Oklahoma News
12:23 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Upgrades Planned At Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

The Field of Empty Chairs at the symbolic outdoor portion of the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum has unveiled plans for a new $7 million project that will upgrade the museum and offer more insights for visitors into the deadly attack.

The plans were unveiled during a symbolic wall-breaking ceremony at the museum on Wednesday. The memorial honors the 168 people who died in the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.

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Code Switch
11:11 am
Wed January 8, 2014

What Happens When A Language's Last Monolingual Speaker Dies?

A portrait of Emily Johnson Dickerson by artist Mike Larsen.
Courtesy of the Chickasaw Nation

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 2:47 pm

Emily Johnson Dickerson died at her home in Ada, Okla., last week. She was the last person alive who spoke only the Chickasaw language.

"This is a sad day for all Chickasaw people because we have lost a cherished member of our Chickasaw family and an unequaled source of knowledge about our language and culture," Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby said in a news release. The Chickasaw Nation has about 55,000 members and is based in the southern part of central Oklahoma.

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Aviation
10:47 am
Wed January 8, 2014

OSU Students Design Two Types Of Drones

Credit sam_churchill / Flickr Creative Commons

Students at Oklahoma State University have designed two drones capable of punching through violent storms and aiding authorities with search and rescue efforts.

The first drone — also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle — was designed to intercept and measure key weather data in severe thunderstorms. Called MARIA, the aircraft can be deployed rapidly and flown into the lower parts of developing storm cells to improve understanding of the systems.  

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Oklahoma Politics
9:33 am
Wed January 8, 2014

OESC Seeks Domestic Abuse Employment Changes In Legislative Session

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission will ask lawmakers to consider a number of changes to its statutes during the upcoming legislative session, commission members were told Tuesday.

Among those changes, John Miley, OESC general counsel, told the commissioners will be an amendment that allows victims of domestic violence who have been forced to leave their jobs and apply for unemployment benefits to provide evidence, particularly testimony, rather than documentation in appeals before hearing officers.

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Wed January 8, 2014

December Posts Strongest Job Gains Of 2013, Survey Shows

Job seekers have their resumes reviewed at a job fair expo in Anaheim, Calif., in June 2012.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:25 am

This post was updated at 11:20 a.m. ET.

Last year ended on a high note for U.S. employment, with December ticking off 238,000 new private-sector jobs, topping the previous month for the best showing of 2013, according to the latest data from the ADP National Employment Report.

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State Capitol
7:32 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Fallin Issues Order To Ease Oklahoma Propane Shortage

Credit Erin Stevenson O'Connor / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency to deal with a dwindling supply of propane in Oklahoma.

The order issued on Tuesday waives certain licensing requirements and other restrictions for those transporting propane in the state.

The brutally cold polar air that has descended across the United States has led to a spike in demand for propane, which an estimated 400,000 residents use to heat their homes, especially in rural areas.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Death Toll From Deep Freeze Tops 20; Warm-Up Is Coming

A man walks through a steam cloud in frigid cold temperatures Tuesday in Manhattan.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:58 am

The deaths of at least 21 people are now being blamed on the winter storms and severe cold weather that have gripped much of the nation since late last week, The Associated Press reported early Wednesday.

At least half have been attributed to weather-related traffic accidents. The wire service adds that:

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Sold At Convenience Stores Or Head Shops
6:38 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Bill Designed To Widen Ban On Synthetic Drugs

Credit Living My Worst Nightmare / Flickr.com

A state legislator from eastern Oklahoma is seeking to widen a ban on synthetic drugs by adding language from a law in neighboring Arkansas.

Sallisaw Republican Rep. John Bennett said in a press release Tuesday he introduced the bill after joining a local sheriff from his district in a joint law enforcement operation with officers from Arkansas.

Bennett says people from Arkansas were buying the drugs in Oklahoma and bringing them back home. His bill would broaden the range of banned synthetic drugs, which state drug agents say continue to be a major problem in Oklahoma.

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Special Needs Teen Died From Abuse
6:18 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Oklahoma's DHS Under Fire Again

Credit Department of Human Services

A woman who says her special needs brother died from abuse is calling for an investigation into Oklahoma's child welfare services.

Valerie Wood-Harber presented an electronic petition with 460,000 signatures to Gov. Mary Fallin's office Tuesday. Wood-Harber is calling for an investigation into the agency after she made 22 unanswered calls in a span of weeks to report alleged abuse of her brother. Fifteen-year-old Quinten Wood later died of pneumonia.

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Oil Production Tax
2:31 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Miller: Willingness Exists To Look At Overall Oil

State Treasurer Ken Miller says he believes state officials and those in the energy industry are willing to consider a change in the way oil production is taxed.

Miller’s remarks came just a few days after House Speaker T.W. Shannon announced he will introduce legislation to make permanent the 1 percent tax on horizontal drilling.

“I think there is some willingness to look at changing the overall (gross production-oil) tax code and just lowering the rate on all the production and incentivizing the norm,” Miller said .

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