Law
5:07 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

S.C. Court Orders 'Baby Veronica' Adoption Finalized

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered finalization of the adoption of "Baby Veronica" by a couple living near Charleston, S.C.
Melanie Capobianco AP

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:51 pm

Lawyers for the biological father of a Native American child are expected to make a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, hoping to prevent the return of the child to her adoptive parents.

But the four-year legal saga is likely near an end.

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State Capitol
4:54 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Senator Warns Of Judicial Changes In Special Session

State Sen. Patrick Anderson
Credit Oklahoma Senate

A letter from a state senator sent to judges in Oklahoma is warning that an anticipated special legislative session will focus on “attacking the judiciary.” But a spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin says that assertion is “incorrect.”

The letter from state Sen. Patrick Anderson (R-Enid) dated July 22 states, “Based upon some of the rumors I am hearing, I expect that there will be an attempt to place term limits on judges and that there will be an effort to eliminate the Judicial Nominating Commission in order to allow the Governor to have complete judicial appointment authority.”

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Oklahoma Innocence Project
1:35 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Oklahoma Innocence Project Eyes Old Ada Homicide Case

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Innocence Project is working to overturn the conviction of a man imprisoned for the 1984 kidnapping and murder of convenience store clerk in Ada. 

The Innocence Project at Oklahoma City University's School of Law announced Wednesday its plan to file an application for post-conviction relief in the case of 48-year-old Karl Fontenot, one of two men initially sentenced to die for the 1984 killing of Donna Haraway. It is the first case the project has sought to overturn since it was created in 2011.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:06 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Plan To Clean Up Dirty Lake Thunderbird Calls For Pollution Cuts In Three Cities

A swimmer in Norman's Lake Thunderbird.
Credit LLudo / Flickr Creative Commons

Moore, Norman and Oklahoma City are the primary polluters of Lake Thunderbird, a sensitive drinking water source classified as “impaired” by the Environmental Protection Agency, new data show.

State and municipal water and environmental authorities have been working on a plan to clean up the lake, colloquially referred to as “dirtybird” for its murky appearance and weird smell, which still hasn’t met Clean Water Act target dates from 30 years ago.

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Fuel Prices
6:32 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Gasoline Prices Up 9 Cents In One Month

Credit Upupa4me / Flickr Creative Commons

The price of gasoline continues to rise across Oklahoma.

AAA Oklahoma reports Tuesday that the statewide average for regular unleaded gas is almost $3.53 per gallon — an increase of 4 cents per gallon since last week.

The average in selected cities range from about $3.43 per gallon in Tulsa to nearly $3.65 per gallon in Guymon. The average price in Oklahoma City is $3.52 per gallon.

The statewide average is 9 cents per gallon more than a month ago and 12 cents per gallon higher than at the same time last year.

The national average is $3.67 per gallon.

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Native American
6:24 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Cherokee Vs. Cherokee

Opening ceremonies of the 2011 Cherokee Nation Pow Wow.
Credit woodleywonderworks / Flickr Creative Commons

The Cherokee Nation has filed a request for a federal injunction to prevent the U.S. Department of the Interior from placing land of a rival tribe into trust — a move that would recognize the parcel as Indian land.

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State Capitol
1:43 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

State Revenue Remains Short Of Pre-Recession Levels

Credit ana branca / Flickr Creative Commons

General Revenue Fund collections have increased annually since hitting their “Great Recession” low in fiscal year 2010. Fiscal year 2013 collections totaled $5.575 billion, $1 billion more than the $4.621 billion collected in FY2010, but still remain below their pre-recession high.

Former Treasurer Scott Meacham described FY2010, his last full fiscal year as treasurer and as the man then responsible for the monthly revenue reports, as “the worst fiscal year in recent memory.”

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Health
1:24 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Claremore Indian Hospital's Maternity Care Honored

Credit bradbrundage / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says Claremore Indian Hospital has been designated a "Baby Friendly" hospital for its maternity care. 

It's the first hospital in the state to receive the designation from the Baby Friendly Health Initiative, which is a global initiative from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund.

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Shots - Health News
12:22 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Unusual Tick-Borne Virus Lurks In Missouri's Woods

A harmful trio (from left): a deer tick, lone star tick and dog tick.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 9:11 am

Last year, scientists got the chance to solve a medical mystery — well, at least half of it. This week the final puzzle pieces fell into place, as investigators tracked the newly identified virus to an eight-legged bug.

The mystery actually began with two Missouri farmers who came down with a strange illness in 2009. They had high fevers, diarrhea and nausea. Their platelet counts dropped dramatically, though they didn't experience any abnormal bleeding.

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State Capitol
10:54 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Oklahoma In Minority Without Texting While Driving Ban

Oklahoma is one of only nine states without a ban on texting while driving.
Credit IntelFreePress / Flickr Creative Commons

A recently released survey of states by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows Oklahoma is one of nine states without a texting ban in place, despite some lawmakers’ previous efforts.

Through public awareness campaigns and other grassroots efforts, there has been a 45 percent increase in the last three years in the number of states with texting bans, with 41 states and the District of Columbia having some type of texting ban in place, up from 28 states and D.C. in 2010, the survey data shows.

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