Close to 60,000 children have crossed illegally into the U.S. since last October. They've sparked a crisis. But is it a humanitarian crisis or a public health one?
The children carry "swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus, and tuberculosis," and can spread the diseases to the U.S., wrote Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., a retired obstetrician-gynecologist, in a July 7 letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A new national study shows that nearly 1 in 4 children in Oklahoma live in poverty and the number of children living in high-poverty areas has more than doubled since 2000.
The 25th annual Kids Count report released Tuesday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Oklahoma 39th in 16 indicators across four areas: economic well-being, education, health and family and community. The state dropped from 36th in 2013, one of the largest declines in the United States.
After years of discussions and a handful of bills seeking to eliminate or reduce funding to the Oklahoma Arts Council, one legislator wants to keep the mission of the group going by looking at ways to keep them viable in the state.
Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, who has been a supporter of the agency, said her interim study, H14-0018, approved earlier this month, will look what other states with similar government arts management agencies are doing.
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.
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.
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.