Oklahoma News
4:38 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Senate Health Committee Passes Abortion Bill Requiring 72-Hour Wait Time

Credit Steve/Flickr

Oklahoma would become the fourth state in the country to require women to wait 72 hours before receiving an abortion under a bill overwhelmingly approved by a state Senate committee.

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services voted 8-1 on Monday for the bill that increases the wait time from 24 to 72 hours after a woman receives required information about the procedure. It now heads to the full Senate.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
2:28 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Opponents Launch Ad-Attack To Keep ‘Right-to-Farm’ Off Ballot In Oklahoma

If passed by the Oklahoma legislature, the right-to-farm amendment to the state constitution wouldn’t appear on the ballot until November 2016. But the Humane Society of the United States is trying to kill the controversial issue in its crib.

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Weather and Climate
1:58 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Small Business Loans Available After Federal Disaster Declaration Denied For March 25 Tornadoes

A classroom at the damaged Southgate-Rippetoe Elementary School in Moore, that took a direct hit during the March 25 tornado.
Kate Carlton Greer KGOU

Updated April 8, 7:31 a.m.: SBA loans available

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Oklahoma businesses and residents affected by the severe storms that raked parts of the state last month.

Tuesday's disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Canadian, Cleveland, Creek, Grady, McClain, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.

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Oklahoma News
1:11 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Broken Arrow Blue Bell Plant Closed Amid Ice Cream Recall

Credit Blue Bell Creameries

One of the country's largest retailers has decided to pull Blue Bell Ice Cream from its shelves as a precautionary measure after Blue Bell announced it was temporarily closing an Oklahoma production plant.

Blue Bell spokesman Gene Grabowski confirmed Sam's Club has joined H-E-B in halting sales. The dairy company based in Brenham, Texas, last month issued a recall after ice cream contaminated with listeriosis was linked to three deaths at a Kansas hospital.

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12:47 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Weather Underground: The Arrival Of Man-Made Earthquakes

Interesting piece on Oklahoma's earthquake surge published today in The New Yorker that adds cultural and historical context to the challenges facing scientists, regulators, residents and elected officials:
In the fall of 2011, students in Katie Keranen's seismology course at the University of Oklahoma buried portable seismograph stations around the campus, in anticipation of a football game between the Sooners and the Texas A. & M. Aggies.
Oklahoma News
12:10 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Treasuer Ken Miller Points To Low Oil Prices For Decline In State Revenues

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma's treasurer says low crude oil prices have pushed state revenues below levels recorded a year ago.

Treasurer Ken Miller said Monday that state revenue collections in March were almost $28 million less than in March 2014, in large part due to a 48 percent drop in oil and natural gas gross production receipts.

March sales tax collections also fell below the prior year, down by 2.3 percent. That marks the first time in two years that monthly sales tax receipts have not shown growth over the prior year.

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Oklahoma Voices
11:25 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Congressman Steve Russell On Medicare 'Doc Fix', Iran And Hunting Saddam Hussein

U.S. Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) says the United States shouldn't "accommodate" Iran in ongoing nuclear talks.
Credit Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Steve Russell’s new career is a lot different than his previous one. 

The first term Congressman from Oklahoma’s fifth district is settling into his new job after spending 21 years in the Army, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

He served all over the globe, including in Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. His unit played a key role in the search for Saddam Hussein. Russell wrote a book about it, We Got Him! A Memoir of The Hunt and Capture of Saddam Hussein.

KGOU’s Jacob McCleland spoke to Russell, a Republican, following a town hall meeting at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond on April 2, 2015.

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Politics and Government
6:08 pm
Sun April 5, 2015

Group Says Oklahoma Bill Threatens Federal Flood Insurance

Credit Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

A group responsible for managing Oklahoma's floodplains says bills moving through the Legislature that prohibit cities from regulating oil and natural gas drilling operations could prevent the state from participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Tulsa World reports that the Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association has sent a letter to lawmakers warning that the local control legislation might prevent flood insurance policies from being written and renewed.

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Politics and Government
6:02 pm
Sun April 5, 2015

OCU President Criticizes Oklahoma's Execution Methods

Oklahoma has authorized four different lethal injection protocols: a single, lethal dose of either pentobarbital or sodium pentothal, a two-drug procedure using midazolam and hydromorphone, or the same three-drug method used in Florida.
Credit James Heilman, MD / Wikimedia Commons

The president of Oklahoma City University has added his name to a legal brief that criticizes Oklahoma's execution methods.

In papers filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, OCU President Robert Henry says state lawyers picked an inappropriate drug for lethal injection because they were on a tight deadline and under political pressure.

The Oklahoman reports that Henry, a former federal appeals court judge, joined the brief as former attorney general of Oklahoma from 1987 to 1991.

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Oklahoma News
5:51 pm
Sun April 5, 2015

Two Earthquakes Rattle Perry Area In Central Oklahoma

Credit Great Beyond / Flickr Creative Commons

A pair of earthquakes has rattled parts of Noble County in central Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey says each of the quakes was recorded early Sunday northwest of Perry.

The first temblor was recorded shortly after 5 a.m. about 12 miles north-northwest of Perry at a depth of about three miles. The USGS says the earthquake was a magnitude 3.1.

The second quake was recorded about two hours later about seven miles northwest of Perry, also at a depth of three miles. Geologists say that quake was magnitude 2.8.

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