The Two-Way
9:39 am
Thu April 23, 2015

U.S. Operations Killed Two Hostages Held By Al-Qaida, Including An American

President Obama expresses his condolences today to the families of the American and Italian aid workers killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 4:31 pm

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

President Obama offered his "grief and condolences" to the families of the American and Italian aid workers killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January. Both men were held hostage by al-Qaida.

"I take full responsibility for a U.S. government counterterrorism operation that killed two innocent hostages held by al-Qaida," Obama said.

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Energy
8:42 am
Thu April 23, 2015

PBS Newshour: Oklahoma Links Earthquakes To Oil And Gas Industry Wastewater

Since 2009, there’s been a drastic increase in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma. Many people think it’s tied to an increase in oil and gas drilling, but due to the energy boom, state officials have been reluctant to draw a connection.

On Tuesday, state officials acknowledged the quakes are likely caused by wells used to dispose of wastewater from both traditional drilling methods, as well as hydraulic fracturing.

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OneSix8
7:37 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Spiked Cabbage And Blown Glass Among Attractions At Annual Oklahoma City Festival

Chelsy and Jasmine Glenn are enjoying a family tradition they've kept since Chelsy was 4 years old- ordering their favorite dish from International Food Row on opening day at Festival of the Arts.
Brooke Lefler KGOU

Families, couples and groups of friends relax in tree shade on a wide lawn next to a flower garden in full bloom. They giggle and watch the antics of comedian and juggler Dan Raspyni. He reveals an axe with a top spike for his next trick, and some tough teens from the back of the crowd call out, “Is that real?”

“Yes!” says Raspyni. “To prove it, I will cut whoever said that. Now who said that?”

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Around the Nation
5:53 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Oklahomans Feel Way More Earthquakes Than Californians; Now They Know Why

Austin Holland, research seismologist at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, gestures to a chart of Oklahoma earthquakes in June 2014 as he talks about recent earthquake activity at his offices at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. The state had three times as many earthquakes as California last year.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 1:25 pm

A magnitude-3.0 earthquake is small, but most people can feel it. Historically, Oklahoma got less than two of those a year, but in 2013 it became two a week.

It's only gotten more active since then — last year, the state had three times as many earthquakes as in the entire seismically active state of California.

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Oklahoma News
6:40 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Lawmakers Pass Religious Freedom Bills

Credit KellyK / Flickr Creative Commons

Legislation that protects members of the clergy who refuse to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony has been approved by the Oklahoma House and Senate.

The House voted 87-8 for the bill Wednesday while a nearly identical bill passed the Senate on a 38-5 vote. All opposing votes came from Democrats.

The bills protect clergy members and others authorized to perform weddings from being required to perform them if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. They also shield churches from being required to participate in the ceremonies.

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Oklahoma News
6:12 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

House Approves Legislation Banning Cities From Stopping Oil & Gas Activities

Oklahoma House of Representatives Chamber
Credit http://www.oklegislature.gov/

The Oklahoma House has approved legislation prohibiting cities and towns from regulating oil and natural gas drilling operations.

The House voted 64-32 for the bill by Republican House Speaker Jeff Hickman of Fairview and sent it to the Senate to consider House amendments. One amendment allows local laws to reduce flooding risks in order to comply with National Flood Insurance Program rules.

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Oklahoma Watch
1:29 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

High Suspension Rates Of Black Oklahoma City Students Starts In Elementary School

Thelma R. Parks Elementary School in Northeast Oklahoma City, which had the highest overall suspension rate in Oklahoma City at 42.1 percent.
Jacob McCleland KGOU

The higher number of black student suspensions starts at an early age in Oklahoma City, where 12 elementary schools suspended more than 40 percent of their black students in 2011-2012.

Data from the U.S. Department of Education show black students in elementary schools are consistently suspended at higher rates than their white peers in Oklahoma City.

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Sports
12:59 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Oklahoma City Thunder Fire Head Coach Scott Brooks

OKC Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks and F Kevin Durant
Fredericksburg Tribune Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma City Thunder have fired coach Scott Brooks.

The team made the announcement Wednesday.

Brooks coached the Thunder for seven seasons. Starting in 2010-11, he led the team to the Western Conference Finals three out of four years, and the Thunder reached the NBA Finals in 2012. The Thunder failed to make the playoffs this past season, as injuries limited them to a 45-37 finish.

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Education
7:51 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Wants To Revamp District's Discipline Code

Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Rob Neu addresses reporters during a Tuesday news conference.
Oklahoma Watch YouTube

Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Rob Neu said Tuesday the district is revisiting its code of conduct, and if kids aren’t threatening the safety of others they need to stay in school.

During a press conference, Neu told reporters he also wants the district to get better at intervening before problems get out of hand. He also emphasized that connecting with the student, parents, and community is vital to the solution.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
6:23 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Oklahoma Seismologist: Quakes ‘Very Likely’ Triggered By Oil And Gas Disposal Wells

The offices of Gov. Mary Fallin and the Secretary of Energy and Environment debuted a new web portal, earthquakes.ok.gov, to serve as a "one-stop-shop" for quake research and regulatory news.

Disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry are ‘very likely’ responsible for the recent surge of earthquakes in Oklahoma, the state seismologist at the Oklahoma Geological Survey said Tuesday.

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