Wheat Harvest One Of The Worst In Recent Memory
8:18 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Drought Hammers Winter Wheat Across The Plains

Farmer Jim Haarberg of Imperial, Nebraska compares the heads of wheat from two different stalks to demonstrate the stunting effects of drought.
Credit Ariana Brocious / Harvest Public Media

Much of the Midwest and the Plains have been battling drought for years. And the current winter wheat crop looks like it will be one of the worst in recent memory, stressing farmers in the heart of the Wheat Belt – from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

In Nebraska, a full quarter of the winter wheat crop is rated poor to very poor, and Nebraska farmers are doing comparatively well. More than 40 percent of the wheat acres in Colorado are poor or worse; nearly 60 percent in Kansas and Texas; and an incredible 80 percent in Oklahoma.

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Firing Squad, Hanging Or The Electric Chair?
7:33 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

GOP Lawmaker Eyes Firing Squad Option For Death Penalty

The execution chamber at the Utah State Prison that provides for both lethal injection and firing squad executions, the site of the last firing squad execution in the United States in 2010. The condemned was in the chair on the right; the riflemen were shooting through the small openings in the wall in the center.
Credit T. Woodward / Flickr Creative Commons

A Republican state representative from Oklahoma City says he plans to conduct a legislative study on possibly expanding Oklahoma's execution law to allow the firing squad, hanging or the electric chair.

Representative. Mike Christian said Tuesday that he's formally requesting an interim study on death penalty procedures in response to the botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

Representative Christian is a former Oklahoma Highway Patrolman. He says he believes the firing squad would be the most logical second option after lethal injection.

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Corporate Tax Collections Below Forecast
6:52 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Oklahoma General Fund Collections Trail Estimate

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

State finance officials say revenue to Oklahoma's main government operating fund trailed the official estimate by more than 5 percent last month, due mostly to lower-than-expected corporate income tax collections.

Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger reported Tuesday that General Revenue Fund collections in May totaled about $450 million, which is 5.3 percent below the official estimate.

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Against Tulsa and city officials
6:17 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Man Wrongly Imprisoned For 16 Years Files Lawsuit

Credit thefixer / Flickr Creative Commons

An Oklahoma man who served 16 years in prison on charges he was later cleared of has filed a federal lawsuit against Tulsa and city officials.

Sedrick Courtney argues in his lawsuit that city officials used manufactured evidence to convict him of robbery and burglary — then obstructed his efforts at exoneration. Courtney was released from prison on parole in 2011 and his conviction was later vacated.

He had been sentenced to 60 years in prison for a robbery at a Tulsa apartment.

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average wait time of 44 days
4:08 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

VA Says Growing Population Of Veterans Adds To Wait Time For Appointments

Credit U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Veteran Affairs officials say steady growth in the veteran population and other factors are helping to drive up wait times at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center.

Officials discussed why veterans sometimes face lengthy waits for appointments on Tuesday, a day after a federal audit revealed new patients seeking health care at the Oklahoma City veterans facility waited an average of 44 days for a primary care appointment.

The report by the Department of Veterans Affairs also found that new patients seeking specialty care had to wait about 48 days to be seen in Oklahoma City.

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Oklahoma Legal Affairs
1:44 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

OK Supreme Court Upholds Judgment Against Native Wholesale Supply

Credit steakpinball / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has upheld a $47.7 million judgment awarded to the state over the sale of illegal contraband cigarettes.

The state's high court ruled Tuesday against Native Wholesale Supply, a company chartered by the Sac and Fox Tribe of Oklahoma. The state Attorney General's Office had requested the judgment be deposited into the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Fund.

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Oklahoma Supreme Court
12:55 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

OK Supreme Court Sides With OPEA

Credit Ronny Richert / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has reinstated an injunction that blocked the state Military Department from implementing a change in its employee classifications.

The state's highest court handed down the decision Tuesday in a lawsuit filed against the agency by the Oklahoma Public Employees Association. The decision reverses the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, which last year reversed a temporary injunction ordered by Oklahoma County District Judge Barbara Swinton.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Drones Approved: FAA Gives OK To First Commercial Use Over Land

A 2011 photo shows an AeroVironment Puma drone being prepared for launch by University of Alaska researchers. The FAA says it approved BP's use of the drone to survey oil fields in Alaska.
Keith Cunningham AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 12:24 pm

The Federal Aviation Administration says it has issued the first permit in its history for an unmanned aircraft to fly over U.S. soil. Oil company BP will use a drone from the company AeroVironment to conduct surveys in Alaska.

The first drone flights under the recently issued waiver have already taken place, the FAA says.

From the agency's news release:

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OK Public Utilities
7:55 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Jerry Sanger To Head OK Public Utilities Unit

Oklahoma State Capitol
Credit Steve/Flickr

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has named Assistant Attorney General Jerry Sanger the new chief of the attorney general's public utilities unit.

As public utilities unit chief, Sanger will represent the interests of the state's utility customers in rate-related issues. The unit also participates in utility-related task forces, rulemaking proceedings and other legislative activities.

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Kitchen Lake Renewal
6:27 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Southeast OKC Celebrates New Park Opening

Fishing pole
Credit Richard Elzey/Flickr

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett is expected to cast a fishing line into Kitchen Lake to celebrate the opening of a new park on the city's southeast side.

A ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday after more than $850,000 was spent renovating a portion of the 160-acre park. Improvements include a new entry and parking lot, wheelchair-accessible sidewalks and a floating fishing dock.

Most of the funding came from a 2007 bond issue.

The lake has long been a favorite spot of local fishermen and is stocked with largemouth bass, crappie and three kinds of sunfish.

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