Education
1:03 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Natalie Shirley Appointed Secretary Of Education And Workforce Development

Natalie Shirley
Credit Provided / Gov. Mary Fallin's Office

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has named Natalie Shirley secretary of education and workforce development.

Shirley has been president of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City since 2011 and is the first female president in the OSU system. Fallin named her to the cabinet secretary's post Thursday and she will begin serving in the position on Monday.

Fallin says one of her top priorities for 2015 is to increase educational attainment in Oklahoma and that Shirley will lead the way for providing the skills people need to get a good job.

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Politics and Government
12:17 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Bill Filed To Create Alert System For Escaped Inmates

State Rep. John Paul Jordan (R-Yukon)
Credit okhouse.gov

An Oklahoma lawmaker has filed a measure to notify the public when inmates escape from state prisons.

The measure by Rep. John Paul Jordan of Yukon will act as an "Amber Alert" or "Silver Alert" system for the public whenever a prisoner escapes into the general population. Jordan says it would notify the public and give them an opportunity to protect themselves.

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World Views
10:13 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Idea-Vs.-Reality For African Immigrant Families In A ‘Post-Racial’ France

Credit Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

The relationship between racial identity and national identity is a contentious subject in France.

France’s National Assembly voted in 2013 to remove any references to race from national legislation, and French President François Hollande has asserted his belief that racial distinctions have no place in French society.

University of Oklahoma sociologist Loretta Bass calls this attitude toward racial issues the “Ostrich Policy.”

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NPR Ed
8:33 am
Thu January 22, 2015

The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing

PublicAffairs Books

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:57 am

After a long stretch as the law of the land, annual standardized tests are being put to, well, the test.

This week, the Senate education committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and, specifically, on testing. The committee's chairman, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has released a draft bill offering a lot more leeway to states in designing their own assessment systems.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
6:35 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Permit Process Used To Scrutinize Wells In Earthquake Country, Industry Remains Silent

Oil-field workers in November 2014 tending to American Energy-Woodford's Judge South well near Perkins, Okla., shortly after the Oklahoma Corporation Commission ordered it temporarily shut-in.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

As earthquakes continue to rattle Oklahoma and scientists study links to oil and gas production, many Oklahomans want to know what, if anything, is being done to address the shaking.

An investigation by StateImpact shows that while authorities are quietly scrutinizing wells in quake-prone parts of the state, most of the companies that operate the wells are staying silent.

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Oklahoma Watch
4:05 am
Thu January 22, 2015

State Says Doc’s Pain Pill Prescriptions Were ‘Red Flags’

The Wellness Clinic in Roland
Credit Anny Sivilay / Sequoah County Times

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs on Wednesday began presenting its case against a Sequoyah County doctor who it says prescribed 4.6 million doses of narcotics during 18 months in 2013 and 2014.

The administrative hearing against Dr. Ronald V. Myers Sr. was expected to continue all week and perhaps longer. The bureau is seeking to revoke Myers’ license to prescribe controlled dangerous substances in Oklahoma.

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Weather and Climate
6:32 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

VIDEO: Inhofe Says Climate Has Always Changed, Not Caused By Human Activity

One of Congress' most vocal skeptics of climate change is backing a measure saying it is real and not a hoax — but says it's arrogance to believe human beings are causing it.

In a surprise move, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) joined an effort Wednesday by Democrats to get the GOP on the record about climate science. The Republican-controlled Senate backed the non-binding measure 98-1 Wednesday. It reads, "Climate change is real and not a hoax."

Many Republicans deny the science or say they don't have the expertise to form an opinion. Inhofe said Wednesday he doesn't buy what most scientists accept — that the burning of fossil fuels from human activities is to blame.

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Politics and Government
5:02 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Bill Filed Would Allow Attorney General To Investigate Officer-Involved Fatalities

State Rep. Mike Shelton (D-Oklahoma City)
Credit Oklahoma House

A Democratic state representative has filed a measure that would allow the Oklahoma attorney general to investigate and prosecute officer-involved civilian fatalities.

House Bill 1319 was announced Wednesday by state Rep. Mike Shelton of Oklahoma City. The proposal would give the attorney general the discretion to open an investigation into any death in Oklahoma caused by a law-enforcement officer.

Shelton says the public deserves to know that an impartial, thorough investigation is going to be conducted when a law enforcement officer causes the death of a civilian.

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Shots - Health News
4:42 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

E-Cigarettes Can Churn Out High Levels Of Formaldehyde

Vapor from an e-cigarette obscures the user's face in a London coffee bar.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:55 pm

Vapor produced by electronic cigarettes can contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — researchers reported Wednesday.

The findings, described in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, intensify concern about the safety of electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular.

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Politics and Government
4:20 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Gov. Fallin Appoints Steve Burrage To Tax Commission

Steve Burrage
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Gov. Mary Fallin has announced the appointment of Steve Burrage to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Fallin's office announced the appointment Wednesday. Burrage, the chairman of the board at BankFirst in Antlers, will serve a six-year term succeeding Jerry Johnson, who is retiring Jan. 31.

Burrage also serves as secretary on the Oklahoma Board of Corrections and as chairman of the board's finance and audit committee.

Fallin appointed Burrage to the corrections board in 2012. Burrage will resign from that board Jan. 31.

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