State Capitol
9:54 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Oklahoma Capitol Almanac: Abortion, Workers' Comp and More

Lawmakers in both the state House and Senate are passing lots of bills ahead of a deadline Thursday. Legislation has to win approval in its chamber where it started to keep alive. This round-up from the Associated Press reflects many bills on their way to passage through Tuesday night and some that failed.

Topics include: abortion, prison worker pay, the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, privatization of workers' compensation insurance, pay increases for special education teachers and more requirements for people running for office.

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State Capitol
9:48 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Abortion Restriction Bills Advance in House

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A pair of bills that make it more difficult for girls younger than 18 to have an abortion without notifying their parents have easily cleared the Oklahoma House.   The House on Tuesday approved the bills that would limit the ability of teenage girls to have a judge allow them to get an abortion without parental consent.

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State Capitol
9:48 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Abortion Restriction Bills Advance in House

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A pair of bills that make it more difficult for girls younger than 18 to have an abortion without notifying their parents have easily cleared the Oklahoma House. The House on Tuesday approved the bills that would limit the ability of teenage girls to have a judge allow them to get an abortion without parental consent.

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State Capitol
9:05 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Lawmakers Approve Another Tax Cut Bill

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A plan backed by Gov. Mary Fallin to slash the state's top personal income tax rate has cleared the Oklahoma House.

The House voted 65-30 Tuesday to cut the top rate to 5 percent from 5.25 percent, beginning Jan. 1. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The Senate approved a separate measure on Monday to cut the rate to 4.75 percent and offset much of the lost revenue with the elimination of various exemptions and deductions.

Animal Rights
8:02 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Pro-Horse Processing Groups Meeting Today

Credit busse / Flickr (Creative Commons)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Supporters of legislation that would allow for a horse slaughtering plant in Oklahomaplan to rally at the state Capitol.

The Oklahoma Farm Bureau is slated to hold the event Wednesday morning at the state Capitol to support bills that would pave the way for a horse slaughtering facility in the state.

The Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association has also issued a statement saying it supports the "concept of the slaughter of horses in Oklahoma."

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The Salt
7:52 am
Wed March 13, 2013

How To Find A Food Desert Near You

Food deserts mapped from coast to coast, plus Alaska and Hawaii.
USDA

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:30 pm

Want to know where you can't buy fresh, healthful food? The USDA has the map for you.

The feds' new Food Access Research Atlas lets you find out just where it's difficult to buy broccoli or bananas in counties across the U.S. Forget walking to the store in St. Louis, Minn., where most people live more than a mile from a grocery store. Ditto for Hyde, N.C., and Pushmataha, Okla.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Retail Sales Rose In February; Spending Was 'Relatively Robust'

Retail sales rose an estimated 1.1 percent in February from January and were up 4.6 percent from February 2012, the Census Bureau says.

Kathy Bostjancic director of macroeconomic analysis at the The Conference Board research group, says in an analysis sent to reporters that the report's a sign that "consumer spending remains relatively robust." And since consumers buy about 70 percent of all goods and services, their willingness to spend is a key economic driver.

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The Two-Way
6:17 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Winning Musher Is Oldest Champion In Iditarod History

On their way to victory: Mitch Seavey and his team as they left White Mountain, Alaska, on Tuesday in the last leg of the Iditarod.
Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News MCT /Landov

"Mitch Seavey scored one for the AARP-eligible crowd Tuesday night by becoming the oldest champion in Iditarod history," the Anchorage Daily News writes this morning.

According to Alaska Public Telecommunications, the 53-year-old Seavey crossed the finish line at 10:39 p.m. local time on Tuesday — 2:39 a.m. ET Wednesday. It has "checkpoint to checkpoint" coverage of the race posted here.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Day 2 Of The Conclave; Will There Be A New Pope?

Black smoke rose from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel at midday Wednesday in Vatican City. That means the cardinals have not yet chosen a new pope.
Pool Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 11:07 am

Update at 6:41 a.m. ET. The Smoke Is Black:

Smoke just started pouring from a special chimney above the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City — and its dark color means the 115 cardinals meeting inside the chapel have not yet agreed on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

If all has gone as planned inside the chapel, where the cardinals are meeting in secret, they have now cast three ballots and no one name has been written on at last two-thirds of the slips of paper. It takes two-thirds — 77 votes — to become leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Religion
4:38 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Can't Read Smoke Signals? Try A Pope Alert Via Text

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Even if the cardinals now locked away in the Sistine Chapel are losing sleep over who will become the next pope, that does not mean that you have to, thanks to Popealarm.com. The service is provided by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. It lets eager Vatican watchers sign up for a text or an email alert that will go out as soon as the pope is chosen.

Their slogan? When the smoke goes up, you'll know what's going down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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