Shots - Health News
2:29 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Could Hotter Temperatures From Climate Change Boost Violence?

A police officer guards Cambodia's famed temple of Angkor Wat. The powerful city-state collapsed in 1431 after suffering through two decades of droughts.
Heng Sinith AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 2:48 pm

Rates of homicide and other violent crimes often spike in cities during heat waves. People get cranky. Tempers flare.

So as the Earth gets hotter because of climate change, will it also become more violent?

Many scientists have thought so. And now a team of economists offers the first quantitative estimates for just how much weather changes might amplify human conflict.

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State Capitol
2:16 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Capitol Repair Commission Should Start Work Soon

Oklahoma State Capitol
Credit KellyK / Flickr Creative Commons

The renovated commission responsible for overseeing, among other things, State Capitol repairs should soon begin its work.

John Estus, spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said the agency hopes the Long-Range Capital Planning Commission will begin its work in “late summer or early fall.”

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NPR Story
1:06 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Gay Olympian To Athletes: Don't Boycott Winter Olympics

Johnny Weir of USA skates at the 2012 Finlandia Trophy Espoo International figure skating competition. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/LEHTIKUVA via AP)

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:52 pm

Recent legislation in Russia that criminalizes homosexuality and gay rights activism is raising concerns ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Russia has also seen an outbreak of violence against gay rights advocates, raising questions about safety for gay athletes and visitors to the Olympic games.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Whitey Bulger Decides Not To Take The Stand

James "Whitey" Bulger, in an image released by the U.S. Marshal's Service in August 2011.
EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:18 am

One of the most anticipated testimonies in a criminal trial will not happen: James "Whitey" Bulger, the notorious Boston gangster, decided not to testify in his own defense, today.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:11 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Twister Truths: Does The Tornado Risk Peak After The School Day Ends?

Wooden crosses at the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore stand in memory of the seven students killed during the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Credit SFC Kendall James / U.S. Department of Defense

Editor's Note: This is part one in StateImpact Oklahoma's "Twister Truths" series where we use data to kick the tires on the conventional wisdom underlying severe weather policy in Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma, state and local emergency authorities emphasize individual shelters in peoples’ homes over communal shelters in schools or other civic buildings. As we reported here, almost all the federal disaster funding the state receives has been directed to rebates for the construction of residential shelters and safe rooms.

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State Capitol
10:12 am
Fri August 2, 2013

State Veterans Issues Focus Of Multiple Studies

Veterans center in Ardmore, Okla.
Credit Oklahoma Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Rep. Tommy Hardin(R-Ardmore) and Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Ardmore) are hosting several interim studies pertaining to the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Centers.

Hardin’s study focuses on ODVA’s request to declassify certain positions in veteran’s centers. The request was previously approved by a committee but due to its legislative nature, Hardin requested the study.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Postmaster: We Photograph Your Mail, But Not To Snoop

A 2002 photo of the San Francisco Processing and Distribution Center.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:32 am

The head of the U.S. Postal Service has acknowledged that every piece of domestic mail is photographed for processing and that the information is sometimes made available to law enforcement, according to The Associated Press.

In an interview with the news agency, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says that exterior images of individual pieces of mail are snapped at some 200 processing facilities around the country primarily for sorting purposes, but that the images have been used "a couple of times" by law enforcement to trace letters in criminal cases.

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Special Education
9:17 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Study To Examine Options For Students With Severe Disabilities

State Rep. Ann Coody (R-Lawton)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

Rep. Ann Coody (R-Lawton) hopes to find a good solution for children with disabilities in her interim study: placement options for students with severe disabilities.

Coody said the study was requested because state and federal laws require school districts to provide free public education for special education students. Currently 95,000 individuals, ages 3 to 21, are identified as having some sort of disability.

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Shots - Health News
9:06 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Penn State To Penalize Workers Who Refuse Health Screenings

Penn State hopes to reduce its health care costs by helping employees become healthier. But some faculty members complain that charging them $100 a month for refusing to participate in a health improvement program is unfair.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:02 pm

If you work for Penn State and don't agree to step on a scale or have your waist measured, it could soon cost you $100 a month. The Pennsylvania State University is joining a growing list of employers penalizing workers who want company-sponsored health benefits but refuse to participate in health improvement programs.

University officials say they need to take dramatic steps to reduce health care costs, and getting their workers in shape is one way to do it.

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Oklahoma State University
8:59 am
Fri August 2, 2013

OSU Sexual Assault Court Hearing Delayed

The Spirit Rider statue on Oklahoma State University's Stillwater campus.
Credit thecollegerag / Flickr Creative Commons

A judge has rescheduled the arraignment for a former Oklahoma State University student accused of sexual assault.

Nathan Cochran was due in court Friday for an arraignment in Payne County, but a judge delayed that until Sept. 6 at 1:30 p.m. Cochran is charged with four counts of sexual battery and is accused of groping male students while they slept.

Cochran has pleaded not guilty. Affidavits filed in the case allege that the incidents occurred in August and November in 2012.

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