StateImpact Oklahoma
2:49 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

The Federal Cost Of Clean Drinking Water In Oklahoma: $6.5 Billion

The Vendome Well at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Okla.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Every four years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency releases an analysis of how much federal money states will need to complete water projects to provide clean drinking water over the next 20 years.

The most recent update of the EPA’s Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment was just released, and the national need is staggering:

Read more
StateImpact
6:39 am
Tue June 11, 2013

More Bad Water News for Altus: First Drought, Now Dead Fish

Drought monitor map June 4, 2013
Credit U.S. Drought Monitor

The extreme drought blanketing Southwestern Oklahoma has taxed water resources in Altus and plagued farmers.

Read more
Politics
6:18 am
Tue June 11, 2013

How The Senate Farm Bill Would Change Subsidies

Third-generation Oklahoma farmer Scott Neufeld says crop insurance is important to his family's business.
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 2:40 pm

The Senate voted Monday to approve its version of the farm bill, a massive spending measure that covers everything from food stamps to crop insurance and sets the nation's farm policy for the next five years.

The centerpiece of that policy is an expanded crop insurance program, designed to protect farmers from losses, that some say amounts to a highly subsidized gift to agribusiness. That debate is set to continue as the House plans to take up its version of the bill this month.

Read more
State Capitol
11:31 am
Mon June 10, 2013

No More Pension? State Employee Retirement Targeted For Change

Credit Tax Credits / Flickr (Creative Commons)

With an unfunded liability among Oklahoma's seven major pension systems exceeding $11 billion, several Republican leaders have said changing from a traditional pension to a 401(k)-style retirement account for new state workers will be a top priority during the 2014 legislative session.

The unfunded liability is the amount owed to pensioners beyond what the system currently afford to pay. It has become a growing concern for Gov. Mary Fallin and other state leaders, who say it hinders the state's effort to improve its bond rating.

Read more
Oklahoma Voices
11:04 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Voices In My Head: Three Local Authors On Character Development

In 2007, Gov. Brad Henry signed some of the country’s strictest anti-immigration legislation into law.

House Bill 1804 by State Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore) made it a felony for the state to provide education and health care services to illegal immigrants, and requires police to investigate the immigration status of anyone “suspected” of being in this country illegally.

Six years later, the controversial law and its effect on people form the basis for Oklahoma native Rilla Askew’s fourth novel Kind of Kin.

“I'm always writing about the coming together and the clash between cultures and races in Oklahoma,” Askew says. “I was disturbed by the notion of a bill like that.”

Read more
Washington
10:04 am
Mon June 10, 2013

"Absolutely False" Asserts Rep. Mullin On Congressional Surveillance Briefings

2nd District Congressman Markwayne Mullin
Credit Provided / U.S. House of Representatives

Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma is denying that he was ever briefed on cell phone and Internet surveillance by the National Security Agency that sweeps up an estimated 3 billion phone calls a day and collects Internet data from U.S. providers in an attempt to stop terror attacks.

Mullin said in a statement Saturday that comments that he and his colleagues in Congress knew of the surveillance "is absolutely false."

President Barack Obama said Friday that "every member of Congress" was briefed on the spy programs.

Read more
Severe Storms
3:23 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Reunited: 90 Tornado Displaced Pets

Pictures of pets displaced at some point in the recent round of central Oklahoma storms.
Animal Resource Center

The Animal Resource Center has reunited at least 90 lost pets with their owners since a May 20 tornado hit Moore.

The center says it received its first lost dog about an hour after the storm and has processed more than 150 animals in the past three weeks. In addition to reuniting pets with their owners, the center is also offering to board pets if their owners are now living in places that don't allow animals.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Bush-Era NSA Chief Defends PRISM, Phone Metadata Collection

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former CIA and National Security Agency director, in a 2012 photo.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 12:58 pm

Gen. Michael Hayden, a former director of the National Security Agency, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that the government's acquisition of phone records and surveillance of Internet activity is lawful and justified by the changing nature of the war on terrorism.

Hayden, who served as NSA chief from 1999-2005 and is also a former CIA director, says NSA's activities are "perfectly legal" and "an accurate reflection of balancing our security and our privacy."

Read more
The Two-Way
7:26 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Police Search For Motive In Calif. Shooting That Killed Four

Relatives of two victims near the scene of an SUV that crashed after the driver was shot. The driver was killed and a passenger seriously injured.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 12:20 am

(This story last update at 4:00 p.m. ET)

Investigators in Santa Monica, Calif., were trying to piece together a motive in a shooting rampage in which four people were killed before police fatally shot the gunman.

The assailant, dressed in black and carrying a semi-automatic rifle, first shot and killed two men – believed to be his father and brother – at a home about a mile from Santa Monica College. Authorities were soon called to the burning home, but it wasn't immediately clear if the fire was arson.

Read more
World Views
4:59 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

World Views: June 7, 2013

Listen to the entire June 7, 2013 episode.

Suzette Grillot continues to host the program from Istanbul. A week since protests broke out across Turkey, she and Joshua Landis discuss where things stand in the normally peaceful and stable country.

On Friday June 14 Iranians head to the polls to elect a successor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Tehran Bureau founder and editor Kelly Niknejadjoins World Views for a look at the elections, and a conversation about Western journalism in the Islamic Republic.

Pages