Oklahoma Executions
1:13 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Federal Judge Hears Testimony On Lethal Injection Challenge

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

A doctor who examined the body of an Oklahoma inmate who died during a botched execution says he is convinced the man suffered after being declared unconscious.

A pathologist hired by the inmate's lawyer told a federal judge Wednesday that recently released witness statements corroborate his belief that Clayton Lockett was conscious when given drugs to stop his heart and breathing. A witness for the state said it didn't appear Lockett was uncomfortable or suffering.

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Oklahoma News
12:19 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

State Medical Examiner Determines Inmate Cause Of Death

Tory Czernecki
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections says the October death of inmate at the Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville was due to strangulation.

The department says the state medical examiner's office determined the cause of death of 22-year-old Tory Czernecki. The department says Czernecki died Oct. 26 after being assaulted in his cell by his cellmate.

The cellmate has not been charged, but Hughes County District Attorney Chris Ross told The Oklahoman that unspecified charges are expected.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Obama Unveils 'New Approach' On Cuba As Former Foes Chart New Course

President Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. will work with Cuba to normalize diplomatic ties.
Doug Mills UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:41 pm

Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET

President Obama announced today the most significant change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in more than 50 years, paving the way for the normalization of relations and the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."

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Washington
8:36 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Video: Coburn Explains Controversial Blockage Of Veterans Suicide Measure

Veterans groups continue to criticize U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) for objecting to a bill intended to reduce a suicide among military veterans.

Coburn defended his actions on the floor of the chamber, saying the bill would not accomplish its stated goal and duplicates programs that already exist.

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Around the Nation
6:48 am
Wed December 17, 2014

For Crop-Duster Pilots, Wind Towers Present Danger

A pilot for Earl's Flying Service sprays chemicals on a field in southeastern Missouri.
Courtesy of Mike Lee

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:29 am

Crop-dusting pilots are the adrenaline junkies of the agriculture world. They whiz through the air, flying under power lines to sow seeds or spread pesticides on farmers' fields.

It's a dangerous job, and now these pilots are facing a new challenge — short towers that can sprout up in fields overnight. These towers are used to gather data for wind energy companies.

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Weather and Climate
8:34 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Study Will Develop Plan For Drought Stricken Southwest Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the terms of a plan to further study the Upper Red River Basin as part of the Water SMART Basin Studies Program.

The study, which has an estimated cost of approximately $1.4 million, will help Oklahoma’s southwest corner find ways to best conserve and manage the water they draw from the Upper Red River Basin. Southwest Oklahoma, Planning and Management Division Chief Julie Cunningham said, has been the region most affected by recent drought conditions in the state.

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Politics and Government
7:46 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

State Wins Affordable Care Act Grant

Governor Mary Fallin at her 2014 State of the State address.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Obama administration announced Tuesday it had chosen Oklahoma to receive a grant of up to $2 million to develop innovative models for delivering health care.

The award is significant because it represents a rare departure from the state’s general reluctance to participate in programs authorized by the Affordable Care Act, sometimes characterized as Obamacare.

Oklahoma is one of 28 states chosen to receive funding in the second round of the State Innovation Models grant program. The grants total $665 million nationwide.

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Science, Technology and Environment
7:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Oklahoma City To Hold Public Hearing On Oil Drilling Near Lake Hefner

Lighthouse at Lake Hefner
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City Utilities Department will hold a public hearing on a proposed drilling operation on the Lake Hefner Reservation on Thursday, December 18, according to a Facebook event posted by Oklahoma City Councilman, Ed Shadid.

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Weather and Climate
6:31 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Declining

Saturated thickness map of Ogallala Aquifer with Keystone XL route layered.
Credit Kbh3rd / Wikipedia Commons

The U.S. Geological Survey says groundwater levels are declining in an aquifer that serves parts of Oklahoma and seven other states.

The USGS has released a report on changes in groundwater levels in the High Plains Aquifer, also known as the Ogallala Aquifer.

USGS scientist Virginia McGuire says measurements between 2011 and 2013 represent a large decline in groundwater levels and are likely due to increased groundwater pumping.

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Oklahoma News
5:01 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Norman Police Release Information On Sunday Shooting

Credit Norman Police Department

Police in Norman have identified the officer involved in a weekend shooting that left a man in critical condition.

Capt. Tom Easley said Tuesday Master Police Officer Heather Glazier was involved in a shooting on Sunday that injured 34-year-old Martin Sanchez-Juarez. Glazier has served with the department since May 2008. She is on paid administrative assignment pending an investigation.

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