Dr. Ervin Yen holds a prescription for Midazolam
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Supreme Court Upholds Use Of Midazolam, But How Does The Drug Work Outside Executions?

The Supreme Court upheld Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol Monday. The case centered on a single drug, midazolam, that’s now used as part of a three-drug cocktail. Critics claim it is unreliable during executions and cannot produce a “deep, coma-like state” on a regular basis. But in hospitals across Oklahoma, the drug is being used by anesthesiologists very frequently. Families crowd a surgical floor waiting room at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City. Just down the hall, there’s an...
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Oil-field workers lining up a section of pipe at a disposal well plug-back operation in Grant County, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The vast majority of Oklahoma’s recent earthquakes occurred in areas where the energy industry pumped underground massive amounts of waste fluid byproducts of oil and gas production, scientists write in a new paper published Thursday.

 

In a short speech at the White House, President Obama on Thursday addressed the mass shooting at a Charleston church.

He said that while the investigation constrained what he could say about the facts of case, he was not constrained by emotion.

A combine crew from South Dakota harvests wheat near Altus in southwest Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

May 2015 was Oklahoma’s wettest month on record. The historic rainfall washed away an economically draining drought that haunted parts of the state for five years. For many wheat farmers in southwestern Oklahoma, however, the record rainfall is too much, too late.

To find a farmer in the wide, unbroken prairie of southwest Oklahoma, scan the horizon and look for clouds — of dust. In a field five miles south of Altus, Fred Schmedt peers through the haze and watches a gray-and-black combine pull alongside a tractor with a grain cart.

Schmedt grins as the bin fills.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Police in Charleston, S.C., say a man they suspect opened fire and killed nine people during a Wednesday prayer meeting at one of the city's oldest historically black churches has been captured.

Kool Cats Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal officials say an open-flame heater on the floor of an oil rig likely sparked a December fire that killed three and injured two in Coalgate. 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says this wasn't the first time the company that owns the rig was cited for using a heater on an oil rig floor, the McAlester News-Capital reports.

The National Weather Service says another 4 to 5 inches of rain could fall today on areas still recovering from Memorial Day weekend floods that left 14 dead and two missing along the Blanco River in Texas.

Forecasters have issued a flash flood warning for seven counties in southeastern Texas as a Tropical Depression Bill makes its way inland. As the storm heads north, it could drop up to 9 inches of rain on parts of Oklahoma, a state still waterlogged from record-setting rainfall in May.

Midtown Plaza Court
Kool Cats Photography / Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma City's Midtown area will become part of downtown's business improvement district, or BID, under a proposal unanimously approved by the city council Tuesday morning.

The civic and development group Downtown Oklahoma City, Incorporated will oversee the marketing, street furnishing, and maintenance of the neighborhood.

Public Radio Tulsa

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services announced Tuesday it will cut 200 positions while adding 300 child welfare workers.

In an email sent to employees obtained by KGOU, DHS Director Ed Lake said the agency needs more child welfare specialists.

“I know that seems counterintuitive, but as an integral part of our efforts to address the high number of children currently in our custody and continue our progress to reduce workload levels as required by the Pinnacle Plan, we need more child welfare specialist and we need them now,” Lake wrote. 

Jesus Moroles was known internationally for massive granite sculptures
Political Science Junior Fellows

Renowned Texas sculptor Jesus Moroles died Monday in a car accident on I-35 north of Georgetown.

Last Thursday, Moroles and his crew from Rockport, near Port Aransas, delivered four giant granite columns to Dallas. Moroles’ 15-foot tall work, called Spirit Inner Columns, was installed Friday in Hall Arts. That’s the new tower complex going up in the Arts District, across from the Winspear Opera House.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Emergency Management director Albert Ashwood meet with first responders in Purcell on May 27, 2015.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management are requesting federal aid for 14 additional counties that experienced damage from storms and flooding that have hit the state since May 5.

Fallin announced Tuesday she was requesting public assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist cities, towns and utility cooperatives with infrastructure repairs, debris removal and other storm-related costs.

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