Report Says DHS Not Meeting Goals

Oct 15, 2014
Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services

In a new report issued today, three national experts cite Oklahoma's lack of progress in critical, inter-related foster care areas.

The three experts, called Co-Neutrals, were approved by Oklahoma's Department of Human Services and appointed by the court pursuant to a settlement with plaintiffs of a long-standing federal class action brought on behalf of children in the state's foster care system.

The Co-Neutrals are charged to evaluate and render judgment on the state's performance in strengthening the state's child welfare system.

Mark Tygret, Fiscal Director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

The House Appropriations and Budget Committee received a lesson Wednesday on revolving funds, more than 500 accounts that include revenue from fees and fines to federal grants.

House Fiscal Director Mark Tygret began Wednesday’s presentations during House Interim Study H14-007, concerning revolving funds, by explaining that the majority of the funds are created by legislation and are considered continuing funds.

That means the money in the accounts is not limited to specific fiscal year expenditures but instead may be spent over a number of years.

Government regulators have approved a new generation of genetically engineered corn and soybeans. They're the latest weapon in an arms race between farmers and weeds, and the government's green light is provoking angry opposition from environmentalists.

Homeowner Larry Huff holds a shard of Eastern Red Cedar, the handiwork of an Oklahoma County program that clears the flammable tree from private property.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The eastern red cedar tree’s bad reputation for fueling wildfires, hogging water, and disrupting ecosystems in Oklahoma is drawing the attention of state lawmakers, but so are ways to put the tree to use, like to help fight cancer.

Alan Hruby
Stephens County Jail

Prosecutors have charged the son of a rural newspaper publisher with killing his father, mother and sister.

Records show 19-year-old Alan Hruby is in custody in the shooting deaths of his father, John Hruby, mother Tinker Hruby and sister Katherine. Alan Hruby does not yet have an attorney.

Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks said Wednesday that Hruby killed his family hoping to inherit money. Hicks says Hruby was having financial problems and was being pursued by a local loan shark. Hruby is a student at the University of Oklahoma.

Todd Binger /

Even if Oklahoma's outdated education standards are determined to properly prepare students for college, state officials say there's little they can do this school year to regain control of federal funding stripped from the state.

As tax revenues increased and spending cuts took effect, the 2014 budget deficit dropped to the lowest level in six years.

In a statement, the Treasury Department hailed the news by pointing out a few key figures:

-- "The deficit in FY 2014 fell to $483 billion, $197 billion less than the FY 2013 deficit and $165 billion less than forecast in President Obama's FY 2015 Budget."

When Ebola virus resurfaced in West Africa in December 2013, public health officials were hopeful that it could be contained, as it had been in past outbreaks.

But the virus continues to ravage communities in Africa and has now spread to the United States and Europe. The number of new cases in Africa make it likely that there will continue to be cases in the United States.

HBO has built a robust and popular online presence over the past couple of years with its app, HBO GO. But to get it — as is the case with many streaming services that offer television over the Internet — you've needed a cable subscription. In other words, HBO GO was an add-on for people who already had HBO, not an alternative way of getting shows for people who didn't.

[For Thursday's Ebola developments, click here.] The second Dallas nurse who has Ebola arrived in Atlanta Wednesday evening. Television footage showed Amber Joy Vinson leaving a plane and boarding an ambulance.