KGOU
Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Capitol Insider: Capitol Closed For Renovations While OK Health Agencies Consider Cuts To Services

Three agencies that serve many of the state’s most vulnerable residents are facing additional budget cuts. The Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) has notified the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) and Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) they must make cuts to fill the state’s $215 million budget hole.

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In 2011, the Justice Department classified Juggalos — fans of the Michigan-born rap duo Insane Clown Posse — as gang members, writing: "Crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism."

Sue Ogrocki, File / AP Photo

House Appropriations and Budget Chair Kevin Wallace (R-Welston) has proposed filling the state’s $215 million budget hole by passing a $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax, expanding tribal gaming and taking money from the state’s rainy day fund.

A truck filled with chat transports mining waste to a nearby repository near Picher, Okla. Some of it is processed and reused for asphalt, while the most contaminated chat is taken to specially designed landfills for long-term storage. More than 180 truck
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Newly minted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spent his first months on the job steering the agency away from climate change to focus, in part, on cleaning up contaminated sites around the country.

The former Oklahoma attorney general has directed a task force to create a top-10 list of locations that need aggressive attention — welcome news at Superfund sites like Tar Creek in the northeastern corner of the state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.
Ronen Zvulun / Pool Photo via AP

Allegations of corruption are circling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his family and inner circle. While Netanyahu has not been indicted yet, many of his close friends, colleagues and family have been ensnared in the investigations.

Three women chat in front of business storefronts in downtown Perry. State legislators hosted an interim study on Wednesday to evaluate what’s hindering businesses from locating in rural Oklahoma.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Business recruiters in Oklahoma say they need more tools to help attract companies to the state.

At a House interim study on Wednesday, economic development leaders indicated Oklahoma is losing out to other states because Oklahoma does not have a robust closing fund to help seal deals. A closing fund is state-appropriated money that can be used at the last minute to entice a company to set up shop.

More than 4 million customers in Florida and other states hit by Hurricane Irma remain without electricity, complicating efforts to recover from the huge and intense storm. Some areas also lack water service or are under a mandatory boil water order.

The most outages are in Florida, where nearly 3.8 million accounts don't have power — around 36 percent of the state's total, according to state agency FloridaDisaster.org.

The cleanup after Hurricane Irma is a massive undertaking, after the destructive storm hit Florida and neighboring states over the weekend. In Miami, a nun chipped in to clear trees in her neighborhood — and no one, it seems, can resist a story about a chainsaw-wielding nun.

Sister Margaret Ann was spotted at work by an off-duty officer of the Miami-Dade Police Department, which posted video and images from the scene in the community of Kendall West Tuesday.

Some residents of Key Largo are being allowed back in Tuesday morning, but the Florida Keys are still largely without power, water, medical service and cell service. Most Keys residents are anxiously waiting to hear when they can return home, and others who stayed despite mandatory evacuations remain stranded there. More than 80 percent of customers in the Keys are currently are without power.

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET

Irma, once a powerful and longrunning hurricane, weakened to a tropical depression as it moved through Georgia on its way to Alabama. It continues to dump heavy rain but all surge warnings have been canceled.

Irma has left behind dangerous floodwaters, power outages for millions of people and the debris it has made of human possessions across Florida.

The huge storm remained a Category 1 hurricane through early Monday, before finally being downgraded to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression.

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