State Capitol
9:11 am
Fri July 12, 2013

State House Interim Study List Expected Friday

House Speaker T. W. Shannon
Credit Oklahoma House

Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon is planning to release a list of legislative studies that lawmakers will take up before the 2014 Legislature convenes in February.

Shannon is expected to release the list on Friday, the deadline for study requests by lawmakers to be approved or denied. Former House Speaker Kris Steele approved studies on 59 topics out of 89 individual requests last year.

Interim studies give lawmakers an opportunity to receive testimony and examine issues in depth to decide whether to draft legislation on a particular topic.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Chuck Foley, Co-Creator Of Twister, Dies At 82

Festivalgoers play a giant game of Twister during the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts in southwest England last month.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 9:40 am

One of the men responsible for getting people tied up in knots while they played Twister has died.

Charles "Chuck" Foley died earlier this month in St. Paul, Minn. He was 82.

Foley and his business partner Neil Rabens invented the game for Milton Bradley in 1966. The pair originally called it Pretzel, and it was Milton Bradley who came up with the name Twister.

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The Two-Way
7:57 am
Fri July 12, 2013

On The Economy: Inflation Accelerates; Fed Rumors Rise

A surge in prices at the pump fueled inflation in June.
Jonathan Fickies Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:55 am

The morning's major economic news:

-- Inflation. Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in June from May, fueled by a 2.9 percent surge in the price of energy products, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. As drivers can confirm, a 7.2 percent jump in the cost of gasoline was responsible for most of that boost.

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Politics and Government
6:44 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Choctaw Nation Requests Consideration From Road Builders

Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Credit Choctaw Nation website

The Choctaw Nation is asking Warren County in Mississippi to stop work on the local China Grove Road if any historic artifacts traced to Choctaw settlements centuries ago are found. 

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Education
6:22 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Coburn Wants Vegas Education Conference Cancelled

Sen. Tom Coburn is calling on the US Department of  Education to cancel a planned three-day conference on federal student aid  scheduled for December in Las Vegas.  

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2013 Farm Bill
4:15 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

House OKs Scaled-down Farm Bill Sans Food Stamps

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.)
Credit Carl Sandburg College / Flickr Creative Commons

The House has passed a scaled-down version of a massive farm bill, putting off a fight over food stamp spending and giving Republican leaders a victory after a decisive defeat on the larger bill last month.

All five members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation joined their GOP colleagues in voting for the bill.

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) is the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. He said in a statement he was pleased the bill made it through his chamber.

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1:20 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Permits for Handgun Licenses in Oklahoma Keep Rising

Lead in text: 
The number of Oklahomans applying for handgun licenses in 2013 is on pace to significantly best last year’s record numbers, according to data from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Through the first six months of 2013, nearly 37,000 license applications have been received by the OSBI, compared to about 46,000 for all of last year.
StateImpact Oklahoma
11:04 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Some Shelterless Oklahoma Schools To Cancel Class When Tornados Threaten

Mara Crew's father, Jesse, says he'd prefer Tulsa-area schools install storm shelters instead of closing doors for "tornado days" during severe weather.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Of the many ideas for changes to state policy following May’s deadly tornado outbreak —changing building codes to make public structures safer, requiring shelters in new school buildings, providing money to upgrade schools without shelters — the one that has the best chance of actually happening is ‘tornado days.’

Local superintendents don’t need any approval to cancel school in the winter— or spring, when sunny weather can quickly turn violent.

Listen to the Radio Story

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Tax Credits
9:20 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Incentives For Oil, Gas Drilling Draining State Treasury

A horizontal drilling rig.
Credit Meredithw / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma finance officials say major tax breaks handed out to the oil and gas industry during the economic downturn in 2010 cost the state $321 million last fiscal year.

Secretary of Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger released figures Wednesday that show tax rebates and refunds for drilling totaled $173 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, while state tax credits cost an additional $148 million.

The huge drain on state coffers has prompted Doerflinger and other state leaders to call for revisiting the tax credits, especially those for horizontal drilling.

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Death Penalty
8:48 am
Thu July 11, 2013

AG Seeks New Hearing In Indian Country Death Penalty Case

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt
Credit Oklahoma Attorney General's Office

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is seeking a new hearing before a federal appeals court that overturned a man's murder convictions and death sentences.

The court ruled the slayings occurred in Indian Country and the state lacked the authority to prosecute. Pruitt's office is asking the 10th Circuit Court of Appeal to reconsider the decision it handed down last month.

In 2004, 50-year-old David Magnan pleaded guilty in state court to three counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to execution. The shootings occurred in rural Seminole County.

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