Oklahoma Watch
6:31 am
Tue July 15, 2014

After 32 Years And A Wrongful Conviction, New Suspect In Rape Is Charged

Neeta Lind Flickr Creative Commons

The Cleveland County District Attorney's Office has charged a suspect in a 32-year-old case of rape for which another man was wrongfully convicted and spent more than 13 years in prison.

The suspect, Gilbert Duane Harris, 58, of Biloxi, Miss., was identified after an Oklahoma Watch inquiry last year caused the Norman Police Department to request a national DNA database check related to the 1982 rape of a University of Oklahoma student. That check, sought by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, matched Harris' DNA with DNA evidence from the rape, but authorities say it took months to verify and follow up.

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Politics and Government
4:21 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Crumbling Capitol Needs Repairs To Start

Credit bungasagadue / Flickr.com

State officials say they will authorize preliminary design work for repairs to Oklahoma's nearly century-old state Capitol before millions of dollars in bond money authorized by the Legislature becomes available.

John Estus, spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said Monday that authorities are discussing using a few hundred thousand dollars in available construction funds to pay for an investigation of the building's exterior to determine what repairs are needed. The information would be required before the state requested bids on the project.

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Health
1:31 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Oklahoma City Schools Offer Immunization Clinics Before Start Of School Year

Credit NHSE / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma City Public Schools says it will offer mobile immunization clinics at selected schools ahead of the upcoming academic year.

The school is partnering with the Oklahoma Caring Foundation and Oklahoma City-County Health Department to bring Caring Van clinics to designated sites to promote immunizations. The vans will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the schools' parking lots on certain days.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:04 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Oklahoma Officials May Reconsider Keeping Oil Train Info Secret

Sam Beebe Flickr Creative Commons

In the wake of deadly derailments, fiery explosions and dangerous spills, the federal government in May ordered railroads to share with state authorities more information about some crude oil shipments.

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Oklahoma Voices
11:01 am
Mon July 14, 2014

VIDEO: Canadian City Planner On What Oklahoma City Can Learn From Vancouver

StevenSmith1 Flickr Creative Commons

Since 2002, Oklahoma City’s mayor has hosted a Development Roundtable to bring together local leaders and outside experts for conversation about the city’s expansion, progress, and improvement.

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The Oklahoma Tornado Project
9:45 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Auditing the Storm: Disaster 4117 - The Long Road

The Moore Medical Center immediately after the May 2013 tornados.
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mark Hybers

In 2007, Oklahoma was blitzed by a series of deadly storms, including an ice storm in January that engulfed most of central and eastern Oklahoma and killed 32 people.

Nearly seven years later, three of those federally declared disasters remain on active status. A handful of projects and audits have yet to be completed.

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Business Intelligence Report
9:20 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Top Business Stories: OK Defends TACOM, Hispanic Chamber To Relocate, Energy Antitrust Update

T.J. Coley, with the Choctaw Fire Department, checks the engine on a firetruck. The truck was a surplus from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
Credit Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

Oklahoma’s Rural Firefighters Can Keep Using Surplus Equipment.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently warned that it was going to prevent the Department of Defense from giving surplus equipment to the departments, saying much of the equipment fails to comply with EPA standards.

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The Salt
8:48 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Amp Up Or Tamp Down Stress

A nutrient-dense diet may help tamp down stress. And these foods may help boost our moods (clockwise from left): pumpkin seeds, sardines, eggs, salmon, flax seeds, Swiss chard and dark chocolate.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 11:22 am

Eat more when you're stressed? You're not alone. More than a third of the participants in a national survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health said they change their diets during stressful times.

And many of us are quick to turn to either sugary foods or highly refined carbohydrates such as bagels or white pasta when the stress hits.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:33 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Following Oklahoma's 2013 Tornadoes, Where Does Federal Aid Really Go?

Debris filled the streets in Moore, Okla. on May 20, 2013.
State Farm Flickr Creative Commons

After a string of deadly tornados hit Oklahoma in the spring of last year, President Obama signed a federal disaster declaration that paved the way for up to $257 million in aid.

One year later, about one half of that funding has been spent.  The Oklahoma Tornado Project teamed up with Oklahoma Watch to track where all the money went. 

Following huge disasters, there’s always a potential for things to go wrong. In New Orleans, former mayor Ray Nagin was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for taking bribes from contractors rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. And in New Jersey, there’s been criticism that some Sandy aid money has gone to less needy areas.

So we wanted to look into Oklahoma’s post-storm recovery. State Department of Emergency Management Director Albert Ashwood – who has worked closely with FEMA – says outright fraud is less common than it used to be. 

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Education
6:21 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Oklahoma Common Core Lawsuit To Be Heard Tuesday

Credit Gerd Altmann / http://pixabay.com/en/users/geralt/

A lawsuit challenging the Legislature's repeal of Common Core education standards for English and math is being scrutinized by Oklahoma's highest court just one month before public school students are scheduled to return to the classroom.

The Court may have the last word in whether the state will retain the Common Core stands after Justices hear oral arguments Tuesday.

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