Sequestration
2:37 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Inhofe Praises USAF For Getting Pilots Flying Again

USAF Thunderbirds perform at the Kirtland AFB air show in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 2011. The popular Thunderbirds demonstration team will start flying again after being grounded since April
Credit Ingrid Truemper / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Air Force says many of its combat air forces will start flying again after being grounded since April because of budget cuts.

The Defense Department received authority from Congress to shift about $7.5 billion from lower priority accounts to more vital operations. The Air Force says the restored flying hours represent about $208 million of that allocation authorized by Congress.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He says if the Air Force can find the money to put its pilots back in the air, it can also find the money to end civilian furloughs.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

President George H.W. Bush Honored At White House

Former President George H. W. Bush, in a wheelchair, as he was escorted into the East Room of the White House on Monday by President Obama.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Former President George H.W. Bush, who spent nearly two months in a Houston hospital during late 2012 and early 2013 for treatment of a variety of life-threatening illnesses, was hailed by President Obama at the White House on Monday.

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Department of Corrections
12:50 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Corrections Department Dedicates Memorial

Credit Oklahoma Corrections Employee Memorial Foundation

A dedication ceremony is planned for this week for a new memorial honoring Oklahoma Department of Corrections employees who were killed in the line of duty. 

The new Oklahoma Correctional Memorial will be dedicated Friday on the grounds of the agency's administration building in Oklahoma City. The Tulsa World reports the memorial honors the 20 Oklahoma corrections employees who were killed on the job.

The first name on the monument is that of Oklahoma State Penitentiary Deputy Warden D.C. "Pat" Oates, who died Jan. 19, 1914, when a prisoner was attempting to escape.

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Community
10:31 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Making Places People Like

A slide from a presentation during the Placemaking Conference at the University of Oklahoma.
Credit OU Institute for Quality Communities

Creating a sense of place is attracting more attention from community developers as the nation’s demographics continue to shift.

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

Speaking at the conference, Donovan Rypkema debunked several myths about preserving old buildings. He says studies show the older structures are not necessarily less energy efficient than newer construction.

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Ethics Commission
8:44 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Routine Audit Finds No Financial Irregularities At Ethics Commission

Credit russavia / Creative Commons

The director of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission says an audit of the agency has found no financial irregularities.

The audit was requested by Governor Mary Fallin following the resignation in November of long-time Ethics Commission Director Marilyn Hughes and covered the period from July 2009 through November. Such audits are considered routine when an agency head leaves.

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Tinker Air Force Base
8:00 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Tinker Worker Buyouts Offered

Credit Tinker Air Force Base

Tinker Air Force Base is offering buyouts in an effort to trim 750 civilian workers from its payroll.

About 9,000 civilians work at the aircraft maintenance center, which is the largest in the US Air Force.

This is the fourth round of buyouts at the base since 2011 — with the first three leading to about 210 civilian employees leaving.

Union representative James Schmidt told The Oklahoman that he believes the goal of 750 employees accepting the buyout will be met. Schmidt said several workers who are 55 or older have been waiting for such an offer.

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All Tech Considered
7:37 am
Mon July 15, 2013

How Hackers Tapped Into My Cellphone For Less Than $300

It's easier — and cheaper — than you'd expect to hack a cellphone, say a team of white hat hackers.
iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 7:57 am

In the wake of the National Security Agency cyber-spying revelations, you may be worrying about the government keeping track of your digital life. But, for less than $300, a group of ordinary hackers found a way to tap right into Verizon cellphones.

This is a group of good-guy, or "white hat", hackers. They hacked the phones to warn wireless carriers that the phones have a security flaw.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Snowden Has NSA 'Blueprint,' Says 'Guardian' Journalist

Glenn Greenwald, columnist/blogger/lawyer/advocate.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 12:10 pm

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Law
3:49 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law Gets Its Day In Court

The Penndot Drivers License Center in Butler, Pa., displays signs promoting the requirement for voters to show an acceptable photo ID at the polls. On Monday, a judge will rule on the constitutionality of the state's controversial voter ID law.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 10:13 pm

Pennsylvania's voter ID law will be back in state court Monday after more than a year of legal limbo. A state judge will decide whether the 2012 law — which hasn't been enforced — violates the state's constitution.

The measure requires voters to show a particular state-issued photo ID before casting ballots. Last week, civil rights advocates like the NAACP's John Jordan railed against the requirement.

"It's a ploy to take votes away from people who deserve them — veterans, seniors, students, people with disabilities, people of color and hard-working folk," Jordan said.

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Author Interviews
2:22 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

Racing Hearts, Fluttering Wings: American 'Butterfly People'

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 5:54 pm

During the mid-19th century, an unexpected craze swept America: butterfly collecting. Eager to move on from the Civil War and driven by Europe's long-standing fascination with the insect, the movement captured the interest of Americans from all ages and walks of life.

In an extensive book, Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World, William Leach documents this butterfly phenomenon — from its founders and followers, to its eventual fall.

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