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Club too close to Amish community
4:59 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Proposed Strip Club Prompts Legislator To Request Special Legislative Session

Credit marc falardeau / Flickr.com

A Democratic state representative from Chouteau wants Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders to call a special legislative session to deal with a strip club that he says is rumored to be coming to Mayes County.

Rep. Ben Sherrer said Monday in a news release that he plans to submit a formal request to Fallin and the leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:25 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Oklahoma Agrees To Keep Oil Train Shipments Secret

Flames and smoke are seen in an May 2014 oil-train derailment along Virginia's James River.
Waterkeeper Alliance Inc. Flickr Creative Commons

Surging oil production in states like North Dakota has outpaced pipeline capacity, and the energy industry has turned to railroads to transport oil from fields to refineries.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:08 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Oklahoma Drought Easing In The West, Intensifying In The East

The July 1 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Credit U.S. Drought Monitor

All the recent wet weather in western Oklahoma has put a big dent in the severity of the ongoing drought there.

But as one part of the state celebrates above-average rainfall, a state climatologist says eastern Oklahoma — which has been spared the brunt of the drought so far — is getting dryer.

From The Oklahoman‘s Silas Allen:

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World Views
12:11 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Even With Wide Support, Is Erdoğan’s Presidential Bid Really What Turks Want?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece Flickr Creative Commons

Turkey's ruling party nominated Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to run in Turkey's first directly elected presidential race in August before thousands of cheering supporters on Tuesday.

Erdoğan, in power since 2003, is barred by party rules from running as prime minister again. His candidacy for president could put him at Turkey's helm for five more years.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:42 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Take Shelter Oklahoma Launches New Initiative Petition

Take Shelter Oklahoma worked to collect signatures last fall for its original petition.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

A group that wants to install a tornado shelter in every public school in Oklahoma spent the holiday weekend gathering signatures to get its initiative petition on an upcoming ballot. 

This isn’t Take Shelter Oklahoma’s first attempt to collect 155,000 signatures, but the group is giving it another shot. 

Supporters of Take Shelter Oklahoma stood on the porch of David Slane’s Oklahoma City law office last week to celebrate the launch of their second signature gathering campaign.

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Business Intelligence Report
5:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Top Business Stories: Increased Tax Revenues, HP 'Lands' In Tulsa, And OKC Okays Cabela Incentives

Moore Sales Tax Growth chart
Credit Bryan Richter, Journal Record

Despite Last Year’s Devastating Tornado, Business Is Booming In Moore.

Sales tax revenues for the first part of the year are 8.7 percent higher than in 2013. In fact, collections grew more than in other metro cities. Norman grew 5.7 percent, and Edmond and Oklahoma City each posted 2.7 percent gains.

Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said the surge comes from more than just reconstruction.

He said growing retail activity made up 6 percent of the growth. Sales tax collections in June were
12.3 percent higher than a year ago.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:00 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Out-Of-State Students More Than Double At Oklahoma Colleges

Lindsay Whelchel Oklahoma Watch

The number of out-of-state students attending Oklahoma’s public universities and colleges has more than doubled in just over a decade as schools increasingly rely on nonresident tuition to supplement their budgets.

From 2000 to 2013, the number of nonresident undergraduate students enrolled in public colleges and universities jumped to 22,169 from 10,129, an increase of 119 percent. The nonresidents hail from all 50 states. Nearly half of them are Texans.

In-state enrollment rose by 12 percent, to 135,842, according to data obtained from the State Regents for Higher Education and analyzed by Oklahoma Watch. That rate matched state population growth.

The portion of what colleges call their “educational and general primary budgets” provided by out-of-state tuition also jumped significantly over the 13-year period. The enrollment figures do not include graduate or international students.

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Politics and Government
6:00 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Will State Questions Drive Voter Turnout In November?

Credit JTobiason Photography / Flickr.com

Efforts are underway to place initiatives involving storm shelters and marijuana sales on this November's ballot.

Whether this year's measures would help one candidate or party is unclear. A cockfighting initiative on the 2002 ballot drew large numbers of rural Democrats to the polls, and that was the year an underdog Democratic state senator from Shawnee named Brad Henry won the governor's race.

Henry won with 43.3% of the vote, compared to Republican Steve Largent with 41.6% and conservative independent Gary Richardson with 14.1%. 

Ballot initiatives must be submitted 60 days for inclusion on the ballot, so both petitions must be submitted by September 5th. Oklahoma ballot initiatives have 90 days to gather all signatures, and at the latest must be submitted 60 days before an election -- in this case, September 5th. The medical marijuana initiative began June 3rd. The recreational marijuana initiative began June 16th. The storm shelter initiative began July 2nd.

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Certificate Used To Determine Age
8:00 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Health Officials Urge Birth Certificate Plan

Credit comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Department of Health is urging parents to avoid the last-minute scramble and long lines by getting their children's birth certificates now as they prepare to enroll their children in school.

Health Department officials say many parents wait to obtain the birth certificates until August, which is typically the busiest time to obtain them. Parents can avoid the rush and by contacting facilities in Oklahoma City, Tulsa or McAlester to obtain their children's birth records.

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Ceremony on Tuesday
7:31 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Cherokees Reflect On Start Of Tribal Government

Cherokee Square & Cherokee Nation Tribal Complex
Credit J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

Cherokee Nation officials are planning to mark an 1839 date that began the creation of what became the tribe's current form of government.

Tuesday's ceremony in Cherokee Nation Capitol Square will recognize the 175th anniversary of the 1839 Act of Union.

The act created a unified political body for Cherokees who relocated west years before the tribe's forced removal and those who settled in the area after the Trail of Tears.

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