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Highway Patrol Images / Flickr

Oklahoma Takes A Hard Look At What Police Seize — And How It's Spent

In Oklahoma, some people in charge of enforcing the law seem to be skirting it. State audits have found people in district attorney offices have used seized money and property to live rent-free and pay off student loans. When state Sen. Kyle Loveless first heard about the audits, he'd already been thinking about amending the civil asset forfeiture laws — mainly because the state doesn't always follow the law. "We've seen in Oklahoma — through county commissioner scandals, Supreme Court...
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Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen of St. Gregory's Monastery traces cracks in the walls of the monk's workshop, which was damaged in a 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck the nearby city of Prague in November 2011.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma appears to be accelerating, and the state is responding.

Lawmakers have scheduled capitol hearings and oil and gas regulators will soon issue stricter guidelines on disposal wells linked to the shaking. Future earthquakes are a big concern, but one Oklahoma institution is still dealing with the damage one quake caused nearly four years ago.

Gov. Mary Fallin greets President Obama Wednesday evening alongside her daughter Christina at Tinker Air Force Base
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

President Obama arrived in Oklahoma City Wednesday evening just a few hours after wrapping up the announcement of a nationwide broadband internet initiative in Durant.

Dozens of men and women in uniform and state officials turned out to greet the president as Air Force One touched down shortly before 8:30 p.m. at Tinker Air Force Base. Once the president stepped off the plane, he made his way toward service members and VIPs and spent about 10 minutes shaking hands.

President Obama has made incarceration reform a White House theme this week. On Monday, he commuted the sentences of 46 mostly nonviolent drug offenders; and on Tuesday, he spoke about reducing the prison population in a speech to the NAACP.

"The United States is home to 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's prisoners," Obama said. "Think about that. Our incarceration rate is four times higher than China's."

Brooke Lefler / KGOU

The School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma opened a 5-day run of playwright Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart” on Wednesday evening, July 15. Directed by Tom Huston Orr and Gretchen Hahn, the two and a half hour production is beautiful, cathartic, heart-felt and suspenseful.

This post was last updated at 2:54 p.m. ET

President Obama offered a robust defense of the historic deal struck with Iran on its nuclear program, saying it meets the "national security interests of the United States and its allies."

In a more than hourlong news conference, Obama dismissed criticism of the deal, acknowledging that he expects "robust" debate over the agreement in Congress, but urging lawmakers to evaluate "this agreement based on the facts, not on politics, not on posturing."

Tulsa County Sheriff's Office

Lawyers for the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office and the activist group We the People Oklahoma argued in front of a state Supreme Court referee Tuesday. The Sheriff’s office asked the referee to overturn a lower court’s ruling allowing an investigation of possible corruption in the department.

President Obama speaking to supporters in a pipe yard in Cushing, Okla. in 2012, where the Keystone XL Pipeline connects on its way from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

President Obama travels to Oklahoma Wednesday where he will announce a new initiative to expand broadband access to homes in low-income areas.

The president will make the announcement at Durant High School in the capital of the Choctaw Nation in southeastern Oklahoma.

Obama’s ConnectHome initiative will expand broadband coverage to 275,000 low income households in 27 cities and the Choctaw Nation. The White House estimates it’ll bring broadband into the homes of nearly 200,000 low income children.

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals / Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

A federal appeals court in Denver has ruled that the federal health care law doesn't infringe on the religious freedom of faith-based nonprofit organizations that object to covering birth control in employee health plans.

The case involves a group of Colorado nuns and four Christian colleges in Oklahoma.

Architects working on renovations to the Oklahoma Capitol have discovered two giant hidden doors on the south side of the building.

The nearly 20-foot-tall sheet metal doors with cast-iron decorations were rolled into compartments behind the building's limestone facade and apparently haven't been used in more than 20 years.

Vance Kelley of Treanor Architects says the doors were found Tuesday by a team working on the building's exterior. Kelley says he believes the doors were opened and closed using a pulley-and-cable system.

Facebook

Oklahoma Republican Party chairman Randy Brogdon apologized Tuesday morning for a statement issued Monday evening that appeared to compare welfare recipients to animals.

The original post has since been deleted from the state GOP’s Facebook page, but it stated the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, distributed a assistance to a record 46 million this year. It went on to compare the distribution of federal aid to feeding animals in national parks.

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