Education
6:22 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Coburn Wants Vegas Education Conference Cancelled

Sen. Tom Coburn is calling on the US Department of  Education to cancel a planned three-day conference on federal student aid  scheduled for December in Las Vegas.  

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2013 Farm Bill
4:15 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

House OKs Scaled-down Farm Bill Sans Food Stamps

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.)
Credit Carl Sandburg College / Flickr Creative Commons

The House has passed a scaled-down version of a massive farm bill, putting off a fight over food stamp spending and giving Republican leaders a victory after a decisive defeat on the larger bill last month.

All five members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation joined their GOP colleagues in voting for the bill.

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) is the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. He said in a statement he was pleased the bill made it through his chamber.

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1:20 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Permits for Handgun Licenses in Oklahoma Keep Rising

Lead in text: 
The number of Oklahomans applying for handgun licenses in 2013 is on pace to significantly best last year’s record numbers, according to data from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Through the first six months of 2013, nearly 37,000 license applications have been received by the OSBI, compared to about 46,000 for all of last year.
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.

Listen to the Radio Story

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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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