National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office Norman, OK

Memorial Day Storms Will Add To OK Flooding Concerns

Updated 12:50 a.m. The National Weather Service has extended the tornado watch and it now includes the OKC metro area until 6pm. Updated 11:20 a.m. National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Rick Smith offers this county-by-county graphic of areas (of Texas and Oklahoma) under a Tornado Watch until 6 p.m. Tornado watch until 6pm. #Okwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/dx2HSlfEH0 — Rick Smith (@ounwcm) May 25, 2015Updated 9:30 a.m. National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Smith says...
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An artist's rendering of the proposed Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) in Tulsa.
Oklahoma Historical Society

A proposal to issue $25 million in bonds to build the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa has passed its first legislative hurdle.

The Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget voted 27-13 Tuesday for legislation that would authorize funding for the museum, known as OKPOP. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman of Sapulpa introduced the legislation on Monday. He says the $25 million in bonds will be matched with private funds and the proposed museum will be built in Tulsa on donated land.

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm
Provided / Continental Resources

Harold Hamm, the founder, chairman and CEO of Continental Resources, says he requested a meeting with a state seismologist to get information, not to “bully” a scientist tasked with studying an earthquake surge that has been linked to oil and gas activity.

EnergyWire’s Mike Soraghan reports:

Tulsa County reserve deputy Bob Bates (center) stands outside the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center with his attorney, Clark Brewster, after turning himself in Tuesday morning.
Matt Trotter / KWGS Public Radio Tulsa

A top administrator in the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is set to resign after an internal memo was leaked indicating he had covered up the inadequate training of a volunteer deputy who fatally shot a restrained man.

Sheriff's office attorney Meredith Baker said Tuesday that Maj. Tom Huckeby plans to resign on Aug. 1. Baker did not explain why.

Huckeby didn't return requests for comment by the Associated Press. Baker says Huckeby is on vacation.

A Devon Energy disposal well near Stillwater, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission in March ordered the operators of nearly 350 disposal wells to prove their operations weren’t allowing waste fluid to be pumped into a rock formation known to produce earthquakes.

The Corporation Commission has not provided comprehensive records or data related to the operators’ responses to the March directives despite multiple requests by StateImpact. Today, the commission issued a statement that provides a snapshot of the industry’s response to the directives:

The U.S is home to the most Christians in the world, but the number of Americans who identify as Christian is declining, according to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center. The survey of more than 35,000 Americans also found the number of people who consider themselves unaffiliated with any religion, or "nones," is growing.

According to Pew:

Marcus Prince drives his Jeep Liberty for the rideshare company Lyft
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation last week regulating the rideshare industry. The so-called “Uber” bill clarifies insurance requirements and creates a “zero tolerance” drug and alcohol policy. But the new law intentionally leaves out sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination clause.

American Indian Cultural Center & Museum

Oklahoma House Speaker Jeff Hickman is unveiling a plan for a $25 million bond issue to complete a long unfinished Native American museum near downtown Oklahoma City, while a separate proposal has been released for a $25 million museum in Tulsa.

Hickman revealed details of the plan late Monday, while Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman introduced a bill for a separate $25 million bond proposal to build the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, or OKPOP, in Tulsa.

Oklahoma Capitol Building
ana branca / Flickr Creative Commons

A former state lawmaker is challenging the constitutionality of legislation that has been the principal source of funding for state agencies and services for the past three years.

Former Republican Rep. Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma County District Court Friday. It challenges the constitutionality of annual general appropriations bills adopted by the Legislature to fund state services in three fiscal years dating back to 2012.

A disposal well in Northern Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A coalition of environmental and grassroots organizations is calling for a moratorium on the use of wastewater disposal wells by the oil and natural gas industry in areas where they may trigger earthquakes.

Members of the coalition traveled to the state Capitol Monday to deliver 1,500 signed petitions to Gov. Mary Fallin's office seeking a moratorium on the use of high-volume, high pressure disposals wells in 16 Oklahoma counties.

Bergère rentrant des moutons (Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep), 1886
 Oil on canvas, 
18 1/4 x 15 in.
Camille Pissarro (
France, 1830-1903) / Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art; The University of Oklahoma, Norman Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer Bequest, 2000

Several House lawmakers introduced a resolution Monday morning calling on the University of Oklahoma to research all the objects in its art museum collection to determine if any were stolen during World War II.

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