Politics and Government
6:53 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Oklahoma Supreme Court OKs $120 Million Capitol Bond Issue

Credit Meghan Blessing / KGOU

 The Oklahoma Supreme Court has upheld legislation authorizing a $120 million bond issue to renovate and repair Oklahoma's crumbling State Capitol building.

In a unanimous decision, the nine-member court handed down a decision Monday rejecting allegations that the bond legislation was an unconstitutional special law that should be struck down.

The Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority asked the Supreme Court for guidance on whether to issue the bonds after Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent announced plans to protest the issuance.

Fent claims the bill authorizing the bond issue is unconstitutional because it addressed only one state building.

But attorneys for the state say the bill is a universal general law that applies to a unique building that serves as both the seat of state government and as a symbol of Oklahoma.

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Health
4:37 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

State's Low Blood Supply Constitutes Emergency

Credit Clint Budd / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Blood Institute has declared a blood emergency because of a statewide blood shortage.

The Oklahoman reports that the institute declared the emergency on Monday as the state's supply of donated blood fell below the amount needed for an average day. It is encouraging donors to give blood this month to help reverse the shortage.

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Death Penalty
4:22 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Attorneys For 21 Death Row Inmates Head To Federal Court

Credit T. Woodward / Flickr Creative Commons

Attorneys for 21 Oklahoma death row inmates head to federal court this week hoping that behind-the-scenes details of an execution gone awry will prevent a "bloody mess" from ever happening again.

Attorneys for the state of Oklahoma say new lethal injection protocols will address the problems encountered during April's bungled execution of 38-year-old Clayton Lockett. But the inmates argue the state is experimenting on them with new drug combinations that amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

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Oklahoma News
11:57 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Small Tornado Touches Down In Arcadia During Sunday Storm

National Weather Center in Norman
Credit Paul L. McCord Jr. / Flickr Creative Commons

A small tornado that touched ground briefly in Arcadia has been rated an EF0 by the National Weather Service in Norman.

Weather service meteorologist Marc Austin said Monday that the tornado caused no damage and appeared to have been on the ground for 30 seconds or less in the small town in the northeastern Oklahoma City metro.

The preliminary rating for the Sunday afternoon twister is the smallest given by the weather service and indicates wind speeds of 40-72 mph.

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Shots - Health News
11:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Prolific Prescribers Of Controlled Substances Face Medicare Scrutiny

Number of providers by state who wrote at least 3,000 prescriptions for Schedule 2 controlled substances in 2012 in Medicare Part D.
ProPublica/NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:31 am

Despite a national crackdown on prescription drug abuse, doctors churned out an ever-larger number of prescriptions for the most-potent controlled substances to Medicare patients, new data show.

In addition, ProPublica found, the most prolific prescribers of such drugs as oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine and Ritalin often have worrisome records.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:27 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Oklahoma Corrections Policies Changed To Release More Offenders

The Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington
Oklahoma Watch

Pushing to reduce prison overcrowding, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has quietly changed its policies to give early releases to greater numbers of violent and sex offenders, according to agency documents obtained by Oklahoma Watch.

The department is doing so by relaxing policies that determine which types of inmates can receive early-release credits, when those credits can be given, and how many credits offenders can receive, corrections department records show.

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Health
7:04 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Study Calls For Change In State Health Care System

Credit Oklahoma Health Care Authority

Talk of transforming the way health care is provided, paid for and implemented in the state has begun in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority board on Thursday heard a presentation by Oklahoma Hospital Association President Craig Jones about the future of the state’s health care system. Oklahoma was ranked 46th in overall health by America’s Health Rankings in its 2014 report.

“We believe this will be an important part of the discussion going into the next legislative session,” OHCA Chief Executive Officer Nico Gomez said.

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Oklahoma News
6:53 am
Sun December 14, 2014

"Oklahoma @ The Movies" Exhibit Slated To Close This Month

Credit Oklahoma History Center

One of the Oklahoma History Center's most popular exhibits is scheduled to close at the end of the month.

"Oklahoma @ the Movies," which celebrates the contributions of Oklahomans to the motion picture industry, will close on Dec. 31.

The exhibit has been open to the public since May 2012 in conjunction with the development of the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa. The Inasmuch Foundation awarded the Oklahoma History Center a $250,000 grant to develop it and focus on a number of Oklahomans who have worked in front of or behind the camera.

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Oklahoma News
6:31 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Six Oklahoma Lawmen Recognized

David Prater, Oklahoma County District Attorney, and former police officer inducted into the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.
Credit Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office

Six Oklahoma lawmen were inducted into the sixth class of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

Tulsa Police Major Julie Harris says the six inductees for the 2014 class are: Barry T. Black, Joe R. Cannon, Phil Cotten, David Prater, Darrell Weaver, and Charles "Chuck" Smith.

Prater is a former police officer and currently the Oklahoma County district attorney. Weaver is the director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

An induction ceremony was held on Saturday at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.

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Oklahoma News
6:12 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Two Tribal Attorneys Now Special Assistant Prosecutors

Northern District of Oklahoma U.S. Department of Justice
Credit Northern District of Oklahoma Department of Justice

Tribal attorneys with the Cherokee Nation and the Osage Nation have been sworn in as tribal special assistant United States attorneys to help prosecute federal cases.

Cherokee Nation Deputy Attorney General Sara Hill and Osage Nation Attorney General Jeff Jones have been sworn in by U.S. Attorney Danny Williams Sr. of the Northern District of Oklahoma.

The Northern District has nearly 15 tribes and Williams said the two tribal special assistants will help staff and prosecute more cases and help make for better relationships with the tribes.

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