StateImpact Oklahoma
7:57 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Oklahoma City Residents Question Lake Hefner Drilling Plan At Contentious Public Meeting

A representative for Pedestal Oil Company explains the Lake Hefner drilling proposal to a crowd gathered in the Ed Lycan Conservatory at Will Rogers Gardens.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

A rowdy crowd of concerned residents shouted at city officials and questioned representatives of an oil company at a Thursday night meeting about a proposal to drill near Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City.

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Business Intelligence Report
6:43 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Beyond Casinos: Oklahoma Tribes Tackle Environmental Projects, Tourism Industry

Cory Moates, owner of Moates Excavating, left, and Tim Kent, environmental director of The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, inspect ongoing chat disposal from a site near Quapaw. The pit is the top of a collapsed mine near Picher.
Rip Stell The Journal Record

Monday The Journal Record published its Tribal Economic Impact issue, a deep dive into how Oklahoma’s federally recognized Native American groups fund their services and contribute to Oklahoma’s economy.

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Education
7:49 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Board of Education Reacts To Oversight In School District Funding

Credit Wesley Fryer / Flickr Creative Commons

State education officials have rediscovered a law more than 20 years old which affects the way millions of dollars in current and future fiscal year funds will be distributed to the state's school districts. 

The formula for midterm adjustments, she said, accounts for ad valorem tax revenues. In that factoring, the state law enacted in 1990 to take effect in 1992 mandates that agricultural and commercial personal property taxes should be capped at 11 percent. The statute also notes that the Oklahoma Tax Commission will provide that data to the Department of Education.

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Business and Economy
7:30 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Workers Comp Commission To Review Private Self-Insureds

Credit atalou / Flickr Creative Commons

The Workers Compensation Commission plans to conduct a review of the private self-insured entities it oversees. Commission Chair Troy Wilson was authorized Thursday to sign a contract with a firm to perform the evaluations. 

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Immigration Is Driving Broad Demographic Shifts In U.S., Report Says

Navy Petty Officer Jimmy Dial (left) sits with his daughter, Kimberly, beside U.S. Army soldier Henri Blandon and his daughter as the men's wives and the girls' mothers become U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony last month in Ontario, Calif.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:38 pm

Native-born Americans are making up a smaller percentage of those living in some areas of the U.S. as immigration moves to become the key factor in population growth within the next quarter-century, according to a new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts that examined county-level census data.

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Oklahoma Executions
4:26 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Corrections Department Attorney Says He Felt Pressured To Move Forward On Executions

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

A longtime lawyer for Oklahoma's prison system says he felt pressured by the governor's and attorney general's offices to make sure executions last spring happened on schedule, despite the lack of an execution method.

Corrections Department lawyer Michael Oakley said during a federal court hearing Thursday that he felt pressured "to get it done."

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Politics and Government
3:39 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Oklahoma And Nebraska Sue Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

Credit Dank Depot / Flickr Creative Commons

Nebraska and Oklahoma are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Colorado's legalization of marijuana unconstitutional.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning announced Thursday that the states are seeking a court order to prevent Colorado from enforcing a measure that was approved by voters in 2012. Bruning says Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is also a party to the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges that Colorado's Amendment 64 runs afoul of federal law.

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Sports
1:56 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Oklahoma City Barons To End Operations

Oklahoma City Barons
Credit Wolfgangerl / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma City Barons have announced the team will end operations at the end of the current American Hockey League season.

The team said in a statement Thursday that the decision was made after it was unable to complete an affiliation agreement with the NHL's Edmonton Oilers.

Bob Funk Jr., the chairman of Prodigal, which manages the Barons, praised the Edmonton organization — but said a better financial agreement the company can no longer justify investing in the hockey team.

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Politics and Government
1:28 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

State Equalization Board Certifies Revenue For Next Year, Income Tax Cut Triggered

Gov. Mary Fallin and other state leaders observe a PowerPoint presentation of revenue projections.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

The State Board of Equalization met Thursday to certify state revenues for Gov. Mary Fallin's budgeting ahead of the next legislative session and fiscal year. Oklahoma has enough revenue to trigger an income tax cut.

The amount of money available to fund state government is trending flat, but officials say lackluster revenues seem manageable.

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Health
1:17 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Oklahoma Influenza Death Count Grows To Six This Season

Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Department of Health is reporting four more deaths due to influenza in the state. 

The department said Thursday that six people have now died as a result of the flu during the season that began Sept. 28. Each person who died was 65-years-old or older.

Two of the deaths were reported in Garfield County and one each in Carter, Oklahoma, Payne, and Stephens counties.

Nearly 140 people have also been hospitalized due to the flu.

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