Oklahoma Watch
7:41 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Corrections Board Looks at Expanding Use of Private Prison Beds

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Board of Corrections is looking at three options to deal with overcrowding at the state’s prison facilities: expanding public prisons, contracting for more private-prison beds, and buying or leasing one of the state’s two empty private prisons.

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Code Switch
5:35 am
Fri January 10, 2014

White House Picks Choctaw Nation To Fight Poverty In Oklahoma

Chief Gregory Pyle (left) and Assistant Chief Gary Batton stand in front of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma's Capitol building in Tuskahoma, Okla.
Larissa Copeland Courtesy of Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 4:59 pm

Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared his "War on Poverty," President Obama issued his own plan to combat poverty Thursday with the nation's first five "Promise Zones."

All "Promise Zones" will receive a competitive advantage when applying for federal grants, on-site support from federal officials, and, pending congressional approval, tax incentives for businesses hiring and investing in the community.

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Says Cuts Would Be Unsafe For Aviation
6:23 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Inhofe Wants Full Funding For Airport Towers

Credit momboleum / Flickr.com

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe is pushing his Senate colleagues for full funding of a Federal Aviation Administration program that funds 149 contract towers at airports across the country.

Inhofe announced in a press release Thursday that he and West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a subcommittee on transportation funding, urging them to fully fund the Contract Tower Program.

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More Flu Hospitalizations In Tulsa County
6:12 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Oklahoma Flu Statistics Released Today

Credit jpalinsad360 / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Department of Health says five people have died from the flu so far in the state's flu season.

The Health Department posted the state's flu statistics on its website Thursday. In addition to the five deaths, the agency says 242 Oklahomans have been hospitalized with the flu since Oct. 1.

The Health Department says the flu deaths were recorded in Kay, Le Flore, Osage, Pittsburg and Tulsa counties. Two victims were between 18 and 49 years old and two were between 50 and 64. The other was 65 or older.

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All Tech Considered
1:55 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Government Tech Problems: Blame The People Or The Process?

HealthCare.gov's failures are prompting a closer look at the federal government's out-of-date technology.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:37 pm

Thanks to epic problems with HealthCare.gov's rollout, the federal government's out-of-date technology processes have received more attention than most of us could have expected. The main doorway for millions of Americans to get health insurance was unusable for two months, but that screw-up is just one in a long line of government IT failures.

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Code Switch
1:15 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

States May Recognize Same-Sex Marriages, But Navajo Nation Won't

The Navajo Nation prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex, and critics are now challenging that ban.
dbking/flickr

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 4:13 pm

The Navajo Nation has prohibited same-sex marriage since 2005, when the Diné Marriage Act was passed. Now, critics are challenging that ban.

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Business and Economy
12:48 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Criticizes OSHA Digital Reporting

Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello
Credit Provided / Oklahoma Department of Labor/ok.gov

Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello testified Thursday before the U.S. Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration  against a proposed federal regulation made by OSHA.

The proposal would require U.S. businesses to electronically submit workplace injury and illness reports to OSHA so the information could be posted online.

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Washington
11:38 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Oklahoma Senator Coburn Testifies About Government Waste

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Thursday.
Credit U.S. House of Representatives / Library of Congress

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) testified Thursday morning before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

He discussed his annual oversight report during the "Waste in Government: What's Being Done?" hearing chaired by California Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)

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State Capitol
10:02 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Lawmaker Authors Bill For More Monuments In Oklahoma

State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw)
Credit Provided / Oklahoma House of Representatives

An eastern Oklahoma legislator is pushing a bill that would allow for more Ten Commandments monuments on public grounds and buildings.

The bill filed this week by Sallisaw Republican Rep. John Bennett authorizes schools, cities and counties to display monuments or memorials dedicated to "historical documents."

The bill specifically references the Ten Commandments, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Magna Carta, among others.

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Health
8:55 am
Thu January 9, 2014

License Hearing For Tulsa Dentist Postponed

The offices of Tulsa Oral Surgeon W. Scott Harrington.
Credit KWGS News

A January licensure hearing for a Tulsa oral surgeon accused of keeping filthy office conditions has been postponed at least until April because an investigation of his practices is still ongoing.

Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Executive Director Susan Rogers says the continuation was agreed to by her office and attorneys for Dr. W. Scott Harrington, whose two Tulsa-area clinics were shuttered last March.

Rogers says depositions of up to 40 patients, clinic employees and other witnesses are causing the delay.

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