OneSix8
7:26 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Entertaining The Hours Of Your Week: Father’s Day (Weekend) Adventures

Metro Tech / Springlake
Credit City of Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation

Father’s Day is Sunday. You knew that, right? What you may not have determined is what to do for dear ol' Dad… Pops.... Papa or better yet, what to do with that first, special man in a child’s life.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Colorado Fires: Two Deaths Reported; 5 Percent Containment

The Black Forest wildfire is burning near Colorado Springs, Colo. As Thursday dawned it was "zero percent contained," authorities said.
Chris Schneider Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 6:31 pm

Update at 7:15 p.m. ET. Two Deaths Reported:

The El Paso County Sheriff says that two bodies were recovered Thursday in the burn area of the Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs. A "coroner investigation is ongoing," the department says.

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World Views
3:28 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

How Crowdsourcing Changes The Nature Of News Coverage

Libyan rebels play on the body of a plane destroyed during heavy fighting at Tripoli International Airport on August 29, 2011.
Credit Ammar Abd Rabbo / Flickr

Listen to Suzette Grillot's conversation with NPR's Andy Carvin.

Real-time updates on social media are revolutionizing traditional journalism. By following Twitter feeds and other forms of social media, journalists like NPR Senior Strategist Andy Carvin now identify breaking news faster and do a better job following international stories.

“Crowdsourcing is basically just a fancy term for asking for help from the public,” Carvin says. “It's something journalists have always done at various points, but now social media has made it easy to engage people all over the world.”

Carvin calls himself an “informational DJ.” He has used crowdsourcing to cover stories ranging from the Newtown, Connecticut shooting to the Arab Spring.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:48 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Leak in Aging Water Pipeline Forces Broken Arrow To Close Restaurants

Earthmovers carve out a new reservoir for Broken Arrow at the site of the city's out-of-date water treatment plant in November 2012.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Restaurants in Broken Arrow were ordered to close Wednesday because of a leak in a pipeline that brings water to the city from Pryor, about 30 miles away.

The news can’t come as a complete surprise to Broken Arrow officials, like Engineering Director Kenny Schwab.

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Religious Rights
8:31 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Religious Statement Or Native American Pride? Court Allows License Tag Challenge

The current Oklahoma license tag.
Credit Oklahoma Tax Commission

A federal appeals court says Oklahoma's Indian "rain god" license plate can be challenged on grounds that amounts to a state endorsement of a religion.

The license plate depicts Allan Houser's "Sacred Rain Arrow" sculpture, in which an Indian shoots an arrow into the sky to bring down rain.

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The Salt
7:48 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Why You'll Be Paying More For Beef All This Year

With U.S. cattle herds at their lowest levels since the 1950s and corn feed prices on the rise, beef prices are on the rise.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

If you've experienced sticker shock shopping for ground beef or steak recently, be prepared for an entire summer of high beef prices.

Multi-year droughts in states that produce most of the country's beef cattle have driven up costs to historic highs. Last year, ranchers culled deep into their herds — some even liquidated all their cattle — which pushed the U.S. cattle herd to its lowest point since the 1950s.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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