch analysis of 10 years’ worth of FBI data.

Click on a button to see a county’s rate of arrests for marijuana possession. Each button is placed on a county seat. The red buttons denote the counties with the highest rates.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:16 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Sierra Club Sues OG&E, Claims Coal Boiler Mods Violated Federal Clean Air Act

The first page of the Sierra Club's lawsuit against OG&E.
Credit Provided / The Sierra Club

The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co., the state’s largest electric utility, alleging the company violated the federal Clean Air Act by modifying a coal burner at its Muskogee power plant without “planning for increased levels of air pollution and failing to obtain a permit from state regulators.”

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Moore Tornado
12:40 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Moore Schools To Reopen After Devastating Tornado

Gov. Mary Fallin leads Gen. Frank J. Grass, Chief, National Guard Bureau through the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., where seven students were killed during the May 20th, 2013 tornado.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials at Moore Public Schools welcomed teachers to a new school year following a devastating tornado that destroyed two schools and damaged many others.

Superintendent Robert Romines spoke to more than 1,400 Moore Public School teachers Monday morning – 84 days after a massive tornado struck the community. He says about 750 new students enrolled in Moore Public Schools during the 2013-2014 school year.

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Native American
11:57 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Dusten Brown Turns Himself In To Oklahoma Authorities

Credit Cherokee Nation

The father of a Cherokee Indian girl at the center of an adoption dispute has turned himself in to authorities but refused extradition to South Carolina.

Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart says Dusten Brown turned himself in about 10 a.m. and appeared before a judge but refused extradition without a governor's warrant.

Brown was charged over the weekend with custodial interference after failing to appear at a court-ordered meeting in South Carolina.

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