Death Penalty
5:01 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

LISTEN: Justices Fire Sharp Questions During Death-Penalty Hearing

U.S. Supreme Court West Facade.
Credit UpstateNYer / Wikimedia Commons

Updated May 1 at 12:15 p.m.: Listen to the oral arguments from Wednesday's Supreme Court hearing on Oklahoma's death penalty challenge. 

Original post below:

Exactly one year after a botched execution in Oklahoma, the state’s new lethal injection protocol came under intense questioning Wednesday by a divided U.S. Supreme Court, with the pivotal justice, Anthony Kennedy, doing little to tip his hand.

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Oklahoma News
3:17 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Texting While Driving Ban Sent To Gov. Fallin's Desk

Credit Jason Weaver / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma House has approved legislation to ban texting and driving in the state.

Without debate, the House voted 85-7 for the bill Wednesday and sent it to Gov. Mary Fallin for her signature. Applause broke out in the chamber after the bill by Republican Rep. Terry O'Donnell of Tulsa was approved.

Lawmakers approved the bill after accepting an amendment by the Senate that makes texting and driving a primary offense, meaning Oklahoma drivers could be pulled over and ticketed for texting while driving alone without committing any another traffic offense.

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1:01 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

15 Female Artists Work Well Together At Fifth Annual FRINGE Collective Show

Beatriz Mayorca's "Rowing Boat #1" From The Lines Collection. Wood, metal, burlap. 24” x 4” x 5.25”. All images included here represent artworks on display and for sale at the upcoming FRINGE group show May 1-30 at the Project Box.
Beatriz Mayorca

On a recent Saturday afternoon, 13 women and a baby gathered around a large work table in a small storefront gallery on Paseo Drive in Oklahoma City. The white walls were decorated with “Husbands, Wives and Lovers,” a group of about 15 oil paintings by Mary James Ketch, one of the women seated at the table. Frequent laughter erupted and echoed off the tile floor and high ceiling of the narrow Project Box.

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Business and Economy
12:34 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Oklahoma City Development Trust Approves $7.2 Million In Incentives To Boeing, Paycom

Credit Urbanative / Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma City leaders have approved $7.2 million in economic incentives for two businesses to create more than 1,300 new jobs in the area.

The Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust decided Wednesday that the city can begin negotiations with Boeing Co. and Paycom Software Inc.

The Oklahoman reports the group gave the green light for $6 million in economic development incentives for Boeing. The aerospace company is expected to bring about 900 jobs, including engineering positions, to the city from other states.

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Death Penalty
12:15 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Divided On Oklahoma's Death Penalty Challenge

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday morning on Oklahoma’s death penalty protocol and whether the use of a new sedative might cause cruel and unusual punishment. 

Justices took turns asking heated questions to both Robin Konrad, who represents the Oklahoma death row inmates, and Oklahoma Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick.

Justice Anthony Kennedy is often the pivotal vote in close cases. He remained quiet through the hearing and did little to reveal which way he was leaning.  

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World Views
10:49 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Gaining Insight On East German Culture Through Film And Literature

The poster for the 1966 East German Western film 'Die Söhne der großen Bärin' (literally 'The Sons of the Great She-Bear'), directed by the Czechoslovakian filmmaker Josef Mach
Credit Bahavd Gita / Wikimedia Commons

In 1949, postwar Germany officially split into two separate countries with the formation of the German Democratic Republic. Also known as East Germany, the GDR was isolated from the Western world for nearly three decades, but it developed its own, equally rich literary and cinematic cultures.

East Germany did begin producing motion pictures before it officially broke away from West Germany. The films initially were rooted in similar cinematic traditions, says Oregon State University German language professor and world culture scholar Sebastian Heiduschke. He says when the Berlin Wall went up, the similarities between East and West German filmmaking began to disappear.

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Science, Technology and Environment
8:48 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Tulsa, Oklahoma City Among Most Ozone-Polluted Cities In The U.S.

Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.
OakleyOriginals Flickr

A report out Wednesday morning from the American Lung Association ranks Oklahoma’s two largest cities among the most-polluted in the country.

The 2015 State of the Air report ranked the Tulsa-Muskogee-Bartlesville metropolitan statistical area 12th on a list of the 25 most ozone-polluted cities. Also known as smog, it can aggravate pre-existing lung conditions such as asthma.

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It's All Politics
5:19 am
Wed April 29, 2015

After Botched Executions, Supreme Court Weighs Lethal Drug Cocktail

Bottles of the sedative midazolam at a hospital pharmacy in Oklahoma City.

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 5:39 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in three death penalty cases testing which drug combinations constitute cruel and unusual punishment when used to execute a convicted murderer by lethal injection.

It is the second time in seven years that the justices have looked at the lethal injection question, and it comes after three botched executions over the past year.

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Oklahoma News
5:28 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Memo Warned Tulsa Sheriff About Volunteer Deputy's Training

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz

Lawyers for a Tulsa man shot dead by a reserve deputy have released a document indicating an Oklahoma sheriff was told directly about concerns the volunteer's training record may have been falsified.

The 2009 memo appears to be initialed by Sheriff Stanley Glanz, but doesn't say when it was prepared or sent to him. Glanz declined comment Tuesday.

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Oklahoma News
3:42 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund Tops $1 Billion

Oklahoma's Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund now has a balance of more than $1 billion.

State Treasurer Ken Miller said Tuesday that the trust fund's balance reached $1.03 billion after a deposit of $57.6 million from the annual payment to the state from the tobacco industry. The state received a total payment of $76.9 million, with the remaining funds divided between health care related appropriations by the Legislature and the attorney general's evidence fund.

The payments are the result of a 1998 lawsuit by Oklahoma and 45 other states against tobacco companies.

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