Barges are docked at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa.
Kirby Lee Davis / The Journal Record

Rain, Trains, And Automobiles: Widespread Flooding Affects Transportation, Landscaping

It seems like there’s no corner of the state that stayed dry over the past month as heavy rainfall dumped nearly two dozen inches of water in some cities and towns. The widespread devastation is affecting interstate commerce and transportation across Oklahoma. Storms damaged several locks along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System between Oklahoma and its eastern neighbor. Adam Brooks, the managing editor at The Journal Record, says barge traffic in and out of Tulsa’s Port of...
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Gov. Mary Fallin and other state leaders observe a PowerPoint presentation of revenue projections.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Today, Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation ending a pair of tax incentives used by wind energy developers. The bills will end the use of an exemption that has ballooned alongside the state’s booming wind industry.

The governor’s signature on Senate Bills 498 and 502 means companies building wind farms after 2016 won’t be eligible for a five-year property tax exemption and another incentive written for manufacturers pumping money into property or employees. The property tax exemption was popular with wind developers, who used it to claim thirty-two million dollars in 2013.

The U.S. Supreme Court is examining whether the death penalty method in Oklahoma constitutes cruel and unusual punishment for using a virtually untested drug called midazolam.

The plaintiffs, several prisoners on death row in the state, brought the case after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, who took 43 minutes to die on the gurney in April of 2014.

mosquito on fabric
Tom / Flickr

Parts of Oklahoma have seen more than a dozen inches of rainfall over past two weeks, and saturated ground conditions have led to a lot of standing water where it normally wouldn’t pool. That means more mosquitoes, and the potential health concerns the insects carry.

Some low-lying areas are still flooded after the recent May storms, and standing water in nutrient-rich soil is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. 

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm at the 2012 Time 100 gala.
David Shankbone / Flickr

Harold Hamm, the billionaire founder and CEO of Continental Resources, denies a report that he told a University of Oklahoma dean he wanted scientists dismissed who were researching links between oil and gas production and Oklahoma’s exponential increase in earthquakes.

Paul Phillips stands in front of his home. He rebuilt on his lot after the 2013 tornado destroyed his house.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

It’s been two years since a deadly EF-5 tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma, taking the lives of 24 people, including seven children, and destroying nearly 1,100 homes. In the months following the storm, there was a housing boom, but that surge has since plateaued.

It’s easy to drive through Moore and south Oklahoma City to figure out exactly where the tornado came through two years ago. Construction vehicles crowd streets, overgrown weeds occupy lots where homes used to be and clusters of new houses pepper the once-established neighborhoods.

A wall cloud lowers over Purcell south of the National Weather Center in Norman Tuesday afternoon.
OU Emergency Prep / Twitter

Updated 6:49 p.m.: Flooding still a major concern

A Flash Flood Warning is in effect until 9:45 p.m. as heavy rain continues to fall across central Oklahoma. 

High water caused a hole to form on the bridge of State Highway 9 over Interstate 35. Authorities closed the roadway and diverted traffic as the Oklahoma Department of Transportation worked to make the roadway passable. 

Gov. Mary Fallin during her 2015 State of the State address Feb. 2
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A little over two weeks before the constitutionally required deadline for Oklahoma lawmakers to wrap up the legislative session, Gov. Mary Fallin and leaders of the House and Senate announced a budget deal Tuesday afternoon.

The $7.1 billion budget is just over one percent less than the current fiscal year, and closes a $611 million shortfall by tapping the Rainy Day Fund, state agency revolving accounts, and the Unclaimed Property Fund.

Wace Police Department Facebook Page

The same outlaw motorcycle club that was at the center of a deadly shootout in Waco, Texas has a strong foothold in Oklahoma.

The Bandidos motorcycle club has members scattered through Oklahoma, with a presence in Oklahoma City, Lawton, Shawnee, Tulsa, Elk City, Poteau and Bartlesville. Other biker gangs in some of those communities include the Mongols, the Outlaws and the Rogues, as well as several small groups.

KGOU's website is in transition today to a more mobile-friendly design, so that all the features available on KGOU.org can go with you wherever you go! This new "responsive" design optimizes the layout of each webpage according to the size of the viewer's screen.

The layout on a desktop or laptop computer has just a few changes -- the live audio stream is still accessible from the top of the screen, although now it's on the right side. The navigation bar underneath has just had a little facelift, and the news content flows underneath.

A portrait of President Bashar al-Assad among the trash in the Syrian city of al-Qsair in 2012.
Freedom House / Flickr

With the civil war in Syria now in its fifth year and little progress in reaching a diplomatic solution, stability in the country doesn’t seem likely any time soon. Conflicting interests among regional powers further complicate the situation, says New America Foundation research fellow Barak Barfi.

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