Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States

States cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions, the Supreme Court says in a ruling that for months has been the focus of speculation. The decision was 5-4.Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a pivotal swing vote in the case, wrote the majority opinion. All four justices who voted against the ruling wrote their own dissenting opinions: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito."They ask for equal dignity in the eyes...
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Heavy flooding at the intersection of Main Street and Lahoma Ave. in Norman on May 19, 2015.
Steven Anderson / Twitter

Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management have added five counties to the growing list of counties seeking federal disaster assistance for individuals and business owners who have damage from severe storms and flooding last month. 

Italian newspaper reporters speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin
Press Service of the President of Russia / Wikimedia Commons

Russia may have been excluded from this week’s G7 summit in Germany, but with EU sanctions against Russia up for renewal this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin used a visit to Italy on Wednesday as a platform to speak out.

Anti-American street art in Tehran
toomuchtrotsky / Flickr

The June 30 deadline on Iranian nuclear talks is fast approaching, but disagreement over nuclear inspections continues to stall negotiations. Although a deal has not been reached, Barbara Slavin, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, says the fact that negotiations are occurring is important for easing the relationship between the U.S. and Iran.

OG&E's coal-fired power plant in Muskogee.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

On Monday an administrative law judge recommended Oklahoma’s oil, gas, and utility regulator reject several key components of Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s billion-dollar plan to raise rates in order to pay for efforts to comply with Environmental Protection Agency rules.

The Journal Record’s managing editor Adam Brooks says the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has been holding hearings on preapproval of OG&E’s $1.1 billion request. It’s split up into $700 million to get several plants into compliance with the EPA guidelines, plus another $400 million in upgrades to the plant in Mustang west of Oklahoma City. To pay for that, the utility would raise residential and consumer rates by about 19 percent over five years.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The federal government has approved public assistance for 15 more Oklahoma counties to help with infrastructure repairs following severe storms and flooding.

Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the state's request for more aid. The latest counties approved for assistance are Adair, Beckham, Caddo, Comanche, Creek, Garvin, Jackson, Logan, McCurtain, McIntosh, Marshall, Muskogee, Pushmataha, Sequoyah and Washita counties.

Capitol Repair Panel Approves Interior Renovation Plan

Jun 11, 2015

A committee that's overseeing the renovation of the nearly 100-year-old Oklahoma Capitol has approved preliminary plans for overhauling the building's interior.

The State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee met Thursday and approved the scope of the interior work and how the project will be phased in over the next six years.

The Oklahoma Legislature approved a $120 million bond issue last year to pay for renovations to the building that houses the Legislature, governor and several state agencies.

State Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville
okhouse.gov

Because of a failure to write clear laws, Oklahoma leaders say, the state paid more than $90 million to insurance companies it shouldn’t have over the past five years in the form of rebates.

The rebates were paid to insurance firms that provide workers’ compensation coverage in Oklahoma and that had paid assessments required by state law to a fund called the Multiple Injury Trust Fund.

Contractors discovered chalk drawings and lessons on blackboards in Emerson High School, dating to 1917.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

A construction crew working on a school in Oklahoma City made a startling discovery earlier this month. Behind the walls at Emerson High School, they found old chalkboards containing class lessons, written in chalk almost a century ago. And chalk drawings, in remarkable condition.

Math teacher Sherry Read’s classroom is a total mess. Light fixtures dangle from the ceiling. The floor has a layer of dust. Down the hallway, workers make a racket in another classroom.

Justin Stratford and several of his nieces and nephews play in Lake Thunderbird on a road trip from Arizona.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The $7.1 billion state budget Governor Mary Fallin signed in June 2015 included deep cuts to the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation — the agency that runs the state park system. That could mean some parks will have to be closed or transferred to new operators, and some eastern Oklahoma lawmakers are fuming.

Alton Nolen in a 2011 photo from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

A court conference for a Moore man charged with beheading a co-worker has been postponed after the man's attorneys requested a competency evaluation.

A scheduling conference was scheduled Wednesday for 30-year-old Alton Nolen — but was rescheduled for July 30.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn told The Norman Transcript that if Nolen is found competent the case will go forward. Mashburn said that if there's any dispute as to his competence, a jury trial could be held to settle the issue.

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