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.

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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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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Thu July 11, 2013

50 Likely Died In Quebec Train Disaster, Officials Say

At a school in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, the town's people have been waiting for word about their friends and family members.
Christinne Muschi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:13 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Brian Mann reports from Quebec

Police in Quebec are not holding out hope that any of the people still missing after Saturday's train derailment and explosions in the town of Lac-Mégantic are alive.

With 20 bodies found so far and an additional 30 people still unaccounted for, that means the death toll is expected to be around 50. Authorities are telling the families of the missing to prepare for the worst.

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Parallels
8:10 am
Thu July 11, 2013

What Should The U.S. Be Doing In Egypt?

Some Egyptian protesters felt the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, was too close to the recently deposed president, Mohammed Morsi. Demonstrators in Cairo carry banners denouncing her on June 30, three days before Morsi was ousted by Egypt's military.
Ed Giles Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 2:25 pm

Egypt's crisis has ignited a familiar debate over U.S. foreign policy where the combatants cluster around two basic viewpoints: The U.S. is doing too little, and the U.S. is doing too much.

So which is it? Is America shrewdly orchestrating events behind the scenes, or is it just an impotent bystander in the Egyptian drama? It depends on whom you ask.

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Politics and Government
6:37 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Oklahomans Protest US Involvement in Syria

A bipartisan group of legislators and other community activists are seeking an end to the United States' involvement in the conflict in Syria and are planning a rally at the Oklahoma Capitol. 

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Politics and Government
6:26 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Osage Nation Chief Under Attack

Osage Nation Principal Chief John Red Eagle
Credit Louise Red Corn / Bigheart Times

Osage  Nation Principal Chief John Red Eagle has come under fire for abuse of power allegations.  A motion submitted by Congressman William “Kugee” Supernaw,   was approved by the Osage Congress yesterday.

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World Views
5:02 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

For Sikh Civil Rights Attorney, Sometimes The Status Quo Is Enough

Sikhs mourn the victims of the August 5, 2012 shooting at the temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin during a vigil in Union Square on the night of August 8, 2012.
Credit Henry Gass / Flickr Creative Commons

Nearly a year ago, a white supremacist killed six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek.

The August 5, 2012 attack in Wisconsin was one of several incidents in the past decade against members of the South Asian religion.

“Unfortunately, in the post-9/11 environment, the prevailing stereotype is that if somebody wears a turban, they're affiliated with al-Qaeda,” says Rajdeep Singh, the Washington, D.C. Director of Law and Policy for the New York City-based Sikh Coalition. “And I think this has explained a lot of the violence and bigotry that is too-often directed at Sikhs.”

In 2009 the Sikh Coalition worked to stop Oklahoma legislation from advancing that would have prohibited motorists from wearing head scarves or other coverings in their driver’s license photos.

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Shots - Health News
4:51 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

GOP Says, Why Not Delay That Health Care Law, Like, Forever?

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks at a press conference Wednesday on Republican plans to delay enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Looking on are Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Sensing that recent delays in key portions of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obama administration at a weak point in its rollout of the law, Republicans in Congress are doubling down on their efforts to cripple the measure, at least in the eyes of the public if not in fact.

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World Cup of Softball
2:47 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

UPDATE: Ricketts Says She Wasn't Ready For Long-Term USA Deal

Credit University of Oklahoma Athletic Department

Former University of Oklahoma standout pitcher Keilani Ricketts says USA Softball pressured her into signing a long-term contract before she was ready.

Ricketts announced on Twitter Tuesday night that she would not be playing with Team USA this summer.

She clarified her reasons in an interview with The Norman Transcript, saying Team USA told her she had to sign a long-term contract immediately in order to play.

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