Oklahoma Politics
10:02 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Minority Leader Inman Confident House Dems Can Hold 29 Seats

Okahoma's House Democrats hold a press conference on education and Gov. Mary Fallin's budget - March 2013
Credit Oklahoma House Democrats / Facebook

House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) called last week "interesting” with candidate filing and legislation passing House Appropriations and Budget Committee to fund the Native American Cultural Center and Museum.

Stating the House Democrats are “encouraged and excited” for the future, Inman said currently 23 of the 29 members of the caucus have filed for re-election.

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Oklahoma Politics
8:42 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Bridenstine, Pruitt, Others Get Free Pass In November Elections

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) speaking during a 2013 town hall meeting.
Credit Congressman Jim Bridenstine / Facebook

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla. 1) won re-election to a second two-year-term Friday when no candidate filed to run against him at the end of the three-day filing period.

The freshman GOP House member who represents Tulsa and much of Northeast Oklahoma was among several candidates who did not draw an opponent in their race, and will take office immediately after the November elections.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:36 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Junior High Kids From Briarwood, Plaza Towers Feel Left Out Of School Support

Rhonda and Jared Swearingen
Credit Kate Carlton

In the year since tornadoes ripped through Moore, there’s been no shortage of media coverage of teachers and students at Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary Schools, as they’ve recovered from the storm and adapted to a “new normal.” 

But what about the kids that graduated and left? Some of them feel like they’ve fallen through the cracks. 

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Book News & Features
5:58 am
Mon April 14, 2014

'Grapes Of Wrath' Is 75, But Its Depictions Of Poverty Are Timeless

Dust Bowl farmer drives a tractor with his son near Cland, N.M. (1938). Steinbeck writes: "The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects ... monsters raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country ... through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines."
Dorothea Lange Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 3:42 pm

Much has been said and written about the Dust Bowl, but if you want to get a visceral feel for how it all began and the way it affected the people who experienced it, you need go no further than the opening pages of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath:

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Death Penalty
12:57 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Oklahoma Secures Non-Compounded Execution Drugs

Credit duggar11

Lawyers for the state of Oklahoma said in a letter to attorneys for two death row inmates that no compounded drugs would be used in their executions.

In a letter from Assistant Attorney General John Hadden on Friday the state informed lawyers for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner that the state had secured non-compounded vercuronium bromide, the second of the three drugs it intends to use in the inmates' executions.

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Health
4:43 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

Pro-Pot Backers Seek Public Vote On Medicinal Use In Oklahoma

Credit Dank Depot / Flickr Creative Commons

An initiative petition that would permit the sale and cultivation of medical marijuana has been filed with the Oklahoma secretary of state's office.

A Tulsa-based group known as Oklahomans for Health filed the petition Friday for a statewide vote. Supporters will have 90 days from the petition's filing or after the petition is deemed sufficient by the state Supreme Court, whichever is later, to collect 155,216 voter signatures needed to get it on the ballot.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:35 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Wind Power Projects Pick Up In Oklahoma, Despite Continued Tax Credit Uncertainty

Credit AMK713 / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal production tax credit on renewable energy production keeps expiring and getting renewed by Congress, creating a lot of uncertainty in the wind energy industry. Still, by the end of 2013, there were two new wind projects under construction in Oklahoma, and the national trend was toward wind.

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Environment
5:34 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Quapaw Tribe Leads Cleanup Of Federal Hazmat Site

A sinkhole near the Tar Creek/Picher Superfund site in Northeast Oklahoma.
Credit Janice Waltzer / Flickr Creative Commons

A Native American tribe in Oklahoma is poised to become the first tribe in the country to lead and manage the cleanup of a federal hazardous waste site.

The Quapaw Tribe is cleaning up a site where a Catholic church and boarding school that tribal members attended once stood. The land was later leased to various companies and mined for lead and zinc. When mining stopped, large piles of leftover mining waste were left behind. This caused health problems for residents.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
5:03 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Norman Mayor And Residents Question Use Of City Drinking Water For Fracking

Credit Tyler Ingram / Flickr Creative Commons

Many residents — and some members of the city council — didn’t know Norman’s drinking water is being used for hydraulic fracturing until The Journal Record broke the story in March about Texas-based driller Finley Resources tapping a fire hydrant near Franklin Road.

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

5 Things To Know About Obama's Nominee For Health Secretary

President Obama, flanked by outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (left) and his nominee to be her replacement, Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 6:28 pm

On the same day the White House formally announced the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services, President Obama also nominated her successor: Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Here are five things to know about Burwell, who will have the task of overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act during a midterm election year:

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