StateImpact Oklahoma
7:39 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Drought-Stricken Oklahoma Communities Dealing With Prospect Of Dead Lakes

Will Archer, manager of the Mountain Park Master Conservancy District, at the Tom Steed Reservoir dam.
Logan Layden StateImpact Oklahoma

Most of western Oklahoma is in its fifth year of drought with still no end in sight, despite a wetter than normal end to 2014.  And many of the lakes communities rely on for drinking water are now on the verge of being too low to use. The situation is most dire in Altus, Duncan, and Canton.

Tom Steed Lake

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Oklahoma News
7:02 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Oklahoma, Florida Lethal Injections To Use Same Method

Midazolam
Credit James Heilman, MD / Wikimedia Commons

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court stalls the execution, Oklahoma will resume executions Thursday.  After botching its last one, Oklahoma officials will use the same three-drug method as a Florida lethal injection scheduled for the same day.

The drug mixture begins with the sedative midazolam and includes the same drugs used in Oklahoma's botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April. Lockett writhed on the gurney and moaned after he'd been declared unconscious.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

French Ambassador To U.S. Outlines 'Predicament' Of Immigration

French Ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud addresses a solidarity gathering at the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Araud said last week's attack was "in a sense maybe worse than what we were expecting, because it was done in a very professional way."
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:33 pm

As it mourns the tragedy of last week's attack in Paris, France's government is also concerned about more attacks and how to adapt to prevent them. The concerns range from coping with 5,000 radical youth to becoming a society of immigration, France's ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, says.

While France's leaders had feared a terrorist attack within its borders, Araud says that "what happened was in a sense maybe worse than what we were expecting, because it was done in a very professional way."

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Law
4:41 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Supreme Court Considers Whether A Sock Is Drug Paraphernalia

In 2010, Moones Mellouli was arrested for driving under the influence and having four Adderall pills in his sock. He was subsequently deported.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:33 pm

At the U. S. Supreme Court Wednesday, the question before the justices boiled down to whether a sock can be considered drug paraphernalia.

Each year 30-35,000 people are deported for drug crimes. But federal law does not treat all drug crimes equally. The question before the justices was whether the government can deport legal permanent residents for minor drug offenses.

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Politics and Government
3:29 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Gov. Fallin Creates Criminal Justice Reform Committee

Gov. Mary Fallin
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive order creating a special committee to develop reforms to how the state handles nonviolent offenders who have substance abuse problems and mental health issues.

Fallin issued the order Wednesday creating the six-member Oklahoma Justice Reform Steering Committee.

The committee will develop a plan for implementing justice reform measures tailored to Oklahoma's security needs and budget and prioritize ways to reduce prison overcrowding and promote public safety.

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Oklahoma News
12:58 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

OKC Police To Test Body Cameras

Credit Paul L. McCord Jr. / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma City police will take part in a pilot program in which officers will wear body cameras.

Police Chief Bill Citty says 100 cameras will be used by officers on patrol for one year. The program will then be evaluated to determine if an how the cameras would be used by all the city's officers.

The cameras are worn on a patrol officer's body and the officer turns the camera on during an encounter such as a traffic stop or an investigation. The video is then stored as evidence.

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Capital Punishment
12:17 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Death Row Inmates Appeal To Supreme Court

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Attorneys for four Oklahoma death row inmates are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a 10th Circuit Court ruling that approved the state's execution drug protocol.

Attorneys for Charles Warner, Richard Eugene Glossip, John Marion Grant and Benjamin Robert Cole have also requested stays of their scheduled executions, pending the appeal.

The documents filed Wednesday allege that the use of midazolam in a three-drug mixture to perform an execution is unacceptable because it cannot reliably produce "a deep, comalike unconsciousness."

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:51 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Oklahoma Earthquake Rate Is High, But Holding Steady

A panel of state geological surveys and oil and gas regulators at the National Seismic Hazard Workshop on Induced Seismicity, held in November at a conference center in Midwest City, Okla.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma experienced more earthquakes than California in 2014, but the rate and severity of the shaking “has held relatively flat over the past 12 months,” The Oklahoman’s Adam Wilmoth reports.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
10:04 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Engineering Students At Oklahoma Universities Anxious About Low Oil Prices

Credit neillharmer / Flickr

The price of crude oil has plummeted below $50 a barrel, and while there are varying opinions and analyses on whether the downturn will be short slump or a long slog, students in Oklahoma who are enrolled in engineering disciplines are starting to worry that low oil prices could affect

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Oklahoma News
8:27 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Norman Voters Pass Residential, Commercial Water Rate Increase

Melissa Megginson Flickr Creative Commons

Voters in Norman overwhelmingly approved a water rate increase during Tuesday's special election.

67 percent of voters approved the two dollar hike for residential customers that pushes the base rate from $5.50 to $7.50.

The city said it was necessary to pay for water treatment plant improvements required by the federal government. It also allows the city to reopen some closed wells, drill new ones, and purchase land for a groundwater treatment site.

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