Obama Signs Texas Disaster Declaration As Death Toll In Flooding Rises

The number of people who died because of storms that have inundated parts of Texas and Oklahoma this week has hit 25 people, after search crews found a drowned truck driver whose vehicle had overturned in a culvert near Dallas.That's the word from member station KERA, where Lauren Silverman reports that a new batch of storms that hit Dallas-Fort Worth "dumped three to seven inches of rain on an already over-saturated area" Thursday night.All that water created treacherous conditions for...
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Oklahoma House of Representatives Chamber
http://www.oklegislature.gov/

The Oklahoma Legislature has adjourned the 2015 legislative session one week earlier than is required.

The presiding officer of the Senate dropped the gavel shortly after 3 p.m. Friday and two hours later the House also adjourned sine die, a Latin phrase that literally means "without day."

The Oklahoma Legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn by the last Friday in May, but lawmakers rushed to complete their work this week to finish before the Memorial Day weekend.

Former state Rep. Randy Terrill
Oklahoma House of Representatives

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the bribery conviction of former state Rep. Randy Terrill and denied an appeal by former Sen. Debbe Leftwich.

Terrill — a Republican — was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison for offering Leftwich — a Democrat — an $80,000-a-year job at the state medical examiner's office if she would not run for re-election in 2010 so a Republican could seek the seat. Leftwich was convicted of accepting a thing of value to withdraw as a candidate and was given a one-year suspended sentence.

An artist's rendering of the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) in Tulsa.
Oklahoma Historical Society

One day after failing to pass a $25 million bond proposal to build a new museum in Tulsa, the Oklahoma House reversed course and narrowly passed a plan to build the facility dedicated to the state's icons of popular culture.

The House voted 51-40 Friday to approve the bond issue, one day after the same measure fell seven votes short of passing. A bill needs 51 votes to pass in the House.

It now heads to Gov. Mary Fallin for consideration.

Oklahoma City residents packed a public meeting about an oil company's proposal to drill near Lake Hefner, a city water supply. Residents were concerned about water and air pollution, truck traffic and noise, and earthquakes.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Legislature is sending a message to towns, cities and counties: Don’t try to ban fracking.

Oklahoma legislators were inspired by the November 2014 voter-approved city fracking ban enacted in Denton, Texas. And, like their counterparts in Texas, they were determined to make such action illegal.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Updated 12:05 p.m. Gov. Jeb Bush calls for increased homeland security

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush opened his speech talking about family and “love at first sight.” The crowd cheered loudly when he mentioned how proud he was of his brother and his parents. 

Bush spent a bulk of his time discussing the economy, saying the county needed to reevaluate what it was doing.

“We can’t have a government we can’t afford and allow it to grow,” Bush said, highlighting his veto history while he was the governor.

Heavy flooding at the intersection of Main Street and Lahoma Ave. in Norman on May 19, 2015.
Steven Anderson / Twitter

Updated 7:49 p.m. National Weather Service forecaster warns of potentially "deadly flood and flash flood event” over the Memorial Day weekend.  

Hong Kong and China flags
Whampoa Sports Club / Flickr

This week, KGOU’s World Views host Suzette Grillot and contributor Rebecca Cruise discuss China’s role as a global power and the ways in which it has been exerting that power.

China Finds Opportunity For Investment In Struggling Brazilian Economy

Kerr-McGee’s uranium enrichment facility near Crescent.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Nearly four decades after it shut down, Kerr-McGee’s former nuclear facility in Crescent (yes, that nuclear facility) could finally have its contaminated site in north-central Oklahoma cleaned using environmental practices pioneered across the Pacific.

Jeff Lux with the Cimarron Environmental Response Trust is working to clean up contaminated water on the 840-acre site where Kerr-McGee enriched uranium until 1976. The $86 million project is expected to take 10 years.

Greg Walters / Flickr

A Tulsa federal judge has ruled that an American Indian student at Caney Valley High School can't wear an eagle feather on her graduation cap. 

Chief U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell accepted a magistrate's recommendation to deny senior Hayden Griffith's request for a preliminary injunction that would allow her wear the feather during her graduation ceremony Thursday.

There are roughly 4,000 people who serve as reserve police officers and sheriff’s deputies across the state of Oklahoma. Many hold full-time civilian day jobs and volunteer for agencies in their free time.

The role of these volunteers has come under increased scrutiny after a Tulsa County reserve deputy killed a restrained man last month. KGOU’s Kate Carlton Greer reports.

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