Jim Marshall, chief-of-staff for Mark Costello, speaks at Costello's vigil on August 27, 2015
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Friends And Colleagues Remember Mark Costello In Vigil

Friends and colleagues of Mark Costello gathered in front of the state capitol last night to honor the late Labor Commissioner. Friends described Costello as someone who made others feel special. He took time to know colleagues, and sent out birthday cards. Costello was known for a sense of humor that helped lighten the mood, and he famously passed out fake fifty trillion dollar bills. State senator John Sparks, a Democrat, said Costello was dedicated to civil discourse. “There’s a lot of...
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State Sen. Bryce Marlatt (R-Woodward)
Oklahoma Senate

A Republican state senator from Woodward is proposing a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to raid money from Oklahoma's Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust fund to pay for a teacher pay raise. 

Sen. Bryce Marlatt announced on Tuesday his plan to introduce a resolution that would submit the proposal to a vote of the people.

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The execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Oklahoma County was once among the top 2 percent of counties nationwide that accounted for 56 percent of the people sitting on death row as of 2012, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The Grand River Dam Authority's coal-fired plant in Chouteau, Okla., which is impacted by the Regional Haze Rule.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Even before the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan was finalized, politicians in Oklahoma were already fighting it in the court of public opinion, and in real court, too. And Gov. Mary Fallin has vowed that Oklahoma will not submit a state compliance plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

U.S. Geological Survey

A boom of earthquakes linked to oil and gas production “has and will continue to have sharp economic consequences” in Oklahoma and other states experiencing man-made seismicity,  Standard and Poor’s Rating Services write in a recent report.

High Beef Prices Fueling Rustling Revival In Plains States

Aug 16, 2015
Cattle graze in eastern Oklahoma County.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Record beef prices have led to increases in the number of missing or stolen cattle.

The nearly 5,800 livestock reported stolen in Texas last year was the most in five years. And the value of the animals — more than $5.7 million — was the most in a decade.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association sees the trend this year much the same. The nearly 140-year-old association has a team of 30 Special Rangers that investigates thefts covering 76 million acres in Texas and Oklahoma.

Capitol Steps
capsteps.com / Capitol Steps

August 16, 2015

This is from the Manager's Desk.   

Fall officially arrives in a couple of weeks and summer is almost over. Schools and universities start classes soon and the juggling of summer vacations is almost done.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Affordable Care Act health insurance rates are expected to rise in Oklahoma in 2016, and the state Insurance Department insists it cannot do anything about rates except review and approve the paperwork.

In the past, however, the department held a somewhat different view, according to a former high-ranking state insurance official.

Will Rogers stands on the wing of a seaplane, with Wiley Post in front of the propeller, August 1935.
Library of Congress

Saturday marks 80 years since Oklahoma humorist Will Rogers died in a plane crash.

Aviator Wiley Post was also killed when their Lockheed Orion-Explorer plunged into a lagoon at Point Barrow, Alaska on August 15, 1935.

Will Rogers Museum Curator Tad Jones says the humorist's Birthplace Ranch in Oologah is marking the anniversary Saturday morning.

“We’ll have a special moment of commemoration for all those that have died in small airplane crashes,” Jones said. “It will start at 9:55 and the official commencement will begin at 10 o’clock.”

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker
Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker has been sworn in for his second, four-year term.

More than 1,000 people attended Friday's inauguration at Sequoyah High School in the tribal capital of Tahlequah to watch Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden sworn in.

Tribal councilors Rex Jordan, David Walkingstick, Shawn Crittenden, Dick Lay, Buel Anglen, Bryan Warner, Keith Austin and Wanda Hatfield also took office.

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