Politics and Government
7:07 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Agencies Discuss Budgets With Senate General Government, Transportation Subcommittee

State Auditor Gary Jones, who testified to the FY16 budget needs.
Credit State Auditor's Office

A series of state agencies met Tuesday with the Senate Appropriation Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation seeking increases or decreases in their budgets, maintaining their facilities to hiring on additional staff.

The Military Department requested an increase from the $11,868,249 it received in fiscal year 2015 to $15,753,000. The department primarily focused their budget priorities for the new year on maintaining its armories across the state, increasing the facilities’ maintenance budget, and increasing the energy budget.

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Politics and Government
6:52 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Department Of Corrections Asks For 18% Increase For Staff And Salaries

Oklahoma Department of Corrections badge.
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Department of Corrections defended its fiscal year 2016 appropriation requests Tuesday during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and the Judiciary budget hearing.

The department is requesting appropriations that would be nearly 18 percent more than what they were given for the current fiscal year.

Director of Communications Terri Watkins said the agency wants to eventually get back to levels of funding it saw six or seven years ago.

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Politics and Government
6:43 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Budget Requests Continue To Increase In Health, Human Services Subcommittee Hearings

The Oklahoma School for the Deaf in Sulphur, Oklahoma, one of the agencies requesting a budget increase for FY16 by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.
Credit The Oklahoma School for the Deaf

The trend in requesting budget increases continued into the second day of budget hearings presented to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

All four agencies presenting Tuesday requested significant increases to their fiscal year 2016 budgets.

The Oklahoma State University Medical Authority requested a $4.9 million increase, $4 million of which would be a one-time appropriation to replenish funds for the Rural Residency Expansion Act.

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Oklahoma News
4:51 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Gay Rights Group Say Many Bills Are Anti-Gay

The Freedom Oklahoma press conference on January 26, 2015.
Credit Freedom Oklahoma / Facebook

Gay rights supporters say Oklahoma is at the forefront of a wave of anti-gay legislation that is unfairly discriminatory and they plan to launch a campaign in the state to oppose more than a dozen bills introduced for the session that begins next week.

Some measures would give broad authority to businesses and corporations to discriminate against gay people. Others would ensure court clerks would not have to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Another would allow for so-called conversion therapy to help gay children end "unwanted sexual attraction."

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Capital Punishment
3:52 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Death Penalty Abolitionist Nun Campaigns In Oklahoma

Sister Helen Prejean
Credit sisterhelen.org

Noted author and death penalty abolitionist Sister Helen Prejean is urging Oklahomans to reconsider the death penalty while the Supreme Court decides whether the state's lethal injection method is constitutional.

The Roman Catholic nun and author of the book "Dead Man Walking" joined a group of death penalty opponents Monday calling on Oklahomans to consider joining the 18 states that have abolished it. The group also delivered more than 30,000 online petition signatures to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's office.

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NPR Story
2:51 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Proposal Could Open Parts Of Atlantic, Close Parts Of Arctic To Drilling

This 2007 photo provided by Shell Exploration & Production Company shows the Frontier Discoverer drilling rig as it sits in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. (Shell Exploration & Production via AP)

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 3:26 pm

The Obama Administration today is proposing opening up parts of the Eastern seaboard to offshore drilling, while at the same time proposing a ban on drilling along some parts of Alaska’s Arctic coast.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Phil Flynn, an energy market analyst with Price Futures Group, and Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council, about the proposal — a win and a loss each for environmentalists and the oil industry

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Obama Meets New Saudi King, Balancing Human Rights, U.S. Interests

President Obama meets Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 1:39 pm

President Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia today to meet newly crowned King Salman and said in an interview that the U.S. needs to balance its concerns about Saudi human rights with "immediate concerns" such as counterterrorism and regional stability.

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Business and Economy
12:08 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

State Unemployment Rate Falls To 4.4 Percent

Credit Kate Hiscock / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says the state's unemployment rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point in December, from 4.4 percent in November to 4.2 percent.

State officials said Tuesday that five of the state's nine seasonally adjusted business sectors added jobs in December. Professional and business services led the way with an over-the-month increase of 2,000 jobs. The construction, educational and health services and government sectors also posted sizeable gains for the month.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Holocaust Survivors Mark 70th Anniversary Of Auschwitz's Liberation

Holocaust survivors walk outside the gate of the of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Oswiecim, Poland, on Tuesday.
Alik Keplicz AP

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 12:07 pm

Holocaust survivors gathered along with several world leaders today to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation by the Soviet Red Army of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland where more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed.

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Shots - Health News
8:58 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Child Abuse And Neglect Laws Aren't Being Enforced, Report Finds

Will Crocker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 10:27 am

Laws intended to protect children from abuse and neglect are not being properly enforced, and the federal government is to blame. That's according to a study by the Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, which says children are suffering as a result.

The numbers are grim. Almost 680,000 children in the United States were the victims of abuse and neglect in 2013. More than 1,500 of them died.

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