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Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Subject To Ethics Investigation, State Senator Kyle Loveless Resigns

A state senator under investigation for unreported campaign donations has resigned. Oklahoma State Senator Kyle Loveless of District 45 in central Oklahoma submitted a letter of resignation on Thursday morning. “I tender this resignation with much regret. Mistakes I have made are the responsibility of no one other than myself,” Loveless, a Republican, said in the letter, which is addressed to Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz. Schulz responded with a statement accepting Loveless’s...

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Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger speaks during a meeting of the State Board of Equalization in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 20, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

 

 

Monthly revenue shortages have led Oklahoma finance officials to dip into the Rainy Day Fund again this year, draining it completely.

If the state does not have enough money to pay its monthly bills, it typically takes the difference from a state department.

“Normally, they would look to something like the Department of Transportation, which usually has large amounts of cash,” eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley said in his weekly interview with KGOU.

Bob Kerr on his ranch near Carnegie, Okla., which is flanked by turbines from the Blue Canyon Wind Farm.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

 

One major tax incentive for wind energy remains on the books in Oklahoma. And the Legislature is poised to end it — more than three years early. The politics of renewable energy have changed as state revenues have failed, but some wind producers say lawmakers are reneging on a deal that sends a bad message to any industry considering investing in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s wind industry has grown year after year. With 3,400 turbines spread across 41 wind farm projects, the state ranks No. 3 in the nation in the American Wind Energy Association’s report on wind power capacity.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric's Muskogee Power Plant.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to roll back many Obama-era rules meant to combat climate change. Politico’s Alex Guillén reports many of the directives in the order are geared toward making it easier to produce coal used for power generation:

National Weather Service

Severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and flash floods are possible Tuesday and Tuesday night across most of Oklahoma.

The highest risk for severe storms will be in southwestern Oklahoma, including the communities of Lawton and Altus, where the chance is greatest for isolated supercells with large hail and possible tornadoes this afternoon and evening.

As the storms move east, the main threat will be damaging wind, though large hail and tornadoes will remain possible.

A tornado in Wynnewood, Oklahoma on May 9, 2016.
J.R. Hehnly / OKStorms.com

 

Oklahomans should brace for a storm season was an above-average number of tornadoes, according to meteorologist Gary England.

England told KGOU that a weak La Niña phenomena typically leads to an active tornado season.

“There’s been a bunch of years with a weak La Niña, we had a lot of tornadoes,” England said.

A weak La Niña occurs when temperatures in the equatorial Pacific are slightly below normal.
 

Drew Bernard / Univeristy of Oklahoma

 

Al Roker from NBC’s The TODAY Show and students at the University of Oklahoma set Guinness World Records Monday during Roker’s visit to the OU campus in Norman.

 

As an oil-rich country on the border of Southeast Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Azerbaijan has drawn from a variety of cultures and influences.

Azerbaijan is the only country to border both Iran and Russia. Other neighbors include Georgia, Turkey and Armenia.

Its location makes it a cross roads.

 

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Bills in the Oklahoma legislature faced a major deadline Thursday: they had to pass in their chamber of origin to continue through the legislative process. Bills affecting anti-discriminatory laws were not successful, but two teacher pay raise measures will move ahead.

A customer pays a bill at the customer service window at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

 

A bill that passed the Oklahoma House on Tuesday would create a task force to evaluate the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

 

The Corporation Commission is charged with regulating the oil and gas industry, utilities telecommunication, and other industries and endeavors such as the dismantling of cotton gins.

Rancher and water advocate Gary Greene owns land near Pennington Creek.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Pennington Creek in south-central Oklahoma is the only source of drinking water for the town of Tishomingo. Residents there are worried limestone mining operations threaten the creek. Now, the city council is taking on the companies doing the digging.

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