Politics and Government
7:21 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs Director: "Need A Substantial Budget Increase For 2016"

The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
Credit Office of Juvenile Affairs

The Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs heard about the dire state of its budget during its monthly meeting Friday. Executive Director Keith Wilson told the board that "this next budget year will be nip and tuck" and that a "substantial increase in the budget for 2016" will be necessary.

"At this point in time we are operating 15.5 percent below where we were operating with the initial budget in 2010," said Wilson. "We have to cut approximately $3 million, just shy of it, out of the budget this year. That's something over $5 million that it left us to fund."

Some consolation was found in the fact that the revolving funds of "somewhere between $2.25 and $2.5 million" remained intact for the agency. That money will be solely used to operate Southern Plains Treatment Services, but there will be "very little left in those funds by the end of the fiscal year." Though the money will save the treatment center from closing, it must now be staffed less due to the cut.

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Science and Technology
7:13 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Oklahoma Granted $26 million In Federal Dollars For Watershed Program

Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library / Wikipedia Commons

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller announced Friday that Oklahoma will be receiving $26 million of the $262 million federal dollars that are being allotted for dam rehabilitation. This appropriation was achieved through the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.

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Fallin Campaign Starts Online Petition
6:23 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Oklahoma's Republicans Want Temporary Shelters Closed At Fort Sill

Fort Sill Welcome Center
Credit USAG Fort Sill

Members of Oklahoma's all-Republican congressional delegation are urging President Barack Obama to reconsider using Fort Sill to house unaccompanied minors from Central America who have been caught trying to entering the country illegally.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and all five of Oklahoma's U.S. House members released a joint statement on Monday opposing a decision by the Department of Defense to extend the use of temporary shelters at several military installations, including Fort Sill, through January 2015.

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Clean Water State Revolving Fund
4:57 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

EPA Gives $11 Million To Oklahoma Water Resource Board

Credit Kool Cats Photography / Flickr.com

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded more than $11 million to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

The grant is part of the federal agency's Clean Water State Revolving Fund, a program that provides low-interest, flexible loans to communities to help them improve water quality and infrastructure.

The OWRB will distribute the $11.3 million as low-interest loans to a variety of recipients, including cities and rural water districts.

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Friend Convicted For Impeding Bombing Inquiry

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:30 pm

Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who police say impeded their investigation of the 2013 attack, has been convicted on some of the charges against him and found not guilty of others.

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Here & Now
1:16 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Why Hot Cars Are So Deadly

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration officials demonstrate how hot it can get inside a parked car with a demonstration outside of the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, Georgia. (Adam Ragusea)

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 7:22 am

It’s an annual summer tragedy. So far this year, 17 children in the U.S. have died of heat stroke inside a parked car. Some of those cases have been getting extra attention this summer, but that number is not unusual. Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Adam Ragusea looked into the science that explains how a parked car can get so hot, so fast.

It’s a sunny, summer day in Macon, Georgia. I’m standing with Matt Marone outside his truck, and the A.C. is on full blast.

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Reports: Texas Gov. Perry To Deploy 1,000 National Guardsmen To Border

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to local party activists on Saturday in Algona, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:15 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to announce on Monday that he is ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, according to reports from The Monitor and The Houston Chronicle.

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Oklahoma Voices
11:29 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Why Oklahoma City, Other Metropolitan Areas Are Crucial To The Economy

riveraa8 Flickr Creative Commons

Author and Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program fellow Jennifer Bradley argues that cities like Oklahoma City are vital to a post-recession economy. During Oklahoma City’s 2014 Mayor’s Development Roundtable in May, she said she admires Oklahoma’s progress and improvement.

“When it comes to building a livable, sustainable, and economically viable place, there’s no such thing as finished,” Bradley says.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
9:39 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Auditing The Storm: Hazard Funds Don’t Always Go To Damaged Areas

An overturned car after the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore.
Oklahoma Watch

As a massive tornado bore down on Moore on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, residents scrambled to find shelter.

Some retreated to safe rooms at home or in buildings. Many hid in closets, bathrooms or hallways.

Meanwhile, in Stillwater, people were also on alert because a tornado watch had been issued that day. But the city received only a light rain and no wind damage, according to the National Weather Service.

The destruction and deaths caused by the Moore tornado led many people in the city to believe that a residential storm shelter was essential.

But after the May 20 tornado, when the federal government began approving cash aid for projects like shelters to prevent the future loss of life and property, Moore was shut out of the program, according to data analyzed by Oklahoma Watch in a joint project with KGOU Radio/The Oklahoma Tornado Project.

Stillwater, on the other hand, has so far gotten the largest share of federal “hazard mitigation” funds released under the presidential disaster declaration, records show. Stillwater will spend about $1.9 million, most of it federal money, to help pay for more than 700 safe rooms in residents’ homes. The same program will allow Oklahoma State University there to spend $73,000 to install a lightning detection and warning system, needed partly for sporting events.

Moore has not been left out in the cold.

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Business Intelligence Report
9:32 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Top Business Stories: Tax Holiday, Urgent Care Clinics, And The Push For "Right-To-Farm" Legislation

Santi Kos, manager of Fashion Sport and Uniforms at 1300 NW 23rd St. in Oklahoma City.
Credit Brent Fuchs, The Journal Record

Parents, Cities And Counties Plan For Back-To-School Tax Holiday.

August first through third, shoppers don’t have to pay sales tax on clothing items that cost less than $100. The holiday was implemented in 2007 to discourage shoppers from crossing state lines to save.

That’s good news for family budgets, but it also means the state misses out on $4 million it might have had otherwise.

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