oil pump jack
Paul Lowry / Flickr

Energy Downturn Means More Business Investment, Competition Coming For H&8th?

There’s an interesting side effect of the downturn in energy prices that started late last year – a strong trend in business sales. After being laid off from the oil and gas sector, many former employees look to something completely different. In a lot of cases they have savings, plus a big severance package, and The Journal Record’s managing editor Adam Brooks says a business can be a good investment, and it’s a good time to buy. “In June, there were 23 percent more sales listing for...
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Tammy Mix's sons play on the sidewalk as a drilling rig peeks above the tree line behind her Stillwater home.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After months of debate, drafting and deferring, the Stillwater City Council on Monday approved a stricter oil and gas ordinance.

The council unanimously approved the new rules, which were crafted with the input of residents, the energy industry and Senate Bill 809 — legislation that goes into effect in August preventing municipalities from enacting ordinances that ban fracking and other oil and gas activities, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports:

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Oklahoma ranks in the bottom quarter of states in childhood wellbeing according to an annual survey out Tuesday morning from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The state's placement remained steady from last year.

The Kids Count Data Book shows 24 percent of Oklahoma children live in poverty, and the new survey ranks the state 39th in the nation when it comes to the overall wellbeing of children.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahomans who buy health insurance for next year from the largest insurer on the Affordable Care Act marketplace could face double-digit rate increases running as high as 44 percent, filings with the federal government show. 

usgs.gov / U.S. Geological Survey

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake centered in northern Oklahoma has shaken the state, with reports of it being felt hundreds of miles away. 

The U.S. Geological Survey reported Monday's quake happened at about 3:20 p.m., with the epicenter located about 9 miles east of Cherokee near the Kansas border. People reported feeling the quake in several states, including Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Alfalfa County Sheriff's Office said there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Contractors discovered chalk drawings and lessons on blackboards in Emerson High School, dating to 1917.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Updated July 21, 7:40 a.m.: The Oklahoma City Public School Board voted without discussion during its board meeting to temporarily cover up the century-old chalkboards at Emerson Alternative School so renovations at the site can continue.

The drawings from 1917 were discovered last month, and school officials want to find a way to preserve them. The cover-up approved Tuesday night is expected to cost about $26,000.

Original Post

In a speech last week, President Obama made a case for overhauling the criminal justice system.

"Mass incarceration makes our country worse off, and we need to do something about it," he said.

Then he took his message to the people his proposals could affect most. On Thursday, he met with six inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla. — all convicted of nonviolent drug offenses — and became the first sitting president to ever visit a federal prison.

Former Tulsa County Sheriff's reserve deputy Robert Bates enters the Tulsa County Jail.
Matt Trotter / KWGS Public Radio Tulsa

A grand jury will begin investigating allegations of wrongdoing against the Tulsa County sheriff's office, which came under scrutiny after a reserve deputy shot and killed an unarmed and restrained suspect in April.

Among the accusations that the grand jury is expected to consider after convening Monday is whether Sheriff Stanley Glanz gave special treatment to the reserve deputy, Robert Bates, who was Glanz's close friend and had served as his campaign manager in 2012.

Law Enforcement Seizures Misspent, Missing

Jul 18, 2015
Oklahoma state senator Kyle Loveless.
Oklahoma Senate

Funds and property seized by Oklahoma law enforcement agencies have gone missing or have been used for personal or other improper purposes, state audit records reveal.

Among the violations were using seized money to pay on a prosecutor’s student loans and allowing a prosecutor to live rent-free in a confiscated house for years, records show.

Copies of Gov. Mary Fallin's 2015-34 & 2015-35 executive orders
Jim Johnson / KGOU

After a deadly shooting at a military installation in Tennessee, Gov. Mary Fallin is authorizing the state's adjutant general to arm full-time Oklahoma National Guardsmen at military facilities in Oklahoma.

Fallin issued an executive order on Friday granting Maj. Gen. Robbie Asher the authority to arm National Guard soldiers and airmen with whatever weaponry he deems necessary to adequately provide for their safety and security.

An American Energy Woodford well near Perkins, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma oil and gas authorities are expanding regulations on disposal wells in earthquake-prone regions of the state. The orders, known as directives, were issued this week and broaden restrictions issued nearly four months ago.

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