Politics and Government
5:16 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

House Approves Budget Deal

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma House has approved a $7.1 billion bill to fund state government for the upcoming fiscal year, despite objections from Democrats and some Republicans who complained the measure doesn't provide enough money for public safety entities.

The House voted 59-40 on Thursday for the general appropriations bill that funds state agencies for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

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Business and Economy
4:51 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

OK Horse Breeder Found Guilty of Money Laundering

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The brother of two leaders of one of the most powerful drug cartels in Mexico has been found guilty of buying racehorses to hide illegal drug profits.

A federal jury on Thursday found Jose Trevino Morales guilty of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Prosecutors believe Trevino's older brothers run the Zetas drug cartel, considered the biggest criminal organization in Mexico.

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Health
4:44 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Utah Consultant Reports on OK Medicaid

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A consultant hired by Oklahoma to help answer the question of how to insure people without health coverage says an existing program could provide the bedrock for a broader project.

Utah-based Leavitt Partners gave the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board its preliminary report Thursday. The firm says Insure Oklahoma could be reworked and expanded to help almost 200,000 Oklahomans afford health insurance. Insure Oklahoma currently uses Medicaid money to help buy insurance for about 30,000 people.

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State Capitol
2:46 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

State House Approves Changes To Abortion Reporting

Credit Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

Abortion providers in Oklahoma would be required to answer dozens of new questions on a state questionnaire under a bill given final approval in the House despite concerns the bill paves the way for costly litigation against the state.

The bill by State Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) adds several questions to the Individual Abortion Form that abortion providers in Oklahoma are required to fill out and submit to the Department of Health.

Providers already are required to ask a woman dozens of questions about her age, race, marital status, previous pregnancies, and relationship problems.

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Oklahoma City Thunder
11:58 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Hobbled Westbrook Still Tries To Help Team From OKC

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook during a game against the Washington Wizards - March 14, 2011
Credit Keith Allison / Flickr

Oklahoma City Thunder star point guard Russell Westbrook says he expects to be on crutches for at least four weeks after knee surgery that forced him to sit for the remainder of the NBA Playoffs.

“For now, I can’t travel,” Westbrook says. “When I get off crutches, we’ll sit down and see what the timetable is for me.”

Westbrook told reporters Thursday morning he’s still trying to find ways to help his team by offering input during halftime, practices, and in the film room.

“The group of guys we have, I think we have enough to get a ring,” Westbrook says.

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10:21 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Why Wyoming Coal Still Powers Natural Gas-Rich Oklahoma

Lead in text: 
Oklahoma has more natural gas reserves than all but three other states. And it now accounts for about 40 percent of the state's power generation.
Hydroelectric and renewable sources- mainly wind - provide some too. But when you flip a light switch, chances are that electricity came from burning coal we get from Wyoming.
State Capitol
9:28 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Prison Workers At "Breaking Point," Seek More Funding

Sgt. David Edelman presents his case for increased pay for Department of Corrections workers Wednesday at the state Capitol while other prison workers look on.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

Oklahoma prison workers say they are worn out due to staffing shortages, low wages and the increasing prison population.

About a dozen uniformed prison guards visited the state Capitol Wednesday, urging lawmakers to reconsider their decision not to support a pay raise for workers at the Department of Corrections.

“DOC is at a breaking point,” said Sgt. David Edelman, an officer at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center. “We are being forced to do 60-to-80 hours a week, and used to we could ask for overtime, but not anymore, we’re being forced.”        

A $12 million proposal to give prison workers a five percent pay increase stalled earlier this session in a House committee.

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OneSix8
6:30 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Oklahoma Opera Singer Hosts Master Class in OKC

Leona Mitchell as Puccini's Manon Lescaut
Credit www.metoperafamily.org

I don’t know about you, but if I were the 10th of 15 children, it’d be easy to get lost in the crowd. But Leona Mitchell didn’t use her large family as an excuse to fade into the background. In 2010, she told OETA’s Gerry Bonds on OKC Metro that a life-changing teacher took her under her wing.  


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Politics and Government
6:30 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

General Appropriations Bill Passes Committee

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A $7.1 billion general appropriations bill to fund state government for the upcoming fiscal year has cleared its first hurdles among rank-and-file legislators.

Separate House and Senate committees easily passed the bill on Wednesday, despite opposition from Democrats and a few Republicans.

Some members from both parties voiced concern that the budget included about $5 million for the House and Senate to renovate office space, but failed to include funding for pay raises for prison workers or state troopers.

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Health
6:17 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Federal Medicaid Services Denies OK Waiver Renewal

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say an Oklahoma state program that uses Medicaid funding to provide insurance to 30,000 low-income Oklahomans must change in order to keep its funding.  

The Insure Oklahoma program needs a renewed waiver to use Medicaid funding to help some people pay for private insurance. CMS sent a letter Tuesday explaining the denial of that waiver to Oklahoma's Health Care Authority, which runs the Insure Oklahoma program.

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