Weather and Climate
1:19 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Certified Wheat Seed Scarce Due To Drought Conditions

Wheat Field
Credit Palouse / Flickr.com

Exceptional drought conditions and untimely freezes that have left some southeast Colorado winter wheat fields with nothing to harvest have also limited the certified seed supply for next season.

The Colorado Wheat Research Foundation predicts there will be enough seed available if farmers get in touch with dealers early.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

PBS Names Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff Co-Anchors Of 'NewsHour'

Gwen Ifill, left, and Judy Woodruff.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:14 am

PBS says Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will share the job of anchoring public television's News Hour.

"The veteran correspondents were also named managing editors of the weekly news program," PBS reports on the Newshour blog.

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The Salt
10:46 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The Cotton Candy Grape: A Sweet Spin On Designer Fruit

The Cotton Candy grape looks and smells like a regular green grape. But the taste will evoke memories of the circus.
Courtesy of Spencer Gray

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:48 pm

Can't we just leave our fruit alone?

Last year, apple farmers were soaking their fruit in grape flavor to make them more attractive to kids. Now, plant breeders in California have created a grape that tastes like — well, spun sugar and air.

That's right, Salties. Say hello to the Cotton Candy grape.

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Moore Tornado
10:02 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Moore Receives First FEMA Debris Payment

Survivors of May's tornado look at a car damaged in the storm.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Moore City Council has approved more than $32 million to pay for cleanup costs related to the deadly May tornado. 

Moore Finance Director Jim Corbett says the city foots the bill for the cleanup costs, then is reimbursed by the state and federal government. Corbett says the city received its first payment last week from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Twenty-five people died after the EF5 tornado tore through Moore, including a 90-year-old woman who died last week after suffering a fractured skull in the twister. 

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Homelessness
8:24 am
Tue August 6, 2013

"Street Paper" Makes OKC Debut

Credit Curbside Chronicle

Students from Vanderbilt University and the University of Oklahoma have launched a newspaper written and sold by homeless or low-income individuals.

The Curbside Chronicle is a bi-monthly general interest publication. It includes stories written by homeless people and other reporters about urban issues.

Called a "street paper," The Curbside Chronicle seeks to offer employment to homeless and low-income individuals and give them a voice. It also hopes to cut down on panhandling.

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Affordable Care Act
6:42 am
Tue August 6, 2013

State Leaders, Workers Enjoy Ample Health Benefits

Credit ana branca / Flickr Creative Commons

When Gov. Mary Fallin and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb go see their primary-care doctors, they pay $30 out of pocket. Their prescriptions cost $10 if they get generics, more if they get name-brand drugs.

Oklahoma taxpayers pick up the entire cost of their insurance premiums, which total $18,113 per year for each of their families.

In fact, the health allowance they receive from the state totals $19,717 a year. They can use the surplus to pay for other state benefits or roll it into their take-home pay.

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Weather and Climate
6:00 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

May Tornado Death Toll Rises

May 20-21 2013 Storm Clouds Over Moore, Oklahoma
Credit Dawn Musick / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner has increased the toll from the May 20 tornado at Moore after the death of a 90-year-old woman critically  injured in the storm.  Spokeswoman Amy Elliott said today that the death of Kathryn Begay pushed the  death toll to 25.  Begay's home in the town of Moore was destroyed and she suffered a fractured  skull. Officials say she suffered a pair of strokes after the storm and died  last Thursday.   A tornado that struck El Reno on May 31 killed 22 people, including 14 adults  and eight children. Many victims drowned due to heavy rain from that storm.   

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Business and Economy
5:11 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Investigation Into Bribes Leads To Construction Corruption At Choctaw Casino

Choctaw Grand Tower Casino
Credit Brad Holt / Flickr.com

Six people have been indicted in federal court in Muskogee after two bribery investigations revealed alleged corruption involving construction of a casino for the Choctaw Nation in Durant.

Lauri Parsons and her husband, Brent Parsons, Cordell Bugg, James Stewart, and Mark Eshenroder were indicted on conspiracy to commit theft or bribery charges. Brent Parsons and Stewart also face money laundering charges.

Allen Franklin, project manager for the tribe, is accused of conspiracy to commit theft or bribery.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:03 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Republicans and Democrats Agree: Tornado Shelters Are Worth Subsidizing

Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Tom Cole
Credit Republicanconference / Flickr

A bit of rare bipartisanship in Washington could make individuals safer when tornadoes threaten.

Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican, and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, both introduced versions of the Tornado Family Safety Act on Aug. 2.

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Animal Rights
11:41 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Future Of Horse Slaughter In State Remains Uncertain

A state law allowing horse slaughter goes into effect Nov. 1, but there appear to be no plans for a facility in Oklahoma.
Credit busse / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Although the Legislature passed a bill this year authorizing the slaughter of horses, it's not clear if a facility will open in Oklahoma once the law takes effect Nov. 1.

The bill was backed by Rep. Skye McNiel of Bristow and Sen. Eddie Fields of Wynona. Fields says he's not aware of any efforts to build a facility in Oklahoma.

Before the law passed, Ahsan Amil of Oklahoma Meat Company applied for a federal inspection with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Amil tells the Tulsa World that he's no longer pursuing the permit.

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