Politics and Government
4:20 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

OK Democratic Party Hires New Communications Director

Sarah Baker, Director of Communications Oklahoma Democratic Party
Credit okdemocrats.org

The Oklahoma Democratic Party has announced that Sarah Baker has joined its staff as director of communications.

Baker will join interim executive director David Scott and finance coordinator Kimberley Bishop on the party's staff.

Baker opened a marketing and public relations business in 2010 and has served as vice president of communications for Oklahoma PTA. She most recently ran for the Oklahoma House of Representatives in District 43 in Yukon.

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Oklahoma News
3:45 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

McAlester Police To Wear Body Cameras

Credit cityofmcalester.com

The McAlester City Council has voted unanimously to approve new body cameras for the city's police force.

The McAlester News-Capital reports the council approved the purchase of the cameras Tuesday. The McAlester police plan to buy 39 new "compact wearable video systems," as well as a charging/docking station for a total cost of $31,000. One of the cameras will be given to the city's Criminal investigation Division, and the rest will go to patrol officers.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules For 'Open Internet'

At the start of a meeting to decide the issue of net neutrality, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler (center) holds hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn (left) and Jessica Rosenworcel at the FCC headquarters Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 5:27 pm

The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet."

The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs.

"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said Thursday.

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1:02 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Oscar Jacobson Retrospective, La Cage Aux Folles, And Paul Medina's 'Enchanted Circles'

A World Unconquered: The Art of Oscar Brousse Jacobson
FJJJMA permanent collection

This weekend, the Oscar Jacobson retrospective opens at the Fred Jr. Museum of Art, OU Musical Theater opens La Cage aux Folles and Paul Medina releases his new book Enchanted Circles. These fine Oklahoma artists will inspire and remind you of the generations of multi-talented innovators our great state has, and continues, to produce.

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Oklahoma News
12:24 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

House Passes Bill Outlawing Abortions That Dismember Fetuses In Womb

State Rep. Pam Peterson (R-Tulsa)
Credit okhouse.gov

The Oklahoma House has passed a bill that would prohibit abortions in which doctors use clamps, forceps or similar instruments to dismember a fetus in the womb.

House members voted 84-2 on Thursday. The bill, being pushed in several states by a national anti-abortion group, now goes to the Senate.

Republican Rep. Pam Peterson of Tulsa sponsored the bill that would outlaw procedures in which doctors use medical devices to dismember a fetus in the womb to complete an abortion.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:39 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Oklahoma 'Right To Farm' Push About More Than Agricultural Practices

Attendees listen as former Missouri state senator Wes Shoemeyer speaks against Amendment 1 at the Missouri’s Food for America sign-making event at Café Berlin Friday, June 27, 2014 in Columbia, Missouri.
KOMUnews Flickr

Oklahoma voters have at least a year before seeing for and against state questions on the ballot in November 2016. But you might want to get used to hearing this phrase now: right-to-farm. It’s a divisive national issue that’s made its way to the Sooner State, and puts agriculture at odds with environmentalists and animal rights activists.

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Oklahoma Watch
8:00 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Under Bill, Tougher Fines, Penalty For Cattle Rustling Than Assault

Credit Rubias Galegas / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma's House Criminal Justice and Corrections committee narrowly passed a measure Wednesday that would make fines and sentences for cattle theft steeper than they are for aggravated assault.

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Politics and Government
7:31 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Senate Rules Panel Calls For US Constitutional Convention, & OK Constitutional Amendment

Credit kjd / Flickr.com

Oklahoma could join a growing list of states calling for a convention to be held to amend the U.S. Constitution.

The Senate Rules Committee considered a bill on Wednesday calling for a constitutional convention to be held to consider amendments to restrict the federal government's power and impose term limits for members of Congress.

Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn visited with House and Senate Republicans on Monday and urged them to pass the bill.

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Science, Technology and Environment
6:35 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Oklahoma Bill Targeting Major Wind Project Withdrawn

A wind turbine under assembly near Balko in Oklahoma's Panhandle. When completed, the turbine will be part of D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments' 300-megawatt Balko Wind Project.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A bill to redefine public utilities in Oklahoma has been withdrawn amid concerns it would threaten plans for a major electricity transmission project connecting state wind farms to consumers in the South and on the East Coast.

Republican Rep. Todd Thomsen of Ada withdrew his bill from consideration after members of the House Utilities Committee complained it would threaten the Plains & Eastern Clean Line.

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5:50 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

High Court Leans Toward Religious Protection In Headscarf Case

Samantha Elauf outside the Supreme Court Wednesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 7:46 pm

At the U.S. Supreme Court, you know that it's going to be a hot argument when the usually straight-faced Justice Samuel Alito begins a question this way: "Let's say four people show up for a job interview ... this is going to sound like a joke, but it's not."

The issue before the court on Wednesday was whether retailer Abercrombie & Fitch violated the federal law banning religious discrimination when it rejected a highly rated job applicant because she wore a Muslim headscarf.

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