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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A map from the Corporation Commission details the quake-related disposal well actions issued on Sept. 18, 2015.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission

State oil and gas authorities on Friday limited activity at five disposal wells after a string of earthquakes recorded near the city of Cushing.

A wave of small quakes has struck near the city in recent days. On Friday morning, a magnitude 3.8 to 4.1-magnitude temblor was recorded. No damage has been reported.

This is the story of the United States, the atom and Iran.

It's the story of a historic nuclear agreement — a story we may be tempted to think we know. After all, Congress just finished a chaotic debate that ended when lawmakers failed to block the deal. There was no solemn national moment of decision — no up-or-down vote, as with a treaty or a war.

But this was just the latest twist in a long and complex tale that dates back more than a half-century.

KGOU's newest listener, Eleanor Claire Greer.

September 20, 2015

This is from the Manager's Desk.   

This week, I would like to introduce to you the newest listener to KGOU Radio. She is just now over a week old and is as cute as can be. She arrived September 12th at just under seven pounds, and 19 and three quarters inches long. I’ve got a photo of Eleanor Claire Greer on the Manager’s Desk at our web site.

Nitrogen and phosphorous runoff from corn fields polluted many waterways in the Midwest.
David Staedtler / Flickr

Farmers make a living by raising and selling crops. But what if they could also earn money by taking steps to improve water quality? That’s the idea behind a government effort to create markets for clean water.

It’s an example of an environmental market -- making the land do more than just grow corn or soybeans. It can also sequester carbon, filter pollutants out of water, and give wildlife a place to live. These markets are becoming a more common way for state and federal regulators to approach pollution controls from utilities, industry, and agriculture.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

For the third year in a row, Oklahoma will not give a standardized writing test next spring that counts toward a student’s score or a school’s letter grade.

That means the state is paying a vendor at least tens of thousands of dollars for a test that yields no results.

An Aug. 24 bulletin from the state Department of Education addressed to school district test coordinators says the writing exam will only be a field test, which is used to create test questions for the following school year.

Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian
Chatham House / flickr

Ambassador Hossein Mousavian has been a key diplomat for Iran for the past quarter century. He represented the Islamic Republic in Germany from 1990 to 1997, and then took a post as the head of the Iranian National Security Council’s Foreign Relations Committee until 2005, where he served as the country’s chief spokesman during nuclear negotiations with the European Union a decade ago.

Former Lt. Governor, Jari Askins

Former Democratic state legislator, special judge and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins has been hired to oversee Oklahoma's court system.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice John Reif announced Askins' hiring on Friday as the state's administrative director of the courts, effective Oct. 1.

Reif says Askins' hiring was a "conference decision" in which all nine justices participated. She will replace longtime administrator Michael Evans, who is retiring.

Reif says Askins will earn the same as a judge on the Court of Civil Appeals, or $138,235.

Gov. Mary Fallin presents President and CEO Brad McMullan a plaque from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce during Friday's announcement.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

A national technology firm plans to open a facility in Norman that will bring hundreds of jobs to the state.

The business texting firm is opening its Mobile App Development and Operations Center on the University of Oklahoma's Research Campus, just a few hundred yards north of the National Weather Center.

Gov. Mary Fallin said the company’s CEO Brad McMullan told her he wants technology to be as valuable to Oklahoma’s economy as oil and gas.

The bananas on the right will likely get dumped into the compost pile because most consumers, like those at this Kansas grocery store, prefer to buy pristine produce.
Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

The Obama administration is challenging America to reduce food waste by half in 15 years.

In an announcement Wednesday, officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency said they would team up with food retailers, charity groups and local governments to meet that goal. 

(Read the NPR story here.)

Since a Snapchat video of University of Oklahoma football player Eric Striker's response to Sigma Alpha Epsilon's racist chant went viral, ESPN interviewed more than 40 players from 15 programs across the country and surveyed another 99 players anonymously about their reaction to Striker and their own encounters with racism and profiling. Many players applauded Striker for speaking out and were eager to share their own opinions and experiences that mirror his at Oklahoma.