Community
8:12 am
Mon July 22, 2013

If You Build It, Better Health Will Come

A slide from Richard Jackson's presentation during the Placemaking Conference at the University of Oklahoma.
Credit OU Institute for Quality Communities

Many scientists, doctors, and public health researchers say there’s a link between a community’s health and the built environment.

Nearly 800 civic leaders attended a recent placemaking conference sponsored by the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for Quality Communities.

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Highways
7:24 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Commuter Alert: I-44, I-235 Interchange Construction Closing Ramps, Lanes

Construction in the I-44, I-235 interchange will lead to lane and ramp closures through August.
Credit Google Maps

The ramps and lanes in the I-44/I-235 interchange will close beginning Monday night, continuing through August. 

Drivers are advised to expect lengthy delays and are encouraged to find an alternate route such as I-35, I-40, SH-74/Lake Hefner Parkway or I-240 to bypass the closure.

Closures will take place nightly from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Monday and continuing through August: 

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Environment
5:30 am
Sun July 21, 2013

Fighting Fire With Fire: Why Some Burns Are Good For Nature

An arborist from the Montana Conservation Corps works to clear pine trees from land in Centennial Valley, Mont.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 1:50 pm

Wildfires were once essential to the American West. Prairies and forests burned regularly, and those fires not only determined the mix of flora and fauna that made up the ecosystem, but they regenerated the land.

When people replaced wilderness with homes and ranches, they aggressively eliminated fire. But now, scientists are trying to bring fire back to the wilderness, to recreate what nature once did on its own.

One place they're doing this is Centennial Valley, in southwestern Montana.

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U.S.
5:30 am
Sun July 21, 2013

A Woman Among Men: Female Firefighter Blazed A Trail

Judy Brewer was the country's first full-time female firefighter.
John Duricka AP

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 11:41 am

Arlington County, Va., wants more female firefighters. The fire department there has even set up a camp to inspire potential recruits. Donning helmets and matching camp shirts, teenage girls line up to watch a demonstration: A model room with furniture is ablaze.

Camper Tara Crosey says she came to camp in part because she "wanted to show that girls are as strong as boys and girls can do what boys can do."

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Space
4:09 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

One Small Step For Man, One Giant Lunar Park For The U.S.?

The moon, seen from the International Space Station, on July 31.
NASA

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:50 pm

Can astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's "giant leap for mankind" be permanently preserved? Two House Democrats want to do just that: They proposed a bill to create a national historic park for the Apollo 11 mission — on the moon. The legislation would designate a park on the moon to honor that first mission, as well as preserve artifacts from other lunar missions

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NPR Story
10:26 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Veteran Journalist Helen Thomas Leaves An Outspoken Legacy

Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas broke barriers and became a White House fixture, but her famous bluntness caused her downfall in the end.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 2:09 pm

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Indian Times
8:44 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Native Scholar Blue Clark Puts A Fresh Face On 1951 Guide to Oklahoma's Indians

Professor Blue Clark

Professor Blue Clark (Muscogee Creek) is a voracious reader. His pack rat tendencies with file keeping and note taking served him well when presented with the formidable task of updating Muriel Wright's 1951 work, A Guide To The Indian Tribes of Oklahoma. For years, people turned to this book for answers, but time has changed the realities of most, if not all, tribes. Clark, as a member of an Oklahoma tribe, knew that.

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Politics and Government
6:37 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

OK Legislature Will Study Relationship of Poverty To Domestic Violence

Rep. Kay Floyd

The relationship between poverty and domestic violence will be the focus of an interim study by Rep. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City.   The Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, approved the study last week and it will be heard by the Human Services committee in the fall.

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Health
6:14 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Feds Say "Impaired Judgement" A Factor in Med Helicopter Crash

Federal investigators say the probable cause of a medical helicopter crash near Kingfisher in 2010 that killed two people was the pilot's impaired judgment, due to medications.

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Affordable Care Act
4:59 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Attorney: Contraception Mandate Losing Legal Battle

Credit Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

An attorney representing Hobby Lobby Inc. says “the tide is turning” against a federal mandate requiring companies to pay for what they view as unacceptable forms of contraception for their workers.

Kyle Duncan said Friday’s ruling by a federal judge exempting Hobby Lobby from paying for the medications as part of the store’s health care plan likely means the mandate will die.

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