Health Care
6:35 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Case Goes Before Supreme Court

Hobby Lobby President Steve Green says the company should not have to provide insurance coverage for IUDs and morning-after pills for its 13,000 employees.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 9:23 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in the latest challenge to the Obama health care overhaul.

This time the issue is whether for-profit corporations, citing religious objections, may refuse to provide some, or potentially all, contraceptive services in health plans offered to employees. It is a case that touches lots of hot-button issues.

In enacting the ACA, Congress required large employers to provide basic preventive care for employees. That turned out to include all 20 contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Tue March 25, 2014

White House To Propose Halting NSA Bulk Collection Of Phone Data

The sign outside the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:42 pm

President Obama is preparing to announce a plan to scrap the government's systematic collection of bulk phone records as part of a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency's controversial electronic surveillance activities.

The New York Times, quoting senior administration officials, reports:

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Manager's Desk
8:29 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

KGOU's Financial Sustainability Is Up To You

Financial sustainability for KGOU!
Credit Nic McPhee / Flickr Creative Commons

For the last several weeks, I’ve been talking about mathematical problems, crowdfunding, and strength in numbers. All of these ideas lead to financial sustainability for KGOU.

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Death Penalty
6:11 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Oklahoma's Execution Protocol Changed

The main gate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla., home to the state's death row.
Credit duggar11 / Flickr Creative Commons

Lawyers for two Oklahoma inmates say the state has informed them that it has changed execution procedures — and that there are now five acceptable ways to kill condemned inmates.

In court papers filed Monday, lawyers for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner said they were notified Friday night that Oklahoma's execution protocol had changed. The state had used a three-drug combination, but new possibilities include a mega-dose of pentobarbital or two new drug combinations.

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Beattie's Prairie
4:28 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

End Of Trail Of Tears Site Now On National Register

Credit Oklahoma History Center

A site where Cherokee Indians disbanded following the Trail of Tears is among six new properties on the National Register of Historic Places.

The State Historic Preservation Office announced the new listings on Monday.

Beattie's Prairie located in Delaware County is where Cherokees arrived and resettled following their forced location to Indian Country.

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Native American
12:39 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Cherokee Chief: End Of Trail Of Tears Worthy Of Celebration

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker
Credit Cherokee Nation

The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation says the 175th anniversary of the end of the Trail of Tears is a cause for celebration.

Several thousand Cherokee Indians died as they were forced from their homelands in the southeast into Indian Territory, beginning in 1838.

Monday marks the anniversary of the arrival of the final group to present-day Oklahoma.

Chief Bill John Baker says tribal members feel a sense of pride from the Trail of Tears. He says that, despite the trials and tribulations, Cherokee ancestors survived and the tribe has thrived.

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Oklahoma Voices
11:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Immigration Inspiration: Oklahoma Novel Framed By Controversial 2007 Law

HarperCollins Publishers

In 2007, Gov. Brad Henry signed some of the country’s strictest anti-immigration legislation into law.

House Bill 1804 by state Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore) made it a felony for the state to provide education and health care services to illegal immigrants, and requires police to investigate the immigration status of anyone “suspected” of being in this country illegally.

Seven years later, the controversial law and its effect on people form the basis for Oklahoma native Rilla Askew’s fourth novel Kind of Kin, now out in paperback.

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Common Core
10:51 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Senate Panel: No Common Core Standards For Oklahoma Schools

Credit Terrapin Flyer / Flickr Creative Commons

A state Senate committee has passed legislation that would limit federal control over so-called Common Core standards for math and English instruction in Oklahoma's public schools.

The Senate Education Committee voted 11-0 for the measure Monday. The House-passed bill authorizes development of new English and math standards and prohibits the state Board of Education from entering into any contract that would limit state control.

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U.S. Supreme Court
9:58 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Justices Reject Oklahoma Plea To Restore Death Sentence

Credit Mark Fischer / Flickr Creative Commons

The Supreme Court has refused Oklahoma's plea to reinstate the death sentence for a man convicted of killing two people in 1994.

The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place a federal appeals court order granting a new sentencing hearing for Rocky Eugene Dodd.

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Dodd's death sentence because seven relatives of Dodd's victims were allowed to call for the death penalty in their testimony during the sentencing phase of Dodd's trial.

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U.S. House
9:26 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Oklahoma Congressman Mullin Ethics Update Expected Today

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.)
Credit Congressman Markwayne Mullin

The House Ethics Committee is expected to release an update Monday in its review of Republican Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma.

Ethics Committee chairman Michael Conaway and ranking Democrat Linda Sanchez said in February they had received a referral about Mullin from the Office of Congressional Ethics. The OCE is an outside organization that can refer cases to the House Ethics Committee. The committee has not disclosed the subject of the potential investigation.

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