Jim Marshall, chief-of-staff for Mark Costello, speaks at Costello's vigil on August 27, 2015
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Friends And Colleagues Remember Mark Costello In Vigil

Friends and colleagues of Mark Costello gathered in front of the state capitol last night to honor the late Labor Commissioner. Friends described Costello as someone who made others feel special. He took time to know colleagues, and sent out birthday cards. Costello was known for a sense of humor that helped lighten the mood, and he famously passed out fake fifty trillion dollar bills. State senator John Sparks, a Democrat, said Costello was dedicated to civil discourse. “There’s a lot of...
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Oklahoma state capitol
LLudo / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission has voted to suspend enforcement of two new agency rules that prompted a federal lawsuit by the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

The five-member commission voted Friday to suspend the rules that prohibit any fundraising or distribution of election materials on state-owned property.

The move comes after the Oklahoma Democratic Party filed a lawsuit earlier this week, arguing the new rules are an improper restraint on free speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

T'ien-wen Chu's work 'Notes of a Desolate Man'
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Taiwan’s past is complicated, and with that comes a fraught linguistic history.

Dutch settlers colonized the small island nestled between the South and East China Seas during the 17th century, but its former name Formosa actually means “beautiful island” in Portuguese. Just a few decades letter, China’s Qing Dynasty drove European colonists from Taiwan and controlled it for the next two centuries, until they lost control of the island during the war with the Japanese in 1905.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) speaks during Thursday's lunch at the Downtown Club in Oklahoma City.
Senator James Lankford / Facebook

U.S. Sen. James Lankford told business leaders in downtown Oklahoma City Thursday the country is going through a debate right now over whether it wants to governed by Washington, or the states.

“Will this be a nation that has a group of technocrats that are pretty smart people – there are some pretty smart folks in D.C. – that will really decide the policy for the nation?” Lankford asked. “Or will this be a nation that decisions are made close to the people that are affected by that decision?”

A Norman Forward sign on Flood Ave. across from McKinley Elementary.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

For months, drivers around Norman have probably noticed red-and-blue "Norman Forward" signs adorning medians, parking strips, and front lawns.

On Tuesday, the City Council approved an ordinance to put a half-penny sales tax on the ballot this fall that's more or less Norman's version of Oklahoma City's MAPS 3 proposal.

Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks says the 15-year sales tax extension's goal is to raise $209 million to fund revenue bonds.

GOP president hopful Sen. Ted Cruz at a campaign stop in Oklahoma City on August 13, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz pulled into Oklahoma City on Thursday to speak with supporters and drum up support for his campaign.

Speaking from the back of a blue pickup truck in the parking lot of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, the U.S. Senator from Texas laid out his plans for the White House, which include the repeal of Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, a flat tax and eliminating the Internal Revenue Service, among other things. His sharpest criticisms were directed at the Obama administration’s proposal Iran nuclear deal.

mosquito
Gustavo Fernando Durán / Flickr

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department said Thursday morning it has two new mosquito samples with West Nile virus.

These aren’t human cases, and epidemiologist Megan Souder says there’s no way to predict whether more people will contract the illness.

“What’s most important to know is that it is present in the area, and this season we have had two human cases,” Souder said. “Which, those happened a while ago, about a month ago. So there haven’t been any new ones reported.”

The sun hasn't been up long in Kingfisher, Okla., but it already feels like it's burning. Trucks are moving wheat as people try to get their work done early. It looks like business as usual for a hot summer day an hour northwest of Oklahoma City.

Henry Senn, Jim Willms and Bill Stolz come to CHS Plains Partners, the local grain elevator, just about every day to share stories from the good old days and talk about wheat prices.

Jimmy Carter revealed Wednesday that he has cancer. Carter, 90 released a short statement with the news:

"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare. A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."

Savannah Kalman leads the state's effort to reduce the prevalence of suicide.
Ashley Sanchez / Oklahoma Watch

One of the paradoxes of Oklahoma is that as friendly as people are, many Oklahomans sink into despair and take their own lives.

The state has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, ranking 13th among states and the District of Columbia in 2013, according to the latest state-level figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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