Politics and Government
6:51 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Prediction: Next Year's State Budget To Be Flat

Preston Doerflinger
Credit Oklahoma PCA / Flickr Creative Commons

Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger warned Thursday that next fiscal year’s state appropriated budget will be flat.

Doerflinger’s comments came in his monthly General Revenue Fund report. The report showed General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in October totaled $471.6 million. That was $3.4 million, or 0.7 percent, above the official estimate upon which the FY2015 appropriated state budget is based and $23.3 million, or 5.2 percent, above prior year collections.

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SkyDance Bridge
6:09 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Purple Is The Color Of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

Credit Jeffrey L. Cohen / Flickr.com

Oklahoma City's iconic SkyDance Bridge over Interstate 40 is being lit up in purple to help bring awareness to pancreatic cancer.

City officials say the 200-foot-tall structure along the pedestrian bridge near downtown Oklahoma City will be lit purple Thursday night as part of an effort by the National Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

The Crystal Bridge at the Myriad Botanical Gardens also will be decorated with purple lights in honor of the event.

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Witness Tampering
4:39 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Utah Judge Admonishes FBI For Inaction

Credit Cliff / Flickr.com

A federal judge in Utah admonished the FBI for not properly investigating witness tampering allegations against the agency, and suggested he'll likely appoint a neutral party to look into it.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups stopped short of finding the FBI in contempt in of court Thursday, but said he may still level sanctions against the agency at a later date.

A Justice Department attorney representing the FBI objected to the ruling, saying a report from the bureau's office of inspections showed no tampering occurred.

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Mobile Testing Vans
4:36 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Governor Announces Plan To End Impaired Driving

Credit Richard Bauer / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin is helping launch an initiative to reduce the number of people who drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs in Oklahoma.

Dozens of law enforcement officers packed into the state Capitol Blue Room Thursday for a ceremony to announce the plan to end impaired driving in the state.

The campaign will include a series of public-service announcements and the use of highly visible, mobile vans that can be deployed to help police more rapidly process people they suspect of impaired driving.

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Energy
12:43 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

District Judge Orders Approval For Wind Farm Development In Osage County

Credit Rocky Sun / Flickr.com

A district judge has ordered Osage County to approve a wind farm development.

The Board of Adjustment refused earlier this year to grant a permit for TradeWind Energy Inc.'s Mustang Run project, which would build 68 wind turbines in the northeastern Oklahoma county.

The Tulsa World reports the company sued the board, and District Judge Robert Haney sided with them on Wednesday.

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Open Records
9:35 am
Thu November 13, 2014

University Of Oklahoma To Release Parking Ticket Details After Lawsuit

Brian Hardzinski KGOU

University of Oklahoma President David Boren says the school will now release university parking ticket records after a student filed a federal lawsuit seeking the information.

Journalism student Joey Stipek sued the university in 2013 after he was denied parking ticket records for a story in The Oklahoma Daily. The paper explained its rationale for joining the lawsuit in a Wednesday editorial:

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Congress Will Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline, With An Eye On Louisiana

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate energy committee, spoke Wednesday about getting congressional approval for the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline. With her is Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a member of the committee.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 10:19 am

Two bills that would authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will soon come to a vote in Congress, as their sponsors — Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. — head toward a runoff election next month to decide who will win the Senate race.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports:

"On the Senate floor, Landrieu called for action on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline project, saying, 'I believe with a push we could actually get the votes that we need to pass the Keystone pipeline.'

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StateImpact Oklahoma
7:38 am
Thu November 13, 2014

What Oklahoma Can Learn From A Municipal Ban On Fracking In Texas

A Frack Free Denton booth at the University of North Texas. On Nov. 4, voters approved a citywide ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Crystal J. Hollis Flickr

Driven by water worries, safety questions and quality of life concerns, residents in Oklahoma and states around the country have pushed for citywide bans on hydraulic fracturing.

Many of those efforts have proved successful, but, in the end, fracking bans might be more about lawyers than voters.

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Election 2014
7:36 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

State Election Board Certifies Congressional District 2 Results

Congressman Markwayne Mullin
Credit U.S. House of Representatives

The State Election Board voted unanimously Wednesday to certify the results of the Congressional District 2 race, and all but one other general election contest, despite the fact the Democratic candidate in the contest died just days before the election. 

Congressman Markwayne Mullin captured 70.0 percent of the ballots cast in the Nov. 4 general election. Democratic candidate Earl Everett, who passed away Nov. 2, received 24.6 percent of the ballots. 

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Earthquakes
4:51 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Earthquake In Kansas Felt In Oklahoma

Credit usgs.gov

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 has shaken parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck around 3:40 p.m. Wednesday. It had an epicenter about 8 miles south of Conway Springs, which is a town of about 1,200 people about 30 miles southwest of Wichita. It wasn't immediately clear how much damage the quake may have caused.

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