State Capitol
8:08 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Lawmakers Approve Income Tax Cut Despite Threat of Reimbursment Costs

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

A lawsuit by an out-of-state company that challenges a tax break on capital gains for Oklahoma-based businesses is causing some concern at the state Capitol.

An analysis on the potential costs of a tax reimbursement show Oklahoma could be on the hook for as much as $480 million if the court rules in favor of tax payers.

Republican State Rep. Jeff Hickman raised the issue during questions on a tax cut bill approved by the House last week. But budget negotiators said any repercussions of the capital gains issue should be worked out apart from the state budget.

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10:55 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Oklahoma Wheat Crop Threatened

Lead in text: 
"Six freezes since March 20, on top of a yearslong drought, has left wheat crops extremely stressed and without a well-developed root system."
Far southwest: 5.5 million * Southeast: 490,000 * Northeast: 3 million * West central: 11.3 million * Central: 15.1 million * Northwest and west: 15.1 million * Total: 85.5 million Oklahoma producers are expected to harvest 85.5 million bushels of wheat this year, a 45 percent drop from last year's 154.8 million bushels, the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association announced at its annual meeting this week.
Weather and Climate
10:07 am
Sun May 5, 2013

May is Tornado Month in Oklahoma

May 3, 1999 tornado paths in Oklahoma
Credit National Weather Service

Tis the season ... when we check the forecasts, make sure the batteries in the radios are good, and rehearse safety plans with the family and our neighbors.  Tornado season is here.

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10:28 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Bloomberg: Kaiser Charity Exploits Loophole

Lead in text: 
An analysis of the 2011 tax return of the George Kaiser Family Foundation shows how some types of charities take advantage of federal tax law to support for-profit ventures.
When Oklahoma energy billionaire George Kaiser opened the Northeast Gateway liquid natural gas terminal in 2008, the floating depot's first delivery was shipped on the Excellence, a 909-foot supertanker that holds 138,000 cubic meters of LNG -- enough gas to meet more than 4 percent of daily U.S. demand.
U.S.
4:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

At NRA Convention, Dueling Narratives Displayed With Guns

An ammunition display at the NRA's annual convention in Houston on Friday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 11:50 am

The National Rifle Association is holding its annual convention in Houston this weekend. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend for speeches and demos and acres of guns, ammo and camo.

The NRA is coming off of a major victory: the defeat of gun control legislation in the Senate. While the talk in the convention hall is about keeping up the fight and staying true to the Constitution, a small protest against gun violence is being held outside.

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Politics and Government
5:58 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Lawmakers Delay Pension Board Reform

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Late timing and skepticism among legislators have pushed into next year an effort by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Treasurer Ken Miller to consolidate the state's pension boards.

The plan would combine the administration boards of Oklahoma's seven pension systems, which cover more than 200,000 teachers, judges, police and other employees and retirees. The pensions' funds would be kept separate. The governor says the change would save millions of dollars.

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Indian Times
4:32 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Native American Women, Once Denied, Can Now Recieve Emergency Contraceptives

Executive Director of NAWHERC Charon Asetoyer (Comanche)
Credit courtesy of indiancountrytodaymedia.com

Emergency contraception is now being offered at most Indian Health Service clinics around the country but it’s not certain the medication will be offered in the future.

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World Views
4:30 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

World Views: May 3, 2013

Listen to the entire May 3, 2013 episode

On Tuesday President Obama reiterated that the U.S. has evidence chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and regular contributor and Syria expert Joshua Landis discusses "game changers" and crossing "red lines."

Universidad de Chile industrial engineering professor and Educación 2020 founder Mario Waissbluth joins the program for a conversation about socio-economic segregation in the South American country's schools.

World Views
3:17 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Over 1,000 Militias Make Syria "Like L.A. Riots Gone Berserk"

Syrian refugees shout slogans against Assad at Boynuyogun refugee camp in Hatay province on the Turkish-Syrian border March 16, 2012.
Credit FreedomHouse / Flickr

U.S. and other diplomatic officials say discussions within the Obama administration in favor of providing arms to the Syrian rebels are gaining ground amid new indications that President Bashar Assad's regime may have launched additional chemical weapons attacks.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says eliminating Syria's air defenses would be the first step before inspectors could determine if the regime did indeed use chemical weapons.

"Once you've destroyed the Syrian military, you're in Iraq in a sense," Landis says. "We were criticized in Iraq because we only had 100,000 troops to protect an entire country."

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State Capitol
6:45 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Okla. Legislators, Governor Reach Deal on Budget

Gov. Mary Fallin, House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) and other legislative leaders announce Thursday's budget agreement at the State Capitol.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

Lawmakers have until the end of this month to complete their work, including the passing of a state budget. The adjournment date might come sooner with the announcement of an agreement on how to spend the state’s money.

The budget to pay for Oklahoma’s government will be $7.1 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1, under an agreement between Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders. For most state agencies the amount of money they’ll receive in the new budget year is the same as last, but Fallin says the largest increase in the budget is for public schools in Oklahoma.

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