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Rancher and water advocate Gary Greene owns land near Pennington Creek.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Concerned About Water Supply, Oklahoma Community Takes Action Against Mines

Pennington Creek in south-central Oklahoma is the only source of drinking water for the town of Tishomingo. Residents there are worried limestone mining operations threaten the creek. Now, the city council is taking on the companies doing the digging. In February, the Tishomingo City Council voted to approve a new ordinance limit i ng how much groundwater mining companies can withdraw near Pennington Creek. The vote was unanimous. At the contentious meeting, council members didn’t take kindly...

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An informal settlement in Zambia, taken during John Harris' 2014 trip.
David Boeck

 

Urbanization is rapidly expanding on a global scale, and it is creating a demand for reorganization of cities and spaces. Urban and regional planners, like John Harris, weigh the different needs of societies to ensure the city suits the people who live in it. Harris focuses on sustainable urbanization, especially in Africa where he has dealt with informal settlements.

Gov. Mary Fallin during her 2015 State of the State address Feb. 2, 2015.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

 

As Governor Mary Fallin prepares for her State of the State address on Monday, February 6th, the Oklahoma legislature looks at changes involving taxes, criminal justice and disciplining some of their own.

At the Associated Press Legislative Forum on Thursday, Gov. Fallin said she wants to see, “a major overhaul of our tax system.”

Empty chairs in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee mark Democrats' boycott of a vote to advance the nomination of Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
C-SPAN

With no Democrats in the room, U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Republicans in the Environment and Public Works Committee voted to suspend committee rules to defeat a two-day boycott by Democrats who say Pruitt is unfit to serve as the nation’s top environmental regulator.

State Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, March 2, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

A state representative from Tulsa has announced he will resign his seat after a House committee recommended his expulsion amid sexual harassment allegations.

Rep. Dan Kirby, a Republican, submitted his resignation on Saturday.

At question were two separate incidents. One involved a lawsuit brought against the House of Representatives by Hollie Bishop, who worked for Kirby as a legislative assistant. She claimed she was fired in November 2015 after she reported sexual harassment. Former House Speaker Jeff Hickman reached a settlement with Bishop’s attorneys.

Online retail giant Amazon could soon start charging sales taxes to Oklahoma customers – a move that would help fill a sizable state budget shortfall for next fiscal year, Oklahoma Watch has learned.

An Oklahoma Tax Commission official said the agency is in discussions with online retailers to voluntarily collect sales and use taxes, and two state legislators said they expect agreements could be struck in coming weeks or months with Amazon, the country’s largest e-commerce site.

Oklahoma City’s police department is making no changes to its immigration policy following President Trump’s executive order against sanctuary cities.

Police Chief Bill Citty says while Oklahoma City isn’t a sanctuary city, his officers are also not proactive in enforcing immigration laws because it can erode trust in a community.

U.S. Rep. Steve Russell during a Feb. 3 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing.
Congressman Steve Russell / Facebook

Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation have largely been supportive of President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans travel of certain foreign nationals to the United States.

 

Norman, Oklahoma residents Elika Bahrevar and Amir Arshadi on Jan. 29, 2017.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

Amir Arshadi and Elika Bahrevar met a decade ago, when they were engineering students at a university in Iran. Later, they both came to the United States for grad school.

“We were still boyfriend and girlfriend at the time, and we got married in Cleveland,” Amir says while laughing.

“We were students so we couldn’t afford to have a wedding,” Elika chuckles.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

The Oklahoma legislature will consider bills covering a wide range of topics in its upcoming session.

eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley told KGOU’s Dick Pryor that lawmakers will tackle issues including handguns, abortion and how to fix the state’s estimated $900 million budget shortfall.

“Really every aspect of state law, state government is touched by the bills that were filed this year,” said Shawn Ashley.

Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, center, with court security guards at left and right, appears before the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Tuesday July 3, 2001.
AP

 

Ellen Elias-Bursac, current standing Vice President for the American Literary Translation Association and former revision expert for the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal, has helped ease the challenges created by language barriers. During her time at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Elias-Bursac was given the responsibility of translating and verifying evidence during the war crime trials.

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