U.S.
8:39 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Immigration Courts 'Operating In Crisis Mode,' Judges Say

People in Miami protest the Texas district judge who on Tuesday temporarily blocked the implementation of President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:54 pm

As Congress debates the fate of President Obama's immigration policies, the nation's immigration court system is bogged down in delays exacerbated by the flood of unaccompanied minors who crossed the southern border last summer.

The administration made it a priority for those cases to be heard immediately. As a result, hundreds of thousands of other cases have been delayed until as late as 2019.

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Death Penalty
6:46 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Experimental Executions: State Lawmakers Consider Untested Gas Asphyxiation

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

After Oklahoma’s troubled execution last year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to review the state’s lethal injection procedures and postpone all scheduled executions

Amid the legal scrutiny and difficulty in obtaining drugs for future lethal injections, some state lawmakers are discussing a new, completely experimental method of execution.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
11:52 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Debate: Is Amazon The Reader's Friend?

Franklin Foer recently wrote a cover story for The New Republic titled, "Amazon Must Be Stopped." He argued against Amazon at the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate — and won.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:01 pm

Amazon owns 41 percent of all book sales and 67 percent of all e-book sales mainly because it offers lower prices. But the e-commerce company came under fire in late 2014 when Amazon and the publishing house Hachette faced off over who should set the price for e-books. The debate raises questions about Amazon's growing place in the market, the changing role of publishers and the value of books in our society.

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Politics and Government
7:16 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Oklahoma's Increased Road And Bridge Funding Comes With A Price

Credit J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

A decade ago, Oklahoma was the poster child for states with a crumbling infrastructure.

About one-third of the state's bridges were structurally deficient, including some too dangerous for school buses or commercial trucks to cross.

When Republicans came to power in 2004, they worked with Democrats on a direct allocation of income tax revenue to fund an eight-year plan to improve roads and bridges.

The program has been successful, cutting the number of bad bridges by more than a third and leading to other safety improvements like road shoulders and cable barriers.

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Science, Technology and Environment
7:01 am
Sun February 22, 2015

National Tornado Summit Attendees To Tour Operations Center

2015 National Tornado Summit
Credit Facebook

Dozens of people attending this year's National Tornado Summit in Oklahoma City will tour the state's Emergency Operations Center for a simulated disaster response.

More than 150 people will visit the center on Monday as if a disaster has occurred. The Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security's Command One trailer will also be on display.

The tour comes ahead of this year's tornado summit, which will draw about 1,000 emergency managers, insurance company representatives and city leaders from across the country.

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Arts and Entertainment
6:45 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Toby Keith Selected For Songwriters Hall Of Fame

Keith at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, April 18, 2010.
Credit Wikipedia Commons / Creative Commons

Oklahoma native and country music superstar Toby Keith has been selected for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Keith said in a statement that he writes songs every day and that songwriting is what he takes the most pride in. He said the award is the only one that he'll display on his desk.

An induction ceremony is scheduled for June 18 in New York City.

Others to be inducted are Cyndi Lauper; the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter; Linda Perry; Bobby Braddock; and Willie Dixon.

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Health
6:33 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Oklahoma Receives $10.6 Million In US grants For Program To Help Pregnant Women

Credit pixabay.com / Creative Commons

More than $10.6 million in federal grants has been awarded to support home visiting services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children in Oklahoma.

The grants were announced Thursday by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

Burwell says home visits by a nurse, social worker or early childhood educator during pregnancy and in the first years of life can make a tremendous difference in the lives of children and their families.

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Washington
5:59 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Some Republican Governors Back Homeland Security Showdown

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.
Credit Office Of The Governor

Several Republican governors, including Mary Fallin, are urging GOP congressional leaders to stand firm against legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security if the bill doesn't also overturn President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

Governors in both parties in Washington this weekend warned of economic and security concerns should Congress fail to resolve its latest budget standoff. 

Homeland Security's $40 billion budget runs out Feb. 27, giving federal lawmakers only a few days to reach an agreement once they return from recess next week.

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Politics and Government
7:01 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Legislature Steps Up To Deal With Budget Shortfall

State agencies are being asked to return to the Capitol to have an in-depth discussion about their budgets, the leaders of the House and the Senate said Thursday. The meetings to discuss budgets are a result of the $611 million dollar shortfall authorized by the State Equalization Board last Tuesday.

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Oklahoma News
6:33 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Oklahoma's Black History And Culture Showcased In New Guide

Long Road To Liberty brochure from the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.
Credit Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department has released a 75-page guide highlighting the state's black history and culture.

The brochure, "Long Road to Liberty: Oklahoma's African American History and Culture," explains the influence black history had in shaping the culture of Oklahoma dating back before statehood.

Copies of the brochure are free and can be ordered online.

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