State Testing
1:50 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Oklahoma To Withdraw From Testing Group

Oklahoma Superintendent Janet Barresi
Credit Oklahoma Department of Education

Oklahoma Superintendent Janet Barresi says the state is backing out of a testing consortium to work with another company to develop its own standardized tests for the 2014-2015 school year. 

Barresi says that the decision to withdraw from the multistate group was made after teachers and parents voiced concerns about the extra hours of test-taking that would be involved with it.

Barresi says their concerns, along with her own about the technological readiness of the state's public schools and higher anticipated costs, were her three primary reasons for backing out.

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Affordable Care Act
10:15 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Oklahoma AG Says Hobby Lobby Bolsters His Challenge

Credit Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma's attorney general says a court decision favoring Hobby Lobby's fight against parts of the new federal health care law bolsters his fight against the law.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt is challenging parts of the Affordable Care Act. The law imposes tax penalties in certain cases, but federal lawyers say the Anti-Injunction Act prevents Oklahoma from raising questions about taxes before they're levied.

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May 2013 Tornadoes
9:43 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Moore Council Tables Proposal On Storm Shelters

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Moore City Council has tabled a proposal that would have required storm shelters for houses, apartments, mobile homes and group residential housing.

Also Monday, the council delayed voting on a measure that would have required bolting and fastening to strengthen homes against tornadoes. The Norman Transcript reports Mayor Glenn Lewis says the city will meet with local builders before moving forward with the ordinances.

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eCapitol
8:22 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Autism Diagnosis Numbers Rise in Oklahoma, Services Availability Insufficient

Credit hepingting / Flickr Creative Commons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the number of Oklahoma children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder has risen significantly over the past decade.

In 2010, Oklahoma was estimated to have 3,062 children ages 3 to 21 identified as having Autism. That number has risen drastically from 2002, when those reported in the same age group was 844.

Oklahoma Autism Network Director René Daman tells Emily Summars with eCapitol added diagnoses and improvements in the screening process contribute to the increase.

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Oklahoma City Public Schools
7:30 am
Tue July 2, 2013

OKC Schools Superintendent Karl Springer Retiring In Two Months

Superintendent Karl Springer
Credit Oklahoma City Public Schools

The superintendent of Oklahoma's largest public school district says he will retire Aug. 30.

Karl Springer has led the Oklahoma City Public School District for five years. He said in a statement Monday that it was an honor to "serve as the lead teacher" in the district.

Springer is a retired Army colonel and was superintendent of the Mustang district for eight years before moving to the Oklahoma City school system. He was also in education for more than two decades before working at Mustang.

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Code Switch
3:05 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Does Disney's Tonto Reinforce Stereotypes Or Overcome Them?

Johnny Depp says that with his portrayal of Tonto in The Lone Ranger, he tried to "right the wrongs of what had been done with regards to the representation of Native Americans in cinema."
Disney

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:00 pm

The Lone Ranger has long been a fictional hero, taming the Wild West with his trusty Indian guide, Tonto. The faithful companion helps the white man fight bad guys, and does so speaking in pidgin English.

Tonto made his first appearance on the radio in the 1930s, voiced by a non-Native American actor, John Todd. In the series, Western settlers face down what they call "redskins" and "savages." And trusty Tonto is always on hand to interpret the smoke signals.

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Arts and Entertainment
7:41 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Why Shoot More Films in Oklahoma?

Supporters of a program offering rebates to attract  filmmakers to Oklahoma say they'll try next year to persuade lawmakers to renew  the program.    The Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program that currently offers a 35 percent  rebate on all production expenses made in the state expires July 1, 2014.  

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Search and Rescue Canines
7:30 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

The Rescued Becomes The Rescuer

The Norman Transcript's Tammy Boyd  reports that its not every day that you can go from being rescued to being the rescuer but several dogs on Oklahoma Task Force One's search and rescue units get that chance every time they receive a call for help.

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Transportation
3:04 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

UPDATE: Oklahoma Improving The Number of Poor State Bridges

The new I-40 Crosstown under construction near Penn Ave. - December 2011
Credit Oklahoma Department of Transportation

A new study shows Oklahoma has cut its number of structurally deficient state bridges in half in less than a decade.

Department of Transportation Director Mike Patterson presented the figures Monday to the agency's governing commission. Patterson says Federal Highway Commission data shows the number of structurally deficient state bridges dropped from 1,168 in 2005 to 556 currently.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:49 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

A Flood Of Rain And Money Needed To Save Lake Waurika From Its Silt

Credit Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department

Lake Waurika was built in by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1977 to serve, primarily, as a source of drinking water for Lawton and surrounding communities. It has also become an important tourist attraction for the area.

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