health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Obamacare Market Shoppers Will Have Fewer Options In Oklahoma

The Affordable Care Act health insurance market in Oklahoma faces big changes next year, with the dominant company moving 40,000 people into different plans and three other companies dropping out entirely. On Jan. 1, Oklahoma will be left with only two companies offering individual health plans in the “Obamacare” market: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the existing market leader, and UnitedHealthcare, a new entry. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expected to announce...
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Bison grazing
Sequoia Hughes /

The Cherokee Nation is set to receive a tractor-trailer load of bison to add to the tribe's herd on its 1,000-acre ranch in the unincorporated Kenwood community in northeastern Oklahoma.

The tribe is to receive about 50 bison from a national park in South Dakota on Thursday after acquiring the animals from the InterTribal Buffalo Council. The Cherokee Nation had gone 40 years without raising bison until last year and now has 68 head of bison on its ranch.

The oil boom that burst forth in western North Dakota seven years ago had both positive and negative effects on the region. While the increase in wealth and new opportunities for young people were welcomed, they brought along with them increased crime and congestion.

But this fall, the town of Alexander, N.D., is celebrating one unexpected upside of the oil boom: the Alexander Comets.

The Comets are a six-man football team (the school is still too small for an 11-man team). This is the students' first season playing, and the town's first season in 28 years.

Attorney Don Knight speaks to reporters during a state Capitol news conference Sept. 14, 2015.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Death row inmate Richard Glossip is questioning whether a court order last week delaying his execution for two weeks violates state law.

Glossip is set to die for the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese, who was beaten to death in the Oklahoma City motel he owned. Justin Sneed, the maintenance man at the Best Budget Inn, said Glossip paid him to kill their boss.

Every time a cow or steer in this country is sold for beef, the seller pays a dollar into a special fund.

"We collect about $80 million" each year, says Polly Ruhland, CEO of the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board. "Half of that stays at our state chapters."

All of it, though, pays for research, promotion and marketing of American beef. It funds scientific studies on beef's nutritional quality, promotes beef exports and pays for advertising, like the familiar slogan "Beef, it's what's for dinner."

In a much-anticipated visit, Pope Francis arrived at the White House Wednesday morning, where he met with President Obama. Francis addressed a crowd of more than 11,000 people.

Pope Francis during a 2014 visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
European Parliament / Flickr

In a 184-page encyclical assigning moral responsibility to the fight against climate change, Pope Francis in June urged the world to phase out its addiction to fossil fuels.

Carly Fiorina speaking at a coffee reception and fundraising event in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Carly Fiorina is the latest Republican presidential hopeful scheduled to visit Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association says the former Hewlett-Packard CEO will speak Sept. 29 at a town hall discussion with independent oil and natural gas producers in Oklahoma City. The event is by invitation only and is not open to the public.

Fiorina is coming off a strong performance in last week's Republican presidential candidate debate.

Gov. Mary Fallin speaking at the 2013 Governor's Energy Conference in Tulsa, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Executives of oil and coal companies pushed Gov. Mary Fallin to “pay more attention” to their industries in public remarks, according to state emails obtained by Greenwire.

The emails, obtained through the Oklahoma Open Records Act, detail internal discussions as Fallin’s prepared for the 2013 Governor’s Energy Conference, Manuel Quiñones and Mike Soraghan report.

prison bars
mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

The director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections says a privately operated prison where four inmates were killed remains on lockdown but that lockdowns at other state prisons have been lifted.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton made the comments Monday, more than a week after a melee at the Cimarron Correctional facility in which four inmates died and four others were injured.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign stop, Sept. 3, 2015.
Michael Vadon / Flickr

Donald Trump, the real estate billionaire-turned-GOP frontrunner, plans to make a campaign stop in Oklahoma City Friday, speaking to supporters and others at the Oklahoma State Fair.

The Oklahoma Republican Party says Trump will speak at 5:30 p.m. at the Bandshell Stage on the State Fairgrounds. There's no cost to see the outspoken candidate other than the regular admission to the state fair.