Affordable Care Act
12:44 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Pruitt Challenges Health Care Law, IRS On Capitol Hill

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee - July 31, 2013.
Credit U.S. House of Representatives / UStream

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt testified before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Wednesday morning.

Pruitt says the Affordable Care Act prohibits the Internal Revenue Service from imposing tax penalties on large employers if that state did not adopt its own health care exchange.

Starting in 2015, any company with more than 50 workers faces hefty tax penalties for not providing adequate coverage to employees who then go to a subsidized federal exchange.

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Governor's Arts Awards
10:58 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Nominations Open For Governor's Arts Awards

The view from above the 2010 state Capitol ceremony for the Governor's Arts Awards.
Credit Oklahoma Arts Council

The Oklahoma Arts Council is taking nominations for the Governor’s Arts Awards. Celebrating its 38th year, nominations for the awards will be taken through August 9.

“They are allowed to submit support material, whether a letter of support or a recommendation, to say why this person is deserving of the award,” said Director of Marketing and Communications Joel Garvin, who also encourages the submission of newspaper clippings and other promotional materials.

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OneSix8
10:57 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Entertaining The Hours Of Your Week: Events To Beat Summer Heat

Wayne White's drawing of his Bull Rider puppet, on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Credit okcmoa.com

The seasonably hot weather has arrived here in Norman. The cool fronts that appeared earlier this summer have vanished, and it seems like the heat may have slowed the number of events occurring throughout the state this weekend. No worries though: OneSix8 still has you covered with a few ways to spend your summer hours. 

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Jobs
10:07 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Unemployment Up In 75 Oklahoma Counties

The state's two largest metropolitan areas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, also showed an increase in the unemployment rate. Oklahoma City retains its second place spot as one of the nation's largest metro areas with low unemployment. The OKC area slipped to number two behind Minneapolis in May.
Credit U.S. Census Bureau

County unemployment rates increased in Oklahoma in June, according to data released Tuesday by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, and vary across the state.

Roger Mills County claimed Oklahoma’s lowest county unemployment rate in June at 2.6 percent and Latimer County reported the state’s highest county unemployment rate in June at 9.2 percent.

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State Capitol
9:16 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Fraud, Enforcement Focus Of Roofing Legislative Study

Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

Rep. Jon Echols said he plans to look at the strength of current Oklahoma roofing code, both by looking at existing regulations and how they are enforced, during an interim study.

“We’re going to bring in all parties, regulatory parties, the roofers, and any interested parties, and talk a little bit about what’s going on in the state and out of state with roofers following Oklahoma roofing code,” said Echols (R-Oklahoma City).

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Wed July 31, 2013

U.S. Economy: GDP Surprises, And Hiring Rises In July

A chart shows the quarterly growth of real GDP in the United States. The U.S. economy expanded more than analysts had expected, at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent.
Bureau of Economic Analysis

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 1:51 pm

The U.S. economy grew by an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, according to gross domestic product data released Wednesday morning. The Commerce Department says the rise stems from business investments, particularly in buildings, and an upturn in exports and the civilian aircraft industry.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Wed July 31, 2013

As Sentencing Phase Begins, Manning Could Face Decades In Prison

Former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, found guilty of espionage and theft Tuesday, could face a lengthy prison sentence. A penalty hearing for Manning begins today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 9:57 am

As the sentencing hearing for former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning begins today, he faces the possibility of spending many decades in prison. Manning was found guilty Tuesday of 19 counts for giving thousands of classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks.

Manning, 25, was acquitted of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge against him, which would have put him in jeopardy of a life sentence. He was found guilty of other serious charges, from theft to espionage, for his role in the largest leak of U.S. secrets in history.

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Politics and Government
6:01 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Company Laying Off Workers Received Taxpayer Dollars To Create Jobs

State Representative Mike Reynolds
Credit www.okhouse.gov

The decision last week by Spirit AeroSystems to lay off 360 employees from its facilities in Kansas and Oklahoma is causing one lawmaker to question economic incentives the company receives from the state.

Representative Mike Reynolds says he is “disgusted” that the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program would give millions of taxpayer dollars to Spirit for job creation at the same time the company is reducing its workforce.

A news release from Reynolds says the aircraft parts manufacturer received two payments through the program for more than 2-million dollars.

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State Capitol
3:21 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

No Democrats To Challenge Republican Incumbents?

GOP Elephant and Democratic Donkey
Credit Donkeyhotey / Flickr.com

After a Republican steamroll in Oklahoma in 2010 flipped every statewide elected office to the GOP, very few strong Democratic candidates are emerging to take on entrenched GOP incumbents like Gov. Mary Fallin and others.

With the 2014 elections a little more than one year away and a key campaign finance filing deadline at midnight on Wednesday, most of those on the OklahomaDemocrats' already thin political bench appear to be taking a pass on 2014.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

On Twitter, Scott Simon's Long Goodbye To His Mother

Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon documented his mother's final days to his more than 1.2 million Twitter followers.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 4:22 pm

Fans of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday no doubt noticed the absence of longtime host Scott Simon in recent weeks. What started as a well-earned vacation took a somber turn, as Scott told his Twitter followers on July 16 that his mother was in need of an emergency operation. "I can't talk. I'm surrounded by handsome men," he quoted her as saying while she was prepped for surgery.

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