Here & Now
12:56 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Debating The Death Penalty

The "death chamber" at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas, is pictured in February 2000. (Paul Buck/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 12:39 pm

On July 2, 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty. A year later, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad in Utah. That same year, 1977, Oklahoma became the first state to approve lethal injection as a means of implementing the death penalty. It was in that state in April that an execution by lethal injection was botched.

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Immigration
11:16 am
Wed July 2, 2014

VIDEO: Bridenstine Denied Access To Fort Sill Detention Facility

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine attempts to gain access to the immigrant facility at Fort Sill.
Credit U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine / Facebook

A Republican congressman from Oklahoma says he was denied access to a federal facility at Fort Sill that is housing hundreds of mostly teenage immigrant children from Central America.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Tulsa says he was visiting the Army post on Tuesday when he approached the facility and was told by security that he was not allowed to enter.

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10:02 am
Wed July 2, 2014

This American Gamble: Ira Glass’s ‘This American Life’ Leaves PRI

Lead in text: 
A lot of this is public radio "Inside Baseball," but here's a fascinating piece from Wednesday morning's 'New York Times' about the decision by 'This American Life' to change distributors.
Ira Glass had lost his voice. That gentle, reliably nasal, public radio staple of a voice had been worked hoarse. On any given day, this would be an issue for Mr. Glass, 55, whose award-winning show, "This American Life, is broadcast on nearly 600 stations and is consistently the top podcast on iTunes.
The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
8:42 am
Wed July 2, 2014

A Woman Wrestles With A Disturbing Family Memento

Carol Zachary's grandfather, Herbert Fleming, a county auditor, was required to attend Montana's first legal triple-hanging in a barn in Meagher County, Mont., in 1917. Fleming was one of approximately 60 witnesses that day.
Courtesy of Carol Zachary

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:15 pm

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris dips into those stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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Weather and Climate
7:45 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Climate Data Shows Last Month Second-Wettest June On Record

30-day rainfall accumulation in Oklahoma as of 7:35 a.m. on July 2, 2014.
Oklahoma Mesonet

Preliminary data from the Oklahoma Mesonet show the state averaged about 5.8 inches of rain in June - about an inch-and-a-half above normal for this time of year.

Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus says six Mesonet stations in northern Oklahoma recorded at least 9 inches of rain this month...Buffalo had the highest rainfall total at 10.4 inches.

An inch of rain fell somewhere in Oklahoma on 19 of the months 30 days, and that helped relieve some of the drought in the state as well.

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Health
6:16 am
Wed July 2, 2014

CDC Ranks Oklahoma 5th In The Nation In Painkiller Prescription Rate

Oklahoma ranked lower than only Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Kentucky in the number of opioid painkillers prescribed to residents.
Centers for Disease Control And Prevention

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Oklahoma tied for fifth in the nation in the rate  of painkillers prescribed to its residents.

The CDC says Oklahoma doctors wrote about 128 opioid pain reliever prescriptions, drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone, per 100 state residents.

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6:46 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Oklahoma Is Winning Its Medicaid Standoff With The Feds — For Now

Lead in text: 
The one-year extension announced by Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday keeps Insure Oklahoma on life support through the end of 2015. In her statement, the governor talked about buying more time to negotiate a permanent place for Insure Oklahoma — but nothing about expanding coverage.
Oklahoma is one of about two dozen states that hasn't expanded Medicaid - and it's tangled in a unique standoff of sorts with the Obama administration. Oklahoma and the federal agency overseeing Medicaid are still wrestling with the fate of a decade-old state program covering almost 20,000 low-income adults.
Environment
5:59 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Rain Not Only Lessens Drought, It Brings Back The Lesser Prairie Chicken Population

Credit J.N. Stuart / Flickr.com

An aerial survey shows good rains in parts of the five-state range of the federally threatened lesser prairie chicken have brought a 20 percent increase in the grouse's population from last year.

A release Tuesday from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies says there were 22,415 lesser prairie chickens in this year's survey, up from 18,747 last year.

The increase came in the northeast Texas Panhandle, northwestern Oklahoma and south central Kansas — areas where more rain produced better prairie habitat. The bird is also in New Mexico and Colorado.

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Trail of tears
4:09 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Tennessee Acknowledges And Apologizes To Cherokees For Removal

Cherokee Nation Secretary Of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. and Tribal Councilor Jack Baker
Credit Lawrence Boothby / Anadisgoi

Tennessee lawmakers have apologized to the Cherokee Nation for actions taken by President Andrew Jackson that forced up to 16,000 Cherokees off Tennessee lands 175 years ago.

The Tennessee General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 553 at an event Friday to commemorate the anniversary of the Trail of Tears.

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Immigration
1:35 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Oklahoma Officials Call For Immigration Reform

A group of current and former Oklahoma Republican elected officials is urging Congress to pass an immigration reform measure this year, saying the current system isn't working for the state's business owners and farmers.

In a letter Tuesday to the state's five U.S. House members and two U.S. senators, the group says there is broad support among Republican voters to make significant changes to the country's immigration system.

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