StateImpact Oklahoma
1:39 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Duncan Left Wanting After State Drought Assistance For Water Project Falls Through

Credit J. STEPHEN CONN / Flickr Creative Commons

Duncan, Oklahoma has taken some of the worst of the drought these past five years. Stage 5 water rationing is in effect, which means — with few exceptions — a ban on all outside watering.

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Politics and Government
12:23 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Health Care Authority Director Says Program Needs $120 Million To Maintain Services

Credit Oklahoma Health Care Authority

Oklahoma's top Medicaid officer says the health care program needs $120 million more state dollars next year to maintain services at current levels for the more than 800,000 young, elderly and disabled Oklahomans it serves each month.

Oklahoma Health Care Authority CEO Nico Gomez spoke Wednesday to members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations while outlining the agency's budget request for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The agency's current budget is about $953 million.

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State Capitol
10:03 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Hofmeister: Four Percent Cut Means $100 Million Loss

Joy Hofmeister, superintendent of public instruction.
Ilea Shutler Oklahoma Watch

Updated 11:06 a.m.

Oklahoma's state schools superintendent says a 4 percent cut in the Department of Education's budget would reduce funding for the state's public schools by $100 million next year.

Superintendent Joy Hofmeister outlined her agency's budget request Wednesday for members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Lawmakers must deal with a budget shortfall of $611 million as they work to craft a budget for state government for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

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8:28 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Oklahoma City's Website Hit With Two Denial-Of-Service Attacks

A screenshot of an attempt to visit the City of Oklahoma City's website Wednesday morning.
Brian Hardzinski KGOU

The City of Oklahoma says its website was the victim of a second denial-of-service, or DOS attack, in as many days early Wednesday morning.

At 7:44 a.m. the city tweeted its website was down, so KGOU reached out via the social media platform.

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Would Automatic Voter Registration Increase Turnout?

Advocates are looking to a new Oregon law as a model for increasing voter turnout.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Go to renew your driver's license in Oregon, and you will now be signed up to vote automatically.

It's the first state in the country with that sort of law, which is designed to make voting easier, and stands in contrast to the trend seen in the past several years in more conservative states.

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9:35 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Todd Lamb: On the Road

Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb.

Todd Lamb, Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor, isn’t at the Capitol much.

Now in his second term, Lamb, a Republican, has spent a good portion of his tenure as second-in-command traveling across Oklahoma or out of state. He just finished his fifth tour as lieutenant governor in which he visited 77 counties in 77 days.

On Friday, in McAlester – his last stop on the tour – Lamb was asked by a McAlester News-Capital reporter about any plans to run for governor in four years. “I’ve been asked if it’s in the back of my mind,” Lamb said. “It’s in the front of my mind.”

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Oklahoma News
5:10 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Woodward County Wildfire 70 Percent Contained

Stock Photo Of A Grass Fire
Credit Oklahoma Forestry Services

Emergency personnel say a wildfire that has charred 37 square miles in rural western Oklahoma and destroyed at least six structures is about 70 percent contained.

Oklahoma Forestry Services spokeswoman Michelle Finch-Walker said Tuesday that a wind shift caused the fire to burn back into itself, allowing crews to make significant progress to extinguish the blaze.

Woodward County emergency manager Matt Lehenbauer said state emergency officials will assess the damage.

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Business and Economy
2:49 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Oklahoma Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

Credit Kate Hiscock / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma's unemployment rate held steady in January — unchanged from December at 3.7 percent.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported Tuesday that civilian labor force rose by 12,450 to nearly 1.8 million while the number of people with a job increased by 12,960 to stand at just more than 1.7 million.

The greatest job gains came in the professional and business services category with an additional 2,800 jobs.

The national unemployment rate for January stands at 5.7 percent.


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Oklahoma News
1:46 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

NTSB Says Lowering Cloud Ceiling May Have Contributed To EagleMed Crash

Stock Photo Of An EagleMed Medical Helicopter
Joe Kubitschek Flickr Creative Commons

A federal investigator says the pilot of a medical helicopter that crashed last week in eastern Oklahoma had encountered a lowering cloud ceiling and was trying to turn the aircraft around before it struck trees and rocky terrain.

Pilot Matt Matthews was killed and two crew members, nurse Kim Ramsey and paramedic Ryan Setzkorn, sustained injuries that weren't life-threatening after the EagleMed LLC helicopter crashed late Thursday near Eufaula.

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Capital Punishment
1:08 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Clayton Lockett Calm And Talkative Before Botched Execution

Clayton Lockett
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Newly released records show a condemned Oklahoma inmate chatted with members of his execution team before a botched lethal injection last spring and even recommended a vein to a paramedic charged with setting up his intravenous line.

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